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“Cap! Get down!” Iron Man’s voice ricocheted in his ear, and Steve listened like Steve always listened, dropping to the ground as explosions went off above him. He had the shield over his head so he couldn’t see Iron Man in all his glory, probably knocking out each and every one of the aliens without any of them even laying a finger on him. Steve wished he could see it--he almost looked up--tempted to be reckless, knowing Tony would tell him off for it, then kiss his bruises better after. But the mission was more important and Steve wouldn't put it at risk.

The alien invasion was being contained. A minor annoyance that still seemed to keep them busy with Assemble calls multiple times a day for a full week.

Iron Man boots landed with a whir and a thump, and only then did Steve move the shield from over his head and stand. “Iron Man,” he greeted, wondering if the cowl covered his blush, knowing Tony would sense it was there anyway. It’d been too long, yet only two days, since he’d been under Tony’s hand. Steve could feel the faint memory of Tony’s thumb caressing his cheek, the feel of his lips running down his neck. On instinct, he stepped closer to Tony, Tony shifted towards him.

Above them, the penthouse floor of a skyscraper exploded, and they were off, back into battle.

~~~

“I think I can hear them,” Iron Man whispered after popping up his faceplate. They were pressed close, in the space between walls next to where one of the alien leaders was camped out, a former hair salon turned command center.

“I know I can hear them,” Steve whispered back. “They’re about to rotate out the guards.”

Iron Man shuffled closer, pressing up against his back, and Steve’s breath caught in his throat. The weight of him against Steve sparked a montage of memories.Tony taking him from behind, wrapping around him, claiming, marking. He could feel every hard line and angle of the Iron Man suit slotting in along the bend of his knee, the breadth of his shoulders. It was oh, so easy to remember the feel of those metal fingers running along his most intimate places.

Steve wanted so much in that moment for them to be somewhere else, anywhere else, for Steve to have the ability to turn to Tony, kiss his lips and run his hands along the hard, metal suit. It’d been a week since his hands were able to do what they wanted, what Tony wanted.

And then the moment passed and they were back in the battle. Steve took a shaky breath, then another, until it settled. Then he gave the order to attack.   

~~~

Iron Man was in the corner of a too-open field, and everything in Steve’s Captain instincts screamed at him to push him towards some cover. But there was nothing to be done. Steve threw his shield, watching it fly across the field until it hit the blue humanoid across the chest and knocked two more in the head before returning to his hand.

He would only be able to hold them off for so long, with the rest of the team taking out a weapon that seemed to cause more damage than any canon Steve had ever seen before. “Hurry up, Iron Man,” he ordered through the comms.

A curse and a pop on the other end. “I don’t know, Cap. I’m enjoying my Sunday stroll out here.”

Steve clenched his jaw. “Iron Man,” he warned.

“Captain America,” Tony imitated a warning in return, and Steve felt an urge he hadn’t felt in a long time to shake the man hard and long and until he saw reason. A tension ran just under his skin, one that he needed to deal with one way or another.

Tony could help Steve, could bring him down with a switch or wrap him in a hold so tight his irritation would evaporate.

But the battle wore on, so he threw his shield again, not able to feel an iota of satisfaction from the crunch he heard when it collided with one foe and then the next. It’d been ten days, and they really needed to beat these aliens already.

~~~

At the two week mark, Steve had to bite his tongue, he was in such a sour mood. It was a good thing he was able to channel it into bringing down the overlord of the alien race--fist to face, right there in the middle of Seventh Avenue. It’s only once the foe was relinquished, that Steve realized the final fight had only added to the tension under his skin, like he was a winding string, too taut and ready to snap.

Once they were back at the tower, Steve and Tony let the rest of their team shuffle into the first elevator. The silence between him them when it closed was almost too loud. They were still in their suits, and Steve knew that he should go upstairs, change and shower and get the blood off his knuckles and god knew where else, but all he wanted to do was fall to his knees right there and let Tony sink him down into subspace.

Instead, Tony leaned over and pressed the elevator button. It opened a second later. “Inside,” Tony ordered, and Steve released a shaky breath he hadn't even realized he’d been holding as he did what he was told.

Inside, the elevator moved too slowly, as if Tony was conspiring with JARVIS to use every second to torture him. “Relax,” Tony whispered, hemlet off but the rest of the suit still shining under the fluorescent lights. It was intentional, maybe, to allow Steve to see it up close, do what he wanted to do, back when they were in battle. Then, he couldn’t, wouldn’t, because of their sworn duty to protect the city.

Now...

Steve swallowed and turned towards Tony, who smirked and nodded his head slightly to the side, beckoning Steve closer; Steve followed the order.

A red and gold covered hand hit the center of his chest, moving to pull his harness until Steve tripped forward the last two steps and collided with the suit. Normally, Tony would’ve been forced off balance, but in Iron Man, he hardly moved. “Do it,” Tony hissed. “Whatever you wanted to do these past two weeks. You have the green light.”

And Steve moved.