The dull rumble of thunder edges Steve toward consciousness, inch by inch, in the scant flat light of an early grey dawn. The room is still smudged in thick shadows, and Tony beside him is nothing but a darker silhouette against the rumpled bedding, save for the RT unit’s glow casting the grooved muscles of his forearm in muted blue where he’s tucked it close against his chest.
Tony’s cold, maybe, given the way he’s curled in on himself. He’d only ever made it halfway under the covers after they’d finished taking each other apart just a couple of hours ago, a snarling, tearing clash of a reunion after too many weeks of absence. Steve’s spine twinges just at the thought. He shuts his eyes and skims a hand over Tony’s hip, catching at the jut of bone—
—Steve sinks his teeth into the hard angle of it, then licks over the divots he’s left behind as Tony’s hips jerk under his pinning hands, and he’s chasing Tony’s rapid hammering pulse with the tip of his tongue into the crook of Tony’s leg, savoring the salty tang of smooth skin, while Tony mutters an unholy stream of breathless curses. Tony’s hands fist into his hair and tug relentlessly as Steve mouths his way over Tony’s belly, feels the veins under his tongue and the rasp of coarser hair, a fine line of counterpoint against his lips, as he moves lower to swallow him down—
—before his palm flattens low on Tony’s abdomen to pull him in closer, so that they form a double S under the comforter.
Tony never so much as twitches. It’s rare that he sleeps this deeply, and Steve wonders what crises he’s been untangling during the long stretch of days he’s been gone to have succumbed this thoroughly to rest.
The wind kicks up, smattering raindrops against the windows in arcs, and for a while, Steve picks out rhythms in the sound as he nudges his face into the crook of Tony’s neck, arm still draped over his waist, and waits for the warmth and darkness, the rise and fall of Tony's ribcage under his arm, the steady trickling rain to lull him back into unconsciousness.
But sleep doesn’t come.
The shadows start to shrink, and the room takes on sharper edges, tinting up with hints of color; as the dim light of the rising sun bleeds feebly through a steel-dark haze of clouds, Steve catches sight of the fresh licks of purple pressed into the soft flesh just beneath Tony’s jaw.
Steve growls, throws his weight to take back the lead as Tony’s nails rake furrows down his sides, and Tony is writhing against him, moaning into his mouth, nipping his way through a kiss as he pushes hard into the bite of Steve’s fingers where they’re gripping the side of his throat, and Steve doesn’t know anymore whether he’s angry or just ravenous for him, whether this is going to always be how it goes between them now, all sharp edges and rasped epithets and demanding hands and greedy bodies and he can’t ever fucking keep up, it’s never enough and it’s too much —
He knows if he slips his fingers over the marks, they’ll align perfectly with the reddened edges.
His throat clicks on a swallow, dry with the sudden heat that prickles through him. His fingertips tighten infinitesimally, possessively, against the taut plane of Tony’s stomach, then trace upward, grazing their way around the scarred perimeter of skin that ropes off the RT’s circumference.
Tony doesn’t flinch, doesn’t grumble at the disruption, just parts his lips and sighs long and easy, rolls his shoulders so that they’re pressed flush against Steve’s chest, one arm flopping backward to settle along Steve’s side.
Steve nuzzles into his shoulder and breathes him in, smells sex and warm skin and dried sweat, all of it undercut with the metallic edge of armor and soldering flake and faintly coppery blood, and he has to will himself to be still against Tony’s body aligned with his own, even as his heartbeat crescendos.
The way Tony’s half-turned now, the silvery light spills in a sharp line over his cheekbone, though his lashes don’t flutter a bit as they cut through the angle of it in an ink-dark arc; his hair smushes haphazardly into his brow, and his mouth, still slightly open, glints with the hint of moisture.
He looks restful (he looks used), too wrung out (wrecked) to wake, quiet (silenced) and utterly disarmed, like he never is—not anymore—on the rare occasions when there’s time to share a bed.
He looks like maybe he wouldn’t even notice if Steve slipped his thumb just inside the corner of his mouth, traced a wet trail over the perfect curve of his lower lip with the moistened digit…
(…or, better, with his cock, and Tony’s incisive tongue wouldn’t slick over the slit of it this time, wouldn’t tease Steve straight into incandescence, would just rest there slack and hot inside his mouth as Steve slid his length past the sleep-loose barrier of Tony’s lips, and Steve’s head would tip back, and all the shameful, starved little noises he always promises himself he’ll choke down, but never quite manages to contain, would sound loud in the resounding silence of Tony’s slumber, for once not lost amidst Tony’s raucous, flashy moans, because he’s always louder than Steve, always mouthier, always more…)
Steve rolls away, onto his back, and takes a heavy, hitching breath, one arm crooked over his face and the other stretched low enough that he can cup himself roughly. When his knuckles score through the damp patch he’s leaked just below his navel, he can feel his own cheeks heat up under the cover of his arm.
He really ought to go for a run, or grab a shower, or do whatever else is going to get him out of this bed and away from Tony, because Tony doesn’t sleep enough as it is, and probably deserves to rest. He definitely doesn’t need Steve fouling up his repose with awful errant thoughts of pliant limbs and obliviousness and the ease with which he could avail himself of Tony right now, relearn the depths of his vulnerability, instead of struggling, always, to ride out the endless frenetic rush that has become his default of late.
A hollow ache unfolds through him, makes his stomach turn and his skin seem as if it’s pulled too tight. He shouldn’t want this, shouldn’t be so kindled by this sudden desire to take and take and take like Tony does, without pause, with relish and abandon, taking even when he’s giving Steve everything he’s got, taking even when Steve’s the one setting the pace and pushing Tony past whatever boundaries he pretends to have left. How exhilarating it must be to give in to that kind of greed without compunction, because no matter how much Tony offers Steve of himself in kind, still he loots and plunders, leaving Steve forever reeling, emptied, ransacked in the aftermath.
“Fuck,” Steve mutters sharply under his breath, face turned into the pillow now, away from Tony, as he rolls the heel of his palm against a hardness that won’t subside.
Tony wedges himself backward, mumbling something too soft and garbled to make out, fumbling with drowsy fingers for Steve’s body heat and frowning when he comes up with only empty sheets.
It’s as good an invitation as any, and more than Steve needs.
The circle Steve’s fingers form around Tony’s wrist is an easy fit, but still, he squeezes just enough to feel the bones, because he can, because Tony’s not going to protest. He turns onto his side once more, pulls Tony’s arm forward and up, then skims his fingertips back down over biceps and shoulder, traces the dip and rise of his ribs, the solid lines of his thigh. As his flesh pebbles under Steve’s feathery touch, Tony shivers a little but never opens his eyes, just makes a low, throaty noise of contentment.
Steve’s exhale punches sharp into the hollow between Tony’s shoulder blades as he shucks his palms up the backs of Tony’s thighs, then nudges one limp leg forward with his knee just enough to grant him access to all the tightness and pulsing heat he’d been inside only hours ago. He drags a finger through the crevice, drawing lazy circles round Tony’s entrance, winning from him a soft gasp and the muted scrabbling sound of fingernails on sheets as he arches his back.
“Tony,” Steve breathes against the nape of his neck, cowed by how broken up his own voice sounds, and ghosts his lips over the tender patch of skin just behind his ear. Tony stretches languorously, like he’s savoring the heat of Steve’s body lined up with his own once more, turns his head aside, like he’s surrendering just that easily, and cants his hips in a slow roll, like it’s purely an accident that Steve’s cock skitters forward between his thighs to nudge right up against his balls.
Steve shudders out a soft curse. Ridiculous, that he’s this worked up when Tony’s barely awake at all; reprehensible, how part of the reason for it is wanting to stake claim of him while he’s so softly, quietly pliant.
“Hmm? What?” Tony turns, pushing up a little on one elbow to shoot him a fuzzy, sleepily curious look.
“Shhh, don’t, just, let me,” Steve rasps. His palm scrapes over the stubble of Tony’s jaw as he pushes his face away, pushes him back down into the pillows, pushes the hand he’d started reaching for Steve with back down against the mattress, pushes Tony’s leg a little further forward and grinds against him.
And Tony doesn’t sass or tease or resist even for an instant, just goes right back down where Steve puts him with nothing more than the whispering of Steve’s name, and Steve thinks that the jolt this sends through his gut is almost enough to make him come right then.
He rolls them both so that he’s on top of Tony, straddling his legs and running his hands slowly down Tony’s sides, then dips to flick his tongue over the creases at the tops of his thighs and up and up, kissing the entire line of his spine as his own cock drags, heavy and aching, against the tangled sheets.
Tony only shivers beneath him and pushes his forehead further into the pillows, flexing and splaying his fingers like he’s searching for Steve’s to fill in the spaces between them.
Steve snags the lube from beneath his pillow and kneels up, teeth digging hard into his lower lip, one hand braced in the small of Tony’s back while he strokes a palmful over himself and daubs Tony with the warmed excess. It’s startling, how still Tony remains; there is not the usual rush of avaricious hands as Tony tugs and pulls at him, pushing the tempo, prowling over his body as his eyes flash with darkly possessive intent. Instead, Tony only sighs softly and pushes back a little into the scissoring press of Steve’s slicked fingers inside him, and when it seems like maybe he’s going to try and get his knees under himself, all Steve has to do to gentle him back down into perfect yielding quiescence is to center his hand between Tony’s shoulders and kiss the side of his throat.
“Stop, just relax,” he whispers, nipping at Tony’s earlobe, sucking it in and letting it slide through his teeth, savoring the way this makes Tony’s lips part on a silent gasp. “I’ve got you.”
Tony whimpers, soft and raw, nothing at all like he usually sounds. Steve runs his fingers up the back of Tony’s neck and into his hair, plants a sloppy sideways kiss on his searching mouth, and pulls a pillow from the morass of tangled sheets and blankets to push under Tony’s pelvis, fingertips brushing in a slow tease over Tony’s erection as another thick runnel of precome spirals down Steve’s own cock, and he’s never going to last, this is too much, having Tony like this, warm and easy and compliant, utterly willing to let him have his way—
The noise that sticks in his own throat when he takes himself in hand, lines up, and pushes in isn’t quite a whimper, but it isn’t quite anything else, either. He pitches forward onto his elbows, snakes his arms in with Tony’s and laces their fingers together, frames Tony’s legs with his own, covering him until it seems there’s not an inch of skin left bare between them as Steve starts to rock into him.
Three slow, rolling snaps of his hips, and he feels too full, like there’s no room left to breathe; four, and he can’t even keep his head up, lets it drop into the crook of Tony’s shoulder, sucks a hungry bruise into the meat of the muscle there as a coiling tension mounts in his core and makes a ragged groan rip through him. He gets lost in the rhythm then, lost in Tony’s heat and the sweat-slicked torment of their bodies sliding together. Tony sobs out his name again amidst a flurry of panting gasps, and it shatters apart on the vowels, and Steve wants to tell him how gorgeous he is like this, wants to say things like love and mine and promise, but he’s so fucking far past language that he can only haul in one last shuddering breath—it’s nowhere near enough—before his climax rolls through him, not a heady flashing punch this time, but slow and all-consuming, wave upon wave of liquid fire pouring outward through all his limbs as Tony hisses out a sharp curse and spills over Steve’s shaking, clumsy fist.
Minutes later, and Steve is still shaking, even after he’s rolled off of Tony to lie on his back, and still he can’t get his breathing in check, and still his heartbeat won’t quiet into something steadier, less frenzied. Tony keeps pushing closer and closer against his side, nudging his way under Steve’s arm and trailing lazy fingers up and down Steve’s abdomen, one leg kicked up over Steve’s thighs, and he’s nuzzling his face into Steve’s neck, pressing endless soft kisses along the column of it. Steve is convinced that Tony would crawl right up under his skin if only he could find a way.
“Jesus, you’re a mess,” Tony murmurs against his collarbone, and Steve can feel how his lips pull into a brief, easy grin against his skin. With his palm, he strokes a long arc over Steve’s chest, hiking up onto his elbow and then dipping his head when Steve won’t meet his eyes. “Hey. Hey. You’re okay.” He leans in to kiss Steve then, and it’s so light and sweetly slow, so completely chaste and without intent, that Steve hardly knows what to do with himself except wrap his arms around Tony’s shoulders and pull him in, focusing on the warm weight of him and the easy rhythm of his breathing as he tries to match his own to it, Tony’s fingers raking idly through his hair all the while.
Time gets a bit slippery, and Steve thinks he must slide back into some grey area between sleep and wakefulness for awhile; when awareness takes firmer hold of him again, Tony is sitting at the edge of the bed, facing out toward the windows as he sips a steaming mug of coffee. It’s bluer skies now, brighter sunlight, and Steve finds himself almost disappointed by the pleasant turn the weather’s taken, because it means there’s less excuse to lie around in bed pretending like a thousand obligations don’t await them both. He reaches out to skim his fingertips down Tony’s side, relishing the way the muscles flinch under his touch, the way Tony tucks away but tries not to, because being ticklish is something he will refuse to admit to until his dying day.
“Knock it off, jerk,” Tony snaps, no real ire at all in the words. Steve smirks and sits up to wrap an arm loosely around his waist from behind, tucking his chin over Tony’s shoulder and looking out with him on the city far below. Tony’s arm folds over his, and Steve knows, right then, that this moment is the one he’ll look back on in coming weeks, when the world invariably falls apart around them, when he’s in the midst of the next terrible battle fighting the next villain, the next invading force, the next traitor, to find some sense of centeredness amidst all the chaos and unrelenting violence.
“So, hey, I’m thinking that I’m gonna just trash all my alarm clocks,” Tony quips after a long, unencumbered silence ticks by, cutting a mischievous look at Steve. “Because that was a hell of a wakeup call.”
Steve just rolls his eyes and shoves at him a little.
“What? I’m serious! You should really say good morning like that more often.”
“Yes. Yeah. Absolutely.”
“Alright, alright,” Steve relents, but he can’t quite hide the smile that tugs at the corners of his mouth. He steals Tony’s coffee and takes a long swig before setting it aside and coaxing him back down into the sheets.