Diplomatic Relations

by Nix
(crimsonquills AT gmail DOT com)

Author's Notes: Thanks to truthiness_aura and ymfaery for beta reading for me!

When Steve opened the door and came into Tony's gleaming, polished silver cell, his expression was, if anything, embarrassed. Tony wasn't sure what Steve had to be embarrassed about; he wasn't the one who'd been sentenced to death over what was supposed to be a polite compliment. How was Tony supposed to know that complimenting a married Moltraxian was considered an indication that he doubted their honor? He'd never even heard of the Moltraxians before the Guardians of the Galaxy requested him and Steve for this mission.

The pre-mission briefing had covered the (apparently standard) topics in What To Expect From An Alien Race: what they looked like (thick leathery skin in shades ranging from white gold to coppery, bilateral symmetry, two pairs of arms, and faces like ferrets with big eyes), how they communicated (squeaks...nearly supersonic squeaks, which meant their voices were high and thin when speaking English), a general cultural outline (clearly, too general), a general political outline (as if there was any point in outlining politics), and a detailed outline of their impact on local interstellar relations. No one had mentioned potentially fatal etiquette.

Tony was going to recommend an addition to the standard briefing: The ten mistakes most likely to get you executed and how to avoid them.

"Remind me never to agree to do a favor for the Guardians ever again," Tony said wryly. "How are the negotiations going?"

Steve hesitated. "We, um, may have a solution?"

Tony brightened and pushed himself up off of the narrow ledge. "That's great!" But Steve still looked embarrassed. "Isn't it?"

"That...kind of depends on you," Steve said.

"Steve, whatever you had to tell them, I promise I value my life enough to play along." Tony smiled and put a reassuring hand on Steve's arm, which made Steve blush, for some reason. "What did you tell them?"

Steve took a deep breath. "I told them that you and I are engaged to be married."

Tony blinked.

Steve pushed onward quickly. "I tried to tell them that you meant no insult, that in our culture a compliment is just a compliment and that there doesn't have to be intent to follow up attached to it, but they just didn't seem to understand that, so I told them that you would never put our honor in question by making such an offer, and I meant Earth and the Avengers and the Guardians when I said 'our', only they seem to have assumed I meant 'our' as in you and me, personally, and in their culture the only people who have communal honor are married couples, but when I told them that we weren't married they stiffened up again and I realized that they'd started to relax, and you were under a death sentence, so I told them that we were promised to each other."

"Steve!" Tony interrupted. "Breathe."

Steve stopped and sucked in a deep breath and let it out slowly.

"So the death sentence is lifted?" Tony prompted.

"Almost." Steve was looking embarrassed again. "They're willing to accept that this was all a misunderstanding, but they want to be absolutely certain that no insult was intended, and since I told them that there could be no insult because you and I are engaged, they want to be sure that the engagement is real."

Tony frowned. "How are we supposed to prove that?"

Steve went beet red. "They, um, apparently they have extremely strict social and sexual rules--well, you know that--and they say that if we, ah, have sex before witnesses, they'll affirm the engagement."

"They want us to have sex," Tony said slowly.

Steve nodded.

"While they watch."

Steve nodded again.

Tony examined him for a moment. "And you're willing to do this?"

"Tony, it's your life," Steve said, all traces of embarrassment vanishing. "Of course I am. And," Steve lowered his voice a bit, "it's not as though it would be a hardship. You're one of my best friends, and you're very attractive, and gossip that some people can't seem to resist repeating whether I like it or not has it that you're, um, very good in bed."

Tony stared at Steve and wondered if he looked like he'd been smacked upside the head, because he felt like had been.

Then Steve dropped his gaze to the floor. "I don't want you to feel like you're being forced into this, Tony, but I don't know what else--"

"Steve," Tony interrupted. He realized he still had a hand on Steve's bicep and gave it a reassuring squeeze. "It's okay."

Steve looked up at him sheepishly. "Yeah? I'm sorry, the conversation just seemed to get away from me..."

Tony smiled. "Hey, I'm the one who got us into this mess. I'm just glad you found a way out. And--" Tony hesitated. He didn't want things to be awkward between them. But Steve had already put himself out there, so Tony jumped in. "It's not like I haven't thought about it. A few times."

Steve swallowed. "You have?"

Glancing at Steve through his eyelashes, Tony let the curve of his smile deepen. "Okay...more than a few."

Pink colored Steve's cheeks. "So you'll do it?" he asked hopefully.

Tony suppressed a shiver. "Yes. When do we do this?"

"Now. Unless you need a little time."

"Now is fine," Tony said, wondering at the steady sound of his voice. He let his hand slip from Steve's arm, but Steve caught it as it fell and twined their fingers together.

"Let's go," Steve said, and led him to the door of the cell. He knocked briefly and one of the guards swung the door open for them. When they left the cell and headed down the hall, the guards followed, one on either side of them, forming an escort.

The guards guided them with nods and the occasional pointed finger through the halls and into a particular room. Inside was a large, oval shaped depression in the floor, surrounded by a seamless bench. It was lined with something that shimmered gold. The guards directed the two of them to undress and climb over the bench and down into the depression, where they sat. The gold lining was soft and forgiving. Once he was seated, Tony spotted a tube with unfamiliar lettering placed discreetly to one side. He looked at it, then at Steve, then blankly off into space for a moment. Eventually Tony's eyes slid back to Steve.

They waited, alternately unable to look at each other and unable to stop. Tony felt like he was shaking inside, though he managed to suppress any visible shivers. He could feel his heart rate speeding up every time he glanced at Steve and his broad chest and his powerful thighs and the thatch of dark blonde hair that Tony knew he shouldn't be looking at, except that maybe he should now, and he couldn't stop himself.

He'd seen Steve naked before, but Tony didn't think that he'd ever really looked. He'd never let himself. But now...now... God, it was a good thing he'd held back before, because he could feel himself hardening just looking at the strong lines of Steve's limbs and the dark peaks of his nipples and the thick, slowly rising length of his cock and oh God, Steve was getting hard.

Tony's eyes snapped up to Steve's face, startled, and found him slightly flushed, the blue of his eyes visibly darker. "Steve--" Tony began, but then the door swung open and Moltraxians started filing into the room. Fifteen of them altogether entered and took up places on the benches. They said nothing, made no gestures, gave no signals. After a long, uncomfortable moment, Tony looked back at Steve.

"Tony," Steve said softly, and offered his hand, palm up, as if he was asking for a dance.

Reaching out, Tony put his hand in Steve's and let Steve draw him up onto his knees. Steve was still seated, which meant that Tony was looking down at him. They paused for a long moment, the air seeming to tremble between them, and then Steve placed his free hand on the back of Tony's neck and drew him into a slow kiss.

Tony closed his eyes, all his concentration going to the softness of Steve's mouth on his and the wet touch of his tongue and the breaths that seemed to flow between them unbroken. This didn't feel fake. It didn't feel like a performance. But it is, Tony reminded himself.

Except...Steve was still holding his hand.

As much as Tony enjoyed the pressure of Steve's mouth and the way he drew Tony's tongue between his lips and, God, sucked, as good as that was, it was the broad, steady grip of Steve's hand that he focused on. He held on while they kissed, while he nibbled on Steve's lip, while Steve gasped against his mouth, while Steve's hand moved down from Tony's neck to stroke down the line of his back, settling in the hollow just above his ass, fingers spread, hot and solid.

Tony leaned his forehead against Steve's, his gaze on Steve's lips rather than on his eyes. "Steve..."

Steve lifted their joined hands and drew back from Tony just enough to place a slow, deliberate kiss on the back of Tony's hand before letting it go. Tony swallowed heavily and managed to meet Steve's eyes before reaching out for him, drawing Steve against his body with both hands, and kissing him again as he let himself fall backwards onto the soft golden fabric.

Steve followed him down, the muscular weight of his body pressing Tony firmly down into their nest. Tony wrapped his arms around Steve and hooked one leg around him for good measure. "I'm not going anywhere," Steve whispered into the kiss, their mouths hardly parting.

Tony didn't say anything, just kissed him again. Steve was here now, this was real now, and for once Tony was going to live in the moment and not think about the future. He moved his hands to the tight, firm muscles of Steve's ass and cupped it in his hands, encouraging Steve to move against him. Steve caught his breath and groaned in a way that made Tony's heart leap and his blood run hot.

"You feel so good," Steve said breathlessly, which made Tony laugh because the hot, thick length of Steve's cock was pressed into the soft skin of Tony's belly and he was having a hard time imagining anything could feel better.

"Look who's talking," Tony muttered, when he could, and turned his head to lick and suck at the line of Steve's throat. He could feel the vibrations under his lips when Steve groaned.

Steve's breath was coming in gasps. "Good, that's good." He shifted his weight, his legs splaying wide across Tony's thighs. Tony squirmed a bit and suddenly instead of being trapped pleasantly against Steve's unyielding thigh, Tony's cock pushed past the weight of Steve's balls and rubbed over the sensitive, delicate skin of his perineum. "Tony!" Steve's voice was tight and urgent, and for a minute Tony froze; had he pushed too far? They weren't actually--

Then Steve's eyes captured his. "Do that again," he said, intently.

Tony didn't even try to look away from Steve's eyes. Slowly, deliberately, he rolled his hips, rubbing the shaft of his cock against Steve's balls and nudging the head, slick with pre-come, over that patch of skin and further, just teasing the rim of Steve's hole. "Ahhh!" Steve gasped, eyes sliding shut. He pushed himself up a bit, away from Tony--no, not away from Tony, just into a better angle to rub against Tony's cock.

Eyes fixed hungrily on Steve's face, Tony squeezed and kneaded the cheeks of Steve's ass as they found a rhythm. Steve kept biting and licking his lips as they moved and every flash of glistening pink tongue between swollen lips sent a new pulse of heat and arousal through Tony. "You have no idea how you look right now," Tony said desperately. Steve opened his eyes and Tony almost moaned at his expression. "The way you're looking at me." Tony could hear the wildness in his voice but any kind of calm skittered out of his grasp. "Your mouth... I want your mouth--" and Tony wasn't even sure what he meant, but it didn't matter, Steve decided for him, leaning back down to kiss him softly but deeply. Tony made an involuntary noise and kissed back, following Steve as he pulled away to suck for a moment on his lower lip.

"We need something slick," Steve said hoarsely.

Tony couldn't help a small, breathy laugh. "I didn't exactly come prepared for this." Then he remembered the tube. He hesitated, then reached out for it, unable to stop himself from blushing a little as he remembered that they weren't exactly the only players here. "I'm...just going to assume this is safe for us to use," Tony said, determinedly keeping his gaze fixed on Steve, who had gone a little pink himself. No one said anything. "Okay, then."

The lube was more than slippery enough, and it seemed to grow warmer as he spread it over his fingers. Steve's eyes drifted down to follow the motions of Tony's hands and he...God, if it hadn't been Steve, Tony would have said that he squirmed impatiently. All thoughts of any other observers were quickly banished by Steve's eager gaze. Tony reached around behind him and brushed his fingers over his opening. Steve's eyes slid shut at the touch and he sighed softly; Tony could feel him flex under his fingers.

Staring up at Steve sitting astride his thighs, Tony wondered if he was ever going to get his breath back. Steve was broad and solid and strong above him and the slightest touch of Tony's fingers could make him gasp and tense, could make ripples of anticipation and pleasure cross his face. Tony slowly pushed one finger into the heat of his body and almost moaned at the sudden tightness on Steve's face, the way his body rocked just a little bit, pressing into Tony's touch.

"Tell me how you feel," Tony demanded hoarsely.

"Good," Steve said, and then laughed and opened his eyes. The blue was bright, shining. "Stupid thing to say. Of course I feel good." He moaned and rocked his hips again, welcoming Tony's touch deep into his body. "You're touching me. I always feel good when you touch me. Even just a hand on my shoulder, it always feels good."

Staring up at Steve, it took Tony a moment to remember they weren't even close to finished yet. He caught his breath as he sank a second finger into Steve's body, and Steve shuddered and twisted his hips, making a sharp, tight sound of pleasure. "Yes," Steve gasped as Tony started plunging his fingers deeper into Steve.

The hot grip of him around Tony's fingers was so startlingly intense that Tony wondered, for a wild instant, if it was possible for him to come from finger fucking Steve. Neither of them had laid a hand on his cock, but Tony was achingly hard anyway, and he couldn't stand it anymore, he reached up and wrapped the hand that wasn't buried inside of Steve around his cock and cried out at the wave of pleasure that followed. It was so good, so good, touching Steve, touching himself...Tony moaned helplessly, eyes sliding shut.

"Not without me." Steve's voice was urgent.

Tony opened his eyes when Steve pulled himself free of his fingers. Then Steve covered Tony's hand on his cock with his own, wet and slick with lube, and Tony snapped his eyes shut again, struggling to hold onto his control. But he had to look when Steve pulled their hands away from Tony's cock, had to see Steve panting slightly as he slowly sank down, letting Tony pierce his body.

Suddenly Tony needed to be moving, to be doing this, not just letting it happen. He clamped his hands down on Steve's hips and bucked, driving himself deeper into Steve and rolling them over at the same time, and then Steve was on his back, knees pushed up and open and Tony's hips were snapping forward, his body slapping against Steve's. Steve wailed, actually wailed, and Tony couldn't stop pounding into him, couldn't resist the short little cries of ecstasy that escaped Steve every time Tony sank his cock into Steve's perfect, velvety heat.

He paused, once, to grind a little deeper into Steve, and Steve moaned, "Tony," with such rich desperation that Tony almost came right there.

But Tony couldn't stay still for long, not when he could use long, deep strokes to make Steve arch his back and fist his hands in the golden sheets, or short, sharp strokes to tear high pitched noises of enjoyment from him. Tony wanted to hear every sound Steve could possibly make. All too soon Steve's breath stopped for a moment and then he moaned and came, his whole body still as his cock pulsed heavily, splattering come over his belly.

Tony whimpered. He didn't want to stop, wasn't ready to stop, he wanted to be buried inside of Steve forever. He froze for a moment, torn.

"Don't stop," Steve said roughly, breath still a little too deep. "Don't come yet, but don't stop."

So he didn't, and there was a whole new host of noises to learn now. Deep, lazy, satiated noises that seemed to rumble up from the depths of Steve's chest. And there were languorous caresses to go with those noises, Steve's hands sliding over Tony's body, either soothing or a damned tease, Tony wasn't sure which.

Slowly, the timbre of Steve's murmurs changed and Tony realized, dazed, that Steve was getting hard again. Tony watched, tongue sliding out unconsciously to wet his lips, as Steve wrapped a hand around his awakening cock and stroked himself back to full arousal. Dragging his eyes back to Steve's, Tony found Steve smiling at him, confident and anticipatory. Tony moaned helplessly. "Steve," he gasped, struggling for control. "I can't... God, you feel so good around me."

Steve slid a hand up past Tony's shoulder and curved it around his neck, rubbing one thumb gently over the line of his jaw, just grazing the edge of Tony's lower lip, and Tony broke. It was too much, Steve under him, around him, moaning for him, and saturating all of it, Steve's tenderness. Such tenderness. Tony came hard, muscles rigid for a long, aching moment. He barely managed to lower himself down to lie, trembling, atop Steve afterwards. The space between them was slick and wet and smoothed Steve's movements as he rocked his cock against Tony's belly.

Tony eventually turned his head to find Steve's lips and drew him into a slow, messy kiss. Around them, cloth rustled as the Moltraxians rose and filed out of the room. "Tony?" Steve murmured against his mouth, hand pausing in its caresses against Tony's back.

"Don't stop," Tony breathed, arching his back to press into Steve's hovering touch.

"We're alone," Steve said quietly.

Tony met Steve's eyes. "Don't stop."

Steve flattened his hand against Tony's back, holding him close, and kissed him again.

Somehow the pressure of Steve's mouth on Tony's was made all the sweeter without the distracting urgency of his arousal. For a long time Tony let the kiss just be about their lips, pressure and the soft catch of skin on damp skin, gentle warmth and the tension of a lower lip caught and held, suckled gently. Then the hotter, firmer touch of Steve's tongue pressed into Tony's mouth and he moaned and the kiss turned into a dance of tongue on tongue and flickering touches to the sensitive skin of palate and cheek.

Strong hands gripped Tony's shoulders and rolled them over, Steve pressing Tony into the golden sheets now. Tony simply rolled with the movement, never letting go of the kiss, and allowed his legs to fall open for Steve to settle between them. Steve's weight pressed the hot length of his cock firmly into Tony's belly; the sensation sent a wave of satisfaction through Tony. Slowly, he drew his mouth away from Steve's and met his gaze. Tony licked his lips and watched Steve's eyes follow the motion. "You planning on doing something with this?" Tony asked, pressing up against Steve's cock.

"I'm planning on doing something with you," Steve said, his voice rough. He scooped up the tube of lube and squirted a puddle of it onto Tony's abs, right in there with the come and sweat, the puddle spilling over Tony's skin as he breathed and trickling down to slide over Steve's cock. Breath coming faster, Tony's eyes fell half shut as Steve ran his fingers through the mess, five points of sensation sliding over Tony's skin. It was all he could do not to hold his breath when Steve's touch left his belly. Soon. Soon.

And there it was, a firm, wet touch against his hole. Tony moaned softly and relaxed, allowing Steve to push a finger into his body. It was good, the pressure, but not enough, not with his body so relaxed from coming. "More."

Steve obliged and soon Tony was panting and squirming on his fingers, two of them twisting and plunging into his body, stroking him from the inside. "I think I love your hands," Tony panted, spreading his legs wider, hips bucking off the golden sheets as Steve just barely grazed his prostate, sending flickers of heat sparkling down his nerves.

There was a hint of laughter in Steve's voice when he spoke. "Is that all?"

"Trust me, I'd love your cock, too, if you'd do something with it," Tony shot back. He groaned in mingled pleasure and dismay as a third finger started working its way into him. His ass burned with the stretch but it was good, it was just more heat.

"You're not even hard," Steve said. He couldn't be too worried; his cock was smearing pre-come all over Tony's skin.

Tony laughed breathlessly. "I'm not going to be, either. That doesn't mean I'm not enjoying myself."

"Mmm." Steve sounded almost thoughtful. "There's something...appealing about the idea of having you while you're limp and relaxed, just lying there and letting me enjoy you."

Tony moaned and fisted his hands in the golden sheets. "Come on. Use me, come inside me, please."

"Hang on," Steve said tightly. "Hang on."

Tony clutched at the sheets and tried not to whimper as Steve lifted his legs and helped Tony wrap them around his waist. Locking his ankles together in the small of Steve's back, Tony bit his lip and waited and, yes, the blunt heat of Steve's cock against his hole tore a high, pleading noise from his throat. Steve groaned; Tony could feel his muscles flexing as he thrust and then there was a sharp flash of pain and God, Steve was big. Tony panted, holding still for a moment as he got used to the thickness of Steve stretching him open.

Steve started rocking his hips, tiny, incremental motions that worked him deeper into Tony's body. His hands were braced by Tony's shoulders and Tony could feel his arms trembling. Prying his eyes open, Tony looked up at Steve and let out a soft breath at the fierce concentration on his flushed, sweat damp face. "Beautiful," Tony murmured. He pushed toward Steve a little, helping him move further inside Tony and watched, transfixed, as Steve's face went a little slack with ecstasy. It was almost better than the fullness of having Steve's cock inside him.

Almost. Tony's eyes slid shut again as Steve's hips finally met his own, his cock completely sheathed in Tony's body. Fuck, he was thick, stretching Tony until he felt like he was being reshaped inside just to fit Steve. Tony moaned at the thought, clenching just a little, branding the shape of him into sense-memory, and Steve shuddered and thrust almost involuntarily against Tony, though he couldn't go any deeper.

"Tony," Steve gasped. "I need to move."

Tony squirmed a little, experimentally, and Steve made a choked noise. "I'm good," Tony said.

Steve's only response was to pull back, slowly, and just as Tony's body started to ease closed after him, he plunged back inside and forced him open again. Tony cried out, a shockwave of sensation rolling through him, but Steve didn't stop this time, didn't wait this time, just did it again, and again, and again, hips pounding into the curve of Tony's ass.

Tony sucked in deep breaths between shouts and hung onto the sheets, unable to do anything else, not when Steve was fucking him so damn good. Tony's skin was hot; he could feel sweat trickling down his sides, could feel droplets falling from Steve to splatter against his body as they moved together, Steve big and hard inside him, cock stroking the walls within Tony every time he withdrew, filling him up so sweet every time he thrust home.

"Tony," Steve moaned. "You're tight. So...damned...tight."

"You like filling me up?" Tony asked, low and rough. "I've never been stretched so good before. Never had anyone open me up like this." Steve's eyes fixed on Tony's, wide and wild, his rhythm never faltering. Tony licked his lips. "I like it," he went on. "Your cock forcing me wide, sliding inside and owning me--" Steve's hips snapped forward, slamming hard into Tony and he shouted again and twisted, stirring Steve inside him.

"You drive me crazy," Steve gasped out the words between thrusts. "Want to make you mine."

Tony whimpered, pulling Steve closer with his heels in Steve's back as if Steve could possibly fuck him any deeper. "Take me," Tony forced the words out. "Want to be full of you, hard and wet, your cock everywhere inside me."

Groaning, Steve threw his head back and buried himself in Tony and froze for a moment before he shuddered and finished, hot surges of come pulsing into Tony. Tony caught Steve when his elbows unlocked and eased him down onto Tony's chest, where he simply lay sprawled for a while. Slowly, Steve's cock softened and slipped from Tony's body, letting his ass spasm closed again. Tony sighed softly and ran his fingers through Steve's sweat soaked hair.

Steve eventually shifted off of Tony to lie beside him instead. Tony turned his head to meet Steve's eyes. "Hey," Tony said softly. "You okay?"

Steve's lips curved. "Shouldn't I be asking you that? I got a little...enthusiastic."

Tony chuckled. "You found it a little easier to cut loose without the prying eyes, I guess."

Steve's smile faltered. "This was...more than we needed to..."

"Yes." Tony laid his fingers on Steve's lips. "But it was more what we wanted, too."

The tension drained out of Steve's shoulders and he kissed Tony's fingers quickly before sitting up. "I don't know about you, but I'll be more comfortable when we're out of Moltraxian territory."

"I'm finding it a little hard to regret my poor etiquette right now," Tony said, stretching for a moment before climbing to his feet.

They found their clothes neatly folded on the edge of the depression in which they'd lain, along with several towels, some of them warm and damp. They cleaned up quickly and dressed before exiting the room. Outside, a pair of guards fell in on either side of them. Steve and Tony exchanged an uneasy glance.

But the guards simply escorted them to the spaceport, where a shuttle waited to take them back to their ship, currently in orbit. Tony let Steve usher him up the boarding ramp, but he paused at the top of it when he realized one of the Moltraxians had stopped Steve and was speaking to him. The words didn't carry, but Steve was growing increasingly bemused and red faced. Eventually he said something brief, nodded formally, and turned to head up the ramp...rather quickly.

"What was that about?" Tony asked as the shuttle sealed itself behind him.

Steve sat down behind the shuttle's controls, directing his attention rather intently to the controls. "The language was a little formal and indirect," he said, "but, uh, I'm pretty sure I just got soundly rebuked for, ah...neglecting my fiance so badly that he took such drastic measures to recapture my...attention."

Tony grinned. "Is that all? He was talking quite a bit."

Steve's ears went pink at the tips. "I, um, may have gotten a little advice on how to...keep you happy."

Reaching out, Tony laid a hand on Steve's arm. "Steve." He turned to meet Tony's eyes. "You make me very happy."

Steve smiled, the expression lighting up his face. "Let's go home."