Tony offers living space to all the Avengers, and since he would rather not stay somewhere SHIELD provides and New York rents these days are ridiculous, Steve takes him up on it. Along with the offer to use a spare guest bedroom until the construction is finished.
"Just standard fair warning to all houseguests," Tony says, capping the whiskey decanter and taking a swig from his glass. "I sleepwalk."
"Really?" Steve replies, fascinated. He'd thought that was a myth, except there was that one guy in boot camp who'd sit up in the middle of the night in his bed and report to an invisible drill sergeant, but that was technically sleeptalking. Or sleepshouting.
"Yeah, insomniac, sleep-deprived, workaholic thing -- just ignore me. I don't really listen to instructions. Kind of like a zombie, but the kind who snacks on cheese and plays with a slinky for hours instead of eating brains."
"Right, well, you missed the whole George Romero zombie oeuvre. Never mind. Just lead me back to my room if you come across me and it freaks you out, or ignore me, whichever."
There's really nothing Tony can do about his little...issue, except locking himself in his bedroom every night, and that's impossible. For one thing, he'd designed all of the security in the building, and he doesn't forget things he knows, even when he's asleep. For another, JARVIS won't let him be trapped in any room in his own place, and well, there could be a fire.
Though he's totally unaware of most of what he does while he sleepwalks, Tony sometimes gets brief flashes of where he went and what he did, like little shards of memories. Eating a ham sandwich with mustard or unfolding and refolding everything in my sock drawer. He views the video recordings once in a while, and it's inevitably a painfully boring show. Sometimes he downs milk straight from the carton, occasionally he chooses a chair in the library and flips through a book from front to back, seeing nothing, and he's woken up in a couple of his cars at various times.
He NEVER goes near the suit, or tries to jump off the roof, or anything risky like logging on to eTrade and buying high, so he doesn't worry about it too much. It's just a Tony Stark thing, like doing calculus in his head when he's trying to fall asleep in the first place.
One morning, Steve brings it up.
"Do you sleepwalk every night, Tony?"
"Pretty much. Did I wake you up?"
Steve rolls his shoulders. "I'm a light sleeper."
"Did I say anything?"
"Not- not really, Your eyes were open and I thought you were awake, but..."
Tony grabs a mug and fills it with coffee. "Sorry. It can be a little disconcerting, I'm sure. What was I doing?"
"Reading a magazine in the kitchen. You didn't even really register me speaking to you."
"Typical," Tony says with a shrug, and Steve nods.
"Tony, do you remember sleepwalking last night?" Steve asks him a few days later.
"Usually don't recall a thing."
The last thing Tony remembers one night is figuring the differential of volume for spherical coordinates, and the next thing he's aware of is the heat of the morning sun on the side of his face. He slowly realizes it isn't the sun, at least on that side; he's got his cheek pressed up against something warm. Very warm, and smooth, and smelling incredibly good. He turns his head to the right a little and opens one eye and...oh. Steve's looking back at him, because it's Steve's firm chest he's pressed against, and that's Tony's leg flung over his thigh. Tony jerks away like he's awakened to find himself taunting an alligator with a raw chicken, and almost falls on the floor.
"You sleepwalked," Steve says, stating the obvious,"into my bed."
"I'm sorry," Tony replies, licking dry lips and scrambling to his feet. "God, just...I'm really sorry about this," he says, backing away and out of the room. "It won't happen again."
Steve opens his mouth to say something, but Tony doesn't stay to listen. It's mortifying to wake up next to your supersoldier houseguest, in his bed. He's appalled with himself, honestly; he's never affected anybody else with this little quirk of his.
Tony wakes up in his own bed the next two mornings, and is immeasurably relieved that it was a one-time awkward thing.
Until it happens again.
This time, he half-wakes and finds himself mostly under Steve, one arm tucked beneath his chest and his leg entwined around one of Steve's. Steve's arm is wrapped snugly around Tony and his breathing is deep and even; he's fast asleep. Tony can't move. At all. But he's not uncomfortable, either, and a glance at the retro alarm clock next to the bed confirms it's only 3am, so he closes his eyes and lets slumber take him again, and he doesn't even have to work up a formula to fall into it.
He's in his own bed when he gets up for real, and figures he'd dreamed the entire episode.
Steve's eating cereal at his laptop when Tony walks in. "'Morning, Tony," he says, attacking his Wheaties like nothing out-of-the-ordinary has occurred. Tony was definitely dreaming, then.
Tony's in his workshop tweaking an elevation on the monitor and he lets his mind wander... he's in Steve's bed, hands on his shoulders, nuzzling at his jawline before gentling Steve's lips open with his. Steve shifts against him, and Tony feels how hard Steve is as his hands slip around Tony's waist and he moans softly. Another shift, and there's the hot press of Steve's bare chest against his own. Tony sucks in a gasp, and...
Tony blinks, rubs a hand down the front of his pants. Fuck, he's hard as a rock.
...Steve sits up, breathing heavily. He pauses and then slides out of his bed, gently hauling Tony to his feet before walking him back to his own bed, and brushing a few errant strands of hair from his forehead as he settles into his pillow.
Tony rushes to call up the recordings, and watches himself shuffle down the hallway and enter Steve's room at 12:48. He fast-forwards, and there's Steve emerging, dressed in boxer shorts, guiding Tony down the hallway and back to his own room at 01:15, where Steve tucks him in and swipes his fingertips over Tony's hairline, pushing back a lock of hair. Steve stands there for a moment watching him sleep, and then pads away back down the hall. He doesn't know what took place in Steve's bedroom (he's not the kind of creep who'd set up sleepytime surveillance of the guest quarters) but he's pretty sure that wasn't a little daydream fantasy he just had.
"Oh, shit," Tony says, under his breath.
Tony finds Steve sketching skyscrapers by the wall of windows, and drops into a crouch next to him.
"Look," Tony begins. "Uh..."
Steve closes his sketchbook with a snap and tilts his head, waiting.
"I seem to be bothering you while I'm sleepwalking," Tony says, and Steve lifts a brow. "You should, um, maybe lock your door at night."
"Tony-" Steve says, eyes on the skyline. Oh, fantastic, Tony thinks, he can't even look at me.
"I apologize," Tony replies tightly, and stands and strides away.
Tony wakes up at the crack of dawn, wrapped in strong arms, spooned with his back to Steve's chest. He shifts his leg and Steve's knee comes up behind his. "Oh god," Tony says quietly, and Steve's arms tighten around him, briefly.
"You're up," Steve says in his ear, and his arms loosen, falling away.
"Yeah," Tony mutters. "Told you to lock your door." He pushes himself up on his hands and sits on the edge of the bed.
"Well, you knocked, and I answered, and you pulled us over to the bed and...cuddled up to me like a puppy," Steve explains softly behind him. "What was I supposed to do?"
"I suppose it would be too much to ask to just ignore the knocking."
"Light sleeper," Steve reminds him. "And you knocked for a long time. Then you wandered off, and then came back. It was driving me nuts."
"I...don't know what to say," Tony tells him, turning around. The covers are pushed down to the foot of the bed, and the soft haze of light from the windows illuminates the planes of Steve's chest and arms, the curve of his hip, his muscular thighs. Tony looks away again. "I could get you some very effective earplugs."
"You're totally awake now?" Steve asks him.
Tony nods at the wall. "Yeah," he says, and starts a little when he feels Steve's fingertips along his shoulder blade. He feels the bed dip, and Steve leaning up behind him before an arm encircles his waist. He resists for a moment, but then lets Steve pull him back, and Tony stretches his legs out on the bed. Steve hefts his own leg over Tony's and tucks his chin into his shoulder, his fingertips tracing the edge of the arc reactor and then slipping down over his stomach.
"Do you still want to be here now that you're conscious?" Steve murmurs, and Tony slips his hand over Steve's in reply. And then Steve is turning him, and kissing him, and it's...delicious. It's better than the daydream. Infinitely better, because that was a sliver of a memory, and this is real.
Tony likes it when dreams become reality. It's why he builds things.
Once in a great while, Tony still sleepwalks, and Steve knows the instant he gets up. Sometimes he follows and watches, amused, as Tony eats crackers or plays chess against himself or wanders down to the garage and polishes a sports car, but usually he just takes his hand and steers him back to the warmth of their bed.
WONDERFUL ART by Jean: http://jeandrawsstuff.tumblr.com