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Rock You All Night Long

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Part 1

“How are you all doing tonight?” Tony screamed into the microphone, and grinned helplessly as thousands of people screamed back at him.

The arena was packed out. As far as he had been told, nobody had sold this many tickets since the Beatles; The Avengers were officially the voice of a whole generation.

Life hadn’t always been like this, though. Once upon a time, Tony was supposed to take over his father’s weapons company. He had been just out of MIT, bumming around New England and trying to put off the inevitable, when he had wandered into a bar one evening and heard the most amazing sound coming from the in-house guitarist there. He’d listened to the whole set, bought one of the guy’s CDs afterwards, too, and they’d got to talking.

Steve was an all-round artist. He could play the piano as well as the guitar, sing, and was amazing with a paintbrush. He was well educated in history and the arts, and was a sarcastic little shit to boot.

Tony had immediately imprinted on him like a newborn duckling.

Steve introduced him to some of his friends, Natasha, Clint and Thor, who Tony found out soon enough were also musically inclined. Tony, himself, could play classical piano, though he hadn’t practised in years, and secretly prided himself on his gritty voice; together, they were a match made in heaven.

It hadn’t been easy. He’d been disowned by his father once he’d told him he didn’t want to take up the family business, that he wanted to sing and play music in his friend’s rock and roll band, so he’d had to figure out how to live by his own means. In the early days, when they were playing a lot of bars and small festival circuits, he’d worked part time as a repair guy. It certainly hadn’t been the most glamorous of lives, and definitely not what he had been used to from childhood, but Tony had great friends, and he was making a go at doing something he truly loved for the first time in… well, ever. He was also a complete hit with the ladies (and gentlemen), so that had been an added bonus.

Who knew so many people went for the rugged, slightly grimy, potentially homeless look he had been sporting back then?

They had signed a record contract almost eight years ago now, under Wilson Talent Management, after Steve had spotted one of their scouts in the audience of a battle of the bands gig they had been playing. As soon as their set had ended, Steve had swooped down into the crowd and haggled the guy until he’d agreed to take them on. To this day, Tony didn’t know how he’d done it – just that his legendary puppy-dog eyes had probably somehow been involved.

Things had changed for them after that. With a proper publicity team behind them manned by James ‘Bucky’ Barnes, and money to actually get in the studio and start writing and recording their own stuff, there had been buzz around them before their first album had even dropped. Their first single, Metal Heart (which Tony was very proud to say he had written), had gone straight in at number one, and had stayed there for fifteen consecutive weeks, tying with Wet Wet Wet’sLove Is All Around as the third longest single to stay at number one. Hell, they’d beaten out Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, for Christ’s sakes.

Tony’s life had changed, too. Suddenly, he was being invited to big, Hollywood parties with loads of important people from not just the music industry, but the film, television and sporting industries, too. Paparazzi set themselves up almost permanently outside his LA home (which he and Steve had been able to buy and share from the first single sales alone, holy shit) in the hope that they would catch him doing something scandalous. They followed him around, too, and suddenly every time he met up with a friend or colleague, he must have been dating them.Apparently he had dated a whole bunch of people – Neil Patrick Harris, Beyonce, hell, even Britney Spears.

Companies sent him clothes, food, gadgets, cars, anything and everything, all in the hope that he would be seen out with or in them. He went from looking like a homeless alcoholic to getting $500 haircuts every few weeks and drinking bottles of Cristal that cost more than a whole month’s rent had in his old place in Massachusetts. He was verified on Twitter, which he didn’t use very often even though he was told constantly he had one of the most subscribed to accounts, and couldn’t go five minutes without his face being on some television channel for whatever reason.

It was all… very odd, to say the least. Sure, he was used to the attention because he had grown up in the shadow of his father, who had undergone the same kind of treatment, but… never had he imagined people would go crazy on this scale for him. Most of the attention was positive – his fans loved him, and so did most of the rest of the world – but every once in a while a news article would surface about a child he had supposedly fathered with a D-List celebrity back in the day who was clearly just talking trash because they needed the money, or a reporter would overstep by trying to climb the wall of his and Steve’s house, and those… those were the times when he kinda missed the early days, the good days when they were all just struggling musicians, and he was working part time as a repairman.

His life was crazy, and he loved it, but it sure did get tiring.

“I think we’re about done for the night, folks,” he called into the microphone, and grinned when the whole arena booed. “Now, darlings, don’t be that way.”

A chant of Encore! Encore! Encore! started up almost immediately, deafeningly loud, and Tony couldn’t help but laugh and glance around at the others on stage with him. How was this their life?

“All right, all right,” he called, and then had to wait at least another minute for the cheering to calm down. He turned to the band. “We’ve not sold that many millions of records that we can’t take requests, right, guys?”

The others shrugged, nodded, put on a bit of a show for the audience like they always did at their gigs, and Tony turned back to the audience.

“So, any requests?”

A wall of noise hit him all over again, and he laughed out loud at the absurdity of it all. Still, after all this time, he couldn’t quite believe that this many people were here to see him and the band Steve had put together in his two room apartment nearly ten years ago.

He couldn’t hear what anyone was actually saying, what with everyone shouting at once and them being elevated on the stage, but he plucked a song out of his head that he knew was on their repertoire and grinned again as he turned to Steve.

“I heard Single Ladies!” he called, and the audience went mad. Steve bitch-faced him. “Steve here is a massive Beyonce fan – plays her music all over the house all the time – so I’m sure we can manage that, right, Stevie?”

With a sigh, Steve leaned over his guitar, towards the microphone propped up in front of him, and grumbled, “Sure, Tony.”

The audience went wild as the music started up, Thor on drums and Natasha on keyboard starting them off. Turning to all the avid fans, Tony began to sing.

“All the single ladies, all the single ladies -”

The few hours after a concert were always just as crazy as the actual concert itself. After throwing guitar picks and drum sticks and, more often than not, their sweaty shirts out into the audience, they all bounced backstage, buzzing with adrenaline from yet another great show.

“You see that girl in the front row?” Clint asked as they made their way past parts of their extensive team towards their dressing rooms. “The one who kept flashing her tits at me?”

Beside Tony, Steve cringed a little at the crudeness.

“You play bass, Clint,” Natasha scoffed. “I very much doubt she was flashing them at you.”

“Hey, I’ll have you know that I do perfectly well for myself -”

While they continued to bicker and wander past, Tony came to a stop by Steve’s dressing room. When they opened the door, a screaming noise immediately started up. There had to be at least twelve girls in there, a harassed looking Bucky Barnes trying to wrangle them.

“They’re VIPS and competition winners,” he called over the noise, and Tony laughed, patting Steve on the back.

“Good luck with that,” he grinned, sauntering off to his own dressing room to grab a towel or somethnig – he we pretty sweaty. As he went, Steve flashed him a betrayed look.

“We’re coming to your room next, Stark, so make sure you have pants on,” Barnes yelled after him, followed by even more hysterical screams.

Stepping into his own dressing room, he took a moment just to breathe. He was shaking a little, he realised, from the adrenaline rush, and felt full of energy. Someone had left an ice bucket on his desk filled with champaign and a few bottles of water; he opted for the water, figuring they would be celebrating later, and that he needed to rehydrate properly after losing so much water in sweat.

Running a towel through his damp hair, he padded over to the bathroom and quickly relieved himself. Then, feeling marginally better, he snagged a clean shirt from the back of a chair and padded back out into the hall, thinking it was probably better to get the meet and greet out of the way in Steve’s room so nobody had the opportunity to take any of his stuff.

He’d found a pair of his socks on eBay once. That had been weird.

It seemed quieter now, and when he pushed Steve’s door open, he realised it was because the gaggle of girls had disappeared, probably off to someone else’s dressing room - except for one, who was making out with Steve very thoroughly against a wall.

Tony cleared his throat, surprised, and grinned tightly when Steve blushed a deep red and gently pushed the girl away from him. To her credit, she didn’t seem the least bit embarrassed, going so far as to pull a scrap of paper obviously containing a phone number from her bra and tuck it into the waistband of Steve’s pants.

“Call me.”

She then sashayed away, blowing a kiss in Tony’s direction as she left. Clearing his throat, a little at a loss, Tony turned back to Steve.

“So… looks like you’ve still got it, too, huh?” he asked, trying to smile.

Steve sighed and ran a hand over his face, crossing the room to wrap his arms around Tony. “You’re the one who wanted to hide our relationship. She just kinda… came at me. I’m sorry.”

See, that was another thing. He and Steve had kinda been married for the past six years, had been dating for four before that. They both sort of had a reputation to uphold, though, so they been keeping it a secret. The rest of the band knew, of course, and their management teams knew, and they all agreed – there was absolutely nothing rock and roll about a married man, never mind a man married to another man. They understood it – of course they did – because half of the appeal of the band was that young women could fantasize about sleeping with them. Was it particularly fair or just? No. It made sure they could pay the bills, though.

“I forgive you,” Tony sighed, leaning into his warmth. Steve pressed a kiss to the top of his head. “Doesn’t mean I have to like it.”

“I know,” Steve sighed. “Just know that I will always pick you, given the choice.”

“Good to know,” Tony hummed, leaning up on his tip-toes to peck Steve’s lips. He grimaced. “Ew, you taste like sweat, shame, and a potentially under-age girl’s lip gloss.”

“She was in college,” Steve replied immediately. “I checked.”

“Don’t need another one of those lawsuits,” Tony agreed, kissing him again despite his words.

“Especially not if we’re getting a baby soon,” Steve sighed, running a hand through his sweat-damp hair. “We’re gonna have to tell the rest of the band about it – Sam, Bucky too.”

“I’ll have to tell Pepper,” Tony groaned, thinking of his personal manager. She was going to kill him for going forward with an adoption and not telling her.

“Let’s… let’s just finish the tour first, huh?” Steve hummed, beginning to sway them both back and forth gently. “We’re at the top of our game right now; the whole world loves us. Let’s wait just a little while before we drop a bomb on them like this.”

“They’re gonna be out for our blood,” Tony laughed, and then sighed. “But at least there’ll be no more hiding.”

Steve nodded, agreeing. “No more hiding.”

 

Part 2

“I think Tony’s having an affair.”

Across the coffee shop table, Natasha almost choked on her tea. “What?”

It had been eighteen years since Steve and Tony had quit the band. Steve still remembered it like it had been yesterday, how they’d finally put their wedding bands on in public and came out to the world, how they’d announced that they were quitting to start a family of their own. It had been… a nightmare at the time, frankly, but they had stuck by each other through all of it.

Now, Lily, their daughter, was seventeen, and Peter was fifteen. They were the lights of both Steve and Tony’s lives, and Steve knew that Tony didn’t regret quitting when they had. He knew he didn’t.

“He sneaks off in the middle of the night,” Steve sighed, running a hand through his greying hair. They were all pushing fifty by this point; hell, he’d met up with Natasha to plan Tony’s fiftieth birthday party. “He comes to bed, waits until he thinks I’m asleep, and then he disappears for a few hours.”

“And you don’t know where he’s going?” Natasha asked, brow furrowed in concern. “He’s never cheated on you before – why start now?”

“I don’t know,” Steve sighed, heart feeling heavy in his chest. “He’s always back by morning, and he… he seems happy? Most of the time, at least?”

“Is the sex still good?” Natasha asked candidly, and Steve almost choked on a sip of his coffee.

Natasha.”

“Well, is it?” she asked again, unashamed. “We used to be able to hear you two going at it like rabbits on the tour bus. Is the spark still there?”

“Well… yes,” Steve sighed, even more confused. “It’s always… explosive.”

Natasha smirked, and Steve felt his face heat up a little.

“You know, you could just ask him about it,” she hummed, and then seemed to think better of it. “Actually, he’s never been the guy to talk about his feelings. You could follow him? See where he’s going.”

“Yes, because that always ends up going well in movies,” Steve sighed, taking another sip of his coffee.

But the truth was, there wasn’t really another option. Natasha was right – Tony was the most stubborn man Steve knew, and was only getting worse with age; if Steve asked what was wrong, he’d just get a grunted “I’m fine” in response. But Steve was stubborn, too. He couldn’t just let this go when it could potentially hurt them all so much if it were to come out any other way. Reporters still hounded them – if they got pictures of Tony with someone else, started slandering him… Steve would hate that for the kids.

And for himself.

“But anyway,” Natasha cleared her throat, bringing Steve back to the present. “His party.”

“Yes,” Steve sighed. “I was, um, I was thinking a reunion show. I know it’s a lot for me to ask of Bruce, because he’s front man now – it’s his job – but… do you guys think you could let Tony play your show in New York a few days from now? It’d mean the world to him to play one last show.”

Natasha smiled at that. “I’m sure we can bring Bruce around. I think he’d be honoured, actually. You wanna play the show, too?”

Steve grinned back, feeling a little lighter. “Well, I think it’s about time we showed the kids what we actually did for a living.”

He hadn’t come up with a better plan for finding out where Tony was going by that evening, so he really had no choice but to do as Natasha had suggested and tag along to wherever he was disappearing to.

“Night night, Papa,” Lily hummed as they all made their way to bed after their customary evening family movie.

“Night, honey,” he replied, pulling her into a one armed hug as he got to his feet. “Peter, baby, you have popcorn sticking to your shirt.”

The fifteen year old looked down at his jammies. “Aw, nuts.”

“Dust it off into the trash, kiddo. Don’t just knock it onto the floor,” Tony told him, kissing the top of the boy’s head as he passed towards his and Steve’s bedroom. “Night, everyone.”

Steve offered a few more of his own goodnights, made sure the kids had made it to their rooms, and then slipped in his room behind Tony.

“So, he hummed,” trying not to show how heavy his heart felt in his chest. “It’s your birthday in a few days.”

“Ugh,” Tony grunted, flopping forwards onto their bed. “Don’t remind me.”

“Aw, come on,” Steve smiled, clambering into bed beside him. “I’m sure I can think of something to make you forget all your troubles.”

Tony was grinning cheekily as Steve rolled on top of him.

Steve had kind of been hoping that he’d be able to wear Tony out enough with sex that he wouldn’t have the energy to sneak off, but it was only an hour and a half after they’d finished, and Steve had fallen into a light doze, that Tony quietly rolled out of bed and shuffled off.

Heart aching in his chest, Steve laid in bed a moment longer, part of him considering going back to sleep, forgetting he had seen or heard anything, and letting whatever this was continue.

But the lie was worse.

Taking a deep breath to steady his fluttering heart, he pulled the covers back and slipped off the side of the bed. Tony had gone in his pyjamas, he realised, which was strange. Slipping his slippers onto his feet, Steve followed along behind him, keeping quiet and at distance.

The doors of the elevator were just closing as Steve padded out into the living room, but when he looked up at the illuminated floor numbers mounted on the wall above, he realised that Tony was going up rather than down – even moreodd. Was he taking the helicopter on the roof somewhere? If he was, Steve would have no hope of following.

He waited impatiently for the elevator to come back to him, and got in quickly when it did. Fiddling nervously with the bottom hem of his sleep shirt, not completely sure he was prepared for whatever it was he was going to find when the elevator doors opened, he tried not to panic.

His heart was in his throat as the elevator came to a stop, a single, endless second passing before the doors rolled open. Steve peered out; it was dark this high up. Taking a deep breath, he stepped out onto the roof, head immediately turning to the side. The helicopter was still there.

The further he ventured, the more he noticed. Someone had dragged an old, metal barrel up here, and there was a controlled fire inside. It wasn’t very big – had obviously just been lit. Next to it, there was a deckchair that Steve had thought they had thrown away years ago, and on that chair -

“Tony?” he asked quietly, wrapping his arms around his middle. It was chilly in the autumn air.

Tony’s head came up over the back of the chair, obviously startled, but then his expression melted into a sheepish smile.

“Hey, baby, sorry,” he hummed, not making any attempt to move as Steve walked towards him. There was a guitar in his hands, he realised. “Did I wake you?”

“What are you doing up here?” Steve asked instead, very quickly realising this wasn’t some sordid affair, but no closer to actually finding the truth. Tony made an aborted move towards a small side table next to him, and Steve gasped. “You’resmoking again?”

It was true. There was an ash tray sat on the table, a lit cigarette perched inside with the remains of many others inside. Beside it, there was a packet of tobacco sleeves, and on top of that -

“Weed, too?” he sighed, eyeing the little bag carefully.

“Steve, don’t,” Tony sighed, running a tired hand across his face. “Please don’t lecture me. I’m splitting each one half and half, okay? And it’s not nearly as much as we used to smoke -”

He stopped, mid sentence, as Steve picked up the cigarette and took a deep drag. Tony was telling the truth – there was weed and tobacco in it – and Steve felt oddly grateful for it. Sure, Tony shouldn’t have really been doing it, but he hadn’t been having an affair like Steve had thought, and he was just so happy that he found he really couldn’t even be mad.

“It’s good shit,” he hummed, blowing a perfect circle of smoke out of his mouth, and then put it back in the ash tray. “Wanna tell me why you’re out here in the middle of the night?”

“No reason, it’s -” Tony sighed when Steve sent him a pointed look. “I’m… I’m old, Steve.”

Steve paused, a little at a loss of what to say. Of all the things he had expected,envisioned Tony would say, I’m old certainly hadn’t been amongst them.

“So?” he asked before he could stop himself. “We’re all old, Tony.”

“I know,” Tony sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger for a moment. “I know, okay, and I know there’s nothing we can do about it, but… but sometimes I just wish we were young again, newly married,rock stars -”

“We’re still rock stars,” Steve reasoned, taking a seat on the bottom of the deckchair. “Just because we don’t tour any more, aren’t technically part of a band, that doesn’t take away the fact that we’re rock stars, Tony.”

“Did you know it’s cool to hate us now?” Tony snapped, and then sighed. “It’s a craze, apparently. Only hipster trash likes our original stuff, apparently.”

“How do you -?”

“Heard Lily on the phone with her friends,” Tony cut him off, and he seemed genuinely upset. “She… I don’t know exactly what they were saying, but she was replying that it was embarrassing that we were her parents, that we’re lame Dad Rock, that -”

“Tony, are… are you upset because a bunch of teenagers don’t think you’re cool?” Steve asked gently, and Tony’s pouty bottom lip told him all he needed to know. Sighing heavily, he took the guitar from Tony’s hands and pulled him into a hug. “Honey, you’ve never been a cool human being – not back then, and definitely not now.”

“You fucking jerk,” Tony huffed out a laugh, smacking Steve lightly on the chest. “God, I’m having a mid-life crisis, aren’t I?”

“With our money, let’s just be glad you haven’t bought a party island or something,” Steve replied with a smile, and felt Tony pause against him. “You arenot buying an island just for parties, Tony.”

“You’re no fun,” Tony grumbled, but he looked a little happier as he leaned back in the chair again.

“What’s with the guitar?” Steve asked gently, drawing attention back to it. “You were always more of a piano guy.”

“Yeah, I… I’ve been practising a little,” he sighed. “I’ve had a tune in my head for the past few weeks; I’m trying to get it out.”

“Yeah?” Steve asked softly, ducking down to pick the guitar back up. “You wanna play it for me?”

“I dunno,” Tony sighed. “It’s not done yet. You were always better with words, so it’s kinda just melody -”

“Tony, don’t tell me you’re getting self conscious in your old age,” Steve hummed, and laughed aloud when Tony rolled his eyes and took the guitar from him.

“You’re a bully,” Tony grumbled, awkwardly shifting in his seat so he could hold the guitar properly. “Hmm, okay -”

He struck a shaky chord, and then another. With a reassuring smile from Steve, he seemed to get his confidence in order, because he strummed with more flair. And then he began to hum. There were no words, because Tony really hadn’t ever been a communicate through words kind of guy, but the melody was truly beautiful. Tony’s acoustic stuff always had been.

“It’s breathtaking,” Steve smiled, and then leaned in to kiss Tony gently on the lips. “Just like you.”

“Aaaand you ruined it,” Tony grumbled, and Steve pulled away laughing. “I am not breathtaking, Steven, I am a wanton sex god.”

Steve laughed again. “Of course you are, honey -”

“No, no, don’t call me honey,” Tony insisted with a grin, moving out of Steve’s reach when he moved towards him. “I am Tony Stark, former front man of the biggest rock band in the world, and latent sex machine.”

“All right, sex machine,” Steve grinned, arching over the guitar to get back within range of Tony’s lips. “You think that maybe next time you’re feeling a little down, you might come tell me? You worried me sick.”

“Okay,” Tony grumbled, pressing a kiss to Steve’s lips. “Yes, okay, sorry.”

“Good,” Steve smiled. “Now, what would you say to getting high off our asses one last time, for old times sake, and having wild, rooftop sex?”

“I say…” Tony took a deep breath, and let it out with a cheeky grin, “that I knew I married you for a reason.”

He actually managed to get the kids to agree to the concert relatively easily. He was fairly certain Lily was going just so she could gif it or dubsmash it or whatever the hell kind of app was popular at the moment; Peter seemed a little more interested, at least, even if he had asked whether Taylor Swift would be there. 

“Get your friends to buy tickets, too,” he told them both before the big day, and paused when they both stared back at him. “What?”

“My friends tried to get tickets,” Peter replied. “It’s sold out, Pops.”

“It’s…?” Well, that was news to him.

“It’s kinda weird,” Lily scrunched her face up. “I accidentally tweeted that you guys would be playing the set with the band, and… it went kinda huge. Everyone’scoming, and not ironically, either, Pops, they’re… they’re genuinely excited.”

Steve was speechless. All this time, Tony had thought that he was a has-been, a joke, but the second news had dropped that he was playing the gig, everyone came runningUnable to stop himself smiling, he tugged Lily into a tight hug and kissed the top of her head.

“Thank you.”

“You’re not mad?” she asked. “I kinda ruined the surprise -”

“You know full well your father hasn’t checked his Twitter account in years,” Steve smiled. “The secret is safe. Good job, baby; God, he’s going to be so surprised.”

And he really was.

On the day of Tony’s birthday, Steve woke him up with a customary blow-job, and then the kids had lunch prepared for them by the time they finally made it out of their bedroom; they’d even wrapped presents, bless their hearts. Tony had requested an easy afternoon, so they’d made some snacks, put a DVD on and celebrated with a glass of champaign each (Peter had been practically faint with giddiness at getting to try some).

Dinnertime came and went, and then it was time to get Tony to the venue.

“Where are you taking me?” he asked repeatedly, allowing Steve to lead him towards the car. They’d blindfolded him so he couldn’t see. “Is this a sex thing?”

“Dad, no, we’re still here,” Lily whined, and Steve couldn’t help but snort out a laugh at her horrified face.

They got to the venue without too much hassle, the traffic more or less gone because everyone was already there and seated, and led Tony through the back and towards the stage.

“What’s all that noise?” Tony asked as they got closer to the stage, and, when they were situated in the wings, Steve finally pulled the blindfold down.

“Happy birthday,” he whispered.

Tony went stock still, staring out at the currently empty stage, at the thousands and thousands of people waiting, and then turned in Steve’s arms.

“You… you…” he seemed at a loss of what to say.

“Happy birthday, Daddy!” Peter and Lily called in unison.

“You might think you’re a joke, Tony,” Steve murmured, leaning in to kiss his slack lips. “But all those people disagree with you.”

Thank you,” Tony whispered back emphatically. “Really, I -”

“Go,” Steve grinned. “Take your moment, Tony. The band and I are right behind you.”

Bouncing from foot to foot like a little boy, Tony let out an excited squeak and grabbed a microphone from a table. Leaning up for one last kiss, he bounded out onto stage, to immediate, ear-splitting screams.

How are you all doing tonight?”