"Tony?" Steve called, making his way down to the lab.
It had been a while since he had seen his boyfriend, and while he wasn’t really worried- disappearing for long spans of time was the norm for Tony- he did want to check to make sure he was eating. And possibly pull him up to bed, because really, it was just wrong to leave a man to sleep alone two nights in a row. He needed a nice Tony-shaped object to sleep with (or possibly to not-sleep with.)
He didn’t receive a response, so he shouldered his way into the lab. He expected Tony to be at his desk or possibly lying asleep on the cot in the corner, but he didn’t see his boyfriend anywhere.
"Can you tell me where Tony is?"
"Mr. Stark is in the bathroom, sir."
"Oh, alright, I guess I’ll just wait out here."
"I don’t believe he’ll be coming out soon. He appears to be asleep."
"Asleep in the bathroom?"
"Asleep in the bathtub, sir."
Steve couldn’t hold off an amused smile at that. He had found Tony asleep in some pretty odd places before, but never the bathtub. He pushed the door open to the bathroom to find Tony just as JARVIS had said, curled up adorably in the bathtub.
"Did he say why he wanted to sleep in the bathtub, JARVIS?"
"He said that the workshop was too hot, and I believe he found the tile of the bathtub to be pleasantly cool."
Steve frowned at that. It was rather odd, considering the fact that it was the middle of winter. Espcially since Tony really didn’t like the cold. He tended to bundle up and spend as much time as possible in Malibu.
"He couldn’t just ask you to turn the thermostat down?"
"He had been awake for 72 hours and no longer seemed quite coherent."
"Tony?" Steve repeated, coming over to attempt to shake him awake. When he put an arm on the other’s shoulder, he could feel the heat emanating from the other man. "Tony, sweetheart, you’re burning up." No wonder he had been incoherent. He was probably mildy delirious with fever.
When he got no response but a groan, he gently picked his boyfriend up and carried him out bridal style. Tony made a discontent noise and curled in a bit more, but otherwise accepted his new situation. He was disconcertingly passive as Steve carried him up to their floor.
"JARVIS, is there a thermometer anywhere?" Steve asked as he entered the bedroom.
"In the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, sir. I believe it is behind the hair gel."
He laid Tony down on the bed before going ]to find the thermometer. As JARVIS had said, it was in the cabinet, crammed in behind a number of hair products. He checked to make sure it still had battery before returning to the bedroom, where Tony had snuggled in amongst the covers. Well, at least he was somewhat responsive, Steve thought. It had worried him how out of it Tony had seemed.
"Sweetheart, I need to take your temperature now."
"Nuh-uh," Tony slurred into a pillow.
"Yep," Steve replied cheerfully, rolling him over and sticking the thermometer in his mouth. Tony grumbled but allowed it. Steve ran his hands through the other man’s dark curls and he quieted, humming slightly in content. Rather like a purring cat.
When the thermometer beeped he used one hand to take it out so that the other could stay in Tony’s hair.
"103.7" he murmured with a frown. "If it gets much higher, I’m taking you to the hospital."
Tony slurred something in response that sounded suspiciously like “evil.”
"Alright, Bruce. I’ll take you to Bruce." And then he’ll probably make me take you to a medical doctor, Steve added to himself. Bruce was always being treated like the team medic, and always reminding everyone that he wasn't that kind of doctor.
Steve grinned down at him. He sure was cute like this, pliant and uninhibited and soft. Eventually he got up to put the thermometer away and grab some ibuprofen and a glass of water. Tony made another discontent noise and one of his hands reached out to drag Steve back. As if he had the strength to move a supersoldier, even when he was healthy.
"I’ll be back in a minute, Tony," he reassured as he delicately pried the hand away.
He washed the thermometer before putting it back into the cupboard and taking out a bottle of ibuprofen. He grabbed a cup from the little kitchenette they had in the corner of the room (when he had first seen it he had thought it was unnecesary and ridiculous, but he was sort of thankful for it now) and filling it up with water from the tap.
Tony resisted the medicine for a moment, but the fever had worn down his defenses and it didn’t take him long to give in. Steve made him drink the whole cup, figuring that he was quite possibly dehydrated after being down in the lab and with a fever for so long.
Satisfied, he pushed Tony back to the pillow and tucked the covers around him.
“Now, sleep. You’re not allowed back into the workshop until you’ve gotten at least eight hours.”
Tony huffed in response but didn’t move, so Steve counted it as agreement. Figuring that his job was done, he turned and headed to the door.
“You know, since you’ve forced me into bed, the least you could do is join me.”
“I am not having sex with you while you’re sick.”
“Did I mention sex? I don’t remember mentioning sex. All I wanted was for you to come and cuddle with me. God, Rogers, you have such a dirty mind.”