by nottonyharrison

Genre: Romance/Angst

Pairing(s): Hermione Granger/Tony Stark, Hermione Granger/Steve Rogers, implied Hermione Granger/Tony Stark/Steve Rogers

Warnings: Crossover (Marvel cinematic universe), Lemons, UST, Angst, Coarse Language, Polyamory, Pre-slash, AU EWE

Summary: Wrapped up in layers of magic and bound beneath the Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree was certainly not the way she had planned on spending her Christmas Eve.

Authors Note: Written for the Granger Enchanted Christmas Challenge. Prompt words: Wrapped, Tumultuous. Thanks to the wonderful Nathaniel Cardeu for being a wonderful and patient beta, and to the ever fabulous Mistress Malfoy for as usual, being my fearless alpha. Thank goodness I managed to talk you into watching the MCU movies, my love. I may have created a monster, but it's worked out well for me too!

I would like to mention however, that it's imperative that you're familiar with the Marvel Cinematic Universe to understand this story. I don't do any exposition leading into it, so if you don't already know the characters then I'm afraid you may be incredibly lost. Please do not review just to complain about being confused, I will not respond favourably. You have been warned.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respecitve owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author of this story. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No copyright infringement is intended

24 December 2011

Black turned to blurred colours, bright yellow and white swimming in her vision as she blinked the fuzziness away. Memory was no use, the world before her waking a vague concept of events and people, some more prominent than others. She struggled to recall where she was, how she had come to be there... why everything was so unclear... why there was a low voice chanting unintelligible words, the sound keeping time to the heartbeat pounding in her ears.

Her body sucked in a sharp breath, unbidden but needed, and the colours suddenly formed crisp shapes, neon signs, people... a reflection in a high rise.

Rockefeller. She was in the Rockefeller Plaza. The Christmas tree stood tall and proud, reflection shining in the building across from where she sat, immobile and... yes definitely mute.

Attempts at sound were futile and the only part of her body she was able to move were her eyelids. No noise came from her voice box as she attempted a grunt and the racket coming from the bustling crowd was garbled and disconcerting.

She squinted a little, newly rediscovered focus strange enough to require concentration on a small area. Yellow tape surrounded her and a sea of black bodies blocked her view of the hubbub. A cloaked figure stood a few metres away, wand raised and brow creased, mouth moving in what she could only assume to be an incantation. Harry Potter.

She tried desperately to clear her throat, get his attention, but her efforts were in vain. Still the only sound she could make out was that of the blood rushing in her head. Pounding and pounding and pounding until... darkness.


Six months earlier...

The lock was useless. Utterly and completely useless. She fumbled in the low light of the corridor, keys held carelessly in her hand and searching for the small metal fitting that would admit her to the apartment. After a moment she detached her lips from the man who had been occupying most of her brain function and shoved him away, grunting and holding a finger up, eyes glaring at him meaningfully.

"Jeez, Granger. Learn to multitask."

She rolled her eyes and jammed the key into the lock, turning it a little more violently than was necessary and grabbing him by the front of his shirt in one move. Seconds later, the tables were turned and the keys dropped from her hand as he pressed her up against the door.

"Why didn't you just use that alohahula spell thing?"

She laughed throatily and dragged his head back to hers, muttering against his mouth before she sucked his lower lip between hers. "Security, dickwad."

His tongue snaked its way into her mouth for a moment before he trailed away, down her chin and latching onto her neck. He paused for a moment, hot breath ghosting across her collar bone. "Gotta say, impressed by your American insult cache. If it weren't for that accent I would think you were a true blue New Yorker."

She shoved him hard and he stumbled back, catching her wrist and spinning her around and into the wall of the wide entrance hall. A moment later the buttons of his dark grey shirt were scattered to every corner of the small space, and her fingers were sneaking beneath the black singlet that seemed to be perpetually on his person. The glow from the arc reactor filtered through the cotton of the shirt, cutting through the darkness of the apartment and bathing them both in a faint blue light. She paused, eyes widening and meeting his.

"We really shouldn't be doing this."

He rolled his head back on his shoulders, eventually settling his gaze back on her. "Why? Why should we not have insanely hot, satisfying sex? To not have insanely hot, satisfying sex, would be an insult to mother nature."

She groaned and dropped her head back against the drywall. "We work together, Tony."

"And I see you, what? Once a week? When are you going to join the team proper, anyway?"

She shoved her hands higher, pulling the shirt over his head. "You know that's not going to happen."

"Why? Because of your stupid fucking Ministry? Have you told them lately they're dumbasses?"

"You do realise that while I'm under SHIELD jurisdiction, I'm still under magical governance, right?" Her fingers travelled back down his torso and to his belt buckle.

"Magical, shcmagical. Whatevs. Let's have sex."

She undid the belt buckle. "My brain and body appear to be having an argument."

"Clearly your body has more solid reasoning." She unzipped his suit pants and shoved them down, allowing them to puddle around his ankles, leaving him clad only in a grey striped pair of boxer briefs. "Woah, hang on a minute... how come I'm almost naked and you still have your coat on?"

"Participation, Stark. Something you're apparently adverse to."

"Hey, that's no-"

She shut him up with her lips, pulling his mouth back to hers, and allowing him to lift her up by the bottom, legs wrapping instinctively around his waist. He somehow managed to kick off his shoes and trousers while pressing her hard into the wall, lips and tongue making her shiver in ways she was fairly certain she hadn't experienced with any of her past lovers. Before she could even register his hands inside the lapels of her light trench, it was gone, his fingers fumbling between their closely pressed bodies, attempting to undo her thin turquoise shirt without detaching himself from her mouth.

"Fuck, just rip it." Her lips didn't leave his as she gasped the order. He pulled back for a moment, eyebrow raised.

"I'm pretty certain this is Chanel."

"And I'm pretty certain I'm a witch." She pulled back and pursed her lips, raising an eyebrow.

"Point." His fingers closed around the edges of either side of the shirt, pulling apart quickly before she lost her balance in the precarious position.

"If I'd known I was going to be screwing my most irritating asset, I would have put on prettier underwear."

He looked up from her chest, hands firmly encircling her waist, and frowned. "Eff why eye, I happen to be incredibly turned on by basic black."

"I couldn't give a shit what turns you on, Stark. Hasn't anyone told you what we feminists are all about?"

Tony huffed and slid a hand up her body, over her shoulder and behind her neck. "If I spent all my life on twitter observing outraged feminists then I would never get anything done, would I?"

Hermione rolled her eyes but allowed him to pull her mouth back to his, wrapping her arms around his neck and tangling her fingers in his hair as she ground against his hips. He bit at her lower lip and she groaned throatily, twisting his hair roughly in her hands. "You really piss me off sometimes, you know that?"

Her mouth was open against his and their breath mingled for a moment of pause, until something in Tony snapped, and he shoved her harder into the wall. Dropping her from his waist, she stumbled a little, but his hands on her hips held her steady as he fell to his knees, unbuttoning and unzipping the overly complex waistband of her wide legged slacks. Before she could offer any help, he had the trousers shoved down to her ankles and was lifting her feet one by one, tugging the pants off along with the bright orange stilettos she had worn that day.

She whimpered as his hands moved back to her knickers, shoving them aside and pushing his fingers into her quickly, curling the tips and making her shudder at the almost unbearably pleasurable feeling.

"Oh... sweet Merlin holy mother of fuck..." His free hand was pressing her pelvis back against the wall now, and she almost lost her balance, pushing her feet into the floor a few inches away from the skirting board in an attempt to stay upright. He pressed harder and snagged her underwear with the thumb of the hand holding her still, latching onto her with his mouth. She bit her lip almost hard enough to draw blood and let out a broken moan from deep in her throat. "No... Tony no..."

She clutched at his hair desperately and he pulled away from her, suddenly stricken, hands held up in surrender. "Shit, Hermione I didn't mean... I mean I thought-"

She glared down at him and gritted her teeth. "If you don't hurry up and put your penis inside me within the next ten seconds, then you've bought a one way ticket through the enormous window in my living room."

He saluted quickly as he stood. "Yes ma'am sir boss lady... thing."

"Shut up."


Moments later he had her legs once again wrapped around his waist, their underwear still on but shoved aside, both of them suddenly incredibly grateful to the person who invented Lycra.

"Wait... condom."

She groaned and glared at him. "Tony. Witch. Remember?"


She banged her head against the wall. "Fuck, yes seriously. Merlin's fucking beard."

He pressed into her then, face buried against her neck and hands gripping her waist almost painfully. She whimpered at the sudden intrusion and groaned loudly as he bit her earlobe.

"Shit, yes. Just like that."

He grunted and hitched her up a little higher her whole body twitching as he hit a spot inside her that wasn't often touched.

"Fuck, sorry."

"No... it's okay just give me a sec."

They stilled, breathing heavily, hearts pounding against each other's skin. He kissed her roughly, tongue tangling with hers, teeth snagging her lips. One hand clutched at a breast, pinching a nipple and she shuddered, grinding herself against him once again. He shivered and moaned into her mouth.

"That was fast."

"What can I say? The glow from that thing in your chest is turning me on more than I was expecting."

He chuckled against her cheek and pressed into her again, keeping up a rhythm until they were both gasping and twitching, the struggle to stay upright too much. She pulled her mouth from his shoulder blade, where her teeth had been digging in for the past few moments.


He pushed off the wall and put his hands on her buttocks, lifting her higher. "Which door?"

"Second on the right."

He kissed her again as he carried her down the hall, lips swollen and soft, a wonderful contrast against the scratch of his beard. She made a soft noise of approval and he smiled against her mouth, before pulling out of her, dropping her on the bed unceremoniously. She laughed and stretched her body out, Stark's eyes taking a slow path from her hair to her toes.

"Holy shit, you're hot, Granger."

"Why thank you, Stark. You're not so bad yourself." She looked pointedly at his crotch.

He leaned over her, the glow from his chest casting an eerie light against her skin, making it look almost translucent. He stilled, beard tickling her neck.

"Wait... how old are you?"

"Oh you are fucking kidding me."

"What? You have one of those faces, okay? And holy shit your body. Honestly. How is that even legal? I don't want to feel like a dirty old man." She let out a bark of laughter and moved one hand to his cheek.

"I was born the same year Three Mile Island happened."

"Really? That old?" She shoved at his chest and he widened his eyes innocently. "What? It's a compliment. And I was like, nine then so I am now totally fine with this."

"Shut up and get in me."


"I had sex with Tony."

The brunette across the table paused, chopsticks half way to her mouth, eyes nearly bugging out of her head. "You di-"

Hermione's hand shot out, clamping over the other woman's mouth. "Fuck, Lewis. Keep your voice down."

"Mmmph shczz mmmm frrr ssssmmng guuuurrrr nnn smmm mmmggkkkkl."

"We're in the middle of the SHIELD mess hall!"

"Srrr dnnnt plll dddt sssrrrt nn mrr hrrr dnnn."

"You have a point there." She removed her hand from Darcy's mouth and leaned across the table. "But seriously, I had sex with Tony. And regardless whether or not this is an appropriate place to bust that out, I had to tell someone."

"How was it?"

Hermione rubbed a hand over her face and groaned. "Amazing."

Darcy grinned, a dreamy look on her face. "I bet it was. Jeez, what about that glowing thing in his chest. Was that fucking hot or what?"

"So hot." Hermione shoved her plate of chow mein away and dropped her forehead to the cold stainless steel of the table. She stiffened and sat back up, ramrod straight. "If you tell anyone, I'll hex you with something hideous. Phil thinks I've lost my naa-naa."

Darcy made a zipping motion across her mouth and smirked. "Sooo... details?"

"No way. No details."

"Oh come on, Granger."

Hermione pulled her plate back and jabbed at it with her chopsticks, moving the noodles around her plate. "It was pretty intense."

"Intense good, or intense bad?"

"I already said it was amazing, didn't I?"

"Yeah, but I don't know whether or not good intense feels equal good Granger emotions or not."

"Fuck." She dropped the chopsticks and leaned back, lolling her head. "Good feels, good emotions, good everything, okay?"

Darcy grinned. "Yay times. I totally ship you guys... Although I was kinda hoping you would bang the Cap, I mean Jesus. Your body, those pecs..."

Hermione glared. "If you like Rogers' pecs so much, then why don't you go grope them yourself?"

"Dude, seriously. I'm in a relationship, mmmkay?"

"What, with that guy from accounting? You can do so much better."

"For reals, he has an enormous cock."

"And that's something to base a relationship on?"

"Totally." Hermione raised her eyebrows. "Okay, so it's not exactly anything more than a fuck buddies thing, but honestly: cock over pecs."

"How do you know... wait I'm not even going to go there." Hermione grimaced, horrified by her momentary inability to control her brain to mouth filter. "Forget I even started to go there."

"Do you think the serum..." Hermione pushed back from the table and covered her face with her hands.

"No. Don't even say shit like that, oh my... aargh!" Darcy laughed and reached across the table, pulling a hand away from Hermione's head.

"Dude, I'm just messin' with ya." She grinned cheekily and raised an eyebrow. "So are you gonna do it again?"

"Fuck, I don't know. We agreed to keep it casual but..." She huffed and scratched at her collarbone, deciding to change the subject. "I've never met him, you know."

"Who? Steve?" The quick u-turn in subject had apparently worked, and Darcy's eyes went as wide as saucers.


"How can you have never met him? You're a fancypants Avengers liaison. There's only two of you, and seeing as I'm your all knowing pile of amazing assistant, how could I possibly not have realised this?"

"He's always out on mission. Besides, you know he's Phil's responsibility."

Darcy cocked her head and nodded. "That makes sense. And even when he isn't he's usually off doing his own shit."

Hermione raised her eyebrows.

"He's doing an art degree."

"Reeeally? Interesting..." Hermione focussed back on her lunch, picking out the pieces of chicken from amongst the noodles until Darcy barked a laugh. Hermione looked up. "What?"

"You're not going to believe this..."

"Darcy!" The voice came from behind, a few metres away and Hermione turned, still lazily chewing her chicken in a way her mother would be horrified by. Her mouth hung partially open for a moment when her eyes finally fell on the man waving and grinning, and she quickly swallowed when she realised how uncouth she looked. Turning quickly back towards Darcy, she raised her eyebrows and cleared her throat.

"You have got to be kidding me." Her voice was low and a little husky. Darcy just raised her eyebrows and smirked.

"Wassup, Cap?" Darcy's smirk turned into a grin as the blond behemoth bounded up to their table, enthusiastic and yet a little guarded. "I thought you were off on some super secret mission."

Hermione rolled her eyes a little. She knew he had been away in China for the past ten days, on intel pointing towards an AIM base being somewhere near the Tibetan border. The mission was supposed to be at least a two week job. After a moment, she composed herself and stood quickly, her chair scraping on the concrete flooring of the mess hall.

"Captain Rogers, we haven't been introduced." She stuck her hand out stiffly, meeting his eyes in an almost challenging manner. "Agent Granger."

She raised an eyebrow as he hesitated, his adam's apple bobbing as he swallowed. "Agent Granger, it's wonderful to meet you at last." He gripped her hand firmly and shook.

"Yes, it's rather amusing that we've managed to miss one another for so many months, I trust China went smoothly?"

He loosed his grip on her hand, fingers lingering on her palm as he dropped his arm. "Yes, ma'am. I'm actually just awaiting debrief now."

Hermione smiled. "Please, call me Hermione... or if you're uncomfortable with that, Granger is fine as well." She gestured to the free chair next to Darcy. "Feel free to join us, I believe Agent Coulson isn't due back from Los Angeles for another hour or so?"

Steven grinned sheepishly and ducked his head, rubbing at his neck where his cowl hung loose "Yeah, I was... keen to come and get a bite to eat."

"Well you are more than welcome to eat with us."

"Thanks I'll... That would be nice, actually." He looked down and grinned again at Darcy. "What's the special today, Darce?"

Darcy grimaced and gestured towards Hermione's plate, her voice at its most droll. "The most revolting looking chicken chow mein in the history of the known universe."

He chuckled and pointed towards the service counter on the other side of the room. "I'll be right back."

Hermione watched his retreating form as she sat down, almost missing her seat in the process of checking out his posterior.

"Holy shit." She reached for her chopsticks without taking her eyes off him.

"I know, right?"

"He's like some kind of ridiculously sexy golden retriever."

"Uh huh." Hermione looked back towards the other woman, who was nodding enthusiastically. "A reminder that I'm not chasing after that, and instead am doing Jason from accounting."

"Clearly your previous description of Jason from accounting's manhood was a gross understatement."

Darcy just looked at her pointedly over the rims of her glasses.


The scene was chaos. Badly disguised wizards mingled with the barrier of SHIELD agents, everyone making far more noise than Tony thought necessary. Irritation crept into his expression as he crossed his arms and tapped his foot against the asphalt.

"What happened?" A deep voice came from behind him and he replied not bothering to turn around.

"They won't even tell me, and she's my fucking handler."

"It's Agent Granger?"

"Yes, it's Agent Granger. Who the hell else makes me do my own paperwork?" He raised a thumb to his mouth and chewed nervously at the nail.

"If we move a few steps that way I should be able to see over the agents."

"Oh here we go with the height jabs again." He still didn't bother to look at Steve, eyes trained on the back of the nameless agent directly in front of him.

"Come on, Tony you know that's not what I meant."

Tony huffed and let the other man grab him by the arm, pulling him through the crowd until they were behind a couple of black clad figures that were even shorter than Tony. He squinted a little, unused to focussing at a distance without the help of the suit, and swallowed thickly as he finally managed to capture the scene.

She was crouched beneath the brightly lit tree, arms bound behind her, completely stationary, like a perfectly painted statue. Her eyes were open and for a second he would have sworn he saw her blink, but shook his head at his own stupidity. What kind of villain forgets the eyelids?.

He glanced up at Steve for the first time since his appearance, taking in the look of horror on the blond's face. Eyebrows and forehead furrowed, Tony would have sworn the Cap mouthed the word fuck.

"I think maybe I've reached the point where I'm just going to go put on the suit."

"No... don't." Steve tightened the grip he still held on Tony's bicep and looked around for a moment. "I think I have an idea..."

"What? Pull out the Cap card?" Steve rolled his eyes and pulled Tony further around behind the cluster of agents, until he reached a van that appeared to contain the operations centre.

"Sir!" Steve's voice was drowned out by a loud group of carollers who had taken advantage of the crowd gathered, the chorus harmony of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing generating a large pile of loose change in the newsboy cap sitting in front of them. "Agent Coulson, sir!"

Phil looked up in surprise, his fingers stilling against the small netbook on his lap. "Captain Rogers, what are you doing here?" His brow furrowed when he noticed Tony tucked in behind Steve, and Tony stepped forward indignantly.

"We're here to find out what the hell is going on with-" Tony looked pointedly at the carollers and huffed. "Can't you shut them up?"


"What, are they some kind of distraction to stop the rubberneckers or something?" Phil raised his eyebrows and turned his eyes back towards Steve.

"I asked a question, Captain."

"We came to offer our services, sir."

"Out of uniform?"

"On a personal level, sir. I believe having someone familiar close by may help to minimise the trauma of the experience, sir."

"And what makes you believe she is even aware of her surroundings, Captain?"

"I saw her eyelids move, sir." Phil's mouth formed a thin line and he narrowed his eyes. He sighed and rubbed a hand over his forehead.

"Look, we're not in charge of the scene, it's been taken over by magical officials. See that wizard over there?" He pointed towards a man in his late twenties to early thirties, with thick black hair and glasses. "He's the head of the British Magical Police, Aurors they call them, and he's a personal friend of Agent Granger's from school. He has control of the scene, says it's some kind of magical prank. Whoever did this has wrapped her in layers and layers of spells, kind of like a really nasty pass the parcel."

Steve frowned and turned to Tony, raising his eyebrows expectantly. Tony glared at him and cocked his head to the side, a silent gesture of I told you so. Steve looked back towards the brightly lit tree, ignoring the baubles and glittering bulbs in favour of following Hermione's gaze, which was fixed on a point a little to their left. Tony watched him carefully and they both started speaking at the same time.


"Magna Doodle."


"Magna Doodle. It's a toy with a magnetophoretic display panel that you can... you know what, never mind." Tony turned towards Coulson. "Phil, get me something to write on. Preferably a Magna Doodle, but a blackboard will do fine as well."

"How about a piece of A4 paper?" Phil's voice was dry and tired. Tony made an exasperated sound.

"Don't be an asshole. Do you have something or not?"

"There's a couple of small whiteboards in the van, in the pocket behind the drivers seat." Tony bowed down in a gesture of exaggerated grace.

"Why thank you, kind sir. Do you perhaps have pens for these rudimentary tablets?"

"Should have a couple in a pencil case in the same pocket."

Tony clambered into the van, giving the other two occupants a fright, and went straight for the boards, fishing around in the pocket for a few moments before he came across an empty pencil case. He reached in further, fingers eventually closing around three thick pens.

When he hopped down from the back of the vehicle, Steve was already deep in conversation with Phil, who was clearly frustrated over jurisdictional issues. He made some comment about not even being able to follow the culprit of the prank on the CCTV footage, and Tony rolled his eyes.

"Of course not, what kind of magical villain leaves a trail for we... whatever they call us to follow?"

Phil narrowed his eyes and flipped him his middle finger, turning back to his computer. Tony poked his tongue out and handed Steve a whiteboard and a black marker.

"What do you think? Two blinks for yes, three for no? One might just be a fluke."

"Sounds good. What about unsure?"


"Sure." Steve pulled the cap off the pen with his teeth wrote a short message on the board, reiterating the blinking idea. Moving a couple of steps to the right, he guessed where Hermione's focus was and held the board above his head, watching her carefully. After a moment, the irises of her eyes moved a tiny amount downwards, meeting his own eyes. She blinked twice, very deliberately.

"Was that..." Tony looked up at Steve who grinned down at him.

"I think so."

Tony let out a loud whoop and jumped up, grabbing the board from Steve's fingers. Uncapping his own pen, he wiped off the previous message with his sleeve and wrote his own.

Did you see who did this?

Three blinks

Are those carollers over there driving you nuts?

Her eyelids started moving rapidly in a sporadic pattern and Tony frowned, grabbing Steve's arm. "She's not having a seizure or something is she?"

Despite his perfect vision, Steve squinted reflexively and grinned. "Morse code."

"She knows Morse code?"

"All SHIELD agents do."

"Huh." Steve snatched the board back.


Two blinks.

Are you injured?

Four blinks.

Are you scared?

Three blinks, but something in her eyes said different.

Tony looked pointedly at Steve. "We have to get closer to her. It's not fair that she's all on her own over there."

Steve returned the look. "You heard Coulson. The wizard over there is her friend."

Tony crossed his arms, rolled his eyes, and shouted at the man with the black hair. "Hey, four eyes! Yeah, you with the messy ass black hair and the stick!"

Steve prodded him in the back and made a noise of frustration. Tony just grinned and waved as the wizard turned around, frowning. Recognition dawned on his face and he moved towards them, wand raised.

"You can talk, Stark. When was the last time you shaved off that ugly as fuck goatee."

Steve turned towards Tony and gaped. "You know this guy?"

"We might possibly run in the same circles..." He trailed off as the wizard drew closer, hand extended. "Good to see you're here looking after our girl, Potter. If I'd known it was you twiddling your stick then I might have tried busting in on the scene a bit earlier."

Harry made a face and shook Tony's hand. "Look, I really don't have time to trade insults with you right now, but I'm assuming you want to get closer?"

"Yeah, we've got this." Tony held up the whiteboard and grinned. "Sometimes rudimentary methods of communication are the best."

Harry laughed, waving them forward. "Stay behind the yellow line, any closer and you risk being affected by the same magic Hermione is wrapped in, and we're still trying to figure out exactly how many different spells there are."

"You've tried getting into her mind?"

"The magic is impenetrable, even our best Legilimens can't get past it." Tony puffed up a little, pleased that his basic idea had bested even one of the greatest of unethical spells from Hermione's world.

"Good thing we have this then, isn't it?" Steve jabbed Tony in the side again and he flinched, glaring at the blond. "Even Cap here thinks so."

"Tony..." Steve sighed and tipped his head back in frustration.

"Cap? You're Captain America?"

"Steve Rogers, sir." Steve stuck out his hand and shook the wizard's firmly.

"Oh, wow. Please, call me Harry. This is just... Hermione talks about you all the time."

"She does?"

"Yeah... well not in specific terms. Classified and all that, I guess." Tony snorted as Steve smiled goofily. "Don't worry, we'll get her free."

Tony pushed Steve closer to Hermione and the yellow line. "As much as I'm enjoying watching blossoming true love here, I really think we should head in this direction."

Steve made a face and Harry waved them away, turning back to a member of his team who had been waiting patiently behind him.

"You are such an asshole. Why didn't you say you knew that guy?"

"I wasn't sure at first, I'm not used to focussing at a distance without the suit."

"Maybe you should get glasses then."

Tony poked out his tongue and sat down on the cold asphalt, around ten feet from Hermione's prone form. He uncapped the pen again and began writing out another question in his messy scrawl.

Can we have whiteboard sex?

Three blinks and what somehow managed to come across as a glare despite her extremely narrow field of mobility.

"Tony, jeez, seriously?" Tony grinned up at Steve.

"Hey, I'm trying to think of things to keep her occupied, okay?"


"Agent Granger?"

Hermione looked up from her old fashioned in surprise. "Captain Rogers..." She tilted her head a little and frowned. "I was under the impression that you rather avoided establishments such as this."

Steve chuckled a little and smiled. "Well... I don't usually bother thanks to my... metabolism. But sometimes the situation calls for a drink." He looked up at the bartender and held up a finger. "Macallan thank you sir. Neat, double the double, if you don't mind."

The scruffy barkeep nodded and poured a generous measure of scotch into a cheap looking tumbler and slid it across the bar. "And another for the lady?" Steve glanced at Hermione, eyebrows raised, and she nodded, gesturing to the empty stool next to her.

"He's going to be okay, you know."

Steve swallowed half his drink in one gulp and grimaced. "I know..." He sighed and ran a hand through his already slightly mussed hair. "It's the first time..."

Hermione drained the remainder of her glass and pushed it away, reaching for the fresh drink that had been placed in front of her. "Since Phil?"

He let out a long breath. "Yeah."

"Wonders of modern technology, Cap."

He turned his head back towards her and put a hand on her shoulder. "Steve. Please. I um... I'm just Steve."

"Okay." She picked up her tumbler and took a sip, meeting his eyes over the rim. After a moment of awkward silence, he dropped his hand and she took a large gulp, placing the glass back down firmly on the bar. "You want to grab dinner? They do a passable cheeseburger here. The chips are something to behold, though. That perfect crunch on the outside and goo in the middle." He looked at her quizzically. "Fuck, sorry... fries."

Recognition dawned and he smiled a little. "Sure, why not?"

Hermione leaned across the bar and waved at the bartender. "Baz, we're just gonna grab a table, 'kay?" She snagged a couple of menus from a cubby under the edge of the bar. Baz nodded and smiled as he continued to polish glasses. Hermione tucked the menus under her arm and swiped up her glass, taking another gulp as she sashayed towards a booth in the corner.

"Come here often then?" Steve raised his eyebrows as he slid onto the cheap vinyl bench across from her.

"A proper pub across the road from SHIELD headquarters? Of course. Cocktail bars aren't really my scene."

"Nor mine."

Hermione smiled wryly and buried her nose in the menu. "I bet." After a few moments she tossed the menu down and polished off her old fashioned. "You know what you want?"

"I think I'll just take your recommendation on the cheeseburger."

"Cool. Be right back." She slid out of the booth and headed for the bar.


"Cool your boots, Steve. It's order at the bar."

"Oh, right."

"You need another drink?"

"Oh, I shouldn't." He shuffled in his seat.

"One more enormous scotch coming up." She strode back towards the bar before he could object, ordering two cheeseburgers with fries, and told Baz to keep the drinks coming, handing him a SHIELD issued credit card with some corporate cover logo emblazoned on it. "I'll switch to whatever imported larger you're selling these days."

"Heineken okay?"

"As long as it's not that American crap."

Baz grinned and shook his head. "Only the best, Miss Granger."

She smiled and turned back to the booth, watching Steve carefully as she headed back to her seat. He was staring blankly into his scotch, frowning before tossing the remainder of the glass back in one swallow. "You want to talk about it?"

Steve coughed and wrinkled his forehead. "What? Barton?"

"That and whatever else is on your mind."

He sighed and dropped his hands to his legs, rubbing them roughly as she sat back down. "Were you around when the Chitauri invaded?"

"Sort of. They needed my fancy spells to help lift rocks off trapped staff in New Mexico."

He nodded and grimaced. "But you've seen the footage?"

"Of course."

"Then you know Tony nearly died in space?"

She snorted and sucked the thin head off the beer that had just been placed in front of her. "He reminds me of it daily."

"I um..." He rubbed a hand over his face and sucked in a breath. "I gave the order for Natasha to close the portal before... well before he came back through. And then today I almost did the same thing with Clint."

"Neither of them resent you for it, you know that right?"

Steve took a gulp of his Macallan and licked his lips. Hermione was momentarily distracted by the movement of his tongue across the pillowy flesh, but blinked her way out of it, blaming the lapse on three glasses of hard liquor in under an hour.

"Sometimes I think that maybe Stark does resent me."

Hermione barked a harsh laugh and tugged the elastic from her plait, freeing her chaotic hair. "Trust me, he doesn't," she assured as she ran her hands through her hair, fluffing it up a little, closing her eyes and rubbing her hairline with a little moan of pleasure. She heard his breath catch across the table and pushed down the little flutter in her chest from the sound, pretending to ignore it and instead focussing on taming her messy waves. "He would have done the same thing."

"You two are..."

Hermione snorted and opened her eyes, leaning an elbow on the table and resting her head in her palm. "We're... something. Merlin knows what."

"I'm... I mean you're..." She cocked her head and looked at him curiously as his cheeks reddened and he cleared his throat. "Sometimes you remind me of Natasha, but then sometimes I think maybe you're a completely different breed of woman all together."

She tossed her head back and laughed. "Trust me, I could never even dream of kicking Natasha's level of arse." She smiled softly and reached over the table, placing her palm over his. "I've seen stuff, Steve. Just like the rest of you. I've been fighting evil since I was eleven years old and it... does things. Maybe one day I'll even tell you about it."

"Aren't you bound by some kind of secrecy law?"

"The Ministry can kiss my pasty British behind." She patted his hand and squeezed lightly before pulling back.

He grinned and seemed to relax a little. They fell into an easy banter, pushing aside the heavy subject of near death experiences in favour of sharing Tony Stark horror stories. Their cheeseburgers and fries were cool by the time they finished them, the long anecdotes an unavoidable distraction.

Eventually, they were interrupted by the larger than life presence of the man himself, who immediately wrinkled his nose at Hermione's choice of beverage and plopped himself down next to her, arm slung around her shoulders.

"And how are my two favourite superheroes?" Hermione glared at him pointedly. "Okay, one favourite superhero, and favourite kick ass administrative liaison."

"How's Barton?" Hermione's voice was soft with concern. Tony grimaced and glanced quickly at Steve.

"He's going to be fine, but he's pretty bashed up." Steve let out a breath and slumped in his seat. "Chill, Cap. He's going to be fine. I would have done the same thing."

"See?" Hermione grinned at Steve and took a gulp of her beer. Tony nudged her in the side and tightened his arm around her shoulder.

"You want to go and get dinner?" Hermione cocked her head and looked down pointedly at her plate.

Tony looked pointedly at her cleavage and wiggled his eyebrows. She sighed.

"I'll see you later, Steve." Leaning over the table she ruffled his hair and gave him a peck on the cheek as Tony slid out of the booth. She let him drag her out of the bar, tossing an apologetic smile over her shoulder.


Asgardian mead, it turned out, was not for regular human consumption. Thankfully for Hermione, Tony's penthouse was well stocked in whatever else one would rather partake in. She had managed to down enough of his fancy selection of Belgian beers, and was now happily ignoring the question of how Thor had even managed to bring such a large quantity of alcohol through the Bifrost in the first place.

Ten minutes into the impromptu Christmas party, Tony and Clint realised there was a very real possibility of getting Steve drunk. Despite the taller blond making a face at the flavour of the otherworldly liquor, and voicing his concerns about a possible call to assemble, he took one for the team; humoured them until there was a small pile of superheroes, smushed together on the large couch that dominated the penthouse living room, laughing at something none of them could remember.

Not long after their giggles had subsided and Tony had run out of ironic commentary, Clint crawled off the plush settee and headed for the door, claiming an intense desire to pee. Hermione took his place, settling in tightly next to Tony as he bantered with Steve about possible battle strategies against Doombots. She briefly considered the merit of the ideas they were coming up with, but stopped short of asking JARVIS to record the conversation when Tony brought up attaching napalm jets to the Human Torch, and letting him loose on Latveria.

Steve was grinning ridiculously, head leaning against the back of the couch, eyes hooded and unguarded. "I like this."

"You like what, Cap? Getting wasted and coming up with amazingly brilliant artifice to call upon when faced with certain death? Being forced to listen to JARVIS' hideous taste in Christmas music?"

Steve chuckled and closed his eyes, shaking his head softly. "No, just... hanging out, I guess. With all of you. We should do this more often."

"If that's gonna happen, Coulson would have to let you out of his sight more often." Tony took another gulp of his scotch. Hermione blew a raspberry at him and smacked him on the shoulder. "What? Phil the Fanboy is ridonkulously territorial around Spangles over here."

"We don't have any problems catching up, do we Steve?"

Steve's eyes snapped open and she winked at him. He smiled lazily and replied with a lip smacking "Nope."

"What do you mean, catching up?"

"We have lunch together all the time."

"Reeeeally? You have lunch together all the time. Why am I not invited to these little tête-à-têtes?"

Hermione leaned her head on his shoulder and wrapped an arm around his waist. "Because you're always tim... tinkrer... messing with your suit, stupid." She yawned and closed her eyes, sighing into Tony's warm body as she searched out Steve's hand with the arm that was resting on the dark haired man's stomach. She felt Tony shift and press his leg harder into hers, rubbing his foot along the inside of her calf.

"Wait... are you two dating?" Tony's voice was teasing, but held an edge.

Hermione snorted. "What? No."

At the same time she heard a muffled "I wish," come from the other side of Tony, and despite her brain telling her to shut the feeling down, the bottom dropped out of her stomach for a moment.

"You are, you're totally dating."

"Fuck, Tony shut up. No we're not, we're two people who get on well and like to have lunch together." She turned her head a little and kissed his neck.

"I'm jealous."

"Don't be an idiot, Tony Stark doesn't get jealous."

"Have you seen him? He's like Johnny Storm on really fucking good steroids, and that kid gets whatever pussy he wants. Shit, I'm sure he gets whatever cock he wants too."

Hermione made a face and pinched his side. "Ugh, do you have to be so vulgar?"

"I'm drunk and my brain mouth filter was turned off hours ago, okay? Also, my girlfriend is going on dates with Captain America." His voice was becoming more and more indignant by the second and Hermione pushed upright, glaring at him.

"Would you keep your voice down? Steve and I are friends, and I am not your girlfriend. We talked about this."

"Yeah, six months ago."

"You never brought it up again."

Steve was just watching them with an open mouth by this point, eyes darting between the two of them. "Umm... guys?"

Hermione held up her hand, signalling him to be quiet, eyes still glaring daggers at Tony. "You know what? I'm going to go back to my apartment." She stood and tossed back the last inch and a half of her beer in one swallow. "Call me when you get over your unfounded jealousy."

She walked stiffly towards the door, managing to not stumble over the stairs that led to the sunken area where they had been sitting, anger pushing her back towards sobriety. She grabbed her coat, ignoring the curious looks from the cluster of people in the kitchen, and headed out the door, closing it quietly behind her.

It took far too long to make it to the ground floor, and she let out a rushed sigh of relief as she trotted down the front stairs of the tower and into the rush of the city. She stopped a few feet from the flow of traffic; paused, almost in a moment out of time, as her addled brain took longer than usual to decide on a method of transportation.

"Hermione, come back inside."

She shivered, the cold autumn rain seeping through the stitching of her bright purple trench. "I'm fine, Steve I'm... I think I'm just going to head home."

"Tony's just being... well, Tony."

She felt him move closer, his body pushing against the ever present energy that swirled around her. "I know, I'm just... sometimes I can't deal, you know? Why do you think I can't handle putting a label on whatever the hell it is we have going on."

"Maybe it's not the real deal?"

She sighed and ran a hand over her face, wiping away the large drops of rain that had collected on her eyebrows and cheeks. After a moment she stepped out closer to the curb and hailed a cab, turning to him briefly as she reached for the door. "I um..." She shook her head and got in. "Brooklyn Heights please. Remsen. Don't even think about refusing or I'll call the TLC."

The cabbie looked briefly in his mirror and flinched at the harsh glint in her eyes. Leaning back against the seat, she sighed and let her head fall against the cool glass of the window as the cab pulled out into the steady flow of traffic.

She could see the forlorn reflection of Steve shimmering in the badly positioned wing mirror, streaks of rain cutting through his tall, perfectly formed body. She groaned and let out a long breath, fogging the window. She was absolutely going to hell.


He was standing outside her door when she got home, water pooling on the carpet at his feet. She sighed and unlocked the door, gesturing for him to follow her in. He did, hesitantly.

"I can't... I don't..." He made a strangled sound and leaned back against the door, a clear attempt at composure.

She ran a hand through her damp hair and pulled off her coat, tossing it over the bench in the entryway as she leaned over to undo her scuffed brown boots.

He walked forward and picked up her coat, hanging it on a hook for her and tucking the sleeves back in the right way, smoothing out the wrinkles. She sat heavily on the bench and pulled off the boots, tucking them beneath the seat so she wouldn't trip over them the next morning. He was still standing awkwardly next to the coat rack, shifting his weight from foot to foot.

"I'm not going to... presume to understand relationships in this century because I really just don't, okay?"

She raised her eyebrows and frowned. "Did you run here?"

He ignored her question and ploughed on, voice a little strangled. "I'm not exactly the kind of guy who goes out looking to find a different da- girl every night." He scrubbed a hand through his hair and didn't bother to smooth it back down, tired eyes meeting hers almost pleadingly. "Tonight I just felt so warm and comfortable and loved. And now my stupid body has burned through that... rocket fuel that Thor brought along and I don't know what's going on in my brain, but I have to tell you that I just can't stay away from you."

"I'm not the kind of person you want to chase after a relationship with, Steve." She leaned over, elbows on her knees, one arm flopping towards the floor, the other upright, hand propping up her head. She smiled at him softly and moved her eyes pointedly between Steve and the empty space on the bench next to her. He sat.

"I know, you're Tony's girl. And it's wrong for me to want you because, even though sometimes he drives me crazy, he's the closest thing I have to a best friend, but God it just... hurts sometimes." He bit his lip and pressed a balled up fist into his thigh.

"Hey." She sat back up straight and turned his head to her, pressing her hands to each cheek and running her thumbs over them softly. "The universe works in strange ways."

He looked at her blankly and opened his mouth, but she moved one of her thumbs to his lips.

"Tony and I we... well I guess we like each other a lot. Maybe even love each other. And even though I think maybe one day I'll kill him, eventually we'll probably admit we need each other." She paused, smiling wryly. "People like us need to stick together, Steve."

She smoothed her hands down his neck, patting him on the chest and leaned forward to press a kiss to his cheek. After a moment he pulled back.

"I should go."

Hermione nodded sadly and stood. "You're not going to run, are you?"

He bit his lip and pushed himself up off the bench. "I'll take a cab, I promise."

"At least let me dry your clothes first."

His mouth twisted up at the corner and reached for the doorknob. "I'll see you, Hermione." Without turning back, he stepped through the door and closed it softly behind him, leaving her standing in the hallway, still damp from the rain. She held back an unexpected sob and steeled her mouth into a thin line, lips pressed together almost painfully

Pulling her phone out of her trouser pocket, she punched in a number, waiting patiently as it rang and rang before eventually going to voicemail. She huffed and jabbed at the screen, ending the call.

"People like us..." Blowing out a breath, she slumped off towards the bathroom, "Fuck, Hermione. Fuck fuck fuck fuckity fuck."

She kicked the door open and went straight to the vanity, leaning over and staring at herself in the mirror, the light from the hallway casting dark shadows across her tired face. The person who stared back at her was unfamiliar; hard and closed off, and she felt a burst of magic building up inside her, letting it loose instead of carefully allowing it to absorb back into her body. The mirror cracked, splintering her reflection.

She slammed the door closed.


"Give me the board, Rogers." Tony snatched towards Steve and missed, instead grabbing at one sleeve of the other man's suit jacket. Hermione desperately wanted to laugh at their antics. Despite suddenly once again having the use of her ears, the rest of her body sadly, remained bound.

Harry and his team had managed to work away many of the layers of magic surrounding her, and she was beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel. The suffocating fear she had felt was lifting, pushed out in favour of a satisfied feeling of warmth friendship, the two men bickering in front a reminder that everything wasn't always going to be kidnappings and torture.

Because that's what the position she was stuck in was becoming. Despite the magical bindings, she could feel her muscles ache as they struggled to keep her limbs in position. She briefly wondered if her body would give out before the spell, but then chastised herself for thinking such silly thoughts.

The sound of the carollers had finally reached her, and she had to agree with Tony's assessment. They were exceptionally irritating. So much so, in fact, that she could feel her own magic building up inside her, desperately trying to break free from her prison and shut them up. How Coulson could stand such an ear splitting distraction she didn't know. They had bells. Bells.

Eventually Tony managed to wrestle the whiteboard away from Steve, who even when only using a small amount of skill, had kept it away for a good three minutes, and raised it above his head triumphantly. He put it in his lap and put the pen to his mouth, tapping it against his lower lip for a few moments before writing his message.

She blinked rapidly, eyes on Steve, trying to communicate her new found hearing, but he was too busy focussing on what Tony was scrawling on the white plastic. After a few moments, Steve leaned over and nudged Tony on the shoulder and put an arm around him, giving him a quick squeeze. He stood, smiling softly, an undercurrent of something else in his expression, and patted the dark hair of the other man, before walking off slowly. She watched him as he moved back towards the perimeter of black agents, shaking Harry's hand along the way.

When she eventually turned her eyes back to Tony, he was looking down at the whiteboard, lips pressed together, one hand scratching at his scalp. He looked up at her almost hesitantly and dropped his hand, grabbing either side of the board and turning it.

I kinda sorta like you quite a lot.

She stared at him for a moment before closing her eyes. When she opened them again he had erased the message and replaced it with a new one.

You don't have to say it back. I know you feel the same way about him.

Her heart dropped and she blinked at him desperately, despite knowing he had never bothered to learn Morse code.

I think maybe I kinda sorta like him too.

Her heart missed a beat and she sucked in a breath through her nose, her chest constricting painfully at the sharp intake, ribcage still mostly immobile.

Two blinks.

He smiled.


Hermione tugged her sweaty tank top over her head and kicked off her sneakers, waving her wand at them quickly and shoving them in her locker with the rest of her workout gear, following up the movements with a brief cleansing charm on herself. She leaned her head against the cool stainless steel surface, her heart still pounding in her chest from pushing herself to the limits of exhaustion.

"I'm sorry."

She twitched in surprise and turned her head, forehead still attached to the bank of lockers. "For what?"

"For being... forward."

"This is the women's locker room." Her voice was droll and even, but she felt a flutter of anxiety against her ribs.

He gulped visibly. "I know, I just... I saw you in the gym and wanted to apologise."

She let out a heavy breath and pushed off the metal, leaning over and picking up her trousers, a little self conscious about her utilitarian underwear. "You don't have anything to be sorry about, Steve."

"I don't usually do this kind of thing." His eyes remained studiously on her face, a flush rising up his neck and towards his cheeks.

"What kind of thing?" She pulled on her pants, leaving the buttons and zipper open, and reached for her blouse.

"Just..." He waved his hand between the two of them and frowned.

"Are you trying to tell me you don't usually proposition people, or you just don't usually proposition women?" His eyes nearly bulged out of his head and he choked on his breath, his face going even redder. She pulled on the top and buttoned it, tucking it into her pants and doing them up while he tried to formulate an answer. "''S'okay, I'm just teasing,"

His adam's apple bobbed again and he scratched at the back of his head. "Look, I really-"

She pressed a finger to his lips, having crossed the short distance between them in a couple of quick steps. "It's okay, really. It's fine."

"It's not fine, I made you uncomfortable and-"

"You didn't make me uncomfortable."

"I did, you don't have to-"

She groaned in frustration, pulling his head down to hers and kissing him firmly. He made a surprised noise and tried to pull away, but she held firm, her fingers moving to his hair and twisting and grasping of their own volition. After a few moments he gave in, mouth opening a tiny bit against hers, large hands moving to her waist, gripping her tightly.

They stumbled back against the lockers, her feet leaving the ground, dangling in mid air as he held her effortlessly, his tongue slipping between her lips, running along the edge of her teeth and making her toes tingle with desire.

He pressed her hard against the metal, hitching her up so that her legs wrapped around him, one hand on her bottom, the other tangling in her loose ponytail. Eventually he pulled away a little, leaning his forehead against hers as she ran one hand down his torso reverently.

A door banged and they both flinched. He let go of her hair and placed her quickly on the ground, taking a fast step away. She looked at his crotch and cocked her head to the side, the tight material of his stars and stripes suit doing little to disguise his erection. He sat down quickly, crossing one leg over the other as a junior agent walked past the lockers and towards the showers.

Hermione opened her locker and pulled out her wand, tucking it into a thin pocket in the thigh of her pants. With a ruffle of his hair, she walked towards the door, picking up her bag that sat on the bench along the way.

"What just happened?" His voice was a quiet rasp, and she turned briefly before opening the door, gaze burning into his.

"We're sticking together."


"I'm fine, I'm fine. Leave me alone." She pushed past the healers clustering around her, trying to test her for every ailment under the sun. "Get me a muscle relaxant and you've cured me, okay?"

A mediwitch thrust a vial of blue liquid into her palm, opening her mouth, probably to give dosage instructions, but shrunk away at Hermione's glare.

"I know how to take a bloody relaxing potion." She tossed half of it back in one gulp and grimaced at the overly strong liquorice flavour.

Searching around, her eyes eventually fell on Harry, who was deep in conversation with Phil, a tablet being passed between them. Tony had been pushed behind the barrier as the final stages of the volatile spells had been removed, and he waited, anxiously chewing at the skin of a thumb. She paused when he caught her eye, letting out a deep breath before walking steadily towards him.

She stood a foot away, heart in her throat. He took the final step forward and wrapped his arms around her tightly, breath hot against her neck as he pressed a kiss to her pulse point.

"I am so sorry I was such a bastard the other night."

"It's okay." Her voice sounded small and tired, even to her own ears. He moved his hands up to her cheeks and tilted her head up as he straightened, eyes searching and pleading.

"Please don't ever get kidnapped again."

"It wasn't exactly a kidnapping."

"Semantics." A grin broke out and he pressed his forehead to hers. "Go get him."

She pulled his mouth to hers, pressing a chaste kiss to his lips and stroking his cheeks. As she pulled away her tired smile strengthened. "You know, when I was assigned to SHIELD I never thought I would end up falling in kinda sorta like with two superheroes."

He chuckled and pulled her towards him once again, this time planting his mouth hotly over hers, tongue and teeth clashing in a display wholly inappropriate for a public arena. She held out her hand, silently summoning the whiteboard that still lay at his feet, and pulled her wand from her hip holster, popping out of existence as soon as his mouth moved from her lips to her neck.


She smiled as she landed in the parking floor of Stark Tower allocated to SHIELD and the Initiative, imagining the look of surprise on Tony's face when he realised he was kissing thin air.

She was still grinning as she took the elevator to the ninety second floor, the normally irritating light jazz only helping to improve her mood. She laughed at her own silliness, staring down at her feet as the metal car finally reached Steve's floor.

She had no idea if he had gone home, only operating on a hunch. She hadn't even bothered to ask JARVIS if he was in, instead choosing the relative surprise of arriving unannounced.

The door to his apartment was innocuous black, with a red, white and blue shield in place of the number. Hermione rolled her eyes at the cliché, wondering if the other two apartments on the floor shared similar symbols. She was used only to the floor that housed her charges, Banner and Thor, where the doors were simply painted green and red respectively. And of course Tony who occupied two osentatiously extravagent floors.

She pressed at the doorbell to the right of the access panel, jumping in surprise as the door opened immediately.

He was still clad in the dark charcoal suit he had been wearing earlier, and she sucked in a breath at the way it fitted him perfectly in all the right places. He looked at her curiously, blocking the door.

"Hi." She smiled and put a hand against the door frame.


"I um... I just wanted to come by and show you something."

"Are you okay?"

"What? Oh yeah, I'm fine. Better than fine." The goofy grin was back and she pulled the whiteboard from where it lay against her back, still covered in Tony's messy writing.

I think maybe I kinda sorta like him too.

"People like us need to stick together, Steve."

They looked at one another for close to a minute before either made a move, positions mirrored, only differing thanks to the board she held in between. Eventually he grabbed it from her hand and tossed it behind him, pulling her inside and slamming the door. They stood, a few feet from the wall barely touching, eyes searching and his fingers clutching her arm. Her smile dropped and she bit her lip, suddenly nervous.

Then they were moving, hands ripping at clothes, not concerned with damage or where they ended up. She shoved his jacket off his shoulders and ripped his shirt apart, laughing a little at the parallels between her first time with Tony. He pulled at her clothing between kisses, tugging her tee shirt over her head and unzipping her jeans as he guided them towards a door just off the expansive living room.

He pushed the door open as she paused, shoving the jeans down her legs and pulling at his trousers, thankful that he had removed his shoes.

"You're okay with this?" She gasped the words out as he latched onto her collarbone, sucking firmly. "You know what this means?"

He smiled against her skin. "Yes. Oh God yes."

"Okay then."

Their underwear was gone moments later and she pressed her whole length up against him, heart fluttering at the firm prodding against her hip. He lifted her with ease and she wrapped her legs around his waist, smiling against his lips as he moved across the room.

Her whole body tingled with sensitivity as he laid her down on the bed. He hovered over her, not near enough to touch, but near enough that she could feel the heat radiating from his flushed skin. His breath brushed over her collarbone as he gasped against her, his back arched and tense, knees bent and digging into the mattress next to her thigh.

His hands held hers tightly above her head, fingers entwined, twisting and grasping until she was sure one of them would break a bone. She let out a low moan as he trailed his lips over her sternum and between her breasts, gasping out his name as he trailed his tongue along the underside of one.

"You okay?" His voiced was laced with concern and she smiled lazily, unclasping her fingers from his and pulling her arms back to her sides. She caught his hair in her hands and pulled him to her mouth, sucking his lower lip between hers and sliding her fingers to his shoulders before flipping them both. He gasped in surprise and she ran her tongue over his briefly, before snagging his lip once again, this time between her teeth as she moved her body lower.

She made it as far as his stomach before he propped himself up and looked down, face a mixture of wonder and hesitation.

"Hermione I..."

"Haven't done this before, I know."


"I guessed." She smiled up at him and moved her hand from where it had been resting on his thigh, to wrap around his cock, pulling at it a little roughly. He whimpered and his abdominals twitched against her chin. "If you want to stop, let me know."

"No... no. God no."

"Okay then." She kept her eyes trained on him as she moved lower, eventually taking him in her mouth and sliding as far as she could. He jerked again and she gagged a little, pulling back quickly.

"Oh jeez, I'm so sor-" She slapped at his thigh and dropped down again, this time sucking firmly as she slid back up his shaft, swirling her tongue around the head before squeezing him with her fist and kissing his belly.

"I'll tell you a secret." He squirmed beneath her touch, struggling to catch his breath as her hand travelled up and down his cock lazily.


"I like it."

"Like what?"

"When a cock hits me in the back of the throat... or when a man comes in my mouth... or when I get fucked so hard I can barely walk afterwards." He moaned, and arched backwards, mouth open and hips twitching against her hand. Hot spurts splashed against her neck and cheek as he came.

"Oh shit." His voice was hoarse and needy, and his hips continued to jerk against her for long moments before he finally came down from the high, eyes falling lazily on hers. "I'm sorry, that was... unexpected."

She grinned and winked at him, clambering up his body and grabbing him once again, seating herself in one movement.

"You're acting as if I didn't do that on purpose." She rolled her hips, flexing the muscles in her pelvis and the breath caught in his throat.

"Oh, fuck."

"You know, there is something ridiculously sexy about a man from your era saying words like that." He sucked in a breath and sat up, pulling her hips down to grind against him once again their chests pressed together tightly.

"I was in the army for two years, you know."

She laughed throatily and rolled her head on her neck, mouth eventually coming to rest on his, fingers tangled in his hair. They kissed as she rode him, eventually breaking apart as she concentrated on reaching her peak. She guided his hand to where they were joined, placing his thumb on her clit, grinding and clenching and gasping as she came hard, shuddering against his chest.

He stiffened moments later, biting down on her shoulder as he jerked against her, silent apart from the harsh breaths coming from his nose.

They stayed still for minutes, sweat cooling against their skin, until eventually Steve kissed her softly and rolled them both over. They stayed face to face, bodies pressed up against one another, swollen lips gently exploring and discovering. Eventually he stilled against her cheek.



"I kinda sorta like you guys a lot too."


Christmas Eve 2012

She shook off the rain that had collected on her hair, the misty haze not quite enough to seep through to her skin, but enough to make her feel damp and clammy. The token Christmas lights that were strung around the roof of the elevator car were on an irritating blinking pattern and she sighed in a mixture of frustration and fondness.

The door opened at the penthouse level and she stepped into the expansive space, smiling towards Tony who stood behind the bar in the kitchen, looking confusedly at the oven.

"You really shouldn't go near that, I thought we were ordering in." He turned and grinned, taking a few steps towards her until they met, a soft kiss and a contented sigh brushing against her mouth.

"And I thought you were moving in. It's ridiculous that you let yourself get so wet coming from Brooklyn."

She waggled her eyebrows and pushed past him, opening the oven door a crack and studying the chicken that sat in the middle. "This actually looks surprisingly edible."

"Hey, it's Christmas. I should make an effort, right?" She turned back to him and gave him a dubious smile.

"Are we eating vegetables, too? Or is it just going to be chicken sandwiches?"

"I have a plan for that."

She gave him a look that told him she wasn't entirely trusting of his plan, and turned to the refrigerator. After opening and closing the door, finding a distinct lack of vegetables, she leaned against the cool stainless steel and crossed her arms. Before she could come up with a clever response, the elevator opened again.

"Speak of the... not devil." Tony hurried to the door, grinning and holding out his arms as he went. Eventually he reached the newcomer and took the foil tray he held from his hands, exchanging it for a chaste kiss. Hermione rolled her eyes and smiled at Steve, opening the fridge again and removing a large carafe.

She took three glasses from a cabinet and poured the drink. She smiled as Steve moved behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist and kissing her firmly on the cheek.


"Is it Tony eggnog?"

"Sadly, yes."

He smiled against her neck and snatched up a glass. Hermione passed another to Tony and raised hers, smiling widely.

"To sticking together."