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Freedoms I wanted

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By the time Tony tips him down onto the bed, Steve has all but lost his mind. He doesn’t know things anymore; he’s pretty sure he just feels them, like Tony’s skin, how it’s rough at the fingertips but fragile and thin under his wrists, smooth beneath the hair on his arms. Damp at the bend of his elbow. Hot over his biceps where it tenses over muscle, cool across the curves of his shoulders.

Tony pauses leaning over him, then lets out a sudden chuckle. “Found something you like?”

Steve’s not focusing on anything, really. Tony’s arms are just… just…

He drags Tony down into a kiss and stays there for a while, letting his mind whir in the swell. God, he’s hard, he could punch right through his boxers. “Would work well as a lyric,” he mumbles into Tony’s mouth, and then he has to explain, and then Tony laughs and laughs. He shifts Steve’s knees apart with a sinuous wriggle and fits himself between them. At the contact, Steve heaves up, joints locking, and Tony breathes a much throatier noise against his throat.

“I have an answer for that.” He does, Steve feels it stiff in the crook of his pelvis. He rolls his hips up, just to see, and Tony’s fingers fist in his hair, trembling.

Ah, hell. Steve drops the last of his reservations and decides to enjoy himself. All of it, over the top, until his nerve endings go dead. He doesn’t know what he’s doing and that’s a fact. Nothing he can do about it now. “You’re not going to care too much if I don’t blow your mind, right?” he manages, and Tony pulls up, robbing him of all that delicious contact and letting the cold air between. Steve reaches for him before he can think about it.

“Hey.” Tony’s voice stops him, hand hovering. Tony waits until Steve meets his eyes. “You will blow my mind. You’re incapable of doing otherwise, Captain Flawless.”

Steve can’t help it; he looks away. Tony’s fingers immediately alight on his chin and turn him back.

“No, listen, I’m sorry.” Tony sighs. He strokes Steve’s jaw with his thumb. “But you really are perfect in all the ways I care about. This? Here?” He gestures at the bed, the room, his own body, and leers down at Steve. “Trust me, you’ll do just fine.”

Steve has his doubts. But he doesn’t voice them this time. His penchant for strategy is already kicking in: Tony’s a man, like him. Tony has all the same equipment he does, and Steve’s a creative guy. If he knows how to please himself, he should be able to find some way of pleasing Tony.

And (he knows better than most) when unable to astonish Tony Stark, distract instead.

He feels his way down Tony’s sides, fingers splayed and dragging, curling until his nails hitch across skin. It’s beautiful, this. Nakedness. Steve sleeps naked, he prefers the feel of sheets against bare skin, but Tony naked with him, well, that’s another thing entirely. They’re not even fully unclothed yet, and he wants to track everything Tony keeps hidden, find the nooks and crannies, the whorls and the freckles and the moles, the uneven trail the hair makes as it weaves down from Tony’s navel. Steve follows it with the flat of his palm, fingers downward like an arrow, and hits heat like he’s never felt, a huddle of humid warmth beneath the band of Tony’s pants. Tony’s spine hikes, an abrupt seizure, and Steve looks up at Tony where he looms over him, arms bracketing.

“Whatever—” Tony falls rigidly silent as Steve’s fingers twitch, then swallows. “Whatever you want to try. Lay it on me.”

Try. Something not quite right in that. Damned if Steve can make heads or tails of what. He shakes it aside, impatient, and the answers roll up as though they’ve been caged. “Your mouth, and your hand. Want to feel your tongue—”


“Wherever.” Why is this so difficult? He doesn’t remember ever being this aroused, not even as a kid. His head just wasn’t in it, not like Bucky’s. There’d been a time when Steve wondered if he even possessed a libido, if there wasn’t something wrong with him. Nowadays, ‘wrong’ is no longer the idea they jump to, but, “Your skin, I want to feel you, against me.”

As he speaks, Steve’s face heats like fire. He rubs his free hand, the one not trapped down Tony Stark’s pants, over his forehead. Oh, god, where is this even coming from? But even with his palm over his face, he hasn’t stopped moving, hips syncing with Tony in a torturous flex and ebb, and if he doesn’t get his own pants off soon, he’s never going to get any of what he just asked for.

“Okay, okay,” Tony hushes. Steve feels fingers tuck under the waist of his trousers, then skate to the buckles of his suspenders. Tony lets out another huff, fiddling the first clasp open. “Ah, damn it, if I’d known you were wearing these.” He lets the rest of it disappear, but that’s fine. Steve can extrapolate.

Tony unhooks the other suspender, flicks open Steve’s fly and gets his pants down his legs, then pauses. “Have you really never done this before?”

“I really never.”

Tony nods, then nods again, almost to himself. His gaze flies down Steve’s torso and up again. “Can I fuck you?” he asks softly. The presence of the vulgarity barely makes a blip, so earnest is the question; to Steve, it sounds like the most soothing entreaty, almost graceful.

He nods, and his innards fist up in a hot, pleasant tremor. “Please.”

Tony doesn’t make a fuss of it, and Steve follows along in a daze. He has to keep tugging his mind back from its mad careen, remind himself that this is happening right here and if he doesn’t pay attention, he’ll miss his own deflowering. Which is hard not to find funny; again he twitches, again, Tony stops and silently demands an answer, and when Steve gives it to him—

“Oh, honey,” Tony says around a crooked smile. “No one deflowers anyone anymore.”

“Have to admit, though.” Steve arches into him as Tony shifts, and watches Tony’s eyes roll helplessly up. “It has a keen, old world ring to it.”

“He says it’s keen,” Tony mumbles into his neck, then attacks the skin there, sucking just enough, tugging Steve to the edge of pain, then sinking him into a blissful euphoria. Steve lets out all his air in a whoosh. He grips Tony’s nape.

“That. Again.”

“Where?” Tony queries lewdly. Steve directs him and Tony goes, and then—oh, there’s no stopping it, he might as well—

“Ah!” he gasps as he arches, and comes, and regrets it in a rueful, giddy sort of way. “Oh. God.” Each word is a sigh; he’s only getting enough oxygen for one syllable at a time. But Tony teases him through it, thumb immediately tripping around his balls and stroking the underside of his dick. Steve writhes, toes clenching, then seizes Tony’s wrist. “Okay, okay, that’s… Hold on.”

“Oh, I am.”

Steve snorts a laugh and gets a kiss for his troubles: a noisy peck full on the mouth. Tony doesn’t let go of him, but he remains still at least, and Steve likes the weight of him.

“That take the edge off?”

Steve groans and covers his face with his hand again. “Got so many edges these days.”

“I do like the sound of that.” Tony’s fingers move, titillating, and Steve lets himself go blessedly rigid, all the muscles tightening into each other in a flowing river. It feels like an elongated version of what he just felt, like coming in one lengthy zing through his entire body. His skin goes cold, then numb just for an instant, and he relaxes back onto the mattress. When he opens his eyes, Tony’s shaking his head slowly.

“That. I could watch that. Anytime.”

At least now it should be easier. “You have any…” Steve gestures, watches as Tony seems to find himself again, the glaze sucking out of his eyes.

“It pains me that you think I would have run out of that.” Tony tsks and leans up, stretching for the bedside drawer.

“Well, I don’t know. Maybe this lyrics thing has been harder on you than I realized.”

“I’ll cop to a slightly higher rate of consumption.” Tony cuts himself off in a little ha! of triumph and wheels back over Steve, tube in hand. “Now, as the more experienced party here—”

Steve groans.

“I feel it’s my duty to offer you a tried and tested form of prophylactic—”

“Serum,” Steve mutters.

“But,” Tony talks over him, leaning down into a heated kiss, “as I’ve been informed by certain interested and generally reliable parties, that may be unnecessary in this case.” He waits until Steve looks up at him. “Also, I’ve recently been tested. I’m clean.”

Steve doesn’t know what to say to that. He swallows, runs his hand up and down Tony’s arm.

“Then here’s to experimentation,” Tony mumbles into his mouth, distracting Steve from the words with his tongue, thrusting hot and deep, until Steve stops trying to keep up and just embraces it. He can feel himself growing hard again between their bellies.

Tony pulls back, and bumps Steve’s nose with his own. He’s breathing hard, shoulders glinting where sweat has begun to prickle. It’s fascinating to see him unraveled like this, Tony Stark, the master of improvisation.

“Now,” he breathes unsteadily, continuing to nose at Steve’s face. “There are a couple ways we can do this.”

“Like this,” Steve says immediately, and Tony stills. Steve skims his hands down Tony’s flanks again, a little friction, a little slide, and ends in a lingering grip over Tony’s rear that fixes Tony’s eyes right on him. “I want to see your face.”

“And I’d like to see yours, honey,” Tony answers without hesitating. “So that’s settled. You tell me if it gets too uncomfortable though. Really, just say the word, I exercise a lot of restraint on a daily basis.”


This time Tony really looks at him. He touches Steve’s cheek, then mutters something too rushed to make out. Steve thinks it’s ‘killing me.’

“Just,” Steve says before he can think better of it, “just make it…” He sighs, an anxious rush. “Make it good.”

Tony stares an instant longer. “No. No, I’m going to make it excellent. Unbelievable. Splendiferous. Trust me, babe, you are going to like this.” As he speaks, he settles between Steve’s legs, hitching until Steve’s knees are bent, calves clutching the dip of his waist. Tony’s own thighs are a taunting heat against Steve’s sides, bracing him securely. Steve takes a breath, not sure exactly how this is going to go down and only half knowing what to expect, but Tony leans over him, sliding his hands up the length of Steve’s arms until they are palm to palm.

“You’re thinking about it.” His voice is muffled in the next kiss, the one Steve tries to fall into, and Steve pulls up, exasperated with Tony but mostly with himself.


“Nah.” Tony flattens chest to chest with him, a sinuous glide that doesn’t lose any of the heat cradled between them. It’s kind of amazing. “We’ll take our time.”

Steve’s only seen Tony take his time with his suits, and his robots. But this is a wholly other type of focus that he’s glad he never witnessed in the lab, because he’d never be able to fight side by side with Iron Man again, thinking of the ideas that Tony must be entertaining right now. There’s no rush: Tony lingers over Steve’s body with his eyes just as much as his hands, curling the two of them together and stretching them apart, kissing him open and loose, running his palms over Steve like all he wants to do is feel him. It’s so erotic, Steve could cry.

He might, if he doesn’t get to come again soon.

“Gonna,” he rasps, then changes his mind. “Wanna.” He’s got more in him, he knows it, and mentally shrugs. If Tony can’t handle being with a partner who doesn’t really have a finish line, then it isn’t meant to be.

That’s a much harder potential future to dismiss than Steve wants it to be.

In one smooth slither, Tony sinks down his body, locks his arms around the backs of Steve’s thighs, and swallows him down. And it’s a good thing Tony’s holding him there, because Steve’s mind goes white and sparkly, like glass shattering; he shoves up, can’t stop the sound he makes. But it doesn’t end in a sudden swoop and flare; no, Tony pushes his hips down to the bed and sucks him off relentlessly, merciless as he laves Steve from base to tip, drags and lingers, swipes and curls and goes down so far it has to be in his throat. Steve’s sight goes an odd, comforting gray, then thickens and thickens, and like a gunshot, he’s coming again, this time muted and vibrating, down his spine and through his legs, clenching around his lungs. It lasts and it lasts, and just when he can’t take it any longer, Tony eases off and Steve collapses with another broken sound.

He becomes aware that Tony is beside him again, propping his chin on one hand, the other trailing over Steve’s stomach. “I think he likes it,” Tony muses, a smirk in his voice.

“Mnph,” Steve groans, fumbling Tony into a messy kiss. He can taste himself, and the flavor of Tony’s mouth, and it’s strange, but Steve has been through stranger.

“I just want to say,” Tony states, “how honored I am to be the first to do that.”

Steve gropes around, finds Tony’s pillow, and decks him with it. Tony ends up plastered to Steve’s front. He nudges a kiss right over Steve’s navel and holds it.

“How many times can you go?” The look on his face calculates, numbers running.

Steve blinks at the ceiling, says, “Always once more, sir,” then snickers helplessly. It was Bucky’s joke and then the Commandos’, the perfect needle to prod their commanding officer into a crimson flush with.

Tony’s grin comes easily.

“Thought you were gonna fuck me,” Steve says, wiping the sweat from his brow as it slides toward his eyes, and Tony kisses his chest tenderly before gazing up at him, chin resting on Steve’s sternum.

“That’s what I’ve been doing, babe.”

Steve drags a hand through Tony’s hair, scruffing it against the grain. That’s not fair. That opens about a million doors, and Steve likes what he sees behind all of them. “I may not survive this.”

“Many a man has feared that.” Tony hums, working lazily across Steve’s chest as though he’s forgotten the rest of Steve’s body. “Some astounding genius who wasn’t me once likened coming to dying. Personally—” between kisses “—I think it’s the exact opposite.”

Sure, Steve thinks, whatever you want, Steve thinks. Very soon he’ll lose his virginity, to a man, no less, which is slightly more daunting than the potential of losing it to a woman. If he were with a woman, he thinks he’d be the one risking less, but this will mean discomfort. This could even mean pain. This, Steve thinks frenziedly, is nothing next to the Battle of the Bulge. And that’s just appalling and inappropriate, the innuendo he’s wandered into. Steve snorts uncontrollably.

“Ooh, tell me,” Tony begs, huddling up against Steve and wrapping both arms around him like friends at a sleepover. Steve shakes his head; he knows he’s turning red again.

“Sorry. I’m sorry, my mind is going a million different directions.”

“I know how that is.”

It’s Tony’s sage nod that has Steve speaking his most recent thoughts aloud again, and then the way Tony’s arms clench tight around him and the way he chortles wretchedly into Steve’s abdomen. “You just. You just compared my dick to—”

“Do not.” Steve clamps down on Tony’s nape and tries not to find it funny. Tony laughs his way up Steve’s throat, the pointed path of his tongue enough to eventually smother their humor. Steve runs his hands up and down Tony’s shoulders, avidly watching the pale trails his fingers leave, wondering at the fact that after war and ice and loss, he has this.

“Now,” Tony says at last, meeting his eyes. “You know the mechanics?”

“Yes.” It’s a dizzy sort of epiphany he has then: if he hadn’t known, if he hadn’t researched it into the ground as soon as he knew what he wanted from Tony, he would have said so then, and Tony would have explained everything.

“Copacetic,” Tony breathes into another kiss. And another one. Another. Steve floats into it, late in getting his arms back around Tony. Whatever he’d thought would happen next—well, he’s not sure. Not sure of much anymore. Just the feeling of Tony’s mouth against his, the way their tongues touch and part, the many forms a kiss takes. Of course Tony would know them all. Sometimes Steve thinks Tony knows everything. Tony pushes into it full bodied, rising a little on his knees and hunching even closer to Steve. It’s glorious; he could kiss this man forever.

Tony’s body is hot, slightly damp from exertion, his arm shimming beneath the crook of Steve’s knee and his thighs bracing Steve’s hips. Steve feels like his whole self is being kissed; there’s so much motion in the way Tony does it, folding them together and latching Steve around him as though Steve were a vise and Tony the worktop with all manner of tools. Tony leaves Steve’s mouth only to dote on his neck, with a fixed focus that rubs at Steve’s heart, fingers over a bruise. He feels Tony pressed against him, unyielding heat, endless motion. He’s so turned on his vision narrows, blurring Tony at the edges, but his eyes are diamond-sharp, flicking constantly over Steve’s face.

Steve barely even notices Tony’s finger until it’s in him, slick and nudging gently, and then he takes a deep, hard breath, and Tony stops. He finds Steve’s eyes immediately. Steve huffs out the air he took in, suddenly off-balance.

When did he even get the slick out of the tube? Steve doesn’t remember anything but kissing, but now he looks and finds that Tony has arranged him, splayed him gradually and gentled him through so that it seems easy to just slip together. Except for this, this part where they can’t just come together.

But Tony doesn’t let him reel further: he nuzzles against Steve’s mouth, nips gently at his chin. “Bear down a little?”

Steve does, and the discomfort vanishes. Tony kisses him again, and Steve loses track until Tony pulls out and comes back with a second finger. Steve latches onto his arm, squeezes, and Tony stops again.

“Too much?”

Steve shakes his head fast, hums his dissent. It’s low, familiar to what he feels when he brings himself off, but shallower and spread out. And then Tony’s fingers curl inside his body and Steve hunches back, mouth open, no sound, just sensation.

Tony lets him alone with it, as only one who understands it can do, and all Steve can manage when the flare eventually snuffs out is an “ah, hell.”

“Hmm.” Tony works him looser. Kisses his face and keeps talking. It’s deliciously distracting. “Let me tell you a little something nobody else knows. This, this is my favorite part of human anatomy, right here under my fingers, and you, you are so sensitive.” He punctuates it with another pointed stroke and Steve pulls their mouths together. It’s instinctive: he rolls his hips, Tony inches further in.

Everything goes beautifully muddled after that.

When he gains back that extra set of senses, Steve feels slack, utterly open and aroused beyond belief. Tony tugs Steve’s other leg gently over his free arm and hitches him (somehow!) even closer. “Moment of truth.” Playful words, but something sober behind his eyes. Steve looks him up and down, lingering on the lines of muscle, the taut way Tony holds himself, the hard length of him and the splay of his hand, thumb possessive in the crook of Steve’s hip.

Steve tightens his calf and pulls Tony a tiny bit nearer.

When Tony pushes in, it aches like a sunburn. Steve bites his lip, arches away, and the angle changes. Tony runs a hand down his side, shushing him, more importantly pausing until Steve’s ready, then easing a bit further. He runs the whole cycle again, and again. This last time, Steve bears through it, curving his back until things click into place, and then Tony’s in, flush against him and panting, eyes squeezed shut and sweat trailing down the slope of his brow not inches from Steve’s face. Still his hand tracks over Steve, never settling, searching for tension to soothe. Steve catches his fingers and Tony’s eyes flick open.

For a moment, neither of them speaks. Then Tony exhales a brief gust. “Verdict?”

“Different,” Steve grunts. He shrugs Tony closer, an intuition, and with a helpless gasp, Tony somehow slides even deeper. “Oh.”

“Yeah,” Tony mumbles. His hand clenches around the front of Steve’s thigh. “Hang… hang on, give me… Okay.”

He pulls out. Rocks back in. Steve keens.

“Okay?” Tony manages again, nodding.

“Yes, yeah, that’s,” oh, that’s good, that’s not even close to uncomfortable anymore. Steve wants to thank Tony for knowing what he’d have to do, for taking the time to really get him ready for this.

“Heads up,” Tony says through clenched teeth. “Main event.”

Most of all, Steve realizes with a dawning sense of euphoria as Tony begins to move in earnest, he wants to thank Tony for bringing him off twice beforehand, because this is going to be a slow, grinding, magnificent build, and when he finally comes again—

“Oh, you’re gorgeous,” Tony gasps, thrusting harder, kissing Steve on the downswing, sending more nerve-endings into freefall with the brief clutch of Steve’s abdominals, “you’re, how, how do you even live with yourself, you know what, you should have a label, you, you’re a hazard to all humankind, do you know what you do to me?”

“Tell me,” Steve gasps, and Tony does.

Afterward, Steve won’t remember specific words. What he’ll take out of it is a feeling, a sense of all the perfect sounds and all the razor focus of Tony’s intellect spinning out endlessly with him at its center. He won’t remember the word ‘love,’ but he’ll hear it anyway, a juddering claim staked straight to his core. Because Tony doesn’t talk like this about the things he doesn’t utterly cherish. The fire behind it is singular; Steve doesn’t know if he can stand being at the middle of it, and then Tony takes hold of him, weaves their fingers together around Steve’s length—he doesn’t remember reaching down to touch himself—and strokes him into his third climax with the doggedness of the truly possessed.

Steve comes hard and for ages, certain for the first time since he woke up that he’s where and when he’s meant to be.

And then… then he gets to see Anthony Edward Stark fall apart. Tony grips the sheets beside Steve’s head, a shuddering fistful of fabric, his other hand a fierce clutch at Steve’s hip, and thrusts into him with abandon, pushing him up the mattress, eyes closed and face slack in a way Steve’s never seen. His hips roll in perfect wild rhythm, he hits Steve’s prostate again and again. Steve’s already battered nerves fire anew, he shouts, Tony comes into him and Steve’s voice breaks completely.

It’s too much, to find Tony playing idly with his nipple when he comes to. The area burns, overheated and shot full of blood, but it’s also so good, the last lick of whipped cream off the side of a spoon. When Steve can’t stand it anymore, the way his body ignores the plea for stillness in favor of a steady hitch into Tony’s fingers, he snatches Tony’s hand away and brings it to his mouth. Forgets to kiss Tony’s palm amidst the muddle of his own body.

“Ah, hell,” he breathes again, rattled. That’s… For a first time, that’s...

“S’it good for you?” Tony slurs into his neck.

“Fuck yes,” Steve manages, and Tony lets out this amazing laugh, breezy and unrestrained.

“Hot damn, I like it when you swear,” Tony says, slinging up and over Steve to nuzzle him fitfully, nosing, lipping every inch he can find. Steve settles his hands over Tony’s ever moving back and focuses on breathing.

The nuzzling doesn’t stop, just grows languid and aimless. Always that constant motion with Tony Stark, but this time… Steve watches him, delighted. “You’re much more of a cuddler than I expected.”

Tony pauses. His nuzzles change again, gaining distance. “Too much?”

The disquiet that seizes Steve is brief but ardent. His arm tightens around Tony’s torso automatically. “No.”

Another instant and it’s as if the blemish never was. Tony props himself up and grins down at Steve. His hair is a snarl, strands falling over his eyes, and his beard, the tilt of his mouth, it all makes Steve’s chest ache. “So. How does it feel?”

“Illuminating.” Steve stretches, not enough to unseat Tony.

“You’ll be sore.”


Tony returns to Steve’s chest. “You let me know when you’re ready. Got lots left to show you.”

“I’m sure.” Only now is the full spectrum presenting itself: Tony could introduce him to absolutely everything if Steve asked. It’s as daunting as it is enticing. He feels like a kid in a chocolate shop.

On impulse, he rolls Tony over, eyes following hands down Tony’s shoulders, chest, stomach. Arousal trickles to life in his gut yet again and Steve shivers, face to face with everything he could possibly want at this exact moment. Tony stares up at him, eyes mischievous and expectant.

“You know what I want to do to you?” Steve asks, just to see.

“I don’t even care,” Tony lobs back with a willing leer. He spreads both arms across the bed sheets, palms splayed in offering. “Have a good time, honey, back home by ten. Wear sunscreen.”

Steve bites him just at the dip of his throat, making him shudder, and then turns it into an outright investigation. He’s never, ever licked another person’s stomach, so he does. He’s never lingered around the rim of someone’s navel, so he does. He’s never cupped another man’s balls in his hand, or traced down that slither of hair with his tongue, or sucked a kiss into the soft skin of someone’s inner thigh.

He does it, and drinks in every startled, elated, and provoked sound Tony makes.

Tony tastes of sweat. Musk. Steve’s elevated sense of taste goes overboard, picking up the hints of cologne from that night’s gala, exhaust from the city outside, a bitterness that can only be semen, the oily bent of lotion, even… Steve hums, licks again. “Zinfandel lube.”

He glances up to see that Tony has covered his face with one hand. His throat is flushed a deep red. Steve runs his tongue slowly around one of Tony’s balls and notes the way his thigh muscles tighten. “Pulling out all the stops?”

“For y—” Tony clears his throat, still hidden behind his hand. “For your first time? Duh.”

Steve licks again, still that warm wine flavor. “Didn’t know it came in those flavors.”

Tony coughs. “Special order.”

Steve doesn’t bring Tony off, not again, but by the time he’s done, Tony is breathless and laid out before him like a swath of silk. Covered in sweat. Steve eyes the sheen on his own arms, savors the tang of salt on his lips. He feels good, worked beyond what he gets in the gym. And hard.

“Tony,” he starts. Tony latches his arms around Steve’s neck and pulls himself up until he’s straddling Steve’s thighs. Steve leans back, surprised, his hand catching the small of Tony’s back.

“Frottage,” Tony purrs with an outrageous French accent. “Let’s rub one off.”

Steve sputters a laugh. “Or something.”

Tony groans low in his throat, seeking out Steve’s neck and burying his face in it. “I don’t think I’m up to you fucking me tonight. Too sensitive after I come. But I’d sure as hell like to see you come again.”

“You’re not even…” He waves a hand down Tony’s front, but he’s already moving with him, unable to curb it when Tony is so close and so plainly agreeable.

“Cupcake,” Tony states, frank. “I do not need to come to enjoy having sex with you.”

More doors opening. Tony will eventually have to stop doing that. Steve only has so many nerves, even with the super serum.

This time it’s quiet, huffs and gasps and Tony riding fluidly against Steve’s belly, eyes sharp over his face. He gives Steve no quarter. Steve’s orgasm builds reluctantly, crests lightning fast, then explodes there in his core, an agonizing stretch of Tony’s teeth against his throat and Tony’s hands over his chest and Tony’s dick slick alongside his. Steve comes with a high moan that cracks in the middle, and collapses back in a heap.

He’s done for sure this time. Everything down there is too tender to touch, even the weight of Tony’s body against him is too much. “Four’s… Four’s my limit,” he gasps, wiping his eyes with a wrist that’s too sweaty to do any good.

“Sure?” Tony sounds as wrecked as he does.

“Sure. I’m sure. I am sure.” He keeps saying it, again and again, then shuts his mouth. If he tries to come again, his brain will probably throw in the towel or leak out his ears or something.

“Oh, honey.” Another nuzzle at Steve’s temple. “Did I fuck you stupid?”

He likes being called honey. Really likes it. “I don’t know if anyone’s told you this,” he says, fighting the lingering lack of oxygen, “but you are an exceptional lover.” He doesn’t have anything to base that on. He’s still absolutely certain he’s right.

Tony’s silence sounds thoughtful. “I’m glad you had a good time.”

The thing is, there’s nothing brittle in his tone. But something tips Steve back to earlier in the evening, to something else Tony said.

Things Steve wanted to try, he’d said.

“Great time,” he corrects, turning his head to meet Tony’s lips. “Splendiferous time. Mind-blowing time.”

“Still five stars on Yelp,” Tony sighs into the kiss. Something’s still wrong with that. They make out for a few minutes, Steve exploring the ways to torture that indomitably amused mouth, and then, suddenly, it hits him. Overwhelms him. And disintegrates all over again.

He pulls away and stares at Tony, grasping for the tendrils of understanding. He can’t get his hand around them. “Tony.”


Steve hangs onto him, unwilling to let even an inch between them. Finally, he asks the only thing he can. “What are you thinking?”

Tony’s brow pinches. “I’m… not?”

“No—” He waves a hand, then settles it back on Tony’s waist because that’s a much better place for it than not touching Tony at all. Frustration rears. “What’s going on in your head?”

He’s wanted to ask it so many times, usually in the throes of anger on the battlefield, sometimes in the quiet of a workshop filled with space-age toys. Once, in the flickering light caught by the amber-filled tumbler Tony held between them. Tony’s eyes flick over his face again. He drops to suck at the juncture of Steve’s throat, a growl rumbling invitingly.

“You want to sleep here?” he asks instead of answering Steve’s question. “Some people don’t. Makes them feel weird. Especially if your place is right downstairs. I’m okay with it, though. Bed’s big, pretty comfortable. You seem to like it.”

“I’m.” At a loss.

Tony smiles puckishly up at him. “FYI, morning sex is just as good. Better sometimes, because it’s light out, people are awake, cars driving around, city in motion. Feels furtive, like you might get caught. It can be a fantastic aphrodisiac.”

“Sure,” Steve says, dumbly. Tony catches his mouth in a thorough kiss, stealing his breath away again.

“There’s the shower, too. Couch. Kitchen counter. I don’t cook, might as well use it for your continuing education.”

Steve laughs a little, grateful to find the stability of humor. “Well, we don’t have to do it all at once.”

The look Tony gives him is so quick he nearly misses it, but so clear that he can’t. Steve struggles up onto his elbows, rolling Tony unceremoniously off his shoulder. He gets his fingers into it, finally, and then he wants nothing more than to throw it as far away as he can.

“We don’t,” he says, heart hammering. “Right?”

Because Steve doesn’t know what he’s doing. He hasn’t, this whole night, possibly this whole month, and he’s aware that it shows. How could it not? I’m ready, he wants to plead suddenly, I’m up for it, I’m an astonishingly fast learner, please let me at least try to keep up with you.

“No,” Tony says after a series of blinks. “We don’t.”

Steve nods. “Because I want to be clear here. I want to do all that.”

“I know you do.” Tony looks too passive, nothing like he looked when he was dangling Steve on the edge of the abyss and enjoying every second of it. “And I am more than willing to help.”

Steve’s not sure he has the right of it, but he has this feeling, draining low into his gut. He’s always gone with his instincts. “You know I’m not checking off a list. Right?”


Steve skims his hands over Tony’s ribs, skims his mind back over the songs Tony used, and gets more certain with every one. Tony quotes in ‘nows’ and ‘yeses’, swift satisfaction. He did from the beginning, he did it up until the very end. And though he opened his arms and welcomed Steve’s alternate take on it all, Tony was always talking about the thrill of finding, colliding, getting off and then getting out, while Steve was very clearly talking about the long haul.

He searches Tony’s face, so close, his lips parted, his nose flaring in tiny gusts, his eyes latched to Steve’s. Stubble is beginning to add an unkempt edge to his beard. Steve wants to touch, then thinks about wanting being a waiting game, and does it instead.

“I know I’m new to this,” he admits.

Tony’s eyes skitter. He wets his lips. “Everyone has to start somewhere.”

“No, I mean.” Steve sighs. “I mean I’ve never done this. With anyone. And you might think that, that I’m curious, or that I just want to try it all and it doesn’t matter how I get it done. Or with whom.”

The look on Tony’s face tells him that’s exactly what Tony thought he meant, that he’s a man willing to help Steve put paid to a lot of personal questions, and then—

Well. Thanks for everything, Tony, means the world that you helped me find my runway so I can fly off into my new life. Special place in my heart.

“I meant what I said. With the songs.” Yes, for a while, Steve chose his lyrics for the express purpose of making the unconquerable Tony Stark stumble, but by the end, the need for Tony to understand was so genuine it terrified him. What he wanted and what Tony wanted couldn’t possibly meet in the middle. He’ll never tell Tony this, but he very nearly did tap out and run away. And now, faced with the reality of Tony thinking a gay sex checklist is all Steve wants from him, he can’t help but be the obstinate one, too stubborn to let it go.

Tony studies his face. “You can have anyone you want, Steve,” he says.

Steve frowns at the sheets. The sheets tangled and twisted by him and Tony, and what they’ve done together, tonight. Tony might be right. Tony often is. But Steve likes to think he understands himself a little bit better than Tony does these days.

“Can I have you?” he finally asks, because being direct has always been a strength.

Beneath him, Tony stills. “Shit,” he rasps, and pinches the bridge of his nose like he’s fighting a headache. Then, “yes,” he says, reaching for Steve, “yes, that’s, you can, of course you can,” tangling his fingers in Steve’s hair and gripping his nape, cinching Steve closer with one leg wrapped round Steve’s thigh. “You’ve got it. God, Steve, you want me, you’ve got me.”

“I want you,” Steve affirms, and Tony damn near moans into his mouth.

As it turns out, Steve is wrong: five is his limit. Oh, brave new world.



I am looking for inspiration, and I think I found it in your heart. It's the kind of thing you get when you're not looking; it's the kind of thing you had from the start. ~VAST