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Too Close to the Sun

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your hands protect the flames
from the wild winds around you

icarus is flying too close to the sun
and icarus's life, it has only just begun

icarus; bastille

 

*****

 

It doesn’t happen the way Steve expected it would. Or, how he imagined it would happen, because he never truly expected to end up falling into bed with Tony Stark, no matter how much he wanted to.

They've been friends, good friends, ever since they bonded over having to share a washing machine in their crappy, dingy dorm laundry room, when all of the others were broken. It was two am when Steve stumbled into the laundry room, clothes piled high in his arms, only to find a guy with dark, messy hair, wearing grease stained tank top, worn out jeans, and absolutely nothing on his feet, shoving clothes into the only working washing machine. Months later, Steve can still remember the exact feeling that constricted his chest when the guy looked up, gave him a crooked smile, and said: "Hello handsome, fancy meeting you here."

Steve is sure that he'd fallen for him in that exact instant.

Their meeting is followed by months of careful dancing around flirting; Steve being cautious and unsure if Tony feels the same way, wanting Tony in his life so much that he's terrified of messing things up.

Until the night before, when Steve looked up at the sound of his door flying open only to see Tony standing the doorway. He stared at him with urgency in his eyes, wringing his hands anxiously in front of him.

He'd jabbed a finger at Steve and said, "Thor told me. Don't get mad at him, it's a long story but it's my fault. There was a bet and a bottle of scotch and we somehow got pizza sauce on the ceiling... not important. Anyways, if I'm wrong about this, yell at him, not me."

Then Tony was flying across the room, rushing at him with fierce determination blazing in his eyes, and before Steve could take a breath Tony was in his arms, his lips on his, and all of the world was fading away into oblivion.

The night passes with fevered kisses and whispered endearments into the darkness of the room, and before they know it, the sun is creeping over the horizon in a glow of golden pink, and Steve marvels at the fact that he's here, with Tony, and that this is real.

They're lying in silence, both wrapped up in their own thoughts, when an idea comes to him.

"Tony?"

Tony looks up at the sound of Steve's voice from where he's sprawled across the bed in a dishevelled heap, sheets tangled loosely around his waist and his hands a flurry across the screen of the tablet he’s holding. It's still dim, the morning light just barely filtering in through the windows to tell them that yes, they had spent the entire night awake and lost in each other. Their legs are tangled together and Steve is leaning against the pillows, sleepily gazing down at Tony as he does... something. Another time he'd ask him to tell him what he's working on, and he'd listen happily to whatever Tony has on the go at the college's lab. Steve would probably go a little starry eyed and hazy watching Tony awash with excitement and passion, because that's how he got whenever he talked about his work. Steve loves that; the brightness on his face, the giddy excitement in his eyes. They've been friends for months now, and it was a wonder that Tony never noticed how entranced Steve got when Tony started going.

Any other time, he would ask; but right now, he has an idea.

Brown eyes assess him and Steve feels himself squirming under their gaze. That was the thing about Tony - something about the way that he looks at Steve makes him feel like someone has a hand wrapped around his heart. He couldn't tell yet if it was a good or bad thing, so for the moment, he decides on unsettling.

"Mmph?" Tony makes a noise in his throat that is both an encouragement and a question.

Steve shifts against the pillows, curls his ankle around Tony's. "I wanna try something," he says.

Tony flashes him a wicked grin and his eyes flick over Steve's body, the bare expanse of skin that is bared for him to see. His eyes linger on the dip of Steve's hip where it’s half obscured by the sheets.

"What, last night wasn't kinky enough for you?" Tony asks, his eyes coming back up to meet Steve's. "Lay it on me, hot stuff. There's not much I wouldn't wanna do with you."

Steve fights the flush that creeps over his cheekbones. It's not that he's embarrassed; it's just that the smirk on Tony's face and the lilt of his voice makes him remember the feeling of Tony's voice rasping against his neck the night before. It reminds him of moments where Tony was beneath him, hands on every inch of his skin, breath hot and heavy in his ear. Steve figures he's allowed to feel a little flustered at the memory; it's not every morning that he finds himself next to a sex ravished Tony Stark.  

"Tony," he admonishes, and rolls his eyes. "It's nothing like that."

"Mmm," Tony hums, and Steve resists the urge to kiss the remnants of that smirk off of his face.

"It's something I saw on the internet," Steve explains.

Tony snorts. "You know, that really doesn't convince me that it's not a sex thing, Steve."

"It's not," Steve insists, unable to keep a small smile at bay. He knows Tony notices it because he can see the faint twinkle in his eye, the pulling at the corner of his mouth that isn't a smirk; but something more genuine and subconscious. Steve knows it, he sees it whenever Tony realizes he's made Steve smile. It's almost as though he feeds off of Steve's happiness.

A strange thought, but one that Steve thinks is becoming increasingly more likely as they spend more time together. Besides, Steve feels the same about him.

Tony shrugs, grins at him and gestures with his hand for him to continue.

"I want to paint on you," Steve tells him.

"Paint me?" Tony asks slowly, one brow arching. "Like, you wanna do a nude of me?"

"No, that's not -"

"'Cause I have to admit, I like that idea. You should definitely do a nude of me. You could hang it over your bed."

"Tony no, I-" Steve pauses, shakes his head, and then gestures to the side of the room where he keeps his art supplies. "I want to paint on you. Body paint."

Tony is looking at him with mild curiosity. It feels like a dumb request, and Steve feels exceedingly silly for even asking as he tries to sit still while Tony keeps a vaguely confused gaze on him.

"On your back, to be more specific," Steve continues. "Here-" he reaches for his laptop where he left it on the bedside table and pulls it into his lap. He turns it on and starts searching for what gave him the idea; a photo he'd seen of a girl with galaxies painted on her back.

Tony scoots up the bed until he's sitting next to Steve, leaning against his side as he searches. Steve loves the warmth of him on his skin, bare flesh smooth and soft against him. His hair tickles Steve's neck as he rests his head on Steve's shoulder, his breath ghosting against his collarbone. Steve has to fight to stay focused on his task as he flicks through various web pages, while Tony is warm and soft and distracting next to him.

It only takes him a few moments to find it, and when he does he points to the screen, glancing down at Tony. He's looking at the laptop with sleep heavy eyes, eyelashes fluttering against his skin.

Steve stares, and thinks that sometime, he ought to ask Tony if he can draw him.

Tony looks up at him then, grins and hunches one shoulder up to his ear. "Sure," he says. "Why not. Wouldn't be the strangest thing I've ever done."

"You sure?"

"Yup," Tony says cheerfully, and starts to climb out from underneath the sheets - making Steve's heart thud against his ribcage because Tony's still naked and it's not a sight he's used to just yet - and flops down unceremoniously onto the bed, face down. "The price I pay for excellent sex with an art student. Get to it, chop chop. Make me a masterpiece, Rogers."

Steve has to swallow his words before he says something ridiculous like you're already a masterpiece.

He slides off the bed then, and gathers supplies; paint he knows will wash off of skin easily, brushes, water, his paint stained palette. He arranges them all next to Tony, who is watching him with eyes that look like he is barely able to force his eyelids to stay open. Steve figures he's tired - on top of being up the entire night with him, Tony had stumbled into Steve's room after not contacting him for a few days, which meant he'd probably been working almost all of that time.

"You can sleep while I do it," Steve tells him, crawling back onto the bed and slinging one leg over Tony. He settles so he's resting some of his weight on the backs of Tony's thighs, the rest of it on the bed on either side of him. He places one hand at the small of Tony's back, feels the warmth of his skin, the faint rumble across the surface when he answers.

"'m not tired," he mumbles, in a voice that Steve recognizes as Tony's I'm moments away from crashing and nothing, probably not even the end of the world could keep me awake voice.

"Sure," Steve answers, his voice hardly hiding a soft laugh behind his words. He lifts his hand from where it rests on Tony's back, lightly running his fingers across his skin. He does it as an artist, mapping his canvas, and as a lover, gentle and reverent.

"Shut up," Tony slurs, and Steve doesn't respond. He just smiles a smile Tony doesn't see, and splays his fingers across his back. He reaches for his brush, an idea on the tip of his fingers, his hands itching to etch it into the curves of Tony's skin.

He grips his brush, a color finds its way onto the bristles, and moments later paint is melting into Tony's skin, and something is taking form beneath his hands.

"Mmph," Tony murmurs, and squirms a bit. "Tickles."

Steve pauses mid stroke, and swats at the back of his head with his free hand. "Keep still."

Tony obliges, and falls silent. Steve gets back to work.

They're both silent the entire time Steve works, the only sounds in the room is of Tony's soft breathing, and the occasional splash of water when Steve rinses his brush to change colors. It doesn't take long before Steve is certain that Tony has faded off into sleep; his breaths becoming more even and gentle in the silence of the room.

Despite Tony's general abhorrence for keeping still - he was always moving, jiggling his leg whenever he sat, tapping his fingers against the nearest surface, pacing back and forth as he gestured wildly while talking about some idea that was exploding inside of him - he manages to do it for the entire time that Steve works. Steve figures that it's because he's sleeping for most of it, but even so, he's pretty sure that this is the longest he's seen Tony still for any period of time. He's a man who is always in motion; a flurry of ideas and enthusiasm and passion, all rushing forth in every movement he makes, the fluidity of his steps, graceful in their own right.

Steve loves that about him; the way he never stops. He's like a hurricane, sweeping through lives with gusto and feral elegance, and all Steve can do is try to keep up.

Not that he dislikes it in the slightest; it's all part of loving Tony Stark. All of him, the whirlwind that is all that he is, he loves it all.

It's here, with Tony pliant and motionless beneath him, a rare, precious moment of calm, that Steve has a vision; one of Tony and who this man is, and without coherent thought, something appears beneath his fingertips. He feels a smile lingering on his lips as he paints, content with what he's done.

When he sets aside his brush, blinks, and looks up, the sun is coming through the window the way it does as light embraces the morning. Just bright enough to give the room a soft glow, he thinks of new beginnings, and this first morning he gets to share with Tony, and thinks it's very fitting.

He clears his throat, and shifts off of Tony, arranging himself into a seated position beside him.

"I'm finished," he says, just as Tony is stirring, blinking sleepily in the new morning light.

He looks up at Steve, squinting slightly, and then drops his face onto the bed again, groaning softly. "This was all a ploy," he mumbles into the blankets.

One of Steve's brows quirks up. "A ploy? For what, exactly?"

"Making me sleep," he grumbles, wiggling across the bed, making his way to the edge. He swings his legs over the side and stands, stretching his arms over his head, his back to Steve. Steve's heart flutters when the movement makes the muscles under the painting contort and shift, making it look alive for one brief, hallucinatory moment. "You were trying to be all Mr. Responsible adult again and tricked me into sleeping. I'm onto you, Steve."

"Uh huh." Steve smiles, and climbs off the bed. "Wanna see it?"

Something flickers across Tony's face, something almost like nervousness, but it fades so quickly that Steve figures he probably imagined it. He reaches out a hand to Tony, who hesitates for a moment, but then takes it willingly, fingers curling around Steve's hand as he follows him across the room to the floor length mirror.

Steve places his hands gently on Tony's shoulders, leans in, and places a soft kiss on his lips. "Turn around," Steve tells him.

Tony is looking at him, eyes intent and burning into him, then he pulls away, turning to look at what Steve has done.

He stares at himself, craning his neck to look what Steve has painted onto his back.

"Jesus," Tony breaths, the word rushing out in one long gust. He's completely still for a long moment, his eyes widening as he looks. Steve realizes with surprise that he's nervous, that his fingers are clenching and digging into Tony's skin where he has them still resting on Tony's shoulders. He breathes in deeply, drops his arms to his sides, and waits, while Tony stares at what Steve has painted.

Two wings span the expanse of Tony's back, the feathers glimmering a golden color, held together by wisps of deep red. The red runs like deep veins through the gold, starkly bright and vibrant, balancing out the golden color that stretches across his skin. The wings extend from the tip of his shoulders, right down to the dip of his lower back. They unfurl from a spot in the center of his back, the part of the painting that is the deepest red, right at the heart of the image.

Tony moves, and the painting shifts. For a wild moment, it looks like the feathers are shaking themselves out, fluttering and shimmering in the morning sunlight.

"You like it?" Steve asks cautiously.

"Like it?" Tony asks incredulously. "Are you kidding? God damn, Steve."

Steve worries at his bottom lip. "What is that supposed to mean?"

Tony doesn't look up at him, just keeps staring at his back and shakes his head, rolling his eyes. A smile tugs at the corner of his lips. "It means it's fucking amazing, Steve. You idiot."

Steve laughs, letting out a breath that he didn't realize he was holding. "Good," he says, softly.

Tony makes an aborted move, pauses, and then reaches one hand over his shoulder to brush over the crest of one wing. He shakes his head again, this time in wonder and not exasperation.

"What are you doing wasting your talent painting on me?" he asks quietly.

"Not wasting," Steve says, and steps forward, placing one hand on Tony's hip, pulling him close until he's pressed against his chest. Tony tears his gaze away from the mirror and looks up at Steve, winding his arms around Steve's neck. "I loved doing it."

"Yeah well, I feel like a walking Michelangelo or Picasso. I’m not worthy. You artified me. I’m a walking canvas but I don’t even care."

Steve chuckles. "You’re more than worthy, and that's not a word, Tony."

Tony harrumphs and shrugs his shoulders. "It is now."

Steve presses a kiss to the tip his nose, and Tony scrunches up his nose in response. "Such a sap," he grumbles, and Steve smiles, completely unapologetic. He does it again, earning himself a faint whining noise.

"You're an embarrassment, Rogers," Tony tells him, but Steve can hear the affection lingering just below the surface, so he doesn't bother being offended.

"Yup," he says, popping the P. He ducks his head and buries it into the crook of Tony's neck, enjoying the contented noise Tony makes at the touch. He splays his fingers wide across Tony's back, looking over his shoulder at the mirror. He sees the way his hand looks over the gold of the wings, the contrast of the red and goldagainst his flesh.

He thinks it's one of the most beautiful things he's ever seen, just because it's on Tony. It blends so beautifully into his skin, like it's a part of him. Almost as though it was always meant to be there.

Steve presses a kiss to Tony's neck, right over a dark red mark he sucked into his skin the night before, and draws back to look Tony in the face.

"We should shower," he says, a bit regretfully. "We do have classes and stuff."

"Screw classes," Tony says, and kisses Steve hard, stealing his breath for a moment. "I'd much rather stay here and let you fuck me against the wall again."

Steve shivers at the thought.

"Don't tempt me," he groans, leaning forward to rest his forehead against Tony's. "We're already so late, and I have that project..."

Tony grunts, reaches down and squeezes Steve's ass, making him jump with a startled laugh. "Don't make me beg," Tony says, a wicked glint in his eyes.

Steve groans again. On one hand, he really has no choice. He's skipped enough classes - most times to do something stupid with Tony, other times with Bucky - and he can't afford to miss any more. The temptation is strong, but he tries to remind himself that he can have many mornings like this if he wants to.

He wants to.

"You know," he says, running a finger up Tony's spine, "I could fuck you in the shower, if you wanted."

This time, it's Tony's turn to shiver, his eyes going dark with lust.

"Damn," he rasps, "yes. Yes, let's do that. Right now."

Steve laughs and kisses him. "Shower sex," he says, kissing him again. "Then class."

"You drive a hard bargain," Tony says. He gives Steve's ass another squeeze, and then steps back out of his reach, turning back so he can look in the mirror again. "First, I want you to take a picture of this though."

Steve frowns. "Really? Why?"

"Because I want to frame it and stare at its magnificence for the rest of my life and have bragging rights when you get famous that you painted on me. A Steve Rogers original," Tony says, matter of factly, and strides over to the nightstand, grabs his phone, and throws it to Steve. "Come on now, hurry up, every second we spend chatting we're wasting valuable shower sex time, and that is not acceptable."

Steve obeys, and finds himself moments later, dragged into the tiny adjoining bathroom, kissing Tony senseless under the spray of the water, while the paint turns the water bright red around their feet.

The paint comes off in sloughs of color, and Steve watches as the red runs over his fingertips, spilling into his hand, crimson and brash. When it doesn’t run clear, he clasps his hand against the small of Tony's back, as if to hide where the red peels from his body and where it flows over his fingers.

A phantom shiver of discomfort creeps up his spine, and he tears his eyes away, returning them to Tony’s face, shaking it off.

"As much as I love making out with you in the shower, and who wouldn't, I'm pretty sure you're carved out of marble, I'm kinda upset that now my wings have washed off," Tony says mournfully, in between kisses.  

"Don't worry," Steve murmurs and presses a kiss to his damp hair. Barely pulling away, he continues; "They're still there. The ones I painted were just a reminder."

Tony is quiet, hands roving over Steve’s body; over his arms, in his hair, fingertips digging into his waist.

"A reminder," Steve repeats. Tony's breath hitches as Steve rolls his hips as he says the words, his lips whispering against his neck as he speaks.

"A reminder of what?" Tony asks, his voice catching at the tail end of the questions, before fading off into something that is almost a gasp.

Steve feels a little drunk; off of that sound, off of the feeling of Tony coming apart in his arms, the warm brown eyes that watch him hungrily. He feels drunk; he's got a fire kindling in his chest, and he figures that's what accounts for what he says next.

"That you can do anything," he breathes, his fingers digging into Tony's hips, the sharp ridge of his hipbone fitting perfectly against the curve of his hands. "Don't you want to fly, Tony?"

It's nonsense, he knows that. He doesn't know what he's saying anymore; he just knows Tony is fire and light and is molten in his arms, he just knows that Tony is looking at him like he's got the universe in his eyes, and his mouth is just saying things.

"What if I fall?" Tony asks, playing along, just as Steve jerks his hips again, fueling the heat running between them, and the word fall comes out on an unsteady gasp for breath. He claps the back of Steve's neck, his fingers pin pricks of pressure against his skin where they dig in and keep him locked in his grip.

"I'll catch you," Steve rasps. Almost frantically, he slides his hands down to Tony's thighs, hitching one up over his hip. As if reading his mind, Tony lifts the other leg and Steve catches it effortlessly. Tony's legs are around his waist and he's pressing him against the wall, the water trickling over their damp skin as he presses feverish kisses into the crest of his collarbone.

"Always catch you," Steve is saying, his voice soft and fragmented as he kisses up Tony's neck. "Don't you know that?"

He finds Tony's lips then, and kisses him hard, relishing the way it feels when he moans into his mouth, as they kiss with mouths open, breath heavy and wavering.

"Maybe you'll build them someday," Steve murmers into his hair.

Tony chuckles into his neck. "Build wings?"

"Sure. You should. You're a mechanic, you could do it, right?"

"I am a genius," Tony says, by way of answering.

"And oh so humble," Steve grins, but doesn't disagree.

Steve presses his hands to the middle of Tony's back, right where the core of the deepest red had been painted, and lets his hands linger there.

"They're right there," he whispers, "right under the surface. Waiting for you."

"You're insane," Tony tells him, and Steve shrugs.

"Maybe," he agrees.

"I don't mind it though," Tony murmurs, and presses a searing kiss to his lips. Steve clutches at him, holding Tony tightly against him, relishing the feeling of skin on skin. He rocks his hips forward again, drawing a beautiful gasp from Tony's lips. "I love it," Tony continues breathily, and Steve isn't sure if he's talking about his insanity or the feeling of their cocks rubbing together between them, but he doesn't care, he doesn't, because Tony is warm and trembling in his arms and everything is perfect.

"Promise me something," Steve breathes into his ear, reaching one hand between them, taking both of them into his hand and starting to stroke slowly. Tony lets out a choked off moan, and grabs his shoulders, lips parted as he struggles for breath.

"Anything," he gasps. Steve picks up the pace, stroking them both in tandem, pressing Tony against the wall of the shower. He's staring up at Steve with his lips still parted slightly, his gaze intent and pleading as Steve tears him apart.

"Take me flying with you some day," Steve whispers.

Tony lets out a long groan as Steve runs his hand down the entire length of his cock, strokes the head and resumes jerking them both off at the same time. He can feel Tony shaking, his breaths coming out faster, and he knows he's about to finish him.

Steve comes first, Tony only a moment later, and Tony's yes is captured somewhere between their lips; a promise.

A promise for flight and for ambition and dreams and, most importantly, a promise to do it all together.