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It starts like this.

Steve is standing in the doorway to Tony's room, excitement and shame churning deep inside his gut. Still, he holds his best Captain America frown. He crosses his arm and furrows his brow, hoping Tony won't…know.

"There's got to be another way."

"Sorry, Cap, no such luck." Tony is smirking hard, like he's enjoying this, enjoying watching Steve blush and squirm through the chinks in his façade. He steps closer, and all Steve can see is the fall of fabric in his hands.

Blue. Shimmery and blue, and of course it would be blue.

"Tony…"

Tony shakes his head and leans in for a kiss. Steve refuses it, but he wants it. God, his wants this. And if Tony ever finds out, he will never let him live it down.

This thing between them is new, is still fragile and so good, something Steve never thought he would have again. He won't wreck it. He said he wouldn't ruin it.

Tony's hand is warm on Steve's arm. "I talked it through with Thor, and this is the only way. Attitudes on Asgard aren't as…modern as they are here. If we want to be together at this thing…"

Something clenches hard in Steve's chest. "Then I have to wear a dress."

"Bingo."

And is that light in Tony's eyes?

Steve swallows and pushes the rush of memory and lust aside. "This is ridiculous."

"I know it is, baby."

"And insulting. If they can't deal with two men in a relationship—"

"They can't and they won't."

Steve's voice falters and cracks. "Why would I have to be the one in the dress?" He coughs to hide the strain. He gestures at his own physique. "No one's going to believe that I'm a woman."

No one did. Not once he started to look like this.

Rolling his eyes, Tony moves his hand up Steve's chest. "Have you seen Thor? The women on Asgard are, ahem, proportional. You'll fit right in."

"But you're…"

Tony's eyebrow arches, and they're in dangerous waters now. "What? Shorter? We can't all be the pinnacle of human perfection."

"That's not what I meant."

Tony takes a step back, his tone going sharp. "I've already been to Asgard working on the Bifrost. They know me. They know I'm a dude, have a penis, the whole works, and besides," he points to his goatee, "I'm not shaving this off."

"I have a penis, too." God, it sounds petulant.

"Believe me, I know." It's innuendo and flirtation, but it's also not. It's Tony Stark, deflecting with things he finds more comfortable than masculinity or feelings. His eyes flash dark, but not with want. He turns away. "Listen, whatever, if you don't want to do this or if you don't want to go to this with me—"

"You know I want to."

"Then. Just." Tony meets Steve's eyes again. "Do this? For me?"

And it's a punch to the gut, an ache in his chest. Steve's ribs deflate. He uncrosses his arms and hangs his head, reaching for Tony at the same time. Tony comes willingly enough, and Steve folds him into an embrace. While it's safe, while Tony can't see his face, Steve sighs. "Okay."

"Okay?"

"Yeah. I'll do it." His voice only hitches a little.

When Tony pulls away, he's beaming. He presses the fabric into Steve's hands. It's so soft, slinky and beautiful, and nothing Steve could have ever had. Not before.

"Thank you," Tony says, and it's genuine. It's so un-Tony, and yet it's Tony all over. Tony when he's unguarded and sweet.

Steve manages to smile.

But inside him, ice is cracking.

Because it doesn't start there. Not really.

It really starts like this.

Steve was nineteen and skinny and tiny, and Bucky was big and tall and strong. The bar was crowded, and Steve's thready pulse was peakier than usual, nerves mixing with the smoke in the air and making his lungs feel tight.

But Bucky was there. He slid his arms around Steve's waist, and he was hard against Steve's ass. He smoothed his hands across starchy swaths of fresh-pressed blue.

"Bucky…"

"Shh." Bucky ran his fingers over the fabric of the dress.

It's the only way they could go out together and touch, and Steve didn't know where the dress came from. The make-up or the wig. It was a lark, the first time, a joke the second, and if they did it much more it'd be a habit. But Bucky loved it. He loved it, and that made Steve love it, too.

Bucky's lips were warm at Steve's ear. "You're the most beautiful dame in the joint." His hands moved to Steve's hips, and Steve shivered, burning hot. "Every man here wishes he could take you home tonight. That he could flip your skirt up and fuck you."

The skirt of the dress was loose, but Steve was aching. He held his purse in front of his groin just in case. With his other hand, he reached up and touched at Bucky's jaw.

And it was still such a thrill, to be able to kiss him like that when anybody could be watching.

"Well, soldier," he said in a practiced, breathy pitch. "Aren't you lucky I picked you tonight?"

"I feel ridiculous." Steve scowls at his drink and pretends he's not shifting just to feel the skirt against his thighs.

"Now now." Tony has been glowing all night, and Steve wants to kiss the smirk off his face. Taking a sip of his own drink, Tony wraps an arm around Steve's waist. "You're fitting right in, exactly like I said you would."

"Well, I feel like a fool." He feels like a fool for liking this. For liking feeling pretty and sexy and delicate and wrong.

Tony rubs his hand up and down Steve's side. He leans in and pecks Steve on the cheek. "You're the prettiest woman here."

You're the most beautiful dame in the joint.

Oh, God. Steve can't fight back the choked-off sound in the rear of his throat or the punch of arousal or the spike of angst and longing.

"Steve? Steve? What did I say?"

"Nothing." It's a gasping breath of a word. "You just reminded me of someone." He downs the rest of his drink and pulls away.

The expression on Tony's face is all confusion, but his eyebrows are furrowed, his mind clearly racing. Steve can’t breathe. He turns to stalk away, but Tony's hand is on his wrist, tugging him back, and Steve gives in. He melts just a little bit inside.

Steve lets himself be tugged into a loose embrace. Feeling Tony's palm on the back of his neck, he tilts his head and brushes his lips against Tony's.

"It's okay," Steve says. "I just—"

"No, it's totally—"

"I shouldn't have—"

Steve shakes his head, and Tony laughs, fingers rubbing tension from where Steve's shoulder meets his neck.

"I'm just." Tony stops himself, then starts again, "I'm glad you're here. With me. Diplomatic things are always a pain, and interdimensional diplomacy is a hundred times worse. I know you're embarrassed, but okay, I mean, it just, it means something to me. Not having to be here alone."

Steve knows. If there's one thing Tony can't stand—and always expects—it's being alone.

"Totally worth it then."

And if Steve doesn't mention the other things, the other feelings deep inside that make it worth it, too…well. No one needs to know.

When Bucky would get Steve home, he'd do exactly what he'd promised at the bar. He'd push Steve down onto the rickety bed in the tiny room they let and shove his skirt up, kiss the back of his neck and tell Steve he was beautiful. That he was beautiful and pretty.

He'd rush his way through the prep, slick fingers hurting and feeling so, so good, and then he'd be inside, and Steve would feel like a dame. Like a loose little girl giving it up, and all he'd have to do is touch himself and fuck himself back onto Bucky's cock, and he would come and come and come.

And Steve thinks Tony must know. He must.

Tony watches Steve, watches and looks and listens, and how could Steve put on a woman's voice like that, hold himself like that? How else could he extend his hand like so, and why else would he dance this way, instinctively letting Tony take the lead?

Tony says nothing, though. Just puts his hand at the base of Steve's spine and takes him around the room.

Just uses his fingers to rub Steve's body through the silk.

They stay a couple hours, dance and socialize, and all the while, Steve's pulse is thrumming. It's memory and the present and it's Tony; it's feeling like this with Tony. The old excitement barrels into him and bowls him over as he's reaching out to put an arm around Tony's waist or ducking to whisper in his ear, giggling high and breathy and sneaking into alcoves to kiss him. Kiss him desperate and kiss him hard.

Finally, they've been there long enough, and Tony looks at Steve with a glimmer in his eyes. "You ready to go?"

"I was ready an hour ago." But it's not an insult, not trying to say he's not having a good time.

For once, Tony doesn't misinterpret. The fire behind his gaze heats and flares. They take the time to say goodbye to Thor, and then they're off, racing to their chambers, Tony first and holding Steve's hand, tugging him along.

The instant they get the door closed behind them, Tony has Steve slammed up against it. Steve is bigger; he could throw him off or reposition them, but right now he feels small the way he used to, and it's not bad. It's not bad at all. Somehow, he ends up with his chest pressed to the wood, his face smashed against it, and Tony surrounds him. He ruts against Steve's ass, and Steve tries to cut off the sound, he tries. But it's there. A whimper in the silence, and it's so loud.

Tony pauses for just a second, and Steve closes his eyes. No, no, no, he wants to say, but he bites it back. He's a hero, he's strong now, he shouldn't want this.

Then Tony trails his fingers down Steve's side and gives another gentle thrust of his hips. Steve grunts, higher-pitched than he should.

"You like this?" Tony asks, and Steve can't speak. He can't. Fortunately, he doesn't have to. Tony takes his quiet noises, and he presses again and again, and it all feels good. "You do, don't you?"

"Can we?" Steve finally manages to choke out. "Like this?"

He arches his back, and Tony palms his rear, rides a thumb through the crack of his ass through the dress, the fabric warm and soft. Another press, right against Steve's hole through the silk.

"You want me to fuck you through the door?"

He pushes up the skirt of the dress, and Steve lets out another sound, silently begging. Don't make me take it off. Tony rucks it higher. With a whine, Steve shakes his head and presses his eyes closed, presses his face against the door.

"Oh," Tony breathes. "Oh. That's how it is, is it? Wanna keep it on?"

Steve's so hard, so scared, but he nods, a near-silent grunt choked against the door. He cringes and waits, and he's frozen, hardly breathing. Tony kisses his neck, though, and it's all all right. It's fine. A rough sigh and a melting of Steve's spine beneath the heat of Tony's mouth. Tony stops pushing the dress up higher and instead reaches underneath it to pull at Steve's briefs, and Steve wishes they were silk as well. Tiny and lacy and oh— Steve's all tucked up underneath them, and the second they're gone, he bites back his groan. His cock falls down between his legs, heavy and full and throbbing now with the pressure of being confined all night. He's dripping already, slick and needy, and—

"That's better, isn't it? You look beautiful." Tony takes Steve's hands in his and presses them against the door to either side of his head. "Keep them there."

Steve nods and bites his tongue. Tony sweeps his hands over Steve's back, and he feels beautiful. Feels precious.

When Tony steps away, it leaves Steve cold, but he doesn't move. He just keeps his eyes closed, listening to the rustling and the footfalls, following Tony in his mind. He's back a minute later, body molding itself to the back of Steve's and it's all heat and want. It's a slick fingertip between Steve's cheeks, opening him up, and he doesn't want it too open—wants the burn.

Tony slides the one sleeve of Steve's dress down his shoulder and bites down on bare flesh. "Feels good, doesn't it? Being filled up? You're gonna take it nice and easy aren't you? All loose for me? Gonna get all wet?"

The like a girl doesn't pass his lips, but Steve hears it, and he clenches down.

"That's it. Show me how much you want it. Show me how you love it."

Steve presses back, fucks himself on Tony's fingers, and there are more now, in there, in him. He's wanton and needy, and it's so good it almost hurts. It's something he thought he'd never get to have again, something delicate and glowing in his chest.

Steve wants Tony to make him his. And it's just a flash, just a memory and a fantasy and the kind of thing he thinks about, touching himself, feeling dirty and filthy and perfect in the night.

He wants…He wants…

Only when Tony pulls his fingers back does Steve find his voice, pulling words from the ruined echo of his whine. "Tony…"

"You ready?" He's backing away already, there's the crinkle of the condom wrapper, and Steve can't. He has to.

"Yeah. Yeah, only—"

Everything goes still. "Only?"

"Can you do it…without?"

Steve's cock bobs at just the thought. It's been long enough now, Steve trusts him, Steve is wearing a dress for him.

There a beat or two of silence before the packet hits the floor. In a rush, Tony's forehead presses to the space between Steve's shoulder blades, fingers clenching hard against Steve's hip. "Fuck. You sure?"

"Yeah, it's—" It's how it always was, before. But that's too much, too heavy and too tied-up in too much loss. Steve isn't looking for a replacement—he likes Tony for who Tony is. But he likes that feeling, that sense of bare flesh inside him, the slick of come leaking out of him after he's been used. Come smearing on fabric as he pulls back down his skirt. Shaky with arousal and memory, he leans his temple on the door. "It's how I want it."

"Yeah," Tony breathes. There's a laugh of relief in the back of his throat. "Yeah, that sounds so good."

Tony slides the head of his cock up and down the cleft of Steve's ass, the whole motion nice and easy and wet, and Steve's ready. Open and loose, and there's that first slow push, the breach and burn and—

"Oh." It's like the breath is being punched out of him as Tony takes up all the space, surrounds Steve and consumes him. His chest is so tight to Steve's back, his hips pressing into his ass, and his breath is hot against his ear.

And it's like Steve lets go.

He's falling and flying and whatever Tony wants him to be as he lets himself be taken, presses back and works for it and makes himself as tight as he can be. Everything feels good, all pressure and heat and a slick fist around his cock. He hasn't moved his own hands, won't move them.

"Beautiful," Tony says, and, "So sweet, you take it so sweet, don't you?" and, "prettiest thing I've ever seen," as he's bunching up the skirt of the dress, digging nails into Steve's thigh.

"Gonna put you in a bra next time, too, give you the prettiest tits."

And before Steve can stop himself, he's breathing, "Yes."

Tony doesn't pause, doesn't even register the slip. Just groans and fucks in harder, fucks Steve through the mortification that makes him blush like such a tiny little girl.

"So." Thrust. "Fucking." Thrust. "Gorgeous."

"Please."

And it's building too fast, but he's been trying not to want this for so long, and it fell into his lap without his asking, without his working for it. Nothing's ever this easy—Steve never gets what he wants. Never gets to keep it, and it's almost too good, being held like this and taken and filled. His balls tighten, and Tony's stroking him too perfectly, pounding harder just the way Steve likes it, and Steve…Steve can't..

"Tony!"

Steve can't hold back the tide. It's being pushed out of him by Tony's cock, and when it hits, it's a tsunami, come everywhere and a blackout behind his eyes. He screams Tony's name and bites his lip and collapses his chest against the door.

Tony smears come all down Steve's side, and then he has Steve's hips in his rough, warm hands. He lets loose the way Steve loves, the way he wishes he always would, so there's nothing for Steve to do but take it.

And he does. He takes it so, so well.

Finally, Tony tightens his grip on Steve's hips and slams in all the way, pinning Steve with his cock and his heat. Everything goes slick, the raw slide deep inside him, and Steve glows.

"God fucking damn," Tony says, voice rough, mouth open against Steve's hair.

And Steve laughs. He laughs and laughs, and he feels a little floaty. His knees shake, and Tony pats his flank with a damp, sticky palm. When he pulls out, Steve lets out a little grunt. Tony's cock catches on silk as the skirt fall back down, and the fabric is sliding against Steve's ass. It's wet, and Steve is losing his mind with how much he needed this. How much he's going to need this again.

The realization is a cold fist around his heart, and he clenches his eyes shut. He'll want this again, and Tony…Will Tony?

"Shh." Tony's hands cover Steve's, fingers intertwining, and he's pulling them away from the door. He turns Steve, and Steve hadn't even known he was making any sounds, but there they are, wet in the air. Tony touches his face and searches out his eyes. Steve forces himself to look at Tony, and Tony must see what he needs, too. He presses his brow to Steve's and holds him close. "I've got you. I've got you, baby."

Steve relaxes into it. He's still shaky and scared and showing Tony entirely too much, but he's trusted him this far.

He'll worry about tomorrow tomorrow.

For now he'll take this, and he'll hold onto it. He'll hold onto it as tightly as he can.

In the morning, Steve wakes dressed in his skin, Tony draped along his spine. Steve's the little spoon, which he never is, and with a lurching feeling in his abdomen, he remembers why. He's huge and ridiculous, nothing delicate to him at all. He's clumsy and a fool, never knows what to do with his limbs when he's not in his uniform. The way they're positioned, Tony's forehead is pressed to the base of Steve's neck, and his toes are on Steve's calf.

Steve lets out a long, slow breath.

He opens his eyes and sees the dress he wore last night thrown over a chair. As he extricates himself from Tony's grasp, Tony grumbles, clutching idly, then letting go and rolling over. Within seconds he's back asleep.

Steve pads across the room and picks up the pile of silk. He holds it to his face and closes his eyes against the pure liquid heat that pools inside at the thought of how it felt, up against that door, clothed in this, him and Tony so in synch, everything seeming possible. He glances back at the bed.

It was a lark. Just a bit of fun. Tony won't think less of him. Or if he does, he'll hide it behind crude jokes. Maybe he'll pull away, wanting the version of Steve who's always strong and always in command. The idea hurts, and Steve pushes it down. He'll be that man. He won't ask for this again.

On his way to the bathroom, he wads the dress up. He leaves it in the trash, where it belongs.

He and Bucky only tried the cross-dressing once, after the serum. During the war. On a twenty-four hour pass, they got a room on the dodgy end of London, and Bucky took their saved-up wages. He came back with three plain paper packages and handed them to Steve.

He watched, gaze appraising, as Steve washed and shaved. Trailed his eyes up the line of Steve's spine as he pulled on black market nylons and panties. The dress was tight across the shoulders and too full across his waist and hips, but the lipstick, red like Agent Carter's, tasted like freedom.

Steve turned, and Bucky stepped forward. He ran a hand down Steve's chest, and Steve's breathing got tight.

And Steve hoped. God, he hoped. After everything that had changed, after he'd become…this, he'd hoped.

Bucky gave a weak little lop-sided smile and shook his head, not quite meeting Steve's eyes. "It's not quite the same anymore? Is it?"

Something in Steve's heart died. He fought to keep his voice even. Swallowed hard. "We'd get some funny looks if we tried to go out, I guess."

But they could stay in. Bucky could take care of him the way that no one had in months now, months and months and months, Bucky could make him feel safe and beautiful and loved again, could fill him and take him and teach him what this new body could do. This body that he'd wanted but that secretly terrified him.

Bucky handed him a handkerchief.

Steve wiped the lipstick away.

When Tony wakes, Steve is sitting in the chair by the window, dressed in pants and a collared shirt, hair neatly parted, shoes shined. Steve keeps the angle of his jaw firm, keeps his head up, and he stares at Tony like it's a challenge, but really, his heart feels brittle.

Tony just grins and rolls over and slings an arm across his face. His other hand extends across the mattress.

"Come back to bed, you dork."

Steve does, holding Tony to his chest. He's the big spoon this time, and that's all right.

Whatever he can have with Tony…it'll be all right.

Steve still misses Bucky, he thinks, sitting in the window seat of his room in Avengers Tower, the day after they return from Asgard. His sketchbook in his hands, he traces out a familiar jaw line, familiar dark, dancing eyes. It's not quite the same as how he used to draw him. Steve misses Bucky like a lost limb, but he misses a version of him he's been missing for longer than just the years that have passed since he fell.

It's funny, really. Steve got big and the world suddenly decided he was worth wanting, while the only man who had ever wanted him before didn't seem to want him the same way at all.

And so Steve never sees it coming.

He's just gotten back from a run, is dripping with sweat and filthy, his blood pumping. He rakes his fingers through his hair as he waits for the elevator doors to open. When they do, he spills out onto the common floor and heads toward the kitchen, tugging his sodden shirt off over his head as he goes.

There's a strangled noise from the table, and Steve turns, grinning when he sees Tony sitting there. Derailed from his plans of raiding the fridge, he wanders over and leans in for a kiss.

Tony hums against his lips. "You shouldn't have. Wet, half-naked supersoldier in my living room? It's not even my birthday."

Steve shakes his head at Tony. It's awfully early for Tony to be up, so he's probably still up. One more peck, and Steve pulls away. His stomach is growling. "You sleep yet?"

"I caught a nap at some point. I'm good to go for a while."

"Go?" Steve's kind of distracted as he browses through the fridge, but there's something to Tony's tone. Steve grabs some leftovers and a gallon of milk and turns around.

"You know. If you wanted to go."

Is that innuendo, or just Tony babbling? "I'm not sure I know what we're talking about anymore."

Steve opens up the container of leftovers, thinks about reheating it, then shrugs and grabs a fork and digs in.

He startles at the tentative brush of fingertips along the line of his spine. That gets his attention. Tony's never tentative. Brow furrowed, Steve moves to turn, to ask Tony what's going on, but Tony crowds him, presses himself all along Steve's back, and the questions die inside his throat. He's instantly, insistently hard. "Tony?" is all he manages to croak.

Tony places a kiss to the back of Steve's neck. "I laid out some things for you. For after your shower."

"Things?" Steve tilts his head and doesn't whine, not at all, when Tony pulls his lips away from his skin.

And Tony's voice is tight. "Just things. Things I was thinking you might like to wear."

Steve's really confused now, arousal and concern all mixing. Tony's acting strangely, but he's still touching Steve, and Steve has no idea where this is going. "What?"

"If you like them, you could come show them off for me."

"Show—"

"And if you don't." Tony's breath hitches. "Then that's fine. Just put them back and I'll have them picked up, and…and it's no big. No problem. No problemo."

What? "I—"

"I'm gonna go now."

"Go?" Steve's head is spinning. As Tony steps away, Steve gets a hand on his arm. Gets a look at his face, which is flushed, and Tony doesn't blush. Not ever. And is he—is he nervous?

The vein in Tony's temple twitches, and yup. He's nervous. He pulls his arm free and laughs, the sound just a half a note too high. "Just," Tony says, "just don't read anything into it, okay? I just thought you might like them. No judgment."

"Okay?"

That's answer enough, apparently. Tony leans in and kisses the corner of Steve's mouth, but there's something tight still to his eyes. "I'll be in my room. If you want. To come find me. But only if you want."

Steve's officially giving up on trying to figure this out. He shakes his head and reels Tony in and kisses him more thoroughly before letting him go. "Okay, Tony."

"Okay."

Steve hesitates for a beat. "Okay?"

"Okay."

And with that, Tony nods, throw his shoulder back and—there's no other word for it—runs away.

Steve shrugs. It's not like he didn’t know his boyfriend was strange.

Still, the whole way to his room, he's thinking through the possibilities. A new suit, perhaps, or a tuxedo. That would be the most logical thing, but it wouldn't explain Tony's twitchiness. Something sexual, more likely. Or ridiculous. Iron Man boxers, or a thong, like that one time. It could be a plug or a ring. He likes those ideas, quite a lot.

But then he pushes through his door and strides toward his bed, and all at once he stops. Everything stops. It's not any of those things.

It isn't anything he ever would have dreamed.

His face goes hot and his cock hard, and there's shame there, too. Mortification the likes of which he's never really known, and a need so fierce it floors him. His shirt falls from his hand as he reaches forward with shaking fingers. But he stops before he can touch. This can't be real. It can't.

He wants to call Tony. Wants to storm up there and tell him this is wrong, it's so wrong. He can't accept it, and he's not like that. He wants to ask if Tony's joking. Steve might kill him if he's joking.

It's too perfect to be true.

Tony's words come back to him, though. Just, just don't read anything into it, okay? I just thought you might like them. No judgment.

Steve swallows hard. Because Tony gave him this. Tony thought he might like this.

Somehow, he compels himself to lift his hand again. To touch.

The fabric of the dress is blue, and it's the softest thing he's ever felt, less slinky than the one he wore in Asgard, but more like something meant for Earth. The skirt is flared, like a cross between something from the forties and today. The hem would be knee-length for someone of his height, and he has no doubt. It's going to fit him perfectly.

Beside it, though…besides it are panties in red lace, and a bra, just like Tony promised. Stockings and a garter belt, and Steve can scarcely breathe. The stockings are silky and sheer, and he rubs them between his fingertips. They'll feel amazing on his legs.

They'll look even better with the heels.

His mind spins at the realization that they make heels in his size. Perfect red pumps. It's all he can do not to step into them and take himself in hand to relieve the ache at just the thought. He stops himself, though. He pulls his hand away from shining patent leather, swallowing as he steps back.

Picking up his shirt, he makes it to his bathroom where he strips, dropping everything into the hamper there before he starts the water for his shower. As the steam builds, he opens one drawer after another, because his straight blade isn’t what he needs today. Not for this. He finds the packet of disposable razors Tony squirreled away in there at some point.

In the shower, the water beats down on him, hot and unforgiving like the blood inside his veins as he squirts out some of Tony's shaving gel. It feels cool against his skin. The first swipe of the razor up his calf feels like a declaration, because he can't take that back. He can't pretend to be any kind of man except the one he is when his ankle is smooth. It takes a lot of strokes, a lot of rinsing away of coarse blond hair, but every one is better than the last,  until finally his leg is smooth up to his pubic hair, and he's so light inside. In the end he keeps going, careful of the delicate skin between his legs. His cock and balls feel strange once they're bare. He runs his fingers over sensitive flesh and feels his knees give. It's unbearable. Exquisite. Something he should have done so long ago, and he can, now.

He can do whatever he wants to. He can get taken by his lover, in a dress, and he can love it. So much.

He finishes up the other leg. Does his underarms, too, and by the time he's drying off, he's floating in his own mind.

Still trembling a little inside, he dresses carefully, first in the garter and the stockings. He pulls the underwear over them, and the lace is scratchy where he's baby-smooth, stretching over where he's erect and straining. The back is a thong that rides up into the crack of his ass, and his breath hitches at that—at the idea that Tony could just slip it to the side and shove inside without taking them off.

He gives himself one stroke he can feel in his toes, but he won't be distracted. Not yet. Reaching for the bra, he fingers the bow between the cups. They're generously padded, and once the bra is settled across his chest, it turns his pectorals into breasts. Maybe Tony will work himself, there, someday, in the gap of Steve's cleavage, spend himself across the line of his throat. Let Steve rub that liquid into his skin.

He clenches his eyes and bows his head, dizzy with the thought of it. Digging the heel of his hand into his crotch, he tries to hold himself off, but it's like he's been keeping this in for years. For almost a century, and Tony wants him. Tony wants him this way.

It's like he can breathe for the very first time since the serum.

He steps into the dress and pulls the straps up over his shoulders. He steps into heels that are shining and red, and he wishes for lipstick and rouge, but this is enough. It's more than enough.

"JARVIS?" he grits out.

"Yes, Captain?"

"If I try to go to Tony's room, am I going to run into anyone?"

"The residential sections of the tower are vacant at the moment except for Sir and yourself, Captain Rogers."

"Is Tony doing anything important?"

"I believe he is pretending to watch television while obsessing about whether or not you will be joining him."

Steve's throat cracks with his hiccup of laughter, because, yes, that sounds about right.

"Thank you."

He takes a deep breath and a first, wobbling step. By the third, his stride is easy enough, his hips swaying, and he remembers how this feels. It feels perfect, and amazing, and his eyes are damp at the relief.

Still, it doesn't stop his heart from hammering when he darkens Tony's door. He raises his hand and swallows past the lump inside his throat as he knocks, time spreading out before him and going hazy around the edges. By the time the door swings open, he's barely breathing, too nervous and too wound up, aroused to the point of pain and terrified that Tony doesn't really want him, not like this.

But then there he is, eyes dark and brilliant as he looks Steve up and down, and there's a possessiveness there, a fire. Steve's limbs go loose, the constriction on his airway easing. He must make some kind of noise, because Tony's gaze jerks up, so he's looking Steve right in the eye. He's darting forward, and his hand grasps Steve by the back of the neck, tugging him down, down, down.

Steve falls into the kiss, and all the fear releases until he's dangling there, nothing but a pair of stockinged legs and breasts, kept upright only by the searing heat of Tony's mouth. He opens for it, parts his lips, and this is what he wanted. Every time, during the war, he wanted to be held and kissed and loved like this.

"Fuck." Tony's tongue is filthy in Steve's mouth. "You're fucking gorgeous."

And Steve is. He feels like he is.

"Tony," he manages, but any other words die on his lips.

Tony reels him in and puts a hand on his waist. "What do you want? I'll give you anything. God, you're so—"

"Anything," Steve says helplessly.

Somehow, Tony gets the door closed and locked, and it's another layer of Steve's uncertainty evaporating. They're alone, and they're safe, and Steve can have this.

"Let me look at you." Tony shoves him until he's standing in the center of the room.

Steve drops his arms to his sides as Tony steps away.  It's second nature to slip into parade rest, but a stronger kind of nature keeps him soft. Tells him to cross his ankles and lean into one hip. To not fidget too much as Tony stalks around him.

He's made two circles around Steve's waiting body before he slows, trailing a fingertip over the bare skin at the back of Steve's neck as he comes to a stop just behind him. He steps in close, his chest brushing Steve's spine, voice scorching as he leans in to speak into Steve's ear. "Tell me who you are tonight, gorgeous."

Steve sucks in a ragged breath. "Whoever you want me to be."

Shaking his head, Tony slips his hand down Steve's side, accentuating the dip in his waist. "Nuh-uh. Who are you?"

Clenching his eyes shut tight, Steve lets his head fall back, exposing the line of his throat. The answer seems too obvious. Too easy. "Yours."

Tony pinches his side. "Who are you?"

Steve's heart clenches, and the room is silent but for their breaths. "Your girl."

Tony's lips are a burning, slick-wet pressure against the side of Steve's throat. "My girl," he echoes, and he sounds like that's all right. Like that's exactly what he wants, and Steve's knees feel weak. "But what kind of girl?"

"What—"

Soft lips become sharp teeth, and Steve chokes on a groan.

"Are you my sweet little princess?" Tony asks. He sucks a kiss to where Steve's neck and shoulder meet. "My good girl?" His fingers tighten. "Or my dirty girl? My little whore?"

"Both." The word is impossible and crystalline. It feels ready to break. "Can I be both?"

One sharp inhalation makes its way through Tony's lungs, and then he's turning Steve, jerking him around until they're pressed together, Steve's breasts against Tony's chest, and the kiss this time feels like being devoured. Like being held and taken, and Steve never ever wants it to end.

"Yeah," Tony mumbles against his lips. "Yeah, we can do that."

They're moving backward as they kiss, and Steve's knees hit the edge of Tony's mattress. He goes down easily enough, falling to his back and spreading his legs. Only the lacy fabric of his panties holds his cock in. He's aching for Tony to touch him and take him apart.

Stalking forward like an animal, Tony kneels on the bed between Steve's thighs, pushing them wider before sliding his hands up under his skirt. "Look at you. Just look at you. Bet you're virgin tight, but you'll still beg for it like a slut, won't you?"

"Yes," he chokes.

When Tony's fingers brush against Steve's cock, Steve moans long and loud. "Are you wet for me?" he asks.

Steve's leaking a steady stream, too turned on almost to breathe. "Yeah. I—I want it."

"What do you want?"

"Your—your cock." Steve's face is hot, but he won't be ashamed. "Touch me, Tony, please. I want you to—" They're playing a game tonight, and Steve is whoever he wants to be. He can be sweet and needy, and he can be wanton on his knees. "I want to know what it's like. To be your whore."

"Oh, you are just." Tony's jaw clicks as he cuts himself off. "I'm gonna tear you apart. I've been wanting this so long."

He flips Steve's skirt just a little bit out of the way, not enough to break the illusion, just enough to get his head underneath it, and Steve's vision goes the tiniest bit blurry. His eyes are damp around the edges, because Tony has no idea.

"Not as long as I have," he swears, and then his spine arches when Tony mouths over his erection through his panties. It's hot and wet, and Steve is writhing. "Yeah," he groans. "Yeah, eat me out, God, please."

Tony gets his hand into the leg hole of Steve's underwear, and he tongues the slit of Steve's cock, teases fingers around his slutty little hole. Steve keens, shifting into that intrusion. He wants to fuck himself open, wants to ride Tony and be tied down by Tony. Wants Tony's tongue and his cock and his everything.

He can't believe he's going to get what he needs.

He's still reeling at the thought as Tony's lips drift lower, kissing wetly over the base of his cock and then sucking at his balls, and oh God, this is what Steve asked him to do. He braces himself, pulling his thighs wider as Tony fulfills a fantasy he hadn't even had until a few minutes ago, sliding the back of his underwear out of the way.

And Tony has offered to do this before. Hinted at it and threatened it, and Steve had blushed what must have been scarlet and declined, but he's not pushing him away now. The first gentle lick at his hole is so soft and so wet, and Steve's turning inside out with the warmth of it, making a noise he scarcely recognizes as his own voice. Far from deterred, Tony attacks, tongue all over that sensitive flesh around his opening before pressing inside.

Steve swears aloud and reaches down, gets his fingers into the mess of Tony's hair and holds on for dear life. His other hand he fists into the fabric of his skirt. His hips are bucking off the bed without his permission, and Tony is getting him wet, loosening him up with his mouth, and he's gagging for it.

"Fuck me, fuck me, fuck me," he chants, hearing himself only dimly over the rush of the roaring in his ears.

"Yeah," Tony groans, pulling away to bite the meat of his ass, giving one quick slap to the back of his thigh as he presses one spit-slick finger inside. "You'd like that, wouldn't you? Bet you could take it, too. Barely even have to finger you, you're so loose. How many other men have you spread it for, huh?"

"Just one." He says it without thinking, because there's only ever been Bucky before Tony. Because he'd never thought he'd have this again.

And Tony knows a piece of that story. Steve told it to him, one night when they'd still been on the cusp of this thing. Admitted to being a fairy and a queer, and to loving something he couldn't hold, but not to this.

"Yeah?" Tony's breath catches. And it's so clear that he knows. He knows what he's asking and what Steve's owning up to.

"Years ago. So long ago. It's been so long." His voice is pleading, his eyes prickling. "Please, Tony. Wanna be—wanna be your girl."

"Like you were his?"

"Yes."

Tony's tone drops even deeper, a claiming note to it that has Steve ready to promise him anything. "But did he have you like this?" He reaches up to grab at Steve's…at Steve's breast, and Steve sucks in a gasp at the implication, only substantiated when Tony slides his hand lower to caress Steve's abs. Touching the pecs and abs and body he hadn't had the last time he had done this.

He clenches his eyes shut tight. This is getting too close to something he can't talk about right now, and at the same time, it's exactly what he needed. Just like the dress was. Talking about it, admitting to who he is and who he was and what he's wanted all along…It's freeing, and it's like he's falling and flying, and nothing can hurt him now. "No, not like this. Before. When I was—After, he didn't want—I wasn't—"

"You're perfect," Tony says on all but a growl, eyes glowing in their possessiveness. His palm skates over the tent in the front of Steve's skirt. "Just like this."

Steve's chest cracks wide open, and he looks at Tony with all the love he's been trying to hold back for so long. All the things they haven't said. They bleed into his voice as he begs, "Tony, please."

Swearing under his breath, Tony scrabbles his way up Steve's body, kissing his mouth. The idea of where his tongue has been should make Steve curdle, but it's too distant of a thought to pierce the haze surrounding him. "Shh, shh," Tony murmurs against his lips. "I've got you, beautiful. Gonna take such good care of you."

"Yes." Because that's what he wants. To be taken care of. Held and loved and treated like this.

Through the crush of desire and need, Steve doesn't know where the lube comes from, only that Tony's fingers are back between his legs, making him slick and open, but it's a quick thing, too quick. It burns, and it's exactly how Steve wants it. He claws at Tony's neck and fumbles with his pants, imploring him with half-mumbled words to do it faster, to do it now, he can take it, he was made for this.

In the end they're both in too much of a frenzy to do more than lower Tony's zip and pull the hot length of him free. There's no talk of protection anymore. Steve's as naked as he can be in these clothes, and it's with his whole chest aching that he holds his legs spread wide for Tony to fit his bare length to him.

The rough shove in makes him keen, but he's adjusting to it even as he's being split, being opened on Tony's cock. Tony doesn't ease him into it, either, just starts thrusting right away. With his shoulder, he keeps Steve's leg pressed far to the side, keeps his thighs parted in a way that makes his hips twinge at the stretch, but it frees his own hands. He pulls at Tony's body, tugging at his shirt and his neck, and maybe next time he'll paint his nails a sultry red. Scratch them down Tony's spine and leave marks just as vivid as that color. Paint his lips and his cheeks. Let Tony take pictures…

"That's my girl." Tony's eyes are wide and dark. He punctuates his words with the jabs of his hips. "That's my perfect…dirty…girl."

"Yes."

Steve floats and moans. In the end all it takes it a glancing brush of Tony's palm against his cock—against the front of his panties through this dress to have him arching with the pleasure of it, all these years and fears and his body uncoiling as one. It's the way he's been coiled up since the serum, trying to be a version of himself that only fit him some of the time. It's the way he's needed this, and the way Tony's looking at him, and the way he was ashamed. And it's all crumbling at the same time that he's losing it in stockings and a garter, making his panties slick with his come as he pulses and pulses and shudders, holding on with all he can as Tony just keeps fucking him.

"Yes, God, please, yes," he babbles against Tony's shoulder, taking it. Taking whatever Tony wants to give him. "Love you, please, please."

Tony roars his name against his ear, cock throbbing inside of him, and Steve just squeezes harder as Tony fills him up. Then Tony's slumping over him, all the tension going out of him at once. Feeling weak in his limbs in a way he hasn't in a century, Steve slings an arm around him to keep him close.

It's not until long minutes have passed, a dangling stretch of time spent lying there, loose and unbearably, incandescently happy, that Steve realizes what he's done. What he's said.

Love you.

He goes stiff beneath Tony's body, but Tony just flails out a hand. Puts it over his mouth, dragging his fingers over Steve's lips. "It's fine. Everything's fine."

Fine? Three seconds ago, everything was perfect, and now—

"Stop it, I don't care if you like women's underwear, I love you, too. Whatever you're freaking out about. Jesus Christ. Just, just give me a second here."

And it's amazing, how quickly Steve can shift from being the pliant one beneath Tony to rolling them both over without even remembering his strength. Tony lands on his back with a grunt, Steve coming to rest over him, and they're still fully dressed, Steve in a skirt that's wet with come, slick trailing down the insides of his thighs, Tony with his softening dick lying sticky against the cotton of his jeans. But they're doing this now. Saying this now.

In the way that they're not saying anything at all.

With the words in the air between them, with Tony having given this to Steve…all Steve can do is stare at him with everything he feels. Grasp his chin in his hand and hold him steady as he kisses him and kisses him and kisses him.

When he pulls back, Tony is panting, eyes as soft as Steve's feels. The corner of his mouth twitches up. "You're welcome."

And all Steve can do is grin.

Later, in the shower, Tony's washing Steve's back.

"Is it just a sex thing?"

Steve looks over his shoulder at him, one eyebrow lifted in question.

Rolling his eyes in exasperation, Tony says, "The whole women's clothing thing."

Oh. "Um…"

"I mean, do you want to be a girl all the time?"

"What?" Steve sputters, turning around. "No. Of course not."

Tony holds his hands up. "Nothing wrong with it if you did. Trans happens, baby. Just checking that that's not you."

"No." It's not. It's just… "I like it. Sometimes. But I'm a man." That's never been in doubt.

"Good to know." He coaxes Steve back around and takes a too-eager swipe of the washcloth across his ass. But the horseplay belies the way his voice goes deadly serious. "This doesn't make you any less of one. Not in my eyes. Whatever you like."

And it's strange, because Steve had known that. After everything Tony had done for him today, there hadn't been much doubt. Still, to have Tony say it makes the last bit of worry evaporate. That last little piece of him that had still been curled up tight within his ribs unfurls. "I know."

"Uh-huh." Tony's too kind to call him out on the fact that he's been hiding what he wants this whole time now. "Well, then I'm sure you'll be comfortable using the link I'm going to send you so you can pick out some more things?"

Steve can't hide the interest from his stuttered, "Oh?"

"For the next time you want to do this."

Steve's fingers tighten on the washcloth he's holding. He's glad he didn't have his hands on the tile, or it would be cracking.

There's going to be a next time.

"I can do that," he says, level as anything.

"Maybe not an everyday kind of a thing, personal preference. But I'm happy to mix it in from time to time."

"Yeah." The tremulous note to his voice holds all the gratitude in his heart.

"More if you need it."

He's getting everything he needs, now.

He rinses out his washcloth and hangs it tidily away. Facing Tony again, he pulls him in, looking between them at the shapes of their bodies.

His is broad and tall. Erect and pale and smooth. Tony's slighter, shorter, darker frame fits perfectly against it.

He gets to be Tony's boyfriend. His lover and his teammate and his pal. And sometimes, he gets to be his girl.

"No," he murmurs, lips brushing Tony's ear. "That sounds like exactly enough."