circ_bamboo: (kirk_saltshaker)
[personal profile] circ_bamboo
Wow, so, uh, it's been a while. I'm not dead. I just . . . this time of year, I rarely seem to write much. Oh well. Have some random two-hour fluff.

Title: Another Kind of Prisoner’s Dilemma
Rating: T (language? I guess?)
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe (some time after Avengers, not IM3 compliant)
Pairing/Characters: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark, Natasha Romanoff, Pepper Potts, Jarvis
Summary: Tony and Steve wake up tied to a bed.
Word Count: 1550
Content Advisory: Nothing I can think of other than the inherent “tied to a bed” issue.
Notes: Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] adorb_eggplant for misreading a text and inspiring me, and thanks to [livejournal.com profile] feels_like_fire for beta-ing. :D

Steve woke up with a headache and sore shoulders, which was odd in and of itself--he rarely woke up feeling anything other than refreshed. Odder still was the fact that his shoulders were sore because his arms were stretched over his head, and oddest of all was that he couldn't think of anything that had happened that would give him a headache.

Well, okay, no, that probably wasn't the oddest part. The oddest part was either that he wasn't in his bed, or that he wasn't alone: he couldn't decide which. The fact that it was Tony Stark with him in the bed, well, that was the icing on the cake. He tried to move his arms, but he could only go about a foot in any direction, and he could see that Tony's wrists were also tied above his head, hooked into an eye bolt screwed to the headboard.

"Oh, God, how much did I drink," Tony groaned, and it wasn't really a question. "Wait--I quit doing that. Mostly. What the fuck happened."

"No idea," Steve said, even though it still wasn't a question. He looked over at Tony; the room was dark, but Tony's face was lit by the arc reactor.

"Huh," Tony said. "So I'm tied to the headboard of my bed and I'm hallucinating Captain America in bed with me. Okay. That's a new one. Seriously, though, Jarvis, what happened?"

"I'm not a hallucination," Steve said, but Tony shook his head quickly, as if to shake off water.

"Jarvis?" Tony said again, and Steve looked over at him again. "Hey, J, you there?"

"I am not allowed to confirm or deny," Jarvis's weirdly-echoing voice said.

"Um, that's weird. Run diagnostic 2-alpha-tau, voice confirmation Anthony Edward Fucking Stark."

Fucking? Steve raised an eyebrow.

"I am not allowed to run that diagnostic at the moment," Jarvis said.

"What? Oh, no, no, no--no one fucks with Jarvis." Tony struggled against the ties for a moment, fingers working against his wrists. "I can untie these. Really, I can."

"Bet you can't," Steve said. He'd been trying to figure the knots holding them, but they were complicated and ridiculously tight.

"Shut up, Hallucination Steve," Tony muttered. "I can too."

"I'm still not a hallucination, Tony," Steve said.

"Yes, you are," Tony said. "For one thing, Steve calls me 'Stark.'"

"And you call me 'Rogers,' or 'Cap,'" Steve retorted. He'd long since started thinking of Tony as 'Tony' in his head, and it was a little embarrassing to be caught in this fashion, but oh well.

Tony frowned, tilted his head to one side, and kicked Steve in the shin.

"Ow!" Steve said, although it hadn't really hurt.

"You are an awfully solid hallucination," Tony said. "I think I'll grant you preliminary non-hallucination status."

"Thanks."

There was a pause, and then Tony said, "So you're a super-soldier. Can you break the rope?"

Steve shook his head, and then realized that Tony probably wouldn't be able to see him very well. "Nope. It's the Hulk-proof rope." He'd figured that out by touch, once he thought about it.

"Foiled by my own invention," Tony said.

"I mean," Steve said with a quick test yank, "I could probably rip the eye bolt out, but--"

"Yeah, don't," Tony said, interrupting. "It's actually bolted straight into the wall, and so's the headboard. You'd wreck the wall, the bed would collapse, and I don't think we're quite there yet in terms of desperation." He sighed. "And you can't undo the knots?"

"No," Steve said, rubbing his fingers over them. "I think someone spit on the knots and then yanked them tight. They're almost dry, so they won't come undone any time soon."

"Oh, my God, there's spit on these knots?" Tony said, and twisted furiously for a moment. "That's hideously gross. Who did this, and why?"

"Ahhh, that's the sixty-four-million-dollar question, isn't it?" Natasha's voice came over the speakers, and both men jumped.

"Natasha," Tony hissed.

"And Pepper," Pepper said.

"Pepper Potts, you traitor."

"It's in your own best interests, Tony," Pepper said.

Tony rolled his eyes so hard that Steve could almost hear it and looked at a random spot in the corner, which was likely where the camera was. Steve tried not to think too hard about the cameras in Stark Tower, but the only thing he could find to distract himself at the moment was wondering why Pepper was helping. She and Tony had broken up a while ago; Tony had buried himself in his workshop for a week and came out smelling like Chinese take-out and greasy engineer. Everything had been fine since, but--

There was no 'but.' Steve shook his head, much like Tony had earlier, and tuned back into Tony's conversation with Natasha and Pepper.

". . . So you've locked down Jarvis but you promise he'll be okay, and we're stuck in here until what, exactly?" Tony asked.

"Until you two have a conversation about your feelings for each other," Natasha said.

"Wait, what?" Tony said.

"Excuse me?" Steve said.

"Gotta go, boys," Natasha said breezily. "Things to do, people to kill."

"Companies to run," Pepper added. "Bye!"

There was an ominous click, and the light level in the room raised to a little brighter than dusk. Steve wasn't a very good judge of light levels anymore, but Tony was focusing a little better on Steve's face when he looked over, so he supposed it was an improvement.

"Huh," Steve said.

Tony snorted, but was strangely silent otherwise.

A few minutes passed quietly; Tony was still testing the knots, but Steve had long since given up. He thought about what Pepper and Natasha had said--what would have to happen before one of them came to let him and Tony go--and frowned.

Your feelings--

That part made sense.

--for each other.

That part didn't. Well, it did, except it implied that they had feelings for each other. Steve was relatively certain how he felt about Tony, although he had never said a damn thing to anyone. Which either meant that Natasha and/or Pepper just knew--

--okay, yes, that was probably it.

But that meant--

"Tony?"

"Hm?"

"What do you think she meant, 'your feelings for each other'?"

Tony gave him a sidelong glance. "God, I itch."

"Oh," Steve said, nonplussed. "Can I help? I might be able to reach better than you can."

"No, not--it's metaphorical. I'm allergic to talking about feelings, and those evil women want me to talk about my feelings."

"So you have feelings."

"Of course I have feelings," Tony snapped. "I'm not a robot; I just play one on TV. No offense, Jarvis," he added.

"I am not allowed to confirm or deny that, sir," Jarvis said, and Tony made a rude gesture at the camera.

"But you have feelings about me," Steve said, feeling more confident about that by the moment.

"I'm feeling rather annoyed at you at the moment," Tony said, and looked hopefully at the camera. "Is that good enough? It's true. I promise." Nothing happened, and Tony sighed. "Ah well." He started, and then turned to Steve. "But wait." He snapped, although the gesture was somewhat lost as his hands were still somewhere near his head. "Based on what the evil women said, logic states that you also have feelings for me, and really, at some point we should quit pretending that we mean anything other than squishy romantic sexy feelings."

"Only one of us was pretending that, Tony," Steve said, feeling his face grow hot as he flushed. "And, for the record, I figured that out before you did."

Tony sighed. "In my defense," he said, and he was clearly trying to suppress a smile, "I was a little distracted by Pepper turning Jarvis against me."

"Well, all right," Steve said, and wriggled forward until he was nose-to-nose with Tony. "So, feelings?"

"Yeah," Tony said, shallow breaths speeding up.

"Squishy romantic sexy feelings?"

"With you tied to the bed like that, they're definitely sexy feelings," Tony said, grinning wickedly. He tried to lean forward, to close the gap between their lips, but Steve shifted back. "Okay, yes, and also squishy and romantic but really, I think we should concentrate on the sexy part--"

"Me too," Steve said, interrupting him. "All of it."

A click sounded, and something fell from a hole in the headboard; Steve caught it without looking, and it turned out to be a pocketknife, folded shut and in a leather sheath.

"Oh," Tony said. "That was it? Really?"

"Guess so," Steve said, opening the sheath carefully. "I'm not going to let you forget that you said that, by the way."

"That's fine," Tony said. "Well, maybe not fine so much as weird and frightening, but am I going to get laid any time soon?"

"I hope so," Steve said, unfolding the knife. "And that'll make it okay?"

"Well, obviously." Tony gave him a heated look, and then looked at the knife in his hands. "Oh, good, it is the diamond blade. You can undo my wrists."

"I could," Steve said, cutting the rope around his own wrists. He rubbed them briefly, although the rope was smooth enough that it hadn't chafed, and then looked at Tony with a grin. "But who says I'm going to?"
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