Actions

Work Header

War Without Bloodshed

Work Text:

TJ is completely and utterly secure in his relationship. He spends a huge portion of his time in Avengers’ DC headquarters geeking out with Stark; playing serious games of poker with Clint, Natasha, and Sam; and lying on couches with his head in Steve’s lap.

He also spends time in Steve’s place where they watch movies and argue about politics. And in his place where Steve curls up on TJ’s bed and listens to him play the piano.

What he does not spend time doing is having sex. With any of Steve’s personas -- Captain America, Steve Rogers the aw-shucks-ma’am; Steve Rogers the smart, sharp guy who ends up in front of the press or at political functions both with and without TJ; or Steve Rogers the absolute smart-ass shit. There is making out. There is touching. But there is absolutely, completely, nothing remotely sexual going on.

He stops playing mid-sonata. “You said you’re bisexual.”

Steve looks up from his book -- a biography of TJ’s dad that isn’t supposed to be a comedy, but Steve is laughing a lot, which makes TJ smile -- and glances around the room before locking those damn blue eyes on TJ. “Me? Yes. Bisexual. Boys. Girls. Fan of both. Why?”

“Bisexual implies… sexual.”

Steve sits upright on the bed and sets the book down before pulling his knees to his chest. He rests his head on them as he wraps his arms around his legs. TJ is unclear how a man of Steve’s size and shape manages to look so fucking small. “Yeah.”

“And yet we are not. Sexual.” He frowns down at the keyboard, because something in Steve’s expression is making him suddenly wish this was a conversation they weren’t having. “So I was wondering if, maybe, you were more asexual. I mean, definitely not aromantic, because it’s really clear that romance is a big thing. You’re pretty amazing at romance.”

“Right.” Steve lets go of his legs and stretches them out. He looks at his hands for a moment then reaches up, tugging his shirt off and tossing it aside. “C’mere.”

“Steve.”

“No. You’re right. We should be having sex. We’d be good at it. I switch, so whatever’s good for you.” He arches off the bed, undoes his jeans and starts to push them off.

“Steve. Stop.” He had no idea he could muster up that much force with his voice. Must be the politician in him. “I’m not saying we should have sex.” Steve snorts, but settles back on the bed, pants still undone and open, part of the way down his thighs. “I’m just wondering why we aren’t.”

Steve gets off the bed and walks over, sinking down onto his knees and turning the piano bench, with TJ on it, as though it weighs nothing. “We can.” He unbuttons TJ’s jeans and looks up at him, long lashes shading his blue eyes. “You want to start with this?”

“Steve. C’mon.” He pushes Steve back and Steve lets himself fall, sitting on the floor with his knees parted. “I wanted to talk about it, not…”

“You didn’t want to talk about it. You started it like you wanted to fight about it. Implied, once again, that I lied to you.” He gets to his feet and does up his jeans, heading across the room to grab his t-shirt. “You and Sean. How long did you wait before you had sex?”

“Um. About a half hour?”

“And the guys before that? Or after that?”

“The ones that weren’t drug-related were deliberately just one-night stands. The drug-related ones were usually until the coke ran out.” TJ hunches his shoulders, feeling like he’s being called out.

“Every person I’ve had sex with since I was thawed has taken one look and tried to get me into bed. No one’s ever thought Captain America has feelings. Hell, no one’s every thought Steve Rogers was in there somewhere.”

“Steve, you don’t owe me an explanation. I was being a dick.”

“I thought it’d be nice to get to know each other. To be with each other. To be friends. I thought maybe it would be nice to be sure. Probably should have mentioned that.” He grabs his jacket and tugs it on before leaning in and giving TJ a quick kiss. “Then you would have been able to decide if that was what you actually wanted. So think about it now, okay? And let me know what you want. We can keep having that, work our way up to something, a relationship built on something other than getting into each other’s pants. And if it’s not, let me know that. If all you want is to fuck, I’m more than up for that.”

TJ grabs Steve’s wrist. “Don’t get defensive with me, and don’t fucking walk out of here. Sit the fuck down, and we’re going to talk.” He tightens his grip, even though he knows it’s a ridiculous and futile gesture. “Don’t make me call in the National Guard.”

“Only your mom can do that.”

“I do a great imitation of her over the phone. Fools everyone.” He smiles just a little and tilts his head. He’s not above being ruthlessly cute. “Sit down, okay?”

Steve sits, but he looks wary. Steve is TJ’s first shot at something real since he tried with Sean, and Steve’s all but said he hasn’t had one since Peggy Carter. Steve also looks like he’s contemplating how fast his super strength and speed can get him out of the apartment before anyone could grab him.

“Okay, let’s start at the beginning.”

“Our beginning wasn’t great.”

“Shut up.” TJ points a finger at him. “I’m gonna be honest right up front. I do want to have sex with you. I don’t think that’s something I’ve kept a secret. But this other stuff? I like that too. Hanging out with you. Hanging out with your friends. I just… I guess I just didn’t understand why the sex wasn’t part of it.”

“You still don’t.”

TJ exhales, then nods. “I still don’t.”

“Okay, well.” Steve sighs and frowns at his hands. TJ keeps quiet, which isn’t his strong suit, but everything feels incredibly fragile. “I never had sex before the serum. Even with Peggy. Lots of people want to and have had sex with Captain America. It’s a little embarrassing, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I was a little… enthusiastic about using my new body to my advantage. I was a twenty-seven-year-old guy, who was horny as fuck and had women and men suddenly more than willing to do things to him. With him. Whatever.”

“And that hasn’t changed.” TJ nods slowly. “And there’s little to no chance of anyone getting to know Steve Rogers.”

“I thought maybe it was me. That I wasn’t interesting or anything beyond the serum. I mean, I have friends. But they’re friends as much out of necessity as anything else.”

TJ shifts on the piano bench slightly and kicks the heel of Steve’s foot. “Lots of people wanted to fuck the President’s son. The entire time I’ve been sexually active I’ve been the President’s son. I don’t think a single person besides my family has ever met TJ Hammond.” Steve doesn’t smile, but it’s not a smirk either. “I guess maybe I’m so used to people just wanting to fuck me that I didn’t even consider the possibility you wanted to get to know me.”

“Your last relationship ended… publically long after it actually ended. And my last relationship ended about seventy years ago.” He laughs softly. “We’re kind of a mess.”

TJ moves over to sit next to Steve on the edge of the bed. He watches their hands as he threads his fingers with Steve’s. “I like Steve Rogers. A lot. Even if his friends cheat at poker.”

“I like TJ Hammond a lot.” Steve leans in and presses a soft kiss against TJ’s temple. “Even if he is the President’s son.”

They’re quiet, leaning on each other until TJ clears his throat. “Does this mean you’re going to let me play with your shield?”

“Depends. Is that a euphemism?”

**

“TJ. I need you to do me a favor.” TJ looks up as his mom comes into his office. She’s never been in his office. He wasn’t even aware she knew where his office was.

“Does it involve taking the blame for a political scandal?”

“Not this week.” She sets a stapled pile of papers on his desk.

“What’s this? He glances at the title and frowns. “This appears to be some sort of law? Bill? Legal thing with numbers after it. I’m not actually a politician, Mom. I think you’re looking for my twin.”

“I”ve been talking to the Avengers PR team, and I can’t get any traction. I need you to get this to Steve.”

“I’m sorry, what?”

“It’s important, TJ. It deals with the aftermath of battles fought by super-powered beings. If Steve could just read it and, perhaps, lend us his support…”

“You want to use my relationship with Steve to further your political agenda.”

“Of course not, honey. I just want you to give it to him to read. Just read. How he reacts after that is entirely up to him.”

“Mom. I know that politics is an insulated world where things are done differently than from the rest of the universe, but what you’re suggesting actually is using my relationship with Steve to further your political agenda. And I’m not going to do that. In fact, doing that undermines everything that we’ve agreed our relationship is about.”

“Well, then, perhaps you could read it, and if you’re convinced…”

“It’s the same thing, Mom. I’m not going to do that. I leave politics here at the door when I leave. I don’t bring it home with me. I don’t bring it into our relationship.”

“He’s having a relationship with a Hammond. He’s having a relationship with the President’s son.” His mother’s voice is sharp and strong. Her Presidential voice. TJ really needs to stop having people in his life who have official-level voices. “Whether you like it or not, your relationship is political. Do you not think that dating Captain America is a boon to the Democratic party? To my Presidency? I know you’re not that naive. Do you really think that if it wasn’t, you’d be with him?”

“You didn’t give a shit about what happened with Sean until it was used to your benefit, so I guess that makes sense.”

“You didn’t have a relationship with Sean Reeves. You had sex with a man who was using you to…”

“You don’t get to tell me what my relationship with Sean was. And you sure as hell don’t get to tell me what my relationship with Steve is or isn’t.”

“This bill is going to pass, TJ. If he and the Avengers have some input, it can only be to their advantage. Read it.” She taps it with a manicured fingernail. “You tell me what works to his benefit.”

TJ stares at the paper after she’s left, tossing it in his trash can. He ends up giving it several glances before the end of the day and, when it’s time to go, he’s halfway out the door before he turns around and grabs it, shoving it in his briefcase. He curses himself all the way down to the car, but only because he knows he’s going to read it. The only thing he can hope is that he doesn’t agree with his mom.

**

Steve is lying on top of TJ, mouth hot and hungry on his. His slim hips are cradled by TJ’s thighs and his hard cock is rubbing along TJ’s through the thin cotton of their boxer briefs. TJ breaks the kiss to breathe, arching upward as he wraps a leg around Steve’s waist and thrusting. He knows there’s a dark stain of wetness on where his cock has smeared pre-come against the fabric, and he knows it’s about to get messier as Steve nuzzles just below TJ’s ear and kisses the hinge of his jaw.

“Fuck,” TJ curses. He pants roughly as his hips jerk, as the heat of his orgasm floods between them. Steve groans softly as he thrusts against him a few more times and then everything goes hot for a few moments as Steve comes as well. “I think if we ever actually achieve penetration I’m going to die.”

“You make it sound like Mission Control is going to announce the moment. ‘We have penetration. I repeat, we have penetration. Asshole has been breached.’”

“Breaching is bad in space travel.” TJ nips at Steve’s collar bone. “And I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t a Mission Control announcer for you getting dick. I bet there’s even a sperm drill sergeant somewhere in there. ‘Attention, men. We must go into enemy territory. Do it for freedom.’”

Steve looks down at him, completely straight-faced. “We are never having sex again.”

TJ laughs and wraps his other leg around Steve, grinding against him. “You’re lying. The nation will be so disappointed.”

“I hate you.”

TJ shakes his head and pulls Steve’s head down so he can kiss him. It’s slow and warm and deep. “You’re lying.”

Steve grins down at him. “Yeah. I am. However, I’m not lying when I say I need to clean up because my little soldiers are going to have us sticking together in a way that body hair is going to regret.”

“Oh, please. Always call your come your little soldiers.” TJ laughs and kisses him again. “Pretty please?”

“Asshole.” Steve braces himself and carefully lifts off of TJ. “You okay if I shower?”

“Don’t use all the hot water.”

“Why do you live in this place again?” Steve calls out as he goes into the bathroom.

“Because it is one-hundred percent mine.” He stares up at the ceiling, smiling in contentment. They’re still going slow, but they’re both on the same page now, so it feels good. It feels right. He reaches down and lifts his hips off the bed, tugging off his underwear and using the dry bits to wipe himself off. He’s less worried about it sticking than he is about it getting cold now that Steve’s not on top of him.

The water cuts off, and TJ gets off the bed to grab his clothes. “I really need to ask my mom if I can be in the situation room whenever you get a call. I mean, if JARVIS liked me better, I guess I could go to the Tower. Stark probably has better tech.” He looks up from where he’s grabbing a new set of boxer briefs. Steve’s standing in the middle of the room, towel hanging loosely and precariously around his waist. It looks one stiff breeze away from falling to the ground, and TJ swallows.

Steve’s frowning at something on the top of the piano, and TJ realizes exactly what it is when Steve looks up at him.

“I thought you dealt with the administrative side of things.”

TJ swallows. “I do.”

“This isn’t administrative.”

Shaking his head, TJ tries to catch Steve’s eyes. “No.”

“Do you know what this is?”

TJ shakes his head. “I haven’t read it yet.”

Steve exhales loudly. “It’s regulations. On people like myself. Me and Banner and Wanda. The ones who the government says aren’t completely human. Who don’t have powers only augmented by training and technology. They want us to submit ourselves to scientific study. They want us to be under the purview of the United States, even though Wanda’s not even a citizen. They want us to be the bullet in their gun.”

“Mom wouldn’t do that.”

“Maybe not, but the politicians would. And then they could fight over who has control over us, who gets to sic us on whatever country the U.S. is pissed off at this week. Section five, paragraph four wants it on record that, because the U.S. military financed Project Rebirth and I didn’t officially die in the ice, I am still government property and, as such, should be housed and only accessible to the U.S. Army.”

“Mom said the Avengers PR department hasn’t agreed to look at it.”

“It’s on a computer somewhere, and we have Tony Stark.” Steve puts the paper back on the piano. “Let me guess, she wants you to convince me it’s all for the best.”

TJ nods. “I told her I wouldn’t. She told me to read it. That’s the only reason I have it. I swear. Trust me, I’m the last person to want the government to have control over someone.” He walks over to Steve and stands close, pressing his forehead to Steve’s chest. “Stark has contacts, right? He’ll get the bill killed, right?”

“Probably. For Bruce’s sake if nothing else.” He scratches his fingers through TJ’s hair. “You should shower. I’ll start dinner.”

“Okay.” He pulls away reluctantly and starts toward the bathroom. He stops when he gets to the door. “Steve?”

He looks over his shoulder. “Yeah?”

“I don’t give a damn about my mom’s politics -- where she stands or her political agenda. She told me it’d be good for you, so I agreed to read it. I would have said no.”

Steve walks over to TJ and wraps him up in his arms, pulling him close. “I know.”

**

“Mr. Hammond. You need an appointment! Your mo… The President. TJ!”

TJ’s mom looks up as he enters the Oval Office, tapping her fingers against the desk. “It’s all right, Ellen. I’ve got this.”

“You have a meeting in ten, Ms. President.”

“Don’t worry, Ellen.” TJ gives her a tight smile. “This won’t take long.”

Ellen looks from him to his mom and then nods, hurrying toward the door and shutting it behind her.

“I take it you read over the bill.”

TJ tosses it on her desk. “You know this won’t pass, right?”

“Yes.” She straightens up and thumbs the edge of the pages. “I do. Which is why we’ve been pestering the Avengers PR team. I want them to know about this. I want them to be angry about it, and I want it to get beaten down in Congress rather than me having to veto it and be accused of doing it for my son’s boyfriend.”

TJ stands there for a long minute and then shakes his head. “Don’t use me again.”

“It’s just politics, honey.”

“Yeah? And my coming out? My relationship with Sean? My suicide attempt? My ODs? Were they all just politics, Mom? Because I thought they were my fucking life. Why do I keep forgetting that this family will use anything and everything to get what they want?”

“You’re part of this family, TJ. Don’t forget that.”

“I keep trying, but it hasn’t stuck yet. I’ll leave you to your meeting.”

“Don’t forget dinner tonight.”

“I’d rather rot in hell. Tell Nana I love her.” He leaves the office, shoulders tight with anger. He pulls out his phone and dials Steve’s number.

“Rogers.”

“Busy?”

“I’m about to go in and spar with Thor.”

“Would it be weird for me to come watch and jerk off to that pure piece of pornography?”

“Well, you just made it weird.” Steve laughs. “I thought you were working.”

“I think I just quit. No. I know I quit. So, if you’ve got some free time and want to spend it with a delinquent who can’t even hold down the job his mother gave him…”

“Quitting doesn’t mean you can’t hold down the job. This about me?”

“No. It’s about me being tired of being another game piece.” He sighs and leans against a column outside the office, closing his eyes and pressing his head back against the brickl. “So. If you’re not busy.”

“Come on by. I’ll let the security guards know you’re on your way. Please don’t jerk off on the observation deck.”

“Even if Clint, Sam, or Natasha are doing it?”

“My team, TJ. They are my team, and I don’t need to think about them doing that. Ever. Please. Have mercy on this old man’s weak heart.”

“Pfft. Weak heart my ass.” He climbs on his bike and sits astride it. “My heart’s going to give out before yours does. Possibly from watching you and Thor. Promise me there’ll be oil? Can there be oil, Steve?”

“You’re a horrible person, and you should be ashamed of yourself.”

“No one told you to date an ex-addict with authority issues.”

“Actually, Tony says that makes you perfect for me. See you when you get here.”

TJ stows his phone and pulls on his helmet, starting the bike, letting it rumble to life between his thighs. His bike isn’t anything near what Steve’s is, but it does his job, letting him weave in and out of DC traffic. He hears his name and glances over his shoulder to see Doug walking out of the building. TJ waves a hand like he didn’t actually hear him and takes off, not looking back.

**

No matter what promises he made, TJ can’t help but press a hand against his dick now and then. Both Steve and Thor are shirtless and sweaty and TJ’s seen porn that wasn’t this hot. Thor lunges for Steve and Steve does the thing where he makes himself small, sliding between Thor’s legs. He grabs Thor’s ankle and jerks it, sending him tumbling down to the mat. He’s barely hit it before he’s bouncing back up. Steve’s already on his feet, a huge grin on his face that vies with Thor’s for sheer intensity and joy.

He hears the others come in, Natasha and Clint and Sam and Tony. TJ hadn’t known he was in DC, so it’s nice to hear his voice. Natasha hums softly. “JARVIS, we owe you flowers for letting us know this was happening.”

“I have nowhere to put flowers, Ms. Romanov, but the sentiment is appreciated.”

“Tony, make him virtual flowers, a virtual vase, and a virtual table for him to set it on. Everyone deserves a place to put flowers. Holy shit.” The last part is a whisper as Steve drops his head, driving his shoulder into Thor’s abdomen and lifting him off the ground, tossing him over his back.

“JARVIS.” Clint moves closer and sits right next to TJ, leaning closer to the glass. “You might want to drop the temperature in here a few degrees. It’s getting very warm.”

“I can’t believe y’all are objectifiying them, man. They’re your teammates, and they deser… Wow. Holy shit.” Sam stumbles over to the seat on the other side of TJ. “I don’t think what they just did is legal in, like, five southern states.”

Thor pins Steve to the mat, but Steve thrusts up his hips, throws Thor off, then propels himself to his feet. TJ actually whimpers, and he thinks he’s not the only one. There was a noise that sounded suspiciously like Tony.

“JARVIS, buddy. You’re filming this, right?” Tony asks, his voice an octave higher than normal. He clears his throat, his voice dropping back down in its normal range. “For review. For battle tactics.”

“For watching in bed in the dark,” Natasha says.

“Yeah. Uh. That too.”

Suddenly Steve smiles and Thor grabs his hand, shaking it and slapping Steve on the shoulder. TJ can see the dark hints of bruises on Steve’s skin, and he knows they’ll be gone by the time Steve showers. Which is a pity, because TJ would really like to get his hands on those bruises.

“Are you guys all done ogling my boyfriend?”

“Speak for yourself,” Clint says haughtily, not even close to pulling it off. “We were all watching Thor. Who else was in there? Some guy? I didn’t even notice.”

“Mm-hm.” TJ flips Clint off without even looking. Steve looks up toward the observation room and raises a hand. TJ rolls his eyes. “In that case, I’m not showing you the photos I took before you guys got here.”

“I can hack your phone,” Tony says with a shrug. “So I can also access any dick pics you feel like sending. Or get him to send to you. Though I would pay good money for incontrovertible proof that Steve Rogers took and sent a dick pic. Good money.”

“Trust me, none of you are seeing Steve’s dick.”

“I’ve seen it.” Natasha shrugs and looks blase. “It’s just as ridiculous looking as any other guys’. Mushroom with a hangover.”

Sam shakes his head. “I hate all y’all. Seriously. Why did I sign up for this again? What stupid-ass reason did I think made this a good idea? What sales pitch?”

“I think Captain America just looked at you and said please,” Clint says with a shrug. “That’s his usual modus operandi. Effective too. The fucker.”

They take the open-air platform down from the booth to the floor. Thor comes out first, hair wet and hanging down his back. He’s a golden tan all over, and TJ wonders exactly how many people -- male and female -- have offered to be his surfboard and let him ride them through the waves. He can feel the stain of a blush heat his cheeks, so he quickly looks away.

Of course, Steve’s standing right there when TJ turns his gaze, and he’s smirking, gleefully smug looking. “My own boyfriend, betraying me for the next hot blond to walk by.”

“Hey!” Clint calls out. “That’s just mean, Cap.”

“Oh, sorry, Clint. Didn’t see you there.” Steve grins at him and slips an arm around TJ’s waist, tugging him close. “Hey.”

“Hi.” TJ turns his head and rests his forehead against Steve’s. “How do you feel about an excessive amount of unhealthy food, cold beer, and enough ice cream to fill seventeen olympic swimming pools?”

“Sounds like you had a bad day,” Sam says.

“That's putting it mildly.”

“Well.” Steve closes his eyes and tugs TJ just a little bit closer. “I think that Tony’s probably ordered a shitload of food for all of us, so if you can hang around with these miscreants for a while longer…”

“I am not a miscreant,” Natasha says, her voice sharp.

“Excuse me,” Steve says with a smile. “Miscreants and a fierce, formidable badass.”

“Better.”

“I just watched the two of you, half-dressed and sweaty, wrestle with each other for almost an hour, and you want me to spend the evening with the rest of your friends, pretending I don’t want to drag you by your little spandex pants into your room so I can strip you out of them?”

“It seems polite.” Steve’s smiling still, and TJ thinks he might punch him. Then he leans in closer, moving his head so his breath is against TJ’s ear. “I’ll make it worth your while,” he whispers.

“You just have everyone deluded into thinking you’re a nice, clean-cut guy, don’t you?”

“Mm. I’m great with the parental sector. Little do they know that telling their kids to grow up to be like Captain America means something a little different than they think it does.”

TJ sighs. “Fine. Food with the usual band of idiots --”

“That’s super-powered idiots to you,” Tony calls out.

“And then I’m dragging you to your room by your little spandex pants.”

“I’m so amazingly okay with that plan.”

“Now who’s the master strategist?” Natasha smirks and turns on her heel, heading back to the main floor and the entertainment room.

“Me,” TJ informs Steve. “She means me. I’m going down in the history books now.”

Steve huffs a soft laugh against TJ’s neck and it sends hot shivers through his blood. “Maybe going down on history.”

“Oh god,” TJ chokes on a laugh. “How long have you been waiting to use that. Please don’t tell me that was one of your pick-up lines in bars.”

“It works.”

“It worked.” TJ lifts his head so he’s looking directly at Steve. “Because it doesn’t work on me, and if you’re using it on someone else, we need to have a little bit of a talk.”

“Bet I still get a blow job.”

**

When TJ wakes up the next morning, he’s alone in Steve’s bed. He knows Steve’s out running, because he is wrong and thinks mornings are for outdoor exercise rather than getting a workout in bed. It’s a good thing TJ isn’t jealous of Sam, otherwise he’d have to wonder about Steve’s predilection of spending the mornings with him instead of TJ.

He gets up and makes his way into the kitchen. One of Tony’s ridiculous espresso makers is gathering dust on the counter, since both he and Steve bypass it to use the French press. Steve says he doesn’t have enough PhDs to run it. TJ’s just afraid he’d end up in an Iron Man suit destroying national monuments.

Though that might be fun.

TJ’s on his third cup of coffee when the front door opens. Steve and Sam come inside like a herd of elephants, heading for the kitchen. They go straight to the fridge. Steve grabs a container of orange juice and tosses it to Sam, then grabs a bottle of Gatorade for himself. Over half of the fridge is devoted to Gatorade and orange juice.

“You both have a problem.”

“Yeah,” Sam quips, tilting the orange juice down so he doesn’t spill any on himself. “You’re in your underwear.”

“That’s not a problem for me,” Steve assures them both.

Sam and TJ both flip Steve off. “We could still be in bed, Steve.”

“Nah. You’d have clawed your way past me for coffee by now.”

“I am hearing so much more than I need to about your sex life.” Sam finishes the orange juice and tosses the glass bottle in the recycling. “I’m gonna go home and take a shower. I’ll meet you this afternoon?”

“Ugh. Yes.” Steve makes a face at his Gatorade bottle. “Senate oversight committee.”

“Is that when this whole bill thing is going to come up?”

“Yeah. Sadly, Wanda’s out of the country and so is Banner, so I get to be the enhanced human of the day.”

“Out of the country, huh?”

“Yeah.” Steve shakes his head woefully. “Totally unrelated to them being subjected to dealing with this.”

“Yeah. Terrible timing.” TJ gets up and pours two cups of coffee and hands them to Sam and Steve. “You want backup? This is the sort of thing I’m good at.”

“Tony’s going to be there with lawyers. Pretty sure he’s got us covered.” Steve leans in and gives him a quick kiss. “But thanks.”

“And this has nothing to do with my mother and her agenda?”

Steve’s brow furrows, and TJ has a moment of panic at his look. Finally Steve shakes his head and leans in to kiss him again. “Nothing about us has to do with your mother or her agenda.”

Sam shakes his head. “I really should have expected this of you, Rogers. Pretty sure you’re the only person in the world who could manage to deliberately have a relationship to piss off the President.”

“Eh, anyone I dated would have caused problems. Besides, maybe I vote third party.” TJ snorts and Steve smiles. “Steve Rogers was a very adamant socialist back in the day.”

“As opposed to now.” Sam finishes his coffee, rinses the cup, and sets it in the sink. “Y’all go do your thing. I’ll see you later.”

“You don’t have to be there.”

Sam raises an eyebrow and gives Steve a quelling look. “I know you didn’t just say that. You think I want to face my mama if she knows I didn’t have your back? I ain’t that dumb. I want my holiday meals.”

“Yeah, yeah. I’ll pick you up.”

“No you won’t. I’ve seen the way you ride that bike of yours. Despite popular belief, being an Avenger doesn’t mean I have a death wish. I’ll get a ride with Tony and show up in proper style.”

“I have no style. Tony wants me to show up in uniform. Lend some more weight to the situation.”

“You think they’ll let you take the shield through the metal detectors?”

Steve grins, sharp and wolf-like. “You think they’ll try to stop me?”

Sam laughs and waves as he heads toward the door. TJ moves closer to Steve, slipping under the arm Steve raises and resting against his chest. He places his hand on Steve’s sternum, directly over where the star from his uniform would be. “What time do you have to leave?”

“We’ve got the afternoon session.”

“Good.” He runs his hand lightly up and down Steve’s chest. “I’ll go get in bed, and you can come in and wake me up properly.”

“By bringing you more coffee?”

“You try that. See what it gets you.”

Steve laughs. “Pretty sure that works just as well at winning me your affections as anything else does.”

TJ rolls his eyes. “Just get naked and get in bed with me.”

“I’m all sweaty.”

TJ goes up on his toes and licks from the base of Steve’s neck to just below his ear. “I like the taste of salt.”

“Naked. Right.”

**

TJ watches it all on C-SPAN and regrets his choice more and more as the hearing goes on. Steve’s spine gets straighter and straighter, his jaw clenched tighter and tighter. He’s eloquent as hell, because he may be a disaster at personal communication and suck at flirting, but no one can beat him in the field of public and inspirational speaking.

Of course, none of the senators are listening. They’ve all already made up their mind. One of them is going on and on about responsibility and the need to be accountable when Steve interrupts him.

“We’ve been more than accountable. We have paid restitution and helped with construction, and if you think every single one of those lives doesn’t lie uncomfortably on our souls and our shoulders, then you know absolutely nothing.” He stands up, and the crowd murmurs in the background.

“Sit down, Captain Rogers.”

“I signed up for this. I agreed to risk my life to become this because I wanted to help my country. I’ve given my life for this country more than once. You have, since the beginning, trusted me to do what is in the best interest of people. Not just the U.S. It was a world war. It was only our war because it was brought to us. Now you’re saying that you don’t trust me. Trust us. That’s fine.”

Steve walks around the table, and TJ sucks in a breath, holding it as he hears the security guards go on alert. He knows there are guns pointed at Steve, just as well as he knows that not one of them will fire on a national icon. He hopes. Steve’s gaze goes around the room and he nods, and TJ’s not sure he’s ever seen anyone look so sad.

Steve ignores security after that look and walks straight up to the dais the senators are sitting on. “You think you need to be safe from me.” He nods like he understands, then grabs his shield.

Panic shoots through the crowd, gasps and a “shit” that sounds suspiciously like Sam. Steve looks at the shield and runs his hands carefully over the edges of it before turning it so the red, white, and blue faces the senators. They all duck as he raises it, flinching when he slams it deep into the desk in front of the committee head.

Another gasp rises up, and Steve very carefully and very slowly strips out of the uniform until he’s down to nothing but his leggings and tank top. “Now you’re safe. Find someone else to wear it.”

This time the “oh shit” is very clearly Tony, and the camera pans across his face as Steve walks past him toward the rear of the chambers. Steve doesn’t turn his head, but there’s a tight smile on his face that fades as soon as he’s past Sam and Tony.

TJ stares at the screen until the doors shut behind Steve, then he scrambles to his feet, grabbing his shoes and hopping down the hall, trying to get them on as he heads toward the door. “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.”

He jerks his jacket and the coat rack topples over. Dodging out of the way, he doesn’t bother locking the door as he runs downstairs and out to his bike. He ignores the two motorcycle cops he picks up halfway to the Capitol building, ignores the guards as he blows past them into the rotunda.

Steve’s sitting there, head bowed, hands between his legs. TJ gets a brief flash of the picture of Steve from the Smithsonian, the thin, sickly kid he was before the serum. He’s seen Steve look small. He’s never seen him look defeated. “Hey.”

Steve looks up, and his eyes are red, but there’s no sign of tears, no sign of anything. “Hey.”

“Did you know you were going to do that?”

He shakes his head. “If I did, I would have brought clothes and a helmet so I could have left instead of waiting for Tony to give me a ride home.”

“Come on.”

“I don’t know if that’s a good idea.” Steve nods behind TJ and he turns to look. There are three guards with guns pointed at them, flashing police lights outside the doors, and a host of cops clearly waiting for one wrong move.

“Would you believe this is not the worst reaction I’ve ever gotten?”

Steve huffs a laugh that looks like it hurts. “Yes.”

TJ walks over and sits next to him. Without even thinking about it, he reaches over and slides his hand between both of Steve’s. “Would you believe me if I told you I love you?”

“No.”

This time TJ laughs. “What if I said I had a massive crush on you?”

“I could probably buy that one.”

TJ turns his head and rests his forehead on Steve’s shoulder. “What do you think they’re going to do?”

“Tony informed them that my original agreement to the serum was I was legally contracted to the U.S. government until my death and, technically, I was declared dead, since Howard testified that there was no way I could have survived the ice.”

“So it’s null and void.”

“No one thought to put in a ‘unless he’s revived after seventy years in the ice’ clause. So no one owns me. But they own the copyright on the name and the image. So technically, everything I left them was Captain America.”

“Tony’s a wily little bastard.”

“Don’t call him little. He has a complex.”

“Really? The big metal suit would have never given that away.”

Steve’s laugh is more genuine this time. He rubs TJ’s hands between both of his, warmth seeping into TJ’s skin. “Mostly I think he was really excited about getting to prove his father wrong.”

“A daddy complex too. I get it.” TJ kisses Steve’s shoulder. “I’ve got one of my own.”

“You’ve sort of got a mommy complex as well.”

“I like to be well-rounded.” TJ sighs. “I suppose I should go deal with all of that, huh?”

“Well, they don’t seem to be going away. I promise to bail you out of jail.”

“Of course you will. Why the hell else do you think I’d date you?” TJ uses his free hand to catch Steve’s chin and turn his head, kissing him warm and soft. “I think I could love you.” He keeps looking at Steve, watching his eyes. “Do you think you could let yourself be loved?”

Steve flinches. “I don’t know.”

“We’ll work on it.”

**

He doesn’t actually get arrested, though he does get an impressive speeding ticket. They drive back to Steve’s at a much more sedate pace. Tony promised to get Steve’s bike back to him, so he’d gotten a ride with TJ. When they get to Steve’s, TJ turns to look at him, bike idling. “You want me to come in?”

Steve actually seems to think about it, which surprises TJ. He eventually shakes his head, which doesn’t. “I’ll call you later?”

“Yeah. You’d better.”

Steve leans over and kisses TJ’s cheek and then TJ turns his head so he can kiss him properly. “Thank you.”

“Of course. Get some rest, okay?”

“Maybe.”

“That’s the best I can ask for, isn’t it?”

Another laugh, and this one sounds the same as the ones before. “Sorry.”

“Don’t be.” TJ kisses him and squeezes the back of Steve’s neck. Steve smiles and slips out of the car, disappearing into his apartment building. Sighing, TJ gets back on the road. “Dial NR.”

The sound of the car dialing is loud, but Natasha’s voice is quiet. “I’m already on my way.”

“Good. So this actually qualifies as an emergency, and I’m not going to find myself hunted by the Black Widow.”

“It’s an emergency, but I promise nothing else. On a scale of one to ten?”

“I don’t know him that well, but I’d say a seven.”

“I’ll call you.” She hangs up and TJ sighs. He’s done as much as he can, and it feels like he’s done nothing at all. He rides home and he hates that he craves a drink right now more than he has in a long time. Craves something stronger to take away this ache that’s in his chest.

It would be easy. So fucking easy.

He parks his bike, but leaves the engine running. He stares at the ceiling of the parking garage. He thinks, maybe just for a second, maybe for hours. He knows how to find sources. He knows plenty of people who would be more than happy to take his money and give him the bump that he needs. Craves.

He can practically hear the old announcements his Dad used to talk about from when he was a kid, that Captain America would be disappointed in you. He smiles as he turns off his car. Captain America would be disappointed in him. Steve would be disappointed in him.

None of that matters as much as the fact that, for once, TJ would be disappointed in himself.

**

He gets a text from Natasha several hours later. She tells him they’ve currently got Steve locked in the Avengers’ DC building and are forced team-cuddling him. TJ tosses his phone on the bed after sending a quick thank you to her. He’s staring at staff paper that, save for the staves, is completely blank. There’s something in his head that he can’t quite figure out, and he’s been running his hands over the keys since he got home, trying to find whatever it is.

He closes his eyes and bows his head, letting his fingers move. He plays through Scarlatti’s Sonata in D minor K141 without thinking, letting the music build around him. He looks over when he’s done, as if Steve might be on the bed smiling at him. Of course no one’s there, so TJ leans his head against the piano and stares at the empty bed.

“TJ?” Doug’s voice accompanies the knock on the door. “You want to let me in?”

“No.” He plays a sting, the traditional “dun-dun-dun,” before getting up and moving over to the door. He unlocks and opens it, stepping back with a bow and an arm sweep to guide Doug inside. “You asked if I wanted to,” TJ says with a shrug. “Don’t be pissed that you got an honest answer.”

“Who knew you and your boyfriend were both so dramatic.” Doug drops himself on the piano bench and taps a few keys. It takes him a few minutes before he looks up at TJ. “You okay?”

“You mean have I slipped up and called my dealer?”

“No. I meant are you okay?”

“Steve’s locked up with the rest of the Avengers and I’m sitting here alone staring at blank paper.”

“It’s not blank. It’s got lines on it.”

TJ smacks Doug on the back of the head. “You want a drink? I’ve got water, juice, Gatorade, milk -- oh, no. I don’t recommend the milk -- and some sort of cola that Steve brought me from Nairobi.”

“Water’s fine.” TJ comes back in and tosses a bottle at Doug before he walks over to the bed and sprawls across it. The last time he’d done that, he’d been draped over Steve, so he shifts and sits up.

“So. Here we are.”

“I didn’t honestly expect you to be here.”

“Who sent you? Mom or Dad?”

“Neither.”

“Nana then.”

Doug rolls his eyes. “Or I just came over because I care about you. Because, I’m not sure if you’re aware of this or not, but you’re my brother, and I actually give a shit about what happens to you. Crazy as that sounds.”

“Yeah. Does sound crazy.” TJ smiles at him. “He’s hanging out with the rest of the Avengers. I figured he might need it. A last hurrah or something.”

“You really think he’s done?”

“Is that Mom or Dad talking?”

“Seriously?”

“Yeah, Doug. Seriously. Because the entire time Steve and I have been seeing each other, you haven’t said word-one about it. You haven’t congratulated me, you haven’t asked me a single question, you haven’t invited us over for dinner with you and Anne. So you’ll have to forgive me for being a little skeptical about this touching concern.”

“I’m here for you.” Doug puts his unopened water on top of the piano and walks over to the bed, sitting down on the edge of it. “I mean, he just gave everything up.”

“No. He gave up Captain America.” TJ can’t help the tightness in his voice. “I’m not dating Captain America. I wasn’t before. I’m dating Steve Rogers.”

“You can’t honestly believe you can separate the two.”

“I know what it’s like to wear a title. I’ve been the President’s son for a long time. But that’s not who I am, not all that I am. Just because that’s all anyone ever sees. That doesn't make it true.” He shrugs. “He’s more than just the suit and the shield.”

“The suit and the shield are what matter. Everyone’s freaking out about this.”

“If they’re what matter, then find someone else to wear them.” TJ shrugs. “Did Congress really think the Avengers were just going to lie down and show their belly? If they did, they’re stupider than I thought.”

Doug sighs and looks at his hands, then turns his gaze on TJ. “Even without the trappings of Captain America, he’s still enhanced. They’re still going to want him regulated.”

“I thought Mom wanted this killed.”

“Well, apparently your boyfriend --”

“He has a name.”

Doug sighs. “Apparently Steve walking out just made the thought of superheroes gone rogue seem more plausible. So you’d better hope that Stark has some pull. Or blackmail material.”

“He definitely has one. Probably has the other.”

“They’re talking internment camps, TJ.”

TJ’s gaze snaps up. “What?”

“There’s nothing official, but that’s one of the ideas being tossed around. Enhanced. Mutants. Just like the Japanese during his war. Round ‘em up, lock ‘em up.”

“How are they going to do that?”

“Rhodes works for the government.” Doug shrugs. “I don’t know anything for sure. I just know that there are talks.”

“Even if they managed to gather them and put them in camps, there’s no way they’d stay. They’re human fucking beings, Doug.”

“When has that stopped people?”

“Right. We should be like the fucking Nazis then? Or give into fear and lock completely innocent people up in the U.S. like we did before? Mom’s okay with this?” TJ gets off the bed and starts pacing the room.

“The ones who are willing to work with the government will have their freedom. They’ll have to do what they’re told and go where they’re sent, but…”

“Right. Okay. So they’ll be the bullies for the U.S.? Why go to war and kill millions of people when you can just send in the superhero cavalry to do it for you?” TJ shakes his head and wraps his arms around himself, trying to keep from clenching his hands into fists and failing miserably. Doug doesn’t quite look at him and TJ freezes. “You want this. You want them regulated.”

“No.”

“You do. Is it because I’m with him? Is that what this is about?”

“I don’t care who you fuck, TJ. I never have. You know that!”

“But you don’t like him.”

“I think he’s bad for you.”

“You think Captain America is bad for me.” TJ laughs incredulously. “If that’s the case, who exactly stands a chance? Or am I just supposed to spend the rest of my life lonely?”

“You being with someone enhanced…” Doug stops, obviously having second thoughts about what he’s about to say. “It sends a message.”

“Get out.”

“TJ.”

Get. Out.” TJ drops his hands to the side and doesn’t bother hiding his white-knuckled fists. “My sexuality has been used for most of my life as a political tool. You think I give a shit if me being with Steve fucks up Mom’s political plans? You think I care that it might reflect badly on whatever bullshit agenda her party has? I’m almost forty years old, Doug. If Mom’s problems revolve around who I’m fucking, her presidency is in a lot more trouble than you think.”

“I’m trying to remember if there was ever a time you weren’t a selfish asshole,” Doug snaps. “But it’s been a lifelong thing, hasn’t it?”

All the anger drains out of TJ, flooded away by a sharp hurt. “No. I took the blame for a lot of things because I knew how much it mattered to you to be the good kid, and I knew it was never going to be me. You did it on your own, I’m not saying that. Even I couldn’t make you look as good as you actually are, but I was there for you. Even if you don’t remember it at all.”

**

He’s at a restaurant, which means it’s totally not a bar, and the three glasses of wine he’s had aren’t really drinking. They’re part of the meal, enhancing the flavor. Steve Rogers has been declared in contempt of Congress and, due to the fact that, without the Captain America trappings he is no longer a member of SHIELD, the threat he poses as a non-regulated enhanced being makes him legally a criminal.

Or that’s what FOX News is saying.

There are news cameras and reporters outside of TJ’s apartment building, Avengers Tower, and Steve’s apartment. He knows there are at least three paps outside waiting for him, but the owner was nice enough to seat TJ in the corner, out of sight. He knows there are probably more cameras in the alley, just in case Steve tries to sneak in and see TJ.

He looks up from his phone in surprise when someone slides into the seat across from him. He’s pretty sure he’s never going to be used to Natasha Romanoff. “I’d ask how you got in past the press, but I’m pretty sure you’d just give me that look that says I’m such a cute child.”

“You’re smarter than half the Avengers if you’ve got that figured out.” She takes the wine glass in front of him and drains it. “I’m stealthy. Steve is… noticeable.”

“Ya think?”

“He misses you.”

“It’s mutual.” He stabs a piece of chicken, then pushes the plate across the table. Natasha leans over and grabs a fork from another table and starts eating. “He’s okay?”

“No. Well, yes and no. He’s Cap-okay, which isn’t okay at all, but definitely not Steve Rogers-okay, which is closer to most people's actual okay. Congress wants Tony to turn him over. There’s a place -- a prison -- that was created to contain aliens. Thor. The Hulk. Us.”

“That’s where they want to send him?”

“That’s the rumor. It’s a black ops level thing.” She looks TJ in the eye and holds his gaze. “It would be horrible if the general public found out about it.”

TJ bites his lip before his mouth curves into a smile. “I can imagine. The outcry.”

Natasha slides a folder to him, her other hand swirling the pasta around her fork. “It’s shit like this that makes you wonder who the good guys are.”

TJ opens the file and skims the first page then closes it quickly as his stomach lurches. “Jesus.”

“Steve doesn’t have any mind powers, so they wouldn’t put an electric hold on him, except Steve is also one stubborn asshole, so they’d probably use it as additional restraint. Anyway.” She signals the server. “Can I get two more orders of this to go?”

She looks at TJ in confusion, and he just nods. Once she’s gone he looks at Natasha. “For Steve?”

“Yeah. It’ll be like you had dinner together hours apart and in completely different buildings.” She looks at him assessingly. “Do you love him?”

“What?”

“Steve. Do you love him.”

“If I do, you’re certainly not the first person I’m going to tell.” He wraps his fingers around the stem of his empty wine glass and tilts it from left to right. “We’re taking things slow. I think both of us need that. Need to figure it all out. We’re both extremely public entities. It takes a while to break down walls you’ve had up for a long time.”

She seems satisfied with that answer, smiling like a cat with cream. “I’m so happy I don’t have to kill you. Steve would be a pain in the ass to deal with if I did.”

“Well, that makes two of us.”

**

“Get in.”

TJ glances over to the car that’s pulled up alongside him. “I assume you know who I am, so I can assume you know that I’m not stupid enough to actually do that. Most kids learned ‘stop, drop, and roll.’ I learned ‘how to not get kidnapped.’”

“TJ. Get in.”

He mouths the word “Steve” before hurrying over to the car, climbing in the back seat as soon as the door opens. He slams it shut behind him and ignores everything else to move to the other side of the car and straddle Steve’s lap. “You asshole.” He kisses him, hungry and desperate. His hands frame Steve’s face and, when he breaks the first kiss, it’s only so he can drop a series of kisses over other parts of Steve’s face. “You absolute asshole. Fuck.”

Steve puts one hand in the small of TJ’s back and pulls him even closer so that the space between them is negligible. The other hand slips into TJ’s hair, and his fingers curve around the shape of TJ’s head and tilt it, fitting their mouths back together.

“Excuse me, Captain?”

Steve breaks the kiss with a low groan and tilts his head to the side, looking at the driver in the rearview mirror. “Yeah, Happy?”

“You want to go north?”

“No!” TJ shakes his head. “The Avengers Tower and compound up there are going to be under surveillance. Uncle Sam wants you for an entirely different reason than the one you were promoting back in your day.”

“It’s okay. We’re not going to the compound.” Steve’s hand rubs along TJ’s spine. “Yeah. He said he didn’t mind, right?”

“He never goes there.”

“Doesn’t mean he wants me there.” Steve sighs softly. “But we’ll take him at his word.”

“It’s usually pretty good, Captain, sir.”

Steve nods and shifts back so he’s looking at TJ. His hand stays at TJ’s back but the other one slips from TJ’s hair so he can slide his thumb along TJ’s jaw. “I actually am kidnapping you.”

“I got in the car of my own free will. And, you know, I’m legally an adult.” He turns his head and catches Steve’s tongue between his teeth, licking the pad of it before releasing it.

“If they actually go for criminal charges, you’ll be in trouble. Aiding and abetting at the very least.”

“I’m just having an impromptu vacation with my boyfriend. Haven’t seen any social media or news. I’d even toss my phone out the window, but I think there are some incriminating photos of you on there.”

The driver makes a noise and Steve sighs. “They’re not dick pics, Happy. You’re just used to Tony.”

TJ laughs and leans in, nuzzling just below Steve’s ear. “How do you know I don’t have dick pics of you?”

“Because,” Steve turns his head and bites TJ lower lip lightly. “You wouldn’t have taken them without my consent.”

TJ sticks out his tongue and licks the tip of Steve’s nose. Steve jerks back, eyes wide with surprise, but he starts laughing. TJ watches and, fuck, Steve is beautiful when he laughs. The smile lines at his eyes and mouth seem to take the weight of the world off of him for a moment, and TJ wishes he could give Steve a way to do that permanently.

TJ just smiles at him until the laughter fades and Steve exhales. “I have to say, I was kind of disappointed in you.”

“Oh?” Something changes in Steve’s expression and TJ frames Steve’s face with his hands again, refusing to let him look away.

“Not a single dirty phone call? No sexting? I mean, I get the dick pics. That’s a certain level of intimacy. Or creepiness depending on whether or not they’re solicited, but c’mon. Mutual masturbation, Rogers. It’s a real thing.”

The color is high in Steve’s cheeks, and when TJ shifts on his lap, he can feel that Steve definitely isn’t opposed to the idea. “You’re allowed to initiate conversations.”

“Ah, but you were the one who just upended his life and was likely to be imprisoned. The guy in that situation has to instigate things. There’s a rule.”

“A phone sex rule?”

“Yeah. They still haven’t given you a manual, huh?”

“Doubt I’ll get one now.”

TJ wraps his arms around Steve’s neck and leans in, hugging him tightly. He doesn’t move, just breathes against Steve, in time with him. Both of Steve’s hands circle TJ’s waist and he holds him close.

He doesn’t mean to fall asleep, but he wakes up when the car stops. He’s not sure where they are other than at a gas station, but they’re not parked at the pump. It’s a second beyond that before he realizes he’s alone in the car, and he nearly brains himself on the edge of the door in his haste to get out. He lands on his hands and knees and curses, stumbling to his feet and looking around wildly.

“TJ?”

Steve and Happy are standing a few yards away; hot relief floods through TJ and he hurries over, moving close as Steve lifts his arm to wrap around him. “Sorry. Panicked.”

“It’s okay.” Steve smooths TJ’s hair down. “Didn’t mean to frighten you. We’re just waiting for our ride.”

“I thought we were in our ride.”

“Happy has to get back to DC. Clint’s going to pick us up.” He tugs TJ closer, and TJ goes more than willingly. “You don’t have to stay.”

TJ looks up sharply, about to say something when he realizes Steve is talking to Happy, who is shaking his head. “I can just see me explaining that to the boss. Yeah, just left the Captain and the President’s son in a field in rural Pennsylvania. I’m sure they’re fine.”

“Okay. Okay.” There’s a distant sound and Steve looks upward. “But I think you’re safe to go now.”

Happy looks up as well and shrugs. “I’ll wait until he lands.”

“Were you always this way or is this just exposure to Tony?”

Happy just smiles as a helicopter settles down nearby. It’s quieter than a helicopter should be, but the Stark logo on it makes it less of a mystery as to why. Stark’s probably invented wilder things than a near-silent helicopter. Happy nods as Clint waves at them then sketches a quick salute to Steve. “Captain.”

“Please don’t do that.” Happy’s grin widens as he starts back to the car. He’s almost there when Steve calls out to him. “Happy? Tell Tony… Tell him thanks, would you?”

He nods, then ducks into the car. Steve takes TJ’s hand and leads him over to the helicopter, both of them climbing in and getting settled. Clint looks over his shoulder at TJ. “Hey, Cap. Hey, President’s son.”

“You can call me TJ.”

“Sorry, kinda deaf. Hard to hear. Hang on.”

**

Clint lands in what TJ supposes is an incredibly rich person’s equivalent of a lawn. His parents have money, and he’s lived in the White House a significant portion of his life, but this is a level above. “This is Tony Stark’s place?”

“Not quite.” Steve waves as Clint takes off again, then takes TJ’s hand. “Howard Stark’s place. Tony is violently opposed to ever stepping foot here, so he thought this would be a good place for me to hide out. Someone might eventually think of it, but given Tony’s issues with his dad, it’s not going to be the first thing anyone thinks of. Of course, if they knew about mine and Tony’s love-hate relationship, they’d probably think this was the perfect place to look.”

“So, Howard Stark’s place. I think Dad was up here for a party before Stark died. He didn’t ever really talk about it, but it’s always sort of shrouded in awe. It takes a lot to really earn his respect, and I think Howard did. Though, given what I know of Stark’s lifestyle, it may just be that they’re kindred souls.”

They ascend the steps and then Steve opens the door. “JARVIS?”

“Hello, Captain.”

“JARVIS. Hey.”

“Mr. Hammond. I hope you’re well.”

“Much better than last time we hung out.”

Steve’s frowning at TJ. “What are… Never mind. What’s our situation, JARVIS?”

“Everything’s been readied for your stay. Mr. Stark had food delivered under the guise of the lawn care service. Save for the Avengers, no one has any idea that you or Mr. Hammond are here. Though I do suggest, Mr. Hammond, that you let your family know that you’re safe. The added fuel of a presidential family member going missing is only likely to exacerbate the search for you and the Captain.”

“I don’t want anyone tracing the call.”

“I can assure you that if you call from inside the house, there’s absolutely no way your call can be traced.”

“I really like you, JARVIS.”

“Had I the capability, Mr. Hammond, I’m certain it would be mutual.”

TJ grinned and looked around the room. “Okay, I should get the call out of the way, and then we can do a tour, huh? How many bedrooms do you think this place has?” He turns his gaze back to Steve and lets it rake up and down his body before meeting Steve’s eyes. “How many do you think we can take advantage of?”

“You’re a menace.”

“Hey, I’m not the wanted man in this situation.”

Steve gives TJ and slow, wicked smile. “That is very much a lie.”

TJ takes a step closer and reaches up, running the back of his fingers along Steve’s jaw. They stand that way for a long moment, and TJ can’t look away from the bright blue of Steve’s eyes. “I’m not the subject of a nationwide manhunt.”

Steve turns his head and kisses TJ’s knuckles. “Only because I know where you are.”

“You’ve been reading Natasha’s romance novels again, haven’t you?”

Steve shakes his head, not moving away from TJ’s touch. “I missed you.”

TJ leans in, lips finding Steve’s easily. Steve’s hand settles in the small of TJ’s back and he pulls him close. Resting his hands on Steve’s hips, TJ suddenly gets the overwhelming feeling of home, something he hasn’t felt since his grandfather’s place when he was a kid. It’s almost like a tide pulling him under, and his lips part on something between a gasp and a sob. Steve starts to pull back, but TJ quickly wraps his arms over Steve’s shoulders, fingers laced together at the back of his neck.

He kisses Steve like his life depends on it, though it’s not the desperate kind of kiss that leads to them stumbling into a bedroom. It’s the kind that feels like CPR, the kind that feels like he’s breathing deeply when he can’t even catch his breath.

He deepens the kiss, pulling Steve in until their bodies are flush. Steve’s taller and bigger and broader, and it feels like TJ’s surrounded, safe. When he breaks the kiss, it’s hard to focus with Steve so close, but he doesn’t want to move away. “I should call.”

“You should call.”

“Fuck.”

Steve laughs softly and drops a light kiss on TJ’s lips. “Afterward.”

“Don’t make promises you’ve got no intention of keeping, Rogers. I know you’re saving yourself for a special occasion.” He eases out of Steve’s arms and pulls his phone out. He dials, sticking his tongue out at Steve who just smiles before disappearing into another room.

“TJ? TJ? Is that you?”

“Hey, Mom.”

“Where the hell are you? There’s video of you being taken off the street. Are you okay? What’s going on?”

“I wasn’t taken, Mom.” He sighs and walks into the living room or den or whatever it is and sits on one of the low couches. He strokes what seems like impossibly soft fabric smooth against his palm. “I went.”

“You’re with him. With Rogers.”

They both know it’s not a question, but TJ answers her all the same. “He’s where I want to be.”

“He’s a criminal, TJ. Do you understand that? You are aiding and abetting a criminal.”

“Have the other enhanced people been arrested? Have you passed that fucking law? Because if not, he’s not a criminal.”

“He’s acting like one.”

“He’s acting like a guy who just wants to live his life, but the government he’s sacrificed and risked his life for wants to control him, wants to monitor him. You guys want to make him a criminal because you think if you have him, all the others will fall in line. I’m not going to let you do that.”

“You don’t have a choice.”

“I do. And I choose him.” TJ exhales slowly, emptying his lungs until there’s nothing left. “Don’t worry though. People won’t care. It won’t reflect on you. They expect it of me. That’s my job in the family, right? Oldest son and biggest fuck-up. But I’m something else to him.”

“You’re what he’s going to use to get out of this. What you are is far more important to him than who you are.”

TJ looks up at the doorway where Steve’s standing. He looks tired and worn down and TJ has the overwhelming urge to find a bed and wrap them both up in it and pretend the world’s disappeared around them. “I love him, Mom. And he loves me.”

Steve smiles slowly, the blush spreading onto his cheeks. He tilts his head in a nod. TJ can’t help but smile.

“I gotta go.”

“Thomas James Hammond.”

“Bye, Mom.” He turns off his phone and drops it on the table. “Hi.”

“Hi.” Steve crooks a finger, gesturing for TJ to come to him. He gets off the couch and moves over, standing in front of Steve, looking up at him. His eyes are the kind of blue that TJ could get lost in, his pupils slightly dilated. “I want to show you something.”

“I’m all yours.”

Steve’s blush deepens, and it highlights the freckles on his face. TJ reaches up and runs a finger lightly over the warmed skin. Steve reaches up and takes his hand, leading him deeper into the house, through the huge main hall and toward the stairs.

“What the hell was Howard Stark thinking? That he was Hugh Hefner or something?”

“He’s the bunny guy, right?”

“Oh my god.” TJ tugs Steve’s hand until he’s facing him. “You know they’re not real bunnies, right?”

Steve’s grin is wicked. “Come upstairs with me.” He starts walking backward, pulling a more than willing TJ along. “Come live with me and be my love and we will all the pleasures prove.”

“You’re reciting poetry. Oh my god. Stop. You’re killing me.” TJ moves past Steve and heads for the stairs more quickly. “There once was a Captain named Steve. Who had battle plans all up his sleeve. What the world didn’t know was cock he loved to blow. So, c’mon Cap, get down on your knees.”

“That doesn’t rhyme.”

TJ stops on one of the steps and turns around, looking down at Steve. “The last part wasn’t part of the poem. It was more of a suggestion.”

Steve’s smile is as wicked as TJ’s probably is. His hands settle on TJ’s waist and then he moves them, quick fingers undoing TJ’s jeans. Hooking his thumbs in them, he tugs them and TJ’s boxer briefs midway down TJ’s thighs as he sinks to his knees.

TJ’s cock swells as Steve looks at him, holding his eyes as he moves his head, his tongue catching the tip of TJ’s dick, guiding it up, guiding it into his mouth. TJ’s head falls back as Steve’s mouth surrounds him, as the heat and wetness wrap around his dick. He reaches out for the bannister and wraps his hand around it tightly, glad for the support as Steve exhales through his nose, the puff of air stirring TJ’s pubic hair before he starts to move.

Steve sucks cock like a pro -- and TJ isn’t above admitting he knows that from experience -- and his hands hold TJ’s ass, squeezing the firm flesh as he guides TJ’s thrusts, as he sucks and swallows around TJ’s dick.

“Ch-christ, Steve.” TJ whimpers as Steve’s fingers dig in harder, as he urges TJ to move faster, thrust deeper. His free hand curls in Steve’s hair, holding his head so he can fuck his cock between Steve’s spit-slick, lush lips. Steve moans around him and swallows, contracting around TJ. “Christ.”

Steve moves one of his hands, bringing it around to between TJ’s legs. He lets it settle between the globes of TJ’s ass, grazing his fingertips against the sensitive skin before cupping TJ’s balls. They tighten and TJ’s hips jerk. He’s close and his knees feel like they’re going to give out, he’s light-headed and when he looks down, all he can see is the bright ring of blue behind the deep black of Steve’s pupils.

He frees his hand from Steve’s hair and runs his fingers along his jawline, feeling the hard thrust of his own cock as he fucks into Steve’s mouth. It’s too much, just enough to send TJ over the edge. His knees do give out, but Steve grabs his hips tight to keep him upright as he finishes sucking TJ off, mouth tight around him until TJ shivers from sensory overload.

When he pulls back, the wet sounding slide of TJ’s cock from Steve’s mouth is the last straw and TJ sinks down onto the stair beneath him. “Christ.”

“You said that.” Steve nips at the inside of TJ’s thigh and TJ shivers. It’s too much. Steve’s too much.

“H-how do you feel about fucking me?”

“Really good,” Steve says quickly, whatever self-imposed waiting period they’d both agreed to gone under the weight of being on the run, or maybe buried with the words TJ had told his mother, the fact that Steve had believed them. “Amazingly good. I mean, I think that’s something that I could, in good conscience, do. A lot.”

“Well, I’m certainly on board. Fully supportive. Rallying behind you.” He kisses Steve, tastes himself on Steve’s lips. “Or you behind me. Whatever position you want.”

“TJ.” Steve catches TJ’s chin and holds it, tilting his head slightly so Steve can kiss him in return, deep and hot and long. “Shut up so I can take you to bed.”

He nods in response, but the urge to have the last word is an impulse he’s never managed to control.

“Yes, sir.”

**

The bedroom Steve leads him to is something out of a porn set -- really high-class porn -- and TJ looks around wide-eyed. “I think this actually is the Playboy mansion. Either that or Howard Stark had a side business.” He pauses and frowns. “Or, conceivably, this is the bedroom Tony grew up in.”

“I’m not having sex with you in Tony’s bed. After that image, I’m not sure I’m having sex with you at all.”

TJ snorts. “Like you wouldn’t bang Stark. He’s hot.”

“Yes, but he’s Tony.”

“Hmm.” TJ walks over to the bed and bounces on it. “God, I love rich people. They have the best shit.” He lies back on the mattress and turns his head so he can look at Steve. “C’mere.”

Steve walks toward TJ and TJ’s seen enough TV footage to know the particular strut Steve is using, but generally it takes place in uniform, not in jeans and a t-shirt that are just too-tight enough to show Steve’s nipples are hard and tight. He keeps his eyes on TJ’s as he grabs the back of his shirt by the collar and tugs it over his head and off.

“You’re a work of art.”

“Science, really.” Steve unbuckles his belt and then undoes his fly. “It’s the idealized view of male beauty that makes you think of art.”

“No, it’s the fact that you’re fucking gorgeous and quit arguing with me.”

Steve drops his jeans and lets them puddle at his feet. His boxer briefs are tight, a wet spot dark at the tip of his cock. “Anything you do or don’t like?”

“I’m not fond of scallops.”

Steve snorts a laugh and bends over, tugging his underwear down. When he straightens up, he steps out of the pile of clothes, putting one knee on the bed and leaning in over TJ. “Menace.”

TJ’s breath shudders out of him. He reaches out and touches Steve’s shoulder, letting his hand run over his chest, flicking a finger against Steve’s nipple. “Nothing we’re likely to get into any time soon.” This time he runs his thumb over Steve’s nipple as he lifts his other hand so he can touch and tease them both. “How do you want me?”

Steve’s smile is strained as TJ teases his nipples again, and his body bows in toward TJ’s. “Is sobbing and begging a good answer?”

I…” TJ swallows hard. “Oh.”

Steve kisses him hard and quick, then pulls back. He shifts to sit on the edge of the bed and opens the drawer of the nightstand. He snorts and shakes his head. “I’d give you shit, Stark, but then I’d have to listen to you talk about my sex life. Again.”

TJ props himself up on his elbows and glances over. “Jesus. How many condoms are in there?”

Steve turns his head and grins, incredibly filthily and promising. “Enough to get us through tonight.”

“Oh Christ.”

 

“You’re wearing too many clothes.”

“Right.” TJ scrambles out of his shirt and jeans, kicking them toward the end of the bed. His breathing’s already a little rough when Steve turns on the bed again, eyes roaming over TJ’s body. He’s not hard again yet, because he’s not twenty anymore, but he can feel heat pooling at the base of his groin in a valiant attempt.

“You’re sure about this?”

“Are you asking me if I really want to go all the way?” TJ teases, but it’s light, almost shy. “I want you, Steve. More than anything.”

“Your mouth is going to get me in trouble one day.”

“I hope so.” He reaches up and hooks a hand around the back of Steve’s neck, pulling him down. Steve angles his head away so that his lips brush against TJ’s jaw. He nips at the skin as he moves over TJ, bracing himself above him as he licks his way up to just behind TJ’s ear, his breath making TJ shiver as Steve bites and sucks on his earlobe.

Steve alternates between kissing and biting and sucking, nuzzling at the top of TJ’s throat. Goosebumps rise up on TJ’s skin and he presses his thighs together, rolling his hips up. Steve doesn’t let their bodies touch and TJ whines. Steve presses a low laugh to the hollow of TJ’s throat. “Gonna make me have to hold you down?”

TJ whimpers. “What if I say yes?”

Steve licks along TJ’s collarbone. “I’d say our first time doing this might not be the best time.”

“So you’re just teasing me -- Oh.” TJ moans roughly as Steve’s teeth sink into the tendon at the base of his throat, digging in before scraping the skin as he pulls back. His gaze, as he stares down at TJ, is dark, lashes shadowing his eyes. “Kiss me.”

Steve nods slightly, then leans in, mouth fitting against TJ’s. TJ slides his tongue against Steve’s lips, then eases the tip of it between them, licking against the inside of Steve’s upper lip. Steve shifts his weight onto one hand and uses the other to cup the back of TJ’s head, adjusting their position so that their mouths slot together. TJ realizes he’s shaking, shivering at Steve’s touch. His body is still angled away and TJ can’t take it any longer, hands on Steve’s hips and sliding up to his shoulders.

Steve hums against TJ’s mouth, pulling back to look at him. His eyes, normally so blue, are black with just the barest ring of sapphire. His mouth is red and wet and TJ can’t help leaning in and biting the swollen flesh. “God, you’re fucking beautiful.”

The pink on Steve’s cheeks darken, his freckles showing through. “Shut up.”

“Much as I’ve lied in my life, you probably shouldn’t discourage me from telling the truth.” He kisses Steve again, biting and sucking once more. “God, I want to taste every inch of you.”

“I’ve got plans for you before we get to that.” Steve shifts, moving his other knee between TJ’s legs, spreading them further apart. “Can’t remember why I thought we should wait for this.”

“Me either.” One hand slides back down to Steve’s hip, moving further to the curve of his ass. He moves his other hand between them, cupping his palm over Steve’s cock. Steve presses into it, groaning softly. “Jesus. Been too long. Forgotten how big you are. Fuck, I need your cock.”

Steve groans again and pulls back, his breath hot on TJ’s chest. He kisses his way down, tongue curving around TJ’s nipple, sucking it tight into his mouth. TJ arches up. He makes a noise he can’t name. He can’t reach Steve’s ass any longer, so he grabs his shoulders, digging his fingers in.

Steve bites, teeth catching the hard nub, almost too hard, too much. TJ can’t breath, can’t think, mind whiting out. Licks and kisses lead Steve’s mouth to TJ’s other nipple, subjecting it to the same treatment. “Oh, shit,” TJ gasps, shuddering. His cock stirs and he can feel it harden against the slide of Steve’s abs. “Fuck.”

He can feel Steve’s laugh as it moves down TJ’s stomach. His tongue circles TJ’s navel, flicking against the trail of hair that leads to his cock. TJ’s hips cant up, wanting Steve’s mouth again, wanting to feel himself get hard on his tongue. Instead Steve moves, puts his hands under TJ’s ass, lifting TJ up onto his heels before edging closer, TJ’s knees pressed up to his shoulders.

TJ looks down and Steve’s grinning wickedly, eyes dancing as he licks his lips before flicking his tongue against TJ’s balls. TJ whimpers and then gasps as Steve ducks his head down further and his tongue sweeps over TJ’s hole.

“Oh god, Jesus, Steve. Fuck. Oh. Oh fuck.” His breath shudders out of him, and he can’t keep the words from falling out of his mouth. Steve licks and sucks and presses the tip of his tongue past the tight muscle of TJ’s hole. His heels dig into Steve’s shoulder blades as he tries to lift his hips higher. Steve’s mouth is hot; TJ’s skin shivers between the heat of Steve’s mouth and the cool air that dances over the wet skin. “Please. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck, your fucking tongue. G-god.”

Steve lifts TJ higher and pushes closer, tongue working inside him. TJ gives up on words and just whimpers, especially when Steve’s thumbs spread his ass open to allow him to get even deeper. TJ fists his hands in the comforter, slippery smooth fabric sliding against his fingers. He whines when Steve’s thumb moves, then gasps as, instead of moving away, it slips down and pulls at the muscle to open TJ up wider.

His cock is hard again, curving up against his stomach. His head falls back because he can’t watch Steve any longer without losing control, without grabbing him and pulling him up, pulling him inside him.

“God.” It’s hard to swallow, his neck so tight from the angle of his head. “Please. Steve. Fuck me. Please. Fuck me.” Tears are gathered in the corner of his eyes, caught in his lashes. “Pl-please.” He fumbles for the lube and reaches down, the bottle smacking into the top of Steve’s head. His laughter is practically a sob, especially when Steve laughs as well, and it fills TJ up.

His cock drips onto his stomach and he smacks Steve in the head again. Steve pulls back, his mouth wetter, redder. His teeth a sharp white as he nips at the sensitive skin of TJ’s inner thigh. “Pretty sure I can’t fuck you if I have a concussion.”

“If this gives you a concussion, I’m worried about the world. Now fuck me.”

“Bossy little bottom.”

TJ jabs his heel into Steve’s shoulder. “The only thing you should be thinking about my bottom is how soon you’re gonna get into it.”

Steve laughs again and moves up just enough to kiss the tip of TJ’s cock, sucking the head into his mouth until TJ hits him with his heel again.

“Fuck, I want you to come inside me before I come again. Please,” he begs through clenched teeth.

Steve groans and goes up on his knees, straightening his back. TJ’s legs are still over Steve’s shoulders and TJ wants to be bent in half, wants Steve pounding into his ass, fucking him like he’s equal to a superhero, like he can take all of Steve’s strength.

His muscles clench in anticipation of Steve’s fingers, and he forces a breath out at the touch of lubed skin. Steve’s finger is thick, pushing inside slowly, moving back out with each knuckle before thrusting in again.

Time speeds up and ceases and expands as Steve works finger after finger inside him. It’s too much and not enough and TJ does sob when Steve’s fingers work over his prostate again and again and then pulls out, slippery lube filling him as suddenly there are four fingers, the curved width of Steve’s hand inside him.

Ohmygodohmygodohmygod.” The tears are hot on his face, or his skin is so hot that they dissolve against his cheeks. “Fuck me, please, need you. Need your cock. Please. Please, Steve. God. P-pl-please.” He’s shaking, shuddering, falling apart and Steve’s not even inside him.

“Get the condom,” Steve growls. TJ’s cock jerks, pre-come dripping from the tip. TJ fumbles for the silver packet, ripping it open with trembling fingers. Steve takes it and TJ tries to breathe as he watches Steve work it over his cock. He slicks it up as soon as it’s sheathed and then he presses the head to TJ’s hole. He thrusts in, bending TJ’s legs back again as he braces himself. He rocks in shallowly, pushing deeper with every stroke.

He’s huge, even larger than he’s ever felt on TJ’s tongue. Even with the four fingers of stretching, there are twinges as his body conforms to his thickness. TJ can’t breathe, can’t think. He can’t do anything except take every thrust. He wants to watch, but holding his eyes open seems impossible. He reaches up, his hands against Steve’s jaw, thumbs over his cheekbones, needing proof that he’s real.

Steve moves in closer, and TJ moans, his open mouth a prime target for Steve when he kisses TJ. “Love you,” he breathes into TJ’s mouth and TJ feels the tears again. “TJ.” Steve’s hips stutter and then he feels the pulse of Steve’s cock as he comes. TJ feels the slick as he comes as well, the rub of Steve’s abs against him bringing him off.

TJ tries to kiss Steve, but all he can do is pant against Steve’s open mouth. Steve carefully eases TJ’s legs down. TJ can’t help but moan at the change in position, at the stretch of his body, especially with the thickness of Steve’s cock inside him, the knowledge that the serum means he’s still at least partially hard.

Steve rests his forehead against TJ’s and they’re both sweaty, both breathing hard. “Th-thought you were a super soldier. H-how come you’re o-out of breath?”

“Because I just fucked my boyfriend until he was sobbing and begging and I came harder than I think I ever have.” He pulls back and kisses the tip of TJ’s nose. “You look wrecked. Fucking beautiful.”

“I am wrecked.” TJ runs his fingers through Steve’s sweaty hair. “Not that I don’t wish we hadn’t been doing that for a long time, but you were worth the wait.”

Steve strokes his thumb along the side of TJ’s head and kisses him softly. “Shower?”

“Depends, can I blow you during it?”

“Can I stop you?”

TJ raises an eyebrow. “Do you want to?”

Steve bites TJ’s lower lip. “Get your ass out of bed, Hammond. You have a date on your knees.”

**

TJ wakes up to an empty bed. It still smells like Steve and, more strongly, sex, but without Steve there, it only feels empty. He gets up and tugs on his boxer briefs and his shirt. He heads down the stairs to the room where he can see light. The soft sound of voices is the familiar cadence of news anchors.

He walks in and sits on the arm of the chair Steve is in. He rests his arm along the back of it, combing his fingers through Steve’s hair. “Couldn’t sleep?”

“I’m terrible at sleep.” He tilts his head, moving into TJ’s touch. Did I wake you?”

“No.” He kisses the top of Steve’s head. “What are they saying?”

“You want the Fox News version or the slightly less biased version?” Steve doesn’t give him time to answer. “Some people want me arrested for being enhanced. Some so they can make me an example.”

“And the ones who don't want you arrested?”

“Well, there’s now a tumblr called ‘Undressed Cap.’ Natasha sent me a link.”

“Not me? And here I thought she and I were friends.” He tugs lightly at Steve’s hair. “I know not everyone’s calling for you in handcuffs, no matter how hot that might be in the right context. What’s the other side say?”

“Witch hunt. I’ve done enough for the country. I look really good out of my suit.”

“You look even better out of everything, but I’d rather not share.” He tugs Steve’s hair again. “I bet it’ll be better after today.”

Steve tilts his head, eyebrow going up. “What did you do?”

“Me?” TJ points at his own chest. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

Steve grabs TJ around the waist and tugs him into his lap. It’s ridiculous how much that turns TJ on. Steve rests his hand on TJ’s cock, squeezing lightly. TJ whimpers softly and lifts his hips, arching into Steve’s hand. “Tell me what you did, TJ.”

“N-nothing.” Steve pulls his hand away and TJ whines. “Oh, c’mon.”

Steve trails his finger from the tip of TJ’s cock to the base, crooking it slightly to scratch the fabric of TJ’s boxer briefs over his balls. He leans in and whispers in TJ’s ear, his voice deep and soft. “What’d you to, Thomas?”

“Wasn’t me.” TJ spreads his legs wider, slouching against Steve’s chest. Steve scratches again, down TJ’s balls and along his perineum. TJ’s head falls back onto Steve’s shoulder. Turning his head, he mouths along Steve’s throat. “Natasha made me do it.”

“I hear that excuse a lot.” He turns his head and kisses TJ’s temple. “Tell me.”

“She gave me some information. On the Raft.”

“Ah.”

“I have a friend. I mean, not just drug friends.” Steve frowns and TJ smiles at him. “Okay, not friends. People in the press who are worse than drug dealers, trust me.”

“Well, I don’t know any drug dealers, but I’ve dealt with the press.”

“They’re worse. Drug dealers are trying to give you something that will make you come back for more. The press just wants an ounce of your flesh.” He shivers. “Anyway.”

“So you gave someone in the press the details of the Raft.”

“And video. They were nice enough -- if that’s the right phrase -- to record what they did to Wanda. She told me they said they were going to question them about Hydra, and then they just disappeared.”

Steve’s face shuts down, a mask over his anger. The information that Natasha had given him had Steve’s debrief and an outline of how Tony had played both sides to get the location so they could break the captured Avengers out.

TJ gets off Steve’s lap, then turns so he can climb on again, facing him as he straddles him, and draping his arms over Steve’s shoulders. “Hey.”

Steve smiles, but there’s nothing in it, none of his usual life. “And the people who think that’s the best place for us? Where we should be -- locked up until they need us?”

TJ grabs both sides of Steve’s face, framing it. “Who you are isn’t a goddamned crime.” He kisses him hard then pulls back. “None of you. And the majority of us, hell, of the world, believes that.”

“After Sokovia.”

“Yes. For fuck’s sake, yes.” He rubs his thumbs along Steve’s cheekbones. “You’re a good man, and people see that. I mean, hell, people still like me, and I’m a national fuck-up who has absolutely never saved the world.”

“You sort of saved me.” Steve exhales. “And don't talk about my boyfriend like that.”

“Mister, I’ve met your boyfriend. I’m being nicefuck me.”

“Yes sir.” Steve has a shit-eating grin on his face. He squeezes TJ’s ass, his fingers brushing along the cleft. “I’d salute, but my hands are busy.”

“I hate you.”

“Do you though?”

TJ leans and bites Steve’s lower lip, hard. “Steven.” His voice may not hold the gravity of Captain America, but he’s the soon of two presidents, so he manages some authority in his tone.

“Okay. Now I get why people say the Cap voice turns them on.”

TJ bites Steve’s lip again, tasting blood. Steve shivers, and his hands tighten. TJ’s eyebrows go up and he manages to swipe his tongue across Steve’s lip again before the skin heals and closes itself. “You like that?”

Steve’s eyelashes flutter, and his breath catches. TJ’s chest tightens in response.

“Oh yes. You like that.”

Steve changes his grip on TJ to under his ass, against the top of his thighs. His other hand slips into TJ’s boxer briefs, fingers brushing against his hole. “How long do you think it’s going to take to open you up again?”

“Too long. Wrap it up, lube it up, and fuck me.”

“Yeah.” Steve nods, fingers nudging the tight muscle as he carries TJ up the stairs. “Yeah.”

**

TJ wakes up alone and growls. “JARVIS, tell Rogers to get his ass back up here.”

“I assure you, Mr. Hammond, he’s already on his way.”

“He’d better be.” He raises his voice. “And this better not become a goddamned habit.”

Steve comes through the door carrying two cups of coffee. “You couldn’t have slept a few minutes longer?”

“Gimme.” TJ reaches for the cup. “Coffee. Now. Gimme.”

“Do I even matter anymore?”

“I’ll love you again after coffee.”

“Wow.” Steve hands him the cup and sits down on the edge of the bed. He refuses to let go until TJ leans in and kisses him. “Anything else that ranks above me?”

“We can debate pancakes later.” TJ takes a sip, closes his eyes, and exhales slowly. “Good coffee.”

“JARVIS made it happen.”

“Thank you, JARVIS. You now rank above Steve.”

“See if I fuck you again.”

“Aw, Steve. Don’t be that way.”

“Excuse me, Captain?”

Steve closes his eyes and opens them, obviously braced for bad news.

“Sir would like to speak with you.”

“Can you patch him in here or is he using a phone.”

“Hey, oh frozen one.”

Steve sighs loudly. “Tony.”

“Good news!”

“Oh?”

“They’ve called off the Cap hunt. Our little spider works in mysterious ways.”

“I dare you to call her that to her face. And she actually gave it to TJ to leak.”

“You spoil all my fun, you know that? I was going to surprise you.” TJ can almost hear Tony pouting. “I still think you should stay in your little love nest for a while. Some people still think you’ve been a very naughty boy.”

“Tony.” TJ pitches his voice so he sounds scandalized. “Don’t tell me you had JARVIS spy on us. Are you into my Stevie-bear more than you admit?”

“Okay. I’m going to go invent a machine that will make me forget I just heard that. I’ll be in touch.”

“Ah-ah. No threesomes, sorry.” TJ grins as Steve rolls his eyes. “I mean, unless that’s what you’re into”

“For the love of god and my sanity, don’t answer that, Cap.” Tony snaps before he cuts the connection.

“I never knew that dating you was going to be this much fun.”

Steve has a dark flush on his cheeks. “Drink your coffee.”

“I want another kiss.”

Steve takes a long, loud slurp of his own coffee. “I don’t know. This coffee is really good.”

“You spiteful little shit,” TJ laughs.

“Hey, if you don’t know that by now…”

TJ takes Steve’s coffee and sets it on the nightstand next to his own. Grabbing Steve’s hand, he pulls him closer. Steve goes willingly, crawling up the bed. He raises an eyebrow and settles on TJ’s lap. TJ rests his hands on Steve’s hips. “Okay. Maybe I like you better than coffee.”

“Maybe.” Steve nods. “I see.”

TJ leans in and flicks his tongue over Steve’s nipple. Steve bites his lower lip and releases a shaky breath. TJ breathes on the damp skin. “Maybe.”

The muscles in Steve’s thighs flex and TJ rubs them, the darker hair on Steve’s legs against TJ’s palms. Steve ducks down, trying to catch TJ in a kiss, but TJ pulls back.

“So. What’s the plan?”

“Well, I was planning on kissing you, pinning you down, and sucking you off.”

TJ raises an eyebrow and nods. “You make a compelling argument. And, as much as it turns me on that I turn you on…”

“Your point, TJ?”

“What are you thinking now? About your future.”

“I tend not to think about the future. It’s been surprisingly irrelevant in my life.”

“Well, I’m invested in your future. If that’s a thing we’re going to do.” A furrow forms between Steve’s eyebrows and TJ stretches up slightly to kiss him. “Are you serious about giving up Captain America?”

Steve’s quiet for a long time, catching TJ’s hands and weaving their fingers together. “Yeah.” When he finally talks, his voice is soft. He bites his lip, staring at TJ’s chest, but obviously not seeing him. “Is that selfish?”

“Have you ever been selfish?”

“The serum.”

“Maybe getting it was selfish, but you used what you were given to help save the world. You sacrificed your life. Even if it was selfish, you made up for it. You earned the right to it.”

“But I don’t know what to do if I’m not him.”

TJ hums softly. “How do you feel about being my kept man? Pool boy?”

“I don’t know. That’s probably my skill level. I didn’t finish high school.”

“You’re adorable.” TJ puts his hands on either side of Steve’s throat. “You have plenty to offer. You’re a master strategist. You’re a font of information. You could work at a school, work for almost any business. Hell, every major and minor political party.” He rubs his thumbs along the underside of Steve’s jaw. “You could go back into the movies.”

Steve snorts a laugh. “No one wants that.”

“I don’t know. You could have an amazing and profitable career in porn.”

Both of Steve’s eyebrows go up. “You’d be okay if I had a career in porn?”

“Oh, please. We could have a whole series. The Captain and the President’s Son. We could have sex adventures, like the old Hope and Crosby road movies.”

“There were no sex adventures in those movies.” Steve turns his head and shifts it down slightly so he can plant a kiss against TJ’s palm. “So I’m just going to be having sex with you during my mythical porn career?”

“You think I’m going to let my boyfriend fuck other people? Do I look crazy? What if he found someone he liked better?”

“He won’t.” Steve leans in and kisses him. “I think porn star is a little more than I can handle.”

“I don’t believe that for a second. But you keep believing that.” Steve bites the corner of his lower lip. TJ tilts his head slightly in response. “What?”

“I think…” Steve swallows and averts his gaze. “About New York.”

“What about it?”

“Moving back.”

“Oh.” TJ swallows, trying to keep his voice level. “So not interested in running for President, huh?”

“Your mom would be a tough act to follow.”

“So you’d move.”

“Maybe. I’m just thinking about it.”

“No. No. It makes sense. It’s where you grew up. Your roots are there. Your friends are normally there.”

“You could… I mean, if you wanted. You could come.”

“I quit my job that my mom got me, I live off the largesse of my family and what I make from the club. Not sure New York’s going to fly with the Bank of Hammond. They tend to, for some reason, think I might relapse.”

“Tony…”

“I am not living off the generosity of your friend.”

 

“He has a whole floor for me that I don’t use.”

TJ wishes Steve wasn’t on his lap, that there was a way to put distance between them. “But you’re not an Avenger. What if he kicks you out?” He tries to smile and probably fails. “What about when I fuck up and you’re done with me?”

“Wow. Okay.” Steve climbs off of TJ’s lap, and as soon as he’s gone, TJ wants him back. “I think that’s a conversation we need to have after the current crisis. Immediately after.”

“I didn’t mean…”

“I’m not Sean. And I’m not any of the other guys you’ve been with. Yes, I’m well aware I’ve had one actual relationship in my life, but I know it takes work, and I know we’re both going to fuck up. I’m going to fuck up.” Steve’s voice is tight, his breath short. “You plan on getting rid of me the first time I do?”

“That’s not --”

“Because if that’s the case, can you let me know now?”

“You’re not going to fuck up. You’re Ca…” TJ stops, his heart dropping at the expressionless mask that Steve’s face becomes.

“You’d be surprised how often Captain America fucks up. And Steve Rogers, well. That guy is a fuck up.”

“Steve.” TJ knows this is getting worse and worse, and he wants to go back and never start this conversation.

“I’m going to go downstairs and talk to Tony and Natasha. Strategize where I go from here.”

“Wait. Please.” TJ gets off the bed and walks over to him. Steve is still, spine straight. “I’m… Sean was the first real relationship I had. I know you’re nothing like him. You scare me because this has been so good, and I fell for you so fast. You are good. So good. And I am scared that I’m going to fuck this up. That’s all.”

“Seems like you’re already bracing for the end.”

I…” TJ sighs. “What I felt for Sean…”

“I don’t give a fuck about Sean,” Steve snaps. “He’s your past. I’m not like him. I love you and it's not fucking conditional.” He blows out a breath and turns, heading out of the room.

TJ drops back on the bed and sits there, chest tight as Steve disappears down the stairs. It’s hard to breathe, hard to think. He hears one of the doors close, and the sound breaks him out of the loop of his thoughts. “Oh, fuck.”

TJ runs out of the room and down the stairs. There are two shut doors, and TJ opens the door to one of them, cursing under his breath when he sees it’s empty. He goes to the other one, and Steve is sitting in a wingback chair, elbows on his knees and head resting on his fists.

“Were you asking me to move in with you? In New York?”

“It’s obvious it’s too early for that.” Steve lets out a heavy sigh and leans back in his chair. “I did it badly.”

“No. It’s just that all I heard was that you were leaving.”

“I don’t know what I’m doing, TJ. With my life, with my anything. I’d just like to do it with you. For a while or maybe longer. But I’m not him, not Sean. And if he’s still what you want, then you don’t want this.”

“It’s not. He’s not. He’s just my frame of reference. My whole family is the definition of fucked-up relationships, and I’ve never had a good one. Please.” He steps closer, just far enough away that he’s not intruding on Steve’s space in case he’s not welcome. That thought feels like a punch to the solar plexus. “You're what I want. Who I want. I know I’m flucked up and neurotic when it comes to this, but I’m not lying about loving you. This is nothing like anything before. This is so much more. And… And I know I’m nothing like Peggy Ca --”

“I don’t want you to be. I already have a Peggy to love. I want a TJ Hammond.”

“He’s yours. I swear.”

Steve exhales again, and his breath shakes slightly. “This is probably all too soon. Talking about this in the middle of all this mess. When we get back to DC we’ll go back to what we were. Slow down.”

TJ bites the inside of his lips and nods. His eyes sting. “I guess…” He swallows and manages a weak grin. “Guess it didn’t take moving to another city for me to fuck it up, huh?”

Steve stands up and moves closer into TJ’s personal space. He cups his hand over the back of TJ’s head and pulls him in. TJ puts his head against Steve’s chest and breathes in again. “I really do need to call Tony and Nat. You can stay if you want.”

TJ nods. Steve pulls away and sits down again. TJ settles on the floor between Steve’s spread legs and rests his head on his thigh. TJ’s nerves are jittering beneath his skin, though they calm slowly as Steve’s fingers thread into TJ’s hair and ground him.

JARVIS connects Steve to the rest of the Avengers and TJ tunes it out, judging how it’s going by what Steve does with his grip in TJ’s hair. He turns his face into Steve’s thigh and swallows thickly. Now that the flood of panic is over, he can feel, recognize, the cravings. The bar’s across the room, and he knows that anywhere the rich live, there’s a place he can score.

He clenches his teeth and presses closer. Steve tugs at TJ’s hair. TJ looks up and Steve tilts his head and rubs his hand on his thigh. “C’mere.”

TJ climbs up into his lap, hating how weak he feels. Steve turns his head and presses a soft kiss to TJ’s throat. His hand goes back into TJ’s hair, fingers scratching lightly. He turns his head, ducking it so he can kiss Steve. “I’m sorry.”

“Shh. We’ll work it out.”

“You still with us, Cap?”

TJ startles at Tony’s voice. “Shit. Sorry.”

“It’s fine,” Natasha says. “We’re done here. I’ll email this intel to you and we can go from there.”

“Be sure to clean all of your feathers out of the love nest.”

“Tony,” Steve sighs.

“Don’t spoil my fun.”

“You’ve had enough fun in your lifetime. Bye.” He presses a button on his phone and kills the connection.”You don’t have to worry, you know. We’re okay.”

“I can tell you exactly how much coke I need to get high after all this time sober. I can tell you exactly how much coke I want to do.” He closes his eyes tight. “I’m an addict and I’m going to be one for the rest of my life. I’m going to take things personally, sometimes for no other reason than it’s an excuse for me to go out and get high.” Steve rubs his hand along TJ’s spine. “My mom and Doug think I’m sober because of you. But it’s not. I’m not. I’m sober and I want to be with you. If you left, I might think about it, but I wouldn't have a relapse. But I did spend all the time after you left the bedroom until now thinking about how easy it would be.”

“But you didn’t do anything about it.”

“Just thoughts. But I’m always going to think about it. Nature of the beast.”

“I don’t want to make things worse for you.”

“Well, I can promise that breaking up with me would make it worse. But if that’s what you want to do, then I want you to do it.”

“I don’t want that.” Steve kisses TJ’s temple. “I want to figure this out. Work this out.”

“Okay.” TJ exhales roughly then breathes in, letting this one out slowly. He can still feel the tentacles of panic, but they’re fading. He closes his eyes, curling into the warmth of Steve’s embrace. He falls asleep without meaning to and, when he wakes up, he’s still in Steve’s arms, his head on Steve’s shoulder.

Thunder rumbles outside, followed by an immediate flash of lightning. He starts and Steve rubs his hand along TJ’s back.

“Good nap?”

“Sorry.” TJ shifts a little.

Steve shakes his head and sets his tablet aside. “It’s okay. It’s been a stressful morning.” He turns his head and kisses TJ. “Feel better?”

“Yeah.” TJ stretches then settles back in Steve’s lap. “Did the three of you outline a strategy?”

“Mm. First up is a press conference. I’ll go into the city tomorrow and do that at Stark Tower.”

“Sir does insist it’s called Avengers Tower, Captain.”

“He’s welcome to call it that, JARVIS, but it’s his home, so it’s his tower.” Steve blows out a breath. “I’ll probably have to stay a couple days. Maybe a week. Probably have to do some interviews. Eventually talk to Congress again.”

“Unless there’s another alien invasion and you have to save the world.”

“I gave up all my world-saving equipment.”

“We both know you don’t need a shield to save the world.” TJ unbuttons the first fastened button on Steve’s shirt. He must have gotten it from his bag when he came downstairs. He rubs his hand along Steve’s sternum, between the curve of his pecs. “You’ll be at Tony’s.”

“Yeah. You could come with.”

“I think I should go home, actually. Face the firestorm that is my family. Plus, I don’t want to be a distraction.”

“But what if I like you distracting me?”

“I could hide in the podium or under the table and suck you off during your press conference.”

“That… that would definitely be a distraction.” Steve grins and kisses TJ. “My answers wouldn’t be very coherent.”

TJ laughs and lets his hand slide further under Steve’s shirt. “You’ll call this time, right? Not just a few texts?”

“Yeah. I’m sorry about that. I wasn’t exactly up to, well, pretty much anything.”

“I understand.” He scrapes a fingernail across Steve’s nipple. Steve shivers and TJ can’t help but grin. “But you can still make it up to me.”

**

Doug is waiting at TJ’s apartment when he gets home. TJ shakes his head. “Really? I don’t even get to put my stuff down first?”

“We got notice that Stark’s helicopter landed at Dulles. Since Rogers showed up in New York and you didn’t, we took a wild guess.”

“And then they sicced you on me?”

“Everyone’s… Concerned.”

“Don’t worry. No hookers and blow with Captain America. Mostly we strategize what to do about the fallout from this.” He gives Doug a sharp smile. “Tell me, did the Commander-in-Chief know about the Raft?”

“As a matter of fact, no.”

“And now that she does?”

“Mom wants you to come to dinner tonight.”

“No thanks.”

“It’s not really a request.”

“I am, however, almost forty, so I don’t have to do what my mommy tells me to do.” TJ sighs. “Look, I don't want to fight with you guys, but if you support this, I can’t support you. And before you ask, that would be the case even if Steve and I weren’t dating.”

“Because you gave such a shit about enhanced humans before you started fucking one?”

“Yeah. Because they are human. Pretty sad when I remember history better than you.”

“Well, you are the one fucking a World War Two vet.”

“So you do know what I’m talking about. You’re either just being willfully ignorant or you really think they’re not human.” TJ shakes his head. “Go home, Doug. Tell Mom I’m fine.” He moves past Doug and unlocks his door. “You know, I’ve got to be honest. I think you guys are more likely to drive me to a relapse than anything else.”

He shuts the door behind him, not turning to look back at Doug. He leans against the door and fights for air. He knows he probably went too far, knows that it’s not Doug’s fault, but the thought that his family might be spouting the same rhetoric that allowed for Japanese internment camps makes him sick.

His phone pings with a text and he smiles, replying to let Steve know he got home okay. He goes into the bedroom and falls face-first on the bed. He’d spent the flight home thinking -- about Steve, about Steve moving to New York, about what happens next.

He didn’t actually come to any conclusions other than the fact that he really is stupidly in love with Steve. He turns over and takes a picture of himself. His hair is messy with its hint of curls. He looks tired, and his face is flushed from being pressed against the mattress.

He sends the photo to Steve, telling him to have a good night. Steve sends back a photo of his face, his expression pure exasperation. He includes a caption that simply says, “Tony Stark.”

TJ laughs and forces himself to his feet, replying with a quick “I love you” before stripping down to his t-shirt and boxer briefs and climbing into bed.

**

TJ turns on his TV, wondering how many other people are doing the same thing, waiting to hear what Steve has to say. He stands in the doorway of the bathroom to brush his teeth so that he can watch. There’s a rep from Stark Industries, as well as Maria Hill, obviously making it clear what will and won’t be allowed.

The chatter dies off when Pepper Potts steps up to the podium. TJ can’t help smiling, thinking of Steve’s reaction when TJ had suggested how he spend the press conference. He spits into the sink and walks into the main room, settling down on the couch to watch.

“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming on such short notice.” Pepper is pure poise and grace, but it’s clear she has no intention of taking shit from anyone. “Captain Rogers will give a statement and then take questions.” She looks stage left and nods.

Steve walks out onto the stage and TJ chokes on his own breath. He’s seen Steve in a tux and in his military dress uniform, but he’s never looked quite like this. He’s wearing a pair of dark gray pleated trousers and a dark blue shirt. The top two buttons are undone. There’s something incredibly sexy in the casualness of it, in the complete lack of military bearing. It definitely gives the statement that Steve’s no longer Captain America.

Several reporters start to speak, and Steve stares at them each in turn until they go silent. The stare is definitely Captain America.

TJ shifts on the cushion and reaches down to adjust himself. He’s used to power, so it shouldn’t turn him on, but the way Steve wields it so it’s not directed back to himself is different from the politicians TJ’s used to do it.

“Thank you all for coming today. I’m sure there are a lot of questions. Like Ms. Potts said, I’m going to say my piece first, and hopefully some of those will be answered.”

He clears his throat, then swallows. His fingers trail along the edge of the podium, then he grips the sides. He’s careful with his strength -- TJ knows that well -- so even with Steve’s white-knuckled grip, the wood’s in no danger.

“First of all, what you saw and heard is true. I’ve given up the shield. My place and job as Captain America is now a thing of the past. I’ve officially stepped down from the Avengers. Stark Industries has been kind enough to host this, but this also ends my affiliation in any capacity save friendship. I am now retired. A civilian.”

It’s quiet enough that TJ can hear the reporters shifting in their seats.

“As for the government, I would advise against this registration versus imprisonment course. We are not the enemy. The world, America definitely included, has a history of blaming people for things that can’t be helped -- the color of their skin, their sexuality, their beliefs, their abilities. The majority of the enhanced individuals are that way because they were born that way. Those of us who weren’t are doing our best to live our lives without causing any harm.”

Steve takes a breath, letting his gaze sweep the room, making eye contact. “The Raft is, at best, a somewhat socially acceptable safeguard, or should be. What it really is, is an internment camp, a prison camp, a place where we hide away what is ‘other.’” He closes his eyes and exhales before facing the reporters again. “It’s where they took a teenage girl, locked an inhibiting collar around her throat, and put her in a straight jacket. Not because she was a threat, but because she was -- is -- different. And they were afraid.”

“You’re afraid of us because we have what you call powers. Not skills or attributes. Not tools. You call them powers and give them power. Are you afraid we’ll lose control? That we’ll kill or subjugate you?”

“Humans have controlled and killed, subjugated and enslaved throughout history. Before there was a serum. Right now you’re afraid of those who have powers beyond what you have. You target us because we’re not real to you. We’re caricatures and comic book characters. But the truth is that we’re not super-human. We’re all too human.”

He lets out another shaky breath, and TJ can see the resignation in Steve’s face, as if he knows his words are falling on deaf ears.

“And since I’m sure there are more than a few tabloids out there, I’ll address one more thing. Yes, I’m bisexual. I love Peggy Carter and always will. But that doesn’t invalidate my feelings for anyone else I chose to be in a relationship with. Nor do my feelings for that person lessen what I felt and feel for Peggy.” Steve’s eyebrow is up and there’s a slight smirk on his lips. “And to save you all from asking, yes. I’m in a relationship with TJ Hammond. Yes, I know his history. No, it’s none of your business. And no, what President Barrish and her government think has absolutely nothing to do with our relationship. I don’t love him because of or in spite of his mother. I’m simply in love with him.”

TJ grabs his phone and unlocks it, though it takes a few tries before he actually gets the code right. He texts Steve a string of exclamation marks followed by an all caps text of, you said you love me on national television. He can tell when Steve’s phone vibrates by the wicked smile he gives. The sight of his expression causes the person asking Steve a question to stop mid-sentence.

The woman clears her throat and starts again. “Captain Rogers, who do you think should take up the mantle of Captain America?”

“First of all, I think the name is misleading, though I imagine any attempt to change it wouldn’t work. My goal was has always been to be an ally, not a jingoist. I don’t -- didn’t -- fight for America, even in the war. And, as an Avenger, my mission was to go where I was needed. To hopefully inspire the values we’ve adopted as ‘American.’”

TJ wants to send another text, but it’s clear this is the most important thing to Steve. This is defining his legacy far beyond the propaganda, the star-spangled man with a jingle.

“I know several people who could put on the suit and take up the shield. I know non-enhanced humans who fought alongside us in New York and Sokovia who didn’t need a costume to be heroes. But, for better or worse, I know my voice carries weight. And I have no intention of putting the burden of that weight on anyone’s shoulders.”

He nods at another reporter, the only one with his hand up in the split second after Steve’s answer. “If you aren’t guilty, why did you run?”

“I had just essentially given up my identity. None of you know Steve Rogers. None of you care about Steve Rogers except that he became Captain America. I didn’t run. I hid away for a while to try to figure myself out.”

“And that included kidnapping the President's son?”

Steve smirks and, in one sentence, shuts the reporter down. “I can assure you.” Steve’s voice is pure velvety insinuation. “TJ came very willingly.”

TJ types furiously. Oh my god, you just talked about our sex life in a press conference.’

“Captain, what are your plans for the future?”

“Well, TJ is definitely in my plans. Beyond that, I’m not sure. One more thing I have to figure out is what makes me happy.” Steve smiles and nods. “Thank you for your time.”

He walks off the dais, ignoring all of the called-out questions. Before the scene kicks back to the news anchor, TJ sees Steve pull out his phone. TJ smiles and waits.

**

“Are you serious?” TJ huffs. “Your press conference ended hours ago.”

“There were things I had to take care of.”

“You could have sent me a text. For all I knew you could have been kidnapped.”

“Why is it kidnapped for adults? Also, I can take care of myself.”

“I know you can, but it’s my job to handle you now. I mean, someone should have been doing that all along since you do some stupid shit.”

“Not anymore. I’m retired.”

“Yeah,” TJ snorts. “Sure. But I’m pretty sure your stupid shit isn’t just limited to Avenging.”

“You know, if you’re going to bust my balls, I’m hanging up.” When TJ doesn’t respond, Steve laughs. “Hey.”

“Hi. You’re still an asshole.”

“You told me to call. I’m calling.”

“Fine. You got my messages?”

“You know I did.”

“You could have at least --”

“TJ.”

“Texted back.”

“TJ.”

“I mean that’s only courte --”

“Are you in bed?”

TJ stops mid-rant. “What?”

“It’s late. Are you in bed.”

TJ pauses for a long moment. “Yes.”

“Me too.” Steve’s voice drops, low and warm. “Wish you were in it with me.”

“It’s mutual.”

“What do you wear to bed when you’re not with me?”

“Same thing I wore when you stayed over before. Underwear.” His breath feels like it’s sitting at the base of his throat, poised. Waiting. “The gray ones you like.”

“The gray ones that are a little tight or the older pair that barely stays on your hips?”

“Older. Better for sleeping.”

“You know they’re so threadbare you’re practically naked, right?”

“I’ve seen you look.”

“Do you remember the last time you wore them?”

“N-not sure. Remind me?”

“You were stretched out on your bed, sprawled really. I came in and you waved, but didn’t look up from what you were reading.”

“What was I reading?” He asks, just to be a little shit. But the words come out rough.

“I didn’t notice. I was too busy crawling up the bed, getting between your spread legs.

TJ shivers because he does remember. “I think it was Band of Brothers. Maybe Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation.”

Steve hums and TJ swallows hard.

“And then I licked you from balls to tip through that soft cotton. Sucked on you until the fabric was wet, until you begged me to stop because it felt like every thread was attached to a nerve.”

“Sounding… It’s sounding vaguely familiar.”

“But I didn’t. Just kept licking and sucking. Took your balls in my mouth, licked the head until I could taste your come. Sucked at the slit, tonguing inside it until you fell apart. Then I licked up your orgasm through the fabric.”

“O-oh.”

“They wet now?”

“Yeah. Yes.” TJ bites his lower lip, trying hard not to touch himself, not wanting it to end.

“You have any of those toys you talked about?”

“Yes,” TJ says, barely above a whisper.

“Get your favorites out and send me a picture.”

“Fuck, Steve.” TJ opens his nightstand drawer and pulls out three vibrators and two dildos of varying sizes. He takes a picture and sends it to Steve even though his shaking hands mean it’s blurry.

“Bet your ass looks amazing with that red one in it. Hole stretched so open.” Steve practically purrs. “Take off your boxers.”

TJ scrambles to do as he’s told, putting the phone on speaker as he settles back on the bed. “I’m ready.”

“Not if you’re going to get that inside you. Suck your fingers. Three of them. I want them slick and sloppy wet.” TJ must make a noise because Steve laughs softly. TJ puts his fingers in his mouth, sucking loud enough that Steve will hear. “Love your mouth. Love looking down and seeing your lips stretched over my cock as you swallow me down.”

TJ whimpers, still sucking.

“Should take a picture next time so you can see how fucking gorgeous you are.”

This time the whimper is a moan, TJ’s lips parting until he remembers to suck again.

“They all wet? All covered with spit? I want them to feel good when you reach down, when you trace them over your hole. Around it. Against it. That wet drag over that tight muscle.”

TJ moves onto his knees, spreading his legs wide so he can do what he’s told.

“Know you want them inside you. Know you want to get fucked. But I want you to do this. Tease yourself. Tell me how it feels.”

“Not wet enough. Not enough.” TJ gasps as he rubs his hole. “Need more. Fuck. Need you.”

“Hole too tight? Been too long since I’ve been buried inside you?”

“Yes,” TJ moans.

“Just press for me. Put your middle finger against it and apply some pressure. Just like me rubbing the head of my cock against you. Feel good?”

“Yes.” TJ bites his lower lip hard then sucks it into his mouth.

“How many fingers is it going to take to open you up for that clear one? Can you take it after just three? Get yourself slick enough to get it inside you? Still feel a stretch around it? Almost big enough to be my cock, isn’t it?”

TJ wants to do something more coherent than just whimpering and moaning, but Steve’s voice is a drug and TJ is a goddamned addict.

“Get two fingers lubed up. Dripping with it. Want your ass to look like I’ve come inside you when you're done.” TJ chokes on a sob and nearly pours half the bottle out on the sheets. He gets his fingers wet, coating them, fucking them through the puddle of lube in his palm. “You ready for me? Can you work one finger in? Just part way. Go slow. Take your time. Need you to be able to handle me when I get back.”

TJ gasps as he penetrates himself, reveling in Steve’s responding hum. Even after the breach his cock is still hard, leaking. He licks his lips and wills himself not to move without permission.

“Good? I know it’s good. Know how it feels inside your hot, tight ass.” Steve voice runs like flames along TJ’s spine. “Work it deep for me. Fuck up inside you.”

“Fu-fuck, Steve.” TJ chokes out. “Not enough. Not thick enough. Not like your fingers.”

“You need two? That what you need?”

“Yeah. Yes. Please.” TJ can hear Steve’s breathing, ragged and rough, but he knows if he lets himself picture him, there’s no way TJ’s going to last.

“Spread them apart. Gotta get you stretched enough to take my dick.”

TJ whimpers as he scissors his fingers. He knows no one would believe him if he told them what a filthy mouth Captain America has, but TJ’s pretty sure every word is dripping like honey from the mouth of Steve Rogers.

“You need three, TJ?” TJ’s on fire, nerves sparking, burning up. “Need three or can you take it deep now? Take me deep.”

It’s going to stretch and burn and maybe hurt, but TJ doesn’t care. “Yes. Now.”

“Get it wet. Dripping like your cock.” TJ whimpers again, Steve’s name the only prayer TJ’s ever said willingly. “Slow, TJ. Sink down on it slow. Feel every inch of it like you feel me. Take it as deep as I thrust my cock into you.”

TJ gasps at the slow penetration, glad for the spark of pain that takes the edge off his pleasure so he’s not quite on the cusp of losing control. “Fuck.” His face is hot, and he can feel tears at the corners of his eyes. “Want you. Want to ride you. Want you to fuck me. Come inside me.” He groans again as he bottoms out on the dildo. “Please.”

“Wish I could suck your dick right now. Suck you until you can’t move, until every muscle locks up and you come down my throat.”

TJ clenches around the toy, his slick hand wrapped around his cock. He tries to keep his strokes slow and even, but instead they’re desperate and erratic, out of his control.

“Gonna come for me?” Steve growls. “Fuck your come down my throat?”

TJ’s head falls back and everything else whites out, everything numb except for the pulse of his orgasm, the hot splash of come on his stomach. It seems to take a lifetime before he can move or hear, but when he finally does, he feels surrounded by Steve. TJ can hear him panting, gasping, the high-pitched whine that sounds like pure need.

“Want you to come in me,” TJ breathes, not even sure Steve can hear him. “Come in me. Want to feel you, hot and wet, filling me up even more, fucking your come deep inside me.”

Steve groans then goes silent, and TJ can remember the expression on Steve’s face when he comes, when he suddenly loses all his masks and becomes the young man he actually is.

After several minutes of silence, TJ speaks. It’s a whisper because it feels like it should be. “Can I take this thing out now?”

Steve laughs -- the open and honest laugh that TJ loves. “That what you’re going to say to me next time I fuck you? I mean, that’s romance right there.”

“Every word out of your mouth has been pure filth, Rogers. You’ve got no room to talk about romance.”

“Huh,,” Steve snorts. “First off, are you complaining right now? And secondly, I love you.”

TJ smiles as he shifts on his back, groaning as he eases the toy out. “Fuck.”

“Get some sleep.”

“You wore me out from two hundred and thirty miles away. You bet your ass I’m passing right the fuck out.”

Steve laughs softly. “You going to be recovered by tomorrow night? Or should I not call?”

TJ closes his eyes. This must be what happy feels like. “Call me.”