by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

Author's Notes: Written for megalotro as a get well triple-drabble.

Tony was disoriented for a moment after waking. The warmth of the sun was coming from the wrong direction. The weight of the bedding felt wrong. Then he remembered:

The Conspiracy.

Pepper had been trying to ensnare him in her scheme for years, but he'd always outwitted her. Just as in past attempts, she'd recruited Rhodey, Jarvis, all of Tony's department heads, and half his board of directors to help her with her plan, but Tony was convinced that he'd have gotten past all of them, if not for the collaborator she'd recruited from Tony's camp. With his help, Pepper had won.

For the first time in years, Tony Stark was on vacation.

He sat up in the hotel suite's large, comfortable bed and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. A warm breeze brought the scent of coffee wafting towards him and Tony squinted into the sunlight. Leaving the bed, Tony padded out onto the room's balcony and slid into one of the pretty wrought iron chairs. Across the small table, laden with a continental breakfast and a pot of coffee, Steve smiled and put down his newspaper. Tony ignored him.

"Are you talking to me yet?" Steve asked.

Tony poured himself a cup of coffee.

"It's going to be a pretty boring vacation if you give me the silent treatment the whole time."

It would be, too. Steve had confiscated the files Tony had managed to sneak past Pepper. He'd even mailed them back to SE. "What'd she offer you for your cooperation?" Tony asked darkly.

Steve composed his face into a shamed expression. "The one thing I couldn't resist," he confessed. "A week, completely uninterrupted, with my lover." He broke into a grin.

Tony his his smile in his coffee cup and slid his bare foot across the warm stone of the balcony to brush against Steve's.