It should have been a nice team dinner.
That was all. That was the plan. It had been a long time since most of the team was in the same building, and Steve had thought, foolishly, that they could eat together and maybe watch a movie after if everyone decided to stick around that long.
They were civilized people. Sure, after Ultron, things had gotten fairly tense: Thor spent most of his time in Asgard, Bruce was nowhere to be found, Wanda was grieving, Vision was still getting used to this world, Clint only stayed in touch by talking to Natasha, and Tony… Tony barely showed up once a week, and only to throw a flat ‘Hello’ at them before locking himself up inside the facility’s workshop. So yes, Steve’s teammates weren’t exactly on good terms with each other, but surely they could manage to spend a nice, easy evening together, right?
Oh, most definitely wrong.
“This is all your fault,” Steve said, making sure to point that out before he flopped down onto the couch.
Tony sat beside him and slurred an offended, “No, it isn’t! Hey birdbrain, where’s the scotch?”
With great effort, Clint uprighted himself from where he, Natasha and Wanda were lying flatly on the floor, and pulled the bottle out from under his belly and looked at it.
“Empty,” he said.
“And your last one, at that,” Natasha added.
“What?” Tony said, askance. “What happened to the others?”
“Gone,” Thor supplied helpfully and let loose a loud burp.
“Apologies,” Thor said, his voice earnest, just as an empty bottle of wine rushed through the air, crashing against the next wall.
“Shit! Sorry.” Sam winced. “That was… kind of a good idea just a moment ago.”
“We need more drinks,” Wanda announced, finger in the air.
“Right!” Tony agreed enthusiastically. “Then we’ll have like a… contest. With drinks.”
Steve groaned. That was the third time Tony had called for a drinking contest. Which had gotten all of them into this situation in the first place. And with ‘this situation’ Steve meant they were drunk. Very very drunk. And with ‘they’, he meant everyone.
Everyone including Steve.
His head was thrumming, the room was spinning all around him, and he really had forgotten what being truly drunk felt like.
There wasn’t much he could do about it now. And anyway, he’d thought that one night wouldn’t hurt. Just one little night of not brooding about Sokovia and the constant absence of four of his team members, and the burden of leading the New Avengers all on his own.
Of course, he hadn’t meant to get drunk, but one thing had led to another—mostly because Tony could be really darn persuasive… and charming… and likeable… if he wanted to be—and now, here he was.
“Uh,” Steve said, when he noticed Tony staring at him. “What?”
“Drinking,” Tony said slowly, “Contest.”
“Tempting as that sounds, I think it’s time that we cut ya’off.” He nudged Tony’s shoulder with his. “You’re tanked.”
“Am not! And anyway, you’re just as drunk!”
Steve chuckled, taking in the spinning living room. He was indeed drunk. And he couldn’t bring himself to feel too bad about it. Not when Tony and Clint and Thor were all here, almost like old times.
“One more, friend,” Thor suggested, offering another small glass full of a golden liquid. Steve took it, clinked glasses with Thor, and downed the whole thing in one go. It burned down all the way to his stomach, hot and sharp, leaving a taste of honey in his mouth.
“Look how happy he looks,” Tony said, almost giggling. “That’s not very Captainish of you. You’re slipping, Rogers. If you aren’t careful I’ll have to assume you’re having fun .”
Steve couldn’t help it. He smiled. Tony, with his little jabs and crooked grins and… Steve vaguely remembered how much the guy’s eccentric behavior had annoyed him once, but he couldn’t bring himself to go back there. Not after everything.
“Bad influence,” he said instead.
“Who,” Tony asked. “Me?”
Steve shook his head, and nodded to the barrel on the floor. “Thor’s mead.” He tried to raise himself to his feet. Bad decision. Body swaying, he let himself flop back down onto the couch. Steve blinked a few times as the room grew hazier. “I should probably go to bed.”
“Oh come on! Spoilsport,” Tony whined and his hand gripped Steve’s sleeve. Their fingers were touching, lightly at first, before Steve closed his fingers around Tony’s palm.
A warm fuzzy feeling gripped Steve’s heart. Ever since the mess with Ultron, he and Tony had been sort of… politely distanced whenever they talked. This —here, even though it was only a result of drinking too much, was oddly nice.
“You should call it a night, too,” Steve told him, casting him an easy smile.
Tony heaved a sigh. He yawned, and though he planned to sit up, his shoulders sagged forward and his eyes fell closed instead. “Oh God, I can’t, don’t make me.” As he spoke, voice growing fainter, he’d managed to curl into a fetal position. By the last word, his head landed in Steve’s lap.
“Uh,” Steve said, hands withdrawn. He looked at the others. “Help?”
Clint rolled his eyes, and gave Tony a quick prod with his outstretched hand. “C’mon, rise and shine, Stark.”
“Five more minutes,” Tony mumbled, nuzzling deeper into Steve’s crotch.
Oh heck. Steve felt heat rising to his cheeks.
Natasha snorted, looking at Steve as she stood up. She only swayed slightly on her feet, which was terribly unfair since she had certainly drank the most, winning three out of three of Tony’s contests. “Well, we’ll leave you two to it.”
What? Steve stared at them owlishly. “Guys—”
“Sleep well, my friends. It truly was a memorable evening,” Thor told Steve, clapping his shoulder as he walked by. On his way out, he picked up a sleeping Sam, steadying Clint with his other hand.
“Five more,” Tony murmured, “then I’ll…”
Then he snored softly, drooling a little on Steve’s pants.
Steve shook his head as he looked down at Tony. “And that’s the man that counters my every word on a regular basis.”
A soft sigh, and Steve let his fingertips move through Tony’s already mussed up hair. It was very soft, and slightly curled in Tony’s nape. A haircut was clearly due soon, and… this really wasn’t any of his business.
Drawing his hand back, Steve shook his head at himself. Being around Tony Stark was often maddening, in very different ways. The man got under his skin, and now, being as drunk as he was, Steve could admit to himself that he’d really missed him in those last weeks.
Tony mumbled something in his sleep, and Steve thought, He has a real pretty mouth, too .
As soon as the thought registered, Steve’s eyes widened and he shook his head to get the accompanying images out. “Goddarn mead,” he murmured.
He reached for a blanket that was draped over the backrest of the couch, feeling light and weightless. “You owe me,” he whispered, face scrunched. He pulled the blanket around them both and pressed up against Tony’s side. “Just a little shut-eye, then we’ll go to our rooms,” he said.
And you’ll go back to ignoring me as best as you can, Steve thought to himself, then drifted into unconsciousness.
* * *
The alarm blared, loud and harsh and… very very loud. The noise didn’t just echo within the room, but also inside Tony’s head.
“What,” someone said, and Tony jerked upwards, wild eyed. It was still dark outside, pitch-black, and the clock on the television read 4 a.m. Which meant he had barely slept two or maybe three hours.
Curiouser still, there was someone lying underneath him, and after the blinding light of absolute torment had lifted slightly, Tony realized that it was Steve. Steve —who was, by every sense of the word, wrapped up around Tony. His legs were tangled up with his, his arms curled around Tony’s waist, his face positioned against the crook of Tony’s neck.
“Uh,” Tony said, leaning back a bit as he stared down at Steve. Steve was staring back, his eyes equally large.
After a very confused moment, the previous night came monsooning back to him.
He’d visited the new team at the facility, wanting to work on a few of their weapons and uniforms. Initially, he’d planned to go down to his workshop, come back up a few hours later, and drive back to Manhattan in peace, but Steve—Steve with his huge blue Disney eyes—had asked him to stay a little, and Tony had always been unable to say no to him.
So they’d had dinner together, and even Clint and Thor had been there. The latter had brought two barrels of mead from Asgard, and for some reason, Steve had agreed to have ‘one drink before he’d go to bed’.
One drink had turned into… a whole lot. And Tony, well… he’d had a hard time remembering when he’d had that much fun in the last months. The answer probably was: Not. Even Steve had laughed, loud and carefree, had made jokes that were far too dirty for Captain America, had even talked to Tony like Ultron hadn’t driven a sky-high wedge between them.
It had been a nice evening. And apparently, he’d fallen asleep here, on the couch, and more importantly: on Steve .
And now, the goddamn Avengers alarm was echoing all across the room, reminding him how very much he wasn’t a part of Steve’s life anymore.
“Cut it, FRIDAY,” Tony yelled, and on the next beat, the shrill sounds stopped.
“Oh thank God ,” Steve exhaled, closing his eyes as he pressed two fingers each against his temple. He looked pained, like he had the world’s worst headache, which… well, he probably had. “I—I have to go.”
Right, alarm meant mission. Avengers mission. Superheroes to the rescue.
“HYDRA?” Tony suggested.
Steve cast him a look that spelled, When is it ever not HYDRA?
“There appear to be several attacks in Lower Manhattan, sir. Several men have breached the science division of Oscorp Industries,” FRIDAY supplied.
“Right,” Tony amended. “Aren’t you still drunk?” He sure did still feel lightheaded.
“I...” Steve’s nose scrunched up adorably. “I don’t think so. Serum’s quick, but I’d have to go no matter what.”
“Well then, do your thing,” Tony said with a clipped voice. God, he really hated this.
Steve glanced up at him again, staring as if he tried to read Tony’s mind. “I never asked you to quit,” he said after a beat. “This was your decision, remember?”
Tony’s jaw clenched. “Yes, and I stand by it.”
There was another beat of contemplation, something heavy in Steve’s eyes that Tony wasn’t quite getting, then Steve nodded.
Realizing that Tony was still very much plastered to Steve’s chest, he sat up, giving Steve the room to stand up.
“Be safe, honey,” he called after Steve, forcing a broad grin to his lips when Steve stopped, stiffening. He cast him an unimpressed look over his shoulder.
“Very funny,” Steve murmured and Tony watched him reach for his shield, before he ran out of the room to be Captain America.
* * *
It was indeed HYDRA. And after about half an hour, Tony got his emergency call.
They had this… agreement. Tony didn’t usually go out and fight with them, but whenever it got really bad, Steve would ping him, and he’d suit up and follow them onto the battlefield.
Today, it was bad.
As far as they knew, the remaining groups of HYDRA scientists weren’t all that clever or powerful, but half of the Avengers were still utterly wasted, and HYDRA was about to launch an attack that might very well destroy half of Lower Manhattan. So Tony stepped into his newest Iron Man suit that he might or might not have stared at for the last twenty-nine minutes, and rushed to the scene.
He divided his time between scouting the area and making sure that none of his teammates got fried by HYDRA’s laser guns. Circling right above Steve, Tony caught movement at one of Oscorp’s smaller labs, on the outskirts of the compound. A few dozen men were running out of the building, shouting at each other with frantic movements. From what Tony could see, most of them were wearing the typical HYDRA ensemble.
“Cap,” Tony called. “On your six.”
Below, Steve turned around. He followed Tony’s line of sight, and on the next beat, he started running.
Tony directed the suit down to him, and quickly scooped Steve up with a grip around his middle, and flew him over the last remaining buildings.
“A bomb?” Steve asked, slightly out of breath.
“My thoughts exactly,” Tony agreed. Blowing up Oscorp’s labs might be huge disaster. Even Tony didn’t know what the guy was cooking up in there.
Once they stood in front of the now deserted labs, Tony followed Steve through the entry hall to bring all of this to a close. Tony pried the steel door that led to the laboratories open and raised his gauntlet. “So much for a quiet, normal night,” he told Steve with a casual tone. “Not if you’re me. Thanks guys for respecting my retirement wishes.”
He didn’t miss the flash of exasperation that colored Steve’s features. “Says the man who hollered ‘Take this, HYDRA scum’ about ten minutes ago.”
“I…” Tony huffed. “I get carried away.”
“You were having fun,” Steve told him. “You always do whenever you fight with us.”
Tony bit his lips and said nothing. His headache was still very much killing him, but apart from that… Steve might be right. He was having fun.
The march through the corridors was slow. They checked every door for some lead on what HYDRA had done in here, but there was nothing to be found. When they reached the last doorway, there was a loud humming sound, followed by a steady beeping.
A sigh rolled off Tony’s shoulders. “There we go.”
Steve nodded, then disappeared inside.
Tony shuddered slightly as he crossed the threshold into pure darkness. With his gauntlet’s lights, his eyes adjusted quickly, even if there was nothing to see. Only line after line of server racks. There was no members of HYDRA—nothing to suggest someone had been wreaking havoc in here. And no bomb.
It took a few minutes, but they ultimately conceded the fact that they weren’t going to catch anyone here, and instead of creeping around and pretending to be stealthy, they decided to throw all their cards on the table. Tony took off his helmet and looked around. One of the server racks was blinking rapidly, and when they neared it, there was no doubt that someone had recently uploaded a few files here.
“A virus, then?” Steve asked, frowning.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” Tony said.
He knelt in front of the ceiling-high rack and went to work. He downloaded all the files to his suit, forwarding them to FRIDAY’s servers at the same time.
His head was still killing him, and every inch of him felt off balance and slightly wobbly. If Steve was still drunk, he surely didn’t show it. He stood guard next to Tony, switching between staring down at the rack in front of them and letting his eyes wander across the room.
And the walls betrayed nothing.
“They’re retreating, guys,” Natasha said via the comm-line.
An instinctive twist in his gut told Tony that HYDRA’s game was nearing its end. He tensed slightly; aware that every hair on his arm was sticking up.
“Means they got what they wanted,” he said eventually and heard Steve sigh next to him.
“Yeah, I know. Any ideas?”
The download was finished, and FRIDAY’s analysis came in seconds later. Tony huffed. “The newest files are garbage. All of it. Maybe they just wanted to distract us with this?”
There was a rustle above them.
“Or it’s a trap,” they both said at the same time, and Steve was about to raise his shield above them, stepping closer to Tony, but it was already too late.
It happened so fast. So freaking fast. And Tony purely blamed their recent drink-fest on the fact that neither of them was quick enough to dodge those tasers shooting towards them. Something hit Tony’s neck, right above the suit, and a surge of electrocution went through his limbs. He heard Steve grunting next to him, but couldn’t check if he’d been hit, too. The sensation of being dragged off his feet commenced a dizzy spell… then the room went spinning. In a fury of quick movements his body twitched on the ground.
Suddenly, he could see nothing, but his other senses were going haywire. Someone had stepped up next to him, pressing some sort of cloth onto his face. The smell of wafting chloroform tickled his taste buds and the harsh breath at his ear smelled of foul teeth.
“Tony!” he heard Steve yell, and when the cloth was removed, Tony had a brief moment when he saw Steve thrashing against someone furiously. There were six electrode darts sticking in his chest and neck, and Tony could see him losing the control over his body. Their eyes met and Tony felt something hard fall within the pit of his stomach.
That might be it. And for some reason he couldn’t grasp, he felt a deep sort of regret wash over him as he stared at Steve.
The impression was brief and the thought never quite registered in his mind. He was only aware of Steve trying to grasp his wrist as someone pulled Tony roughly to the door. Then everything went black.
* * *
There were voices.
Tony thought they were familiar, somehow, but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.
“This will get us to the top of Captain America’s shit list, won’t it?” a man said, followed by the voice of a second.
“He’ll be dead before this time tomorrow, so what do I care?”
“Rumlow should’ve just let us kill ‘em now. I mean, look at ‘em. They’re completely out of it. One shot each, bam bam, the end.”
“Didn’t you hear him say they were part of a bigger plan? You should stop talking so much and start listening. He said he needed his friends to be really pissed at us.”
“He wants them to be pissed? Nice. Did you ever meet those guys? All of ‘em? At once?”
A pause. The voices were getting quieter as the men walked away.
“Didn’t think so.”
“Oh, shut up. I’m sure Rumlow got it under control.”
A scoff. “Sure. The last time he said that, the whole Triskelion went ‘boom’. Does he have any idea what it took to get them here? We should kill them while they’re… still…”
The last words were barely comprehensible. A door was opened, and closed on the next beat. Amber light penetrated Tony’s haze. Gray walls, white tiles on the floor… Was he in his facility bedroom? He hadn’t slept there often, so maybe he just didn’t recognize the room right away. And anyway, his head felt a bit—
Yeah, still hung-over. Great.
Jerking his arms, Tony heard a rustle, then a clank. “What the…?” He craned his head toward his wrists and found thick, deadlocked shackles fastened to chains that were anchored to a bar of thick iron protruding from the wall behind him. There was some kind of mechanism to it, one bar horizontal, the other vertical, and his chains were stuck to each of them. “…fuck?”
When had he decided to get shackled up?
He yanked at the restraints, rolled to his side… and was met with a curious sight.
Next to him lay Steve, on his back, fast asleep, both wrists cuffed and chained in the same manner, with a longer chain connected to the same bar behind them.
The real shocker? He was completely naked.
Stranger still, so was Tony.
“Huh,” Tony said and let himself drop back down on the hard floor.
And here he’d thought his life couldn’t get any weirder.
* * *
“Hey, super-soldier!” Someone kneed Steve’s thigh. “Cap! Wake up!”
Steve groaned in his sleep and turned on his side, facing away from that source of noise.
“What does it take?” the voice gritted out. “Hey! Cap! A super villain is attacking New York! Lots of grannies in danger!”
Steve’s head popped up, eyes shut tight. “Huh?”
“Right,” Tony sighed.
At once, the pain struck Steve like a wrecking ball. Head throbbing, arms stinging with pins and needles, wrists aching as if bruised, he attempted to nurse his wounds—and encountered some resistance that kept him from doing so.
“What?” he breathed and looked up at the wall and tugged, still confused. “What is this?”
“That’s the question,” Tony said.
Steve turned around to him, twisting his arms even more painfully. “Tony?”
Tony pursed his lips. “Not what you expected either, huh?”
Fuzzy as he was, Steve shook his head. He tried to sit up a bit, as his eyes dropped. Something in him stilled. “Where are—where are my clothes? Where are your —” He stared at Tony’s naked body for a blank second, before he pointedly stared at the wall instead. Then, he scrambled around, his back to Tony, to give them both at least some minor privacy while pulling on the shackles. “What the hell? What did you do?”
“Me?” Tony scoffed. “I didn’t do anything, okay? We were obviously kidnapped. It’s not my fault.”
Steve wheeled around. “I didn’t—I didn’t say this was your fault, just. Okay, kidnapped.” Steve sighed. This was going to be one of those days, then. “What do you remember?”
“Well, not much. I woke up same as you, all chained up and birthday-suited. Last night, we got drunk, woke up, then we went out to kick some HYDRA ass, end of story.”
Steve arched a single brow.
“Well,” Tony shook his wrists, the chains clanking, “except for this.”
“Do you know this place?” Steve asked, and turned his back to him again. There wasn’t much to see in this room, only a few shelves with several containers that were far out of reach. “We’re not in the Oscorp lab anymore, are we? Any of the registered HYDRA hideouts?”
“Maybe, can’t really tell from here. So you don’t remember anything, either?”
“It’s coming back. Unfortunately.” Steve jerked the chain, grunting rather daintily. “They tasered me, took them a while, but they had this syringe and…” He raised his arm, and of course, there wasn’t any visible puncture anymore. “I think they got me with it.”
“Great,” Tony said, heaving a low breath. “So we’re kidnapped. And naked. And we don’t know where we are.”
Impatient, Steve said, “We should get out.”
Tony snorted. “Really? Well, now that the glaringly obvious has been stated, all will be fine.”
“I don’t see you coming up with any ideas!”
“How about we start with these chains,” Tony said, pointing at the bar above their heads. “I could use a bit of super-strength here.”
Steve glanced at him over his shoulder. “Oh. Okay. They’ve been welded shut?”
“At every possible break. Whoever did this knows what you’re capable of.”
“And had power tools? Shouldn’t we have heard something?”
Tony raised a brow. “You mean the same way you heard me yelling at you for the last twenty minutes?”
“Oh,” Steve said. “I’m usually a light sleeper.”
“Yeah. Alcohol is funny like that.”
More like whatever tranquilizer they’d put in his system, Steve thought, keeping his mouth shut. He mentally checked off their list of HYDRA enemies, past and present. It didn’t add up. “Why would they want to chain us up to each other naked? Where’s the logic in that?”
“I for one would like to get unchained and un-naked before I find out.”
“Not arguing there.”
“Anyway, I think you can crack it, long as you give it your all.”
“Alright,” Steve said, and resigned himself to a humiliating match of Naked Metal Twisting alongside his former teammate who he barely talked to twice a month.
Well, dignity was a foreign concept in this business, Steve had learned that early on.
A minute later, Steve huffed, puffed and hauled with every ounce of his strength for several minutes. He’d pressed his feet against the wall as he pulled, but the metal remained stubbornly intact—and decidedly unbent.
He called for a breather and turned to Tony. “Magical binding, maybe?”
“Maybe,” Tony said, blearily eyeing the restraints. “But I’d wager the real magic here’s in your hangover.”
“You might have a point,” he said, clamping his eyes shut. He did have a bit of a headache, still. “How can you live like this?”
“Not so bad really, long as you don’t get chained up afterwards.”
“That does it. I’m never drinking again.”
Tony shrugged. “To each his own.”
Steve sighed, the pain stirring anew. “Maybe we should wait ‘til I get my strength back, or ‘til someone…” he caught a glimpse of his body, “…finds us; we really should get out of here.”
“Gotcha.” Tony inspected the headboard. “From here it doesn’t look like it’s a particularly strong one, to be honest. Just don’t know what on earth that hulking metal bar is attached to… There’s got to be something worth loosening at the corner here. If you run your chains over here, and I run mine over there, and if we can pool our strength at the center—”
“Our?” Steve raised a brow. “No offense, Stark, but—”
“I’m not sure you’ll make much of a difference.”
Tony scoffed. “Thanks very much.”
“I don’t mean to be insensitive, if you had the suit with you—”
“Yeah, I get it okay? Nothing without the suit. I heard you loud and clear the first time.”
Steve groaned. “That’s not what I meant. Do you always have to do that? Twisting my words however you want?”
“Just let me try, okay?” Tony asked. “The faster we get out of here the faster we can forget this ever happened.”
Steve sighed. “Sure. And you can go back to hiding in your tower.”
Tony huffed, staring at Steve. “Something you want to say to me?”
“Nothing that would matter.”
“Fine,” Tony spat, and turned around to face him. Unintentionally, Steve’s gaze dropped, taking in Tony’s lean body, the scars on his chest, and his…
Okay . Get it together, Rogers.
“Alright,” Tony announced. “Sorry to say this, but you will have to get over here, while we get the chains into each of the bar’s side. It’s all a matter of the angle we’re using. If we both pull from the same point, right here, I’m sure it’ll break.”
It took a moment until Tony’s words made any sense to him. He wanted… he wanted Steve to lay down on top of him?
Tony sighed, probably reading his expression correctly. “I know, okay? Let’s just… keep our naked parts away from each other, and go about this like adults.”
Steve answered with an eye roll. It was very clear that it wouldn’t be exactly possible not to touch each other if they wanted to get leverage on the chains, but he tried not to think about it too much.
Tony flipped onto his back and glided his link along the horizontal bar. Carefully, Steve positioned himself on top of Tony, keeping contact at a minimum.
He leaned toward him. “On your mark.”
Scowling, Tony counted to three. They pulled, but the impassive iron continued to mock them and their attempts.
Steve stared down at Tony, breathing heavily. This was… bad. Really bad. He couldn’t figure it out. Tony’s attractiveness wasn’t anything new to him—but now, his olive toned, writhing, slightly sweat-sheened body tricked him into arousal. He told himself it had nothing to do with Tony in particular—it was just the sounds Tony made; the way he was arching his back so his skin tickled Steve’s skin and…
Oh God, he was getting hard.
Steve had never felt so humiliated. It was bad enough that he was forced to expose himself like this—and to Tony, of all people—but worse still, his body was reacting in all the wrong ways. He tried to train his mind to another place, but he couldn’t control his nerve endings’ traitorous response to Tony’s proximity—the way he breathed on his face and neck, the way he grunted deep and low with each effort.
Steve didn’t look at Tony as he stopped to ask, “Is it even budging?”
“Not sure. Hard to see through all the blinding headache.”
Steve winced. Right. It had to be much worse for Tony.
“One last,” Tony said. “Give it your all.”
Steve grunted, hips rising with the effort. Tony tensed beneath him, groaning as he pulled, his chest pressing against Steve’s, and that was just—
It was too much. And apparently, Tony responded, too, physically and fully.
Steve gasped when Tony’s erection stabbed his thigh. They froze, and an awkward moment passed.
“You were wiggling,” Tony explained ineptly.
“Not on purpose,” Steve said, far less uncomfortable than he probably should be.
He noticed Tony was blushing. That was a first. And kind of pretty. “Here, I’ll move off…”
Away from Tony’s chest and the breath on his face; away from the temptation and excitement and confusion he was causing.
“I don’t think I can do this,” Tony said.
“Tony, I swear I’m not trying to—”
“I know , it’s not… fuck . Let’s give it one last go, okay? I really need to get out of here.”
Steve frowned at the despair in Tony’s words, but nodded eventually. Again they gathered their collective strength to heave that goddamn bar off.
This time, as Tony shimmied against him, Steve became so mesmerized by his mouth—lips glistening, teeth grit into an alluring grimace—that he accidentally let his own, now throbbing, erection slip against Tony’s. On contact, Tony twitched beneath him.
Steve was shocked into stillness.
Gasping for breath, their eyes met. On the edge of a precipice, they stared at one another.
Steve couldn’t help but wonder: If he kissed Tony now, would it be so bad? Sudden, yes—his head spun at the suddenness of it. But bad…?
Held in thrall by those piercing eyes, he found himself saying, “We might not get out of this.”
There was a moment as Tony stared up at him. He swallowed thickly. “Might not,” he agreed.
“We don’t get along much,” Steve said weakly.
Tony nodded slowly, then something in his eyes shifted. “I don’t care.”
After a beat, Steve decided, “Me neither.”
Their mouths nearly touching, Tony slowly pressed up against Steve. This was going to change everything; Steve could already feel it unraveling him from within.
I should stop this , Steve’s mind reasoned, but his body didn’t comply: it only got harder and slowly began to rub against Tony’s middle.
The next moment seemed to occur in slow motion: Tony inched up, angling his torso, and eased into his movements. His legs curled around Steve—urging him closer, inviting him in. Steve hummed in encouragement, and he slid against Tony’s body with deliberate, measured strokes, his jaw firmly clenched.
They stared at each other, wild-eyed, aroused, and clearly both panicking a bit. This was… Steve had never felt anything like this. He stomped down the thoughts that he was rutting against Tony’s body— Tony Stark’s body —and simply gave in to the blissful sensation. It faintly occurred to him that this was something that was supposed to be reserved for a person he loved—but maybe that was something he couldn’t have, ever again. Instead, he was doing this with Tony of all people, who was someone he shouldn’t have, but who was proving to be everything he needed—right now.
Strange, he thought, how shoulds and should-nots become irrelevant once you’re hogtied to a wall.
When at last they found a good rhythm, their gasps combined into one caught breath.
“Steve,” Tony finally exhaled as they clung to each other. “What—what the fuck are we doing?”
“Don’t know.” It shouldn’t feel this good, Steve knew. Nothing should feel this good, especially this, with him . “Don’t stop.”
“Won’t,” Tony promised. “Can’t.”
“More,” he groaned in his ear, and at that, Tony seemed to lose it.
Rattling at his chains, he moved faster, trembling in Steve’s arms. Suddenly it maddened Steve that he couldn’t touch Tony, couldn’t run his fingers along his skin, couldn’t feel his every curve, couldn’t have him completely.
He wanted it all. Every bit of Tony.
Tony slid his heels up to his lower back, down over his ass and back up again. More of you, Steve thought, pulling on the chains once more, and it seemed that was his motivation that finally wrenched them free of the iron bar and broke it in two.
Steve rushed to touch Tony’s angled face and shoulders; Tony ran a thumb over his lips, then found his shoulders. Still manacled and linked to one another, they tested the limits of their restraints.
Whispering his name, Steve lightly looped his chains around the nape of Tony’s neck and pulled him close. Tony trembled in his arms, releasing a choked-up groan that sounded far too overwhelmed for someone as experienced as him.
Immediately, Steve caught himself thinking of things he could do to have Tony make that sound again, and with that in mind, something inside him shifted. A fog cleared. And Steve finally understood.
No wonder he’d always felt so uncomfortable whenever Tony was near. No wonder his heart sped up whenever he cast him a smile. No wonder no other person could ever hurt and frustrate and move him as much as Tony. Because he’d known, deep down, that this was something he wanted but could never have.
“No wonder,” he said aloud, and descended to press his lips to that perfect mouth.
Tony’s eyes fluttered open in surprise—they hadn’t kissed yet, and maybe he’d thought they wouldn’t.
Steve slid his tongue into Tony’s mouth, nibbled on his lower lip, let go, and swooped in again. Their foreheads touched, and he was thrilled at the feel of Tony’s heart racing.
“Oh God,” Tony gasped, as the room echoed with rhythmic grunts and moans, the slap of flesh meeting flesh, the jangle of shifting chains.
The last thing Steve pondered was the hot prickling sensation of Tony’s fingertips digging into his hips and whether he’d leave bruises and how long he would keep them before tripping, tumbling, falling into blissful orgasm, gulping and swallowing air.
Tony tensed beneath him only seconds later, and his lips pressed against Steve’s shoulder as he let loose a choked cry. When it was over, Steve collapsed onto him.
Coming down from his high, Steve suddenly felt the pain in his arms, the wetness between them and the weight of the entire world telling him how stupid they were for doing this—here.
“Steve?” Tony called, sounding unsure. “You’re a bit heavy.”
“Oh,” he said, finding his voice and rolling off of him. “Sorry.”
Back facing him, Tony took several attempts at opening his mouth to say something, before closing it again.
Instead, for the next few minutes, they stared at the white ceiling above them. Steve focused on an abandoned spider web that hung in its corner.
He slowly became sticky in very interesting places, and somehow, he felt even more on display than before.
“Well,” Steve said, breaking the silence, “No one’s come yet.”
Tony looked at him pointedly.
“To kill us, I mean.”
Tony sat up slowly. “That’s kind of strange, don’t you think?”
“Or possibly good,” Steve corrected, not catching his meaning.
“No, it’s not,” Tony said ominously. “They’re waiting for something.”
Some puzzle pieces came together. “You think we’re bait?”
“Maybe. Whoever did this.” Tony looked down at himself, and back at the walls surrounding them. “Wanted us to go into that building, look at that exact server, then bring us here and make sure we wouldn’t be leaving. Hence the nakedness.”
“Yeah well, lucky for us, we’re free now.”
“Free? Unless we can break this big honking lock that holds us together, we’re definitely still stuck here. And need I mention the nudity?”
No, Steve was very much aware of that.
“Didn’t think you’d mind,” Steve said, and couldn’t hold back a smile. “Anyway, there’s a door, and I don’t hear voices outside. We should try our luck.”
Tony considered the options. “I’d really rather not.”
“Look. We can stay here and wait for our captor, or we can try to get out of here before that happens.”
“Steve…” Tony started.
“Tony, come on. We can get through that, too. We just had—” He skidded to a halt, unable to say the word.
“Sex?” Tony supplied.
He’d had sex. With Tony.
Tony raised a brow, his expression suddenly very serious. “You wanna pretend that didn’t happen, don’t you?”
“No, I…” I just don’t know how to deal with you. This—this had only complicated things even further.
“No, I agree. We should do that. It wasn’t a big thing, anyway,” Tony said, his voice subdued, and he pulled his knees closer to his body. With the leverage, he tried to pull on those chains. It was clearly of no use, but the only thing about Tony that had ever rivaled his genius had always been his stubbornness.
“Tony,” Steve said, sighing. “Come on, that’s—”
“We should try the door,” Tony interrupted him. He pulled himself to his feet, waiting until Steve did the same. The chains clanked between them as they started walking, and they couldn’t get further away from each other than a few inches.
Steve closed his hands around the door handle, once they’d reached the door, pulling at it—then pulling some more. “It’s locked,” he said.
“You’re not up to full strength, remember?” Without waiting for his reply, Tony closed his hands around one of Steve’s upper arms and pushed him to the side. He leaned against the door, gripped the handle, pushing, then pulling, then beating against it.
He did that for three whole minutes before he stopped.
Steve shrugged. “I told you.”
“The door’s locked.”
“And we’re still stuck.”
“I know that must be hard for you,” Steve said, trying not to let too much spite dribble into his voice. “Not being able to run away from your problems.”
Tony scoffed, casting him a hard look. “Very funny.”
“I wasn’t aiming for funny.”
Tony met his eyes again and Steve was overwhelmed by his confused expression. It was clear that Tony didn’t like him much. He would probably never even call him a true friend. Their relationship had always been a fragile thing, often overcome by fierce disagreements. But here, in this sterile storage room, Tony had given him something that no one else had. And for some reason, there was now an ache in Steve’s heart at the thought that… once this was over, they would go back to not talking to each other.
Steve swallowed, noticing that Tony had stepped slightly closer. There was a hand on his forearm, and brown eyes were staring at him with great wariness.
Tony wet his lips, shivering slightly. “I—”
A loud bang at the door cut him off, and they had half a second to take a step backwards, before it barged open. Both Steve and Tony fumbled into battle stance, only to come to a skidding halt in the middle of the room.
“Friends,” Thor announced. He held Mjolnir in his right hand, regarding them both with an amused smile. “It’s a relief to see you… in such good health.”
Natasha laughed as she stepped up next to Thor. “I gotta tell you,” she drawled, “with the nakedness and the tripping? Not all that scary.”
They both let loose a half-relieved, half-embarrassed breath.
“It’s good to see you,” Steve eventually said, covering himself as best as he could.
Which wasn’t much.
Five minutes later, they were standing in the corridor of an unknown hospital basement. Tony didn’t say anything as he zipped up his jeans, then pulled a sweater over his head.
“Thanks for the clothes,” Steve told Natasha, putting on a shirt and pants as well. “How did you find us?”
“They sent us a few clips of you,” Natasha explained.
Simultaneously, Steve’s and Tony’s eyes widened. “Clips?” Tony asked.
Natasha’s eyebrows rose slightly before she schooled her expression. “Of you sleeping in here. They got you with one of the good tranquilizers, huh?”
“Ah,” Steve said, and looked at Tony briefly. “I guess so.”
“They also sent us a ransom note.”
“So they wanted money?” Tony asked, a bit disbelieving. And sure—that didn’t really fit into HYDRA’s usual evil schemes. He took the red and gold suitcase Natasha offered him, visibly relieved that they'd recovered the armor.
“No, they wanted us to let you die, otherwise they publicly threatened to blow up a children’s hospital.”
A strangled breath left Steve’s lips. “And you—”
“Solved the situation by not letting either of the two happen,” Natasha said, rolling her eyes. “Vision helped track them down. We got rid of the bomb before they even noticed.”
“And then we got rid of HYDRA,” Thor added, grinning broadly. “All is well my friends. Do not worry.”
“So they wanted to kill the two of us,” Steve mused.
“Or let you save us and have the whole team be responsible for hundreds of dead kids,” Tony supplied with a subdued voice. “Either way. It was a win win scenario for them.”
He was right, Steve realized. It had never been about them. They wanted to ruin the whole team. By killing innocent children.
The thought was as disgusting as it was horrifying.
They were halfway outside the building, when Steve spotted Clint, Sam, Vision and Wanda standing at the exit door.
“So,” Natasha said. “How’d you lose your clothes anyways?”
“It’s a—” Steve halted, not wanting to anger Tony even more. “Long story.”
Natasha looked them over. “Right.” She held her hands up. “Got it. I won’t pry.”
“It’s not—I mean, there’s nothing to pry.”
“Sure, Steve,” she said, as if it didn’t matter to her in the least. And Steve knew her well enough by now that this likely meant the gears in her head were turning, and at the end of the day, she’d subtly but very insistently bring Steve to tell her every last detail.
Inwardly groaning, Steve followed the others towards the door. He regarded Tony’s hunched posture, the stiff set of his shoulders and knew in his heart that his previous thought was very true.
This had made everything even more complicated.
* * *
“So, how was it?”
Steve jumped slightly at Natasha’s voice. He sat in the facility’s living room, drawing pointless things on a piece of paper. It was late, almost midnight, so he hadn’t exactly expected any visitors.
The kidnapping had been three days ago, but Steve didn’t have to think long to know what she was talking about.
“We were captured and tied together naked, I think you can guess how it was.”
“And what’s the deal with Tony? Pepper said he arrived at the tower, stormed down to his workshop, and hasn’t come up since.”
“Can’t you guess? We were tied up to a person we can’t stand on a good day, that’s the deal with Tony.”
“‘Can’t stand’, huh?” Natasha grinned. “Didn’t keep you from getting a bit up and personal.”
Steve groaned. “How did figure it out?” It was a wonder she’d waited this long to grill him about it.
“Hate to break it to you, but it didn’t exactly take super-soldier senses to smell what you two were cooking in there.”
Steve blushed. Fiercely. Breaths speeding up, he put the paper and the pen down. “It was just a stupid thing, it didn’t mean anything. Tony said so.”
With an echoing scoff, Natasha sat down on the couch next to Steve.
“And for you? Did it mean something for you?”
“That’s irrelevant when Tony—”
“Oh God , you can be really dense sometimes,” she told him, not unkindly. “You know Tony. Maybe better than any of us. You two—you always pretend like you don’t get along but the reason for that is that you’ve grown so close that it got really easy for you to hurt each other. Did it never occur to you how sad Tony looked since he decided to step down from the team?”
“It was his own decision,” Steve said, and he knew he sounded embittered, but Tony had just left him after Ultron, he had the right to be angry about that.
“It was guilt. Guilt and a whole lot of other insecurities. After Sokovia, leaving the team probably felt a lot like his only option.”
“I told him he didn’t need to go!” Steve said, his voice rising. “I needed him—I wanted him by my side, but he wouldn't listen!”
Natasha hummed, and when Steve looked at her, she had one of those slightly crooked, slightly amused smiles on her lips.
Steve groaned, burying his face in one hand. “I just…” He sighed. “I miss him.”
“So I’ve noticed,” Natasha said. She put a hand on Steve’s back, petting him gently. “Maybe you should tell him that,” she suggested.
Behind them, new steps resounded. Steve and Natasha both turned around to see Sam walking into the adjoining kitchen.
He looked like he’d slept for a few hours and only blinked at them owlishly when he returned with a soda in hand.
“Can’t sleep?” he asked, and Steve hummed in agreement.
Sam sat down, taking a sip. “I still can’t believe you were held hostage with Stark. Naked,” Sam said, disbelief creasing his forehead. “That’s bound to leave you unsettled.”
“We were saved,” Steve assured him. “It’s all good.”
Sam didn’t look too convinced. “But still. That had to be weird, man.”
Steve closed his eyes tightly, wishing they’d just move on already.
“I bet it brought him and Tony a lot closer together,” Natasha said.
Steve’s eyes popped open as he stared at Natasha. Don’t you dare.
“You think?” Sam asked, frowning. “Stark didn’t look too happy when he left.”
“Oh, I’m sure,” Natasha said, “it was a bonding experience for everyone.”
Tight-lipped, Steve glared up at her, then caught a glimpse of Sam, nose wrinkled in confusion. “I think I want a soda, too.” He took Natasha’s arm. “Why don’t you join me.”
“I don’t need—”
“Then keep me company,” he gritted, dragging Natasha to the kitchen.
“Chill. I’m just playing around,” Natasha said to an incensed Steve, once they were on the safer side of the kitchen’s swinging doors. “He got no clue, and never will as long as you don’t man up about it.”
“This isn’t a joke, Natasha. This is my life.”
“Well, maybe you take that to heart and do something to finally live it.”
“Will you stop with that?” Steve nervously glanced to the door, then broke away from Natasha and leaned on the kitchen counter with outstretched arms. “He wouldn’t… he wouldn’t want this. Me. It was a… spur of the moment thing. Nothing more. He was very clear about it.”
“So it was bad,” Natasha prompted, stepping up next to him. She’d raised a questioning brow.
Steve was jolted with the sensory memory of Tony holding the chains behind his back, of him thrusting up against Steve, sending sharp tingles up his body, moaning into his ear.
He’d never felt as close to another human being as in that very moment.
“No,” Steve whispered, looking down at his hands. “It was amazing.”
Natasha hummed. “You know… Tony’s tried to shield his emotions since the day I met him,” Natasha said. “He’s usually very good with it, but there are times when he slips, and then it’s as if… his feelings are all leaking out of him.”
Steve nodded. “When we… well, when we did what we did, he was all open.” Grimacing, he added. “Figuratively speaking.”
He glanced at Natasha, who had that knowing smirk on her lips. “What?”
“You do like him. And I’d bet good money on Tony liking you back. The real question is, will you do anything about it?”
Steve rubbed a hand over his face. “I’m being a coward, aren’t I.”
“Kinda.” Natasha smiled, nudging Steve’s foot with hers. “I bet he’s still awake. You should go to him. Put both of you out of your misery.”
Steve had his doubts that it’d be that easy. Tony was unpredictable on a good day, and this was… unknown territory.
He hadn’t always considered Tony as someone he’d actually want to be with, but looking back, Steve could admit to himself that he’d been drawn like a moth to the flame for a long time.
And maybe Natasha was right. Maybe they only fought so much because they were both too afraid to admit to what was developing between them.
And there was something. Steve could feel it now. Something that might be fragile, and yet had the potential to become something glorious.
And he’d never been someone to back down from a challenge. Even if its name was Tony Stark.
* * *
Alone in his workshop, Tony sighed. He’d been working all day. Or days, probably. On the prototype of a new arc reactor model, on Nat’s Widow Bites, and the transistors on Steve’s shield. The latter had his thoughts going into very different directions, however, and eventually, Tony went to prod a little at DUM-E’s new coding.
Thinking about Steve was maddening. He was a very straight-to-the-point kind of person, but to Tony, he was a mystery—a mystery wrapped up in an enigma stuffed inside a… a burrito, or something.
Spending time with Steve had always strangely felt like he was both falling apart and also piecing his heart back together. After Ultron, and the following break-up with Pepper, Tony had felt truly lost, maybe for the first time in his life. Not just because he didn’t know who he was when he wasn’t an Avenger, but because resigning from the team had made him realize how much he actually missed being around those people.
How much he missed Steve.
He had no idea what to feel whenever he was around him, or why the feelings he did feel were as strong as they were. Ever since he meet Steve, the guy had taken down all the barriers Tony had thought he had so carefully constructed around his heart.
Tony was skimming the code lines, when his eyes started losing focus. How long had it been? And once again, his thoughts lingered in places they shouldn’t… Like Steve, on top of him, eyelashes low, fingers gripping his hips, the particular tickle that crept up Tony’s neck as he moved with him. Maybe he should go back to drinking. Or maybe he could fly to some Caribbean island and hide there for the rest of his life.
He knew what Rhodey thought, the annoying little muckraker. He knew it just by his expression earlier, when Tony’d quietly told him what had transpired during his short kidnapping.
Talk to him. If you don’t get it out of your head, it’ll drive you nuts.
It’d drive him nuts, no matter what. And talking to Steve just… Tony didn’t know how to go about that. What should he say?
‘So, Steve. Our little humping-session wasn’t so out of the blue as you might think.’
‘Steven, it might sound weird, but being chained to you kinda was one of the best experiences I’ve had in the last year.’
‘Yo, Cap, if you ever want to bang on a cold floor again, I wouldn’t say no.’
‘Hey, Caperoo, funny thing: Whenever I gave you the impression that I didn’t like you, I was actually trying to keep myself from kissing you.’
Tony groaned. Yeah. Not happening.
“Just forget about him,” he murmured as he leaned his head against DUM-E’s main strut. “He doesn’t want this.”
“Would you let me decide on that?” Tony heard in his ear.
Tony whipped around, fists first, acting on instinct.
Steve caught his wrists and held them tightly, soul-searching his eyes.
Flustered, Tony said, “How.”
“FRIDAY likes me.”
Not about to clue him in on the reason for that, Tony forced a stern expression on his face.
“You mind?” Steve asked.
“That depends on why you’re here.”
“Not to fight, if that’s what you mean.”
Steve let go of his hands and Tony stood up to face him—more or less—, fighting the urge to smooth his hair, make sure he looked all right.
Yeah, he was pathetic.
“Natasha said you locked yourself up here for a long time,” Steve said after a moment of awkward silence.
“And Natasha knows that because…” Tony started, then huffed at himself for even asking. “Pepper,” he conceded.
“Pepper,” Steve agreed. “She still cares about you.”
“Yeah,” Tony agreed. “But this is more about her prying into stuff that’s none of her business.”
“So she knows?” Steve asked, visibly surprised. “That we…?” He trailed off, obviously once again unable to say it out loud.
“No,” Tony said. “There’s nothing to know, anyway.”
“Nothing,” Steve echoed, eyes boring into Tony’s, “Are you sure?”
For a moment, Tony was hushed by the question. Then, he clenched his hands into fists, walking away. He stopped in the middle of the room, crossing his arms in front of his chest.
“What’s with you all of a sudden?” he asked Steve, because he—for the life of him—couldn’t figure out what he wanted from him. “I’m still me. You’re still you. And you and I—we couldn’t be much more different. What happened was… we were naked, and we obviously both hadn’t had any in a long time, so it was…”
“Two guys helping each other out?” Steve supplied, “That’s really what you want to say to me?”
Tony waved a hand at him. “You don’t want this.”
Steve stopped. Then he released a long, and very dramatic sigh. “And he’s back to telling me how I feel.”
“Well, how do you feel?” Tony asked a bit harshly. “Why are you here?”
The corner of Steve’s mouth curled up. Head tilting, he said, “To talk about what happened. That’s what adults usually do.” He cleared his throat, looking very small all of a sudden. “I can’t say that what happened didn’t throw me for a loop completely. But now that it did happen, I… I have to admit that I…” Steve trailed off, his brows furrowing as he visibly searched for words.
And even though words weren’t forthcoming, it slowly dawned on Tony what was happening here. And more importantly: What Steve was trying to say.
“Are you serious,” Tony blurted, and shook his head at himself. He needed to get his act together, but what Steve was hinting at was ridiculous . Just because Tony had, somewhere along the way, developed a crush on his teammate, this stupid thing they’d done couldn’t have changed Steve’s opinion on him so completely.
“Steve, I just… I know stuff like that has a habit of messing up your mind somewhat, but… I mean, you don’t really like me. It’s alright to have enjoyed what we did on a physical level without—”
“I like you,” Steve said, interrupting him. His formerly confused expression changed to something that could only be called ‘mortally offended’. “I never did not like you.”
Tony huffed. “Right.”
Steve sent him an unimpressed glare. “I might not have exactly worshiped the grounds you have walked on from day one, I admit that. Mostly because you have been rude and arrogant and completely disregarding of my situation. But after we had fought the Chitauri together, and after everything that followed, you were my friend. And I do like you, Tony.”
Before his brain could catch up, Tony’s feet had already made the first steps in Steve’s direction. Moth to the flame, and all that. It certainly felt like Steve had some kind of magnetic pull on him. And ho boy, his heart hadn’t beat that fast since he’d confessed his feelings for Jean Graham in second grade.
And Jean Graham had been far less intimidating than the man in front of him.
Tony swallowed. “As a friend, you mean.” He didn’t dare phrase it as a question but Steve answered either way.
Too . Tony took a deep breath. There were only so many ways in which he could tell himself that Steve wasn’t making a move on him—right here, right now.
“So what happened…”
“…is a result of me liking you,” Steve finished, almost matter-of-factly, as he, too, stepped closer. For some reason that was utterly beyond Tony, he looked far calmer now. How could he be calm about this? This was a moment to make or break them—this was the Moon Landing, this was the Berlin Wall coming down, this was the Olympians fighting the Titans.
With a last step, Steve now stood right in front of Tony, and never in his life had he felt that small—that out of his game.
“Oh,” Tony said once more, staring up at Steve. “I… didn’t expect that.”
“Yeah, I noticed.” Steve smiled, and oh… that smile was kind of beautiful. Whenever he smiled, Steve’s whole face lit up. It wasn’t a symmetrical smile, Tony realized, which made it all the more beautiful. The left corner of Steve’s mouth was a tiny bit higher, and when it got broad enough—like right now—there were two tiny dimples forming on his cheeks.
“What’s going through that head of yours?” Steve whispered.
“I was trying to figure out why your smile is so pretty,” Tony said before he could stop himself, wincing at his own words. He’d really just said that, hadn’t he?
“Ah.” Steve chuckled, and wow, he was really close. He raised his hands slowly and framed Tony’s cheeks. And then, he was leaning down, and…
“Me?” Tony asked once more, just to be sure.
Steve bent forward, mouth on a collision course with Tony’s. “Yes, Tony. You.”
Tony’s skin trembled against Steve’s lips when he ghosted soft kisses on his left cheek, moving closer to his mouth, millimeter by millimeter.
Cautiously, Tony coasted a hand over Steve’s shirt, drawing him in until their bodies touched. “What would you think about some… re-enactment,” he whispered. “Last time, the setting left much to be desired.”
Steve smiled. “I’d like that.”
Tony nodded, and then, Steve didn’t waste another moment. Kissing him again, finally —God how he missed those lips, that tongue, and oh, okay, Steve was kind of taking him into his arms, raising him into the air and putting him on the table…
“Hot,” Tony mouthed against his lips, and they both grinned into their kiss.
Leaning him against the wall behind the table, Steve drew him in, arms around his shoulders. He slipped his tongue into Tony’s mouth as he hugged him close.
“Best kidnapping I ever had,” Tony managed between kisses.
Dazedly, Steve laughed.
“Fair warning, though. I’m horrible at relationships. This might be a real disaster, you know that, right?”
“Might be,” Steve replied, but Tony saw something flash through his eyes, something he’d seen before; the last time. Something strong, something fierce. Something like...
Okay. Maybe Steve did like him. More than a friend.
And fine… he was Steve’s, too. Forever at his side.
Tied to him.
“It’s our disaster,” Steve told him, and pulled him down by the nape of his neck. “So let’s be horrible together.”
Tony smiled and tore away from him to promise, “I’ll be monstrous.”
There was a fire sparkling in Steve’s irises that Tony had never seen on him before. “I’ll take your word for it.”
Tony grinned. He shrugged off Steve’s jacket, yanked his shirt over his head, and swooped down to tend to this very new, very exciting thing between them properly.