"You have got to be shitting me." Tony practically yelled in the almost empty theater.
He and Steve were slouching in chairs in the furthest back row, almost hiding from the other movie goers. There were a few other couples, one tucked in the middle with another bunch in the top row. Steve couldn't help but to shush between bouts of laughter.
"I haven't. It just wasn't something that came up." Steve defended.
Tony shook his head, slightly readjusting in his seat as he readied his hands to motion with his words. "I don't think you heard yourself here. You've never flown a kite? Thats the epitome of childhood, Steven Rogers. Did you also not eat cookies or ride a bike? I am very disappointed in your childhood."
Steve shot Tony a look, one that read 'give me a break' with a mixture of 'maybe'. "I don't particularly care for sweets but if you must know, yes, I rode and owned a bike. Several top of the line bikes too."
"Can't believe I have to take you out to fly a kite." Tony said as he sunk back into his seat. This was their fourth official date over the span of three and a half months. Unlike all the others, this one wasn't planned. After working endless shifts for weeks straight with the addition of overtime from the twenty-two car pile up that happened two weeks back, Steve wanted the pair to see a movie, and after a long days of classes and even longer weeks of lectures that he gave to the class and also received from the dean, Tony just wanted somewhere to sit. Scrolling through a list of events that didn't peak their interest, they stumbled across an old theater that was showing classic movies in their original format.
Steve slowly looked over to the other man, chomping down a mouthful of popcorn. "You have to take me?" The word 'have' carrying so much emphasis that it made his eyes widen when he said it.
Tony just nodded, snatching a handful of the buttery snack. "Who else is going to do it? I dare you to go find another man who's bold enough to run with you on the beach, teaching you the proper ways to fly a kite." He said with so much arrogance that Steve rolled his eyes harder than ever before. "Well, truthfully, there's only one way and it's the Stark way so if you find another man who did have the courage to do such, they'd probably teach you the wrong way. You see why this is my destiny?"
"Is there anything in life that doesn't have to be done the Stark way?"
Tony thought for only a second before shaking his head. "If you want it done right, you'll do it the Stark way."
Steve rolled his eyes again as he felt the laugh bubbling up in his chest. Tony joined him in the chuckle. It was always a pleasure for the two to laugh together, at the same time about the same thing. It was all natural for them, as well as holding hands. Tony gradually moved his hand closer until he seamlessly intertwined the idle digits and unified them. The small action of two hands touching seemed to carry more weight than he ever imagined. Tony was sure it was because of the news of his illness, which he never told Steve about, but reflecting on his wish to let this be what carries him out, everything with Steve was much more heartfelt and beautiful.
"Where do you want to be in five years?"
The question caught Steve off guard. It wasn't something he thought about often since within the last year he was robbed of the role he was sure he'd pursue for the rest of his life. Now, he couldn't even tell himself where he'd be in another years time. "Uh, haven't really considered. Hopefully right up there with Theo. Hopefully out of that fucking apartment."
Tony looked up at the silver screen. It was no surprise that he was clueless about what was happening but he didn't need to know. The current film was Casablanca, something Tony could only recall as the movie about the plane or the ship and the woman with the dress. He hadn't cared for the film in his past years but he knew this particular part solely from other movies that referenced it, it was the goodbye scene.
"Did I ever tell you I own a house on the beach?" Tony asked, looking at their tired fingers.
"Never came up." Steve responded.
"Well," he started as he used his free hand to rub his wearied eyes, "I was thinking that if you hate your apartment so much, you can have the house. Peter is too grown to spend summers with me there anymore and it's just collecting dust. I mean, I'm not asking you to move in with me but it's a nice place, only about 20 or so miles from here. It's better than that shrine you call a home."
Steve twisted his face, mentally digesting what was just said and what to say back to it. It was all surreal, a dream within reality that Steve couldn't bear to understand just why Tony was being so nice and so overly generous.
"Oh no, I've seen the ID channel. You compliment me and swindle me into a date, then you give me big extravagant gifts and and boom, next thing you know, you're stabbing me 79 times."
Tony's eyes were wide, his mouth dragging across the floor as he stared at the young doctor. "What is with you calling me a stalker?"
It wasn't easy to properly articulate thoughts and feelings into words for Steve. His eyes scanned the theater, his hands rubbing harshly against the fabric of his jeans on his thighs before the right words came to him.
"I'm not trying to offend." Steve said with a slight laugh and such an apologetic tone that Tony felt sorry for even accusing him of such a thing. "I don't think I can accept it. It sounds nice, really nice but it just doesn't feel right. I think you should wait until an anniversary or when my lease is up at least" Steve chuckled.Tony only smirked. "A house is a big deal and I know you're not asking to move in but it just a lot for me to take in. That's not something I can easily hand back.”
“I don’t want it back. I want you to have it forever.”
Shock slapped Steve in the face. “What is all of this about? What’s been going on with you lately?”
Tony looked up at the screen as the words settled in the crevices of his chest. It was called coronary artery disease, an incurable life ruiner that cut off oxygen to his heart slowly. Left untreated, he was going to die soon. There were options, he was told: surgery, pills, change in diet and exercise but he wanted nothing to do with it. For now though, he took the pills, sneaking them in before dinner or after dates when the two were in their designated homes. Lying in the hospital bed, he was more than sure he was ready to welcome the dark angel to bless him with the kiss of eternal peace. Pepper's face was stricken with defeat, mostly from fighting with Tony about ending his life but predominately from spending years in emergency rooms and beside hospital beds. Tony, feeling himself mentally shutting down, was more than sure that in he was done for the both of them. Everyone was tired of living on hospital food, they were sick of hard reclining chairs and lumpy couches, and Tony was definitely fed up small televisions with only nine channels to offer.
But sitting beside Steve, sitting next to a man who carried so much optimism behind his smile and was ignorant to the fact that his newfound lover wanted for his life to end, Tony felt a small reason to try to hold on to something. In a small way, Tony just wanted to stick around and see where life was headed for them, for where they could end up in this screwed up world but he just didn't know if he could. He couldn't waste another year or two of his life in constant pain from some disease that was trying to kill him from the inside. As selfish as he felt, as hard as it was for him to even say it, Tony was going to die and he needed to leave Steve with as many happy stories as he could.
Tony jumped to his feet with Steve's hand in his own and slipped out the exit.
"Where are we going?" Steve asked as he followed.
"Making memories, kid."
The bar was loud, every man and women who occupied the establishment was screamung at the top of their lungs as the two drunken men arm wrestled. Tony and Steve watched from the bar, one betting on the opposite of the other and waiting to see who reigned victor.
Steve had a laugh that was simply contagious. Tony watched in awe as his lover grew into someone new after his alcohol intake grew higher.
"You fucking got this!" Steve yelled with the rest of the crowd. Intensity was written all over his face, as well as the flushed red color from his inebriation.
The loud thump and glasses smashing to the floor caused a large majority of the room to holler with glee. Steve was a sore winner, standing before Tony with pointing fingers and antagonizing laughs. He stood inches away spewing out taunts that were very difficult to ignore.
"Pay up, bub." Poking Tony in the chest, Steve laughed as he spoke. Tony rolled his eyes in annoyance and defeat as he fished out three twenty dollar bill.
"Yippee, you took an old man's money. You're paying for the drinks anyway so enjoy spending it all on me." Tony said with a snarky tone as he tossed the money at the drunken man. "Speaking of which, don’t you think you’ve had enough?" He asked as he pulled the beer away from Steve's pink, ready lips.
Laughing was the only way Steve could seem to communicate in his state. "Aw, don't you want me good and sloppy for tonight? I'm not one for whiskey dick."
Tony choked on air. Steve wasn't much for sexy talk and after months of handjobs and unfinished blowjobs, Tony didn't exactly know how to take the statement.
"Does that mean I finally get to score a touchdown?" Tony asked with a twinkle of hope and desperation in his eye.
Another drunk laugh came from Steve as he pressed their lips together. This was a memory worth holding on to. This was something that Tony didn't want Steve to forget, no matter what. Tony pulled away slowly, looking into the other man's eyes with a small smile as he pressed their foreheads together.
"I wish you would take the house." Tony's voice was low, eyes tracing the floor then staring into the other mans.
"I wish you'd give me my beer back." Steve sighed out, words only partially slurring.
Tony leaned back, licking his lips as he grabbed Steve's hand. "What if I arm wrestle you for it?"
Steve stared for a minute, his eyes wide before he scoffed out a deep, hearty laugh. "What?"
"Yeah, if I win you take the house. And I give you this beer."
"Remind me to never go on another unplanned date with you." Steve stated, slowly moving for his unattended drink.
"You can pick out what we do for our next unplanned date." Tony offered, grabbing the searching of the drunk doctor.
Steve smiled mischievously. "If you win, I take your beach house." Tony nodded. "And If I win, we do what I want for the next three dates and you buy me two more beers."
"Fair enough." Tony replied, nodding as he spoke.
Steve smirked, looking around as the idea struck him. "We go dancing."
"Dancing?" Tony inquired with a raised eyebrow.
"You know, like tango or salsa. Something sexy and all up in your space." Steve said with heavy s', his hand placed right at his hip as he moved his toes and waist in the motion of his words. Tony watched with a smirk. It had been a while since he danced. There were times he had to show Peter a few moves, once for homecoming dance and another time just because he felt like bragging, but never tango or salsa. He was the master of the waltz, a classical dancing style that his mother begged for him to perfect in his younger years.
"You know they call tango the dance of love?" Tony asked raising his eyebrow again.
Steve grinned, his face filling with color as he only nudged Tony. "Seems appropriate, right?"
"Alright, pretty boy, put it here." Tony said as he placed out a hand for a confirming shake.
It was as if the words were all smashed together, making a bigger word out of each smaller word. Steve wasn't one for a hangover but he sure was something. It had been late when he came home, falling asleep across the bed with half of his shirt off and one shoe completely missing. Tony offered to stay, consistently offering to take care of the drunken man but Steve told him to get home before Peter lost his mind (all against his better judgment).
"What punched you in the face?" Darcy asked as she leaned back against the counter next to Steve, resting on her elbows.
With a finger placed to his lips he let out a soft hush at the naturally loud girl. His head was hanging as he leaned against one bent arm.
"Sorry. You know bread soaks up all the alcohol."
"You know that's been proven to be a myth?" Steve asked with an arched brow.
Darcy stopped chewing her gum, her mouth wide open showing every pearly tooth. "No shit? Learn something new every day. I used to hate when my grandma said that but she had Alzheimer’s so I thought it was only appropriate but I see what she means. I don’t have it but you get it."
Steve slightly laughed as he turned to rest upon his elbows. "Have you ever been salsa dancing?"
Darcy began to laugh. "Whoa there, doc. Are you asking me out? I don't know. I mean, we work together and since I'm the best nurse here and you're so hot-"
"Darcy," Steve tried to interrupt, pinching the bridue of his nose, as the words continued to fall out her mouth.
"... And I'm sure my boyfriend won't like it too much since he's living in my attic for a while but I'll dump him for you, no doubt about it. I mean, it's mostly just for the sex anyway and I'm sure you're way better than him. He has this weird breathing problem-"
"Darcy, I'm not asking you out.” He said louder than he needed to. “I have a date next week and was trying to think up a place to go.”
Darcy stopped talking, her eyes lowering into a squint. "Are you sure?"
Steve smiled. "Yes. It's next week but I need to find a place ahead of time in case I need to book a spot for a class or something."
The two looked at one another for a second, Darcy looking Steve in his eyes as she tried to declare if he were telling the truth or not. "I'm the worst at dancing."
"Same." He admitted as he reached for his cold coffee. Turning to grab for the cup, a familiar face came into view. Sam sat at the end of a bed possibly waiting for Bucky or who knows what. Steve didn't care, he didn't want to care but the more he didn't care he realized that he did. It took every muscle in his.body to keep from from going to the room. Perhaps it was his curiousity, perhaps it was his.mother's voice in the back of his head that told him to be a good person no matter what. Bucky and Steve had been into fights before, some more serious than others, but they cared about one another. If not as livers, then at least as friends. Steve didn't want to be in Bucky's life when he wasn't wanted there but his heart was bigger than his brain.
"Be back in a second."
Darcy watched him go, calling out after him, "I'll be right here. Waiting or something."
Steve slipped into the room. "Hey, what's going on?" He asked as he leaned against the counter with folded arms.
Sam looked in surprise. "Steve, hey. Uh, just coming to check on my leg. The good one." He chuckled lightly.
Steve looked at the prosthetic before looking over at the man before him. Sam had a black eye. There was a slight scar where his lip was healing from being busted some time ago. Steve knew the signs, he'd been there a time or three himself and he knew better than to ask questions. He knew better but he never listened. "How are things with you and Buck?"
Rubbing his neck, Sam nodded. "Good. He's trying to get better. Therapy is helping, he's considering signing up for the gym or yoga or something."
"Hm. You're not a good enough punching bag?"
Sam huffed, shaking his head as he tongue ghosted over his wounded lip. "It's none of your business. He's not your problem anymore and I don't even know you well enough for you to come at me like that, alright? So take your shit elsewhere before I tell your boss you're reading my charts when you ain't even my doctor."
Steve clenched his jaw, standing upright as he walked towards the door. "You can't help him. You can't do it by yourself and if you don't get him actual help, you'll end up worse than a few broken ribs."
"I can take care of myself."
"I know. But you can't fix him." Steve wanted to kick himself, he wanted to punch out a wall or a door but he couldn't bear the energy. None of it was his business, none of it was even remotely his problem anymore but he couldn't resist it. He missed his best friend, as much as he wished he didn't.