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How Love Goes

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He tried to pay attention. He really did. He was always the first to chastise Tony for nodding off or doodling on the memos and paperwork. But with every word that Fury droned on about, Steve felt himself falling deeper and deeper into the void. Succumbing to the boredom Tony often talked of. And he really hated himself for it. Steve always tried to exude a sense of responsibility. He always wanted the others to feel like they could count on him for everything and anything, that they could trust him emphatically.

And yet, there he was, only 10 minutes into an hour briefing, and he could barely keep from slouching, let alone pay attention. Fury was droning on and on in his monotone voice and Steve honestly had no idea what he was saying. At all. He couldn't retain anything.

His eyes scanned the room and settled on Tony for a moment, sitting across the table from him. Tony sat, hunched over the table. He had a real pad of paper and a pen in his hand. He was scribbling something down. Was he actually taking notes? The man looked to be in deep concentration, way more serious that the other times Steve had caught him doodling.

Something must be wrong with Steve if even Tony was paying attention to the meeting. He sighed and straightened up in his chair. He was determined to pay attention to the rest of the meeting. Not even a minute went by when he felt the void creeping back up on him. Then he felt a poke in his side. He turned and saw a very cranky looking Clint staring at him. Although Clint was always cranky, he looked more cranky than normal. Steve frowned and titled his head.

Clint narrowed his eyes into a glare and slid a folded piece of paper across the table towards him.

Steve put his hand over it before Fury could see. Then he waited until the director's back was turned. When it was, he quickly picked up the tiny folded paper with his name on it. He unfolded it and read what it said.

Do you love me? Do you wanna be my friend?
Well if you do then don't be afraid to take my hand if you want to.
I think this is how love goes.
Check yes or no.

Steve blinked down at the note for a moment. He vaguely remembered the old country song from pop culture trivia nights with Natasha that he always lost. He glanced up across the table.

Tony lifted his hand and waved. Then he smiled widely and pointed down at the table.

A smile spread across Steve's face. He rolled his eyes and shook his head but he picked up a pen. He put a quick check mark in the awfully drawn box under the yes. Then he folded it back up and crossed his name out. He wrote Tony's name underneath and handed it to Clint.

Clint glanced down at it. He rolled his eyes but he took the note and passed it along to Natasha, who slid it to Sam, then to Thor and finally to Tony.

Tony, grinning ear to ear, unfolded the note and pressed it to the table. His eyes scanned the answer. Then he looked up at Steve, smiled widely, and pumped both of his arms up in the air.

Steve stifled a laugh.

The rest of the gathered Avengers and SHIELD agents were a mix of smiles, frowns, and eye rolls. Fury turned and looked from one to the other. "Are you two done flirting now? Can we get back to the meeting or do you two need some time alone?"

Steve's eyes widened and his mouth dropped open. "Uh…" He stuttered for a moment. His relationship with Tony was new. Very new. Barely a month. They were both still testing the waters.

"Oh come on!" Natasha leaned back in her chair and looked sideways at Steve. "Don't act like it's a surprise that we all know."

Steve's face reddened and he looked around the table. "All of you?"

They all nodded in turn.

"Duh!" Clint said, rolling his eyes and shaking his head.

Steve looked at Tony.

Tony held up his hands in defense. "Don't look at me, babe. I didn't tell anyone. I swear!"

Steve frowned. "Then how…"

"You told us." Clint snapped, throwing up his arms dramatically. "Walking around here, all dreamy and doey eyed whenever you talk about him."

"And the way you gawk at him." Natasha added.

"And you're always touching him or in his space." Sam added.

"And you're always together."

"And…"

"Enough!" Fury snapped. "He gets it."

Steve sank down farther in his chair. He covered his face with his hands and tried his hardest to stop the embarrassment blush that he could feel creeping up his neck.

"Now that that's all settled." Fury clapped his hands together loudly. "Can we get on with the meeting now?"

Clint lifted his hand. "Can I switch places with Tony?"

"Oh hell no!" Tony snapped, shaking his head. "You can't touch Steve!"

Clint glared at him. "I meant seats, you dumbass."

"Oh… then hell yeah!" Tony jumped up.

"Good. Now you can pass your own notes."

"NO MORE PAPER ALLOWED AT MEETINGS!"