Since being unfrozen, Steve thought he would never get over marveling and lamenting over how things have changed. Everyone had a car, more food in the pantry than anyone could ever eat, amazing medicine, and so much more. But there were things that would always be the same, like the constant threat of war, racism, hate, and a million other terrible things people never seemed to outgrow and—on a more personal level—Steve was still the consummate outsider.
Before the serum, after the serum, and now, in the twenty-first century, he still found himself alone. Steve didn't like to dwell on such things but tonight he felt like he deserved a bit of a pity party. He thought it was pretty impressive that he was in a room bursting with people and yet still felt totally alone.
Since the Avengers had fallen into the public eye, Fury and Pepper had been doing their best to humanize and endear them to the general populace. Since then, Steve had been paraded around charity functions, museum openings, art galas, and a host of other public functions.
Normally he was more than happy to do his part. He was used to it from after the serum and liked to meet the people protected, talk to them. It made it more real and gave him the drive to what he did. He loved being a soldier and he loved being a "hero". It's all he ever wanted.
He didn't love putting on a suit that probably cost enough to feed an impoverished family for months to go to cocktail parties, mixers, whatever, and let the powers that be make the public feel beholden to him, to the Avengers. To make them feel in their debt and have Steve smile about it.
Steve was sick of it all.
Tonight's event was held in Stark Tower, in their home. They were all in the ultra-impressive and ultra-modern ballroom Tony had designed. Steve had to admit, it was beautiful. Despite its modern trappings it had the sense of the grace and dignity that Steve was certain had vanished with his former life.
He had no idea what tonight's event was supposed to be but the alcohol flowed and there was a magnificent live band, playing music Steve could recognize and well as other soft, sensuous melodies. Perfect for dancing.
He felt a pang of loneliness in his chest. People didn't seem to understand how he could miss an era that they all saw as wanting. Sure, things had come a long way, but nothing could make up for a life he missed, knowing everyone he once loved had died, moved on. A world made strange.
His feelings were made all the more intense by the recent pairing up of the rest of the Avengers. Natasha had revealed she was dating someone from S.H.I.E.L.D., a gentleman involved in medical research. Clint was seeing a young woman he met at a shooting range (his preferred place to pick up woman, Steve had discovered). Bruce had been caught sneaking off to meet a young florist, footage captured by JARVIS under Tony's orders. Thor was reconciled with his Dr. Foster and Tony was…Tony.
He may not have been in a relationship, but Steve doubted he was alone. He knew that Tony and Pepper had once been an item, and honestly, sometimes he kind of thought they still were, despite what they claimed. They didn't act as though they had broken up. Then again, they never acted as though they were together.
Steve sighed. Regardless of the serum and all his abilities, he was a simple man. All he wanted was a good life, a good spouse, and a better world for his children. He supposed one out of three wasn't bad.
After shaking countless hands he had disappeared under the pretense of needing the restroom. Feeling guilty, he slinked away and avoided Fury and Agent Coulson for the rest of the night. He'd been holding the same glass of champagne for two hours, only to make himself blend in, and people watched,
Thanks to the decorations in the ballroom, it was easy for Steve to conceal himself. There were bolts of luxuriant fabric draped from the ceiling that were perfect for hiding behind, oversize potted plants, and table upon table of food and drink.
He watched as his friends and their guests danced and caroused and enjoyed themselves and felt like every bit the Poor Pitiful Pearl. He decided he'd had enough forced merriment for one evening and made to slip off. There was a private elevator lobby on the other side of the room, one that needed an access code in order to be able to enter and then he could go up to his room, lock his door, and pretend JARVIS couldn't see his moping/pouting/crying jag to play for Tony later.
He slipped from his cozy enclave and tried to blend with the crowd, a difficult feet when you stood a head above them. He'd barely managed a few steps before his path was blocked by none other than the host of the evening.
Two of the buttons on Tony's shirt had come undone, his hair was in light disarray, and the cuffs on his shirt were visible but instead of looking disheveled and sloppy, the genius just looked incredibly handsome. Steve felt a stab of jealously and desire but shoved them down violently. That line of thought benefitted no one.
He held a tumbler of whiskey in one hand and wore a knowing smirk. "Going somewhere, Captain?"
Steve sighed and placed his warm flute of champagne on a passing waiter's empty tray. He tried to muster a smile. "Just getting some air."
"Mhmm," Tony replied, eyebrow winging up in doubt. "I've been watching you mope around for over an hour and I have to say, I'm a little offended you're not having fun at my party."
Steve narrowed his eyes in annoyance. "Well, I bet you've been having enough fun for the both of us."
Tony widened his eyes in a parody of offense and pressed a hand to his heart. "Why Captain, that was almost catty of you. I'm impressed."
And of course, Steve immediately felt remorseful. For once, Tony hadn't actually done anything to deserve his ire. "Sorry," he breathed, casting his eyes downward and pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration. "Just…a little overwhelmed," he lied.
"See, now why don't I believe that? "
Steve huffed, annoyed now. Why couldn't Tony just let him go? "Tony," he began, trying to make his voice sound firm instead of the whine that threatened to emerge. "I just…I just want—"
"C'mon, Cap," Tony interrupted, voice unusually quiet. "Keep a guy company."
He felt his resolve crumble. He couldn't imagine anything he'd rather do less than spending more time with all these people looking to rub elbows with the Avengers, except disappointing Tony. He'd done that enough.
He sighed. "Okay," he relented. He looked at all the party goers around him drinking alcohol and losing their inhibitions. "It's times like these I really wish I could get drunk," he admitted.
That startled a laugh out of Tony and the shorter man clapped him on the shoulder. "I hear that," he said. "Doesn't mean you can't try! Let's get you a drink, something stronger than that exceptional champagne you were just carrying around."
Before Steve could protest, Tony curled a hand around his wrist and gently tugged him toward the bar and ordered him something foreign and the color of dark amber. He took a cautious sip and was surprised when it was smooth and rich, instead of the biting punch of the alcohol he'd had in the past.
Steve nodded. "Thanks."
Tony winked. "Any time, Cap."
He watched as the other man leaned backwards against the bar, resting both his elbows behind him. Steve felt awkward, standing at the bar, just a few feet away from a sea of swaying couples. He also felt a sense of longing. It had been decades since he'd been to a dance, at least how he remembered them, and the old sting of being the only unwilling wallflower never really goes away.
He spied the lithe form of Natasha wrapped around her date, a glimpse of Bruce's florist leaning against him intimately. He hadn't realized he was being so obvious until Tony nudged him. "Sucks, doesn't it?"
Steve blinked and shifted on his feet as the music changed to something more sultry. "I'm sure I don't know what you mean.
Tony rolled his eyes and downed the last of his drink. He turned and set it on the bar with a solid thud. "Dance with me," he implored, tugging Steve's arm lightly.
"Dance with me," he repeated, taking the near-empty glass from his hands.
"I don't think that's a good idea," Steve replied, staying stubbornly in place.
Tony looked at him in amusement. "It's not like I suggested we fill Fury's office with beach balls. It's a dance, Steve, c'mon."
"I can't," he said softly, shaking his head.
Tony deflated a bit, losing some of his joking demeanor. "Is it because we're both men? Because I gotta tell you, not so scandalous," he said. "Look around."
He did, and he was surprised to see there was, indeed, same-sex couples dancing together. He even spotted Pepper dancing with a blonde woman, slightly older than she, but no less lovely. His eyebrows rose in astonishment.
Tony caught his eye and smiled knowingly. "I know, right? But it's not what you think—just a colleague."
Steve was willing to say otherwise, watching the other woman's hand slide quite low on Pepper's waist, but he held his tongue. "That's not it either," he said belatedly, realize Tony was still looking for an answer.
The other man frowned and leaned against the bar once more, still gripping his arm. "Then what is it?"
Steve could detect a hint of hurt in his tone and felt horrible. He knew how Tony, and everyone else in the world for that matter, felt about the "it's not you, it's me" explanation, regardless of the truth of that statement.
"I can't dance," he said, hoping it would be enough. Of course, being Tony, that was no deterrent.
"Sure you can!" he enthused, as if sense a chink in his armor. "It's is nothing like those fancy choreographed dances of your day, so at ease, soldier."
Steve bit his lip around a laugh and shook his head bashfully. "I've never danced with anyone before," he finally admitted.
If he wasn't so embarrassed he might have enjoyed the look of shock on Tony Stark's face. He knew it wasn't often the genius was caught off guard. He scuffed his foot on the ground and shrugged, reaching for the rest of his drink and downing it, just to have something to do.
"Shut up," Tony finally said, taking Steve aback. "How is that true?"
"I was kind of a sickly thing, before the serum," he explained as if speaking to a child. "And after, I was a little busy defending my country and being frozen."
And then Tony tugged him, hard, surprising him enough that he managed to pull him forward. "Tony!" he protested. "Wait!"
His friend didn't listen and pulled him into the throng, weaving and dodging other couples until they were in the middle. Tony whirled to face him and stepped close. Steve felt his heart pound in his chest and his stomach fill with butterflies.
Tony drew him forward and motioned for him to wrap his arm around his waist. Steve did so hesitantly, Tony moving to rest his arm on Steve's broad shoulder. Tony tangled their fingers together and Steve did his best not to caress the other man's callused digits with his thumb.
Tony smiled up at him again, a wicked twinkle back in his eyes again. The arm around his shoulder jostled him. "Relax!" Tony commanded. "Relax relax! You're so stiff; this isn't inspection."
Steve smiled. "Enough with the army references," he said good-naturedly, feeling the tension slowly bleed from his body.
"Better," Tony said, shuffling closer. "Move with me."
Steve did his best to sway in time with the music and not step on Tony's feet. The couples around them paid them no mind, focused on one another. There were a lot of roaming hands and lingering kisses as they all swayed together and Steve felt himself blush.
"See something you like, Captain?" Tony whispered.
Steve's arm reflexively tightened around Tony's waist. "N-no just…not used to people being this bold in public." He cursed his tendency to stammer when flustered.
Tony chuckled, pressing impossibly closer. "Pretty racy stuff for a man from the 40's, I guess."
Steve just blushed further. "Uh-huh."
"So, nothing you like, at all?"
Steve furrowed his brow in confusion. "What?"
Tony smirked. "Feel free to get a little scandalous. Wouldn't want to stick out," he purred.
"Um," Steve said, feeling way out of his league and miles from the familiar.
Tony's fingers brushed against his neck lightly, making Steve shiver. "Still nothing?" he asked.
"Tony…" he began. "What are you—"
Their fingers untangled and Tony pressed a lone digit to his lips, silencing him. He cupped Steve's neck and rubbed a thumb across his jaw. Steve blinked down and Tony owlishly, completely at a loss. "Tony."
"Shh," he said. They were barely moving now, rocking back and forth minutely in a vague approximation of a circle. His fingers tightened around Steve's neck and he pressed gently.
Steve leaned forward reluctantly and stared at Tony's face, earnest and open. His eyes fluttered closed as Tony pressed a slow kiss to his lips, then another. His arms tightened around Tony's middle as he tentatively responded.
Tony pulled back enough to rasp "C'mon, Cap, you can do better than that," before he was kissing him again, this time harder.
Steve made a quiet sound of surprise, making Tony hum against his lips happily, the vibrations making Steve's stomach jump. Tony slid a hand through his immaculately styled hair and gave the corner of his mouth a soft nip. "Much better," he rumbled.
Steve spared a moment to bask in wonder. This never happened to him. He was a hero, and he always saved the day, but he never got the girl. Or boy. It was dizzying to think that things might change.
Tony put a bit of distance between them. "I may have been a bit hasty before," he declared, making Steve's heart drop into his stomach. "What do you say we get out of here?"
Steve felt like he was on an emotional rollercoaster. Giddy with relief, he simply nodded, letting Tony charm their way to the private elevator lobby he had attempted to escape to earlier. He caught Pepper's eye as they were nearly there and she gave him a wink and a kind smile, which was just confusing.
Tony swiped his card and all but pulled Steve inside the lobby and waiting elevator. Steve stumbled into the elevator, back to the far wall, and Tony pressed a heated kiss to his mouth, fingers scrabbling at his tie.
He managed to dislodge Tony for a second, the other man kissing his neck and he pulled his dress shirt from his trousers. "Tony," he breathed. "Tony, slow down."
He felt Tony let out a shuddery breath against his throat and his hands stilled. "You're right," he said.
Steve put a look of shock on his face. "I'm sorry, what was that?"
Tony rolled his eyes and gave him a gentle punch to the stomach. "Don't push it," he said, pulling him close by the tie and pressing a quick, bruising kiss to his lips. The door dinged and opened onto Tony's floor. He pulled the blond man forward, hand still wrapped around his tie.
Steve laughed and allowed himself to be dragged out of the elevator and into Tony's home. As they walked towards the bedroom the lights came on slowly, dimmed to a pleasant glow. He let go of Steve's tie to open the door to his bedroom, holding it open for Steve to walk inside.
He had expected Tony's room to be the final word in technology. Instead, he found handcrafted furniture and books, actual books, not just those ereader things he was sure Tony would use. Sure, he could see plenty of half-crafted gadgets and more than one computer, but for all that, the room was surprisingly classic.
"Not what you expected?" Tony drawled from behind him.
Steve turned to face him. "No," he replied honestly. "So much better."
That seemed to please Tony, and he noticed the other man had shrugged out of his coat and shoes. His tie was merely draped over his neck and he was leaning against a cherry wood dresser. He smirked. "Well, I aim to please." He slowly stepped forward, hands coming up to rest on the lapels of his jacket. He tugged on the lightly. "C'mere."
Steve went willingly, pressing hip lips to Tony's softly. Taking what was said earlier to heart, Tony kept things slow. They kissed leisurely as he worked his fingers into Steve's jacket and slid in from his shoulders.
He smiled against Tony's mouth. He knew it was in Tony's nature to push things just a little bit further, do things a little bit better, and he wouldn't be the same without it. He let the jacket be pushed from his shoulders and ran his hands down Tony's back, murmuring appreciatively as Tony began to toy with the buttons on his shirt.
Steve moved to do that same, feeling remiss in his participation, when Tony bit at the skin behind his ear and he ripped the button right off his shirt. He pulled back and looked at the other man contritely while Tony laughed in unholy glee.
"Whoops?" he offered.
Tony just beamed and nudged him toward the foot of the bed. He pushed lightly at his chest and Steve let himself fall back against the plush mattress, his legs dangling off the edge. Tony straddled his waist and tossed his ruined shirt to the ground.
Steve could see the light of the arc reactor through Tony's black undershirt, much dimmer than he would have anticipated. Before he could investigate further, Tony had grasped the front of his shirt and ripped it apart in retaliation for his own.
"Hey!" Steve exclaimed, laughing all the while.
Tony rolled his eyes. "Psh, I bought you this shirt. I'll get you another." And then he pressed their lips together once more, rocking his hips into Steve's.
They quickly divested each other of clothing and Steve finally saw what was keeping the arc reactor from glowing though his clothes. He had taped a dark square of fabric over the light, keeping it from view. He watched as Tony slowly peeled it away, wincing as it caught on his skin, and then tossing it carelessly to the side.
Steve carefully reached forward and moved to touch the light in Tony's chest, pulling his hand back liked he'd been burned when Tony flinched away. "Sorry," he apologized, cursing himself.
Tony shook his head and grabbed his hand, bringing to his chest. "No," he said. "I was just surprised. People usually shy away from it."
Steve just swallowed thickly and pressed his fingers to the metal surrounding the light. He expected it to be hot to the touch but was surprised when it was a bit cooler than the surrounding skin. The same went for the light and Steve leaned up and pressed a soft kiss to the cool surface of the reactor.
Tony reacted immediately, a deep shuddering running through his body. "Could you feel that?" Steve whispered.
He shook his head and pressed a kiss to the underside of his chin and moved to lay next to Steve, rather than on him. He leant up on an elbow and looked into Steve's eyes, resting his other hand on Steve's chest.
"What?" Steve asked, pulling Tony forward until their foreheads touched.
Tony stayed silent for a moment before finally speaking. "Have you done this before?"
He thought about lying, but it just wasn't in him. He wanted this, he wanted this more than he ever wanted anything, but he didn't want to achieve it by lying. "No," he replied.
Instead of pushing him away, Tony smiled, a hint of the cocky genius peeking through. "I'm such a creep for finding that so hot."
Steve bit his lip against the smile that fought to bloom across his face. "Will you still think it's hot afterward?" he asked nervously.
Tony looked at him honestly. "I'd wager you'll hold my interest for quite some time."
Steve beamed and pulled Tony into a heated kiss. Tony might appreciate his inexperience, but Steve loved a man that could commit, and that sure sounded like a commitment to him.
He plucked at Tony's belt and the smaller man disappeared out of his reach long enough to shuck the rest of his clothes and slide back in bed. "You're turn," he said, looking pointedly at Steve's pants.
He was horrified to feel a flush on his cheeks as his fingers fumbled with his belt buckle. Tony just smiled and kissed down his stomach, dipping his tongue into Steve's shallow bellybutton before making his way to his navel. He bit and sucked at the sensitive skin there, undoing his belt and shoving down his pants.
There was a brief snag when his pants got tangled around the shoes he was still wearing and Steve wanted to melt into the bed and disappear because Tony was so smooth and he was so not, but his handsome face showed nothing but desire and affection when he looked back to Steve.
Without preamble, Tony leaned down and licked him from root to crown before taking the head into his mouth and sucking strongly. Steve's hands speared in his hair, squeezed at his shoulder and clutched at the sheets. It felt incredible.
It felt too incredible.
He pulled at Tony, trying make him back off, but the other man just took him deeper and hummed lightly. He gave one last ditch attempt to stop Tony before he embarrassed himself, yanking at his hair in a way that must have stung.
"Tony!" he pleaded. "Stop, I'll—"
Tony just tightened his grip on Steve's hips and hummed something that could have been "okay" and kept going. All too soon, Steve felt the tension between his legs coil unbearably before releasing with a rush, resulting in the most intense orgasm he'd ever experienced.
He pressed a shaking hand to his heated cheek and gave Tony a weak smile. The genius looked quite pleased with himself, his own neglected erection leaking between his thighs. He forced himself to sit up and reached for him, surprised to feel a stirring in his own lap. Tony just nipped at his fingers and motioned for him to scoot up the bed.
Tony flopped down in the middle, head cushioned by the mountain of pillows he kept on his bed. Steve followed him and braced himself above Tony's smaller form on all fours. He pressed a kiss to Tony's stupid, smirking mouth and tugged at the well-maintained beard with his teeth. Tony grunted in arousal and flailed for the bedside table, all but throwing the contents all over the floor.
Steve pulled him back gently and took over rummaging in the drawer, grabbing a condom and the bottle of lube he assumed Tony was scrambling for. Tony eagerly spread his legs and pulled Steve closer with his legs. "Do you know what to do?" he asked, all hints of teasing gone.
He nodded shyly. "In theory." The cap came off the bottle with a soft snick and Steve poured a generous amount into his hand, rubbing his fingers together to coat them. He tentatively rubbed his fingers around Tony's entrance, forcing himself to take measured breaths so he wouldn't rush.
"Go ahead," Tony rasped.
Steve pressed in slowly with a long finger and was delighted by the response he got. Tony arched his back into his hand groaned deep in his chest. "Another," he said.
This gave Steve pause. "But—"
"Another," he begged. "Please."
Steve bit back any other protests and did as he was bid, pressing two thick fingers into his tight body. Tony's head moved restlessly and he reached down to grip the base of his cock, squeezing rhythmically.
Steve was already hard and aching once more and found himself rocking in time to the movements of his hand. Tony's groaned desperately and pulled at his own hair. "Curl your fingers toward you," he said breathlessly. "You should—"
Tony's words were cut off by a startled shout, Steve finding what he was looking for. He skated over Tony's prostate lightly, listening to his pleasured whimpers hungrily.
"One more," Tony instructed and Steve hurried to comply, eager to be buried inside him.
After barely a moment, Tony was pawing at him, groping around on the bed for the renegade condom. "Now," he pleaded. "Please, now."
Steve gently pulled his fingers from Tony's clenching channel and let Tony roll on the latex sheath with shaking, impatient hands. He lined up the head of his cock with Tony's slick entrance and pressed in cautiously, despite Tony's claims that he was ready.
From the shine in Tony's eyes, Steve could tell his concern was appreciated. Regardless, he clung to Steve and dragged his blunt nails down his back, leaving a delightful sting in their wake.
Steve paused when he was fully seated inside him, hands balanced on either side of Tony's head. After a long moment Tony's opened his eyes and nodded. "Move," he breathed.
Steve did, long slow strokes that made his toes curl. He hiked Tony up further into the cradle of his hips, hand resting at the small of Tony's back to support him in this position. Tony wrapped his legs around Steve's waist and rocked back into Steve's smooth strokes.
His fingers wrapped around his length and stroked feverishly while Steve allowed himself to press deeper and faster into Tony's willing body. He could feel Tony getting closer and closer underneath him as he pushed toward his own release for the second time of the night.
Tony's legs tightened around him and his back bowed to the point of pain as he finally came with a long, keening moan. His muscles spasmed in the throes of passion and Steve's own groan mixed with the verbal evidence of Tony's pleasure.
When he felt Tony relax, he forced himself to still, thighs quivering with the effort. He ran a soothing hand down Tony's legs and pressed rough kisses across his chest. Tony's fingers dug into his back, still rocking back to meet him. "C'mon," he panted. "Don't stop."
"But you already came."
"Still feels good," whispered, eyes shut against the sharp shocks of pleasure. "Keep going. Want you to come."
Steve just groaned, burying his face in Tony's neck and pounding into him. He worried the skin over Tony's collarbone with his teeth and gripped the small of his back so hard he was distantly concerned there would be marks.
It didn't take much longer before Steve was spilling inside him, hips twitching feebly and orgasm overtook him. Tony pressed openmouthed kisses any patch of skin he could reach, wincing from overstimulation but not wanting to let Steve go.
With one last thrust, Steve gently pulled out, gripping the base of the condom as he did so. He tied it off and tossed it into the wastepaper basket across the room, earning a tired laugh from Tony. "Nice aim, Super Soldier."
Steve just shrugged and pulled at Tony until the other man was draped across his chest. He hugged Tony close as he mumbled into his pecs.
"What was that?" he asked.
"I said 'we gotta clean up'."
Steve just tightened his grip. "It'll be there in the morning."
"That's the point," Tony nagged.
"We'll worry about it then."
Tony grumbled but made no move to get up. "Better make it up to me."
Steve just nodded.
"M'serious," he stressed. "Gonna make you let me blow you in the shower."
Steve chuckled. "What a hardship."
"Have sex in my lab…"
"You drive a hard bargain."
Tony mustered up enough energy to leer at him wickedly. "You have no idea."