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as long as forever is

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Steve wakes slowly.

The first thing he becomes aware of is more of a thought than a bodily sensation. Surprise. He didn’t think he would manage to fall asleep – he’d prepared to lie awake throughout the long hours of the night, thoughts looping inside his mind, prodding and never-ending. There was no more planning to do; they had it all figured out, every contingency and minute detail taken care of. Everything left to do now was hoping it’d work, even with the odds stacked so incredibly high against them.

He wouldn’t have minded staying awake, really.

He’d happily spend a few restless nights if it was Tony’s sleeping form curled up right next to him. (Only that their time’s run out and they have no way of knowing if there’ll be any more nights to spend at all, after this is over.)

And Tony–Tony is the second thing he notices.

His back is pressed flush against Steve’s front, no space left between them except during those little instances when his hips hitch forward an inch or two, only to come back pushing against Steve’s groin again.

And again.

God, he’s really hard.

Now that he’s aware of his aching erection, not waking from his semi-conscious doze suddenly seems a lot more challenging than it previously did, but he thinks he can hold off for a little while longer. Float in the sleep-drunken haze while it lasts. Enjoy the feeling of Tony, close and warm and alive.

Steve sighs contently as he sneaks an arm up Tony’s chest, placing his hand over the spot his heartbeat is strongest. He buries his nose in the crook of Tony’s neck and breathes in, tries to somehow burn the distinct smell into his memory. He’d keep and preserve every sensation if he could; Tony’s scent, the feeling of his heartbeat, his skin against Steve’s.

Tony. Just Tony would be enough.

He presses a kiss to Tony’s neck, one to his throat and another to his collarbone, taking his time navigating the other man’s body with eyes closed. Tony utters a soft noise and stills his movements as he becomes more aware of his surroundings. Steve almost grumbles in protest, but the complaint gets stuck in his throat once Tony looks up at him over his shoulder, blinking blearily.

“S’eve?”

“Yeah?”

Tony presses the curve of his ass back against Steve’s dick, with purpose this time.

“You gonna do something about this?”

Steve forgoes an answer and leans down to kiss him instead, tongue working to split the seam of his lips with gentle force. Tony smiles against his mouth and continues to move against him, getting just a little more insistent with every push. Previously resting over Tony’s heart, Steve’s hand strokes over his chest to pinch a nipple, applying enough pressure to make the brunet gasp into their kiss.

He heads further down, fingernails scraping over Tony’s stomach and pelvis as he goes. Tony’s only half-hard but already wet by the time Steve takes him in hand; he moans and breaks the kiss after Steve strokes up his shaft, thumbing the head that’s all but dripping with precome. Allowing Tony to catch his breath, he trails kisses down the column of his throat and sucks a mark into the sensitive spot above his Adam’s apple.

Tony’s movements grow a little more frantic, back and forth and back again as if he can’t decide whether to seek the sweet friction of Steve’s hand around him or the slow drag of Steve’s cock over his crack. When Steve’s hold tightens and he twists his hand just so, Tony’s mouth falls open in a silent whimper, his head rolling back onto Steve’s shoulder.

It’s then that Steve decides to let go, as Tony’s bucking into the warm embrace of his fingers with every stroke and grumbling in frustration when his hand abandons his erection to trail back up his chest. Tony’s hand closes around his wrist, attempting to guide him back to his dick that curves up against his stomach, red and leaking.

Steve’s having none of it. His fingertips brush Tony’s parted lips, then, and Tony almost immediately stops resisting. As soon as Steve slips his fingers inside, his mouth closes around them and he’s sucking and lapping at the two digits like it’s all he’s been waiting to do from the start.

It’s such an incredibly erotic sight Steve can’t help his dick giving an excited twitch – which makes the whole thing that much better, because it causes Tony to moan and close his eyes at the feeling. Strangely, the way his eyelids flutter shut is what does it for Steve; for a moment, Tony is still, the fragility of his life captured in a timeless memory.

They’ve been together like this considerably often since Tony’s return, after Tony collapsed into his arms with tearless sobs and bloodshot eyes. After they talked and cried, holding onto one another as grief and relief washed over them. There’s a special place in his heart for all these memories of their most intimate moments together, a reminder that even the wounds thought unfixable could scab and heal with time. With time, loss, dust and blood.

This time, it’s different.

Maybe it’s the knowledge that it might be their last time; maybe it’s the way Tony looks, healthy and bathed in the golden rays of the morning sun. Maybe it’s the peaceful air of acceptance hanging in the room, knowing that whatever has to happen will happen and they’ll spend these last hours together sharing their love.

Steve returns to the present when Tony releases him from the warm confines of his mouth with a wet sound, the hand still gripping his wrist steering his spit-slicked fingers down between their bodies where his dick is rubbing precome all over Tony’s ass. Tony gasps audibly as he presses a fingertip in, barely moving an inch before slipping out again and massaging the quivering muscle of his opening in slow circles.

In time, Steve can push a finger in. With spit being the only lubricant, the drag is a lot rougher than usual; he watches Tony suppress a flinch as he begins fingering him in earnest. But with pain comes desire, and Tony bites his lip as the thrust of Steve’s fingers is joined by Steve moving his hips in the same rhythm. The implication that Steve could have him like this does something to Tony; he reaches up behind him to drag Steve down by his hair and seal their lips together forcibly.

The kiss, hot and messy as it is, has them both out of breath by the end of it. Tony looks at him quietly as they part, something new and unreadable in his half-lidded eyes. When their lips meet again, there’s a desperate edge to the way he moves against Steve that wasn’t there before.

He’s scared. There’s not a human being on earth that wouldn’t be, facing what awaits them.

But Tony’s fears aren’t directed toward his own fate, which in turn makes Steve worry for him all the more. They all have their roles to play in this, except Tony in particular has a history of attempted self-sacrifice for the greater good, which Steve is positive won’t just end because they have a battle plan worked out this time around.

Tony groans a choked-off noise into his mouth. The pitch of it leaves Steve suspecting it to be a sound of pain rather than pleasure, so he aborts his movement and pulls out gently, patting Tony’s flank soothingly when the other man protests and shoots him a disgruntled look over his shoulder.

“Lube,” he just says, blindly reaching over to the bedside drawer behind him to get the bottle.

Sometimes, Tony wants it this way. Wants it to hurt, to ache, to burn. He goes above and beyond to test his body’s limits, test Steve’s limits; see how far he’ll go until drawing a line in the sand.

But Steve has no intention of hurting Tony like this, today. He just wants to make it good. It is the morning of a fateful day, after all.

Generously slicked, he resumes his work. There’s little resistance, now, only the occasional spasm of Tony’s muscles as he scissors him open with two and then three fingers. He can tell Tony’s growing impatient, breathing harshly as he shoves his ass back into Steve’s hand and essentially fucks himself on Steve’s fingers. His eyes roll into the back of his head when Steve intentionally hits his prostate twice in a row (and then again when the keening sound that action elicits from Tony’s mouth is too sweet not to provoke another time).

By the time he removes his fingers to slick his neglected (but still very much rock-hard) dick, Tony’s panting and his skin glistening with sweat. Steve shuffles closer, one leg between Tony’s, grabs his thigh and holds him open to gain better access. Tony’s fisting the blanket they’re still partially covered with and sighs with something akin to relief when the tip of Steve’s cock nudges his entrance.

There’s a second of silence, both of them frozen in anticipation.

And then it’s over.

Steve breaches him and groans a low noise somewhere deep in his chest, pressing wet, open-mouthed kisses along Tony’s jawline as he does. Tony utters a long-drawn moan as Steve splits him open almost torturously slow, pushing in inch by inch and savoring the delicious friction of Tony’s insides fighting against the intrusion.

When he bottoms out, Tony exhales, blissed smile playing on his lips.

“’s good?”

Tony only rumbles a soft ‘mhh’, which is more than an enthusiastic ‘yes’ in his book when it comes to lazy morning sex. Steve chuckles softly in return and lifts Tony’s leg a bit further as he starts moving at a leisurely pace, watching Tony sigh and twitch and worry his lower lip with his teeth.

In the beginning, Tony tries to trick him into speeding up by meeting his thrusts with more force than necessary. He excels at this – working Steve to the point he’ll give up on any and all self-control he might have. It’s no different today. He has to bite his lip and dig his fingers into Tony’s thigh, which in the end only serves to edge the other man on more. Tony makes a noise, a startled, heaving breath that has Steve’s rhythm stuttering for a moment or two.

He holds back, collects himself even as Tony throws his head back and scatters wet, desperate kisses under his chin and everywhere else he can reach.

It’s not like Steve isn’t tempted (because he is), but he’s found that it’s good like this, sometimes. Tony takes a while to calm down and surrender to the slow, building pleasure pushing them ever so slightly toward the edge instead of chasing his release. When he does, Steve delights in the way the tension drains from his body and he slumps in his hold, arms and legs going limp as he gives up control, trusting Steve to not let go.

Trusting Steve.

There was a time when regaining Tony’s trust seemed utopian. Steve still isn’t sure if he’s deserving of it.

He shakes the thought. Tony’s made the decision to forgive him and if anything, he should respect his judgement and be thankful it turned out in his favor. God knows the man would’ve had every right not to take him back.

They stay like this, slotted together and exchanging tender kisses every now and then.

It’s good. Tony’s tight like a vice around him, his body rocking back and forth with Steve’s every thrust. It’s good, and unusual. They usually don’t take this time when having sex, rather tending to come down fast and rough, pushing and challenging one another as they always do. It’s no surprise that replacing the urgency with something of a gentler nature feels like an entirely new level of intimacy.

Steve keeps to his slow pace, pulls out as far as is possible with the limited range of motion and relishes the needy, mewling sounds Tony makes whenever he grazes his sweet spot upon pushing back in. Tony is squirming in his embrace and his hand comes to rest over Steve’s, which is leaving dark bruises where it’s clutching Tony’s thigh to keep him spread open.

Desire pools in his abdomen, red-hot and sticky sweet at the same time. He knew they wouldn’t be able to keep this up until the end, but Tony’s making self-restraint a lot more of a difficult task than it should be for Steve.

Yeah, well. Tony has always known to push his buttons.

He’s pulled down for another kiss by a hand in his hair. It’s a little uncoordinated; they meet with noses and teeth colliding but refuse to separate. When they do eventually part, Steve stays there, half bent over Tony to lean his forehead against the other man’s, watching Tony’s eyes crinkle with a mischievous smile. The next moment, he gives Steve’s dick a provocative squeeze and hmms contently when Steve gasps and snaps his hips forward reflexively.

“Fuck me now, Rogers?”

His voice is raspy, almost like a purr, and – really, there’s just so much Steve can take. Super-soldier or no, at the end of the day, he’s only human.

Steve decides to do them both a favor and complies with the request. He unceremoniously shoves Tony onto his stomach and kneels between his legs without ever slipping out all the way. Tony groans at the sudden pressure on his cock that’s now rubbing against the mattress beneath him.

Not wanting to miss the bodily contact, Steve leans over him, blanketing Tony’s body with his own as he starts a quicker pace. It’s still not optimal, seeing as he can barely pull out without abandoning his initial position, but it’ll do.

It’ll definitely do.

He’s deeper inside like this, and with a little experimenting finds an angle that allows him to hit Tony’s prostate with every other thrust. Tony ruts back against him and moans in his ear, whimpering when Steve bites hickeys into the sensitive skin at the juncture of his neck. Keeping himself under control is much more trying like this; it’d be so easy to just let this turn into a nice, hard fuck with Tony underneath him, begging and wanton. (He’s pretty sure Tony wouldn’t complain if he let it.)

But he doesn’t want to.

If this is the last time they’ll get, he’s going to make love to Tony.

“Steve–honey, ah– “ He trails off into a moan. “I need–I need you to–“

Tony doesn’t finish the sentence, only hangs his head and huffs a long, rumbling breath. Before Steve gets to ask, he takes Steve’s hand and guides it down to his dick that’s straining helplessly against the sheets. Steve gets the message and starts pumping it in time with his thrusts, picking up speed as he finds himself dangerously close to tipping over the edge.

He makes an effort to have Tony come first.

It’s easy to tell when he gets close. He clenches and unclenches around him and Steve fucks him through it, amplifying the intensity of the sensation for both of them. There’s a tremble in his voice when he says Steve’s name, moaning the syllable through gritted teeth. And then again (and again). Combined with his erratic movements, it’s a warning – one that Steve wholeheartedly ignores, tightening his grip around Tony’s cock just enough so it’ll be bordering on too much.

“C’mon Tony,” he says, breath ghosting over his skin as he whispers into Tony’s ear. “Come for me, baby.”

Tony does.

The force of his climax hits Steve unexpectedly. Tony’s body tenses as he collapses face forward into the pillow, fingers fisted in the soft material as he shakes through it, going quiet after an initial, drawn-out groan.

He’s expected to take another moment to follow Tony over the edge, but the instant his hole spasms around Steve tight and hot, he’s done for. With a blissed-out moan, he comes inside Tony, who’s gasping audibly as he spills his release within him.

As he rides out his orgasm, he buries his face in Tony’s neck and places a kiss to his shoulder blade lazily. Tony hums happily into the pillow, reaches down to intertwine their hands once again, holding on as the first waves of a glorious afterglow wash over them.

Eventually, Steve regains control over his limbs again and pulls out gingerly. They’ve already made a mess, so it’s not like him watching the come drip out and down Tony’s balls does anything that hasn’t already been done. Tony chuckles hoarsely as he realizes what he’s doing, but bats his hand away when Steve tries to fondle the sensitive, swollen pucker of his asshole. Worth a try.

“Pervert,” Tony mutters into the pillow. There’s a smile in his voice.

Steve flops down onto the bed and rolls on his back, pulling the other man onto his chest when Tony makes no attempt of moving on his own. Tony sighs, buries his face in his pecs and smirks when accidentally brushing his hardened nipple and hearing Steve’s sharp intake of air.

That’s fine. Steve gets back at him by delivering a slap to his naked butt that sounds like it stings.

Tony gasps, more out of surprise than pain. His fingers curl around Steve’s bicep and he shoots him a look. “You really are unbelievable,” he says, but there’s no heat behind the words. He seems rather fond.

Steve doesn’t respond and instead presses a kiss to his forehead.

Incredibly, Tony appears alright with leaving it at that. He lies back down.

They settle, then, breathing one another in as they bask in the sun streaming in through the tall windows. It’s a nice day. Cloudless. Maybe they’ll be okay after all. There are still a few hours left until it’s time, so neither of them thinks of moving out of their current position.

Steve stifles a yawn then and there, but stays awake to see Tony’s back rise and fall with each breath and tread his fingers through the dark strands of his hair that’s streaked with silver and curling at the ends.

He must’ve dozed off at some point, because the next time he opens his eyes, Tony’s perched on top of him, supported on his own crossed arms and watching him. Steve smiles at the sight of him, sliding both arms around the man’s waist.

“Hi,” Tony says. He looks off to the side, seemingly in thought, before his gaze shifts back to Steve. The more details he takes in, there more obvious it gets that something’s off. There’s a distinct frown in Tony’s features, and his eyes are wide and glassy for a reason Steve has yet to find out.

“Hi,” he answers, eyebrow lifted in question.

Tony swallows, gaze dancing around the room until he seems to finally force himself to look at Steve. There’s an abundance of emotion in his expression, apprehension and indecision and fear, and god, Steve has no idea what he could’ve possibly done to cause this. Until–

“I love you,” Tony says through a sigh of defeat, his voice no more than a whisper but so entirely earnest Steve’s heart clenches.

They haven’t said the words. Yet. Not since – years ago, when the greatest concern on their minds was the Accords and not a Mad Titan erasing half of the universe’s life with a snap of his fingers.

Steve wanted to.

God, he’d wanted to, but saying it would’ve felt like forcing himself on Tony when Tony might’ve not even been ready to hear or reciprocate the sentiment, and that was the last thing he intended to do.

When Steve doesn’t respond, Tony shakes his head and turns to move away, opening his mouth to maybe backpaddle or apologize or make a self-deprecating joke to strip the moment of its gravity.

Except, Steve doesn’t let him.

He pulls the other man back down, cradling him tight as he presses a kiss onto the crown of his head. He’ll be damned if he goes out not telling Tony just how much his feelings are shared.

 “I love you too, Tony, I do,” Steve answers, lips brushing Tony’s hair.

Forever, he adds in his mind.

As long as our forever may be.