Steve could not stand Tony's drinking. It made him smell, and it made him loud(er), rude(r), and just plain perverted(er).

But mostly, if Tony had been drinking the night/day before a mission or villain attack, he was hungover/slightly drunk and unable to fight at 100% capacity, and was liable to forget that citizens that didn't know how to fight or protect themselves were around him. And whenever Loki was the one that attacked (every Monday and Thursday), Tony flirted with him and made lewd comments that Loki returned, smirking. It made Steve feel sick.

Steve hated it when Tony drank, and one day he just...snapped.

"Where the hell is that damn motherfucker Stark?" Fury muttered, pacing in front of the table in the conference room in the helicarrier. Bruce had a thin blanket over his bare shoulders, Clint was sporting a black eye and sprained wrist, Natasha had a broken ankle, Thor's head was wrapped, and Steve's leg was throbbing from a well-aimed magic spear of light thing, courtesy of Loki. Tony was the only one untouched.

"~You and me, could write a bad romance~," could be faintly heard, barely recognizable as Tony's voice. As he came closer, he switched songs twice, then went back to Bad Romance by Lady Gaga.

"~I want your leather-studded kiss in the sand~," Tony warbled, tripping into the room.

"Fury!" He squealed (squealed), hugging the one-eyed man tightly. If looks could kill, Tony would be bleeding on the floor.

"Brucie! Tasha! Thor! Clint!" he shouted, going around the table and giving everyone hugs. The reactions ranged from confused to resigned to scandalized. Tony turned to Steve with a huge grin.

"Stevie!" and went for a hug. This is when Steve caught of whiff of alcohol, and Steve resisted the urge to gag.

"Guys, guys, guysssss," Tony whined (not entirely unusual), "I have a crush on someoooonnne." Bruce rubbed his face tiredly.

"Tony, Pepper dumped you two months ago, and JARVIS is an AI with a holographic body," he sighed. Clint sniggered, and Steve tried to get rid of that particular mental image.

"Noooooo, not theeeemmm," Tony pouted. "He's tall, dark, handsome, and downright damn mischievous," he giggled, "Can you guess?" Steve stood up so fast his chair tipped over. He was sick of Drunk Tony, and he would teach him a lesson.

"Tony. Walk with me," he said, walking around the table towards the grinning billionaire.

"Nope, not you, Stevie. You're not jealous, are ya? OW! Owowowowowow..." he yelped as Steve gripped his ear and dragged him out of the room behind him. Tony struggled to keep his footing. Behind him, a curious band of Avengers plus Fury followed.

"You are disrespectful and disgusting when you're drunk. I'm going to sober you up, starting now," Steve explained, dragging Tony into the kitchen. He started the sink up, then plugged the drain. Tony's eyes widened, but Steve took no notice of the fear on the slightly more sober man.

"Yo-you're not gonna...dunk my head in that. Right?" he weakly asked. Steve glowered at him.

"You bet I am." The words had barely left his mouth before Tony began fighting Steve's grip. Natasha made a worried noise behind them.

"Steve, I don't think that's the smartest move," she hesitantly said.

"He'll be fine, it's just a little water," he grumbled, turning the (cold) water off and hoisting Tony up onto the counter, then paused. Steve saw pure, unadulterated panic in Tony's eyes before he began screaming.

"Drain the sink, drain the sink!" Clint shouted, running forward. Steve struggled to keep Tony from falling over.

"What's happening?" Steve panicked, then accidentally shoved Tony into the huge sink. Everyone froze.

"NO! I'LL DO IT! GET ME OUT! GET ME OUT! HELP! STOP IT! PLEASE, STOP!" Tony screamed, thrashing and clawing at the slippery sides of the sink. Thor reached into the writhing mass that was Tony and water, and yanked the (much) smaller man out. Gasping, Tony huddled close to the wall, shaking and...were those tears? Clint pulled the plug out of the drain, and the sound of gurgling water sent him off again.

"NO! NOT AGAIN! I'LL DO IT, I'LL DO IT, JUST STOP! PLEASE!" Clint quickly stole Bruce's blanket and wrapped it around the panicking man. Breathing hard, Tony opened one eye.

"I'm not in Afghanistan, am I?" he whispered shakily. Clint shook his head, rubbing Tony's back. Suddenly, Steve's vision was filled with angry red hair.

"You idiot," Natasha hissed. The venom in her voice was enough to make Steve stumble back against the wet counter edge. "Tony was water tortured in that cave. He has PTSD, and you just shoved him into a sink filled with ice cold water, exactly like the Ten Rings did in Afghanistan. He's aquaphobic because of that, you asshole." Steve blinked back the stinging in his eyes.

"I...what?" he gasped. Steve realized his chest was heaving, and automatically took several deep breaths, controlling his diaphragm.

"Listen, Tony's drinking annoys me, too, hell, it annoys everyone that's in a ten-mile radius of him, but just because he annoys you doesn't mean you can force him to relive the worst couple of months of his life. I thought you were better than that, Captain America," Natasha spit before spinning around. (How she managed that with a broken ankle was one of life's greatest mysteries.) Steve stared after her retreating form before looking at Clint, who was helping Tony up.

"Don't look at me, man, I'm pretty pissed at you, too," he calmly said before leading the limping Tony out of the room. Bruce and Thor followed. Confused and hurt, Steve turned to Fury.

"Tony was kidnapped by a terrorist group called the Ten Rings in Afghanistan. Damn motherfuckers tortured him to make weapons for them in a cave. He ended up making the arc reactor and the first Iron Man suit instead and blasted out of there," he said before turning and leaving the room. Steve felt a wave of guilt wash over him.

{*}

Later that night, Steve hesitated before Tony's door. He raised his hand to knock, but didn't move. Sighing, he let his head drop against the door, and heard voices. Holding his breath and fighting another wave of guilt, Steve pressed his ear against the door.

"...going to destroy that driveling, stupid mortal in the most painful, slowest way I can devise," a man hissed. Steve frowned, unable to place the familiar voice.

"Babe, it's okay. He didn't know, and he was trying to help. In his own, crazy, roundabout way," Tony soothed. Steve grimaced.

"He is not allowed to claim ignorance. Purposefully or not, he terrorized and hurt you, and he will be punished for doing so," the man growled. Tony sighed as it finally clicked for Steve. Loki. Tony was casually talking to Loki in his bedroom, even called him babe. Steve froze, his face portraying the most perfect WTF face that JARVIS saved the image for Sir to view later.

"Loki, he had no idea. He was sick of my drinking, and people act rashly in anger. I live with a guy who has ha-UGE anger management problems, but I don't see you pulverizing the Hulk whenever he bashes me around," Tony argued. Steve waited for Loki to blast him to ashes, but no such explosion came.

"Tony," Loki sighed, and Steve blushed at the intimacy in his voice. "I was terrified for you. I know the Hulk cannot truly hurt when you are in your suit, but when you screamed for it to stop..." Loki's voice broke. Steve's mouth dropped in astonishment, and JARVIS saved that image, too. "I almost dropped my invisibility spell to rush to your aide and teleport you to safety." Steve heard a strangled, broken-sounding sob, and wondered who was crying.

"Oh, Loki..." Tony whispered. The sound was followed by the rustling of fabric and more sobbing. Steve realized it was Loki who was crying, and he nearly passed out from shock. Steve was about to leave and report this to Fury or Natasha when he heard Tony whispering again.

"Remember when you threw me out that window?" Loki chuckled, then sobbed again.

"Of course. I hated not being able to control my actions more at that time than any other, because you could have died." Steve frowned, confused. Tony chuckled, though.

"Remember when we first met?" Tony asked. Steve's frown grew deeper. First met? Wasn't that when Loki invaded?

"How could I not? You almost ran me over with your car," Loki sniffed, seeming to cheer up slightly.

"Only because you fell out of the sky, or walked out of freakin' nowhere or however it is you appeared. I think I almost had a heart attack," Tony teased, earning another laugh at of Loki.

"Impossible. Mortals don't have heart attacks at the age of eighteen," Loki explained in a very convincing duh-voice. Steve almost fainted again. Eighteen?

"I was twenty, Loki, twenty. Just because I was short doesn't mean I was young," Tony said in a mock-offended voice. Loki snorted.

"You are still young. And short," he muttered.

"Yeah, but not where it counts!" Tony crowed. When Steve realized Tony made an innuendo, he blushed tomato red. JARVIS posted that picture on Tony's Facebook.

"Your ego is much too big for your body," Loki said, amusement trickling into his voice. He sniffed again. Steve tried to control his heart and diaphragm.

"So's yours," Tony said petulantly. Loki chuckled again.

"Yes, but I know how to control it, Tony, dear." Steve silently gagged. He was from the 40's, dammit, men did not flirt with other men. How was it even physically possible for two men to be...together?

"Join the Avengers. It's fun sneaking around, but it gets a little tiring after a while. And I want the whole damn world to know that Tony Fucking Stark, billionaire, genius, philanthropist, ex-playboy loves Loki Silvertongue," Tony suddenly pleaded. Steve's ears actually rung, and he felt a little bit lightheaded. Loved?

"Switch Stark with Loki, and I might consider it," Loki teased, and Steve could hear the smirk in Loki's voice. He heard more rustling fabric, then a deep throated moan that sounded suspiciously like Tony's. Face as red as Thor's cape, Steve stumbled away from the door and scrabbled to the elevator.

He almost didn't see Natasha in time to stop, and he managed to avoid running her over. She gave him an amused-but-sad look.

"I see you found out about Tony and Loki," she stated calmly. Steve gaped at her.

"Ho-how long?" he stammered. She paused, thinking, before she shrugged.

"Since before the invasion. Even before Iron Man, I think," she said. Steve gaped again.

"Don't hurt yourself," she teased, a smirk tugging at her lips. Steve swallowed, and closed his mouth.

"Who else knows?" he finally asked.

"Clint, Bruce, you, me. Thor and Fury suspect. Have you noticed Loki's eyes?" she suddenly asked. Confused, Steve shook his head.

"They were ice blue during the invasion. But when we went up to the penthouse after the portal closed to collect him, his eyes were green. Like, really green. And they've been green since," she explained. Steve frowned.

"Like Clint. His eyes were freakish blue under Loki's control, but when he wasn't, they went back to his regular blue. Do you think Loki was under someone else's control? Like a superior force or something?" Steve thought aloud. Natasha shrugged.

"Whoever it was has wisely kept his distance. Good night, Captain," she said, stalking off towards the stairwell. Steve stared after her.

"Good night," he called. He thought he saw Clint on the stairs before the door closed, but wasn't entirely sure. He suddenly became aware of the gasps and whimpers coming from Tony's room, and blushing again, rushed into the elevator.

That Friday, Loki surrendered to the Avengers and became a probationary member. And if he slept in Tony's room more times than his slept in his own, well, nobody said anything.

{*}

Note: little headcanon of mine; Loki is really dramatic speaker, and that's why so many words of his are italicized.