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Comfort Food
Tag: 616 Steve | August 11
DC-DCTVU-1

377 Posts
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Nyte

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#41
It was more than just for the cooking. Christian had just made himself at home in Tony’s home, and while he knew that (in the comics anyway) the man was a generous person at heart, that didn’t mean that it was acceptable to come into his home in the middle of the night and cook his food, dirty his dishes and take over a room without invitation or request. Without even permission. Tony’s quiet, dismissive statement earned a wince from Chris. A guest was supposed to follow certain rules about how to act, and in his opinion, he had far overstepped.

He hadn’t been sleeping in Tony’s home that night, after all; he’d been in his own bed, and when he’d woken from a nightmare, he’d come here, invaded Tony’s kitchen, cooked the man’s food… And that Tony was put off was obvious; Christian just wasn’t certain, if it wasn’t the cooking and taking over the kitchen, then what was it? “I…” Shrugging, he wasn’t sure how to respond, “Thank you.” If he were just a touch pink on the ears, well, it was gratitude, and the warm feeling that friendship could bring you. “Thank you, Tony.” He spoke the words with the same warm tone that he’d used when he had thanked Steve for sitting with him, letting him sleep.

Tony Stark was definitely not a pancake sort of guy, but the man needed more than coffee to survive, and Chris held out hope. Still, it wasn’t like he expected Tony to forgo coffee either way, so he was happy to help Steve out by telling him how the man (he hoped) took his coffee.

By the time that Steve spoke about Christian’s cooking, the man was smiling contentedly again; Tony had welcomed him to the kitchen, things felt better if not entirely right. Still, it was awfully nice to her Steve say such nice things about his pancakes. “Well, they’ll keep if you put them in the fridge.” Truth be told, Christian felt a whole lot better then he had earlier, not because of the sleep as much as the feelings of safety and comfort. Steve had helped a whole lot more than he might realize. Still, Chris was tired, and he knew that it would be a hard day at work.

Giving Tony a small, shy smile, Chris shook his head, “I do, actually. I have work in another hour or so. It’s fine; I was able to catch a nap, thanks to Steve.” His smile widened in gratitude when Steve offered to sit with him again tonight, “I don’t want to interfere with your sleep, though, Steve. It helps, to have someone there.” He shook his head, “Only cook if you want to. I like it, so I tend to cook for people, that’s all.”
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Marvel-616

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Jasmine (starkly-tony)

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#42
"Yeah, I'm sure," Tony said, frowning slightly, as Steve offered him the pancakes again. Admittedly, his mind was still stuck on the whole idea of Steve and Christian. As a thing. But talking to Steve didn't usually leave him feeling this confused. Maybe it was that Steve's new boyfriend (or whatever) had made the pancakes, and Steve didn't want him to feel insulted. "Like I said. I'm not hungry," Tony added, about a second before his stomach gave a loud growl. Come to think of it, he couldn't remember the last time he had eaten. Steve's offer to Christian to stay the night, at least, took away some of his appetite.

He reminded himself forcefully that he had no right to be jealous, not of his Steve or this Steve and definitely not of Christian, when Tony had been fucking Safi for weeks. But then, Tony was kind of an asshole. Being jealous when he had no right was exactly the kind of thing he did.

He was taken aback again by Chris's gratitude, and waved a dismissive hand as he sipped his coffee, which was annoyingly perfect. "Uh, yeah. Help yourself anytime." He felt frozen in place, for all he'd said he was going to head back to his lab. He wondered distantly if Chris was going to give Steve a kiss goodbye. "Well. I guess I'll see you around later, then."
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Marvel-616 Universe

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#43
Tony just frowns at Steve's second offer of breakfast, which Steve finds a bit disappointing.

Steve turns his attention back to Christian. “I don’t want to interfere with your sleep, though, Steve. It helps, to have someone there.” He shook his head, “Only cook if you want to. I like it, so I tend to cook for people, that’s all.”

"It's no trouble. I don't sleep much in general and I don't have to worry about waking up early for work the next morning," Steve says with a grin. He really hopes Christian comes back tomorrow, and not just for Christian's sake; it was nice not to be alone after his own nightmares.

"Have a good day at work," Steve says giving him a friendly Pat on the back.

Mr. Stark finally takes a sip of his coffee and looks annoyed. Perhaps Steve hadn't made it right after all. "Well. I guess I'll see you around later, then." Tony says shortly.

"Are you working on something important in the lab?" Steve asks curiously. It's the only reason he can think of as to why Mr. Stark seems so annoyed and eager to leave.
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DC-DCTVU-1

377 Posts
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Nyte

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#44
Not hungry. Christian frowned at the words. Because yeah, how often did Tony Stark admit he was hungry? The man did everything he could to pretend he was a machine… But there were battles you chose to fight, and ones you decided to let go. For now, Christian let this one go; he’d make sure there was always, always something good for Tony to eat when he decided that he wanted it, and that was really the least and most he could do. He wasn’t going to force the man to eat, that was for certain.

If this Steve was anything like the one he had read about in the comic books back home, he probably had his own issues with sleep. But if that were true, and Steve said it wasn’t trouble, then Christian had to believe him; maybe having Chris nearby helped Steve as much as it did him? That… That would be pretty nice, really, to think that maybe he was helping his friend as much as he was being helped. That they could help each other.

“Okay, well, there’s plenty if you get hungry.” He gave Tony a smile, still thankful that the man didn’t seem upset by his cooking. Which still begged the question that just what had made Tony seem so irritated? With a yawn, Chris nodded, “Yeah, of course.” He hadn’t had much of a social life outside of work before they’d found Hub; he was more socially active here than in his home world anyway, so the idea of coming by after work was a nice one. He chuckled at Steve’s well wishing, nodding, “I’ll try. As long as Ms. Espinosa just… Leaves me alone...it’ll be a fine day.” Ever since her daughter’s party, Gabriella Espinosa, one of the VP’s of Lexcorp, had been angling to… Well either she was trying to win Christian over to work directly under her or she was trying to make his life a living hell. Either was, in the small man’s mind, entirely possible. But if she thought he was going to tie himself to her, well, she had another thing coming.

Chris was on his way out of the kitchen, to head to the portal that would take him home when Steve asked about the lab, and Christian couldn’t help himself. He turned, eyes falling on Tony, wide and full of curiosity and guileless interest. Tony Stark had been his hero since forever, and that question struck a chord in him. Was Tony working on something? Was he close to a breakthrough? Was that why he seemed so annoyed and on edge? And oh, Christian burned to ask, to hear the answer...
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Marvel-616

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Jasmine (starkly-tony)

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#45
Steve asked him if he was working on something important, and Chris turned around to stare. Tony still felt like a rug had been pulled out from under him. Steve had made it clear he wasn’t interested in Tony, and, just now, had made it just clear that Chris was the one he wanted to be spending his nights with. It was stupid, because it wasn’t even this Steve he wanted. His Steve was gone, and the fact of it still made his chest ache.

God, he wanted a drink. There was a bottle of Jack in the cabinet, he knew. Always kept the mansion stocked for guests. It might have been breakfast time, but after a multi-day engineering binge that hardly mattered. Chris had to know he was an alcoholic but the kid Steve didn’t, probably wouldn’t even think twice if Tony poured himself a drink once Chris was gone.

“I’m, ah...” he gestured vaguely, wrenching his thoughts forcefully away from the bottle. “Just...suit upgrades. You know. Some SE work. Nothing you’d write home about.”
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Marvel-616 Universe

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#46
Mr. Stark seems even more on edge after Steve said his goodbye to Christian and for the life of him Steve can't understand why. He wonders if it has something to do with his future self; if perhaps he's triggering some unwanted memories for Mr. Stark just by just being here.

Steve bites back a sigh. He's trying to be patient, he really is. He knows how hard it is to grieve someone, but what is Steve supposed to do? He can't help existing. Steve wonders if staying was the right choice after all. Mr. Stark had been very persuasive in convincing him to stay, but maybe space is what they both need right now.

Mr. Stark explains what he's working on with none of his usual excitement and vigor.

"Oh... well that sounds interesting...and maintenance is important," Steve says awkwardly, "and Iron Man... I mean you always said that fixing the suits up was always a top priority."
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DC-DCTVU-1

377 Posts
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Nyte

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#47
Christian isn’t actually aware of the interactions between Steve and Tony. He doesn’t realize that Steve almost left and Tony managed to talk him into sticking around. He doesn’t know that Tony feels pushed to the side for Christian, of all people to feel threatened by!

What he knows is there is tension enough to snip with garden shears it’s so thick, and honestly, he wasn’t sure that sticking around the mansion even for another few minutes would be the best idea, primarily because he didn’t like how confused and hurt Steve appeared, and how upset Tony seemed, and… Was it him? Was he the cause of this? Why? What had he done now?? He was trying to be friends with Tony (which was hard, okay, it was hard, but damn it, he was Tony Stark and Christian had loved him since he’d been a little kid! It shouldn’t be this difficult to like the man!) and he was definitely friends with Steve (because it was Steve and he was even nicer and kinder and sweeter in real life than Chris had even imagined from reading the comics!) but things were.. Messy.

Damn it all, he really hoped this wasn’t his fault. Tony and Steve were epic together! ”Please stop.” his voice was soft, but still possessed strength.

And then Tony said he was working on suit upgrades and everything else just sort of… Fell away. Christian’s eyes went huge, his mouth working for a few moments as he absorbed that information. Tony had been working on the suit. On IRON MAN. And oh, that… That was just… That was more than Christian could hear without something. More. Something more.

”The...suit?” Chris’ voice had taken on the awe of a young man being handed the keys to his father’s car for the first time. No, it was more than that. Iron Man had been Christian’s hero for so long, the person he had idolized for...ever… And while Tony and he had gotten off on the wrong foot, it was hard not to just kneel and beg the man to let him see, and it showed.

He glanced to Steve, nodding slowly before turning back to Tony, his words all but stumbling over one another as he spoke quickly, “I have vacation time… Lots of it… I could take the day off, if… Would you… Could I..? Maybe?” Iron Man. His awe and hope and something else made his voice twist upwards at the end, making it a plea.
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Marvel-616

181 Posts
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Age:35
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Jasmine (starkly-tony)

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#48
He just wanted to retreat back to his workshop. Lose himself in an engineering binge and tamp down on the persistent voice telling him that one drink wouldn’t hurt. All it’d do would dull the edge a little. One short break from it all. how much could it hurt? It wasn’t like anyone needed him now.

Tony shook himself. Steve and Chris were both staring at him. God, he was losing his mind.

“Yeah, yeah. Uh, top priority,” Tony said awkwardly. Then he stared at Christian. As garbled as the question had come out, he was fairly sure Chris had asked if he could take time off to watch Tony in his workshop.

Under normal circumstances, the answer would have been an unqualified no. Easy. He didn’t just invite anyone in, and especially not someone who already knew far too much about him.

But now... if Chris was there, he wouldn’t drink. And the way his skin was crawling right now, that was way more important than keeping him away.

“Sure,” he said shortly, through teeth that might have been a little clenched. “Come on down if you really want. Like I said. It’s routine maintenance, nothing to write home about.”
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Marvel-616 Universe

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#49
Steve watches Christian's eyes go wide at the mention of the suit. It's a little bit adorable actually watching him get all excited about the idea of watching Iron Man work. Plus it will be good for him to take the day off, have a little fun, and forget about things for a while.

Mr. Stark agrees. The offer technically wasn't extended to Steve, but he was a bit curious to see Mr. Stark's lab. When Steve had first gotten out of the ice Mr. Stark had been very generous about letting him into his home, but he had been very firm about not letting Steve into the labs under any circumstances. In hindsight, given the secret he had, Steve understood why... But Steve knew that Mr. Stark was Iron Man now, so there's no reason he can't go down to the labs and see the suit building process in action.

Without comment Steve follows Mr. stark and Christian downstairs.
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DC-DCTVU-1

377 Posts
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Nyte

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#50
Tony couldn’t know how momentous the agreement that Christian could go down to his workshop was for the young magician. Iron Man. Christian couldn’t help it; Tony was saying he could go downstairs to Tony’s workshop and see Iron Man.

It was better than Christmas morning.

Chris was aware that Tony had some certain problems; he didn’t reach out to hug the man, though his arms tensed in a clear indication that he wanted to. Instead, he bounced on his toes and beamed a grin at Tony, “It’s Iron Man, there’s everything to write home about!” If any of the other boys from the group home could see him now, talking to Tony Stark, being able to go see the actual Iron Man suit… Ha! They’d be eating crow!

The shot that same wide, thrilled grin over to Steve, eyes bright and cheerful in a way that seemed almost out of place in a grown man, but Chris owned it. Then, those brown eyes widened for a moment and he pulled his phone from his pocket, “Hold on, okay? I gotta go call in to work, let them know I’m not coming in today. I promise, it’ll only take a minute.”

He rally wasn’t gone long. He had the phone programmed with his work’s number, and seeing as he had no specific ‘boss’ he just called in to the PA pool receptionist the moment he made it through the portal, told her quickly that something personal came up and he needed to take the day. He never even stepped out of his closet; he made the call in the dark of the small space, slapped a sticky note to the door for Safi in case he came looking for him saying that he took the day off, and then dashed back through the portal and ran from the ‘portal room’ back to the kitchen. All in all, it was slightly longer than a minute, but he had obviously hurried as much as he could.

“Okay, sorry about that.” When Tony went to go downstairs, Christian followed him, quick and quiet like a shadow. An excited, bouncy shadow.
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Marvel-616

181 Posts
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Jasmine (starkly-tony)

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#51
It took a moment for Tony to recognize the thing in his gut as frustration. He wanted to be alone. He wanted a drink. The very last thing he wanted was to spend another second watching a version of Steve who looked exactly like he'd stepped out of some of Tony's best memories making eyes at Chris.

"Great," he said when Steve announced his intentions to tag along. "Let's all go to my lab. We'll have a whole party down there."

When Chris went to call in--god, how long was he planning on staying--Tony jammed his hands in his pockets and avoided looking at Steve. His skin was crawling and he buddies himself by mentally tallying all the alcohol he knew he could find in the mansion.

Some distant part of his mind was aware that all of this before was really Not Good, and probably everything he'd repressed about the SHRA and civil war and Steve's death and fucking Steve's doppelganger who he couldn't get out of his mind and now whatever the hell was going on here was on the verge of... Well, making him do something very stupid.

He just wanted to be alone. And he wanted that drink.

The to men followed him down to the basement lab. Tony could barely find the willpower to plaster on a smile and say, "Well, this is it. I'd say it's the place where the magic happens, but I hate magic."
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Marvel-616 Universe

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#52
Christian steps out to call his work, leaving Steve alone with Tony. Steve tries to think of something to say to him, but what do you say to someone who's in love with another version of you while simultaneously kind of hating you? Fortunately, Christian returns only minutes later before Steve can start talking about the weather.

Tony leads them downstairs, Steve trailing behind, watching as Christian bounces around excitedly.

"Wow..." The exclamation slips out quietly as they enter the lab. Machines beep and whirl. Steve feels like he's entered a sci-fi novel.

"This is incredible," Steve says leaning closer to investigate a thingamajig, which looks particularly futuristic.
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DC-DCTVU-1

377 Posts
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Nyte

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#53
What Tony didn’t see, what Steve had seen, was that Christian was thoroughly exhausted. He was running on maybe a couple of hours of sleep, pancakes, nerves, and now adrenaline from being allowed to see Tony’s workshop.

Because Tony didn’t let just anyone down into his lab. Nope, this… This was a special thing. It was something that Christian would forever hold up as ‘I got to go to Tony Stark’s workshop!’ Not exactly an achievement, as he hadn’t really done anything to earn it, but definitely something most people couldn’t claim. Truthfully, Christian didn’t intend to stick around Tony’s lab and bother him all day; he knew that Tony would likely get a whole lot less work done with him and Steve down there than he would if they let him be. He knew he certainly worked better when he could just focus on what he was doing without worrying about anyone else getting into anything or breaking something or...whatever.

He just wanted to see. The workshop, the tools, the inventions and brilliance. And maybe, just maybe, if he was lucky, he’d be able to get a glimpse of the armor. Iron Man. The whole reason he had started making his tiny little machines in the first place.

Even as excited and tired as he was, Christian didn’t miss the tone that Tony used. He was less than thrilled, and Christian worried that they were keeping him from something important. But the draw of getting to go down to the lab was too much not to give Tony a heartfelt smile, something smaller and quieter than the grins he wore when he was being talkative and less sincere, but it was something more real, too. They were working on being friends, because Tony was Christian’s hero, and he and Safi… Were what they were.

Following Tony down to the lab, Chris was quiet, bouncing lightly on his toes, practically vibrating with excitement, but he refrained from bursting into the happy babble that he so very much wanted to start spouting. That would just annoy Tony, and that was the exact opposite thing that Christian wanted to do. Once they entered the room, Chris heard Steve’s quiet exclamation, and pauses, taking a long look around. The look on his face was one of awe, of inspiration. At least until Tony mentioned hating magic. Chris did his best to suppress the wince, the smile he gave Tony pasted on over what was a gaping wound. Chris didn’t just use magic, he was a source of it, he created his own magical energy… “Right.” He blinked twice, then gave Tony a small nod, “Genius. You could say it’s where the genius happens.” Where the smile was false, worn to fake it till he made it, the words, the tone, were warm and genuine.

He kept his hands to himself. This was Tony’s space, the other man’s things, and Christian wouldn’t go around mucking things up. But… He was very grateful to be able to look.
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Marvel-616

181 Posts
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Jasmine (starkly-tony)

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#54
Tony remembered the first time he'd bright Steve to see his lab. It has been not long after their'd pulled him out of the ice, and Tony had been giving him the grand tour of the world. Steve had been just as amazed by it then, though he'd also been equally thrilled by automatic doors and the fact that all the grocery stores stocked bananas, though he'd complained about the taste. God, they'd both been so young.

"Don't touch that," Tony snapped at Steve, who was leaving over a prototype of the latest Hulkbuster boot rocket upgrade.

Christian looked utterly blissful, at first, though Tony didn't miss the way his face fell when Tony complained about magic.

He hadn't meant it that way. But he just couldn't bring himself to explain, not with half his mind still stuck on the bottle in the cabinet upstairs, and the rest of it thrumming miserably with the knowledge that he couldn't afford to give in, no matter how fucked up things got.

"Genius. Yeah. Sure," he said distractedly, flashing a disingenuous smile. "So, uh, look around I guess. I can give you the your it you want."
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Marvel-616 Universe

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#55
Steve jumps back, his face flushing like he just got caught by a teacher passing notes. Tony looks annoyed and a bit miserable. Perhaps coming down here wasn't the best idea. It was very late (or conversely very early) and Mr. Stark probably had things to do. Besides, it wasn't like Steve couldn't pretend that things hadn't been a bit awkward between them since Steve found out that Mr. Stark was both Iron Man and in love with a future version of himself.

Still, looking at how excited Christian looked Steve couldn't bring himself to suggest that they leave.

Then Mr. Stark is offering a tour and Steve finds himself nodding along. The lab really is magnificent and Steve is curious.

"That sounds great. Thank you." Steve says sincerely.
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DC-DCTVU-1

377 Posts
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Nyte

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#56
Christian didn’t quite jump when Tony snapped at Steve. It was a close thing, though; he tensed, his eyes going wide as his head snapped over at the two of them, assessing the situation. Tony was on edge. Steve seemed aware of this fact as well, though Christian wasn’t sure why the man was so upset.

Why had Tony invited them down here (okay, he’d invited Chris down here and Steve had decided to come as well) if he didn’t want them here in the first place? Christian didn’t say anything, not a word, about Tony’s defensiveness, nothing about how annoyed he seemed, but he had noticed.

And he worried.

Was this about him? Was he doing something to upset Tony? They’d talked, and Christian had given Tony the first toy he’d made, one that was no longer magical in any way, just an Iron Man clockwork toy. He had thought they’d be getting along better now, but…

When Tony offered the tour, and Steve seemed happy to take him up on it, Chris saw an opportunity. “Sure, a tour would be nice. And then we can get out of your hair and let you work.” He offered Tony a shy smile, “Maybe I can even just get a late start on my work day.” He could let them be, let Tony work, let Steve do whatever it was that Steve had intended to do today. And he would make sure to spend the rest of the week not cooking up all of Tony’s food in the middle of the night.
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