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Tony sits back on his heels and winces. He gets up and actually has to support himself against the table to manage it, which just sucks. So maybe he shouldn't have lifted the boxes of metal on his own.

Maybe he hurt his back doing so anyway.

Tony ignores it as best as he can; he has a freakishly high pain tolerance after all so it's not like it bothers him too much. But it does restraints his movements. He has to be careful, can't move like he wants to because a single thoughtless move and pain shoots through his back.

It's not exactly easy.

“Sir, Captain Rogers wishes to inform you that your playtime is over. He awaits you for dinner”, JARVIS speaks up and Tony groans but he knows he can't skip out. He's promised Steve this.

So he turns off his computers after saving the progress and makes his way upstairs into the kitchen where Steve is already waiting for him.

Tony feels warm all over at the way Steve's face brightens and the beautiful smile directed at him makes his heart skip a happy beat.

“Hey, sweetheart”, Steve says softly, before he comes over to Tony to pull him in for a kiss.

Tony can't help but wince; the movement jars his sore back and it hurts. Of course Steve notices and he looks alarmed, pulling away with wide eyes. “Tony?”

“I'm fine, I'm fine”, Tony replies instantly, standing still like a statue until the pain becomes more bearable. “Overworked myself a tiny bit-”

Steve's eyebrows shoot up. Oh, great, he's suspicious. Tony's mind is already racing, trying to come up with an excuse, an explanation, but then Steve moves before he can say anything, running his hand over Tony's back.

It doesn't even hurt but Tony winces again, anticipating pain even when nothing comes.

“Want to tell me what happened?”, Steve asks softly and god damn, Tony will ban him from using this voice ever again. He slumps into Steve's chest with a sigh. It's worth the sting in his back.

“I may have hurt my back earlier in the lab when lifting boxes filled with metal”, the brunet mumbles, the words muffled by Steve's body. He can hear his boyfriend sigh in response, then a hand ghosts feather light over his spine.

Steve nuzzles his hair. “I've got an idea. Let's get you into bed, alright?”

And for once, Tony doesn't even protest.

He's led into their bedroom where Steve ushers him over to the bed, telling him to lie down already, “I will be right back. Get your shirt off in the meantime.”

So Tony does as he's told. He strips out of his shirt, carefully, then stretches out on the mattress. God, he kinda forgot how soft their bed is. Tony nuzzles the pillow with a content sigh. It smells like Steve.

He's almost ready to sleep when Steve returns. Tony half turns, but Steve shushes him gently. The mattress dips when the blond sits down and Tony makes a soft, happy noise at the kiss dropped into his hair.

“Relax, sweetheart”, Steve tells him. “I'm gonna take care of you.”

Tony wants to roll his eyes but the gesture would go unnoticed with the way he's lying. So instead he waits for whatever Steve has in mind. He hears a quiet noise, the sound of something being uncapped and just a second later, Steve's big, warm hands run over his back.

Tony groans, a low sound full of pleasure. Steve chuckles, but he doesn't stop. His hands knead Tony's back with strong movements, slowly working away all the tension and painful knots.

It feels amazing. Tony is slowly melting into the mattress, eyes closed in bliss as he allows himself to go completely lax under his boyfriend's skillful fingers.

He's boneless when Steve stops after what feels like an eternity.

“Sleep, Tony”, the blond tells him quietly and then warm lips are pressed to the back of Tony's neck. Tony hums, fully content and relaxed. He's half asleep anyways.

The last thing his conscious mind registers is the warmth of Steve's body sifting and slipping under the covers next to him, as well as the whispered “I love you, Tony.”