It was three weeks before anyone even noticed Tony's... mishap. Not exactly a record, but then again, no one was really going to be able to match his father's lifetime record of not having noticed that Tony had blown-up their summer home in Orlando (It was the result of a foolish phase he had gone through trying to create cold fusion. He was eleven – he figured he could be granted the temporary doubt over the absoluteness of the laws of thermodynamics).
Nick Fury's one eye was bulging out of his head. “What the fuck did you do to the subbasement, Stark?!”
Entirely unconcerned, Tony manipulated his latest arc schematics on his computer. Wait, no. That wouldn't work. Tony reverted the file back to before he made the change. Yeah, that would have just created a bigger explosion. Not the effect he was going for when he was planning on sticking this thing in hospitals.
Tony rolled his eyes, still not even deigning to look up at Nick again. Guy was wound entirely too tight for his own good. “Hey, I'm fixing it, aren't I? Construction crews are almost done.”
“That's not the point!” Nick gripped the back of his chair, spinning him around. Tony decided to take the indignity in stride, tugging a PDA out of his jeans' pocket and continuing his work there. “How did you manage to blow up an entire level of Avenger's headquarters without our knowing about it?”
“Uh, I didn't blow up any of the load-bearing parts?” Tony's voice dripped with condescension. The he paused, backed-up for a minute, and risked a glance up at Nick. “Well. I didn't blow up most of them.”
Nick was practically trembling with unrestrained “whoop-ass”, as Tony presumed he'd self-dub it. “I mean,” he gritted out, “how did none of the alarms we have in place go off?”
With barely the flick of two fingers, Tony called up the Avengers alarm system on his PDA. “Disabled them when I was working. I figured there might be a few mishaps, and didn't want the entire building to evacuate just because I miscalculated an adjustment to my left thruster or something.” Tony paused, cocking his head as he thought. With a flick he closed out of the alarm system for Avenger's headquarters. “Actually, scratch that. I wouldn't miscalculate. But you get the idea.”
Nick seemed to be chewing over this information much the same way a Pitt Bull chewed on its last steak before turning his gaze on the fluffy little Pomeranian occupying its backyard. Not that Tony considered himself a Pomeranian. Much more Rottweiler, him. Well, maybe not. Maybe a Doberman. Sleek and streamlined. Or a Greyhound. That could work.
Finally Nick seemed to decide to let the issue of Tony mucking around in their security systems drop – a good thing, since it wasn't like they'd be able to keep him out – and return to the more pressing matter at hand. “And you didn't think to inform anyone about blowing up an entire level of our headquarters?” Nick's voice was like steel scraping against titanium. Tony felt a small, very concealable, shudder go through him.
“I told the contractors,” Tony finally pointed out.
He was surprised Nick didn't throw him into the nearest well, and instead opted to turn around on one big-booted heel and leave.
The entire building shook. Tony and Steve immediately stopped sparring, glancing up and around as they tried to locate the source of the tremor. Steve turned to Tony, not even panting slightly from their session. Tony consciously decided to not take offense at this. “What do you think that was?”
Tony was already two steps ahead of him. He had climbed through the ropes of the ring and was at his gym bag, sorting through it for his PDA. “JARVIS?”
“Yes, sir?” his omnipresent AI asked.
“Can you get me the source for whatever the hell that was?”
Hardly a second passed before a map of their headquarters came up, a little blinking red dot appearing over one room. That was Bruce's area. Tony groaned. Great. Just what they needed: Bruce hulking out in the middle of headquarters.
Steve was at his back now, staring over his shoulder at the PDA (or as Steve might call it: that whos-it-majig contraption. Tony's lips quirked at the thought). “What is it?”
Tony rushed past Steve, slapping him on one meaty arm as he hurried out. “Bruce! Guess he ended up flipping to some Jersey Shore reruns on accident or something. Come on! We gotta calm him down before he wrecks the place.”
By the time they reached Bruce's specially reinforced wing of headquarters, Coulson, Clint, and Thor were already there. Tony slapped Thor on the arm and turned to ask him what was going on. He was certainly the most likely out of the three to give Tony a straight answer. Clint would just stare him down, silent as a really boring person's grave. And Coulson would probably tell him to get out of there and leave it to the “professionals”. As if they ever did any good. Thor would answer Tony for sure, though he did always run the risk of getting sucked into another drinking contest with Thor. Those never ended well.
“So? What's up? Did Bruce hulk out?”
Bruce's voice barely came through his overly-thick door. Tony raised his eyebrows at it, before heading over to the video panel on the side of the door. “Hey, Brucey. You all right in there?”
The image flared to life, and there was Bruce... with a gas mask over his head. Coulson immediately reached for his cell phone, probably to call in a hazmat team or something. Tony just rolled his eyes and waited for Bruce's explanation. Guy was a scientist: he probably knew better than anyone when to call in the big guns or not.
“Everything's fine!” Bruce's voice was slightly muffled beneath the mask, but it was audible. He gave the camera a thumbs up. “The, er... gas will clear out of her shortly. It's not even toxic, it just...” Bruce paused, then rubbed the back of his head. “It just smells. Really bad. Just give it a minute.”
Tony frowned at Bruce's image on the screen. “What were you doing?”
“Just...” Bruce sighed, letting his hand drop away from his head. “Trying another serum. You know.”
Tony frowned in what could almost be termed sympathy. Bruce had been trying to get the Hulk out of him again. Tony didn't understand Bruce's obsession with destroying the superhero part of himself... rubbing his chest, Tony interrupted his own train of thought. Okay, maybe he did. And maybe Bruce had been trying to just stay in control this time, rather than separate it entirely.
“Still doesn't explain the gas,” Tony queried. “What, combine ammonia and bleach again? I keep telling you...”
“No, no.” Bruce hesitated again, then continued. “I just... took the serum, felt sick. Ended up hulking up for just a minute, then the gas, then back to normal.”
Tony was starting to get some sort of idea as to what Bruce was avoiding, and he was very close to bursting out laughing over it. Luckily Steve chose that moment to appear over Tony's shoulder, peering at the monitor. “But what about the explosion? Tony and I felt it all the way on the other side of the building.”
Thor's voice boomed out to interrupt whatever response Bruce had been about to give. “I thought you were looking winded and sweaty!” He smacked Tony on the back, causing him to stagger forward. “You two still haven't taken advantage of my heated bath, with the invisible massaging fingers!”
Rubbing his shoulder – even though it was his whole damn back that hurt, thanks a lot, Thor – Tony shook his head. “Jacuzzi, Thor. Jacuzzi. And yeah, we're getting to it, just gotta convince Captain Repression and Decorum over here.”
Steve's face was bright red. “We weren't- We were sparring! In the gym! Not-” He glanced at Coulson and Clint. Both men stared right back. Steve sputtered to a stop and hung his head. “ Sparring ,” he whimpered.
“It's okay.” Tony patted him on the back. “Twenty-first century, remember. Okay. Back to the issue at hand. Bruce.”
Bruce seemed to visibly deflate as the attention of the group of men turned back on him. “Yeah?”
The grin that had been threatening early burst out, full-force on Tony's face. “Are you telling me the Hulk ripped one and it shook the entire building?”
Thor's laugh itself was almost enough to shake the hallway they were standing in, while Bruce buried his gas-mask covered face in his hands.
Tony had his head buried in the fridge, looking for his last power shake, when the explosion happened.
“What the fuck!” he yelped. Smoke filled the kitchen, and one very chagrined looking Steve was staring mournfully at the microwave. “Steve!” his head jerked up to look at Tony. “What did you do?!”
Sighing, Steve opened up the microwave to reveal an exploded stuffed pepper sitting on top of – what must have once been – tinfoil. “Oh, damn it, Steve.” Grabbing some oven mitts, Tony nudged Steve to the side with his hip and grabbed the mess of a meal out of the surely ruined microwave. After depositing it in the trash, Tony turned his attention back to the microwave. He shut the door, punched a few buttons... yeah. Nothing.
Steve was staring down at his hands like he might actually burst into tears at any moment. “I just wanted the stuffed pepper Miss Potts made me,” he whispered.
“Steve, fuck, don't...” Tony sighed, placing a hand on Steve's shoulder. “I told you about metal in the microwave before, didn't I?”
“I forgot!” Steve stopped himself just short of kicking at the oven. Tony was grateful. He didn't much feel like having to order two new kitchen appliances today. “I mean, I forgot which was which. Because you can use metal in the oven, or on the stove, but not in the microwave. But then you always heat everything up in the microwave, so I wanted to do that.”
Tony rubbed Steve's shoulder in an awkward attempt at comfort. “Just use the plastic tupperware next time, yeah?” He paused, thinking for a second. “But don't use the plastic in the oven or on the stove. It'll melt.”
Steve groaned and turned into Tony, bending down a bit so he could bury his face in Tony's neck. Tony patted his back gently. “Alright, big guy. Come on. Let's get you watching some more movies and I'll get you lunch. Okay?”
As Steve allowed himself to be guided to the big couch in one of the many living areas of headquarters, Tony spoke up to JARVIS. “Hey JARVIS. What number are we at on the AFI list?”
“Number twenty, sir. It's a Wonderful Life.”
“Oh, good.” Tony sat Steve down onto the couch as the movie came up on the flat-screen and began playing. “A little out of season, but this one should cheer you up. Right around your era, too.”
“Nineteen forty-six,” JARVIS offered helpfully.
As the movie began to flicker on, Steve's gaze stayed trained on the screen until Jimmy Stewart came on. “Oh!” his eyes lit up, and he tossed his head back to glance up at Tony. “Jimmy Stewart.”
“Yeah.” Bending down, Tony pressed a quick kiss to Steve's perfectly-coifed blonde locks. “You settle in and I'll get you lunch, okay?”
Tony beat a hasty retreat, glancing around to make sure no one had seen him. It wasn't that their relationship was a secret, or he was ashamed of public displays of affection. He just didn't much need his reputation called into question. And comforting a disoriented Captain America would definitely wreck the persona he'd spent so many years developing.
The explosion had Tony flying awake, getting tangled in his covers and Steve's limbs, before promptly falling out his bed and landing on his ass like some fucking idiot. Steve somehow managed to jump out of bed gracefully, shield in hand and flinging open the door.
After his rather undignified awakening, Tony made a point of getting his thoughts together, and superheroing smart. “JARVIS!” he groaned, rubbing his sore ass. “What was that?”
“Explosion from Sector 7, sir,” JARVIS' disembodied voice informed him. “Thor's workstation, it appears.”
“Great,” Tony grumbled. “What the hell is that big idiot up to now?”
By the time Tony managed to limp his way over to Thor's wing of headquarters, there were already people walking calmly away, like the problem was solved. Tony tried asking Natalia, but she just rolled her eyes and tossed a hand over her shoulder. “See for yourself.”
Steve was there, shield leaning against a wall as he hovered over Thor's workstation. And on the workstation...
“Black powder? Really? Okay, seriously: who thought it'd be a good idea to tell Thor about black powder?”
“Tony!” Thor's head lifted, revealing a soot-covered face, blonde hair swept back in a comic visual reminiscent of the recently exploded. “Look! Gaze upon the wonders of your modern technology!”
Tony realized too late that Thor was reaching for Mjölnir. With an easy motion, Thor brought Mjölnir down onto a small pile of black powder.
Before he even knew what was happening, Tony found himself being shoved into the wall and to the ground by Steve, who had his shield covering the both of them. An explosion rocked the room, the blast pushing Steve chest-to-chest with Tony, his knee slipping between Tony's thighs. Tony spared a moment to raise his eyebrows at Steve before the explosion subsided. Then the other man was blushing and moving away, helping Tony to his feet.
“Look!” Thor was grinning madly, hair more wildly swept back and face covered in a fresh layer of soot.
Tony frowned at Mjölnir. “That's some hammer you've got there,” he muttered. “It's amplifying the explosive potential of the black powder somehow. Hey, you don't think-” Tony took a step forward, but was immediately halted by the look Thor gave him, and the way he was clutching at his hammer. “Right,” Tony said, holding his hands up in apology. “Right. Sorry. Never mind.”
Steve was tugging Tony toward the door, and Tony allowed himself to be led. “Just,” he turned back to Thor, who was already pouring more powder onto his workstation. Tony held up a finger. “Try not to blow up the base, will you? And keep it down. Some of us are trying to sleep.”
Thor's boisterous laugh and proclamation that, “I doubt sleep weighs heavily on your mind when Steve shares your bed!” followed Steve and Tony down the hallway to Tony's bedroom.
“Seriously, what the fuck ?!” Tony stared into the training room through the heads-up display inside his Iron Man suit. After realizing there wasn't a threat, he opened the helmet so he could stare upon the stupidity with his own two eyes. Well, “wasn't a threat” was probably being generous: any time when Clint had a quiver-full of, apparently, exploding arrows and Thor was swinging Mjölnir with the joyful enthusiasm of a kid burning ants, there was probably some sort of “threat”. Certainly it wasn't the safest place to be.
“Tony!” Thor held his arms wide, Mjölnir dangling in one hand with deceptive ease. “Join us! Clint was just testing his new arrows! He is using the black powder! You recall that, yes?”
Tony reached a hand up to rub his face viciously, before he remembered it was encased in metal and his face was not. He settled for scrubbing the metal hand over the back of his metal-clad head. He turned to Clint. “Okay, so I don't expect pyscho kid with his first bb gun over here to know any better, but you too, Clint?”
Clint just shrugged, twirling an arrow casually in one hand, the other wrapped tight around his bow. Tony eyed the arrow suspiciously. It was explosive technology that he hadn't had a hand in making – he instinctively didn't trust it. “Thor gave me the idea. Thought it seemed... promising.”
“Uh-huh.” Tony eyed up Thor, who was swinging Mjölnir around easily, looking bored with the lack of hitting things and explosions. “And you thought it'd be a good idea to, what? Shoot them at Thor and let him swing for the fences?”
Clint shrugged wordlessly. Then he turned away and started to draw his bow. Thor immediately turned to face him, pulling Mjölnir back in a ready pose.
Tony decided to leave them to it, and got out of there before Mjölnir could connect with another one of Clint's exploding arrows.
...And One Time It Wasn't
“Fuck, fuck .” Tony panted into Steve's neck, pounding him harder into the mattress.
“Ah, Tony... keep...” Steve's hands were clutching at Tony's arms, clenching and unclenching as he switched between forgetting to control his strength and remembering to not hurt Tony. Sweet little noises fell from his mouth, like they were forcing their way out of him. Steve tended to do his best to be a quiet lover, like it was somehow rude or indecorous to be loud in bed. And of course, Tony did his best to draw those noises out of him.
“You like that?” Tony's hips moved faster, fucking harder into Steve's clenching heat. “Come on, come on,” he grunted. “Tell me you like it.”
Steve groaned, head tossing to the side as his asshole clenched around Tony's cock. Tony grunted, eyes squeezing shut as the pressure intensified. “Whoa there, relax. Fuck.”
“Sorry!” Steve gasped out, one arm moving from Tony's bicep to wrap around his waist. After a moment of shaky breathing, Steve's body relaxed, muscles in his ass loosening enough around Tony's cock so he could continue thrusting again. Tony took the opportunity to fuck hard into Steve, causing the other man to judder and moan at the sensation. “'m... I'm close, Tony. Can't...”
“Yeah, bet you're close,” Tony grunted. He changed the angel of his thrusts, causing Steve to whimper again, side of his face pressed firm into the mattress.
“Oh, Tony...” Then Steve was sitting up, grabbing Tony, rolling them around on the bed. Tony blinked but let him – he wasn't going to win at grappling with Steve. Not without his suit.
Steve had repositioned them so he was on top, Tony's cock still buried in his ass. He started fucking himself down on Tony again, muscles rippling with the pressure of holding back, skin glistening with sweat. Tony groaned and reached up, tracing a shaking hand over perfect nipples. Fuck, but Steve was gorgeous. Complete fucking Adonis of a man, if there ever was one.
“You going to come?” Tony asked, mostly just to see the way Steve blushed at the language.
“Tony, don't...” Steve's hands were gripping Tony's hips hard as he rode him, pounding himself down on Tony's cock. Finally he cried out, tendons in that meaty neck of his sticking out as he threw his head back and worked his hips through his orgasm.
Steve's come barely had time to land on Tony's chest before there was a creak, then a snap. The bed collapsed beneath them, crashing the few feet to the floor.
Tony blinked up at Steve, who was looking aghast – probably at the mess he made, Tony thought ruefully. Steve slipped off, leaning over the edge of the bed as he assessed the damage. Abruptly Tony realized he had come sometime during the commotion. Fuck. Tony poked at his flaccid cock, disappointed. That sucked.
“Steve, get over here. For fuck's sake.”
Steve turned to Tony where he was perched on the edge of the bed. “I broke your bed.” He frowned. “I'm sorry.”
Rolling his eyes, Tony reached out to Steve, waggling his fingers until Steve consented to moving toward him. Once Tony had his hands around Steve's wrist he hauled him in, tugging Steve into his lap and kissing at his jaw. “First: might have been a joint effort, there. And second: I'll just get another. JARVIS?”
Tony fiddled with Steve's hair absently as he spoke. “Order me a new bed. Have it delivered to the room, get this old one carted away. Oh, and send up some reinforcement materials. Steel, welding tools, you know.”
“Of course, sir.”
Tony was grateful he had never programmed JARVIS to be able to sigh. That would have gotten old fast.
The door to his bedroom burst open, and in stormed Nick, Thor, and Coulson. Tony sighed and tugged a blanket over the two of them, even as Steve scrambled and tried to climb out of Tony's lap. “Just stay still,” Tony grumbled, tucking the blanket into place.
“Fucking hell, Stark. Really? The bed?”
Tony nibbled on Steve's shoulder for a moment, glaring daggers at Nick before answer. “Yeah, well. My bed. And I've already ordered a new one.”
Before Tony realized what was happening, Thor was at their bedside, peering curiously down at them. As Tony and Steve watched, Thor reached two fingers down and tugged up the sheets covering their nudity, glancing underneath for a moment. Steve seemed to be frozen in horror, while Tony waited patiently for Thor to explain – or not – his curious behavior.
Sure enough, a moment later Thor let the sheet flutter back down to their laps and clasped a meaty hand to Tony's shoulder. “Congratulations, Tony!” he boomed. “I always thought you'd be the erastês . Enjoy the rest of your evening with your boy!”
Steve's body seemed to melt further into Tony, like he wanted to just crawl inside and hide. He turned a little bit, stubble of his jaw scraping against Tony's. “What... what's that...”
“Don't look it up,” Tony warned. He turned his attention back to the group of men standing in his doorway – the group of men that now included Clint, Tony realized with a start; when the hell did he get there? – and raised his eyebrows. “Well? No evil-doing here. Unless you count what I was just doing to Steve, but he seemed to like it. In fact, I think he'd like it if we could get back to that. So if you don't mind...”
After much grumbling, and a one-eyed stare fit to put the fear of God into a nun courtesy Nick, the men shut the door to Tony's bedroom and left them. As soon as they were alone again, Steve groaned and turned around in Tony's lap, pressing his face to his neck. “ Tony .”
“Yeah, sorry about that big guy.” Tony patted Steve's back as he slowly leaned backwards, until he was lying prone on the bed with Steve on top of him. “Why don't you just get some sleep? Everyone'll forget about it by morning.”