Before their argument about whose method of fighting Hydra was more effective, Tony and Steve studied together regularly. Every Wednesday afternoon, at least, and usually more than that. Tony had really loved spending that time with Steve, and had missed it during their fight. However, he wasn’t about to be the one to initiate it again. If he asked and Steve wasn’t interested in studying together again, Tony would be crushed. It wasn't like Tony really needed to study, not really. In fact, his time would probably be more effectively spent doing other things. But that was the only time that he and Steve ever spent time together just the two of them, and he missed it so badly he ached. Particularly now, on a Wednesday during when he would normally be studying with Steve.
Tony sighed, staring at his phone, the screen blank, trying to decide what he was going to do. He wanted to call Steve, wanted to see what he was doing, but what if Steve was out with Sam or Sharon or Bucky? Not that Tony minded that Steve had other friends. It would just sort of hurt if Steve was out enjoying himself with one or all of them during what was normally their time together.
“Earth to Tones, come in,” Rhodey said, waving a hand in front of Tony's face. Tony blinked and swatted at him lightly, ignoring the look on Rhodey's face. “You gonna tell me what's got you so distracted or do I have to guess?” Rhodey asked.
“How about you try to guess, and I’ll tell you if you’re hot or cold?” Tony said, giving Rhodey a kissy face. Rhodey rolled his eyes and gave Tony a poke in the shoulder.
“Considering it’s Wednesday and normally you’d be off staring at him and sighing longingly and pretending your education is benefiting from that, I’m guessing it has to do with Steve,” Rhodey said and Tony felt his face heat. Rhodey laughed and added, “You should just tell him how you feel. Maybe if you do the two of you won’t end up almost destroying campus the next time you argue.”
“We did not! That was all Red Skull’s fault. And nothing actually got destroyed,” Tony protested. Sure, it had been embarrassing, looking back on how over the top they’d been. Well, how over the top Tony had been. Steve had acted the perfect gentleman most of the time, even when he was frantic to get Bucky back. But at least Tony got the Capbuster armor out of it. That would be so much fun next 4th of July.
Before Rhodey could say whatever witty comeback he had planned - and he certainly did have one planned, Tony saw it in his eyes and the curve of his lips as he opened his mouth - a knock sounded at their door. The two of them were sitting in their dorm room - Tony did have a single room until Rhodey had arrived at the university. At that point Fury and Pepper had promptly put them in a room together, which Tony was not about to complain about. Rooming with your best friend was awesome and he was having a blast.
They both looked up at their door, which was open as it usually was, to see Steve standing there, looking slightly awkward. “Oh. Um. If I’m interrupting I can come back,” Steve said, gesturing towards the hallway. He had a backpack instead of his shield on his back, which was weird. Steve took that thing almost everywhere, except actually to classes and … when he went studying. Tony’s eyes went slightly wide. Was Steve coming to get him because he was expecting him to meet up to study?
“No! No, I just … since we stopped studying together during our stupid argument I seem to have found a void in my life in Wednesday afternoons,” Tony spoke quickly so that he could get the sentence out before he thought better of it.
Steve’s face went slightly pink but he also gave Tony a small smile. “Yeah? Well so have I. And I think I’m about ready to slip down a grade or two in math without your help. So, wanna head over to the Timeless Archives?”
“Definitely. Lemmie get my stuff together,” Tony stood and started dashing back and forth across the room. Rhodey let out a little laugh and pulled his phone out, texting someone and grinning. It may have been paranoid to think so, but Tony had a feeling it was about him.
Once Tony got his stuff together he and Steve headed on over to the Archives. Neither said anything for a long moment and then they both opened their mouth and started speaking at the same time. Steve laughed, making Tony’s chest clench tight around the arc reactor and his stomach fill with butterflies, and said, “What were you going to say?”
“I just wanted to say that you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself about your math skills. You’re really good at math! You’d have to be, to be able to throw your shield the way you do and get it to come back to you,” Tony gave Steve a little smile.
“Oh. But a lot of that is just guesswork and instinct. I know that the shield is going to bounce off that lamppost, that bench, and that trashcan and come back to me but I couldn’t tell you how I know or write an equation describing the angles. And the shield kinda bounces weird, too, not the same way other things do. So it doesn’t really help that much,” Steve said. As he spoke he pointed out a lamppost, a bench, and a trashcan and Tony realized that if Steve were to throw the shield he’d probably be right - it would come back to him if he threw it. It was frankly amazing that Steve could just eyeball it like that.
“It’s still a good basic understanding to build off of,” Tony said, “Anyway, what were you going to say?”
“Oh,” Steve went a bit pink again, glancing away from Tony, “I just … I wanted to ask if you were interested in doing this again. I don’t want you doing anything you don’t actually want to in order to spare my feelings. You weren’t at the Archives when I got there, so I wasn’t sure.”
“Of course I want to,” Tony opened the door to the Timeless Archives and ushered Steve inside. They headed towards a relatively secluded corner that they always used, setting their books down at the table they always used. That section of the Archives was tucked into a corner and you had to be pretty close to see it. There weren’t any other tables anywhere nearby, so they wouldn’t be overheard, either. It was about as private there as it could get while being in the Archives. The perfect spot to have a serious discussion, like Rhodey had suggested. Tony hesitated for a moment, then decided it was probably better to take the advice - after all, it seemed like villains were showing up with increasing regularity and frequency and who knew what was going to happen during any one of those encounters. He added, “I actually really like doing this with you. I like spending time with you. Um. A lot.”
“Really?” Steve asked. He had been in the middle of pulling out a chair to sit down and stopped, just watching Tony. “A lot, huh?”
Tony grinned at Steve and nodded. “Yeah, a lot,” he got a little closer and tilted his head up, pressing a soft kiss to Steve’s lips. Steve kissed back and warmth pooled in Tony’s belly, as well as an intense feeling of rightness, of home. This was how things were supposed to be.
Unbidden, Tony’s mind flashed to the helmet they had found when they’d begun to clear timefog debris. The smashed up one that Tony had designed but hadn’t yet built. Something really freaky was going on at this school and he wasn’t sure if their futures, pasts, or both were tied up in the timefog but that was probably why this felt so familiar.
Tony made a noise that he knew sounded a little desperate and backed Steve against the desk, sending Steve’s math book and Tony’s quantum mechanics book tumbling to the ground. Steve pulled away and glanced at them, then he grinned at Tony a little. He sat on the desk and pulled Tony into his lap, one leg braced on the ground and the other raised a bit. Tony squirmed slightly to test how solid his seat was and Steve’s arms went to his back and ass, steadying him even more.
Cupping Steve’s face in his hands, Tony leaned in for another kiss and let out a little moan. Steve, proving why he was the greatest tactical mind of his generation, slipped his tongue into Tony’s mouth. He was so good at it, too, taking his time and running his tongue over all of the nooks and crannies of Tony’s mouth rather than just trying to shove his tongue as far down as he could. When his tongue retreated he nipped at Tony’s bottom lip, drawing his teeth over Tony’s skin slowly. Tony followed Steve’s tongue into his mouth. It was probably the best kiss he’d ever had. Steve tasted so good and his body was warm and firm under Tony’s hands.
Eventually they broke apart, both breathing a little hard. “We probably should actually study,” Steve said, kissing the top of Tony’s head when Tony rested it on Steve’s shoulder.
“Why? This is so much more fun,” Tony whined, squirming a little in Steve’s lap. The make out session had left them both half hard, and Tony was eager to do more about it.
“For one the Timeless Archives are magic and I wouldn’t be surprised if Odin and Fury find out if I bend you over the desk and fuck you here,” Steve pitched his voice low and spoke right into Tony’s ear, warm breath ghosting over Tony’s skin and sending a shivery sensation down his spine and right to his cock. “For two I really do have a math test I need your help studying for,” he bit at Tony’s earlobe and Tony let out what he refused to call a giggle but really probably was a giggle.
“All right, all right. Study first. Then later we can find someplace where we can continue this,” Tony pressed a kiss to Steve’s cheek and pushed back off his lap, reaching down to get their books off the floor. “What chapter are you on?”
Steve had a slightly larger room so he had two roommates and it turned out that Sam and Bucky were pretty well settled in for the night, one of them studying and the other one writing weird emo music. Rhodey was still at Tony’s room and answering Tony’s texts with a weirdly smug tone. They briefly considered Stark Tower, but a quick check with JARVIS showed that Pepper was doing some work there. Tony did not want to have sex with Steve the first time with her so close by. So having nowhere private to go Steve and Tony decided to put off trying to actually have sex for another time.
Like after a real date.
“Friday night, six o’clock?” Steve confirmed as he dropped Tony off outside of Tony’s door. The door was still open so Rhodey could probably hear them talking, even if they were far enough away that Tony doubted Rhodey could hear exactly what was said.
“Yeah. You wanna meet here?” Tony asked. He suddenly felt very self conscious, like things might all go wrong at the last minute. It was silly and he knew it, but he still couldn’t shake the feeling.
“That sounds good to me,” Steve nodded and leaned in to give Tony a kiss on the cheek and when he pulled back he was giving Tony a dazzling grin. “I’ll see you later!”
Tony nodded. “Yeah. See you later.”
Steve turned and headed off to his own room in another part of the dorm and Tony went into his room. Rhodey was sitting on their couch and grinning wide, a mischievous spark in his eyes. He’d clearly been waiting for Tony.
“How did ‘studying’ go?” Rhodey asked, grin widening.
“I have no idea what you mean,” Tony said primly. He tossed his backpack down next to his desk and sat on the couch beside Rhodey, who poked him.
“Yeah you do. I think about the only studying you really did was anatomy.”
“I’m not taking anat-” Realization dawned. Tony stopped and then turned to glare at Rhodey, “How did you know?”
“Oh come on, Tones! I knew it was gonna happen the moment you left with him. You two are so obvious,” Rhodey rolled his eyes and pulled his phone out. He tapped at it as he spoke and then turned it around to show Tony a picture of Steve and Tony kissing, Steve sitting on the desk and Tony sitting on Steve, “But to make sure it happened I sent an expert along to trail you.”
“It’s sort of messed up that I have no idea if by expert you mean a spy or you mean Jan,” Tony grabbed Rhodey’s phone and peered at the picture.
“Jan, of course. She would know how to nudge you into it if you two still had your heads up your asses,” Rhodey said as he reached for his phone. Tony leaned back to stay out of range and quickly sent the picture to himself, then handed it over.
“Yeah you’ve got a point there,” Tony took his own phone out to look at the picture a minute. Then, feeling sort of sappy but not caring at all, he set it as his background. Yeah, it was a little bit of an invasion of privacy that they’d taken it, but they meant well. They were his best friends and they only wanted the best for him. Besides, the picture wouldn’t go any further than Rhodey and Jan.
“So you’re going to warn me if you plan on bringing him back here, right? I love you but I really don’t want to see you and Steve Rogers getting it on,” Rhodey made a face.
“Well I was planning on working out a system less cliché than a sock or a tie on the doorknob, but now that you’ve said that you get the first brain bleach inducing experience on the house,” Tony said, laughing delightedly when Rhodey whacked him with a pillow.