After years of growing up in an empty house, getting sent to boarding school, and being in the public eye for pretty much the entirety of his life, Tony’s never experienced intimacy of any kind. But he doesn’t exactly realize just how much he’s missed out on until his parents’ funeral.
His parents were never exactly the doting type. They never told him they loved him. They never touched him unless absolutely necessary, but even Tony knew that a pat on the back didn’t actually equate to affection. They didn’t go to his recitals or science fairs, or parent-teacher conferences, so their deaths don’t really affect Tony as much as he believes they should.
Everyone at the funeral comes up to Tony to personally give him their condolences. Distant relatives whom Tony had never even met before envelop him in hugs and kiss him on the cheek, and it’s such a foreign feeling to be so close to people that Tony doesn’t know how to react.
He feels like he should be angry at his parents for depriving him of any closeness, but he isn’t, so much as he’s hurt by the fact that any chances of it ever happening are no longer a possibility.
So he goes back to school and does what he can to forget about it all: he drinks more, tries more drugs, and gets in bed with more people than he can remember. He falls into the wrong crowd, but still manages to keep up a friendship with Rhodey (he’s the sole reason why Tony makes it out alive in the first place).
So he graduates (early, of course), starts working, and eventually takes over the company. And maybe he makes slightly more responsible decisions, but he doesn’t stop partying. Doesn’t stop sleeping with people he barely knows because sex is a wonderful distraction, and a ton of fun—it’s nudity and orgasms, so why wouldn’t it be?
But the real draw that sex has is the feel of another body against his, because there aren’t any other acts that allow two bodies to get so close to one another.
And if Tony takes a little comfort in that for even just a few minutes, he doesn’t say it out loud.
The comfort never lasts, though. It’s always fleeting, and leaves him feeling emptier than before. He can't shake the feeling that he's missing something. He doesn’t really know what it is, but he hasn’t been able to find anyone to really explore the possibilities with either.
There are a few times that Tony thinks he comes close, but ultimately, they never want that from him (it’s always just his ideas, his money, and his power). No one that’s ever expressed interest in ever showing him that there’s more to sex than just two bodies rolling around on a bed. More to relationships than just endlessly taking.
But that doesn’t stop him from trying. He continues having sex. A lot of sex, really, but contrary to popular belief, he is a monogamist, so it’s never with more than one person at a time (unless they make the suggestion, and who’s Tony to say ‘no’?).
He’s always been adventurous, so he’s willing to try anything once. Whether he ends up liking it is an entirely different story. Some acts are too uncomfortable for him; too intimate to engage in with people he doesn’t know that well. Tony values his personal space, and quite frankly, after having so many exes who have tried to kill him, he can’t really be blamed for being a little reluctant to get close to people.
Regular missionary sex, Tony can deal with. Of course, it would be fun to switch things up every now and then, but that involves relinquishing some control, and Tony doesn’t like the idea of being left in such vulnerable positions. In fact, he can count the number of times he’s ever bottomed on one hand because it’s just entirely too much trust to put in someone.
It never goes the way he expects it to: it’s always too rushed, too rough, and it hurts him more than he’ll ever admit. He’s been told that it’s normal for it to feel a little uncomfortable at first, but even by the end of it, he doesn’t feel right. His partners always seek their own pleasure first, and by the time they remember to help him out, Tony’s too tense and apprehensive to enjoy it, and he makes them get it over with as quickly as possible. Afterwards, Tony’s left feeling sick to his stomach at the thought that he actually let someone he barely knows take control over him like that. He’s learned the hard way that other people’s promises don’t always amount to what they say.
Tony’s never met anyone that could put him at ease. He’s never had a partner that could just let him sit back and relax while they showed him everything there was to offer in the bedroom, and outside of it. None of them have been able to fill in the void that Tony knew he was missing, and after a few more failed relationships, and yet another ex who tried to shoot him, Tony begins to accept the fact he maybe he won’t ever be able to find anyone that could give him what he's looking for.
It isn’t until after his kidnapping and subsequent return to the states that Tony actually believes it’s a lost cause. If Tony couldn’t trust the man who was his father-figure for over half of his life, what was he supposed to make of anyone else that tried to get close to him? Stane had tried to kill him. His own parents never paid a speck of attention to him. His exes only stayed with him long enough to get what they wanted out of him.
He knows that he’s lucky to have Rhodey, Pepper, and Happy in his life. But they had their own lives, and his relationships with them were established so long ago that anything more would never be a possibility. Regardless, Tony has learned to be okay with it, and begins to resign himself to a life of solitude.
But then he meets Steve, and the man quickly becomes a permanent fixture in Tony’s life.
They click from the beginning: work together, fight alongside each other flawlessly, and finish each other’s sentences. Steve knows how to comfort Tony after particularly difficult missions that end in terrible casualties; knows what to say when he seeks him out after his tech is stolen again; knows how to make him feel better about yet another rebuild.
Steve’s the anchor that grounds him, and the rudder that steers him in the right direction. Tony knows that no matter what happens, Steve will have his back, and Steve’s never done anything to make him doubt that. Tony relishes every single touch, every hand on his shoulder, and every embrace. Eventually he starts seeking out the warmth he feels when their knees touch while sitting on the couch and watching television.
After a few years, the touches begin to linger. Tony can’t recall an exact point in time when it starts, but he revels in it all the same. It becomes second nature, and eventually, Tony expects it when Steve seeks him out to go to lunch. He finds himself leaning towards Steve before he even reaches out to touch him. The attention turns into actual affection, and Tony starts to crave the closeness.
So the first time they sleep together, Tony doesn’t even hesitate to bottom. In fact, he’s the one that rolls them over on the bed, spreads his knees and positions Steve in between them, silently pleading to just take him already. But Steve is slow and tender; so painstakingly attentive and unlike any other person Tony’s gone to bed with. When Steve finally enters him, Tony feels like he’s coming out of his own skin. Steve kisses him gently, hands touching every inch of skin on Tony’s body. It isn’t rushed in the slightest, but Tony’s never felt more worn out than he is now from Steve’s languid movements.
Tony’s giving Steve everything he has to offer, opening up his body to accommodate him, and meeting every single one of Steve’s movements. He lets Steve take him apart and put him back together, over and over again. Tony feels exposed letting Steve take him like this, but he doesn’t feel vulnerable. He doesn’t feel weak. He doesn’t feel like he’s giving a part of himself up, like it’s some sort of payment or something he just has to do.
Tony's lost in the pleasure of it all. Steve's worshiping Tony's body like a temple; he's putting Tony's needs before his own, and that's when Tony realizes that what they’re doing isn’t just sex.
And Tony tells him so. He gasps the three words just as Steve wraps his hand around him, and Tony comes so spectacularly he passes out for a few moments.
When he comes to, Steve’s kissing his face and gently carding his fingers through his hair, whispering the phrase against Tony’s skin like a mantra.
Tony can still feel how intimately connected they are. And while Steve is being careful not to move and cause him any discomfort, Tony can still feel the sheer intensity of want in Steve’s body. He sits up, re-positioning Steve on his back so he can straddle him. Tony leans forward to kiss him before moving his hips, and the resulting sound that Steve makes is just so damn beautiful. It’s like music to Tony’s ears, and it makes Tony want to be the only one to get Steve to make those sounds.
Tony sits back, continuing his movements. He can feel Steve everywhere, and his hands run across Steve’s chest, scrambling for purchase. He clenches his muscles just as he brings his hips back down again, and Steve comes with a shout, back bowing off the bed as he spends himself in Tony’s body. And Tony can’t help the pride he feels in knowing that the blissful look on Steve’s face is because of him.
Steve rolls them back over, capturing Tony’s lips in a sweet kiss. He tries to reciprocate the feelings that Steve pours into the kiss, but it’s so overwhelming that Tony can’t do anything but ground himself by holding onto Steve’s shoulders. Tony falls asleep with Steve’s arms wrapped around him protectively, both of them boneless and utterly spent.
Tony’s never felt so complete in his life.
Over the next few months, they become more familiar with each other, to the point that Tony could recognize any part of Steve’s body in the dark. It’s wonderful, being so intimately close to someone like this, and Tony vows to do whatever he can to make sure it doesn’t end.
The slow, careful sex is undoubtedly the best that Tony’s ever had in his life, but after a while, Tony realizes that Steve has a kinky side.
A really kinky side.
After missions, Steve tells Tony exactly what he wants to do to him by tapping morse code onto the armor, which results in some very uncomfortable and painful debriefings (but mind-blowing debriefings). Sometimes, Steve gets so impatient he drags Tony into the closest closet they can find, which results in some very interesting encounters with SHIELD agents.
Steve likes to ride Tony on the living room couch. Likes to lift him up on the kitchen counter during breakfast and slide in without prep because Tony’s still wet and loose from having sex not two hours ago. Steve steals him away from the guests at the galas they all get roped into going, locks them in the bathroom, and bends Tony over the sink.
Steve makes impromptu visits to Tony’s office with the intention of bringing him lunch, but that usually just ends with Tony sitting at his desk, knees spread as Steve takes Tony’s cock into his mouth. Tony’s lucky his desk is so large because his secretary walks into his office during one of Steve’s visits. The fact that he’s able to manage an entire five-minute conversation with her without her suspecting anything is a feat in itself, because Steve’s mouth, Tony has learned, is deadly.
And when Tony gets back from work, Steve pushes him up against the wall of their bedroom and tells him about this thing he read about on the internet, and Tony never thinks twice about going along with it.
In fact, he loves it when Steve looms over him, and loves that Steve could easily overpower him because he feels protected. And Steve’s made it very clear that he would never let anything happen to Tony. Ever.
Tony’s put all of his trust Steve. Tony’s given him parts of himself that he’s never dared to give anyone else, and he doesn’t regret it in the slightest.
One night, Steve asks him: “Is there anything that you want to try?”
Tony twists in Steve’s hold and looks at him questioningly. “What do you mean?”
"Any um… sex things?"
“Positions,” Steve clarifies, his face ridiculously red for someone who just had Tony’s cock in his mouth a few minutes ago.
Tony shakes his head. "Nope.”
Steve arches a brow. “Really?”
“Nothing,” he says, but Steve still looks skeptical. "I just… I like this,” Tony adds. “Just being with you is more than enough.”
Steve smiles at that. “If you do… you know you can tell me, right?"
"I know," he assures, "but… I never feel like I’m missing anything when I’m with you.”