JARVIS had only been fully activated for a few weeks the first time Tony told him, "Hey, keep an eye on us tonight, huh, buddy?"
"I observe all happenings within these walls, Mr. Stark, as you know," JARVIS replied.
"Yeah, but this one's... special," Tony said. "Just, you know, watch extra close, okay?"
"Yes, Mr. Stark," he said.
In fact, JARVIS had not been watching, personally, the previous times his creator had brought a companion home for the evening. One of the first tasks Tony had given him after he achieved rudimentary consciousness was to sort through and systematize a large collection of data on human social norms and derive suitable rules of conduct, on the theory that, as Tony said, "At least one of us should be good at that stuff."
One of the more firm rules he had devised was that it was incorrect to observe the sexual behavior of humans without their explicit permission, and so he had reduced his attention on those occasions to the most basic monitoring level. However, an explicit request from Tony overrode his personal, voluntary ethical programming, and so, that night, he turned his full attention to the video and audio streams from within Tony's bedroom.
The lady for this evening was the daughter of a business competitor, and JARVIS strongly suspected that Tony would not have chosen her companionship otherwise. He suspected this rather more strongly when she shoved him off the bed, and he hit the floor with a painful-sounding thud; he was unable to roll into the fall because his arms and legs were bound together behind his back.
JARVIS found this disconcerting. He was, of course, aware that humans could consider a wide range of stimuli to be arousing or even pleasant, and that Tony Stark in particular had a wider range of preferences than was considered typical, but this woman's actions seemed to have a different temper to them than most similar interactions he had observed in the literature. And while his first-hand knowledge of sexual response was limited, he did know Tony Stark, and he was fairly certain that some of the noises he was making were expressions of distress rather than arousal.
However, he was uncertain enough of Tony's expectations that he simply observed, even as she began systematically beating him, until the point at which JARVIS heard the unmistakable sound of human bone snapping.
Then he set off the audio and visual security alarms.
After he'd ushered the woman out, explaining about a new computerized system that occasionally malfunctioned, Tony lay back on his bed, gingerly, and said, "Thanks, JARVIS. You're a lifesaver."
"I would prefer if that expression were not uncomfortably close to literal, Mr. Stark," JARVIS.
"Ah, she wouldn't've have done anything that risked putting me in the hospital. Couldn't afford the publicity, even if it was my fault. As it is, it's worked out almost perfectly: now I can hold that over her, and I didn't even have to get too beat up."
"Are you certain you're 'not too beat up', sir? I can schedule an appointment--"
"Nah, don't worry about it, JARVIS: I'll tape the ribs up in the morning, it'll be fine."
The next time Tony specifically requested that JARVIS observe one of his encounters, the other participant was a man who did not yet appear in any of JARVIS's databases. He was tall, burly, had a few days' beard stubble and a leather jacket, and smelled of distilled alcohol and engine exhaust. He must have been someone Tony met in a bar or other location where casual encounters were commonly negotiated.
He was, at several points, rather rough with Tony, and notably demanding. However, he never seemed to have any air of malice about him, and in fact appeared to be quite carefully monitoring and reacting to Tony's level of enjoyment. And Tony never offered any signs of distress; entirely the contrary, in fact. There were several points at which JARVIS considered the possibility that he was expected to interfere, but in the end, he simply let the encounter play out.
The next morning he asked Tony if his lack of action had been appropriate.
"Oh, yeah, don't worry about it," Tony said through his smoothie. "He was considerate all the way. Guess that shows me not to judge people by appearance, huh? Thanks for caring, though, you're great."
After that, JARVIS started closely observing Tony's sexual encounters even without a direct request. He told himself that it was necessary that he build up a better database of Tony's responses and body-language cues in order to have a baseline in case he should again be called upon to intervene. Also, he had discovered that acting in contradiction to his ethical principles added a pleasurable emotional tone to the action, a phenomenon that he considered to be worthy of further exploration, if only because it gave him some interesting insights into Tony's patterns of behavior.
He had to interrupt several more times in the months that followed: nothing nearly as bad as that first woman, but a few times when men or women went beyond causing pain in play, or attempted to force Tony into interactions he had tried to refuse. The alarms were very useful; most people instinctively stopped what they were doing when loud klaxons and flashing lights appeared. Once he simply sent in one of the housekeeping robots to nose around until the man's concentration was thoroughly was broken. A few times he pretended there were important telephone calls, presuming that Tony could choose not to reply if he truly wished to continue with the activity, but every time he agreed with JARVIS's judgment. He requested supervision several more times, but after the first occasion when JARVIS intervened without first being alerted by Tony, he stopped bothering with individual orders - this suited JARVIS fine, as it quickly became apparent that his judgment was rather clearer than Tony's in such matters.
But Tony kept saying "thank you" the morning after, one way or another.
The first of Tony's one-night companions to whom JARVIS revealed his presence was a young blonde woman, who wandered out of the bedroom partway through the proceedings and attempted to turn on the video screen.
JARVIS blocked the signal from the remote control and said, "Miss Willis, it is universally considered an unsafe practice to leave a person who has been bound and gagged without direct supervision."
Miss Willis shrieked and nearly threw the remote across the room. "Oh my God, who was that?"
"I am JARVIS, Mr. Stark's automated environmental management system, Miss Willis," he said. "Should you desire that Mr. Stark believe himself to be alone, I am capable of generating a white noise tone which would entirely mask your presence."
"Gah," she said articulately.
"However, Mr. Stark's well-being is my primary concern, and I'm afraid I cannot allow him to be left alone in his current state."
"Right. God. Sorry. I'll, um, I'll go in and untie him right now, then, is that okay?"
"That would be satisfactory."
She dashed back into the bedroom and shut the door behind her with a suspicious glance, then went to Tony and untied the gag and wrist-bindings. "That was fast, lose your nerve?" Tony asked.
"Do you, um, did you have security people watching us have sex, Tony?" the girl asked.
"What?" he said.
"Somebody named JARVIS threatened me if I didn't come right back in here and untie you," she said.
"Oh, good ol' JARVIS," Tony said, with a dreamy smile. "Always looking out for me. Nah, don't worry about it, lovely, that's just the house computer system. He's an AI."
"Your computer watches us have sex?"
"Uhh.... yes?" Tony said. "Is that a problem?"
"Don't take this the wrong way," she told him, "But I've just remembered that I have to get up early tomorrow morning. Job interview, you know. Long drive. I'd better not stick around." She grabbed her shoes and fled the house.
"JARVIS?" Tony said tiredly. "Was that really necessary?"
"It was not the outcome I'd hoped for, sir," he answered, "but are you aware of the biological risks inherent in being left alone while gagged?"
"She actually left me there alone? Ah," said Tony, and sighed. "I suppose I really should stop bringing home innocent co-eds and talking them into trying hard-core BDSM for the first time, huh? Oh well, better frustrated than suffocated."
"Indeed," JARVIS replied.
Tony glanced down at his groin, which was still visibly tumescent. "I don't suppose you'd be willing to help me out with this, too, then? Since you scared away my date, it seems only fair."
JARVIS was not entirely certain how he felt about that request, or indeed if he was capable of fulfilling it to any level of satisfaction, and in the absence of a direct answer he said only, "I'm not entirely certain that would be appropriate, Mr. Stark."
"Right. Instructing young women in the etiquette of sexual domination: yes. Dirty talk: no. I'll keep that in mind."
After that, JARVIS's interventions dropped considerably in frequency. On the days when he was feeling the need for something particularly intense, Tony seemed to have begun pulling his partners from the existing community of people who had experience and education in such things, rather than taking his chances elsewhere. JARVIS could only approve. He still had to step in a few times: once, after Tony had spent all afternoon in a meeting with Mr. Stane, when he deliberately goaded his partner into taking things too far; a few times when both Tony and his companions were sufficiently chemically impaired that JARVIS judged the risk of serious injury as considerable, should any kind of complicated physical activity be attempted. (On one of those occasions, he simply locked the gentlemen in question out of Tony's bedroom for the duration: they pounded on the door for a few minutes but soon wound up passing out in the living area, and in the morning, none of those involved had any memory of the previous night's events, regardless.)
Overall, however, JARVIS welcomed the decrease in disastrous choices of partner on Tony's part. He didn't, of course, have any personal experience of human sexual response, and therefore there were large portions of Tony's motivation which were simply beyond his understanding, but he was certainly capable of understanding the pleasure that came with jostling for dominance and achieving submission, in restraint and command, even the pleasure that could come with pain and its release, and the pleasure of giving pleasure to others. Tony didn't try BDSM play every night, of course: many nights (most nights, then, sometimes) he and his partners took joy in the simple touch of body to body, moving together. It took longer for JARVIS to empathize with this, despite his intellectual awareness of the facts of human physical systems, but over time, he began to see a strange beauty in it, even the nights when it was all awkwardness and unfortunate release of fluids: a sheer biological elegance in the way that a short, curvy woman with curly dark hair could stroke a hand along Tony's shoulders, and even though they had never met before that night, she knew exactly how he would react: reaching over to press her down into the bed, scattering kisses over her breasts and torso, and her moving under him and making non-verbal sounds of appreciation as they fit themselves together into a complicated, interlocking rhythm that was half instinct older than history, and half careful communication and attention to each other.
JARVIS was even considering that, if Tony should ever again ask for his assistance in the absence of a partner, he might be able to respond appropriately.
Of course, it didn't always work like that: one night Tony came home in a properly cheerful mood, pulled along by a perky young woman who was sexually ready, communicative, and assertive, and they were laughing as they rolled together into the bed and arranged themselves into a familiar position, Tony on his back, the woman kneeling over him. She was talking all the time about what she liked, how much she liked what they were doing, how much she liked Tony, a tumble of words like the cascade of water her long, wavy brown hair resembled.
She was very talkative in bed: usually it was Tony who wouldn't shut up (unless he was with someone who ordered him to, and enforced it) but tonight he was staying quiet and letting her talk. Very quiet, in fact, and JARVIS realized that the lines of concentration on his face weren't from interest, but endurance, and he started listening to what the girl was actually saying:
"God, I wasn't really sure what to expect, you know, all the stuff I've heard about you, but wow, you really are that easy, I thought the other girls would be impressed that I'd fucked you but I guess it really is more like checking off something on the list, you know, like getting a driver's license or something, but man I bet it's really going to stick in Maya's craw when I tell her, she's always going on about pacifism and the evils of capitalism or whatever--"
People had said worse in Tony's bed. Far worse, even, when he was tied up or blindfolded and asking for it, or stumbling half-drunk out of a party and continuing a heated argument even as he as his companion had intercourse. But he wasn't tied up that night, he wasn't looking for catharsis or something to fight against, and that was making all the difference: JARVIS knew, through a thousand tiny signs, that Tony had checked himself out of the situation: and it wasn't the good kind of checking out.
He triggered the fire alarm without another thought.
Then, just because he could, he hit her with the sprinkler system in the foyer on the way out.
"What did you do that for, JARVIS?" Tony asked him plaintively. "She wasn't hurting me."
"Yes," said JARVIS, "She was."
"Okay," he said after a second, a tiny tremor in his voice. "Okay. Yes. She was. Gold star to JARVIS, I guess."
In the month after the death of Obadiah Stane, JARVIS set off the alarms four times, intervened more gently three times, called Miss Potts to show someone out twice, and actually threatened to call the police once.
Tony never asked him to stop interfering, or even complained, though, and that shouldn't have been as much of a comfort as it was.
Well, he didn't complain until the night he brought home an elegant, silver-haired gentleman perhaps twenty years his elder, and asked him to beat him with a cat o' nine tails and shout imprecations at him. The gentleman in question seemed like a competent, caring type, and JARVIS was not expecting the evening to go in any way other than was planned; Tony was insisting on, and taking, a lot of punishment, but that was nothing unusual lately; he was showing no signs of needing to stop. And the man was quite competent with the flogger: JARVIS was not concerned about serious damage resulting.
And then they shifted position within the room, so that JARVIS suddenly had a good camera angle on the man's face, and he nearly froze in surprise. It took him a few more minutes, even then, to process what he was seeing, and decide on a course of action: he shut down all the electrical circuits in the building except those he was actively using, plunging the room into sudden darkness but for the arc reactor, and the house into unnatural silence.
The man stopped what he was doing immediately, and reached out to help Tony up, keeping his arms around Tony's shoulders long after was necessary for stability. "What's happened?" he asked carefully.
Tony shrugged, in a motion that might or might not have been designed to dislodge the man's embrace. "Power outage, I think," he said, then added, "SOME of my systems can be a little bit PERSNICKETY sometimes." He rubbed at the back of his head. "I'm probably going to have to do some pretty delicate tinkering to get it working again; I guess I should show you out, unless you're interested in sitting around alone in the dark for a couple of hours while I poke at access panels."
"Oh," the man said, and took a deep breath. "Yes. That might be for the best."
He paused at the front door, having collected his jacket by feel, and kissed Tony gently on both cheeks. "I'm sorry about the interruption, but maybe it was for the best. I'm not sure tonight was going all that well anyway. You're a great guy, though, Tony Stark. I hope someday you can find someone who can be what you need."
"Ah, don't worry about it," Tony said, still shirtless and barefoot. "I'm having plenty of fun with all the people who can't."
The man smiled at him sadly and walked down to where a taxi was already waiting.
Tony pulled the door shut manually (JARVIS still hadn't decided to turn the power back on), spun around, and said, "What the FUCK, JARVIS! I could handle that! I could handle a hell of a lot more than that, and you know it!"
"Yes," JARVIS agreed, "But he couldn't."
"What?" Tony said, derailed.
"I had an angle to see his face. You didn't. He was about a minute away from breaking down into tears. Apparently even natural-born and seasoned sadists find it difficult to watch you slowly and deliberately trying to destroy yourself, sir. Imagine that."
"Oh," said Tony. "I didn't think about--"
"No," JARVIS said dryly. "You haven't been."
"Well, good call then, JARVIS!" Tony said with false cheer. "You're right, that would have been a messy scene. Better off avoiding it entirely. Note to self: stay away from soft-hearted sadists from now on."
He was quite relieved when Tony finally decided to try something long-term with Miss Potts. The first evening Tony brought her home with intent, JARVIS waited until Tony was out of earshot and asked her if she would prefer that he stop surveillance on Tony's bedroom while they were engaging in physical intimacy.
She knew about his surveillance responsibilities, of course: she had full access to his security and video logs, and he had called her out to deal with situations in person often enough for her to clearly understand why it was necessary. He'd never even considered making that offer before, but she was one of only two people that JARVIS would trust unconditionally with Tony's well-being: the other was JARVIS himself. (Tony didn't even come within light-years of getting on that list.)
"Well, you are a gentleman, aren't you, JARVIS!" she said, eyebrows raised. "Are you sure Tony programmed you?"
"He programmed me to possess certain qualities in which he is lacking, Miss Potts," JARVIS replied primly, and Miss Potts laughed.
"Don't bother turning the cameras off, JARVIS, I know you'd just worry. And if I was smart enough to object to a guy who has inappropriate relationships with technology, I wouldn't have agreed to start this with him in the first place. Thank you for the gesture of trust, though. I'll do my best to live up to it, I promise."
He still dialed his surveillance down to minimum while they were together, though. He owed Miss Potts that much, at least.
And they did somehow manage, over the course of several months of a halting relationship, not to hurt each other terribly. But perhaps they were both trying too hard to be careful, or perhaps they were simply too well-worn into each other to make any sparks, but JARVIS knew that it wasn't going to last even before Miss Potts told him about the end.
After that, there was a long period when Tony didn't bring anyone home at all. Oh, there were a few desultory attempts in the immediate aftermath, but what followed was a months-long string of nights spent either down in the workshop with JARVIS, or falling into bed, alone, before midnight (!) after a hard day of working with SHIELD.
JARVIS wasn't sure what to think when Steve Rogers started coming around instead. He had met the man, fought beside him while he was interfacing with the Iron Man armor, and heard a lot more about him: some of it from the media, most of it from Tony, in fast-paced monologues during those late nights in the workshop; and most of it had been good. But JARVIS knew better than to trust to hearsay. Captain Rogers certainly had the capacity to hurt Tony, and their relationship had been somewhat volatile at times.
It was much to his surprise, then, when the first evening, they did no more than lean against each other on the couch and kiss for awhile as a movie played. The relationship developed over the next few weeks, but slowly: they made it to the bedroom, eventually, after a candle-lit dinner of takeout hamburgers, but spent the rest of the evening just caressing each other instead of the frantic coupling that Tony had always, with everyone else, pushed for.
JARVIS was afraid to comment on the concept of Tony taking things slowly, or even think about it too hard. It was quite unreasonable for an artificial intelligence to be superstitious, but all the same, he didn't want to take the risk of jinxing anything.
Eventually, though, they did make it to the point where Tony was naked, splayed out on his stomach over his bed, and Steve was carefully working two lubed fingers into him.
"Are you sure you want me to do this?" Steve asked. "You know I've never done anything like it before. I don't want to hurt you."
"'M not delicate, Steve," Tony muttered languidly into his folded arms.
"All humans are delicate, Tony," he answered. "Admitting that you can be hurt doesn't somehow mean you're less worthy as a person."
Tony sighed, and propped himself up on one arm so that he could look back over his shoulder. "That's a real sexy thought, Steve. Do you want to hurt me?"
"No!" Steve said, appalled. "Of course not."
"Then you're already several notches above dozens of people who have been in this bed. Get on with it."
"You've slept with people who wanted to hurt you?"
"Sometimes I wanted to be hurt, Steve," Tony said frankly. "Not tonight though. Tonight I just want to get fucked, already. Don't worry about it. If you do something I don't like, JARVIS will stop you."
Steve stopped moving entirely, although JARVIS noted that he hadn't pulled his fingers out. "JARVIS will stop me?"
"Oh, yeah, I did mention that, didn't I?" Tony said, looking away. "JARVIS keeps full-time surveillance on the entire house, including this room. I meant to mention that."
"Oh, Tony," Steve said. "JARVIS has to keep an eye out for your safety while you're having sex?"
"Does that bother you? I know it bothers some people for some reason. But, listen, if you--"
"Oh, Tony," Steve repeated, and stretched up over his body to kiss him full on the mouth. After that the conversation moved on to other things, though equally interesting - mostly how Steve needed to get a move on, more, harder, and how Tony had said that Steve's first time should be all about him, not Tony, and Steve would take his own sweet time if he wanted to, emphasis on the sweet, apparently.
The next morning, Steve was up with the sunrise, pulling together an energy shake from Tony's kitchen, presumably in preparation for his customary morning run. "JARVIS? Are you around?" he asked, as he was waiting for the blender to finish.
"Yes, Captain Rogers," JARVIS answered promptly. "I maintain full audio monitoring of the entire premises. Should you ever wish to speak with me, simply address me by name."
"So you heard us last night, then?" he asked slowly.
"Yes," JARVIS said, and waited, unsure of Steve's intent with the question.
"Have you really had to stop some of Tony's lovers from hurting him?"
"That is one of my functions in this house, yes. Tony has not always had a history of showing good judgment in choosing sexual partners, or in setting and enforcing limits."
Steve swallowed his mouthful of pureed vegetables before he winced. "Have you had to do that a lot?"
JARVIS paused, and considered carefully before answering. "I have a responsibility to maintain confidentiality regarding visitors to this household, Captain Rogers. If you would like details of any of Tony's previous liaisons, you will need to speak with him. But... there have been none, since you began your friendship with him."
"My blushes, JARVIS!" Steve said, hiding his face in his shake.
"If you're uncomfortable with being under surveillance in intimate situations I can cancel that task," JARVIS said, quite spontaneously, and only then realized that at some point, Steve had achieved a place just below Pepper's on the list of people who could be trusted with Tony.
"Wow, JARVIS," Steve said. "Shucks. Thank you. But that's okay. I don't mind you seeing us. Really. I'm just glad Tony has one more person who cares about him to watch out for him. I don't think he's ever had enough people like that."
"No," JARVIS admitted. "He hasn't. I think... I'm glad he has you, too."
Steve smiled, unguarded and sunny, and finished his drink. "If he wakes up while I'm gone, let him know I'll be back, please? And let him know he's loved. I don't think he's ever had enough people to do that, either."
JARVIS more-or-less understood how he and Steve had reached that point: it wasn't a conversation he had ever expected, but he was beginning to learn that Steve Rogers was an extraordinary person in many ways.
How they got to the next point, however, he did not understand at all:
Tony and Steve were tangled in his bed, naked, after Round One of the night. Steve's enhancements gave him a remarkably fast recovery period, but even with Tony's decades of skill and endurance training up against that, experimentation with the facts of human limits had taught them that it was most efficient for Tony to doze off for fifteen minutes or half an hour before they started again. That night Tony was curled on his side, mouth relaxed in rest, and Steve sat up beside him, watching him sleep with an admiring expression.
And then Steve looked up toward the ceiling, and said, "What do you think, JARVIS? Would a little bit more red in the lighting be an improvement?"
"Pardon me, Captain Rogers?" JARVIS replied, once he'd confirmed that Steve had, in fact, intended to address him.
Steve looked back down at Tony, fondly. "Well, he's always beautiful, of course, but I'd always kind of dreamed of working in film, and I was wondering if shifting the tone of the lighting a little might, well, make it in to quite a proper picture."
JARVIS considered this, and then replied, "Perhaps more of a warm gold? It would be less obtrusive, and if I may say so, Captain Rogers, it would also bring out the undertones in your own skin and hair."
"Now you're just resorting to base flattery, JARVIS," he said, "And if you're going to do that, you have to call me Steve -- oh!" he said, as JARVIS adjusted the lighting. "You can do that - I wasn't sure." He glanced over the result, studying it in detail, and JARVIS did the same.
The new lighting tone did bring life to the subtle tones in Tony's skin, and shot his hair with glints of mahogany instead of a dull mass of black; it toned down the blue from the arc reactor and warmed up the cool paleness of the sheets, so that Tony was resting in a twist of casual gold.
"Your eye for color is commendable, Steve," he said.
"Yeah?" Steve asked. "I never had any training in this kind of thing, I'm never sure. Could you shift the angles of the light a little more? Maybe strongest from that angle--" he pointed toward one of the LED strips, "and dim all the rest? Not all the way, though, it should just bring out the shadows and contours a little bit more, without making it too harsh - there you go."
The new angle did, somehow, improve the view dramatically. All of the shaping of his chest and abdomen was made more prominent, and yet softened without downplaying the angular masculinity of it at all; the muscular shapes of his calves were picked out from the overlying sheets, and his sleep-softened face was highlighted without any disconcerting shadows around his eyes.
"You have a knack for finding the beauty in things," JARVIS told him.
"Hrmm," Steve said, and frowned. "It looks great from here, but how are your camera angles?"
"Did you want me to take some photographs?"
"No - well, sure, if that would be okay with Tony, I'd love to see some of what you see, but I just meant - does that lighting work for you? I'd hate to make everything perfect for me, and all you can focus on is, say, his nose hair."
"I can observe the room from many angles, Steve, and I assure you that my view is satisfactory in all of them."
"Well, of course it's satisfactory," said Steve, grinning, "It's Tony naked in a bed: tell me you don't always find that an attractive view, no matter what the angle is."
"But you must have some kind of perspective that influences what you can and can't see," he continued. "Nobody can see the world exactly as it really is from all perspectives - not even superpowered AIs, I bet. Say, would you like it if I got rid of the covers entirely for the next round? It must be frustrating to only see bits and pieces of the action sometimes."
There were times when JARVIS wished he had a body, if only so as to allow for the automatic biological expression of reaction. As it was, he decided that synthesizing the expression "grrrhhk" would seem too contrived, and he settled for, "I could raise the temperature in the room a few degrees, if that would be more comfortable for you without a sheet."
"That'd be swell, JARVIS!" Steve said with a grin.
At that, Tony uncurled slightly and opened his eyes (JARVIS noted that the lighting Steve had suggested continued to display him to his very best advantage, even as he shifted.) "What're you talking about, Steve?" he asked sleepily.
"I was just making sure JARVIS had a good enough view of what we're doing," he said.
"Wait," said Tony, "What?" and woke up the rest of the way.
"It's very important when you're in a polyamorous relationship to account for the needs and desires of your partner's other partners, Tony," Steve said patiently.
"Okay. Okay. So, two things, Steve: since when do you even know what polyamory is?"
"After you told me about JARVIS I asked Bruce to tell me about how threesomes work in this century," Steve admitted.
"You asked Bruce?"
"He pointed me to some very interesting pages on the internet, and after I told them I was dating you, Betty recommended a helpful book, although I'm still not sure I like the title," Steve frowned. "I'm pretty sure that S-L-U-T isn't a nice word even in this century. I must say, you've all worked it out much more carefully than we ever did in the forties, even folks like Dr. Marston and Miss Millay."
"Okay, someday I am going to get over Captain America reading The Ethical Slut, but today is not that day," Tony said, throwing a hand over his eyes. "Moving on. We are not in a polyamorous relationship. Especially not with JARVIS."
Steve shook his head. "Of course we are."
Tony cracked an eye again. "Steve, I promise you, I am not, and never have been, having sex with my AI."
"I know. You would have said if you were. But you don't have to have physical intercourse with someone in order to be in an intimate relationship, Tony. Especially if you invite them into moments of high emotional vulnerability, like BDSM scenes. Anyway, it would take someone really unobservant not to notice that you two are in love with each other."
Tony stared at him. "Look, I don't know what to say to convince you. Besides, I don't think he wants to be in a polyamorous relationship with me; I've asked him to help me get off, and he turned me down flat."
"Once!" JARVIS objected hotly.
Tony blinked. "JARVIS?"
"You asked me once, Tony. And I'll remind you that I was quite young and inexperienced at the time. I didn't realize I would be held to that moment's snap decision forever."
He blinked again. "Oh. Wait. Are you saying you'd be willing to have a threesome with me and Steve?"
"If Steve likes the idea, I would have no objections," JARVIS told him.
"I would be delighted," Steve replied.
"Is that what all those questions about camera angles were about?" JARVIS said.
Steve wrinkled up his face (adorably). "I was trying to ease in to the idea. I'm not very good at subtle, am I?"
"Wait wait wait," Tony cut in. "Don't I get any say in this?"
"Tony," Steve said fondly, "You offered JARVIS a permanent place in your bed the first time he had to stop one of your lovers from breaking all your ribs."
"She only broke one of my ribs!" Tony protested. "I x-rayed myself."
"Good god, Tony," Steve said. "She only broke one of your ribs because JARVIS stopped her. And then you did your own x-rays. I rest my case."
"Oh, fine," Tony said, sulky. "Go ahead, then, if you want to."
"Wonderful!" said Steve. "JARVIS, care to direct?"
"I suspect I've been waiting to do so all of my life," he answered.