“Bite me,” Tony had hissed the first time that they met, and to this day he doesn’t know just how close Steve had been to shoving him to the ground and sinking his canines into Tony’s neck, jaws clamping down until Steve’s mouth tasted of blood and sweat and Tony’s screams died down to a slow whimper.
The anger is a side-effect of the super-soldier serum, which had an active ingredient of lycan blood. Dr. Erskine was the only one who had ever managed to distill the perfect concentration. Too heavy a dose, and the patient went insane, slaughtering indiscriminately until they were put down like an animal. Too diluted, and the body began preying on itself, rotting from within. It was a slow, painful death.
Steve and Schmidt were the only ones who had managed to survive with their psyches intact (to a sense), and after Schmidt was flung, screaming into cold space, just Steve.
Tony doesn’t know. Nobody knows how tightly Steve keeps a reign on his instincts. To fight. To protect. To gather a pack. To claim his mate.
Before his death, Dr. Erskine had given Steve a serious, but vague lecture on what he should expect after the serum had taken effect. No one told him how to deal with the realities of being an artificially-manufactured werewolf. Natural lycans had been hunted to extinction hundreds of years ago.
Steve had to learn it all himself. How to deal with the overwhelming influx of information from his heightened senses. How to seem normal under the watchful eye of the Army, just waiting for one incident before they put a silver bullet in his neck.
The first few months were the hardest - play-acting with Senator Brandt and his traveling media circus. The stage lights frightened his inner wolf, the crowd put it on the defensive, and the USO girls’ overpowering perfume gave him crippling migraines.
If the news about Bucky hadn’t come when it did, Steve would’ve probably started looking for his own silver bullets.
The war helped. A strange and shameful fact, but true. The fighting quenched his bloodlust, the Howling Commandos functioned as his pack, and Bucky was an admirable beta, submitting to Steve with dark, needy eyes, baring his neck for Steve’s teeth.
Steve had thought that that was enough. A good enough life he was ripped from too early.
When he woke up in the future, Steve was back to being nothing. Untethered by pack or mate, his wolf was desolate. Steve’s mind, his human mind, struggled with the raw, animal grief that howled in his ears and tore through his guts, leaving him hollow inside.
So when Tony hissed, “Bite me,” Steve had barely managed to keep himself from taking him up on the offer.
New York (territory)
Around the sixth month, something starts changing. It’s a shifting in the atmosphere that has Steve on-edge and for a week or so he’s extra-protective of his pack. Tony corners him one night after Steve had tackled Hawkeye to the kitchen floor because the microwaving popcorn sounded like gunshots.
“What’s wrong with you?” Tony demands, slamming the study door behind him and commanding Jarvis to lock it.
“Nothing,” Steve says, just barely managing to hold back his growl. Being caged into the small space is making him bristle. He eyes the door, mentally calculating the amount of force that would be required to slam through it.
“You’re acting more mother-hennish than usual.” Tony says, watching with narrowed eyes as Steve paces the edges of the room. “Did something happen? Is it-“
“It’s none of your business,” Steve does growl this time, but only because the air in the room has gotten thick, and his control is unraveling. The wolf hurls itself against the bars, howls for freedom.
“Steve.” Tony looks hurt. Steve did that. Steve is supposed to be Tony’s friend and he put that hurt look on Tony’s face.
The whine escapes from between Steve’s teeth before he can help it, and suddenly he’s doing what he should have done half a year ago, when Tony looked him in the eye and snarled bite me.
“Steve, no! Stop!” Tony’s panicked shouts bring Steve back to reality. His jaws are open, poised above Tony’s vulnerable throat, the smell of blood and fear filling Steve’s senses. An inch from Tony’s skin, Steve snaps his teeth shut on air. He is salivating.
“Oh god, Tony,” Steve digs his fingers into the plaster of the wall where he’s got Tony pinned. The smell, the thick air is shudder with need. “I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.” He ducks his head, unable to hold back the overwhelming urge to nose at Tony’s neck, feel the throbbing of his pulse under his breath. “You have to- c-call code blue.”
“No!” Tony says. Steve can see the whites of his eyes. “I’m not calling anyone in to shoot you!”
“Please,” Steve pleads. His mouth is growing wet again, his thighs aching from keeping his hips from rutting against Tony’s thigh. “I d-don’t want to hurt you. I need-“ He closes his eyes, a sudden spasm causing his back to arch sharply and his entire body to grind against Tony’s in a slow, needy roll.
“Oh god,” Tony mutters.
With his enhanced senses, Steve can hear the rapid tattoo of Tony’s heartbeat, off-set by the whirr of his reactor, can feel the soft pants of his breath, can smell the fear and worry and adrenaline in his sweat.
It doesn’t take anything the serum gave him to feel Tony’s growing erection against Steve’s hip.
“What do you need, Steve?” Tony asks, digging his fingers into the muscle at Steve’s back. The touch grounds Steve, keeps him sane enough to look up at Tony’s face.
“I need you.” Steve says, at once half-wild and more certain than he has ever been in his life. He is untethered, and the only thing that keeps him from flying apart is the simple pressure of Tony’s touch. Steve swallows hard and continues in a whisper, “You’re my mate.”
“Oh.” Tony says, and Steve feels like someone has reached into his chest and clenched a fist around his heart. He is caught by surprise when Tony pushes forward, planting a hard, messy kiss on Steve’s mouth. “Yeah,” Tony mutters, the scent of fear evaporating from his skin, “Jesus, I thought you wanted to kill me,” another kiss. “This is much better.”
“Tony,” Steve tries to say, “Are you sure-“
“Yes.” Tony moans, “God, yes.”
And that was all that Steve’s wolf needs to hear. With a growl, Steve drags Tony down to the carpet, ripping his shirt down the middle and his pants up the back. Tony keeps up a stream of babble, but Steve has long lost the interest in speech. His wolf won’t stop for anything but the smell of anxiety or hurt in his mate’s breath.
They kiss and grab at each other desperately, a note of savageness in their mating. There is no lubricant and Tony is unprepared for penetrative sex. They are too worked up for it anyway, rutting against each other until Tony comes with a cry, making a slick mess between their stomachs. Steve strokes himself to the image of his mate sprawled pliant and satisfied before him. When he comes, Steve sinks his teeth into the meat of Tony’s neck.
Tony’s cry of pain and pleasure is the sweetest sound Steve had ever heard.
“Whoa.” Clint says, pausing in his steps. “Holy shit.” He walks up to where Tony was sipping coffee at the breakfast table and peels the shirt away from the back of his neck. “What the fuck? Did you get mauled-“
Steve growls. He knows he shouldn’t but it is satisfying to see Clint’s face pale, and the way he stumbles as he hurries out of the room.
Tony’s amused little smirk is also a reward. Steve bends down to kiss it off of his mouth.