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Sleep, Antoshka

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Tony can’t stop tapping on the reactor.

He’s been tap, tap, tapping since last night. He also hasn’t been able to sleep since….Tony wonders what day it is, because to hell if he knows.

He replays Steve’s words in his head, “Tony, go see them. I promise, it’s alright. Baby, we just want you to feel better.”

Tony takes a deep breath.

He hasn’t gone down in over six months now, and it’s showing. He’s manic and jittery, lacking appetite, and he can’t fucking sleep; he just wants to sleep, damn it.

When they’d been together, Pepper would take him down four times a month, tops--not because she didn’t like it, but because with their ridiculous schedules, it was rare that they had the time.

But Tony was fine with that number, it kept him sane and healthy and happy.

As their relationship deteriorated and they spent less and less time together, canceled more and more dates, the number decreased to once a month, and only if Pepper remembered, because even though Tony biologically needs to be taken down at least once a month, he’d never go asking for it or remind her that he wasn’t ok.

It made him feel needy and clingy and Pepper didn’t need that on her plate.

Tony’s been taking himself down with mp3 recordings off the net and meditation he’s learned from Bruce for the last six months, but he can never quite get himself there--he always just lingers between awareness and a weird sort of daze and then plateaus. It’s frustrating, to say the least, but it manages to take the edge off just a little bit.

Or at least, it used to. Now he can’t even get himself into a daze anymore. Not since he got into a relationship with his two alphas, Steve and Bucky. His body yearns for more, for the real thing.

And after weeks of discussion and compromise and not a small amount of yelling and storming off, the three had finally come to an agreement. While Bucky and Steve worked on their issues, Tony would be taken down by another alpha, one they could trust and who would be easily accessible.

Natasha and Clint, an alpha couple, had agreed to take the omega down at least once a month.

Except, it’s been nearly a month since they made the proposition, and Tony’s been too big of a baby to go ask them for what he needs.

They’ve discussed limits and safe-words and even things Tony enjoys, and he trusts them explicitly, of course, but more than his own fear of giving control over to someone else again, it’s the little voice in the back of his head telling him what a bad omega he is for letting two alphas, alphas he doesn’t belong to, take him down, when he’s got his own perfectly good alphas at home.

He knows it’s not him, he knows it’s not anyone’s fault. Bucky and Steve are still dealing with their own control issues, and can’t bring themselves to dom Tony, for fear they might hurt him, and that’s fine, because Tony doesn’t want either doing anything they’re not one hundred percent comfortable with.

He knows it's selfish of him, but he just wishes things were different sometimes.

They’re not though, and Tony’s going stir crazy, it’s been so fucking long, and he needs this.

So he takes another deep breath and steps into the living room, where the two spies are sitting, watching a very bad lifetime movie (thanks to Clint).

Almost instantly two pairs of eyes swivel to meet his. And suddenly Tony doesn’t feel so bad anymore. It’s obvious by their tense shoulders that they’re just as nervous as he is about the situation. Natasha and Clint have been together for a very long time, and it’s been awhile since either spy has taken an omega down, and they’re both understandably a little anxious over the whole affair.

“Tony.” Natasha breaks the silence and then sets her Starkpad down on the armrest. She moves away from Clint so that there’s a space between them, and then pats the cushion. “Come sit with us?”

Tony nods and then carefully sits between the two alphas, a little embarrassed he can’t be a better omega and kneel at their feet.

They’ve discussed this already, however, and, Tony reminds himself, neither Tash nor Clint had looked disappointed when he’d told them that kneeling and things like suspension and certain types of bondage weren’t things he could do, due to the arc reactor.

Clint lowers the volume on the TV but doesn’t pause the film or turn it off, and Tony’s grateful for the vague background noise it provides. “You look exhausted.” the archer puts a casual hand on his shoulder and Tony finds himself leaning into it a little. Clint keeps the hand there.

“When was the last time you slept, hon?” the pet-name should sound odd coming from the man Tony plays pranks on (or with on more than one occasion), but it doesn’t. It comes out smooth and the hand on his shoulder moves over to the small of his back, rubbing circles that are both grounding and dizzying.

“Aren’t you going to answer Clint’s question, Tony?” Natasha says, her nails gently trailing up and down, up and down, up and down his arm, making the hairs on the back of his neck stand straight.

Tony blinks, “Sorry ma’am.” He gulps. “I don’t….I don’t remember, sir.” shit, he’s already messing up. He must look as ashamed as he feels, because Clint’s hand travels up to his neck where his fingers massage the muscles there, and shushes him.

“That’s alright, just means you need a nap, yeah?”

“Yeah.” he repeats, drowsily, relieved he doesn't need to say much.

“C’mere, turn your back to me and face the wall.” Clint orders, and Christ, it’s been so long that Tony practically breaks his neck trying to comply as quickly as humanly possible. Clint chuckles and helps him get situated on the couch again. Then he digs his thumbs into the omegas back and starts kneading into the sore muscles with a gusto.

Tony gasps and shudders, trying to keep from groaning out loud, it feels so good! The alpha continues his ministrations. “Let me hear ya’, hon. Let it out.” Tony moans, his heart rate picking up, hands going a tingly sort of numb.

Natasha comes out of seemingly nowhere with a cup of warm milk in her hands. “Here, drink this. Small sips.” She keeps her hands over his when she hands him the cup and controls how much of the milk he drinks, until it’s nearly empty. “Good boy.” her voice is silk.

And that does it. What little control he has left snaps under those two words. “Really?” wide brown eyes look up at the alpha and then back at the other alpha for confirmation.

He can’t help himself or the creeping self-doubt. It’s been a very long time since an alpha’s praised him after taking him down. He wants to hear it again, just to make sure he’s hearing right.

“You are so good, hon. So good, look at you.” Clint’s voice sounds closer than it had before, and that sends a shiver up Tony’s spine.

“We’re proud of you for coming to us for help, Tony.” Natasha kneels in front of him, so that she’s a head taller than he is, and runs her hands through his hair over and over, until he thinks his eyes are going to roll all the way to the back of his head.

They’re proud of him. He’s done so good. He’s a good boy and they’re proud of him. Tony’s on cloud nine.

“Go to sleep, Antoshka, we’ll be right here the whole time.” Natasha helps him get into a more comfortable position, and Clint lets him rest his head on his lap and even nuzzle against his stomach.

“There ya’ go, honey, close your eyes.” Clint’s order is easy enough to follow, and before he knows it, he’s dead to the world, a heavy lump on the couch.

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Tony wakes up twelve hours later feeling warm and limber.

Clint is sitting on the floor, cross-legged, his head and shoulders leaning against Tony’s lower body, a nice, reassuring pressure. He’s playing mario kart, the volume faint, and by the looks of it he’s losing.

Tony’s head is nestled up against Nat’s stomach, and he realizes the cushion beneath him is actually her lap. She’s kicking Clint’s ass with abandon, but presses pause the second she feels the omega stir.

“Antoshka’s awake.” Natasha puts her controller down. “How do you feel?”

Tony feels amazing, like he could run ten miles and stay here on her lap in this couch forever, simultaneously. Except his tongue is stuck to the roof of his mouth and everything is still incredibly hazy.

Clint comes back into the room (and when had he left?) with a cold glass of water. Natasha nudges the omega up gently and then steadies him once he’s sitting upright. Clint helps Tony drink the water the same way Nat had done much earlier that day and praises him when he finishes every last drop. Tony’s heart picks up again.

Natasha squeezes his shoulder. “Do you feel alright?”

Tony nods and clears his throat. “I feel great. Really great.” he flushes. “Thank you.”

Clint smiles and ruffles his hair fondly. “Anytime, hon. We’re happy to do it, ok? So don’t hesitate to ask.”

“We are here for you, Antoshka.”

Tony can feel himself getting flushed hot red to the very tips of his ears. He doesn’t normally enjoy letting himself be so vulnerable. The last time he let anyone take him down that he wasn’t in a relationship with was before Afghanistan. And even then, none of those people had ever been so kind and understanding.

Once, he remembers, he’d let this couple take him down, and they’d made him kneel down on their marble floors for so long that he’d had bruises afterwards for weeks. He’d been so far gone at the time that he hadn’t noticed the pain or his sore muscles until later, when he was alone at home and found that he could barely get up the next morning, much less walk straight.

But he doesn’t think Nat or Clint would do something like that to him, even if he could kneel again. He bets they’re the kind of alphas that would put a pillow under his knees and ask him how he was feeling throughout, and make sure he was comfortable the entire time. He’s not used to that, but he knows he likes it.

It’s not that Pepper hadn’t been a good alpha to him. She was a little more strict, but their relationship had been shortly after his fun stint in Afghanistan, and he’d lacked the backbone, and she’d lacked the patience to deal with everything.

He can’t help but wonder how he’ll feel with Steve and Bucky. He knows they’re not confident in their abilities to be the alphas he needs right now, but Tony thinks that when they’re ready, they’re going to be exactly what he needs.

They’re already exactly what he needs.