kathierif_fic: (fandom:avengers:cap)
[personal profile] kathierif_fic
Title: What's Left
by: kathierif_fic
Fandom: Avengers
Pairing: gen-ish
Characters: Tony Stark, Phil Coulson, Steve Rogers
Disclaimer: Not mine
Rating: FRT-13
Summary: Of course, Steve took Tony's claim (he can't be humiliated because he doesn't let anyone) not as fact, but as challenge.
A/Ns: for kink_bingo, prompt "humiliation (situational)".

Tony Stark is not a man who knows what it feels like to be humiliated, he's decided that at a very young age. He's too smart for it, too rich, and he was trained by the best to grow a thick skin and just brush off the attempts of other people to belittle him.

He is a genius. He is above everybody else.

Plus, in the areas where he could be humiliated, he still manages to put up a good front. If a woman throws her drink in his face - well, that hasn't happened in a very long time, and back then, Tony usually was too drunk to be humiliated by that.

The thing is, he is not easily intidmidated, or humiliated.

Trust Captain Tightpants to take that not as fact, but as challenge.

It's all Rogers' fault, anyways.

If not for him, Tony wouldn't be in his current situation.

He scowls and shifts, too aware of the thick leather around his wrists that keeps his hands cuffed together behind his back. They aren't actually cuffed together directly, there is a chain connecting the cuffs, to avoid putting too much stress on his body. He can cross his wrists behind his back if he wants, but he knows all tooo well that he can't hold that position for too long before the pain around the arc reactor grows into real discomfort.

Steve knows it too, and the goal of this exercise is apparently not to put Tony in a lot of pain.

As much as he hates this, he has to admit they took some consideration before they put him here. There is a thick pillow under his knees, and the gag between his teeth is carefully fastened, the leather straps not chafing and the whole thing not restricting his breathing, just taking away his ability to talk clearly.

He shifts again, impatient and angry, and a hand comes down on his head, patting him briefly as if he is a dog.

"Settle down," Coulson says, and, "Good boy."

Tony feels the burn deep in his chest, a thick, hard ball of hate and the prickly discomfort of being set up by someone, but he can't escape his situation and turn the game around on his tormentors the way he usually does.

He doesn't even know how Coulson got roped into this in the first place, but if he should guess, he'd say Captain America's puppy dog eyes had something to do with it.

He shifts again, just because he can and Coulson told him not to, grumbling and cursing around his gag, and when Coulson's hand comes down again, he jerks away hard enough to slam his head against the solid wood of the desk he's under.

It hurts his ego more than his already bruised skull, and the tone of his muffled curses grows sharper, more bitter.

"Careful," Coulson murmurs uselessly and gently cups the back of Tony's head. "You okay? Nod or shake your head."

Tony glares instead. Of course he is not okay, or he wouldn't be kneeling by the man's feet. Coulson chuckles and goes back to his paperwork, the hand at the back of Tony's head stroking absent-mindedly and rubbing strands of his hair between his fingers.

Tony hates it. He hates every second of this pose that's been forced onto him, he hates how he tenses everytime someone steps into Coulson's office with some urgent matter that only Coulson can resolve, hates how he tries to quiet his breathing and the beat of his heart even because Pepper would kill him if the press found out about this and the stocks take a hit again because of him, and Tony doesn't trust random SHIELD agents not to run straight ot the next paparazzi, and he hates most of all that he can't shut off his brain and he is forced into inactivity here with no distractions available to him.

This, he thinks, body vibrating with tension as Coulson calmly explains something to yet another junior agent, his heart in his throat and his breathing carefully shallow around the gag, this is torture.

The agent leaves, and Coulson's fingers are back in Tony's hair, his free hand rubbing soothing, warm circles into Tony's bare shoulders.

Tony hates it, hates it even more when his aching muscles relax a little under the touch, and he just wants this to end. He just wants to escape to his workshop and stay there, stay there and hide from his team, teh people who put him here, in this situation he can't escape from.

A small, treacherous part of his brain whispers that he is the one who is to blame, who agreed to this knowing exactly what was going to happen, that he has nobody else to blame and that he's here voluntarily, and that the thick, slick feeling he's trying to keep behind the thick wall of hate is, indeed, shame for what he did and humiliation for what he's forced to do now: burning, blushing humiliation that makes his stomach twist and churn.

He agreed to this, quickly and without hesitation when Steve suggested it.

God, he wants a drink. And some loud music, to drown out these feelings and unwanted thoughts. He'D even take a business meeting at this point.

His jaw is starting to ache.

He moves again, to relieve the pressure on the bruised part of his left knee, when suddenly, there is another knock on the door and Tony freezes, off-balance, his shoulder nudging up against Coulson's thigh.

If he had his hands free, he could easily and quietly move back into position, but he doesn't, and all that keeps him upright right now is Coulson's leg pressed against his cheek and shoulder.

If Coulson moves now, Tony will lose his balance and fall, and he will be found out.

Mortification burns bright through his veins at the thought. He barely dares to breathe, his skin is prickling uncomfortably, and blood is rushing loudly in his ears, loud enough for the others to hear, he fears, and too loud to listen in on the conversation going on above him.

Instead of retreating back to how much he hates it, Tony is caught by the fear of being caught, naked, handcuffed and gagged beneath Coulson's desk, the embarrassment of having to explain the situation to a stranger or, God, even worse, Pepper, especially when he's sober.

It takes an eternity for the agent to leave. Tony feels hot and cold and sick all over when the agent leans over the desk, when Coulson shifts slightly to sign something, endangering his precarious balance all over again, even if Tony has to admit that Coulson does his best to keep still and stable for Tony to lean against.

The sound that escapes him when the agent leaves is a shaky mix of a sigh and a sob.

Coulson wordlessly pulls him more comfortably against his thigh and holds him there, and five minutes later, Steve kneels down next to Tony and works the gag loose.

Tony almost blurts out how sorry he is, for leaving his position during the mission and almost not catching Natasha when she fell, but he already apologized and suffered through this embarrassing punishment, and he is not going to repeat himself. It's enough that he apologized once.

Steve tips a bottle of water and lets him take a few sips before releasing the cuffs and helping him back to his feet. Phil is there with clothes, and they murmur softly at him and their touch is...different.

Tony guesses he's forgiven, but he still plans to escape to his workshop as soon as he can. He has an idea to upgrade Natasha's Widow's Bite.

It's not an apology, not a punishment, but it's what he has left to give after going through both of these.
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