“Oh, yeah? It sounded a lot
                  like you were complaining.”

        “Nah. I mean, I didn’t kiss a 95 year-old.”

                            “Tony…? Are you at home…?”,
                         Steve slowly opened the door, shield in one
                         hand and the keys in the other one.
             He was still healing. It’s not like he was going
             to have any scarfs from that but… This was the 
             first time he’d come home looking like this
             (aka looking like he was hit by a car ) with
            Tony at his place, and the last thing he wanted
            right now was causing panic.

                             Chances were pretty low,
                             actually, non-existing,
                             that Tony might be out and
                             gone until Steve took a shower
                             and made himself look human
                             again but… He could dream for
                             a moment, right?



                  She was making an actual effort to remember
                  something, for no other reason than to mock;
                  it might take a while but she will get there, eventually.


“Well I’m sorry if I was maybe a little
                  too busy trying to save our asses.
                  I’ll try to remember that the next time
                  we’re being chased by cold-blooded assassins.”

           ”No hard feelings.
            I wasn’t complaining.”

                   Not this time, at least.

not again


The moment he closed the door, Tony was cursing himself for how casual he was treating this Steve. He knew he wasn’t his own, but he still couldn’t stop himself from acting how he would around his Steve. It was ingrained into him. Pushing his hands through his hair, he let out a quiet sigh. He hoped the other man didn’t think anything of it. It would really suck if he got kicked out his first night here.

Stepping into the shower, he let out a content sigh when the water came on, the heat helping with his aches and pains. Rinsing off the grime from today, Tony carefully washed down until he no longer reeked and then some. 

When he did finally get out, he heard Steve shout about where the clothes were and wrapped a towel around his waist, the RT glowing proud when he walked out.

Slipping into the Captain’s room, he laid his towel down and stared at the clothes on the bed, a blush rising to his cheeks when he saw the underwear he had been given. Stifling his embarrassment, Tony slipped all of the clothes on, the pants a bit too baggy and long, and the shirt a size larger, before walking out, making sure to scoop his towel and clothes back up.


               ”Thank you again for doing all of this,” he said softly, walking over.

Stretching up, he gave Steve’s cheek another kiss, walking to the hamper afterwards. Coming back, he took a seat on the couch, and hummed in approval.

               ”Really, thank you. If there’s anything I can do to repay you, please tell me.”

          Tony was already doing enough. Between SHIELD and figuring this new world out, Steve easily forgot himself and.. Well. It’s not like he managed to figure out anything yet. He was a born soldier, even without the serum in his blood. A man who worked best when given orders and a purpose.

Now, he had a purpose. A goal. Something to help and fight for, because, no matter how much he would have liked to keep the other one there, they needed to find a way for him to go back home, and until then, it was Steve’s job to make it as comfortable for the other one here, as possible.

When Tony came back dressed in Steve’s casual-clothes, he’d considered making a joke but had no time to say anything seeing how the next moment he had the other’s lips on his cheek once again, the back of his neck flushing before he started rubbing against it awkwardly with one hand, and waving with the other one.

              “Don’t mention it, really. You’d do the same for me.”, probably even more.

       ”If you want to watch TV, you can do that, or look through the shelves. Feel free to do whatever you want, okay? This is temporarily your home now, too”, he winked at the other one playfully before giving him another wide smile and pointing over to his own door. “I’ll go get some sleep… Today was crzay enough. If that’s okay?”

not again


"500 dollars," Tony answered. "I’ve been paying for the Avengers for most of my adult life, eventually you just start carrying enough cash on you in case one of them needs the extra money. I make Steve do it too." Shrugging, he looked up at the other with a small smile. "You’re the same height as him," he noted. "Guess I’m destined to always be shorter than any version of you."

Carefully fixing the collar of Steve’s shirt like he would do with his own, another smile flitted across his face at the kindness in the other’s voice. Moving his hands, he looped them around the taller’s neck and pulled him into a hug. “Thank you for being so nice to me,” he said softly, giving the man’s cheek a light kiss.

Pulling back, he held Steve’s face between his palms. “Don’t grow up, okay?” Tony joked, dropping his hands completely and walking back to the bathroom.


Catching himself on the jamb, he turned back.

                       ”I’ll hold you to that, Captain.”

He did eventually end up flushing yet again because… Well. Because Tony just gave him a kiss on his cheek, really. How was he not supposed to flush? He didn’t complain, though, just smiled a little bit more goofily before nodding and waving the other one off so he would go and finally take his shower.

             Steve couldn’t deny having a feeling that maybe there had been more between Tony and his Steve but… ——It’s not like he could ask something so personal. Especially not if everything connected to that Steve made Tony look so pained and hurt… Instead, he just huffed out a playful ‘I’m 95’, and watched the man leave.

After picking out the clothes for Tony and putting them on his bed, he walked back to the living room, preparing the couch for the first sleepover ever. He covered it in one of his spare sheets, put two pillows there and some covers, just in case Tony would be cold in the night, pushed the couch table away a little seeing how Steve always bumped into it.

                 ”Tony, go get dressed in my room.”, he called out once he heard the water being turned off, hoping the man had found the towels.


[  you’ve got to say, it’s admirable, in spite of everything, that steve’s making such an effort. most people        read: everyone else on the planet ever        would’ve given up a long time ago faced with over seventy years worth of information to absorb. admittedly, tony’s been kind of an ass in the past few months or so they’ve known each other; all this useless time spent squabbling as enemies instead of… pseudo-friends or whatever they are now. now that tony’s priority is no longer jumping at every opportunity to get a rise out of him, it’s hard to remember what he ever found so irritating in steve in the first place.

and only people who hated puppies and sunshine and the laughter of small children could hate a guy with a smile like that.  ]

             Are you kidding? Of course not. Don’t even        Do not sully the good name of Spielberg like that. Star Wars is not a sci-fic rom-com. Not even close. If you want Romeo and Juliet, get Barton. Closeted rom-com guy seems like his kind of thing.❞


[  he can’t comprehend if steve’s serious or if he’s just playing him but for a heartbeat of a moment he considers elbowing him in the side like it’s rhodey on the couch beside him. propping himself up against the edge of the couch, he presses play as universal studio’s opening credits roll across the screen. a prolonged eye roll of utter disbelief, incredulity etched deep into his features.  ]

             You’re so lucky you’re new to all of this, Cap. And even luckier that I’m here, of course. God only knows where you’d be if I weren’t here to guide you.❞

[  theatrics over, tony jerks his head over at the screen.  ]

                                                                         ❝Now shhh,            movie’s starting.

       { steve might not have many things to keep going for, but there is this one thing. This one, thing that makes him stand up and go out in this cruel world no matter what.
                        The fact that he is alive and Bucky isn’t.
                        The fact that he is here, able to run and fight
                        while Peggy and everyone else he knew ( who
                        didn’t die yet ) were old and bound to their bed.

           This was a gift, no matter how much Steve saw it as a curse. It was a gift, and it wouldn’t be fair to push it away. Bucky would want him to catch up on the things, probably even force him to try every new flavor of ice cream or the new brands of cereals… So… Yeah. Steve might be reckless, might jump out of planes and out of buildings, but at least he forces himself to stand up every morning and try.

                 ”I’m not that into rom-coms, thanks…”

              not even a few moments after that — and after Tony’s wonderful speech of Steve being lucky to have him around — Tony shushed him, not leaving him a chance to answer. A simple shrug was all Steve could give as an answer before he leaned back a little bit more comfortable, staring at the screen and frowning when the whole ‘text’-thing happened. 

                          “Do I have to read it?”

       { it’s not like he already memorized the words the moment
         he saw them but it would be good to know whether this was
         important or not. }



          {  there’s a puff of air being released
             from her lungs, lips pursing for a
             moment before parting with a wet pop  }

           ”Yeah,” a pause, right eyebrow raising,
                             ”I need you to tell me what got
                               you so riled up.”

                 { he doesn’t like it when Natasha looks at him
                    like this. Natasha coming to you and asking
                    what’s wrong comes close to … To something
                    that only happens in the worst-case scenarios.
            Apparently he hadn’t been as subtle about
            this as he believed he was.
                      A deep sigh fell from his lips
                      before he turned to face Natasha
                      completely, shrugging.

                        “The fact that I have been working for
                          HYDRA all this time and the fact that
                          Bucky is no-where to be found, maybe?”


       “————Alright, I admit, I can’t recall anything
        worse. But I’m sure there is— it’s Tony we’re talking about.”

                   Maybe she had been way too distracted
                   laughing at whatever jokes the other men
                   came up with to remember them now; she
                   will definitely pay more attention next time.


                   “In that case, I see nothing wrong in not being honest.”

                 Maybe this was better, seeing how the
                 more she remembered, the more she
                 would use on him and, really, hearing
                 Chicken noises every now and then
                 was bad enough.
                                  ——And the ‘capsicle’ joke every
                                  time someone eats a popsicle…

          “I do prefer it when you are honest, though.
           I mean, to me. And if you warn me before
           deciding to pretend we are dating, yes,
           that would be helpful.”

not again


"I’d like that," Tony says softly. "I haven’t been out to breakfast in awhile. It’d be nice to have the bit of normalcy in my life again. I can’t even remember the last time I went out to dinner with Steve as two friends. We’re always so busy and a part of me knows that he’d just reject the offer."

Looking down at his own clothes, he bites his lip and shifts a bit closer to the other. “Would it be alright if I borrow something of your’s? I have about 500 on me so we can go to Target or something tomorrow, but I’m afraid that this was all I brought.”

Standing, he turns for the other to let him get a look at how big he is. “I’m about two inches shorter than my Steve, and a lot lighter, but I steal his clothes a lot. He has comfortable shirts and I’m only human.”


Smiling brightly, he places his hands on his hips. “What do you think, Stevie? Got anything for me?”

Honestly, he’s going to end up in only his underwear by the time he finally crawls into bed, he likes being kept cool during the night, but he would still need clothes for tomorrow that weren’t his grungy shirt and jeans.

"Well we can go out for breakfast whenever you want.", he nodded gently before smiling a little more at the man, mostly to show him that this was indeed something Steve wanted, too. Before the war, going out for Breakfast never had been one of his priorities. Maybe on fancy sundays with Bucky, but… It had been difficult enough to pay the rent, so…

           ”You have 500 what on you, Tony…?”, he asked, a confused look replacing the smile before he waved it off and nodded one more time, standing up and standing right next to the other. This Tony did not just look different but he was built different, too. A little taller than the Tony Stark from this universe, but nevertheless shorter than Steve.

"The problem with most of my clothing items is that they are too small… —-SHIELD insists on stuffing me into tight shirts, so, yes. Absolutely. You can go take your shower, the towels are beneath the sink, and I’ll pick something comfortable out for you for, you know, the night.”, they could still look for what Tony would like to wear the next morning before leaving the apartment.

                 ”You can go crazy in my wardrobe tomorrow, if you want.”

not again


Startling when he’s grabbed, Tony turns a curious look on the other man, wondering if he has to suddenly fight. When the squeezing proves to be just that, he relaxes minutely and listens to what the other says. 

A quick flits across his face at the words, before he’s leaning forward and brushing that same stubborn lock of hair back from Steve’s face. “I’m not going anywhere,” he murmurs. “I promise.”

Not that he had planned to in the first place, not when Steve is likely one of the few people he can trust in this universe, but he’s choosing not to dwell on that.

Standing, he takes Steve’s empty bowl and then his, walking to the kitchen to go put them in the sink. The apartment kind of reminds him of his Steve’s old one, even if it is more barren in appearance. It also looks a bit outdated, with the muted colors and old radio he can see in the corner, but he remembers how Steve’s room used to be when he first moved in; how he would bring old items to Tony and ask him to fix them. 

It’s hard to letting go of the past.


Shaking off the thought, he walks back over and sits down, stretching out his back muscles with a small groan. Slumping back over, he gives Steve a lazy smirk. “What do you want to do now?” He asks.

                                     ”Also, where do you live? 
                                      Because I don’t know if it’s New York, 
                                      or not.”

         Steve knows that having someone pet his hair shouldn’t make his heart swell and make him want to lean in, but it does. He wants to stay in that very position for as long as he can, because for the first time since he woke up, someone looked at him - At Steve Rogers - and made him feel wanted and… Needed. Not in a ‘I have to fight to serve and save the county’-way but in a ‘I need to fix what’s left to fix’ way and… Steve is known to ever turn down a battle. Not even one with this Tony’s past and fears.

He will fight and do what’s in his powers to keep him smiling and make him feel welcomed… Of course accepting a Tony Stark from another universe was nothing like that one time when he had found a dog and tried to convince Bucky they should keep it, but… In a way, Tony was just as helpless and lonely as that dog had been, right?

When Tony stood up, Steve watched him go to the kitchen before he turned his attention back to the TV, secretly wondering if his own future looked like this, too. If the Tony Stark in his universe would ever look so sad while talking about Steve and, most of all, he was wondering if his own future was the same way this Tony’s Steve’s was…

                           ”It’s New York.”, he answered when the other one came back, halfways turned to him and the other half turned towards the TV before he shrugged. “It’s a small apartment building. My neighbour is a nice nurse who seems to work all the time and… Other than that, that’s it. There is a nice cafe five minutes from here but I’d suggest going there tomorrow.”

        “You should take a shower and get some rest…
         Not that I am forcing you to sleep but … We should
         try to figure this out tomorrow and you need to be on
         your highest energy-level for that.”