“Alright, Mister? How are you feeling?”
In front of him, Steve could seen Tony hesitate, just from the way the lines of his back tensed up and his neck twitched, as if to turn to look at him before he stopped himself.
“Is this a trick?”
“No trick,” Steve reassured him. He placed a hand on Tony's lower back, steadying him. The skin was warm under his touch—not as hot as Steve ran, but still warm and alive. “Just answer the questions truthfully when I ask them. How are you feeling?”
Steve nodded. That was truthful. And that's what Steve had requested: truthful. The plexiglass paddle in Steve's other hand stayed down by his side.
“Anything else?” Steve's hand slowly slid up Tony's back, coming to rest between his shoulder blades.
“Well, on-edge. Thinking one wrong move is going to get my poor ass smacked. You know it's a really great ass: you shouldn't-”
Tony whimpered and fell silent.
Steve kept the paddle in contact with Tony's flesh, rubbing it gently over the spot he had just struck. After a moment, he leaned forward and murmured in Tony's ear: “Too much talking.”
He waited for a moment. Tony didn't say a word.
“What's your job tonight?” Steve's lips ghosted against the shell of Tony's ear.
“To do what you tell me.”
“Without hesitation. Or asking questions.”
Steve paused, free hand stroking lightly at the muscles at play beneath Tony's skin. He was a strong man. Not like Hawkeye or Steve or Thor, and certainly not the Hulk. But there was still powerful muscles beneath the surface. Beneath that aloof, technological exterior.
Steve worked to keep his voice steady. Calm. “Do you trust me?”
And Tony replied immediately, with the least amount of hesitation he had to any other question that night. “Yes.”
Steve let out a breath: slowly, silently. “Good,” he whispered. He stroked his hand down Tony's back and palmed at his naked ass. “Good.” Tony trembled faintly beneath him, but said and did nothing.
Quietly Steve considered Tony, contemplating how he wanted the evening to go. After today's debacle with Hammer—and plenty of other similarly close calls before that—it was clear that Tony needed to learn how to listen to Steve. Learn how to heed to his good judgement.
“Kneel.” Steve bit off a for me he wanted to tack onto the end. This exercise was about Tony obeying his orders, listening to him no matter what. Tenderness and comfort could be saved for some other day. Or at least until after they were done, this evening.
Tony dropped down onto his knees immediately. Steve reached forward and petted at Tony's hair. He had done well, but that was easy. Direct commands, ones he was probably expecting: Steve knew that Tony would obey those with no problem. It was things he wanted to challenge, commands that went against his basic intuitions or instincts: those were the types of orders they were going to work on tonight.
“How are your knees?”
“Fine,” Tony replied immediately. His lips curled up, his mouth opened like he was going to snark, but then he stopped. His teeth clacked audibly, he shut his mouth so hard.
Steve grinned and tugged on his ear. “Good boy.”
Tony's teeth ground, but his mouth stayed closed.
“Up,” Steve ordered. Tony popped up, even though that order most have been harder for him, seeing as it contradicted the order he had just followed. As an apology, and reward for a job well done, Steve leaned in and sweetly kissed Tony. His tongue probed gently at Tony's mouth, who opened willingly beneath him, body tense with its forced passivity. Steve pulled away before it became too heated, but Tony was smiling dopily all the same.
Patience. That's what Tony needed. That, and stillness. Steve touched his elbow lightly. “Follow me.”
Tony followed a step behind Steve as he walked over to his little desk in the corner.
“Sit,” he ordered. Tony dropped like a stone. Steve ducked his head away, hiding his smile under the guise of rummaging through the art supplies on his desk. He came away with his sketchbook and some a couple charcoal pencils. Tony was sitting, cross-legged, practically at his feet.
Steve nodded over more towards the center of the room. “Sit over there. One leg down. One up.”
Tony moved over to the center of the room, but when it came to positioning himself, he hesitated. He moved his legs this way and that: one curled in, one out; one lying straight in front of him, one up in the air. It was clear he didn't know exactly what Steve wanted. And he wasn't asking.
Steve tutted and set down his art supplies on his chair. With a single smooth movement he picked up the paddle on the desk and walked over to Tony. “Over the bed,” he ordered.
Tony's eyes fell and his lips tightened, but he did as he was told: lying himself on his stomach over the edge of Steve's (much too big for a single man) bed, ass presented up to Steve. Without waiting for him to settle, Steve brought the paddle down twice on Tony's ass cheeks: one, then the other. Then, out of a desire for equality, he brought it down an extra time on the right cheek: he had hit the left one of the first time, and he didn't need Tony's ass bruising lopsidedly.
Tony's back tensed up, his neck rolling slightly as he forced himself to keep still. His fingers were curled around Steve's bedsheets, but not painfully so. Just enough to keep him grounded.
Steve waited a moment, but Tony didn't speak.
“Do you know what you did wrong?”
Tony shook his head. Steve smacked him lightly with the paddle, underneath the left ass cheek. Tony flinched. “No. I don't. I'm sorry?”
Steve smacked Tony any, harder this time. “Don't apologize,” he ordered, “get it right.”
Steve sighed. Tony wasn't getting it.
“If you have a question, you need to ask me.”
A moment's hesitation. Then: “I don't understand.”
Gently Steve stroked the hard plastic paddle down Tony's ass, watching as the muscles twitched and jumped in its wake. That had been the right answer. Good Tony.
“You didn't understand how I wanted you to position your legs, did you?”
“Then you need to ask,” Steve explained patiently. Tugging gently on Tony's flank, Steve told him: “Get up. Look at me.”
Steve even dropped the paddle onto the bed for this, because it was that important. Tony was watching him carefully as Steve brought both hands to bear on Tony's shoulders. He looked him straight in the eye as he explained: “Working with a team is two sides of a coin. You have to trust us, trust me, enough not to question our judgement. If I say 'Wait, I understand, don't attack him', you need to trust that, and not question it. But if I give a command, if I say 'Meet me at the Tower', and you don't know if I mean the top floor or bottom, or anywhere in between, you need to ask me that. It's not about not asking questions: it's about not questioning my judgement. Or your teammates'.”
Tony nodded seriously. Steve stroked a hand down his cheek. He was being so very good for Steve tonight. So very understanding, and attentive, and obedient. He was trying: and when Tony put his mind to try something, to do something, he always succeeded. Even if there were a few false starts. Steve would reward him for his good behavior, extensively, later.
Not that Steve thought one night ordering Tony around would train the egotistical brat out of him. But it was a start.
“Sit on the floor.” Tony went over and sat. “One leg up and one down.”
A smirk played at the corners of Tony's lips. Perhaps that was too easy, Steve admitted.
Still almost-smiling, Tony said: “I don't understand what you mean by that.”
Even though it was a gimme, Steve bent down and gave Tony a kiss in reward, hand pressed lightly to his cheek. Tony leaned happily up into it. His body still thrummed with the energy of being passive, of not being able to jump up and take take take. Steve pulled away slowly, lingering temptingly over Tony's lips. Tony didn't chase after him, didn't follow.
Tony's body trembled beneath Steve's fingertips.
“Curl your left leg into your body.” Steve waited as Tony followed his instructions. “And bring the right knee up out from your chest. Foot flat on the floor.” This time, Tony was able to position himself without problem. Steve's fingers trailed through his fluffy dark hair approvingly.
“Now stay,” he commanded, lips twitching up. Tony's eyes were fixed on the ground, but Steve saw them start to roll before the movement was aborted.
Walking back over to his desk chair, Steve settled in with his sketchpad and charcoal as he wanted to before. “Turn towards me,” he called out absently. Tony did, though he got no immediate reward for it this time.
As soon as Tony was settled Steve set to work sketching Tony. He never had such a prefect opportunity: the man was always moving, always Aristotelian life-qua-motion. Not that Steve hadn't sketched him: his book was filled with little doodles of Tony. But it was always bits and pieces of him: his hands, fast at work when talking or skillfully manipulating something in his lab; his eyes, hooded and worried, laughing and sparkling, always quick and darting around, never at rest; or the arc reactor, gleaming brilliantly out from the center of his chest, illuminating everything he did, powering everything he did.
But amongst all those sketches, all those bits—or bytes—of Tony, there was no full-body sketch. Steve was using his advantageous position tonight as an opportunity to rectify that.
Twenty minutes, maybe thirty passed before Tony started shifting uneasily. Steve didn't give him the opportunity to talk by staying silent and keeping his head bent to his work. Another ten passed before Tony finally spoke up.
“May I go to the bathroom?”
“Are you going because you're bored or because you have to go?” Steve didn't look up from his sketch.
When Tony was silent, Steve glanced up. He was staring with wide-eyes at Steve. Forgetting their little training exercise for a moment, Steve cocked his and grinned. “What?”
“You just sounded exactly like one of my old, crotchety prep-school teachers.” Tony gulped.
Steve laughed. “You can get up to stretch your legs, even if you don't have to actually go,” he promised.
Tony got up, but apparently he did have to use the facilities because he padded over to the bathroom hurriedly as soon as he took a moment to stretch. Steve waited and smoothed out some of the rougher edges of his sketch, charcoal smearing over his fingers and blackening them. Maybe later he'd bathe Tony.
“Okay, so, are we-”
Steve was up and over to Tony in half a second, and brought him down to the ground in the next half. Tony yelped, squirming against the plush carpet of Stark Tower.
Stretching, Steve reached for the paddle still on the bed. He could just barely wrap his fingertips around the comforter. He pulled that over to him, finally bringing the paddle to him with a few strong tugs.
Leaning down, Steve pressed his weight into Tony's neck, one hand wrapped tight around the back of it. His teeth grazed Tony's ear as he spoke. “Did I say I was finished with you?”
He didn't wait for a response, instead opting to strike a blow across Tony's ass before he had the chance. Tony whimpered and tried to shake his head, before he realized he was well and truly pinned. “No. No. Sorry.”
“What did I say?” Steve punctuated the question with another solid blow. Tony whimpered and arched beneath Steve, whole body thrumming.
“I could stretch my legs. And use the bathroom.”
Tony hesitated. Steve brought the paddle down again.
“Nothing?!” Tony yelped. “I... I don't think...”
“That's right.” Steve hopped off of Tony, only to bend down and haul him up by the scruff of his neck.
“On the bed.”
Tony went, albeit somewhat reluctantly. Steve was just glad he'd managed to get somewhere around ninety percent of his sketch finished. The rest was just details he could add in later.
Roughly Steve kicked at Tony's ankles. Tony spread them, presenting his ass higher for Steve to do with what he would. Steve pressed a hand down onto it, feeling them still warm from the few smacks earlier. Then he brought down the paddle again, and again. Not all his force behind the blows—that would seriously hurt Tony. But enough to bruise. Enough to hurt.
He knew that usually you warmed the other person up first. Gentle smacks, get the skin heated. But the point of this exercise wasn't to give pleasure to Tony, or even necessarily try to drop him into “subspace” (Steve had done research, when he got to the future. And not all of that research was the kind he could do using Futura magazine). The point was to punish him, and to make him understand he had to listen to Steve, every once in a while! That if he didn't, he would get hurt.
Tony moaned beneath Steve, hips pressing into the mattress in an unmistakable rhythm. Steve gave him a harder smack for that. “Don't move unless I tell you to,” he ordered. Tony groaned but managed a muffled “yes” from where his face was pressed into the bedsheets.
More smacks, with varying intensity, until Tony's ass was shining red. Little welts were starting to come up all over it; Steve wanted to soothe them with his tongue, pet gentle caresses over them as he held Tony in his arms.
But not yet. He wasn't finished with Tony yet.
With one last, hard smack across the center of Tony's ass, Steve tossed the paddle aside onto the bed. “Kneel.”
Wincing and limping—probably too much, considering how relatively minor that paddling had been—Tony pushed himself off the bed and knelt at Steve's feet. Steve was actually a little nervous about this part. Not that they didn't do it (loads and loads, actually. And that was... was pretty swell). It just felt... kind of awkward. Ordering Tony around, beating him. And then getting hard and getting off. But it was how Steve felt the evening should go, how it seemed to fit in his head. And it wasn't like he wasn't hard, already.
Steeling himself, Steve nodded down at his own groin. “Give me a. A. Perform oral sex on me.” Steve's face flushed red. He had futzed that up, sure as could be. Great.
But Tony stayed obediently silent. Steve noticed the erection bobbing between his legs, and figured maybe it hadn't been so bad for Tony. Of course, he didn't know if that meant he should have paddled him harder or less. Or maybe he had done it just right.
Tony removed Steve from his pants without a word, taking him in hand and wasting no time licking wet, sloppy stripes up and down his dick. Steve breathed out through his teeth and reached a hand down, to tangle in Tony's hair. It was sticking up at all angles, sweaty from his beating. Steve smiled down at him as Tony took him into his mouth fully.
“Good,” Steve whispered. He angled his hips slightly, savoring the feel of Tony's hot, wet mouth around him, light suction and wicked tongue combining perfectly together. He had a talented mouth, there was never a question about that. It was just a miracle Steve had managed to get him to shut up long enough for this.
Tony's free hand, the one not wrapped around the base of Steve's erection, reached around Steve to grab at his ass, urging him forward. Tony was looking up at Steve, lips spread wide around his thick dick, eyes pretty much begging him. Steve smiled. Trust Tony to be able to talk even with his mouth full. The lug.
Tony tugged at his hips again. Steve tilted his head back and pushed his hips forward. Tony made an encouraging noise. Well, if he was going to insist... Steve pressed his hips forward again, more purposefully this time. And again. And on the third stroke, Tony managed to relax his jaw enough and open his throat, and Steve was sliding back there, into that warm, tight heat. Steve groaned, fingers tightening in Tony's hair. But Tony just kept tugging at Steve's ass, pushing him forward, and Steve lost himself in the rhythm of fucking Tony's mouth.
As his orgasm built inside him, Steve tried to remember his place, his job tonight. “You're good, Tony. You're...” A gasp, a shudder. Steve was close. “You're so good. You've been good all night, Tony.” Maybe that was a fib but Steve was a little bit too far gone to realize it. “And you're... You swallow, okay? I want you to swallow my... my ejaculate. So it's. Inside you. It'll be a reminder, okay? To be... To be... good.” Steve came, hips shaking as he pressed in tight to Tony's mouth, Tony's nose tickling his pubic hair.
As soon as he slid out of Tony's mouth, Steve squatted down next to him, rubbing his nose against Tony's neck. “You did a good job,” he whispered against his pulse. Tony was shivering. Steve gathered him up in his arms, pulling him close.
“Come here,” Steve murmured. He squirmed a hand in the middle of them, reaching down between Tony's legs. Gently Steve tugged at Tony's erecting, fisting it lightly. “I've got you.”
Tony came just like that, trembling apart in Steve's arms. Steve held him close and whispered praises into his neck, his ear, his hair.
Wiping his hand on his side—he'd shower in the morning—Steve wrapped Tony up. “Come on. Bed for you, mister.”
Tony went without question, leaning heavily against Steve. Steve deposited the both of them into his bed, wrapping them up tight under covers, then wrapping himself tight around Tony.
“You alright?” he checked. Tony's ass felt like it was on fire, pressed against his hips. Steve touched an apologetic hand down onto one cheek, as if he could smooth the hurt away.
“Yes,” Tony said. And then he didn't say anything else, which was the really nerve-wracking part.
“Fun's over,” Steve informed him. “You don't have to listen to me anymore. You can talk, too.”
Tony sighed and squirmed up against him, rubbing his heated ass against Steve's groin. He was half-hard at the movement, but didn't need to get off again. “I thought the point was to get me to listen to you more, outside of just here?”
“There's the wise-aleck I know and love,” Steve grumbled. He pressed his face against the back of Tony's neck and closed his eyes.
Steve didn't miss Tony murmuring a shy “you too” before he fell asleep.