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A King For Christmas

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January 1, 1869

 

They make the decision together that they’re going to tell the children about their new and budding relationship. It’s an easy decision, born out of six straight days of staying in Steve’s chambers, getting dressed only when they were fresh out of the bath and too cold to dare staying naked. And, as Steve had put it, “I doubt we’d be able to hide something like this and nor do I want to.”

Tony had kissed him for that, hard and loving and wonderful.

Steve blushes now at the memory. A small, warm hand tucks itself into his and Tony asks, “What are you thinking about that has you turning such a delightful shade?”

“You,” he says honestly, tickled pink when Tony turns his own shade of red.

Imagining that he’ll be able to feel the warmth of his blush, he bends down and kisses Tony’s cheek, lingering on the soft skin. Tony, he knows, is thinking about growing out a beard now that he’ll become part of the royal family because he thinks it will make him look more distinguished. Steve isn’t too certain how that’ll work out for him considering most male omegas aren’t able to grow one but if that’s what Tony wants to do, then he’ll support him no matter what.

“Are you ready?” he asks, raising their clasped hands to his lips so he can kiss the back of Tony’s hand.

Tony smiles up at him and says, “Of course.”

They push open the door to the nursery. It takes a moment for the children, caught up in a game with Natasha as they are, to notice them but when they do, a hush falls over the room. Then Peter, darling Peter, catches sight of their hands and shouts excitedly, “You’re getting married?”


May 29, 1869

 

Tony comes downstairs that morning, talking with Pepper about the children’s new tutor. They’ll be needing one of course, now that Tony and Steve are courting. He hasn’t officially moved into Steve’s bedroom; propriety demands that they wait until their marriage in December but he has moved into the suite next to Steve’s and he spends his nights in Steve’s bed more often than not. He still teaches the children during the day but since he no longer lives in the nursery and Rhodey has gone with him, the children only have Natasha and a new guard they don’t particularly like—though he thinks their dislike is simply because he’s not Tony or Rhodey—looking after them.

He left Steve upstairs, discussing something with Clint and Bucky that he technically isn’t supposed to know about but knows perfectly well Steve will tell him all about it later tonight. They trust each other. There’s no need to hide any secrets from each other, whether they be state or otherwise.

“Has Natasha gotten the children up yet?” he asks Pepper as they enter the dining room.

“A few minutes ago,” Pepper confirms.

“And have you heard back from anyone about interviews? I want the children to be as used to their new tutor as possible by the time we get to December.” He’s been so consumed with wedding preparations that he barely knows whether he’s coming or going these days and he doesn’t want the children to get lost in the shuffle. They deserve better than that after all these years.

“Some, not all,” Pepper says, giving him a conspiratorial smile. “The children’s reputation has spread and some people are hesitant about taking the position.”

Tony laughs. “Typical,” he replies and resolves himself to tease Natasha about her role in the children’s antics. The children themselves, he’ll never tease. They were, after all, grieving their mother but Natasha is fair game.

He nods politely at the five people sitting around the table, mind already moving onto other things. Steve has been inviting more and more people to stay at the castle over the last five months, opening up his home to visiting royals and nobility the way he used to when Queen Margaret had still been alive. Fortunately, Tony is still uncrowned and so he hasn’t been expected to entertain them, for which he is exceedingly grateful. He’s busy enough with his own matters, he doesn’t want to have to add their guests’ concerns.

Then a stern male voice says, “Anthony Edward Stark, is that any way to greet your mother?”

Tony’s head snaps up and he turns. There they are: Jan, Ana and Edwin Jarvis, and his parents.

“You’re here!” he shrieks and throws himself into Jan’s arms as he bursts into tears.

She’s crying as well as she picks him up and spins him around. “You’re okay,” she sobs. “We were so worried when he left New York and we couldn’t find you and then the king wrote to us and—”

“Let him breathe, Miss Van Dyne,” Jarvis says gently, prying the two of them apart. “Let Tony say hello to his family.”

His mother is just as overtaken by emotion as he is and even his father has tears in his eyes as he hugs the both of them, sobbing his apologies and begging their forgiveness for the way he left.

“No, we’re sorry,” his father says, hugging him tightly, “that you ever felt you had to leave that way, that you didn’t think you could tell us.”

“I didn’t want to ruin your reputation,” he says and his mother shakes her head.

“You are far more important than our reputation,” she tells him. He hiccups out a little, “Mama,” as he falls back into her arms.

“So is this a good birthday present then?” Steve asks from somewhere behind him.

Tony turns from where he’s giving the Jarvises their hugs and crosses the room in three steps to give Steve a loud, smacking kiss. “This is perfect, my love.”

Steve brushes his hair away from his forehead, giving it a little kiss when he’s done. “I’m glad, sweetheart. Happy birthday.”

Tony frowns. “It is my birthday, isn’t it,” he muses. He’d quite forgotten in all the hustle. Steve gives him an amused look, kisses him again, and goes to introduce himself to Tony’s family, leaving him alone with Jan, who drags him aside.

“We’re here to help with the wedding preparations too,” she tells him. “Your mother thought you might be feeling a little overwhelmed.”

“Oh thank heavens,” he says gratefully. “I don’t know how anyone does this alone.”

She giggles and glances at Steve gravely bowing over Maria’s hand. “So you’re marrying a king,” she says softly. “Tell me Tony, is he everything we dreamed of when we were children?”

Tony thinks of this castle and this family, about playing music in the late hours of the night and running through the gardens chasing butterflies with Morgan as Harley and Peter wrestle in the distance and Sarah sketches the whole scene, about Steve carrying him to bed and loving him thoroughly, passionately as Tony could only ever imagine, and he smiles.

“More than.”


December 24, 1869

 

They had married that morning in a small ceremony, filled with their friends and family and no one else. They’d possibly snubbed a few royals by not sending them invitations but, to be completely honest, Dacia was in such good relations with their neighboring countries anyway that Steve isn’t terribly worried about it. Besides, they had all been given invitations to Tony’s coronation in the evening anyway so it isn’t as much of a snub as it could have been.

Tony had asked him when they started preparations if they wanted to have a big wedding but Steve had done that already with Peggy and when he had asked if Tony had wanted one, the omega had sounded so reluctant that Steve had ruled for a smaller ceremony than etiquette dictated.

“I feel like it’s expected of us,” Tony had pointed out.

“But it’s our wedding,” Steve had argued, “and we’ll celebrate it how we want.”

Tony had been resplendent, Steve remembers and goes faint at the thought. He’d gone full into his American culture in a cream ball gown, embroidered with tens of thousands of tiny seed pearls across the bodice and skirt, the sleeves made out of delicate lace that Steve had wanted to paw off of him. It had taken the dressmakers nearly eight months to make it and he’s certain that it will only take them a few minutes tonight to ruin it.

He waits now at the front of the church as Tony moves down the aisle toward him, still in his wedding dress though it’s hours later because he had insisted on being allowed to wear it for his coronation. At the sight of him, Steve is suddenly glad that he had agreed to Tony’s stipulation. He wants the entire world to see how beautiful his omega—his for good now—looks in his wedding dress.

In a long-standing Dacian tradition, Tony’s entrance is announced by a single female soloist singing in a language that hasn’t been spoken by anyone in over two hundred years as they adopted their neighbors’ languages but lives on in their songs. As he proceeds down the aisle, the soloist fades out into the chanting of a hundred men, wishing him luck and fortune and longevity, which in turn becomes the angelic singing of a choir nearly two hundred strong, wishing him happiness and love, and above it all, the voice of the soloist soars, announcing that the queen is coming into his reign.

Tony reaches him, hand reaching out for Steve’s and he gladly takes it, soothingly rubbing his thumb over the inside of Tony’s wrist.

“You look beautiful,” he whispers and Tony practically glows with the compliment.

Steve turns them, presenting him to their people. “This is my chosen queen,” he announces. “Anthony Edward Stark, first of his line, my beloved. If there is any here who would protest my decision, let them speak now.”

He sees the way Tony trembles just a little at the question and he knows that, even now, Tony sometimes still doubts his worthiness of this position. Steve doesn’t doubt him though. He hasn’t doubted him since the moment Tony yelled at him on that first night. He knows of none more capable than the man he had once known as Anthony Carbonell.

“Anthony Stark, are you prepared and willing to take the Oath?” Steve asks.

Tony lifts his chin stubbornly, a spark of fire in his doe-brown eyes. “I am willing,” he says, calm and sure.

“Kneel before me.”

Tony lowers himself and Steve has to suppress a shudder at the other memories of his pretty Tony on his knees. “Will you solemnly promise and swear to assist your king in the governance of the peoples of Dacia and all its possessions and territories according to their respective laws and customs?” he asks.

“I solemnly promise so to do.”

“Will you to your power assist your king to cause law and justice, in mercy, to be executed in all your judgments?”

“I will.”

“Will you promise yourself to the power of your king, to submit when expected, to assist when required, to counsel when needed?”

Tony raises a cheeky eyebrow, making Steve bite back a smile as he knows perfectly well that Tony submits to no one but himself, but he still says, “All this I promise to do. The things which I have here before promised, I will perform, and keep.”

Harley steps forward, carrying the queen’s crown, last worn by Peggy, a beautiful golden coronet studded with rubies. He sees Tony’s gaze fall on it and for the briefest of moments, Steve is terrified that Tony will think this is too much of a legacy for him to fill even though he knows that there is no such thing. Then Tony bows his head, gracefully waiting for Steve.

“I name you my queen,” Steve intones, removing the crown from its velvet cushion to place upon Tony’s head. It settles there amongst his curls as though it was made for him, an absolutely perfect fit.

He helps Tony to rise, turning him again to face their people, watching the two of them with rapt stares. “I present to you Queen Anthony Stark,” he proclaims. “Long live Queen Anthony, omega to King Steven I.”

Even knowing how Tony has made himself beloved among the people, it surprises him the tumultuous applause that the announcement receives. He swears it could lift the rafters from the church and he smiles proudly, wrapping his arm around Tony’s waist and kissing his cheek, at which the noise only grows louder.

“Your people, my love,” he whispers.


December 25, 1869

 

Steve wakes on his side, Tony curled up in front of him, his cock stiffening where it’s still buried inside Tony. He huffs out a soft laugh. This is a first: he’s never fallen asleep inside his omega before, either Peggy or Tony. He reaches down between them, thumbing a little bit at Tony’s hole stretched around his cock. It’s a little puffy, a little swollen, thoroughly used and he hums contentedly. Perhaps he’ll get down there later, soothe away the sting with his tongue. Tony seems to like it when he uses it.

“You’re so pleased with yourself,” Tony says sleepily.

He laughs and kisses Tony’s neck where it meets his shoulder. “And shouldn’t I be?” he asks. “How are you feeling this morning, my love?”

Tony yawns and stretches, trilling a little as Steve’s cock slips out of him. “Almost thoroughly claimed.”

Steve frowns. “Almost?” he asks. He reaches over and grabs Tony’s chin, gently turning him to face him. Tony looks relaxed, sleep-hazy, and so lovely that Steve can’t resist—and doesn’t want to—giving him a quick peck on the lips, mindful of their sleep breath.

Tony’s eyes flutter closed and he smiles lazily, looking a little like the cat that got the cream. “We forgot something,” he says.

“Forgot something?”

He taps the side of his neck, just over his bonding gland.

“Oh.”

Oops. They had forgotten that, hadn’t they?

“We could fix that now,” he suggests.

Tony’s eyes slowly open again and if his smile before was sleekly self-satisfied, it’s positively sinful in its pleasure now. “We could, couldn’t we.” It’s not a question.

He turns his head back into the pillow, bearing the elegant line of his throat, open to the taking. Steve bends his head down, nuzzling at the gland for a bit before he carefully fits his teeth around it and bites.

Pheromones—the taste of oranges and chocolate, honeysuckles and coffee, of them—explode in his mouth as the bond snaps into place, a vague feeling of happiness and contentedness and love resting at the back of his mind that he knows means Tony. He groans and Tony echoes the sound with a soft whine. His cock is rising again, fully stiffening against Tony’s backside. Almost desperately, he reaches his hand around to Tony’s front, finding his cock and stroking it.

It doesn’t take them long, Steve stroking Tony to his completion and rutting in between Tony’s cheeks for his own. What sends him over the edge is a carefully pushed thought, a reminder from the love of his life: I love you, my darling.


June 9, 1871

 

Dacia doesn’t have a very large coastline. The country is nestled between two larger ones and they only have a little part of the coast bordering the Mediterranean. Still, it’s theirs and when Steve was younger, his family used to go out to the coast every summer. He had taken his older children when they were younger but that too had been one of the things they had all lost when Peggy died. They hadn’t done it the year Tony had been working as the nanny or the year after when he and Steve had been busy with wedding preparations but they had last year and now they’re here again.

Steve stares down the beach at Maria Stark helping Morgan build sandcastles close by. Howard and Edwin are a little further away having what looks to be a serious conversation with Harley. Steve can guess what it’s about: Harley has recently taken up a correspondence with Princess Shuri of Wakanda, a late-presenting omega introduced to Harley at his last birthday ball. Everyone in the castle has been taking bets on when Harley will officially announce his courtship of her. Not far away from the three men, Sarah is having an impromptu knitting lesson with Ana. He’s not sure what she could be possibly learning about knitting on the beach but he’ll support her anyway. Peter is working on…something near the waterfront and Steve has a sudden terrible thought that it’s something designed to explode, a concept that has recently caught Peter’s interest.

He’s not sure what he’ll do if it is supposed to explode, partially because he hates yelling at his son but mostly because if whatever Peter is making explodes, there’s absolutely no way it won’t wake the baby.

“What’s on your mind, darling?” Tony asks, coming up beside him.

Steve glances down at the bundle in Tony’s arms, smiling as the newest addition to the family, one Gwendolyn Maria—affectionately called Gwen—slumbers on. Wrapped in blankets as she is, the most he can see of her is her face and a single tuft of dark brown hair.

“Gwen,” he says. “And Peter.”

Tony looks over at Peter and winces. “Ah well, it’s probably time for her to wake up anyway,” he says philosophically.

“Doesn’t mean I have to like it,” Steve grumbles and Tony laughs.

“Steven! Are you telling me that you only like our baby when she’s asleep?”

“I like her all the time,” Steve argues. “I like her when she’s asleep and when she’s awake, when she’s playing and when she’s staring around at everything, sticking her tongue out like a lizard.”

Tony laughs even harder. “You can’t tell her that! She’ll grow up thinking she’s a lizard and then where will we be?”

“With a lizard, I suppose.”

“You’re dreadful,” Tony says fondly, shaking his head. “Absolutely awful. I can’t take you anywhere. It’s a good thing I love you, who else would put up with you?”

Steve leans over and kisses him, murmuring, “I don’t want anyone else putting up with me. You’re the only one I want.”

Tony is blushing when they part, a sight that never fails to make Steve smile. He presses his lips to each cheek the way he always does when Tony blushes, as though he can feel the heat. He never can but he still likes to imagine it.

“Would you like me to take her?” he offers. “I know you wanted to spend some time with your mother on this trip.”

Tony smiles at him and kisses him again. “No,” he says. “I’m perfectly happy right here with you.”

Right here with him. That sounds nice. He wraps his arms back around his husband, rests his head against the top of Tony’s, and watches his family play.