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shaadi karogee mujase?

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Tony is absentmindedly stroking his fingers against DUM-E’s neck and back when the doorbell rings, and he’s startled out of his daze by the sound

He slips into his toasties, pyjama pants scraping the edge of the floor and shuffles over to the door, opening it to -

James

He barely has any time to process that James is here and not at the airport and in a suit before James is pushing balloons into his hands and leaning over and pressing their lips together, cupping the back of his neck to tilt his head up for better access

“What’re you doing here?” he asks, as James is setting down a box of cake and a bottle of wine on his 2 bit table

“Spending new years with you,” he says and his lips tilt up as he walks towards Tony again- capturing his lips in another kiss

It’s giving Tony serious whiplash and he sways slightly on the balls of his feet, his brain sluggish and hazy with the sight of James in his kitchen, propping open a bottle of wine

“Paris?” he asks hesitantly, like it’ll wake him up from the dream he’s having

“Cancel,” James says, stretching out the syllables like they’re two words - and he says it so casually; like it wasn’t his dream job, like he hasn’t given up everything to be here with Tony in his ratty apartment in Bombay

‘Why?” and it takes everything in Tony to stand there, to not go up to him and peel off that suit, to simply, 

be

“i had to take that risk,” he’s facing away from Tony- turning the corkscrew to pull it out, “what if someone else snapped you up?”

And Tony smiles, soft and small and unsure, but so goddamn happy

"Seriously? tum nahin ja rahe ho?”

James turns around, pulling the cork out with a satisfying pop, “I said no to them, so I could say yes to you”

“Lets make the lighting more romantic?”

James switches off the light, and when it turns back on, Tony’s cheeks are wet

“Arey?” James comes over to where Tony is sitting down at the dinner table, “Are you scared of the dark?”

“I love you,” Tony says, softly- like its all that matters

(and it is)

--

“This job was your life’s biggest dream right?” its like an old scab that he can’t stop picking at

‘Was,” James says, “but everything has a time”

“And tonight,” he fishes around in his jacket-pocket and pulls out a small velvet box, “is the right time for this”

And Tony can’t breathe because its all he’s wanted for years and he takes the box from James slowly; like he can’t believe what he’s seeing

There’s a chocolate candy inside, barely the size of Tony’s pinky toe and he throws it at James; because he was so stupid to even thi- 

He needs air, and he gets up to go to the balcony, but James grabs his wrist and when he looks back there’s a ring on his finger

“Shaadi karoge mujase?” 

he brings it up to his eyes, hands shaking, before looking down and glaring at James

“yah nakalee hai,” he intones, like he’s talking to a small child, but he also doesn’t move out of James’ grasp

“laikhin, my pyaar is real baby,” he holds his hand against his chest like Tony has mortally wounded him, “sorry yaar, there was no time to shop for a proper one”

--

“Tony!” James calls after him as he walks to the balcony

“Bucky you’ll,” he turns around, “you’ll run away”

“So bring me back,” he replies and god its been 10 years but he hasn’t changed a bit

‘Meaning you’ll actually run?”

“Arey I’m not going anywhere I promise, at least try once?”

“Try?!” and has he always been this infuriating or is Tony just realising this, “Bucky marriage is not try, its its - its dal chawal for 50 years until you die!”

He snaps his fingers, “are you ready for that?”

“Why are you trying to scare me?” and its that lilt in his voice, the amusement in his tone that makes Tony start taking off his ring

“You’re already scared?” he rubs his fingers around it,  “this isn’t for you”

“Fine,” James turns around, “then i’m leaving”

Its a reflex, Tony can’t help when he calls out, “Bucky!”

“Will you marry me or not?”

“Why do you want to marry me?”

and thats the crux of it, because Tony just doesn’t understand. 

After 10 years of loving him quietly, silently, what changed his mind

“Because you’re driving me insane!” and wow its what every man wants to hear

“I still want to see those same things, but with 2 tickets. I want to explore every inch of the world, but with you by my side; holding my hand. Look, Tony- time waits for no-one; and the little time I have on this planet, I want to spend with you”

“I’m happy with you Tony, in my head I’m already married to you”

“So now all thats left is for you to marry me too”

i love you, he thinks, fighting back a smile, and focusing on not jumping on James and kissing him senseless

“Itni lambi speech, the least I deserve is applause”

“Tony say someth -”

and he can’t physically hold himself back anymore, he throws himself into James’ arms; wrapping around tightly and clinging like James is his lifeline

(it doesn’t escape his notice that James squeezes him just as tightly back, burying his head in the crook of Tony’s neck)

“i love you,” he whispers into James’ shoulders; like its the only thing that matters

(and it is)

Fin