By the time we arrived, the gala was in full swing. "You know, being fashionably late is considered on time these days, Steve." Argued Tony when I tried to get him to leave his room almost three hours ago. Eventually I just opted to carry him out to the limousine, where Happy watched us skeptically, managing to not add anything besides a small smirk. The scene unfolding in front of me was, in simple words, intense. The dim white lighting swallowed everyone in the room, making the beautiful dames look like angels in their flowing gowns, and the men in dark suits seemed to float like shadows.
I had only ever been to one of Tony's galas before, the one right after the invasion. Good press, Agent Hill had mentioned, and she had actually been right. It was a charity event, and a very well received one at that. This one was just like the last, besides being more... more classy. Maybe it was because Pepper had made sure that it wouldn't get out of hand, since she wasn't here to clean up whatever mess Tony would end up making. Tonight, I guess that would be my job. Instead of the thumping pop music that was apparently almost always played at one of Tony's events, this one had light, orchestrated music in the background. Even so, the chatter of the guests around me was inaudibly quiet. I went along with it, figuring that whatever this was would be a lot better than what I initially thought.
And well I did, at least until about half of an hour later when I could no longer find Tony. Sighing, I began to walk through the crowd of dancing people. I stopped at the bar, the restroom, and then the bar again to check if Tony was there. I finally caught sight of him, who stood leaning against the frame of the exit door. His tinted shades rested on top of his unrealistically neat russet-brown hair.
"Oh! Captain, my Captain…" He began to mumble sing as he sent a goofy smile in my direction. "How do you like the party so far?"
I smiled back lightly, not wanting to show the relief I felt in finding him safe and well…alone. "It's really nice actually Tony. Thanks for, hav-"
Before I could finish my sentence he cut me off abruptly. "Say Rodgers… Dance with me?" He then gestured with a tilt of his head to the small crowd of people that were beginning to pool onto the dance floor. I looked at him quizzingly, but instead of acknowledging my gaze he quickly grasped my hand. Not giving me time to process before tugging me lightly to the center of the room.
As the orchestra began to start up the next song Tony took a step closer to me. Our distance making it easy to see that just for a second, as he wrapped a hand around my waist . His Brown eyes gazed into mine with an insecure curiosity I wasn't used to seeing. Not being able to maintain his stare I looked down at our shoes. His were a black leather boot type and mine were a light brown suede that Pepper had picked out for me to wear to occasions like theses. Our feet moved to a comfortable rhythm, Tony leading and I following with an ease that I wasn't expecting and, Apparently Tony felt similarly.
"I thought you'd be stepping over my toes by now Captain, seeing as this is your first Rodeo and all." He murmured, leaning closer to my ear assumingly so i could hear him over the familiar tune.
I chuckled at this, only acknowledging slightly that the song was coming to an end and the next one was beginning. "Thats because this isn't my first time Stark."
Tony raised an eyebrow. "Wait, are you saying that the history books are wrong Steven Grant Rogers? Because if so then I have a list back at The Tower of other things that seem a little fishy. Like with all those, whaddya call them back them?"
"Dames…?" I asked simply.
"Yeah! With all those Dames, walking around, drooling over you how is it possible that you still fly Virgin America? And don't say it's because you're all chivery because I" He wiggled his eyebrows as I felt heat spread to my ears.
Although I could feel myself blushing, I looked straight into his gaze. Knowing pretty well that he wouldn't stop egging me on if I were to shy to look back. "When I first woke up in Shield facilities, The Director asked me if I had any request that would help me get erm, situated and I did. I had a promise to fulfill and just enough time to do so..." I knew Stark had read through my files, as well as probably heard stories from Howard enough to figure out what promise I was talking about.
Tony opened his mouth, as if to ask ask another question before we heard a flash. A small group of reporters had began to circle us, some snapping pictures and the others asking questions that I was too distracted to understand.
Tony quickly regained composure and smiled at me genuinely. "Great time as any to make our escape isn't it Ste-" He cut himself off, trying not to let the tabloids hear my name. I nodded.
"Good time as ever."
In the two hour and a half drive back to The Tower, Tony had guzzled down six glasses of champagne. At the fifty minute mark Tony's words had began to slur slightly and his appetite for conversation grew. And at the eighty ninth he was sprawled out within the limousine, his head resting on my lap.
" . Steve?" He mumbled lazily, twisting his head so that he was looking up at me again. "Are we almost home?"
I nodded, as I ran my fingers through his hair, once then twice "I think so."
Turns out I was right though, soon after Happy had began pulling into the underground driveway. As he did I began to wonder why he was so quiet today, usually he would joke with a buzzed Tony Stark, his laugh almost always being infectious. His only words for us today were, "Afternoon Mr. Stark, Captain," and, "Have a good evening," as he opened the door for us.
"Good niiight Happy!" Tony smiled goofily as he waved goodbye to Happy. Once satisfied with his goodbye he turned on his heels to face me, tripping over himself in the process.
"Crap." I muttered under my breath as I steadied the stunning man before me. It almost scared me how attractive Tony could be sometimes. Heck, even when intoxicated he looked crisp and… Alive.
He shook me off, shooting me a pout that could very well bring a man to his knees. "Mhh! I'm fine Steven."
"Of course you are Tony." I snorted at this, placing my hands in my back pocket and started to walk towards the elevator.
I didn't need to look behind me to know that Tony was following carefully, trying not trip again to prove his point. The elevator arrived almost immediately and we got in, zooming up to Tony's penthouse within seconds. Getting out of the elevator Tony immediately found himself bent next to the Fiddle Leaf Tree, grasping tightly at the reddish brown pot in front of feeling better Tony stood, wiping his mouth with his sleeve before groaning. I took that as my cue and carefully scooped him into my arms and began walking to his room, thankfully he did not squirm.
"It doesn't count if the lands' in my name does it?" Tony mused as I shifted his weight so I could open his door.
"What doesn't count Tony?"
Tony looked up at me and rolled his eyes. "You bringing me over the threshold duh."
I brought Tony over to his bed, propping him gently against the coal black headboard before replying. "Since we're not married I don't think it counts either way."
"Meh.." He groaned at this, mumbling something under his breath that I couldn't really hear.
I sighed ignoring his outburst. "Try not to die getting pajamas on and washing up okay Tony? I'll be back in a few minutes."
"If you're so worried about me dying in the process why don't you just help me with both?" He asked trying to conceal a cheeky smirk.
"You're drunk Stark not paralysed, so I think you can manage on your own terms." I quickly turned on my heel and left his room.
I went into my room to change into a pair of pajamas and then stopped in the kitchen to get the ibuprofen for Tony's bedside. The whole endeavor taking less than ten minutes. By the time I had returned to Tony's room he was underneath the covers and looking quite comfortable. "See Cap. I'm snug as a bug in a rug. Thats how that goes?"
"Mmhm." I nodded while placing the Ibuprofen by his bedside, noticing how Tony had already gotten himself a glass of water. "Well, I think you're all set Stark so erm, Goodnight."
"What no bedtime story or lullaby?" Asked Tony as he emerged from his covers.
"I think Jarvis can tell you one just fine Tony." I said a little too sharply. Tony must've noticed that as well because his joking smile depleted somewhat.
He was quiet for a few seconds before speaking again. His voice calmer with a bit more seriousness than before. "I don't want Jarvis Steve, I want you. So will you please stay with me, at least until I fall asleep."
Since I wasn't used to any sense of directness from Tony Stark I nodded. Waiting for Tony to scoot over before climbing under the warm comforter with him.
"Goodnight Jarvis." Tony mumbled sleepily, triggering Jarvis to turn off all the lights in the room. Tony turned to his side and pulled the covers up against him again.
"What, I don't get a goodnight?" I asked watching him quizzingly,
"Oh yeah." He turned back to me, staring back at me for a few seconds before placing a light peck against my lips. "Night Night Capsicle."
He lowered himself onto my chest and nuzzled his head into the crevice of my neck, the smell of light cinnamon filling my nostrils. "Now you won't sneak away in the middle of the night."
Instead of responding I looked down a little. Watching the glow of Tony's arc reactor flex against my white t shirt with each inhale we took, It reminded me of the people at the gala. The way all those people had the ability to just floated through the room. Whether it had been because of the lighting or just plan because of good breeding and wealth, they had amazed me. Earning the title of magical in my mind I knew that I would hold that picture in the back of my mind until I could at the very least draw it later.
But in a way Tony had earned that title as well, just not in the traditional sense. Anthony Edward Stark was something else to say the least, and the best part is that he knew it. Although he was a snarky know it all that had too much money and not enough lifetime to spend it. He was a good person that held our team together better than I could ever do on my own. And I was thankful for that.
"Not planning on it." I whispered, trying not to wake Tony up if he had fallen asleep during my minutes of silence.
He hadn't. "Good… You're warm."
Tony Stark, A Genius Billionaire not so Playboy Philanthropist, A fallen beauty that I wasn't sure how to deal with just yet.