Pairings/Characters: Steve/Tony, mention of Steve/Bucky, various unnamed Avengers
Continuity: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and The Avengers (2012) (Movieverse)
Genres: Angst, Drama
Spoilers: Yes, for Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) and The Avengers (2012).
Summary: Steve is trying to adjust to life in the 21st century. Can Tony help?
Date Of Completion: May 9, 2012
Date Of Posting: May 13, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Marvel and Paramount do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 825
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: It’s been awhile since I’ve written Steve/Tony but The Avengers movie jump-started my love for this pairing! Enjoy! :)
The entire series can be found here.
Like the hands
Of a stopped clock,
As the world
Goes on by.
Steve wondered if he would ever fit into this brave new world. Sometimes he felt as if he had awakened onto the set of Metropolis and was waiting for Director Fritz Lang to yell, “Cut!”
He had been living in a deep, dark place since waking up to discover that he had been frozen for nearly seven decades. The worst of it was realizing that everyone he knew and loved was probably gone, and even worse was the still-fresh pain of losing Bucky. That pain would never leave him.
The final pain was being an antique in a world so modern that it made Metropolis look positively Victorian. American history had always been his favorite subject but now the straight-A student was trying to bone up for more than just the big history test: he was a man out of time trying to find his place in a world that didn’t honor heroes or even want them all that much.
Sometimes he just wanted to chuck it all and go back to a world where men wore fedoras and doffed them to ladies while giving up their seats for them on the streetcar and the women wore hats, too, and smart suits with padded shoulders and gloves that matched their hats.
He would never get used to the casual way four-letter words were tossed around in mixed company, right out on the street! He knew that all-male environments like the Army was blue with swearing but a gentleman wasn’t supposed to cuss in front of women.
He knew that things had changed. He was glad that women had more rights and Negroes…no, African-Americans, didn’t have to sit in the back of the bus anymore. An African-American was President, something that he never thought he would see in his lifetime.
And homosexuals? Now they could get married and adopt kids, for heaven’s sakes! And even though there were plenty of people still out there who hated gay people and wanted nothing more than to deny them any rights at all, they’d come a long way.
And that was his deep, dark secret, of course, his desperate love for Bucky all the years that he had been protected by his friend when they were growing up.
Steve looked down at the coffee in his cup. As soon as I became Captain America, I made sure you were part of my team. All those years you’d protected me, I couldn’t protect you when you needed me most.
Steve shut his eyes. The scene of Bucky falling to his death off the train into the snowy abyss was burned into his memory.
He cautiously opened his eyes. Guilt washed over him as he looked at Tony who was sitting at the kitchen table and talking with the other Avengers. Of all the ‘isms’ that had improved since his day, racism and sexism close to the top of the list, heterosexism had taken some punches. He could never have lived the kind of life he could only dream of with Bucky back then, but maybe with Tony…?
He’d seen enough romantic comedies back in the day to know the drill: boy meets boy, boy and boy fight, boy and boy fall in love along the way. Okay, so it was a little bit different from Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. And maybe this was just fantasy land, but this was like the 1939 World’s Fair World of Tomorrow to him, anyway. Stark Tower was a billionaire’s playground.
The thing was, Steve thought, that he might be a man out of time, but so could Tony, literally. The reactor that he needed to stay alive…how much time did he have?
Time was all I had, frozen in that ice. Time is all I have now. Everyone I’ve ever known is gone or too old to even know me anymore. The ice kept my body young but my soul is old.
Or maybe just old-fashioned. He wanted to connect with his fellow Avengers, but Tony most of all. The cozy relationship between Tony and Pepper had frosted over after the events during the Manhattan battle. He couldn’t blame her, really. It was tough to be involved with a soldier.
And that’s what you are, a soldier, Tony. Sure, a scientist more than that but if you’re an Avenger, you’re a soldier.
Steve watched Tony gesticulate as he explained to the Avengers about their new home here at Stark Tower. He sipped his coffee: plain black, no fancy cappuccino or latte or whatever they called coffee nowadays. He’d been very pleased to learn that Tony liked his coffee the same way.
Maybe they were both men out of time for different reasons, but Steve was willing to see if they had a future together. He sipped his cup of joe with a smile.