Tony’s never actually bought a house.
He owns ten. Or so? The mansion, the brownstone, the other brownstone, the house in the Hamptons, the villa on the Mediterranean, the penthouse on Lexington, the house in Malibu, and a solid half dozen other properties scattered between New York and California. There are others - apartments and condos that are business properties, things used for Stark Industries to put up guests or temporary housing for employees who’ve been reassigned - but these are actually his, properties that are in Tony Stark’s name and not SI’s. He’s inherited a few from his father, and one of the brownstones had technically been his mother’s (a wedding gift from Howard that they had never once used in all of Tony’s memory). The rest he’s acquired over the years. And sure it was his money paying for them, and his signature on the paperwork, but he’d sent Pepper or a real estate agent to do the actual deciding. He’d looked at video or a few snapshots here and there, had an assistant summarize the inspection results and had Pepper transfer the funds. Boom. Done. Efficiency at it’s finest.
This, though. This is better.
i like the idea of steve and tony both knowing how the other feels but they just enjoy the buildup and the flirting and all the stupid little butterflies they both thought they were too old for, so they don’t take the plunge for a long time
of course when they do, they end up laying there panting, trying to catch their breath, totally blissed out, and when the inevitable ‘why didn’t we do that sooner’ is asked, they just look at each other and laugh
tony going away on a business trip
steve cuddling with tony’s pillow because it smells like him and steve can’t sleep when he isn’t around
tony getting home earlier than expected and finding steve curled up on their bed
tony taking a photo and setting it as the phone background
steve finding one of his shirts in tony’s suitcase the next morning
He’s told he’s a genius, and he nods and goes along with it and eventually the word starts going hand in hand with his name: Tony Stark, golden boy, playboy, genius- but he never really feels it, never feels like a genius, everything just comes to him naturally, clicking into place.
It isn’t until he’s forty-four and in his workshop, working with holograms and a tablet and the Iron Man suit all at once, and he’s in the middle of a command to Dummy when he turns around and his voice dies halfway through.
Steve is looking at him. Or, no, scratch that- Steve is gazing, eyes soft and awestruck, like that time they all went up to the roof to watch a meteor shower and Tony had glanced over during it and saw Steve watching the sky with exactly that expression.
Tony’s chest constricts, his heart hammers against the reactor. Jesus.
"See something you like?"
He tries to say it casually, but it comes out brutally honest, almost questioning, because Steve has always managed to bring the truest parts out of Tony, for better or worse.
Steve makes a noise in the back of his throat, looks down at his sketchpad, then back at Tony. “Sorry.”
"It’s fine," Tony waves a hand. "I get it all the time. Adoring fans, you know how it is."
Steve snorts, and Tony notes a flush working its way up Steve’s neck. “Yeah, I bet.”
Tony swallows, goes back to trying to concentrate on three things at once, and hears Steve take a deep breath behind him before saying, “It’s just- you make it easy to forget how smart you are, most of the time.”
Tony- doesn’t know how he feels about that. “Because of my unbelievable charm?”
"Something like that," Steve says dryly, and Tony can’t stop the laugh that bubbles up his throat.
"You’re pretty brilliant, Tony," Steve says after a moment, and Tony pauses with his fingertips on the edges of holograms, metal strewn around him, Dummy chirping questioningly at his side, and thinks, huh, yeah, okay. Maybe I am.
Both Sarah and Steve come out of the room with red-rimmed eyes that Tony pretends not to notice, and Tony dries his sweaty palms on his pants before holding a hand out to Sarah.
"I’m, uh, Tony Stark," he says, with a smile that feels flimsy even to him, and Sarah rolls her eyes in a way that makes it all the more obvious she’s Steve’s mother, since Tony has seen Steve roll his eyes like that hundreds of times.
"I think we’re past handshakes, since you’re practically my son-in-law," Sarah says, and Tony doesn’t stiffen up- much- when she steps forwards and hugs him.
He manages to find enough of his brain cells to hug back, albeit awkwardly, and she squeezes him briefly before letting go, where she laughs a watery laugh.
"Well, you’re just as gorgeous as Steve said," she says, and at her side, Steve shifts and twists his hands and stares at his mother like she’s his own personal Jesus who happens to be embarrassing him right now.
"Back at you," Tony replies, and gets another watery laugh for it. "I should- I mean, I wouldn’t want to get in the way of you spending time with your son."
She snorts, and then wipes her cheeks with the backs of her hands. “Aw, I can spend time with both of you. You can show me around- apparently a lot’s happened since 1934.”
"A little, yeah," Steve says, and grins when she swats halfheartedly at his elbow.
Tony and Steve destroy each other