“Tony!” Steve bellowed as he ran into the workshop with a curled up Bucky clutched to his side.
Tony’s teeth smashed together as he flinched and jerked his hands away from the wires of his latest tech for Natasha. He hissed as sparks sputtered out from the weaponry then died down. “I thought I had the workshop set for privacy for the next hour, FRIDAY.”
“You did, boss,” the AI chirped. “However, the parameters you have set allow for interruptions in the case of an emergency.”
Tony raised an eyebrow and spun in his revolving chair so he faced Steve, who was helping Bucky onto one of the workbenches. Bucky’s flesh fist was clenched and his teeth gritted. A sweat had broken out across his brow.
Tony’s stomach lurched with worry, but he kept his expression composed as he waltzed over to Bucky and Steve. “I think you came to the wrong doctor, wonder duo. I have three PhDs, but none of them are going to help with Buckaroo’s constipation.”
Buck managed a small smile through his grimace. “Asshole.”
“It’s the arm,” Steve explained. His face was scrunched with disapproval—probably not too thrilled about the bathroom humor while his boyfriend was in pain—but his voice gave away his concern. “We were sparring. I flipped him, and now it won’t stop hurting him.”
Tony nodded, pulling up his revolving chair and seating himself in front of Bucky. He adjusted the height so he was more leveled with Bucky. He reached out to touch the metal arm, but stopped. “Will you be okay if I touch it?”
The forced smile was on Bucky’s face again. “Doubt you could make it much worse.”
Tony didn’t like that answer, but he didn’t refute it either. He did a quick examination for surface damage then order FRIDAY to do an internal scan. A projected image of the inner workings of Bucky’s arm popped up next to Bucky. Tony whistled in admiration at the mess of wires and metal of Bucky’s arm.
“Well, Steve, I wouldn’t blame yourself.” Tony pointed at the projection. “This is messier than the New York sewer system—just less rancid.”
“What do you mean?” Steve squeezed Bucky’s shoulder. Tony couldn’t decipher if the contact was meant to be reassuring or if Steve was seeking comfort from Bucky. When Bucky reached up with his flesh hand and squeezed Steve’s, Tony suspected it was a bit of both.
Tony rolled away from the workbench and grabbed a tool kit before sling-shoting himself back. “In simple terms? The arm was put together sloppily, causing parts to entangle themselves where they shouldn’t, and since the arm connects to Bucky’s nervous system…” Tony gesticulated at Bucky. “Do I really need to explain more?”
Bucky hissed as Tony opened one of the metal plates, but Tony didn’t stop. Tony had learned long ago that Bucky did not like anesthesia, and no amount of bribing, bartering, and begging was going to get him to use it, so the best way to help Bucky was to avoid the song and dance and just get right to fixing his arm.
“FRIDAY, black out mode.”
“On it, Boss.”
Time after that seemed to slow down as Tony tuned out the rest of the world and focused on Bucky’s arm. He was mildly aware of Steve and Bucky murmuring to each other as he worked.
Tony reached for a tool and instead of Dummy-E handing it to him, Steve placed the tool right in front of Tony. It brought Tony out of his head long enough to mutter a quick “Thanks” before zeroing in on the arm again.
The only other time Tony was brought out of his trance was when Bucky and Steve started chuckling. He blinked up at them like he’d just woken from a dream.
Bucky mock pouted. “Aw, Stark, don’t stop serenading me now, Steve and I were enjoying the music.”
Heat flared at the back of Tony’s neck. He scoffed and fiddled with one of the wires that had gotten caught between two gears. “I think I would know if I was singing to you.”
Steve hummed thoughtfully. “I suppose singing isn’t the word.”
“No,” Bucky also hummed. “I suppose not.”
“What’s the word then, Bucky?” Steve hummed.
“I don’t know?” Bucky hummed.
Tony swatted them both with a wrench. “I get it. Humming, which is definitely not singing. I’m going to have to send you two back to grade school. This is embarrassing. Two of the world’s greatest super heroes, and they don’t know the difference between humming and singing. I swear—” Tony continued his tangent, even as Bucky and Steve snickered at him.
After what felt like ten minutes to Tony, but was really hours later, Tony snapped the last of the metal plates back in place and scooted away from Bucky to give him space to test out the arm.
Bucky beamed like the sun as he flexed his arm and fingers. “Aw, Stark, I could kiss you right now.”
Tony’s heart jumped and his neck burned, but years of practice aided him in maintaining his nonchalant expression long enough to smile back at Bucky teasingly. He tapped a finger to his lips. “Only if it’s chaste. Don’t want Stevie here getting jealous of little ole me.”
Bucky and Steve sent each other curious glances and in a millisecond the two were grinning like Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland. It was the same look the two of them got on their faces when they were up to no good.
Tony tensed and ran through a mental list of all the sharp objects in the room. So far Bucky and Steve had proven that while they were evil masterminds when it came to pranks they were also excellent in making sure the victims never came to any physical harm; however, statistics proved that there would come a day, and Tony was determined not to be there when it finally happened.
Too busy cataloguing where he’d put his tools, Tony was utterly defenseless when Bucky jumped off the workbench and dragged Tony forward by the collar of his shirt.
Tony barely had time to blink before Bucky pressed their lips together in a firm yet chaste kiss.
Tony froze, but his mind did not. Half of his brain ran through the calculations and probabilities that he’d somehow transported himself to an alternate universe where Bucky returned his romantic feelings in the last several seconds. The other half of his brain was all but screaming in joy and gushing about how shapely Bucky’s lips were.
When Bucky pulled back, Tony had to use all of his willpower to keep himself from diving for Bucky’s mouth.
Bucky and Steve were dating, and while he had done a lot of terrible things in his life, he’d never try to ruin a happy and healthy relationship.
Tony glanced guiltily at Steve, but the blond still had that mischievous smile on his face.
“I should thank you too,” Steve said.
Just like with Bucky, Tony didn’t have time to process the seconds between what was said and Steve suddenly appearing in front of him. Steve’s hand gripped Tony’s hip, dragging him to Steve’s side, and Steve plastered an over the top kiss to Tony’s cheek before releasing Tony.
Tony smacked his cheek. “What the—”
“Just wanted to show our appreciation.” Bucky winked at Tony as he slung an arm around Steve’s shoulders.
“You did such an excellent job,” Steve added.
“And you said a kiss was okay,” Bucky said.
Tony ravaged his repertoire for a witty comeback, but the two kisses had shut his brain down. So instead he whirled, pretended to organize his tools and threw his head back haughtily. “Seriously? Are you two five-year-olds or something?”
“Says the man who is compared to a five-year-old on a weekly basis,” Bucky retorted.
“That is because I am young and full of vitality, unlike you ninety-year olds.”
“What did he say?” Bucky raised his voice.
“What?” Steve asked.
“What?” Bucky repeated.
Steve made a show of wiggling a finger in his ear as if cleaning out wax. “I’m sorry, Bucky, I can’t hear you. You have to speak up.”
“I’ll let Barton know you two will be borrowing his hearing aids from now on,” Tony quipped.
Steve and Bucky chuckled.
Bucky walked up behind Tony and gave him one last peck on the cheek. “Whenever you’re in the mood for a little spring-winter romance let us know. We’ll be happy to indulge.”
Tony thought his brain had malfunctioned before, but that statement alone infected his brain like a deadly computer virus. So caught up in his disbelief and shock he missed Bucky and Steve’s departure. By the time he rebooted his brain, the two were gone and he was alone in the workshop.
“FRIDAY, what just happened?”
“I believe Sergeant Barnes, and by extension Captain Rogers, propositioned you, boss.”
Tony refused to believe Bucky had been sincere with the offer to join him and Steve in a little dalliance. As for the part of him that was throwing a tantrum and screaming at him to go for it, Tony bashed it in with a shovel and buried it under years of repressed emotions. On the few days when that wasn’t enough to suppress the urge to accept the invite, Tony used logic to combat it.
Bucky and Steve had each other; they didn’t need Tony, even if by some miracle the two perfect human male specimens wanted him. Tony was all for casual relationships, but even he knew he couldn’t handle something casual with Bucky and Steve. He’d been carrying a torch for Captain America since he was a kid, and the flame had only grown stronger once he met the guy. As for Bucky, Tony had never predicted he’d fall just as hard for him too. Lust he expected and accepted, but the day Tony had just woken up from a nap after three days of no rest and Bucky had offered him coffee was the day when realization slammed into Tony like a battering ram.
He friggin’ loved Steve and Bucky. Hell! He loved them so much he was actually thrilled that they were together. Yes, every now and then when he was in a foul mood he’d pity himself and wish that he’d had the guts to have asked one of them out before they’d fully reconciled. However, seeing them together and so happy gave him a type of happiness he hadn’t ever experienced before. It was similar to what he’d had with Pepper, but it felt deeper and in some ways, healthier. Purer.
It was because of that, Tony told himself, that he couldn’t take Bucky up on his offer. Besides it being a joke (Steve and Bucky had been messing with him before, so obviously the invite was a joke), even if it weren’t, Tony would never recover from having come so close to being with the two people he cared for most and not being able to keep them. He would become just as entangled as the wires and metal of Bucky’s arm had been, but there would be no one there who could fix him and make him better afterwards.
That simple, pure, love would be tarnished by bitterness and self-loathing if he ever let himself fall into bed with them for one night.
Steve poked Tony’s forehead.
Tony blinked. He was in the kitchen where he had come to take a mental break from the latest upgrades for his suit and refuel on coffee. The mug of coffee in his hand had turned cold while he had pondered for the one hundred eighty-seventh time the sex-vite and his feelings.
“You’ve been staring at that mug for the last ten minutes.” Steve crossed his arms in a no nonsense manner. “Also, it’s five in the morning. Did you really just wake up, or have you not gone to sleep yet?”
Tony mulled over the question. “Both.”
Steve adorably wrinkled his nose in confusion. “How is that possible?”
“Micro—” Steve shook his head, giving up on understanding Tony. He took Tony’s mug away from the inventor and visibly jumped in his skin. “It’s cold.”
Tony sighed forlornly and sank into the kitchen chair. “A travesty, I know. Steve, make me coffee.” He patted at Steve like a newborn kitten.
Steve marched over to the sink and poured the mug out then rinsed it. “No.”
Tony whined. “Stevie.”
“Bucky would do it.”
“Bucky likes to be a little shit sometimes and do things that he knows will annoy me.”
“I’m going to tell Bucky that you called him that. Also, lan—”
“If you say ‘language,’ Tony, I will destroy all of the coffee in this house and make it impossible for you to get more.”
“You can’t do that.”
“No, but Pepper can.”
Tony cursed. Steve had him there. “You’re evil, pure evil. You don’t deserve the title Captain America, or maybe you do. Depends from what country’s perspective we’re looking through.”
Steve rolled his eyes as he finished cleaning the mug and set it on the counter to dry. “Time for bed, Tony.”
Tony shook his head. “Nope.”
Steve stood behind Tony’s chair and grabbed the back of it. “C’mon, Tony.”
Tony closed his eyes and crossed his arm over his chest. “No.”
Steve pulled the chair out from under the table. “Last warning, Tony.”
Tony huffed, but weighed the pros and cons of getting flung over Steve’s shoulder like a ragdoll. He’d get a nice view of that ass, but he’d always been the “see with his hands” type. It would not do well to molest Steve, and Tony didn’t trust himself to resist.
“Only if you tuck me in and give me a goodnight kiss.” He was still Tony Stark though, and he was never one to back done from a challenge.
Delight sparkled in Steve’s eyes, and Tony knew he was in for it. “All right, don’t say I didn’t warn you.” With just one arm, Steve scooped Tony off the chair and over his shoulder.
Tony took advantage of the momentum to grab a handful of those glorious gluts then let go. He did it fast enough that he hoped Steve took interpreted the inappropriate touch as accidental and Tony’s reflex to catch himself. Such seemed to be the case when Steve said nothing and marched Tony out of the kitchen and past a sleepy-eyed Sam, who jumped in surprise at the sight of them.
Tony waved and blew a kiss in Sam’s direction. “Morning, gorgeous.”
Steve playfully swatted Tony on the ass.
Tony squawked indignantly. “What was that for?”
“No ‘morning’ for you. It’s ‘goodnight.’”
“Did you really just spank me for improper syntax?” And was it just Tony, or had the heat just risen a little bit. Tony internally chastised his libido.
“Did you really squeeze my ass a few seconds ago?” Steve teased as he entered the elevator. Without instructions the elevator climbed up the levels of Stark Tower.
Tony tensed at Steve’s accusation but tried to play it cool. “That was an accident.”
“Why do I not believe you?” There was a hint of a chuckle in Steve’s tone melted Tony.
Tony feigned a gasp of hurt. “I can’t believe you wouldn’t trust me.”
“There are a handful of situations in which I would trust you with my ass. When it comes to touching it though, I trust my instinct more.”
The elevator opened to Tony’s floor. Tony had planned for Steve to drop him off right there but was surprised when the super soldier crossed the threshold and carried Tony into the bedroom. He was even more surprised when Steve didn’t stop just within the room but ventured all the way over to the bed. The actions were so unexpected that he didn’t resist Steve when the man slowly lowered Tony to the bed like Tony was a china doll. In any other mental state Tony would have protested the tender treatment, instead he stared up at Steve slightly wide eyed as he waited for what unexpected thing Steve would do next.
Steve smiled down at him, and half kneeled on the bed, causing the mattress to sink under his weight. He placed a hand on the pillow next to Tony’s head. Achingly slow, he leaned down until their foreheads touched. His eyes shifted to Tony’s lips, and Tony licked them self-consciously.
Steve met Tony’s gaze and Tony found it a little hard to breath.
Soft lips brushed Tony’s. It was so quick and light that it felt like a butterfly had touched Tony’s lips and not Steve’s mouth.
Steve watched Tony’s reaction and a second later pressed his lips harder and longer against Tony’s. It wasn’t anything filthy, yet a moan still escaped Tony.
He gripped the mattress for purchase and to keep himself from grabbing Steve as he reminded himself why he couldn’t accept the invite to join Bucky and Steve no matter how much he wanted to.
When Steve pulled away, Tony sucked in a lungful of air to keep his heart rate steady and help keep his wits about him.
Steve smirked and pressed a kiss to Tony’s cheek as he pushed off the bed. “Goodnight.” He sashayed—fuckin’ sashayed!—out of the room, only pausing long enough to ask FRIDAY to dim the lights and make sure Tony didn’t leave the room for the next four hours minimum.
Tony covered his face with his hands and groaned.
Steve and Bucky were either going to shatter his heart into a million pieces or kill him with blue balls. He didn’t know which would be more painful.
Initiate Self Destruct Sequence, the Hydra computer stated, and Tony let loose a string of curses. He launched at the keys, hacking into the system to stop the self-destruct sequence of the Hydra base, but when the timer displayed one minute Tony turned into a statue of panic. He was good, but he wasn’t that good. He’d need more time than that to stop the explosion.
“Everyone take cover. The base is going to blow.” Tony engaged his thrusters and rose into the air. “FRIDAY, give me the team’s locations.”
“You got it, boss.”
A map popped up on the HUD and Tony almost sighed with relief when he saw that his teammates hadn’t gotten inside the building yet. Then one dot flashed on the screen and suddenly a picture of Steve took its place.
Another round of curses poured out of Tony as he zoomed through the building, blowing up walls to shorten the distance between him and Steve.
When he was just a room away from Steve he blasted the last wall between them, startling the Hydra agents who had been fighting him. “Sorry, boys, but I really gotta borrow the captain for a minute. I promise you can have him back if you survive the explosion.” He flew right at Steve, barreling into the super soldier. He wrapped one arm around Steve’s waist and aimed another at the opposite wall so he could fly through.
FRIDAY flashed fifteen seconds remaining on the clock.
Tony gritted his teeth. Just a couple more rooms.
He cut through them with five seconds remaining soared out of the building. The blast from the explosion sent him reeling through the air. He tumbled and swayed, but never let go of Steve for a second. When Tony was finally able to right himself, Steve had an arm wrapped around Tony’s shoulder and was talking into his earpiece.
Tony listened as everyone checked in on the communicators.
Tony lowered himself and Steve to the ground and almost like the man had teleported there, Bucky was in front of them with his battle face on. He took one glance at the two of them and the shadow of the Winter Soldier left this countenance. Instead his face was a mixture of fondness, relief, and fury. He yanked Steve away from Tony and put Steve in a headlock. “You punk, don’t scare me like that again.”
“No promises,” Steve grinned cheekily.
Bucky’s arm wrapped tighter around Steve’s neck, and he yanked Steve’s head down just enough to cause minor pain. “Don’t forget who you’re talking to, Stevie. I can be very creative when I want to be.”
Steve just chuckled.
Tony smiled to himself feeling happy and content to watch the two friends and lovers banter with each other. It was exactly what he needed after such a close call, just that little flare of warmth in his chest that told him everything was right in the world. As long as these two idiots were happy, then so was he.
Tony was so entranced by the feeling he was startled when Bucky tapped on his faceplate. “What?”
The corners of Bucky’s mouth lifted as he tapped the helmet again. “C’mon on, Stark, let me see those, big, beautiful, brown eyes.”
Tony tampered down his inner self that cooed with delight and raised the faceplate. “Flattery will get you everywhere.” Tony wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.
The coy curl of Bucky’s mouth turned rambunctious at Tony’s words. Bucky’s grabbed the helmet and pulled Tony in for a kiss. Tony opened his mouth in shock, and Bucky took advantage of it to run his tongue across the roof of Tony’s mouth. Tony shuddered at the sensation, his mouth and eyes closing automatically. Bucky didn’t care. He kept pressing his lips against Tony’s, moving slowly but firm.
It felt like Bucky had kissed him for hours even though it had been seconds when Bucky finally pulled away. Bucky looked smug as a cat with a canary. “Thanks, Stark.”
Oh, Tony thought. Oh, right. He’d temporarily forgotten the joke. Bucky was so grateful he had to kiss Tony. And Steve had kissed Tony that morning not so long ago because of the joke Tony had made.
Tony internally shook his head. This was going to far for a joke or two. He knew that. It made it more painful in a way. The offer was serious and… he couldn’t—he couldn’t accept it. His chest already felt like it was being torn apart at just the thought of having them and then losing them. It would only be worse if his fears came true.
Bucky’s brow furrowed. He reached into the helmet and cupped Tony’s cheek, rubbing a thumb just under Tony’s eye in a soothing manner. “Hey, you okay, Tony?”
Bucky looked over his shoulder at Steve. They shared worried expressions laced with suspicion, which they turned on Tony. Before either could get a word out Sam and Wanda emerged from the battlefield.
Natasha arrived with transport seconds later, and Tony made a point of keeping his distance from Bucky and Steve. When they got back to Avengers tower, Tony locked himself in his workshop and refused visitors.
He spent half a day in the shop, and when he emerged long enough to peek outside the door, there was a blueberry muffin with a strawberry on top waiting for him.
Tony snatched up the muffin and scurried back into his workshop like a mouse.
Tony was having a bad day.
Vision had said something so… so JARVIS, and it felt like someone had ripped off Tony’s skin and drowned his body in acid. It hurt too much and every second the secret stash of bottles he kept in his workshop called out to him. It didn’t help that for the last few hours he’d been working on upgrades for the team’s armor and was failing miserably at producing a usable product.
He was such a failure.
Tony swiped away the holographic images of the prototypes he’d been working on. He dropped his head on the table and groaned.
He was a genius. He wasn’t supposed to be hit by such petty mental blocks. He was the best.
Except he wasn’t. He was a failure. He’d gotten so many people killed and had lost his best friend all because he’d been so stupid. So blinded by his fear and pride that—
Tony slammed his head down on the desk again.
The door to his workshop opened and Tony didn’t bother to raise his head. Like it mattered. Nothing mattered. He was scum. Worthless. Vile.
“Tony?” Steve’s voice was quiet but held an edge of command; something had put Steve on edge enough to make him enter a pseudo battle mode.
Tony’s chest constricted. It was him; he had put Steve on edge. God, he was the worst human being ever.
A big hand clamped onto Tony’s shoulder. Steve gave Tony a squeeze. Like magic—although Tony was loath to admit such a thing existed—Steve’s touch melted away the tension in Tony’s shoulders and spread comfort through Tony. “C’mon, Tony, look at me, please?”
Tony didn’t want to. The moment he looked at Steve, Steve would know just how bad the thoughts in Tony’s head were. Steve somehow always knew.
Even so, Tony found himself lifting his head.
Their eyes met and before Tony could take in the expression that had been on Steve’s face before, the man’s countenance became crushed. Tony hated himself all the more for it. With one glance Tony managed to devastate Steve so much.
“Do I really look that ugly?” Tony asked, trying for humor.
Suddenly huge arms were wrapped so tightly around Tony that he could barely breath. Steve buried his face in Tony’s head.
Tony waited for the words of false praise, the questions, and sympathy, but none came. Steve just held him, and after a minute, Tony wound his arms around Steve’s waist and hugged him back.
Tony didn’t know how much time he spent like that with Steve. All he knew was that the longer Steve held him the better he felt. “Kiss it better?” Tony asked, the question muffled by Steve’s chest.
Tony reprimanded himself.
Since the Hydra base Bucky and Steve had stopped flirting with him. He should have known Steve wouldn’t appreciate the joke. He should have—
Steve slipped a hand under Tony’s chin and lifted Tony’s face up.
For a moment they just stared, Steve’s gaze assessing and tinged with sadness.
Finally, Steve lowered his mouth to Tony’s forehead and pressed a kiss there.
Tony frowned. “Do I look like a kid?”
Steve smiled against Tony’s forehead as he left another kiss. “You said kiss it better. It’s your brain that’s broken, not your mouth.”
That gave Tony pause. What Steve had said was oddly sweet. It filled him with hope. Dangerous hope that Tony could not allow himself to have. He had to ruin the moment. “So if my dick was broken?”
Steve huffed, but pressed his cheek to the top of Tony’s head. “Dork.”
“I’m not the one spouting sentimentality,” Tony protested.
The door opened again. “Am I interrupting something?” Bucky asked.
Tony pulled out of Steve’s arms, waving off Bucky’s question and ignoring the hurt expression on Steve’s face. “No, just gauging the amount of body heat Steve radiates in case we’re ever trapped in a snow storm and need to share warmth.” It was an obvious lie, but Tony was still too messed up in the head to think of anything better. Besides, Steve would just rat him out anyway once he was alone with Bucky.
Steve and Bucky did there mind reading trick where they just looked at each other and knew everything that had transpired while they’d been apart. Bucky shuffled closer, wearing a pleasant smile. “Steve and I were going to go out tonight. You should join us.”
“Can’t,” Tony responded. “I still have to figure out these armors.” He gestured with his hand and FRIDAY pulled up the holograms of the specs.
“You can take a break for a few hours,” Bucky said.
Tony shook his head. “Can’t. Next time.”
Bucky frowned. Again Steve and Bucky did that look thing then nodded.
Bucky marched up to Tony and cupped Tony’s face. He waited a moment then leaned in and kissed Tony softly on the lips. “Thanks, for looking out for everyone.”
Tony looked away, unable to meet Bucky’s gaze. “Someone has to.”
Bucky smiled, moved Tony’s head back to where it was prior, and kissed him again.
“And what was that one for?” Tony challenged.
Bucky’s smiled turned wicked. “I see more than one piece of armor. How about a kiss for each one?” Before Tony could say anything, Bucky kissed one cheek then kissed the other.
He didn’t mean for it to happen, but Tony snorted out a laugh.
Bucky beamed and kissed Tony’s nose. “You know, I think I owe you for a backlog of armor and weapons. This could take all night. I’ll probably need Steve’s help too. What do you think, Steve?”
Steve nodded, appearing amused and eager to join in.
“Thanks,” Tony lowered Bucky’s hands from his face, “but I did have plans to finish all the armors tonight, so I could focus on other deadlines that are coming up in a few days. Contrary to popular belief, I do try to meet my deadlines.”
“A rain check then?” Bucky offered.
Tony nodded even though he knew that rain check would never come. He also knew he should just tell Steve and Bucky no to the idea of a threesome, but he just couldn’t find it in himself to reject their offer completely.
Bucky searched Tony’s face. He frowned, but yielded. He clasped Steve’s hand and mumbled a farewell as he and Steve left Tony to work. Steve hesitated in the doorway, which made Bucky hesitate too, but Tony waved them out.
Once they were gone, Tony slouched against the wall and sighed.
“Legolas!” Tony crowed as he entered the communal living room to find Clint Barton seated on the couch across from Natasha. Steve and Bucky were hanging out near the bar, scrounging for snacks by the looks of it.
“Shellhead!” Clint Barton threw up his arms as if to hug Tony in greeting then lowered them. “Still filthy rich?”
“Of course. Still living on the farm with the missus and tiny agents?”
“So then what brings you back to the city?” Tony cupped his hand around his mouth and whispered conspiratorially, “Fury contact you? The whole ‘just when I think I’m out; they pull me back in’ thing?”
Clint shook his head then nodded at Natasha who wore the grin of a satisfied cat. “Tasha here has been telling me all sorts of gossip and I just had to see for myself what’s been going on.”
“Tony where did you hide those chips?” Steve asked from his crouched position behind the bar. Bucky hovered next to him and was looking through one of the shelves.
“What chips?” Tony strolled over the bar.
“The ones Clint likes. The weird tasting ones that are spicy.” Steve pulled out a bottle of gin and set it on the bar as he rummaged through the cupboard.
“Are you sure there’s any still here? If Barton was the only one who liked them…” Bucky trailed off in a grumble.
Tony snapped his fingers. “I moved them to the kitchen.”
“What?” Steve stood up. “Why?”
“Well, with Clint no longer here, I didn’t have to hide them.” Tony turned to Bucky. “And Clint wasn’t the only who liked them, thank you very much.”
Bucky rolled his eyes and pointed at Steve. “He misinformed me.”
“Excuses.” Tony hurried off to the kitchen and pulled down the chips from one of the cupboards. He poured what remained in the bag into a bowl and rushed back to join the group.
Steve had taken a seat next to Clint and was laughing, whereas Bucky had remained standing. At Tony’s approach Bucky’s face lit up. He met Tony half across the room. He wrapped his hands around the bowl and leaned across it. “Thanks, Tones.” He kissed Tony, then joined Steve on the couch.
Tony moved to take a seat with the others when he noticed Clint eyeing him. Tony paused with his hand on the back of his seat. “What?”
“This is what I was telling you about.” Natasha stated.
Clint’s gaze swept the room, noting everything in it no doubt. His gaze settled on Bucky and Steve who were seated next to each other with Steve’s arm acting as a head cushion for Bucky. Clint’s sight then wandered to Tony who had been about to place himself in a chair away from the duo even though Bucky had just kissed him. Whatever Clint picked up from those small social queues was quickly processed by his brain, because in a millisecond he was back to acting like his jovial self. “So what’s this I hear about giving Tony kisses whenever he does something nice?”
The back of Tony’s neck heated up, and if he were a lesser person he would have sputtered and acted like a school kid called out on their first crush, but Tony maintained his poise as he finally took his seat. “It’s just a show of gratitude, Legolas. Nothing to get your panties in a twist about.”
“Gratitude?” Clint repeated. His eyes swept back to Steve and Bucky and Tony couldn’t help but follow.
Bucky was hard to read, an indication that he was hiding something (Bucky was an open book otherwise). Steve on the other hand was so obviously uncomfortable with what had just been said. He was tense and he fiddled unnecessarily with the bowl of chips in his lap.
Bucky untangled himself from Steve so he could reach his arm across the back of the couch and massage Steve’s neck.
Suddenly Clint’s focus was back on Tony and he was standing up. “Well, if that’s the case, I think I owe you a whole lot of kisses, Stark.”
Tony laughed and relaxed into the chair. “Oh do you ever. The number of arrows I’ve made you, the bows too, your own room in the tower—even if you didn’t use it much—and let’s not forget about all of the food. Hell, we haven’t even gotten into utilities.”
Clint sauntered closer. “Shit.” Clint whistled and made a show of pulling out his phone and looking at the time on it. “And I only a few hours before I take off with Tasha.” Clint dropped himself in Tony’s lap, straddling Tony. “Forget kisses. There’s only one why I am going to be able to make this up to you in such a short amount of time.”
There was something cracking behind Clint, but Tony paid it no mind, too amused by Clint’s advances to care. He craned his head back, raised an eyebrow, and gave Clint his best coy grin. “Oh, well, I’m sure we can share a few kisses during the process too.”
There was a glint to Clint’s eyes. “You bet.” Clint swooped down and latched his mouth to Tony’s.
Tony ripped his mouth from Clint’s, shoving Clint away by the chest to get a better look behind the archer.
Steve was standing with fists clenched and the chip bowl broken into a hundred pieces at his feet. Bucky hand taken a stand too and was holding Steve’s forearm as he whispered in his boyfriend’s ear.
Natasha watched the whole thing with a curious eye.
Like so many times involving Steve and Bucky, Tony was at a loss for words.
Bucky sent dirty looks to Clint over his shoulder in between continuing his utterances in Steve’s ear.
Steve shook Bucky off, took a deep breath, and immediately looked calmer. He was in battle mode. Steve ignored the broken bowl and marched up to Clint. He crossed his arms over his chest and looked expectantly at the archer. “Get off Tony’s lap now, Clint.”
“Tony’s fine with it, aren’t you Tony?” Clint asked.
“It feels nice,” came out of Tony’s mouth lamely.
It was so minute that Tony almost missed it, but Steve winced. “This isn’t a game, Clint. This is inappropriate behavior between teammates.”
“Newsflash, Cap, I’m not on the team.”
It was Steve’s turn to be at a loss for words.
Bucky came up behind Steve, taking over where Steve had fallen. “You took your joke too far. Now get off.”
Clint feigned innocence. “But it’s all a joke right? Tony knows that.” Clint shrugged. “Tony understands that there is nothing serious going on here.” He gestured to the small space between him and Tony then gestured at in the space between Tony, Bucky, and Steve. “He understands that him and me are just buddies. Just like how he gets that you and Steve are absolutely gaga over each other, love only each other, and couldn’t possibly have romantic feelings for anyone else. Any flirting on the part of you two is not serious.”
Damn. Tony grit his teeth against the knife stabbing pain in his chest. He’d always known words were a weapon, but he’d never expected for Clint to hit so hard and true without even knowing what he was hitting. Guess he was called Hawkeye for more than one reason.
Bucky’s face scrunched in bafflement for all of two seconds before his eyes widened and he clutched Steve’s arm like a lifeline.
Steve glanced at Bucky’s grip then Bucky’s face. They did their mind reading thing and soon Steve appeared just as distraught as Bucky.
Natasha stood up and cleared her throat. “Clint, I’ve changed my mind. I want to catch an early showing of the movie.”
Clint looked skyward in fake exasperation. “Why do you have change everything so last minute?” He climbed off Tony’s lap and proffered his arm to Natasha, which she took. “Well, see you guys later, and remember don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” He escorted Natasha to the elevator where the two of them disappeared.
“So,” Tony started. “That was weird.”
Bucky cuffed Tony on the back of the head.
“Ow!” Tony clutched her cranium. “Hey! Precious goods here!”
“You idiot.” Bucky grabbed Tony by the shoulders, hauled him up and then dropped them back on the chair so Tony was in his lap. Bucky rubbed his nose along the juncture of Tony’s neck and placed a kiss just above his collarbone. “Such an idiot.”
“I’m a genius!” Tony tried to stop a shudder, but he couldn’t help himself against the warm breath at his neck.
Just then Tony got a lapful of Steve, followed by a mouthful. Steve’s kiss was unyielding. He moved his mouth against Tony’s like a general leading an invasion. He pressed and pressed, making Tony dizzy with each slid and grind of lips. Tony did his best to breath through his nose, but even that was a struggle.
Steve was kissing him with desperation, like Tony was the last drop of water in the desert.
When Steve finally let him go, Tony fell back against Bucky, weak limbed and gasping for air.
Tony tried to form words, but couldn’t. He groaned, turning his head against Bucky’s and unintentionally planting a kiss on Bucky’s cheek. “Warranty exchange. I need a new brain. The Captain has fried mine.”
He felt Bucky smile into his neck. He shuddered again when Bucky nibbled at his skin teasingly.
“We want you,” Steve said.
Tony huffed and gestured at their laps were it was quite evident how much the three of them were enjoying themselves. “Gee, I didn’t notice.”
It was Steve’s turn to huff. He pressed his forehead against Tony’s and took a deep breath. “Not like that.”
Tony quirked an eyebrow. “Really, because your body says—” Tony yelped as Bucky pinched his thigh.
Bucky used the distraction to turn Tony’s head toward him and brush his lips across Tony’s. When he slipped away it wasn’t very far at all. Their noses touched, teasing each other with contact. “We want a relationship with you, not a one night stand.”
“Oh.” Okay, so not a one night stand. So probably fuck buddies. Tony could… well, he wasn’t so sure he could do that either. It would be better than if he had a one night stand with them, but still, every time he’d watch them do something romantic together he’d—
“Tony,” Steve breathed Tony’s name like a person at the end of their rope. “Stop it.”
“I didn’t do anything.”
Steve tapped Tony’s temple. “I can see the gears in your head moving. We don’t want a one night stand, and we don’t want to be friends with benefits. We want to date you. We want you to be our fella and us yours. So what do you say? Do you want the same thing?”
Tony must have missed something, some sort of fine print, because this couldn’t be happening. Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes couldn’t honestly be asking him out. They couldn’t possibly want a polyarmorous relationship with him. He couldn’t be that lucky. It went against the laws of the universe.
Bucky poked Tony’s cheek. “I think we broke him.”
“You two know that I am the worst boyfriend ever, right?” Tony asked.
Bucky shook his head. “Not what we heard. You sounded awesome based on our intel. Maybe not so easy for your normal person to handle.”
“But Bucky and I aren’t normal.” Steve’s tone turned knowing and teasing. “We’re actually quite super, in case you haven’t noticed.”
“Super human in fact.”
“Some might even say super soldiers.”
“Which truthfully, makes us twice as qualified to date you, and considering there’s two of us...”
“That really makes it four times as much.”
Tony groaned and covered his face. “Is this what I’m going to have to put with in the future? You two finishing each other’s sentences while I am caught in between you two with nowhere to escape?”
Steve and Bucky glowed at Tony’s question, and when Tony ran his sentence through his head again, he knew why. He’d basically said he’d date them, which he would. Definitely. Definitely, if the offer was real.
“C’mon, Stark,” Bucky hugged Tony around the waist. “You got Steve and me acting like a bunch of saps. We don’t do that for just anyone, you know. So just give us the unquestionable yes or no.”
Tony thought about it, really thought about it. This was one of his greatest wishes and fantasies come true; he’d be a fool to reject it out of fear. Plus, at this point, he had a feeling he’d be no better off rejecting Bucky and Steve than if he were to agree and find himself dumped a day later. So he wiggled in Bucky’s lap until he was curled up against Bucky’s chest, then wrapped an arm around Steve’s neck and pulled Steve closer.
“I guess I don’t mind being the cream filling in your super soldier sandwich.”
“Good.” Steve kissed Tony.
“Because for the next few days that’s all you’re going to be.” Bucky’s hand slid under Tony’s shirt.
Tony chuckled, but the sound was cut off by a moan when Steve rolled his hips into Tony’s.
Steve and Bucky looked down at Tony with wicked smiles of promise.
Tony knew then that Bucky hadn’t been kidding about how he’d spend his next few days.