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pink bath oil

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Tony is leaving him.

 Something in his mind says he’s being ridiculous, that this is Tony, the man who kissed him awake this morning, the man who insists on holding his hand under tables at meetings. This is Tony, whose heart he carries in his own, who’s heartbeat Steve has spent years being lulled to sleep by. Things change, of course they do, they change- but Tony’s presence isn’t going to. He ages and changes and shifts like the planets but his presence is constant.

It’s Tony’s choice to leave him. That stings a lot more than any hit he’s ever taken.

Steve always thought if he lost Tony it would be in a battle. But he also knows he’d never let that happen, that if he had any say, Tony would grow old next to him, a retirement looming and one he welcomes.

But none of that is going to happen, because Steve came home to all o Tony’s things gone from their shared room, the frame that had a photo of both of them gone and Tony has decided to leave.

Tony’s a billionaire, and Steve can’t tell where he’s gone he can’t just rush into his arms and beg, ask what he’s done to bed let, because he doesn’t even know where the hell Tony is.

Gone, anyway.

Steve sits down on the bed (the one with red white and blue sheets, a silly thing Tony had brought when he moved into Steve’s room. He loved him so much, slept on sheets with little shields and lit by the heart of his love, and tonight, he’s going to be alone-) and puts his face in his hands.

He’d always known Tony might wake up one day and realize Steve really isn’t all that. Tony’s a futurist, and what is he, really? An old man with nothing left, someone stuck in the past and clinging to it. Tony’s a futurist, incredible, and maybe he didn’t know how special he was, but Steve does. He always did.

His shirt is white, and it’s tight. He think it might be Tony’s, smells like his too expensive detergent, and Steve loves feeling like he’s wrapped up in Tony.

Closing his eyes, Steve hugs the pillow on the bedding. He feels small, like he has asthma and weak bones all over again, but even when he was that version of himself, he didn’t give up.

He’s going to get Tony back, or give everything he had to make it happen.

“Honey? Are you okay?”

That can’t be right. That sounds like his boyfriend (he never mistakes Tony voice, the deep baritone sweet like chocolate and espresso, home) and his Tony just left him.

“Oh sweetheart,” Tony says, and yes, that is Tony, and I he wasn’t sure now he his , when Tony scoops him up, makes him move int his arms. He could never mistake that, the warmth o his chest, that lovely blue glow that meant his world was still spinning on the axis it was meant to.

“You’re okay,” Tony says, and he leans into it, Steve wrapping his arms around Tony’s small waist and noting his presence, “What happened?”

Oh, I just saw you move some of your things out and thought you were leaving me, and nothing could be worse so I had a breakdown.

“I uh,” and Tony tips up his chin, and there are those eyes, those brown eyes like jewels, “I thought you were leaving me.”

Tony pauses or a minute, then just kisses him, slow and sweet like he’s making a point, and Steve just treasures that he still has him.

“Why would you think that?”

“Your stuff, the photos…” there was one, they both knew the one. A bit before their first date, when Steve was still head over heels and no one even knew, and Steve and Tony both look the happiest they’ve ever felt.

“Darling,” Tony says,”It’s in my room.”

“What?”

“My room is bigger. I thought we could move in together in there, as your quarters is a little smaller.”

Steve responds my just hugging him again. Holding the man he loves. God, Tony had wanted to bring him into his home and make him a permanent picture. God.

“This is all so dramatic,” Steve says, small. He can’t say any of the big things.

“You oughta’ know I’m not going anywhere, Rogers. I’m a sure thing. You know that.”

You should goes unspoken.

Tonight is Valentine’s day, and tonight, Steve had planned something small, bought Tony a batch oil, a pink fragrant thing from a store Clint would tease him about going into, going to spend the whole night with him with 5 star food delivered to their home. He was going to allow himself to lavish in all the finer things because Tony, the finest of all, wants him to.

He gets to, still. Thank god. Oh, thank god.

“I have a pink bath oil.”

And Tony, he just giggles at that, warm and pure and Steve laughs too, because in 2018 he still has the love of his life and his love is laughing att Steve’s stained pink hands because damn those things transfer.

“My room has a bigger bathroom,” Tony smiles. He has laugh lines. He hadn’t when they’d met, on that quintet, lighting- Steve’s been there, and now he has laugh lines. It’s a beautiful thought. “We can use it in there.”

And so Steve follows him into Tony’s room, and doesn’t point it out when Tony’s tears well up. After all, he’s a sure thing.

(Later, Tony doesn’t stain pink. He’s beautiful and tan and the over-expensive bath oil makes Tony look beautiful anyway. Steve’s Irish and pale and his hands go pink and so does a bit of his hair, and  Tony loves it. Steve’s just glad he’s there.)