Fandom: Avengers (616)
Riassunto: In a world where Soulmates can only see color while they look into each other eyes, Steve wants to know why his keeps averting his gaze.
Note: Scritta per la M1 della 4° settimana del COWT9 per "Rivelazione"
When Steve opens his eyes the first thing he notices is that he opened them at all. He never expected to survive the crash. To be alive after he decided to plunge an airplane into the ocean.
The serum might have given him many things, but Steve never realized that immortality was one of it.
It's why he blinks, surprised, and takes note of what he sees: A robot with a shiny armor and incredibly piercing eyes. And that's when Steve realizes that whatever it is he's seeing, it's not in black and white.
He stands up, quicker than he probably should since his ribs twinge in pain and warning, but when he opens them up again and looks in front of him, everything has been dulled out in the same tones again.
Black and white and gray and the millions of shade between them.
He turns around, trying to catch the eyes of the robot again, bue he's soon swarmed by others. Talking over him and asking him how he is, if he's fine, if he's really Captain America and how could that be?
Steve tries to see over their heads, where the retreating back of a robot can be sees exiting the room.
The armor doesn't gleam anymore, and while Steve might not know what color that was, he longues to see it again.
He just doesn't understand why his soulmate is walking away from him.
Everyone knows how the story goes: as a way to guide two soul together, so that they might finally live the rest of their life in happiness, humanity was cursed with colorblindness until the day their eyes met with their soulmate.
Of course, it isn’t as easy as the stories made it to be.
It didn't work like in the movies, where their eyes met and suddenly the world was a cacophony of colors and new shades. It was much less plateal and much more quiet.
At first you could see colors only while looking in your soulmate's eyes. After that, it was when you hold each other hands. Or kissed each other on the cheek.
But still, with every contact, with every brush of a touch, the world would become a little more shiny, gain a little more color.
If, however, one of the two were to sever the bond immediately, averting their gaze or refusing a touch, then the colours would fade in little to no time.
Steve never really thought there was someone out there for him. Not someone he would get to meet.
They told him he would be lucky to survive puberty and so Steve had hoped that there was no one out there for him, no one that would have to live all their life with the knowledge that their soulmate was dead somewhere. Lost before they could even give each other the gift of color.
Now, however, he's alive and well, he has a soulmate and he's apparently seventy years in the future.
Take that, puberty.
Iron Man, because that's how the robot is called, does anything he can to avoid Steve's gaze. Sometimes it becomes kind of a game, where Steve tries to catch the other's attention and waits to see how much time it takes Iron Man to notice the colors dancing in his sight before he turns away from Steve.
It's not exactly a fun game, and every time Steve sees the world fade back to a dull grey he wonders if he has done something wrong. If it's something with him that maybe Iron Man takes offence to.
He knows it's not really a robot under that armor, there's a man in there, a man that's Steve's soulmate.
A man that doesn't want him.
Steve decides that enough is enough a month after he's woken up in the future. The other Avengers want to offer him a spot on the team, some of them want him to lead them. But Steve knows it's not something he can agree to before having talked to Iron Man.
No one knows where Iron Man spends his time, they tell him that he can try and ask Stark. The man who finances the Avengers and owns the house they live in.
Steve only knows of the man because of the tales of the others, since he has been warned off from the laboratory floor the first day and Stark surpassed only Iron Man in his avoidance of Steve.
So, he really doesn't know what to do.
He's trying to think if, maybe, he can try and sneak into Star's lab anyway when he hears the heavy footfalls of Iron Man getting closer. He looks up just in time for the Avenger to enter the room.
Their eyes meet for a second, and once again the world blooms with impossible colors.
Too soon the other averts his gaze once again, and where once was a color so bright it hurt Steve's eyes, now he's looking at the dull reflection of a black and white armor.
"I heard you were looking for me," Iron Man says. He doesn't take another steps forwards, remains on the other side of the room. He's like an animal, Steve thinks, ready to bolt at the first opportunity.
"The Avengers asked me to join the team," Steve says, without preambles. It's obvious that Iron Man doesn't want to spend time with him for whatever reason, and he won't force his soulmate to stay longer than he wants to.
It might hurt, but hurting his soulmate is worse.
That news doesn't seem to shock Iron Man. Without looking into Steve's eyes he almost turns towards him. It's not enough that Steve can see his eyes, but enough so that the greys shine a little.
"Yes, I know," Iron Man says, when Steve doesn't seem to be forthcoming with the point.
It's just that Steve doesn't know how to continue his question: Do you want me to say yes? What have I done to you?
Instead he says: "If you tell me to go, I'll go."
That seems to shock Iron Man who forgets and turns to look at Steve with a surprised "What? No! Why?". Once again, now that their gaze are linked, the world transforms, almost as if a painter had splashed all of his paints over this scene.
Steve, who is an artist at heart even if not one in skill, wants to be able to use this colors to create something. Wants to make sure he can recognize the color of Iron Man's eyes without a second glance.
Then Iron Man gasps and turns away again.
"That's why," Steve says, looking at the grey of the couch. This, at least, is always grey even when the colors explode.
Iron Man doesn't know what to say, seems to be hesitating. "I..." he stops, tries to find the words. Steve can see his struggle, can see how hard this seems to be for him, and it pains him. He's causing such a reaction, he's causing such a pain.
"I don't want you to go," Iron Man says in the end.
It's what Steve wanted to know, of course, and he should be satisfied with this. He should let Iron Man go.
"Will you ever be able to look me in the eyes?" it's an honest question, but one Steve shouldn't have asked.
He knows that. And yet here they are.
Iron Man doesn't turn towards him this time, but Steve hears something cracking.
"Don't ask me that," Iron Man says and then he walks away. Retreating where Steve can't follow him.
Where Iron Man stood, Steve can see that the wall is cracked.
So Steve joins the Avengers.
They go on missions, talk after them, and spend not that many time together anywhere else. Or at least, Steve doesn't.
If Iron Man really wants to avoid Steve at all cost, then it means that every moment Steve spends with the team, it's a moment he has stolen from Iron Man.
He doesn't want that.
Steve is an intruder in this century and in this team. And he can't help but feel like an intruder in his own soulmate life as well.
Instead, Steve spends most of his time exploring New York. If he remains in his room, he knows the other will try and convince him to spend time with them, so Steve spends little to no time in there.
He goes to museums, walks the roads of his childhoods. Helps out when he can anywhere they accept him (homeless, veterans, kids).
It's really just a coincidence that, one night, he ends up attending a fundraiser. He's not supposed to be there, no one really knows who he is, but he was asked by one of the nuns at the church, and so Steve went.
He's really not interested in anyone and since they don't know who he is, they don't seem to be interested in him either.
The night seems to be rather dull until someone steps onto the stage and Steve looks up.
He has never seen Tony Stark in the flesh before, but he has seen news papers, and photos. It's impressive that they live in the same house, and this is the first time they've seen each other.
Of course Stark isn't looking at him, talking to the investors and cracking jokes. Steve should leave, since he's really trying to respect everyone who is intend on avoiding him, but he can't help but step forward.
If Stark doesn't know Steve is here, can't he just look for a little?
So Steve walks forward, making sure not to disturb anyone, and he gets almost in the front row. Stark looks confident up there, but he also looks tired. Maybe a little annoyed.
He doesn't know why Steve thinks that, and maybe he's just projecting his own feelings into the other man, but he can't help but think that Stark looks like he would rather be anywhere else.
Steve is so focused on Stark that he almost fails to notice the sound of a gun. Almost being the key word. He turns and sees someone take out a gun from his side and point it at Stark.
Before anyone can say anything Steve jumps out on the stage and puts himself in front of Tony Stark, back to the assailant.
The gun fires (no sound, a muffler then) and Steve can feel the bullet pierce his back, but it's a pain that he's familiar with. He looks down at Stark to tell him to run but he stops.
Colors fill the entire room, and Steve can recognize those eyes anywhere. The only eyes he has ever seen of that color.
Of any color really.
"Two soulmates?" Steve wonders for a second, before his brain catches up to him. Not two soulmates, just one with a rather big secret.
That makes... a shockingly amount of sense actually.
"Steve?" Stark says, stepping towards him.
Steve blinks, but there's still a shooter on the loose and so Steve shakes his head. Making sure to keep Stark in front of him and his back to the shooter, he takes the other's shoulders and push him away from the stage.
"What are you doing?" Stark asks. Before Steve can answer, he feels his legs give up on him.
"Gun," he says, before he passes out.
When he comes to, he's not at the hospital, and Tony Stark is screaming at someone. He's also holding Steve's hand and so Steve can see everything in color.
From the angry, flushed cheeks in Tony's face, to the smear of blood in his hands. Blood is red, just like the Iron Man's suit.
But he needs something else: "Your eyes, what colors are your eyes?"
Tony turns towards him, surprised. "Blue," he answers anyway, "just like yours."
Steve laughs, even if he probably shouldn't. "I like seeing them. I'm sad when I can't." This, he thinks, is probably the blood loss.
Still, he can't really regret it when Starks bends down and kisses him.