Time tends to slip away from Tony when he’s cooped up in the lab. Ideas don’t just occur to him; they attack with ferocity, gnawing and consuming him until he sees them to fruition, until there is physical evidence of the numbers and equations in his head. When he’s working, all of his focus honed in on the instruments or lines of code in front of him, nothing else in the environment registers. It’s only when his vision starts to swim and his hands become shaky and unreliable that he realizes hours, sometimes days, have passed. If he’s been neglecting basic necessities long enough, Steve — and on a few notable occasions, Carol — shows up to carry him to bed.
Unfortunately, Steve is every bit the workaholic Tony is, and his latest mission has kept him away from home for the past eight weeks. Fortunately, between work for the Avengers and Resilient, there is plenty to keep Tony occupied.
“JARVIS,” Tony calls out, pausing his typing to roll out his stiff shoulders, “time?”
“05:18 A.M., Sir,” comes the immediate reply. Past the thirty-hour mark, then. “May I suggest —”
“Yeah, yeah,” he says dismissively, scrubbing a hand over his face. Steve had to have found a way to tamper with JARVIS’ programming because he’d never been this much of a mother hen before the two of them got together.
It’s only when Tony notices the code he just wrote has more bugs than a Microsoft product that he concedes it might be time to call it a night. “I’m going to bed. Save all chan — wait, no, delete all changes made in the last twenty minutes, I don’t know what I was thinking.”
Standing up to stretch his sore limbs, Tony nearly knocks over a plate sitting by his elbow, stomach rumbling at the sight of food. Someone must have dropped it off earlier without him noticing — Jan, maybe? It’s probably been sitting there for hours. He lifts one piece of bread to peek inside the sandwich — yep, definitely Jan’s work; no one else in the Tower puts that many pickles on anything. Tony stares at it mournfully before throwing it out and heading out of the lab.
The sun is just beginning to rise as he steps out of the elevator and into his suite, the pink and orange sky in full view. It really is spectacular, and Tony congratulates himself for going with the floor-to-ceiling windows after all. If Steve were here, he’d probably insist on painting it, mixing colours until the shades were just right.
Fuck. It really is pathetic how much Tony misses him, hiding in his lab in the hopes no one will notice his sulking. It’s not working, of course, and Tony’s seen the half-pitying, half-amused looks his teammates throw his way.
Exhausted, he drags himself to the bedroom, discarding clothes along the way. He nearly trips over his jeans when he spots the figure on the bed. Thinking it a trick of his overexerted and starved mind, Tony expects him to disappear with the next blink. He doesn’t.
There Steve is, sprawled diagonally on top of the covers, completely naked and sound asleep. Most of his face is hidden in Tony’s pillow, hands tucked in underneath. His shield is propped up against the nightstand within easy reach and his uniform has been strewn across the floor.
“Captain Rogers and Sergeant Barnes arrived at the tower approximately two hours ago, Sir,” JARVIS supplies helpfully.
Tony lingers in the doorway for another moment before picking up the uniform and laying it out on the chair in the corner. Steve’s clothes are normally folded and put away with military precision — he must have been exhausted to abandon it on the floor so carelessly.
Tony joins Steve on the bed, sitting down by his hip, mattress dipping lightly with the added weight. Gently, he places a hand on the back of Steve’s nape, rubbing his thumb behind Steve’s ear. He bends to press a kiss between his shoulderblades, following the splatter of freckles all the way to the top of his spine. Steve stirs.
“Tony,” he says drowsily, voice muffled by the pillow.
On a normal day, Steve is up and out of bed by the time Tony is awake so he’s never been treated to this sight before, never witnessed Steve so lax and sleep-mussed. Smiling, Tony cards his fingers through his hair. Steve turns his face so that one side is visible, and Tony’s throat goes dry at the sight of his bearded chin and cheeks.
“W‘time is it?”
“It’s early. Not even six yet,” Tony replies.
“Shit.” Steve props himself up on one arm, sounding more alert. “I was gonna take a quick shower before looking for you. Didn’t mean to fall asleep.”
“Well, you certainly managed to surprise me,” he admits. “I wasn’t expecting you for another couple weeks. Mission go okay?”
“Yeah, ‘s why we came back early,” Steve assures. A lazy, lopsided smirk spreads on his face, eyes sparkling with mischief. “That a problem?” he challenges, turning to lie on his back. God, this little shit. Never in a million years could Tony deserve him.
A snarky reply forms on his lips, but because Tony is a genius, he recognizes there are better ways he could be utilizing his mouth right about now. Still a little dazed from sleep, Steve’s reaction is slower than usual, his lips dry and a little chapped as they move lazily against Tony’s. The sensation of facial hair tickling his chin is novel, but not unpleasant.
Tony pulls back to get a good look at Steve’s face, noting the bags underneath them and the way his eyes are half-lidded. “This mission really took a lot out of you, didn’t it?” He asks, brushing a thumb over Steve’s cheekbone.
“I’m fine,” Steve insists with a tired smile, “Just need some sleep.” He clasps Tony’s hand in both of his, inspecting each finger with care, kneading the palm before placing a kiss in the centre. “What about you? I bet you’re just getting into bed for the first time in days.”
“Only a day and a half,” Tony admits. It’s nowhere near his record, but Steve doesn’t look appeased judging by the frown creasing his brows. “Anyone get hurt?”
“Buck dislocated his shoulder couple weeks ago. It’s almost back to normal, but Natasha’s still gonna make him answer for it,” Steve says, and Tony winces in sympathy. He’s seen what Natasha’s like when Bucky gets himself hurt. “He has it coming. It could’ve easily been avoided if he hadn’t been so reckless.
“And of course you wouldn’t know anything about that,” Tony points out, giving Steve a significant look.
Steve places his hand on the back of Tony’s head, bringing their foreheads together. “Really, Tony, we’re okay.”
Tony nods, closing his eyes. It really has been too long. This is something Steve and Bucky had to do on their own, he knows, and he has his own responsibilities to attend to. Still, Tony hates staying back, not being there to back up his teammates, with waiting and worrying all that’s left for him to do.
When he opens his eyes again, Steve has that intense look on his face that both awes and terrifies him. It’s as if he’s seeing him for the very first time. “I’ve missed you,” Steve croaks, his voice breaking. “So much. Thought I’d go crazy if I had to wait another day to see you.”
“Yeah,” Tony agrees, something remarkably like fear lodging itself in his throat. “It’s been... It’s been rough, here, too.”
It barely scratches the surface of all Tony wants to say, but Steve seems to understand with few words. When he leans forward, his kiss is urgent, with none of the laziness from before. All of the frustration and longing of the past few weeks is poured into the kiss, and they lick and bite with little finesse, frantic to reacquaint their bodies. Tony’s tongue brushes the roof of Steve’s mouth just as he wraps his legs around Tony’s waist and arches his back. And, bless the super-soldier serum, that is definitely Steve’s erection pressing against Tony’s stomach.
“Shit, Steve,” Tony pants, looking down between their bodies, unable to tear his eyes away from the sight of Steve’s cock smearing pre-come on his skin, the head red and engorged. He bites down on his lip. “You have no idea how much I want to fuck you through the mattress right now.” Even as he says it, Tony knows he can’t muster the required energy, but oh, does he want to. The need to be close to Steve is burning him up; he wants to be in Steve, around Steve, crawl inside of him, press up against him until their hearts are beating as one.
“I look forward to it. After we get some sleep. I’m not planning on us leaving this room tomorrow,” Steve says, sliding his legs further down Tony’s back, right over the curve of his cheeks. With an expert roll of his hips, he flips them over, holding himself up on his forearms as he stares down at Tony.
For a long moment, that’s all he does: cataloguing every line and contour on Tony’s face with his eyes and fingers, the weight of his gaze almost tangible. “You’re breathtaking,” he finally says. Tony feels his chest constrict at the words. “You’re the most beautiful man I’ve ever known, Tony Stark.”
Tony closes his eyes, feeling stripped bare by Steve’s intensity. He’s not a modest man, and he’s well aware of his physical assets, but there’s something about the fact Steve can say those things with the utmost sincerity even when Tony has dark shadows under his eyes and oil streaks on his forehead. Something about the fact Steve’s not talking about the physical at all.
Gently, Steve swipes his thumb over Tony’s eyelid, a silent request. Tony opens his eyes, blue meeting blue.
“I love you,” Steve says, his expression soft and open. Tony knows it to be true. He doesn't understand it, certainly doesn’t deserve it, but it is a fact, even if one shrouded in mystery.
“I love you,” Tony returns, because he does. He loves this man—this man who has seen right through him and peeled back his suit of armour. Loves him more than he’s ever thought his broken heart could manage.
“I want to take care of you, make you feel good,” Steve says, caressing the side of Tony’s neck. Tension seems to sip out of his skin bit by bit wherever Steve touches. “Can I suck you off?”
Tony’s brain short-circuits at the images that conjures: Steve between his thighs, Tony’s legs over his shoulders, pink lips stretched around his cock. A shiver runs down his spine, and he feels himself getting harder. Steve’s eyes are wide with desire, pupils blown, but his expression is earnest and patient as he waits for an answer. “Yes,” Tony manages to say, though it probably comes out as more of a whimper. “Yes, Steve, of course.”
Steve smiles softly and kisses Tony’s cheek before shimmying down the bed. He presses another kiss against the side of Tony’s knee, nuzzling his way to the top of his thigh where his underwear ends, and after rucking them up, rubs his cheek against the exposed skin. The coarse drag of his beard is maddening, and Tony grows impatient, lifting his hips and pressing his thigh into Steve’s face in search of better traction. Steve brings his hands up to Tony’s waist, dipping the pads of his fingers inside his boxers, playing with the elastic and teasing the skin beneath. Then, as if they’re a personal affront, pulls them down in one quick motion, greedily eyeing Tony’s erection.
With a gentle touch, Steve spreads Tony’s knees further apart, hooking Tony’s legs over his shoulders. He turns his attention toward the crease where Tony’s thigh meets his groin, flattening his tongue to deliver a firm, languid stroke. The moan torn out of Tony’s lungs can be heard through the tower, he’s sure, growing louder still when Steve’s chin brushes the inside of his thigh. The beard burn he’s going to end up with will likely keep him from wearing pants for the next few days, but oh is it worth it; he really hopes Steve isn’t planning on shaving any time soon.
“You’re such a tease,” Tony mumbles when Steve pulls back to stare at him. Steve only smirks that devilish grin of his, looking incredibly smug with his eyes hooded beneath long lashes. Tony brings his hand to his own mouth and watches Steve’s gaze follow his fingers as he closes his lips around his thumb. Reaching for Steve’s chest with that same hand, he rests it right over his heart, mesmerized by its steady beat and the warmth of his skin. Slowly, he lets his wet thumb catch on Steve’s nipple. The touch sends a jolt through Steve’s entire body, as if electrified, and Tony does it again to watch the impressive ripple of muscle.
“Tony,” Steve sighs, sounding so relieved, as if he’s been suffocating and this is his first opportunity to draw in a lungful of air. They’re both been touch-starved for too long.
Tony surges up to capture Steve’s mouth, tugging on his bottom lip. His other hand reaches for Steve’s cock, wrapping around it to the sound of Steve’s whimper. “Is this how you pass the time when we’re apart?” Tony asks as he gives a lazy stroke, rubbing his palm along the head. “Do you think of me when you touch yourself?”
“Yes,” Steve says without hesitation or shame, eyes slipping shut, head tilted back to bear his throat. The morning light falls over him, and Tony can’t help but admire the cut of his jaw, the slack set of his open mouth and his full lips. “‘s never enough. Never feels like this. God, Tony.”
He sounds so desperate, so eager, starved for the smallest of touches. Tony reaches for his cock, using his thumb to collect the pre-come until Steve’s fingers circle his wrist, halting his actions. Tony raises an eyebrow in question.
“This is about you,” Steve says, placing a kiss on the inside of his wrist before letting Tony’s arm drop.
“You’re the one who just returned from a month-long mission,” Tony argues.
“You take care of me in ways you don’t even realize,” Steve says, trailing his hand down Tony’s calf, the touch feather-light until he reaches the ankle and wraps his fingers around it. After placing a kiss there, he hooks Tony’s leg over his shoulder, pulling him further down the bed. “Let me do this for you.”
In this position, Steve’s eye-level with Tony’s crotch, so close that Tony can feel the soft puffs of every exhale. When he leans down, Tony’s breath hitches in anticipation. Steve seems to have other plans, however, and his lips end up low on Tony’s abdomen. He mouths along the vein above Tony’s groin, gently scraping his teeth against the skin, Tony’s cock catching along his neck and chin.
“Steve,” Tony whines, past the point of caring how needy he probably sounds. He feels mad with desire, skin burning hot, aching for release. He swears he can feel Steve smirking. “Steve, please.”
Steve doesn’t relent, looking up at Tony with innocent eyes as he bites his hipbone. “Mmm?”
“Please, blow me,” Tony elaborates, knowing it’s exactly what Steve wants to hear. “Put your mouth on my cock. Please, Steve. Need it. Need you.”
“I’ve got you, Shellhead,” Steve says before descending on Tony’s cock, lips stretching around him. Tony probably won’t be able to stop himself from sprouting a semi the next time Steve uses the moniker in the field but that’s a price he’ll worry about paying another day.
Tony focuses, on the tight sensation around his cock, the warm slickness of Steve’s mouth, the expert glide of his tongue as he bobs his head up and down. The occasional brush of facial hair against sensitive skin. He guides his hand to the back of Steve’s head, loosely fisting short hair, and Steve moans his appreciation, the vibrations almost enough to send Tony over the edge. Steve sinks even lower, taking more of him in, fitting a large hand around the base. Tony can’t help but trail his fingers across his jaw, feeling the swell of Steve’s cheek where it’s stretched around his cock.
After a moment, Steve pulls back, replacing his mouth with his hand. He palms the head of Tony’s cock, thumb catching against the slit, spreading pre-come and saliva along the shaft. He lowers his head to mouth along the base, alternating between open-mouthed kisses and broad strokes of his tongue with his nose nuzzled in the thick thatch of curls.
“Love the way you smell down here,” Steve pauses to say, lifting his chin just enough for Tony to see the streak of saliva. “Could do this all day.”
Before Tony can even think about stammering a reply, Steve starts up again, taking most of Tony’s length into his mouth until Tony’s cock is hitting the back of his throat. His brings his free hand to fondle Tony’s balls, rolling them around in his large palm as he sucks and licks, obscene slurping noises filling the room.
Heat pulls low in Tony’s belly, muscles tensing. “Steve,” he manages to stammer through the haze, “Steve, I’m close—”
Steve rubs a finger along his perineum, applying just the right amount of pressure, moving it up to lightly brush Tony’s hole. That’s all it takes for Tony’s control to disintegrate. The temperature in the room seems to rise by twenty degrees, his skin tingling as if electrified, vision whiting out and his hips arching off the bed. Steve swallows every drop, and Tony collapses on the bed, ears ringing, lungs burning as his breathing returns to normal. After months of being high-strung, he finally feels loose, his bones liquid. The relief is dizzying.
When the world rights itself, Tony looks at Steve, now hovering above him, lips red and puffy. The moment their eyes meet, Steve seems to give himself permission to lose control, elbows giving out as he collapses on top of Tony. He pillows his head on Tony’s chest, lazily trailing his fingers along his collarbone. Tony lets his own hand rest on Steve’s back, kneading the wing of his shoulderblade. Steve’s wet, flaccid cock bumps his thigh.
Astonished, Tony pauses his movements. “Did you—Did you seriously come just from going down on me?”
Steve hums against his collarbone, mouth curved in a smile. A shiver runs down Tony’s spine. That may just be the hottest thing that’s ever happened to him.
“Wow,” Tony says, resuming stroking Steve’s back. “You really do love sucking cock.”
Steve rearranges their position to pull the cover over their naked bodies, pulling Tony into his arms. “Love sucking your cock,” he whispers into Tony’s ear, kissing the side of his neck.