by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

Tony sat on the couch in the common room, staring at the hordes of press displayed on the screen. They were camped out around the bottom of Stark Tower, hundreds of them. Tony had seen at least three news helicopters circling the building and suspected there were more. The security systems could tell him exactly how many there were, but what was the point?

"Are you sure you want to do this?" he asked, not taking his eyes off the screen.

Steve moved into his field of view, dark blue slacks blocking the screen before he dropped into a crouch and met Tony's eyes. "I'm completely sure about this," he said firmly.

"They don't have pictures or videotape or proof of any kind," Tony argued. "Just the word of two ordinary people."

"And on the word of those ordinary people they will ask us if we're sleeping together," Steve said. "And I'm not going to lie to them."

"You wouldn't have to lie," Tony said quietly.

Steve set his jaw. "I'm not leaving you, Tony."

Tony looked away. "This could do serious damage to what you're trying to do. You're supposed to stand for something."

"I'm supposed to stand for freedom and personal liberty," Steve said. "I don't see a conflict."

Tony snorted. "I doubt public opinion will agree."

"I don't need public opinion to tell me what's right," Steve went on, fiercely. "And a few bigots are not going to force me to give up the most important person in my life."

Tony met Steve's eyes for a long moment, but the determination in them never wavered. Not that he'd really expected it to; this was Steve, after all. "All right," Tony said, rising to his feet. Steve straightened up next to him. "Let's go give a press conference."