Tony Stark was totally, entirely, and completely happy in his relationship with Pepper Potts. She was a whole, perfect human being, and he was frankly amazed every day that she didn’t go out and find someone better.
He would never fuck with that. Ever.
When confronted with a surprise, up-close view of Captain America’s flawlessly bio-engineered ass, it didn’t hurt anyone to just look. He wasn’t made of stone. He wasn’t hurting anyone by just looking.
Being fair, really, just…being fair, okay, anyone would have stopped and gawked at Steve Rogers’ rear view on display. The man was halfway inside the kitchen cabinets, wearing a tiny pair of too-small running shorts, and he was shaking his barely-clad butt right in front of them as he scrubbed furiously at the underside of the sink like a man possessed.
Beside Tony, Spiderman slowly raised his cameraphone and pressed record. As far as Tony knew, Peter Parker wasn’t even into dudes. Tony wasn’t even entirely sure the kid had reached puberty yet. That’s how difficult this ass was to ignore. Looking was not his fault.
Pepper would understand. If it she were there, she would…okay, probably look at him disapprovingly and clear her throat, but only because she was much too classy to get caught ogling a friend. But she would see this butt and she would understand. So Tony wasn’t feeling too bad about tilting his head to get a slightly better view, pursing his lips in approval and getting ready to wolf whistle, when the bone chilling sound of Bucky Barnes’ death arm recalibrating behind them froze his mouth where it was.
Tony didn’t know Steve’s bestie very well, but he knew enough. Bucky Barnes was not charitable like Pepper. Bucky Barnes would not understand. Bucky Barnes would not be accepting of the two of them gaping at that perfect all-American ass shaking like a maraca five feet from where they stood.
Bucky Barnes was a violent, jealous asshole and they were all going to die and was that idiot Peter still filming. Tony spun around, a mountain of I’m-so-taken I-swear-I-wasn’t-looking lies about an upcoming secret wedding on his lips, ready to dig himself a deep, dangerous hole. A hole that Pepper, no matter how understanding, would probably fill in over top of him when she found out (and she would find out).
Probably. Or he was going to start talking about Steve’s ass out loud and make filthy speculations about what Barnes’ was doing with it, which would not be good for his physical health. Fortunately for his continued ability to breathe, Tony’s jaw dropped and his mouth went numb instead, and it sounded like Peter was suffering the same.
Barnes was wearing nothing but his metal arm and a pair of skintight, unbuttoned, folded down jeans that were… that were…okay, wow, drastically too low for even Tony’s sense of decency. Tony choked. Barnes strolled past carrying a bucket of soapy water and scratched his stomach idly, eyes sleepy and half lidded.
Tony was absolutely certain the man was not wearing underwear.
“…Sorry,” Tony managed, finally recovering his voice. “Did we accidentally wander into a porno? Are you two shooting porn right now? Is this for charity?”
“Shit!” Steve startled and jerked upright, slammed his head into the cabinet with a loud thunk, and struggled out from under the sink. He scrambled to his feet, cursing under his breath. Unlike Barnes, he was fully dressed, and his shirt even sorta fit this time, which was new. Unfortunately, the effort of scrubbing like Lady Macbeth for the past who-knew-how-long had plastered the damp fabric to his chest, and with a perfect glow of perspiration over whatever skin was exposed, he might as well have been naked.
Tony allowed himself a moment to visualize the amazing hatesex he might have had with Steve before he’d met Pepper, if Steve had been thawed and his murderboyfriend hadn’t been in the picture.
Steve’s mouth worked soundlessly for a moment before he coughed and sputtered out, “Tony! Peter! Hi!”
Peter waved, awkward.
“…Hi,” Tony replied.
Barnes just stared at them. Unlike Steve, Tony would not have touched that with a ten-foot pole no matter how drunk he was. There was borderline suicidal behavior, and then there was actively pursuing death’s painful embrace.
That open fly was really distracting, though.
“You’re back early,” Steve blurted, eyes rolling wildly at Barnes. Barnes turned his snake-stare on him, obviously not caring in the least about whatever Steve was trying to communicate. “I. We thought you’d. Well. I thought we’d be able to get the place totally clean before you got back.” He swallowed. “I’m. We’re only half done.”
Tony and Peter looked around the kitchen. It looked like Martha Stewart’s housecleaning army had camped out for a month.
“The new shoulder cannons turned out really well,” Tony explained, tongue thick in his mouth. “Finished up early. Thought we’d head here.”
Barnes smiled. It was not encouraging. “Guess we’ll have to leave it,” he sang, and plopped a wet cloth from the counter into the bucket with a splash. A few drops landed on his chest before starting the slow journey down, and Tony had to mentally repeat Pepper, murderer, crazy eyes a few times to keep from tracking their progress. “What a shame.”
“We are absolutely not leaving it,” Steve snapped, turning to glare at him. Barnes sighed and thumped the bucket onto the countertop, fished the cloth back out, and began lethargically mopping at the already-spotless granite.
“You know I pay people to do this for us, right?” Tony asked after watching for beat. “I pay a lot of people a lot of money to do this for us.”
Steve looked like Tony had just suggested something really offensive about his (probably) sainted mother.
Tony had no idea what was going on.
“If you’re here for food,” Barnes told them gloomily, wiping useless circles on the counter, “Steve threw it all out. You’ll have to go somewhere else and come back after he finishes freaking out all over your kitchen.”
“Right,” Tony said, giving up, and walked right back out again. Peter followed, neck twisted like an owl trying to watch as Steve ducked back under the sink.
Barnes reached forward as they hurried past, plucked the cameraphone out of Peter’s hand, and dropped it into the bucket with a watery thunk.
The next time it happened, Tony had taken Peter to a conference with every intention of watching the kid fumble his way into a complete disaster in public. It was going to be amazing, and it was only Rhodey and Pepper’s silent, judgmental stares when he shared his plans that had him ready to intervene before blood was shed.
They needn’t have worried. Instead of a flailing mess, Peter had been a totally normal, fully functional human being, which was not nearly as entertaining. They’d flown back a day early out of sheer boredom and headed to the common rooms in the hopes of finding something halfway interesting there.
What they found was Steve, again, crowded down in the space he’d made behind the refrigerator, scrubbing with an actual scrub-brush and an honest-to-god bucket of lye soap. Because America, apparently.
“Refrigerators have floor under them?” Peter blurted, and Steve spun around so fast he slipped and fell straight on his perfect ass. Across the room, Barnes sighed loudly and went back to polishing a mirror-shiny lamp, clad in pajama bottoms and not much more. Tony tried to avoid looking at the flap in in the front and failed.
“What the hell is going on?” Tony asked, incredulous. “Is this a sex thing? Is cleaning my building with Barnes a crazy old man sex thing?”
“Jesus, I wish,” Barnes muttered, as Steve blushed down to his bare feet. “I’ve been polishing this damn lamp for the past fucking hour. A blowjob while I’ve been doing it would be—”
“No,” Steve managed, horrified. “Of course not—You were coming back and you could—no.”
“Right,” Tony said, strained. “Okay. I’m gonna—We’re just gonna go then.”
Steve nodded, face tense, and Barnes chucked the lamp at the ipod Peter had been trying to hide behind his back.
“I really just want a hot pocket. Do we have hot pockets? I want a hot pocket so bad.”
Tony would much rather just dick around in his labs all day, but he was ending up stuck with Peter a lot now. Their fighting styles didn’t match up as well as they could have, and Tony was still trying to retire, but Tony had the firepower and flight capabilities to get them the hell out of a bad situation really damn fast. When things went to shit around Peter Parker, they tended to really go to shit, and everyone needed grenades and a ticket out right that minute.
Today had been one of those times, with the kid’s math teacher of all people. They had bruises on their bruises, were both completely done with the entire day and everything in it, and apparently Peter wanted to drown his pain in egg flavored cheese blobs wrapped in soggy frozen pastry.
Yeah. No, that was not happening.
“That is the worst idea I’ve ever heard,” Tony decided. “Let’s get something that doesn’t taste like sad cardboard failure instead, I’ll take you out for cheeseburgers. We’ll rent out the whole joint, it’ll be great.”
“I don’t want a cheeseburger, I want hot pockets,” Peter wheedled. “You’re just afraid Captain Rogers and Sergeant Barnes will be cleaning again, which is not as big a deal as you’re making it out to be.”
Tony turned on him and glared. Barnes could make the kid’s knees buckle with a look, but Tony only got a raised eyebrow for his troubles. “It is exactly that much of a deal,” he grumbled, giving up on the death stare. “It is weird, it is weird as hell. What are they even doing?”
“Besides,” Peter continued, ignoring him, “they’re fighting right now anyway, so you’re safe.”
Tony perked up. “Are you kidding me? The Golden Girls are fighting?” He flipped his faceplate open, shocked. “The Winter Soldier spent the last 70 years on nothing but violent death, and Steve still assures me the sun shines out of his ass over those ridiculous jeans he wears. What on earth can they be fighting over?”
“Well,” Peter started, looking uncomfortable, “first they were fighting because Sergeant Barnes threw that lamp at me, and then I think they were fighting because he apologized for it.”
Tony made a wordless The hell? face.
“Sorry I threw a lamp at your iPod instead of your idiot face,” Peter mimicked in a deep Brooklyn growl. “Sorry I didn’t hit you with it at all and you’re completely fine. I super duper apologize for reals.”
“Really?” Tony asked, distracted. “The Winter Soldier said ‘for reals’?”
“There’s no way the Captain could have talked Sergeant Barnes into cleaning again,” Peter assured him. “He hates it more than he hates me. If they’re fighting…”
“Done,” Tony agreed, giddy. He didn’t care how fucked it was, knowing there weren’t any half naked, super-serumed adult film stars airing out the curtains in his kitchen genuinely made his day. “Sure. Yeah. I’ll even eat a hot pocket. Let’s celebrate the Winter Soldier being fully dressed for once.”
Peter grinned and marched down the hall ceiling to the kitchen, wrapped up in the joy of imminent hot pockets (ugh, gross). He was absolutely right, too—no one was cleaning anything in there.
The fuckers were cleaning in the damn living room instead.
“You assholes,” Tony yelled at them when he and Peter walked in with their sad, terrible, not super-soldier-free-as-advertised hot pockets. “I thought you were fighting!”
“We are,” Barnes muttered, draped over a couch backwards in his underwear, listlessly waving a duster at the ceiling fan. Steve jerked upright, clutching some sort of soapy vacuum thing he’d been rubbing the upholstery with.
Peter looked apologetic, but in his defense, Barnes wasn’t even pretending to be involved in his task. There was a good three feet between the end of the duster and the fan. “I broke your fainting couch,” Barnes told them, gesturing vaguely but not moving from his sprawl. They both looked. Sure enough, there was a big empty spot that something large had clearly occupied earlier. “I’m very very super gosh sorry.”
He didn’t sound sorry.
“We broke your fainting couch,” Steve corrected, turning off the cleany-soapy-whatsit.
Barnes rolled his eyes. In this position, his thin cotton briefs were stretched tight over his—well. Tony was working very hard on thinking about all the murder. “Sure. We hit the fainting couch with my metal arm very hard, which was obviously a joint effort, and so we are both very very super gosh sorry.”
“Yes,” Steve said firmly, “we are.”
“I’m not going to ask,” Tony told them.
“That’s probably for the best,” Barnes agreed.
“I’m not asking about you cleaning in your underwear, either,” Tony said, keeping his eyes firmly locked up on Barnes’ eyebrows.
Barnes looked down at himself, then back up. “Yeah,” he said, lips twisted to the side, “I’m being forced to scrub down a perfectly clean room that professionals go over with robots every night. I decided it was either this or getting dressed, and Steve picked cleaning.” He spread his arms, inviting them to join him in judging Steve’s terrible priorities.
“That’s not so bad a pick,” Tony conceded, glancing down and back up again as quickly as he could. Barnes caught him at it and grinned like a shark.
Steve shrugged, acknowledging that in the face of the Winter Soldier in his altogether, this was the best that master-strategist Captain America could do. “I got him to put on underwear,” he announced, absurdly proud of himself.
Tony was saved from whatever stupid thing his mouth was about to say next by the click of Pepper’s heels in the doorway, which were the most welcome sound he had ever experienced in his entire life. Barnes looked momentary panicked, but after a stricken glance down at his underwear, he tilted his chin up and apparently decided to brazen it out. Tony generally tried not to feel kinship to blood-drenched serial killers, but when Barnes lounged back on the couch in his skivvies with a smile Tony was more used to seeing in the mirror, he had a really hard time holding back.
Pepper. Murder. Crazy eyes.
“Pep. Pepper. Pepperoonie, save me,” Tony begged, tearing his gaze away. “The Winter Soldier is cleaning my building in his underwear.”
Pepper paused and took in the room. Steve had a shocked look, as if Barnes had just slapped Pepper across the face, eyes wildly snapping between her and Barnes’s crotch. Peter was working hard on pretending he wasn’t actually present, and Barnes…
Barnes crossed his ankles, laced his fingers together, and stretched. Then he grinned.
“…I see,” Pepper managed.
And she blushed.
Tony felt betrayed. Steve looked betrayed. Because they were both being betrayed.
“Ma’am,” the vile seducer said, hooking his clasped hands behind his neck.
“James,” Pepper replied warmly. “I didn’t expect to see you here. I always seem to come by when you’re out.”
Tony was feeling pretty jealous at that point, but to tell the truth, Steve reacted completely out of proportion to the situation. He turned stark white, fumbled, and the soapy thing crunched in his hands as the handle shattered into little plastic splinters. “Ma’am—Miss Potts—you make use of these rooms?” Steve rasped, eyes wide. Barnes’ head snapped around to glare at him.
Tony had no idea what was going on.
“I do,” Pepper said, looking concerned. “I don’t get a lot of time away from the office, but it’s nice to drop by every so often. I’m glad I caught you this time.” She stepped in and went to sit on one of the couches. “It’s always lovely to see you, and we spend time together so rarely.”
“Ma’am,” Steve croaked, every muscle frozen up and hands out to stop her. His face was a mask of horror. “Ma’am, that’s still wet, I mean, I just cleaned it and—“
“Oh, it’s fine. I think you missed this one,” Pepper said, testing it. “I’ll just—“
“Ma’am, don’t,” Steve barked. Then he made a pained face and tried again. “Please don’t sit there. I am so sorry. Please.”
Everyone froze. When Steve Rogers shouted at you, things were probably about to get terrible very fast, but it wasn’t usually because you were about to sit on antique furniture in your living room.
“Don’t do it Steve,” Barnes murmured, tensing up along with him, now. Oh god. Things were about to get awful, and Tony still had no idea what was happening. “You are going to regret it. This is not going to be a big deal until you make it one. You are going to be very, very sorry really damn soon.”
Steve, meanwhile, had the look of a man for whom everything had gone dreadfully, awfully wrong; his face had gone from white to green now, and he was hunched like he was about to be sick all over the newly vacu-whatsit-ed upholstery. After a moment, though, he visibly steeled himself, straightening and setting his jaw, dipping his head in apology, and fisting his hands at his sides.
Tony got a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach.
“I am so, so sorry ma’am,” Steve said, voice firm now. “I’ve made a terrible error in judgment. That couch is compromised and you should avoid touching it at all in the future.”
Pepper and Peter blinked at them, but a horrible realization was dawning on Tony. “No,” he sputtered. “You didn’t.”
Steve looked like a kicked dog, but didn’t say anything.
“Wrong,” Bucky answered for him, rolling his eyes. “We definitely did.”
Tony gaped. “But you’ve been fighting! You’re fighting right now.”
“It’s not like our dicks stopped working,” Barnes said blandly.
“…what?” Peter managed in a small voice.
Barnes leaned forward and grinned, and Peter took a nervous step back into a chair. “Sex, kiddo,” he smirked. “Captain America hatefucked me right into that very armchair you’re leaning on.”
Peter yelped and leapt away as if it was poisonous.
Steve frowned at him, momentarily distracted from his shame by the huge stick up his ass. “I didn’t hate…we didn’t… I have never had hatesex with you in my entire life,” he admonished. “I love you.”
Barnes rolled his eyes again. “Fine,” he conceded, “Captain America angry-fucked me into that very armchair you’re leaning on. It was mutually affectionate and within the bounds of a loving relationship, despite being super violent and full of shouting and profanity.”
“You broke my fainting couch,” Tony complained, a little hysterical.
“We’re genetically engineered fighting machines created during a world war, having a lot of violent sex in an enclosed space,” Barnes pointed out reasonably. “We broke a lot more than your fainting couch. The couch was just the only thing we couldn’t fix or replace quick enough.”
“Bucky, I already want to sink into the floor and die,” Steve muttered, “I really don’t need your help. Please stop.”
“You said it wasn’t about sex!” Peter squeaked. “Tony asked and you said it wasn’t about sex!”
“Yeah,” Bucky agreed, “and we lied.”
“Has it been every time?” Tony demanded, gesturing around the entire common area. “Every time I’ve caught you cleaning in here, was it because you’d been having sex?”
“You think I would clean your shitty common room if I wasn’t getting sex for it?” Barnes demanded.
“I am so sorry,” Steve apologized, head bowed. “It was a lapse in common sense and decency. I know better.”
“I don’t,” Barnes countered. “I only regret cleaning everything afterwards, and I did that under extreme duress.”
“Duress of never having sex again for the rest of your life,” Steve hissed, finally losing his patience.
“Extreme duress,” Barnes repeated.
“You were cleaning under the sink!” Tony shouted, bewildered. “You were cleaning behind the refrigerator. How did you have sex behind the refrigerator? Why did you have sex behind the refrigerator?”
“You threw out all the food,” Parker blurted, eyes as wide as saucers. “Did you have sex in the refrigerator??”
“No one had sex with the refrigerator,” Barnes growled, “there was no refrigerator sex at all. Captain Panic over here blew me within view of the refrigerator, and had to wash away his sins from the entire room with extreme prejudice.”
Steve turned his Disappointed Look on him, the one guaranteed to turn any disagreement into a full-blown fight. Tony was completely stumped why he ever used it on Barnes at all. “I told you already, that’s not what this is about.”
“Bullshit,” Barnes snapped back, teeth bared.
They were either going to fight or screw again, and Tony was going to be stuck watching, because he certainly wasn’t going to move and attract attention.
Luckily, Pepper was a flawless human being in all ways and interrupted before anything traumatizing could happen.
“Steve,” she broke in, voice firm, calm, and perfect, because Pepper was amazing and Tony’s savior and perfect. “You don’t need to apologize. It’s not an issue.”
“It’s kind of an issue,” Peter argued.
Pepper waved him away. “I can personally assure you that Tony has already had angry, happy, and above all mediocre sex on every piece of furniture in this room, with more people than any of you can count.”
Strike that, Pepper was a traitor.
“Mediocre??” Tony yelped.
“I can count really high,” Peter said before his brain caught up with him and he cringed. Tony was never buying him hot pockets again. Barnes carefully, trying not to make a show of it and failing, stood up from the couch back he was perched on.
“…really?” Steve managed.
Pepper nodded. Like a traitor. “I had everything moved from the old penthouse and offices, then refurnished instead of buying new,” she continued blithely, “since we’re trying to move further towards sustainability with this building. Even if I hadn’t, I worked with Tony during his most alcoholic years; I have seen much worse than a kitchen someone had a blow job in. A lot of it is online.” She tapped her finger to her chin. “If you Google ‘Tony Stark sex tape’, you’ll probably find this same couch, actually. I can have Jarvis look it up for you.”
“Wow,” Steve said, face lighting up with a toothpaste smile.
Tony could honestly say he had never anticipated a day when he would brighten Captain America’s life with his dick on tape, but it was apparently here. It was not how he’d imagined it when he was a teenager.
“No thanks on the sex tape, but…” Steve continued, visibly relaxing and swiping one enormous paw over his face. “That actually makes me feel a lot better. I… Yeah, I feel a lot better about this now.”
“I don't,” Barnes muttered, wiping his hands on his briefs.
Steve ignored him. “This was keeping me up at night,” he sighed, dropping down to sit on one of the dry couches. “I am so relieved. Pepper, thank you. It this a 21st century thing, or a Tony thing?”
“Definitely a Tony thing,” Peter said faintly, trying not to touch anything in the room.
“If this were a regular office situation, I would probably fire you immediately,” Pepper admitted, and Steve blanched. “But it’s not, really. You all live in a super-powered frat house, and these rooms are an extension of your own home. I’ve worked hard to encourage you to think of it that way, and it’s probably why you did anything in them in the first place. Would you even consider it in other parts of the building?”
Steve’s eyes bugged and he shook his head in revulsion.
Pepper shrugged. “Well then. No one is going to want to know about it, but as long as there isn’t any…actual mess and you lock the doors, I can’t see it being too much of a problem,” Pepper assured him. “You don’t need to worry about it.”
“Especially since we’re never screwing in here again,” Barnes said with distaste, which was pretty damn hypocritical in Tony’s opinion. “Jesus. I can’t believe the last time I had my fingers up your ass, you were spread out on Tony Stark’s fuckniture.”
“Bucky!” Steve admonished, turning red again.
Fuck this. Tony was done.
“Okay, guys, I am leaving our communal sex den now,” he announced. “And I’m getting a cheeseburger.”
“I had a poster of him on my wall until I was fifteen,” Peter whined mournfully into his cheeseburger an hour later. Tony nodded in sympathy. “Did you?”
“Of course I did,” Tony replied around a mouthful of his own food. “And then I rubbed my dick all over it and sent the pictures to half of MIT. Do you not remember how you met me?”
“I’ve been trying to forget it since we all work together now,” Peter moaned. “Just like I’m going to try my hardest to forget that today ever existed.”
“Good luck with that,” Tony told him.
Peter nodded and went back to reprogramming his new phone. On their way out the door, Barnes had snagged every recording device Peter had on him, picked him up by the collar and crushed them all right next to his nose. They’d closed the door on the fight that started up right after.
Tony was so used to Peter and Barnes blasting through electronics this way that he had Starkphones stashed pretty much everywhere. He’d pulled an extra out of the glove compartment for the kid on the way over.
“At least,” Tony mused, “they never—“
“I’m leaving our communal sex den now and I’m getting a cheeseburger.”
Peter’s head snapped up in horror. “Uh,” he said, stabbing at the screen in panic.
“ Pepper, save me! The Winter Soldier is cleaning my building in his underwear!” the Starkphone chirped happily. A distant, abstract part of Tony crowed, smug, at how clear the audio was. “I’m leaving our communal sex den now and I’m getting a cheeseburger.”
“Really?” Tony asked, setting down said cheese burger. “Really. I give you a brand new, top-of-the-line phone and this is what you do with it.”
“You’re the one who suggested I set up automatic cloud upload,” Peter said defensively.
Tony stared at Peter, considering, then pointed a greasy finger at him. “You can keep it if you put something from one of the sexcapades pair as an alternate ringtone, and make sure it plays at some point in front of Barnes.”
“Deal,” Peter lied, and bent back over the phone.