Title: If Only
Summary: Three moments, three roads not taken, which would have made Tony’s life and the Civil War a whole lot better…
Word Count: ~2,900
A/N: I wanted to see how many ways I could pretend the Civil War actually worked out in my own personal fanon, but I really just ended up making myself really sad about all the things Tony could have done but didn’t. I guess it backfired…? XD I hope you're not all too sick of Civil War fic, I've been playing with this idea for a while. Oh, some dialogue is taken directly from the comics. No infringement intended.
Universe: 616, three different AUs.
Rating: R for sex and language.
Warnings: Nothing really. Except for the sex, it’s not any worse than canon.
Beta: My BFF gigacat <3
Looking through the bars of the cell on Ryker’s Island and watching Captain America yell, Tony Stark feels like crawling under a rock and dying. He wants to say, ‘This isn’t my fault’ and, ‘It could be so much worse than this’, but he knows Steve doesn’t want to listen right now. This isn’t a discussion, this is the venting of rage. He has plenty of rage himself and there’s a part of him that wants to lash out childishly and spitefully.
But that wouldn’t solve anything…
Steve keeps right on ranting. “I want to know what the hell made you think this was your job to do? Who made you the moral compass of us? How could you lay down with the people you’ve laid down with?? Tell me ‘Director Stark’, tell me, was it worth it? Was it worth it?! TELL ME!”
He bites back the retort he wants to let fly, which is no small feat, and sighs. He cuts the power to one of the cell’s bars and reaches through the widened opening as if to touch Steve.
“Don’t you dare touch me,” Steve growls, leaning away and Tony tells himself that it doesn’t make him ache.
That face remains angry and Tony doesn’t know what to do. He decides this isn’t going to be resolved with him hiding behind Iron Man and the armor falls away as the rest of the bars go out. Clad in the gold underarmor, Tony steps fully into the cell. “We used to be friends, Steve. Do you hate me now? Isn’t there any part of you that still wants to be my friend?”
Steve looks away. “That isn’t fair.”
“What’s not fair about it? The whole world can go to hell in a hand basket, Steve, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’re—”
“What? What am I? I’m the enemy, Tony. You made that perfectly clear,” Steve says, eyes narrowing at him.
“You’re the one that moved against me, Steve. You struck the first blow by—”
“You struck the first blow against us. Against our friends. You took out Cloak and Wiccan at that plant, which made it perfectly clear your intention was to press us into service or lock us away. I was defending my men.”
“You were prepared before that happened to disable my armor. You were waiting for it.”
“I was prepared for many different scenarios. I wouldn’t have used it if you’d had the decency to approach me without tranquilizing anyone.”
“I always did think you were a boy scout,” Tony muses.
“I always figured that was some kind of insult I didn’t understand.”
“Depends on your interpretation I suppose,” Tony says, then he becomes earnest. “Steve, I miss you…”
“The last time we saw each other, I almost killed you. I’m still not sure if I’d have stopped myself if those people hadn’t stopped me. You make me so mad.” Steve’s eyes shut and his head rests back against the wall.
“And then, before that, we beat each other up at the Mansion and then there was that ambush at the baseball—”
Those azure blue eyes snap open, Steve’s brows knitting. “I had nothing to do with that. You have to believe me, Tony, they did it behind my back. I never would have planned an ambush during a parlay.”
“I know, Steve. I’m just trying to say that we both did things to hurt each other. You have no idea how much it hurt for you to leave me on my own—”
“You weren’t on your own. You had Reed and Hank and a whole army of followers. You had SHIELD.”
“None of them, even all combined, are equal to you,” Tony says, reaching out to touch Steve’s strong jaw as his underarmor withdrawals so it’s skin-to-skin. Steve doesn’t lean away this time.
“We were always at our best when we were together, weren’t we? But Tony, I can never accept the SHRA. It isn’t constitutional.”
“I know it isn’t, but that doesn’t make it any less necessary. I know it’s not ideal. I’ve told you before that it could be so much worse, though. Death squads and concentration camps—”
“Just stop,” Steve implores, pulling back from Tony’s touch. “I don’t want to talk about it anymore. I’m going to be executed for treason and it will all stop mattering.”
Tony doesn’t know if he should be mad over Steve having surrendered under the impression that he was going to die, or amused that Steve is being so melodramatic. He sits beside Steve. “They aren’t going to execute you, Steve. You’re Captain America.”
“Not anymore. The people don’t want me to wear their flag. I’d throw this uniform away if I had anything else to wear. They think I’m a criminal, so why shouldn’t I be treated just the same as any other criminal? It doesn’t matter that I’ve protected the citizens for ages, that I’ve served the country since the forties. All the goodwill towards me is gone and, even if they don’t put me down, I’ll be locked up for a long time. Will you visit me? I don’t expect they’d allow many visitors, but you’re the Director of SHIELD and all—”
“Stop. For the love of god, just stop. I’m not going to let them lock you up.”
Steve smiles wryly, resignedly. “Don’t bother. Maybe it’d be best if I were put away for a little while.”
“The President gave us twelve pardons; Reed was worried Sue would be arrested. I want you to take one. The powers that be won’t like it, but all I have to do is write your name on the dotted—”
“No. There’s a difference between surrendering and admitting I was wrong. I’m not wrong. I might not be completely right, but neither are you and I won’t admit to anything that isn’t true.”
“Why are you so stubborn?” Tony asks with a scowl.
“Because I stand up for what I believe in, even if it kills me,” Steve says, dead serious. Tony bets Steve has always been that way, even before the Serum ever touched his bloodstream. He can tell this conversation is going nowhere fast, so he just leans over and kisses Steve.
He’s wanted to forever and there doesn’t seem to be any reason not to anymore. Before, there was always ‘I don’t want to ruin our friendship’ that got in the way, even when Tony was able to disregard ‘Steve doesn’t like men’. ‘Steve is with Sharon’ doesn’t matter to Tony because he never liked them together anyway. Steve lets it happen, his lips still against Tony’s as he tries to catch up to this turn of events, but then Steve returns the kiss, his mouth surging against Tony’s as he shifts and pulls Tony closer with hands at Tony’s waist.
Well. Tony wasn’t expecting this. But he can totally work with it, even if Steve just thinks this is the last hurrah before the End. He climbs right into Steve’s lap and cradles that perfect jaw with his hands, opens his mouth to draw Steve’s tongue inside.
It’s a perfect few moments before Steve breaks the kiss. Against Tony’s lips, he says, “I guess I can die happy now…”
Tony kind of wants to sock Steve in the face. “Shut up.” He surges back into the kiss, combing a hand into Steve’s kind of filthy hair but Steve could be covered in mud and he’d still be the sexiest thing alive and it’s not like Steve’s been able to wash off the battle they had anyway; Tony’s not picky, not when it comes to Steve. He reaches down with his other hand to get to working on undoing Steve’s pants.
Tony is a little surprised that Steve doesn’t stop him, but he’s not going to question it at all. He doesn’t question it when Steve’s hands slide along his naked back and hips and ass, even if he’s a little surprised to find his underarmor has completely retracted; it seems his subconscious knows what he wants. He gets Steve’s oh fuck huge cock out—that Serum did miraculous things and it’s hard and it’s what dreams are made of—and grinds his own against it. It’s quick and hurried, not at all like Tony imagined it’d be like with Steve, but it’s perfect. They come all over each other with broken gasps, Steve lasting longer than Tony but that’s to be expected. After, the kissing turns sweeter and it’s like they’re saying all the things they can’t say aloud.
It’s Steve that breaks the kiss again. He begins to speak, but Tony doesn’t want to hear anything about how they shouldn’t have done that or how they can never do it again or anything like that. “Take the pardon, Steve. There’s so much—just take the damn pardon. Do it for me…”
Steve’s brows knit again. “Tony…”
“Please. I’ll beg, Steve. I’ll get down on my knees and plead until you give up. You can’t withstand my puppy dog eyes forever, Steve.” He puts on said eyes now and can see Steve’s resolve crumbling.
“That isn’t fair...”
Steve sighs and Tony knows everything will be okay now; now that they’re going to work together to make it right. He’ll be amused over how his puppy dog eyes saved the country for a very, very long time, though…
Somehow it’s fitting that things come to a head here, in the rubble that was once Avengers Mansion. They’re both trying to convert each other and neither is willing to bend, both immovable objects. But then they always were both insufferably stubborn when it comes to what they thought was right.
Tony is just sick and tired of trying so damn hard to get Steve to do what needs to be done so, when Steve tries to leave, to run away, all Tony can see is red. He grabs Steve.
Steve is not pleased by that. “Get. Your hand. Off.”
Tony’s armor falls off, leaving him in his underarmor, and it triggers the same fighting instinct in Steve.
“All right,” Steve says, dropping his shield. “Let’s go.”
So they fight. It’s Captain America that taught him how to fight, so they’re not so unevenly matched as one might expect. Steve is stronger, though, faster and just all around better and Tony has always known that. It’s one of the truths about Tony’s life: Captain America is perfect.
But that doesn’t make Captain America right.
He ends up pinned to a wall, Steve glaring at him from behind that cowl. Why is it he had to open his faceplate, but Steve got to keep the cowl on? It seems a little unfair, but then nothing about this stupid war is fair.
“Are you done?” Steve growls, face right there.
“You know me; I never know when to quit.”
Instead of retorting, Steve kisses him like throwing a punch. It’s hard and brutal and Tony’s lip is bleeding now if it wasn’t already. It isn’t how he thought Captain America would kiss, but it’s perfect for the moment. He arches against Steve and grabs a fistful of blue and presses right into the kiss just as brutally.
His underarmor retracts as Steve grabs his ass and hoists him up against the wall.
Wall sex. They’re going to have angry wall sex. Well, that’s at least one good thing that is going to come out of all this. He hooks his legs over Steve’s hips and, oh, they’re grinding together and it almost hurts, that uniform against his naked skin but nearly everything about this hurts on one level or another. As he reaches down to get those impossibly tight pants open, Steve dips his head down to bite and suck at his neck. He thinks Steve is marking his territory.
They don’t have lube, Captain America might be boyscout but he’s not prepared for that, so spit will have to suffice. He doesn’t even know how Steve knows the mechanics of gay sex, but there aren’t any words exchanged so he must have picked it up somehow. Steve’s fingers push into his mouth and he knows this bit, sucks at those fingers and gets them nice and wet. He idly realizes Steve must have removed a glove, because it’s skin and not leather he’s lapping at like he’s sucking cock and worrying his teeth into. Steve removes those fingers and pushes them both into Tony’s ass at once.
Tony’s all for rough play. He just didn’t think Steve was…
But he’s too pissed to care what might be going on in Steve’s head right now. He fucks himself on those fingers and removes Steve’s cowl, throws it to the ground and fists his hands in Steve’s pretty blond hair. He tugs probably too hard but he’s not interested in being gentle.
And it’s worth it for the growl-like sound Steve lets out anyway.
He bites at Steve’s jaw and moans when Steve finds his prostate. A few blurry moments later, those fingers are gone and Steve’s huge cock is pressing into him. It hurts, fuck yes it does, but it’s the kind of hurt Tony likes.
He always was a masochist.
It’s grunting and groaning from there, and biting and sweating. Well, Tony sweats; it takes a lot more than some furious sex to make Captain America break a sweat.
Tony comes like a freight train, head thrown back as he cries out.
Steve keeps going and Tony mewls a bit, each brush of that cock over his prostate deliciously overstimulating him. It’s like Steve is trying to fuck him into submission.
When Steve comes, Tony feels it inside and waxes poetically about it in his mind for a couple seconds before he reins that craziness in. Steve’s face is pressed against his neck and both of them just breathe for a few moments. It seems as if they fucked the fight out of themselves.
“I’m sorry…” Steve mutters after what seems like forever.
Tony almost rolls his eyes; Steve is still inside of him and he’s apologizing? So like Captain America, Tony should have guessed it would happen… “For what? For giving me the best sex I’ve had since I can remember?”
Steve pulls back to give him a disapproving frown. “I’m pretty sure I just raped you.”
Seriously, only Captain America could be disapproving of someone while calling himself a rapist. Tony can’t help it; he laughs.
Steve looks at him oddly for a few moments before pursing his lips a bit to keep from looking inappropriately amused. “It’s not funny,” he insists.
Tony sobers after laughing a bit more and cradles Steve’s jaw with both hands. “God, I miss you…”
“This doesn’t solve anything, Tony; we’re still on opposite sides.”
“No, we… Steve, work with me. Behind the scenes if you want, no one has to know and it would save lives. Maybe we can find some common ground in the middle where everyone is happy…”
“Compromise…” Steve says, like it’s a four-letter word.
“Peace,” Tony counters. Steve hesitates a moment and then nods. Tony leans in and kisses Steve again.
“Everything will be okay, Tony.”
Head pillowed against Steve’s broad chest, Steve’s arm around him and thumb caressing his skin with their legs tangled together in the sheets, Tony thinks everything might just be okay after all. He’s glad he told Steve about the act; he very seriously considered trying to take it on without Steve at all. But, no, this is better; a united front. They can make sure it all happens in the least objectionable way possible. Tony knows it will happen eventually, the bill will be passed, so maybe they can even put something into action before it becomes a necessity, before some horrible accident happens. Tony will make sure things get done, and Steve will make sure they get done in a way that no one’s civil rights are violated.
Also perfect was this; Steve making sweet, sweet love to him. If he’d known complete honesty would do the trick, he’d have tried it ages ago.
“I know,” he says. “You and me together, that’s the best chance we have of succeeding.”
Tony smirks and runs a hand along Steve’s ridiculous abs. “No, that’s just a perk. You could have told me sooner that you were interested. How was I supposed to know Captain America swings both ways?”
Steve chuckles. “Has a detail like that ever stopped you before?”
“Not really, no. I feel a little bad about sullying your purity, though.”
“You don’t mean that even a little bit,” Steve says, giving his arm a teasing pinch.
“You know me so well. Maybe we should get married,” Tony jokes.
Tony blinks and sits up on an elbow, looking down at Steve with a quirked brow. “Okay, what?” he asks carefully.
“Let’s get married.”
“Are you serious?”
Steve gives him a mildly disapproving look. “I wouldn’t joke about this.”
Tony smiles, a slow and honest sort of thing. “I’m gonna be Mrs. Captain America? I could be convinced to give that a try. You have to do it, right, though; I’m expecting a shiny ring and a fancy proposal.”
Steve chuckles again and pulls him down for a kiss. “I can do that.”
Yeah, Tony’s pretty damn happy he showed that red folder to Steve…