Characters/Pairing: Steve Rogers, Tony Stark (gen, or pre-slash if you're so inclined and squint a little)
Word Count: 567
Summary: Steve was still unsure about where and how he fit into history, didn't know how to walk in 2012 with one foot still firmly planted in 1944.
Warnings: Mild spoilers for The Avengers and Captain America: The First Avenger; all of one swear word.
Disclaimer: Characters and plot elements in this story are © Marvel Entertainment and Walt Disney Pictures. All content is fictional and for entertainment purposes only, not for profit.
Notes: For the fabulous and incomparable look_alive (accept no substitutes) and her prompt: "Rollercoasters!" Title is from the song "The Old Days" by Dr. Dog. Unbeta'd.
Posted to avengers_2k.
This story also available on my AO3.
— — —
It was early days, yet. Avengers Tower was still Stark Tower, still undergoing heavy repair after the battle with the Chitauri. Thor was in Asgard, and the rest of the team were still awkward with each other, still figuring each other out. But Steve and Tony had made their peace; they'd started hanging out, sometimes. Tony seemed to have taken it upon himself to be Steve's personal tour guide to the 21st century, a task he took to with surprising gusto. They were... friends, sort of.
Steve was still unsure about where and how he fit into history, didn't know how to walk in 2012 with one foot still firmly planted in 1944. He played a constant game of compare and contrast, obsessively seeking out the line between the world he'd known and this new, alien reality. It hurt, but he didn't know how to stop, like a sore tooth you keep prodding and can't quite leave alone.
So when Tony asked, "Where to today, Cap?" he said, "Coney Island," and that is where they went.
~ ~ ~
Like everywhere else, some things were the same, and some things were very, very different. "This is where they used to have the exhibit with the premature babies in incubators," he told Tony. "When I was a kid, you could pay a few nickels to go in and see them."
"What the fuck, seriously?!" Tony's face twisted. "That's sick."
Steve shook his head. "I saw on the TV– they're in all of the hospitals now, aren't they? Incubators? They weren't, then. They were this newfangled thing, doctors didn't trust them. Doctor Couney set up on Coney Island, took in as many kids as he could, didn't make the parents pay. The viewing fees paid for everything. ...Guess he probably saved a lot of kids' lives."
"...Huh," Tony said, and then was quiet for a long time, by Tony standards. Then he smirked at Steve, sidelong. "You watch too much 'Grey's Anatomy,' Rogers."
~ ~ ~
"I can't believe the Cyclone is still here," Steve said, staring up at it.
Tony grinned. "Wanna have a go?"
Steve chewed on the inside of his lip. "I've only been on it once. Bucky made me go with him. I didn't enjoy it." When Tony raised an eyebrow, he added, "I threw up."
Tony laughed. "Do you even get motion sickness anymore?" he asked, and bought two tickets.
Steve sat at the top and closed his eyes, thought of Bucky, let the memories fill him up, every inch of him until it hurt. It hurt, and then he breathed it all out, let it go. The car jerked into motion and he opened his eyes, had just enough time to catch Tony's wild grin and then they fell—
At the bottom it took a few moments for Steve to come back to himself. His chest heaved, his throat burned a little from yelling, his cheeks hurt from grinning. "That was amazing!"
"It was all right," Tony allowed, but his cheeks were flushed, and he was grinning, too. "Flying is better."
"I can only imagine," Steve said, wistfully.
"I'll take you sometime," Tony said.
Steve caught his breath, couldn't quite keep the hope out of his voice. "Really?"
"Sure," Tony said, and he– it wasn't a smirk, this time, or one of his wicked grins; it was something softer. He just... smiled.
They rode the Cyclone two more times.