Anonymous asked: can we get the opposite where tony gets to read steve's mind and all hell breaks loose because steve can't stop worshiping every tiny bit of tony down to his ridiculous eyelashes. I'm really just fishing for idiots being idiots tbh
Steve tries to smother the thoughts, but they keep bleeding through the link and making Tony twitch.
It’s mostly fine when Steve’s a few rooms away and he can concentrate on something else-sketching, beating punching bags to pulp- but when they’re in the same room Steve’s brain suddenly turns into a constant stream of Tony’s so smart and Tony’s so generous and the occasional jesus christ his ass-
Steve manages to cut those particular thoughts off quickly, most of the time. But Tony would kind of prefer dirty thoughts, because the alternative is Steve thinking the world of Tony anytime Tony does anything. Even when he’s sitting still on the couch, fingers moving over his tablet screen, Steve glances over at him and Tony’s mind is filled with a flush of borrowed affection, so heavy that it nearly knocks Tony over.
"Okay, what,” Tony snaps finally, setting his tablet down. “What is it? I am literally doing nothing. What could you possibly find endearing about this?”
Steve’s shoulders go stiff, and Tony catches a blur of shameworryembarrassment through the link.
"Sorry," Steve says, eyes vacant, and Tony tries to school his expression into something less hostile.
"It’s fine, I just- don’t get it." Tony goes back to his tablet, trying not to dwell in the backlash of emotions he can feel Steve feeling, none of them positive.
Tony doesn’t fucking get it.
It’s impossible to shield himself against Steve’s mind, so he’s forced to notice how Steve always reacts when he comes into a room, affection or dread or lust or something else, big and full and smacking Tony across the face whenever Steve notices he’s close.
Steve comes down to the workshop once while the link is up, and Tony has to make him leave because he can’t cope with the mix of adorationadmirationlustlustlust coming off of Steve in waves.
He walks into the kitchen and breakfast and walks out just as fast because Steve fucking lights up when he sees him and it floods through the link to Tony, overwhelming.
"Sorry," Steve says on the fifth day, with the smile he pulls out when he’s sad. Tony hates that stupid smile, wants to make sure Steve never has to force it again. "I know it’s- whatever you’ve been hearing, I’m sorry. I know the thoughts aren’t what you want to hear, I just can’t help it."
Tony shrugs, the movement tugging painfully on his new wound he got from flying into a building. “It’s fine, it’s kind of flattering.”
"Oh," Steve says, and Tony nearly tells him it’s not flattering at all, it’s confusing and Tony doesn’t know how to handle it and he wants it to stop almost as much as he wants to curl up inside Steve’s mind, which has more jagged edged than Tony ever suspected. Steve’s mind is a mess of big, smooth streamlines and smaller sharp, serrated things: bright and bold, all of it, except for the dark parts that skulk around the more hidden parts of his head.
Tony wants to wrap himself up inside of Steve’s mind, comforting and familiar and terrifying all at once- he wants to smother himself with proof of how much Steve cares about him, because he still can’t really believe someone likes him this much. He bites his tongue before any of this gets out, and Steve is doing the sad smile again. Damnit.
"I just wanted you to know I’m really very sorry you have to hear- all of it, I know it must make you uncomfortable," Steve says, knuckles white where he’s clenching his fists, eyes big and sad. "I’m trying to think about other things, I swear."
"Good," Steve says, nodding. He swallows. "Good."
Sorrysorrysorry, Steve’s mind stutters at Tony. Can’tcan’tcan’tstopsorrysorrycan’tstoploveyouloveyou-
Tony doesn’t know why he’s so surprised, he’s caught snatches of the same before Steve had started thinking desperately about baseball, or fighting techniques, which is what he’s doing right now, hoping Tony didn’t notice.
But Tony flinches, a small thing, and Steve’s thoughts dissolve into ohgodheheardohgodnoheisn’tgoingtowanttobearoundme-
Steve isn’t even trying his sad smile anymore, he’s just openly sad, miserable and embarrassed and accepting of Tony’s inevitable rejection, and Tony feels it all through the link and flinches again with the force of it.
"Shit, I’m sorry," Steve blurts, and starts to walk off. "I’m-"
He stops when Tony grabs him by the arm, and Tony yanks him back and presses his mouth to Steve’s and gets to listen in on every single one of Steve’s nerves going haywire, surprise and desperation and love, so much of it Tony can’t stop his hands from shaking as he pulls back.
Steve stares, lips parted, eyes wide. He’s hoping, Tony knows.
"You, too," Tony manages, nudging their noses together. "God, Steve- so much, it’s okay, it’s the same for me, too."
"Tony," Steve says, finally saying it how he’s been thinking it for years.
I saw a post whizz by on my dash about a Happy Tony Stark fest and while I am crap at formal fests, I thought “Happy Tony Stark” and immediately thought “post-orgy naptime” so here, have this. Pepper/Tony/Steve/Sam/Bucky/Thor/Bruce/Natasha/Clint and yet only rated PG-13, booyah.