Summary: Sometimes, the best nights are the ones Tony is drunk.
Word Count: 1,928
A/N:Oh hey, apparently I exist again.
On AO3, thus making this whole post irrelevant
There’s very little Steve enjoys more than a drunk Tony. No, listen, listen – he’s been in the company of soldiers. There are the regular drunks (aka every soldier that’s seen action) and then there were the Howling Commandos, who put everyone else to shame at least four times a week. If any of them are still around, they might be able to tell you about The Lipstick Brocolli Incident, which is as good an argument for gender equality in the army as Steve has ever heard.
But absolutely none of that compares to the way Anthony Stark reacts to alcohol. Like, considering when he’s completely sober (which is rare) he acts like a coke addict or at least a very, very eccentric mad scientist, and that he’s probably always doing at least twelve complicated equations in his head at any given time and the fact that he is continually injecting himself with any number of untested and highly volatile chemicals that apparently let him see all of creation or help preserve the fabric of reality or whatever, when you add in a drink that makes everything bubble to the surface the results are kind of awe-worthy. It’s a bit like Katie Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby, except sped up a couple hundred times. (Didn’t get that one? Steve’s working on it. Movie night includes a lot of interesting entries, to say the least.)
So they're at a social function, something that’s supposed to parade The Avengers out in front of the whole city and show how wholesome and hero worship-worthy they all really are, except Steve is, typically, the only one behaving. Well, technically Natasha is as well, as long as people don’t speak to her, or make eye contact, or ask her what BDSM store she got her catsuit at. Steve makes a note to look up what BDSM is later. He’s pretty sure it’s something that’ll make him blush horribly.
But other than Natasha, everyone is going insane. Clint is giving a loud and animated public demonstration of his skills, which involves him using a mini-bow made out of bread and string cheese to shoot a tiny pig-in-a-blanket into some poor volunteer’s mouth. Bruce left five minutes after arriving, probably because Tony had a makeshift lab installed in the basement just for the occasion. Steve’s theory is justified when a thunderous boom comes from below the floor and Thor has to check to see if he didn’t accidentally drop his hammer. Which wouldn’t be out of the question, considering he seems to have no concept of how big and potentially awkward and discombobulated he is. Watching him dance, which he does on an all too frequent basis, or clubbing – the term he prefers and seems to find endlessly amusing – is a bit like watching a lion try to be a lumberjack. Which sort of makes it all the more better that Jane is willing to try and keep up with him. Steve just wishes he'd put the hammer down and save everyone one hell of a black eye.
Which leaves Tony. And oh boy, Tony lives for these functions. Not in the way the he enjoys them, because none of them do (except for Thor, but Thor enjoys practically everything), but in the way that this is how he was raised and jeez, he just doesn’t care anymore. It makes for this kind of amazing freedom while still managing to not completely throw public opinion of them down the toilet. He can say anything he wants, and as long as it’s charming or witty enough, society eats it up. It’s not like Tony doesn’t have his massive insecurities and neuroses and all that, but that’s, you know, why he gets drunk. Look, he isn’t saying that it’s healthy. And he knows one day he’s gotta get Tony to stop. But it can make things interesting. Fun, even.
“Do you know what your problem is, Rogers?” Tony slurs at him after Steve drags him away from another potential slander lawsuit.
“I’ve only got so much love to give?” Steve asks, arching an eyebrow and downing a mojito or mimosa or something starting with an M. He stopped paying attention to any drinks other than beer about 75 years ago.
“You’re no fun,” Tony continues, accussingly. “You’re all ‘Murrika! Land of the freedom fries!’ or whatever.”
“And yet, by the way you fight, someone might think you actually cared!”
“No one makes that mistake twice,” Tony says, with a grin. He was sloshing around on his feet like the vodka in his martini. “The only thing I fight for is tax cuts on my lab equipment.”
Apparently this confession leads Tony to believe it was now appropriate for him to put his head down on Steve’s shoulder and all but collapse in his arms.
Not that Steve really minds. Ever. At all.
Another perk of the alcohol is that Tony’s breath is warmer and stickier as he exhales into Steve’s neck. Steve can’t help but release a smile, but he catches a glimpse of Natasha looking at them and her rolling eyes makes him reconsider. Whatever, it was time to leave anyway.
“Are you taking me for food?” Tony asks, while Steve guides him to the door. He wishes he could say he was doing it with any modicum of dignity or grace, but he was dealing with a Stark.
“Then change your plans and take me for food.”
Steve’s actually pretty hungry, after a day of wiping out alien invaders and evil magic people and cleaning up after Clint’s refrigerator raids, so he says okay.
Eating makes Tony sober up a little, so Steve is a little more comfortable and feels a little less like he’s taking advantage of an alcoholic, non-powered, man-child, which is totally what he is doing and has been doing on a regular basis for the past several months.
It was a little weird at first because Tony was very, very open about being bisexual and Steve had taken a little time to come to the realization that he and Bucky had actually had huge crushes on each other but never did anything about it. Well, not anything physical. What happens in the Army Rec hall, stays in the Army Rec hall.
But yeah, Tony wasn’t always drunk when he was shamelessly hitting on Steve, so it’s not as bad as all that. Steve kind of likes things the way they are.
Tony’s sitting opposite him in the first open diner within walking distance, and it’s this obviously very old place that probably opened up five years after Steve went under. The tables are made of plastic and chrome lining, the booths are bright red and less bouncy than they look. There’s a jukebox at every table, so Steve takes out a roll of quarters and starts the meal off with “Love Is Here To Stay.” The selection isn’t actually that great, it’s mostly early or mid 50s stuff, but it’s something, which is more than he usually gets.
“You have that look on your face again,” Tony observes, cradling a glass of water. He downed the first three as though it were the first time he’d ever tasted the stuff.
“The one where you’re wishing that everyone you know could name five Cole Porter songs as easily as you can.”
“Well, can you?” Their plates come. Steve dives in for his fries before Tony can start skimming them off the top.
“Steve,” Tony patiently explains, “I spend my life in a basement lab, I can’t even name five Lady Gaga songs.”
“Fair enough,” Steve says, waving a french fry around before sending it to its ketchupy doom.
“Hey, you didn’t ask me who Lady Gaga is,” Tony points out, ready to be impressed by Steve’s adaptive knowledge.
“I don’t think I want to know.” Tony's face falls a little in disappointment.
They sit in silence for a while as they each devour their respective meals. Steve is only half done with his cheeseburger when Tony slumps back into his booth chair and groans.
“Man, that party sucked.” Tony complains, holding a hand to his stomach.
“Are you sure it wasn’t just that you ate your grilled cheese in less than five minutes?”
Tony considers. “Well, there’s that. But…no, nope, that party sucked. Thor and Pepper practically split me in two when he wanted me to dance and she wanted me to talk to the chief of police or something. Do you think they have matzah ball soup here?”
“Have you ever been to New York?”
The queue Steve set up runs out of songs and Steve scrolls through the tiny menu list countless times, not finding anything, while Tony orders a cup of soup.
“Try ‘My Boyfriend’s Back’,” Tony suggests, “That’s a good one.”
“Okay,” Steve says, pretty much game for anything. “But not on my dime.”
“How about my quarter?” Tony asks, fishing one out of his pocket.
“I will take your two bits, sir, and I will play this song by…The Angels?”
Tony grins mischievously. Steve sighs and puts the money in.
“You’re in a good mood tonight,” Tony says.
“So are you.”
“Yeah,” he says, “I kind of am.”
It takes about three minutes for the request to make it to the speakers.
“Tony,” Steve says slowly, as though he’s trying to sound out the name, “why did you think I would enjoy this song?”
“I didn’t,” Tony says easily, “I just said that it was good.”
They make it back to the Tower, and apparently everyone has already returned and dispersed because there are shoes all over the hallway floor, Thor's breastplate is hanging off the hat rack and Clint has already put up a display for some Marksmanship Trophy he made for himself out of tater tots and toothpicks. Steve reminds himself again to get the guy a craft room.
“They were serving tater tots at the party?” Tony asks, still hanging way too much of himself on Steve’s body, mostly out of habit. “What kind of lame-ass catering service did they hire?”
“Natasha got hungry so the two of them broke into the kitchen freezer,” Bruce explains from a place on the couch. He’s sprawled out and either very, very tired or doing another weird form of meditation. He’s barely able to lift his head to greet the latecomers.
“Great, next time they do that tell them to get their own lawyers and bail money,” Tony says while Steve silently directs him toward his bedroom.
“You said that last time,” Bruce points out, fading into the background.
“Goodnight, Bruce,” Steve calls back.
“Don’t goodnight me, you idiot, you’re sleeping here.” Tony still hasn’t let go of Steve’s arm, even though he’s under the covers and about five seconds from being knocked out.
“Tony, you’re still drunk, I don’t wanna-“
“You don’t wanna nothing, you’re sleeping here.”
It is very hard to say no to Tony Stark. Steve quietly strips down to his boxers, brushes his teeth, and crawls in next to Tony. Now it’s his turn to nuzzle against Tony’s neck. His shoulder is soft and warm, just a little too bony, and Steve suddenly realizes how tired he is.
“You’re doing it wrong,” Tony complains.
“No I’m not,” Steve retorts, “If I wake up with goatee burn on my chest one more time I’m telling Dummy to shave it off.”
“You wouldn’t darmmgfufgmm.” Tony’s asleep.
Yeah, Steve thinks, settling in closer, these nights are the best nights.