They take care of each other in their own ways.
Steve spent the majority of his life ill or bedridden, before a super-serum ever coursed through his veins. He knows what it’s like to be the weakest version of yourself, to be knocked down enough to feel like your lungs are ten sizes too small or that a fever is ten times too high. He watched his mother go through it all, and remembers dealing with it, too—weakness. Feeling helpless. But trudging through it all the same.
Now he’s got an immune system that’s more than a fair match for any sickness that tries to claw its way into Steve’s system, but nonetheless, his attitude remains the same. If he gets a small cold here and there or just isn’t feeling at his best, if a mission just physically gets to him because not even a super-soldier is super-perfect, he doesn’t show it. He trudges on. He’s good at it.
Tony, meanwhile, panics. Internally, of course, because he’s totally calm, cool and collected at all times, right? Cool as a cucumber. He’ll pick up on the fact that Steve’s not feeling well right away, and proceed to flail around getting him doctor appointments and telling him to “sit your adorable ass down and rest before I make Dummy babysit you.” Because a not-okay Steve equals a not-okay Tony. And Steve will relentlessly protest, saying he’s fine, but not until he really means it does Tony stop badgering him, and sometimes maybe it’s sweeter than it is annoying though Steve won’t ever say it.
When Tony gets ill, it’s usually a horror show. No, really. Tony will go long bouts of time without getting sick; however he also goes long bouts of time without eating, sleeping, or occasionally attending to personal hygiene (when staying up all week with a lab experiment calls for it). So when Tony Stark gets ill, he doesn’t say a damn thing about it and generally ignores it, until Steve finds him writhing on the floor of his lab announcing he’s going to die, and to “tell Natasha she still can’t have my iPod.”
So Steve will drag (often carry) him out of the lab and tuck him into bed, pulling the covers over Tony’s shivering, tired, overworked body. He won’t coddle Tony. He won’t openly fret. He’ll sit at Tony’s bedside and, sans the occasional scolding wherein his Captain America side is in full force, won’t really say much. This drives Tony crazy, and he’ll try to make up for the silence by whining about how this medicine Steve is forcing him to take must have been created as some kind of torture device, or how Steeeebe you need to fluff my pillow, because annoying Steve is Tony’s specialty. And still Cap will simply sit there—all day usually, if a mission doesn’t prohibit it—not-quite hovering, not-quite lurking over Tony’s bedside. Tony likes to think he finds it unnerving. But when he’s just on the verge of sleep, he’ll feel Steve’s fingers in his hair, hear the affectionate murmur of the word “idiot,” and the sensation of a kiss to his temple. And suddenly he feels like he’s going to get a lot better, very fast.
spike headcanon or dawn headcanon or spike and dawn friendship headcanon or whatever you want
Dawn couldn’t help it—when she thought of safety, she thought of Spike.
Spike, and his less-than-health-department-approved crypt. Spike and his stupid Passions reruns, his scary stories in the dark. Spike ordering pizza for just the two of them, when the Scoobies were out fighting the monsters Buffy had died leaving behind and couldn’t watch her.
Then Spike hurt Buffy. And everything changed after that. Spike would look at her with a combination of regret and the twinkle of mischief he hoped would ignite happy memories in her, of the two of them just being when the rest of the world was out of whack. And Dawn would return his gaze with resentment. With the heaviness of sadness toward the loss of a friend—no, not just a friend. Safety.
But when Spike burned at the bottom of the Hellmouth (because his love for Buffy Summers burned brighter than anything), when Dawn stood in the midst of its remains at her sister’s side, it was as if everything, in that moment, shifted back to what it used to be.
Now, Dawn thought of Spike, and again thought of safety.
Safety, and home.
(Matt requested Steve/Tony first kiss, with bonus!shy Steve. HOPE THIS IS OKAY)
They’re in a New York alleyway, the blaring lights of the city outshining the stars themselves. Cap is breathing hard, eyes narrowed. Tony lifts his helmet with a shrug, watching the last fallen robot enemy twitch on the ground in front of him.
“Well,” he says, if only to break the frustrated quiet that has risen between them, “that was kinda tedious. Also, I am gonna be spending one hell of a long night fixing up this suit in the lab. Kinda glad we didn’t call in everyone else for this little night shoot, though. We handled this one without having to, y’know, watch the Hulk smash up Times Square—”
“Tony, what the hell were you thinking?” Cap’s voice raises in volume with each word. “Why did you jump in front of me like that? I was in the clear; I had my shield at the ready. Meanwhile those bots had enough power to cause your suit to malfunction and they could’ve struck you down—”
“Didn’t, though! Friendly reminder that they didn’t—”
“You can’t be this reckless all the time, Tony. It’s going to get you killed.” Steve sighs, shaking his head. “If we’re going to work together on this … “
But the adrenaline of battle, still coursing through Tony’s veins, drowns out Steve’s voice, and all he can focus on is the blue of his eyes in the dark. He steps forward, watching in amusement as Steve’s words abruptly cease when Tony closes the space between them.
He says, “You know why I jumped.”
Tony can see the trace of a blush making its way onto Cap’s face, just under the outline of his blue mask. There is no tremor in his voice, though, as he replies, “Why? Because you’re trying out the Selfless Superhero Act? Give me one good reason why Iron Man’s suddenly ready for a change in character.”
And Tony leans in, his lips just brushing against Cap’s cheek. His voice ghosts against Steve’s skin when he retorts, simply, “You.”
Cap says, “Oh,” and then, “ohh,” and then Tony is kissing him. He walks Steve up against the brick building behind him, pinning his hands on either side of Cap. He catches Steve’s eyes flutter closed before letting his own lids fall shut to the taste of Steve’s lips, the feel of exploring his mouth. At first, Steve’s lips are completely (almost scarily) still against Tony’s, his entire body rigid. Then, gradually, Tony can feel Steve’s tongue flicking out to meet his own—slowly a and Tony can only think of (a) how oddly perfect this is, (b) how horribly cheesie it is that he thinks of how perfect this is, and (c) how it’s very fortunate there aren’t any paparazzi around.
Tony pulls away just a little, enough that their noses touch. Steve is blushing furiously now, lips pink and wet and eyes wide, and for a fraction of a second, Tony questions his wooing abilities. “You okay?” he asks.
“Yeah.” Steve’s voice is a little shaky, but he nods. “Yeah. This is … ” He lifts a hand in an awkward gesticulation before settling on: “Good.” He averts his eyes bashfully.
Tony almost laughs at Steve’s adjective of choice, but then he thinks, well. It’s pretty accurate.
“Yeah,” he agrees, dipping his head to find Steve’s gaze before leaning in for another kiss, “This is good.”