sometimes i still can’t believe ???? that aa steve is even real ????? like, 1st of all, pLEASE nOTE that within the aa universe, steve isn’t even the Official Team Leader, the writers of aa have always taken care to have ppl explicitly acknowledge tony as leader of the avengers. so steve and tony are de facto co-leaders. and there’s no lip service, there’s no ‘team in name only’ because aa actually SHOWS US HOW THEY WORK AS A TEAM & WHY. this whole episode was about tony’s insecurities + paranoia influencing his ability to make good choices and to effectively lead the team.
and instead of criticising or blaming him for letting his anxiety and doubt get to him, steve supports him. steve shows him he isn’t alone. he tells him that the team has his back and he’s never going to be expected to do this all alone because that’s literally what the team is there for. and it’s just so simple, so easy, and straightforward and unconditional. goddamn, this is how you do steve and tony.
I always keep my distance. So that I don’t get closer than I need to. I always keep my distance. So that others can’t get too close to me. To keep one’s distance is to isolate oneself. To keep one’s distance means that one will be that much lonely. That’s what..survival is. That is my way of surviving. I have lived my life like a racehorse in the barriers. That’s how I survived until now. And that’s how I’m going to survive.