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Tony stretched and groaned as something popped in his back. He extended his legs until his feet were in Steve’s lap at the other end of the sofa. Steve put his left hand on Tony’s ankle without looking up from his writing.

“Getting older, are we,” he said, his head leaning over the mountain of paperwork he was working on.

“Still not as old as you.” Tony made a horrified face. “Doing paperwork like the respectable mature citizen you are.”

Steve flipped him off, still without looking. Tony laughed. “Careful, if anyone sees you, we’ll have an international crisis on our hands. The super-soldier corrupted.”

Steve threw his pen down and leant back, away from all the documents. “Would be a nice change from that.”

“I suppose running S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t as easy as it looks,” Tony commented.

“You’d know, wouldn’t you,” Steve replied without missing a beat.

There was a moment of silence, and then Steve tightened his grip on Tony’s leg just as he started to pull away. “I’m sorry,” Steve said.

“Steve,” Tony said. “I just remembered I have projects to finish.”

Steve sighed. “You always have projects to finish, and you know I didn’t mean it.”

“I don’t even remember it,” Tony murmured, but he stopped trying to get away. It wasn’t as if he wanted to go and mope alone—and he was self-aware enough to know he’d do exactly that.

Steve probably knew too, damn him.

This thing between them was new, untested; like a prototype ready to blow up in their faces. Tony still felt like he needed protective gloves to deal with it. With tech, he could at least guess at which element wouldn’t work—with Steve, he sometimes thought nothing could.

But then, the times it was working—those were worth everything. Tony didn’t remember the time Steve was gone, and he knew there were more reasons for it than what he’d told everyone about the database being in his head.

And it wasn’t as if he’d never said anything poorly thought out, either. It was just that quiet voice at the back of his head that kept repeating Steve was going to realise that he’d been wasting his time on Tony, and then—

“I love you,” Steve said.

Tony stared at him.

Steve chuckled. “You can’t tell me it’s a surprise.”

“I—” Tony couldn’t form the words.

“Someone told me you were a genius.” Steve looked at Tony, a small smile on his face.

“Must’ve been a wise person,” Tony said, entirely on automatic.

“You were making this face,” Steve explained after a moment. “The he secretly hates me face.”

“I don’t have that face!” Tony protested, feeling his cheeks burn. God, was he really so transparent?

“And I know I wasn’t always fair to you,” Steve continued, as if Tony hadn’t said anything. “But, Tony, I meant it when I said I wanted to do this with you.”

“I know,” Tony said, because when he actually rationally thought about it, he did know. “I love you too.”

Steve reached out a hand in his direction, and Tony let himself be pulled into Steve’s lap, clung close to him. Something dug into his foot and he reached down to find Steve’s discarded pen. He threw it to his right. “No more paperwork for today,” he decided.

Steve nodded. He leant forward until their foreheads were touching, his breath warm on Tony’s face. “Best idea you’ve ever had,” he said.

Tony pouted. “All my ideas are the best.”

“The nose armour,” Steve replied.

Really, Steve, need I remind you of your Nomad phase?” Tony considered. “Not that it didn’t have some . . . redeeming qualities.” He looked Steve over. “I could redesign your uniform?”

“Somehow I don’t think anyone else would approve,” Steve laughed.

“Nonsense, Steve, the world would be grateful to me.” And fighting supervillains would be a bit more difficult with Steve to distract him there—but then, they so rarely fought together now, with Steve not officially a part of the Avengers anymore. The thought was sobering, and really, Tony didn’t want to go there. He leant down and stole a brief kiss, and then grinned when Steve pulled him back for more.

Steve’s lips were soft and warm, and he kept his hands on Tony’s hips, his thumbs rubbing circles into Tony’s skin. Tony spared a thought to curse his t-shirt before focusing back on kissing Steve, licking into his mouth until they were both out of breath, pressed chest to chest as much as they could in the position they were in, and really, Tony thought, they should be in the bedroom, why weren’t they in the bedroom? Or his lab, or literally anywhere that wasn’t the living room, and he really should’ve considered that before kissing Steve.

Talking might have been difficult for them—but in this space where there were just the two of them, there’d never been anything more natural than to touch.

Steve ran his thumb over Tony’s lower lip, and Tony fought the urge to lick it.

“I really am sorry,” Steve said, and then Tony wanted to bite him.

“You don’t need to repeat it,” he stated, “and it’s not as if it wasn’t true, anyway.”

Steve looked ready to protest, his whole posture suddenly tense under Tony, and Tony jabbed him in the chest with his finger. “Enough of the martyr complex, Rogers. I like it when you kiss me more than when you apologise.”

“Oh, you do,” and then Steve was turning them around, so that Tony was lying on his back under him, and Steve could straddle him—careful, ever so careful not to put his weight on Tony.

Tony did not squeal in surprise, any sounds he could’ve made muffled by Steve’s lips on his, Steve’s safe body over him. Tony arched up into him, continued the kiss, wrapped his arm around Steve’s neck to keep him close. “You’re impossible,” he whispered in the brief moment their lips weren’t touching, and Steve tried to reply, but Tony kissed him, again, and again.

“Bedroom?” Steve let out finally, and Tony was sure he’d been thinking about it moments earlier too, so he just enthusiastically nodded.

(He drew the line at Steve carrying him there, though; the suit was in his bones now, he damn well could carry Steve instead.

Steve seemed to enjoy it.)