“You’re not going to believe this,” Steve said, trying not to sound like he was panicking, even though he absolutely was. This was a disaster.
The amused look fell from Tony’s face immediately, and Steve practically felt the weight of all his attention zeroing in on him. “What happened?” he asked immediately. Tony’s concern wasn’t exactly foreign, but Steve wasn’t sure he’d ever seen it directed at him this intensely outside of a battle situation. It made him feel strange, like he wanted to hug Tony, or be hugged by Tony, or something.
“Namor is going to announce we’re engaged,” Steve said, still not really believing the words. “Tonight. At dinner.”
Shock registered on Tony’s face before morphing into a glower. “You know, that guy has some serious boundary issues,” he said disapprovingly.
“You have no idea,” Steve said fervently. He made an impulsive decision: “I’m not going to the dinner.”
“Whoa, hang on, that’s not the way to handle this,” Tony insisted. His hand came up to rest on Steve’s arm, squeezing lightly, as his eyes locked on something just past Steve’s shoulder. It was the look he got when he was considering and discarding a dozen options at once. Tony was thinking about his problem, Steve realized. Tony was trying to figure out a way to help him.
But before they could even talk about it further, the awful music in the other room suddenly ceased and the bell rang, summoning everyone to dinner. “Tony,” Steve said urgently. They were out of time.
“Go, go, it’ll be okay,” Tony said, pushing at Steve’s shoulder, and if there was anyone Steve trusted to make things okay, it was Tony, so he went.
it sounded like @copperbadge was having One of Those Weekends, so i asked if he’d like some fic and he requested someone with a headache getting coddled
Pepper calls and he flinches.
headache going on day three is sitting like a pulsating rock in his
frontal lobe and the pitch of her voice is enough to send a needle
point of pain inward.
pauses, looks at him for five seconds, and then says, voice lowered,
“When did it start?”
the way home from NBC?” Tony tries because he honestly isn’t sure.
stares at him. “That was two days ago.”
she says, sounding appalled.
he replies defensively. “I’ve gotten six hours of sleep the last
four nights, I’ve eaten
regularly, I’ve only had like four cups of coffee per day, and I
haven’t gone over the recommended dose of over-the-counter
painkillers even though I know you can go over that and be fine!”
that wasn’t criticism,” Pepper says, her expression sympathetic and
her hand light on his arm.
Tony says, and deflates. “I’m tired and I’ve been sleeping,” he
whines. “How is that fair?”
not.” She nudges him forward gently and Tony moves as directed,
reaching up to dig his knuckles into his forehead. If he presses hard
enough, it briefly dulls the pain. “Come on. We’re done for today.”
should protest. There’s still a lot to do. But it feels good to have
someone take the reins and he doesn’t have it in him to fight when he
wants to do what she says so badly.