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The Highest Form of Friendship

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"Do you ever wonder what would have happened if we'd found you earlier?"

Steve does not have time for this.

“No,” he says shortly, turning down a side hallway and taking the fast way downstairs.  (The fast way consists of flinging himself over the side of the fire stair’s banister and grabbing a rail before hitting the bottom. Steve sort of loves the fast way, to be honest.)

“Imagine if we’d found you back before I went to Afghanistan,” Tony says.

“Wouldn’t have happened,” Steve grunts, and then adds before Tony can continue, “Chatter on the comms.”

Tony takes the unsubtle hint, and lets the conversation die. For now.

 


 

Two days later, though, backstage before an Avengers press conference… “Imagine if I’d met you back in my hellion days,” he says, and Steve groans out loud.

There’s a mental image, here.  Well, Steve’s a visual kind of guy; mental images are how he operates.

The mental image is of a baby Tony - okay, not baby; Heyday Tony, let’s call him - and Heyday Tony has dark eyes and a wide mouth, and the little pin-scratch frown that Nowadays Tony wears all the time these days has been magically retrotransformed into a confident smirk.  Heyday Tony has the same lean strength that Nowadays Tony has, but he looks taller because he bears himself more aggressively, more straight-backed.  Heyday Tony has poofy hair and a tendency to look all the way down, and all the way back up, at a person - regardless of gender - before meeting their eyes.

Steve knows: he’s seen the videos.

Has maybe studied the videos.  Has maybe spent more time on that activity than strictly appropriate...

“Can we not?” he pleads. “It didn’t happen that way, and it did happen this way, and that’s how it is.”

The other problem is, Steve might have stood a chance with a younger Tony, a Tony closer to his age and more reckless in his… his… his bed-partners, Steve finally decides to call it. Then kicks himself for sounding like a seventeenth century matron, but it’s all in his own head anyway, so forget it. Point is, Steve’s been nursing a crush on the older man - the older Tony - for over a year now, and if he’d gotten the younger Tony, instead, he might have been doing more than nursing.

Tony looks at him, face faintly disappointed. “I was just wondering,” he says, voice offhand, and oh shit, that mean’s Tony’s actually upset.

Steve presses his lips together - an old technique for looking confident when he’s actually nervous - and asks, “What, Tony?”

Tony looks over at him, dark eyes big and vulnerable - again: oh, shit - and, whatever it is, decides to drop it. “Nothing. Is this straight? Is my suit on straight, I tried a new tailor -”

“Suit looks fine,” Steve assures him shortly as the light by the door changes from red to green. “We’re on; let’s go.”

Yeah, that’s definitely going to come back again.

 


 

“So about that hypothetical,” Steve says the next evening, when he’s sitting in the back seat of an Audi in Tony’s garage with an empty pizza box and a sketchpad on his lap, legs dangling out of the open door.

Tony jerks up, banging his head on the undercarriage of the Bonneville. “OW! Sonofa - !”

Steve presses his lips together again, this time mostly to keep from laughing. “Sorry,” he says, and means it.  “You were asking about if we’d met… earlier, I guess?”  He winces, and tries again: “When you were younger?”

Tony grabs the edge of the Bonneville and yanks hard, sending himself flying out on his creeper, skating across the concrete floor to bump, head-first, into Steve’s knees. Steve snorts at his upside-down nonplussed expression.

“What?” Tony demands. ”Now you wanna talk?”

“Well, now we’re not doing anything else,” Steve points out reasonably.  

Plus, it’s easier to stay on top of a conversation if you don’t let Tony decide when you’re going to have it.

“First of all, I am clearly doing something else, that’s what the wrench is about -”

Tony is not holding a wrench.

“- I am restoring an American Classic, and while, okay, I can see how that would make you think about yourself -”

“Yeah, speaking of,” Steve interrupts earnestly, “Can you imagine what would have happened if this American Classic had met you in the late 90’s?”

Tony makes that frustrated gurgling noise he has when pushed beyond all limits of endurance.  (Steve loves that noise; he mentally awards himself fifty points every time he hears it.)  “Okay, fine! What did you want to know?”

Steve rolls his eyes. “What did I want to know? No, what did you want to know.” Tony opens his mouth, and Steve rides right over him with logic, a technique that only works about half the time: “You asked about it twice, Tony. It’s obviously a significant question to you.”

Tony glares, but today the logic thing works.  “Alright, yes, fine.”  He plants his feet, knees slightly bent, and then scoots himself away and back, so that his head bumps rhythmically into Steve’s knees.  “I was just thinking - our relationship would be different, right? Less a friendship of equals - I mean, we do have a -”

“Yes, absolutely. Friendship of equals, that’s exactly how I would describe it.”

“Exactly!”

“Exactly,” he repeats firmly.  “Mostly.”

“Mostly?”

He shrugs.  “Mostly.”

Honestly, Steve’s not convinced he’s really up to being Tony Stark’s equal, but if Tony’s willing to acknowledge him as one, he’s not going to fight it.

Tony glares, then continues. “Fine. So we have a friendship of equals, and if you’d come back when we were the same age, I’m just not sure that’s how it would be.”

Steve thinks about it. Admittedly, he has to work through the mental image of Heyday Tony purring the words friendship of equals into his ear, and it’s - wow, it’s a really distracting mental image - but he does eventually wrestle wild-haired, big-eyed, smart-mouthed Heyday Tony into the Iron Man suit - which he wouldn’t have had, damn - okay, into that nice pinstripe suit Tony wore the other day, standing in the kitchen the way Grown Up Tony does, looking at him across the Yellow Liefruit and listening to him panic about the fact that Peggy didn’t even recognize him this time, just as Nowadays Tony had listened last month.

He can’t make it work. Heyday Tony may have had a nice tuchus, but he would have been pretty terrible when it came to listening skills.

“I’d probably have punched you in the face,” Steve admits.

Whatever Tony was expecting, this isn’t it.  His face falls, and he nods, resigned.

“Sorry,” Steve adds. “I like the new you better.”

Tony’s mouth pulls back in the kind of half-smile that means he’s still bruised inside, but also likes what Steve said.  So that’s something.  “I mean, New Me has a lot going for him. Granted, I also have a loss of muscle mass relative to adipose tissue, and let’s not talk about the fact that I dye my hair -”

“You dye your hair?”

“Of course I do. What, you think I’m going to go out looking all scruffy and worn out? Please.”

“I think you’d look great with some silver temples,” Steve says, fascinated. “You’d be so... dignified.”

“I’d be so old-looking.  No.  But the point is, gray hair notwithstanding, I’m more even-tempered now -”

Steve snorts.

“- Hush, you. I actually am.  And I’m less flighty; you should have seen me before, going off half-cocked on half a dozen things, and I could do it because I needed less time for sleep…”

“I was thinking you were probably more rude, back then,” Steve says. “More likely to call people out on bullhockey, less likely to be subtle about it.  And also that you’re kinder, now.”  He smiles at Tony’s upside-down face, at the restless way Tony scoots back and forth along the floor.  “You’re better at caring for people. You’re certainly better at caring for me.”

Tony stills, looking up at Steve with wide eyes again. Looking carefully, Steve can see the places in his stubble where Tony hasn’t dyed away the gray.

“I do,” Tony agrees, voice helpless. “I do care for you.”

“I know,” Steve says, reaching a hand down towards Tony, a solid point for Tony to brace against when getting off the rolling creeper.  “You’re my friend, Tony.”

Tony licks his lips - Steve doesn’t watch - and accepts the hand up.

On his feet, Tony's taller than Steve is - Steve is still sitting in the car - and it feels weirdly familiar to be looking up at him, familiar in a way that makes Steve feel settled in his own skin, the way almost nothing else does.  

Steve smiles, feeling open in the way he almost never is, these days.

Tony's breath catches, and his eyes widen.  He pulls his hand back, slowly, long, dexterous fingers sliding along Steve's, along his palm, along the sensitive skin of his inner wrist before - pulling away.

"I'm glad," Tony says, cutting his eyes away.  "You deserve to have friends."

He's looking at the pads of his fingers.

Steve clears his throat.  "Well," he offers, "I should probably be getting upstairs..."

 



 

"I'm glad," Tony murmurs, looking down at the pads of his hand.  "You deserve to have friends."

Steve deserves more than that.  

Growing up, Tony had always assumed his father had been exaggerating.  Yeah, yeah, you met Captain America; yeah, yeah, he's a paragon among men; so gentlemanly, so pure, so brilliant, so handsome...

Let's be honest, Tony always pretty much focused on the handsome part.  That costume, that was - that was an amazing costume.  

Amazing.  

Wow.  

So yeah:  Howard claimed he was best friends with Captain America, and that Captain America was the Second Coming of Plato, and that Tony should always aspire to be like that, but...  Tony'd been eight years old when he figured out that the Howard in Howard's stories was always, always shinier than the Howard in real life.  So he hadn't exactly put a whole lot of trust in that account.

But then he'd met Steve.  And it turned out...  Yeah.  

Howard was right, for once.  Astonishingly enough.

Steve is, simply put, incredible.  As in, the mind literally does not want to believe he's as great as he seems.  He's just so brilliant, so principled, so kind, so...  

(Okay, definitely so hot.  Tony's not going to kid himself, here, Steve is - he is definitely All That.)  

Second Coming of Plato, 100%.  

Especially because at one point Tony mentioned that phrase, and Steve laughed and told him how Plato had actually most likely been a wrestler, and Plato was most likely the guy's stage name, so that was literally like Steve being known only as Captain America.  Tony had laughed, at that, too.  Maybe too much.

And, yeah - maybe, as an adolescent, thinking his Dad was full of shit, maybe Tony had rubbed out one or two... dozen... to Steve.  Not every day you have a perfect excuse to hang a might-as-well-be-shirtless-that-uniform's-so-tight poster of a guy in your dorm room.  (Rhodey had cheerfully hung up his own poster of the guy, probably not for the same reasons Tony did.)  So, okay, maybe Tony had been perfectly primed to develop a crush on the guy.

But this, today?  And, alright, more than today.  The last few weeks.  Months.  Most of a year, really.  Regardless:  this is not okay.  

Because Tony is a grown man.  More than that, he's an old man.  He had been Steve's age, and he still - well, okay, there were some substances, he still mostly - remembers it.  

...But only because Tony is pretty immature.  Because that was fifteen years ago.  And the pouring himself into a tin can to fire repulsors at the evildoers of the world is probably enough of a midlife crisis, without carrying an obsessive-compulsive torch for a man a fraction of his age.  (The fraction is two-thirds, by the way, also known as sixty-seven percent, or a D on most college syllabi.  Which is relevant, because Steve is young enough he could probably still pass for a college student.)  

So this bullshit - this heart-pounding, shy-smiling, head-ducking, fingers-over-wrist-trailing, complete and utter bullshit - really needs to stop.  

Reeeeally needs to stop.

Aaaaany time now.

(...Tony's fingers are still tingling.  Letting go of someone's hand shouldn't be that erotic.

Clearly, he has done himself in.)

Steve clears his throat - which, seriously?  Who still does that? - and says, “Well…  I should probably be getting upstairs…”

Tony answers before he even realizes he’s going to:  “Or you could not.”  Tony gives a little cough to cover, adding,  “You could stay, hang out…”

Steve smiles, and it’s a different smile than the one he had on his face a minute ago.  It's the sort of smile that goes with the - unfortunate, embarrassing, but undeniable - fact that Steve still calls everyone he conceivably can son.   It’s the sort of smile that goes with a Steve Rogers who has been to war, and found when he got there that missions came with paperwork and commanding officers and people not wanting him to blow bases up, even evil bases, yes, Steve, even HYDRA bases that really needed more explosions!   (It’s a very complicated smile.)

“We’ve got that strategy meeting with SHIELD in the morning,” Steve says, offering it like an apology.  It’s one of the nifty things about Steve that he never makes Tony feel…

Well, come on:  Steve clearly must have better things to do than hang out and chat with Tony while Tony crawls under an a car almost as old as Steve is.  (The Bonneville is from 1958.)  But Steve never makes it sound like he has better things to do.  Never makes Tony feel less than.

Second Coming of Plato, swear to god.  

“...We should probably both get some sleep,” Steve adds.  “You, too.”

“I don’t want to, and you can’t make me,” Tony blurts, and Steve grins at him again.

It’s the other smile, this time.  Tony hasn’t quite figured out the equation, yet; there are too many variables he can’t measure, much less quantify.  But there’s some kind of rhyme and reason to why sometimes Steve smiles that other smile - the weary smile - and sometimes he smiles this one.  The good one.

The actually, genuinely happy one, which quite frankly Tony does not get to see nearly often enough.

Steve says, “Maybe if you’d defrosted me earlier.”  And then he blows his stupid floppy bangs out of his eyes.  

(Tony has feelings about those stupid floppy bangs, okay?  They are - they are ridiculous, is what they are, always getting in Steve’s face and drawing attention to his eyes and making Tony want to brush them back with fingers that are still tingling from the last time he did something stupid and -

The bangs are a problem, is all.  For strategy reasons.  Or something.)

Wait.

“Wait.”

Unless New York is being attacked by a Mega-Hulk - possible, if horrifically bad timing - Tony is having some kind of attack:  there’s a roaring in his ears, and the garage is swooping erratically around him.  That’s a Mega-Hulk, right?

“Wait.   What did you say?”

And that’s when Steve goes brick red.  “Nothing,” he says hastily, not meeting Tony’s eyes.  “It was a - it was a stupid joke, not really funny.”

Tony stares at him, and replays the conversation in his mind:

“We should probably both get some sleep.  You, too.”

“Don’t want to, and you can’t make me.”

“Maybe if you’d defrosted me earlier.”

He wants to think it’s a reference to physical force.  Wants to make it about how fast and efficiently Captain America can kick Tony Stark’s ass.  (To be fair:  very.  Very fast, and very efficient.  Cap the Soldier is a badass, but people also tend to underestimate Cap the Strategist.  Tony would never even be able to reach the suit.)

The thing is, though…

“We should probably both get some sleep.  You, too.”

“Don’t want to, and you can’t make me.”

“Maybe if you’d defrosted me earlier.”

...There’s no way that’s about physical force.  Because Steve was smiling when he said it - the real smile - and he wouldn’t joke about that while happy.  Tony’s not sure he’d joke about it at all, honestly.

“I’m trying to make that into literally anything but a sexual innuendo,” Tony muses, “And I can’t do it.”

“Ah, geeze.  I’m sorry, Tony.  It was -” Steve takes a deep breath, and does a little bobble with his head, side to side, almost like a boxing dodge, as he psychs himself up to say whatever crazy thing is going to come out of his mouth next.  “It wasn’t a fair thing to say, honestly.  I shouldn’t’ve - I mean - Well, I’m sorry.”

Tony’s not even sure that was English.  “You’re sorry?”

Steve grimaces again.  “It was a crack about your past, alright?  With the -” He’s not going to say sex, but Tony is familiar enough with that particular kind of little pause from Steve to know what goes in there. “- scandals, and the - ladies, and…  Well…”

Tony jerks his head back, startled, suddenly cold.  “They told you about that?”

Steve scuffs a shoe on the garage floor.  “There was a briefing packet on you,” he says.  “I read the whole thing.”

“Oh.”

Jesus.  

The shame rises up hot in his throat like vomit.

“I know I shouldn’t have joked about that,” Steve says, embarrassed.  “I was - I knew it was the wrong thing to say as soon as I said it, I just -”

“...Blurted it out?”  

“Yeah.”  Steve shoves his hands in his pockets, and seriously, could the man look more like a schoolboy from 1933?

Also:  Tony would just like to note for the record that Steve Said The Thing, Steve knew The Thing was wrong, and Steve apologized for The Thing, faster than Tony was even able to believe he’d said it in the first place.  

Second.  Fucking.  Coming.  

Seriously.  

Except, no:  wait a minute.  Steve was still talking.

“I guess that’s what bugged me about the whole what if you’d thawed out earlier conversation -”  And, yes, Tony did notice that it annoyed Steve, but he’d been curious, alright? “- because, yeah, okay, my comment about punching you still stands -”

“Thanks for that.”

“- and I mean it about valuing our friendship.  That’s probably the best thing in my life right now, without exaggeration, Tony.”  

Steve looks over at him from under his stupid floppy bangs, and Tony feels the hot wash in his throat pulling back, receding downward and warming the place that had gone cold when Steve Said The Thing.

“Mine, too; definitely, Steve.”

“But I mean…  I guess it’s only fair for you to know, if I’d met you back when you were all…”

Captain America is not going to say slutty.  

“... available like that…”

Called it.

“...I probably wouldn’t have been your friend...”

Tony could probably have gotten that from the punching thing, but thanks for clearing that up, Steve.

“...I mean, I probably would have hit on you before we’d even finished shawarma, if I’d met you back then.”

“We wouldn’t have had shawarma back then, I’d never heard of it until last year,” Tony answers on autopilot before actually processing what the hell he just heard.

Which:   What the hell did he just hear?!

“...What?!”  

It’s vaguely comforting, in a petty, very human, way, that the supersoldier serum does not keep Steve from blushing.  (Also, in other circumstances, hilarious, but this is not actually one of those times.)  The best part about it is, Steve does not blush prettily.   He blushes ugly, he blushes so ugly, just these huge, big, blotches of pink all over his face, and red all up and down his neck.  It is awesome.

“I mean…  The packet was pretty clear about you at least being open to that stuff back then, it isn’t beyond the realm of -”

“Did you just say you want my dick?!”

Steve apparently realizes that he’s standing in the still-open door of the Audi, because he steps to the side and puts his hands on the frame like he’s going to close it.  Halfway through, though, he pauses, watching Tony warily with the manner of a man who knows perfectly well he may be humiliating both himself and someone else at the same time.  He opens his mouth, pauses again, and then changes whatever it is he was going to say to, “Technically, I just said I would have wanted your dick.  It’s a hypothetical situation, set in a time period in which you were interested in such -”

Tony cuts him off.   “Do you want my dick?”

The garage is silent, only the two of them, the creeper, and the forty-three cars.  (And JARVIS, who has enough sense to keep himself quiet, thank god.)  Other than their breathing - pretty ragged, from both of them - and the distant rumble of traffic several floors above them, there’s no sound in the empty, echoing space.

Which is why the tortured shriek of twisted metal, coming from where Steve’s hands have clenched on the car’s back door, sounds so loud.

Steve hastily lets go of the Audi, closing the door with a thump which does not - quite - cover the sounds of a now-deformed locking mechanism crunching into a new, entirely unintended configuration.

The door springs back open again.

Steve, with an appalled, desperate expression, grabs it and slams it shut again, but the lock is well and truly broken now, and it swings open again like a slapstick jack-in-the-box.  The monkey thought it was all in good fun, POP goes the car-door!  

Steve is almost frantic as he grabs it a third time and hurls it into place.

The lock still doesn’t hold.

This time, neither does the window.  

Steve gives a despairing moan as the glass - which, just for the record?  Bulletproof glass - shatters, falling to the ground around them with mockingly musical tinkles.

Tony takes in the look of horror on Steve’s face and puts him out of his misery, stepping in to swing the car door shut, then solving the lock problem by clenching a hand in Steve’s shirt, pulling him back in front of the door, and pressing him up against the body of the car.  “Steve,” he says firmly, looking into his eyes.  “Do.  You.  Want.  My.  Dick?”

Steve’s face falls, and he pulls his head back against the edge of the broken window, hopefully not cutting his skull on the remaining shards of glass.  “...yes?” he says in a high-pitched voice approximately two and a half millimeters tall.

Tony takes a second to remember how to breathe.  “...Say it,” he orders.

Steve’s eyebrows snap downward.  “No,” he says, back in his normal tones, and Tony grins like the Ninth Doctor about to run.

“Say it,” he repeats, leaning into Steve’s personal space.

Steve’s eyes cross.

This close, Tony can hear the little whine Steve makes in his throat.

“Say. It.”

Steve sucks in air.  

“Tony…  I want your dick.”  

Then he squinches his eyes shut, and says, “Oh God, oh God, oh God, what have I -” but Tony isn’t there to hear it, he is already pulling back and pulling off and dancing around in a - okay, it is probably objectively a victory dance, but subjectively it just feels like excitement.  

He basically crip-walks back out of the range of the broken glass, already pulling on the buckle of his belt.  “Okay, okay, we can do this, just - here, get out of the -”

Steve opens his eyes when he hears Tony, and blinks, then crosses the glass puddle so quick he's actually in front of Tony before the Audi's door starts to creak open.  Steve’s hands are joining his at the buckle, then knocking his away, pulling open the buckle and ripping the belt out of its loops.  He has the zipper of Tony’s pants undone so fast Tony doesn’t even register it, just suddenly Whoop!  There he is!, warm, rough fingers grasping Tony in a loose, easy grip, as Steve leans close and breathes into the join of Tony’s neck and shoulder.  

“Oh my god,” Tony says, face tilted back, eyes open sightlessly towards the ceiling because Steve’s hand is on his dick “Oh my god, Steve!”

Steve breathes out roughly, hotly, into Tony’s neck, and he can’t - he can’t stand it, that spot’s always been -

“Oh god, here -”  He winds his fingers into Steve’s stupid floppy hair and pulls, yanking his head back just long enough line their mouths up together.  Steve moans, which does not help anything, seriously, how dare he -

After that, it’s all hot mouths and deep kisses, sucking pressure that pulls away just as Tony starts to fall into it, every time, over and over, until Tony retaliates by biting down on Steve’s lower lip - which, honestly, he pretty much had that one coming, have you seen his lower lip?! - which makes Steve tighten his hand, slowly, until it’s at the perfect pressure, and Tony is close, he’s so close -

“Okay, stop - stop, Steve, hang on -”

“Jesus, Tony, what?”  Steve’s eyes are wide as he yanks his hands back, his voice is ragged, and - because he is a dirty rotten cheater - he licks his lips as soon as he finishes speaking.

“I - oh god, I can’t remember - I - I’m close!  I’m close, I was gonna - that’s why I stopped, I don’t want to -”

“You stopped because you were close?”   Steve gives him the look reserved for baby boomers who use the phrase back in my day.   “I thought that was the whole point of why we were doing this!”

Something sounds off somewhere in there, but Tony would need more than seven brain cells to figure it out, and that is not something he has right now.   “I want - Steve?  Are you...?”

“Am I what?”   Steve looks totally wild, hair rucked up every which way, mouth brilliantly wrecked with their kisses.

“I don’t know!” he yells.

“Neither do I!”  

It is possible that neither one of them is very rational at this point.

Steve recovers first.  “Oh God, Tony, just - here.”  He lifts runs his hands from Tony’s shoulders down his arms - Tony groans and throws his head back again - to his hips, and then, crowding even closer, to the backs of his thighs.

Tony jerks and pants, waiting to see what happens next.

Steve digs in for a good grip and lifts, hoisting Tony into his arms, Tony’s legs dangling on either side of him.  He turns and carries him about eight feet, setting him down on something hard and metal and - Tony blinks - brilliantly aquamarine.

The Bonneville.

Yes.

Steve’s hands find his t-shirt, pulling at it, and Tony gets with the program quickly, pulling it off over his head.  Steve tosses it behind Tony, into the back seat of the convertible, where it lands on the drop cloth currently protecting the interior of the car.  Steve’s other hand, his left, reaches up, gripping Tony’s chin underhand, and he leans in, pressing a bruising kiss against Tony’s mouth.  Tony leans in, meeting him, stroke for stroke, passion for passion.  

He’s probably always going to lean in.

Steve never releases his hold on Tony’s chin, pulling back and holding his right up in front of Tony’s face, palm facing him.  “Lick it,” he urges, voice gravelly, and Tony does, working some spit into his mouth to get it nice and wet and - because Tony is a tiny, itsy-witsy bit competitive - he knows this about himself; he owns it - sucks on Steve’s fingers when he’s done.  It wins him a very satisfying groan before Steve pulls his hand back and drops it down to Tony’s cock.

“Oh my god!”

“Yeah, that’s it - don’t stop me this time, okay?  I want you to - I want you to get it all over yourself, just -”  The left hand waves at his chest, before dropping and digging short, blunt nails into Tony’s stomach.  “- Just all over yourself, yeah.”

Tony clutches at Steve’s shoulders, rubbing his hands up and down Steve’s arms.  He really wants to be playing with Steve’s nipples, but Steve is still wearing his shirt -

Tony frowns.

Steve is actually still fully dressed.

“Why are you wearing clothes?” he asks, and Steve blinks down at him, sex-stupid.

“Because I was… too distracted to take them off?”  He shrugs, then tightens his grip and jacks Tony faster; Tony’s head cracks back onto the hood of the Bonneville again.  

“Want to see you,” Tony gasps.

“Later,” Steve says, “I wanna see you do this, first,” and that is it, that is all Tony is good for, and he comes like a fountain, like one of those super-dramatic romantic scenes in a French movie or something, just all over himself.  Steve groans and drags his hand through the mess, painting it onto Tony’s face and neck when he leans in and kisses him deep again.  Which is…

Ew.  

But also, at the same time...  

Oh my god.  

Tony wriggles under Steve, brain-dead and still ridiculously turned on, seriously, has his body not gotten the memo yet about the mind-blowingly good orgasm he just had?!  He tugs at Steve’s sleeves, and Steve gets the message, unbuttoning his shirt and pulling it off, then stripping out of the t-shirt he wore beneath that.  He unbuttons his pants, pulling out his…

Captain America’s Mighty Shield.

No.

His massive Old Glory.

God damnit brain, no!

No stars or stripes, but it sure goes on forever…

“Oh, motherfucker!” Tony swears aloud.

Steve raises his eyebrows and grins the real version of his smile.  “I hope not,” he says, “Or this is about to get awkward.”

Then he leans forward, and jerks himself off over Tony, occasionally reaching down and running his hand through the mess on Tony’s chest for makeshift lube.  

Tony completely humiliates himself by moaning every time he does it, clenching his fingers in Steve’s straining biceps, mesmerized by the movement of Steve’s beautiful, elegant hands.  

“Steve,” he pants, and watches as Steve’s arm trembles faintly, as Steve’s breathing goes ragged.  “Steve, come on.  Come all over me, hell, come all over the car, I would love that -”

“Tony!”

“Yeah, that's right, come on, babe.  All over the car, all over my chest -”

“All over your face,” Steve pants.  “Yeah, come on -”

He pulls his left hand away from himself, reaching out to grasp Tony around the back of his neck and pull him towards himself.  Tony gasps, opening his mouth, feeling his own come, the stuff Steve had smeared on his face earlier, crack and itch.  

Apparently that does it:  Steve grunts, “You look - !” before releasing on… on everywhere, really:  Tony’s face, including his open mouth; his car, his pants… on the arc reactor...  

When it’s done, Steve blows hard, like a horse, and drops to his forearms, braced above Tony.  Their chests smear stickily together, and Steve kisses him again, licking the flavor out of his mouth until it's gone, then pulling back and leaning his forehead on Tony’s.

“Fuck,” Tony says stupidly.

“Mm,” Steve grunts back at him, sliding his head off to bury in the crook of Tony’s neck and shoulder again.

“Holy shit.”

“Mm-hm.”

“Fifteen-year-old me cannot believe how awesome my life is right now.”

Steve wiggles enough to pull his head back, and kisses Tony again until their lips part with a sweet little smack.   “Only fair,” he murmurs.  “I can’t for the life of me believe how awesome fifty-year-old you is.”

Tony freezes, and resolves not to ruin the afterglow by saying anything.

Not saying anything.

Noooot... sayiiiiing... anything.

Don’t say it!

Tony pulls back to scowl at the sliver of Steve’s head that he can see.  “I’m forty-two,” he points out.

“Your birthday was last week; I got you a card, remember?”

“Fine, I’m forty-three, then.  I’m not fifty, why would you think that?  Where would you -”  He freezes.  “You knew when my birthday was.  You know when my birthday is, you know how old I am.  Why would you…?”

Steve peeks up from he’s tucked into Tony’s shoulder, a sly smirk spreading across his face.

Tony props himself up on his elbows, which is more difficult than it sounds because it also involves lifting two hundred and fifty thousand pounds of supersoldier.  “Were you fucking with me just now?!”

The smirk graduates to a full-on grin, and Steve looks up and down their come-streaked bodies with satisfaction.  “Definitely,” he says, and that is not fair, Tony is supposed to be the master of innuendo in this bed… car… bed-like expanse of car…  

Steve’s smile falters, and he frowns down at Tony.  “Wait, is that what kicked this all off?  Your birthday was last week, and you found yourself… what, thinking about how old you were?”

Tony grunts, caught and chagrined.  “Pretty much,” he admits.  “Thinking how old I was, and thinking how, if I’d been younger, I might’ve had a chance to try to be more than your friend.”

Steve watches him, thoughtful and still slightly sex-dazed, blinking over eyes made green by the artificial lights of the garage.  “Hmmm,” he says after a while.  He draws one hand up to Tony’s mouth, brushing it with his fingers (Tony bites him; Steve smiles) and then dragging his hand down through the pearly mess atop the arc reactor.  “And how did that work out for you?” Steve wonders.

It takes Tony a moment to process what Steve is saying, but when he does, he pushes him off the car.  “We’re not friends anymore,” he informs him huffily.

Steve grins the real-smile again, and pulls Tony off the car by his legs, until they’re rolling, shirtless, pants open and dicks flopping together, all over the cold garage floor.  Steve pins him, and beams down at him.  “Yes, we are,” he says fondly.

Tony closes his eyes to savor the moment.

Yeah, okay, fine; they are.