“Good thing that is over,” Steve says, carefully locking the door behind him before advancing at Tony. Tony leans into the kiss easily, opens his mouth for Steve. Steve palms his cock through his trousers and smirks as Tony gasps. “I don’t think you could’ve lasted much longer.”
Tony tilts his head, stilling Steve with his hand placed on Steve’s chest. “Excuse me?” he says quizzically.
“Obviously it was harder on you,” Steve says, mostly to rile Tony up. Let me prove I’m mad at you sex is the best thing, in his opinion, and we haven’t slept together for a week because of a stupid bet added to it just makes it better.
Except Tony steps away, and oh, no, Steve knows this look, and he calculated this so wrong.
“You think so, Rogers?” Tony asks, raising his eyebrows. “Good, then. Let me know when you can’t wait any longer. I’ll be in the lab.”
“I’ll wait until you can’t,” Steve promises him, because he’s physically incapable of backing away from a challenge.
“Of course,” Tony says. He adjusts his clothes, smooths down his t-shirt and looks Steve up and down. He steps right back into Steve’s space the next moment, and Steve raises an eyebrow. That’s it? he thinks, but Tony doesn’t kiss him again. He just leans in, close, the way most people can’t really, with Steve—but Tony is almost his height. His breath is hot on Steve’s face as he puts his hands on Steve’s shoulders, all but burning him through his shirt.
“You got all wrinkled,” Tony says. “Captain America really should look more composed.” And then he runs his hands down Steve’s stomach, slowly, digging his finger just a tiny bit in. “There,” he says, “better now. Like I said, I’ll be working.”
He throws Steve a smouldering look over his shoulder as he walks away, and it’s all Steve can’t do not to trace the lines of Tony’s touch on his body. He’s almost painfully hard in his trousers, and he forces himself to stay still and take deep breaths.
He can do it. He’s only so affected because he thought this was over. He’ll be okay. He will.
He would be okay, he thinks, if only Tony stayed in the damn lab, because clearly the only way he can function is when he doesn’t see Tony at all.
He wakes up, reaches out to his right on habit and comes up empty. The bed is still warm, so he blinks sleep out of his eyes and looks around.
Tony’s standing in front of the big mirror next to their wardrobe, so Steve has a great look both at his back and front as he pulls on a deep red shirt. He catches Steve’s eye in the mirror and stretches, his abdomen muscles flexing. He looks sinful.
“Morning,” he says.
“You’re up early,” Steve says, ignoring what seeing Tony like this does to his insides.
“Business meeting,” Tony says, tucking his shirt neatly into his trousers and pulling the belt closed.
If it was up to Steve, he would be opening it.
Tony reaches into his top drawer and purses his lips. “I’m thinking black silk. What do you say, Steve?”
It takes Steve too long to understand Tony’s talking about his tie, and by then Tony has it around his neck. Everything looks good on him, of course.
Tony nods to himself in the mirror and then turns on his heel and walks to the bed. “Tie it for me?” he says, blinking down at Steve. “For luck.”
“You’re evil,” Steve accuses.
“I’m sure I don’t know what you mean,” Tony says calmly. “Do you want me to lose this negotiation?”
Steve rolls his eyes, but he gets up. He makes sure to stretch his arms—he always sleeps naked—but Tony barely gives him a look. “You don’t need luck,” Steve tells him, but he picks up the ends of the tie anyway.
Tony leans into his touch easily, his breath ghosting over Steve’s hands. He swallows as Steve ties the knot, and reaches up to hold Steve’s hand at his throat. “Thank you,” he says, his voice deep and low. Steve feels heat pooling in his belly just at the sound of it.
He wants to pull Tony back in, kiss him and lay him down on the bed and lick every inch of him—
“I might be back for lunch.” Tony steps away. He looks down at Steve, and Steve bravely ignores how hard he is and how obvious it is when he’s naked and Tony’s in a damn business suit fitted within an inch of his life. “Unless, of course, you have something to say?” and the way his voice goes all husky should be illegal.
“I’m fine,” Steve lies through his teeth, and doesn’t look at Tony’s ass as he walks out.
He takes a very, very cold shower.
Tony is indeed back for lunch, and even though he seems slightly tired, with his shoulders hunched over the table, he straightens back up the moment he sees Steve. His suit jacket is thrown over his chair, but his shirt still lies on him perfectly, not a wrinkle even after a few hours. He’s the very picture of the successful businessman he is.
Steve wants to see him sweaty and undone and begging for more.
“Are you alright?” he asks first, because it is more important than any stupid bet.
Tony smiles at him, his real, wide smile full of love. “Yeah,” he says. “It went great.”
“I’m glad,” Steve says, sitting on the other side of him. He’s not hungry, but he can wait until Tony’s finished.
Tony’s expression changes the moment Steve sits down. He looks into Steve’s eyes with unnerving intensity. “Did you have a good morning?” he asks, and Steve has to fight himself not to kick the table away and climb into Tony’s lap right there.
“Fine,” he says.
Tony grins at him lightly. He reaches up to open his tie, his fingers deftly untying what Steve tied in the morning. He opens his upper shirt button, and then reaches for his glass of water. He throws his head back as he swallows, and Steve stares at his throat, transfixed. He could—he could—he won’t—
“Wow,” Carol says, walking in, and Steve jolts. “I thought you were done.”
Tony glances at her. “We were,” he says. “But Steve thought he’s more patient than I am.”
“Is that why you’re trying to seduce your boyfriend in the common area?” Carol crosses her arms.
“Might be,” Tony admits easily. He throws another long look at Steve. “Is it working?”
Not at all, Steve tries to say and can’t get a word out, his mouth too dry.
He pretends Carol doesn’t laugh at him. “Good luck outseducing Tony,” she says, and Steve glares at her. This lack of faith is totally unwarranted, he thinks. He can totally seduce Tony.
He wonders if calling Jan for advice would be cheating.
It’s not fair, Steve thinks. Tony is exceptionally attractive. Always has been, since the first moment Steve’s seen him all these years ago; no matter if he was dressed in his suit or covered in oil from his work on the armour. It’s only gotten worse since they started sleeping together, really: it’s not news.
It’s never been like this.
Steve feels like he’s a teenager with his first crush all over again. It feels like one look from Tony can render him hard and desperately wanting.
Like right now: Tony’s talking to Clint, but his whole body just transforms when he spots Steve. He’s smile turns inviting, he angles himself into Steve’s direction, and his gaze, Steve can’t breathe—
It’s like Tony eyes suddenly go three shades darker, and all of his focus weighs on Steve, like nothing else matters in the world.
And it should be ridiculous, it should; Tony normally gives all of his attention to Steve, and it’s always humbling, but it’s different now, in the tilt of his lips and lilt of his voice and the way his eyelids droop hooded, and he blinks slowly, never tearing his eyes away from Steve.
The room is air-conditioned and Steve feels hot all over anyway.
He’s just back from his run, and he remembers what Tony once told him, that he likes him in his workout clothes, but it doesn’t seem to matter at all now. Tony’s terribly composed, everything about him perfect.
“Hi,” Tony purrs at Steve.
“Wow, Stark, this makes me want to get into your pants,” Clint comments, and Steve would growl at him if he had enough brain cells to spare.
“Steve,” Tony continues, unperturbed, “I missed you earlier. You remember about tonight, don’t you?”
Tonight. Steve struggles to remember, and then stops short.
Tony’s trying to kill him, he’s pretty sure.
“The gala,” Tony says slowly, and somehow he makes the two words sound like take me now.
Steve can’t give in.
“The gala,” he repeats. “Yes.”
He’s pretty sure he can’t survive hours of seeing Tony in a tux.
“Mmm,” Tony says. “You look great.”
Steve perks up. “Do you want to skip the gala?” he asks.
Tony laughs playfully. He hooks his elbow around Steve’s. “Not a chance,” he says, looking at Steve through his eyelashes. “Unless you do.”
Steve looks away because he can’t deal with the heat in Tony’s eyes. “Can’t let you miss out on your own dance,” he says.
“Such a responsible date,” Tony comments.
Steve hopes for a second that a supervillain will attack and save him from this hell, and he immediately feels guilty for it.
This is just too much, though. He’s pretty sure he can’t do it. Tony’s fingers are caressing the inside of Steve’s wrist as they walk towards the door, together, a butterfly light touch over Steve’s pulse point that’s more arousing than a hand on his cock would be. He shaved in the evening, and his cheek is smooth and soft-looking and Steve longs to touch him. Except, if he did that, he wouldn’t stop at all.
He should just admit defeat. He’s not going to win this anyway.
Eyes turn to them as they walk in, and Steve’s momentarily blinded by the flashes of the cameras. Tony, as usual, navigates the photoreporters easily, throwing smiles in the right moments and standing tall and proud. Steve just tries to be a good background for him.
“That’s enough,” Tony says finally, and the reporters obediently back away. Tony steers Steve inside the room and deposits him next to Jan and Jessica. “I have to mingle a bit,” he says apologetically, and then he’s off.
Steve tries to catch a breath, but it’s not easy, even with Tony across the room from him. He’s laughing at jokes and shaking hands, and he gives everyone just enough of his attention to make them crave more. He’s good at this game. Steve’s not sure how anyone manages to stay standing next to him. Steve wants to swoon even separated by a sea of bodies.
Understanding dawns as he watches Tony act, though: this is Tony’s life as much as the Avengers are. He’s good at it, damn it, he’s brilliant at it. Of course he’s a master at seduction. Steve should’ve realised it before.
He’s telling himself it’s not jealousy he feels as he wonders how many people Tony practised his charm on before. It doesn’t matter: even now, with this bet, he is Steve’s.
God, but Steve wants to kiss him.
“You should just give up,” Jessica says.
“Carol told you.” Steve is not pouting.
“Carol didn’t have to,” Jan answers in Jessica’s place. No one believes in Steve anymore, do they?
Steve doesn’t believe in Steve.
Tony moves back towards them, and Steve knows this look: he’s plotting. Then Tony’s at his side, his hand extended in a clear invitation. “May I have this dance, Captain?” Tony asks, low, and Steve’s nodding and taking his hand before he can think what a terrible idea it is.
Tony leads, which is the only saving grace. He’s good at it, subtly signalling all the moves to Steve, so Steve barely has to think, following him in smooth circles around the dance floor. He thinks it’s a miracle he’s not stepping on Tony’s feet.
Tony’s hand is low on his back: not too low, because they are in public and Tony’s being the perfect host to everyone around them, but Steve can barely focus on anything but the feel of Tony’s palm, and Tony’s body pressed close against him in the front, Tony’s breath ghosting over Steve’s cheek.
“You’re just being stubborn now,” Tony whispers.
“Look who’s talking,” Steve answers.
“You could try turning your puppy dog eyes on me. I might forfeit,” Tony laughs, and for a moment Steve’s tempted to try, but no: he has more pride than that.
Steve is not watching Tony get out of his suit, because he is not a masochist.
Except Tony’s making sure to make every move as enticing as possible, opening his fly slowly, then leaving his trousers open and hanging low on his hips as he turns to Steve. “Had fun tonight?” he asks.
“I’ll take that as a yes,” Tony says.
“It was nice,” Steve allows. It would’ve been downright pleasant if he got to make slow love to Tony now, really; as far as Stark Industries parties went, that one was low-stress.
Tony goes to shower, and Steve stays awake, waiting for him. He’s not yet ready to give up, but this doesn’t mean he can’t hold Tony in his arms as they sleep. If Tony’s soft smile when he resurfaces from the bathroom is any indication, he agrees.
Steve stops dead in his tracks when he walks into the living room. Tony’s there, sitting in the armchair across from Thor, dressed in an oversized blue t-shirt. It hangs from his shoulders and makes his eyes seem even brighter, and it’s almost too much to look at, Tony in Steve’s clothes like it’s the most natural thing in the world.
Tony’s playing dirty. Steve didn’t expect that.
“I thought a billionaire could afford a t-shirt,” he says.
“But where would be the fun in that?” Tony answers. Thor turns his head to look at Steve, and only then does Steve notice the last part of the picture, here: the white ice-cream cone in Tony’s left hand.
He must’ve timed it to Steve’s arrival. He’s plotting and he’s good at it and Steve can’t seem to make any move of his own because he’s too preoccupied with desperate want all the damn time.
Tony licks the ice cream.
Steve goes hot.
Tony bends his head over the cone, a soft noise escaping his mouth. “This is good,” he says, “this is very good, Steve, you should try it—Jarvis bought them today.”
“I’m okay,” Steve says, watching him, transfixed.
A melted drop of ice-cream slides down Tony’s hand. Tony licks his own finger clear of it without any hesitation.
“Friend Anthony,” Thor says, “if Steven isn’t satisfying your needs—”
“Oh,” Tony says, “appreciated, Thor, but I believe he’s not satisfying himself, mostly, isn’t that right?”
Thor’s kidding and Steve’s aware of it, but he can’t stop the “He’s mine” escaping his lips anyway.
Thor laughs good-naturedly. Tony goes back to licking his ice-cream.
Steve’s going to die.
Steve only gets out of the gym late in the evening. The punching bag did not help spend his frustrations a bit. He should’ve figured.
Tony’s already in their bedroom, wrapped in a towel, his hair still damp. Steve wonders if he can possibly have timed this.
He watches a drop of water slide down Tony’s chest.
“We are so lucky you don’t want to take over the world,” Steve says, because clearly no one stands a chance against Tony’s plotting.
“I love you too,” Tony says, laughing, and he sounds so happy and carefree Steve can’t help but smile back, his heart bursting with emotion.
Tony can act seductive all he wants, but this here is why Steve loves him.
“Okay,” he says. “Okay. I give. You win.”
Tony blinks rapidly. “What, already?” he asks. “And here I was only starting to enjoy myself.”
“Tony,” Steve says.
“No, no,” Tony says. “I’m going to cherish it. I couldn’t have lasted much longer, was it?”
Steve growls low in his throat. He crosses the room to Tony, grabs his face in two hands and kisses him, hard. Tony kisses back with all he has, pulling Steve into him with both of his own hands.
“On the bright side,” Tony speaks when they separate, breathing equally hard as Steve, “you now get to manhandle me on the bed.”
Steve takes his suggestion happily.