The first time it happens, it is with a sad, weary, needy man who crawls into your bed and tries to crawl under you, use you like a security blanket. Tries to wrap his arms around your neck and hide his face in your shoulder.

You had never been cuddled, not before and most definitely not after. It was like some unspoken, unwritten, but clearly stated taboo.

Then there is...Tony.

His distraught need to be needed, to be wanted for something not related to the wars of the world or money or work or for being a hero when he clearly states that he is not a hero, but a reasonable person with an idea that doing that specific heroic thing will help him out as much as you, is tangible. And messy and wet and noisy as he cries and hiccups in the darkness of your room at 3 AM, huddled in your bed for comfort.

His first kiss is a simple peck to your cheek in gratitude and thanks and a million other unsaid things. Your first kiss is a lot more. It is need and want and please stay so I can love you right now, forever, however long you will let me and that crush you though you had is a lot more than you had figured because you really mean that unspoken wish, that begging. He is wary, and you understand. You have this under control as long as he lets it be simple and slow and sweet instead of hard and fast and hot all over.

Of course, you get the signals mixed.

He isn't worried about the Big Guy, nothing to make him really afraid of Hulk. How, you're not sure, but forget it the moment he latches on to you lip and sucks on it, fiery tingles racing down your spine before he settles on kissing you while a hand sneaks down to grab your already hot body.

The next few hours are a blur as you lean over him, demanding of him until he has nothing left and then some. He is exhausted and clinging to you feebly when you finally tire enough to lay beside him, tucking him tenderly under your chin. When he starts to chuckle and then laugh, you feel accomplished. Even if you feel the tiniest bit guilty for doing this behind Pepper's back. Of course, as if summoning the thought, Tony finally gives in to why he had been crying. Pepper had finally sat him down, outlined what she wanted in life, and said under no uncertain terms was she willing to give that up. Tony had said exactly what he wanted in life, was happy with how it was, and had not been ready for Pepper's future plans though he might be one day. Might be one day. Those words had cinched it for the ginger and she had said a tearful, sobbing, final good bye to the relationship.

Tony was only sad that a truly good friend and potential love-interest-forever had found him not just lacking, but completely obsolete to her life plans.

You understand.

So you hold him then, hold him close and warm and with all the patience dealing with foreign sick patients and SHIELD afforded to you.

And, when you two finally wake in the late evening, he kisses you, cuddles you, and nothing is going back...

And, perhaps, definitely, it is okay this once.