Steve and Bucky had beautiful wings, long and wide and wonderfully understated. Steve had the wings of a golden eagle; a deep, chocolate brown on the outsides with little patches of a lighter brown and white, and the underside gold at the tips that spread up his wings like rays of sunshine. Bucky, not outdone in the slightest, had gray-headed albatross wings; dark gray like charcoal on the backs, with the underside a white with a black border. Their wings were powerful, and they looked beautiful when they presented to each other, gray on gold and brown on black and white.
Tony frowned as he spread his wings to examine them. His wings were shorter, not the gaping appendages his teammates had. They were green up against his skin, striped in black and white speckles closest to his back, tipped with tan, with a column of blue-green feathers that darkened to brown-bordering-on-black in between. They were loud; they drew attention. They were part of the reason Natasha, an Ural owl, had put narcissistic on his psyche evaluation.
“Are you getting ready for a press conference, Stark?” Natasha asked, clapping a hand on his shoulder as she walked past him.
Tony hurriedly tucked his wings flat against his back, embarrassed to be caught. “No.”
“Oh.” She turned back to face him and paused, just looking at him, before she stepped up beside him to look at the mirror. “What are we looking at? Do you need me to preen you?”
“I was just… looking,” Tony explained lamely.
Natasha glanced at him again, then spread her own wings, creamy white with thick brown stripes. She frowned at them, flapping silently. “Comparing them to Steve and Bucky’s again?”
The brunet awkwardly spread his wings again, the tan tips brushing against her cream-colored ones. “Yeah.”
“I like your wings,” she said, brushing their wings together lightly. “Especially the speckles. You should let me preen them more often.”
Tony rolled his eyes to hide the fact that he was blushing. “Yeah, right.” Before the assassin could snap at him, he continued, “Your favorite part is where the tan and blues meet.”
Natasha opened her mouth, then closed it again. “…The speckles are cute too,” she finally said, shrugging.
“Yeah. But they’re loud,” Tony added quietly. “…Loud and bright and too much.”
She frowned at him. “Tony, that’s not—”
“It’s not attractive to most people.”
“—true are you fucking kidding me,” she sighed, frowning. “Tony.”
“Even peahens think I’m too much,” Tony muttered, curling his wings around his body unconsciously. “I don’t know. Maybe I’m past my prime. …I’m going to die alone.”
Natasha scowled at him. “Not that you’ll have a problem but if you don’t have someone in a year, I’ll marry you.”
Tony frowned at her. “You don’t wanna be stuck with an old man like me.”
“I’m going to put you through so much athletic sex that the honeymoon will be a blur to you,” she snarled.
Tony blinked slowly. “I feel threatened? But also turned on? Why are you like this.”
She turned, wingtips brushing against his face before she folded her wings gracefully against her back again. “I am wonderful.”
“I mean, you’re not wrong, but I can’t believe you’d be willing to marry my old, boring ass.”
“You’re not old, Jesus,” Natasha sighed, rolling her eyes. “And boring is a word that would only ever describe you if you were dead. Then you would be boring.”
Tony beamed at her. “That’s so nice!”
“I’m always nice,” she told him.
“You’re not, but I like that about you,” Tony informed her. “You’ve got this dominatrix thing going on. If you decide to tie me up and spank me when we’re married, I’d be totally on board with that.”
Natasha choked on air, blushing.
“He said that?” Bucky asked in disbelief. Then he frowned. “Actually no, I believe he’d say that.”
“I’m surprised Natasha let him get away with saying that,” Steve admitted. “I didn’t know that shade of red was possible on her.”
Bucky snorted. “Please, Steve. She’s probably looking forward to it. Which is why we need to get him to fall for us first.”
The blond frowned, brows furrowed together. “Are you ever going to explain what this rivalry between you and Natasha is about? I mean, sometimes you guys are really chummy and then other times she has you in a headlock and you’re threatening her with a knife.”
“Our bond is unique and sometimes fragile and that’s all the explanation you’re getting,” Bucky informed him.
Steve squinted at him because the explanation made sense but he could really do with more details.
“Besides, that was a great idea,” the brunet continued. “I want to tie Tony up and spank him. You may help.”
“What the fuck, Bucky,” Steve said, but wasn’t going to lie and say he wasn’t interested in the idea. “I’d be happy with just one date.”
Bucky pointed at him. “Yes, we need to date first. That will pave the way to a loving relationship and awesome sex.”
Steve sighed. “Oh my God, Bucky.”
“Have you seen his ass!?” the brunet exclaimed, holding his hands out in the general shape of Tony’s butt. “It’s amazing. If I could just hold it for the rest of my life, I would die happy.”
“Never say anything about my ass,” the blond grumbled, even though he had to admit that Tony’s behind was a marvel.
Bucky turned, frowning at him. “Steve.”
Steve sighed. His ass wasn’t as great as Tony’s. He could admit it.
Bucky brightened as Tony walked into the kitchen. “Tony!”
“…Bucky,” Tony replied slowly.
Bucky opened his wings, spread them wide and high. He even wiggled them a bit.
Steve was only a step behind, flashing the gold on his wings.
Tony stared at them, wings fluttering against his back. They lifted a little, then settled again. He looked embarrassed. “I’m sorry,” he said, backing out of the room again. “I’ll just go.”
Steve didn’t even have time to ask ‘no what why?!’ before the smaller man scuttled away. He gaped.
Natasha walked in a few seconds later, looked at them, then went sour-faced. “And just who are you presenting to?”
Bucky’s wings went down so quickly that they made a loud slapping sound, face horrified.
“We were presenting to Tony,” Steve replied, folding his wings down slowly.
“Oh.” Natasha tilted her head thoughtfully, then nodded. “Yes. Good.”
The blond raised his eyebrows in surprise. “You’re okay with that? I thought you told him you’d marry him.”
She scoffed at him in disgust. “I said in a year, you nosy Nelly. So you two have a year to make him realize you actually like him.”
“It won’t take that long,” Bucky said, rolling his eyes, and turned to start making a bowl of cereal.
Steve watched Natasha shake her head and felt a thrill of fear, because she clearly thought it would.
Tony squeaked when he noticed Bucky and Steve approaching him in the gym. It wasn’t that he was afraid of them, or anything. They’d just… taken up this weird habit of presenting to him. He had no idea why. But he did take a moment to appreciate their wings before he strategically placed himself elsewhere. (Okay, before he ran like a terrified fledgling.)
That was always when he was alone, though. Today Clint had been spotting him as he did the bench press—Clint, with his mottled dark brown wings on the outside and tan tipped in crimson on the inside, who would sometimes flash the red of his wings at Tony just to see him blush and start to flash his blues back.
Clint raised his eyebrows as he watched the other two men present, unimpressed, and looked at Tony, who was doing his best not to blush. “Is this a thing?”
“I—I guess?” Tony answered helplessly. He nearly swallowed his tongue when the blond ducked in front of the other two and presented as well, reds and tans flashing attractively. “Clint what the fuck!”
“I am clearly the better male here,” Clint said, grinning. “You gonna present back or what?”
Tony made a strangled noise and fled.
Steve and Bucky watched him go sadly before they turned to give the archer glares.
“Pathetic,” Clint said, smiling, and tucked his wings back down. “Is this what you guys are doing now? Just presenting at him and hoping he’ll present back?”
“…Well,” Steve began awkwardly.
The hawk laughed a little, with just a hint of sadness. “Do you know how long it took him to present back at me? Six months. And we just do it as a joke. Haven’t you noticed that he doesn’t present unless he’s in public and showing off?”
Bucky looked stricken. “Did something happen to him? Is that why he has a hard time presenting?”
“He’s just shy,” a voice behind him answered, making them all jump and squawk. They turned quickly to face him.
Bruce looked supremely disappointed in all of them, his green and violet swallow wings ruffling behind him. “Really? Really.”
“Hey, Bruce,” Clint replied, shrugging, because he wasn’t ashamed to admit he’d been caught off his guard. “Did you come to work out?”
“No.” Bruce continued to give Bucky and Steve a long, disappointed stare before he turned back to the other blond. “I came to ask Tony something and he ran past me like a bat out of hell.”
“Aaaaww I’m gonna go tell Natasha it wasn’t my fault because she’s freakishly protective of him,” Clint said, and left the room quickly.
Bruce watched him go before he turned his attention back to Bucky and Steve. “Tony has rarely had to present to anyone in his life. Everyone has always wanted something from him, so he’s never had to present—and the few times he has, well, those haven’t exactly worked out for him.” He tilted his head a little. “Don’t tell him I told you this, but he’s embarrassed that he’s a peacock. It works well when he’s on stage, where he’s supposed to be bright and loud, but when it comes to actual personal relationships, people have this stigma that peacocks are full of themselves and don’t care as much about their partners.”
Steve wondered, vaguely, how much Howard had perpetuated that belief, considering he’d read articles about the man’s extra-marital affairs. He was making life difficult for his son even before he’d gotten his bright feathers after puberty.
“So what you’re saying is we have to go in harder,” Bucky said.
“No, that’s not what I mean,” Bruce said hurriedly.
But Bucky was already nodding to himself. “Right. I’ve gone after shy dames. Just gotta push ‘em a little harder.”
“Buck,” Steve began, but then he was turning and clapping him on the shoulder.
“Just sit tight, Steve. I’ve got a plan!”
Steve and Bruce watched him run out of the gym, frowning.
“…This is going to end in tears,” Bruce stated. “Mine, most likely.”
“I’ll… try and contain the damage,” Steve promised. “Thanks for the info, Bruce.”
“When I start to wonder where everything went wrong, I will think of this moment,” the other man continued, making the blond grimace.
Bucky’s plan was a disaster. Steve wasn’t even entirely sure what all the plan had been; all he knew was that Tony looked like he might burst into tears and Natasha had Bucky in a headlock again and everything was terrible.
There were knives in the ceiling. Steve lamented everything his life had become.
“Why,” was all he could get out.
“Steve help Natasha’s gonna murder him help,” Tony blurted out immediately. “I’m very bad at dealing with murders in front of me please help.”
Steve gaped at him, then looked at Natasha, who did indeed look ready to murder his boyfriend. “Natasha, please don’t murder people in front of Tony.”
“I will stop murdering people in front of Tony after I murder Barnes,” Natasha informed him.
Tony looked a bit faint.
Steve looked at Bucky, who was scrabbling weakly toward… another knife. God. “I’m sure whatever Bucky’s plan was, it was stupid and intrusive, but I still think murder might be a bit much.”
“No,” she disagreed.
“…Why are you like this,” Steve whispered, wondering why they were so buddy-buddy one minute and then ready to murder each other the next and knowing that neither of them would probably ever tell him. “Natasha, Tony is already in distress. Don’t murder Bucky while he’s in distress.”
At that, she actually managed to look a little sorry. “…We’ll finish this later,” she hissed into Bucky’s ear, then stood, dusted herself off, and left the room.
Steve watched her leave, frowning.
“Are you okay?” Tony asked, hurrying over to help Bucky up.
Bucky allowed himself to be helped, and actually hammed it up a little so he could lean on Tony a little more. Steve narrowed his eyes and wondered if that had been the plan all along.
“Why did Natasha want to murder you this time, anyway?” Tony asked, frowning.
How much did he pay Natasha to do that, was the better question, Steve thought mulishly, and walked over to helpfully take most of Bucky’s weight because Tony would never say he was struggling, but he was shaking a little with the effort of holding his dumb ass up. “I keep asking, and he never tells me.”
“Our bond is unique and fragile,” Bucky repeated, the only answer he would probably ever give.
“Yeah, I have that kind of relationship with her, too,” Tony said. “Except with less murder.”
That explained her relationship with basically everyone. Some of her friends she was more willing to stab than others. (Except for her relationship with Pepper, where she showed a relatively large amount of fear of being the murdered party. No one was sure why that was except for Tony, and he seemed just as confused as to why no one else understood.)
“So what were you going to say before she tried to strangle you with her thighs and then dropped you like a sack of potatoes?” Tony asked, tilting his head.
Steve glanced at Bucky, who was blushing, surprisingly. “Yeah, Buck. What were you going to say?”
Bucky cleared his throat and stood up straight. “I was going to say that Steve and I think you’re really cute and would love it if you’d go on a date with us.”
Steve took a moment to gape at him, then turned, nodding enthusiastically. “Yeah! How about it, Tony?”
Tony blinked at them both in surprise. “…Really?”
“Yeah!” the blond answered, trying to keep from vibrating with excitement. “We’ve been wanting to ask you out for a while!”
The smaller man took a step back, surprised. “For a while? Really?”
“We staked out a nice diner that has these great chocolate milkshakes,” Bucky began.
Tony grabbed his cheeks and tugged his head down to so they were eye-to-eye, expression serious. “Take me to the great chocolate milkshakes,” he ordered firmly.
Steve smiled, besotted. Bucky’s smile was a little more tremulous; being this close to Tony’s face while his expression was that serious was sort of terrifying.
Several dates later, Tony still wouldn’t present to them.
“How about we just spread his wings for him?” Bucky suggested, and was already grimacing by the time the blond turned to glare at him. “I feel bad just suggesting it. Don’t look at me.”
“Honestly,” Steve sighed, rolling his eyes, and flopped down on top of him on the couch.
Bucky grunted, one hand going up to grab his shoulder. “You’re heavy now, you ton of bricks.”
“Bet if Tony did it, it would feel like getting hit with a single brick.” Steve frowned thoughtfully. “Natasha said it’s like getting hit with a wet paper bag. I don’t know where she got that description, but it seems apt.”
The brunet stared up at the ceiling. “Has she ever said that to his face?”
“Well, she’s still alive, so probably not.”
They were silent for quite some time. Then Bucky said, “How does someone so small contain so much anger about being so small?”
“It’s the same amount of anger but it’s been compacted, so it’s more powerful,” Steve replied immediately. “Why do you think I was so angry when I was tiny?”
“You’re still angry, you beautiful piece of garbage,” Bucky informed him.
Tony frowned, concerned. “Bucky, why do you have a black eye? Usually those heal faster…”
“Has anyone you love and loves you back called you a piece of garbage?” Steve asked innocently.
The brunet blinked, brows furrowing together in confusion. “Have you ever heard the things Rhodey says to my face?”
“…Obviously not,” Steve said after a moment.
Tony cupped Bucky’s cheeks and pressed a kiss to the bruising around his left eye.
Bucky almost swooned, wrapping his arms around the smaller man and holding him close. “You’re the best, doll. And for the record, I called him a beautiful piece of garbage.”
“Yeah,” Tony drawled, amused. “That should have made him feel better. Why did you call him garbage at all?”
“I pointed out that he’s still as angry as he was when he was tiny.”
Tony nodded thoughtfully. “Sounds like a good way to get punched.” He pressed another kiss to his black eye before stepping back, feathers fluffed with good humor. “You guys are so weird. I just had some Chinese delivered. Want some?”
“Yes,” Steve and Bucky answered immediately.
Tony laughed a little. “Stupid question. You guys are always hungry. Just save me some lo mein!”
“Hi, Pepper,” Steve said when he noticed she’d walked into the living room. She was dressed in a sharp looking suit. “Are you here for Tony?”
“Yeah. We have a meeting with R&D and he tends to actually be on time for those.” Pepper poked at her tablet, frowning. “How is your relationship with Tony going? He talks about you and Bucky a lot. Sounds happy.”
Steve’s feathers fluffed, pleased. He’d thought that Tony was happy, but it was nice to have it affirmed by one of his friends. “Great! I mean, sometimes I just want to find his exes and brutally murder them, but mostly it’s fantastic! Uh—” he said when she raised her eyebrows at him. “But—but not you. You’re one of the good exes. …Please don’t hurt me.”
Pepper snorted, amused, and rolled her eyes. “I’d be upset if I didn’t feel the same way when we were dating. Tony deserves so much more than he’s gotten. But thanks for thinking I could hurt you, Mr. Super-Soldier.”
The blond smiled weakly. He’d heard stories. Rhodes had told them to him and looked properly terrified. “Ha. Ha ha.” He looked at her feathers, bright blue on top and black underneath, and remembered the joke Tony had made—‘She’s superb in more ways than her feathers.’ He swallowed thickly, because this could backfire on him. “Hey, uh, Pepper?”
She sighed. “I’m not going to hurt you, Steve. No matter what Jim has told you, I am only rarely violent.”
Steve cleared his throat nervously, because rarely meant she did get violent. “I was just… wondering. If Tony ever presented to you?”
Pepper turned toward him, frowning, then tilted her head in thought. “He did, but… let me think… It took about two or three months into dating? And it was unconscious at first, I think. When he finally noticed he was doing it, he started blushing. I’m not going to lie,” she added, lips twisting into a lascivious grin. “It was super adorable and it always got me a little.”
Steve did not have to ask exactly how it got to her. She was looking a little hot and bothered at the thought. “Oh.”
She seemed to remember where she was and blushed a little, looking back at her tablet hurriedly. “But—but don’t be offended. That he hasn’t presented to you, I mean. For so long it was just a publicity thing that it took a while for him to see it as a personal thing. Just one of the many things he learned from Howard Stark,” she added, just a touch angrily.
Steve leaned toward her, frowning. “I read about his extra-marital affairs—”
“That was shit-stirring,” Tony said, striding out of the elevator in a smart-looking suit that needed to be peeled off of him immediately. He fiddled with his cufflinks, frowning in frustration. “I know I don’t have much good to say about Howard, but there was one thing for certain—he loved my mother. Also I’m pretty sure if he cheated on her, she would have plucked him herself.” He finally looked up, eyes bright. “I know I don’t like talking about Howard, but you could have asked me.”
“Oh, yeah, how was that going to go?” the blond snorted, rolling his eyes. “‘Hey, Tony, did your dad ever cheat on your mom?’ And you talk about Bucky asking to be punched. No thank you.”
Tony rolled his eyes. “Please, Steve. I’d break my hand.”
“I do not for one minute think that would stop you.”
“You’re right,” Pepper cut in before the brunet could squawk some sort of argument. She was amused, thank goodness. “He would break his hand on your face. Are you ready, Tony?”
“Yes,” Tony answered aggressively, giving Steve one last glare before he led the way to the elevator.
Pepper watched him for a moment before she turned, whispering, “If you don’t want to wait a few more months, you can always just ask him to present. He’ll be shy but he’ll do it if he sees you really want him to.”
“Thanks, Pepper,” Steve said as she turned and headed for the elevator as well. She was so nice. Sometimes he forgot that she could be vicious.
“So we’re just going to ask him?” Bucky asked, just to be sure, because they’d talked about it but had been kind of waffling up until Pepper had told Steve to.
Steve paused in preening his feathers. “…Yeah? Pepper wouldn’t let us do something stupid.” He preened a few more feathers before adding, “When it comes to Tony, anyway.”
“She let me eat a fucking napkin!” Bucky raged, because who the hell didn’t tell someone they were eating the napkin wrapped around their sandwich.
Steve did not tell him that one time she’d smashed a wine bottle over his head because she’d thought he was going to attack Tony after a battle because he was too riled up. He hadn’t been, but it was nice to know she would protect her friend and boss. He would not give Bucky that knowledge to use against him. (Tony had screeched like a frightened chickadee and rushed to help him, and it had been adorable so he couldn’t really complain anyway.)
“Bruce and Natasha let you eat the napkin too,” he reminded him.
Bucky looked wounded. “I expect that from Natasha, but I’d thought better from Bruce.”
“I don’t know why everyone thinks Bruce doesn’t have a sense of humor.” Steve frowned thoughtfully. “One time he had me eat a ghost pepper to see if the serum would counteract the heat. It didn’t, by the way. I just sat there drooling and crying and trying not to throw up.”
“Sounds like his usual science to me,” the brunet mumbled even as he tried not to laugh.
Steve gave him a deadpan stare. “It wasn’t actually for science. He just wanted to see how trusting I was. Very, as it turns out.”
He wasn’t angry when Bucky lost his battle to laughter, though. He’d learned to be wary of Bruce’s requests after that.
“I hate everything!” Tony exclaimed as he burst into the living room, making Bucky squawk and leap out of his seat defensively. He frowned at the other man for a moment. “…I hate everything marginally less. JARVIS, that’s Bucky’s new ringtone.”
“No!” Bucky exclaimed, frowning.
“Too late. When I feel sad, I will think of this moment and the sound you made, and I will feel better,” Tony decided, shucking off his suit jacket and throwing it over the back of the couch.
Steve took the jacket and hung it over the back of a chair instead. “Why do you hate everything, sweetheart?”
Tony blushed at the endearment even as he explained about the hell that was R&D meetings when his minions thought they were smarter than they actually were. They always argued instead of saying ‘thank you, sir’ when he gave constructive criticism. And he was always as kind about the criticism as he could be—Pepper said he was kinder than he should be sometimes! That’s why she came to the R&D meetings with him—so she could give the minions glares over his shoulder when they were being too asinine to listen to his suggestions.
“—Which is why Pepper truly is superb, even if she says I shouldn’t call them minions,” he finished, sitting on the couch between Steve and Bucky. His shoulders relaxed as soon as he finished his rant. They relaxed more when Steve lifted a hand to dig his thumb into what seemed like a permanent knot in his left shoulder, just up and to the left of where his wing met his back. “I’m dying,” he said, and fell limp against his hand.
“Uh oh,” Bucky murmured, reaching out to cup his cheeks. “Sounds like you need a little mouth-to-mouth, then.”
Tony hummed as he was drawn into a kiss, letting out tiny mews of complaint and pleasure as Steve diligently rubbed the knot out. “Mm—hey, Pepper said—oh shit—Pepper said you guys wanted to ask me something import—whoa, handsy!” He slapped away the hand slipping up his thigh. “I am trying to converse!”
“I am trying to seduce you,” Bucky replied. “Since we’re stating the obvious here.”
Tony drew himself up indignantly. “First of all, you don’t need to try to seduce me. I am perfectly willing to go to bed with you and Steve at a moment’s notice because you are both ridiculously attractive and I know you will take care of me.”
Steve let out a long, wounded noise and buried his face in the brunet’s neck, pressing kisses to wherever he could reach.
“JARVIS, that’s Steve’s new ringtone!” Tony added, pointing in the direction of one of the cameras. “But Pepper said you guys were concerned about something and I’m trying to do the adult thing and talk about it instead of ignoring it and hoping it will go away.”
“I find that very attractive,” Bucky informed him, leaning in to nip his ear.
“I will not be distracted!” Tony screeched, then sagged when the brunet reached up to fondle the base of his right wing, fingers shifting through the tiny feathers there and nails scratching the sensitive skin beneath them. “…I will not be distracted,” he repeated weakly.
Bucky hummed. “Of course not, doll.”
Steve moved his kisses up the brunet’s throat, pausing to nibble at his earlobe before he whispered, “You are a pillar of strength and virtue.”
“Shut up,” Tony complained, then whimpered when Steve began fondling the base of his left wing. “Pepper said you were concerned.”
“It’s not so much a concern,” Steve said when he noticed that the brunet was getting a little upset. “It’s no big deal.”
“But it is a deal,” Tony insisted, squirming.
Bucky sighed and looked at Steve over his head, letting his hand drop from Tony’s wing to instead rest on his back. “Welp, guess we’re talking about it.”
“It’s really no big deal,” Steve insisted when Tony stiffened with anxiety. “Just something we’d like you to do.”
“I’m not shaving,” Tony blurted immediately.
Steve and Bucky gaped at him. Finally, Bucky burst out, “Why would we want you to shave?!”
“…I don’t know.”
Someone had told him to shave at some point in his life. Steve wanted to find them and casually break their neck. Bucky shared the sentiment.
“We just… wanted you to present to us,” Steve told him, voice gentle.
Tony blinked at them, frowning, cheeks taking on a flush. “…You want… me? To present to you?”
“Don’t sound so shocked,” Bucky ordered, scowling. “You’ve got such brightly colored wings. Why wouldn’t we want to see them?”
Tony wrung his hands together nervously. “Your wings are so… understated. Mine are so loud and… and too bright. They’ll clash.”
“Honey,” Bucky said, soothing. “Nothing clashes with brown, black, and white.”
“They will,” the smaller man insisted, even as he stood up and took a few steps away from them. He turned to face them, wings fluttering. “So you’ll have to let me say ‘I told you so.’”
Bucky and Steve glanced at each other before the brunet fondly said, “When has anything stopped you from saying ‘I told you so,’ punk?”
Tony sniffed and shrugged, then lifted his wings, high as he could, the tips of his feathers fanning out. The tans melted into blues and blacks, then white and blacks, the green at the bases hidden behind his back. The blues in the middle of his wings showed bright in the light.
Steve and Bucky gaped, because wings shouldn’t be allowed to be so beautiful.
Tony hunched his shoulders when they didn’t say anything, opening his mouth to tell them he knew they were too loud, but then Steve’s wings started to fly up. Bucky was not to be outdone, wings lifting and knocking into the blond’s. Steve turned, grabbed him by the shoulders, and attempted to throw him to the ground. Bucky scuffled, snarling, and flapped his wings in the other man’s face.
Tony covered his cheeks, blushing and eyes wide, as he watched the two men grapple with each other. His wings slowly fell to his sides. “Um? I don’t—what?”
“They appear to be fighting for right of the first to present back to you, Sir,” JARVIS explained when he couldn’t form a complete thought. “Perhaps you should wait for them to resolve this themselves. You might get injured.”
“Why are you like this,” Tony whispered, edging around the fight. He pulled his wings in tight against his back, blushing brighter. “Guys, it’s not—not that big of a deal? Guys? You can both present back—you’re going to give me a heart attack at this rate.”
Steve finally slammed Bucky’s head down on the ground, face-first. “HA I win!”
“…What is the matter with you,” Tony asked, appalled.
Bucky lifted his head, frowning. “It’s no big deal. We’ve been in scuffles before; we’ll be in scuffles again.”
“Wha—” the brunet began, then let out a frustrated noise, because he liked these idiots, but sometimes he didn’t even want to try to understand.
“I won,” Steve reminded them both, standing, his wings giving a couple large flaps before he turned toward the smaller man with a grin. “I won! Okay, present again, and I’ll present back.”
Tony rolled his eyes, blushing, and crossed his arms, but he still lifted his wings again, stretching them as high toward the ceiling as he could. Steve stepped closer to him, brown wings flying up, the gold feathers shimmering faintly as he flashed them. He swayed forward and pressed a kiss to the brunet’s forehead.
He didn’t get to do much else because then Bucky was shouldering him out of the way, wings already up so he was showing the black and white insides, tips pressing in to brush Tony’s own tan ones. Bucky leaned in and pressed a kiss to his cheek—
“Honestly,” Tony exclaimed, exasperated, as they got into another scuffle. “There’s enough of me to go around.” He yelped when they both turned to instead leap at him. “I am delicate!”
Luckily, they somehow slowed their trajectories so they didn’t take him out. He did not have the serum. It would have hurt and he would have been upset.
“So,” Bucky began, leering. “When you said you were willing to go to bed with us at a moment’s notice… Would you consider this notice enough?”
“I’m hungry,” Tony complained immediately, making the blond burst out laughing. “Lunch was hours ago. We can have sex but can we order something so that it’ll be here by the time we’re done?”
Bucky smiled at him helplessly. “Why don’t we just make something for you now if you’re hungry, doll?”
Tony smiled back at him, feathers fluffing happily as he settled his wings against his back again. “What are you going to make?”
“Whatever you have in the fridge,” Steve replied, leaning in for a quick kiss before he walked toward the kitchen. “I saw some veggies and you have eggs. I’m going to make a frittata.”
“A free-what-what?” Bucky asked as he led the other man after him.
Steve shrugged. “It’s like a fancy word for an omelet.”
“They’re not the same!” Tony screeched, in a way that Bucky inferred this was not the first time Steve had said this. “How many times do I have to tell you that frittatas go in the oven and instead of folding everything into the middle like an omelet you mix all of the eggs and vegetables together—”
Steve glanced at Bucky over the other man’s head and shrugged, smiling fondly as the man drove himself into a passionate rant that somehow went on to include all Italian food.
Bucky and Steve fell just a little bit more in love with him.
“I’m sorry, Natasha,” Tony said seriously before the movie started. “We can’t get married and have super athletic sex.”
Bruce choked on his tea.
Natasha didn’t seem bothered. “I figured a year was a decent amount of time for Steve and Bucky to get their heads out of their asses and finally ask you on a date.”
Tony stayed silent for several minutes, frowning in thought. Bucky and Steve shifted nervously. Natasha looked concerned. Perhaps she shouldn’t have explained that his love life had basically been planned for him.
“…So telling you the dominatrix thing must have made you uncomfortable, huh,” he finally said, making Bruce choke on his tea again and Clint spit out his popcorn.
Natasha looked both relieved and incredibly embarrassed, a slight squeak to her voice as she answered, “It? It wasn’t terrible? Mostly I’m just sad I can’t actually do it?”
Bucky gathered the smaller man into his arms and glared at her. Steve rolled his eyes and sighed.
Clint glanced back and forth between them as Bruce gave up and went to clean himself off. “Can’t actually do what? I promise I won’t scream if you tell me.”
Natasha pressed her lips together tightly. Bucky let out a quiet, possessive growl while Steve blushed and looked away.
“I said she could tie me up and spank me,” Tony said.
“Are you aware that he doesn’t actually need to know!?” Steve snapped immediately.
Tony frowned at him, unimpressed.
“I can see it,” Clint said after a minute. “Natasha would have taken great care of you.”
Natasha turned to face him, eyes wild as Bucky’s growl grew louder. “Are you trying to get me murdered?!”
“Whoops,” Clint said as Bucky launched himself off the couch.
“Now look what you’ve done,” Steve sighed. “You’ve made Bucky think he can actually murder Natasha.”
“He could if he tried,” the hawk insisted. “He just needs to stop worrying about her thighs breaking his neck and focus on defense from the entire body.”
“If I have to call the cleaners to come get blood out of this carpet one more time!” Tony shouted, and actually had quite a dangerous edge to his voice.
Natasha and Bucky slowly returned their knives to… wherever they kept them. Tony had stopped trying to figure it out, because once he thought he did, they pulled still more knives from their persons.
“Listen,” he said, just a touch nasty. “We’re going to watch a movie, eat popcorn, and stop making Bruce uncomfortable. Bucky, if you’re not up here and cuddling me in fifteen seconds, I am going to sit in Steve’s lap and ignore you.”
Bucky squawked and scrambled back onto the couch.
“Natasha, I apologize for getting you assaulted. I guess you planned this and I’m happy, even if you could have just told me without an audience.”
Natasha shuffled back to her seat, looking properly chastised. “Sorry.”
Tony turned to look at his boyfriends. Steve looked far too amused. Bucky was giving him sad eyes because he knew he was a sucker for them. Instead he focused on Bruce, who was coming back in with a longsuffering expression and a new shirt. “It’s Bruce’s turn to pick because we made him need a new shirt.”
“I want to watch Captain Blood,” Bruce answered immediately, because the Oscars were coming up and he’d been going on an Oscar kick.
Tony waved for JARVIS to cue up the movie and settled back against his boyfriends, unable to help a pleased sound as they pulled his wings into their laps to preen while they watched the movie. He knew they’d be more interested in the movie than his chatter this time; they both remembered Errol Flynn and loved his movies. “…Let’s go on a flight after the movie,” he suggested as the opening credits began to play.
Steve and Bucky did their best not to vibrate with glee. Tony couldn’t fly as fast as either of them, but his wings sure looked a hell of a lot prettier than theirs in the setting sun.