"Hey" Tony ducked into Steve's apartment.
Steve passed him a cup of coffee as Tony propped himself up on the counter.
"You know one of these days I really should turn you from my door, make you go face one of these women."
Steve grabbed his own cup of coffee and sat on the counter opposite Tony, their knees practically kissing.
"No way you could turn me away Steve, you'd miss these morning talks too much" Tony smirked, "plus it would be hard to keep me out, I mean considering you got me a key and everything."
Tony smiled at the key sitting next to him. He thought it was all very adorkable that the man had gone out and gotten him a key and then had it painted red and gold, Tony's favorite colors.
"Ya, I guess I would miss our morning talks, still... I don't know Tony, the girls. It feels wrong what you're doing, leaving them to wake up to an empty apartment."
"I leave them a note!" Tony defended, which of course only earned an eye roll from Steve.
"Look, man, we've had this conversation a thousand times before. Steve, they know that I'm not...
they know what they're doing and what's going to happen, I'm always perfectly clear about that okay?
I never lead these girls on and make them think there's more than what there really is, they know that that's just the way it is with me." Tony shrugged.
"I distinctly remember you telling me last week that you were an old fashioned guy, you wanted the house, the picket fence, the kids running around and the perfect marriage,
huh what about that?" Steve was eyeing Tony, "how are you supposed to get all that with one-night stands? Especially when you can't even face the girl in the morning?"
"Alright buddy let's just change the subject ya?" Tony asked, head rolling back, he was tired, Steve could tell.
But as much as he wanted to let his buddy rest, he couldn't leave the subject alone. It was in Tony's best interest.
"Stark. We've been changing the subject for months" Steve forced himself to continue, "I just...
I went along with this," he said with a little wave of his arm, indicating allowing his neighbor from across the hall in his apartment complex to use his place as a secret hideout,
"because I thought it made you happy, and I'd do anything to make you happy... but this isn't what you want man, it's just you filling a void."
"Oh, and you know what I want, huh!? What void, exactly, do you think I'm filling Rogers?
" Tony's voice was rising in anger, he had come here to hang out with his neighbor, the man who had become his best friend, not be attacked by him.
"I don't know, but last week you made it pretty clear it wasn't what you have gone with those girls," Steve replied, his voice too rising in anger, he just didn't get why Tony was so stubborn,
couldn't he see that Steve was just looking out for him?
"...do you have any of that pie left? The pie we made Saturday night?" Tony asked, breaking the awkward silence that had enveloped them.
"Umm... yeah, it's in the fridge..." Steve mustered up.
He hated fighting with Tony but he knew that sometimes Tony needed to hear these things, and Steve figured it would be best if it was from a friend,
something he hoped he had become to Tony in there time spent together.
A knock is what finally broke Tony’s gaze from his computer screen.
“One second!” He yelled, saving his latest changes to his program J.A.R.V.I.S.
He opened the door to find a hunched up Steve holding a pie and a worried look.
“Rogers? Hey… come in buddy.” Tony stepped aside to let the taller man into his apartment.
“Um here.” Steve said, pushing the pie at Tony as he stepped inside.
“You brought me pie. Why did you bring me pie?” Tony asked Steve as he sat on his counter.
“Peace offering.” Steve blushed as he sat on the counter opposite Tony, their knees once again kissing.
“You havn’t come over in a few days and I just-” He began explaining, upon seeing Tony’s confused face, “- I don’t know if I made you upset or made things awkward between us by talking to you like that so I just-”
“Steve…” Tony interrupted as he looked at his wall calendar by the fridge.
“Today is Thursday, I was over there Monday morning. It’s been three days Rogers! You couldn’t handle not seeing me for three days so you baked me a cake and came over?” Tony was wearing the hugest grin Steve had ever seen.
“... it’s a pie” Steve mustered halfheartedly pointing at the pie, hoping with all his might his face wasn’t as pink as it felt. “I don’t know, I guess I was worried is all…” he mumbled to the pie.
“Is it really so impossible to think that I can go whole three nights without a one night stand to hide from?” Tony asked, grin morphing into a smirk.
“No it’s just- I guess I’m so use to you being in my apartment every morning, chatting over breakfast before I go off for work…
I mean lately you're there even where there are no one night stands to hide from. I don’t know it’s just you've been there every morning so when you stopped showing up- well I- I got worried that maybe I’d overstepped my boundaries or something.” Steve finished, still staring at the pie.
Tony knew Steve was right, he had been showing up every morning for the last couple of weeks, replacing the usual once or twice a week thing they had going before that.
Even when they had spent the night before together watching a movie, baking (they had gotten pretty good at it after months of nearly burning down the kitchen), or teaching each other new skills
(Tony was proud to say that not only had he been able to teach Steve how to use electronics, they’d recently moved onto the basics of coding, Tony was also proud to say that his stick figures, though still stick figures, were not as crappy looking as before), he still showed up every morning under the pretense of needing to hide from the girl he had been with the night before.
“J.A.R.V.I.S has been on the Fritz, which should not be happening considering I’m the one who designed him…
Anyways I’ve just been really busy with that, I havn’t left the house at all, or slept or eaten or you know…
and I guess… I thought that maybe you didn’t want me back.
I mean I am basically the opposite of everything you stand for right?” Tony said, suddenly finding the pie very interesting and refusing to look away from it.
“No Tony, I’m sorry I never meant it that way, you are an amazing guy, okay, and you deserve to live your life the way you want-”Steve said finally breaking his death stare at the pie to face Tony.
“Don’t. Don’t apologize Steve, not to me okay?” Tony cut him off, head snapping to face Steve. “ I love that about you,
out of everyone I know you're the only one- at least the only one that matters- who always calls me out on my shit. You're not scared to talk straight with me, okay, I don’t want that to change, don't- don’t be sorry.
I needed to hear what you had to say. You know you're right, the one night stands... they aren't what I want, they aren’t what make me happy.” Tony stopped, he was staring intently at Steve and realized that he suddenly felt the urge to add ‘your what makes me happy’,
but before he could figure out what his mind was trying to tell him Steve hopped off the counter and headed for the fridge.
“So you really haven't eaten in three days?” Steve asked pulling the milk out of the fridge and Tony out of his thoughts. “Guess it was a good thing I baked pie then.”
“I don’t know Steve I feel kind of hurt that you baked a pie without me.” Tony joked trying to shake off the new thoughts he was having about his neighbor, okay maybe not new, but they hit him like a tidal wave all of a sudden and he didn’t know what to do with them.
“I promise Tony, never again will I bake another pie without you.” Steve smiled with a wink.
“Shit.” Tony mumbled to himself, wide eyed as he watched Steve prepare a plate of pie for him.
End of Part 1 (I Have Pie...) of Life of Pie