Steve isn’t sure if the first time counts regardless of how important it is.
Tony had been up for an unnecessary amounts of hours once more thinking himself free of the consequences of things like sleep deprivation when clearly he was not immune to its effects despite how much he wanted to be. Pair that with the fact that no one had actually seen Tony outside of his workshop, matching up with the hours he had thus far been awake meant that the rest of the Avengers were about ready to assume breach protocol.
However since they weren’t monsters, there was one final reminder and warning sent to Tony about what would happen if he failed to put in a public appearance. Movie nights were often something everyone showed up for, if they could so it shouldn’t be that much of a hardship to pull Tony away from whatever he was working on.
Steve didn’t think Tony would really be watching any movies, instead snoring away but since he snored softly if at all, they could just have a quiet movie night and assume all conversations on their phones like any group of modern friends instead of talking to each other while they were in the same space.
“I, for one, think we should get reach of breach protocol. It makes me sound like a whale. I am clearly not a whale, no offense to whales, they’re very… “ Tony trailed off, apparently whatever word he was thinking of wasn’t coming to him, and his eyes even shut in thought.
Steve wasn’t sure who snapped, but he bet it was Clint and Tony immediately answered. “Dorito sized.”
“What an interesting measurement.” Natasha said, not even subtly glancing towards Steve as he tried not think about the implications of what they might mean.
Given Tony was seriously sleep deprived by the looks of it, Steve was pretty confident that Tony couldn’t mean it that way. He still wasn’t sure why people said he looked like a Dorito, of all things. Natasha had explained it was far from an insult but rather a compliment regarding his unique appearance and that like Doritos themselves, that he was a tasty snack.
“We wouldn’t need breach protocol if any of you knew what healthy coping mechanisms looked like.” Bruce’s tone was tired even if there was an undercurrent of concern beneath it that they all could hear.
The communal room got strangely quiet at that, everyone knowing they had nothing to stand on even if Tony was the most flagrant repeat offender. Steve was the second, but that was in excessive amount of physical activity that strained the limits of what even the serum gifted him when he was in his darker moods.
To say nothing of when Clint or Natasha used all of their spy training, to make sure that not a single soul saw them drifting through Avengers tower, haunted by some old ghost or another. Usually, the only one could find them in that state was the other.
Unless when Steve listened very closely for heartbeats and held breaths floor by floor in the tower.
Then there was Thor, who was mostly well adjusted thanks to his love for Jane, but even that wasn’t enough sometimes. Bruce wasn’t exactly a model of wellbeing all of the time, but having the alter ego of the Hulk meant that the scientist couldn’t suffer unhealthy habits that could rise a hulk out.
“We should go to the beach.” Tony said, very much out of sorts, apparently mishearing the whole things. Steve wondered if he had gotten to the state of hearing colors again, not that he had known that was possible before he met Tony Stark to induce temporary synesthesia by taking such poor care of your own body.
Tony is at least walking straight, not that Steve knows how but apparently that he can stay on his feet despite being up an ungodly amounts of hours, he moved towards the communal seating. Steve expected Tony to claim that the free chair, it was comfortable and nice and would be easy to sleep on.
That isn’t where Tony sits, there’s a very fair chance that Tony’s vision isn’t exactly working optimally right now so maybe he doesn’t see the chair. So instead he plops down on Steve’s lap with the assurance of a spoiled lap cat that knows you won’t be moving around or jostling them while they sleep.
There is barely restrained laughing as Tony situations himself until he’s fully comfortable on Steve’s lap and distantly, Steve realizes that their bodies really fit perfectly together like this.
Natasha politely coughs into the crook of her elbow but Steve hears the giggle beneath it even if she’s a picture of composure as always. Beside her, Clint has stuck the back of his hand over his mouth, trying and failing to stifle his laughter and nearly jostling the popcorn bowl in his lap entirely onto the floor with his amusement.
Thor looks less amused and fonder at them like this, as if this is something completely normal and sane to happen in Avengers Tower and Steve would have liked the memo to know in advance that Tony was going to make a home of his lap.
Bruce on the chair closest to Thor had huffed slightly. Amused clearly as well but having some degree of restraint. Since it’s his night to pick the movie, he clicks on the remote and some title or other plays, honestly at this point all of Steve’s thoughts are on Tony.
He’s only grateful that Tony arranged himself without them locking eyes because Steve is certain he’s completely flushed right now, his ears are probably red and possibly even lower than that with all his fair skin. He’d like to know why Tony thought this was for the best but trying to understand a sleep deprived Tony Stark takes a degree in something he doesn’t have.
There is soft breath against his neck, that in any other circumstance might have a different impact on him but as of now, all it tells him is that Tony is already asleep.
And Tony desperately needs his sleep so Steve doesn’t think anymore on this. He just lets Tony use him like this because apparently that’s what he needs, and honestly Steve can’t complain because it’s not like he’s getting nothing out of it. Tony is warm, and the presence of a body so close to him is refreshing in a way that even a tight hug can’t filled.
It reminds me of cold winters as a child, when he and his mother shared the same bed, too cold to do anything otherwise because while body heat wasn’t much, it was heat. And then, there was that whole touch was good for humans, even if his mom had told him that way back then when they had less science to backup the theory of touch.
It’s soothing having Tony so close to him, he feels himself relaxing, his stress feeling more distant all by the presence in his lap.
Steve wondered if he’d have a reaction like this with any avenger or if Tony himself is special.
Tony doesn’t seem to recall the incident as he doesn’t act any differently around Steve and Steve? Well, he can’t help but blush more around Tony now, knowing that they had such contact with each other just felt very intimate to him even if Tony thinks nothing of it.
The rest of his teammates however are not willingly to let this incident slide into oblivion despite how much he begs them otherwise.
“So last movie night, you just planted yourself like a tree on Cap’s lap and you would not move.” Clint said over breakfast, casually, as if he isn’t dropping a bombshell that could very well impact both his and Tony’s life together.
“How did I end up from his lap to my bed, thought?” Tony asked, clearly more interested in that.
Steve isn’t sure what to think of his disinterest, he wants it to mean something to Tony but apparently, it doesn’t mean anything at all to him and that stings a bit even if he prepared himself for this.
“I took you.” Steve said softly, but trying for as casual as everyone else clearly felt about this.
“Right. Well, I remember sleeping really good.” Tony said pointedly. “So thanks for letting me rent out your lap for a bit.”
Steve dropped his spoon, the sound clattering throughout the kitchen with the now glaring silence after what Tony had just said. Apparently even Clint hadn’t seen that coming.
“Do you have to say it like that?” Clint looks grossed out now, turned off his breakfast even.
Tony smiles a predatory smile. “Yes, birdbrain, I do.”
That in itself should be a sign that it was going to happen again.
When it happens, Tony is clearly awake and aware.
Steve has a feeling, he’s doing it for the sole purpose of spite alone and he feels used admittedly. But again, he can’t complain too much because he likes Tony in his lap. He had been thinking about it since last time, wondering if it was ever going to happen again because well, if Tony is so nonchalant about it, then it’s not strange to expect it again.
It’s weird to ask, but there’s nothing weird if Tony does it himself.
Steve however wished that Tony would have maybe picked somewhere else to make this defiant act at rather than at SHIELD. Pointedly sitting in Steve’s lap though there is clearly chairs to go around during the debriefing.
Bruce lets out a long, long sigh and politely turns to his tea as if it has the answer to deal with unruly teammates.
Thor and Clint are both laughing loudly, a little manic still from the previous battle but it’s a bonding experience so Steve can’t really feel like he should silence them.
Natasha only raises an eyebrow this time around, apparently not surprised just as Steve was that Tony would do this again.
Fury, however, looks like a man that is questioning why God has forsaken him at this very moment.
“Stark, there are other seats.” Fury’s voice is strained, but the look he sends Tony’s way is scathing. “Ones that include not debauching a national icon.”
“One, this is my favorite.” Tony pats Steve’s thigh gently. It’s such a simple, simple gesture and yet Steve finds he likes it a lot. “And two, I’m just sitting here, now if we were fucking, you might have a leg to stand on.”
“So you mean I can skip the debrief?” Tony asked, batting his eyelashes innocently.
“Get out before I go throw you out.” Fury even points to the door, clear in his dismissal. They had been watching some high school movie, a few movie nights ago and Steve can’t help but see Fury as an disappointed, overworked principal and Tony was a too smart for his own good troublemaker.
“Them’s the breaks.” Tony shrugged, and promptly removes himself from Steve’s lap. He pats Steve’s cheek gently. “Thanks for the seat, darling but as the bossman says I’m out. Have fun in hell without me. I’ll think of all of you fondly.”
“Screw you, Stark.” That was Clint, who flicks a paper football at Tony that connects with his chest.
“See this is a hostile workplace environment.” Tony tries with Fury. “You can’t blame me for leaving.”
“I’ll show you a hostile workplace environment.”
Tony wisely takes that as the threat it is, and leaves the room.
Fury rubbed his temple, and Steve wasn’t surprised he had a headache. “Do I need to have a talk with you about what counts as sexual harassment?”
“Sir.” Steve pondered on how best to phrase this. Did he admit to liking it? It was the truth, but he wasn’t sure if Fury really wanted to hear that answer.
Natasha both takes mercy on him and throws him under the bus. “Steve likes it.”
“Pay attention to me.” Tony is very much acting like a cat now, by not only placing himself in his Steve’s lap but being evident in his desire for attention as well.
Steve is glad he had the foresight to move his sketchpad out of the way. He has many, but that doesn’t mean he wants one to get damaged because Tony is feeling left out. He thought that they were just spending time together silently but clearly enjoying each other’s company but apparently Steve had been wrong.
“Okay.” Steve said simply because he’s not exactly against paying attention to Tony. “I thought you were working?”
“I stopped working like a half an hour ago, but I kept knocking things over and glancing at you but you didn’t take a hint.” Tony admitted.
With all of the extra sensory stuff the sensory had brought him, Steve had learnt how to block things out essentially for his own wellbeing, sometimes things became too much and it was good to just be able to turn off all the stimuli temporarily. He never made use of the ability while they were out, but in the tower, it was safe.
It often happened while he was drawing, he honed in on the art itself and things naturally tuned out as he found himself content with his favorite past time. He’d been drawing Tony again, only barely managing to shut his sketchpad in time.
Steve can only be grateful that apparently, Tony had just snuck up behind him and looked over his shoulder to see what he was drawing when clearly with how out of touch he’d been that it would have worked.
“Oh. Sorry. Did you want to get something to eat?”
“I could cause a PR nightmare if we’re seen together like this.” Tony doesn’t look like it bothers him, but Steve knows that it’ll create extra work for Pepper even if it really shouldn’t draw any attention.
It’s not as Tony has been quiet about his preferences, it’s all very old news.
It is however still recent news that Captain America isn’t nearly as straight as everyone believed him to be, however. The resulting media shitshow would be immense, and would come to make all the Avenger’s life hell temporarily.
Still, even if it’s not true, Steve doesn’t mind if Tony does it in public.
Nothing can scare him after Tony sitting in his lap in front of Fury.
“You’re actually thinking about it, huh.” Tony seemed surprised by that. “Captain America’s got balls.”
Steve very much doesn’t want to be reminded about that part of his anatomy or anything close to it right now with how close they are together. “We can eat in the tower. You know how I’m always hungry.”
“True, true.” Tony gets off his lap first and even stretches in front of him.
Steve feels like he’s not taking this cat metaphors too far when Tony is acting like this, but maybe that’s just him. Maybe no one else sees it but him. “So food?”
He follows Tony up the workshop stairs, and make a pointed attempt not to stare at Tony’s ass and imagine that there is a cat tail because Tony is clearly just fucking with him. Steve also pointedly doesn’t wonder about hypothetically what color of fur would best suit Tony, either.
Brown fur in cats isn’t exceedingly common, but it’s been known to happen on occasion.
Maybe it’s just because that Tony is today wearing one of his band shirts, and they are usually black that Steve imagines him with a black and white tail.
A tuxedo cat since well, Tony also wears a lot of suits in look good in them.
He’s debating on fur length when they come into the kitchen, when is enough to slap the thought away because it wasn’t a like to say he’s almost always hungry. His body is both a blessing and a curse sometimes.
Tony is far from light in his Iron Man armor.
Steve has had to pick him up on occasion, give him off the ground after a nasty hit or simply shouldering some of Tony’s weight after a hard fight when Tony presses into him for relief.
It is however the first time that Tony’s sat in his lap in the armor.
He’s strong enough that it doesn’t really bother him, but it is considerably less comfortable than when Tony is casually dressed and just sitting down in his lap like he owns the place anywhere else.
Still, Steve can’t complain their height and weight is different like this, but Tony’s still a perfect fit.
Natasha without an ounce of subtlety, blows a bubble with gum he’s not sure where she got it from but takes a picture with her phone as sees the two of them of testing the limits of how much this raised concrete can hold.
The artist in Steve is pretty sure it’s probably a good picture, even if photography isn’t his medium. The sun’s ray isn’t harsh but it’s not quite too close to sunset yet leaving the light present but not overbearing, there’s the shadows of great trees above them, halfway covering him in dark where the light isn’t able to reach.
It probably looks cozy and romantic despite fact they’re sitting on pieces of thrown foundation that just so happened managed to snap neatly and land horizontally.
“Did you get my good side?” Tony’s faceplate had already been up.
“I got two idiots.” Natasha nodded.
“I take offense to that. I’m a certified genius, I have multiple degrees and countless patents. To say nothing of-“
“Your many, many contributions to mankind, we know Tony.” Steve finished for Tony because he doesn’t want an argument, he just wants to take a breather. “Don’t post it online.”
“Oh, no, this is for the group chat.”
“I didn’t get anything.” Tony raised an eyebrow. They had put together a group chat previously, it had just been one of the easiest things to do to make sure that everyone was aware, and accountable, if they failed to check it on time.
“I didn’t say it for that group chat.” Natasha walked away from them with that note of mystery.
“You know what, I don’t care anymore. I’m tired, Steve. Carry me back to the tower.”
Tony’s arms come to encircle his neck, loosely another there is pressure with the weight of the Iron Man armor behind it.
In all of the lap sitting so far, Tony had never drew so close while they were looking at each other.
Steve promptly stands up, when sends Tony having to use the repulsors for balance with the shift in movement.
“It doesn’t look like you’re out of juice.”
Tony clicks his tongue. “Damn, my plan has been foiled by your keen observational skills.”
Steve in actuality, hadn’t known a damn thing at all about Tony’s power levels, he just wasn’t sure what would happen next if Tony stay that close to him. Tony had seen him blush before, but with all this contact lately, Steve might do something stupid and think Tony is serious and kiss him.
There were some things that their friendship couldn’t survive even if Tony had become increasingly affectionate lately.
It was clear, it meant nothing to him.
That he was probably doing it to the other Avengers too even if Steve knew in the back of his head that he hadn’t seen anything of the sort, or perhaps it was just how Tony treated people nearest to him.
He had no idea of how he acted around Pepper or Rhodey, maybe this was just normal.
Just another level of friendship to Tony.
Yeah, friendship. That had to be it.
Steve was just ruining it with all his thoughts and attach meaning to things that didn’t mean anything close to what he thought that they meant.
Tony smells of alcohol.
It’s not exactly uncommon for him to come home from events smelling like alcohol. To Steve’s nose sometimes it just is because he’s been around so much despite not drinking any himself, or sometimes, like this time it’s because Tony had actually drunk some of said alcohol himself.
A lot of it by how alcohol is all he can inhale when Tony draws in close.
Even if his sense of smell wasn’t available, the fact that Tony is climbing into his lap, still in a suit of all things would make it rather clear he’s intoxicated. Tony’s suits cost a lot of money, and there’s some limitations of mobility while in a suit, and Steve might not know much but he’s pretty sure doing something like this isn’t going to do the fabric any favors.
“Tony.” Steve tries but instead Tony claims his lips in a kiss instead.
Steve tastes the remnants of alcohol in his mouth, and promptly pushes Tony back but not off his lap entirely, he’s not sure how good Tony’s coordination is right now, and even if he’s confused and concerned about blood alcohol levels Tony has right now, he doesn’t want Tony to get hurt.
Tony squints like he isn’t sure where Steve is, leaving more credence to belief he’s drank far, far much and this isn’t something he would have ordinarily done. “You know I don’t do this… to anyone else, right? That it’s you, right? That it’s always been you?”
“You’ve had a lot to drink.”
“I have.” Tony agrees, thankfully. “But you’re also very, very dumb. Do you see me planting myself in anyone else’s lap? No. It’s just you. You’re mine and I claim you, so you should just go ahead and tell me you love me already.”
Steve blushed like mad at that, he’s known that the feelings he had for Tony weren’t strictly platonic but to have it laid out so blatantly like that.
A touch arrogantly, too, but it was uniquely Tony.
“You see less attached to me and more my lap.” Steve argued.
“It’s a good lap. Comfy. Nice. Also attached to Steve. Wouldn’t like it as much if it wasn’t.”
“Right.” This is clearly a conversation that needs to be held without alcohol in Tony’s system at all. “You should go to bed after you drink some water.”
“Only if the bed has you in it.”
If anyone asks, Steve will say he does it because he’s concerned about alcohol poisoning, even if that doesn’t track because the tower has Jarvis and Jarvis would be able to alert anyone that there was a problem probably before anyone else even noticed.
He spends the night with Tony.
There is an illuminating conversation after the fact.
Steve discreetly pats his thighs. It’s the signal that he and Tony have worked out as a way to wordlessly communicate where Steve would rather have Tony instead.
“It’s free real estate.” Tony says as he sits in Steve’s lap as if he belongs there.
In Steve’s minds he very much does, in the rest of the Avenger’s though?
“God, you two are so gross.” Clint made a face.
“Your face is gross.” Tony shot back childishly. “You are all just jealous that this belongs to me.”
“Someone really should to check you for cat DNA.” Natasha voiced Steve’s own thoughts. He had decided belatedly that Tony would be a very fluffy tuxedo cat.
He definitely does not have this in his drawings, either.