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measure of protection

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Steve has been Tony’s bodyguard for five weeks now. It’s a record amount of time since Happy, most of his new bodyguards averaging around four days before finally quitting. Every once in awhile Tony thinks about asking Happy to come back, but the entire reason he had taken the head of security position at Stark Industries was because he’s a family man now. He deserves something a bit less life threatening.

As it stands, the past five or six guys have had their reasons for leaving. Mostly relating to Tony. If he likes the guy, he puts forth a concentrated effort into making sure they know what they are getting into. Better to wash out in the first month than a year down the road. And if he doesn’t like the guy… well, it’s not too much different.

Steve, though… Tony likes Steve. Tony likes Steve very very much. Which just means that Tony is a bit harsher with Steve than necessary, making sure the guy is going to be in it for the long haul. But Steve has taken everything in stride. Every late night call, every errand, every favor Tony asks… Steve is ready and willing. He even smiles at Tony’s jokes. He laughs at every single one of Tony’s really horrible, really terrible jokes. They aren’t big smiles, and Tony has yet to make the man actually laugh, but they are honest. As if Steve actually enjoys Tony’s sense of humor. 

For a while Tony thinks Steve is virtually unflappable. That is, until Tony starts flirting with him.

It isn’t much, but every time Steve catches Tony’s eyes lingering on his body longer than necessary, every time Tony winks at Steve or makes flirtatious comments, the tips of Steve’s ears turn red and his lips purse just the tiniest bit, like he’s trying to hold back a grin. It’s Tony’s favorite expression. 

It finally culminates the night Tony sees Steve in a tux. There’s some sort of gala—they all blur together to Tony—and it’s the first one since Steve has been hired. Steve knocks on Tony’s bedroom door to escort him to the car and the moment Tony answers it, he knows he’s fucked. There has never been a single more glorious, downright knee-weakening, vision than Steve Rogers in a tux.

Tony’s mouth is dry and his lips are parted and he can’t help the slow head-to-toe look he gives Steve and when he finally looks back to Steve’s face, it’s not just the tip of his ears that are red. His cheeks have taken on a lovely pink hue that Tony just wants to reach out and taste.

Steve’s eyes are a little glazed, too, Tony notices. He catches Steve’s eyes flicker down Tony’s body. Tony smirks, knowing that he looks damned fine in a tux himself.

"Ready to face the vultures?" Tony asks.

Steve starts to speak, but his voice starts out as a whisper. He clears his throat and tries again. “Yeah—yes. Yes, sir. Please follow me down to the car.”

The trip there and the actual gala itself are uneventful. Tony spends most of the time conspicuously watching his own bodyguard, who he catches taking more than his fair share of long glances at him. Every time their eyes meet, Tony holds his gaze for a few seconds, knowing full well exactly how he’s looking at Steve. Steve looks right back at him until his lips purse a bit and he glances away, always scanning for impending threats. Tony hopes the heat he thinks he sees behind Steve’s eyes isn’t a figment of his imagination.

By the end of the night, Tony is so worked up he wants nothing more than to find an excuse to bring Steve up to his penthouse for the night so he can rip that tux right off him… or, if that fails, spend the next hour jacking off to the image of those muscles rippling under that expensive suit.

Steve sits opposite him in the back of the limo on the way home, shucking off the jacket. Tony gets the feeling that while he looks perfectly at home in the outfit, it isn’t his first choice in clothing. The limo comes to a halt at a stop light and Tony’s ready to open his mouth, a lie to get Steve to stay overnight with him already on his tongue, when there’s a muffled shout from outside, and Tony finds himself under two hundred plus pounds of solid muscle as the window to his right shatters, covering the interior with shards of glass.

There’s a brief moment where everything is at a standstill. Steve is on top of him, sheltering him from harm, and Tony’s eyes are wide as he looks up at him. They stare at each other for that small span of time, Steve’s eyebrows furrowed, concern clearly written on his face. They’re breathing heavy, adrenaline spiking, and the way Steve’s chest is heaving and his weight is pressing Tony further into the seat… Tony can’t help what he says next.

"Is that a gun in your pocket or are you happy to see me?"

A moment passes and Tony worries he might have crossed a line. But then Steve is laughing, dropping his forehead to Tony’s shoulder, and Tony is grinning at the roof of the car.

Steve pulls back and lets the smile slide off his face as he searches Tony’s face seriously. Then he leans down again, pressing his lips to Tony’s in a quick kiss, grinds their hips together, and says, “Stay put, stay alive, and maybe you’ll find out.” 

Tony is left dizzy and light-headed and Steve is up and off of him and out of the car before he can react properly.

But for once, Tony does exactly what’s asked of him.

It doesn’t take long, Steve is a very appealing combination of dangerous and efficient and by the time Tony hears the approaching sirens, the two attackers have been subdued and tied up.

As everything is sorted out, Tony walks over to the ambulance where Steve sits on the back having a gash on his forehead cleaned up. And if Tony thought Steve Rogers looked good in a tux earlier that night, it’s nothing compared the to view of a slightly battered and bleeding Steve Rogers in the remnants of a ripped tux after saving Tony’s life.

"My hero," Tony says as he approaches Steve.

Steve looks up and smiles at him, rolling his eyes all the same. Tony takes a seat next to him and they let the paramedic finish up in silence. When she walks away to take a look at one of the attackers, Steve looks at Tony, a little nervous.

"About earlier," Steve says. 

Tony has an inkling he knows where this is going, and there’s no way he’s going to let Steve forget he kissed Tony, like Steve wasn’t the one who made the first move. He leans over to whisper in Steve’s ear.

"How about we go back to my place and get you cleaned up. Then I can show you just how much I… appreciate you saving my life," Tony says in a low voice. He lets his nose run along the edge of Steve’s ear and is rewarded with a small shiver.

Steve clears his throat. “I was just going to ask if you’d mind if we swung by my apartment for a few personal effects. I’m not letting you out of my sight anytime soon, not until we figure out who’s after you this time.” Then Steve shrugs. “Whether or not we wear clothes while I watch you is negotiable.”

Tony leans back, smiling and a little surprised at Steve’s directness. “I cannot wait to find out everything there is to know about you, Rogers.”

"I look forward to letting you. Sir," Steve’s eyes are dark as he tacks on the last word.

And, oh, is Tony is going to have so much fun with him.