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Steve pushed through the front door of the penthouse and dropped his go-bag on the mat. He thought about going straight down to the gym, just turning around and getting back in the elevator. There was nothing for him here - Tony was on SI business, which was why he hadn't joined the team on this mission - and Steve didn't want to sit around staring at the empty apartment. But if he went down to the gym, there was every possibility he'd wear a hole through the treadmill and still not feel any better.

At least up in the privacy of his own home, Steve could put on his sweatpants, dig out the ice cream and mope in peace. He felt unsteady and off-kilter. He and Tony had a routine when Tony had far away business trips. They'd say their goodbyes the morning before he left, Steve would drive him to the airport, or walk him to the town car, and Tony would kiss him and promise to return soon. But this time, Steve had been called out for a mission while Tony was at work, and by the time they'd finished with cleanup the next morning, Tony's flight had left. It had made Steve unsettled the whole mission, knowing he was missing his goodbye, but it had gone well despite that. Now, though, Steve was forced to face the fact that Tony wasn't home. Tony was in a different time zone.

Steve kicked off his shoes and shuffled into the kitchen only to come up short when he saw a bright pink sticky note glowing on the dark wood cabinet over the sink. He plucked it off.

Check the bed. - TS

Steve smiled down at the sticky note, running his thumb along the messy curve of Tony's handwriting. He abandoned his desire for a drink and went into the bedroom, new excitement bouncing his step. Maybe Tony had left a present for him, something to hold or wear or even use while he waited for them to be reunited.

But the only thing on the bed was the case for Steve's collar, another sticky note stuck on top of it.

Put it on. Then go to the closet. - TS

Steve popped open the case and ran the collar through his fingers before buckling it around his neck. It felt so good there, grounding, almost like a piece of Tony had been here waiting for him after all. He stuck the note on top of the first one and went to the closet.

Take all your clothes off. Bathroom. - TS

Steve followed the order hurriedly, fingers tripping over the button on his jeans. It was like Tony's eyes were on him, watching, guiding him with order after order. He carefully added that note to the stack, left his clothes in the hamper, and went to the bathroom.

Take a shower. Use the coconut body wash I like so much. I want you smelling edible. Fridge next. -TS

Steve was torn between wanting to hurry to the next note and wanting to take his time and luxuriate in the hot shower. He scrubbed Tony's body wash all over him, cleaning every inch, imagining that Tony would explore him with his tongue after, breathing in the scent of coconut and tasting his smooth, fresh skin. Flushed and refreshed from the hot water, Steve towelled off quickly and picked up the stack of notes again, making sure not to drip any water on them.

Inside the fridge was a container from Steve's favourite sushi place. Eat me. Then check the couch. -TS stuck on top. Steve popped the top of the container and sat at the breakfast bar with a pair of chopsticks. He wanted to go eat on the couch and read the next note, but Tony's instructions were clear: follow my order, then find the next note. Steve closed his eyes as he placed each piece of sushi on his tongue, imagining it was Tony feeding them to him one at a time. Sated, he put the empty container in the recycling and hurried over to the couch.

Touch yourself. Keep it nice and slow. I want you hard but patient. Then, bedside table drawer. -TS

Steve's cock immediately throbbed to life, already half-hard just from following Tony's previous commands. He settled on the couch and wrapped his fingers around his length, stroking up and down. He let his eyes close so he could picture Tony perched on the coffee table opposite him, elbows resting on his knees, bright eyes fixed on where Steve's hand moved along his cock.

"Tony," Steve breathed out. Precome leaked from his slit and coated his hand on the next slide up, and Steve stilled. It was feeling too good; he was getting too close. Tony had said hard but patient, nice and slow. Steve stroked a few more times, focusing on slow and teasing, the way Tony liked to get him worked up before he fucked him.

When he almost couldn't find the strength to let go again, Steve stopped, breathing for a few moments until he could add the sticky note to the stack and go in search of the next.

He found it in the top drawer of their bedside table, stuck to a pain cardboard box. He opened the box and found a dildo, brand new. It was thick and sleek, deep red, with the perfection of details that said Tony had spent a heft amount on it. Steve's body throbbed with need as he pulled it out.

Smile for the camera. I'm going to film you while you get off. Slide that toy in as deep as you can and show me that pretty ass. Say it out loud when you're coming. Then check your phone case. -TS

Steve sprawled out on the bed and looked in the corner where he knew one of JARVIS' cameras sat invisibly in the wall. They didn't film things often, but the thought of Tony watching Steve get off here in their bed while he sat in a hotel room in Tokyo made Steve shudder out a sharp breath and drop his hand to his cock again. He found the bottle of lube and set it next to his hip with the toy.

He wished it was Tony's fingers he was coating with lube, wished it was Tony's hand sliding up the inside of his thigh to find his hole. But he had to settle for knowing that it was Tony's order that had him laid out here, and that Tony would be watching, maybe not now, but someday.

Steve worked a finger inside, pushing himself a little rushed and a little rough. He wanted to feel the stretch of the toy as soon as possible. He pressed a second finger beside the first and worked them apart, sliding in and out, but avoiding his prostate. As soon as he was close enough to ready that he knew Tony wouldn't chastise him for rushing, Steve pulled his fingers free and swiped the rest of the lube down the length of the toy. He worked it inside, inch by inch, letting his head fall back and a groan leak from his lips. He remembered Tony's command and shifted his hips, lifting and twisting to make sure the camera would have a good view of the toy stretching his hole.

It sunk deeper and deeper until Steve's fingers hit his skin and he pressed the button on the bottom, setting off the vibrations. Intense pleasure sparked to life and Steve arched up off the bed and the hand on his cock stroked faster. Through the haze, he tried to think of what Tony would like, would want to see. He pulled the toy back then plunged it in again, as deep as it could go, leaving the vibrations on full.

Steve let himself roll and rut and fuck himself on the dildo, begging wantonly to a Tony who wasn't there to let him find release. Finally, he couldn't hold back anymore and he came with a cry of, "Tony, I'm coming -" splashing come up his chest and over his hand.

For a long time, the only sound in the room was the heavy pants of Steve's breath and the muted buzz of the vibrator. He left it there, turned down but still on, milking a few final aftershocks from his prostate. When he could think clearly again, Steve turned it off, rolled over, and picked up the note, re-reading it. Then check your phone case.

Steve had two phone cases, one for home and one for missions, and Tony was talking about the one Steve had left on the windowsill behind the headboard when he'd gone for the mission. He pulled himself up and reached over until his fingers closed around the case - an Iron Man themed one that Nat had bought him as a joke and he'd refused to part with. It was too flashy for work, but it was nice to be able to trade it out and feel like he was back in his safe place. Nestled inside the case was one last sticky note.

Call me. -TS

Steve dug out his phone and swapped the cases, tossing his work one aside, then scrambled to find Tony's number in his contacts and hit dial. He pressed the phone to his ear, breath still heaving.

"Hey, love," Tony's voice purred as soon as the call connected. "Were you good?"

"So good, Tony, I followed every note."

"Tell me. Tell me everything you did."