Tony wiped his sweat-ridden forehead and continued to attack the punching bag. After a particularly bad nightmare, he had attempted to fall asleep for hours before giving up and dragging himself to the gym. He doubted any of the other Avengers were up at this time of night, sans Steve. Captain Patriot liked to cook breakfast at 4 in the morning, much to the displeasure of the other tower occupants. It's not that he was a bad cook, he just liked to sing while he baked. Clint once threatened to shoot him when the archer had woken up to ABBA at 4:24 am.

Tony's hunch was right, as FRIDAY had just told him that Steve was on his way down to the gym. Tony considered packing up and sneaking away before Steve could find him, but that would make it seem like the genius didn't like being around Steve. In all honesty, it was the exact opposite. Tony's heart fluttered any time Steve entered the room, and it soared whenever they talked. Tony had never felt this way about anyone before, even Pepper.

Pepper was amazing and Tony has always loved her, but not in the expected way. In fact, Pepper was the first one to figure out that Tony was gay. She was understandable and supportive of him, and has stuck by his side ever since. And for that, Tony will always be grateful.

The problem was, Steve was a man out of his time. When he emerged from the ice in 2012, he was shocked that people of color were able to sit at the front of the bus. Don't get the wrong idea, he wasn't racist, at least not intentionally. Equality had gone such a long way since the 1940s and Steve was in awe. After the battle of New York, he became an advocate of people of color who weren't being treated fairly in the court circus that emerged after Loki attacked.

This gave Tony hope that he would feel the same way about the LGBTQA+ community, but there was no such luck. Steve wasn't opposed to same-sex relationships, but he wasn't exactly supportive of it either. To be honest, he avoided the subject entirely. When same-sex marriages had been legalized, Tony was so excited that he put the filmed announcement on the common room TV, and was watching it all day. Nobody minded, but when Steve came in to grab his book, he saw the TV and blushed, immediately walking away. Tony understood that Steve was new to the concept of LGBTQA+ being supported, but him ignoring it completely was getting on Tony's nerves.

The elevator bell rang and Steve stepped out. He was carrying his gym bag and wearing the sexy gym outfit he always wore. Tony couldn't even look at him without blushing.

"Hey, Cap. What brings you here?" Tony asked, refusing to turn around.

"Oh, you know, I thought I'd go for a swim, maybe grab a bite." Steve joked.

Tony snorted, and immediately covered his mouth. Did that sound just come out of him?

"Can I join you?" Steve continued.

"Sure!" Tony squeaked. God, he was so pathetic.

Steve set his bag down and set up his punching bag a couple of yards away from Tony's. He put on his gloves and immediately started attacking the bag.

"Wow, no warm-up or anything? Leave some perfection for the rest of us." Tony blurted out. He mentally cursed himself and turned back to his workout.

Steve chose not to answer, thank goodness, and they exercised in silence for several minutes.

"I think I'm going to go get some water. Do you want some?" Tony asked.

"Sure, that would be great." Steve flashed his adorable smile and Tony practically sprinted to the fridge. He grabbed two waters and tossed one to Steve. They sat down at the edge of the boxing ring. Tony tried to drink his water as fast as possible, and ended up choking.

"Woah, are you okay?" Steve slapped Tony on the back, which only made him choke more in embarrassment. He finally caught his breath and placed his drink down. "Maybe I'll drink slower next time."

Steve nodded and took a big sip. "So how are you doing, Tony?"

Tony's mind blanked. "Uh, I'm fine. Work is good. Avenging stuff is good. Um, water is good."

Steve chuckled. "Yeah, this water is pretty good."

Just then, the heavens opened and gave Tony a blessing by the name of FRIDAY. "Sir, Nicholas Fury is in the main common room and wishes to speak with you."

Tony jumped up. "Well, duty calls, Y'know?"

He'd never run up the stairs so fast.

"Nick, my man!" Tony greeted the man happily. "Boy, am I glad you stopped by. What brings you here?"

"Save the sarcasm, Stark." Nick brushed him off. "I have an assignment for you."

"Well, by all means, share with the class."

"Ever since SHIELD fell, we've been setting up safe houses around the globe and have been continuing to operate privately."

"Yeah, I funded that. What's your point?" Tony asked.

"One of the safe houses, specifically the one in Greenland, stopped responding to our calls. We sent a jet to check on them, and they didn't return. I need you and another team member to go and find out what's going on."

"With all due respect chief, that doesn't sound safe."

"It's not, which is why I'm sending Rogers with you."

Tony chuckled nervously. "That's funny."

When Nick showed no signs of humor, Tony's face paled. "Wait, you're serious?"

"Why wouldn't I be?"

"Dangit Fury, couldn't I just bring Barton?"

"Hell no!" Clint shouted from the vents.

"For the last time, get out of the vents! Freaking ninja." Tony grumbled.

"What is your beef with Captain America, Tony?"

"Nothing! I have no beef with Steve. I just-"

"Did someone say my name?" Steve asked from where he was exiting the elevator.

Nick waved him over. "I was just telling Stark about your mission, Soldier."

"Oh?" Steve looked intrigued. "And what would that be?"

"You and Tony will fly to Greenland and recover our missing agents. They haven't responded in over a week, and everyone we send in disappears."

"Who's to say we won't disappear too?" Tony grumbled. "Sounds like a suicide mission to me."

"Oh, C'mon Tony. We got this." Steve punched Tony's arm playfully, and he jumped.

"Alright, then it's settled. You leave tonight, start packing." Nick got in the elevator and directed FRIDAY to take him to the lobby.

"Don't disappoint me," He said right before the doors closed.

"Alright!" Steve rubbed his hands together in excitement. "Let's go gather supplies," Tony grumbled his agreement.

"When you die, can I have your cars?" Clint shouted from the vents.


I'm very excited about this story, but also nervous as I have never written romance to this extent. If you have suggestions, please feel free to review! Stay safe, everyone!