" i know that i haven’t been around as much as an accommodating host should be but it’s only because my company’s in the middle of a difficult transaction with a chinese company . i’ll be here more once that’s completed ."
replace my company for batman , difficult transaction with undercover surveillance and chinese company with the largest crime family in gotham .
”You really don’t have to explain this to me, Bruce, it’s fine! I know that you are a busy man.”
He is trying to brush it off with an easy smile and a quick shrug; Bruce Wayne was no one who could sit around with him just because Steve’s arm wasn’t in top-form to go out and fight the trash in this town while looking for Bucky…
Bucky, who he hadn’t come closer to in the last days… Bucky who knew way too well how to hide….
His intoxicated mind registers his mistake when Steve stops and turns, he looks far too hurt and surprised for TJ’s liking. He’s never been one to turn down a night of fun, but he’s taken precautions since his heart for broken and Steve’s his best friend. Not weird, right?
Mouth contorting to form some semblance of words, TJ’s mouth goes dry when Steve kisses his hand, his skin lights up again. A small drunken giggle comes out and TJ curls his fingers clumisly around Steve’s.
“Course I want to, jus’—-”
“Y'might regret it”
Despite his words, TJ has a small smile on his features and when he sways, has to clasp onto Steve to hold himself up. Where this is going, he really doesn’t know.
Steve laughs, too, simply because of the giggling coming from TJ before he automaticly reached up to rest his hand on the other man’s hips when he feels TJ holding on to him before he licked over his own lips, gaze once again locked with the other’s lips before he started to slowly walk backwards, guiding them towards where he believed his room to be.
“Why’d I regret kissing you?”
Or doing more. Would they do more…? Thinking about it, Steve finally realized the distress he was in and how tight his pants had become.
He had no idea how he made it or how he dragged TJ to, he only knew that he managed to knock him against a soft surface. One of their beds or maybe the couch, who knows? Or the floor…?
It doesn’t matter. Not now. Not when he’s positioned on top of TJ and nosing at his neck, breathing him in and moaning.
The slide of their tongues makes TJ’s skin light up on fire, he shouldn’t be reciprocating the kiss but he can’t help himself, and Steve’s pretty damn hot, whether he wants to admit it or not. His head tilts to allow more access and he barely notices whether Steve’s a good kisser or not, from what he’s witnessing, he is.
Steve tastes sharp like alcohol and it makes TJ crave more, but he’s too preoccupied. Although when Steve pulls back, he feels light headed and huffs out a breathy laugh with bright eyes and skin on fire.
The hand that grasps at his wrist and the words make TJ blink absently, then he giggles a bit sharply, but follows anyway.
“Steve, wait no—-”
“You’re drunk, Steve —-” TJ stops when he almost stumbles but allows himself to be pulled along, fuzzy from the alcohol and the kiss.
He pauses, seeing how a no is a no, no matter how much alcohol is involved and slowly turns around to face TJ again, standing in the middle of their ‘home’ and doing the most stupid thing he could ever do.
“‘m…. I’m not.”, he said, his voice rough when he lifted the other’s hand to his lips, kissing the back of it gently while looking TJ in the eyes.
Maybe he is drunk, judging by the fact that he can’t even hold still without leaning from one side to the other, but it doesn’t matter! He knows what he is doing. Or… at least he thinks that he does.
“D—don’t you.. want to… Don’t you want to kiss…?”
It’s stupid, and Steve doesn’t mean to look like a kicked dog while asking this seemingly innocent question, but it’s out and he’s waiting for an answer. A moment ago, it had felt like TJ had been on board with this, if the fact that he had kissed Steve was anything to go by…
He shouldn’t have brought it up, he knows that now. Knows that it was a stupid idea and tomorrow would either end with Bruce calling to let Steve know that he was busy and couldn’t leave work or Bruce putting his work aside to have a pity-party with Steve… Great.
It doesn’t take him by surprise, his essentially best friend adapting to the modern world locking lips with him, mostly because of the alcohol in his veins. It would have made TJ incredulous had he been sober, but intoxicated, he was TJ, not Thomas hiding his problems and self. Plus, Steve could learn from his mistakes, surely.
When their lips press together, TJ tilts his head and parts his lips to allow Steve entry. The sharp taste of alcohol on Steve’s tongue and the slide of their lips makes TJ groan, a low sound into the other’s mouth. This shouldn’t be happening, Steve’s still adapting to the modern world and TJ’s an almighty mess, but it’s what they need, it certainly washes away the pain and uncertainty, all he can focus on is the hot mouth on his own.
Eyes shutting, TJ’s hand reaches out to curl into Steve’s shirt when the hand against his face falls away, but it’s to steady Steve, not keep him close. When he’s sure Steve won’t fall, he drops his hand and slides his tongue against Steve’s, he’s too drunk to care much about the consequences, but tomorrow may be tense, depending on the outcome.
The only thing Steve can think about when he feels the tug at his shirt is how hot it is getting and how he would have loved to be shirtless right now, but taking his shirt off means that he would have to break the kiss, and that was really something he didn’t want to do. Not now. So he focused on TJ instead, licking into his mouth and using all the the ‘memories’ he has of kissing someone and tips he had read about.
He didn’t dare to use too much tongue, not even the alcohol could make him jump tongue-first into his friend’s throat. No.
Truth be told, Steve had lost his ability to tell how much time passed by the time he did finally pull away, breathing heavily and eying TJ’s face curiously, his gaze wandering further down, TJ’s chin, his colar bone and his shirt…
In one moment he was panting while starring at the perfect view in front of him, in the next he was u p, tugging at TJ’s wrist to get him to stand up and come with him to a place more … safe.
“‘ve a feelin’ someone ‘s gonna fall off the chair —— should go to…. —— Bed?”
His skin tingles so ridiculously with the aftershocks of having Steve’s hot mouth against it and his head lolls back just in the slightest, the cold air stings his skin where it was once been so hot. The teasing surprises him, never had he expected Steve to be that type of drunk—-
But TJ does suppose it’s his fault, partially.
He expects Steve to seal the kiss, so when he feels a thumb instead, he can barely focus on anything else but Steve’s mouth and finger. The alcohol buzzes inside him and he’s drunk, slightly too wound up. Steve brought this on himself.
The smirk spurs him into movement and TJ leans in, brushes his lips so painfully lightly against Steve’s that they barely touch. He makes a sound like he’s happy and flicks his tongue out to taste at the other’s lower lip.
When he pulls back, he doesn’t go far and smirks, though he’s hot all over from the teasing and it’s all Steve’s fault. TJ pours another shot, but this time holds it up to Steve, like he can focus on anything else.
There is a desperate noise that falls from Steve lips that he does not even hear himself after the soft touch of their lips and the warm tongue against his lower lip. The alcohol is to blame for all of this, no doubt, and yet, Steve is a little bit too willing to take the glass out of TJ’s hand and put it away before cupping TJ’s cheek and the back of his neck to pull him back in for more.
He didn’t wait, not this time, didn’t tease. Simply put his own mouth on TJ’s, kissing him, nipping on his lower lip and already parting his own lips to get TJ to stop fooling around, too, and start…well. ‘fooling’-around.
The blood is rushing through his body so fast that he can hear it roaring in his ears, but honest to god, with TJ’s lips against his, he doesn’t care. Not even about the fact that he eventually had to let go of the other’s face to hold on to the counter, seeing how otherwise he’d have ended up falling off the stool.
Tony kept his head tilted down but he nodded it anyway. He met Steve’s lips to return the kiss quickly before they parted for one last time. Sure he could keep bringing up conversations to keep him there but eventually Steve would have to leave and the sooner he did the sooner he’d be back.
Tony had told him he loved him and as long as he knew that he could be content to the best of his abilities until Steve returned. He’d worry naturally but Steve was a big boy, stronger than them and more capable.
"No, it’s not."
A small but weak smiled displayed itself on Tony’s mouth and he shoved his hands inside his pockets watching Steve open the door and finally leave.
His fingers tangled themselves into his hair and he sighed. It was going to be a long painful wait. Even now he wanted to chase after him and drag him back.
But he couldn’t.
It wasn’t easy to pull away from Tony and leave; it felt final, even though it wasn’t. He didn’t know what would happen on this little mission, didn’t even know if Bucky— The Winter Soldier would show mercy again or finish his own mission, but he had to try it…
And he did try. Leaving this wonderful life behind just to hunt a ghost… The ghost of his best friend.
He was by his own, no one to help, no one to trust. This was his own duty, he had to do it alone and he would.
For a few days, he couldn’t text Tony, too busy with his hunt, but when after a bad day Steve went into his crappy motel room, he fished his phone out, unsure of whether to do it or not, before hit sent, hoping for the best.
And that’s her limit, too— there is only so much she can hear before her patience is tested, so she hangs up on him.
He can’t help it but laugh once Natasha hung up on him before he put his phone away and got changed to go to the GYM. Sports, shower and then movie. But not without texting natasha a stupid monkey emoji with the monkey having its hands folded in front of its mouth.
A perfect plan. And he’d pay Sam a visit seeing how that was easier than a phone call anyway and see whether he’d join in on their little movie adventure.
" stay for how ever long you need , it’s more than all right . not used to having the company here , it’s nice though .” he takes a glance down at the , practically , useless limb . ” it’s doing fine , comes and it goes as it pleases .”
”You know what’s not gonna help the healing process? Walking around that much.”, he said with a small wink directed to his ‘host’ before he smiled, putting the book completely to the side and standing up just out of instincts rather than anything else.
“So, if there is anything I can do to help, even if it is dusting the house, I will, Mist—- Bruce.”
and there he goes, the star-spangled man with a plan jumping up on his high horse, up on his golden pedestal, to grand stand about recklessness and stupidity and life endangerment. except for once he’s completely right, and every word is a nail in the iron coffin he’s made for himself out of one mistake after another. his jaw clenches in remorse, in restrained fury, because he’s got no ground to stand on here. steve might be up on that pedestal but for once all that’s beneath tony is quicksand.
impulse has always been one of his most egregious flaws; impulse and the inability to compromise. no, not inability, simple disregard. he’d ignored captain’s orders, like always. but the statistics were bound to catch up to him sooner or later — numbers never lie, they can’t — and he’d made the foolish, reckless choice to risk not only his own life but steve’s. the team’s. risked his life and his trust and any future reason to want to work alongside tony in a line of business that required them to pit themselves against death every day.
he’s not supposed to have to watch his back against his own team.
❝I miscalculated. I made an error. Of judgement. I know that. It was stupid of me. Idiotic.❞
those aren’t words the genius ever speaks about himself unless you know he damn well means it. his gaze falls sharply to the ground with a dry swallow. he’s earned this; steve’s rage and disgust, and worst of all, his disappointment. it’s exactly the kind of thing SHIELD had anticipated. iron man: yes. tony stark: n o. it’d been too much to expect that the volatile, self-obsessed narcissist could possibly follow orders and not risk all the lives of his team.
❝I shouldn’t have done it. Not this time. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t make the same choice given a do-over. I saw an opportunity to get the job done faster and easier, to save more lives, so I took it.❞
his gaze lifts, locking cold on steve’s eyes.
❝Nobody asked you to jump in. That wasn’t your call to make.❞
The way Tony admits making a mistake is enough to calm Steve down enough to get a clear head again. Yes it had been stupid and idiotic of Tony. No, Steve did not think that Tony did it just for fun like most of the people in SHIELD would assume, and yet… He was angry.
No matter how much he wanted to pretend that his rage was caused by the thought that thanks to Tony they all could have died, it wasn’t. The main reason why Steve was angry was because Tony always did this. Always threw himself on the battle field, ready to catch a bullet for anyone because he believed his own life was not important enough to be saved but… Guess what? It was. Steve couldn’t lose him. He couldn’t lose another teammate… A friend.
”It was my duty to keep my team safe, and no matter how much you insist on not being a teamplayer, it was my duty as a captain and your friend to get in the line. Believe it or not, Tony, but I can take a beating. You? Can’t. Especially not with your armor looking like this.”, he huffed, gesturing at the junk that once had been a functioning suit before he sighed, sounding older and more tired than he would like others to know before he looked back up at Tony and slowly shook his head.
”is it because you don’t respect me? Is this what all of this is about? That you think I am trying to use my ‘power’ to boss you around?”
He needs to understand this… Understand, what it is that makes Tony dismis every single order from the Captain.
Laughing lowly at Steve’s comment, TJ takes another long sip from his straw, eyeing the other with amusement in his eyes. He’s hardly to blame for the incident, it was his job to teach Steve about the modern world, after all.
He knew to be careful with certain situations however, not to push Steve too far or put him too far out of his comfort zone that he’d start disliking TJ.
“How was I meant to know you wouldn’t like it? It’s really not my fault, Steve”
The brunet shakes his head in disdain but there’s a small smile on his features. He purposely bumps his foot against Steve’s and stretches then, glances around the venue.
“What do you think about modern clothes? Y’know, the stuff we wear?”
“Oh, I bet you just wanted me to enjoy the video, that’s it. Absolutely.”
Steve shook his head, too, just to make a ‘disaproving’-move before he laughed and took a small sip from his own soda, too.
TJ’s next question had him thinking, though. He’d seen a lot of different ways how people dressed, from punks to easy women and to noremal outfits, but, all in all, he couldn’t care less about what other people wore as long as they enjoyed wearing it and had fun with it.
”They aren’t as itchy as the clothes we wore — And I can not deny having fallen in love with the cosy socks this winter. And the underwear is way better, too, you know. You don’t want that part to itch, especially if you can’t scratch the itch.”
“And I like your skinny jeans and leather jackets, they really look good on you. ——Oh and the different colors! I definitely love the blue sweater your mother has given me!”
He makes a fair point, she figures, but Natasha is far from caring about hygienic issues at the moment, so her feet remain in the exact same place. Hell, she’ll clean it later if he asks her to –nicely, of course, and only if she has nothing better to do—but now, more important things trouble her mind. To be honest, she had expected things to go wrong but not to the point of getting a call from the other woman; maybe she would have to refrain herself from delivering high expectations to his future dates.
“Eat somewhere else, then.”
Natasha swipes her finger over the screen of her phone a few times until the last received call appeared before handing it over to Steve. It reminds her—he’s an adult ( a few decades older than her, too ), how come she has to h e l p him find a woman?
“Stacey called me before you got here. You want to tell me what happened or should I repeat her complaint word for word?”
It’s not like Natasha has to do this, really. Steve is very content with his life the way it is. Being forced to go on dates to find ‘happiness’ or….well. Relief, isn’t really what he wants. He can’t be blamed for not trying harder when he is already doing his best by going on the dates to begin with.
A deep sigh fell from his lips and he flexed his muscles, hands clenched to fists while his arms are still crossed in front of his chest, a quick glance to the phone being held up in front of his face and a quick roll of his eyes is all he can give do.
”You’ll do it one way or the other, so, go ahead. Why did she call you? Did my socks not fit to the rest of my outfit?”, Stacey surely looked like someone who would be bothered by it, especially seeing how she had spent most of the night complaining about women who according to her had been checking Steve out.
Teaching Steve about the modern world has turned out to be something he’s enjoyed, showing him the good points and bad points of technology. Steve found that out himself after that certain clip TJ had shown him.
He’s managed to keep the darker aspects away from Steve, but he knows it’s only a matter of time.
Wasting alcohol like makes him grumble and he giggles, until fingers lift his chin up and TJ gives a questioning noise.
It would take him by surprise had he been sober, but with alcohol buzzing in his veins and him being thoroughly intoxicated, he only focuses on the way it makes him feel. His skin lights with fire from the path Steve licks up his neck, a shudder racks along his shoulders when the other’s mouth almost touches his own.
The words touch his ears and TJ makes a noise, still feels the alcohol on his lips and he manages out a breathy reply.
“Missed a bit
He pull away only enough to be able to inspect his work, seeing the other’s lips glint with liquid still on them before he smirked. It wasn’t a ‘out of every porn’-smirk, more of a smile, anyway, but it was there and it eventually lead to laughter, but that didn’t matter now.
TJ could have licked his own lips, of course, but even Steve could tell a ‘go ahead’ if he had one literally in front of him, so he leaned in closer again breathing against TJ’s lips only to pull back again and run his thumb over the other’s lower lip before licking it clean. Saying that Steve was a tease would really be an understatement in this very moment, but he was learning from the best, wasn’t he?
After pulling his thumb out of his own mouth again, he starred at TJ’s lips for a brief moment longer and then tilted his own head up, too, meeting his friend’s gaze and full on smirking now, waiting for a reaction or…anything.
He considered turning back to face the counter and whether it would save them from an awkward morning after, but his mind was too clouded to focus on anything other than TJ’s… everything.
Tony felt his cheeks flush when Steve carefully kissed his fingertips, his heart fluttering at the charm. God, he had forgotten how it felt to be purposefully wooed … and by someone like Steve Rogers, no less.
Hearing the comment about the— ahem— other Captain, the blush quickly returned, making him resemble a tomato. Eyes flickering down to the bulge in Steve’s pants, Tony blinked and swallowed down a surprised giggle at the sight.
”O-Oh my,” he laughed, not used to Steve being so … brash. “I have no doubt … um … I have not doubt about that.”
Taking his hand back, Tony stepped up to the other and gave his cheek a gentle kiss. “You go take your run …” He trailed off and reached down to give Steve a squeeze. "Big boy."
Drawing away completely, and feeling better than before now that he wasn’t worrying about Steve decking him, Tony started working on breakfast again.
“You go take your run,” he said softly, reaching for the chocolate again. “I think I can keep myself from self- imploding until you get back.”
Seeing Tony blush makes him blush, too. It’s stupid, really, but watching the way Tony’s gaze traveled further down and landed on something Steve would have preferred to hide, he barely managed to stand still rather than punching a hole in the floor and disappearing because….Wow.
He really had no idea when the last time this had happened Not an errection, Steve was 95, not dead, no. One that was not… Well times.
At the gentle kiss placed on his cheek, he closed his eyes, before nodding slowly and laughing, just a little. “Big boy? That’s what you decide to go with in this situation?”, he’s smiling, still flushed in a dark shade of red before he pulled away and nodded.
Steve didn’t want to rush things, and if he wouldn’t get a clear head soon, he might do something very rushed… Like press Tony up against the next wall and grind into him and kiss him until both their lips hurt….
Once in his room, he took a deep breath, getting changed and going on a run, despite what Tony might have expected, but he wasn’t gone for too long. Running in the cool air this early in the morning helped better than a cold shower would have, and once he was back in the apartment again, he huffed, kicking his shoes off and calling for Tony: “Where are you?”
The connection with Steve in the first few weeks of meeting was sparce and it made communicating even harder. They floated around one another until Steve came to live with TJ. It had taken time, but the connection had sparked and TJ’s more than grateful it has.
It always felt odd coming home to an occupied apartment, but it grounded him when he needed it. One day, he’ll thank Steve for that.
He quirks eyebrow but doesn’t notice Steve staring, grinning himself then.
“Two? Steve—- It’s not a buttchin!”
He can’t respond to the other comment, his ears flushing a dark red and a slight giggle coming at the thought. His uncoordinated hands pour them both another shot and TJ downs his seamlessly, most of it dribbling down his chin which sets him off laughing again.
They were friends, and, no matter how bizarre it might sound, they were good for each other. Steve grounded TJ whenever he could, letting his friend know and feel that he was not alone, while TJ helped Steve to stop holding himself back and open his eyes to the big world around them.
It’s not always easy, and they fight, of course they do, but in the end, it’s the closest thing to ‘perfect’ as it could get. At least for Steve.
He was thinking about how he really liked listening to TJ and wondering how he could always make him do it, when TJ emptied another glass, this time, having at least fifty percent of the liquid dripping down his chin.
Honest to god, Steve doesn’t know what it is that makes him lean in and tilt TJ’s chin up before licking his way up from his throat to his chin, tasting the alcohol and laughing with his lips pressed against the other’s skin before he followed the alcohol trail up to the corner of TJ’s mouth and staying right there for a moment, his nose bumping into the other’s cheek and his lips moving absently against the spot right next to TJ’s lips, before he murmurs. ” ‘s can be considered as my first body shot.”, but he’s not moving away, alcohol clouding his mind enough to make this seem and feel like the most natural thing to do.
[ She would never have foreseen Steve and herself becoming this close, but even with the fact that they’ve partnered up a fair amount after New York, after Loki — something she’s glad about; he’s a good partner to have — it still took all of this for them to become this close. She trusts him. Completely.
For some time, recently, he was the only person she could trust. And trust is such a difficult thing for Natasha; she’s furious at HYDRA for ruining that, ruining her atonement, making her have to start from scratch again with both her friends and wiping out the red in her ledger. And for what they’ve done to Bucky. ]
”Oh yeah, corporations are evil, Steve. It’s a fact, now. But I don’t think they’re HYDRA. —But I wouldn’t put anything past HYDRA, now.”
“Neither would I. I mean…SHIELD was HYDRA, if they managed to take SHIELD over, who says they didn’t take Nestle or Ikea over, too, hm?”
Okay, they were drifting off. This was not the main topic here, and somehow Steve couldn’t help it but laugh at the thought that talking to Natasha happened so…fluently, that he didn’t even have to re-think and reconsider ever word.
“—No, wait—!” He said quickly, crossing the room and grabbing Steve’s arm before he could vanish. “I …” Tony let out a heavy sigh and tugged the other a bit closer to him with a small frown.
“I’m not good at this,” he admitted. “But I … I really do love you, Steve. And I’m not saying that because I’m feeling something left over from my universe, I mean I love you. You, this giant, lovable, oaf, with a heart too big for your own good.”
Carefully, he wrapped his arms around the other and rested his head on his shoulder, that feeling of content and happiness returning. “And you’re so great and kind, and I’m … I’m not.”
Looking up, he gently held Steve’s face in his hands again, smoothing his cheekbones with the pads of his thumb. “I’m sorry … I don’t regret kissing you. Do you?”
He doesn’t want to wait or to listen. Hearing those words… the only thing they will do is hurting him in the end more than he would be able to handle. —— Losing tony would be bad enough, even without having the ‘Lovers’-Bonus, that’s a fact, and yet he can’t move, is still and watches Tony while listening to him, and there are so many things he would like to say but none of them is important enough …
When Tony was done with his little speech and asked Steve whether he regretted the kiss or not, the super soldier slowly lifted his hand, wrapping his finger around the other’s wrist and holding his hand still for a moment.
“Regret what? I didn’t kiss you.”, he was teasing and the soft ( yet small ) smile gave him away and… Well, if the smile didn’t give him away, then dragging Tony’s hand down from his cheek and to his lips to kiss his fingertips definitely should.
”I need a… a clear head, okay? Will you be good and not self destructive for half an hour while I… clear my head by running around a big phallus, really.”
“And you’re still thinking about that? Gosh, Steve, let it go. And I still have every right to judge you. But you do that. Let him know I’ll be wearing my best clothes, maybe he’ll agree to coming then.”
“Your best clothes… Does this mean I’l have to wear my best clothes, too? I really hoped I could rock the denim and a shirt tonight…”
”By the way, we watched that Disney Movie together. Really great of you to bring it up again. I’ll be singing Let it go for the rest of the night.”
Their friendship works in odd ways and TJ tries not to notice their differences, he spends too long anyway looking down on himself. They can have fun without alcohol but it’s loosened TJ considerably, he’s hardly stormy faced and wound tight unlike earlier.
Steve looks radiant, happy like he’s just seen the sun after one too many cloudy days. It cheers TJ up and he’s grinning again then, batting Steve’s hand from his chin.
“No shecret? Awh, I’m disappointed”
The glint in his eyes says otherwise and he catches sight of Steve sucking on his finger, his eyebrows raise slightly. Damn him should he look away, but TJ finds himself transfixed on the action until he lets out a forced giggle.
“That’s your finger, not food”
He knocks back another drink quickly after that, absent smile still on his features.
Odd or not, it is a friendship that Steve is more than glad to have. He hadn’t been in the best part of his life when he had decided to leave and live in this world — playing a charity case for a famous family, but in the end, it was worth it because he found a friend in TJ, and even though looking at the man in the first weeks had hurt more than helped him move on, he was pretty content with his life now. ——Especially now.
He stopped sucking on his finger, eyes curious before he started laughing once again, nodding.
“I wasn’t trying to eat it. Got something on it.”
It’s not like Steve can or has to look away when TJ tilts his head back again to empty his glass, nope. There is nothing weird with watching your friend’s adam’s apple pop while he swallows a mouthful of alcohol and when Steve lets his gaze wander up and ends up looking at TJ’s chin again, he can’t stop himself from giggling silently into his own glass.
”You do know that ‘s a buttchin, right? ’cause if not, ‘s my duty as your friend to inform you. —— You have two butts. I bet ‘s why everyone wants you, you know…?”
He didn’t regret saying it. He could never regret saying it but he swallowed quickly when the lump in his throat built up as soon as the words left his mouth. If there was something he needed to say to Steve before he left that was it and as hard as it was to admit it, as vulnerable as it made him feel he felt better for saying it. Steve knew how much he meant to him.
When Steve came towards him his arms instantly wrapped around him unlike before when he’d be hesitant to do so. His grip was tight and his head tipped down to press his forehead to his shoulder sighing quietly before he nodded his head.
"I’m gonna. I’m going to wait for you. I’ll be here like I said.”
He wasn’t going to promise that he wouldn’t be self destructive because he would. That was what Tony did but he always found a way to make it right. He would wait and he’d be there when Steve got back.
He just hoped Steve didn’t change his mind about him whilst he was gone.
Steve was not going to change his mind. Never. This was different and Tony wouldn’t be able to understand it — how could he? Steve didn’t even understand it himself yet, but he would. He would get things straight, come back and love Tony the way he deserves it. The way he can’t now. Not now, knowing that bucky is out there, all by his own…
”I will… I will text you! I have a phone, I will text you, I can do that, right…?”
The wonders of the 21st century. But now… Now Steve had to go. Leave before anyone else caught up with his plan and tried to stop him because this idea was reckless and stupid.
He leaned down to steal another last kiss before he let go, winking at the man just slightly, trying his best to ease the mood up.
Saying that he was happy they didn’t part in a fight would be an understatement, and if he could, he’d stay, lift Tony up, cary him over to their bedroom and show him how much he loved him in return… But time didn’t stop. Neither did Bucky. With every moment Steve was here, Bucky could get even further away.
”———Are you serious? I don’t need nor want you to play matchmaker. Sam’s a friend, it was a harmless question. Or maybe like, fifty percent harmless.”
”You said I sounded like trying to ask you out on a date. I’m pretty sure that you have no right to judge me for a thinking that, thank you. ——I’ll call him and ask, but he’s busy, pretty sure he’ll over think it after I’ll tell him you asked for him, so…Anything else?”.
“It’s not a buttchin! It’s cuter than yours, anyway!”
Steve’s reaction tickles him so much that he ends up joining in, laughing so wildly that he has to gasp for breath eventually.
They’re laughing over TJ’s chin and despite the fact that they’re drink, it’s a ridiculous topic of conversation. Where their talk had been so sullen, the whole apartment is alive with their laughter and TJ can barely hold himself up.
He hasn’t laughed genuinely for so long, he can’t feel the void in his chest for the time being.
“We’re both shexy, if y’gonna make up words”
TJ splutters a laugh at Steve’s grasping hands and grins as well as wriggles his eyebrows back. He downs back another drink and tips his head, smirk etched into his lax features.
“Tell me what the shexy shhhhecret is, what the shhh means”
It feels like letting go, that’s what it feels like, and for the first time in ages, Steve feels like the weight on his shoulders has been lifted up and he no longer has to carry it around with him. For now. Just for this very moment, but it is more than enough.
Enough to laugh and enjoy the sound of TJ’s laughter, seeing how he knows that his new friend didn’t have the easiest life, either. Not that in this very moment he’s thinking about that. Nope.
Instead he drank another glass, too, his hand still on TJ’s shoulder before he lifted a finger, resting is against his lips and making the same ’sh’-noise once again.
”It means Shhhhhhh. Sh. Sh. Sh. Don’t give away all the shecrets.”
It’s stupid, really, and nothing Steve would laugh, let alone come up with if he were sober but, that’s the point. He’s not sober. Not at all.
and if Steve actually ended up from making ‘sh’ to sucking on his own finger, it’s just because he had accidentally grabbed into his glass first before he had drank it before and it’d be a shame to waste the good alcohol on his finger, really.
Natasha is clearly amused, but she makes an effort to at least not laugh out loud.
”Hey, just a quick question— you bringing anyone else along? Sam, maybe?”
“I wasn’t planning on bringing him along… ——Are you trying to ask me to matchmake the two of you? Because I really want to see that movie, Natasha and I can’t if you two start doing things next to me.”