@hellogarbagetime wanted to be mean to Tony, so here is Commander Rogers forgetting about Tony’s b-day. Happy birthday, Tony, enjoy.
Steve stumbled into his room, utterly exhausted. He looked at the pile of paperwork awaiting him and the vision of spending yet another evening on it was almost more painful than the bruises from his last Secret Avengers mission. It needed to be done, though, so he stripped out of his uniform and took a quick, hot shower to ease the lingering pain. Then, he splashed his face with cold water, and sat down to sign everything that needed signing.
When he was done, he looked at the clock and saw it was after nine … and he was late. He sighed. He was supposed to meet up with Tony, just pizza and movies, working on rebuilding their friendship—and he didn’t want not to go; everything between them was so fragile still.
But he was so tired. He’d probably just fall asleep and then Tony would be upset. He would be late anyway.
He fired off a quick text to Tony. Sorry, Shellhead, I’m beat—mind if I take a rain check on this movie?
The read icon flashed almost immediately, so he waited until Tony’s reply.
Tony usually texted so fast Steve barely had time to look away from his screen when he finished his own message.
He’d gotten worried before Tony finally texted back, Sure. Just one word.
Huh. Maybe Tony forgot about their meeting himself, cooped up in his workshop. Steve was too exhausted to consider it further. He switched off his phone and went to sleep.
The following days, Steve was too busy between SHIELD and the occasional Avenging to write to Tony. Tony should understand, Steve excused himself, he was rebuilding his company, he knew what it was like to juggle too many jobs.
Mostly, Steve was scared of messing something else up. It was easier if Tony reached out first.
But Tony didn’t.
Steve was channel-surfing when he spotted Tony on tv and focused on the program. Tony talked about Stark Resilient, their plans for the RT-powered car and more RT-tech in the future. Steve watched him fondly. He always liked seeing Tony talk about his projects. His whole face came alive, and he gestured, obviously excited.
“And that’s all for tonight,” the presenter said finally. “Thank you, Mister Stark – and we hope you had a good birthday!”
Tony smiled, but there was something off about it: he was no longer enthusiastic. This was his perfected press smile and Steve hated it. “Thank you.”
Steve didn’t have to look at the calendar to confirm his sudden horrible realisation.
Of all the days he could’ve blown Tony off—he was an idiot. And he hadn’t even realised. Good job rebuilding friendship, Rogers.
He had to make it up to Tony.
His mind went into tactical mode. His first thought was, of course, to throw Tony the best party ever, but he discarded it quickly. Tony hadn’t prepared a party this year, no; he’d just invited Steve in for a quiet night.
Steve swallowed. He’d just invited Steve. Tony wanted to spend time on his birthday with Steve and Steve only.
Steve really hoped he wasn’t misinterpreting it.
Steve showed up on Tony’s doorstep the next day, a cardboard box with the sweetest chocolate cake he could find in New York in one hand, and a bouquet of red and richly yellow roses in the other.
“Wow,” Tony said at his sight. “Did I miss something?”
“I did,” Steve said. “I’m sorry.”
Tony shrugged. “No big deal,” he said, but he wasn’t looking at Steve. “I know you’re busy. I might not remember the job, but—”
“I’m sorry,” Steve repeated. “I should’ve remembered.” He offered the flowers to Tony. “Happy birthday.”
Tony seemed uncertain as he accepted them, but he smiled. “I appreciate the colours,” he said, turning to walk inside.
“I also have a cake,” Steve said, following Tony.
“I hope you realise this means I’ll subject you to a Star Trek marathon while we eat every last crumble,” Tony joked.
“I hoped for that,” Steve said honestly. “And …”
He hesitated. He never used to hesitate with Tony, but maybe that was a good thing, maybe there could be a new beginning here too.
Tony put the flowers in a vase and turned to Steve, raising an eyebrow. “And?”
Don’t be a coward, Rogers.
Steve leant in and pressed a quick kiss to Tony’s lips before he could talk himself out of it.
Tony stared at him, wide-eyed and silent.
“I—” Steve started saying, but Tony shook his head to stop him.
“That’s your idea of a late birthday gift?” he asked.
Steve wasn’t sure what to say.
“You could at least make it a proper kiss,” Tony said. “If it’s the only one—”
“No,” Steve said. “Not the only one. Just the first.”
And then he leant in for the second. Tony met him half-way.