Steve went to Tony´s lab quite sure he would be able to find him there and he did. Maybe it was the fact he was starting to feel guilty about what had just happened with Loki, it might have been the fact that Tony seemed awfully concentrated on fixing something on his right glove while he was wearing it but whatever the reason he had approached Tony stealthy almost silently.
“Tony …” He called him distractedly.
Without any warning Tony closed the gap between them in one swift jump over the table and taking advantage of an unsuspecting Steve threw a punch to his face with his gauntlet arm.
Steve fell to the ground tackled by a raging Tony who tried to hit him again. The second stroke came from Tony´s bare hand giving Steve an opportunity to block the next punch. Seizing the gauntlet to avoid being hit again Steve rolled Tony pinning him effectively under him.
“Are you out of your freaking mind?” Steve howled furiously.
“Sanctimonious bastard! You kissed him! I saw you!” Tony spat vexed.
Steve gasped surprised. “It´s not what you think!” He couldn´t tell him the truth. The truth wouldn´t help him this time.
“It´s not what I think? Don´t try to deny it! I saw both of you through the surveillance system.” Tony yelled enraged as he kept trying to escape from Steve´s grip.
“You were spying on us?” Steve inquired baffled. How much had he seen?
“I wanted to see if he was all right. I was worried. And guess what I saw, the two of you kissing … and you´re trying to tell me I imagined it?” He growled furiously. “What sick game are you playing Steve?”
“I never …” Steve uttered confused. What could he tell him? As he tried to think of something Tony managed to loosen his armored arm and fired a repulsor blast against his unprotected ribs. The blast knocked Steve a few meters away as he forced himself to raise up despite the pain he felt on his injured side he noticed Tony walking towards him ready to fire another blast. Swiftly he jumped behind the nearest desk avoiding being hit by barely a second.
“Tony wait! Just listen to me!” Steve yelled from behind the desk while he quickly scanned his surroundings; he needed something to defend himself, anything.
“Why would I do that?” Tony shouted at him while looking for the best angel to shoot at him again. “You are trying to steal my boyfriend.”
“Tony come on just listen to me, I´m not playing any games. I wouldn´t have talked you into meeting with Loki if I was. I made a mistake ok? A stupid mistake! I´m not trying to steal your boyfriend. Just let me explain.” He tried to reason with him as he grabbed a stapler that had felt to the floor, he grinned wryly at it, he had hoped for something better. He had one chance and one alone, a stapler wasn´t much but with the perfect aim.
“I don´t know. Maybe you´ve been spending too much time with Natasha. All that double agent crap … I don´t know Steve. I wouldn´t have believed it if I hadn´t seen you.” Tony rambled, it bothered him that part of what Steve said made sense. “But I did.”
Steve huffed distraught. “I know you did … you didn’t imagine that. I´m sorry. It happened but it´s not what you think.” He acknowledged mortified.
“Backstabbing traitor! “Tony fired his propulsor enraged by Steve´s guilty admission. Steve had been expecting it; as he jumped to the next desk for cover he threw the stapler against Tony´s head.
In the next moments the only sound Steve could hear was the beat of his own heart. Carefully he peeked around from his new hiding place. From the corner of his eye he noticed a boot; Tony´s boot. He jumped out and nervously checked Tony for breathing and pulse. When he found both he sighed relieved; the only visible wound was a red mark on Tony´s forehead where the stapler had hit him.
Steve sat demoralized next to Tony his face buried between his hands. “What am I going to do?” He questioned himself mentally over and over. Maybe he wasn´t the one that had kissed Loki … this time but he would have to fix it whatever it took. Rubbing a still sore cheek he looked at Tony´s gauntlet. “I´d better get rid of this first”
As he removed the gauntlet from Tony’s armed he gasp surprised; he had a very recognizable hand patter bruise around his wrist. He squinted as he touched it, it didn’t seem broken but it was swollen. Undoubtedly it was painful.
“I´d better patch him up now that I can.” He reasoned doubting Tony would give him the chance once he regained consciousness; not that he would blame him. He went for the first aid kit they kept on the lab. Once at Tony’s side again he asked Jarvis out loud. “Jarvis, can you scan Tony for any fractures? Specifically, his right wrist and head. As he waited for the A.I. diagnosis Steve stared at Tony´s unconscious form worryingly.
“There are no factures, a mild concussion and a muscle sprain Sir.” Jarvis reported after a few moments.
“Thank God!” Steve uttered relieved. He then proceeded to take care of the strain wrist; when he finished bandaging it he looked at Tony´s head; it didn´t seemed it needed any bandages. When he finished he took special care of gather every item of the first aid kit worried Tony could use any of them as a weapon. Once he had finished he sat again near tony while he wondered what to tell him. He was still in deep thought when Tony woke up suddenly.
“What?!” He tried to get up quickly as he rubbed his hurting forehead getting dizzy in the process.
“Wait Tony! Take it easy. You were out for a couple of minutes.” Steve hurried to him steading him gently against the desk.
Tony smacked Steve helping hand aside as he wryly scolded him. “And who´s fault is that?”
“You didn’t give me much choice.” Steve complained sternly.
“You kissed my boyfriend.” Tony reminded him angrily. “You … bandage my wrist?” Tony spat surprised noticing the wrapping on his right arm.
“Yes.” Steve admitted dryly.
“Why on earth would you do that? We are fighting! I took a shot at you …” Tony rambled annoyed.
“Several as a matter of fact.” Steve volunteered despondent. “I guess I deserved that after all.”
“No, no, no. You are not doing that. You have no right to do that.” Tony growled vexed. “I´m angry at you. You have no right to place nice.”
“I just want you to listen to me. You can take a shoot at me afterwards if you still want to. Just let me try to explain.” Steve volunteered downhearted.
“Just because you did a good job with my wrist. Don´t hold your hope, I really want to kill you right now … as soon as my head stop hurting.” Tony agreed reluctantly. “So, what do you have to say for yourself?”
Steve sighed. “Well …”
“Stop right there, If I´m going to listen to you I need something to drink. Get me that bottle over there.” Tony interrupted him wryly.
“But you just had a mild concussion …” Steve protested
“Thank you Dr. Rogers for your input. Now handle me that bottle before I fetch it myself and throw it against your traitorous head.”
“Fine.” Steve sighed upset. He knew Tony wasn´t kidding. He gave Tony the bottle reluctantly and sat an arm and a half away from him leaning into the same desk.
“So …?” Tony inquired impatiently as he gave his first sip.
“I … I thought I saw something that wasn´t there. I´ve always liked Loki …” Steve acknowledge discouraged.
“Ah-ha!” Tony exclaimed triumphant. “I knew it!”
“Are you going to let me explain or not?” Steve questioned Tony irked by his childish reaction.
“Go on.” Was Tony´s nonchalant response.
“I mainly avoided contact with him cause … well he is your boyfriend but these past days … with everything that happened … we´ve been spending a lot of time together … and just now … you made him upset again … I thought I saw something … I thought … and I did something utterly foolish I kissed him … “
“Did you …?” Tony asked upset sternly eyeing Steve.
“Did we …?” Steve first asked not understanding what Tony meant; but when Tony just tilted his head raising his eyebrows exasperated for his delayed answer. “What? No! I swear … it was only a kiss. “
“It looked more than just a kiss.” Tony volunteered upset.
“It wasn´t … I´d never …” Steve claimed anxious. How much would Tony had saw?
“Why not?” Tony asked with a frown. “He´s not good enough for you? Just someone to snuggle when you feel lonely? Do you feel good about yourself? Taking advantage of him?”
“You are such an ass!” Steve coursed angrily. “Because he loves you stupid, that´s why not!” After a few seconds he spoke again in a low tone. “And because I hope that you love him back. I´ll never have what you two have. You are the only one that can make him happy.” Steve confessed sullen.
There it was again that melancholic tone of someone who knows lose. It had softened Tony´s heart the first time he had heard it but this time he refused to let it affect him. “You´re so full of crap Steve! I don´t care what you delude yourself into thinking … you took advantage of him. You don´t even love him! Not like I do.”
Steve stood up too angry to remain sited. “Thank God I don’t” He spat furiously. “He was raped and you just let him fence for himself because you felt too guilty to dealt with it.” He clenched his firsts irked. “” If I hadn´t been in the house yesterday you would´ve killed him. Don´t you dare preach me about love, you selfish bastard!”
He walked away; after a few steps he walked right back. “He asked me to tell you that you have until tomorrow night to make up your mind.” He walked away again with Tony’s words biting at his heart he turned back to warn him vexed. “If you ever screw up like this again. I will steal Loki from you!” Slamming the lab´s door he stormed away.
“Maybe I should just let him.” Tony wryly told himself as he took another sip before clumsily standing up. He directed himself to his room, his mind was too clouded to think.