His fumbling explanation did a lot to ease her mind, actually. He was a lot more smooth with the women he was planning to bed and forget. “No, no, you didn’t do anything wrong,” Summer assured Tony. “Only, you know, usually if /you/ bring a woman here, you have something different in mind than looking at the night skyline.” She linked her hands behind her back, looking up at the stars. “I didn’t,” a shrug, “expect that you … would ever … ” She trailed off, somehow unwilling to say it aloud.
Tony sometimes hated his reputation. It kept him from making genuine connections with people. He scraped his thumb under a fingernail, forming somewhat more eloquent statements in his mind before just spewing them out.
“It’s – been a while, actually. Since I’ve brought /anyone/ here, at all. Tower’s empty after hours most days… Not that, you know, that was why I -” He sighed at himself and rose, dusting his pants off. “I mean, I’ve thought of asking you for drinks a couple times, but when you save the world together, well,” that almost sounded like a joke – or at least making light of the truth. He’d thought about it more than a couple times, but it just never seemed like a good idea. Summer was fantastic. Totally fantastic! It’s just – he was wary of relationships in general. No one seemed to see the real him. There was Tony Stark the weapons dealer, Iron Man, Tony Stark the forgetful , drunk, rich, attention-seeking asshole – he just wanted someone he could be Tony around… not that he made that easy on himself. He very rarely stopped acting whatever roll those people put him in long enough for them to notice there was anything underneath the shallow surface. He smiled awkwardly as the sun slipped out of sight.
”- Can I pour you a coffee? JARVIS makes an amazing espresso. Peels paint, that shit does!”
Summer watched him, listening underneath the babble. He tasted of — uncertainty, hope, of secrets and things he didn’t even admit to himself. Layers and layers. How could she have missed this? “No, thank you, Mr Stark,” she began, “I’d rather have kahlua, if you don’t mind.” A particularly fierce gust of wind whipped at her skirts, and she shrieked a little, clutching at them. Giving Tony a gamine smile, Summer added, “Maybe I better go inside.” With the graceful ease of her dancer past, she made her way back inside the penthouse, pausing at the door to settle her skirts. “Why didn’t you?”