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“I don’t know,” Steve started hesitantly, shrugging off his jacket and looking around the suite. “Isn’t this a bit… too much?”

 

Tony grinned and wiggled his eyebrows at him. “Your boyfriend is rich, Steve,” he said. “You should take advantage of him.”

 

“Funny you should say that,” he said, coming closer. “Because I had half a mind of taking advantage of you. Money didn’t figure in it, though.”

 

Steve’s arms sneaked around his waist, hands barely brushing his hips to settle on the small of his back. Tony had noticed that Steve was a big guy, but this close he was big. In a good way. A very good way.

 

Warm lips pressed against his neck. “But won’t your boyfriend mind?” Tony said, innocently.

 

Steve’s chuckle shook against his skin and seemed to travel along his spine. “He won’t,” he replied, his voice low. “He’s a very open-minded boyfriend.”

 

Tony pushed his hands to Steve’s chest and frowned at him. “What? I’m not!” Steve arched an eyebrow at him, and Tony rolled his eyes. “Yes, I know. Joking. Just keep remember I’m not that open-minded.”

 

Steve rolled his eyes. “Of course. Next thing you know I’m going to run off with a boy half my age.”

 

“And that would make him, what, forty?”

 

For all his efforts, Tony got a slap on the back of his head.

 

“Ow.”

 

“Oh, really,” Steve let go of him and walked to the windows. Tony glared at them, things weren’t going the way he’d planned. They had started that way, sure, with Steve all up close and personal, but everybody knows that you can make out when the other participant is on the other side of the room looking at the view.

 

“Let’s take a walk,” Steve said after a few moments, turning to him with a grin so big you’d think it he’d had the best idea since ever.

 

“Are you joking?” Tony stared at him. “It’s like, very cold outside. And the streets will be packed with people.”

 

“We didn’t come to Venice so that we could lock ourselves up in a hotel room.”

 

“You’ll have to admit it’s a very nice hotel room,” Tony interjected.

 

“That it is,” Steve conceded with a nod of his head, then he bent to retrieve his coat. “Still, you have nice rooms in the Avengers Tower in New York. Or in any other penthouse you own, all over the world. Grab your jacket.”

 

“But I thought we were having an important… conversation a moment ago,” Tony said and he was only cut off for a second when Steve threw his jacket at his face. “I’d hate to leave it hanging.”

 

“Come on, jacket,” Steve said, pushing him in the direction of the private elevator. “We’re going out.”

 

“But we’ve only just arrived,” Tony protested. “And you know how I love that kind of conversation, Steve.”

 

“And you’re a brilliant conversationalist, Tony,” Steve nodded, pushing him into the elevator. “We’ll have our conversation later. We’ll converse so much your ears will be ringing by the time we’re done.”

 

Tony gave him a long look. “I’m holding you up on that.”

 

Steve rolled his eyes. “My mom used to warn against the likes of you.”

 

“Oh really?” Tony tried but couldn’t keep his grin from widening. “Brilliant billionaire armored genius industrialists?”

 

“I thought the ‘armored’ went just before ‘industrialist’. And I think you forgot ‘playboy’.”

 

“So many adjectives, I keep getting them confused,” Tony said, waving a hand at him. “Your mother was a wise woman.”

 

“That she was.”

 

A moment of silence, then, “are we there yet?”

 

Steve shoved him.


*

 

 

 

“See? I told you,” Tony said, shoving his hands into his coat pockets. He was sure there was more room, he just had to shove them deeper. “Cold.”

 

With all his struggling, the scarf he’d spent ten minutes arranging in the desired fashion came loose. Sighing, he took his hands out and started the whole process of insulating against the cold anew.

 

“It’s colder in New York,” Steve observed, and grinned at him. Smug bastard.

 

“Yes,” Tony nodded. “You see, that was why the whole plan let’s spend the New Year’s somewhere else other than New York.”

 

“We are spending it somewhere else other than New York.”

 

“What I had in mind was warmer,” Tony replied, glaring at him. “As in, tropical. Where you are required to dress much less.”

 

“So this was all a plan to see me with less clothes on,” Steve said, his face serious, but his eyes crinkling at the edges giving away the presence of a hidden smile. “You are an evil mastermind.”

 

“But alas! Captain America thwarted all my evil plans,” Tony sighed, giving up on the scarf and shoving his hands back in his pockets.

 

“But Venice is…” Steve shot him a somewhat embarrassed glance, “…romantic?”

 

“Yes, Steve. Venice is romantic,” Tony snorted. “Everybody knows that, and that’s why we’ve been walking through streets barely as large as you packed with people.” He stood on the tip of his toes, trying to see if there was even an end to the sea of people in front of them. “Seriously, could we go any slower?” he grunted. “I told you we should have turned right.”

 

“I don’t think they’re called streets,” Steve said. “It’s calle. And it’s not like we’re in a hurry.”

 

“Yes, calle. Whatever,” he muttered, then stumbled when a tiny girl kamikaze-attacked the back his legs. “Great.”

 

The mother was there in a second. She grabbed the little girl’s arm and proceeded to apologize to Tony in heavily-accented English and scolded her daughter simultaneously. She managed to be polite and stern at the same time, which was a skill that possibly only mothers possessed. He was convinced that with pregnancy, some sort of collective memory was triggered in the minds of women all over the world.

 

He was so intent at staring bemusedly after the woman and her daughter that he was surprised when Steve grabbed his arm and dragged him in a sideway alley. It was dark, Steve let go of his arm and went onwards.

 

“Where are we going?” Tony asked, following him. “I’m only asking because when I said ‘turn right’, you said the right way was forward. Now I can’t help to notice we’re not going the right way.”

 

Steve turned to look at him and grinned. Really, Captain America shouldn’t look like a crazy maniac when grinning, but he did. “We’re having a little adventure!” he exclaimed with all the glee that belonged to a eight-year old boy who had just found out about firecrackers.

 

“Steve,” Tony sighed. When had he become the responsible one in this relationship? “We’ll get lost.”

 

“Oh, come on,” Steve grabbed his wrist and pulled, making Tony stumble a few steps. Sometimes, the man forgot his strength. “What could possibly go wrong?”

 

“Don’t ever, ever say those words! Has Peter taught you nothing?”


*

 

 

 

 

“So,” Steve cleared his throat. “We’re lost.”

 

“Brilliant deduction, Cap,” Tony scowled. “If we manage to get out of here I’m so writing a letter of complaint to the members of the Super Soldier Serum Project. ‘We don’t need a map. I can find my way anywhere!’ Sure you can. Genius tactician, my ass.”

 

“It’s not that bad,” Steve said, encircling his shoulders with an arm. A warm arm.

 

He could feel the heat of his body even through all the layers of clothing. Steve Rogers, American national hero, superhero and human furnace. So maybe the Super Soldier Serum wasn’t that bad. Now, if only they were somewhere where all that body heat could be taken advantage of more comfortably… Like a bed. They had a perfectly good and ridiculously huge bed in the suite at the Hilton, but no, they were out in the cold.

 

And all this because Venice was romantic.

 

Tony’s scowl deepened.

 

“Well, look on the bright side,” Steve patted him once on the shoulder and then let his arm fall back at his side. “At least it’s not packed with people.”

 

‘Not packed’ was an understatement. There was no one around, not even a dog or a cat. Noises of people came from far away, but around them it was all dark and silent, deserted.

 

“We’re going to starve to death and our bodies won’t be found until a week later,” Tony muttered. “If the rats leave anything to find.”

 

Steve stared at him for a long time, his eyes unreadable.

 

“What?” Tony asked, finally.

 

“You really want to go back?” Steve asked, lowly. He was staring intently at the well in the small courtyard as if it held all the answers in the world.

 

Tony took a deep breath. “No, Steve. It’s alright,” he said. “It’s the first time you’ve been to Venice, right? I don’t really want to go back, it’s just…”

 

“What?”

 

He sighed. “We have so few occasions to do anything… normal,” he explained. “Like a normal couple, I mean. When in we’re in New York there’s always the next super villain attack, the next business meeting, or the next time when the Fantastic Four are tied up and it’s up to us preventing whatever from disrupting the space-time continuum as we know it.”

 

“We’re taking a vacation in Venice,” Steve observed. “As a couple. That’s normal.”

 

“Yeah, we’re doing the tourist thing,” Tony agreed. “But I was thinking more along the lines of the two of us, lazing the day away.”

 

“We can do that at home.”

 

“No, we can’t,” Tony frowned. “Weren’t you listening?”

 

“It’s not like super villains are attacking non-stop,” Steve observed. “We’ve… lazed the day away in your suite a couple of times.”

 

“Yeah, a couple of times in two years,” Tony rolled his eyes. “And anyway, that doesn’t count, because there’s always somebody around that will interrupt us in the salient point of our… conversation.”

 

“There’s always going to be somebody around, Tony,” Steve said, and when he saw that Tony was about to say something he hastened to add, “even if you’re on a tropical island, Tony.”

 

“Not if I bought the island.”

 

“You don’t have enough-” Steve frowned. “Could you actually buy an island?”

 

Tony shrugged. “Depends what’s left on the market,” he said. “Although-”

 

“It’s not relevant!” Steve interrupted him. “I won’t let you buy a tropical island like you might buy a… cottage. It’s not right.”

 

Tony pouted and huddled deeper in his clothes.

 

“Cold?” Steve asked, unnecessarily and stepped closer to him, circling his shoulders with his arms. Human furnace, indeed. “Better?”

 

“Bearable.” Steve snorted and took a step back. “Hey, I didn’t say-” Big, gloved fingers opened his coat. “Hey! Cold! Cold!” Warm, warm, warm arms sneaked inside and hugged him around his waist.

 

“Better?” Steve asked, this time with a grin. Smug bastard.

 

Tony frowned and returned the embrace. “Shut up,” he muttered. “Where were we?” he asked a moment later, frowning.

 

“I think we came dangerously close to talk about feelings,” Steve replied totally serious, his fingers slowly trailing up his sides.

 

Tony snorted and rolled his eyes. “Thank god you spared us by disguising foreplay as a way to get me warm, then.”

 

“Well,” said Steve, stepping even closer if that was possible and moving down to kiss the small part of his neck that wasn’t covered by the scarf. “I was hoping to get you hot, actually.”

 

Tony thumped his head on the closest available surface, which turned out to be Steve’s shoulder. He groaned. “Please, please, leave the stupid jokes to Peter from now on. And do not pout, you’re Captain America.”

 

“Too bad you’re not ticklish,” Steve sighed, and totally pouted anyway.

 

“You’ll have to exact your vengeance upon me some other way,” Tony solemnly stated. “I actually have a few options in mind. If you get us unlost, that is.”

 

“It’s actually impossible to get lost in Venice, you know,” Steve told him.

 

“And yet, we managed it,” Tony snorted. “You’re truly amazing, Cap.”

 

“That’s Peter,” Steve deadpanned, and when Tony looked up at him uncomprehendingly he clarified. “Amazing. That’s Peter, the Amazing Spider-Man.”

 

“Whatever,” he muttered. “The peak of human capabilities did the impossible! He got lost in- Hey, what do you mean, it’s impossible to get lost in Venice? Everyone gets lost in Venice.”

 

“Well, not really,” Steve explained. “You may temporarily not know where you exactly are, but if you walk around you’re bound to find your way again. It’s such a small place, and it’s surrounded by water.”

 

“Not knowing where you are is the definition of being lost, Steve,” Tony commented, then his eyes narrowed in suspicion. “You are making jokes, aren’t you?”

 

“Actually, I wasn’t,” Steve said, taking a step back and closing Tony’s coat again. He straightened his scarf, too. “Come on, I’ll try to get us unlo-” he trailed off when he noticed Tony’s expression. “What is it?”

 

Tony wasn’t sure what his face was like at the moment, but he was most certainly sure that his features couldn’t manage to express to their full extent the horror and the grossness of the scene his eyes were now witness to.

 

He just pointed and Steve turned to follow his finger.

 

Now, living in New York prepared you for rats. It even prepared you for big rats.

 

But nothing could ever prepare you for the gigantic beast that was now devouring something red and bloody that had been an animal once. Possibly a pigeon. Or a cat. A rat of that size could probably eat cats and small dogs.

 

“I think it’s time to go.”


*

 

 

 

 

“There!” Steve exclaimed, spreading his arms as if to encompass the whole square. “St. Mark’s Square!”

 

Tony rolled his eyes. “Yeah, yeah,” he muttered. “Got your point. No one really gets lost in Venice.”

 

Steve took out something from his pocket, and started to look it over intently. After a couple of seconds, Tony realized with horror that it actually was one of those disposable cameras and it took him a few more seconds to realize that Steve intended to use a disposable camera to take photos. Photos that would not be ready until the film hadn’t been developed.

 

Without a word, Tony took the camera out of Steve’s hands and tossed it in the nearest trash bin.

 

“Hey!” Steve exclaimed. “I paid for that!”

 

“How very Eighties for you, Cap,” he rolled his eyes.

 

“You know, popular culture references work better for people who were actually there for the culture,” Steve said, looking at the trash bin as if he was seriously considering looking for that piece of antiquity.

 

“Oh, come on, Steve,” he elbowed him gently in the side. “I’m Tony Stark, my cell phones don’t last more than a couple of months in the name of progress.”

 

“Or in the name of the weekly attempt at kidnapping by super villain, disgruntled employee or competition,” Steve added. “Or all of the above, as last month showed us.”

 

“Let’s not even start about last month,” Tony snorted. “Anyway, my point was that I can’t be seen around you if you carry a relic like that.”

 

“The subject is important, not the medium through which it’s transmitted,” Steve said. “Tony Vaccaro took his photos with an Argus C3 and developed them in a soldier’s helmet.”

 

Tony blinked. “Tony Vaccaro? You met the Tony Vaccaro?” he exclaimed.

 

“I met him in France.”

 

Of course he had. If you listened to Steve, France during World War II was just like Grand Central Terminal at rush hour. Or maybe it was just Steve’s natural magnetism acting as a catalyst.

 

Yeah, right. As if.

 

“You know, Tony, you seem to know a whole lot more about World War II than most people your age,” Steve observed, genuinely surprised.

 

“Well, Tony Vaccaro is Tony Vaccaro. Everyone knows who he is,” he replied, shrugging. “And well, I’m interested in World War II, because I’ve always been a fan of… You know…” he trailed off.

 

“A fan of…?”

 

“Captain America,” he added a moment later, muttering.

 

Steve’s eyebrows climbed up almost to his hairline. “Have you now?” he said, in wonder.

 

To his dismay, Tony could feel his whole face reddening. “Yes! Yes, I was. I am. Whatever,” he muttered, trying to ignore Steve’s amused smile. “Alright?”

 

Steve raised his hands in a non-threatening gesture. “Alright, alright,” he said, still smiling.

 

“If you want to take photos,” Tony started, eager for a change of topic in the conversation, “use this.”

 

He presented Steve with the latest in regards of Stark International digital cameras. Of course, this model had… special features he’d personally made, but it wasn’t like he didn’t know what he was doing.

 

Steve stared at it, wholly unconvinced.

 

“What? What’s wrong with it?” Tony exclaimed. “It’s tiny, it can take hundreds of photos with the highest quality, it has tons of nifty settings. It’s sleek. It’s sexy. It’s perfect!”

 

“’Nifty settings’?” Steve repeated with a frown. “I seriously hope you’re in no way involved in the process of advertising any or your products.”

 

“No,” he replied, “that would be what the advertising people are for, Steve.”

 

“Also, it’s not sexy,” Steve stated. “It’s a camera.”

 

“Whatever,” he mumbled. “Just snap some pictures.”

 

Annoyingly enough, Steve proceeded to stop people every five minutes to ask them if they could please take a photo of ‘me and my (boy)friend in front of the Campanile/Basilica/Grand Canal/Doge’s Palace/whatever, thank you’.

 

“What’s with the long face?” Steve asked, bumping their shoulders together. “You have smiles for every reporter, but when it’s me you sulk.”

 

“I don’t like people taking photos of me,” he explained.

 

“You wouldn’t tell by looking at the covers of all those magazines.”

 

“Exactly,” he shrugged. “That’s my public image. It has nothing to do with me.”

 

“I know that, Tony,” Steve replied, stopping another person. This time it was a girl who smiled so beatifically at him that she completely missed Tony’s glare. “But I also know that I want a photo of us together without you looking like you’ve been condemned to three months of KP duty.”

 

“You know that photos will steal your soul, right?” Tony muttered, gaining a shove from Steve, but he raised his eyes and smiled at the camera anyway.

 

“There, was that so hard?” Steve asked, after he’d retrieved the camera. Which was very sexy, by the way.

 

He rolled his eyes. “No.”

 

“See? I told you,” Steve said, completely ignoring the sarcasm that was dripping from Tony’s single syllable. “So, they’re doing the countdown, here,” he said, taking in the entirety of St. Mark’s Square.

 

Tony had to admit that it was quite impressive. Very few things had managed to recapture the perfect harmony and balance that distinguished it. Nor the beauty.

 

“Sure,” he replied. “In about four hours.”

 

“What about dinner, then?”

 

“I can do dinner,” Tony said, then grinned wickedly. “I know just the place.”


*

 

 

 

 

When you were Tony Stark, dinner reservations were things that happened to other people. Even when you showed up at the Hotel Danieli asking for a table like, right now.

 

Steve’s eyes almost bulged out of his head when he saw the hotel lobby. “Tony,” he started, in that voice people used to address crazy maniacs with chainsaws, “isn’t this… expensive?”

 

Tony made a mental note of not showing him the check at any cost.


*

 

 

 

 

Two hours later they were out.

 

“I get it, Tony,” Steve mumbled. “You wanted to get back at me for the photo thing.”

 

“I don’t know, Steve,” Tony grinned at him, “I’m pretty sure buying one’s boyfriend dinner at the restaurant of a five star luxury hotel doesn’t fit in the revenge category.”

 

“It was expensive and unnecessary,” Steve went on.

 

It had certainly been expensive. Steve had probably given him bruises when they’d wrestled for the check under the waiter’s bemused eyes. Tony had finally prevailed in his resolve not to show Steve how much they had to pay, though. Not really because he had won a wrestling match, albeit a little one, against Captain America – that would be on a cold day in hell – but because Steve had been assaulted by good manners.

 

“We’re on vacation,” Tony declared, with the tone of voice one intended to put an end to an argument with, “I will spend my money on you, if I want to. Anyway, I don’t see you protesting whenever I take out my wallet to found the Avengers.”

 

Steve sighed theatrically but didn’t say anything else.

 

“What now?” Tony asked, when they were back to St. Mark’s Square.

 

It was really dark now, and even though the square was lit, it was nothing like the light pollution you got in New York. New York was daylight in comparison.

 

People had already started to gather around the small stage set on the far end of the square opposite the Basilica, where a woman with a very annoying voice was screaming something in Italian. Tony knew a little Italian, but so far away he couldn’t make out much of what she was saying.

 

Also, her voice was very annoying.

 

“Now, we wait,” Steve said, smiling placidly.

 

“What?” he exclaimed. “Midnight is a lifetime away!”

 

On a big LCD behind the stage, large – and quite frankly idiotic – messages like ‘LOVE’ and ‘KISSES’ rolled around in brightly colored letters.

 

Tony loved technology, but even he had to admit that it clashed horribly in this context.

 

“It’s just over one hour and a half,” Steve told him quite seriously. “I’ll take some photos.”

 

Wasn’t Peter the photo reporter in the group?

 

Great,” he mumbled. “Unfreeze me when it’s ten to midnight.”


*

 

 

 

 

Despite Tony’s predictions, he didn’t freeze.

 

At ten to midnight, though, it started to snow.


*

 

 

 

 

“What’s the count?” Steve asked, standing on tiptoes and trying to see what the LCD with the countdown was saying. “Can’t see a thing.”

 

They were near the Basilica and with all the crowd it was hard to see anything at all, much less the LCD.

 

“When it comes to ten seconds you will hear,” Tony reassured him.

 

And soon enough the whole square started counting as one.

 

He felt Steve’s arm sneaking around his waist, his right hand closing against his hips and Tony was tugged against Steve’s side until they were connected from shoulder to thigh. The embrace got tighter with each decreasing number.

 

Steve turned to face him and his eyes sparkled with the grin his mouth kept hidden. “One,” he said.

 

“You’re such a sap,” Tony snorted.

 

But he closed his eyes when a second later Steve bent down and kissed him.


*

 

 

“I think I may have lost my liver in there,” Tony said when he could actually breathe again. He readjusted his coat. “And a kidney, too.”

 

“It wasn’t so bad.”

 

“Said the human tank.”

 

Actually, it had been that bad.

 

Kissing at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day in Venice while it was snowing had been all very romantic and stuff, but getting out of St. Mark’s Square alive after was a whole different thing.

 

Streets – calle, calli, calles. Whatever – that had been packed only a few hours earlier, were now literally vomiting people. Seriously. It had taken him and Steve at least twenty minutes to do a yard.

 

And he and Steve weren’t exactly small, especially Steve. Still, Tony had almost been shoved flat on his face on two occasions, and the fact that the ground was now wet and slippery didn’t add much to the experience of being elbowed and kicked and generally squashed by a faceless mass of people cursing in every language known to man.

 

It reminded him of his college days, only less fun.

 

Of course, Venice being Venice, after they got past the critical point, they just had to walk aimlessly for ten minutes before finding themselves in an almost empty court.

 

Steve stopped to take in the place – they were probably lost again, anyway. “Look, snow is already-” he was saying, his back to him and that was the only reason Tony managed to carry out a sneak attack.

 

It probably would be the only one Tony would be able to achieve in the whole night, but the sight of the snowball hitting the back of Steve’s head with deadly precision was one that brought great satisfaction to Tony and its memory would warm his cold nights for many years to come.

 

Retaliation was swift and quick to come. A volley of white projectiles hitting him from his stomach up to his shoulders.

 

He twisted around, bending down to take some snow and try for a counterattack, but two more snowballs hit him in the back.

 

Tony started with his counterattack, but he missed. By about a mile.

 

After that, their snow fight mostly consisted in Tony running around and Steve pelting him with snowball after snowball. Really, shooting a man in the back. Not a very Captain America thing to do.

 

Half an hour later found Tony lying on the ground, arms and legs throw wide and chest heaving in quick gasps.

 

Steve, of course, had not even the littlest trace of sweat. Not even a drop.

 

Bastard.

 

Steve looked down at him. “I think there’s too little to make snow angels,” he said, amused.

 

“I’m exhausted,” he replied between one gasp and another. “I can’t stand. And it’s hot.”

 

Steve crouched next to him. “You complained all the day because of the cold and now you complain because it’s hot?” he said with an exaggerated sigh. “You’re never satisfied.”

 

“And you better know it,” he said with a wide grin.

 

They were silent for the time it took Tony to regain a rate of breathing leaning closer to ‘normal’ than ‘woman giving birth’.

 

“You know how Eskimos prevent sweat from cooling inside their clothes?” Tony asked after a while.

 

A moment of silence, then, “I’m not letting you strip naked and roll around in the snow, Tony.”

 

“Spoilsport.”


*

 

 

 

 

Their coats and outer layers had been discarded as soon as they’d entered the suite, but they hadn’t yet turned on the lights.

 

Tony turned towards Steve and, arms around his neck, he hugged him closely, tugging his head down, their lips so close they were sharing the same air. “I seem to remember we were in the middle of a conversation…” he said, a grin playing on his lips.

 

“That’s right,” Steve grinned back, licking his lips, and wasn’t that a sight. “Where were we?”

 

“Here, I think,” Tony replied, kissing him and then biting lightly his bottom lip.

 

“Nope,” Steve replied, as his hands grabbed two handfuls of his shirt and ripped it apart. “I think we were here,” he said, as kisses and small bites rained down Tony’s neck and now exposed collarbone.

 

Lesser people would’ve been too distracted by such a lovely assault, but Tony had an advanced degree in resisting at least partly Steve’s teasing with a clear mind. “Or maybe here?” he said, walking Steve backwards until his back hit the wall. Then it was his turn to kiss and bite the wide – deliciously wide – shoulders and the muscular neck.

 

Really, poems should be written and sung about the wideness of Steve’s shoulders.

 

Steve upped the ante, his big hands – not that any part of Steve was small, actually, as Tony had had the pleasure of discovering when they’d first started this – cupping his ass and lifting.

 

He choked back a, “oh god,” when a muscular thigh parted his legs and provided heavenly friction for his increasing excitement.

 

Steve stole his moan with a long, wet kiss. “Maybe we should start with another conversation,” he said when he broke the kiss, then licked Tony’s lips, “since we don’t seem to agree on where we left off.”

 

Tony had done this hundreds of times before Steve, but nothing could have ever prepared him for this. Like with everything else, Captain America excelled at sexy.

 

Or maybe it was just Steve Rogers, the man.

 

“Maybe,” Tony started, but cleared his throat when it came out a little croaky and started again a moment later. “Maybe it’s time we stopped with conversations altogether.”

 

“I vote yes,” Steve said, and stripped Tony’s and his shirt off in a matter of seconds.

 

“Fast and efficient, Captain,” Tony chuckled, licking along Steve’s ear and then biting his lobe. “You’re a sex commando.”

 

“And you still talk too much,” Steve growled in response.

 

“Maybe you lost your touch.”

 

“Hardly,” another growl and suddenly hands were at his belt, long fingers getting rid of everything but his underwear in a flash.

 

“Oooh,” Tony sighed, as his own fingers mimed the action on Steve’s pants. “This is getting interesting.”

 

“Shut. Up,” Steve’s growling was getting louder and rougher, but who was Tony to protest?

 

Hands seemed to be everywhere at once, stroking down his back and up the back of his thighs, nimble fingers playing along the muscles of his abdomen, pinching his nipples, but frustratingly refraining from even getting near to the subject matter, so to speak.

 

The whole conversation metaphor had been dragged too long, in Tony’s opinion. “Don’t you want to check the goods?” Tony asked with a smirk.

 

Steve rolled his eyes. “You have no class,” he mumbled and effectively prevented Tony from replying that he had tons of class, thank you very much, when one of his hands traveled down the small of his back, slipped under the elastic band of Tony’s boxers and squeezed.

 

Tony might have done a rather embarrassing sound at that point.

 

Then Steve’s hand was gone and he turned away from Tony, eliciting rather loud sounds of protest. “It’s still snowing,” he said, awed, looking towards the wide windows.

 

“Hey, hey,” Tony protested, turning Steve’s head back towards him. “Mostly naked boyfriend with a hard on, here!” he said. “Get your priorities straight.”

 

Steve didn’t seem to get it, though, and went back to look at the window. “You can see St. Mark’s Square from here,” he mumbled, as if to himself.

 

Then he looked at Tony, his eyes calculating, and then back at the window.

 

“Oh,” Tony said in a small voice, suddenly realizing. “And to think you were a proper gentleman, once.”

 

“I’m still one,” Steve said, frowning at Tony as if he’d just doubted his honesty.

 

“Kidding,” Tony sighed, rolling his eyes. “And am I wrong to assume you want to have sex in front of the window? Or was that just wishful thinking on my pa-”

 

He got cut off in the middle of the sentence, when Steve grabbed his hips and twirled them around, and this time it was Tony’s turn with his back to the wall. Window. Whatever. The glass pressed against his shoulders and upper back, the contrast between the cold surface at his back and the hot, hot furnace of Steve’s body at his front sending shivers along his spine and goose bumps along his arms.

 

Tony gasped. “I’ll take that as a yes.”

 

“You’re still talking,” Steve mumbled, with wonder in his voice.

 

Tony’s wrists were grasped and trapped in steel vises above his head. He twisted and squirmed around when Steve started sucking earnestly at his neck. “The Geneva Conventions frowns upon every form of torture, you know,” he said, but the last syllable came out as a breathy moan when Steve moved to his nipples.

 

“God, Steve,” he gasped. “I’m actually planning to have sex before tomorrow.”

 

“That’s the problem with the twenty-first century,” Steve mumbled.

 

Tony rolled his eyes. Not the ‘in my time’ tirade. Not now.

 

“It’s all fast, and ‘we want everything and we want it now’,” he continued, transferring the grip he had on Tony’s wrists to one hand, while the other travelled down his side. “Good things come to those who wait.”

 

Tony rolled his eyes. “Waiting is overrated,” he snorted, then thrust his hips forward. Sadly, he only met empty air. He fell back against the window with a frustrated sigh. “I vote for screwing you as soon as possible, like right now.”

 

Steve’s hand traced circles just above the elastic of his boxers, but didn’t seem to want to move down sooner. Steve licked a long strip of skin, starting from his shoulder and ending up just below his ear, and then he blew softly on it.

 

And to think that Tony’s first impression of him had been a restrained and repressed man. Hot, sure, but also restrained and repressed. Maybe it had been the whole US Army soldier from the Forties thing.

 

Boy, if he’d only known they’d have been doing this thirty minutes after Steve had been thawed out.

 

“I think I’ll be the one doing all the screwing tonight,” Steve said, and yes, his fingers were creeping closer.

 

“Oh really?” he swallowed, but he managed to keep his smirk.

 

He had no preferences, really, as long as there was sex in his future. And the idea of being trapped between a window and Steve behind him and around him, in him, didn’t sound half bad.

 

“Yes, really. The window was my idea.”

 

Tony blinked. “…I hope you realize just how childish that sounded.”

 

But that hand finally, finally slipped inside his boxers and closed around him and every half-hearted protest Tony might have had died on his lips. Suddenly he was on board with the project. Like, all the way.

 

He gasped and then whimpered, much to his embarrassment, but he spread his legs as wide as he could to grant Steve all the access he wanted. His wrists were released and Tony’s hands went to Steve’s shoulders, anchoring him, keeping him standing.

 

Steve’s other hand slipped his boxers past mid-thigh, and he made a protesting sound against his mouth. Without breaking the kiss, Tony lifted his left leg and down went his boxers, and up around Steve’s waist went his leg, tugging him closer.

 

Steve’s pants were rough against the sensitive skin of his inner thigh, and the hardness that sidled up against his was still trapped inside Steve’s briefs. Tony mumbled a protest in the kiss and worked his left hand down Steve’s chest to correct that oversight, but he kind of got lost along the way to explore all those hard muscles and to pinch the small nipples.

 

Men’s chest – and nipples – weren’t as sensitive as women’s breasts, Tony had found out at the first occasion he’d had of comparing the two, a long time ago. But some men were more sensitive than others and, really, during sex? Even elbows could become erogenous zones.

 

He broke the kiss and bent his head to show how much he really appreciated that Steve was without the shadow of a doubt a very manly male of the species. He was rewarded by a loud groan.

 

Abruptly, a hand grabbed his hair and lifted his head roughly, but not too rough. “Enough,” Steve growled, making Tony squirm unconsciously. A commanding Steve he could appreciate. He really could. “Turn around.”

 

He did as he was told, leaning on the glass with his hands next to his head, carefully spreading his fingers as if to divide the pressure equally among the digits. A warm and solid chest pressed against his back, and then they were connected down to their hips, the rough material of Steve’s pant and the zipper pressing against the tender flesh of the back of his thighs, not a molecule of air between their bodies.

 

Steve worked a hand between the two of them and freed himself, shoving his underwear and his pants a little lower on his legs and Tony sighed when he brushed against his entranced, hard and wet.

 

“We need-” he groaned when Steve kissed the back of his neck. “You have to-”

 

“I have it right here,” Steve told him, and soon enough fingers wet and slick with lube brushed against him. They circled and then one slipped inside almost as an afterthought.

 

Tony bit his lips and had to take a few steadying breaths before he could speak properly. “You- You had it in your pocket,” he gasped. “All this time.”

 

Another finger joined the first.

 

Maybe Tony could buy this suite and then they would never, ever need to leave, they could do this forever. They could live on room service.

 

“Yes,” Steve replied, his voice a whisper right next to his ear.

 

“Just… how long have you been planning t-this?” He took a deep breath, as the fingers left him and then entered him again, three this time, and even more slicker.

 

“I’m dating you, Tony,” Steve replied, and it wasn’t fair that in his words there was no stuttering, no trace of the raw neediness that Tony’s voice had acquired in the last few minutes. “I find that being prepared for anything is the best course of action.”

 

He frowned. “…Are you calling me a skank?”

 

“No, Tony,” Steve bit his neck gently, and then sucked on the patch of skin. At this pace, Tony was going to be covered in bruises come morning, but it’s not like it didn’t sit well with him. When he was done he dropped a kiss on it. “I’m saying you’re very,” another kiss, “very sexy.”

 

Tony chuckled softly and pushed back against Steve’s chest, against his fingers. “Someone is definitely getting laid tonight,” he said, moaning softly.

 

“At this point,” Steve replied, and he slipped out his fingers. “I really hope so.”

 

Knuckles brushed against him, Steve’s right hand guiding himself against Tony’s entrance and then he was pushing in, slowly but steadily, almost impossibly big. Ever since the first time they’d done this, Steve had been afraid of hurting him, and was always careful when he entered him. And every time Tony told him how he loved the feeling of being opened up, almost forced to accommodate him, that even if it might be a little painful at first, it was the good kind of pain.

 

The sensation of being filled by Steve, of belonging to him in some way, of having something of him that no one else had, of sharing this with him, was better than good, it was probably the best thing he’d ever feel in his life.

 

Here and now, he breathed as if he’d never really breathed before, he felt as if he’d just learned to feel. Here and now, the only things that actually mattered were just the two of them. And anything was worth this. Anything. Much less the burn of being stretched wide.

 

He moaned as Steve moved into him all the way until they were fully joined, their thighs sticking together with sweat and some of the lube that had trickled down Tony’s inner thigh.

 

“Oh god, Tony,” Steve gasped from behind him, his voice finally cracking with need. One of his hands was gripping his hips tightly, while the other traveled up his chest, fingernails scraping against his nipples, to reach his neck, his cheek, and to turn Tony’s face to the side so that their lips could meet.

 

The kiss was short-lived, though, Tony breaking away with a long, keening groan as Steve moved out of him and then pushed in again.

 

Spending the rest of their lives in here seemed to get more and more appealing.

 

There were a few more experimental thrusts like that, but Steve picked up the pace soon enough, moving faster and harder, progressively pushing Tony forward against the window and upward, so that pretty soon he had to stand on the tips of his toes.

 

He had no leverage this way, he was helpless, and all he could do was to lean his forehead on the smooth surface of the glass, and take whatever Steve was offering him, groaning and moaning, as outside the night and the snow had enshrouded Venice in a dreamlike, almost otherworldly, vision.

 

He was close now, he was so close, and Steve seemed to read his mind, one of his hands slipping down to cup him gently. Tony turned his head to kiss him, and Steve closed his fingers around him, stoking, once, twice.

 

He came with Steve filling him at both ends, and his moan was lost in their kiss.

 

Abruptly he was tugged away from the window and spun around, without Steve slipping out even an inch. They fell to their knees, and Tony had to throw up his arms to avoid falling on his face, landing on his elbows.

 

He swore softly. “Warn a guy, next time,” he barely had time to gasp, before the thrusts picked up once more, but now they reached deeper.

 

And now he could respond to them, pushing back when Steve sank forward, and then both of them retreating at the same time. Steve usually lasted for an insane – and annoying – amount of time, and Tony would feel seriously inadequate if not for the peak of human condition and the superhuman stamina thing.

 

Now, though, he shuddered and froze above him, heavy breathing warming the back of Tony’s neck.

 

Tony smiled softly. “Wow, that was…” he trailed off, trying to find a synonymous of ‘fast’ that wouldn’t sound as offensive in context.

 

“God, the way you-” Steve groaned as he turned them on their sides. He slipped out of him with a wet and dirty sound. He kissed the back of his neck and then nipped lightly at his ear. “You were so- open, so…” he trailed off, and his fingers trailed down his back and one digit slipped inside of him. “Been thinking about this. All day.”

 

Tony moaned at the sensation, he was still loose enough that it didn’t feel like an intrusion, but with the lube and Steve’s semen still there it felt fantastic and embarrassing at the same time, a guilty pleasure.

 

The fingers became two now, just barely brushing against his prostate. And Steve couldn’t be ready to go again this soon. “I love you,” Steve said. “I love you.”

 

With a gasp, Tony turned abruptly around, Steve’s fingers slipping out and he kissed him, and kissed him, and kissed him.

 

“God, Steve, I…” he moaned. “You…”

 

Another long kiss, before they separated, their arms around each other in a loose embrace. They remained like that for a while, their breaths slowing down were the only sounds in the room.

 

“Happy New Year, Tony,” whispered against his lips.

 

Tony was silent for a moment. “Gee, now you remember?”

 

Evil, evil fingers poked him in the ribs. He squirmed. But only a little.

 

“You are ticklish!” Steve exclaimed, outraged. As if Tony had lied about some terrible and vital thing. “You little-”

 

What would be reminisced by many for long years to come – especially the fateful day when the Hulk decided he wanted to play and gave Hank a concussion and Tony two cracked ribs – as the first battle of the ’09-‘10 Avengers Tickling Wars left both of them lying on the floor of their suite, limbs akimbo, gasping to get back their breath.

 

Well, Tony was left gasping, but he noticed with some satisfaction that Steve’s breath was also kind of heavy.

 

“So, not bad huh?” Steve asked after a moment. “Even if it’s not your own tropical paradise.”

 

Tony snorted. “I notice a serious lack of ringing in my ears,” he said. “I seem to remember a promise.”

 

Steve gave him a long look. “I think we should adjourn to the bathroom,” he said then, standing up and finally getting rid of his pants and underwear. “And then the bed.”

 

Tony’s boxers had been thrown across the room and were now a sad and forlorn sight on the floor next to the dresser.

 

Tony stayed lying where he was, long enough to appreciate Steve’s naked back as he walked towards the bathroom, then he stood up and followed him on not really steady legs.

 

“Yeah,” he said. “Let’s.”