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One Dance

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Music drew Tony's attention to the library. It wasn't loud—just a steady beat, with the barest hint of piano. He hadn't even noticed it until he walked past, but that music was playing at all surprised him. It was three AM, and he'd only just gotten back from a convention in Tokyo. Everyone should have been asleep—even Peter, who sometimes stayed up later than the rest to grade papers. He paused by the door, peering at it as if it could tell him anything.

Maybe someone had left a CD on.

He pushed the door open, looking around the library. It was a big room, will books lining nearly ever wall and comfortably overstuffed furniture filling the rest. There was a CD player left running, but it hadn't been abandoned. Steve looked up from his book, blinking. He was in his favorite plaid flannel pajamas, reclining comfortably in an armchair with his feet on an ottoman. "Welcome home. Is it too loud?"

Tony shook his head, blinking at the CD player. It was an older model, without any of the tuning or electronic attachments Tony took for granted. Steve had set it atop the sleek, modern sound system that was already in the room, which said something about the lengths he would go to sometimes. The music was frustratingly familiar, but he couldn't place the song. It tickled the edge of his memory, but that was all. "No, I just got home. What is that?"

"I know that you know what big band is." Steve left a finger in his book to mark the page, but let it dangle from his fingertips. "And it's Glenn Miller."

"No, not that... Is it really Glenn Miller?" Tony dropped his briefcase and leaned against the door jam, frowning in the direction of the CD player. He'd heard big band music before—being friends with Steve, it was impossible not to know some aspects of 1940s culture—but he'd never developed a taste for it. "That can't be Glenn Miller. You're pulling my leg, aren't you?"

"Not even a little." Steve looked amused, as if he were going to start smiling at any moment. It was a good look on him—though if Tony was honest, everything was a good look on Steve. "If you'd ever actually listened to it, you'd recognize it. You like it?"

The music was soothing, after three days of traveling and mostly forgetting to sleep. It was also utterly unlike anything Tony listened to—his personal music files were loaded with rock, from classic to modern. Brass and piano-heavy older music had never touched his collection. In spite of that, Tony caught his toe tapping. "Yeah, I do."

Steve's blue eyes were examining him with the same calculating expression he wore on the battlefield. It was disconcerting, and more than a little sexy. He slipped a battered bookmark between the pages of his book and dropped it to the table.

Music faded into a moment of silence as the song ended. Another one started with a brassy flourish. Wide, calloused palm up, Steve held out his hand and stood. "Care for a dance?"

Tony stared at Steve's hand, glancing up at the man suspiciously. It had to be a trick. Things like that didn't happen to him, outside of dreams or super villain tricks. "Ha, ha, funny."

"I'm serious." Steve lifted his hand a few inches, pointedly. "Come on, one dance and I'll let you go to bed," he insisted.

"I was planning on going to the lab, actually." At Steve's glare, Tony sighed. Arguing when Steve was in his "I'm Captain America and You Will Listen to Me, Son" mood was pretty well impossible. How he'd sleep when he was still wound up from the flight was a mystery, but maybe he could lay out some schematics for his next project while he tried. "Or bed. Okay, one dance. And you're insane, just so you know." Tony hesitantly took Steve's offered hand.

Their hands fit together too well; Steve's was slightly bigger, Tony's slightly more calloused, but it worked. There was a moment of confusion when they both tried to lead, but when Steve glared, Tony finally gave in and rested his other hand on Steve's shoulder. He wasn't used to being led, but Steve was a good dancer. His body gave all the right cues, and Tony found that as long as he didn't think about it, he could follow along well enough.

The song wasn't very fast paced, which gave Tony too much time to think about Steve's hand at his waist. He cleared his throat awkwardly, gaze resting on Steve's shoulder rather than his face. "So, why dancing? Most guys would think dancing with another man to be weird."

"Most guys didn't survive frozen in a block of ice for fifty years." The beat sped up, and Tony didn't even realize he was spinning until he snapped to a stop at the end of Steve's arm. When he turned back in, he came in just a little closer to Steve than he had been before, but Steve looked so happy that Tony didn't have the heart to pull away.

Better to enjoy it for what it was. Steve deserved better than to have Tony's infatuation on his shoulders. He'd feel guilty that he couldn't return it. Steve was just that kind of guy.

Faster music meant less time to think. Steve whirled Tony around expertly, somehow managing to keep them both upright when exhaustion made Tony miss a step. The volume peaked in a crescendo, and Tony should have seen the move coming. It was so perfectly Steve that he should have expected it, should have blocked it somehow, or kept himself under better control. But he was tired, and busy not thinking about Steve's body against his, and it was just so good to see Steve smiling and happy after everything that had happened with Wanda and M-day and it was all so natural...

When Steve dipped him backwards, Tony didn't even think—he curled his arm around Steve's neck and pulled him down into a kiss.

Steve's lips were soft and slightly chapped, his eyes wide with bewilderment. The kiss ended too quickly, leaving Tony with only the indefinable sensation of a line crossed.

The song ended and another started, but neither of them moved. Steve didn't even set Tony back on his feet. Any attempt on Tony's part to straighten would probably end with him sprawled on the floor, so he just hung on and hoped Steve didn't drop him. "Sorry, I— Sorry."

"Sorry?" Steve blinked slowly. His eyes really were amazing, a striking sort of pure azure that was nothing like Tony's bland nearly-grey. Tony had spent too much time over the years thinking about those eyes. "Why are you sorry? I thought I'd have to kiss you."

Tony was sure that there'd been a miscommunication somehow. He was exhausted—he must have misheard. "Huh?"

Another kiss landed on Tony's lips as an explanation. Steve's arms tightened as he set Tony back up on his feet. He didn't let go at all, keeping Tony pinned close. There was no ignoring the hard muscle that layered Steve's chest under thick flannel pajamas. "I wanted to kiss you. Since... for a long time. When you kissed me, I thought..." A worry line appeared between Steve's blonde eyebrows. "Was I wrong?"

"Wro—what, no!" Tony stared at Steve—he seemed serious, and Steve wasn't cruel. It felt too much like a dream. At any moment, he would wake up on the airplane while the stewardess was announcing their arrival in New York. "No, you weren't wrong. Not at all."

Steve kissed him again, firm sweeps of his lips that had Tony leaning into him eagerly. He parted his lips, but the kisses stayed slow and gentle. Even when Tony whimpered, Steve only smiled. The music came to a close, leaving the room silent.

"So." Tony's fingers curled through Steve's hair. It was relaxing, the way nothing else really ever was. Muscles he hadn't realized were knotted with tension unraveled under Steve's hand. If this wasn't a dream, he was going to take advantage of Steve's temporary insanity. "You said bed..?"

"Not on the first date." Another kiss, and it ended much too quickly. "And you're exhausted."

"Second date, then?" He nipped Steve's lip, grinning. It was probably asking too much, but Tony had lived his life not passing up opportunities when they came to him. "Have dinner with me tomorrow?"

"No promises on the other, but..." Steve leaned in and kissed him again, and Tony was almost positive that he'd calculated it specifically to make Tony's knees weak. "It's a date."