The moon swelled bright and full, its incandescent light scattering against the dense fog. Winds drifted past branches, leaves chattering, and it swept over Tony and burned his neck. Yet despite the thermometer reading out 33 degrees Fahrenheit, Tony was sweating. He wore nothing but a black body suit, a new model he hoped to integrate into the latest upgrades for the Avengers’ uniforms. The thermal reinforcements in the artificial fibers he cooked up the other week held up well against the cold. Ideally, Tony would have liked to test it against more extreme snowy weather, but weather reports projected tonight would see a few flecks of snow by midnight.
Tony groaned. He should have brought the armor. He could be half way to Canada’s Northwest Territories by now, or even further north at the Arctic Circle with polar bears and testing out the thermos that incorporated outside temperatures with a pre-set “room” temperature, which he crafted for the whole purpose of wearing this body suit and enjoying a nice, pleasant Coca Cola simultaneously. Bears and Coca Cola, Tony wasn’t picky.
Tony ran a finger over his eyes, grimacing.
Two days and one night had passed since the Avengers booked Steve and Tony their little retreat in the New Hampshire wilderness, a cozy little cabin—a honeymoon suite, Carol admitted to Tony before stuffing him in a helicopter with Steve. “It’s cheaper this way,” she had said. Cheaper. Petty cash paid for the cabin, provided by Stark Industries. Had the CEO of Stark Industries been consulted, Tony conjectured that a few extra dollars would have been chipped in for something larger than one room, one bath lodgings.
When Steve turned the key and pushed open the door, his opinion of being trapped with Tony in a cabin had been nothing more than, “Oh.”
Then came the ghosting.
Steve had managed to avoid him entirely, camping out under the stars. Even though Tony was vaguely certain—the hypothesis had yet to be tested—that his fantasizing about freezing to death in Canada began somewhere around Steve’s ghosting, the avoidance in of itself was perfectly fine. Steve had only recovered from the Skrulls’ noxious gas in the Red Zone. He was allowed to ghost. Particularly after what Tony had done to him. Yet the ghosting was before the full moon.
As much as Tony told himself he was outside to test out the body suit—and part of it was for that, the natural exposure and its unyielding temperature were invaluable—he kept an ear open for signs of Steve. He’d be transforming tonight.
It wasn’t like Steve to transform without checking in with the Avengers. And their only official means of communication was the HAM radio in the cabin. Tony had a cellphone and nanobots securing access to satellites, yet Steve hadn’t spoken a word nor inquired about using the phone. Steve was alone out there, not a soul in knowledge of his whereabouts. He hadn’t once inquired about using Tony’s phone. He hated Tony that much.
Tony blew out a breath, watching it freeze in the air. Maybe he shouldn’t have done the CPR. It sent out the wrong message. Steve was probably running around trying to devise a respectful, polite turn of phrase to let Tony down without letting him down. With the super soldier serum and his lycanthropy, Steve had vibranium regenerative powers and an immune system that would have sent him into stasis until he gained access to the antidote.
Tony dropped his face into his palms, nails clawing up the sides of his head and tearing at his hair. If he hadn’t been so desperate and hung up on his petulant emotions, he could have regarded the facts of his relation with Steve as they were in reality: Two people leading superheroes. They were team leaders. Coworkers.
Sticks broke—some bird alighting then casting back off into the foggy skies. Tony ignored it, rubbing palms over his eyes.
Something cold and wet bumped into his hand. Tony looked up, then stared, gob smacked.
Before him stood a massive wolf, its fur grey and black with an undercoat of golden blond. A pair of preternaturally blue eyes peered at Tony, regarding him dead center and staring right through him. The wolf’s bushy tailed perked up, wind rustling the furs. The wolf looked... majestic. Its cold nose sniffed Tony, nudging at his palms.
Tony glanced at the full moon, eyes scrunching together. He’d never seen Steve’s werewolf form before outside of old Captain America comics where Steve had been written out for a few issues because of a mysterious ailment. Bucky and Wolf Star took over while Steve recovered. Back when the Avengers had first formed and Steve’s lycanthropy had been revealed, Tony brought out his Wolf Star comics and asked Steve if that was truly him. Steve had only nodded.
Thor had seen Steve’s wolf, on account of being Steve’s physician for a short while. He’d described Steve well, yet he’d left out how dazzling and otherworldly Steve’s eyes were.
Tony cleared his throat. “Steve? This you?”
The wolf let out a low whine, nudging Tony’s hand and sniffing. The wolf knocked foreheads, burrowing his muzzle beneath Tony’s head and licking his chin.
Tony lurched back, settling a hand on the wolf’s—Steve’s, Dammit, Anthony—head and patting. He pushed lightly, urging the wolf to stop slobbering over him. Steve’s wolf form was not deterred, stepping back to leap onto the porch and pace for a few strides only to pause at Tony’s side, sniffing. He flopped, curling beside Tony and resting his head on Tony’s lap.
Tony scratched the wolf’s neck, his palm prickled by the thick overcoat as his fingers grew warm by the soft fur beneath it. He stared straight ahead, eyes wide, wondering why exactly the multiverse decided for these very events to transpire in his life in this very order.
They sat on the porch, bathing in the starlight, until Tony’s bodysuit got too sweaty and the weight of Steve’s chin on his lap far too strange for comfort. It was the first time since Tony woke up from the contagion that Steve had interacted him outside of necessary Avengers business. And Steve could only stomach to be around him in the non-human form forced upon him once a month.
Tony eased his thigh from underneath the wolf. “It’s getting a bit nippy out, don’t you think?”
Once freed, Tony all but sprung up. The wolf jumped up to all four paws, quirking his head and whining.
“Steve, you know I don’t speak wolf,” said Tony, feeling himself whither as the wolf’s eyes grew dark with sadness. He added, gently, “Not without the armor.” He’d have to import a new library into the armor’s programming. And if a wolf to English dictionary didn’t exist, Tony would just have to create one.
Rubbing his temples, Tony closed his eyes. He’d become fluent in barks, whines, and saddened eyes—all for Steve. Who hated him.
Tugging at the collar of the body suit, Tony went back into the cabin, the wolf hot at his heels. The single room dwelling had a pair of sofas separated by a dark wooden coffee table, enough closet space to house some of their belongings, an indoor bathroom, and a kitchen. Candles flickered, a kerosene lantern bringing much of the light into the cabin. Steve’s wolf form passed Tony, coming to sit by one of the couches and staring at him. Tony rested against the door, shutting it with the press of his back, and regarded the wolf with crossed arms. The wolf bowed his head, the whites of his eyes showing as he peered up at Tony.
“How about we turn in for the night?” said Tony, jittery over the silence. “I’ve been using the couch on the left.”
The wolf stared for a second longer, then turned around, jumping onto the right sofa and flopping. Tony ran a hand over his face. He stalked over to Steve, snatching a crocheted granny square blanket off the backing, and draped it over him.
Then he went through the routine. Snatch pajamas Pepper bought him—without consultation, like so many themes during the cabin adventure—and brushed his teeth fiercely like he had after his first cavity filling. All to prevent the inevitable of falling asleep on a sofa opposite of a wolf and waking up next to Steve, who, Tony realized with dawning horror, was going to wake up buck naked. Tony flossed twice.
The most tiring part of roughing it in a cabin whose sole source of electricity was almost entirely nanobots was the fact that every cup of coffee had to be slow drip. Tony enjoyed himself a decent multi-origin blend of freshly ground beans measured to the exact milligram. The taste resulting from coffee, scooped to precision, falling drip by drip through a cloth filter was the closest to anything Tony would dub “magic.”
Waiting for cheap Folgers to patter through cheap paper filters was torture. Only the migraine as a result of his caffeine withdrawals made the excursion worth it. Frankly, he ought to cut funding to the Avengers and see how much they enjoyed petty actions like robbing a guy of a decent cup of coffee. Tony raised the filter every now and then and glowered at the brown droplets. A little voice that sounded oddly like Steve told him the headaches would ultimately go away if he stopped drinking four cups every morning, but then a darker voice told Tony it was either coffee or alcohol.
He tipped back the filter again, relief flowing through him as the mug was filled to a reasonable height. Tony snatched his mug, moaning as the heat warmed his palm, and perched his hip on the counter, closing his eyes as he drank and the caffeine worked its near magic.
Floorboards creaked. Without thinking about it, Tony waved toward the counter. “Come on over, Cap. The water’s still hot.”
At the lack of response, Tony remembered the past week. And last night. In his newfound cognizance, he realized how bitter the coffee was and grimaced, feeling behind him for the counter and setting the mug down.
Time to face the music, Tony figured.
He cracked open his eyes, and wondered if he was hallucinating.
The fogged up windows glowed with the sunrise, the snow which fell in the night cozied on the windowpanes. The sun kissed beams of crimson and pumpkin scattered across Steve’s broad shoulders and generous pectorals, mahogany shadows outlining his abdominals and casting curious darkness at the skin exposed on his thighs, which Steve tried to hide behind the granny square crochet blanket.
Tony raised his eyebrows, snatching his coffee and swigging back some bitterness before he said something stupid, such as, Cap on a popsicle stick, Steve. Look at you. Look at you.
Steve adjusted the blanket, only succeeding in getting it to slip off his hip. “Good morning, Tony.”
Tony toasted his coffee, mumbling, “Mornin’.” He tried to stare only at Steve’s face, but then he kept looking at his lips and remembered why neither of them were speaking. He stared just over Steve’s shoulder out the window, eyes burning from the sunrise.
“I’d like to thank you,” said Steve, intoning each syllable with gravity. “I don’t remember a thing since I changed. Hope I didn’t give you any trouble. It was kind of you to make sure I was safe in the cabin.”
Tony shrugged. “Don’t worry about it.”
Floorboards creaked, Steve shifting. Tony glanced at him, catching sight of furrowed brows and a frown. Then it was back to the staring into the sun.
“Tony, I—” Steve exhaled, weary. “I’m sorry.”
He’d sacrificed himself for Steve to live. There wasn’t much else to offer, except for his love, and the last thing he needed right now was for Steve to let him down easy. Tony drank some coffee, gathering his thoughts, and said, “For what, Cap?”
“For making the CPR into something it wasn’t. You were only helping out a fellow Avenger. I’m sorry for corrupting that.”
Tony swallowed down coffee so hard, it was audible. “Come again?”
Steve adjusted the blanket. “Y’know... for holding you afterward. Caressing your— I don’t want to bring up awful memories for you. I wasn’t sure how to bring this up without making things awkward, but it’s been terrible these past few days not talking to you. You’re my best friend, Tony. I missed you. I’m okay working out my feelings for you. If you need space...” Steve paused, casting a sad look at the floor before directing a press conference smile at Tony. “Your friendship means so much to me, Tony. Whatever you need, I’ll do.”
Tony set down his coffee and stepped away from the counter, stalking toward Steve and halting a pace away. He reached out to grasp Steve’s arm but thought better of it. “Wait, you’re sorry?” Tony shook his head. “But I’m the one who messed it all up. I did the CPR. I should be apologizing.”
“Tony, that’s not—”
“No, no—it was—you have the serum, the whole werewolf shtick. It was inappropriate of me.”
Steve shook his head, quieting Tony. The blanket slipped and revealed more of his hipbones, the sharp V of where his abdominals met his waist. Tony whisked his gaze up, clearing his throat.
“Tony, you saved my life. Whether it was just you or you and the rest combined, point is—you saved me. I’m grateful to have you as a friend. If my liking you as more than a friend doesn’t make you uncomfortable, that is.”
“Like me?” said Tony, thrown. “As in... like me?”
Steve’s gaze was heavy, his hold on Tony’s arm slackening.
Tony reached out and settled his palm of Steve’s hand. “During the CPR, I may have—accidentally—kissed you by accident.” Steve’s lip quirked, and any attempts at not rambling went out the window. “I mean, I couldn’t get my mouth off yours and risk you breathing in the contagion, so after awhile it felt like we were—like I was, sorry, ‘cause you were... uh, unconscious.”
Steve smiled at him, tilting his head and gaze averted. Tony’s mouth snapped shut, attention stolen at that gentle, coaxing smile that reeled Tony in. Thinking, To hell with it, Tony leaned in and smothered that smile with his lips.
Steve moaned, a baffled utterance, then he tightened his grip on Tony’s arm and swept him flush against his bare chest, detangling his grip on the blanket to hook a finger through Tony’s knotted cloth belt keeping his pajama pants tight. Tony was kissing his best friend, and it made his head spin. Steve hadn’t been avoiding him since the Red Zone, he’d been wanting this as much as Tony. Heartbeat vociferous in his ears, Tony tucked his hands along Steve’s jaw and locked him in place, tossing a curveball into things and letting his tongue flirt along the edges of Steve’s mouth, then shoving himself in once Steve opened up and made himself at home, mapping out every area he kissed that made Steve start making little moans.
Tony massaged circles with his nails and finger pads just behind Steve’s ears. Steve stepped into him, crowding him up against the counter top, and grabbed fistfuls of Tony’s shirt, further rooting him there. They kissed slowly, nipping at one another when one started slacking and just let themselves be kissed. Steve wrestled his hand free from the blanket and Tony’s belt loop, grabbing Tony’s hair and yanking his head back. Tony groaned, one of his hands slipping, palm pressed against hard pectorals.
Steve sucked on his neck hard, so hard Tony mistook it for bites. It had his mind spinning—first the mental picture of Steve, Captain America, childhood hero and his partner in battle, sucking hickeys onto his neck. But then Steve kissed along his throat, wet and open mouth, and bit his earlobe before kissing just below it, and Tony’s brain went offline. He collapsed against the counter, listening to the blanket fall to the floor, and tilted his head further back to give Steve a better angle.
Steve slipped a hand under Tony’s shirt, scratching harsh lines along his skin, and they broke away to slip off the shirt. Tony tossed it somewhere beside them, not minding where it fell because he caught sight of Steve’s glazed eyes, his lips red and flush. He couldn’t believe he was seeing it. Part of him still believed Steve hated him for the Red Zone.
Huffing, Steve shook his head and then pulled Tony’s head back a bit more, hurting in a good way, and kissed down his throat. Tony swallowed at the weird sensation of Steve’s lips trailing over the bob of his throat. “Tony,” Steve was saying between kisses. Tony murmured unintelligibly in reply. Steve hummed against his throat, tickling him. “Tony, I’d—” He cut himself off, tucking a hand into Tony’s plaid pajama pants and carding his fingers through the course black hair there.
The noise Tony made at that—a low whine, eyes closing partly in shame and arousal—was not part of the patented Tony Stark charm. Steve dragged his nails slow, and the whine devolved in a ragged groan, his hands falling to grip the counter. Steve massaged him, then dove back into his neck, sucking so hard and migrating from spot to spot without a perceivable logic to it. Tony gripped the counter till his knuckles ached, willing back the urge to beg Steve to do something, anything else with his hand. His cock was swelling up, and once it got hard enough to bump against Steve’s knuckles, Steve just set his thigh between Tony’s legs, urging his cock away and pinning it against Tony’s hips. The steeled muscles along Steve’s thighs burned his cock, pleasure coiling in him.
He wanted to do something more for Steve than just touching his hair and neck. He pulled his head back, trying to shake off Steve, but Steve just grumbled and pressed further into him. Tony’s back curved until he hit the limits of his flexibility.
Steve shifted, releasing Tony’s cock, and the loss of the pressure had him keeling forward, but Steve’s weight blocked him. He dwelled on this, but then his cock bumped into Steve’s hand, and instead of shoving it aside, Steve slid his fingers over the come soaked tip and seized Tony into his grasp. Steve slid his hand down Tony’s length, thumb caressing the head. He nipped at Tony’s ear, pulling the lobe taut and running his tongue over it. Tony couldn’t collapse further against the counter even if he wanted to, but he was so lost in the pleasant sensations that he swallowed down a hiss fighting its way out his mouth. He gritted his teeth, kicked his foot a bit as Steve started teasing him by pulling his foreskin until it covered up the tip of his cock, then slowly—so slowly—pulling it tight as he worked his grip down to Tony’s balls.
“Tony,” said Steve, husky. “I’d like to—”
“Mhm,” Tony murmured. “Rubber stamp of approval for anything, Cap.”
He let go of Tony’s cock, grabbing Tony’s pajamas pants on either side and pulling it down, dropping it once the elastic lost its grip. Then he dropped to his knees, hands ghosting over Tony’s thighs, the light touch over the hair making Tony fidget.
Steve massaged his thigh, mouthing along Tony’s cock, kissing here and there, and fumbled about the tip before he swallowed Tony down, taking him in until Steve’s mouth near reached his balls. Tony groaned, throwing his head back and closing his eyes, reaching out blindly for Steve and clutching his hair. Steve took him in and out, not gagging once, likely some effect of the serum. Steve kept to a steady rhythm, and once Tony start relying on this, attempting to thrust his hips in beat, but he did it only a few times before Steve gripped his hips so hard there were certainly to be bruises later, pining him back.
“Dammit, Steve,” groaned Tony.
He dropped his head, looking down at Steve through hooded eyes, trying to focus and see past the tension building in him. Steve’s eyes were closed, everything done by feel. The sunrise cast shadows over the muscles along his back and biceps, the curve of his spine in shadows. His ass was clenched, keeping him balanced, and Tony just watched, mesmerized, as the muscles shifted.
Steve pulled out, running his tongue beneath the hood. He groaned, and the noise reverberated through Tony’s cock. He sucked on the tip, grasping his slick cock and sliding his hand down it, pulling the skin tight.
Tony licked his lips, fingers curling through blond hair. “Steve, I’m gonna—”
All too abruptly, Steve pulled out, rocking on his heels and jumping up back to a stand. Tony threw his head back, whimpering. He felt himself coming back down a bit, yet the absence of Steve surrounding him left him aching. Steve took his hand, beckoning him away from the counter. With his pants down to his ankles, however, Tony only tripped and fell into his arms.
Chuckling, Steve tugged him along. Tony stepped out of his pants and followed him back into the living room. Steve spun him around, pushing him backwards. Tony could stub his heels into a table, trip over luggage, blind to everything behind him. Yet Steve kept their hands clasped, another hand on Tony’s shoulder, guiding him. And like all the battles he dove into blind and head first for Steve, he kept his eyes trained on Steve’s face, admiring his swollen, wet lips.
Then the back of his knees hit the arm of a couch. Steve placed a hand over his chest, over his rapid heartbeat, and shoved. Tony fell, the air punched out of his lungs as his back collided with the cushions. Steve came onto the couch the traditional way, at the front of it, and sprawled over Tony. He settled his knees on either side of him, held himself up by one hand pressed against the cushion beside Tony’s ear. When he gripped Tony, his hand burned him, having grown cold from the trek.
Steve touch was slow, trailing up his cock, palming his head for a quick second before working his way down and pausing, lightly tightening his grip. Limbs taxed out, Tony laid there, staring absently at Steve’s hairline while he was built up toward a precipice, only Steve kept pitching him back to safe ground. His breaths came out shallow, and Steve stifled them with a wet kiss, shoving his tongue in, ferocious and in utter contrast to the maddeningly gentle, soft touch on his cock.
The only working part of his brain was a primitive part of him that could only focus on the coiling pleasure mounting in him. It registered that Steve, despite having the upper hand in their current predicament, wasn’t in any place to yank back Tony’s hair and shove his hips into counters and prevent Tony from touching him. His MIT education and standardized tested and confirmed genius culminated in this moment of brilliance, Tony thought.
Because Tony was that sort of person, when he grasped Steve’s cock, slick and soaked from come, which Tony quickly spread along Steve, he worked Steve up fast, then gripped him and toyed with the tip between his fingers, pinching and soothing it out with a teasing, feather light caress. Steve’s arms beside his head buckled.
Steve breathed out raggedly, yet kept his slow pace on Tony’s cock. He muttered gruffly, unintelligible for the most part, but what Tony could discern sounded downright profane.
“Friends help out friends in need,” whispered Tony, smiling as Steve closed his eyes, lines between his furrowing brows.
“Dammit, Tony.” His voice was strangled, muffled over Tony’s mouth. Tony had taken that moment to massage his palm over the head, squeezing it between his fingers before he gripped Steve’s length.
“Did you just say, ‘damn,’ Steve?” In Steve’s ultimate Captain America voice, Tony declared, “Are we taking that off-the-record?”
Steve didn’t reply, he simply matched the speed on Tony’s cock with what Tony had on him. The precipice he’d long been keeping from Tony was hurled before him. Steve kissed his cheek, then rested forehead to forehead. Tony’s hand grew limp, mind lost in the myriad of sensations coursing through him.
Steve pecked his lips, snickering. “Getting beat by an old man, Tony?”
“Mh—” His eyes fluttered shut, the memorable, relaxing, intoxicated feeling flooding through him, making his brain feather light and his muscles weakened. Steve nuzzled his neck, kissing below his ear, and slowed down on his cock, massaging him through the orgasm. It pierced through him, hooking him by his navel and anchoring him to the sofa.
Then he crashed over the precipice, and he landed back into his sense, Steve’s once mesmerizing touch made a laugh burble out of him, now feeling utterly disturbing, an assault to his temporary oversensitivity.
Steve let go, smiling, and finishing himself off. His warm come soon splattering over Tony’s stomach.
Collapsing on his side, Steve played with Tony’s chest hair, using his shoulder as a pillow.
He felt like drinking some more coffee, heighten his sense back up after growing dulled. Then he noticed the headache had gone away. Grinning, he said, “Steve, you cured my headache.”
“Headache? You mean from the coffee?” Steve shifted, rising up to fix a stare at Tony. “You can avoid that if you just quit drinking so much of it.”
“You know, somehow I thought you’d say that.”