“I can’t believe you let something like this happen!”
“Whoa! I didn’t let any of this happen.”
“You’re supposed to have the most secure network in the world—”
“Then how the hell did someone get a hold of—”
“What’s going on?” Tony and Pepper looked towards the elevator and saw Steve walking over, dressed in his workout gear. “I was going to go for a run,” the man continued, “but there’s a swarm of paparazzi outside the mansion. Did something happen?”
Tony felt Pepper’s expectant gaze on him, so he just shrugged in response before busying himself with the coffee maker, resisting the urge to snicker when he heard her sigh. He knew he was being childish, but a small part of him kind of missed getting Pepper worked up over these things.
He made a mental note to overnight a half-dozen pairs of Louboutins to her apartment later.
“Someone got a hold of your sex tape,” she said.
Steve blinked, his expression unreadable. “What?”
“Someone leaked one of our… um… home movies,” Tony clarified as he measured out the coffee grounds.
“Steve,” Pepper started. “The PR team is already handling it. They’re doing whatever they can to try to smooth this all over. Of course, this isn't the most ideal way to finally make your relationship public, but—”
Pepper sputtered. “Wh—what?!”
“Which one did they leak?” Steve asked again.
“Which—which one?!” Pepper exclaimed. “How many sex tapes could you possibly have?!”
Tony started up the coffee machine and then sidled over to Steve. He pulled out his phone and typed in a quick search before wordlessly handing it over to the other man.
“I promise we’re doing everything we can to handle the situation,” Pepper said, after Steve started watching the video. “We’re releasing a statement as soon as we can—”
“This video doesn’t get my good side at all,” Tony heard Steve say, and he fought the urge to laugh.
Pepper stared at them, dumbfounded.
“The angle is terrible,” Steve continued, passing the phone back to him.
“I think you look great, honey,” Tony chimed in, “then again, I may be a little biased.”
“Well, at least you look good. Why couldn’t they have gotten that one of us in Malibu?”
“Which one, sweetheart?” Tony asked, kissing Steve on the cheek.
“From our anniversary? Out on the deck, remember that?”
“Of course I remember it. I got the worst sunburn ever—”
“Both of you are ridiculous,” Pepper muttered on her way out.
“Very. The happiest I’ve ever been in my life.”
“What exactly was it that drew you to the billionaire?”
“Well, Tony’s so much more than that. He’s the most intelligent and generous man I’ve ever met, and he’s just so… so selfless. And he’s my best friend, and knows me better than anyone else. I was a wreck the entire week leading up to me finally asking him out.”
“You made the first move?”
“Well, yeah. If I had waited for him, it would’ve taken another six months for us to start going out.”
“I find that hard to believe.”
“…How do you mean?”
“I mean, Tony Stark is notorious for his playboy ways—”
“What are you insinuating?”
“Tony Stark’s reputation—”
“Tony has been nothing but faithful ever since we started dating.”
“All right, Captain Rogers, but there are still many out there that are skeptical about our nation’s icon dating the self-proclaimed ‘Merchant of Death.’”
“Stark Industries hasn’t been manufacturing weapons since 2010.”
“But there is still blood on his hands.”
“None of that was his fault.”
“Captain Rogers, it honestly isn’t my intention to offend you. I am merely expressing the opinions of our viewers who believe Tony Stark is not and cannot be a good influence on yo—”
“Well, I don’t know what viewers you’ve been listening to, because I’ve gotten nothing but support from all of the ones I met earlier in the studio. Tony is the best thing that has ever happened to me.”
“Why keep the relationship a secret, then?”
“I was not aware that I was under any obligation to share every detail of my personal life with the public.”
“As a national symbol and the leader of the Avengers, it is your duty to—”
“It is my duty to protect this nation.”
“Well, we found the hacker—what the hell?”
Tony looked up from the mess of flour and sugar on the counter and saw the confused faces of Pepper and Maria Hill.
“Lemme guess, a bitter ex-girlfriend or employee that was out to get their revenge for me dumping or firing them?” Tony said before dipping a finger into the batter and tasting it, and then held out the wooden spoon to Pepper. “Hey, can you taste this and tell me if you think it needs more sugar?”
Pepper narrowed her eyes at him, so he offered the spoon to Hill instead, who shrugged and took it.
Pepper sighed. “Can’t you be serious for once, Tony?”
“This wasn’t the worst thing to happen to the company, Pep, or even any of the Avengers for that matter. Remember Clint’s 4Chan debacle?”
“I try not to.”
“Or Thor and the balloon animal guy in Central Park,” Hill said. “The sugar is fine,” she added, after tasting the batter. “I think it needs more vanilla, though.”
Tony nodded and added another splash of vanilla extract.
“Why are you baking a cake?” asked Pepper.
“It’s Natasha’s birthday this weekend, but she’s going on a mission tomorrow, so I’m throwing her a party tonight at eight,” Tony explained. “Both of you are obviously invited.”
“Wow, and with…” Hill glanced at the clock, “Two hours’ notice. How thoughtful.”
“We’re lucky we got any notice at all,” Pepper muttered.
“So who was it?” Tony asked, going back to the matter at hand.
“Hammer,” replied Maria.
“Really? Hammer got into my systems?” Tony didn’t know whether to be shocked, impressed, or just plain annoyed.
“Well, we’re pretty sure he hired someone else to do it.”
“That makes much more sense, then,” Tony mused. “That man can barely operate a cell phone. He even had the nerve to ask Steve to endorse his products, did you know that?”
“Hilarious,” Hill said absentmindedly as she began picking at the bowl of chocolate chips on the counter. “Damn, these are good.”
“They’re from that chocolaterie on Thompson,” Tony supplied.
“Don’t tell me that. My dentist has been yelling at me enough as it is.”
Tony smirked. “They have these chocolate bonbons that are practically an orgasm in your mouth—”
“Anyway,” Pepper interrupted. “The situation’s pretty much been handled. We just thought we’d give you the update in person.” And that surprised Tony a bit: it had only been a week since the tape went public… Then again, Pepper was an unstoppable force to begin with, and to have her work with Hill.
He was just surprised the two of them haven’t tried their hand at world domination yet—not that they ever would because they weren’t evil, but the point was that they totally could if they wanted to.
“How much am I suing him for?” Tony asked.
“Steve’s suing for thirty,” Hill added.
Tony whistled. “That’s a little high for a sex tape, no?”
“Considering Hammer’s a billionaire, and the image of our nation’s icon is at stake, I’d say it’s pretty low,” the brunette countered.
“What cause should we donate the proceedings to?” Pepper asked.
“Whatever Steve wants,” Tony replied without hesitation. “I trust him.”
“You know what? It’s not going to be all of this chocolate that’s going to give me cavities,” Hill said before popping another small handful of chocolate chips in her mouth. “It’s you two.”
“Some have been questioning whether you are still fit for the job.”
“Oh? And why is that?”
“Given the events that transpired last week.”
“The tape, you mean?”
“…yes, the tape.”
“That tape was released without our consent. It was never meant to be viewed by anyone other than myself or Tony.”
“Surely, this could still have been prevented. Had Mr. Stark not meant it for public eyes, he could have prevented—”
“Are you suggesting that he leaked it on purpose?”
“What I am saying is that, of all people, Tony Stark would certainly have the capabilities to keep his information secure from—”
“Things get hacked all of the time: businesses, government agencies, individuals. Regardless of how advanced a system is, there’s no guarantee.”
“—was meant for our eyes only. The fact that someone thought it was okay to expose our private life like that is despicable.”
“The fact that it exists at all speaks volumes for Tony Stark’s character—”
“The fact that everyone assumes he’s the one that wanted to make the tape in the first place—”
“Captain Rogers, what are you suggesting?”
“The tape was my idea. I obviously never thought anyone other than Tony or I would ever see it, but it’s my fault it’s out there at all.”
“You… you’re really taking the blame for this debacle?”
“I’m not taking the ‘blame’ for anything. I didn’t release that tape, and Tony certainly didn’t either. The only person at fault here is whoever decided to take a piece of private information and broadcast it to the public.”
“I don’t understand why everyone thinks you’re… ‘corrupting’ me.”
Tony propped himself up on his elbows and looked down at where Steve was kneeling between his legs. “You’re kidding me, right?”
“We’ve been dating for almost two years.”
“Doesn’t matter. You’re Captain America. I’m Tony Stark. You’ve heard about my reputation, we’re practically polar opposites.”
Steve frowned. “I know you—”
“Now,” Tony added. “You know me now. You didn’t know me in my twenties… Which I’m actually very glad about by the way because you would’ve hated me then.”
“I don’t think so.”
Tony flashed a smile at him, but even he knew Steve could see right through it. “You give people too much credit, Steve.”
“You’re an incredibly good person,” Steve
saidstated (because it was a statement: something that Steve honestly believed was the truth, and Tony felt a his chest constrict at the thought).
“The point is,” he diverted, “There’s a reason I got the reputation of a playboy in the first place. It wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I started to slow down, and after Afghanistan, I—”
Steve interrupted him with a kiss. “I know all of that already, Tony. Your past doesn’t make me love you any less.”
Tony could feel a blush creep up his cheeks, even as he felt Steve's hand settle around his cock. “I love you, too,” he gasped. He reached over and brushed a few stray strands of hair away from Steve’s eyes. "I still can’t believe someone as wholesome and innocent as you could be so kinky,” he teased.
"I’m not innocent.”
“Yeah, and you’ve been trying to p-prove that to me ever since we started dating," Tony retorted, resisting the urge to fuck up into Steve's hand. He wanted this to last. "Did I tell you how much I enjoyed our session in the pool last night, by the way?”
“No. You passed out right after you came,” Steve said, smugly.
“Twice!” Tony corrected. “You made me come twice in less than ten minutes, which is something I haven’t done since I was a teenager—”
“What can I say?” Steve murmured against his neck. “I have a gift," he added with a twist of his wrist.
“I won’t deny that.” Tony couldn’t help the moan that escaped his lips when Steve bit down on his collarbone. “What are you in the mood for tonight?”
“I don’t care. We could have sex on the balcony?” Steve suggested. “Or I could give you a blow job and finger you until you come? We still haven’t tried out that new toy you made for me. I can fuck you nice and slow, or I can fuck you so hard you won’t be able to sit for a week—”
Oh, God. This man was going to be the death of him.
“Or if you’re too tired, we can stick to plain old vanilla sex in our bed like other boring old couples—”
“Fuck you, Rogers."
“We could do that too.”
Tony ended up coming three times that night.
And if he got JARVIS to record parts of it for their own private viewing pleasure later on, well... no one needed to know.
Especially not Pepper.