Even Heroes Can't Always be Strong
Tony Stark x Reader
Warnings: 18+ | mild depictions of blood/wounds | comfort/fluff | handjob | mild references to emotional/mental trauma | slight praise/reassurance
Word Count: 3k
Everyone knows him, everyone loves him. Always one of the strong, always the most confident. He could be getting his ass kicked or falling out of the sky and he'll always carry on like nothing ever happened with a cheering crowd behind him. Would they still do so if they had to look closer? If they had to look behind all that metal? At that frowning split lip and exhausted red eyes? Calloused hands and bruised knuckles? And when that adrenaline was gone, and he was collapsing onto the nearest surface, would they still be so trusting in his ability to protect them? Or still be swooning over that confident smirk?
What if they saw him trudging down the hall right now? Treading through the dark at three in the morning, but he knew where he was going. With his hand on the beige wall for leverage and taking unsteady steps. The door to the master bedroom is already open, but he grips the doorknob anyway. Somehow, you always hear him coming. Somehow managing to make eye contact with his hunched silhouette, and he looks down to avoid a gaze that he's not even sure actually sees him. With no questions asked, you get to work.
Your hands found his arms, guiding him to the connected bathroom behind you with a gentle grip. The grip on your forearms weren't quite as gentle, however, loosening and tightening every few steps and causing you to look back up at him every time it did. He held his head high, but it was only so he could avoid your gaze, staring blankly ahead.
Tony stiffly propped himself on the counter as soon as it was within reach. You took the opportunity to scurry over the tub to twist the faucet on, the heavy silence now filled with running water. You couldn't say you were surprised to see him struggling to undress when you turned around. He was always too headstrong for his own good. You sighed, hurrying back again to try and help. There were only a few bruises under that black long-sleeve, but the grimace when you removed it said otherwise.
You expertly worked at undoing his jeans, sliding them down his hips and catching his boxers on the way down. He must have kicked his shoes off at some door or another. It made your life just a little easier when all you had to do was catch your fingers on his socks when he compliantly lifted each leg for you, stripping him down in one sweep. He stared into the mirror, eyes following your reflection as you gathered his clothes into a corner to deal with later, and watching as you walked back over to the tub to check the water. He glanced down at the hand holding him up against the countertop when you turned to walk back. The red splotches and smears weren't as nice to look at, though. Your hand snuck its way into his anyway. You guided him around again even though he didn't grip your hand back. This time his head was down, still avoiding your eyes but holding interest in the hand around his. But it's progress because he feels a little more grounded seeing it and feeling it.
"Here." Your voice almost startles him. He heard it this morning, but somehow it feels like the softest thing he's heard in days. He finally holds onto you as he steps in, hardly sure why he's here but always following you anyway. You press your hands to his back and shoulders as he slowly bends down with a sore grunt.
"There you go," you whisper, holding the back of his head off the tub's edge to let him get situated first. You patiently watched him shimmy and stretch, back and hips flinching a few times before settling with a faded grimace. You carefully let his head drop back before leaving his side to grab a few towels
His eyes stayed glued to the ceiling even when you settled on the tile next to him. Even when he felt your fingers in his hair and you were lifting his head up again. If he couldn't see you, maybe you wouldn't be able to see him. At least, he didn't have to accept it if he didn't acknowledge it. It made you realize you hadn't gotten a good chance to look at him. Deep bruising trailed a fresh cut on his cheekbone, blood caked in his hairline from a gash on his temple. His nose was still cute even with the short scratch across its bridge, and his lips were still soft with the bleeding split in the corner. You'd seen him like this too many times to count, and yet no matter how many times you patch him up, the sight is as pitiful as the last. Though, you'd never tell him that.
He hissed at the unexpected damp cloth on his lip. You shushed him with lips on the side of his nose, mumbling a sorry before drawing back. You gave him a few seconds to brace himself before patting at the smear of red that looked like he'd already wiped at it sometime earlier. His eyes shut when you dabbed at his nose, scrunching it up with an obvious frown. Unfortunately he didn't see your apologetic smile. It was always a fight to disinfect those hot spots and trying to clean any of that blood while also avoiding those deep bruises. The grip on your wrist let you know when to slow down as you worked.
Will you stop rooting for him after the next time? Would you get tired of seeing those split knuckles and bruised eyes? Does your trust in him fade each time he squirms at the sting of disinfectant? He knows the answer to these are 'no'. Because no matter how many pieces he's lost, you pick them back up. He hates that you have to do that. That you don't get to see the strong hero that everyone else does. You have to see what he hides, what he struggles with, how he looks after everything that's happened.
Hey. It's like a soft scratch on his brain, repeated. He sharply breathes in when fingers are on his jaw. "Hey," you say a little louder, turning him to look up at you. Those dark-hued eyes connect with yours for the first time since he returned, wide and alert. This time, he gets to see your apologetic half-smile. "Where's that mind at?"
You weren't going to force him to talk, but you knew better than keep letting him wander away so freely. Especially when you could see the distress working behind those tired eyes, but all he needed was a little push from you to bring him back. A tired smile spread across his lips, twitching with the sting in the corner.
"Right here with you," he says as smoothly as he can with the hoarseness in his voice. You couldn't hold back a grin. You withdrew your hand from his face to go back to cleaning the red smear on the back of his hand, a peculiar case as his knuckles were only slightly bruised this time. He hadn't even realized.
"I know that's not true," you whisper in response, almost playfully. You were unsure if you'd even get an answer. You reached to check his other hand, which he gladly pulled from the water for you. It seemed most of the damage wasn't on the outside today, but whether that was better or worse was up for debate. You knew that was how he preferred it, though. The less you know, the better. Yes, you knew all about it. He couldn't hide what went on in that head for very long, but even after countless discussions and honeyed words, it still crept in on nights like this. You got up to throw that now bloodied washcloth in the same corner as his clothes, and stepped into the shower to grab a few things.
His head was laid back again when you returned, eyes closed, and smile already gone. You kneeled behind him, setting the bottles you collected on the floor. He let you pick his head back up, but groaned in disapproval when he realized he had to hold it up himself.
"I know, just give me a minute," you try to soothe him, wetting his hair with the cup you brought over. The scent of your shampoo filled his surroundings, as soft and comforting as your delicate fingers threading through his hair. He practically went limp in your hands. You noticed the upturn of his brow when you brought his head back, usually accompanied by puppy eyes and a whine when he was pleading at you for something. You could relax more knowing that he was in a better headspace. You worked at the line of dried blood near his temple, getting what you could onto a towel instead of washing it away into the water. But the hardest part was avoiding getting anything into the nearby gash, probably still stinging from your earlier irritation. You continued in silence, fighting him to sit up more so you could properly wash out the soap and continue.
With his head resting on the edge again, you reached over his shoulders to wash your hands off in the water. Another hand grabbed gently grabbed your arm, sliding up in search of your hand. Fingers curled around yours and brought them to his chest. His eyes were still closed, expression still meek. You circled your other arm across the front of his shoulders, letting him be for a while except to place soft kisses on his uninjured cheek. You finally felt another smile, small and short, when you made your way to the unsplit corner of his mouth.
As much as you hated to make him leave the soreness-soothing heat of the deep water, you could help him wash off better in the shower. That heavy sigh didn't agree.
"Just one more time, okay?" You mumbled a promise into his wet hair. Tony let you go, his grip finding either edge of the bathtub and starting to lift himself. You stood up first, keeping your arm around his chest and attempting to support him with a hand on his back. You could feel the tightness in his muscles, but he seemed to be moving around a little easier now. Water dripped and puddled on the pale tile, and you made sure to hold onto him to avoid any accidents. He gladly sat on the big tiled shelf in the shower, watching you with innocent interest when you pulled at your clothes, matching his nudity.
You turned the shower head to the side to let the water heat up first to avoid splashing you both with the cold. With the bottle of your usual soap in hand, you squeezed out a generous amount into another damp washcloth, this one free of blood. You ran it under the now warm water before taking the shower head in your hand, bringing it with you to a shivering Tony.
You slid in next to him, awkwardly getting a drawn-up leg behind him and your chest pressed to one side of his back. He rested his head back again, this time on your shoulder. You smiled as he relaxed into you, starting across his shoulders and down his arms with one hand, holding the falling water with your other. You always felt weird about getting that certain centerpiece wet, but you watched soap drip harmlessly down it for another countless time.
You put the cloth to the side when you had mostly finished, focused on going back over to make sure you got any leftover suds. You massaged at one of his shoulders as you brought the water closer to his chest, earning a short groan that rumbled from his throat. Your smile was only a tad smug, moving towards his neck and circling your thumb in those tight areas. His back arched a few times with both discomfort and relief. You switched hands to work at his other, pecking at his tight jaw as you did and working more moans from him. You squeezed down to his hard bicep. He momentarily flexed at your touch, turning into your neck with a strangled grunt. Again, you switched to his other side, just as hard as his other and flinching at your caress.
"You were so strong today," you said lowly into his ear. He gulped. He gripped the edge of the shelf you were seated on, abs twitching under your trailing palm. You continued. "And always so brave."
His hips twitched when you brushed further, palming down the side of his thigh before trailing your fingertips along the inside.
"And still my handsome Tony."
You flattened your fingers together, firmly brushing along the top of his cock. He squirmed, pushing against you with a whine that was muffled into your neck. You teased the tip with your finger, circling over his slit. You gently palmed up and down his growing length, still pausing to spread those beads of precum around and repeating the process. The water falling down his chest made it easy to glide your fingers up and down when you finally wrapped around him.
You slowly stroked from base to tip a few times, feeling him throb in your hand and warm breath fan down your pulse. You gave extra attention to the inches right under his head, speeding up before twisting back down his shaft. He weakly bucked his hips a few times. You stopped, letting him fuck himself in your hand a few times before meeting his shallow thrusts. There was another breathy moan against your neck.
Tony's hips staggered and stopped, still raised in a silent beg. Your pace quickened, feeling him get impossibly harder the closer he got. With one final stroke up his base, his hips twitched again, accompanied by a hot spurt of cum landing on his abs. He rolled from your neck with a whimperish moan, eyes shut and brow in that pleading expression from earlier. You shushed him again, pressing your lips to the cleaned gash on his nose and gently jerking his tip as he finished. You slowly stroked him a few more times, only letting him go when he squirmed. You grabbed the nearby washcloth from earlier, wiping at the streaks of white on his stomach and getting him cleaned up again.
You maneuvered yourself off the ledge, keeping a hand on the back of his head again and encouraging him to sit against the wall with a hand pressed to his chest. You turned the water off and placed the shower head back in its spot on the wall. You hurried to grab a towel from under the sink, drying yourself off first before grabbing another. When you stepped back in, there was an almost hurt look in eyes, upset that your sudden departure took so long. You smiled down at him, carefully throwing the towel over his head and trying to avoid the cuts so close to the curls that hung over his forehead. You quickly worked down his arms and chest, rushing to get him back in bed before that chill set in again.
You threw the towel outside the door when you figured you'd done a decent enough job, using your foot to drag it around and collect any puddles that you'd made. You waltzed back over, your hands out and palms up in front of him. He looked up at you. He didn't say it, but you could hear that "but you said only one more time" loud and clear. He complied after a few seconds, sliding his calloused hands into yours. He couldn't stay here forever, after all. You helped him up, pulling a hand to his waist just in case as you walked him to the bed.
You eased him onto the mattress, not bothering to fool with any clothes (he hardly wore anything to bed anyway). You stayed by his side with a hand on his shoulder as he got under the covers, just in case. He grunted in soreness again as he did so, getting situated before slowly laying back. He seemed to sigh in relief when he did, back arching with tightness at finally getting to do that seemingly unfamiliar laying down. You ran your fingers through his hair, fixing a few of those loose strands. He looked up at you again, tired, but eyes shining with an affectionate gratefulness. Combined with that scraped nose and scratched lip, you couldn't help but give in to the squeeze on your heart. His eyes closed again when you bent down, barely kissing you back when you pressed to his lips, nose scrunching again when you carefully pecked up to his brow.
He looked up expectantly when you pulled back. You caressed under his jaw, finding it hard to keep your hands off of him, but ultimately backed away to fetch a bottle of water to keep at his bedside.
He still watched you expectantly, not willing to rest until you were crawling under the covers with him. You curled next to him, sharing his pillow and bringing him into your chest. He cuddled into you, hand on your arm when you brought it over his neck to play with his hair. You gave him another kiss on the top of his head, and scratched at the soft hairs on the back of his neck. He relaxed into you within seconds, breathing slowing. You smiled into his hair.
"I'll see you when you wake up, okay?" You didn't get an answer, but you were sure he heard you. His reminder of why he came home like this at all, and why he didn't have to be afraid to hide it from you.
Okay here's a thought I had recently. Reader and Namor are at a Tony Stark and the reader is drunk. The reader, is playing truth or dare with the Avengers and somehow a stripper pole comes out of nowhere and the reader is dared to dance on it. The reader is on the pole making her ancestors proud and Namor is sporting a stiffie. He didn't know she was that flexible. It can be a NSFW if you'd like.
Author's Note: I've never written for any Marvel character except Namor (late, I know). I just wrote my own interpretation of Drunk!Avengers. I made the reader a cosmic empath to raise the stakes a bit. Enjoy!
Parties at Tony Stark's home were legendary. Heroes, Villains, and Antiheroes put their differences aside to indulge in free booze & gourmet food. You were a regular at these parties, so you managed to make friends with The Avengers. A crush on the gorgeous feathered god, Namor, was forming. You already had him figured out, but you wanted to tease him a bit.
"Truth or dare, my fair maiden." Thor mused.
"Hmm, dare. I like a challenge." You slurred, nursing your 7th drink. You glanced at Namor & gave him a silly wink. He held in a laugh.
"Dance for us. There's a stripper pole in here." Natasha butted in, earning childish oohs from everyone else. You saw Namor tense up in the corner of your eye. He took a sip of his drink to dampen any anxiety he had.
"I don't see any pole..." You quipped.
With the click of a button, you saw a golden stripper pole descend from the ceiling.
"Can I have some music?" You said, standing up & taking off your jacket to reveal a beautiful catsuit. Natasha selected a sultry rock song for your performance. You thought Namor's eyes were about to fall out of his head. You purposely brushed passed him to rile him up.
You began twirling around the pole elegantly. As the song reached its climax, your dances got wilder. You felt your inhibitions melt away. Your flexibility was superhuman. Everyone was in absolute awe, especially Namor. He'd seen you fight before, but seeing you pole dance was unfamiliar territory. He felt as if he could pass out.
A familiar discomfort crept into Namor's lower half. Knowing he was aroused, you made occasional eye contact with him. He made the not-so-sly move of putting a pillow over his lap. Finishing up your dance, you curtsied and enjoyed the applause of your teammates. You then walked to Namor and hugged him from behind.
"I can do that without clothes too." You whispered into his ear.