Steve and Bucky were sitting cuddled together on the couch, shoulders and knees pressed together, hands entwined, watching some sort of action movie. The two of them snickering at the horrible fight scenes and the inaccuracies. They loved watching action movies together as they always made fun of them, the both of them ending up as a big pile of giggling fools. Today was no different as they had quickly fallen into giggling fits. It was a dreary fall day. It had been raining for the past few days, with the rain brought and unbearable chill to the air. It had been absolutely awful the past few days and unfortunately the supersoldiers and their team weren’t lucky enough to have spent those days inside where it was warm and dry.
Today was the first day that the Avengers had a chance to relax, warm and safe. Emphasis on warm and safe. As it comes with the job of being the world’s mightiest heroes who defend the world when it needs it, the whole team had been out in the cold defending the world against a villain trying to make a name for himself. There had been a lot of yelling, firework like explosions, squishy apple strudels filled with what were definitely not real apples, and very large mutant fruit bats. Needless to say it had been a very weird few days.
Luckily the team came home with only a few small scrapes and bruises and a shared agreement of never wanting to eat apple strudels again. The villain was easily disposed of. The only major issue had been Tony. Iron Man had been doing his duty, firing repulsor blasts at the beasts when one of those mutant fruit bats swooped out of the air grabbing him in it’s feet and in doing so pierced a large hole into the armor. Iron Man was safe, but when he freed himself he was then exposed to the harsh fall weather. Nobody had thought twice about it. Steve and Bucky initially panicking, but after checking on him and finding him unharmed besides being a little damp from where the rain had gotten into the armor, had quickly calmed.
Once back at the tower the team went their separate ways. Tony having to fight off his handsy lovers in order to be able to go down to his lab and patch up his armor. Steve and Bucky relinquished their hold on the genius with a sigh knowing it was important to Tony and important for the team for Iron Man to be ready for any emergency.
With those past few days behind them Bucky and Steve relished in their time alone, although having their third locked away left a space only a certain genius could fill. They could be patient. Tony would come back to them once he was finished. He always did.
The supersoldiers continued to sit and watch their debatably awful action movie, laughing when one of the main characters had gotten themselves trapped in a choke hold, while Bucky ranting about how there were at least thirty different ways he could break out of that, Steve a giggling mess next to him, when the elevator pinged to alert the arrival of someone to the penthouse.
Both men looked at each other curiously. It was far too early for Tony to be done. They had seen the damage to the suit and knew it would take their lover a good long while to fix. That was why they were incredibly surprised when the doors opened to reveal Tony. The men on the couch shared another look this time of hopeful surprise. They watched Tony carefully to see if perhaps he had only come up because he had run out of coffee, but to their surprise Tony lurched forward towards them, head down, and proceeded to crawl onto both of their laps. Most of Tony’s body on Steve’s lap and his feet propped up in Bucky’s. Tony grabbed onto Steve’s shirt and buried his face in his neck and whimpered putting his two lovers on alert immediately.
Steve reached up, carding his fingers through Tony’s hair, “Tony, sweetheart is everything ok?” They got another whimper, almost sounding like a groan, but nothing else.
Bucky reached over slowly and gently grabbed Tony’s chin, tilting his face to look at Bucky. Bucky gasped. The eyes that were usually bright with intelligence and spark were dull and glassy. Tony’s cheeks, Bucky realized, were much to rosy, while the rest of Tony was pale, his hair matted to his forehead with sweat.
“Doll are you sick?” Bucky exclaimed, worry quickly gripping his chest.
“What?” Steve looked down to get a better look at Tony’s now exposed face. He inhaled sharply and quickly placed the back of his hand across Tony’s forehead, becoming even more worried when he didn’t try and bat Steve’s hand away. Tony’s eyes fluttered shut as Steve got a good feel of his temperature.
“Baby! You’re burning up! What happened? How long has this been going on?” asked Steve
Steve and Bucky stared at him, waiting patiently for an answer. Tony blinked and looked up at them owlishly. “M’head hurts...nd’m’cold...started a’lil while ago….JARVIS?” Steve and Bucky both winced at the obvious hoarseness of his voice. Sore throat.
“Sir began developing a fever about an hour ago, although it only began to become a problem about ffteen minutes ago. He stopped working and headed upstairs to you both when he could no longer work.”
“Poor thing,” Bucky murmured, slowly stroking Tony’s hair. Tony nuzzled into the touch like a kitten, misery clearly written on his features.
“JARVIS what’s Tony’s temperature now?” asked Steve.
“Temperature is reading at 102.4 and rising Captain,”
Steve and Bucky both cursed. That was high and it was getting higher and higher by the minute. They needed to bring it down quickly.
“Buck, what do we do? His temp is getting too high, I mean, what happens when it gets too high? He’ll have to go to the hospital and-”
“Steve!” Bucky cut off Steve’s panicked rambling, “Steve, it’s gonna be ok, yes the fever is high but we don’t need to panic yet ok? I want you to go to the kitchen and find some ibuprofen, it’ll help with the fever. I’ll take Tony to the bathroom.”
“A nice cool bath will be useful right about now. It’ll cool his body down.” Bucky reached up to hold Steve’s face with his hand, knocking their foreheads together gently. Bucky smiled, “Don’t worry Stevie, I’ve had a lot of practice looking after sick people.”
Steve smiled, “How could I forget, you were the best nursemaid I’ve ever had...still sad I could never get you in the outfit to match.” Bucky shoved Steve away with a mock glare, Steve chuckling at the look on his face.
“Alright wise ass, get going and find the pills. I’ve got Tony.”
They both looked down at their sick lover and their hearts broke. Poor Tony had his eyes barely open looking blearily up at them, pain in his eyes.
“Come on baby doll” Bucky cooed “We’ll make you feel better.” Bucky scooped Tony out of Steve’s lap, placing a kiss on his sweaty forehead when he whimpered and headed in the direction of their shared bedroom and ensuite bathroom.
Steve headed to the bathroom as soon as he had grabbed the bottle of ibuprofen hearing the tub turn on. Steve walked right through the bedroom and into the bathroom stopping and anxiously waiting for orders from Bucky. Steve wasn’t as used to caring for sick people as Bucky was. Steve was more used to being the one being cared for. Bucky always seemed to know what to do. Always staying calm. It was mostly thanks to him that after his mother died that he stayed alive at all. Speaking of Bucky, Steve shook his head to rid him of the memory. Bucky currently was sitting on the ground his legs crossed, tub running and Tony firmly sat in his lap. Hearing Steve come through Bucky looked up from checking the temperature of the bath.
“Great you found the pills. Fill a cup and then take out two of those and have him swallow them. Then help me get him out of his clothes.” As Bucky held Tony up Steve approached with the pills and the glass of water. Tony’s eyes were closed, he almost looked asleep if it weren’t for the small whimpers he was making. He must have really felt terrible.
Steve kneeled down, sliding his hand across Tony’s cheek. “Come on baby, open up those pretty eyes for me, yeah?” Steve continued his soft caress of Tony’s cheek watching intently as his eyes fluttered open to stare at Steve, bright with fever. “There you are sweetheart. I need you to open up your mouth and swallow these pills for me, it’ll help with your fever.”
Tony groaned pitifully and turned his head away, eyes squeezing shut. Steve and Bucky both sighed. Getting Tony to take something that was good for him was never an easy task, both of them had been hoping it wouldn’t be like that this time. Bucky reached down and started to slowly rub Tony’s stomach.
“Come on sweetcheeks, open that pretty mouth and be a good boy for us and take your medicine. We promise you’ll feel better. Please? For us?” Bucky continued with his slow rubbing. Tony shifted, whimpered, and to their amazement opened his mouth. Steve took his opportunity and plopped the pills into his mouth and helping Tony to drink from the cup, watching patiently as he swallowed them with a grimace.
‘His throat must really be bothering him,’ thought Steve. Both soldiers leaned in and kissed Tony on his face, praising him and thanking him.
“Alright Stevie, help me get his clothes off, the tub is just about filled.” Bucky sat Tony up a little more and leaned him towards Steve giving Bucky better access to take his shirt off. Once the shirt was removed they maneuvered Tony back against Bucky so he could lift his hips as Steve slipped off his socks, boxers and pants. Tony shivered once his heated skin was exposed to the what seemed like freezing air.
“Ok, good, now I’m going to pass him to you Steve while I get undressed. Once I’m done I’ll get in with him then you can strip.” Steve nodded and accepted his poor sick lover into his arms, noticing how sweaty the fever was making him. Bucky stripped quickly, grabbing Tony back and slowly stepping into the bath as Steve stripped.
Bucky went slow so he wouldn’t shock Tony’s system too much. He new his lover was going to absolutely hate this. The water itself wasn’t even that cold, lukewarm really, but to Tony it would probably feel completely unpleasant. Bucky grimaced at the thought, scowled outright when his predictions were verified when as soon as Tony’s legs were submerged Tony began to whimper in earnest and weakly kick his legs, rolling his head against Bucky’s shoulder. Bucky shushed him.
“Shh, baby doll I know,” he cooed, “God, if I could make this less shitty I would, but this is for your own good.”
Steve finally undressed and sadly watching the exchange, stepped into the water and sitting as close to Tony and Bucky as he could, taking Tony’s feet into his lap and rubbing slowly at the soles in an attempt to comfort him.
After a few moments Steve picked up the body wash and began lathering over whatever parts Steve could reach of Tony’s body, wiping away all the sweat and grime. Bucky copying Steve, reached over to grab the shampoo and began working up a thick lather. Tilting Tony’s head back Bucky began to massage his scalp, making sure to drag his nails across his crown the way he knew that Tony liked.
Tony went loose as a limpet. His eyes slipping closed and mouth falling open. Steve and Bucky both chuckled at his response, their hearts swelling with fondness. After a while Steve asked JARVIS to check his temperature again.
“JARVIS, temp check?”
“Might I say Captain, yours and Sergeant Barnes’ efforts are paying off. Sirs temperature is currently at 101.1 and declining.”
Steve let out a huge breathe, “Oh thank God. Good thinking Buck.”
Bucky smiled slyly, “Of course it was, I’m a pro at taking care of small people who are shitty at taking care of themselves.”
“Oh you can take that smug smile and shove it up your-”
“Anywho!” Bucky shouted over him, “I think it’s time to get out of the water, we don’t want Tony to get too cold. His body is sensitive as it is right now due to his temperature.”
Steve glared at Bucky but carefully slid Tony’s feet off his lap. Tony himself had fallen asleep during his full body massage. Standing up Steve stepped out of the tub and grabbed the biggest, fluffiest towel they owned. With Tony in his arms Bucky stood carefully and handed him over to Steve to be dried.
Once everyone had been dried off and Tony’s hair getting thoroughly rubbed down, his two lovers smiling dopily at the sight of his fluffy hair, the two soldiers took their sick lover back to the bedroom where they double teamed him into one of Steve’s shirts and a pair of Bucky’s pants. Bucky pulled the covers down so that Steve could lay Tony down, quickly climbing in after him, and covering them back up under the covers, Tony’s head propped up on Steve’s chest. Bucky quickly slipped in on the other side, Tony safely sandwiched between them.
Steve leaned down to press his lips against Tony’s forehead, leaving them there in a silent worry for his temperature. If it got higher again, Steve would know. Bucky maneuvering closer as to wrap a broad arm around Tony’s waist, letting his hand rest on Steve’s hip.
“Stop worrying Stevie,” Bucky murmured, “His temp is goin down, and JARVIS will let us know if it gets worse again. Otherwise I say we get some sleep. I have a feelin that the next few days are gonna be one hell of a time. His throat looked like it was bothering him, so he’s probably getting a cold.”
Steve grunted, “I wish he wasn’t sick at all, I wish there was more we could do.”
Bucky sighed thumb stroking Steve’s hip, “I do too, but what we’re doing is what’s goin to get him better. Just be here for him Steve and you’ll help him more than you think.”
Just then the small lump between them began to squirm and a low groan met their ears. They looked down in worry watching to see if Tony was ok. Slowly Tony’s eyes began to flutter open and for the first time in what seemed like too long, a little recognition and a bit of what was pure Tony came back to his chocolatey eyes. Bucky and Steve both smiled down at him when Tony looked at them confusedly.
“Hey sweetheart,” cooed Steve, “Are you feelin any better?”
Tony hummed as he seemed to remember the last few hours. He looked up at them bashfully.
“I, uh-” he stopped to clear his throat, grimacing at the obvious pain it caused him, “yeah, uh, I feel a little better,” he murmured. “ You guys took real good care of me.”
“Damn straight we did dollface. You gave us a damn fright,” Tony looked chagrined, “But damn, am I glad to see those beautiful brown eyes staring back at me.” Bucky reached up to rub his thumb underneath Tony’s eye smiling fondly at him. Tony smiled shyly back.
Steve leaned down to give Tony’s face another lingering kiss, “Get some rest sweetheart, we’ll watch over you, don’t worry, we’ll take care of you.”
With those words Tony snuggled closer to the muscled chest in front of him and back against the muscled chest behind him, one hand reaching up to grab at Steve’s shirt and the other gravitating up to place his hand over Bucky’s at Steve’s hip.
“Know y’will,” Tony slurred his eyes beginning to fall shut once more, “ L’ve you.”
“We love you too baby,” Steve and Bucky both said. Both of them leaning down to kiss Tony sweetly, Tony having fallen asleep, safe and protected against his supersoldiers.
Steve and Bucky settled down soon after, closing their eyes both of them almost asleep knowing their loved ones were safe and in bed.
“So,” Steve drawled after a few moments, “Is that a no on the maid costume?”
Bucky grunted and pinched his hip as Steve snickered.