Clint stalked through the foyer, a rather impressive evening gown sweeping the floor and showcasing heels. His face was drawn in a scowl.
“Don't ask,” he ordered Steve.
Steve was left gawping after him as Tony wolf-whistled. Clint casually flipped him the bird without turning around.
Tony chuckled. “See something you like, soldier?”
Ever since he'd admitted to liking guys as much as gals (women! Natasha would kill him), there had been some friendly teasing. Sexual attitudes sure were different these days. But as that seemed to be the norm on his team, it didn't worry him. This- he didn't know how to tell Tony this. He was vaguely aware of making a protesting sound. His tongue was all tangled up with his mind, a panicked, envious, desire-sharp blur of men can do that now? that he didn't have a chance in hell of expressing.
Steve meant to leave it alone. It wasn't really any of his business why Clint had worn that dress. He'd even said not to ask. But...
But Steve had been up half the night, tossing and turning. He wanted the dress with a visceral ache that he couldn't explain. He lasted until two the next afternoon before ending up at Clint's door, having confirmed with JARVIS that the archer was in.
“Hi,” he said when Clint opened the door to his knock. Damn, he could already feel himself blushing. “I, um, I have a question?”
Clint didn't say anything, just arched his eyebrows a bit and gestured Steve inside. This wasn't entirely odd. Despite what people might think, Clint was actually pretty easy about questions. Sure, he and Tony would go at each other. Simple questions directed at Tony ended in complex answers though, and Bruce and Pepper always looked like they wanted to pat him on the head when he asked. Thor had no more idea than he did most of the time. And Natasha scared him.
So: Clint. Who was direct and didn't seem to mind that Steve sometimes missed things.
Steve swallowed and reminded himself that Clint had never laughed at his questions. Not once. “The- dress.” And then he ground to a halt, because he had no idea what to say next.
"Half-mission, half-dare." A smile tugged at the corner's of Clint's lips. "That what you were gonna ask, Cap?" He must have hesitated too long. "No? Huh. Uh, guys sometimes dress up like woman as a joke?"
Steve's lips twisted because, yes, they did that even back in the 40's. "Not...for any other reason?"
"Sometimes as a sex thing."
That's one of the things Steve appreciated about Clint. He never hesitated to be blunt even if he knew it would embarrass Steve. Not that this did, exactly. He was too busy being confused and disappointed. And, wow, his face must have been projecting all sorts of things today, because Clint was abruptly close.
"Hey, Steve?" Clint put a hand on his arm, face carefully neutral. "Are we talking clothes or gender here?"
Steve sucked in a breath. "I don't....know?" He bit his lip, fighting down tears. He didn't understand where they came from ,why this made him feel so vulnerable. He hadn't felt this way in a long time, like his pre-serum self, like he could be knocked over any time.
"We're gonna sit." Clint steered him over to the chairs in front of his huge window. Steve gripped the arms, staring out over the city. After a few breaths, he felt himself relaxing.
"So, uh, I could ask some questions? See if we can sort you out."
Steve swallowed. "Yeah," he said, "that seems like a good idea."
"Right. Uh. Can you picture someone you think is hot in a dress? A man."
Steve shrugged. Sure he could. Tony, leering in some slinky red thing.
"I can picture it."
"But it doesn't really do anything for you?"
"Nope." Steve could tell Clint was watching him carefully. It was the truth, though.
"OK. What about you in a dress?"
All the ease drained from Steve's body. He swallowed around a lump in his throat.
"Hm." Clint twisted toward him. "How do you feel about it? A few feelings."
Steve forced himself to sift through his emotions. "Hot. Shaky. Envious." That was all too revealing. Clint was trying to help, though.
Clint nodded. "Hot- aroused? Sexy? Embarrassed?" There was no judgment in his voice.
Steve nodded once, jerkily. "Yes." His face flamed, he could tell. He was probably the color of a tomato.
"I- want to." Steve took a deep breath. "I want to. Wear something like that. Be- I don't know." Clint waited, but Steve didn't say anything else.
"OK. Would you ever want to get rid of your cock?"
"Erp!" Steve's hands flew protectively to cover himself. Clint snorted.
"Sorry, man, had to ask. What about boobs? Do you want some?"
Steve stared at Clint, then skeptically down at his chest. He couldn't imagine. What on earth would he do with a woman's chest?
"They can do that now, you know. Hormones, surgery. Give people who want breasts but weren't born with them some."
Steve wrinkled his nose. "That...doesn't really sound like fun to me."
"Mmm," Clint agreed. "But some people really need it. In-their-guts need it." He gave Steve a minute to think about that. Outside, the clouds were breaking up. A shaft of sunlight broke through. Steve shivered. "So. You're good with your body. Don't want to change it to make it more female?" He waited for Steve's nod before continuing. "But you want to wear dresses, and it's not a sex thing. Or at least, not just a sex thing."
That sounded like it, yes.
Clint shrugged. "So let's get you some dresses, yeah?"
It wasn't that simple, obviously.
First, there was the problem of procuring dresses. No salesperson was going to believe him if he walked into a store and said he wanted to buy for a woman who was- uh, his size. Right. And he had the swooping feeling that if he bought online, Tony could somehow see his purchases.
And then, well, where would he wear them? In his rooms? What if someone came to see him or they got called out? What if Tony hacked the security feed? Steve couldn't wear dresses until he could talk to his teammates about this, and he couldn't do that until he could explain why it wasn't a joke or a sex thing.
The internet, for once, was no help.
He was maybe getting a little desperate by the time a week passed. It was as though, once he knew this desire was there, he couldn't ignore it anymore. It was sharp.
Tony popped into his room on Sunday. "JARVIS says you're searching the internet like a crazy person and won't let him help." He paused, eyeing Steve. Steve hastily minimized his latest search attempt. "To be honest, I kinda thought you might've discovered porn, but, wow, that is not what's going on. Steve? What's going on?"
"It's private," Steve said.
"Yeah, I got that." And Tony waited.
And maybe it was exhaustion, maybe he'd just hit the end of his rope. Maybe it was even that he knew he could trust Tony. But one way or another, Steve found himself blurting out, "What do you call it when a man wants to dress like a woman but not as a joke and not for sex?"
Tony cocked his head. "Crossdresser?"
Steve shook his head, because that was practically the first thing he'd pulled up. It didn't fit.
Steve blinked. He hadn't heard that before. Cautiously, he opened a new search window and typed in "genderqueer." He scanned the results. His heart rate picked up. Tony was unusually quiet as Steve clicked on a likely link and read through. Steve blew out a long breath. His shoulders came down.
"That. Yeah." He looked over. "Thanks, Tony."
Tony gave him a shrewd look. Steve figured he'd been made. Since he'd already decided he needed to talk to his team, he didn't mind. If one of them had something as big as this felt pressing on them, he'd want to know. And he hated lying, which he'd have to do if he didn't confess. He jut looked at Tony, open and sincere, until Tony left, no more words exchanged.
It took two days after Steve had started browsing the internet for dresses before the Avengers were all at a dinner. Calling a team meeting seemed awkward. Steve wanted to talk to them all at once, though. So once everyone had food on their plates, he cleared his throat. The beginnings of conversation fell quiet.
"I have some personal news I wanted to share with all of you." If he was ever grateful for selling war bonds, it was at times like these, when training kicked in to keep him from stumbling over his words. Clint and Tony probably suspected. Everyone else- well, to say Steve didn't exactly project femininity these days was an understatement. Hyper-masculine body aside, though, this was him. Her. This was what he was.
"Um." Bruce frowned a little, the way he did when he was trying to solve a problem.
Tony smirked. "For the rest of the class, that's when you feel like a man and a woman. Both." He made a so-so gesture with his hand. "Roughly. It's a third gender."
And, wow, this was the first time he'd known something that his teammates didn't. Bizarre. Unfortunate timing, too. He could use people already knowing about his gender right about now. Everyone nodded along with Tony and then looked back at Steve.
"Right," he said. "That's a good explanation. It took me awhile to untangle from liking men. Growing up, being a sissy meant both- liking men and being feminine."
"Still does," Clint piped up. "To stupid people, anyway."
Steve shrugged. "I'm telling you because I've started realizing how much and how often I'm pulling back from how I want to act, because it's not, well, manly. And it hurts, doing that." He felt himself color a little at the confession. "So I'm going to stop, at least when we're here. I'll probably start-" He swallowed. This was the tough part. "-start wearing women's clothes, sometimes. I wanted you to know why."
It was too silent for a minute. Steve tried to keep breathing normally. He forced himself to look around the table. No one shouted. No one looked disgusted. If he were honest about it, once those two facts registered Steve kind of zeroed in on Tony. Tony, who looked smug and pleased, who offered almost immediately to help find Steve clothes.
"Yeah." The heat that stole up his face wasn't entirely embarrassment. "That would be good. Thanks."
Steve found it disconcerting, suddenly being on Tony's radar. It wasn't as though Tony had never talked to him before or anything. But now Tony always had a word or a long, assessing stare. He'd snap out of rambling phone calls with Pepper and genius stares at the wall that meant his brain was working at a million miles an hour and smile at Steve.
Not least because Steve liked it, liked feeling important and maybe being flirted with. Also, he hadn't the faintest idea how to flirt back. If Tony even was flirting. Tony kept doing whatever he was doing, though, so apparently blushing in his general direction worked in Steve's favor.
Tony did find a dress. Several dresses. And skirts, and blouses. Steve insisted on buying them himself. He tried them on in the privacy of his rooms, spinning and letting himself laugh. He watched himself in the mirror, letting his face do what it wanted. Steve saw the softness at the corners of his eyes and lips, the way shyness made him look feminine when he let it. He experimented with tilting his head and- he was embarrassed about this, but- different walks. It turned out he really couldn't sashay. Maybe he'd ask Natasha for tips. Or maybe not, actually.
It took a few days to work up his courage. Tuesday afternoon, though, Steve left his rooms in a skirt and blouse. He didn't meet anyone in the elevator and the common room was empty when he got there. Steve took a deep breath and willed his nerves away. He sat down on the couch, smoothing the skirt as he did, and picked up a book someone had abandoned on the side table. Bruce, probably.
Steve wasn't two sentences in when the elevator dinged and spat Tony out. Tony looked breathless. His hands were clean, but a smear of grease over his bicep and another on his jaw told the tale of what he'd been doing. For once, there was no tablet or phone in sight.
"Hey," Tony said. And then he stopped, and just sort of stared at Steve.
Steve blushed. "Hi?" Tony hummed but didn't restart the conversation. He seemed content to look, eyes wandering over Steve's body. It was the kind of look that made Steve keenly aware that there was less between his underpants and the world than usual.
"Uh. I. I'll be right back." Tony backed toward the elevator. "No, really. Stay here! OK, Cap? Don't go anywhere."
Steve blinked. "OK?"
Steve couldn't read Tony's face when he came back. It was odd, not quite closed down but definitely hiding something. He was clutching a small bundle in his hands.
"Here." Tony coughed and gestured. "Shoes off. They don't- go."
Steve looked down. And, yeah, his beat up sneakers didn't quite fit with the blouse and skirt. He sat down and kicked his shoes off, hesitantly peeling off his athletic socks at Tony's insistence. He wondered how he looked to Tony. Odd? After all, there was nothing feminine about Steve's body. It was part of what messed with his head so badly, his internal sense that he was part girl and his ultra-masculine body. The clothes fit, as much as they were able. He hadn't looked in the mirror this time, though- he'd wanted them because they were soft and delicate, not because they matched some sense of fashion.
Tony knelt down and reached for Steve's foot, revealing a pair of stockings. They were practical, not made of lace or anything. They were blue, and something in the cut made it clear they were a women's stockings.
"They match your eyes," Tony said. He was quieter than usual as he smoothed them on over Steve's feet. It came to Steve in a flash that Tony must have ordered them special. It wasn't like he'd have a pair lying around in Steve's size, was it? He held still under Tony's touch.
Tony got up again. A hint of his usual smirk twitched over his lips. "You don't even need blush, the way you color up," he said. He brushed knuckles over Steve's cheek, just slow enough to be a caress. Steve's breath caught. "You look beautiful, Steve," Tony said.
Steve licked his lips. He ducked his head and peered up at Tony from under his lashes, sharply aware that he was flirting. And doing alright, too, if Tony's smile was anything to go by. Tony's hand drifted down to his jaw.
"Gonna kiss you now." Steve pliantly let Tony lead him into the kiss, warm and lingering. He felt pleasantly flushed when Tony pulled away. Tony looked into his eyes and leaned in again, mouth a slow temptation against Steve's.
A nasty though crept in. Why now? Why when he was- like this? He'd read enough to know that some people were- you know. Into it. Crossdressing and such. He didn't think he could take it if he were a- thing to Tony. Steve didn't realize he'd gone stiff until Tony pulled back.
"Cap? Something wrong?"
"I- why'd you kiss me?"
Tony tilted his head to the side, eyebrows lifting curiously. "Because I wanted to, and you seemed like you wanted me to."
Steve steeled himself. "Why now?" He looked pointedly down at his clothes, pretty even by his standards.
Tony's lips quirked a little when he looked back up. "I don't think you realize how you seem most of the time. I mean, you obviously know that you're big and strong, but I don't think you quite get the other stuff. It's sort of-" He reached out and ran a thumb over Steve's mouth, "- it's like, when you're all manned up, you've got this chiseled jaw thing going. It's intimidating. And when you're like this, you're, I don't know. Softer? Soft lips, more approachable." Tony snorted at his description. "I mean, I know you've got the same mouth and the same jaw all the time, but it's different, too, you know? I still want all the time, but I didn't know I could have until I saw you like this."
Steve's gut settled. "You know you're still touching my mouth, right?" He anticipated Tony trying to snatch his hand away and stopped the movement before it could start. Steve turned his head and slid his lips around the tip of Tony's index finger. Tony groaned.
"Are we done talking? Tell me we're done talking."
Steve flicked his tongue and pulled Tony into his lap for what would hopefully be a nice afternoon of necking.
Tony didn't take long to make his move, Steve would give him that. The next day as he put together lunch, Tony wandered in. His hair was mussed as though he'd just risen, which was probably the case. Steve turned back to the stove in time to flip the grilled cheese sandwiches over.
Warm hands settled on his waist. Steve startled as Tony pressed in close, his scruffy cheek rubbing sleepily between Steve's shoulder blades. "Mornin', Steve."
Steve turned the oven off and stepped carefully back, turning in to Tony. Tony made a pleased sound and pulled him down for a kiss. Steve kissed him slowly and carefully, trying to communicate his pleasure at having Tony pressed up against him like this, while Steve was dressed in jeans and an undershirt, every bit as attracted to Steve's masculinity as his femininity. Tony sighed into his mouth. Behind them, a fork clattered as Bruce apparently surfaced enough from his science paper to register his teammates kissing.
Tony drew back. "A good morning, even," he murmured to Steve. Then, louder, "Morning, Brucie!"
Dinner at seven, my floor. Wear something nice.
The note was elegantly scripted, on heavy vellum paper. It had been left on his nightstand. Steve swallowed. His heart pounded. Twice, they'd been out on dates- a restaurant and a movie marathon of "Star Wars", which Steve had loved, and a picnic on the beach after a theme park. Tony had sought him out a few times in the confines of the Tower too, and not always just to neck. Steve had returned the favor.
Though the necking had been- very, very nice. So nice that the last time had been close. Steve blushed, remembering it. Steve hadn't wanted to stop, actually. Had said as much. Tony insisted that he go away and think about it before they do anything else.
And now he had an invitation for a dinner in. Steve swallowed, cock twitching. OK. He could do this. Something nice. He opened his closet. He knew there was a tux, and the dress uniform. And, of course, two long skirts he'd purchased for himself. Steve bit his lip.
Nothing looked right. His eyes skittered restlessly around the room. Obviously, there wasn't time to order something. But, dammit, he didn't want to just make do. Not for this. He wanted something new- something nice, but maybe something that would surprise Tony, too.
Steve took a deep breath. Only one thing for it. He dug his phone out of his pocket and punched in a number. It rang twice before the owner picked up.
"Natasha? I have a, um, a clothes problem. You said I could call?"
Natasha shopping was terrifying, but, Steve admitted, she got the job done. Tony seemed frozen, nothing but his eyes moving as they swept slowly over Steve. Having stared at himself in the mirror for an embarrassingly long time, Steve knew exactly what he was seeing. The blue top, darker than Steve's eyes, was off-the-shoulders, with sleeves that stopped just short of his elbows. When Steve had complained about feeling bare, Natasha had fetched him jewelry options. The clear gem, cut to look like a diamond, caught the light at the base of his throat, held in place by a thin gold band. His skirt- Steve shifted a little. His skirt was leather. Black. Quite a bit shorter than anything Steve had worn before. His legs were covered by stockings, an older style that Natasha assured him were perfect for a hot date. Steve had blushed, but bought them anyway. They stopped below the knee, then were attached to garters visible on Steve's upper thighs.
Actually, they looked a bit like those things the USS girls had worn. Good thing Steve wasn't going out.
The heels had been the hardest to decide on. Natasha'd all but forced him into them. He could see her point, though, about which muscles were tensed in heels and how it shifted the center of balance. Even the relatively low heels he'd chosen did the trick. Steve took a few careful steps forward.
"Aren't you going to take my jacket, Tony?"
"Guh." Tony started. He came forward, looking strikingly handsome in a white button down and slacks, feet bare. "Yes. Jesus, Steve, you look-"
"Nice?" Steve slid Tony a teasing smile.
Tony chuckled, voice a little rough. His hands caressed Steve's motorcycle jacket, easing it down Steve's arms and off. "Very," he said, one hand on Steve's hip.
Steve's breath caught and he swayed toward Tony, eyes dropping to his mouth.
"Steve," Tony murmured, "if you want dinner, you need to stop looking at me like that."
Feeling suddenly sure of himself, Steve said, "I think I'll have dessert first, thanks."
That was all it took for Tony's mouth to be on him. It was lush, like drinking from an oasis after being in the desert sun all day, exactly what Steve needed. Tony's hand moved from his hip to his hair, gripping tight. Steve moaned, startled at the sound. Christ, they'd barely begun. Steve kissed back hungrily, scraping his teeth a little over Tony's bottom lip the way he knew Tony liked. He got his arms around Tony. He needed to feel Tony closer to him. The body heat felt like it was going to set his brain on fire.
Tony pulled back, gasping. "Fuck." His eyes caught on the gem at Steve's throat. "Fuck. Steve, you don't even know-" His hands moved restlessly over Steve as he spoke, rough over his sides, settling high on his thighs, just under the skirt. "I want to suck your cock." Steve jolted, his cock filling so fast he felt dizzy. God, he should've known Tony'd be like this, all hands and hot words. "Don't take anything off, don't- just let me, tell me I can." Tony swallowed. His eyes were dark and he looked wrecked. "Please, Steve, can I?"
Steve couldn't even bother to be embarrassed, he wanted so much. He hauled Tony in, kissed him again, long and hot until their hips were jostling against each other, until he could feel Tony through his pants. It was so good. He felt it everywhere.
"Yes," Steve said, panting it against Tony's mouth.
Tony moaned. "Yes?"
Steve pulled back the tiniest fraction. "Yes."
Toy shivered, started to sink to his knees right there. Steve grabbed him.
"Wait! I can't-" Steve laughed a little. "There's no way I can stand through this, Tony." Tony's eyes flicked to the side, and he dragged Steve to the couch. He pushed Steve down on it. Steve swallowed, a hint of nerves working their way up.
Tony paused and bent down. He kissed Steve again, cupping his cheek. "I'm going to make this so good for you, gorgeous."
Steve shivered as Tony settled between his thighs. He was still fighting for an answer when Tony's mouth landed on his thigh. Steve looked down the line of his body, where his erection was distorting the line of his skirt and Tony was licking around the top of his garters, and lost his breath. Tony nipped his thigh then used his tongue to trace the lines of Steve's muscles. His hands were folded comfortable behind him, using only his mouth to drive Steve slowly out of his mind. Steve couldn't stop his hips from twitching up, hopeful.
Tony looked up, mouth wet, eyes dark. "I bet you taste good, don't you, beautiful? I can smell you. Are you getting wet for me, baby?"
Oh. Oh. Steve gasped and writhed up. Was Tony-? Was he really going to-
"Spread your thighs for me, pretty girl." Steve shuddered and did as he was told. Tony's eyes traced over him as he eased the skirt up. It felt like he was seeing Steve, seeing everything about him, about her. Steve unfurled into it, choking on a whine that had a hint of tears in it. This. He needed this.
Tony tightened his grip on Steve's thighs. "I've got you." His eyes dropped, taking in the slash of midnight blue satin holding in Steve's cock. He sucked in a sharp breath and leaned forward. "God. Steve."
Tony's eyes fluttered shut as he leaned in the last little bit. It seemed to take forever. Steve could hear his heartbeat pounding in his ears. Tony rubbed his cheek gently up Steve's cock, then flicked his tongue over the head, through the underwear. Steve cried out.
"Shh, I know. Sensitive. Let me show you..." Tony was slower the second time, a long wet swipe over the head of his cock that felt like it was tearing Steve's soul out with it.
"Please," he whimpered, "please, Tony." Tony eased the underwear down, enough to let Steve's cock out. He pressed it up against Steve's stomach and held it there, one hand pressed firmly to the length. His mouth came back, drawing slow, tight circles over the head, occasionally moving to delicately tease the slit. Nonsense syllables escaped Steve, desperate panting loud in the quiet of the room. He had both hands white-knuckled on the couch- the couch, hell, they hadn't even made it to a bedroom. He knew Tony had the floor locked down, but it still felt like anyone could come in, could see- see Steve like this, spread out and wild, skirt pushed up over his hips. Steve sobbed.
"Just grind against my hand, baby. I'm not even gonna get inside you yet, want you to come like this first."
This was like nothing Steve had imagined, and suddenly he knew why. His cock pulsed, pre-come leaking out.
Tony made an approving sound. "So wet." He thumbed the head, smearing pre-come down Steve's cock before trapping it again. "Do you like it? Like me licking you here, where you're most sensitive?"
This was how Tony would touch him if he were a girl. If he had a- Tony would, just like this-
"Come on, pretty." And Tony fit his mouth over Steve, just the head, sucking. Steve had just a second to shake with it, to feel it tensing his thighs and crawling up his body. He threw back his head and came, and it was good, it was so good, God. Tony let go of him and swallowed him down and Steve shouted out his pleasure. The sweet pressure disappeared while his head was still spinning and Tony kissed him, licking into him like he had at the start, only now he tasted like Steve. Steve moaned weakly. When Tony drew back, he looked just a little smug.
"You know, Steve, most women are multi-orgasmic." Steve swallowed heavily. "Have you ever had multiple orgasms?" Steve shook his head slowly. The handful of fumbles he'd managed in the army were nothing like this. Tony's grin widened. "Would you like to?"
And, OK, who said no to that? Steve nodded, breathing out slowly.
Tony's voice was as wicked as his smile. "Get up, sweetheart. Let's take this to the bedroom. I'm not nearly done with you."