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The Perfect Temperature

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Starbucks had been a hard sell when it came to Steve Rogers. He was unimpressed with the dispassionate corporate sense of it all- the uniforms and uniform signage, the packaged food and packaged ambiance. Tony feared he would never get the man to indulge in America's favorite vice, which was a damn shame, seeing as the man went around wearing the stars and stripes on everything but his boxers.

At least, Tony assumed Cap did not, in fact, indulge in some manner of star spangled underwear.

Vices. That train of thought had been a terrible idea. Back to things like coffee. Rogers couldn't drink for a buzz, so that was a dead end. He may as well take option B. And option B had become infinitely more viable with the introduction of The Barista.

She probably recognized Rogers (it was hard not to, honestly. He was, more or less, everyone's physical ideal rolled up in a polite smile and absolutely stunning eyes) but she never made a big deal about it. And she always did something special with his coffee. A little drawing or note on the cup- the little personalizations that Rogers had been bemoaning the absence of previously. It made Rogers infinitely easier to lure over to the cafe for some post world saving relaxation and caffeination.

Tony was used to noticing the little details- he more or less survived on noticing, absorbing, and acting upon a myriad of little things all at once before they made it to conscious contemplation. He noted the instant the tension seemed to slip out of each, individual shoulder muscle, rippling a trail of relaxation down a back that had been determined to keep itelf at attention. The little details that declared Steve Rogers was starting to relax set off a set of alerts that were as adrenaline fueled as those spawned by combat, but had a different interaction in mind.

Starbucks had been a hard sell, but they had seating that was perfect for Tony's motives. He had long legs, and he was not afraid to use them. It was doubly worth it for the way Rogers all but choked on froth the moment Tony chose to run one foot along the inside of his left leg, lingering to hook his foot and brush behind Rogers's knee.

Blue eyes widened as Rogers's throat worked around the beverage he had swallowed too much of.

Tony took an almost prim sip of his own coffee (espresso. unaltered) and launched into a tirade of inane chatter that only served to draw attention from more covert maneuvers. He relaxed his posture, just a bit, to allow for that much more reach and leeway, and started doing things with his foot that would even make Barton blush. The fact that Rogers was trying, desperately, to pretend nothing was going on, that he was not leaning into the pressure of Tony's toe just so, that a previous gasp for breath had everything to do with the temperature of his drink and nothing to do with friction, just made Tony work harder.

The Barista smiled from behind the counter as Tony saluted her with his empty mug (pressing against Rogers, trying not to grin at an ever so quiet gasp). Tony hoped she knew something was going on. That would be ever so much hotter. Not that it had to be- Rogers was starting to get that look in his eyes, a mix of battlefield intensity and bedroom dominance that made Tony's stomach do somersaults of pure glee.

This really was the sum of their relationship- quiet power-plays in public places, Tony always willing to make a spectacle of himself, Rogers working like mad to maintain a public image. A public image that become beautifully skewed as pupils dilated and Rogers stood, dislodging Tony's leg. His empty To Go cup (Venti, always) was slightly crushed from where he had been holding on for dear life the last few moments, against Tony's invasive toes (he had ditched his shoe a good number of minutes previous).

"Let's go."

Tony would always give the world (and save it) to hear Rogers', Steve's voice rough with desire, deep with determination to get something he had been trying to avoid. The tipping point, and pushing Steve over, be it with a hand, a foot, a pointed breath blown against the back of a neck in passing, raised goose-flesh along Tony's arms in anticipation. It was the moment when control was ever so precarious. For two people who relied so much on control, who needed it, it was the greatest aphrodisiac.

Tony toed on his shoe, left a tip and a smile with the Barista (he would remember her name one of these days...well, probably not) and followed Steve out into the crowded city streets. The trip back to the Tower was always a study in subtle touches, the ways to drive another man mad. Steve liked to brush just close enough so that Tony had to be aware he was there, but never move in that extra inch to provide actual points of contact. Tony liked to chatter, to taunt and tease and twist innuendo around every innocent word until the language begged for mercy.

They always made it back to the Tower, and into an elevator, but that is usually when Steve would crack. Tony allowed himself an appreciative gasp as he was pushed against the back wall of the elevator as soon as the door closed, and then his world narrowed down to kisses that tasted of bitter coffee and sweet chocolate from Steve's latte. Steve shoved his knee between Tony's legs, an assertive reflection of Tony's taunting from the cafe and Tony chuckled, amusement ending in a sort of huff of surprise as Steve's tongue and hands went to work.

The problem with being part of a super hero team that all lived in one building was that occasionally someone else had to use the elevator.

"I'll take the stairs." Barton. Really. It always had to be Barton. The guy had to have some sort of cock-blocking sense built in. Yes, that must be his super power, as elevator make-out sessions seemed to end, more often than not, with Barton's snort of amusement as the elevator doors opened.

Make-out sessions ended, yes, but if the glint in Steve's eyes was any indication, this was far from over and going the way the aftermath of many long days of saving the world did. Steve settled into a rather socially acceptable casual lounge beside Tony as the elevator closed with a friendly chime and they rode the last few floors to their destination.

Steve did not like to leave situations unresolved, battles unfinished. Tony counted on that, calmly brushing against him as they exited the elevator, grinning as he was pushed into a wall, kissed, and then manhandled into Steve's room.

There was something to be said about a nice slow burn. When things finally came to a head the results were fantastic. Starbucks had been an excellent decision.