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The Fondue Confusion

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“So, Steve!” Tony said abruptly, collapsing onto the couch beside the supersoldier. “Fondue Night with the Avengers – you in?”

Steve looked up from his sketchpad, discomfort creeping through his mind. “Fondue,” he repeated, “with...all of the Avengers?”

“Yeah,” Tony agreed. “Coulson said it would be a great team-bonding thing. A bit old-fashioned I guess but—” He broke off and gave Steve a lopsided grin. “Hey, that’s your style isn’t it?”

Steve fought to keep the blush away from his face. “Isn’t...Fondue something you’re supposed to do...” He cleared his throat awkwardly. “I mean, between two people?”

Tony frowned at him—the same frown he gave Steve when the blond said something that was ‘adorably old-fashioned’. “Sure, I guess fondue can be great between two people—very intimate. It’s more fun with a group of people, though.”

Steve bent back over his sketchpad, hiding his mortified expression. “Oh, that’s...interesting.”

Tony nudged his bare ankle with the toe of his polished shoes. “What’s the matter, Cap? I thought you’d be excited.”

Steve took a deep breath, unable to look at his team-mate. “I’ve never had...” He flushed, and dared to glance at Tony’s concerned frown. “I mean...I never did fondue before.”

Tony looked at him blankly for a moment, then tipped his head back and laughed.

Steve flushed in embarrassment and bent over his sketchbook again.

The warm weight of Tony’s hand landed on his shoulder and squeezed. “Hey,” he said gently. “It’s alright. Not everyone fondues. And it can get a bit messy if you’re not practiced, especially on your first time.”

“I just...with the war and everything, I never had a chance to...”

“It’s okay!” Tony declared reassuringly, squeezing his shoulder again. Steve realised he had frustrated tears gathering in his eyes and he turned his face away embarrassed. “Okay, so—you don’t want a group fondue for your first time. I get that.” The hand on his shoulder began a soothing back and forth movement, rubbing heat into his tense muscles. “How about this then, Cap? You come over to Stark Tower tomorrow night and we can fondue—just you and me.”

“You and I?” Steve repeated, blushing. It wasn’t as if he hadn’t thought about Tony that way before—or that Tony didn’t have his fair share of headlines parading around as many beautiful men and women. He just never thought that Tony would...

“Yeah,” the billionaire continued. “I’ve fondued...well, a lot. If you’re going to have your first time, it’s better to have someone with experience. I can...well, show you the ropes, so to speak.”

Steve dared to turn around, look at Tony’s painfully earnest expression. He reached up and laid his hand over Tony’s, giving it a gentle squeeze. “I’d like that.”

They shared an intense look, and then Tony broke into a grin and stood up quickly. “Okay, so—tomorrow night. Say, seven o’clock? I’ll send Happy to bring you over. See you soon, Cap!”

He hurried out in a blur of nervous energy, leaving Steve sitting on the couch. He glanced around and then sighed, blushing furiously. Tony had offered to take his virginity, that was...nice of him?

He glanced down at the sketchpad, another image of Tony’s figure sketched out on the page. Maybe... maybe after they made love he’d be able to convince the billionaire to have a proper relationship with him. More than...well, casual fondue.

He looked around his Spartan apartment and took a deep, fortifying breath.