Way Back Into Love

Ever since he had woken up almost 70 years in the future, Steve had felt like there was some sort of shadow hanging over his head. He couldn't sleep without having nightmares assault him, so he didn't sleep. Instead he went and killed punching bags in the gym.

Steve was alone. Everyone and everything he knew was dead and gone. Peggy was still around, but apparently she had something called Alzheimer's and she hadn't recognized him once he had finally worked up the courage to see her. He had nothing.

Three weeks after being "defrosted" as Fury put it, Steve joined the Avengers in saving the world from Chitauri. Though it took them a bit to get together and fight, he knew he had a real chance of making new friends and a new life. About Tony especially, he had turned out wrong.

The trouble with Tony was that he was the embodiment of all he had lost: Bucky's humor, Peggy's stubbornness and fire, Howard's genius, and, as Steve soon saw, Dr. Erskine's kindness. Not only that, but with all of the Avengers, he couldn't help but wonder what would happen if he got close and attached, then lost all of them. He couldn't do that again.

Steve's fears came from his past and they prevented him from making a future. He knew he should go of his past, but his memories were all he had left. He stayed trapped in the past.

Tony and Pepper had broken up. To Tony, it had been inevitable. She simply couldn't handle being the girlfriend of a superhero and being the CEO of said superhero's company. With everything that had happened first with the Chitauri, he couldn't blame her for leaving. He had almost died and that was still something that caused him to wake up in a cold sweat; it was only natural that she refused to stand at the sidelines to watch him almost get killed again and again.

The break-up had been amiable and they still remained good friends and co-workers. He was happy that at least he hadn't completely screwed up their relationship. He still needed her.

At the same time, Tony couldn't help but be disappointed. He had hoped that this time would be the time. That he would finally be with someone and they wouldn't leave. Sure, Pepper was still around, but she was no longer by his side the way he wished she could be.

But he was fine. Genius, Billionaire, Playboy, Philanthropist, remember? Tony Stark was perfectly fine on his own.

But if there were times when he paused while working in his lab to clear his mind and wonder about what he really wanted, then that was no one's business. And JARVIS and his bots wouldn't tell anyone.

Neither Tony nor Steve realized that they were both aching for love and acceptance. Then again, they didn't even know how to even find a way back to love.

Tony inviting all of the Avengers to live in his tower was a pretty decent start though.

Steve was surprised when the invitation to live in Stark Tower came. He had thought that Tony hadn't liked him.

Steve accepted the invitation though. He didn't trust SHIELD due to the whole Phase 2 thing, but he had nothing else, so after finishing his road trip he had had to stay in his SHIELD-issued apartment. He was a bit hesitant, because if he moved in, he would undoubtedly get close to the other Avengers. Still, he couldn't avoid them forever.

Steve woke up from yet another nightmare within the first week after arriving at the tower. Instead of going to the gym, he decided to head upwards, to the roof. Looking up, he was somewhat disappointed to not see any stars. The lights from the future New York City, even in the dead of the night, easily conquered the dark sky.

He sighed and sat near the edge of the roof, looking instead at the clouds up above.

Everything was so different. Steve often looked for signs of something that was familiar, for something he knew, but there was nothing.

Well, except for Tony. But then again, he was just a painful reminder.


Steve turned to look behind him. Well, speak of the Devil. Tony walked over and sat next to him.

Neither asked why the other was up. They both knew that they each had their own problems. Still, Steve was glad that Tony didn't ask, because most would.

And Steve thought that maybe he had found a bit of something to ground him, as he looked at Tony for the first time that night and his heart didn't hurt. Instead, his heart seemed to skip a bit.

Tony didn't know what had possessed him to invite their entire ragtag band to live with him. Sure, Bruce had been staying since the battle, but he had really wanted him in his R&D department and as a Science Bro who could keep up with him. Although, he did find himself looking after the others too as it seemed that they had all been through too much shit in their days.

Then one night, after waking up from a nightmare and asking JARVIS for a distraction, he went up and found Steve Rogers sitting on his roof and looking up with the most lost expression he had ever seen. That caused something in his chest to hurt, but he had ignored it and just sat next to him. They hadn't really said anything, but something had seemed to change.

Steve started showing up in the lab, not really bothering him, but just sitting on his couch in there and reading, drawing, or using a tablet to try to catch up to everything he had missed.

That wasn't something Tony had thought about when they had first met. Though for everyone else it had been almost 70 years, for Steve everything had disappeared in the blink of an eye. Personally, Tony knew that he wouldn't have adjusted as well, even when JARVIS told him that Steve had broken all of the punching bags in the tower again.

When he was around Steve, Tony felt a tugging at his chest that he couldn't identify. He couldn't figure out what it was, though he felt he should have been able to. He had been attracted to and slept with hundreds, but this was different. He really wished someone would shed some light on this feeling.

But as Steve would show up and tentatively ask Tony to go out to a museum or something else that was new for him, Tony found himself open to whatever Steve wanted to do.

Slowly, Steve and Tony found themselves falling for each other. As they got closer to each other and started to open their hearts that had been hurt so much in the past, they both had the same thought.

When you find out everything, I hope you will still be there for me in the end.

There were still times when he would wake up confused about what year it was, whether the Avengers and Tony were real. Then he would catch sight of Tony and know that this was where and when he wanted to be. That this was real.

Steve sighed in his corner of Tony's workshop. He glanced over at the genius, and couldn't help but wonder if Tony felt the same way that he did.

He looked back at the papers that SHIELD had sent him. He was tired of the negotiations and bull crap that they kept sending him.

He was a soldier, not a spy. He was a leader, not a manipulator.

And he was an artist. Steve glanced at Tony again and reached for his sketchbook, wanting to draw Tony as he was now, focused completely on the task at hand.

What he needed was inspiration like Tony, not negotiations from SHIELD.

Their first kiss wasn't exactly intentional.

Aliens had attacked, Tony had nearly died, and Steve, when it turned out that Tony was all right, was so overcome by not wanting to make the same mistake he had with Peggy that he had seized the self-sacrificing moron and kissed him right on the lips in the middle of Times Square.

Tony was initially surprised (after all, Steve came from a time when two guys even kissing was illegal) but quickly reciprocated. He finally fully identified the feeling that had been tugging at his heart.

Eventually, they pulled away and smiled at each other. It was then that Steve became aware of their surroundings and their teammates' catcalls (from Clint) and cheers. He promptly turned bright red and it was so adorable that Tony couldn't help but laugh and pull Steve into another kiss.

They both had finally found a way back into love. Each knew deep in their hearts that they had finally found someone who would stay through thick and thin, someone who would accept everything about their past.

This was just the start, but they would find a way as long as they had love.

AN: I've never written for anything besides Hetalia but I'm trying to branch out into my other fandoms. I've been working on a different Stony fic when the song "Way Back Into Love" from Music and Lyrics came on and I was struck by inspiration, leading to this. I'm not usually into romance movies but I love that one. Tell me what you think.