3rd and final part to the Battles Won and Lost series. I really hope you enjoy this oneshot. There is no smut but its my fav of the 3.
you may need some tissue with this one.
"Tony! Tony, come on stay with me." Steve forced Tony to a sitting position, in the attempt to get more air into his lungs.
The salt and pepper haired man gasped for breath as Steve frantically called for emergency help. Steve was scared, he knew Tony was getting old. The fear of losing him was increasing every year.
Tony had been curled up in Steve's side a running commentary correcting the facts that the documentary, they had been watching, had gotten wrong streamed from his mouth almost the whole time. It had been him falling silent that had caused Steve to pay closer attention to the frail man. The harsh hiss of air, the feel of the rapid pulse under Steven's fingers, all signs to Steve that something was wrong.
"Tony, the medics are on their way. Stay with me."
Their tiny family had already lost Clint A few years back. He had watched Natasha fall apart dealing with the loss. That had been hard enough, but the knowledge that Tony could be next killed him. He tried not to think about his fear as he helped Tony, when your husband was on old man, you learn to handle stressful health scares with with a calm demeanor. But Tony could always see through him.
"Stop worrying Steve," Tony wheezed, "I'm not leaving you. Not now. Not ever." The man snuggled deep into Steve's chest. Strong arms held him as if needing the contact to feel grounded.
A blond man of around 26 stands on the grass, face stained by the remnants of dried tears. The crisp uniform, so perfectly tailored is muddy at the knees where the man had collapsed a few short minutes ago. A bouquet of flowers lay at his feet, on top of a gravestone.
His eyes are red rimmed but the brightest blue, like the sky after a storm. His golden hair blows in the wind as the rain starts to come down again. He does not notice the chill in the air, or the wet soaking him to the bone. He pays no attention to the people near him, moving about, paying their respects, to loved ones lost. All he cares about is the one that lay at his feet.
One year to the day, he had lost his reason for living. The day he truly cursed having been given the super solider serum.
He had known it was coming, how could he not. Tony was 83 years old, they had live an amazingly wonderful life. They had created a family. They had friends, they had gotten married and they had each had a son by way of a surrogate. The Rogers-Stark family had become everything to Steve.
It had been hard for a few years, when Tony was younger...much younger. But the world had managed to forget about the age difference as the years went on.
The tides changed again as Tony aged and people started asking if Steve was his son or worse his grandson. The worst part was that Tony was still about 50 years younger than Steve.
Many things in their lives had happened to cause pain, and suffering, but the amount of happiness they had experienced out weighed it all.
The birth of their sons Christopher and Scott had been the happiest days of their lives, also the hardest and most exhausting. But both Steve and Tony had believed it to be worth it. The marriage of their son's and the birth of each one of their 5 grandchildren had proved just how worth it it was. They were getting ready to welcome their first great grandchild. The first girl finally. Steve and Tony had been overjoyed to find out there was finally going to be a Rogers-Stark girl.
Their wedding had been small and simple, it had come a long time after the birth of their sons, the gay rights movement had taken a while to gain any ground on the marriage front. They had had a civil union many years before but the day New York had announced that same sex couples could marry had been a joyous day in the Rogers-Stark household. Tony had perhaps gone a little overboard in the planning of the small wedding, but Steve had allowed him. They had rented a spot of land by a lake in upstate New York, flown in all of their friends and family and had celebrated their legally accepted union well into the night. Tony had worn a black tux with a dark green tie and his side of the wedding party matched him, Steve had worn a white tux and the same green tie with his side of the wedding party matching him. Nick Fury, their boss, had been ordained for the wedding and had married them. Tony and Steve had even written their own vows. It had been everything Steve had wanted.
But they had also had many hard parts in life. Explaining to the world that not only was Captain America gay but in love with his god son had been so hard, mostly on Steve. They called him names, mocked him and shunned him in many social circles. It had been the 80s, free love had been established but that didn't mean people weren't close minded. Tony hadn't let the name calling or hatred get to him. He had been Steve's rock through it all.
Tony's capture in Iraq had been perhaps the worst months of Steve's life at the time. He had been foolish not to suspect Obadiah Stane of the atrocious acts. He had never liked Howard's business partner, but could never put his finger on why. Tony had nearly died because of the attacks and when they had found him, he was being kept alive by a piece of machinery that keep shrapnel away from his heart.
It had been a shock to Steve, to realize how close Tony had come to dying. The despair had crashed down on him so hard, he had not been sure he'd be able to get back up. But he did, because of Tony. Tony had somehow reached into Steve's head and pulled him out of his despair and heartache. That had been the first time Steve had stopped to realize just how vulnerable Tony was compared to himself.
Tony though, had found a way to make the reactor work in his favor. Because of it, he had developed sustainable clean energy for the world and he had created his own superhero, allowing himself to go on missions with Steve. Steve was able to forget about Tony's vulnerability because of Iron Man.
At first Steve had had a hard time separating Tony his boyfriend from Tony the super hero, but Tony had not allowed that issue to continue. Rightly putting Steve in his place when during a particularly difficult mission, involving a russian spy, Tony had been injured and Steve had gone all mother hen on him.
He loved working with Tony, their minds, so very different, worked so well together. Steve's mind was tactical, worked best, fastest, on the ground in the thick of things. Tony's was analytical, he worked best under pressure and talking it out, sometimes to no one, but most of the time to Steve. They had saved the world many times.
Eventually he had put together a team of heroes, which had become part of their family. All with extraordinary abilities, Tony Stark had helped save the world, all because of the Arc Reactor.
When they had decided to start a family, it had been their friends who had helped them through the hard times. They had had a hard time finding a surrogate that would be willing to use her own egg and then give up her rights to her children. Both Chris and Scott had been born of the same mother, Chris having Steve's DNA and Scott having Tony's. It had been an amazing life, one that he had never expected to live, let alone see end.
But Tony, like the other Avengers, had been nothing but mortal, with the exception of Thor. They had all aged, and some of them had already passed away. It had been hard to watch, knowing that he would continue to live while their bodies, lay in fabric lined pine boxes, slowly decaying, and turning to dust with the sands of time.
Steve found as the years with Tony went on that he did in fact age but he was aging at an alarmingly slow rate. he now only looked about 35, 10 years older than he was when he had been given the sirum but he was by all accounts almost 130 years old. Steve could and would die, he could be killed in combat or in around 200 or so years he may die from old age. He would finally be able to join his husband, the one person he loved more than life itself and all the many grand kids his and Tony's heirs would produce.
He had never, not once, stopped to consider what life would be like without Tony. Never realized that as they got older, only Tony would show the signs. Tony had aged well, few health issues, thanks to innovative technologies created by Tony himself and a rigorous diet and exercise plan. It had been easy to forget how fleeting life was. But Tony got old and frail. His blood thinner and ultimately the Arc Reactor had not been able to keep all of the shrapnel out.
He had held Tony as they waited for the medics to arrive. Tony had had a few breathing scares the last few months and it had always been nothing. He had had no reason to believe that that breathing episode was anything other than a false alarm. Before the emergency medical response had arrived, it had been all over. Tony's limp lifeless body was cradled into Steve's chest when the paramedics had burst through the doors. Hot salty tears streamed down his face rocking the pair of them on the floor.
The medics had taken Tony from his hands and worked on him for a few minutes, trying to revive him but had pronounced him dead before even leaving Avenger Tower.
"NO!" Steve had shouted as they placed Tony in a body bag and wheeled him out of the room. Steve crumpled to his knees and thrown up on the living room floor, he had tried to walk to their bedroom...his bedroom but had collapsed at the door, unable to walk in and be reminded of what he had just lost. His Tony was gone, taking with him his reason for being. Tony had showed him love, and hope. He had taught Steve how to live, not just walk around like the good little soldier he had once been, but to really LIVE. He had given Steve a family, something Steve had not had in a long time. He had not moved from the spot of the floor where he had collapsed, for what felt like days. He didn't care. His sons had stopped by in the attempt to help him, but they were old to, seeing their weather worn faces scared him. He knew he would be burying them soon too.
It has been a year since Tony had passed away and Steve visits every day. He tells Tony about about Chris and Scott and regales the headstone with tales of the hijinks their 5 grandsons get up to, most are in their 20s, but many of them took after Tony in their desire to party and drink too much.
He tells Tony about little Toni, their first great grand baby and only girl. How her eyes are bright blue with dark brown ringlets for hair. How even at a year old, she is smarter than most her age.
He tells him about the little cat Toni brought home one day, because she had had some cookies in her pocket and it had followed them from the park. He laughs at the parts he knows Tony would yell about or say something clever. He never wants to forget the way Tony sounds when he laughs, but he is starting to, because even super soldiers memories of loved ones passed fade away. He tries to hold on to all the memories he has of the decades that spent with each other but its like trying to hold water in a cupped hand, eventually all the water disappears and all you have left with are traces to prove that water had at some point been in your hand.
"Gapa! Gapa!" The little girl of one runs up to him, her words are unclear but Steve knows he is the one she is talking to. He looks down at her rain soaked hair, only just realizing that it had begun to rain again. He was completely soaked. Smiling down at the little girl he stays just a few seconds longer, placing a picture of Tony and him on there wedding day on the marker.
"I love you Tony and I miss you. Save me a seat, I'll join you when I can." Turning around, he grabs the little girls hand and walks to where her mother and father are waiting.
*Sobs* leave me a review, feel free to curse me and cuss me out. I will understand.
I do have a continuation to this story in gdocs, but im not sure if i want to post it. i really like the way this story ended. so i think what i will do is, award the reviews of this story with the my Drabble "In Valhalla, There is Life." its not complete but it should give the few that review a little bit of a cheer up.