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making the most of the night.

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December 31st, 6.43pm

 

“Knock knock.”

Tony whirls around, clutching his heart. “Jesus fuck, Barton. The hell are you doing here?” He frowns. “And why’re your clothes not stained with grease? Hell, why’re you even dressed up? I didn’t even know you own a button-up.”

“Fuck you, man.”

Tony wrinkles his nose. “No thanks. You’re one of the last few people I’d fuck. Even if you’re the last person alive, I’d rather die of blue balls.”

Clint rolls his eyes, leaning against the doorway with his arms crossed. “I’d take more offense to that if I didn’t know better.” He raises an eyebrow, giving Tony a once-over. “You chickened out again?”

“Chickened out from what?”

“Fuck, did you really forget?” Clint gestures around him. “Like didn’t you realize why you’re the only one left?”

Tony frowns, glancing around the room. “Huh,” he says, tossing his wrench up in the air. “Yeah, where did everyone go?”

“Figures,” Clint mutters.

“Then enlighten me since you’re so—”

“The New Year’s Eve party? The New Year’s Eve party you happened to organize? Ring any bells?”

“What New Year’s Eve part—” Tony’s eyes widen, the words finally registering in his head. “Oh fuck.”

Fuck, how could he forget? He’s been planning this shindig for days, weeks. Not to mention the fact he has a very important plan to carry out at midnight. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity (well, yearly but whatever).

How the fuck did he forget?

“Oh fuck is right,” Clint agrees, his grin widening like the shithead he is.

Tony groans, wiping his face with his grease-stained hands. “Fuck! I can’t believe I— JARVIS! Why didn’t you tell me?”

“I tried to remind you, sir,” JARVIS says dryly, “but you had me on mute.”

Tony stills. “Oh right. Oh fuck, I am such a—”

Clint sighs, shaking his head. “So much for finally getting your head out of your ass—”

“Shut up. I still have time. It’s not midnight yet. I still have— I still have time, right?”

“You have approximately fourteen minutes to get ready, sir.”

“Good. Very good.” Tony tosses his wrench onto one of the worktables before heading for the door. “Fuck, fuck. Okay, okay. See you later, bald brain—”

“Fuck you, Tony—”

Tony pauses, poking his head back into the laboratory. “Wait. How the hell did you know about the kiss? Let me guess, Nat.”

“Nope. Katie.”

Tony groans. He’s never going on a mission with those two ever again. He’s also never going to blurt out his plans during battle ever again.

“Of course.”

 

 

 


 

 

 

December 31st, 7.00pm

 

Tony’s smoothing down his clothes when JARVIS announces that Steve’s requesting access to Tony’s room.

Steve’s requesting access to Tony’s room.

Well… Fuck.

“Uh, let—” He clears his throat as he tries to wrestle his nerves down. “Let him in.”

The door opens with a series of beeps. Footsteps approach. Tony braces himself before spinning on his heel.

His heart skips a beat at the sight of Steve dressed in a button-up that brings out the silver in his eyes, slacks, and dress shoes. It’s been years since Tony’s seen Steve dressed in such a manner. Yet, it still manages to take his breath away.

Steve’s looking at him with an incomprehensible look, his lips parted. All of a sudden, Tony feels self-conscious.

“Um, is something—”

“Wow.”

Tony blinks. “Wow?”

Steve’s cheeks turn pink. “Um, you look—” He gestures to Tony’s body. “You look good. Yeah.”

Heat blooms on Tony’s face. “Thanks. You, uh— You look good too.”

Once again, Steve has that weird look on his face. “Yeah?”

“Sure. Yeah. You always look good. Um. Why the hell are you here?”

Steve’s blush darkens. He rubs the back of his neck, his eyes drifting to the ceiling. “Oh. I thought… I thought we could go in together since we’re both supposed to give a speech. So I thought—”

“Me?” Tony squeaks. “Why the hell am I giving a speech?”

Steve’s features scrunch up. Confused Steve looks like a puppy. It’s adorable. “Yeah. I mean, you always make speeches at parties like these. What’d you—” He pauses, a smile slowly creeping up his face. “Huh. Clint was right. You did forget.”

“Clint’s a liar. You know you should never trust him to speak the truth.”

“Sure. Whatever you say.”

“I am very sure. So sure. In fact, I—”

Steve rolls his eyes playfully. “C’mon, Anthony,” he says, slinging his arm around Tony’s shoulder. The gesture almost makes Tony’s knees buckle. “We’re running late.”

Tony quickly collects himself, snorting in response. “Didn’t I tell you that the best kind of entrance is a fashionably late one?”

 

 

 


 

 

 

December 31st, 7.17pm

 

There’s thunderous applause when Steve finishes his speech. It's a feat considering the space in the hangar. Unsurprising considering he’s Captain fucking America. Even if he isn’t, Steve has a knack for having people hanging onto his every word.

Then, Tony’s up next.

He barely registers the words shooting out of his mouth, only that he’s met with peals of laughter. Since Steve’s chortling around and pinning Tony with a fond smile, Tony counts it as a win.

As he steps away from the spotlight, the crowd before him shifts, masking Steve from his sight. But Tony has his spot pinned down the moment he gave his speech. He’s pretty sure he’s—

“What the hell?” Tony exclaims, staring at the empty space where Steve once stood. He cranes his neck above the ocean of people in for any sign of Steve. Somehow, he’s vanished into thin air.

God, why did he invite everyone from SHIELD and the Resistance over? The Chimera itself isn’t that big. At this rate, it’ll take a miracle to find Steve.

No time like the present, then.

Tony barely takes a step when he feels a tap on his shoulder.

“Disappointed?” Natasha drawls behind him, her lips quirked to the side.

“Of course not,” Tony lies. “Why would I be disappointed in seeing one of my favorite people around?”

“Because you’re looking for your favorite person and he’s slipped through the cracks?”

Tony scowls. “The night’s still young. I’ll find him. Somehow. Now if you'd excuse me—”

“Hey, Tin Titan!”

Tony couldn’t help but groan as Kate saunters over with Clint in tow.

“Bishop. Barton.”

“Ooh, he’s mad,” Clint faux-whispers to Kate.

“Definitely mad,” Kate returns.

“Shouldn’t be surprising since you told everyone I planned on—” Tony freezes. “Wait, you didn’t—”

“I didn’t tell Cap if that’s what you’re wondering,” Kate replies.

“But you told Clint.”

“Clint’s a huge gossip. You can’t hide shit like that from him.”

“Truth,” Natasha agrees solemnly.

“Don’t you worry that pretty head of yours,” Clint says, miming a zipping motion over his lips. “I didn’t tell a single soul.”

Tony scoffs at him. “Forgive me if I don’t buy it.”

Kate snickers into her hand.

“Hey!” Clint exclaims. “I can totally keep a secret. I wouldn’t be one of SHIELD’s best, otherwise.”

“Well, good for you.” Tony straightens, smoothening his vest. “Now if you’d excuse me—”

“Nuh-uh. You’re not leaving just yet,” Kate interrupts, barring his escape. “Clint and I need you to referee.”

“Referee? Referee what?”

Kate crosses her arms, shooting Clint a scowl. “This dummy here wouldn’t stop pestering me for a rematch.”

“Hey, you cheated yesterday.”

“I didn’t cheat. How could I—”

“You obviously—”

Tony sighs, turning to Natasha in hopes she’d let him sneak away like old times. Just like Steve, she’s gone.

“Goddamn it, Nat.” Tony heaves a sigh. “Look, just get JARVIS to—”

“Nope. No JARVIS,” Clint interrupts.

Kate rolls her eyes. “He thinks JARVIS’s biased. Which is untrue because JARVIS is an AI.”

“Who said AIs can’t be biased?” Clint counters.

“Hey, that’s my AI you’re talking about here,” Tony says defensively. “Sides’, is this really that imp—”

“Yes,” Clint and Kate chorus.

Tony shakes his head. Hawkeyes. He’ll never understand them.

“Okay. Fine. But you guys are dressed—”

Kate glowers. “Hey, I can totally beat people’s asses in a dress.”

“And I don’t doubt that,” Tony quickly replies. “Just figured you guys would want to relax, is all. This is a party, not a training session. Why would you even want to waste your time training instead of letting loose.”

“Hey. Friendly competitions are how we let loose,” Clint says, clapping Tony on the shoulder. “We’ll relax your way when we settle this. So come on, chop-chop!”

Shaking his head, Tony drags his feet to the HARM room.

 

 

 


 

 

 

December 31st, 8.14pm

 

At some point during the thirteenth round, Tony manages to sneak out of the room. It’s surprisingly easy, considering Clint and Kate are too busy snarking at each other as they shoot down countless holograms.

They’ll notice absence soon and Tony’s definitely going to be yelled at later, but he’s fine with it. If he gets to kiss Steve tonight, it’ll be worth losing his hearing for.

Just as he’s about to search the hangar for Steve, someone blocks his way.

“Hey, Tony,” Kamala says brightly.

He breaks into a grin. It took a while to get her to stop calling him Mr Stark.

“Hey, kid,” he greets as he appraises her. “Wow, you look great. Pink suits you.”

Kamala blushes, her cheeks almost the color of her shalwar kameez. “Thanks. I told my mom I was going to a friend’s party and she took me shopping so uh… Yeah.”

Tony smiles. “How’s the family, by the way?”

“Good! Everyone’s good. My dad sends his regards.” She rubs the back of her neck. “I, uh… I was wondering if I could ask you a question.”

“Sure. Fire away.”

Kamala gnaws at the bottom lip. “I saw the pigs in the blankets over at the buffet table and I was wondering if they’re, you know...”

Tony waves his hand. “Don’t worry about it. They’re chicken. Chicks in a blanket.” Kamala giggles at that. “There’s no pork in the food. There's no alcohol in any of the food either. Or drinks.”

Kamala sags her shoulders in relief. “Gosh, you don't know how relieving it is to hear that. Thank you so much, Tony. You know you didn’t have to do all that for me. I’m just one person.”

“Nah, it’s no biggie. Anything for my favorite Avenger. Besides, there are Muslims in SHIELD and the Resistance and well, I’m pretty sure you know I don’t drink anymore.” He leans forward to whisper conspiratorily. “We don’t need everyone getting super rowdy here, anyway.”

“That's super cool of you.” Kamala’s comforted expression slips back into a tentative one. “I, uh, I also have another question. It’s about you know, designs for my suit. If that’s okay with you. And if you have the time to talk.”

Tony’s gaze strays from her face, scanning around the room.

He should turn her down and look for Steve. Stay by his side. Make sure he doesn’t run off before midnight so he can kiss his stupid, stupid smile because he’s a coward.

But then Kamala’s smile wavers with each passing second and Tony’s heart clenches at the sight of it.

“—sure you have places to be and people to talk to—”

“I have all the time in the world,” Tony cuts in, his insides turning into goo at the smile that’s spreading across Kamala’s lips. “Hit me.”

 

 

 


 

 

 

December 31st, 9.06pm

 

“—and that’s why everyone isn’t allowed to buy, own, or eat Snickers ever again.”

Kamala’s still giggling as she replies, “Wow, I didn’t know Hulk loves them so much. Wish I was there to see it all happen.”

“Nope. Trust me. You do not want to be there when Hulk goes on a rampage.” Tony shakes his head, shoving another mini fruit tart between his lips. “And don’t get me started on the renovations and damages I had to pay for. I think I had to beg the board members to not make me drop the Avengers.”

“Oh. I get what you mean about the rampage thing.” Kamala pauses to sip her lemonade. “Did I ever tell you of the time Hulk chased me on the helicarrier?”

“You did,” Tony replies kindly. “It’s why I brought up the Snickers story.”

Kamala blinks, deflating. “Oh. Right.”

Guilt seeps into his heart. Tony can’t stand the sight of a kid getting upset, especially because of him. Even after all this time, Kamala’s still a little starstruck and nervous around all of them. Tony gets it. He’s known Steve for years and he still pinches himself about it from time to time.

“I mean, you could tell me…”

And then he sees him.

Steve’s standing on the other end of the room, throwing his head back in laughter as he converses with Dugan. His shirt sleeves are now pushed up his elbows, showing off his toned arms.

Arms that can bench press Tony any day.

Tony could easily imagine standing next to him, drinking in Steve’s laugh. It’d be clear and sweet, the most melodious thing he’s ever heard.

And Tony. God, does Tony want.

“Tony?”

Tony snaps his attention back on Kamala who’s, for some reason, grinning like a Cheshire cat.

“Huh?”

“I was going to ask—”

“Greetings, friends!”

Thor strides over with a flock of people tailing him. There’s a broad smile plastered on his face, one that promises mischief and challenges.

Tony isn’t in the mood for mischief and challenges.

“Hey, big guy,” Tony says. “Having fun?”

Thor grins. “The most. It is missing the delicacies and mead from Asgard. Fortunately, the food is excellent enough by Asgardian standards. Give my regards to the caterer! However, that is not why I am here to speak to you both about.” He tilts his head in Kamala’s direction. “I was wondering if you could spare Tony for a moment.”

“Let me guess,” Tony begins, itching to excuse himself, “you want me to regale our fans here about the time we—”

Thor barks at that. “Nay, friend. I was hoping you will accept my challenge.”

Tony cocks an eyebrow. “A challenge?”

Thor beams, his hands on his hips. Tony half-expects lightning to shoot the space behind him. “I challenge thee to a race across the country!”

Tony groans, throwing his hands up. “What’s with everyone with challenges tonight? This is a party, for Christ’s sake. Not a—”

“What I am hearing from you is that you are afraid.”

“I am not—”

“Afraid that your armor is no match for Mjolnir,” Thor asserts, his joyful grin turning haughty. “That you are afraid to reconcile with the truth that magic does trump science.”

Fuck, Thor’s got him there. Tony would never turn down opportunities to prove that magic is nothing compared to science and technology. Thor’s feeding the competitive streak in him. Judging by his cocky smirk, he’s aware of it.

It doesn’t help that the cluster of bodies around them seem eager to witness the race, cajoling Tony to accept the challenge.

Hell, even Kamala is cheering along. Tony could never say no to Kamala.

“You’re on,” Tony says, raising his arm.

 

 

 


 

 

 

December 31st, 9.33pm

 

Just as he predicted, Tony wins.

By a second. But it’s a win, nonetheless. He never doubted he’d lose for a second. Definitely not when he narrowly squeezes his way through the Grand Canyon or almost got lost in thick clouds.

“T’was a marvelous contest!” Thor says, grinning from ear-to-ear as they land on the helicarrier. “We should do this again! This time we will—”

“—fuck you!”

Silence befalls them at the sudden outburst except for the Katy Perry song blasting from the speakers. It’s not surprising, considering it’s coming from Steve of all people.

Tony’s well aware of Steve’s short temper. Hell, he’s been on the other end of Steve’s anger more often than he’d like. The thing is Steve hardly loses his temper or even swear, especially in public like that.

Hank and Bruce look on fearfully as Steve storms away from them. Tony’s about to follow after him when a hand stops him in place.

“Let him go,” Thor says, his eyebrows knitted together.

Tony scowls, pushing away but Thor’s hand moves to clutch his shoulder.

“Anthony—”

“Fine, fine,” Tony grumbles, marching over to Hank and Bruce instead.

The two of them seem to be whispering furiously as he approaches. He probably would’ve been able to make out what they’re discussing if everyone didn’t resume speaking.

“What the hell just happened?” he asks, retracting his helmet.

“Nothing,” Hank says shortly.

Tony’s glower deepens as he zeroes in on Steve’s retreating back. “Fine. I’ll—”

“Give him time to cool off,” Bruce replies tiredly.

“Time for what?”

He winces.

Hank speaks after a tense pause. “Steve found out about the messages I sent to Monica about you. Before A-Day.”

Tony deflates. “Oh.”

He’s well-aware of what Hank’s talking about, having chanced upon them on Howard’s satellite. Unsurprising considering their fractured relationship back then.

Tony and Hank haven’t always been at each other’s throats. Back when Hank was a part of the Avengers, Tony, Hank, and Bruce spent a lot of time bouncing ideas and talking science. But coupled with Hank’s dismissal from the Avengers and his insecurity over Jan’s close relationship with Tony, their friendship dissipated over time.

Things have been better lately, but only because both of them have been avoiding the elephant in the room, electing professionalism whenever their paths cross.

“Tony—”

“I know, I know. Apology accepted. It’s fine.”

“I still shouldn’t have—”

“You were still sore. It happens. I shouldn’t have pressured you to leave. I—”

Fortunately for Tony, Hank doesn’t bother pursuing the subject. “No, I—I get why you kicked me out all those years ago. And I just… I’ve accepted it and I’ve moved on. I’m not mad about it and I’m just… I’m sorry about Monica.”

“You didn’t know she was—”

“Yeah. But I still hate that I did that.” Hank sighs, running his fingers through his hair. “I’d like to put it all behind us. Friends?”

“Friends,” Tony agrees, spreading his hands out.

Hank’s lips quirk to the side. “I’d hug you if you weren’t wearing your armor.”

Tony rolls his eyes. “Same old Hank, huh.”

“Same old Tony.”

Bruce shakes his head fondly.

 

 

 


 

 

 

December 31st, 10.08pm

 

“Stupid,” Tony mutters as he stomps away. “Stupid, stupid, stupid.”

Things have been going so well between Tony, Bruce, and Hank. They even fell back into discussing science like old times.

But then family cropped up and it all went downhill from there.

It boggles Tony that Hank hasn’t been in contact with his daughter since his escape from AIM’s clutches. Fuck, Tony’s heard of Hope’s implore to the public, offering monetary rewards in exchange for information on her missing father. Hank could’ve at least had the decency of sending a coded message to her. Hell, even a fucking smoke signal would've sufficed. Anything to let her know he’s alive instead of worrying her to death.

Fuck, he really is the same old Hank Pym.

Then again, Tony’s a hypocrite for not letting Rhodey know he isn’t buried under all that rubble at his family estate. But still.

He comes to a stop, willing his anger to a small ember. Tony shouldn’t be upset over this. It’s out of his hands. It’s Hank’s prerogative if he wants to keep Hope in the dark.

Right now, he should be looking for Steve. Tony hasn’t seen Steve since he stormed off. It’s worrying.

Tony steps into the common room, which is almost as crowded as the hangar. Thankfully, he meets a pair of familiar blue eyes across the room.

Steve’s leaning against the wall next to the door leading to the Crew’s Quarters, raising a glass in Tony’s direction.

Hope and relief spread through Tony’s body.

Finally. Finally, Steve’s alone and waiting for him and—

Tony gets to have two of the last people he wants to see in his way.

“Stark,” Maria Hill begins crisply, “we need to talk.”

“Uh, sure. Maybe later? Like, after midnight later? ‘Cause let me tell you, I have—”

“This can’t wait,” she interrupts, halting him in place. “It’s SHIELD business.”

“C’mon, Hill. This is a party! Not a stuffy ass meeting. If you wanna talk shop, leave an appointment with JAR—”

Maria’s glare hardens. Tony almost quakes in his shoes.

“Or you could just—”

Now, Stark.”

Tony switches his pleading look over to Dugan. “C’mon, Dugan. Help me here.”

Dugan shrugs his shoulders.

Tony sighs as Maria begins to bore him out of his mind.

 

 

 


 

 

 

December 31st, 11.52pm

 

By the time Maria lets him go, Steve’s nowhere in sight.

Story of Tony’s life.

He flounders over to the vending machine, feeding it a dollar.

It’s times like these that he wishes he could drink. But then he remembers the promises he made to his friends and he slumps his forehead against the machine.

“You know you could get the drinks at the bar for free, right?”

Tony sighs, snatching up his can of soda. “Fuck off, Nat.”

Natasha surveys him with a cocked eyebrow. “You know you don’t need to kiss him tonight, right?” She plants herself against the vending machine, crossing her arms. “There’s no time-limit to tell him how you feel.”

“I know. I just… I’m a coward, Nat. Tonight’s the perfect time for me to gauge how Steve feels about me without me telling him about my feelings in detail and embarrassing myself and not be the laughing—”

“Steve won’t laugh at you—”

“Okay, fine. He won’t,” Tony admits. “Steve’s way too nice for that. But he’ll definitely me those eyes. You know the ones he has on every time he looks super guilty? And fuck, he’s going to pity me. Goddamn it, Nat. This is going to be super embarrassing. I should’ve planted mistletoe instead.”

“Tony—”

“I mean, it’s foolproof—”

Tony.”

He pauses.

Natasha pins him with a look that’s both comforting and knowing. “I can’t tell you what to do. But I do think you should give it a go anyway. Tell him.”

“But what if I ruin things?” Tony whispers. “What if—”

“And you think kissing him at midnight won’t ruin things?”

Tony pauses. “True. But still—”

“I still think you should try,” Natasha says. “If you want. I’m pretty sure you’ll like the outcome.”

Tony arches an eyebrow. “Is there something you’d like to tell me, Romanoff?”

“Nope,” she replies, leaning over to peck him on the cheek. “I can kiss you if you want. If you don’t choose to kiss Steve.”

“Nah, I’m good.”

She flashes him another smile and pecks his other cheek, before slipping away, leaving him to his thoughts.

As usual, Natasha isn’t wrong. Tony should’ve just march up to Steve and tell him instead of chasing him around the helicarrier on New Year’s Eve. He’s already wasted so much time. Why’s he wasting more?

He’s going to do it. He’s going to—

 

 

 


 

 

 

December 31st, 11.59pm

 

“Ten!”

—not do it.

Nine! Eight!”

Tony sighs, crumpling his empty can and tossing it into the nearest recycling bin. So much for finally making his move.

“Seven!”

He didn’t bother leaving his post from the vending machine. All he did was think about all the ways things could go wrong if he confessed his feelings to Steve like an idiot.

“Six!”

Besides, what’s the point? Some wacky shit would happen or someone else would drag him into another conversation. It’s like a sign from the universe telling him that Steve and Tony aren't meant to be.

As it should.

“Five!”

Maybe it is meant to be. Maybe Tony isn’t meant for Steve. For all he knows, Steve found someone to kiss, someone he genuinely likes, someone who isn’t a total disaster.

Someone who isn’t Tony.

“Four! Three!”

Which is fine. Tony isn’t a stranger to heartbreak. He can totally handle watching his friend be in love with someone who isn’t him. He lived through five years thinking that Steve’s dead. A relationship is child’s play compared to that.

A stupid, stupid—

“Two!”

A tap on his shoulder forces him to glance up into familiar azure eyes.

“One!”

Then, soft lips are on his.

“Happy New Year!”

 

 

 


 

 

 

January 1st, 12.03am

 

It takes a while to get Tony’s door open. Unsurprising, considering the predicament he’s in.

God, he is so glad everyone’s in the common room and the hangar. The last thing he needs is someone seeing him trying to get in Captain America’s pants.

Tony breaks the kiss, tilting his head upwards. “Uh, JARVIS?”

The door behind them slides open. Tony would’ve broken his back if Steve hadn’t steadied him in time.

“Thank god,” Tony breathes out. “I doubt a concussion would be a turn-on for you.”

Steve’s lips quirk to the side. “Nope,” he says, stealing another short kiss. “Definitely not.”

They try their best to navigate their way over to Tony’s bed without breaking their make-out session. It’s a little difficult considering the mess, but they manage to tumble onto the bed without any injury.

Plus, Steve has his belt unbuckled and Tony’s vest and a couple of buttons of his shirt popped. It’s a major win, all around.

“Wait,” Steve says, pulling away from Tony’s neck, “before we go further, I need to tell you something.”

Tony stills.

“It’s nothing bad. It’s just…” Steve flushes a deep crimson. “It’s kind of embarrassing.”

“It can’t be as embarrassing as me,” Tony replies. “I was trying to get you alone all night. So I could kiss you when the ball drops.”

Steve lets out a nervous chuckle. “I, er… Would you believe if I said I was the reason why you couldn’t get me alone?”

Wait, what?

“Wait, what?”

Steve licks his lips, the flush on his cheeks darkening. Tony’s never wanted anymore as badly as he does now.

“Yeah. Clint, uh… Clint told me what you were planning to do tonight.”

Tony slaps his face, his own face burning. “That fucking liar. I’m gonna—”

“So I thought I’d kiss you first.”

Tony drops his hand at that. “What?”

Steve’s face is now a deep shade of crimson. It’s a wonder he hasn’t burst yet. “Yeah. I told everyone to stall you so I could… I could kiss you first.”

Tony blinks, his brain trying to process this shred of news. “Holy fuck.”

“Yeah.”

“Everyone’s in on it?”

“Not everyone. Just all the other Avengers. Hank. Maria and Dum Dum.”

Fuck. Tony’s going to have words. So, so many words with Nat and Bruce and Kamala and Thor and—

A chill runs down his spine. “Maria too?”

Steve shrugs. “If it helps, she only agreed to the whole thing since she has an ongoing bet with Fury.”

“But Fury is AWOL.”

“She said she’ll tell him when we find him.”

“Jesus,” Tony mutters. “Wait, so when you stormed off…”

Steve shakes his head sheepishly. “No. That wasn’t planned. Hank accidentally let it slip that you... And I, uh… Yeah.”

“Wow.”

Steve’s brow furrows. “Is it so hard to believe that I’d be mad at him for talking shit about the guy I’ve been pining for years?”

“I mean— Wait, you’ve been pining over me?”

Steve nods firmly.

This whole night better not be a dream or AIM or some stupid villain playing tricks on him. Because this—this—

“Fuck,” Tony exhales. “Holy fuck.”

Steve’s lips tug to the side, eyeing him with hope. “I mean, I’m guessing you feel the same way too? Hopefully? I mean—”

“Of course I do, you dumbass,” Tony says, affronted. “Why would I try to kiss you tonight?”

“I guess the same reason why I wanted to kiss you tonight.”

“No. I wanted to kiss you tonight to see if you might like me back. You, on the other hand, tried to kiss me because you wanted to one-up me. Am I right or am I right?”

Steve breaks into a shit-eating grin.

Tony drops his head back onto the mattress. “Asshole. You’re an asshole, you know that? I’m going to—to—”

Steve cocks an eyebrow. “To what?” he asks, a hint of challenge in his tone.

A thought crosses Tony’s mind. He flips Steve onto his back, catching Steve by surprise. Judging by his dilated pupils, it’s also a turn-on. Tony makes a mental note to do it again next time.

“To make your dreams come true,” he murmurs into Steve’s ear.

Steve snorts, shifting in place. “That was awful.”

“Please,” Tony says, rolling his eyes. “You love it.”

He gets a fond smile in return. “Yeah, I really do.”

That’s not much talking after that.