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Relief

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Tony tried to will the pounding in his head away, but he knew it would be useless. The only thing that would help him in this situation would be a painkiller and maybe some coffee. Sighing heavily, he got up from his bed without bothering to dress in more than some soft cotton sweatpants.

The rest of the Avengers were already assembled in the kitchen, devouring their breakfast. Bruce was meditating over his tea, Clint was conversing with his corn flakes, Steve was manning the stove, business as usual. Tony didn't really care for that at the moment, though.

Wordlessly, he went over to the coffee maker, put his favourite cup under it and pressed the button. Then he went over to 'his' cupboard and opened it to take out some painkillers.

When he was reaching for them, though, he was suddenly intercepted by a warm hand on his wrist.

“Tony, you shouldn't take these when you have a hangover,” Steve calmly reminded him.

“Not a hangover,” Tony mumbled, trying to get past Steve.

“Tony, don't,” Steve warned him, voice still inexplicably gentle.

“Steve, if you don't step aside I'm going to throw up on you,” Tony hissed. His head felt as if it would explode at any moment.

“Tony, keep the gross to a minimum, will you?” Clint complained in a loud voice, making Tony wince in pain.

“Midgardians have grown weaker in recent centuries, it seems,” Thor added in a vaguely pitying voice.

“Not all of them,” Natasha disagreed, offended.

Thor hurriedly backtracked and apologised to her. He knew better than to offend their favourite redhead.

“Guys,” Bruce tried to put an end to the sudden chatter and noise. “Guys.

The tone of his voice made everyone fall into complete silence.

Let Tony have his painkillers,” Bruce commanded. “Those are for migraine, he's not hungover.”

Steve's eyes widened in shock and with a quick apology, he stepped aside.

Honest mistake,” Tony snarked, grabbed the bottle and his cup of coffee and quickly left the kitchen.

Back in his room, he swallowed a pill and flopped down on his bed. Exhausted and in pain, he closed his eyes.

A few minutes later, his quiet suffering was disturbed by a knock on the door.

What?” he asked, grumpy that his short moment of blissful silence and darkness had already been interrupted.

Tony,” Steve announced himself. “I'm really sorry for that just now. I didn't mean to make you suffer.”

S'okay,” Tony mumbled into his pillow. “None of you know I have migraine attacks in between the hangovers sometimes.”

I... do you want a massage?” Steve suddenly asked. “It might not really help, but it might relax you a little. I've been told I'm really good at it.”

Tony couldn't suppress a chuckle at that.

Oh my god Steve, you can't say things like that,” he complained. “But by all means, please go ahead.”

The mattress dipped under Steve's weight and after a short moment, he hesitantly touched one of Tony's arms. Tony went deliberately limp, letting himself be arranged on the bed the way Steve wanted. Steve's hands were careful and very warm, and Tony was pretty sure that his heart was currently busy hammering out of his chest. He tried to act deliberately nonchalant and uncaring and badly hoped that he succeeded.

Once Steve was satisfied with Tony's position on the bed, he popped the lid of some kind of container he had brought with him (and oh, the imagery). The relaxing scent of lavender started to fill the room, forcing Tony's whirring brain to a sudden stop. Captain Rogers apparently owned lavender massage oil. This was either the best or the worst thing ever, Tony hadn't quite decided yet.

Steve started to spread the warm oil over Tony's back with broad, gentle strokes, touching him as if he tried to get acquainted with the form of his body. Tony suddenly had a very, very hard time not to squirm around. Best thing , who was he kidding, this was torture in its very essence. He was only lucky about his migraine, because that thing was a pretty effective boner killer.

So he surrendered to Steve, banning all inappropriate thoughts out of his head. Steve's hands slowly wandered over his back, shoulders and neck, expertly finding every tension and knot, single-mindedly working them out one by one.

After a while, the effects of the painkiller started to set in, and the throbbing pain in his head started to get smaller and smaller. The continued kneading and stroking of Steve's hands and the painkiller started to make him sleepy. Not long, and he was in a comfortable state halfway between waking and sleeping.

Turn around,Tony,” Steve murmured into his ear at some point. Tony obeyed the command automatically and without opening his eyes.

Steve gently rubbed his temples and brow, hitting all the sensitive spots just right. Tony was definitely falling asleep now, but he couldn't bring himself to care, that had been what he wanted anyway. The next moment, Steve's hands had disappeared and he was wrapped up in a fluffy blanket.

Rest well,” he could hear Steve say, and maybe there was also a hand carding through his hair, but a deep and dreamless sleep had already welcomed Tony.