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Day 0, 5:32 PM, Steve

Steve darts out of the workshop and if it looks like he’s fleeing the most embarrassing conversation of his life, well, there’s no reason Tony would be watching him, right? Yeah. Tony’s probably already forgotten everything that just happened. 

Steve makes for the nearest elevator. “Friday, blackout please? And, can you keep anyone else out of the elevator?”

“Sure thing, Steve,” Friday says. “Initiating blackout within a 15-foot radius of your comm signature.” 

The last time Steve thought an elevator moved too slowly it was 1944, so this one is probably moving at normal speeds for the compound—which is to say, faster and smoother than any elevators commercially available outside of Wakanda—but it definitely doesn’t feel like it. 

By the time Steve makes it to his suite he’s so hard it hurts and he can’t think of anything but the toy stuffed into his jacket. He’s half undressed when he reaches his bedroom, his pants, belt, jacket, socks, and shoes a trail behind him like fairytale breadcrumbs. He reverently sets the toy on his bed. He means to take the rest of his clothes off and find his lube, but he can’t take his eyes off the thing. It’s perfect. It’s real. And Steve talked to Tony about it—god, the way he spoke to Steve undid him, gentle and straightforward. Trying to show Steve it was no big deal. 

Steve disagrees. 

They’ve barely spoken since the battle with Thanos. Hell, they’ve barely spoken since Tony stumbled off that spaceship eight years ago. Each time they try, Steve aches with frustration and shame. He’s only made it worse for himself by asking this of Tony. Steve’s hiding this from him. Steve’s using Tony in a way Tony would never want. He knew all this before he asked, and he did anyway, just to have this lewd, tawdry scrap of Tony.

The dildo gleams bright against the dull navy blue of Steve’s bedspread. He shifts on his feet and the gold twinkles at him, and it’s like—fuck, it’s from Tony’s armor and it’s sparkling like the light in Tony’s eyes, like sunlight glinting off the armor, like a repulsor beam bouncing off vibranium. 

He needs it closer to him. Now. 

He snatches it off the bed and slides it down the flat of his tongue until it hits the back of his mouth. He closes his eyes and groans around the dildo. Swallows around it. Around a piece of Tony. 

No, fuck that. He swallows around a piece of hard metal, like Iron Man’s armored cock is slamming against the back of his throat. Tony made this from the same building blocks he uses to remake his body, and Steve wants it to enter him with the full force of a tactical battle armor. 

Steve’s fingers feel thick and clumsy as he struggles to unbutton his shirt and shrug out of his undershirt. He can’t entirely swallow, and his mouth floods with saliva, trickles down his chin as he sucks. The only way Steve could be more attracted to the armor is if it had a big shiny erection, and that’s exactly what he has in his mouth. Tony built Iron Man out of genius and hope and sheer force of will, and what could be more Tony Stark than that? 

He recognizes that it’s a kind of magical thinking, feeling closer to Tony because he has something he built out of his armor, like using someone’s blood to cast a spell on them, or a lock of their hair to locate them. 

But hey. It works. 

Tony rebuilt his whole right arm and shoulder with armor nanites. If he touched Steve with that arm, it would feel like touching this toy. 

Not exactly. Sort of. Enough. 

More than enough. 

Steve sinks onto his bed and lets a hand fall to stroke his cock. If Tony slid his right hand over Steve’s lips, slipped a finger into his mouth, then another, it might feel like this, he could wrap his lips around them, suck in his cheeks—

Steve comes in a rush. He blinks at the mess dripping down his chest. The dildo is still in his mouth. 

Well. He managed to ask Tony for this, and he got it. He’ll deal with the consequences of that, certainly, but for now—for now he’s going to enjoy himself. 

He’s already half-hard again, anyway. 

Steve fumbles in his bedside table for lube, and settles in for a long night.

 

Day 0, 5:39 PM, Tony

“What the hell is—oh my god is that—oh—oh fuck—Friday call Steve wait no DON’T—”

“No worries, Boss, he’s on blackout anyway.” 

Tony scrubs a hand over his face. Of course he is. “Add to the list, please: look into limiting the data passed on by the nanite network.” 

“You got it,” Friday chirps. 

Yeah, Tony’s never getting anything done ever again

 

Day 1, 12:14 PM, Steve

“Why did I agree to this interview?” Steve scowls at the list of questions he’s been asked to review. 

“You said it would help with public perception of the new Captain America,” Friday says helpfully. 

“I did say that.” Steve tries to be grateful that he has time to prepare answers to some of these instead of being blind-sided by them. “‘Would you say that the role of Captain America has shaped your identity?’ Really?” 

“Too personal?” Friday asks. 

Too real, Steve thinks but doesn’t say out loud. Of course it has. Where does that leave him now? And that word. Role. That’s how Steve’s always thought of it. Maybe it was getting his start in a singing and dancing show. 

“‘Let’s hear it for Captain America,’” Steve says. 

“That’d be a good title for the article,” Friday says. 

“Do you know, I asked them why they wanted to talk to me about Sam instead of talking to Sam about Sam?” 

“I try not to read other people’s mail,” Friday says brightly. Yeah, she definitely knew. 

Steve crosses his arms. “They said people needed to learn about Sam from me, because I’m a ‘trusted figure.’ And how many of these questions are about Sam?” He shakes his head. “Four, maybe five. And three of them are really about me, anyway.” 

“You know they only sent you seven questions and one of them is ‘How are you?’” 

The notes had called it a warm-up question. “That’s not the point.” 

“You know other celebrities have PR people to help them with this stuff, maybe even write answers?” 

“I’m not—” Not a celebrity, he’d been about to say. 

When he’d first gotten out of the ice, SHIELD/Hydra gave him a computer loaded up with e-books and videos about things he needed, according to them, be up-to-date on. Since learning about the infiltration, Steve’s spent a lot of time thinking about who chose the contents and why. How much was intended to be misinformation or misdirection? How much was well-intentioned, or even just an effort to ensure he didn’t embarrass them? 

There was a whole folder on Tony. It contained nearly a hundred files: articles; news clips; and amateur footage. None of the files were dated. Some of the news clips and all of the articles mentioned or showed the date, but enough of them didn’t. 

Steve had checked, later, and a lot of the videos were among the top hits for ‘Tony Stark’ on a search engine. Several were from horrible tabloids. More than one was from sites dedicated to hating Tony. 

It’s not that Steve might not have clicked on those, if he’d done the search himself in the first place. (If he’d had someone to teach him how to use the internet other than a ten-minute video.) It’s that he’d have known who was presenting the information. He’d have been able to look up the dates of any clips he saw. 

He’d thought SHIELD was presenting the information. He’d thought he could trust SHIELD. 

There had also been a documentary about the Beatles. Steve had watched the whole thing, finding it a good break from the depressing chronology of war and authoritarianism. He’d wondered if he should be glad they’d included a few palate cleansers, or if someone picking the contents just really liked the band. 

During his first press tour, he’d been deeply grateful he’d watched it. 

People screamed when Steve stepped onstage. He filled Radio City Music Hall, the Hammerstein Ballroom, the Metropolitan Opera House. Hell, he filled Madison Square Garden. The crowds pulsed like a fresh injury. Moved in an eerie unity, like a vast school of fish. 

The cheers and yelling were louder than gunshots. 

“Steve?” Friday says. 

Steve clears his throat. “You volunteering to help me write answers to these?” 

“Thought you’d never ask,” Friday replies. 

 

Day 1, 12:19 PM, Tony

“That’s not even the best part, Pep,” Tony is saying, and then he completely loses track of what he’s saying, because identifying the particular cluster of nanites he’d used to make Steve’s toy and unlinking them from the rest of the network is proving more difficult than he thought, and a feeling of pressure on his cock is telling him that Steve is using that toy. Right now. With a strong grip and a punishing pace. 

“What’s the best part?” Pepper says, as if she were speaking to a stranger. 

This is when Tony realizes he’s been staring into space for two minutes and thirty-eight seconds. 

“It’s.” Tony swallows. He’s not sure which is more disorienting; Pepper’s politeness in the face of his wild disassociation, or the fact that he can feel Steve masturbating. 

Pepper smiles one of her opalescent little smiles that reminds him of waves on Malibu beaches. 

“Right.” Tony affixes a cocky grin to his face. He’s got this. “Check this out!” 

Pyrotechnic stars launch from the hidden barrel in his index finger and explode a foot above their heads into a burst of fuchsia. 

Pepper starts at the sound, and for a moment she frowns at him, stricken.

Then, instead of telling him off for setting off fireworks indoors, she smiles again, this one a plastic thing, like a fake rubber plant from Ikea. “Very cool,” she says, and Tony doesn’t know whether to scream in frustration or moan at the ghostly pressure that’s riding his dick like a mechanical bull. 

 

Day 1, 8:09 PM, Steve 

Steve and Sam spend the afternoon tossing the shield back and forth like a frisbee all over the grounds. When they start heading to the residential side of the compound, the sun is settling down on the horizon and their conversation is comfortable, if spare. 

Then Sam catches him off guard by saying, “You look good, though.” 

“Is that surprise I hear?” 

“Retirement suits you more than I thought it would.” 

“I’m not… entirely retired,” Steve points out. 

“Yeah, you’re management, I know. Still. You and Stark talk, or something?” 

“What?” 

Sam shakes his head. “Don’t play dumb with me, man.” 

“We did. Kind of.” 

“Is that right? How do you ‘kind of’ talk to someone? You using morse code? International maritime signal flags?” 

“We talked. Not about anything Avengers related, past or present.” 

“So, like, a chat?” 

Steve pictures himself standing in Tony’s workshop and asking him to make a personalized dildo out of the same material as his prosthetic arm. “You could call it that.” 

“I’m guessing you two didn’t talk about the massive boner you have for him,” Sam says, like he’s trying to be causal and mild but his shit-eating grin is peeking out the edges. 

“It didn’t come up,” Steve says, willing away the heat in his cheeks and immediately regretting his choice of words. 

Fortunately, Sam lets it go. “I figured, since if he were down you’d probably still be screwing like bunnies, and if he were a dick about it I think you’d either be on the other side of the planet, planning a permanent move to another decade, or starting a fistfight with a kaiju to blow off steam. Am I wrong?” 

“Did it occur to you that he might kindly let me know he’s not interested?” 

“Sure, but if he had, your face would still at least be doing that forlorn basset hound thing.” 

“I do not look like a basset hound.” Not Steve’s cleverest retort, but the topic already has him on the defense. 

“Maybe not usually, but when Stark upsets you, you get all pinched and your eyebrows scrunch up, almost like you’re trying not to sneeze except also like someone took away your teddy bear.” 

“That’s quite dismissive talk from someone who goes to bed with a U.S.S. Defiant action figure.” 

“Okay, first of all,” Sam says, all exaggerated aggrievement, “how the hell do you have an action figure of a starship? It’s a model. Hand-painted and hand-assembled. Second, I told y’all, it was the only thing from home I was able to take with me—it had a broad, all-encompassing kinda sentimental value. Unlike you and Tony Stark, who you look at like if you’re a really good boy, he might take you out for walkies later.” 

Steve ignores that last comment. “Well, I didn’t, ah, tell him how I feel.” He tries to muster up a smile. “I did though, ask about the toy?” 

“You asking me or telling me?” 

“Y’know what, Wilson—” 

“Okay, you asked him about it. Then what?” 

Steve kicks a rock ahead of him. He watches it skitter over the dirt and scrub. “He was—really kind.” He looks straight ahead, and okay, maybe his face is a little pinched, in places. “He could tell I was self-conscious and was trying to make me more comfortable.” 

“Wow.” Sam shakes his head as if in disbelief. “Man. You make this armor-fucking thing sound almost cute.” 

“Well, I”m glad my personal life amuses you so much.” 

“This is actually a great strategy though, good plan. Getting someone to do you a favor makes them more inclined to like you.” 

“Thanks.” Steve didn't know that, or not in so many words. It makes a kind of sense. His decision to ask Tony had been less about bravery and strategy and more about embarrassing levels of loneliness and sexual desperation, but there’s no need to tell Sam that. 

“What’s next?” 

Steve pictures a holographic tentacle rotating in midair. “I’ll ask him for another favor.” 

“Y’know what’s sad? That’s actually perfect. Dude’s so desperate to be considered useful, he’ll thank you for the chance to do something he knows you want.” 

Steve wouldn’t go quite that far, but Sam’s probably right. Maybe Steve can come up with a plan that doesn’t involve sex toy manufacturing or imposing on Tony’s generosity. 

Not that he’d even thought of having a plan, not like Sam means, not for—confessing to Tony. He accepts that anything like that between them is the furthest thing from Tony’s mind. This acceptance was the final push he needed to give in and ask Tony for the toy. Steve needs to let go of any hope of impressing him. 

He has to, given what Tony must be thinking about him after that conversation.