sam_storyteller: (Alternate Universe)
sam_storyteller ([personal profile] sam_storyteller) wrote2014-02-22 12:46 pm
Entry tags:

Ironfries Art Prompts; Avengers, R

These are a series of fanfics written in collaboration with (sometimes in cheerful theft from) [tumblr.com profile] ironfries. All images link back to her original image posts and are used with permission.

These are all also available at AO3.

Title: Diplomacy
Rating: R (Steve/Tony)
Summary: Most of politics is masturbation.
Warnings: None.
Notes: This is in the "Commander Steve/Director Tony" vein; while they were never in those positions concurrently, it's become a bit of a tumblr trope.



"You look ridiculous," Steve said.

"You have always looked ridiculous, no throwing stones," Tony replied.

"No, I looked patriotic."

"You look like a GI Joe doll right this very second."

"I'm suited to the stars and stripes."

"And spangles."

Steve grasped Tony by the band of his uniform collar, lifting him one-handed until he stood on his toes.

"Director," he said pleasantly.

"Commander," Tony replied, with remarkable composure given his situation. "I thought this was a private meeting to divvy up who commands what around here."

"So did I, and then you showed up in the catsuit."

"This is a standard SHIELD uniform. I'm -- "

"Anything but a standard SHIELD catsuit-grunt."

"Hey, I'm not the one stalling against a diplomatic discussion of how we're going to run SHIELD."

"Are you sure?" Steve asked, walking him backwards towards the conference room table and the empty chairs surrounding it. "Because I think you knew exactly what would happen if you showed up in a skintight SHIELD uniform."

"I did figure you were getting tired of tailored suits," Tony replied, right before Steve shoved him into a chair.

"You thought you'd strut around in a tight uniform with some well-placed straps and my brain would go right out my ears," Steve said. He took a ziptie from a pouch at his hip, right above his sidearm holster, and threw it around Tony's wrist before the other man could pull away. It tightened with a hiss, trapping Tony's left wrist against the chair.

"This is much more fun than diplomacy," Tony pointed out.

"You know what they say," Steve said, grasping his other wrist. He cupped his hand around Tony's and brought it down between Tony's legs, holding it there until Tony got the message and kept his hand still when Steve released it. "Most of politics is masturbation."

"Do they?" Tony asked, arching up and towards Steve's lowered head.

"Here's how this is going to work," Steve replied, mouth half an inch from Tony's straining body. "I give you a little..." he kissed him, nipping his lower lip, "And you do whatever you need to do to convince yourself I gave you everything you wanted."

"You expected this," Tony accused, hips already jerking against his palm.

"When they called me the finest tactical mind of the century, it wasn't because they thought I was pretty," Steve answered, smiling against his lips.




Title: Solarium
Rating: R (Steve/Tony, but the rating is mainly for violence)
Summary: If people would just stop making problems for Director Stark, Captain Rogers wouldn’t have to beat them to death.
Warnings: Violence, gore, extreme dysfunctional codependence, murder
Notes: The idea is not mine -- it comes from askjxc on tumblr, who suggested the premise in this comic.




Steve heaves a breath in and then a breath out, annoyed by the rattle of it in his throat. He swallows, calms himself, breathes again. It's always worse when Tony's been busy, the grate of everything on his nerves -- the murky air of Manhattan, even the marginally cleaner air of Brooklyn, the voices of strangers, the way people dawdle and get in his path and make things difficult and distract Tony so that Steve gets less time with him, less attention, less quiet in his head.

He thinks sometimes that maybe the sleep down in the ice messed him up, did something to his brain, but he never spends much time brooding on it. He can't; the memory of the ice is a physical pain, and when he thinks too much about it he has to go sit in the solarium where it's always warm and often sunny. Sometimes he can even look down from the peak of Stark Tower and see smog below, and that makes him smile.

He doesn't think he used to be like this. But then, isn't it an improvement? Steven Grant Rogers, the symbol of progress, both industrial and scientific. Always forward, always upward. First it was his body the Serum fixed, and now his mind is clear and sharp, at least some of the time.

He looks down at the bloody, ragged mess of flesh and bone that used to be the Living Laser. Turns out, since light is both a wave and a particle, Vibranium can absorb it. He sucked the light out of him with a couple of good bashes of the shield, and then set to work with the brunt and the edge on the human body containing it.

"If you'd just stop distracting him," he rasps, "I wouldn't have to do this."

His comm clicks to life, startling him; he almost thought it came from the body for a second. "SHIELD command to Captain Rogers."

"This is Rogers," Steve says, tapping the comm.

"We have a call from Director Stark for you. Please hold."

Steve makes a pleased noise over the hold music, and it only takes a few seconds for Tony's voice to echo in his ear. Tony's voice is warm, like summer and sunlight.

"How's everyone's favorite national icon?"

"Just fine, Tony," Steve says with a smile. "Stop calling me that."

"Aw baby, I have to stroke your ego once in a while."

"You really don't," Steve replies.

"Well, let's say I like it, then. Speaking of petting, are you free tonight?"

"Of course," Steve says. He's always free in the evenings. Or, if he isn't, he will be for Tony. "Finally giving you a night off?"

"I've wrapped all the surveillance meetings from this week and as long as nobody makes trouble, I'm out of here by four. I have the whole weekend off, too."

Steve nudges the Laser's body with his boot.

"Pretty sure it'll be a quiet afternoon," he says. "Meet you at HQ?"

"No, go on home. I'll be there by five with a bottle of wine and some food."

"Be there by four-thirty, I'll take care of dinner."

"You're so good to me. Love you, bye now."

"I love you, Tony," Steve says earnestly, and taps off the comm.

He'll get something nice from Tony's wine cellar, and order from that Japanese place Tony likes; they can eat in the solarium.

The solarium is Steve's favorite place in the entire new world, a tropical paradise that at this point covers almost half of Tony's penthouse floor. Nobody is allowed to go there or to bother them there. Oh, once or twice there have been Avengers calls, and those take precedence, but otherwise the solarium is Steve And Tony Only time, and Steve treasures it.

He sets the wine out and tells JARVIS to place the order for food when Tony leaves HQ, and to warn him when Tony arrives at Stark Tower. He tosses his uniform into the cleaning chute, scrubs the blood from his boots and shield, showers it off his body (the hot water stings on his knuckles, but it's good -- makes him feel proud and alive) and after consideration, puts on a speedo, padding out to the pool at the far edge of the solarium.

Tony loves the speedo. Steve often thinks Tony likes him in a little bit of something rather than nothing at all; the pleasure of unwrapping a present, he supposes. It doesn't matter to him, as long as Tony likes it.

He swims laps, stretching and un-knotting muscles bruised or tense from the fight. The chlorine, too, stings his knuckles and the burn he got along one arm, but it'll be healed in a few days, no need to fuss. When JARVIS tells him Tony is on his way up, he hoists himself out of the pool and lies down on a nearby deck-chair to sun himself through the glass. He knows how he looks like this; Tony's told him often enough. Miles of wet golden skin all for me? You shouldn't have.

"Are we playing tired billionaire and kept man tonight?" Tony asks, arriving with the delivery bag. "Ran into the food downstairs."

"We can," Steve says with a grin, pushing himself up on his elbows. Tony looks him up and down, his gaze possessive. Steve frequently kills people for Tony -- after all, they are in a war against the darkness and deaths in war aren't murder, even if Tony has not specifically ordered most of them -- but he knows that Tony's murderous intent is entirely different. Steve kills people who distract his beloved, who get in the way of him having Tony all to himself. Tony merely carries the threat of killing anyone who touches Steve wrong. If Steve ever strayed (he won't; he's not built that way) he suspects whoever was unwise enough to share his bed would end up very dead, very quickly.

He loves it.

"Sugar daddy wants a kiss and a really big glass of wine," Tony says, bending over him, and Steve obliges with the former, lifting a hand to Tony's face. Tony ends the kiss regretfully, then grasps Steve's wrist, turning it over until he can see the knuckles and the burn.

"Been enjoying yourself?" he asks with a raised eyebrow. Steve nods, and Tony sets the food down, heading for the first-aid kit in the little cabana near the pool. He returns with gauze, ointment, and tape, and flops himself down in Steve's lap, pulling his arm around, getting his SHIELD uniform wet.

"You need to be more careful, baby," he says, swabbing ointment on the arm. Steve hides his face in Tony's neck, overwhelmed with happiness at his presence, his body and voice and gentle hands on Steve's.

"Chlorine disinfected it," he murmurs.

"That's not what I mean and you know it. Having fun is well and good, but you need to look after yourself."

"Mmm, ok," Steve says, probably a little petulant.

"I know I've been busy all week," Tony says, quieter now. "I'm sorry for neglecting you. It's just, after Laser took down the entire SHIELD power grid, we've been rebooting and reinstalling, and I had to be there. You understand, don't you?"

Steve nods into his shoulder. He whines a little when Tony wipes the last of the ointment on his raw knuckles.

"Laser won't be a problem anymore," he adds, as Tony tapes down gauze and begins securely wrapping his hand. The pain mixes with the scent of Tony and becomes something more, slowly blooming under his skin. He rolls his hips a little, tightening his thighs against Tony's where Tony is resting in his lap, and slides one hand down the front of his uniform. Tony leans back to look him in the eye and smiles fondly.

"How hungry are you?" he asks.

"Not that hungry," Steve replies. Tony kisses him, arching into the heel of Steve's hand.

"Well, get me out of this uniform and prove how much you missed me," Tony says.

Tony is summer and light and pleasure, and when he goes away everything gets cold and dim. Steve won't apologize for doing everything he must to secure that light for himself. He's beginning to suspect sometimes Tony does this on purpose -- he stays away, winds Steve up and sets him off in order to send him after whatever thorn is poking Tony's side that particular week.

He knows what they say at SHIELD when they think he can't hear. Don't cross Captain Rogers. He's Stark's personal attack dog. Motherfucker has crazy eyes. Don't ever interrupt when Rogers is talking to Stark. And don't say a word against him to Stark.

Steve doesn't mind -- Tony's manipulation, the whispers at SHIELD, the job he has to do to make things right. Tony loves him very much, and that's really all that matters.




Title: The Redeemer
Rating: PG-13 (Steve/Tony)
Summary: Angels and demons aren't meant to be together, but Steriel and Tonoth have never been ordinary.
Warnings: None.
Notes: Angel/Demon AU. The first part of this fic was actually a later addition inspired by stark-spangled-lovers on tumblr.



Then

Steriel’s garrison had been stationed in New York since the first Christian settlement, but Tonoth hadn’t built a den here until the fifties. They hadn’t met, directly, until 1964. Barely a breath, as time went for the Heavenly (and Hellish) host, but long enough. It had happened at a civil rights rally, though they’d heard of each other before then.

Steriel was one of the Father’s favourites, and well-known amongst the heavenly and hellish hosts; he’d known Lucifer personally, and while he hadn’t been directly involved in the conflict that caused Lucifer’s fall, he was a warrior of many celestial battles. Steriel’s garrison in New York was Steriel’s garrison; he was captain of the guard that watched over the whole city, though he had a particular soft spot for Brooklyn.

Tonoth’s first act, on arriving in New York, was to arrange for the sale of the Dodgers to Los Angeles. It was a favor to Virlith, the lovely and clever demon who had taken over Tonoth’s west-coast operations and who enjoyed a good underdog (and modern art, which had only recently been invented, much to her delight). Steriel, who adored the Dodgers, had definitely heard of Tonoth.

Still, an angel didn’t hold grudges, so when he encountered Tonoth at the rally he said, “You must be our new resident demon,” and Tonoth said, “Angel,” in a voice dripping with sarcastic deference.

"Here to set the dogs on my people, eh?" Steriel asked, indicating the police barrier behind which barked a dozen tightly-leashed German Shepherds. On the other side of the barrier, African-American children held tight to the hands of their parents, who held tight to their protest boards, all of them emanating determination and fear.

"Oh, the dogs aren’t mine," Tonoth said, leaning against a lamppost and gesturing at the marchers. "I’m on their side."

Steriel blinked at him. “Excuse me?”

"Well, so many people say that integration is the work of the devil, I thought maybe I ought to lend a hand,” Tonoth said.

"I don’t think that’s how it works."

"I’m a lateral thinker," Tonoth replied. "Anyway, we don’t know if equality is going to result in some kind of chaotic communo-anarchist state but, if it does, I want the credit. Why are you here, anyway?”

"Well, I was mainly here to hold back the dogs."

"Oh, here, pull up a lamppost, I don’t mind sharing."

They went out for a beer afterwards, and when Tonoth offered to show Steriel his den, Steriel took the offer at face value. Which was how he found himself agreeing, without being sure how it had happened, to sex with a demon.

Well, Tonoth was a lovely creature when his horns glowed red.

***

Now

Tonoth’s horns were glowing happily, bright gold at the tips with the lust-red underlight that only Steriel ever got to see (at least, these days) when Steriel rolled out of the bed, stretching arms and wings together, thick shoulder muscles bunching. The blue glow he gave off — stronger at times like these, fiercest when he was most joyful — dimmed a little as he stood, walking to the window that overlooked New York.

"Are we going to do this again?" Tonoth asked, propping himself on an elbow, the red and yellow both dimming in response to Steriel’s obvious distress. "Are you having yet another crisis of conscience over fucking a demon?"

"No," Steriel said softly, turning a little to study Tonoth over one folded wing. "I’ve made my peace with my perversion."

"Aww. I love it when you call me your little perversion."

"Angels aren’t supposed to feel lust," Steriel said. "We aren’t supposed to love evil."

"I’ve never once tempted you. I’ve been honest with you from the beginning and let me tell you, His Lightship doesn’t exactly love his minions being honest, particularly with angels."

"Don’t bring Lucifer into this."

"Lucifer made me, and you knew him once. He is in this abomination whether we like it or not. More than Yaweh is, anyhow."

"I don’t know why I feel this way," Steriel said. "I don’t know why I’m risking so much for you, Tonoth."

"Because I’m fun. And handsome. I’m more interesting than the rest of your garrison put together. Because you are an angel of compassion and grace and those are qualities that allow you to love the wretched."

"Are you wretched, Tonoth?"

"Yes," Tonoth replied, edging out of the bed and wrapping his arms around Steriel from behind, pressing his face to the thick muscle between his wings, nosing against the tiny down there. "I am a wretch of hell and I am wretched without you, Steriel. I live in misery when I can’t see you. I wasn’t given a choice, you know, I was created for this life, and when I try to be better — when I try to deserve you — I suffer too. You’re not the only martyr. I might be your perversion, but you’re my torment.”

"Is it that hard," Steriel said with a little smile.

"I may be exaggerating for effect," Tonoth allowed. He let go of Steriel long enough for him to turn, ducking out of the way of one wing and then wrapping his tail around Steriel’s neck, pulling him down for a kiss.

"We can’t go on like this," Steriel said. Tonoth paused, muscles stilling. A deep, ambivalent black flooded up through his horns.

"Fine, I don’t — " he began, but Steriel caught his head in both hands and kissed him again.

"I want to redeem you," he whispered. Tonoth’s tail tightened, throttle-close, around his throat. "Let me bless you and raise you."

"You can’t. You’ll fall. It’s a sin."

"I don’t care. If I raise you up and you pull me down we’ll find a level ground, won’t we?" Steriel asked.

"We can’t know."

"I have faith — "

"You are such an asshole," Toroth blurted. "You have faith? You’re programmed to have faith. Open your eyes, angel! If you fall you could die. And you know where an angel goes when he dies?"

"At least then I could be with you," Steriel said. Tonoth’s eyes widened. "I’ll risk hell. It’s no less than my brother did. He went into hell to save the deserving."

"Here we go with Jesus again," Tonoth groaned. Steriel held him where he was, unflinching.

"I’m tired of this," he said. Tonoth cocked his head against Steriel’s palm. "All of it. I’m tired of there only being good and evil and no shades in between, I’m tired of the Patriarch, I’m tired of the rules and the — and — I’m tired of screaming at humans all day that they aren’t listening, so few of them listen. I’m so, so tired of grace, Tonoth. I want a life. Among the humans. With you. I want to stop being good and start doing good. And I want to start with you.”

"What if I don’t want to be redeemed?" Tonoth asked sullenly.

"That’s ridiculous, everyone wants to be redeemed." Steriel tried to sound more certain than he was. "You do, don’t you?"

Tonoth shook his hands off and looked down. “And if I’m not good enough?”

Steriel pulled him into a hug, folding his wings around them both.

"Would an angel of compassion and grace raise up anyone who was unfit to be raised?" he asked into Tonoth’s hair. "Do you believe such a creature exists in Creation? I’ll redeem you and I’ll fall and we’ll find each other in the streets, Tonoth, and we’ll live for one brilliant, incandescent human life and if my Father won’t let you in when we die, I’ll follow you down to yours."

"Well, when you put it like that," Tonoth muttered, and Steriel laughed and squeezed him. "How is it done?"

"You’re sure."

"Yes."

"You have faith?" Steriel asked, eyes dancing.

"Shut up."

"Done." Steriel grasped Tonoth’s lovely horns in his hands, tipped his head up, and kissed him on the nose.

The world went white.

***

Steriel woke with the sun on his face and something distinctly un-wing-like tickling the back of his neck. When he opened his eyes all he saw was blue.

He sat up, twisting his shoulders, feeling a hundred pounds lighter without his wings pulling him backwards. He was in a park; he was in Central Park, lying on the grass near the Met, where he had spent countless hours inspiring young artists as a divine muse. (An angel had to have hobbies.)

Standing on the west observation deck was a man in a dark suit and sunglasses.

Steriel took off running, and by the time he hit the wall of the deck he had enough momentum for a leap; he got one hand onto the top of the wall and swung himself upwards, almost overbalancing when he tried to spread his wings for leverage and forgot they weren't there. The man on the deck caught him by one arm, stumbling with him for a few feet, and then pulled him up straight.

"It’s you," he gasped, breathless, giddy.

"You did it!" Tonoth blurted, laughing. "Son of a bitch, Steve!"

“Steve?"

"Check your pockets," Tonoth said, and Steve found a worn leather wallet in the back pocket of his jeans. "Not to blaspheme, but Christ, you look amazing."

"Not so bad yourself," Steve replied, pulling out a driver’s license. "Steven Rogers. Well, I guess it could be worse."

"And I’m Anthony Stark," Tony said. "Bad news first: we are one hundred percent mortal and paper cuts hurt, okay."

"As bad news goes that’s all right," Steve replied. "What’s the good news?"

Tony held up a credit card. “We’re fucking loaded. Did you set us up, or were we just lucky?”

Steve checked his wallet and found some cash there, as well as an identical card with both his and Tony’s names on it. Tucked behind it was a slip of paper.

Steve read it, then laughed and held it out to Tony.

"What is this, Aramaic? Greek?" Tony asked, squinting at it. "To my — ahahaha, oh, this is great," he said.

To my brave son the redeemer, with love.

Look me up in fifty years or so. Bring your boyfriend, I’d like to meet him.

Dad.

"I guess we’re square," Steve said. "At least, as long as we lead decent lives."

"Shouldn’t be hard for you," Tony said. "You’re a total do-gooder. You have a fundraising lunch for the Met you’re hosting in like, two minutes, by the way."

"What about you? Aren’t you coming?"

"I’ll see you tonight. I have to get back to my job."

"You have a job?" Steve asked.

"Yeah," Tony said with a grin. "The universe has a sense of humor. I work in development for Microsoft."




Title: The Blood's Perimeter
Rating: R (Steve/Tony/Pepper)
Summary: Steve has some unique needs now that he's a super soldier. (Vampire AU)
Warnings: Mild bloodplay.


Original art on Tumblr


When Steve got his hands on the spy who'd killed Erskine, minutes after the Serum had transformed him, he didn't hesitate; he grabbed the man by the throat, ripped it open with his fingers, and drank.

He was horrified later, of course, but the man had been a Nazi, after all.

Peggy explained to him what had gone wrong, because poor Erskine couldn't. Vampires did exist, she said; they'd used vampire blood as part of the Serum. He obviously wasn't affected by sunlight, and when she showed him a compact mirror he could see his reflection. Crosses and garlic didn't bother him -- though apparently that was a myth anyway.

The only change, really, was that he rarely got hungry. And when he did, it...wasn't for food.

It was a minor inconvenience, he assured her. Barely bothered him at all. Oh, how much he'd wanted to impress Peggy.

And, honestly, bite her right in the side of her beautiful neck.

Never got the chance. Still, a farewell kiss and the promise of a dance was nearly as good.

***

When he woke, after the ice, he was starving.

The only reason he trusted Nick Fury was that the man, in the privacy of his office, cut a slit in his arm and let Steve drink. It told him two things: that Fury knew and could provide sustenance, and that he'd protect Steve's secret, carefully guarded from all but the most discreet Commandos during the war.

Tony Stark wasn't quite so respectful -- though at least he didn't, as it were, go for the throat immediately. No, he kept his peace about what he'd learned from his father's notes until after the battle against the Chitauri.

"So, do you eat, or what?" he asked, leaning on the counter of the shawarma shop, Steve waiting next to him as the others arranged a table and began raiding the cooler nearby for drinks.

"Why wouldn't I eat?" Steve asked.

Stark tucked his upper teeth over his lip. "I am Dracula!" he declared in a stupid movie-vampire accent. "I vant to suck your blood!"

"Shh! Shh!" Steve hissed.

"Oh, relax, nobody cares. Have you seen Bruce's problem? Besides, Thor's a god with a magic hammer, I guarantee you he's seen weirder."

"How do you even -- "

"Dad told me. More or less. Lemme see your teeth," Stark said, reaching for Steve's mouth. Steve brushed him off.

"I don't want to talk about it," he said, gathering the shreds of his dignity.

"But do you eat," Stark pressed. "Or do you need to, you know..." he made a sucking noise.

Steve's eyes flicked, involuntarily, to the wound on Stark's head. It had scabbed over, but when Stark wiggled his eyebrows, a sluggish pulse of blood oozed out.

"AB pos," Stark said.

"Sorry?"

"I'm AB positive. In case you have some kind of preference," Stark said. Steve blinked at him. "You're hungry, right?"

"You just fought the aliens same as I did, I'm not taking a pint off you," Steve said.

"I won't miss it. Go on, have a snack."

Steve exhaled sharply. "Not here. Not in front of people."

"Oh, for fuck's -- okay, go to the bathroom, I'll see you there," Stark said, and then leaned over the counter as someone emerged from the back of the shop. "We want all the meat you have in giant flatbread sandwiches with like, french fries or potato chips or whatever else you can fry for us. Falafel? Yeah, we want so much falafel. And hummus if you have it."

Steve, regret pooling in his stomach along with the hunger, let himself into the men's room and leaned on the counter. He checked the mirror, just to be sure he could still see himself.

There was a click, and Stark let himself in, locking the door behind him.

"This is all very tawdry and exciting," Stark said, shedding one of his armored gauntlets. "Breast, wing, or thigh?"

Steve blinked at him, tiredly.

"You want the carotid?" Stark asked, tapping his neck. "Or..." he offered his arm. "I was joking about the thigh, no way are you getting that close to my penis. No offense."

"None taken," Steve said. He could see the pulse in Stark's neck, thick and steady. The man wasn't even afraid. "Arm is usually the least...personal."

Stark's gaze was steady, too. "Try the neck. I'm assuming you can control yourself."

Steve nodded. "Tilt your head back. Stay relaxed. It shouldn't hurt. There's numbing venom."

"Numbing what -- " Stark began, but Steve had surged forward, unable to wait any longer. His canines extended, sinking into Stark's neck, and he perfectly punctured the carotid. (It had taken a few times to learn how to feed from the neck, but Bucky had never complained.)

He heard Stark make a strangled, surprised noise, but the blood was filling his mouth, hot and perfect, and Steve swallowed a handful of times before pressing his tongue to the punctures, lips still sealed over the wound. When he felt the wounds scab over, he lifted his mouth away, running his tongue over his teeth to swipe up the last of the blood and make sure the fangs had retracted.

Stark's eyes were huge, pupils dilated almost to the rims.

"That felt amazing," he said.

"Yeah, it's the venom," Steve replied sheepishly.

"How often do you need to eat?"

"Every couple of days. More if I'm in combat," Steve added. He wasn't quite full, but he'd taken as much as he dared, and it would see him through until he could get back to his apartment and the bags of blood hung in his fridge. "We should..." he gestured at the door.

Stark followed his gesture dumbly. Well, Bucky had always been a little slow after a feeding too.

"Right, right," he muttered, snicking the lock back and opening the door. When Steve walked into the restaurant behind him, Romanoff gave them an odd look, but nobody said anything.

***

"I want you to make me a deal," Stark said, when they met a few days later to send Loki back to Asgard.

"What kind of deal?" Steve asked warily.

"When you get a pint low, come by Stark Tower," Stark said. "I mean, my blood's like half caffeine and a quarter scotch at this point, but I figure that makes it pretty enticing."

"I don't..." Steve frowned. "I have a supplier."

"Oh?"

"Well, the local bank and I have an understanding."

"Gross," Stark said.

"Thank you."

"Not like that. Stranger blood? Stranger danger. Come on. Look, I'm building housing for the Avengers. Come see. Move in. Eat for free. I asked my girlfriend, she's cool with it."

"Why would you...?" Steve gave him a bewildered look.

"I like new things. I like old things. You're interesting. I want to poke your biology," Stark said frankly. "And it felt good. I enjoyed it. I'd be willing to do it again."

"You don't know what you're asking," Steve said. "It's -- it's intimate."

"I never know what I'm asking, that never stops me," Stark replied with a flip of his hand. "Consider it, okay?"

"Sure. Okay," Steve said. He could see the pulse at Stark's neck, still steady. He'd been living on cold blood full of anticoagulants; Stark's was the first fresh stuff he'd had since Fury's.

"You look hungry," Stark said.

"Just thinking," Steve replied.

***

Stark and Ms. Potts, Steve came to understand, were sly and tricky; they had an agenda of their own and while he wasn't sure what it was, they didn't seem malicious. Just sneaky.

He'd come to Stark Tower two weeks after Stark made the offer. He could have lived on the cold stuff longer if he didn't know warm, fresh blood was waiting for him, but after the hundredth bag of cold, sour-tasting bagged stuff, he had begun to dream about the fresh stuff.

Stark was out when he arrived, but Ms. Potts met him in the lobby and took him up to the penthouse. She led him to the kitchen, where she set out a bottle of apple juice, took down a bag of cookies from a shelf, and offered him her arm.

"I'm a little more cautious than Tony," she said, as Steve stared hungrily at the pulse in her wrist. It wasn't as steady as Stark's, but her hand didn't shake when he took it. "But he told me what you might need."

"I don't have to," he said, still looking at her wrist. "I can wait."

"Tony and I share everything," she said.

"This isn't -- "

"Everything," she repeated firmly.

Steve guided her to sit on one of the high kitchen stools, one hand on her outstretched arm. He watched her face as he lowered his head, making sure she wasn't regretting her offer, and then delicately sank a single fang into her wrist. She sucked in a breath.

"Oh, that's -- strange," she said, as he fed. "That's -- that's -- "

He took only about half a cup, by his measure, before he sealed the wound and stood up, tongue cleaning his teeth. She smiled.

"That wasn't bad at all," she said, reaching for the bottle of juice, fumbling and knocking it over. Steve caught it, popped the top off, and held it to her lips.

"Thank you," he said, as she drank. He opened the bag of cookies and put one in her hand.

"My pleasure," she said dazedly, taking a bite of the cookie.

***

He settled into a routine in Stark Tower with more pleasure than he'd anticipated. In the morning he worked out in the gym, and in the afternoon he let Tony take measurements or run tests. Sometimes he explored the city, but he made sure to get back in time for dinner (real dinner) with Tony and Pepper -- Pepper was a stickler for family dinner, and if he couldn't take any nourishment from it, he could at least enjoy it. After, if he was hungry, one of them would offer a wrist or a throat and let him take a nip of blood rich from their recent meal, tinged with wine or coffee.

He was more well-fed than he'd ever been in his life, and he still wasn't even taking as much as he could have from both of them. Plus, as Tony said, it was a great excuse for them to have steaks twice a week.

Steve thought Tony's TASTY NOMS shirt was a little over the top, but at least he'd found two people who understood, and if they could make jokes about it, so much the better. Pepper hadn't yet made good on her threat to buy one that said JUICY, but he suspected it was just a matter of time.

Then, one night, sitting on the couch with Pepper curled against his side and Steve on the floor next to him, watching a movie, Tony ruffled Steve's hair and asked, "Hungry?"

Steve considered. He'd fed two days ago, but he'd been a lazy bum since. "I could eat," he agreed. "Only if you're feeling up to it."

"Sure," Tony said, clicking the television off. Steve turned and knelt up, ready to accept a wrist, but instead Tony had one hand on his belt buckle.

"Tell me if I'm off base here," he said, and undid the buckle, lowering the zip on his pants. Steve forgot to breathe for a second (something he did still need to do, though he could go for a couple of hours without, if he had to).

"What," Steve began, as Tony eased his pants and underwear down to his ankles.

"Thigh," Tony said with a slight smirk, knees falling open, fingers tapping the skin over his femoral artery. Pepper was watching Steve intently. He flicked a glance at her, questioning, and she nodded.

"I won't say you don't know what you're offering," Steve said slowly. "But the experience is more intense, more..."

"Not looking for less intense," Pepper said quietly.

"Are you sure, Tony?" Steve asked. Tony nodded, no fear in his eyes. His pulse was steady. His cock, half-hard, was filling with warm blood.

Steve shuddered and dove forward before he did something he'd regret, fangs digging into the soft flesh of Tony's thigh, catching the thick artery. He felt Pepper's hand in his hair as he drank more deeply than usual, his own fingers clutching Tony's calf.

When he pulled back, Tony was panting hard, Pepper nuzzling his face. Steve licked his lips, earning him a faint groan from Tony.

"We're going to have a lot of fun with you," Pepper said, and Steve smiled, fangs still extended. Pepper pricked her thumb on one, and let Steve mouth at it casually.

"Tasty noms," Steve said, grinning around it.

"Told you that shirt would be a hit," Tony mumbled to Pepper.

Originally this was the end, but then I wrote a coda:

"I feel...strange," Steve said, tongue running over his upper lip -- his fangs were retracted, but he kept licking his lip as if there was a stray speck of blood he'd missed. Pepper, who had been known to lick her thumb and use it to clean Tony's blood off the corner of Steve's mouth, petted his hair.

"Strange how?" she asked, enjoying the way Steve leaned into her touch.

"Dunno. Almost...I can't get drunk," he said, frowning fuzzily. "My cells...something about my cells? Peggy could've explained it."

"It's in dad's notes," Tony said, lying back on the sofa, legs hooked over the arm and head in Pepper's lap. Steve, on her other side, flopped his chin onto her shoulder, nosing at her pulse.

"Still hungry?" she asked.

"No, I just like hearing it," Steve said, and turned his ear to her neck.

"Dizzy?" she asked.

"No. Warm," he said. "It's nice. But strange."

"You feel drunk?" Tony asked, looking at him upside-down. Steve nodded. "Were you a lightweight when you could drink?"

"Well, yeah. I weighed about a hundred and ten pounds. Fully fed, which I rarely was."

Tony's lips tilted. "Well, you did feed off me ten minutes ago."

"So?" Steve asked, brows knitting.

"You probably got a big dose of the bourbon I had with dinner."

"But you're not drunk," Steve said. He heard himself slur a little.

"Because my liver gave up years ago," Tony said. "I'm just fuzzy. If you poured that amount of booze down your pre-serum throat you'd probably be sick. But you don't drink -- "

Steve sniggered. "Yeah I do," he said.

"Oh, so you're a funny drunk." Tony rolled his eyes. "You don't drink alcohol so you have no tolerance, lush. Sorry, I didn't think about that."

"You got me drunk?" Steve asked, finding this hilarious for some reason. "Aw, you got me drunk. This is fun!" he added brightly. Pepper turned her head and kissed his hair.

"What do you want to do?" Tony asked, stretching. "Impulse shopping on eBay? Karaoke? Eating fried food?"

"I don't know what two of those things are."

"You're better off," Pepper said. "Let's watch a movie."

"Let's make out," Steve blurted, and the other two looked at him, startled. He couldn't blush, but if he could have, he would have. "I mean. Maybe not?"

Pepper petted his hair again. "Well, I'd enjoy that."

"It's better than Karaoke," Tony agreed, rolling and pressing his face into Pepper's stomach. "But the couch isn't big enough. Bed?"

Steve stood, wobbly on his feet, and basically fell into Tony when Tony stood up too, hands roaming down to his ass. Tony staggered a little, and then hefted him so that half his weight was on Pepper.

"Hey, beautiful," Steve said, nuzzling under her ear.

"Wow, Steve has game after all," she said to Tony. Steve laughed.

"No game. You're shiny," he added, reaching a hand up to stroke her ponytail.

"I think maybe bed is a good idea, with or without fun times," Tony said. "Next time I'll go a little lighter on the hard stuff."

"Hard stuff," Steve repeated, snorting. Pepper rolled her eyes.

Together they worked their way towards the bedroom, and Steve felt his shirt being pulled off. He went to pull Pepper's off too, but she batted his hands away and took off his pants instead, which was not optimal but was still pretty great. Tony took over and tipped him back into the bed, and Steve wriggled under the wonderful, soft, warm covers and waited for them to come curl up with him, that was the best, and that was pretty much the last thing he remembered.

***

Pepper looked down at Steve, lying on his side, cuddled up against a pillow. There was a soft snore.

"We weren't going to take advantage of him, were we?" she asked.

"That was indescribably hot until he passed out," Tony said regretfully.

"But we weren't, right?"

"Well, no," Tony sighed. "I mean, next time we'll talk about it first. I didn't know he'd be such a cheap date."

"Did you plan this?" she asked, giving him her best appalled face. It was pretty good, but he knew she could produce it on command, which lessened its impact.

"It was scientific," Tony said. "I measured the amounts very carefully."

"Tony, you can't do Science on Steve without his permission."

"Why not? He lets any crazy asshole with a Vita-Ray box do science on him."

"Tony!"

Tony sighed. "Fine, next time I'll ask first."

"And about the sex."

"And about the sex."

"And now you owe him an apology blowjob."

"I'm sorry, is that supposed to be a punishment?" Tony asked.

"It's mostly for my benefit," she said with a grin. Tony kissed her, then looked back down at Steve.

"He gets really cold if we don't stay with him," he said.

"Well, pick a side," Pepper said. "I'm putting my pyjamas on."

"Lightweight," Tony told Steve affectionately. "One little nip of Stark blood and he's out. Okay, scoot," he added, sliding under the blankets and insinuating himself into Steve's arms. "Pepper gets the ass, I get the abs, everyone wins."

Steve mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like No, I want the ass and then fell silent again.

I shed the dulling armor plates
That once collected radiance
And surging at the blood's perimeter --
The half-remembered wild interior
Of an animal life

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