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Kiss and Tell

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When his phone rings later that afternoon, Tony answers with, “Pepper, I need a million dollars to suppress a sex tape.”

 

And the great thing about having Pepper Potts as his CEO, and not his girlfriend, is that she only has to deal with the business and financial implications of such a statement, and not the personal ones that make her cross her arms over her chest and give him unhappy looks for his past indiscretions.

 

“A sex tape,” Pepper repeats flatly. God, he can just imagine her face. That furious expression used to really get his motor revving. No wonder he drives her crazy. He does it on purpose to get her to make it. “Really? How old are you?”

 

Ouch. Low blow. “By myself, or combined with Mr. Sex Tape?” He doesn’t give her time to respond. “By the way, I won’t be able to make that marketing meeting teleconference tonight. I have a date.” He drags a folder across the virtual desktop and pulls out the schematic for a handheld MRI.

 

Even preoccupied with figuring out how to keep the imaging stable, Tony can’t help but hear the weight of Pepper’s temporary silence. He winces.

 

“A date,” Pepper repeats again. Apparently he’s doing the echo thing today.

 

He should know better than to think he can sneak anything past her. “Yeah, you know, two people—well, usually two people, but I don’t judge—dinner, a movie, sex in the backseat of a car—”

 

“With Mr. Sex Tape?”

 

Really, she doesn’t need to sound so surprised about it. “His name is Steve,” Tony says defensively, conveniently ignoring that he’s the one who used the term first. Hmm, doesn’t he have antishake programming in the latest Starkphone? Maybe he can scavenge that—

 

“Tony!” If Tony’s not much mistaken, Pepper is wearing Exasperation No. 5. “You can’t go on a date with someone who’s extorting you!”

 

Oh, so that’s why she’s pissed. “He’s not extorting me,” Tony says, squinting at the Starkphone’s code. Stupid idea, the camera’s not that powerful and it doesn’t have to be able to identify tumors; he needs something better. He needs Bruce. “The money’s going to AI.”

 

Silence. Fuck, Tony really needs to start censoring his mouth when he’s on the phone with Pepper.

 

“AI,” Pepper says slowly. Whereas her earlier tone used to get him hot, this one makes Tony’s balls try to climb back into his body, and they’re not even dating anymore. “The adult film site.”

 

 Yeah, Pepper thinks he was in a porno. Which he sort of was, but that isn’t the point. “I only went there to talk to Bruce! I need him to consult on the handheld MRI programming.” Only Bruce won’t buy in to Tony’s brand of soul-sucking workaholism (Bruce’s words) because he wants to work on movies. Tony knows AI is just a startup to get the capital for the indie film company Darcy wants to dig her claws into, but does she have to drag Bruce down with her?

 

Anyway, it’s fine now. AI has the capital, which means Bruce has several months free to consult for Tony while they set everything up for primary shooting.

 

“And yet somehow you ended up sexing up Mr. Sex Tape on film?”

 

Tony wants to protest that—“on film” is so late nineties—but he doesn’t have a chance, because Pepper hangs up and that can only mean one thing.

 

He spins to face the door to the workshop as Pepper storms in, looking thunderous yet beautiful as always. Tony says, “Jarvis, you traitor.”

 

Jarvis’s guilty silence says it all.

 

Pepper slams a folder full of soul-destroying paperwork down on the corner of Tony’s workbench. “Please explain to me why you thought it would be a good idea to appear in an adult film with a man you don’t even know.”

 

And Tony could tell her, of course, but he’s always been so much fonder of live demonstrations. He switches the desktop over to the uplink from his phone—

 

Pepper realizes what he’s doing a moment too late. “Oh God, Tony, no, I don’t need to see—”

 

Then she stops short.

 

Tony’s not cruel. He doesn’t have Steve’s permission to go around sharing dirty videos, even if Tony is in them too. What he does have is a nice still of Steve, all five hundred flat square miles of bare chest on display. It’s the filthiest PG-rated picture in the universe.

 

“That’s Mr. Sex Tape?” she asks.

 

Steve,” Tony corrects.

 

Pepper has been coping with Tony’s outrageous behavior for years, so she has a good handle on the instinctive redhead blush. He counts the distinctive pink wave creeping up the back of her neck as a personal triumph. “And you paid a million dollars to have sex with him.”

 

“That would be prostitution,” he points out. “We didn’t have sex.”

 

That seems to break her of her Steve-induced hypnosis, and she turns to raise an eyebrow at him. “You didn’t have sex.”

 

The for a million dollars hangs in the air, unspoken.

 

Fuck, now Tony has to explain. “He didn’t know who I was! And it was his first”—he stops himself just in time, because no way is he telling Pepper Steve’s a virgin, that’s just asking to be castrated with her nail file and hung up on Stark Tower as a warning to other sleazebag geniuses—“shoot, and he was nervous, and he assumed I was there to….” He shrugged. “I mean, look at him. No one on earth could have expected me to correct him.”

 

“You just said you didn’t have sex with him.” She narrows her eyes. Oh God, he hates that look; he hasn’t been able to keep anything from her since his cancer scare, he’s going to spill everything.

 

“Pepper, no, don’t—” She purses her lips, and it’s all over, goddammit. “Fine, we got naked and I talked dirty to him while he jerked himself off, we kissed, I maybe got to second base and it was still practically a religious experience, I can’t believe you’re making me tell you this. You suck.”

 

Now she’s smiling at him, that smarmy, satisfied oh Tony smile she uses when she’s just gained some really excellent leverage over him. “You paid a million dollars for a kiss?”

 

Apparently he hasn’t finished spilling his guts yet, because what he says is “It was worth it.” Worth it—God, he underpaid.

 

For once in his life, honesty pays off. Pepper shakes her head. “You know what, maybe you should skip the teleconference. I’m not sure I can disapprove of someone who turns genius billionaire playboy Tony Stark into a blushing teenager who can’t close the deal.”

 

That is totally not what Tony said and he definitely doesn’t blush, he is not the blushing type, but he’s getting out of mind-numbing tedium so he doesn’t complain. At least not out loud.

 

“The marketing team will just have to decide how to advertise the new sportswear line without you. It’s not like you’d have anything valuable to contribute to that discussion anyway.”

 

Tony waves his hand. “Just give Steve a pair of shorts and have him go for a run through Central Park. That should go viral in about seven seconds.”

 

It’s a fantastic idea, but Pepper rolls her eyes. “You just want to write your name on his ass.”

 

As if. Tony snorts. “Pepper, please. That’s not even in the top ten list of things I want to do to, for, with, or any number of other propositions, his ass.” He pauses, considers, counts. “That’s not even on the top ten list of things I want to do to his ass in public.”

 

“Because you’re so well known for the vast difference between your public and private behavior.”

 

Well, she does have a point there.

 

“So where are you taking Steve on your date?”

 

And here’s where things get dicey. Because people in general do not take Tony Stark out on dates. Tony takes other people on dates. He’s a billionaire and a control freak and he has a profound knack for fucking up relationships before they can even begin, and he prefers to pick his battles so he always chooses his battlegrounds too.

 

Steve wouldn’t have any of it. In fact, after half an hour together during which they were mostly naked, Steve is better at getting what he wants out of Tony than anyone but Pepper. Tony’s been thinking Steve doesn’t know what he’s getting into, but maybe Tony’s the one who should be running away.

 

“I have no idea,” he admits, resisting the urge to fidget because he’s Tony fucking Stark, and Tony Stark does not get first date jitters. “He said he’d pick me up at seven.”

 

Pepper laughs all the way back to the elevator.

 

*

 

Tony gets only limited work done after that, partly because he really does need Bruce’s input on the new video imaging software but mainly because he has mentally regressed into a teenage girl. Tony has suit designers on speed dial and a standing account with the best tailor in the city, and he still changes clothes six times before he’s satisfied with the way he looks. And Tony knows he’s sexy, goddammit.

 

He’s still ready stupidly early, which means he’s watching the security feed in front of the tower at ten to seven, when Steve rides up on his motorcycle and redefines the word “sexy” for him.

 

Tony does a surreptitious double check to make sure he isn’t drooling, because wow. Steve on a motorcycle is literally sex on wheels.

 

The motorcycle is a fucking gorgeous vintage Harley in pristine condition, shining in black and chrome. Even by itself, it’s a thing of raw power and beauty and primal appeal. Put it between the legs of one Steve Rogers, a walking wet dream in jeans, sunglasses, and a leather jacket, and it becomes an extremely large phallic symbol. Not that Steve has anything to compensate for.

 

Tony doesn’t whimper, but it’s a close thing. Steve is picking him up on his motorcycle. Which means Tony is going to spend some time this evening with his legs spread and his dick pressed up against Steve’s ass. Which, okay, it’s not like Tony wasn’t already thinking about it, just that his version involved fewer clothes, less publicity, and no motorcycle.

 

He can totally work with the motorcycle, but either way, Tony’s going to be hard all night.

 

All things considered, tonight’s going to be awesome.

 

“Jarvis, let Steve into the lobby and tell him I’ll be down shortly.” He just has to obsessively check his appearance in the mirror one more time to make sure there’s nothing in his teeth.

 

Steve’s waiting for him in the lobby, looking around with obvious interest at Pepper’s art collection. Somehow he’s managing to hold two motorcycle helmets in a single hand, which gets Tony distracted thinking about what else such big hands are good for.

 

Maybe Steve will want to skip dinner?

 

“Steve, hey. You’re early.” Wow, could he sound any lamer?

 

“I thought I might have to remind you you agreed to have dinner with me.” Steve shuffles his feet a little like he’s actually nervous, which is adorable. Like he doesn’t know Tony’s a sure thing.

 

Tony smiles—smiles, not smirks, oh he is in so much trouble and he doesn’t even regret it a little bit. “My reputation precedes me, huh?”

 

“I may have looked you up on Google,” Steve admits with a sheepish half grin.

 

Tony raises his eyebrows and tries not to be disappointed, because he hates hypocrisy and it’s not like he didn’t spend half an hour this afternoon googling Steve Rogers. “And you came anyway?”

 

Tony’s disappointment evaporates under the heat of Steve’s blush. “Well.” Steve shrugs. “I had to see for myself if the rumors were true.”

 

“Steve, you’ve seen me naked,” Tony points out. “In person. Of course the rumors are true.”

 

Sadly, Steve doesn’t look too scandalized; the blush doesn’t even deepen. Oh well, Tony has all night to fix that. And maybe some of the morning too, if he gets lucky. “I don’t know,” Steve says innocently, “I don’t think a good scientist would draw conclusions from a sample size of one.”

 

All Tony’s brain activity suddenly concentrates in the downstairs area. “Oh baby, talk science to me.”

 

And hallelujah, Steve can still blush after all. Tony wonders how much exposure Steve will need before he stops. He hopes it’s a lot.

 

Steve does ignore the request, which is sad but not unexpected. “Um, I hope you like motorcycles. I know it’s not what you’re used to. We could take one of your cars instead, if you want. You probably have three.”

 

Is Steve teasing him? Tony has eleven, and that’s just in New York. But never mind. “No, no, let’s do this your way. Honestly, you just gave me an excuse to press up against you in public, this is the second-best thing to happen to me all day.”

 

Steve does the sheepish shuffle thing again. “I just thought, you know, without the car, it’ll be really easy for anyone to take photos….”

 

Tony does plan on wearing the helmet Steve brought for him—he won’t be much good as a genius if his brains are splattered down Broadway—but he gets the point. And actually that raises another question. He wrinkles his nose. “I don’t care about the paparazzi,” he says. “I’ve lived with that my whole life, thrived on it, some would say. It doesn’t bother me.” He takes a deep breath. “But if it’s weird for you”—because really, is Steve even out? How does the other half feel about being part of a page twelve spread in US Weekly?—“we can always have Happy drive us. Tinted windows and the whole shebang.”

 

Of course, if being photographed on a motorcycle with Tony is too much for Steve, he’s not going to survive long as Tony’s… date person. Which would be a shame, because Tony actually likes Steve, you know, on top of the fact that he’s pretty enough to make Michelangelo’s David look amateur.

 

Tony resolutely denies to himself that he’s strongly considering keeping Steve as his date person, but a voice inside his head starts chanting Tony has a boyfriend anyway, like an eight-year-old.

 

In answer, Steve holds out the helmet. Tony absolutely does not feel warm down to the cockles of his cold black heart. The helmet’s probably going to murder his hair, but fuck it. He gets to spoon Steve on a classic motorcycle. His hair can suffer the indignity.

 

“I don’t have anything to hide,” Steve says.

 

Tony thinks that’s probably actually true. “In that case, after you.”

 

Yeah, Tony will ride bitch every day of his life just so he can watch Steve’s ass as he mounts a motorcycle. Jesus.

 

Sadly, Steve’s helmet prevents Tony from seeing the blush that doubtless crawls up his neck as Tony climbs on behind him and presses indecently close. To make up for the loss, Tony says, “In case you’re wondering, that’s not a banana in my pocket.”

 

He can’t hear Steve’s laugh over the sudden revving of the engine, but he feels it against his chest, and that’s even better.

 

*

 

Steve pulls the motorcycle up in front of a tiny restaurant on a side street in a part of the city Tony doesn’t know very well, though it seems nice. When Steve removes his helmet, his hair’s a little sweaty, which only makes him that much more attractive. He takes Tony’s helmet, and then he takes Tony’s hand—if he’s angling to make Tony feel like a preteen girl, he’s doing pretty well except for the whole hard-on thing—and leads him inside.

 

In the space of eight hours, Tony’s life has gone from a real-time porno to an animated Disney flick. And he has the sneaking suspicion it’s Lady and the Tramp.

 

Tony feels like he should at least be the Tramp, and he’s really, really, decidedly not the Tramp in this scenario, so that’s awkward.

 

“Steve!”

 

In an establishment this small, Tony would hesitate to call someone the maître d’, but he doesn’t want to be judgmental. The man comes over and kisses Steve’s cheeks, then stands back and holds him at arm’s length. “You look different.”

 

Tony decides he likes the man very much, because that comment makes Steve flush almost tomato red, which shouldn’t be attractive but totally is. “Hi, Giancarlo. This is Tony.”

 

The speculative look in Giancarlo’s eyes tells Tony his cover is blown, but the man doesn’t make any untoward comments or ask what a billionaire is doing in a tiny hole-in-the-wall Italian joint in this part of town. “Any friend of Steve’s is a friend of ours,” he says seriously, and then he grabs a pair of menus from a rack on the wall and says, “Right this way.”

 

Giancarlo seats them at an out-of-the way table where there’s not much foot traffic, goes over the specials, and then leaves them alone with their menus.

 

Steve doesn’t open his.

 

“So, come here often?” Tony asks dryly.

 

Even Steve knows that’s a line. He rolls his eyes. “Do you have any allergies? Or, I don’t know, foods you don’t like?”

 

“I’m not picky as long as it’s good.”

 

Steve smiles and takes Tony’s menu. “Good. Then we’ll just let Giancarlo pick.”

 

Oh, that is smooth. On principle, Tony normally doesn’t like when other people decide for him, but he’s willing to follow Steve’s lead on this one. “Why this place, anyway? I mean, it smells delicious,” he says quickly, because that first question came out sounding bitchier than he intended.

 

Steve shrugs. “I figure you’ve probably been to all the fancy restaurants in the city. Heck, you could probably buy all the fancy restaurants in the city. Even if I could afford to take you there, it wouldn’t be special. But you can’t buy a place like this. It’s family run, been around since the forties.”

 

God, if this keeps up Steve’s gonna give him cavities. “How’d you find it?”

 

That earns him a flush. “Uh, I just, I did a favor for Giancarlo’s sister once. They repaid me in enough cannoli to give an elephant a heart attack. After that I sort of had to see what the rest of the food was like.”

 

Giancarlo returns with a basket of bread that makes Tony wonder if he’s died and gone to heaven (unlikely, but it’s a theory Tony can’t disprove), along with an ice bucket with a bottle of Perrier. “Have you decided already?”

 

Steve hands over the menus with a challenging grin. “Do your worst.”

 

Laughing, Giancarlo takes the menus and tucks them under his arm, then leans over to light the candle on the table. “You’ll make Mama very happy. You know how she loves to cook for you.” He seems about two seconds away from pinching Steve’s cheeks, not that Tony blames him. “Wine with your dinner?”

 

Steve looks at Tony. Well, if he doesn’t know what they’re eating, he might as well go with the flow. Really, what does it matter what the food and wine are like? Tony plans on eating with his eyes anyway. “Sure,” he says. “You pick.”

 

Giancarlo beams at him and bustles back to the kitchen.

 

Normally this is where things would start to get weird, because Tony’s not naïve enough to think he and Steve could really have that much in common. But then Steve says, “So my mom called me earlier and told me someone had paid her hospital bill. And that she was seeing a new doctor. A specialist. From Switzerland.” Eat your heart out, Helen of Troy—the smile Steve pairs with that flush could convince all the armies in the world to lay down their weapons and make love, not war. “You move fast.”

 

Tony grins back and kicks Steve’s foot under the table. If Steve’s going to make him feel like a damn teenager, he’s going to act like one and enjoy every second of it. “You already knew that.” Then he shrugs. “Besides, I had good motivation.”

 

“Uh-huh,” Steve says. “Well, thank you. It means a lot.”

 

Genuine gratitude makes Tony squirm, so he waves it off. “Don’t thank me. No, seriously.” The last thing he wants is for Steve to feel indebted to him. The idea gives him the creeps. “Dr. Ouellette also agreed to help me test out some new medical equipment I’m developing. It was a win-win situation.”

 

“Why medical technology, anyway? I mean, SI was primarily a defense contractor until a couple years ago.”

 

And there it is: the million-dollar question. Well, million doesn’t really cover it, but Tony would have to ask Pepper for the actual figures.

 

Giancarlo saves him from having to answer right away by arriving with two plates of steaming mussels that smell better than anything Tony’s eaten all week. Of course, Tony spent half the week in his lab drinking chlorophyll shakes, so maybe that’s not saying much.

 

He wonders if Giancarlo’s trying to get Steve laid. It’s kind of a hilarious idea. Who wouldn’t sleep with Steve, given half the chance?

 

So Tony has a minute to think about what he wants to say, and then Giancarlo leaves. “It’s kind of a long and unhappy story,” he warns. Definitely not a story for a first date. Then again, since when does Tony Stark play by anyone else’s rules? “But I’ll give you the short version if you want.”

 

Steve looks up from his mussel utensil, swallows distractingly, then says, “You don’t have to.”

 

Tony tries a mussel of his own to give himself another minute, and wow, no wonder Steve loves this place. Only the thought of this nasty conversation keeps him from making obscene noises of approval. “In a nutshell, two years ago, an old friend of my father’s who worked at Stark Industries….” God, Tony hates even saying his name. “Obadiah Stane. He was sort of my right-hand guy. But apparently that wasn’t good enough for him, because he used an SI research project so top-secret even I didn’t know about it to give me cancer in an attempt to take over the company.”

 

The dead silence that falls over the table pretty much tells Tony Steve’s sorry he asked, but Tony doesn’t look up from sopping a piece of bread through the sauce on his plate. “Then I found out what he did, and that he was selling SI weapons to the enemy, came up with a cure, stopped all weapons production, and got Obie thrown in Guantanamo as a traitor to his country.”

 

Giancarlo returns with a bottle of wine; he pours a sniff in Tony’s glass to taste, but Tony throws it back and holds out the glass for more. Steve looks like he would like to do the same.

 

Tony sighs at the extremely delicious bread he has no appetite for. “Now I’ve made it all awkward.”

 

“You cured cancer while fighting a hostile corporate takeover and domestic terrorism,” Steve says, and Tony has to look at him. His expression is flat, but his voice holds a definite hint of that’s awesome.

 

It makes Tony feel like a rock star, or maybe a superhero. Steve’s even more dangerous than he thought. Tony grins and finishes his mussels. Every last one of them tastes like victory.

 

“Anyway, that’s how I got into medical tech,” Tony explains. “If we weren’t going to do weapons anymore, we had to make something to fill the gap. That’s actually why I was at AI this morning.”

 

Steve raises an eyebrow over the rim of his wine glass. “Is Stark Industries branching out into adult entertainment?” He can’t even say “adult entertainment” without a hint of a flush, though that could be the alcohol.

 

Tony shakes his head. “No, no, I need to bring on their video editor, Bruce Banner. He wrote their software himself, he’s a genius. I had a class with him at MIT. The porn is just to make money, you know, they want to go more mainstream. So I freed up some of his time and now he can help me with the imaging for the handheld MRI.”

 

Steve smiles shyly as Giancarlo returns with two bowls of tomato bread soup. “People don’t tell you no very much, do they?”

 

Tony grins. “You didn’t.” Not that he can really see himself refusing Steve much of anything either. Which reminds him—“Though you must’ve had experience turning people down.”

 

“Not really,” Steve tells him without any particular shame. “I was a late bloomer. Did I tell you that? In high school, I had this hopeless crush on a British exchange student. She was the only girl who bothered to give me the time of day, but she was so far out of my league she might as well have been in England the whole time.” He shrugs. “And then in my sophomore year of college, when I, uh”—became a walking sex dream, thinks Tony—“grew, I don’t know. I didn’t want to be with somebody who just liked me for my body, so after that, I guess, yeah. I was never afraid to say no.”

 

Oh. Now Tony feels shallow. He’d like to tell Steve he also likes him for how fucking nice he is, but Tony has never actually said anything like that before. Fuck it, he’s turning over a new leaf, and he’s a billionaire. He can afford to make an ass out of himself a little bit. “You didn’t know who I was,” he blurts.

 

Yeah, not smooth. Steve stares at him with his spoon halfway to his mouth.

 

“You didn’t recognize me, but you were nice to me. It’s, uh.” Tony twitches. “It’s not often I know for sure I’m getting a genuine reaction from somebody.”

 

Amazingly, Steve doesn’t a) put on the “poor little rich boy” face or b) seem inclined toward pity, which is good because Tony doesn’t need pity, Tony is awesome. He just says, “Exactly,” because Steve knows how it is. Then Steve says, “So what about you?” and his eyes light up with a kind of mischief Tony could really get used to.

 

“What about me, what?” he asks and takes a spoonful of the soup, and almost has a spontaneous orgasm. He looks down at the bowl. He’s not sure those pureed tomatoes aren’t laced with cocaine. God.

 

 Steve’s watching him fondly, but the mischief is spreading; it’s tugging at the corner of his mouth now. “Well, I told you mine….”

 

And oh. Oh. “Steve Rogers!” Tony says, trying for affronted but probably landing somewhere in the vicinity of surprised delight. “Are you asking me how I lost my V-card?”

 

Steve gives him a challenging look.

 

Well. Challenge accepted. Tony shovels in another spoon of red heaven and lets go of his denial. That settles it: Tony’s keeping him. Maybe not forever, but at least indefinitely. “Which time?”

 

Steve rolls his eyes. He makes even that less than endearing gesture adorable. “I’m pretty sure you’re only a virgin once, Tony.”

 

“Technicality.” Tony points his spoon at him. “To clarify, we’re talking penetrative sex here, right? With a man? Or with a woman?” And oh hell, he might as well shoot for full disclosure. “Or both at the same time?”

 

Shaking his head, Steve asks, “Are you sure you’ve never been in porn?”

 

“Not professionally,” Tony chirps. “So? What’ll it be?”

 

Steve acts put out, but he’s totally fighting a smile, Tony can tell. “Both,” he says at last, and then corrects himself: “I mean individually. No threesome stories, though, you’ll give me an inferiority complex.”

 

Tony sets aside his soup bowl, then thinks better of it and swipes a piece of bread through it to soak up all the delicious calories. “First time with a girl, I was seventeen.”

 

Steve actually looks surprised.

 

“Yeah, I wasn’t always this precocious, and besides, I’d already graduated from MIT, if I’d had sex with most of my fellow students they could’ve been arrested. Not sexy. Her name was Tanya Summers, I was the TA for her sophomore thermodynamics class.” He smirks. “I gave her an A.”

 

“Of course you did.”

 

“She deserved it, she really had that first law down.” Off Steve’s confused expression, Tony recites, “Heat and work are forms of energy transfer.”

 

Steve laughs. “I had no idea physics was so sexy.” Then he stills. “And the other time?”

 

Ah, that story is a little more complicated and sort of awkward for a first date, but Tony already crossed the awkward line with the Obadiah thing and he doesn’t want to lie about it. “Eighteen, though not for lack of trying on my part.”

 

“What, no guys wanted to sleep with you? I find that hard to believe.”

 

Steve is too good for Tony’s ego. He doesn’t know how he’s going to make it out the door. “No, no, I just sort of had my mind set on Bruce.” Of course it had to be Bruce, the only guy at MIT who could keep up with Tony and seemed to like him at the same time. Tony maybe had a little crush. Besides—“He’s five eight and the girls on campus called him ‘the Hulk’. Not ironically. I had to know.”

 

Steve goes bright red and puts a hand in front of his face to hide his laughter, but Tony can see his shoulders shaking.

 

“But he wouldn’t sleep with me until I was legal,” Tony finishes mournfully.

 

When Steve finally composes himself, his eyes are shining and the tips of his ears are pink. “Was it worth the wait?”

 

“Oh hell yes.” Tony has now officially talked about how big Bruce’s dick is on his first date with someone he really likes, and Steve hasn’t run away screaming or slapped Tony in the face. Clearly Steve is insane. Tony, on the other hand, might be in love.

 

After the pasta course is delivered—and consumed down to the last delicious morsel of spinach ricotta ravioli in browned butter sauce—Steve excuses himself to use the restroom, and by the time he comes back, Tony’s conned Giancarlo into telling him all about that favor Steve did for his sister.

 

“You chased her mugger down the street!” Tony practically bounces in his chair. Seriously, Steve is too precious for this world. Who does that? This is New York, not Smallville. “And you weren’t even going to tell me! I’m on a date with a hero.” He flutters his eyelashes.

 

Steve shoots Giancarlo a betrayed look. “I was doing fine without your help.” But he seems more embarrassed than angry, and Giancarlo just laughs him off.

 

Dessert—and Tony thanks God the portions have been small, because he does not want to be stuffed tonight, or at least not with food—arrives in the form of a single chocolate cupcake with mint frosting and two scoops of green tea ice cream. Tony thinks Giancarlo’s mother may actually be a genius for serving them breath-freshening desserts. He makes a note to have Pepper look into whether he can get her canonized.

 

There are two spoons, of course, and though Tony toys with the idea of trying to feed Steve, he decides that’s probably off the table on the first date. At least in public. But that doesn’t keep him from thoroughly enjoying the expression on Steve’s face as he sucks every last hint of icing off the spoon. Tony’s IQ drops twenty points as all his blood flocks to the party in his pants, but thankfully Steve is too busy with dessert to notice.

 

They linger some over Tony’s last glass of wine—Steve stuck to one since he’s driving—and then Steve pays the bill. Tony feels weird letting him; he literally cannot remember the last time someone paid for his meal outside of a business context, but he isn’t going to insult Steve. He promised Steve could pay.

 

Then they collect their helmets and walk outside into the twilight, and Tony, used to the warmth of the restaurant, shivers a bit at the chill. Not half a second later he has to turn around because he hears the buzz of a zipper. “Don’t,” Tony says seriously, putting a hand over Steve’s on his leather jacket. “If you do something ridiculous like offer me your jacket in public I am going to get us arrested for public indecency.”

 

Steve frowns a little but doesn’t make a further move on the zipper. “But won’t you be cold?”

 

Tony pats his (really extremely very firm) chest. “You’ll just have to warm me up once you get me home.”

 

Steve shakes his head, but Tony knows better: that’s not a refusal.

 

*

 

Truth told, Tony is feeling a little chilly by the time he directs Steve into the parking garage under Stark Tower. For a bout thirty seconds, Tony lets Steve believe he’s doing the gentlemanly thing and walking Tony to the elevator, and then he steps in close and plants his hands firmly on Steve’s hips.

 

Well, okay, let’s be honest, on his ass.

 

Still, this is important, so he makes lots of eye contact. “Listen, Steve, I’m going to level with you. You’re way too good for me. You’re hot and funny and actually a nice guy, which I think we’ve established I’m not. But I’m selfish and I like you, so I’m not going to do the right thing and tell you you’re better off without me, I’m going to invite you up for coffee.”

 

Steve flushes and—slides his hands into Tony’s back pockets. Tony may make an embarrassing gnnh sound. “Coffee, huh?”

 

Play it cool, Stark. “I like coffee, coffee’s good. Do you like coffee?” Yeah, Tony is a little rusty.

 

Steve still hasn’t broken eye contact. His baby blues are hypnotic. “And what exactly does ‘coffee’ mean?”

 

He swallows, and the movement draws Tony’s eyes and breaks the spell. Tony lets his lips curl upward. “Anything I think you’ll let me get away with,” he says honestly. “And probably then some. Including just coffee, if you’re into that.”

 

At long fucking last, the elevator arrives. Steve says, “I don’t actually like coffee,” and then they’re making out like teenagers in the elevator, and thank God for Jarvis because Tony refuses to take his hands off Steve’s ass to hit the button. Steve’s ass is magnificent.

 

Tony’s going to find out if he likes being bitten there too.

 

They stumble through the penthouse, shedding clothing as they go, until Steve almost trips out of his jeans at the bedroom door and Tony decides they can afford to slow down just a little.

 

He wants to drive Steve crazy.

 

Steve looks even better splayed out in his boxers on Tony’s bed than he did naked on the couch this morning, though that could be personal bias. Unfortunately, now that they aren’t directly touching anymore, he seems to be developing a sudden case of bashfulness: he won’t meet Tony’s eyes, and he holds his hands awkwardly at his sides like he doesn’t know what to do with them.

 

That much Tony can fix. He finishes sliding off his own jeans, toes off his socks, and does what his libido’s been telling him to do since eleven o’clock this morning and climbs into Steve’s lap.

 

He’s totally right about the hand thing. Steve gets the idea immediately, or else it’s muscle memory that makes him put his hands back on Tony’s ass. Tony doesn’t care which.

 

Tony makes himself comfortable straddling the perfection of Steve’s abdomen and braces himself on his hands so he can look Steve straight in the eye. “So before you panic, let’s talk. And by let’s I mean me, because I think we’ve established you’re not so comfortable asking for what you want.”

 

“Um.” Steve nods. His flush has spread all the way down to his navel, and he’s squirming. Tony can’t tell if he’s trying to get his erection closer to Tony’s ass or farther away, but he approves of the squirming either way.

 

“For the purposes of this exercise, if I want something, I’ll ask you for it. Say yes, say no, say please, whatever. I won’t do anything you don’t explicitly agree to. Sound good?”

 

This time Steve swallows first before nodding; if Tony’s not much mistaken, he’s got a little bruise on his neck from this morning. Tony is lucky he didn’t notice it earlier, or he would’ve been distracted. Well, more distracted, anyway.

 

“Good. Meanwhile, you’re not so talkative, so anything you want, you can just assume the answer’s yes and go for it. I’ll let you know if it’s not, but I’m flexible.”

 

Steve clenches his fingers reflexively on Tony’s ass. Tony takes that as agreement.

 

“God, you have big hands. We’re going to explore that in depth later. For now, I’d like to kiss you again. That okay?”

 

In answer Steve surges up off the bed and rolls Tony to his back next to him, which is so unexpected and hot Tony doesn’t have time for a smartass quip before Steve’s mouth crashes down on his. Apparently kissing is still on the green list. Tony parts his lips and licks at Steve’s tongue and decides not to worry about the details.

 

At least, until four minutes later, when they’re still kissing each other breathless and not really touching anywhere else. Tony has plans tonight, goddammit, and none of them involve Steve leaving without being thoroughly deflowered. Bare minimum, there should be orgasms.

 

But he did promise to be good, or at least to ask first (which Steve doesn’t yet know is anathema to Tony’s entire existence; he much prefers to beg—demand—forgiveness than permission), so he slips his hand into Steve’s hair and pulls him back just far enough to say, “Let me touch you,” which isn’t actually a question, but close enough.

 

Steve nods breathlessly and lets Tony shove him over until they’re lying on their sides, and he feels just as firm and warm and delicious under Tony’s hands as Tony remembers.

 

Also, Steve makes the best noises, especially when Tony scrapes his thumbnail over the tight bud of his nipple.

 

The full-body shudder that runs through him when Tony bites his lower lip reminds Tony of other promises he’s made himself, though, so after a thorough manual exploration of Steve’s chest (perfect), abs (glorious), and the indentation at his hip (revelatory), Tony coaxes him to lie on his back. “How do you feel about further exploring that biting thing?” Tony murmurs as he straddles Steve’s waist again, and again Steve doesn’t hesitate to put his hands back where they belong. Fast learner.

 

“God, yes, please,” he chokes out, and he isn’t shy about bucking upward, either.

 

Tony loves his life.

 

Of course, unlike this morning, he has zero intention of stopping at Steve’s neck.

 

Steve moves his hands into Tony’s hair as Tony licks down his collarbone. Tony fastens his mouth over the skin where his right clavicle meets his breastbone, sucks until he knows he’s bruised the skin. Then he bites down, not too hard but enough for Steve to feel it.

 

If Steve’s whine and the tightening of his fingers are any indication, he likes that, so Tony obliges him by doing it again on the other side. This time Steve bucks his hips up against Tony’s ass; there’s really no mistaking that as anything but a stamp of approval.

 

He doesn’t bother asking if Steve minds if Tony holds him down a little has he migrates south. If he doesn’t like it, he’s certainly strong enough to throw Tony off. And anyway, Tony has to put his hands somewhere.

 

At the first touch of Tony’s tongue on his nipple, Steve makes a noise Tony can’t even categorize, it’s so far outside the realm of things he’s heard before. But it must be good, because Steve’s cock jerks hard against the inside of Tony’s thigh, and Tony can feel the wetness through two sets of fabric.

 

When he bites down, Steve releases his hair to fist the sheets instead, like he’s afraid he’s going to fly off the bed. Tony rewards him by pinching his other nipple hard and mouthing down the alabaster planes of Steve’s perfect body.

 

This is some serious ee cummings shit right here.

 

Tony mouths a trail down the center of Steve’s chest, with a short stop along the way down to suck a vivid purple hickey two inches below his sternum. Then he scrapes his teeth down and tongue-fucks his navel.

 

By now Tony’s kneeling between his thighs, so when Steve arches off the bed, his dick brushes against Tony’s chest, and he lets out a stuttering moan.

 

Tony pulls back and traces his fingertips over the waistband of Steve’s boxers. “Let me take these off you, beautiful. I know you like it when I talk dirty to you, but trust me when I say that’s not all my mouth is good for.” He tries not to hold his breath. Tony has been thinking about this all day. If he doesn’t get to suck Steve’s dick, he may die.

 

He feels like maybe he should’ve asked before he made his way down here, because Steve’s getting skittish again, and Tony hates that. He moves his right hand to the inside of Steve’s thigh in an attempt to be reassuring. Okay, who is he kidding, it’s a blatant play to get Steve too turned on to freak out, and it totally works.

 

“Okay,” he says faintly, and Tony is a genius but it still takes all of his concentration to get Steve the rest of the way naked without getting kicked in the face, because yes, finally.

 

For a second Tony has to fight the urge to put his head down on Steve’s thigh and cry at the utter perfection laid out in front of him. Steve’s hard and red and dripping, his erection pressed almost against his stomach, every line of his body taut with anticipation. Then the urge passes and Tony scoots up to kiss Steve to distraction while he palms the tube of lubricant he put under the pillow earlier.

 

Genius, remember?

 

Tony doesn’t let the kiss get too deep, though, because he doesn’t want to give Steve a chance to back out of having his dick sucked. The second Steve starts to bring his hand up to cradle his head, Tony slides back down between his legs and makes himself comfortable.

 

And then he pauses. Tony wants to do this right. You only get one first blow job, after all, and while he’s shooting to convince Steve Tony should fill all his future blow job needs, there’s a chance he won’t succeed, in which case this will be Steve’s benchmark blow job. Tony Stark does not do anything by half measures—he intends to set a record nobody else can touch.

 

In other words, Tony thinks to himself a little hysterically, go big or go home. And Steve definitely fits the bill.

 

Taking a steadying breath, Tony slides his hands up the insides of Steve’s thighs and down again, gently coaxing them farther apart. The more vulnerable Steve allows himself to be, the better this will be for him.

 

Tony presses his lips to the inside of Steve’s thigh and runs his tongue up toward his groin. He shifts his right hand up just a little so his thumb brushes Steve’s sac, then sweeps it down once as he leaves a sucking bite mark on the other side.

 

Steve’s body jerks like he’s been electrocuted. “Tony!”

 

The sound skips Tony’s brain and goes straight to his lips, and just like that he has a mouthful of Steve’s dick, hot and salty and hard under his tongue. He keeps his hands where they are; this way Steve doesn’t have any leverage, all he can do is lie there and take it as Tony sucks him.

 

Well. Lie there and take it and make some gloriously hot noises.

 

Tony brushes his fingers over Steve’s balls again, slower this time, reaching lower. Steve chokes out a gasp and pulses precome into Tony’s mouth.

 

Tony pulls back and works Steve with his hand instead. “Next time I think I’ll make you ask for this,” he says hoarsely, tracing a circle over the head of Steve’s cock with his thumb.

 

“Oh God.” Steve bucks up again, breathing hard as he looks down his body at Tony. “Why did you—unnngh.”

 

Holding his gaze, Tony licks the last of the moisture from his thumb. “Why’d I stop?” He rolls Steve’s balls in his left hand.

 

Steve shudders. “Yeah.”

 

“Hard to talk with my mouth full.” He quits teasing and strokes Steve once firmly, tip to root, and keeps his hand there in a tight circle. He holds up the lubricant in his other hand. “You gonna let me, peaches? Let me work you open on my fingers?” Another stroke. “Promise I’m good with my hands.”

 

It’s probably not fair that he’s asking in the middle of a masterpiece blow job, but Tony didn’t get where he is in life by playing fair.

 

Steve’s still shaking when he says yes.

 

Which, thank God he does, because Tony needs his cock back in his mouth now. Actually, scratch that, he’s a little rusty but he can probably get it most of the way down his throat—

 

Tony’s eyes roll up at the sound Steve makes then, and he has to send a very stern message to his own erection not to get too invested in these proceedings and hump Steve’s leg, because this will all be over. Instead he concentrates on getting the lube open and slicking up his fingers, because he plans to fuck Steve through the mattress in short order, but he won’t hurt him.

 

Steve actually swears when Tony pushes the first finger into him, a short, sharp fuck Tony can almost taste. His body tenses, so Tony eases off for a minute, licks at the head of his cock and works his finger slowly. By the time Steve’s ready for another finger, he’s writhing on the bed, trying to get Tony deeper inside and to get deeper inside Tony’s mouth at the same time. 

 

Tony obliges him by relaxing his jaw and working his mouth down to the base of Steve’s dick as he pushes in with finger number two.

 

Then he crooks his fingers just so and pulls back enough to let his teeth scrape ever so gently just below the head, because he’s a genius and he read the signs.

 

“Oh God, Tony, I’m gonna—”

 

God yes, but at the same time no—Tony doesn’t want Steve to be too sensitive. He pulls back and wraps a hand tight around the base of Steve’s cock, staving off an orgasm twenty-five years in the making. Tony aches at the sound Steve makes, high-pitched and grating and utterly destroyed, as he tips his head back against the pillows. His body clenches on Tony’s fingers.

 

Tony can hardly watch. He tries to rein himself in, but he wants Steve so bad he’s throbbing with it. For a second he rests his head on Steve’s thigh, but then Steve fists his hands in Tony’s hair and drags him up.

 

“Kiss me now,” Steve demands hoarsely, and Tony’s way too smart to turn down a command like that. He moves to one side and cradles Steve’s face in one hand as their lips meet.

 

The kiss gives Tony focus, backs him down from the edge, though he can tell Steve is still hanging there by a thread, waiting to go off. “Okay?”

 

Steve huffs a laugh. His all-over flush is back and just as obscenely attractive as Tony remembers. “Don’t be smug.” His pupils are huge, every line of his body tight.

 

“Oh, kitten, that’s like telling me not to breathe.” Tony kisses him again, a quick one, then bites at his lower lip and really lets himself enjoy it. He keeps one hand against Steve’s cheek, grounding them both.

 

At least until Steve closes his hand around Tony’s cloth-covered erection. Tony knew he was dangerous. “Is this…?”

 

“You’re doing great, gorgeous,” Tony pants, because Steve’s hand feels fantastic and he’s been hard for about a year. Big hands: Tony’s a fan. “God, Steve, as amazing as that is, please tell me I can fuck you. I will make it so good for you. You don’t have to, I would be more than happy to go back to sucking your dick, but I would hate myself for not asking, you’re perfect—”

 

Steve yanks his hand back from Tony’s body and curls it around his own dick. “God, stop talking, you’re going to—” He shudders.

 

Well, that answers that, right? “So, yes?”

 

“Sometime this century would be nice,” Steve says in a strangled voice as he rolls onto his back again.

 

Tony’s never put on a condom so fast in his life. One more hit of lube and a conveniently relocated pillow later, he pushes inside, watching Steve’s expression shift between pleasure and trust and pain.

 

Holding himself still takes all his resolve; to say Tony’s never been good at self-denial would be a gross underrepresentation of the truth. Fortunately Steve doesn’t seem to need coddling, which is to say he moans like a whore, plants his feet on the bed, and gasps, “Jesus, Tony, I’m a virgin, not a sparkly glass unicorn. Move.”

 

Tony doesn’t propose on the spot, but it’s close. “You can be in charge next time, buttercup,” he promises instead, because hey, equal opportunity and all that. Then he digs his feet into the mattress and draws back carefully, and everything coalesces into a hazy blur of sex and skin and sweat.

 

“Ohh-kay,” Steve groans, arching his body into Tony’s slow, firm thrusts. The sheer beauty of him is distracting; he should be on display in a museum, or better yet, Tony’s private art collection.

 

“Is this what you wanted, precious?” Tony teases, only a little breathless. Who wouldn’t be? He pulls Steve’s legs higher, rests his knees over his shoulders to get better access.

 

Steve shudders—in part, Tony suspects, because the new angle is awesome, but it’s also part laugh. “Precious?”

 

Maybe that was taking it a little far. Tony grins. “So that’s where the line is.” He leans down, and Steve’s apparently flexible because he doesn’t complain about being folded in half, he mewls. Tony takes his weight on his left arm and brushes their noses together, then ghosts his mouth over Steve’s in a tease of a kiss.

 

When he wraps his fingers around Steve’s dick, Steve jolts beneath him and bites out a cry. Tony kisses it away, then trails his lips back along Steve’s jawline to his ear. “I think you like it,” he murmurs, still thrusting as slow as he can stand. “You let me call you hot stuff, sweetheart, kitten”—he twists his hand and Steve whimpers, his erection leaking steadily—“gorgeous. But not precious. Scared I might mean it?”

 

He draws back a few inches, just far enough to see the blue of Steve’s eyes. He licks his lips. “No.”

 

Tony smiles. “Good.” Finally he snaps his hips a little harder, a little faster.

 

Steve gets his hands in Tony’s hair again and pulls—because Tony doesn’t already have enough of a kink for that—and then kisses him, hot and messy with the sting of teeth. But it can’t last forever; eventually Steve throws his head back to breathe, and Tony nuzzles back to his ear again and murmurs, “Steve.”

 

Steve’s orgasm is the most perfect thing Tony has ever seen: the curve of his body, the flush across his cheekbones, the shine of Tony’s saliva on his mouth, the splashes of white on his chest and stomach, Tony’s hand a dark contrast against his cock. Tony gets about half a second to enjoy Steve’s choked-out “Tony,” the sudden clench of muscles around his erection, before the lights-out of his own orgasm washes over him.

 

Tony comes back to himself on his side next to Steve on the bed, and the inside of his head is so quiet he has to double-check to make sure he still knows all the rest of those laws of thermodynamics. There are things he should be doing, like getting Steve a washcloth and disposing of the condom, but right now the most important one is rolling over and kissing Steve again, touching him again.

 

Steve’s still shaking, a bit, but Tony graciously doesn’t mention it. He lets Steve kiss him until it’s under control, and then he excuses himself with one final peck. “Be right back. Don’t go anywhere.” Just in case Steve gets ideas.

 

When they’re both as clean as they can get without standing under running water, Tony nudges Steve over and pulls back the covers.

 

Steve stands awkwardly, naked, shifting from foot to foot. Tony tries not to stare at the vivid purple hickey in the center of his chest and fails spectacularly. “Um,” he says. “Should I…?”

 

It occurs to Tony that Steve thinks Tony is kicking him out after that. The thought hurts more than it should, but Steve obviously doesn’t want to go, which is a fairly good balm for the wound.

 

“Are you kidding? I’m not letting you out of my bed until I’ve ruined you for the rest of America.” Tony’s not very good at serious conversations like I’m keeping you, but he has a lot of practice implying what he means with a healthy dose of innuendo. “Get back in bed. You already know I bite, but I promise to let you sleep first.”

 

He wants to beat his chest in victory when Steve flushes. Tony hopes he keeps doing that forever.

 

Tony climbs in afterward and makes a point of draping himself over Steve like an extremely affectionate octopus. “Jarvis, lights out.” He presses a kiss to Steve’s shoulder. “Now go to sleep, precious. You’re going to need the energy.”

 

He hears the smile in Steve’s voice; Steve is totally humoring him, and that’s fine. “Whatever you say, Tony.” He goes quiet for a minute, but then his hand finds Tony’s in the darkness, and he raises it to his lips and kisses it like the hopeless romantic he is.

 

Tony’s just glad Steve can’t see his face right now. It’s embarrassing how happy that makes him.

 

He’s almost asleep when Steve says, “Hey, Tony?”

 

He shifts his head on Steve’s shoulder. “Hmm?”

 

There’s the briefest of pauses. Then Steve says, “Do you still have the video?”