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A Fight for Love and Glory

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"What's that?"

 

Tony looks up from his work table and sees Steve, leaning against the doorframe. He gives him a small grin and waves at the machinery.

 

"Nothing nefarious, I swear. Just trying to put together some kind of trans-dimensional universe-hopper." Steve blinks at him and Tony chuckles. "I imagine you'd want to see your lady friend again at some point."

 

"What?"

 

"You remember, the one with the cute little ears and all that lovely lavender skin?" Tony laughs again when Steve looks startled. "Come on, after a kiss like that you can't tell me you don't want to see her again."

 

"That's not necessary, Tony." Steve walks over and takes the welding torch out of Tony's hand. Tony makes a sound of protest but Steve shakes his head at him. "You really don't have to go through the trouble."

 

"It's no trouble," Tony starts, reaching for the torch again. Steve holds it out of reach and Tony lets out an annoyed sigh. "Steve, this is something I can do for you. Let me do it."

 

"It was just a fond fare-thee-well, Tony. Geez," Steve says. He puts his hands on Tony's shoulders and gives him a little shake. "No offense, but I'm not really looking for an inter-dimensional love affair right now."

 

"I guess you patched things up with Sharon, then." Tony smiles wide and bright and if Steve didn't know him for so long he would think it was real. But after years of working side-by-side with the man Steve is able to see it as the mask it is. "Good for you."

 

"No, Tony. Sharon and I aren't..." Steve sighs and tries again. "Let me elaborate. I'm not really looking for any kind of female companionship." Tony's grin dims a little before he shrugs and turns back to his work.

 

"Oh. Well, it was just a thought." Tony idly fingers a piece of scrap wire and keeps his eyes on the table. "I just want you to be happy."

 

"And after today I am." Tony looks up at him and Steve slides his hand up from Tony's shoulder to rest on the back of his neck. "I hate fighting with you."

 

"But we do it so well," Tony says dryly. Steve shakes his head and Tony grins at him before his expression becomes serious. "I meant what I said, Steve. I'm just trying to earn your friendship back."

 

"I never stopped being your friend, Tony." Steve takes a step forward and wraps his arms around Tony's neck, pulling him in close. "That's why fighting you hurt so much. So stop it with all of this, okay? You're still my best friend, and there's still no one else I would trust as much to have my back in a fight. Demons of Hel or not," he adds with a twist of his lips. Tony chuckles in his ear and rests his hands on Steve's sides.

 

"You sure you don't want to go see your elf lady just for a night?" he asks, jokingly. Steve swats him on the back of the head and Tony laughs, high and clear. "I promise I can have you back before you need to make any morning after speech."

 

"Sometimes a kiss is just a kiss," Steve says, blushing. He didn't regret it at the time, but he sort of does now. At least, he regrets doing it in front of Tony and Thor.

 

Tony pulls back and gives him a wry grin. "It's a kiss is still a kiss," he says. Steve rolls his eyes and sighs, which only makes Tony smile harder. "A sigh is still a sigh--"

 

"Oh, shut it," Steve grumbles, loosening his embrace. He's grinning though, and from this close he can see every tiny little line around Tony's twinkling eyes. It hits him with a sharp ache how much their petty war cost everyone.

 

Tony squeezes Steve's sides one last time before he lets go. "Fine, fine. No purple ladies for you, then."

 

Steve pulls his hands back and cups them around Tony's neck. "No ladies at all," he says meaningfully. Tony's eyes grow wide as realization sinks in. "A case of do or die, I suppose."

 

Then Steve leans in and kisses him.

 

Tony doesn't move for a long moment, long enough for Steve to second guess every thought of 'maybe--' he'd ever had about their friendship; every time he felt Tony's eyes linger on his back, every silly wrestling match they'd ever had over the tv remote. Tony just stays frozen against him, and Steve can't believe how wrong he's been, but now that he's finally doing it he can't seem to stop.

 

He rubs his thumbs over Tony's jaw against the grain, feels the sharp bristles of Tony's van dyke jab at his skin. He closes his eyes and opens his mouth, sucking on Tony's lower lip and it doesn't matter that Tony isn't kissing him back, because it is divine. He tastes like club soda with a hint of lime, and his facial hair scratches just enough, a constant reminder of whose mouth is under his, and when he swipes his tongue over the seam of Tony's lips they're just as soft as he'd always thought they would be.

 

Steve keeps it slow, savoring the moment, because if Tony's lack of reaction means anything it's going to be their first and only kiss, barring any other bio-agents being released upon the country. He wants to be able to remember this.

 

Steve's just pulling back, nibbling gently at Tony's bottom lip, when Tony starts and pushes forward. He opens his mouth under Steve's and his arms come up to wrap around Steve's waist, pulling him to stand between Tony's thighs, and everything goes white-hot.

 

Steve's hands slide up and around to tangle in Tony's hair. He uses his grip to angle Tony's face and Tony groans into the kiss and wraps one lean calf around Steve's. Their tongues twine together, rubbing and twisting like old friends saying hello, and Steve presses forward sharply when one of Tony's hands slides down and over the curve of his ass. He lets out a surprised "mmph" and tightens his hands when Tony chuckles into his mouth, the vibration ringing through his chest where it's pressed tightly against Tony's body.

 

He pulls back with a gasp, panting harshly. Tony takes the opportunity to mouth down Steve's neck, trailing wet kisses against his skin that he blows hot breath over. Steve shivers in his arms and he can feel Tony grin against his neck.

 

"Definitely not the same old story," Tony murmurs, his other hand sliding up the back of Steve's shirt.

 

Steve can't help himself. He laughs.

 

"Shut up, Tony," he says and leans in again.

 

If he hums a little into the kiss, well, that's nobody's business but theirs.