“My friends!” Thor exclaims as JARVIS lets him in the Tower. “I have a gift for you all from Asgard!”
Tony, Bruce, and Clint all look up from the couches they’re sitting on. Bruce is typing something up on his Starkpad; Tony and Clint are watching a hockey game on TV. “Is it another hammer?” Tony asks.
"No, neither I nor Eitri, Brok and Buri have forged another Mjölnir. But even if I had, you would still be unable to lift it."
He waves off the chorus of indignant complaints with a grin and hefts a heavy case up onto the counter separating the lounge from the kitchen area. Tony and Bruce haul themselves up from the couches and gather around as Thor unclasps the latches and reveals several large bottles of what looks like liquid gold. They look to be glowing slightly as he takes them out one by one and sets them on the counter.
Tony pokes one with a fingertip. The bottle seems to be made of glass, or at least what passes for glass outside of Earth. "Hey Point Break, are these safe for mortals to touch?"
"Of course. I would not have brought it if they would cause you harm."
“You got a strange sense of humor sometimes. It’s good to check.”
Tony picks up one bottle and hands another to Bruce, who’s hovering curiously by his elbow. Bruce holds it up to the light, tilting the bottle from side to the side. “It’s completely opaque,” he notes. “That’s really interesting. What is it?”
“Asgardian mead!” Thor says brightly. “Taken from the All-Father’s personal stocks, so I can promise you that it is up to standard.”
“You stole booze from your dad?” Clint says from the couch. “Aren’t you like a thousand years old? What’s the legal drinking age on Asgard? You must be able to buy your own by now.”
Thor shrugs. “I wished to share with you only the highest quality Asgardian delicacies. If you want to take your chances in the markets, you are very welcome to.”
Clint holds up his hands. “I’m just saying.”
Tony digs a corkscrew out of one of the counter’s drawers and twists it into the top of the bottle, then carefully pulls the cork out with a dull pop. The faint scent of brown sugar and something sharp fills the air. Tony inhales deeply. “Oh, that’s very nice.”
He passes it to Bruce, who does the same, closing his eyes a little as he breathes out. “Lovely,” he declares. “Is mead in Asgard made like it is here?”
“Doubtfully,” Thor says. “Asgardian mead is made with naturally harvested sugars and spices, but it is also made with magic.”
Tony eyes the bottle in Bruce’s hand. “Magic booze, you say.”
“One day, I will have to take you all to Asgard. Magic is prevalent in our society.”
“No, I know that. I’m just wondering if this is gonna kill me.”
“I can promise that it will not,” Thor says. “The lady Jane was served mead when I brought her to Asgard, and she found the effects very pleasant.”
“She got buzzed, you mean.”
“I have found that intoxication on Midgard is rather different from that on Asgard. Sometimes those who drink here are angry, or ill, and you all seem to wake up in the morning with headaches.”
“Are you kidding? You don’t have hangovers on Asgard?”
“We have balconies, certainly.”
Tony starts to protest, but Thor just winks at him.
“Thor, would you mind if I kept a little of this?” Bruce asks. “I’d love to study it, if you’re alright with that.”
“Only if you promise to drink with us first,” Thor says.
Bruce rubs the back of his neck with a sheepish smile. “Well, that’s sure a difficult decision.”
Thor smiles brightly enough to rival the gold liquid shining through the tinted glass bottles. “As with Midgardian alcohol, I believe it is best not to drink on an empty stomach. I suggest that we share one of the bottles after dinner tonight.”
“Sure thing. I’ll have JARVIS take orders when Cap and Romanoff get back from DC.”
“Is mead like wine?” Bruce asks. “You know, how you’re only supposed to have red with some foods, and white with others?”
“I have yet to find anything that this does not go with,” Thor says. “And with no lack of trying.”
“Excellent.” Tony takes the bottle back from Bruce and plugs it up and sets it on the counter with the rest of them. “Should I throw this in the fridge or something?”
“It will keep,” Thor promises.
In the lounge, Clint yells something unintelligible.
“Yeah?” Tony calls back.
“Fucking New Jersey!”
“What do you want for dinner, Barton?”
“Adam Henrique’s head on a plate!”
Thor looks confused.
“Clint gets really into hockey,” Bruce says. “I have no idea why.”
“Probably because there’s no Hawkeyes hockey team in the NHL,” Tony says. “And I don’t feel like going to jail today, so I’ll pass on the murder-slash-cannibalism. Bruce?”
“Thai’s nice,” Bruce offers.
“I’ll pitch it when the STRIKEs get back.”
The STRIKEs get back a couple of hours later, when the sun is just starting to go down. Steve and Natasha are both tired and a little bruised-looking, but they seem to be in reasonably good spirits. Tony pokes Natasha into giving him her Thai order, and then she goes off to take a shower. Steve hops over the couch to sit next to Bruce, stretching his legs out after being in a car for so long.
“I could have just had a jet come pick you up,” Tony says as he types orders into his tablet. “Much faster. Much comfier.”
“That is the most tremendous waste of money and gas,” Steve replies. “And I like catching up with Nat.”
“What is there to catch up on? You guys work together all the time.”
“Well, she told me about Clint getting his ass busted by a new SHIELD recruit last week, that was fun.”
“I did not,” Clint says. “That is a bullshit lie and I will not stand for it.”
“Uh huh.” Steve winks at him.
Clint grumbles and crosses his arms, but without any real fire.
The delivery boy shows up half an hour later with four bags stuffed with food and looks absolutely terrified when JARVIS buzzes him up. He looks from one Avenger to the next, mouth slightly open, and then squeaks out, “Fifty eighty-nine?”
Tony passes him four twenties. Steve rescues the bags and starts distributing containers around the lounge. The delivery boy clutches his cash in one hand and all but flees once he gives Tony his receipt.
“You have to stop doing that, Tony,” Bruce says as he pulls his chopsticks apart and rubs the splintered parts together. “They always look like they’re going to collapse.”
“I tipped well,” Tony replies. “I don’t mind if they collapse in the lobby.” Thor passes him a plate piled high with kao phad.
“What are the lobby security supposed to do with unconscious delivery boys?”
“Give them jobs? I don’t know. That’s Pepper’s area. I just want my pad thai.”
“It’s my pad thai,” Steve says.
“Fine, I just want Steve’s pad thai.”
Clint digs through a bag for the pad thai and puts it on the far end of the table, out of Steve’s reach.
“Aw, Clint, c’mon. I didn’t see you get your ass kicked. I just heard about it.”
Natasha darts one hand out and steals the pad thai container, then hands it to Steve. Steve gracefully hands it to Tony, who blows an overexaggerated kiss. “Don’t be a child, Barton.”
“Don’t talk shit about me.”
She nudges his knee with hers and grins. “But you make it so easy.”
Clint does himself no favors when he sticks his tongue out at her.
“So Thor brought us a present,” Tony says after about fifteen minutes of everyone stuffing themselves with noodles and chicken.
“Oh yeah? Is it another hammer?” Natasha asks.
“No, but that was my first thought too."
“If you wish to have your own hammer, I suggest you go to the store and buy one,” Thor interjects.
"No, our magical overlord has brought us magical shiny mead, so that we may prosper and get plastered.”
Natasha raises her fork, which has a chili speared on the end. “Bless your heart, or whatever you’ve got in there.”
Thor chuckles. “It is a heart, last time I checked.”
“Do you check frequently?” Tony asks. “Just pop it out and look at it?”
“Do not taunt me for not knowing your idioms and then mock me when I use them.”
“Alright, alright, keep your cape on.”
“I can retrieve my cape, if you wish.”
“I’m sure that would be hilarious drunk.”
“Can I see?” Steve asks suddenly. “The mead, not the cape.”
“Of course.” Thor balances his curry on the table and heads toward the kitchen. He finds the bottle that Tony opened earlier and passes it to Steve on his way back. Steve holds the bottle up, twisting it from side to side.
“This doesn’t look real.”
“I assure you, it is.”
“It looks like you melted gold into a bottle.”
“It is much sweeter than gold.”
“Sweet, sweet magic,” Tony says.
“Is it actually magic?” Steve asks.
“Certainly. As I explained to Tony, magic is very common in Asgardian society, and it runs through many of our customs.”
“Including getting drunk.”
“You should open it, Steve, it’s really nice,” Bruce says.
“Huh. Alright.” Steve grabs a fork off the table and uses it to wiggle the cork out. The pop is less loud this time, but the smell still makes Tony’s mouth water.
“Oh, wow, this is nice.” Steve inhales deeply. “I like this.”
“I wonder… Do you think this would have any effect on me?”
“I have yet to find a warrior who does not enjoy the effects of any liquor on Asgard,” Thor says.
“Whoa, wait, hold up. Are we getting Cap drunk?” Tony cuts in excitedly. “Because I’ve been working on something in the lab, but this is better.”
Steve raises his eyebrows. “You what?”
“Bruce and I have been working on some enzyme inhibitors. It doesn’t really matter, because they’re not working yet, but this is way better!” Tony bounces a little in his seat. “You should try it.”
Steve eyes him warily. “I get nervous when you get excited like this.”
“Nah, it’ll be fun,” Clint says. “Not because of science or whatever, but you haven’t been drunk since, what, nineteen forty-five?”
“Even worse. And even if you don’t get drunk, it probably still tastes great.”
Steve sniffs at the bottle again. “I guess this is a better place than anywhere else to try.”
“That’s the spirit!” Tony claps him on the shoulder. “I should get my phone, this is probably going to be great.”
Steve shakes his head. “No phones. I don’t want to end up on the internet.”
“Aw, Steve, come on.”
“Killjoy. Fine, no phones.”
“I’ll just have to take the memories to my grave.”
“You don’t even know if it’s going to work,” Steve points out.
“It’s Asgard. All of their stuff works, in a weird, unintelligible way.”
“Our technology is simply much more advanced than yours.”
“Yeah, yeah, we’re cavemen to you mighty gods, we know. I think we’re doing pretty good,” Tony shoots back. “Since you personally have been around for at least a thousand years and your dad dates back to the Stone Age. Give us some credit.”
“Certainly. Midgardians are doing very well for themselves with their limited life spans and technological advances.”
“I can’t help but feel like you’re not being sincere.”
“You have my word.”
“That you’re not being sincere?”
“Don’t let the big, mean god demean you, Stark,” Natasha says. “We all know you’re very, very smart.”
“I feel like you’re not being sincere either, but you’re right, so thank you.”
“Is this up for grabs for everyone? Or just Steve?” Clint asks.
“You may all have as much as you like,” Thor says.
Steve carefully reseals the bottle with the cork and puts it in the middle of the table. “Should we clean up?”
“No rush, people are still eating,” Natasha says.
“I know, I’m just kind of excited.”
“Attaboy! Be base and human with us,” Tony says. “I’ll tell you all about you tomorrow, I promise.”
“The more you talk, the less I trust you.”
“Then why don’t you shut me up?”
Steve picks up his chopsticks and shoves a large piece of chicken into Tony’s mouth. It’s not as fun as Tony was hoping for, but it’s really good chicken, so he’ll allow it.
People gradually wrap up their leftovers as they finish and toss them in the kitchen area’s fridge. It’s not the most impressive kitchen in the Tower – that honor goes to the meeting floor, or possibly Bruce’s floor – but the fridge is always stocked for those who like cooking and there’s always saran wrap for those who don’t finish eating. Clint and Natasha rearrange the six packs and cartons of milk so that everything can fit in, then kick the door closed and retrieve six mismatched coffee mugs from the cabinets over the sink. Natasha thoughtfully gives Tony an Iron Man mug with a smirk and keeps his favorite blue one for herself. Tony makes a face at her as he sets his on the coffee table.
“Is it weird that I’m a little nervous?” Steve asks Bruce quietly.
“No, of course not. You haven’t done this in a while,” Bruce assures him. “Plus, it’s Asgardian, and we’ve all been very… hit and miss with Asgardian things in the past.”
“You could say that.”
“You’ll be fine,” Bruce says. “We’ll watch out for you.”
Steve smiles as Thor hands him a full mug. “Thanks.”
Thor tops them all off, one by one, then holds the full Iron Man mug to Tony. "Will you be partaking tonight?"
"I will take a raincheck on that," Tony says. "Not that I'm one to turn down free booze in the name of science, but I feel like this is going to be something I want to remember."
"Very well, then, this shall be mine!"
The five of them with mead raise their mugs and clink them together, then drink deeply.
Natasha breaks first, nearly dropping her mead on the table as she sets it down, coughing. “Oh my god, that’s basically sugar.”
Thor sets his mug down neatly, wiping a bit of foam from his stubble with the back of his hand. “Is sweet liquor uncommon on Midgard?”
“Natasha’s idea of ‘sweet liquor’ is paint thinner,” Clint explains.
“I think it’s nice,” Bruce offers. “I didn’t think it was all that sweet.”
“Asgardian drink is often in the eye of the beholder,” Thor says. “It is much more… versatile than Tony’s stores.”
“Hey, now. My stores are top quality.”
“I don’t understand,” Clint says. He dips one fingertip in the mead, then licks it off. “It’s cold, but it tastes warm?”
“Magical properties are not bounded by heat and chill.”
“Okay, but… it tastes warm, and warm isn’t a taste.”
“I think it smells kind of like sunshine,” Bruce says.
“That’s pretty poetic of you, Banner,” Natasha replies.
“You don’t think so?”
“I think it tastes like cough syrup,” she says. “In, like, a not-sick way.”
Clint steals Natasha’s mug and takes a sip. “The hell? No, it doesn’t. It’s like butterscotch, kind of.”
“Thor just said it’s in the eye of the beholder, genius. Of course it won’t taste the same to you.”
“What do you think, Steve?” Bruce asks.
They all turn toward Steve, who has been sitting quietly, staring into his mug.
“I think… I think it tastes like cheap bootleg moonshine,” Steve says. “But in the best possible way?”
“Moonshine is terrible.”
“Yeah, but this is like the nice bits.”
“How do you know what moonshine tastes like?”
“I was fifteen when prohibition ended,” Steve says. “Of course I know what moonshine tastes like.”
“Yeah but that was like eighty years ago.”
“No, it was like thirteen years ago. For me, anyway.”
Natasha takes another tentative sip of her mead. “It’s… less sweet now?” she says uncertainly.
“I told you,” Clint says.
“It’s fucking magic, Thor already said it’s not the same!”
Bruce leans back against the end of the couch where he’s leaning, mug cradled in both hands. “Does anyone else feel sort of floaty?”
“Bruce, I know you’ve been drunk before,” Tony says. “I was there.”
“Yeah, but not that type of floaty.” Bruce swirls his mead a little. Flecks of gold splash up and land in the mug. “It’s just. It’s floaty, right? Are other people feeling this?”
Clint mumbles his agreement and Steve raises a his hand a few inches.
Natasha nudges him in the side with her elbow. “Look at that. Turns out all you need to go drinking is extraterrestrial alcohol.”
"I like going drinking with you guys,” Steve counters. “Just because I don’t get drunk doesn’t mean that I can’t drink.”
“You have such awful taste in beer, though,” Clint says. He lounges back across the couch, throwing one arm behind Natasha’s shoulders. She leans into him instinctually, resting her mug on her knee. “If you’re gonna drink and not get drunk, at least go with something good.”
“Barton, you are an actual Iowa hick,” Natasha says. “And you don’t know the first thing about drinking.”
“I do too! Drink ‘til you’re drunk!”
“It’s a wonder you lived past thirty.”
“I haven’t lived past thirty yet.”
“Are you sure you don’t want any, Tony?” Bruce cuts in.
“It’s tempting,” Tony says.
“Here.” Steve presses his own mug into Tony’s hands. “Try a little.”
“Are you a pusher now, Rogers? I’m feeling threatened.”
Steve leans his head on Tony’s shoulder and bumps his forehead against Tony’s chin. “You’ll like it,” he says, drawing the ‘i’ in ‘like’ out. “Promise.”
“I’m sure I will.”
“What if.” Steve lowers his voice. “What if I drink some and then give it to you?”
“You mean, what if you keep drinking?”
“Yeah, that’s a good idea.” Steve tilts his head up, drains the rest of his mug in one go, and then curls back against Tony’s side.
“So much for sharing.”
“There is more, Tony, if you decide that you want some,” Thor says. “I do not expect that warriors even as mighty as yourselves will finish six bottles of mead in a night.”
“That sounds like a challenge,” Clint says.
“A challenge that it would be unwise to take. Too much of a good thing is still too much, even in the case of merriment.”
“No such thing,” Clint declares. “Merriment is awesome.”
“‘Awesome’ and ‘unwise’ exists within each other’s realms,” Thor says.
“You sound like someone’s dad,” Clint chides. “Not my dad, but like. A dad.”
Thor looks affronted. “I certainly hope not.”
“You’re almost as dad as ‘Tasha. ‘Tasha makes the best dad jokes. Hey ‘Tasha, do a dad joke.”
Natasha elbows him in the side. “I can’t just do them on command,” she says. “It has to be in the moment.”
“You gotta create those moments, Romanoff,” Tony says. “Don’t just wait for them to come to you.”
“You’re one to talk.” Natasha takes another long drink from her mug. “And talk and talk and talk and–”
She smiles sweetly at him.
Tony waves a hand at her. “Whatever. Drink your magic.”
She does. The rest of them do too, apart from Steve, whose mug is still empty. He holds it out to Thor, who dutifully refills it.
“This stuff is strong,” Bruce says. He’s slipped about halfway under the coffee table now. Tony doesn’t know how that could possibly be comfortable, but Bruce looks actually geuninely cheerful for once, so he supposes it doesn’t matter. “Really strong.”
“It doesn’t even taste like alcohol, though,” Steve says.
“I would assume alcohol on Asgard works differently than here.” Bruce rolls his head toward Thor. “What’s your fermentation process like?”
“I will admit that I know little about the brewing process,” Thor says. “I am much more well-versed in the drinking part.”
“I will drink to that,” Clint says, and does so.
“Clint, you’ve made whiskey before,” Steve reminds him. “You showed us.”
“That doesn’t mean it was good.”
“And I will drink to that,” Natasha says. A couple drops of mead slip down the side of her mug as she takes a sip. They look just as opaque as they did in the bottle, like solid lines of gold painted on the ceramic.
“I’m with Bruce here, Thor, can I have some of this stuff to study?” Tony asks.
“My offer to you is the same as my offer to him,” Thor says. “You must drink it before you study it.”
“I’ll take you up on that first thing in the morning, if everyone doesn’t wake up with balconies.”
Thor laughs loudly, but everyone else just stares at Tony in confusion.
Tony looks back and forth between them. “Never mind.”
“The Tower has loads of balconies,” Clint says.
“You are a balcony,” Tony replies.
“Don’t mention it, probably.”
Steve paws at Tony’s shoulder with one hand. “Tony, your living room’s shiny.”
“I suppose. Pepper likes stuff. She’s like a magpie or something.”
“Being a magpie would be fun.”
Tony snickers quietly.
“Magpies don’t actually like shiny stuff,” Natasha says. “We just think they do, ‘cause we notice when they take things.”
“Thank you for the science lesson.”
“I’m always happy to teach you about science,” she says. Then, “That’s not true. Don’t ask me.”
“I’m getting mixed messages here.”
“I’ll mix your messages.”
“You know, I don’t even know what that means, but I don’t want to die, so I’m just going to agree with you.”
Natasha reaches over and pats Tony clumsily on the head. “You’re learning!”
Tony blinks at her. “You are very drunk.”
“So often the key to a happy relationship to Natasha,” Clint adds. “Learning and agreeing. And being drunk.”
“Clint only does the last one.”
“That is so untrue.”
“Learning’s pretty cool,” Bruce says wistfully.
“What the hell, Banner, you have a Ph.D.”
Bruce shrugs. “I like knowing how stuff works.”
“Hey Thor, can I get–” Natasha giggles, uncharacteristic for her. “Sorry. Can I– can you fill this?”
She holds out her mug to Thor, who fills it about halfway and passes it back. Natasha accepts it and whispers something into Clint’s ear. Clint lets out a snort of laughter, then nearly smacks himself in the face trying to cover his mouth.
Thor looks back and forth between the two of them. “Was there a jest I missed?”
Natasha shakes her head. “No, no, I just realized something.”
Clint leans over and says, in an exaggerated stage whisper, “‘Thor’ rhymes with ‘more’.”
Thor stares at them bemusedly. “Yes, it does.”
Tony can see Natasha’s nose crinkle when she laughs. “I’m sorry, it’s not funny at all, it’s just really stupid!”
She and Clint dissolve into giggles again. Tony raises his eyebrows at Thor.
“It would seem that Midgardian reaction to magic is particularly potent the first time around,” Thor says
“You don’t say,” Tony agrees. “Did you not know that? I thought you were with Foster when she tried it.”
Thor shrugs a little. “There was much going on at the time.”
“Tony,” Steve whines against his shoulder. “My cup’s empty again.”
“Always took you for the glass half full kinda guy.”
“Alright, alright.” Tony pries the mug from Steve’s fingers. “Thor, if you would be so kind?”
Thor accepts the empty mug and fills it, then sets the bottle in the center of the coffee table. “Feel free to help yourself.”
Bruce, surprisingly enough, is the first one to go for the bottle. He stares at it for a little while, swirling its contents around, then tops up his mug and retreats to sit on the couch itself.
The five of them pass the bottle around until it’s empty, and Thor makes the executive decision that they should not open another one. Everyone seems to be very drunk– or, rather, Tony thinks, they seem to be very high. He remembers smoking with Rhodey outside the back entrances of the MIT engineering labs, stuffing his fist in his mouth to keep from laughing through lectures, and that’s what the four of them look like. Tony has seen Bruce drunk, and he’s seen Clint and Natasha drunk separately and together, and they’re all typically much more reserved than this.
Steve is practically in Tony’s lap, making little contented humming noises every now and then. Tony slides one arm around his waist and Steve melts into him.
“This is great,” Steve says.
“Oh yeah? How’s being drunk again?”
“It’s magical,” Steve says, and then cracks up at his own joke.
“Oh, boy.” Tony pushes a few strands of Steve’s hair off of his forehead. “You are so out of it.”
“Nuh uh. And I’m not even gonna throw up,” Steve says cheerfully. “‘Cause sometimes that happens when you don’t brew your whiskey good and it’s bad and you throw up in the alleys.”
“Because there was this lady and she brewed bathtub gin only she was bad at it, and she let me’n Buck have some if we did chores for her.”
“I thought you said you were fifteen when Prohibition ended.”
“So she was giving bootleg alcohol to fourteen year olds?”
“What a champion.”
Tony sorts through every inappropriate comeback he has and decides on none of them. “Good for you.”
“I think Bruce is tingly too.”
“I hope so. The guy could use a break.”
“What if the Hulk gets tingly?”
Tony glances at Bruce, who is staring at the ceiling vacantly and petting the fringe of an armrest cover. “I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.”
“Okay.” Steve buries his face back in Tony’s neck. Tony shakes his head to himself and rubs the back of Steve’s neck affectionately.
“I haven’t actually stopped paying attention to you, you can just say whatever you want.”
“Oh, good.” Steve sounds pleased. Tony thinks that he didn’t actually have anything to say, but if he did, he must have forgotten it already. He could swear that Steve is glowing a little, but that isn’t possible. Probably.
“This is really good,” Clint says suddenly. “I like this.”
Bruce raises a thumbs up in agreement.
“Drinking is nice,” Steve says. “My head feels good.”
The others murmur in agreement.
“I am glad you all enjoy it,” Thor says brightly. “On Asgard, sharing ale after battles is a long-held tradition, and one that I hope we can continue on Midgard.”
Tony imagines a very drunk Steve giving a press conference and says, “Oh god yes.”
“You should really try some, Tony. It’s so nice. Here, mine’s almost empty.”
Steve pushes his mug into Tony’s hands again and physically curls Tony’s fingers around the handle. There are maybe a few of large sips left, swirling around at the bottom of the mug, so Tony shrugs and says, “Oh, what the hell.”
His first thought is to spit it out. Not because it tastes bad – it doesn’t. It tastes like what Tony can’t think of any way to describe other than liquid sunshine against bare skin, warming and comforting. But it feels distinctly other. Certainly unlike any other type of alcohol Tony has had, and he’s had a wide breadth of experience. His mouth tingles where the mead touches it. It feels kind of like his tongue is buzzing.
There’s no biting sting in his throat as he swallows, just a sweet aftertaste. Tony stares into the mug, swishing it from side to side. “Tell me your secrets, oh great shiny booze.”
“Brewing is an ancient Asgardian tradition. Its recipes have been passed on through generations,” Thor says proudly.
“Same here. Earth’s been getting drunk since life invented fermentation,” Tony says. “This is– this is so weird.” He takes another small sip. There’s the brown sugar scent he smelled earlier, sweet but not cloying, sharp but not stinging. “It’s nice, though. You gotta hook us up more often.”
“I feared that taking anymore might be noticeable.”
“You were worried your dad would catch you raiding his liquor cabinet.”
Thor shifts in his seat a little. “It is not always wise to bring Asgardian wares to Midgard.”
“I think it’s alright.” Tony finishes off the mug, draining the last few drops from the sides, and then nudges it onto the coffee table. Steve drapes himself out on the couch next to him, one arm looped loosely around Tony’s stomach. “I’m going to science the hell out of this shit.”
“Dibs,” Bruce says without opening his eyes.
“Fight me, Doctor.”
“Maybe in the morning.”
Tony leans back against the couch and stretches. He’s starting to get what Bruce meant when he said he was feeling floaty. Usually, drinking makes his limbs feel heavier, but now he just feels relaxed and loose. Steve’s presence against his side is warm and comforting and feels nice. Steve’s hair feels nice against his hair as he runs his fingers through it. Tony does it again, wiggling his fingers a little. Steve squirms and makes a happy noise against Tony’s shoulder.
Tony feels his eyes unfocus a little, then refocus. “You’re right, I own a lot of shiny crap.”
“Maybe one day we’ll get to battle a supervillain, like in those old comic books,” Clint says. “Magpie Man. We can throw your shiny crap at him and pin him down while he tries to grab it all.”
“That sounds like the worst supervillain ever,” Tony says. “If you’re gonna be a supervillain, you have to commit.”
“Maybe you’re Magpie Man, huh? Maybe this is your secret shiny things lair.”
Tony looks around the room again. It doesn’t spin, but it looks a little wiggly in places. “This is the worst secret lair ever.”
“It’s really ossten– it’s ossenta– it’s really noticeable,” Natasha agrees. A hint of her natural Russian accent has emerged. “Even when it doesn’t say “Stark” anymore.”
“Really noticeable is kind of my thing,” Tony says. “I like being really noticeable.”
“Excellent, job done.”
“Tony,” Steve says.
“You feel real nice.”
“Oh. Thanks.” Tony rubs his knuckles against the back of Steve’s neck again. If Steve were capable, Tony thinks he would be purring. “You’re not so bad yourself.”
“Like, reeeally nice.”
“My gift to the world.”
“I like it.”
“I wouldn’t have guessed.”
“I like it.”
"Yes, Steve?" Tony says.
"Tony. Tony. Tony Tony Tony TonyTonyTony–"
"Jesus Christ, I’m still listening. What is it, Rogers?"
"I think," Steve says very seriously. "That you should let me shine your shoes."
There is a long stretch of silence where they just look at each other, until finally, Tony says, "I'm sorry?"
"You know, if you wanna, 'cause I wanna."
"I... Don't know where you're going with this."
Steve looks adorably confused. "What do you mean?"
"What do you mean?"
"What else does shining someone's shoes mean these days?"
"Uh... usually it means to make someone's shoes clean and shiny."
"Oh my god." Steve lets out a high giggle. "Oh my god."
Tony glances around at the others to see if they understood any better than him, but none of them are paying attention anymore. Bruce is off in his own world, smiling at nothing with his eyes closed as his head lolls against the armrest behind him. Natasha is leaning fully on Clint, who is playing with a strand of Thor’s hair that escaped his hair tie. Thor looks highly amused by it all, if somewhat unfocused. He’s had much more practice with Asgardian liquor than any of them, but he did finish two full mugs on his own.
Steve’s breath smells like liquid gold as he leans in. Tony eyes him warily. “What?”
“It’s French,” Steve says.
“I… am not French.”
“Pepper speaks French,” Steve says accusingly. “Bet you don’t shine her shoes.”
“No, we– we get someone to do that. Steve, I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about.”
“It’s a metaphor.”
“A metaphor is a part of speech where you–”
“I know what a metaphor is,” Tony interrupts. “I don’t know what your metaphor means.”
“But you’ve been to France!” Steve sounds so indignant that Tony can’t help but laugh.
“Looks like I missed the course on clean shoes, so why don’t you tell me what you’re actually saying.”
"What I'm saying, Tony,” Steve says. “What I’m saying, is that I think it would be a very good idea to let me suck your dick."
He leans his head back on Tony’s shoulder. Tony stares down at the top of Steve’s head, for once at a loss for words. Clint and Thor’s conversation goes on around them.
“I. Okay. What?”
“A very good idea,” Steve says, nodding.
“I mean, I don’t disagree, but you don’t usually just declare that in front of the team.”
“I bet they’d agree,” Steve says. “Hey, guys!”
“Nope.” Tony reaches around with one arm and claps his hand over Steve’s mouth. Steve licks his palm and Tony grits his teeth, but he doesn’t let go. “We’re not doing that right now because you’ll remember in the morning and punch me.”
Steve wiggles a little under his grip and tries to bite Tony’s palm.
“God, you are a menace.”
Steve’s eyes sparkle when he looks up. Tony could swear that there’s a bit of gold mixed in with the blue now.
“You’re really drunk right now and I don’t know if you can stand up,” Tony says. “Chill out for a bit, Capsicle.”
He takes his hand away and Steve curls back into Tony’s side. He runs one hand over Tony’s chest, skipping over the newfound scar tissue, and strokes his thumb over a tendon in Tony’s neck. Tony tilts his head to the side without really thinking about it. Steve has nice hands, and is surprisingly gentle when he wants to be. It feels nice. His skin is thrumming everywhere Steve touches him, even through his clothes. Tony can really only liken it to when he was younger and he touched an open current with low power. It made his hair stand on end and it made his mother yell at him, but it didn’t hurt at all. He feels like that now. Everything is still clear and in focus, but his body feels so relaxed. He can only imagine how Steve feels after fifteen or eighty years of no practice.
“It’d be a good idea, is all I’m saying,” Steve says. “That’s allll I’m saying.”
“How much fun are you having right now?”
Steve spreads his hands apart on either side of Tony’s head. “This much.”
“That’s a lot of fun.”
“But you know what would be even more fun?”
“Kissing you to shut you up?”
Tony doesn’t know if Steve had anything to follow up with, because he does just that. Steve grips Tony’s shirt collar tightly and pulls him forward as much as he can, but it’s an awkward angle and Steve’s halfway on his stomach now. It’s not their best kiss, all things considering, but Tony could swear that his lips are tingling when they pull apart.
Steve pushes himself upright with one hand. “I’m going to put Tony to bed,” he announces, then slumps over on Tony even more.
Clint, Natasha, and Thor turn to look at them. Bruce seems to be sleeping.
“And that’s my cue to put Steve to bed,” Tony says. “Come on, up we go.”
He maneuvers Steve so he can slide an arm under Steve’s shoulder and hauls him upright. Steve sways a little, but he gets the message, plodding along after Tony and keeping his own balance surprisingly well. Tony steadies himself with one hand against the wall, fingers trailing over the slick walls. Were they always this smooth? He doesn’t remember this room getting built. Maybe the sweaty workmen were good for something.
JARVIS is, as ever, right on time with the elevator. Steve and Tony lean against separate walls, watching each other watch each other. Steve touches his own lips with two fingertips, then smiles faintly.
“I feel really good, Tony.”
“I can tell.”
“You look really good.”
“I always look good.” Tony strikes a pose on a whim and is rewarded with Steve’s brightest smile.
“Here, c’mere.” He pulls Tony to his side of the elevator with one hand and wraps his arms around him. Tony flails a little bit, but Steve feels warm and solid around him, so he melts into it.
He loses track of the elevator until JARVIS comes online over the speakers. “Sir, we’ve reached Captain Rogers’s floor.”
“Go up to Tony’s floor,” Steve says.
“Uh… Yeah, sure, Tony’s floor. I like Tony’s floor,” Tony says.
The elevator doors slide shut with a hiss and the elevator starts rising again.
“I cannot wait,” Steve says, very seriously. “To sit on your bed.”
“My bed’s pretty awesome.”
“I’m going to sit on your bed so hard.”
“Don’t break it.”
Steve looks indignant. “I wouldn’t break your bed.”
“Where have I heard that before?”
“Last time I broke your bed?”
Tony pats Steve’s arm awkwardly. “Yep.”
“Okay, well I won’t do it again.”
“You better not. I like my bed. I am so excited to be in it.”
“Is that the only thing you’re excited to be in?”
“I repeat, you are a menace,” Tony says.
Steve preens a little.
JARVIS notifies them of their arrival just before the door slides open. Tony’s floor is still half decorated with things that Pepper liked, but Tony knows that she has better interior decorating taste than he does, so he keeps them. He wanders down his hall to his bedroom; Steve trails after him, straightening things on the walls that are already straight.
Steve was right. Tony’s bed is amazing. Tony sinks into it, arms thrown out to the sides, and groans appreciatively. “Fuck, I make such good decisions.”
“Uh huh.” Steve appears in the doorway, then all but faceplants on top of Tony.
“Hey, hey, hey!” Tony tries to wiggle to the side, but Steve curls three of his four limbs around him, preventing him from moving.
“I stopped straightening things,” Steve says proudly.
“What, like my spine?”
“There’s not a single bit of you,” Steve says. “From the bottom to the top, that is straight.”
Tony opens his mouth to protest, but Steve is right, and then Steve is kissing him. Which sort of reinforces that Steve is right. Whatever. There are not a lot of bits of Steve that are straight either.
Tony wonders vaguely if people in Asgard have a lot of sex, because he feels like all of his nerves are lit up right now in the best ways. Steve’s weight on top of him is comfortable and grounding, and Steve’s lips feel like sparks. Which is more poetic than Tony usually likes to be, but he can’t think of any better way to describe it right now and Steve is trying really hard not to let him think at all.
“You taste warm,” Steve breathes as he mouths at Tony’s jaw. “You feel warm. Everything feels so nice.”
“Uh huh. Good. Can you just– right there?”
Steve nuzzles the spot behind Tony’s jaw, then nips at it with his teeth. Tony expects it to hurt, but it doesn’t, really. It just makes him twist under Steve and tilt his head back more, giving Steve more room to work.
Steve kisses down Tony’s throat and sucks a light bruise along the side of his neck. Tony groans quietly. He gets a handful of Steve’s hair and holds Steve’s face down, so Steve does it again, and again, peppering Tony’s skin with faint purple marks and little indentations when he bites down.
“Come here, kiss me, come on.” Tony turns his head sharply and bumps Steve’s forehead, but Steve doesn’t seem to mind. He lets Tony drag him up and crash their mouths together hard. Tony can feel Steve’s moan like a physical thing between them, reverberating down his spine and settling under his belly.
Steve’s hands are under his shirt now, clumsily undoing buttons when they run into resistance. Tony’s body doesn’t flinch away like it has in the past. They’re both still getting used to the arc reactor being out, but it’s easier now. At first, he wouldn’t even let Steve take his shirt off, but now, it might be the mead or it might be the fact that he trusts Steve entirely, but Tony finds that he doesn’t care.
Steve wiggles Tony’s shirt down his arms and off, then throws it off the bed and drapes himself over Tony’s chest again. He sighs happily and rubs his nose against Tony’s, an affectionate gesture that Tony rarely tolerates. Tony threads his fingers around the back of Steve’s neck and pulls him close. He can feel that Steve is hard against his thigh, but it doesn’t seem important at the moment.
Steve holds a different opinion.
“I still wanna suck your dick,” he says, with just a hint of a whine. His voice has gone rough all of a sudden, and his eyes are darker, though they still have those hints of gold around the irises.
“You sure? Because right now you look like you’re about to bite it off.”
“C’mon, Tony.” Steve wiggles out of Tony’s arms and down his chest, pressing his face into Tony’s stomach. “I’ll make it good.”
“What an unusual change of events.” Tony runs one hand through Steve’s hair. “Why d’you want my dick in your mouth so much? I’m suspicious now.”
“Because I like your dick,” Steve says. “And you make good faces. And you pull my hair sometimes. And I like it.”
“Then why didn’t you just say that?”
“Becaaaause,” Steve says, then pauses, like he’s lost his train of thought. “Because you didn’t even know what it meant when I did say it.”
“Forgive me, for I am a lowly American from the eighties and I didn’t live through France in World War II.”
“You should get your shoes shined more often, Tony.”
“I could not agree with you more.”
“Are you sure?” Tony asks.
“Okay. Go wild.”
Steve gives him that blinding grin again, and then he’s working at the fly of Tony’s jeans. Tony bats his hands away and tries to do it himself, but he feels less coordinated than usual, so between the two of them it takes a good thirty seconds to get the zipper down. Steve is snickering to himself as he pulls the jeans off of Tony’s legs, and his pants and underwear end up somewhere on the other side of the room from his shirt. He’ll have to go find those tomorrow.
Steve’s hand around his cock is calloused and rough, and Tony arches into it. He props himself up on one elbow, but Steve just pushes him down by one shoulder and Tony ends up flat on his back. Steve shuffles further down the bed so that he can lie on his stomach, one arm bracketing Tony’s left hip as he jerks Tony off slowly. The drag of Steve’s fingertips and the web of skin between his thumb and index finger are nearly overwhelming already. Tony thinks that he sees sparks again as he looks up at the ceiling.
Steve seems to get lost in the repetitive motion of stroking Tony off, in the slick sounds of skin against skin and the little hitches of breath Tony lets out when he squeezes. It’s okay. Steve could probably do this for hours, and Tony could too, to be honest. He usually likes to get things going a little more, but Steve’s hand on his cock and Steve’s breath against his hip feels like a slow roll of pleasure that he doesn’t have to chase.
Steve’s head jerks a little as his arm slips. He glances up at Tony and Tony takes a second to mentally curse the fact that Steve has amazing eyelashes. “Hey.”
“Hey,” Tony replies softly. “You having fun down there?”
“I got distracted,” Steve says. “You’re nice to look at.”
“You only have to stroke my dick, Steve, not my ego.”
Steve drops his head down a little and smiles into Tony’s hip.
“You still good?”
“Yeah, I’m just feeling really nice,” Steve says. “It’s been a while since I felt this nice.”
“I’ve glad. You’ve earned it, big guy.”
Steve wiggles his shoulders a little. “You should put your hand in my hair again.”
Tony complies, scratching gently at Steve’s scalp. Steve lets out the most contented sigh and lays a kiss on Tony’s hip bone, then props himself up on his elbow again and tentatively licks at the head of Tony’s cock.
Tony twitches a little, because if Steve’s hand was warm, Steve’s mouth is hot, and he hisses out curses and compliments aline as Steve gently sucks at the head. Steve’s hand is still curled around the base of Tony’s cock, so Tony thrusts his hips up weakly, just for that extra edge of friction. Steve seems to get the message, because he shuffles up onto his knees and curls over Tony so that he can hold himself better and takes Tony deeper into his mouth.
Tony remembers what Steve said earlier, so he tugs gently on Steve’s hair. Steve’s entire body shivers and his eyes fall half closed.
“You like that?”
“Should I do it more?”
Another nod, bigger this time.
“I can do that.” Tony grips Steve’s hair a little tighter and pushes Steve down. Even with very little force, Steve goes down easily, looking entirely blissed out.
It’s not a neat and tidy blowjob. Steve’s given neat blowjobs, in the mornings before meetings or in dressing rooms right before media events. (It turns out that Steve Rogers is a punk asshole sometimes. Tony loves it.) But this is not one of them. It’s sloppy and messy and wetter than usual. Steve obviously doesn’t have his usual coordination, and Tony doesn’t have his usual (modicum of) self control, but neither of them care, because it’s hot and good and hazy and sharp all at once.
Steve pulls up for a moment, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “Hey, can I–? I wanna…”
“I wanna touch myself.”
Tony bites his lip and nods. “Yeah. Yeah, go for it.”
Steve wiggles one hand down the front of his pants and groans loudly. Tony watches him jerk himself against the denim confines for a moment, and then Steve leans back down and swallows his cock as far as he can.
Which, Steve Rogers being Steve Rogers, is impressively far.
“Oh, fuck. Okay. Fuck, Steve…”
Steve’s hand is hot on his hip and Steve’s mouth is hot around his cock and the little puffs of air against Tony’s pelvis every time Steve draws up for breath tickle, and Tony feels like he’s going out of his mind.
He can see Steve’s arm working in short, sharp jerks, growing more and more frantic. Steve is panting through his nose, pushing Tony’s mattress a little farther up the floor with every roll of his hips. His fingertips dig into Tony’s hip and Tony’s pretty sure that there’s going to be five little matching bruises there tomorrow. Steve leaves them sometimes, and always feels guilty about them in the morning, but Tony not-so-secretly likes them.
He hears a muffled “oh, fuck” and then Steve’s entire body stills. His eyes flutter closed and he twitches a little, then sighs contentedly. “Mmm.”
“Was that good for you?”
Steve pulls his hand out of his jeans and things for a moment, then wipes it off on his back pocket. “I’m taking Thor up on the whole ‘more of this’ thing.”
“Second best idea you’ve had today.”
“I have lots of good ideas,” Steve decides.
Tony is spared from agreeing with him by Steve swallowing him down again, harder and faster and more urgently before. Now that he has whatever it was out of his system, he’s much more focused, and a focused Steve is the most dangerous Steve. Tony can do nothing but cling to Steve’s hair and the duvet cover and ride out a focused Steve.
His orgasm feels like a slow rush rather than sharp pleasure, but Tony can feel it all over his body. His hands are tingling as they grip at Steve’s hair and his chest is tight and his mind is, for a few long and wonderful seconds, blissfully blank. The sparks on the ceiling, on the backs of his eyelids, glow brighter than before.
Steve swallows around Tony’s cock a few times, then lets it fall out of his mouth. Tony snorts, covers his face with one arm, and pets Steve’s face clumsily with the other. Steve twists his neck and presses a kiss to Tony’s palm before crawling up to curl next to Tony’s side.
“You have lots of good ideas,” Tony says.
Steve smiles against his neck. “I know.”
“Like, lots of them. Really good ideas.”
“I am a big fan of your ideas. Please have more ideas.”
“I plan on it.”
Tony ruffles Steve’s hair with one hand and wraps the other arm around Steve’s shoulders. Everything is still slightly shimmery and gold, but he’s not sure anymore if it’s the mead or it Steve’s just like that.
He decided that it’s probably a bit of both.