Clint hasn't stopped laughing for twenty minutes. Tony would jump him if he weren't a foot shorter now.
"I hate you," he says instead, and Clint howls. Even Banner's sort of snickering.
"That's enough, Hawkeye," Steve barks, and even pitched slightly higher the tone is unmistakeable. Clint swallows the next set of giggles and waves a hand in vague apology.
And speaking of apologizing, Thor hasn't stopped trying to. "My brother has been always been a most relentless trickster, I am truly sorry, my friends." Tony's sick of it, honestly--it isn't Thor's fault that the god of mischief thought it would be hi-larious to turn Tony and Steve into a pair of teenagers during a fight (as much as Tony really, really wants to blame someone). And at any rate the Asgardian's beseechingly-sorrowful-puppy-dog eyes are dangerously close to starting a game of chicken with Tony's newly raging hormones.
"We know, Thor," Tony snaps, kicking the table to spin his chair away. Unfortunately that points him right at Steve, and that's just not okay at all. Hastily he kicks again and swivels until he's staring at the wall of the conference room. There. Good. Safe. "It's not your fault, just let it go."
"I don't suppose you'd know when it'll wear off?" Steve's voice is still Steve's voice, steady and trained to command. It does things to Tony. Fucking great. He'd barely been able to handle being a teenager the first time around. How he's supposed to get a grip on himself (euphemistically speaking) with all these painfully attractive people around, he has no fucking idea. He's probably going to have to get a literal grip on himself later--but oh, no, let's not think about that in a room full of people, down, boy, he thinks viciously, and tries to visualize pandas and Nick Fury and other extremely nonsexy things. Okay. Better.
"I shouldn't think more than a few days," Thor says thoughtfully. "He grows bored quickly, Loki, I could not imagine him enjoying this farce for long."
"Well, thank Odin for that." Tony's bitingly sarcastic and he is not going to apologize.
"You're not actually a child, Stark, stop acting like one," Natasha says from across the room, and Tony holds up a middle finger over the back of his chair. He can sulk if he wants to (he can leave his team behind, because he can't fight and if he can't fight, then they're no team of mine, he thinks, and oh God, he really is a teenager again).
"Tony," Steve scolds him. The I'm-Cap-and-I'm-giving-the-orders-even-if-I-look-like-I'm-in-high-school tone sends a little shiver down his spine. Steve is relentlessly attractive no matter how old he is--though Tony's sure Steve didn't actually look like this when he was younger. He's grateful; spending all his time trying to make sure skinny teenage Steve didn't crack a rib trying to breathe or something would have been a pain. Steve doesn't seem affected by this at all, actually, still giving the orders, clearly in control. Tony's bitterly envious. "Tony, please, you're not helping and we need to decide how we're going to work around this."
Tony holds up his tablet, still resolutely not looking at any of them. "What's to decide? Fury e-mailed. We're benched, Widow's in charge, Coulson's going to babysit. The end. Can I go now?" He desperately wants to be out of this room (and this awkward sexual tension, and these pants).
Steve growls that low, irritated huff that is no less sexy when it is half an octave higher. "Give me that." Two steps and his tablet is tugged out of his hand, which means Steve is standing right behind him. The back of his neck prickles. Steve lets out a short breath. "You forgot to mention he told us to report to medical ASAP."
All they're going to discover is that his hormones are a mess and through the roof, Tony can't really see the point. God, how had he ever lived with this sea of crazy substances pretending to be blood? "Did I?"
"You did." There's a clatter, presumably Steve setting down Tony's tablet, and then his chair is abruptly swiveled back around. Steve's glaring down at him, his blue eyes unchanged and his blonde hair flopping over them in a completely distractingly adorable way. Tony's stomach lurches uncomfortably. "Come on, let's go."
"Fine, whatever," his mouth says without his consent, and his traitorous arms push him upright as his bastard legs carry him out the door after Steve, down the twisting maze of hallways to the medical division. It's a long walk.
Tony mentally slaps himself as he wordlessly follows Steve. He needs to snap out of this, he is Tony Stark, he was seducing people when he was in college and actually this age. He's caught his reflection in the chrome surfaces of SHIELD HQ a few times, he's still the darkly attractive kid he remembers he was. He will not be the helpless fainting princess in a tower. He's going to be one of those gung-ho ass-kicking princesses spotting the prince riding his horse down below and deciding she wants a piece of that, and this analogy is falling apart on him but whatever. This craziness is the perfect excuse to hit on Steve, he can write it off to hormones and temporary insanity and Steve, being a gentleman, will take him at face value. It's like holding all the Get Out of Jail Free cards, he can pass "go" as many times as he wants, and this analogy is falling apart on him, too, damn it.
He hates not being able to think clearly.
"Me, too," Steve says shortly, and whoops, Tony said that one out loud. "I don't like this at all."
"Is the great captain having a hard time adjusting?" Tony asks lightly, having to jog slightly to keep up with Steve's stride. Their height difference is far more pronounced than usual, with Tony shoved back into his gangly pre-adult body and Steve displaying the height of early-maturity-perfection.
"Of course I'm having a hard time." Steve grimaces. "This isn't a body I ever had to live in, Tony."
Tony processes this. He should feel more sympathetic, he knows, and he really wants to be the good friend and let Steve lean on his shoulder a little. But his mind's going down a far dirtier slant and it's really hard to make his mind let go of an idea once it's grabbed on.
"So this is all new to you, huh?" Tony really tries to stop his voice from trying to pitch lower; he doesn't know how far off he is from cracking and this would not be the time for that. But Steve nods, and does Tony detect a faint flush in his cheeks? Oh, he does. The thought that he might be doing the same things to Steve that Steve is to him makes him suddenly bold, and Tony shifts his stride to walk slightly closer to Steve. Steve doesn't move away, and Tony feels a familiar pulse of predatory adrenaline. Like riding a bike, really. "What were you like in high school, Steve?"
"Scrawny," is the first thing out of Steve's mouth, with a bitter twist of his lips that Tony desperately wants to smooth (kiss) away. "I got beat up a lot." That's the first thing he remembers? That's not okay. That does not make Tony happy.
"I'd have watched your back," Tony says without thinking. It filters back through his ears, and he winces then, because Steve normally doesn't like people to fight his battles for him. He casts a slightly worried look up at Steve. The blonde doesn't say anything, but there's a determined blush settling on Steve's ears, high in his cheeks, under his collar. Oh. Well. Maybe he should go on, then. "Yeah," Tony says, his voice back into familiar Tony-levels of confidence. "I'd have kicked anyone's ass who touched you."
"You're not much bigger than I was," Steve says, one corner of his mouth twitching up as he glances down at Tony.
Tony grins. "Then I guess it's a good thing I've got you the way you are now, then, huh?"
Steve looks away, his blush rising a bit. "I guess so."
"I bet you'd be a jock, like this," Tony teases him. Steve laughs, shaking his head, but Tony presses it. "No, All-American, easy." They both laugh, then, Steve relaxing slightly, and Tony looks speculatively up at the ceiling, his grin turning a little wicked. "I didn't really have a normal high school experience, you know. Too young, too...whatever. Thought about it a lot, though." He flashes a grin up at Steve. "I always wanted a quarterback boyfriend to carry my books."
Steve's suddenly tense again beside him, eyes focusing forward like he's refusing to let himself look down at Tony. Shit.
Ah, hell, Tony's already committed. Fuck it, he's just gonna keep going. "Someone big, tough--but nice, you know? Meet me at my locker, carry all my science books. Make all the assholes shut up." He looks up at Steve through heavy-lidded, playful eyes, matching his pace. "Skip pep rallies and fool around under the bleachers."
Steve very nearly makes a noise. It's better than booze for liquid courage.
Tony braces himself and reaches out to catch Steve's wrist. Steve twitches but doesn't pull away, his eyes locked forward and his face turning steadily redder. "You never did that, did you, Steve? You never slipped off to mess around, just 'cause you wanted to, 'cause you were young and hot for somebody and just--y'know, needed to carpe that diem because life's too damn short not to?" He's losing the thread again, fuck, was he always this incoherent as a kid? Whatever, it's clearly working on Steve, Tony can feel his pulse pounding.
"No," Steve replies, his voice a little unsteady. "No one was really interested."
Now or never. "I am," Tony says, and Steve's hand twists in his and closes on his arm.
There's an extremely convenient cleaning closet a couple feet away, thank God and all the fucking saints. Tony's back hits the wall and Steve's hands hit the wall on either side of his shoulders and holy God Steve is kissing him. Steve's mouth is on his, awkward and not-quite-center but hot and helpless, and Tony gets a hand in that insane blonde hair and twists Steve's head just so, and that's much better. Steve moans, and Tony whines and arches up against him.
"I can't handle this," Steve groans, sounding like he's in pain when he breaks away. "Tony, this is crazy--"
"Shut up," Tony orders, trying to hold Steve's head down and kiss him again but also touch him all over at the same time, his hands don't know what to do, he's high on adrenaline. He's literally a teenager again, awkward and fumbling but sure of what he wants, and when Steve makes another helpless noise and kisses him harder Tony is already dangerously close. "God--Steve--" His head falls back against the wall and Steve follows it, kissing his jaw, his neck, the part of his collarbone he's tugged Tony's shirt down to reveal, all the while making the most obscene noises, confused and lusty and Tony's going to come in his pants, fuck, being a teenager sucks.
"Stop the nibbling, stop it," he warns him, voice pitching up dangerously, dragging Steve's head up back to his. "Just kiss me--"
Steve does, but he's cradling Tony's face like he's something breakable, and Tony does not need that, does not need Steve to be treating him nicely when this is supposed to be a hormone-fueled teenage gropefest. It's the hormones, he tells himself when a knot twists in his chest, just hormones, stop having feelings, this is Steve, not some fantasy-- Oh, shit, who's he kidding, this is a fantasy, one he's had for a long time and it's always Steve, it's been Steve for a long time, he's so screwed.
He cants his hips against Steve to drive rational thought from his mind, and it totally works, because Steve gasps and echoes Tony's motion, one arm slamming into the wall to hold them up as the other reaches around and picks Tony up and fuck, being a teenager is awesome--
"Tony, what are we doing?" Steve grinds out, words between kisses that are really just brushes of lips. Steve doesn't really know how to kiss, didn't practice the way Tony did, Tony can fix that, he wants to fix that. Right now, though, he needs to fix the way Steve's lips are doing things that aren't kissing Tony.
"Fooling around, what's it look like?" Tony manages, and he'll be embarrassed about the way he's climbing Steve like a tree when he's back in his own body and not in a closet fumbling around with his favorite wet dream. "Don't think, Steve, please don't think, we can just chalk it up to brand-new teenage hormones and never mention it again if you like, just please--"
Abruptly, horror of horrors, Steve pulls away, easily fending off Tony's needy hands and ignoring his high-pitched whimper of loss. A frown has etched itself between Steve's perfect blue eyes and he's out of breath and staring down at Tony in confusion and no, this is wrong, why is he not kissing Tony, why is he setting him down, why is he pulling back-- "Do you want that?" Steve asks, breathless, and Tony has no idea what he's talking about for a moment. "Do you want to just write this off and--and not talk about it, and--" One of his hands is still in Tony's hair absently stroking. Steve looks lost. It's not a good look on him, and Tony put it there, and Tony hates himself for that.
"Because--I don't want that," Steve says, his eyes too blue and his pupils too wide and his cheeks too flushed and it's too much for Tony to handle, too much for his fragile shell of flippancy and defensiveness to take. He breaks, Steve is breaking him open, how is this even possible, was he always this needy as a kid or is this just Steve, does he just need Steve like this, can he explain this away at all--
His words stumble out, tripping over each other, and Tony hates how honest he sounds, how vulnerable, but it's just Steve, it's okay. "No, I don't want that, I really don't, I just thought--"
Steve cuts him off with a kiss, thank God, deep and relieved, and steps close again, holding him again, touching him again. More sure now, Steve holds him up, shivering where Tony's hands skim over him, a low moan in the back of his throat as he bends down and kisses Tony again. Tony's going to send Loki a goddamn fruit basket. Steve's free hand slides under his shirt, fingers brushing along Tony's stomach and sending goosebumps erupting in their wake. Tony's wondering if he should just take the shirt off and get this going somewhere good when--
The door of the closet bangs open and Steve drops Tony with a yelp of surprise. Tony ducks, swearing, scrambling to make sure his clothes are all together, and the man in the doorway heaves a long-suffering sigh.
"They honestly don't pay me enough to do this job," Coulson mutters.
"I don't want to hear it," the agent interrupts Steve, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "Please, can we just..."
"Hormones are crazy, you were young once, Coulson," Tony says breezily, taking a brick-red Steve's hand and tugging him out of the closet past Coulson. He feels a lot better about this whole situation now.
"I'm so sorry," Steve says miserably over his shoulder, the agent falling into step behind them. "It's a little hard to--"
"I really don't want to hear it, Captain," Coulson says firmly.
"Sir, I just don't want you to think--"
"Captain Rogers. Please. Stop."
"Don't kiss and tell, Steve." Tony grins up at him, hoping his obvious enjoyment will soften Steve's mortification. Steve is a wreck in the light of the hallway, Tony's pretty sure he's not any better, and he hasn't felt this good in weeks.
Hesitantly, Steve smiles back, and after a moment, as if he's unsure of how it'll be received, squeezes Tony's hand.
Tony squeezes back. Teenage, he thinks, and laughs.