He hates how reckless Steve is. Most people don’t even realize, think that Tony’s the one that’s always going off half-cocked. But they don’t know Steve like he does, don’t know how much he has to prove, to himself and others. And to be fair, he is careful when he has teammates and civilians to watch out for, responsibility keeping him grounded, keeping him sane. But if it’s just him and the enemy, no one else around, everything changes; he becomes a man who’s willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for honor and country, even if it isn’t necessary.
Tony pushes him into the bedroom, slamming the door behind him, and he can hear the locks engage, the room darkening as the windows turn black so no one can see inside.
“What were you thinking?” he growls as he shoves Steve toward the bed, not letting up as he stumbles, and it should be ridiculous, the way Steve gives ground, as if he’s not inches taller and broader than Tony, as if Tony couldn’t stand in his shadow with room to spare. “What were you thinking?”
“I wasn’t—what else was I supposed to do? They needed me to—I had to—Tony,” he says, expression twisting like he’s pleading with him to understand. But he’s talking to the wrong guy then, because Tony is inherently selfish, always has been, and when it comes down to it, when he cuts through all the bullshit about duty and obligation and what it takes to get things done, Steve is his, and he’s not allowed to throw his life away in order to reassure himself he’s more than the person he once was.
“You promised me—”
“I didn’t plan on—” He trips on a sneaker that apparently the cleaning staff hasn’t gotten to yet, all his normal grace gone in the face of Tony’s anger, and Tony just stands and watches as he falls half-on, half-off the bed, glad that he doesn’t have to hear the lie.
“Don’t,” he says, grabbing him by the chin, and he crushes whatever words Steve had planned on stammering out with his lips and tongue and teeth, Steve’s head tilted painfully back, and at least the whimper Steve lets out is honest. At least he can believe in that.
Tony hauls him up and back as Steve scrambles to follow, but he’s not going nearly fast enough, not when his shirt hitches up and he can see the bruises and lacerations on his torso. He’d known what to expect after hacking into SHIELD's databases and reading the damage report, but the evidence of what he’d been through makes his knees weak, makes his hands curl into fists.
He’s nearly vibrating with tension, has so many things he wants to say, but none of it’s new. Steve knows how he feels. He just doesn’t—
He tears at Steve’s clothes, doesn't bother with getting rid of his jeans completely, just yanks them down low enough that they won’t be in the way.
Steve moans, pulling him down for a kiss, and that’s not what he wants, that’s not—Steve doesn’t get to be in charge of this, doesn’t get a say. Tony didn’t get to—
He jerks back and rolls Steve over, can’t look into his eyes, not like this, not now. Everything is red and hazy, and his fingers are digging into Steve like he’s trying to burrow his way in, like if he goes far enough, it’ll be impossible to separate the two of them ever again. He’s being rougher than he meant to be, knows he’s adding marks to the ones already on his body, but he can’t stop. He doesn’t even want to.
What he wants is to force Steve’s head down so he can’t see anything, can’t hear anything that isn’t the two of them. He wants to push into his body without anything to ease the way, wants to fuck him until he breaks apart on his cock, until he can’t feel anything but Tony inside him and around him.
What he wants is to punish Steve, to hurt him just like Steve keeps hurting him.
“Do it, c’mon, do it,” Steve gasps, the words muffled into the bed, and Tony doesn't know if he realizes what he's asking for, doesn’t know anything anymore it seems. Everything is spiraling out of control, and how does this always happen with Steve? How did he let him—
He leans down and grinds his head onto Steve’s shoulder blade and just breathes and breathes and breathes as Steve tenses under him.
His hands tremble as he prepares him, carefully, so very carefully, observing the flex and twist of Steve’s muscles with something that could almost be detachment, the hoarse sounds Steve makes a distant buzz in his ears.
When he sinks into him, deep then deeper still, he tries to be gentle, tries because even as angry as he is, he knows it’s not supposed to be this way. Tries and very nearly succeeds.
His fingers spasm around Steve’s hips as Steve arches beneath him, groaning, the knuckles of his hands turning white from where they’re gripping the sheets. Tony blinks and looks away, means to give Steve time to get used to him but he can’t. He needs to—he needs to—
Steve cries out at the first hard thrust, the sound of the sheets ripping a darkly satisfying accompaniment, and Tony counts the marks on Steve’s body in time with his movements, taking everything Steve is willing to give him.
It doesn’t even register when the tempo changes, when he starts going faster and faster as his eyes dart from one bruise to the next. Steve moans loudly, clenching around him, and Tony reaches down and grabs a fistful of hair, wrenching his head back and baring his throat as he shudders and gasps.
“Please, please,” Steve whispers, raw and desperate, his hand moving frantically on his cock, and Tony fucks him as hard as he can, ramming into his body that can withstand so much damage and keep coming back for more.
When he orgasms, it’s less about pleasure and more about pouring out his anger, Steve an all too willing receptacle, shaking and panting beneath him, and he lets out a choked groan, black dots swimming before his eyes.
He watches Steve as he sleeps and can’t stop himself from brushing his lips against his forehead, smoothing back the hair that’s fallen forward, making him look young and so damn vulnerable. He's going to lose him, he knows it already. And not even to a mission but to this thing that drives a wedge between them, to Steve's need for validation, to be immortal even if it's only in memory, and he—
He's supposed to be a fucking genius, but he's never been able to find a way to hold on to what's important.
Or maybe it's that he's never been important enough to anyone to be held on to.
Either way, it comes down to the same thing in the end.
He forces himself to get out of the bed and doesn’t let himself turn around, even when he imagines he feels blue eyes watching him leave.