Tony's been staring at him all day.
Of course, Tony often stares at him, but it's usually with intent and heat that invariably makes Steve's breath come faster, and Tony also doesn't usually content himself with simply staring for long, Tony having no qualms about interrupting Steve any time no matter what he's doing, whether Steve's in the middle of a workout, or even simply reading, and trying to entice Steve back to their bedroom. Steve has to admit Tony usually gets his way with that too, occasionally even more than once a day, although Steve can't complain too much about Tony's sexual appetites because Steve's found his own sexual needs are much larger than he used to think.
But Tony isn't doing that today. Oh, he's staring all right, but it's not sexual, and that makes Steve slightly… not nervous, exactly, but jittery, or maybe restless. He knows what Tony's normal stare means and what it'll lead to, but this one is different; it's not knowing that's putting Steve on edge. It makes Steve feel a little self-conscious too, because he's wondering what Tony could possibly be thinking of when he stares at him if not dragging Steve back to bed.
Tony's never been shy about his staring, not caring if he's being blatantly obvious when he rakes hot eyes over Steve, and Steve likes it; he likes knowing he's wanted, that Tony wants him, and his body always reacts to Tony in the best of ways.
But today Tony's stare is more contemplative than anything else, like Steve presents a puzzle that Tony can't work out. It's strange. They've been together for months now, and Steve's decision to change their friendship to something more meant he was ready to open up to Tony in all ways. He doesn't hide anything from Tony, not his thoughts or desires or fears, nothing that would lead Tony to this sudden silent contemplation.
Surely Tony's not contemplating their relationship, or thinking of something like an anniversary. Steve knows that Tony loves him – Tony says it more with his actions than his words, though sometimes Tony whispers I love you in his ear just before Steve falls asleep – but Tony isn't one for overt or frequent romance, which suits Steve fine. He needs what Tony gives him: strong unwavering support and brief little caresses of affection.
So what could possibly be occupying Tony's mind? Steve's relatively sure Tony eventually will tell him because there's no doubt that Tony is confrontational and direct when it he wants to be, but it's difficult to not react to the stares and to concentrate on anything besides Tony's heavy gaze. The day passes by unbearably slowly, and after twenty minutes of Steve's trying concentrate on chopping some vegetables for dinner while Tony's sitting across the room at the bar pretending to read, Steve's just about to confront Tony himself when Tony's suddenly behind to him, crowding him against the counter.
The heat from Tony's body soaks through Steve's clothes and Tony's breath is hot on his neck. Steve can't help tensing after being hyperaware and alert all day.
Tony nuzzles into the curve of his neck and some of the tension bleeds out of him; hopefully this means Tony isn't cross with him, or unhappy.
"Hmm," Tony murmurs, putting his arms around Steve's torso tight enough to be felt, to be possessive, but not enough to hurt. "I noticed something about you today, Cap. Something new."
Well, that partly explains Tony's staring, but it doesn't really explain much, or what Steve really wants to know. "Um." Steve has to swallow, even now his body reacting to Tony's nearness in ways that Steve doesn't want at the moment. He wants to know what Tony's been thinking, not get distracted. "What is it?"
Steve really has no idea what Tony's talking about; he's the same as he always is. Tony chuckles, Steve's skin breaking out in goose bumps from the puff of air, and Steve thinks Tony sounds amused.
"This," Tony says before Steve can do anything but frown a bit, and he rubs his cheek over Steve's.
The proverbial light bulb immediately goes off, and Steve ducks his head, feeling heat rush to his face. "Oh. I forgot."
Tony chuckles again, and now there's no mistaking the amusement. It only deepens Steve's flush.
"Apparently," Tony says, and he encourages Steve to turn around, which Steve slowly does. How could he have forgotten about that? Of course Tony would have noticed. All that worrying Steve did, and Tony was only distracted by the stubble Steve didn’t shave that morning.
"Do you like it?" Steve asks. Tony must either love or hate it, or otherwise he wouldn’t have spent so much time staring at him, and Steve's curious which it is.
Tony raises a hand to Steve's face, and he's gentle when he starts stroking over the coarse stubble that's covering most of Steve's face. It feels good, soothing, but also arousing. Tony's touch is always like that.
"I do," Tony says quietly as he leans closer, their mouths almost touching.
Now that Steve knows why Tony was staring at him and that he's presumably not put off by the facial hair – Tony wouldn’t lie to him, after all – Steve doesn’t try to stop his body from fully responding to Tony. He wants Tony to touch him, kiss him.
"I was lazy this morning," Steve offers, feeling compelled to explain even though he's almost embarrassed by the admission; he doesn't like to be lazy, inactive. But things have been so quiet around the Tower lately, so calm that it rubbed off on Steve and he didn't want to shave this morning; he spent the extra time in bed with Tony instead.
Tony smiles at him, a little wicked, Steve thinks. "Well, I can't say I disapprove, Cap. You look good with a bit of scruff."
Tony leers at him and abruptly pushes his hips against Steve's, and Steve gasps, helplessly pushing back. He should be embarrassed by how quickly and deeply Tony affects him, but he can't be when it feels so good. "Tony…"
Tony leans even closer, but instead of the kiss Steve desperately wants, Tony drags his lips over Steve's cheek, hard enough that Steve knows Tony's lips will be a little burned. Steve grabs Tony's hips, needing something solid to hold onto. The sensation is more arousing than Steve was expecting, and the ache in his groin intensifies. Tony keeps rubbing his lips over Steve's cheek, Steve feeling the heat generated by the friction, and he's not sure how much more of this he can take.
"Tony," he says again, past the point of being caring how raspy his voice is. "Please."
Tony just grinds their groins together again, and all Steve can do is moan and let Tony do as he pleases. Tony always does, and whatever pleases Tony pleases Steve, too. When Tony finally draws back, Steve's already a panting strung out mess, ridiculously turned on. His eyes zero in on Tony's lips, which are just as beautifully swollen and tender-looking, red and inflamed as Steve was hoping they would be. He licks his own lips, wanting to taste Tony's, to feel the heat.
When Steve finally manages to pull his gaze away from Tony's mouth and up to his eyes, Steve can see how pleased with himself Tony is, how much he's enjoying Steve's reaction. But it doesn't matter; Tony's hard against him, just as affected by what happened as Steve is, and it only heightens Steve's arousal for Tony to see him like this.
Tony slowly smirks, eyes lazy and hooded. "How about we find out how that scruff feels against other parts of my body, hmm, Cap?" he says, raising his arms so he can tangle his fingers in Steve's hair.
Steve's nodding frantically before Tony even gets all the words out, barely managing to hold in a groan. "Yes. Bedroom. Now."
Tony looks even more smug if that’s possible by Steve's eagerness, but Steve doesn't care that Tony knows exactly how to play him, exactly how to push his buttons so Steve does what he wants; all that matters is getting Tony naked and under him as fast as possible. Steve will soon enough wipe that self-satisfied smirk off Tony's face and replace it with sharp and intense pleasure, and then Steve will be the smug one.
"Someone's excited," Tony comments lightly, and Steve's rapidly losing patience. Tony does this on purpose, Steve knows; Tony likes it when he makes Steve lose control and jump him, since it's so often Tony jumping Steve.
"You know I am," Steve says gruffly, finally taking Tony's sore lips in a rough, deep kiss that has Tony moaning into his mouth.
Steve likes seeing the dazed expression in Tony's eyes when Steve ends it almost as much as feeling Tony rubbing insistently against him. Without waiting for a response, because Steve wouldn't put it past Tony to be have something else sarcastic to say and Steve really needed to have Tony spread out on their bed five minutes ago, Steve pushes off the counter and steers them both out of the kitchen, forgetting all about the half-chopped vegetables. Dinner can definitely wait; he has infinitely more important things to do.