Stretching, Steve extended his wings until the tips just barely brushed the dorm room walls, and he could have gone even farther. He wondered if Fury had known that when he'd assigned him this room, but he thought that the rooms were probably all the same size, with no allowance for guys like... well, like Steve. Still, he was grateful to Fury for the space, even if he didn't quite understand Avengers Academy yet, or this time period.
It was his new home now, he supposed; the timefog was too thick to fly out of, and even the students with homing instincts were hopelessly confused when they tried. That was what Sam -- the guy next door -- had said.
Across the hall, standing in her open doorway, Jan whistled, impressed, and there was the sound of a camera shutter from her phone. Steve guessed from the angle that it was a picture of him rather than herself.
"Nice," Jan drawled, impressed. "You don't see too many eagles."
He tried not to blush. Before Rebirth, his wings -- huge, raptor's wings -- had been a joke, outsized on his skinny frame, but thanks to the serum he'd grown into them. Boy, had he ever. Steve had wondered, sometimes, if they'd picked him for Rebirth just because they'd thought his eagle wings were appropriately patriotic.
Jan, for her part, had sleek dark swallow wings, speckled yellow on black, slim and fast, and she was small enough that she probably had no issues fitting into her room. She matched her outfit to her wings: a yellow dress with a long dark jacket, slit up the back to fit her wings, which went almost to the floor.
"Uh," Steve said. "Thank you?"
She beamed. "You're welcome. Hey, have you met Tony yet? You know, with you both being raptors and all. Join the raptor club. Whatever it is you raptors do for fun. I'm sure Tony's got ideas."
Steve shook his head in confusion. "Who's Tony?"
As he spoke, there was the sound of footsteps coming up the stairs, and a strange metallic clanking noise, and then he saw another student on the floor, a dark-haired, dark-eyed young man, grinning at him, in profile. Steve caught his breath. God almighty, his wings!
The stranger had broad wings, the shape of a red-tailed hawk, but brighter than their wings usually were; they were the bright red of the hawk's tail feathers. That by itself would have been striking enough, but then there was the pattern, and the color of the pattern: the stranger's primaries were banded, a line of dazzling, brilliant gold. He'd be the most gorgeous thing in the skies. Steve wanted nothing more than to see him open his wings, stretch out and show off. Heat rushed all through him, and it was all he could picture.
And then the stranger moved a little further in, and Steve bit back a gasp, because he... only had one wing.
The other wing was all metal, a sleek mechanical version of what he was missing. There were long, gleaming crimson slats, in the shape of flight feathers, with paneling done up in what looked like real gold, a shining complement to his one natural wing. Something glowed blue underneath, and Steve guessed that was what actually powered the wing. His arm, on the same side, was similarly metal, red and gold, lit blue in his palm.
He was absolutely beautiful. Stunning.
He was still grinning at Steve. He waggled his eyebrows, and Steve went hotter.
"Tony," Jan said. "This is Steve Rogers. He's Captain America. Steve, this is Tony Stark. He's Iron Man."
"It's not actually iron," Tony said, cheerfully, and he lifted his mechanical wing in illustration. "I mean, can you imagine me flying with that? It's titanium. I made it, by the way," he added to Steve. "I'm kind of a genius."
Steve fell in love then and there.
Jan smiled an indulgent smile. "Yes, Tony." She reached back inside her room and grabbed her book. "Anyway, I have to go study entomology. I'll leave you two to it."
"So," Tony said, sticking his hands in his pockets, as Jan's footsteps echoed down the hall. "Captain America, huh? Nice."
His gaze traveled over Steve's body, taking in his wings, and Steve was pretty sure Tony was checking him out.
Steve grinned back and let his wings flutter open, ever so slightly. Two could play at that game. "That's me," he said. "In the flesh and feather."
Tony was staring at the revealed undersides of Steve's wings and licking his lips. "Say," he asked, and his voice was just a little lower. The interest was most definitely mutual. "Have you had the campus tour yet? Seen Stark Tower?"
"I've seen most of the Academy," Steve admitted, "but not everywhere. Haven't been to the tower yet. That's the place with the hot tub?"
"Yep." Tony grinned again. "Two floors and it's all mine. Including the hot tub on the roof of the tower. Best birdbath on campus. Feel free to drop by at any time. Clothing optional."
Oh, yeah, Steve definitely liked where this was going. "Good to know," he said. "I like a fella with a big... tower."
Tony made an undignified, yet endearing, spluttering noise. It was like he hadn't actually expected Steve to say yes. "Uh. I could-- I could show you around? If you wanted."
"I can think of something else you can show me," he said, and he leaned in.
Tony's eyes were wide and dark. He licked his lips. "Uh. Yes?"
"Seems to me," Steve said, pitching his voice low, like Tony had, "that a tower like that would be a great place to take off from. Take off and fly. We could fly all over the quad. You could show me your wings." He paused and bit his lip. Was that too old-fashioned? Did they not do proper courting anymore, these days?
"Oh," Tony breathed, and then he grinned, sharp, sharp, predator-sharp. "That's how it is, huh? You want a display first, huh, Cap?" He ruffled his feathers a little, a blatant tease, and Steve shivered with desire; Tony was pursuing him now. "You want me to spread my pretty wings for you, is that it?"
Steve nodded fervently. "I want--" He glanced both ways down the hallway to make sure they were alone. "I want to see you fly for me."
Tony brightened, then, like he'd understood something, some secret Steve hadn't even known he'd given away. "You want to catch me." The grin was back. "Never been with an eagle before. I suppose I should have known."
"We're not so different," Steve told him. "We're both raptors." He leaned in, and whispered into Tony's ear, barely more than breath. "It's all about the chase, Tony."
Now Tony was the one whose face was flushed, but he grinned and held out a hand, and Steve took it.
"Come on, Steve," Tony said, and his smile was full of promise. "To the tower, and then the skies. And then, well... we'll see how it goes, hmm?"
Tony's wingtip brushed his as they walked down the hall, and Steve grinned. He was definitely going to like this place.