Steve took a deep breath and looked in the mirror. He couldn’t quite bring himself to move yet, even though he knew that if he held off any longer, he was going to be late. Still, he straightened his tie for the tenth time and adjusted his cufflinks for the twentieth.
His gaze never quite fell on his face. He didn’t have to, he already knew how it looked. His eyes were puffy and red and he didn’t want to think about how horrible he looked.
He was startled out of his reverie when there was a hand on his arm. He shook his head, looked down, and there was Tony. He took another breath, closed his eyes, and tried his best to calm himself.
“Baby?” Tony asked, squeezing Steve’s arm gently. “Hey, we don’t have to go. If this is too much, we can stay here, it’s completely fine.”
Steve shook his head quickly. “No, I have to, I just… I have to.” He nodded, even tried to force a smile, but it didn’t even come close.
“Okay.” It was whispered, but there was still so much strength in it, and Steve clung onto that, clung onto Tony being his rock.
“We need to go, don’t we?” He sniffled, rubbed at his eyes again, and felt how sore and raw they were from all the crying. When Tony nodded, he reached down and grabbed his hand, needing something else to ground him.
“Yeah, let’s go,” Tony said quietly, squeezed Steve’s hand, and started to lead him towards the door.
Steve kept it together, for the most part. It obviously wasn’t easy, and Tony could see how he was hanging from a thread. When Tony watched as Steve bore the weight of the casket, he could see the red puffiness that was just getting worse. He wanted so badly to reach out and hold him, to fix it, but even engineering couldn’t solve this problem.
He was there, though, he tried to be there for Steve. When they got back to the room, it was mere moments before Steve basically collapsed in his arms. Tony held him, stroking his back, even managed to get him to the bed. He had no idea how to help, but at the very least, he could try.
He remembered how it was when he got the news of his parents’ death. They may not have had the best relationship, but it still hurt. He could only imagine how Steve felt now, having lost the woman he probably would have married, had it not been for the plane going down.
Tony had his fair share of emotions over this, too. That had been Aunt Peggy, the cool lady who didn’t take shit from anybody and actually seemed to care about him. Another day, another time, he would have his cry over her, let himself feel horrible. But for now, this was about Steve, and Steve’s pain.
“Do you want to talk?” He asked once the majority of the crying had died down. Steve was still clinging onto him, had been almost the entire ceremony. Tony could feel the wetness of tears against his neck, soaking through the top of his shirt, and it hurt him to know that Steve, the stoic one, was falling apart so completely.
“I just- I loved her so much. Fuck, I still do, even with her gone, it just feels like there’s this giant hole without her. No matter what, she’s gone, and I can’t… I don’t know if I can be strong about it.”
Tony could feel the shivers and shakes through Steve’s body, and he just held him tighter. “You don’t have to, Steve. It’s okay to be weak, to cry, to struggle with this. But you have people that you can come to, and that’s what’s important. Don’t forget that.” He sighed, thinking of all the crap that wouldn’t have happened if he had just had people. Whatever, not the time. It was time to help Steve.
For some reason, that just broke Steve, and the crying came back full force. Tony still held him, still tried his best to soothe him, but nothing changed. He was crying and crying and it didn’t seem like it was gonna stop.
“It’s okay, baby. Let it out, I’m here for you. It’s gonna be okay.” The words felt empty to him even as he said it, but it seemed to help Steve, who pulled away enough to look up at Tony.
“You really think so?” He asked, quiet and breathy and still teary-eyed, and Tony smiled sadly.
“Yeah. We’ll get through this like we always do. Together.” He pet Steve’s head gently, running a hand through the blonde hair.
“Together,” Steve repeated it softly, his voice reverent as if it was some kind of oath. To Steve, it probably was. He nodded quietly then, leaned closer into Tony and held his face.
They kissed, soft and sweet, even as tears dripped down Steve’s face and onto Tony’s. They held each other tight, both taking comfort in the other’s embrace.
Together. They could do this together.
Tony just knew it.