When Peter tumbled out of the portal, back in his own world, he did a quick spot-check. Limbs intact, brain still working, spider-sense still --
He ducked just in time, as a red blur shot over his head and collided with a wall.
Iron Man slid to the ground, upside down, and Peter could swear the faceplate was grinning at him.
"You can't be here!" he shouted. "Get back in the portal!"
"Like fuck!" Tony answered, tipping over and getting to his feet. "What a rush."
"Tony, you can't!"
"What's got your panties in a twist?" Tony asked. Peter gestured at the fast-shrinking portal. "Oh, relax, my dear Parker, now I've got readings on both sides and I'll just build another one. This is for science! You're a nerd, you understand."
"It's dangerous! You know it is. Fire it up and go back through," Peter insisted, as the portal closed.
"Won't. Hmm." Tony was studying his arms and legs. "Well, the HUD's running slow, no connection to home base -- you do have wireless internet, don't you? In this world, I mean."
"Yes, we -- I'm not helping you," Peter said, crossing his arms.
"You certainly aren't at the moment. Repulsors at half percent, not too bad, I'm sure other-me has a workshop where I can fix it up. Hey, we can cross our tech. I bet I have some tricks other-me has only dreamed of."
"I'm sending you back through."
"Hot stuff, you'll have to catch me first," Tony replied, and flipped through a window.
Peter let out a yelp and went after him, pulling his mask down over his face. He got enough webbing on one of Tony's ankles to stick and found himself, about three seconds after going through the window, being dragged through the sky like an action movie stuntman. Tony, if he noticed, didn't seem to care.
There was a building coming up, and the webbing was going to wrap Tony one way and Peter another, but Tony was only going at half-speed and Peter knew this version of New York better than anyone. He threw his weight sideways, fired again, and got a ball of webbing on one of the repulsors. Tony wobbled and kicked in the air as they soared past the Empire State Building, and Peter hit the other repulsor --
And then they were falling.
Peter used the webs to get some upwards momentum, leaping onto Tony's back; the other man was flailing in his useless suit, but Peter stuck tight and shot a web at Stark Tower. They were going to swing right into it at this rate, but the armor was tough and Peter was a small target.
They hit the glass doing what Peter estimated was about sixty miles an hour. It shattered inward, and they skidded across the floor of an empty apartment, slamming into furniture.
Both of them ended up in a heap, but Peter was on top; he straddled Tony's chest and held up a hand, web-shooter ready to sling.
Tony's mask popped up. Inside, he was howling with laughter.
"Sweet Christ!" he managed, eyes dancing. "If our Peter'd had moves like you, kiddo, he'd still be alive. Score one for Spider-team."
"I'm taking you back to the portal," Peter said. "Try any funny stuff and I'll web you so tight you'll lose circulation."
"Oh," Tony said, a smile curving his lips, "please do. I love a man who can take me down."
Peter sighed. He was about to web Tony's mouth shut when he heard the whoosh of repulsors outside the broken window, and a familiar voice.
"Peter, what the fuck have you done now, I thought we were over this -- "
Peter ducked his head and concentrated on breathing. Then he looked up at his own Iron Man. Tony had landed and pulled his helmet off, and he was staring at the other Tony.
"Hello, me!" the Tony under Peter called cheerfully. "My, we are a sexy bastard."
Tony -- argh, his Tony -- ran a hand over his face, tugging a little on his goatee as he contemplated the situation.
"Time travel or alternate universe?" he asked Peter.
"Alternate universe," Peter replied. "Him, not me. I belong here."
"Your boy's got pep," other-Tony added.
"You have no idea," Tony said.
Peter, getting Tony in stereo, slid off the armor and stood up. "I am done," he said, pointing at his Tony. "Other you is a jerk who snuck into my reality and dragged me halfway across New York. I just met my thirteen-year-old replacement and my dead ex-girlfriend and there's another me out there who's dead in a world where everyone knows who I am, so I have had a day. He's your problem now."
"I knew you'd see it my way," other-Tony said smugly, getting to his feet.
"Okay, Peter, let's take a breath," Tony said, holding up his hands placatingly. "We'll handle it."
"You'd better!" Peter said, realizing his voice was rising in both tone and volume.
"We will. Cap and Hawkeye are upstairs. Come on, we'll get some food in you. You," he added, putting a hand on other-Tony's chest to stop him from following on Peter's heels. "You make trouble in this universe and I will make you suffer as only you know how."
"Just here in the cause of science," other-Tony replied sunnily. Possibly drunkenly. "Did I hear you say dinner?"
"People who invade other people's perfectly fine universes don't get food," Peter grumbled, as he got into the elevator. His Tony stepped inside and -- God, it was always so creepy, the way the armor just melted into his skin.
"Oh my," other-Tony said. "We do have to compare notes."
"You don't have Extremis?" Tony asked.
"No, is it some new technology? I have a tumor..."
"Yeah, it's fine though, I weaponized it."
Peter rested his head against the elevator wall and thudded it gently while the other two made the armored-warrior equivalent of small talk.
When the doors opened on the penthouse, Cap and Hawkeye were playing cards at the dining table, surrounded by cartons of Chinese food. They looked up as Peter emerged.
"Tony thought it might be you," Cap said with a grin. "Peter, you have to stop causing -- "
Both of them shot out of their chairs as two Iron Men emerged behind Peter.
"He followed me home," Peter said wearily, slumping into a chair at the table. "Officially your problem," he reminded Tony.
"Hello boys, just passing through," other-Tony said.
"It's fine, he's with me," Tony said. "Shuck the armor and have a seat."
"Can't, I need a removal rig or an hour with a socket wrench." Other-Tony sat down, tugging off his gloves. "It's fine, it's not uncomfortable."
"Suit yourself," Tony said. "Peter, eat."
"Yes, Dad," Peter grumbled, pulling a box of chow mein towards him.
"Alternate universe or time travel?" Cap asked, crossing his arms. Next to him, Clint was openly staring.
"Good old Cap, a universal constant," other-Tony replied, tugging off his helmet as well and setting it next to his gloves. "Alternate universe, don't worry. I'm not going to mess with the timeline."
"Peter?" Cap asked.
"I was fighting Mysterio and I got sucked through a portal into an alternate universe where everything is horrible and I'm dead," Peter said. "They sent me back and Tony's creepily affectionate double followed me through."
"I'm sensing some hostility, dear, it's unbecoming," other-Tony said, helping himself to some food. "We have anything to drink? Baijiu? I'd take scotch if that's all that's available."
Peter hated Avenger silences. They were like normal silences, only louder.
"Awkward," Clint murmured.
"Club soda," Cap said firmly.
"You're kidding me," other-Tony said, swiveling to stare at his double. "You don't drink?"
"I'm seriously considering it, but no," Tony said. "Kinda went sour on it after losing a company down the bottle."
"My God, what have I stumbled into?"
"Hey!" Cap said sharply. "Our universe, our rules."
"I am unimpressed, deeply unimpressed. Okay, I do two things well, drinking and talking. If I can't drink, I'll talk," other-Tony said, spreading his hands on the table. "Seeing how that adorable child is still kicking," he added, tipping his head at Peter, "I'm guessing Gregory might be too? I'd like to see him, I owe him a beat-down."
"Gregory?" Tony asked curiously. He glanced at Clint and Cap. "Do we know a Gregory?"
"There was Greg Gideon," Clint offered. "But I only ever heard about him. Some minor villain -- "
"Gregory Stark," other-Tony said.
Everyone looked at Tony.
"It's not a family name," Tony shrugged. "Who is he?"
"Was he. You don't have a brother named Gregory? Looks like us, only blond and smug? And now dead."
"Um. No," Tony said. He looked like he was reconsidering the drinking.
"There are a lot of dead people in your universe," Clint remarked.
"Are you married?" other-Tony replied.
"Divorced," Clint said shortly.
Clint burst out laughing.
"Well, good. That's probably for the best. So that leaves Captain America, who in my world just got back from living off rattlesnake in the desert, disillusioned with the American Way. Did you do that, or have you kept the faith?" other-Tony asked Cap.
"Pretty sure I don't like the taste," Cap drawled.
"Fascinating," other-Tony said, eyes glowing. "You always think that alternate universes must be worse. It looks like I came from dystopia. What a disturbing concept."
"Tony," Cap said, sounding strained.
"I'm on top of it, Steve," Tony said. "I'll call Reed, we'll -- "
"No," other-Tony said sharply.
"He's got the equipment for -- "
"You keep Richards the fuck out of our business," other-Tony said. "That mental little sociopath, you bring him near this and I'll blow his head off."
"Tony," Cap repeated, in the hard tone that meant he was dead serious. This time both of them looked at him. "This isn't your world. I'm not going to warn you again."
"He destroyed Germany," other-Tony hissed. "He nuked the White House and personally tortured me."
"I don't think our Reed would be able to focus long enough to nuke something," Clint offered. "Not on purpose anyway."
"Bully for him. You don't need Richards. Give me CAD and three hours and I can design another portal machine to get me back. In the meantime," Tony added, tugging his gloves back on, "I'm going exploring."
Cap rose and rested his hand lightly on the helmet. "You're not going anywhere. I'm not having a rogue Stark from another universe wandering Manhattan."
"Manful," other-Tony replied, showing his teeth. "My Cap would be proud."
"Good. Now. We will answer your questions, and Tony will help you out of your armor. You have the portal machine hostage," Cap added, tapping the side of other-Tony's head. "You decide when you go home. But I decide where you go and what you do in the meantime. And if you think you can take me, I invite you to try. Check with Tony first. He'll tell you how well that generally goes."
Peter sucked air through his teeth, waiting for the explosion. But Tony, their Tony, didn't remember Cap beating him almost to death during the civil war, and apparently he wasn't eager to fight a battle over a missing memory.
Other-Tony looked at Tony. He nodded slightly.
"Tell you what," other-Tony said. "I'll stay here, if you tell me that story."
"Look it up," Cap replied.
Tony leaned in. "He doesn't have Extremis," he murmured in Cap's ear.
"But I bet he knows how to use Google," Cap replied, turning his head slightly. They exchanged a look they'd been giving each other a lot lately, at least ever since Tony came back from his little sleep-away camp with the Mandarin. Peter wasn't sure what it meant, but usually when Cap and Tony got intense, trouble wasn't far behind.
Other-Tony leaned back in his seat, looking up at them.
"Well," he said. "Clearly I'm all yours, Captain."
They ended up in the labs, in particular Tony's private lab, just Tony and other-Tony. Tony wasn't really looking forward to this, because he knew himself -- even this somewhat flamboyant version of himself -- and he doubted it would be entirely pleasant.
Still, he wanted to keep his double away from the others as much as possible. And as capricious as they both were, the other Tony still went obediently enough when Cap gave the order.
"So," the other Tony said, hoisting himself up to sit on the edge of a worktable. "Come on, do your magic trick. I'm fascinated."
"Let's get you out of your suit. Even I know it starts to pinch after a few hours," Tony replied. "I scrapped the old rig when I started on this," he added, releasing one of the gloves, letting it flow up and around his hand. "But I'm pretty handy with a manual release."
Other-him obediently held out an arm, and Tony disappeared his glove, going to work with a socket-wrench. The joints were constructed differently, and he was a little rusty, but armor was armor in the end.
"So, this tumor?" Tony asked, as he worked.
"Let's play quid pro quo," other-Tony said, grinning down at him. "We can trade off questions."
"You're not particularly worried about disrupting causality?"
Tony grunted as he got the elbow free. "No. We do that on a semi-regular basis anyway. Keeps me busy, honestly."
Other-Tony chuckled. "I like you."
"I would hope so."
"The tumor. Well, I got into this business because of it. Figured I might as well go out with a bang. Then the chemo actually destroyed it. You should get a head scan."
"I do, regularly. Only thing wrong with me is my ticker," Tony replied.
"Well, it came back. So I thought I'd go...oh, I don't know. Homeopathic. I talked to it. It talked back."
"You talked to your tumor."
"Ah ah, save your question, it's my turn. What's wrong with your heart?"
"What isn't?" Tony asked, leaning back. He tugged his shirt up and off, revealing the glowing arc reactor, then tapped it with the wrench. "This runs my body. Without it my brain wouldn't have the power to tell me to breathe. I'm not autonomous; I'm programmed."
"Hello, beautiful," other-Tony said to the arc reactor. "Fancy little thing. May I?"
Tony arched, pulling his shoulders back. Other-Tony reached out and rested his fingers against it. They must make quite a picture, Tony thought; him shirtless and crouched in front of his double, the other man in the full suit with only an arm and his head bared, touching the reactor.
"It's warm," other-him said.
"I got out of the weapons business when I had to install the first one," Tony replied. "I make energy now. Cars and rocket ships that run on these," he said, gesturing at the arc reactor. He looked up. "Your world. It's a hard one, isn't it?"
"They're all hard, dearest. That's why they all have one of us, to keep them rolling along," the other man answered, taking his hand away. "And that's your question, which means it's my turn..."
Word got around fast that there was a second Tony in the Tower, Steve thought ruefully, as he fended off yet another call from an Avenger wanting to find out if it was true. Most of them didn't live in the Tower anymore, just used it as headquarters and a flophouse when the odd apartment or secret base was destroyed, but he suspected a lot of them would be there for breakfast the following morning.
It took him about three minutes to get tired of Peter and Clint speculating about what the Tonys were getting up to. He ended up wandering off to his room, burying himself in the catch-up work he had to do. He trusted Tony -- their Tony -- enough not to bother them for a while, and if he was honest with himself he wasn't sure he wanted to be around to hear them compare notes.
Still, he didn't like to leave Tony alone for too long, not when they'd just recovered him from the Mandarin. Not when things between them were this new kind of fragile. A good fragile; still a secret, until they fully understood what they were getting into, but perhaps one day...
Life didn't used to be this hard. See the Nazi, shoot the Nazi.
Around midnight, when the others had gone to bed, he finally made his way down to the labs. Tony's lab wasn't locked, so he let himself inside quietly. He could hear voices, like a weird discordant echo.
Tony Stark was arguing with himself.
Both men were standing in front of a light-screen, scribbling calculations, erasing them, debating fine points of what might be mathematics, though it was hard to tell. At first, as he watched, he thought he could pick out his Tony easily; he was the one with his shirt off, arc reactor a dim blue under the bright lab lights. But of course the other Tony could have one of those too.
No -- the other Tony moved a little more loosely, gestured more freely. Like he hadn't picked up quite so much control as theirs. Well, clearly not; this other Tony also had a flask in his pocket.
"Try not to blow up the Tower, we just remodeled," he said, and they both glanced up and over in unison. "That's not eerie at all, by the way."
"I'd think you'd enjoy it, Cap," the other-Tony said, turning and leaning against a mass spectrometer like it was there for the sole purpose of Tony Stark draping himself across it.
"Where'd you get the flask?"
"Keep a spare in the suit. Don't worry, I don't share," other-Tony replied.
"I trust Tony."
"Good, because I've been way too interested in portal math to backslide," his Tony said. "Are we keeping you up?"
"No. Thought I'd check in. See if you needed to be pointed to a place to crash," Steve answered, turning to other-Tony.
"Well, that is a question, isn't it?" the man asked, stretching. "Tony and I were asking each other a lot of questions before you came down, but I was excessively sensitive and didn't ask at all about the star-spangled elephant in the room."
Steve raised his eyebrows.
"You two. Don't tell me those heated looks and near-touches from earlier were unresolved sexual tension," other-Tony said. "Peter Parker might not notice, but I did."
Tony smirked. Steve felt his ears turned red.
"You are sleeping together, aren't you, Captain-my-Captain?" other-Tony asked. "Or are you courting him first? Doesn't seem your style," he said to Tony.
"It's not your business," Steve said, but he knew it was a losing battle.
"Given it's my dick, even by proxy, I think it is," other-Tony said.
"Tony, will you..." Steve gestured at them both.
"I don't know what you expect me to do," Tony replied. "I'm enjoying the show."
"He blushes nicely," other-Tony told Tony.
"It goes all the way down."
"Tony!" Steve snapped.
"Sweetheart, why so shy? You're beautiful, we're beautiful, I'm sure you make a lovely couple. Honeymoon phase? Let me guess," other-Tony said, tapping a finger against his lips. "Something terrible and traumatic separated you. I know about the war, but it wasn't that, was it? I think something took him away from you. I know my Cap is very possessive, though not generally of other men."
"The Mandarin," Tony murmured. "I spent a few weeks locked down."
"And when you came back, well. He just had to have you, hm?"
"We're not dumb," Tony said to Steve. "He worked it out on his own."
"I can't say I've never thought about it, but I can't imagine putting myself to the trouble," other-Tony said. "My Captain wouldn't go for it. Very religious, very concerned with morals. I don't know why he stands me, frankly. If he swings that way, he's barring the closet door tightly, and I don't have time to kick it down. But you can't go to jail for what you're thinking, and you do have..." other-Tony looked him up and down, and Steve wasn't sure what to do with his hands. It had been years since his Tony -- their Tony -- this world's Tony had made him feel so awkward, like he was small again and the girls wouldn't look at him.
"...well, you have assets, my dear," other-Tony finished. "I am curious."
"About what?" Steve asked.
"Hey," his Tony said, in a low voice. "Tread a little lightly there, Stark."
"I always do. Would you mind if I asked a favor?" other-Tony said, pushing away from the mass spectrometer and stepping closer. "I'd very much like to see how Captain America kisses."
Steve glanced sharply at Tony.
"I don't mind," Tony said. "It's me, after all. But don't do it on my account. I wouldn't want to impose."
"You're laughing at me," Steve accused, right before this other-Tony, so strange and familiar at the same time, slid a hand up over his cheek and tugged his head down to kiss him.
He kissed -- well, he kissed like Tony, the same rasp of beard, the same tilt to his head, fingers on Steve's jaw. But he tasted different. Sharper, with an alcoholic tang that their Tony must once have had, but never when he'd kissed Steve.
When other-Tony leaned back, his eyes were wide. "Wow."
"Brush your teeth," Steve told him, tired of this game.
"I beg your pardon?"
"You taste like straight whisky. If we're going to do this, brush your teeth. For his sake," Steve added, nodding at his Tony. "I don't honestly care."
"What are we going to do, exactly?" other-Tony asked.
"I'm not a fool and I'm not oblivious," Steve said. "You're angling. I suppose it would be Tony Stark's fantasy to have sex with himself."
"I'd just like to get it on record that I didn't suggest this, but I'm all for it," Tony put in.
"Oh no, dear," other-Tony murmured. "The fantasy is sex with myself and you."
Other-Tony clearly thought Steve was kidding about the tooth-brushing, but Steve just marched them both up to Tony's rooms -- he wasn't yet quite secure enough to think of any part of this as his -- and shoved him into the bathroom.
"Brush," he ordered. "You can use his toothbrush. It's yours too, after all."
"Is he this bossy in bed?" other-Tony asked, but he kicked the door shut and they heard water running.
"You don't have to," Tony said in a low, urgent voice, as soon as the door closed. "And if you don't want me to, I won't. But I really, really, really want to. You won't have to get me a Christmas present ever again. You can say no. Please don't say no."
"What exactly is driving you to the belief that I don't want to do this?" Steve asked, crossing his arms. Tony blinked at him. "Maybe this way you can finally keep up with me."
"That's low, Steve, that's cruel," Tony answered, but he was grinning. "Seriously. No Christmas presents ever again."
Steve let his arms fall, pulling Tony close, and kissed him.
"I can't tell," other-Tony called, opening the door. "I've been thinking about it. Is this incest or masturbation?"
"Not incest," Tony replied, pulling away slightly.
"Oh, good. Hey, are Wanda and Pietro fucking in this world?"
"One, that's disgusting, and two, no," Steve replied.
"Are you positive? Because my Cap didn't notice either, and they weren't exactly subtle about it."
"Can we not talk about incest any more, please?"
"Well, I assume you know how to shut me up," other-Tony said, pulling off his shirt and starting to work on his belt. "Come on. Pants off."
Steve fiddled with the hem of his shirt, not reluctant so much as uncertain how this was supposed to work. Was he going to watch them? Was one of them going to watch him and the other? If so, which one? If they were all three...how would that...
"Are you shy?" other-Tony asked, stepping out of his pants. Commando. Well, it was Tony. "Is he shy, dear?"
"Not once you get his clothes off," Tony said.
Steve rolled his eyes, tugging his shirt up over his head. Before it was fully off he felt hands at his belt, and when he let the shirt fall he was surprised to find it was Tony. There were other hands, sliding gently down his back, and he twisted just as other-Tony grabbed his ass and squeezed. Other-Tony rested his chin on Steve's shoulder.
"Mind if I do a little art direction?" he asked Tony.
"Your show," Tony replied, leaning up to kiss Steve.
"Exceptional," other-Tony said, and Steve wasn't sure whether he meant permission to order them around (as if Tony ever asked permission) or if the covetous note in his voice had to do with Steve's ass. Tony kissed him again, slow and confident. Steve was warm between the two bodies, and they didn't seem to want much from him. He felt slow, almost lazy, and other-Tony hummed approvingly against his throat when he relaxed.
"So, do you pitch or catch?" the voice in his ear asked him.
"Whatever you want," Steve murmured. A hand -- he wasn't sure whose -- wrapped deftly around his prick, barely moving.
"In that case, you, on the bed," other-Tony said, and smacked him open-handed on the flank. Steve jerked, almost tumbling into Tony, and Tony laughed. He let him go with a last caress and Steve walked to the bed, then paused and turned.
"On your back," other-Tony said, and then murmured Always wanted to say that to Tony, kissing him on the corner of the mouth. "Full access."
He said something else, so quiet even Steve's hearing couldn't pick it up, and Tony nodded. Other-Tony pushed Tony's pants off, then grinned, skimming a hand over his stomach.
"Identical. I have to admit I was wondering," he said, as they turned in unison and climbed onto the bed. Steve had about a half second to wonder what was happening before one of them bent his head and sucked Steve's cock into his mouth, just the tip, and the other licked up the side at the same time.
"Oh ff -- " Steve began, breaking off into a moan. His Tony's lips, stretched around the head, curled up a little. The other Tony was mouthing his way down the shaft, nuzzling against his skin. Two dark heads bent together over him, two mouths working on him at once, and it shouldn't be this compelling, this arousing. Other-Tony licked his way back up and Tony pulled off, letting Steve's dick fall against his belly. When they kissed, Steve thumped his head back into the pillows. Those sounds the soft little grunt one of them made -- and then there were mouths on him again, wet heat but never quite enough, and he whined with the effort of holding still.
"We're not going to break," one of them said, didn't matter which, and there was another sharp slap against his thigh. He startled and bucked, and whichever of them had him in his mouth, he just took it. Steve flailed a hand around and caught black curly hair in his fingers, petting it clumsily, hips working as slowly as he could. It was his Tony, he realized; the other was whispering in Tony's ear, filthy things. I know how much you like taking it all. Haven't you ever before? He's big when he's hard, isn't he? Big all over, our Captain. Maybe he wanted to be gentle with you.
Steve could feel a flush of shame wash over him, but there was pride and lust mixed in too, and pride won out when other-Tony laughed.
"That blush really does go all the way down," he said, delighted, and tugged Tony back by the hair, kissing him around the head of Steve's cock. The sensation made him writhe, and he drew a deep breath to try and keep still, to make sure they kept doing that. When they leaned back, he whined wordlessly.
"Have you got a ring?" other-Tony asked, nudging Tony gently.
"Do you need one?" Tony replied, eyes narrowing.
"For what I have planned? Better safe than sorry, dearest." Other-Tony smiled.
"Don't go anywhere," Tony told Steve.
"Not really trying," Steve said, catching his breath. Other-Tony had a hand on him, just holding him, thumb sliding up and down across the same inch of skin, over and over. It was shorting out his brain.
"And some lubricant," other-Tony called, as Tony rummaged in a dresser drawer. Steve wondered what the hell else was in that drawer, when Tony came up with a short, thick leather strap with a buckle on one end. He watched, warm and unwilling to move, as Tony went to the bedside table and found the lube. Tony winked at him as he shut the drawer.
"Sweetheart," other-Tony said, planting a hand on Steve's chest and leaning up to look down at him. "I am going to ride you like I own you. Any issues?"
"Who's the ring for?" Steve asked.
"Smart boy. Not for you."
Tony slid back onto the bed and gave his double an inquiring look. Other-Tony held out a hand for the strap, then tightened it around his erection, admiring the view. "Points for style, me."
"Only the best," Tony answered. "Can I do the honors?"
"Don't be stingy. It's been a while," other-Tony said, and drew back again, bending to take Steve in his mouth. Steve pushed himself up on his elbows, watching as one Tony sucked him while the other Tony opened his double up, a hand rubbing soothingly on his back. He knew the technique. It was what Tony had done for him, their first time. He could imagine the warm press of Tony's hand, the soft, distracting circles, and he didn't have to imagine Tony's mouth. Fingernails raked down his thigh and Steve pushed into it, staring up at his Tony's face.
"You like to push more than I do," Tony said, bending to speak into the other's ear. Other-Tony pulled off, licking his lips.
"Well, he's so beautifully responsive. And I have to make it count, don't I?" other-Tony said, twisting his hips a little. "I think that's sufficient."
Tony passed him a condom, and his double rolled his eyes but ripped it open, rolling it over Steve's cock with brisk efficiency. "There, satisfied? Stay with me."
"Mm," Tony agreed. Steve reached out, steadying other-Tony's hip as he knelt up, feeling one of Tony's hands around his dick, guiding them together. Other-Tony tipped his head back and exhaled, turning it into a groan when he eased down.
"Need a minute?" Steve asked breathlessly.
"Smartass," both Tonys said in unison. His Tony had an arm around the other's waist, all but holding him upright; his head was bent, kissing his throat fondly.
"In your own time," Steve replied, and other-Tony laughed, then caught his breath.
"Sweet Christ, you're big," he said, planting his hands just below Steve's ribcage. Steve held still, fighting the sudden urge to flip them over and fuck the smug smile off his face -- it worked with Tony whenever Tony got mouthy, and if he'd known that he'd have tried it years sooner.
After a minute, with Tony still nipping and sucking at his neck, the other Tony started to move. Slow, shallow hitches of his hips, torturous, familiar-unfamiliar. Steve gave an experimental thrust, and other-Tony groaned loudly.
"Fuck, that's...good, yeah, you can...Jesus, Captain," he managed. Steve raised a hand to cup his face and he turned into it, kissing his palm. "Thank you, this -- " he sucked in a breath and moved a little more freely, half-spoken words breaking off into groans. Tony was still holding onto him, almost moving with him, and when Steve caught his eyes, they sparkled with mischief and pride.
Steve slid his hand up to grip other-Tony's hair, grasped his wrists with his other hand, and bucked hard.
"Ohfuckyes," other-Tony grunted, and twisted, sending sparks up Steve's spine. "Baby, darling, beautiful, fuck me, I want you to -- "
"Filthy," Tony said, and Steve maybe went a little crazy. It was so tight, slick and warm and when the man moved his hips and moaned it went straight to his dick. If seemed like every move made Steve's body arch and his breath come in short gasps, faster and faster until he couldn't talk, couldn't think, could only watch as Tony held on and his double's cock slapped against his belly, the ring dark against his olive skin --
And then Tony slid a hand down and brushed his fingers lightly around where they were joined, an inquisitive touch, and Steve broke, cursed and moaned and came so hard he couldn't breathe at all for a moment.
"Oh, lovely, just beautiful," he heard someone say, and opened his eyes to find other-Tony still on top of him, looking dazed and aroused as he studied the bruises Steve had left on his wrists.
"Oh, my god," Steve managed, struggling to sit up, but two pairs of hands shoved him back down. "I didn't -- "
"I meant it, they're gorgeous," other-Tony said, and Tony lifted one wrist to his mouth, kissing the finger-shaped marks. "We love a bruise, don't we darling?"
"We do," Tony replied, and gave Steve a reassuring smile. Steve smiled back.
"Narcissist," he said, shuddering as Tony lifted other-Tony up, and he slipped free. Steve rolled to the side to drop the condom in the trash can, and when he turned back the two of them had tumbled to the blankets together, Tony on top, kissing and stroking each other.
"If we had to..." one of them said -- Steve didn't know which, distracted by the slide of their bodies together, "...if we had to be a narcissist, at least we picked a hell of a looker."
Tony pushed his double's arms up over his head, pinned him there, and ground down against him, their mouths slick and red together. Steve lay and watched them, contented in the afterglow, as Tony reached down to flick the clasp on the ring and shove it aside, into the rumpled blankets.
They writhed lazily, bodies identical, the same face, sometimes the same expression. Tony pressed open kisses to his double's throat, and other-Tony's thighs slid up to cradle him. Steve heard words, snatches of talk, half-muttered questions and encouragements as they moved faster, and then the soft whimpers that he knew meant Tony was close. Steve was hard again already, just watching them -- the Serum was a gift in more ways than one -- and reached out to touch, fingers drifting over their faces.
Tony turned and sucked his fingers into his mouth, nipping at the pads gently, and Steve felt a second orgasm roll through him, easy and gentle. Other-Tony went silent suddenly, head thrown back, and Tony came with a low moan at the same time, collapsing on top of him.
They lay silent for a while, all of them, bodies limp and relaxed, until finally other-Tony stirred.
"I call middle," he said muzzily, wrestling Tony over onto the far side of him. "I might not get another chance."
"We're a mess," Steve replied, pushing himself up to sitting. Tony had already curled around his counterpart like an octopus, burying his face in the other man's neck.
"I like you messy," other-Tony announced, but he didn't complain when Steve reached for a shirt -- someone's, he thought Tony's -- and wiped them clean enough that they wouldn't regret it in the morning. Tony did complain a little when Steve parted them for a moment, but he went sleepily back to his creeping-ivy impression as soon as Steve was done.
"Come here," other-Tony ordered, curling his fingers around Steve's arm. "Kiss me better," he added, presenting one of his wrists. Steve lay down, sliding in close, and obediently kissed the bruises. Tony, he could tell, was already asleep.
"That was absolutely magnificent," other-Tony confided, breath warm against Steve's lips. "I think I might give mine a whirl now. You are worth the work, Captain."
Steve slid an arm over Tony's, both of them holding other-Tony's waist. "I don't sound like I'm very likeable, this other me."
"No, you're a dear. Just...not quite so pliant," other-Tony yawned. "Magnificent when you wish to be, mind you. But you have a way of going about things and God help the man who tries to change it."
"That does sound like me," Steve admitted.
"I think you like me, in your own way."
"I can't imagine a universe where I don't like you, Tony."
"I'm glad to hear it. He'd never tell you this," other-Tony said, lowering his voice further, "but we're exceptionally lonely, a good deal of the time. It's good in this universe he won't be that way."
"What about you?"
"Oh, I'm used to it. Besides, now I know what's lurking underneath, like I said. Might take a crack at breaking down a little of that ironclad upright heterosexual soldier-boy façade."
"Well, good luck," Steve said. Other-Tony's eyes were sliding shut. "Tell him I said hi."
Other-Tony fell asleep laughing.
When Steve woke in the morning, there was only one Tony in bed. But there was a note on the pillow, in Tony's neat draftsman's scrawl.
Don't worry, haven't gone far. Couldn't wait to meet the family. T.
He rolled out of bed, only mildly alarmed, and reached for his clothing.
He was still buttoning his shirt as he came down the hall to the communal dining room, but he could hear Tony's voice -- well, other-Tony's voice. He slowed his step, leaning in the shadowed doorway.
Half the superhero population of New York must be there; it looked like every chair in the common area had been dragged in. Luke, Matt, Janet, Jessica, Peter (perched in a corner of the ceiling), Hank, Ororo, and a dozen others, even some of the kids -- Billy and Teddy, with Tommy lurking nearby, and there was Kate sitting next to Clint.
"...so then Cap leans over and does this," other-Tony was saying, pointing at his head, "and bellows, SURRENDER? DO YOU THINK THIS A ON MY HEAD STANDS FOR FRANCE?"
Most of the group busted up laughing. Steve smiled, crossing his arms.
"The French are actually very brave people," he said, when the laughter had died down. Everyone looked at him. "Good fighters. Nice, too. Great cooks."
"Yes, well, you'd have to say that," other-Tony said, entirely unapologetic. "Sleep well, Captain?"
"Exceptionally, thank you," Steve replied, pouring himself a cup of coffee. "I see the mountain has come to you."
"You did ban me from leaving the building. They just showed up. Your Avengers are charming, very nice people. We're called the Ultimates in my world, I don't know if I mentioned."
"The ultimate whats?" Steve asked.
"What exactly are you avenging?" other-Tony shot back.
"We just decided it was a catchy name," Steve said thoughtfully.
"Is he serious?" Kate asked Clint.
"Don't look at me, I was a late adopter," Clint replied.
"Actually, that one might be Tony's fault," Steve said, and Kate looked chastised.
"What's my fault?" Tony asked, slouching into the room, wearing a Gucci dress shirt and a pair of rumpled sweatpants.
"Everything, my dear," other-Tony said, pressing a cup of coffee into his pleading hand and kissing him on the temple as he passed, heading for the hallway. "Caffeinate. Big day today! Lots of science! Building a transdimensional portal. Must get back before my adoring fans despair."
"Lab's locked!" Tony called after him.
"I have your retinas!" other-Tony's reply drifted back.
"Okay, knuckleheads, break it up," Steve said, turning back to the mass of superheroes. "Two Tonys is only fun for the first five minutes, trust me. Any and all scientists, please remain calm and submit your questions in writing, and the Tonys will answer them once they've finished working."
"You are a big lying liar, it's shameful," Tony said to him quietly, as the rest of the Avengers and accomplices began to disperse. "Two Tonys is fun all night long."
"There is a limit to the number of people who get to know that," Steve replied. Tony grinned into his coffee.
"You should shower. You reek of sex," Tony said.
"You're one to talk. You have a mark on your neck," Steve informed him, tapping his own throat.
"There is not a single person in this entire building who is surprised at the idea of me making time with another me. You, on the other hand, are wandering around like a debauched innocent. Go. Wash. Come down to the lab later. Bring food."
The room was emptying fast now that the sideshow was over. As Tony left, Hank lumbered up to Steve and rested a clawed hand gently on his arm.
"Reed's all in a tizzy," he said. "Peter warned him that he is persona non grata in the eyes of our new Mr. Stark. He was absolutely banned from the Tower, so I understand."
"I'll patch it over with him," Steve said absently. He was suddenly remembering that Hank had an extremely good sense of smell. "I don't think he's going to like it."
"Why? Whatever happened to make Anthony react so violently against him?"
"Apparently in his world, Reed Richards is a villain."
"You know Reed. He'll probably just be intrigued. Difficult man to offend," Hank replied. "By the way, you needn't worry."
Hank tapped the side of his snout. "I'm a discreet man."
Steve felt his face heat.
"Mind you, given the opportunity, most people would be curious. All's fair in love and Stark, eh?"
"Something like that."
"Well, no matter. So long as everyone's happy," Hank said complacently. "But do stop in and see Reed, once everyone's back in their proper universe, won't you?"
"Sure. Good seeing you, Hank."
"Likewise," Hank said, peering up at him searchingly for a moment. "I'm off. Keep me posted. And you know I'm always here if you'd like to talk."
"I'll let you know when I've figured it out myself," Steve sighed, once Hank was in the elevator.
"Are you sure you don't want to stick around?" Tony asked, as they started work on the portal mechanism that would get his double back to his own universe. "I'm willing to bet I could get Cap to relax his no-going-outside rule eventually."
"It wasn't meant to be a long visit, darling. They need me back in my world," other-Tony said. Tony smiled at him. A dysfunctional, visibly aching, in-denial alcoholic he might be -- Tony had watched him add whisky to his morning coffee -- but he was him, after all, and it was nice to see a sense of duty was an inherent part of Tony Stark. "Besides, the longer I linger, the more awkward things could become."
"Love 'em and leave 'em?"
"You know us so well." Other-Tony flipped a soldering iron in his hand and set to work on a circuit with infinite care. "Seems like Cap's pinned you down, though."
"Different world. I left all that behind."
He seemed genuinely curious. Tony paused, thoughtful.
"Just time, I suppose. Not with Cap -- though him too -- but I stopped wanting a quick fuck and started wanting to wake up next to someone. A while ago. Couple of girlfriends ago at least."
"Sounds utterly boring," other-Tony remarked.
"Well, to each their own. I'm not going to make a run at you over the drinking, either, in case you were wondering," Tony said.
"I was. It's fine; you wouldn't be the first. But I haven't lost a company down the bottle yet, so I'll keep on if it's all the same to you."
"Can't force these things."
"Don't even want to try." Other-Tony set the circuit aside and started on another one. "You're welcome to come have a peep into our world if you want."
"I think that would raise this entire adventure to the point of absurdity, don't you?"
"I suppose. Love to see Fury's face when the pair of us come through together, though. On the other hand, it messed with my repulsors; God only knows what it would do to your..." he waved a hand at Tony's body. "Can't have that beautiful nightlight winking out."
"Nice of you to think of that," Tony said drily. "I have another question."
"You weren't the only one holding back yesterday."
"Well, lay it on me."
"How did Peter Parker die?"
Other-Tony looked up from his work. A grim expression passed over his face.
"Gregory -- our brother."
"The one I don't have."
"Gregory knew war was a big profit-machine. He was trying to start one. Cap was trying to stop it. Gregory took a shot at him." He bent back to his work. "Peter took the bullet."
"You knew him."
"Not well. He was very young. We were trying to train him." Other-Tony chewed on his lip. "I've been looking after his family since. Not much else one can do, really."
"And his replacement?"
"Miles. Christ, that kid's even younger. He'll be fantastic if he doesn't get himself killed too. We're probably going to train him. History repeating itself."
"Well, you know what you have to do, then."
Other-Tony looked up at him. "What's that?"
"Be better than you were last time."
Steve got the summons in the middle of fixing lunch to take down to the Tonys. Tony's face appeared on the video-screen in the kitchen, and there was the sound of a clearing throat.
"Keeping out of trouble?" Steve asked, setting aside the knife.
"Of course. Guess which one I am."
Steve peered at him. "My Tony."
"Well, I guess I'll let you live," Tony said with a grin. "My boy's all suited up and ready to go back through. Come down and say farewell?"
"Be right down," Steve answered, picking up the plate of sandwiches. "Going to call Peter?"
"Peter's had enough portals for a lifetime!" Peter yelled from the dining room.
"Guess that's a no. See you in five," Steve said, and Tony leered at him before the screen went blank.
"Sure you don't want to make sure he gets through?" Steve asked as he passed.
"My luck, he'd pull me back through with him and we'd be playing portal-tag until the end of time," Peter said. "Tell him I told him to get bent."
"I'm sure he'll appreciate it," Steve sighed.
When he walked into the lab, there was an odd spidery-looking machine sitting on the floor, and Tony was just finishing bolting his double into his suit. Steve shoved a sandwich in other-Tony's mouth, then set the plate down.
"Can't have me go through hungry?" other-Tony asked, eating the sandwich in about three bites.
"Well, what would my counterpart think?" Steve asked.
"He's going to yell," other-Tony said, dusting crumbs off his fingers. "Should be fun. Ready?"
"Shipshape," Tony replied, tugging on the chestplate to make sure it was secured. "Good luck."
"Take all I can get," other-Tony agreed. He offered his hand. "It was a genuine pleasure to meet me."
"Cap." Other-Tony turned to him, offering his hand. "A pleasure and an honor, darling."
Steve gripped the cool metal glove firmly. "Be safe, Tony."
Other-Tony tugged him forward, wrapping an arm around his neck, and whispered in his ear. "Look after us."
"Of course," Steve murmured, and felt the briefest brush of lips against his jaw.
"Oh, and Tony?" other-Tony called, as he stepped into the tendrils of light emanating from the machine. He pointed to his wrist. "Don't let him be too gentle."
Then the light winked out, and he was gone.
They stood there together for a moment, silent and thoughtful.
"Suddenly I feel like having a lot of sex," Tony said. "What do you think, Steve?"
"What's in that drawer you have?" Steve asked.
"Well, among other things, a lovely pair of handcuffs."
"I think something could be arranged."
When Tony stepped out of the portal, the first thing he saw was the bright white star.
"Cap!" he said, delighted, as Captain America lowered his shield. "Hi! Sorry about the day-trip, couldn't resist, my dear."
"You're back," Cap said stiffly.
"And whole, as you can see," Tony answered, pulling off his helmet. "Why, miss me? Have you been here this whole time, waiting for little me?"
Cap scowled. "Traded off shifts with Thor. You shouldn't have gone, Stark."
"Ooh, Stark. I am in trouble," Tony said.
"Tony, you -- " Cap started forward, then stopped himself. "It's good to see you."
"Aw, come on soldier boy, give us a hug," Tony said, and hugged Cap without warning. After a second he felt Cap return the gesture, one palm resting on the back of Tony's neck. Then Cap cleared his throat and stepped back, crossing those magnificent arms.
"Debrief, now," he ordered. "There's a chopper outside waiting to take us to the Triskelion."
"Happy to," Tony answered, patting his arm as he passed. "Darling, have I got a story to tell you."