The last thing Tony expects to find in his bedroom is a Norse God.
A naked Norse God.
“Man of Iron!” Thor booms, because as far as Tony knows, Thor is incapable of any kind of speech besides booming. “Since you and the Lady Pepper have ended your intimate association I am here to see to your physical pleasure.”
“Huh,” Tony manages, barely.
Thor beams. “I will be gentle and give you many orgasms.”
Tony stares, because it is difficult not to when confronted with the God of Thunder in his birthday suit. Thor is built, there is no doubt about that. Nor is there doubt that Thor means every word he says; Little Thor (or not quite so little, as it turns out) is standing to full attention, ready to make good on Big Thor’s promises.
“Jarvis,” Tony finally says, because when he programmed his AI he must have added some kind of feature that allows JARVIS to deal with this kind of situation. And he needs JARVIS to handle this, since his own mind is, very disturbingly, drawing a complete blank.
“Yes, Sir?” JARVIS answers dutifully, and perhaps a tiny bit doubtfully.
“Never mind.” Tony swallows and looks Thor up and down (it’s really hard not to appreciate what’s being offered and Tony isn’t exactly known for being modest, so…). What he doesn’t understand, though, is why Thor of all people is looking for a quick romp between the sheets.
More importantly, a quick romp between the sheets with him.
Thor is all kinds of awesome and ripped to within an inch of his immortal life and Tony has no doubts that a night spent sexing it up with a Norse God would be the highlight of Tony’s not so inconsiderable love life, but Thor is in this on and off again relationship with Jane (and Tony likes Jane, from what he’s seen of her, and Tony may be many things, but he’s not someone who poaches behind a friend’s back). Not to mention, Thor is his teammate. His fellow Avenger.
And Tony, in a rare moment of actually wanting to better himself, swore when he invited his teammates to move into the tower, that he wouldn’t fuck up this new…friendship (or whatever it is, Tony’s not actually sure) with his fellow Avengers because of something as simple as sex.
In other words, Tony swore to himself he wouldn’t be sticking it to any of the Avengers. Ever.
He may now be regretting that decision. Just a bit.
Thor really is a masterpiece to look at. Not to mention, hung like a horse.
But Tony squeezes his eyes shut and remembers Pepper, and how their relationship (or whatever that was, Tony’s not really sure about that either) went down the drain, and how talking to Pepper these days is uncomfortable, if not downright painful, and he really doesn’t want to jeopardize whatever he’s got going with his teammates for a piece of ass.
Not even a piece of ass as fine as Thor’s.
“Sorry, big guy,” Tony says at last, and watches quietly how Thor’s face falls. “I’m not really looking to be getting down and dirty with anyone at the moment.”
Thor’s brows furrow and then he smiles, just a little sadly. “Your heart is still smarting.” With three big strides he’s suddenly standing right in front of Tony. “I understand. Mayhap when your heart is healed you will allow me the honour of your company and your pleasure.”
And then Thor pulls him in a bone crushing hug, and Tony allows himself to lean into Thor just a tiny bit, just enough to feel the evidence of Thor’s sincerity press against his stomach.
It’s almost enough to change his mind, but Tony resolves himself to stick to his vow, no matter how much he may regret that later.
“I wish you good dreams, Man of Iron.” And with that, Thor marches out of his room.
“Well,” Tony says, staring after him and appreciating the view of Thor’s very nicely shaped ass.
“Quite,” JARVIS agrees.
Life goes on, the Avengers kick ass, Steve asks him to come along to a movie and the theatre (which Tony does in an attempt to make up for his shitty behaviour when he’d first met Capsicle and to help Steve get his footing in the 21st century) and Tony upgrades his suit with a new propulsion system that he’s been working on for a month or so.
Everything is perfectly normal.
That is, until Tony finds himself alone in the living room with Clint one evening.
Tony’s playing around with a few new design ideas on his tablet when Clint plonks down beside him on the couch and offers him a bottle of beer. Tony accepts it without even looking up, and Clint settles down beside him, his attention on the TV where some nature program is showing a lion ripping into a zebra or something. Tony doesn’t really care, but Clint has a thing for the survival of the fittest and can’t get enough of watching nature at its worst.
“Hey man,” Clint says and takes a swig of beer.
“Hmm?” Tony replies, eyes still on his tablet.
“You ever fuck a guy?”
That gets Tony’s attention and he looks up at Clint with raised eyebrows.
Clint’s stare is rather aloof and just a bit calculating.
“What is this? Truth or Dare?” Tony asks, and he means it as a joke, he really does.
But Clint doesn’t laugh. Instead he looks Tony up and down and says, “It could be.”
Tony stares, because it is literally the last thing he ever thought would happen. Ever.
Clint is coming onto him, obviously, and it is confusing the fuck out of Tony. Clint is attractive enough, strong in his own way, very athletic and limber, lethal when he needs to be, but until that moment, Clint had never given any indication that he appreciates Tony as more than a teammate. Sure, they hang out, but then again, they all hang out, all six of them, in various formations.
So Tony really isn’t sure what to make of this, and at that moment he curses himself for ever making the vow of not sticking it to his teammates, because that would be casual sex, and casual sex is something that Tony understands perfectly.
But having a go at Clint, what with him being his fellow Avenger, wouldn’t be casual, no matter how much of a one night stand it might be, and thus Tony is completely out of his depth.
And he hates feeling out of his depth.
So he does what he does best, and he plasters on a big smirk and leers at Clint. “You couldn’t handle my dares, Legolas.”
Clint snorts in obvious disagreement, but accepts the comment for what it is, a polite refusal, and he focuses his attention back onto the TV where several hyenas are tearing apart a baby buffalo.
Tony looks at him a while longer, wondering if perhaps Clint has had too much to drink, but ultimately decides that Clint is probably just bored and thought perhaps a good fuck might be an entertaining way to spend the evening.
That problems solved, Tony goes back to playing with his designs and forgets about the whole episode.
Natasha is dressed in a skin-tight outfit (black, naturally) that hugs every attractive curve of her body. Once upon a time, Tony would have happily spend an evening (or two, or three) in bed with Natasha, but that was before he knew she was a spy for SHIELD.
And that was also before he knew she could kill a guy with her lipstick. In at least three different ways.
“Hey,” Tony says and looks around at the otherwise empty training room. Not a briefing then.
“Tony,” Natasha says and stalks towards him. “I thought we could get a few rounds in.”
Before Tony can ask her what kind of rounds she’s talking about, Natasha grabs him by his shirt, delivers some fancy footwork, and within seconds Tony is lying on his back, his breath knocked out of him. Natasha, a wide grin on her face, straddles him.
“Did I do something to piss you off?” Tony asks, bewildered and not a small amount out of breath. “More so than usual, I mean.” Superstitiously, he checks for pockets in her outfit that might hold her lipstick. One can never be too careful with Natasha.
“Not more than usually, no,” Natasha all but purrs, and then grinds down against him, crotch to crotch.
“Whoa!” Tony’s eyes widen and he bucks up in an attempt to throw her off (or perhaps to get more friction, but he sure isn’t going to admit that to anyone). “Watch the goods there, little lady.”
“I will if you let me.” Natasha sucks her bottom lip between her teeth and drags one hand down Tony’s chest to rest it on the waistband of his jeans.
Tony is equal amounts confused, aroused and terrified. It is entirely possible that the human mind is not equipped to feel all those things simultaneously because at once Tony’s brain blanks and his body freezes.
Frowning, Natasha sits up a little straighter and stares down at him.
Tony stares right back.
“You’re not into this, are you?” Natasha asks rather matter-of-factly.
Unsure what to say (because part of him wants to jump up and perform some sort of victory dance because hell yeah, Natasha the super hot super spy is into him while a different part of him wants to go hide under his bed in terror at the idea of having those lethal, lethal hands anywhere near his junk), Tony merely shakes his head.
“Pity,” Natasha says with a little sigh, and before she can climb off him, someone clears their throat behind them.
“Am I interrupting something?” Steve asks. He’s dressed for a workout, bottle of water in his hand, a towel slung over his shoulder.
“No,” Natasha says and pushes herself up in one fluid movement. “Tony couldn’t handle my workout.” And with a flick of her hair and a swish of her hips she walks out of the room.
“You all right?” Steve offers Tony a hand, which Tony gratefully accepts. Once he’s upright again he pats Steve on the shoulder in thanks. “What was that all about?” Steve asks quietly.
“That, my friend,” Tony says with a grin, “was possibly the most arousing yet the most terrifying experience in my life. Holy fuck.”
Steve frowns, glances briefly at the door and then looks at the floor. Tony represses a sigh; Steve hates swearing and Tony just tossed another f-bomb at his head. He knows better, he really does, but sometimes needs must.
“We still up for that movie tonight?” Tony asks, hoping to put Steve in a better mood. A mopey Capsicle is no fun, especially not when Tony is the reason he’s mopey in the first place.
Steve looks up at him with wide eyes. “You mean, you still want to go after…well…”
“Captain, my captain.” Tony slaps Steve on the shoulder. “It takes more than one scary spy lady to put me down.”
Steve’s smile is radiant, and Tony congratulates himself for a job well done. Steve in a good mood is fun to hang out with so Tony’s evening is set. He briefly debates staying for a while to watch Steve work out (and ever since Steve’s wardrobe moved into the 21st century thanks to an intervention by Pepper and Natasha, watching Steve work out in those tight shirts is a lot of fun), but decides against it. One awkward sexual encounter with a teammate is enough for the afternoon.
“Hey,” Bruce says while Tony is busy studying a hologram. “You want to get something to eat?”
Tony looks up. “Is it time for that already? When did we have lunch? Jarvis?”
“Lunch was served five hours ago, sir.”
“Ah.” Tony stretches his arms over his head and looks over at Bruce. “Want to order something in? Thai? It’s been a while since we had that.”
Bruce nods and pushed his glasses up his nose. “Sure. Or we could – “
But Bruce never gets to finish his sentence because the alarm goes off and Tony is on the move at once.
Turns out it’s Loki, who probably got bored and decided that releasing a herd of something or other in Central Park was a good way to spend an evening.
No, really, Tony has no idea what the fuck those things are (and he’s seen plenty of animals, thanks to Clint’s obsession with nature shows). All he can tell is that they’re big, hairy, have three horns, four legs ending in five inch claws, and a tail like a scorpion, stinger and all.
Seriously. What the fuck.
Clint’s arrows and Natasha’s bullets don’t seem to bother them much, but they don’t like Tony’s repulsor blasts one bit. Not that his blasts do much damage, but at least it allows him to herd the fuckers away from the city and keep them inside the park. Steve’s shield, Thor’s hammer and the Hulk’s fists are the only things doing any kind of damage.
Tony swoops down and fires at a couple of the fuckers to steer them back when one of them surprises him and he gets a tail in the chest. He’s thrown off course and crashes against a nearby tree before landing in a heap on the ground.
Fuck, that hurt.
Before Tony can push himself up and check for damage to his suit, Loki appears before him. He’s left his crazy helmet at home but he’s still wearing his favourite leather bondage outfit.
“Stark,” Loki says as he circles around him. Tony manages to get an arm under himself (and he doesn’t like the creaking that comes with it one bit).
“Odinson,” Tony replies, because he knows that will piss Loki off, and what’s better than that.
Loki’s eyes flicker briefly before his expression relaxes and he smiles down at Tony. “It is a good position for you.”
There is the sound of a not insignificant explosion behind them, but Tony ignores it. “And what position would that be?” he asks, even though he knows he shouldn’t. Trying to engage Loki in any type of sane conversation is usually rather futile, but he’s still curious enough to give it a go.
“You, at my feet.” Loki waves his staff around and before he knows it, Tony is standing upright. “However,” Loki continues as he steps closer. “You by my side would be an even better position for you.”
“Nah,” Tony says while he urges JARVIS to run a systems check. “I’m fine where I am, but thanks for caring.”
“Are you?” Loki asks with a tilt of his head. “You do not fit in with them. Not really.”
“And still they put up with me, go figure.” Tony is relieved to hear JARVIS announce that all systems are go and he relaxes just a bit.
“But that is exactly it,” Loki says with a rather manic smile. “They merely put up with you. I would make you my equal. Together we could rule the world, Anthony.”
“Not really my thing. Too much paperwork involved.” Tony takes a step backwards just as Loki takes another step towards him. What kind of crazy is going on now, Tony wonders, because while he and Loki have made bantering and bickering into an Olympic grade sport by now, Loki’s never offered him anything before.
But just as Loki reaches out to touch Tony’s helmet, the ground shakes beneath them and a huge green fist comes speeding out of nowhere, hitting Loki square in the chest and sending him flying backwards.
Saved by the Big Guy. Tony flips open his faceplate and smiles up at the Hulk and holds up his hand for a high five. He’s been teaching the Hulk to high five for a while now, and just last month the Big Guy finally seemed to get it.
“No!” Hulk bellows, ignoring Tony’s outstretched hand in favour of simply scooping Tony up and holding him to his chest. Tony’s very glad for his near indestructible suit because the Hulk is not exactly being gentle. “Hulk has little man. Not puny god. Never puny god touch Hulk’s man.”
Tony is completely speechless as he hangs limply in the Hulk’s grasp. Some distance away, Loki seems equally speechless as he crawls to his feet.
“Hulk’s little man,” Hulk says, patting Tony on his helmet so hard his entire suit creaks in objection.
“Wait, you’re fucking Banner now?” Clint asks as he drops from a nearby tree.
“What?” Tony stares at Clint for a second and then winces when he hears something in his suit snap when the Hulk cuddles him closer to his chest.
“Your heart has mended!” Thor booms as he joins the party, closely followed by Natasha and Steve. “Felicitations to you and Bruce!”
“No,” Tony objects, while Natasha shoots him a rather offended glare. Steve looks…well, Steve looks very unhappy. There’s a big frown and pursed lips and clenched fists around his shield and for some reason Tony wishes he knew what to say to make Steve smile again. “Look,” he all but yells, frustrated and not a little bit terrified the Hulk might squeeze him a bit too hard. “What’s wrong with all of you? What’s with the Tony love fest of the last few weeks?”
“I merely wished to offer you pleasure after you lost the Lady Pepper’s favour. To make you feel better,” Thor says solemnly. “I did not wish to cause you offense.”
“Hey man,” Clint says with a shrug. “I was horny and I thought you’d be easy.” At Tony’s narrowed-eyed look, Clint hastily adds, “You know what I mean, just a little fun between friends.”
Natasha’s face is carefully blank while she says, “I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Pepper had some good stories to tell about you in the sack.”
“Little man nice to Hulk,” Hulk says and finally he drops Tony to the ground where he barely manages to stay upright. “Hulk nice to little man.”
Loki clears his throat and offers Tony a sly smile. “And I wish – “
“No!” Hulk roars, and within a second Loki has disappeared into thin air.
“Look, I’m flattered, really,” Tony says, and he knows he’s babbling, but fuck, he’s never had to deal with something like this before, where he’s having to turn people down because he can’t mess up whatever they have as a team for a few orgasms. “But seriously, I’m not going to be fucking any of you, ever.”
Tony isn’t sure what else to say. He’s partially outraged at everyone’s assumptions and another part of him simply wants to laugh at the absurdity of it all. Here he’d vowed never to stick it to these people, and yet these people all wanted to stick it to him.
Well, all of them except –
“Enough,” Steve snaps in a tone of voice Tony has never heard him use before. It’s almost…cold, and while Steve can get his Captain on when he wants to and order people around, he usually doesn’t sound so…distant. “We’ve got a job to do, and at no point does that involve getting into Tony’s pants. Let’s go.” And with that Steve storms off, leaving everyone to stare after him.
“So what happened to the furry things?” Tony asks as he remembers why they were in Central Park in the first place.
“Thor made big with the lightning,” Clint says with a grin. “The furry things went splat.”
“Good.” Tony barely manages to offer Clint a smile because for some reason he can’t get Steve’s devastated expression out of his mind.
They have Thai food when they get home, and conversation seems normal, even though Bruce avoids looking at Tony for a while, his cheeks flushed, but Tony makes a few quips, everybody else laughs at Bruce’s apologetic replies and all is right in the world again.
Except that Steve’s nowhere to be seen. Tony asks JARVIS where their Captain is, and is informed that Steve’s in the training room, pulverizing punching bags.
Tony’s not sure what to make of that, but writes it off as some sort of super soldier weirdness he’ll never understand.
And yet, he still feels like crap, so he does what he does best whenever he feels like a humongous pile of shit and grabs a bottle of scotch and locks himself inside his lab.
He makes quick work of the scotch while he tries to teach Dummy how to throw darts (and through the drunken haze in his brain tries to come up with some sort of upgrade for Dummy to improve his dexterity because as it turns out, Dummy’s aim is way, way off). At some point he falls asleep on the couch in the corner of his lab mid-conversation with JARVIS. The next morning he feels even worse than the night before, because on top of the general feeling of crappiness he now has a splitting headache.
Shuffling into his bedroom, he avoids looking at his reflection and manages a shower which makes him feel only slightly better. And even though he has no stomach for breakfast, he’s in desperate need of coffee, so he goes to the kitchen where he finds Steve eating a bowl of cereal. The kind with lots of fibre and no taste, because apparently the sugary kind is a no-no for army people of the super variety.
“Hey,” Tony says while he hurries to the counter and pours himself the biggest mug of coffee he can find. He’s so preoccupied with getting caffeine into his system that he almost misses Steve’s complete refusal to return his greeting.
Tony joins him at the table and gives him a good look. Steve keeps his eyes on his bowl of cereal, but Tony can still tell that Steve looks like he didn’t get any sleep. Something’s up with Steve, that much is clear, but Tony’s not one for heart-to-heart talks, so he comes up with another way to make Steve happy again. A way that’s never failed in the past.
“You wanna catch a movie tonight? Wasn’t there some comedy you wanted to see?”
Steve snaps his gaze up and the look he shoots Tony is so full of loathing that Tony actually shrinks back. What the fuck is Steve pissed at him for?
“Really, Tony?” Steve says as his eyes narrow to slits. “You made your position perfectly clear last night. I’d appreciate it if you stopped leading me on.” And with that Steve shoots up, dumps his bowl into the sink and leaves the kitchen before Tony even realizes what Steve just told him.
Leading Steve on?
What the fuck.
And it finally dawns on Tony that he’s missed something.
Something very big. About the size of a super soldier. Right in front of him.
Steve apparently is under the impression that they’ve been going on dates for a while now (and of course Tony missed that, he doesn’t do relationships, how the fuck is he supposed to realize he’s been dating someone, seriously), and last night Tony announced to the whole of Central Park that he had no intention of fucking any of the Avengers, and of course he didn’t make an exception for Steve, because hello, Tony would seriously fuck Steve if he had the chance, because Steve is smoking hot and so much fun to hang out with when he’s not mopey.
But Tony made a vow to not stick it to the Avengers, and so he never allowed himself to entertain the possibility of Steve Rogers in his bed because that way lies madness and a lot of sexual frustration and furious jerking off in the shower and Tony’s too old for that shit.
But Steve doesn’t know that, Steve doesn’t know any of that, and now Tony has hurt Steve, and he doesn’t know how to fix this.
He gulps down his coffee, buries his face in his hands and laughs with shaking shoulders. Here he made a vow to not fuck his teammates because that would end up with hurt feelings and awkward working relationships and as it turns out it’s this fucking vow, it’s Tony not dragging his teammates (Steve!) into his bed that’s ended up fucking things up.
The motherfucking irony.
So with a slight hangover (because he’s been feeling like crap for days, so naturally, he’s been chugging scotch like it’s coffee) he manages to make it to the living room half an hour late. Everyone’s there, seated on the couches.
Well, everyone except Steve, and something tightens in Tony’s chest and he desperately wishes for more alcohol.
Natasha is up from the couch the moment she spots him and meets him halfway across the living room. “I don’t care what you did to Steve. You fix this. Now.”
Tony wonders if he should explain himself, if he should tell her that it’s what he didn’t do, vowed to not ever do, that’s the problem, but in the end he simply settles for asking, “How?”
“Have you tried apologizing?”
Frowning, Tony stares at his shoes. “No.”
Natasha points a finger at the door. “Then how about you go do that right now?” And Tony notices that she’s wearing a nice shade of red lipstick, and she’s wearing jeans with pockets so fuck, she’s got lipstick on her, and Tony’s too fucking scared of her to refuse.
After checking with JARVIS for the location of their illustrious Capsicle, Tony ends up in front of Steve’s bedroom door. After a few knocks it opens, and Steve frowns down at him.
“I didn’t know we were dating,” Tony says, deciding that honesty is the best course.
Steve slams the door in his face.
“JARVIS.” And Tony loves his AI because JARVIS unlocks the door for him and Tony walks into Steve’s room, suddenly feeling all kinds of terrified and excited and desperate not to fuck this up.
“Hear me out,” Tony says as he stands in front of Steve, who’s sitting on his couch and ignoring Tony entirely. “I’m sorry I somehow fucked this up, but after Pepper, I didn’t want to screw anyone else over because seriously, I can’t even talk to her anymore without second guessing anything I say and she’s avoiding me like the bubonic plague, and we’re a team and I couldn’t risk ending up in that kind of situation with any of you when we need to have each other’s backs out there where shit will get us killed if we’re pissed off at each other because we just broke up or some shit.”
Tony inhales a deep breath and hopes with everything he’s got that he’s saying the right things because he wants Steve to stop staring at the floor and look up at him and smile. “So I made a vow that I wouldn’t fuck any of you and that worked, because they all wanted in my pants and I refused, but I hadn’t counted on you being such a fucking nice guy, someone who drags me on dates and who makes me laugh and who’s hotter than hell and who actually seems to give a damn about me instead of just wanting a quick fuck, and I seriously want to get into your pants, Steve, believe me, but I’m fucking terrified that I’ll screw it up, and I don’t want to end up feeling too awkward to talk to you or even look at you, so I don’t know how to fix this.”
Tony falls silent when Steve finally looks up at him and meets his eyes, but Steve’s face gives nothing away.
“Say something,” Tony all but begs, because hell, he just put stuff out there, and he needs to know if this is enough, if Steve will forgive him.
“Ted,” Steve says finally.
“What?” Tony is utterly dumbfounded.
And yet there it is, that smile that Tony’s been waiting for. “Ted. It’s the comedy that I wanted to see,” Steve says, and Tony exhales, and then he exhales some more because Steve is smiling up at him, finally.
“Tomorrow night?” Tony asks with a smile of his own.
“It’s a date,” Steve says and yeah, Tony fixed it, somehow.
“Pretty funny movie, huh?” Tony asks, because it had been a pretty funny movie, from what he’s seen of it when he wasn’t staring at their joined hands or Steve’s face, waiting for that smile he never tires of seeing.
Steve frowns and glances at Tony. “I guess. There was a lot of swearing, though. I hadn’t expected that of a movie starring a teddy bear.”
And Tony is done for, he’s sold, and he yanks on Steve’s arm (and holding hands really comes in handy for that) and pulls him close and presses his lips to Steve’s.
It’s a good first kiss, Tony thinks. Steve’s lips are soft but Steve isn’t shy and cups the back of Tony’s head while he deepens their kiss. Tongues meet and eyes close, and Tony still doesn’t know if this is a good idea because he’s fucking terrified to screw this up, but he’s also determined to see this through and to always put a smile on Steve’s face if he can help it.
And he also vows never to make any vows concerning his sex life again. Ever.