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The Reconciliation

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It was snowing.

Steve leaned back in his chair and stared out the window. It was coming down heavily, thick clumps of snow that were already beginning to stick to the sides of the buildings. From the looks of things, it had been coming down for a while while Steve had been hold up in the library reading.

He put his book down and stood to look out over the city. New York at night was always beautiful, but at nearly midnight on Christmas Eve it was gorgeous, lit by bright lights and decked out in garlands. The snow made everything seem softer and brighter and Steve felt the usual surge of fondness for the city where he'd been born.

I hope it snows, Tony's voice said in his head. His lover's voice was soft and dreamy, he'd been drifting off to sleep a few days ago, wrapped up in Steve's arms, when he'd spoken. It hasn't snowed on Christmas in years. There's nothing as romantic as a white Christmas.

Steve had kissed his nose, his cheeks, teased him about mistletoe until they both fell asleep. And then the next day they'd fought more bitterly than they had in years and they hadn't spoken, or even been in the same room since.

It wasn't how Steve wanted to spend Christmas. It wasn't how he wanted to spend any day of the year, angry at the person he loved most, hiding out in the library during the day so they wouldn't have to ignore each other in the common areas. He had slept in his own room the last three nights, more time than he'd spent there in the last six months put together, lying awake half the night in a bed than felt empty and cold no matter how high he turned up the thermostat.

He hadn't wanted to sleep alone in that room ever again. And that was what had started the fight.

Steve pressed his palm against the glass, spread his fingers out, watching the glass fog slightly around his skin. He'd thought he'd been prepared for Tony's rejection, but apparently he had severely underestimated his own reaction.

Well, that wasn't Tony's fault. Steve sighed and leaned forward to press his forehead to the glass. It wasn't Tony's fault if he wasn't ready. It was disappointing, yes. And they needed to talk about it – if Tony didn't see their relationship going anywhere... well.

Steve watched the cars drive through the snow-blown streets. He had a choice to make. Did he want a relationship on his terms, or was he willing to wait until Tony was ready?

And suddenly the prospect of spending tonight the way he'd spent the last three was too much.

It was less than fifteen minutes to midnight on Christmas Eve, but Steve would be damned if he spent Christmas Day angry at the man he loved.

He went straight to Tony's room. To the room Steve had started to think of as theirs, the room where they had spent every night together for the last six months, save the last three. Steve could see the light from under the door and when he turned the knob it moved easily in his hand.

Tony was sitting on the edge of the bed, his hair still wet from the shower. He looked up in surprise when Steve burst into the room, but before he can so much as open his mouth Steve blurts out, “It's snowing.”

Tony blinked at him.

“You said – the other night. You wanted a white Christmas.” Steve could feel a flush stealing across his cheeks. “I wanted you to know. You got your wish.” He stepped into the room and closed the door behind him. “I- I want to spend Christmas with you. I want us to be okay. That's my wish.”

“You want us to be okay,” Tony said slowly. He was still holding a towel in his hands and he tossed it across the room into the bathroom.

“I do. I know I was impatient the other night. I took your hesitation as a rejection and got defensive. I'm sorry.” Steve had coasted on righteous indignation for three nights, but now all he felt was tired and a little ashamed. “I had months to think about us moving in together, but we never really talked about it. I had no right to dump such a big decision on you and then get mad when all you wanted was time to think about it. I'm sorry.”

“I should have thought about it. We've been together almost a year. I should have been thinking about it.” Tony sighed and ran his hand through his hair, leaving it standing up on end. “So I'm sorry too, I guess. I get complacent sometimes, when things are good. Too good,” he said ruefully, offering Steve a small smile. “I get afraid to look at it too closely, in case it all falls apart when I start asking for more.”

“You can ask me for anything,” Steve said fiercely, relief making his legs feel rubbery. “Anything. I'll get it for you, Tony. Including time.”

“Just a little time,” Tony said. “Give it till after Christmas? We can sit down and talk about it and fight if we need to. I just need to wrap my head around it. Shake out all my gut-instinct insecurities. Figure out how to keep from driving you away when you're trapped in close quarters with me every day.”

Steve crossed the room in a few long strides and knelt on the floor before Tony. “Okay, we'll wait to talk about it another day. But Tony, has it occurred to you that we've spent every night together for six months? That most of my things are already here? That we both call it 'our room' and 'our bed'?” He took one of Tony's hands in both of his. “You don't have to say anything. Just know that I've been in close quarters with you for a while now and I've never once felt trapped or anything less than damned lucky to be part of your life and to have you in mine.”

Tony stared at him, obviously turning Steve's words over in his mind. “Six months,” he echoed in a quiet voice. “Oh, Steve. I really am sorry.”

Steve leaned forward to kiss him, soft and chaste. “Just tell me we're okay.”

“We're good. We're amazing.” Tony leaned forward to wrap his arms around Steve. “Six months. God. I love you. I'm sorry. Spend Christmas with me. Stay with me.”

Steve slid his hands beneath Tony's robe and and pulled him tight against Steve's chest as he stood. “I'm not going anywhere.” He kissed Tony again, a little harder, a little longer, let it turn into something deep. He licked Tony's mouth and he felt a bone deep shudder of desire when Tony's lips parted and let him inside.

“I want to make love to you,” Steve said softly. “I want to lie with you in our bed. I want to taste you. I want to forget what it feels like to sleep alone. You're worth waiting for, Tony. Let me show you.”

Tony shuddered against him, his hands gripping Steve's hips tight enough to leave bruises that would last a few minutes before fading away. “Our bed,” he said in a quiet voice. “Yes. Steve.”

He laid Tony out in the center of the sheets, his skin still damp from the shower. He was half-hard already and it only took a few moments for him to rise to full arousal when Steve bent down to take him in his mouth. Steve wrapped his arms around Tony's waist, holding him in place while Steve worked at his pleasure. Steve could have stayed like that forever, with Tony's cock hot and heavy between his lips, Tony's pulse beating rapidly against his tongue, bringing him to the peak before easing him back over and over again. But Tony's hands were clawing at the sheets and he was chanting the same words over and over again – Please Steve, please, touch you, I want – please, let me touch you and tonight was not a night to deny Tony anything, not when it was what Steve wanted as well.

He slid inside Tony's body like he belonged there and Tony's legs wrapped around his waist, holding him close, keeping him where Tony wanted him. Tony's hands were everywhere, cupping his face one moment, running through his hair the next, clutching at his back after that. They kissed as if they couldn't stop, Tony licking the taste of himself out of Steve's mouth. And as Steve's thrusts got harder and faster he swallowed every gasp and pant of breath that Tony let out, drank down every sound Tony made.

When Tony came, Steve just held him closer, took him harder while Tony shook and shuddered and whimpered against Steve's mouth, wet stripes of heat spattering against Steve's chest and belly.

He waited until Tony went limp, his legs sliding away, his arms cupping the sides of Steve's face instead of digging into his back. He kissed Tony's mouth and he loved the way Tony tried to make each kiss deeper even as he panted for breath. He slowed his thrusts, dragging each one out as much as he could, dragging out of Tony with a slick, wet sound before pushing back in hard enough to make Tony's body rock in his arms. Tony's chest heaved against his as he stroked his fingers over Steve's cheeks and whispered soft words into Steve's mouth. Words Steve never tired of hearing, words like love and need and always. His body clenched around Steve's cock on each thrust and Steve could feel heat pooling low in his belly, the thick heat that meant he was nearly done.

“I love you,” he said. He'd said it a thousand times before, but something felt different tonight, something in him needed to say it more than he needed the release of climax. “I love you.” He pressed the words into Tony's mouth, breathed them into Tony's lungs. He took Tony again, one final push as deep as he could get and he breathed Tony's name as he came inside him.

It felt like much later when he finally came back to himself, still cradled between Tony's legs, bodies still joined. Tony's hands were stroking his back and Tony's voice was murmuring soft things against Steve's ear. He could feet Tony's heartbeat echo against his chest and the cold empty silence of the last three nights was pushed away.

He lifted his head to kiss Tony again, long and deep, all tongue and teeth and breathless need before he shifted himself away, bodies parting with a wet sound that might have been embarrassing if Steve had any energy left in him to care about that at all. He settled on his side and gathered Tony up in his arms, pulling him against Steve's chest so they could lie together without crushing him beneath Steve's weight. Tony went willingly, curling into Steve's arms, claiming another kiss, and then one after that.

“I love you,” Steve said again. He felt boneless and heavy, his eyes starting to drift shut. “Love you, Tony. So much. Give you anything.”

Tony's arms slid around his waist and one of his legs pushed between Steve's, tangling them together. “I know,” he said, pressing a kiss to Steve's mouth. “I know, baby. I love you, too. Always.” He tucked his head against Steve's throat, body going limp in Steve's arms.

Steve brushed his lips against Tony's forehead, felt his lover's heart beat against his chest, felt the soft warmth of Tony's genitals against his leg, every warm puff of breath against his throat. Over Tony's shoulder he could see the windows, snow starting to stick and pile against the glass. It was past midnight, and Tony was going to have more of a white Christmas than he'd hoped for.

Tomorrow they would be together. And the day after that, and the day after that. Always, Tony had said and Tony didn't lie to him. They could work out the living arrangements later. The important things had already been decided.

He held Tony close and let himself sleep.