So yeah the title and last line is taken from Fall Out Boy's Thnks Fr Th Mmrs since the song inspired this and I listened to it nonstop writing this.
Anyway, Marvel I own no part of so with out of the way enjoy ^^
He Tastes like You (Only Sweeter)
Tony Stark had broken his golden rule. Once was perfect, twice was okay, and thrice was only okay if one or more of the consenting persons were drunk. Any more times after the third or if he was sober on the third; he was fucked in a very bad way.
There was a reason Tony had one night stands instead of fuck buddies, all it took was three rolls in the hay and he'd start to fall in love. And God as if he wasn't fucked up already without that issue, because when Tony Stark became attached, he became attached. As Pepper had learned in their brief relationship, in which he had been undeniably faithful much to everyone's' surprise when they had broken up.
A break up that had Tony turning to the bottle and acting twice as reckless as before, be he did not know how to cope with rejection, because he was not a badass superhero on the inside. No, he was nothing more than a small insecure nerd with huge daddy issues when his true armor was stripped away. And even though Pepper had claimed that it was him being Iron Man she couldn't handle, it was really that insecure nerd she had no idea how to handle, because it was that part of Tony that allowed him to always be ready to make the sacrifice play.
He could really use one of those situations now, as an excuse before he drank himself to death, although he was well on his way with that one. But he needed to forget last night, he needed to forget everything that had happened between him and Steve.
"You know you can stay here right?" Tony mumbled stirring as he felt Steve move to leave, it was something he should have been used to the blonde had done it every time they slept together, but for some reason now it brought a twist of pain.
"I can't Tony, I don't want the team thinking there's anything going on between us." That statement brought Tony to full consciousness, panic gripping his chest. This was exactly what he feared after the third time he fell into bed with Steve.
"Isn't there something between us?" Now Steve looked as panicked as Tony felt, but it only lasted a minute before being erased by a look of disgust complete with a nose wrinkle that caused Tony's heart to break.
"What? No, Tony. I'm not that way, this is just a stress relief, a way to get rid of built up adrenaline after a bad mission."
"I'm just a toy to you then? Something for you to play with and then leave."
"Don't put it like that-"
"You're not denying it though-"
"What is your problem? I thought you would be okay with this, friends with benefits, no strings attached. I read what you were like before Afghanistan." Tony ground his teeth together in anger, but it soon faded into hurt. Even his childhood hero, who he had started to fall for, thought he wasn't anything more than a common whore.
"Fuck you, Rogers! If you still believe all that tripe after all the shit I've been through, all the shit that I've done, and all the shit I told you in confidence…"tears stung Tony's eyes as his chest tightened further recalling all the pillow talk from their prior encounters all the time they had spent out together. "I can't believe I started to fall for you. I really thought you were different and saw through all the armor I've built, but no. You're just like everyone else."
"Tony what do you mean?" Despite looking concerned, Steve had no hesitation in getting dressed, even though the genius was starting to come apart right in from of him.
"It doesn't matter; have fun finding someone else to be your stress reliever." Tony could not bring himself to watch Steve leave and as soon as the door clicked shut, he let the tears fall. His chest tight and his was heart twisting in agony, if it wasn't for the light of the arc reactor he would have sworn it had stopped and the shrapnel was tearing him apart.
This was how Bruce found him the next day in the penthouse after JARVIS had called him from his own lab to collect Tony before the engineer's liver suffered permanent damage.
"So should we start calling you the Iron Liver?" the words were soft and teasing, causing a soft chuckle to escape Tony. "You must be pretty drunk to find that funny, because that was a truly awful joke."
"I just have a truly awful sense of humor and if you don't believe me you should pull up my favorite movie queue sometime." Tony half smiled at Bruce as the man sat down next to him letting their knees touch.
"Any man who has seen Killer Klowns from Outer Space enough to quote it couldn't have any other type of humor."
"Like you're one to talk Conehead." Bruce merely shook his head before wrapping an arm around Tony allowing him to curl up against his side; it was strange to the scientist seeing just how small Tony was in that moment and even stranger to see him acting so affectionately.
"Tony what happened?"
"Steve happened, I thought he was different from the others, I thought that he'd understand what it feels like a stranger in your own skin, but I was wrong." It clicked suddenly and Bruce felt his own heart twist in sympathy, ever since Tony had told him about the arc reactor to get him to accept the other guy as part of himself, he knew that there was more to the shorter man that what others believed.
"And you slept with him, only what 3 times?"
"Try 6 or 7 times."
"Oh Tony…" There was another twist of pain and he could hear the pain in Tony's voice now, a raw hollow sound that broken his heart.
"Is there something wrong with me Bruce?"
"There's nothing wrong with you."
"Really? Because I don't believe you, it can't be normal for to start falling in love with someone after sleeping with them more than once."
"You weren't hugged much growing up were you?"
"If you're going to insult me..." Tony didn't even finish his sentence already trying to pull away from Bruce's surprisingly iron grip.
"Just listen, what I'm trying to say is that you never got the love you deserved, any form of contact was brief and left you feeling unwanted. In your mind, any prolonged intimate contact means that you're wanted by someone even when you don't think you're good enough for them. Because you're still hiding under layers of false personas and you just want one person to see you for what you really are and accept it." The atmosphere was suddenly tense, Tony couldn't breathe it seemed as Bruce met his eyes hesitantly.
"Are you sure that your little gamma radiation accident didn't leave you with telekinesis? Or that you might be a mutant?" He tried to break the tension but it only seemed to thicken as Bruce shook his head and then placed a hand over Tony's reactor.
"You're not the only one hiding Tony, far from it."
"Bruce…" Tony swallowed thickly his heart not ready to deal with another flood of emotion and the way Bruce was looking at him, brown eyes shining with what could only be described as love was making his mind short circuit.
"You can't keep falling into bed with anyone who'll say yes. You need to talk to someone, instead of always saying you're okay. I mean it Tony, you've helped me so much and now I want to help you. Please come talk to me before you decide to go for a roll in the hay, that's all I ask."
"Okay, I will, for you."
Turns out that Tony and Bruce did a bit more than talking in the weeks that followed, various members of the team catching them on what could only be described as dates. From the small things such as Natasha seeing them cuddled up with science journals and chai lattes in the evening if a project was currently on hold. Or Clint who had stumbled across a nerd night movie marathon in which the two geniuses had been curled up together discussing how to make a light saber with Star Wars playing. It was actually quite cute.
But things at the tower were starting to have a lighter feel, Tony, while still being snarky wasn't nearly as annoying or mopey and Bruce had really come out of his shell, surprising the team to be just as snarky if not more than the engineer. All of it was sweet, even if the two hadn't actually come out as a couple yet, although no one was sure that they had officially discussed the matter to each other or if they were still only incredibly close friends.
Either way, with all the changes in the tower no one had noticed that Steve had faded to the background, but was more than aware of the change in Tony's behavior.
Steve had convinced himself weeks ago that what had happened between him and Tony wasn't anything more than the rush of adrenaline, a way to know that the genius had survived yet another battle. He wasn't gay after all, during the war plenty of men had found comfort in each other through rough hand jobs after a bad raid or mission. Even though what he had done with Tony was a little more extensive than that, it didn't mean anything. He just continued on as if nothing had happened, but his mind kept going back to the last night they had spent together.
Maybe it had meant something after all at least with the way he couldn't stop thinking about Tony and how his eyes would light up when he'd start talking about a new project or the smirk when a mission was finally over and he got the last laugh.
Perhaps he had judged him too quickly, after that night Steve had watched how Tony acted trying to see what the genius was really like and had found it nearly impossible. He wanted to solve the puzzle that was Anthony Stark, who wanted to be called Tony and was a total Fanboy over certain things acting 14 instead of 40 on both his best and worst days.
"Hey, Tony," Steve felt nervous looking up from his sketchbook and suddenly catching sight of Tony in a pair of loose sweatpants and a tight black tank, barefoot with two large cups of coffee coming from the kitchen.
"Need something Capsicle?"
"I wanted to talk to you about that night."
"Oh?" Tony simply asked setting the two cups down on the nearest table as Steve stood careful to not stand too close to the other man.
"I wanted to say that I'm sorry, I didn't realize you were serious about wanting a relationship. And not just sex. I completely misjudged you and didn't bother to get to know you."
"Apology accepted, Cap. It's no big deal, you're not the first to do it and I'm used to getting hurt for it." Tony shrugged and went to collect the mugs to leave, but was stopped by Steve's hand on his arm.
"It's not okay, Tony. You're so much more than what I first thought and I want to get to know you. I want to have another chance to." Steve was waiting to be told no or punched, but Tony only stared at him in disbelief.
"Tony?" Before Steve could ask further a pair of smooth lips were pressed against his, in what could only be described as the most tender kiss he had ever experienced. However, just as it happened it was over and Tony was licking his lips in thought.
"He tastes like you, only sweeter." Steve frowned in confusion and Tony had turned upon hearing approaching footsteps.
"I thought you said you were getting coffee." A frazzled Bruce yawned coming in to view a fond smile on his face upon seeing Tony.
"And I thought we were staying in bed all day, but no it was 'Tony if you love me you'll get me coffee because you know exactly how I like it and it's your fault I'm too tired to move' seriously that's what you sound like in the morning." Tony quickly grabbed the cups and made his way to the other genius.
"That's what you sound like every day and I don't complain." Bruce replied but accepted the coffee from Tony.
"So that's it not even 'Good morning cupcake thank you for the coffee?'" Steve felt like he was intruding suddenly, watching the two interact, maybe he hadn't been watching all the changes in the tower closely enough. He knew that the two geniuses spent a lot of time together, but he didn't imagine that they had become this close.
"Good morning Cupcake, thank you for the coffee." A chuckled escaped Bruce before he leaned down ever so slightly to pull Tony into a warm kiss. It was then Steve had to turn away, he cleared his throat as one of the men let out something that sounded close to a low moan. "Sorry, Steve forgot you were there and Tony I mean it, thank you."
"I should be thanking you," A smile crossed Tony's face, a real smile nothing like the ones Steve had seen before. "Now we still on for our Star Trek marathon tonight?"
"Only if we're building communicators tomorrow."
"Like we wouldn't, go ahead and get a shower, I'll join you in a few." Tony gave Bruce another quick kiss waiting till he was gone until turning back to Steve.
"So you and Bruce?"
"Yeah, it's the happiest I think I've ever been. I don't have to fake any part of myself around him and he isn't caught up on trying to fix me like everyone else has been. My insecurities aren't flaws to him, it's pretty amazing." A blush was now dusting Tony's cheeks as he glanced at his feet, not wanting to meet Steve's eyes.
It was then that Steve saw yet another side of Tony, a side that he wasn't sure he wanted to know. A much less confident Tony, a much more shy Tony, a Tony that had probably been buried for years. The part of him that only saw the good in people and got hurt the most if he wasn't careful.
"Don't worry about it Steve, I mean thanks for the memories even if they weren't so great."