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A Sentimental Gift -- Or, Tony Stark Makes an Ass out of U and Me

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Down in the garage, music blasts -- separating Tony Stark from the rest of the world. Billionaire, genius, has a state of the art apartment on the top floor of Stark Tower … and he's more comfortable surrounded by robots and metal, working on this or that project. Tony is, frankly, happiest when his hands are covered in grease and he's wearing his black tank top with sweat on his brow. Even though he knows exactly what (or, rather, who) awaits him upstairs, he's still most comfortable with Dummy and Butterfingers at his side. Yes, he's aware he has problems but the garage has been and will always be his comfort zone.

Besides, he has tinkering to do -- and Mr Captain Spangled wants to sketch in peace.

He drums his fingers along with the beat, head bobbing slightly as he admires his handiwork. Some new modifications to the Mark VII armor that should help with the thrust capacity and improve maneuverability in tight corners. He's itching to go try it out, but sometimes when he goes for test drives, he winds up losing track of time.

The last time he came home at three am to one super soldier standing in the garage and glaring. Tony was surprised, actually, that Steve wasn't wielding a wooden spoon ready to paddle his ass back to bed.

"Whadda ya think, Dummy?" Tony asks the robot as it cocks its mechanical head at Tony. "Think I'll be able to pull tight donuts with this new getup?"

The robot lifts a 'hand' as if trying to give Tony a high-five in response. Tony fights the urge to bash his head into the metal table until he loses consciousness. Steve. Only his wonderful Captain Steve Rogers would have figured out a way to teach his robots how to high-five.

"Well, it's better than you following me around with a fire extinguisher all the time. I'll take my victories where I can get them."

The thumping beat lessens and Tony wrinkles his nose. There's nothing wrong with the volume even if the Tower vibrates ever so slightly.

"Dammit, Pepper. I like my music so stop with this whole… turning down of it."

Arms wrap around Tony from behind, and Tony relaxes into the embrace. He tilts his head back to look up at Steve and he breathes in deeply. Steve smells of soap and leather and freedom (what, it's a scent!) and Tony could wrap himself in it like a warm blanket. Suddenly he's not so quick to bitch about Steve turning down his music.

"You know, you keep playing your music that loud and you're going to go deaf."

"What?" Tony asks, a ghost of a smile at his lips.

"I said if you --" Steve breaks off and Tony's smile grows. "You're… you're…"

"Amazing?" Tony supplies. "Brilliant, gorgeous, sexy, the love of your life, the yin to your yang, the peanut butter to your jelly?"

Steve rolls his eyes. "I was going to say annoying as all heck."

"I liked my description better."

"Gee, I wonder why."

Tony turns around in Steve's arms and threads his fingers through Steve's hair. He gently tugs Steve's head down and his lover is quick to comply, pressing his lips against Tony's. The kiss is chaste but only for a few moments as soon they're clawing at each other, mouths open and tongues tangling together. Steve pushes Tony up against the workbench and Tony is all too eager to climb up, wrapping his legs around Steve's waist. He likes this better. Thanks to the workbench, they're almost the same height rather than the six or so inches that separate them when they're on the ground. Now it's easier to make out as neither of them will get a crick in their neck trying to make up the size difference.

And no, Tony is not vertically challenged no matter what Clint says.

The kiss, however, ends too soon -- Steve's hands on Tony's chest gently pushing him back. He leans back, pushing the new boot out of the way and braces his hands on the table. He glances up at Steve, wondering why he had to stop with that very, very nice kiss.

"Tony. We need to talk."

Five little words. On their own, they don't amount to much, but when they're put together like this, what passes for Tony's heart these days is lodged in his throat. Steve pulls away from Tony, a pensive look on his face. This is it. He's pushed Steve's buttons one too many times and Steve has had enough. At least they had one final kiss.

Tony reaches for Steve to try and stop him from moving away, but Steve has already put too much space between them. He turns and, silently, trudges up the stairs to the main part of the tower. Tony can't follow him immediately. He can't look like he's the desperate one. Already he's rehearsing something in his head, some grand speech that will convince Steve to overlook his myriad of faults and stay with him. Yet each time he finishes the speech he isn't sure why Steve should stay with him.

He's a billionaire -- yet he has the emotional maturity of a six-year-old. Steve is better off without him.

The speech has changed from begging Steve to stay to telling Steve he's right to go. The only partners he's destined to have are Mr. Walker and Mr. Daniels.

Tony feels like he's walking to his death as he climbs the stairs one at a time. He knows it's better to get this over with immediately, like ripping off a bandaid. Yet, as his foot reaches the final step, Tony wants to run back down to the safety of his garage and pretends nothing exists outside of it.

"Tony?"

He stops, one hand on on the metal railing and stares at Steve as he stands in the small space that passes for a kitchen. Tony had it installed once Steve moved in so he didn't have to go far for food at any given point in time. So much for running back down to the garage.

"Y-yeah?"

Tony curses the way his voice shakes. He's supposed to be the asshole -- the one that has the unruffable feathers. And yet with five little words, Steve has managed to turn him into a quivering mess of jello.

"Look --"

Tony holds up his hand, cutting Steve off. He'll save his ex-lover the pain of having to break it off and do it himself. That way he can be the bad guy here and Steve can maintain some bit of that purity that makes him Captain America.

"No, Steve. Save your breath. I know what you're going to say."

Steve blinks. "You do?"

"Yeah, I do and you're right." Steve blinks again, looking genuinely confused. Tony ignores the expression and plows on ahead without stopping. "This was good while it lasted, but in the end we really are two different people and I think we both knew deep down that it wasn't going to work in the end. But hey, we gave it a good run, eh?" He gives Steve patented Stark Grin #58 as he tries to mask the pain in his eyes. "And I promise this won't get weird when it comes to Avengers crap."

By the time Tony finishes speaking, Steve looks like he's holding back tears. Tony repeats what he just said in his mind, unsure what he said that'd cause such a reaction. He knows he let Steve down as gently as he could.

Or did he mis-read the whole 'we need to talk' bit?

"Are… are you breaking up with me?" Steve is clenching his fists so hard his knuckles are turning white. "I don't… I… where did this come from, Tony? I thought things were good between us. I thought…"

Oh fuck.

"Wait, you mean you weren't breaking up with me?" Tony asks, voice trailing off by the end.

"No! What on earth gave you that idea, you idiot?"

"You said 'we need to talk'! That's relationship-speak for 'things aren't working out. It's not you, it's me' and all that stupid shit."

Steve looks at Tony, dumbfounded. "Since /when/!?"

Tony holds up a finger, pursing his lips, then sighs. "Right. That's a fair point. Probably happened at some point while you were busy doing your best impersonation of a rocket pop in the arctic."

Shaking his head, Steve walks forward and loops his arms around Tony's waist and draws him in close. Tony allows himself to be pulled in, tucking his head under Steve's chin. For once in his life, he doesn't mind being the shorter of the two and curls into the embrace. He sucks in a deep breath, enjoying the fact that this isn't the last time he'll ever smell Steve's aftershave.

"So…" Steve kisses the top of Tony's head, then his forehead, then bends his head down to brush his lips across Tony's. "I assume you're not breaking up with me, then?"

Tony rolls his eyes, puts his hands on either side of Steve's face and pulls him down into a longer and more heated kiss. Steve moans as Tony's tongue teases the seam of his lips and instantly he allows Tony entrance. The tip of his tongue runs along Steve's teeth as his hips rock against Steve's. If they're not careful, they're going to wind up having sex right here.

Which, under normal circumstances, wouldn't be a problem.

However, Tony also knows one Pepper Potts is due to visit with his schedule for the upcoming week. She'd already walked in on them once and swore that, should she ever get a repeat performance they'd both find themselves as judges on the next "Avenger Idol".

It was a good enough threat to make even Mr Exhibitionist Stark start closing the door a bit more often.

"Does that answer your question?" Tony asked once they finally pulled apart.

Steve has a dopey expression on his face and Tony can't help but smile. After all this time, he can still kiss the hell out of Steve. He, however, won't admit there's a similar smile gracing his own face.

"Yeeeeeah," Steve mumbles, his thumbs trailing over Tony's spine. "I think it does."

"So…" Tony glances up at Steve. "What did you want to talk about then, if it wasn't to break up with me."

Steve turns shy suddenly, his eyes darting away from Tony's face. He looks down at the floor and Tony, with a gentle finger under Steve's chin, forces him to make eye contact once more. Tony gives him an encouraging smile, his thumb rubbing Steve's lower lip. It seems to give Steve courage and, this time, when he pulls back, Tony doesn't have the same panic lancing through his chest.

"I… want to give you something," Steve says, his voice quiet. "I've wanted to… for some time now, but I've never really known what to say or even how to give this to you."

Tony's already large eyes grow impossibly wide as he stares at Steve. They've been together for about a year now, and already Steve is looking for marriage? Tony's heart rate speeds up again as he fights the commitment-phobe panic that threatens to overtake him. They've worked so well so far because Steve hasn't expected him to make some big commitment to him. They're together, but Steve still puts up with Tony when he has those occasional fuck-ups. He's too drunk, the girl is too handsy and he comes home with lipstick on his collar. Steve never says much, just takes Tony into the shower, steps in after him, and reminds Tony exactly who he comes home to.

Every time he promises it won't happen again, but Steve gives him a smile that clearly says 'I know you will, but thanks for trying anyway'.

But if they're married -- does that change things between them? Doesn't it make his fuckups all the worse now? Doesn't it --

"Tony?" Steve waves a hand in front of Tony's face. "Did you even hear a word I said?"

"You, uh, that is…" He trails off, running a hand through his hair and rubbing the back of his neck. He gives Steve his best doe-eyed expression and Steve just rolls his eyes.

"I swear, Tony. Sometimes…"

Steve sighs, then reaches under his collar to pull out two chains. He leaves one around his neck, and lifts the other off over his head. Hanging from the silver strand is one of Steve's dog tags. Tony has only ever seen them once before, on the anniversary of when he turned into the Super Soldier. Steve looks at it for a long moment then, taking Tony's hand, presses the small slip of metal into Tony's palm.

"I want you to have one."

Steve releases his hand and Tony slowly uncurls his fingers and stares down at the stamped metal. It amuses him to think he has Steve's social security number when he can't even remember his own. Still, as he stares down at the bumps that spell out Steve's name, his stomach starts turning summersaults. He knows exactly what this means -- it's like the high school jock giving his sweetheart his letter jacket. It's a promise.

It's a commitment.

There's a hint of a blush creeping across Tony's cheeks as he realizes the idea of binding himself to this man doesn't scare him. Steve has seen him at his best and his worst and yet he's still standing in front of him. In spite of all the drinking and the women and the late nights and his attitude and his profanity -- Steve loves him. Steve wants him.

"Thank you," Tony whispers, slipping on the chain. The metal clinks against the arc reactor as he stuffs it under his shirt and Tony can't help the smile that tugs at his lips. At last, the impossible has happened -- someone loves Tony Stark… for being Tony Stark. Not for his money or his brains or the Iron Man suit.

Someone loves the boy who could never get his father's approval.

Steve's hand presses against the reactor, and the metal clinks again. Tony doesn't say anything, just stares up at his lover. Nothing is said for what feels like an eternity, only Steve standing there with his hand over Tony's heart.

"I love you too."

The words come unbidden from Tony's lips and he realizes it's the first time he's ever said them. Emotions are hard for him to express and while he's shown Steve a thousand and one times how much he cares, he's never been able to form those simple little words.

Without a word, Tony lifts the tank top off and drops it to the side where it falls to the floor in a heap. He no longer thinks about Pepper's imminent arrival or the threat she made once upon a time. All that matters is Steve -- being with his lover.

His partner.

Steve looks at Tony, his eyes drifting lower to the arc reactor and where the silver of his dog tag is highlighted by the light he gives off. He lifts a hand, gentle fingers trailing over the bit of scar tissue that surrounds it. Tony shivers, wishing that skin would lose some of its sensitivity. Tony wraps a hand around Steve's wrist, lifting it so he can kiss each of Steve's fingertips in turn.

"Isn't Pepper supposed to come soon?" Steve asks, taking a step away from Tony.

"Yuh-huh."

"So why are we--"

"Because you're going to fuck me on the counter and you're going to do it fast. Preferably before Pepper shows up in the next ten minutes. Think you're up to the challenge, babe?"

Steve glances at the door then at Tony. Tony, never one to play fair, puts the dog tag in his mouth and begins rubbing himself through the fabric of his jeans. He throws in a moan and a tweak of his own nipple, tossing his head back. When Tony hears a soft growl, he knows he's won.

In moments his hand is batted away from his crotch and Steve is pulling his jeans down past his hips. His cock springs free, the head bouncing against his belly and leaving a wet spot of precome where it hit. Steve hooks his hands under Tony's ass and he lifts him as if he weighed nothing. Tony's bare ass rests on the granite countertop as Steve moves between his legs. Steve bends in half, his tongue flicking around the arc reactor and lower, moving toward Tony's cock.

It kills him, but he catches Steve's chin with his fingers and tilts his head up.

"No time," Tony murmurs, pouting ever so slightly.

Steve glances down at Tony's weeping cock and Tony can see the wheels running in his mind. It's as if Steve is contemplating how long it would take for oral sex and to be buried balls deep inside Tony and when he sighs, Tony knows he came to the same realization. Next time. Later tonight, they'll fall into bed together and make love, both of them watching how Tony's chest lights up both of their dog tags.

"Damn," Steve murmurs and Tony has to hide a smile. He loves pushing Steve to the point where he'll actually use a bit of profanity.

"You're also far too over-dressed," Tony says, pawing at Steve's clothing.

Chinos and button down shirt are discarded in a blink of an eye and Tony licks his lips, staring at the impressive bulge straining Steve's briefs. Tony really wishes they had time for everything rather than a quick grope.

However, Avenger Idol is not something he wants to spearhead either.

"Better," Tony says, his eyes roaming over Steve's perfectly chiseled form. He looks as if he's been carved from stone -- the epitome of perfection in male form. And he's all Tony's.

Yum.

Steve reaches behind Tony and grabs a bottle of olive oil -- thank god he had the foresight to keep lube-like liquids handy in all rooms of the Tower. Tony spreads his legs a bit and leans back. He runs his finger along the ball chain that hangs around Steve's neck. He pulls ever so slightly and Steve stumbles forward, his hands falling on either side of Tony's hips.

They lean back together, one of Tony's legs wrapping around Steve's waist. At some point, Tony knows Steve slicked himself up, but when Tony starts rubbing against Steve, they don't bother to stop for stupid things like stretching. Tony knows it will burn, especially given Steve's size, but it's a welcome rush. He needs to feel -- to know this man is still his.

Steve slowly pushes inside Tony, the head of his cock breaching that tight ring of muscle. Tony cries out softly, but when Steve stops, threatening to withdraw, Tony grips his ass and refuses to let Steve move anywhere but forward. He does know that, if Steve wanted to, his grip is nothing for the super soldier strength and he could pull out and away. Steve, however, trusts Tony and he begins to thrust forward, inch by glorious inch.

And then every bit of that 'magic missile is buried inside his ass all the way to the hilt and Tony can no longer think. He pulls Steve down for a messy kiss, the dog tags clinking together when they hit. The kiss is too brief and Steve pulls back, staring at the space between them where skin slides against skin.

The dog tags drag against the reactor and it's as if Steve is mesmerized by the way they rest against their bodies. With the speed of his hips and the way Tony arches up to meet him thrust-for-thrust, the ball chains twist and tangle together.

The symbolism isn't lost on Tony. And from the way Steve smiles, Tony is willing to bet Steve is thinking the same thing.

"Not… don't have much time," Tony groans, his finger dipping into the cleft of Steve's ass.

"Not going to last long anyway."

Steve grips Tony's cock roughly and strokes in perfect counterpoint to his thrusts. Tony's eyes roll back into his head as his balls draw up, reaching the edge of his orgasm. When Steve's thumb rubs across the slit, Tony tumbles forward into that grand abyss with a shout, shooting onto his belly and chest. Tony's inner muscles clench around Steve's cock. Soon, that familiar warmth spreads through his body and Steve buries his face in the crook of Tony's neck. Tony loves this moment: the time when they're completely connected and nothing in the world exists but the two of them. Tony's fingers thread through Steve's hair to pull him in close.

He wants to feel the rise and fall of Steve's chest against his own.

Steve presses close, as if trying to fuse their bodies together. It would have been a perfect moment, save for one of the dog tags digging uncomfortably into Tony's chest. He shifts slightly and Steve lifts up, looking at the mess between their bodies. Steve colors a bit, especially when he sees a splatter of come on his own dog tag.

Impulsively, Tony reaches for the tag and runs his tongue over the surface to clean it. Steve's blush deepens slightly and Tony can hear a tiny whimper. Maybe they have time for one more… he knows Steve has amazing stamina. Maybe he could use the ball chain as a sort of cock ring.

Now there's an idea.

He reaches for the dog tag and laps the bit of come up, making a contented sound in the back of his throat. When he sucks the dog tag into his mouth, he hears Steve's breath hitch. Yes, these dog tags will be quite the effective sex toy in the future. One of them will have to keep one handy at all times. He's about to run his finger between their bodies to offer Steve a taste when he hears the tap of a stiletto heel on the tile. He turns, Steve's dog tag still in his mouth. Steve freezes and his entire body turns a dark shade of red. Tony sits up a bit, looking at Pepper over Steve's shoulder.

"Okay. So you're early," Tony says, his legs still wrapped around Steve's waist. His hands are on Steve's back and he spits the dog tag out while he talks.

Pepper pulls out her tablet and makes a few notes, then snaps it closed. She flashes them both a grin as she turns on her heel, waving as she leaves. This cannot be good.

"Tony? Steve? The producers of Avenger Idol expect you tomorrow morning, 6 am sharp."