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Thread Contributor: Steve RogersSome Sort of Nightmare Tag: Tony (Kel)
Marvel-MCU

315 Posts
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Age:32
Job: Rogue Superhero
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Nyte

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#21
“Language!”

No, the Steve that Tony had known, had fought with, had loved, he wasn’t here. But that didn’t mean everything had to lay on Tony’s shoulders, either. Tony, who was always so ready to jump up and sacrifice himself however he thought would do the most good, help the rest of his team the most. For a moment, Steve wondered just how that other version of him had dealt with it. Had that other Steve come to accept Tony’s propensity of making himself the scapegoat and sacrificial lamb, or had he just never cared enough to let it bother him in the first place, or did it bother him right up until the end. Had that other Steve flown his plane against Thanos, knowing it was a one way ticket, in order to save it from being Tony once again?

He didn’t know, and it bothered Steve a whole lot. He only knew what little bits and pieces Friday had let slip to him, which was still probably more than he was supposed to know, and from the picture those little bits and pieces showed, he didn’t like that other Steve all too much. At all. He didn’t like that guy at all. Seemed like there were more versions of himself that he didn’t like than ones he did.

They faced Thanos. Without him. Steve sighed, closing his eyes, ”I.. I wasn’t there. He didn’t call me, he didn’t tell anyone he even could.” And that hurt, it cut Steve deeply. But it wasn’t like he could change it. Looking down at the ground, Steve closed his eyes, “But they won. They didn’t need Captain America for that.” And that both helped and hurt.

What Steve wanted more than anything was to have Tony in his life. He said that he didn’t want to disappoint, and Steve quirked a brow at him, because no, Tony could never do that, not really.

”I don’t know if I can be the man you want or need me to be...more than a team mate.”

Right. Right. Of course. ”Yeah. Okay, well, truth be told, Tony? I think starting out working together, as teammates, would be a good thing. A good start. And maybe that’s all it’ll ever be. And that would be fine, too.”

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
@kel
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Marvel-MCU-1

331 Posts
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Age:46
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Kel

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#22
To be fair to the version of Steve native to Tony’s universe; Friday was only presenting him in the light of his last actions, and through the lense of a devoted AI.

‘They didnt need Captain America.’ Tony felt, saw the pain that caused Steve, he had no response, but he kinda hated himself. Good news was that was nothing new.

‘Fine.’

That was all he really heard from that sentence, he knew that good old take one for the team voice. “Is it Steve?” He asked quietly, feeling the years he had on the super soldier keenly, both in experience but also with him..or a version of him.

“Might be another version of Tony-“ he had to laugh because just here in Hub there was a damn handful of them. “Or someone less fucked up that you could be happier with.” Unspoken but there was ‘that can give you everything…’

@eve
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Marvel-MCU

315 Posts
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Age:32
Job: Rogue Superhero
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Nyte

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#23
“Language!”

Steve didn’t really care about being fair to a man who had broken Tony’s heart. Even if that man was him, himself or a different version of himself, it didn’t matter. That Steve had broken Tony’s heart, had hurt him, and in light of those truths, Steve didn’t give a damn about being fair to the man and he certainly didn’t like him because of it.

He wondered if it had ever been possible for him to have hurt his own Tony in that particular way. Once, maybe, perhaps. Probably not after everything that happened with Ultron and then with accords and Bucky. Even when he’d gone back, Tony had been… Distant. Engaged to Pepper, happy, and that… Steve was happy for the Tony back in his home universe. It had taken time to get to that point, but he was. And as much as it stung to admit that his world didn’t need him, it was the truth, and maybe… Just maybe… That was also a good thing. It gave Steve the ability to be here in Hub.

Is it? Is it what? Steve blinked at the question, frowning over toward Tony, understanding dawning on him quickly enough as he looked at the other man, ”Of course it would be, Tony. If that’s how things play out… I wouldn’t hold something like that against you, that wouldn’t be right.” He wouldn’t try to force Tony into anything, or coerce him to love him back, that wouldn’t be the same. It wouldn’t be real and Steve didn’t want it if it wasn’t real.

”Might be another version of Tony -” ….”Or someone less fucked up that you could be happier with.”

If Steve had been standing at attention before, now he grew downright stiff, tension drawing him into stillness at the words Tony spoke. Just go be with another version… No. ”No.” the word was spoken at the same time it ran through his mind, Steve shook his head, frowning, looking at Tony with both sadness as well as with hurt, ”I’m not interested in just finding a different you, Tony. I’ve met the other Tony Stark here in Hub. He’s not… You.” and honestly, Steve was happy for that. He didn’t want to just love any Tony Stark he came across, that didn’t feel right. Unwrapping his hands, Steve moved to the bench where his things were, throwing his few items back into his bag before zipping it up and tossing the used tape into the trash, ”That’s not how this works, Tony. I’m not interested in just replacing you. I can’t…” Steve straightened, shouldering his bag with his eyes closed as he took a moment to put himself back to rights, ”It’s okay, Tony, don’t worry about it.”

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
@kel
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Marvel-MCU-1

331 Posts
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Age:46
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Kel

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#24
And as usual, Tony had said one too many words. He should have quit when he was ahead, and now he had an angry/hurt super soldier ready to walk out on him- “Steve!” Tony’s hand closed around Steve’s shoulder his newly repaired heart stuttering in his chest-

God damn it why didn’t Steve learn? Why- “Why are you still trying to save me?” He muttered, eyes narrowed at the soldier in abject concentration, trying yet again to understand what made him...him. And what made him want to be with the fucked up mess that was Tony Stark.

“Steve…” Tony’s hand slid down Steve’s arm, feeling the hard corded muscles there, sliding over his calloused palm. “Why do you never get a manicure`?” he quipped quietly, threading fingers between his.

That was a dumb question, but as always with Steve, Tony’s brain was even more on auto pilot.

“I don’t believe in fate.” he felt it needed saying. “I don’t-” He rubbed his face with his other hand, finding the one firmly caught in Steve’s grasp. “I don’t want to fall in love- have a relationship because its destined. Or because i’m weak and can’t stop myself from-” Seeing another man in your eyes.

Except…

Tony looked at Steve, really looked at him. “You aren’t him.” There was a edge to his Steve, an abrasiveness that Tony had loved even when it turned against him. This one…

He was kind...no that wasn’t the right word. His Steve had been kind as well. Just…

“You aren’t him.” He repeated slowly. “And...that...that is ok.” Grief shadowed his features even as a oddly boyish grin tugged at his lips. “So...I guess if you really really want to give a damaged billionaire playboy a shot-”

@eve
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Marvel-MCU

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Age:32
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#25
“Language!”

It wasn’t that Steve was angry. He wasn’t, not about this, not at Tony. He was unhappy that Tony viewed himself as being so replaceable, yes. He didn’t like the idea of just tracking down some new version of him and starting over, not because the whole ‘starting over’ thing was such a pain, but because that Tony Stark wouldn’t be the one standing before him right now, looking at him like he was some kind of damn puzzle.

The exclamation of his name drew Steve away from his own issues and back to Tony. Blinking, Steve frowned at the question, surprised at it. “Because you’re worth saving, Tony.” The words were spoken with honest surprise. Wasn’t it obvious?

And then the subject changed suddenly, and Steve was once again left behind to try and catch up to the genius. “I… Hadn’t ever really thought of it?” Why would he need a manicure? Acknowledging the fact that they were now holding hands with only a gentle squeeze of Tony’s hand (If he said something, it might make things weird. It might make him stop.), Steve listened as Tony continued. “Fate, the future, is what we make it.” There was a half second where Steve steeled himself for what Tony was about to say...and then it went sideways. “I want to love someone… I want someone to love me, because they want to. Because that love makes both of us feel good and whole…” he trailed off at where Tony took it, though, his expression quietly closing off.

Really, who wanted to be continuously compared to another man? A dead man? (Who had apparently been something of an asshole, at that.)

“No, Tony, I’m not him.” In other moments, Steve might have spoken the statement with exasperation; he was tired of being compared to other versions of himself, but there was something in Tony’s voice, on his face in this moment, and instead Steve sounded cautious as he fought the disappointment he was trying not to feel. He wasn’t Tony’s Steve, and he would never replace that man. He didn’t want to. But that didn’t stop Steve from wishing that he could have his own place.

Steve’s shoulders relaxed even as Tony spoke up once more, nodding slowly. And as Tony once again disparaged himself, Steve smiled ruefully, shaking his head, ”I’m hoping that the genius superhero will give me shot.”

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
@kel
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Marvel-MCU-1

331 Posts
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Age:46
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Kel

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#26
Damn it.

Tony shook his head, either in denial or simply that he didn’t want to or need to hear that right now, he hadn’t asked for the patented ‘Captain America pep talk’, he wanted to know why STEVE kept trying to-

Do this.

Save him. From himself, from...everything. He wanted...well damn it he wanted to be special in more than the whole ‘every life has worth’ that defined every Steve Rogers.

“Gonna have to send you with Clint on one of his spa days. Little bastard loves using my card might as well get some use out of than having to picture Colson's grimace at archer handjobs.” chatter about nothing, that was textbook Tony, deflect and let his mouth run with out a filter from his brain.

“What the hell does ‘Wanting’ to have to do with falling in love?” Tony asked shaking his head, “If it was that easy, pretty sure we wouldn’t have so many domestic murders.” well that turned morbid, but then again this was Tony Stark, romance for him, falling in love WAS morbid.

“Well if you want to date yourself-” His grin was tried but there, making him look slightly younger. “Soooo if you do come to my universe with me-” He half shrugged, “You get to tell Barnes he’s not Captain America anymore.”

@eve
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Marvel-MCU

315 Posts
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Age:32
Job: Rogue Superhero
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#27
“Language!”

Of course Steve was going to keep trying to save Tony. Because Tony was worth saving. Not, as Tony thought, because all people were worth saving. They were, it was true that Steve felt that way, but because he was Tony. Tony was important to Steve in a way the super soldier had a hard time explaining, in a way very few were. Peggy. Bucky. Now Tony.

Manicures. Was that... Was that really what they were discussing, or was it a euphemism? But as Tony continued on his mini-rant, Steve blinked. No, apparently no, this was not a euphemism or double entendre. Also, that was an image of Agent Coulson and Clint that Steve really hadn't needed. What did any of it have to do with them?

The darkness of the question and statement took Steve by surprise. Instead of getting riled, however, he just shrugged. "These days... What does marriage have to do with being in love? Or..." He stopped before he too began to rant and sighed instead, "Things are different now, I know." There was resignation in his voice; Tony might have a dim view of romance, but Steve didn't. He was a romantic at heart, and thus romance was important.

"No., not myself. I don't like myself often enough for that." And to be honest, he found himself disliking the many of the other versions of himself that he had heard about. If he went. Steve smiled a little bit,' his Bucky would be relieved in that situation. But this was the other Bucky. "I'll talk to him, Tony."

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
@kel
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Marvel-MCU-1

331 Posts
8 Threads
Age:46
Job: Billionaire Superhero
Ship Status:
Sexual Orientation: yes
Kel

All Accounts Posts: 1,724
Points: 2,439.02€
#28
“Oh come on Steve! Don’t play the ‘back in my day’ card, sure there were few divorces, but can you really say people were happier or just trapped and making the best they could.” You know,maybe Tony really was awful at this, considering he was now arguing with the guy he was trying to start a relationship with about divorce rates.

But than better Steve figure out what he was getting into sooner than later.

“Yeah thats...thats going to be a thing.” Tony took a breath, nodding once. “Right. So Captain America splits his time between two universes and one multi universal Hub. In one he’s a criminal being pardoned and working on the DL with the Avengers. In the other he’s dead and we’re going to have to reintroduce you as...another Steve. Which...you know the public isn’t going to understand. Or believe probably. And you are going to have to deal with all the baggage from Steve-” My Steve- “His relationships with people...like Barnes.” Tony grimmiced “Because he might be expecting to have what he had with the his Steve.” Or what Tony honestly assumed they’d had together during those last months.

“You-” Tony took another breath, “You sure about this? And don’t do the Cap thing and nod solemnly, because fuck that yah you are Cap but you are also not him.” Not everything the image that Steve had forced himself to live up to.

too much surity was almost as bad as none.

@eve
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Marvel-MCU

315 Posts
15 Threads
Age:32
Job: Rogue Superhero
Ship Status: Single
Sexual Orientation: Bisexual
Nyte

All Accounts Posts: 1,498
Points: 7,360.06€
#29
“Language!”

”You know, my parents, Bucky’s parents, they weren’t perfect, they didn’t have the best lives or maybe even the best relationships, but yes, I think they married out of love. It was just an example, Tony. A lot of things, back then and still today, have nothing to do with the things that should mean the most. What I was trying to say and not doing a very good job of it either, was that wanting and loving should go hand in hand. Who would be happy loving someone and hating the fact that they do? That’s what I was trying to say, anyway.”

Finally, Steve smiled. It wasn’t a huge, face ripping smile, but it was an amused one nonetheless. ”I only go back to my own universe when they need me enough to call. Which I’m not expecting to happen soon, or often, if ever.” Which meant just the one universe and the Hub. It would be lying if the super soldier denied that he didn’t consider telling Tony they could just… Fudge the truth. Let people assume he was the same old Captain America, their Captain America. It would be easier for everyone, really; he wouldn’t have to explain himself over and over, Tony wouldn’t have to explain the science of all of it, the people would be able to just keep living, thinking that their Captain America ws there to keep them safe. But it wasn’t in him to suggest a lie of that magnitude, no matter how much easier things would be for it. Most of the time, the easy way wasn’t the right way. Looking at Tony, Steve smiled, “Well, depending on what sort of relationship they had, Buck might just have to be disappointed. Or maybe not.” He paused, looking to Tony, ”I hope it won’t become a problem, though.” But if it did, it would be Bucky’s problem. He wasn’t the Steve Bucky had known, and while Steve might still like to be his friend, if he were after something else, well… Wrong tree, Buck.

”I’m not him. And if we’re approaching this that way, telling people that I’m not him, then…” Steve shrugged, ”Then there’s nothing for me to measure up to, is there.” Taking a deep breath, he looked at Tony, ”I know why I’m doing this. It’s in no small part because of you. So yes, I’m sure I will do this. I’m not sure I’ll like all of it, and I’m not sure I’ll do everything right, but I’ve made my decision.”

“That’s not going away anytime soon.”
*
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