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Begin to Breathe

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Tony knows that he hasn’t slept in 38 hours, but that still doesn’t explain why Steve is in his workshop and pulling his tools from his hands. Or why Steve is wearing a fedora.

“Are we roleplaying?” Tony asks, because he can’t think of another explanation and might as well be optimistic. “Heading down to the speakeasy? No need, big fella. I’m a pushover.”

Steve rolls his eyes, but doesn’t respond, pulling Tony over to the garage and stopping in front of the one car Tony owns that doesn’t say “STARK” on the license plate. There’s a duffle bag in the back seat, and Steve digs the keys out of his pocket.

“Pepper says we have three days,” he explains, and for a second, Tony feels faint with relief. It has been one emergency after another for weeks now. He’s only just fixed the suit from their last fight. He slowly lets out a breath. “Are you sure we can afford that?”

“We’re going to try,” Steve says, and Tony hopes it works because Steve looks as tired as Tony feels. “JARVIS can call us back.”

“Okay, then,” Tony says and claps his hands together. “Where’s my fedora?”

Steve smirks, grabs a hoodie from the front seat and tosses it to Tony.

“I can’t help but notice that this is not a fedora,” Tony complains.

“It’ll help hide your face,” Steve says as he gets in the drivers seat.

“Hide this face? What a tragedy,” he says, but he gamely pulls it on, flipping the hood up before climbing into the passenger side. “Drive, Jeeves,” Tony orders lazily, and they roll out of the garage into the cold night.

Tony knows that Steve loves New York City, but the farther out they get, the more relaxed Steve is. Tony feels it, too. There are always so many projects and emergencies vying for their attention even when they’re off duty, and it’s not until the glowing New York skyline is disappearing in the rearview mirror that all those pressures fade away.

His eyes drift shut, enjoying the purr of the engine and the quiet company of the man sitting next to him. He stretches, propping his feet up on the dash and grinning because he can feel Steve’s gaze on him without opening his eyes.

After a couple hours, Steve tenses again. Tony isn’t asleep, but without a judicious application of coffee, he’ll be there soon, so the adrenaline is a shock to his system. “What?” he demands.

“Please tell me that isn’t an alien invasion. Please,” Steve begs.

Tony follows Steve’s gaze and leans forward, looking up at the sky through the windshield. “Oh,” he says, “No, not aliens, I don’t think. It’s December, right?” Steve gives him a look. “Shut up, I’m tired. Pull over, here, and turn the lights off.” Steve obeys, turning to Tony expectantly when he finishes. Tony smiles and urges, “C’mon,” getting out of the car, breath frosting in the air.

It’s dark, hardly any traffic on the small back road they’re currently on. Steve comes to stand close to him, footsteps echoing away until the crickets and the ticking of the engine are the only sounds Tony can hear. He leans back into Steve’s heat as they stare up at the streaks of color shooting across the sky. “It’s a meteor shower,” Tony explains, “The Geminids. Perfectly natural, and happens every year.”

“It’s beautiful,” Steve says, and he’s smiling when Tony turns and looks at him.

“Yeah,” Tony agrees and gets a kiss for his trouble.


Tony would like to say that when they got to his small country property, they fall into bed and have crazy passionate sex, but the truth is that they fall into bed and sleep for 10 hours.

They hadn’t reached the house until early morning, so when Tony wakes up, the afternoon sun, weak with winter, is shining through the windows and making the room gently glow. It’s nice, especially the long, warm length of Steve draped against his back, but he has to pee and can feel the beginnings of a caffeine headache at his temples, so he slips out of bed.

He drinks his coffee in silence, which is a novelty. This house hasn’t been updated except for an emergency connection controlled by JARVIS, and so there’s no quick email check or yammering television in the background. It appeals to Tony every now and then, no matter how much he loves technology, as long as he has something - or someone - else to keep him busy.

Tony pours a cup for Steve and another one for himself and goes back to the bedroom.

He’s just going to peek in and see if the smell has woken Steve up, but Tony can’t resist the sight of him wrapped up in the white bedsheets. He deposits the cups on the nightstand, slides back into bed, and kisses Steve awake.

Steve hums into the kiss when he wakes up enough to return it, and then smiles when Tony eventually pulls back. “Good morning,” he says, “Time to wake up, I guess?”

“Afternoon,” Tony corrects him, fingers moving across his back and down to tease at the waistband of the pajama pants Steve always wears. “And yes. I brought you coffee.”

“Thanks,” Steve says, and kisses him again, deeper this time but still slow. “I should probably drink it before it gets cold,” Steve says against Tony’s lips, but he’s got a hand around Tony’s thigh and one on his back and rolls them so that Tony is on top, the sheet slipping down and away as Tony raises up so that he’s kneeling with Steve between his legs. He circles his hips and presses their cocks together through two layers of cloth.

Steve makes a low noise and bucks up gently, and Tony grins. “Sure, coffee’s important, go right ahead,” he offers, and then pauses, hips raised just enough to be out of reach.

Steve huffs, but he’s still smiling faintly. “It’ll keep for a while,” he says.

“Are you sure?” Tony asks, and Steve sits up so that Tony is balanced in his lap and close enough to kiss.

“You’re more important than coffee,” Steve says.

Tony laughs and says, “It must be love.”

“You know it is,” Steve replies and distracts Tony by shoving a hand down the front of his boxers and kissing him again.

Tony had thought he’d had every kind of sex imaginable, but before Steve, he’d never woken up feeling safe and had sex that was sleepy and warm with laughter. He’d never been so comfortable with his partner that he didn’t feel the need to perform, but instead just be with them in the moment. Steve gave him these things without even realizing they were gifts, so earnestly open as they moved against each other and shared breath as they kissed.

He watches Steve come, pleasure tingling through his body and flashing along his spine and everywhere they’re touching, and waits for Steve’s eyes to focus on him again before letting go.

Steve lets them fall back onto the mattress, and Tony curls up around him, content to let the coffee cool even further. “Three days of this, huh?” he asks.

“I sure hope so,” Steve says, expression the same blissed out it always gets just after he comes.

“Me, too,” Tony says, “Because I really want to light that big fire in the sitting room and fuck you on the carpet right in front of it.”

There’s a thoughtful pause, and Tony grins.