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“Doesn't seem like a punishment for them.”

“It isn't. This is about you and me, Tony.”

“I don't see why. They were as much at fault as I was.” Tony turned slightly in the pilot's chair of the quinjet, but not enough to actually look at Steve. “I stood up for you, you know. I fought them. I was the holdout.”

Steve stared out the window on his right, watching the bright blue sky around them slowly reddening with the artificially accelerated sunset that they were flying into. He focused his eyes so he wouldn't have to see Tony's reflection in the window.

Tony must have taken his silence for an acquiescence to speak more, to explain himself further (it wasn't).

“When I realized they weren't going to back down, and you weren't going to back down, I did the only thing I could do. They were going to wipe me, too: if I sided with you. So I let it happen, and bit my tongue, because I was doing it for you. To try and make sure your moral sensibilities were heard, were present, even if you weren't there to give voice to them yourself.”

“I could have spoken for myself-” Steve cut himself off with a growl, fists squeezing at the copilot armrests, jaw clenching so tight he could hear the muscles popping.

“I expected as much from them,” Steve explained instead. “I expected better from you.”

Tony's mouth clicked shut audibly. His whole demeanor slouched in on itself, obsequious once more. Steve didn't know how to feel about that. He knew he was the cause of that new-found submissiveness in Tony; knew he was the one bringing it out. But guilt conflicted with satisfaction stumbled over anger and were all tangled up in hurt and betrayal, making Steve's emotional state impossible to parse. So he didn't bother trying, and just buried it all deep down, to be dealt with at some later date. Some time when the wounds weren't so raw. The old betrayal so new.

It was after. After Steve had found out about the incursions, because Tony and the rest of the Illuminati could hide them no longer. After they had saved the world, the universe, and the multiverse, because when did they not? After they had buried their dead, and had their mourning, and life had started to return back to normal.

It was after Steve found out thanks to a glitch in the system, after Steve had his memories returned to him. After he realized what Tony had done; long enough after to realize Tony was never going to say, was going to let him keep thinking his altered version events was the real one, that he had learned with everyone else, that he had never know.

After Steve had made love to Tony, after the world had been saved, after his heart had been broken again and he fled, hid himself away, just for a while. Just to think.

After it all, Steve returned to Tony, and looked him in the eye, and said: “I don't know anymore, Tony.”

And Tony had groveled, had begged, two feet planted firmly on the ground and chin tilted up, but begged all the same: “Let me make this right. Tell me what to do, and I'll do it, Steve. Tell me how to make this right.”

They landed in the same strip of land that started this whole thing, though Steve didn't know it. Tony powered down the quinjet with jerky movements, more violent than was really necessary. Steve ignored him. Let him throw his tantrums now. Once they got inside it was Steve's show, to instruct Tony as he wished. And Tony would obey, because it was his only choice if he wanted to ever have a chance of keeping Steve in his life.

They were met by a contingent of Wakandan servants, who led them inside the sacred city and to T'Challa. They exchanged their greetings, and T'Challa showed them into the room he had prepared for the evening.

“Can't believe you let us into your sacred city for this,” Tony grumbled. He tossed his duffle bag on the ground just inside the doorway. Steve ignored him.

T'Challa was apparently unfazed by Tony's casual disrespect of the sacred space. He stepped past the duffle bag lightly, not watching as servants scrambled in to put it somewhere more out of the way.

“This place is sacred, yes,” T'Challa agreed. “But what Steve has asked of you, and us, is sacred in its own way. It is in the spirit of reconciliation, of two warrior spirits fighting to become whole once more. There is nothing more appropriate, for this sacred place.”

Tony threw himself down onto the king—a Wakanda king—sized bed. He bounced with the mattress. “Sure. That's one way to put it, I guess.”

Steve turned away before Tony started wiping sweaty palms on the sheets. It was faintly nauseating, to see any sign of Tony's nervousness. And all his snark, all his bluster, that's exactly what it was: nervousness. It did nothing to assuage Steve's guilt, but he wasn't about to back down now. Tony had agreed, fully aware of what he was being asked to do.

There were refreshments available in the bedroom, set up in a spread suitable for a king. Fruits and vegetables, some meat slices as well. And plenty of water and fruit juices. T'Challa wasn't just providing a place for this... act to take place. The ever-gracious host, T'Challa was making sure that his guests remained well-fed and hydrated throughout. Steve went over to pick at the food, to give him something to do. Tony just sat on the edge of that big bed, looking like a lost little boy stepping into his father's too-big shoes. Steve looked away and popped a mango ball into his mouth.

Stephen Strange swept in next, handing his cloak off to one of the Wakandan attendants absently. “Steve.” He strode over to Steve and clasped his hands warmly. “It's a pleasure seeing you again.”

Good manners warred with betrayal until Steve settled on: “I'm thankful you agreed to this.”

Stephen waved a hand over his shoulder. “It's the least we could do, after everything.”

“Yes it is,” Steve grumbled. He clenched his hand one more time around Stephen's and then dropped them. Stephen himself trailed away to greet Tony in an equally courteous manner.

Namor arrived next, immediately sweeping over to T'Challa and pulling at his elbow. Steve glanced away. He hadn't asked T'Challa to include Namor in the proceedings, worried it would be taken as a grave offense. But he had made reasonably clear what the conditions of Tony's apology were, and that the Illuminati—as many Illuminati as T'Challa was willing to invite into his sacred city—needed to be involved. T'Challa must have been willing to put his and Namor's differences aside for the occasion.

Or, judging by the heated way Namor was whispering in T'Challa's ear and the short shakes of his head T'Challa was responding with in turn, perhaps T'Challa had his own motivations for inviting the submariner.

“Glad to see you're really getting into the spirit of the occasion.” Steve's head snapped over to Tony, who was trying and failing to recline casually on the bed. Namor glanced over as well, since Tony's tone had made it clear who he was addressing. Tony nodded his head at Namor. “Shirt off. Halfway there!”

No one laughed. Namor raised an eyebrow. Steve just ignored Tony and went over to Namor, to greet him now that Tony had interrupted his heated exchange with T'Challa.

“Namor.”

Namor smirked. “Captain Rogers. Normally I might ask if you find yourself well, but perhaps the circumstances of this particular meeting preclude such an overture?”

Black Bolt stepped into the room then, Lockjaw in his wake. A small gesture, a glance, and Lockjaw moved back, waiting just outside the doorway. Black Bolt stood in a corner and seemed to be content to wait for the proceedings to begin. Steve nodded his head in Black Bolt’s direction, getting a small nod in response. Then he turned his attention back to the ever-smug Namor. If the two of them didn’t go so far back, Steve had half a mind to sock him in that Atlantean jaw of his most days.

“World’s still spinning,” he answered in response to Namor’s query. “That’s enough of a win for right now.” He glanced over at Tony, who was staring hard at his clenched hands. The world was still spinning in large part thanks to Tony. But his methods had been wrong, and had to be overruled in the end—just like Steve saidwas going to happen. Tony had played an integral part, but he had drifted close to that Utilitarian “Greater Good” mindset that sent shivers down Steve’s spine and nausea rolling through his gut. Steve turned his face away from Tony. He didn’t know how to feel about a man who could consider such an alternative. Didn’t know how he could keep loving him, even though he did. Most days (even those days when he hated him) (maybe especially those days).

All that was left, then, was Hank. Because Reed had begged off, citing Sue, and Steve had agreed quickly. He had asked Reed because it would make the complete set, and he was never sure how relationships were nowadays. He would have been equally unsurprised if Reed had accepted his offer as he was when Reed rejected it.

He might have also asked Reed, in spite of his marriage to Sue, because having Reed present, even if non-participating, would have been an extra insult to Tony: one more thing to stick in his craw. But Reed had said no, and that was fine. It was still plenty to put on Tony, even without Reed.

Hank stepped through the door a few minutes later, glancing around the room at the men with no small hint of nervousness. He wiped his big palms against his pant legs the moment he stepped through the door, glancing between Steve and Tony and back to Steve.

“Awesome,” Tony spoke up, breaking the quiet tension that had started to seep into the room. “All here. Fantastic. Except for him—couldn't leave the missus, I heard. Nothing to do now except lube me up for the spit roast, I guess?” He glared at Steve. “Do you want it that way? I assumed so.”

Steve waved the other men off for a moment as he strode across the room to Tony. Not looking at him, Steve took a knee at the foot of the bed, lowering himself in front of Tony. It was only then that he glanced up and took in all the twitching nerves and angry tension. “You don't have to do this,” Steve reminded him quietly.

“I thought Captain America could tell no lies,” Tony snapped, not looking at him. “Call the historical preservation society, I want to file a complaint.”

Steve wiped a hand over his face, sighing lowly. “I'm still Captain America. I'll still be the leader of the Avengers. You'll still be my teammate-”

“-but I won't be yours, will I?” Tony whispered. His eyes flickered to Steve's like he couldn't help it, then away again. “And you won't be mine.”

“I still might not,” Steve reminded him.

“But you definitely won't if I can't do this for you.”

Steve nodded his head, gaze dropped down to the bed footer. “I won't.”

“Then, with all due respect Steve? Fuck you for ever pretending like I had a choice.”

Steve stood up without another word between them and turned back to the other men in the room, who were unsubtly waiting on his command.

“You all know why you're here,” Steve said without preamble. “If any of you are uncomfortable at any point with the proceedings, feel free to leave. I will have none of you here without your consent.” Tony's eyes burned into the back of Steve's head. No one made a move to leave. “I would also like to remind all of you gathered here that this does not absolve any of you in my eyes of what you have done. To me, to the people of this world, and to the countless peoples of the other worlds that you considered acceptable collateral.” Steve paused and let this information sink in. The men in the room failed to look as impressed with the seriousness of what Steve was saying as he might of liked. He moved on. “But I won't forget this favor. You have my word.”

“I'll just put this towards my total, won't I?” Namor sneered. Steve ignored him.

Hank wiped his hands twice more on his pants then gestured around the room. “It's your show, Steve. How do you want... uh. This.”

Steve resisted the urge to lick his lips. Instead he steeled his back and lifted his chin, doing his best to pretend that this was just like any other battle plan he was executing. Like he was thinking in those harsh, violent terms about his former (current? Future?) lover.

“Stephen, I'd like you to go first, if you don't mind.” Stephen tilted his head in acknowledgement. “Then Hank. Then Black Bolt, then T'Challa, then Namor.”

“Inefficient, aren't you?” Namor rolled his eyes. “T'Challa and I will join forces. Anything to make this tiresome affair go more quickly.”

“I don't-”

“Oh, sorry?” Namor examined his cuticles. “Do you have a moral objection to the way we're going to fuck your paramour?”

Tony started: “Kinda more than a-”

Don't call him that.”

Steve's fists were clenched hard enough that the knuckles cracked. He felt Tony's presence behind him, jumped up from the bed and started forward in indignation.

Namor just sighed tiredly, like he was bored with the proceedings and the stupid people he had chosen to waste his time with. Steve gritted his teeth.

Stephen broke the tense silence. “Is there any way in particular you would like me to... proceed?”

Steve turned to Tony. “Strip down and prepare yourself.”

Tony gritted his teeth, but turned away from the men and started yanking off his tie and jacket. “Sir yes sir,” Steve heard him mumble.

Turning back to Stephen, Steve nodded his head. “From behind, if you would. Standing up. Tony over the edge of the bed.”

“Why do I suddenly have the notion that we'll be learning far more than we ever wanted to about Captain America's sexual desires?” Namor quipped. His arms crossed over his bare chest, his eyes never leaving Tony's nearly-nude form as he continued to undress.

“What we do here tonight has nothing to do with what Tony and I do—or don't do—when we're alone.”

Namor's eyes slid over to Steve's for a moment. “Then we'll learn by the absence of certain acts. However you play this evening, Steve, do not pretend as if this is anything but putting your twenty-first century boy on display for us all to see.”

“This is about me and Tony,” Steve snapped. “You are just-”

“-collateral?” Namor asked with a raised eyebrow.

Steve focused on Tony. This was about Tony. Not about getting into an argument over morals and blame. Not tonight.

Speaking of. Steve watched, arms crossed over his chest, as Tony clinically slid his fingers up his ass, stretching and lubricating himself in preparation for the evening's activities. He was turned away from the rest of the men in the room—to hide himself, not give them a show, though the latter was the result of his position. It hurt something in Steve's chest, to watch the lean lines of Tony's body, the elegant curve of his muscles, all moving in such a robotic, detached way. He had known that body intimately, lavished it with attention, treated it with all the care and love it once deserved. And now it was on display for everyone else to see, lacking any of its previous grace or seduction, replaced instead with cold stiffness.

Stephen stepped over to Steve's side, naked now. Wordlessly Steve handed Stephen a condom and a bottle of lubricant. Just as wordlessly Stephen took the items and began to get himself ready.

“Safe sex? Really, Captain?”

Steve gritted his teeth at Namor's words. “No reason to practice unsafe sex,” he replied calmly. Though deep inside him, his id was screaming mine, mine, Tony is mine, not yours. Steve wanted this to happen, wanted to humiliate Tony and have him intimately on display for his fellow conspirators to see... but he still wanted to keep part of that intimacy of Tony all to himself, separate and apart from the men gathered here this evening.

Glancing over and down, Steve observed that Stephen was erect and ready, condom glistening with lubricant. He held his hand out for the bottle and took it back from Stephen. If he needed more once he started, Tony had a bottle with him on the bed.

“Tony?”

“Yeah, yeah. Ready.”

Tony nodded, back still to Steve, face hidden in shadow and position. Steve wasn't sure if he wanted to see it or not. Maybe it was for the best that he was turned away, to start. As Stephen started to walk forward, tension curled in Steve's stomach. Yes: not being able to see Tony's face for this first one was for the best.

When Stephen entered Tony, smoothly and gently easing in with little testing thrusts, it took all of Steve's willpower not to look away. He had thought this would be a good punishment for Tony. Or, not a punishment: a test, a lesson maybe. He hadn't entirely considered his own emotional reaction to watching Tony being entered by other men. It wasn't a pleasant feeling. But Steve clamped down on it, on the white-hot rage and green jealousy chomping at his insides, and watched.

Stephen fucked Tony in even, focused strokes: smooth rolls of his hips, unhurriedly pushing forward and rocking Tony's body into the bed. Tony grunted once or twice, but mostly he just pressed his face into the mattress (turned away from where Steve was standing in the room) and breathed through it. Steve watched the steady rise and fall of his back, counted his breaths through Stephen's movements jarring his body.

A few minutes in, Stephen started to reach around Tony, his hands slipping down between his legs.

“Don't.” Steve's voice was sharp like a gunshot. Stephen stopped everything immediately.

“Don't... masturbate him,” he explained further. Stephen's hips started moving again, and he glanced over his shoulder at Steve.

“Of course. My mistake.”

Steve shook his head. “I should have said. No one touches Tony. If he gets off, he gets off. This is about you five... using him. Not about his end of things.”

Namor snorted. “Words cannot express how grateful I am that I never took you for a bed partner, Steve Rogers.”

Temples throbbing with the beginning of a psychosomatic headache, Steve didn't even look at Namor as he mumbled “Keep it shut, wouldya?”

Stephen was moving faster now, the bed frame not making a sound as he sharply fucked Tony against it. Superior Wakandan craftsmanship, surely. And only the best for a member of the Panther Clan, in their sacred city.

“Hank? If you could get ready.”

Hank nodded and started stripping immediately. Steve couldn't help a curious glance down as he did. Huh. Smaller than he had expected. Though he supposed that was in line with average ape proportions. And it was blue: Steve had gotten that part right in his imagination, at least.

Bringing his eyes forward once more, Steve handed over a bottle of lubricant he had on his person. “If you wouldn't mind preparing yourself? I'd like the transition from Stephen to you to be as seamless as possible.”

“Uh. Ah. Sure.” Hank took the plastic bottle of lubricant gingerly from Steve. It looked almost comically small in his oversized hands, but he handled it delicately enough: popping open the cap and pouring a generous amount into his palm before flicking the cap shut again with his thumb.

Stephen's thrusts were more erratic now, his grunts louder and more frequent. On his left, Hank handed the bottle back over to Steve before stroking himself to the scene before him. Steve took the bottle and looked straight ahead, watching Tony brace himself on the mattress. He was so quiet. Steve wasn't used to him being so quiet during sex. It was almost frightening: Steve more than half-wanted to go over there, to check on him. But Tony could back out of this any time—he could, no matter what he said—and Steve had to trust him to speak up if it all became too much.

Of course, this whole exercise was about regaining lost trust, wasn't it? Steve didn't trust Tony, couldn't any more after what he had done. But in order to complete the exercise, to regain that trust, Steve had to trust Tony with himself—the last person Steve would ever trust Tony with, even in the best of circumstances. It was a horrible catch twenty-two. Steve evened out his breathing and forced himself to remain calm.

“Be a gracious host now, Captain, and pass that here.”

Steve blinked himself out of his daze as the bottle of lubricant was slowly being tugged out of his hand. He made the mistake of looking over at Namor—who was doing the tugging—before realizing exactly why Namor wanted the lubricant.

“Couldn't keep it in your pants and wait your turn?” Steve grumbled, after looking quickly away.

Namor shrugged one fluid shoulder, while the other one moved rhythmically with the motion of his wrist. “I am an Atlantean, with Atlantean stamina. I imagined you wanted Stark in working order after I was through with him.”

“Actually, the person we have to be most concerned for is Black Bolt, with his Inhuman physiology,” T'Challa pointed out. The glare Namor leveled T'Challa with made it clear that this was a grave offense and betrayal. T'Challa appeared unaffected by Namor's histrionic expression.

Namor's posturing aside, T'Challa made a good point. Steve didn't know much about the Inhuman physiology, though he knew it was perfectly fine for a human male to have sex with an Inhuman female. Still, the superhuman being on the “receiving” end was probably safer than on the “delivering” end. Steve glanced worriedly over at Black Bolt.

Black Bolt, having obviously listened to their conversation, shook his head in what was meant to be a reassuring gesture. Then he moved his hand to his groin, moved it a few times to indicate sex, then pulled his hips back and titled them in another direction all together. His fingers flared out to indicate ejaculation. Then he pulled his forefinger and his thumb together in an “OK”.

“You'll pull out before you ejaculate,” Steve translated. “And that'll protect Tony.”

Black Bolt nodded and flashed Steve the “OK” again.

A low groan, and the feeling like... static electricity was feeling the room. But thicker, more syrupy heavy than sharp and prickling. Stephen pulled out of Tony with a grunt, fist held tight around the condom. He disposed of it in a trashcan at the foot of the bed.

“On your back,” Steve called out. Tony pushed himself off the bed with shaky arms, legs looking a little unsteady, but he followed the order readily enough. His eyes flickered over to Steve for a moment as he settled on his back on the bed. Then he let his head drop, eyes staring up at the ceiling. His hands came down to grip the back of his thighs, pulling them up, presenting his asshole to the next in line. Steve ran a hand over his face, composure slowly slipping. With the first act completed, Steve felt laid bare, just as much as Tony was on the bed.

Hank stepped forward and took Tony's thighs in his own hands, holding them up and out of the way. Tony used his newfound freedom to drape one of his arms over his eyes, the other one lying limply at his side. Steve clenched his fists where they were tucked into his chest and held still. He already wanted to rush to Tony's side, to take care of him, to stroke his face and make sure everything was okay. But Tony knew the rules: he could back out any time; he just had to say the word. Tony wasn't saying anything, he was lying there and taking it. All for Steve (and Steve didn't know if that made him feel proud or possessive or sick. It might have been all three).

Tony's body was jarring more with the change of position, Hank's thrusts causing his stomach muscles to jump, his pectorals to jolt. Still Tony laid there and took it, silent except for the occasional soft hitch in his breathing—too soft to even be called a grunt.

Black Bolt began stripping next, tugging out of his bodysuit and revealing his miles of perfect skin. Steve glanced down for a moment, just to check, and then looked away. His penis was dauntingly large, and not more than half erect yet. Steve turned away from the scene on the bed for a moment to rummage through Tony's duffle bag. He pulled out an extra-large condom and handed it to Black Bolt without comment, as well as the bottle of lube.

He hadn't actually thought they would need to use them, but had thought it best to be prepared just in case. It was a good thing he had. Black Bolt's penis looked like his forearm and closed fist dangling between his legs. And Black Bolt did not have a small forearm.

A growl from the bed. Steve had taken two steps forward before he even realized what he was doing and stopped himself. Beast was just fucking into Tony harder, more animalistic instincts shining through in the moment. His hips snapped more violently and arrhythmically than Stephen's had, the mattress and Tony's body both swaying with the power behind his thrusts. Amidst all the passion, a small movement caught Steve's eye. Tony's hand, down by his side: held out, fingers splayed in a “stop” gesture. Not at Hank, though: the gesture was directed at Steve. Steve's eyes snapped up to Tony's face. He was peering out from beneath his arm, watching Steve. His mouth was open, lips red and panting, though no one had kissed them yet (or would, Steve's inner primate growled). His cheeks were flushed and head bouncing with every thrust, but those blue eyes were crystal clear. Don't stop Hank. It's fine. I'm fine.

Steve stepped back to the line of men waiting on the sidelines. Stephen had taken a seat in one of the chairs T'Challa's servants had provided them, a towel draped loosely over his lap and cup of water in his hand. Black Bolt was masturbating himself to full hardness, dick wet and glistening and bigger than Steve was entirely certain Tony could take.

Calmly, Steve padded over Tony, his earlier haste pulled tightly back under control. He squatted down next to him, ignoring Hank growling faintly as he fucked Tony even harder.

“Black Bolt's big,” he murmured. Tony's eyes were rolled to the side, tracking Steve's every move and settled on him now, at his side. “Maybe too big. You could give him oral sex. Or take him between your thighs.”

Tony closed his eyes, faint smile flickering over his chapped lips. “Never did manage to get you to say 'blowjob'.”

Steve smiled back faintly. His eyes traced the contours of Tony's naked body, watched his erection bouncing sharply between his legs. “I can say 'blowjob',” he whispered back.

Tony actually groaned at that, face pressed to the side. His eyes opened again, glittering with calculations.

“Do you want me to take it?”

“Yes.”

Tony's eyes slid shut. “Okay.”

“Hank.” Steve stood, hands clenched firmly at his sides to keep him from reaching out and trailing a gentle caress down Tony's arm.

Hank's eyes were glittering dangerously, big hands pressing bruises into Tony's thighs as he held them spread apart and drove deeper inside.

“I need you to stretch Tony open some more,” Steve ordered. “Get two additional fingers in there, if you can.” Hank's fingers were big in this new iteration of his mutation. Two should be plenty.

Hank growled his understanding, eyes clearly telling Steve to leave, to back off while he fucked his prize. Steve ignored him and turned back to Tony.

“Tony-”

“I'll say if anything's going wrong down there,” Tony promised, without Steve having to ask.

Sometimes they fell into each other's minds again so easily it hurt. Steve stepped away, back to the line of waiting men.

Even as far gone as he was, Hank was able to keep true to Steve's request. As he worked first one finger and then a second alongside his erection, Tony made the first real noises he had that evening: groaning and grunting, hands both coming down to his sides to grip at the sheets, fisting them tight. Steve kept his feet planted firmly on the ground, knees locked. Tony was fine. Tony would say if he wasn't. No he wouldn't. Steve would be able to tell if he wasn't.

“Stark is truly a surprisingly beautiful creature when he's like this. Wanton and used.”

Steve clenched his teeth and ignored Namor. He'd have a toothache by the end of the night, thanks to him.

Hank's movements grew more forceful, his shoulder twisting sharper as he pushed into Tony with his fingers and dick all at once. Tony groaned and strained, neck extended in a tense arc, back of his head pressing into the mattress. Steve wanted to hold him, wipe away the beads of sweat pooling at his brow and throat. But he couldn't, he couldn't. And it was Tony's fault, not his. Tony's fault they weren't making love in their own bed tonight, alone in their own little world. Steve had nothing to feel guilty about, no reason to be upset (as if that ever stopped him). It was all on Tony and his arrogance, his confidence that he always knew best.

Hank finished with a yowl, head thrown back and shouting it to the ceiling. Tony's eyes snapped shut, tiny pinpricks of moisture forming at their corners. It was because of Hank's left hand, clenched so tightly around Tony's thigh that bruises were already swelling up, red and angry. Steve stayed put. Tony wasn't permanently injured. Or even in any more discomfort than some of their more vigorous lovemaking had resulted in the past.

Hank removed himself from Tony, dropping his legs to the bed with no gentleness. Tony tugged himself up on the bed a few inches, movements careful but still wincing. Steve wondered how much more of this he could take. Then Steve wondered who he meant by “he”: Tony, or himself.

Black Bolt moved forward without Steve having to ask, pausing only when he reached the bed. His erection jutted out before him like a third arm, red beneath the condom wrapper, glistening with lubrication. Tony took one look at it and made to roll over on his stomach.

“Hands and knees,” Steve confirmed, even as Tony started to move to the position himself. Black Bolt climbed up onto the bed with him as Tony settled, facing away from the other men in the room. Steve hesitated, but said nothing. There was still T'Challa and Namor to go.

“Ease in there,” Tony mumbled, hands firmly braced on the mattress. Black Bolt placed his hands securely on Tony's hips, then patted at him. It was meant to be a reassuring gesture. And it seemed to help, a little bit. Steve watched as some of the tension dropped out of Tony's shoulders and he huffed a little laugh.

Black Bolt did ease in, stretching Tony with well-lubricated fingers for a minute before getting to the main event. Before he pushed in he added more lubricant—which Tony surely needed by now—and then slowly rocked himself forward. Tony groaned, head hanging low and eyes squeezes shut, body strung tense as a piano string. But Black Bolt managed to work himself in, and then rocked slowly back and forth as Tony acclimated to the sensation. He continued his slow pace, more gentle shifts of his hips than full slides in and out, for long minutes on end as Tony hung there, barely suspending himself on hands and knees as he waited it out.

“T'Challa-” Steve started.

“And me,” Namor interrupted. “I'm ready whenever Black Bolt decides to finish up.”

Steve pointed pushed a condom into Namor's hand, meeting his eyes. “Not ready yet,” he reminded him. Namor sneered but took the condom, even though he held it between thumb and forefinger distastefully, like it was a dead fish starting to stink.

A low groan from the bed. Steve practically threw the remaining condoms in his hand at T'Challa and hurried over to the bed, leaning over the side to look at Tony. At the last second he swallowed his nervousness and tried to remain cool and calm:

“Holding up?”

Tony shook his head, but then nodded quickly. “Gonna come,” he gritted out. “Fuck, need to come.”

“You can't touch yourself,” Steve reminded him. He was going to stay hard and fast on that rule.

“Might not...” Tony keened, body trembling almost worryingly, “need to.”

Steve watched him for several long moments as Tony gasped and writhed, his eyes squeezed tightly shut, full-body trembling only getting worse by the second. He couldn't move his hips, not much: Black Bolt was holding him firmly in place, and continuing his steady rocking motion. Which was for the best: Black Bolt was essentially fisting Tony with the size of his erection—there was a good chance Tony would end up injured if he was allowed to fuck himself back onto that.

“Fuck fuck fuck. Steve please,” Tony cried out. His arms started to give out, but Steve caught him, settling him carefully on the bed. Tony still hadn't come yet: his erection was hard between his legs, balls heavy with their unspent load. Steve had never known Tony to come from anal penetration alone; he honestly didn't know if Tony could. But it wasn't like Tony was going to be injured from one night of blue balls (would he? No. Right?).

Steve's fears proved unnecessary when Tony cried out once more and then spilled onto the sheets a second later, orgasm ripping through his body with violent tremors. Black Bolt stopped moving entirely, hands resting patiently on Tony's hips. When Tony's trembling died down enough that the tension left his body, Black Bolt pulled out and tugged off the condom. Steve was going to chastise him, but then Black Bolt was masturbating himself with quick strokes. After only a dozen he came into his hand with enough force that Steve was sure Tony's insides would have been ripped apart. His hands went to Tony unconsciously and stroked at his back. Well, that answered that, then.

There wasn't time for comfort, though. And there wasn't supposed to be, anyway: this was about Tony. And learning lessons.

Though the longer this went on, the less Steve found he could recall what this was about. At the start of the evening it had been him versus the Illuminati, and the Illuminati versus Tony. As the evening wore on, however, Steve found himself irrationally feeling like he needed to side with Tony, protect Tony, like everyone in the room was attacking him and Steve was the only one left on Tony's side.

Steve pushed away those thoughts before his mind could draw the analogy to the position Tony must have been in all those months ago when the Illuminati turned against Steve, and Tony was the last man standing on his side. He stood and stepped away from the bed and Tony as Namor and T'Challa took his place.

Stephen, Hank, and Black Bolt were all seated in various state of dress on the other side of the room. Steve went back over and joined them, leaving T'Challa and Namor to their own devices with Tony.

“I don't want his anus,” Namor was sneering as he turned Tony forcibly around on the bed. T'Challa was more gentle, but not enough so that Steve felt totally at ease. The two men were glaring at each other so intensely that they didn't entirely appear to remember that a human being was lying in between then. Steve tamped down his protective instinct and forced himself to be satisfied with watching for trouble, rather then stepping forward and ripping them off Tony himself. Mother and country, why was he doing this? What point did he think it was going to prove?

T'Challa entered Tony from behind as Namor fed himself without preamble into Tony's mouth. Tony choked for a second, still loose and sore from his orgasm. Namor slapped him across the face.

Steve was on him in a second, hand wrapped around his neck. Namor went still, but he was smiling.

“Are you going to threaten to kill me, Steve?”

“Are you going to try me, Namor?”

Namor rolled his eyes but removed himself from Tony's mouth before entering more gently than before. “You'd think our history together would supersede your comparatively short acquaintanceship with this man.”

“We don't have that many more years of friendship,” Steve reminded him. He backed off though, retreating to the foot of the bed to watch. Namor's thrusts into Tony's mouth were almost mockingly gentle.

T'Challa shifted behind Tony, moving into him at a different angle, just enough to make Tony gasp and splutter around Namor's erection. He regained his composure quickly, however, and the three men soon settled into an easy rhythm.

Namor glanced over Tony's back at T'Challa. “I assume you will be sending relief workers to Atlantis after we're done with this,” he patted roughly at Tony's hair, “ugly business.”

T'Challa's thrusts grew a little harder, his jaw tightly set. “I did not see any Atlantean relief workers in Wakanda, after what you did to her.”

Namor fucked his erection deeper into Tony's throat. Steve stared hard into Tony's face and watched as he carefully opened his throat, breathed through his nose. Tony knew how to do this. Tony would get through it. And Steve would be there to protect him if Namor took it too far.

After what seemed like too long of a silence filled with only grunts and groans and wet flesh slapping against wet flesh for either man to pick up the thread of the conversation, Namor grudgingly muttered: “I was acting as a single man, under the influence of the Phoenix force. My people are not responsible.”

My people do not live,” T'Challa hissed. His hips slammed into Tony, thrusting Namor's erection further down his throat. It was like watching a sick version of Newton's cradle, and Tony was the middle piece: unable to move, forward or back, only transferring the energy of the acting forces.

“It is a regret.”

T'Challa's movements paused, just long enough for Tony to lean back and pull Namor's penis out of his throat. He breathed air harshly through his nose, gasping in a way even with a mouth still full of Namor's turgid length.

Both men's movements began anew, but more fluidly this time. T'Challa's eyes didn't leave Namor's. “It still does not bring my people back to life, or my country's infrastructure rebuilt.”

“My people are dead now, too,” Namor reminded him, but the words lacked their usual heat.

“This cannot continue to escalate.”

“I do not disagree.”

T'Challa's hips snapped sharply forward, the expression on his face almost wry. “Why must you always be such a contrarian?”

“I was agreeing with you.”

“As disagreeably as you could,” T'Challa pointed out.

Namor threw back his head and laughed, hips smacking against Tony's face.

T'Challa ejaculated first, hips grinding harshly against Tony's ass one last time before he pulled out. Before he stepped off the bed, he made his way to Namor and clasped a hand to his shoulder. “We can work this out without any more blood being spilled.”

Namor darted forward and snatched T'Challa up in a biting, viscous kiss. He grinned as he pulled away. “No more blood than necessary.”

“Contrarian,” T'Challa muttered as he moved away to dispose of his used condom. It almost seemed fond.

Namor reached down with both hands to Tony's head, threading his fingers tightly through Tony's hair. “Take it,” he growled. “Take my full, royal length and choke on it, Tony Stark.”

He came with a growl, pelvis crushed against Tony's face, hands holding Tony immovably in place. Namor removed himself a half-second before Steve was going to do it for him, leaving Tony coughing and sputtering, gasping for air in his wake.

That was enough. That was all enough. Steve allowed himself to rush forward to Tony, to pull him into his arms and hold him through his trembling and retching. For love of country, why had he made Tony do this? What did he think it was going to fix?

Steve piled Tony into his arms and pulled him up to the head of the bed, pressing him against pillows and tucking him under the sheets. The rest of the men in the room must have gotten the message that they were no longer wanted and began to dress and file out. Steve himself undressed quickly, then slid in alongside Tony and wrapped around his back.

“I can't hold myself up anymore,” Tony mumbled.

Tears pricked at Steve's eyes as he slid his shameful erection along the curve of Tony's rear and held him close in his arms. “You don't have to,” Steve whispered. He slid into Tony with no resistance: Tony was so sloppy and loose from all the earlier penetrations, every inch of his inner walls coated with lubrication. Steve rocked inside Tony gently, face buried in his shoulder.

Tony's back was shaking, heaving. The sounds of him crying reached Steve's ears a second later. Steve gripped Tony tighter and whispered sweet hushing noises into his ear.

“Don't... Fuck. Steve. Don't do this.”

Steve immediately stopped his movements, still buried inside Tony but poised to pull out.

“Do what?”

“No-” Tony reached back and palmed at Steve's ass, pulling him closer, grinding him inside of Tony. “Don't do it... gently. Don't... Don't treat me right, Steve.”

“Damn it,” Steve whispered. Tears fell from his cheeks onto Tony's shoulder. “Damn it, Tony, no.”

“I'm sorry,” Tony choked out.

“I'm sorry,” Steve whispered back. His hips rocked into Tony steady, gently, the pressure building in his groin in slow waves. He squeezed Tony tight and they rocked together, bodies spooned into one another. “I'm sorry, Tony, I'm sorry: This was wrong, this was a mistake-”

“All I ever do is fuck you over, Steve, you need to leave me. You need to leave and never-”

“-you're keeping us alive, you're hurting me to save me, Tony-”

“-all I ever do these days is hurt you-”

Never stop,” Steve whispered harshly. He grabbed Tony's chest tightly with one big hand, shaking him as they moved together, as they cried. “Never stop, Tony. Never stop defying me, and hurting me, if that's what you think is right because you're a good man, Tony. You're doing these things because you're a good man, you are, you are, Tony.”

Tony was sobbing in Steve's arms. Steve pressed his face into the back of Tony's neck and cried with him, hips still steadily pumping in and out of Tony's body. He came almost absently, spending himself inside Tony—no condom, the only one of the evening without a condom, the only one who spilt his seed into Tony without the neat barrier of latex to clean it up.

“I am never going to stop loving you,” Steve whispered, and it came out like a lament, and maybe it was.

Tony went slack in his arms: asleep, passed out. Steve held him close and whispered declarations and apologies into his ear until he too slept for a few hours. The next morning was going to dawn bright and new in Wakanda. Maybe one day Steve would be able to look at it again and know that he had Tony by his side. Not yet: but there was hope for it, one day.