This idea came to me randomly, and I have no idea if something like this has already been written before, but it involves Tony apologizing to Steve and his team over his wrong behavior in "Civil War". Just something I'd thought I'd try. I've also decided to have Steve apologize for some of his own actions as well since after thinking about it briefly, and what someone else told me some years back, he committed a few of his own wrongs.
Disclaimer: I don't own "Civil War" or the MCU.
The still currently split up Avengers, consisting of Tony, Rhodey, and Vision on one end, and Steve, Natasha, Sam, and Wanda on the other end, with Clint attending via video conference, were currently meeting at special location in Wakanda due to Tony having implored Steve and his group to meet up with him. They weren't sure however whether or not they could trust him, considering all that had transpired and his own actions, and so insisted upon the meeting being in Wakanda, a term which he readily accepted.
At first Clint had not wanted to attend, furious over the fact Tony had indirectly caused him to be placed under house arrest while his family were under threat by Ross. But the other man had managed to convince him otherwise.
Bucky was also in attendance, being with his buddy Steve for moral support and also curious as to what Tony had to say, something the semi-retired Iron Man was glad for since he also really wanted to speak with him as well.
Once everyone was settled, and after a few moments of tense silence, Steve was the first one to break the ice.
"Alright Tony, we're here. What is the reason for this meeting?" he asked him with a neutral tone, doing his best not to come off as hostile since he was willing to give his former friend the benefit of a doubt but silently vowing to defend his own team if Tony made any kind of moves against them.
The billionaire sighed and taking a deep breath, along with supportive glances from Rhody and Vision, began to speak.
"During the last 12 months, and after everything that's transpired between all of us, I've been doing a tremendous amount of soul searching, reevaluating my actions and the decisions I made during that entire fiasco. And I've come to the conclusion that I crossed some major lines, did a lot of things that were very wrong and out of order, and, well, I just want to say that, to tell you the truth I just want to say that I'm sorry," he explained to them and with great regret and guilt written upon his face.
To say that everyone in Team Cap was shocked would be an understatement. Of all the things they'd been expecting for him to say, an apology had not crossed their minds. For a while they were stunned, not knowing how to react. Tony on his part let them take some time to absorb his words, and then pressed on.
"First off, I'd like to apologize for not reading the Accords properly, something I should've done at the start. After rereading it though, I now see it for what it really is, which is control and the severe disregard for our rights and liberties and not just us but other powered people around the world and the possible violations of their privacy that could result from it.
"I'm also deeply sorry for aligning myself with a clearly morally corrupt, sorry a**, secretary general like Ross and in turn allowing him to lock some of you guys up on that raft and possibly for an indefinite period of time. None of you deserved that, especially you Wanda, and I should not have allowed any of you to be caged like animals and especially as U.S. citizens. I've already apologized to Scott and now I'm doing the same to you guys as well.
"And in regards to you Clint, I'd also like to deeply apologize for inadvertently enabling Ross to put a target on your family's back, something which has also further enabled me to see Ross for the man he is. I promise that I never thought he'd go that far and that really shows what kind of a terrible person he is. But my actions nonetheless led to it happening and I take complete responsibility for that. In fact, and in an attempt to make it right, I managed to find some compromising information and a slew of other dirty laundry on Ross and just used it to, ah, persuade him to lift the threat against your wife and kids and in turn, rendering your house arrest sentence null and void."
Clint's eyes widened upon hearing this news, a feeling of tremendous relief rushing through his body. This was the best news he'd heard in what felt like forever and while he was still quite angry with Tony for endangering his family in the first place, he was also filled with gratitude over the other man's actions in reversing that and responded with a nod of thanks towards him. Tony on his part smiled, returned the nod, and then continued by turning his attention towards Bucky, causing the other man stare back at him warily.
"And Bucky, I owe you an apology most of all. When I saw that video of you murdering my parents, my mother especially, I could feel nothing but rage at that point and therefore did not take into account that your actions were not your own and that you were, in fact, brainwashed. I was just more interested in avenging my parents without any regard to the facts of the matter and in so doing, I nearly crossed a severe line when I was trying to kill you," he confessed to him, filled with deep shame and remorse
"I now fully accept and understand that what happened to my parents is not on you but on HYDRA, you were just as much a victim of those monsters as my parents were, and if I had succeeded in killing you, I would've been murdering an innocent man, one who had no control over his actions.
"And therefore I am so sorry Becky. I'm sorry for trying to murder you, for letting my rage cloud my judgment, and for everything. And there's nothing else I can say except that I am just sorry."
Bucky on his part listened to all the other man had to say and once the latter had finished, took a moment to collect his thoughts, and then responded.
"Listen man. I understand why you came at me that way and I can't say I blame you. I may have been brainwashed but it was still my hands that took them from you, along with the countless other lives I took. Even to this day I receive nightmares about my actions as the Winter Soldier and wish more than anything that things had been different. That I had not taken your parents from you or killed all of those people.
"If I could reverse everything, I would. Please believe that Tony. And know that nothing you can say or do against me will hurt me more than the severe emotional pain and torment I go through almost every day as I remember everything I've done over the years, and I am deeply sorry for my actions and for the pain I caused you."
Tony listened to all the other man had to say, also hearing the strong emotion and regret in his voice, and was moved to tears though he did his best to hold it in. Though no one else in the room could deny that Bucky's words were having a strong emotional effect upon him. Furthermore, the words of the former Winter Soldier filled him with even more shame than he'd already felt over his actions and could now see, clearer than ever, that Bucky was as much a victim as himself, his parents, and everyone else that HYDRA had victimized and murdered. And that in turn made his actions towards the other man even more deplorable, as far as he was concerned.
"Thanks man, your words really mean a lot to me, but they also reinforce as to how wrong I was in regards to how I treated you and it fills me with even more shame as to how I treated you. And once more I am deeply, deeply sorry for everything and I can never say it enough to you," Tony replied after a moment of silence, his voice somber and filled with sorrow. Bucky on his part responded by reaching over and placing his hand on the other man's shoulder with a reassuring grip and a nod, silently expressing that there were no hard feelings from his end, to which Tony reached over and grasped the hand in gratitude, returning his nod.
As for everyone else who was watching the scene, it was a very touching and heart wrenching scene and Steve especially was grateful that the two men had finally made peace among themselves. After some time, Tony continued once more.
"And that's really, well, all I wanted to say to you guys. That I'm very sorry for everything I put all of you through, for my arrogance and self-righteousness, and for not behaving like a hero or a friend."
For a while there was nothing but silence as Steve and his team absorbed Tony's words and then Steve was the next one, after Bucky, to speak.
"All I can say is that this was not something any of us had expected to hear, and while I can't speak for anyone else here, I want to let you know that I accept your apology and really appreciate it. And I can also see that your remorse and repentance is genuine and as far as I'm concerned the man sitting before me is the hero I remember and respect in regards to wanting to do the right thing and despite his flaws.
"And I'm also sorry for everything that happened as well, that events went the way they did and that things soured between us, and hopefully someday we'll be able to repair our friendship. As for apologizes, and come to think of it, I also think I need to make some of my own."
At that moment, everyone's heads snapped upwards in surprise and confusion upon hearing Steve's last few words, though none were more shocked than Tony and Bucky, Tony especially, while they and the others wondered what he could have to apologize for. Seeing their confusion, Steve elaborated.
"The truth is, I made my fair share of mistakes in regards to how I handled things, the main thing being that I was so focused on keeping Bucky safe that I did not give it my all in trying to deescalate things, far more focused on protecting him rather than trying to preserve the team. And in doing so I also escalated things between all of us.
"Even you Vision had said to me that while I believed I was doing the right thing, I still should've stood down for the collective good. And while I still believe that I was doing the right thing I now think that you may have had a point and looking back, there were probably some things I could've done differently. Maybe I should've even been upfront with you ages ago in regards to your parents deaths Tony instead of you finding out the way you did.
"Furthermore, I'd also like to apologize to all of you who've chosen to follow me in exile and in regards to when you guys were captured at the hanger. You see, and while I fought with you guys, I was once more focused on keeping Bucky safe that I ran off with him and in turn, pretty much left all of you on your own while you guys were captured.
"And so I'd also like to say that I am also very sorry for all of my aforementioned actions towards all of you and also for anything else in regards to possibly escalating the situation on my end, and I hope that all of you will forgive me."
Following Steve's words, all of those present took a moment to contemplate them, and after a while, Clint was the next person to speak.
"While I don't know what everyone here is thinking, I'm just going to say something here. Regardless of whose fault it is that everything happened or who shares the most blame, the fact of the matter is that we're Avengers, always have been, and always will be. And while I'm still pretty upset about how your actions led to my family's current predicament Tony, I am grateful that you decided to do something to rectify it.
"Furthermore, and the way I see it, it's time we let bygones be bygones, let the past be the past, and start working towards rebuilding our friendships and hopefully also work towards becoming the strong, unified team we once for. Having said all of that, who's with me?"
A few seconds passed, and then one by one, everyone in the room began to speak up, one by one, in accent to Clint's words, agreeing that the time had come to make peace among themselves. In addition, all of those on Steve's team, except for Natasha since she wasn't directly affected by any of Tony's actions, were with him in accepting Tony's apologies and thanking him for said apologies. There was also a lot of handshakes, hugging, and crying all around as the broken team finally began the process of repairing itself and becoming one again.
And those on Steve's side also accepted his apologies as well but reassured him that they understood his actions, was only trying to protect a close friend, and that there were no hard feelings.
It would take a while, and the road ahead would be long, but the path to healing and full reconciliation had finally begun and all it took was one single man, one who was a genius, billionaire, former playboy, and philanthropist, being willing to humble himself and take responsibility for his actions, and apologize. And he, along with everyone else present, were better off for it.
A/N In regards to Tony and Bucky, I wanted to keep them in character and for me, but I think that's how the latter would've probably responded to an apology from Tony, and also in regards to how he was probably feeling emotionally, considering what I suspect is Bucky's mentality and guilt over his past and even with knowing that it wasn't his fault. And from what I saw in "Civil War", and even though he of course defended himself when Tony attacked him, I think he was also understanding of the other man's emotions.
And regarding Tony, I was trying to capture how he talks, at least in regards to his word choices here and there.
As for Natasha, I personally don't remember Tony's actions affecting her and in a negative way but if I'm wrong about that please let me know.
I also loosely borrowed Clint's words from "Age Of Ultron" when he said to Wanda that regardless of who was at fault they needed to move forward. And so I think that he'd be willing to do the same here if Tony was willing to take responsibility and make amends for his actions and even if he was still possibly angry over what happened with his family.
Finally and as for Steve, but I talked to another author here some years ago and she believed that Steve had his share of blame, mainly in that because he was so focused on protecting Bucky that he also shared some responsibility in making a mess of things. Plus she was also really put out that he effectively left his friends behind at the hanger, running off with Bucky while they were captured if I'm remembering her thoughts correctly. I guess something like a platonic brotp version of a certain ship in that as long as my loved one's safe, everyone else be darned, even if Steve did free his friends much later.
And now looking back, I think that while Tony was more in the wrong, both men probably shared blame over what had happened and quite possibly neither side was fully innocent or could've at least done a few things differently. And I want to continue to be a balanced author who's fair to everyone.
Have a wonderful day.