Today's excuse to stop by Tony's was returning a book he'd borrowed; and it wouldn't be polite to just drop it in without at least saying hello, so he was waiting in the sitting room when Tony blew in like a hurricane and bodily hurled himself at Steve. Without superstrength, it probably would have been a nasty accident; but he caught Tony in mid-leap without taking a step backwards or betraying his alarm. While he was damn sure Tony was always glad to see him, he usually displayed a little more... well, decorum was never the word with Tony, but he didn't normally wrap himself around Steve and latch on to his mouth like it was a Martini at the end of a long day.
"What?" he said, when Tony finally pulled away, licking his lips.
"Funny story," said Tony, and kissed him again. "I'm in remission."
"What?" Steve blinked as he processed that. Remission meant - Steve sat down on the couch. Tony folded his legs under himself and wriggled to sit sideways in Steve's lap, sliding an arm around his neck, pressing in close. "I don't get it. I thought - you told me - " he stared at Tony, all bright eyes and quivering energy. "You said they gave you - "
"Less than six months. Six months later, full remission. It didn't occur to you I wasn't really getting sicker?"
"I didn't like to ask," said Steve with dignity. "I assumed you'd mention it if... if you got another prognosis." He drummed his fingers idly on Tony's thigh. He'd been working pretty hard to not think about it, and now there was nothing to not think about.
"Right. Well." Tony paused. "Do you want to know why?" he prompted after a minute in which Steve stared vacantly into space.
"There's a why?" Steve had assumed it was some medical miracle of the kind you saw in the cheap magazines.
"Well, I'm sure you remember when I broke the very distressing news about my imminent demise."
"I don't think I'll forget that in a hurry."
"I'll admit that I'm dying, how about a pity fuck was not my finest moment." Tony grinned. "On the other hand, you can't argue with results."
"I don't see what that has to do with your tumour, though."
"I'm telling you. A couple of months back, they noticed the tumour was shrinking. So they did the usual battery of tests, bone marrow and spinal fluid and so on."
"Yeah." That had been the first time he'd slept with Tony without sex; Tony had been exhausted and bruised and brittle, and he'd wrapped himself in Steve like a blanket and growled warningly whenever he moved. It had been sort of cute, in an odd Tony way.
"Well. On the topic of sucking out bodily fluids, they found traces of the Super Soldier Serum in my system."
There was a long silence as Steve considered this, and then he picked out the important point.
"Fury knows we're sleeping together?" he said, appalled.
"Well, I could hardly tell him I was sucking your blood, could I?" Tony said. "I had to be getting it from somewhere."
"But - "
"Don't look so upset. You're going to be even more of a hero when the public finds out your come cures cancer. It's one up on Chuck Norris."
"I'm pretty certain that a large part of your duty from now on will be whacking off into little cups for scientists to study," said Tony happily. "Nice work if you can get it, I suppose."
Steve stared down at his hand on Tony's leg. Warm, friendly, ridiculous Tony, who'd spent the last six months treating him like a particularly amusing fairground ride, with all the shamelessness of someone who wouldn't have to worry about anything ever again. Tony who had both arms round Steve's neck now, and there was a certain tension in his body that wasn't excitement as he waited for Steve to come up with a reaction that wasn't boggled horror.
"Remission means there's a chance it could come back, right?" Steve blurted finally, and the look Tony shot him from under his lashes was not remotely seductive. "I mean - I would hate that. If that happened."
"Of course," Tony said, and the corners of his mouth turned up. "Yes. I'm sure you'd do all you could to prevent a team mate facing such a terrible threat?" Steve could feel his face heating at the suppressed hilarity in Tony's voice, but then Tony kissed him, which meant he'd said, if not the right thing, not totally the wrong thing. "So," said Tony, and Steve put up a hand to cover his mouth.
"Can we please skip the terrible, embarrassing jokes?" he said, and wasn't surprised when Tony shook his head, eyes crinkling with laughter. Tony would be mocking him about this for years; and that was really not such a bad thing, when you thought about it.