“That’s what I was saying, Steve,” Tony says, waving his arms animatedly. In the armor, the effect is flashes of the spaceships’s interior lights reflecting off the red metal. The entire corridor looks like a rundown nightclub.
Steve huffs and looks to the uncomfortably close ceiling. “No, what you were saying is that you want to take some time to regroup, and what I’m saying is that we don’t have time.”
“I know, that’s why I added an entire rant about how we need to find time,” Tony responds and Steve watches as he rolls his eyes.
They are following Peter Quill as he explains his ship to Sam and Clint. Honestly, Steve hasn't heard a word of what Peter has said, and it’s mostly Tony’s fault. For some reason Steve will never understand, Tony just can’t ever just agree with him, and they’re still stuck in the same fight they had been having since they had retreated from Thanos’s overwhelming offense. “I’m saying that if we don’t attack him as soon as possible, we risk him having too much time to establish more power, and we absolutely can not let that happ—”
“For god’s sake Steve! If we go as soon as Peter can get us there, we’re going to get clobbered. Everyone here is beaten to all hell. Have you seen your arm?” Tony’s voice rises an octave and he gestures to Steve’s broken and bruised arm being held up by a makeshift sling.
Steve huffs again. Tony’s right, but Steve’s health isn’t the point. “It won’t be the first time I’ve fought inj—”
“SHUT THE FUCK UP!” Peter turns on his heel and faces them. “Can you two just get a room?”
“Huh?” Tony asks as if he’s suddenly lost all those brain cells he’s so proud of. Steve, on the other hand, feels like his Ma just caught him sneaking out onto the fire escape. His face gets hot at the suggestion and he rubs his beard, a nervous habit he’s picked up over the year.
Is he that obvious?
Peter turns to Sam. “Have you even shoved the two of them into a closet?”
“We’ve definitely thought about it,” Sam says and Clint nods his head in agreement. “But most of the closets we’d use belonged to Tony…”
Steve can see out of the corner of his eye how Tony is looking at him and Steve chooses to cross his arms and stare Peter straight in the face. He hopes it looks more like a challenge than petulance.
Peter doesn’t seem intimidated. “Follow me.”
“What do you think we were doing before?” Tony asks and Steve hears the faked offense.
“My ship, my rules,” is the only thing Peter says in response and Steve finally gives into temptation and looks at Tony, who is looking back at him with a strange combination of fear and confusion.
Steve’s not sure what he looks like. What he feels is… guilt, and something lower and hotter he’s trying to shove out of his mind.
Even though Steve’s legs feel like lead, he follows until Peter stops and opens a door to what is an actual closet filled with cleaning supplies. Without explaining, he clears out all the trash and bottles of chemicals with names written in a script Steve’s sure would take years to master. Peter points inside and Steve’s unable to ignore the uncomfortable feeling pooling in his gut. “In!”
Tony laughs like he was ordered to under threat of death. Steve’s guilt grows in tandem with his desire. Neither of them moves. “You can’t really expect the two of us to…” Tony trails off.
“IN!” Peter screams and surprisingly, Tony follows the direction. Steve looks at him, but doesn’t wait long to step into the tight space.
If Tony’s going to do it, he might as well, too.
Steve steps back into the closet so he’s facing away from Tony, but the closet can’t be more than six square feet, and his ass is wedged against Tony’s armored thigh. Peter shuts the door and Steve can hear him walking away and something that sounds like ‘Sam and Diane.’
The stand there for a minute, quiet except for their breathing. Tony breaks the silence and startles Steve when he whispers into his ear, “It’s a TV reference. In the show Cheers, Sam and Dian—”
“I know the reference.”
Even though he can’t see him, Steve’s sure Tony is smiling and he not entirely sure how to handle that. This is how it always is with them; one moment they are arguing and almost killing each other and the next it’s casual banter and concern about bodily integrity. Tony sighs and Steve rests his head against the door. “Turn around,” Tony says with what sounds like great effort.
“Because if we’re going to be stuck in here I don’t want to be talking into your hair.” Tony places a gauntleted hand on Steve’s shoulder. But the lack of space means Steve feels it all the way up his side.
“Ok,” Steve says, mostly to himself, and begins the task of shimming around so that he can face Tony. Once he’s finished, he flattens his back against the door in order to gain a couple of inches between them and turns his eyes up just enough that he’s staring at some graffiti right above Tony’s head. His beard is almost touching Tony’s face. “You happy?”
“Ecstatic,” Tony answers with as much sarcasm as a person can conceivably put into their voice.
“How long do you think they’re going to keep us in here?” Steve mostly asks because it’s the only way he knows to make small talk.
“I assume they’ll let us out when we land.” Tony shrugs, and then—as an afterthought—adds, “Or when they hear us consummate all that unresolved sexual tension.” The look casual Tony is giving him is clearly fake, but Steve can’t tell what it’s concealing.
He supresses a laugh and leans his head back against the wall. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. He had a good thing going, pining secretly after Tony when they all lived in the tower.
But—like all good things—it’s been ruined by his mistakes. And now his feelings for Tony were clearly so obvious that a stranger could see them.
“Maybe we could fake it?” Steve asks and tries to make it as believable as possible.
One of Tony’s eyebrows hits the top of his forehead and he grunts in the form of a question.
“Make some sounds or whatever, so that they think we’re…” Steve leaves the rest of it unsaid; he’s sure Tony has the drift. “And then we can prepare to attack Thanos.”
Tony hits the back of his head with a thump and stares at the ceiling. “Goddamnit Steve, can you just admit we aren’t ready, yet? We have people here who need to recover and I’m sure if you put Rocket and me in a room we can get some amazing work—”
“But we don’t have the time, Tony. I don’t get why—”
“You know what I don’t get, Steve?” Tony almost yells to cut him off. “I don’t get why can’t you just fucking trust me? Can you give up just one ounce of control?”
“Oh! So, now I’m the control freak?” Steve replies without answering the question. He can feel his posture getting defensive—in this small space he wedges against Tony’s armor even more.
Tony is staring him down and Steve’s not sure he can say anything to defuse the situation. Or—more correctly—he can think of a hundred things to say that would defuse the situation, but he’s unable to utter another word.
Something surprising happens.
Tony’s gauntleted hand somehow fits between their two bodies. Steve knows because it’s now gripping his crotch through his black uniform pants.
Steve looks down and is mesmerized, because somehow the little light in the closet reflects off the armor and makes it possible to confirm what Steve’s feeling. “Tony,” he whispers. “What are you doing?” He doesn’t look up. Steve’s not sure what exactly he’s afraid to see, but he knows he’ll find it in Tony’s expression. Tony tightens his grip and Steve’s doubts about the situation fall away. “Are you sure?” he asks and his breath fogs up the chestplate.
“Are you telling me to stop?”
Steve doesn’t even think about it. “No, I’m not.”
“Then I’m sure.” Something about Tony voice sounds fake, but maybe it’s because Steve expects him to sound bored instead of out of breath. Tony begins to undo the buttons, but the size of his armored fingers is clearly a problem. Steve moves his good hand to help, but Tony gently swats him away. “I got this,” he says and doesn’t sound at all sure about that. The armor around his hands begins to disappear. The hexagonal plates that make up Tony’s new design transform and change and the little light they have bounces of them. The closest thing Steve has to compare it to is glitter—but somehow it’s prettier, more controlled, more breathtaking.
“Wow,” Steve whispers and he can feel Tony’s smile. It’s not as if Steve hasn’t seen the new technology in action, but it was never this close, never this tangible.
“I think you’re going to like my next trick even more,” Tony says and then begins to use his newly freed fingers to begin to undo Steve’s fly. It’s quick, Tony’s always been dexterous, and he quietly adds, “Just pretend it’s not me, if that helps.”
That’s the last thing Steve wants to do, but he tries to follow Tony’s suggestion. He’s sure this doesn’t mean anything to Tony and it feels unfair that it means so much to Steve. So he shuts his eyes tries to imagine it’s any man but Tony wrapping his hand around his dick and taking the time to do a few exploratory strokes. He doesn’t even care who else it is, as long as it isn’t Tony.
It’s a tight fit and Tony barley has the room to move his wrist, but he’s making a valiant effort with his quick and short strokes. ‘Yes…” Steve moans, “Like that, just... like... that.” He tries to grip the wall behind him—he just needs something to hold onto—but there’s nothing there. Instead, he places a hand on the cool metal of Tony waist. That doesn’t help with his imagination, and whether it’s that or Steve’s current dry spell, he’s close to coming already.
The hand Tony’s not using rests on his shoulder and pushes him back against the wall. It must give him the centimeters he needs because the rhythm changes. Steve moans again and it’s louder this time. The armor is overwhelming his senses and his attempt to pretend this isn’t happening in a closet with Tony Stark becomes impossible. There’s no reason for him not to just open his eyes.
So he does and a little thrill unrelated to the hand on his cock goes up his spine when he sees the way Tony is watching his face. Tony looks at him and his expression is fascinated, surprised, and turned-on, all at the same time.
The moment becomes minutes as Steve rapidly approaches the edge. “Tony,” he whispers, and then comes all over the armor’s red metal. Tony’s arm drops from his shoulder and wraps around his waist, pulling him in and Steve goes willingly until his broken arm jostles against the suit and he hisses. Tony pushes him away from himself and back against the wall, and Steve takes a few steadying breaths and waits for the jolt of pain to subside “It’s fine,” he says before Tony has a chance to ask. “It’s great, actually,” he adds because he’s mourning the fact that Tony is no longer looking at him with thinly-veiled desire. There’s a second of debate when Steve thinks about moving the hand on his good arm off Tony’s waist, but he decides he has enough plausible deniability to get away with it. His whole body feels loose and he gives Tony an easy smile before finishing with a “thank you.”
Tony laughs and then Steve laughs, and they just… laugh for a little while. “Do you think they’ll let us out, now?” Tony asks.
I hope not, Steve thinks even though all the preparations for the upcoming battle with Thanos are beginning to swamp his mind. And then, another part of him is beginning to wonder if this was just some sort of calculated gesture by Tony to placate their captors.
Steve decides if that was all it was, he’ll take it.
“I don’t think I was loud enough,” he says and hopes he’s wearing his best mischievous grin. Tony looks like he’s surprised and then gives him a once over that ends when he notices all the come on his armor. Tony purposely hits the back of his head against the wall and then motions to wipe it off.
Steve’s a tactical genius. They teach classes at West Point on his decision-making process. So, he makes a decision and grabs Tony’s hand before it has a chance to disturb Steve’s come and gently pulls it away. Then he braces his good hand on Tony’s armor and uses it to carefully lower himself to his knees. It’s a tight fit—Steve has to tuck himself under where Tony is standing and his feet are still flush against the wall. It means that for Steve to lift his head high enough so that he’s eye level with Tony’s stomach, he has to push himself up in a way that strains his thighs.
It’s worth it, for what happens next.
Tony must be looking at him—Steve can feel it—but he doesn’t look up in fear Tony’s not interested in what he’s offering. He pushes himself just that he can lick up the come that hasn't fallen to the floor. It doesn’t take long, but he makes sure to suck the rest of it up and puts in the extra effort so that the suction on the armor sounds obscene. Steve doesn’t stop until Tony’s hand threads through his hair and pulls him back just enough that his only choice is to look up or keep staring at the armor. Steve tilts his head up so that he’s looking right into Tony’s eyes and... wow. Tony’s pupils are blown wide, his mouth is partly open, and even though Steve couldn’t feel it through the suit, he’s breathing heavy. He repeats Steve’s earlier question—”Are you sure?”
It’s a lie, but Steve nods his head. He’s not sure if he can be completely confident that what he wants to do is right, but he could also die at any point in the next couple of days, so almost confident will have to do.
“Okay,” Tony says and he sounds just as apprehensive as Steve feels.
Steve tries to one handedly find the armor releases so that he can remove whatever armor is in the way of his mouth and Tony’s cock. Tony laughs and suddenly the armor around his groin begins to shimmer away. “That’s… amazing.” Steve watches until Tony stops and leaves the area from his upper thighs to his lower stomach naked. He traces the line where the armor gives to flesh and tries to slip the tips of his fingers into the space in-between, but it’s millimeters from being skin-tight. Because it seems like the best course of action, he then leans forward and places an awkward kiss against the edge of the armor. Steve tries to make that his focus for a few minutes and forcibly ignores the way Tony’s hard cock is standing fully erect below where his hand is splayed against Tony’s abs.
Tony squirms a little under the touch. “Scratches,” he whispers and it takes Steve a few beats to realize that Tony means Steve’s beard against his cock.
Steve pulls his head away as far as possible so none of the wayward hairs can bother Tony. “Sorry.”
Tony’s hand runs through Steve’s hair and Steve feels the pads of his fingers against his scalp before the hand rests on Steve’s cheeks and he actually pets Steve’s beard. “I didn’t say it was a problem.” Steve’s trying not to read too closely into the intense way Tony is looking at him. Tony repeats the gesture and rubs his thumb against the bottom of Steve’s lip.
Steve’s out of his element; he’s been out of it since he was shoved into this closet with Tony. Every path forward is risky and backing out is unacceptable. He shakes Tony hand off his beard and leans forward to fit his lips around the head of Tony’s cock.
“Oh,” Tony moans and his hand combs through Steve’s hair until he establishes a firm grip. Steve pushes forward, taking more and more in, and only stopping when he reaches the point between comfortable and choking. He’d normally grip the rest with a hand, but he’s down the one and needs the other for support.
Instead, he bobs back and forth—once, twice, three times—before swiping his broad tongue against the slit. Tony gasps at that, and Steve does it again a few times before sucking again on the rest of Tony’s cock. He has to relax his already sore jaw, but the weight and fullness of it against his tongue makes it worth it.
Steve moans and Tony bucks, imperceptibly, into his mouth. “Fuck,” Tony gasps and his grip on Steve’s hair gets tight enough to be painful, but some wires must cross in his brain because that makes him moan, too. Steve sucks, hard, and tries to see if he can get an extra half inch of Tony’s cock in his mouth. For his effort, he gets a string of expletives underlain with loud moaning, but then Tony pulls back on Steve’s hair and Steve unwillingly stops his efforts and obeys.
Tony stops pulling when Steve’s lips are a hair-width from the tip of Tony’s cock. Steve struggles against Tony’s grip, but Tony doesn’t budge. It’s not like Steve couldn’t break the hold if he wanted to, but he tries something more creative and attempts to lick the slit from this distance. Tony pulls, again, so that this time he can’t and Steve looks up for some sort of guidance as to what Tony wants.
“Just like that,” Tony breathes before gripping the tip of his cock and giving it a few strong and sure strokes. Steve has only a few seconds to get his mind around what Tony is asking for, but his brain catches up just in time to open his mouth a little big wider and watch as Tony comes—swearing loudly—all over his tongue. The come drips over onto his lips and into his beard, but Steve tries to lap up what he can and make it very clear that he’s swallowing.
Tony’s looking at him like he’s never actually seen Steve before and Steve’s aware, down to his bones, that his beard is full of come and his hair is a complete mess. Despite the dim light, he feels exposed and uncomfortable, though none of it has an impact on how turned on he feels. Tony tucks himself back in with the hand that’s been woven tight through Steve’s hair, and his head jerks away from Steve’s gaze. “Fuck,” he mutters under his breath and Steve watches as the armor slowly covers his body again so that he’s no longer looking at Tony’s bare skin, but glittering red metal. Steve’s breath fogs up against it and he slouches down so that he can rest his bearded cheek against Tony’s armored thigh.
Lust is giving way to shame and Steve’s internally kicking himself for not walking away from Peter in the first place. Tony runs his hand through Steve’s hair again, but this time it’s gentle. “Come on,” Tony says and fits a hand around the one Steve has resting against his hip. “You know they heard that. They’re going to open that door any minute.” Steve lets himself be dragged up. He bumps his bad arm again but it only makes Tony’s guidance gentler. Once he’s on his feet, Tony rubs his thumb against Steve’s beard and he shakes his head as he examines the come on his fingers. “So, uh, yeah… that happened.”
“Listen, Tony...” Steve starts even though he doesn’t know the end of that sentence.
“Unless the next words out of your mouth are ‘that was fucking hot’, don’t say anything else.” Tony examines Steve’s beard and goes back to rubbing the come off, not stopping until Steve’s sure it’s mostly gone, though Steve should probably still wash it when he gets a chance. “I like it,” Tony adds, mostly to himself and Steve knows he’s talking about the beard.
Steve doesn’t let Tony deter him. “But, Tony, we need to talk—”
“Yeah, definitely, talking is something we clearly need to be doing more right now,” Tony says and it sounds like he’s deflecting. “As long as we do said talking on some sort of horizontal surface—”
Steve cuts in because he isn’t talking about the sex, but the reasons they haven’t spoken to each other in two years. “No! I meant about the other thi—”
“I know what you meant.” Tony sighs and looks down at Steve’s shoes. “Just… later. Can we talk, later?”
Though he tries, Steve can’t find anything on Tony’s face that’s asking him to disagree. “Ok. And… with Thanos—” Tony nods, so Steve knows they’ve moved on, “—maybe you’re right.”
“Wait, did you just say I’m—”
Steve doesn’t let him finish. “You’re right about time. We do need more time. But maybe we need to engage him to get more time.”
“You mean a diversion?” Tony asks and Steve notices that his hand is still resting on his hip.
“Yeah,” Steve agrees and feels a familiar ‘rightness’ that comes with making plans with Tony.
It’s been a long two years.
“That… could work.” There is a short beat before Tony twists the doorknob, and to Steve’s surprise, the light from the outside hallway floods in. Steve grabs Tony’s arm before he steps out and Tony smiles so big and wide Steve sees teeth. “You didn’t notice? They never locked it.”
Steve pulls him back and leans in for a kiss. It’s awkward, with the healing arm and the beard and the armor but Tony rights himself into his space.
They don’t stop until they hear the rest of the ship hooting and hollering behind them. Tony ducks down and whispers, “We should talk, later.”
Steve nods and pretends the rest of the ship can’t see him. “Right. First Thanos, then us.”