Nothing to do with Coffee

by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

The rich smell of fresh coffee reached Tony even before he stepped into the kitchen. He wondered briefly which of his teammates was up at this God awful hour of the morning, but it was probably their most notorious morning person. The corner of Tony's mouth curved upwards for a moment before he stepped into the kitchen.

Steve sat at the table in jeans and a t-shirt, reading the newspaper and sipping coffee from a dark blue mug. Tony slid into the chair around the corner from him and plucked the mug out of Steve's grip, his fingers sliding across the back of Steve's hand before curling securely around the ceramic. Tony closed his eyes as he savored the first sip and let out a small, satisfied sigh.

When he opened his eyes again Steve was smiling and shaking his head as he rose from the table. "If you can't make it four more steps to the pot before you need your coffee fix," he said, opening a cabinet to get down a new mug, "you may need to worry."

The extra steps had nothing to do with it. Tony rubbed his fingertips over the warm, blue ceramic, remembering the texture of Steve's hand. "It's too hot to drink straight from the pot," he protested, watching Steve pour a fresh mug and stir in a spoonful of sugar.

"Only if you gulp it," Steve said, returning to the table. He slid the coffee he'd brought across the table and reached out to retrieve his own. His fingers overlapped Tony's for a moment before Tony let go. "Sip. Don't gulp," Steve ordered, sinking back into his seat, a smile in his eyes.

For the first time, Tony wondered if the fact that Steve always retrieved his own mug had nothing to do with coffee, either.