ok I'm curious, what in CA:CW made you ship MCU!Steve/Tony because I know before that you didn't really ship them.
honestly, it’s not so much what made me ship mcu stevetony as what made me love mcu tony
and mcu tony in cacw was very 616-like to me: less quippy, more openly fucking sad, with his guilt complex really way too obvious, with playing politics, with doing damage control and PR and all the stuff other avengers don’t want to care about, with negotiating ross and trying to keep everyone together (and failing so hard, oh my god, tony), with his self-hatred and loneliness
he’s just pretty much everything i love about tony wrapped up in a pair of the saddest most hurt eyes ever
and where do we see his most emotional reactions? in reply to steve
it’s really really obvious he cares about steve so much. really. so fucking much.
and it’s there in the first scene with ross and the avengers–steve turns to look at tony, and tony takes ages to look up, and they have this silent communication thing and i believe tony knows already then that it will go down somehow, it’ll be a mess, and he has to try and stop it
and then it only gets more obvious
he starts talking to steve (and steve only) and he wants to convince him, he tries everything. he starts the conversation in a messed up suit and fixes himself because he’s really emotionally vulnerable there, he needs some kind of an armour
and he snaps at steve–give me a break. i’m doing what has to be done. to stave off something worse. because damn he believes this and he doesn’t believe he’ll convince steve, not really, but wow he has to try because steve’s his friend and this is the only way tony can take care of him now and steve’s a good man so if he agrees with tony–maybe so’s tony, and if he doesn’t…well, and damn tony wants his approval
we know how it ends. keep telling yourself that. and tony puts on his glasses, more armour, and you can’t tell me he’s not crying.
HE JUST. CARES. ABOUT STEVE. SO MUCH.
and then zemo happens, bucky happens, steve runs away
and tony talks to ross. sits down, so ross can tower over him, and tony fucking looks up and makes himself physically unassuming and begs, literally begs for a chance to bring steve in before someone’s sent to kill him instead. tony puts his everything on the line for steve then. and he’s so hurt, physically as well now, he’s bleeding, his left arm hurts (his heart hurts :))) ) and all he tries to do is to save steve
the airport scene
THE FUCKING AIRPORT SCENE
with tony having his heart on his sleeve in the most obvious ways possible
and really this whole fucking conversation
you’ve been busy
and you’ve been a complete idiot!
look at how out of it tony is already. he has a black eye (haha do you want to talk about tony opening his faceplate without prompting :))) ) and he’s so done he knows either steve goes with him or he gets killed sooner or later and steve refuses to listen. and look, tony doesn’t know what steve knows at that point. and steve doesn’t really have hard proof either.
so tony’s there trying to convince him but at the end of his line and he’s snapping and he keeps asking and his voice keeps rising and he tries and fails to compose himself so many times
i’m trying to – i’m trying to keep you from tearing the avengers apart
that fucking pause there? he looks away, he shakes his head, he can’t even talk for a moment, it’s so fucking important
steve’s answer? you did that when you signed.
he could stab him as well
and even then tony keeps trying
(do you want to talk about 616 and tony extending his hand and steve EMP-ing him)
except he’s really hurt, really done
so his trying changes into all right, we’re done and he actually spells it out for steve what is going to happen you’re going to come with us, now, because it’s US, and not a squad of j-soc guys with no compunction about being impolite
and there’s a cut to nat, and steve looking around, and back to tony, and he’s hoping, he’s hoping so hard, as if his hope can actually convince steve
he looks away too, and this little come on escapes him
and steve refuses.
(and i’d like to note how at the beginning there tony is like rhodey, you take cap, as if he doesn’t actually want to fight him himself, and then he literally says his plan was to take it easy, he never wanted a full out fight fuck everything, and then RHODEY GETS HURT and it’s all of tony’s nightmare neatly wrapped into one)
and tony watches rhodey being scanned, learns he might be crippled, knows it’s his fault because he’s tony stark, everything is his fault
and then he learns steve might’ve been right
and he leaves immediately to tell ross, to help steve
and ross threatens to arrest him, ross shows him his friends in the raft, his friends who hate him (even though tony is right! they broke the law, each and every one, willingly), and tony still begs them for a chance to help steve
and sam tells him, so tony follows steve
and their meeting is so great? tony’s wary, but yet again opens his faceplate
tells steve he was right. steve accepts his help. tony’s so relieved. he jokes. (he’d have to arrest himself. because it’s true)
it’s so light for a moment
and then zemo shows them the video, and tony watches his parents, his mum getting killed by the man steve risked everything to protect (risked tony to protect)
and tony closes his eyes at some points. he can’t watch. and then he only wants to know one thing.
did you know
and he knows the answer
don’t bullshit me, rogers, did you know
and it’s then when he snaps, just lashes out, wants to hurt bucky (and i’d like to note that even then he’s consciously trying not to kill them. he’s in his full armour. he can take on the hulk or level cities. instead he ties steve’s legs and aims at the walls to cut off their escape and the most damage he does to one of them is to blow bucky’s mechanical arm off, when he’s trying to save his own life)
and the worst line happens
i’m sorry, tony. but he’s my friend.
so was i.
but i think even then it dawns to tony … that maybe no. maybe it was only ever one-sided.
at the end, when steve has tony down and keeps hitting him, and smashes his helmet, and raises his shield–tony covers his face, and he’s convinced steve will kill him
i think steve thought so for a second too
instead, steve smashes the armour reactor. literally breaks tony’s heart. and for a few long seconds, they just look at each other. and it’s all there. all of it. all the could have beens and all the broken trust and all the things they’ll never rebuild now
i ship them in mcu now, because it’s fucking tragic, and i roll like that
but also because, my shipping glasses aside, you can totally see one-sided unrequited love on tony’s part. he really thought steve was his friend. that it ran both ways. he did it all for a man he loved.
they’re both a mess, a destructive mess at that, and we know tony, every tony, only ever wants to be loved. and honestly, after the emotional rollercoaster of tony feels in cacw? i ship them. because it’s terrible and it makes sense, and there’s this steve can only be this mad because he loved tony too
and then there’s imagine if they were in a relationship before
and steve actually calls first
and tony is left with nothing at the end. rhodey’s alive, but hurt, and tony blames himself. vision is there, but every time tony looks at him, he remembers jarvis is gone.
steve sends him a letter, and a phone, and tony doesn’t call; tony knows how it’d end. (tony’s not steve’s friend.)
steve might call.
this movie really wonderfully destroys tony, and you can argue it destroys steve, either, and this is when i’m interested in them.