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Something felt off.

There was hunger under that wordless dare, but it was frantic, unsure, like Tony thought Peter was going to disappear...

...or reject him.

Guilt knocked the wind out of Peter.

If Tony was only offering this to keep Peter from leaving, they couldn't do this. There was a dark appeal to the idea, sure; but there was no way following through with it while that--God, that fear was present, was a good idea. And now Peter couldn't stop thinking about how he'd pushed Tony before, pushed until he'd made himself vulnerable, and then left.

Regardless of the circumstances, he shouldn't have...shouldn't have left him there, an emotionally vulnerable mess.

"Don't go."

"Stay. Please."

Tony might not have admitted to it in the moment, still might've shut Peter out, but Peter couldn't help but feel like he should've done...something; stayed or at least left him with more than half a response.

Peter realized he'd been silent for far too long when Tony's expression faltered. For a fraction of a second, the billionaire looked mortified with himself, and then that too familiar distance washed over everything else.

Tony started moving like he was going to stand.

Oh, no no no--

"Stop," Peter blurted, sick, shifting forward in his seat. "Don't get up!"

Tony stopped, stared at him for a long moment...and then the blankness just fell off his face, leaving him looking painfully worn out.

"It's okay, Pete. It was too much, I shouldn't have--"

"No! No, it wasn't--I mean, yes, kind of--but not for--ugh."

Before he could talk himself out of it, and before the bemusement on Tony's face could turn into something worse, Peter took Tony's face in his hands and kissed him.

It was supposed to be quick--a reassurance and a distraction (I'm here, I'm not going anywhere), a way to pull Tony out of the place he'd gone in his head--but the stiffness of surprise faded quicker than Peter'd expected, and then Tony was kissing him back.

Oh. Wow.

Tony tasted like coffee and faintly of scotch, and like himself. Like the memory of the kiss in the hotel room and the one in the penthouse shower.

Peter tangled his fingers in Tony's hair, keeping him close even though the billionaire was making zero effort to pull away. It felt good, warm and sweet and painful, the lingering sadness and doubt rubbing elbows with Peter's steadily increasing desire to know what the rasp of Tony's goatee would feel like on the inside of his thighs.

When Tony tried to coax him to open further, Peter broke away reluctantly, nipping at Tony's now kiss-swollen lower lip and dropping his hands back to the 'safe zone' of the other's shoulders.

"We really do need to talk," Peter said, knowing the breathlessness didn't make him sound particularly firm.

Broad palms, stacked one over the other, cupped Peter's right calf over the fabric of his suit pants, sliding up to wrap around the bulk of the muscle.

"Kiss me like that again and I'll do whatever you want," Tony said. After a considering pause, the billionaire shifted, spreading his knees just wide enough to fit Peter's right foot in the vee of his thighs before he settled back on his heels and just looked at him.

Oh. Peter had definitely had this fantasy before.

Their brief makeout session had left Tony's hair a little messier, his cheeks a little brighter. There were still hints of caution in his eyes, but he was gazing up at Peter like there was nowhere else he'd rather be than practically straddling Peter's shin.

He looked good like this.

"I shouldn't have to give you anything," Peter said slowly, watching for a negative reaction as re-threaded the fingers of his left hand into the hair above Tony's nape. "I want you to apologize because you mean it."

He waited for comprehension and approval to overtake the wariness in the other's eyes, and then Peter tightened his hold and tugged, drawing Tony's head back sharply.

Fuck—”

The surprised curse and the way Tony's lids fluttered shut was rewarding, but Peter practically got goosebumps when he felt the billionaire resist the hold, just barely, testing.

When Tony's eyes opened, they were at half-mast.

"You like that, Pete?" he said lowly, wetting his lips, "Like pushing me arou--"

Tony cut off with a gasp as Peter pressed the sole of his right shoe down lightly over the hard length already straining those expensive tuxedo pants. It was another chance, another risk, and Peter was being careful; he felt a frisson of excitement and relief at the expression of shocked pleasure on Tony's face.

"I do, Mr. Stark, but we need to stay on track," Peter said, relaxing his grip on Tony's hair. He'd used his 'difficult client' voice, pleasant but brooking no argument, and he'd done something right, because Tony canted his hips up into the pressure.

“You want more?” Peter asked.

"Always, kid," Tony said, voice warm and desperate, and Peter felt one of the billionaire's hands leave his leg.

The feeling of Tony pressing down to encourage Peter to add more pressure against his most sensitive place should’ve been incongruous with the intimacy of the moment, but it really wasn’t. They'd always been like this, even without the physical component; pushing at each other until one of them bent.

So Peter pushed, shivered at Tony’s curse and the way the billionaire’s fingers flexed and dug into his calf. Tony leaned forward to press his temple to the inside of Peter's knee, like he was grounding himself

“I want to give you everything,” Peter said, tugging lightly at Tony's hair again, “but I need something from you, first.”

Tony let out a breathy, incredulous laugh, and Peter felt a rush of heat and pride at getting the billionaire so worked up.

"I'm waiting," Peter said evenly, releasing Tony's hair entirely to sit back and gaze at him expectantly.

"Fuck," Tony muttered. He swallowed audibly and lifted his head. "You know, You know what I--"

A new, less fun tension trickled into Tony's expression. He looked so young and so tired at the same time, resigned in that way he'd been before they’d kissed, like he still expected Peter to bolt or look down on him.

Unease curled in Peter's gut, and he moved his foot back to the floor as he sat forward again, ready to end this already ill-advised game himself before it could make everything worse. But before he could say anything, Tony moved again, pressing his forehead to Peter's knee.

The heat between them cooled to a simmer, something more poignant flooding in. Peter's mouth went dry.

"You don’t know what you do to me," Tony murmured, quietly enough that Peter wasn't sure he was supposed to hear it.

After a beat of silence, the billionaire's free hand rejoined its twin, and the grip on Peter's leg tightened fractionally.

"I'm sorry. About that night. That woman. Everything that came after."

Peter returned his hand to Tony's hair, massaged lightly at his scalp. Warmth bloomed in his chest when some of the tightness eased out of Tony's shoulders.

"Why--" Peter cleared his throat, "Why did you do it? I thought we were...we were good, together," Peter said, pain leaking into the words.

Tony’s humorless huff of laughter brushed warm through Peter's pant leg.

"Self-preservation is the worst kind of devil to have on your shoulder," Tony said, lifting his head, brushing his lips across Peter's kneecap as he gazed up. "Very persuasive. Takes no prisoners." He arched a brow. "I can go over the laundry list of sins, if you want. Seems appropriate. I’m already on my knees."

The obvious flirting was both heartening and exasperating.

“That’s not an answer, that’s a distraction," Peter sighed.

“It’s what I’m best at," Tony said nuzzling Peter's leg and looking up at him

“Obviously not."

When Peter raised his brows at him, Tony sighed.

“You started to mean something,” Tony said, with an air of surrender. He rested his chin on Peter's knee. “I could say I did it for you, to protect you, but we both know that’s bullshit. I didn't want losing you to be an actual loss. So...evasive maneuver.”

The billionaire's tone was regretful, but not nearly as strained as before. It was...comforting, despite the words themselves.

“…You’re an idiot," Peter said, giving the hair in his hand a short tug.

“Yes. And you're less upset than I thought you'd be."

Tony didn't look so split-open, anymore; his gaze was more curious than wary, and he'd started sort of petting Peter's leg, stroking lightly up and down his calf with both hands, gently squeezing every so often. It felt good, a different, much more pleasant tension beginning to permeate the air between them, but Peter didn't feel right about watching Tony rip himself open (to the capacity that he could) without giving something back.

"I...I missed you," Peter said. "I couldn't--I can't stay angry with you. It sucked, all the back and forth and--I mean, there are things I should've done differently, too...The way I left, was..." he took a shaky breath, pressed his palms to his eyes. "I was upset--"

"Understandably," Tony said. Peter felt him move, and he let the genius gently push his knees apart.

"--but you asked me to stay, actually asked me, and I--God, Tony, I'm sorry--"

"Peter, look at me."

Peter looked--and made an undignified noise, clutching at the other man's shoulders when Tony sat all the way up, grabbed him by the backs of his knees and dragged him forward so his thighs bracketed the billionaire's waist.

Tony looked way too amused as he wrapped his arms around Peter, one hand splayed and supportive at the middle of his spine, the other sliding farther up to cup the back of his neck. Peter shivered at the bristly kiss that brushed under his jaw.

"I appreciate the apology," Tony said, smiling against Peter's throat, "but you're forgiven." Another kiss, over Peter's pulse. "I'm good. We're good," a gentle nip near his collarbone, "and we should definitely celebrate this rampant forgiveness with a lot less clothing. If you're on board."

"What, no jokes about the mile-high club?" Peter asked automatically, if a little breathlessly, letting his hands migrate from Tony's shoulders up into the other's hair. His stomach swooped when Tony muffled a short laugh against his skin before pulling back.

"Would you care to join me in the member's only lounge, Mr. Parker?"

"That was awful."

"You're not saying no."

Peter pulled him back in for a kiss.

 

*

 

He'd never been so lost in another person.

They'd been dancing around each other for so long, everything just translated into extended foreplay, as far as Peter was concerned. It was gratifying that Tony seemed to feel the same, wasting no time before pulling Peter down a short hallway and into the private back room.

He was up against the wall as soon as they were through the door, lost in the heat and taste of Tony's mouth as the genius' hands worked open his fly. He mourned for a moment when Tony pulled away to sink down to his knees, rucking up Peter's dress shirt to press an open-mouthed kiss on the trail of light hair just above his button fly--

--and a ringtone went off from somewhere in the vicinity of Tony's waist.

"JARVIS, Sock on the Door protocol," Tony said, the words warm against Peter's stomach.

The ringtone cut off, and Peter snorted.

"What if it was important?" he asked, sliding his hands back into Tony's hair as the billionaire dragged the suit pants and Peter's boxers down just past the tops of his thighs, far enough to free him.

"They'll leave a message."

"Are you sure you shouldn't call themoh fuck--" Peter knocked his head back against the wall.

Warm. Warm and pulsing. He was in Tony's throat, the genius swallowing around him, and wow, nothing else mattered except trying hold himself back from thrusting roughly into the tight, wet heat.

Not like he could go any further, anyway.

Moist suction dragged slowly along his length as Tony's tongue did things, and Peter looked down in time to see Tony pull off with a slick pop and then lean back in to swirl his tongue around the head.

"Tony--"

His fingers tightened reflexively when the genius smirked at him.

"Yeah, Pete?" Tony asked, nuzzling and then pressing an open-mouthed kiss to the base of Peter's cock.

No one had ever looked so smug with an erection pressed along their cheekbone, and Peter had the semi-hysterical thought that he'd never be able to see that expression on Tony's face again without remembering this moment.

I love you.

"We--we should definitely be more naked."

 

*

 

Undressing had been rushed and clumsy, hands bumping hands as they blindly plucked and pulled at each other's clothes because they couldn't stop pausing to kiss and touch each other. Tony had been just as driven to distraction as Peter, and it'd warmed something strangely innocent (given the circumstances) in Peter.

Now he was kneeling between Tony's legs, fingering him open more slowly than he knew the other would've liked, but they'd established pretty clearly that Tony would take it however Peter wanted to give it.

And Tony's frustration was a huge motivator for Peter to stretch him at a glacial pace. He added a second finger after an eternity, curling the digits as he pumping slowly, searching...and when Tony moaned and jerked like he'd been shocked, Peter made an exaggerated inquisitive sound.

He pressed a kiss to the corner of Tony's jaw. "Do you want another finger?"

"God, fuck, yes--"

"Or do you just want my cock?"

The sound Tony made was strangled, and it sent another rush of heat through Peter's chest.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Stark, I didn't quite catch that."

"You're--nghh," Tony grunted when Peter pointedly massaged the same spot.

"Yes or no, sir. No need to be rude."

He fell into a teasing rhythm, scissoring this fingers carefully and and only swiping over Tony's prostate every couple passes, keeping it just unpredictable enough that it pushed frustrated sounds from the billionaire. Part of him (the part not driven to distraction by the hot, deliciously vice-like grip around his fingers--was still in awe of getting to see Tony like this.

Six months of daily interaction meant that Peter had become visually familiar with most of Tony's body, way before the ill-advised confrontation in the penthouse shower. He knew how Tony's forearms looked when he'd rolled up his shirt sleeves after a taxing meeting or press conference; had seen the way sweat and smears of grease further defined the engineer's chest, abs, and back in turns after hours in the workshop; was privy to the way the paler skin of his upper thighs transitioned to the more olive tone of his legs in the times Tony'd forgone pants and wandered the penthouse in boxers and a shirt.

Now he got to learn (start learning--as slow as Peter was going with prep, thorough exploration would have to wait until they weren't both swallowed up by the resolution of almost half a year of tension) Tony's body, was getting to see those familiar lines and curves taught with anticipation and erotic desperation.

"You're a fucking tease, I knew you would be, it's always the straight-laced ones," Tony babbled, "You should've kept the suit on, fucked me like that--"

Peter added a third finger past that ring of muscle and leaned down to curl his tongue into Tony's mouth and steal away the almost comical indignation the genius expressed at the sudden stretch.

"Did you notice," Peter asked when he'd pulled back to kiss and nip along Tony's jaw, "the shoes I was wearing?"

He pulled back to take in the brief confusion on Tony's face, nodding as he saw the fresh flare of arousal wash over the billionaire's features.

"I was stepping on you with shoes you bought me, Mr. Stark."

It was a little off the mark; the expensive Italian leather oxfords had been provided in accordance to the dress code for the position, but they'd been purchased with SI funds, so it wasn't completely inaccurate, but the statement had the desired effect, Tony letting out an almost pained groan.

Calloused hands dragged Peter's face back so Tony could kiss him hard.

"I need you inside me yesterday, kid," Tony growled at him, and Peter just nodded wordlessly.

It was a few fumbling seconds before Peter got the condom rolled on, slicked on more lube and lined himself up, and then Tony was pulling him back down with a hand at the nape of Peter's neck.

They were less kissing than they were breathing into each other's mouths as Peter eased in inch by inch; he was on the higher end of average-sized, and even though he'd spent a while prepping Tony, and he knew Tony could take it (would like it) a little faster, some of the urgency had melted away on his side when he first felt that furl of muscle give way, something bigger than physical pleasure building with each roll of his hips.

When he was fully seated, he paused and moved to press his forehead to Tony's shoulder, nosed at the genius' collarbone and throat as he gathered himself, shivering as Tony smoothed his hands over Peter's ribs and up his spine while murmuring raspy encouragement and praise.

"You feel fucking amazing, you're amazing, you're perfect, Peter, God, I'm never letting you go, never again, move for me, sweetheart, Pete, please--"

Something bright and possessive and hopeful swelled behind Peter's ribs, and he lifted himself up enough to look Tony in the eyes.

"Say it again," he breathed desperately, cradling Tony's face in his hands, "that you'll never--say it again," he begged.

Heartbreak flooded Tony's expression as he clutched at Peter's shoulders almost painfully..

"Fuck, Pete, I'm gonna keep you forever, kid. Never letting you go," Tony said roughly, "Never, I promise--"

A sob ripped out of Peter's chest, and he pulled out and snapped his hips forward hard, trying to be as far inside the man under him as possible, before he pulled out again to begin an almost brutal pace.

"I missed you," Peter gasped, bracing himself with his elbows on either side of Tony's head, brushing parted lips across his jaw, mouthing artlessly down his neck. "You feel so good and I can't believe this is--fuck."

He came back up to lick into Tony's mouth with nothing but raw need, the kiss salty with the tears that had spilled without Peter's notice. There was no way he was going to last long, and he shifted up just a little, trying to angle his thrusts, took a couple minutes of searching until Tony cried out, and then Peter kept it there, reaching between them to wrap a hand around Tony's neglected, leaking cock and jerk him in time with his thrusts.

Tony's nails dug into Peter's asscheeks as the billionaire moaned Peter's name and tensed, spilling hot and liquid over Peter's fist and across his own stomach, and flushed and pliant when Peter sat back to grip Tony's hips punishingly, letting himself chase his own pleasure with frantic, jerky thrusts until he crashed over the edge with ground-out curse.

 

*

 

After Peter had retrieved a warm towel to clean them both up, the remaining hours of the flight were spent dozing, first apart, and then, when they'd cooled enough, tangled loosely together, exchanging sleepy kisses and half-conscious nonsense conversation until they landed at the private airfield.

They exited the jet last, and as they came down the steps to the tarmac, Ms. Romanov gave them both a brief once over, and then cocked a brow at Tony.

"You figured it out."

Peter was confused, but Tony just sighed.

"If you don't rub it in, you can give yourself a bonus. Make it generous.. Notify Ms. Potts to do the same."

"Yes, sir."

The redhead projected an impressive level of smugness without altering her expression, and Peter had the passing thought that he'd like to get to know Natasha better, especially when she shot him a wink when Tony wasn't paying attention.

 

*

*

*

 

*~*~*

 

There was still a long way to go. Tony knew that. Longer than the flight from California back to Manhattan.

Peter was solidly at his side, real and warm and there. The space between them thrummed with residual sexual satisfaction and the raw feeling of dropped walls, and it was unfamiliar in the way that was already igniting the engineer in him. Tony was going to learn this, pull apart and glean anything and everything he could from the tentative new reality.

The ride up to the penthouse was silent. Something needed to be said, but for the life of him, Tony couldn't find the words. Just stood beside the younger man, elbows brushing as they leaned together against the back wall of the elevator.

As the floor numbers counted forward, Tony mentally sorted through what the hell he could say. The things he wanted to say felt maybe too big. For right now. Declarations. Statements of intent. Offers in the equivalent of 'drawer space' in the penthouse (he was tempted to give the kid a whole floor if he'd agree to stay).

But, nothing. Nothing, even when the lift stopped at their destination, and Peter twined their hands together as they stepped out into Tony's space.

"J, Daddy's home," Tony said into the entry way. Peter made a quiet, amused sound beside him, and Tony felt a rush of affection for the brunet.

"Welcome home, sir. And to you as well, Mr. Parker."

 

And maybe Tony didn't have to say anything, yet, after all.