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Feeding the Fire

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They decide to disband after Fury takes the couch, automatically taking the cue to get the hell out while Fury sleeps.

Clint has two extra bedrooms, thank god, each with a queen-size bed and cute little family decorations that makes Steve feel just a little homesick, despite not truly connecting with this kind of homeliness. The house is huge, so secluded, and is something Steve hasn’t been around often—the style is so cozy and warm, and while everyone is settling down, it’s so unbelievably quiet. He spends a little too much time looking at the pictures on the dresser, the walls, on the nightstands, so Natasha has to tug on his arm, urging him to go wash the grime off from the day.

“You sure you don’t wanna go first?” he asks, letting her guide him towards the bathroom. “I can wait.”

“No,” Nat says simply. “I’m going to talk to Clint. Take your time, Cap,” she pats him, smiling softly.

“If you’re sure,” Steve gives her a look, and she mimics him, waving at him with her fingers as she exits the room.

“I’ll be right back,” he hears her say.

After a particularly hot shower, Steve wipes off the mirror, stares at his reflection, steam curling around him as he takes a moment to wonder, first of all, how the hell Barton had managed to keep his family a secret for so long.

It was easy to guess something was up with him, because he wasn't very subtle with the furtive phone calls, though Steve had assumed it was some agent-related thing he had no business knowing about. No, it turns out Clint, the wise ass, has a wife and kids and a very lovely farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere, complete with a barn and a drying line.

And then, second of all, he has a lot more Tony on his mind than he’d like, due to Natasha kindly pointing out Ultron’s similarities to Stark while they were out on the porch together—including sharing the strong hatred of Tony, which Natasha tells him far too lightly. Steve has to swallow that down, which isn’t fun. Ultron wants to self-destruct; it’s easy to assume Tony would want that, too.

Maybe in a less extreme way. A more personal way.

Steve roughly scrubs his face and hair dry, frowning at his reflection. Tony doesn't seem much different, save for the understandable anxiety that comes with the territory—you know, rampaging AI robots and the like. They're both tense, so wound up, and they need a plan as soon as they wake up the next day when they've rested as much as possible, and when they're not stretched out so thin. Tony’s doing his best, Steve’s doing his best—hell, the whole team is doing their best to stay put together long enough to beat this guy, and Steve finds that very commendable.

He folds up his clothes nicely and pulls on some borrowed sweats, idly rubbing at his freshly-washed face. He doesn't usually go so long without shaving, so it's a little weird to feel the small scratch of stubble peeking through his skin. Maybe if he dug around a little more he could find a razor, but Natasha's waiting to use the shower, and he doesn't like to keep her waiting long. A little bit of barely noticeable stubble won't hurt anybody.

Instead of Natasha, though, he halts as he finds Tony sitting on the edge of the bed, fiddling with a holographic image above his tablet. Steam bellows out from the bathroom and all Steve can do is stand in the doorway, holding his freshly folded clothes against his chest, looking confused.

"What are you doing here?" he blurts out.

Tony looks up, and wow, he looks tired. He’s slouching, gripping the StarkPad with one hand. There’s a crease in his brow that disappears when he notices Steve, and Steve doesn’t miss how swiftly he straightens up, like he was caught in a vulnerable moment. His expression is lax, though, more tired than anything. Neutral, almost. But he exudes confidence as soon as he straightens up.

"Nat caught me down the hall and asked to switch with me," Tony presses a hand down against the hologram, shutting the thing off. "I'm obviously the most considerate person here and accepted, because I am all for getting laid, but is it just me or is it weird for her to be so forward?"

"I think she saves the game for the unassuming ones?" Steve says, unsure. "Otherwise she'll be forward with you if she wants it. So... I don't think it's weird."

Tony hums, throwing his StarkPad on the bed. He strides right past Steve into the bathroom, ignoring the fact that Steve still hasn't moved. "I think she's still playing the game. Don't hog the bed, you hear me?"

Steve finally steps out for Tony to close the door, and then after a moment of silent consideration, Steve figures out why he's so suddenly freaked out by Tony's presence.

He's very, very shirtless, and he's going to have to sternly lecture Natasha in the morning about boundaries, secrets, and taking late night talks too seriously. It's absolutely the last time Steve will ever tell anybody who he's crushing on.

It’s not a real crush, not really. He likes a lot of things about Tony, and they work really well together. Steve thinks of it as a battlefield crush more than anything else, because he functions just fine around Tony when they’re in social settings together. Tony’s life is a whirlwind of fighting and schmoozing and scientific endeavors, and Steve thinks it’s cool and all, but it’s nothing super crush-worthy.

He just really likes when Tony softens up the tension and pulls off crazy maneuvers with a 110% success rate. He gets way more flustered when Tony’s comm disconnects than when Tony playfully banters with him in front of a bunch of reporters. He likes hearing Tony whoop in his ear as they pull off their crazy plans together, adrenaline rushing through his body as they share a celebratory cheer; Tony’s proud grins and happy sky twirls are definitely crush-worthy.

Steve might’ve mentioned his battlefield crush to Natasha, looking to find someone to relate to more than anything. He then tried, without success, to redirect the conversation to something that wasn’t about Tony’s biceps or his general physique, but Natasha loved trying to make him doubt his solely battlefield crush.

They have to exist, dammit, or Steve will make them exist.

Steve suddenly kicks off the covers on his side of the bed, which is the farthest from the bathroom, and drapes an arm across his eyes. Push it away, he thinks. He doesn’t know why he’s focusing on stupid things like this when they have much larger things to worry about. He needs to stay relaxed. And it’s not exactly considerate to lust after Tony in action when there's things to be fought.

Tony steps out of the bathroom, then, wearing only a dark tank and a pair of black boxers. Steve tries his best not to watch as Tony carelessly drops his clothes next to Steve’s on the dresser, in a messy pile that contrasts with Steve’s folded clothes, turns off the light on the nightstand, and plops into bed. He hears the rustling of the sheets as Tony gathers all the covers he can, turns onto his side, and goes quiet.

Steve wonders if he should say anything, like night, or if they’re supposed to be comfortable with the silence. He peeks at Tony, accidentally stares at the expanse of his back a little too long, and gets a little startled when Tony speaks.

“Clint gave you guys the lumpy bed,” he says, and Steve can’t help but let out a small laugh.

“Maybe all of his beds are lumpy,” Steve suggests.

Tony grumbles. “Terrible father, giving his kids lumpy beds.”

“It builds character,” Steve says seriously. “He’s training his kids to be genuine agents, I can’t believe you don’t know that.”

“What, do agents get lumpy beds? Is that a thing?”

“My SHIELD apartment had a lumpy bed.”

Tony turns onto his back, and through the darkness, Steve can see Tony making a face. “I hope my beds are better,” he says. “Can’t have the Avengers get bad backs."

“Ow,” Steve twists a little, feigning discomfort, tucking a hand behind his back. “I think—”

“Oh please,” Tony immediately huffs, side-eyeing Steve. “You’ve slept in worse places.”

“Ha ha, you caught me. I just wanted a softer bed.”

It’s funny how much Tony perks up after Steve jokes around with him. “Really? I’ll get you one, Cap, swear to god, you go to a mattress store and pick a nice one out and I’ll buy it—hey, have you ever been to a mattress store?”

“Can’t say that I have,” Steve shrugs, grinning. “I was just kidding, by the way.”

“No shit,” Tony makes another incredulous face, and then he turns onto his side to face Steve. He can vaguely see one of his hands waving around. “Seriously though, if you need a better bed—”

“My bed’s fine, Tony. Promise.”

“Just making sure. By the way, I have a challenge for you,” Tony says. “Wanna take it up?”

Steve groans and runs his hands down his face, knowing how impossible it is to say no. “I can’t not.”

“Yeah, cool. Go sneak downstairs and grab me some water. I have to warn you, though, the stairs are creaky as fuck.”

“Thanks for the warning,” Steve deadpans, lifting himself up off the bed. “If I’m not back in ten minutes, assume I’ve been stabbed by Fury.”

“You’ll recover,” Tony says, handing him his cellphone. “Here, have a light source.”

The stairs do creak, but Steve does his best to tread lightly under the soft glow of Tony’s cellphone, taking the path farthest from the living room towards the kitchen. It takes a minute or two for him to find cups, which is kind of painful because each time he opens a cupboard, he has to close it very, very slowly as to not make any sudden noises. 

It occurs to him that maybe he’s taking this challenge a little too seriously, but Fury’s not a fun guy when he’s woken up. And Steve isn’t too keen on running into him and chatting him up in the kitchen.

And he can’t not do challenges. Especially when they’re proposed by Tony.

He grabs the water filter from the fridge, carefully fills up a cup of water, and then refills a little bit of the pitcher before putting it back. He’s careful when he follows the same path towards the stairs, cringes when there’s a really, really loud creak—which he hopes is just in his head and not actually that loud—and then finally, he’s at the top, and he makes a quick pass by Bruce and Natasha’s room, just to see if their light is still on.

It’s not.

When he gets to his and Tony’s room, he finds Tony standing up over the nightstand with the light on again, prodding at his tablet. Steve can see bits and pieces of gold light, but Tony shuts it off before he can get a good, curious look at it.

Wordlessly, Steve hands Tony the glass of water, looking obnoxiously smug. Tony flips him off and takes a huge chug.

“What are you doing on your pad, anyway?” Steve wonders, but before he can give him an answer, he feels Tony’s phone buzz in his hand. Tony hears it, too, his head whipping around.

Curiously, he looks, and it says Pepper Potts - Text Message.

“Pepper,” Steve says.

“Oh, gimme,” Tony wags his fingers, holding his hand out. “It’s about time. And she says I’m the hard one to get ahold of.”

As soon as Steve hands him the phone, Tony starts texting away with one hand, taking another sip of his water with the other. Steve stands there dumbly until he manages to ask, “How is Pepper? She worried?”

“Yeah,” Tony huffs, “You know, I’ve been thinking, it’s good we called it off. Good timing, we both deserve pats on the back.”

“Oh,” Steve says, rubbing the back of his neck. “That… yeah. You miss her?”

“I do,” Tony tells him. “But she has a company to run. And I have a team to protect. It’s a fair trade-off, I think.”

Steve nods. “I don’t know how Clint does it with his wife,” and then before Tony can interject, he corrects himself, sighing as he bounces back onto the bed. “Being away for such long periods of time. Having kids that don’t get to see you often. Not getting to see them often. It must suck.”

“I just want to know how the hell he found time to find a family like this,” Tony makes a face. “The fuck has he been doing?”

“I dunno. It must be nice to have somewhere to come home to, though,” Steve says.

“Yeah,” Tony sighs, looking away. “You know I want you guys to have a home, right? I know the tower’s not the best place, it’s busy all the time, there’s barely any privacy… not a great home, but I wanted you guys to have somewhere to fall back on while you find where your real home is.”

Steve falls silent and nods solemnly. He isn’t too sure about finding a home anymore. He ended up taking up residence in the tower only because the Avengers had a handful of things they needed to do, and working together was easier when they all lived in the same place. Depending where they end up after this, as soon as the scepter is back in Thor’s hands, Steve will probably need to relocate again.

Finding a permanent home seems daunting to him. Home may, after all, not have a place for him. Far too many things choose to follow him wherever he goes, and the last thing he wants is them following him where it’s supposed to be safe.

As Tony turns his phone off and takes another sip of his water, he catches Steve’s somber expression settling on him. Tony stares back.

“What, did you spit in the water or something?” he asks, gesturing at Steve's expression, and then towards his glass. Steve gives him a disapproving look.

“You sure think the worst of me,” Steve jokes as Tony turns off the light, flops back in bed with Steve, and kicks the covers down. “Why would I spit in your water?”

“‘Cause I made you go get it?” he suggests. “Why would you spit in my water, Rogers?”

“I didn’t,” Steve rolls his eyes. “Don’t be gross.”

You’re the gross one, seriously, the protein shakes you drink—”

“They’re fine,” Steve huffs, but Tony continues.

“—they’re disgusting, Steve, why the hell do you put so much protein powder? You don’t even need it, it makes no sense to me. You can literally eat anything you want but you choose to dumb gratuitous amounts of vanilla, what the fuck, vanilla, protein powder in perfectly good fruit smoothies,” Tony rattles on. “I just—what the fuck, Steve?”

“Okay, but you don’t have to drink it,” he points out. “I know you hate them, that’s why I don’t make you any.”

“And that’s a good damn thing,” Tony says.

For some reason Steve can’t pinpoint, he decides to let it slip, “I don’t know why you’re trying to pick a fight with me, Tony. You know I’m still kind of angry with you.”

He doesn’t mean it in a malicious, accusing way. Just a reminder. Because he is still pretty miffed that Tony took such a huge leap without anybody’s knowledge.

(He’s also kind of hurt, too, but he doesn’t say it. Steve likes to think they’re all on the same page, after months and months of fighting together, that they can all trust each other and support each other, but… they all still have their personal issues, their flaws, their wounds.

It sucks that they only open up in times of disaster.)

“I know,” Tony groans. “I don’t know what to tell you. I fucked up. I’m sorry.”

“You did,” Steve says bluntly. “Sorry if I’m gonna be hung up on this for a while.”

“Not gonna trust me anymore, Cap?” Tony says dryly.

Steve shakes his head. “I trust you. I just gotta start keeping things in mind with you.”

Tony doesn’t respond. He can see him cross his arms over his chest, though, looking pensive.

“If you’re scared,” Steve starts, hoping for some sort of heart-to-heart, but before he can finish, Tony interjects.

“Oh my god, are we really doing this right now?”

Steve stills, feeling a little like he got caught. “Doing what?”

“Pillow talk.” Tony says with an even tone. “We are seriously engaging in friendly pillow talk.”

He exhales a little. “What’s so bad about pillow talk?”

“Nothing bad,” he says. “It’s the fact that Steve Rogers does pillow talk. Which is surprising to exactly... no one.”

“You don’t really know that much about me,” Steve says, snorting. “Sometimes I think you confuse me for my public identity.”

Tony makes an offended noise. “I do no such thing,” he says, sitting up. He slaps the bed for effect. “I don’t think so highly of you.”

“Oh,” Steve laughs. “That’s a huge burn. Like, a really big burn.”

“Yeah. Captain America’s just one big show, huh?”

“Totally. He and I are nothing alike.”

“You mean Captain America hates salted caramel?”

“No, he loves that shit.”

Tony does a fake, exaggerated gasp that has Steve grinning at him from his pillow. “Well,” he admits, shrugging a shoulder, “Steve Rogers swears a lot. Captain America doesn’t. I guess you’ve got me there.”


“Does that mean,” he says, falling back onto the bed. “Both of you have different dark sides?”

Steve takes a moment to think about his response. “If you think about it,” he says. “Both of us aren’t worthy. Can’t have a dark side and be worthy at the same time.”

“Yeah, but who the fuck knows what constitutes worthiness?” After a beat, Tony then adds, “Is it dick size?”

“It’s not that. Definitely not that. I don’t know about you, but I—”

“Okay!” Tony slaps a hand against Steve’s face, half on his cheek and half on his mouth. Steve can’t help but laugh into Tony’s palm, halfheartedly swiping at his wrist to get his hand off his face.

“I was kidding,” Steve says uselessly.

“Uh huh.”

“What do you think my dark side is?”

Tony pauses this time, his hand still annoyingly waving around in Steve’s face, trying to mess up his hair or catch him off guard. Steve grabs Tony’s wrist to try to still him, but Tony’s always so restless, so he lets Tony wriggle out of his grip instead.

“I think your dark side…” Tony starts, suddenly serious. “... is gone now. But you used to have one.”

Steve’s a little surprised—he raises his eyebrows up, looking intrigued. “What?”

“Yeah. You know that little haircut you had when we first met—”

“Oh, god,” Steve rolls his eyes, shoving Tony’s shoulder. “I thought you were finally being serious.”

“I am serious,” Tony says, sitting himself up on his arms. “Steve, I can’t believe you don’t think I’m being serious. Those were dark times.”

“It was fine at the time!”

“It was not!”

“So, what, you said it’s gone? You think I have better hair now?”

“Hell yeah,” he says shamelessly. “Look at you, all modernized and shit.”

“I was told this cut’s really in right now,” Steve says, a little too proudly. “I’m trendy.”

“There is something wrong with you saying you’re trendy,” Tony shakes his head. “Trendy’s all I’ve got going for me right now, you can’t take my thunder.”

“Hey,” Steve frowns, turning his head. “There’s a lot going for you.”

“Uh, think again,” Tony laughs, not unkindly, but… not pleasantly. “I’ve caused the biggest shitfest ever. Nothing’s going for me right now.”

Steve’s suddenly feeling kind of breathless because he had lost himself in their chatter so easily, had temporarily forgotten about what was going on around them. Steve knows he has a protective streak, a need to make sure everyone's okay, and whenever he feels like somebody’s about to spiral, a million alarms go off in his head. He doesn't like where this is going. Steve opens his mouth to say something, but Tony interrupts.

“I am really fucked up, you know that? I got you guys into this mess I’ve made.”

“Hey,” Steve starts to say, but Tony speaks again.

“Something and someone’s going to get you all killed and that thing’s going to be by my hand, and that someone’s going to be me,” Tony says lowly. “It’s happened before. It’ll happen again.”


“You don’t have a dark side because you stand for something brighter and bigger,” Tony’s tone is turning more casual, nonchalant, and Steve hates every second of it. “I hate taking the world as it is, I can’t do it. But you’re a natural at it.”

“Tony,” Steve murmurs.

“Seriously, you have the resilience of a cockroach,” Tony says. “Sorry for the disgusting comparison. You’re going to make the world so much better someday. I’m just going to keep fucking it up for all of you.”

The conversation’s getting so out of hand and Steve feels so sick to his stomach, at a loss for words. He doesn’t even understand what Tony’s talking about. He can’t process it quick enough to make any sort of meaningful, reassuring comeback.

“You could just rename yourself to Captain Perfect,” Tony suggests, his tone even lighter. “Captain Righteous, Captain Amazing, Captain Worthy—”

Steve shoves Tony in the side, hating him a little bit for being so terrible and so casual at the same time, for thinking so little of himself and too much of him—but Steve isn’t expecting it at all when Tony makes a little sound that sounds suspiciously like a giggle when he recoils from Steve’s hand.

They go silent. Steve sits up a little and stares down at Tony. “Did you just—”

“No,” Tony deadpans.

Steve eyes him suspiciously. He pretends to reach out to touch Tony’s waist again, and Tony curves his back away from him, looking too much like he’s trying to hide something. His expression is neutral but his eyes are wide open.

“I think,” Steve says slowly. “I know your true dark side.”

“Huh,” Tony says tensely.

“Yeah,” Steve breaths. “It’s this.”

He absolutely does not know how much he loves Tony’s laughter until this, his hand just barely tickling Tony’s side, his other hand reaching over Tony’s body to tickle wherever Tony isn't slapping at him as he squirms and tries to stifle his laughter. Tony’s breathlessly telling Steve to stop, stop, and Steve does, grinning toothily at Tony, knowing he’s making a face that looks far too pleased at himself with the way Tony’s glaring at him after settling down.

“I like Captain Greatness,” Tony says, still breathless. “I fucking hate this Steve Rogers guy. Fuck him.”

“Please,” Steve laughs, poking Tony’s cheek, right near the corner of his mouth. “You can’t hide that smile.”

Tony slaps Steve's hand away. “It’s a fucking reflex, Steve!”

“Nah,” Steve grins at him, feeling more at ease. “Everyone needs a good tickle once in a while.”

“I don’t,” Tony huffs, “Don’t do that again.”

“Okay,” he says. “But you aren’t a fuck up. Sometimes you get caught up in really big, amazing things. Sometimes those things backfire. You want to make the world better, but sometimes it’s just too hard to control how chaotic it is. If it wasn’t you, then it would’ve been something else.”

Steve lets silence fall once more, letting his words sink in, until he’s tickling Tony again, laughing along with him, shoving his hands away from his arms and tickling along his sides. He lets Tony try to stop him as his feet kicks at Steve’s legs, his arms pushing at Steve until Tony manages to swing a leg over him, grabbing his wrists. They’re playfully wrestling side-by-side when he feels Tony use his body weight to press Steve’s wrists and body back against the mattress, and Steve laughs and laughs until Tony catches his breath, and then he falls silent again, stiffening.

He feels a familiar, low curl of warmth in his belly, feels his face flushing with heat. Tony’s straddling him, breathing low and heavy, and Steve tries to be careful, cautiously and gently trying to distance himself from Tony as much as he can, because—

“Okaaaay,” Tony slowly drawls, raising a brow. “I was going to tell you to be quiet, but—”

Tony then sits up a little, not meaning to provide any sort of friction, but it happens anyway, and Steve’s breath hitches, fear settling low below his gut. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

Tony’s staring at him. He can’t really see super clearly because they’re out in the middle of nowhere and there’s such little light here, but he knows Tony’s staring, measuring Steve up, waiting for some sort of reaction other than his shaky breaths and tense wrists below Tony’s hands.

Steve just locks his gaze up at the ceiling, waits for this to be over. Waits for Tony’s snarky remark, waits for him to play it off like it isn’t a big deal, because it isn’t, dammit.

Instead, Tony slowly rolls his hips up, right up against Steve, and Steve’s hands clench into fists, his breath quick again.

“Ngh,” Steve hears himself say. He can’t stay still. He feels it all over, the burning, the want, with Tony’s hips tantalizingly rolling against Steve in soft, long motions.

His mind is going so blank, so fast, he can’t think. “Tony,” he says. “If this is you trying to avoid talking about you—”

“No,” Tony says, and holy shit, his voice sounds so foreign, so—god. “You know how I always say it’s sometimes good to apply the fuck-it method? When it comes to anything and everything?”

“Yeah,” Steve whispers, head tilted back. “Yeah, I know that.”

“Doing that now,” he says. “Give me an objection and I’ll stop.”

Steve swallows, feeling a little comforted by Tony’s voice, that Tony isn’t feeling ashamed or weirded out, or making fun of him. Because hell, this is grounds for at least ten years of being made fun of.

He nods, then, lips parting, and then Tony shifts, slotting their hips together better, and oh, Tony’s definitely there with him, right there. Steve feels himself relax, his hands unclenched and Tony’s grip loose. Tony moves, slowly, rubbing up against Steve in even, languid motions, and Steve feels like he’s going to come, right here, right now, with Tony’s weight on top of him, solid and sure.

He has two layers of clothes on him, for fuck’s sake, but this is so intense, something he’s tried and tried to repress, tried to not feel. Getting Tony’s underwear off feels like too much. Getting naked feels too raw, too vulnerable, crossing a line that is so far away from them—so this is enough, more than enough.

Tony feels so good against him—they’re not even doing that much, just rubbing up on each other, but he feels like exploding. Tony’s grip on his wrists eventually loosens up completely, but his hands slide up to Steve’s palms, and their fingers end up twined together tightly to provide leverage as Tony bends his body towards him, pressing harder. Steve’s fingers tighten against Tony’s as soon as Steve comes with a hard, pressing roll, his mind going blank.

He comes down quick enough to feel Tony come against him with a shudder, and the last thing he sees is Tony’s jaw going slack with his eyes shut tight, and then the last thing he feels is Tony’s cheek against his chest, breathing heavily, before everything goes dark.

Steve wakes up again when everything’s just a little bit lighter. The sun isn’t up, but he can see that it’s just starting to creep up out of the fields. It’s a dark, orangey color, coupled with the blue of the residual nighttime, and unthinkingly, in one fluid motion, Steve rolls both of them over onto Tony’s side of the bed, his hands gripping the sides of Tony’s stomach.

It wakes Tony up, his breath hitching as soon as he realizes what’s going on. Steve feels Tony’s back arch underneath Steve’s hands, feels Tony’s fingers suddenly dig into his shoulders as soon as he presses down and ruts up against him. Tony’s hands start to roam, like he doesn’t quite know what to do with them, distracted by the movement of their hips.

“Pants,” Tony hisses, finally settling on slipping his fingers into the waistline of Steve’s sweats. Steve gets the memo, sits up just enough to slide his sweats off, and he’s just in his underwear, still gross from before, when Tony pulls him back down again, Steve falling into Tony as his hands creep back into Steve’s briefs, pushing the elastic away to press Steve down by his ass, to urge him to roll harder, more.

Steve follows, hands splayed out on either side of Tony’s head, pressing Tony into the mattress, his forehead falling against Tony’s. He feels Tony’s hot breaths on his lips and all he can focus on is the stretch of their briefs, the friction of the fabric between them, the twitch of Tony’s hips as he comes close to the edge.

He hears Tony’s soft yeahs, his breathy hums, and Steve grinds down harder and faster, feels Tony’s leg hook over his ass, and then he comes with a heavy shudder, teeth clenched and eyes shut.

In Steve’s blissed out state, he buries his face into Tony’s neck, down into his collarbone and bites, still rolling his hips for Tony, whose legs are restless until he comes, finally, with a low fuck.

Steve leaves his face buried into Tony’s shoulder as Tony catches his breath, and they lie there until their breath evens out. They end up dozing off once more, sweaty and sticky and tangled up in each other.

When Steve wakes up again, his underwear is a dried mess, it is definitely morning, and Tony’s not there. He blinks, slowly adjusting to the light. He feels hot all over, maybe more due to the sun shining from the window, but last night’s playing over and over again in his mind, unwilling to be forgotten about.

He’s pretty sure one of them has to say something. Maybe not now, because a game plan needs to be made and decisions need to be weighed in order to save the day again, to walk away free. They can’t talk if the world is in danger, or if they're dead. Priorities are important.

He starts idly wondering how the hell he’s going to find a clean pair of underwear when the bathroom door opens, and Tony walks out, clean underwear and all.

“Snagged a pair for you,” he says, pointing towards the dresser, and Steve looks at him, confused.

“From where?”

Tony slips into his pants, his back to Steve. “Barton,” he says simply.

Steve pales. “Did you—”

“God, no,” Tony turns and makes a disgusted face, plopping himself down on the edge of the bed suddenly, making Steve’s body jump up a little. He grabs the shirt from the dresser and puts it on, stretching the tight fabric down so it fits his arms. “I just snuck in there and grabbed some. They’re both early risers, apparently.”

“Oh.” Steve sits up, stares at the fallen blanket on the floor, and runs a hand through his hair. “Guess I should shower.”

“I’ll strip the bed,” Tony offers, turning to face Steve, and finally, Steve gets a good look at him, his eyes fully adjusted.

There’s a small smile playing at Tony’s mouth, like he knows what they’re both thinking and he’s not going to say anything about it. It also looks a little mournful, maybe, coupled with how dark Tony’s eyes look, but Steve focuses more on the fact that he can see a small bit of red down one side of Tony’s neck.

“Did you happen to find a razor?” Steve asks, biting his tongue.

Tony just points towards the bathroom, wagging a finger around. “Yeah. It’s behind the mirror above the sink.”

“Thanks,” Steve says, swinging his body over the side of the bed, ignoring his elbow knocking against Tony’s arm. He stands up, stretches out his arms, grabs his clothes, and tries his best to remain steady as he walks into the bathroom.

Just as he turns to shut the door, though, he catches Tony absentmindedly rubbing at the red side of his neck, staring off into space.

Bedroom crush, then, he thinks. A really big bedroom crush.