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Cuddle Competition

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When he wakes up with a cold back in the middle of the night for the third night in a row, Tony finally says something about it.

“Okay, whatever you guys are fighting about, stop it,” he grumbles, rolling over so his back is pressed against Steve’s warm body, but Bucky is too far to the other side of the bed for Tony to reach so now his front is cold instead. He wraps his arms around his own chest and glares at Bucky, who blinks his eyes open blearily.

“Huh? Who’s fighting?”

Behind him, Tony feels Steve shift to wrap an arm around Tony’s waist. Steve’s head nuzzles into Tony’s shoulder as he murmurs, “No fighting. Go back to sleep.”

It’s a cozy position, but not the cozy Tony’s gotten used to, so it’s not good enough. He pulls away from Steve, wincing as he moves to the cold center of the large bed, unwarmed by any of the three bodies that normally congregate there.

Tony sits up so it’s easier to shift his glare between the two seemingly bewildered super soldiers. “Seriously, what’s the problem here? Are you mad at each other? Mad at me?” He pulls the sheet up to clutch at it, forcing the other two to move so the sheet doesn’t cover their faces.

Steve groans. “Why do you think we’re mad?”

When he thinks back, he can’t remember them behaving at all out of the ordinary during the day, either with each other or toward him. But... “You’ve been sleeping at the edges of the bed, like you want to be as far away from each other as possible.”

There’s silence for a moment, then Steve’s “Oh,” is followed by Bucky’s “Um,” both sounding guilty.

And there goes any chance that Tony was just making something out of nothing. “Well, why?” he demands. “Is it... Is it me? Because I get too clingy during the night? Do you not want to sleep with me anymore?”

Suddenly his lovers are sitting up, huddling close to him. Bucky’s metal hand grasps one of Tony’s, while his other hand comes up to cradle Tony’s face; Steve plasters himself to Tony’s back, wrapping his arms around his waist.

“Oh, sweetheart, no,” Bucky reassures him, pulling him closer and pressing a kiss to the top of Tony’s head.

Steve shoves his face into Tony’s shoulder, mumbling, “’m sorry.”

Having this closeness again helps, but Tony’s still feeling thoroughly confused, and he hates it. “Sorry for what? What’s going on?”

“We’re idiots, is what,” Bucky confesses. “It was just a stupid competition.”

“That I was winning,” Steve interjects smugly, causing Bucky to shove at Steve’s shoulder.

“Doll,” Bucky continues, “We love how cuddly you get in your sleep. We... we got in a stupid argument about which of us you would cuddle if you had to choose.”

“If I had to... Oh my god, you guys are idiots. Why am I even sleeping with either of you, it’s probably killing my brain cells just to be near you,” Tony complains. “I’m not consciously choosing either of you, you know I love you both equally, don’t you?”

“Of course we do,” Steve murmurs into Tony’s ear, as Bucky agrees, “Yeah, I know.”

“All I want is to cuddle with both my boyfriends at once, is that too much to ask? No, no it is not. So you’re going to stop your stupid competition and cuddle me good and proper so I stop waking up with a cold back, got it?”

They agree, both apologizing (though there may be some amused eye-rolling as well). Then the three nestle back under the covers, this time close enough together for Tony to bask in the comforting warmth between them.

Tony has almost drifted off to sleep when he thinks he hears Steve whisper, “I won, though,” followed by Bucky’s almost inaudible, “Doesn’t count, punk.”

His last thought before drifting off is I love these idiots...