Title: Moderate to Severe
Fandom: Avengers (Movie)
Paring: Steve & Tony; pre-slash
Notes: Clint calls Tony "Princess". It's a bro thing. I'm also making up Bruce's medical talk but really, everything they do for Tony works for me. Also, I apparently like to hurt Tony and then give him comfort. It's a problem I'm not seeking help for. This story is not beta-read. All mistakes are my own.
Summary: Jarvis just thinks Sir would rest better in his own bed. It goes downhill from there.
Tony woke up and immediately wished he hadn't. He was sore everywhere, like he'd gone a few rounds in the gym with Thor without the Iron Man armor. He felt like a limp rag. Breathing took effort he wasn't sure he wanted to use. Something had died in his mouth and his stomach was giving him dire warnings about moving. His eyes ached and his head felt wrong, like it wasn't attached to his neck correctly anymore. He felt hung-over but a cautious poke at his memories didn't supply him with the lovely event that would have led to a hangover of this magnitude. His swallowed painfully and croaked, "Jarvis?"
The answer was immediate and soft. "You are in your bedroom at the Avenger's Mansion, New York City, New York. It is 11:39am on June 12, 2012. It is sunny and 88 degrees outside. You have 9 messages on your work line and no messages on your personal line. None are urgent. There have been no emergences and no event triggers have been activated. Your location is secure." The AI paused in his litany for a moment. "You suffered a severe migraine last evening, Sir. I felt it prudent to call for the others."
And that brought a nice, lovely memory swimming up from the depths of Tony's subconscious. "Oh. Fuck. Please tell me I did not throw up on anyone?"
Tony jerked and his eyes flew open. The curtains were closed, the sunlight glowing golden behind them, and the only light on in the bedroom was the bedside table lamp on the other side of Steve. The American Hero was currently sitting on top of the covers on Tony's bed, a book held in his lap. "What the hell?" gasped Tony. "What are you doing here?"
"Bruce thought it best to have someone with you until you woke. In case you became ill again," said Steve calmly.
"And you drew the short straw?" drawled Tony.
Steve's mouth quirked at the corners. "Something like that." Then his face reformed itself into a look of concern. "How are you feeling?"
"Ugh," grunted Tony, rolling over to hide his face in the pillow. "Like crap." The morning after a migraine was no picnic. It was like your body was coming off a really bad cold and you were just achy and yucky with remembered pain. Tony hated it.
"Is there anything I can do to help?" Steve said earnestly.
Tony peeked up at him but decided that was just too easy and he was pretty sure it was Steve that had carted his heavy ass all the way up from the workshop last night. He'd be nice, for once. "Some Advil or something?"
"Okay," Steve replied with a nod. He set his book aside and left the bed, heading for the bathroom. The light turned on but it was far enough way that it didn't bother Tony. He drifted sleepily for a moment, hearing Steve say something in the bathroom and Jarvis respond but feeling too lazy to worry about it. Steve came back and nudged Tony's shoulder. "Here."
Tony huffed and gingerly sat up, wary of setting off any bodily complaints. The blankets pooled into his lap. Steve looked to the side quickly and blushed. Tony grinned cheekily. "Oh, come now. You've seen worse than just my bare chest." The arc reactor was a merry blue glow in center of his torso.
"It's not polite," argued Steve. Tony snickered and accepted the pills and glass of water from him. He took them and then drank the whole glass, finding himself unaccountable thirsty. Steve took the empty glass back and Tony eased himself back onto the bed, knowing better than to flop anywhere while his head felt like delicate spun sugar. Tony closed his eyes and prayed the meds would kick in soon. "Do you need anything else?" asked Steve.
Tony shook his head slightly. "I'm good," he muttered. The bed dipped as Steve resumed his seat and Tony peeked at him with one eye. "You don't have to stay, you know. I don't need a babysitter."
Steve shrugged and picked his book up. "I'd like to stay, if it's all the same to you."
Right. Because sitting in bed with Tony while he dozed wasn't strange or intrusive or anything like that. Tony stared at him with his one eye. "Suit yourself, I guess," Tony said finally. He rolled over away from Steve's reading light and snuggled into the pillows, firmly ignoring the other man.
Steve looked up as Tony's breathing slowed and grew even. He was surprised that Tony hadn't kicked him out of his bedroom or at least off the bed itself. It had been a bold move for Steve to sit on the bed rather than a chair but Steve was still feeling a little off-balance from seeing Tony so sick. He knew what it was like to have your own body turn against you, remembered his lungs failing to fill as his throat tightened. His asthma was different from a migraine but the bodily betrayal was the same. The memory of Tony shivering in his arms was not one Steve ever wanted to repeat.
"Jarvis, could you let the others know that Tony woke up?" Steve said softly.
"I have already done so, Captain Rogers. Dr. Banners wishes me to inform you that as long as Sir appears to be lucid and in no more pain that we should allow him to 'sleep it off,' as you say. Although, Dr. Banners did express a wish to have Sir eat soon," replied the AI quietly.
Steve looked over at Tony, watching the gentle rise and fall of his shoulders as he breathed. "We'll see when he wakes up again, okay Jarvis?"
"That is acceptable, Captain." Steve leaned over and gently pulled the blanket up over Tony. He then picked his book back up and resumed reading.
Several hours later Tony woke again and took a survey. He wasn't as sore as he had been and his head didn't feel quite as delicate. Starting with his toes and working his way up muscle by muscle, he stretched. Joints popped and his back realigned until Tony was pressing his fingertips into the headboard of the bed. He then relaxed back into the pillows. Much better, although now he really wanted a shower. "Time?" he called in a muffled voice, face planted into the bed linens.
"2:43 pm," replied Jarvis. "Are you feeling better, Sir?"
"Much, thank you," Tony answered. The bathroom was calling his name and he rolled across the bed toward the edge. Unfortunately, he bumped into something solid and warm. Tony gave a little panicked screech, that was in no way girly, and flailed back across the bed.
"It's just Captain Rogers, Sir!"
"Are you okay?" asked Steve, wide eyed.
"Oh my fucking god!" snapped Tony. He placed one hand over the arc reactor just to feel it humming merrily on its way. "You're lucky I didn't have a heart attack!" With a growl Tony kicked at Steve's thigh a few times. "What are you still doing here?"
"I wanted to be on hand in case you needed anything," replied Steve, looking embarrassed and trying to fend off Tony's abuse.
"Ugh!" Tony ripped the sheets away from where they'd tangled around his legs and slid off the bed. "You complete mother hen! You just scared ten years off my life! I need those ten years! Think of all the things I'll never invent in those ten years!" Tony stormed across his bedroom ranting and then slammed the door to the bathroom closed behind him. "Think of the children you'll disappoint!" he shouted through the wood.
"Um," muttered Steve intelligently.
"You merely startled him, Captain Rogers," Jarvis said. "He'll calm down in a moment." There was a rattle and a bang from inside the bathroom and Steve looked worryingly toward the door. "That was the shower door. Sir is currently wondering what died in his mouth."
"Thank, Jarvis. Eh, I don't need a play by play."
"Of course not." And Steve didn't care what anyone else thought, that was totally amusement in the AI's voice. There was a crash from the bathroom again. "Shampoo bottle," Jarvis informed Steve helpfully.
"Right. I'm just going to go downstairs now."
"Very good, Captain. Experience shows that Sir will be wanting food after he finishes his shower. He's very partial to pancakes in these situations."
"Ah. Right. Duly noted." Steve fled the bedroom before he could hear anything else from the bathroom or be informed about what was happening in the bathroom by the AI. Of course, he went straight to the kitchen where he began to pull out flour and milk without even thinking.
"Hey. Tony awake?" asked Clint, coming in and grabbing a soda from the refrigerator.
Steve nodded. "Yeah. He's getting cleaned up now." He measured the flour into the bowl and began to fold in eggs and milk.
"What are you doing?"
Steve paused and looked down at the bowl with a sigh. "Making pancakes."
"Why? It's almost 3 in the afternoon."
"Jarvis says Tony likes them."
Clint was silent a moment, taking that piece of information in. "Man, you got it bad," he finally announced.
Steve leaned forward until his forehead was resting on the upper cabinets. "I know. Don't rub it in."
Upstairs, Tony turned off the water and paused to listen. "Jarvis, is my nanny still out there?"
"No, Sir. Captain Rogers has left."
Tony stepped out of the shower and grabbed a towel, wrapping it around his waist as he went to the bathroom door and carefully peeked out. It wasn't that he didn't trust Jarvis, it was just that Tony was overly cautious when it came to embarrassment. (Especially when that embarrassment involved other members of the Avengers.) His embarrassment, not other people's, he could care less about other people's embarrassment. But the room was empty of overly maternal blond men. "Lock my door, Jarvis," ordered Tony. He heard the door click across the room. With a nod of satisfaction, Tony went to the sink and plucked his toothbrush out of the holder. "What happened?" he demanded.
"You suffered a severe migraine last night, Sir," replied Jarvis. Tony made a 'get on with it' gesture. "At 7:48pm you abandoned your attempts to keep working through the pain and took a dose of your migraine medication. At that time I contacted Captain Rogers and requested he escort you to bed as you would be more comfortable resting there than the workshop."
Tony spat out toothpaste and coughed. "Please tell me you did not say the words 'escort Sir to bed' to Captain America?"
"I used the verb of the word 'escort' but that is essentially what I said, yes." Tony groaned and sank down onto a chair in front of, no matter what the hell Pepper said, was not a vanity. "Sir?"
"I'm fine. I'm going to donate you to the MET for their children's program but I'm fine."
"As you say, Sir."
"How'd I get from the workshop to bed?" asked Tony, sticking his toothbrush back in his mouth and standing.
"Captain Rogers carried you upstairs with the help of Dr. Banner and Mr. Barton."
"Huh, not a hallucination then. Great. My life is complete. Carried like a damsel in distress to bed by a National Icon and sex wasn't involved. I feel cheated." Tony spat and rinsed out his mouth. He gathered his shaving kit and set about cleaning up his goatee. "Any idea why he stayed the night?"
"I believe Captain Rogers was worried about you, Sir," replied Jarvis.
"Worried?" Tony asked, pausing in his use of the razor.
"You were quite ill, Sir." The AI seemed to hesitate.
Tony frowned; he didn't even know that Jarvis knew how to hesitate. "Jarvis, spit it out," he whined.
"Yes, Sir. Captain Rogers expressed several times that he wished you would come to him when you were having problems, that you would stop working yourself into illness, that you would take better care of yourself or at least allow him to, and that you'd stop scaring him like this. He seemed exasperated and worried and, well, fond, Sir."
Tony carefully set down his razor and slowly sat back down on the chair. "Fond?" he echoed faintly.
"As I understand vocal and facial indicators and human emotion; yes. He seemed fond."
Tony felt funny. A little nauseous and dizzy but not like he was going to be sick. "How fond?"
"I do not know how to quantify that, Sir."
"Did he stay the whole night?"
"Yes, Sir. He stayed the whole night sitting just as you found him next to you. There was hair petting, if that helps" replied Jarvis.
"That's pretty damned fond," muttered Tony. He chewed on his thumbnail. "Where is Steve now?"
"In the kitchen making pancakes."
"I may have mentioned something about you liking them, Sir."
"Oh, you Yenta." Tony stood and hurried to finish shaving. He then scrambled out of the bathroom and threw open his closet. "What do you think, Jarvis? Armani? Dolce and Gabbana?"
"It's breakfast, Sir. Captain Rogers might be uncomfortable if you appear dressed in a suit," replied the AI.
"Good point. Best go for casual." Tony pulled on a pair of jeans and one of his AC/DC band t-shirts. It was something he'd wear down to the workshop most days. He glanced at his shoes but decided to be extra evil and go barefoot. He then went back to the mirror and combed his hair, trying to get the dark waves into some sort of order rather than a rat's nest. "Good enough, Jarvis?"
"I suppose so, Sir." Tony rolled his eyes, tossed the comb in the sink, and left his bedroom. He had a National Icon to flirt outrageously with and pancakes to eat.
Tony was hoping down the stairs and past the living room when Clint called out to him, "Hey, Princess! You look better. How are you feeling?"
Tony shrugged. "Fine, I guess. The head is still a little wobbly but otherwise okay."
"Great. You owe me for the puke," Clint said with a grimace.
"Aw, come on! Steve told me I didn't throw up on anyone!"
"You didn't, Sir. You did however throw up twice into a wastebasket," Jarvis informed him.
"And I took care of it both times. Thus, you owe me for the puke."
Tony could see how that was fair. Above and beyond the call of duty and all that. "You've been slobbering over that little black Viper for months. Do you want it?"
Clint's eyes went huge and he actually stood from the couch to properly face Tony. "Wait, seriously? You are not shitting me? That's cruel if you shitting me!"
"I'm not shitting you. It needs a proper daddy. Jarvis, get the paperwork started to transfer ownership of the Viper to Clint and call in my detail guys." The AI acknowledged the request. "How do you feel about some purple stripes, Clint?" Tony asked with a grin.
"Oh man! Yes! Totally yes! You are awesome. I will pull puke duty for you anytime you want!" exclaimed Clint.
"Let's not take this to a level that weird, ok? Just enjoy your new car. Take Natasha out for a drive or something." Tony gave Clint a wave and left him to his spasms of joy. As he approached the kitchen Tony could hear the soft rattle of pans. He stopped and peeked around the corner. Yep, ridiculously sweet and gorgeous was indeed making pancakes. There was even butter and syrup laid out on the kitchen island. Tony watched the play of muscles along Steve's shoulders for a moment and tried not to drool. He then quietly entered and slid onto a stool. Steve turned and jumped a little when he saw Tony sitting there. "I was told there was going to be after-migraine pancakes?" Tony asked innocently.
Steve blushed and transferred the pancake from the pan to a plate were three other pancakes waited. "If you want? Jarvis said you liked pancakes..." Steve trailed off, uncertain.
"Yes, Jarvis is a very helpful boy, isn't he?" asked Tony with a sour note. Steve deflated like a forgotten balloon and Tony took pity on him. "I adore pancakes, Steve. I would love some."
The sad sack look disappeared from Steve's face and he pushed the plate with the stack of pancakes across the island to Tony. "Do you want some juice?" he asked.
"I'd prefer coffee," Tony replied, trying to get the correct butter to syrup ratio on his pancakes.
Steve gave a worried little frown. "Are you sure you should have coffee? You should really cut back."
Tony paused in his pancake doctoring. "Steve, you know how much coffee I drink."
"Of course. Too much really."
"Now imagine what a caffeine withdrawal headache would be like on top of the after-migraine yuckiness?"
Steve chewed his lip and Tony forgot what they were arguing about a little. "How about coffee and some juice?"
"I will accept that compromise," Tony said. He should get a medal for how agreeable he was being right now. This amount of pleasantness was hard. It was taking an extreme amount of effort on his part, particularly with his coffee being threatened. He should have Jarvis make a note. "Jarvis, make a note," he called.
"About what, Sir?"
"Medal for agreeableness and pleasantness."
"Of course, Sir."
"And start the coffee pot." The sleek silver machine on the counter began to rumble and gurgle. Tony cut his pancakes into neat triangles and began to shovel them into his mouth.
Steve gave the coffee pot a dubious look. He still maintained that coffee was best gotten from a stovetop percolator. Tony had called him a heathen. "Orange juice okay?"
"Apple, if we have it, please." Steve opened the big refrigerator and looked through the bottles. At the island, Tony rolled his eyes. "Jarvis, do we have any apple juice left?"
"In the door, Captain Rogers, second self, third from right."
"Oh. Thank you, Jarvis," said Steve sheepishly as he found the bottle right where the AI said it would be. He still wasn't completely used to having a seemingly omniscient computer to ask things for. Steve poured a glass and sat it in front of Tony. Tony put down his fork and took a sip of the juice. He then drained the glass in several large gulps as thirst clawed at his throat. "More?" asked Steve with a pleased smile. Tony thrust the glass at him with a petulant look. He was not going to listen to another lecture on proper hydration and how a gallon of coffee did not count as proper anything. Speaking of, the coffee pot beeped as Tony was drinking the second glass of juice at a slower rate. Steve begrudgingly poured Tony a mug. "Sugar? Milk?" Tony took his coffee all different ways and Steve never knew if he'd want it black or as one of those sweet, milky things that looked scary when made. Tony just shook his head and made gimme motions with one hand. Steve handed the mug to Tony and winced when the dark haired man took a gulp of the screaming hot coffee.
Tony sighed, like he hadn't just tried to melt his tongue. "Yeah, that hit the spot. I had too much blood in my caffeine stream." Steve just shook his head with a smile and returned to the stove to finish making the rest of the waiting pancake batter. He listened to the clink and scrape of Tony's fork and knife behind him, a little knot of warmth settling in his chest. This was what he missed from his old life, the companionship one could find with a loved-one just spending time in the kitchen. He hadn't had this since his mother had died.
The noises behind him stopped and Steve glanced back to see if Tony needed anything. Tony gave him a soft smile over the rim of his coffee mug. "Thank you for the food," Tony said quietly.
Steve glanced down and saw there was still a large crescent of pancake left on Tony's plate. "Are you done? You didn't finish them."
"I had enough. I'm still a little nauseated." That, and the pancakes had been stacked four high and there was no way Tony was going to be able to finish that much fluffy goodness.
Steve gave a tiny, concerned frown. The little crinkle between his eyebrows was adorable. He turned toward the refrigerator. "Would you like some warm milk? That always helped when I had an upset tummy." Tony fought down a squeal, because Steve just said 'tummy' and he was going to go into shock with this much cute, and slipped soundlessly off his chair. He tiptoed up behind Steve with a wicked little smile.
Steve was startled as Tony suddenly pressed a quick, sticky kiss to his cheek. "That was for the pancakes," Tony said. Before Steve could react, Tony darted in again and kissed the corner of Steve's mouth. The rasp of Tony's beard made his skin tingle. "That is just because you are too cute for words."
"Tony, what…?" Steve was cut off as Tony then kissed him full on the lips. The dark haired man tasted like sweet syrup and Steve may have moaned a little. He came out of his daze and returned the kiss, wrapping his arms around Tony's waist. Tony made a pleased sound in the back of his throat and slid his hands up over Steve's shoulders and around his neck. He let Steve lick into his mouth, chasing sugar and molasses, and Tony sucked lightly on the other man's tongue. Steve seemed to give a little start at that and retreated.
Tony gently nipped Steve's bottom lip and pulled back, breaking the kiss. "And that was for carrying me to bed and staying with me the whole night when I didn't feel well," Tony muttered. Tony stroked a finger down Steve's cheek and then slipped out of his embrace. Steve stood froze where Tony left him, arms hanging in the air. "Thank you," Tony said softly and then left the kitchen. "Jarvis, fire up the workshop!" he called, leaving Steve slack jawed in front of the stove.
"Huh, I get a car just for doing puke duty and you get a hot kiss for holding a night long vigil," said Clint, appearing from somewhere Steve didn't want to think about and stealing a pancake. "I wonder what you have to do to get sex." Steve shut his mouth and glared at the archer. Clint tossed his hands up and backed away. "I'm just saying."
Steve cleared his throat and savored the taste of syrup that lingered on his tongue. "Captain, your pancakes are burning," Jarvis informed him. Wonderful. Right then. Steve gave himself a mental shake. Once more onto the breach and all that.