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Beside And Below You

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Winter crept into Tony's room, careful to avoid the guards and passing servants that walked the halls. It was child's play to sneak into the king's chambers, but then, he didn't have to sneak anywhere, technically. Tony had told him time and time again that he was allowed entry anywhere in the castle, but he didn't like the idea of walking to Tony's room and everyone knowing what they would be doing there. Everyone knew anyways, but it made him flush hot with shame when they gave him that knowing look. 

A pair of guards walked from their post towards the barracks, and Winter stepped from the alcove after they passed. Then it was just Tony's door in front of him, thick and dark. If he barred it, it would be extremely difficult for anyone to break it down. Winter pushed it open tentatively, still-- after all these years-- expecting for it to be closed to him. As always though, it went easily with his hand, the soft light from Tony's fireplace washing over him with a yellow glow. 

Tony looked up at the movement, then smiled when he saw who it was, lounging back in his chair. It still made Winter breathless to see that expression directed towards him. "Hey Winter." 

He padded over, kneeling at Tony's side. 

"You don't have to do that when we're alone," Tony said, sounding pained. 

"I know," Winter said, eyes closing as he leaned his head against Tony's leg. 

"You... want to?" 

Winter hummed. 

Tony looked at him for another minute, then gave a sigh. He threaded his fingers through Winter's hair and scratched at his scalp. "You could have come here with me earlier, you know." 

He made a noise, turning his face into Tony's leg so he was hiding. 


"People always look at me when I do that," he mumbled. 

"You're a concubine Winter, people will always look at you like that," Tony said, but his tone was understanding. "Ignore them. Who cares what they think?" 

Winter made another noise, frustrated this time. 

"Right, sorry." His hand slid down to Winter's neck, massaging at the muscle there. He paused when all he met was skin. "What happened to your necklace." 

"I took it off." 

Tony swallowed. "Did you not like it?" 

"It's beautiful," was all Winter said about it. 

Tony waited a bit longer for an explanation, but nothing was forthcoming. "It's okay if you didn't like it, but I wish you would have told me when I gave it to you so I could find something better." 

"The necklace is beautiful," Winter repeated. 

"Then why don't you want to wear it?" His hand came back up and started running his fingers through Winter's hair. 

He blew out a breath, tilting his head so that his chin was on top of Tony's leg. It wasn't a comfortable position, and he couldn't really talk like that. He leaned back, staring at the chair instead of Tony when he answered. "It's too beautiful. I feel ridiculous when I wear it, and everyone stares at me like I stole it." 

"No one looks at you like that." 

"It feels like it." 

Tony didn't know what to say to that, so he said nothing. "Come on, let's get to bed." 

"Did you want it back?" Winter asked, pulling it from his pocket. 

Tony blinked. "No," he said quietly, taking it from Winter's hand and fastening it around his neck again. "Will you wear it like this? When it's just you and me?" 

Winter nodded, catching Tony's fingers and kissing them before he could pull away entirely.