"Is this test strictly necessary?"
About ten minutes ago, Tony found a second trunk.
It was just like the one Fury had given him, stamped PROPERTY H STARK, only this one had been hidden inside a storage pod Tony had finally located and brought to the Tower to sort through. It was filled with film reels.
"Private Rogers, this is for the advancement of science."
The reels all had the same three letters at the start of their serial numbers — SGR — and they were marked things like “Cardiovascular” and “Respiratory” and “Digestive”. Each also has a series of letters at the end of the title, either A-ES-07.1 or P-ES-07.1.
"But nobody’s gonna see the film, right?"
Intrigued, Tony had plucked out the one marked only A-ES-07.1 TOP SECRET, DO NOT VIEW WITHOUT PERMISSION. He’d loaded it (sans permission) into the reel-to-reel and hit the play button.
"Of course not, Private Rogers."
There, in grainy sepia-toned black and white, was Steve Rogers, all hundred and ten pounds of him (aha — A-ES-07.1, Ante-Erskine Serum version 7.1) without a shirt or shoes on. He was sitting on the edge of a hospital bed, speaking to someone behind the camera. Not Erskine or Tony’s father; the one had an accent and the other Tony would have recognized. Just some faceless scientist making Steve Rogers uncomfortable.
"How should I?" Private Rogers asked.
"Just do what you’d do naturally," the voice answered.
Tony watched, tapping a pen against his teeth, as the small, frail man in the film eased off the bed, undoing the flies of his uniform pants and undressing — oddly unself-conscious, given his hesitation a moment ago, but soldiers were used to nudity. He climbed back onto the bed, gave one last sidelong glance at the camera, mistrustful, and then —
"WHOA, WHOA WHOA," Tony yelped, as if the guy in the movie was going to hear him. He dove across the room to turn the projector off just as Steve Rogers started jerkin’ it for the camera.
It took him a minute to fumble the reels to a stop, which didn’t help because he was now freeze-framed mid-stroke. Finally he managed to shut the lamp down, and then he collapsed, heart still racing, into the chair in front of the projector.
There was a soft throat-clearing noise behind him. Of course there was.
"I was watching cat videos," Tony tried.
"Of me naked? I don’t remember any cats," Steve answered. It was the same deep, Brooklyn-tinged voice as the film, hardly altered by modern science and seventy years asleep. He sounded amused.
"Hey, I should get points, I turned it off," Tony pointed out.
"You put it on in the first place. What were you thinking was on it?" Steve inquired, and Tony heard him fiddling with the projector, rewinding it, taking the reel off. "Gosh, I was tiny. I barely remember being that small anymore."
"In my defense I was hoping for military intelligence debriefings about the Serum," Tony said.
"Well, then this must have been quite a shock," Steve continued amiably. There was a clank as the reel was put back in its tin, and then more clanking as Steve sifted through the others. "They did say nobody would see that. Wonder how your dad ended up with them."
"He kept them private, at least."
"Much obliged. They had me do a whole series, you know. Heart, lungs, alcohol tolerance, pain tolerance. Once I stopped thinking about the camera, this one was okay — better than the pain tolerance test, anyway."
"Why did they do them?"
"Well, they needed a baseline, and something to measure against it," Steve said. "But honestly, that one’s not very compelling. I had an asthma attack in the middle of it."
"Wasn’t that uncommon for me." Steve held up one tin thoughtfully. "Here we are."
"What’s — " Tony craned his neck around to watch as Steve loaded a different reel into the projector. He threaded it carefully and flicked on the lamp. The same bed, the same room, but this was a much larger Steve. Shirtless, shoeless, and clearly post-Serum.
"Secondary tests," the Steve behind him, not the one on the film, said. "Charting progress. This one’s much more interesting," he added as Tony gaped, looking back and forth between him and the film.
He flicked the film to life, and the Steve on the tape asked, “It’s the jerkoff test again, isn’t it?”
"Reproductive viability," the scientist said.
"Yeah, that’s what I thought. Close my eyes and think of the flag, right?"
"If you would oblige, Captain Rogers."
Tony sank deeper into the chair as Steve Rogers, six foot plus of gleaming muscle, stripped and settled on the bed.
"Were you seriously thinking of the flag?" Tony asked. Steve leaned over the back of the chair, mouth very close to his ear.
"Clara Bow," Steve said, his voice laced with nostalgia. "She did this movie, Hoop-la, the year I discovered sex...always had a thing for brunettes.”
"Is this weird?" Tony asked, as the Steve on the film-strip took his clothes off. One could appreciate the musculature, of course, but there had been something endearing in the smaller version’s bantam bravado.
This one, on the other hand, knew he had nothing to fear; he was just tired of medical tests.
Steve huffed warm air in his ear. “Well, it wasn’t how I’d pictured this going, but I’m learning to grasp opportunities when they arise.”
"How you pictured this going," Tony repeated, tilting his head back to look up. Steve jerked his chin at the film. When Tony turned back to watch it, Steve slid one hand down over his shoulder and inside his shirt. The Steve on the film was already hard by the time he started touching himself. The real-life Steve rested his palm over Tony’s heart.
"I don’t have a lot of moves," Steve said thoughtfully. "I mean, you know, seduction-wise. But this is as good as any."
"What exactly was your plan?" Tony asked.
"Is that really what you want to talk about right this minute?" Steve replied gently. On the screen, Steve tilted his head back and groaned, full-throated. Then he flinched, like he was startled. "I was expecting my asthma to kick in," Steve murmured.
"Is that what you want to talk about right now?" Tony asked, finding enough of his scattered wits to tease back. Steve’s hand withdrew, and he shuffled around, crouching just before he would have blocked the projection. Tony started to lean forward but Steve pinned him against the chair with a hand on his chest again, then hitched forward onto his knees, sliding fingers up Tony’s thigh.
"Never really been very good at talking," Steve said, easing his hand off Tony’s chest. Behind him, seventy years in the past, he whined through his teeth and bucked up off the bed briefly. Steve eased between Tony’s legs, pushing his knees wider apart, and pressed his face to Tony’s stomach. Tony lifted a hand, combing it through his hair.
One Steve was breathing hard, apparently having forgotten to be self-conscious; the other, with hands that shook a little, was undoing Tony’s belt, tugging on his clothes, breath warm and wet on his skin. Tony kept his eyes on the screen.
"I’d like to see you do that in person sometime," he said, keeping his voice conversational. It was a little ruined by the hiss he made as Steve tugged his underwear down enough to free his erection. Steve didn’t reply, but wet warmth enveloped his cock, and Tony grunted. So did the Steve on the screen.
"Fuck," Tony groaned, trying to thrust against Steve’s hands pinning his hips. "Bet you liked it, didn’t you? At least a little. Showing off all that skin. Being the big man."
Steve shifted one hand down to Tony’s thigh, squeezing gently, and the other between his own legs. In black and white, he made a long, low-throated cry. Between Tony’s legs, his body jerked in response to the sound.
"Seems like — ahh-h — a very unconventional test," Tony said, trailing off into a hard breath. He was already close, and apparently Steve was as well. Possibly both of him. On the screen, his bicep flexed tight as he sped up, body bowing off the hospital bed. Steve curled in that much closer and tilted his head lower, throat tightening just around the head of his cock —
Tony swore loudly, fuck fuck oh fuck, and came a bare second before Steve did. He desperately wanted to keep his eyes open, wanted to see Steve orgasm on film for a team of scientists to study, but his eyes closed of their own volition so all he got was the sound of Steve’s deep, drawn-out sigh of release.
He felt Steve swallow around him and grunted sharply, sensitive, but then Steve was leaning back, wiping the corner of his mouth with a hazy, satisfied smile. Behind him, the screen went to test pattern, then black, and the film clicked to a stop. Tony matched his grin, possibly more goofily than he’d hoped.
"That’s the dirtiest thing I ever did," Steve said.
Tony tugged him up and into a kiss, deep enough for him to taste himself in Steve’s mouth.
"Secret egotist," Tony said, when he encountered the damp front of Steve’s trousers. "Getting off to a video of yourself."
"You were the one watching blue movies of me."
"You made them!"
"For science," Steve said, eyes alight.
"Oh, I’ll show you science," Tony replied, as Steve stood and tugged him gently out of the chair. "Come upstairs, I will show you how totally scientific I can be about this."
"I’m looking forward to that," Steve said. "I do like a good experiment."