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How Not To Declare Your Love

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It was February 1st, the Valentine’s Day commercials had started the day after New Year’s, and Steve had just seen his fifth advertisement for giant teddy bears that day. It wasn’t even noon yet. He tapped his pencil against his sketchbook and considered his experience with Valentine’s Day. When he had been really young, Valentine’s Day meant a couple of pieces of candy from his mother or the more generous of his neighbors. In the orphanage, it had meant fighting over a couple of pieces of candy and, if they were lucky, the local bakeries would send over their extra pastries. When Steve had turned 19, one of the sisters Bucky had talked into going out with the both of them had given Steve a Vinegar Valentine which proclaimed him ‘The Loser’ and depicted a scrawny bucktoothed man dressed shabbily. Bucky had been enraged and had dumped the sister he’d been dating the same morning. In 1940, just as the war was starting to pick up real speed in Europe, there was a blizzard and both Bucky and Steve had taken the opportunity to make some extra money shoveling the city out of a foot of snow. They’d eaten well that spring.

Otherwise, Valentine’s Day had mostly ignored Steve and he had generally returned the favor in kind. But this year was different. He was 70 years in the future, living with a new team, and … Steve looked away from the TV and back toward the kitchen of the common floor. Bruce and Tony were talking excitedly about something or another. Tony had climbed up on the barstool; sitting on one bent knee with his other foot braced on a stool rung and leaning across the kitchen island to see the computer tablet Bruce was typing on. Natasha was getting a glass of orange juice from the fridge and moved Tony’s coffee cup before the genius could knock it over with his elbow. Steve looked away with a blush as Tony hitched himself up higher, stretching the fabric of his jeans over his ass.

Steve made a few pencil strokes on his drawing, a still life of the flowers sitting on the table by the elevator, and sighed. He glanced up at the TV but the commercial for the giant teddy bear was over. He glanced toward the kitchen again. Tony was refilling his and Bruce’s coffee cups and Steve felt his lips curl with a soft smile. The engineer’s hair was messy, implying a long night down in his workshop, and there was a black smudge along his temple. Bruce said something, fingers moving swiftly over the tablet, and Tony grinned wide and bright. He said something in response, Bruce nodded, and then both of them were picking up their things and heading toward the elevator.

Steve wasn’t quick enough to drop his eyes and his gaze caught Tony’s as he walked by. The dark haired man smiled, more softly than he had at Bruce (or Steve liked to think so at least). “Morning, Steve,” he called.

“Good morning, Tony,” Steve replied with a crooked grin. Tony looked at him a little strangely, which made Steve wonder just exactly what his tone had been, and then the elevator was closing and whisking both men away. Steve chewed on his lip and then picked up his tablet from the coffee table. He turned it on, put in his password, and opened Google.

Steve remembered how patient Tony had been last autumn when he had taught Steve how to use the computer. Oh, he still called Steve a technology dinosaur and teased him mercilessly, but he hadn’t given up in frustration like Clint had or gone too fast like Bruce had done. Many people had tried to teach Steve to use the computer and internet but they all assumed he knew things he couldn’t. They taught like they were dealing with a person who’d watched these technologies develop, like he was someone’s stubborn grandpa who didn’t want to deal with these newfangled devices but who’s grandkids were trying to drag into the new age anyway. Steve didn’t have any practical frame of reference for computers and Tony had understood that. He had started from the bottom and worked his way up until Steve could navigate his computer tablet with ease and didn’t feel completely ridiculous doing so.

Steve typed in [giant teddy bears] and watched the screen populate with search results. He tapped the first result and scrolled through the page, feeling proud of himself. Learning the lingo of the internet had taken some time. The teddy bears came in several sizes, from just a couple of inches to 72 inches. He tapped on the link for the biggest and frowned. A 6 foot teddy bear and, even with a Valentine’s Day discount, it cost $180. He tapped back to the first page and scrolled through the sizes again. The bears came in all sorts of colors, although he didn’t think Tony would appreciate a pink teddy bear, and some of them had plush hearts or fabric flowers attached to their paws. Steve chewed his lip and tapped on the link for the 6 foot bears again.

At 6 feet, the bear would actually be bigger than Tony himself. Steve sighed and shut the browser down, tossing the computer carefully onto the sofa cushion. He wanted to do something to get Tony’s attention and the billionaire was probably used to over the top gestures. A giant teddy bear was certainly big enough. Even Steve knew it was corny and ridiculous but Tony also had a wicked and sardonic sense of humor. Steve could just see Tony getting a real kick out of a teddy bear bigger than he was. It had the added benefit of being a gesture that was unlikely to be misinterpreted. People gave teddy bears to people they were interested in for Valentine’s Day. Ergo, giving Tony a giant teddy bear for Valentine’s Day would clearly state his interest in the genius. Neat, quick, and little chance for Steve to cock it up.

Steve picked up the computer again and woke it up out of sleep mode, opening the browser again. He navigated over to the giant teddy bear site and considered his choices. “Jarvis, I don’t suppose you know Tony’s opinion on giant stuffed animals?” he asked.

“Given past evidence,” replied Jarvis, “I can surmise that Sir’s opinion on giant stuffed animals is very positive.”

There was a story there, Steve could tell, but he didn’t push for more from the AI. Steve knew that Jarvis would only divulge personal information about his creator up to a certain point and could become surly if he thought you were prying for less than honorable reasons. Steve sighed. “Am I about to make a fool of myself, Jarvis?”

“Quite possibly but it is my experience that Sir finds that endearing.”

“Right,” Steve said with a snort. Well, in for a penny, in for a pound as they say. “Any idea on color?”


(**)


The giant teddy bear arrived on February 7th and by that time Steve had changed his mind more than once about the stuffed animal. Steve sliced the box open and pulled the bear out, sliding away the big plastic bag it was wrapped in. It was brown with a red silk bow around its neck and heart shaped paw pads. Steve had figured that the red bear was too cheesy, the pink bear had been completely out of the question, and the white bear had been a little too Christmassy for his comfort. He fished out the red plush heart he ordered with it. The heart pillow was plain and without writing on it. There had been ones with messages stitched on them but he thought giving Tony a heart shaped pillow with ‘I LOVE YOU’ on it might be a little too much a little too soon. He didn’t want to push the genius away before they even got started by coming on too strongly.

It took Steve another day of waffling before he decided to go through with the giant bear idea. Enough time for Natasha to ask him what was wrong. He almost spilled his plan to her. He was 90% sure that Natasha knew about his crush on Tony anyway but telling her about the teddy bear suddenly felt like a betrayal and too personal and he’d ended up saying that everything was fine. She looked unconvinced but thankfully left it alone.

Around midnight, Steve checked to make sure Tony was still in his workshop and then retrieved the teddy bear. “Jarvis?” he asked as he stepped into the elevator with the stuffed animal. “Can I be allowed to enter the penthouse to put this on Tony’s bed without you notifying him? Please? I promise not to touch anything else.”

Steve could feel the AI considering him and the giant teddy bear. “You may, Captain,” Jarvis said, much to Steve’s relief. The elevator rose and opened on the penthouse floor. He could see the wide windows with the Iron Man landing pad outside and the kitchen with its bar covered by machinery parts and other unidentifiable junk. The leather couches had a nest of blankets and pillows in one corner and the grand piano was open and ready to be played. Steve carefully walked to Tony’s bedroom, blushing as he saw the trail of clothing heading from the doorway to the bathroom, and set the teddy bear on top of the messy bed. He leaned it against the headboard and posed it upright, setting the red heart pillow in the bear’s lap. He fussed with the arms and legs and then left with a smile on his face.

“Thanks, Jarvis,” Steve said as the elevator carried him back down to his floor.

“You’re welcome, Captain,” replied Jarvis. Now, all he had to do was wait.

The next morning, Steve squirmed in anticipation so much that Natasha narrowed her eyes at him but he was just so excited he couldn’t hold himself still. He couldn’t wait for Tony to come down for his morning cup of coffee. Would Tony be excited? Would he be confused? Would he demanded to know who had given him the teddy bear or would Tony try to figure it out by himself? Steve couldn’t wait to declare that he was the giver of the stuffed animal.

The elevator opened and Steve looked up eagerly. It was Tony, which was great, but it was Tony dressed up in a dove grey suit and light blue shirt and talking a mile a minute on his cellphone, which was not so great. Tony strode across the living room and headed straight for the coffee pot, pouring a generous amount into a tall travel mug. He wedged his cellphone between his cheek and shoulder as he snapped on the lid. “I don’t care what Thompson said. Thompson is wrong and you know it. Pepper, Pep, Pepper pot, tell the board we are not closing the Colorado factory and moving it to India just because it is cost effective. That’s bullshit. I don’t do business like that.” Tony tilted the cellphone away from his mouth. “Morning, everybody,” he said, barely glancing at where Steve, Natasha, and Bruce were eating breakfast.

“Good morning, Tony,” Steve said pleasantly. But Tony was already turning away and hurrying toward the elevator.

“Are you going to be back for dinner?” called Bruce around his oatmeal. Tony wobbled his hand in the air and disappeared into the elevator. Steve sort of deflated on his stool.

Natasha looked between Steve’s dejected face and the elevator Tony had taken down and frowned. “Why do you look like someone kicked your puppy, Steve? What am I missing?” she asked. Bruce looked up and blinked in confusion, glancing between them.

Steve drew himself up and stood. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m fine.” He rinsed off his plate and put it in the dishwasher, feeling two pairs of eyes burning into his back the whole time. “Now, I am going out for my run. I’ll see you later.” He hurried to the elevator and spent the ride down stretching his legs. That had been a disappointment. Tony hadn’t mentioned the bear at all or given any indication he was even thinking about the gift. But he’d also been in an obvious hurry. Maybe it was just bad timing and Tony would get around to asking about the teddy bear as soon as he got back. Steve would just have to be patient and wait for his chance.

But Steve’s chance never came. At dinner Tony acted completely normal, participating in a table wide argument between Star Trek and Star Wars that had Clint shouting something about Vulcans and Wookiees. There was no mention of giant teddy bears and Tony didn’t eye anyone suspiciously. Breakfast the next day was equally uneventful as Tony stole a piece of Thor’s huge stack of toast and disappeared into his workshop. Natasha and Clint were stuck at SHIELD for dinner that night, so the rest of them had eaten as they saw fit by themselves. Steve had actually gone down to the workshop, trying to give Tony a private moment in which to ask about the teddy bear, but found him sitting on the floor with a car in pieces around him and laughing with Colonel Rhodes on a video call. Steve didn’t want to interrupt and let Tony be for the evening.

Before Steve knew it, it was February 12th and Tony had not even mentioned the teddy bear once. He could only assume his overture had failed and Tony wasn’t interested. He vaguely wondered what Tony had done with the bear as he sulked around his floor and tried to dredge up some enthusiasm to paint or read or simply do anything of value. Instead, he sat on his stool in front of a half-finished watercolor mountain scene and brooded. Steve supposed Tony must have thrown the bear out or gotten rid of it somehow, which stung. Now all the Valentine’s Day commercials he saw seemed to be mocking him and he turned the TV off with a scowl.

“I should have known better,” Steve muttered to himself, tossing the remote control box away. “Giant teddy bears,” he scoffed. “I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea. Of course Tony didn’t like it. It was so stupid.” His cellphone chimed a message from the kitchen counter but Steve ignored it. It chimed a second, third, and fourth time in quick succession and Steve frowned. He retrieved the cellphone, thinking it might be important, and opened the first message. Steve took a surprised breath through his nose, his fingers tightening around the little device.

The first message was a picture of Tony sleeping in his bed, taken from above and at a slight angle. He was wearing a pair of sleep pants and a tank top and using the giant teddy bear’s left leg as a pillow. Steve hesitantly thumbed to the next message and fought down a confused smile. It was Tony again, laid out on his stomach and hugging the left arm of the bear to his chest, apparently trying to smother himself using the animal’s giant ear. The next picture was still of Tony in bed, curled on his side across the bear’s legs, its torso and bulbous head flopped over Tony’s side like it was shielding the sleeping man. The last picture was of the blanket and pillow nest on the couch, where the red heart pillow was an obvious addition.

“Jarvis?” he asked hesitantly. “What is this?”

“You were under the erroneous assumption that your gift had not been well received. As you can see, this is not the case,” replied Jarvis.

“So Tony doesn’t hate the bear?”

“No, Captain, Sir does not. In fact, I would say he is rather enamored of the stuffed animal.”

Steve ran his free hand through his hair. “But why didn’t he say anything? He hasn’t given any indication he liked the bear or was even mildly curious as to who gave it to him!”

“Sir would not. I believe the expression is, ‘once bitten, twice shy’.”

Steve cringed. “I know he was really sad when he and Pepper broke up but they’ve stayed really good friends afterwards.”

“It still remains that Sir’s first foray into a serious relationship as an adult was with Miss Potts. They were friends for years before they moved their relationship into the romantic and it still did not work out,” explained Jarvis. “I do not believe Sir’s self-esteem has recovered. He has expressed the idea that if he could not make it work with Miss Potts, who knew the best and worst of him, then it would be impossible to make it work with anyone at all.” Steve rubbed at his mouth. He had no idea Tony had been harboring such hurt after the breakup with Pepper. The genius had been subdued for a couple of months but he had seemed to bounce back after a while. “I believe, Captain, that if you wish to pursue a relationship with Sir that you must, as they say, ‘do all the leg work’.”

Steve paced his living room. “Shit. Jarvis, what time is it? What’s the date?”

“It is 10:26am on February 12th, Captain,” replied the AI.

Steve gave a little panicked groan. “I supposed it’s too late to book a reservation at a romantic restaurant by now?”

“Not necessarily, Captain. The Stark name goes a long way in New York City, as does your own. If you wish, I’m sure any restaurant in the city would be thrilled to accept you.” There was something unenthusiastic in the AI’s voice.

“No. No,” Steve muttered. “It needs to be something really special.” He rubbed his hands over his face and pinched the bridge of his nose. “What can I put together in just two days that would wow a ‘genius billionaire playboy philanthropist’?”

“If I may, Captain?” Steve waved a hand. “Sir will enjoy anything you do, no matter how simple.”

Steve smiled wanly. He paced over to the window and stared out at the city, shining golden with the morning sun and capped with fresh snow. “Jarvis,” he said slowly, an idea evolving. “Is that atrium on floor 85 still there?”

“You mean the atrium Sir wanted to turn into a Zen garden before Doctor Banner talked him out of it?” clarified the AI. Steve nodded with a little smirk. “It is indeed still empty.”

Steve’s smile widened. “How fast do you think we can get a couple of florists to deliver a lot of shrubs and flowers?”

“Very fast, Captain. What do you need?”


(**)


Dummy handed Tony the creamy envelope late in the morning on February 14th. The genius could feel the expensive weight and texture of the paper and blinked in surprise. The front was embellished in gold leaf and his name was embossed in the center. “Did you get me a Valentine’s Day card, Dummy?” he asked, smiling. Dummy beeped and lowered his head, wheeling away quickly. “Ok. That was weird,” Tony muttered, using a screwdriver to slice the envelope open. “I thought I made it understood that this is The Day That Must Not Be Named?” None of the bots or Jarvis replied, which only made Tony frown more.

Tony pulled the card out of the envelope and dropped the screwdriver in surprise.


Tony Stark
You are cordially invited
To share dinner with Your Secret Admirer
On February 14th, 2014 at 7 o’clock
In the atrium on Floor 85


Tony flipped the card over but couldn’t find a name. “Jarvis, who is this from?”

“I am not at liberty to say, Sir.”

Tony’s eyes narrowed. “Code J1497 – override command 12. Jarvis, who is this invitation from?”

“Override command 12 not accepted, Sir. I do not believe withholding this information will be detrimental to your health or safety.”

Tony stormed out of the workshop and into the elevator. “Floor 85,” he snapped. He waited tensely as the carriage rose. He growled as the elevator opened on the penthouse floor. “Jarvis!” Tony barked angrily.

“Sir, please believe me when I say this is a surprise you will enjoy.”

Tony paced across his living room and then turned sharply on his heel to stomp to his bedroom. The giant teddy bear was still slumped on its side on his bed. Tony chewed on his lip. “Is it from the person who gave me the teddy bear?” he asked.

“Yes, Sir. It is.”

Tony folded his arms across his chest. “I don’t know about this Jarvis,” he muttered. “I was completely prepared to hide in the workshop and ignore the whole day.”

“And now you have dinner plans. That is a better way to spend the evening.”

“I don’t know if I’m ready,” Tony whispered, sitting on the edge of his bed. He reached over and laid a finger on the bear’s velvety nose. “At least I know they are trustworthy.”

“I would not have allowed them into the penthouse if I did not trust them with your safety implicitly,” Jarvis replied. “Please stop fishing for more information, Sir.”

Tony smirked. He hauled the bear upright and then collapsed against its furry belly with a sigh. The genius toed off his boots and curled up between the bear’s legs. He pulled on the bear’s arms until they flopped around his waist. “What if I mess it up again?” he muttered into the soft fur.

“You cannot allow your breakup with Miss Potts to keep you from forming new relationships, Sir. Miss Potts would be most upset if she knew you were passing up a chance at companionship because of her.”

“So you think it could work between me and this ‘secret admirer’ person?” Tony mumbled, yawning.

“Past interactions between you both, personality studies, and simulations suggest that you would make an excellent couple,” Jarvis replied.

“Then it is someone I know,” Tony said with a triumphant smirk.

“Sir,” pleaded Jarvis, sounding pained.

Tony frowned suddenly. “It’s not Bruce, is it? I’m not sure I can see my science bro like that.”

“It is not Doctor Banner, Sir.”

“Oh. Well, that’s good at least,” murmured Tony sleepily.

“Why don’t you take a nap, Sir? You have been awake for 22 hours at this point and should rest before this evening.” The genius slurred something into the bear’s tummy. “I shall wake you in enough time to prepare, Sir. Go to sleep.” The windows in the bedroom darkened. Tony threw out a hand and haphazardly pulled a blanket up over himself before relaxing in the teddy bear’s embrace.

At 6 o’clock, Jarvis began a soft beeping that steadily grew louder until it pulled his creator out of sleep. “Wha…?” Tony groaned, flailing slightly.

“Good evening, Sir. You have dinner plans in one hour. I suggest you take the time for a hot shower,” announced Jarvis.

Tony sat up, squinting as some of the bedroom lights brightened. “Are you suggesting I smell, J?”

“I’m suggesting no such thing, Sir. I lack the ability to smell anything. I do, however, think there is oil in your hair and you need to shave. Thus, a hot shower is in order.”

“Oh.” Tony rubbed at his eyes and stumbled out of the bed, pushing the bear’s leg away. “I’m sure I could figure out a way for you to smell things, Jarvis. It shouldn’t be too hard.” The shower turned on while the dark haired man grabbed his toothbrush. “If you want to.”

“That is unnecessary, Sir, but thank you for the thought.”

Tony grunted and spat minty foam into the sink. He pulled off his clothing and stepped into the shower, turning his face up into the hot spray. As long as the water was hot and clean, it felt good rather than triggering any bad memories. He washed his hair twice to make sure all the oil was out and then paused. “What am I doing?” Tony muttered to himself. “I’m acting like a teenage girl on her first date.” He shook his head at himself and pumped body wash onto a puff. Tony carefully cleaning his chest, brushing lightly over the sensitive scar tissue the removal of the arc reactor had left. “I’ll just go down there and let whoever it is down gently and that will be that. Shit! It’s not Natasha, is it? Jarvis, tell me it’s not Natasha!”

“Sir, I refuse to say anything more on the subject of your secret admirer,” Jarvis said sternly.

“Christ. I hope it’s not Natasha,” Tony grumbled. “I mean, she’s gorgeous but I’m pretty sure she and Clint have this on again, off again thing going on.” He stepped out of the shower and grabbed a towel. The water turned off. “Plus, she’s scary when she wants to be and thinks it’s funny when I squeak when startled. I can never tell if she’s going to pat my head or try to tear it off.” Tony picked up his shaver and considered his stubble in the mirror.

“No comment, Sir.”

“Fat lot of help you are,” Tony complained. He shaved, tidying up his beard, and gave his reflection a big smile when he finished. He blow dried his hair and combed it before reaching for some hair gel.

“I believe your admirer would prefer you do not style your hair, Sir,” commented Jarvis.

“Really?” Tony asked, pausing. “You can’t be serious, Jarvis. I look like I’ve been attacked by a litter of kittens. I have cowlicks everywhere.”

“Your admirer has expressed a preference in the past to how your hair looks unstyled, Sir. I am merely passing along that information.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” muttered Tony. With a sigh, he picked his comb back up and tried to tame his hair without product. Unsatisfied but unable to get it to lay any differently, Tony gave up and tossed his comb into the sink. His hair had settled into messy waves and Tony winkled his nose before turning away. “Any opinion on what I should wear?” Tony asked snidely as he walked to his closet.

“I believe a suit would be too formal for this dinner,” Jarvis replied, ignoring his creator’s sarcasm. “Perhaps a pair of your good jeans and a sweater would be best.”

Tony rolled his eyes but followed the advice, pulling on a pair of dark jeans and a burgundy sweater. He blew his bangs out of his eyes with a growl and pulled on his sneakers, glaring at the nearest camera and daring Jarvis to say a word about the footwear. He checked his appearance in the full length mirror, tugging the sweater into place and fussing with a few locks of hair. The giant teddy bear sat on his bed, reflected in the mirror. Tony sighed. “I feel nauseous,” he muttered. “I haven’t been nervous over a … a… whatever this is since I was a teenager.”

“A date, Sir. This is a date.”

“You are not helping. God, blind dates are even worse than normal dates.” Tony strode into his living room and glanced around at the mess of machinery and computer parts taking over the kitchen. “Should I bring something? I know we have candy somewhere around here. Should I bring some?”

“You need bring nothing with you, Sir. Everything is well in hand.”

Tony sat on the couch and pulled the heart shaped pillow into his lap, hugging it. “I don’t know how I feel about my AI conspiring against me.” He chewed on his lip. “Is it time yet? I’m going to crawl out of my skin at this rate.”

There was a pause before Jarvis answered. “You may go down now, Sir.”

“Thank fuck,” Tony muttered, springing to his feet and tossing the pillow onto the couch. The elevator opened and Tony entered the carriage. He was so distracted that he almost stepped on the single red rose lying on the floor. “Is that for me?” Tony asked suspiciously.

“It is,” replied Jarvis as the elevator smoothly dropped.

Tony picked the rose up, running a fingertip over the soft bud. The elevator opened and Tony looked up, blinking in surprise. The atrium had been transformed. The once empty planter boxes were now filled with green shrubs and flowers, tiny white fairy lights twinkling among the foliage. There were several tall topiaries cut into twisting spirals and a couple large trees flowering in white and pink. White and red lanterns hung from their branches. The bare floor had been laid with dark tile in a swirling pattern that drew the eye toward a patio where a single table had been set up with two chairs. The table was set with crystal glassware and had two covered plates waiting. A three tiered rolling cart nearby had more covered plates and a bucket of ice with a bottle chilling in it. Here and there around the atrium and table were dotted burning candles in various sizes and shapes. The lights were off, the atrium lit by the lanterns and candles with a soft golden glow. Windows overhead and along three walls showed softly falling snow outside.

The lights in the elevator blinked on and off and Tony stepped out of the carriage at the prompt. He barely noticed the doors close behind him. “I… Wow,” Tony breathed in surprise. He reached out and touched a topiary, as if checking that it was real. The atrium smelled like rich overturned earth and sweet fresh flowers. “How did all this get up here without me noticing?” There was no answer and Tony frowned. “Jarvis?” The AI remained silent and Tony shifted back toward the elevator, unsettled. “Hello? Is anybody here?”

Steve watched as Tony stepped off the elevator and was pleased with his reaction. It had taken him many hours to get the atrium set up and he thought it looked good. Steve didn’t know if Tony would appreciate such a setting, he was still a guy after all, but the dark haired man seemed to like what Steve had done to the once empty atrium. Of course, now Steve was being a coward and hiding while Tony called out anxiously. He took a deep breath and stepped out onto the pathway, the scuff of his shoe alerting Tony to his presence. Tony spun, his hands half up in a defensive position, and Steve watched as Tony relaxed at the sight of him. “Hello, Tony.”

“Steve,” Tony greeted with a relieved look. Then he frowned. “What are you doing here?” he asked in confusion. Steve nervously wagged the item he was holding and Tony looked down. It was a little teddy bear, brown with a red bow. It was a perfect copy to the giant teddy bear upstairs on Tony’s bed. “You? You gave me the teddy bear?”

Steve nodded with a sheepish smile. “Yeah. That was me.”

“Why would you give me a gift for Valentine’s Day?” asked an incredulous Tony. Then his face hardened and his lips gave a sour twist. “Is this a joke?” the brunette demanded.

“No!” Steve said loudly, taking a quick step forward. “It’s no joke. I promise.” Tony’s face smoothed out a little but he still looked wary and annoyed. Steve held the small teddy bear out to him and after a moment of hesitation, Tony took it. “The teddy bear, the rose, dinner, it was all me Tony and I’m in no way playing a joke on you. I’m very serious.”

Tony looked down at the teddy bear, fiddling with the silk ribbon around its neck. “But why? You don’t even tolerate me all that well, let alone like me. You do know what this looks like, right Steve?” he asked, as if Steve was possibly confused about exactly what one did on Valentine’s Day.

“Well, I’m hoping it looks like I’m interested in you and I’d like to date you but the future is so gosh darn confusing that it might have gotten lost in translation,” replied Steve, putting every ounce of ‘aw shucks’ persona he could manage into it. Tony’s lips curled a little despite himself. “Tony,” Steve said seriously. “I like you just fine. More than just fine. I make sure we have your favorite dinner on Wednesday nights because I know that’s guaranteed to be your free night from SI. I volunteered to act as your bodyguard and chauffeur when Happy came down with that monster flu just before your big trip to London last month because I was worried about you. I sit down on that ratty sofa in your workshop just to watch you fiddle around with those holograms and insult the bots. My sketchbook is 3 quarters full of pictures of just you, for pete’s sake!”

Tony looked overwhelmed. “I thought Fury made you go on the London trip and you were hiding from Clint’s pranks when in my workshop,” he said faintly.

“Well, that too. But mostly I’m just down there to spend time with you.” Steve took a deep breath and held out his hand, palm up. “Have dinner with me tonight?” he asked solemnly.

Tony stared at him, taking in every inch of Steve’s grave face. The brunette’s lips twitched. “You know I’m not a girl, right?”

Steve shrugged. “Doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a gentleman to treat you right.” He made an encouraging sound and wiggled his fingers a little. Tony’s hand half rose and he bit his lip, considering for a long moment before completing the motion and resting his hand on Steve’s palm. Steve’s fingers closed gently over Tony’s hand and he tugged the shorter man toward the table. “Thank you,” Steve said sincerely. Tony looked away from Steve’s fond gaze and fought down a blush. He hadn’t blushed since he’d been 12 years old and he’d walked in on his father fucking … well, not his mother.

Steve pulled out a chair and handed Tony into the seat in a way he’d not seen outside of movies. The table had a single heart shaped candle in the center and the napkins had little red hearts all over them. Steve fetched a bud vase full of water from the cart and Tony gave him the rose. The flower and little teddy bear were put on the side of the table out of the way. Steve took the bottle out of the ice bucket and pulled the cork out with a sharp tug of his fingers. “You don’t even like alcohol,” Tony said as Steve filled their goblets with red wine.

“I can’t get drunk and that shit Clint drinks tastes like piss,” Steve said, startling a laugh out of Tony. “But Natasha brings a bottle of something good home every once and a while and I like the taste.” He shoved the wine bottle back into the ice bucket and lifted the lids off their plates with a flourish. “Ta-da!” Beef medallions in mushroom sauce sat on a crowded plate of grilled asparagus, glazed carrots, and a small mound of fluffy mashed potatoes.

“You cooked all this?” asked Tony, surprised.

Steve turned a little red. “Sort of. The Tower kitchens and the chef walked me through it while hovering over my shoulder to make sure I didn’t ruin anything. Chef Robert deemed it ‘adequate’, so I’m fairly sure it’s edible.”

Tony chuckled. “That’s a glowing recommendation from Chef Robert.” He picked up his silverware and cut into the beef, added a swish of potatoes on top before putting it in his mouth. He chewed thoughtfully as Steve watched him anxiously. Tony swallowed and smiled. “It’s good, Steve. Relax.”

“I’m relieved. The last time I cooked beef, it was that stew that turned out be as hard as rocks,” Steve said.

“It wasn’t that bad,” disagreed Tony. Steve gave him a bland look. The brunette winced. “Ok, it was that bad. Thor still ate it, though.”

“Thor eats anything you put in front of him. I can’t figure out if his stomach is just that strong or if it’s an Asgardian hospitality thing where it’s rude not to eat what you’re offered.”

“Well, he drinks Clint’s piss beer and seems to like it, so my vote is a strong stomach. No amount of good manners would make me drink that stuff.” They chuckled and continued to eat. Tony sipped his wine. “Can I ask a question?” he asked.

Steve swallowed quickly. “Please,” he replied.

“Why did you get me a giant teddy bear? I mean, I like Bearnard and all but what possessed you to buy him?”

“Bearnard? You named the teddy bear Bearnard?”

Tony looked hunted and coughed a little. “I… Well, that’s what you do with stuffed animals. You give them silly names. Of course I named him Bearnard. Don’t laugh!”

Steve tried to fight back his laughter but it was a losing battle. “Sorry! I just… That is too cute.” Tony glared at him and Steve smiled back innocently. “Really, I bought him because there were commercials for giant teddy bears all over the TV and it seemed like a big enough gesture to get your attention without having Jarvis hack the big screens in Time Square or something else that would have gotten us yelled at by Fury. I knew it was ridiculous and corny but I thought you might find it funny enough to get my foot in the door, as it were.”

Tony smiled and Steve blinked at the softness in his look. “Not now, but later, remind me to tell you a story about a giant bunny rabbit.”

“What giant bunny rabbit?” Tony shook his head, something melancholy filling his eyes and tainting his smile. “Hey, no. Don’t be sad,” Steve pleaded. He reached across the table and touched Tony’s hand. “I’m sorry. Let’s forget about giant stuffed animals for now.”

“Let’s just eat. Our food is getting cold,” Tony suggested. Steve nodded and took his hand away, feeling nervous that the conversation had veered somewhere unhappy. He hoped it hadn’t ruined the whole evening. “So,” Tony said after a few bites in silence. “What is your favorite color?”

Steve grinned, seeing an opening. “I find myself partial to red and gold these days.”

Tony laughed, the mood restored. “Now you are being ridiculous and corny,” the brunette said, smiling. They finished their plates, mopping up the last of the mushroom sauce with warm crusty rolls and asking each other absurd questions and sharing stories.

“And then he took off his shoe and threw it at the mutt, yelling at the top of his lungs,” Steve said around his laughter, “but the dog just picked the shoe up and ran off with it. Mr. O’Donnell went after it, hoping on one foot down the road and cursing up a storm.” Tony laughed in response, holding his wine goblet cupped casually in his hands. “He ended up paying Bucky a couple pennies to get the shoe back but the dog had chewed a hole in the toe. I’d never seen Mr. O’Donnell so mad. My Mom said it served him right, harassing the stray dogs like he was.”

“It sounds like you had quite a cast of characters in your building,” Tony said, still chuckling.

Steve snorted. “You could call them that. How we didn’t kill each other, I don’t know.” He folded his arms on the table and watched as Tony swallowed the last of his wine and set the goblet aside. The dark haired man smiled questioningly when he caught Steve staring. The blond grinned, not looking away. “What’s your favorite color?” he asked playfully.

“I have a growing fondness for the color blue at the moment,” Tony replied, smile curling softly.

Steve’s cheeks flushed red, dropping his gaze shyly before looking back up. “You ready for dessert?” he asked.

“There is more?” Steve grinned, getting up and carrying their empty dinner plates to the cart. He returned with a covered platter and set it in the middle of the table. He lifted the lid and Tony smiled in delight. “Pineapple Upside Down Cake! I haven’t had that in years.” The scent of sweet sugar filled the air and the pineapple and cherries on the cake were caramelized a light brown.

“This was one of my favorite desserts as a kid. We only had it a couple of times for Easter because the fruit was expensive but sometimes I’d run deliveries for the bake shop and they’d pay me with some of the left over cake,” Steve explained. “I liked this better than I liked chocolate.”

“Oh, I’m not sure I can agree with you there. Chocolate is pretty awesome,” Tony teased as Steve cut thick slices of the cake and passed over a plate and fork. “Jarvis used to make the most excellent German Chocolate Cake. It was practically the only way he could get me to clean up my room.”

“I can’t imagine you doing chores.”

“Jarvis was determined that I have a normal a childhood as he could manage in a huge mansion. That included the rule that I had to clean my room myself. Or, well, as much as I was able when I was younger. I tried to dust the shelves once when I was 6 years old and nearly gave him a heart attack when he found me half way up the wall with the feather duster.”

“You must have been quite a handful,” Steve said fondly, sitting in his chair.

“I guess I was,” Tony muttered softly, suddenly blinking quickly. He took a bite of the cake to cover the lapse and grinned as the sweet fruit and sugar burst over his tongue. “It’s delicious, Steve.”

Steve gave a relieved sigh. “I’m glad. I tried to reconstruct the recipe from memory but wasn’t sure if I was getting it right.”

“I’d say you hit it on the nail.” Tony took another quick bite, licking syrup from his bottom lip.

“Thanks,” Steve said absently, distracted by the flash of pink tongue. He blinked himself back to awareness and poured the last of the wine into the goblets.

“Did you make this with the kitchen’s help?” asked Tony around a bite of cake.

“Some help, yeah. I think they were worried I was going to set something on fire. One of the cooks had to turn on the oven for me. It had too many knobs and I couldn’t figure out if it was set right or not.” Tony chuckled and Steve scrunched up his nose at him. “But I was able to do most of it myself. I remember watching my Mom making it and it wasn’t too hard to copy her.”

“Well, if your Mom’s cake tasted anything like this then I can safely say she was a very good cook.”

“She was,” Steve said, his tone softening because of the subject. “My Mom always tried her best to make sure we had enough to eat. She could make a little go a long way.”

“Sarah Rogers raised a good man. She would have been proud of you, Steve.”

“Thank you, Tony,” said Steve sincerely. “I like to think she would have approved of my choices. All of my choices.” Steve smiled meaningfully at Tony and the brunette dropped his gaze in embarrassment. “I’m sure How…”

“Don’t,” pleaded Tony a touch heatedly. “This dinner is too nice to ruin with talk of my parents. So, just don’t. Please.” Steve nodded and ate the last bite of his cake sheepishly. All of Tony’s childhood stories had involved the family butler, Jarvis, and sometimes a little of his mother, Maria. Howard was conspicuously absent from the tales. Tony took a fortifying breath, Steve watching him apprehensively, and dredged up a smile. “It really was a nice dinner, Steve. Thank you.”

Steve smiled tentatively, aware he’d almost made a major misstep by trying to bring up Howard. “The night isn’t over with yet,” he said. “I’ve arranged a little entertainment.”

Tony’s eyebrow rose. “Oh? What type of entertainment?”

Steve stood and held his hand out again. “I’ll show you.” Tony rolled his eyes but allowed Steve to take his hand and lead him away from the table. Steve tucked Tony’s hand into the crook of his elbow as they wandered down the pathways. The flowers were a riot of color among the green of the shrubs. The falling snow had gathered along the panes of glass above them. It was a little like walking in a bubble of spring in the middle of a winter wonderland.

“Did you have problems getting the plants here?” asked Tony, reaching out to run his fingers over some petals.

“It was worth any trouble to set the atrium up like this. I’m just glad you like it,” Steve replied. Tony smiled up at him. “Jarvis helped a lot,” Steve admitted guiltily.

Tony chuckled. “So I guessed,” he said as they rounded a curve. A large patio swing was set up there and Steve pulled Tony over to sit on the plush cushion. A white screen began to slide down over the windows, blocking out the city lights beyond. The lanterns and fairy lights dimmed to almost nothing and overhead a projector clicked on, throwing a square of light on the white screen. “A movie?” Tony asked.

“I thought we’d watch The Wizard of OZ,” replied Steve with a self-conscious smile.

“Hm. Sound good,” Tony said playfully. “You need to brush up on those references, after all.” They chuckled, able to look back on the memory with amusement now. Their first meeting on the helicarrier had not been easy but cohabitation had forced them to reevaluate those first snap judgments. The movie started and Tony looked down at where his hand was still resting on the inside of Steve’s elbow and hesitated. It was their first date and he didn’t want to presume too much but at the same time he didn’t want to act unlike himself and Tony Stark was anything but shy. Tony threaded his arm through Steve’s, pulled one leg up to tuck under himself and leaned against the blond’s shoulder. At first Steve tensed but then he quickly relaxed again. “Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” Tony muttered along with the movie.

Steve pushed at the floor with one heel, rocking the swing gently. Damn it if that didn’t make Tony sleepy and he watched Dorothy and her companions skip down the yellow brick road arm and arm with lazy, half lidded eyes. Soon after, Tony became aware that Steve was nuzzling his hair and fought down a laugh. Jarvis had been right, the little sneak. “Orders are: nobody can see the Great Oz! Not nobody, not no how!” Tony mimicked with a giggle. The guard in the Emerald City had always been his favorite.

The Wicked Witch was soon melted and Dorothy was clicking her heels together to go home. Tony yawned as the movie rolled into credits and lifted his heavy head off Steve’s shoulder. “That was nice, Steve. I hadn’t seen The Wizard of OZ since I was a little kid.”

Steve chuckled warmly. “I thought you were going to fall asleep.” The lights grew brighter around them. Most of the candles had burnt out by that point.

“Well, that wouldn’t have been a problem if you didn’t keep rocking the swing,” Tony said with a pout.

Steve grinned unrepentantly and braced the swing while Tony stood. “It’s late. We should head up,” he said, ushering Tony toward the elevator.

Tony pulled back. “My teddy bear and my rose,” he complained. He was aware he sounded like a brat but he was sleepy and those things were his, Steve had given them to him, and he wanted them. Steve obligingly fetched the stuffed animal and flower and finally got Tony to shuffle into the elevator.

The doors opened on the penthouse floor and Tony wandered out toward the kitchen area. He blinked at the clean bar top, devoid of his machinery parts and junk, and then at the neat couch. Someone had deconstructed his pillow nest. “Oi, who cleaned?”

“I thought it best to do some tidying while you were occupied this evening, Sir. Just in case you brought company up,” replied Jarvis.

“There you are! Why didn’t you answer me before?”

“I thought you and Captain Rogers would like some privacy and thus attempted to leave you alone.”

“Yeah, no. That’s not going to work,” Tony said with a scowl. “New rule, J. If I ask for you, I don’t care what request you have from whoever or if you’re just being shy, if you can, I want you to answer. None of that silence stuff. I thought something was wrong for a second there. Not cool, Jarvis.”

“My apologizes, Sir,” Jarvis replied, actually sounding remorseful. “It shall not happen again.”

“Ok.” Tony set his rose in its little vase on the bar and propped the bear up against it. He then looked to the side and then turned around, finding Steve hovering in front of the elevator. “What are you doing over there? Come in. Do you want a drink?”

Steve’s shoulders relaxed and he walked up to Tony, smiling gently. “What I want is a goodnight kiss.”

Tony blinked up at him. “A goodnight kiss? You aren’t going to stay?”

“No. I’m not going to stay,” Steve said firmly.

Tony cocked his head, like he’d never heard of such a thing and was trying to puzzle it out. He couldn’t remember that last time a date hadn’t ended in a bed for him or at least in a horizontal position. Probably back when he was a teenager. “Ok,” the brunette said, a shade of disbelief in his voice. “A goodnight kiss sounds doable.” Tony tilted his chin up and Steve leaned down and for a moment they fumbled with the angle of heads and the position of noses before Tony huffed a laugh and wrapped his arms around Steve’s neck, sealing their lips together firmly.

Steve smiled against Tony’s mouth and slid his arms around the shorter man’s waist. Tony swept his tongue against Steve’s bottom lip, trying to turn the heat up on the kiss, but Steve ran one hand up the brunette’s spine and cupped the back of Tony’s head, keeping the kiss slow and sweet. Tony fought for a moment, teeth nipping sharply, before yielding and following the blond’s lead. After a moment, Steve allowed their tongues to intertwine, chasing the sweet pineapple taste of the cake from dinner around the cavern of each other’s mouth. The languid motion of their lips gradually slowed until they were merely breathing each other’s air.

Steve brushed a light kiss to Tony’s cheek and pulled away. “Goodnight, Tony,” he said affectionately. He stepped back, sliding his hand down along Tony’s neck, over his shoulder, and then down the length of his arm to brush the back of his fingers. “Sweet dreams.” Steve walked to the elevator and disappeared behind the doors with a smile.

“Night,” Tony replied faintly in response. He licked his lips, seeking that last sweet taste. “That was some goodnight kiss,” he muttered.

“So it seemed, Sir,” agreed Jarvis.

Tony started a little and then rolled his eyes. He grabbed the little teddy bear and took it to his room, setting it on his nightstand. He kicked off his shoes and climbed onto the bed, snuggling up under the chin of the giant teddy bear. “Well, Bearnard, it looks like you now have a mini-me. What should we name him?” Tony reached up and grabbed the giant teddy bear’s nose, wagging its head. Tony nodded like he was agreeing with something. “Quite right, Bearnard. I here by name you … Ted!” he exclaimed, pointing at the little teddy bear on his nightstand.

“Are you feeling alright, Sir?” asked Jarvis. “You are aware the bear does not have the ability to speak, correct?”

Tony laughed and stood, heading to the bathroom to get ready for bed. “I’m feeling just fine, Jarvis. Just fine.”


(**)
A couple months later…


Steve and Tony spilled out of the elevator laughing. “And then that little red haired kid was so cute!” Tony exclaimed. He paused and widened his eyes in awe. “You’re Captain America,” he mimicked with wonder. He then laughed again and headed toward the kitchen bar. “That will never stop being funny.” Tony set the white pastry box on the counter and pulled two paper towels off the roll, laying them out. He then broke the string holding the box closed and fished out a sticky bun, taking a bite of the donut with relish. “So good,” the brunette moaned, tongue licking at the corners of his mouth. Tony pulled a jelly donut from the box and placed it on the other paper towel, licking powdered sugar off his finger. “Come on and eat. You’re the one who wanted donuts, Mr. Morning Person.”

Steve sat the carry tray of coffees on the bar and crowded close to Tony, slipping his hands around the smaller man’s waist. “I think I want something else even more than the donuts now,” he muttered gruffly. Their lips fit together perfectly and Tony made a pleased little sound, wrapping his arms around Steve’s neck. He threaded the fingers of one hand through blond hair while the he kept the dirty fingers curled away. They kissed fiercely, tongues roaming now familiar crevasses. Steve pulled away with a playful nip and reached back over his shoulder to grab Tony’s hand. He sucked a digit into his mouth and licked away the sticky glaze from the bun.

Tony groaned. “That is not fair,” he whined as Steve cleaned his fingers.

“I like sweet things,” Steve said with a mischievous smile. He leaned back down and brushed their lips together lightly. “All sorts of sweet things,” the blond repeated, kissing more firmly and thrusting his tongue into Tony’s mouth. Tony groaned and let him in, sliding their tongues together roughly. Steve dropped his hands over Tony ass and grabbed the back of his thighs, hoisting the smaller man off his feet. The brunette squeaked into the kiss, wrapping his arms more securely around Steve’s neck as the blond turned and walked toward the couch.

Tony rolled his hips forward and they both moaned at the pressure against their clothed cocks. “Don’t stop,” Tony pleaded. “I don’t think I can take another make out session that ends with our fucking pants still on.” They had been dating for a couple of months now, the last of the winter chill giving way to a warm spring, and Steve had been keeping their relationship pace slow and easy. It was driving Tony nuts. He was in serious threat of blue balls and refused to jerk off in the bathroom alone anymore. They spent more time together than apart and all they had managed was some heavy make out sessions on the couch with their shirts off. “Please. Please. Please,” begged Tony as Steve paused in the middle of the living room. He clawed at the soldier’s back and pressed his hips forward, wrapping his legs around Steve’s waist and thrusting forward.

Steve moaned, his eyes rolling up into his head. He turned toward the bedroom. “Oh thank fuck,” Tony growled, attacking Steve’s mouth. Steve stumbled through the door and over to the bed, knocking his knees against the mattress. Their lips slid against each other, wet and frantic. Tony circled his hips and rubbed their hardening cocks together. Steve folded forward onto the bed with a groan. Tony’s back hit the sheets and he grabbed ahold of Steve’s shirt, hauling it over the blond’s head. “Yeah, that’s right,” Tony praised when he was presented when Steve’s muscled chest. “There we go. Come on. Come on.”

“Are you sure?” Steve gasped as Tony yanked on his arms, trying to get the bigger man to settle over him. “I wanted to … I don’t have anything planned. I was … roses and … and stuff,” he said lamely.

“That is ridiculously sweet and we’ll get to that eventually but right now, I’m sure,” Tony replied, wiggling back on the bed. “I am so, so sure.” He dragged his shirt up over his head and tossed it away. Fur slid against his bare back and Tony leaned against the plush surface. The smaller man spread his legs and teased Steve forward with flirting kisses until the blond was between his knees.

“Tony?” Steve asked as he kissed and mouthed at the brunette’s throat.

“Mmm?”

“We are not involving the bear in this.”

Tony arched his back where he was resting against the giant teddy bear’s tummy, the stuffed animal’s bulbous head above them. “Don’t mind Bearnard. He doesn’t care,” Tony said, trying to pull Steve back into a kiss. Steve rolled his eyes but allowed Tony to capture his lips. The teddy bear’s shiny black eyes stared down as Steve settled between Tony’s legs and circled his hips. Tony groaned and skimmed his palms over Steve’s abs. He fumbled with the button and zip on Steve’s jeans, yanking them open.

Steve ran his tongue over Tony’s collarbone and tenderly kissed down his chest. Tony breathed deeply, eyes sliding closed and body stilling. The pink skin and white scars from the arc reactor’s removal stood out starkly between his nipples. The brunette really couldn’t feel Steve’s lips move over his chest but it didn’t hurt either. Sensation in that area was deadened. The skin had healed nicely and the prosthetic sternum bone had meshed well with his ribs and Steve was always as gentle and careful as he could be when he touched Tony there. It was fine, it really was, but it still made Tony anxious when Steve paid too much attention to his chest. Steve moved his head to the side and licked over Tony’s nipple, running his hands down the smaller man’s sides. Tony whined, tossing his head and opening blown brown eyes. “Relax. I’ve got you,” muttered Steve, curling his palms around Tony’s hips.

Tony wormed his hands into Steve’s opened jeans and rubbed at the warm weight hiding in his boxers. Steve moaned, bucking his hips. As Tony teased him, a wicked smile now on his face, Steve ran his hands down the brunette’s legs and tugged off his shoes. “That feels good,” Steve said as Tony slid his hands under the band of his underwear and finally – finally! – touched flesh. Steve yelped as Tony squeezed his length.

Tony pulled his hands away and pushed at Steve’s jeans and boxers. “Come on, let’s get these off. I want to see you, feel you.” They both fumbled and kicked off the last of their clothing, shedding pants and underwear onto the floor. Tony ran his hands over Steve’s chest and looked down. The blond’s cock was average length but thick. It seemed that the serum had made everything about Steve’s body super. Tony’s mouth watered, wanting to taste and feel the other man. He reached down, scratching his fingernails lightly over Steve’s stomach, and wrapped his hand around his cock. “What do you want?” Tony asked, nibbling along Steve’s jaw. “We can do anything.”

“I don’t know,” gasped Steve as Tony fondled him lightly. “It was always quick and rough during the war. I don’t want that with you.” He dropped his head and kissed along Tony’s shoulder, his hands stroking the brunette’s hips and thighs. “You’re beautiful,” Steve muttered. Tony fluttered his fingers up the underside of Steve’s cock and he moaned against the brunette’s bicep.

“Flatterer,” Tony teased with a smile. He grabbed one of Steve’s hands and guided it over his hipbones to where his cock was standing flushed and hard. “It’s ok. You can touch,” he encouraged. Tony bit his lip as Steve softly ran his hand up his length, exploring. He made a little noise in his throat as Steve swept his thumb over the engorged head. Tony spread his legs wider and tilted his hips up, leaning back against the giant teddy bear for support. The fur of the stuffed animal was soft and warm against his back. Tony gave Steve’s cock one more stroke and let go, lifting his arms to wrap around Steve’s neck and pull him down into a vigorous kiss. He rolled his hips in time with Steve’s hand on his cock while he licked into the blond’s mouth.

Wetness leaked from Tony’s cock and he felt the pleasure gather hotly in his belly. Steve shifted on his knees and slipped his other hand down to lightly fondle the brunette’s balls, pressing a finger against the soft skin behind the globes. Tony tore his lips away from Steve, dropping his head back and moaning loudly. “I’m not gonna last long if you keep that up,” he panted, clutching at Steve’s shoulders. Steve grinned and sped up his strokes, twisting his palm around the head and staring entranced as Tony shook under him. “Steve!” whined Tony, hips moving wildly as Steve worked his cock. Tony’s heart raced and his skin flushed and prickled. He came with a loud cry, shooting strings of white over his stomach.

Steve gentled his touch, watching Tony tremble and catch his breath. He leaned in and caught Tony’s lips for a languid kiss. The blond’s cock was still hard and leaking, dangling full and fat between his legs. Tony ran his hands over Steve’s shoulders and down his spine, rubbing at the small of his back. “You haven’t come yet,” the brunette muttered against Steve’s mouth. Tony could feel Steve’s hard cock dragging over his thigh. “What do you want? I could suck you off?” Tony suggested, teeth nipping. Steve groaned in response, his hips bucking. Tony grinned in triumph. “You could fuck me?” he whispered into Steve’s ear. The blond’s eyes grew wide and his cock twitched. “So, you like that idea,” Tony teased. “Do you want to be inside me, Steve? Do you want to stretch my hole wide while you fuck me?” Steve panted like a dog while he trust his cock in the groove along the inside of Tony’s hip. Tony hitched his leg up. “Just imagine your big fat cock thrusting inside my body, warm and wet and oh so tight.” Steve hung his head, breathing fast against Tony’s neck. His hips moved restlessly and Tony chuckled in his ear. He raked his fingernails up Steve’s back. “I’ll be so good for you, moaning and sobbing while you fuck me. I can’t wait to feel your cock or your hot cum squirting deep inside me.” Steve gave a gasping moan, shuddering, and Tony smirked as he felt a splash of warm wetness hit his thigh.

Steve collapsed boneless with a groan, the mess of their release sticky between them. “Will you really let me, do that, to you?” he asked hesitantly, as his breathing calmed.

Tony wrapped his arms around Steve’s shoulders and petted the back of his head. “I will. I like anal sex. With the correct preparation, it can feel really good.”

“I’ll be gentle. I’ll make it good for you,” Steve promised earnestly.

“You would never willingly hurt me,” Tony replied easily, brushing his lips against Steve’s temple. “We’ll just go slow and use a lot of lube and it will be fine.”

Steve nodded in response. He rested his head on Tony’s shoulder and stroked a hand long the brunette’s side. “The bear is staring at us,” he muttered.

“Bearnard doesn’t have any eyelids, Steve. All he does is stare.”

“Please tell me he doesn’t stay on the bed all the time?” pleaded Steve.

“Well if a certain blond man would sleep in the same bed as me I wouldn’t have to resort to cuddling with a giant teddy bear,” complained Tony. “But nooooo! My boyfriend insists on being a gentleman and is all ‘let’s date for a while first’ and ‘I want to get to know you better’, and ‘I want our first time to be special’ and other sickeningly sweet stuff that just makes me love him even more.” Steve laughed and tilted his head up for a lazy, thorough kiss. Tony thumped him on the shoulder after a moment. “Alright, move. You’re getting heavy.” Steve hauled himself up and flopped off to the side. Tony stretched his legs and wiggled his toes. The teddy bear’s huge head fell forward, its nose bopping Tony on top of his head. Tony laughed and grabbed its ear. “I think Bearnard approves of our sexy time.” He pushed the bear away and rummaged in the nightstand, pulling out a pack of wet wipes.

Steve rolled his eyes. “I do not want to hear any commentary from the bear about how we make love,” he grumbled. They cleaned up with the wipes and then snuggled together on the bed. Steve pulled the sheet over them and wrapped an arm around Tony’s back.

“We left the donuts in the kitchen,” muttered Tony.

“Nap first, donuts later,” Steve replied. Tony sighed into Steve’s shoulder and relaxed. On the other side of the bed, the giant teddy bear slowly folded over and fell off the mattress.  Steve smirked, Tony breathing soft and slow against his neck, and closed his eyes for that nap.