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It had become a kind of tradition for the team to get a meal together when they weren't covered in battle residue and blood since this whole Avengers thing picked up. Though they still always went for a bite after saving the world, it was always tense and stressful, filling up on food only out of necessity and not out of enjoyment.

Natasha had been the one to make the suggestion that they convene to take a meal that wasn't interrupted by someone passing out from exhausting or bleeding from their skull so badly they had to cut the meal short to find emergency medical attention.

Since then they had been out four out of five weeks, only being interrupted by Dr. Doom's inability to just die or go away and annoy some other band of superheroes. It was Clint's turn to choose where they ate and Tony thought he spoke for everyone when he said he was more than a little bit scared. The text to dress casual didn't alleviate his fears.

He showed up in the living room in a pair of dark jeans and a Black Sabbath shirt, clutching the grey hoodie he had unearthed from his closet that was clearly not something he'd worn in a while, if ever. He suspected Pepper. Or maybe Natasha, who said they his propensity for suits made her feel perpetually underdressed.

He loitered near Coulson as they waited for the rest of the team. Tony had ribbed the SHIELD agent unmercifully when he discovered he and Clint in a compromising position in what he thought was an empty lab as he was poking around for pieces of technology to liberate from headquarters and glean information from.

Clint was sitting on his lap, slowly undoing the precise knot on Coulson's tie while nipping at his neck. The agent's eyes widened comically as he noticed what Clint was too busy to see: they were not alone.

Tony had laughed and snapped a picture, running off to tell everyone he'd ever met and forward the picture to Fury. He wasn't sure if he was disappointed when it didn't have the intended reaction (rage from Fury; embarrassment from Clint) but he was definitely worried about the smug smile Coulson wore and the sated glint Clint always seemed to have in his eye. He didn't think the agent had it in him—or in Clint, in this case.

Since then, the agent had been accompanying them on their outings, and Tony was actually growing fond of the straight-laced guy. He had a dry sense of humor, which Tony could appreciate, and he really mellowed out their Avengers resident archer, while Clint brought out Coulson's inner prankster.

When Tony found his coffee cleverly replaced with finely ground mulch in revenge for the mass picture mail he'd sent, he only needed to look at Coulson's quirked eyebrow to know he'd been Loki'd. Tony sketched an exaggerated bow and slowly walked to his room to drink a gallon of water before retreating to Starbucks.

Now, Clint popped into the room and told them to get their asses in the car. He grinned and declared they were headed for the coast, making Tony cringe. They were going to end up at some ramshackle health hazard owned by Captain Ahab, he just knew it.

Coulson's smug grin didn't do anything to ease his mind.

Tony was actually pleasantly surprised when they ended up at some quaint, but popular, seafood restaurant located on the boardwalk. It smelled amazing, despite Tony's trepidation.

"Told you, Stark," Clint gloated.

He raised his hands in supplication. "Fine, it doesn't look half bad."

Steve grinned his heart stopping grin at their playful banter, like he always did when they were getting along. Still, Tony wasn't promising anything, because there would be hell to pay if Tony was dragged out here to smell all these delicious smells and be completely deceived by them and unable to stomach a single thing.

It may come as a surprise to some (none) that Tony was a picky eater, had been since birth. His parents had catered to him shamelessly, never forcing him to eat something that made him wrinkle his nose or voice a protest as soon as he was able to formulate how to verbalize his displeasure.

His life had been a flurry of cheeseburgers and gyros and schwarma and a pretty much anything a person could buy at a food cart on the streets of New York. If it was greasy, Tony ate it. Honestly, Tony was shocked that it was shrapnel that endangered his heart, not clogged arteries.

To date, one of the foods Tony had steadfastly avoided had been all things from the sea. They smelled like red tide and most of them resembled something some super villain would cook up in a lab. Crabs and lobsters? Aliens. Fish? Slimy lab experiments gone wrong.

The appetizing aroma of the restaurants dishes made his mouth water, and Tony thought maybe he'd been a bit hastily in his judgment and if he ended up liking this Pepper was going to be beyond pissed at all the sushi bars he turned his nose up at. He nosily looked around at the other tables in the outside portion of the restaurant, trying to figure out what smelled best so he could order it.

It turned out he didn't have to, as Clint literally ordered everything on the menu for them to share while doing his best to steal unsuccessfully steal Coulson's sunglasses. Crabs and crayfish and clams and mussels and anything you could imagine. Maybe Clint wasn't a lunatic after all. He watched him put ketchup on a lump of crabmeat. No, still crazy. Meanwhile, Thor was in hog heaven as he took in the impressive spread, digging in with gusto.

Steve nudged him when he noticed he wasn't chowing down like the rest of them. "Eat," he encouraged, cracking through prickly crab shells with his bare hands. "It's great."

Tony nodded and took stock of the table, specifically the raw oysters sitting directly in front of him and making him remember all his excuses not to eat these seemingly disgusting creatures. Still, go big or go home, right? He'd always been one to tackle the big problems, and after this everything else on the table should be child's play.

He reached forward and grabbed one of the shells from the ice bed, squeezed on some lemon, and gulped it down. He waited for the revulsion to take place, the nausea, but was surprised when that didn't happen. It was actually good. Really good. It was cold and pleasantly salty with a hint of lemon and something he'd never tasted before. Most likely, you know, oyster flavor.

He hummed in appreciation and reached for another, only to be interrupted by Natasha's hand. "Here," she said, passing him a saucer of cocktail sauce. "It's got a kick."

He and Natasha shared a love of all things spicy, so he nodded in thanks and loaded up another shell. Amazing. He reached for the fried oysters as well, barely managing to suppress a moan at the taste. Still, he was surprised he proffered the raw offerings on the table and proceeded to gorge himself on the tasty mollusks.

Tony Stark didn't often admit he was wrong, but this stuff was probably the best thing since robots, and that was saying something.

He was only a few oysters in when he felt his lips and tongue begin to tingle and immediately dismissed it. The cocktail sauce packed a real punch and he relished a good burn. He cleared his throat and reached for his Stella Artois, taking a big sip to cleanse his palate.

He started to heat up and quickly shed his jacket. Almost immediately he began to get the chills. He shook his head and coughed around the tickle in his throat that wouldn't go away, was getting stronger. Tony reached for his beer again and coughed into the cup, unable to take the long drink he wanted.

He fumbled the cup to the table and went to take a deep breath before the hacking fit he was sure was about to start—and couldn't.

He couldn't breathe.

He made a choked sound and tried to reach for his throat but banged his hand on the table as he moved to raise it. Everyone jumped and looked to him and he saw horror in their faces. He wanted to ask what was wrong, but he couldn't.

He felt himself lose his balance and fall backwards onto the cement. He could tell from the flurry of motion around him that everyone was yelling, but he couldn't hear them. He looked at Steve's petrified face as he sat there—frozen, for the second time in his life—the only one that couldn't seem to be able to move.

Tony saw Bruce literally jump over the table and crouch next to him. He saw a flash of green in his eyes and thought they were going to have a little green problem in the next second, but Dr. Banner miraculously kept his composure.

His fingers unerringly found his pulse and gestured around him wildly. From the corner of his eyes he saw Coulson on his ever-present cell phone and striding up and down between civilians, looking for any possible threats. A young woman jogged toward them, her friend hot on her heels, and were stopped in tracks by Coulson's formidable stare. The young woman with the sandy-blonde hair stopped while her dark haired counterpart kept running, prompting Natasha to vault over a trash can to follow her.

The blonde gestured frantically and held her purse open for inspection before being directed to Bruce. She dug in her purse madly and held something out to Bruce that he snatched from her hand, read over it quickly, ripped off the cap, and stabbed it into his thigh.

Tony wanted to protest but was unable to do anything but convulse against the ground. In a matter of seconds, Tony could feel himself able to draw choked breaths and gasped in oxygen greedily. A minute later the other woman was back, filling his vision and ripping open the most extensive first aid kit he'd ever seen, letting Bruce rifle through haphazardly, Natasha hovering over her, ready to take her down on Coulson's word.

He must have blacked out for a minute or two or twenty because he had no recollection of his shirt being taken off or the EMT standing over him that looked an awful lot like Steve would if he had red hair. He could see the flashing lights of an ambulance over his broad shoulder and looked around frantically, desperately pawing at whatever was covering his mouth.

Then, real Steve peered over him, gently wrapping his strong hands around Tony's weakly flailing arms. "Easy," he soothed, voice rough. "Relax, Tony. You need to relax."

But he couldn't. He was on a gurney and they had managed to strap down his lower half before he woke up, the restriction making him panic and try to push Steve away so he could get to his legs and undo the straps.

"Tony," and now it was Bruce. "You went into anaphylactic shock; you need to go to the hospital."

"No," he croaked. "Home. Lab."

They both shook their heads. "Hospital," Bruce said firmly. Damn him for being a doctor anyway.

The EMT approached again and Tony reflexively slapped and hand over the arc reactor in apprehension. He wasn't keen to go anywhere with strangers while he was incapacitated and strapped to a gurney. Bruce and Steve moved to step back to let the paramedic do his job but Tony shot a hand out and grabbed Steve's arm, looking at him imploringly.

The EMT looked on kindly, used to scenes like this. "He can have someone travel back with him," he said. "It's standard practice."

Steve looked back at Bruce and the other man nodded. "Give us a call when they get him settled so we can come by."

The blond nodded and hopped into to the back of the ambulance and Tony manfully resisted the urge to lash out at the EMT that loaded him into the back of the ambulance. Barely. Now settled into the emergency vehicle, he felt exhausted. His arms fell limply to his sides and his head lolled to the side, eyes falling on Steve's concerned face.

He fought off unconsciousness, eyes slipping closed only for them to fly open. Steve smiled, but it didn't quite reach his eyes. "Close your eyes," he said.

He shook his head as emphatically as he could. No way in hell, he thought.

"Go to sleep, Tony."


The super soldier rolled his eyes. "Stubborn," he whispered, an odd tremor in his voice. Tony wanted to reply with Am not! but, well, that was kind of Steve's point. "Just go to sleep, Tony. I won't let you out of my sight."

Tony wanted to resist, really he did, but between one blink and the next, he was gone.

He came to in hideous tan room, filled with the mechanical beeps of medical equipment and the sickly-sweet smell that seemed to linger in all hospital's air. He groaned, head aching, mouth feeling like it was filled with cotton. He could feel another oxygen mask on his face and he forced his hand up to pull it off, feeling claustrophobic.

His limbs felt like lead and when he finally managed to lift a hand he caught sight of the IV in the back of his hand. His eyes widened and he heard his heart monitor spike, moving his other hand up to rip the needle out. He was stopped by a large hand, making the heart monitor beep frantically again.

"Easy," a voice rumbled. Steve.

He made a noise of protest that sounded pathetically like a whimper. He turned his head to find him. He took a moment to appreciate the sight that was Captain America with missed hair and sleep lines on his face from where it appeared he'd collapsed against the side of his hospital bed.

"Bruce," he called softly, and Tony realized they weren't alone. The entire team was in the room, in various states of sleep and on every surface imaginable. Bruce was rising from a chair across the room and paused to peek out the door and alert the nurses that Tony had woken.

He approached Tony slowly but smiled in relief. "I don't think I've been that agitated and not Hulked out before," he said lightly. Tony chuckled weakly.

"Just keepin' you on your toes," he slurred.

They chuckled and Steve looked at him with a worried smiled. "Still, let's not try for a repeat."

Bruce nodded in agreement and then a nurse breezed into the room, bright and cheery and he kind of wished he would just pass out again to avoid her spritely poking and chatter. The IV remained in his hand and no amount of eyelash fluttering, and then glaring when that didn't work, would convince her to remove it. Thankfully he got the okay to take off the oxygen mask, huffing in relief as cool air hit his face.

Finally, she swept out in a cloud of strong perfume and smiles and a promise to send the doctor in, leaving the Avengers to themselves.

Bruce and Steve sat on either side of his bed and stared down at him, making him feel incredibly uncomfortable.

"What?" he asked.

Bruce shook his head. "Nothing. Just glad you're okay. You gave us all quite the scare."

Steve nodded in agreement before asking what was surely on everyone's mind. "Has this ever happened before?"

"No," he said emphatically. He'd fucking remember what that felt like for the rest of his life and he never wanted to experience it again.

Bruce seamlessly became Dr. Banner in front of their eyes. "Did you consume something out of the ordinary?"

Tony laughed tiredly. "Oysters."

"Anything else?"

"Just those."

Bruce hummed under his breath, making notations on a piece of paper he'd pulled from his pocket. "Have you ever felt anything similar while you ate other seafood? Tingling, shortness of breath, hives, anything?"

"Never had it."

Steve and Bruce looked at him in disbelief. "Never?" Steve asked.

"Mom tried to get me to eat fish," he replied. "Blech."

Bruce sighed and made more notes. "That explains why you're just finding this out now."

Tony looked around the room and realized Coulson was missing. Clint was cuddled up to Natasha, and if Tony didn't know better he'd think the archer had been crying. Thor was sitting on the floor in front of the couch, head pillowed on Natasha's lap, snoring steadily, hand wrapped around Natasha's ankle while her hand was buried in his hair.

"Coulson?" he asked.

Bruce gestured out of the room and Tony could see Coulson with a phone pressed to his ear, pacing up and down the hall, speaking to someone in clipped tones, voice angry.

"What's going on?"

Bruce sighed put his paper to the side. "We all have access to each other's files, and Coulson can see things even we can't. There was no mention of any food allergies in your file. None. And Coulson wants to know why."

"Never had it before," he repeated.

Bruce shook his head. "Doesn't matter. They run extensive blood work on us all and it should have been on there."

Steve moved his chair forward to ensure privacy. "Is he thinking foul play?" he asked, tone slightly disbelieving.

Bruce shrugged. "With us, it's always a possibility."

And wasn't that the damn truth—and not just with them, but also their loved ones. A week ago, someone had tried to slip a tainted document into Pepper's office. The paper wasn't any ordinary paper, the edges made of the thinnest, sharpest metal, in the hopes that she would cut herself and succumb to the poison. Stark Industries still had a lot of enemies looking to hurt Tony.

"It's more likely that the technicians slacked off, thinking that people would report their allergies if they had them."

There was a particularly venomous hiss from Coulson as he made another pass by the opened door. "God help them," Steve muttered. Tony was inclined to agree.

Tony shifted in bed restlessly, smothering a groan as his body protested. "When can I get out of here?"

Bruce looked at him, unyielding. "When they come back with your blood work and the doctor deems you healthy enough to go home. You had an extreme allergic reaction, Tony, not a stomach ache."

"You're a doctor," he pleaded. "Tell them I'm better."

This time it was Steve. "You're staying right here."

Tony huffed and tried to disguise another countless attempt to pry the IV out of the back of his hand. Steve intercepted him flawlessly and kept their fingers entwined to prevent further attempts.

"You all suck," he said. "Especially Clint."

Bruce poked him with a sharp finger. "Don't," he whispered, looking over his shoulder to make sure they were still asleep. "He feels terrible."

Tony sighed, closing his eyes, definitely not pouting. "Didn't mean it. Just sucks. They tasted so good."

The feel of Steve's callused fingers against his, thumb caressing his had idly, lulled him into a light slumber he was abruptly pulled out of by the sound of rapidly clicking Louboutins on a linoleum floor. He opened his eyes in time to see Pepper skid inside.

"Oh my god," she panted. "Dead zone, just got Coulson's message. What's going on?"

Bruce gestured down at Tony with a nod of his head. "Turns out Tony's allergic to oysters and god knows what else. We're waiting on blood work."

Pepper breathed out shakily and sagged against the foot of his bed in relief. "I was so worried. Agent Coulson's message just said 'Tony. Hospital.'."

"Sorry, Pep," Tony rasped.

She gave him a watery smiled and squeezed his foot affectionately. Steve stood, gently releasing his hand and offering Pepper his seat like the consummate gentleman. Tony mourned the loss of the warm, comforting strength but managed a wan grin for his favorite lady. She took his seat gladly and wrapped her delicate hands around his.

"It it terrible I'm almost grateful you never wanted to go to those sushi bars with me? I don't know if I could have handled watching you…" she trailed off meaningfully. He was almost glad too. He'd put her through enough.

He shook his head and gave her hand a light squeeze. He gave her what was surely a poor imitation of his usual smirk and gestured to her jewelry with his pointer finger. "Is it terrible I kind of want to throw your pearls across the room?"

Pepper laughed, reaching up to fondle the cream colored orbs and slowly released his hand so she could slip off her necklace and earrings.

"You know, I think I just lost my taste for them."

It turns out that Tony is allergic to all things mollusk. Clams, mussels, oysters, all of them. Coulson finally uncovers the technician that dropped the ball on Tony's blood work and she is mysteriously "transferred" somewhere. No one really cares to ask where.

Much to Tony's annoyance, the hospital refused to release him until he'd been under surveillance for at least 24 hours and could keep a decent meal down without becoming ill and displayed no further signs of anaphylaxis.

Tony pouted and tried to worm his way out, but once Coulson heard, he knew there was no getting around it. The team woke and once they had been assured Tony will live to pester them another day (and Clint apologized at least ten times), they filed out until it was just Bruce and Steve.

Tony is pretty sure Coulson is hacked into the hospital's computer and security system and was watching him remotely and found the thought strangely comforting. No one dies on Coulson's watch.

Steve had remained quiet and pensive throughout, sitting at Tony's side, while Bruce entertained him with stories of his science adventures while he was being hailed as an independent terrorist cell. When he is finally released, Steve pushes the mandatory wheel chair out to where Happy is waiting to take him home while Bruce and Coulson pried his medical records from the hospital's iron grip before getting into a car that would them to SHIELD while Steve and Tony made their way to his Malibu home.

When Happy opened the door, his grin relieved to see his boss in one piece, Tony nearly wept when he saw a bag of Burger King sitting on the seat. Cheeseburgers. Happy was getting a raise.

Although Tony enjoyed every single greasy, fattening bite of the burgers, Steve was tense beside him, so tense, and it was beginning to make Tony uncomfortable—a nearly impossible feat. After a torturous minute of silence, Tony crumpled up another wrapper and turned to other man.

"Are you all right?" he asked.

Steve turned and looked at him incredulously. "Am I all right? Christ, Tony, you're the one that nearly died!"

Blasphemy. Wow. Steve was upset. "I'm fine." he said dismissively. "You guys were on top of it."

"I didn't do a damn thing!" Steve ranted. "Everyone else was doing something while I sat there like a statue and watched your lips turn blue!"

And yeah, Tony kind of remembers Steve freezing in place and staring at him in horror, but he certainly hadn't done nothing. "You were in the ambulance with me. That's not nothing. Besides, what could you do? It was an allergic reaction, not a Doombot. Kind of hard to fight that."

Steve opened his mouth to respond but abruptly shut it and crossed his arms, looking out the darkened window. Tony was at a loss and looked to Happy's eyes in the rear view mirror. He was met with a knowing smile and Tony wanted to demand what he knew if only he could figure out a way to do it without Steve hearing.

Cap was the rational one, not Tony. This sudden change in personalities was unsettling.

It took them a while to reach Tony's home since they got stuck in midday traffic. The silence that filled the car made Tony squirm awkwardly, making Steve look over at him in concern every time he wiggled.

They finally pulled into Tony's long drive and the fact that Steve was the closest to the door was the only thing keeping him from diving out of the car and running (crawling) to his lab.

Happy pulled the car to a stop and Steve opened the door, holding his hand out to Tony. The shorter man took it and felt the shiver of heat he always felt when Steve touched him. He loved the blonde's quiet strength and warm skin and relished every opportunity that he could touch it without inviting suspicion.

Tony waved to Happy and Steve all but pulled him toward the house. JARVIS unlocked the door for Steve and Tony would have berated the AI for listening to others like they were his creator if he wasn't suddenly so damn tired.

Still, Tony was determined and attempted to peel off and spend some quality time in his lab. Steve's hand closed around his shoulder. "Where are you going?" he asked.

"The lab," Tony replied dryly. What else was downstairs?

Steve's eyebrows raised in incredulity. "I don't think so," he said, steering him toward the master suite. "The doctor said to take it easy and I'm pretty sure Bruce will get a little green if he finds out you not only disobeyed the hospital's orders, but his."

Tony made a disparaging sound. "They'll never know."

Except they would, because Steve was totally going to tell on him. He looked at Tony steadily until the other man gave in with a huff and allowed himself to bed led to bed. He angrily shed his hoodie and threw it on the floor in the hall with the offended grace of a child, stomping on the soft fabric as they walked. Steve wisely held his tongue at Tony's actions and herded him into the well-lit room.

"Lights, JARVIS," Steve said, once again taking control of his AI. He was really going to give JARVIS a talking to. Or a brutal rewiring, but they both knew that was an empty threat.

Tony pulled off the rest of his clothes tiredly and crawled into be in his boxers, inhaling the scent of his own bed and sheets instead of the hospital's scratchy excuses for bed linens.

His eyes fluttered open to see Steve take his place in the cushy chair near the wall of windows and frowned. "What are you doing?"

Steve looked at him like he was the one acting strangely. "You're not supposed to be alone."

Tony rolled his eyes. "I'm not alone if you're in the house with me. I don't think they meant you had to stand vigil at my side."

Steve just looked at him, unconvinced, and settled further into the chair. Tony sighed. "Cap, get some rest. I know you haven't slept a wink since the night before last."

The tall man gave a noncommittal shrug. "In a little while. I'll be fine."

Tony wanted to growl, but that would be weird and more cause for alarm from the good Captain. "Come over here," he said tiredly. "You look like Batman, lurking in the dark over there. Not a good look for you, super soldier."

When it didn't look like Steve was going to move, Tony pretended to get up, making Steve stride over and press him back into bed. He curled a hand around a muscular biceps, patting the other side of the bed. "C'mon, Cap. In you go. Plenty of room."

Steve glared, realizing he'd been tricked, and reluctantly climbed into bed beside Tony after stripping out of his shoes and khakis. Tony tried not to let the disappointment the Cap didn't strip further show on his face, or the eagerness he felt when presented with the reality of Steve in his bed.

Steve put and hand over Tony's eyes. "Sleep," he commanded. "You got your way. Now sleep."

Tony just hummed and burrowed further into the sheets, listening to Steve's even breaths for a moment before drifting off.

He swam toward wakefulness an indeterminate amount of time later, cracking an eye open to see that it was now properly dark. He shifted contentedly, ready for another few hours of uninterrupted sleep, when he noticed a weight over his middle. He glanced down hesitantly and started when he realized it was an arm before mentally slapping himself when he recognized Cap's watch.

Not one to let an opportunity pass him by, Tony put an arm over Steve's and snuggled back into his embrace, fingers lacing over the top of Steve's hand. He could feel Cap's fingers press against his reflexively and smiled to himself. Tony thought he should feel weird about taking such liberties, but why bother with such useless guilt? It wasn't hurting anyone, and Steve was the one that snuggled up to him.

He scooted back towards Steve's broad chest and sighed when he came into contact with warm planes of muscle. His toes curled in content pleasure and he moved his hips to fit against Steve's snuggly only to encounter a very prominent hardness against his backside.

He froze for a second before melting into Steve, the blood in his veins practically buzzing with delight. Steve's fingers tightened around his deliberately. "Sleep," he rumbled. Tony just shifted against him restlessly. "Sleep," he said again, this time sounding more awake.

Tony made a negative sound and tried to move their clasped hands to his own growing erection before Steve untangled their hands to encircle Tony's wrist gently and settle around his middle once more. "That's not resting," he chided.

Tony made a soft, petulant sound and softly rocked his ass against Steve's length. His hand flew to Tony's hip and held firmly, his fingers like a brand where they touched his skin. "Enough. Go to sleep, Tony."

Tony pouted and let Steve to drape his arm over his waist once more before twining their finger and bringing them up to his chin. He dropped his head and allowed his beard to scrape over them, pressing lingering kisses to Steve's broad palm before nipping lightly at the tips of his fingers.

"Tony," Steve said warningly.

The shorter man pressing his pouting lips to Steve's wrist. "Please," he asked plaintively.

He could feel the fight go out of Steve's body and almost crowed in victory. "Later," Steve replied, voice deep and sultry. He pulled Tony close and gently eased a leg over his hip, making Tony shiver. "Sleep now."

Tony reluctantly let the tension ease out of him and soon found himself growing drowsy. "Promise," he whispered a few moments later, not sure Steve was even awake.

"Promise what?" was Steve's sleepy response.

Tony's fingers caressed Steve's. "Later," he purred.

His breath caught as Steve leaned forward, still rock hard, and pressed a steamy kiss to the back of his shoulder. Tony quivered as Steve's teeth scraped his skin in a blunt slide and had to bite back a whine.

"Later," Steve promised.

Tony wasn't an expert on seducing-your-new-super-soldier-turned-sweetheart, but he was pretty sure it was later. It had been later for quite some time. It was so later. They had been cuddling for hours, and while it was the best few hours of Tony's life, he was ready for it to get even better.

Steve, however, remained stubbornly asleep. Normally he'd have no compunctions about waking someone up for sex, but Steve had been awake and at his bedside for days, apparently stricken with guilt that he'd been powerless to help him and berating himself for not springing into some kind of action. The man deserved his rest right now.

As Tony was contemplating slipping out of bed to grab the tablet computer across the room, Tony could feel Steve's breathing start to elevate as he moved toward wakefulness. He sniffed once before pulling his arm from Tony's waist to rub at his eyes.

Tony turned, pillowing his head on Steve's other arm and watched as Steve slowly became alert. He blinked at Tony blearily before his lips stretched in a warm grin. "Feeling better?" he rasped.

Tony nodded before cuddling closer and pressing his face to Steve's chest. Steve hummed and his fingers speared through Tony's hair, idly playing with the messy locks. He chuckled lightly as Tony's breath ticked him, curling a hand under his jaw to get the brilliant man to look up at him. His face was heart wrenchingly sincere. "Do you really feel better?"

"I do. I feel a little rough, but mostly I think it's because I collided with the concrete," he replied honestly.

Steve nodded gravely and let his fingers roam over Tony's face, down his neck. Tony let out a shaky breath and moved to lay a kiss to Steve's neck. "Is it later yet?" he panted.

"Mmm," Steve hummed speculatively before pressing his stiff cock to Tony's bared stomach. "I think so."

Tony made a tiny, grateful sound before arching up to press his mouth to Steve's, moaning softly when Steve gripped the back of his neck and took control of the kiss. Tony's fingers played with the hem of Cap's shirt before the other man pulled back long enough to toss of his shirt and slide out of his boxer briefs.

Tony immediately moved to grasp Steve's length but was interrupted half way by a hand around his wrist. "Clothes off," he breathed.

Tony rushed to comply, wiggling around gracelessly as he shimmed out of his boxers while tangled in sheets and a pair of strong arms. He surged forward and this time managed to get a hand around Steve's impressive girth.

The blond man groaned into Tony's mouth and let his hand trail over his warm skin and to the rounded flesh of his ass, gripping harder than intended when Tony toyed with the sensitive skin under the head of his erection. He groaned and rolled on top of the shorter man, Tony spreading his legs easily.

"Wait," Steve husked.


"Turn around," Steve rumbled. "Like before. Wanna hold you."

Tony hurried to comply, feeling a riveting combination of aroused and content. Steve molded their bodies together and Tony arched his back into the cradle of Steve's hips.

"Is this okay?" Steve asked, fingers trailing down his thigh before coming up to slip between his cheeks and press against his entrance.

Tony let out a quivering breath and nodded. "Would you believe me if I said it was my first time like this?"

Steve stilled for a moment. "With a man or—"

"Or," Tony interrupted. "I was always in the driver's seat, hot shot."

"I'm okay with that, if you would be more comfortable."

"No no no," Tony breathed. "Want this." And Tony strained forward to reach the bedside drawer to curl his fingers around a bottle of lube and strip of condoms. He tossed the foil packets back at Steve and undid the cap on the bottle, quickly slicking up his own fingers and reaching between his legs to press inside impatiently.

He slides a finger inside without preamble and his toes curl from the gritty slide. After a moment he adds a second, a bit slower this time, and scissors his fingers open. He turns his face to muffle his moan into the pillow when he can feel Steve's fingers join his own, teasing around his hole as Tony fingers himself.

"Can I?" Steve asks, reaching for the lube.

"Yes. God yes, help me get ready."

Steve pressed his forehead to the nape of Tony's neck while he gently works in a long, thick finger along with Tony's. The dark haired man can barely move, feeling himself stretch around both their fingers, knowing that Steve is watching him rock against their fingers.

Tony pulls his fingers out to grip at the sheets. Steve wastes no time and pressed forward with two fingers immediately before adding a third. Tony can feel the stretch, three of his fingers bigger than two of his nimble engineer's fingers. He hisses out a slow breath and by the time he inhales the burn is gone, replaced with a thrumming pleasure that threatens to overwhelm him.

Steve's fingers withdraw and Tony almost whimpers in despair when he hears the telltale crinkle of foil as the other man tearing open the condom wrapper. He feels Steve guide his engorged head to his hole and press against the rim, teasing him.

"Please," Tony begs needlessly, and Steve presses inside. Tony presses back against him at the same time and Steve is halfway sheathed inside Tony's heat in an instant. A hand smacks to Tony's hip, causing Tony to gasp in a sharp breath.

"Slow," Steve groans, voice thick with desire and gradually inching forward until his balls were flush against Tony's skin.

Steve's hands were everywhere, holding him close and rubbing at his feverish skin, not willing to let Tony go or let him move away to establish a rhythm. Tony strains to speed up Steve's thrust but he won't relent.

Tony finally collapses forward, entirely on his stomach now, and breathes into the too-warm sheets as Steve moves inside him slowly, his rhythm inexorable, his cock splitting him open but offering no relief. Tony groans, desperate for Steve press against that place inside him that he seldom reached on his own.

He worms a hand between himself and the bed to fist his cock but only ends up gripping the base desperately as Steve changes the angle of his thrusts and skates over his prostate. Tony does whimper this time, back bowing in pleasure until Steve takes hold of the wrist attached to his cock and maneuvers him until his hands are on either side of his head.

Tony keens in frustration but Steve holds firm. "Steve," he pleads, and he starts to piston into him. Tony writhed underneath him, still not able to reach his peak.

Steve leaned forward and pressed kisses to his shoulder before turning his attention to Tony's reddened ears. "God, I was so worried, couldn't do anything, so scared I lost you."

And Tony understood the desperate tension behind their coupling. He nearly sobbed in relief when Steve wrapped a hand around his cock a few torturous moments later and stroked him in time to his punishing thrusts. He came with a wail, spurting all over the sheets and Steve's hand while Steve continued to pound into him.

He held gripped the sheets as his body was wracked with aftershocks and Steve continued to drive into him relentlessly. He slammed home one last time, grinding forward as he released deep inside him. Steve gripped Tony's hip so hard he knew there would be a bruise and he couldn't wait to trace over the lines his fingers had made, though he knew the super soldier would be beside himself when he noticed.

Steve pressed wet kisses to his every bit of skin his could reach, coming down from his own powerful orgasm. "Tony," he whispered, threading his fingers through Tony's sweaty hair.

"God, that was amazing" Tony choked out. "No need to ask if you've done that before."

Steve chuckled and gripped the base of his cock as he gently pulled out, stripping off the condom and wrapping it in a tissue. He collapsed on his back and tried to catch his breath.

"Does that bother you?" he asked.

"God no," Tony replied. "Long as you promise to do it again." He winced as he turned to cuddled up to Steve's chest, body deliciously sore. "Really did a number on me, Cap."

And Steve's hands became gentle instead of clutching, fingers trailing over his cooling skin. His mouth pursed worriedly. "Too much?" he asked. "I hadn't meant to be so rough—I was just so scared earlier. I'm just so glad you're here."

"Me too," Tony replied. "Death by mollusk? Lame."

"Tony," Steve chided. "You didn't answer my question.

Tony sighed. "Not too much," he said dreamily, the arc reactor casting a cool glow over their faces. "Definitely not too much. I'll be interested to see your other techniques after I've slept this particular one off."

Steve chuckled, pressing a kiss to Tony's head.

"Clear your calendar," Tony mumbled. "I'm serious."

Steve laughed outright. "I'll make room."

Since Oystergate, it had become an epidemic. It was seriously getting out of hand. Tony knew Coulson was behind it, and while he was oddly flattered, it had to stop.

There were Epi-pens everywhere. You couldn't turn over a pillow or move a stack of papers in the lab without finding one. Steve had found them in his art supplies. Thor found some in the kitchen with the silverware. Heck, Tony had found one in his room while wonderfully occupied with Steve—he'd reached for the lube and found an Epi-pen instead.

Clint found one in his quiver while they were fighting off hordes of animated cars in an uncomfortable Transformers parody and, in a not-so-hilarious turn of events, Bruce found one in the lab and mistook it for a pen, uncapping it and accidently pricking his mouth, resulting in a bit of a green tantrum.

The final straw, however, came with Natasha. She stormed into the kitchen one morning, clutching a box full of tampons and putting fear in every man's heart. She glared at Coulson. "This has got to stop!" she declared and held out the opened box of feminine hygiene products. Sure enough, inside was yet another Epi-pen.

Coulson had the good grace to look abashed and swore to keep out of Natasha's private things. Tony tried not to snicker as he pulled on a jacket before venturing out to meet Pepper to go over some legal documents. He stuck his hands in the front pocket and his fingers encountered cool plastic. He pulled it out. Coulson smirked, a look more at home on Clint's face than the stoic agent's, and went back to doing his crossword puzzle.

This was getting ridiculous.