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Fireworks in the Dark

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Outside above the city, he can hear the fireworks as soon as they step out of the elevator, the sound loud even through the bullet proof windows of Stark Tower, because of course Tony is setting off a fortune in pyrotechnics right here, all around them. Upstairs in the penthouse suite, Steve could see the red-white-and-blue of it light up the night sky in every direction.

Here, though, now, there is only noise and darkness, and the warm press of Natasha's hand taking his.

“You all right, Rogers?” she says, and he is. When he blinks, his eyelashes brush against the inside of the blindfold she's tied around his head, a soft drag of velvet to remind him the dark is her doing, a state she's placed him in.

In the elevator, taking him away from the party, she pulled the strip of black fabric from her clutch and held it up, dangling it from her fingers. When he raised an eyebrow at her, asking, she cocked her head and smiled, the slowest tease. Surely I can give the birthday boy a few surprises? she said, and he bent his head, blushing, wanting, let her reach up and fasten the ties. Let her stroke her fingers through his hair, when she was done, down his neck, let her guide him out into her empty apartment when the doors opened.

“Yeah,” he says, and his voice is almost a whisper, pitched low as if the blindfold muffles more than light, as if it hides him away. He likes that, the thought of being hidden, after the roar of the party, after the busy brightness of the day. Everyone knows this is his birthday. Everyone celebrates it – not for him, but for their version of what they think he represents. And he's not complaining, there are good parts of that, the privilege of standing for something larger than himself. But it's tiring. So much about how people do things in this time is tiring. So it's nice, to be hidden away here in the dark. “Yeah, lead the way, ma'am.”

Natasha squeezes his fingers.

“Come on,” she says.

He follows where she goes, his footsteps in hers, trusting the path she chooses to be clear, to be safe. It's not a place she invites him often, or where she stays often herself, this apartment Tony has provided for her in the Tower, and Steve finds it's only a turn or two before he loses his sense of direction, before all he has to guide him is her – the pull of her hand, the sound of her heels on wooden floors and thick carpet, the faint scent of the perfume she's wearing.

It strikes him that she doesn't usually wear perfume, that she considers it an impediment to stealth. He wonders if this is for him, then, because she planned this, because she wanted him to have that added anchor point. His heart is racing, louder than the fireworks outside.

“Nat,” he says, her name, holding on to it. If he doesn't, he'll lose himself.

“Almost there,” she says, turning as she moves, her free hand taking his, so that she must be walking backwards through the labyrinth of rooms, tugging him with her. He remembers the height of her party heels, but he knows she never stumbles. “You're doing so well.”

It sparks something inside him, when she says things like that, a flare like fireworks in the space beneath the blindfold. A light to guide him the rest of the way, his steps steady towards her.

Then she slows, and stops, and her hands bring him all the way there, up to her, into the warmth of her body, the circle of her scent. She leans into him, her curves soft along his front, and places his hands around her waist. There is bare skin at the small of her back, her tight dress cut in complicated patterns of there and not there that allow him to touch her, brush his palm over the strength of muscle and spine.

“Mmm,” she hums, her hand on his chest through his button-down shirt, the other reaching up to his face, cupping his cheek. “That's it.”

She bends his head down, urges him to come to her, and he can't see her, can't read the look in her eyes or the flush of her lips, but he feels her breath, shares the air from her lungs just before her mouth touches his, and then he doesn't need to search or fumble, doesn't need to do anything but open to her, let her in. Around them, there is darkness and nothing else, nothing existing but the fixed point of her, the pillar of her body that she lets him cling to. She is all he has.

And then she isn't.

Even on the ridiculously soft carpet where they're standing, he should hear the footsteps, but he doesn't. Perhaps it's disorientation, perhaps it's distraction, the level of his focus on Natasha, but he doesn't know, doesn't sense what's coming, until he feels the weight of a hand on his shoulder.

He would whirl around and strike out, except Natasha's fingers close on the back of his neck, her forehead pressed to his, keeping him still, except there's a voice in his ear at the same moment as the touch.

“Hey, buddy, you enjoying your birthday?”


The way the readiness to fight instantly drains from him must translate to Natasha, because her grip loosens enough for him to turn his head. When he opens his eyes, though, it's still dark behind the blindfold, and for a moment it scares him, not being able to see Sam's face, not being able to catch the expression on his face.

But then Sam takes a step closer and lays his other hand on Steve's opposite shoulder, rubs his thumbs along the muscles of Steve's neck.

“Right behind you, Cap,” he says, and when Steve tilts his head, searching blindly, Sam is there, the stubble of his closely trimmed hair rough against Steve's temple, the heat of skin beneath, the solidity of bone.

All around him, there is blackness, but here, at the point where he's standing, another light turns on. He's floating in a dark, endless space, but at the center of it, a circle of light enfolds him. Natasha and Sam surround him.

“This is where you tell us if we've got you the wrong surprise, Steve,” Natasha says. “It's okay to turn it down.”

Instinctively, his arms tighten around her, holding her closer to him, even as he shifts his weight backward, seeking more of Sam.

“No,” he says. “No, please, it's perfect. I mean, if you both...” He swallows, wets his lips with his tongue. “If it's what you want.”

Natasha's fingertips are on his lips, then, silencing him.

“It's your birthday, Rogers. And we both want to give you as much as you can take.”

He shudders, his fingers flexing, digging into the bare skin of her back.

Both, which means her, which means Sam, Sam who's never touched him, not like this, not that Steve has ever dared to ask, but...

“I hear you can't get enough,” Sam says. His voice is deeper than Steve has heard it before, rougher. When he speaks, Steve feels his lips move against the edge of his jaw. “I hear you're always eager for more, always rearing to go one more lap.” He strokes down Steve's shoulder, his fingers curving around Steve's bicep, sliding back up. “I'd sure as hell love to see that.”

Steve whimpers, his body arcing between the two of them, unable to keep still. He's been hard since Natasha pressed herself against him, and it's worse now, better, with the broad heat of Sam behind him, the undisguised hunger in Sam's words.

“Please,” he says. “Anything.”

”Jesus,” Sam breathes, a warm gust of air against Steve's neck. It sounds disbelieving. Reverent. It makes Steve want to sink to his knees for him, be anything he asks for.

“I think Sam should get you undressed,” Natasha says, and her hands on him, Sam's hands on his shoulders turn him around, twist him in place until he's facing Sam.

Then Nat steps away.

“Natasha?” he says, and he can hear how close to frightened he sounds, but with the blindfold on, the loss of her touch is too much like losing her, like feeling her disappear in the dark.

“Still right here, Rogers,” she says, and her voice comes from really just right behind him. “I'm not gonna leave the room, okay? Neither of us is leaving the room without you.”

Her hand touches his back, there and gone again, reassurance.

“Okay,” he says, nodding. He feels small, vulnerable.

“Hey,” Sam says, laying his hand on Steve's face, turning it, and Steve knows that if he wasn't wearing the blindfold he would be looking into Sam's eyes now, wouldn't be able to look away. “I've got you. And when I don't have you, she will. Easy as that.”

It isn't easy, or it shouldn't be, but the truth of it is in his bones, in the muscle memory of a hundred times he's fallen in the field and known they would catch him, a hundred times he's taken a leap without looking, not doubting they'd be there. He trusts them.

“Yeah,” he says, his lips curving, the hint of a smile. “You've got me.”

“God, come here,” Sam says, and his hands are cupping Steve's head, pulling him down, and they're kissing.

Sam's lips are rougher than Natasha's. Dry. Steve thinks about the wind on his face when he's flying, the wear and tear of it, the resistance. He wants to soothe it away, wants to be the counter to it, soft and yielding for Sam to sink into. Wants to carry Sam, like the wind does, for as long as he's able.

He brings his hands up, finds Sam's chest. Broad muscle, and Sam makes the sweetest noise when Steve palms him through his shirt, gasps into Steve's mouth. His nipple is hard under Steve's fingers, drawn tight. He rubs it again, gets another gasp, gets Sam's tongue deep in his throat, like he can't push it deep enough, and he wants that, wants Sam to claim him, to not let go.

Sam's hand slips down his neck, a caress to the hollow of his throat that makes him shiver, and then the buttons on his shirt are being opened, the fabric folded away, pushed off his shoulders. Sam's fingers on bare skin, skimming his ribcage, his collarbones, squeezing at his pectorals, Sam running his hands over him as if he wants to touch him everywhere, feel every inch of him.

When Sam breaks their kiss, Steve can hear his breathing, fast and shallow, and he wants to chase the eagerness of it, leans towards it, blindly, lips parted as Sam left them. His mouth is burning, from the kisses, from the friction of Sam's beard. He feels unbalanced, on the verge of a fall.

Sam's palm in the center of his chest holds him back, keeps him in place.

“Easy,” Sam says. “You'll have to stand still if I'm gonna get you naked.”

And then, fuck, but then Sam is going down, his hands moving down Steve's legs, showing what he's doing as he sinks to his knees. Steve can't breathe, can't think, is desperately aware of the strain of his cock against the crotch of his pants, of Sam's closeness to it, of what Sam must be seeing. It's all he can do to hold still as Sam unlaces his shoes, to lift his feet at Sam's prompting, one after the other, letting Sam pull his boots off, his socks.

He feels made helpless by the blindfold, not tied, as Natasha has tied him before, but still somehow restrained, needing Sam to handle him, to move him, to bend him the way he wants him to bend. There's care in it, warmth, a tenderness in the slow stroke of Sam's thumb around the jut of bone at his ankle that travels up his body like an ache, expanding in his chest. He's trembling when Sam pulls his slacks down, his underwear, when he guides him to step out of them.

There is a rustle against the carpet, his clothes shoved aside. He can feel Sam, knees just touching the tips of his toes, but there are no hands on him. Only stillness, Sam kneeling in stillness on the floor.

“Damn, but you're gorgeous,” Sam says.

Looking at him, then, watching, and he's suddenly aware of how the darkness under the blindfold is only his, aware that outside it, the room could be brightly lit, could be bathing in light. Light for Sam and Natasha to see him by, his body displayed, his lust, his need to be theirs exposed under a spotlight with nowhere to hide it away. The thought makes him blush, heat flaring on his cheeks, down his chest. They'll be able to see that, too, see everything about him. And still he's shameless, filthy: his cock pulses, jerks, at the notion, leaking wet. Dripping, maybe, onto the pristine carpet between him and Sam. He'll leave stains.

“Yeah,” Sam says. “Yeah, like that, buddy, Jesus. I'm going to put my mouth on you now, okay?”

“Please,” Steve says, hips canting forward, balls clenching. “Please, please,” and then there's Sam's hands, on his hip, on the base of his hard-on, angling him, and the only sound he knows how to make when Sam's tongue swipes around the head of it is Sam's name, drawn out, more sob than speech.

Wetness and heat and a steady, twisting pull of Sam's fist to match the lapping of his tongue, and Steve isn't even aware of clenching his hands at his sides until Sam leans back long enough to say “Touch me,” and he does, craving the contact.

Reaching out, finding Sam's shoulders, the shape of his skull. Cupping his head in his hands, and Sam gives an encouraging hum, stroking Steve's hip bone with his thumb as he squeezes down tighter on his cock, opens his mouth around the tip of it. Taking him in, closing his lips around him, and it feels so good, the world narrowed down to the places where they touch, Sam's hands and lips and tongue on him bright like fireworks in the dark. When he touches Sam's face, the high edges of his cheekbones are flares in the night sky, shards of blinding light. It burns right through him, leaves him open, falling, shaking as he spills into Sam's mouth, as Sam holds him upright, swallowing him down, sucking pleasure from him until he's panting, dazed with coming.

He hasn't heard Natasha move at all, but when she speaks, she's so close that he can feel her breath against his shoulder.

“Mmm,” she says. “That was certainly worth seeing. I almost couldn't help touching myself, looking at you. But then I knew you'd want to be the one to do that for me, wouldn't you, Steve?”

“I... Yes, ma'am,” he says. “Please, ma'am.”

He can smell her perfume again, and her beneath it – a first hint of the wetness between her thighs. Her words have left goosebumps on his sweating skin.

Sam takes his hand, loosens his fingers from where they're still clutching too hard at the back of his neck for balance.

“Go on, man,” he says. The pad of his thumb sweeps over Steve's knuckles. “My turn to watch.”

When he lets go of Steve's hand, Natasha is there to take it. Her smaller fingers twining with his, turning him around again. It's like he's being passed between the two of them, an object in their hands, without will of his own. The way they hold him, it makes him feel fragile, treasured. They're not going to drop him.

Silently, Natasha places his hand on her body.

He can't hold back a gasp at the feel of her, the sound loud in the quiet of the room, as if punched out of him. Between his legs, his cock swells again, strains towards her. She's taken her clothes off, too, and what he feels under his fingers is bare skin, the soft weight of her breast filling his palm. She presses his hand against her, makes him squeeze down.

She sighs at the sensation, and he knows the look on her face that comes with that noise, could draw it from memory in perfect detail: the way her head tips back, revealing her throat, the smile flickering across her lips, the pink tip of her tongue just visible between them. He doesn't need his eyes to see how beautiful she is like this.

“Use both hands, Rogers,” she says. “You know what to do.”

Her skin is soft under his fingertips when he finds her with his other hand, the curve of her hip and the crescent of her waistline intimately familiar, but somehow still different without his sight. Or, no, not different. More. The lines of her body more pronounced when all he has to read them with is touch, every rise and dip of her flesh more apparent, every hidden bone a bolder relief. He is aware of the shape of her breathing, of how it makes her contours expand and then contract, of how his hands lift and fall with the act of her living. He thinks he could break under the force it – of how vivid she is, how real.

She runs her hands up his forearms, hold on to his biceps, and when he catches her nipples between his fingers he feels her nails, feels them scratch at his skin when he tightens his grip, when he twists the way she's taught him. He can hear her breathing pick up, knows that it matches his own heartbeat. He rubs his thumbs over her nipples; light, soothing circles.

Her hand leaves his arm and a second later there is a touch to his face. Her fingers along his jawline, her thumb stroking his bottom lip. It's pure reflex to open his mouth for it, to circle the tip of it with his tongue.

“Yes,” Natasha says. “I want your mouth. I want your mouth everywhere.”

The sound he makes around her thumb in his mouth is ridiculous, a needy whine, like a begging dog. But all he wants is to please her; he would crawl on all fours for the privilege, just like this, naked and blindfolded across the floor.

He doesn't have to, though. Not tonight.

“I know, you like that thought,” Natasha says. Her hand closes on his elbow, pulling him forward. “Come on, the bed is right here behind me.” She takes a step back as he follows, and another. Then he hears the rustle of sheets. “I'm going to lie down, okay? There'll be room for you between my legs. That's where I want you.” She lets go of him. “Just follow me.”

He hears her, the motion of the mattress underneath her weight. When he takes another step, his shins hit the bed, and he bends down to put his hands on the sheets, lift his knees up onto the mattress.

Of course he was wrong. This is crawling, after all, crawling after Natasha as she scoots up the bed. She isn't holding onto him, but he knows where she is, just as surely as he does in battle, his awareness of her position in space simply there, an instinct. She asked, just once, that first time against the Chitauri, for him to boost her up, and now his body is her springboard, her shield, the weight of her a sharp weapon in his hands before she leaps. None of it takes words or conscious decision. All he needs to move with her is the nearness of her body, moving beside him. Here and now, he moves because she moves; in the darkness behind the blindfold, he can almost see the tether pulling him to her.

Then he is there, on hands and knees above her. She rubs her legs against the outside of his thighs, drags her bare feet against his backside. Her body open to him, like she told him, laid out and waiting. He is conscious of the weight of his cock hanging between them, so close to the heat of her.

She lays her hand on the back of his head, not quite pushing. Encouraging.

“Go on,” she says, and all he has to do is bend his head, fold his arms, and his face is against her skin. His lips to her collarbone, to the hollow of her throat, and he kisses his way down, tries to not fumble, to read her by touch. He lets his tongue linger in the valley between her breasts, then takes them in his hands again, holds them still for his mouth. Gives in to the urge to rub his cheek against her soft flesh, and, God, he loves that, loves feeling the cushion of her breast shift and spring back beneath him, loves burying himself in her, losing himself in his need for her. Letting her see it, guide it, use it as she sees fit. Giving himself up.

Her hand strokes through his hair, petting, soothing.

“Fuck, I love you like this,” she says.

It makes him moan, whine for her in the back of his throat: the breathlessness in her voice, the approval.

He finds her nipple, sucks it into his mouth. She arcs underneath him when he flicks his tongue over the tip of it, tightens her legs around his hips.

“Yes,” she says, the word a sigh, and he is so grateful that she lets him earn her praise, lets him give what she wants.

He runs his tongue all around her.

“Lick my clit like that, Steve,” she says. “Make me come.”

His cock jerks at that, so hard it slaps against his belly, wet for her.

He pulls off her nipple, moving down. Running his hands down her sides, his lips over her ribcage, her stomach, down to the track of rough hairs below. Her legs open wider for him, her thighs spread for his hands, the skin there like silk, so delicate over the powerful muscles beneath. She trembles when he strokes her there, rolls her hips up towards him. Then his mouth is where she asked for it, tasting her wetness, licking in between her folds.

They both make a noise at that. Natasha's is guttural, somehow both satisfied and greedy. His own is desperate, a hungry moan, muffled against her body.

They're not the only ones making noise, though.

“Jesus,” Sam says. And then, almost apologetically: “You two could kill a guy.”

Natasha laughs, the sound vibrating through her body, resonating in Steve's bones from the points where they touch.

“Sam likes you like this, too, Steve,” she says. “He likes it so much he's fisting his cock, just watching.”

The image is startling, it springs up so vivid in his mind, in full, pornographic detail. It makes him groan again, against the hard, swollen nub of Natasha's clit, makes him blush at his own greed, wanting them both. He's glad they can neither of them see his face like this.

Natasha has him pegged, though. She knows, there's nowhere he can hide his desires from her.

“You'll like his cock, Steve,” she says. “If you could see it, you'd know it will fill you up good.”

He has to stifle the noises welling up in his throat against her flesh, sucking her into him, licking her harder. His fingers flex, clutching too tightly at her thighs. She thrashes beneath him, says his name, stuttering on an indrawn breath, and presses him closer.

“You want that, Cap?” Sam says. His voice is closer. Steve can hear him moving, can hear the soft thuds of what must be his clothes dropped item by item on carpet as he crosses the floor. “You want me inside you? Want me to give it to you, good and deep?”

Steve lifts his head, just enough. His cheeks are burning. He can feel his asshole clench, in anticipation.

“Yes,” he says. “Please, Sam, yes.”

He shifts his knees apart, spreading his legs just a little bit more. Offering, ass in the air like the wanton slut he is.

He isn't prepared for it when Sam's first touch is to the top of his head, gently ruffling his hair.

“You've got it, buddy,” he says. “Any time.”

There's something about the gesture, or the tone of his voice, that makes Steve's chest tight, makes his throat close up. He wants to say something back, but he doesn't have the words.

Then Sam's hand shifts, passes over Natasha's grip on the back of his neck, and strokes down his spine, up to his ass. Squeezing him, and both Sam's hands are there, caressing his backside, his thighs, thumbs parting him, dipping into his cleft.

“I shouldn't even say it, it's such a cliché,” Sam says, “but as much as I hated you overtaking me running laps that first day, I fucking loved watching this running away from me. Feels even better than it looks.”

It feels perfect, the way Sam's touching him. The firm, sure press of his fingers, so steady and calm, rubbing the thin skin behind his balls, circling the rim of his hole. He isn't sure he could handle it, the intensity of it, the sharp gentleness of Sam's focus, if he had to keep still for it, if all he had to do was take it. But there is Natasha, too. Her hands to hold him in place, her body for him to please. It's like a current running through him: the pleasure Sam gives him released in what he does for Natasha, nothing held in, all of it flowing through him, crackling between them.

When Sam's fingers leave him and come back slicked, when they sink into him and work him open, it's easy to give in to it, to rock his hips and push back for more, because there is no room to think about how much he wants it, no room to worry about what that makes him. It's all he can do just to feel it and still hold himself together enough to keep doing what Natasha asked for, to know the slow, breathtaking drag of Sam's fingers over his prostate, lighting him up from inside, and still have control of his faculties. And it feels so good, to have Natasha in his mouth, on his tongue, to lap at her opening like a thirsty animal and hear her gasp, to run his tongue the length of her folds and feel the muscles tremble in her thighs, to lick light circles around her clit and feel the sting of her nails in his scalp. When she tells him “Like that, Steve, fuck, do that harder,” tells him “Don't stop,” tells him “Yes,” he doesn't know if he's shaking from her praise washing over him, or from Sam's touch inside. But when she comes, holding his head down, grinding up against his face, as Sam holds his hips still and curls his fingers against that perfect spot, he feels dizzy with pleasure, drunk on it.

He's still there, lost in her, floating on the low humming noises she makes as aftershocks run through her, making her rub loose-limbed against him to chase them down, when Sam pulls his fingers out. It's confusing, the sudden emptiness disorienting, like being spun around in the dark.

“Okay?” Sam asks. It doesn't feel okay, but it's Natasha who answers, the question for her.

“Give him what you've got, Wilson,” she says, and Sam's hand is on Steve's shoulder at the same moment her fingers loosen in his hair. Sam is pulling him up and back and...


That's the head of Sams' cock against his opening and he's being guided to sink back on it, to sit back in Sam's lap, speared on him. He goes so eagerly it's almost too quick. Sam lets out a sharp curse as he slides in to the hilt, and Steve is suddenly full. Stretched wide and pinned deep and gasping for air, blindly reaching for Sam behind him, clutching at his hip for balance. Sam's arms come around him, a strong embrace. Against the back of his neck,, he feels the rasp of Sam's beard, the wind-chapped brush of his lips.

He spreads his legs further, rolls his hips to make his body relax. It isn't like taking one of Natasha's toys. Sam is warm inside him, a living heat he hasn't felt this deep since before he was frozen. He tightens his muscles around it, around that long hardness, and Sam pulses inside him, grows thicker. He moans against Steve's shoulder and lifts up, fucks up into him, shallow and close and so good. Steve bites his lips, tips his head back.

There is a new burst of fireworks outside, so loud they must be set off at the Tower. Steve's forgotten for a moment, in the darkness, in the tangle of their bodies, where they are, what day it is, and the noise takes him by surprise, makes him twitch and grip harder at Sam's hip in reflex.

Sam goes instantly still beneath him.

“You okay, Cap?” he asks. “You all right with the noise?” He strokes Steve's throat, the back of his knuckles caressing the side of his neck. Carefully, calmingly. “Tell you the truth, I don't know if I could do tonight with my eyes covered. Sounds too much like other things, you know?”

Steve shakes his head.

“Yeah, no,” he says. “I don't...” He doesn't. But he does know. And maybe it's because he can't see Sam, because it's easier to say in the dark, or maybe it's simply the concern and vulnerability in Sam's voice, but he finds himself adding: “I do worse with scents.”

The wet earth and fallen leaves scent of the German forest clearing where the Nazis ambushed them, where they had to fight back to back until they stood at the center of a circle of bodies and the leaves were soaked red under their feet. The sharp chemical stench of the Hydra research facility they liberated, where he bit his tongue until it bled to keep from throwing up at the sight of the prisoners in their cages. The sharp, electrical sting of...

“Steve,” Natasha says. She must be sitting right in front of him, judging by her voice, by her hands, settling on his thighs. “If you take a deep breath, what do you smell?”

The breath he draws in is shaky, uneven. He is aware of how it shifts his body, of how two pairs of hands on him shift with it, bound it in.

He has to smile, ducking his head, because:

“Sex,” he says. “Sweat. Traces of your perfume. It smells like you and me and Sam. I...” He lays his hand, the hand that's not holding on to Sam, on top of hers, squeezing her fingers. His smile grows wider. He understands what she's saying. “It smells safe.”

Sam's arms tighten around him.

“Told you, Cap,” he says. “We've got you.”

It almost hurts, the feeling expanding in his chest.

They do have him.

“Yours,” he says. It's the only word he can think of that fits.

Sam lets out a breath, hot and sharp against his shoulder. He's moving again, hips twisting, rising up on his knees to grind himself deeper into Steve's body, then sinking back down. It makes Steve cling to him, cling to Natasha's hand in his, riding the thick heat that fills him.

“Oh, I'm not giving this up,” Natasha says, the edge of a smile in her voice. She closes her other hand around his cock.

He arcs up, thrusting into her fist, groaning at the tightness of her fingers. Sam's cock almost slips out of him, slams back in when he drops down. He wouldn't know what to call the sound he makes.

“Yes, that's it, Rogers,” Natasha says. “Take it. Don't hold back.”

He doesn't. He doesn't think he could. Can't stop the way he moves between them, split open on Sam's dick, squeezed in Nat's grip. Fucking himself on both of them, desperate to feel them, to know them, and their lips are on his skin, their bodies pressed to his, bookends keeping him upright. He is nothing but his need for them, and it's all right, he doesn't have to be anything else. There's nothing here to defend against.

He comes over Natasha's fingers, with her tongue in his mouth, with the hot rush of Sam's spunk washing his insides, Sam shaking behind him, holding him close.

For long minutes afterward, he drifts with them in darkness, nothing there but the three of them, but the pleasure they've shared.

Then Natasha reaches up and finds the blindfold, tugs it slowly up and off.

The light in the room is not very bright, but he still has to blink against it, trying to get his eyes to focus. When he looks up, the fireworks outside the floor-to-ceiling glass of the windows are blurred, a haze of American colors, falling through the sky.

Natasha touches his cheek, strokes along the corner of his eye.

“Okay?” she asks.

“Yeah,” he says. Smiling. He wonders if he could stop smiling, but he doesn't want to try. “That was... Thank you.”

She smiles back at him, that small smile she has, that says so much more than she thinks it does.

“Come on, birthday boy, lie down,” she says, and he lets her guide him to stretch out on the mattress. When he moves, Sam's cock slips out of him. The space it leaves is tender, tingling with the possibility of being filled again.

For a moment, there is silence.

“I guess this is where I ask if I should go back up to the party,” Sam says.

Steve rolls onto his back, flings his arm out to grab Sam by the wrist.

He's missed seeing Sam's face. It must have been less than an hour, but he's missed it a lot.

“Pretty sure this is where I ask you to stay and watch the fireworks,” he says.

Sam looks over at Natasha, curled on Steve's other side, red hair spilling messily over dark blue sheets. Steve has missed that sight, too.

She shrugs, a lazy roll of her shoulder.

“It's a three-man job,” she says.

Sam laughs.

“I'm finding out a lot of things are,” he says.

Steve yanks him down to the bed.

Outside above the city, the fireworks are bright against the dark.

Steve thinks they've got nothing on the brightness in here.