"So, the reason you didn’t ask out any of the people I suggested is because you’re into men?"
"No, I like girls—ladies, uh, women—women?"
"Women is fine," Natasha says and were she a weaker woman, she would facepalm because they have had this conversation four times.
"I like women just fine," Steve says. "It’s just that Sam, he sort of…he understands better. You know, stuff."
They have reached Clint Barton levels of emotional explanation, Natasha thinks, and that is entirely far enough. “I’m glad you have each other,” Natasha says, and Steve goes all happy puppy relaxed, and she wants to pat his cheeks. “But don’t forget he flirted with me first.”
"He did not," Steve says.
"Oh, I totally did so," Sam says as he walks into the room. He and Nat nod at one another, and he slings an arm around Steve’s waist. "But I wanted to be flirting with you."
"What? When? When did this happen? When did you have time to flirt?"
"When I picked you up to go to the ship," Natasha says.
"He just said hi!"
"There’s hi, and there’s hi," Natasha says, and she finally laughs at the way Steve gets that wrinkle in his forehead and looks to Sam for help.
"I’ll explain over dinner," Sam says.
"How you doing?" Natasha asks him because she can’t help but poke at this just a little.
"Just fine," Sam says, and his grin says the same.
Steve looks between them, puts his hands on his hips, and shakes his head. “No, that’s not flirting. That’s hello.”
This time, it’s Sam who laughs. “Oh, no, Captain Oblivious, that is definitely flirting.”
"I hate this century," Steve mutters as Sam and Natasha lead him out of the apartment so they can go to dinner. "I’m gonna get a time machine and go back to the days when hello was just hello."
"Hello has never just been hello," Sam says. "Not if you do it right."
Steve has a sudden memory of Bucky saying hello to Lucy McKennon down the street and Mrs. McKennon pulling Lucy inside with a stern look at Bucky like he’d really done something inappropriate. It makes him smile, and he reaches for Sam’s hand, squeezing and shrugging when Sam gives him a questioning look. “Okay, maybe,” he says. “But I flirted with you first.”
"You did not," Sam says.
"On your left," Steve replies, and Natasha gives them both a confused look as Sam cracks up laughing. "I’ll explain over dinner," Steve promises, and Natasha looks completely unimpressed as she leads the way to the Thai place down the street.