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it's not about the journey, it's about the destination

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Tony clutched his lunchbox tightly and shot a look towards the huge building, trying to steel himself. Stark men are made of iron, and Tony is a Stark. He knows his mother can’t come because she’s busy sometimes, and he’s gotta does lotsa things by himself ‘cause he’s a big boy now, so he might as well start now.

He gnaws on his lower lip before walking towards the big building and he clutches tightly to his lunchbox. It’s a Star Wars one and it’s got the death star on it and it’s the coolest thing ever . Jarvis had said he had to be very careful, like when he’s in his Dad’s workshop and he had to be so so so careful.

He tried to see the door numbers because he knew he had to get to room 25, but he couldn’t see over everyone’s head, and Tony fights back the tears. He big now, and big boys don’t cry over stupid things like being lost.

He gets to the room eventually by following a redhead who’s about his height when she tells a nice looking man in a suit that she’s gotta go where he’s gotta go.

His tablemate is a blonde that’s even shorter than him!

“I’m Steve,” the short boy--Steve introduces. “An’ I think we should be friends.”

… 

In hindsight, leaving the door open was a bad idea. 

Tony sighs into the kiss, pressing further into Steve’s warmth even as the springs on Steve’s creaky mattress dig into his thighs. He pulls back a little to smile and say Wow, you must think I’m fast, don’t you teasingly, laughing as Steve whined and pulled Tony back so that he was on top of Steve’s chest. Mistake numero two. 

Steve groans quietly into the omega’s mouth, tangling his fingers in Tony’s curly tousle of hair and tugging lightly, the way they had teased each other in Ms. Carmichael’s room in grade-school. The noise was probably mistaken three. 

“Steve?” Sarah’s voice was concerned. “I heard—oh.”

Steve and he sprang apart at the sound of Sarah’s voice and Tony was starting to wonder if he had enough money for cab fare to get back home when Sarah—no, just Mrs. Rogers now, she probably wouldn’t let him call her that anymore—kicked him out. He opens his mouth to start apologizing, defend himself? He didn’t fucking know—

Steve’s disheveled figure popped back upright to beat him to the punch. “Uh, hey Ma. I, so, um—”

Sarah clears her throat. “About damn time.”

What?

“Huh?” Steve’s confused voice would’ve been comical any other time, but right now Tony was still reeling.

Sarah shook her head. “I’ve been waiting for you two to get together since third grade and Steve called you ‘the prettiest omega he’s ever seen.’” Sarah grins and cocked her hip, snarky like she was when dealing with all of their friend group in one place. “It was too cute for me to tease him for calling you prettier than me.”

“Sorry?” Tony squeaks. He turns to see Steve’s cheeks were a pretty shade of red, but at least he was smiling. Maybe she wasn’t mad?

Sarah laughs, the dimple on her left cheek just like Steve’s. “Dinner’s ready, come on.” 

Steve rolls to his feet and offers Tony a hand up, the omega taking it gladly. The smaller boy tucks himself into Steve’s side, the way he had done when they were kids and Tony was the youngest person on the playground and scared out of his mind (he’d say smallest, but Steve was fucking shrimpy ).

When he looks back up, Sarah was smiling fondly at them. “Adorable.”

He was waiting with bated breath for the shovel talk and barely managed to suppress his flinch when Sarah reached out to catch his elbow as they walked to the kitchen and its rickety kitchen table that Tony has offered many a time to fix. He swallows hard when Sarah ushered Steve into the kitchen and told to set the table without either omega. 

Sarah smiles at him, and Tony felt something within him settle. “I—” he starts, only for him to be cut off. 

“I’d say welcome to the family, Tony, but you’ve been a part of it for a while now,” Sarah says, tugging him into a warm hug, and yeah , Tony thinks. She’s not mad.

Steve cut Sam abruptly off midsentence as he unlocked the front door of Tony and his’ apartment across campus. He ignores Sam’s hey --and pads forward to where Tony is trembling, tears streaming down his face, his fingers clutching a white envelope with pale knuckles. “Tony? What—oh.” He knows what’s inside the envelope, could probably recite it verbatim. “Sweetheart—” he begins only to be cut off by Tony’s deathly soft, tremoring voice. 

“Don’t fucking sweetheart me. Signing up for the army? What were you thinking?” His voice rises in pitch and volume as he goes on. “Are you trying to get yourself killed?” His voice breaks. “Did you think you could just leave?” And Steve’s heart crumbles. 

“Oh, Tony.” Normally if Tony was yelling this at him Steve would be shouting right back, both too stubborn and prideful to back out, but he didn’t have it in him when Tony was standing tearfully, hugging himself to offer a semblance of comfort. “C’mere sweet thing.”

Tony protested but stumbled right into his arms. The alpha knew he was in for a real tongue-lashing later, and their relationship might be shaky for at least a little bit, but for now, providing comfort was the most important thing. “I’m sorry,” he says, kissing the crown of Tony’s head. “I’m so sorry, I really was gonna tell you but--”

“You were waiting for the right moment?” Tony says ruefully. “Heard that one before.”

Steve shook his head abashedly. “More like how to say it.”

Tony sighed. “I can’t bear it if you died, Steve,” he whispers and the alpha felt his heart stop, wheezing in his chest like he was seven all over again and turning blue in the face from playing catch with the other kids. “I can’t take that kind of call, not for you, not again.” 

Steve brings his hand to tangle in TOny’s curls. He knows he’s thinking about his parents. “You won’t Tony. I promise--”

“Don’t,” Tony says, voice cracking. “Don’t you dare make me promises you can’t keep, Steven.”

Steve curled over the petite omega and didn’t say anything. There would be time for shouting and fighting and reconciling and but for now, he was content to hold Tony. 

Steve curls his arm around Tony’s waist and leaned up to kiss his cheek. “Tones?”

Tony startles from his rambling commentary and twists to look at him from his perch in Steve’s lap. “Yes, husband ?”

“We’re married,” Steve says quietly, unable to keep from grinning at the sentence. “I get to spend the rest of my life with you.”

Tony’s lips quirk into a half-smile. “Dork.”

Steve leans up to kiss him and murmurs against his mouth, “Your dork. You’re the one who decided to marry me.” He pulls back to press a kiss to the corner of the omega’s mouth. “No take-backs.”

Tony’s startled bark of laugh sets Steve and soon they’re both snickering and giggling, their laughter getting inquisitive looks from the rest of the guests who still had their senses about them. All the people with families with young children or people who weren’t legal had long since left already, so the venue was mostly filled with absolutely plastered people at this point. 

“It’s not too early to file divorce papers,” Tony threatens and Steve gasps in mock offense.

Steve opens his mouth to argue back but Rhodey calls over from the next table drunkenly, slurring his words, and Pepper snickering next to him. “The whole point of you two getting married was for you to stop being so stupid!”

He swallows all of the Tonys sputtered protests and indignant ‘You’re stupid too! ’ and thinks till death do us part , with the utmost fondness.

“Oh she’s so beautiful,” Sarah whispers, a hand over her mouth as she holds her granddaughter close. “You and Tony must be proud.”

Steve grinned up at her. “‘Course I am,” he said, running a hand over Abigail’s little head. She remembers when she had held Steve for the first time in her arms. His father had already been gone by then of course, and Steve was so small in her arms. Her boy was--is a fighter, she knows, the doctors had said he wouldn’t make it, but here was her boy with his own daughter. 

“Where’s Tony?” she asked instead of the million other things in her mind. “Surprised you’re not with him.”

“Asleep,” Steve said accepting Abigail back into his arms gratefully. “He’d been in labor for so long I’m surprised he stayed awake as long as he did.”

Sarah laughed and sat next to her son who was starting a family of his own. “That’s fair.”

It was fair , she thought. Her faith had wobbled as their little family had undergone tragedy after tragedy, and then when Tony was introduced, his family has crumbled beneath him and left him grasping at nothing. But it was fair enough , she decided, that they got here anyway .