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Okay, this is an official (my first official!) Avengers fanfic. Because I saw the Avengers over Friday and Saturday and YES I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT IT WAS SO AWESOME!!!! And I just had to write this because I love Cap and I think Tony Stark is pretty cool when he’s not being, y’know, obnoxious. 😛 Also, I cried over Dr. Erskine so he HAS to get a mention!!!

Enjoy! 😀

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                After a battle, there’s generally a mess.

No one knew this better than Captain Steven Rogers, the World War II veteran. He hadn’t often had to clean up the physical messes, though—more often, he dealt with the psychological fallout, both in himself, and in his men.

After Manhattan, they couldn’t go back to their lives as they had been before—well, not that he had a normal life in the first place, at all, and probably did neither of the others—but when you’ve come together against the odds and fought as a team, you will always be that team.

Fury had them go their separate ways—setting them loose on the defenseless, unsuspecting world, Stark had called it (Steve had almost laughed, it sounded that much like Howard)—but Steve wasn’t going to leave on his road trip just yet. He wasn’t ready.

Unfinished business, they had called it in his day. (Now, that seemed to have a slightly different connotation—Barton?) Lack of closure, they called it now.

Both terms were accurate, but in different senses. Different senses for different ways of thinking that had been in vogue, traded out with time.

Steve found Stark on one of the floors of the Stark Tower that was not entirely destroyed. (Sorry about that, Mr. Stark. It really wasn’t our fault, though.) Stark turned to face him, side by side with a tall strawberry blonde woman in “comfortable” ripped jeans. Stark made a face at him, rather childishly, but Steve still caught the tiny smile that flickered across his face, mostly hidden by the neat trimmed goatee.

“Captain Rogers,” Stark acknowledged him.

“Mr. Stark.” Just like before.

“May I introduce the incomparable Pepper Potts.” Steve smiled, genuinely.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Ma’am.”

“I can see you’re eager for your boy talk, so I’ll just slip out.” Steve watched her, surprised. She was startlingly discreet, and perfectly poised as well. He had been introduced to her mere seconds ago, but he already respected her. Stark cleared his throat.

“Mr.—” Steve’s voice caught in his throat. He coughed. “Anthony.”

“Call me Tony. Anthony is the name I get called whenever someone wants to find something.” Steve blinked at the near-sacrilegious joke, but let it slide.

“Tony…” he tested it out. Stark—Tony—raised an eyebrow at him. “I have something I want to say. I owe you an apology.” Tony flapped a hand at him indifferently.

“Don’t get all gushy on me. I’m allergic to mush, fuzzy-warm, whatever.” Steve barked out a short laugh.

“I wanted to apologize for what I said to you about sacrifice. I was wrong. I misjudged you. Now I know—you may be a lot of things—reckless, for one, and probably crazy—but you are willing to give up your life for others. And that’s something I can respect.” Steve smiled, self-consciously. “Howard Stark was kinder to me than he should have been, by the laws of the jungle, but it’s not for me to judge him, in either direction. I considered him a friend. I hope to consider you a friend, as well. It has been an honor to fight beside you, soldier.” Out of habit, he gave Tony a salute, slightly more relaxed than he would have back in the war. Tony half-smiled, half-grimaced.

“There you go again with the touchy-feely stuff.” He wrinkled his nose. Steve suppressed a grin. Tony moved over to the couch and sat down. “I wasn’t very close to my father. He was always absent… founding SHIELD… looking for you. I don’t know why we’re having this heart to heart, but for a while, I really hated you. But I’m starting not to. That’s all I wanted to say.”

“That’s all I can ask.” Steve replied. He paused. “My mentor, Dr. Erskine, told me once that it’s really the man that matters. It’s the man that makes the hero. And you are a good man, no matter what anyone says. You just pretend not to be.” He smiled. “I’m glad to finally meet you, Tony Stark.”

After the captain left, Pepper came back in, half-smiling. “What was that all about?” she asked, softly, as Tony wrapped an arm around her shoulders.

“You know, I’m starting to understand why my father never stopped looking.” he said, softly. Pepper smiled. It seemed that Tony had finally found some sort of peace, as far as his conflicted feelings about his past were concerned.

Despite being patently not a team player, Tony had finally found his team.

 

Thoughts? Questions? Please comment! Tell me how I did and is Tony in character (I’m not absolutely sure since… well, Tony!)? Thanks for reading, and God Bless! 🙂

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