Avengers: Steve and Tony in Prison

Originally meant to be a short story for a contest on dA, but decided to continue. I won first place with this~ the theme was: first/last time. summary:
Steve Rogers and Tony Stark have always been rivals from day one. They can't help clashing with each other because their opinions always differed. However, when Tony finds that he has lost his wealthy lifestyle and his world as Iron Man, he turns to Steve for the first time ever, and they must find a way to cooperate in order to regain the life they both once knew. Neither know, upon joining forces, that their friendship started much too late.


1. Part 1

“I lost all my wealth. All my fortune. I don’t know how or why.”

Steve stared at Tony for a long silent moment, then sighed. “Come in,” he said, waving the man into his house.

Tony followed Steve in reluctance through the open doorway, then shut it and locked it after him. He took off his black overcoat as he scanned the living room with cautious eyes.

The man’s obviously telling the truth, Steve thought as he rubbed his eyes and made his way to the visible kitchen off to the far side of the living area. He would never even consider stepping foot into this run-down building if he could help it.

“Why didn’t you go to Bruce or the other avengers?” Steve asked as he poured whiskey into a clean glass and water in another. “Thought I’d be the last you come to for help.”

“They all turned me down, saying it’s a good chance to become friends with you,” Tony said, then snorted and mumbled, “Yeah, a good chance to kill each other.”

Steve nodded in silent agreement as he dropped the half-empty bottle of whiskey onto the countertop with a clatter, then turned back to the living room with the drinks in both his hands. He raised his brows in amused exasperation when he saw Tony simply standing and fidgeting in the center of the living room, looking entirely out of place.

He knew what Tony was processing: a murky apartment room with dusty lamps, tables, and a sofa interconnected with a smaller kitchenette that had been wiped as clean as a neat person could manage but was nothing compared to any of Tony’s own living arrangements from when he was a baby. Steve’s home was a total horror straight out of a supposedly unrealistic movie, but which was actually reality for middle-class citizens.

“Tony, you can sit down, you know,” Steve told him with a chuckle. He went to sit on the only sofa in front of the wooden coffee table situated nearby the center of the room, then reached out an arm with the liquor he’d poured to offer Tony.

“Sure, cap, I-I’ll sit. In a moment.” Tony’s wide eyes were still darting around to take his surroundings in, but he took the glass given to him in relief and muttered, “Thank you,” before taking a large gulp of it. He furrowed his brows as he held out the glass away from him and said, “Seriously, cap? Whiskey?

“It’s all I have,” Steve replied with a light shrug. “Sit down already. It feels strange having you standing while I’m sitting.”

“Yeah, and for once having to look up at me,” Tony mumbled under his breath with a little shaky laugh that he obviously meant to be breezy.

As he came over to sit, wary, on the other side of the couch where he’d be farther away from his host, Steve sipped his water and said, “I heard that. Based on your usual sarcastic comment, I’d say you’re doing much better than I thought at first.”

“Oh, yeah, I’m always fine,” Tony said with a jerky wave of his hand and a grimace he failed to make a grin. “Why wouldn’t I be, you know, except for the fact that I’ll be living in a cramped up place like this for a while?”

“Ye—Wait, what?” Steve stared in surprise at Tony, who was trying his best to look at anything else but Steve. He tried to catch eye contact, but they kept avoiding his own unwelcoming gaze.

Both knew that Steve Rogers, the Captain America in him, would never refuse to help a person in need, even a rival like Tony Stark. Neither of them voiced that fact, for it would mean they had agreed on something, which was rare, and Tony was much too stubborn for that. However, for Steve, he felt something petty about how he had just realized it wasn’t “even Tony Stark” he’d help, but especially Tony Stark. He wanted the man to be in his debt after helping him.

Since meeting Tony, their initial arguments had always been insulting and defensive. Steve wasn’t the kind of person who disliked and fought with sociable people. He was far from sadistic, but for the first time, Steve was feeling an overwhelming sense of control over a person who completely loathed losing all control in his life. It was petty of him, however, he couldn’t resist the sensation of victory that he only got from winning battles, and normally not from mere verbal fights with a fellow bringer of justice.

No, he didn’t like the cruel idea or the nasty feeling it brought. Reject him. Now! At the same time he yelled this inwardly, he slammed down his empty glass on the table, which was almost sent crashing to the floor.

“Tony, you’ll stay here until you can find another home,” Steve finally said, breaking the long silence and startling Tony. “In the meantime, I’ll help you figure out what happened to all your possessions. We’ll get them back.”

“Stay…here?” Tony repeated slowly as he glanced about him, giving the homey room another once-over. At the glare from Steve, he held up his hands, showed a little of the smile he couldn’t suppress, and said, “Okay, okay. I’ll stay until I can find another place. It shouldn’t take long. Rhodey is already investigating matters himself.”

Steve nodded, though he wondered why Tony had so easily agreed. Normally he hated being commanded and wouldn’t obey a word.

He sighed in resignation and leaned back in his seat with a weary slump, then pushed an aggravated hand through his hair and shut his eyes. It was too late to turn the man away. For the moment, he would have to put up with the horrifying new emotion that turned Steve’s good intentions into a sickening motivation. Evil Captain America was not what he had in mind when offering help. It was a first he never wanted to experience again.

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