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You've Never Looked So Sane

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Steve hasn’t seen Tony since he had hired frighteningly efficient movers to transfer Steve’s meager possessions to his new suite in the tower at four in the morning. Even the contents of his refrigerator had been moved.

He isn’t quite surprised by it, isn’t quite disappointed. Tony has been in no way unclear that Steve shouldn’t be surprised by periodic absences. It still seems like a little bit of overkill, for Tony to basically move Steve into the tower overnight, only to vanish for several days, but Steve isn’t really upset by it. He misses Tony, and he thinks at this point he might be nursing a permanent erection, but overall he isn’t worried.

Tony made off with the Captain America suit with that look on his face, the one that meant he was focused firmly inward, and Steve hadn’t really expected to see him for a while. He’d asked JARVIS for an update on the third day, and had been told that Tony was still in the workshop, that he was sleeping, though not as much as JARVIS would have liked, and that he’d ordered three pizzas the day before. JARVIS was confident that he was eating. It had been more than Steve had asked for, but he hadn’t been surprised when JARVIS had reported it. JARVIS was extremely good at knowing what amount of information would set Steve’s mind at ease.

And Steve has been busy as well. Steve has been quite careful to keep himself that way. He doesn’t resent Tony’s absence, but he finds it hard to be in the tower knowing that at any time, Tony is probably only a few floors away. His newly discovered libido is mostly fine as long as Steve keeps busy, but there are other times when he imagines Tony in his bed or in his lab or just somewhere close by, that Steve aches to take himself in hand, and regrets and doesn’t regret his promise not to touch himself in equal measure.

The toy sits in his bedside table every night, and Steve doesn’t take it out. He can’t decide how he would react if Tony doesn’t take over control of it, and he’s not willing to use it like the genie in a lamp. Tony had warned him, after all, and while Steve misses him, he isn’t to the point of being disruptive.

Besides, Tony texts him a few times a day, mostly just random things, but occasionally asking Steve for things, like how much he can bench press and whether or not Steve is allergic to sulfatryalglycerides (which Steve has no idea, of course, but assures Tony that the serum had pretty much taken care of things like that for him).

Other than that, his time is filled pretty comprehensively with the Initiative. He is only a little nervous when they first meet up, but it turns out that Coulson is a planner, and maybe savvy enough to recognize that the three of them need something in common first, before they actually try to be friends, because he has them sparring almost at once. Even when they aren’t sparring, Steve is getting certified on every kind of gun in the universe: He likes sparring better, but he sees the need for the familiarity. He rarely brings a gun to a fight, but he’s been known to pick up and use one in the field if necessary.

The training actually goes really well. Both Clint and Romanov are genuinely challenging sparring partners, in different ways, though Steve has to pull his punches with both of them. He and Clint can go head to head for twenty minutes at a time, ducking and punching and circling and it’s basically brawling with a few more rules. Romanov, though. She’s fast and incredibly flexible, and without using his full strength on her, Steve can almost never win against her. She leaps and twists and goes for every weakness, and she drags Steve to the mat every time. She can’t keep him there -- he gets the idea that she’s both frustrated and intrigued by that -- he’s just too strong and too quick to recover, but he doesn’t manage to mat her more than one time in four or so, and he’s enjoying himself enough that he’s disappointed every time when Coulson calls it. The first day, Steve grins at her, and she quirks a smile back at him, looking surprised, and while they break down everyone’s strengths and weaknesses after, she invites him to call her Natasha and he waxes embarrassingly poetic about her grace and skill.

They decide to work on Steve’s agility and Clint and Natasha’s endurance, though as far as Steve had been able to tell, they’d both had almost limitless reserves of it.

Coulson says they have to be able to keep up with his pace if they’re going to fight as a team, and Steve’s pace is grueling. Steve feels like he should apologize, but both Clint and Natasha nod as though they agree, and they arrange a training schedule that should give Steve plenty of time to do both his jobs, assuming that he ever sees Tony again.

On the fourth day, Steve has just managed to choke Natasha down to the mat -- Clint is doing an impromptu victory dance; he and Coulson like to wager paperwork on the outcomes -- when Coulson straightens abruptly, stance going tight. Steve lets Natasha go immediately, and she is apparently just as aware as Steve is that something is going on. Clint, too; he’s watching Coulson and frowning slightly.

Coulson touches his earpiece and says, “Yes, sir.” Then he sweeps the three of them with his gaze. “Fury wants us in the Command Center.” He focuses on Steve. “Something to do with Stark.”

Steve’s stomach knots with dread. He has no idea if Iron Man has been called out, and can’t do anything about it if he had been. He turns and starts for the door of the training area at a sprint, feeling all three of them close in behind him as he does. He’s glad for their steadying presence, but too preoccupied to really think about it.

The halls are swarming with people, running and yelling, but Coulson pulls out front and cuts through them like a razor blade, leaving them pressed back against the walls in his wake. Steve isn’t surprised that he can do it; Coulson has an immense amount of presence. He’s a little surprised that Coulson is so prepared to use it against his own people, though none of the people he’s cutting through look surprised. Steve wonders for the first time exactly how high up Coulson is in SHIELD’s hierarchy.

They burst into the Command Center at a near-run, and draw up as one. Every screen in the room is lit up in violent crimson. They all say the same thing.

SHIELD NETWORK LOCKDOWN
INITIATED BY STARK INDUSTRIES
1:35

The numbers aren’t the time, but rather a countdown, in minutes and seconds.

Steve glances at Fury, whose face is a tightly controlled mask, but he’s bristling with anger. He fixes Steve with an intense look. “What do you know about it?”

“Nothing,” Steve says as calmly as he can. “I didn’t even know he had the kind of access necessary to lock down your systems.”

Fury’s good eye flashes. “He doesn’t,” he says grimly. The clock rolls down to under a minute, and Fury says, a little more quietly, “We can’t breach whatever code he’s using.”

“Why would he do it?” Coulson asks, looking genuinely unsettled. “I don’t think anyone’s really surprised that he could do it, which makes the question why?”

Fury gives a slight headshake. “It had damned well better be good,” he growls, and looks at Steve again. “Tell me he doesn’t have access to any of your codes.”

Steve is offended, but this isn’t the time to give voice to it. “I have never passed classified information to Tony Stark without explicit permission,” he says firmly.

Fury stares at him for another few seconds, but then just nods tightly. “Coulson’s right. I’m not surprised that he can do it. But we haven’t been able to figure out why.”

“He’ll tell us when he gets here,” Steve says. Coulson and Fury both look at him. “He wouldn’t do it without a reason. He certainly didn’t have to leave you with a message that Stark Industries is responsible for locking down your systems, but he did. He hasn’t contacted us with a reason, which means he doesn’t think he can do it by phone or computer. The countdown has to be his ETA.”

Coulson relaxes marginally; Fury merely looks thoughtful. The countdown is showing thirty-two seconds.

“You think he’s protecting us,” Fury says to Steve. It’s not really a question, but Steve answers it anyway.

“I do. From something that he has the resources to detect, but we don’t.”

“How would he know?” Fury demands.

Steve shrugs. “I don’t know enough to say. If I had to guess, I’d say he knew because he was watching for it.”

Fury scowls at that, but he doesn’t look surprised.

The countdown is at eleven seconds, and Steve cocks his head a little. He can hear the clank and whine of the armor even over all the voices and people running around. He’s looking at the door already when Iron Man comes through it. He’s carrying a metal briefcase in each hand, both oversized and oddly shaped; one of them he hands to Steve, the other he brings directly over to the large glass table Steve is standing in front of. He slides it onto the surface and he inputs a code, fingers sure and graceful even in the suit. The briefcase opens and then unfolds on every side until it’s a large flat surface. With a couple of gestures, he flings several holographic screens into the air. Then he retracts the helmet, eyes never leaving the screens, and works the clasps on the gauntlets without looking at them, setting them off to one side.

“Stark!” Fury says, a clear demand for answers.

Tony says, “I need access to your network if I’m going to be able to keep this guy out of your systems.” He glances up briefly and indicates the top left screen. “That’s where it’s coming from. I can download blueprints to anything you’ve got that isn’t networked.” Steve wordlessly hands him his own tablet, which is connected to Stark Industries network, but not SHIELD’s. Tony taps at it for less than five seconds and hands it back. “You’ll want to get someone on the ground to round up whoever’s responsible.” Tony glances at Steve and his team. “You’ll want heavy ground forces; security footage from nearby cameras indicate that the place is teeming with what we have to assume are bad guys.” Fury is staring at the screen Tony had indicated with his eye narrowed.

“Who are they?” he asks.

“I don’t know,” Tony says steadily. “I only know that they’ve been trying to hack you for the last eleven minutes, and I wasn’t going to be able to stop them remotely. I need access to your network, and ideally, I need their hacker in custody. No one should be able to hack your system. A smaller team should be sent in just for him.” Tony’s eyes flit to Steve again. “I can’t guarantee that they haven’t already compromised at least parts of your system,” he says grimly. “Only that I’m scrambling the rest and running interference. You’ll have to find out if they got anything on the hacker’s end.”

“Obviously you can hack our system,” Fury says.

“I can, but I don’t,” Tony says. “I track you, but I don’t hack you. And before you object, I track every major government agency for exactly this reason. Because at some point, someone was going to manage to infiltrate one of them, and I am the only one likely to be able to stop it. This isn’t the first time I’ve had to do this, Director. It’s just the first time that the hacker is good enough that I have to do it from the inside. I have Stark Industries Security systems acting as a buffer to your internal network. Which means if they manage a successful hack, S.I. is going to be an open book to them as well. I need network access.”

Fury gives him a one-eyed glare, but also gives him a tight nod.

Patiently, Tony says, “I need someone with high clearance access codes, unless you want me to hack my way in. I don’t recommend it, as it will take some time, and while I’ve scrambled your systems pretty thoroughly, someone good enough to make the hack to begin with will eventually be able to access things, probably pretty randomly, and not whatever they’re necessarily after, but still. They’ll have some access.”

“You want me to give you full access to SHIELD’s network and databases,” Fury says, and he looks angry but he sounds frustrated. “I can’t authorize that kind of access.”

Tony gives him an impatient look. “If you don’t, someone else is going to have access to it, codes or no codes. I know I’ve mentioned this already, but if he or she gains unlimited access to SHIELD, full access to S.I. will immediately follow.” he says simply. He glances down at one of his holo screens and gestures to it. “I’d tell you more, but time is a factor.” He sounds impatient, but Steve can tell he’s doing his best to be polite.

Fury scowls thunderously, but leans down and types in a series of characters without further hesitation. “You’d better be right about this.”

“I am,” Tony says. “Get your teams moving.” He turns to Steve. “I brought the suit and the shield.”

Fury bristles, but he does it silently. “Suit up,” he says stiffly, and Steve turns at a run and finds his way to an unoccupied room. Barton follows him in, clothes in hand, while Coulson stays with Fury and Natasha hits the armory.

“You mind?” Clint asks.

“I’m in the military,” Steve answers and jerks his shirt up over his head, hands on his track pants before the shirt hits the floor. He hasn’t actually seen the suit since Tony had worked it over, but finds it fairly simple to get into. As promised, there’s a zip at the front, and the whole thing feels a lot more flexible, though Steve can still feel the armored panels shift as he moves. It’s lighter, but feels a little denser. He’ll definitely feel less like a ballerina in it, at least. Tights aren’t really his style.

Meanwhile, Clint has stripped down to a pair of modified tactical pants and is pulling a sleeveless armored vest over his head. Steve can see the shift and give of armor under the vest clearly.

Clint says cheerfully, “I’m guessing that’s much better, though I have to tell you, it doesn’t do a damned thing to hide what a great ass you have.”

“I could say the same of yours,” Steve says, amused, and tugs on boots and gloves, though he leaves the cowl down for the moment. He slips his left arm into the shield. It feels just right.

Natasha bursts in with an armful of weapons, Clint’s bow and quiver, knives for both of them, which disappear so quickly that Steve isn’t sure where they get to. Natasha is in a black one piece outfit which Steve tries not to call a catsuit in his head. She is bristling with guns, her widow’s bites fastened securely around her wrists. The last gun she saves for Steve. It’s a model he recognizes, and she doesn’t ask if he wants it. She slips nimbly to one side, opens an empty holster on his belt and slides it inside.

“Just in case,” she says, and Steve doesn’t argue with her. He’s not likely to use it, but she’s not wrong. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. “They want us in a Quinjet.”

Clint looks briefly surprised, but merely says “I’ll fly,” and leads the way out the door.

“We could really use Iron Man on this one,” Natasha says cautiously, as though sounding Steve out.

“We’ve got Iron Man on this one,” Steve says. “Just not in the field. Who else can do what he’s doing?” He looks at her. “Don’t you think he’d rather be in the suit doing a smash and grab than shackled to SHIELD’s security system, blocking possible breaches while he puts his company’s security integrity on the line to do it?”

Natasha looks thoughtful.

Clint leads them to the roof where there is already a wide, unwieldy looking jet waiting for them. Steve must look not that impressed, because Natasha says, “Stark designed them. They’re fast and maneuverable and quiet. We’ve only got a handful of them. They’re expensive to build.”

Clint leads the way inside, and Natasha sets up in the co-pilots seat. Coulson is the last one to arrive, somehow running without appearing to be in any particular hurry.

The Quinjet lifts up vertically, with no horizontal run for speed, and Steve has to admit he’s impressed.

It is a very short flight. Coulson, with Natasha and Clint huddled on either side of him, study the blueprints Tony had downloaded. They’re complete with moving red dots, which means JARVIS must be tracking the place in some way that Tony is certain won’t get traced back to him. Coulson roughs out a plan, talking to the teams that are getting into place around the building in question, firms it up with suggestions from Clint, and makes it clear to the other SHIELD agents that they are meant to distract the hostile force so that Steve and his team can get in, get the hacker, and get out, as unhampered by unfriendly fire as is possible.

The warehouse is so small it seems not to deserve the title, though it’s clearly a building meant for storage, not habitation. When the Quinjet lands, there are already bodies on the ground and SHIELD agents everywhere.

Coulson double checks them all, his eyes skating from their comm units to their weapons, a muscle jumping in his jaw, Steve’s tablet held tight in both hands. “I’ll guide you from here, try not to stop and engage, but if it’s necessary, the Captain is on point. Hawkeye and Black Widow, you cover. Stark’s best guess is the basement; he says there’s a power nexus there, --so head down whenever you can. This is a slash and burn mission. If we can recover intel, we should, but the target is the hacker.”

The three of them nod, and Coulson nods back, abruptly holding an assault rifle. “I’ll cover you myself until you get in the door,” he says, scanning the fifty yards of ground between them and the building. “Go!” he barks, and Steve hits the ground running. He hears his steps echoed on either side, and feels the way his body ramps up for combat, something he’s always been a little ashamed of, because it’s like being let off a tether, it’s like being abruptly free of all restraint, and it shouldn’t feel so good.

Beside him, Clint whoops aloud, and Steve would echo it except there is a fast, flat racket of automatic weapons fire, and Steve registers bodies hitting the ground off to their right. “Bitches,” Coulson says in Steve’s ear, and Natasha laughs out loud.

They reach the door, standing wide open, and Steve ducks inside. He can feel Clint and Natasha covering him, can hear the whispery sound of their movements, and he has no real reason to feel as comforted by it as he does, but he doesn’t question it.

There is an elevator practically right in front of them, but Steve doesn’t need to be told an elevator is not a good place to be in a firefight. Steve catches a glimpse of another door further down the hall, helpfully labeled ‘STAIRS.’ It’s half the building away from them, and there are still presumably hostile operatives in the building. For a few minutes, Steve is covering Natasha with his shield while she expertly picks off targets. Clint is somewhere slightly behind and above him, and Steve hasn’t actually had the chance to see him use the bow except in practice. When he has more time, he’ll be impressed, but as it is, he’s merely grateful for Clint’s range and aim.

Natasha herds Steve toward the stairwell with Steve’s entirely willing cooperation; Clint jumps up onto something mechanical, which creaks under his weight but holds, and the air is abruptly filled with arrows, covering Steve and Natasha as they swing the door open and meet head-on several hostiles wearing helmets that Steve recognizes with a sinking sensation of dread.

“Hydra,” Steve says, and Coulson, from the outside, makes a furious growling sound.

Steve flings his shield, taking one in the helmet on the initial throw and another in the back on the shields return trajectory. Natasha shoots one of them in the face, and before there is time to do anything else, the three remaining Hydra agents go down with a series of arrows, one of which slips by Steve so closely that he can feel the air as it passes.

“Continue toward your objective,” Coulson directs firmly, and Steve steps over the bodies and vaults over the railing of the stairwell in time to slam his shield into the face of another Hydra goon, this one presumably alone. He can hear Natasha slipping along the risers behind him -- there are only three -- though he isn’t sure where Clint has gone. Steve forces himself to assume that Clint knows what he’s doing, and doesn’t allow himself to worry.

The bottom floor of the warehouse is stacked with wooden crates and pieces of machinery that Steve only half-recognizes. It isn’t swarming with Hydra -- Steve speculates that Coulson and Clint are keeping them busy above stairs -- but there are enough that he and Natasha have to choose to sneak through the ground level using crates as concealment or risk an open firefight. Natasha makes the decision for both of them when she shoves Steve down behind a pile of crates and leans in close, her cool lips brushing his ear.

“I’ll keep them occupied,” she whispers. “You see if you can find our hacker.”

Steve isn’t entirely sure this is a good plan -- he hates leaving her alone to deal with the bad guys -- but as though she can guess his objections, she’s murmuring, “I’m an excellent distraction, I promise, and the fewer of us there are, the easier it will be to investigate the location of the hacker.”

Steve nods, lips pressed together unhappily, but he’s willing to trust her judgement. She’s a super spy after all, and it’s been a long time since Steve has even run a mission. He passes his gun over to her anyway, because he’s been keeping track of her ammo, and she seems to know when not to argue.

She darts out from behind the crates, silent as a cat, and Steve works his way in the opposite direction, determined to stay out of her way.

He doesn’t expect Tony’s voice over the comms, but when it comes, Steve can’t deny that it eases some of his tension.

“There’s another door in the northeast corner,” Tony murmurs; Steve can hear him tapping at his computer over the open line. “The plans show a kind of bunker. There’s a contingent of guards outside the door, but nothing you can’t handle. JARVIS reports only two heat sources inside.”

Steve makes his way in the right direction, low and sneaky, avoiding confrontation. He occasionally hears gunshots ring out, but more often things are just echoingly silent. He almost stumbles across the guards outside the bunker, six of them, all in full Hydra uniforms complete with masks. Steve slips back out of sight just in time to avoid discovery, considering his arsenal and his aim in equal amounts. Practice with the shield hasn’t shown any attrition in skill that Steve can detect, and the corridor the Hydra agents are all bunched together into is made of some kind of dark metal; his shield should ricochet nicely. His only concern is that it will be heard from inside the room they are guarding, but there doesn’t seem to be any way to mitigate that.

Steve rolls out into the hall, tossing his shield -- gunshots chip away at the concrete of the floor around him, but none of them connect. His shield is back in his hands seconds later, and three of the Hydra agents are down. Two of the others are pointing guns, their blank-masked faces swinging from one side to the other as they try to pin down the threat. The last is fumbling at his belt for a canister of something Steve is sure he doesn’t want involved in the party.

He steps out into the open, fully visible, and the two guards with the guns simply stare, stunned. The third guard jerks the canister off his belt and hurls it at Steve’s head; Steve blocks it with the shield, swinging his arm wide so that it rolls back over his shoulder and away back down the hall. Steve takes the two gunmen out with his shield while the latter tries to get his gun into play. Steve can’t see his face, but his movements are jerky and ineffective with shock or surprise.

“You’re dead,” he says, an objection, even as Steve swings his body into a swift, arching kick that knocks the man’s gun out of his hand. Steve swings the shield at his head and he goes down without another word.

Steve takes the time to make sure they’re all down for the count, waits five seconds to see if Clint or Natasha shows up, and then radios, “I’ve got the place, I’m going in.”

“JARVIS is picking up possible indications of explosives beyond the door,” Tony reports, voice mostly inflectionless. And, “I have reason to believe the hacker is a hostage, not a collaborator. Either way, I need him alive.”

“Understood,” Steve says, and examines the door carefully. It’s made of steel or something stronger, thick and locked down with a security system that Steve can’t hope to understand. He might be able to get through it by sheer brawn, but if the hacker is a hostage and the second presence in the room is there to keep him from capture or rescue, it would take too long and make too much nose. “I have a security system here,” he says unhappily.

“Widow,” Tony says, and a moment later says, “Or Coulson.”

“Busy,” Natasha reports; the clattering of gunfire in the background sends tension knotting into Steve’s neck and shoulders, but he consoles himself that she doesn’t sound hurt, only a little out of breath.

“I’ve got an EMP arrow,” Clint pants over the open line. “Could work, but I’m pinning down most of the reinforcements on the main level.”

“I’ve got the main level,” Coulson says, sounding mostly calm, breathing not even labored. “SHIELD personnel are flooding the area. Get to the Captain.”

“Roger,” Clint snaps out, and Steve has nothing to do but wait until Clint shows up. It takes only a couple of minutes, proof, as if Steve needed it, that Clint is nothing if not dependable. “Back away,” he says to Steve as he taps out a series of commands on his bow, and then removes the arrow from the quiver without any apparent intention of firing it. He pulls out a long, sharp knife and pries something metal away from the security panel, which squeals in outrage. Clint ignores it, fiddling for a moment with the arrow head, and then sliding it into a nest of wires that the security panel had revealed. “I’ve got to get out of range to shield the bow,” he tells Steve. “I’ll be back around the corner, but I should be able to be there to back you up in a manner of seconds.” He waits for Steve to nod his agreement, and then vanishes around the box of crates and a bend in the wall. “Five seconds,” he says on the radio. “Shield yourself.”

Steve raises the shield just in time to keep from getting a face full of sparks and a small, intense, but mercifully brief gout of flame.

There’s a deep clicking noise from the door mechanism, and Steve doesn’t wait to find out if a light touch would be just as effective as a full body assault. He slams his shoulder into the door, which screeches out an even more tortured sound than the security panel had, but buckles under his strength, revealing a room not much bigger than the size of Steve’s walk in closet at the tower. There is a man sitting at a desk, his fingertips flying over the keyboard. Sweat is trickling down his temples and dampening his collar, but he doesn’t so much as look up at Steve. He’s sitting in what looks like a regular office-type chair, but his position is strange, his chair pushed as far back as possible while his upper body leans forward to keep his hands on the keys.

The other man is holding a gun in one hand and something that looks like a handheld radio in the other. The radio has a blinking red light that washes the man’s face in briefly bloody swatches. He’s dressed in Hydra uniform, but without the mask, and there is something feral in his eyes that Steve doesn’t like at all.

“Interfere in the slightest, and I will destroy everything,” he tells Steve. Steve doesn’t disbelieve him, but the Hydra agent’s face is also bathed in sweat, and his grip on the radio is far steadier than his grip on the gun.

“Transmitter,” Tony says into Steve’s earpiece. “Without the interference from the door, I can get a lock on it.”

And do what with it? Steve wants to know, but isn’t in a position to ask.

“Can you take him out without damaging the transmitter?” Tony asks.

Steve says, “Whatever you’re trying to do here, you’ve already failed,” in a low, steady voice. “If you surrender now, we can work out an exchange of information for some measure of leniency.”

Leniency,” the Hydra agent sneers. “We’ll have everything we want to know before you can do anything to stop us; my death will be a small price to pay.”

Great, Steve thinks. A true believer.

That had always been the problem with Hydra. Fanaticism was too mild a word to apply to the true believers.

Steve addresses his next question to the hacker. “Clearly you aren’t a part of this; why are you cooperating?”

The Hydra agent doesn’t give the hacker time to answer. “Why, the bomb attached to the underside of the desk,” he says breezily. “If he stops typing, we’ll all die here.”

“Typing,” Tony says in his ear, voice low and thoughtful. “Not hacking, but typing. Chances are the guard dog doesn’t know what this guy is actually doing. If we can somehow convince him that the hacking isn’t the key, that it’s the typing, there’s a chance we can get him out of this alive.” Tony hums. “Distract the gestapo for a few seconds, Captain. I think I can pass on a message.”

Steve, who hasn’t spent a lot of time distracting people for the sake of distraction, manages, “And what exactly are you hoping to accomplish here? SHIELD already knows what’s going on; your entire base is surrounded, if not already entirely depopulated. Even if you get whatever information you’re after, how do you intend to pass it on?”

The Hydra goon sneers at Steve. “All information obtained is being automatically backed up. No matter what happens here, Hydra will have complete access to SHIELD’s files and systems by this time tomorrow.”

“I hope that back up is someplace far away from here,” Steve says. “Since we’ve got the whole facility locked down.”

The Hydra goon looks briefly shaken, a little alarmed, and then goes blank-faced. “Hydra will prevail,” he snarls, a stock answer which Steve translates as the strong possibility that this guy doesn’t know for sure what his higher ups have put into place. Steve is saved from trying to find something else to distract him by the goon’s brief, suspicious look at Steve, accompanied by a firming on the grip of the goon’s gun. “Who are you supposed to be?” he sneers.

“I’m Captain America,” Steve says, keeping his voice calm and confident. “Just another item on the long list of things that Hydra has failed to prevail against over the years.”

“Captain America is dead,” the goon snarls, and Steve shifts slowly enough that the shield is fully in his line of vision.

Something brief flickers over the goon’s face, but he locks it down fairly quickly.

“I’ve got him,” Tony says in Steve’s ear. “He’s backed off SHIELD. He’s reversing the connection; I should be able to tell what he’s got by his backtrail. I’ve got a bomb squad en route to your location. In the meantime, just try to keep that guy from setting the thing off manually.”

The hacker hasn’t stopped typing or sweating, and otherwise appears to still be doing whatever it is he was doing before, but if Tony says he’s no longer a threat, Steve believes him.

Steve considers another round of verbal sparring, but he knows his own weaknesses. Even if he weren’t seventy years behind the technology being utilized in the room, he doesn’t have any information on Hydra’s current level of threat or of their recent activities. He doesn’t have the same ability to bullshit effectively as Tony does. He considers his shield -- he is sure enough of his aim that he doesn’t have any doubt that he could take the goon out -- but he doesn’t know enough about the transmitter the goon is holding.

“Captain,” Clint murmurs almost silently. “If you can catch the receiver and make sure it doesn’t get bounced around, I have a shot.”

Steve takes a few seconds to study the way the man is holding the transmitter -- he doesn’t seem to be holding down any buttons, and as far as Steve can see, it otherwise looks almost identical to a handheld radio -- and might have taken a while longer except the goon raises his gun toward Steve. His hand isn’t entirely steady, but Steve is only a few feet away. He could block the shot with the shield, but ricochets could be a problem. Also, he doesn’t know if that kind of movement on his part would compromise Clint’s shot.

“Lower the shield if you want me to take the shot,” Clint murmurs, and for lack of any better idea, Steve tenses, ready to dive for the transmitter, and lowers his shield at the same time.

The arrow nearly creases Steve’s hair above his ear, but Steve will only recall that later. He is totally preoccupied with lunging forward and snatching the transmitter out of the air, catching it gingerly with both hands splayed wide to avoid pushing anything potentially fatal. He rolls forward, transmitter cradled against his chest, and is only half-aware that his left side is bathed hotly in blood and brains from the fallen Hydra agent.

A cursory check seems to indicate that it looks exactly like it had before, no new buttons pushed, no flashing lights except the one that had already been flashing. Steve becomes aware that he’s covered in gore, but ignores it for the time being.

Clint is outlined in the doorway, bow still drawn -- aimed, now, at the hacker, who seems either unaware of this or unworried about it. He’s still typing away, but with a little more animation, something that looks less like he’s exhausted and terrified, and even Steve can tell his typing is different, his back straighter, his focus on the computer absolute. All the screens that had been displayed on the monitor are flickering quickly as he negotiates programs, Steve assumes. Steve is suspicious, but he has to trust Tony.

“Just another few minutes,” Tony murmurs. “He’s walking me back through the hack. Whoever he is, he’s good. I wonder where Hydra got him from.”

“Captain?” Clint asks, a clear request for directions.

“There’s a bomb of some kind,” Steve says shortly. “Set up so that if he doesn’t keep up what he’s doing, it’ll blow up.”

“He has a flash drive,” the man at the computer says, his voice dull with exhaustion. “I don’t know how much he got from what I was doing, but it was something he was excited to get.”

Steve crouches down over the body, searching for and finally finding the drive. It’s covered in blood and there’s a crack in the casing, but Steve pockets it anyway. While he’s doing it, he searches the rest of the body and finds a hand-held computer device that he can’t make heads or tails of. He tucks it into his belt and watches while Clint loosens his bow and drops down to his knees, scanning the room until he dips low enough to see under the desk. “Hooked into the computer,” Clint says finally. “I take it Tony thinks it measures quantity, not quality?”

“Apparently,” Steve says. “At least it hasn’t blown up yet.” He keys his mic. “ETA on that bomb squad?”

“Under a minute,” Coulson replies in his usual bland voice. “Natasha has managed to neutralize the bottom floor, and we’ve got agents sweeping the rest of the building.”

“She’s all right?” Steve asks, gingerly holding onto the radio-transmitter-explosive-trigger (he assumes) in a way that he hopes won’t cause it to spontaneously engage.

“Fine,” Coulson says. “Our casualties were light, though we can’t say the same for Hydra. We’ve managed to corral a few of them in for questioning, but they didn’t give us a lot of choice.”

“Hydra usually doesn’t,” Steve says grimly.

Ten seconds later, five men in protective suits ease into the room, and it takes Clint and Steve a few minutes to relay what little they know about the device. The hacker is silent throughout this, typing frantically; Steve has time to see that the man is nearly gray with fatigue, bruised looking circles under his eyes.

Two of the bomb squad ease their way under the desk to examine the device, and there is a conference call with Tony that mostly goes over Steve’s head.

It takes the bomb squad most of an hour to disconnect whatever wires were forcing computer input -- Tony, in Steve’s ear, tells him he could have done it in less than half of that, maybe a quarter, and although Steve believes him, he’s still glad Tony is safe in SHIELD headquarters and nowhere near the bomb.

A unit of SHIELD agents brings the hacker in for questioning, Tony apparently chief among the interrogators, which Steve decides is a good distraction. It will give him time to wash the gore off, though he isn’t sure what to do with the suit itself. It’s Coulson that shows up after Steve’s shower and takes a look at the suit, assuring Steve that, among other things, it’s designed to be easily cleaned. He takes charge of it with Steve’s blessing, and Steve is left wandering around in SHIELD sweats and a t-shirt. Clint shows up, and then Natasha, and Steve doesn’t try to pretend that their presence means anything other than the fact that they all want to check to make sure none of them are seriously hurt.

Though Steve doesn’t feel all that hungry, Clint drags him down to the mess, and once the food is right there in front of him, Steve devours it ravenously.

He wants Tony with an almost physical ache that has nothing to do with sex, and his mind feels battered by the days events, though his body hadn’t taken any damage at all.

It’s late before Steve makes his way back to the tower -- without seeing Tony again. He isn’t sure if he’s disappointed or relieved. He feels jittery after his first mission since the ice, and doesn’t want to unload all his nerves on Tony about it if he can help it.

He keeps trying to tell himself that it went well, that the mission was a success, but can’t quite reconcile it with the number of people who had died. Hydra people, almost exclusively, and Steve is no stranger to killing or being part of an operation for which killing is either the primary goal or a secondary necessity, but it seems harsher, compared to the last several months of living in the future. Not a war-time measure at all, even though he really believes that Hydra’s brand of terrorism definitely counts as its own kind of war.

And Hydra itself. Steve had known they still existed. He’d read the reports. It just seems so unreal that something that had been the private brainchild of the Red Skull could have possibly thrived and even multiplied after the cube had destroyed the man-monster behind the organization.

Steve goes to bed early, hoping to put off any really serious conclusions until the following day, but he’s still awake when Tony slips into his bedroom.

“Hey,” Tony says quietly. He’s lost his jacket somewhere, his shirtsleeves rolled up over his forearms, and he looks tired.

Tony doesn’t ask any questions, but Steve can feel them hanging in the air between them. He doesn’t know how to either pull them out into the open or to push them away entirely. He still feels taut and angular inside his own skin.

“The flash drive?” Steve asks.

“Information on the Initiative,” Tony says, but he doesn’t sound worried. “The hydra guy didn’t have time to send it to anyone, we’re pretty sure, but we’ll know more tomorrow.”

“What about the hacker?”

“Doctoral student at MIT,” Tony says. “Reported missing two days ago. We can’t let him go without finding out exactly what he did and how, but I don’t think he was in any way voluntarily involved. We may have to disappear him, though, just to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I’ve suggested that SHIELD bring him on board. There aren’t that many people out there that can give me a run for my money like that.”

Steve nods, unable to have a response to that right at the moment.

Tony’s eyes glitter in the darkness, his expression unusually soft. “What can I do?” he asks finally.

I don’t know, is what Steve thinks, but some part of him must know better because what he says is, “Make me not think.”

Tony’s lips quirk a little. “Make you not think of it, or make you think of something else entirely?” he asks.

“Is there a difference?” Steve asks; his voice is a little hoarse, and he’s a little embarrassed by it, but he doesn’t know how to stop it.

“There is,” Tony says. “The difference is in the degree, really. What I really need to know is if you’re looking for comfort or if you’re looking for someplace to direct what you’re feeling.”

Steve thinks about that. Both sound good -- though he’s clear that he isn’t really clear on the method for either of the possibilities under discussion. A way to redirect what he’s feeling though... that’s a strictly temporary thing. He’s almost sure of it. If he chooses that option, it may dampen some of what he’s feeling so that he wakes up tomorrow without the same degree of rawness about it, but it will still be there. Maybe comfort would work some of the same way, but with comfort... well. That’s something he can draw on even after the actual comfort is over. Something he can remember and use as a buffer against whatever is left behind.

He wonders if Tony will be any good at comfort; it’s not a fair thing to wonder (Tony has proved to be good at pretty much everything he puts his mind to), but he’s aware that comfort isn’t most of what he’s been getting from Tony so far. It’s not that it hasn’t been comforting in many ways. But that hasn’t been the point.

Steve sighs a little; Tony surprises him by slipping a hand along Steve’s cheek to cup his jaw.

“You don’t actually have to choose,” Tony tells him after a moment of Steve leaning his cheek into Tony’s hand. “I’ve got something that I’m pretty sure will work. If you trust me, I think I can choose for you.”

Steve shivers a little and his cock, which hadn’t actually been all that engaged in the conversation, firms up slightly in his pajamas.

“Yeah,” he says finally, still hoarsely. “Maybe that... that would be good.”

Tony slides his hand down Steve’s jaw and along the line of his neck, then traces his fingertips all the way down Steve’s arms until their fingers are tangled together.

“Come with me,” Tony says, a gentle order. Steve levers himself upright automatically. Tony keeps Steve’s hand twisted with his own, something Steve finds a little boggling at that same time that it seems intensely comforting. Unlike the last few encounters with Tony, Steve’s mind is almost a total blank. He doesn’t know what to expect, and isn’t interested in trying to guess.

Tony leads him out of his bedroom to the elevator, directing it to the penthouse, and then leads them both into the only room on Tony’s floor that Steve hasn’t been in: Tony’s actual bedroom. Something warm wells up in the pit of Steve’s belly, something that drives away at least a little of the mix of shouting and gunfire that still seems to be filling Steve’s head.

The room isn’t as big as Steve might have suspected, but the low, pale furniture makes it feel roomier than it is. Tony leads Steve to the bed and tugs at his hand until Steve settles on it, one leg curled beneath him while the other dangles off the side. Steve is intensely conscious of being invited into Tony’s most private space; the warmth in his belly is enough to override the violence of the rest of the day almost entirely.

“Okay so far?” Tony asks, and Steve nods voicelessly. He isn’t excited exactly, despite his erection. He feels something more hopeful than sexual. “Stretch out,” Tony directs, and tugs his own shirt off over his head. Steve lies back -- the only thing Tony’s bed has in common with the prop bed is that it seems disproportionately large -- his hands falling easily to his sides, and there’s something about just being invited into Tony’s bed that seems restful. It doesn’t subside even when Tony tugs Steve’s pajama pants off, leaving him naked. Tony runs his hands over Steve’s thighs and hips for a few seconds, lingering touches that ease Steve even further, but it still takes Steve another long minute or so to realize what is happening in his head.

Subspace has always been tangled up in rough sex and deliberate intent on Tony’s part, and when Steve realizes that what he’s feeling is a slow retreat into it, he’s surprised and maybe a little grateful.

“That’s better,” Tony says, and leans up to kiss Steve gently, one hand slipping easily through the strands of Steve’s hair. “This will be good, I promise,” Tony tells him. “You don’t have to do anything.”

“I’ll do whatever you want,” Steve says, and means it, but Tony gives him a long, solemn look.

“I know you will,” he says. “But that’s not what it’s about. Not yet.”

Steve doesn’t really get it, but he doesn’t really feel the need to get it, either.

Tony turns away and bends over the foot of the bed; Steve hears the creak of something opening, and a moment later Tony is pulling long, looped coils of blue rope out of what Steve assumes is a trunk or footlocker of some kind.

“Try not to think of anything,” Tony tells him; it’s far easier to do than Steve wants to admit, even to Tony. He watches instead as Tony deftly uncoils a long length of rope and slips up the bed to straddle Steve’s waist. “Just lie back and relax, Captain,” Tony says, though it’s almost wholly unnecessary. Steve isn’t tense.

Tony slips one end of the rope under Steve’s back and slides it out on the other side, and then wraps it around Steve’s shoulder. Once Steve sees the way that Tony is moving, slow and deliberate, he cooperates when Tony presses against his chest or arm, and the rope winds around and around Steve’s chest, first just his upper chest, then his biceps, then his forearms, pulled up and crossed in front of his chest. The rope is soft and smooth, but tight enough that Steve can feel it supporting him. Once he gets used to it, he relaxes further into it. It’s like having his skin held together by an outside force, something Steve finds soothing, calming.

Tony shifts down with a new length of rope, which he winds through some of the lengths of rope already binding Steve’s chest and arms, and begins to loop it around Steve’s thighs, criss-crossing it at some points, leaving other areas caught only loosely. Steve wonders about the point of doing it that way until Tony reaches his ankles, and then presses gently on the insides of both his calves, and Steve realizes that the criss-crossed sections pull the others taut enough that he couldn’t spread his legs even if he should try.

He is dazed, now, totally caught up in how it feels to be so firmly bound. He remembers Tony telling him he’d like it, but of course Steve hadn’t had enough of a frame of reference to be able to really appreciate what Tony meant.

He’s completely helpless.

He can flex and twist -- he might even be able to snap the rope in places if he were to actually try -- but overall, his range of motion has become so limited that he doesn’t have the necessary leverage. And, he admits, he doesn’t even want to try. This is good. Not what he had expected, though he isn’t sure what that might have been either. But this is good, Steve feels deeply calm, so he’s surprised to hear himself breathing heavily, surprised at the ache of his cock. He hadn’t noticed, as he had been pacified, how it affected him.

Tony stands back from the bed for long seconds, staring, his eyes dark and pleased looking, and Steve doesn’t even know what he wants from Tony. Steve is urgently hard, but it doesn’t interfere with the deep well of calm pooling in his chest and belly. His body seems primed for sex, but there is a not insignificant part of him that simply wants to close his eyes and let the feeling of being encompassed lull him to sleep.

It is with real surprise that he hears himself asking, “Where have you been?” sounding far more plaintive than he’d like.

Tone settles himself on his side next to Steve’s bound body and slips his hand into Steve’s hair, brushing it away from his brow. “I had projects backed up,” he says. Then he smiles a little and shakes his head. “I had to make sure I could still work with you so close all the time. I had to make sure I still had the focus to work.”

“Did you?” Steve asks, not sure what kind of answer he’s hoping for.

“It’s subjective,” Tony says, eyes crinkling a little as he smiles. “I did some work that needed doing, but I spent more time working on your uniform and other... extracurricular activities than I did on anything else.” Steve feels like he should apologize, but Tony is already shaking his head. “Don’t worry about it. The fact that I could get any work done at all through four solid days of thinking about you naked is a good sign, no matter what I actually worked on. It’s not a shocker that I mostly did things for you. I always go through periods where I focus narrowly on something, and I always eventually manage to get through it and move on to other things.” Tony rests a hand on Steve’s thigh. “What did you do?”

“A lot of training with the Initiative,” Steve says; he can feel himself relaxing even further, and he wonders how he ever managed to get through the war without Tony to talk him down. The Commandos and Bucky had been great, of course, but Steve would hardly call them ‘relaxing.’ Without really meaning to, Steve says, “I wasn’t ready to be back in the war.” He sounds ashamed, even to himself.

“No one is ever ready,” Tony tells him. “And by all accounts you did just fine.”

“It isn’t just that,” Steve says. “Or even the way it felt, after. It’s that I was... glad. Some part of me was glad to be doing it. It was all I really knew how to do, once, and it felt good to be doing it again.”

“I’m glad every time I put on the suit,” Tony says gently. “Even though I know it means people are in trouble and that I’m personally going to be in danger, I’m glad every time. Iron man lives inside me all the time. Or maybe I live inside him. I’m not sure which of us is more... real. I can only imagine that it must be the same for you. It’s what we were made to do, what you and I remade ourselves to do. Of course it feels right to be doing it.”

Tony is so obviously sincere that some of what he’s saying falls into place in Steve’s head as though he’s always known it, and just hadn’t known how to say it. He feels his breath hitching a little, but it’s more in relief than distress, and Tony seems to know that. “Don’t worry about it now,” Tony says, and leans in to press his lips lightly against one of Steve’s bound wrists. “I have something I want you to do, if you feel up for it, but if this is all you want, that’s okay, too.” Steve must look a little puzzled, because Tony smiles a little. “I can see it in your face.”

Steve considers that for a moment. “I feel like I’m okay here, but...” He isn’t sure how to say it, and pauses for a long moment, while Tony regards him patiently. “I want you to... I’ve missed... it. Us. I missed you.”

Tony’s eyes are so warm that Steve abruptly wishes he could use his arms, just to hold Tony, just for a minute. “It doesn’t have to be more,” he says quickly. “It’s not just the sex.”

“I know,” Tony says. “I thought it might be, but no. It’s not just the sex for me, either.”

Steve’s heart thunders in his chest; he can feel himself flushing. “It doesn’t matter what we do, tonight. If I just get to see you.”

“For future reference, you always have the option of calling me out of the lab if you need me, Captain,” Tony says. “I never meant for you to think you couldn’t.”

“I don’t want to be...” Steve says, but can’t think how to end the sentence. A bother. A burden. A distraction. Needy. Yeah, that’s the one he really fears being.

Tony just shakes his head. “And I don’t want to be neglectful, which I’ve been reliably informed I can be.” He brushes a hand through Steve’s hair lightly again. “And it’s nice to be called away from work.” He gives Steve a crooked smile. “Gives me an excuse to ignore corporate asshats that only care about dollar signs. Don’t worry about it now; just remember you can do it, if you need me. For now, just tell me this: do you need to rest and recover from your day, or do you need to give yourself something else to remember about it?”

“What do you want to do?” Steve asks.

“I want you to get what you need; I always want that. But assuming all things are equal, I want to slap you down into subspace and make you wallow in it for at least a couple of hours.” Tony’s eyes glitter as he says it, and Steve’s stomach dips with anticipation and fear.

“Okay,” he says hoarsely. “I’m at your disposal.”

Tony laughs darkly. “Oh, Captain, you have no idea,” he says tautly. “I’m going to tip you over onto your belly for a moment.”

Steve doesn’t ask why. Tony gets his hands under Steve’s hip and biceps and lifts, and Steve wriggles over cooperatively. He realizes as he does that his ass is totally free of rope and exposed, and his cock jerks a little against Tony’s comforter.

Tony’s fingertips skim between his ass cheeks briefly, and then Tony’s weight leaves the bed. Steve tips his head to the other side so that he can watch Tony open his nightstand, pull something strangely shaped out of it -- it’s black, one end shaped like a dildo, but there is a tube running between it and another black, rounder thing -- and then Tony sets it beside Steve's hip, down too low for Steve to get the time to really study it. Tony pulls out a tube of lube as well, smirking a little as he eyes Steve sideways.

“I could use the toy I made you,” Tony says, “but I like the idea of watching you do this to yourself.”

Tony settles down on the bed again next to Steve’s hip and runs a hand across one cheek of his ass.

“What am I doing?” Steve asks.

“I’ll tell you in a minute,” Tony says, and flips the tube of lube open. He straddles Steve’s thighs so that Steve can’t see him or the odd piece of equipment Tony had pulled out at all, but it’s only a few seconds before something cool and slick presses between the cheeks of Steve’s ass. It’s too cool to be Tony’s fingers, but it’s not very big at all. Steve shivers, but doesn’t otherwise react, and in only a moment Tony is pressing it slickly into him. It stretches Steve a little -- enough that Steve’s balls tighten -- but not much. It can’t be much bigger than a finger in width to slip in so easily. Whatever it is, it’s good, though. Steve hasn’t come in four days, and Tony slides it into him again and again, pulling it back occasionally to add more lube, until Steve feels messy and slick, and he wishes that the toy was bigger even as he’s panting softly into Tony’s pillow.

“This is where it gets fun,” Tony murmurs, and the bed shifts as Tony reaches across Steve, catching him again by the hip and biceps. “Over you go, Captain.” Steve, a little distracted at the toy and the request, doesn’t quite cooperate as much as he could, and it takes Tony a minute to get him on his back again. He doesn’t look upset in the slightest, though. He’s gazing hotly at Steve, and at the way Steve is shifting with the small toy inside him, and then he’s pulling the length of tube with the round end up and pressing it into Steve’s left hand. Steve gazes at it dumbly for a long second; it looks like the bulb you squeeze on a blood pressure cuff to inflate the sleeve. Steve’s head clears a little at that, and he takes another long look at it.

That’s exactly what it looks like, actually. So much so that Steve feels pretty confident about what it means regarding the toy inside him.

“This is how it works,” Tony says seriously. “I’m going to suck your cock, and you are not going to come under any circumstances. Are you clear on that, Captain?”

“Yeah, yes,” Steve stammers, though just the idea of Tony sucking his cock after four arduous days of celibacy is enough to bring him to the very threshold of orgasm. “I won’t come,” he repeats, as much for himself as for Tony.

“Good. While I do that, I want you to get yourself nice and loose for when I’m ready to fuck you. You see how it works?” Tony asks.

“It... uh. Inflates?”

Tony’s smirk verges on evil. “Exactly what it does. Any time you think you might come if I don’t stop, you squeeze the bulb, Captain. Clear?” Steve nods. “Good. Also, any time I deep throat you, you squeeze until I come up for air.” Tony’s whole face seems cast in a wicked shadow now. “Clear?”

“Just once, or...?” Steve asks.

“Until you stop being afraid you’ll come or until I pull off,” Tony clarifies. He licks his lips. “The dildo will inflate up to six times its original size.” He pauses, as though to let Steve consider that, and then adds, “Uninflated, it’s about as thick as my thumb.”

Steve feels his eyes widen, but his cock is jerking against his belly; Steve can feel precome dripping onto his skin.

“Trust me, Captain,” Tony says, eyes a little narrow, voice low and dangerous. “You’re going to need it before I’m done with you.”

“Why do I... why isn’t it you?” Steve stammers, half-humiliated and half-excited.

“Because half the fun is making you do it to yourself,” Tony says matter-of-factly. “You’ll sink or swim on your own self-control.”

Steve swallows hard. “I already...” he says, feeling the flush consume his face without being able to do anything to stop it. “It’s been a long time, Tony,” he manages.

Tony’s eyes gleam. “I know.” He settles himself next to Steve’s thighs on the bed. “Ready, Captain?”

Steve doesn’t have enough moisture in his mouth to answer. He nods mutely, and watches Tony capture his cock in one hand and draw it upright. Precome streams over Tony’s fingers, and Steve shudders to see it.

“God, you’re gorgeous when you’re desperate,” Tony murmurs. “You have no idea the kinds of things I want to do to you to make you desperate.” Tony meets his gaze for a moment. “This is on the honor system, Captain. Don’t make me regret trusting you.”

Steve would never, can’t even imagine it; he’s long past understanding that what he gets from Tony is directly related to what he’s willing to give up.

Then Tony bends and sucks the head of Steve’s cock into his mouth, his tongue sweeping along the ridge, and Steve’s hand squeezes convulsively on the bulb he’s holding even as he tenses everywhere at the bright arc of excruciating pleasure. He feels the toy jump inside him, and it’s enough to make him squeeze again, startled and gritting his teeth against the desire to come right now, the sight of Tony’s lips stretched around Steve’s cock so stunning that he almost can’t hold back.

“Tony,” he hisses, and Tony hums a little around Steve’s cock; Steve’s hand seems to be working independently of Steve’s brain, or perhaps Steve’s brain isn’t working at all, because he squeezes the bulb helplessly, not just once, but at least three times as Tony slowly works his way down Steve’s cock. Tony’s mouth is so hot and wet that Steve can’t stop himself from arching up into it, and Tony doesn’t try to stop him. He shifts a little to get a better angle, and Steve can feel the way the toy inside him is starting to stretch him.

Then Tony goes all the way down, and Steve is writhing and letting out a garbled moan, but his hand is obediently working the bulb and his belly is filled with arcing current at the way it feels to have his cock buried in Tony’s throat, at the sight of it, and at the way he can feel Tony’s throat working around him, and at the way that the slowly expanding toy inside of him is stretching his hole. “Please, I can’t, Tony, please,” Steve begs, squeezing the bulb and trembling, sure he’s not going to be able to resist, and making the resistance all the harder with the slowly inflating toy stretching him wider with every clench of Steve’s fist.

Tony pulls back and Steve barks out a little half-sobbing sound of relief, his body going loose for a moment even as his balls twist with need and his cock jerks with anticipation of further torment.

“Perfect, Captain,” Tony murmurs, running a hand along Steve’s hip and then down to cup his balls tightly. Steve tenses and squeezes the bulb in his hand, and he can feel the toy pushing him open, the stretch of the muscle of his hole, and he shudders at the idea that this is only the beginning, only Tony opening Steve up the way Tony always says he wants Steve, loose and ready. “It’s not going to take you very long at this rate at all,” Tony says, and squeezes Steve’s balls; Steve’s cock jerks and drips with precome, and Steve helplessly squeezes the bulb, again and again, on the verge of coming so hard that his teeth are clenched with it, stopping only when Tony finally, finally releases his balls.

“Can’t take it,” Steve says, his voice coming out a slur. “Please, I can’t.”

“You will,” Tony says flatly. “You’ll take everything I give you.”

Tony doesn’t give Steve a chance to beg any more, or even to try to object in a more coherent manner. He slips his mouth over the head of Steve’s cock, and while he doesn’t deep throat him again -- Steve is almost sure he couldn’t take it if he did -- he leans over Steve’s hips and sucks hard, his tongue pressing against the big vein along the bottom of Steve’s cock. Steve lets out a wretched little cry and squeezes the bulb, twisted agonizingly between the soft, slick pressure of Tony’s mouth and the feeling of being slowly forced wide open, and he knows he could lessen the knot of need in his groin if he just went more slowly with the bulb in his hand, but he knows he won’t. Tony knows how to manipulate him; the honor system is enough to keep Steve honest. The stretch of his hole feels huge and Tony’s teeth scrape gently against the thin skin of his cock and Steve shouts and begs, “I can’t, Tony, I can’t stop it, please, your mouth and I feel so full...”

Tony goes all the way down, and tears squeeze out of the corners of Steve’s tightly closed eyes. He uses the bulb and he feels like he’s being pried open now, it feels so wide, and his balls are twisting knots, so close, and he really doesn’t believe he can stop it, but he tries, he doesn’t stop using the bulb. The toy inside him feels like it’s as wide as a bat, and when Tony finally pulls off of him again Steve stutters into inelegant tears, hoarse and messy, and his whole body feels like he wouldn’t even need Tony to go down on him again, that Tony could just touch him anywhere, could just breathe on him, and that would be all Steve could take.

“I love it when you cry for me, Captain,” Tony says, his voice rough. He raises his hand and licks Steve’s precome off of his fingers, and Steve has to look away, shuddering. “Turn over for me,” Tony orders, and Steve lets Tony recover the bulb from his hand and then flip him over onto his belly. He groans at the friction of the comforter on his aching cock. Tony runs a hand down Steves back to cup one cheek of his ass, and Steve trembles under his hand. “Just a little more,” Tony says after a few seconds of tugging at the toy a little, pressing it in just a little, then tugging it out. “I want you looser than this.”

Steve tries to suck in a breath, either to object, or just to fortify himself, he doesn’t know. Before he can decide what to do with it, Tony is squeezing the bulb, and Steve is trying desperately to keep himself still so his cock doesn’t rub against the bedclothes. He can feel himself being forced wider, and it stretches. It but doesn’t hurt, but something about it is debilitating, and Steve can’t keep himself from crying silently as Tony presses him wider and wider. Steve is aroused and humiliated in equal measures, and he can only appreciate now that having Tony do it, and watch it, is worse, makes his head buzz and his skin prickle with humiliation.

“Tony,” he begs and Tony makes a low, pleased sound.

“Almost, Captain,” Tony says. “Just a little more... violation.”

Steve shudders helplessly in the confines of the ropes, and he doesn’t know how Tony knows -- he hadn’t actually realized it himself until Tony had said -- but yes, that’s what it is. Even doing it to himself, even though it doesn’t feel like a violation at all when Tony uses his fingers, that’s what this feels like. Like the toy Tony had made him. He feels done to, as if at one step estranged. He feels it, and it’s hard for him, but he likes it. He sucks in several wet breaths and forces himself to relax as Tony gives the bulb another squeeze. Steve feels stretched so far open that Tony could practically put anything inside him. The idea makes him hot with fear and anticipation.

Steve feels like he’s possibly about three seconds away from pumping come all over Tony’s comforter when Tony finally stops. His breathing is hitching and unsteady, and his eyes feel hot with tears, but he is so ready to be fucked that he blurts, “Is it enough? Now, Tony, will you fuck me now, I’m loose, you could just shove it in.”

“Don’t tempt me, Captain,” Tony says, and his voice is also unsteady; Steve doesn’t know why, but hearing it is enough to simultaneously heat him to the point of insanity and to comfort him in some way, as well. “I have plans for your well-stretched hole, don’t worry. I’ll give you what you need. But first I need to get this rope off of you.”

Steve makes a small sound, and Tony’s hands are abruptly soothing on his back.

“I’ll fuck you bound down like this soon,” Tony says softly. “I know you’re fucking desperate for it. But this time, I promise you, I have something better in mind, Captain. Stay with me?”

Steve shoves his face into the pillow for a moment, and then tries to relax and just nods. The idea of Tony pulling the toy out of him and just shoving inside, Steve looped around with rope and almost helpless, makes Steve want to beg, but he trusts Tony. He trusts Tony to know what will be best for him.

Tony’s agile fingers are already working on the rope, and it actually takes far less time to free him than Steve ever would have guessed from how firmly he had felt bound. Tony seems to unravel it like a long piece of knitting, having Steve roll or lift a little once in awhile, but for the most part it’s done without Steve’s participation or cooperation.

Getting Steve on his feet from there is a challenge. He isn’t sure why he expects Tony to leave the toy in, but he’s startled and bizarrely dismayed when Tony pins him with a hand at the small of his back and then uses a knob on the bulb to deflate the thing. It slides out of him embarrassingly easily; Steve can feel how loose he still is. He feels lube dribbling out of him as Tony helps him to his knees on the bed. He can feel his face burning, and his mind is swimming with eddies of lust, and he almost wants to say that he can’t, that he needs Tony now, but if Tony says he has something better, Steve believes him, even with his cock insisting that it can’t get any better.

The floor feels unsteady beneath his feet, and Tony keeps a firm grip on his elbow, but doesn’t say anything at all when he leads Steve out of his bedroom -- Steve tries to ignore the sliver of disappointment -- and across the hall to the fake bedroom. Tony doesn’t pause as he leads him through it to the door to the kink room, and Steve’s mind dwells a little on the last time he’d been in here, how good it had been, and he starts to feel a little more confidence in Tony’s confidence.

He stops just inside the door, his feet just freezing to the floor, refusing to continue.

The Iron Man armor is standing in front of the cross, his back to the cross itself, so completely still that it’s obviously empty, but Steve hardly registers that. Jutting from the groin plate of the armor is an enormous red and gold metal cock, big enough to give Steve a moment of distant alarm, but it isn’t strong enough to last against the hot flush of desperate desire in the pit of his belly. Steve’s cock jerks heavily between his thighs, and he can feel himself swaying a little on his feet.

“Have you forgiven me for untying you yet?” Tony asks, voice both husky and amused. Steve can’t do anything but nod numbly, his brain hissing with staticky want. “Good.” Tony’s hand grips his hip and turns him; Steve doesn’t resist at all, just turns his head to keep the suit in sight. Tony chuckles a little, but catches Steve’s chin and forces it around, fingertips drilling a little painfully into Steve’s jaw as he resists at first. “Captain, this is important,” Tony says forcefully, and Steve finally drags his gaze to Tony’s face. “There is something I need to know about your lust affair with the suit before we can do anything.” Tony stares into his eyes for several seconds. “Are you tracking, Captain?” Steve’s head starts to turn back toward the suit without Steve meaning it to, and Tony’s grip on his jaw goes punishing. “If you can’t listen, I’ll table the suit until I can be sure you will.”

Steve blinks a little at the whipcrack of Tony’s voice, but gathers himself together, trying to focus as well as he can with his cock screaming and the blood pounding in his ears. “I can listen,” he whispers.

“There are questions I have to ask you right now, before we involve the suit.” Tony’s voice is a little gentler. “I need to know that you’ll answer them truthfully and completely, Captain. I have to know everything there is to know. Do you understand?”

Steve nods, and then shakes his head. “I understand what you want me to do,” he clarifies. “I don’t understand why.”

“Because I’m a genius, and once I start thinking about what it is you really want, as opposed to what you think you want, I basically can’t stop myself from crafting scenarios that probably won’t have occurred to you. In this case, it’s something I can’t be sure you’ll agree to, whether you want it or not.” Tony’s expression is serious, his brow a little furrowed. “What you need to know is that this can happen any way you want it to. It’s all about you. I need you not to hold back what you really want because you think it’s wrong in some way. Nothing is wrong. Whatever you want is right. But you have to be honest with me about what that is.”

“I wouldn’t lie,” Steve says, confused and still stunned a little with desire.

“I know you wouldn’t lie, but it’s possible that you might agree to something you aren’t sure you want for other reasons. Swear to me that you won’t do that.”

“I swear,” Steve says solemnly. “Tony, what is going on?”

“You want the suit to fuck you?” Tony only half-asks, but Steve nods anyway, because he wholeheartedly does want the suit to fuck him. “Is it the suit you want, Captain, or is it me in the suit?” Tony’s tone is so tight it almost sounds brittle.

Steve can’t tell which answer Tony wants, and frowns for a moment, then realizes, past the lust and anticipation, that Tony wants whichever answer is honestly true. That’s what this is all about. Steve considers it, still not entirely sure what’s going on. Finally he says, “It’s about the suit. It’s about you, too -- I wouldn’t want to do anything with the suit without you there to keep me... grounded. But if you’re asking me if you have to be in the suit, then, no. If you could rig it to do it without you inside, as long as you’re there, that’s okay with me. What is this about?”

“Part of it is about me wanting to see you getting your ass worked over by that big metal cock,” Tony says frankly. “But that isn’t a deal breaker; this place is riddled with cameras, and I can watch it later at any angle I want. But another part of it is that you have the capacity to take so much more than any one person can easily give you. I’m a genius, and I can come up with ways to really stretch your capacity, but I have to make sure my methods don’t put you off.”

“I don’t understand,” Steve says.

“I know you don’t,” Tony says, gently now. “You don’t have the experience to understand. I showed you a little, that time in my office, do you remember? When you took my cock in your ass and choked on the gag at the same time.” Steve nods, belly dipping a little with the beginnings of understanding. “More sensation is good for you, Captain. You want to be sexually overwhelmed. I can make that happen, but not unless you understand and agree to take it the way I have set it up to happen.”

“I agree,” Steve says hoarsely, cock aching.

“You don’t know what you’re agreeing to yet,” Tony says a little sharply. “For example, I could be planning on bringing in additional people to help work you over, and unless I’m much mistaken, fidelity is too important to you to allow that.”

Steve takes a deep breath. “It is,” he admits, hoping that Tony won’t be too disappointed by it. He knows Tony has historically been in... less strict relationships. Tony doesn’t look disappointed at all, though. He merely looks satisfied, as though pleased to have assumed correctly.

“And I could have JARVIS man the suit -- he brought it up, the ungrateful eavesdropper, and he’d be willing -- except that I have the idea that you’re one of those rare and wonderful people that really believes that JARVIS is a person, which I think might cause the same kind of issues for you.” Tony gives him a long look.

“I like JARVIS, Tony, and if you wanted him to man the suit so that you can get something you need...” Steve tries, but Tony is already shaking his head.

“This is one of those reasons you might agree to something you’re not sure about wanting,” he says gently. “So that I could get something I want. I appreciate the thought, but I’m not that kind of asshole. If it’s going to be good, it has to be good for both of us.”

“Then I still don’t understand why we’re having this conversation,” Steve says a little weakly, hoping that he doesn’t look as relieved as he feels.

“It comes down to how much you’re willing to trust me,” Tony says, and smiles, eyes crinkling a little. “The Iron Man suit has a lot more destructive capacity than anything I might ever consider hitting you with. If it doesn’t have to be me in the suit, it has to be a program written specifically for this, for sex with you, and it has to be perfect in every way. It has to have a limited interactive AI and it has to be ludicrously complex. If you want this, you have to trust me with your life, knowing that I wrote the code in under four days while simultaneously working on half a dozen other projects.”

Heat and relief swirl abruptly in Steve’s belly, and his eyes swivel back toward the suit. “You mean now?” he whispers hoarsely. “You mean you did it already?”

“I did. Remember, the armor can crush a car, Captain. Even you won’t be able to physically withstand injury if something goes wrong.” Tony is still smiling though, Steve sees from the corner of his eye, his gaze locked on Steve the way Steve’s is locked onto the suit.

“But,” Steve says, and turns back to look at Tony, surprising a warm look on his face. “But you wouldn’t be making the offer if you weren’t sure.”

“I’m not that’ll be going a few rounds with it,” Tony says dryly. “Not this time, anyway. Programs like this are delicate. You have to build them like suspension bridges. All it takes is one loose wire. I’ll understand if you want me to take more time with it.”

“How long did it take you to program JARVIS?” Steve asks.

Tony cocks his head. “This is stepping stones across a stream compared to JARVIS, you know that, right?” Steve nods. “It took me sixteen days to program JARVIS. It took me another month after that to clean up his code.”

“So,” Steve says slowly. “You have the only true AI on the planet, and almost no one knows he’s really an AI. And everyone else on Earth is still trying to build an AI just to prove it can be done.” Tony smirks, but nods. “And you think I’m worried that the Iron Man sex robot isn’t going to do what it’s supposed to do?”

Tony laughs. “Never say ‘Iron Man sex robot’ again. If that ever accidentally slips out in conversation, neither of us will ever recover our dignity.”

Steve grins a little. “Tony, I want you. I want all the things that you say I’d want if I only knew how to want them. You’re right; I don’t want any other person... involved with us. But the rest of it, we can do that however we want. I trust you absolutely. If you aren’t worried, I’m not worried.” He glances at the suit again. “And... well, for what it’s worth, I kind of wondered if you’d ever do the thing with the gag again. I liked the way I felt... stretched out between...” He isn’t sure how to say what he means, and he can feel his face blazing.

“You mean the way you felt your focus expand from the cock I was choking you with to the cock that I was fucking you with?” Tony says, voice low and smoldering. “Is that what you mean, Captain?”

“Yes,” Steve says softly.

“You can ask for things, you know,” Tony says. “I knew this about you already, and mostly just hadn’t been in another situation in which the equipment was available while we were not already doing something else, but you still shouldn’t keep these things a secret.”

“Okay, Tony. I didn’t mean for it to be a secret, really. Just, like you said. We were always already doing something else that I liked just as well or more.” He shrugs. “But for the record, I agree to using the suit as a sex toy. I’m clear that it might not be perfectly safe. Not that much of what we do is actually perfectly safe.”

“That is a very good point,” Tony says, smiling broadly now. “One which we can discuss at any time that is not now. For now, I think I recall that what you wanted to do first was touch it.”

Tony slips a hand along the small of Steve’s back and urges him forward until Steve is close enough to touch the suit. “Activate mark sixty-nine, authorization Stark-four-one-one-nine-sierra-romeo,” Tony says, and abruptly the suit is clearly processing. The eyes blaze bluish-white, and the place where Tony’s arc reactor would show through glows as well, though not as brightly, but that’s not the only way Steve can tell. It’s the subtlest shift of posture, something he can’t quantify, but he’s completely sure about it, anyway. That is not just the empty suit. That is the suit when it’s being controlled.

Steve smells machine oil and metal, and has to take a firm grip on the surge of desire that rushes through him. He reaches out, still a little uncertain, and the Iron Man armor steps forward to press against his outstretched hands. Steve’s mind buzzes faintly with amazement, but is far more occupied with the beauty of the armor as a whole. He takes a minute just to look, his hands resting on the chest of the armor. It’s a little taller than Steve and a little broader in the shoulder, but it’s not really that much bigger. He knows the metal the armor is made of is super dense and therefore more compact than seems possible, but he still has trouble believing that Tony fits inside it. This time, like every time he sees it, he thinks that it looks more like artwork than like armor.

The metal of the suit is cool to the touch and feels impossibly sleek in spite of the metal ridges Steve can see in the breastplate. He finds one of the seams with the side of his thumb and follows it down to the narrow waist, and he doesn’t mean to go directly for the enormous metal cock -- for most of the time Steve has wanted to touch it, there wasn’t an enormous metal cock to go for -- but he can’t help it. It’s huge and right there, and Steve’s fist doesn’t close all the way around it. He feels woozy with desire and apprehension, and his hips jerk, bumping his cock up against the hip of the suit. All the air leaves him in a rush, and he’s abruptly aware of hands on him, both of Tony’s and one of the gauntlets, holding him up.

“I think a more complete exploration is going to have to wait until we get a little further on in the proceedings, Captain,” Tony says, amused. Then, “Bring him over to the chair.”

Steve is picked up off his feet, the cool metal of the gauntlets feel like they’re branding the skin of his upper arms, and another wave of desperate want shudders through him. He’s so overwhelmed at being manhandled, that he hardly notices the chair until he’s standing beside it; Tony is flipping and switching things around on the chair, but Steve is still practically standing on top of the armor, and can’t make himself pay attention to what Tony’s doing. He runs his hands along the biceps of both arms and then has to brace himself against its chest when the armor mirrors the motion, the flat discs of the repulsors sliding smoothly across Steve’s biceps. For a moment, the armor merely holds him there, and then the fingertips of the gauntlets are drilling into the muscles of Steve’s upper arms. Steve gasps a little, more turned on than scared, and the pressure eases.

“Good?” Tony asks, startling Steve badly enough that the armor has to steady him on his feet again. “I made sure it could bruise you.” His smile is smoky. “With any luck, anything the armor gives you will last a little longer than what I can do on my own.”

Steve tries not to look too hopeful, but Tony laughs.

“This is the last time I’m going to give you a choice about something while we’re in this room,” Tony says, suddenly serious. “You’re only getting it because I want to see something specific, and I’m not sure yet whether you’ll enjoy it, so I’m willing to barter.”

“I don’t mind trying anything that you want to see,” Steve says truthfully.

“One of the many things that makes you unbelievably hot, but hear me out. I want something with a level of violence that is a little more real than what we’ve been doing. I don’t know if it’ll carry negative connotations, but given your background in violence, it seemed safer to ask outright than to surprise you.”

“More violent than beatings?” Steve asks curiously.

One corner of Tony’s mouth curls faintly upward. “More immediately potentially lethal than a normal human beating a meta-human,” he clarifies. “I want to choke you.”

“I thought we’d already...”

“If you’d stop interrupting me,” Tony says, and slaps him hard on the ass. Steve goes to his toes for a second, and then deliberately closes his mouth. Tony stares at him for another handful of seconds, and Steve waits as patiently as he can. “We know you like it when you choke on my cock, but we don’t know if that’s about lack of control for you or if it’s about being unable to breathe.” He pauses. “Or both. What I want is to physically choke you, hand around your throat, right up to the moment that you’re about to pass out.”

“Oh,” Steve says, slightly thunderstruck. He thinks about how it had felt, having his breath stopped, and what part of it he’d been drawn to, but every time it’s happened -- hell, every time it’s even almost happened -- Steve had been so turned on it’s mostly a blur of remembered lust and pleasure. Nevertheless, he’s willing to try it.

“This is the part where you barter,” Tony says wryly. Steve blinks. “If you let me, or more accurately, the Iron Man armor, choke you, I’ll let you come while it does it.”

“How would that work?” Steve asks, puzzled.

“If it works for you the way I think it will, you won’t even have to think about it,” Tony says, his eyes dark again. “Okay, to be fair, this is still only bartering in my direction. In reality, I want to see if you can come while you’re being choked out just as much as I want to see the choking out.” He actually looks like he’s a little pained by the admission.

“At this point, I’m going to come the second the armor gets near me with that thing,” Steve says, gesturing toward the armor’s enormous endowments. “I’m not going to be able to help it. I could practically come just looking at it. And then you’d be ticked. So having the opportunity to take the edge off is worth it from my perspective.”

“Tell me you won’t be coming to your senses about us any time soon,” Tony says warmly.

“I’m not planning on it,” Steve says, smiling helplessly, pleased. “Should I sit?”

“No. The chair isn’t currently configured to let you sit in that direction. Best just back up a few feet and kneel.” Steve backs into a clear spot on the floor and kneels on the carpet, surprised all over again at how soft the carpet in this room is. He can’t keep himself from looking up at the armor and imagining what it will feel like; this body is torn between a kind of hazy fear and acurle of anticipation. The armor looks huge from this angle. “Disco black,” Tony says cryptically, and then the armor is in front of Steve, bent over at the waist, and before Steve even considers dodging out the way, one of the gauntlets is wrapped around his throat. Steve wraps both hands around the wrist reflexively, tugging a little before remembering he isn’t supposed to be tugging. He’s about to let go when the gauntlet starts to squeeze his neck, and then he can’t quite make himself let go.

It doesn’t happen all at once, not abrupt, like with Tony’s cock, but slowly, first just shortening his breath a little, then tight enough that he’s gasping, and Steve is pretty sure that he likes this for what it is, for just forcing him not to breathe, because he can feel warm splatters of precome strike his thigh from his cock jerking energetically. He is softly amazed, but doesn’t have much time to devote to the feeling, as he can’t breathe at all now, and the faceplate of the armor is as indifferent as always. Seconds pass, and Steve’s fingers clench on the gauntlet; he isn’t sure he’s going to be able to keep himself from trying to get free. His heart is pounding in his throat and in his ears, and he thinks his survival instinct is going to kick in despite himself, but then Tony’s hand is around his cock, stroking it slowly with his fist only loosely coiled, and something unravels in the back of Steve’s mind. Tony is here, and if Tony is here, Steve is safe. He still can’t make himself let go of the gauntlet, but he relaxes a little, and the pleasure of Tony’s hand on his cock skittering up his spine intensifies. His vision goes swimmy, which drives a little spike of lust and recognition into Steve’s groin, and Steve’s cock is so hard he can’t quite keep himself from arching up into Tony’s strokes, but the armor is holding him basically immobile, so they’re barely thrusts at all, just abortive little writhings.

Steve glances at Tony, and is softly amazed again, because Tony looks like he looks when he’s fucking Steve, Tony’s face is stark with want, his eyes dark embers as he stares back at Steve, who is rapidly losing the ability to focus.

“You’re gorgeous,” Tony says, low and gruff. “The way that you’ll let me do anything, Captain. The way that you just give it up.”

Steve tries to blink Tony back into focus, but the edges of his vision are going dark now. He can hear his heartbeat thundering in his ears, it’s incredibly fast and hard, a little dizzying of itself, and he can’t believe how it sounds, but really all of it is retreating now, leaving only the need to come and the need to breathe, and Steve is struggling for them both, his hips still trying to rock, his hands flexing on the gauntlet, and he wonders if he passes out before he comes if Tony will count that as his orgasm, because that hardly seems fair, and he’s so close. The world is a smog colored blur, he can only see the pale gleam of the eyes of the armor, and he feels himself loosening, muscles no longer able to balance his weight, and his cock is absolutely wretched with need, he’d rather come than breathe now, he needs it so much...

The hand is abruptly gone from around his throat and Steve sucks in an icy, painful breath, everything shifts into sight and sound and touch, and he is going to come, but he has time to suck in one more breath, cool and fantastic in his lungs, and then he’s hunching forward over Tony’s hand and screaming hoarsely as his balls clench and he feels like he comes for ages, nothing but Tony’s touch tethering him to the earth.

When he comes back to the world, Tony is crouched down beside him, bracing him upright. Steve redistributes his weight until he’s sure he’s not going to fall over, and then curls an exploratory hand around his throat. It’s tender, bruised, probably, but it doesn’t hurt that much, and it hardly feels raw inside at all. As soon as he drops his hand, Tony reaches up and cradles the front of Steve’s throat in his palm, then brushes his fingertips lightly against what are probably marks of some kind. Tony’s hand slips up his throat to his jaw, and Steve turns his head with the pressure. Tony still looks like he had, during, face still and etched with need. Tony’s hand tips Steve’s chin upward, and then Tony is ghosting kisses over the skin of his throat, his lips warm and soft. Steve’s cock throbs, apparently already recovered from orgasm. Tony releases Steve’s chin, and then kisses his mouth, hot and slick and leisurely, like Tony doesn’t have anywhere to be, like Steve hadn’t just seen his need scrawled achingly across the planes of his face.

When Tony pulls back, he just looks at Steve’s face for several long seconds, searching, and then he says, “Get up and get on the chair.”

Steve has to drag himself up to his feet with one hand on the armor, he feels light-headed and good, as deeply into subspace as he’s ever been. He lets Tony guide him to the chair, lets Tony’s hands press him down to straddle the horizontal surface -- the whole thing looks like one of Tony’s blown up schematics, not like a chair at all, really -- and then forward to rest his chest against it. Steve merely rests there while Tony presses each leg up against a leg rest, each arm against an arm rest. The legs have restraints both at the ankle and above the knee. The arms only have wrist restraints. Tony fastens them all, and then pushes the rests themselves around until Steve is on his belly, his knees up around his ribs and his ankles at his hips, but spread out to the sides, so that Steve feels pinned like a frog. Steve’s arms Tony merely tucks underneath his chest. Tony pauses for a moment once he has Steve’s limbs arranged. “Are you with me, Captain?” he asks, tone mostly neutral.

“Yes, Tony,” Steve says at once, and is genuinely startled to hear the long slurring way that the words unfurl. He’s heard himself sound like this before, but never this much. He struggles to get a grip, but Tony drops a hand down to where Steve’s head is lolled forward and strokes it through his hair.

“What’s your safeword, Captain?” Tony asks, still neutral.

Steve is mistrustful of the tone, but answers immediately. “Quark.”

“Good. I’m going to adjust the headrest to hold your head up.”

Headrest? Steve thinks, lifting his head so that he can look around. There’s nothing under the back, or Steve thinks it would be the back, if it was upright, and there’s definitely nothing behind him. He sees the flash of Tony’s hands moving off to the left, and watches him draw a sturdy metal pole out of the side of the back (bottom?). He pulls an identical one from the right side, and then reaches under the back/bottom of the chair and pulls out something that doesn’t look at all like a headrest. It’s small, for one, like the size of an orange, and for another, it has some kind of straps along with something metallic and spindly looking attached to it.

But Tony moves the thing behind Steve’s head, and after a moment Steve hears something creaking, like a bolt that needs oiling. After another moment, Tony says, “Lift your head all the way up,” and Steve does. He feels the back of his head hit the small soft ‘headrest’ part, and then Tony is drawing straps around Steve’s forehead. Steve is so startled that he doesn’t even think to pull back, and Tony is so competent that by the time it crosses his mind, Steve’s head is firmly strapped to the headrest. The strap is smooth and not uncomfortable. If Steve doesn’t jerk around, he can even move his head a little from side to side, but his head is otherwise immobile, face pointing at the wall, chin pointed at the floor. Considering that he’s otherwise lying on his front, Steve thinks it should be a more difficult position, but when he relaxes, it’s really not. The confusing contraption that Tony is calling the headrest is sturdy and well balanced. Steve can relax his chest, back, and neck muscles entirely, and not have to do any of the work of holding up his head. It tightens the strap a little, and might eventually get uncomfortable, but for the moment, it’s merely interesting.

It takes him several seconds -- he doesn’t know how long; Tony doesn’t speak -- to realize that the position is designed to keep his head up at waist level, and that the ‘headrest’ is designed to enforce the position. And even then it takes him another, shorter span of seconds to realize why.

Humiliation sears at the back of his brain and his face blazes, but his balls tighten, and he can hear his breathing speed up.

“Good, you’re caught up,” Tony says, tone both hot and smug; Steve’s face burns hotter. The humiliation is intense, but it doesn’t stop Steve from being completely caught up in the image of what he’s positioned for. Steve had had an idea of what to expect, but it hadn’t occurred to him to wonder how, and now he can’t unimagine it. It feels like the temperature in the room has just gone up ten degrees. His cock is a weighty tug from where it dangles beneath him, where Tony had split the part of the chair that would have been the seat and pushed the sides out of the way. Steve wishes he’d paid better attention while Tony was situating him, but not for any practical reason. He wants to be able to imagine himself (and Tony, and the armor) more clearly, and is embarrassed and humiliated at the realization.

Tony clinks something next to Steve’s head, and Steve makes every effort to look over and see what it is. He doesn’t have much success; it’s apparently strapped to the headrest, too, and all Steve can see is that it’s shiny and slender. “When I tell you to, I want you to open your mouth as wide as you can, do you understand?”

“Yes,” Steve says unsteadily.

“I’m going to use a dental gag on you, so you won’t be able to talk after this; is there anything you need to say before I fit you, Captain?”

“If you gag me, how...?” Steve wonders.

“You’ll see once I put the it in. Is there anything you need? We’ll probably be here for quite some time.” Tony’s voice is serious.

Steve’s skin breaks out in gooseflesh, and he racks his brain, but he genuinely can’t think of anything. “No,” he says eventually. “I assume you’ll tell me how to tap out, I mean.”

“I would have, but I’m just as glad to hear you ask,” Tony says. “Your hands will be in range of my thighs. If you need to tap out, just pinch me. Anything else?”

“No,” Steve says, barely a whisper. He’s alight with anticipation and humiliation in equal parts. He doesn’t feel like he even has enough room to maintain a healthy amount of apprehension just based on the size of the cock on the armor; he’s exactly what Tony had said: desperate to be overwhelmed.

“Open your mouth nice and wide for me,” Tony says, almost gently. Steve does, and Tony’s hand appears on the right side of his face holding something that Steve can still only see is slender and probably metal. Tony tugs it across the lower half of Steve’s face; he presses his thumbs down on Steve’s lower back teeth, forcing his jaw wider, and then there is something wedged in his mouth behind his teeth, both upper and lower. A gag of some kind, Steve understands; he even understands that it’s to force him to keep his mouth open, rather than to quiet him, and he shudders a little at the implication. He doesn’t understand what it looks like, though, and he wishes he’d had a few seconds to really look when Tony had put it on him, or had thought to ask when Tony had told him he wouldn’t be able to ask any more questions.

He prods at it with his tongue, and there’s something brutal about it, it’s rigid and completely unforgiving, and it bothers him desperately that he doesn’t know what it really is. “Is it pinching you or hurting you anywhere?” Tony asks. Steve shakes his head the minute amount that the ‘headrest’ allows. “But something is bothering you,” Tony says. Steve jerks his chin up a fraction. “Of course,” Tony says easily, and produces his phone from his pocket.

He fiddles with it for a moment, and then shows Steve a picture: Steve guesses the apparatus is made out of stainless steel, and it has a curved upper bar and a lower bar, both with shallow U shaped dips in the center, the bottom dip pointing down, the dip in the top bar pointing upward. Steve tongues the bottom piece in his mouth, a little reassured; they are clearly designed to hold the pieces of the gag behind the teeth. In the picture, there is a strap and something that looks like it might be knobs to adjust the two pieces further apart or closer together. It helps, Steve can get an idea of what it looks like, but. He looks at Tony. Tony is watching him patiently. He bends down a little, turning the phone over in his hands, and snaps a picture. Steve blinks rapidly to clear the flash out of his vision, and waits while Tony pulls up the picture.

Steve feels the humiliation explode at the base of his brain, and knows he’s blushing a fiery red, but he can’t help but picture Tony’s cock sliding easily into Steve’s open, helpless mouth. Predictably, Steve’s mouth starts to water; he’s not even surprised when he realizes that he’s going to end up with spit running down his chin. Humiliated, he is on fire with humiliation, but not surprised. And still desperate for it. He looks at Tony.

“Someday I’ll take a week off and do everything in my power to make you look at me like that at least three times a day, Captain,” Tony says, and his voice is as sharp as knives and completely serious. Something about it is soothing, Steve doesn’t try to figure out why, just lets himself be soothed. “Stretch him,” Tony says, and Steve feels the hands of the suit against his ass, pulling the cheeks apart for a moment, as though just observing, and then a cool metal finger slips across Steve’s hole, and Steve erupts into helpless shuddering.

Steve is still slick, can feel it, but he feels more slickness slipping along his crack and has to assume that the fingers of the suit have been modified to lubricate. A single finger slips inside him, wet and cool, but unlike the toy Tony had made him, which had been totally smooth, Steve can feel the joints of the gauntlet tugging at him inside, nothing painful, but so real, and he bears down on it just to feel the angles of the metal press into him. Steve would like to say something, but the gag prevents everything but a kind of questioning, encouraging sound that might have embarrassed Steve if he wasn’t so occupied with the metal finger pressing his ass open. It’s joined by a second only a few moments later, and Steve feels the stretch like something electric pulsing inside him. It’s so good, Steve is trembling, his body flexing against the restraints, and then the fingers are scissoring in his hole, but Steve is still so stretched out from the toy earlier that he feels it only as stimulation, no pressure or burn at all. “One more,” Tony says, watching Steve’s face, and Steve’s eyes involuntarily slip closed as he feels a third metal finger slipping along his hole, the shift of the other two inside him, making room, and then the tip pressing in.

Steve’s eyes open wide at the stretch, and there is definitely some burn this time, and he can’t stop himself from picturing it as the third finger of the gauntlet works it’s way into him slowly; he can hear himself making hoarse, helpless sounds, but with the gag in place, he doesn’t seem to have the wherewithal to try to hold them back. The third finger presses in deep and Steve twitches at how immensely full he feels, this time with some discomfort, but it’s not enough to stop him or even slow him down. He’s breathing in desperate gulps and his cock pounds with blood. The fingers twist inside him, opening him up, grazing across his prostate firmly enough to make Steve let out a quavering moan.

“Good, Captain,” Tony says, voice deep. “You’re taking it so well, stretched out wide for the gauntlet. The cock will be so much more; I can’t wait to see it pry you open.”

Steve shivers, a little spike of fear piercing the relentless rush of his want, and he knows the cock is bigger, but he doesn’t know how much, and what Tony had said, ‘pry you open,’ makes Steve’s blood pool in his groin and gathers jagged shards of lust at the base of his spine.

“More lube,” Tony says, and Steve can feel it flush into him, dripping down the cheeks of his ass to drip off his balls, and he groans a little with lust and humiliation, he wants to tell Tony he’s ready, he wants to beg Tony to make it happen, but he merely pants open-mouthed, his whole body flushed with heat and readiness.

“Ready?” Tony murmurs, but not like it’s a real question. “Nevermind, if you were any more ready, you’d be on fire. Line it up.”

The fingers withdraw uncomfortably quickly, and are replaced almost immediately with the head of the metal cock. It feels icy against the overheated skin of his hole; it also feels absolutely huge. Steve jolts with fear that’s a little more present this time, but he still wants it so much that the fear doesn’t seem to be able to keep ahold of him. He rocks back as much as his bonds will allow, which isn’t very much at all, but is enough for Steve to get an idea of how hard the head of the metal cock is going to stretch him.

“You’re going to want to see this, I think,” Tony says, and steps around to one side of Steve for a moment. He comes back holding a tablet. Steve understands that the camera must be somewhere in the suit -- the helmet maybe -- because the view is directly down the body of the armor, focused on Steve’s ass, the metal cock nudged up against his hole. It’s the most obscene thing Steve has ever seen, his legs spread wide enough that his ass looks almost helpless, and the cock pressed up against him looks like an impossibility, like there isn’t any kind of chance that the thing would ever fit inside him. “Go easy,” Tony says, and suddenly there is an immense amount of pressure against his hole, and Steve watches the armor catch his hips with both gauntlets and shift forward. Steve’s hole resists the invasion, but want is slicing up his spine like razorblades, and he can feel himself trying to relax, to accept.

When the knob of the head breaches his body, Steve shouts, pain and pleasure, and he’s stretched so wide that he can’t believe he’d thought the toy earlier had stretched him. His ass clamps down on the invasion, and he groans, “Ungh, ungh, ungh,” helplessly.

“That’s beautiful, Captain; just take it. There’s nothing you can do about it.” Tony’s voice is a harsh twist of friction. “Let it happen; let it force you open wide; when it really starts to move, it’ll feel like it’s turning you inside out.” There is satisfaction in Tony’s tone. “I can’t wait to see you tear yourself apart on that big cock.”

Steve’s belly rolls with heat and he tries to relax, but Tony is already saying, “Fill him up, make him take every inch,” and the cock is pressing forward into him. Either it’s deliberately aimed, or just so wide it can’t help it, but it scrapes along Steve’s prostate for the entire length of the slow thrust. Steve jerks against his restraints, body screaming with pain/pleasure, messages so mixed that Steve doesn’t know if he wants to get away or take it faster. He can hear himself making a low, helpless series of sounds, something close to weeping, but he can’t stop it. His cock is a dense ache, and he struggles to adjust to the size of the cock inside him, and the confused blur of sensation doesn’t make him soft at all. Quite the opposite, really, as Steve is trying to keep from coming even as the intense pressure inside him is causing tears to leak from the corners of his eyes.

“Relax,” Tony murmurs. “Relax, Captain.” He strokes his hands across Steve’s shoulders and back and Steve somehow manages to actually obey the seemingly impossible command. Tension seeps out of him, and he knows the instant that it’s enough. The enormous girth of the cock inside him shifts subtly, still invasive, but also somehow agonizingly good. He gasps out some high pitched sounds, and Tony says, “You’re so good for me. I promise, you’re going to love every stroke.”

Steve whines, and Tony steps back with the tablet, putting it off to the side, and strips out his jeans. Steve’s mouth instantly waters at the sight of Tony’s cock, thick and jutting out from the V of his thighs, and he can feel slickness on his chin already, but he doesn’t care.

“I’m going to teach you to take it all,” Tony says hungrily. “You do exactly as I say, Captain.”

Tony doesn’t wait for an answer, not that Steve could really give him one. He merely steps forward and slides his cock into Steve’s open mouth. Steve can’t close his lips around it, but he tongues the shaft, hungry for the salt-musk flavor of his skin. “Moderate force,” Tony says, and the cock in Steve’s ass tugs out -- and yes, yes, Steve understands what Tony had meant about being turned inside out, and it’s so good that Steve wails a little around Tony’s cock -- and the corresponding thrust back into his body makes Steve’s eyes clench shut, rough and wide and dragging so hard against his prostate that he wails a little more.

Then Tony is rocking his hips at the same time, thrusting shallowly into Steve’s mouth, and Steve writhes between the two sensations, like the gag, before, but better, as Tony thrusts in more deeply and the armor fucks Steve, not as hard as it could, Steve understands, but hard enough to cause Steve’s body to jerk with every thrust. He can’t move his head at all, Tony is just feeding Steve his cock inch by inch, his jaw is straining against the gag, and Steve feels echoingly needful, every part of him eager for more, for harder, for everything.

“Now,” Tony says, without explaining, but Steve understands a moment later when the head of Tony’s cock bumps firmly against the back of his throat. Steve chokes around it, but Tony doesn’t pull back right away, just presses a little harder, until the familiar swimmy headedness descends on Steve. “Yes, that’s so good, Captain, choke on my cock while you try to take it,” Tony murmurs, a rough whisper. Tony pulls back then, and Steve strains forward helplessly, pinned by the chair, pinned just as effectively by the armor, pinned more thoroughly than he’s ever been pinned before, and it makes him feel curiously light. “Again,” Tony says, clearly a warning this time, and Steve’s cock is ready to burst as Tony’s cock hits the back of his throat, and the armor behind Steve rocks into him so deeply that he sobs a little as he chokes on Tony’s cock, struggling to take it, his mouth wet, his cheeks wet with tears, his chin covered in spittle.

Tony eases back and Steve lets out a little sob of disappointment that gets all twisted up with a keening sound of pleasure as the cock in his ass tugs him apart and then rams back inside. Steve’s back arches, and he might have come then except that Tony snaps, “Don’t you dare come before you get me off,” so viciously that it almost hinders more than helps, and Steve has to choke out desperate sounds in response. “Full speed ahead,” Tony says, still in that vicious tone, and the metal cock jerks almost all the way out of Steve and then slams back inside of him, blurring Steve’s vision with terrible pleasure he is trying helplessly to resist.

Tony slides his cock back into Steve’s mouth, short, bruising strokes this time, Steve’s jaw aches with the pressure of the gag and he struggles not to struggle -- any attempts to resist any of it only makes everything hotter, somehow -- when Tony presses forward this time, no thrusting but just insistent forward motion, and Steve doesn’t know how it happens -- his whole body is a blur of pain and need and lust -- but he feels it when Tony’s cock slips past his gag reflex and into his throat.

He loses his air immediately, and it’s just another step toward the inevitable climax Steve is still trying to resist. He can’t make a sound with Tony’s cock pressing deeper into his throat, but Tony says, “Yeah, yes, just like that, Captain. Give it up to me, let it all go,” and Steve shudders as he twists heatedly between Tony’s cock in his throat and the armor’s metal cock in his ass, feeling strung out between the two, his whole body needing to have more of both. “This is what you want, to take everything like this, to be caught and held and used, and you’re so fucking good at it, Captain, you need it so badly it makes me want to rip you to pieces.” Tony buries one hand in his hair and strokes shallowly, his cock never leaving the sheath of Steve’s throat, and more tears squeeze out of Steve’s eyes. Tony says something -- Steve is too far gone to make it out -- and the cock in his ass drags out and then forces him open again, this time the head slamming into Steve’s prostate, and Steve quivers, his whole body jerking with the need for an orgasm. Tony pulls out of his throat and Steve sucks in a harsh breath; his throat feels raw like his ass feels raw, and the combination is so jagged that Steve cries out.

“I’m going to come down your throat,” Tony says. “When I’m done using your throat, you can come, Captain, and not a second before.”

Steve blinks tears out of his eyes and tries to nod, but Tony is already pressing in again, forcefully this time, giving Steve no time to try to understand how he’d managed to let Tony in before, but it doesn’t matter. Apparently Steve’s body remembers, and the feel of Tony’s cock choking him streaks instantly to his cock and balls, sends him twisting with need into a kind of half-aware state in which all he knows is the pounding against his prostate and the way his ass feels stretched so hard around the armor’s cock and the way he can’t breathe, and the raw drag of Tony’s cock in his throat, and it seems like it goes on for a long time, Tony is talking and it’s too distant for Steve to understand, and he’s sure he’s not going to be able to stop himself from coming, he feels pulled tight like a guitar string on the verge of snapping.

He isn’t sure he’d even know when Tony comes except that Tony twists a hand in his hair and arches forward as far as he can go, with the head of his cock stretching the inside of Steve’s throat, and then he can feel the jerk against that raw flesh, the way that Tony’s cock twitches and swells. Steve can barely taste Tony’s come but he can feel the heat of it, and Steve shouts silently, choking and breathless and still unable to stop trying to cry out around Tony’s thick cock. He throws himself entirely open to the sensation, resisting nothing, feeling everything, and he is coming, his ass clenching around the huge metal cock in his ass, his sight blurred either with tears or lack of breath. Tony is still buried balls deep in his throat and Steve’s muscles are taut and singing with pleasure as the armor fucks him all the way through it.

Tony pulls back after several more seconds and Steve heaves in a hoarse breath.

“All stop,” Tony says, and the armors thrusts gentle over the course of several seconds before stopping altogether. Steve lets out a helpless little cry of pain when the head of the metal cock pulls free of his sore hole, and he can feel how loose he is, how open, how cool the air is against his abused hole. His whole body feels as relaxed as warm taffy, but his cock is still a demanding throb between his legs, and he wants more, wants it again, and is still gagged and can say nothing.

He can feel himself shaking with aftershocks and still more desire and exhaustion, and he moans a little, wanting and sated at the same time, his head still a distant tangle.

Tony reaches around Steve’s head and the gag drags hard at Steve’s aching jaw for a moment, and then is gone. Steve struggles for something to say to make Tony understand as Tony wipes the spit from his chin.

Tony’s eyes are dark and considering on Steve’s face. He picks up the tablet and holds it in front of Steve’s face, swiping across the bottom, and Steve sees himself again, spread wide, the armors cock pressed up against his hole, and then the view zooms in and Steve stares as he watches the head press slowly into him. Steve can see his hole trying to resist, clenching helplessly as the cock slowly shoves past his defenses. Steve can almost feel it again, even as he watches, can feel the moment when the head finally slips inside, the width and the absolute rigidity. Tony holds it for Steve to watch the whole thing, the way the shaft of the cock presses Steve’s spread ass cheeks even further apart, the way it starts, long, even strokes, and then the way it ends, the metal pistoning into Steve ferociously, and Steve can hear the sounds he had made, the whining and the moaning and the way it sounds for him to choke on Tony’s cock. Steve is captivated, the humiliation tangling in his head only seeming to make it better.

“Can I keep it?” he asks finally, his voice coming out hoarse and rough from his raw throat.

“You can have access to all the cameras in this room. You can re-watch everything, from any angle.” Tony puts the tablet down. “Now tell me truthfully, Captain. You’re not done, are you?”

Steve’s face goes hot, but he merely looks at Tony for a minute. “I still want. I don’t even know what. But I still...” He chokes on the sentence, he doesn’t know what it is he still wants. He feels tears trickle from the corner of his eyes, and he wishes Tony was close enough for Steve to bury his face in his bare hip, and hide his wet face.

Tony presses the pad of his thumb against Steve’s lower lip, his other hand still gentle in his hair. “I knew you would,” he says harshly. “I know you always do. I know that I could stop you any time, no matter what you’re doing, and drag you down wherever I want you. You’ll always want more.” Tony’s voice is almost reverent. “You can’t help it, Captain. Your need is just as powerful as the rest of you.”

“Am I...?” Steve begins hesitantly. “I mean, am I too much?” His stomach is a ball of dread.

Tony’s smile is sharp, his eyes glittering. “Never think it, Captain. You’re a perfect challenge. I’m looking forward to using all of my genius to keep up with you.”

Steve says nothing, not sure what that means, if there is going to be more now, or if it’s something Tony will plan for next time.

“Reinitiate,” Tony says, and a moment later the armor’s gauntleted hands are prying apart Steve’s ass cheeks again; Steve’s mind goes bright with a combination of lust and terror, and Tony says, “You’re going to be so sore,” like he’s reveling in it. He turns a little and moves out of Steve’s direct line of sight; the armor moves forward so that its cock is pressed against Steve’s hole again. As loose as he still is, as wet as he still is, he half expects the head to slip right in, but it doesn’t. It merely presses there firmly, prying Steve a little more open, but not attempting to breach him.

Tony’s hands are abruptly on Steve’s cock, and Steve jerks his hips a little helplessly, but can hardly move in his current position. He doesn’t know what Tony is doing, just that Steve’s cock is jerking in Tony’s hands and that he could come again right now if Tony just tells him he can, and then something cool and rubbery is being tugged up over it’s cock, something tight and a little slick, and Steve whispers, “What? What, Tony?”

“I’ve spent so much time not letting you come,” Tony says ruminatively. “So much time making you hold back. I don’t even know how much you could come, given free reign.” Steve can’t see him, but he feels Tony press his mouth to Steve’s hip, and then to the top of his navel, where he bites gently at the tender skin there, and Steve squirms as much as his bonds allow, tensing and relaxing again, letting himself revel in the extent of his bondage. He doesn’t know if he could rip his way free of the restraints, and he doesn’t care. They are tight enough, they feel strong, and Steve is immobile and everything about it feels like being set free. He doesn’t have to do anything. Tony’s mouth bites lightly at his balls, and Steve moans out an entreaty that he doesn’t know the meaning behind. He senses more than sees Tony stand, and then Tony comes around him and kisses his mouth hotly, gripping Steve’s jaw tightly. When he pulls back, he stays bent, his face inches from Steve’s. “I’m going to find out everything there is to know,” he murmurs, eyes locked with Steve’s. “It will take time, but I will eventually know it all. I won’t let you hide from me. This is just the beginning, Captain.”

Then he slips around Steve again, silent for a long moment, and then there is a soft, humming sound, a machine kind of noise, and Steve’s cock is being pulled, there is some kind of constriction, like a twisting hand, and something like the suction of a warm mouth, and some other, exterior kind of rippling pressure. Steve shudders, unsure what to do as the pleasure of it washes over him. His balls tighten immediately, and he can feel himself jerking a little against the restraints, but he can’t stop himself from doing it.

Tony says, “Slow and easy,” and then the metal cock pressed up against his hole is pushing its way into him again, the impossible width of the head shoving him open, and Steve tries to relax but the pleasure of whatever Tony put on his cock is making him clench and writhe. He snarls out something that is all effort, no words, and presses back as much as he can; the pain is a piercing red burn, and Steve’s cock is jerking, the extra weight of whatever is on it only exacerbating the visceral feel of it. Steve yells when the armor actually breaches his hole, the burn is intense and for a moment he feels his body pull into a taut, resisting bow, and then the cock is inside where he’s still slick and open, and Steve shivers and feels his body go abruptly lax, full again, and it’s so good, he needs to come so badly.

“Tony, please, I have to, let me...” he begs brokenly, and Tony cups his jaw lightly, in front of Steve again.

“You can come whenever you want to, Captain,” he says, soft and firm. “As often as you can; let’s find out just how far the serum will let you be pushed.”

Steve shudders and comes at once, staring at Tony’s face, and Tony watches him as though enraptured while he does it. “That’s right,” Tony breathes. “Don’t resist anything. Give it up, let it catch you. I’m going to fuck your mouth again, and you’re going to let me do anything I want to you, soft or hard, you’re just going to take it, and let go any time you can, do you understand?”

Steve is shocked and delirious at that kind of permission, he feels himself getting hard again; the device fitted around his cock is like getting a handjob and a blow job and fucking into someone at the same time. He can’t imagine what it will be like to come whenever he wants to, he doesn’t know how often that will be, or how it will feel when he can’t anymore, and the thing is still on him. His mind is overturned, rational though abandoned, and he just nods helplessly at Tony, his mouth dropping open expectantly. Tony slides two fingers into it and says, “Suck them,” and Steve does, running his tongue around the tips, exploring the knuckles, pressing between them and hollowing his cheeks. The armor is still fucking him slowly, and it’s easier now, Steve thinks there might be more lube, but he doesn’t care; he’s still so sore he feels splintered by it, but it’s so good, he feels so stretched and it’s good, Tony’s fingers taste like sweat and salt and something a little plasticky, and he jerks out a little sound of pleasure as Steve tongues them, which only drives Steve mindlessly on, desperate to hear that sound again.

“Good, that’s perfect, Captain. You have a beautiful mouth; I think about it all the time, the way you’re always wet for me, the way your lips curve around the shaft of my cock. If I never got to touch you again, I’d miss the way you’re so desperate to suck me the most.” Tony shifts and pulls his fingers free. The head of his cock rests against Steve’s lower lip for a moment, and Tony says, “Nice and soft, lots of tongue,” and presses his cock easily into Steve’s mouth, not deeply, but firmly enough that Steve feels rocked by it, pulled between Tony’s cock and the cock in his ass, and he sucks Tony gently, his tongue curling around the shaft, and he hasn’t gotten to do this very much, he’s mostly just been taking it while Tony takes his mouth, but this is good, there is a dreamy kind of lassitude to it, and he can taste Tony’s precome coating his tongue. Tony is moaning, low and soft, a sound that tangles in Steve’s belly and twists at the base of his spine with the desire to make Tony come, to taste him as he spills into Steve’s mouth, but he doesn’t try to make it harder, just hollows his cheeks and presses his tongue to the big vein near the base of Tony’s shaft.

“Harder,” Tony says, and Steve sucks harder, grazing with his teeth in the way that he knows Tony likes, and at the same time the gauntlets of the armor clench down on his hips and the steady strokes break with a shattering thrust. Steve groans around Tony’s cock, helpless to stop it, and his cock, pulled and twisted by the thing Tony had put on in, jerks heavily, and Tony presses more deeply into his mouth, the head of his cock brushing against the back of his throat just enough to morph Steve’s groan into a choking sound, and to wake up the rawness already there from before. Steve’s balls knot up with pleasure as his head swims, and resists automatically, just out of habit, and then he remembers that he doesn’t have to, he’s allowed, and he arches his back as the armor rams the uncompromising metal of the cock into his ass again, and Tony jerks his hips forward, forcing Steve to choke and try to swallow around it, and he’s trapped and pulled apart, and he comes hard, crying out and shaking with the pleasure, and Tony twists a hand into his hair and pulls him further onto his cock.

Steve moans until Tony’s cock cuts off his air, slotting into his raw throat again, and Steve feels dizzy with need, he tries to lean forward for more of Tony’s cock, and can’t move at all. He can feel himself shaking and the sheath around his cock is unbearably good, he’s so oversensitive it feels like the thing has sharp edges suddenly, and the cock in his ass is grinding against his prostate, stretching Steve so hard still that he feels like he might snap. Tony lunges into his throat and growls, “Maximum,” and the armor speeds up, the thrusts so fast and sharp that Steve feels it again, like being turned inside out, and he can feel himself ramping up, he’s so full and he feels like he’s starving, his cock is desperate and his balls are sore, and Tony’s cock in his throat is stealing his air again, and this time Tony just leaves it, doesn’t pull back to give Steve a breath, until Steve’s vision starts to darken at the edges, like it had with the gauntlet around his throat, and the memory of that is enough to shatter Steve’s awareness, he feels splintered as he comes, as though a missile has gone off in his brain and his thoughts are nothing but drifting ash and charred wreckage.

Tony pulls back when he comes, and Steve chokes and coughs, his breath coming in great, heaving waves, and he can feel his fingertips brushing Tony’s thighs but he can’t get enough of a grip on him to pull him back in, so he just whines, the sound fractured by the quick jerks of the armor’s cock inside him, pulling the sound apart into a kind of, “Ngh, ah, ah, ah,” sound that cracks around the edges from the rawness of Steve’s throat.

“You’re so fucking beautiful, God, so needy still, is your cock hard again yet?” Tony demands harshly.

Steve isn’t sure, the friction around his cock is a prickling mixture of pleasure and pain, and he doesn’t want to come again, his balls are furiously aching, but he doesn’t want it to stop, and he can feel his cock still jerking, so it must be hard, and he stammers out, “Y-yes, Tony, please, c-can I suck you, can I have, I need.” His words come out in little breaking pants, partly because Steve can hardly think enough to say them, partly because of the cock ramming itself rhythmically into his asshole, and Tony’s hands are gentle on his face.

“Is it turning you inside out, Captain? Are you stretched as wide as you can take? Is your ass raw from it? Does your throat feel like it’s lined with sandpaper?” Tony demands, his voice cracking a little too, but with lust and command.

“Yes, it feels like being pulled apart, with your cock it feels like being, like I’m being dragged into pieces, I need, please, I need to suck you, I need you in me,” and there are tears on Steve’s face again, and he doesn’t care. Let Tony see everything, Tony gives this to him, there’s nothing he won’t let Tony see.

“I want to fuck you for the rest of my life,” Tony growls. “I want you to beg me to stop, but you never will, you’ll take it forever, greedy for it even when it’s breaking you. God, I want to break you!” The last comes out as a kind of desperate confession, but Tony’s cock is in Steve’s mouth before he can even consider some kind of response, and the echo of it seems to ring inside Steve’s head, Tony wants to break Steve, he wants to break him, and Tony is right, Steve will let him, Steve will help him.

Steve’s jaw is aching and he’s so sore he wonders if it will be so much that he can’t just heal it overnight; the idea wrenches at him, sends lightning arcs of pleasure down his spine and through his cock, and Tony’s hand is pulling hard at his hair, fucking into his mouth hard and deep, choking Steve every time and Steve feels himself tensing, feels himself full and used from every direction, feels the sheath around his cock, demanding his body let go, and he wants to wait for Tony to come, but now that his body is so blind with pain and pleasure he can’t control it, and he comes again, and it hurts, he hurts, his balls feel bruised and his cock is a dense ache even as the sheath tries to coax him back to erection.

Steve whines and writhes and Tony snarls, “There you are, that’s so good, that’s perfect, just one more minute, Captain, just give me a little more.”

Steve wants to tell Tony he can’t, that he’s been pushed as far as he can go, but he can feel that he can, that his body still wants to and his mind is a haze of pleasure, he can’t escape the deep well of it, and the way Tony’s voice sounds. Steve doesn’t want to escape, he wants to sink down into it, he wants to let go entirely, but he doesn’t know how.

Tony slips his cock free of Steve’s mouth and Steve whimpers out a protest, but then Tony is jerking himself off, his fist white-knuckled, his cock red and furious, and Steve’s mouth hangs open and he knows what Tony will do, and he waits for it, just whining softly and feeling his pulse pound between his legs, knowing that he’ll come again, that he won’t be able to help it, that he’s close just from the idea of it, and he feels wrung out and lit up at the same time, his body gone almost completely lax now, the thrusts of the cock inside him just rocking him against the restraints, and he can’t do anything but watch, but his mouth still waters for it, and he hears himself saying, “Inside, in my mouth, Tony, please,” and he knows it isn’t going to do any good.

He doesn’t even close his eyes when Tony comes -- he’s too enraptured by it, the jerk of Tony’s cock and the look on his face, all ferocious want and intensity, and Tony’s come shoots across his cheek and then lower, across his lips and chin, and then Tony pushes back into Steve’s mouth and lets the rest pulse over his tongue. Steve sucks at him, mouth filled with the taste of Tony, and he doesn’t even tense when he comes, he just quivers, hot and exhausted and still, still so needful.

“All stop,” Tony grunts, and the armor slows, then stops, and then pulls free of Steve, the head popping out so painfully that Steve lets out a low, hoarse scream, partially distorted by Tony’s cock.

Tony pulls out and Steve yearns toward him for a few seconds, but relaxes again as Tony bends and licks a streak of his own come off of Steve’s cheek.

The sheath around Steve’s cock is rippling and pulling at him agonizingly, but Steve doesn’t even have the focus to ask Tony to make it stop. But he doesn’t have to; Tony slides out of sight alongside Steve, and the hum stops and the pressure around Steve’s cock stops, and Steve lets out a relieved little whimper even as he’s still panting for breath.

“Let him up,” Tony says, and the armor is abruptly undoing the straps around Steve’s ankles and thighs while Tony frees his wrists and the straps around his forehead are loosened and then gone. Steve is so limp he hardly responds at all, not even shifting position. He already feels like he’s in the perfect position. “On the floor,” Tony says, and then the armor is honest-to-God lifting him, shifting him a little so Steve can sling his arms around the neck, and there is something both humiliating and languorous at being carried like this. He lets himself go loose, and when the armor bends to place him on an open spot on the floor, Steve lets himself sprawl, messy and unselfconscious, his mind drifting, until Tony shows up with a damp towel and wipes him down all over, and Steve’s skin responds as if every inch of it is hyper-sensitive, and can’t help but squirm ineffectively.

“You’re almost there,” Tony says, his voice soothing, but Steve isn’t sure what Tony means by it, isn’t sure how much more he can take, how much he even wants to take. His cock is still half hard, but his balls feel achy and tender, and he wants to feel Tony’s body pressed against his, he wants to kiss and be held and he’s so grateful that his throat feels tight when Tony eases to the floor beside Steve and begins running his hands over him, soothing the continued shaking of Steve’s muscles, bending in to kiss Steve briefly. “Lay out,” Tony says, and Steve just looks confused at him until he hears the suit shifting, moving, until it’s laying out behind Steve, bracing against the back of his body, cool and mostly smooth, one gauntlet curled around Steve’s hip. Steve can feel the metal of the cock pressing against the back of his thigh, and can’t help but shiver a little at how sore he is, and what it would be like for that cock to slip into him again.

He wants it and doesn’t want it at the same time; he can’t tell. He feels both lax with satiation and acutely aware of the fact that his body still feels ready for sex. It takes him a few moments to realize that he doesn’t care if he comes again. He thinks he would like it if Tony fucked him while Steve can’t get it up anymore. There’s something soothing about the idea of being that for Tony. Just... an outlet. He blushes a little, but not too badly. Tony is watching him, his hands on Steve’s chest, stroking in soothing fans out from his breastbone to his ribs.

Steve suddenly wants the ropes again, that feeling of being securely held tight and supported. He wonders if he should ask, but something about Tony’s expression makes him wait. There’s something there that Steve doesn’t quite recognize, but which makes the hair on the back of his neck stand up. He looks down between their bodies, and is surprised to see that Tony is hard, either again or still.

Tony notices him looking, and smirk. “Better living through chemistry,” he says, and strokes a hand through Steve’s hair. “I want to fuck you like this.” Steve hears himself make a breathy little encouraging sound, totally without his own permission. Tony’s smile goes sharp, “Yeah, I thought you might like that. You’ll be totally loose for me, wet with lube, and you don’t even care if you come again, do you, Captain? You care that I’m going to use you while you’re still sore and exhausted, and I’m going to do it just because I want to.” Tony’s voice drops lower. “You don’t even want to participate. You just want to be done to, just want me to shove my cock into you because it will be good for me, and it doesn’t matter if it’s good for you. Being good for me is enough, isn’t it?”

“Tony,” Steve whispers, face hot.

“Just turn over,” Tony says. “Lean against the suit.”

Steve hardly has time to obey; both Tony’s hands and the gauntlets are shifting him over, three quarters of the way onto his stomach, Steve’s chest pressed against the ribs of the armor.

“Get his hands,” Tony says, and the gauntlets gather up his wrists and pulls them up over his head, stretching Steve a little backward. One of its legs hooks over Steve’s left thigh and hooks it upward, pinning it between the armor’s thighs, and he can feel Tony shifting down behind him. Tony presses a kiss to one of his shoulder blades, and that’s all there is of gentleness.

Tony positions himself and slides right in; Steve lets out a helpless little cry, so sore he shudders from it, but his back arches and he presses back and onto Tony, his cock less unforgiving that the armor’s, less wide and rigid, but it’s so hot, Tony’s skin dragging against him inside where he is tender, and Steve can’t be bothered to hold back his harsh little moans and cries, feels like he is past the point in his head where that is even possible.

“Yeah, nice and loose,” Tony murmurs, his voice edged. “Already been fucked within an inch of your life, and it’s not enough for you, is it, Captain. As long as I still want, you’re always going to let me take you.” Tony twists his hips, scraping along the sore flesh inside Steve, and Steve breathes out a ragged sigh, something that combines pain and satisfaction, Tony’s cock tugging at him inside where he is sorest, Tony’s hips rocking in a slow, steady rhythm.

“Tell me you still need it,” Tony demands, and rams into him hard enough that Steve loses his breath entirely for a few seconds, so that Tony repeats, “Tell me, Captain,” this time a sharp order.

“Still need you, still need you to have me when you want me,” Steve pants. “Any time, I’ll let you do anything.”

“Let me use your body as just a hot place to shove my cock,” Tony growls. “Just turn you over and push it in, make you take it while you’re so sore, you’re so goddamned perfect, and I still haven’t really pushed you to the edge, but I will, Captain, I’ll find the edge and show it to you, and we’ll jump off together.” Tony’s breath is rough, though his strokes into Steve are still steady, just Tony’s hips twisting so that he can drag his cock against Steve’s abraded hole. “And you’re still not loose, not really, not even with that big fucking metal cock spreading you wide; you and I are going to spend some time with a really hefty butt plug; I’m going to teach you what it’s like to really be held open and helpless. You’ll cry for me,” Tony all but whispers. “You always do. Tell me why.”

“You take me over,” Steve says, trying to explain while he is filled and his head is rushing with pain and want. “When it’s like that, I can’t help it. Everything belongs to you; I can’t hide.”

“Don’t hide from me,” Tony snarls, his hips snapping roughly for long seconds, Steve’s ass burning at the friction, his cock almost hard again, though he still feels no real need to come. “Never hide from me.”

“I won’t, Tony, I don’t even think I can,” he confesses, and Tony nuzzles the hair at the nape of Steve’s neck, biting a little at the back of his neck while he does.

Steve’s skin goosebumps, partly from the coolness of the armor against his skin, partly from the way Tony sounds, little growls and effortful breathing, and partly just because of the tremors of disconnected lust that are traveling from the base of his spine to the pit of his belly. They don’t feel urgent, these tremors; rather they feel almost relaxing, like things can’t be wrong when he feels like this, like Tony fucking him is intensely intimate and completely disconnected from Steve at the same time.

Tony using him, really using him, for nothing but his own pleasure, both excites Steve and leaves him lax and panting at the same time, and the feel is different, there is a definite difference in Tony fucking him to get him off, and Tony just fucking him because he feels like it. He remembers Tony saying that sometimes he just wants a submissive to work over until he feels better, and this is what Steve is, a willing body with no agenda of his own, and it heats him -- it would be a lie to pretend that he doesn’t get off on Tony using him to get himself off -- but it’s different, a different kind of heat that catches Steve up in a shroud of contentment, something he’s never felt to this degree, something that he’s only ever gotten from Tony. Even when it isn’t exactly like this, he feels that contentment to some degree. Something needy that is soothed, something hectic that is calmed.

Steve isn’t sure how long it goes on; Tony is in no hurry, and he likes to vary his pace, slow and steady, almost painless, and then rough and furious, making Steve ache and groan with the pain. Steve’s wrists are caught, he is half pinned by the armor, and he has no doubt that he couldn’t free himself if he tried, and that, too, contributes to his contentment, that he can’t do anything to stop it, that Tony had free reign over his body.

At some point, Tony whispers, “Rock back on me; show me you want to please my cock,” and the weight of the armor across his leg shifts and lessens a little, and Steve shoves back on Tony’s cock, and it’s something he’s never done, something Tony has never allowed, for Steve to fuck himself like this on Tony’s cock, and Steve does it with enthusiasm, working to figure out how best to move by the noises that Tony makes, discovering that if he lets his ass go lax when Tony pushes in, but tightens down hard when pulling off, Tony groans low and almost incessant.

“Yeah,” Tony husks out. “Like that, figured that out on your own, how to let my cock slide right in and then have to drag my way out, like a natural, Captain, like you know what you were made for, just like this, don’t stop, work over my cock.”

Steve doesn’t even want to stop; rocking back on Tony’s cock makes him feel weak and powerful at the same time, blindly obeying Tony, but wrenching little sounds of pleasure out of Tony’s throat like he can’t hold them in, like he wants to, but Steve is too much for him. Steve’s head feel spacey and intensely aware of everything at the same time, even the low throb that’s started to knot in his balls, but that is far away, he doesn’t care about it, doesn’t even want to come, just wants to make Tony come, let Tony work him over.

Tony grips his hip hard when he comes, fingertips drilling into the bone, and shouts out something staggered, something like, “Be mine, be perfect, take everything, Captain, every inch,” but it’s garbled a little with the groans he’s panting out, and when he spills into Steve he bites down hard on Steve’s shoulder, and his come is so hot it burns, and it’s so good, Steve is transported by the way it feels to be taken and used like this. Tony snarls something up against Steve’s shoulder, but it’s too muffled by Steve’s skin to be understandable, and then Tony pulls out all at one, quick and painful, and flops over onto his back, breathing hoarsely.

Steve wants to roll over, too, wants to rub every inch of his skin against Tony’s body, but he’s still pinned and he doesn’t mind being pinned, the armor digging into his skin in the places where it’s not entirely smooth, and Steve’s body feels distant and unimportant as long as he’s where Tony wants him, where Tony put him.

“To the bedroom,” Tony says, still panting a little, and the armor shifts its weight off of Steve and is abruptly picking him up, bridal style. Steve face burns a little, but he tucks his head into the shoulder and wraps his hands around the neck. It pauses for a moment in the room with the prop bed, and Steve feels a faint moment of disappointment, and then the armor moves on, pausing to open the door and shift to the side to get Steve through it without knocking his head or feet against the door frame.

The door to Tony’s real bedroom is still standing open, and the armor carries him over to it and gently deposits him in the bed. It stands there beside him, head cocked as though looking at him, until Tony appears in the doorway, looking as flushed and mussed as Steve has ever seen him.

“Hit the workshop,” Tony says. “Have JARVIS run the full cleaning sweep.” The armor backs away from the bed, steps with surprising delicacy around Tony, and closes the bedroom door behind it.

“It looks at me like it knows me,” Steve says, not worried, just curious.

“It does know you, Captain. It was built by me to know everything I know about you. Given some time, it will learn more about you, just like I will.”

Tony crosses the room and slumps half on top of Steve, sweaty and gorgeous; Steve’s arms come up on their own, wrapping Tony in a tight hug. He isn’t sure what he’d expected, but Tony merely slinks in closer to him and sighs, his cheek resting on Steve’s chest.

“God, but you’re magnificent,” he murmurs against Steve’s chest.

Steve’s belly warms with pleasure, and he says, “I don’t know how you can say that to me after what you just did for me.”

Tony snorts out a soft sound of amusement. “I did it just as much for me,” he says.

No, you didn’t, Steve thinks, but does not say. If it makes Tony feel better to feel like his goals were selfish, Steve isn’t interested in arguing with him about it.

“How do you feel?” Tony asks him, and traces Steve’s left nipple gently.

“Like I may be sore for the rest of my life,” Steve says, with no little satisfaction.

“You’ll probably be fine by morning,” Tony says, and presses his hand over Steve’s heart. “Stay here with me to sleep?”

“Not going to try to scare me away this time?” Steve asks, but he knows Tony isn’t. He can feel Tony’s body, a limp weight atop him, and he doesn’t think Tony has the energy to extoll all the ways in which he is a bad man.

“I’m never letting you go,” Tony says with surprising fierceness. “If you ever go, it’ll be you walking out on me.”

Steve recognizes a declaration when he hears one, and his heart pounds at it, the way that it’s simple, simple words, but knowing how complex it must have been for Tony to say it.

“Then you’re probably stuck with me forever,” Steve says softly.

Tony presses a kiss to Steve’s chest. “But really,” Tony says. “How do you feel?”

“Better than anything,” Steve says, blushing a little, but truthful. “I can’t think of anything but you, and you make my head swim.”

Tony makes a low, contented sound. “There are going to be complications.”

Steve shakes his head a little, arms holding Tony a little tighter. “There is nothing I wouldn’t give up to have this with you,” Steve confesses.

Tony lifts his head and meets his eyes for a moment, silent and solemn. “That’s a hell of a promise, Captain,” he says a little hoarsely.

“Yes,” Steve agrees. “But I promise anyway.”

For a moment, Tony dips his head down to rest his brow against Steve’s chest. “God help me, I think it’s mutual,” he croaks. “The Army...” he begins, but Steve squeezes him tight enough that he can’t talk for a few seconds.

“Let me deal with the Army. Or better yet, let SHIELD deal with them. As a member of the Initiative, the Army has almost no control over me now.” He tips his cheek down to rest it against Tony’s wild hair. “We’ll deal with it. Whatever happens.”

Tony shifts upward to kiss Steve, and for a few minutes, Steve lets his head swim at the way it feels to be kissed by Tony, at turns slick and gentle and sweet, and then brutal and possessive in a way that makes Steve want to roll himself on top of Tony and assert his own possessiveness. He doesn’t, mostly because he’s too lost in belonging to Tony to feel the need to stake a claim like that, but he knows he will at some point. He won’t be able to help it, when he’s not so twisted around Tony’s need.

“Are you hungry?” Tony asks. “Thirsty?”

“Both,” Steve admits, and then also admits, “but I’d also be happy to stay here like this for the rest of the night. Maybe with the rope.”

Tony laughs, a throaty chuckle. “I’ll see what I can do; in the meantime, I actually stocked some food, so why don’t we grab a quick shower, and I’ll show you something you might like.”

Steve is a little intrigued by that, and the shower really is quick, though Tony seems to take great pleasure in soaping up his ass and washing the come and lube out of him, either disregarding or enjoying Steve’s heated flush.

“Will it fuck you?” Steve asks as he follows Tony in nothing but a pair of too-short sleeping pants out to the kitchen.

“It could now, but it really needs more of my parameters in place; I’ll work on it,” Tony says absently. “Sit on the couch, I’ll be right there.”

After a couple of minutes, Tony brings him a glass of orange juice and a plate of small, bite-sized food that look a lot like hors d'oeuvres to Steve. Tony sets the plate on the coffee table and then merely shoves at Steve until he shifts off the couch and onto the floor.

“Some people really like this, and some people don’t care one way or the other. I thought I’d wait to try it ‘til you’re sweet like this,” and Tony picks something off the tray and touches the edge of Steve’s mouth with it. Steve opens his mouth automatically, and then is chewing enthusiastically, abruptly starving. “A little slower,” Tony murmurs. “Let it relax you.”

“I am already so relaxed,” Steve says honestly.

Tony nods oddly, one nod, and then a couple of shakes of his head. “You feel that way, but really you’re still wired from the sex. Let me do this for you. Here, scoot closer.”

Steve scoots over to Tony’s knee, and Tony feeds him slowly, murmuring, “Chew before you swallow, you’re like a dog,” in the fondest voice Steve has heard him use yet.

They settle into a slow pattern, and Steve does start to feel more relaxed, the rhythm of it soothing him, eating from Tony’s hand like a low knot of desire that doesn’t actually intrude on his subspace. He recognizes it now for what it is, and he lets himself enjoy it in all the other ways that he hadn’t thought to try before. Tony strokes his neck and shoulders and runs his fingers through Steve’s hair, he tells Steve what he’s feeding him, he doles out careful mouthfuls of orange juice, and clearly Tony has practiced this, it’s too natural to him not to have any experience at it, but that doesn’t bother Steve either.

Every partner Tony has ever had has had a part in creating this version of Tony, and Steve can’t be jealous of that. He yearns for Tony as he is now too much to begrudge him the past.

It isn’t until the plate is almost empty that Steve remembers something Tony had said before, before anything had even started. “The mark sixty-nine?” he asks, lips twitching a little.

Tony grins at him. “It seemed appropriate.”

“You couldn’t have built an entire suit,” Steve says.

“No, this one is piecemeal. Retired gracefully a year or so ago, but still in good condition, and all it really took was de-armament and new programming to give it a new lease on life, such as it is.” Tony looks pleased with himself. “Although, please God, never let all of the other armor break down at once and leave me nothing to fight in but that suit.”

Steve tries to stifle it, but he fails, snickering at the idea of Tony going out to fight crime with that massive cock jutting out from the armor like the prow of a ship. “It would be bad,” Steve says, still stifling laughter. “But, Tony, oh my God, it would be so funny.”

“You’re just saying that because it’s your favorite,” Tony says, lips still quirking.

“No, you’re my favorite,” Steve corrects. “The armor is a bonus. Everything else is a bonus.”

“Sweet talker,” Tony says, but he blushes faintly. “What have you got planned for tomorrow?”

“Nothing I can’t put off,” Steve says truthfully. He has tentative plans to work out with the Initiative every morning, but it’s understood that if one of them in unavailable, it isn’t a problem. “Why? Going to buy me those pastries you promised me days ago?”

“If you’re good,” Tony says. “But no. I want to spend some time fucking you silly, obviously, but some things I just need to go over with you. Some Avengers things I’m betting you don’t know yet.” Tony looks serious, but not terribly worried.

“Okay, Tony,” Steve agrees easily, and Tony closes his eyes and shakes his head.

“I’d fuck you again for doing that to me, but I honestly don’t think I can. What about you? Do you need to come again?”

Steve shakes his head. “I probably could, but I don’t feel any real need to. I’d rather sleep.” With you is unspoken, but Tony’s eyes gleam like he hears it anyway.

“Come on, then; I’ll clean this up tomorrow.”

Steve looks at the sprawl of their meal and thinks about objecting, but in the end he’s too far under Tony’s will to object. Tony offers him a hand and pulls him up off the floor, and Tony leads Steve back to his real bedroom and gestures for him to go in.

Steve feels a little trill of pleasure, but he’s not surprised this time. Not after what Tony had said. Not when Steve believes him.