Title: Secrets Shared
Challenge #: 6
Fandom/Original: The Avengers (2012)
Genre (slash/het/gen/etc): Pre-slash
Concrit (yes/no): No.
The Art Above is by Syble, aka dragoncreator. Doesn’t she rock?
It was the flash of other in his eyes that did it. Steve Rogers stopped and stared at the man before him.
Tony Stark, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, inventor, businessman and Ironman was a Were.
No wonder he had balked so badly at Fury’s orders.
Steve held his peace and considered the information. The history packet that he had been carefully spoon fed by Fury had nothing on the Were. Thus, he wasn’t going to be the one to bring that population to light. Fury reminded him far too much of the true believers he had seen during the War, especially in Germany. Everything for the cause, no matter what the cost.
There was no way that he was going to be the one to enlighten SHEILD. Even if they were technically on the side of the light, there were some people who would do their level bests to get some Were’s in a lab to see how they did what they did. No one deserved to be a lab rat. Not even the Were’s who turned into rats.
So he was quiet and he kept watch. Tony Stark let almost nothing of what he was out, so the slip of other had to have been purely unconscious, driven by the rage Fury had sparked. Steve knew that if he had been able to, he would have been snarling at the Director, just as much as Tony was. Using Coulson’s death was a cheap and dirty way to get them moving and he didn’t appreciate it. Stark had his control back in place though, as they started to battle the Chitauri, for which Steve was duly grateful. He had seen the carnage a Were in battle rage could produce. New York didn’t need the additional mess.
Oh, and it was a hell of a mess that they were creating. Each and every one of them had done their part and he had gotten to see what his new team was capable of bringing to the table when it came to full on battles. Thor was well, THOR. Battle was his favorite sport and he excelled at it. Hawkeye had proved his skills by hitting targets that Steve would never have attempted and calling out information on everything that came within view. The Black Widow had proven to be both agile and fearless, willing to take risks that were frankly, horrifying, but they worked. The Hulk was pure destruction wrapped in a bright green package and Steve knew that they needed to work with him some more to direct him in battle. (Maybe talking it over with Bruce would help?)
But Stark had been all flash and showmanship, backed up by a level of skill and ruthlessness that his files had never hinted at. He hadn’t simply fought the Chitauri as they ravaged New York, he had harried and perused them with a ferocity unmatched by anything he had seen in this new century. After his sacrifice, after he came back to Earth, the other was far closer to the surface and Steve was fascinated by it.
Fury had no idea how to handle them after everything had gone down and turned them loose, letting them all drift in the wind and everyone took advantage of it. He stayed in contact of course, trying to follow what was happening in New York as well as he could, but he had 70 years of history to catch up on and he wanted to see some of the places he had only heard about before he started to really work on his new job. When he confronted Stark about some of the information in his updates, the other man admitted that his hack was still in the systems of SHEILD and he had no plans to remove it. Since the information that he was pulling related to the Avengers Initiative, Steve wasn’t going to complain. He needed the other source as a test against what Hill and Fury were feeding him.
When he finally got back to New York the damage from the battle was being repaired and he could see the bones of the old city being blended into the new one. While it wouldn’t be the same, the spirit, the strength of New York was still there, still fighting. The biggest change was when he got within sight of Stark Tower and saw that there had been a name change. Subtle, Stark wasn’t and he was announcing his new affiliation for all to see. Avengers Tower indeed.
Missions came and went and Steve was no closer to figuring out what type of Were Stark (no, Tony) was. Whatever it was, the man was territorial, vicious when in battle, deeply affectionate with those he considered friends and had a bad habit of claiming people and things as his without telling anyone. When his tap into the more esoteric files in the SHEILD database had yielded the information that Coulson was not dead, but was severely wounded, Steve had watched as Tony cut through the whole command staff of the helicarrier to get the man. Once he had him, Coulson was installed in the Tower with all the pomp and circumstance of a dearly missed family member.
When Fury came to try to get his Agent back, or maybe try to put Tony in his place, the Were wasn’t impressed. “Don’t take my stuff.”
“My Agent isn’t your stuff Stark. And he shouldn’t be here either.” Steve watched as Fury tried to push the other man around with only his will and waited. There was no way that Tony would let him win.
“Well he sure as shit doesn’t belong in that lovely infirmary you parked him in. Did you even bother to let Barton or Romanoff know that he was still alive? Or have you been lying to them too?” Tony ground out. Steve could hear the growl hidden in his words and was surprised that Fury didn’t. The man didn’t seem to notice that the biggest hunter in the room was right in front of him, because Steve knew it wasn’t either of them.
“No. I didn’t tell them. They didn’t need to know. And you and Rogers sure as hell didn’t need to know. So you are going to let the nice doctors I have take Coulson back and we can forget this.” Fury demanded as he waved at the medical crew standing behind him.
It was the wrong move. The growl that had been hiding in Tony’s words was now much more overt, more angry, “Coulson is mine. The Avengers are mine. Because you sure as hell aren’t paying for them. Nor are you housing them. If you want me to keep them, keep being an asshole. If you want us to keep working for you? Get your head out of your ass and see what is in front of your face.”
Fury was quiet for several moments and then waved the medical team back into the elevator. “Fine. You can keep Coulson here. Hell, keep Barton and Romanoff for all I care. But when I call, and I will call, the Avengers assemble. Does that meet your criteria, Mr. Stark?”
“Yes. It does.” Tony ground the words out and Steve could tell that he was trying to keep the anger contained. He couldn’t blame him. He was just as upset at how Coulson and by extension, they had been treated by this man. Assembling wasn’t that big of a deal after all. They weren’t going to stop saving the world just because Fury was being a dick, to quote Clint.
“And you Captain? You letting Stark talk for you now?” Fury questioned. Steve had no doubt that he was trying to needle him. Too bad he hadn’t clued in on the changed dynamic that had developed over the last several months. Never let it be said that Steven Rogers couldn’t learn when presented with the facts.
He kept his voice dry though, as he answered, “Director Fury, I am in charge of the Avengers when we are in the field. In war, battle and even training, I lead this group, same as I led the Howling Commandos. But this isn’t a battle, this isn’t even training. This is Stark’s home, his turf and I am not going to tell him who he can have living here. So, yeah, Tony can do the talking.”
The look in Fury’s one eye was speculative as he glanced between Steve and Tony and he didn’t like it at all. Too bad. Just because he was from the 1940’s Army did not mean that he blindly bowed down to authority. If he had, he never would have gone to get Bucky out of that hell hole. Tony was also giving him some mildly accessing glances, but that was normal. Every time he came out with something that changed the other man’s world view, he got examined until he slotted the new behavior into how he saw him. It was… comforting to know that he could still surprise Tony.
When neither of them said anything else, Fury shrugged and stepped into the elevator car that JARVIS had obviously called up. No one else had touched the button to summon it and there were none on the inside to direct it. Tony was firmly of the opinion that if you got in that elevator, you were either invited or someone he wanted nothing to do with. Invited meant that JARVIS was watching out for you and would bring you up to the Avengers levels of the tower. As for the uninvited guests? Well. That car had some lovely knockout gases. The only reason Fury and company had gotten in was because Tony wanted to make a point.
Speaking of, “JARVIS, lock Director Fury out of the system and make certain that if he enters the building at all, that security is waiting on him. Assistant Director Hill can get to the meeting room on level 18, but no higher. Not even if she is in the company of an Avenger.” Tony commanded softly. His shoulders were no longer tight with the tension that had been singing along them while confronting Fury and Steve was glad. The other man dealt with enough shit every day to not need more added to his load.
“Yes, Sir. Will there be anything else?” JARVIS asked.
“Yeah, find out where Fury stashed all of Coulson’s stuff and start looking for a mint set of Captain America trading cards. With as little foxing around the edges as possible. Also inform Widow and Hawkeye that we need them here, soonest.” Tony ordered as he turned back to the main living room they all shared. “And have one of the bots come clean the foyer. It smells like shit in here.”
Steve didn’t say anything as he watched one of the many cleaner bots that inhabited the main rooms start to spray the floor in preparation before ‘mopping’ it. If nothing else, there was a smell associated with the SHEILD agents and he didn’t want it in his new home either. Neither man said anything as they moved back to the couch and started the movie where they had left it. Everything that was needed had been said already.
The clues that Steve needed to reach a conclusion were piling up, one right after another. There was no way that Tony was an herbivore, he was far too willing to hunt his prey until they fell down and died. He, when they managed to get the man up for a meal, ate and ate well of all the dishes served, especially the meat dishes. Steve had found him in the gym several times, lifting weights and running mile after mile on the treadmills that he kept there. A careful looked showed that the other man had been at ten miles plus when he had come in and had stayed there for another thirty minutes, his pace never changing until he started a cool down routine. Whatever his Were side was, it was fairly tireless too.
Tony had mostly relaxed around them, and living in the Tower had let him see a lot of the other man’s life. He had even be there when the relationship between him and Pepper had blown up, the strain of watching everyone go out and risk their lives had been too much and Pepper had bowed out. She could handle the whole Avengers and Iron Man thing, she said, if she wasn’t so emotionally invested in them all coming home. In Tony coming home. So she made a choice and stepped back, moved out of the room she had share with Tony and out of the Tower.
The other, the Were had been more on the surface after that. The loss of someone who could have been his mate had obviously shaken Tony in ways that Steve could only guess at. He did his best, going down to hang out in the lab with Tony, trying to get him to eat more than the shakes and booze he wanted to ingest. He tried to get him back into the gym for running, but that only worked part of the time. Steve watched as the Were dropped weight and the slender frame got wiry, the strength hidden under then padding of clothes and fat showing through for all to see.
Tony also started disappearing for hours, even days. He wasn’t out of touch, per se, but he wasn’t in the Tower. Steve could only hope that he was somewhere in his fur, running or even just being. Steve had taken to going on walks as well, heading out of the building to check out a few of the internet café’s he had been shown in passing, using them to get his research done. From the research he was doing on such systems, everything pointed to the man having to get some time in his other form to stay healthy.
The latest clue had come when Fury had pissed Tony off again and his eyes had flashed, their color changing from the normal dark brown to a deep amber color. Steve had started the search as soon as he had sat down in front of his computer. Amber eyes, predator, tireless, territorial, loyal and intensely passionate about his made family…. Steve was placing his money on some type of wolf. There was nothing else that really fit Tony Stark.
It was absolutely not a surprise to find Tony sitting on his couch, clearly waiting for him, There was no computer being worked on, the TV was dark and Tony wasn’t chatting with JARVIS. He was sitting on Steve’s couch and the light from the hall was hitting his face in ways that made his fingers itch for a pencil and pad. When Tony sat up and moved into the light, the planes and angles of his face seemed to be lit by the eldritch fire shining in his eyes.
They both stopped, neither speaking. Tony was the first to break the silence, and Steve was glad. If he was right, this was how things needed to go, the other man firmly in control. “So, Steve. Why did you go to an internet café and look up different types of Were’s?”
Busted! Steve took a deep breath and tried to slow his heartbeat. Being nervous no would be bad in ways that were too numerous to count. “I saw some things and they got me thinking. I wanted to check and see if what I had seen was even possible without JARVIS humoring me and everyone else poking fun at what I was looking for. Or telling me that I was seeing things,” Steve said honestly.
Tony was still for a moment and then got up to start walking towards Steve. What started out as an inhuman prowl swiftly morphed into the billionaires normal stride. Steve found it fascinating to watch the change. Tony didn’t stop until he was within arm’s reach of Steve. And even though other man was four inches shorter than his own height of just over six feet, Steve still felt like he was looming.
“What did you see, Rogers?” Tony asked, eyes intent.
“I saw some amazing things during the war. And I wanted to see if they still existed, if they were still known about,” Steve explained. Honesty was indeed the best policy in this, even if he was slightly shading the truth about his last time out.
Tony nodded and then pressed again, “I get that. But what brought it up now?”
Steve closed his eyes and got ready to throw everything on the table. He could only hope that whatever he and Tony had was enough of a friendship to take the revelation. “I saw some things about you that reminded me of the Were that I worked with in the War. I think that you are a wolf. Am I right?”
Steve watched anxiously as Tony stood still, barely breathing as he took in what his team mate had to say. From the way that the other man’s eyes were changing color from amber to brown, Tony wasn’t thrilled at what he had heard. When the Were took a deep breath, Steve braced himself for whatever he had to say, “You think I am a werewolf?”
“Uhm… Yes?” Steve agreed, cautiously.
“Well shit.” Tony cursed, softly. Raising both hands he rubbed them briskly over his face, and Steve was sure it was because he was trying to control something. “So you saw Were in the War? And something about me brought them back to mind and you started looking into what you saw. JARVIS tells me that you have gotten as far as looking at types and now you think I am a wolf, right?”
Steve nodded. That basically summed everything up. Well, other than one other point he wanted to make sure Tony was aware of, “I have no intention of telling anyone else about what I found. It isn’t their business.”
“Hmmm… Didn’t think you would Capsicle. So. Now what do we do?” Tony asked as he looked up at him.
Steve took a deep breath and tried not to let his curiosity get the better of him, “You are a Were? Are you a wolf? Can I see?” he asked quickly.
Tony chuckled at the eager questions and Steve was glad that the other man was taking the whole thing well. He in no way, shape or form wanted Tony Stark mad at him. Than man had built a super suit that was able to do amazing things (most of them actively painful for those on the other side of his weapons) and he was no slouch outside of it. For all that he had the super serum flowing through his veins, a Were could cause him enough damage that he might not be able to heal from it fast enough to make a difference.
Amber eyes shining with laughter looked up at him and then there was a huge wolf sitting in front of him. Steve stayed absolutely still, letting this version of Tony get to know him. He was deeply glad that neither of them had been angry or even irritated before the other hand changed, because he had no idea how much of Tony was inside that furry skull. When Tony was done inspecting him, he moved back to his position in front of Steve and sat down, very precisely, where he had been standing before. Steve dropped down to one knee and looked into the Were’s eyes. “You are beautiful, Tony. Can I touch you?” he asked as he held up one hand.
Tony ducked his head and nudged the hand Steve had out, maneuvering his fingers until they rested on his ears. “Sure, I can do that.” Steve agreed softly. Carefully moving his fingers, he started to pet Tony, paying careful attention to all the spots that he knew dogs liked. While it wasn’t the best analogue, it was all he had to go on.
They stayed that way for a good twenty minutes, Steve carefully petting Tony and Tony leaning into the contact for all he was worth. Steve was glad that he was as big as he was now, because Tony’s wolf form was huge. Easily over 150 pounds of pure muscle and like his human form, looking a bit underfed. And like his human form, he still had the arc reactor buried in his chest. Finally Tony seemed to have had enough and stood up, moving out of range and Steve didn’t grab at him or move quickly at all. The transition from wolf to man was swift and as mysterious as it had been in the other direction.
“You are good at that, Cap. Thank you.” Tony said quietly as he stared at him. His hair was mussed and he had a glassy look to his eyes as if he was slightly drunk. Since Steve hadn’t smelled any alcohol on his breath before, it had to have come from the petting.
“You’re welcome. Can I ask, what kind of wolf are you?” Steve requested as he stood up from his crouch.
Eyes alight with laughter and good humor, Tony said, “Oh, I am a dire wolf. Biggest of the wolf species. And the baddest.”
Nodding, Steve could only agree. His reading had supported that. “Now what?”
“Now?” Tony asked, cocking his head to the side. “Nothing changes. Well. I might just come down here for some petting, but yeah, nothing changes. At least…. Not right away.” Steve had no idea what the Were meant by that until he pushed forward into his space, herding him into a wall. “If you don’t want this, better say no.”
The kiss that Tony laid on him was like no other he had ever had. He had been kissed by a lot of dames on those old USO tours, but none of them had ever kissed him like this. Hot, deep and confident, the lips on his were enough to short out his brain and he could feel himself getting hard as could be in his pants. The answering hardness that he felt from Tony caused his hips to buck and he moaned. It had been a long time since he had felt this with anyone and never, ever like this.
Tony slowly pulled away, placing soothing kisses along his jaw and he just panted. From the pressure of the other mans hips against his, he was just as turned on and Steve wondered where they were going next. When Tony’s lips left his skin, he leaned forward, pressing his forehead against the others. “Now what? Because if you say that this is a onetime thing, I will do something painful to you.”
The amusement was still shining in Tony’s eyes with an added dose of lust that Steve could almost smell. “Oh, I have no intention of letting this be a onetime thing. I plan to kiss you. A lot. But I want to take this a bit slower than what happened with Pepper. And that means that all you are going to get for a while is kisses.”
Steve tried not to moan in frustration. Tony was a hell of a kisser and he was horny as hell now. And the other man wanted to wait? “To use a Clint term that I heard him throw at Phil…. You are being a cock tease, Tony!”
Mouth open in shock as he listened, Tony stared. “Holy shit. Uhm… Yes. But I don’t want to screw this up!”
“Uh-huh, I can see that.” Steve said softly as he realized the other man was sincere. The dissolution of his relationship to Pepper had been painful for everyone to watch and he didn’t really blame Tony for wanting to take the time to make sure that this one was going to go right. “Better get out of here before I don’t let you go.”
Tony pressed another brain-melting kiss on him and then pulled away, out of his arms. “Right. Going to go before I forget that I am trying to be a bit more mature and all that.” He agreed and started for the door. Before he opened it, Tony turned around and looked back at Steve, “I am glad that you went looking, Steve. Don’t think that I am not.”
Steve shrugged and nodded, “I figured you were fine with it when you changed. The kissing thing was just an added bonus that I didn’t expect at all.” Licking his lips lightly, he caught the flavor of Tony on his lips and stared at his… Boyfriend?
Tony’s eyes followed his tongue as it licked his lips and he spun quickly to face the door. “Right. I am leaving now! See you dinner!”
Steve watched the other man walk away and tried to will his hard on to go down. It wasn’t working and he moved to the door to shut it. Just as he latched the door, he heard Tony mutter, “You walked away from Rogers? After kissing him? Geeze I am such a masochist today!”
Giggling softly in relief that it wasn’t just him being frustrated, Steve headed towards his shower. He wanted to take care of his hard on before dinner. There was no way that he was going to give Clint any reason to tease him on that tonight. Well. Not until he and Tony agreed at least.