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I Don't Sing

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Tenimmoce accusì: anema e core, nun ce lassammo cchiù, manco pe’ n’ora, stu desiderio ‘e te mme fa paura, campà cu te, sempre cu te, pe’ nun murì.

Peter looked over at Tony. They’d had one of their rare days in. They’d spent the afternoon in the kitchen, each of them making small bits of their favorite things so the other could try it. A tasting menu of our lives, Tony had called it. It was fun, two Avengers just playing at being normal people. 

Peter would’ve happily just gone to bed and left the mess for whenever they woke up. Neither he nor May had been big on kitchen cleaning. That usually only happened once the sink was full or something started to smell weird. But Tony was insistent on keeping the penthouse clean, especially the kitchen mess. Peter was clearing the plates, Tony was clearing the counters when Peter heard it. Tony, the man who swore up and down to him, that he didn’t sing.

Che ce dicimmo a fa parole amare, si ‘o bbene po’ campà cu nu respiro? Si smanie pure tu pe’ chist’ammore, tenimmoce accussì… anema e core.

Peter desperately wanted to know what was up with the singing, but it was so beautiful he didn’t want Tony to stop. He had the most incredible voice. But the last counter was wiped and Peter set the dishwasher going. Tony noticed the setting was wrong and that ended the singing as he explained to Peter how to set for china as opposed to just dishes.

“I know I’ve kept you from your homework all day, caro . I’m gonna take a shower and then answer a few emails while you knock that out. Come to bed when you’re finished.”

Peter agreed and waited until he heard the water running before he crept close to the bathroom door to listen. He knew that Tony wasn’t a shower singer when they showered together, nor while he showered if Peter was in the bedroom. But he wasn’t a shower singer even when alone.

Sex was long and slow and languid. So many kisses that it felt like the kiss was the point of it all, not the sex. They were still nestled the way they’d finished fucking, big spoon/little spoon style. Their bed was big enough that all they had to do was roll away from the wet spot to sleep. Only Tony wouldn’t stop kissing the back of Peter’s neck and it felt too good to move just yet.

Cuore Mio ,” Tony whispered into the curls at the nape of Peter’s neck.

Peter pushed Tony’s shoulder slightly, rolling him onto his back, then he rolled himself over Tony’s body and pulled them, far away from the wet spot, to lie facing each other. He smiled softly and caressed Tony’s cheek. “I didn’t know you had such a beautiful voice.”

Tony chuckled. “ Tesoro , you can practically come from nothing but me talking to you. I know you have a thing for my voice.”

“That’s when you’re talking to me, Anthony.” Peter smiled. “Your voice drives me crazy. But I mean your singing voice is beautiful.”

“I don’t know where you got that idea. I don’t know how to sing. I’ve told you that before.”

“But you were singing. Not like that other time in bed, when it was just like a… phrase. You were singing a song.”

Tony shook his head. “I… I wasn’t singing. I have a horrible voice. I don’t sing in the shower or when I’m driving.”

“Your voice is beautiful. You might not sing in any of those places, but you were singing while we were in the kitchen. In Italian.”

Tony pushed himself a little away from Peter. He swallowed hard and closed his eyes. “I don’t sing.” His breath shuddered. “And no one calls me Anthony.”

“I do. And you do.”

His eyes were moist when Tony opened them. He took a deep breath to steady himself.

“You mom?”

Tony nodded and sucked in his lips. “Jarvis cooked for us. But sometimes, if Howard was away on business, my mom cooked. I’d sit on the counter stool and watch her. That was… before I went away to school.”

Peter moved their bodies closer but still where they could see each other. “And she sang while she cooked?”

Tony swallowed and nodded. “I’d forgotten…”

“And when Howard was away…”

“She called me Anthony.” Tony leaned his head down and pressed his forehead to Peter’s. “I’d forgotten.”

Peter wiped the tears from Tony’s cheek with his thumb.

Tony’s breath gave one last shudder before he brought himself under control. He leaned back again. “God, how much more stereotypical can you get? An Italian man with mama issues,” he said self-deprecatingly.

“No Anthony. You’re a man who remembers when he was with someone he loved then when he’s with someone he loves now. I’m so…” Peter’s own eyes became moist. “It means you love me that much. I love… you’re my everything.”

Tony rolled onto his back, bringing Peter to nestle into the crook of his arm. “That settles it. No summer classes for you. I’m taking you to Naples this summer. We can cruise around the Med on the yacht and go to all sorts of places. All summer. No school, no business, no Avengers unless the world is absolutely positively ending.”

Peter looked up at Tony and smiled. “That sounds like heaven.” He snuggled back down onto Tony’s chest and kissed the inch of skin under his lips. “What does that song mean in English?”

“It’s a verse from a love song. And it’s actually in Napoletano, not Italian proper. I swear, it seems like I never speak actual Italian to you,” he said with a soft laugh.

“Yeah, but what does it mean in English?”

“It’s…” Tony sighed. Some feelings were best expressed indirectly. Directly was too… vulnerable. But Peter had asked. “Let’s hold each other like this: heart and soul.” His fingers traced invisible patterns on Peter’s back. “Not leave each other anymore, even for an hour, this desire for you makes me fearful, to live with you, always with you, to never die.  Why are we saying bitter words to each other, if our love can survive with a single breath? If you also crave for this love, let’s hold each other like this… heart and soul.” He kissed the top of Peter’s head. “It’s sappy. There are three types of Italian songs. Songs about mothers, songs about drinking, and sappy love songs.”

“I don’t think it’s sappy. It’s beautiful.”

“Of course you don’t think it’s sappy. You’re beautiful, so you make everything beautiful.”

“You have to cook for me more often.”


Peter smiled up at Tony. “So you can sing to me.”