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The Way to a Man's Heart

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The first time was sweat and exhaustion and both of them half in their suits, coffee on their tongues and a bit of tomato sauce still on Tony’s cheek. Cap wiped it off with his thumb in the chaos of that first, frantic kiss, as they shoved and grabbed at each other, desperate for contact. The first time was a mistake, an accident, not going to happen again, a product of too much lifting pieces of rubble only to find cold and frozen flesh beneath, both of them desperately missing the people that they’d thought that they would be building the rest of their life with. It was hot and raw and all of Tony’s teenage fantasies coming true, except for the part where people had died and Pepper wasn’t taking him back and he desperately needed to know he, at least, was still alive.

The second time came soon after the first, but this time Cap pulled a leather jacket out of somewhere and he laid Tony down on it. His kisses were sweet instead of hard and demanding, their suits in a pile on the ground beside them, dirt and grease on their skin. The second time was… was confusing. Cap was so earnest and focused; he took his time to fuck into Tony thoroughly, long and deep strokes that made Tony moan and beg for “More, Steve, please more.” After the second time, Tony straightened his clothes, pulled out of Cap’s (warm and strong) embrace and coughed before giving him a nod and a pat on the shoulder. Cap did the same and they parted ways without another word.

The third time, well the third time… Let’s back up.

Tony went home the night after the first and the second and downed most of a bottle until Dummy leveraged the bottle away (on JARVIS’s orders no doubt). He woke up mostly on the couch down in his workshop, but not entirely, with a stiff back and an aching reminder that he wasn’t young enough to be doing this anymore. He put on the suit with a groan, grateful when JARVIS took pity on him and gave him an injection of ibuprofen.

He arrived at today site and nodded, but kept his mouth shut. Cap looked like he might be ready to say something, shuffling his feet a little but first, they fell back into the routine of lifting slabs of concrete and steel.

“I hope I didn’t– I didn’t do anything you didn’t want me to,” Steve got out eventually, like the weight of the girder squeezing the words out of him.

“No, uh, no, Cap, nothing like that. You were great, really great,” Tony managed, more than a little bit stunned until he remembered to slice through the beam so Steve could put it on the pile.

Cap looked him up and down as the dust settled, eyes uncertain and Tony felt a knife go through his gut. Great, he’d managed to make Captain America feel like he was a bad lay.

Tony tried to think of something to say but by the time he looked up Cap had wandered off and Tony wasn’t going to chase after him just to make a fool of himself.

Still it gnawed on him all day.

“How do you convince someone they were a good lay, JARVIS?”

“I’m not an expert on the subject, however the internet suggests that chocolates, jewelry and other gifts are often given to sexual partners. Other suggestions include a night out to dinner and ‘doing it again,’ sir,” came JARVIS’s dependable programmed tones.

“Yeah, yeah, don’t sass me,” grumbled Tony.

Still Cap was an All-American sort of guy, surely he wouldn’t be able to say no to donuts. They could be apology donuts and maybe let’s do it again donuts. The sex hadn’t been so bad and Tony could handle a bit of a cuddle if it meant this would be a regular thing. After all Cap wasn’t anything to squelch at and then he’d know that he was a good lay, just like JARVIS had said.

“JARVIS order a dozen donuts from that place I like– actually on second thought make that two dozen. Cap’s a super soldier, after all.”

“Very well, sir.”

Satisfied, Tony went back to working on the Helicarrier design, it really shouldn’t be so vulnerable to having one of its turbines knocked out.

Several hours later the donuts arrived and Tony brought them up to the mansion’s living room. With the tower destroyed they’d had to move into the old mansion instead and unfortunately JARVIS was not fully integrated with the house.

Thankfully Steve was in the living room when he arrived.

Tony put on his best smile. “I’ve got a surprise for you, Cap. Twenty-four of the century’s finest donuts.”

Steve looked at him with questioning eyes. “Uh, thanks Tony, that’s really swell of you.”

Tony thrust the box forward.

Steve walked hesitantly forward before opening up the box and taking out a simple jelly-filled donut. He looked at Tony again, still looking a bit forward so Tony tried to smile encouragingly and Steve took a bit. And promptly moaned a little.

Tony stared.

Steve took a larger bite and in a matter of moments the donuts was demolished, the light dusting of powdered sugar on his hands the only sign it had ever existed.

“Thank you Tony, they’re really good,” he said, another one already in hand. In a matter of moments half of the box had been demolished while Tony held it in his hands his eyes gradually growing wider.

“Oh uh,” said Steve now finished his latest donut. “I’m sorry I didn’t ask if you wanted one. Uh, do you want one?”

Tony didn’t say anything still stunned.

“You can sit on the couch? JARVIS sent me a list of channels he thought I’d like but I’ve just got on the news for now.”

Tony took a step forward and then another and finally joined Steve on the couch, still looking at Steve’s mouth.

“Sorry, they’re just, they were really good and I sort of forgot to eat dinner,” he gestured towards the TV where a news anchor was talking about the aftermath of the Battle of New York.

Tony broke out of his stupor. “Yeah not surprising with the kind of junk that they’ve got on there.”

Steve tried to look affronted, “The people deserve to register their complaints with us.” He looked down, chagrined. “But I probably shouldn’t have gotten so caught up in them that I forgot to eat.”

“You bet.” Tony let his shoulder bump Steve as he settled in. That was acceptable, right. Shoulder, completely non-erogenous. “If I let you starve while you’re in my house I’ll probably be charged for defacing a national monument.”

Steve chuckled.

Tony grabbed a vanilla glaze donut topped with rainbow sprinkles (HAH cholesterol) before taking control of the remote.

“I’ve got the perfect show. It’s a classic sci-fi series. Just up your alley, all about personal responsibility and personal liberties. The first episode sets it all up and it’s three hours long but after that they’re all one hour; best watched in maybe, blocks of four?”

Steve studied him. “Yeah Tony, that sounds nice.”

“Alright! J, put on Battlestar Galactica episode 1,” said Tony with a smile, manually switching the TV from broadcast to HDMI2.

Five episodes in they’d gone through the rest of donuts and Steve was looking starry-eyed. “I always loved sci-fi, you know. A priest gave me a copy of Frankenstein when I was a kid. I guess he thought I’d relate because I was in bed all the time. Saw Metropolis and the Bride of Frankenstein when they first came out, used to read whatever Asimov put out and some Jules Verne too when they had him in the library. But nothing like that. People living in space. Robots that look like people…”

“Don’t worry, JARVIS has promised that in the event that he decides to take over the world he’ll be a benevolent dictator and that I’ll be given a workshop. I’m sure that if you’re nice to him he’ll set you up with a regular delivery of those donuts.”

Just on queue, Steve’s stomach growled. Steve himself blushed.

“What do you say, Cap, wanna join me for a burger?” Tony asked, showing the napkins back in the box to take the lot to the trash.

“Sure. After that, you wanna fuck?”

Tony dropped the box, scrambled to grab it, and dropped it again. Steve laughed at him, and damn him, but he was fucking smirking. Still blushing like a lighthouse, but that mouth.

“Just like that?”

“Just like that. It's fun, you like it, I like it, let's do more of it?”

Tony's mouth opened to say...yeah, he had no idea what to say to that, except...

“Yes. Uh, yeah, sure! No strings? Or, well, I can do strings, I mean, ask Pepper about, um. Strings--”

“Tony, you and Pepper--”

“Broke up! Uh, that's the thing, with strings, not great at them, but I can try, if you want. Um. Exclusive rights?”

“Exclusive rights...to...your ass?” Steve asked, and aww hell, that had to be deliberate.

Goddamn him and his mouth. He’d thought that Aunt Peggy had been joking when she’d called him a bit smart (“just like you, Tony”). “That-- yep. I mean, not in demand right now, so, doesn't make much bones--”

Steve was really, big. Yeah. Wow. His hand, also huge and gentle, closed over Tony's and took the mangled donut box off him.

“I think we’ll leave the ownership to you. Keep this between pals, yeah?”

Something clicked in Tony's head, putting Steve in the same category as Rhodey. “Friends who fuck?”

Steve nodded, grinning with one side of his face. “Friends who fuck. As long as we include some more episodes of Battlestar Galactica.”

Tony nodded, “I think I can work with that, Cap,” he said putting on a smile.

So what if Cap didn’t want strings? He probably had lots of offers, what had made him think that he was going to pick–well pick Tony? Tony fixed his smile on further.

“So Cap, tell me what you thoughts about Commander Adama?” he said as they walked out the door.

“I thought he was interesting, reminded me of some higher-ups I knew during the war. I really liked President Roslin though and Starbuck, what a spitfire…”