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Tony has a routine. Some parts of it are more essential than others. Jarvis would kick out whoever was a part of last night’s fling, Tony drinks out of the bottle of whatever his liquor of choice might have been for that night. Forcibly, he stumbles out of bed and throws up--chemo always leaves him nauseous--then he washes away the previous day in a long hot shower.

Theoretically, he’s never alone. People are always at his fingertips; the classic tale of a man who has everything but absolutely nothing. Still, he makes himself feel better by routine distractions: the money, the press, and the countless people that go through his bed, a blur of faces he doesn't bother remembering. All of these things are numbers, price tags, tangible items he’d bought, just like the Dolce & Gabbana suit he’s sporting--acquired exclusively from Italy.

It’s all a lie; the glamor and the swag, the bluster and the bravado. He can’t remember when he started lying to himself along with the whole world, but now he’s too damn scared to stop. What bothers him more is the man who sees through him. If Tony were a window, he’d be thick and tinted, plastered with dirt and grim and layers of dust that make it impossible to look without putting in some effort to get past it. He wonders how Steve does it. He doesn’t know if Steve even has to try to do so, as most of the time it’s only grunts and few words that pass between them—matter of fact, the most they talk is when they’re having sex.

To him, Steve is bittersweet--like dark chocolate, the bitterness is overpowering at first, but sweetness hints and teases, simply a possibility, which then fades into nothing, leaving a bad aftertaste and a craving to try just a bit more. Tony indulges as much as possible, because he’s good at finding distractions; some might say he's an expert.

He smells like expensive cologne mixed with whiskey, just the way Steve hates it. Nevertheless, he always looks polished. Despite the dark circles around his eyes and his exhausted state of being, he’s well put together, not that he's planning to look that way for long. He steps into the oval office like he does any other day, when his schedule isn’t flooded (or rather, when he decides some people are worth ignoring).

Steve looks sharp, the strong lines of his face and his stature always make him look impossibly angular, impenetrable and hard to reach. He’s in a well fitted suit, clearly uncomfortable with sitting on his ass all day, reading over specific outlines and guidelines. He’d rather be out there, physically making it all happen, and Tony understands.

It doesn’t change the fact that he looks damn good in that suit.

This is when the game begins. The doors shut behind him, and Tony runs a finger over the mahogany desk Steve is sitting at. Steve’s pretending that he’s not there, and Tony doesn’t buy it for one second. Someone has to talk first, and it’s almost always Steve grunting an insult or some form of a challenge to make Tony push. Tony thinks he does it on purpose.

“Stark, I’m working,” Steve says, firm yet distant. Tony has to admit, Steve is probably working, but then, he’s also willing to bet that Steve’s probably read over the same sentence five times since Tony’s come in.

“Then take a break, darling.” Tony keeps his voice low, soft and teasing—the type of teasing that has Steve shoving him against any flat surface without hesitation, and fucking him into his place.

Steve thrums his pen against a stack of papers, and Tony’s not sure if he’s still trying to ignore him, but it won’t work. Tony walks around the desk, one finger sliding across Steve’s shoulder blades. He leans in and pretends to scan over paper work.

“Move or I’ll make you,” Steve says.

Tony would call it an empty threat, but Steve’s made him do a lot of things before. He still doesn’t move, though.

“I can’t believe you push me away when I’m trying to make you feel good, or do we have to pretend like this isn’t a part of our routine, my dear.”

The routine being Tony saunters in, Steve tells him to leave and Tony refuses. Twenty minutes later they’re breathing heavily and slipping their clothes back on as Steve glares daggers at him. Tony doesn’t know why they play this pretend game if it’ll only lead up to that, but somehow the sex is a lot more fun that way.

Steve swivels in his chair to face him. He swiftly reaches out to grab a handful of Tony’s hair and tugs—hard. Tony groans, a wide toothy grin on his face and his eyes closed. “Such a romantic,” he jokes while getting on his knees. Steve grabs both sides of Tony’s face with one hand and keeps his fingers locked into his hair. Their lips meet briefly before teeth and tongue take over, it’s barely a kiss and more of a mash of mouths fighting for anything but intimacy.  

It works out that way. Tony’s not sure what he’d do if Steve felt anything but disdain towards him, and Steve wouldn’t be caught dead like this. It only works out as long as Tony’s in denial. He can rationalize anything, from drinking to dying; he finds an excuse. The thing about love is, it isn’t an excuse, it’s a human condition, something that can only be warded off but not for  long. It’s inevitable like death, but he finds love to be a more severe condition.

Steve’s impatient, and Tony doesn’t mind. He bends over the desk like he’s physically directed to. Digging into his pockets, Tony pulls out a small bottle of lubrication, and hands it back to Steve. He can nearly hear Steve shaking his head.

“You’re incorrigible,” Steve says.

“Birds of feather, darling,” Tony responds.

Tony hears the squirt of the lubrication coming out of the tube; he pushes his ass out further so Steve can get a good grip on his hips. Slowly Steve presses himself in, and Tony stiffens and moans all at once. It’s fantastic, edges of pain that mingles with pleasure, and leaves him wanting more. Before he can press his ass back to match Steve’s thrusts, Steve pulls his hair again. Tony’s back arches and his knees buckle, he grips the desk firmer, and that same grin from earlier reappears on his face.

“Fuck—Steve!” Tony nearly shouts, trying not lose it at this point. This position has every thrust hitting so much deeper, he can nearly feel each drag in and out of his entrance. The hand at his hip quickly darts around to clamp over his mouth, and Tony takes the opportunity to moan louder.

A muffled mantra of “Fuck, fuck, fuck,” leaves him, and he’s trying to keep his head clear enough to keep his orgasm at bay. He doesn’t want to come yet;  wants Steve to keep pounding into him forever. He wants to hear Steve pant heavily and murmur curse words as the clanking of his belt gets louder with the speed of his thrust.

The grip on his hair gets harsher, and that sends Tony off the edge. He’s coming in spurts of gasps leaving his mouth, a hand around his cock to gather the come, and his body stills for a few moments as his head begins to feel so clear. Steve’s grips falters, and Tony drops to the floor, only to have his hair pulled and head pushed back again. Come splatters on his face, and he hears Steve groaning in satisfaction. Steve almost always comes in his ass, unless he’s feeling the urge to degrade Tony more than usual.

Tony feels the come drip down his face and he smiles, licking some that's landed on his lips.

“Clean up, I have a meeting in half an hour.”

Tony grabs a few tissues to get the come off his face and hands as well as he can. “What are you doing tonight?” Tony asks, not so subtly asking him to come over.

Steve doesn’t say anything. Matter of fact, he doesn’t hear a word from him until later on that night, when Steve steps into his room, bags full of what smells like Chinese and a look that says ‘shut up Stark.’

“I brought Chinese.”

Tony looks up from whatever project he’s working on and lets out a slight smile. “So you did.”

Tony has a routine, and distractions that help him cope. Some work better than others.