Don't believe the things you tell yourself so late at night
And, you are your own worst enemy, you'll never win the fight
- Ingrid Michaelson, “Parachute”
Tony Stark looked good in a lot of things — a tux, his greasy work clothes, absolutely nothing — but jealousy was one thing that did not suit him.
Pepper and Steve had been surprisingly receptive to his suggestions of a threesome, but Tony wasn’t complaining. It had started as just a sex thing, them dragging Steve into their bed every now and again, but as time went on it expanded to other things. Invitations to parties, going out in the evening, dinners with just the three of them. Without even realizing it, their duo became a trio of a more permanent nature.
Tony, being Tony, was just waiting for the moment where he fucked everything up. And Tony, being Tony, didn’t have to wait very long.
There are giggles coming from the kitchen. Tony stops in the doorway, utterly confused. At first he chalks it up to his sleep-deprived mind, but when he leans into the room, he sees Pepper and Steve at the stove, cooking eggs. Tony rests against the doorframe and watches.
Pepper has her hair tied up and pancake batter on her cheek. Steve is laughing at something she just said, brushing flour off his pajama bottoms. It’s sickeningly domestic, and something hits Tony right in the chest. It feels like someone has taken the arc reactor out again.
Pepper looks over her shoulder at that moment, catching sight of Tony. “Good morning, Tony,” she says, tilting her head slightly and adding, “Or is that good night for you?”
Tony wanders over to stand between them, eyes scanning over the mess on the counter. Steve slips an arm around his waist as Pepper presses a kiss to his lips, and he stands there silently for a moment, willing the ache in his chest to go away. He lifts a hand and wipes the batter from Pepper’s face.
“You make breakfast every morning?” he asks at last.
“Every now and then, yes. We do normally get up before everyone else,” Pepper answers.
“Natasha joins us sometimes,” Steve adds.
Natasha isn’t even part of this relationship and she makes breakfast with Steve and Pepper. “Yeah, cool,” is all he says.
“You want to help us finish up or are you too tired?” Steve’s rubbing a circle against Tony’s hip with his thumb. It’s incredibly soothing, and Tony drops his head against Steve’s shoulder.
“You kids have fun without me. I’m gonna get some sleep.”
Steve releases his waist and Pepper gives him another kiss before ushering him in the direction of their bedroom. If Tony has a drink or two before nodding off, neither of them has to know.
It’s not like they stop doing things with Tony. No, he still goes out to dinner with Pepper and watches TV with Steve, and at night the three of them curl up in Tony’s oversized bed, assuming Pepper’s not out of the country with CEO business or Tony’s not down in the workshop or Steve’s not stuck at SHIELD doing paperwork.
But Tony can’t help the envy that flares up when Pepper and Steve do things together without him. He feels like a child, petulant and petty and all sorts of other things that start with “P,” and it hurts inside that he can’t stop it.
Tony has his phone in hand as he walks into the living room, asking, “So, we thinking pizza or Thai tonight?” He stops short. “Oh, I didn’t realize we were going out.”
Pepper shakes her head while Steve looks apologetic. “I told you last week, Tony,” Pepper says, fixing Steve’s crooked bowtie, “Steve and I are going to the opera tonight.”
“What opera?” Tony asks like the genius that he is.
“That Chinese one I showed you. You said it looked like ‘a total bore fest,’ end quote.”
Tony vaguely remembers something like that happening, but he hadn’t realized Steve and Pepper were planning on going anyway. “You’ll be out all night then?”
Steve nods. “Probably. Pepper wanted to show me this new Italian place by the theater.”
“The one you insulted in three different languages when we were there for the grand opening,” Pepper interjects before Tony can get a word in.
“Ah, right. I guess I’ll be getting pizza.” Tony shuts his phone, suddenly not hungry. He’ll call later. Maybe.
“You’ll be good without us?” Steve asks jokingly, giving Pepper a quick peck on the lips in thanks for fixing his bowtie before turning to smile at Tony.
“Yeah, yeah, fine,” Tony tells him, waving the two towards the door. They say their goodbyes and Tony heads straight for his lab the second they’re gone. He’ll be good without them, he reminds himself. It’s probably something he should get used to.
It’s around then that Tony realizes he’s just in the way. Pepper and Steve are perfect for each other. They’re similar in temperament, they enjoy the same things, they just look so good together. Tony doesn’t fit into that picture. Tony is the outlier on the graph, deviating so wildly that he just messes up the rest of the data. He’s rough where they’re smooth, brash where they’re cautious, flashy where they’re withdrawn. He ruins date nights with elaborate schemes when they would rather have something quiet. He misses Pepper’s board meetings and texts Steve lewd photos of himself. He makes promises he can’t keep and tells the truth where he shouldn’t. He’s reduced Pepper to tears and Steve to anger.
Pepper and Steve, he thinks, would be much better off without him.
“Is everything okay, Tony?”
Tony turns his head to face Pepper, her hair splayed out over the cream-colored pillows on their bed. “Everything’s peachy, Pep,” he answers, and for the moment it actually is. It’s hard to feel bad when you have Captain America draped over your back and kissing your shoulders in post-coital bliss.
“Tony.” She reaches out to brush some of his hair from his face. Tony allows her, staring back blankly. Pepper has the creepy ability to know when he’s lying, but sometimes if he just plays dumb long enough she gives up.
“Tony,” Steve mumbles from somewhere between Tony’s shoulder blades. Steve’s really picking up on Pepper’s weird psychic cues these days, Tony notes, carefully filing away this information as yet another reason he needs to get out of this relationship, fast.
“You’ve been acting awfully…” Pepper hesitates. “Weird” is a word generally ascribed to Tony’s behavior. Tony thinks she might like to substitute the word “crazy” but is too polite to say so.
“Just really busy, is all,” he replies so she doesn’t have to keep groping for a word. He feels Steve’s head lift, no doubt sharing an incredulous glance with Pepper. There isn’t a time when all three of them aren’t ridiculously busy.
“If there’s something you want to talk about…” Steve offers, and Tony buries his head in the pillow and resolutely tries to ignore both of them.
In retrospect, not the brightest idea.
“It’ll be great, Steve, just you and me and a night on the town.” Tony grins at Steve, leaning against the arm of the chair Steve was currently reading in.
“I don’t know, Tony, I was thinking of just relaxing tonight.”
“It’ll be super low key, just what you need to relax.”
Steve still looks skeptical, but slowly nods. “All right, sure. Sounds fun.”
Things turn sour after about Tony’s fifth drink and one wrong turn (well, Tony claims it was wrong) down a street full of strip clubs.
Tony whoops and sticks a hundred dollar bill in the waistband of a stripper’s panties.
“I don’t think Pepper would appreciate us being here,” Steve says quietly, trying to look at anything that wasn’t a mostly-naked woman and failing to find a suitable alternative. He ends up just staring at his hands in his lap.
“Do you always listen to what Pepper says?” Tony retorts, and then immediately wishes he could take it back, because no fucking duh Steve always listens to what Pepper says. That’s pretty much his job in the relationship, picking up the slack where Tony screws up.
“I’m just going to go, Tony. I’ll meet you back at the tower.” Steve stands up, and Tony tries to follow, drunkenly grabbing at Steve’s sleeve and missing his arm only to end up pawing at his stomach. It’s a very nice stomach, Tony thinks fondly, but Steve sighs and puts his hands on Tony’s shoulders, keeping him standing straight.
“Don’t go, come on, I’ll buy you a lap dance.” Tony knows he shouldn’t be saying these words, but his brain is too slow to stop his mouth and they come pouring out anyway. Steve’s expression is one of thinly veiled disappointment, and Tony hates himself, hates what he’s doing to this relationship.
“Come home with me, Tony,” Steve tells him softly, moving one of his hands from Tony’s shoulder to his arm, rubbing the bare skin right under the sleeve of Tony’s t-shirt. Tony leans into the touch, wants to be willing to follow Steve anywhere, but right now he’s just frustrated and angry and he reacts on impulse, tugging free from Steve’s grip.
“You head on out, I’ll come back when I’m done.”
The rest of the night is mostly a blur. When he drags himself back to Stark Tower, Steve and Pepper are already asleep in bed, curled around one another. Tony collapses on the living room couch and pretends that he was too wasted to make it to the bedroom.
The more rational part of Tony’s mind tells him he should talk about this with Steve and Pepper. That part of him is very, very tiny, however, and the larger, less rational part is screaming at him to ignore it. They didn’t deserve to have his problems shoved on them. It wasn’t their fault he was this fucked up.
And like with all his problems, pretending they don’t exist has always worked before. No reason it shouldn’t work now.
Steve’s voice crackles to life on the private channel in Tony’s ear. “We need to talk.”
“Kind of busy, Cap,” Tony snaps, which was true for once. He dives underneath one of the attacking giant robots and rips through its bottom paneling to dismantle the bot.
“The only time you seem to listen is in the middle of a fight.”
Tony’s only response is a grunt as he punches through the robot’s wiring.
“You should apologize to Pepper for last night. She was really upset.”
“Story of my life,” Tony mutters, before adding more loudly, “What do you want me to do, I was just telling the truth.”
“You didn’t have to be rude about it.”
“Pepper’s tough, she can handle herself.”
“The point is she shouldn’t have to.”
Tony frowns, glad Steve can’t see him right now, and rips apart another robot in a show of aggression worthy of the Hulk. Steve was right, of course, Tony shouldn’t have said those things to Pepper. But he was tired and she kept trying to baby him, get him to eat something and go to sleep, but Tony doesn’t need to be babied, he can take care of himself thank you very much. Besides, the look on Pepper’s face when he’d told her he didn’t need her help had been proof enough that she knew he was lying through his teeth. It didn’t stop her from hurting, though.
“I’ll talk to her after this,” Tony says, tossing aside the dismembered android carcass. He’d wanted to take some bots back to his lab intact for research purposes, but now all he really wants to do is smash them all into pieces.
Pepper has one rule about Tony showing up at work now that she’s CEO. (Well, she has many rules about Stark Industries, but one is the most important.) That he, Tony Stark, cannot show up drunk to work.
Today, Tony shows up drunk and with sushi.
Pepper is not as happy about this as Tony had expected her to be.
“I am in the middle of a meeting, Tony, can’t you tell that I’m busy.”
“I brought you sushi,” he repeats, ignoring the man sitting in the chair across from Pepper’s desk and looking uncomfortable. Clearly he was a new employee, because most seasoned veterans of Stark Industries were used to Tony’s antics by now.
Pepper’s lips are pursed so tightly together that they’re practically a straight line. “Are you drunk, Tony.”
“That’s what the sushi’s for,” he replies, feeling rather clever about the whole thing. “Preemptive apology sushi.”
With a deep sigh, Pepper apologizes to the man in the chair about the disturbance and stands, taking Tony by the arm and firmly marching him out of her office and into the hall. Tony’s still trying to put the box of sushi in her hands.
“I don’t ask for a lot of things, Tony — ”
“You ask for tons of things.”
“But this was one rule I really, really wished you would’ve followed.”
“Following’s not really my — ”
“Yes, not your style. I’ve heard.”
Tony falls silent, because it’s not fun arguing with Pepper when she knows what he’s going to say already. Pepper watches him carefully, and if Tony were any more sober he’d probably be worried, but as it stands now he just grins and hands her the sushi.
She takes it this time with a quiet sigh. “Thank you for the sushi, Tony. Can you wait here for a few minutes? I’m almost done with this meeting, we can leave together.”
As Tony watches Pepper walk back into her office, he decides that going into work drunk hadn’t turned out to be such a bad idea after all.
Tony seems to have terrible luck with walking into intimate moments. He’s about two steps into the living room when he sees Pepper and Steve curled up on the couch, a Stark mp3 player and a single pair of earbuds between them. Pepper’s giggling at something Steve just said, too low for Tony to hear. Tony immediately turns around and walks back out of the room, but he doesn’t go far, just hovers by the doorway and watches, ignoring the little voice telling him what a creeper he’s being. This is his place, dammit, he can go wherever he wants, even if means skulking around in hallways.
Pepper’s giggling again as the two of them stand, setting down the mp3 player and leaving through the door on the opposite side of the room. Their quiet chatter softens, and then completely disappears. Tony steps back into the room, surveying the couch they had just vacated. The mp3 player is sitting on the coffee table, just waiting to be picked up and examined.
Tony does just that.
He presses the power button and the most recently played song lights up the screen. The hushed melody of Ellie Goulding’s cover of “Your Song” floats up from the headphones. Tony sighs and turns the mp3 player back off, setting it back down on the table. He’s not even surprised at this point anymore. His disappointment in himself is almost tangible.
This can be salvaged, he can fix this, just talk to them —
No no no.
This needed to end.
“Hey JARVIS,” Tony greets the AI, landing on the roof of Stark Tower and waiting for his system to dismantle the suit before heading inside. He’s still wearing his bodysuit, but he doesn’t change into something less sweaty and gross before dropping onto the couch with a grunt.
“Mister Stark,” JARVIS replies, and automatically starts playing Kansas over the speakers in the room.
Tony grins and leans back into the couch cushions, closing his eyes. “Every day you remind me why you’re the best AI ever.”
“I aim to please, sir,” is the reply, and Tony wonders if he’s just imagining how smug JARVIS sounds. Considering he was programmed by Tony, probably not.
He sits there for a while, letting the comforting sounds of guitar solos and heavy bass wash over him. JARVIS is blissfully silent, and for a moment it feels like there’s no one else around for miles, until —
There’s a light touch on his arm, and Tony’s eyes blink open. Steve is leaning over him, an affectionate smile on his face. “Busy day?”
“Just taking a break,” Tony says, smiling back. Pepper, who’d been hidden behind Steve’s bulk, sits down on the couch beside him. He reaches over and takes her hand, holding it between both of his. “Hey, how about I take you somewhere nice. Both of you. We’ll make it a date night, forget doing work.”
Steve and Pepper glance at each other, Pepper nodding almost imperceptibly.
“We’d love that,” she tells Tony, kissing the back of his hand before slipping out of his grasp and standing. “Right, Steve?”
“Sounds perfect,” he agrees, hands in his jeans pockets and looking like a wet dream just standing there doing absolutely nothing, and maybe they should just skip the date, Tony thinks, jump straight to the fun part.
“Steve got me a new dress I’ve been dying to have an excuse to wear,” Pepper adds with a grin, bumping hips with Steve as she walks past him towards the elevator. Steve blushes, cheeks and ears flushing pink, but he grins back, watching the sway of Pepper’s hips as she leaves.
Tony’s stomach feels like the bottom just dropped out of it, and not in the good way.
Steve turns back to Tony, holding out a hand that Tony takes without thinking about it, and hauls him up off the couch. “We’ll let you shower first,” he laughs, brushing the bangs sticking to Tony’s sweaty forehead to the side. “Let us know when you’re done getting ready.”
Tony nods and kisses Steve and decides tonight is the night he’s fixing everything.
Tony’s bought out the whole room for some privacy at the most expensive restaurant in New York City and absolutely no one is surprised. The maître d' of the restaurant is thrilled to see him again, clearly choosing to remember the size of Tony’s tips and not how Iron Man had smashed up the front lobby several months ago while stopping a superpowered bank robber. Tony has the wait staff bring out the best of every course, grinning when Steve tries a new dish and acts like it’s the best thing he’s ever tasted, or when Pepper laughs at whatever Tony’s just said and snorts soup all over the tablecloth.
They’re on the dessert, a chocolate and coffee crème brûlée, when Tony sets his spoon down and just watches the two of them. Pepper looks stunning in the blue evening gown Steve had bought for her, her hair done up in some sort of fancy braid that stumps even Tony in its complicated-looking twists and loops. Steve had put on one of the many suits that Tony had gotten for him in the past couple of years, and he’d picked out Tony’s favorite tie to wear for the evening. For a moment Tony regrets that he won’t be able to remove those clothes from their bodies after dinner.
Steve pauses in the middle of telling Pepper a joke Thor had attempted to share earlier and completely mangled. “Something wrong, Tony?”
“You two are the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen,” Tony says, and laughs when Pepper immediately looks concerned. He holds up a hand before she can say anything. “No, just, let me finish this.”
Pepper stays quiet, but her expression is anxious. Tony takes a moment to revel in how well Pepper knows him, how she managed to get under his skin and never let go, learning everything she could about him even when he didn’t want her to. Steve had been like that too, right from the very beginning, knowing right where to hit to make it hurt. Tony loved him for that then and he loves him for it now, loves both of them for being unafraid to tell him the truth. Now it was time for him to return the favor.
“You’re beautiful on your own and even more beautiful together. And it’s been great — amazing, even, absolutely fantastic — but I know when it’s game over. Which is why — ah, Pepper, shh! Which is why I’m bowing out gracefully before things get any worse. I wish you both the best of luck. You honestly deserve each other.”
He drains the rest of his wine and stands, setting the empty glass down on the table. The soft clink of glass against cloth is the only sound in the room. Pepper and Steve are staring at him, possibly in shock, though Tony would like to pretend it’s out of pure happiness at the revelation that they don’t have to put up with him being the world’s shittiest boyfriend.
“So, yeah,” he continues, because awkward silences were never his forte, “drink, be merry, have loads of attractive children, the whole shebang. Or a dog, maybe, you guys might want to start out with a dog first. Not that you wouldn’t make wonderful parents, of course. A dog just seems safer as a test run.”
They’re still not talking, so Tony just keeps on going.
“Of course, if you do have children, don’t feel obligated to make me godfather or anything. But I’d like to be the cool uncle, you know, the one who lets them eat ice cream for breakfast and buys them expensive Avengers merchandise and builds them an indoor hovercraft-slash-go-cart, that sort of thing.”
Pepper finally speaks, and Jesus Christ, Tony couldn’t have been more relieved. “Tony, what on earth are you talking about?”
Tony frowns. What’s there not to get? “I’m talking about you two.”
“No, you’re talking about our hypothetical child, which is kind of creepy.”
Steve, who Tony knows for a fact had wanted kids someday and probably still does, nods in agreement. “Tony, sit back down,” he says, and he looks so utterly hurt at the idea of Tony leaving that Tony sits down without argument. “Did I do something wrong?”
Because of course Steve would blame himself first, wouldn’t fucking acknowledge the huge flaw in his otherwise perfect relationship when he’s sitting at the table right in front of him, said flaw uneasily running his fingers over silverware and dishes so that he had something to do with his hands that wasn’t clawing at his own skin.
“You didn’t do a single thing wrong,” Tony assures him, strangely angry at the mere thought. “And neither did you, Pep, before you say anything. It’s…it’s me.”
“I thought ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ wasn’t allowed to be a real break up excuse these days?” Steve says, confused, and god, Tony wants to cry, so instead he laughs.
And keeps laughing, even when Steve’s brow furrows deeper and Pepper — oh shit, Pepper can’t possibly be crying, now it looks like he’s laughing at her tears but he just can’t stop laughing, he can’t, this is what his life has become. No, this is what his life always has been, laughing at things he doesn’t want to deal with and saying fuck it to the rest of the world.
“Would you stop laughing?” Steve finally snaps, reaching out a comforting hand to Pepper, who takes it and fixes a steely stare at Tony despite how her eyes are watering. Tony falls silent, the hiccupping laughter threatening to burst out again at any moment. “And just please tell us what’s wrong?”
“This! This is what’s wrong!” Tony gestures at the two of them, their hands clenched tightly together, then points at himself. “I spoil everything, I don’t fit right, I’m always messing up. You don’t understand, you can’t see — if only you could see how perfect the two of you are together.”
Pepper sniffs, wiping at the corners of her eyes with her free hand, and when she looks up at Tony again, she looks absolutely furious. “That’s what this is? You not thinking you’re good enough for us?”
“No — ” Tony’s shaking his head, fingers digging into the cream-colored tablecloth. “I mean, yeah, I guess that’s partially it. But every time I see the two of you together, it hurts, Pepper, it really hurts, and there can’t be jealousy in a relationship like this or else it all falls apart. So it’s better for everyone if I just stepped out.”
“Tony, just because we spend time together without you doesn’t mean we don’t love you,” Pepper says, sounds a little exasperated. To be fair, she had the right to be. “I love when you’re with Steve because I know you’re happy.”
“And I know you’re happy with Pepper,” Steve adds, putting his other hand over Tony’s, urging his frantic grip on the tablecloth to loosen. “And Pepper and I are happy together too. But it makes up both the happiest when you’re with us, Tony, no matter what we’re doing.”
“You’re just saying that,” Tony murmurs, refusing to move his gaze from Steve’s big hand covering his smaller, shakier ones.
All of a sudden Pepper’s standing, moving around the table and putting her arms around Tony’s shoulders, drawing him close and pressing kisses in his hair and whispering, “Would we ever lie to you about this.”
Steve, to Tony’s surprise, follows suit, moving to Tony’s side and kneeling so that he can kiss Tony’s cheek softly, then his ear, then his neck, and oh, Tony’s definitely going to need to give the staff here a whole lot of money to keep this quiet, because there’s no way they’re not all huddled by the kitchen door wondering what all the commotion is.
“I suppose I did get stuck dating the two most unrepentantly honest people I know,” Tony replies, a choked laugh getting stuck in his throat.
Pepper smiles into Tony’s hair. “Someone needs to keep you in line. Now, if you’re done with your dessert, Steve, and you’re done with your misguided panic attack, Tony, maybe we can move this somewhere a little more…private.”
“How can I say no to a lady?” Tony jokes, turning his head to capture her lips in a brief kiss.
“You manage it plenty of other times,” she points out after he pulls away to kiss Steve. He’s already bribing the restaurant staff, might as well get his money’s worth. Pepper rolls her eyes and flips open her phone, leaving Steve and Tony to stand and follow her to the door.
The car’s already out front when Tony’s done thanking the chefs and paying the bill (plus extra), and they pile into the limo faster than Tony thinks is entirely decent for three grown people in formalwear. Which is a normal occurrence for him, but an amusing sight to see with the other two. He quickly tells the chauffer to take them back to Stark Tower, glad that Happy was off for the week and they’d had to resort to some random employee Tony didn’t care about, because the way Pepper and Steve were looking at him meant there was no way they were waiting to get back to the Tower.
They slide into place on either side of him as he sits back in his seat, Pepper’s hands on his chest and Steve’s on his face, but he stops them before anyone can move further. Pepper raises an eyebrow questioningly.
“Actually, I’d prefer if you…” He gestures between them and leans back, waiting for them to get the idea.
They do, and remarkably fast.
They lock lips right in front of him, Pepper tangling her fingers in Steve’s hair and mussing it up. Steve gasps a little as she tugs on the blond strands, pulling him closer so that he’s pressed against Tony’s side as he leans over Tony’s legs to kiss Pepper. Tony licks his suddenly dry lips, eyes wide, anxiously waiting for the stirrings of resentment to start. Steve puts a hand on Tony’s leg to steady himself, still kissing Pepper thoroughly. Something shoots through Tony’s gut, and it sure as hell isn’t jealousy.
The grip on Tony’s leg tightens as Pepper lets go of Steve’s hair to drag her hands over his shoulders and back, perfectly manicured nails catching against the fabric of Steve’s suit jacket. He scrambles to shrug the jacket off, which Tony gladly helps with, watching the flex of Steve’s muscles under his immaculately pressed dress shirt. The jacket is tossed unceremoniously on the floor, the tie following soon after, and when Pepper finally lets go of Steve to pause and tuck some of the fallen locks of her hair back into her braid, Tony lets out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding.
Steve looks at him then and smiles, so perfectly debauched with his previously smoothed down hair all over the place and his lips swollen and red. Pepper’s lipstick was smudged at the corner of his mouth. And this was only the beginning, Tony’s brain supplies helpfully.
“This helping with your research any?” Pepper teases him, matching Steve’s smile, but her cheeks are flushed and her breathing is a little heavy.
“It’s been an indispensable help,” Tony assures her, tugging at his own tie.
“And the verdict?” Steve asks.
“Most certainly positive.” He tosses the tie on the ground by Steve’s discarded clothes, getting up to move to the opposite row of seats. His suit jacket is next to go, keeping his eyes fixed on the two of them. “Just…keep doing what you’re doing.”
Pepper looks amused, but she reaches for Steve again, the two of them kissing even more closely now that Tony wasn’t between them. Tony undoes the buckle of his belt, watching the play of Steve’s hands over the contours of Pepper’s back, and he presses the heel of his hand against his quickly hardening cock. God, he’s turned on just watching Steve fondle Pepper over the top of her dress, how much more pathetic could he get —
Pepper catches his eye and she turns away from Steve, who keeps kissing her neck as she talks. “Don’t think you’re sitting this out entirely.”
“Oh I was planning on joining in eventually,” Tony answers, voice sticking in his throat.
“Good, because we’ve got plans for you.” She stretches out a leg, running her shoeless foot along the inside of Tony’s thigh, the fabric of her dress slipping from her leg like water. Tony may have whimpered a little bit. “But not until we get back.”
Tony wants to protest, he really does, but a few seconds later they’re pulling into his private garage in Stark Tower and Tony has never been happier with his luck. Tony’s out of the limo the second it pulls to a stop, tossing a wad of cash through the window at the driver and telling him to take the rest of the evening off. He has to wait for Pepper and Steve to pick up the things they’d thrown on the limo floor, because of course they had to make him wait while they tidied up, seriously, how were they not running to the elevator right now like Tony wants to do.
The second the elevator door slides shut, though, they’re both on him, Pepper backing him up so he’s flush against Steve’s chest, and oh look, their coats and things are on the floor again, so much for that. He kisses Pepper with gusto while Steve’s arms wrap around the both of them, tugging them closer and sandwiching Tony tighter between himself and Pepper. Steve’s got damn nice arms, Tony muses somewhat dreamily, momentarily distracted, but then Pepper’s undoing the rest of Tony’s belt and he bucks forward into her hands. She laughs, the sound mingling with the “ding” of the elevator door opening at the penthouse level.
It’s a miracle no one gets hurt as they exit the elevator without breaking formation, Steve nipping at Tony’s neck with his teeth and Pepper undoing Tony’s shirt as she marches them down the hall toward the bedroom. Tony’s never left JARVIS a set of instructions so quickly.
“Hey JARVIS, anyone calls just ignore them, I don’t care if the world’s ending — ”
“Please let us know if the world actually is ending, JARVIS,” Steve interjects.
“ — cancel all our plans for tomorrow — ”
Pepper sighs. “Don’t cancel that meeting with the liaison from Hong Kong, JARVIS.”
“ — and make sure Dum-E doesn’t set the kitchen on fire again.”
No one corrects him that time. Dum-E had a bad habit of trying to bring the three of them breakfast in bed and catching things on fire in the process.
“Duly noted, Mr. Stark. Enjoy your evening.”
The lights are already dimmed as they enter the bedroom, and Tony gives JARVIS a brief thumbs up before he’s dumped somewhat unceremoniously on the bed. Steve and Pepper remain standing, peering down at him as if contemplating a plan of attack. It makes Tony’s heart beat faster and his cock strain against his slacks, which are somehow still miraculously around his waist.
“Are you waiting for an invitation?” Tony asks, a ghost of a smirk on his lips.
“Debating if I want to risk ruining this dress,” Pepper replies, unconcerned, but the answer is apparently “no” because Steve’s already undoing the zipper on the back, allowing Pepper to step straight out of it. Tony doesn’t even see what Steve does with the dress after that, because he’s too preoccupied with the black lace Pepper’s wearing as she kneels on the bed in front of him. More specifically, the removal of said black lace from Pepper’s body.
He’s got the bra expertly undone and tossed aside by the time Steve joins them on the bed, appearing silently behind Tony and slipping the now fully unbuttoned dress shirt from his shoulders. He leans down to press a kiss to Tony’s bare shoulder, the soft feel of lips quickly changing to a sharper nip of teeth when Tony pushes back, sliding into Steve’s lap. Pepper, still looking radiant in nothing but a pair of panties and her fancy hairdo, laughs and moves forward again, settling between Tony’s legs.
Steve pauses in his endeavor to completely mark up Tony’s neck to look at Pepper. “So what’s the plan?”
“You need a plan, really?” Tony rolls his eyes. “I thought the plan was just to fuck me silly. I like that plan. Can we do a vote? My vote counts triple.”
Steve sighs fondly and places a hand over Tony’s mouth, still waiting for Pepper’s answer. Tony retaliates by maneuvering one of Steve’s fingers into his mouth and sucking. Pepper’s eyes go wide at the sight, and Tony swears he hears a soft gasp from Steve. Mission accomplished. He’d smirk if his mouth wasn’t otherwise occupied, so he just rolls his tongue around another of Steve’s fingers.
“For once, I’m inclined to agree with Tony’s plan,” Pepper says after a moment, clearing her throat.
Tony releases Steve’s fingers, but Steve doesn’t move his hand far, thumb stroking idly along Tony’s jaw. “Then let’s get this show on the road,” Tony says with a grin.
He reaches out to draw Pepper closer, kissing her fiercely while he trails his hands over her body, drawing little patterns and numbers over her skin. Steve is running his hands down Tony’s chest, pausing to cover the arc reactor protectively for a moment before one hand pushes past the waistband of Tony’s boxers and grips his hardening erection. Tony moans, ducking his head to muffle the sound against Pepper’s shoulder. He can feel Steve already hard against him, and he grinds back, shifting his hips so that he’s sitting completely in Steve’s lap now.
Tony tips his head back, kissing Steve at an angle that’s slightly awkward but totally worth it. It’s Pepper’s turn to assault his neck and chest with kisses and bites, and that in combination with Steve’s hand on his dick makes him squirm against Steve in a way he knows riles up the other man even more. Steve growls softly into the kiss, then breaks away long enough to mutter,
Laughing, Tony scrambles to tug off his trousers, kicking them off of the bed. His boxers quickly follow suit, leaving him naked and panting slightly, pressed between Captain America and the CEO of Stark Industries. Tony couldn’t have known a luckier guy than him right now. “I don’t like that Steve still has most of his clothes on. This seems unfair.”
Steve smiles and moves away from Tony and Pepper so he can unbutton his shirt and add it to the pile of clothes on the floor. His undershirt swiftly comes off next, and Tony reaches out a foot to poke Steve in the leg.
“This is the least sexy strip tease I’ve ever seen.”
“Maybe some other time, Tony,” Steve replies, eyebrow raised ever so slightly, like he’s actually thinking about it. He’s undoing his pants now, shucking them off and leaving him clad only in tight boxer briefs and damn, is Tony glad he made Pepper take Steve underwear shopping a few weeks ago.
“Come here, let me just — ” Tony leans forward, grabbing Steve’s hip to hold him still. Kneeling on the bed, he’s at the perfect height to nuzzle Steve’s crotch, mouthing at him through the fabric.
“I thought we were going to focus on you tonight,” Steve remarks, trying to keep his tone light, but the more Tony works him through the briefs the harder it is to keep his voice steady.
“Doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate you for a while,” Tony tells him, finally pulling back. It’s not much of a reprieve, however, as he uses the break to slip his fingers under the waistband of Steve’s shorts and carefully slide the fabric down. Steve gets the message, removing his underwear the rest of the way.
Tony’s mouth is on him again in a second, tongue tracing a path up the underside of his cock before his lips close around the tip. He sucks lightly, hand wrapping around the base, just enough pressure to make Steve groan and thrust forward unthinkingly, his hands curling in Tony’s dark hair. Tony takes Steve deeper into his mouth, moaning around the thickness, and Steve’s legs tremble at the feeling.
Gasping Tony’s name, Steve pulls him back as gently as he can, and Tony complies, looking up with a smirk, pre-come and spit making his lips shine. Steve leans down and kisses him anyway, hands still tangled in Tony’s hair.
“All right, boys,” Pepper’s voice interrupts their kiss, “you’ve had your fun.”
“And you don’t believe me when I tell you how bossy she is,” Tony mutters good-naturedly to Steve, but the complaint dies in his throat halfway through when he turns around to see Pepper on her back over the sheets, panties shed sometime when he wasn’t paying attention, legs spread and fingering herself teasingly. She lets out a breathy little laugh at his expression, and he can’t get across the bed fast enough.
He caresses a pale thigh lovingly before trailing kisses from her stomach down to the patch of red curls between her legs, dipping his head just a bit lower to add the flex of his tongue to the rhythm of her fingers. Pepper sighs, a high-pitched, quiet whine that Tony and Steve had quickly come to learn was her pleased sigh and not her frustrated one, and she pulls her hand back, letting Tony work his magic. Tony always did like to brag about his talented tongue, after all.
She lets out another quiet noise as Tony toys with her clit and then presses in further, his hands holding her legs wide. The bed shifts behind him, and the sound of a drawer opening informs Tony that Steve is getting something out of the nightstand. A few seconds later, two condoms and a bottle of lube are tossed on the sheet beside him. Tony barely lifts his head to comment, “Always prepared, Captain,” making Pepper gasp and squirm in Tony’s grip.
Steve chuckles and puts his hands on Tony’s hips, grinding up against his ass. The motion makes Tony moan, and he pulls back from Pepper to look up at her, her face flush and eyelids heavy. He wriggles out of Steve’s hold to crawl forward and kiss Pepper on the mouth. When the kiss ends, she wordlessly hands him one of the condoms.
“So pushy,” Tony murmurs, but he’s already tearing open the wrapper.
“And don’t you know it, Mr. Stark,” Pepper says evenly, wrapping a leg around Tony’s waist. Steve trails his fingers across her skin, from knee to ankle, and Pepper giggles and kicks lightly at his hand. He grins, shifting his touch from Pepper’s leg to Tony’s back, making him fumble the condom and arch forward.
“Stop teasing, get on with it,” he grumbles.
Steve catches Pepper’s eye over Tony’s shoulder, and the two of them smile at each other. “Need help with that?” Pepper asks Tony while he tosses aside the condom wrapper, but his response is lost in the hushed string of curses that tumble out of his mouth as Steve slides a finger into him. Pepper’s impressed; she hadn’t even seen Steve pick up the lube.
Steve slowly pushes deeper, stretching Tony open with care, and Tony’s free hand clutches at Pepper’s hip like it’s a lifeline. Deciding that he does indeed need some help, she takes the condom from him, nodding at Steve as he hands over the bottle of lube without prompting. He’s got two fingers in Tony now, who swears again and rocks backward, already trying to get Steve to fingerfuck him harder.
“Patience,” Pepper practically purrs, hand on Tony’s cock, and she strokes him roughly enough that he lets out a sharp breath, trying to change direction and thrust forward.
Tony completely ignores her advice and growls, “Fuck, Steve, now.”
Shaking his head fondly, Steve pulls his fingers out, and Tony mourns the loss for a moment until Pepper slips the condom onto him in a quick, efficient movement and positions herself more comfortably underneath him. His first thrust into her is like heaven, warm and tight and slick. Her hands find purchase wherever she can reach, one settling in his hair, the other digging into his shoulder.
He’s got a steady rhythm going when Steve pushes at his entrance, tip sliding in and throwing Tony off from his even pace. Tony groans as Steve presses all the way in, cock spreading him wide. In conjunction with Pepper’s wet heat around him, it’s absolutely perfect. He starts moving again, more slowly this time, urging Steve into a similar tempo. Pepper’s nails leave little crescent nicks in his skin as he speeds up, her desperate panting becoming louder.
She chokes out his name at the same time that he nearly shouts hers, and Steve shivers, tightening his hold on Tony’s hips and thrusting harder, the angle just right to make Tony keen and writhe under him. Pepper’s hands are both clawing at Tony’s back now, thin red lines appearing as Steve watches her drag her nails over his skin.
“Fucking hell — ” Tony grunts.
“Tony — ”
“If you’re about to reprimand me for cursing, Steve, I swear I’ll — ”
“No, Tony, you’re so damn tight — ”
Tony’s laughter turns into another shameless moan as Steve presses against his prostate again, his thrusts now almost perfectly in sync with Tony’s. Pepper has both legs curled tightly around Tony, her back arching so far that it’s practically off the bed. Tony shifts forward, kissing her chest before taking a pert nipple between his teeth and sucking lightly, tongue swiping around the sensitive skin.
Pepper’s eyes widen, pupils blown, and she clenches around him as her orgasm hits her like a wave. He coaxes her through it, thrusts slowing, and Pepper relaxes into the bed, loosening her hold on him. “God, Tony…” she murmurs, running a hand through his hair.
Steve continues to pound into him, harder now that he doesn’t have to keep up with Tony and Pepper. Each thrust sends sparks of pleasure through Tony, the force pushing him into Pepper, who twists and moans with every touch to her too sensitive body. He’s pretty sure Steve’s hands are leaving bruises on his hips, but he doesn’t care, just revels in the feeling. The bruised hips and the scratched back are signs that he’s theirs, marking him for their own.
“I’m not going to last much longer — ”
“Just a little more, Steve,” Tony hisses, his hands scrabbling at the sheets and his eyes shut tight. Pepper is moving, pulling off of him, and Tony’s not sure he likes this, hold on a second — But the condom soon follows, tossed aside, and Pepper’s now lube-slicked hand is wrapped around his dick again, quick strokes driving him over the edge, a spectacular counterpoint to the satisfying burn of Steve’s cock filling him.
The only warning Tony gets is Steve’s sharp cry of “Shit, Tony — ” before he’s coming, hips stuttering against Tony’s ass while Tony pushes back, taking him in as far as possible. Steve drops forward, kissing Tony’s spine, his shoulders, breathing heavily against sweaty, tanned skin. His hand joins Pepper’s on Tony’s cock, fingers big and calloused compared to Pepper’s small, delicate ones. Together they bring him to completion, come spilling over their fingers as the orgasm thunders through his body.
Tony’s arms give out immediately afterward, and he barely avoids jabbing Pepper in the boob with his chin. Steve pulls out of him carefully, tying off the condom and disposing of it in the trash before grabbing some tissues and settling back on the bed.
“You’re kind of crushing me, Tony,” Pepper says quietly, taking a tissue from Steve with a nod of thanks. Tony mumbles some badly worded innuendo about crushes that Pepper is pretty sure doesn’t make sense, but he rolls off her and onto his back. After making sure everyone is adequately cleaned up, Steve lies down at Tony’s side and curls protectively over him. Pepper mirrors his pose on Tony’s other side, the two of them intertwined with Tony in the middle.
“I feel kind of like I’m cuddling with an octopus,” he remarks drowsily.
Steve tugs the sheet over all of them. “Shut up and go to sleep.”
“Aye aye, Cap,” Tony murmurs, and drifts off feeling more secure than he has been for a while.
When Tony wakes up the next morning, the bed is empty. He panics for a second, knuckles going white with how hard they clench around the sheets, but the panic ebbs as he spots a blue Post-It note stuck to the headboard.
Didn’t want to wake you too early. Making breakfast with Steve. Join us?
After stumbling across the room to find a pair of boxers and an undershirt to put on, Tony walks out into the hallway and heads to the kitchen. Sure enough, Pepper and Steve are there, quietly discussing how many batches of pancakes they should make. He doesn’t interrupt them yet, just watches them interact with each other. Pepper’s wearing one of their shirts (a plain white one, Tony can’t tell if it’s his or Steve’s; both look large on her slim frame) and Steve’s the one with batter on his face this time. They look comfortable and at ease and so very happy.
There’s a feeling sitting heavy in his chest again, but it isn’t jealousy or resignation. He’s not quite sure what it is, but it might feel a little something like love.
Tony grins, stepping through the doorway with a casual, “What’s shakin’ bacon?”
Steve’s smile, if even possible, brightens at Tony’s entrance. “You know, I don’t understand half of what comes out of your mouth some days.”
Pepper bites her lower lip to keep from laughing. “Good morning, Tony. Sleep well?”
“Hard not to. Have I told you guys that I’m dating two smokin’ hot babes? At the same time. Imagine that.” Tony goes over to stand between them, surveying the damage to his kitchen this time.
Steve’s face is pink, most likely embarrassed at being referred to as a “smokin’ hot babe,” but he laughs and drapes his arm around Tony’s shoulders. “Sounds impossible,” he jokes.
“Pepper always said it would never happen, but I had faith,” Tony continues, and Pepper shakes her head and leans against Steve’s broad chest. “Dreams do come true and all that bullshit.”
“You’ll have to introduce us,” she replies affectionately.
“No way, you scare off all my dates, Pep.”
Pepper laughs and whacks him lightly on the arm.
“Oh, the pancakes!” Steve lets go of the two of them and hurries to flip the pancakes on the stove over before they get burnt.
Tony wraps his arms around Pepper, rolling his eyes at Steve. “Forget the pancakes, I’ve got a better idea for how to spend the morning.”
Steve overlooks the insinuation in favor of adding the thankfully unburnt pancakes to the stack of already finished pancakes. “I’m not too keen on letting the breakfast Pepper and I worked so hard on go to waste just because you’re insatiable.”
“Not too keen, huh?” Tony laughs, trying to imitate his approximation of a 1940s accent.
“Yes,” Steve replies sternly, but he can’t keep the smile completely off his face.
“What else are you keen on, Steve? Justice? Apple pie? The American Dream?”
“Well,” Steve begins slowly, pouring more pancake batter into the frying pan, “I’m pretty keen on you. And Pepper.”
Tony can feel his face going red a little, which is ridiculous, Tony Stark does not get embarrassed —
But Pepper’s giggling in his arms and Steve’s setting down the spatula to come over and turn their regular hug into a group hug, and smushed up against his two favorite people in the world, Tony thinks that maybe, just maybe, this might have a happy ending after all.