"Rogers, get this to Hammer."
Startled by the sudden command, Steve looked up from his sketchbook. Principal Fury was holding an envelope up imperiously, waiting for Steve to take it while otherwise ignoring him. Right. Still at school, still more errands to run.
He scrambled up from his seat, a bit embarrassed about losing track of his surroundings. He had been so focused on his sketch (of Peggy Carter, prettiest and most badass girl he had ever laid eyes on) that he had forgotten himself. Anyone could have come up behind him and seen what he was drawing. Not that his crush on Peggy Carter was exactly a secret, but he liked to maintain the illusion that it was. Fury probably knew exactly what his student aide had been doing the entire time. The man seemed to know everything.
Taking the thick manilla envelope, he glanced at the text on the front. Right, Hammer. Hammer, Hammer . . . oh yeah, engineering. Steve had decided not to take a class in engineering, even though it seemed pretty interesting. From what he had gleaned from other students, Mr. Hammer mostly busied his students with building and painting puzzle blocks. If Steve wanted to build a puzzle block, he could do that on his own spare time. A class like that just wouldn't be worth his time.
So. Hammer. That room was on the career tech hall, second door on the right.
When Steve got to the engineering room, he knocked on the door. He received no response, but that made sense, considering the muffled rock music he could hear coming from inside the room. He opened the door and his ears were accosted by the sounds of AC/DC blaring at full volume.
Looking around the room, Steve saw no sign of Mr. Hammer. In fact, there was no one in the room except for someone crouched elbow-deep in some sort of machinery that looked way more complicated than anything the teacher would have his students build. It certainly wasn’t a puzzle block. (If it was, by some chance, a puzzle block, it was the strangest and least block-like Steve had ever seen.)
“Hello?” The young man didn’t look up. He probably couldn’t hear him over the music. Steve moved closer, raising his voice. “Hello?” Still no response. “HELLO.”
The student startled, looking up, grease on his nose, his hair a dark mess. He seemed surprised to see another person in the room, but he quickly got up and turned off the speakers that were responsible for the cacophony in the room.
“Is Hammer here? I’ve got some papers for him.”
The student shook his head. “Put it on his desk.” He crouched back down next to his—something, was that a robot?—and went back to ignoring the world around him.
Steve didn’t leave, though. He put the envelope on the absent teacher’s desk, and then moved closer to the building teen.
“What are you making? I thought Hammer just assigned puzzle blocks and cardboard chairs.”
The student gave him a weird look, as if shocked to see that Steve was still in the room. He scratched his nose, spreading the grease even further and adding more to it. Steve wondered if he even knew it was there. Probably not. He looked rather focused on his whatever-it-was contraption, much like Steve got when he was sketching. G-d knows he had finished a drawing with his face and hands covered in charcoal or graphite more times than he could count.
“Hammer lets me build whatever. ‘Not like he can teach me anything.” The other teen focused back in on his task, the tiniest tip of his tongue sticking out between his lips as he concentrated. He seemed to be fiddling with some intricate wiring that Steve couldn’t make heads or tails of.
“Yeah, but what is it?”
“A robot,” he said curtly, his voice tinged with annoyance. Well. Steve was disrupting his work, but he wanted to know more.
“Seriously?” Steve crouched next to the guy to get a better look. “What does it do?”
The other teen seemed to resign himself to Steve’s presence. He continued to tinker with the wires, but he answered. “It’s like a personal assistant. It’ll help me build other things, and it’ll be smart. I’m going to install an AI in it.”
Steve’s eyes widened. “Wait, like an artificial intelligence? I thought those were just a pipedream!” His comment seemed to amuse the builder—well, engineer might be more like it, honestly, it wasn’t like every high schooler could build something like that, because he smirked.
“Only to the uninitiated.”
“So, uh, do you do this sort of thing a lot?” Steve kicked himself mentally. He didn’t even know the guy’s name, and here he was, interrogating him when he was trying to work on something that was honestly spectacular. “I’m sorry, what’s your name?”
The young engineer glanced over at him. “Tony.”
“I’m Steve.” He held out his hand to shake, but the other teen—Tony—just stared at it. He flushed. “Oh, um, sorry, I just—”
Tony’s lips quirked into a smile. “Nah, you’re fine. But my hands are covered in oil.”
“Oh. Right.” Steve grinned sheepishly.
For some reason, Steve couldn’t bring himself to leave. Never mind that his boss was the principal and could easily make his life difficult if he wanted to, but there was something that made him stay. And so he stayed and talked to Tony, who slowly seemed to warm up to him, going from simply ignoring Steve to eagerly talking about his inventions with him. Steve had a strange feeling that no one had ever really wanted to know about what Tony was doing before.
At some point, Steve and Tony became friends. It didn’t take very long, but Tony seemed rather distrustful of Steve’s motives at first.
To most people, their relationship probably seemed to be an unlikely friendship. Steve was a linebacker on the football team and the captain of the JROTC, and Tony spent all of his free time (and a lot of his time that wasn’t supposed to be free) building intricate machinery and robots, of all things. Steve was a scholarship student, and Tony’s family could buy the whole damn school if they wanted to.
But what people didn’t know is that Steve Rogers and Tony Stark were both artists in their own right. Steve Rogers drew portraits and landscapes and everything else, and Tony Stark built and envisioned things that most people had never dreamed of.
Steve thought there was a kind of beauty in that.
Tony would never admit it, but he kind of did too.
After school, Tony likes to tinker in the engineering room, and Steve stays and watches, just adding new drawings to his sketchbook, enjoying companionable silence and conversation, and occasionally helping Tony with tasks that are easier with two people. Hammer never seems to be there, which is convenient, because neither of them particularly want him there. (Steve does wonder if there’s a rule against leaving students unattended with machinery and dangerous tools like that. He decides there probably is and that Hammer doesn’t care.)
About two months after they initially meet, Steve and Tony stay after school for an afternoon that blurs into evening and inches towards night. Neither will remember exactly how it happened, but one moment Steve is helping Tony move a heavy component, and the next the machinery is forgotten, and they’re kissing.
It’s not the best kiss Steve could envision, but it’s good. Tony has his arms laced around his back, holding Steve close to him. They’re breathing into each other’s mouths and at some point, tongue gets involved. The closeness feels fantastic.
When they finally break apart, it’s not the entire hold they have on each other. They stand there, just inches from each other’s faces, flushed and panting and warm all over, their eyes searching each other faces.
It’s not how they planned to spend their evening, but neither can say that it’s not an improvement.
Not much actually changes, but they start spending time together outside of what Steve has started to think of as Tony’s workshop, and when they are in the workshop, they stand a bit closer and their touches are a bit warmer.
And Tony becomes a popular subject for Steve’s sketches.
Steve’s mother is a devout Catholic, so when he decided to introduce his boyfriend to her, he had to make a decision. His family had never had much nice to say about gay people, but had never really raised a kerfuffle over them either. The problem was that Steve wasn’t sure they wouldn’t care if that person was actually related to them. Not that he was even gay, but he wasn’t sure if his family would understand that.
One thing Steve was pretty certain of is that his won’t kick him out or disown him or something equally as terrible as that. So he could win his family’s disapproval by doing this, but he wouldn’t be risking life or limb or a roof over his head. That should have been a reassuring line of thought, but it didn’t do much to make him feel better.
Still, he had to make a decision: to either pretend Tony was just a friend (and possibly hurt Tony’s feelings in the process) or let the cat out of the bag and tell his mother the truth.
“So, are you ready to meet my mother?” Steve was nervous. Of course he was nervous. He was coming out to his mother. He had reason to be nervous.
Tony tensed up, but he nodded. “Yeah.” He paused. “Are you sure she won’t kill me?”
Steve couldn’t help himself, and burst out laughing. “I promise my mother won’t kill you, Tony.” He sidled up to his boyfriend and put his head on his shoulder (which was actually a bit difficult, considering how much shorter Tony was), and then turned his head and kissed Tony’s ear. “I’m sure that once she gets over the shock, she’ll love you.”
But Tony didn’t seem convinced. He looked at Steve disbelievingly. “That’s nice and all, but love isn’t the usual reaction people have to me.”
“Just wait. You’ll see.”
Steve led Tony into his house with a firm hand on his arm (not hand, didn’t want to alarm his mother prematurely). He looked ready to bolt, and honestly, Steve didn’t blame him, but if he bolted now they would just have to try again later, and Steve wanted this to be over with as quickly as possible.
“Mom?” Steve called. “I have someone I want you to meet.”
His mother appeared quickly, with a feather duster in hand. “Oh, you brought one of your friends over? Hi, I’m Sarah.” She smiled kindly at him. Tony’s gut clenched with the knowledge that her smile was likely to change in just a few moments.
“This is Tony. He’s . . . my boyfriend.” Steve was ready to faint from fear.
Sarah blinked. “Oh.” She paused for a long time. “That is . . . not what I expected.” She paused again, at a loss, but then her face set with something determined. “Steven, you’re my son. That’s all that matters.”
The experience of coming out to his mother and introducing his boyfriend to her was a bit anticlimactic, but Steve would take that any day to tears, yelling, and violence. Sarah took them into the kitchen and gave them some cookies. She occasionally looked over at them, the expression on her face showing that she wasn’t sure how to feel, but that was much better than the alternative.
Steve practically has to twist Tony’s arm to let him meet his parents.
“Am I ever going to get to meet your parents?”
Setting down his wrench, Tony looked over at Steve, who was sitting on top of the desk in front of him. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea,” he says seriously.
“Why not?” Something in Tony’s face gave Steve pause. It was almost pained. “I understand if they’re homophobes, Tony, but you could say I’m your friend or something.”
Tony started shaking his head, grimacing. “That’s not it—”
“Then what is it?” The volume of Steve’s voice rose. “If that’s not it, then you don’t have an excuse! Are you ashamed?
“You don’t understand!” His face was set in a hard line, and Steve could hear something in his voice that concerned him.
“Then make me understand.” Steve’s voice softened and he watched Tony closely.
A loud sigh escaped Tony’s lips, and he deflated, moving from a kneeling position in front of his machinery and into a sitting one. “It’s not that simple—I wish it was, I do, but it’s not.” He took a deep breath. “It’s not you, it’s—it’s my parents. My dad ignores me most of the time, either working or drinking, if he’s not busy being ashamed of me, and my mother spends most of her time hopped up on painkillers.”
Steve was shocked. He had gotten the vibe that Tony’s life wasn’t what most would expect, but he hadn’t expected that. “Tony,” he started, gentle, but his boyfriend cut him off, continuing.
“And I wish it were as simple as my parents being asshole bigots, but it’s not and I’m sorry, but I can’t change the fact that my dad doesn’t give a damn and my mom pops pills when she’s not at some charity gala.” Tony isn’t looking at Steve. He’s looking at the floor. “When I was—when I was four, I built a circuit board, and I showed my dad, and I remember being so happy that he was proud of me. But then, I got older, and I realized that the only reason he cared about the damn circuit board wasn’t because of me but because he could brag to people about how smart his heir was.” Steve came and sat next to him, clearing away some of the bolts and scraps on the ground so he could.
Steve wrapped an arm around Tony and let him vent about his parents, just letting him talk.
Tony did have some good things to say about his family, but those mostly centered around the family butler, Jarvis, who had practically raised him. That detail made Steve feel sick to his stomach, though he was glad Tony had grown up with someone to advocate for him and take care of him, even though that someone wasn’t a parent.
After some time, Tony does introduce Steve to his parents. And Jarvis, who Steve likes a lot better. Still, whenever Tony brings Steve over to his house after the initial meeting (mansion, the thing is huge), they try to avoid his parents as much as possible.
Their relationship is not a whirlwind romance. It’s more of a natural progression of things. Strangers to acquaintances, acquaintances to friends, friends to boyfriends . . . Nothing happens overnight, but there is an indisputable magnetism between them, which explains why Steve just couldn’t leave when he first met Tony, and why Tony actually let someone into his life at all.
What is surprising, to Steve at least, is that it’s all of four months before they actually fall into bed together.
There were plenty of heated moments, certainly—make-out sessions that got spectacularly charged, thighs shoved up against groins, moaning against each other’s mouths in settings that are honestly not that appropriate. But they hadn’t actually had sex or even taken each other’s clothes off, and Steve decides that four months is long enough, and decided to change that.
Steve bought the condoms and lubricant before he brought up the subject with Tony. Call him overly optimistic, but Steve would call it being prepared. (Tony would call it being a Boy Scout.)
The day after Steve purchased the items, the pair end up making out in the workshop after hours. The session became a bit heated, and they were groaning into each other when Tony suddenly pulled back a little, panting. “Do you want—do you want to go further?” His eyes were blown, and he went back in for another kiss.
“Further?” It was Steve’s turn to pull away from the kiss. “‘You mean sex?”
Steve started to laugh, but stopped when he noticed that Tony looked a little hurt. “Sorry,” he gasped. “I was just planning on asking you the same thing.”
The grin that spread on Tony’s face was gorgeous. “We need to get—” Steve cut him off.
“Got it already.”
The pair decided on a choice of venue pretty quickly. Steve’s mom would notice if they were up to anything and probably wouldn’t approve. Tony’s parents, on the other hand . . . they were rarely in the house to begin with, were unlikely to notice even if they were, and even in the case that they did, probably wouldn’t care.
“We’re defiling my childhood bedroom.” Tony’s eyes were bright as he brought Steve close to him, kissing him.
Steve sidled in closer and pushed Tony down on the bed. He nipped at the tender flesh of his neck, and a low rumble of laughter bubbled up in his chest when Tony honest-to-G-d whimpered and bucked his hips into Steve's warm body. Emboldened by the response, he intensified his ministrations and got his thigh in between Tony's legs.
After a few moments, Tony pulled him up, reuniting their mouths and planting sloppy kisses onto his boyfriend's, biting at his lower lip. Steve rocked against him gently, watching, awestruck, as Tony let out a small groan, eyelashes fluttering. That was an image that Steve would remember forever. G-d, he'd love to sketch that expression.
"Clothes, off," Tony gasped brokenly.
Steve shifted back a bit, pulling at Tony's shirt. Between them, they managed to get all of their clothes off even with their fumbling fingers. Steve's pesky button-up shirt would have to be repaired—a few off the buttons were ripped off in their haste. Right now, though, that was not a concern. He couldn't stop staring at the planes of Tony's chest, toned from building, and his eyes were drawn to the trail of hair from his navel to groin.
Mussed and disheveled, Tony sat up. "You have—"
"Yeah," he whispered breathlessly. "Yeah, let me." He rifled through the pockets of his jeans, searching for necessary items. He grabbed them, setting the items next to them, and then threw the jeans off the bed, and reached to draw Tony close to him. He kissed him, lowering them back onto the bed, and rolled his hips against his, moaning at the friction. "Hah—How do you want to do this?"
Panting, Tony pulled Steve impossibly closer to him, lacing an arm around his back. "'Really want you inside me right now." He ground up against Steve. "Ah, yes—so good—"
"Okay, okay." He pulled back and grabbed the bottle of lubricant, trying to open it with shaking fingers. Finally, he got it open, pouring some onto his hand. "Are you ready?"
Tony nodded, rolling over and spreading his legs so that Steve could have better access. The blond moved closer, smoothing a bit of lube over the small, puckered entrance, before slowly pushing a finger inside him. He laid his other hand on Tony's thigh for reassurance—probably more for his own than Tony's—and watched him for cues before continuing. He moved the finger gently in and out and Tony began to react positively to the motion, burying his head in the pillow and moaning.
He slowly added another finger, watching Tony for any sign that it might be too much. He started up a rhythm, and crooked his fingers in search of Tony's sweet spot. It took some trial and error. A few times, he got an angle that Tony didn't like, but he knew he'd found his prostate when Tony jerked, letting out a moan and tightening his grip on the pillow. He moved his fingers in that angle again, letting Tony's renewed moans wash over him.
"Ah, Steve, oh G-d—" Tony was breathing heavily. "More, I want— Oh, G-d, hurry or I'll come."
Steve didn't have to be told twice and added a third finger. Soon enough, he was helping Tony roll over and stationing himself between his legs. He lined up against his entrance, and watched his face as he entered him. Some mild discomfort passed over Tony's face as he slowly pushed in, but then he bottomed out, giving Tony—and himself, because it would all be over otherwise—a few moments to adjust before moving.
When he moved, Tony moaned and wrapped his legs around Steve's waist, pulling him closer, and he wrapped his arms around Steve's back. Steve moved slowly, trying to find the angle that would be best for both of them. When he found it, Tony practically sobbed with the sensation, his nails digging into Steve's back. Steve would have liked to draw this out, but neither of them were going to last very long, so he sped up, unable to think about more than Tony's tight heat and the sounds that he was making.
Somehow, Tony managed to work a hand between their rocking bodies to work it around his cock. He moaned, and within a few pumps, he was tightening around Steve in a vice grip, absolutely falling apart around his cock. Steve gasped at the added friction, finishing soon after that.
Steve wiped them off with a corner of the bedspread and removed the condom, but they were too blissed-out to bother with any real clean-up. They curled around each other, still a bit sticky with lubricant and Tony's come. Pressing tired kisses into each other's hair soon tapered off into sleeping next to each other.
Neither knew what the future might bring for either of them or their relationship. But that didn't matter, not then. For now, they had each other.
The rest could come later.