The first time Steve's hand lands on Tony's thigh during a meeting, Tony's lizard brain gets very interested, because hello, secret handjob, but it settles there and... stays. No teasing presses of fingertips, no coy upward slide. Tony watches Steve out of the corner of his eye, but Steve is completely focused on what Fury is saying, his blue eyes sharp and clear. Maybe he doesn't realize he's doing it, Tony reasons, and shifts carefully in his seat. Steve squeezes gently, still watching Fury, and okay, that answers that question.
It might be shyness, though Steve is hardly the blushing virgin Tony thought he would be when he first met him. Steve is quick to adapt to new situations -- that includes those of the sexual nature. Still, a handjob in public is a far cry from sex behind locked doors, and maybe he's working his way up. They've only been sleeping together for a few weeks, and there's an unspoken "no PDA at HQ" rule because of that one incident that involved Clint and Natasha in the common kitchens. There's plenty of time and room for fraternization back home.
So this is new.
Tony expects it to be a one-time thing, but after that, it's like he's hyper-tuned to the way Steve moves around him, and Steve's either just started doing it or Tony's just started noticing, but -- Steve really does gravitate. Tony moves and Steve moves with him, whether it's a full few steps or just a subtle shift of his shoulders. And the touching isn't only during meetings, though that becomes regular as the days go on. Steve doesn't try for anything more, just lets his hand rest on Tony's thigh.
Outside of meetings, Steve will touch the small of Tony's back for brief seconds, or get handsy when nudging him out of the way instead of sidestepping him or asking him to move. It gets gradually more common, but it's not until Steve shoulders up next to Tony after a mission, the line of him strong and hot against Tony's side, that Tony says something about it.
"Is this 40s foreplay?" he asks, louder than he meant to, and oh god, the whole jet goes silent. Steve nods him toward the weapons cargo, away from prying eyes and ears. The door slides shut behind Tony, and he leans back against it, eyebrows raised.
"Yeah, the whole -- " Tony waves his hands, " -- touching thing. You're always touching me."
"I am?" Steve frowns, his eyebrows crinkling together. Tony squints at him. He looks actually, genuinely confused. "Tony?"
"Uh, your hand, my thigh, not handjobs, meetings?" Tony tries, and Steve half-smiles. Tony was right, there's shyness there.
"Oh, that." He pauses, shifting his weight. "Do you want me to stop? I can stop."
A couple months ago, Tony would've said, "Yeah, stop," because Intimacy Issues and a million other defensive, deflectory details. Now he opens his mouth, closes it, then shakes his head. "No, it's." He can't think of anything to say that isn't stupid and sappy, but he's saved by Clint's voice over the speakers.
"Cap and Tony, stop making out in cargo. We've gotta make a pit stop in Chicago."
"It's okay?" Steve asks, after the crackle of the PA fades. He crowds a little closer, even as the jet dips, sending Tony's sense of balance spinning.
"Yeah," Tony murmurs, tipping his head up. "It's okay."