Knee-deep in code, the small hours of the morning creeping stealthily by, Tony barely blinked when a hiss of displaced air followed the dialling down of the metal grunge blasting through the garage. He squinted at a misplaced operator and muttered, "Always with the music."
There weren't many people who dared to poke their noses into his workspace, fewer still with the balls to mess with his music. Pepper had a standing invitation, one she hadn't waited for him to extend in the first place. Jarvis had become more a part of him than the house since completion of the Mark II, and didn't give a shit about his music, anyway.
Which left Rhodey, and just one other.
The first time Steve had tromped down the stairs, found the keypad next to the sealed door and called out for the code, Tony had given it to him without a second thought. Watching his fascination with the bots and basking in his appreciation of the cars was more than worth it, and it hadn't taken long for Tony to get used to surfacing from work to find him tinkering quietly with an engine.
"Tony," Steve said, his voice strong, sincere.
Making an appropriate noise to let Steve know he was absolutely listening, Tony rapidly tapped out a few strings. There was no way that operator had migrated on its own, but why the hell had he put it there?
"Tony, for the good of the country, we should get married."
Tony scratched at his chin and mmhm'd absently.
"There will be public outcry," Steve went on, "but making a strong, visible stand on the issue is what's most important."
"Right, sure," Tony agreed. "Important." He almost had that little bastard right where he wanted it. If he switched the- He straightened up. "Wait. What?"
Steve gave him a funny look. "I said, I didn't think you'd so readily agree."
"No, no," Tony said, whipping his chair around. "Before that."
"Marriage, Tony," Steve said, crossing his arms in a way that said he was digging in for the long haul. "For the good of the American people."
Puffing out a breath, Tony slumped back in his seat. A quick glance at his workstation confirmed the complete absence of alcohol of any kind. He'd had a single drink upstairs, hours ago, so obviously he wasn't drunk. And Steve, as far as anybody knew, couldn't get drunk, which sounded pretty damn unfair but wasn't something he seemed to mind.
"Married," Tony said. He gnawed on the inside of his lip. "Really?"
"What better way to send the message that same-sex couples deserve all the rights of the heteronormative majority?"
Clearly hallucinating after a string of late nights and the probable exposure to chemicals of a highly questionable nature, Tony jumped straight from wedding to wedding night. It wasn't the first time he'd pictured Steve naked. It wasn't even the first time it involved tuxes, either, thanks to the Foundation's endless string of black tie affairs. But picturing Steve naked was kind of addictive all on its own, and Steve, despite his staunch sense of propriety, was in no way modest, which meant Tony's imagination had an excessive amount of ammo to work with.
Tony blinked back to the here and fully-clothed now. If in some bizarre and unanticipated twist this happened to be reality and not some highly complex delusion, he'd need to get a grip. Carrying a giant flaming torch around for Captain America was one thing, and giving in to the urge to harmlessly flirt here and there was another. Marrying the guy for a principle was a whole other universe of something else entirely.
"That's-" Tony paused, clearing his throat. "Getting married for show isn't much of a statement." He pushed up out of his chair and grabbed the nearest piece of something or other strewn across the desk, fiddling with a wire as if it were the key to his next stroke of brilliance. "At best it'd seem like a publicity stunt. At worst, a mockery."
"No, it's okay, I get it," Tony said, wincing as the wire jabbed him under a nail. He sucked at his finger, a small tinge of iron tainting the salty taste of his skin. "Leading by example is what you do, and Captain America always does what's right. But with my track record?" Tony shook his head. "They'll know it's a sham."
Tony flicked the piece of junk aside and crossed his arms, countering the stubborn set of Steve's jaw with a lopsided smirk. It wavered for a moment, and he had to work to keep it steady as he said, "Yes, darling?"
Something flickered in Steve's expression before it softened. "You're right. I'm sorry."
Bitter relief weighed heavily on Tony's shoulders. "No problem," he said, flopping into his chair. "Brave new world and all, takes some time to get used to."
"We should announce we're dating first and give society time to adjust."
Tony's forehead thumped to the desk. Dummy perked up with a mechanical whine. "We're not dating. And if he dusts me," Tony said, pointing at the bot without looking up, "I'm blaming you, Steve."
A few moments of blessed silence, and then, "We're not?"
Tony lifted his head just enough to peer at Steve over his arm. Weirdly, Steve wasn't smiling. There was a tiny quirk to his mouth that suggested he might've been once upon a time but mostly he seemed confused, and maybe a little hurt.
Tony sat up. "We're dating?"
"I realise I didn't announce my intentions, but you so often poke fun at me for my old-fashioned ways, I suppose I'd thought-" Steve broke off with a shrug. "It seemed to be going well."
"How can we be dating," Tony burst out, "when all we do is hang around in my garage, eat pizza and drink beer, get roped into parties when we're not careful, and oh yeah, occasionally beat crazy people up?"
All blue-eyed American sincerity, Steve said, "What else would we do?"
Tony waved a hand dismissively. "Oh, I don't know. A fuck every now and then after the evening news might be nice."
A light flush crept up Steve's neck. "You haven't even let me kiss you yet."
"You didn't ask. No, wait," Tony backtracked, jabbing a finger at him. "I didn't grow up some delicate virgin in Mayfield. If you really want to stick your tongue in my mouth, you damn well don't hang around waiting for me to grant permission."
Steve nodded, said, "All right," and got in close to pull Tony up into one of the sweetest kisses he'd ever had in his entire life. Not sweet in a soft, delicate way, but like the crunch of a sugar cube between his teeth, a sudden gritty burst of flavour that melted into something thick and smooth and lingering.
It was the kind of kiss that meant he should hurry the hell up with getting his clothes out of the way. He went for his belt, ruining the small nip Steve tried to give his lip with a startled jerk when he found out Steve was way ahead of him, bypassing belt and button altogether to tug down his zip and get a hand in through the slit in his shorts.
"So much for traditional values," Tony rasped, fisting a hand in Steve's shirt, recognising it as one he'd bought months ago. It wasn't even that nice of a shirt; it was just that it had caught his eye at the exact same time his brain had reminded him that hey, Steve existed.
Steve eased back from what should've been another truly magnificent kiss to ask, "Is that a stop?"
Stop was not really a word Tony was accustomed to associating with a set of strong fingers wrapped snugly around his dick. "Hell no," he said, pushing into Steve's grip to helpfully remind him about the business so very literally at hand. "Just an observation."
But Steve straightened up, his hand pulling free of Tony's clothes and dragging a miserably disappointed groan up from the very pit of Tony's stomach. Sometimes, he really had to remember how to keep his mouth shut.
Sometimes, he was also very glad he hadn't yet figured out a way to directly link to Jarvis, because he really didn't need any mouthy smartass in his head besides himself.
A smile more like one Tony was used to seeing in the mirror curved Steve's mouth. "Hang on," he said, and Tony's stomach did an awkward tumble as Steve swooped him up over-the-threshold style and made for the stairs. "Practicing for later."
Tony flopped back with a crowing laugh, scrubbing a hand over his face as the world lurched, Steve taking the steps two at a time like he weighed about three and a half ounces, give or take a gram.
Which was as good as reason as any to get a good handful of Steve's hair and yank him down for that kiss Tony had ruined, except this time it was Tony's teeth catching on his lip and dragging a ragged noise out of him, something rough and hungry, something Tony hadn't ever thought he'd get a chance to hear.
Wanting more like that, Tony dipped down and nipped at Steve's throat, covered the tiny red mark he'd just made with what was supposed to be a kiss but turned out to be grin smeared over the short prickle of stubble. Steve narrowly missed whacking his knees into the doorframe on their way into the bedroom, and his world lurched again as Steve reached the bed and dropped him straight down onto it.
"That's a good look for you," Tony said, staying sprawled right where he'd landed to watch as Steve stripped off his shirt, revealing the faint tan of occasional California living layered over solid muscle. Pure lust hit Tony so hard he jerked. Looking while knowing he could touch made all the difference in the world. "Horny all-American guy."
When Steve's hands dropped to his jeans, Tony got with the program. He shoved up and skinned off his tee while kicking at his boots, thankful laziness had won out earlier and he hadn't bothered to zip them. One thumped to the floor, swiftly followed by the flutter of his shirt. He wriggled around on sheets still tumbled from last night's restless sleep, trying to get his pants off before Steve's common sense returned from its holiday jaunt to Aruba.
Steve caught his slacks by one leg and pulled, dragging him a few inches across the mattress until he lifted up and shimmed free. His gaze swept down and stuck like glue to the thick curve of Steve's naked cock, his brain seizing up halfway between wonder when that happened and oh fuck yes.
"Fuck," is what came spilling out of his mouth, rough and reverent. "I figured, but still, fuck."
The bright sparkle of Steve's smile warred with the dark weight in his eyes. "Yeah?" he asked, and set one knee to the bed, leaning down slowly to brace a hand on either side of Tony's head.
"In a word," Tony said, eager to get greedy hands all over his favourite fantasy come true, but the touch he swept along the sharp cut of Steve's collarbone was tentative, a barely there caress. There was a reason he hadn't seriously gone after Steve, and it didn't have a thing to do with not knowing exactly how straight Captain America flew.
Steve caught his hand, holding it in place while strong fingers curved against his cheek, knuckles brushing up the slant of bone to his temple. "I know what you're thinking," Steve said, skimming back down to touch his mouth. The pads of Steve's fingers were rough and warm, left a tingle of salt on his lips. "It's always written right here. I don't know how you ever manage to fool anybody."
"Hey, I do pretty good," Tony said, quirking a smile that did little more than to prove Steve right. "I've got this one guy in Corporate totally fooled."
"There you go again." A brush of Steve's thumb smeared Tony's smile to nothing. "Do you really think I would've started this if I didn't want to see it through?"
Tony licked at his lips, catching another stray taste of Steve's skin. "Which one are we talking about here, sex or marriage?"
"Both," Steve said, and stopped the flippant, flimsy attempt at deflection they both knew was coming by shoving his tongue into Tony's mouth.
It was pretty effective as far as tactics went. Since the last thing Tony wanted to do was discourage such a stellar gung-ho, take-charge attitude, he kissed back, arching up off the rumpled sheets to chase after Steve's tongue when it grazed his lips. Steve let out a perfect, almost pained noise as just their tongues touched in the hot space between their mouths, and Tony grinned, cupped his face in both hands and did it again, making it slick and wet and something way too dirty for Captain god damn America to be caught doing.
Steve broke away first, panting as if he'd just run a one-minute mile, and pressed his face into the crook of Tony's neck. He shoved both arms between Tony and the mattress, his voice too muffled for Tony to pick out anything he said before they rolled and the hot puff of, "Anthony," grazed his cheek.
Tony ended up sprawled on top of Steve with his head still spinning, his attempts to meet Steve's hungry, hurried kisses all falling short as rough hands skidded down over his back. Wide palms curved over his ass as Steve's knees splayed wide, urging him closer to grind cock to cock. Pleasure so pure blazed through his veins, forced him to push up on the heels of his hands, look down between them. Precome glistened on his belly, his and Steve's both, and he sucked in a breath, shaking as his damaged heart struck hard at his ribs.
He nearly swallowed his tongue when Steve's cock jerked from just the brush of his hand high on the outside of one thigh. Half a second later he was scooting down to lick up the thick droplet clinging to the head of Steve's dick, his mouth wet and tingling in anticipation.
Steve's fingers curled under his jaw, stopping him short with a thumb laid over his mouth. He made a noise that was supposed to be a question and sounded more like a dying man's last groan. Steve belatedly said, "Wait," then lost whatever else he meant to say when Tony grinned, licked at his thumb instead.
Steve's grip loosened, legendary resolve broken down bit by bit with nothing more than teeth and tongue, and he finally groaned, "I wanted you to fuck me, Tony."
Tony's throat closed up so tightly that for a moment, he couldn't even breathe. All he could manage to do was stare down at Steve, stare down at how his hands, so large and annoyingly clumsy when he did delicate work in his lab, seemed so much smaller splayed out on Steve's broad chest, at how easily he fit between the spread of Steve's strong thighs. He shuddered, closed his eyes to try and get a grip and had to open them up again right away, too afraid to miss a single moment of this.
"I know you have things," Steve said, his eyes fever-bright in the arc reactor's soft glow. "I snooped. By accident."
"I'll need to have a word with my security," Tony managed, still waiting for his heart to crawl back down his throat. The lazy drag of Steve's hand up along his spine sent another shiver rippling through him.
"I'm not kidding, Tony." Steve's voice had dropped to his grave, for the good of the nation tone, and mixed with the rough grate of arousal, Tony had no idea at all what he was supposed to do with it. Getting laid was never meant to be so serious. "I don't say things I don't mean."
Tony pulled a breath in deep, then another. "Just give me a sec. You fried a few synapses with that one."
"As long as you're not having some internal crisis about my first time."
Tony's insides lurched. "Oh, sweet Jesus Christ, it's not, is it?" He ached to stroke the long stretch of Steve's body as Steve twisted around and pawed through the nightstand, but he couldn't get his limbs to cooperate. "Fuck, it is. Let me blow you first, it'll-"
A condom packet slapped Tony's chest.
"I didn't say that," Steve said calmly, while Tony blinked down at the little scrap of foil. "And that isn't for you to use, it was just the first thing I grabbed. I needed you to stop babbling."
A blistering roil of heat went through Tony. Less than a half hour since he'd gotten his first taste of Steve's kisses and now Steve wanted to be done bareback. He held up a hand, indicating he'd need a moment here, and pressed the side of his fist to his mouth to keep a wordless shout of pure red-blooded male joy under wraps.
Once his frazzled brain rebooted, he concentrated on working up the spit to deliver a scathing lecture on the modern marvel of safe sex, except his vocal chords were still all seized up and Steve was looking up at him with a suspiciously amused glint, the back of one hand gliding lightly over his thigh.
"You weren't joking about those fried brain cells," Steve said.
"Right. Okay, I get it. Condoms redundant," Tony said, wishing for a moment Steve was as much an open book to him as he was to Steve, and a fierce grin took over his mouth. It would probably come in handy in more ways than one. "It's not my fault you're so fucking hot."
"I suppose it's not your fault you cuss so much, either," Steve said, pressing a small squeeze bottle into Tony's hand.
"No," Tony agreed, "no, it definitely isn't." He slicked up a few fingers before he had a chance to really think through what he was about to do, but that turned out to be a wasted effort as soon as Steve shifted back, his knees pulling up to give Tony not only the space to push those fingers inside him, but to clearly watch it happen. His gaze jumped up to Steve's face and for once in his life, didn't say a single word about the dark flush he found there.
He went slow, not because Steve's god damn fucking first time was kicking around inside his skull like Bad Religion's frenetic drumstylings or anything, but because it was the first time he got to feel this; tight muscle giving way to soft heat, the twitch of Steve's body from the inside. He bent low to lick up the precome still shining wetly on Steve's belly and his chin grazing the hot curve of Steve's dick made muscle clench up around his fingers, fighting the drag as he pulled them free.
"Keep going," Steve said, needless encouragement when Tony was already sliding slippery fingers back into place, crooking them a little in a brief search for a sure-fire way to blow Steve's mind. Steve's whole body seized up for a split second when he found it, and he kept up the lazy rocking pressure as he leaned down to get another taste of Steve's mouth while it was slack with pleasure.
Steve slurred something against his lips that he didn't try too hard to decipher, not until a warm hand pushed lightly at his shoulder. He eased back, his fingers stilling, but didn't get a chance to ask what was wrong before Steve twisted into a smooth roll, flat on his belly for a moment as he stretched, then levered up onto his hands and knees.
"I didn't mean stop entirely," Steve said, glancing over his shoulder while Tony replayed that long rippling line of muscle over and over again in his head. He wondered if asking Jarvis to start recording right now would ruin the moment. Maybe Steve was far enough gone that he wouldn't mind.
Steve's heel gently bumped his calf. "Come on."
Tony brushed the heavy weight of Steve's balls with the back of his hand, so tempted to hang around there and play for awhile, but Steve rocked back, insistent and maybe a little impatient for the sinfully easy push of Tony's fingers back inside him. "I didn't think you'd be like this," Tony murmured, stretching out over Steve's broad back, careful to keep the reactor from digging in as he muffled a moan against warm, damp skin.
"You didn't think I'd enjoy sex?" Steve's hand found Tony's on his side and got a solid grip on it to pull Tony down, deliberately drawing the warm humming power of the arc reactor close.
"Not like this." Tony slicked his cock with the lube that had smeared down over his palm, ignoring the slight tremor that shook his arm as the head pressed up snug against the slippery wet softness of Steve's hole. "Not spread out for me like this," he said, forcing his voice to level out. "Not so ready to blow my fucking mind. Think you'll let me open you up with my tongue next time?"
Steve's voice grated over a curse, then rasped out entirely as Tony eased forward, his forehead pressed to the muscles bunching up tight between Steve's shoulder blades and his teeth digging hard into his lip. Next time, when he wasn't so close to going off like a teenager, he'd watch. He'd spread Steve out so he could see every bit of pleasure written out on Steve's face when he sank in as deep as either of them could stand.
"That wasn't a yes or a no," Tony said, needing to keep his mouth running as slick inner flesh clenched around him. The handful of seconds he waited before the first real thrust were more to give him a chance to get a hold of himself than anything; Steve was already squeezing his hand, telling him in a voice gone rough as scoured steel to move.
Tony pressed a kiss more the scrape of teeth than anything, to the back of Steve's bowed neck. "I want the chance to get my mouth all over you," he said, and hissed a startled breath when blunt nails dug into his thigh. He dragged in a steadier breath and shoved in hard, fighting the urge to draw back, do it again and again as Steve's grip on his leg tightened and he ground in deep.
"Like that," Steve groaned, his hand slipping down to wrap around his cock. "God, Tony, just like that."
"Pressure does it for you, huh," Tony said, not expecting an answer as he scraped his teeth over his bottom lip, taking the shudder that rocked Steve to the core for the best he was going to get. Tucking both hands into the bend of Steve's body, right at the tops of his thighs, he hauled Steve back onto his dick. "Clench up."
That did it, drove a noise so perfect out of Steve that he was almost sure his fantasies were intruding on reality again, but then it happened a second time, lower and throatier than the first, and then again. Echoes of it filled Tony's ears, crowded into his head along with the slap of flesh and the heavy sound of their breaths as they fell into the slow rhythm of a good, hard fucking. Damp chunks of his hair stuck to his forehead and his hands started cramping from holding on too tightly, but Steve was close, his insides fluttering and his strokes picking up speed, and when Tony sat back, yanked Steve straight down to sit on his cock, Steve lost it.
Getting a hand around to stroke him through the tail end of it was all Tony could manage, not enough space to get the leverage to finish himself off let alone deal with the dead weight of Steve going lax in his lap. He thumped his forehead against Steve's shoulder with a grunt.
Without a word, Steve dropped forward onto his elbows. That was almost enough to send Tony flying headfirst over the edge right there.
"Don't go easy on me," Steve said, waiting until Tony had started to slide back into him. He sounded winded like he never did, even after hours upon hours in the gym. "Show me what it's like when you let go."
He held back at first. He couldn't help it. Just fucking up into Steve, just using him, wasn't something he'd really thought about, and it sat there awkwardly in the pit of his stomach until Steve grabbed his hand and shoved it down, showed him exactly how far that stamina went.
"Oh, now I'm just jealous." Giving Steve's cock a few hard tugs, Tony felt the fresh rush of blood thicken it even more beneath his fingers. He let go, smacking his palm lightly against Steve's flank but keeping his thrusts easy, close to killing himself with the slow building pleasure. "You can wait your turn now, pal."
The smile Tony couldn't see echoed loud and clear in Steve's voice when he said, "I thought I might as well, since you didn't seem to be in much of a hurry."
Tony dropped down heavily onto Steve's back, his laugh mixing with Steve's quick grunt. He smeared a sloppy excuse for a kiss over Steve's shoulder. "Don't rush me, I'm enjoying this."
Deliberately, Steve tightened up, the smooth glide of Tony's dick inside him turning to a gritty drag. "What if I want to rush you?" He twisted up and a little to the side, close enough to kiss. "What if all I really want is to finally hear you come?"
"Fuck," Tony hissed, turning what Steve had meant to be a real kiss to little more than a quick peck as his hips jerked. "That's not even really dirty talk, but coming from you, it sounds so fucking filthy."
Steve said something that sounded suspiciously like, "I know," and Tony tried to slow down again, couldn't quite manage it and ended up pulling away entirely, shivering in the slap of cool air that rushed in between them.
"Roll over," Tony said. "Watch me come instead."
Steve dropped onto his side, breathing hard for a second before settling onto his back. Tony caught him behind one knee and hesitated. His stomach was streaked with more than just sweat, and beneath his pale tan, a rich dark flush stretched from throat to navel. His eyes were heavy but focused, clear, and while Tony knelt there trying to figure out how the hell they'd gotten here, he reached up to hook a hand around the back of Tony's neck and pull him down.
"Nothing's changed, Tony," he said, his breath warm though the damp curls near Tony's ear. "You're just letting yourself see it now."
With nothing left to say and barely a scrap of self-control left to claim as his own, Tony pressed a kiss to the hot flush of Steve's throat, felt the lurch of Steve's pulse as he fucked back up into him, drove deep and hard for a heartbeat before aiming straight for the finish. He pushed up, the flat of his hand pressed to the flutter of Steve's belly, and gave up on listening to all the sounds that came spilling out of Steve's mouth so Steve could hear his.
Steve arched up sharply, said, "That's it, that's what I want. Be shameless for me," and then it was a rush like the moment he'd lit the fuse on the Mark I, thrilling and terrifying and maybe when he came down it'd hurt like hell but it would be worth it. Feeling Steve's heart beat solidly against the palm of his hand in that one perfect moment would always be worth it.
And when he slumped forward, dizzied and breathless, and Steve's arms came up around him, that was pretty fucking good, too.
"Don't go to sleep yet," Steve said a long moment later, tugging at the blankets. "You still haven't given me an answer."
Not feeling one bit like moving an inch, Tony grabbed the edge of the sheet Steve had yanked free and hauled it haphazardly over his middle. "You didn't ask me a question."
"I'm sure I did."
"Nope," Tony yawned. He ached in at least half a dozen good ways and in at least two really fantastic ones. "But if you had, I probably would've said no."
Steve went very still. "No?"
"Yeah." Running his fingertips along the smooth curve of muscle on Steve's chest, Tony looked up, his chin resting on the back of his hand. "That probably would've been the biggest mistake of my life, huh?"
Steve's mouth went flat, only a tiny twitch at one corner giving him away. "You shouldn't tease me like that, Tony."
"So I'm gonna want a real proposal, down on one bended knee, maybe a sweet serenade or two," Tony said, settling back down, "then you'll get your answer."
Steve's thumb slowly traced the curve of his cheek. "I think you just gave it to me."