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Unknown Number: It’s so hard being a single mom when you have no kids and are a male teenager.

Steve stared down at the text and frowned. Tilting his head to the side did him no favors; the words were still inscrutable. They weren’t exactly wrong, though. It was literally impossible for a male teenager to be a single mom, kids or no kids. Why would anyone even text this? And why to him? It didn’t seem like any kind of advertising.

“Clint?” Steve asked tentatively.

Across the room, the archer sat up from where he had been hanging, upside down, off the common room’s kitchen island.

“‘Sup, Cap?” he asked, spinning around to face Steve before crossing his legs, choosing to remain sitting on the island countertop for some reason. Steve wasn’t going to think about it. Thinking about why Clint Barton did things gave him a headache.

“How common is it for someone to send a text message to a wrong number?” Steve asked.

“Text message? Not very,” Clint answered, looking at him curiously. Absently, Steve noted he had a butterfly bandage over his left eye that hadn’t been there the day before. “Don’t recognize the number?”

“Only people who have my number are you guys and Fury,” Steve said, then frowned. “At least, that I know of. Pretty sure no one who had it for official business would send this particular text, though.”

“What’s it say?”

Steve gave Clint a dry look and recited, “It’s so hard being a single mom when you have no kids and are a male teenager.”

Clint snorted, and slowly grinned.

“Well, he’s not wrong.”

“That’s what I thought,” Steve admitted.

“Okay, okay,” Clint said, so suddenly energetic that Steve felt suspicious and intrigued all at once, as the archer pulled out his cell phone. “Here’s what we’re gonna do,” he continued as he tapped at the screen. “We’re gonna look up random year book quotes and send the best one back.”

“Random yearbook quotes?” Steve asked. He wasn’t opposed to the idea, it just seemed a very strange choice.

“That text is from a quote from a yearbook,” Clint said without looking up. “I saw it on Tumblr a few days ago.”

“Ah,” Steve said slowly. He had tried Tumblr, all social media, really. He still wasn’t sure how he felt about it.

It took Clint far less time than Steve expected to find a quote he liked. Not thirty seconds later he was laughing, snorting, and biting his lip.

“Okay, here,” Clint said. “Tell him: ‘Goats are like mushrooms, if you shoot a duck, I’m scared of toasters.’”

Steve chuckled helplessly, the words more than a little ridiculous.

“Someone put that in their yearbook?” he asked incredulously.

“Yep!” Clint crowed. “Come on, hit ‘em with their own medicine!”

Shaking his head, Steve looked down at his phone and typed in the quote and hit send before he could over think it. To his further surprise at this very random moment he was experiencing in this very weird future, his phone chimed with a response in less time than it had taken Clint to find the quote in the first place.

Unknown Number: Touche. You win this round, random stranger, but the war isn’t over.

“What’d he say?” Clint asked eagerly, slipping off the kitchen counter. Instead of answering, Steve let him come to the couch, lean over the back and read his screen, since that’s what he would have done anyways. He must have read it, because he snorted again and shook his head. “Looks like you’re gonna have to brush up on internet memes, Cap.”

Steve frowned.

“I don’t think -”

“Nope,” Clint said, vaulting over the couch and into the seat next to Steve. “Come on. Lemme show you Reddit.”

----

Steve had forgotten all about the wrong number, the strange yearbook quotes, and the supposed ‘war’ he was in by the time he got another text. (He hadn’t forgotten about Reddit. He had, in fact, been on the website in most of his free time since then and he wasn’t sure if that was a good thing yet).

Unknown Number: ‘Bathtub spelled backwards is still ‘bathtub’. It’s not, but for a second there, you believed me.

“Someone’s texting you?” Natasha asked as Steve couldn’t help but smile. He had, for a second, been spelling bathtub backwards.

“Wrong number, I think,” Steve admitted before taking a sip of the expensive, far too complicated coffee confection Natasha took him out for every Friday morning. Team bonding, she said. Steve had quickly figured out she just didn’t want to go to a Starbucks by herself. “He sent me a random yearbook quote a few days ago. Clint had me send one back to him.”

“Oh?” Natasha raised one perfectly trimmed eyebrow. “What’d he say this time?”

“‘Bathtub spelled backwards is still ‘bathtub’. It’s not, but for a second there, you believed me,’” Steve dutifully recited.

Instead of being at all amused, Natasha rolled her eyes.

“Tell him that unless his name is Google, stop acting like he knows everything.”

“I like Google,” Steve said neutrally as he typed in her response.

“Google is the best and worst invention mankind has invented in a long time,” Natasha said.

“I don’t know about worst,” Steve said as he hit send. “It’s like carrying a library in your pocket.”

“But it’s not all true, Steve.”

Steve snorted.

“You think books don’t lie?”

“Huh,” Natasha looked thoughtful. “Fair.”

Steve’s phone chimed.

Unknown Number: My name is Bucky, actually, but you did think it was true for a second. Don’t lie to me; that’s cheating.

Before he could stop himself, Steve replied and hit send.

SGR: Wow, you actually used a semicolon appropriately in a text. Color me impressed.

“What’d he say?” Natasha pressed.

“He used a semicolon correctly,” Steve answered.

Natasha scowled.

“No one uses semicolons in texts.”

“That’s what I said.”

Since he was looking at his phone, the message application still open, he watched Bucky’s - if that was his name - response come in.

Unknown Number: I’m impressed you noticed that and didn’t make fun of my name.

SGR: Never pick the soft target. It’s either a trap, or the target is used to it being focused on and can compensate for a breach.

Unknown Number: That’s some Sun Tsu shit there. On a scale of 1 to 10, how in over my head in this war am I?

Steve smiled.

“Oooh, you think he’s funny,” Natasha teased. Steve chose to ignore her.

SGR: General Patton.

Unknown Number: Fuck.

SGR: I’ve won a few wars in my day.

Unknown Number: Well, in the imortal words of Jason Nesmith: Never give up! Never surrender!

Steve frowned.

“Who is Jason Nesmith?”

“The Captain in Galaxy Quest,” Natasha answered instantly.

“Oh.”

Pulling out his moleskin journal, Steve added to the bottom of the list, ‘Galaxy Quest’ and tucked his phone back into his pocket. He was pretty sure he’d won this round, too.

----

Galaxy Quest, Steve decided, was a terrible fucking movie.

“This is a shitty movie, JARVIS,” Steve told the ceiling.

“Do you wish me to turn it off, Captain?”

“What?” Tony’s voice blurted from the direction of the elevators. Steve twisted in his seat, looking over, surprised he hadn’t heard him come in. “Galaxy Quest is visionary. Your problem, old man, is you’re missing all the classics it’s a parody of. Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate, Star Wars, Farscape. Well, Farscape wasn’t really a classic, but it was a good show. Okay, it was a shitty show, but I liked it, shut up.”

“I haven’t said anything, Tony.”

“Point,” Tony sat down across from Steve, crossing his legs and reclining in exaggerated comfort. “So why are you watching Galaxy Quest?”

“Someone sent me a quote from it, so I thought it had to be popular.”

“Well it is,” Tony said, “but whoever it was failed to realize you cannot watch parodies. They’ll go straight over your head.” Leaning forward, Tony propped his chin on his hand and smiled sweetly. “So, who’s this friend? Do I know them?”

As if on queue, Steve’s phone chimed.

Unknown Number: Calculus is impossible.

SGR: Is this homework?

Unknown Number: For some reason, my college thinks a Russian literature major needs to know calculus or they can’t graduate.

“Does a Russian literature major really need to know calculus to graduate college?” Steve asked.

“Probably,” Tony answered. “Why?”

SGR: Nothing is impossible.

Unknown Number: Clearly you’ve never tried to staple water to a tree.

“Tony, I need to staple water to a tree.”

“Do I want to know why? No, I don’t care.” Tony surged from his seat. “Let’s do it.”

Thanks to a super-cooled refrigerator, a piece of twine, and a baking pan, thirty minutes later, Steve sent a picture of a sheet of ice stapled to a tree to the unknown number and the caption, ‘Do your homework.’

“Well?” Tony asked eagerly.

“Hang on, he hasn’t replied,” Steve huffed.

Unknown Number: Holy shit

“He said, ‘Holy shit’.”

“Ha!” Tony crowed. Pulling out his own phone, he snapped a picture and began typing away. “I’m sending this to Bruce.” Still texting, Tony walked backwards away from Steve and called, “Was fun, Cap. Let’s do the impossible again some time.”

Steve chuckled.

“Any time, Tony.”

Unknown Number: Okay, okay, I’ll do my fucking homework. Jesus, you really are good at this shit.

Smiling, Steve went to tuck his phone away and follow Tony back into the tower when his phone chimed again.

Unknown Number: Got a name, meme lord?

“Thank you, Reddit,” Steve said out loud. “I understood that reference.”

SGR: Steve

Unknown Number: Nice to meet you, Steve

Steve snorted, quickly added the number to his contacts as Bucky, and then typed out a reply.

SGR: We haven’t actually met, Bucky

Bucky: You’re making me do my homework. That’s mom levels of familiarity.

When he laughed, Steve thought they’d both won that round.

----

After a particularly awful encounter with the Taskmaster in Tulsa, Steve found himself stretched out on his bed in Avenger’s Tower, ribs and ankle mending, and staring at his phone. Particularly, at his conversation with Bucky. It had been days since he’d heard from the guy, and oddly enough, he found himself missing the strange conversations they’d had. Probably meant he was exceedingly lonely, but, well, fuck it.

SGR: You passing calculus?

Steve didn’t even get a chance to lower his phone before it chimed with a reply.

Bucky: Checking in on me, mom?

SGR: What the fuck. Are you attached to your phone?

Bucky: You’ve never not answered me, so pot, kettle, etc.

Steve chuckled.

SGR: Okay, you win this round

Bucky: Sweet, what’s the score?

SGR: Three to two, me.

Bucky: Nice. Coming for you, Steve

SGR: I can do this all day, Buck

Bucky: lol I bet

As Steve debated if it was appropriate to try to find out more about Bucky - where he lived, how old he was, what school he was going to - his friend, if that’s what they were - sent him another text.

Bucky: So where you from, Steve?

Steve grinned. That decided that.

SGR: Brooklyn

Bucky: Ooo, borough and no city and everything. A REAL New Yorker

Steve moved to roll onto his stomach, the easier to text, and winced, his ribs complaining. When he’d gotten his breath back again, he typed in a reply, remaining on his back.

SGR: Yeah. You, too, huh?

Bucky: Yep! Brooklyn, baby. We probably went to the same high school

SGR: No, I didn’t go to high school

Bucky: Wait, really? You dropped out?

Steve smiled, deciding not to mention that, back in the 30’s, dropping out of high school hadn’t been a big deal. Not like it was in this day and age.

SGR: My mom got sick, so I got a job to support us. It wasn’t a big deal.

Bucky: Can I ask what you do now? You know what I do

Bucky: ← college student

SGR: I

Fingers over the touch screen, Steve stopped typing, hesitating. He wasn’t sure how much information he should be giving about himself. The general consensus on Reddit was that it was a great way to end up doxxed and Steve was pretty sure Pepper would have his head if he caused that level of PR disaster. Then again, Bucky wasn’t exactly a stranger on the internet. They’d met through the phone.

“Thin logic, Rogers,” Steve mumbled to himself just before his phone chimed.

Bucky: You don’t have to tell me

“Fuck it,” Steve mumbled.

SGR: I joined the army after my mom passed. What I do now is classified, but I can tell you I still live in New York

Bucky: *whistles* Wow. So that winning wars thing wasn’t a joke?

SGR: I had help

Bucky: Holy shit dude

Uncomfortable, Steve decided to change the subject.

SGR: I tried to watch Galaxy Quest. A friend told me I didn’t like it because I haven’t seen any of the shows it parodies. What do you recommend I start with?

Bucky: What kind of question is that?

Steve frowned.

SGR: An honest one

Bucky: How have you’ve not seen any Star Trek?

SGR: I was busy

Bucky: Star Wars?

SGR: It’s on my list

Bucky: Battlestar Galactica?

Scowling, Steve rolled his eyes and decided not to answer. When his phone chimed, he glared at the next messages.

Bucky: Firefly?

Bucky: Nothing?

SGR: Never mind.

Bucky: Whoa, hey hey, don’t be mad.

SGR: You can’t possibly know I’m mad

Bucky: You used punctuation. You never use punctuation with one sentence.

Bucky: Seriously, don’t be mad. Watch The Next Gen; it’s the best.

Bucky: Here, you wanna watch it together?

Steve blinked at his phone. Was Bucky asking to come over? To meet somewhere? To his surprise, Steve didn’t mind the thought of that. He thought it might be…fun and everyone was saying he needed to get out more. Except, Steve was kind of bedridden at the moment.

SGR: I can’t get out of bed. Don't ask. Classified.

Bucky: I wasn’t saying in person, but it’s good to know you’re up for that. I’m going to send you a link to a website. I’ll stream it and we can watch together, okay?

SGR: Okay

SGR: Thanks, Bucky

Bucky: np

Bucky: Can I ask if you’re ok, or is that classified?

SGR: I’ve had worse. I’ll be all right soon

Bucky: How soon?

SGR: Tomorrow

Bucky: Ok, I’ll trust you’re not bullshitting me. Link incoming

It turned out being bedridden wasn’t so bad when you had someone to watch T.V. with. It also turned out Steve really liked Star Trek. Thing was, he was starting to think he liked Bucky more.

----

“Can you have feelings for someone if you’ve never met them in person?” Steve asked Bruce as they did yoga the next morning. It wasn’t a Friday, which was the only morning he didn’t spend with Bruce after his run.

“People meet online all the time now,” Bruce said. “I don’t think there are any studies as to if their relationships last longer than so-called normal ones, but that their relationships start at all proves that, yes, you can like someone you’ve never met in person.”

“Kinda like pen-pals, back in my day,” Steve said.

“Yeah,” Bruce said. “Kind of like that.”

The reason Steve liked Bruce was because he didn’t ask any invasive personal questions like every other Avenger would have. That was why he said, “I think I’ve met someone.”

Bruce just smiled at him.

“I’m happy for you. Be careful, okay?”

Steve smiled back.

“I will.”

----

Two months, Steve thought as he pushed the door open to Pepper’s office. He had been texting Bucky for two months. They talked every day, now. Steve knew about his sister, Becca, and his mom, Winnie, and how his dad had left them all when he was very young. He’d told Bucky things about his mom dying he’d never told anyone, and Bucky had listened, really listened, not just spouted something that was supposed to make him feel good.

Natasha had pointed it out over coffee; Steve had it bad.

“Pepper, you got a sec?”

The CEO of Stark Industries snapped her attention from the monitor in front of her and focused on Steve before her smile was fully grown.

“Of course, Steve,” Pepper said cheerfully. “Sit. How can I help you?”

“I, um,” Steve took a deep breath. Like Natasha said, he just needed to tell people. It wasn’t a big deal these days, at least not as big as it had been. No one was going to lynch him. “I think I need to make an announcement. Publicly. And I want your help so I do it right.”

“Okay,” Pepper said, growing serious and grabbing a notepad. All business and that was why Steve liked her. “What’s the announcement?”

“I’m, um, well, gay.”

Pepper blinked.

“Oh.” Her eyebrows drew together, her eyes widened and she said, “Oh!”

Steve smiled shyly, clearly trying not to be nervous.

“Yeah. So, um, can you help?”

“Absolutely,” Pepper said with a firm nod. “I’ve been handling all of Tony’s PR stunts for years. This? It’ll be a cakewalk. We’ll do an interview, not something impersonal like a news brief, but we’ll have to prepare you for some questions, like Peggy, and…”

Steve sagged in his chair, relaxing and smiling as Pepper went on. He was listening, but he couldn’t help but be relieved. Everything wasn’t going to be smooth sailing, but he could trust Pepper would make this as easy as possible for him and everyone else. And if, maybe, Bucky asked him out, or he asked Bucky out, sometime in the future, they wouldn’t have to hide. He wouldn’t have to sneak around, like he was ashamed of who he was, and who he loved. Not that he thought he was in love with Bucky, he just…really, really, liked him.

“Whatever you think is best,” Steve assured Pepper. “I trust you completely.”

Pepper beamed. Yeah, this was a good idea. He’d have to thank Natasha with her favorite complicated latte tomorrow.

----

Bucky: Did you see?

Steve realized he was smiling even before he had read the text message. Jesus, he was a dope.

SGR: See what?

Bucky: Captain America came out.

The text was so unexpected Steve stopped walking. Immediately someone cursed at him for halting like that, but Steve couldn’t so much as mumble an apology. It hadn’t occurred to him, not once in all his little fantasies, that he had yet to tell Bucky who he was. That Captain America hadn’t just come out, he had.

Bucky: So, I was thinking, if Captain America can come out, I should have the balls to ask you out. So. This is me asking.

Bucky: You on a date, I mean.

Bucky: If you’d like to do that sort of thing. With me.

Steve realized he was holding his breath and let it out all at once. No, he hadn’t told Bucky who he was, but the guy still wanted to meet him. Wanted to go on a date with him and, more than anything, Steve wanted that, too. Besides, it shouldn’t matter that he was Captain America. Bucky liked Steve and, well, that was all Steve could really ask for.

SGR: I’d love to. When?

Squinting at the text, Steve decided it wasn’t too eager, or too understated, and hit send.

Bucky: I’m just saying, but I totally just fist pumped, yelled yes! And scared the shit out of Becca. She says it’s about fucking time, btw

SGR: lol, good to know she’s rooting for us

Bucky: How’s tomorrow at 8 sound? I might have already gotten us a reservation at One Bedford. I hear their octopus is amazing. It’s in Brooklyn, so

SGR: Send me the address. I’ll be there

Bucky: I’ll be wearing a green scarf, so you’ll know it’s me.

SGR: I can’t wait

Switching the the contacts app, Steve pulled up Natasha and took a deep breath as the call connected.

“Go,” Natasha said, picking up after the first ring.

“I have a date and nothing to wear. Help me.”

“Meet me in the lobby in ten. You called the right number.”

Steve grinned, broad and probably dorky as hell.

“Nat,” he said quietly, “I have a date.”

Laughing softly, Natasha said, “I heard you the first time, Rogers. Well done. Now let’s make you look hot as fuck.”

----

Steve was early. Steve knew he was early, but hadn’t been able to stay away any longer. Not when he was this excited. Not when he was his nervous. Not when his pacing had threatened to rub a rut in the carpet that Tony declared he was not going to pay for. Not when Clint and Natasha had been teasing him all afternoon as he paced and waited for the clock to finally, finally say he could leave.

He still hadn’t meant to be a half hour early.

When Steve walked into the restaurant, thinking he’d hang out at the bar until Bucky came, he was surprised by how sleek the place was, all gleaming glass and white upholstered furniture. He liked it, but it was more the kind of place Natasha would want to go than he would pick. Maybe Pepper. Then again, it was also the kind of place he imagined people took dates they wanted to impress these days, and Steve had to admit, he was a little impressed.

“Can I help you, sir?” the hostess asked, smiling at him.

“Yeah, I -” Steve froze, mouth open, because there at the bar was a dark haired man in a black leather jacket, and a green scarf. Bucky, it seemed, had gotten here even earlier than Steve had. “Never mind,” he said quickly, grinning. “My date’s here already.”

The hostess turned her smile on whoever was behind Steve and he headed for the bar. The man, assuming it was Bucky, had a great profile. Long dark hair hung to his shoulders and Steve thought he could see a dimple in his chin. He was the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome, like Cary Grant, or James Cagney, or, Steve thought, his eyes going wide as the man turned toward him and he was so damned handsome, Errol Flynn.

Bucky’s eyes went wide as he saw him and he stood, nearly stumbling to his feet.

“Oh, jeeze, you’re,” Steve started to smile, but it died as Bucky finished with, “Captain America. Holy shit.” Bucky licked his lips, pink tongue darting out over plump luscious flesh, and Steve imagined it would have made him hard, if Bucky didn’t continue with. “You’re incredible. My date is never gonna believe this.”

Trying not to be disappointed - Bucky didn’t know he was his date yet - the date was far from unsalvageable - Steve said, “Well, if your name is Bucky, I think he’ll believe it just fine.”

A line formed between Bucky’s brows as his eyebrows drew together in confusion. Then his eyes went wide, then wider, and he blurted, “Steve?!

Smiling awkwardly, because other people at the bar were staring now, Steve nodded.

“That’s what my mother named me.”

“But I -” Bucky motioned to his chest, then moved his hand in a circle, clearly at a loss. “But you’re - you never told me! You’re Captain America? You’re here,” Bucky looked around, as if only now remembering they were in public and whispered, “on a date? With me?”

Steve could feel his smile growing tight.

“Seems that way.”

“Holy shit,” Bucky said again. “I, um, wow. Uh, you want a drink? No, wait, you can’t get drunk, um. Just, sit? The reservation isn’t for another half hour, I was just really nervous and holy shit, I’m on a date with Captain America.”

Sliding past Bucky, who was looking at him with starry-eyed hero worship, Steve motioned to the bartender.

“Scotch, neat,” he said and wished he really could get drunk.

Bucky was sinking back into his seat, still staring at Steve in a way that was making him exceedingly uncomfortable. Like Steve was some kind of exhibit.

“You’re Captain America,” Bucky said.

“I am well aware,” Steve retorted, smile tightening so much he was pretty sure it was a grimace.

“Yeah, but… I didn’t know. I’ve been texting Captain America for months and I had no idea. Jesus, this is… You’re a hero. A real, live hero. And you’re… Why in the world are you on a date with me?”

Steve sighed, smiling at the barkeep as she passed him his drink.

“I remember a guy asking me out. A guy I thought was pretty funny, and has been pretty swell to talk to for the last few months.”

“Swell?” Bucky repeated, lips quirking. “Jeeze, you really were born in the ‘20s.”

Steve sighed again, finishing his scotch in a swig.

“Nineteen eighteen, actually.”

“That’s crazy,” Bucky said. “So, what was it like, getting frozen like that? Did it hurt?” Steve winced, motioning for another drink, but Bucky didn’t even seem to notice. “Do you like the future?”

“We were promised flying cars,” Steve said dryly. “Still waiting for that. Like the Internet and the lack of polio, though. Pretty great.”

Bucky laughed, like Steve had said something funny. Steve was pretty sure he hadn’t.

“You know, I read all about you in middle school. We had this big project in history and I got kind of obsessed. Read anything I could find in the library about you, the Howling Commandos, Hydra, and the SSR. You were amazing. Made the first integrated fighting unit, not to mention being Irish, and all that meant back then, and then you died to save the world. It does not get cooler than that, except you then didn’t die, and saved New York from actual, real-life aliens. You’re an Avenger. It’s so… You’re my hero

Closing his eyes, Steve nodded.

“Swell.”

Bucky laughed again. Yeah, Steve thought, real swell.

“Do you think,” Steve asked, turning to face Bucky as the barkeep set another scotch before him, “that maybe you could forget the whole ‘Captain America’ thing, just for our date? I mean,” he tried to smile and thought he managed this time, “you didn’t ask out Captain America, right?”

“Yeah,” Bucky blurted, “but I would have if I’d know. I mean, can you imagine what people would say if I told them I’d bedded Captain America?”

Steve closed his eyes.

“Fuck, that came out wrong. I didn’t mean -”

“No,” Steve interrupted, “I think that came out just right.”

Pulling out his wallet, he dropped a crisp bill onto the bar, downed his scotch, set the drink on top of his payment, and slid off his stool. He made it out the door before Bucky caught up, grabbing his arm to stop him.

“Steve, wait,” Bucky said quickly. “I’m sorry. I would never tell anyone if -”

Jerking free, Steve glared at the man he had thought was so much…better than this.

“Do you see the suit?”

“Wh-what?” Bucky asked, startled.

“The fucking star-spangled suit, do you see it? Maybe the Captain America shield?” Bucky stared at him, wide eyed, and that only made Steve angrier. “Well?!I Do you?”

“N-no,” Bucky said quietly.

“That’s because Captain America did not go on a goddamn date tonight, Bucky. Steve Rogers did, with a guy I was pretty sure was smart enough to know that Captain America is a goddamn image. A costume. A-a-a fucking stunt cooked up by a Senator eighty years ago to sell war bonds! Captain America is not a person, Bucky, I am, and you haven’t treated me like one once tonight. Not like your friend, not like a guy you wanna go on a date with, not even a person.”

“I…” Bucky began, but Steve really, really didn’t want to hear it. Not another apology, not…anything. It was over, done. He’d taken a chance and it had backfired. Now he just wanted to go back to his life.

“It was nice meeting you, Bucky, but I think it would be best if you didn’t contact me again.”

Turning on his heel, Steve walked away, not even sure if his subway stop was in this direction and not caring. He’d been on his fair share of shitty, horrible dates, but this one took the cake, even for him. A little time walking would do his aching heart some good.

---

“Knock knock,” Tony said from Steve’s bedroom door.

“Go away, Tony,” Steve said. “The door was locked and I didn’t answer for a reason.”

“I know,” Tony said, entering the dark bedroom, or at least his silhouette left the door frame. A moment later, the bed dipped by Steve’s hip, so he was certain Tony was in the room. “But it’s my tower and JARVIS has to let me in if I want him to. Besides,” Tony went on before Steve could curse the sentient A.I., “I heard about the disaster tonight from the Spider Queen and I wanted to cheer you up.”

“Nothing is going to cheer me up, Tony,” Steve said darkly. “Go away.”

“Look,” Tony said as if Steve hadn’t spoken, “no one here knows better than I do what happened tonight. I’ve been there, done that, and I just wanted to say…”

Steve sighed and sat up, which for some reason made Tony stop talking.

“JARVIS, turn on the light, please,” Steve grumbled.

A moment later, the soft white light of the ceiling sconces filled his bedroom and Steve looked at Tony tiredly. Then he frowned, because Tony was holding what appeared to be some kind of Iron Man plushie in his arms. It was nearly the size of the man’s torso, cylindrical in shape, and didn’t really have much of a face except for large, adorable eyes and a smile for a mouth.

“What the hell is that?” Steve asked.

“This?” Tony held up the stuffed...thing. “A tsum tsum. It’s for you.”

“Me?” Steve said slowly as Tony held the toy out to him. “Why?”

“Well,” Tony said, still holding out the toy, “I’m really bad at hugs, so I thought you could hug the tsum tsum and we could call it even.”

Steve blinked, then found himself smiling as he took the stuffed replica of his fellow Avenger. It was…really kind of sweet. Sweet wasn’t a word he would have normally associated with Tony Stark. Then again, he had thought Bucky wouldn’t have been such an ass, but here they were.

“Thank you, Tony.”

“Don’t mention it,” Tony said. “I mean it. Don’t mention it. To anyone. I’ll deny this ever took place. JARVIS is my witness.”

“That’s not how that works, Tony,” Steve said with a fond smile.

“Of course it is. Look, what I was going to say, guys like that? A dime a dozen. You deserve someone better, someone who sees that we’re more than the suits. That the suits don’t make us the superheros, we make the suits. And you will. You’ll find your Pepper, and he’ll be amazing and gorgeous and everything you ever wanted, Steve. I know you will. You deserve the best.”

“Like tsum tsums?” Steve couldn’t help but ask.

Tony grinned.

“Now you’re getting it.”

----

After ignoring twenty texts from Bucky and two phone calls, Steve logged into the official Twitter Pepper had had set up for him ages ago and took a picture of the Iron Man tsum tsum. He posted it with the caption, ‘I have the best friends. Tweet @TheOnlyTonyStark and maybe he’ll send you one’.

Ten minutes later, Steve was grinning as his phone notified him @TheOnlyTonyStark had sent him a Tweet reading, ‘I hate you so much.’ It made him feel just a little bit better, even if his heart still ached.

----

“Want me to kill him?” Natasha asked the moment Steve stepped into the communal floor the next morning. “Maybe maim a little? Hurt him? Scare him? Say the word, Steve.”

“No,” Steve smiled, “Thanks, Nat.”

Natasha just smiled at him, and Steve felt a little bit better.

----

When Steve got the call from an unknown number, he almost didn’t take it. It had been three days, however, and Bucky’s texts and calls had died away. Steve hoped it was the last of them, hoped this wasn’t Bucky either, and he almost rejected it. Except, if it wasn’t, and the call was important, or Avengers related, he wasn’t sure he’d forgive himself.

Taking a breath, he hit the green button and said, “Hello?”

“Hi,” a woman’s tremulous voice said, and Steve could hear sirens in the background, “You don’t know me, but my brother just burned down our place baking you apology cookies, and he’s in the hospital now, so I’m calling because he’s an idiot, not a jackass, and I was really hoping you could send him a text and forgive him for being a twat, because if he dies, he would never forgive himself if you hated him and he’ll haunt me forever.”

Steve stared at the wall in front of him, trying to catch up with the rapid information and shake his gut reaction every time he heard a woman crying.

“Becca?”

“Yeah, hi Steve. Bucky told me what he did and -”

“Is he gonna be okay?” Steve interrupted.

“I,” Becca hesitated and Steve found he was holding his breath. Bucky had been an asshole, but Steve still liked the guy, or rather, the guy he’d thought Bucky was when they were texting. “The paramedics said he would be, but they wouldn’t let me come with him, and he was… He didn’t look okay...”

Steve found himself getting to his feet and grabbing the keys to his motorcycle.

“Are you okay?”

“Me?” Becca asked in surprise. “I’m, yeah, I’m okay.”

“Do you have a place to stay?”

“Yeah, my mom’s in Brooklyn.”

“Good, okay. How are you going to get there? Do you need a ride?”

“M-my mom is going to the hospital now and I can take a train to her place, but I was going to go to the hospital, too…”

Steve nodded, though she couldn’t see that.

“Okay, I’m going to come get you. Send me your address and I’ll take you to the hospital myself. You shouldn’t be on your own right now.”

There was silence on the phone, heavy and pointed. Then Becca said, “Wow, you are the nicest - You don’t have to - I’m going to kill him myself if he makes it through this. I’m so sorry my brother is an asshole, Steve.”

“Just sit tight, Becca, and text me your address. I’ll be there soon.”

“Okay,” Becca said, her voice suddenly small.

“It’s gonna be all right, okay? Your brother’s gonna be fine.”

“Okay,” she said again. “Steve…thanks…”

“You’re welcome. See you soon.”

As soon as he hung up, Steve called Tony.

“I need a favor.”

----

The sirens made finding Bucky and Becca’s place easy. Once he got close, Steve just followed the noise and flashing lights until he found a small block of condos. The street was packed with people, whether watching, or from the complex Steve couldn’t tell. Probably both, knowing New York. Becca turned out not to be that difficult to find, either. She looked remarkably like her brother, though shorter, and dressed in a long sleeved sweatshirt that was too big for her.

“Becca,” Steve called, pulling his bike up to the curb beside her and pulling off his helmet.

Hesitantly, she stepped forward and smiled at him.

“Hi, Steve. Look, I was thinking, you don’t have to -”

“I want to help,” Steve interrupted. “Bucky talked about you a lot and… Just, let me help?”

Becca sighed, glancing at her feet.

“He really felt bad, you know? About what happened?”

“Becca,” Steve said, “I don’t want to talk about…”

“No, just…listen, okay? He really felt bad, and he’s not a bad person, he just gets excited, you know? And he met you and you weren’t just Steve, the funny guy who he really loves talking to, you were Steve Rogers, the guy he had a crush on since he was thirteen, and he knows he fucked up, he does, and if you’re here…and you care, maybe you can give him a chance to apologize? If you don’t like what you hear, then that’s totally fair because he was a dick. A complete, utter asshole, but -”

“Becca,” Steve interrupted, “okay.” He held out his helmet to her. “Come on, let’s go see how he’s doing, okay?”

Taking the helmet from him, Becca tried a smile and half-succeeded.

“Okay.”

----

The first thing Winnie Barnes ever said to Steve was, “Becca, who is this?”

“Mom,” Becca said, looking nervously up at Steve, “this is…Steve.”

“Bucky’s Steve?” Winnie said, sharp blue eyes turning on Steve, and he felt like he had, somehow, disappointed his own mother. “You’re Bucky’s Steve?” When he nodded, she crossed her arms over her chest, puffed up to somehow loom over him at just five-foot-nothing, and snapped, “Exactly what do you think you’re doing here?”

Steve couldn’t help it, his eyebrows went up. For all his wish to be treated as a normal person, actually being treated as one - and one not all that welcome - didn’t feel as good as he had expected.

“Mom,” Becca hissed, “he’s Captain America.”

Repressing a wince, Steve thought it was irononic that his only defence seemed to be the fact he was Captain America, at least in Becca’s eyes.

“I don’t care what he’s captain of, not if he’s hurt my boy. And how dare you, young lady, siding against your own brother! Your own flesh and blood; the very nerve. We will talk about this later.”

This time Steve really did wince. It turned out he had forgotten how it felt to be a target of motherly ire and, god, but Bucky’s mother had the tone of parental disappointment down pat.

“Mo-om,” Becca was whining now and Steve had never missed Sarah more, “Steve didn’t hurt Bucky, it was the other way around. That’s why Bucky was baking. Apology cookies.”

Winnie frowned.

“Bucky can’t bake. Even boiling water is a challenge for that boy. You let him in the kitchen?”

“I wasn’t home and no one lets Bucky do anything,” Becca defended, her voice still ringing with that distinctive teenage whine.

Winnie eyed her daughter and then turned on Steve once more.

“Why are you here?”

Snapping to attention, Steve answered as honestly as he could, “Becca called and told me what happened. I wanted to make sure she got here safely and…and see if Bucky was okay. I’ve heard a lot about both you and her and… Um,” he felt his face heating up, “I hope I didn’t overstep, but I called a friend to get Bucky the best medical care in the city.”

“Hmm.” Winnie pursed her lips, watching Steve assessingly, then nodded once. “Fine, you can stay until Bucky says otherwise.”

Steve let out a breath of relief.

“Thank you, ma’am.”

Steve was sure none of his commanding officers had ever made him snap to attention quite as fast as Winnie Barnes had, or had set him quite on edge. It was going to be a long wait.

----

Steve made a sharp turn before he managed to walk straight into the wall. He silently cursed the small dimensions of the hospital hallway, pretended he wasn’t blushing, and went back to his pacing. What the doctors had said wouldn’t stop replaying over and over in his mind: Third degree burns to Bucky’s left arm. Smoke inhalation. At best, extensive scarring. At worst, Bucky would need skin grafts.

He was resting, but they didn’t want to overwhelm him with visitors. Obviously Steve had stayed behind while Winnie and Becca went to see their blood, their family. Who was Steve, anyway? Just a guy Bucky had been texting. They weren’t even dating. Hell, they weren’t even phone friends any more because Steve had cut off all contact.

Forcing himself not to look at his phone and the time again, Steve continued pacing, dodging doctors and nurses. They’d let him into the corridor, at least. Though, with the amount of money Tony said he’d given the hospital, Steve wasn’t surprised they were accommodating. Steve was just glad Bucky would get the best care. He owed Tony something fierce, and Steve had no idea how he would pay him back.

Maybe he’d get Tony a Captain America tsum tsum. After all, Steve wasn’t all that great at hugging either.

The door to Bucky’s room opened and Steve hurried back the way he’d come to find Winnie and Becca both leaving. They shut the door behind them and Steve looked from one to the other, hoping for good news.

“He’s sleeping,” Winnie said tiredly. “I’m going to take Becca home so she can help me get her and his old rooms set up - the condo is a complete loss - and I can’t very well do it on my own. Besides,” her piercing eyes fixed on Steve remorselessly, “you’ll stay with him so he isn’t alone, won’t you, Captain?”

There wasn’t a shred of reverence or hero worship in the way she said his title. For all that he hated being treated as special just because of Erskine’s serum, he wished Bucky’s mom liked him just a little. It was selfish, and he’d never admit it, but he did.

“Yes, ma’am,” Steve answered, but didn’t relax even as she smiled.

“That’s good.” Turning to Becca, she put her hand on her daughter’s upper arm and steered her towards the hospital entrance. “Don’t wake him,” she called, “and call if anything changes.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Steve promised, watching them walk down the hall before turning to look at the door to Bucky’s room. Taking a breath, he pushed it open and slipped silently inside. Bucky was indeed asleep, looking small in the hospital bed. His left arm was swathed with bandages and he was hooked up to both an IV and an oxygen monitor. An oxygen mask was hooked over his nose and mouth, hiding his dimples. The pale blue blanket and white hospital gown did Bucky no favors. He didn’t just look pale, he looked horrible. His lips, visible under the transparent mask, still had a bluish tinge to them. His skin was sallow, eyes appearing swollen. The left side of his face looked puffy and pinkish, the five o’clock shadow missing. There was a small bandage taped to his left ear where some of his hair, that Steve saw so nicely combed before, was matted, dirty and it frankly stank of smoke even from a distance.

Watching him lying there, Steve had a brief flash of memory, Bucky in that restaurant, hair perfectly combed, face glowing with youth, and so very handsome. It physically hurt Steve to look at how bad he looked now.

Keeping as silent as Natasha had taught him, Steve crept to Bucky’s bedside, pulled up a chair and sat down. It felt a little creepy, just staring at Bucky as he slept, so he pulled out his phone, silenced it, and opened up Reddit. It was going to be a long night.

----

Sometime between three and four am, Bucky’s pain meds started to wear off. He started shifting in his sleep, not like the unnatural stillness he’d displayed thus far. At first it was just twitching and moving uncomfortably, snuffling small noises that sounded louder than normal in the extremely quiet room. Then Bucky’s hand curled and he groaned, turning his head to the side, mumbling something that ended with ‘ter’.

Leaning forward, Steve grabbed the glass of water with the little straw sticking out of it a nurse had likely left for this moment, gently removed the face mask, and held the straw to Bucky’s lips. Without opening his eyes, Bucky sucked, draining the glass at a shockingly fast rate.

“Thanks, ma,” Bucky whispered hoarsely without opening his eyes. The voice was low and husky, making Steve jolt at the way it affected him. Like the sound had physically caressed his cock.

Get a grip, Rogers, he thought belligerently.

“Your mom went home,” Steve said, and watched Bucky’s eyes pop open. It would have been comical if they weren’t so red and swollen that he could hardly see the blue gaze beneath. “The condo is a wash, so she’s making Becca clean out your guys’ old rooms.”

“Steve,” Bucky said thickly.

“Yeah,” Steve cleared his throat. “Um, more water?”

“Steve,” Bucky repeated, staring at him blankly.

“Yeah,” Steve said again. “Your sister called me. Your, uh, mom doesn’t seem to like me much.”

“And you came because Becca called?” Bucky was staring at Steve with slack-jawed surprise. It wasn’t all that different from that time he had learned Steve was Captain America, although the smile was missing completely.

“Might be pissed at you,” Steve mumbled, turning to pour another glass of water so he’d have something to do with his hands. “Doesn’t mean I stopped caring.”

Bucky coughed then, wincing all the while. When he could talk again, his voice sounded even rougher than ever.

“Wouldn’t blame you if you did.”

“Well, you were a jerk,” Steve said wryly, but the pain and anger was distant now. In the face of possibly losing the chance to ever see Bucky, talk to him ever again, Bucky’s behavior didn’t seem important anymore. It probably wouldn’t last, but in this moment Steve was more worried than he was hurt or angry.

“I was,” Bucky said roughly. “I’m sorry.”

“Yeah, well,” Steve stood, placing the straw at Bucky’s lips again. “We can talk about that later. Right now, you just need to rest, okay? Get better. I’ll be here while you sleep. Creepy as it is, I promised your mom I wouldn’t leave you alone.”

Bucky stared at him, drinking again and emptying another glass of water. Instead of closing his eyes when Steve pulled it away, though, just…stared.

“I’ll call a nurse,” Steve said. “Get you more morphine.”

“Steve,” Bucky said and Steve shivered, “I’m sorry I burned your apology cookies.”

Steve blinked, stared at Bucky, and then laughed. Curling an arm around his stomach, Steve couldn’t stop laughing. And every time he looked up at Bucky, raccoon-eyed and puffy, and he thought he could have died, Steve only laughed harder. Because he had, apparently, lost his mind. Bucky just kept staring at him with a bewildered expression on his face, sometimes looking down at the empty glass in Steve’s hand.

Before he knew it, Steve realized he wasn’t laughing anymore, he was crying. Forehead pressed to Bucky’s thigh, and the man was tentatively combing his hand through his hair, trying to soothe him.

“What… What’s going on, Steve?” There was a baffled tone to Bucky’s words. “You okay? You…you didn’t get hurt or anything?” There was more petting that, after a bit of consideration, felt more like panicked flailing. “Steve, you all right? Maybe you should lie down? Steve?”

“I’m all right,” Steve managed to choke out before sobbing again. He had no idea what was going on with him, but he was crying again, tears just pouring out of him, heart pounding and lungs clenching. The tears didn’t even feel bad, a sense of profound relief come over him, and he ground his forehead into the warm, firm thigh, greedy for the contact.

“Steve, Steve… Listen Steve, just calm down okay?” Bucky was saying, his words coming faster and faster, tripping down over themselves. “I’ll… oh god I have no idea what I will do. Anything! Yeah, I will do anything, just please. Oh god, should I call the nurse? Doctor? I should… Steve, please, I’m sorry, please stop crying!”

Sitting up, Steve took Bucky’s face gently in his hands, not even bothering to wipe the tears from his eyes. Bucky’s own eyes went wide, then he coughed, and Steve pulled the oxygen mask down over his face again.

“Shh,” he murmured. “I’m okay, but I’ll tell you what you’re gonna do, okay?” Bucky nodded, frantic and frightened, and Steve felt guilty about that. “You’re never, ever going to bake anything ever again, you hear me? Not ever. I was so worried about you.” Tipping Bucky’s head forward, he knocked their foreheads together, then pulled back and wiped the tears from his face. “Right, nurse for you. Then rest.”

“What?” Bucky protested, words muffled by the oxygen mask. “No, wait. What what does it mean, you’re okay?!” Steve was walking determinedly towards the door, not looking back. “Does it mean you forgive me? What was this thing just now about? Steve!”

Sticking his head out the door, Steve found a nurse just down the hall and called, “Sir? Bucky’s morphine has worn off and I think he’s in some pain.”

“All right,” the man called from where he was folding towels. “Just a minute.”

Ducking back into the room, Steve went to Bucky and caught the hand that reached for him.

“I was awake for a long time,” Steve tried to explain, “and I was really worried about you, and yes, I forgive you, but no baking.”

“No baking,” Bucky repeated, looking kind of shell shocked. Then he added, just under his breath, probably hoping Steve wouldn’t hear him, “But it worked.”

“That is the worst,” Steve growled. “You are the worst.”

Bucky just grinned at him, unrepentant, as the nurse came in, fiddled with Bucky’s machines and tubes, asked a lot of questions about how Bucky was feeling, and left as his eyes were slipping closed again. The cold knot that had been in Steve’s chest was gone as he watched Bucky fall asleep again. It was replaced with something warm and full, something that made Steve reach for Bucky’s right hand, brush his fingers over his knuckles, and then lean forward to kiss the uninjured cheek. Bucky’s lips twitched upward, his eyes flicking open, but then they closed again. Steve imagined he wouldn’t even remember when he woke up.

----

When Winnie and Becca came to the hospital the next day, Steve let himself take a break. It was difficult, surprisingly so, to leave Bucky behind, but Steve figured the man had had enough clinging super-soldier in his life for now; he could stand it if Steve got a shower, a change of clothes, and a nap. Unfortunately, a crazed mutant took the same opportunity to attack New Jersey, his power somehow forcing people to attack each other and forcing Steve not only to go to New Jersey, but keeping him from returning to Bucky’s bedside.

To say Steve put the bastard down with extreme prejudice was an understatement. He smashed the shit out of the fucker’s face with his shield. It felt good. Afterward, however, was the debrief, the security council, a press conference, and Steve was exhausted. He passed out on his bed, fully dressed, and didn’t wake up again until noon the following day.

Two days away from Bucky. Steve wanted to punch someone all over again.

After another shower and another change of clothes, Steve drove to the hospital, parked out front and barely kept himself from running inside. Bucky was fine, he told himself. He had been fine when had Steve left. There was no reason, absolutely no reason, to act like a terrified husband. He was neither Bucky’s husband, nor anything else that made Bucky his, or gave him reason to hover.

The door to Bucky’s room was closed, so Steve knocked before he opened it and poked his head inside. Bucky was lying in bed, just where Steve had left him, looking up at the television mounted to the ceiling. He looked remarkably better, though his arm was still swathed in bandages and his eyes were puffy and reddened. They were no longer as swollen as the first day, though, and his face had lost the pink hue of recently burned skin. The oxygen mask and IV were nowhere to be seen, either.

The second Bucky saw him, he tried to get out of bed, so Steve rushed in and pushed him back down.

“No,” he said firmly, “You’re supposed to be resting.”

Bucky curled his hand around Steve’s, the one pressed against his chest, and held on tightly.

“I rested for two days,” Bucky insisted. “I’m fine; they’re discharging me today.”

“You are not fine,” Steve huffed, but let Bucky hold his hand and tried not to smile like the dope he apparently still was.

“I am!” Bucky declared. “I’m all swaddled up in bandages, I can even open my eyes to the full extent already!” To demonstrate this fact, he made his eyes as wide as he could which…did not do him any favors in the looks department, considering they were red lined and generally horrible looking. “My mom and Becca should be here within the hour to take me home.”

Steve snorted.

“You look like a raccoon, Buck.”

That gave Bucky a bit of pause, the handsome features twisting in disappointment. “A raccoon? Really? I look better than that!”

Steve nearly stumbled over himself to say, “A very handsome raccoon. An adorable, puffy, huggable raccoon.” Flushing as Bucky’s mouth opened and no sound came out, Steve asked, “What do the doctors say?”

“They, uh,” Bucky squinted at him. “The very expensive, yet free doctors say I’m gonna be fine. That I’ll need some physical therapy, and there will be extensive scarring, but I was lucky. No nerve damage or grafts needed.”

“That’s great, Buck,” Steve said, genuinely relieved.

“Uh huh,” Bucky said. “So, Steve, you wanna explain my free doctors?”

“Um,” Steve managed. “How’s Becca? And your mom?”

“Not doing so well as an excuse to avoid my questions, but otherwise okay,” Bucky drawled, a bit of a smirk tugging at his lush lips.

Blushing harder, Steve grabbed a chair with his free hand and pulled it up beside Bucky’s bed. The man didn’t even let go of his hand, just watched him until he was settled. And then kept watching him, clearly expecting Steve to explain why he had had a billionare pay for Bucky’s medical needs.

“You, um, once mentioned that you and, well, your mom don’t have a lot of money and, you know, I…presumed, a lot, and asked a favor of a friend to make sure you were okay and didn’t have to worry about anything.”

“I’m not going to get angry for you paying for my hospital stay,” Bucky said honestly. “I’m not so proud as to refuse a gift like that, but why would you do it?”

“I just told you,” Steve said. “I wanted you taken care of and…and able to focus on getting better. Not bills.”

“And I’m grateful,” Bucky said fiercely. “I would never forgive myself if mom got into debt because of me. Still, it’s not something you do for just any friend, and definitely not for someone you didn’t want to see again.”

“Yeah, well,” Steve looked down, “You almost dying and three months of texting you kind of pales in comparison to you being a jerk in person. I dunno,” Steve sighed, “Nat says I’m leaving myself wide open, but I’m kind of hoping your two hundred apology text messages mean you won’t be a jerk again.”

“I’m sorry,” Bucky said quietly. “I had a lot of time to think, and you were right. I was so dazzled with the idea of Captain America, I completely forgot he was a man, too. I won’t ever do that again,” Bucky promised, and Steve looked up at Bucky again, trying not to get his hopes up. “I can’t promise to never be a jerk again, but not about this. I won’t ever forget you are Steve Rogers, the guy who helped out my sister, and who got me fancy doctors to make sure my mom didn’t need to take another mortgage on her house because I tried to bake.”

Holding Bucky’s gaze, Steve pulled their joined hands from Bucky’s chest to his lips. He deliberately kissed each knuckle, watching Bucky’s breathing hitch each time his lips contacted his skin. It was, by far, the most incredible reaction to Steve touching someone he’d ever seen.

“I forgive you,” Steve said, his voice as soft as Bucky’s had been. “Maybe we could try that date again? I mean, you don’t owe me anything, but…”

“Yes,” Bucky said immediately, calling out loud and sure. “Please,” he added for good measure and Steve grinned.

“Where would you like to go this time?” he asked, sliding his chair closer, but keeping Bucky’s hand pressed to his lips.

Bucky grimaced and looked down at his bandaged arm.

“I’m not much for being in public right now.” There was a thread of apology in his voice.

“Then I’ll cook,” Steve said, wanting to wipe that look off Bucky’s face. “You can come to the Tower, we’ll watch…Star Wars,” he picked, because it was all he could think of at the moment. “No public at all.”

“Does that mean you’re going to trust me around a kitchen?”

Steve felt a strange, visceral thrill of fear.

“We’ll get take-out,” he amended immediately. “Tony has everyone on speed dial, last I checked.”

Bucky laughed, loud and happy, throwing his head back. It was beautiful and Steve’s heart clenched, skipping, as he stared at the man. How was he a Russian literature student and not a movie star, or a model? Steve hadn’t seen anyone so damned gorgeous in person before.

“You care that much about keeping me in one piece?” Bucky asked, lowering his head and looking up at Steve from beneath his lashes, blue eyes gleaming. The look did…things to Steve’s libido.

“I am worried that you don’t,” Steve said, trying to encourage his cock and his heart to calm the fuck down.

Bucky shrugged.

“I bounce back fast.”

“You say that like this isn’t the first - Bucky,” Steve’s heart thudded and serum or no serum, he wasn’t sure it could take much more, “tell me this is the first time. Tell me you don’t make a habit of spending nights in the hospital.”

Bucky flushed, cute and terrifying all at once.

“I won’t tell you, then?”

“Oh my god,” Steve pressed his face against the back of his hand.

“Oh,” Bucky huffed, “like you’re one to talk, Mr. Avenger.”

He was pulling at their joined hands, keeping a good grip on Steve so that Steve knew he wasn’t about to pull away from him. Slowly, hesitantly he followed the wordless instruction and stood, moving closer to Bucky in the raised hospital bed.

“Hey, I smashed someone’s face in just so I could come back to you,” Steve protested.

“Oh, be still my heart,” Bucky said sarcastically. “What a declaration of love.”

Steve felt his face flush.

“Might be. I’m very good at punching things. It speaks to me.”

Bucky’s eyes went wide, and then he was yanking his fingers free of Steve’s, then reaching up to press his palm to the side of his face.

“Steve,” Bucky said very seriously, “are you in love with me?”

The blush was so bad, Steve was getting dizzy with it, but he’d never backed down from a challenge and he wasn't about to start now.

“Maybe.” Okay, maybe he backed down a little. “Yes.”

Bucky was staring up at him with wide, clear eyes.

“Thank god,” he exhaled and then added in the same exact tone of voice, “You look like a tomato.”

“You jerk,” Steve breathed, laughing a little at the gall of the man.

“I love you, too,” Bucky blurted, his hand sliding back into Steve’s hair and tugging him down. Steve took the hint. Bending down, he closed his eyes and pressed his lips to Bucky’s. A soft whine filled the room and Steve moaned, pressing a little harder against Bucky’s soft, pliant lips. Lightly he nipped at Bucky’s lower lip, then swiped his tongue across the abused flesh. This time Bucky moaned, lips parting, and Steve couldn’t help but take advantage. He pushed his tongue into Bucky’s mouth, tasting, teasing, loving how Bucky gave in to him. Just let him kiss the daylights out of him.

Bucky’s hand was tugging at his hair, pulling him closer and closer until Steve very nearly toppled into the bed. Laughing against Bucky’s lips, Steve gripped the railing, holding himself off the injured man only by his quick reflexes.

Pulling back, he brushed their noses together and teased, “Calm down, Buck. Gonna fall over.”

“I want you closer,” Bucky whined, frustration edging his voice as he tried to get his bad arm around Steve and failing due to the awkward position and the constricting bandages.

Leaning back, Steve considered Bucky and the bed he was in for a moment, then slipped an arm beneath him, being careful to avoid the burns and bandages, and the other beneath his knees. Bucky inhaled sharply, the arm in Steve’s hair pulling hard as he tried to cling to Steve with the sudden movement. Holding Bucky in his arms, careful of the cord hanging from his hand, Steve sat in bed, swung his legs onto the mattress, and then settled Bucky in his lap. Bucky stared at him with wide eyes, as if surprised how easy it had been for Steve. As if he’d forgotten, during the last few moments, that Steve wasn’t actually a normal person. Or something else entirely, Steve thought as Bucky slowly flushed. Steve watched, his mouth going dry as the color high on Bucky's cheeks deepened and began spreading down his cheeks, up to his ears, and then down his neck, disappearing under the neck of his hospital gown.

Bucky’s lips were parted, his pupils dilating rapidly as he let out a strangled moan. He grabbed the front of Steve’s shirt, his hand fisting in the fabric as he pulled Steve close with a jerk and kissed him hard, all tongue and teeth, moaning low in his throat, suddenly fiercely turned on. Steve met Bucky eagerly, realizing it was his manhandling of Bucky that had riled him up so much.

Bucky moaned low in his throat and shifted on Steve’s lap, moving closer to him, curling his legs about his hip and side, his ass wiggling higher on Steve’s thighs, so seductive Steve was the one to groan. Bucky titled his head to kiss Steve deeper, their tongues twining as he pulled Steve’s tongue into his mouth and began to suck. Moaning, Steve leaned into Bucky as he wrapped his good arm around Steve’s shoulders, leaving no space between them. The hot weight of Bucky in Steve’s lap felt right. The contact, the pure life and heat and presence of Bucky was something he hadn’t even known he missed, missed being this close to another person when he wasn’t fighting. Steve’s pulse sped up, his mouth so dry he had to swallow a few times, as he laid his hands on Bucky’s hips and dragged them up over his heaving ribs, just relishing in the warmth and life of Bucky.

Steve tangled his hand into Bucky’s hair, directing his head, his frantic, eager movements. Bucky went easily, moaning, letting him do whatever he pleased. Bucky was surrendering so sweetly it made something soft and warm bloom in Steve’s chest, making it hard to breathe, to think. He had Bucky in his lap, against him, kissing him, and he couldn’t remember anything better. Steve couldn’t stop himself, didn’t even want to, and didn’t hesitate to get his hands all over Bucky. The hospital gown was a joke of a barrier, bare in the back, loose about his thighs and chest. Steve could feel the heat of Bucky’s skin through the flimsy material and the firmness of his body as if Bucky were naked.

Dropping his hand from Bucky’s head, he ran it down his back, across the bare, soft skin and felt Bucky shiver in his arms. Groaning into Bucky’s mouth, Steve let his hand slide up, over his knee, beneath the gown along his thigh. He didn’t climb higher, squeezing the thick, firm muscle beneath his hand and kneading, needing to touch more and more of the gorgeous man so eager in his lap. Who could blame him? Not when Bucky kept making soft shuddering noises and wiggling, trying to get closer to Steve, breathing so hard Steve almost feared he’d pass out.

Bucky pulled back from the kiss, his breath as fast as if he was running a marathon, and his eyes dark.

“Wait,” he gasped, “Just…,” Steve stopped, freezing in place like a deer in headlights, afraid that he had pushed too far, “it’s too much.” Bucky groaned. “I’m…“

“You’re…?” Steve prompted as Bucky trailed off. It didn’t sound like Bucky was hurting, but…

Bucky blushed, hard and fast, from his ears, back down his chest again. Steve couldn’t help follow the color down to Bucky’s neckline and realized he could see the outline of Bucky’s nipples against the gown, hard and peaked. Aroused and - oh. Letting his gaze wander lower, Steve could clearly see Bucky’s cock tenting the paper gown, growing transparent where something wet had pressed against it.

“Oh, Bucky,” Steve breathed out, his own cock aching in sympathy, before looking back up into dark blue eyes. “Can I? I’ll take such good care of you.”

Bucky licked his lips, eyes lowering so he was looking at Steve through his lashes.

“Please,” he said hoarsely, breathing increasing though Steve hadn’t touched him. He didn’t try to take over, just clung to Steve, biting at his pretty, full lips. It was like a gift Steve hadn’t known he wanted, and Steve leaned in a little, letting their breath mingle, noses bumping. He didn’t kiss Bucky, watching him instead as he inched the hand on Bucky’s thigh higher, up between his legs. Bucky’s breath stuttered, but he didn’t look away from Steve, just let him touch, wrap a hand carefully around his cock and squeeze. Gasping, Bucky bit down hard on his lip and Steve’s cock throbbed because it was one of the most beautiful things Steve had ever seen. The way Bucky was letting Steve touch, letting him enjoy his body.

Steve squeezed again and Bucky’s breath visibly hitched, chest heaving, nipples so hard against the paper thin garment. He moved slightly due to the angle, to spread his legs, giving Steve more space, inviting him to touch more.

“Jesus,” Steve cursed softly, letting his other hand trail lower, between the parted back of the gown to get a handful of one round cheek. Bucky just shuddered, biting his lip harder so the lush flesh turned white, and tightened his hold on Steve’s shoulders. Steve had a wild thought that Bucky would let him do anything he wanted, injury or no injury.

“Please, Steve,” Bucky whispered, his voice still hoarse and sexy as hell. “Touch me.”

“Yeah,” Steve breathed, stroking the thick cock in his hand down to the base, then up to the tip. He twisted his hand around, squeezing Bucky’s ass at the same time, and watched as Bucky tossed his head back, baring his throat, his lips parted on a silent moan. It was intoxicating, watching Bucky enjoy his touch, watching him give in to this pleasure, into the pleasure Steve was creating, with such abandon. Steve kept stroking, slow and languid, taking his time, not wanting to rush this gift, but felt bold with how easy Bucky was making it. There was no hesitance to how he’d given in to Steve, no nervousness, as though it was natural for Steve to play with Bucky like this, giving him pleasure, enjoying him. In turn, he wasn’t nervous about shifting the hand on Bucky’s ass, getting his fingers between his cheeks, and pressing them against Bucky’s hole.

Bucky twitched hard, eyes half-closed, liquid and brilliant. The words, “Oh please, sir,” were quiet and half lost in the gasp. His hands closed even harder on Steve and his cock jerked in Steve’s grip, thick drops of precome leaving the tip to slick the grip Steve had on it.

Steve could feel his jaw drop as his own cock jerked in startled lust, the desire coiling painfully tight in his belly, his heart skipping for a moment before it restarted with doubled speed. The single word made Steve almost lose his mind, fantasy and reality intertwining. It hadn’t taken him long to find porn on the internet, and he’d been shocked by how varied it was, or how filthy some of the fantasies could be. Steve had found himself drawn to the the darker ones, ones where a sweet man submitted to him, let him do whatever he pleased to them, and called him sir.

When Bucky tensed in his lap, his body becoming a single line of stress, Steve realized he hadn’t been moving, frozen in his shock and overwhelmed by his desire to just sit Bucky on his cock and fuck him.

“I… I’m sorry,” Bucky gushed, his eyes wide and panicking. “I…”

“I like it,” Steve cut in, not letting Bucky apologize, not wanting the mood to break. Pulling his hand from between Bucky’s legs, he grabbed his hip and ground up into his ass. “Feel that, baby? That’s all you, and you calling me that, Jesus.” Steve squeezed Bucky’s cock, stroking him hard and fast now, making Bucky curl forward into Steve’s chest, making him choke back a cry of pleasure. “You call me that.”

“Yes, sir,” Bucky gasped into Steve’s throat, his head having fallen onto his shoulder. “Holy shit, oh god.”

Lowering his hand back to Bucky’s pert ass, Steve didn’t hesitate to press against his hole again, rubbing it, pressing like he was going to push past the resistance, but not quite. The pressure never quite enough.

“God, baby, you’re somethin’ else,” Steve said, breathless, aching, but needing to see Bucky come undone under his hands more than anything else. “Gonna come for me, huh? Make a mess of yourself?”

Bucky made one strangled sound, arching even further and tensing up as he came, his cock swelling in Steve’s hand before the thick come shot out, splashing over Steve’s hand and Bucky’s belly. Bucky was shivering, moaning loudly, as his body spasmed rhythmically in the aftershocks of his orgasm, eyes closed tightly and mouth open. Steve loosened his hold, but kept stroking, hoping to prolong his orgasm as much as he could, milking him until Bucky whimpered and squirmed, wriggling like Steve was hurting him, and his cock softened in Steve’s hand. Yet he didn’t tell Steve to stop, didn’t pull his hand away, was going to let Steve keep touching him if that’s what Steve wanted.

It was so hard, Steve thought, to not just take what he wanted, but Bucky’s family was coming and they didn’t have time for more. Removing his hand from Bucky’s cock, he left the one on his ass, teasing his hole, enjoying the way Bucky squirmed and tensed against him, and the smooth softness of the skin there. He pulled his hand free and eyed the come covering it, then looked down at Bucky.

“You made quite a mess.”

“Yeah,” Bucky murmured. Eyes still half-closed, he looked up at Steve through his lashes and murmured, “I should clean it up, huh?”

Steve’s breath caught, and he lifted his hand to Bucky’s lips. When the pink tongue darted out, lapping at the come coating Steve’s skin, he was shocked to find he nearly came in his pants. Yet, Bucky just kept licking, cleaning up ‘the mess’, watching Steve, seductive and winding Steve up and knowing it.

“...Sir.”

Eyes snapping from Bucky’s lips to his eyes, Steve realized his mouth was hanging open. Clearing his throat, he managed roughly, “What?”

“I can suck you off.” Bucky licked his lips as if tasting himself again. “Do you want me to,” hesitantly he added, “sir?”

Steve shivered, closing his eyes briefly against the wave of lust that shot through him, and shook his head.

“Much as I want that, I gotta say no,” Steve said. “Gotta get you cleaned up so you can go home.”

“But,” Bucky’s expression changed, going from seductive to kicked puppy in a heartbeat, “you don’t…want me to?”

“No, no,” Steve said quickly, “Trust me, that is not the case. How about…a rain check? Next time…” Steve watched Bucky’s eyes light up and slowly smiled. “Unless I find something else to do with you.”

“Oh,” Bucky breathed. “Yeah, next time.”

Steve chuckled, lifting Bucky from his lap effortlessly and laying him back in the bed. When he reached to adjust himself, he felt a soft touch over his cock, Bucky petting it gently, palm trailing over the whole length of it visible under his pants. Cursing, Steve swayed into the touch, and grabbed Bucky’s hand. He squeezed, making Bucky squeeze him in turn, and heard Bucky gasp. For a moment he let himself grind against Bucky’s hand, just taking pleasure from the touch, shocked by how aroused Bucky looked from Steve’s actions. From the taking and it took all his willpower to stop and not cream his pants right there.

He pulled Bucky’s hand away gently, but firmly.

“You need to get cleaned up, your mom is going to be here any moment.”

“Why did you have to bring my mom up,” Bucky whined all thoughts of sex very obviously flying right out of his mind.

“I’m evil like that,” Steve quipped as he went into the small bathroom adjacent to the room. It didn’t take Steve long to find a stack of paper towels in the bathroom, wet some, and return to Bucky. Lifting his gown, he watched Bucky suck in a breath of surprise and turn red once more. Steve just smiled at him, leaning down to kiss his cheek as he ran the towels between both Bucky’s thighs, over his stomach, and then very deliberately cleaned his cock. He loved the way Bucky sounded when he ran the wet paper over his soft cock, the way he squirmed a little, but never tried to get away. It was sensual, sweet, and hot as hell, the way Bucky just let him, allowed Steve to expose him like that. By the time he was done, Bucky was breathing fast, as if he would have been hard all over again if he could. Yet he hadn’t moved, had just lain there, shivering, as Steve took care of him, touched him so intimately.

When he was done, Steve readjusted the gown, covering Bucky once more. Then he put his blanket, fallen to the floor, over his lap and leaned in for a kiss. Their mouths had just brushed when the door opened. Steve jumped, spinning in place, to find Becca walking in ahead of her mom. The girl's eyes opened wide as she clearly understood what they had just missed and she halted, causing her mom to run into her. Steve, grateful for the slight delay, forced his body into a more innocent posture.

Winnie swatted at Becca’s shoulder and snapped, “What are you doing, stopping like that?” Then she looked up, frowned at Steve, and marched around Becca to Bucky’s other side. Though she eyed Bucky and his blush speculatively, all she said was, “You ready to come home, baby?”

“Y-yeah, ma,” Bucky managed, his eyes still wide.

“Got clothes for you,” Becca said, pulling some from the bag slung over her shoulder, and dropped a pair of pants and a shirt into Bucky’s lap.

“Th-thanks,” Bucky managed, clutching the garments to his stomach. “Um, could you guys, give us a little privacy so I can change?”

“Us?” Winnie asked pointedly. “Bucky Barnes, are you trying to tell your mother you are seeing someone you haven’t introduced me to?”

“Um,” Bucky said. “Well, ma, he paid for my hospital stay. Who did you think he was?”

Winifred Barnes stared hard at her son and then fixed her no-nonsense stare on Steve.

“And what exactly are your intentions toward my son, Captain Rogers?”

Bucky and Becca snorted in tandem as Steve snapped to attention, standing at parade rest before he could stop himself.

“Committing myself to him, ma’am, if he’ll have me.”

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Bucky smile dopily and planned to tease him to hell for it later. At the moment, though, he held Winnie’s gaze as she contemplated the merits of the answer and finally, thankfully, nodded her approval.

“All right, just remember, Captain Rogers, if you hurt my boy, I will make you regret it.”

“Understood, ma’am,” Steve said quickly. “Um, Bucky, I’m gonna…”

“Yeah,” Bucky said, lips twitching with amusement.

“I’ll text you?”

Laughing, Bucky nodded and reached for Steve’s hand. He squeezed it and Steve squeezed back, wanting to kiss him again, but unsure if he should under Winifred Barnes’ rather intimidating stare. Settling for the touch, Steve made a tactical retreat. He knew when he was outmatched.

-----

SGR: Settled in at home? Comfortable? Not in too much pain? Do you need anything?

Bucky: If you weren’t my boyfriend, I’d mistake you for my mother

SGR: Well, I am, so…

Bucky: Yeah, about that… If we’re dating, can I come over? This whole thing has kind of gone really fast since our fight and we haven’t talked much in person and I really want to see you. If you don’t want me to, or want to give it a day, I understand, but I wanted to ask and I do want to see you

SGR: Bucky, YES. Come over. Come over whenever you want. I already asked JARVIS to put you into the security system. I don’t need space, but if I did I’d tell you. Until then, don’t ever think yourself a bother

Bucky: You are a great boyfriend

SGR: And don’t you forget it. When will you be here?

Bucky: Probably an hour by subway

SGR: You want to do anything specific?

Bucky: Not really? I just wanna see you…

SGR: I’ll make us lunch

Bucky: BEST. BOYFRIEND. EVER.

-----

An hour after he got the text, the elevator opened on Steve’s floor and Bucky stepped out, looking a little wide-eyed. Steve knew how he felt. Being a part of Tony’s world took a lot of getting used to. Everything was too fancy, too bright, and felt like if he got it dirty someone would yell at him. Whatever painkillers he was on probably weren’t helping matters. He’d only been out of the hospital for a day, and though Bucky had reported lots of hovering from his mom and sister, still had a long way to go before he was fully healed.

“Hey,” Steve said, wiping his hands on a towel and crossing from the kitchen through the living room to meet Bucky. Though he was looking shell-shocked, Bucky looked good. He was wearing the same leather jacket Steve remembered from their horrible date, sinfully tight jeans, and an equally tight blue shirt. Though his hands were in his pockets, Steve didn’t hesitate to pull him into a hug, sliding his arm between Bucky’s and his side, pulling him in and kissing his cheek. When Bucky sagged against him, Steve smiled and just held him close, wanting to take all those nerves away. He knew he was part of the cause, and hated that.

“Hey,” Bucky breathed against his jaw, hands coming to rest on Steve’s hips.

“So let me give you the nickel tour, huh?” Steve invited.

“Okay, sure,” Bucky said, but was reluctant as he pulled back. Feeling his heart squeeze, Steve caught his hand, lacing their fingers together as he turned to the rest of the room. He felt a little giddy at the contact, at holding hands like a teenager. It made him feel alive, happy and so excited.

“Living room,” Steve waved toward the soft white sofas, dark wood furniture, and plush red rug. “My apartment back in the ‘30s was smaller than that, by the way. Kitchen and dining room,” he added, tugging Bucky toward the gleaming chrome and glass area with a view of the Manhattan skyline out of the floor-to-ceiling windows.

“Jesus,” Bucky breathed, staring out at the view with wide eyes.

Steve chuckled.

“Right? It takes some getting used to. “There’s an office, a guest room, a guest bathroom, and my bedroom with an attached bathroom as well.” Bucky looked at him and Steve smiled, pulling him closer. “When I first moved in, I felt like I was going to get lost in my own place. From the look on your face, you look like you feel the same.”

“I, um,” Bucky said, looking away.

Steve squeezed his hand, reaching out and turning Bucky’s face to him.

“Or is it that you’re in Avengers Tower?”

“This place…” Bucky hesitated. “It’s just… Normal people don’t live like this, okay? This is something you see in movies, or in magazines, not in…reality!”

Steve bit his lip, pulling Bucky in close and wrapping his free hand about his waist.

“And the ceiling talks,” he said softly.

“The ceiling…?” Bucky looked up. “What?”

“JARVIS?” Steve called. “How’s your day been today?”

“Quite nice, thank you, Captain. Then again, Sir has not woken up yet, so it could change at any moment.”

Steve blinked.

“JARVIS…it’s nearly one in the afternoon.”

“Indeed, Captain,” JARVIS agreed. “Lovely, isn’t it?”

Steve snorted and Bucky let out a startled laugh.

“Holy shit,” Bucky said. “So you have a smart home?”

“Um,” Steve blinked. “JARVIS, what’s a smart home?”

“A dwelling incorporating many wireless enhancements to allow those living within greater comforts with less work. In that sense, I am a smart home, Mr. Barnes, but I am actually an artificial intelligence created by Tony Stark to run the tower and help with his programs.”

“O-oh, um, it’s nice to meet you, JARVIS,” Bucky said and Steve couldn’t help but kiss his cheek for being so polite to someone he couldn’t even see.

“It is a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Barnes,” JARVIS answered.

“So I made hot Italian sandwiches. They’re keeping warm in the oven. And Bucky,” Steve said seriously, stepping back and putting his hands on Bucky’s shoulders, “you are not allowed in the kitchen.”

“Really?” Bucky smiled sweetly. “I’m sure there is something I could do. Boil water maybe?”

Steve rolled his eyes.

“I don’t need water boiled for sandwiches, which is why you’re not allowed in the kitchen.”

“Hmm, I’m sure I could find something to do, play with some fire maybe?”

“Nope, I have an induction stove. Fascinating bit of technology, by the way, now sit down, and I’ll feed you.”

Bucky’s smile grew, his teeth white and shining at Steve in the wide grin.

“You better be careful, Steve. You feed a starving student and he might never leave.”

Sighing heavily, Steve turned Bucky and guided him into the kitchen, then pulled out a chair and pushed him into it.

“Like that would be such a hardship,” Steve grumbled. “Now, stay, or I might not cash in that rain check.”

Bucky’s eyelids fluttered, lowering for a moment so that his long eyelashes touched his clean-shaven cheeks. Then he raised them half way, fixing Steve with a look from underneath them that made Steve’s cock pay attention.

“You sure you want to pass on the opportunity, sir?” Steve’s cock jumped this time and Bucky licked his lips. “I’m known for my focus and dedication to the subject of my studies.”

Now incapable of walking away, Steve pressed Bucky flat against the back of the chair and turned to face him again. Bucky’s eyes dilated and he tried to lean forward, but it took no effort at all to keep him in place. Like in the hospital, Bucky’s breathing grew ragged at the show of strength.

“Really, Buck?” Steve teased, letting his voice drop huskily. “You’ve been here for less than five minutes.”

Bucky bit on his lower lip before slowly, deliberately dragging it from between his teeth and licking it.

“I had a lot of time to think about you, sir,” Bucky said quietly. “A lot of time.”

Curling his hand over Bucky’s shoulder, Steve stared down at Bucky, at the obvious seductive air he was emanating. It was so fast, but Bucky clearly wanted him and Steve would be a gigantic liar if he said he didn’t want it too. It felt good to be wanted. To be the focus of attention for somebody as attractive and young and so clearly popular as Bucky. After the hospital, he’d had had to take a long, cold shower. That was why he let himself step forward, using his leg to push Bucky’s apart while still holding him down.

“You gonna tell me what you were thinking about, Buck?” Steve asked, raising an eyebrow as Bucky’s legs swung further apart, parting for Steve.

Bucky looked up at Steve, his eyes dark and liquid with want.

“When I was alone, when I was sure nobody would hear me, I imagined you pressing me down, manhandling me like a doll. I imagined you making me spread my legs,” Steve pushed his leg further between, then nudged at his ankles, and Bucky spread for him even more, “making me take you over and over, making me beg to come.”

Heart beating rapidly, Steve lifted his other hand to press his thumb against Bucky’s pouty full lower lip.

That must have been encouraging, because Bucky kept going. “I imagined you fucking me hard and fast. Making me go to my knees and telling me to suck you. You coming on my face.”

Bucky’s voice was dropping lower, getting hoarse, and he was squirming in the chair. Steve’s nostrils flared and he could swear he could smell the arousal pouring off of Bucky. The whole situation was starting to feel surreal, almost too good to be true, because Bucky was saying all the right things, making Steve ache with need, his pants too tight.

“Did you dress up for me, Bucky?” Steve asked lowly. “Are all these tight clothes for me?”

Bucky blinked, very slowly, and nodded.

“Yes, sir.” Steve was sure Bucky was using the term on purpose, was doing it rile Steve up, but the problem was Steve liked it that way. Liked how Bucky was pushing him; so obviously wanted it.

“Are you wearing underwear, Buck?” Steve asked, feeling himself blush even as he asked the question.

“Yes,” Bucky confirmed.

Licking his own lips, Steve hesitated, but Bucky’s legs were spread for him, head tilted back, and he had said the filthiest things…

“If I told you to go to the bathroom and take them off, would you be,” Steve swallowed, “good?”

Bucky opened his mouth, eyes going wide. He didn’t answer for a second, but when he did, his voice changed. It was lower, but softer at the same time.

“Yes, sir, I would be good,” he promised a little shakily.

Swallowing again, Steve pulled at the edge of Bucky’s shirt, running his fingers over his collarbone and watched Bucky lean into his touch.

“You wanna be good for me, Bucky?” Steve asked, needing to hear the confirmation from Bucky’s lips.

“Very much, sir.”

“Then you’re gonna go to the bathroom now, Buck,” Steve said, trying to hide how his own voice was trembling with longing. “You’re gonna take off your underwear and bring them to me. Then you’re going to sit and eat your meal and wait for me to decide what I want to do with you.”

Bucky’s pupils were so dilated there was barely any color visible around them. A slight flush already dusted his cheeks, making him look all the more sinful. Steve wanted to take him right then and there.

“Yes, sir,” he said, still a little shaky. Not from fear, Steve realised, but from sheer desire. Bucky didn't hesitate any longer. He got up from the chair and headed straight for the hallway where the bathroom was.

Leaning hard against the table, Steve watched him go, not hiding that he was staring at Bucky’s ass. Adjusting himself more comfortably, he squeezed, enjoyed the pressure for a long moment, then went to the oven. It was crazy that this was happening, but Steve wasn’t about to question it, not when he wanted it so damn bad. Not when it was Bucky suggesting it, pushing it, wanting it as badly as Steve did. He was pretty sure Bucky would have let Steve take him right there, just bend him over the counter or table and fuck him. Which Steve wanted, but he didn’t think they should. Not this soon, not their first time.

Though, Steve thought there was little chance he was going to have ‘normal’ sex with Bucky. Not when he was discovering Bucky was a sweet, if pushy, submissive.

Pulling the sandwiches out of the oven, he set them on the table and then turned at the sound of a soft footfalls behind him. Bucky was back in the kitchen, the flush on his cheeks darker now. He had his good hand in his pocket and was having trouble meeting Steve’s eyes. They were darting up to Steve’s, looking at him through his lashes, and then down again, to the floor.

“Um,” Bucky started and pulled out his balled fist from his pocket, extending it towards Steve. When he looked, Steve could see edges of red, bunched up cloth escaping from between the fingers.

Extending his own hand, open palmed, he waited for Bucky to drop the bundle. Strangely enough this act made Bucky blush even more, color staining his ears and his cheeks. Steve could feel the warmth still on the cloth and his own cheeks warmed as the reality of what he was doing hit him, the sheer impossible hotness of it.

“Good,” Steve managed to croak out, then had to clear his throat twice as he stuffed the underwear into his own pocket - and Jesus, he could just bend Bucky over, yank down his pants, and fuck him if he wanted to. “Sit down, the food is ready,”

Shuffling over, Bucky sat at the same seat he’d been in before and Steve took the one to his side. Scooping a hot sandwich out of the Pyrex dish, he placed it on Bucky’s plate and then two on his own. His ears were still ringing as he took his first bite and watched Bucky do the same because the gorgeous, funny, ridiculous man sitting next to him was no longer wearing underwear. Because Steve had told him to take it off. Because he wanted Steve to hold him down and fuck him and kept calling him Sir like he knew exactly what it was doing to him.

Now, Bucky was just eating quietly, staring at the food and Steve found his hands itched to take him out of his clothes entirely.

“Do you like it?” Steve made himself ask, voice low and dark like he hadn’t heard himself before. “The food?”

“Yes,” Bucky said quickly, “it’s really good.” Steve took another bite of his sandwich and Bucky let out a moan - because that’s what it was, no doubt - and closed his eyes as he chewed. Nearly choking on his own food, Steve stared as Bucky looked up at him so innocently and said, “It’s really good.”

Then he took another bite, chewed it, moaning again at how supposedly good it was before he swallowed. Without a break, without so much as a warning, Bucky then started to lick his fingers. Slowly dragging his tongue from base to tip, licking off the sauce and melted cheese, eyes half closed as he then sucked the finger in completely, making soft little humming, wicked sounds, all the way, breaking Steve’s mind.

When he realized he hadn’t taken more than two bites of his sandwich for staring at Bucky, Steve gave up the pretense of eating. Setting the sandwich down, he snatched Bucky’s straight from his hand. Then he caught him by the arm, dragging him from his seat and yanking him against his own chest. Bucky, startled, yelped, and then melted as Steve caught his jaw and kissed him, holding him in place as he plundered his mouth, not making it gentle as he kissed him hard and long and fiercely, pushing his tongue in deep, simulating what he wanted to do to that teasing mouth.

When Bucky’s hands clutched at his biceps, Steve pulled back, growling, “The things I wanna do to you,” without taking his lips from Bucky’s.

“Yes,” Bucky panted, “Please.”

“I don’t have a condom handy,” Steve warned, still holding Bucky’s jaw in place, but bending his neck to lick over Bucky’s pulse, “or lube, but I want to be inside you.”

“I do not care,” Bucky growled. “Oh my god, Steve please.”

“You don’t even know what I want to do to you.”

The frustrated cry that left Bucky’s lips went straight to Steve’s cock. He nipped at Bucky’s flesh, sucking on the soft, pale skin, and shivered as Bucky moaned again.

“Then tell me.”

Steve swallowed and splayed his hand over Bucky’s collarbone.

“I want you to strip for me,” Steve growled, “I want you naked and at my mercy. I want to spread you out on my bed and touch you, wherever, however I want. Then I want to take you apart on my fingers, stretch you, make you ready for my cock.”

Bucky was panting by the time Steve finished, mouth open, face flushed, and when Steve looked down, he could see Bucky’s pants obscenely tented.

“Yes, yes to all. Please, sir.”

Steve made a tiny noise. He thought he swallowed it fast, but that Bucky wanted what Steve wanted, was so eager for it, was going straight to his dick, making him hard just from this, just from this eager agreement. It was always his fantasy, his secret...kink, to have a partner submit to him like this, to have them offer themselves to his care and his touch. He thought he did a good job of hiding how it affected him, but when he raised his eyes to Bucky’s he saw them focused and watching him intently.

“You can do anything you want to me, sir.” Bucky lowered his eyes and looked at Steve from beneath his lashes. “Order me, that is.” Bucky’s voice was dropping, low and seductive, it was rapidly stripping all control from Steve. “And I’ll obey. Just tell me what you want me to do. You want me to beg?” Bucky’s voice was nothing but carnal seduction. “Tell me to beg; I’ll do it.”

Steve could hardly believe his own ears, how very eager Bucky sounded, how seductive. It was so much more than something out of a fantasy, because Bucky was curling into him, needing it as much as Steve. He curled his hand into Bucky’s hair, tugging, forcing his throat to arch beneath his lips as he hooked his fingers into the waistband of Bucky’s pants.

“I want you to beg,” Steve said, his voice shaky from how bad he wanted it, how much Bucky’s words had affected him. He pulled down the blanket and heard Bucky’s breath hitch, “but first you have to agree to my terms.”

“Your terms,” Bucky repeated.

“Yes. I want you to be careful, not use your left arm. Otherwise, we stop.” Steve straightened, then leaned in so their lips touched, fighting his own desire to just take Bucky, regardless of his injuries. “If you hurt yourself, I will stop, even if I’m balls-deep in you. Understood?”

Bucky arched his neck, their lips pressing that much closer together as he looked at Steve through half-lidded eyes.

“I’ll be good,” he whispered and Steve shuddered, the words going right to his cock. “I’ll be so good for you, sir.”

“Jesus, Bucky,” Steve groaned.

“Sir?” Bucky said again, and Steve didn’t mean to, but he yanked so hard on Bucky’s pants the button popped off. He didn’t even mean to, but Bucky’s eyes went wide and he moaned, so Steve kept pulling, getting his other hand in Bucky’s waist and ripping in both directions so the fabric split at the seams. Then he got his hands on Bucky’s collar, felt the man sway toward him, just before he flexed and tore the shirt straight down the middle, leaving Bucky naked before him. Completely vulnerable to Steve’s gaze, not that Steve knew where to look as all that golden skin was revealed, the long stretch of his legs, or the pale arch of hips. Maybe the pretty, mostly-hard cock nestled in a patch of short, dark hair, or the long line of bared torso with small dark nipples.

Steve placed his hand on Bucky’s hip and just ran it up, over the bared flesh offered to him, teasing a flat nipple on his way to Bucky’s throat. Bucky tilted his head back, giving Steve access. He did it so smoothly, so naturally, Steve became totally hard in a heartbeat; the fabric of his pants grew far too tight. He moaned and let go, running his hand back down over the heaving chest, making sure to tease the hardening nipples and touch the soft belly that twitched at his caress.

Then he went lower until he could wrap his hand around the nice, thick cock jutting out from Bucky’s groin. It was warm and hard, the head perfectly formed, fitting in his hand so well he didn’t even stop himself from giving it a few strokes while watching Bucky’s face. It was so arousing, so exciting to watch Bucky flush, watch his lips fall open as he was swamped with pleasure.

Letting go, enjoying the sweet whine that left Bucky, Steve grabbed Bucky just beneath his ass, a hand on each upper thigh, and lifted, picking Bucky up and spreading his legs all at once. Bucky just made a small, helplessly aroused sound and wrapped both his arms and legs around Steve. Steve could feel how Bucky’s cock was now pressed to his belly, the hard tip rubbing over his abs.

Squeezing Bucky’s ass, molding the firm muscle, Steve smiled and started for the bedroom. Bucky shuddered and buried his face into Steve’s throat as every step bounced him, making his cock rub against the rough fabric on Steve’s belly. Steve didn’t stop playing with his ass, either, pulling the cheeks apart, then letting a finger stretch and brush against his hole, enjoying the tiny jerk Bucky gave at the contact.

In the bedroom, Steve lay Bucky in the middle of the bed and sat beside him, just looking at him for a long moment. Bucky was flushed, panting as if they were fucking already, and his eyes, dark and liquid, were fixed on Steve with complete focus. His slim chest was heaving, the ribcage expanding with each inhale, pushing up his dusky, perky nipples, making Steve want to just touch them, tease them. It was so mind-blowing, so incredibly humbling, to have Bucky naked and vulnerable like this, lying in Steve’s bed, hard cock lying on his belly, exposed to Steve's eyes and his touch.

“I’m going to touch you however I please, Bucky,” Steve purred. “Do whatever I please, and you will just lie there and take it,” Steve said hoarsely, mind whirring with a million images. “Won’t you?”

“I will,” Bucky said, breathless, his stomach muscles clenching and tensing rhythmically, “A-anything you want, sir. I want you to. I want it. Everything, anything, please, sir.”

Smiling, Steve laid his hand on Bucky’s ankle and tugged gently. Bucky responded instantly, spreading his legs under the wordless command, exposing himself even more than he already had been, and Jesus but Steve wanted him so much. So much. He ran his hand up over Bucky’s leg to his knee, over his thigh, then higher still, completely avoiding Bucky’s swollen cock which twitched on his lower belly. He teased the muscles of Bucky’s stomach, making them shudder, then ran his fingers over Bucky’s nipples and smiled as he moaned, eyes fluttering. For a moment Steve just teased them, rubbing, pinching gently, plucking, until Bucky was squirming on the bed, hands clenched in the bedclothes.

When Bucky let out a particularly desperate whine, Steve took mercy on him and lowered his hand again, traveling back down, to Bucky’s cock. He closed his hand around the stiff length and Bucky’s hips came off the bed, thrusting into Steve’s hand, thighs tensing at the movement. He squeezed Bucky’s cock, twisting his hand about the tip, wanting nothing more than to roll him over and slide inside his tight, gorgeous -

“Oh fuck,” Bucky swore, face flushed, head falling back, eyes squeezing shut. His legs jerked, hips bouncing into Steve’s fist, and then come was spurting from his clenched fingers and spilling onto Bucky’s lower belly.

Holding gently, Steve murmured, “Hair-trigger there, Buck?”

“I,” Bucky flushed, looking away, but his cock twitched in Steve’s hand and he could see how Bucky’s eyes went wide, dark. How he took in a hard breath, chest and neck turning as red as his face.

“Hardly even touched you,” Steve said experimentally. Bucky let out a short, strangled moan, squeezing his eyes shut, and the softening cock in Steve’s grip twitched again. He’d liked it, Steve being mean. “And I didn’t even give you permission to come yet,” Steve said, testing the waters still. “What a naughty thing you are.”

This time he was rewarded with a full body squirm, Bucky’s hips jolting up once, and a louder, deeper moan leaving Bucky’s throat. He hadn’t stopped blushing for a moment.

“You’re so easy,” Steve purred. “Just made to be a plaything, aren’t you?”

“Yes, sir,” Bucky said quickly, his face even darker than when he was coming, nostrils flying as he was panting against what had to be mounting arousal.

“Look at me when I’m talking to you,” Steve ordered, using his best Captain’s voice.

Bucky opened his eyes, dark and pupils blown wide, fixing that liquid blue stare on Steve with helpless desire. Steve ran his fingers through the come cooling on Bucky’s belly, and then reached between Bucky’s legs. Gasping, Bucky’s head fell back on the pillow, but he made no motion to close his legs. So pliant, so very easy, and best of all? All Steve’s.

“More,” Steve said quietly, and Bucky bit his lip, but lifted his legs, planting his feet on the bed, knees far to each side. Slowly, Steve grinned and said. “There, now I can see that eager little hole.”

Bucky made a small little sound, tossing his head. There was something so sexy in his soft cock, the way Bucky hadn’t protested a bit though he’d already come. Just offered his body to Steve, spreading himself, putting himself on display and giving Steve access to do whatever he pleased.

Sliding his come-slick fingers beneath Bucky’s balls, up his perineum, and to his tiny hole, Steve left a shiny trail. He pressed two of his fingers there, not pushing in, just adding pressure, making Bucky feel them, be aware of them, the tease of the promised touch as he held his gaze.

“I’m going to finger you with your own come as lube,” Steve said, mesmerised by the expression on Bucky’s face, in his eyes, open and vulnerable and willing. Bucky only moaned quietly in response, trying to spread his legs even wider. “Such a slut,” he teased. “What do you think, Buck? Can my little slut take two fingers? Or is your ass to tight?”

“Oh, god,” Bucky moaned. “Sir, two, please. Make me feel it? I can take it,” Bucky promised. “I swear I can.”

Steve didn’t wait any more, he pushed against Bucky’s tight little hole and watched the way Bucky’s eyes closed tight, his mouth falling open. Then they were both sliding past, sliding inside Bucky and he was so hot, like a furnace about Steve’s fingers. He was tight, too, body clutching at Steve as he pushed in, practically pulling at him, trying to take his fingers deeper.

“God, you’ve got an eager ass,” Steve muttered, pulling out, and then pushing back in. He couldn’t help a little moan of his own, shifting forward, putting his other hand against his cock and squeezing, realising just how hard he was and how much he wanted to get into Bucky’s willing body. He fingered Bucky’s hole hard, grinding his fingers in as deep as he could. Bucky was making small, whining sounds on every push in, tossing his head, and pumping his hips even though he was still soft. It was so clear he was loving every second of it, though, and that only made Steve hotter.

“Look at you,” Steve groaned, “you fucking love it. You’re not even hard and you love me using your ass. Making it ready for my dick. God, you’re gonna look so good on me.” Bucky moaned and Steve chuckled. “Tell me how much you want it, Buck.”

“Anything,” Bucky gasped. “I want anything you want to put in me, sir.”

“Fingers?” Steve thrust harder, faster, making it a point, making Bucky gasp out harsh breaths every time. “Cock?”

Bucky was nodding, whispering, “Yes, yes,” at every question.

“Toys?” Steve pushed. “Keep a plug in you so I can just bend you over whenever I want?” Bucky shuddered, head tossing. “Any time of the day or night? Push you against a wall, pull your pants down, fuck you until I come?”

“Please,” Bucky moaned.

Groaning, Steve pulled his fingers out, swiped them through Bucky’s come, and pushed in a third finger. Bucky nearly came off the bed, and Steve had to press on his stomach, holding him down as he fucked Bucky hard with his fingers. Making his soft cock twitch helplessly against his thigh.

“Wouldn’t even matter to you if you came, would it?” Steve said, breathless. “I could come in you, plug you back up, and leave you aching and you’d love it.”

“Yes,” Bucky gasped. “Yes, sir, please.”

At last Bucky’s cock twitched and swelled, not much, but enough to tell Steve he was getting ready for more. For another round. Steve swallowed thickly, slowing his movements, letting Bucky’s pleasure linger. Teasing him, reminding him that Bucky’s body was his to play with as he wanted.

“You’re sure about this?” Steve asked and watched Bucky’s eyes pop open to look at him. “I can’t catch anything, so I’m clean, but if you don’t want me to… If you want to wait, I won’t be upset.”

Bucky looked at him for a moment, eyes dark, but clear. Thinking. Not just giving in to what Steve wanted, and he thought he fell a little more in love with Bucky right then.

“I trust you.”

“Jesus,” Steve blurted, cursing again. “Bucky, fuck, you are just…too much.”

Smiling at him, slow and somehow coy with Steve’s fingers buried in his ass, Bucky said, “Please, sir, I want it.” Then he rolled his hips, pushing down onto the digits inside him. “Fuck me, sir? Use me like your plaything?”

Steve closed his eyes, trying to control himself, trying to not just flip Bucky over and get his cock inside his perfect lover right there and then. Reaching into his bedside table, Steve fished around until he found the bottle of hand lotion he kept for long nights alone. He set it on the beside table and was about to strip when Bucky’s voice interrupted him.

“Can I,” Bucky asked hesitantly, “Can I slick you up?” He licked his lips, red and swollen from all the biting he was doing. “I want to touch you, sir. Please,” he begged sweetly, reaching his hand towards Steve.

“God, baby, yeah,” Steve said, swallowing when Bucky’s eyes lit up at the pet name.

Steve yanked his shirt over his head and threw it aside. Then he unbuttoned his pants and yanked them, and his underwear, off. The cloth got tangled in his shoes, but he was soon kicking free and naked as the day he was born. Now he could feel Bucky’s eyes roving his body, and for once, he felt nothing but pleasure at being ogled.

“Holy shit,” Bucky whispered.

Taking Bucky’s hand, Steve brought it to his hard aching cock, and said, “Like what you see, baby?”

“Oh,” Bucky moaned, squeezing Steve gently, “Yes, sir.”

“When you’re feeling better,” Steve said, swallowing down the little nervous voice that told him to shut up, “I’ll let you worship me properly.”

“Yes,” Bucky blurted. “Yes, I want to. Show you just how much I love being yours.”

Steve reached for the bottle with the hand not covering Bucky’s on his cock. Staring his lover in the eyes, he pumped out some lotion on Bucky’s palm. “Make me nice and slick,” he ordered, heartbeat picking up even as a small part of him was wondering how ridiculous he sounded. It was worth it, though, to see Bucky flush even harder and lick his lips again. Steve would say plenty of stupid, campy things to keep that look in Bucky’s eyes.

Slowly, Bucky stroked Steve from root to tip, then back down again. Closing his eyes, Steve groaned and just let himself enjoy the touch, Bucky’s hand on his heated flesh. And god, Bucky was his. It was like every fantasy Steve had ever had come true. When he opened his eyes, having just let Bucky stroke him for a long glorious minute, Bucky was hard again.

Steve let himself snort.

“I fingerfuck you for ages, pound into you, and it’s touching my cock that gets you hard again?”

“Have you looked at yourself?” Bucky blurted, eyes wide. Then he obviously caught himself and added, belatedly, “sir?”

Steve huffed out a tiny laugh, but he was starting to see a pattern here. Starting to realize that, as much as Bucky was putting himself out there, pushing for this scene between them, he was holding back. Waiting for Steve to get mad at him again. It nearly broke Steve’s heart, seeing his sweet, submissive lover hiding from him, afraid of his reaction.

“Don’t spend a lot of time in front of mirrors, no,” Steve said, thrusting slowly into Bucky’s hand. “Tell me what you like, Bucky.”

“You,” Bucky said immediately, no thought spent on deciding. Then he lowered his eyes momentarily, hiding them from Steve. “I like what we’re doing now,” Bucky said quietly, hesitant and shy all over again. It was so not like him.

“You like touching me, Buck?” Steve pressed, pushing, wanting to show Bucky it was okay. He reached for Bucky’s face and tilted his head so that Bucky had to look him in the eyes. “That fantasy you told me about, it wasn’t recent, was it? You’ve had it for a long time. For years, haven’t you?”

“Steve,” Bucky said, eyes going wild, fearful. “I…”

“Shh, it’s okay,” Steve assured, glad for the break in the scene they were playing out. “I want you to tell me everything. I won't get mad at you, I swear. You can tell me anything.”

“I really like the way you look,” Bucky started, a little hesitant, but again willing to take a risk. Most importantly, the fear was gone from his eyes. “I generally like men larger than me and you…you’re like a wet dream come true. I couldn’t help but think about how you look under that suit, and let’s, be honest here,” Steve grinned, as Bucky was relaxing, indeed being honest, “that suit you wear is seven shades of indecent. Who even dresses you guys? I swear I’ve seen strippers with less form-fitting clothes than you guys. Your shoulders, your chest; god, Steve, I’ve been jerking off to you since I knew what jerking off was. And then I met you, and you were this sweet, funny, smart guy with wide shoulders, pecs that made me want to suck on them for hours, and biceps that make me weak in the knees. So yeah, Steve, I thought a lot about how you look and how I would like to touch you, or how I would like you to touch me.”

Bucky was talking quicker and quicker, obviously wanting to say everything in one go once he had started talking. It was adorable. All excited puppy who just wanted to play, to be loved. Steve’s heart swelled and he felt himself lean closer to Bucky.

“But you got so angry at me talking about you being Cap,” Bucky went on, “and with the serum, your body is part of that image, and I wasn’t sure you wanted me to mention it at all. I didn’t want to make you mad again.”

“I should have told you who I was,” Steve said softly. “I’m sorry I didn’t warn you.”

Bucky’s lips twisted down.

“I probably wouldn’t have been as big of an ass if I had a few weeks to get used to the fact you were Captain America.”

Steve smiled slowly, pressed a quick chaste kiss to Bucky’s lips, and leaned back again.

“I know. You’re not inherently an asshole, just…overexcitable. You did give me some ideas, though,” Steve said, squeezing Bucky’s hand over his cock, reminding him they were on the cusp of having sex. “What would you think if I put you naked in my lap, so I can touch you however I want, and have you suck on my nipples until I’m ready to fuck you.”

“Oh god,” Bucky moaned. “Yes. Please?”

Chuckling, Steve gave Bucky’s hip a little slap.

“On your good side, baby. Gonna fuck you like that.”

Bucky didn’t waste time, immediately rolling onto his uninjured right side. Then he wiggled back, to make his ass all but hang out, making himself an easy target, as willing as the filthiest of Steve’s fantasies.

“Beg,” Steve ordered, abruptly breathless, dizzy with how much he wanted Bucky. “Beg for it, my little slut. Earn my cock in that tight little ass of yours.”

Bucky let out a loud, long sound, his fingers digging into the bedding, arching his ass back even more, his spine an obscenely inviting arch that pushed the soft globes of his ass at Steve.

“Please, sir, please. Put your cock in me?” Bucky was pushing his forehead into the bedding, eyes squeezed shut. “Fuck me, use me however you want. I want to feel it, feel you inside me, enjoying me. Please, sir. Make me your plaything, do anything you want to me. Just please, please.”

Climbing back onto the bed, Steve swung a leg over Bucky’s hip, and crouched over him. Then Steve pressed his tip to Bucky’s exposed, rosy hole, but didn’t push inside. He held there, rubbing over the tight muscle, around it, up and down Bucky’s crack. Bucky was shifting trying to push his ass at Steve more, gasping each time the tip caught on his hole but didn’t push in.

“You’ve imagined me fucking you before a lot, haven’t you, Bucky?” Steve teased. “Imagined being pounded. Imagined me making you my bitch.” Bucky whined and Steve groaned, letting his head push past Bucky’s rim, staring in fascinated arousal at how the tiny ring of muscles stretched to accommodate the girth of his cock. Then he pulled out. “Say it, Bucky. Tell me the filthy things you want done to you.”

“I want to be your bitch,” Bucky blurted, then gasped and moaned, turning his face into the mattress, muffling his voice, but not enough that Steve couldn’t hear him. “I want you to fuck me, anytime you want. Pin me down, have your way with me. I want you to wreck my hole, make it loose and sloppy. Make me think only of your cock.” Steve watched Bucky’s ears turned pink and pushed his tip back into the tight clenching hole. Bucky let out a strangled sound, like Steve was choking him, and started talking faster. “I want to feel you there all the time, feel the ache, the stretch, the wetness as you pump me full of your come, make it leak right out of me. I want you to not even ask, just push my pants down, push your cock in, maybe even without any lube and just make me take it, like I’m your bitch, like it’s my duty to take you like that.”

Bucky’s voice was shivery and thready, the man obviously lost in the throes of fantasy and sex, his hips working back and forth a little, cock drooling a thin line of pre-come onto the crumpled sheets. Steve pulled his cock out and pushed it back in and Bucky buried his face into the mattress as he wailed. At that, Steve couldn’t hold back, he pushed inch after inch into Bucky’s willing, pliant body and felt his lover shudder, over and over as he sank in.

When he was fully buried in the clenching heat, feeling the way Bucky was spasming around him, clenching down, trying to push his ass back to take more, Steve lowered himself until his lips brushed Bucky’s ear as he whispered, “It won’t just be once. The serum affected my libido, Bucky, and I’m not going to stop until I’m soft again. Do you understand? You lay there and you take it until I’m done.”

Bucky sobbed out a breath, or maybe a curse, and nodded his head frantically.

“Yes, sir, please. I want… Yes, sir, yes.”

Lightly, Steve kissed Bucky’s temple, then pushed himself onto his arms. He didn’t hold back, pulling out and slamming back in. Bucky's body slid up the bed as he shouted into the mattress. His hands clutched at the sheets as Steve didn’t slow down, just kept thrusting, working his cock into Bucky over and over and over. He didn’t try to be fancy, just thrust until he watched Bucky’s entire body jerk and knew he’d found his lover’s prostate. Then he focused on that and his own pleasure, using Bucky like he’d begged to be used, and listening to his cries, muffled by the bed, but oh so sweet.

Switching his weight to one hand, Steve reached around Bucky’s hip and took his cock in hand. It was like he’d electrocuted Bucky. His body thrashed, hips jerking back onto Steve’s cock and then into his hand. Bucky was trying to muffle his cries as hard as he could, but a lot were escaping him, stunted groans and whines that made Steve’s head swim with how much they turned him on. The pleasure was building and building, making it hard to think. All Steve could think about was his cock, how good it felt inside Bucky, how the heat in his belly was coiling tighter and tighter with every thrust.

“That’s my slut,” Steve panted. “Come for me, baby. Be a good boy.”

Steve could feel the waves of his own orgasm rising higher and higher, unstoppable within him. Then Bucky was shouting, keening, and clenching down so deliciously tight. Cursing, Steve came as well, the pleasure cresting and he was falling, thrusts stuttering as he filled Bucky’s ass with his come, his hand sticky around Bucky’s cock, still twitching from his orgasm.

Breathing hard, Steve paused, cock buried within Bucky, as he caught his breath. Bucky just lay beneath him, still and pliant, letting out little whimpers and shivering. Humming, Steve caressed his bare side, leaving smears of come on the smooth, flushed skin, marking him with it as he kissed Bucky’s crown, his temple, the shell of his ear. He could still feel how Bucky was spasming around his cock, the last aftershocks of his orgasm coursing through him, stoking Steve’s own pleasure higher.

When Bucky’s shivers vanished, Steve pulled out and slammed back in, the way slicker than before, wet and easy, creating an obscene, squelch as his cock fucked into the channel he had just filled with his come. Bucky nearly came off the bed, choking on a shout, head thrown back and eyes wide with surprise. Like he hadn’t expected it, even though Steve had warned him.

“Take it, baby,” Steve grunted. “We’re just getting started.”

Steve clenched his hand around Bucky’s hip, pulling his ass almost off the bed, making it easier to fuck into him like an animal. His first orgasm hadn’t really cleared Steve’s head, merely pushing the want inside him higher, winding his body tighter, and Bucky’s words, his fantasies, were running through Steve’s mind in disjointed, frantic images: Bucky on his hands and knees, Bucky sucking on his nipples until his lips were red and swollen. Bucky pushed up against a wall, fully dressed, with his pants pushed down just enough that Steve could fuck him just like he was now, hard and fast, the squelching sound of his cock pushing into that wet little hole almost as loud as Bucky’s breathless, shocked gasps. It wouldn't take long, Steve knew. He was going to come fast and he wanted to, needed to, and he was allowed it. Could take what he wanted from Bucky’s willing, eager body.

With a shout, Steve came again, pumping his hips into Bucky and muffling his cry by biting at the back of his lover’s neck. Bucky just shuddered, his whimpers and gasps continuing even as Steve stilled, as he held onto Bucky’s hip and then lifted his hand to Bucky’s hair. Slowly he combed through the long dark strands, idly kissing Bucky’s neck, his shoulders, petting him and enjoying his sweet, supple body.

Able to catch his breath, Steve nipped at Bucky’s ear and felt him jerk.

“Hey, sweetness,” Steve murmured. “You doin’ okay? How’s the arm?”

“Steve,” Bucky whined and Steve was worried for all of a moment before Bucky was twisting, hooking an arm around his neck, and pulling him down into a sloppy, wet kiss. “Steve, Steve, Steve,” Bucky repeated, making Steve laugh as he kept peppering his face and lips with messy kisses.

“I take it you’re okay?” Steve finally managed to ask.

“Oh god,” Bucky said thickly, “yes. More, please?”

“You, sure?” Steve verified. “Not too sore?”

“No,” Bucky wiggled, pushing his ass back at Steve’s still hard cock. “Give it to me. Fill-” Bucky blushed, stopping and turning away again.

Steve bit harder at Bucky’s ear and growled, “Say it.”

Moaning, writhing, Bucky blurted, “Fill your bitch with your come.”

“Well,” Steve drawled, “since you asked so nicely…”

Steve pulled out until the head of his cock pulled free, slipping out on the abundance of come, and Bucky whined.

“You are so perfect for me, such a perfect little bitch,” Steve said, the heat in his belly still tight, still coiled, desire nowhere near being spent. His cock was hard, standing tall and proud, glistening with wetness. He grabbed hold of Bucky’s ass cheeks and spread them, looking at the reddened, abused little hole, no longer as tight as before. “Just look at you. So eager, so pretty with that hole of yours all sloppy and wet. I bet if I wait a little, I’ll see my come leak out of you,” Steve said hoarsely, staring at the entrance to Bucky’s body and how it twitched at his words. He pulled the cheeks even further apart, making Bucky feel the stretch, teasing the perfect little hole. “I left two loads in it. You must be feeling so sloppy now, so full.”

He wasn't paying much attention to what he was talking about, just wanting to express his desire, how much Bucky was turning him on, and how hot he was. It was good, though, from the way Bucky writhed, blushed all through his ears and neck and chest. He’d pressed his face back into the mattress, embarrassed and loving it.

“And look at that,” Steve whispered almost reverently as the first drop appeared. “You’re leaking already, all messy and wrecked, god so pretty like this.” Steve put two of his fingers at the hole and then didn’t even try fighting his desires. He pressed them in, feeling how hot Bucky was inside, come slicking everything. Feeling both turned on and merciless, Steve curled his fingers and pressed them against Bucky’s prostate. His lover jerked, letting out a bark of startled pleasure, but Steve didn’t stop. He curled his fingers further and started rubbing lovely, vicious circles where he thought Bucky’s prostate to be. Bucky came undone. Choked up little sounds leaving his throat as he all but thrashed on the bed, helpless.

Chanting, “Oh, oh, oh,” Bucky broke out in a thin sheen of sweat. “Steve; oh god, oh god, oh…

“Silent,” Steve hissed. “Be silent, slut.”

Bucky sobbed, shuddering, and the sounds choked off, his jaw clenching tightly on the cries. It made Steve throb with need all over again, like he hadn’t come at all. That obedience, that sweet submission; it made him need to possess Bucky all over again, in every way that he could. Make his tight, eager hole Steve’s.

Pulling his fingers out, Steve was unable to hold off any longer. His cock was hard and throbbing, again, and so damn desperate for friction. He pulled at Bucky’s thigh, raising it, forcing Bucky to spread his legs, expose his hole and the soft cock lying limply on his other leg. He guided his own cock to Bucky’s hole again and pushed. Steve’s tip went in easily. Bucky was slick and loose from all the fingering and fucking he’d already received. He was so hot inside, hotter than ever before, and he clenched down on Steve, back arching, head lolling, as he let out that breathy, half-choked-off whine once more. Groaning, Steve didn’t stop until he was balls-deep, every inch of his cock inside Bucky’s gorgeous body.

“I love your hole,” Steve panted, holding himself completely sheathed in Bucky. “How soft it is, how it’s perfect for my cock.”

Steve pulled out all at once, watching as his cock slipped free from Bucky’s body, how his head pulled at the rim before slipping free, and listened to the broken little sound Bucky made.

“Sir, oh, sir, please,” Bucky whimpered.

“I told you to be quiet,” Steve growled. Reaching around Bucky, Steve gathered up his cock again, soft and limp and sticky with come. Vulnerable and oversensitive. He squeezed, and Bucky shuddered. “Can’t come again, can you, baby?” he teased, stroking and squeezing anyways, making Bucky writhe, thrash, and nearly pull off Steve’s cock. “When you’re better,” Steve promised, “you’re going to ride me at this point. When you can’t come and you’re exhausted, you’re gonna ride me. Make me come again when you can’t, so you remember your body's mine; for my pleasure.”

Nodding fervently, Bucky held his tongue this time and Steve rewarded him by moving again, fucking Bucky long and slow. He didn’t let go of his cock, stroking, making Bucky tremble with the pleasure so intense it would be painful. Bucky was just curling forward, jaw clenched, trembling, and spreading his legs even wider for Steve. Offering himself, Steve thought. Giving himself to Steve.

“Oh, god, baby,” Steve gasped.

Abandoning all pretense of going slow, Steve fucked into Bucky again with everything he had. The bed creaked, straining under the stress. Bucky started to keen again, his eyes tightly closed and he was shaking, biting at his lip as he was overwhelmed with sensation. Watching him, hearing and feeling him, the heat in Steve’s belly, the heat that hadn’t waned, was coiling up again, making his heart beat triple-time. It was so good, so perfect, Steve was dizzy with it. The room smelled like come and sweat, smelled like sex, and Steve was swamped with overwhelming pleasure. The heat and tightness around his cock, the way Bucky was clenching down, the sounds he was making were all driving Steve crazy, were pushing him closer and closer to ecstasy.

Steve had no idea how long he lasted, if it was heartbeats or minutes or hours, but his body locked up, heart pumping wildly, muscles tensing as his cock jerked, swelled, and spurted a final load into his wonderful, perfect, willing lover who was still moaning and shaking, his hands scrabbling at the bedsheets as if he was the one who had come undone.

It took all of Steve’s willpower not to collapse on Bucky’s burned side. He managed it, barely, easing himself down behind his lover. Lightly, he kissed Bucky’s shoulder, his neck, gentle, sweet kisses as he waited for Bucky to stop shaking.

And waited.

And waited.

“Bucky?” Steve asked tentatively. Pushing himself onto his hands, he leaned over his lover, looking down at his closed eyes, tightly pressed lips, and vaguely remembered from all his reading, all his research online he had thought would never be put to use: sub-drop. Bucky had fallen, hard, skin cold and clammy.

“Oh, baby,” Steve groaned. “I got you.”

The bed was large enough more than two people could share it comfortably. Steve rolled over him, then slid his arm beneath Bucky’s waist. With the other, he tugged until he had Bucky practically lying on top of him. It was as close as he could get him, but it wasn’t enough. Bucky was still shivering, skin still like ice, as Steve yanked the filthy blanket from beneath them, then wrapped them in the sheets, and Bucky in his arms.

“You’re so perfect, Bucky,” Steve murmured into Bucky’s ear. “So goddamn perfect. I love you, baby. Love you so much.”

“Steve,” Bucky whimpered, finally speaking, burrowing forward as if he wanted to get right inside him. Over and over he whimpered Steve’s name as Steve tried to shush him, tried to reassure him, petting Bucky’s head, his back, his neck. Finally, in an act of desperation, he guided Bucky’s lips to his nipple and murmured, “Suck, sweetness, just suck.”

To Steve’s utter surprise, it worked. Bucky shuddered and moaned, wrapping his lips around Steve’s nipple and sucked eagerly. If he hadn’t been so worried, Steve would have snorted in amusement. As it was, he just pulled Bucky closer, kissed his head, and held him.

Only when Bucky stopped, licked his lips, gave Steve’s nipple a tiny kiss, and looked up did Steve let himself think Bucky was going to be all right.

“Thank you,” Bucky said hoarsely, then rubbed his face over Steve’s pecs like a content cat, even making a small, pleased sound.

For all they had done together, for all the filth that Steve had spouted minutes before, this innocent gesture made him blush and stutter. “N-no. You got nothing to thank me for. You were incredible, Bucky; Jesus, I ain’t ever gonna get enough of you.”

Bucky shifted around enough to worm his healthy hand between them and propped his chin on it, gazing at Steve with a kind of strange smile, mostly visible in his eyes that were tilted into gentle half moons.

“You have no idea what I’m thanking you for, do you?” Bucky asked, his lips quirking up. “How much experience as a dom do you have, Steve?”

“Um,” Steve felt himself blushing and picked at the sheet covering them, “to be honest? Mostly research. This is my second time. As a dom,” he quickly added.

As he saw Bucky’s eyebrows go up in surprise, Steve blushed harder.

“Second time?” Bucky asked lightly. “You seem awfully knowledgeable for somebody who has only done it once before.”

Steve sing-song, whispered, “The internet is for porn. The internet is for porn. So -”

Bucky laughed and sang, “Grab your dick and double-click, for porn, porn, porn. Oh my god, you saw Avenue Q?”

“I like Broadway,” Steve said defensively.

“So,” Bucky said, getting serious again, “I don’t always drop, but when I do, it’s usually very hard. I’ve been told it’s not easy to bring me back.” Bucky licked his lips. “You came up with the perfect way right off the bat.”

Steve looked at Bucky helplessly, unable to do anything but answer honestly. “I had no idea what I was doing, I just wanted you to…to feel better. I thought - you said you liked my chest, and if you had something to focus on...”

“Shh,” Bucky hushed, laughing silently. “Steve, it’s a good thing. I wanted you too bad to warn you before we started. So thank you.”

“Oh,” Steve managed, feeling embarrassed again. “Anything else I should know?”

Bucky yawned and looked adorably surprised at himself.

“Probably,” he admitted, “but I’m too tired to think right now.”

Smiling, Steve kissed him on his nose.

“Sleep, gorgeous. I’ll get us cleaned up.”

Bucky snickered a little.

“Perks of having a super-soldier boyfriend.”

“You better believe it,” Steve agreed and kissed Bucky, long and slow. When his lover’s kisses grew slow and sated, Steve made them shorter, letting Bucky fall asleep. Steve would happily take care of him, clean them up. He relished the opportunity to care for Bucky, to touch him and hold him, make sure he was comfortable and safe. They would probably have to talk later, but Steve felt optimistic about it now. They could hash out any difficulties when they were both rested and, preferably, not half out of their mind with desire. Maybe he could offer to let Bucky stay with him, instead of his mom’s, if that wasn’t rushing things too quickly.

“I love you,” Bucky murmured, just as Steve thought he’d drifted off to sleep.

“Love you, too, baby.”

----

Bucky woke up all at once, surging straight up from where he’d been lying and ruining the five minutes of work it had taken to get the sheet just right over his hips. Unimpressed, Steve stopped sketching, pencil held loose in his hand as Bucky stared at him with wide eyes, mouth opening and closing like a fish. He didn’t look to be in pain, otherwise Steve would have been worried. As it was, he was slightly miffed his drawing of Bucky asleep, naked but for the sheet, was going to have to be finished from memory.

“It wasn’t a dream,” Bucky said, his voice awed. “I… I mean, you…”

Setting aside his sketchbook and pencil, Steve raised an eyebrow as Bucky continued to fumble for his words. Bucky, though, just gave up. Making a sound like he’d been wounded, he scrambled across the bed to where Steve was sitting cross legged and sat himself down in Steve’s lap like he belonged there. Steve thought, as he wrapped his arms around Bucky’s waist and back, he would be right.

Framing Steve’s face with his hands, Bucky stared down at him with intense blue eyes.

“You’re really here,” he whispered.

“No,” Steve said, lips quirking with amusement, “you are really here. This is my home, after all.”

“Smart ass,” Bucky said, but he was grinning now, closing his eyes and leaning their foreheads together, as a sweet, content smile spread across his face. “I just… For a second there, I thought it was a dream. It was so much like something from a dream…”

“No, baby,” Steve said, touched by the depth of Bucky’s feelings, “it wasn’t a dream.” He slipped one hand down Bucky’s spine, between his cheeks, and pressed lightly against his well-used hole. Gasping, Bucky sagged against him, face pushing against Steve’s throat. “Can’t you feel that? That ache? You were so good to me, Bucky. Like,” Steve blinked and chuckled, nuzzling at Bucky’s temple, “Like a dream come true.”

“My best friend would say we’re in puppy lust,” Bucky murmured against Steve’s skin.

“What’s puppy lust?” Steve asked, reluctantly removing his fingers, sliding them back up Bucky’s spine as he slipped the other hand into Bucky’s hair.

“When you want someone in your bed so bad you think you’re in love,” Bucky answered, tightening his hold around Steve’s shoulders.

Steve snorted, but he thought he’d seen a few people in ‘puppy lust’ in his day. Not that he was sure that’s what this was. He’d fallen for Bucky before he’d ever met him, and knew how goddamned gorgeous he was. Certainly before he’d known how incredible he was in bed. That was all just a bonus on top of the funny, sweet, smart guy that was Bucky Barnes.

“And what do you think?” Steve asked.

“I think I don’t care if you are,” Bucky said, pressing a kiss to Steve’s pulse. “I’ll take you as long as I can have you.”

“Oh, if I am?” Steve teased. “What about you?”

“No,” Bucky sat back and smiled down at Steve. “I’m in love. Fell in love with a sassy meme lord over text messages and voice chats and Star Trek. You being the object of long-held sexual fantasies is just a bonus.”

Getting his feet under him, Steve made Bucky gasp as he rolled them forward, ending up pinning Bucky to the bed with his weight. Bucky just tightened his arms and legs, holding Steve close to him despite gravity doing its best to do that already.

“And you think I don’t love you?” Steve demanded. “Think it’s a phase?”

No,” Bucky said, slow and hard, as if Steve was being particularly thick. “I said I don’t care, not that I think it’s true. Contrary to what some people think, it’s not all about you, Mr. America. I was talking about my feelings.”

Steve laughed, and rolled them so Bucky was on top of him. Making a pleased sound, Bucky stretched out, ear to Steve’s chest, and Steve smiled, holding him close.

“Mr. America is the winner of a beauty pageant, but more to the point, to you it’s Steve or sir.”

Bucky shivered.

“Or Rogers, or Stevie,” he corrected. “Or punk, or shithead, or…”

Laughing, Steve rolled them both over and and set about discovering that Bucky was very, very ticklish. If Bucky was gonna sass him, he thought they’d be more than all right. He thought they’d be happy. Together.