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Worlds Apart

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Worlds Apart

 

“Music is a language that doesn’t speak in particular words. It speaks in emotions, and if it’s in the bones, it’s in the bones.”

― Keith Richards

 


 

Anthony Edward Stark - Tony , as he insisted people call him - is a young man with a passion for music. At a young age, he always wanted to be a lead singer in a band, but as a child born with a silver spoon in his mouth in a family of classical musicians, his path was already set. 

Violin lessons. Piano lessons. 

Practising under the scrutinizing gaze of his tutors. Playing until the tips of his left-hand fingers are so calloused that he’s used to permanently short nails. 

He’s the picture-perfect son of a famous violinist as a father and a pianist partner for a mother. The perfect heir of the all-musician Stark family...

… And he feels trapped. He feels lonely. 

He doesn't like it one bit.

There was once a boy hiding in his room ( his parents never cared to check up on him anyway) teaching himself how to play the guitar. Strings just like a violin, but larger. They tug on the emptiness in his heart, bringing life into what often feels like a colourless routine in his life. He hides it from his parents, given that his father hates rock stars, but the boy dreams. 

Once he has enough money stored away, he would be making his dream a reality. 

Lights flashing. 

The swell of the music, the excitement of the crowd.

People singing along with him in the audience.

Sweat beading on his forehead, trickling down his back and causing his costume of the night to stick to his skin. 

The sound of a guitar, bass, drums playing behind him.

It’s a freedom that Anthony Edward Stark lives for. 

Yet, he hides behind a mask, afraid of what would happen if he takes it off.

“And this is the Avengers once again! Give it up for them!”

Screaming and clapping can be heard as the band exits the stage, with Mjolnir, the bassist. laughing heartily once they are backstage. 

“This was a really good interview,” their drummer, CaptainAm, says with a smile on his face. 

“Yep,” Iron Man grins, popping the ‘p’. “Hopefully, future interviews will go so smoothly.”

“I wouldn’t count on that,” Black Widow, their guitarist, snorts, removing her jacket and shrugging. 

“Yes, well,” Iron Man hums smoothly. “Time to go back to our civilian attires.”

The others made noises of agreement and they went on their separate ways. It was indeed another successful interview on a talk show featuring the band and Iron Man is ecstatic. He high fives Mjolnir and CaptainAm before saying goodbye before heading to his dressing room, locking the door behind him. He sighs, moving to the mirror, staring at his reflection. 

A red and yellow mask adorns the top half of his face, designed to keep his identity hidden from the world. The people like it. They love the mystery.

He removed the mask, placing it down on the table, sighing heavily. It has been five years since he and some of his friends started up a rock band and became popular. It helps that Tony’s suggestion of wearing masks to garner popularity did actually help boost their fame.

His phone beeped and Tony glances at it briefly before he looks at it once again. It is already thirty minutes past 8.

“Shit!” He cries out, quickly removing his clothes in record time, tossing them in the hamper for the staff to take care of it before taking out a dress shirt and slacks. Shaking out the glitter from his hair and using a moist towel to remove the excess gel in his hair, he runs his fingers through his hair to look more dishevelled. Satisfied with how he looks, he goes on to pick up his civilian clothes, putting them on hastily and draping a tie around his neck. He makes sure he is properly dressed for once (Brighid, their conductor, is going to kill him if he shows up with his pants unbuttoned) before grabbing the violin case and a coat next to the door. 

He peeks through the gap he makes after opening the door, making sure that no one sees him as he quickly moves out of the room and heads to the exit.

Once the fresh air hits him, Tony sighs in relief, running his hand through his hair once again. He hails a taxi cab, getting in and gives the address for the SHIELD concert hall, sitting back and pulling out his phone.

You 

Steve! I already left the nest, got something to do. Violin things.

 

CapCap

Gotcha :))) 

 

You

Ew. Emoticons. Stop it.

 

CapCap

Okay :D

 

Rolling his eyes at his bandmate, he pockets his phone once again when he sees that they’re arriving in front of the concert hall. Paying the fee plus a tip to the driver, he gets out of the car and quickly enters through the glass doors. The concert hall lobby is empty except for the receptionist, who waves at him. 

He waves back, making his way to the backstage of the concert hall itself. Seeing that the other members of the orchestra are starting to take their places, he walks quickly onto the stage from the wings, sliding smoothly to his seat. 

“So, what did I miss?” he asks his fellow violinist, Wong, who rolls his eyes. 

“Nothing,” Wong tells him and Tony breathes a heavy sigh of relief. “Did you just get glitter bombed?”

“F-” Tony quickly ruffles his hair quickly to remove the leftover glitter. “Now?”

“It’s good.” Wong deadpans and Tony huffs out a laugh, bending over to unclasp the violin case and pull it up, revealing his precious violin, picking it up and started to tune it along with the other man. 

He glances over to the cello section and notices a familiar blue-eyed man at the front. He suddenly just feels strangely breathless. It’s Stephen Strange, a really talented cellist and the man Tony has been crushing on for the past three years or so. 

No big deal.

 


 

It was a normal day in the SHIELD concert hall and the Sanctum orchestra was preparing for a performance for the next week. Tony, having cleared his schedule for the day with the Avengers, was early for once. Brighid would be so proud. 

He was passing by the practice rooms when he hears the deep reverberating sound of a cello being played from one of the rooms. Curious about who was playing, he peeked into the room and was starstruck. 

Swept-back raven black hair with distinguishing silver streaks, pale skin that looks like it was never touched by the sun. A body that looks lean and fine-boned with cheekbones that could cut him… but he was sure that the man was quite strong given his instrument was a cello. 

He leaned against the door heavily and yelped loudly when he stumbled into the room, the music of the cello stopped immediately as he fell onto the floor.

Sharp ocean blue eyes look at him in confusion but Tony was overwhelmed. The cellist was quite a beauty and Tony couldn’t breathe.

“Are you okay?” The cellist’s deep voice asks him and Tony felt a shiver running through him at the sound.

“I- uh. Yeah, of course.” Tony stammered, scrambling to his feet. “Cello there!”

He resisted the urge to hit himself. 

‘You meet a handsome guy and you let loose a lame joke as a greeting?’ Tony screams at himself internally. 

“I heard your playing and it was really nice,” he tried to save himself before he could sabotage his chances to even talk normally with this man. 

‘Why can’t I just tap into that suave persona that I have when I’m acting like Iron Man?!’

But instead of the man rolling his eyes at him, he just chuckled. He stood up, holding out his hand. 

“I was just fiddling around,” the man said and Tony looked at him in disbelief before laughing lightly. “My name is Stephen Strange. 

Tony reached out and shook his hand. “Tony Stark.”

 


 

“Hey, Romeo. Next string.” Wong nudges him and Tony quickly switches strings, hoping that his prolonged bowing of the D string wasn't noticed. 

But no, his luck is non-existent because Stephen locks eyes with him, smiling in amusement. 

"Kill me now," Tony whispers to Wong after smiling back shyly at Stephen before facing his best friend.

“Oh, don’t be a drama queen.” 

Tony opens his mouth to rebuke Wong but the sight of Brighid arriving and taking her place at the front stops him. He decides that glaring at his fellow violinist would be a better way to avoid getting scolded for his playful behaviour during practice. 

“Good morning, everyone.” Brighid greets them, a soft smile on her face. “I appreciate all of you adjusting your schedules to accommodate our practice.” 

She picks up the baton and with a gesture to the concertmaster, they start. 

Hours later, it proves to be a successful practice session and the orchestra is now on a lunch break, with some of the musicians just loitering around. Tony is one of them and after scarfing down the sandwich that Wong gave him, he stands up, stretching until his back pops. Sighing in relief, he looks around and spots Stephen at the far right corner of the stage, listening to something in his phone using a pair of earbuds and with a soft smile on his face. 

Tony makes his way towards him, praying to whatever deity might be listening that he doesn’t trip. He taps Stephen on the shoulder, smiling when Stephen looks at him and removes one earbud to offer it to Tony. 

“Want to listen with me?” Stephen asks softly and Tony sits down on the space beside Stephen. 

“Sure!” He takes the earbud from the other man and places it in his own ear. The song starts to play and Tony’s eyes widened at the very familiar piano melody and the soft drum beat. It isn’t long before he hears his own voice singing. 

 

There's a boy in the backseat singin' to the song

Playin' on the radio, knowing he's the one

Singin' "ah ha ha, I just wanna be a rockstar"

Singin' "ah ha ha, I was born to be a rockstar!"

 

He really is hearing it correctly. Stephen Strange listens to the Avengers. The rock band that he is the lead singer of. 

Tony feels his cheeks warm as he steals a glance at the man next to him, whose eyes are closed as he mouths along to the lyrics of the song. 

He can't believe it. 

The song ends and Stephen removes their earbuds, folding them over a card meticulously. 

"Do you like the Avengers?" Tony asks, willing his hands to not shake in excitement.

"I do." Stephen smiles brightly. "They have interesting songs and I really like their lead singer. He's amazing." Stephen ends his sentence with a longing sigh.

It takes everything in Tony not to tackle Stephen into a hug. 

"Well, I also love the mystery they hold. Masks and all," Stephen clarifies. "Only allowed to appreciate the music and... well, the parts of the band that I can see in the limits of my phone screen." Stephen holds up his phone, showing off the lock screen of Iron Man wearing only a wet shirt and pants and Tony remembers that shoot vividly. Especially the number of different poses, angles and states of undress the photographer insisted on.

So he's dealing with his crush having a crush on his alter ego. Tony feels like melting into a puddle. 

Tony swallows nervously. "H-Have you been to one of their concerts?"

"No. The tickets have always been sold out." Stephen sighs in defeat, frowning. "I’m satisfied with just listening to their music I've downloaded into my phone, for now, I suppose."

Oh, how Tony just wants to turn that frown upside down.

And he knows what to do.

He faces Stephen fully, smiling brightly.

"You know, I have a friend from the Avengers.” Tony shuffles closer to Stephen, not touching - never touching. “I can get you a ticket if you’d like."

His friend’s answering smile could brighten up the whole room after he said that. 

 


 

Stephen is not drunk. 

Only slightly.

He may have had a few drinks to calm his nerves because he was actually about to attend an Avengers concert. He makes sure to buy a souvenir for Tony as a thank you for giving him a ticket before entering the stadium and to his surprise, he was so close to the stage he could almost touch the band, he’s sure. Stephen thanks Tony in his mind ten more times. 

An announcer starts talking and Stephen tucks his phone into his pocket, making sure it's secure from other people and prepares himself for the concert.

Despite his preparation, he isn't prepared for Iron Man strutting out onto the stage. He’s not sure there’s any way he could be prepared for sight.

Auburn brown hair, in its usual, slicked back messy style and dusted with glitter, face half-hidden by the usual red and gold mask. He’s adorned in tight pants and a black mesh shirt underneath a leather jacket. Stephen almost salivates. 

Almost.

“Good evening, New York!” 

The screams of the fans answer Iron Man and Stephen claps and whoops enthusiastically with the others. 

“Another night of songs and dancing,” Iron Man says into his mic. “Are you all ready?”

Another set of screaming can be heard and Iron man laughs, pointing towards the drummer, CaptainAm. “Hit it!”

A complicated drum set plays before the other instruments started joining in and Iron Man brings the microphone back to his face and began to sing.

 

All you sinners stand up, sing Hallelujah!

And the audience would shout/sing back: Hallelujah!

Show praise with your body. Stand up, sing Hallelujah!

Hallelujah!

 

Stephen finds himself enjoying the music, singing and clapping along when prompted.

During the song "Angel with a Shotgun" he sees Iron Man glancing over to him before practically gesturing to him. 

As if he was singing to him.

Stephen stares at Iron Man with wide eyes, his cheeks warming up when the rockstar just decides to strip off his jacket, tossing it somewhere on the stage before the mesh shirt, sending it flying towards the crowd.

Towards Stephen. 

His height proves an advantage as he manages to grab it before any of the other fans could have it. He clutches onto it, looking at Iron Man once again, who grins and tilts his head in his version of a wink. 

"I expect that back, blue eyes!"

The people around him pat him on the back, congratulating him for catching the shirt and Stephen can only smile, watching Iron Man continue singing the song, strutting across the stage like he owns it.

The concert ends far too quickly for Stephen but he does manage to slip backstage, showing the now-folded mesh shirt in his arms. 

"I wanted to return this," Stephen tells the bodyguard in the hallway to the dressing rooms of the Avengers, who looks at him.

"People don't usually return the shirts," the bodyguard says before shrugging, letting him through. "Iron Man mentioned you, however. Go on through."

Stephen quickly thanked the gruff man before walking into the hallway, reading the signs on each door.

Mjolnir.

Black Widow.

CaptainAm.

Iron Man.

He stops right in front of Iron Man's door, taking a deep breath. Here it is. He's really going to meet Iron Man, face to face. 

He shifts the shirt to his other arm before lifting his free hand to knock on the door three times. 

"Come in!" Iron Man's voice rings through the thick wood, and Stephen takes another steadying breath before twisting the handle and pushing the door open, entering the room and freezing after only three steps.

Iron Man sits on an armchair, still masked, shirtless with incredibly tight jeans that leave almost nothing to the imagination, drinking a glass of wine. 

"Oh, fuck me," Stephen whispers, hopefully, low enough so that the rock star wouldn't hear him but he looks at the man, who was smirking at him. 

"Oh, I would love to," Iron Man purrs, getting up from his chair and putting his glass of wine on the table beside him before sauntering towards Stephen, his arm reaching out over Stephen’s shoulder to steadily close the door, moving closer in the process and leaving the cellist to slowly press his back against the door.

In the end, Iron Man leans against the door with an arm on either side of the classical musician, leaving him caged in, back flush against the closed door.  "But maybe you should introduce yourself first, blue eyes?"

"S-Stephen. I’m Stephen."

"What a lovely name, quite fitting for a handsome man like you." Iron Man seems to notice the mesh shirt folded carefully in Stephen’s arm and smiles, patting it, “I really did not expect you to return it to me, Stephen.”

“Well… You did say that you wanted it back,” Stephen reminds him. 

“Most fans don’t return it.” Iron Man pulls away slightly and Stephen already misses the warmth of the rock star’s body so close to him. 

“I’m not most fans,” Stephen insists, stepping closer to Iron Man, who looks at him with an amused smile.

“I can see that,” the rock star replies before taking the wine glass once again and taking a sip. "Having an unusual fan such as yourself is flattering..." Iron Man says with a smug smirk.

"I- uh.." 

Stephen feels Iron Man's hand on his jaw. "I truly am honoured," he murmurs in a low voice, the amber eyes under the mask glinting with something Stephen can't place. Mischief? Hunger? Lust, perhaps? "It isn't every day I find out that a pretty thing like you," he grasps Stephen's chin with his index finger and thumb, lifting his face towards the light as though to examine him better, "has a thing for me."

Iron Man's free hand rests on Stephen's cheek, a thumb tracing along his cheekbone as Stephen's mouth falls open to answer. He feels as though he ought to say something; his idol is scrutinizing him so thoroughly he might as well be a prized horse at a show.

"But why might that be, I wonder?" the singer inquires thoughtfully before Stephen can get a word in. He steps closer into Stephen's space, the thumb on his cheek moving to trace his lips.

Without thinking about it, Stephen takes the thumb into his mouth and begins to suck lightly leaving the man behind the mask surprised, a playful smile twisting onto his lips. "Oh...? Is that what you want?"

Rock stars are flirts, Stephen thinks to himself. So, Iron Man must have had a lot of fans in this very same position before but… Stephen wants to make sure he really is different.

Stephen runs his tongue along the side of the thumb. “Let me show you how I value your talents, Iron Man,” Stephen whispers around the thumb before he slowly kneels, coming face to face with the bulge in Iron Man’s pants. He palms it, licking his lips and hoping that he wasn’t reading things incorrectly. He carefully unzips the pants, pulling out an impressive hard-on that Stephen almost salivates over. 

“If you would allow me to,” Stephen peers up at Iron Man through his lashes, pressing his cheek against the hot length and pressing a kiss to the skin. 

“Go on then, darling.” Iron Man’s voice was breathless and Stephen smiles innocently.

With that, Stephen licks at the tip slowly, his eyes flicking up to Iron Man's amber eyes before opening his mouth, alternating between mouthing at the tip of his cock and flicking his tongue over it. 

Iron Man hums lowly, his head tilting down to watch Stephen take all of his cock in his mouth and Stephen feels him shudder at the vibrations caused when he moans at how full his mouth feels before he starts bobbing his head. 

"Mmm..." Iron Man moans quietly, running his hand through Stephen's hair. "Such a good boy."

The praise spurs Stephen on. He speeds up his movements, taking the length deep in his mouth. And forcing the lovely cock into him, further and further down his throat and showing off his lack of a gag reflex.

He raises his hand to take the musician’s, resting it on the back of his own head to urge Iron Man to just thrust, to use him for his pleasure when he notices that Iron Man is trying to hold himself back. His arms hold onto Iron Man’s strong thighs and the rock star seemed to get his message, his hands in his hair rearranging themselves to secure Stephen’s head.

“Tap three times if you need to breathe, darling,” Iron Man tells him before he starts thrusting into him hard and fast and all Stephen can do is kneel in his spot on the floor, saliva already pooling out of his mouth and eyes clouding up with tears of ecstasy as the crown of the man’s cock presses into the back of his throat with some of the deeper thrusts.

It lasts for a few more minutes and Stephen’s jaw is beginning to ache but Iron Man leans down, his thrusts growing erratic. 

“I’m close,” he warns, about to pull out. Stephen, however, wants everything. He wraps his arms around Iron Man’s waist to prevent him from pulling out completely and Iron Man groans, his grip in Stephen’s hair tightening slightly and with one final thrust, Stephen’s throat is filled with the warm liquid from Iron Man’s pulsing cock. Once Iron Man pulls out, he makes a show of licking his lips to clean off some leftovers.

“That was amazing, Stephen,” Iron Man whispers, falling back to his chair with a groan. “That was really… good.

Stephen smiles, wiping the corner of his lips with a thumb. “Glad to be of service, Iron Man,” he stands up, mindful of his own hard-on and dusted himself off, not noticing the way Iron Man frowns at how he addressed him. 

“Want some help with that?” Stephen looks at Iron Man, his cheeks warming up at Iron Man’s gentle smile, “I can’t be known as a negligent lover after all.” 

“I... I don’t want to… um,” Stephen tries to protest, his voice cracking slightly but Iron Man beckons him closer, patting on his lap where his own cock still lay bare for Stephen to see. 

“Let me give you a hand, darling,” Iron Man purrs. Stephen hesitantly moves to Iron Man, turning around to sit on his lap and leaning back slightly when Iron Man’s arms wrapped around him, one hand moving to palm his erection in his jeans and the other roaming over his chest. 

“Now, relax,” Iron Man whispers in his ear, “let me take care of you.” 

The sound of his zipper being undone and the feel of a warm hand gently pulling out his erection are stimulating enough. Teasing touches trail up and down his length, making Stephen squirm on Iron Man’s lap, accidentally rubbing his ass against the rock star’s own cock. The teasing hand on his cock stops at the tip, lowering the fingertips in a claw-like motion around the head and up again. This happens three more times, by which point Stephen is already quietly moaning. 

The hand wraps fully around the shaft, stroking it as a thumb rubs over and back on the head of his cock. Iron Man’s other hand lightly pinches his still clothed nipples and Stephen arches his back slightly, moaning in his husky post-concert voice and he feels Iron Man’s lips on his neck.

“That’s it, lovely,” Iron Man whispers, “sing for me. Let me know how good I make you feel.” 

The stroking of his cock varies speeds, making Stephen lean his head back onto Iron Man’s shoulder as he pants heavily, his hands flying back to grab onto the arm of the chair and onto Iron Man’s own hair. 

“I-I’m-” he tried to speak but his voice sounds so hoarse at this point he can only make broken noises. 

“That’s it, darling. Go on.” 

Stephen can’t hold back anymore and with a hoarse cry, he releases into Iron Man’s hand and resting bonelessly against Iron Man himself. 

“Thank you,” he whispers and Iron Man presses a kiss to his hair. 

“Anytime.” 

They remain like that for a moment before Stephen starts to move, shakily at first. He tucks his now soft cock back into his pants and stands up. 

“Stay here for a while,” he hears Iron Man tell him and he turns to see the rock star smiling at him, his own cock back into his own tight pants. “We still have time, if that is alright with you?” Iron Man gestured at the empty seat next to the armchair he was already sitting on. 

Stephen checks his watch, figuring that it would be alright to stay and smiled shyly at Iron Man. He opened his mouth to say something before his voice cracked once again. 

“Sit down, Stephen. Let me get you a drink for that throat.” 

Stephen obeys, taking his place on the seat as he watches Iron Man return to the armchair, handing him a bottle of... Something. He takes it, unscrews the lid and looks at Iron Man questioningly. 

“It’s just warm lemon water with a little honey," Iron Man tells him reassuringly. "It’ll help your throat."

"Thank you," Stephen takes a sip, just as Iron Man grabs at his wine glass and drinks from it as well. 

There’s a comfortable silence between them as Stephen feels his throat being soothed, while still being slightly giddy about how he has his favourite rock star just within arm's reach.

I just gave Iron Man a blowjob and he gave me a handjob, Stephen thinks and he sighs dreamily. 

"When Tony told me about you, I admit I was interested," Iron Man breaks the silence and Stephen looks at him. Does he know Tony?

He thinks about it a little. Tony did tell him that he knew someone from the Avengers, but he really didn't expect Tony's friend to be Iron Man himself.

"He told me that you're a talented musician as well."

Stephen splutters, his cheeks heating up. "No, no! I'm not really that talented." 

"I'll be the judge of that, darling," Iron Man purrs and Stephen tries to wave the praises away. He just plays the cello , he tries to insist, but Iron Man only continued to try to convince him that trust him, he loves classical music as well .

“I’m not a typical rock star, you know,” Iron Man laughs lightly. “I hope I can see you perform soon.” 

Stephen smiles shyly. The orchestra was planning on a performance two months from now and hopefully, maybe… Iron Man can come?

“By the way, Stephen, do you like clubs?”

“Of course,” Stephen answers him, almost enthusiastically.

“Well, I would like to see you again. Wanna join me for some dancing in the club tomorrow night if you're free?”

Ecstatic at the idea of seeing Iron Man again, he agrees just as a knock can be heard on the door. 

“Iron Man! We have an interview with the press soon!” 

Iron Man stands up from his seat, downing his wine in one go as Stephen follows suit, still holding onto the half-filled bottle of water. “Duty calls,” Iron Man picks up the mesh shirt from the floor, brushing his hand against the fabric before offering it to Stephen. 

“Take it,” Iron Man tells him with a smile. “A souvenir from this lovely night.” He then opens the door as Stephen takes the shirt from him and was about to leave when he feels a hand on his shoulder. 

"See you soon, blue eyes." Iron Man says, kissing Stephen on the cheek. 

Needless to say, Stephen feels like he is on cloud nine as he heads back home, still remembering the weight of Iron Man's cock in his mouth, how his calloused hand stroked Stephen into completion.

As he prepares himself for bed, he notices something in his jacket pocket and he pulls it out, revealing it to be a card.

 

Text me when you get home, blue eyes. (xxx) xxx-xxxx 

-Iron Man

 

 

Stephen suppresses the urge to jump up and down. He has Iron Man’s number. 

Now he really can't wait. Glancing at his closet, he takes a steadying breath and moves towards it. After all, he has to make sure that he is irresistible tomorrow night.

 


 

Tony is anxious. 

He enters the club, hoping that his driver managed to get to Stephen safely. He’s already had two glasses of whiskey to calm his nerves. He’s really doing this. This is really going to happen. Spending time with Stephen was always a dream and for Stephen to meet his idol in the process? Tony can't ask for more. Both of them can have their dreams realized.

He fixes the mask on his face. He has an Iron Man mask altered for this event, just enough for anyone in the club to think that he's just a fan of Iron Man. Hopefully, Stephen will recognize him.

It helps that this club is throwing a 'masquerade' themed event. That might be why he chose this location to begin with - but hey, he’s not telling, is he?

His phone beeps and he glances at it to see a message from his driver that they have arrived. Tony quickly looks up, searching for Stephen before his mouth drops. 

Stephen stands there dressed in a familiar black mesh shirt, a vest with gold and silver sequins decorating it. Tight black leather pants with boots and a simple black mask complete his look and Tony’s breath catches in his throat. 

Stephen turns his head in his direction and smirks, sauntering towards him. He swallows nervously as Stephen finally stands before him and Tony just stares at him, his mouth slightly open. 

Stephen reaches out, tracing his jaw before gently nudging Tony's mouth to close. "Cat got your tongue, handsome?" 

Tony mentally shakes his head to clear his thoughts that are slowly spiralling down into something dangerous. He offers the other man a smirk of his own, making a show of scanning Stephen's outfit once again, licking his lips. 

"Sorry about that," Tony tells him, lowering his voice to return into his 'Iron Man' persona. "Is all this for me?"

Stephen hums, stepping a little closer to Tony, allowing Tony to catch the scent of Stephen's cologne and he is weak.

"You look like a meal on legs," Tony says, reaching out to hold Stephen's hand, lifting it to kiss his knuckles. "I’ll have to be really alert now. Someone might come and steal you away."

The music in the club continues to play as Stephen grips his hand and his blue eyes glint under the club's technicolour lights. "Well, how about a dance?" Stephen asks and Tony finds himself all too willing, letting Stephen lead the way to the already packed dance floor.

Once they’re with the crowd, Tony feels himself letting loose, dancing with Stephen to the upbeat songs the DJ is playing. The sequins on Stephen's vest reflect the lights above as the other man spins in place, showing off his unexpected dancing prowess. Tony laughs, matching Stephen's movements with his own. They take breaks every now and then for a drink but they both stay sober enough to go dancing once again.

The music changes up into something slow and sensual and Stephen smiles at him, his eyes close over as his arms loosely wrap around Tony's neck. 

Tony's hands migrate to hold onto Stephen's hips as the blue-eyed man begins to move slowly, swaying his hips in time with the beat. Playful eyes glint with desire as Stephen's right hand moves down, caressing his chest. The music picks up and Stephen presses himself closer to Tony. 

"I have something for you," he whispers against Tony’s ear and Tony raises an eyebrow. He feels Stephen take his hand, bringing it to his ass, sliding it between his cheeks where Tony can feel something.

His eyes widened.

"What's-?" Is this a-?

"Just a little something to make me feel full. Want to replace it?"

Holy fuck.

Tony feels his face heat up as he processes what Stephen just said. The other man chuckles, turning with his back facing Tony as he began to press himself against Tony's front, grinding slowly against him. Tony hisses, leaning forward to whisper in Stephen's ear. 

"You're killing me here."

"Hopefully not right now," Stephen purrs, reaching back to play with Tony's hair. "I still need to feel you inside me."

That's it. Throwing every thought out of his mental window, he grinds himself against Stephen before spinning the man to make him face him and kisses him hard. 

Stephen kisses him back, pressing himself closer to Tony and loosely wrapping his arms around his neck. Tony pulls him closer, their groins grinding against each other. 

"You really want this?" he asks Stephen, who nods.

With a growl Tony steps back, grabbing Stephen's hand to lead him into the bathroom, locking the door behind them before practically pushing Stephen against the door. He starts kissing him eagerly, pressing against Stephen with his body once again. 

Their crotches brush and they moan, separating briefly for Tony to brush his fingertips against Stephen's jaw as Stephen chuckles.

"Does this mean you want to fuck me, Iron Man?" he purrs and that just send a current to his already hard dick and Tony growls.

"Baby, I'm going to fuck you so hard that you'll be limping home later."

Stephen had the gall to pout, his lips already somewhat kiss swollen. "Aww, you're going to make me walk alone?" he runs his hands down Tony's chest.

But as much as Tony loves hearing that low and teasing voice of Stephen's, he needs to bend the fuck over right now because his patience is straining and his dick is straining even harder in his tight pants.

"If you're good, I might give you a ride home, darling," Tony grins before yanking Stephen and making him brace himself on one of the sinks. 

Tony kneels, dragging his hands down Stephen's back to the swell of his ass, squeezing roughly. Upon hearing Stephen's moan, Tony chuckles.

"You like that, darling?" Tony asks him and Stephen nods, pushing himself back into Tony's hands.

Tony hums, reaching around to unbutton Stephen's pants, pulling them down and groaning at the sight of the man not wearing any underwear. Spreading his cheeks, he can definitely see the glint of the jewel topped plug. 

He curses under his breath, reaching to grasp at the base of the plug, pulling on it lightly and earning a gasp from the other man. He gave a few short thrusts of the plug, watching Stephen squirm before pulling it all the way out. 

Stephen groans, bowing his head slightly and Tony got a whole front seat view of Stephen's hole twitching and slightly leaking lube. 

He stands up, brushing his lips against Stephen's neck as he traced the rim of Stephen's entrance with his finger. "You look so tempting like this. Makes me want to-" Tony pushes a finger in and Stephen groans. "-do more."

The sight of Stephen with his hands up against a dirty bathroom mirror covered in lipstick marks, pants around his ankles with his back arched wonderfully is beyond his wildest dreams. Tony's dick is just painfully hard at this point.

He unbuttons his own pants, pulling out his aching cock out and stroking it as he positions himself behind the other man. "Stephen, are you sure?"

Stephen locks eyes with him in the filthy mirror. "Yes." 

Tony swallows. 

He is nervous. If he goes through with this, it would change their relationship entirely but the heat of the moment and the buzz of alcohol affecting his brain makes him give in to the temptation and enter Stephen with one smooth thrust. 

Warm and tight. Tony groans as he grips the other man's hips firmly. Stephen’s moans echo off the tiled bathroom walls, and he grips the sink tightly, his fingers sliding over the porcelain with the strength of Tony’s thrusts.

Tony leans forward to whisper hotly in Stephen's ear, "keep your eyes on me, darling. I wanna see those beautiful blues while I fuck you."

He can see Stephen biting his lip and panting little. His little 'ah!'s and loud moans force him to release his lip and urge Tony to move faster. To fuck him harder .

He pounds into Stephen, hard and fast, pressing against the other man. His grip is sure to leave bruises on Stephen's hips and he finds himself enjoying the thought of marking up his new lover. He latches onto his neck, sucking, biting and leaving more prominent marks as he reaches around Stephen with one hand to begin pumping his cock in time with his thrusts.

"That's it, baby," Tony whispers as he ran his thumb over the slit of Stephen's cock. The man moans loudly, his hands now braced against the wall. "Sing for me."

Breathless gasps, halting grunts and loud moans fill the bathroom, as Tony fucks Stephen against the sink with abandon. He's close now and starts to pull out but Stephen stops him with a breathy request:

"Inside. I want to feel you."

Tony's trying so hard to be cool and chill about this because he has his Iron Man persona to keep in mind, so he just digs his fingers deeper into Stephen's hips and pushes himself as deep into Stephen as he can manage to unload inside the other man, groaning. 

He locks eyes with Stephen through the mirror as they both cum, watching Stephen's eyelashes flutter prettily as he makes a mess all over the sink and counter for him and to keep Stephen's ass from leaking, he slowly presses the plug back in as he pulls out, containing the mess and patting his ass lightly.

"That was amazing, darling," he tells the other man as Stephen turns to face him and Tony can't help but lean forward and kiss him lightly on the lips. 

Stephen hums, running his hands down Tony's chest and tucks him back into his pants, patting him fondly. "I love it." He tells him and Tony chuckles, grabbing some tissues from the dispenser to help clean Stephen up and making sure that the plug is still fit quite nicely.

They kiss every now and then, with Tony helping Stephen secure his pants once again and Tony cupping Stephen's ass, chuckling as he squeezes his cheeks once. 

"As much as I would love to stay here," Tony glanced at the door, "people will probably kill us for closing the bathroom."

Stephen laughs and Tony takes his hand, making their way to the door and heading out. 

To his relief, there isn't anyone outside and Tony and Stephen manage to move to an empty booth. Tony orders them some drinks and while Stephen sips on a mojito, Tony opts for water. 

They leave the booth a few minutes later to dance to another song, pressed against each other and stealing kisses every now and then, and when it is time to go home, Tony personally drives Stephen back to the blue-eyed man's apartment.

Ever the gentleman, he walks Stephen to his doorstep but stays at the door, smiling. 

"I had a fun night," he tells the taller man, who smiles back, stepping closer to him and loosely circles his arms around Tony's neck. 

"I look forward to more… outings, Iron Man," Stephen says, leaning down slightly to kiss him lightly on the lips. 

Tony's heart skips a beat. Stephen's willing to meet him again and he jumps at the chance. 

"Of course, darling," he quickly agrees as Stephen steps back to reach for something behind his door and pulls out an envelope, handing it to Tony. 

"You..." Stephen seems to hesitate. "You told me yesterday that you wanted to hear me play. It's not a solo performance or anything but the orchestra that I belong to will be performing three months from now," he smiles shyly. "You can come if you'd like."

Considering that Tony is part of the same orchestra, he is technically coming. He smiles, taking the envelope from Stephen. "I would love to." 

With one final kiss and a little wave from Stephen, the man enters his apartment and closes his door, Tony makes his way back to his motorcycle, tucking the envelope inside his jacket for safekeeping. 

As he heads back home, he briefly wonders whether or not it’s a good idea to continue this… the relationship that Iron Man and Stephen have going on. It is not healthy per se, but Tony is still feeling the after-effects of the pleasure that he felt during their bathroom escape and he finds himself wanting more. 

Hey, he could be selfish for once, right ?

 


 

Stephen's days are usually spent in rehearsal and many rendezvous with Iron Man on some weekends. Considering that the other man is a famous rockstar, he does have his own schedule to follow. 

Stephen admits that it was rather impulsive of him to just hand Iron Man the ticket to the performance but he holds on to that tiny hope that perhaps Iron Man will find the time to actually come.

When the day of the performance arrives Stephen goes through his usual routine of preparing himself to get into the zone. He arrives at the venue, with his fellow musicians already mingling in the backstage. He pulls out his cello, making sure that it is in its pristine condition. 

The stage manager tells them to take their places and they all assemble on stage and in their respective positions. Stephen takes his place in the front seats of the cello section. He looks across to the violin section, where a familiar brunet man quickly sits on an empty seat, clearly almost tardy. 

Tony must have noticed that he was looking at him because he glances up to see him and waves slightly, smiling with his usual shy smile and Stephen can’t help but smile back. 

Stephen had always found Tony to be a quiet man who Stephen considers as a friend. He is grateful to him of course, without him, he wouldn’t have met Iron Man in the first place. But something tells him that there is something more about that man. 

He’s brought back to the present when he hears the orchestra start its usual warming up and tuning. He pays attention - after all, he is a professional. 

From the moment the conductor walks on stage, the atmosphere shifts from light to sombre and Stephen, along with the other musicians, wait for the cue to start.

The performance starts with the swing of the baton and Stephen lets himself get lost in the music.

When the baton is waving, he feels himself moving along in time with the beat, in perfect unison as a whole group. His senses are very much engaged: reading the music, looking up at the conductor for the cues, listening and responding to how all the instruments weave and blend together showing off a display of all the hard work everyone has put into their rehearsals and hours spent in individual practice rooms. 

The performance is over before Stephen knows it and as they all stand and take their bows and exit, Stephen takes another chance to look at the audience and found no one with a mask. He makes his way to the communal area where the other musicians are now mingling amongst each other, laughing and conversing as they sipped on their drinks. 

Stephen settles in his usual spot to begin packing his cello back into its case when he hears someone clear their throat. He turns to see Tony, shifting nervously on his feet - that’s not what catches Stephen’s attention, however. Tony is carrying a bouquet of blue roses that are held together with red and gold twine.

Tony smiles, handing it to him. “It’s from our mutual friend.”

Stephen’s heart skips a beat as he gently takes the bouquet from Tony’s hands. 

"He was able to watch the performance but he was pulled away by his bodyguards because he snuck out." Tony continues and Stephen feels a grin appear on his face as he spots a little note card attached to the twine.

 

To my cellist, you pulled at my heartstrings. 

-Iron Man

 

And Stephen finds himself smiling happily at the note. Iron Man came and watched the performance!

“So, you guys are really close now?” Tony asks him and Stephen hums. 

“I wouldn’t say close... after all, I still don’t know anything about him.” 

“But you're happy in your relationship at least?” Tony inquires lightly.

The question gives Stephen a pause of consideration before he sighs. “... I'm not sure if it is a relationship so much as... fuck buddies and maybe sometimes more?” He continues smelling the flowers. "I didn't know if... he would even come tonight, to be honest. I mean, there was no guarantee of sex so... I didn't know..."

He feels a hand on his shoulder and he looks up from the roses to see Tony smiling, his amber eyes soft. “You underestimate him, Stephen. He really likes you. Trust me.”

"Maybe you're right. I mean," Stephen chuckles softly, "I'm seeing a masked man. I shouldn't expect too much, right? I knew going into this there were some things that weren't going to be normal." Stephen gives Tony a smile, burying his face in the flowers again. "I’m just happy someone cares even this much."

He hears Tony take a deep breath, but Stephen doesn’t mind him, lost in his own thoughts about Iron Man. He heads home afterwards, carrying both the cello case and his bouquet of roses, making sure to place them in a vase on the top of his bedside table, smiling softly at it. 

His phone rings, startling him. He blindly reaches for it, accepting the call without even checking who the caller is. 

“Hello?"

Good evening, my darling cellist. ” The voice of Iron Man greets him and Stephen almost dropped his phone in surprise. 

“I-Iron Man! This is quite a surprise,” Stephen tells him and Iron Man chuckles. 

I hope I haven’t taken you away from something, ” Iron Man hums, a melody that Stephen recognizes as the song ‘Love of my Life’ by Queen and his heart pounded in his chest. “ Are you free tomorrow? I would like to show something to you here in my home.

Stephen lays back down on his bed, smirking even though Iron Man couldn’t see him. “Oh? Is this another booty call?”

Iron Man laughs. “ Not quite. Will you be able to come?

Stephen mentally checks his schedule and makes a thoughtful sound to tease Iron Man before he answers with an “I’ll be there.”

The next afternoon, Stephen finds himself standing outside the hotel Iron Man is staying in. He walks through the door, nodding at the receptionist. He has been coming here with Iron Man in the past weeks so it is safe to say that he’s recognized now. 

He steps into the elevator, pressing the button that leads to the penthouse floor. The elevator rises steadily, with Stephen tapping lightly on the handles and before he knows it, he’s stepping out of the elevator and walking down the familiar path straight to Iron Man's suite. 

Standing before the white painted wooden door, he presses the doorbell and only has to wait for a few seconds before it opens, revealing Iron Man himself in a half-naked state. Stephen drags his eyes down Iron Man's chest in appreciation before he smiles at the other man. 

"Hi there."

Iron Man grins, stepping forward to kiss him lightly on the lips before pulling away just as quickly. "Hello. Come in!"

Iron Man ushers him into the room, where Stephen can see papers strewn about and an acoustic guitar laying on the floor. 

"Sorry about the mess, darling. I was in a writing mood," Iron Man tells him and Stephen smiles. 

"Don't worry about it. I'm used to this kind of chaos." Stephen bends down to pick up a piece of paper, curious about it. The sheet has an outline of chords written all over it and Stephen can just see the words underneath it all. 

"You're writing a new song?" Stephen asks him, looking up to see Iron Man sitting on the bed and positioning the guitar to play. He joins the other man, sitting just at the edge of the bed.

"A ballad," Iron Man confirms as he smiles shyly, an uncharacteristic but familiar action that makes Stephen wonder where he’s seen such a smile. 

Iron Man starts to strum his guitar, humming along as he plays a few bars of the song, singing some of the lyrics. His voice is low and emotional as he looks up at him, through his usual red and gold mask. 

 

Caught up in your fantasies,

Like you'd ever notice me,

Hand in hand, not heart to heart,

Why are we still worlds apart?

 

Iron Man stops singing but continues to strum the chords. “I’m dedicating it to you, Stephen.”

Listening to the song, Stephen has a lot of emotions as he stares wide-eyed at Iron Man, his heart beating wildly. Iron Man is dedicating a song to him? 

He hasn’t even heard the song fully and the lyrics are a little confusing for him, but he’s still overwhelmed by emotion and feels little tears pricking at the corner of his eyes. This is far above and beyond anything he could've expected anyway.

“Stephen?” He’s brought back into the moment by the feel of Iron Man’s hand on his shoulder, his guitar set back down onto the floor. He looks at him, seeing Iron Man’s slight frown so he leans over to the other man, pressing his lips against his.

“I love it,” Stephen pulls away a bit to tell him before moving to straddle him. “I love it.” He repeats, his arms circling around Iron Man’s neck.

Iron Man smiles, albeit a little weakly as he runs his hands down Stephen's back. "Stephen, I want to tell you something-" but Stephen gently hushes him, a finger on Iron Man's lips. 

"Let me thank you, first?" Stephen tells him, leaning forward to kiss him again and Iron Man pauses for just a moment before he returns the kiss, hot and heavy this time and Stephen moans, grinding down onto the other man's crotch as Iron Man's lips move down slowly, latching onto Stephen's neck and began marking him up. 

His hands run through Iron Man's hair, gripping it tightly as Iron Man groans against his skin. He tugs onto his hair, pulling the man away from him as Stephen smirks. 

He slowly starts to take his clothes off, removing his jacket then his shirt, tossing it off. He shivers slightly at the cool air before he lets Iron Man touch him, his slightly calloused hands roaming his chest and flicking his nipples lightly and making Stephen moan lightly. 

He moves off Iron Man's lap, stripping off the rest of his clothes and leaving him bare for his idol, moving to the centre of the bed and resting his body's upper half against the pillows. 

He begins spreading his legs apart to expose himself to Iron Man, glancing at him to see Iron Man already taking his own clothes, his cock slowly rising and hardening. Stephen began to touch himself, using two fingers to slowly trace a straight line from his balls to the tip of his cock, letting the pleasure of that simple action pull a low moan out of him. 

He looks up at the other through half-lidded eyes, pleased to see that Iron Man's gaze following the trail of his fingers, as he had hoped. It feels so good to have Iron Man's attention completely fixed on him, to see the lust in the other man's heated gaze as he slowly begins to stroke his own cock.

With one last look at Iron Man, Stephen closes his eyes and begins stroking himself in earnest. He touches his fingers past his balls to massage his perineum before pushing back up to curl his cock into his tight fist making a lewd thrusting movement as he chased his own pleasure.

He feels a hand on his thigh and he opens his eyes to see Iron Man closer than before, his eyes burning with lust. 

"Let me take care of you," the man says and Stephen locks eyes with him before nodding his head once. 

He watches as Iron Man uncaps the tube of lube and squeezed out a fair amount on his fingers, fingers that would soon breach Stephen's hole and prepare him to be fucked. He feels the press of those tantalizing digits, the pressure they apply against his rim.

Two fingers slip inside and Stephen moans quietly, as Iron Man prepares him quickly, stretching him out until Stephen squirms, impatient with how slow Iron Man is taking things.

He sits up, making Iron Man withdraw his fingers before Stephen pushes the other man back to straddle his lap and simply inserts Iron Man's cock in him.

Iron Man groans, his hands flying to grip at Stephen's hips. Stephen hums, happy that the other man is inside him again, resting his hands on Iron Man's shoulders as he begins to increase his pace. Eventually, he's practically bouncing in his spot, his head thrown back as he moans.

It’s then that Iron Man's hips begin to thrust up into Stephen, matching his speed and he reaches out to wrap his hand around Stephen's dick, pumping it in time with his thrusts. Stephen was boneless at this point and gasps when he felt himself now lying flat on his back, with Iron Man looming over Stephen before thrusting hard and fast into him.

Stephen's moans get louder now, wrapping his legs around the other man's waist and pulling him closer, moaning in pleasure as he clung onto Iron Man, his hands leaving red marks on the other man's back. 

He can feel himself closer to the edge of release and he gasps as Iron Man's pace become erratic as well. He drives himself into him hard and fast, and Stephen cries out, arching his back and pressing himself closer to Iron Man as he releases, untouched and a few more thrusts into him have Iron Man cumming inside, groaning.

Stephen sighs in content, laying back down on the bed fully as Iron Man rested his forehead against his as they slowly came down from their high pleasure until Iron Man leans back slightly to look at him. 

"S-Stephen, I-"

The ringing of a phone surprised them both and Iron Man cursed quietly, groaning as he pulled out of Stephen to grab at his phone. 

Stephen squirms slightly before sitting up to watch Iron Man answer the call, his mouth set into a small frown. It seems important because even after Stephen cleans himself up and puts on his clothes, Iron Man is still on his phone. 

Stephen then sits on the edge of the bed, looking over the music sheet of the ballad. Words, crossed out and replaced by others. 

Stephen loves it all. The chaos, the temptation. He wants it to be more. But, he glances at the other man, talking on his phone with a frown, perhaps not now. Not while he's busy. 

He places the sheet back onto the bed, chuckling quietly to himself. 

He should be content with this, though - with the dalliances between him and Iron Man. But his heart still whispers to him, urging him for more. 

He wants to know the man under the mask but perhaps it is still not yet the right time for that. He doesn't want to force the other man even if he’s sometimes tempted to just pull the mask away. 

He checks his phone and sees a text from Wong asking him if he's free to help out in the library. He glances at the preoccupied man still talking in hushed tones before typing out a reply to Wong. 

He'll be there.

He then stands up, makes his way to Iron Man and shows the message from his friend silently and his reply. 

The man pauses in his conversation and nods. With a smile, Stephen leans in to kiss Iron Man on the cheek before heading out.

"Stephen?" he hears Iron Man call for him and he turns to look at the man. 

"Yes?"

Iron Man smiles weakly. "Thank you."

Stephen looks at him strangely before chalking it up as nervousness - but why though? - and leaves the penthouse to spend the day with Wong.

 


 

“I’m scared, Rhodey.”

Such are his words to his best friend during their phone call that morning and while his best friend does try to comfort him, Tony still doesn’t feel reassured. 

He makes his way to the orchestra practice clutching onto his violin case and spends the half-day just mechanically going over the performance, playing his violin to the best of his ability. He earns a few looks from Wong but he ignores the other man, occasionally glancing over at the cello section to look at Stephen.

When the practice is over and the other musicians leave for home, Tony approaches the other man preparing to leave. “Stephen?”

The man stops, turning to him and tilting his head curiously. “What is it, Tony?"

This is it. Tony smiles nervously at him. “Can I talk to you for a moment? I want to show you something.”

At the man’s nod, Tony grabs his violin, places it over his shoulder and with one final glance at Stephen, he starts to play the melody of the ballad. The very same ballad he, as Iron Man, played for Stephen. 

And he plays a few bars, he puts his violin down and looks at Stephen, who looks very confused, and the reaction is different than Tony anticipated, or what he saw yesterday.

“I wanted to tell you-”

Stephen’s confused voice cuts him off. "... Are you two collaborating?" 

“No, it’s because-”

Then Stephen shakes his head. "Then how did you know that song? It hasn’t even been released."

“Because I wrote it.” Tony swallows nervously. “For my lover. For Iron Man's lover." 

“That’s-” Stephen looks at him as if he just cursed him. “That’s impossible, you would be-” He visibly clenches his jaw. “What are you trying to say , Tony?”

Tony holds onto both his violin and bow in one hand as he reaches into his pocket and pulls out the mask that Iron Man uses during their meet-ups. "I wore this the very first time we had sex in the club months ago. It's the mask I've been wearing every time we meet." 

It's something the only Iron Man and Stephen could ever know. 

"We kissed so many times but my favourite kiss was after I took you back home to your apartment and you gave me a goodbye kiss after you gave me the orchestra performance ticket," he pauses to take a deep and steadying breath. "It's me, Stephen," Tony whispers. "I am Iron Man."

Stephen wears a stricken look. "You've... been lying to me...? All this time, you lied to me?"

"I couldn't tell the truth, could I?" Tony protested. "You... We... We got so caught up in the fantasy," he clenches his free hand, "I didn't want to break it and reveal the truth. You were so happy with Iron Man and-" Tony swallows the bile that was rising in his throat, "-Iron Man is cool and amazing... How can I compete with that... I’m just Tony."

"... not lying to me would have been a good start,” Stephen hisses.  “Not... not this. Not... pretending to be my friend and then... No.” 

Stephen looks at him with a seething glare. “You could have been my friend. You could have tried to be... a good enough friend not to trick me, and not to play around with my feelings like this. I didn't need Iron Man. I was fine without him before. Instead, you let me believe a lie - your fucking fantasy?"

"I'm not pretending to be your friend, Stephen!" Tony cries out desperately. "I'm just… When I learned that you like Iron Man, I thought that you would never like me for me.  I'm telling you about this because... I didn't want to break your heart even more. Not when I saw that you're falling for the man I could never live up to in reality."

"Well, that's kind of you. A little too late, but what else should I expect?" Stephen runs a hand into his hair and shook his head. "What you did... this...? This wasn't fair. You let me believe a lie... for what? For sex? Is that what you wanted from me?” Stephen scoffs in disbelief. “God, I'm such an idiot... anyone else would've just asked like a normal person, Tony. But that wasn't good enough for you, was it? So instead, I'm standing here, feeling used and betrayed... because that's so much better than heartbroken, or facing the possibility of rejection, is it, Tony?"

"... I'm sorry," is all that Tony can say as he looks away from Stephen, now just realizing what he just did to his friend. This is more than just a mistake. He’d been burning down a fragile bridge that he built between him and Stephen. "I know... I know that no amount of apologies could ever make up for what I did but... I'm sorry."

“Sorry doesn’t change anything, Iron Man, ” Stephen tells him. “You must have had fun, right? Is playing with the feelings of other people your favourite pastime? Do you enjoy abandoning people after you break their fucking heart?” 

Tony feels like he’s been punched in the stomach at Stephen’s words. He can't even find the words to answer Stephen. Is that what he’s been doing? 

It is and you destroyed everything that you could ever have with Stephen. A voice whispers in his head, a voice that closely resembles his father’s and Tony felt the urgent need to curl up into a ball and cry. Tears pooled at his eyes and he quickly packs up his violin and throws the mask in the case before shutting it close. 

“I’m sorry, Stephen,” he whispers, his back faced towards Stephen to not let the other man see his tears.

“You want to know something, Iron Man or Tony, or whoever you really are?” Stephen’s voice choked up slightly before he continued to speak. “I would have liked you for you.”

Tony’s eyes widen and he considers turning to face the other man when he hears him continue.

"But it’s too late now, isn’t it? Perhaps it would be best if I don't see you anymore," Stephen hisses at him and Tony froze, biting at his lower lip to try to force himself to not cry. 

"As you wish."

Tony stands there as he picks up his things and without another word leaves the orchestra for what may be the last time. The walk home is quick, with Tony still trying to suppress whatever he’s feeling. He doesn’t want people to see him like this. 

The moment he enters his penthouse, Tony drops to the ground, letting his tears fall down his face as he screams his pain, throwing the violin case somewhere before sobbing loudly as he curls up, digging his fingers through his hair and pulling. 

This is his fault. 

All his fault. 

He stays like that for a while, rocking back and forth as he tries to search for something that can help him forget. Something to distract him. Spotting the cabinet above his fridge, he stumbles his way to it, pulling the door open and blindly grabbing at a wine bottle, looking at it. Hesitating for a split second, he pours himself a full glass and promptly drinks from it. 

Another glass. 

Another. 

Another.

The wine bottle is empty now and Tony reaches for another one, opening it. He can feel a buzz now and he half-walks, half-stumbles into his bedroom. 

He drinks another glass. 

And another. 

The rest of the week passes in a blur and wine flows through him, the alcohol leaving him oh so relaxed and numb to everything. Good. That’s what he wants. He texts Brighid about his resignation from the orchestra and tosses his phone somewhere in the bedroom. 

He needs something more. Something that can distract him more. 

Days pass - or weeks? He doesn’t know anymore. He spent all his time going to clubs, letting loose, drinking so much alcohol that when he returns to his penthouse, he just collapses on his bed. 

Even then, he can’t sleep. Blue eyes haunt him. Stephen’s words echo in his mind, and he writes. 

He writes and writes. 

He edits, removes words, crumpling up papers and writes once again. 

This is the only thing he can do now.

That and drink. And party.

He laughs loudly, standing on the bar counter, shouting something that even he can’t understand. The other people in the club don't mind and they all raise their bottles and glasses and simultaneously drank. 

Tony shouts with unrestrained glee, finishing his bottle off.

“-ony!”

He hears his name and whirls around to see a familiar dark-skinned man, wearing a simple shirt and jeans, his hands on his hips, a frown on his face.

“Rhodey bear!” He shouts happily and jumps off the counter, stumbling some as he hits the floor, only to be braced by his old friend.

He clings onto his best friend, pressing a sloppy kiss on his cheek. “I missed you!”

“Tony, what the hell?” His friend asks him, steadying him and grabbing the bottle from him to put it back onto the counter. 

Tony babbles instead, hugging his friend close. “I can’t believe you’re here! W’ gon’ have so much fun!” 

He hears Rhodey sigh and Tony can feel himself moving away from the counter and out of the bar. Tony might have passed out for a minute or two because he finds himself in a cab, sitting beside Rhodey, who looks at him worriedly. 

“Tony, what happened?”

Tony opens his mouth and closes it again. He smiles weakly instead. Thinks of cold blue eyes. His mistake. “Are you going to leave me too, James?” He whispers before all he sees is darkness.

 


 

James Rhodes, Rhodey to his best friend, has seen many things. Being Tony Stark’s best friend has him used to most of the insane antics his best friend likes to engage in. But he’s always haunted by the guilt of not being there for Tony in recent times. He is a soldier, after all, and could not be around too much. He tends to worry about the man he befriended when they were children. 

When he was deployed, he worried. Tony would be alone. Tony hated being alone, due to Howard Stark’s amazing parenting skills. So James made sure to contact Tony whenever possible, asks him how his day was. Lately, he heard about how Tony had this crush on a cellist ‘with eyes as blue as the ocean’ and he was happy for his friend. 

Thank god, he teased the other man. Here I thought you would be the rockstar who never married and lived with a dozen cats and dogs.

Then he received a message from Tony, telling him about the affair he and the cellist were having and James became worried and tried to tell his friend that this was a bad idea. 

Tony kept insisting that it would be okay because if he’s Iron Man, Stephen wouldn’t leave him. He won’t be alone anymore.

But then, three months ago, Tony had ceased taking his calls, leaving him worried. 

James flies back to New York to check up on him and sees Tony flat out drunk and in a club and James's heart breaks.

“Are you going to leave me too, James?” 

The words hurt him far more than even the sight of Tony balls to the wall drunk, because Tony never calls him by that name. The idea that he really thinks that James would leave him if he found him like this is devastating to the soldier.

Now, James sits beside Tony on a chair as he watches over his best friend and when Tony starts crying out in his sleep, tossing and turning, James gently rouses him from the nightmare, reassuring him that he's here. He'll never leave him. Tony's his brother.

It’s painful to see him like this. All James can do is embrace Tony and let the torrent of his tears to soak through his shirt. He can feel him trembling, heaving loud sobs as the other man clings to him. He runs his fingers through Tony’s hair soothingly, whispering to the other man to let it all out. 

As his brother in all but blood, James takes care of him in the next few days. He makes sure that the other man eats three square meals. He throws away the alcohol that Tony hid and cleans up the place, where he finds a picture of Tony and Stephen, during their early days in the orchestra. James sighs, glancing at Tony who is seated at the dining table, munching on some cereal as he writes something.

He doesn’t want to make Tony sadder by bringing up the subject but he has to know. He has to know in order to determine what exactly to do.

He sits down next to Tony, glancing at the paper. Lyrics. A lot of words are crossed out in dark lines and replaced by more words. 

"Tones?"

"Hm?" Tony looks at him curiously, black bags still evident under his eyes and James taps on the paper. 

"You know that you can talk to me, right?" He asks him and Tony pauses, looking at him with tired eyes before smiling sadly. 

"Yeah, I know." He looks at the paper and sighs, pushing it away and curling into himself slightly. "I made a mistake, as you know."

"Then tell me how to undo this mistake, Tones. I can't just leave you like this." James places a comforting hand on the other man's shoulder.

Tony heaves another sigh. "I messed up and I don't know if it can be undone."

He starts to tell him everything that happened and James listens carefully, offering his silent support until the end of Tony's tale, the other man's eyes brimming with tears. 

"I don't- I don't know how to fix all of this." He admits to James and James lets Tony curl up to his side, unleashing another set of sobs that wracked his whole body and James hugs him, patting his back. 

He stayed with Tony for a while, watching over him as the other man busies himself in songwriting instead of wasting his life away in alcohol and clubs. 

One morning, months after he first arrived back in New York, he gets a chance to help his friend. 

He’s out buying some bread from the local cafe, wanting to surprise Tony with his favourite coffee. While waiting for the order he spots someone, a cello case resting against the wall beside him and who looks oddly familiar. 

Hoping that the Almighty has decided to smile down on the mortals, he moves to join him. The guy looks lonely and lost, and James recognises him from the photos Tony had shown him. The cellist.

“Nice weather hm?”

No reply.

James looks at the man who sits stirring his drink distractedly. 

“You know, my best friend Tony would have loved to go out today.”

That got a reaction because the man looks up at him in shock and James smiles. 

“Wow. You really do have ocean blue eyes, hm?”

The man, Stephen, seems to hesitate before making up his mind and faces James directly. James isn’t even surprised to see the other man with his own set of black bags under his eyes, his movements slightly lethargic and his posture slumped. 

"... How is he?" Stephen inquires quietly.

"Compared to you?" James sighs, glancing briefly outside, "you look like a beautiful stained glass window."

Stephen swallows. "What do you mean by that?"

"I mean, drinking himself to the point of collapsing, writing and editing so much of that damn ballad that his apartment looks like a dumpster with all of those papers, not even sleeping until I intervened," James clears his throat. "He's messed up. That's what I mean."

There’s no reply from the other man and James isn't really expecting anything. He knows he’s being meddlesome but he wants his best friend to have at least one final talk with Stephen to move on. 

"Now, I don't really know your side of the story but I do think that only time can be forgiving to both of you and maybe one day, you can talk it out." 

He hears his name being called out by the barista and he nods at Stephen. "Have a good day, Mister Strange." He goes to fetch the coffee and pastries and with one last farewell to the cellist, goes on his way to return to Tony and make sure that the man hasn't returned to his bad habits. 

Thankfully, the rockstar simply sits strumming on his guitar, humming a soft tune when James comes in. Tony visibly brightens up at the sight of the coffee and James hands it to him, smiling at the way Tony clutches onto the cup and breathing in the scent of the coffee. 

James sits down on the floor next to him, looking at the pieces of paper scattered on the floor, along with the Iron Man mask, in front of them and he picks one up, reading through it.

It’s a setlist for a concert.

"The Avengers are having another concert?" James asks, frowning slightly. "Tony, this is not a good idea."

Tony shakes his head. "I have to do this, Rhodey bear," he insists, taking the setlist from him. "One last concert for Iron Man." He takes the mask, turning it over in his hands. "I have to do this," he repeats firmly. 

James looks at the other man worriedly. One last concert? That sounds slightly foreboding.

"Tony..." He starts anxiously.

"I'll be fine. Please, Rhodey." Tony's amber eyes look at him, imploringly. "I need to do this."

James sighs but realizes he is here to support his friend, no matter what. 

"As long as you don't do anything crazy." He tells him and Tony gave him a small grin with a glint in his eyes. 

"Crazy? Me? Never."

 


 

Stephen Vincent Strange feels defeated. He feels betrayed, and with good reason. The man he was falling in love with, the man he’d had sex with many times, lied to him. Hid the fact that he was literally always there all along. Did Tony lie just get into his pants? Or was there another reason?

He doesn't know. He couldn't listen to the other man. He was too angry and felt so betrayed that he unleashed words that he normally wouldn't say to anyone.

That night, after the shocking reveal, Stephen cried himself to sleep and the next day in practice, Brighid announced that Tony had withdrawn from the orchestra.

He should have been happy. The man who played him like a puppet was gone from his life and Stephen could move on. Slowly, steadily.

But in the following days and weeks in practice, Stephen kept on looking at the empty seat where Tony sat before. He misses Tony. Misses their friendship. Misses what it could have been.

But he's hurt and angry.

Angry at himself for taking the bait. 

The more Stephen thinks, the more lethargic, introverted and depressed he gets... It's affecting his music. His life. 

Playing in the orchestra starts to feel less like something he loves and more like work. He finds no enjoyment anymore. He doesn't play at home for fun, just for practice.

Months pass and Stephen spends his time with Wong, who is confused but always willing to lend an ear when he needs to vent. 

But Stephen couldn’t tell Wong about Tony. About Iron Man. He wouldn't out the man like that. 

When he meets Tony's own friend he can't help but ask how Tony is. When the friend tells him about Tony's state, he’s admittedly shocked. 

He doesn't know what to think. Why would Tony be sad and reclusive when he was the one to baited Stephen in the first place? 

When the man leaves, Stephen sits there in thought, his tea cold after going untouched for so long. He returns home, thinks quietly. He's confused - very confused. 

He falls into a routine: sleep, eat, take care of hygiene, practice, think. 

He thinks about the very first instance that prompted Tony to start the relationship. Stephen had expressed his desire to see the Avengers. To see his idol, Iron Man. And he does. 

They had sex and saw each other more. 

Until he himself griped about how the relationship between him and Iron Man seemed so shallow.

Stephen bit at his lower lip. Was that it? Was that the reason why Tony decided to tell him?

He’s startled out of his thoughts when his doorbell rings and he makes his way to the door, opens it to see Wong.

"Wong?" Stephen voices out his confusion and his friend narrows his eyes at him.

"Still moping, Strange?"

Stephen sighs. "Yes, now if you please-"

A hand grabs at his wrist and Wong flashes up two pieces of paper and it took a while for Stephen to recognize the Avengers' logo. 

Tickets.

"I’m getting tired of seeing you like this," Wong offers him an encouraging smile. "And I was thinking about what to get you to cheer you up and saw that the Avengers are holding a concert tonight. Had to fight off a rabid fangirl for these tickets but what better way to cheer up my fanboy of a friend than to attend the concert of the very band you are a fan of?"

Stephen finds himself surprised that Wong’s actually willing to endure a rock concert to help him but he’s also apprehensive. 

Wong ushers him to change clothes and as Stephen does so, he thinks once again and almost panics.

The Avengers.

Iron Man. 

Tony .

He makes his way back to Wong, who’s tapping his foot impatiently. 

"Wong, I-"

"Nope," his friend interrupts him, practically dragging him out of the house. "I will not let you get away with this. So you and I, ugh, will be attending this concert." The other man barely let him lock the front door, pushing him into a cab and sitting beside him. 

The man gave the driver directions to the concert hall. They arrive quicker than Stephen expected, and he follows Wong into the venue, resisting the urge to run. 

The tickets that Wong purchased show a perfect view of everything on stage but due to the number of people in front of them waving flags and banners, they probably wouldn’t be seen by Iron Man or the Avengers.

Which is at least good in his opinion. 

The opening acts are quick and lively, with Stephen barely hearing them over the heavy pounding of his heartbeat in his ears. The lights begin to dim, a familiar voice calling out to the audience and Stephen's heart skips a beat when he sees Iron Man waving to the crowd and without further ado, the concert starts. 

The setlist is different from the last concert, showcasing each Avenger's talents and speciality in their instruments. Energetic, vibrant. It reminds Stephen why he loved this band in the first place. 

But something feels wrong. Iron Man - Tony , he corrects himself - doesn’t emit any of the explosive energy that he usually does during concerts. He’s dancing, yes, but Stephen can tell that he seems to be holding something back. 

When the final song begins to be set up, Iron Man stands front and centre with his microphone on a stand.

"This last song, I would like to dedicate to someone I've liked for quite some time now. I was a fool, so desperate for this person to like me that I let myself get lost in the relationship." Stephen watches him, holding his breath. "I was scared, I didn't know what to do. It all just piled up and I messed up. I don't know if he will ever forgive me but I want to start by clearing up the confusion, especially when it comes to who I really am. So..."

Stephen stares with wide eyes as Iron Man looks back at the other Avengers who nod in response.

Tony pulls off the Iron Man mask, revealing himself to the crowd. The others also follow his lead, revealing their own faces as Mjolnir spreads his arms with a dramatic effect. Gasps and murmurs but overall happy screams can be heard in the audience because finally, the Avengers are unmasking.

But not Stephen. He continues staring, ignoring Wong's confused murmurs and whispered curses. Stephen sees everything, Tony's eyes look sunken and he shakes slightly, clinging onto the stand like a lifeline but he takes a deep breath and continues speaking.

"My name is Tony Stark. I was once a violinist in the Sanctum Orchestra but I am also the rockstar Iron Man. I'm-" he chokes off, clearing his throat. "I'm in love with a man whom I wish I could see again for at least one last time. To tell him that I am sorry. That I only wanted to see him happy. I went about it the wrong way and I can see that now but… hindsight and all that."

Tony looks at the audience and Stephen can feel tears brimming in his eyes  

"So, Stephen, no matter what happens, I never intended for you to be sad... Because I love you far too much."

Then Tony sings.

 

Caught up in your fantasies,

Like you'd ever notice me,

Hand in hand, not heart to heart,

Why are we still worlds apart?

 

Is it a mistake? An error of judgment, oh foolish of heart?

 

Is it too late, to start again?

Is it too late, to hold your hand again?

Tell me please, is it too late?

To hug you and kiss you and give you my love?

 

All I wanted, to see you smile

I would do anything, even drive for miles.

It's always for you and not me.

Even though the real me you cannot see.

 

Stephen listens to the ballad, hears how Tony's voice cracks with the intensity of the emotions the song brings him and Stephen feels close to breaking down. Is this the reason why Tony wanted to tell him his identity? Because he was falling in love as well? 

The song ends with Stephen crying and Tony’s cheeks streaming with tears as well as he turns away from the mic before telling the crowd that this has been a great concert and with one final bow, he and the others head offstage.

"Stephen, go to Tony right now or I'll kick your ass," Wong murmurs to him.

With that, Stephen’s mind is made up. He runs backstage, pushing through the screaming crowds, wiping his eyes so that he can see where he’s going. He manages to reach the door, where a familiar man stands looking over at the crowd. 

The man from the cafe. 

Stephen quickly makes his way to the man, about to open his mouth to beg to be let in but the man only smiles at him. Without another word, he opens the door and Stephen shoots him a grateful look before he dashes inside. By a stroke of luck, he can see Tony about to enter his dressing room. 

"Tony!" Stephen shouts and Tony turns, wide-eyed when he sees Stephen.

"Stephen?" He whispers in disbelief and Stephen manages to stop in front of Tony, who seems to be frozen with shock.

Taking the initiative, Stephen reaches out, cupping both sides of Tony's face and smiling through his tears. "I'm here..." Stephen says softly. "I love you too."

That prompts Tony to move forward, clinging onto Stephen, who hugs him back as Tony sobbed. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” he babbles, holding onto Stephen tightly. 

Stephen himself had yet to stop crying, and they stayed like that for a while, hugging each other but once they calmed down enough, Stephen pulls away slightly. "Tony, I-" He trails off, taking a deep breath. "You need to know that if we do start again," Tony looks at him with wide teary eyes. "No more lies. No more hiding. Just the truth between the both of us."

Tony nods, smiling softly. "That's all I could ever want."


 A year later.


 

Stephen and Tony spend their time together during breaks. They slowly get to know each other, little by little. Stephen learns of the real Tony, the man who works hard and puts his all into his music, who loves his music more than almost anything. The man who easily gets excited at the smell of coffee, who chats nonstop about the most random things with his hands gesturing excitedly. His tics. His favourite foods. 

The man who, no matter what, smiles softly at him when he thinks that Stephen isn't looking. When Stephen makes it known that he’s been caught, Tony laughs nervously and Stephen thinks it’s adorable. 

Orchestra performances always end with Tony greeting him with a bouquet of roses, smiling in that familiar shy way as he tells Stephen what he likes about the performance. 

Stephen likewise visits rehearsals for concerts in New York, and supports Tony in any way he can, bringing him his own bouquets of tulips. 

They would go on dates. Simple lunch, chatting about anything that happened recently and Tony would fidget before slowly reaching out to hold his hand, to which Stephen would smile at him and link their fingers together. 

They don't have sex, haven’t in a while as a part of an agreement that they're taking it slow this time.

Stephen is happy that he gets to see not the rockstar Iron Man persona, but the real Tony. 

Tony tells him stories about the people in his life, how his father found out about his rockstar life and cut off ties with him. But Tony tells Stephen that he doesn’t mind, that he’s happy about how things are and that he realizes that he doesn’t need his father’s approval anymore. Not when he has someone who cares about him and supports him doing what he’s passionate about.

“It’s Rhodey,” Tony jokes, and Stephen rolls his eyes a bit at that.

They start out as friends once again after their agreement to try again and Stephen finds himself trusting the man, little by little and he’s glad. 

One night, after a gruelling concert, Stephen surprises Tony in his penthouse. The man walks through the door exhausted but when he sees Stephen, his eyes light up and his tired frown turns into a bright smile. 

"I'm home." He tells Stephen and Stephen's heart warms, opening his arms to let Tony hug him tightly. 

"Welcome home." He whispers and Tony leans away slightly to look up at him. 

Stephen leans down to kiss him softly on the lips, surprising the other man, who takes a second of hesitation before kissing back, clutching onto Stephen's shirt. 

They stay like that for some time, kissing slowly, their eyes closed as they press against each other before Stephen pulls away to smile at him.

"I love you, Tony." He whispers and Tony's eyes brim with unshed tears. 

"I love you too, Stephen." They kiss once again and Stephen pulls away once again to kiss Tony's forehead. 

"I'm ready for our real first time now." He tells the other man, who looks at him with wide eyes. 

"A-are you sure?" Tony stutters. "I- We can wait if you want. I'm not pressuring you, am I-"

Stephen silences the other man with a deep kiss. "Yes. I am sure."

They hold hands, making their way to the bedroom as they kiss, undressing each other slowly, taking their time. Stephen holds onto Tony as they both fall back onto the bed. 

They laugh, kissing as Stephen playfully musses Tony's hair and Tony wraps an arm around his waist to pull him closer to his chest.

No masks.

No lies.

Just them, about to make love to each other.

Stephen feels Tony trembling slightly as he touches Stephen gently. He kisses him deeply as he moves down, kissing Stephen's bare skin on his way down. Tony grabs his legs, opening them up so that he can have access.

He looks at Stephen, asking silent permission to which Stephen gives with a nod.

Tony reaches out blindly for the lube and Stephen throws his head back when he feels Tony's mouth latch onto the tip of his cock, sucking lightly as fingers slowly breached his entrance. 

The fingers swirl shallowly inside of Stephen, pushing slightly further in, before being teasingly pulled out to the tips once more. 

Soon, Stephen moans as Tony stops his teasing and plunged two freshly slicked fingers all the way to the knuckle inside of him. Tony's fingers rubbed intimately inside of him, igniting sparks of pleasure as they continued to stretch him out. The other man crooks his fingers inside of him and Stephen gasps, white-hot pleasure flaring inside of him as he thrust his hips, driving his cock into Tony's mouth more.

Tony pulled away fully, his mouth making a 'pop' sound and his fingers pulling out of Stephen. He crawls back up, kissing Stephen lightly.

Stephen laughs, booping Tony's nose and kissing him back. "You know that I can take worse, Tony."

Tony chuckles, kissing his forehead lovingly. "I want our real first time to be memorable." 

Stephen smiles at that. He watches Tony get ready, slicking himself up and positions himself. Stephen moans as Tony enters him, holding onto the man as Tony bottoms out, resting his forehead against Stephen's shoulder. He moves steadily faster now, his hand grasping Stephen's cock and pumping it with a loose fist. 

Stephen moans as Tony seemed to bend him in half, thrusting at a steady pace as the other man left little marks on his skin. 

"Shit," he hears his lover curse, "I'm close." 

"Inside," he tells him quickly and Tony obeys, releasing into Stephen with a groan. Tony’s about to help Stephen find his own release when he considers another option. He pulls out of Stephen, making him sigh and plants a peck on Stephen's jaw. 

"What is it?" Stephen asks, sitting up as Tony smiles shyly. 

"I want you to cum in me."

Stephen's eyes widen as Tony moves to kneel on all fours, looking at him with half-lidded eyes. This is new to both of them because never had they switched even during their sexual adventures as Iron Man and Stephen before. 

He reaches for the lube to prepare Tony, tracing his rim teasingly and watching for any signs of discomfort from the other man as he inserts one finger first, then a second one and starts to stretch Tony. The brunette moans, his head bent down and moving his hips to grind back against Stephen's fingers.

"Ready?" He asks Tony, who nods and Stephen pulls his fingers out, positioning himself behind Tony and stroking his already weeping cock. Stephen knows that he won't last long but he nudges the rim with the head of his cock before slowly breaching it, groaning at how tight Tony is around his length. He pushes in steadily before he is fully inside, Tony whimpering and moaning and muttering about how full he feels.

Stephen grips Tony's hips and leans over to plant a kiss on his shoulder. He once again looks for any signs of pain and when Tony confirms that he will be fine, Stephen moves. 

They both groan and Stephen moves in and out of Tony steadily. He keeps a steady rhythm until Tony tells him to go faster and faster Stephen did. He pounds away into Tony, who cries out his name in pleasure, moaning loudly along with Stephen. 

The hard thrusting and faster pace bring Tony over the edge and Stephen soon releases into Tony, groaning at how Tony's hole twitched around him. He pulls away just as Tony turns to kiss him deeply, his own cock red and hard once again and Stephen adjusts their positions with Tony sitting (he groans at that) and Stephen straddling him, letting Tony's cock enter Stephen once again. Tony shivers at the extra stimulation around his length.

Stephen grinds against him lazily and peppers kisses all over Tony's face. They both giggle and laugh happily, high on endorphins. Tony doesn't thrust, just content inside Stephen and they kept exchanging soft kisses as Stephen moves his hips. 

It isn't long before Tony cums inside him and they nestle against each other, with Stephen curling against Tony's side.

They’re both sticky with lube and cum, and there's a chill in the room, so he snuggles further into Tony's embrace, kissing the other man underneath the covers that Tony pulls over them. 

"I love you, Stephen," Tony whispers, his amber eyes soft and Stephen smiles. 

"I love you too."

There would be problems surely, issues that would try to separate them but Stephen is confident that as long as they have each other, nothing in the world could keep them down.