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T'Challa's chest heaved, and the swoops and arcs of shining silver spilled over his skin moved with him. Sam had thought about using vibrant colors, but in the end, he'd gone for something more simple, beauty in minimalism. And he was a goddamn masterpiece, there was no doubt about that: a fine sheen of sweat glistened on his skin, and the wax shimmered in the low light of his bedroom. He had never tried sensation play before, he'd admitted, but he was more than willing to go where Sam led him.

"Hey, kitten," Sam cooed. A simple silk blindfold covered the king's eyes, but he turned his head toward the sound of Sam's voice. "How you doin'?" Sam was naked and kneeling on the bed next to him; a small table next to the bed held the candles and other implements they needed. "Are you hanging in there?" Certainly T'Challa's erection showed no sign of flagging, and Sam's gaze lingered on it hungrily.

T'Challa sucked in a hissing breath through his teeth. "You're playing with me," he accused Sam. He was right, of course, but wasn't that the point of this? "Just wait until you're on the receiving end. I'm going to cover you in feathers."

Sam just laughed, tilting his head back. "I don't think I'd be near as pretty if you stuck feathers in the wax. I'd look like a half-plucked chicken."

"Maybe that's the point." T'Challa smirked - it was one of those nights when he was pushing at Sam's control, trying to erode it and regain the upper hand. There were times when he was happy to let Sam take charge, and times when he had to test him constantly, and never mind that their relationship didn't have set roles anyway. When they were in the middle of something like this, Sam took his job seriously, or as seriously as he took anything in bed.

He picked up the lit candle and carefully spilled a line over T'Challa's thigh, one of the few blank spaces left on his body. Not too much, but enough to remind him of his place. His fingers knotted into fists in the sheets, and he arched up, keening wordlessly. "Sam," he gasped. "Sam, please," and Sam felt gratified at the begging note in his voice. The wax cooled and hardened against his skin; Sam let his fingertips drift over the line, his knuckles just brushing T'Challa's cock.

"I think," Sam said after a thoughtful pause, "I'm gonna do your back, too." He still had gold candles to use, after all. "Roll over, T'Challa."

He snorted at the command. "I'm not a dog." Though the wax on the front of T'Challa's body cracked and began to fall off as he shifted, Sam paid no heed to it. It was temporary by nature; by the end of the night, the bed would be covered in flakes and chunks of wax. Sam reached for the candle and lighter, sparking a flame and holding it to the wick until it caught.

"I know you aren't, kitten." He ran his free hand down T'Challa's spine and down to his ass as he waited a moment for wax to pool at the top of the candle. His skin was deliciously warm, but not as hot as the wax. The molten gold flowed beautifully along the curves and dips of the path Sam's hand had followed. "God, you're gorgeous," he breathed. In response, T'Challa just whimpered, his hips rolling against the sheets. "It's all right," he soothed him. "I'll take care of you. Just let your mind go."

Sam rubbed one shoulder soothingly until the trembling stopped, and a thought occurred to him. He grinned as he let the wax fall again, this time choosing a rather less abstract design - wings curving out from his spine, the lines of feathers gleaming gold over his back. He wasn't an artist, but it was obvious what the pattern was meant to be.

When he finished, he picked a hand mirror up from the table and tugged the blindfold back for a moment, angling the mirror so T'Challa could see his reflection. "Well?"

T'Challa's only response was to nuzzle one bearded cheek into Sam's hand, his lips brushing against his palm. It was, Sam knew, a sign of approval, that he accepted Sam's claim over him.

Chapter Text

It had been Peggy's idea; Sam still wasn't sure if Steve could handle the sight of either of them with, well, each other, and he preferred to tread cautiously. Peggy was as bold and decisive as Steve was (not necessarily a good trait, but Sam knew when to bite his tongue), and when she said she wanted to do something, even Sam had no choice but to go along with the ride.

Which was exactly how he found himself, well, going along with the ride: in this case, quite literally being ridden while Steve watched and strained at his bonds. The restraints were for show, of course; unless they got Stark to make custom bonds, it was unlikely they could find anything Steve couldn't snap if he put his mind to it, and there was no way in hell Sam was going to explain to Tony Stark just why he needed something Steve couldn't break out of.

Peggy grinned fiercely at him, her curls tumbling around her face. Sometimes Sam wondered if she got off more on the plans she made than the sex itself; she had taken to their little games of dominance with alacrity, just as much as Steve had accepted a more submissive role. As for Sam? He was caught in the middle, sometimes submissive, sometimes dominant, sometimes - like right now - both. Peggy's fingers dug into the meat of his shoulders, her nails biting into his back, and she turned her head slightly to speak to Steve.

"Which one of us do you envy more right now?" she asked him, her accent still crisp. Sam took the opportunity to slide one hand from her hip into neatly-trimmed curls, his thumb finding her clit, and he felt gratified at the way she lost her focus for a moment, the way she tightened around his cock. "Would you rather have me riding you or Sam fucking you?"

"Or the other way around," Sam took the opportunity to offer, and Peggy glanced back at him and arched an eyebrow. Clearly the thought hadn't occurred to her, and goddamn, he'd just planted another seed in her mind. He really had to stop doing that.

(He was never going to stop doing that.)

"Both," Steve rasped, his gaze fixed hungrily on them. Sam could see how much he wanted relief, any relief, but he wasn't going to get it.

"Hmm." Peggy kissed Sam, her tongue delving into his mouth, her free hand cupping the back of his head. It was the sort of kiss that was meant as a show for Steve, long and hungry and dramatic. "Greedy, isn't he?" she murmured against Sam's lips.

"Very," Sam agreed. He wasn't sure he had much more to offer; most of the blood in his body had made its way south by now. But, god, Steve was a sight, tied spread-eagled to the posts of their bed, erection standing proudly between his thighs, his eyes fixed intently on the pair of them. If anyone could handle both of them at once, it was probably Steve Rogers - and he would have the stamina to beat both of them, too. It was totally unfair.

And yet, he was the one balls-deep in Peggy. Funny how that worked.

Sam clutched her hip with his other hand, his fingers splaying across her back even as his thumb worked rhythmically over her clit. "You gonna give him what he wants?"

"Of course not." Peggy smirked, a mischievous light shining in her eyes. "Not right now, anyway. He'll have to earn it first, I'm afraid." Though her voice was still calm, Sam could feel the way she shuddered on him, how her muscles were starting to tense. Steve, he knew, could see how close they both were, and that just made Sam harder. Letting Peggy know how much he liked this kind of thing had been a mistake, but it was the best mistake he could have made.

Chapter Text

Sam hated the fundraisers the Avengers were coerced into attending; it was always a bunch of old white people in some fancy setting (all the expensive hotels blurred together after awhile) and boring hors d'oeuvres circulating on trays. Natasha made a habit of eeling out of them, being Natasha, and Vision and Wanda made people uncomfortable more often than not. Usually, it was just him, Rhodey, and Steve, which meant Sam spent most of the night being ignored.

"Hey." Steve dragged him behind a column - this one, at least, was at a museum, with accompanying stone architecture, because the only thing more impressive than an expensive hotel was renting out a museum that had closed for the night. Sam didn't pretend to understand the point of any of it, and he didn't even ask where the money went anymore.

"Do you really think that's gonna hide your-" shoulders was cut off as Steve pressed his mouth to Sam's, and Sam sagged back against the cool stone. Steve's lips, at least, were familiar and reassuring; everything about the man felt like home to Sam.

Steve grinned at him when he pulled back, his face still only a few inches from Sam's. "You looked like you were about to punch that guy who mistook you for a waiter, so I thought I'd intervene."

"Rhodey and I keep a running tally, you know." Sam was a little breathless, and it took work to get his gaze to focus on Steve's face in the shadow. They were at least in one of the corners of the room, somewhere safer than the crowds that usually swarmed around Captain America at these things. "Wish I got to wear a uniform to these things." Nobody mistook James Rhodes for a waiter, not in his dress uniform with its fair share of medals. (Sam had earned more than a few himself, but he was past his uniform days. Rhodey was a lifer.)

"You kidding?" Steve's big hands splayed across his lower back, warm even through the jacket and crisp starched shirt underneath it. "Sam, if you were wearing one of those, we wouldn't even make it to the fundraiser." One corner of his lips tugged up. "Which might not be too bad, but I'd have to hear about it later."

"Oh yeah?" Sam caught Steve's lips for another kiss, his tongue slipping into his mouth with practiced ease. If they only had a few minutes to make out, then he was going to make them count.

"Mmm." Steve's eyes were hooded with pleasure. "Sam, I already wanna strip that tux from your body before we leave. You in a uniform? I couldn't handle it." He pressed his hips closer to Sam's, and Sam could feel his length already starting to get harder. God, the man had a ridiculous sex drive, and Sam enjoyed exploiting it whenever possible.

"I wouldn't let you take it off." He leaned in to whisper in Steve's ear. "You'd go down on your knees in front of me." Steve groaned as Sam slipped a hand between them, finding his erection and rubbing it through the cloth. "You'd have to be real careful not to make a mess, though."

"I'd swallow every drop," Steve promised, his voice low and husky as he leaned into Sam's touch. His body quivered with the restraint it took to not roll his hips into Sam's hand. "And then when we got home later, I'd undress you piece by piece, peeling each one off slowly. Pop each button, one by one, just like I'm gonna do to you later."

Sam buried his face in Steve's neck, inhaling his scent, already imagining Steve undressing him - though he sure as hell didn't think he had the restraint to do it slowly. More than a few pieces of Sam's wardrobe, not to mention assorted furniture, had already borne witness to Steve's impatience.

"If you rip this tux," Sam murmured as he kissed Steve's ear, "you're gonna have to tell Stark why I need a new one." He tightened his grip, and Steve groaned. "Now go back out there and socialize like a good little Avenger."

"Wh-" Steve blinked as Sam drew back completely, smirking wickedly at him before he nudged him out from behind the pillar. Sam knew that Steve couldn't escape for long before someone would miss his absence - he was the most popular guy at these things. The rest of the Avengers were just set dressing.

Which meant that nobody noticed, thankfully, when Sam took a few minutes more to compose himself before stepping out.

The next time Steve dragged him into a dark corner, they were in a different wing of the museum, and an urn hid them from prying eyes. "Sam," he growled, "you asshole," and Sam pushed him up against the wall to kiss him until the tension seeped from his muscles.

"Me?" Sam affected innocence. "You started talking about getting me naked."

"And you-" Steve let out a choked sound as Sam's hand found him again. He was still half-hard, like he'd been waiting for this. "You asshole," he breathed, like he couldn't think of anything else to say.

"You were undressing me," Sam prompted him as he stroked him slowly. This time, Steve's hips followed the motion.

"Run my hands over your bare skin," Steve breathed. "Every inch of it. Sam, you can't do this."

Sam nipped Steve's bottom lip. "Sure looks like I am." He chuckled low in his throat. At least something was entertaining tonight; usually he chatted with Rhodey, but he'd been monopolized by a retired admiral from the Navy. So he was going to enjoy every second he could get his hands on Steve.

"You're gonna ride me later, aren't you?" Sam kissed the skin just under Steve's ear. "Once I'm naked and in bed, once I'm hard and ready. You wanna fuck yourself on my cock until you see stars."

"If you start singing that song-" Steve's breath was coming in ragged pants now.

"Shhh." Sam placed a finger against Steve's lips. This time, he left first, although it was hard to walk away in more ways than one.

"I'm going to bend you over the bed and fuck you," Steve growled in his ear a half-hour later, and this time he was behind Sam. A shiver ran down Sam's spine; Steve was fully hard and pressing against his ass. "I'm gonna come then, and then I'm going to push you back on the bed and fuck you again so you can watch my face, and if you torture me like this again-"

Sam rolled his hips back against Steve, slow and deliberate. "I could make you come right now," he murmured. "You know I could. You want to. You're the one who keeps finding me, Rogers. I'm just minding my own business."

"And you keep groping me." Steve's teeth were against his skin; Sam could tell he wanted to bite, wanted to leave marks.

"But you're the one who comes back for more." Sam twisted in Steve's embrace, but he angled his hips away from him. "Next time we're at one of these things," he promised, "I'm gonna make you come. Might be in your pants, might be I'll suck you off. But tonight? Tonight, you're just gonna have to wait."

Chapter Text

Hope discovered early on that the best way to get Scott to shut up was by keeping his mouth busy with other things. It wasn't that she didn't care for him - she did, really, even after he'd pulled that idiotic stunt in Germany - but he talked a lot, and most of that was totally nonsensical babbling. Probably, she reflected, the result of spending too much time around Luis.

Kissing only kept him quiet for so long; even when his train of thought got derailed, he just found another one. Sure, she'd been able to shock him into stunned silence the first few times, but then kissing was just another thing they did. A nice thing, and one she enjoyed, but rendering Scott truly speechless took more.

It wasn't hard to figure out that Scott got off on pleasing her, on cooed words of praise (not that Hope had ever cooed in her life) and breathless encouragement. And so, it turned out, the way to keep him quiet was to shove his head in her crotch.

She'd hit a dry patch recently of men who didn't enjoy going down on women, for whatever idiotic reason - it generally had something to do with their egos, which was why Hope had never stuck around for long. Her vibrator had done a better job than at least three of her lovers put together, and frankly, she didn't feel the need to seek anyone else out.

But then Scott came along, with his puppy eyes and sweet enthusiasm, his sheer determination to do the right thing, to succeed at something, and Hope found herself falling for him in spite of herself. She knew he believed she could do better than him, but, truth be told, she thought he was just what she needed. Even when that meant she had to put up with him dressing up as Santa Claus for her after she'd accidentally told him about how she'd discovered Santa wasn't real, or setting her curtains on fire on Valentine's Day. When he screwed something up, he did it because he genuinely cared about her and wanted her to be happy, and Hope's life was sorely lacking in that department. She might have been capable of holding a grudge for decades, but not against Scott Lang.

And, of course, it helped that he loved eating her out more than just about anything else. Whether it was when she came home from a long day at work and he knelt in front of her, rucking her skirt around her hips as he lapped at her, or when she was spread-eagled in bed and he fingered her while he brought her to the edge again and again, or even when he pushed her up against the wall of the shower and spread her thighs while she tangled her fingers in his wet hair, he wanted nothing more than to please her, and Hope loved every damn minute of it.

 

***

 

There was no royal throne of New Asgard - it seemed pretentious as fuck to Val, and it wasn't like they had the gold to waste on something so ridiculously ostentatious - but sometimes, it was nice to imagine being seated on a big, shiny chair while Bruce knelt in front of her. Those were the moments when she indulged in her ego, or at least the part of her ego that thought about things like having a royal consort (which Bruce was, technically speaking, even though nobody used the title), the part that maybe got off a little on things like that. It was the only power trip she really wanted, and she'd had it before she'd been named king, already had Bruce wrapped around her little finger. (Of course, she was just as wrapped around his, but it was harder for her to admit to that.)

The one thing she did have was a bed piled deep with furs and hand-woven blankets (all of which were unnecessary, but she still liked them, especially when it got frostier than a Jotun's balls outside), and, okay, Bruce was more than happy to kneel there, even if he occasionally got splinters from the floor. ("Some people have tiles," he'd pointed out, "linoleum," and Val told him to shut up and get on the bed if the splinters bothered him so much, but she'd put a reindeer pelt there the next day.)

Bruce's hands, big and warm, wrapped around her hips as he dragged his tongue over her, and Val cupped his head in her hands, a benediction. "Yeah," she breathed, a ragged exhale, coaxing him on as she dragged her fingers over his scalp. He loved her encouragement, wanted to feel wanted, and Val had no problem providing him with everything he needed. He was skinny and pale and a little strange, but she loved him in a way she hadn't loved for centuries, had thought she would never love again after she'd drowned herself in drink. He loved her for who she was, all of her past, every inch of her. He worshipped her, and even though Val wasn't one of the gods, it was still a heady draught to drink, better than any alcohol in all of the Nine Realms.

He nudged at her with one hand, spread her thighs farther apart for a better angle, licked at her slowly to tease a reaction from her. Val blew out an impatient breath - she knew his little games by now - and tightened her grip in his hair. The king of Asgard did not beg, as she'd told him more than once, in her best haughty imitation of Odin - usually before dissolving into laughter and shoving him back on the bed, into her nest of furs. (The furs weren't necessary, no, but they reminded her of home, a home she'd lost, a home she'd made for herself here on Midgard.)

"Bruce." Her tone was firm, not pleading, not even a little bit, and he snorted his own amusement against her. "Are you laughing at me?" Val's lips formed a moue of displeasure - false, of course - and she pulled his head up forcefully. That was definitely laughter in the curve of his lips and the twinkle of his eyes, and she kissed him, tasting herself on him, and gods, she only wanted him more now.

"You're insatiable," he muttered. "How many are we up to today?"

"It's your job to keep count," she reminded him. This close, her breath puffed against his face, the stubble he hadn't shaved yet today. (He'd briefly tried to grow a beard to fit in, but it had been a bad idea, though Val hadn't been wholly opposed to the scrape of stubble on her thighs.)

"Can't imagine how I would've been distracted."

"Shh." Val placed a finger against his lips, then gently pushed his head back down.

Chapter Text

Howard's wardrobe was proving to be quite the practical education, Peggy had to admit. Not only did it hold what she considered to be useful disguises - despite their use for other activities - but also a number of other contraptions. She preferred the simpler ones, which explained, perhaps, why Howard was bound at wrists and ankles. Peggy herself was wearing one of his silk robes, tied at the front with a sash, but naked underneath, and Howard's dark gaze lingered hungrily on the curves not quite exposed by the opening of the robe.

"Are you usually the one tied up?" Peggy leaned against the headboard next to him, casually sipping a cup of tea. She was proud of the fact that her voice was normal, like Howard wasn't naked and hard. Before she'd embarked on this little adventure with Howard, her exposure to the male form had been somewhat limited - she wasn't a virgin, but men, in her experience, didn't allow themselves to be put on display quite as shamelessly as Howard Stark did. Of course, Howard had no shame; she'd always been aware of that.

"Sometimes." He shrugged the best he could. "Depends on what the other person wants, Peg. Not everyone likes the same things."

And usually she detested being called Peg, but it was surprisingly endearing, coming from Howard. She was used to it being uttered in a demeaning tone, condescending, like a man patting her on the shoulder and telling her to go make coffee like a good girl. But Howard always treated her as an equal - oh, he made misogynistic remarks, but she knew damn well that he was trying to get a rise out of her. As much as he tried to get her goat, Peggy didn't think she trusted anyone else quite the way she trusted Howard, and the feeling was apparently mutual, since he'd willingly submitted to being trussed up.

She ran one manicured hand through his hair, nails gently scraping his scalp, and he leaned into the caress with an almost boyish need for affection. She didn't think real, genuine affection was something he got much of from his starlets - adulation in great quantities, certainly, but caring for him? They only cared for the size of his pocketbook.

"I'm aware of that much, Howard." Peggy rolled her eyes. He did condescend sometimes during these little sessions, but it was the simple act of being Howard Stark taking over, the same thing he would have done to a man. (Had he done it to Steve? She remembered his confusion over the meaning of fondue; Steve was not a man who had much experience in the ways of love or foreign foods.) "I was asking about your preferences." She selected a biscuit from her saucer and dunked it in the tea for a few seconds before she took a bite, then carefully fed the rest to Howard.

"Depends on the lady." He raised his eyebrows at her. "Not many have your natural touch for, ah, authority." Because she had taken charge of things, right from the beginning, when they'd almost accidentally stumbled into whatever this was. (She still wasn't sure of the precise definition, but it didn't matter. What mattered was this, the two of them, the way Peggy felt comfortable being herself. She hadn't expected to fall for Howard, but then again, she hadn't been sure she'd ever love again after Steve, not really.)

"Authority." One side of her mouth twitched up into a small smile. "Is that what you call it?" Peggy's hand travelled down to one muscled thigh, skimming her nails along the skin, and Howard's breath caught in his throat. His erection twitched, but he knew better than to try and push her. They'd played this game before, and Peggy played everything to win.

"Something like that, anyway." He laughed breathlessly, let his head loll back against the dark wood headboard. His eyes were dark, his gaze unfocused. "You don't even need the restraints. You know that."

"Of course I do." That brought a full smile to her lips. "But you look so pretty in them, Howard. How could I resist?"

***

 

While the super-soldier serum was generally a boon, there were times when it caused problems for Steve. For example, the problem - Tony didn't call it a problem, didn't seem bothered by it in the slightest - that he had what would kindly be called a quick trigger. In an ordinary man, it would have made things a lot harder, but the serum meant that it took him a good few orgasms to settle down, that he pretty much had to get off multiple times before he could last long enough for any kind of penetration.

(Steve thought it was awkward and embarrassing. Men, he knew, weren't supposed to get off in thirty seconds, not after they'd made it through puberty. Steve still got hard at the drop of a hat - or at the sight of Tony bending over in a tight pair of jeans - and still came in under a minute.)

Orgasm number one was in the elevator, Steve pinning Tony against the wall, rutting against him as he tried to beat the elevator to the penthouse. Tony always swore he was going to invent a faster elevator, but he never did (although he had piped a song called "Love in an Elevator" in more than once, because that was the sense of humor Tony Stark had).

They shucked their clothes off as they stumbled into the bedroom, only reluctantly separating, and they were down to their respective underwear (briefs for Steve, boxers for Tony - "don't you even say anything about the Iron Man design, Rogers") when they fell onto the bed. Tony ended up on top this time, and his grinding was less frenetic than Steve's, more rhythmic. The fabric was already wet and threatening to chafe unpleasantly, but that didn't matter to Steve, not when Tony was kissing him like nothing else mattered, whispering filth into his mouth every time he broke off the kiss.

Steve grabbed at his hips, pulled him closer, tighter, but Tony refused to go faster. A keen rose in his throat and was trapped between their lips.

"C'mon," Tony coaxed him, "just a little more, you can do it," but Steve's muscles were bowstring-taut already, his fingers dug into his hips hard enough to bruise, and his back arched off the bed as he came again, swearing under his breath.

Tony took advantage of the break to shuck his boxers and peel the briefs away - Steve was still hard, but that was typical - while Steve panted on the bed. "Never gonna develop any stamina," he groaned. "Not with you around." Because Tony - well, Tony was a problem. The thoughts he inspired were a problem. The way he was willing to drop down on his knees and suck Steve off? Definitely a problem.

"Oh, yeah, that's terrible," Tony deadpanned as he settled back on top of Steve. "I'm absolutely heartbroken, big guy. We goin' for the triple play here?" He wasn't fully hard yet, but he was apparently hard enough to satisfy Steve.

"God, yeah," Steve breathed. "You're gonna be the death of me."

"Mm, pretty sure that's the other way around, Rogers." Tony leaned in again and pressed a kiss to his chest. "Since I'm a middle-aged man with a heart problem and you're the world's healthiest nonagenarian with the libido of a teenager. It'll be a good death, though. I'll have to come up with something witty for my obituary. 'Died as he lived, swallowing Captain America's cock.' How's that sound?"

"Like you aren't doing it," Steve pointed out. He could feel the arousal building in his veins again, humming just under his skin, demanding more, and he arched his hips up to rub against Tony suggestively.

"Round four, maybe. For the home run." Tony rested his chin in between Steve's pecs and smirked at him. "I'm comfortable right where I am."

"Are you?" Steve arched his eyebrows. It was easy to flip them over, trapping Tony underneath him again. Judging by the look on his face, Tony didn't seem to mind. "How's that for comfortable?" Their groins rubbed together again, and a jolt of electricity ran up Steve's spine.

"I'm good if you are," Tony panted. "Though not for long. You're still pretty heavy, Steve."

"Asshole," Steve huffed as he leaned in to kiss him. It wasn't like it would take long, anyway.

Chapter Text

Steve wasn't sure how he'd found his way from the shell of the bombed-out pub to the bunkers under London; everything was muddled in a haze of grief and rage. He'd meant to go back to the boardinghouse where the Commandos were staying, but he'd found himself here instead, staring at the map of Europe on the wall, the remaining Hydra base taunting him in the dim light. For once, it was quiet, or as quiet as it ever got around here.

"I wondered who else would be here at this time of night." A voice came from behind him, tinged with the familiar tones of New York. "Usually I'm the only one burning the midnight oil. They said Churchill slept down here during the worst of the Blitz, but frankly, I'm not sure the man does much in the way of sleeping." Howard grinned wryly. "Which, as you can probably tell, is the pot calling the kettle black."

He wanted to tell Howard to shut up, but his heart felt too heavy to say anything. He felt tired in a way he hadn't since before the serum - and what good was the serum if it had let him down when he'd needed it most?

Steve wasn't aware he'd spoken that last thought out loud till Howard echoed it. "What good is it? Pal, you've saved more lives than I care to count." He rounded the desk, leaning next to Steve. "I realize you lost your best friend today, but-"

Steve's fist caught him in the jaw before he could finish speaking, and Steve blinked dumbly at it, like it had swung of its own volition. The rage simmering in his chest was a treacherous thing.

"Son of a bitch!" Howard yelped. He palpitated his jaw with his fingertips, ran his tongue against his teeth to make sure they were all there. He didn't try to hit back, didn't even seem terribly alarmed by the action, like he'd seen too many men in Steve's shoes, lashing out in fear and grief.

"Don't- don't talk about him like that," Steve stammered. "Like it just was nothing. He was better than you, Stark. He was out there putting his life on the line every day." Allow your friend the dignity of his choice, Peggy had said, and Steve wasn't sure he could do that, but he sure as hell could make sure Bucky got the respect he deserved.

"You think I haven't?" Howard snorted. "I've been involved in this war since before it was a war. The SSR recruited me early on - not just for my brain, but because I'm rich, and rich people get away with damn near anything, as you might have noticed when I did, in fact, risk my hide flying you into enemy territory. I've snuck information out of Germany, rescued Jews, recruited agents, done my own secret-finding when it was necessary, and that's on top of all the other work I do. Don't tell me I'm not getting my hands dirty, Rogers, 'cause I've had the barrel of a gun against my head more than once. If I wanted to be safe, I could sit on my ass back home and make a fortune on this war. I was here during the Blitz, way before you were lying to Army recruiters. Only reason I'm not out on the front lines is because, frankly, I'm worth more back here, figuring out how to counter all the Hydra weapons you bring me. My next project is picking Armin Zola's brain, and frankly, I'm not looking forward to it."

The set of Steve's jaw was still mulish, and he didn't say anything in response. Howard shrugged and bent down, opening each desk drawer in turn until he found a bottle of whisky. "You want any?" He waved the bottle at Steve.

"I can't get drunk. You've read the files."

"I wrote most of 'em." Howard unscrewed the cap and took a long swig. "Doesn't mean you can't drink, just that you can't crawl into the bottom of a bottle and try to forget everything. Which, I'll admit, is pretty shitty. If we make it through this, maybe I'll try to synthesize something with a higher alcohol content for you. Probably won't taste good, but it'll get the job done."

Steve eyed him skeptically. "I couldn't even have a bottle of beer without puking before," he admitted. "I don't think I want to get drunk."

"Night like this, I don't think you wanna stay sober. We're all gonna be fucked by the end of this, Rogers. You can't make it through something like this, something that brings out the worst in mankind, and remain unchanged." He shifted his position, leaning a little closer to Steve, close enough that Steve could smell his aftershave. "I'm sick of making things that kill people," he said quietly. "I hate it. I hate knowing how much of this I've caused, personally. You might be the only good thing that comes out of all of this."

"I'm surprised you're saying that after taking a right hook to the jaw." Steve chuckled quietly, and something in his chest loosened a little. He took the bottle from Howard and sipped, coughing as the alcohol burned down his throat. "Yeah, you can keep that."

"Thanks, I will." Howard tipped the bottle to him in a salute before he took another drink. "You- I can see what Erskine saw in you, you know? He believed that the serum would distill the good in you, make it purer. Sure, you can enhance someone's body all you want, but at the end of the day, if they don't have that extra something, you just have a guy with muscles. Which I think is probably more along the lines of what the Army wanted. You're something special, Steve. Something better than the rest of us. Or better than me, at any rate."

"I'm not always sure about that," Steve admitted. "About being good. I know I'm not better than everyone else. When Bucky- when-" A lump rose in his throat, and he had to swallow it down. "I wanted to destroy everything. There was a part of me that said that I should kill every damn Nazi on that train, throw them all into the gorge. It was like a demon hiding in me, waiting for its chance to rise up and slaughter everyone."

"But you didn't." Howard's tone was low and earnest. "That's the important part. Everyone feels things like that, Steve. If you didn't, you wouldn't be human, and I'd be real worried about the results of Project Rebirth. I know you were raised Catholic and all, but it's not a sin to feel negative emotions, to want people to pay for what they've done. What makes you better is that you don't act on that. I've seen more atrocities in this war than I thought were possible, and not all of 'em were on the other side. You're above all that. Maybe you don't feel like it, but you are."

"You're right," Steve admitted. "I don't feel like it."

"You'll see what I mean someday." Howard eyed the dregs of the bottle and the drawer it had come from, then clutched it to his chest. "I believe in you. Not Captain America, but you, Steve Rogers."

--

"My father made that shield. You don't deserve to carry it." Tony's words echoed in the deathly silence of the missile silo. He was bloodied and broken, and something in Steve's chest still urged him on.

"You're something better, Steve." He remembered that night in the bunker, remembered Howard professing his faith in him, and he let the shield fall from numb fingers. If not for Tony, then for a man who had believed that he could be better than he was. He'd regained Bucky, but he'd ruined Howard's dream.

Chapter Text

Something hot surged through Steve's veins, and he blinked, trying to focus. He couldn't remember what had happened - that last scientist had thrown some kind of powder at him before running away, maybe? It was hard to think, hard to breathe. He felt Peggy's hand resting on his elbow, and he wondered what would happen if he kissed her, if he pulled her into his arms and didn't let her leave.

"- all right?" Steve realized Peggy was speaking to him, and he shook his head.

"Get Howard." His voice seemed thick and slow, like the words were caught in his throat. "Some kinda weapon."

Peggy clasped a handkerchief to her mouth with one hand, but didn't leave his side, instead barking out orders to one of the other men. Steve sagged back against the wall, his chest heaving, and realized that he was painfully hard in his uniform, his erection straining at the fabric. Judging by the way Peggy kept her eyes politely averted, she had noticed, too, and a blush stained Steve's cheeks red and crept down his neck. God, what did she think of him? Why was he like this? He glanced down and caught the line of her legs, the swell of her calves and the way her skirt hugged her curves, imagined peeling her stockings off and-

"I'm not a doctor," Howard argued with Peggy. "I don't know what you think I'm supposed to do."

"Diagnose something," she retorted sharply. "It's not a medical issue, it's a biological weapon of some sort. He was fine earlier!"

"I don't know what it would take to affect him." Howard stepped closer to Steve, close enough that he could feel the other man's body heat. What would it be like to kiss a man? It wasn't like he had much experience in the area of kissing women, after all. "I-" Howard glanced down. "Oh." His eyebrows arched. "I think we'd better get him somewhere private, Peggy."

"Private?" she echoed, narrowing her eyes. "What are you implying, Howard?"

Howard pressed a pair of fingers to Steve's throat, taking his pulse, and Steve whimpered softly at the touch. He wanted more, wanted those callused fingers wrapped around his cock. He was past caring about gender or sexuality; all he wanted was sex. It was like a fever sweeping through his body, the kind he'd had before the serum, where all he could do was stay in bed and shake until the fever broke. He didn't know what to do now, how to ease this sickness. He could barely even think; even the lightest touch was enough to make every muscle in his body tense.

He wasn't sure how they got him to a private room with a bed, what they told anyone who asked. All Steve knew was that they were alone, and he could finally pull off his too-tight clothes, nearly ripping them from his body in his desperation to be free of them.

Howard and Peggy shared an awestruck glance. "Didn't expect that to happen," Howard muttered under his breath, and Peggy whispered, "Dear Lord."

Steve hesitated then, looking at both of them. He didn't know what they wanted, what they had intended by bringing him here. Was he supposed to wait this out by himself? Were they going to watch while he tried to relieve his need, or were they going to leave him? Something in him felt scared by that thought, surprisingly vulnerable. Howard had been right - he wasn't supposed to be affected by anything like this. What if something else happened and he was alone? "Don't leave," he whispered. "Stay with me." He wanted to say more to them, wanted to pull them onto the bed with him.

"As if we'd turn down a show like that."

Peggy elbowed Howard in the ribs to get him to shut up. Steve didn't notice; now that he knew they wouldn't leave, he finally touched himself, almost sobbing with relief at the way his hand felt. He'd only just wrapped his hand around his cock when he came the first time, spurting all the way up to the ceiling with the strength of his orgasm.

Peggy's eyes were round at the sight, and under different circumstances, Steve would have turned bright red with embarrassment. Howard simply looked impressed, and that was even more humiliating, having another man watch him in what should have been a private moment. (It didn't seem like this was the first time Howard had watched this sort of thing, but Steve didn't think about what that implied.)

His dick was still hard in his grip, the fever still raged under his skin, and Steve groaned and closed his eyes, letting his head fall back against the wall with a frustrated thud. Were they really just going to stand there and watch? He licked his lips and cracked his eyes open slightly; Peggy had turned away, and he could see that the tips of her ears were stained pink.

"Peggy," he whispered. There was a pleading note in his voice, one that threatened to turn into a sob. "Peggy, please."

She looked at Howard first - Steve wouldn't let himself think about what that implied - and Howard just shrugged.

"Do you think it'll help?" she asked him in a low voice.

"I don't think it'll hurt - him, anyway. You might regret it in the morning. Ow!" Howard rubbed his arm where Peggy had punched him. He rummaged in his pocket and pulled out a fistful of foil-wrapped packets, dropping them on the bed. "Knock yourselves out, folks. I've got science to do." There was a note of defeat in Howard's voice, a hint of regret, and Steve wondered which of them it was for.

"I can share," Peggy huffed, wrapping her fingers around his arm before Howard could escape. "Don't think you're going to escape that easily, Stark. There's plenty of him to go around."

"Yeah, but-" There was a sad look in Howard's eyes, something Steve had never associated with the inventor.

"No ifs, ands, or buts." Peggy's voice was firmer this time as she pulled Howard towards the bed.

"Probably some butts," Howard added sotto voce, but he at least seemed less hesitant now. His gaze was riveted on Steve's groin once more as he began unbuttoning his waistcoat. "We can't do this clothed, Peg. Well, we could, but it's easier without."

Peggy glanced at Steve through her eyelashes as she slipped out of her olive drab jacket, popping the buttons of her crisp white shirt to reveal the creamy skin underneath. A shudder rolled through Steve's body, and he started stroking himself again, his eyes glued to every inch of bare skin he could see.

"You're gonna chafe if you keep that up," Howard observed idly. He stopped undressing and knelt on the bed, the mattress dipping under his weight. "If you want us to help, then you need to let us help." He cupped Steve's cheek with a surprising gentleness and kissed him, the bristles of his mustache brushing his face. "We'll get you through this, I promise."

Chapter Text

Sam couldn't really say why he'd started collecting the Avengers sex toys - it wasn't because he used them all, because, frankly, some weren't meant to be used (like the Hulk, which was exactly what the name implied). He didn't even use most of them, because at first it had only been the original six, and out of all of them, only Iron Man and Captain America appealed to him, and there was no way he was sticking anything named after Tony Stark up his ass. Captain America was pretty simplistic, but, hell, it got the job done. The Star-Spangled Man With a Plan...to make you come! the advertising had promised, and for once, there was truth in advertising.

"It what?" Steve had asked the first time Sam showed it to him, when Sam was nestled in the curve of his arm and burying his face in his neck to stifle his laughter.

"Makes you come so hard you'll see stars and stripes," he finally gasped out.

"I hate the twenty-first century," he'd muttered under his breath, taking the dildo from Sam and running his fingers over it. But he hadn't been opposed to letting Sam open him up with it, even if he had asked pointed questions about sterilization afterwards (and then been slightly horrified that Sam put his sex toys in the dishwasher).

Rhodey was the first out of the new Avengers to get one named after him, although, as Sam had felt obligated to point out to him, War Machine was basically the same as Iron Man, just girthier and a different color. ("Yeah, and?" Rhodey had retorted.) But the Falcon...yeah, Sam was pretty pleased with the results there.

"I can't believe you're doing this." Steve was on his stomach, glancing over his shoulder at Sam. "What is it with you and the merchandise?"

"Gotta make sure anything bearing my name is up to snuff, you know?" Sam smiled innocently at him, or as innocently as he could with a pair of fingers stuffed up Steve's ass. (It wasn't even remotely innocent.) "Plus having stuff named after me is cool."

"It's a buttplug, Sam. And you aren't even the guinea pig here, I am." Despite his put-upon tone, Steve wasn't as annoyed with the concept as he seemed, not with the way he leaned into every stroke of Sam's fingers.

"If you don't shut up, I'm gonna find a Captain America ball gag somewhere." Sam pulled his fingers out, eliciting a full-body shudder from Steve, and slicked down the deep red silicon with lube.

The toy slipped in easily; Steve spread his thighs as it widened from the point to the flared base, and the wings nestled right up against his ass, painted with the same design as Sam's wings. It was, Sam decided, a good look.

A matching pair of smaller wings spread out from a cockring; Sam reached in between Steve's legs to fit it over his erection. The pillow stifled Steve's moan, but he could feel it rumble through his entire body.

"Just you wait," Sam promised him. He pressed a button on the base of the buttplug, and both of them began to vibrate with a soft purr. They hadn't done too much with vibrators before - Sam wasn't going to fuck his boyfriend with anything named after Tony Stark, either - and so he was gratified by the noises Steve made and the way he rutted against the sheets, leaving a smear of precome behind.

"I hate you," Steve growled against his lips when Sam laid down next to him, pressing close enough that he could feel the vibrations from the cockring on his own dick. He grabbed Steve's ass, feeling the edges of the wings with his fingertips, and grinned broadly.

"But you love my buttplug."

Chapter Text

Carol had found a warm welcome in New Asgard, and the warmest welcome of all came from its new king. Of course, that was why she was there, because she hadn't been able to resist a few whispered words in her ear after the battle, or the sidelong looks Valkyrie had kept giving her. She could read those looks easily enough, the dark and knowing glint in her eyes. Just because she was out of practice didn't mean she was clueless.

"Are you always so horny after a fight?" They were in Val's bedchamber now; there had been wrestling after the communal meal, and the king had been coerced into taking down men twice her size by her cheering subjects. The mead had flowed easily, Val had taken on all challengers, and now they were alone, and Val was kissing her like a woman with one thing on her mind.

"I'm a battlemaiden," Val explained, running her hands over Carol's arms. "That's what we do, fight and fuck. And drink through both." The fabric of Carol's suit melted away in her wake, banished with a simple thought, and Val raised impressed eyebrows. "Nice. That could come in handy."

"I think it already is," Carol pointed out just before her lips met Val's. They were the only soft and pliant thing about her, and Carol's tongue slipped between them to explore her mouth. It had been too damn long since she'd kissed anyone - since she'd felt like kissing anyone, honestly. The decimation of the universe hadn't put most people in the mood to get hot and heavy for a while, and Carol had been too busy protecting those who'd been hit hardest to waste any time on her own pleasure.

Val wasn't in full armor, but her clothes weren't as easy to remove as Carol's, either. Carol pressed against her, teasing her with her bare skin, feeling the rough wool of her sweater scratch her breasts before Val dipped her head down to catch a nipple in her mouth. "Is this the kind of hospitality you show all your visitors?" Carol teased her. The only response was a hum of contentment. "I mean, I've been on planets like that before, but I didn't think Asgard was one of them."

"Really? Bedded any hot warrior queens I should know about?" Val rested her chin in between Carol's breasts for a moment, a spot of warmth on her skin. "Whether it's to fight for your honor or just to sleep with them. Or maybe one, then the other."

"I'm more than capable of fighting for my own honor," Carol pointed out, running fingers through Val's hair. She'd done that on more than one occasion, too, usually beating men (or those who occupied equivalent gender roles) who had vocally doubted her ability to fight. She had a feeling Val knew what that was like.

"Never said you weren't." Val grinned up at her. They'd agreed beforehand that Carol would stay out of the ring - her strength was enough to make even an Asgardian think twice about opposing her. "Maybe it's just an excuse to sleep with the hot warrior queens after fighting them."

"Maybe," Carol pointed out as she tilted Val's head up with a pair of fingers, "you should just sleep with me instead."

"Mmm." She hummed against Carol's lips. "Or you and the hot warrior queens. At the same time." Apparently Val's fantasies involved a lot of fighting and fucking, but it wasn't as if she hadn't already admitted to that much.

"Insatiable." Carol pushed her back onto the bed, Valkyrie toppling back onto the pile of furs. Val's gaze roamed over the blonde, and she licked her lips.

"You know, I think you're plenty for right now." She laughed, and it was a throaty, joyous sound. Even Val seemed a little surprised by the noise, like she'd forgotten what it sounded like. "I'll forgo the hot warrior queens. And the princesses, and their handmaidens."

"So gracious." Carol straddled her hips, then smiled as a thought occurred to her. "But you're spending too much time talking when you should be welcoming me, your Majesty." She rose slightly and resettled on Val's shoulders, and the smile on Val's face grew broader.

"Duly noted." Strong hands wrapped around Carol's thighs, fingers dimpling the skin. "I'm more than happy to perform this particular duty." A hot tongue slid over her, and one hand loosened its grip on her thigh to spread her folds apart instead. Val made a muffled noise against her skin, something that might have been a moan. It was, Carol had to admit, one of the better welcomes she'd experienced over the years.

Chapter Text

Hope had eschewed nearly all of Hank's beliefs, his ideals, everything that belonged to him - had changed her last name the moment she turned eighteen - but the one thing she clung to was a grudge against the Starks. She didn't know why, exactly; she still dimly remembered her mother and Maria drinking tea together and laughing in the gardens of the Starks' mansion, remembered Howard telling her how gorgeous she was, remembered biting a teenaged Tony-

At the thought, she dug her teeth into the meat of his shoulder, hard enough to leave marks. She'd done the same thing as a child, a semicircle in his arm. She almost wished there had been scars.

"Fuck," Tony hissed between clenched teeth, but he didn't stop thrusting into her. His fingers dug into her ass, hard enough to bruise, and every thrust pushed her back against the window. It was half-fight, half-sex, and Hope was determined to win both.

Somehow, the man Tony had grown into rubbed her the wrong way in every way possible. He was the epitome of a trust fund manchild; he simply succeeded at everything without even trying. Hope had treated life like it held a grudge against her, clawing for every inch of ground, every achievement, every class with a professor who wanted to fail her for a mistake of DNA. Maybe she hadn't had to work for a job, but she'd earned it nonetheless, and Hank, throughout everything, had still favored Darren Cross, had fucking called him the son he'd never had-

She swore under her breath and pushed Tony off of her, used her knee as leverage in between them. "Get on the bed, Stark." Hope wasn't going to let Tony fuck her like this.

"You all right?" There was almost - almost - concern in his brown eyes, and it made her want to punch him. For once, it wasn't Tony's fault. She didn't like the man, but he was decent enough in bed (as little as she wanted to admit the fact, because his ego was far too inflated already). Just because she was here for sex, though, didn't mean she wanted his goddamn pity.

"Yeah." Hope's voice was brusque; it was obvious she wasn't all right, and equally obvious she wasn't going to talk about it. "Do you have a strapon?"

Tony let out a pleased-sounding hum. They didn't use toys often; mostly they fucked, in every position, wherever they happened to meet up - his office, her office, a series of hotels up and down the West Coast, and, one memorable time, in Brussels. She'd started it as a ploy to get away from Cross; the best way to piss him off was to replace him with someone who was more than him in every way. Tony Stark, as much as she despised him outside the bedroom, fit that to a tee. The fact that he also happened to take a childish delight in poking and prodding Darren was a bonus.

"Under the bed," he offered. "Slide the box out; it has a thumbprint reader on it."

Of course it did. Tony Stark was extra about everything, and that included his sex toys. She did as instructed, and the latch clicked free when Tony touched it, the lid swinging open to reveal quite the selection. While the padded restraints tempted her, all she wanted was the black leather harness. She buckled it on her hips, taking a glance at her profile in the mirror, the stark contrast of the straps against pale skin, the way the dildo she'd selected jutted out from her groin.

While Tony loosened himself up with a quiet grunt, Hope slicked lube over the dildo, fisting the silicon surface like it was her own prick. Tony's eyes had gone unfocused, and she wondered what he was thinking about - if he was imagining a man in her place, if he would suck the dildo if she told him to.

"Hands and knees," she ordered him. He'd slipped into a quiet compliance that hinted at a more submissive side (and god, Hope hated herself a little for wanting to explore that as much as she did; you couldn't dominate someone you hated).

Tony was pliant and open underneath her as the dildo slid in, all the way up to the hilt. Her hips were flush against his ass, and god, she felt good. Hope surveyed the damage she'd done earlier, the red stripes left from her nails, the crescents where she'd dug them in, and smirked. "You're a mess, Stark."

"Mmhm." His head hung loosely, and his voice was slurred. "You gonna fuck me or not, Hope?"

Her hand found his cock, still slick from her body. He'd been close to coming earlier, until she'd made him stop. So had she, but now she didn't care about her orgasm. She growled under her breath, a feral noise, as she rocked her hips back, then slammed back into him. "I'm going to wreck you," she hissed. "You'll be feeling me for a week. Every time you try to sit, you'll remember this, you'll remember what I did to you."

Tony shuddered under her, a whole body movement, and she could feel the way his ass clenched tight around the dildo. A keen bubbled up from his gut, caught in his throat. It might have been her name, it might have been a profanity, she didn't know or care. The adrenaline of the moment swept her up again and her body found the familiar rhythm of thrusts, the less familiar angle to hit his prostate until he whimpered and sobbed and clawed at the sheets, and fuck, it was perfect.

He spilled over her hand, hot and sticky, his body collapsing like a puppet with its strings cut, and Hope looked down at him, her chest heaving, and felt like she'd finally won something.

 

("I gotta go to the Middle East," he told her later, when she was sprawled out, loose-limbed and content. His cheeks and goatee glistened, and he looked nearly as blissed out as she did. "Just a quick trip to show off the new merchandise."

"Cute of you to think I care about your schedule," she mumbled. "I have a vibrator, you know. Doesn't talk back half as much as you do."

"I'll miss you, too." Tony kissed her cheek. "Let me know when I can crash another one of Darren's press conferences when I come back.")

Chapter Text

Tony knew that Steve had issues with his body; it didn't exactly take a trained shrink to figure that one out. He'd never gotten the other man to talk about it extensively, but he shied away from excessive compliments about his body, even in bed. Sometimes his body language was that of a smaller man in a much larger body, like he could shrink away and hide if he tried hard enough. He didn't see himself the way others saw him, the way Tony saw him. Tony had always made sure to emphasize that it wasn't just Steve's body he was attracted to, it was the whole package, because, hell, he'd had enough people only see his pretty face to know what it was like.

(Of course, Tony liked his pretty face; his self-esteem problems were of an entirely different nature.)

There were few things in the world Tony loved more than being able to press up against Steve's naked body, to lose himself in that expanse of warm bare skin. Steve ran hot, thanks to the serum, and while it lent itself to all sorts of stupid jokes, it was also ridiculously comforting, like having a giant security blanket. Right now, he was sitting behind Steve, his chest pressed up against his back, his chin on his shoulder, peering at their reflection in the full-length mirror in front of them.

Tony liked what he saw, but there wasn't much to dislike about a nude and visibly aroused Steve Rogers. Steve fidgeted a little and turned his head to the side - only slightly, like he was trying to keep Tony from noticing the motion, or like he was just doing it to expose more of his bare neck. "You're gorgeous, Steve," Tony whispered in his ear, and followed the words with a nip at his earlobe, a gentle tug with his teeth. "Fucking hot, every inch of you."

And there were several inches of that in particular - serum-enhanced, Tony presumed, although they hadn't thought to take measurements before and after. He trailed his fingertips up and down, almost idly.

"You're only saying that to get me into bed," Steve joked, but the joke fell flat.

Tony rubbed one of Steve's thighs for a moment, the gesture more reassuring than arousing. "You're already in bed with me," he pointed out. "In fact, you're in a bed I designed specially to hold both of us after breaking- what was it, the last four?" And they'd done rigorous stress testing on this model already, just to make sure that it was sturdy enough. "Plus your shitty IKEA bed, which, honestly, barely held your weight anyway." Why Steve had thought he could get furniture at IKEA was beyond him.

"And the coffee table," Steve offered.

"Yes, and the coffee table, which was an objet d'art and not meant for you to fuck me on top of, thank you for ruining that investment, Steven." Like Tony cared, but he figured that if Steve was going to bring it up, then he'd object to it on principle.

"It wasn't good art anyway." Some of the tension in his shoulders slipped away as he laughed. "I'm not saying that 'cause I don't like modern art, it was just objectively-"

"Are you questioning my taste in art?" Tony pretended to sound offended. Really, Pepper was better at interior decorating than he was, but he wasn't going to admit that.

"Yes." Steve found his other hand and squeezed it. "Are you going to spend all night staring at my dick in the mirror?"

"Maybe." Tony let his free hand roam around the base of Steve's erection again. "It's a very aesthetically pleasing dick." As if there was anything about Steve's body that wasn't aesthetically pleasing.

Steve just rolled his eyes.

"C'mon." Tony took his other hand, the one that Steve was holding, and used it to wrap both their fingers around his cock. He stroked slowly for a few moments, then slid his fingers away, watching Steve jerk himself off in the mirror. Trapped between them, his own erection began to swell against the curve of Steve's ass. He turned his head slightly to kiss along the column of Steve's neck again, keeping one eye on the mirror. "Yeah," he murmured. "God, just like that, fucking perfect."

Steve shifted back against him, a roll of his hips to tease him. "Keep goin'," Tony told him, "I'm working on it." He fumbled behind them for the lube before he found the bottle he'd tossed on the bed earlier, after Steve had prepped himself. The chill was a little unpleasant as he slicked himself down with quick, efficient strokes, but he just pressed closer to Steve again, close enough that Steve could feel the movement of his hand against his back.

"All right, big guy, I'm all yours," Tony told him after a few more moments of working himself up. Steve lifted his hips up and, with a little help from Tony, slid down onto the other man's erection, and fuck, Tony would never get tired of that feeling, of being engulfed by Steve. He moaned and pressed his face into Steve's shoulder, mouthing aimlessly at his skin.

"Yeah, I know," Steve breathed. When Tony looked up, he could see how wide Steve's eyes were, how his pupils had swallowed up the blue of his irises. Their gazes met in the mirror, and Tony smirked at him.

"I can see you looking at me," he whispered. "Thinking about how hot it is to see my dick fill you up like that instead of just feeling it. You're gonna fuck yourself on me and watch every second of it, Steve. You're gonna see how beautiful you are like this, the way you move, the goddamn look on your face when you come. How gorgeous you are when your come is all over your stomach afterwards, dripping over your muscles." Tony didn't know of any other way to make Steve see himself the way he saw him, didn't know if it would work, but he wanted Steve to know that he loved him enough for the both of them.

Chapter Text

T'Challa's kimoyo beads vibrated against his wrist in the pattern he'd assigned Sam. Subtly, he shifted his hand under the dark wood of the table to read the holographic display. Sam was still learning the hand gestures they used for texting, so he'd had Shuri adapt his cell phone to send and receive messages on their network.

Hey, kitten, he wrote. Having fun with the ambassadors?

He most assuredly was not, but moving his hand enough to text back under the table would be a sure giveaway that the king wasn't paying attention to the Americans sitting across from him. Instead, T'Challa schooled his features into his best paying attention look and tried to ignore his kimoyo beads.

Another gentle buzz against his skin. I'm waiting for you to come back. This message had a picture attached to it: Sam had somehow used his drone to snap a shot of him from above, splayed out on T'Challa's bed, shamelessly naked. T'Challa briefly thought about warning him that the Dora Milaje were bound to sweep his quarters before he returned, then decided to see how this would play out.

Don't worry about responding, I know you're too busy. Sam was a devious, evil man, and he knew it, judging by the smirk he wore in the next picture. Should I give you a massage when you come back? Strip off all your clothes and get you good and oiled up, rub my hands all over every inch of your body. I know you're tense right now, and I'm sure you could use some relief.

T'Challa clenched his jaw. Sam loved to toy with him, and this was only the latest in a long line of tricks. (He could, in fact, use a good rubdown, sexual or not.)

Think of me sliding my fingers over your chest and down your stomach, along your thighs. I'm not touching your cock yet, but you know that one spot on your inner thigh? I'm gonna drag my fingertips over it nice and slow until you're whimpering. I know you say you don't whimper because you're a king, but I've heard you do it, and it's such a pretty sound, kitten. I love all the noises you make for me.

Glancing over his shoulder at Okoye for a moment, T'Challa used the opportunity to take a quick look at the clock. No, he couldn't plead a prior engagement just yet, although he did notice that the general was keeping a close eye on him.

Maybe I'll suck you off, the next message read. Make you wait till your cock is leaking and I can lick it off the head nice and slow, enjoy the taste of you first. T'Challa shifted uncomfortably in his seat. He was beginning to get hard - as was Sam, judging by the picture he sent in between texts.

In the next picture, he held a vibrating buttplug for the camera, then sent a soundless video of himself pushing it in, arching his back off the bed. T'Challa nearly swore under his breath at the sight; only his years of training kept him from betraying himself.

Think about me sucking you off while I'm stuffed full like this. Not jerking myself off yet, but getting ready for you, waiting for you to fuck me. You're getting harder in my mouth while I suck, and one of my hands is wrapped around the base of your cock while one presses just behind your balls, rubbing slowly.

Sam waited a few minutes in between messages, enough time for T'Challa to regain a little bit of his composure. He reached for the glass of water next to him with his free hand, took a slow sip. He was vaguely aware that the Americans' words were veiled insults, but Okoye with her spear was enough to scare most people off; he'd replay the audio later and figure out the best way to act.

Do you want me to ride you? Or- no, after this, I think you'll need to take your frustration out, won't you? You know I like a little rough sex sometimes. So facedown on the pillow, ass in the air, and you kneeling behind me. You're usually a gentle lover, but there's nothing gentle about the way you fuck me, hard and fast, already driven to the breaking point by my mouth. You want to come, you want to hear me scream your name as I clench around you, so loud that the guards outside your room know exactly what we're doing.

T'Challa swallowed and rose from his seat. He had been tested to the limits by Sam's little game, and he didn't have any patience to deal with the Americans and their demands for the return of their fugitives anymore. He didn't say a word as he strode out, twitching his jacket unobtrusively to hide the bulge in his pants.

One last text: Did you know that lions bite the nape of their mates' neck when they come? ;)

Chapter Text

Steve knelt before Peggy, his head bowed, concentrating on the slim white hand he held with one hand. The other hand slicked red polish over each nail with a small brush. He'd found that performing small tasks like these soothed him, took him to a place where he didn't have the weight of the world on his shoulders. For just a little bit, he could be Steve Rogers, and Peggy could make all the decisions for him.

He'd made her tea - and learning how to make tea just the right way to please her had been a surprisingly long process - and waited for her to get settled into the chair, her legs crossed at the knee, skirt riding up just so, enough to tantalize him. Steve's breath came slow and steady as his mind sank down like a rock into a placid pond. The only thing that mattered was Peggy. He just had to do what she wanted.

Occasionally she would set her cup of tea down, the clink of cup on saucer echoing in the quiet room, and run her fingertips along the line of Steve's jaw, or through his hair. He lived for those touches, the silent sign of her approval, and every time he looked up to meet her eyes.

The first coat of color went on one hand, then the other, then a second coat, and finally the clear topcoat, Steve keeping steadily at his dainty strokes, smooth and even. The rhythm instilled a meditative calm in him, one that nothing else matched.

"Well done," Peggy murmured when the glossy topcoat dried. She caught his head gently, cupping his cheeks in her hands, and drew it up far enough that she could brush a soft kiss against his forehead. "Such a good, obedient boy." There were times when he wasn't, of course - times when he felt the need to strain at the boundaries, push at the balance of power, and Peggy just as quickly put him in his place. He loved those just as much as he loved this, lived for her approval and her soft touches and the times when she tied him up and punished him.

"Would you help me undress?" she asked with a quirk of her eyebrows, as if she didn't know that Steve was eager to do just that. There was a gentle amusement in her brown eyes.

Steve took her heels off and set them to one side, then rubbed her feet through the silk stockings, digging his thumbs into the arches. Not a full footrub, but enough to give her some relief at the end of a long day, and it was welcome, judging by the small sigh she let out and the way she sagged almost imperceptibly.

Not many women still wore stockings and garters - even Peggy wore pantyhose most days - but there were times when she indulged Steve, usually when they had something like this planned. He loved the way the silk clung to her calves, the feeling of his hands sliding up the fabric. Nylons weren't nearly as good, and he couldn't tug them off one at a time. He was in between her thighs now, and he imagined he could smell her arousal. On a different day, he might have pushed her back into the chair, pushed her skirt up, and god, he wanted to keep kissing up the pale line of her thigh. His fingers tightened on her calf for a moment as he fought with himself to regain his calm.

Peggy's fingers found his hair, and she carded them through the short strands. She knew the signs, knew that he needed her to ground him and keep him from straying from his task. "Keep going," she murmured. "Skirt next, darling."

Steve rested his forehead against her knee for a second, his head bowed like he was seeking a benediction. It reminded him of kneeling at the Communion rail and waiting for the wafer, but this was a different sort of worship entirely.

"Good." It was barely a whisper, but Steve heard it anyway when his fingers finally found the zipper of her skirt. It smoothed the ripples of his mind, let him sink back down again. The skirt came down her legs when she rose to let him pull it, and he stood a moment later. Next came the buttons of her blouse, fingers popping them open one by one. In the early days, he'd lost his composure here too, all that skin slowly revealed before him. He still marveled at the sight, but he could control himself now. She'd helped him find that.

He pushed the blouse back from her shoulders, pulled it off her arms, then folded it neatly and draped it over the back of the chair, hanging over the skirt. Wordlessly, Peggy turned around, presenting him with the smooth expanse of her back, the curves of her ass and hips, the bumps of her spine. Steve's mouth went dry, and he ignored the impulse to smooth the curls back from the nape of her neck and press a kiss to her skin. The only touches allowed were the ones she explicitly told him: those were the rules. He'd already skirted that enough for one day.

He still couldn't unhook a bra from the front - they'd gone through far too many bras before Peggy had given up and just let him do it from the back instead. (There were still occasional sacrifices to the cause when they got impatient, and Peggy had learned to avoid wearing her particular favorites when she thought that might happen.) The clasp came free, and he slid the straps down her shoulders, down her arms. The panties were last, and finally she was just as naked as he was, as he had been since she'd stepped in the front door and found him waiting patiently for her to come home from work.

Chapter Text

Sam knelt patiently on the bed, his eyes half-lidded. Steve had arranged a series of pegs on the wall around him; they'd been doing this for a few months now, but this was his first really big project, the first one he'd designed himself instead of following diagrams or YouTube tutorials. He'd drawn a sketch of it, although he refused to show it to Sam, insisting that he'd have to wait till he was done to see what he looked like.

He still wasn't sure just how Steve had stumbled across shibari - he knew the other man was normally hesitant about exploring kink on the Internet, and for good reason - but Steve had started showing him pictures on his tablet, first just a few shyly offered simple hand and ankle bindings, then the more elaborate body harnesses. "You wanna wrap me up like a present?" Sam had asked, amused. "I can always tie a bow around my dick." Steve had demurred softly and dropped the subject, as he was wont to do when he felt uncertain about something, and Sam felt guilty, like he'd discouraged something Steve was genuinely interested in. So he'd whispered about it in Steve's ear a few times in bed, watched him squirm against him whenever it was mentioned. Sam didn't really have any feelings one way or the other about bondage, but he wanted Steve to have the chance to develop his own interests in bed, his own kinks, and not just bounce (eagerly, it had to be said) off of Sam's.

And then one day, Steve had brought out a set of brightly colored ropes. (It was an aesthetic thing, as it turned out; it appealed to Steve's artistic sensibilities.) Sam tried not to make Boy Scout jokes as Steve wrapped the rope around his wrists in an elaborate pattern and tied the knots. He was rewarded by the way Steve looked at him, the way his eyes shone with happiness, and, hell, who could say no to that? Besides, it did make him feel good - not that Steve didn't find him attractive normally, and not that Sam didn't think he was attractive, but, yeah, Steve had an eye for this sort of thing, and his designs always made Sam look better somehow.

He'd started out tonight with a simple harness in black, a rigging that followed his sternum and spine and wrapped around his pecs. The ropes knotted securely around his hips - and that was the other thing about full-body harnesses, the pressure against his skin that felt safe in a way he couldn't quite describe. Sam could tell that the ropes formed a V down his back, coming together at the bottom of his shoulderblades.

Steve took a moment after he finished tying the knots to survey his work, then pressed close and kissed Sam, his hands skimming down his sides. "You look gorgeous," he murmured against his lips.

"I'm always gorgeous," Sam retorted lightly. Steve had made him clasp his hands behind his back, so he couldn't touch him back; he suspected it was a precursor to tying his arms to his sides in the next stage.

"You're gonna be more gorgeous once I'm finished with you." Even though Steve hadn't touched his cock yet, Sam was already hard just from the way the ropes felt on him, the way Steve's hands brushed against him while he was tying the harness.

The next set of ropes was scarlet red, and now Steve made use of those pegs in the wall, weaving the rope under the back of the harness before looping it over the pegs in an intricate design. Sam couldn't quite catch a glimpse of the pattern out of the corner of his eye, but-

"Are you doing what I think you're doing?"

Steve pressed another quick kiss to his lips. "Shh. You'll see in a bit." He hid the sketchpad behind his back defensively. "Be patient, Sam."

Sam snorted at that - like Steve had any room to lecture him on patience - but he shut up and let him work. His arms were bound to his sides, and Steve created an intricate pattern on his chest and stomach, interspersing the red and black.

"There." He tugged at a few of the knots and repositioned a couple strands of rope, then rose from the bed to bring the mirror back into view so Sam could see what he'd done. A pair of brilliant red wings stretched out behind him on the wall - which was exactly what Sam had expected, but the sight still took his breath away - and Steve had managed to create a pattern that evoked overlapping feathers on the front of his body. It was goddamn amazing, he had to give him credit for that.

"Damn," Sam breathed. "You're right, I do look good." His grin spread wider. "Too bad you can't put me on show in a gallery. You deserve to have your talent shared with the world."

Steve blushed at the compliment and gave Sam another one of those shy smiles. "I had a good canvas. And, look, sometimes you just gotta make art for yourself to enjoy, because, trust me, I wouldn't wanna share you with anyone else."

"Maybe," Sam suggested, "you ought to try body painting next." Steve's eyes lit up at the idea, and Sam knew he'd hit upon another potential kink by the way Steve pressed against him when he leaned in to kiss him.

Chapter Text

Steve didn't know why he'd been surprised to find out that Howard stayed in a fancy hotel in London, rather than bunking down wherever the SSR found room for him - in retrospect, it was exactly the kind of thing Howard Stark would do, but at the time, he'd been amazed by his surroundings. In the middle of the war, it was an oasis, one of those rare places that seemed untouched by time and the ravages of the bombs falling on London. Judging by the dinner Howard had ordered, they either had a talented chef, or they didn't seem bothered in the least by rationing.

("I thought about fondue," Howard had confided in him later, "but I don't trust the English to not fuck up cheese and bread.")

And Howard, thank god, didn't turn his sharp tongue on Steve's fumbling advances and even more fumbling touches - he did put that tongue to good use elsewhere, till Steve was writhing on the expensive sheets, needy whimpers caught in his throat. By the time they were done, Steve didn't think twice about falling asleep next to the other man, his head pillowed against his bare shoulder.

By morning, he'd curled around Howard, one arm slung over his waist. It took him a moment to remember where he was and why he had short, dark hair tickling his nose, the scent of aftershave and engine oil in his nostrils. Last night had been a whim, but not a bad one, he decided, though something in his gut twisted when he thought about Peggy. In an effort to distract himself from those brown curls, he dragged his fingertips over Howard's stomach, mapping the lean muscle there.

Howard stirred in his sleep, mumbling something unintelligible, and pressed back against Steve. It was only then that Steve realized that he was already hard, and now his dick was trapped between them - more specifically, nestled right in the cleft of Howard's ass.

(It was, he had to admit, a nice ass, not that he was an expert in the aesthetics of the male form - or the female one, for that matter. It was even nicer in close proximity.)

Steve rolled his hips experimentally and shuddered at the way his cock felt sliding between bare skin. They hadn't had sex last night - Howard had demurred, telling him that it was best to work his way up to something like that - but he'd rubbed one out against Howard's thigh at some point. This was better, and the movement was instinctive, an easy rhythm to fall into (and a harder one to stop).

"Mmph." Howard cracked an eyelid open. "Do you ever stop?" His voice was thick and heavy with sleep, and when he stretched, his hand ended up on Steve's hip, keeping him from pulling back. "You're like a rabbit, Rogers."

Steve snorted at the indignity. He kissed Howard's neck, marveling at how strange the prickle of stubble felt against his lips. "I can stop anytime you want, Stark." His hand found Howard's cock, already half-hard. It wasn't unlike jerking himself off from this position, and that made him feel a little less awkward about it.

"Fuck," Howard swore under his breath. "For a virgin, you're pretty good with your hands."

Steve just grinned to himself and tried to pretend the compliment didn't make him blush, didn't send a jolt of arousal down his spine. Although he'd heard every manner of profanity and then some since he'd joined the Army, every lewd story the other men told about their exploits, he still couldn't bring himself to talk dirty. Everything just sounded strange in his head, and he figured Howard didn't mind if he kept his mouth busy doing other things instead. Howard, of course, had a filthy mouth, and Steve was pretty sure he could talk him off if he really wanted to.

Howard turned a little, letting Steve slide at just the right angle, and he rocked his hips even faster, tucking his chin close to the other man's shoulder. His hand slowed for a moment as his muscles tensed in anticipation, and then, suddenly, his orgasm crashed over him like a wave and he was rutting erratically against Howard as he spilled over him in hot spurts.

"I oughta be taking notes for your file," Howard teased him. "Think of all the information science is missing out on."

"Well, then, we'll just have to do it again later, won't we?"

Chapter Text

"I'm going to rip that bitch's hair out at the roots the next time I see her," Carol growled under her breath. "I bet it's dyed blonde." Her fingers tightened reflexively, and an unfamiliar ache followed. She hissed, rubbing one hand with the other, feeling the unfamiliar scar tissue under her fingertips.

"Calm down, Carol." Strange sounded amused, damn him. Of course, he was a sorcerer, which meant weirder shit probably happened to him on a daily basis. Either that, or he was just really fucking zen; she wasn't sure which. "Really," he added, "calm down. Magic reacts to strong emotions, and right now, you're like a toddler with a nuclear weapon."

Which was fucking hilarious, in Carol's opinion, because they'd already tried to call on the magic she could feel suffusing everything around her, and not a damn thing had happened. She hadn't wingardiumed a single leviosa, although she had discovered that Strange really hated any and all pop culture references involving magic.

"Says the man with actual nuclear powers," she felt obligated to point out. Although he'd had just as much luck with the photon blasts as Carol had with the magic. Enchantress had somehow figured out that the easiest way to disarm them was simply to keep them from using their innate powers - in this case, by swapping their bodies. She'd already snapped at Strange once or twice to keep his hands off her breasts, thank you very much; he had responded with some bullshit about crude mortal shells housing the spirit within and hadn't seemed to care when she'd gone into the bushes to piss.

(God, it was convenient, she had to give men that much.)

As frustrating as being with the man was, she couldn't deny a certain tension between them, one that only seemed to grow with the spell placed on them. Which was weird, because while Carol was confident, she wasn't vain enough to think that having sex with herself would be the greatest thing ever - that was definitely more of a Tony Stark thing. She hoped it was just the natural friction between two personalities at odds, but her instincts said otherwise, right up until she gave up on their latest spell and pushed Strange to the ground and kissed him.

Carol's own eyes blinked up at her. "That's an unusual reaction."

God, was the man somehow unflappable? She huffed against soft lips. "Stop talking, Strange. Please."

"You'd be surprised how often I get that." But his hands settled on her ass, implying that, yes, maybe he felt something similar, or at least didn't mind the kissing. Even if the body she was doing it with was strange, the act itself was familiar, and she tried not to think about the fact that it was her body she was running those long fingers over (though it meant that she knew about dragging her fingers over that one spot on her body's hip until Stephen shuddered beneath her).

She swiped at the control panel on her arm and the Kree-made armor melted away entirely, leaving an expanse of bare skin she knew intimately. "Do your fingers hurt like this all the time?" she asked Strange. It definitely meant that anything requiring much manual dexterity was out of the question; there was a constant dull ache that was there, even with the arousal coursing through her veins (and there was no doubt about that last, not when she could feel her body - Stephen's body - reacting to it).

Stephen glanced to the side. "You grow accustomed to it." It was a lie, and a bad one, but then again, it was harder to lie when you were wearing someone else's face.

Carol's lips twisted in a grimace. At least that explained some of why he was so damn annoying all the time; she'd be impossible to deal with if she had to put up with something like that. "Plenty to do that doesn't involve hands," she said instead, and kissed right between his breasts. "Although if you want to help me out with the clothes, it'd be great." Strange's monk-like outfit had layers - layers that were stifling her, at the moment - and she had neither the patience nor the manual dexterity to deal with them right now. At least the Cloak had gone off somewhere to sulk, instead of wrestling with the impostor in Stephen's body like it had at first.

"Normally, I'd have a spell for that." There was something almost like humor in Stephen's eyes. "Although we tell novices that magic shouldn't be used for frivolous purposes, mostly so they don't destroy all their clothes inadvertently."

"Great." Carol rolled her eyes, but at least Stephen was peeling the clothes off of her now, revealing a lean torso with a number of scars. His fingers were warm against her skin, and she shivered. "You think Enchantress might've thrown something else in with that spell?"

"Something-" His eyebrows raised. "Ah. It's not impossible. An aphrodisiac would be in line with her style of magic, and-"

He really didn't shut up, did he? Carol pulled him in to kiss him silent again, sucking a sharp breath in when his hand found the bulge in her trousers. That was different, and she liked it.

"Don't even think about stopping," she mumbled against his lips, nipping the lower lip for emphasis. Even though she was only half-naked, feeling Stephen's skin pressed against hers was incredibly arousing - those curves that she never properly appreciated when she was in her own skin, the way she dug aching fingers into the skin of his ass.

"Are you comfortable-" Stephen started to say haltingly, but it seemed even the normally composed sorcerer had difficulty verbalizing what he wanted. "There are certain kinds of spells that generate energy from, ah-"

"You want me to fuck you." Carol tipped her head back and laughed. She wasn't sure why it seemed so funny, just that it did. Maybe it was a weird side-effect of the spell. "God, you live up to your last name, don't you?"

Stephen's expression grew pinched. "I hate it when people say that."

"Must be why you're so grumpy all the fucking time, then." Carol buried her face in his neck, inhaled the familiar scent of her shampoo and soap. "Strange, I've probably fucked women more than you have. This is weird, but not impossibly weird." And, okay, she was really curious about what it would feel like to actually have something like a dick inside a woman, what it would feel like to come.

The trousers, at least, were simple enough to deal with, and the boxers underneath, and- "Oh, fuck," Carol swore, then added a few more languages in besides. "Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck." She definitely understood why men were so fixated on sex; this was entirely different than a pair of fingers or a sex toy. Her cock was buried to the hilt, surrounded by warm, slick muscle, and it was achingly hard. She rested her chin on Strange's shoulder, closed her eyes to gather herself. "Listen, I can't- you're gonna have to rub yourself, Strange. I assume you're familiar with the clit?"

She could almost feel the way his eyes rolled. "Carol, I went to medical school. I know about female physiology. And, I assure you, I have extensive first-hand experience." His tone was dry, but she could feel the way he trembled under her like a plucked string.

"Well, now you're going to get even more personal with the experience." She looked up and smirked at him. "If you ask nicely, I might even eat you out sometime later." If she could fuck her own body, then how much weirder could oral sex possibly be?

"Because that's exactly what we need when the fate of the world is at stake," he quipped, but Carol felt a hand slip between their bodies and start rubbing.

The mechanics were easy enough to work through, a combination of instinct and experience, even if that experience wasn't usually with an actual appendage that could feel what was happening around it, and god, it was distracting whenever Strange shuddered, whenever Carol felt muscles tighten, and then her body responded by twitching, and-

The experience of a male orgasm was impossible to describe, a heady rush that was more explosive than what she was accustomed to, her body shuddering as she spilled over, her fingers flexing, and somewhere in the back of her mind she noticed that Strange had somehow managed to come along with her-

And as the waves of pleasure receded, Carol realized that she was flat on her back and Stephen was on top of her, his softening cock still buried inside her.

"Fuck Enchantress," she groaned.

"What, you haven't had enough for one day?"

Although Stephen Strange could see the future (sometimes), he didn't see the way Carol's elbow came up and caught him in the ribs. Yeah, it was good to be back in her own body.

Chapter Text

"Look, Hope, I'd- I'd really rather not take my shirt off." Tony's gaze slid down and to one side, like he didn't want to meet Hope's eyes. She was already half-naked herself, down to just her bra and panties, and she'd started to unbutton his shirt when he'd stopped her.

Hope frowned slightly; Tony wasn't usually hesitant about anything. Not that she expected him to be all right after three months in captivity, but there was something more off than just that. He'd certainly started out with enough gusto, anyway.

She placed her hand on his chest in an unusually tender gesture and felt something hard and unyielding under her palm, which she would have expected somewhat farther down on his body, so to speak. "Uh-huh." Although Tony outweighed her, Hope used her leverage to push him back on the bed. "So, clean bill of health, huh?" She rapped on whatever it was with her knuckles; covered with two layers of cloth, it made a dull thud.

Tony winced. "Hope, c'mon, don't do that. I'm very delicate." He reached for her wrists and grabbed them gently, keeping her from pulling his shirt up - not that she'd been planning on it, not without his permission. She was curious, but some things were a step too far.

"Of course you are." She hated herself a little for being concerned about Tony, but there was no denying that she'd been worried when he went missing in Afghanistan. "A delicate little hothouse flower, that's what I've always said about you."

"I'm sure you've said that at least once. Probably in one of your trust fund baby rants." As if Hope hadn't had her own significant trust fund - though nothing compared to Tony Stark's.

"Probably," she agreed amiably. Hope rested her chin just above the...whatever it was. She could feel an upraised ridge around it before it sloped down to meet flesh. "How much has your stock dropped today? I haven't checked yet."

"Now you just sound smug." Tony sighed dramatically. His announcement had come as a surprise, but Hope had to admit that it was a welcome one - not because she wanted his business to fail, but because Tony developing something like morals was one of the last things she'd expected. Well, maybe not morals. Ethics? "I haven't paid attention either. It'll bounce back up soon enough; I've got something in the works that'll blow the profit from government contracts out of the water."

"Oooh, talk sexy to me," she cooed. "You know I love that business talk." Hope rolled to one side, resting her cheek against the hard circle.

"Hope, you do love business talk. I'm pretty sure nothing gets you wetter than investments and profit margins and all that boring shit."

"Wetter than you're getting me right now, at least," she retorted dryly. She was pretty sure their chances of having sex were shot, but a good banter with Stark was nothing to sneeze at. "And you're wrong," she added, "a good fight with you definitely does."

Tony's chest heaved beneath her as he sighed. "I'm too tired to give you a decent fight, Hope."

She was pretty sure that was a lie, but he seemed too pathetic to prod into an argument. Hope opened her mouth to speak, then cupped her hand around the eye that rested on Tony's chest. It was hard to make out through two shirts, but-

"Your chest is glowing." Definitely glowing, and if he was radioactive now, she was going to be pissed.

Another sigh, this one heavier than the last. "Hope." His voice was pained now.

"Tony." She mimicked his tone.

"We both know you're only here for one thing, okay? Don't ruin it."

It was hard to deny that, with her state of undress, but Hope made a face. "C'mon. I won't tell your shareholders, I promise."

Tony hesitated, then nudged Hope to sit up. He was shyer than she'd ever seen him in the process of taking his clothes off, but he still pulled both layers over his head. The circle of metal inset in his chest surrounded a glowing blue ring in a pattern Hope recognized immediately.

"Tony," she said again, but her tone was sharper this time. "What the actual fuck?"

He started to pull his undershirt back on immediately, but Hope grabbed his wrist as she leaned in to take a closer look. Her fingers drifted over the blue glow and the cool metal, and settled on the still-red scar tissue.

"It's a long story, but basically, I have a bunch of shrapnel in my chest, and the arc reactor is keeping it from, you know, ending up in my heart and killing me."

"Oh my god," she breathed. "There's so much stupidity in that sentence that I don't even know where to start." But she rested her forehead against Tony's chest and closed her eyes, her palm flat against the arc reactor. "You fucking idiot," she whispered.

"Yeah, thanks, I really needed my own hubris rubbed in my face some more, that's exactly what I thought when I agreed to let you come today."

"That's exactly what I do every time we meet," Hope pointed out, looking up at him.

"I was just a hostage for three months, sue me for expecting something like sympathy."

"If you wanted sympathy, you would've found a swimsuit model to kiss your boo-boo." Hope made a face at him. "You wanted someone to tell you that you're an idiot for sticking radioactive material in your chest to save your life." Her fingers found the scar tissue again, and she could feel Tony tense under her when she touched it. "Although since I know you want your ego stroked, I'll at least admit that the design is brilliant. Not my field, but I know enough to appreciate the miniaturization of the technology."

"I don't-" He stumbled over the words. "I don't want your pity, Hope."

She saw the self-loathing in his eyes, the vulnerability, and it struck an unexpected chord in her. "It's cute that you think I'd be into pity fucks, Stark." Hope kissed his collarbone. "There's nothing wrong with the way you look, you're just vain."

"I have a crater in my chest-"

"Shut up." She reached up to his face again, cradled his cheeks in her fingertips. "I'm the one using you for your body, and I think you look fine. Now, if that thing's keeping you from getting it up, then we'll have a different problem."

Tony grinned, and for a moment, he seemed more like his old self. "We'll just have to see about that, won't we?"

Chapter Text

Although Steve's tent was tiny and musty, it was private, and that was all that mattered to him when Peggy closed the flap behind her and sat down next to him on the tiny, rickety camp bed.

"Is this all right?" he asked as he gingerly rested an arm around her waist. Peggy laughed, though it wasn't a mocking laugh, but a gentle one.

"Steve, dearheart, I'm in your tent without a chaperone." She leaned in, close enough that he could smell the light scent of perfume. "Propriety is the least of my worries right now." Peggy rested her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes, and Steve wondered how he was supposed to continue from here.

"It's been a long day," she murmured. "We're pushing behind German lines now, you know. Trying to beat the Soviets to Berlin."

Although his part of the war had more to do with Hydra at this point, Steve did know what was happening - he read the military newspapers whenever he could get them, gleaned whatever information he could from camp gossip.

"The Germans are tired," she continued. "We're all tired, Steve. I know we aren't supposed to admit that, that we're meant to be patriotic until the end, but...it's been a lifetime, hasn't it? Or it seems like one. I can barely imagine what life was like before the war, and I don't know what it'll be like after. Right now, I'm worried it'll be more of the same with the Soviets."

Without anything better to offer, Steve started to pull the pins from her hair, carding his fingers through her soft curls. "They're our allies," he pointed out.

"Yes, and they were Germany's allies until Hitler turned on them. Frankly, I wouldn't trust Stalin. They're already trying to gulp up the East." She sighed. "I don't want to talk about war, Steve." Peggy opened her eyes again, and they were large and dark in the dim light. "Frankly, I was hoping I wouldn't have to talk at all."

"Um." Steve gaped like a fish.

"You honestly can't think of a single distraction?" She arched one neatly-manicured eyebrow, curled her fingers in his olive drab uniform shirt. "I imagined someone like you might be more...innovative."

Steve privately thought that if she wanted innovative, she should have gone to see Stark, but he wasn't going to suggest that, not with Peggy pressed close to him. He didn't want her to leave. "I think this bed'll probably collapse if we get too creative," he offered, his Adam's apple bobbing as he swallowed.

"Frankly, I'm amazed it hasn't already." She craned her neck to look at the bed. "And that you fit in it at all." Peggy toyed with the knot of his tie, slowly tugging it loose before she used the loop to pull Steve in for a kiss.

"I'm sure we can think of something to do without risking your bed," she breathed against his lips. Her tongue darted between them, and Steve instinctively pulled her even closer as he returned the kiss, his other hand cupping her cheek.

"Have you thought about this sort of thing?" Peggy whispered, resting her forehead against his. "When you're alone at night in your creaky little bed, do you think about me?" Her voice was low and throaty, and her hand slid down his shirt to loop fingers around his belt.

"Yeah," Steve croaked. "Usually not in this tent, though. Someone like you deserves someplace nicer."

"After dancing, then." She smiled against his lips. "Sneaking back to a hotel room, maybe." Peggy tugged at his belt. "Show me how you touch yourself, Steve."

"What?" It took him a moment to parse the words.

"When you're thinking about me, about what it would be like to slowly unzip my dress and pull it off. I assume that there's a physical action to accompany the fantasies."

"This is starting to sound more like your fantasy." Steve licked suddenly dry lips. "Not that I'm complaining."

Peggy shrugged, something of a smirk playing around the corners of her lips. "Indulge me, then, if you will." She kissed the corner of his mouth, fumbled for one of his hands and linked their fingers together. Their hands came to rest on the bulge in Steve's trousers; he shuddered in spite of himself.

"Dancing," he repeated slowly as he tugged down his fly, pulled the waist of his underwear down to expose his cock. Steve tried not to blush and failed miserably; he couldn't meet Peggy's eyes at first.

"Dancing," she echoed. "Until the wee hours of the night, and we slip back to a rented room - not much nicer than this tent, I'm afraid, but it has a real, proper roof and a door that locks, and frankly, that's all that matters. I can tell that you want to rip my dress off, but you go slowly, dragging your fingertips against my spine as you undo my zip."

"This really sounds like your fantasy." Steve started stroking himself slowly, shuddering at the familiar sensation, at the added heat that coursed through him at the sound of Peggy's voice.

"Do you want to do all the hard work?" Her tone was tart. "Because if you'd like something different, you're going to have to do it yourself." Peggy shifted again, resting her back against his chest, tucking her head under his chin. "God, I think it's even bigger than the files led me to believe."

Steve blushed again, glad Peggy couldn't see his face anymore. "I really hope not everyone's read those files."

"They're hardly public knowledge." She nudged his arm. "Keep going. My dress falls to the floor and I'm left in my underthings."

Swiping his thumb over the head of his cock, Steve shivered. "You could probably just read the phone book, you know."

"What sort of artist are you? I'm trying to provide inspiration here." He could feel her shoulders heave as she huffed. "Without actually taking my clothes off, that is."

"I wouldn't take your dress off straight away," Steve offered. "You'd be sitting on the bed, and I'd kneel in front of you and push your skirt up so I could see your legs." His eyes slid shut as he visualized the scene. "God, I love your legs. I'd leave everything on you and-" He faltered briefly. "I can feel how wet you are through the silk of your panties, and I push them aside to lick at you, to taste you. It's hard to believe that someone could want me that badly, but you do, you tug at my hair and make these little noises in your throat and it's goddamn incredible."

"You're a tease, Steve Rogers." Her voice was quieter now, pitched lower. "Even though you're already aching hard in your trousers, you take the time to-"

"To please you, hopefully. To make you feel good." Steve could feel the way his balls began to tighten. "The look in your eyes when you come that first time is everything, Peggy. Like nobody's ever looked at me before."

"And it's only after I've already come that you push inside me, you stretch me out and fill me to the brim." He could feel her trembling now. "I'm already so sensitive, just feeling you inside me sets me off again."

"And then I make love to you-"

"Fuck me-" She let out a long, shuddering breath. "You can't hold out anymore and you fuck me, and I know I'll be sore the next morning, but god, it's worth it, because every time I move, it'll remind me of you."

"Oh, jeez, Peggy-" Steve arched his back, and just as he came, he felt smooth cloth wrap around him, keeping him from making him a mess. (Of course Peggy would be prepared for that eventuality.)

"Keep the handkerchief," she murmured as she kissed him again, long and sweet. "You can give it back to me when we go dancing."

Chapter Text

Hope didn't get to see Pepper often - they were both busy women, after all, who lived at opposite ends of a rather large state - and so when she did, she liked to make the most of it. Pepper was splayed out in the bed of their hotel room, her strawberry blonde hair fanning over the sheets, while Hope's dark head was tucked close to her, her body curved against the other woman's.

"Think of how much more convenient this would be if you worked for me," Hope teased her. She had a bullet vibrator in one hand, and she let the tip idly roam over Pepper's body, buzzing at her nipples, lingering in the hollow of her navel.

"Think of the pay cut I'd be taking." Pepper's tone was dry, but her gaze followed Hope's hand. "You can't include sex in a benefits package. If you could, the Stark Industries payroll would be full of- well, you know."

"From what I've heard, that was one of the benefits back in Howard's day." Decades before he'd settled down and married Maria Stark, but the rumors persisted to this day nonetheless. In today's climate, Howard Stark would have been a walking sexual harassment suit. Not that Tony was much better in that area, but he at least knew to curb the worst of his excesses (most of the time).

Pepper hummed as the vibrator continued its lazy trip south. "Pragmatically speaking, you aren't in any position to make an offer that could compete with my current situation."

"The one where you're overworked and ignored?" Hope leaned in to kiss the breast that was nearest to her, leaving a trace of lipstick on pale skin. "The one where you do all the work and the men above you get all the credit? Yes, I can see how that would be hard to match. I'm not even asking out of some shitty attempt at corporate espionage; I think you would be a genuine asset. Stark doesn't appreciate a quarter of what you do; you've said it yourself."

"You aren't even CEO, Hope-"

"Would you stop with the logic?" Hope huffed. "Jobs aren't always about logic. Sometimes you have to follow your gut." She pressed the tip of the vibrator against Pepper's clit and was rewarded with a wordless cry.

"My gut," Pepper replied breathlessly, "says that this job is where I'm supposed to be."

"Mmm." Hope flicked the settings up a notch with a thumb and dragged the vibrator in slow circles. "I suppose this isn't the time to talk about business, anyway." She grinned up at Pepper. "Not when you might be compromised."

"Do I look compromised?"

Hope glanced up and down the length of Pepper's body, saw the way her back arched, the way her fingers knotted in the sheets, and pulled the vibrator away. "Yes." She smirked and waited for the other woman's muscles to relax. "It's a good look on you. Wouldn't you like to work for someone who actually appreciates that, instead of a man who hits on everything with tits?" She pressed the toy into her again, watched her carefully to judge how close she was.

"Goddamnit, Hope," Pepper swore, and Hope pulled back again. Pepper's hips canted up, searching for more stimulation; Hope ran her fingertips down her, feeling how wet she was, how taut the muscles of her thighs were. With her free hand, she fumbled behind her on the bed, reaching for the larger vibrator and the tube of lubricant she'd brought.

Pepper shuddered when Hope pushed it inside, rolling her hips again, nearly reduced to that quivering, wordless state that Hope wanted. "Please," she begged, and Hope could feel the way her muscles fluttered around the silicon, how close she was. This was the hard part, judging how close she could get her.

Hope pressed close to Pepper when she turned the vibrator on; she imagined that she could feel the vibrations if she tried hard enough. She could certainly feel the way Pepper tensed, could hear the strangled whimper caught in her throat. "You can do it," Hope murmured. "Come on, just a little more for me."

Pepper squeezed her eyes shut as she concentrated, and her body relaxed just a hair. "You're lucky I put up with this from you," she teased through gritted teeth.

"Mmm, you like it." Hope teased her with her fingertips, feeling her swollen clit, dragging the pads of her fingers over it. "One more, darling. You look so gorgeous when you're that close."

"I-" She bit her bottom lip instead of finishing her sentence, and her back arched up off the bed. "Fuck, Hope, please."

Hope wondered what Tony Stark would say now, if he could see his assistant flushed and begging Hope to let her come. She grinned at the thought and pressed the smaller vibrator against Pepper again.

"God-" Pepper nearly sobbed with relief as she came, shudders wracking her body. Hope worked the larger of the toys in and out, hitting her g-spot until she could tell that the stimulation was too much, loving the way Pepper tightened around it.

"That's still a no on the job offer," she panted once she could speak again.

"Pepper, darling, I haven't even started persuading you yet."

Chapter Text

"So, do you know any sex magic?" Tony tried his best to look seductive, even though he imagined the look was utterly lost on Strange, who, although he was sitting with Tony, was reading a book.

Strange just rolled his eyes at the question. "Why can't you ask any intelligent questions about magic? If it's not sex magic, it's asking whether I could beat Gandalf in a fight, or if I can see who's going to win the World Series next year. You need to broaden your mind, Stark. Besides, asking if I can do sex magic is both insulting and too damn vague - it's like asking if you could write a computer program. Of course I can, but there's a difference between a simple 'hello world' and a functioning AI."

Well, at least he'd bothered to put it in terms Tony could understand. (Also, the Gandalf question was a lot more complex than Strange gave him credit for; he was pretty sure the man wasn't fully up on his Tolkien mythos, and probably hadn't even touched the Silmarillion.)

"Any basic sorcerer can alter the body's systems enough to cause arousal," Stephen continued, glancing up from his book to meet Tony's gaze. "It's practically a parlor trick - increase bloodflow there, alter hormones or brain chemicals slightly, and the body reacts appropriately. Something psychological, like desire, is more difficult - and, frankly, unethical - but there are ways of doing that. Transformation is harder because you have to focus on holding the shape while otherwise distracted, unless something else is the base of a spell that's already been cast, or if someone else has cast it on you. Tantric sex isn't magic, per se, but can be used in rituals to enhance the magical power already generated if you perform a certain way. Simultaneous orgasm isn't a myth, it's just damned hard to do, even when you're trying - but it does create a hell of a lot of power. Some creatures in other dimensions do feed off of power created by sex, though they're nothing like the various sex-related demons of Earth's myths. They'll happily seduce the unwary, and you might even enjoy it, for a time. And, of course, other spells can be adapted for use in sex the same way you might employ otherwise ordinary items, though I advise against using the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak for bondage. Is that enough information for you?"

Tony blinked. Strange tended to do that, he'd noticed, use a wall of knowledge to more or less blindside you when he got mildly annoyed. (Tony would've been lying if he'd said he'd never done the same thing; there was a certain satisfaction in watching someone's eyes glaze over.)

Strange just smirked at him. "I believe your line is, how about a practical demonstration? Your innuendo is simple enough to predict, Tony."

"Hey," Tony protested, but he had to admit that Stephen was right, if only because it was what people expected from him. And, yeah, he and Stephen were cautiously pushing past the masks and walls they'd each put up, but there was still comfort in the old, familiar paths. (Besides, sometimes Stephen liked his flirting, even if he wouldn't admit it. Tony saw too much of himself in the man sometimes, broken and wanting to know that someone still found him attractive.)

"Mm." Long fingers, still attractive in spite of the scarring, pressed to his temples, and Stephen leaned in to rest his forehead against Tony's. "All showmanship," he explained, "but some people like the-"

Intimacy, he finished as Tony kissed him.

A few years ago, Tony would have been terrified of someone in his head - hell, if he thought too hard about it, he still tensed up. Wanda hadn't done him any favors in that department. But this was Stephen, he reminded himself, the man who'd dragged him back from the brink of death (possibly from death itself; Stephen was still vague on that when pressed), and Tony had come to trust him.

I'm sorry. Stephen's mental voice sounded a little chagrined. I should have warned you first. Tony felt the presence begin to withdraw, and he grasped at it with mental fingers even as his body clutched Stephen's biceps.

Stay, he told Stephen. Please. He closed his eyes to kiss him again, leaned into that mental presence - followed the trail back to the source, and suddenly he felt Stephen's mind swirling about him, the emotions, the memories, and-

Stephen nudged him gently back into his own head. I underestimated you. His mental chuckle felt rich and velvety, the kind of thing that immediately made Tony want to hear (or feel) more. I seem to do that regularly.

A door, once opened, can be stepped through in either direction. Tony snorted at his own pop culture quote, even if the doctor didn't get it. (Stephen didn't appreciate half his jokes, so Tony had to do all the work himself.) But I'll keep to my own head, don't worry. It was getting easier and easier to communicate like this, like the link between them was something natural, something that had already existed.

Telepathy is more useful for long distance - like phone sex, I suppose. But the empathic connection does have its uses in person, too. And, indeed, Tony could feel Stephen's emotions in his head, the amusement and surprisingly gentle fondness, and, underneath it all, arousal glowing like banked coals.

Maybe you ought to provide a more practical demonstration, Tony retorted. See, I can get it right sometimes.

You get it right more often than not, Stark. (The barest whisper of more often than I do slipped through, and Tony realized that not even Stephen Strange had complete control over his thoughts.)

It's nice that you think that. Tony pressed closer, banished his own creeping self-doubt. They both knew how often he'd gotten it wrong, how close they'd been to losing everything, and that had just been on a single occasion. Most of Tony's life was built on fixing what he'd fucked up, and-

Tony. This time, Strange wrapped all too physical arms around him, the first time the other man had embraced him. "We should probably save the telepathy for another day, hmm?"

"Yeah," Tony croaked. Though Stephen's mental presence had withdrawn, he still felt the link between them, and he didn't know whether the sorcerer had intended that, or if it was something else. "You can play psychic telephone during my next board meeting when it runs long, see how worked up you can get me."

"Deviant." Strange pressed a kiss to his temple. "I'll keep the suggestion in mind." And if the way Tony could still feel an echo of Strange's emotions was deliberate, he didn't say anything about it. But for once, it was strangely comforting to not be entirely alone in his head.

Chapter Text

"I see you're moving up in the world." Hope nodded at Tony, who knelt obediently between the two of them. "Congratulations."

Pepper offered her a wry smile. "It wouldn't have happened if I'd accepted your job offers."

"No," Hope agreed, and the curve of her lips was sharp enough to bleed. "I don't kneel for anyone. Even you, Pepper." Not that she'd pressed that particular angle during their trysts, and she was intrigued to see it crop up now. Not surprised, because she'd figured out that Tony had a submissive streak a mile wide while she'd been fucking him, but Pepper hadn't seemed the type to be into the power dynamics. (Hope was naturally dominant - not in the D/s way - but didn't play with the kink itself much, not when she knew it required more involvement than she wanted from most of her lovers.)

"You've been between my thighs often enough, though." She had to give Pepper credit, the other woman barely tinged pink when she said it.

"And vice versa." Tony, of course, had never believed the hints she'd dropped about his loyal assistant. Hope reached down and lifted his chin up with a pair of fingers. "Does that make you aroused or jealous, Stark?" Her fingertips lingered against the stubble at the tip of his chin, and she thought about that stubble prickling against her thighs. "Or maybe...obsolete?" She arched an eyebrow. "Must be terrible for the man who thinks he's God's gift to women to realize that they're more than capable of getting off without him."

"He is good at it, though." Pepper practically crooned the words as she leaned forward, running her fingers through Tony's hair. His eyes slid shut, and he relaxed into the touch.

So that was the angle, Hope realized. He lived to please Pepper and get off on her words of praise. Not her bag - she was better at psychological games of dominance, pushing back when her partner tried to push their boundaries - but she could probably make this work.

"Well, he's enthusiastic, anyway," she drawled, casually leaning back against the sofa. "If you like that kind of thing." Hope pulled Pepper back to her and brought her in for a kiss. "Personally," she murmured against her lips, "I prefer skill."

She heard an inhale from Tony, but when she turned to look, he'd dropped his head again and was holding perfectly still. Hope shrugged and propped her bare feet on his back before she kissed Pepper again, her fingers finding the buttons of her blouse. "Don't move, Stark," she warned him.

Pepper looked amused for a moment before she added her feet to Tony's burden. "Or else you'll punish him?"

"That's the implication, yes." Hope tipped Pepper's head back to kiss along the pale column of her throat. "A few swats with a hairbrush, maybe. Or a soft flogger, if you have one."

"You seem like the riding crop type to me," Pepper teased her as her fingers combed through Hope's bob.

"Not a bad choice. A little hard, though." She nuzzled the curve of Pepper's breasts before they disappeared under the silk of her bra. "Wouldn't want to damage him too much."

Something like a short, sharp laugh came from the vicinity of Tony's bowed head.

"No comments from you, Stark. I'm busy with your girlfriend."

Chapter Text

The Kree never talked about going into heat; it was simply a thing that happened. Either you used blockers, or you took someone with you and rode it out. Carol had always been on blockers, and even after her time with the Kree had ended, she'd been able to find them on other planets.

Technically, you weren't supposed to remain on them indefinitely because of the toll they took on your system, but Carol had ignored that for a solid two decades. Honestly? She wasn't even sure she was Kree enough to go into heat, which was why she didn't worry when she couldn't find them. Maybe it was time to stop taking them and see what happened.

Everything was fine for a few weeks as the injection ran its course and the chemicals worked their way out of her system, and Carol was starting to relax. Maybe she'd be all right after all. Biological imperatives were a bunch of bullshit.

She was absolutely capable of believing that right up until the first rolling waves of arousal hit her, and her legs nearly buckled.

"You okay, Danvers?" Tony gave her a concerned look.

Of all the goddamn people to be around. "Just fine," she lied through gritted teeth. "Something I ate, that's all."

The second problem was that a Kree in heat put off pheromones that would inevitably trigger their partner's heat as well - hence the need for seclusion. And Carol, even though she wasn't biologically Kree, could see the moment the pheromones smacked Tony in the face, so to speak. His eyes went glassy and unfocused, and maybe humans didn't have the same reproductive cycle as Kree, but that sure as hell didn't mean they weren't affected by their pheromones. (Maybe it was thanks to her human origins; Carol honestly had no idea.)

"You sure about that?" Tony's pupils dilated, and his lips parted as he stared at her.

"Well, no, actually, it's because Kree go into heat regularly, and I've been taking synthetic blockers to keep it from happening this entire time, but I can't find a supplier anymore." Carol smiled brightly at Tony. There was no use in lying about it now. "And now I'm whammying you with pheromones - not deliberately, that's just a thing that happens - so you want to push me up against the closest wall and fuck my brains out."

"Oh." He paused. "Like Vulcans."

"Like-" Carol blinked at him.

"Spock. From Star Trek. They- you know what, that's absolutely not important right now, there's no way you care about nerd shit." Tony shifted his weight from foot to foot. "It'll stop once I'm out of your personal space, right?"

"It should?" She shrugged. Honestly, she didn't have any idea. Everything she knew about this was what she'd learned from other Kree, and as for the effect on humans, that was a total gamble.

"Just checking." His gaze roamed over her, and for once in her life, Carol didn't mind that sort of look like she usually did. Maybe it was because Tony respected her as a person and didn't see her as just an object of desire, or maybe it was because she couldn't remember the last time she'd had sex, and, hell, she was only human, so to speak. (The problem, of course, being that she wasn't human at all.)

Carol took a few steps back - at least enough to get him out of the immediate sphere of influence of the pheromones - and looked him over right back. There were, she decided, probably worse people to make this mistake with. "You sure you wanna do this? Just warning you, this kind of thing takes a few days normally."

"Oh, no, a few days of sex." Tony rolled his eyes dramatically. "How will I cope?"

"By not being able to walk without feeling sore for the next week, probably." Carol smiled sweetly at him, but she was beginning to feel her restraint fray at the edges. She wanted sex - no, more than that, she needed it. And if Tony thought that it was going to be a walk in the park, she was damn well going to prove him wrong.

Chapter Text

"Sorry I had to leave the other day," Steve apologized a few days later, when he caught Sam jogging around the Mall again. (Though it was usually a coping mechanism he employed when his nights were especially bad, he'd been doing it every day since running into Steve - even today, on his day off.)

"Hey, I understand. Duty calls, and all that." Sam glanced at Steve, who was keeping pace with him. "How much effort is it taking to slow down like that instead of just blowing through another five laps?" He flashed a sidelong grin at Steve. Truth be told, he'd welcomed the sound of that 'on your left' at last - not that he would ever, ever admit it to the other man.

Steve shrugged. "It's fine," and Sam knew it wasn't, but he wasn't going to call Steve on it.

"If you don't mind being cooped up in a car with me, you're welcome to come back to my place afterwards for breakfast," Sam offered nonchalantly. On a normal day, he would've had to shower and head to work - and, yeah, he belonged to a gym not far from the VA headquarters just to use their showers and change before work on those mornings when it was necessary - but today, he could maybe enjoy the chance to get to know Steve a little better.

Steve waved him off. "Nah, that's all right," and then he hesitated, perhaps thinking better of it. "You can come back to my place for a drink, though."

A drink had apparently been the most transparent excuse Steve Rogers could think of, because they never got around to that glass of water; as soon as they got through the door, Steve pushed Sam up against the wall and kissed him like he was dying of thirst.

"Didn't think you picked up on those signals," Sam panted against his lips, closing his eyes for a moment to ground himself. It was fucking dizzying, and the last thing he'd expected when he'd decided to keep jogging in hopes of meeting Steve again. He'd thought, hell, maybe a conversation, swapping phone numbers, watching a baseball game together and shitting on the Yankees. But here he was, in their second meeting, with Captain goddamn America sticking his tongue down his throat.

(Sam absolutely wasn't complaining.)

Steve chuckled, and god, Sam was half in love with that smile of his already. "I listened to some of Marvin Gaye's other music. I don't think that was what anyone would call subtle."

"Mm, fair enough." Sam definitely had more than one Marvin Gaye song on his sex playlist - though when he'd suggested the Troubleman soundtrack, it had been a little more innocuous, a way to expose Steve to something other than the whitest of white culture. (The flirting had absolutely not been innocuous at all.) "You got a shower I could use? 'Cause I don't know about you, but I'm not exactly fresh as a daisy right now."

That penetrating blue gaze studied him for a moment, and Steve brushed another kiss against his lips before he stepped back. "Can't tell me you haven't smelled worse than this," he joked. "I know what life on the front is like."

"Man, I was in a fucking desert." Sam pulled a face. "You don't even know. But we're in civilization, and I like to smell good, okay?" Especially when the situation suggested that they were about to spend some time getting intimate - and, conversely, getting sweaty all over again.

The bathroom was surprisingly large for a place like this, but it made sense that it was one of the luxuries Steve would allow himself - he needed a shower big enough for a super-soldier, after all. He handed Sam a towel, then hesitated; Sam just arched an eyebrow at him.

"You need an engraved invitation, Rogers?"

"I-" His smile this time was shy, a little bashful. "Look, I don't want you to think I got a lot of experience with this sorta thing."

Sam cupped Steve's cheeks in his hands. "I got enough for both of us. Trust me, I'm not gonna judge; we all had to start somewhere, right?" And, to be honest, he didn't give a damn how experienced Steve was, not when he had the chance to see what was under the t-shirt that was practically painted on.

Steve stripped off mechanically, and after a moment of watching him, Sam did the same; it was perfectly normal for both of them, men who were used to getting undressed whenever and wherever they had to. Sam had never cared much about nudity, but the Air Force had done away with whatever shame he might've had.

Of course, once Steve was naked, the awkwardness seeped back into his frame, his body language that of a much smaller man. This was unfamiliar territory for him, and as much as Sam wanted to stop and stare, he knew it would only make Steve more uncomfortable.

"You, uh, didn't strike me as the type to be Jewish," Steve mentioned awkwardly as Sam leaned in to turn the water on.

"Wha-" Sam paused for a moment, glanced over his shoulder at Steve, and- oh. "Nah, my daddy's a reverend. It's just...a thing that-" He scrubbed his face with his free hand, unable to believe that he was having an actual goddamn conversation about the societal prevalence of circumcision with Captain fucking America. "It's not uncommon, let's just leave it at that." And apparently he hadn't been exposed to much in the way of modern porn, either, if he was asking about that.

"Sorry," Steve apologized, "that was dumb, I just- I'm not good at talking to people in situations like this." He smiled ruefully at Sam. "Or good at situations like this in general."

"Man, you talked me out of my pants, I think we can assume that's wrong." Not that Sam had needed much convincing, but if it would make Steve feel better, he would let him take all the credit (and that kiss had done a whole lot of the heavy lifting there). His tone softened. "You don't need to apologize for a damn thing, Steve." Sam leaned over to kiss him again, lingering against his lips.

"It's kind of a habit." Steve shrugged, and there was something sad in his eyes when he looked at Sam. In that moment, Sam wanted to pull him into his arms and kiss away all that self-doubt, all the fear of rejection he could see. Steve was just a normal man, with normal insecurities, and he'd laid himself bare in front of someone who was practically a stranger. That took almost as much courage as facing down enemy soldiers.

"C'mon, Rogers, let's just get in the shower before the hot water runs out." Sam took Steve's arm and tugged him into the shower along with him.

Steve gave him that shy smile again. "I think I can count the number of hot showers I took in the whole war on one hand."

"Uh-huh." Now Sam was staring, but to be fair, it was hard not to when there was an expanse of bare skin in front of him, water trickling down all those sculpted muscles, and his gaze slid down with that water. Logic told him to start slow, but, Sam thought, fuck logic. "Don't trip," he added, because damn, they didn't need to call 911 because of an unfortunate shower incident.

"What-" Before Steve could get the whole question out, Sam was down on his knees and swallowing his cock. Steve's hands flexed, the fingers curling into fists, and, "Fuck," he swore under his breath, "oh, Christ, Sam."

Yeah, he could get used to Steve saying his name like that.

Chapter Text

"I don't appreciate the way you've been treating me, little bird." T'Challa smirked down at Sam, letting his fingers run over the well-defined muscles of his chest and abdomen, the line of hair that started at his navel and led down to wiry curls at the base of his cock. He'd already fitted a cockring on the other man, already teased him to the brink once with his mouth.

All of Sam's muscles were tense, anticipating his every touch, and a noise like a whimper caught in his throat. "Please, T'Challa," he begged softly. He canted his hips up to seek out more contact, but T'Challa pulled away at the last moment.

"Do you like playing with me? Pushing me to the very edge of my restraint?" His tone was strict, but controlled; there was no anger to be found in it. It wasn't as if he hadn't enjoyed Sam's little games, after all, but tonight the shoe was on the other foot.

Sam grinned broadly up at him with that smile he had, the one that lit up a room like the sun. The man was absolutely shameless, T'Challa had to give him that much. "You know I do, kitten." His voice was breathless, a little rough from being worked up already, and as T'Challa looked down at him, he decided to rearrange his plans.

In one swift movement, he straddled Sam's chest, letting his weight rest on those wide shoulders. "Open up," he directed him, and when Sam opened his mouth, T'Challa guided his cock in.

"I think you're better off not speaking, don't you?" T'Challa grabbed the headboard with both hands and let out an undignified squeak when Sam began to suck. "This is a much better use for your mouth." Once he gave Sam time to adjust, he began to thrust, slow and shallow, shuddering as his erection slid in and out. They fell into silence, the only sounds T'Challa's moans and heavy breathing, the occasional sucking noise from Sam. Sam spent so much time in bed - and out of it - talking like only an American could. While he enjoyed the sound of Sam's voice, there was a certain value to be found in silence, too. It allowed him to focus on the physical, the way Sam sucked greedily, the hot lash of his tongue against his skin.

T'Challa pulled out as he felt his balls tighten, his chest heaving as he looked down at Sam. The other man's eyes were unfocused, and his jaw hung slack even after T'Challa moved back. Reaching behind him, T'Challa found Sam's length, hot and hard, and wrapped his fingers around it. "What do you think I should do next?" he asked, and his own voice was lower and thicker now.

Sam didn't respond, but his hips jerked once, up into T'Challa's hand. T'Challa teased the slit of his cock, smearing precome over the head. "I think I'll fuck myself on you," he purred. "And maybe if you behave, I'll let you come."

There was a wicked glint in Sam's eye; T'Challa cut off whatever he was going to say by leaning down and kissing him, tightening his grip on his cock until Sam moaned into his mouth. "You don't want to misbehave, do you, little bird?" He wasn't going to let Sam push him tonight. "It'll be so much better for you if you go along, trust me." He ran his free hand along the stubble on Sam's jaw, his touch tender. "If you don't, it will be a very long night."

Chapter Text

It all began innocently enough. Sam, finding himself at loose ends, decided to take a walk in the palace gardens. The Dora Milaje, who might have warned him, had long since stopped accompanying Sam on his excursions, and so nobody was there to tell Sam that he shouldn't sniff one particular flower. It wasn't any more exotic than the other Wakandan blooms, didn't have any warnings around it. It was in a secluded corner with a small water garden and a flat expanse of grass surrounded by shrubs, but it wasn't the only flower there. Sam was drawn to the crimson blooms, shading to a deep purple in the center of the petals, and he cupped one to his nose and inhaled.

By the time he got back to the chambers he shared with T'Challa, he was so hard he could barely walk. One of the Dora Milaje on guard noticed his predicament, and while Sam didn't strictly want to share the particulars of the situation with her, he was concerned that the flower had been toxic in some way.

When T'Challa arrived, Sam was somewhere between desperate to jerk off and too nervous about what he'd done to himself. The latter emotion dissipated as the door clicked shut behind him and T'Challa burst out laughing in an expression of mirth he'd never seen on his lover's face.

Oh, yeah, he'd done something real stupid.

"Have you washed your hands?" T'Challa asked once the laughter subsided. This close, Sam could see tears glinting at the corners of his eyes, and he was still a little breathless from his laughing fit.

That was something he should have done as soon as he got back, but, of course, he hadn't thought of it. Sam blushed in embarrassment and shook his head.

"Good." T'Challa took Sam's right hand and carefully sucked each of the fingertips. By the time he reached the middle finger, Sam was rocking on the bed, and when he nipped his pinky, it was all over - with a shudder and a cry, Sam came in his pants.

(God, he hated his life.)

"Weird cure," he managed to say, or at least slur. Even though his orgasm had been intense, his erection refused to subside.

T'Challa grinned at him, showing all his teeth. "There is no cure, little bird. I need help if I'm going to keep up with you, and I'm not going to go out to the gardens." He began to undress, pulling his top over his head and revealing an expanse of bare skin that Sam longed to touch. "The flower you sniffed is one traditionally given to newlyweds. It increases the libido - although, admittedly, most newlyweds rarely need the help. Some older men also ingest the dried petals, but the practice is frowned upon - the dosage is difficult to get right at that age, and it can be fatal for those with heart problems. We, however, are both young enough that we should suffer no ill effects."

"You have Viagra flowers?" Sam started to shuck off his wet pants. "How are you not making billions of dollars from the rest of the world?"

T'Challa paused to roll his eyes at Sam. "Because every other species men believe to be aphrodisiacs are hunted or picked to extinction to satisfy their egos. These flowers must be carefully nurtured, and they only grow under the proper conditions. Part of that includes Wakandan soil, which has a certain low level of vibranium.

"Also," he added, "outsiders are stupid enough to ignore any warnings we might give them and inevitably overdose." T'Challa shrugged. "We urge caution even to our own people, and access is typically limited. It's hardly as if we live in some hedonistic paradise, Sam - although, having said that, you did stumble upon a great-something grandfather's, ah, trysting location."

Sam had spaced out halfway through the explanation, only paying attention once T'Challa slid his underpants down over his hips. "Any other places around the palace I should know about?" he asked wryly.

"I had thought about showing it to you, you know." T'Challa leaned in to inhale Sam's scent, pressing his nose close to his neck. "I didn't know how an American might view that from a cultural perspective, but I thought you would find the flowers interesting."

"Oh, yeah, real interesting." As much as Sam tried to deadpan, T'Challa was crawling into his lap, and that was much more interesting.

"I also would have kept you from inhaling as deeply as you did," he murmured against Sam's collarbone. "I have no idea how long this will take to run its course, but I'll stay with you the whole time. I promise."

Chapter Text

Twenty-four hours later, both the effects from the flower and T'Challa's enhanced endurance courtesy of the heart-shaped herb were exhausted; he hadn't hoped for much from the contact high, so to speak, so he wasn't surprised. He had seriously considered asking for one of the blossoms to be brought to him, but then he might outlast Sam, and the entire problem would start all over again.

(Another reason why it would have been unwise to allow outsiders access. They had no concept of restraint.)

Besides, he didn't want rumors about the king's virility to get out - it was foolish and vain, perhaps, but even in Wakanda, people still connected virility to strength, both physical and mental. There was, after all, a reason why they still performed the rituals at Warrior Falls.

So T'Challa was left with his own wits and an overly sensitive body that absolutely could not manage one more erection. Sam was at least through the worst of it - they had been able to sleep for a few hours, thank Bast - but the way he'd taken T'Challa once they woke up proved that the plant had yet to work its way through his system.

(Perhaps outsiders were especially susceptible to its effects. Like every foolish young man, T'Challa had partaken of it before - the barest sniff of a blossom once, many years ago, on a dare - but Sam's dose had been larger.)

Had there been signs of a more serious problem, he would have had Shuri working on an antidote, but...well, he couldn't bring himself to tell his little sister about the problem, let alone ask her to come up with a solution. Okoye had strict orders to tell everyone that he had a brief contagious illness; only the Dora Milaje knew that their king had locked himself in his chambers for a period of debauchery, and they would guard his secret with their lives.

"I'm going to embrace a life of celibacy," Sam groaned, letting his head fall back against the pillow. The room smelled like sex and sweat, and T'Challa had lit incense on a stone panther burner atop his wardrobe to combat the odor. It wasn't unpleasant, but it was growing stale. They'd both showered more than once (and even taken separate showers once it was evident that very little cleaning would occur), but there was only so much they could do.

T'Challa nuzzled Sam's chest in a surprisingly tender gesture. "That would be a shame," he replied with mock solemnity. "But I will remember to suggest that this particular tradition can be skipped at the wedding."

"That-" Sam blinked as the words sunk in. "What?"

He shrugged as if he hadn't just casually proposed to his lover in the middle of an aphrodisiac-fueled sex marathon. "Well, I wouldn't want you to go through this twice, although I imagine that you would know better the second time." T'Challa grinned and nipped softly at one of Sam's nipples. There were other dark marks on the surrounding skin, much as T'Challa's own skin was mottled with bruises and bite marks. Not all of their lovemaking had been tender and gentle.

"T'Challa," Sam protested. "I don't think this is the time to have that conversation."

"Of course," he agreed. "I'll be sure to come up with a suitably romantic occasion and go down on one knee. I've been studying American films, you know. They're very...white."

Sam squirmed on the bed as T'Challa kept nipping at his skin. "Yeah, well, rom-coms are made for white women, not people like us. It's a failing of the genre as a whole, though not a totally inaccurate reflection of American marriage traditions."

"Should I be writing you cute anonymous emails?" T'Challa teased him. He rolled over onto his side and propped his head on an elbow as he gazed at Sam. "Or should I trick you into meeting me on top of the Empire State Building?"

"How about you keep doing what you're doing," Sam suggested. "It seems to be working pretty well so far."

"But then you won't be able to pursue your vow of celibacy." Now Sam's hands were roaming over him, teasing at his cock, and T'Challa shuddered. Dry orgasms were always an option, but he didn't know how many of those he could manage, either. "No more teasing me during all my official duties, or luring me away from work with the promise of blowjobs."

"You really do need to delegate more," Sam muttered under his breath, and T'Challa chose to ignore him. That was a conversation they'd had more than once.

"Should I ask your father for his permission, do you think?" He also ignored the strong, warm fingers wrapping around him, trying to coax him into arousal. He wanted to get hard again, but god, Sam's fingers were too much.

Sam stroked him slowly. "I think you already made your decision, and I'm a little too old for even the formality. But if you don't ask him to officiate, he'll be real mad."

T'Challa honestly hadn't considered the matter of an officiant - in fact, in Wakanda, all you really needed for a marriage were the two consenting parties, although a king's wedding typically was presided over by a priest. He could see Sam's logic, though. "I think you just said yes," he pointed out.

"I think I probably did, yeah." Sam grinned cheekily at him. "It'll be a great story to tell the kids."

"I definitely need to come up with something more romantic, then," T'Challa deadpanned before he leaned in to kiss Sam.

Chapter Text

Stephen seemed more than happy to let Tony wait before following up on his promise - though, thinking back on it, Tony wasn't sure if it had been a promise or a hint or some kind of flirtation (or all three). That was the problem with Strange: the man wrapped himself in some kind of mystique like it was his damn Cloak and delighted in being an enigma.

Fucking sorcerers, Tony thought.

You called? He felt the brush of Strange against his mind, the sardonic mental touch that seemed almost as familiar as those long-fingered hands settling against him. He wondered for a moment if Strange was reading his mind all the time, and made a face at the idea of someone invading his thoughts like that.

Don't be silly, Strange told him. I happened to be scrying for you, saw you were unoccupied, and managed to catch you when you were thinking especially loudly. I'm a doctor, Tony, I do practice a certain code of ethics. Now, go lock your door, unless you happen to relish the idea of someone walking in on you.

Tony bit his bottom lip as he realized that Stephen absolutely had the intention of pushing him past the point of what would be acceptable in a board meeting - and that the other man probably knew how little restraint Tony had.

The entire world knows how little restraint you have, Stark. It's been well-documented on the internet.

Have you watched the videos? Tony tried to give his mental voice the implication of a leer, but he could practically feel Stephen rolling his eyes in response.

Tony, I pride myself in having taste.

That wasn't a no. Tony sat down again and leaned back in his chair. C'mon, Strange, talk sexy to me.

It's cute that you think this is going to involve talking. Tony felt the skitter-scratch of nails down his spine and instantly sat up again.

Shit, he swore. Leave it to Strange to hone right in on his hotspots; a second later, the ethereal fingernails dug into his scalp. Think about doing that to me while I'm sucking you off, Stephen. I love having fingers in my hair, feeling you pull harder as you get more turned on. I want you to fuck my mouth until you're close to coming.

Tony could feel Stephen's arousal in the back of his mind, a tangible thing that was separate from his own pleasing warmth, and it only served to spur him on. He started to reach down to palm himself through his trousers, but stopped when he sensed disapproval.

Let me, Stephen murmured, and Tony felt invisible fingers wrap around his cock, stroking slowly. This spell mirrors my own movements, Tony.

Tony thought about Strange jerking off and whimpered a little, his hands clutching at the armrests of his chair.

Maybe I'm doing obscene things to a cucumber, Strange offered wryly. Though, I assure you, in the comfort of my bedroom. I wouldn't want Wong to walk in on me while I'm molesting an innocent vegetable.

It's flattering that you're using a cucumber, Tony retorted right back. Although I'm just glad there isn't penetration involved, for both our sakes.

Mmm. Tony felt a distinct flutter deep inside him, one he usually associated with being fucked, and swore under his breath again. I don't need to simulate penetration to stimulate your prostate gland. That's just science.

That is - ohfuck - the least sexy dirty talk ever, Stephen. As if Tony wasn't starting to sweat underneath the layers of his suit. The invisible hand was still stroking him at that same slow, maddening pace, and Tony unbuttoned his fly, giving his increasingly crowded erection more room.

There was that same feeling again, but harder, and Tony saw stars. Don't tell me you don't like scientific terms. I could probably get you off by reciting the periodic table.

Only you and that voice of yours, Strange. Tony squeezed his eyes shut and rocked his hips up rhythmically. It felt strange without meeting any resistance, but instinct drove him to do it. Your little spell is nice, but there's something to be said for being fucked. The hand obligingly moved a little faster, and Tony smiled. Feeling your weight on top of me, kissing you while you push inside me. Having you fill me up, just like you filled my mouth earlier. I want to have you, all of you.

Tony felt a hand cup his cheek tenderly, a thumb stroking along his jawline. C'mon, Stephen, he begged. Finish me off.

Tony... He sensed that Stephen had reached the point where he was too distracted to speak; the movements of his hand became more erratic. Tony's breath hitched, and in his mind, the pleas ran together until his entire stream of conscious thought was just please and nothing else.

One last nudge along his prostate, and Tony toppled over the edge, biting his lower lip to keep from crying out audibly. He really didn't want anyone to ask what was going on; even for him, this was a little weird.

I see why that might've been awkward during a board meeting, Tony admitted a moment later. Are you doing anything tonight?

In the glass of his desk, he saw a circle of whirling sparks open up behind his chair.

"Why wait until tonight?"

Chapter Text

"I want you to know," Stephen said from somewhere in the vicinity of Carol's head, "that I would absolutely never use magic for any cheap tricks."

Carol rolled her eyes behind the blindfold. "I've seen you heat up your tea when it gets cold."

"A necessity." Cold lips closed around one of her nipples, and Carol hissed, arching her back. She concentrated for a moment and reached out for Stephen - fine control was harder than just blasting things, but she didn't hear flesh sizzle when she made contact, so she had the temperature right, at least. She drew heated fingers over his ribs and skated over his stomach.

"It takes two to tango, Strange."

--

"I've been wanting to try this," Peggy confided in Sam, "but I can't ask Steve because, well-"

"It's kinda awkward, isn't it?" Sam raised an eyebrow at the bowl full of ice cubes and popped one in his mouth. What he'd failed to notice was that Peggy already had one in her hand, and she gently skimmed it over his erection. The cold water trickled down his cock, and Sam nearly choked on the cube when he inhaled.

--

Howard's fingers were skilled, there was no doubt about that, and Peggy luxuriated in the sensation of hot oil spreading over her skin as he rubbed it into muscles too tense from a long week of work. She stretched, catlike, then grabbed his wrist to stop him, dipping the fingers of her other hand into the bowl.

"Maybe I want to put my hands all over you for a change," she murmured, painting a line down his sternum. He had to be just as tense as she was - although, knowing Howard, giving him a massage wouldn't solve that particular problem.

--

Asgardians naturally ran hot, and so did Bruce. Val had teased him more than once about having sex in the snow (a suggestion he had rejected every time), but when she pulled an icicle off the roof and dragged the tip over his bare chest, leaving behind drops of water that she chased with her lips, he was begging for more before long.

--

"You want an ice queen, Stark?" Hope smirked as she took the glass dildo out of its bowl of ice water. She tested it against the skin of her wrist, making sure it didn't stick to her skin, then pressed the tip against Tony. "I'll show you a fucking ice queen."

Tony keened; Hope could tell that he didn't know whether to press back or pull away.

"Oh, let it go."

Chapter Text

Sam would never have admitted it, but sometimes he felt more like a handicap to Steve in their search for Bucky than any kind of help. His wings were what had made him unique, and the Winter Soldier had ruined the jetpack. Without that, he was just a guy with some guns - and, yeah, he was damn good in a fight, he wouldn't deny that. He'd spent years as a pararescueman, and you had to be the best of the best for that. But he wasn't a supersoldier, couldn't do the things Steve did, and it made him feel lesser. It was something that Steve never would have meant intentionally, but he did it simply by existing. That was how it was. Sam wasn't mad about it, and he didn't blame Steve in the least. But it meant that Steve had to be conscious about his more fragile ally in fights, that he had to pace himself to accommodate Sam's needs, and yeah, that made him feel awkward sometimes.

(On the other hand, he wasn't sure Steve would have stopped for things like sleeping and eating without him, so maybe that was a good thing. Sam knew he needed more calories because his metabolism was sped up, but he sure as hell didn't act like it sometimes. He was always pushing himself, always obsessed with moving on like their cold trail was suddenly going to get warmer.)

Mainly, Sam had come along because he didn't want Steve to be alone. It was a gut instinct he had, and his gut rarely proved him wrong. The guy had been by himself long enough, he thought, and he needed a friend by his side. They'd taken to each other with a surprising ease, slipping into a companionship that felt like they'd known each other for years. It was the kind of thing that just felt right, the kind of connection that Sam hadn't had for far too long and Steve, he imagined, for even longer. It didn't take much to read that in the way he handled himself, awkward and a little aloof. Yeah, he was friendly enough, but it was like he held himself apart from everyone else, apart from maybe Natasha. Sam thought the guy needed a friend - one who wasn't a brainwashed Soviet assassin. Sure, he had the other Avengers, but they were in New York, and Steve had chosen to live apart from them for whatever reason, so maybe they didn't count as friends. Maybe Steve didn't want friends, or maybe he'd told himself that he didn't want friends. Maybe everyone he met saw Captain America first and Steve Rogers second. Sam could've filled an entire notebook with maybes about Steve.

It was hard not to think about him when they spent most of their time together, when Sam found himself trying to interpret his actions, when the silence filled their cheap motel room at nights. Steve spent his time obsessively poring over every scrap of information they had about Barnes, and Sam - well, Sam started talking eventually, just to fill the silence. All the surface stuff, anything that came to mind. Chatter about the VA, about that girl who'd flirted with him back in Marseilles, the curry they'd had in Brussels that had kept both of them up half the night and fighting for the bathroom, how Europe was too goddamn rainy and dark (but it was still better than the wind and sand in Afghanistan). Eventually, Steve started to venture a few stories of his own - they were all about Bucky to begin with, childhood stories of growing up in Brooklyn during the Depression, things that historians would've given their right arm to hear. (Sam had gone to the Smithsonian and bought books about Steve after they'd met that first time, but they'd been supposition and hearsay, mostly, without much in the way of solid history.) Stories about being stuck in bed when he was sick for long periods of time, how he'd taught himself to draw to pass the time, how he'd read any book he could get his hands on. How Bucky had taught him to box because he'd been so damn intent on getting his ass kicked at every opportunity.

"Maybe," Sam suggested with a mouth full of greasy Chinese takeout, "you shoulda picked your fights better." He'd learned real early on to avoid fights, that there was no way of knowing when the guy on the other side had a gun, and he'd seen too many parents crying over the broken bodies of their kids to want to inflict that on his parents. He was a smartass - nothing his mama said could ever cure that habit - but he knew where to draw the line.

Steve just shrugged and smiled. It was a slight shrug, the body language of a much smaller man in a bigger frame. Brooklyn back then wasn't like Harlem in the 80s; Sam knew enough history to know that. Now both their homes were being gentrified (they'd both done their share of bitching about that), changed beyond recognition by rich white folks who didn't care about the souls of the neighborhoods they were gutting down to the skeletons. Last time Sam had been home to visit his parents, there had been a goddamn Whole Foods going up in a building that had held black-owned businesses for decades. Brooklyn was full of hipster restaurants and trendy bars and brownstones with rent that nobody who'd lived there a decade ago could afford. Sam knew Steve dreamed about moving back to Brooklyn, but he wasn't sure what the other man would find there when he did.

***

Before the serum, lingerie had been strictly practical for Sam. She hadn't been able to afford nicer, and frankly, she didn't see the need for it. After, well, there was a war on, and she still didn't need anything impractical - not to mention that women were encouraged to make do where they could and save things like silk for the war effort. So when Tasha suggested it, Sam looked at her like she was crazy. Sure, she had all sorts of bras and panties and Lord knew what else (and Sam enjoyed all of them), but she was Natasha Stark, and she had, well, a reputation.

"You seriously don't own anything nicer?" Tasha held up Sam's bra, simple and white and completely inoffensive, between thumb and forefinger, giving it a dubious look before she tossed it aside.

Sam just shrugged. "Don't need it, do I?" Some women had the kind of bodies made for that sort of thing, all lush curves. Sam had been lanky before Project Rebirth and now her body was, to put it nicely, utilitarian - she was a fighter, and she had muscles. It didn't make her any less of a woman, like a lot of idiot officers in the Army had insinuated. It just meant that, as far as she was concerned, she looked better in clothes that weren't made for curves she didn't have.

"First of all, I'm seriously disappointed you don't have a Captain America thong-"

"They make those?" Sam definitely hadn't signed off on any merchandise like that.

"-and second, honey, you need something nicer." Tasha's gaze softened. "Please."

***

Whatever Sam and Tony had between them, it only came out late at night, when the ghosts of their past arose to haunt them. Sam wasn't sure how it had started, how it had evolved into this, keeping themselves grounded through touch and quiet words in the dark, the shadows chased away by the dim glow of the arc reactor. Afterwards, Tony rasped out a few harsh words, slowly drawn to the surface like he was confessing his sins, and Sam ran his fingers through sweat-damp hair.

(He knew that Tony would've rather had Steve there. He saw it in the way Tony's gaze lingered on Steve the rest of the time, the way they each got under the other's skin better than anyone else. The tension was so thick, Sam was surprised even Steve didn't notice it.)

They fell asleep together more often than not once their demons were exorcised, and they awoke with their limbs tangled together. Tony had joked more than once about Sam being a cuddler, like Tony didn't press close before Sam even fell asleep, desperate for whatever physical comfort he could eke out. Sam never said anything. Tony's secrets were his to keep.

He never talked about Riley, but it was clear enough to anyone who read between the lines in his files, and Stark had read all the files. He knew what Sam had lost, he knew that Sam had put himself back together afterwards. Sam wondered sometimes if that was what Tony sought, if he was trying to figure out how Sam had done it. (Therapy, he'd told him more than once, and Tony had just rolled his eyes and scoffed.) Sometimes, when Tony dragged his fingertips over Sam's skin, Sam thought he was feeling out the seams where he'd been broken apart. Sam could've told him that the human psyche wasn't a machine, to be reverse-engineered, but to Tony, everything was like an equation that he could solve if he just tried hard enough.

It made his heart hurt, but it didn't keep him from coming back, didn't keep him from letting Tony in when he came looking for him. Casual sex was what he'd wanted all these years, and only now did it fail him, only now did someone worm their way in through the cracks of the wall he'd built around himself. And the joke was on him - it was someone who was already in love with his best friend.

(Sam didn't blame him. Steve was heartbreakingly easy to fall in love with. He knew that from personal experience.)

"You just want me 'cause I'm broken," Tony said one night, turning his face away from Sam, speaking into the dark. "Because fixing me makes you feel better about yourself."

"Fuck off, Stark," Sam retorted. He knew better than to rise to the bait and get truly angry, but part of him wanted to. Instead, he rolled over and curled his body around Tony's. "If I wanted to fix you - which I wouldn't, because that would be unethical and massively fucked up - then you wouldn't be broken anymore and I wouldn't want you, according to your logic." Except it wasn't logic, but a spiral of self-loathing; even a blind man could've seen that.

"Nobody wants me." Translation: Nobody should want me. Spending enough time around Tony Stark gave you a sort of sixth sense for translating what he meant from what he actually said, because Tony couldn't fucking come out and say anything. (Neither could Steve. Most of the Avengers were emotionally constipated.)

Sam huffed against the nape of Tony's neck. "You know that's not true."