Chapter 1: The Fondue Offer
“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.
Chapter 2: A Fondue Phone Call
A shrill ringing jolted him out of his sleep. First, he scrambled for a gun he quickly remembered wouldn’t be there. Then, as awareness returned, he reached for the StarkPhone on his bedside table and frowned at the screen.
He pressed at the screen until it changed and brought it up to his ear. “Tony?” He asked, confused.
“Steve!” Tony yelled in greeting.
“Tony, it’s three in the morning...” He pointed out, confused.
“What, really? I thought it was afternoon. JARVIS! Why didn’t you tell me it was morning?” He yelled back towards the room he was in.
“I tried to sir,” the AI replied evenly.
Tony muttered to himself. “Anyway—since you’re awake now. For fondue—do you want chocolate or cheese?”
Steve frowned at the wall across from him. “Tony...what?” He asked, strangled. What was that supposed to mean? What were chocolate and cheese code for? “Tony, I don’t understand what you—”
“Actually, you’re a healthy young man, you could probably handle both...”
“Both?” Steve strangled out, breath catching. What on earth was Tony signing him up for?
“Both it is! See you later today, Cap!”
“Tony?” Steve asked. “What are chocolate and cheese supposed to mean?” He waited for an answer, but there was only silence. “Tony?” He repeated. He pulled the phone away from his ear, and saw that the screen only showed the Stark Industries logo.
He made a quiet whimper and slumped back into his mattress. What had he signed up for now?
Chapter 3: The Fondue Cushions
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Steve tried to control his shaking hands as the elevator ascended. Failing that, he did his best to ignore them. Tony wouldn’t laugh at him for his inexperience...right? He already knew that Steve had never...fondued.
The elevator opened with a soft ping and the animated voice of Tony’s butler greeted him as soon as he stepped out. “Welcome, Captain Rogers. Fondue will be taken in the upstairs sitting room.”
Steve faltered. A sitting room? Surely the bedroom would be more appropriate... More intimate, at least. It occured to him maybe Tony had chosen it that way deliberately. Maybe Tony wasn’t looking for any sort of relationship with him at all beyond casual...fondue.
“Tony?” He called nervously.
“Almost finished in here, Cap!” Tony’s voice came from down one of the various hallways. “Head on up to the sitting room! I’ll be with you in a sec. Don’t start without me!”
Steve flushed in embarrassment. “JARVIS, how do I get to the...?”
Half of the lights dimmed, outlining a particular path through the room. “Follow the lights please, Captain.”
Steve did. As he made his way up a winding staircase, he wondered what it would be like. Just the normal plush couches? Maybe Tony would have lit up some candles or...
He paused in the doorway to the living room and stopped in place. All the furniture had been removed and replaced. A low coffee table sat in the middle of the room, two cast-iron pots bubbling quietly on the wooden surface. There were no more couches or seats, only a series of oversized cushions meant to serve as seating. The lights were dimmed, most of the light coming from a few squat lamps with dark, beaded shades.
The whole effect wasn’t...romantic, per se. But it was intimate and very....very, seductive. He shuffled his feet nervously, then glanced at them. Embarrassed, he toes off his shoes and knelt down to tug off his socks. He crossed to the coffee table to sit awkwardly in one of the cushions.
He eyed the pots curiously—it sure was nice of Tony to make him dinner before they had...fondue. He looked down at himself and suddenly felt very over-dressed.
Tony could play word games with the best of them, but when it came down to it he was a very straight forward kind of guy. When he got here he’d probably want to get straight down to business.
Clearing his throat awkwardly in the empty room, he took off his jacket and folded it carefully outside the cluster of cushions. He did the same with his shirt, and then the ‘wifebeater’ (what an awful name) with it.
He unzipped his pants, and then realised what it was he was doing. Embarrassed, he sunk into one of the cushions and buried his face in his hands. There was a difference between being accomodating and appearing...wanton.
“Alright, ready or not here I come!” Tony yelled from outside the room.
Steve rushed to recline on the cushions, at least look relaxed and confident about what was happening. Tony backed the door open, his hands full with a tray. He turned around and caught sight of Steve, freezing in place. There was definite heat in his eyes, but there was also a lot of shock and not long after it became...
“I think you somehow got the wrong message here,” Tony said warily.
Steve was stuck for a few moments before the meaning sunk in. “What?” He managed out. “I thought you invited me here for...to have fondue. With you.”
“Well, yeah,” Tony agreed, finally approaching and setting down the tray on the coffee table. Steve saw a handful of long prongs, two plates and two trays—one filled with squares of bread, and the other various bite-sized fruits.
“And fondue is...” He swallowed, knowing his face was a lit with a blush. “Fondue is a word for...for...” He looked up at Tony’s frowning face. “For, you know,” he whispered: “sex.”
“Oh, Steve,” Tony replied, face paling. “No. No...” He gestured at the table. “Fondue is dipping bread in hot cheese. Or fruit in liquid chocolate. And sometimes meat into hot oil...” He looked up at Steve, his expression twisted in hurt. “You thought I would invite you here just to have sex with me? Just like that?”
Steve flushed in embarrassment and could answer, hands hurrying down to zip and button his jeans.
“Oh, wait...that does sound like something I’d do,” Tony agreed unhappily. He sighed deeply. “Steve...when you said you’d never ‘had fondue’ before, you meant...?”
“Can we not talk about this please?” Steve pleaded, pulling on his shirt and trying to button it up and save what was left of his dignity.
“Steve, you’re a virgin,” Tony stated.
Steve flushed in mortification and buried his face in his hands. “I just wanted to...”
“Steve, if I thought you really wanted this, I would be licking chocolate sauce of your glorious abs right now.” Steve groaned into his hands, wondering how it was possible to blush any more. “But considering it took you a good minute to work out the word ‘sex’, I can tell you’re not ready.”
“I was ready,” Steve mumbled. “I was going to do this.”
“I may have no other scruples about sex—I’ve literally done everything—but if there’s one thing I know, it’s that your first time should be with someone important to you.”
“Can we stop talking about this now?” Steve pleaded, lowering his hands.
“Sure,” Tony said warily. After a few minutes, he handed Steve one of the plates and a pair of the metal prongs. “Now, I’m going to teach you the fine art of dipping things in hot liquid and eating them...”
This got way out of hand. This was supposed to be fun and now there's angst and sequels and an entire AU to work on.
Keep an eye out for more in the Fonduniverse.
Until next time, my dear friends, I remain: