december 1, 2014

Tony leaned back against the rear window of his car, letting out a contented sigh as the last of his food started to settle in his stomach. Maria was next to him, a small portion of her burger still in hand, as they stared out at the Boston skyline. The couple was covered in a blanket, and he closed his eyes as the feeling of being full really started to hit him.

It had all been her idea to escape the city and do something for them. The excitement of their Monday had nearly caused them to stop talking to one another as it had the last time things had converged in this way. That was the last thing August, or Tony, wanted. The confusion he remembered August feeling after last time upset him - it wasn't like these people had asked for this, after all. To be honest, he didn't quite like the idea of having Maria Hill on his bad side either; they had always been allies, even friends, and he'd be lying if he said she wasn't good in bed on top of that.

So, for their sakes, he was determined not to let their conflict destroy a perfectly happy marriage - especially a conflict that was so trivial it shouldn't have mattered. It was difficult not to feel in the middle of Maria and those who were a little less than friendly towards SHIELD because those parties were his teammates and his friends. It was difficult not to choose sides when every fiber of his being was pulling him to choose hers.

He didn't quite know if it was something that would happen of his own volition or because of how deeply his counterpart cared for her, but Tony could see himself falling for Maria as time went on. Hell, he'd be lying if he said that he didn't already feel something for her beyond what his memories told him to feel.

He turned his head to get a good look at her, and he smiled without realizing he was doing so. Maria realized he was staring and lifted an eyebrow as she looked back at him. "Something on your mind, Stark?"

"No," he answered quickly, almost too quickly. Always a fast thinking, his eyes lit up before he jumped off of the trunk of the car to open the back door of his car.

"What the hell are you doing? Get back here!" came the demanding voice of his wife, and he held up his pointer finger, that he knew she could see through the glass of the window, to hold her off.

A moment later, he emerged, pushing the car door shut with his hip and coming back around to reveal a glass of wine, corkscrew, and two glasses in hand. The woman before him immediately smiled.

"I figured if this was a date, we needed something a little better than soda," he said in a way that gave away the fact he'd put a little more effort into the evening than just grabbing an extra blanket to keep warm in the night air.

"Give me that bottle," she demanded, and he obliged. Tony handed her everything so that he could join her once more, and took the glasses in hand to assist her in pouring the dark red liquid once he was situated comfortably under the blanket again.

There was a moment of silence between them once the glasses were both half-full and the bottle had been corked.

"Are we toasting or having a chugging contest, tin man?"

Tony rolled his eyes at the moniker, but shrugged it off as he said, "Chugging contest, but first…" He trailed off long enough to lift his glass and make sure hers was lifted too before continuing. "To us, to figuring out how to find a middle ground between us and them, to making this marriage work regardless of anything else, and.. finally, to really good luck."

"What's luck have to do with it?"

"Of all the women in my life, fate decided to hitch me to you. It could be worse, right?"

Maria laughed and nudged him playfully with her elbow. "Always the romantic, aren't you, Stark?"

Tony could only grin smugly as he leaned in to steal a kiss from her. "Admit it, you love me."

"Never." Her tone was light, playful - something one would never expect from Maria Hill. Maybe this - whatever this was - would have some benefits on top of all of the frustration and questions.

Maybe falling in love with her wasn't as far off as he thought it might be.