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There is no Tony-and-Steve. Only Tony. Only Steve.

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Look, Steve isn't a fairy. (Yes, he attended the "sensitivity training" and he knows he's not supposed to call them that any more, and he is very scrupulous about using the right words in public, but it's a lot harder to root them out of his head, and he's pretty sure no one can hear that anyway. At least so far, though he's thinking he might want to avoid that Xavier guy who heads up the mutant school.) He might've noticed a fella who was particularly well put together from time to time, but hey, Steve was gonna be an artist back before he lucked into this superhero gig, and he's got a well-trained eye for aesthetically pleasing things, okay?

And even if he was into men that way (which he isn't), he wouldn't be into Tony, despite Tony being exactly the sort of compact, sharp-edged guy Steve likes to look at. Steve likes to move slowly when there's nothing urgent happening -- long conversations over meals, slow strolls through the city, liesurely reading. Tony couldn't be more different -- he's all flash in the pan and hurried motion, never standing still for a second until he all but passes out from exhaustion. It drives Steve crazy sometimes, with irritation and worry, both.

And Tony's out of Steve's league, anyway. Tony's so smart it's scary; he doesn't even seem entirely human sometimes. And despite the rumors, most of Tony's dates are the furthest thing from dumb bimbos themselves -- even his one-night stands all seem to have Ivy League educations or doctorates in something Steve's pretty sure he wouldn't be able to pronounce. Steve... well, even with the body he still can't quite believe is really his, he'd never be more than arm-candy to Tony. There's no way he'd be able to hold Tony's attention, despite what certain other folks seem to think.

"Of course he upgraded my armor, Natasha," Steve explains patiently as he's helping her hang a shelf in her room, "it got a huge rip in it from that dinosaur... robot... thing. It needed to be replaced."

"You get new armor at least twice as often as I get updated stings," Natasha points out. "And don't even ask me when was the last time Clint got a new arrow to play with."

Steve rolls his eyes. "You're basing this notion of yours on the frequency of our tactical upgrades?" he says, letting his Brooklyn drawl off the leash to push the sarcasm along a bit.

Natasha just smiles and tells him to move the left side of the shelf up by half an inch.

And before anyone starts in, Steve does not "flip out" when Tony is injured in battle, okay? Of course Steve is concerned -- Tony is a teammate, and without the suit he's a regular human, so obviously it's a little more worrisome when Tony gets knocked out of the sky than, say, Thor. And yeah, Clint, is a non-super, too, but he has all that SHIELD agent training, and also is not generally right in the thick of the fight, so there's not as much need for Steve to be worried about him. Anyway, Steve doesn't flip out. It's a perfectly reasoned protective maneuver, thankyouverymuch.

That kiss... Okay, Steve will take a little heat for that kiss, because Tony was drunk and they were arguing (like they always did) and Steve couldn't even hear Tony's words anymore, it was so ridiculous. All he could do was just watch Tony's mouth moving as he talked and all of a sudden Steve was kissing him, and... Steve is pretty sure he just wanted to definitively shut Tony up, and he's just glad none of the others saw it happen.

They didn't know about the sex, either, and that was all to the good, because that was just a one-time thing, too much adrenaline left over from a fight that had been far too close for comfort. Comfort, that's what it was, nothing more or less than teammates who needed a few moments of reassurance that they were both whole and alive and still kicking.

And well, yeah, there are a lot of fights and close calls and adrenaline in their lives, of course -- they're the Avengers. So it really doesn't mean anything if Steve ends up sucking Tony off in the workshop a few times before he's even gotten the armor all the way off first, or if Tony barges into Steve's room while he's peeling out of his suit once in a while and jacks him off fast and hard. And Tony's little kink for doing either of those things while Steve is still wearing the Captain America suit is honestly kind of offensive, and not even remotely really, really hot.

It's not like Steve hasn't seen Natasha fist her hand in Clint's hair and drag him off somewhere (not either of their rooms, weirdly enough) the instant they've finished the debrief, so Steve knows this thing is normal. Just a way to work out the post-battle tension. It's not like they're dating, for God's sake.

It's not like they go out into the city every Tuesday night in search of the perfect hamburger, and then walk it off afterward, talking for hours about everything and nothing, like the stupid mistake the villain-of-the-week pulled or the upgrades Tony's working on for his armor or the charity work Steve is doing downtown. Those aren't dates; Steve invited the others along once and it's not his fault that Natasha glared and everyone inexplicably had other things to do. So they're not dating. And they're not even having actual sex.

It's not like Tony was the first person Steve thought of to help him when it was his turn to hang shelves, but Natasha was definitely very busy elsewhere and Tony just happened to be nearby. And he might have kissed Tony again, sure, but that was just because Tony had wobbled on the stool he was standing on and Steve was really, 100% certain that Tony was going to fall and bust his stupid genius head open, and he'd jumped to catch him and... well, sometimes these things just happened, right? When you had your arms full of smart, funny, hot guy, you just kind of had to kiss him, right?

And then Tony had tripped over the stool again and overbalanced both of them and they'd gotten tangled up and fallen all the way across the room and onto the bed, and Steve is positive there's a good reason for how their clothes came off, mid-fall. He's pretty sure Natasha is the one who put those condoms and lube in his bed table, as a joke, but he's kind of touched that she got the exact kind of flavored lube that he'd pointed out to her when they'd been out shopping that one time.

But it's not like they have real actual sex, because every time, Steve's barely in Tony when Tony starts shoving back against him, hot and needy and desperate and Christ, the things Tony says. How's Steve supposed to keep his cool when Tony's winding him up like that? He thinks Tony does it just to infuriate him.

Well, damn near everything about Tony is infuriating, isn't it? He's ripped half of Steve's t-shirts into rags; keeps Steve up half the night rambling about this and that instead of rolling over and going to sleep like any sane man; he won't even open his eyes in the morning until he's wrapped his hands around a damn cup of coffee that, apparently, Steve is in charge of bringing to him. The thing with the waterbed was totally Tony's fault, because he hadn't warned Steve that the mattress construction probably wasn't up to withstanding the full strength of Steve's mid-orgasm grip, and it's not like Tony didn't know how strong Steve's grip was, so Steve is seriously questioning Tony's status as a genius for that blunder.

And sleeping together, afterward, that was really just out of the question, wasn't it? Tony sprawls out like a cat in the middle of the night, taking over every single inch of space he can get into, and he's a blanket thief to boot. On top of which, Steve is pretty sure Tony's morning breath should be classified as a biohazard just barely below mustard gas for potency.

Who could love that? Not Steve. Steve is definitely, definitely not in love with Tony.