Together Today, Alone Yesterday

Title: Together Today, Alone Yesterday

Series: Yesterday & Today Series 2

Fandom: Avengers, Marvel Cinematic Universe,

Year: 2014

Category: Alpha/Beta/Omega, First Time,

Ratings: Mature

Pairings: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark, Clint Barton/Phil Coulson, Natasha Romanov/James “Bucky” Barnes, Thor/Jane Foster,

Spoilers: Entire MCU

Summary: Steve had decided that he wasn’t going to pussy foot around anymore. He knew that Tony wanted him and he knew that he wanted Tony. Then it happens, they bond and then Tony is ripped out from under him. He’s left floundering and SHIELD has no clue where the Omega is. Word starts getting back to SHIELD that the Winter Soldier is on the field and from what Intel can gather, he has Tony in his grasp. Can Steve get to him in time?

Words: 4,472

Notes: None

Warnings: No Knotting,

Beta: None

 

Tony Stark was a man of action. He rarely sat when he didn’t have to. He slept even less. Steve Rogers had gotten used to the sounds of Tony in the Tower. It had taken months. Tony was in Malibu with Pepper doing things for Stark Industries. Steve listened to the Tower as it sounded empty without the billionaire there.

 

“Trouble sleeping, Captain?” Coulson asked as he left the sleeping area of the Tower and entered the kitchen. He was wearing a pair of sleeping pants and plain white shirt. It was his normal, preferred sleeping clothes.

 

“I always have trouble sleeping when one of the Avengers is out of the Tower.”

 

“Imprinted on the group that much?” Coulson sat down at the table and poured himself a cup of coffee from the carafe that was always sitting in the center of the table. JARVIS kept it going even when Stark wasn’t there. “It never used to bother you this much when Stark was out of the Tower.”

 

“That was before.”

 

“Before you knew he was Iron Man or before you started to want to bond with him?” Coulson’s eyes never left Steve’s face as he talked. Steve himself had to stop from spilling coffee on himself. He set his cup down and frowned.

 

The sounds of the others in the Tower waking for the day had Steve pitching his voice low.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“I’ve seen the way you act around him. Stark is just messed up enough that he doesn’t see it and I think Natasha doesn’t want to see it. Thor and Clint are oblivious.”

 

“And Bruce?”

 

“I don’t know about him but Hulk sees it. Last mission when the two of you were fighting after it was all done and I was Hulk watching he turned looked at the two of you and made kissing noises. I was a little…disturbed.” Coulson looked a little green around the gills.

 

Steve laughed under his breath while admitting that he would probably have the same reaction. “Tony is Tony and he doesn’t see what’s in front of him.”

 

The sound of shuffling feet alerted the both of them that someone was coming. Coulson gave Steve the look of it wasn’t finished and then Clint entered the kitchen.

 

“Woke and you were gone. Nat’s up and wants to spar. I need to eat first.” Clint moved over to the cabinets and started to pull out the bowls for breakfast for everyone. He turned to set the bowls down and looked surprised to see Steve there.

 

“Morning, Steve. Fancy meeting you here. I didn’t hear you come in.”

 

“I’ve been here the whole time. You were doing the zombie shuffle.”

 

Clint just shrugged and then he was turning back to the cabinets to pull the cereal out. Steve gave Coulson a little salute and then he was gone. He passed Thor and Natasha on their way to the kitchen. He gave them little waves and then he was alone.

 

Tony was always oblivious to anything that wasn’t right in his line of sight. The Omega’s heats had mellowed out and whatever Loki had done to him had seemed to fix him. Thor had explained it as a great deal of Loki’s magic was wishes. What he wishes seemed to come to fruition. Loki had never spent much time on Earth other than what he did while trying to take over the world. He hadn’t been expecting the humans to have the same hierarchy as the Asgardians. His magic probably had seen a broken Omega and had reached out to help, not knowing that he was doing it at the time.

 

No one had known that it had been Tony at the time. Only Pepper had known the true effects of what the crazy man had done to Tony for a long time.

 

It still didn’t forgive what Tony’s father had done to him. Steve had trouble reconciling the Howard that he remembered and the Howard that had raised Tony.

 

The gym was silent. He figured that he had about thirty minutes before Clint and Natasha joined him. It would be long enough for him to burn some energy hitting the heavy bag. He moved quickly to the one that Tony had made for him long before Tony was figured out as Iron Man. He had yet to break it or even knock it off the stand holding it.

 

Steve was by no means a rich man but neither was he poor and this saved him going through heavy bags like some people changed their underwear. Of course, Tony hadn’t accepted any payment for it but Steve had noticed that there was equipment in the gym that was tailored for all of them.

 

Clint had moving targets that did whatever they wanted. Steve had been worried about people getting hurt but the targets never moved towards other people when they were inside the gym.

 

Thor had equipment that so far he couldn’t break unless he hit it with the hammer.

 

Natasha had less equipment than the rest but he was sure that she had a secret gym somewhere in the Tower because she came back from working out and Steve knew she hadn’t been in the communal gym.

 

There was of course Iron Man related targets in the gym as well. Tony had told him they were repulsor resistant targets that shattered when hit but pieced themselves back together after about a minute.

 

He was hitting the bag as hard as he could near the end of his routine when he heard footsteps behind him. He spun, ready to fight but it was just Tony standing there in a pair of jeans and a tank top. The tank top was clean but Steve knew it wouldn’t stay that way for long.

 

“Hey, muscles, can I use your for your brawn for a little while?”

 

“Isn’t it something that the bots can do?” Steve bristled a little. Tony seemed to be avoiding him except when he needed something from him.

 

“That’s what I spent all my time three days ago doing and well…those three can’t all turn the same way at the same time.” Tony looked a little bashful but Steve was sure that it was all to get him to help.

 

Four hours later, Tony was breaking to eat and Steve was sure that his muscles would never be the same again. He moved up behind the Omega to grab a towel to wipe of sweat when he heard and felt Tony’s breathing change. Tony tried to run for it. He was two steps away and headed for the door but Steve reached out and grabbed Tony’s hand. It was now or never.

 

Tony whirled on him and his eyes were wide, Steve didn’t care. He stepped closer to the other man. He pulled Tony towards himself and after a few seconds Tony didn’t resist. The second that Tony’s smaller body was molded against his own, he knew that he shouldn’t have fought it for so long. Tilting Tony’s head up with his free hand, he claimed Tony’s mouth in a soul searing kiss.

 

The bond that had been there just under the surface jumped to the front of his mind and blazed there. Steve still had a hold of Tony’s hand and his other hand had Tony’s head tilted up but he wanted to feel more so he let go of Tony’s hand and moved both of his hands to Tony’s waist.

 

Tony’s emotions flooded over him. He felt the shock of the bond settling and then the shock that he could even bond. That stopped Steve cold. He quickly released Tony’s mouth and looked down into the other man’s shocked face.

 

“Tony?” Steve cupped Tony’s face as he waited for the other man to open his eyes.

 

Tony opened his eyes and looked up into Steve’s face. The look of pure horror there was no what Steve wanted to see. Tony jumped backwards but it was after a few seconds that he noticed that Tony wasn’t looking at him. He spun just as he heard the Iron Man armor shattered from its shell and enveloped the Omega. Steve grabbed a scrap of metal and used it to shield himself when the missiles impacted on the glass and shattered it. One missile went straight for the armor that was sealing itself and the other went right for the back wall. The explosion from both was concussive and Steve went flying away from Tony.

 

xXxXxXx

 

Steve woke up with the bright lights of the infirmary shining down into his eyes. He quickly sat up only to have his ribs give him such a burst of pain that he quickly laid back down. Coulson was there in seconds, a hand on his shoulder and a hand flicking the lights down.

 

“Where’s Tony?” Steve asked as soon as he could speak after the pain settled.

 

“As soon as he found his armor, we found that he wasn’t in it.”

 

“How long?”

 

“Twelve hours. We tracked them as far as the harbor but there was no sub or ship there to meet them and we lost them. Tony could be anywhere in the country by now.”

 

“Or the world.” Steve wasn’t going to lie to himself. The bond they had was so weak from not being consummated that he couldn’t feel Tony like he should have been able to.

 

“Your ribs are just bruised. The metal fragment you were holding saved your life. There were minimal amounts of blood. The missile that hit Tony was less than the one that hit the wall. It had am EMP inside of it and it knocked the whole Tower and three blocks past that out.”

 

“Where’s the rest?” Steve looked around and saw no one else there. He was happy they weren’t with him; they had other things that they could be doing.

 

“Banner is sorting through all the debris to try and find anything to tell us who took him. Clint and Natasha are with Pepper trying to figure out who took him. Thor is on guard duty for the Tower while JARVIS oversees the hole in the wall getting repaired. The doctor said that you could get up as soon as you woke up. Fury says that we can have boots on the ground in two hours. All assets are being recalled except for missions that can’t be stopped.”

 

Steve nodded and sat up, more carefully this time. He found that taking deep breaths hurt but if he took normal ones, he was fine. He stood up and found that he was in a pair of sweatpants without a shirt. That wasn’t normal infirmary clothing. He raised an eyebrow.

 

“The nurses talked the doctor into letting them dress you like that because they knew you would want to change into other clothing. Easier for you to dress if you only had to take off pants.”

 

“Are the others dressed and ready?”

 

“Thor’s been in battle garb since the missile impacted the Tower. Your outfit’s in the bathroom on the living level. The nurses cleaned you up good but I think that was for their own amusement rather than to help you out.”

 

“Like the shirt?” Steve asked. He sighed as he took a few steps. It wasn’t that painful to walk thankfully. “Let’s go find our Omega.”

 

Two Weeks Gone

Steve sighed as he looked at the morning reports. There was no trace of Tony inside of the continental United States. He had to be outside of United States.

 

“The Winter Soldier is on the move,” Natasha said as she entered the briefing room in the Tower. She had papers in her hand. She handed them to Steve and stood there waiting.

 

Reading over the papers, Steve’s heart sank. He quickly handed them over to Coulson and sighed. The Winter Soldier had to be part of whatever was happening with Tony. The genius hadn’t been sighted since he had been taken and hadn’t been given access to computers or the Avengers would know where he was.

 

“SHIELD tracked him and said that he’s been inactive since the reports of him being active surfaced.” Natasha wasn’t sitting. That was telling. There was more to this but it wasn’t something that Steve was going to press. If it had anything to do with Tony, she would have told him. He had gotten used to her and Clint’s odd styles of following the rules. He was good at playing off that.

 

“He’s a dog without a master. Is he trying to find a new master?” Coulson asked. He handed the papers back to Natasha with a look on his face that Steve wasn’t able to read. There was nothing on Natasha’s face. It had to go back to what she was keeping from him.

 

“Reports say that he is moving around after a moving caravan in Russia.”

 

A picture was set down. It was grainy but Steve could tell it was a group of cars and a van refueling.

 

“Moving caravan?”

 

“SHIELD started to track him when he surfaced. Agents on the ground in Russia say that a caravan had been moving about the country for two weeks. Never stopping other than to refuel and to get food. There is a van that no one ever leaves from and no one ever enters. Fury wants us in the air as soon as we can. It wasn’t connected with Stark because it was assumed he was here and it was thought that they were just now catching the caravan in action and that it wasn’t new.”

 

“Let’s go.” Steve was up and out the door before he finished speaking the words.

 

Four Weeks Gone

Steve sighed as he took in the wreckage around him. There was blown up cars. There were empty clips and all manner of other debris around him. Clint and Natasha were checking the area for signs of where the Winter Soldier had gone with Tony this time. The fires still burned from this attack so they were getting closer. He had no clue where the cars came from. The caravan had been destroyed a little less than two weeks ago.

 

The Winter Soldier had come in and destroyed the caravan before the Avengers could even get to Russia. There had been no sign of Tony.

 

“It’s been over a week,” Steve turned to Coulson and the other man was looking around. “Why hasn’t the Winter Soldier taken him to his new employers?”

 

Coulson just shrugged as Natasha was moving back towards them. She pointed off to the west. Natasha was good at tracking where the Winter Soldier was going. He wasn’t going to question her on how she knew which way he was going but he was pretty sure that she had some link to him and wasn’t sharing it with the rest of them. She knew something about him and it was connected to her past that no one but Clint and Coulson.

 

“Cap!” Clint called out as he jumped over the detached bumper of a car. He had something in his hand and he handed it over as soon as he got close to Steve. “Found this to the west. Figured it had your name all over it.”

 

Steve took whatever it was and looked at it. It was a box that had red, white, and blue ribbon on it. It was in perfect condition. There was no way that it was dropped before the firefight. It had to be planted. He shook it and heard nothing. He opened it and found inside a small MP3 player with headphones nestled inside of scraps of cloth. He threw the scraps of cloth down and was about to pull out the MP3 player when Coulson gasped. Steve looked up at him and seeing where the other man’s eyes were focused, he looked down.

 

On the ground was the scrap of cloth but it wasn’t the cloth itself that was drawing the agent’s eye. It was the hole of cloth that was missing. Everyone there knew where that came from. It was a hole that Tony cut in his shirts to show off the arc reactor. He didn’t wear them out in public of course, but all the Avengers had seen him in one over the many months. This was the exact on that he had been wearing when he had been taken. There was a small hole that Steve recognized. Tony had been soldering and had thrown a spark on his shirt.

 

“He was here. Why would the Winter Soldier let him leave that?” Natasha asked as she picked up the shirt. She looked confused. Natasha was rarely confused.

 

Turning back to the box, Steve pulled out the MP3 player and looked at it. It was his. He had given it to Tony to fix the day before Tony had left and he hadn’t even thought about it since the other man had been taken. He turned it on but there was nothing new on it. It had been fixed but that was it.

 

“He’s heading farther and farther west. He’s going to the coast. The Russian’s can’t have his contract. He left Russia as soon as he could. Who is west of here?” Natasha asked looking at Coulson as she handed the shirt over to Steve.

 

Steve pocketed the scrap and the MP3 player, moving over to the jet. There were hundreds of miles of terrain to cover and SHIELD satellites could never find a trace of the Winter Soldier or Tony. It had to be done on tracking alone.

 

Six Weeks Gone

Steve looked at the picture of Tony in downtown London with the Winter Soldier beside him. He had his arm looped with the other man’s and was pointing something out. Both were dressed in nicer looking clothes but there had been no activity on Tony’s credit cards or any of his accounts. Tony looked relaxed but alert. He wasn’t scared.

 

“What is going on?” Steve asked as he handed the photo to Thor. “Why is Tony not trying to get away?”

 

“The more this goes on, the more I know that I don’t understand any of this,” Clint said.

 

The Avengers were in a hotel room in London, trying to use the cameras of the city to track down their wayward member. The Winter Soldier and Tony had been sighted a week ago in the city and there was no other sighting inside the city or any out of it. Until the photo.

 

“We have activity,” Coulson’s face popped up on the TV that was on the dressed. JARVIS had linked the TV to their communications as soon as the Avengers had settled in the room. “Tony was seen inside of a computer store just an hour ago. Pictures snapped by passersby put him there alone but we can’t get confirmation. The CCTVs in the area were shut down.”

 

“Let’s go,” Steve stood up and picked up his bag with the shield inside of it. Everyone was in civilian clothes; he didn’t want attention called to them.

 

Steve was the first to enter the computer store. He looked around but there was nothing out of place. The CCTVs had revealed nothing to Coulson but Steve still wanted to look around. He found a computer in the back that had a screen saver up. The screen saver was a picture of Avengers Tower. He clicked the mouse and there was a picture of the Howling Commandos back in the day. Tony had been there. He just wasn’t sure that it meant.

 

“Spread out. Find him,” Steve said into his comm. He looked around to find an associate when he heard the sound of a repulsor outside.

 

Running from the store he found the other Avengers converging onto a group of Hydra soldiers and the Winter Soldier. Tony was behind the Winter Soldier and Steve was rooted to the spot as he watched a Hydra sniper take a shot at Tony.

 

Tony wasn’t looking at the sniper. He was looking at where a Hydra agent was trying to shoot at Clint. A blast from his repulsor had the Hydra agent falling but he still didn’t see the bullet heading at him. The Winter Soldier’s arm went up and the bullet was deflected away from Tony. Tony ducked down into an alley and the Winter Soldier followed.

 

Spurred to action, Steve ran to the building and up the far side of it. He was going to go around and drop down on the Winter Soldier to surprise him. He heard Natasha yelling, asking him where he was but he ignored her. He was up on the roof and dropping down between Tony and the Winter Soldier before he could take in the scene he was looking at.

 

“Steve!” Tony yelled as Steve raised his shield to protect Tony from the Winter Soldier but Tony ducked under his arm and grabbed at the Winter Soldier, pulling him behind himself. That’s when Steve saw that the Winter Soldier had a mass of blood flowing from his side. “Get us out of here!”

 

Steve looked at Tony and frowned. Why was Tony protecting the Winter Soldier? The sound of shot after shot drew Steve’s gaze to the opening of the alleyway. Natasha, Clint, and Coulson were standing there making shot after shot with their guns and bow as the Hydra agents tried to scatter. When the last had fallen, Coulson and Clint turned as Natasha took off at a run to them. Thor was up on the top of the building with his hammer in hand, directing blasts down onto the street.

 

“James!” Natasha yelled as she dropped to her knees and pulled his face up to hers. Tony let him go and stood, moving towards Steve.

 

Tony drops into his arms like had never been gone. Steve could smell him and hear his heartbeat but other than that there was nothing. There was no scent of his blood, nothing to tell him that he was injured. He didn’t want to let the other man go but he had to look at him. He looked Tony up and down and other than the blood on him from the Winter Soldier that was spotted on his hands, he was in perfect condition.

 

“Are you hurt?” Steve asked as he pulled Tony close again.

 

“No, I’m fine. James took care of me.”

 

“James?” Steve asked pointing his thumb at the Winter Soldier who was sitting there talking in Russian with Natasha. “Why are you calling him James?”

 

“Because that’s his name. Look we need to get out of here. Hydra had been tracking us and I have tried to leave you clues to let you know I am fine but I feared if they would find us. Where is the Jet?”

 

“On a hotel a mile from here. Coulson is calling it here now.” Just as Steve finished speaking the jet engine’s whine sounded from the street. Steve pulled Tony to the jet where Clint and Coulson were walking into. Natasha helped ‘James’ into the jet and it started to rise into the air. Clint took over for the man flying it and when they were in the air and at a safe distance, Thor entered on the ramp and it started to close.

 

“What is going on?” Steve asked as Tony moved over to where Natasha and James were. Tony grabbed a gauze strip and held it to the wound while Natasha moved to get the medical kit.

 

“Did you get hurt?” James asked as he reached out and touched Tony’s arm. There was a spike of jealousy ran through Steve’s body.

 

“No, I’m safe. You got me back to my people. You did well.” Tony smiled at him like he smiled at Rhodey.

 

“I’m glad.” James’s accent was a thick but it wasn’t a Russian accent. No, it was Brooklyn accent and not a recent one. It was the accents that Steve was used to hearing when he was younger. Steve jerked at it.

 

The large sunglasses that were blocking James’s face were taken off by Tony and the face underneath was like a punch to the gut. He felt his knees give out and then Tony was looking down on him. Bucky was beside him.

 

“Steve, what’s wrong?” Tony sounded worried.

 

“Bucky?” Steve asked as he focused on Bucky.

 

“It’s me, Steve. It’s really me.”

 

“What?” Tony looked at Bucky and then back to Steve and then to Natasha. “Did you lie to me?”

 

“No. I am bonded to the Black Widow. That’s not what shocked me out of the programming. I could feel and smell Steve on you. Bonded to Steve and I couldn’t allow you to stay away from him.” Bucky turned to Steve. “Hydra sent me to get Tony out of the grasp of the Ten Rings. The second I did, I touched him and knew. It snapped me out of the programming. The second it did, it told me where Natasha was. I felt her move to where she was following us but I knew that if I turned around, there was every single chance that Hydra would catch and kill me or the Avengers would. I had to try and get to New York and just drop Tony off and then have Natasha find me on her own. Then I saw Captain America with boots on the ground. I knew that this Captain America was my Steve and I waited here in London. I let Tony out on his own, hoping it would draw out Hydra which would draw the Avengers out as well.”

 

“We’ll do a better debrief when you are checked out by doctors. For now, James, sleep.” Natasha pulled him down and cradled him in her arms. It was seconds later and he was asleep. Steve looked at his face as it relaxed. There were differences. He looked older than he really was but given what he had been going through. Being separated from his bonded would age anyone. Steve was sure that he had a few gray hairs from this. JARVIS had told him that the Tower had been fixed and was ready to have Tony work in it again.

 

He looked up to where Coulson and Clint were talking in the cockpit. Thor was sitting at the back of the jet, hammer at the ready for an attack. None of them would be happy till they got home.

 

Steve wasn’t going to be happy until he made sure that Tony wasn’t hiding an injury from him and that the bond was fully settled down. Then he could find Tony all on his own if he was taken again.

The End

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The Look in the Eye

Title: The Look in the Eye
Series: Winter Soldier Cycle
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe,
Year: Winter 2012/2013
Category: Drama, Angst, Action, Tony Whump,
Ratings: PG-13
Pairings: Steve Rogers/James “Bucky” Barnes, Tony Stark/Pepper Potts, Tony Stark/Steve Rogers,
Spoilers: Entire MCU
Summary: When Bucky comes home alive, no one sees anything off. It’s up to Tony to show them that Bucky isn’t all that he appears to be and the only back up he has is the Hulk and JARVIS.
Words: 5,044
Notes: This started brewing in my head the second that I found out the title to Captain America 2…It hasn’t changed to match anything else we have gotten since then.
Warnings: None
Beta: Mischa & Charlie_Remington

When the call came into the Avenger’s Tower, it was nearly five am. Steve was stretching, preparing for a run and Tony was getting ready to go to bed. The rest of the Avengers were not in the tower at all. Clint and Natasha were away on a mission. Thor was in Asgard, and Bruce was visiting Betty. Tony had been up all night fixing his armor after a fight with Doombots just a day before. All of the joints were messed up and needed many repairs. And he had only just repaired them to a usable state.

On the table were the remnants of Tony’s dinner and both his and Steve’s cell phones. The conversation was easy and enjoyable. Tony was comfortable around Steve in a way that he had only ever been around Pepper, Rhodey, and Happy. Steve had been brought into the future kicking and screaming but along the way of reintegration, Tony had started to fall for the man. It hadn’t been easy, accepting it but Tony had.

The relationship that had been between Pepper and Tony hadn’t lasted through the second time the Avengers had assembled to fight Doom and his bots. He’d come home to the– then being renovated– tower to find Pepper’s things moved to another room lower in the tower. Tony had accepted it with a grace that had been unknown in him before then.

Even after the disaster that was Tony and Steve’s first meeting, after the dust had settled they had gravitated to each other. That had formed into what was now a three date strong relationship that was as rocky as their friendship had been. Tony was trying to take the relationship slow because Steve had become something that Tony didn’t want to lose. While Tony was sure that Steve was taking it slow because there was still so much of the world that Steve was unsure of. How could he fall into a relationship while still trying to figure out his place in the world?

A phone ringing on the table brought both of the men’s attention back to the present. Two hands grabbing at the phones and Tony pulled his greasy hand back when he found it wasn’t his. Steve picked his up and immediately stood at attention. Tony knew it was habit, seeing the name of SHIELD on the caller ID was just like hearing a superior call his name. This had to be a non-Avengers related phone call. Otherwise Tony’s own phone would have gone off or JARVIS would have alerted him. Steve was so sudden in his movement that Tony was jerked from watching his face.

“Rogers…Yes, Sir…No…WHAT? Twenty minutes. OK.”

While on the phone Steve’s face had gone from puzzlement to bewilderment to pure happiness. Tony had never seen that look on his face before. Nothing that he had ever done had put that look on his face. A pit started to form in Tony’s stomach. This was not going to be good for Tony. There was something there on the face.

Steve took a few steps towards the kitchen door and then stopped suddenly turning to face Tony.

“They found him…Alive. Tony, they…” Steve stopped talking and hung his head for a few seconds. When he raised it back up, his eyes were shining with unshed tears.

“Bucky is alive.”

Tony nodded and as soon as he started to move his head, Steve was gone. Minutes later, Steve came back into the kitchen, changed from his running clothes and into a pair of slacks and a dress shirt. Tony stopped him as he tried to leave.

“How is he alive? Where was he?”

“SHIELD found him somewhere in Russia. Fury didn’t go into details but he’s the same. As young as me.”

“When do we leave?”

“Not we. Just me. Fury just wants me for now. Bucky hasn’t woken up yet and they want me to break it to him that he’s in the future.”

“Oh.” Tony knew that Steve couldn’t see the disappointment on his face because Steve was leaving the room. Tony was alone in the kitchen now. Tony was alone.

xXxXxXx

Tony was in his workshop a week later when he saw movement on the screen that showed him the elevator that opened into the main Avenger area of the Tower. Standing there looking around was Bucky with Steve just behind him.

Bucky’s face was full of amazement at his surroundings. He quickly looked at a small part of the screen that showed the security for the workshop. The room was on lockdown with the windows tinted so that no one could see in. Only Pepper, Happy, and Rhodey were able to bypass lockdown unless Tony had a medical emergency and none of those three were there at that time.

No one had said a word about Steve coming back to the tower for the first time since that morning that he had gotten the call. No one had told him that Bucky was in good enough shape to actually step outside of a hospital without going crazy. Tony knew about the mucking around in Bucky’s head that various agencies had done over the years. It must have slipped all their minds. Tony usually texted Steve every morning to ask how Bucky was doing, even he hadn’t made the comment that Bucky was coming for a visit. Tony watched as the rest of the Avengers all crowded around the two anachronisms. He knew that he was being childish but he couldn’t help it, it was his default mode for things like this. If anyone had really cared, they would have told him about Steve and Bucky arriving. He wasn’t sure what to think about the fact that they didn’t.

After watching for several minutes, Tony touched the screen and the security feed disappeared and the Mark VIII designs popped up. If they wanted him up there for the meet and greet, they could come and get him. He wasn’t a mind reader. Two hours later, Tony came up out of the designs and repairs to the sound of JARVIS clearing his digital throat and the music sound lowering.

“Sir, Captain Rogers and Mr. Barnes are at the door. Should I let them in?”

“Yeah, sure,” Tony said as he turned to face the door, grabbing a rag as he did so and started to wipe the grease off his hands from messing with the foot joint of the Mark VII. The door slid open silently and in walked Steve followed by Bucky. Bucky was caught up in looking around the room. His face full of wonder as he took in the high tech equipment that was scattered around. Once though when Bucky did look at him, he caught something in the younger man’s eyes. There was a glint of something. He filed the knowledge away and made a note on a screen to have JARVIS watch Bucky and record all the facial movements. JARVIS sighed out loud but started to compile the data.

“Heya, Captain. Bucky. Didn’t know that you guys were here.” Tony watched Steve’s face fall at being called Captain and not Steve but he said nothing. Tony went to shake Bucky’s hand. Bucky smiled as he shook Tony’s hand but the look was still there. He knew better than most what Bucky’s actual role had been during the war. What his training had been. He had done the things that Captain America couldn’t, shouldn’t do. This was something different though. A very different kind of look.

“We’ve been here for two hours, Tony. I expected you to come up and welcome Bucky.” Steve’s voice was hard and nothing like the tone that Tony had been used to hearing after the Battle for New York. It was harder than the voice he had used the first time they had met. It made Tony’s heart ache. This wasn’t the Steve of just a week ago. This wasn’t the Steve that wanted Tony as more than a friend. This was Captain America, as he had been during Loki’s invasion.

“Sorry, Cap. Didn’t know that you were springing him today.” Tony stood up. He knew that the height difference wouldn’t make him taller than Steve but at least he wouldn’t be sitting. He did confrontation better when standing and the way this was shaping up; it was going to be one. Touching the corner of one of the screens, all of the screens in the room went black. He didn’t want anyone to see his plans for the Mark VIII just yet.

“I…” Steve stopped and looked around the room, taking the entirety of it in. The cot was messed up from where Tony had slept in it the night before. All the work spaces were covered in cups from coffee places and take out containers of food. Tony knew that it looked like he hadn’t been out of the room in a week and he really hadn’t. Trips for clean clothes and a shower every other day and that was it.

Tony had only ever done the team hanging out things when Steve was around as a way to be around Steve. Pepper and Rhodey hadn’t been to see him in a while and Tony liked the rest of the Avengers, he really did, but none of them were even asking JARVIS about Tony, so why should Tony care about them? Bruce was lost in his lab and that Tony didn’t hold against him. He did ask JARVIS for updates.

Before Steve could think of anything else to say, JARVIS broke in. “He is correct, Sir. None of the rest of the Avengers has spoken to Mr. Stark in a week and none of your texts mentioned bringing Mr. Barnes home at all, much less today.”

Steve nodded, looking at the ceiling like a traitor. Tony wanted to smirk but he didn’t. While JARVIS didn’t always do what he wanted and could be a smart ass, his loyalty to Tony had no bounds. He was there to defend Tony when it was prudent to do so. At least to those who were not Pepper or Rhodey.

“Sorry. I guess I forgot to mention it. We are all heading out tonight to show Bucky some sights around New York. Did you want to go?” Steve asked. Tony could see the pleading in his eyes. He wanted Tony to get along with Bucky. Tony didn’t feel like going out and having fun though. He just wanted to sit and brood. “Bruce isn’t going. He’s Skyping with Betty tonight.”

“I’m kind of busy here, Cap. The suit is still buggy. The joints don’t want to respond right after the fight with the Doombots. I really need to finish it up before I can have any play time.”

Steve nodded but Tony could tell that he was disappointed.

“That’s too bad, Stark. Barton was telling me about some night outs drinking with you.” Bucky was talking as he looked Tony up and down. Tony was used to being looked at but this wasn’t Bucky seeing if he wanted in Tony’s pants. This was a soldier looking at a threat. That wasn’t good.

“Yeah. Barton has too much fun on nights out and not enough of a hangover the next day. Watch him.”

“Tony’s been sober for over a month now,” Steve pointed out to Bucky.

“Doesn’t mean I can’t have fun on a night out,” Tony said, his voice turning to ice in just a few words. He looked Steve hard in the eyes. “I really need to get back to work now. Bucky, welcome to the tower. If you need anything just ask JARVIS. He will gladly help you in whatever you need. I don’t know if Cap has shown you to your room yet but there are some things set up in there for you. A welcome to the future present if you will. Cap can show you how to work them. Have fun tonight.” Tony turned away as he gave a wave. “JARVIS, Iron Man playlist.”

Waiting to hear the door shut, Tony turned his back to the two other men. Johnny Cash started to talk about thunder and beasts. It was a playlist that he liked to listen to while working on his armor. Whether he was working on blueprints or just working on fixing the damages from the fights.

“JARVIS, place a pizza order. Just my usual.”

JARVIS alerted him that the pizza was there just as the rest of the Avengers were getting ready to leave to take Bucky out for the night. The pizza was delivered from a place just a block away. There was a running tab that was kept for deliveries and for eating in when Tony or the other Avengers were out and about. Every Sunday, Stark Industries was charged for the bill.

The delivery boy was the usual and looked to be relieved to be delivering only a single pie. Tony met him at the elevator with a twenty in hand for a tip. It was the smallest he had on him and knew from Steve that the boy was putting himself through school so Tony tried to tip well.

“Johnny thanks!” Tony said as he took the pizza from the boy and handed over the twenty. Johnny smiled and looked behind Tony. Tony turned to see Steve and Bucky standing there. Bucky had on a long sleeve dress shirt along with a glove. That’s when it clicked. Steve had mentioned that Bucky had been missing an arm. He had forgotten it until that moment. He knew that SI had been roped into making a new one for him. Tony found he had no urge to check it out, because that meant spending one on one time with Bucky. There was just something about the kid that made his skin crawl.

“Just yourself tonight, Mr. Stark?”

“Yeah. One of Steve’s friends came into town and the others are taking him out. I am slaved to work for the next two weeks it seems. You’ll probably see a lot of the tower and my mug.”

Johnny just smiled at him and waved to Steve before leaving. Tony shut the door and started back down to his workshop. He gave an absent minded wave to Steve and Bucky as he passed them, opening the box and shoving half a piece of it in his mouth. As he stepped onto the stairs that led to his workshop, he heard Clint’s voice ring down asking if he was going. He didn’t answer, just waited for the hushed tones of Steve’s voice answering.

xXxXxXx

Two weeks after Bucky moved in was the first time that something came up that needed the Avengers. The strain that was in the personal lives of the Avengers was no longer there. Captain America and Iron Man worked together to take down the giant ape in Times Square while Hulk and the others took care of the little apes that were scattered everywhere.

When the fight was done and the apes had all been taken care of, the Avengers found that none of their team was hurt. Tony’s suit was barely damaged at all, just cosmetic damage. When the area was declared clear, Maria Hill brought SHIELD to start the cleanup and Bucky to check on Steve. The Avengers were relaxing and waiting to be cleared to head back to the tower. Hulk was on the side watching a TV that’d been loaded in the back of one of the SHIELD vehicles. It kept him calm until he could change back into Bruce.

No one was prepared for him to shift at the exact moment that he heard Bucky and Steve talking and yet took a leap and started to come down where Bucky was standing. “SMASH!”

It was the first time that the Hulk had ever seen Bucky but usually he took things like seeing different people better. Steve threw his shield at the precise moment needed to stop Hulk’s hand from smashing Bucky while Thor and Natasha stepped up to protect him.

Hulk stopped and stared at Bucky for a few minutes before he snorted and turned away from them all.

Tony, in his armor, stepped up to Hulk and started to talk to him. In a few minutes, Tony was flying a normal sized Bruce back to the tower.

Tony filed his report and sent it to all who need it before he started to work again on the Mark VIII armor. He knew that Bruce would show up at a later time and ask for a report of what happened. Bruce always came to him to find out what the Hulk did while on a rampage. Tony had always been the one to give him the truth without hiding and no half lies.

Two hours later, Bruce walked into the lab with Thai and several bottles of water. “Why did he do that?” is all he asked as he set the food down in front of Tony along with half of the water.

Tony doesn’t answer with words, instead he points at the screen and JARVIS cues up all the things that Tony has had him collect on Bucky so far. They eat slowly as they watch hours of footage. When JARVIS shut down the screen, Bruce turned to Tony and just stared.

“He’s rather adept at some of those things. I don’t think that I could so some of that.”

“Exactly, I had a few sets of spyware on his phone and computer. I know, just yell at me later. I wanted to make sure he wasn’t going somewhere he shouldn’t. I did the same with Cap back then. The first time that Bucky got onto them without Cap hovering, he removed them and flushed them.”

Bruce thought about that for several seconds before he asked. “Did you tell Steve?”

“Tried. He just said that someone at SHIELD must have done it and then yelled at me. He was in the tower with them when they were removed. I know the exact time it happened.”

“Do you have an exit plan?” Bruce asked. Tony looked at him like he was shocked but he really shouldn’t have been. Bruce knew him well; even with the short time they had known each other.

“Have always had an exit plan, Bruce. I have one for every situation. I just have to adapt one thing but I’ve done that several times already.”

“Has he talked about you guys?” Bruce asked, keeping it vague so that Tony could sidestep it if he needed or wanted.

“No. There’s been no mention. Hell, there’s been nothing. Nothing at all. We talk less now than we did when the team formed.”

Bruce nodded and turned back to stare at a blank screen.

xXxXxXx

Steve cornered Tony just a few minutes after he and Bucky got back from SHIELD with Bucky’s newest arm. From what Steve said the hardware and software were updated. “He wants to try sparring to check it out and I have to go back to SHIELD. He’d feel better if it was done sooner rather than later. Can you help him?”

Tony opened his mouth to say no but the look on Steve’s face had him nodding. Steve gave him a giant smile. It was the smile that he hadn’t seen at all since the morning when Steve got the call. No, those smiles were for Bucky now.

“He’s waiting down in the sparring ring for you. Thanks so much, Tony.” Steve threw a wave over his shoulder as he entered the elevator to take him down to the ground floor to leave. Tony shook his head and quickly went to change into his armor. He made sure that JARVIS was recording before he went into the room though.

It started off slow and easy. Tony made sure that Bucky was used to his newest limb before they tried anything harder than just punching on a bag or a practice dummy. Tony was used to talking while he sparred, whether it was with Happy or Steve. Bucky on the other hand was silent. Tony would ask questions but the other man never answered.

A lucky swing by Bucky had one of Tony’s arm pieces buckling and Tony took a few steps back to get ready to call off the sparring. It was dangerous to spar with one of the arms buckled and he wasn’t going to take it off and start again. Bucky though stepped forward and grabbed Tony’s broken armor and squeezed with his mechanical arm. Tony brought his other arm up, aiming his repulsor at Bucky and then fired. Bucky dropped Tony’s other arm but not before one last squeeze that broke Tony’s arm.

Tony fired all his remaining repulsors to blast himself backwards from the fight that was probably going to end horribly. He took a breath to call for JARVIS to send for whoever was available but before he could get word one out, Hulk lumbered into the room and placed himself between Tony and Bucky.

“Leave,” Hulk spat out with as much force and wind as he could. Bucky paled and backed out of the room. When Hulk was sure he was gone, he turned to Tony. “Help?”

“No, Big Buy. I can take care of myself.”

“Need little guy’s help?” Hulk asked, acting like he wanted to touch the hurt arm. Tony didn’t flinch, knowing that the Hulk would never hurt him. He just stood there for a few seconds.

“I think that might be nice.”

It was just seconds and Hulk was getting smaller and less green and then standing in front of Tony was Bruce clad in black pants. Bruce looked at the arm and started to help Tony remove the destroyed armor without saying a word. Tony called for JARVIS to have a bot pick up the armor and take it down to the shop while the two of them went to medical.

Later that night, Tony was relaxing in the living room with his arm propped up on pillows when Steve came back from whatever SHIELD had him doing all day. He took one look at Tony’s arm and sighed.

“What did you say to him?” Steve asked.

They were alone in the living room but still Tony wished someone other than Bucky would enter.

Tony looked up at the camera in the corner and nodded. That meant that JARVIS would alert Bruce that Tony may need help. Tony could tell by Steve’s one sentence that he was not going to win this one.

Steve saw Bucky as a child and Tony as the bully. Steve hated bullies even though Bucky was the bully in this case. He couldn’t see past his friendship with the other man to see what was really happening.

“Nothing.” Steve jumping to the conclusion that this was done by Bucky meant that he had been expecting something to happen and he still wanted Tony to be the one to spar…

“Bucky would never hurt you on purpose, Tony. You have to have said something to him to make him mad to do that.” Steve waved at the arm.

“This is not the same Bucky that you knew, Steve. I think that he has some problems. This is coming from me, the king of problems; you know that there has to be something there.”

“No.” Steve took two steps towards Tony as Tony stood up. Steve stopped just inches from the darker haired man. “Bucky is fine. You have to see problems in everyone don’t you, so that you don’t see yourself as the messed up man that you are.”

“Messed up?” Tony asked. Never has Steve made mention of Tony’s problems in those words. Tony smelled Bucky’s influence there.

“Bucky is the same as before,” Steve said not even listening to Tony. “He always said when he got back from the war, we would be together. Then we were together over there. He died and I was left here alone. Now we can truly be together. Tony, I have to try it. I have to take that chance. I am sure you understand.”

Tony didn’t know what to say to that. He just shook his head and left the room. Steve didn’t even try to stop him or call him back. Tony went right to his lab and worked on fixing the arm of his armor. The Mark VIII was almost ready to start plating up but he still needed the VII for an emergency.

Spending most of the night fixing his armor, Tony only noticed the time when his stomach growled. He stopped what he was going and went to the kitchen to get some kind of dinner.

There was no one there when he entered, he was thankful. He had just about finished putting his sandwich together when a noise alerted him that he wasn’t alone. Before he could turn though someone started to speak,

“You know it’s kind of messed up when you tell a guy’s former boyfriend, that in your mind you and his former were still a couple, no matter what they told you. And that Steve wasn’t even going to love him the same again, since you and Steve had gotten together.”

“What?” Tony turned around in the kitchen to find both Natasha and Clint standing there. Clint was glaring at him so hard that Tony was sure that he would be dead if Clint could have gotten away with it. Clint had been the one to speak.

“Don’t act stupid, Stark. Just stay the hell away from Bucky,” Clint said as he and Natasha turned from the room.

Tony just stared at where they had been before he left the kitchen, his sandwich left behind. He wasn’t hungry anymore. He went to his lab and locked it down. Lying down on his cot, Tony fell asleep, numb.

xXxXxXx

Steve stopped him just outside his workshop a few days later. Tony’s hadn’t even had time to open it for the day; JARVIS had convinced him to sleep in a bed that night. “We have to talk.”

“Do you want me to leave the team?” Tony asked turning around to face Steve. He felt a little bad for the look of shock on Steve’s face but he couldn’t help it.

“Why can’t you accept this?”

“We were really good, Steve. It was slow and wonderful and the best time of my life. Then there was nothing. I got a few texts and I know that your world was rocked but I wanted to help and there was nothing. I wasn’t even on your radar. I wasn’t even informed that we were not even a maybe couple anymore.”

“You hated him from the moment that I brought him down to the workshop for you to meet him.”

“No, I never hated him. Even after…I don’t hate him. I didn’t then and still don’t. I don’t trust him. Everyone puts me not trusting him down to being the jilted boyfriend but the Hulk still doesn’t like him much less trust him.”

Steve gave a wry laugh at Tony’s words. “The Hulk doesn’t like a lot of people still. That is no proof.”

“He’s not a mindless beast.” Tony laughed that Steve still thought he was. “He sees all that Bruce does and sometimes even more than he does.”

“Will you ever be able to accept Bucky as an Avenger?”

“No,” Tony said simply.

“Then on Fury and my order, you are no longer an Avenger.”

Tony looked at Steve in shock. He was sure that his face was full of hurt but Steve’s never changed. It was his Captain America face of ‘I am doing what’s needed.’ There was no way to change his mind when he was in this mood. “What press release do you want?”

Steve looked taken aback, probably because Tony wasn’t fighting it. “I am sure that SHIELD will come up with something.”

“Fine. Have a nice life, Captain.” Tony mock saluted him before turning to his workshop door. He could see the windows around the door darkening as the door was opened for him. He silently thanked JARVIS.

“Tony, you don’t have…” but whatever Tony didn’t have to do was lost to the shutting of the door.

“JARVIS notify Pepper to have my wing opened in the Malibu house. Get a hold of my movers and prep yourself for removal.”

“What A.I. should I prep to take my place, Sir?”

“Load up Jeeves. Give him a good shakedown before you let him take over fully. He should be enough to take care of the Avengers. I want to be out by the end of business tomorrow. Once all of my things are removed from my rooms, lock them down. Have an alert set up in case someone tries to or does succeed in breaking in.”

“Doctor Banner would like a word.”

“Let him in.”

“Tony, think it through,” Bruce said as the door was opened, before he even set foot in the workshop.

“I have. Captain Rogers can’t even look at me anymore and contrary to what everyone thinks, I don’t like to be in pain. I can’t look at him every single day and have my heart break all over again. I think that I spent most of my life in love with him from the stories dad told me. He always told me more about Steve than the Captain. I fell so hard that night after the battle. I can’t do it, Bruce. Rogers doesn’t want me around, neither does Bucky. Clint and Natasha are just waiting for me to do something to give them the right to break my other arm or something worse. How can I live like that?”

Bruce’s face fell and he nodded. Bruce could understand that.

“Going back to Malibu?”

“Yes. The main part of Stark Industries is still there and so is Pepper. There’s room for you.”

“I think that distance between Bucky and the Other Guy could be a good thing.”

“You know, the Big Guy is a good judge of character.”

Bruce smiled but nodded. “Yes, he is.
The End

Next Part: Disassembled

It Couldn’t Be Easy

Title: It Couldn’t Be Easy

Fandom: Avengers

Year: 2013

Category: Handcuffed,

Ratings: Mature

Pairings: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark

Spoilers: Entire MCU

Summary: Never ask Tony to reinvent the handcuffs while he is sleep and Steve deprived.

Words: 1,512

Notes: Crack? Also, Coulson survived. I just like having him around so…that part of the movie never happened.

Warnings: None

Beta: None

Steve and Fury had learnt a few things about asking Tony to do things when he had been awake for over three days. The only reason that Tony had even been awake that long was because Steve had been away on a mission with Bucky and Natasha in Russia. That also meant that he was deprived of other things that had become routine to him.

“And you thought that taking these cuffs into a fight with Loki was a good idea?” Fury asked.

“I wasn’t doing a lot of thinking at that time, Sir. Not with my head. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try them out.”

Steve knew that something was wrong when Tony called Fury Sir. It was rare and never good. He usually used it to lie.

“Why don’t you start at the beginning?”

“Which one, where you asked me for better handcuffs for villains or when the fight with Loki started?” Tony wasn’t looking Fury in the eye. That meant that Tony was thinking.

“Loki.”

“Well…”

“Sir, Captain Rogers, Mr. Barnes, and Miss Romanov have just landed at the airport. However there is also the call to assemble going over the broadcast channel. It seems that Loki is back.”

“I am in no condition to fight, JARVIS.”

“I told Director Fury this. He told me that you needed be there. In much more colorful words, that is.”

Tony dropped the tablet he had been playing with and grabbed the handcuffs before reaching out and calling his armor to him. In seconds he was ready to, blasting out the open window that JARVIS had opened for him. It didn’t take long for him to arrive at where the coordinates sent him. He arrived at the same time that Hawkeye and Thor were arriving. The other three were going to be about ten minutes behind and Bruce was in California. There would be no Hulk.

It didn’t take nearly as long as Tony thought it would for them to make Loki submit. Thor was wary but Steve was ready for it to be over. Tony could understand that. He wanted it to be over as well.

“I have no means to keep him tethered,” Thor said as Loki smirked.

“Oh!” Tony yelled as he reached into one of his compartments and pulled out the handcuffs. Everyone eyed the cuffs before looking at Steve who was trying not to blush and failing. The cuffs were small but they looked sturdy. It was of no design that anyone had ever seen before.

“Fury wanted me to make a better handcuff. I just finished them this morning.” Tony handed them to Steve. “He won’t be able to remove them. There is a magic dampener along with a lot of other things. Only a key will remove them. Well there is something else as well but that’s never going to happen. They are made to tether the villain to a person. Much better than attaching their hands. The cuffs are set to kill the person attached to them if the other person died.”

“What?” Steve asked as he reached out to clasp both on Loki’s hands.

“Fury wanted some that would stop villains from escaping; it was the only thing I could think of on short notice. No villain wants to die. It protects our personnel as well.” Tony showed Steve which one was the one that he needed to put on himself and which was the one he needed to put on Loki.

“I see.” Steve attached the one to himself and reached out for Loki’s hand.

A flash of green and when Tony could see again, he was in the second set of cuffs. He looked at Steve and then at the others. “How?”

“My brother is full of tricks.” Thor’s face was dour.

“The key, Tony.” Steve’s mouth was set in a hard line.

“Well, see that’s where it gets interesting.” Tony couldn’t look him in the eye. He couldn’t see the disappointment in those eyes, never those eyes.

Steve gave him a glare.

“Look. I’ve not slept in three days and I am tired and was a little distracted by other things. I hadn’t started the key yet. I figured that if they were needed, I would have time to make a key.”

“You said there was another way to get them off?” Bucky asked as he stepped up to look at the cuffs. He reached out to touch them but stopped when Tony jerked his hands back.

“That’s going to be a little hard as well.” Tony looked at Steve’s face before looking away. “See this was just the first set of cuffs. Fury wanted them in a hurry so I kind of made them to come off if the captor and the villain have sex together.”

“Tony!” Every single Avenger said at the same time. Tony just shrugged. He closed the helmet on his suit and pulled one of the gauntlets off. He hit a few buttons on cuff attached to Steve but nothing happened. He grabbed Steve’s free hand and used his finger to punch the same buttons. The metal links that bound the cuffs separated and instead an arc of energy passed between the two. It disappeared after a few seconds.

“That will make it easier. We have a five foot distance that was can move without it sending shocks to us.”

“We need to go to the hellicarrier to debrief Fury.” Steve looked at the handcuffs and then back at Tony. Tony kept his helmet closed for a reason. He didn’t want anyone to see him blush. It was Fury’s own fault. Tony was used to having Steve around and when Steve wasn’t there, he didn’t sleep much and when he didn’t sleep much his designs got a little crazy. He was also used to sex on a near daily basis. “Hawkeye, take the Quinjet and take the others up. Iron Man and I will follow as soon as we have a talk.”

The rest of the Avengers left quickly. Steve looked at Tony and waited for him to flip up the helmet but Tony kept it down.

“Look, I can’t work on the key for the handcuffs while I am wearing one. It’s won’t let me. If I try and keep contact with your cuff for too long, it will kill me. There is only one way to remove the handcuffs. I had always figured that I would be able to work on the key while it was on Loki but this…”

“So we have to have sex?”

“Don’t make it sound like a chore, Steve. I had no way of knowing that Loki would do that, there at the end. There is no time rush on this. We could stay cuffed for days, if we don’t mind having to stay within five feet of each other.”

“Why don’t we back to the tower? We can deal with it then. I’ll deal with Fury. Your armor is pretty dented. It will take a while to get out of it I am sure. I’ll send him an email and tell him that we will debrief later. ”

“Yes it will.” Tony put his gauntlet back on his uncuffed hand and then reached out an arm. Steve stepped into his side and Tony took off up into the sky. They landed on the top of the tower and instead of the arms coming out to take the armor, the bots stayed in their little homes. Tony walked down the ramp and into the main floor, heading right for his workshop, looking behind when he didn’t hear Steve’s footfalls. Steve was right behind him though. It took nearly an hour to take the armor off but it came off. Steve had clothes in the workshop so within a few minutes of getting in there; Steve was changed from the suit into jeans and a shirt. He spent the rest of the hour at station, working on the email to Fury. Tony hit the locks to the workshop and shaded the windows so that no one could look in. Steve approached him and kissed him for the first time in over three days.

“You can stop there,” Fury said. He looked at the two of them. “At what point did you become aware that Barton was filming you?”

“When we found out about the copy that was circulating around the Hellicarrier,” Steve answered.

“I have tried to get rid of all copies but for every single copy I destroy, three pop up.” Fury looked at Tony.

“I took care of that. Every time a copy is played, it destroys itself. You need not worry about that. There will soon be no copies left.”

“Just make sure he can’t access your workshop from the ducts again.” Fury waved them out with a hand and both left his office quickly.

“So he doesn’t know that it was a video that we made for ourselves that Tasha stole and copied does he?” Steve asked.

“No and he never will.”

The End

Broken Things Need a Home

Title: Broken Things Need a Home

Series: None Yet

Fandom: Avengers

Year: 2013

Category: Alternate Universe, Circus,

Ratings: PG-13

Pairings: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark, Natasha Romanov/James “Bucky” Barnes, Thor/Jane, Bruce Banner/Pepper Potts, Phil Coulson/Clint Barton,

Spoilers: Entire MCU,

Summary: When Tony ran from home at the age of seventeen, he never thought that joining the circus was going to be the best option to flee from his father until he ran into them at the edge of town. The black eye and the ripped clothes had the workers taking him in with little questions. Has he found the family he always wanted?

Words: 3,569

Notes: None

Warnings: Talk of Abuse,

Beta: None

He’s never felt blind panic as much as he did when he fled home. He knew that his nose was bloody and that his eye was swelling. He was quite sure his clothes were ripped. He really hoped that he didn’t run into a cop. They would just take him home. He didn’t want to ever go home again.

Not paying attention to where he was going, he bound into a group of people.

“Oh… Bruce!” a female voice called. He felt hands on him, stopping him and holding him up. He looked up into the woman’s face. She was looking down at him, worry on his face. He had seen a woman look at him with worry on her face since his mother died. Then there was another set of hands on him. He looked at the man who was looking at his face.

“His nose isn’t broke but his eye will be very ugly for a few days. Let’s take him back to the tents.”

There were hands on him, helping him walk into a bright red colored tent. He was laid down on something and then there was a light in his eyes and his nose was being touched.

“He’s familiar,” the female voice said.

“Get Phil.”

The woman walked away and he was left alone with the man, who he figured was Bruce.

“Mr. Stark, do you know where you are?” Bruce asked.

“New York City.”

“Good.” Fingers were held up in front of his face. He counted three. “How many?”

“Three. Who are you?”

“I am the doctor for the Nights of Wonder Circus.”

“Is that where I am?”

“Yes, you barged into the place. Your nose was bleeding pretty well.” Bruce held up a rag and handed it to Tony to use on his nose. “You scared Pepper so much but she was worried about you. You look horrible. What happened?”

Tony just turned his face away. No one ever believed him when he told them that Howard beat on him. Even now when he was seventeen and graduated from college. There was no reason to tell this stranger who would never believe him as well.

“What’s going on?” a new man’s voice called out.

“He barged into the grounds. He’s covered in blood, he has a black eye, and his clothes are ripped. Where the shirt is torn, I see bruises. Not new bruises but old ones, faded from a long period of time.”

Tony turned towards the noises and there standing was two new people. Pepper was standing on the side of a man in a suit and on his other side was a woman dressed in black with redder hair than Pepper’s. It was then that Tony knew what he wanted to do. He could hide in the circus. Neither his father nor Obie would ever find him in a circus. He could help them with repairs and so much else. He would make himself useful. Tony sat up on the table he had been pushed onto and looked the man in the eye. He had to be the Phil that Bruce had sent Pepper after.

“I wanna join.”

“Mr. Stark…” Phil started. Tony heard the gasp from Pepper at the name. Phil just placed a hand on hers and she calmed down. “We can’t just…”

“I am seventeen and I turn eighteen in just three months. I’m a hard worker.”

“That is not the problem. We all have jobs here. What can you do?” The redhead asked as she stepped closer to him. Tony could feel her looking at all the bruises on his stomach.

“I can build things. I can fix things, like your popcorn machine.”

“What’s wrong with the popcorn machine?” Phil asked.

“I was here a few days ago, I got a large popcorn and there was a lot of kernels unpopped. I know that popcorn is cheap but if you can more out of it plus the last to pop seemed fine but there was a smell of burnt popcorn meaning to get it all popped is taking too long. I can fix that. I can fix anything.”

“I see.” Phil’s voice sounded n convinced.

Tony huffed and jumped off the table. He was gone before anyone could stop him. He took off at a run so hard that with his nose, his face as aching. He didn’t stop until he was on the other side of city; near the ATM he used all the time. He saw the bank was still open and went inside. He found a teller and handed her the card and his ID.

“I’d like to withdraw all the money from this account.” The woman looked at the debit card and then back at the ID before looking at him.

“Yes, Mr. Stark. Right away. It will take a few minutes.”

A few minutes later she came back with a briefcase. He recognized it as one of the ones his father used all the time. It would only respond to his or his father’s finger prints. The woman leaned close before she spoke. “There a little over a million dollars in there. We felt it best if we used the case. I hope you come back soon, Mr. Stark.”

“Thank you.” Tony left before she could really look at him. he was sure that his father would be notified soon of his withdraw but since that was his account of money that his father had put in there for him, his father couldn’t get him for stealing. He hadn’t known there was there was that much inside there.

Exiting the bank, Tony saw a man looking at him from across the street. He barely paid attention. He garnered a lot of stares all the time. It was what came with the Stark name. He put his cards back in his wallet. If he wasn’t found and was able to hide, Obie would make sure more money was put in. Obie was more a father than Howard had ever been but even Obie turned a blind eye to the abuse.

It didn’t take him long to remember where the closest bus terminal was and he was at the counter ready to buy a ticket when a girl about his age stepped up to him. She smiled at him and pointed to someone across the way. It was the man from outside the bank. Tony gripped his briefcase tighter, afraid that it was someone trying to steal his money. He still walked towards the man. On a closer inspection, the man wasn’t that much older than him.

“Clint Barton and this is Darcy Lewis, Tony. Pleased to make your acquaintance.”

“Who are you?”

“I was getting to that. I was tasked with following you and seeing what you were going to do. My employer doesn’t like runaways to be on their own.”

“Employer?” Tony asked at the same time that Darcy laughed. Tony looked to the side at her and saw that she wasn’t laughing at Tony but at Clint.

“Given that you were running away on the first bus that you found, he is inclined to take you up on your offer.”

“Offer?” Tony asked then he really looked at the man in front of him. Stick in a black and purple leather outfit and it was the marksman from the circus. Tony smiled at him and nodded his head.

“Good. Let’s go.”

“Why did he change his mind?”

“Tasha.”

“Tasha?”

“The creepy redhead,” Darcy supplied. “She has a soft spot for those who…”

“The broken as she calls them.”

Three Months Later

Tony had been fitting in rather well. It hadn’t taken long to see that the circus needed a mechanic of sorts for all the vehicles and machines, many of which were on their last legs. Tony’s money had gone to getting what he needed to do his job as well as a trailer for him to live in. He hadn’t minded bunking with Darcy but he had been used to being alone. Many of the workers for the circus rotated in and out after a few cities but the core of the circus was the same.

Phil Coulson owned it. Tony now knew why Darcy had laughed that first time night. Tony had been unable to sleep one night and found Clint and Phil going back to Phil’s trailer. It wasn’t long before the other couple’s became known to Tony. Pepper and Bruce were married. Darcy’s best friend Jane, who was the assistant to Thor, was also Thor’s lover. Thor was the strong man for the circus. He lived up to his name as he looked like he should be a Norse God. Natasha was with someone named Bucky who was taking care of some family business.

There was one trailer that while it was taken around with the circus, it was never opened and there was a tent that was never erected. Tony was too afraid to ask, not wanting to rock the boat.

The travel had been well and they were at their next stop a day early. The whole of the circus was using it to set things up slowly but for Tony is meant more work. It meant there was time for some repairs. He was in the middle of fixing one of the food trailers when he heard a squeal from the center of living trailer area and he wanted to see what was going on. He found Natasha in the arms of a man. He had his arms around her waist while her legs were wrapped around his. Natasha was kissing the man like she hadn’t seen him in months and given that Tony was sure this was Bucky, she hadn’t. What he hadn’t expected was to see another man beside Bucky. Clint was at his side, gripping his shoulder and talking to him. Tony waved at Clint who waved back before he went back to fixing the deep fryer.

That night, Tony was working on a small helper bot for himself when he heard a knock on his door. It was rare that anyone ever came to see him at night. He opened his door to see the man from earlier with Bucky standing there.

“Stark?” the man asked. Tony smiled and nodded. The man was cute. He looked to be about twenty three or so. “Good. I didn’t believe them that there was a mechanic. Phil finds it hard to keep them around. They usually find a place and end up staying there. Though this red and gold trailer, it wasn’t here when I left.”

“And you are?”

“Sorry. I am Steve Rogers, the Captain. I’ve been gone for a few months, family issues. Anyway, I can’t get anything to turn on in my trailer. I was hoping you would come and look at it.”

“Sure. Let me grab some tools and I will.” Tony reached back in and a grabbed a few things before turning back to face Steve. Tony followed him to the unused trailer and Steve let him in quickly.

“Clint showed me around today. I saw the new sets for some of the shows you’ve done. They look wonderful.”

“Thanks.” Tony pulled opened the junction box and started to mess around. He found the issue quickly enough. He didn’t have what was needed. “I need to head into town and get some parts. You had a friend nest in this while you were gone. Ate through almost all of the wires. I don’t have a car…”

“I have a truck. Usually I drive it while Bucky drives my trailer. I’ll take you into town. Can we go now?” Steve asked. Tony nodded and set all his stuff down. He would just leave it there. He would need it all when he got back.

Halfway to town, Tony’s stomach rumbled and Steve laughed.

“I heard Pepper worrying about some new guy named Tony who didn’t eat. Didn’t figure it was the mechanic.”

“Was working on my bot and forgot to eat. Happens a lot. Just pull through a drive through and I’ll grab something.”

“Nope. My treat. We’ve stopped in this town before. There’s a nice twenty four hour diner near here. I can stand to eat. I had a late lunch on the road.”

Tony bristled a little. He was sick of people thinking that he didn’t have money. “I can pay for myself.”

Steve smiled and patted Tony’s leg with his free hand and that sent shocks through Tony’s whole body. “I know that you can but repair of our trailers is ours to fix and while Phil doesn’t mind us using the circus mechanic, he expects us to pay them for their trouble. I thought, since you had to actually go and get things for this, I could at least buy you dinner and then I’ll pay you for the time it takes you to fix it.”

“Don’t worry about it, Steve. I do odd jobs to get more money. I don’t need money.”

The look that Steve gave him told him that Steve didn’t believe him. Tony didn’t really care.

xXxXxXx

It wasn’t until three weeks later when the seventh thing of Steve’s to break clued Tony in that more things were more than they seemed. Tony opened the door to see Steve holding a MP3 player in his hands, looking sheepish.

“I think it broke when I dropped it.”

Tony just glared at Steve but grabbed the phone and turned back into the trailer, leaving the door open so that Steve could follow him in. Steve sat down in his normal spot on the bed. Tony had ripped the guts from the trailer and made it one giant room. There was a small bathroom with just a shower and toilet. There was a cot right next to Tony’s workbench. It was where Steve always sat. Tony sat on the stool for the workbench. Tony opened up the MP3 player and started to look inside. A twittering drew Tony’s attention to Dummy, who was trying to get Steve’s attention.

“He really likes you. He’s scared of Thor and Coulson.” It took Tony ten minutes to fix the circuits and wires that Steve had broken or shook loose when he had ‘dropped’ the MP3 players. “You know I could build you a better one. Would be less likely to break.”

“I know. You keep telling me. I just….” Steve just shrugged. Tony wiped the back of his hand on his cheek where something was itching. Steve blushed as he leaned forward, grabbing at the towel on the edge of the bench. He wiped at Tony’s cheek where he had just wiped his hand. “You’ve got a little…”

Steve stuttering made Tony lean forward and kiss him. Steve dropped the towel and pulled on Tony, pulling him close and wrapping an arm around his waist and not letting go. It was Steve who deepened the kiss. Tony had been dancing around asking Steve out for quite a while. Pretty much since that first night after they had finished eating and were headed back to the circus with the things they needed to fix Steve’s trailer. The sound of a tool clattering to the ground made the both of them spring apart. Steve was panting and Tony was just staring at him.

“Phil told me you were eighteen but he gave me a funny look after that. He wouldn’t tell me what it was about.”

“Coulson is crazy.”

“He kept saying your name Tony Stark over and over. I didn’t get it.”

Tony felt the pang of guilt at that but he didn’t care about it. Neither Bucky nor Steve had put the connection together of whom he was and he really didn’t care if they ever did.

“Who knows about him?”

“Have you ever…” Steve trailed off but Tony followed his gaze to the cot.

“Yes, I have. I was at MIT when I was fourteen. I know the ins and outs of both kinds of sex, Steve.” That just seemed to make the older man blush a little more. Tony leaned forward again to kiss him. Steve pulled him fully into his lap and Tony just let him. He’d let Steve set the pace.

One Year Later

“So did I tell you that your dumb robot doesn’t like me talking on the phone,” Bucky said as he handed Tony a plate of pancakes. Steve, Natasha, Tony, and Bucky were out eating a late night breakfast at a twenty four hour diner.

“What?”

“My Air Force buddy James keeps trying to talk to me, about a week ago he called and Dummy kept running into my leg. He was interested about why there was a robot at the circus and I told him it was a helper bot for our crazy mechanic. He had to go after that and he hasn’t called back since.”

“Dummy just likes you because we keep kicking him out of the workshop,” Tony said with a leer at Steve who just blushed.

“So that’s what you call it now?” Natasha just stared at Tony.

“He doesn’t live there anymore,” Bucky said as he dug into his food. Steve just kept food in his mouth to keep from having to speak. “And I now have to knock before entering Steve’s trailer and tent…” Bucky’s eyes were at the door where Tony had just heard it ring to tell them that someone either left or entered. Steve turned his head to look as well.

“Rhodes!” Steve said as he stood up. Tony stiffened. There was no way that it was Rhodey. There were a lot of people named Rhodes. Steve walked out of Tony’s line of sight to go talk to whoever it was. Bucky was right after him.

“It’s a friend of theirs,” Natasha supplied as she ate her food. She didn’t even look up to look at the man. Tony heard a great deal of muttering but didn’t really care. He was so hungry. He heard three sets of feet head back and knew that the two men had to be bringing their friend.

“I want you to meet my boyfriend,” Steve said as he neared.

Tony was expecting a hand on his shoulder or something like that but the hand that eventually landed on his shoulder wasn’t Steve’s. It wasn’t even Bucky’s. It was Rhodey’s. Tony swallowed the bite of food in his mouth and stood up. There was Rhodey, standing in front of him. Steve stepped over frowning at Rhodey and reaching for Rhodey’s hand on Tony’s shoulder. Tony nearly collapsed at the sight of him. Rhodey had been the one thing that Tony had missed over the near year and a half.

“There was only one person that could have built a robot that when kicked from a room would go and bother someone and be named Dummy. When he called the mechanic crazy, I looked into Nights of Wonder circus and found that they had been in New York City when you had gone missing. I was surprised I hadn’t thought of it. I would that head anywhere.”

“Honey bear,” Tony said as he pulled Rhodey into a hug. Tony closed his eyes and held him hard. It took a few seconds for the joy to wear off and for him to think that if Rhodey had found him. “Does…”

“No. No one followed me and I’ve not spoken to your father since he called to tell me you had run away. I see that you are happy.”

“I am happier than I have been for a long time.”

“Good. I’ve spoken to your boss. He’s rather interested in having another body on hand that can control you.”

“Your commission?”

“When I pushed to have an investigation into why you left, your father had been discharged. Honorably but still discharged. I’ve been doing security for a local hospital until a week ago. I quit. Cashed in all my money and set off to find you. I am now helping Bucky with security at the circus.”

“How do you know each other?” Steve asked, stepping up to Tony. He looked a little jealous.

“Rhodey and I went to MIT together. Been buds since. I never knew that the two he wrote about in his troop were the two of you.” Tony smiled and leaned over to kiss Steve on the lips to calm him down.

“Tony Stark…son of Howard Stark of Stark Industries…” Steve went white as he looked at Tony.

“You mean you didn’t know?” Natasha asked.

“That’s why Phil kept saying your name over and over,” Steve said as he sat down in his chair. Tony laughed and the others sat down, Rhodey pulling over a chair.

“So you will have to tell me how you snagged this one.” Rhodey pointed over at Steve as he stole one of Tony’s biscuits.

“Anything you want as long as you stay,” Tony said.

“Never leaving your side. Someone has to protect you.” Everyone laughed and Tony soaked it up. He had everything he needed now with him at the circus. Rhodey was there and his new family was there. He didn’t ever see himself wanting to go back to the world where he was heir to Stark Industries. He never wanted to leave the circus.

The End

Savory Surrender

Title: Savory Surrender
Fandom: Avengers,
Year: 2013
Category: Food Porn, Slash
Ratings: PG-13
Pairings: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
Spoilers: Entire MCU,
Summary: Steve thought he knew what to expect when Tony told him he was making them dinner for their date. He’d heard about the omelette from Pepper. This was nothing like what he expected.
Words: 928
Notes: None
Warnings: None
Beta: None

As Steve stepped out of the elevator into Tony’s section of the tower, he stopped at the smell. Tony had promised to cook dinner for them for their date but he was unsure. He had heard the stories of the omelette debacle and was unsure of what he was going to be eating. He figured that Tony had actually ordered food from some high scale restaurant. He didn’t mind that. Eating here at the tower was his favorite place to eat and Tony was his favorite person to eat with. He didn’t care about the food.

The smell in the air was wonderful. Steve set his sketch case down on the couch and wandered towards the kitchen. Tony was there, at the stove, stirring something. He took in the food there at the table and what he could see of what was on the counters. He saw no evidence of take away boxes or anything of the like.

“Tony?”

“Steve!” Tony turned and smiled at him. He was wearing an apron that said Kiss the Cook. There was flour smeared on his face and various stains all over the otherwise white apron. “Sit! You’re early. There is a glass of wine there for you.”

“This smells wonderful!” Steve stepped up to the glass of wine and smelled it. It smelled very nice.

“Thanks. I have beef wellington in the oven. I’m working on dessert.”

“Anything I can do to help?” Steve looked at eh vegetables and mashed potatoes that were sitting on the stove. He could tell the food was not normal but he couldn’t for the life of him tell what the food was.

“Pour me a glass of wine?” Tony held his glass behind his back and Steve grabbed it to fill it. He could see apples in a skillet and it looked like he was caramelizing them. He could see some kind of pastry on the side. After a few seconds, Tony dumped the apples in the pastry and then covered it with some kind of crumble. As Steve sat down, Tony bent down and popped it in the oven, turning to look at Steve when he leaned back at the counter. He sipped at his wine and smiled. “What?”

Steve smiled back but he knew that the shock on the face was what Tony was questioning him about. “I wasn’t expecting for you to actually cook?”

“Why?” Tony moved to the table and sat down, across from Steve.

“I heard about the omelette.”

Tony’s face crumbled in confusion. Steve could see the gears working in his head as he tried to figure out Steve’s statement. “What omelette?”

“With Pepper, on the plane…when you were having issues with the arc reactor.”

“Issues is a nice way of putting it,” Tony said with a smirk on his face. Steve shrugged. “I remember now. I’ve always sucked at omelettes. I was under stress and not thinking quite right at that point in time.”

“Still it’s an omelette.”

“When I was in school at MIT, there was a small class of kids who liked to cook. I joined it because they treated me less like a freak than the others did. I kept the classes up even after I left MIT. Classes here and there held by chefs. I’ve even done some classes with world class chefs. Gordon is a great friend.”

“Ramsay?” Steve asked. He remembered seeing a few shows with the chef on TV.

“Yes, him. I’ll introduce you sometime.”

“No, it’s…”

“No, Gordon would love to meet you.” A timer dinged and Tony moved to get the food from the oven. He pulled out to mounds of something and quickly cut them and set them on a plate. He dished out two things from pots that were on the back of the stove. Setting Steve’s plate down in front of him, Tony looked at him with apprehension on his face.

“Looks wonderful and smells even better.” Steve waited for Tony to sit down with his own plate before he dug into the food himself. He noticed for the first time that there was a basket of bread there on the table. He reached out to grab one, feeling the warmth still in them. He bit into the roll and closed his eyes. He chewed with his eyes closed so when he opened them and Tony was just staring at him without having touched his food, he got worried. “What’s wrong?”

“I just need to know if you are going to make those noises throughout the whole dinner.”

“What noises?” Steve felt the blush start to creep up his neck.

“The ones you usually make when I am going down on you,” Tony said with a smirk on his lips.

Cheeks aflame, Steve looked down at his food. He hated it when Tony was crass like that but there was a small part of him that loved it. That was the part that was winning now. The smell of the food, the look of Tony in the apron, and the words from Tony’s mouth were mixing in his head and he wasn’t hungry anymore, at least not for food.

“How about we take a few hour rain check?” Steve asked as he looked back up at Tony. Tony was already standing with his hand out for Steve to take. Steve set his roll down on his plate. JARVIS would make sure that no one entered the floor so the food was safe, for however long it took for them to get back to it.

The End

Clockwork Hearts

Title: Clockwork Hearts
Fandom: MCU,
Category: Steampunk, AU,
Ratings: PG-13
Pairings: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark,
Spoilers: MCU,
Summary: Steve was hopeless when it came to science and whatever else Prince Tony did. Still when King Howard approached him to be Tony’s assistant, how could he say no? How could he turn down the chance to be close to the one that he had loved since they were children?
Words: 3,233
Notes: None
Warnings: None
Beta: None

“Do you want the job, Steve?” Howard asked from his position across the table. Steve looked at him in shock. The whole of the city and probably the Stark Empire knew what Howard was trying to do, all except Howard’s son Tony.

“I don’t think that I am qualified, My Lord.” Steve knew that he wasn’t but he wasn’t going to come out and say that Howard wasn’t thinking straight. Steve knew that he was getting frustrated by Tony not finding someone to settle down with but Steve thought that maybe Howard was going a little crazy.

“Steve, it’s Howard, I’ve known you since you were a babe. You, Bucky, Rhodey, and Tony terrorized this palace to no end. I know that Tony would enjoy having you as an assistant.”

Steve looked at Howard again in shock. Tony hadn’t wanted anything to do with him since he had returned from the war. Bucky and Rhodey were still out there, protecting the Empire and whenever Rhodey was in for a visit, he and Tony hung out to until Rhodey had to leave again but for Steve, Tony had looked at him, shook his hand, thanked him for his service and then had went right back to his experiments. Ever since then he hadn’t given him a second look.

“My son has turned down all females and males from the other kingdoms and empire across the stretch of the planet, Steve. He wants nothing to do with them. I could force him to marry one but that wouldn’t end well, he would terrorize his spouse until the day that he died. I am sure in the long run it would ruin the friendship between my Empire and that land.” Howard stood up and quickly moved to the table that held the drinks that Howard was so fond of. “This last war, the war that had you changed so much that my son wouldn’t recognize you, I saw what the world around me was really like. My Empire has been at peace for so many years that the Starks have forgotten what death is really like.

“My parents arranged my marriage to Maria. Love came after but we wed to stop a war. Tony needs not to. He can marry who he wants and he can marry for love. On Rhodey’s last visit in, after spend three days cooped up in Tony’s labs, he came out and we talked for a while. Did you know that when you were fifteen and Tony was twelve, he wanted to marry you? He came to me and asked for you to be allowed to marry him because you were the only one that he would stand to marry. I told him that he had to marry a prince or princess, he stormed out of the room and I did not see him for over three months. It was right after that you joined the militia to train and then just two years later, you were gone.”

“I never knew that, Sir.”

“I didn’t figure he ever told you. I don’t know why my son is acting like he is but I hope that being forced to be around you will pull Tony out of whatever funk he is in.”

“I don’t know what you aim to accomplish but I will agree to do it, when his current assistant quits. Until he truly wants me gone.”

“She did, this morning. Pepper took great delight showing her to the door.”

xXxXxXx

Steve entered Tony’s laboratory the next morning only to find a metal creature in front of him. The creature was not blocking the doorway all the way but it was hard for Steve to pass through. Tony rarely ever left the labs now. So to find Tony not there surprised Steve. He spent nearly thirty minutes looking for Tony. He checked in any place that Tony could have crawled into to sleep. The younger man was not there. He was on his way out when the metal creature shifted ever so slightly. It was barely a movement but a movement it was and Steve caught it.

Stepping up in front of the creature, Steve smiled at it.

“Captain,” Tony’s voice said from inside the creature. “I was not expecting you. Not able to find a job?”

“Your father came to me yesterday, after your last assistant left. He seems to think that I am the only one that you will not run off.” Steve didn’t like it when Tony called him Captain but it was all that Tony would call him now. He missed it when his name came off of Tony’s tongue.

Nothing came from inside the metal body. Steve waited and it wasn’t until he heard a few latches and the metal just collapsed down. Steve looked at the pieces and saw that it was a skin of some kind. An armor used in combat. It wasn’t anything fancy but it would do well in sieges. He could see mechanics inside that were used for movement but it wouldn’t be fast movement.

“I call them the Iron Men. This one is the prototype that I fixed up after the demonstration for father. He liked them a great deal and called for forty to be made to protect the castle. I handed the plans over yesterday.”

“That’s good.” Steve was surprised but he knew he really shouldn’t be. Tony had always had ideas; it was bound to happen that a few actually worked the way he wanted them to.

“So you actually plan on doing this?” Tony asked as he moved to a workstation and grabbed a few tools before walking back to the armor. He sat on a bench and started to mess with some of the inner workings of the armor.

“Doing?” Steve asked. He really wasn’t sure what Tony was talking about but even as a child he had talked circles around the other kids that he hung out with, even though most of them were older than him.

“I know that you hate the science that I do.”

“Hate?” Steve asked. This was the first time that Tony had even talked about knowing Steve. Grabbing a stool, Steve sat down beside him.

“You never came to my labs too much before. You’d always talk to Bucky or Rhodey when I was talking to the other about science.”

That’s when it all clicked. Everything made sense now. Steve had left without telling Tony in person that he was joining the militia. He had done it in a peak of rage after he and Tony had fought. While he had been inside the city for the two years of training, he hadn’t had much time and he always thought that Tony had been mad that he had joined up. The fight that had preceded the join up had been the worst of the ones that they had gotten into. He remembered the fight like it was yesterday.

Steve and Bucky had been brought to live in the castle when they had been but babes. Raiders that attacked the Stark Empire had killed both of their parents. Steve’s mother and father had been great friends of Howard and when they died, he took Steve in. Finding out that there was no one for Bucky to go to and that Bucky and Steve were friends, he had taken the other boy in as well. When Tony had come into the picture just a year later, Steve and Bucky had thought they were going to be pushed to the side but it became apparent early on that the little Prince Tony liked Steve. There were some days that only Steve being around made Tony happy. That had made Queen Maria very happy as that meant she didn’t have a crying child on her hands as much.

Rhodey came into the group one summer day as the three of them were trying to escape the castle. His name was James Rhodes but given that they already had Bucky whose first name was also James, Rhodey became his name thanks to Tony. The other boy didn’t blink an eye and later that night when all four had been brought before Howard and the newest Captain of the Guard, Rhodey’s father, the fun had stopped. Until Howard had started to laugh. The king had made comments about keeping the guard on their toes and if they couldn’t keep a group of children in the castle how well would they do at keeping intruders out.

That’s the way it was for years. Rhodey was being groomed to take his father’s job and Tony was being groomed to be king one day. Steve and Bucky though had never been trained to do much of anything other than odd jobs around the castle. When Rhodey and gone to the militia to train, Bucky had followed him. Tony had been ten at the time. It was just two years later that Steve and gone to Tony’s laboratory to find him working on a bomb of some kind. War had just broken out between the raiders and the Stark Empire. He hated seeing Tony work on things like that but the boy was a genius, even at twelve. That had scared him so much, seeing Tony working on something so dangerous.

It had set the mood for the fight. Steve was now fifteen and could find a job to do, he needed to. He could apprentice with any profession he wanted but what he wanted was to join the militia with Bucky and Rhodey. Tony hadn’t taken that well. It had followed so close to the death of his mother and while his father loved him, Howard was busy and hadn’t made time for his grieving son. The fight had been horrible and Steve had marched from the room and went and signed up for the militia. He was training started the next day and only made time to see Tony when Tony was out and about and Steve seen him.

The two years of training flew by and then Steve was with Bucky and Rhodey at the front lines. At fifteen when he had joined, Steve had been the smallest boy there. When he met up with Bucky and Rhodey, seeing them for the first time since they had joined almost four years before, he had forgot how tall he had really gotten until he was towering above them. Bucky hadn’t recognized him.

“Cadet Rogers,” Bucky had called. Bucky had looked down the line of cadets that had just arrived at the front lines. There were fifty of them total and they would all be split into ten groups. Bucky had been the one sent to get the new blood for his troop. “I have a friend waiting back home whose last name was Rogers.” Bucky never looked up from his list.

“Yes, Sir. He’s not at home anymore.” Steve cherished the look on Bucky’s face when he gave him the second look. He smiled at him and that’s when Bucky knew him.

“Tony has to be so pissed at you for leaving him,” Bucky’s first words had been. It was then that Steve should have known. Everyone else had seen it. Every single person saw it and knew that Tony had been in love with him. He had just never seen it. He had left, possibly never coming back and Tony had loved him. The militia had taught him a few things. All those things that had gone over his head when Tony was talking didn’t go over his head as much.

Steve had been too worried about proving to Tony that he was worth something that he missed that to Tony he was worth everything already. The only thing that Steve had to do was stay. Steve now had so much to make up for. The opening had Steve stepped back from Tony. He didn’t mean to but he moved so that whoever was entering didn’t see him.

“There he is, Malcolm. Go say hi to daddy.”

“DADDY!” a voice rang out in the laboratory. Tony spun around and looked wide eyed at Pepper and little Malcolm. Pepper saw it but not quickly enough. As she entered the room more she saw Steve standing there. Malcolm didn’t care he ran and jump up into Tony’s arms.

“I am sorry, Tony.”

“No, it’s fine. I know that you have never met him. Pepper Potts, meet Steven Rogers.”

“Captain Steven Rogers, hero of the Raider Wars?” Pepper asked, reaching out to shake his hand. Steve nodded and she smiled at him. “Is he also the Steve?”

“Yes, Ma’am.” He wasn’t sure what she meant by the Steve but he was sure that he was the only Steve that Tony would be talking about.

“No need for that, Steve. I’m Pepper. I think that I should take Malcolm to my mother for her to watch for the day.”

“No, I can still watch him today. Steve was just leaving. My father thought he was being cute and setting up Steve as my new assistant.”

Pepper looked between the two of them for a few seconds before she smiled again. “I don’t know. I bet Malcolm might like Steve to hang around.”

Tony just at her for a few seconds before sighing. “Not you, too. Pep you are the light of my life, why do you do this to me?”

“Because I know you better than anyone and I know what you need, even if you don’t.”

“Pep…”

Steve watched as the two of shared looks, having a silent conversation. Pepper was the one to win because Tony slumped in defeat and waved her away. She kissed Malcolm’s cheek and walked from the room.

“Malcolm, why don’t you go play in your room and I’ll be there as soon as I clean up.”

Malcolm nodded and wandered off into another room. Steve hadn’t even seen the door there, it was so well hidden. Malcolm had to fiddle with a few things in the wall and then it opened.

“Security door. You have to hit a few things in the correct order to get it to open. It doubles as a safe room for him, Pepper, and me if need be. Father has one in the throne room.”

“All those new things like the clockwork sneaker things that would record a few minutes of conversation and then return were something you created?”

“Almost everything from the war, I created. I am very good at clockwork things as well as other things. That Iron Man you saw will be used to guard the castle once enough of them are made. They are going to look more like the suits of armor that grace the entire castle. Attackers that don’t look like attackers. I have the ability to make clockwork creatures out of them as well. They can be taught to fight whoever attacks them.”

Steve just stared in shock. One of the small clockwork message deliverers saved his life out in the field one day. In fact the thing had malfunctioned because of it and his commander had given it to him, since all it did was follow him around. Bucky had named it Dummy and even now it was in Steve’s room. He wondered if he brought it to Tony if he could fix it.

“I see. I see that you moved on while we were gone.”

“What?” Tony looked up at him from where he was cleaning up his workbench. “Gods, no. My father spent the entire year of my fifteenth year telling me that I needed to marry and produce an heir. It was when the war took a bad turn before you single handedly went behind enemy lines and saved our troops that had been taken captive. I told father it was because they had taken Bucky. If it had been Rhodey taken, I would have been right there with you. Or you…”

“Then how did you get Malcolm?” Steve felt his heart break a little.

“I talked Pepper into it. No one knows that she is the mother. Pepper is rarely seen away from the castle and it was easy to hide her pregnancy, she didn’t get much bigger, she carried him really far back. About a month after the birth, he was given to a guard by a disguised Pepper, saying that he was the son of the Stark Prince. Father was the first to get his hands on him. It wasn’t that hard to prove. He has the same pale blue circle birthmark on his chest that father and I have.”

“And no one knows?”

“Father charged Pepper with helping to raise him. She and her mother know. Father was told later, after it was all said and done and the stink of the Prince having a child out of wedlock passed over. He wasn’t much too happy but he learned to live with it. I won’t marry just anyone.”

“That’s why your father has been trying to set you up?”

“What?” Tony asked looking up at him. Tony had put on a pair of glasses, his eyes were huge. Steve tried not to laugh and succeeded, barely.

“All your assistants. He’s been trying to get you to settle down with someone.”

“Then why…” Tony looked at Steve in shock. As he looked at Steve though the shock changed to anger. “I never should have…” Tony pulled the glasses off and set them on the table before moving to the room that Malcolm had disappeared into. “I don’t want to see you again, ever.”

“Tony!” Steve said as he stepped up to the prince, grabbing his arm and making Tony look at him. “No. I…”

Tony made to slap him but Steve caught his hand with his other hand. Before Tony could do or say anything, Steve was leaning forward and kissing Tony. Tony fought him for a few seconds and then stopped. He relaxed and opened his mouth. Steve dropped his hands and cupped Tony’s face. He pulled back seconds later.

“I thought I had to prove to you and your father that I was worthy…That I could marry you. I didn’t know that you already loved me and that your father would have let us marry.”

“You…”

“I’ve loved you since we were children, Tony. I never would have left if I had known that you loved me too.”

Six Months Later
“Are you sure this is safe?” Pepper asked as she looked down at the ground underneath her. She looked back at Tony and Steve who were talking with the captain of the airship. Malcolm was with one of the crewman at the bow of the ship looking out at the people who had gathered to send their prince and his new husband off.

“Safe as houses, Pep. I wouldn’t risk Malcolm and you know it.”

“He’s put me through my paces over the past two month, Ma’am,” the captain said as he smiled at her. Pepper smiled and nodded. Tony and Steve were going on their honeymoon and Malcolm wanted to go so Pepper went to help watch him. It was also a vacation away for her because while they were gone, Howard was going to announce that Pepper was the mother of Malcolm and the circumstances of his birth and why Tony did what he did. Pepper was hoping that the shock will have mostly died down by the time that they all came back.

What Tony didn’t know is that Howard was going to be stepping down in a few years and Tony was going to be taking over. It was best to wait until closer to tell Tony. Howard wanted to spend more time with Malcolm before he got too old to enjoy it.

Pepper couldn’t wait to see him sitting on the throne. He would be a good king, even if she and Steve were going to be running the Empire more than him. He would protect it and that was what they needed.
The End

An Omega Today, Iron Man Yesterday

Title: An Omega Today, Iron Man Yesterday

Series: Yesterday & Today Series 1

Fandom: Avengers, Marvel Cinematic Universe,

Year: 2013

Category: Trope Bingo Round One, Alpha/Beta/Omega,

Ratings: T

Pairings: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark, Clint Barton/Phil Coulson, Natasha Romanov/James “Bucky” Barnes, Thor/Jane Foster, Pepper Potts/Happy Hogan,

Spoilers: Entire MCU

Summary: The world was so vastly different for Steve when he woke up that he wasn’t sure he wanted to be there. The only bright side was that he could now have a job different than the military. Alphas, Betas, and Omegas were normal citizens who could do what they wanted. Steve wasn’t sure what he wanted to be.

Words: 5,277

Notes: For Round One of TropeBingo.

Warnings: No Knotting,

Beta: Unbetaed

It took Steve Rogers two months to catch up on the world at large, or at least the history of the world at large. He found the world very changed from the time he went into the ice to the time he woke up. During the war, Steve had been valued as an Alpha. They were wonderful soldiers but on leave, he was treated like dirt outside of the Howling Commandos.

One of the first things that he had found out upon waking was that Stark Industries had been the pioneer of treatments to stop heat and the production of pheromones. Alphas had no issue with either of those issues; Steve knew it was for mainly for Omegas but the suppression of pheromones was wonderful for all of them in the field. It had always been touch and go with missions in World War II. Every single time that the Howling Commandoes had gone on a mission, it had been a crap shoot to hope there wasn’t a Alpha or Beta hiding among the men they were fighting. Most of the time, the others would keep their mouth shut to not be  found out but others were crafty and would stumble upon Steve and his group.

In this day and age, it was hard for even Steve to figure out who was human and who was not. Steve really didn’t care but when he couldn’t even on his own team and the files on said team were limited, Steve had to work harder to head off threats.

“Iron Man,” Steve said looking at the man near him. He was sure it was a man, the voice was distorted but manly. It seemed that even SHIELD had no clue who Iron Man was. Steve had tried hard to figure it out but Iron Man was hard to place and figure out. He had met the creator of the armor, Tony Stark, weeks ago for the first time. During Loki’s invasion, Stark had been hidden in the bowels of the ship, away from everyone, even Doctor Banner. In fact it had been a mistake him meeting Stark for the first time. The creator had been wandering around the newly finished Avengers Tower, looking for coffee grounds. Steve had been up for a little while, getting ready for his run.

Stark had been staring at coffee pot while it brewed, just staring off into space. He wasn’t sure who the man was at first until he had turned and Steve had caught sight of the Arc Reactor peaking out from under his shirt. Stark hadn’t said a word, just filled his cup and walked away without even really paying attention to Steve.

“Captain?” Iron Man turned to look at him.

“I wanted to talk to Stark about something. I tried calling him but he never picks up. I was wondering how I go about getting ahold of him another way.”

“Call Miss Potts, even though she runs the company now, she would be your best bet.”

“Thanks,” Steve said as Iron Man flew away. The days battle had been won and talked about. He was sure that Stark would be up all night working on the armor and getting it fixed up.

Steve changed and took a jet down to the city, where he was dropped off at a corner place that was used for getting to and from the helicarrier. He was surprised when he stepped out of the house that he was dropped on the top of and found a car waiting for him. A man was standing there. Steve started down the street and was called back by a voice.

“Captain Rogers?” the voice said. It was the man at the car. “Happy Hogan, Sir. Mr. Stark’s personal driver. He’s not at the Tower tonight, instead he is at the Stark Mansion, working on a few things. Iron Man stated that you wanted to speak to him about some things. I was sent to collect you.”

“Okay,” Steve said and he moved back towards the car. Happy opened the back seat door and Steve let himself drop into the car. Once Happy got in, he lowered the divider so that they could talk. “Where is the mansion?”

“Not far actually. Mr. Stark goes there on occasion to upgrade the house security and to just get a few days break from the R&D department and from SHIELD. Miss Potts keeps everyone away.”

“It was no big thing, Happy. I could talk to him at any time.” Steve felt bad that he was going to intrude on Stark’s alone time away from it all.

“No, it’s fine. Mr. Stark was happy to have some company.” Happy smiled at him in the rearview mirror. Steve nodded and turned to look out the window. It took them twenty minutes to get to the mansion but Happy was right as far as New York City went, it wasn’t that far. Stark was waiting at the door when Happy stopped the car in front of the house. Stark waved and Steve got out of the car. Stark looped an arm around Steve’s shoulder and led him into the house, chattering as he did. He wasn’t sure why Stark was so…touchy. Everything single thing he had been told about the man screamed that he didn’t like to be touched. There was the thing that Clint had talked about, about Stark not liking to be handed things.

“Good to have you here, Captain.”

“Thanks. It could have waited, Stark.”

“Nonsense. I needed a break from my break. Anyway I could use your help with something.” Steve got lost as Stark pulled him through the house. There in a bedroom was a giant trunk. “I was going to call Fury and have him send people to move it but you will do nicely.”

“What is it?”

“My father’s things. Old project notes and the like. There is even a file in there somewhere on you.”

“Me?”

“He was keeping tabs on the Serum reacting with your…” Stark trailed off and shrugged.

Steve was sure that he knew what Stark was talking about.

“Anyway, call me Tony. Mr. Stark was my father. You live with me, even if I never see you.”

“That’s not my fault,” Steve said. Tony gave him a rakish smile and Steve found himself blush a little. There was something about Stark…Tony that had his heart racing a little. It had been that way since the beginning. Then there was Iron Man. The personality that he had got to know, Steve found himself drawn to the man in the suit as well.

“No, I know. Pepper bothers me about it all the time but I just…” Tony waved and stopped talking, looking at the trunk. “So, this needs to go to the basement where the rest of my father’s things are.”

“Would I…?” Steve stopped.

“Get me word from Fury of what you can look at. I am not even sure if you can look at your own file that I have.” Tony laughed and Steve found himself smiling despite the words the other man was saying.

“Your father was a great man.” Tony’s face fell so quickly that Steve wasn’t even sure what he had done until he remembered his words. He forgot that Fury had warned him about Tony not liking his father and from what he had read, Howard hadn’t liked his son either.

“If you weren’t his son,” Tony said. The tone of his voice told Steve that it was a closed topic and Steve let it go. He picked up the trunk and Tony directed him to the elevator. The trunk wasn’t too heavy for Steve but he could see where Tony would have trouble with it, Tony didn’t look that strong. The truck was very awkward, even for him to carry. While the other man stood in front of him, Steve let himself check the man out. He wasn’t in the past and Fury told him as long as it didn’t make the front page, he didn’t care what Steve did in bed, or who he did. Steve would not turn Tony down…if Tony wanted him. Steve had figured out long ago that he needed to do what he needed to make himself happy and if Tony would make him happy, he would grasp that with open hands. He didn’t care about his Alpha status, not for that. Alphas could be happy with just about everyone.

The bell on the elevator dinged and Steve followed Tony into what looked like a workout room.

“This is the bigger of the two workout rooms that my father had installed. He liked to vent his frustration on heavy bags so he had two rooms. One is on the second floor and this one is closer to his labs.”

“Do you do much?” Steve looked at Tony’s arms again and this time could see where there was some muscle tone. He was small and it was deceptive on what was on his body.

“I have some cardio that I do but as far as fighting, I know how to fight dirty and that’s it.” Tony smiled at him again, showing no pain from the past remark that Steve had made. He was sure that Tony hadn’t forgot about it, just filed it away for a later time to throw in his face.

“Why didn’t your…” Steve stopped talking.

“He had too much to do for equality of Alphas, Betas, and Omegas after the war. I wasn’t that high on his list of things to look after.”

“I know that he died and I am sorry for that.” Steve knew the pain of not measuring up to what a parent wanted and even if that parent was dead, the pain was still there.

“I’m not. I miss him but…I was just a disappointment to him. That started at birth.”

Birth? There were few things that a child could do to be a disappointment at birth. There was only one big thing that came to Steve’s mind. Tony was either born human or born as a class that Howard didn’t want. Steve remembered Howard talking about wanting a boy and wanting it to be a Alpha. Howard himself was an Alpha and given that Betas were sterile, Tony’s mother had to be just plain human or a Omega. Steve wasn’t going to ask. Tony just opening up like this. He had heard Fury talk about Tony being as talkative about things Fury didn’t need to know and being mute on things he didn.

Tony said nothing, just pointed for Steve to set the thing down.

“What can I do for you?” Tony asked. It threw Steve for a loop. He had forgot that he needed something from Tony. Steve shook his head to try and set his mind to rights.

“I…SHIELD gave me a phone but I think that it’s a phone for people the age I should be.” PUlling the phone from his pocket he held it up. Tony started to laugh.

“You want a better phone?” Tony asked holding his hand out. He flipped the phone open and stabbed at for a few seconds with his fingers before he closed it and handed it back.

“And lessons.” Steve watched Tony’s face light up even more. He smirked at Steve and clapped him on the back. He motioned for Steve to follow him. They ended up back in the elevator and Tony didn’t say one word. Tony made his way through the rest of the mansion and they appeared in a kitchen. There was food sitting on the counter and Steve wondered why it was there and not in the cupboards where it belonged. Then Steve remembered that Tony didn’t spend that much time there. It was probably better to just leave it out. Tony pulled open the fridge door and pulled out a jug of milk. He set it down on the counter and poured Steve a glass before putting it up. Out of the fridge came a bottle of something green and thick looking that Tony took a drink of.

“How about a trade. I’ll get you one of the latest StarkPhones and you teach me to fight.” Tony wasn’t looking at him as he talked. That was something that Pepper had told him about. He didn’t like to look at people when he was asking them something, so that he wouldn’t have to see them turn him down. Steve was finding that being a guy that people could talk to easy was working out in his favor for once. He was sure that he wasn’t prepared for all that Tony was but he was finding the man not as scary as the others were making him out to be. That could be just because the wanted things from Steve as well and was acting well to get what he wanted.

“What?”

“I live in Avengers Tower. At some point, a villain is going to break in. I am sure that some of the villains might even be coming for me. I should know how to fight. Fury wanted me to learn from Hawkeye and Widow but I vetoed that.” The look on Tony’s face said it all. He knew that Tony didn’t trust Natasha as far as he could throw her and since she and Clint were close, Tony probably didn’t trust him much either. Steve wasn’t even sure that Tony trusted him at all. It would be understandable. Steve had only seen the man on a few occasions and just because Steve knew his father, didn’t automatically add trust into the situation.

“I think we can do that.” Steve smiled at him and Tony gave him a smile back.

“I’ll text you and we can set up something. I have your number and I’ll let you know when your phone is ready. I have a few ideas in mind on things you might need…”

“Tony…” Steve knew that Tony could go overboard. He had seen some of the armors that Iron Man had worn at points. Tony always wanted to go the extra mile, even if two inches was enough.

“Don’t worry. I was thinking about doing Superhero phones for a while now. I am sure that Richards would love one…” Toy wandered off drinking his green goop and Steve had to stop and think for a few seconds who Richards was. He wasn’t used to calling the other heroes by their given names, he knew them more by their superhero names. Steve was unsure of what to do. He finished his glass of milk and that’s when it hit him. There were not many people who knew that he liked milk, outside of the Avengers. It was something that his body hadn’t like too much when he had been sickly and now he couldn’t get enough of it. He thought of JARVIS and wondered if the AI had told him. He wondered briefly when the conversation of him liking milk had come up between the AI and his inventor. Pushing it from his mind, Steve let himself from the mansion. Happy was waiting there, door open and smiling.

“Get what you need?” Happy asked as he shut the door to the car. It was seconds and he was sitting in the driver’s seat.

“Yes. I think that I did and more than I wanted at that.” Steve wondered how much more than what he wanted was he going to end up with.

“Mr. Stark is odd that way. He is rather free with his things. He gives without thought of cost. It’s best just to take what he gives. Only fight him if it is something that you just can’t take for one reason or another.”

Steve let himself mull over the words that Happy told him. He had a lot to think of.

xXxXxXx

At the end of the next month, Steve found that he liked his StarkPhone quite a bit. Tony was getting more out of the deal, Steve knew that and he didn’t mind it at all. The other man had been opening up even more over the past month. He was getting smiles from Tony that he had never seen on his face before, even in the news article pictures. The smiles were real and Steve cherished them. He knew that he was falling in love. Steve gave him weekly lessons on fighting. Tony was quick and fit, that was a good thing. Steve had a good grasp of what to do with his phone. He rarely had questions but during his and Tony’s phone lessons, Steve would watch as Tony worked on other things, usually phones and what the other man called tablets. Tony worked and talked quickly and Steve couldn’t follow most of it. It was nice though, he never spoke down to Steve about not knowing any of what Tony was talking about. Instead he just talked as he would to anyone else. Steve was finding that he was picking a lot of it up. Even though most of it went over his head, each day he could understand more and more.

“So are we on today?” Tony asked as he entered the workout room. Steve stopped his warm-up when he got a good look at the other man. He was wearing a black t-shirt, which was odd; Tony was usually in a tank top of some kind. Second thing that he noticed was that Tony was run down. He remembered hearing the other man talk about repairs to the Iron Man suit, while muttering about his bodyguard not caring how much time he spent repairing things that could easily have been avoided and about some kind of merger that Miss Potts had wanted his help on but he hadn’t paid it much mind, Tony always had a lot of things going. This wasn’t that though. Steve had seen that look on people at SHIELD’s face a lot. When an Omega missed their pills and went into heat. Steve didn’t say a word though. Tony’s personal life was Tony’s personal life. He had read too much about it as it was in the paper but he felt that if it was in print he needed to know. All of the Avengers were asked about Tony’s life on a near daily basis. He was only one that was part of the Initiative that wasn’t in the public eye on a daily basis.

“Not if you don’t want to be,” Steve hedged out. He didn’t want to force Tony to do anything. He didn’t want to hurt the man. If Tony’s full thought wasn’t on the training, he could get hurt.

“Good. I really just want to sit down and relax. I can use these two hours to get away from everything.”

“Two?”

“I sort of lied to Pepper and told her that we were going to be doing two hours on Wednesday. It would give me an hour to relax.”

Steve laughed and picked up his workout bag. He had brought a few things that he wanted to do with Tony with him but the man was too tired. Steve was sure that a feather could knock him over.

“I’ll go change then.” Steve waited for Tony to absentmindedly nod at him before he left the room.

Ten minutes later, he came back out after a very quick shower and he looked for Tony, who was lying on a weight bench with his arm draped over his eyes to block out the light.

“Tony?” Steve called. The other man didn’t make a move so Steve touched the other man’s shoulder. Tony rolled off of the bench and landed on his feet. His eyes were wide and Steve wasn’t sure what the man was going to do. Tony didn’t do anything, he just stood there. It was a few seconds before Tony really saw that Steve was the one who had touched him. Instead, in those seconds, Steve saw something that he never thought to see. Tony was standing there with one arm at his side and the other stretched out. It was a pose that Steve had seen a lot, when Iron Man was fighting.

Before Steve could do anything, Tony collapsed at his feet. Steve rushed forward. There was no one there at the Tower. Every single Avenger except themselves were out on missions. Iron Man was supposed to be on a armor test for a new part of the suit, Steve knew that was a lie.

“I have alerted Miss Potts, she is on her way.” JARVIS’s calm voice rushed over Steve and he calmed down. Picking Tony up gently, Steve carried him from the room. JARVIS’s soft voice pointed him in the direction of Tony’s bedroom. The door opened as Steve got to it. Instead of it being like he thought and just be a bedroom, it was just like the other suites, it was a living room of sorts with other rooms branching off of it. There was only one door closed and Steve marched over to it and shifted Tony so that he could open it and he was greeted with the sight of a bedroom. It was plain and normal in a way that Steve was sure was something that Tony was not. He expected something with more flare.

Ignoring the room, Steve set Tony down on the bed. The man was drenched in sweat. Steve wasn’t sure what to do so he found the bathroom and wet a washcloth. When he came back out, Tony was curled into a ball in the center of the bed. Steve tried to uncurl him but it didn’t work. Tony was gripping his knees tight with arms and wasn’t letting go. Steve ran his hand down Tony’s back and that’s when the smell hit him. Tony was an Omega. It wasn’t a full heat but it was something like it.

Not understanding why Tony was in pain and unconscious, Steve tried to calm him down by rubbing his back. Tony seemed to relax. He didn’t hear the opening of the door nor the click of the heels over the floor until Pepper was there beside him with a needle.

“Howard Stark created a serum that was supposed to have stop the heats for Omegas. He tried it on Tony.” Pepper said as she shoved the needle at him again. Steve took it this time. The liquid was a pale green color. “It seemed to work. This is what Tony is like now during most of his heats. He curls into a ball for days and then just wakes up. He only has on average one a year. Whatever magic Loki used on Tony about a month back, it stopped Tony’s own suppressants from working. It has also seemed to counteract whatever his father did to him. This is his second heat. Yesterday was a normal day. He locked himself up and beat up a robot. I had hoped that it meant he was fixed. Then JARVIS alerted me.”

Steve said nothing as he prepped the needle and then stuck it in Tony’s arm, depressing it all. After several minutes of silence, Tony uncurled.

“When was he going to tell the Avengers?”

“About his personal business, it’s not like he is needed?” Pepper asked. Steve looked up at her. It was a tone of voice that he had never heard come out of her mouth. She was glaring at him in a way that made Steve want to run for cover. “Why would he need to?”

“Because I count on Iron Man and he can’t do anything right now.”

“Just because Tony is out of commission doesn’t mean that Iron Man will be.”

“No. Because Iron Man is lying right there. When I scared him not to long ago, he jumped up and tried to fire his repulsors at me.”

“Oh,” Pepper said, her face not changing at all. She sighed and sat down on the edge of the bed. “I figured it would be Coulson who figured it out first. Tony was sure that no one would.”

“He’s been very good at hiding it all this time,” Steve said as he looked back down at Tony. The pain had to be going away because Tony was relaxing by the second it seemed. Reaching out, Steve brushed a lock of hair back from Tony’s forehead. “Why?”

“Because as much as Howard went for equality for the Alphas, Betas, and Omegas, he hated his son for not being an Alpha. Being an Omega was a shame for Tony. You, Bruce, Thor, and even Natasha are Alphas. Clint is a Beta. He’s tried so hard all his life to hide what he was. Especially after the death of his father. There would have been those that would take what was his because he was an Omega. Even now, there are those who call for an Omega to be added to the team but where is that Omega?”

Steve lowered his head so that he didn’t have to look at her. He had heard those cries and while the Avengers were supposed to protect the entire world, there was a small population that wasn’t shown. Steve himself had been searching for a super hero that was an Omega; they either didn’t exist or were hiding because of the stigma.

“I’ve been searching. I really have. I’ve not found one.”

“There is one right there,” Pepper said pointing at Tony. Steve looked at him. Tony looked so small on the bed and Steve’s heart broke a little. “You’ll just have to convince him to come out to the world.”

“And you think that I can do that?” Steve asked. He reached out to wipe at Tony’s face again. He wasn’t sweating as much as he had been but Steve still wiped down his face and neck again.

“I think that you are the only one who can,” Pepper said. Steve barely heard and he turned to look at her, only to find her going out the door. He stared at where she had shut the door for a while before turning back to Tony. He set the washcloth down on the bedside table and stood up to shift Tony around in the bed to cover him up. When he was done and Tony was resting better, Steve left the room.

“JARVIS let me know if he needs anything,” Steve asked outside the bedroom door.

“Yes, Captain.”

Steve moved to the common room and sat down. He picked up the StarkTablet that was left lying on the coffee table. Steve was used to seeing it lying around. Tony was always forgetting where he left it. He turned it on and waited for it to start up. A blinking space for a password had Steve staring at it for a few seconds. He was about to turn it off when the sound of a small cough had him looking up to see who had come into the room. There was no one.

“If I may, Sir. You need only enter that which Iron Man always protects.”

Steve looked up at a small camera, as if staring there would give him the answer. Iron Man protected Tony and Pepper and sometimes the world when he worked with the Avengers. That’s when the answer hit him, Iron Man always protected Captain America. It always irked him that the bodyguard in the suit ignored orders and went after him. He had always figured that Fury had told Iron Man to make sure that Steve didn’t do anything stupid in the beginning. When Steve had been lost in the pain of the past but now…

Steve typed in his own name and it allowed him access. It took Steve a while. The tablet was much like his phone but there were differences. He accessed files all over the device, never finding what he was looking for. Tony had to have access to records on super heroes. He had to have created files that documented all Omega super heroes. He knew Tony would want to protect them.

He found a file that was hidden and it was hidden well. It was titled War Machine and Steve had passed it several times and had thought it was about it the suit. Instead it was a listing of the super heroes by their status. The Alphas and Betas were listed with the Omega’s in another column. Their names were in some kind of code though. Steve sighed and closed the file, wiping the history like Tony had taught him.

“Thank you, JARVIS.”

“Sir is very paranoid.”

“I can understand.”

xXxXxXx

As far as Tony knew, Pepper had Happy carry him to his room and Steve didn’t know either of his secrets. Life went on and Tony was as happy as he could be. He didn’t know that his AI was plotting against him with his two friends. That all three were trying to push him together with Steve. He was never going to see it coming.

Then again he never saw anything coming.

Gasping awake after stopping a nuke form destroying part of New York and finding that instead of his HUD, he was looking up into the face of Steve.

“No!” Tony cried out, reaching for the faceplate. He couldn’t see it.

“Hulk threw it pretty far,” Steve said pointing over at his shoulder at the green beast who was looking at him with affection on his face.

“Man in Iron awake, Banner will be happy,” Hulk stated at he looked around. “Not safe.”

“All cameras are down. JARVIS did an EMP in the area. Hulk already had the faceplate off before I could stop him and lift it up without breaking it.”

“You are taking this well,” Tony said looking at him a little shocked. He had expected anger.

“I knew you were Iron Man for months. You tried to repulsor me in your sleep once. I kept it to myself.”

“Good. I guess that I need to hope that I can get to the tower and get a new helmet before someone snaps a picture.”

“Or you can go out there and talk to the press,” Steve ventured.  Tony just glared at him. “It’s better to do it on your own terms, Stark. You can control it then.”

“Says you.”

“I’ve been told that Pepper agrees with me.”

“Have you been talking to Pepper behind my back?”

“No. Pepper and Rhodey,” Steve said with a smile. Steve stood and held out a hand to Tony. “I’ll protect you.”

“I know,” Tony said as he reached out a hand and let Steve pull him up. The other Avengers arrived with little fanfare.

“The cops and reporters are flooding the area. If you need out, I’d go now,” Black Widow spoke as she looked Tony in the face.

“No, it’s time to stop hiding. I’ll show the world what we Omegas can do,” Tony stated. Black Widow smiled at him and reached an arm out. She linked his arm with hers and started walking him towards the crowd forming at the edge of the area. The rest of the Avengers walked behind them, letting Tony stay up front in his armor. An Omega had just saved the world and New York. No one could say one thing about Tony being Iron Man or him being an Omega. Steve just wished he could shove the headlines of tomorrow’s paper down Howard’s throat.

The End

To Be Continued in Together Today, Alone Yesterday