Shivering, Steve briskly strode down the pavement cursing the biting wind. Even spending the morning at the gym hadn’t warmed him up enough to face the cold November day.
He frowned as he walked on. A headache had been slowly building up all day and he hadn’t had time to find some pain relief; his latest client was rather intense and had requested Steve’s assistance constantly. Not that he was complaining. After all, paintings alone couldn’t pay the bills and he usually enjoyed his job as a personal trainer .He liked the satisfaction of helping others to achieve their goals, and it gave him a sense of feeling useful since joining the military hadn’t worked out. Not to mention the free pass he had been given to the gym.
Steve couldn’t contain the pang of anxiety that hit him as he neared the gallery. It had been revealed to him that the artist he would be sharing the space with was non other than Tony Stark.
How on earth he had managed to put his work next to one of the most well known sculptors was beyond him. Steve had admired his work for a long time now and a part of him hoped that Stark might even like his own paintings. He hoped that when he met Stark he didn’t make a fool of himself, or that the man took a dislike to him- he had a bit of a reputation for being rather rude at times.
Taking a deep breath, he fumbled in his pocket with a numb hand until he found the key to the gallery, it took a few tries but he eventually managed to get the door open. Luckily the space had heating and he rubbed his hands together to warm up as he looked around. He had been given the key a few days ago in order to set up, but the last day had come around rather quickly and Steve needed to get everything ready for the preview the following evening. He hadn’t had much motivation recently, but since he was paying for this he had forced himself here. Perhaps with Stark around there would be more people willing to spend ridiculous amounts of money on art.
All of Stark’s sculptures had already been carefully displayed; intricate designs of animals made with miniature cogs, a delicate scene of flowing figures created from wire. In the centre of the room stood a large abstract shape full of twists and turns that appeared to made out of chicken wire, and there were a great deal of wooden carvings with an extraordinary amount of detail. A bar had also been placed at the back of the room, but the gallery were providing the refreshments for the next day which was one less thing Steve had to worry about.
Lost in the work, the artist didn’t notice he wasn’t alone until a voice behind him spoke up.
“Admiring my work?”
In a two piece suit (rather outshining Steve’s own jeans and paint splattered top), stood Tony Stark leaning against the wall, a steaming coffee in his hand. With a grin he said, “You must be Steve Rogers, I was having a peek at your paintings earlier. The silhouette one’s are great.”
Steve could feel his heart flutter slightly before he grinned back and held out a hand, “Pleasure to meet you Mr Stark. I’m a great fan of your work.”
The man waved a dismissive hand and smirked, “Please, call me Tony.” He nodded towards the bubble wrapped painting that leaned against the wall. “You need a hand with those?”
Without waiting for a reply, the dark haired man set down his coffee, “It’ll take you all night otherwise- even with those muscles”, and began to help Steve slowly unwrap the canvasses. Tony passed the first one up, and Steve took it from him, their hands briefly touching, and secured it to the wire hangings already in place.
He grunted as he tried to secure one side. “Would you mind holding this up?”, he asked.
As a reply, Tony took the weight, standing close to Steve, who caught the scent of coffee and expensive cologne.
They continued working together until all the paintings had been displayed, all that was left to do was for Steve to stick the titles of his work on the wall. He smiled and turned around, “Thank you, Tony, that took a lot less time than I expected it to.”
Tony had his phone in his hand and had just downed the last of his coffee. With a wink, he gave a small nod towards his phone, “I need to answer this. Hey, it was great to meet you hot stuff, I’ll see you tomorrow evening”, and was out the door before Steve had a chance to form a reply.
Feeling slightly bemused and flustered, he admired the gallery one last time before locking up and heading back out into the cold afternoon.
As he slowly walked back towards his apartment, he thought about Tony Stark. He had been much less rude than the tabloids made him out to be. In fact, he had been surprised that the man had even wanted to talk to him, after all Steve wasn’t much compared to Tony Stark.
After a long tedious walk (he couldn't afford public transport) he finally reached his home and hurried inside, anxious to get out of the cold and to try and complete some more of his current painting.
“Bucky, you home?”
Here is how I imagine Tony's work: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cog+sculpture&rlz=1C1CHFX_enGB505GB505&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi48tqWnoXPAhUEIsAKHaJWBKQQ_AUICCgB&biw=1366&bih=643