"This is going to pinch for a second."
There was a sharp hiss of breath from the other side of the room, followed by yet another string of murmured apologies.
"For heaven's sake, Bruce, it's fine! If there's the smallest chance of helping your condition, stick me with as many needles as you want."
Tony whistled. "Mm, kinky. Don't get anything nasty on my furniture, I just cleaned it." Their voices kept pulling his attention from the computer like persistent, buzzing insects, and he shifted restlessly in his chair.
"Sounds like somebody should've thought twice before renting out his precious workshop. Steve, go ahead and take your shirt off."
"Ooh, Doctor Banner, now you're just being cruel. How is a girl supposed to focus on her typing with all of that on display?" Tony waved a hand at the bench where Steve was wrestling with his t-shirt.
"Maybe you should move to one of the thousands of computers in Stark Tower that aren't in my way," Bruce said. Tony's eyes stayed glued to the screen, but he saw Bruce move over to the medical cabinet and back again. "Now shut your mouth for thirty seconds, my ears are occupied."
The room fell silent. Tony glanced up from his work, and that glance lingered much too long when he saw the examination in progress. Steve's body was simply unfair, but there was something about that body at rest, still and straight as Bruce held the stethoscope to his firm chest. Steve's head was down, staring at a spot on the floor. Waiting, patiently, for an order to stretch his arms or stick out his tongue or bark like a dog. Tony was surprised by the shudder than ran through him, and it was the surprise more than the heat that made him suck in a sharp breath.
"Problem, Tony?" Bruce spoke quietly, not dropping his hand.
"Just enjoying the view, Doc. Carry on." He gave a salacious eyebrow waggle that made Steve chuckle and Bruce roll his eyes. Tony returned his gaze to his work, but he couldn't shake the image from his mind. Cold metal on warm flesh, muscles hard and tight with controlled power, ready to strike out but choosing to sit still and let himself be examined. Frustrating or not, Tony knew a good fantasy when he hit one.
Bruce gave a low whistle. "At this rate, your heart should've worn out after a few weeks."
"That sounds bad. Should I be worried?"
"Have you experienced any odd physical symptoms after exertion? Shortness of breath, heart palpitations, dizziness?"
"Not that I can think of. I barely even get tired anymore."
"Then it'll probably keep beating like a jackhammer until somebody rips it out of your chest."
Well. That was new and different. Heat washed over Tony's body, and he must have given a visible reaction because Steve was laughing again.
"Hear that, Tony?" There was a smug tone to Steve's voice, all traces of the docile patient gone. "Having a strong heart really is a superpower. Remind me to test it after one of your evenings of debauchery."
God. Yes. Please. "Only if you want your squishy organs thoroughly dominated by cold, hard steel. I've had some pretty favorable feedback on the subject, should you ever have an itch to scratch." He stood and grabbed his project notes, giving Steve's ass a smack on the way out. Funny how the most effective red herrings were practically identical to the truth.
When he was safely in his bedroom, he asked JARVIS to make duplicates of all of Bruce's observational files.
"Would you like them placed in an existing folder, or shall I create a new one?"
"New folder. Title it...accounts, miscellaneous." It was a bad day when AI made Tony feel sheepish, but JARVIS wasn't programmed to be judgmental.
"New folder created, files duplicating. Access private."
Times like this, Tony almost loved the thing.
The more time Tony spent away from the workshop, turning the scene over and over in his mind, the less sense it made. He tried medical porn, muscle porn, alien abduction and scientific experimentation and everything that even slightly resembled the setup of that afternoon, but nothing gave him that prickling rush of heat. He was popping random boners like a high school freshman, and he didn't know why.
Then he stumbled upon a weird medical fetish subgenre, and the situation made itself painfully obvious.
"It's just so...sappy," he said as he fried eggs on the third morning. "It's serious teenage girl bullshit. 'Oh, Captain, I just love your heart, it makes me all wet because I'm scared of sex and will only put out if you agree to love me forever.' It's like getting off to Whitney Houston ballads."
"Clearly it's not, or you wouldn't have interrupted my conference to complain about it."
"Well, you answered the phone, so you clearly weren't doing anything important." He flung his toast onto a plate and grabbed the butter. "Pepper, if I ever start having an emotional crisis over my sexual preferences, please shoot me. It's not about that."
"Of course not. It's about you wanting something you can't have."
"Oh god, not this again." He threw the eggs on a plate, doused them with salt and pepper, and wandered back over to his bedroom. "Lust for the unattainable is nothing new, Pepper. It's practically my calling card. Steve's just a particularly firm, toned example of that."
He slumped onto the bed and turned the TV on again. The closed circuit feed from the exercise room was crystal clear, showing the gleam of sweat on Steve's naked torso. Tony whimpered around a mouthful of toast.
"Listen, you went from thinking he would excommunicate you the first time you brought a man home to pinching his ass every time he wears sweatpants. I don't think Steve has a problem with your twenty-first century appetites."
"I guess." Steve pulled back from the punching bag and wiped a beefy arm across his face. That amount of sweat would be disgusting on anybody else, but he was breathing hard and grimacing like he was in pain. His mouth was wide open as he dragged air into his superhuman lungs, and the thought of how those pretty red lips would look stretched around Tony's cock was chased out by the realization that in the aftermath of a workout, Steve's heart would be hammering.
Steve Rogers' heartbeat was officially hotter than blowjobs.
"Pepper, I'm gonna have to call you back."
Fuck digestion. It was time to hit the gym.
Steve was still at the punching bag when Tony came in. He paused for a nod and brief, breathless "hey" before the thud of fists hitting vinyl resumed. The rhythm of it filled the room like gunshots, getting faster and then holding steady at a nearly impossible pace before dropping off completely. Tony threw his towel on a bench with more force than necessary and stretched with his hips angled away from Steve.
Steve appeared to be finished, so he sat on the floor and watched in silence as Tony took a turn with the punching bag. His strikes were sloppy in comparison, but he kept going until he'd worked up a good sweat. His arms burned after a while, and he winced when he stretched them out.
"Feeling your age, Tony?"
"Shut up, Grandpa." Tony gave his shoulder an experimental roll. "I have transcended the human condition to kick ridiculous amounts of ass without the limitations of feeble skin and bone."
"In other words, you punch like an engineer."
They knew each other too well for the teasing to be malicious. All the same, Tony had no shortage of resentment toward those twenty-something muscles.
"You want to come here and say that again?" Maybe he was no spring chicken, but Tony Stark could hold his own in a fistfight. Maybe not a fistfight against a chemically enhanced super-soldier, but if he was being perfectly honest, losing would be its own kind of reward.
Steve stood up and cracked his knuckles. "Let's see what a feeble sack of skin and bones can do."
It did pretty well. Tony held his own, circling around Steve with well-timed jabs that even made occasional contact. Soon they were both short of breath, aiming more force behind each punch in an effort to throw the other one off.
"See," Tony panted, "Even Mr. Super Stamina wears out after a while. Keep it coming, I could go all night." He gave a lecherous grin that Steve nearly punched off his face.
"You think this is worn out?" His next punch collided with Tony's shoulder, and Tony hissed with discomfort. Steve stopped at once, a worried expression on his face as Tony rubbed the sore muscle.
"God, I didn't mean to hurt you." He reached out a hand, but dropped it before it reached Tony's shoulder. "You shouldn't be fighting if your arm is bothering you. Do you need some ice or something?"
"Aw, is the mommy bird sick of fighting? Does she want to give the baby a little cuddle and go back to reading bedtime stories?" He threw a wide punch at Steve's stomach, which he barely ducked away from. "Unfair advantage. I should get points just for staying in, if you're not going to hold back."
"This is holding back," Steve said, with a smile that did not belong on a near virgin.
Even Tony looked surprised when he tackled Steve to the floor.
They both really felt that, judging by Steve's startled grunt and the pain shooting up every part of Tony that had collided with the floor. They froze, taking a moment to gasp for breath and shift weight off their sore spots. The shifting brought Tony's rock hard erection in contact with Steve's stomach, but there wasn't any chance of hiding it in this position anyway. His only hope was to avoid blatantly moaning at the firm muscles fluttering under him. Steve let out a hoarse laugh, which just made everything worse.
"I hope this isn't a regular part of your workout. I'd hate to get a stiffy in metal sausage casing."
"Only for you, baby." He refused to meet Steve's eyes, staring instead at the floor beside his neck. The virile tendons were pronounced, and when Tony's gaze slipped over, he could see the vein throbbing in Steve's throat.
When he finally looked up at Steve, he found him staring right back. Slowly and deliberately, Steve tipped his head back without breaking eye contact.
It was all the invitation Tony needed. He attacked Steve's neck like a vampire, mouthing it desperately in an attempt to get that pulse against his tongue. It was wetter and sloppier than anything Tony had done sober, but Steve's breath hitched with every slick drag. He either had a thing for making out like a teenager or he hadn't been necked in seventy years. Fuck, maybe he was a teenager the last time.
"Oh, damn," Steve whimpered. "Right there." Tony's tongue was pressed flat to his pulse, and it throbbed so hard against his mouth that he couldn't keep from groaning. He dug his teeth in around the edge, licked hard against the salty skin, and the jerk of Steve's hips nearly vaulted Tony onto the floor.
"Jesus, don't be so stoic. Let a guy know you're enjoying it." Tony shifted his weight so he could rub his thigh against the (fucking huge, sweet Christ) bulge in Steve's pants. Steve's hands came to rest around Tony's waist, and when Tony sucked, those fingers tightened hard enough to hurt.
Tony's arms were starting to burn from the strain, and grinding against Steve's abs was unlikely to get him off before they gave out. With his mouth still attached to Steve's neck, he scooted up and dropped the weight of his chest onto Steve's.
Even with his whole body pressed against hard muscle, Tony could feel Steve's heartbeat against his shoulder. It felt impossibly big and impossibly fast, pounding so hard that Tony felt it in his stomach. He moaned like a whore into Steve's throat, the rhythm and the pressure and the knowledge that it was going crazy because of him too much to handle. He gave a rough thrust against Steve's hip and came in his shorts. Steve followed with a loud cry when Tony bit his neck.
When Steve unclamped his legs from Tony's thigh, Tony rolled off onto his back. Everything hurt. He yanked his shirt up to discover the beginnings of finger-shaped bruises on his ribs. He laughed, making pain shoot from his chest all the way up his spine.
"I am too old for this," he muttered, still grinning. "You still with us, Captain?" He turned his head to look at Steve, who was chewing his lip with more concentration than anyone should have had after sex like that.
"I hurt you." His voice was still ragged. He glanced down at Tony's bare stomach, but didn't move. "I could have hurt you a lot more. And you wouldn't have stopped me."
"Which is why I was on top, silly." He dragged himself into a seating position and ran a hand over his face. "Listen, your concern is touching, but I don't do guilt. We did what we did because it felt good. It's not about hurting or helping or anything like that. Now unless Captain America has a moral objection to orgasms, you should have zero problem with what we just did."
It came out harsher than he meant it, maybe, but Tony really didn't want to deal with guilty fussing when he was still sticky. He managed to stand and held out a hand, but Steve didn't take it.
"So that's all this is for you? Another orgasm?" He didn't seem angry, just confused, and that was somehow a million times worse.
"Hey. That orgasm was fucking unbelievable." Steve smiled a little at that, and Tony decided he was okay. "If any more problems arise, I'll be in the shower."
Steve didn't follow him into the elevator.
Tony lasted two more days. He gave Steve the space he seemed to want, exchanging words in the elevator and occasionally bringing him coffee but avoiding any mention of the incident in the gym. When he overheard Steve explaining the giant bruise on his neck as a date with an overeager fangirl, he decided to let it go and be happy Steve was still talking to him.
It wasn't enough, however, for Tony to stop thinking of Steve every time his heart rate went up. Even a one-off dry hump with Captain America should have fed his fantasies for the next five years, but he couldn't stop his mind from going in circles. He jerked off to the memory of Steve's pulse against his tongue, his heart against his chest, but nothing was good enough.
When he finally decided to open "Accounts, Misc." Tony was close to losing his mind. He picked a night with no appointments, banished everyone from his apartment, and settled in on the couch with a tablet and headphones.
The anticipation was killer. It might have been guilt over taking such an intimate part of Steve without permission, or lingering shame over how he'd handled the situation, but by the time he clicked on the folder, his own heart was banging so loud in his ears that he couldn't think straight. His fingers shook against the touch screen and it took three tries to get the first audio file open.
If he'd gotten it on the first try, the audio wouldn't have been drowned out by the pounding of someone's fist against the stairwell door.
Tony nearly screamed. He shoved the tablet under a cushion and willed his erection to go down. Only one person took the stairs in Stark Tower, and it happened to be the only person who would rather knock on a fire door than walk in on Tony's alone time.
"I should come back later," Steve muttered, blushing, as soon as he saw Tony's disheveled state.
"Nonsense. Come in and tell Papa Stark all your troubles."
"That's so unsettling I don't know where to begin." Steve followed him into the living room and perched on a small ottoman, setting a black bag on the floor. "Listen, I don't want to keep you. I've just been thinking about a few things."
"If it's about what happened the other day, don't sweat it. We can pretend it never happened." Much as he wanted this thing between them to survive for more than a day, he hated seeing Steve uncomfortable.
"No, I want to talk about it." Steve rubbed the back of his neck and stared at the floor. "What happened was a whole lot of stuff I'm not used to. I'm not used to certain desires, and I'm not used to those desires being okay. You're a great big heap of things I'm not used to, Tony Stark."
Steve took a deep breath and reached for the bag. "I sort of stole this from Bruce. He told me to rest up for a few days, so when he left it in the exam room, I knew he wouldn't be needing it back right away." His hands slid across the black leather, and Tony's insides clenched when he realized that he was making Steve Rogers nervous. "I saw you. That first day in the workshop, I saw you watching." When he finally met Tony's eyes, his gaze was much steadier than his hands. "And I thought, if I still feel scared, maybe I need a different kind of doctor."
"Oh. Oh. You think I...fuck." Steve looked nervous as a virgin at prom, but also hopeful. Tony prayed that he wasn't about to break Captain America. "Steve, is this something you want?"
"I spend so much time being poked and prodded, it doesn't bother me anymore." He coughed politely. "I, uh, would really like to make you climax again. I thought it would be easier this way."
There were so many things Tony could say to that. He decided to say none of them, and dove over the coffee table to kiss Steve's brains out.
Steve made a startled noise and reached out to keep Tony from falling onto the floor. His hands stayed firm around Tony's ribs, and his mouth was warm and insistent. He was usually soft and placid in Tony's fantasies, but the way he fought for control of Tony's mouth was pretty damn hot. The phrase punishing kisses drifted through Tony's mind from some trashy old paperback, and he groaned around Steve's tongue.
"You got," he panted, not wanting to break the kiss for more than a second, "you got it wrong. I like playing doctor as much as the next guy, but this is something else."
"Tell me." Steve's hot breath across his ear made Tony shiver. "Tell me everything."
Tony pressed his palm against Steve's chest. They stayed like that for a long moment, the strong pump of Steve's heart going, going, going until Tony lost count. He needed to be naked, needed to feel skin and sweat and the hard throb of Steve's cock against him, in him. Now.
Tony dragged himself away and stood up. Steve looked at him with such distress that Tony nearly ruffled his hair. "Cheer up, Bambi. I'm just getting the necessities."
When he returned from the bathroom, Steve had the stethoscope out and was listening to his own heart. The sight of it made Tony's stomach drop. He groaned so loudly he broke Steve's focus, but the sheepish smile he got in return was almost worth it.
"Just trying to see what the fuss is about."
Tony threw the lube and condoms on the couch and began yanking off his clothes. Steve stood up and grabbed his wrists, then tugged Tony's shirt off, running his hands deliberately across bare skin.
"So strong," he said, reverently tracing the wiry muscles of Tony's arms and chest. "Is that what you like about it? Strong muscles working hard?"
Tony kissed him again, dragging him by his belt loops to the couch before going to work on his fly. When he finally freed Steve's flushed, pulsing erection from his briefs, he nearly wept. Within seconds, he was naked in Steve's lap with a condom in hand.
"What should I do?" Steve asked, his voice shaking from Tony's touch. "Do you still want me to be the patient?"
"I want you to sit there and look pretty while I ride you like a pogo stick." He slathered Steve's dick with lube, then reached for the stethoscope. "And then you're gonna come so hard your heart explodes."
He sank slowly onto Steve's cock, waiting until he was seated full and deep before lifting the stethoscope to his chest. Steve was already wrecked, breathing like a racehorse and digging his fingers into Tony's thighs. The furious thumping that filled Tony's ears still made everything below his waist clench up, fluid leaking from his cock. Steve must have felt the clench, because his heart gave a hot little skip and sped up a bit.
This was way more fun than playing doctor.
"Oh yeah," Tony murmured as he pushed himself up and slammed back down. "You feel that, don't you? I'm gonna fuck you so hard you forget your own name."
"Do you always talk this much?"
"Only if I really like you." Steve was big, real big, and Tony felt full in ways he associated with plastic and batteries. His thrusts got shorter and faster, his hips rolling to hit the right spot, and Steve must have liked it from the way his heart went haywire.
"If you have to talk, tell me what it sounds like." Steve's hands ran up and down his back, and his lips pressed against Tony's sweaty hair. "I want to understand. Make me feel the way you do."
"It's hard," Tony panted, losing control of his voice. "It's hard and strong and steady, like the rhythm of a really good fuck. Or a really good vibrator." The beats were skipping again, and the rush of air through Steve's lungs threatened to drown them out. "I can feel it everywhere. Like when you work out and your pulse hits you so hard you feel it in your toenails, except it's not mine." When Steve reached down and started jerking him off, Tony shuddered so hard he nearly fell off Steve's lap.
"Feels like this," he said, holding the bell of the stethoscope between his fingers and laying his whole hand against Steve's heart. He pushed harder than he probably should have, and Steve made a high-pitched noise that could have been discomfort. But then Steve was crushing his lips to Tony's and his heart was thudding at a pace that frankly sounded dangerous. Tony came with a desperate whine all across Steve's stomach.
Sticky and overheated, Tony and Steve collapsed on opposite ends of the sofa. It was several minutes before Tony could open his eyes, let alone speak.
Steve watched him as he came down. Tony felt suddenly self-conscious, like Steve would look at him differently now that he knew. Which was utterly stupid, this was nowhere near the strangest thing Tony was into and Steve had had plenty of time to complain before he was buried in Tony's ass.
"Tony, when did you figure it out? That you have this fascination."
Well, that was interesting.
"I don't know. When I saw Bruce checking you out and only certain kinds of medical porn made it better."
"Oh. Because I've never heard of such a thing before. But there are a lot of things I haven't heard of, and I'm not sure if it's considered normal, now. If there are a lot of people who feel like...that."
"I hadn't heard of it either, so." Tony watched his eyes slip down to the glow of the arc reactor.
"Can I?" He sounded breathless, like he was scared Tony would laugh or turn him down. He did feel like laughing, but for a very different reason.
"Knock yourself out," he said, stretching his arms across the back of the sofa.
Steve was a big guy, and his head was no exception. It weighed on Tony's chest like a warm bowling ball. Steve's hand almost spanned Tony's rib cage, and his fingers rubbed slow circles into Tony's skin.
"This is making me really sleepy," Steve mumbled. Tony laughed and brought a hand up to play with his hair. "It's calming, mostly. If I was sick or nervous, I'm pretty sure I could sleep like this."
"Did somebody do that for you when you were a kid?"
"Nah, I'd probably have been smothered in my sleep." His fingers wandered over to Tony's arm, where they pressed into the crease of his elbow. Tony felt the thrum of his pulse there. Steve heard it speed up and chuckled.
"There was a girl. I was fifteen or so, and I knew that petting was supposed to be bad, but she was so sweet and pretty and it felt so nice. We were kissing in the back of a movie theater, and she was doing these wonderful things to my throat, when she found the spot where my pulse was beating. She pressed her tongue there, just for a second, but I could feel it." His thumb dug into the tender inside of Tony's elbow, and the pressure made Tony's pulse throb all the way up his arm. "I thought I was some kind of pervert. Who gets that hot and bothered because they can feel their pulse? I almost soiled my shorts, but I never told her why."
"So, that day in the gym." Tony's voice was husky, and he could feel his heart jump to nearly double speed. There was nothing he could do to hide it from Steve, which was hot in its own way.
"Yeah. You didn't just find a sweet spot." Steve started to squirm, shifting his swelling cock against Tony's thighs. It was amazing enough that someone shared his weird new fetish. The thought of someone getting off on having his own heart felt, listened to, pushed beyond reasonable human limits, was almost too much to believe.
"Don't worry." Tony wrapped his hand lightly around Steve's neck, then squeezed just tight enough to feel the pulse tick against his palm. "We've got all the time in the world to play around."