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Artful Arrangement

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The first thing Buffy became aware of as she woke was that she was warm. Very warm in fact. Not that she ever really woke up cold, but this was the type of warmth that made her want to snuggle down into it and try her best to never come out of.

The second thing she was aware of was the much larger body pressed against her back and a heavy arm draped over her midsection. The warmth she was enjoying was emanating from whoever her sleeping partner was. As curious as she was to find out who exactly it was, she was just as loathe to move from her comfortable cocoon. However, her decision was removed from her in the form of one Tony Stark.

“Captain, I am utterly appalled and ashamed! You shameless hussy sleeping with a girl out in the open like this. And here I had fallen for the good Boy Scout act. Shame on me.”

Buffy felt the body behind her jerk in surprise and it was all the warning she received before she fell forward and off the couch. Not even her own quick reflexes were fast enough to keep her from crashing onto the carpeted floor.

“Oh, gees. I’m sorry, Buffy,” Steve’s horrified voice came from above.

She blinked her eyes and twisted her head to see him bending over to help her up. A faint blush stole across his cheeks and she couldn’t help but think it was an adorable look for him. “’S ok, Steve,” she mumbled, her words still slightly slurred by sleep. “’M fine.”

Still, he helped her up and back onto the couch while Tony let out what suspiciously sounded like a giggle. “Shut up, Tony,” she groused as she shoved what she knew had to be serious bedhead hair out of her face.

“Oh, you two kids. I’m happy for you, really, I am, because seriously, it’s about time. There was concern all around about how long it was taking. But this needless display of public affection simply will not be tolerated in my tower,” Tony continued, his wide grin causing the corners of his eyes to crinkle.

“Oh, please, like you have room to talk,” Buffy shot back. She refused to look over at Steve, afraid to see the expression on his face. “Don’t you have some robots to annoy or something?”

Tony placed a hand on his chest and affected an injured expression. “Robots? Buffy, they are not robots they are –“

“AIs, yeah, we know. Can you just shut up and go,” Buffy nearly snarled. The pleasantness she had very briefly enjoyed upon waking had been replaced with a thoroughly irritated slayer who had literally been shoved off the couch.

“Excuse me for making an observation and giving some tips,” he replied easily before retreating to the kitchen, proving that he truly was a genius for not pressing his luck with her.

Buffy briefly closed her eyes and took a steadying breath. She didn’t really remember falling asleep cuddled with Steve the night before, but she wasn’t going to complain other than she wished she did remember it. For months she had been secretly harboring a huge crush on the man and she managed to sleep through their first continuous contact. She blamed it on the stupid demon uprising they had to put down the day before.

The last thing she could truly recall was watching television with Steve. Bruce had started the evening with them, but had headed to bed not long after the sun had set. The three of them frequently spent their evenings together, making an odd trio. She wasn’t even sure what they were watching, she just enjoyed the easy camaraderie that they shared.

“I really am sorry,” Steve said finally and Buffy felt herself bristle at the sincerity of it. “He… he startled me. The fall… You aren’t hurt, are you?”

The tension in her shoulders eased slightly. “I’m fine. Awesome thing about being a slayer, you bounce back quickly.” Buffy risked a glance at him and noted that his cheeks were still pink. She waved a vague gesture at the couch they were seated upon. “Sorry about the sleeping thing. I know you’re from a different time and this… this sort of thing wasn’t done.”

He let out a snort and Buffy gave him a sharp look. “I don’t know why everyone keeps insisting that people weren’t sleeping together back then. Just because I wasn’t doesn’t mean… My friend Bucky was friendly with the ladies.”

Buffy smiled at his wording but didn’t argue. Instead she studied him for a moment and suddenly registered his furtive looks in her direction. It wasn’t the first time she had caught him looking at her like that and until now she had just assumed it was because of the differences between his original decade and the one he had awoken in. However, a chance comment from Tony that morning had her rearranging her perceptions.

With her heart pounding in her chest, she decided to take a chance. “Come on, Steve. If there was all this friendliness going on, you expect me to believe that you weren’t taking part?” She asked, bumping his shoulder lightly with her own.

If possible, his blush got deeper. “I wasn’t exactly skilled when it came to the dames, I mean ladies,” he admitted.

“Steve,” she said softly, and waited patiently until she had his full attention. “Then it was truly their loss. And I’m sorrier about Tony being an asshat when he found us this morning rather than the act itself.”

His blue eyes widened at the implication and then he suddenly leaned forward and pressed his lips to hers.


“No need to thank me,” Tony announced as he entered the kitchen where Bruce and Pepper were eating breakfast.

“For what?” Bruce asked curiously, looking up from his plate.

“The unresolved sexual tension is no longer unresolved,” Tony replied with a grin as he fixed himself a cup of coffee.

Pepper sighed as she set his plate on the table for him. “Tony, what did you do?”

He turned a look of pure innocence towards her. “Why does everyone keep asking me that?”

“Because we know you,” she said with an indulgent smile. “Now, what did you do?”

“I may have come across a sleeping Cap and Slayer during the night and done a little artful rearrangement. Of course, only possible due to the multiple nights of no sleep because of an imminent demon attack and the lack of any actual current danger,” he admitted taking his seat at the table. “Also, the fact they have that mutual attraction thing going on and –“

“Tony,” Pepper interrupted. “That doesn’t mean it’s resolved.”

“Oh, did I not mention waking them up a few minutes ago? There should be some definite kissing going on by this point,” he said with a smug grin. “So who wins the bet you guys had going on, of which I’m very hurt that no one thought to include me on.”

“You really have no shame,” Bruce said with a small smile of his own.