by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

For a long moment Tony remained on edge, scanning the area with every available sense and sensor, but their opponent was gone, certainly melted and hopefully dead, although you could never really be sure. Tony slowly let himself relax from battle alertness and surveyed the area more generally.

All the bystanders had fled, leaving this corner of New York deserted save for himself and Cap. The mid-summer landscape had been transformed by swaths of ice and giant snowdrifts. It looked like real snow and it reacted like real snow, but so much of it had appeared out of nowhere on a clear summer day that Tony had to wonder. He scooped a handful out of a nearby drift and held it up to examine with his sensors.


Tony didn't feel the impact. Not through his helmet. But he was aware of it. Slowly, he turned towards the only possible culprit...just in time to catch a second snowball full in the face. He wiped the caked snow away to clear his vision. Cap stood grinning at him, tossing a snowball up and down in one hand. "What are you doing?" Tony demanded.

"Don't tell me you've never been in a snowball fight before," Steve said.

He hadn't, actually. Between finishing school so quickly and taking over the company, there never seemed to be time, but Tony wasn't about to mention that. "This is hardly the time or place for a snowball fight."

"Why not?" Steve asked. He lobbed the snowball, but Tony ducked it this time. "The battle's over, we're alone, and all of this will probably melt away in a couple of hours. Grab a moment to enjoy life while you can."

Tony contemplated his handful of snow for a moment. Closing his fingers was enough to compact it into a ball and a quick arm motion sent it sailing through the air, perfectly on target, only to splatter harmlessly against Steve's shield. Steve lowered the disk, grinning broadly. "If I'm going to get cold and wet out, you don't get to huddle inside that nice, insulated armor!" he called out.

"If I have to give up the armor, you have to give up the shield," Tony called back.

"Fair enough," Steve agreed.

No sooner had they shed their weapons than Tony was treated to another face full of snow. Growling under his breath, Tony ran for cover behind a pillar of ice and scooped up another handful of snow.

Tony had no idea how long the 'battle' raged, only that by the end of it they were both soaking wet and he was shaking with cold and his face hurt from smiling so much. Steve had him pinned, kneeling astride him, one hand planted in the middle of his chest, a snowball raised threateningly. His cowl had been pulled down at some point and his hair was plastered to his skull, giving him a somewhat bedraggled look. "Do you yield?" Steve asked, eyes sparkling.

Tony raised his hands in surrender, grinning back despite how it made his face ache.