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Here, Have a Fic Snippet

Because today was ridiculous and fic helps fix things, sometimes.

From my current Avengers WIP Friends, Lovers, or Nothing, in which Tony met Steve first, and...they actually get along.

When Steve wakes up, he’s not quite sure where he is at first. For a brief moment, wrapped in a cocoon of a wool blanket, he thinks he’s in an abandoned barn in the south of France, waiting for a pick-up. He wonders why the Howlers are so quiet—can’t hear the snores of Dugan or Morita, doesn’t feel the accustomed warmth of Bucky on his left. When he realizes he’s completely alone, remembers he’s in the future, his eyes snap awake.

Not alone, he realizes; Tony is gazing at him very seriously. He’s perched on the opposite couch, feet on the coffee table between them, one of those omnipresent tablet computers balanced on his knees. He’s not looking at it, though; it sits in his lap like a book abandoned. His lips twitch upwards in a small smile when he sees Steve awake, then he blinks owlishly in surprise. Tony gives himself a visible shake, and Steve can actually see him slip into his persona of careless ease like it’s a well-worn coat.

Steve’s not going to forget that visible change for a long time.

“Hey there, sleeping beauty,” Tony says.

“Hey yourself.” Steve gives him a small, genuine smile. As strange as it is, if he can’t be with his men, being with Tony is at least—it’s something. Something not SHIELD, he tells himself, but he knows even then, even at that very moment, that it’s something else altogether.

That part will take a little longer to figure out.

But right then, Tony looks—something Steve can’t identify. “Why didn’t you tell me who you are?” He sounds—lost, is the only way Steve can think of it for a while. Disappointed, or disillusioned, maybe, like a kid who’s found out that Santa is just Dad all dressed up.

Steve blinks, and then realizes. “I did,” he says slowly, stalling. “I told you. I’m Steve.”

“Steve Rogers.” Tony emphasizes his last name. “Captain. Steven. G. Rogers.” Each word is punctuated like a fist on flesh, like a drumbeat with no accompaniment. “Why?”

Steve sits up, gingerly unfolding himself from the comfortable blanket. In the low light of the room—there’s nothing beyond that comforting fire in the fireplace—it’s hard to tell what time it is; it could be midnight or almost dawn. That timeless feeling is disconcerting. “I told you who I am,” he repeats. “For all intents and purposes. Maybe everyone else is convinced I’m something—someone—special, but I’m not. I’m just another poor Joe.” Despite the sleep he’s gotten, he suddenly very tired indeed. “I’m just—Steve.”

Tony is silent for a while. “I should be able to say something, y’know? I’m good with words. Okay, not really,” he admits, and Steve thinks—hopes—that the familiar, disconnected cadence is a good thing. “Not all the time. But I feel like I should be able to say something meaningful.” He puts aside his tablet and leans in, looking into Steve with those dark, gleaming eyes of his. “But the thing is, Steve, you’re—” He takes a deep breath, and as Steve stares at him with a wilting feeling in his chest, he lets it out. “You should have told me,” he says.

“And what would you have done?” And Steve is surprised at the harshness, the bitterness, of his own voice. “Told me all about how you read comics about me as a kid? Had toy shields and trading cards—” He breaks off because Tony’s grin is creeping back, like he’s amused. “It’s not funny!”

“It’s really not,” Tony agrees, “except for how it is. I respect your decision to be—well, you—about all this, I do, really. But luckily for us both, I have my own action figures so I am a comfortable and well-adjusted adult about all this. At least I will be for the next ten minutes, because, really, Steve, you have to tell me who at SHIELD had the toy shields and the trading cards.” His smile is a mile wide now, white teeth in a bronze face and black goatee. He leans forward, his fingers splayed on Steve’s knees. “Was it Fury? Please tell me it was Fury, I’ll be a good boy the rest of the year, I swear!”

Steve tries to imagine the grim Colonel with a plastic shield—tries and fails. Nick Fury was undoubtedly never a child, was only ever a man with an eye patch, a black coat, and a large sidearm. “It wasn’t Fury,” he says. “Sorry.”

“Ah well.” Tony sits back into his couch, disappointed. “C’est la vie, I guess.” He looks into the fire thoughtfully and silence stretches out between them again. Steve feels a ridiculous urge to apologize, but can’t quite think what for, so the silence grows between them, heavy and uncomfortable in a way it wasn’t before. Tony finally looks at him again. “Fury came by while you were sleeping, as it happens. He told me who you were and—well. He saw you and said you hadn’t slept properly in a while, so he guessed you could stay here for a while.”

That surprises Steve, a little—or maybe not. Fury is intractable, but not altogether without sympathy. His voice had shown that when he collected Steve those first minutes back in the world, even if nothing else had. “How long is—a while?”

“A couple days.” Tony shrugs. “He made it conditional on me keeping you, ah—”

“Leashed?” Steve suggests.

“I was going to go for entertained,” Tony says blinking, “but if you want to go all Fifty Shades on me, I can work with that too.”

And it’s moments like this that really remind Steve how far from—home—he is. “I have no idea what that means, Tony.”

“Oh. Uh. Yeah.” To his surprise, Tony’s color is high like he’s flustered or something. “Never mind, you don’t want to—you wouldn’t—So, hey, how about this,” he says instead, returning to his normal cadence and leaning forward again, “how about we go spend tomorrow—today—in the city and then we can hang out at my place. Y’know? We can have, like, the slacker’s introduction to 2012 or whatever.”

“That sounds good,” Steve admits. Then, “What’s a slacker?”


( 4 comments — Add your .02 )
Aug. 9th, 2012 08:54 am (UTC)
LOVE that description of Fury :D (and no, the shield wouldn't be Fury's, Fury's be something like Bucky's sniper rifle *sudden headcanon* OH COULSON :DDD)


Anyway, after that moment, this sounds lovely and gentle, like we're still waking up ourselves :D
Aug. 9th, 2012 02:01 pm (UTC)

In my headcanon, pretty much everyone at SHIELD was a Cap fanboy/girl back in the day. Fury gave an order for everyone to Be Cool about it, but some of the agents--especially the junior ones--just can't quite manage it. (The guys Cap knocks down when he escaped that one time? One's response was "Oh my God, he *touched* me!")
Dec. 6th, 2012 07:03 am (UTC)
You just know Fury gave a speech along the lines of, "You will not Bother Captain Rogers. You will not ask for his autograph, or to shake his hand, or to tell him how your uncle's second wife's adopted son's biological father saw him march by once. If the captain is harassed, the guilty party will be placed in remedial training programs designed by Agents Hill, Romanov, and Barton, respectively."
Dec. 6th, 2012 07:04 am (UTC)
"And then become the new assistant liaison to Stark Industries."
( 4 comments — Add your .02 )

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