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1984: Our Love Was

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Bucky ran from the school down the two blocks to the police station. Becca had been waiting at the pickup entrance for her older brother when school was out but the younger one - Lilly - wasn't there with her. Bucky had frantically asked where Lilly had gone and Becca said that she assumed she stayed home sick because she hadn't seen her all day. Bucky had just come from home and Lilly was definitely not there. He was worried that she was lost in Brooklyn or had made her way to one of the other Boroughs. Or worse, someone snatched her from the school before Becca or Bucky were with her.

Bucky left Becca with one of the teachers and ran. He reached the Brooklyn police station, flung open the door and marched in. "Lilly. She's missing. My little sister Lillian Barnes. She wasn't at school and I think someone either took her or she's lost in New York or run away or who knows. Please, I need help," Bucky said in a rush to a very displeased looking attendant at the front desk. "Excuse me?" Bucky pushed when he got nothing. "She could be in danger. She's just a little kid!"

---

Steve had been on street duty that day when he saw a little girl with brunette hair done up in a braid wandering around the street. It wasn't uncommon for kids her age to be out and about a little too young, but Steve knew a lost kid when he saw one. He approached her and she looked to be barely keeping calm. 

"Hey, Kiddo. You lost?" He asked. She nodded her head. He brought her to the precinct and let the secretary at the desk know to leave a message on the number Lilly had told him so her parent would pick her up when they got home. 

Steve had barely finished the milkshake he got for the two of them when a man around his age came rushing in asking for her. "Bucky! That's my brother!" Lilly said excitedly, running over to him.

---

Bucky slammed his knees into the ground so fast when he saw her coming and was kneeling down closer to her level when she attacked him in a giant hug. "Dammit, Lilly, I was so fucking scared." Bucky pulled back to look her up and down and put his hand on the side of her head. "I was so worried, you weren't with Becca or at home. What the hell happened to you? Have you been walking around Brooklyn all day?"

Lilly wiped her hand across her mouth and then wiped some tears that were forming in Bucky's eyes. "I didn't want to go to school today so I thought I'd just skip but then I couldn't find my way to the park and then I couldn't find my way back to the school and then I just didn't know where I was." Lilly whipped around and pointed up at a jacked officer wearing a uniform that was just slightly too tight for him in all the right places. "This cop found me."

---

Steve smiled warmly as the two reunited. He didn't wish that sort of panic on anyone, but he was happy to see that they were back together without too much trouble. As an officer, there were far too many tragedies he'd encountered not to take comfort in the happy endings.

Steve patted Lilly's shoulder. "Besides the whole cutting school thing, she was well-behaved," he said to Bucky. "I picked her up and we got some milkshakes. She hasn't been here too long." Steve saw the shine in Bucky's eyes and gave him a gentle look. "Would you two like a ride home? You look like you had one heck of a day."

---

"Oh, well, the school is just two blocks down and we still need to get Becca. I think we can manage, but thank you." Bucky smiled at the man and let his gaze linger on his lips for a bit longer than he should have. 

Just then Lilly pulled on Bucky's shirt and said, "No, please can we go in the police car? Becca will like it! And she can meet Mr. Steve too!"

Bucky looked from Lilly to the man who was apparently called Steve. He thrust out a hand and Steve shook it. "I'm Bucky, by the way. Thanks so much for bringing my sister here. I guess we will take that ride if you are still offering it."

---

Part of Steve's job was to notice things, so he saw how Bucky's eyes lingered on him. The man was pretty easy on the eyes and he was always a sucker for someone who cared deeply about their family. He was disappointed when Bucky declined at first but Lilly came to the rescue. 

Steve shook Bucky's hand. "I'm Officer Rogers, but Steve is fine, too. The offer for the ride is still there, but I'm not putting either of you in handcuffs. You'd be surprised how many people ask me to do that," he chuckled. When they got to his car, he opened up the back for the two of them.

---

Bucky slid into the backseat and Lilly followed in after. He told Steve which school Becca was at and they went to get her. When they pulled up, she was waiting outside with the teacher since Bucky had called the school from the precinct to tell them that they were on their way.

When she saw the cop car parking in front of the school and her brother getting out of the backseat to come get her, Becca's jaw dropped. "What did I miss in the last ten minutes?" She asked and followed Bucky to the car.

"Your sister tried to skip school and got lost." Bucky took Becca's backpack and she got into the middle seat beside Lilly.

"Becca," Lilly gestured to the driver. "This is Mr. Steve. He picked me up."

"Officer Rogers, Lilly. Be polite," Bucky corrected her.

---

Steve laughed. "It's okay, Mr. Steve works too," he said. "It's something new and new things are pretty cool, right?" Lilly nodded excitedly. From the looks of it, she was happy to have been found. He asked Bucky for the address and once he got it, he headed towards their apartment. "We left a message on the home phone for her parents, but I guess you can ignore it when you get home." He glanced in the rearview mirror at the three of them. "You didn't skip school too, did you?" He joked to Becca.

---

Becca smiled proudly and shook her head. "No, Sir, this year I have a perfect attendance record - not even one sick day - and I intend to keep it."

--- 

"Woah, that's really impressive." Steve was genuine about it but he played it up just a little because Becca was still a kid and deserved a little extra excitement.

---


Bucky rolled his eyes, "Yes, she's very proud. She's following right in our father’s footsteps as the academic one, aren't you, Becs?"

Becca nodded again and said, "And Lilly is the athlete like our mom was."

Lilly piped up then too, thinking that it was sharing time and anything goes, she said, "And Bucky dropped out of college." Bucky shot her a sharp glance meant to keep her quiet but she wasn't quite done. "He had to quit so we could stay a family and not be put in one of those homes."

---

When they started talking about parents in the past tense, Steve started to worry but then it got full-blown awkward when Lilly talked about Bucky dropping out to keep their family together. He gave Bucky an apologetic look in the mirror - not so much pity as it was being sorry that a sensitive topic was brought up without Bucky's permission. "He made a big sacrifice for you two," Steve said finally after trying to think of something to say. "I expect you to behave a little better so he has a little less to worry about, okay? So no more cutting school," he said patiently to Lilly.

---

Lilly pursed her lips and scuffed her foot on the carpet of the car. "Didn't mean it like that. I just didn't want to go today. Wasn't trying to make anyone worried," she mumbled. 

--- 

"I know, Kiddo. I'm sure you didn't mean anything by it, but there are still consequences for the decisions you make, even if you weren't looking to hurt anyone," Steve said gently. 

---

Bucky sunk a little further in his seat but sat up once he saw their apartment building. "This, this is us." Bucky tapped on the window. "Right here. Thanks again for the ride, Officer."

Steve pulled over and put the car in park. He got out and helped the girls get their stuff and watched them both run up the stairs to the door of the building with their keys in hand while Bucky stayed out on the sidewalk to talk to him. 

"Look, I really appreciate all your help today with Lilly and the ride," Bucky started. "And I'm sorry for Lilly. She doesn't really get what is an appropriate conversation and what isn't. I'm just glad she didn't ask about your whole life's story or your family or girlfriend or how much money you make or anything. She tends to be nosy."

---

"It's okay, helping's part of the job and kids are kids." Steve was quiet for a beat before he put his hands in his pockets nervously. "You have a lot on your plate," he said. "I probably could bet good money it's been a long time since you had a night out... so what do you say one of these days, I can ask my mom to look after your sisters and we can grab a few drinks?"

---

Bucky stood up a bit straighter and grinned. "You're right, I don't really have the time to get out. Haven't gone to a club for a few years now. Used to go to Disco Dandy's all the time." He pocketed his hands and tried to keep the heat from rising to his face when he looked at Steve's chest and his eyes and his jaw and everything about him. "That girlfriend won't mind if I borrow you for a night, then?"

---

Steve couldn't help but think how beautiful Bucky was when he smiled. He kept that to himself, knowing that men liking men wasn't exactly something most people were okay with. He cleared his throat and added, "The only woman in my life right now is my mom, and we've decided to be strictly platonic. So, yeah, I'm free for a night." He pulled out his notepad and wrote his home phone number on it so he could give it to Bucky.

---

Bucky took the paper with a nod and refused to grin when Steve said he didn't have a girlfriend. It wasn't like Bucky expected this to go anywhere, but it was nicer to look at someone as handsome as Steve when Bucky knew there wasn't someone waiting back home for him. Except it also wasn't a good sign that this could be something when Steve hadn't made any visible reaction to knowing that Disco Dandy's was a gay nightclub that opened up when Bucky and Steve would have been in middle school.

---

Steve patted Bucky on the shoulder and wished him a good night. Bucky seemed like a good guy and although Steve wasn't short on friends, he was always happy to have more. Especially when they were as kind-hearted as Bucky. 

Chapter Text

Steve was excited for the phone call and when they had a night picked out, he drove his mom over so she would stay at the apartment while he and Bucky went out. She had a bag full of baking supplies so they could make cakes and cookies while Bucky was away. Steve was dressed neatly but casually enough so he didn't look too stiff. He knocked on the door to Bucky's apartment.

---

"Hey, come on in!" Lilly opened the door and ushered Steve and his mother inside. "Careful stepping around the boxes." She waved offhandedly at rows and stacks of cardboard and crate boxes filled with records.

---

Steve's eyebrows lifted at the rows of boxes. It was as if the home was a second storage for a vinyl shop. Or maybe even the primary storage, going by how many there were. Steve peeked in one and noticed it was packed full enough that pulling one record out would have been a task. His mom looked like she was holding back the urge to tidy it all up. "Hey, Girls. This is my mom Sarah. She's always wanted daughters, so don't let her take you home, okay?" He teased. 

---

"Hello, Mr. Steve." Becca came up to him and shook his hand and then introduced herself to his mother. "Bucky will be right out. He had on one outfit then ran back to his room saying it wasn’t good enough so he should just be a minute."

Little did any of them know, Bucky could hear their conversation through the wall and he swore to himself and said, "That little shit. I just want to look nice, right?" Bucky looked at himself in the mirror and tried to decide whether to put his long hair up or leave it down. "No crime in wanting to look nice next to an office of the law, right?"

---

Steve looked down the hall where he assumed Bucky was before focusing on Becca again. "He should have let one of you pick his outfit," he said. "That way if he's not happy with it, he at least can't blame himself."

---

"Oh, I've tried." Becca sighed. "But, no one tells Bucky what to wear. Even if it's been out of style for three years, if he wants to wear it, he's wearing it." He might come out wearing our dad's old Navy uniform just because he wants to and none of us could get him to change."

Bucky called from his room, "I'm not wearing Dad's Navy uniform, you sassy little girl." He swung the door open and stepped out towards everyone. "I'm wearing this." He gestured down his body at a shirt that was very blue and very tight in the arms and nice flared jeans with tan shoes. He had decided to go ahead and throw his hair up in a ponytail. He could always take it down later if he wanted. Bucky usually wasn’t this well dressed. He actually normally hated wearing anything but t-shirts, but he really wanted to impress Steve. "And you must be Mrs. Rogers." Bucky moved to shake Steve's mom's hand and saw Steve following his movements out of the corner of his eye.

---

Steve wasn't underdressed by any means, but Bucky clearly had the better outfit out of the two of them. He stared because Bucky really was gorgeous to start with and that was only accented by the smart choice of clothing. Something told Steve this was a special occasion outfit for Bucky, though, because he seemed like he was slightly uncomfortable in the tight shirt.

"Call me Sarah," Steve's mom insisted. "I expect you to have a fun evening out. My son told me you're long overdue for one of those and I won't have for you being responsible until you come back."

Steve loved his mom. Being an only kid had its perks because she got to give him all her attention. "Ready to go, Buck?" He asked.

---

Bucky turned to face Steve. ‘Bucky’ was already a nickname and not many people shortened it to just 'Buck' but it sounded nice coming from Steve's lips. Bucky nodded and grabbed his coat from where it had been draped on the couch. "Sure thing!" He kissed both his sisters on the top of the head and told them to be good for Miss Sarah to which they both emphatically promised that they would. 

Bucky didn't get quite excited until he was out in the fresh air of the evening with Steve and nothing to worry about. He hadn’t had a good drinking buddy for a few months now and the thought of drinking with a new buddy and just being able to relax for a while really got him going. Once his feet hit the pavement he rounded on Steve and asked. "So, where are we going?"

---

Steve doubted Bucky was a miserable guy, but he had to have been overburdened to take care of two kids at his age. Seeing him so lively and excitable was really nice. He laughed when Bucky fired out the questions as soon as they got on the sidewalk. 

"Well, there's this bar that serves pretty good food that I go to for my lunch breaks. But if you want a quieter setting, there're a few restaurants I can recommend." He put his hands in his pockets and shrugged. "Really, this night is about doing what you want."

---

"Oh, god," Bucky started. "What I want? I haven't really gotten to do what I want in a few years." Bucky looked over to Steve. "You would not believe how many times I wanted something nice to eat but the girls insisted on pizza so pizza was what we had." Bucky thought for a moment trying to make a decision. "Well," he started again, "I think I need some drinks. And unless those nice restaurants don't mind me getting a little drunk I think the bar is our best bet. What do you think?"

---

The more Bucky spoke, the more Steve was amazed by him. "A bar works for me. And who knows, if my mom likes your sisters enough, maybe she can babysit another night and we can get some fancy food." Bucky sacrificed so much; Steve couldn't help but want to spoil him a little. The only person he had around to spend money on was his mom. Steve bit his lip and said, "So, uh... those records. Are you some sort of world-class hoarder, or do you sell them?" Steve asked. "I saw a few good ones there. That Bowie cover is nice."

---

Bucky flushed red in his cheeks. "Well, I guess I'm both. I collect records but I also work down at the record shop on third. I don't know if you know it." Bucky followed Steve as he turned the corner and started headed down a different road. "But I do collect an awful lot of them. That ‘Aladdin Sane’ original cover isn't going anywhere but in a frame as soon as I can get one for it. David Bowie is one of my favorites."

---

"I've been to that shop a few times - not too often to buy records, but because your store's neighbors have a bad habit of dealing drugs from their basement," Steve chuckled. "Bowie's great. But I think I like The Police a little better right now. For obvious reasons," he joked. Steve felt comfortable with Bucky. Usually, there was a bit of a learning curve before he was chatty with someone he just met. "So what else do you like to do? Assuming you ever get free time."

---

Bucky held in a laugh at Steve's dorky joke and tried his best not to make some snarky retort. "Well, music is my life, honestly. I was going to business school to try to start my own record label." Bucky sighed, "I wanted to discover amazing talented musicians and give them a leg up in the industry and get to say that I was a part of bringing beautiful music to as many people as I could." He sighed again because he knew that would never happen now.

---

God, Steve wasn't really the swooning type but he was totally swooning right now. He played it cool, though. He just met this guy. "I know it's not really ideal, but there are plenty of people who are successful even after they're middle aged," Steve said. "You can still go back, even if you got to wait until your sisters are adults." He nudged Bucky gently. "You're passionate about this. Life can set your dreams back, but that doesn't mean they have to stay back." The bar wasn't too far - after a few blocks they came upon it and Steve opened the door for Bucky.

---

Bucky slipped into the bar in front of Steve and waited for him to show him where to sit. It wasn't a very large place and most of the people inside seemed to recognize Steve the second they saw his face. "Cozy place," Bucky said. He was definitely used to the bars that he frequented where there were tons of people, it was loud, and someone was always fighting somebody.

Steve gestured towards a booth near the back and Bucky walked swiftly towards it. This was nice. Just a night out with no little siblings to be in charge of and no stoner co-workers to keep track of and no goddamn noise. On top of it, the bar was playing some choice music and Bucky was more than pleased to hear it.

---

Steve was pleased to see that Bucky approved of the spot. It would've been a shame if he picked a bar that didn't suit Bucky's fancy. "Yeah, this one isn't a cop bar, but I like it." Sometimes when he needed a break from his coworkers he would eat and relax here instead. "What drink do you want? I'll get it."

---

"My god, I didn't know cop bars were a real thing." Bucky giggled. "I thought it was just a television trope. And, uh, I'll take a whiskey neat, please," Bucky answered and watched Steve walk away to get the drinks. Bucky honestly tried not to stare at Steve but it was hard to when he was wearing those pants that were loose down on the legs and tight around the ass.

---

Steve got Bucky's whiskey and got himself a beer before returning with alcohol in hand. He passed Bucky his before taking a seat. "So how old are they? Your sisters?" He asked. "Are they both pain-in-the-butt teenagers?"

---

Bucky gratefully took his glass from Steve and sipped it before shrugging and saying, "Not too much pain-in-the-butt but, yes, pre-teens. Becca is fourteen and Lilly is eleven - so basically almost a teen according to her. What about you - any siblings?"

---

Steve chuckled and sipped at his beer. His eyes briefly met Bucky's before he looked just past him. "I'm an only child. My dad passed not long after I was born."

---

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that," Bucky said after another sip of whiskey. "Your mother seems like a wonderful woman, by the way. I noticed she brought baking stuff. The girls are going to love that."

Bucky saw a drip of beer sitting on Steve's lip and he really wanted to lean forward and wipe it off with his thumb or kiss it off or something. But then Bucky remembered himself and where he was and the company that was around him.

---

"It's alright. We all have stuff happen," Steve said. "My mom's amazing. I was telling your sisters she always wanted daughters, so she probably is having just as much fun as they are." He licked his lips clean of the beer and let his gaze settle on Bucky again. "So do you own the record store or just work there?"

---

"No, oh no." Bucky leaned back in his seat. “That would be wonderful - ideal - but no. I just work there. Clint is the owner." Bucky leaned forward in his seat again and got closer to Steve to say something like it was a secret. "Want to know something interesting about him, though?"

---

Steve leaned forward too, playing along and using it as an excuse to get closer to Bucky. "Oh yeah? What's that?" He seemed more interested in having a better look at the man in front of him than hearing about his boss.

---

Bucky eyed Steve as he moved closer and chuckled once he was in hearing range and said, "He owns a record store but... he can't hear. He says music is his favorite thing cause he can feel the vibrations of the sound but he doesn't actually hear that well."

---

Steve looked surprised. "Oh, wow. That's actually really impressive," Steve said. "Had he always been deaf? Or did something happen to him?" He asked. Steve stretched his feet out, accidentally knocking his foot into Bucky's. "Sorry."

---

A ghost of a smile crossed Bucky's lips, "That's okay. And I don't know. I've never asked." Bucky paused for a moment and moved his hands into a fist on the table. "Hey, can..." he cleared his throat. "Can I ask you something?"

---

Steve bit his bottom lip, not sure what question Bucky would have but he supposed it couldn't hurt. He wanted Bucky to feel comfortable around him, so answering a few questions should be fine. "Yeah?"

---

"Why're you doing this?" Bucky asked steadily. "Why'd you ask me to go out for a drink with you? I know you said you thought I needed some time for myself but why not just tell me to take some time and then just go your own way?" Bucky wasn't rude in asking. He wasn't trying to be sassy or snarky or anything like that. He was genuinely just curious as to what the two of them were doing here tonight.

---

Steve paused, not really thinking that this would've been strange. But he supposed it was a fair question. "You're a good guy," he said. "I like keeping company with people who I think are good. As a cop, I see some really awful things happen. It's nice to see the best that humanity has to offer. Besides, everyone needs someone to have their back."

---

"Ah, okay, so you got a bit lonely over at your police station, did you?" Now Bucky was being snarky and playful and hoped Steve could tell. Bucky wouldn't necessarily call it flirting but it was damn close. He was starting to like this Mr. Steve and wanted to push his luck with him just a bit further before he decided that they were only ever going to be just friends. Although, if Bucky knew anything it was looks, and Steve had been giving his body some surveying looks since they had met.

---

"Yeah, you caught me," Steve joked, leaning back casually in his chair and giving Bucky a smile. "You know, it was the other night that was the final straw for me. I was sitting at my desk filing another report while eating doughnuts when I said to myself: Steve, you’ve got to change your life. It's time to make friends with some long-haired hippie who works in retail." He nudged him lightly to show he didn't mean anything by it.

---

"I'll tell you, man, us long haired hippies are the best company to keep. Even for a cop." Bucky took another sip of his whiskey and added, "Although, I got to say, getting to know you more, you don't strike me as the typical officer type. So what got you into it, huh?"

---

Steve smiled and shrugged his shoulders. "I like helping people. I know a lot of people do it for the power and the pay and status. But really, I just want to be someone people know they can go to for safety," he admitted. "My ma wanted me to be an artist. It was the safer option."

---

Bucky crossed his legs under the table and slide one foot so it was barely touching Steve's shin but Bucky could tell that Steve had noticed the move. "Do you still do art? I'm always impressed by creative people. Music is such a different form of art than things like painting or drawing."

---

Steve nodded. "Sometimes. If I'm on break or get off work early I will draw. It's a good way to relax, especially after a stressful day." Steve leaned his leg a little bit against Bucky's foot. "Do you play music? Or just listen?"

---

Bucky took in a sharp breath when Steve leaned into him. He knew it. This wasn't just two guys becoming friends. However, there seemed to be something blocking Steve and Bucky didn't know what it might be, but he hoped it was just the public space of a bar and prying eyes.

"I can play the piano somewhat, harmonica, guitar, and ukulele. Ukulele is a small Hawaiian string instrument if you didn't know. Pretty rad sound." Bucky seemed pleased with himself with how much he could actually do with music even if he didn't consider himself a super talented musician or anything.

---

Steve had felt this urge a few times before, but never so strongly as with Bucky. He was pretty certain this guy was into him, but there was so much riding on this he didn't want to risk misinterpreting. 

"That's four more instruments than I can play," he chuckled. "I’d love to hear you play something sometime. I didn't see a piano hiding under your boxes of stuff, so maybe some ukulele?"

---

Bucky grinned and moved his hands up the table to get closer to Steve without touching him. "Yeah, definitely, we can do that sometime." Bucky thought to his old house when his parents were still around and he had a piano of his own. He had sold it for cash when they had to move into the apartment they were in now. "Yeah, my piano is gone but I can play you some ukulele or entertain you with some wicked harmonica action. I've been told it's pretty attractive when I guy can serenade someone but I'm not so sure. You'll have to let me know." Bucky knew it was bold but it also wasn't direct enough that he could pass it off as asking for a friend or asking in case a girl was coming over or something like that if Steve didn't roll with it.

---

Steve couldn't believe his luck. Bucky had to be flirting with him. He was throwing all the fishing lines out there for Steve to catch the bait. He knew he had to be careful but, god, he wanted to give it a shot. He took a deep drink from his beer for a little bit of courage before lowering his voice so only Bucky could hear. "You don't need a harmonica in hand to be attractive."

---

Bucky's eyes lit up and he gave Steve a cheeky grin as he looked up from his whiskey glass. "Did it hurt you to say that? Took you a while," Bucky said low and smooth. "Not like I didn't see you looking at me the way I've been looking at you, huh." Bucky immediately chastised himself for being too presumptuous. He shouldn't push Steve, especially if there was some serious reason for this block he felt with him.

---

Steve's face heated up and he was thankful the dim lighting hid most of his blush. He would've gotten a little more defensive if Bucky's eyes hadn't lit up the way they did. He looked around to make sure nobody else was looking at them. "I'm a police officer," he reminded. "I'll get fired if anyone knows." Steve gave Bucky a bit of a pleading look, hoping he would understand why he was being as reserved as possible.

---

Bucky softened again and uncrossed his legs and polished off his whiskey. "Think there is someplace we could go be by ourselves? No one around to narc on the narc?" Bucky laughed at his own joke and met Steve's eyes. God, this guy was a dork, but so was Bucky. He felt this would be good for them both if they could have some alone time, maybe talk about some of this. Who knows?

---

As nervous as he was, and entirely too wound up over this, Bucky's joking around had Steve reluctantly giving in a bit easier than he expected of himself. "Well," he said after a bit of thought. "I can treat you to some fancy take out and we can head over to my apartment," Steve suggested.

---

Bucky stated, "Fancy take out just so happens to be my favorite," and he followed suit when Steve stood up to get going. When they were out on the street. Bucky striding next to Steve, he asked in a hushed tone. "So, can I consider this to be a secret date, then, Officer?"

---

Steve walked a bit nervously out but he did at least stand a bit taller when Bucky asked if it was a date. He considered being coy but... well, Steve liked Bucky and he didn't want his own fears to get in the way of a good evening together. "Only if you plan on giving me a kiss at the end of it, Bucky."

---

"Lead the way," Bucky said with a beaming glow about him. "And don't worry about it, if you deserve a kiss, you'll get a kiss." Bucky pocketed his hands to resist the urge of holding Steve's and followed after him as he trudged down the block in the cool autumn air. It was getting colder and Bucky was glad he wore a light jacket.

---

Steve thought Bucky looked so beautiful. He was so charming and confident and it made it all the easier for Steve to talk to him. He led them to a nice Mediterranean place that did take out. Steve handed Bucky the menu because he already knew what he wanted.

---

"Uh, oh god," Bucky started, staring at the menu with a confused glare. "I've never eaten anything like this I wouldn't know what to get for Mediterranean." Bucky shoved to menu back towards Steve. "How about you pick for me, yeah? I don't know what any of this means."

---

"You like seafood?" Steve asked. "Have any allergies I should know about? Any weird phobias from childhood trauma?" He joked as he looked over the menu in thought about what he should get for Bucky.

---

"Yes, no, and probably," Bucky said in return and earned an eye roll from Steve. He liked how comfortable and friendly the two of them had already gotten in just a few days of knowing each other. It felt like they were just waiting for the other to smack into their life and find a place there.

---

"Fair enough." Steve ordered his regular dinner and got breaded salmon on a bed of rice with shrimp cocktail as an appetizer. When they got their boxes of takeout, Steve paid and took the bags to carry. "I don't live too far from here," he said. "We can throw some show on and talk once we get there."

---

"Okay, that sounds nice to me." Bucky walked on after Steve and took a minute to appreciate the curves and muscles of Steve's back and arms before coming up beside him and asking, "So what'd you order me?"

---

"Sorry, but it's a surprise," Steve chuckled. When they got to his apartment, he let Bucky in first before he switched on the lights and closed the door behind the both of them. It was simple, neat, and warm even though it didn't seem like Steve spent too much time in it. There was a bookshelf full of art books and other novels and an old TV that looked like it was from the sixties.

---

Off next to the television there was a record player sitting on a side table next to a box of records. Just one box, Bucky noticed. He immediately gravitated towards it once he saw it and, once he got permission from Steve, he rifled through it to see what sort of music Steve considered important enough to own. A few of them Bucky recognized like some David Bowie and The Who, but the rest were old albums of big band jazz from the thirties and forties. Bucky slipped one out of the box and held it up. "You're into some old shit." Bucky held up a hand apologetically, "I'm sorry. You're into some classic shit." He emphasized ‘classic’ to take the edge off of calling Steve's interests old.

---

Steve smiled, loving how much Bucky was a nerd about music. "Well, pardon me for stealing my dad's taste," he chuckled. "I love Irving Berlin. Especially since an immigrant was able to be one of the biggest staples in American patriotic music." He sat on the couch and started to unbox their food.

---

"So you are into music..." Bucky said and put on one of the albums to play while they ate. "That's reassuring. I don't think this would have gone very far if you weren't." Bucky was handed his box of food by Steve and he popped the lid off of it and glared down at the contents that he couldn't decipher. "What is it?"

---

Steve blushed a little at the thought of Bucky scoping his interests out as a potential boyfriend. "Um," he said dumbly. "It's baked salmon with a bread crust and rice. I got you some shrimp cocktail too. But if you don't like it, you can have my dinner instead."

---

"I... have never had salmon before." Bucky tentatively stabbed at it with his fork and tore a piece off. It was a light pink on the inside and Bucky brought it up to his mouth to try it. He chewed it off the fork as Steve watched and he let the flavor sink in. "Oh my god," Bucky said and his eyelids fluttered shut. "Goddamn, that's good food. I’ve had fish loads of times but nothing like that."

---

"You're joking," Steve said in disbelief. He'd been poor growing up, but his mom did her best to splurge once in a while. Thankfully, Bucky approved of the choice. "I love that place. They're great people, too." He started to eat his own dinner and every now and again, he would steal a little glance over at Bucky. "And they're pretty affordable, too. If you ever had spare change."

---

Bucky shoved another bite of salmon into his mouth and spoke through it saying, "Yeah, I might have to take the girls there sometime if they will let me. This is amazing." Bucky met Steve's eyes and swallowed. "What're you eating? If it's good I might try it next time."

---

Steve offered Bucky his plate so he could give it a try. "Seafood pasta. It's a bunch of different fish and crab with a light sauce," he said. Steve licked his lips once and dabbed his mouth clean with a napkin. "So, um... have you been with men before?" He asked awkwardly.

---

Bucky's fork was midway to his mouth when Steve dropped the question that Bucky assumed he had been holding in this whole time. He laughed out loud and ate the bite of Steve's seafood pasta, which was very good too. Bucky made a mental note to get his own dish of that next time. "Almost exclusively," Bucky declared after swallowing. The second he said it, though, Bucky regretted his brash tone when he couldn't tell what the look on Steve's face meant.

---

Steve knew that Bucky didn't mean to be a little crude with his answer but it didn't stop an embarrassed blush from creeping onto his face. He ducked his head and focused on his dinner while he forced himself to cool down. For a cop, he got nervous easily over some things. "That's nice," he said lamely for the sake of saying something.

---

Bucky set his plate down on the coffee table and scooted a little closer to Steve. "Oh, man. Look, Steve. I didn't mean to sound like... well, whatever I sounded like." Bucky felt like an idiot - an insensitive, embarrassed idiot. "I just guess I was being a bit too honest is all. I'm sorry. I get that this whole thing makes you uncomfortable." Bucky tried to tell himself to stop while he was ahead but his mouth just kept running. "And you either haven't been with a dude or you think it's sort of taboo or are scared or embarrassed or whatever..." Fuck, Bucky cursed his endlessly running monolog that seemed to spew from his mouth without warning.

---

Steve felt a bit silly for being so sensitive about the whole thing. He envied Bucky being able to talk so freely about his history with men. "I'm not uncomfortable. I'm scared," Steve said. "I think you're gorgeous and wonderful and I'm scared I can't keep the way I want to look at you in control or else someone will find out and I could lose everything." He looked up to Bucky with a concerned frown. "How do you do it?"

---

Bucky searched Steve's face for a few seconds and his lips were held open while he tried to find the right words. "Oh, Steve," Bucky began. "I used to be really scared too. When my parents were alive I was worried about what they would think of me. And when I was still in school I was worried that none of my friends would want to hang around me anymore. And I was scared someone would try to hurt me or whoever I was with at the time." Bucky slipped his leg up under himself so he was sitting with one leg dangling over the couch. "I guess I'm not so scared now because I don't have anything left to lose. My parents are both gone and they never knew. I'm not in school anymore and don't keep up with my old friends. The girls don't care who I like and just want me to be safe and happy. And my coworkers are all too stoned all the time to realize what's going on or even give a fuck." Bucky winced. "Damn, I probably shouldn't have said that to a cop."

---

Now knowing why Bucky wasn't scared, Steve figured he shouldn't envy his openness so much. "I know my ma won't care. But being a queer cop won't fly with the precinct or the community," he said miserably. He gave a small wave of his hand to show he didn't give a shit about stoner kids at a record shop. "I guess what makes me the angriest is that it has to be hidden at all. As if there's something wrong with us."

---

"Maybe telling your mother is a good place to start then," Bucky suggested quietly. "Not trying to tell you what to do but it might make you feel a bit better." Bucky reached out his hand for Steve to take and waited for him to slip his fingers in with his. "I can't relate to what it must be like being a queer cop in this world but I do understand the anger and the confusion about why people treat us like some disease."

---

Steve looked down in surprise at the hand that was now in his. He laced their fingers together and gave Bucky's hand a firm squeeze, looking emotional in a good way to be able to do this. He smiled and brought Bucky's hand to his lips so he could kiss the back of it. "I'm glad I can talk about this with you."

---

Bucky loved the little kiss Steve gave to his hand. It was really sweet. "I'm really glad I met you, Officer Steve Rogers," he said with reverence. "But I guess it's my turn to ask you if you've ever been with a man before? And it's okay if you haven't. I just sort of would like to know what I'm working with here for any future dates you might let me share with you."

---

"I guess we're lucky your little sister decided to be a troublemaker," Steve said. "And, uh... I've kissed a few guys, but it never amounted to anything. One of us was too scared to do anything more or sometimes the other guy did it just to experiment. That sort of thing."

---

"So you've never gotten further than this?" Bucky gripped Steve's hand and leaned forward to place a delicate kiss to Steve's lips and adjust himself to be even closer to Steve's side. "You know what happens after kissing or will I have to hope that I'll eventually get to teach you about that too?"

---

Steve's breath caught when Bucky kissed him. It was soft and sweet, but it had Steve's heart pounding in his chest. He smiled dumbly and let an arm wrap around Bucky's waist. "Well, the kisses I had involved a little more tongue," he admitted. "So you are not the person I've gone the farthest with. Yet." His fingers brushed over Bucky's side once gently to tickle him.

---

Bucky squirmed with the tickle and let out a giggle that he would deny later if anyone asked about it. Once Bucky righted himself again, he leaned into Steve's strong arm around him and looked into his eyes and cataloged every line of color he could see. "Can I kiss you again, Steve?"

---

Steve loved the honest intimacy Bucky gave him - his gentle tone, a small laugh, looking into his eyes - all little things that made him trust the guy so easily. He leaned forward and pressed their lips together again, this time deepening it almost immediately. He cupped the side of Bucky's face and held him steady.

---

Bucky was surprised that Steve had moved on him this time but he smiled against the kiss and let his mouth fall open to give Steve as much access to him as he wanted and was comfortable with. This was all about Steve right now. Bucky hummed into Steve's mouth when he felt Steve reach up to pull Bucky's hair from its tie so he could card his fingers through it. Bucky didn't want to go much further tonight for fear of not being able to control himself and scaring Steve off so he put his hand on top of Steve's other wandering hand that had made its way to the small of Bucky's back right above his ass.

---

Steve was a bit over excited. The last time he was able to make out with a guy, it was hiding in a broom closet at the art school he dropped out of. Here, he didn't have to rush. He licked his way into Bucky's mouth and tried touching him everywhere all at once. When he felt Bucky's hand stop the one that was trailing a bit too low, he pulled back with a bashful smile. "Sorry," he apologized. "Got a little ahead of myself."

---

"Hey, it's okay. It's all okay. Great even," Bucky reassured him. "I just know that if you get me going anymore then I won't want to stop and I don't want to pressure you into anything you aren't ready for." Bucky combed through his hair with his fingers. "You took my hair tie out." He chuckled and slipped the tie around his wrist for safekeeping.

---


"Yeah, I may just have to arrest you for harassment if you do," he joked. Steve placed a sweet kiss against Bucky's forehead. "Your hair's easier to play with when it's loose." He gave a strand of hair a very gentle tug. "Now how do you expect me to work all day tomorrow without you running in my head?"

---

"I don't expect that at all," Bucky said. "No, I'm actually counting on the opposite. Don't want you to forget about me, do I? Especially if you were planning on those other dates?" Bucky looked hopefully into Steve's eyes and saw no hesitation in them. Today was a good day. He had a pretty reasonable day at work, his sisters didn't give him too much trouble, and he got a night out that he hadn't had in a long while. On top of it all, he got to kiss a very, very good-looking Brooklyn cop who seemed to really like kissing him back.

---

"Yeah... yeah, I suppose you got a point," Steve chuckled. Nobody had to know that Steve was daydreaming over a man. They would just know that he was totally smitten for someone. He seemed to have forgotten about dinner and was interested in snuggling with Bucky. He pulled the man against his side and kissed his temple again. "So what kind of date would you like next?"

---

Bucky nuzzled up against Steve and felt entirely safe and adjusted by his side. He hadn't had this kind of intimacy for a long time. Most of the interactions he had on dates ended up just being a one night stand because Bucky was losing his mind without being touched for so long. But none of those guys seemed to want to stick around with a deadbeat record store employee with two little kids in his care. Steve was different. Bucky could feel it. "Well, guess we could go to a movie if you like? Sit in the back and hold hands where no one can see. Then we could come back here and have a couple beers and be alone and free. What do you think of that?"

---

Steve blushed pleasantly when Bucky snuggled with him. He played with his long hair and kept the guy tucked against his side, loving the way he just fit like he belonged there. "That sounds like a perfect date," he said. "And I'm sure my ma won't mind babysitting either." Steve paused for a moment before adding, "You know, if you ever need help with your sisters, even if it's just picking them up from school, I'll do whatever I can to help."

---

"Thanks, Steve." Bucky leaned his head against Steve's shoulder and listened to the big band music. "I think they both really like you. And Lilly wouldn't mind going in the cruiser again." Bucky sat up and curled his hand into a fist against Steve's chest. "You could kiss me again if you wanted."

---

Steve smiled over at Bucky and leaned to capture Bucky's lips in a gentle kiss. He had to keep it pretty chaste or else he would get a little excited and push his luck again. "Let's just hope she doesn't purposely cause trouble for an excuse to get a ride in the car again."

---

"I can never really tell with her, to be perfectly honest," Bucky said and rubbed a small circle into Steve's chest. "Some days she is fine and reasonable and other days she's acting out and throwing punches and yelling." He saw a twinge of concern pass over Steve's face and he sighed and said, "Uh, sorry. I shouldn't complain to you about that. Maybe we should get going back to my place so I can make sure the girls haven't driven your mother up a wall."

---

"Hey, it's okay," Steve said. "She's going through a lot and she's a kid. She can't bounce back from stuff like you can as an adult." He kissed Bucky's temple. "And I'm planning on dating all of Bucky, not just the happy part. So if you're having a bad day, you're allowed to tell me. It isn’t like you have to pretend everything is fine and dandy." Steve started to pack up their dinner. "We can still head back if you want."

---

"I think that's a good idea," Bucky said and helped Steve clean up. "I know it's dumb, but I don't like leaving them for too long. It makes me antsy." Bucky readjusted his shirt and jacket and ran his hand through his hair and pulled it back up into a ponytail.

---

"That's fine," Steve said. He stole one more kiss before standing up and heading towards the door. "I got to steal you for a couple hours, so that's good enough to satisfy me until... Friday, eight o'clock?"

---

"The new Indiana Jones movie is playing still. Temple of Doom, I think it's called," Bucky said and started putting his shoes and coat on. "Did you see the first one?" He asked Steve and tried not to fall over getting his shoes on.

---

Steve playfully gave Bucky a tiny push when he bent down to tie his shoe. "I haven't seen it, no. But I can see the second one without the first one right?" Steve held the door open for Bucky and waited for him to head out before following.

---

Bucky stepped out the door and waited for Steve to lock up. "I guess it's not a problem. If there is anything you don't know I'll fill you in." Bucky straightened up and stepped a few feet away from Steve so if anyone was watching it wouldn't seem like anything was up with them. "Just a few minutes from my place I think, yeah?"

---

Steve felt his heart sink a little when Bucky had to walk a little ways off from him. When they got back to Bucky's place, it smelled like cookies and chocolate cake and the apartment was a few degrees warmer than when they left it. Steve's mom was pulling out a tray of cookies to be cooled.

---

"Bucky!" Lilly jumped on him when he came into the apartment. Bucky caught her and gave her a big hug. 

"Someone's got some sugar in them, huh?" Bucky asked and nuzzled Lilly’s forehead with his. "Did you have a good time? Were you good to Mrs. Rogers?" Lilly jumped off Bucky and let him go over to give Becca a hug.

---

Sarah set the tray down and walked over to the two men. "They were exactly as they should be," she said sweetly. "Did you boys have a good night out?"

Steve nodded. "Yeah, this guy eats like a wolf," he said, nudging Bucky gently.

---

"Well, you bought me food I'd never had before and I really liked it." Bucky ran his hand down Steve's arm and smiled at him. Then he pulled away a bit too hastily when he saw Sarah watching them. Bucky turned to the girls and said, "You two have got to try Mediterranean food. It was delicious and I'm sick of pizza."

---

Lilly made a face at Bucky when he suggested Mediterranean. "But I like pizza," she said stubbornly. "I'll have Mediterranean if it is on a pizza."

Steve snorted and messed up her hair gently. “Trust me that you'll like it. And you can trust me cause I'm a cop."

---

"Just cause you’re a cop doesn't mean you're right all the time," Lilly said sternly. "You might be a good one but the police is filled with racists and dangerous people who work for the man." 

"Fuck." Bucky squatted down to be closer to Lilly's level. "You been listening to me too much, Girl." He looked up to Steve and Sarah whose eyes were wide in surprise. "I just meant you need to only trust people who prove they can be trusted. Steve's a good cop. You can trust him, Lilly. And you trust me, right?"

---

If it was an older person saying it Steve would've been a little offended but he let out a bark of laughter, especially with how Bucky scrambled to placate her. Steve put an arm around his mom's shoulders.  "Yeah, my ma raised me right," he said.

Sarah smiled and added, "He got a good spank on the behind if he ever was rude. I'll spank any cop's behind if they act up."

Steve put his face in his hand. "Mom," he sighed.

---

"I'm so sorry." Bucky turned to Steve and Sarah, "She just repeats half the shit I say all the time. And sometimes she's got to hang around the record store after school until my shift is over and those guys will tell you all kinds of stuff."

Bucky felt incredibly embarrassed. It's not like what Lilly said was anything he didn't believe but she just had no filter when she spoke and just thought everything was fair game to mention around anyone. And Lilly's mouth had definitely gotten Bucky into trouble countless times before. 

---

"Yeah, well," Steve said, shrugging a little. "I guess she'll get to hear it sometime when I speak my mind about someone throwing a blanket statement on the police." He gave Bucky a chiding look to show that he wasn't upset over it but he wasn't the sort to let those kind of rants go unanswered. "I'll see you later?" He asked.

---

"Yeah definitely," Bucky said. "Let me walk you two down to your car." Down by the car, Steve opened the door for Sarah and shut it before turning to Bucky to say goodbye. Bucky was mad that he couldn't kiss him goodbye but he would just have to wait until the next time. "Listen, Steve, I really am sorry about what Lilly said. She doesn't really believe you're a bad cop or anything. She likes you a lot - I can tell. She's just a little sassy sometimes like our mother was. I had a great time tonight. Honest."

---

Steve was sad that they couldn't kiss but he didn't make a big deal out of it. He let out a sigh and said, "I'm not mad at her. But I know where she heard it from and... I'm not saying that cops aren't bad a lot of the time, but I'm not a huge fan of people talking about them completely poorly or in generalizations."

---

Bucky nodded and tried giving an apologetic smile. "I understand. I'm sorry. My dad did always tell me I need to watch what I say. Guess I need to work on my assumptions too, yeah?" He bit his lip and blinked a few times and asked, "You still want that next date?"

---

Steve reached out so he could squeeze Bucky's shoulder. "I’d rather you speak your mind than not," he said. "I'll see you on our next date. I'll let mom know to keep the night open so she can look after your sisters." He smiled at him and playfully tugged the hair tie out of Bucky's hair before getting into the car.

---

Bucky caught the hair tie before it fell and lightly cursed Steve under his breath. He worked on putting his hair back up as he turned to go back to his apartment. He was pretty worried that he had fallen hard and fast for Steve and didn't know how he was going to be able to wait for Friday to come. But right now it was back to being the adult of the house and getting his sisters ready for school the next day. 

Chapter Text

Steve called Bucky's apartment twice during the week after he got home from work, unable to wait until Friday to speak with him. When Friday rolled around, he dressed in slacks and wore a button-down with a tie. He did his hair as neatly as he could and his mom gave him a knowing look. He didn't have to tell her for her to know. The two arrived at Bucky's apartment again and Steve knocked on his door.

---

Bucky opened it this time and gave Steve a once over and smiled before inviting them in. "You both look very nice tonight," Bucky said diplomatically.

Sarah went in first and Steve followed. Bucky closed the door behind them and walked past Steve, brushing his fingertips over Steve's hip as he went. He wanted to squeeze his ass while no one was looking but he refrained. 

---

"Miss Sarah!" Lilly said excitedly. She rushed over and hugged Steve's mom.

"Hello, Lilly. It's nice to see you again." Sarah said and gave Becca a wave, who looked excited to see her again but not as energetic as Lilly. 

Steve kissed Bucky's cheek when he knew no one was looking. "Hey, you look nice."

---

"Thank you," Bucky whispered back at him. "I'm ready when you are." Lilly and Becca promised to be good at Bucky's request and Lilly immediately pulled Sarah towards the couch to talk. Bucky was slightly worried about what they might discuss since their only connection happened to be Steve and Bucky.

---

Steve gave his mom a hug and then walked out with Bucky. It was so tempting to put his arm around him and kiss him silly but they were out in public now. "I was looking forward to this all week," he said. "How was your day?"

---

"It was okay," Bucky said and trudged down the stairs of the apartment complex. "One of my co-workers had his girlfriend in the shop for hours today and it was incredibly annoying. He didn't get anything done and I was stuck doing double the work."

---

"That's rough," Steve said. "You shouldn't have to do someone else's work. Hopefully it's not a regular thing?"

---

Bucky made it to the door with Steve close behind and turned on him and had his face close to his for a split second to ask, "How was your day?" Then he slipped open the door and gestured for Steve to go through.

---

Steve scratched the back of his neck and shrugged. "It was good. Had to make a few drug busts. But I prefer those over domestic cases. Those can get messy."

---

"Domestic cases?" Bucky asked. "What's that mean exactly? Like abuse cases?" Bucky remembered when the police talked to him after his parents died. At the time, he was so confused and angry that he took out his rage on any cop who tried consoling him. He regretted it later, knowing that they were just trying to do their jobs. It was a rough time for Bucky.

---

"Yeah, things like abuse or divorce issues or sometimes it's children getting hurt. It's rough to see and people are more defensive about family issues than drugs." Sometimes working as a cop was draining. "I don't like answering domestic cases but it also means I help people that really need it."

---

"I think it's great you like helping people so much. I've never been very... giving? I guess." Bucky's life was always pretty much about him until he became in charge of his sisters. Music was his life, school was the most important thing for him, he chose to go out with his friends instead of spend much time with his family, he never gave a thought as to what his actions rot on others. Steve was so different than Bucky. But Bucky was admittedly much different now than he used to be. Maybe Steve would be good for him.

---

"Are you kidding? You dropped out of school so you could keep your sisters together. And you work your ass off to take care of them," Steve said. He gave Bucky a gentle look. "And so you know, I plan on treating you whenever we go out."

---

Bucky pursed his lips together and gave Steve a sideways look and stopped walking. "I'm not..." Bucky sighed and shook his head. "I don't need you paying for me." Bucky waved his hand around. "Don't want you thinking I'm just hanging around for some perks of getting to go out or whatever. I actually like you, you know."

---

"I want to pay for you," Steve said. "I've got a lot more money to spare, so why would I let you use what you could use for food or school supplies..." Steve trailed off and smiled at him, happy that Bucky validated that he genuinely liked him. "When you're in a better position, you can treat me."

---

Bucky wasn't so sure about it. He knew he would probably never be 'in a better position' enough to treat Steve to anything. But he also didn't want to push the issue anymore and potentially cause a fight. It was only their second date after all. Bucky made a silent promise to himself that he would pay his movie ticket before Steve could. "You like me that much that you're going to just pay for every day out like it's nothing?" Bucky asked with an edge.

---

"Yes," Steve said confidently. He heard the edge in Bucky's voice and eased up a little. "Listen, it's not like... it's not like I see you as a charity case or anything. I'm not expecting something in return. You are so amazing to me. I'm pretty comfortable now but growing up, my ma and I were poor as anything and I remember how much it helped her when others showed her a little bit of kindness."

---

Bucky nodded and looked down at the ground. "Mhmm, I understand." He looked back up at Steve and softened at the sight of his gorgeous face and the genuine look he was giving him. "I'm sorry, I'm just a little... I don't know. But we should probably get to the theater. The movie will be starting soon."

---

"If it really makes you uncomfortable, I'm not going to force you to let me pay for you. But it would mean a lot to me if you let me," Steve said. He gave Bucky a concerned look, hoping he wasn't overstepping here. However, once Bucky reminded him to get a move on, Steve started to hustle towards the theater.

---

Bucky never answered him and spent a few minutes trying to decide what to do. Steve ended up paying for Bucky's ticket anyway. They sat in the very back of the theater as Bucky promised and they sat all the way on the edge of the wall so they were in the absolute corner. No one would notice them at all back here. Before the movie started, Bucky, who had been fairly quiet, decided on what to say. "Fine." Steve looked over at him with a quizzical look. "You can pay for me and treat me or do whatever you like. But you have to find something I can do to make it up to you. You think on it and let me know."

---

The silence had worried Steve. After he bought their tickets, he kept glancing at Bucky to see if he would say anything but at long last he spoke. He let out a breath of relief and reached over to give Bucky's knee a squeeze. "Deal," he agreed. Steve actually already had something in mind. "Do you know how to dance? Like to the big band music I have records of?"

---

Bucky's eyes widened and he leaned a bit away from Steve. "Mmm, I take it back. I'll pay for my own stuff. You dance by yourself." He shook his head slightly and furrowed his brow. Bucky had tried formal dancing sometimes but he never quite got the hang of it. Club dancing, though, he could do that. You just swung your hips a lot and made sure you rubbed your ass against the thigh of someone cute.

---


Steve gave a small pout. "Hey, we can still come up with something else," he said. So being taught how to dance was out. Steve didn't want to pick out something that took up too much energy or time. "What about... hmm... how about you pick places around here you think are special and take me to them. You know, like pretty benches that are nice to sit on or a corner of the park that's particularly relaxing. That way no matter where I'm at work, if things go poorly I have a place I can go to cool down."

---

Bucky felt bad. He shouldn't have joked with Steve about that. Clearly the guy wanted to dance with someone and clearly that someone was now Bucky. The lights went down in the theater and Bucky took the opportunity of the darkness to slot his hand with Steve's. He brought his head close to Steve's and whispered low in his ear. "I'm sorry, Steve, how about we do both, huh? I'll show you a nice bench near the station and I'll let you teach me how to... dance." Bucky coughed in his throat in indignation. "But, I will complain just a little bit at first. I'll do it, for you. But I'll complain for me."

---

Steve felt his heart pick up when Bucky held his hand, partially because he loved touching Bucky and partially because he was worried about getting caught. "Sounds fair enough to me," he said. He didn't talk throughout the movie to be polite but Steve had a habit of turning to look at Bucky during every interesting moment to see how he reacted.

---

To Bucky's credit, he didn't actually forget that Steve was there. He simply became so invested in the movie that Steve sort of took a place on the back burner. He did catch Steve looking at him occasionally and the screen would light up Steve's smile so Bucky could see it from the corner of his eye. He liked being watched by Steve. It made him feel like he was the most special man Steve had ever laid eyes on and Bucky decided to pretend that he was. During intense moments Bucky would squeeze Steve's hand tightly and he hoped he didn't mind. He would apologize after the movie if Steve brought it up.

---

Steve really was smitten over Bucky. It was so easy to talk with him and even when they said something that upset the other, they were quick and eager to try and make them feel all right again. Steve wished the movie was longer. He liked holding Bucky's hand in public and he wanted to watch more films and Bucky reacting to them. But once the credits rolled and the lights came up, he let go of his hand. "What did you think?" Steve asked. Bucky always had thoughtful answers and Steve adored that. 

---

"Well," Bucky leaned back in his seat and pulled his hand into his lap, already missing Steve's touch. "The first one was better. I'm sad you didn't get to see it first but that's okay. The lady in this wasn't as cool as Marian from the first one but I honestly don't know how someone could top Marian. I liked the kid in this one, though. He was fun - added a new family element that the first one was lacking. And that Harrison Ford is still sexy as ever."

---

Steve listened attentively. He loved how Bucky had a breakdown of everything. All Steve saw was a fun movie but Bucky could break down all the elements and explain why it was fun. He was taken by surprise a little when Bucky called Harrison Ford sexy and it showed on his face. But then he let out a laugh and shook his head. "You're really something."

---

"What'd I do?" Bucky asked with an intrigued smile. By this point, most everyone had left the theater but the two of them. Bucky stood up to leave so the workers could come in and clean. He didn't envy them having to clean up everyone’s crap and snacks after a movie. He did plenty of cleaning up at the record store and people left a lot of shit around.

---

"I spent the whole movie admiring you and you spent the whole movie admiring Harrison Ford," Steve teased. He didn't sound jealous. It was funny to him. "That, and I think you would be able to write a five-page essay about the movie if asked and all I've got it 'Well, I thought it was entertaining.'"

---

Bucky gave Steve a glare and said flatly, "I wasn't admiring him only. The sets and effects looked so real I was convinced this was a documentary. And the directing and the music score were perfect." Steve brushed up against Bucky's side for just a second and Bucky wanted nothing more than to jump his bones and kiss his face off right there in the theater’s atrium.

---

"I think I saw a bit of drool come outta your mouth, you were admiring him so much," Steve teased. "So were the effects better than the first movie?" He asked, blushing when their hands touched as they walked. He nudged Bucky gently and then held the door open so he could exit the building.

---

"I'm not sure. I'd have to see both movies again and compare," Bucky said with his hands up in front of him in small gestures. "I hope they make a third, though." He walked as close to Steve as he could without touching him. "So where are we going now? Your place?"

---

"If I had a VCR I would offer to buy the tapes when they both came out," Steve said. He looked around the street to make sure no one was in earshot before saying. "Yeah, my place. I can't wait to wrap my arms around you and kiss you silly."

---

"I'm perfectly okay with that, Sir," Bucky said with an edge of sass to his voice. "I was thinking about getting the girls a VCR player for Christmas but I'm not sure yet if I can. But I think it'd be a nice gift for them."

---

Steve smirked at the sass and had to hold back flirting in return because they were in public. "I think they would love that," he said. "Do Becca and Lilly like movies as much as you do?" He asked. "I can almost imagine all three of you going on and on about them to each other."

---

Bucky gave Steve a sideways glance. "Okay. Next time we are bringing the girls. You won't be prepared. The Barnes' love movies and music and stuff and talking about it constantly. We also love Star Wars far too much."

---

Steve shook his head. “Don't shoot me, but I've never seen Star Wars." He had a feeling Bucky would have something to say about that one. Most Star Wars fans did.

---

Bucky stopped in his tracks. "Excuse me?" How could he have not seen Star Wars? Those movies defined the decade, the century, all of film, probably. Bucky realized he had a major crush on someone who probably didn't know who Luke's father was. "We are fixing that as soon as we can, Steve," Bucky said sternly back at him.

---

"I figured you would say something like that," Steve said with a little smile. "Any excuse to spend more time with you, I'll take it." He unlocked the door to his apartment and pulled Bucky inside. He locked it just in case someone tried to come in and speak with him while he had his hands all over Bucky. "Do I still get a kiss even though I never saw Star Wars?"

---

"I haven't decided yet," Bucky said but let Steve pull him close to him by his hips. "What if I said you had to see every film before I kissed you ever again?"

---

Steve pressed his forehead against Bucky's and looked into his eyes. "I would wait," Steve said. "But I would be a pain in the ass about it and find a way to make you wish you didn't make me wait so long."

---

"How very accommodating," Bucky said and started to move them over towards Steve's couch. "But I won't make you do that. But if I'm going to dance for you, you have to watch Star Wars for me." He pushed Steve onto the couch and hovered over him. 

---

As soon as Steve was pushed onto the couch, he pulled Bucky into his lap and hugged him close. "I can handle that," he said. Steve's fingers ghosted over Bucky's side as he looked into his eyes. "So does this mean I get to kiss you now?"

---

Bucky shrugged, "I suppose you can if you must." Repositioning himself so he was straddling Steve, Bucky put his hands on either side of Steve's face as Steve slowly slipped his hands under Bucky's ass. 

---

Steve leaned up to kiss Bucky slowly, starting off sweet and gentle but was soon licking his way into Bucky's mouth. He gave his ass a small squeeze before sliding his hands over Bucky's back to give him affectionate, soothing touches.

---

"How much time do we have?" Bucky asked quickly and caught Steve's mouth in another deep kiss. He wanted to know how long he was going to be able to stay with Steve like this - safe and intimate. But he also needed to know how far they were going to go tonight. He didn't want to push Steve but he didn't want to stop him either.

---

"As much as you want." Steve knew Bucky would get antsy about leaving his sisters at home with someone else sooner than Steve would want to part. He nibbled gently at Bucky's lower lip and rubbed the back of his neck. "You're so handsome."

---

"Shut up." Bucky giggled and moved his hands down Steve's chest. "I really like you, Steve. But, I need to know where you see this going tonight? And what, I guess, your intentions with me are." Bucky leaned back so Steve couldn't just kiss him to keep him quiet. "It's just that I have the girls and if you just want to fool around behind closed doors or whatever then I need to know. They can't get attached to you if this isn't going to be... more."

---

Steve could tell Bucky was being serious here, so he reached for his hands and held them both in his own. He kissed his knuckles and looked him in the eye. "I'm all in with you," he said. "I know you just met me and you don't have much reason to trust me. But I hope I can show you that I'm worthy of staying around with you and your sisters."

---

Bucky thought for a second and squeezed Steve's hands. "Okay. So you're stuck with me, then?" He relaxed a little into Steve and nodded. "Not going to up and leave us?" Bucky had only really known people to leave.

---

"I'm not stuck with you. I'm just with you," Steve said. He pressed a little kiss to Bucky's cheek. "You're such an amazing person and I feel happy when I'm with you. I get to be myself - my true self. And I'd be a big jerk if I didn't give your sisters the same care I give you."

---

Bucky flopped next to Steve on the couch and laced their fingers together. "Sorry for all the questions tonight. I've been a bit needy. We can make out again now."

---

Steve looked at Bucky and leaned over to give him a chaste kiss. "We can still talk, Buck. I want you to be comfortable talking with me. I don't want our relationship to be full of uncertainty but copious making out."

---

"I'm okay with copious making out, too, though, just so you know." Bucky leaned into Steve's side and let him play with his hair. "Where did you see tonight going? If I can ask that? I don't want to kill your vibe if you had something planned."

---

"Um," Steve said, getting a little flustered. "I don't know," he admitted honestly. "I don't want to go too fast, you know? But I mean... we're not kids, so we don't have to act like making out is the new third base..."

---

"Well, which base did you want to get to tonight?" Bucky asked and put air quotes around 'base' lightly making fun of Steve. "Because I don't want to go all the way until you are absolutely ready but I can help you with... other things." Bucky nodded his head towards Steve's crotch.

---

Steve caught Bucky's look down and blushed brightly. Bucky was dealing with a very repressed Catholic cop and it wasn't often he had people be so forward with him. He bit his bottom lip and nodded his head. "I think I can do that. So, uh... second base-ish?"

---

Bucky smiled slowly and let his eyes flutter a bit in excitement. He moved to get on his knees in front of Steve. "Has anyone ever...? For you." Bucky rubbed Steve's hips and felt him push up into the touch.

---

Steve tried to not get too worked up when Bucky kneeled in front of him. He was a bit embarrassed to admit it, but he was truthful with Bucky. "No," he answered. "Didn't feel right stringing along a girl I wasn't attracted to." And Bucky already knew that Steve never got a chance at a proper relationship with a man.

---

"Well," Bucky said. "Lot of pressure on me to make this good for you, then." He laughed nervously and moved his hands over the button and zipper on Steve's pants. "May I?" He wanted to double check with everything he did before he did it just in case it wasn't okay with Steve or he needed to stop.

---

Steve was already half hard from just talking about it. He wasn't sure if he should be ashamed or not for being so eager. He reached out to cup the side of Bucky's face. "Only if I get to do something for you, too."

---

"We can discuss that later," Bucky said urgently. "Right now I really want to suck you off. You do things to me, Steve." Bucky undid Steve's pants and gently released his dick. "Just need to hear you say you want it too. Need to know this is okay with you."

---

"I want it," Steve said, voice thick with arousal. He loved that Bucky wanted him and he was desperate to experience this with him. "I know you'll make me feel real good." He tangled his fingers in Bucky's hair.

---

"Okay," Bucky quirked a smile before taking Steve down all at once. He wasn't necessarily the best at blowing guys but he had had lots of practice. Steve wouldn't know the difference anyway. That was Bucky's saving grace. So long as Steve enjoyed it, then Bucky did a good job.

---

"Bucky!" Steve gasped. He wasn't expecting the man to take him all at once. His mouth was hot around his dick, which felt amazing but, Christ, it was so much all at once. His head tilted back and rested on the back of the couch. "Be gentle with me," he panted out, rubbing his neck as he tried to catch his breath.

---

Bucky eased up and stuck to just licking at the head of Steve's dick. He wasn't sure how long Steve was going to last but Bucky didn't want to give up the head and risk not being able to swallow Steve's load when he did come. This was the first blowjob Steve ever had and, by god, Bucky was going to swallow.

---

Steve gasped at the licks to his cock. "Christ," he swore softly. "You drive me crazy," Steve breathed out. His hips tilted upward by their own say. His hands scratched softly at Bucky's scalp to encourage him to continue.

---

Bucky hummed in agreement around Steve's cock and ventured to take it deeper again. He didn't go as far or fast this time, not wanting to over stimulate Steve but he wasn't going to let up much more than this. He could feel his own hard cock pushing against his jeans and screaming at him to be touched. But this was about Steve right now so he ignored the urge to pull out his own dick and stroke. 

---

Steve didn't last long. His back arched and despite his best efforts, his hips still jerked forward once or twice while Bucky blew him. He was at least able to give him a few moments' warning before he came.

---

Steve tried his best to let Bucky know right before he came and lucky for Bucky he was ready for it and only choked a bit by the surprise. As he promised himself, he sucked down everything Steve gave him and pulled off of him with a pop. 

---

Steve sat back on the couch, sated and panting. His lips remained parted as he tried to catch his breath and he couldn't help but look over at Bucky with an adoring smile. "Come up here and let me kiss you."

---

"Yes, Sir," Bucky said and scrambled to get up to the couch by Steve. He curled his body next to Steve's and let himself indulge in the slow sloppy making out that Steve initiated. He was obviously pretty tired and Bucky was satisfied with his work. But Bucky's own dick was still angry and leaky and he hoped Steve wouldn't notice the dark wet spot on his jeans.

---

Steve wasn't so exhausted that he wasn't going to treat Bucky back. He slowly eased Bucky back so he was lying down on the couch and Steve hovered over him, still kissing him lazily. He trailed his fingers down his chest and belly until he touched Bucky's dick through his pants. He rubbed his palm in slow, smooth circles between his legs. "Can I keep going?"

---

"Of course. Yes, please," Bucky said and his eyes lulled back into his head with the first touch on his hard cock. "Steve," His breath hitched for a second. "Don't do anything you aren't ready for."

---

"I know. I won't," Steve promised. He undid the front of Bucky's pants and shoved them down so he could wrap his fingers around Bucky's cock. He pressed hot, open-mouthed kisses over his neck while he started to slowly stroke him.

---

"Okay. That's good. Yeah, Steve." That's all Bucky could manage because Steve was going at it as best as he could. It was a little dry but Bucky didn't mind because Steve was also starting to suck hickeys into his neck and that definitely felt good. 

---

Steve couldn't help but mark Bucky up a little because he was just the slightest bit possessive. He thumbed at the head of his cock as he nibbled at Bucky's neck. "You look so good like this," he murmured.

---

"You don't look too bad yourself." Bucky smirked. "Like watching you touching me." He added as an afterthought. He really was smitten with Steve. He hoped it wouldn't end up biting him in the ass. 

---

Steve palmed at Bucky's balls, rubbing them firmly before going back to stroking his dick. He kissed lower and started to tease one of Bucky's nipples through his shirt. He lifted the shirt to graze his teeth over his nipple before soothing it with his tongue.

---

Bucky squirmed a little under Steve's tongue. He was severely ticklish and Steve had now found two places on his body that were sensitive to it - his side and the base of his chest. Bucky giggled and covered his mouth quickly.

---

"Bucky," Steve laughed, kissing the middle of his chest. "I'm trying to be sexy here," he chided softly, not genuinely upset because Bucky couldn't help how ticklish he was.

---

"I know. I'm sorry. Go ahead. Go ahead." Bucky gestured down at his body and let out a small laugh. "Promise I'll try not to giggle anymore." But he really couldn't promise anything with how light Steve's fingers were brushing up against him. 

---

Steve kissed over Bucky's chest, but this time made sure each kiss was firm and would be less likely to tickle. He moved lower and lower until he pressed a kiss just above Bucky's hip. He gave Bucky a nervous look, hoping that he was doing alright.

---

Bucky wasn't even looking at Steve anymore. His head was back and he was staring up at the ceiling just feeling every touch from Steve. He knew he wasn't going to go all the way with Steve tonight and he tried his best to put it out of his mind because he wanted Steve so badly right now. He just kept telling himself that when they did finally do it, it would be so much better after waiting for Steve to be ready. Especially since it would be Steve's very first time. Bucky's body shivered at the thought of being the first to get to be with Steve in that way.

---

Steve's hand worked smoothly up and down Bucky's dick. He was glad that Bucky was so relaxed right now, but he was just childish enough to want to make Bucky look at him. He lowered himself down the couch even more and let his tongue flicker once over the tip of his dick.

---

"Fuck!" Bucky's head shot forward so he could see what Steve just did. He was tempted to remind Steve not to do that if he wasn't ready, but then Steve licked his head again while keeping perfect eye contact under his hooded lashes.

---

Steve got a satisfied look on his face when he got Bucky looking at him again. He locked eyes with him as he took what he could into his mouth - just a few inches - and he bobbed his head along Bucky's cock while sucking him off.

---

Bucky kept his eyes on Steve and watched his dick disappear bit by bit into Steve's mouth and then come back out again. "Steve. Gorgeous. Fuck." Bucky managed and held his own hair back so it wouldn't get in his face. Steve caught his teeth on him a couple times but it didn't hurt enough for Bucky to say anything or want to interrupt him.

---

Steve hadn't ever done this before and he did his damnedest to make it feel as good for Bucky as it did for him. He stroked whatever he couldn't put in his mouth.

---

After a few minutes in, Bucky felt really bad. He knew he was going to last a lot longer than Steve had and he thought it was kind of shitty that the first blow job he had given would be longer than it might have been if he had sucked off a fellow teenager back in high school like Bucky had. Bucky didn't know if he should stop Steve and just finish himself off so Steve didn't have to or should he just let Steve carry on. 

---

Steve gave it his all, awkwardly blowing him while trying to be good at it. He wanted it to be good for the both of them but he could see Bucky thinking. Steve had enjoyed himself way too much to even have a single thought other than 'wow', so he took the hint. He pulled back a little, looking a bit disappointed in himself. "I'm not doing that great of a job, am I?"

---

"Hey, no," Bucky said quickly, "It isn't you. I was just thinking that it's your first time giving head and - you were doing well - just I was sort of taking my time coming." Bucky blushed and reached down to keep jerking himself while he talked. "Didn't think it was fair that I was making you go on for that long." He sped up his movements up and down his cock and saw Steve look down at it a couple times. "But, I'll admit, Stevie, you learn real fucking quick."

---

Steve gently moved Bucky's hand away when he saw the guy stroking himself. "Well, it isn’t like something you can force happen." He pressed a kiss to the curve of Bucky's jaw and started to stroke his dick again. "I want to do it. No matter how long it takes because I want to make you feel good."

---

"Jesus fuck, you say more sweet shit like that and it won't last much longer." Bucky whimpered at Steve's touch and pulled his face up so he could stick his tongue in his mouth. They kissed slow and deep and messy while Steve jerked off Bucky and every second of sweet making out and Steve's amazing scent pushed Bucky a little closer to the edge until he was moaning into Steve's mouth and trying to tell him that he was about to come. 

---

Steve kissed him languidly and easily, working his hand smoothly over Bucky's dick. "Let me see you come, Beautiful," he said softly. "You're going to feel so good. And you look so good, too."

---

Bucky's body shivered again and he let himself release his load all over Steve's fingers and onto his own stomach. The automatic smile that was brought to Steve's lips when he felt the come running down his hand made Bucky want to shove him against the wall and suck his come off every one of Steve's fingers.

---

Steve felt pretty damn satisfied with himself when he saw Bucky's body tense before he released his load. He smiled and kept his eye contact with Bucky as he licked some of the come off his fingers. It didn't taste good, but that wasn't the point. "So I guess I wasn't bad after all."

---

Bucky reached out for Steve's hand and began kissing and licking where there was still come. "Never said it was," he said against Steve's palm. "Like I said, you learn fast, Officer. You watch a lot of porn or something?" Bucky leaned back against the couch and waved Steve on to come lay on top of him and cuddle.

---

Steve made a small noise and snuggled in close and wrapped his arms around him, relishing in his warmth. "I'm a good Catholic guy. I don't have any porn," he said. "All I had to do was watch the best." He winked at Bucky.

---

"Steve," Bucky put one hand behind his head so he could admire the man on top of him. "I hate to break it to you but I don't think good Catholic boys do what you just did. Or let other boys do what I did to you for that matter." Bucky chuckled and hoped Steve knew it was a joke. They were still new to this after all. They were still getting to know each other and know the others personalities and tolerances.

---

"Please don't say that," Steve said softly. "Even as a joke." He laid his head on Bucky's shoulder. "I do everything else right and... and truly don't believe God would disapprove of anyone who cared about another. No matter what parts they have."

---

Bucky backtracked immediately and rubbed a thumb across Steve's cheek. "Hey, what I always say is if the big guy didn't want men to have sex with men then he wouldn't have given just us prostates. And if he didn't want women fucking women then he wouldn't have made vaginas impossible to figure out unless you've got one of your own."

---

"They're not that hard to figure out," Steve said, turning his head to kiss the palm of Bucky's hand. "It's called the clitoris." Steve's mom, who had assumed he'd been straight growing up, sat him down and made sure he wouldn't be a selfish lover to any future girlfriends. "You've got a big mouth," he said in an amused tone to Bucky.

---

"Is that a complaint or an observation?" Bucky asked with a twinkle in his eye. He added, "Also, please never say ‘clitoris again’ - automatic turn off. You look much sexier discussing dicks." But then again Bucky figured any girl who dug some girl on girl action wouldn't want their partner talking about foreskin while they were eating her out so it was kind of a two-way street.

---

Steve pressed a kiss to Bucky's lips. "Clitoris." He purred in the most seductive tone he could manage. Another kiss. "Vagina." One more kiss. "Labia." He fell into a fit of giggles and snuggled close. He pressed his face against Bucky's neck. "What're you going to do about it?"

---

"Think I might just leave if you keep it up, Rogers," Bucky threatened and wrapped his arms around Steve. His dick was still sitting pretty outside his pants but he didn't really feel like moving to tuck it back in at the moment.

---

"No, you won't. You're too comfy right here. And you secretly think I'm rather charming," Steve answered with a confident grin. He slid a hand up Bucky's shirt and touched his abs with his fingertips.

---

Bucky feigned surprise and said, "Who told you that? That's a secret." But Steve was right. It did feel really nice to be here with Steve and to feel him run his fingers over Bucky's abs and chest. Bucky tried looking around for a clock to see what time it was. He really didn't want to leave the girls too long.

---

"Well, you're really bad at keeping secrets. Luckily, that's a character flaw I'm willing to overlook." Steve saw Bucky's glance over at the clock and he kissed his cheek. "We can do this again soon. I think your sisters will start wondering how long that movie really was soon enough."

---

"Hey, about that..." Bucky moved to sit up and Steve followed suit. Bucky really quickly fixed himself up so his pants were properly done up again. "I wanted to ask you if it'd be okay with you if I told my sisters what you are to me now? I mean, can I tell them we are dating and more than friends?" Bucky didn't let Steve say anything yet he just kept going for a second. "They wouldn't tell a soul and they will be happy for us cause they're kind of like God, they don't care who you love so long as you're happy. But you can say no and that'd be fine but that doesn't mean they won't figure it out on their own."

---

Steve's face fell a bit and he looked away. He had enough experiences with Lilly blabbering that he didn't exactly trust that she wouldn't say something eventually, even by accident. It wasn't a risk he was willing to take on a kid and he hadn’t even told his mom yet. "I'd rather not," he mumbled.

---

Bucky was silent for a second then he nodded his head and gave a sad smile. "Okay, Steve. That's fine." He tried smiling again. It was fine and it wasn't a big deal at all. Bucky just hated keeping anything from his sisters. He never wanted them to feel like they needed to keep secrets from him or be afraid to share what they are feeling so he made a point to set that example.

---

Steve sat up and started to button his pants back up. "I'm sorry," he said. "You can blame me if they find out. I don't want your sisters upset at you for anything." He rubbed the side of his face. "I was dirt poor. You know how hard it is to put food on the table. And now that I've got a job and built a good life for myself, I don't want to risk losing that."

---

Bucky sighed and shook his head. "No, Steve, I get it. I do." He placed a comforting hand on Steve's thigh. "I know exactly why you don't want to and I understand and I won't push you. I'm not upset or angry or anything. It's just something they don't get to know and that's fine. They probably know too much about me anyway."

---

Steve decided to grab his jacket because it got a little chilly out now that it was dark outside. "I wish I didn't have to hide. I wish it wasn't something that was even an issue. But... once they're older, we can tell them. Not for a little while, though."

---

"You plan on being around when they are older?" Bucky asked and tried not to sound hopeful that someone else besides his sisters was going to be a constant in his life. He also didn't want Steve to see how much it worried Bucky how long they would have to keep this from them. How could they possibly hide it from such intuitive little girls?

---

"Well... yeah," Steve said. He told Bucky he wanted to be more than just two guys who fooled around, but he supposed that Bucky may have had others give empty promises in the past. "I want to be in a committed relationship with you, Buck. I want to get to know all of you. And someday, hopefully soon, you and your sisters to be as good as family. And I know my mom would accept you all as her family, too."

---

Bucky honestly didn't know what to say to that but he felt compelled to kiss Steve so he caught Steve unprepared and kissed his lips and his cheeks and his nose and back to his lips. "I'll keep you," he said and nestled his head in the crook of Steve's neck and shoulder.

---

Steve made a surprised sound at the first kiss but melted into the rest. He threw an arm around Bucky's shoulders and kissed the top of his head. "You're special, Bucky Barnes," he said. "I'd hate to let someone else sweep you off your feet."

---

"And you're full of shit, Steve Rogers," Bucky said, "Hey, what's your middle name by the way?" One less thing to have to ask about later. One more thing he got to know about Steve. One more night of being alone together. One more kiss. One more touch.

---

Steve let out a laugh at Bucky's response. "I'm trying to be romantic here, you nut." He pinched Bucky's cheek lightly and then answered, "Grant. It was my grandfather's name." He kissed him one more time before nudging him towards the door because they had to start heading back.

---

"Grant. That's nice." They got to the door and Bucky had his shoes and coat and everything ready. "One more," he said and kissed Steve again and felt his way down his side. "One more," he repeated and kissed him again. "Last one." Another kiss. "Seriously, last one, I promise."

---

Steve was so taken by how sweet and dorky Bucky was that he pressed him against the door and cupped the sides of his face to plant a heated but loving kiss to his lips. "There's only one upside to having to hide this," he sighed against Bucky's lips. "If we could kiss anywhere we would never get anything done."

---

By the time they got back to Bucky's place, Bucky was so tired. He knew he still had to make sure the girls had done whatever chores they might have needed to do today and they need to have showered and brushed their teeth and Bucky had about a million other things that he needed to do before he would be able to go sleep. Steve almost had to catch him at one point just to keep him from collapsing on the stairs.

---

Lilly took one look at the sleepy Bucky before turning to Steve and putting her hands on her hips. "You broke my brother!" She scolded.

Steve rolled his eyes with a little smile. "No, I didn't, I found him this way," he joked. "Now help me get him into bed before he falls asleep on the floor."

---

Bucky honestly didn't remember even getting home. He just knew one second he was kissing Steve against a door and then the next he was at his place on his bed with both his sisters and Steve hovering over him each wearing a different shade of concerned.

---

Steve herded Bucky's sisters out of the room and told them to make sure they cleaned up any mess they made today before he came back to Bucky's room. He put a hand on his forehead to check his temperature. "You okay, Pal?" Is there anything I can do?"

---

Bucky blinked slowly and trying to focus in on Steve. He said very low and mumbling, "You can stay the night." Bucky's eyes closed and opened again several times, each time getting slower and slower to open again. He grumbled something else but Steve couldn't make out what it was he said.

---

Steve leaned down and kissed his forehead. "I've got an afternoon shift tomorrow, but I'll stay." He could get the girls off to school and back to his apartment in time to change. He stayed there until Bucky was asleep and then he went out to the girls. His mom stuck around to make sure the girls showered and went to bed. Once she went home, Steve spent a couple of hours cleaning the house to tidy up spots Bucky probably had no time to take care of. He made everyone lunches for the next day and when it was time to get the girls up, he knocked on their doors with breakfast in hand.

Chapter Text

Bucky heard rustling and laughter coming from past his door. "Fuck," he said to himself. "Got to help girls..." He tried getting up and realized he had a raging headache. He didn't know why, though, since he hadn't gotten drunk the night before. Honestly, he figured it was stress and annoyance, both with things at home and work. He managed to get up and trudge out into the kitchen where he found his little sisters and... "Steve?"

---

Steve looked up to Bucky from his spot in the table. "Hey," he said. "You asked me to stay last night, I uh... figured you'd want to sleep in, so I got them ready for school."

---

"Don't you work?" Bucky furrowed his brow and went over to kiss Lilly and Becca on the head. "Why the fuck did I ask you to stay? No, better yet, why'd you listen?" Bucky was flustered and stressed and just a little too wound up at the moment.

---

Steve frowned, suddenly worrying that he overstepped some boundary. "I don't know. You asked, so I just... thought I'd do what you asked," he said. "I can go if you want. Their lunches are already packed."

---

"No, I meant…" Bucky cleared his throat and noticed both girls watching them closely. He had to choose his words carefully for Steve's sake. "I mean when do you work?" he asked very calmly. "I don't want you to be late because I asked an unreasonable request while I was very, very tired.”

---

"I start at three," Steve said. "I've got an overnight shift tonight, so they're having me go in late." He would have just enough time to have a good nap before having to go out to work.

---

Bucky breathed a sigh of relief. "Okay, good. I'm sorry I made you stay. I don't even remember it. That's not fair of me to ask you. Let me make it up to you?" He asked and hoped Steve knew what he meant and hoped his sisters thought he meant paying for Steve's dinner or something.

---

"You don't, uh... you don't have to worry about it. This really wasn't any trouble. But if you want to, I won't stop you," Steve said.

Lilly looked over at Bucky and asked, "Do you have a hangover, Bucky?"

---

"No, Lil. I think it's just a stress headache." Bucky pulled up a chair between Steve and Lilly. "You remember when mom would get them? She had them worse and more often than me. I just think I didn't sleep well for a few nights and work sort of overwhelmed me the other day.”

---

"Yeah, Mom's headaches were totally your fault," she said. "Me and Becca were angels." Somehow Steve didn't believe that Lilly was ever an angel. "Why don't you go to sleep earlier anyway? Becca and I know how to make breakfast. And we know how to clean up after ourselves."

---

Bucky couldn't argue with her right now. Even though he knew that they still needed some guidance when preparing for the day. And he also didn't want them not to need him anymore. Bucky turned his face to Steve and said, "I guess since they don't need me at the moment I should just go back to my bed." But he made no move to get up.

---

"Oh, they're always going to need you," Steve said. "But go to sleep anyway. You deserve all the rest you can get." He patted Bucky's shoulder in a friendly way even though he wished he could've kissed them. "I'll walk them both to school."

---

"Are you sure?" Bucky asked and couldn't help but scan his eyes over Steve's face. "They can walk themselves if you need to get going." Bucky felt bad for being so grumpy with them all when he got up and he really did want to make it up to Steve but he didn't think he'd get to today.

---

Steve shook his head. "It's fine, really," he insisted. They all finished their breakfast and Steve had the girls say goodbye to Bucky before he headed out. About a half hour later, after both girls were dropped off at school, Steve knocked on the door to come back in.

---

Bucky was lying in bed trying to get back to sleep when he heard a knock on the door. He rolled out of bed and went to answer it. He looked himself up and down and noticed he was still wearing his clothes from the day before that he had fallen asleep in. He really hoped it wasn't Steve at the door because he certainly didn't look very cute. He opened the door and there was his handsome Officer Rogers looking just as disheveled wearing the same clothes he stayed the night on the couch in.

---

"Hey," Steve said softly. He walked into the apartment and closed the door before reaching out to stroke his fingers once through Bucky's hair. "I wanted to come back and make sure you were okay," he murmured. Steve kissed his forehead gently; doing his best to make Bucky feel cared for.

---

"Yeah, I'm okay. Think I was just so tired." Bucky melted into the kiss and wrapped his arms around Steve. "I'm really sorry I was a grump earlier." Bucky nestled his head on Steve's shoulder and rubbed his nose against his neck.

---

"It's alright. You didn't remember last night and I'm sure it was a confusing sight to wake up to," Steve reasoned and rubbed a hand up and down Bucky's back. "You want to go lay down? You still look pretty beat."

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Bucky nodded, "Uh huh, sure. I don't work today so I might just lay around and do nothing." He let Steve lead him to his room and to his bed and gently help him back under his blankets. "Thanks, Babe," Bucky said without realizing it was the first time he'd called Steve a pet name. 

---

Steve blushed at the pet name, feeling happy to have been called it. "You deserve a day doing nothing," he said. Steve snuggled behind him and pressed his face to the back of Bucky's neck. "I'll cook a dinner for you to heat up so it's less work for you later."

---

"You don't have to do that." Bucky reached a hand back to pull Steve closer to him. "The girls can eat cereal for dinner and I'll just eat a sandwich or something." Bucky sighed and closed his eyes.

---

"Cereal for dinner? No way, they're getting a cooked meal," Steve said. He kissed the curve of Bucky's jaw and closed his eyes. "And you're getting something better than a sandwich."

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"But I like sandwiches..." Bucky mumbled tiredly and barely felt Steve's arm come up to rest on his chest. "Think I might fall asleep on you, Stevie." Bucky wanted to turn around and face Steve and give him small sleepy kisses but he also loved the feeling of his ass cradled in Steve's crotch and Steve's strong arms holding him close.

---

"Oh yeah? What's your favorite sandwich?" Steve asked, petting Bucky's hair gently. Steve was being an utter sweetheart, loving that he was able to dote on Bucky in this way. "Also, it's okay if you fall asleep. I'll let myself out when I have to go to work."

---

Bucky hummed contentedly. "Put a little avocado in between some turkey and cheese, too much mayo on the bread, some lettuce and tomatoes if you want. Then nice white bread slices that are like pillows for your mouth..." he said and moaned a little, satisfied mumble at the thought.

---

Steve brushed the hair out of Bucky's eyes and kissed his face again. "Sounds delicious. You got good taste in food and in men." He smiled dumbly and pet his hair some more.

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"Cheeky bastard," Bucky said and curled his hand around Steve's. "There's a nice little sandwich shop downtown a ways that's got my order on regular and everyone knows what to make when I walk in." Bucky was pretty proud that he was a regular there.

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Steve squeezed Bucky’s hand lightly, “Oh yeah? What’s it called? Maybe I’ll check it out.” He loved getting to talk with Bucky and just sit and look at him as much as he wanted to.

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"Rustic Rocco's," Bucky said. "You should go there. Tell them you know me and ask for what I get and then you'll know exactly what you've been missing all this time." He reached a hand back and started feeling up Steve as much as he could access very slowly.

---

Steve nodded his head at the suggestion. "Sounds like a plan," he agreed. "I'll go there during my break today. So long as I'm not posted somewhere super far like Queens." Steve let out a happy sound when Bucky started to touch him.

---

"If Martia is there tell her I still owe her for the casserole." Bucky rolled over to face Steve. "She brought us a casserole a few weeks ago when Becca was really sick. She's got a soft spot for that girl. Thinks the world of her." Bucky ran his hands from Steve's thighs up to his neck and warmed his fingers there.

---

"Becca is nice. I think I like her slightly better than Lilly because Lilly might beat me up one day," Steve teased.

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"I can almost guarantee she will beat you up." Bucky breathed against Steve's cheek and kissed it lightly.

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Steve slipped his hand under Bucky's shirt and touched his stomach gently. "What kind of casserole was it?"

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"It was a breakfast casserole. You know, with eggs and bacon and cheese and some vegetables all cooked together. It's really good. And Martia makes the best I've ever had." Bucky leaned in and gave Steve’s jaw a tender kiss.

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"That sounds good but you're going to have to have some of my mom's cooking to have the best food you ever had," Steve said with a happy grin. "My ma makes the best potatoes. She's straight from Ireland. Though, she's got a Brooklyn accent since it's been so long since she's been there.”

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"You're mom came over from Ireland?" Bucky didn't know that. There was so much he didn't know about Steve. But he was looking forward to learning it all. "How old was she when she got here?"

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"She was about fifteen. She had to come here alone because my grandpa was a part of the IRA and got in some pretty bad trouble with the English," Steve said. "He'd probably be really pissed that I turned out to be a cop, actually. But it's what the Irish do here. We become cops and firemen."

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"I've noticed," Bucky said and thought of all the Irish cops he'd met in New York. "But you Irish make very sexy public servants, just so you are aware." He really wanted to sleep but he also wanted to touch Steve again. Maybe he could just give him a quick hand-job while he made out with him and then he could sleep. Bucky still had to decide what he wanted to do.

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"The Irish can be sexy at anything," Steve informed him. "Why do you think there are so many of us?" He chuckled and squeezed Bucky to his chest. "I've always wanted to go back to see my mom's hometown, but she says she's happier here."

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"She doesn't want to go for just a week or so?" Bucky asked as he moved his hand over Steve's stomach and started to undo his pants so he could get access to his dick again. "That seems like a good vacation for the two of you."

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"Nah. She doesn't like planes and she'd rather spend the time gardening." Steve felt his face heat up when Bucky unbuckled his pants. "You sure you're up for that right now, Buck?"

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Bucky kissed Steve and whispered, "Just let me get you off, Steve. I want to do it. I'd love to." He emphasized 'love' so Steve would know exactly how much Bucky liked doing things like this for him. "Baby, I want to watch your face when you come on my fingers, laying on my bed together." He slipped his hand into Steve's underwear and carefully began to pull his dick free.

---

Steve really couldn't say no when Bucky used pet names on him and spoke to him sweetly like that. Steve let out a soft moan when he felt Bucky's fingers on his dick. "Alright," he agreed, nosing at Bucky's neck. "You know how to make me feel good."

---

Bucky started to pump him carefully. "I'll try my best at least." He smiled and let Steve stick his tongue in his mouth and start tying his chest up in knots with the feeling. This man was good at his trade regardless of his paler experiences in comparison to Bucky's. He really did learn fast.

---

Steve breathed out Bucky's name and kissed him back desperately. He pulled Bucky flush up against him and rocked his hips into Bucky's hand to encourage more. He sucked at Bucky's lower lip before ducking his head to mark up Bucky's neck just as he had done the night before.

---

Just like before, it didn't take very long before Steve was coming through Bucky's fingers wrapped around him. Bucky pulled his hand up to his lips and started to lick the come from them and smiled at Steve as he went. Steve tasted so good.

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Steve's eyes fluttered shut as he felt his orgasm surge through him. He forced them back open because watching Bucky lick up his come was sexier than he cared to admit. "You really know how to make a fella feel special."

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"Wanted you to have something nice before you had to work later." Bucky's fingers were a bit damp from licking Steve's come off so he reached over Steve to grab some tissues from his side table. "You need one?" He asked Steve.

--- 

Steve took a tissue and cleaned off Bucky's hand before wiping off the tip of his dick. He tossed the tissue onto the bed stand and settled back into Bucky's side. "Now all I'm going to think about at work is you in bed where I could be with you."

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"Maybe you could come back after work and stay with me?" Bucky suggested hopefully. He figured the answer would be no because it would be too much of a risk but he wanted to ask anyway. Bucky reached for Steve's hand.

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Steve hesitated before answering. "Can you pretend that you're sick or something and need help so the girls don't suspect that I'm coming over for the hell of it? I won't be back until around three or four in the morning."

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Bucky nodded and let out a small smile. "I can do that. Feel a little sick anyway so it won't be a stretch. You're sure, though? It's okay if you don't want to, Steve. Don't want to push you too far."

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"It's nice to have someone to go home to. I don't mind coming over - all I would have done at home anyway is fall asleep." He kissed Bucky's cheek and then settled down into the pillow with his eyes shut. "You make me happy. You're not pushing too far at all."

---

"Okay, I believe you," Bucky watched Steve's face and chest as he breathed. He looked like he was sleeping and Bucky liked the look of it so much he just leaned his face in close and stared at Steve until Bucky's own eyes couldn't stay open and he slipped into a fast sleep.

Chapter Text

Steve napped until around noon. He slipped out of bed and hurried home to get changed before he headed out on his shift. Steve didn't show up to Bucky's apartment until almost five in the morning. He was exhausted and looked a little run down.

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"Hey, are you okay?" Bucky asked immediately when he let Steve in. He looked dead on his feet like Bucky must have looked the day before. "Come sit down." He gestured at the couch and asked if he needed any water or food or anything.

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Steve laid down on his side rather than sitting like a normal person. "I chased this guy by foot for over an hour," he groaned. "Took forever to process cause he had a criminal history a mile long. Why couldn't he have the decency to show up at the beginning of my shift?"

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"Oh, man." Bucky brought Steve a cup of water and set it on the coffee table. He knelt down on the carpet so he was facing Steve. Just then, Becca opened the door to her room to see who was here. She was a light sleeper and must have woken up when Steve came in. Bucky made a hand motion at her to go back to her room and Steve, thankfully, had his eyes closed and didn't see it. "You want to sleep here or in my bed?" He asked and ran his fingers over Steve's still slightly sweaty hair. "You can borrow some of my clothes to sleep in too if you like. Do you want to take a shower?"

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Steve sipped at the glass sideways and put it back down once he was finished with it. "I'll go to your bed if the girls won't go into your room at all. I can stay there until after they go to school." So that way they wouldn't know he was here at all. "I'll shower in the morning."

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"Yeah they won't come in," Bucky said and started helping Steve up off the couch. In Bucky's room, he started pulling Steve's clothes off gently and putting them in a pile on the dresser. He managed to get Steve down to his boxer briefs and socks and figured that was good to sleep in. "Want some sweats of mine to wear?"

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Steve nodded. "Yeah, that would work," he said through a yawn. He peppered kisses over Bucky's shoulder and sluggishly followed him around the room. Once he got the sweats on, he collapsed into bed and wiggled under the sheets.

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"Goodnight, Steve," Bucky said and joined him under the covers. He kissed his forehead once and sought out his hand to hold. Bucky had just a few hours to be like this with Steve before the girls needed to be up and getting ready. He wasn't going to waste a moment of it.

---

Steve was out like a light. He slept right through breakfast and didn't rouse from his slumber until well after the girls were sent off to school. His hair was a complete mess and he definitely was in need of some washing up. He stifled a lion-sized yawn and sat up.

---

Bucky was waiting in the living area on the couch just listening to music and hoping Steve would wake up soon. He felt bad for the guy for being so dog tired the night before. It was great being able to have him close while he slept, though. That was certainly something Bucky had loved experiencing and on top of it, neither of the girls had asked him about who came over in the night. If they did know something, they kept their mouths shut.

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Steve slipped out of bed and looked around for Bucky, smiling when he saw him listening to music on the couch. Steve draped himself over Bucky's lap and smiled up at him. Looking to steal his attention, Steve reached up to touch his cheek.

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"Morning, Steve," Bucky said and leaned in towards his face to give him a quick kiss. "You work today?" Bucky had to go into work for the late shift - the close shift. He hated having to work that one because it meant the girls would have to be home alone for a few hours. At least he didn't have to go in until well past when they would be back so he could see them safely home first. 

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Steve shook his head. "Not until late. The way it works is I get two night shifts, a day off, then three day shifts," he explained. "Except this one I go in from eight at night to eight in the morning. So, is there anything I can do to help?"

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Bucky was enjoying himself just looking at Steve. "Oh, I see. So tomorrow is the day off, then. I've not really got anything to do around here. It seems someone's tidied up when I was asleep the other day." He rubbed Steve's shoulders and smiled at him. "I've got to go to work at six so I'm just going to be here until then. Anything you want to do?"

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"Well, I figured you had enough on your plate and the house did need a good tidying," Steve said with a shrug. "You want to show me some of your favorite albums and be lazy all afternoon? Because I could do for some of that."

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"Sure, we can do that!" Bucky lit up but didn't yet move. He liked Steve being on top of him like this and he didn’t really want to move and ruin it. "Oh, yeah, I still need to let you make me dance."

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Steve loved the way Bucky's eyes lit up like that. He leaned up and kissed his cheek sweetly. "We can dance on one of your days off. If you ever have one," he snorted.

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"I'll have one again eventually," Bucky said and threaded pieces of his hair together absently. "Clint is usually pretty good about my schedule being as convenient for me as possible. He knows I'm the only one who really does anything around that place so he can't afford to lose me." Bucky chuckled. "Not that I would leave either."

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Steve nodded and gently brushed his fingers up and down Bucky's arm. "If you were to go back to college, would you still work there? Like, would you try and do business outta his place or something?"

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Bucky smiled, confused, and asked, "I'm going back to college?" He hadn't really considered if or when he would go back and how that would really work out for him. "Don't know if I really could do that so I don't think I've got an answer for you."

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"I said if you were to," Steve corrected. "You know, hypotheticals." Not that Steve cared what sort of education Bucky had. He adored the man just as he was. Steve didn't go to college anyway. He went straight to the police academy.

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"Okay, well, hypothetically speaking," Bucky began, "I'd work at the store through college then work until I could start a record company here or Los Angeles. I mean, that's wishful thinking but that would be the goal."

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"And then what'll Clint do when his number one employee makes the big time?" Steve asked. "You going to send Lilly off to work for him?" Steve joked. He laced their fingers together and kissed Bucky's knuckles.

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"Well, that honestly probably wouldn't be too bad for Clint," Bucky said and wrapped his other arm around Steve's back. "She could be a hard worker and even though she is loud and talks a lot it wouldn't matter since he couldn't really hear her anyway."

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Steve let out a laugh at that. "They're a perfect employment match," he chuckled. "So what sports does she play?" He asked. "I know what you like, so what do they like?" He sat up a bit more so he could place affectionate kisses over his neck.

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"Well, she's in soccer," Bucky said and lightly pushed Steve so he could get a record playing for them. "And her school just started a lacrosse program and she was first in line for it. We had never seen lacrosse this far from California." Bucky put on an album from the Ramones.

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Steve rolled over to the side so he could watch Bucky put the music on. "Have you always lived around this area or are you guys originally from California?" He asked.

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"No, we've always been in Brooklyn." Bucky couldn't help but sway a little to the music as he walked to the kitchen to get a snack. "But we did take a trip to California not long before our parents died to see my dad's brother and our cousins. They all play lacrosse."

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"You know, Long Island is starting to get a real big lacrosse scene. It's a bit of a hike, but I'm sure they've got some pretty cool camps she could try out." Steve watched Bucky with a warm gaze as the man walked around. "How long has it been since your parents passed?"

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Bucky stopped as he was washing some strawberries and grapes. He knew he'd have to talk about his parents eventually but he really didn't want to. "Uh, four years and two months."

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"I'm sorry," Steve apologized. Maybe it was a bit too early to be asking that sort of stuff. "So it must have been a while since you guys got to see your cousins."

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"We haven't seen any of our family since the funeral. They call sometimes. We get Christmas cards but that's it," Bucky said and brought two bowls of fruit over to the coffee table. "Our grandma lived near us for a while but she died not long after our parents."

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"Oh, Buck," Steve said with a frown. Family meant a lot to Steve and he knew he would've been gutted if he didn't get to see his mom for years just because she lived in another state let alone if anything happened to her. "How old are your cousins?"

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Bucky popped a strawberry in his mouth then said, "They are around our ages. Oldest is twenty, I think, then seventeen, then thirteen, then six. The youngest won't remember my parents at all when he's older."

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"And how about you? How old are you, exactly? And when's your birthday so I know which day I get to really spoil you?" Steve gave Bucky a playful wink.

---

Bucky chuckled and said, "I'm twenty-four. March tenth. Name's James Buchanan Barnes. Born in New York, raised in New York, we will see if I die in New York." He finished and ate some more grapes.

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"Okay, now all I need is your social security and bank account numbers," Steve said, pretending to pull out an imaginary pen and paper.

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Bucky threw a grape at his face and said, "You ass. You're supposed to say 'Oh, wow, March is such a good month.' Or 'What a handsome name for such a handsome guy.' Then you tell me your birthday and age and social security number, Steven Grant Rogers."

---

Steve threw his head back and laughed. "Well, March is a good month. That's when Saint Patrick's Day is," he agreed. "And you are quite handsome, but I'm sure you've heard that already." He lounged back and said, "I'm twenty-three. Born July fourth. My social is 128-26-0023 and my bank account is 86723 with Bank of America."

---

"Steve!" Bucky put a hand over his mouth. "Oh my god." He laughed. "What if we had another wiretapping scandal like back with Nixon, huh? They just heard all your numbers, man," Bucky joked with wide eyes. "But, I guess with being born on America's birthday, you might just be immune to anything the government might try, yeah? America's baby boy."

---

Steve rolled his eyes and reached out to tickle Bucky's side. "Quit that, I got enough teasing about my birthday from my ma," he laughed.

---

"But I like it, Mr. America," Bucky said and giggled underneath Steve's tickling fingers. "Unfair with the ticking, Steve," Bucky added and tried to squirm away.

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Steve yanked Bucky into his lap and held him put so he could tickle the hell out of him. "It's totally fair when you're being a jerk," Steve laughed.

---

Bucky laughed until he couldn't breathe then he was crying from the lack of air. This was definitely not fair and he swore to himself that he was going to find something that got to Steve as much as tickling got to him. 

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Steve let Bucky go once he felt like Bucky learned his lesson. "Next time I'll tickle you until you pee yourself," he threatened playfully. "Never poke at a guy who knows a dozen ways to bother you." Steve winked at him.

---

"I don't think pissing myself is very attractive, Steve," Bucky said after he got his breath back. Steve was still holding his hands above his head with one firm grip and Bucky couldn't really move. There were still songs from the Ramones playing in the apartment and Bucky noticed how happy he felt and how he really hadn't felt this nice in a long fucking time.

---

"That's fine. One of us has to be the attractive one in this relationship and it may as well be me." Steve leaned down and pressed a sweet kiss to Bucky’s lips. He could see the happiness in Bucky's eyes and he couldn't help but want to bring more joy into his life.

---

"I might take offense to that if I didn't think you were so damn cute," Bucky said. "What do you want to do, huh? You can't possibly be having a good time staring at my ugly mug and listening to music.

---

"Well, I genuinely am having a good time doing just that," Steve said. "But..." He got a little flustered. "I was thinking, um, maybe I could give you a massage. And then get a little more practice... you know." He mimed sucking dick because he was too embarrassed to say it.

---

Bucky's mouth fell open in a laugh. "Alright, buddy, first step is you're going to have to tell me in words what you want to do to me. The first step to conquering the unknown is knowing what to call it." Bucky waved a hand in a go-ahead motion. "Tell me what you've got."

---

"Bucky," Steve huffed, making a face at him. He didn't know how to say it and sound sensual and sweet. It all felt a little too crass but he went ahead anyway. "Can I give you a massage and suck your dick?"

---

"Yes, you may," Bucky answered and put his hand on Steve's thigh. "But first you need to tell me in a different way. Just one more and then I'm all yours."

--- 

Steve smirked and rolled his eyes, “Fine. Bucky Barnes, would you permit me to put my mouth on your penis?” He asked and rubbed a hand down Bucky’s thigh.

---

"Ah, gross, Steve!" Bucky leaned back. "Why'd you have to say it like that? I expected you to ask to give me head or something not say it like that." Bucky flopped his head on Steve's chest. "Jesus Christ, Steve, you're too cute."

---

Steve cackled when he was able to gross Bucky out. "Serves you right for being demanding," he teased, slipping his hand into Bucky's shirt to rub circles over his stomach. "There's more bad dirty talk where that came from. I'll have you squirming from secondhand embarrassment."

---

"I'm already regretting all of this," Bucky said but placed a hand over Steve's under his shirt and helped him start to pull it up over his head. "Maybe I should just tell you no," he said as he guided Steve's hand into his hair. "Tell you to leave. Make you wait." Bucky took Steve's other hand and placed it on the tie of his sweats and said, "Go ahead, Babe."

---

"Don't worry, my Ma told me not to talk with a full mouth so you won't have to hear me soon enough," Steve joked. He didn't take Bucky's pants off right away. Instead, he slid his hand under the waistband of his pants and started to grope him through his underwear. He nibbled affectionately at Bucky's ear and hummed low in his throat.

---

Bucky let his head drop onto the pillows of the couch and breathed in deeply. "Am I going to have to teach you dirty talk too, Steve?" He whispered and flexed his fingers into fists.

---

"Depends. Are you really going to trust a smartass like me to take control of the mood?" Steve asked. He sucked marks down Bucky's neck as he massaged his balls. Once he got Bucky aroused enough that there was a wet spot in his underwear, he started to strip his pants off.

---

"Good point." Bucky was breathing heavier now. "I'll be in charge of dirty talk then." Bucky watched as Steve took his pants off of him and tossed them aside. "And you can be in charge of sucking me off."

---

Steve moved off the couch to kneel in front of Bucky. He pressed slow kisses to the insides of his thighs and let out a soft groan, excited that he got to do this with him. He felt lucky that Bucky trusted him so much. He didn't want to rush it. He wanted Bucky to feel loved and cherished rather than that he was a quick way to get off. Steve sucked love bites onto his thighs and spent a good few minutes doing so before he looked up at Bucky through his lashes as he licked a long stripe up the shaft of his dick.

---

By the time Steve got to his dick, Bucky's inner thighs were peppered with red marks and lines of Steve's saliva. The second his tongue touched Bucky's dick, Bucky jumped and gasped and rolled his head to the side.

---

Steve grabbed the base of Bucky's cock and held it steady while he took the first few inches into his mouth. He sealed his lips around him and started to slowly bob his head.

---

Bucky could already feel improvement in Steve's technique as he went. It was similar to last time but he hadn't yet clacked his teeth into him like he had done before. Bucky felt a sense of pride well up in him. It wasn't like he had anything to do with Steve learning how to give head but it still made him feel special that he got to be the one who Steve learned with.

---

Steve couldn't take all of Bucky's dick, but his hand worked over what he didn't put in his mouth. He moaned low so the vibrations would feel good, but he was also enjoying himself as well. All the pent up sexual frustration was being let out and there was no one better to experience this with than Bucky.

---

At the feeling of the low hum, Bucky said, "Oh, please do that again," and laid a hand softly on the back of Steve's head. "You're so gorgeous with my dick on your lips, Steve. I love seeing you like this. I'm so glad you are here," Bucky praised him and played with Steve's short hair.

---

Steve's face heated up when Bucky spoke to him and gave him compliments. He wanted so badly to do a good job for him. He slowly took just a bit more into his mouth and let out a low, unabashed moan because no one else was around to hear them.

---

Bucky flung his head back and damn near yelled, "Oh, fuck, Steve!" He could feel himself getting closer and closer and as Steve got more of his dick inside his mouth, Bucky got closer faster. "Almost... almost there."

---

Steve sucked him off in earnest, watching Bucky hungrily and soaking up every pleasurable expression that crossed his face. He palmed at Bucky's balls, taking just enough of Bucky's cock that he could feel the tip hit the back of his throat.

---

Knowing that Steve had gotten far enough that he was brushing up against his throat was too much for Bucky. He was coming down Steve's throat before he could warn him and he immediately felt bad for not giving him time to pop off if he didn't want him to come in his mouth and especially down his waiting throat.

---

Steve wished he had taken it with a bit more grace. The first spurt made him sputter and pull back before Bucky was totally finished and the last string of come shot onto his face. He couldn't even give Bucky a chiding look because no one would take a guy seriously with come across his lip and cheek. He quickly grabbed Bucky's sweatpants and wiped his face clean.

---

Bucky launched forward and grabbed Steve's arms and held them tight while he looked into Steve's eyes worriedly. "Oh, Steve, I'm so sorry! I didn't have time to warn you and I bet you weren't wanting to swallow or get come on your face. My god, but Steve you look so fucking sexy with a little bit of my come on your face and I hope you know that."

---

Steve had a small grimace on his face but he didn't look too upset. "You're lucky you're cute, Barnes," he said as he sat back on the couch with him. "Tell me more about how sexy I looked and I'll forgive you," he said, kissing his cheek.

---

"Your eyes were so beautiful and haunting staring up at me and your lips looked perfect stretched around me. And those gorgeous moans you gave me. And the little surprised blush when I compliment you." Bucky licked at the spot where Steve had wiped the come from his face and found some that he had missed. "You're so perfect and handsome no matter what you're doing."

---

Steve felt his face warm and he hugged Bucky to his chest. "I don’t know what I did to deserve an amazing partner like you. But I'm glad that I have you in my life." He pet his fingers through Bucky's hair. "I could listen to you praise me all day."

---

"Well, we could do that or I could return the favor?" Bucky asked and moved a hand over Steve's dick. "Or would you rather just snuggle up for a bit and wait it out before you have to leave for work?

---

"I kind of want to just snuggle the hell out of you," Steve said. "But in your bed. I like being under the blankets," he admitted. "But hey, if you wanted to give me a lazy hand-job while we're there, I won't complain."

---

"Sure, let's go to my room." Bucky got up and grabbed the bowls of strawberries and grapes so he could eat them in bed. "Mind if I take these with us?" He asked Steve and shook the bowls.

---

"Only if you plan on sharing them," Steve answered. He kissed the corner of Bucky's mouth and happily padded into the bedroom. He dove into bed like a damn child and snuck under the covers soon after.

---

Bucky chuckled at Steve's leap into bed and followed after him. "That was enthusiastic. My bed really that nice?" Bucky laid down and set the bowls on his chest and stomach to make a make-shift table for them to eat off of.

---

"It is when you're in it," Steve said with an affectionate smile. He stole a kiss before plucking a strawberry from the bowl and eating it. "You make me really happy, you know that? I didn't think it was possible to feel so good with someone."

---

"You make me happy too," Bucky answered and reached for some more fruit. "I wish I was able to tell everyone how much I like you, though. I wish no one gave a fuck about who was queer and who wasn't and just let us be who we are. I'd scream from the top of this apartment building that I get to make out with a drop dead gorgeous Brooklyn cop."

---

Steve played with Bucky's hair and smiled at how vehement Bucky was about adoring him. "One day," he promised. "Even if public opinion doesn't change... I want to be out. What's the point of New York making it legal if we got to hide still?"

---

"What will the precinct say when you come out?" Bucky asked and put the bowls on his side table so he could snuggle up against Steve with his head on his chest. "I mean, I know what I'll say, but what about them?"

---

"I don't know," Steve admitted. "Some won't care. And some will be uncomfortable not but be rude about it. But I know some will give me some real grief," he mumbled. "It's a shame. I'd take a bullet for any of them."

---

Bucky crinkled his face and asked incredulously, "Why? I mean, if they are the kind of people who'd rather tease you or force you out or see you not be yourself just to keep themselves happy... I don't see why you'd want to sacrifice yourself for them let alone be near them." Bucky finished his rant and eased up his grip on Steve's arm which he hadn't noticed he'd been squeezing hard since he started talking.

---

Steve noticed how Bucky gripped onto his arm but he didn't say anything. "Because it doesn't matter what they think. It matters that I do my job right and part of that job is defending them from harm," he said. "I'm still an officer, even if they don't treat me right."

---

"I just don't think it's fair if they don't give you the same respect that you're willing to give them." Bucky sat up and ran his fingers through his hair. "Not saying they have to like you but they shouldn't be dicks to you just because you are different from them. It's so fucking typical. People can't stand what they don't get." Bucky was getting worked up now and his mind was going blank except for his rage at thinking about anyone wanting to hurt or make fun of Steve for any reason.

---

"Buck, sweetheart," Steve said softly and pressed a gentle kiss to his forehead. "Life isn't about what's fair or not. It's making a difference. If they see I'm still me, even if they don't treat me like a normal person, they'll learn eventually that they were wrong. And if I don't do my job, they'll just use me being gay as an excuse for it."

---

Bucky sighed and touched his forehead to Steve's. "I just really like you a lot, okay? And I can't stand the thought of anyone thinking less of you or sabotaging you just because you like me a lot too." He nuzzled his nose to Steve's and added. "I know what it's like and I don't want you to experience that shit."

---

Steve brushed their lips together sweetly. "I'm envious that you were brave enough to come out," he said. "I'm so sorry you had to deal with people being awful to you, Bucky. But now you don't have to deal with that alone."

---

"Okay, but what about if people who know me start to notice I'm different?" Bucky thought to his coworkers and his sisters. He didn't have any friends so he didn't have to worry about that but what if Clint asked him who the man was who was making him smile like a dope at work. Or what if Becca asked him if it was Steve who she heard come in the other night.

---

Steve looked away for a moment and then said, "You don't have to say it's me. You can just say that someone's making you happy." He thought and asked, "Do your sisters definitely know that you're gay? Or do you just think they don't care either way?"

---

Bucky looked down at his hands folded in his lap. "They know..." He looked back up at Steve and nervously chewed his lip. "After our parents died, and I was responsible for the girls... we moved into this apartment because we couldn't keep the house." Bucky shuffled. "Well, I wasn't coping with the loss and automatic responsibility very well so I kind of went a little haywire. Slept around pretty heavily for about a year. Never the same guy twice. A few times it was a guy and a girl at once... By the amount of men I brought through these doors to 'hang out'," Bucky put air quotes around ‘hang out’, "there's no way they don't know."

---

"Christ, Buck," Steve swore. He didn't really disapprove that Bucky had so many past partners. He didn't think any less of Bucky for it, but he knew he probably would've scolded Bucky for being so reckless at the time. He was going through a lot, Steve reminded himself, and he didn't have people to help support him. "I'm a little annoyed that your sisters had to see all that," he said honestly. "But I understand." He pet his fingers through Bucky's hair. "Maybe we can let them know. Only them, though."

---

Bucky stopped Steve's hands on his head and moved so both their hands were over Bucky's heart. "Believe me, Steve, I wish they never saw a single one of those guys. I wish they never knew. I wish I wasn't so stupid to bring strangers into our home." Bucky choked in his throat and tears formed on the rim of his eyes lids. "I wish my father would have been around to tell me off. I wish I didn't have to be the reasonable one all the time. And I wish my sisters had a less selfish guardian."

---

Steve could tell that Bucky was sorry for his bad decisions and it broke his heart to see him like this. He brought Bucky's hands to his lips and kissed the backs of his knuckles. "You're only human," Steve said. "And humans are selfish and flawed." He let go of Bucky's hands so he could wipe the tears in his eyes before they fell. "And you don't have to be the reasonable one all the time anymore. You've got me now, okay?"

---

Bucky wrapped his arms around Steve's middle and sighed. "You're going to be reasonable?" He chuckled and sniffled. "Earlier you couldn't even tell me you wanted to blow me."

---

"My career is all about being reasonable," Steve said. "It's not my career to proposition myself to handsome men." He kissed the top of Bucky's head. "I mean it, though. Even if we don't work out, Buck, I'm here for you and your sisters. You deserve a friend and they deserve someone to go to for help if you're having a bad day."

---

Bucky gave Steve a sharp glance. "I hope you aren't expecting this not to work out because I've kind of gotten attached to you now." Bucky reached for the bowl of strawberries again and said, "The girls should be getting home in about an hour. I told them they could walk home together today." Bucky paused and assessed Steve. "Were you serious about telling them?"

---

"Well, I plan on us working out," Steve said. "But I wanted you to know that you can still count on me even if it doesn't." He kissed the corner of his mouth. Steve looked a little nervous but then said, "If they kept quiet about you, then I'll have to trust they will keep quiet about me. But... you have to swear, Bucky. Swear that they will."

---

Bucky pulled back a little and shook his head. "Steve, you're so scared and I can tell. You need to put a little faith in me if this is going to be okay. Becca and Lilly are smart. They know how the world works and who gets privileges and who doesn't. They are some of the youngest feminists I've ever met and they know when it's safe to share things and when it isn't." Bucky sighed again and licked his lips absently. "One of the older brothers of one of Becca's classmates is gay." Bucky paused. "Was... some assholes found out and beat him bad enough that he had to go to the hospital. Both his lungs were punctured and he didn't make it. The girls know that breathing a word of who I am could get me in serious danger and they can't afford to lose me too." He slipped his hand with Steve's. "I know you think I'm out but I'm really not. It's just a few people outside of the queer circle who know and they are people who would never say anything."

---

Steve hadn't come out to anyone before - even the guys he made out with, he never officially said he was gay and they just assumed he was experimenting too. When Bucky spoke about one of the kids that got beat to death, Steve got a sad look on his face and laid his head down on the pillow. He felt awful now even though Bucky was saying it as reasons to trust him and his sisters. "I'm sorry," he apologized. "I trust you guys."

---

"It's not your fault. It's just the risk that's taken when we decide to be who we are meant to be." Bucky scratched at his shoulder and breathed deeply a few times. "It's all up to you, though, Steve. If you want to tell the girls we will. I'm sure they will be thrilled. Lilly might demand you ask permission first, though."

---

Steve still looked nervous but he was determined. He wanted to show Bucky that he was serious and he wanted to be there for him through everything. Hiding something from his sisters would only be an added burden. "We can tell them today," he said. "I'm sure."

---

Bucky smiled at Steve and willed his heart not to beat too fast. He was very excited about this next step with Steve. "Okay, today then." Bucky breathed out slowly and checked his watch. "We've still got some time," he said and a mischievous grin swept over his face. Bucky sidled down Steve's body so he was hovering over his crotch. He gently placed a hand over Steve's clothed dick and asked, "May I have this?"

---

Steve looked at Bucky with his heart full and excited eyes. He felt his heart pounding in his chest in a good way. He wanted this with Bucky. The hand on his dick came as a surprise and his face heated up. "Christ, only if you plan on giving it back."

---

Bucky chuckled low in his throat and slipped his fingers past the waste of Bucky's sweats that Steve was wearing. "Did I tell you that you look fucking gorgeous wearing my clothes?" Bucky asked and started pulling the sweats and Steve's underwear down to reveal his cock.

---

"If you think I'm gorgeous wearing your clothes, just wait until you see me wearing nothing at all," Steve said with a confident smile. He was fairly modest but he felt so attractive with the way Bucky looked at him.

---

Bucky rolled his eyes and gave a quick lick up Steve's cock before pulling back off him again. Bucky straddled Steve's lower leg so he was in a good position to kneel down to his cock. He pulled at Steve's growing dick until there was some pre-come leaking from the top. Bucky wiped it off with his thumb and rubbed it into his own left nipple until it was taught.

---

Steve's hips stuttered forward when Bucky licked up his cock. His eyes drank in Bucky when he took his shirt off - he thought he was the most gorgeous guy in the world. Steve thought that getting jerked off was great but he let out a groan when he watched Bucky rub pre-come on his nipple. "What makes you even think of that?" He complained, "And why is it so fucking hot?" He reached out to hold the back of Bucky's neck to pull him in for a kiss.

---

Bucky wiped some more pre-come from Steve and said, "I think of it because it feels good. Here." He carefully rolled Steve's shirt up to reveal his chest and began rubbing Steve's own pre-come into one of his nipples. "It's nice, right?" He asked and licked at the other nipple. Steve was fully hard now and his dick was pushing against Bucky's leg. Bucky wanted to get to it soon but he also liked watching Steve become undone from the stimulation he was giving him.

---

Steve licked his lips and watched Bucky rub some onto him and he squirmed a little because he was sensitive there. He wrapped a leg around Bucky's hip and rutted up against his thigh. "So nice," he breathed out. "What else do you think I'd like?" He asked.

---

"Ooh, I can think of a lot but I don't know if you are ready for them," Bucky said and moved back down towards Steve's dick. He kissed the head and licked down the shaft a few times before heading down to his balls and nosing there. "You smell fantastic, Steve," Bucky said. "I'll try one new thing with you today." He winked up at Steve and took Steve's balls into his mouth and sucked. 

---

Steve leaned his head to the side so he could look down at Bucky. He was so fucking sexy down there, kissing his dick and somehow turning oral sex into something sweet. "Buck!" He gasped, hips jerking forward when Bucky sucked on his balls. "Don't stop," he moaned, fisting his hand in Bucky's hair.

---

Bucky thought to himself, 'I don't plan on it,' and kept suckling at Steve's balls and rolling them around in his mouth. Steve's dick was lying on his face as he went but Bucky didn't mind at all. He reached a hand up and started jerking Steve as he sucked his balls. With his other hand, Bucky went back to massaging his own nipples.

---

Steve didn't want to admit how hot it looked having his dick pressed against Bucky's cheek while he sucked his balls. Steve rocked his hips, fucking Bucky's hand. He reached down and cupped the side of Bucky's face and looked at him with hooded eyes. "You look so fucking hot." He blushed and then tried talking a little dirty. "How hard are you going to make me come?"

---

Bucky popped his lips off of Steve and growled low, "You'll see black, Baby." Then he took Steve's length down all at once like he had done the first time. Hand on Steve's balls, Bucky hummed down his shaft like he was testing a microphone. He couldn't wait until Steve was ready to come. He wanted to swallow again but he also wanted Steve's load to shoot on his chest or his face or his hair.

---

"Bucky!" Steve gasped out, moaning his name like it was the only word he knew. Steve's back arched off the bed and his toes dug into the mattress. He had a blush all the way down to his chest and his nails dragged slowly up Bucky's back in an attempt to try and make himself last longer. But god, Bucky was a fucking pro and Steve felt himself finishing in no time. "Buck, I'm gonna come," he gasped out breathlessly.

---

Bucky pulled off of Steve quickly and hurriedly said, "Come on my chest, Steve," and he rolled them both so Steve was hovering over him. He jerked Steve the rest of the way until he was coming in several short strands all over his chest.

---

Steve didn't need telling twice. He let Bucky maneuver him and his whole body tensed as his orgasm hit him, making him paint white strings of come over Bucky's chest. He was left breathless as he stared down at the fucking hot mess beneath him. Steve suddenly grabbed Bucky's arms and pinned them over his head as he surged forward to claim his lips in a biting kiss.

---

Bucky's heart raced when Steve moved on him so quickly and he wrapped his still clothed legs around Steve's middle. They kissed for a few long seconds before Steve was pulling back for air. "You want to lick me clean, Steve? Or you want to feed it to me?" Bucky asked, indicating the come still staining his chest.

---

Steve couldn't help the possessive growl that rumbled in his throat as he kissed down his neck. He wouldn't have thought to do either of those things if Bucky hadn't suggested it, but Steve deliberately dragged his tongue over a line of come as if it had been his plan all along. But then he swiped another with his finger and held it to Bucky's lips.

---

"Both is good," Bucky gasped out and greedily took Steve's finger into his mouth. He sucked off the come and said, "More, Steve." Bucky ran his fingers possessively up and down Steve's sides and his arms and closed his eyes to pay attention to all the feelings he was experiencing at once.

---

Steve was convinced he was dating a sex god who was also the most adorable human being on earth. Steve licked his lips and swiped another spurt of come from Bucky's chest and offered it to him. "Do you have any idea how sexy you are?"

---

"Yes." Bucky chuckled. "Turn myself on every day." He was joking, of course, but he also knew he wasn't the least sexy person so he was at least somewhat good on that front. Steve, on the other hand, was sexy in such a lovely innocent way. He could hardly vocalize anything sexual but he still opened up so much once they started doing something with each other's bodies.

---

Steve rolled his eyes at the response but gave him a kiss with a smile anyway. He raked his eyes over Bucky's body, drinking in how beautiful he was. Steve cupped the side of his face and gave him a gentle look. "I love you," he said, like it had been waiting to burst out of him. "I really do."

---

"Excuse me?" Bucky stared up at Steve with wide eyes. "You what?" He asked again and could feel his heart rate quicken again and his body clench up. He didn't know if he could believe that. They hadn't been together for long and they hadn't even properly fucked yet. How was Steve that sure?

---

"I..." Steve's face fell a little, afraid he messed up but he went for it anyway. "I love you," he said, this time meekly. He moved over to Bucky's side, embarrassed and worried he upset the man. "You... don't have to feel the same way," he mumbled. "But I know how I feel."

---

"Steve," Bucky cupped his face with his hands and kissed him full on the lips. He rolled on top of him so he was straddling Steve again and kept kissing him. "Steve, you've got to know that I want to say that back to you. And I'm so over the moon that you said it to me. But I can't... I can't yet. I have to think this through for a lot of reasons. I really, really like you and I want to be with you and get to the point where I feel secure enough to say that back to you." Bucky took a breath not realizing he had rushed through his last one. "I'm... enamored with you, Steve. Is that okay?"

---

Steve felt a bit better when Bucky was kissing him but there was still that lingering embarrassment. He held Bucky's hand in his own and rested it over his heart. "I wouldn't want you to feel rushed to say it, Buck. I don't expect it. Enamored is more than alright with me." He kissed the back of his hand. "But can I keep telling you that I love you? Cause I don't want you to go a day without hearing it."

---

Bucky blinked a few times then nodded slowly. "Uh, huh... That's fine." He smiled tentatively at Steve and rubbed his thumb down his neck. Just then there was a rustling outside Bucky's room and a slamming of the door. "Fuck! The girls are home," Bucky said and jumped out of bed reaching for his shirt. "Find your pants!"

---

Steve felt like cold water was dumped over his head. He scrambled and grabbed his clothes from the night before so the girls wouldn't see him in their brother's clothes. "Shit, do I wait in here?"

---

"Fuck, I don't know." Bucky was flustered and running around his room cleaning stuff up. He ran to a mirror and made sure he didn't look like he had just given a man a blowjob. "Do I smell like come?" Bucky asked and crowded Steve. "Um, just come with me and we will just pretend we were chatting in here or something okay?"

---

Steve looked around and found some lotion, which he put on his hand and smeared a little over Bucky's chest unceremoniously just so he smelled like that instead of anything else. "Bucky, I'm a terrible liar. I can't go walking up to your sisters like we didn't just do stuff."

---

"Just don't blurt out that I just had your dick in my throat and we will be fine," Bucky said. "They already know what sex is anyway." He slipped his shirt on and gave Steve a quick kiss. "Okay, let's go." He opened the door.

---

"Bucky, that doesn't mean-" Steve started to argue in a low whisper, but Bucky was already on the move.

Lilly was unpacking her homework when she saw them. "What's he doing here? Is he paying rent now?" She asked her brother and then smirked over at Becca for approval of her wise crack.

---

Becca flicked her in the arm and Bucky put his hands on his hips, "Do you pay rent?" He asked Lilly with heavy sass. "No, you don't. I do. And Steve is my guest. And need I remind you he saved you from the jungle of New York not too long ago."

---

"Typical man. Thinks I need saving cause I'm a girl," Lilly said with a flip of her hair.

Steve barely held back a laugh but he managed. "You were two minutes away from crying and you know it," Steve shot back to her. "I could have sold you to the Brooklyn zoo instead. I bet they pay good money for mouthy kids."

---

"Plus," Bucky added and moved slightly closer to Steve. "It's got nothing to do with you being a girl and all to do with you being a kid in a big city. If it were me at your age it would have been the same thing." Becca giggled from the other side of the room at that.

---

"I don’t know. Guess we will never find out," Lilly said, unwilling to admit defeat. She plopped her notebook on the table and took a seat. "So what are you and Mr. Steve doing?" She asked curiously, this time not trying to instigate something.

---

"Having a little chat," Bucky said and walked towards the fridge to get some water. "Been a pretty good day, huh, Steve? We listened to some Ramones." Bucky nodded and gestured for Steve to give his input on the day.

---

"Yeah," Steve said, his voice going just a little higher in pitch. The girls may not notice but Bucky would. "And we had some fruit," he added. "Talked a little trash about you two," he joked.

---

Steve was definitely right. He was horrible at this. Bucky was filling up two glasses of water and trying his best not to look too surprised at Steve. "Yeah, we did talk about you two a lot. Talked about lacrosse, Lilly." Bucky brought the water over to Steve.

---

Steve took the glass and fidgeted nervously. "Yeah. Did you know that lacrosse is popular on Long Island?" He asked. "That's not too far from here - it's where all the rich people with cars and back yards live," he chattered to her, hoping he was playing it cool enough.

---

"I know what Long Island is," Lilly sassed back. "Just don't like Long Island." 

Becca motioned for Bucky to come over to her and Bucky obeyed. She adjusted his shirt, which was apparently askew enough to be noticeable. Bucky swore in his mind and hoped Becca wouldn't understand the implication. Instead, she looked into his eyes sadly and mouthed 'careful'. She knew exactly how many times Bucky's heart had been broken by some guy who didn't stick around and she didn't want Steve to be just another notch on Bucky's bedpost.

---

"How can you not like Long Island?" Steve asked and his eyes drifted over towards Bucky and saw him and Becca having a silent conversation. He saw a sad look in her eyes and he frowned with concern. "Is everything okay over there?"

---

"Uh, yeah." Bucky rubbed his face with his hands. "Becca's just helping me out. Right, Becs?" Bucky gave Steve an apologetic look. Becca was way too used to her brother to not know that he and Steve were together in some way. Bucky figured Becca just didn't want it to be like it was with all the guys before. She and Lilly couldn't handle that again.

---

"Alright," Steve murmured. He felt a little out of place now and he was also nervous because these kids were going to know all about him soon enough. "Do you want me to head out?" He asked. Maybe it would be better to wait for some other time or to let Bucky explain it to the girls on his own.

---

"No!" Bucky said a little too quickly and cleared his throat. "We've got plans still, right?" He asked referring to talking to the girls. Bucky guessed neither of them were very subtle because the girls were just staring at them with furrowed brows and frowns.

---

Steve looked at Bucky and then at the girls who definitely knew that something was up by now. He nodded and decided he may as well just come out with it. "Yeah we do," he said to Bucky. He looked over to the girls and apologized, "I'm sorry I'm acting funny. Your brother and I - well, we've been dating and I've been too nervous to tell you."

---

Becca and Lilly looked at each other and then from Bucky to Steve. "Is he good to you?" Lilly directed to Bucky then turned to Steve for the answer. 

Becca and Bucky both sighed, "Lilly," and rolled their eyes at their predictable sister.

---

"Uh, well... I believe I am," Steve said, becoming a bit of a nervous idiot. "I cleaned the house and got you all set for school, didn't I? And I made dinner for all of you while he was sleeping." He looked to Bucky to confirm.

---

Bucky nodded and said, "Steve's good to me. I promise. He isn't like..." Bucky stopped and looked at the ground. "It's not going to be like..." He tried again and looked up to Lilly and then to Becca. He bit his lip nervously. He never really actually apologized for all the people he fucked in their home. He never wanted to talk about it.

Becca piped up then and asked quietly, "If you can promise me, Bucky, that this isn't going to be like before, then I don't have a problem." Sometimes Bucky was surprised by Becca's lack of a bullshit tolerance. She was so quiet that he would forget she had strong opinions like Lilly.

---

Steve wrapped an arm around Bucky's shoulders and gave him a small squeeze to show his support. He looked over to Becca and said, "I want to be here for all of you. You guys are so important to Bucky and so that means you're important to me now, too."

---

Becca nodded slowly and looked Steve up and down as he slid his fingers with Bucky's "Are you going to tell Miss Sarah? Or is it just a secret for us?"

Lilly interrupted, "You're not moving in here are you?"

Bucky breathed out in exasperation. "No, Lilly, Steve's got his own place. We just wanted to... I just wanted to tell you both. I hate keeping shit from you and don't you two pretend you didn't already know."

---

"I'll tell my mom soon. But nobody else besides that knows - and nobody else can know," Steve said. He gave Bucky's hand a squeeze, feeling a mix of vulnerability and happiness that he was out in the open to them. "Also, why would I want to move in here?" He asked. "I found dirty socks under the couch and you don't wash your dishes right," Steve teased.

---

"Those would be Lilly's socks," Bucky said and made a face. "All those sports produce some really terrible feet odors." Things felt normal. It wasn't like this was some giant reveal for anyone. Steve was probably the only one who this was a big deal for. Bucky looked to Steve and quickly kissed the side of his face because he could.

---

Steve blushed brightly when Bucky kissed his cheek. He smiled stupidly and hid his face briefly in Bucky's shoulder. He straightened up his posture soon after and then tugged lightly at Bucky's shirt. "Can we talk in your room?" He asked, making sure that he said it in a way that wouldn't make Bucky worry.

---

"Sure, of course." Bucky nodded and turned to the girls. "There are leftover noodles in the fridge you can heat up. Remember I've got the close shift tonight so I'll be leaving in about an hour and a half."

---

Steve walked into the other room and pressed a kiss to Bucky's temple. "That went better than I expected," he admitted. "I was wondering if, uh... I mean, I'm not looking to move in but I was wondering if it would help you out if I made a habit to be around for you and the girls. Making dinners and keeping an eye on them when you're at work and that sort of thing."

---

Bucky nodded. "Well, I mean if you want to I don't have a problem with it. You might want to double check with them first, though. You can just ask them if it'd be okay if you hung around sometimes even if I'm not here. Becca will probably be a bit resistant because she remembers more of what I used to be like back then but Lilly will be fine with it."

---

Steve nodded. "I know I can't swoop in and act like I'm a part of the family, but I want to be there for all of you and help any way I can." He brought Bucky's hand up so he could kiss it. "I'll show Becca I can make an honest man out of you," he said with a wink.

---

Bucky tried to smile but looked down sadly. "Honestly, Steve, I don't know if she'll ever completely trust me with guys ever again. I'm at least glad Lilly doesn't know as much as Becca does. At least it's the quiet one." Bucky rubbed his hands down Steve's arms.

---

Steve cupped Bucky's chin and lifted his head up to give him a kiss. "I'll get her to trust me in due time. And then she'll definitely have to reconsider her stance on your taste in men," he said.

---

"Okay, Steve," Bucky said and wrapped his arms around him once more. "I wish neither of us had to work tonight."

---

"I wish so, too. But hey, I get my day off tomorrow. That's something to look forward to," Steve said.

---

Bucky stood up. "You want to go talk with the girls some more before I need to leave for work? Also, if you plan on getting on their good side you shouldn't mention that you haven't seen Star Wars yet."

---

Steve cuddled up to Bucky where they stood and kissed his cheek. "What do I talk about to them? Will they want to chat with me? I'm like twice their age."

---

"Just talk to them about school and their interests. Ask about their friends." Bucky remembered Steve was an only child and probably didn't have much experience with teen girls. "Just be yourself. I like you and that's all that actually matters. Oh, you could talk about me because I'm a great subject!" Bucky joked excitedly.

---

Steve snorted and playfully messed up Bucky's hair. "You are a great subject. And an even better boyfriend." Steve sweetly kissed his lips and then led him back out by the hand to go back to the girls. Lilly would be easier to win over but he was going to have to work more with Becca. "So what are you guys learning in school?"

---

Bucky let go of Steve's hand and went to put on some music. He grabbed for a Bowie record before Lilly shouted, "The Clash, Bucky, '77 self title, please," and then turned to Steve. "I've got a project about World War II I've got to finish by next Monday." She offered as Bucky rummaged through a different box of records for The Clash.

---

Steve smiled. Lilly was like a louder version of Bucky in a way. "My granddad fought in World War II," he said. "Did you know the Irish hate the British but they fought in their army to make sure that Hitler didn't win?" His mom always told him how his grandfather complained about that.

---

Lilly lit up. "Hey, so do you know a lot about the war?"

Bucky finally got the music playing and he came back over to them and sat on a chair across the room so he could watch Steve interact with his sisters. "Lilly, maybe if you ask really nice, Steve will help you out with it, huh? It's just a paper isn't it?" Bucky leaned his body so his legs were flopped over the arm of the chair.

---

"I mean, I'm no expert. But my ma told me enough war stories from my grandfather that I think I could help out at least a little," Steve said. He snuck a kiss with Bucky before sitting at the table with Lilly. "What do you have to answer in your paper?" He asked.

---

Bucky smiled and wanted nothing more than to pull Steve into his lap and snuggle him. "She's got just to write about someone's story from the war. She was going to do a famous general or something but maybe the stories about your grandfather would be better?" Bucky said and reached for his water on the coffee table. He knew he shouldn't be but he couldn't help but think about the next step with Steve. They had just taken one leap today by telling his sisters and with Steve confessing his love and Bucky hoped the next big leap would be either telling Steve's mom or finally getting to have sex with Steve.

---

"My granddad is no famous general, but he's a really cool guy. He's still alive, you know. He sent my ma a few letters and I'm sure she would let you borrow one of them that he wrote from the front," Steve offered. He gave Bucky a happy smile, relieved he was getting along with her.

---

Lilly thanked Steve because that was perfect for her project then she turned to Bucky. "Okay, Buck, you may date Steve it's fine."

Bucky swung his legs back over the chair and came over to the table. "Excuse me? I may? Who said it was your decision, huh?" He flicked her in the head playfully and smiled at Steve cheekily.

---

"You hear that, Buck? I knew you were having doubts before but now that we have Lilly's approval, we're good," Steve joked back. He captured Bucky's hand and kissed it. He spent the rest of the time telling Lilly old war tales from his dad and left out anything that wasn't child friendly. A little later though, Steve knew that it was time for them to get going. "Want me to make dinner before I go?"

---

"Nah, they'll be fine," Bucky said as he was lacing up his boots. He had to walk to the record shop and it took him about ten minutes and he was supposed to clock in in seven minutes. He may have gotten a little distracted with Steve. "They have spaghetti in the fridge and carrots." Bucky made quick rounds to each one of them giving each a kiss to the top of the head including Steve. "Okay, Clint's going to kill me I have to get going."

---

"Alright. I'll see you later, Buck," Steve said. He was disappointed to see him go but he knew the guy had to work. After Bucky left, he wanted to give him a little surprise so he asked the girls what sandwich they wanted for lunch tomorrow and then ran to Bucky's corner shop to get his regular and lunch for the girls. He returned and dropped off the food. Steve had to get going, so he gave the girls his home number and precinct phone number in case of emergency.

---


Bucky was having a pretty slow day at the record shop and Clint was spending his time rearranging the slow rock section. Neither of them had spoken much yet but Bucky knew Clint noticed the way he was acting. He noticed the lighter step that Bucky had - the occasional smile that ghosted his lips for no reason. Clint was just too sneaky a person to come right out and mention it. No, he would collect some more information first - like a spy.

Chapter Text

Steve’s relationship with Bucky only flourished more and more as time went on. Becca was still hard to win over but Lilly almost always had something to talk to him about. Today, Steve had chosen to invite Bucky on a date, this time to a museum where they could at least pose as history buffs. He showed up a little after midday to Bucky's place.

---

"So, where exactly are you taking me, Officer?" Bucky asked and pulled Steve by his belt towards him for a kiss. "You said museum but you never said which one." He ran his fingers up through his hair and pulled it back in a loose ponytail wanting it out of his eyes.

---

"The Brooklyn Museum, of course." Steve found out that there was a temporary exhibit on the history of rock and roll, so he figured it would be a fun outing with Bucky. "Trust me on it. Have I led you wrong yet?"

---

"Not so far, but there is a first time for everything," Bucky said and slipped his jacket on. He kissed Steve on the lips once, then on the jaw, then on the neck. "Can't we stay in where I can do this to you?" Bucky asked and licked into Steve's mouth.

---

Steve let out a soft moan at the way Bucky kissed him. He pressed himself up against the other's body and stroked his hand over Bucky's cheek. "Next time," he promised. "At my place."

---

"Okay," Bucky breathed out. "It's been about seventy-two hours since I've had your dick in my mouth and I really, really miss it." Bucky moved his hands down Steve's back and pocketed them in his back pockets so he could squeeze his ass. "Oh, well, guess we should get going," Bucky said and peeled himself off Steve to head to the door.

---

Steve's face went a bright red. He'd always been so careful about showing Bucky that he loved him and didn't just lust for him but Bucky had no problem telling Steve exactly what he wanted to do with him. "I don't know how that mouth hasn't gotten you into more trouble," he chuckled. He stole one more kiss before heading out the door.

---

They were standing outside Bucky's door and he was trying to get it to lock when one of his neighbors walked by. "James," He said, "Good day, isn't it?" He didn't let Bucky answer before going on, "I seem to recall you told me your sisters would no longer run up the stairs to get home. I seem to recall you said you'd make sure to tell them to stop. But, it would seem they have kept doing it. They nearly knocked me over the other day, the hooligans."

"Are you finished, Dale?" Bucky asked flatly and folded his arms. 

"And who is this I keep seeing about?" Dale asked and held out his hand to Steve. "Finally made an adult friend, James?"

---

Steve frowned when this guy showed up and started criticizing Bucky's sisters for being typical kids. Seriously, who complained about running upstairs? But when the guy offered his hand, Steve smiled and shook it. "I'm Officer Rogers," he said. "The NYPD takes petty complaints very seriously. When I heard talk of two girls running around, well... I had to come here and put an end to that."

---

Bucky cleared his throat and elbowed Steve in the ribs discreetly. "I'll talk to them again, Dale. Anything else?" He hoped desperately that that would be it so he and Steve could get going but he never quite knew with Dale. One day Bucky just invited him into his house and had him sit at the table to complain just because Bucky had bags of groceries to put away.

Dale shook his head and bid the two of them goodbye before turning his back and going into his apartment. While he wasn't looking, Bucky flipped him off for good measure.

---

Steve snorted when Bucky flipped the guy off. "Pleasant man," he said sarcastically. Steve didn't think he was particularly mean, but he didn't seem like the life of the party either. "At least tell me your other neighbor is nicer."

---

"Never met her," Bucky said and started down the hall. "She's an artist and a vampire. Never comes out during the day and never talks but is always covered in paint. Only ever seen her in passing and when I waved she looked away quickly. Think she's got anthropophobia or something."

---

"Oh," Steve said. "Well, I guess she's nice, at least. Or not a bad neighbor." He was tempted to throw an arm around Bucky but refrained - just barely. "I need to show you my art sometime," he said. "I think you'd find it neat."

---

Bucky looked to Steve and said, "Steve, there is nothing I'd like more." He wanted to grab his hand and was caught up in a moment of anger because he couldn't. Bucky expected today to be a fun day but he was so pissed that he wouldn't get to hold Steve close to him at the museum like other couples would be doing. Also, he wasn't sure if it was in Steve's plan for the date to go back to his place and goof around. Bucky hoped so. He wasn't lying when he said he missed Steve's dick.

---

Steve got a bashful but happy look on his face when Bucky said that. He was going to say something back but he heard a distant shout from a few blocks away. He froze like a dog that'd just seen a rabbit and strained his ears to listen. "Did you hear that?" Steve started to walk in large strides towards the source of the noise.

---

"Steve, what... wait!" Bucky shouted after him and ran to catch up. Steve wasn't paying any attention to him now and was only quickening his pace towards the noise. Bucky was confused and worried about what was happening and about the hard scary look that came over Steve's face.

---

Steve had zeroed in and went from dopey boyfriend right to cop-mode and sure enough, he found a bunch of young teens beating down a kid with darker skin. "Hey!" He shouted. He ran right at them and the kids scattered like roaches from light. Steve was able to catch one of them by the back of his shirt. "I'm an officer of the law, son, what's your name?"

---

"Fuck!" Bucky shouted as he saw what was going down. He didn't want to interrupt Steve doing his job so he ran over to the injured kid. "Oh my god. Kid, are you okay? What happened? It's okay, we're going to help you." Bucky helped the guy sit up and told him to just take it easy as he gave him a once over for any broken bones he could detect.

---

The kid had a busted nose and cuts all over him. He looked like he was just barely holding back tears. "I didn't steal anything, I swear," he said to Bucky. 

"This spic stole my watch!" The other kid exclaimed at Steve.

---

"Watch your fucking mouth!" Bucky shouted at the other kid and turned to the kid by him and apologized on behalf of the other boy.

---

"Do you have any proof of that?" Steve asked with his hands bunched in the kid’s collar. 

The kid gestured wildly at the smaller boy by Bucky's side. "Yeah, just look at him!"

---

"You didn't take his watch, right? I want to fight for you but you can't make an ass of me if you actually did it," Bucky said as diplomatically as he could.

---

The kid shook his head. "I didn't, I swear!"

Steve couldn't lose his temper since he was a cop. He kept a good grip on the bully and pulled out his pager to call one of his on duty coworkers. "You're going to take a ride to the precinct and have papers filed for assault. There, you can call your mom or dad."

---

Bucky sat back on his heels and breathed out a long sigh. Neither kid looked like he was older than fourteen. So much for a relaxing day out. "Here, Kid, Bucky took the smaller kid’s hand and helped him up. What's your name then, huh?" He asked and gripped his shoulder. He knew what it was like to fight your way out of tough situations. Bucky knew what it was like to get beaten up. He felt really bad for the kid. He was probably in pain and embarrassed.

---

"Manuel," he said meekly. He ducked his head and wiped his bloody nose on his shirt. "Can I go home now?" He asked. Manuel was thankful for their help but didn't want to stick around for the cops to show up. 

"I can't believe you're taking this spic's side!" The other boy shouted.

Steve gave him a shake. "Say that word again and I'll write you up for hate speech too."

---

Bucky piped up the same time Steve did but was much angrier, shouting, "What did I tell you about watching your damn mouth?" Bucky wasn't sure if Manuel was allowed to leave or not. He kind of wanted to take him to the hospital just to be sure nothing was wrong - no broken ribs or something. "Steve, can Manuel go or do we need him to call home at the station?"

---

"Keep an eye on this kid and I'll take a statement from Manuel," Steve said. He made sure Bucky had a grip on the offending kid before he came over to Manuel. "Hey, Kiddo. I'm a police officer, so you can tell me what happened and I'll let the fellas know at the precinct. Then we can walk you home or to the hospital if you want."

---

Manuel looked back to Bucky. Clearly, he wasn't interested in talking to Steve. He was probably afraid of the cops and could tell Bucky wasn't one. Bucky nodded once to indicate it was fine for him to talk to Steve. "I don't really know what happened. I was just walking home and they saw me and yelled at me. I ran but they were faster and caught me."

---

Steve pulled out a writing pad he always kept in his pocket. "And do you know these kids at all? Are they in the same class as you?" He gave the kid a gentle look. "You're not going to get in trouble for telling the truth. You don't have to be scared of them."

---

Bucky looked on and kept quiet. He didn't want to disturb Steve in his element. Bucky's adrenaline was still high and he couldn't help the overwhelming sense that came over his body about how sexy Steve looked being a big good cop. 

Manuel spoke again slowly, "They are on my soccer team."

---

Steve's face fell. "Oh, I'm so sorry." He motioned for him to sit down. "If you wait there, we can take you home soon." Steve asked Bucky to sit with Manuel and spent the rest of the time scolding the other kid until his coworkers showed up.

---

Bucky sat in silence next to Manuel, occasionally looking over at him to make sure everything was still okay. Once the cops got there, Steve spent several minutes explaining the situation to his fellow officers. A few times, one of them would nod towards Bucky and Bucky knew they were discussing him. He wondered what Steve told them to explain why he and Bucky just so happened to be here at the time. He wondered if he even claimed he knew Bucky or if he said he was a random stranger who helped out.

---

They patiently packed the swearing, kicking kid into the back of the car. Steve walked back to the two and said, "He's got it taken care of and I gave him the statement." He turned towards Manuel and asked, "Do you want to go home or to the hospital?"

---

Manuel immediately said he wanted to go home and also said he could walk himself. Steve adamantly refused to let him but Bucky offered, "Hey, he's a smart kid. He told me he only lives a few blocks down and I don't think he'll have any more trouble on the way back." Bucky stated it more like a question so if Steve out-rightly told them no, then it would be fine.

---

Steve wasn't all right with letting the poor kid go on his own, but when Bucky told him to let him go, he sighed. Steve wrote down his home number and passed it to Manuel. "If you or your mom get any grief, I want you to call me, okay?" He let him go once he took the paper. Steve watched the kid sadly as he walked away. "Poor kid. I can't believe his teammates did that."

---

"He's different from them," Bucky said and assessed Steve. "Teenagers who don't understand 'different' just beat it up instead. He's probably a better soccer player and they all got jealous. He'll be okay. He seems like a smart kid. And I think you scared the others too bad for them to try again."

---

Steve looked back in the kid's direction once more before nudging Bucky lightly and heading towards the museum again. "It isn’t fair," he said. "We're a nation of immigrants. This kid should be supported by his friends. It's just... incredible in the worst way."

---

Bucky nodded and started to walk on. He realized then how shaky his body was from the intense adrenaline spurt he had had during the whole exchange. He tried his best to walk the same pace as Steve and not look like he was wobbling. He had a couple rushes of memories come to him about being attacked by the baseball team in high school for 'turning their pitcher gay' - to which he responded that he was “…no pitcher, more like a catcher, if you know what I mean.”

---

Steve could tell that Bucky was feeling off. He reached out to gently hold his shoulder, figuring that was safe enough that people wouldn't stare. "You okay?" He asked. "You're shaking, Buck." Steve was seething, but this was by far milder than some of the stuff he'd seen as an officer.

---

"Uh, yeah, I'm good," Bucky said and walked a few more steps before saying, "A-actually, can we sit down for a second? I'm..." Bucky found the nearest bench and slumped down in it. He raised his hands up to his face and they were shaking so hard they practically vibrated.

---

Steve had a worried look on his face. He rushed over to sit down next to Bucky where he rested and he rubbed his back gently. "It's alright, Bucky, take your time." He had to pull his hand away when he saw some people turning the corner. He didn't want to appear too friendly with Bucky.

---

Bucky looked over to Steve and wanted to lay his head on his shoulder. "I'm sorry, Steve. That was just so overwhelming." He looked at Steve's worried eyes and felt incredibly safe with him. He rambled on, "It just made me think about when I was in high school and also what would happen if Becca or Lilly was in a situation like that and maybe they have been and I never knew and you were pretty intense and scary but also really fucking hot and I'm just overwhelmed."

---

Steve really wanted to show Bucky the exhibit, but the poor guy looked so wound up right now and he knew he needed a bit of comforting too. "Well, I have to be intense as an officer," he said. "People don't listen to easygoing cops." He sighed and looked into Bucky's eyes. "You want to go to my place for a bit? The museum can wait."

---

"No," Bucky said and forced himself to get up. "You planned this day out and I'm going to have to just calm the fuck down and enjoy myself." He stopped to think for a second. "Although, I might want to stop by a phone and call the girls to make sure they are fine.

---

"You don't have to force yourself to calm down for my sake," Steve said. "You're practically a dad, Buck. My ma would sit home and cry if she saw some plane go down cause she imagined how she would feel if I were up there when that happened." He tried comforting Bucky as best as he could. "We can stop for a phone call."

---

"I just need to hear their voices and then I'll be fine," Bucky said and started walking again. "Also, Steve," he said with a harsh edge, "If you ever want me to blow you again, don't ever call me a dad again. I feel old enough already." He made a grumpy side-glance at Steve so he would know he was mostly being a good sport about it.

He started dialing the number of their landline. He waited for a few rings and when no one was picking up he gave Steve a quick worried look and his heart started to race. Then there was a click and Becca's soft voice asked, "Hello?"

Bucky immediately relaxed and let out a huge sigh of relief. "Hey, Becs, how's it going?"

---

Steve was worried no one would pick up and Bucky would worry without need, but he saw the sigh of relief and was thankful that one of the girls answered. 

"Bucky?" Becca sounded confused. Her brother had only just left the place. "It's... going alright. You're not already on your way back, are you?"

---

"Nah," Bucky said, "We just had a bit of an incident and I wanted to call and make sure you both were okay." He looked to Steve for reassurance. He wanted to joke to Becca that Steve had said he was practically a dad but he was worried it would make her dislike Steve since their dad wasn't around to fill his role anymore.

---

"An incident?" Becca asked. "Steve didn't do anything did he?" She sounded genuinely concerned and getting defensive for Bucky's sake. There was a faint meow in the background that got to the 'me' part and Becca repeated, “Did he?” Before the 'ow' part came.

---

"The fuck was that?" Bucky asked. "No, Steve's fine. Saved the day. Do you have a cat in the apartment?" Bucky said hurriedly. "Where's Lilly? Did she bring a cat home?" If Dale got wind of an unpermitted animal in the apartment, he would have a hay day.

---

"Bucky, Lilly knows better than to bring home a cat," Becca scolded. "She's got the TV on really loud." Neither of which was a lie. Becca and Lilly often fed this stray cat and if they happened to leave the window open while Bucky wasn't home and it happened to jump in...

---

Bucky furrowed his brow and thought for a minute. "Hold on, Becca." He lowered the phone so she couldn't hear. "Steve, you're a cop. Find out if she's lying about having a cat in the apartment." He thrust the phone at him and took a step closer so he could hear.

---

"What?" Steve squawked quietly, frowning when Bucky thrust the phone at him. "Hell, no, I'm trying to get on her good side. I’m not going to rat her out if she's lying," he said to Bucky in a hushed tone.

---

"You want to get on my bad side?" Bucky whispered back and shoved the phone back towards him. "Just figure it out and then I'll decide what to do, yeah? Dale could have the landlord charge us for a pet this month if he finds out."

---

Steve grimaced as he took the phone and slowly held it up to his ear. "Becca?" He asked. "It's Steve. Did you bring a cat into the apartment?"

"...No."

Steve glanced at Bucky briefly and then asked, "Is there a cat in the apartment?"

"...I don't have to answer that."

Steve nodded his head to Bucky.

---

Bucky took the phone back from Steve and said, “Becca, you get that cat out of there. We can’t afford extra on rent this month. Steve and I will be back later. Put the cat out.” He hung up then and looked to Steve and sighed.

---

"Bucky-" Becca started to protest, annoyed, but the phone cut off. She really didn't see the problem with letting the cat in for a couple hours every now and again, but whatever. She wasn't going to risk getting into more trouble. 

"Well," Steve said awkwardly. "At least you know they're alright."

---

Bucky rubbed his face with his hands. "They better listen to me and put that cat out." He sighed and pocketed his hands. "I'd love for them to be able to have animals like we did when we were at our parents’ place but I just can't afford the upcharge to keep one."

---

Steve paused for a moment and said, "You said it was 200 a month, right?" He shrugged his shoulders up and said, "I could... I could give you that if you wanted. You don't even have to tell the girls it's from me."

---

"No," Bucky said flatly. "Thank you, though. I can't take that. They will have to deal with it. Maybe if I can get them a VCR soon they won't be so mad. But I can't take your money like that every month, Steve."

---

"Buck," Steve said softly. "You're not taking my money. Your landlord is. And if you think they'd be happier with a pet, then it's no question to me on whether I want to do it or not."

---

"Well, my landlord can't have your money, either," Bucky said, "And I don’t know if it would make them happier. It would probably just end up being one more thing I have to take care of if they don't remember to feed it and shit.”

---

"Alright," Steve said. "I just... I wish I could take the weight off your shoulders, Buck. There's nothing that would make me happier than making your life better and easier." Steve had already cried to his damn mom over all the things that Bucky had to deal with.

---

Bucky squared his shoulders and stopped Steve on the sidewalk. "Then take me to a nice museum, show me a good time, then take me someone private and ruin me." Bucky bit his lip. "That'll help with the stress."

---

Steve blinked dumbly at him and then nodded. "Oh...okay," he said. They arrived at the museum a few minutes later. Steve dragged Bucky past the art exhibits straight to the rock and roll history setup that they had. "I saw this in the paper and knew I had to show it to you."

---

"Wow, fuck yeah," Bucky breathed when they walked into the exhibit. Bucky immediately forgot about Steve and started towards a large picture of The Rolling Stones that had a lot of history and interview quotes underneath.

---

Steve couldn't even be offended at Bucky abandoning him. He knew how much of a nerd the guy was with this stuff, so it came with the territory. He followed Bucky around, interested in the history behind all the bands but not as much as Bucky was.

---

Bucky had his nose stuck in every word as he read. He would nod and make little ‘Mhmms’ when he saw something he knew and would occasionally whisper, "Huh, didn't know that." He came to a collage of pictures of The Clash and wished he could take a picture of it for Lilly.

---

Steve quickly found himself more interested in watching Bucky enjoy the place than he was in the exhibits, themselves. He loved how Bucky stuck his nose right against the display case to read the text and how his eyes lit up whenever he learned something new. After about an hour of Bucky almost ignoring him, Steve came up to his side. "Enjoying yourself?" He teased.

---

"Steve, this was perfect," Bucky said and reached for his hand before pulling back quickly. He silently cursed himself for being so careless. "Anyway, you really do know me. This was exactly what I needed for a fun day out. I should try to bring the girls here one day before it's gone. Lilly loves The Clash."

---

Steve stood stock still when Bucky reached for his hand and was grateful that Bucky quickly realized what he was doing. "You should," Steve agreed. "And I bet you'll enjoy reading all of this. Again. I don't think there was a single letter you didn't look at."

---

"Well," Bucky said, "I did sort of skim over that section for The Police. I know you love them but they're just okay, Steve." Bucky chuckled. "Anything else we want to see in the rest of the museum?"

---

"I bring you to an awesome exhibit and you thank me by stomping on my favorite band," Steve said dramatically then lowered his voice and added, "I'm a little more interested in ruining you than looking around here."

---

Bucky cleared his throat. "I am interested in being ruined, Officer. Especially after such a dramatic opening to our day, I could use something relieving." Bucky followed Steve towards the exit and watched his ass move as he walked. He was looking forward to getting his hands him as soon as possible.

---

Steve blushed at the knowledge that he had such an effect on Bucky. He walked out of the place with him so they could head back to his apartment. He'd decided that they weren't going to ever do anything at Bucky's place so the girls didn't have to feel uncomfortable. "So, what are you thinking for today?"

---

"Do you mean what am I thinking of doing to you? Or what are we having for dinner?" Bucky sassed at Steve. He had kind of hoped Steve was ready to go all the way but he also didn't want to pressure him if he wasn’t. Maybe he could casually bring it up and ask him if he thought he was ready for it. Bucky was happy enough just blowing him again but he did miss full-on fucking.

---

"You know what I mean," Steve huffed, giving Bucky a slightly grumpy look that was still fond. He knew Bucky liked breaking his balls over talking about sex and things that related to it. "What do you want to do?"

---

"How about we wait until we get to your place then we can discuss it," Bucky offered. They were only about two blocks away and Bucky didn't really feel like asking Steve on the street if he was ready for sex.

---

"Fair enough," Steve said. He walked the rest of the way with a nervous sort of excitement. When they got into his place, he pulled down the blinds and walked over to give Bucky a huge hug and a kiss. "Been wanting to do that since we left yours."

---

Bucky pulled him back for another kiss and then another before letting him go. "Today was a whirlwind," Bucky said. "Saved a kid. Almost passed out. There was a cat. Ignoring you at the museum. And now here we are." He slipped his hands underneath Steve's shirt and felt the ridges of his muscles.

---

Steve made a happy little noise when Bucky touched him. "I'll admit that this was one of my more eventful dates. I can't promise they all will be this packed," he said. Steve cupped the sides of Bucky's face and drew him in for a slow kiss. "You look adorable when you're all into your music," he said. "It's so much fun to watch you."

---

Bucky leaned his forehead against Steve's for a moment and then rested against his shoulder. "Thank you for taking me to the museum, Steve. I really loved the exhibit. I wouldn't have been able to go if it weren't for you and I appreciate you thinking of me."

---

Steve smiled and stroked his hand over Bucky's hair, doing his best to not mess it up. "I'm always thinking about you," he said sweetly. "Don’t know how you're not tired after running through my mind all day."

---

Bucky laughed against Steve's neck and said, "You big dweeb. I'm starting to feel really grateful I met you. And, ironically, we have Lily's antics to thank for that."

---

"I'm glad I met you too," Steve murmured. "You make me so happy. Life was a little too boring without you in it."

---

Wrapping his arms tightly around Steve, Bucky asked, "I'm a little hungry. Do you have some cereal?"

---

Steve snorted. "How about I cook you a real meal?" He was dumbfounded by the Barnes family obsession with cereal.

---

"I'm fine with cereal unless you just feel like making something." Bucky trailed his fingers across Steve's back and hummed against his neck. "I was thinking if I eat something easy and fast then it would quicker that we could get to something fun. You did promise to ruin me, didn't you?"

---

Steve smirked and pressed a few more kisses to Bucky's face. "Spaghetti takes ten minutes and it's more nutritional than cereal. I'm sure your poor old dick can wait a few extra minutes, Buck."

---

"My poor dick has been waiting all fucking day." Bucky slumped down into a chair and watched Steve work around the kitchen to get what he needed. Steve was tall but some of the higher shelves he still had to reach for and his shirt rode up a bit when he did. Bucky wanted to lick his lower back when it peeked out to greet him.

---

"It can wait a little more," Steve said in a no-nonsense tone that still managed to be gentle. He was a stickler about not having junk for meals. Steve could feel Bucky's gaze on him and pointedly ignored it while he pottered about making their meal. "Do you always eat cereal for whatever?"

---

"Yeah, usually. Cereal is easy and it's cheap." Bucky flipped through a novel that was sitting on Steve's table absently. "We usually have cereal, noodles, fruit, toast and eggs, sometimes waffles, microwave chicken." Bucky couldn't cook for shit. He could boil water and make noodles and that was about it.

---

"That's that. I'm cooking for you guys. I can make a week's portions on the weekend and then all you have to do is heat it up when it's dinner time. You freeze it until you want to eat it," Steve said and drained the pasta and added sauce.

---

"Steve..." Bucky started but then decided he wasn't going to win this one so he just sighed and crossed his arms. He did like watching Steve cook so maybe it would be nice. He could have Steve over while the girls were at school and he could help Steve cook if he was willing to teach him.

---

"Hush, you're getting proper food," Steve said. He made a healthy helping of dinner for Bucky and took a seat with his own plate. He leaned over to kiss his cheek before digging into his food.

---

Bucky smiled up at him and thanked him for making dinner before he started wolfing down his food as well. He didn't like admitting it but Steve was a good cook and the food was delicious and he was looking forward to having meals from him for a while.

---

Steve gave appreciative, little looks at Bucky while they ate. Bucky always ate like he was running out of time. Steve found it endearing and he leaned over to give him little kisses here and there. When he finished his plate, Steve stood up so he could wash off their dishes. "Much better than cereal, yeah?"

---

"Yes, but I still hold my belief that cereal is good for anytime food. And you can’t sway me on that." Bucky came up behind Steve and hugged his back while he washed dishes. "Can I help?"

---

Steve hummed and leaned back into Bucky's chest. "It's okay," he said. "I'll only be a few minutes. It'll be nice if you keep holding me." Once he finished up the dishes he turned and pecked Bucky's lips.

---

Bucky hummed into the kiss and smiled at Steve. "You're really cute, Officer." Bucky felt really lucky in this moment. He got to be with Steve who was so good to him. And they had told his sisters and they were basically okay with it. Everything was pretty much going well.

---

Steve picked Bucky up and hooked his arms under Bucky's ass as he brought him to the bedroom. "You aren’t half bad looking, yourself," Steve said in a flirty way.

---

Bucky was gently dropped on the bed and Steve loomed over him. Bucky desperately wanted to get at Steve's cock but he also wanted to ask Steve if he was ready for more. "Steve... I want... I want to ask you something," Bucky said shyly. "And your answer can be ‘no’ and I won't mind at all."

---

Steve started kissing down Bucky's neck and he was about to take his clothes off when he heard that shy tone. Bucky was never shy when it came to this stuff. He looked up and cupped the side of Bucky's face. "You can ask me anything, Buck."

---

"I was wondering if you were..." Bucky stopped for a moment. "Well, I guess I have two questions." Bucky pulled Steve close to him and cuddled against his arm before pulling back to ask, "You're a virgin, right?"

---

Steve kind of had an idea where this conversation was going but didn't want to open his mouth and assume Bucky's questions. "Yeah, I am," Steve said, a little embarrassed but hiding it well.

---

Bucky nuzzled back into him, "Okay," He tried to stay calm but something about the whole situation was getting Bucky really worked up. He would be the very first person to fuck Steve Rogers. Assuming, that is, Steve let him be the first person to have sex with him. Bucky's brain was shooting off primal signals that he would be the first and only person to be with Steve in that way. He didn't plan on getting rid of Steve anytime soon and something about knowing he would be the only one to touch Steve sexually was really overwhelming.

---

Steve had a bit of a blush on his face that wasn't just from arousal. He stroked his hand over Bucky's chest before slipping his it under his shirt to touch him affectionately. He nudged Bucky slightly to get him to look up so he could pepper a few kisses onto his face. "You said you had two questions," he prompted cautiously.

---

"Yes." Bucky was distracted by Steve's hands on him and the bulge in his pants that had been being ignored for several minutes now. "Steve, Babe, I wanted to know if you thought – and, again, it's okay if the answer is ‘no’ - if maybe you were ready to... make love with me?" Bucky bit his lip in anticipation and looked up at Steve with hooded eyes.

---

Bucky looked so good right now. Steve laid down next to him but kept feeling up his torso, unable to keep his hands off him. "Can you promise me something, Buck?" He asked. "I want to... but I only want to if this isn't just fooling around." He kissed the curve of his jaw. "I love you. I don't need you to love me back right now, but... I just need you to promise that you want this to be long term."

---

Wiggling as close to Steve as he could, Bucky said, "Steve, I don't plan on getting rid of you unless you say it's over. I know you say it's okay that I don't say ‘I love you’ yet. And I'm very, very grateful that you don't want to pressure me like that. And I don't want to pressure you into sex either if you aren't ready. If you want to wait, that's fine. I can tell you I am getting closer and closer to saying it every day. I just have to be cautious. If I didn't have to worry about the girls and their feelings and needs then it would be so much different." Bucky breathed in deeply. "Steve, I'll wait for you. I'll wait a long time until you are ready because I believe this," He gestured between the two of them, "and you are worth it."

---

Steve pressed himself against Bucky and couldn't stop looking into his eyes as he spoke so honestly. He only looked down when he reached to grab Bucky's hand and bring it to his lips to kiss it. "I want to," he insisted softly, looking nervous but eager. "But, um..." he started awkwardly. "I mean. Are you usually, uh... giving or taking?"

---

Bucky's heart started to race. This was happening. This was happening with Steve. His whole body couldn't contain itself. "Honestly, Steve, I like going either way. It's whatever you are more comfortable with. And if you want to try it one way tonight and the other way some other time I'm fine with that."

---

"Can I, uh... can I be the one giving today?" Steve asked. He didn't really feel sexy with that sort of awkward way of asking, so he tried to save the mood a little by dragging his fingers lower and groping Bucky's balls through his pants.

---

Bucky stuttered at the feeling but said, "Yes, you may. I'll teach you, okay?" He cupped Steve's ass and nuzzled his head into his neck.

---

Steve pushed Bucky's pants down and nibbled at the shell of his ear. "I know how sex works, Dummy, I ain't that much of a virgin," he laughed. He knew Bucky was trying to be encouraging, though.

---

"You know what to do to get me ready, Steve? Don't want you hurting me, now." Bucky relaxed into Steve's touches and felt the slip of fabric over his skin as Steve started undressing him. His heart was pounding out of his chest like he was the virgin and he couldn't wait to get Steve inside.

---

"Well, duh. I shove everything all in at once on the count of three," Steve said in a know-it-all tone but then smirked to show he was just messing with him. "I saw the way you’ve been looking at me," he murmured as he reached to his bed stand for lube and a condom. "I went shopping." He gave Bucky a happy smile as he set them on the mattress.

---

"You already planned for this, Steve?" Bucky asked and captured his mouth in a harsh kiss. "That is so hot." Another slow kiss. "I need you, Steve. I've wanted this so long. Please."

---

"Well I wasn't going to let us be unprepared," Steve said breathily and moaned into the kiss. He dragged his hand down Bucky's front and rubbed circles over the inside of Bucky's thighs before grabbing the lube again and hastily pouring some on his fingers. Hearing Bucky say he needed him did things to him. "Tell me if I need to slow down."

---

"I've done this before. I'm good," Bucky grunted out. "Just go slow with the first and massage a lot, okay?" He moved his ass down the bed a little so he would be closer to Steve and he spread his legs out.

---

Steve let out a short whine when he saw Bucky spread his legs for him. "You're so sexy, Bucky," he breathed out. Steve looked him over, taking his eyes from top to bottom before he pressed a slicked finger against Bucky's hole. He teased it a little, circling the tip around the rim a few times before slowly pushing in.

---

Bucky keened and sat up a little when Steve pushed his finger in. "And, you're entirely sure about this, Steve?" He stuttered out. "Just need to know this is what you want and you aren't just doing it for me." He reached a hand out to feel Steve's chest as he moved his finger around inside him.

---

"I'm sure," Steve said. "I want you, Buck." He couldn't take his eyes off him. He pressed kisses all down Bucky's neck and across his collarbones. He moved his finger freely inside of Bucky and once he could see him get impatient, he added a second.

---

"Ugh, fuck," Bucky said in a desperate whisper and squirmed on the bed. "It's been a while since someone's been inside me, Babe, I am so glad it's you. I'm so happy I'm with you. Only you, Steve." Bucky was going to go on but suddenly there were three fingers and he couldn't speak anymore.

---

"I'll take care of you, Sweetheart," Steve said softly. God, Bucky looked so fucking good beneath him. He watched the man squirm as he opened him up with three fingers. Once he got the go-ahead, he pulled his fingers out and tore the condom packaging open. Steve's hands shook a little in excitement as he put it on and bit his bottom lip before settling back between Bucky's legs and angling Bucky's hips up a bit more. "I've got you," he promised, lining himself up and slowly pushing in.

---

Bucky knew how big Steve was from the times he had sucked him dry but he wasn't quite ready for it when it was pushed inside him. Steve was incredibly gentle, though, and tentatively started pushing in and out with slow meaningful movements. Bucky knew exactly what Steve must have been feeling. Bucky’s own first time was a little bizarre but also fascinating. He was glad he got to share this with Steve.

---

It was so overwhelming. Steve's mind clouded and he didn't even try to stop the moan that left him. "Oh my God, Bucky," he gasped out. He didn't stop moving but he was nothing but gentle with him even though he wanted more. "You feel so good. Christ," he swore, leaning down to claim Bucky's lips in a heated kiss.

---

Bucky was a little surprised at the language Steve used just because he said anything like it so infrequently. "You can go harder, Steve. Not gonna break me, I promise." Bucky wanted to feel it. He wanted to feel it deep inside and harsh. He wanted to be sore the next day and know it was Steve who did it.

---

Steve dragged his nails down Bucky's sides until his hands rested on his hips. He gripped tightly to hold him steady as he started to thrust into him in earnest, making the mattress creak under them. "Fucking hell, Buck," he breathed out. Every time he buried himself inside of Bucky, Steve would roll his hips upward and force Bucky's ass into the air an inch or so to fuck him even deeper.

---

Bucky gripped the mattress tight and moved with Steve. The only thing he could think was a stream of 'finally, fuck, Steve, love, more, please, need, come' as he felt every thrust into him. Steve's dick managed to find his prostate easily and he paid attention to every hit. He reached for his own dick to start jerking himself while Steve was deep inside. Being Steve's first time fucking, Bucky wasn't sure how long he would last and he really wanted to come with Steve.

---

Steve took one of Bucky's hands and laced their fingers together before pinning it over Bucky's head. He smiled at Bucky, moaning in his ear about how amazing he felt but as he felt himself get closer to orgasm, he stopped talking and his thrusts got more erratic. When he came, he rode out his orgasm, shuddering as he slammed himself into Bucky one last time.

---

Bucky jolted when Steve came and he felt a rush of pride come over him. A couple more pulls on his dick sent him over the edge as well and he was coming on his stomach and hands. He brought the hand up to Steve's mouth and had him suck the come from his fingers as he watched with sleepy eyes. He could almost feel himself falling more in love with Steve.

---

Steve was quick to suck and lick Bucky's fingers clean. He didn't feel like pulling out of Bucky yet and he felt so goddamn happy. He wiped some of the come off of Bucky's belly and rubbed it onto his boyfriend's nipple. "You look good when you're fucked out."

---

"I feel good when I'm fucked out," Bucky mumbled and ran his fingers through his long hair. "How do you feel? Are you okay? Was this okay?" Bucky really hoped Steve was doing okay and didn't regret losing his virginity to him.

---

Steve peppered kisses all over Bucky's face. "It felt amazing, Buck. It's.... it was better than I could've ever imagined." He grinned and settled down next to Bucky. "You're lucky I was too afraid to have sex before they legalized sodomy here. And I haven't had my eye on someone since."

---

"Ugh, gross," Bucky said with a crinkled up nose. "Please don't call it that. Makes me feel disgusting." Bucky rolled so he was pressed to Steve's side and he kissed a line across his shoulder to his collarbone. "Thanks for doing that with me, Steve. Thanks for choosing me to do it with for the first time."

---

"Well that's the legal term for it," Steve said. "And what God calls it. So what? Sodom-me. Sodom-you. I'll sodom all day." He smiled dumbly at his joke and kept smiling because Bucky was so adorable.

---

"Just," Bucky huffed out, "Just say anal or so help me, Steve. He tried to tickle Steve's sides and was met with absolutely no response. "You're a fucking rock," he said with a disappointed edge.

---

"Sodom-anal," Steve bargained. He smirked when Bucky failed at tickled him. "Come on, a cop can't be ticklish. What'll I do if a perp tries to tickle his way out of trouble?" He asked.

---

"I couldn't be a cop, then," Bucky said and added quickly, "And don't you fucking dare tickle me because I will leave this bed immediately." As much as he wanted to stay here with Steve forever, he knew he had to get going back home eventually. The girls may or may not still have a kitten with them and he also needed to get them food.

---

"Nah, you're too nice to be a cop," Steve said. "And your hair is too long to be a cop." He pet a hand over Bucky's chest and looked up at him with a lovesick expression. "You make a better music nerd anyway."

---

"You love that I'm a music nerd," Bucky defended and ran his hand through his too long hair. "But you are right about my hair." He looked at his watch. "You want to go to my place soon? The girls have been alone too long."

---

Steve pouted at the thought of having to move but he didn't want Bucky to have to worry about the girls. "I suppose. They could've invited a whole pride of kittens by now."

---

"That's is exactly what I am fearing," Bucky said and moved to get up. "We'll be doing this again, Steve," he added, giving a quick kiss to Steve's forehead.

---

Steve grinned brightly when Bucky promised more. "I count on it." When Steve got up to get dressed, he practically strutted without realizing it. Apparently, the 'just had sex' walk was a real thing.

---

"You okay there, Officer? Looks like you're a bit big for your britches at the moment." Bucky chuckled as he finished pulling his clothes on. He was just a little sore but in all the best ways.

---

Steve gave Bucky a confused look. He looked down at himself, trying to figure out what Bucky meant because Steve hadn't taken notice at all to the way he walked. "What, do I have a bulge showing?" Steve adjusted himself in his pants.

---

Bucky laughed, "No, never mind, Babe. You're so cute.” Bucky grabbed Steve's hand and pulled him in for a kiss. "Are you going to be able to be cool around the girls? Not going to be painfully awkward like last time?"

---

"No promises," Steve said. "I can't become sneaky overnight. You think Becca won't like me cause I had sex with you?" He asked, getting a nervous look on his face. Steve made sure he had everything in order before heading towards the door.

---

Bucky followed him saying, "Becca will be fine. Just don't announce it and everything will be okay. She probably assumed we've been having sex this whole time so..." Bucky thought about his sisters. He really wanted them both to like Steve. He didn't plan on Steve leaving anytime soon so they were going to have to see him a lot for the foreseeable future. "Don't worry about what Becca thinks too much."

---

Steve looked scandalized when Bucky said Becca probably assumed that they've been having sex this whole time. "But I wouldn't ever do that without loving someone first," he said. Steve stepped out of the door and lowered his voice. "I can't help but worry. They're an important part of your life. I want them to be an important part of mine, too."

---

"Well, maybe you wouldn't, but that's not what Becca has seen from me and since she doesn't know you that well..." Bucky grunted, "It's fine, honest. They are important but what they think can't be too big of a deal otherwise we would never be happy and always be fretting about what they would say." Bucky knew from experience what it was like to constantly need reassurance from his family that they still loved him. He was responsible for his sisters and their wellbeing and he was no longer just the older brother - he had to be the authority. Being the authority was hard and made them dislike him a lot sometimes. Steve was right... he was practically a dad.

---

"Are you sure?" Steve asked. "I don't want them to resent you cause they don't like me and you're with me." He paused and said, "And for the record, if they ever do give you some sort of ultimatum and say they don't want you dating me anymore, you got to choose them over me."

---

"Steve..." Bucky stopped and bit his lip, turning to Steve he said, "They aren't going to resent me or you or be angry or anything. They want me to be happy. And Becca just needs proof that you are a good influence on me. Lilly already likes you." He rubbed his hand down Steve's arm in a comforting gesture quickly. "And they would never give me an ultimatum. We are family. If they haven't disowned me at my worst they won't do it now." He smiled, "Besides, they have nowhere else to go - no one else to take care of them. They need me as much as I need them."

---

Steve just had a habit of preparing for the worst and he did that before he was on the force. His mom always accused him of being dramatic. "Alright... alright, sorry," Steve apologized. "And how can Becca not see I'm a good influence on you? You showered today, right? There. Good influence."

---

"Steve, I shower every day," Bucky said with a cheeky grin. They started walking again. "She just had to deal with too many..." Bucky hated talking about how he was before. But it was a big part of his story, and it was important to explain things to Steve. "...too many bad guys, you could say. Too many guys who used me and I let them. She just couldn't handle that again."

---

Steve still wasn't happy with the mistakes Bucky made but he was past the point of scolding him. Bucky was already sorry. "You were in a tough place. You don't have to worry about that with me," he said. "There isn't going to be a day that passes that I don't show you how much I love you." Steve kept his voice quiet so no one would overhear.

---

"Okay, I believe you," Bucky said. He yawned, a little tired after such an eventful day. "I think I have some pancake mix I could make the girls for dinner," he mused to himself. "They better have gotten that cat out of there, Steve." They rounded the street corner and were just a few blocks from Bucky's place.

---

“Pancakes for dinner?” Steve asked incredulously. “That’s breakfast, not dinner.” He thought for a moment then laughed. “Also, if you think about it, it’s literally a Schrodinger’s cat since we don’t know if they still have it or not.”

---

"Schrodinger's cat implies that there may or may not be a dead cat in my apartment and I'd rather that not be the case," Bucky said. They tromped up the stairs to get to Bucky's, "And, Steve, we like breakfast for dinner at the Barnes'. You're just a food snob, I think."

---

Steve pouted when Bucky put his foot down on the whole ‘breakfast for dinner’ thing. He considered before saying, "Fine, but I better see at least three of the food groups involved. That means fruits or meats or eggs."

---

"We have apples." Bucky shrugged and unlocked the door. It was the moment of truth as to whether there was a cat around. Part of Bucky really wished they could have an animal for the girls. The rest of him was logical about it and knew that they couldn't afford it and he would be the one feeding and cleaning up after it anyway.

---

Becca had thankfully kicked the cat out of the apartment but she still didn't look too happy about it. She and Lilly were sitting on the couch watching TV. "Can we find a way to get Dale evicted?" Lilly asked casually as Bucky walked through the door.

---

"'Hello, Bucky,'" Bucky said in a mock Lilly voice, "'How was your day? Anything crazy happen like with the police, for instance? Did you go to a cool music exhibit?'" He folded his arms and answered his fake Lilly, "Yes, it was overwhelming - I almost had an adrenaline high. And, yes, it was a great exhibit and I learned a lot."

---

"You're with a cop. Something happens with the police for you every day," Becca commented smartly.

Lilly, on the other hand, exploded with jealousy when Bucky spoke about the music exhibit. "You got to go to a music exhibit? Did they have The Clash there?" She asked excitedly.

---

Bucky gave Steve a look when Becca sassed him. It was expected at this point. "Yeah, there was some pretty rad collages of pictures of The Clash and some early demo recordings that you can't buy anywhere." He leaned over the back of the couch to give both sisters hugs. "And to answer your question, no, we can't get Mr. Peterson evicted."

---

Steve grinned, glad that he got to avoid daily sass from Becca for now. "Can you take us to the museum?" Lilly asked. "Becca and I both got good grades all week. And you made us give up our cat, so we deserve something so we're not sad."

---

"You both got good grades?" Bucky emphasized 'both' and looked at Lilly intently. "You're going to have to show me them, Lil. I know you weren't passing math or science about two weeks ago. And it wasn't your cat to give up anyway. It's a stray or some old person's cat." Bucky put a hand to his temple already getting a small headache. "How about we discuss the museum some other time." He turned to Steve. "I'm sorry I just need to go lie down for a bit. Will you hang around here for just a few minutes? You can eat pancakes with us."

---

By Lilly's terms, getting a C or B minus was a good grade because it was passing. By Becca's terms, an A was the only acceptable grade to be called golden. "Fine," Lilly sighed dramatically.

Steve nodded his head at the request, pretending like it was the first time he heard it. "Sure," he agreed. "Lead the way."

---

Bucky went towards his room, Steve following him worriedly. Once there, Bucky flopped on his bed and curled up in a little ball. "Just need a couple minutes. I'm sorry, Steve. Can you just hang out with the girls for about five to ten minutes and then I'll be back out?" Bucky pulled a blanket over himself and made a low groaning sound. "Then, pancakes."

---

Steve frowned in concern but didn't fuss too much over Bucky. He was a grown man; he could deal with it and would come to Steve if he needed help. Steve headed back out and took a seat next to the girls. "So," he said awkwardly. "Did you guys name the cat?"

---

"Lilly Jr.," Becca said. "Even though it's a guy and it's not a fair name." She crinkled her nose and cocked her head to the side, "Bucky in his room?" She asked before getting up to go check. Lilly watched her go with a frown and tried to get her to leave him alone.

---

Steve gently patted Lilly's shoulder to let her know to let Becca do her thing. Steve wasn't going to get in the way of Becca and Bucky or else she may think he'd done something wrong. 

"What did the cat look like?" He asked Lilly.

---

Lilly and Steve kept talking as Becca quietly opened Bucky's door. "Bucky?" She asked tentatively. "You okay?"

"Mhmm," Bucky answered and rolled over to face her. "Head just hurts. What's up?"

"Why's Steve here again? Thought he'd not be coming around by now." Becca crossed her arms and sat on the bed. "You're really into this one, aren't you?"

Bucky sat up, "Yeah, I am." He gave her a gentle hug then got out of bed. He figured he shouldn’t wait ten minutes to make his sisters’ dinner. Lilly would be starving pretty soon. "Let’s go have pancakes."

---

Steve happily chattered with Lilly about the cat and perked up when he saw Bucky and Becca coming out of the bedroom. He was definitely head over heals for the man and looked relieved that he didn't look under the weather too much or upset. "How's it going, Buck?"

---

"Still a little headache but I should be fine," Bucky said and pulled a sweater of his off the back of the couch and put it on. "You ready for pancakes, everyone?" He asked and managed a small grin. "We will teach Steve that breakfast for dinner is delicious."

---

Steve naturally went to look for some medicine for Bucky and found some ibuprofen in the cabinet. He got two pills out and a glass of water for Bucky and left it on the counter for him. "I don't doubt that it's delicious. I doubt that it's nutritional."

---

Bucky noticed the medicine and quickly took it giving Steve a grateful look. "I think we value delicious over nutritious in this household." Lilly nodded in agreement as she started setting the table. "Besides," Bucky said in a low voice so Steve was the only one who could hear. "Pancakes might win over Becca. Who knows?"

---

"You can have delicious and nutritious," Steve defended lightly. But as soon as Bucky whispered that it could win Becca over, Steve suddenly seemed more interested. "So what can I do to help cook?" He asked.

---

"Well, Lil can wash some fruit and chop them up if you want to help me mix the pancake stuff," Bucky offered and reached for Steve's hand. "See? We are doing fruit just for you." He said and squeezed his hand and started pulling supplies out of the cupboards.

---

"Good. Fruit is good for you guys. Helps young girls become tough, young women." Steve held Bucky's hand and followed him happily around the kitchen. "And it fills you up so you don't overeat on junk food."

---

"Are you trying to turn me into a Rogers? Because Barnes' like food that is bad for us." Bucky pulled Steve in for a quick kiss to the cheek before starting to pour the mix into a bowl and add the eggs. "Want to mix those together and I'll get milk?"

---

Steve mixed the ingredients together and hummed in thought, “Maybe I am, Bucky Rogers. Kind of flows well don’t you think?”

---

"Bucky Rogers does not flow well," Bucky said and put some milk into the bowl. "Steve Barnes... now that flows," he joked as he turned the stove on and put a skillet on top. "You want to start cooking those?"

---

"James Buchanan Rogers sounds good, though," Steve said pleasantly. "Besides, I kissed you first so I get dibs on what last name we have." Steve coated the skillet with some butter and started making tiny pancakes.

---

"That's definitely not how it works." Bucky nudged Steve and gave a pout. Also, he was pretty damn sure that he kissed Steve first, but he didn’t want to argue the point. He really, really liked this one. He might even love this one but he still needed time. He should probably discuss this whole thing with the girls too on his own before anything did get more serious. "And, if we are going by that logic," Bucky leaned in close and whispered, "I gave you head first and I think that tops kissing."

---

Steve blushed brightly but quickly turned to whisper back, "I stuck it in you. That tops all." He kissed the tip of Bucky's nose and smirked proudly. He made a plate full of a dozen or so pancakes before making more.

---

Bucky let him think he had won because Steve just looked so cute with that edge of pride. Bucky didn't tell him that if it weren't for him then Steve would still be a virgin and that is the real trump card. "Alright, I think that's all we need for now," Bucky said to Steve and then called the girls over to eat. They sat down together and Steve somehow got placed between Lilly and Becca, across from Bucky.

---

Steve looked at each of them. He was so happy to be here right now. He turned to Bucky and asked, “Do you guys pray or anything before you eat?”

---

Lilly already had a fork full of pancakes halfway in her mouth when Steve asked about praying. Bucky cleared his throat and said gently, "You can feel free to pray, Steve. We don't mind." He wasn't going to pray with him but he wasn't going to tell him no. Bucky and his sisters weren't the church-going type and they didn't grow up in an Irish Catholic home like Steve did.

---

Steve hadn't ever sat at a table that didn't have some sort of ritual before eating and he felt a little silly being the only one praying. "It's okay," he said. Steve would just pray a little longer before bed. "Did the pancakes come out okay?"

---

Bucky noticed a tick of awkward disappointment in Steve's tone but he decided he would address it later if he needed to. "Yeah, I think they are great," Bucky said and looked to Lilly who had already scarfed down half of her plate, "Lilly doesn't seem to mind them. Becs? What do you think?"

---

"It's okay," Becca said in a noncommittal tone. She shrugged her shoulder up and went back to eating.

Steve picked at a few pieces of fruit. "So what's everyone's day like tomorrow?"

---

Bucky gave Steve an apologetic look about Becca. "It's Sunday tomorrow. Lilly has practice. I've got work in the morning until three. Becca... I don't know what Becca is doing."

"Nothing," Becca piped up, "I was going to go to the Natural History Museum with my friends but they can't."

---

Becca was moody. Teenagers tended to be moody, but Steve wasn’t really used to having little siblings like Bucky was. Steve shrugged it off. "Do you want me to go with you?" Steve offered.

---

"Yes, brilliant!" Bucky said and shoved Becca gently. That would give the two of them some time to get to know each other. "You can take your notebook and write down what you wanted to know and Steve will be there so you won't be alone." He gave Steve a hopeful smile and mouthed ‘thank you’.

---

Becca didn't look as thrilled as Bucky was, but she supposed a day out with Steve wouldn't kill her. And she really wanted to go to the museum. "Alright," she said. "But I don't want to wake up too early."

---

"I'm sure Steve doesn't mind when you wake up," Bucky said and rubbed his foot against Steve's leg under the table. This felt good being here with his sisters and Steve together and not hiding who they were to each other.

---

Steve smiled and gently nudged his foot back against Bucky's. "Yeah, I don't mind. You just call my apartment when you wake up and I'll head over," Steve said. "And if you ask nice enough, maybe I'll bring something from the diner."

---

"I can just eat cereal," Becca offered. 

Bucky laughed at that thinking that Steve was probably worried no one in his family ate anything else. "Becs, it's okay, Steve doesn't like us eating cereal all the time. He's happy to bring you some food. I'll just pay him back later for it," Bucky said and shoved more pancakes into his mouth. He looked over at Lilly who had managed to get some syrup in her hair.

---

Steve got up and wet a napkin so he could pass it to Lilly to clean off her hair. "Yeah, you didn't get the memo, Becca, but I'm cooking for you all from now on."

---

"But we like cereal," Lilly said as she took the wet towel.

Bucky gathered up his plate and cup and utensils and took them over to the sink. He checked the time and noticed it was probably getting time for the girls to have their showers and wind down before bed. He hoped Steve would stay with him tonight but he wasn't going to pressure him if he couldn't. It would be more convenient for him to take Becca to the museum tomorrow if he was here, though.

---

"And I like candy but that don't mean I should eat it all the time," Steve said wisely. He watched Bucky clean up and admired his ass. When Bucky finished and sent the girls to wash up, Steve came up behind him and gave him a hug. "Has your headache gone away, Beautiful?"

---

Leaning back into the hug, Bucky said, "Yeah, it's all gone. How are you? Feeling a bit more confident with the girls?" He turned to face Steve and held him close with his hands cupped around his ass. "Also, thanks for helping me make food."

---

"A little bit more confident, yes. Do you think Becca is more convinced that I want to stay?" Steve smiled as he looked into Bucky's eyes and then he pecked his lips. "And don’t worry, I'll make you food any time. ‘Food is love’, that's what my ma always said," Steve explained.

---

"Becca probably more convinced, yes. Doesn't mean she's pleased about it yet. She wants me to be happy but she always wants to pick who I'm happy with. She can't have it her way all the time." Bucky rubbed his palms down Steve's chest and abs. Being a cop meant a lot of working out for Steve and Bucky appreciated the results.

---

"Well, I would prefer her approval," Steve said. "But I'm not going to let her walk all over me to get it." He kissed his cheek and smiled. "You're really having fun with my muscles there, hippie," he teased fondly.

---

Bucky snorted an indignant laugh. "It's because I like them so much. And you aren't ticklish so I can do this and it won't bug you."

---

"Well I guess I got to keep working them out just so they stick around for you," Steve said and eased his hands lower down Bucky’s body.

--- 

The girls were both in their rooms with the lights out and everything was quite. Bucky kissed down Steve's neck then asked, "I'd really like you to stay tonight if you would?"

---
Steve made a pleased noise at the kisses and hugged him closer. "If it would make you happy, I'll spend as many nights with you as you want."

---

Bucky blinked slowly a couple times and bit his lip. "I want them all with you. Every night with you." He clasped onto Steve's hands and led him to his bedroom. Bucky sat on the bed and hugged Steve around the hips. He nosed at Steve's crotch and started to pull at his pants.

---

Steve felt his heart skip to hear that. Any sign of commitment from Bucky made his feelings soar over the moon. "Fuck," he swore when Bucky was already pulling his pants off. "How could I say no?" He chuckled breathlessly, petting Bucky's hair. "When I got you to fall asleep with."

---

"I like it when you swear, Officer," Bucky said and tugged at Steve's boxer briefs. "Shows me I've gotten under your skin. Makes you more like me. I love that." He now had a hand around Steve's cock and was slowly pumping it. He wanted Steve in his mouth tonight and maybe tomorrow he could see if Steve would let him top.

---

Steve was quick to get hard. Knowing how much Bucky wanted him did things to him. Wonderful things. His hand rested possessively on the back of Bucky's neck and he looked down at him with nothing but love and desire. "You know me," he hummed. "Which means you can get under my skin whenever you damn well please."

---

Bucky started licking up Steve's shaft and took the head in and swirled his tongue around. He was licking and sucking for about two minutes before there was a loud thump and a shrill "Bucky!" coming from Lilly's room. Bucky popped off Steve quickly and wiped his mouth. He got up off the bed and went for the door hurriedly. 

"I'll be right back," Bucky said and zoomed out the door, shutting it behind him hastily.

---

Steve had been really getting into it, hands in Bucky’s long hair, and soft moans spilling from his lips so he jumped out of his skin when Lilly yelled for her brother. "Buck?" He asked worriedly. Steve wanted desperately to go help but he couldn't just go out there with his dick hard in his pants.

---

It was several minutes before Bucky was quietly sneaking back into his room. He came over to where Steve was waiting on the bed and sat down next to him. "Lilly had a bad nightmare." He scooted closer to Steve and rested his head on his shoulder. "She gets them pretty bad every so often. More so since our parents have been gone."

---

Steve was almost able to be presentable to go out there to see what happened. He pulled his pants back up and sat on the bed debating what to do. Thankfully, Bucky came in before he had to make a decision. "Oh," he said as he wrapped an arm around Bucky's shoulder. "Poor kid," Steve sighed. "Does she have a stuffed animal or safety blanket?"

---

"Oh, she's got plenty of animals and a nightlight. Just doesn't seem to help her that much." Bucky said, "When she was younger she had to share a room with Becca because he was so scared. They only really slept in separate rooms after we moved in here." Bucky looked on at Steve's face and then down at his pants. "Steve, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have even instigated it tonight. When we are here, there is always a potential of the girls needing me and I should have just waited for the early morning or something."

---

Steve still looked concerned and had a thoughtful expression, like he was trying to figure out how to help with the nightmares. Maybe he could ask his mom tomorrow if she had any ideas. Steve kissed Bucky's temple and said, "It's okay, Sweetheart, I'm not upset." He rubbed a hand up and down Bucky's back. "Why don't we just cuddle and talk until we fall asleep?"

---

"Sure, that’s fine with me," Bucky said and curled up against the pillows. "Come here," He gestured for Steve to curl up against his side and he yawned as Steve adjusted himself. "I hope she sleeps the rest of the night because I'm way too tired to get up again to help if she has another nightmare."

---

Steve fit against Bucky's side like he was meant to be there. "She may need her brother, but I can try and calm her down if you'd like me to." He stroked his fingers through Bucky's hair and kissed his face. "Like I said, I want to help you guys as much as I can."

---

Bucky hummed at the soft feeling of the kisses and smiled. "You might be able to, yeah. Though, I should go with you the first time. She can get a little disoriented and I don't know if she would recognize you at first. Might make her scared." Bucky yawned again and closed his eyes. "If you want some pajamas you can borrow a pair mine," he said as he stripped down to his underwear and yanked the covers on top of himself.

---

"We can do that," Steve agreed. So that way in the future they could take turns helping Lilly out. "It's alright. I've slept enough times in my day clothes to still be comfy." He kissed Bucky a few times and asked, "Do you think Lilly would like sharing a room again?"

---

"Lilly I'm sure would be fine with it. Becca, on the other hand, would object. She has gotten used to her own room these past few years. And trying to change it up on her would probably invoke the subtle quiet wrath that is Rebecca Barnes," he said as put his hair up in a ponytail.

---

Steve snorted at the thought of an angry Becca. "Something tells me that it's something I won't want to invoke. What's the worst thing she's done when she was pissed?" Steve asked.

---

"Uh, well, I guess..." Bucky thought for a second. "One time she was so mad and neither of us were paying attention to her and arguing with each other instead. She's just so quiet it's easy not to realize when she's trying to talk over you. So she smashed a plate against the wall..." Bucky chuckled, "No one would have ever expected it. It shut me and Lilly up immediately."

---

"Oh my god," Steve said, equally impressed and horrified. "What a little villain," he laughed. He stroked his hand over Bucky's arm and looked up at him. "Funny question, but when was the last time you went for a checkup? Or brought the girls to one?" He asked.

---

"You mean like a physical? Like at the doctors?" Bucky asked. Steve nodded. "Uh, well, I don't know. The girls probably had one four years ago and I had one in high school once." Bucky stroked Steve's hair and ran his fingers down the skin of his neck. "Why? You going to make me go just like you're making me give up cereal and be a Rogers instead of a Barnes?" Bucky joked at Steve. 

---

Steve nodded his head. "Pretty much," he said. "The doctors can catch something before there's a problem. Or let you know an easy fix to something you thought could never go away." He nuzzled Bucky affectionately. "It would give me a lot of peace of mind. Wouldn't it be easier to find out with a checkup that Lilly needs her tonsils removed rather than having to rush her to the emergency room? And I want to make sure you live as long as possible so I can spend more years forcing you to eat cooked meals and hiding your cereal."

---

"Lilly needs her tonsils removed?" Bucky asked confused. "How can you tell?" He didn't think that was something you could really see. He thought it was more an inconvenience that some kids had pain enough to have them cut out.

--- 

"What? No, I was just using that as an example. I don't know anything about tonsils," Steve said with a small endearing smile.

---

"Steve, I don't know if we could go to the doctors. We don't have any health passes so we wouldn't be able to just afford a trip. And I don't want you paying for that shit too."

---

"You guys are orphans. Even if you are not covered by social programs since you are an adult, I know they will be. And I'd happily cover stuff for your visits because I want to know that you're okay." Steve rubbed his hand on Bucky’s chest.

---

Bucky turned his face away from Steve. He hated the word 'orphan'. Too many well-meaning adults called his sisters that right after he acquired full guardianship - like they had no one left - like their parents wouldn't always be with them in some respect. "I don't know, Steve. We can find out if they can see the doctor but, if I can't, I don't want to have to been indebted to you for something like that."

---

Steve felt bad when Bucky turned his face away, having a feeling that the word 'orphan' wasn't something that he liked to hear, even when someone meant well. "Bucky," he said softly. He laced their fingers together. "I'm not offering all this to have you be indebted to me. I'm offering because I'm so in love with you and I want us to have a happy, comfortable life together. We're a team now. Sometimes, I'll be doing all the stuff. Some things will be all you. And some we get to contribute together."

---

Bucky sniffled and squeezed Steve's hand. "Would they even let you pay for me? We aren't family, we aren't married, and I don't think they'd let you pay for someone who is a stranger to you in their eyes. The government doesn't like shit like that. Messes with the system they have going on."

---

"They don't have to know I'm paying for you," Steve said. "All I have to do is give you cash. You put it in your bank account or pay them with it. Say it was money you saved up from work. Or that you sold a few records." Steve kissed Bucky's temple. "If they don't know anything about me, I doubt you'll get in trouble."

---

"You're really going to make me go to the doctor, aren't you?" Bucky asked nervously. "What if I need you there?" He blinked a couple times and put his forehead to Steve's. He didn't want to admit that people like doctors terrified him. The idea of somebody like that being in control of him and probing around his body and testing him made him squirm.

---

"I won't force you, Buck. But it's the smart thing to do, Baby. What if you've developed something from stress or working so hard? Hell, what if one of those guys gave you something you didn't know about?" He cupped the sides of Bucky's face and kissed him. "I'm only a phone call away. If you get nervous, find the nearest pay phone and I'll answer. Or if you want me there, we can tell them we know each other from church."

---

Bucky snorted. "Church! I'd rather say you're my cousin. No respectable doctor or nurse is going to believe I could even step foot in a church without bursting into flames." Steve did have a point about those guys, though. They might have given him some sort of VD that he wasn't aware of. If that were the case, he would want to know so he could get it taken care of and make sure Steve was fine too.

---

"Fine, cousin," Steve snorted. "But it'll make me feel weird the next time you blow me after that. Incest isn’t a sort of thing that my ma told me I was allowed to do," he teased. Steve snuck in a kiss. "It really means a lot to me that you're at least considering going for a check-up."

---

"I'm not really your cousin, you dope," Bucky said with a flash of a smile. "But, yeah I'm considering it. We will get the girls there first, okay? I'll tell them it was my idea so if they get mad it'll be on me not you." Bucky laughed to himself and added, "Oh and Steve... if I'm practically a dad, you're clearly practically the mom. You've been hounding us about food and stress and doctors for days."

---

Steve nuzzled Bucky gently and smirked. "I'll be the mom, I don't care. My Mom is amazing and showed me all the best ways I can take care of people." Steve didn't get wound up like Bucky did at the parental role.

---

Bucky huffed to himself and closed his eyes. "Think it's time for sleeping, Steve." He tried opening his eyes again but it didn't work. Bucky was dog tired and his brain was entirely gone from him at this point. He mumbled low and quietly, "Night, Babe... love you," and fell asleep.

---

Steve's face lit up like a damned Christmas tree when Bucky told him he loved him. He nuzzled his neck affectionately and stayed up for another half hour or so just admiring Bucky until he fell asleep. When he woke up, Steve's arms were still wrapped tightly around him.

Chapter Text

Bucky stirred softly and woke up with a headache. "Fuck me..." He breathed with a frustrated, pained tone. He rolled away from Steve and put a pillow over his head. He had to go in for work in about an hour. He was going to leave Steve and his sisters to go grumpily shuffle records and boxes around and wait for people to come in.

---

"Hey, Baby," Steve said gently. He reached out and massaged his shoulder gently to try and help ease his pain. "Do you want me to give you some pain medication?"

---

The only answer Bucky gave was a low groan and a deep sigh. He would need about half the bottle to help this morning. He tried sitting up and when Steve asked again he nodded and started slowly stripping his clothes so he could shower. Bucky couldn't remember the night. He was so tired. All he knew was he tried being sexual with Steve but Lilly had a nightmare that interrupted them.

---

Steve got up and found some pills and got Bucky another glass of water. He interrupted Bucky in the shower to give it to him. "Have you gotten headaches like this before, Baby?" He asked. "Is there anything I can do?"

---

Bucky was feeling a little better with the rush of water over him. "Yeah, but I usually don't get them this bad." He took the pills and downed the entire glass of water before handing it back off to Steve. "I don't really know what's going on... guess I'm more like my mom than I thought I was." Bucky tried a short laugh. "Can you just go make sure Lilly is awake and getting ready for practice?"

---

Steve took the glass and had such a worried look on his face. He had questions, but Bucky asked him to go take care of Lilly. "Alright, Baby," he agreed. "I'll be back soon." Steve went over to Lilly's room and knocked on the door. "Hey, Kiddo, can I come in?"

---

Bucky stayed under the water for longer than he should have. He was idly turning the temperature from scorching hot to freezing cold. It felt really nice and seemed to be helping send his headache away. He slowly turned the water off and got out of the shower. He stood naked and wet in the bathroom and just let himself feel the air around him. Bucky heard soft voices coming from Lilly's room and he could pick up the occasional phrase like, "You have to go to practice" and "Bucky won't mind if I skip today" and "Maybe you should double check."

---

"Lilly?" Steve called again softly, a little concerned from the voices on the other side. "Lilly, I’m coming in." He gave her a few moments before he actually opened the door to see what was going on. "Lil?"

---

Lilly was sitting on her bed by herself with her window wide open and her rucksack on the ground by the foot of the bed. She gave Steve a sad look and hastily got up to toss her bag into her closet.

---

Steve caught the look and felt his stomach drop. "Hey, Lil," he said gently. Steve sat down on the bed as well to be less imposing but didn't sit too close to her. "What's the matter, Kiddo? Why's the window open?"

---

"Nobody," Lilly said quickly then made a face scolding herself quietly, "I mean, nothing's the matter. Just don't want to go to practice today. Not feeling well." She paused. "Where's Bucky?"

Bucky was just dressed and gathering what he would need to take with him to work. It wasn't much - just his wallet and keys and a jacket. He figured Steve would have been back by now and he got a little worried that Lilly hadn't been cooperating.

---

"Lil, you can't lie to a cop," Steve said patiently. He got up and went to the window to see what was going on. He was always amazed at how thick people thought he could be. He looked out the window and caught some young boy trying to sneak off down the fire escape but Steve grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and hauled him back in. He held the poor kid up in the air as he gave Lilly a deadpan look to start explaining.

---

Just then, Bucky turned the corner from his room to Lilly's and saw the scene before him. Steve was holding a kid by the back of his shirt and Lilly was sitting on her bed dressed for the day and looking guilty. "The fuck?" Bucky said under his breath, "Who the hell is the kid?" He noticed Lilly's bag sticking half way out her closet. "Where the fuck do you think you're going, Lilly?"

---

"Bucky," Steve said sternly, certainly not approving of Bucky swearing at his sister. He didn't like swearing around kids but hadn't said anything just because this wasn’t his house. But when they got swore at, he had to say something. "Let her explain fully and no interrupting," he said.

---

Bucky shot Steve a warning glance indicating that this was still his house and his family and would deal with his sisters however he thought appropriate for the situation. "She's got about a minute to explain herself," Bucky said crossed his arms. "Who's the kid, Lilly?"

"He's on my lacrosse team," Lilly started. "Lives on Long Island," she added with a jealous hint to her tone because of the big houses and yards that she didn't get to see in Brooklyn.

---

Steve may have toed the line but he didn't regret it. He set the boy down but gave him a look that promised he would get caught if he tried to run off again. "You're going to need a bit better explanation to get yourself out of trouble," Steve prompted.

---

"He was going to let me stay at his place for a few days," she said and started picking at her sleeves.

Bucky blinked a few times. Then asked with a sad and angry lump in his throat, "You were going to run away again?" He sighed and went to his sister slowly. "I thought we had gotten past this." He leaned down to give her a long gentle hug that showed he still loved her and understood but he was just a little mad. Bucky took a step back and looked at his watch. "Goddammit, I need to get to work."

---

Steve wanted to cry but he held it in. It hurt him to know what running away would do to Bucky. "It's okay, Buck. Go to work and I’ll take care of the kids," he said. He very nearly went over to kiss him but remembered that the boy was there. "You two," he said to Lilly and the boy from Long Island. "Are going to practice and then going to the Natural History Museum with Becca today. I'm not going to risk taking my eye off you until this whole running away business is taken care of."

---

Bucky cleared his throat and rubbed his palms into his eyes. "Lilly, be good for Steve. If you must act out, save it for me later, okay?" He sighed and walked towards the door. "Steve, you're okay with... taking care of this whole thing?" He asked and Steve nodded. "Thank you." Bucky smiled weakly and left Lilly's room to go to work.

---

Steve had no idea how Bucky managed to do this all on his own for over four years - the poor man. He gave him a wave goodbye and then told Lilly to get her lacrosse gear ready. He looked down at the boy and asked, "What's your name, Son?"

---

"Thomas," the boy answered.

Lilly packed up her lacrosse stuff grumpily and plopped it on the foot of her bed when she was ready. "Can't believe Bucky left you in charge. He never trusted the other ones like this, why should he trust you?" She added with an indignant glare to Steve. She didn't mean it, of course, she was just so frustrated.

Thomas asked meekly to Steve, "Are you another brother?"

---

"Because I'm a cop and I've dealt with scarier things than angry, little sisters." Steve was stern but he still wasn't going to push buttons because he was afraid of Lilly outing him in frustration. "Cousin," Steve corrected Thomas. "I came over to take Becca to the museum today cause her friends couldn't go." It was a good enough excuse. Speaking of, he had to tell Becca the change of plans.

---

Becca was just waking up as Bucky was leaving and she stood in the doorway of her room to stop him before he slipped out. "What's going on?" She asked.

"Lilly was going to run away again," Bucky said as he bent down to tie his shoes.

"And you're still going to work?" Becca asked. "Shouldn't you stay here?"

"Can't just cancel the day whenever Lilly feels like fucking with things." Bucky strode towards the door and bid Becca goodbye. "I'll see you later. Have a good time at the museum with Steve."

---

Steve walked towards the hallway but still stayed where he could keep an eye on Lilly. "Becca, I'm really sorry but the museum is going to have to be pushed back until after Lilly's practice and we are bringing Lilly and her friend with us," he said apologetically. "You can pick what we have for dinner to make up for your wait, alright?"

---

Becca gave a confused look to the two kids hiding in Lilly's room. She repeated Bucky's sentiment with a, "Who the hell is that?" and pointed at the boy.

"Thomas." The boy waved.

"Steve, Bucky just left," Becca said. "I think he should've called in and told Clint he couldn't work because of an emergency. He should be here."

---

"Becs, Bucky would've stayed if he could. But if he misses a whole day's worth of work, then he has even less money to buy you food or keep the roof over your head," Steve said patiently. "If he called out for every emergency he had, Lilly would have no home to run away from." He reached out to nudge her gently. "Besides, I've got it under control. This little event is nothing compared to my high-speed chase last summer."

---

Bucky arrived at work a little late and one of his stoner co-workers quipped, "Barnes is late!" when he quickly slipped through the door. Bucky flipped him off and went in the back to shuck off his jacket and throw on his nametag. One of the people he worked with had tried to play a practical joke and scratch off part of the 'B' so it looked like an 'F'. So 'Fucky' was always ready to work.

Bucky ran into Clint on his way to the floor and signed that he was sorry he was late and there was an emergency. He didn’t need to sign because Clint was an expert lip reader but he still liked to do it to keep in practice. Clint nodded and said it was fine - he was never angry with Bucky. Bucky spent the entire day worrying about his sisters and Steve. During his break, he dialed his house to see if they were there.

---

When Bucky called, Steve had just gotten back from a long day out. He tried to entertain Becca while Lilly had her practice but she wasn't really warm to his conversation. She was a bit happier once she was at the museum but then Steve had to deal with Lilly being moody at him for being dragged around. Thomas was the only one who didn't shit on Steve at some point during the day.

Becca answered the phone before Steve could even put their bags full of takeout dinner on the table. "Hello?"

---

Bucky let out a sigh of relief. "Becca, hey! Is everyone home? Can I talk to Steve please?" He moved a box around with his foot absentmindedly and drew circles on a piece of paper.

"Steve is occupied making sure Lilly and Thomas don't try running off," Becca said back. Bucky heard Steve's voice through the phone but couldn't make out what he had said. It was just a few seconds until Steve was on the line with him.

---

Steve unpacked the food and got the silverware on the table. When he was given the phone, he took it and held it up to his ear. He was already emotionally exhausted but he didn't want to give Bucky any reason to worry while he was at work. "Hey, Buck," he said sweetly. "How's work going for you?"

---

"Better, now that I'm on break," Bucky said. "I'll be home in about two hours." Clint walked into the break room then and sat down at the small table with a cup of coffee. "Did everything go okay today?" He hoped Lilly wasn't too much trouble and he hoped Becca didn't try to quietly and sweetly rip Steve limb from limb.

---

"Everything is going alright so far," Steve said. "Thomas is getting picked up by his parents in an hour. We're just about to eat and I picked up some dinner for you, too." Steve's voice dropped to a lower volume and he said, "I miss you. I'm looking forward to seeing you come home."

---

"Fuck, I sort of forgot about Thomas," Bucky said offhandedly and stretched his legs out on the chair in front of him. "And I miss you too," he said before noticing Clint staring at him. "Like I said, I'll be home in about two hours. Maybe sooner if Clint will let me go," Bucky said and shot a quick smile at his boss and best friend who shook his head once with an apologetic frown. "I guess not."

---

"You don't have to leave early," Steve said. "The world won't end over here if you show up home at your regular time. How about you do your best to relax for the rest of your time there and we can catch up later tonight?" He offered.

---

Bucky nodded as he said, "Yeah, that's fine. Just wish I was home with you all right now. Sort of want to have a talking to with that Thomas kid." Bucky paused. "Wait... what did you tell him? Did you say you were a babysitter or something?" Bucky let out a laugh at the idea of a full-time nanny Steve - his big cop as a full-time nanny.

---

"Go easy on Thomas. I think he was just trying to help his friend out and he was even fibbing to his parents to try to protect her," Steve said. "He's been really well behaved, outside of the whole running away thing." He smiled and said, "Told him we were cousins. I think he thinks all of the others were brothers or something. You should check with Lilly about that."

---

"Oh, I’ll be checking with Lilly about a lot of stuff when I get to her," Bucky said and stood up. It was almost time for him to go back to work. "She's got to explain herself to me still. She hasn't tried this shit for over a year. Last time, it was Becca who caught her as she tried going out the fire escape. The time before that it was her soccer coach who found her all the way in Manhattan in Central Park with a tent."

---

"I'm so sorry you have to deal with that stress," Steve said. It made him scared to think of any kid running off where there were rapists and murderers all around. "At least now you've got an officer around who has close ties with the missing persons team so if she runs off she won't be gone for long."

---

"I just think she gets down on herself too easily. She gets it in her head that we would be better off without her around so she just up and leaves." Bucky sighed and checked his watch. Time was up. "Anyway, I need to go. I'll see you soon."

---

After a while, Steve sent Thomas off on his way with his parents and set Lilly up at the kitchen table to do her homework. Becca was watching TV on the couch and Steve moved to sit next to her. He shifted his weight a bit nervously before glancing over. "Hey, Becca," he said softly. "Can I talk to you about Lilly?"

---

Becca gave a sideways glance to Steve then nodded before turning her attention back to the television. "What about Lilly?" Then she added, "Is Bucky almost home?" She wanted it to sound to Steve like she wasn't going to let him be her new brother or let him and Bucky become the parents of the house.

---

"Becca," Steve said with a frown. He could see her tone and body language. "I'm your brother's partner. I'm not trying to take over your life. I'm trying to help him out and I want to help you, too. I don’t want you to feel forced to like me, but don't let Bucky see it, alright? He's got enough on his plate." He crossed his arms. "My question is: did Lilly want to run away because of me?"

---

Becca bit her lip and turned her body to face Steve. "Not really, I guess. Not exactly." Becca paused and looked to Lilly who was still trying her best at her math homework completely unaware of the two of them. "As much as I can figure from what I know about Lilly... she felt like an extra wheel - like a burden. She does that sometimes. She'll say something about leaving us alone so no one has to worry about her anymore. Maybe she felt like she was pushed out by you."

---

Steve's face fell a little. He was relieved that it was nothing he'd done personally but he felt awful that a little girl would feel like extra weight to her family. "Thank you for telling me," he said genuinely. "And what about you?" He asked. "You ever feel pushed out?"

---

Becca scoffed. "I'm the damn glue of this family," Becca swore. "Without me, Bucky would've probably had his guardianship removed and he would be lost and alone without us." She turned back to the TV. "Don't you worry yourself about me, Steve. Bucky may be the adult but I take care of him more than you know."

---

"Hey," Steve said sharply, giving her a scolding look. "If you have a problem, you talk about it. Bucky breaks his back to take care of you two. It's real easy to sit there and criticize when you're not the one who has to watch two kids and do the work that two parents usually split between them."

---

"Yeah?" She said with a bit of fire behind her eyes. "And who parents Bucky, huh? A new guy every couple days and new scars from the fights down at the bar?" She noticed Steve's confused face and laughed. "He hasn't told you about the nights he'd stagger home drunk and bleeding and I'd wake up and have to clean him up."

---

"No, he hasn't told me that. He's told me how you've had to see him at his worst and how he regrets every second of it," Steve said back at her. "He knows he was wrong for it. And it ain't fair you had to take care of your brother after losing your parents, but you have to play the cards you're dealt. So here's your new hand, Becca. I love your brother. He's part of my family now, which means you are too. I'm not your brother. I'm not your parent. But you can sure as hell bet I'm going to make sure all of you are taken care of to the best of my ability. If Bucky goes out and gets in a bar fight, it's my job to take care of him."

---

Becca's face crinkled up in confusion. "You love him?" She asked simply. She hadn't really considered that. She knew that Steve and Bucky kept saying that Steve was going to be sticking around for a while but she just figured one day he would be gone. Love was a different thing. She didn't think anyone besides her family had ever loved Bucky before.

---

"Of course I do," Steve said firmly. "It would be so wrong of me to put myself in your lives like this if I didn't love him." He frowned at the thought of Becca thinking that he was putting up with them for the sake of being able to screw around with Bucky. "If he got hit by a car tomorrow and needed someone to feed him and help him go to the bathroom cause all his bones were broken, I would do it. Because I love him that much."

---

Becca nodded slowly. "And he loves you?" She asked more cautiously - almost sympathetically. She had seen the way Bucky went through partners and she didn't know if Steve was the one Bucky had decided to keep around because it was convenient or because he actually felt the same way back.

---

"I’m pretty sure he does," Steve said. "He said it last night, right before he fell asleep. He was really tired so he maybe said it by accident. But I'm sure he'd say it again." Steve got all dreamy talking about the one little 'love you' he got from Bucky.

---

Becca pursed her lips and looked at the TV again. "Okay, fine," she said with little emotion, which was her own way giving the two of them her blessing. "I just want Bucky to be happy. And if you're part of that..." she trailed off and folded her arms unable to continue.

---

Steve couldn't believe his ears. Becca was actually giving them her approval. Steve wrapped his arms around her and gave her a bear hug. "You're a good sister to your brother."

---

Becca squirmed under the hug as there was a rustling of keys at the door. Bucky opened it with his head down staring at his shoes. He said, "I tied these motherfuckers when I left the store and I walk about seven blocks and they are untied again - stupid useless goddamn laces."

---

Steve let Becca go so her pride wouldn't be ruined by Bucky seeing her being hugged by his boyfriend. "Hey, Beautiful," Steve said happily. "You got to tie it in two knots. It doesn't look as pretty but it won't come apart every few blocks."

---

Bucky closed the door and took off his shoes and jacket. "Maybe they should make the ties better to begin with," Bucky grumped. He went over to the kitchen table where Lilly was working and he squished her against him in a big hug. "Please tell me you were good to Steve today?"

---

Lilly grunted softly when she was hugged. "I didn't run off on him," she answered back. Lilly still looked sorry for trying to run away again but she didn't seem to be too open to talking about it either.

---

"Okay, thank you for not running off on him," Bucky said diplomatically but didn't let up on his hug. "We are going to have to discuss this later but right now I'm hungry and tired and I really want to kiss that man over there." Bucky went for Becca first and gave her an equally big hug before turning to Steve and pecking him on the lips.

---

Steve patiently waited his turn and smiled happily once he got his kiss. "I got you your favorite," he said. "Becca picked the place we went to." Steve stood up and excitedly trotted into the kitchen so he could show off the dinner he got for Bucky. "Take a seat and I'll heat it up for you."

---

"What?" Bucky smiled and watched Steve bounce around the kitchen. "What'd you get me, huh?" He had had a pretty long day at work and worrying about Lilly all day didn't help. He was very happy to be home and eating dinner with Steve. Soon he would be able to get his hands on him too.

---

"Your favorite," Steve repeated. "Want to know how I know it's your favorite? Cause anything is your favorite when you're this hungry." He popped it in the microwave and got a glass of water for him. "It's chicken parmesan and pasta, by the way," he answered.

---

Bucky groaned and took the water. "Ugh, I love chicken parmesan pasta. How'd you know?" Steve was right, though, Bucky did scarf down his food pretty much every time they were together. He was in a constant state of wanting to eat more.

---

"Becca may have ordered it for you. I just paid." Steve pulled it out of the microwave and put it on the table for Bucky. He kissed Bucky's temple and stood behind him to gently massage his shoulders. "So how was work?" He asked.

---

Bucky blew on a forkful of food before shoving it in his mouth and swallowing. "The same as usual. My coworkers were mostly being idiots. Clint asked me about a thousand times who I was on the phone with during break. And I still don't have a new name tag so I am still 'Fucky: Reporting for duty!'"

---

Steve blushed, still a bit nervous about being found out but after realizing how happy he was with Bucky, he wasn't so scared. "Well, Fucky is a fun name to say," he teased. "When is Clint replacing it?"

---

"He claims he ordered a new one but I think he secretly thinks it's too funny to replace." Bucky took another few bites of food. "Hell, for all I know he's the one who did it in the first place. I wouldn't put it past him, the cheeky bastard." He looked up into Steve's eyes, "Anyway, how was today? How was the museum?"

---

"It is kind of funny," Steve murmured. "The museum was nice. I think Becca dragged it out a little cause she enjoyed having some peace and quiet. Lilly kicked butt at her practice today, too," Steve reported. "They kept me busy."

---

Bucky chuckled, "Did you feel like a soccer mom?" He always felt out of place when he went to Lilly's games. There were so many parents standing around or sitting in the stands and then there was Bucky and Becca sitting off to the side quietly cheering for Lilly but trying not to bring too much attention to themselves. Bucky had never been to one of her practices, though, so Steve had him beat there.

---

"A little bit - I'm not gonna lie, I was a little upset at myself for not bringing orange slices for everyone. The kids were really working hard out there." Steve shrugged his shoulders and took a seat next to Bucky. "I’d like to go see a game sometime."

---

"Orange slices?" Bucky asked with a giggle. "The next game is in a few days, I think." Bucky poked Lilly's arm to get her attention. "Would it be okay for Steve to come to your game? Your soccer game, I mean. We don't have to come to your lacrosse scrimmage." He looked back at Steve. "Apparently her team isn't good enough for us to come watch yet - according to her."

---

"Her lacrosse team has her on it. That makes the team good enough to watch in my book," Steve said enthusiastically.

Lilly groaned. "Noooo," she protested. "Just go to my soccer game, okay?"

"Cool," Steve said brightly. He leaned his head on Bucky's shoulder. "Do you want me to stay over again? Cause I have work in the morning. I can go and grab a change of clothes quick..."

---

"I don't want to keep you if you need to be home tonight," Bucky said and kissed the top of Steve's head. "It's up to you." He ate some more of his food and wrapped one arm around Steve's middle. "Thanks again for looking after them today and bringing food home. I really appreciate it."

---

"I’d like to spend some more time with you," Steve said and smiled when Bucky hugged him and he leaned forward to kiss his cheek. "Anything for you. Now, how about you get some quality time with your sisters and I'll be back in a little bit after I've gotten what I need for tomorrow?"

---

"Sure." Bucky nodded and let go of Steve. As Steve was turning to go, Bucky grabbed his hand and pulled him back. He suddenly had a flash of worry in his eyes. A sense of dread came over him and he thought about what happened with the kids and cops the other day. He also thought of his parents and losing them and how dangerous Steve's job must be and on top of it, he was gay and gay people got targeted. "Be careful coming home, okay?"

---

Steve saw the worry in Bucky's eyes and he gave him a tight, protective hug. "I will, Sweetheart," he promised. "I love you." He kissed the top of his head and went back home. Steve packed a duffel bag full of clothes, feeling ambitious and deciding that he should keep an extra few changes at Bucky's place anyway just in case he stayed other unplanned nights there in the future. He came back almost an hour later and knocked on the door to be let in.

---

Becca let Steve inside since Bucky was arguing with Lilly about homework. There were shouts about how sports and academics need to be balanced and “No, it doesn't matter that I dropped out of college, Lilly! You are still in school!” and protests that school was stupid and for snoots like Becca.

---

Steve smiled fondly when he heard the bickering. He gave Bucky a kiss before going over to Lilly and ruffling her hair. "If you're stupid, then you're going to have to rely on some man getting a job to provide for you," he said smartly to her.

---

Lilly was quick to combat Steve's words, "I don't need academics. I can just go pro and be an Olympian. And who says I end up with a man. I might want a woman, you didn't even think of that, did you?" Lilly kept on as Bucky let out a forced laugh, "And maybe I'll just work at a record shop or be a cop, huh? I don't see either of you in school."

Bucky stood up and started backing his way towards his room and making big gestures to Steve to follow him. Lilly glared at him as he went. “We won’t win. Let’s just go make out instead.”

---

"Less than one percent of kids who do sports go pro," Steve said. "So I guess you've got a better chance at going pro than getting a good grade." He gave her a teasing wink and mouthed 'Do your homework' before following Bucky to his room.

---

Bucky closed the door behind Steve and pulled him to sit on the bed. He gently took Steve's hands in his and said quietly, "So... I had to learn from Becca that I might have said ‘I love you’ while I was asleep." Bucky paused and looked sheepish. "Did I really do that?"

---

Bucky looking shy was so fucking adorable. Steve nodded his head. "Yeah. I'm not going to lie. It was really nice to hear. But I also figured you were sleepy and... and didn't really know what you were saying."

---

"I was sleepy but..." Bucky squeezed Steve's hand. "I know what I said. I'm a little disappointed that the first time I said it wasn't more magical or memorable for you but... I really do love you, Steve." Bucky repeated himself like he was just realizing the truth of his words, "I love you, Steve. And I'm sorry, I wanted to say it sooner but I needed to know that this was stable enough. I have to think about my responsibility to the girls."

---

"How can it not be memorable for me?" Steve asked with a fond smile. "I was falling asleep next to the love of my life after having a wonderful day with him. It was memorable for me, Buck." He looked so happy to hear Bucky say those words again anyway. "And I know the girls are important. I wouldn't expect any less of you."

---

"I love you," Bucky said again and nuzzled his nose against Steve's. "I love you." He brushed their lips together. "I love you, Steve Rogers." Then he was sitting in Steve's lap and holding on to the side of his face with a twinkle in his eye.

---

Steve, the goddamned dork, got all teary-eyed and wrapped his arms securely around his boyfriend. "I love you, too." He slipped his hands into the back of Bucky's shirt. "You make me so happy, Bucky Barnes."

---

They held each other there like that for a while until Bucky reluctantly sighed and said, "I should probably get the girls ready for bed. Tomorrow is Monday and you know how Becca can't be a second late. They still need to shower and I need to make their lunches." Bucky groaned. "But I don't want to get up. I just want to stay here with you."

---

"I'll still be here when you get back," Steve chuckled. "I don’t know how you do it. I was so damned exhausted by noon. And if one was on my side, the other had to be going off on me for something," he snorted.

---

"This is why I'm tired all the time, Steve." Bucky shrugged. "And why I get so many fucking headaches." He reached out for Steve one more time to give him another kiss. "If you fall asleep before I get back I won't blame you. Thanks again for handling everything here while I was gone. You make a good nanny."

---

"And you make a good dad," Steve shot back with an obnoxious grin, knowing how Bucky hated being called that. He got changed into pajamas while he waited for Bucky to return. Steve managed to still be awake by the time Bucky came back in.

---

Bucky slowly sneaked into his room and started stripping off his clothes. He hadn't said a word, just got naked to his bones and flopped onto the bed. "Can I call in tomorrow and say I'm sick, Steve?" He asked and scratched his chest absently. "I have the stupid mid-shift and I can't handle it."

---

Steve blushed deeply when Bucky got naked without warning, but he certainly wasn't complaining. He cleared his throat. "I mean, nothing's stopping you. But what's the point of calling in sick when I won't be around to pamper you?"

---

"I guess that's a good point. But I could be sleeping if I'm home." Bucky rolled to face Steve and he scooted his hips closer to him. "Which shift did you say you had, again? Morning shift?" Bucky traced delicate circles on Steve's side.

---

Steve nodded. "Morning shift," he confirmed. "Wish I could sleep in late with you, but I'll probably be gone before you wake up." He put his arm around Bucky and let his hand rest over his ass. "At least we have tonight together."

---

Bucky moved with Steve's arms so he was pressed up against him. "We do have tonight," Bucky said with a tired smile. "Have you decided that ass is yours, Steve?" Bucky asked as he felt calculated movements over his flesh.

---

Steve still wasn't used to being flirted with but he loved it. "I mean, I did call dibs on it," he joked as he gave Bucky's ass a little squeeze. "Need me to write my name on it in marker?"

---

"I'd rather you didn't." Bucky laughed, "might rub off on my underwear. Then all of them will say 'Steve's'." He yawned once and tried to cover it up with his hand. He was really tired after such a long day of work but he also really wanted to stay up and just talk with Steve.

---

"Cool, then I'll get free underwear, too," Steve said and pressed their lips together. He started to rub little circles over Bucky's back. "Why don't you get some rest, Beautiful?”

---

Bucky closed his eyes and nuzzled into Steve. "Okay, I will." He hummed a bit to himself and said. "Night, Steve. I love you." And he felt like a weight was lifted again when he said it. Steve might be the one shy about coming out but Bucky was definitely shyer about saying ‘I love you’. But now, he had done it. And it felt so right.

Chapter Text

Steve found himself staying over Bucky's more nights than not. The only time he went home was so the neighbors wouldn't get suspicious or so that he could leave Bucky to have family time with his sisters. Tonight, Steve came over still in uniform looking thoroughly worn and a little upset.

---

"Hey, what happened? You okay?" Bucky asked as Steve let himself in with the key Bucky had made and sat in a heap at the table. The girls were both asleep by now and Bucky had been waiting up for Steve and listening to a new record he had gotten. "I'll get you some water."

---

Steve took off his overcoat and sat at the table with a heavy sigh. He didn't look like he really wanted to talk but he also didn't want to keep anything from Bucky. "I had to shoot someone," he said quietly. "And I don't know if he's going to make it or not."

---

Bucky sat down immediately next to Steve and took his hand. "Do you want to tell me what happened or do you just want to forget it for now?" Bucky pushed the glass of water closer to Steve to encourage him to drink at least some of it.

---

"I don't know," Steve said. He squeezed Bucky's hand and took a drink because he knew Bucky wanted him to have some. "He was going to shoot my partner and I was so far away," Steve said. "I only wanted to stop him, but I didn't mean to get him in the chest. I just keep seeing it in my head over and over."

---

"Steve, you were just doing your job," Bucky tried. "Getting him anywhere else wouldn't necessarily have stopped him. You were protecting your partner." He paused a moment, unsure what to say to help. "What do your superiors say?"

---

"They're congratulating me," Steve said tightly. "Saying I deserve a promotion, but I don't think murder is worthy of a promotion. I could have been better, Buck. I could have taken more time to aim or maybe I could have run faster. I don’t know."

---

Bucky sighed and leaned his head against Steve's shoulder. "You did what you could. Your reflexes and instincts did what they thought was best for the situation. And maybe you didn't kill the guy. You said yourself he could make it." Bucky felt lost, like the day he was granted guardianship of his sisters. He didn't know what to do. This was new territory. Bucky had no idea what police officers went through at work. All Bucky did was stack records and tell people not to smoke around the Christian music section.

---

Steve flinched a little when Bucky leaned his head on his shoulder. He wasn’t in a cuddling mood. He felt like he should have his senior officer shout at him until his ears rung. "I should go home," he mumbled as he stood up. "They may go there for statements or something."

---

Bucky had no idea what to say. He didn't think Steve should be alone but he also didn't want to stop him from leaving if that was really what was best right now. "Steve..." Bucky whispered. He reached out for him but his hand aborted the motion quickly and he brought it back down to his lap. He felt useless.

---

"Sorry," Steve said. "I should've just gone home in the first place and called." He was just so caught up in his own head that he didn't know what to do. "I'll see you soon. Stay safe," He hurried out without making eye contact with Bucky.

---

Bucky sat in silent shock at the table for a few minutes. There was a lump in his throat and his eyes were fixed on a scar in the tabletop. Eventually, Bucky stood and wiped his face whispering, "Jesus fuck..." under his breath and then going to the phone. He dialed Steve's number but didn't hit call yet. Bucky waited another minute or so before deciding to put the phone back and just go to bed.

---

Steve had tried for a few days to get back to work but when he got news that the person he shot had died, he immediately put in a request for a vacation. He was too embarrassed to admit that he felt too awful to pin the badge on his chest. After the second day of Steve being a shut-in, Bucky received a call from Sarah.

---

Becca came knocking on Bucky's door early one morning with the phone in one hand. She shook him awake and handed it to him. "Hello?" Bucky asked and rubbed the sleepy grit from his eyes. "Hi, Mrs. Rogers, no I haven't seen or heard from him in days." Bucky waved Becca off sleepily and rolled to get out of bed.

"James, I know you and Steven are good friends," Sarah said ‘good friends’ with a pushy, knowing tone, "So I was just wondering if you wouldn't mind going over and checking on him."

"Mrs. Rogers, I don't know if Steve even wants to see me." Bucky hadn't heard from Steve this whole time. He didn't even get a call saying he made it home safe. Bucky was just a little pissed and a lot worried.

---

"Of course he wants to see you," Sarah scolded, but it didn't have too much heat to it. "He's unhappy right now. The young man he shot passed away in the hospital the other day," she explained. She only knew because she had called to check in on Steve and Steve was too good of a son to ignore a call from his mom. "You will cheer him up. I can come by in a half hour to look after your sisters."

---

"Oh no," Bucky lamented, "He hoped so badly that he would live." There was no point arguing anymore with Steve's mom so he consented to go see him while she stayed with the girls. They promised to be good and Bucky left them some money in case they all wanted to go out to dinner. He figured that a Rogers would be cooking for them, though, so it probably wouldn't have mattered.

Bucky walked across the couple of streets it took to get to Steve's and he made his way to his apartment getting more and more nervous as he went. What if Steve told him to fuck off and leave him alone?

---

When Bucky knocked on the door, there was some hesitation before a shuffling of feet could be heard. Steve opened the door dressed in the same sweats and hoodie he'd worn for three days.  He was surprised to see Bucky but he really should've expected him to show up sooner or later. "Is someone watching the girls?" was what came out of his mouth.

---

"Your mom," Bucky said as he pushed past Steve into the apartment. He took in Steve's appearance as he shut the door. He looked like he hadn't slept for a week and was living off of crackers. Bucky wanted to hold him close. He wanted to kiss him and tell him it was all right. He wanted to make him eat something then get him to rest. He wanted to get him showered and into something new and clean. What Bucky settled on was the defense mechanism he used with his sisters, which was misdirected frustration and swearing, "What the hell, Steve?"

---

It didn't take a genius to figure out his mom must've sent Bucky over to check in while she kept an eye on Becca and Lilly. Steve felt a little subconscious when Bucky looked at him because he knew he was a mess right now. So when Bucky swore at him, he shrugged and moved to grab his blanket from the couch to cover himself as he sat down. "I'm allowed to have bad days."

---

"Bad day?" Bucky spit out, "Try almost a week!" He folded his arms and blew some hair out of his eyes. "Almost a week with no word from you, Steve. You didn't show up at my place, you didn't tell me when you found out about the guy, you didn't even call to say you got home safe that night! I've been fucking worried about you!" Bucky felt the lump in his throat again and couldn't quite figure out why he felt like crying and smashing things against the walls.

---

Steve was feeling awful but he was still a stubborn mule at heart and Bucky yelling at him wasn't going to make him apologize even though he did feel bad for worrying him so much. He knew how much the poor guy had on his plate. "Nothing was stopping you from picking up the phone and calling me. You waited until my mom stepped in," he shot back.

---

"I tried, Steve," Bucky said. "I was going to call right after you left and tell you to get your ass back home to me. But, I thought if you needed your space then I needed to give it to you." Bucky let out a shaky breath and noticed a bad headache starting to form.

---

"Well, don't complain about me doing the same thing you did," Steve mumbled. If he had ignored phone calls from Bucky it would be another story. "You don't have to have a solution for everything, Buck. Some things can't be fixed. You can't un-kill a person."

---

"I felt so useless. There wasn't anything I could do to help you and I hated myself for that. It felt like before with..." Bucky was going to say how it felt like when his parents died and all he could do was sit around and stare at the walls and hold his young sisters close to him.

---

Steve looked up at Bucky and had an idea where his sentence had been going, "Come here." He said and held his blanket open for Bucky to come cuddle up next to him.

---

"No, I don't want to," Bucky grumped and furrowed his brow. "If we are in this together, Steve..." He trailed off again. "I can't lose you, too," he said finally after a long pause. "And you going off alone and us not communicating with each other and it taking your mother to get us to see each other counts as me losing you."

---

"What? That doesn't count," Steve said strongly, narrowing his eyes. "I'm allowed to grieve. I fucking killed someone, Bucky. Do you know what that feels like? I couldn't talk to your sisters when we fucked around, you really think I could handle them finding out about me taking someone's life? It's barely been a week. You didn't lose me. It's not like I ran off and didn't leave a forwarding address."

---

Bucky gritted his teeth and nodded slowly. "I need to go home. I've got a terrible goddamn headache getting worse every second." He felt a drip fall onto his cheek and he couldn't tell if his eyes were watering because he was fighting with Steve, because he was thinking of his parents, or because of the pain in his head.

---

"There's medicine in the bathroom. Good seeing you, Buck," Steve ground out aggressively and then laid down on the couch with his back to Bucky. He hated seeing Bucky hurt and upset like this. But he really didn't have the capacity to be giving right now.

---

Bucky blinked slowly and felt a bit nauseated. He trudged to Steve's bathroom and opened the little mirror cabinet. He found the bottle of pills and grabbed it from the shelf. Bucky tried opening the top but it wasn't working. It was taking too much effort and it hurt too much for him to look down. Bucky's body then decided it had given up so he gently slid down the wall to sit curled up against the bathtub, cradling the pill bottle.

---

Steve was on high alert from the argument so when minutes passed and Bucky was still in the bathroom, he knew something was wrong. He got up and walked over to see what was going on. When he saw Bucky curled up against the tub, his heart broke and he knelt down next to him to wrap Bucky up with one of his arms and held him to his chest. He opened the pill bottle with his other hand. "I'm sorry."

---

Bucky let Steve put a few pills in his mouth and he obeyed when he was told to swallow. He looked up into Steve's eyes and felt the tears streaming from his own. He knew now it had to be from the pain. This was by far the worst headache he had ever gotten in his life. He sent a silent prayer to Steve's god for letting this happen while his sisters weren't around to see it. Bucky gripped onto Steve's shirt and croaked out, "Steve..."

---

Steve set the pills aside and picked Bucky up in his arms. He carried him over to his bed and laid him down gently. Steve sat next to him and stroked his hand through Bucky's hair and massaged his scalp. "Do you need to see a doctor?" He asked, looking worried.

---

Bucky's eyes were closed and he was trying to only pay attention to the lovely feeling of Steve rubbing his head. "Well, you were going to make me see one anyway." Bucky swallowed through a tight knot in his throat. "Guess sooner than later might be a good idea." He made a mental note to schedule something for as soon as he could be seen. Maybe someone could give him a better answer about why his head revolted against him all the time. If Steve still went with him, he wouldn't be as nervous.

---

Steve leaned down to press a soft kiss at the bridge of Bucky's nose. "I wish I could do something right now to help ease the pain," he said softly. "If it gets too much, I can take you to the hospital, okay?" He kept petting his hands through Bucky's hair in an attempt to comfort him.

---

Bucky reached his hand up to hold Steve's face. "We're alright, aren't we?" He asked and ran a finger over Steve's lips. "You need time, that's fine. Just tell me that you and I are okay." Bucky could live with Steve needing some distance and time to sort out what happened. He could live with waiting for him to feel better again no matter how long it took. He just needed to know that this event hadn't changed the two of them together.

---

Steve kissed Bucky's finger. "We are always going to be alright, Buck," Steve promised. "I just need time." His face fell again, now not as distracted by Bucky and remembering the weight of what he did. "I don't know if I should be a cop anymore."

---

Bucky held his hand in place on Steve's face and reached his other hand out to touch his thigh. "But, you love being a cop. You live to help people. It's your job and your life. You saved Lilly and brought her back to me. You defended a kid who was just a little different from the other kids. Steve... what would you even do if you quit the force?"

---

"But I'm not helping anyone if I'm killing them. That kid was eighteen. I know he was going to shoot my partner, but what if he didn't have anyone who cared enough to set him right? What if I could have talked him down the straight and narrow?" He frowned. "I don’t know what I'd do. That's why I haven't decided yet."

---

Bucky wasn't aware that the guy was just a kid. He was closer to Steve and Bucky's ages then he thought at first. He was closer to Becca's age then to Bucky's. "It isn't healthy to beat yourself up with a bunch of what-ifs and should-haves," he offered and rolled on his side towards Steve. His head wasn't hurting as much as he had been but he still wasn't completely fine.

---

"I can't help it," Steve mumbled. He laid down next to Bucky and rested his head on the pillow and looked over at him a little helplessly. "I always used to think that I could get away without ever having to use my gun."

---

"Have you never fired in the field before?" Bucky asked as he tried to decide whether to reach out and touch Steve or leave him be. "Steve, that's part of being a cop." He wanted to hold him close to his chest. Bucky wanted to take Steve back to his place and just listen to music on the couch or watch some TV and just be.

---

Steve shook his head. "Never - not even a warning shot. And I've been in some bad situations before," he said. "I wouldn't have cared so much if he had lived."

---

Bucky closed his eyes for a second and noticed his headache was significantly better. "If you wouldn't have fired then he might have hurt your partner and you and who knows who else." He tried to make Steve see some sort of reason in all of this but it was mostly a lost cause. Steve was just going to have to work this out on his own.

---

Steve looked down and didn't answer. He knew that he saved his partner's life but he still felt pretty damn awful. He ran his fingers through his hair once and sighed heavily. "Do you think I would be this upset over it if I were straight?"

---

Bucky shook his head quickly in confusion. "What do you mean? What's that got to do with anything - especially saving your partner?" There was a deep-set sadness behind Steve's eyes and Bucky was slowly letting it settle in that Steve might not be okay for a long while.

---

"I don't know," Steve murmured. "It's just... all the other guys in my department are straight. And they seemed fine when they've had to shoot someone. Some come from the army and have killed before, too."

---

"Steve, they are fine with it because they don't care as much as you." Bucky didn't want to go into a long rant about his disdain for policemen and how he thought it was filled with mostly bad guys and a few good ones like Steve. Bucky refrained from saying anything about 'the man' around Steve. "They don't care as much about the lives they have been tasked to help and you do."

---

Steve hesitated for a little bit and looked Bucky over skeptically. "So we aren't extra sensitive because we're gay?" He asked. As liberal as Steve and his Ma were, it didn't stop him from being exposed to all sorts of homophobia and doubting himself for it.

---

"No, Steve," Bucky laughed. "I'm gay as fuck but I'm also pretty callous, right? If it isn't about my sisters or you I don't give two shits." Bucky gently ran a hand down Steve's arm. "Gay doesn't mean extra sensitive. I've slept with plenty of gay men who pushed me around and used me and shit to know that that stereotype is false. You are just sensitive to this because you are you."

---

"You're also sensitive," Steve reminded. The guy got headaches whenever he was stressed out. And he worried about his sisters after being away from them for a half hours. Steve only doubted their health on their sexuality out of sheer ignorance. He sighed and nuzzled Bucky gently. "Sorry," he apologized. "I guess I was being dramatic. That's a gay thing too, isn't it?" He gave Bucky a small smile to show he was joking.

---

"Yes, Steve," Bucky said flatly and rolled his eyes. "Once you realize you're gay you automatically become a drama queen." Bucky ventured to take Steve's hand in his and held it over his own heart. "I'm sorry I yelled at you earlier. I should have reigned it in but I didn't and I won't make excuses for it."

---

Steve wouldn't lie and say that it hadn't hurt when Bucky yelled at him instead of trying to immediately support him when he was down and out. But he also was being difficult and appreciated that Bucky stuck around. "It's okay," he said. "You're here for me. That's all that matters, Buck."

---

"I also can't promise it won't happen again but I will try harder not to do that to you again." Bucky said, "Just ask the girls, I have a bad habit of going from zero to angry in ten seconds. But, yes, I'm here for you and I'll be here for you for whatever you need."

---

"I appreciate you being honest, Buck. I'd rather the honesty than setting me up for disappointment later," Steve said and wrapped his arms around Bucky tightly and kissed him. "I love you, Sweetheart."

---

"I love you too, Steve." Bucky sighed out and let his tired eyes drift closed. "What do you want to do now? What's best for you? You can come home with me or I can leave or..." He trailed off. He hoped Steve would choose to come home with him and stay the night but he also knew that Steve might not think it was a good idea.

---

Steve paused in thought and decided, "I think I should be alone tonight," he said. He knew Bucky wanted him to go back to his place. And a part of Steve wanted to, but he needed space to think. "I'll sleep over at yours tomorrow?"

---

Bucky nodded and gave a weak smile. "Okay, Steve, that sounds good." He got out of the bed and pulled his hair back in a ponytail low on his head. "I got to make sure the girls listened to your mom and went to sleep on time. Lilly was a little over energetic today so I hope she wasn't too much trouble."

---

"She's Lilly, she's always trouble," Steve said fondly. "Love you, Buck. Thank you for coming by."

When Bucky got back home, Sarah was in the middle of teaching the girls how to make chocolate chip banana pancakes. "Hey there, Dearie. How is my son?" She asked.

---

Bucky sighed when he saw both sisters wide awake, un-showered, and about to eat sugary pancakes. "He's going to need some time but I believe in him to pull through," he said and went to hug Lilly and Becca. "Thanks for sort of making me go over there, Mrs. Rogers. I think he and I both needed to be forced into seeing each other for a bit so we could work it out." Bucky hoped he didn't sound too fond when he talked about Steve. He had a pretty secure notion that Sarah already knew about them - or was possibly told by Lilly - but he didn't want to assume.

---

"I'm glad to hear that. I must say I'm surprised he didn't come over to spend the night again," Sarah glanced out the window. "Bless his heart. He's so careful with everything but he always forgets to water the plant I gave him. He spends so much time here that I've been sneaking over while he's at work so I can keep the damn thing alive."

---

Bucky cleared his throat nervously and shoved his hands in his pockets. He gave Becca a quick glance and she gave him a shake of the head indicating they had no part in whatever Sarah thought was going on. Bucky figured he would just say the most neutral thing he could in regards to what Steve's mother had said. "Well, I'll tell him to make sure to water the plant more often so it can survive."

---

Sarah eyed Bucky with that mom look before she rolled her eyes at all three of them. "Oh, for heaven's sake," she said. "With Steve's inability to fib and me knowing my son better than anyone else in the world, do you really think I wouldn't knows you two are canoodling?" She asked. "You don't have to hide it from me."

---

"Uhhh..." was all Bucky's mouth let him say. Becca's eyes were jumping between Bucky and Sarah and Lilly was laughing nervously to herself. "Well..." He tried again. "We..." Words weren't working for him at all. Bucky made a pained noise and then finally said, "You got to tell him that you know."

---

Sarah shook her head. "He will tell his mother when he's ready," she said. She wasn't going to make Steve feel self-conscious by letting him know she knew his secret. When he was comfortable, she knew he would tell her.

---

Bucky nodded. He thought it might do Steve some good knowing he doesn't have to worry about telling his mom. "Is this okay with you?" He asked slowly. Not that her opinion would make a difference to Bucky but it might to Steve and that's what Bucky was worried about.

---

Sarah walked over so she could give Bucky a hug. "Of course I'm okay with this," she said, all sweet and motherly. But then she added, "I've always wanted more children to boss around."

---

Bucky chuckled and hugged her back. "In that case, do you want to boss these two off to get ready for bed?" He asked and pointed to his sisters who were already grumbling about having to go to sleep.

---

"It would be my pleasure," Sarah said. She finished up putting the pancakes away to be stored and eaten the next day. Afterward, she herded the girls into the bathroom so they could wash up and get to bed.

---

Bucky went to a box of records and took out a slow album to play. He set it up and laid on the couch and thought of Steve. He still needed to learn how to dance. His headache now gone and the girls doing what they needed to, Bucky let himself relax a bit and before he knew it he was asleep.

Chapter Text

As promised, Steve came over the next day after work. It'd been a weird day back but he was glad that he was able to start moving forward with his life. When he got to the apartment, he had a paper bag tucked under his arm that he carried gingerly.

---

Bucky let out a big sigh of relief when Steve came home. He rushed to him and kissed him lightly but with as much love as he could. Then he noticed the bag under Steve's arm. "What's that?" Bucky asked and nodded towards it curiously.

---

Steve smiled into the kiss, pressed closer to Bucky, pulled out a bouquet of roses from the bag, and offered it to Bucky. "For you."

---

Bucky took them and gave a small confused smile. "What's this for?" He asked and peeked through the roses. Bucky had never been given flowers before except when his parents died and it felt really nice to have this small romantic gesture from someone as caring as Steve.

---

"Cause I love you," Steve answered with a soft smile. He kissed Bucky's cheek and ran a hand up and down his arm. "I wasn't sure what your favorite flower was, but I figured roses were a safe choice."

---

"I don't think I have a favorite flower but I like these ones because they’re from you." Bucky knew it was a little cheesy but he didn't much care. He went to put the flowers in some water. He didn't have any vases so he just used a pitcher. "How are you feeling today, Babe?"

---

Steve pet a hand over Bucky's hair and smiled over at him. "I'm feeling better. I went back to work today. They've got me at desk work for the next two weeks before they put me back in the field." Steve didn't mind that.

---

"That's good, right? Sort of gives you some more time." Bucky hugged Steve's middle and rested his head against his shoulder. "I missed you so much, Steve," he whispered into Steve's shirt. "I hated not having you around."

---

Steve nodded. He felt a little bad for being away so long. "I'm sorry," he apologized. "I don't think I'm going to withdraw myself like that again." He kissed the top of Bucky's head. "I missed you too."

---

"Even if you do, I'm still here for you," Bucky said and detached himself from Steve. He went over to the couch to grab a blanket and wrapped himself up. He was in his sleeping clothes and was very cold. It was definitely getting closer to winter. "You want to shower and go to sleep? Or you want some food?"

---

Steve smiled and said, "I'm kind of feeling like just changing into pajamas and cuddling up next to my favorite guy." Once Bucky was wrapped up in his blanket, Steve scooped him up and carried him bridal style to the bedroom.

---

Bucky protested slightly at being lifted off the ground but he stopped once he felt safe in Steve's arms. Steve gingerly laid him on the bed and starting undressing himself to get changed. Steve looked slightly bashful still while he got naked in front of Bucky even though they had been in far more compromising positions together.

---

Steve gave Bucky a cocky grin in response to the protesting but he soon grew sheepish once it was time to undress. He still was a modest person. He kept his back turned as he changed and once he was in a tank and sweatpants, he laid down next to Bucky and gave him a kiss.

---

"Time to sleep?" Bucky asked hopefully and wrapped around Steve. "It's been a long week," Bucky said even though it was only just Wednesday. Lilly had a soccer game coming up and lacrosse practice all week and Becca was going to have a big chemistry project due soon, too.

---

Steve nodded. "I'd like that," he said. "Hopefully starting tomorrow I'll be able to go back to helping you out." Steve pet a hand up and down Bucky's back. "I'm sorry I haven't been around as much as I should."

---

"It's okay, you were hurting and needed time." Bucky said, "I could have been far more understanding and patient than I was." He yawned and ran a hand through his hair. "It's okay you weren't around to help. I have been doing this for a while now," he said with a chuckle. "Just so long as you come to Lilly's soccer game tomorrow."

---

Steve's face lit up. "I'll be there," he promised. He peppered Bucky's face with a few kisses. "Now get some rest, old man," Steve teased. "The morning waits for you."

---

"I'm less than a year older than you..." Bucky mumbled in retort and quickly fell asleep. He slept a lot better with Steve by his side and it surprised him because, before Steve, he slept perfectly okay but then after Steve came into his life he couldn’t sleep without him.

---

Steve woke up early the next day and left Bucky a little love note to wake up to once he left for work. He worked through lunch so he could leave early and turn back up at Bucky's house well before Lilly's game.

---

When Steve came back home, Lilly was a nervous wreck and Becca was dancing quietly to herself in the corner to some David Bowie music trying to keep out of the way. Bucky was giving Lilly fruit and water and trying to get her to calm down. This happened before every game. She was always so worried that she was going to mess up and ruin the whole game for everyone.

---

Steve hadn't experienced pre-game Lilly before, but he knew the family well enough to know that Lilly and Bucky being frantic while Becca occupied herself was nothing new. "Hey," he greeted them. "What's the matter, Lilly?"

---

"I can't go to the game!" Lilly shouted in response. "I can't play tonight."

Bucky thrust out an apple slice to her and said, "Yes, you can and you will." Then he turned to Steve. "This happens every game. She's excited for days then gets anxious about it right before." Bucky slumped his shoulders and let out a shallow sigh.

---

"Anxious? About what? You're twelve," Steve said incredulously. "This game is hundreds of years old, Lil, chances are you're not the worst player this sport has come across," Steve reassured, nudging her.

---

Lilly seemed to take the bait for a second before realizing a greater horror, "What if I disgrace hundreds of years of soccer tradition?"

Bucky groaned and looked to Becca who was still ignoring them and swaying by herself. "Lilly, we've got to leave for the goddamn game in five minutes. We've been over this before and I'll say it again. You're gonna kick the other team’s ass and this year you all are bringing home that glorious fucking season trophy."

---

That certainly wasn't where Steve had seen this going. He groaned and looked over to Bucky with an expression that said 'how do you do this?' Before letting Bucky deal with Lilly on his own. "Hey, Becca," he said, going to the more reasonable of the Barnes sisters. "Is that the new album?"

---

"Older one. Aladdin Sane," Becca replied and pointed on the cover sitting propped up against the player.

Bucky managed to get Lilly up on her feet and he started pushing her towards the door with her gear bag in tow. "Okay, we're moving! Anyone who's coming needs to come now because I don't know how long this push is going to last."

---

Steve took Becca’s arm and playfully tugged her to the door when Bucky announced that they were on the go. He was incredibly excited to go to Lilly’s game. He never had little siblings to watch in sports and he had always been too small and sick to play sports himself.

---

The four of them trudged down the block and eventually made it to the park with Lilly basically doing okay. She improved immensely once she saw her teammates and she ran to them happily. There were sets of removable bleachers set up and Becca led the way over to them. Bucky stayed close to Steve but was careful not to touch him.

---

"So is Thomas on the soccer team too? Or just lacrosse?" Steve asked as they took their seats. His leg rested against Bucky's but he held back from having any more contact. "He was a nice boy, that kid. You should be nice to him."

---

"I should do a lot of things," Bucky said simply. "And, no, he's just on the lacrosse team." Becca sat on the other side of Bucky and yawned. She had been up late the night before working on her chemistry project so she was beat. She leaned into her brother and put her head on his arm. Bucky wasn't going to be surprised if she fell asleep during the game.

---

Steve looked around before whispering quietly into Bucky's ear, "I can tell you what you should do to me tonight." He pulled back with a smirk. When he saw Becca falling asleep on Bucky, he took off his jacket to put over her shoulders.

---

Becca stirred a little then adjusted the jacket with a quiet, "Thank you."

Bucky turned his head to Steve and whispered low and jokingly, "This is a children's sports game, Officer, that sort of talk isn't appropriate." But Bucky was more than happy to imagine just what exactly Steve wanted Bucky to do to him when they got home.

---

Steve smirked when he was scolded. He turned his attention to the game and whenever Lilly got control of the ball, Steve would stand up and cheer her on loudly. He didn't mean to but he usually ended up being the loudest of everyone present.

---

Becca was startled out of her nap when Steve yelled and she tossed Bucky a look that said 'control your boyfriend' before sitting up and folding her arms against her chest. Bucky loved seeing Steve get so excited for Lilly and it sort of did feel like they were being proud parents watching their kiddo play soccer together. Bucky didn't let himself entertain that thought for too long, though.

---

When Lilly's team won, Steve was hollering and cheering so loudly that even some of the parents on the team were a little embarrassed by him. Some got a kick out of him, though. "Did you see that?" Steve asked, shaking Bucky's arm.

---

"I did," Bucky laughed at Steve and steadied the man. Lilly’s team came running over to the bleachers to greet their parents and adoring fans like Steve. Bucky stepped off the bleachers and bent down with his arms outstretched so Lilly could smack into him in a big hug. "That was amazing, Lil!"

---

Steve watched Bucky and Lilly happily. A few parents came over to greet him and ask who he was, so he just introduced himself as their cousin. They all liked him well enough even though he'd been a bit overenthusiastic. "Can we go out for ice cream?" He asked Bucky.

---

Bucky was aggravated that Steve had to call himself their cousin. He was mad because he wished they could just be open about their relationship and he was also mad because Steve - the most honest guy he ever met - was forced to lie for Bucky. But, Bucky consented to them getting ice cream and he slung Lilly's gear bag over his shoulder to carry while they walked.

---

Steve usually was an awful liar but for the safety of their relationship, he easily feigned that they were family. As they walked away from the field, Steve patted Lilly's arm. "You did great, Kiddo," he said. "She really was amazing. Wasn't she, Buck?"

---

"She always is." Bucky smiled and gave Lilly a high five. "So, we can get ice cream before dinner but what do you all want afterward? And please don't say pizza, I am sick of pizza." They were closing in on the ice cream shop and Becca was once again leading the group.

---

In response to what they wanted for dinner, Lilly said pizza, Becca said Chinese, and Steve said gyros all at the same time. Steve laughed and then gave Bucky a look. "Time for you to be the tiebreaker."

---

Bucky rolled his eyes and said, "Jesus, you guys are all over the place." He already ruled out pizza and gyros were too fancy in Bucky's opinion. "Chinese," he said and clapped his hands together. "Becca wins."

---

"Well, now I see who you love more," Steve jokingly lamented in a dramatic tone. He held the door to the ice cream parlor open for them. "Becca, why did you have to sabotage my dinner choice?" he teased.

---

"No one likes gyros, Steve," Becca said and walked through the door without a ‘thank you’. Bucky thanked Steve and flicked his sister on the top of her head.

"Maybe you and I can get them next time, yeah?" He offered to Steve and gave him a loving smile. "What ice cream are you getting?"

---

Steve nearly put an arm around Bucky but he held back from doing so and felt a bit awful that he couldn't. "I'm thinking vanilla with sprinkles," he said. Steve could be a very plain person sometimes. "You?"

---

"That's so boring," Lilly said and stood in between Steve and Bucky. Lilly was a very outgoing person but she could also get pretty shy in public and sometimes she needed to be close to Bucky or Becca to feel safe.

Bucky held her to him and shook her a little. "Steve can get whatever he wants, even if it's super lame," he said.

---

Steve stuck his tongue out at the both of them for criticizing his choice of ice cream. Once the orders were put in, he paid and took his own to eat. "So when is your next game, Lilly?"

---

Lilly was too far into her ice cream to answer so Becca piped up and said, "She's got a lacrosse game in three days that none of us are allowed to attend."

"I'm attending whether she likes it or not," Bucky added through a bite of cookie dough ice cream.

---

"I want to go too," Steve insisted. He nudged Lilly gently. "Come on, I’m your biggest fan," he said, grinning. "I was louder than the both of these guys combined. I hardly heard a chirp outta these two birds," he said as he gestured to Bucky and Becca.

---

"Well, Becca, was asleep and I was too embarrassed by you to say anything," Bucky said to Steve. "But, yes, if you can convince Lilly to let us go then we can all go again in a few days."

Lilly groaned and hit her head against the table. "Becca never has to deal with this pressure."

"Excuse me?" Becca started. "Let me tell you about pressure..." The girls droned on and started bickering while Bucky looked to Steve and gave a low sigh.

---

Steve was amazed at how the girls could go from totally amicable to bickering endlessly within moments. "Makes me wish I had siblings," Steve sighed to Bucky. He finished his ice cream and threw the napkin in the trash. "I always wanted a little brother or sister."

---

"Well, now you've got these two around so that should help fix that desire," Bucky said and finished his ice cream too. He stood up and started pulling his still arguing sisters by the arms to get up. Lilly had finished eating long before Steve and Bucky but Becca was still working on it. Bucky decided she could walk and eat because now he was really craving Chinese food. "Take-out sounds great cause then we can go back home and be ourselves," Bucky huffed out as he gently brushed up against Steve's side when he walked out the door.

---

Steve nodded in agreement. "Yeah, I can't wait to be embarrassingly affectionate with you," Steve said in a quiet voice to Bucky. When they got to the Chinese place, Steve made sure to complain about how much better gyros were to Becca before placing his order.

---

Becca simply ignored Steve and kept looking at Bucky almost to say 'why do you keep him?' Bucky ordered for himself and Lilly who was decidedly pissed at not having pizza. He refused to let Steve pay since he got the ice cream and Bucky claimed it was only a fair trade off.

---

Steve didn't argue too much over not being able to pay. He insisted only once after Bucky said no before letting it go. He mimicked Lilly’s pout and said, "Lilly, don’t be so upset. You get pizza every day. I'm sure you'll have it soon enough."

---

"Not every day," Lilly chided. "Just a lot of days."

Bucky and Becca carried their bags of food because Lilly had taken residence as Steve's human backpack. Bucky tried hard not to look at him too much because Steve giving his sister a piggyback ride was too damn adorable for him to take and he wanted to smack that dumb grin off Steve's face with a kiss.

---

"A lot of days is pretty much every day," Steve countered. He let her ride piggyback on the way home, occasionally bouncing his step more to give her a bumpier ride. He never gave her too rough of a time because she smacked his shoulder whenever he bounced too much. Once they were inside the apartment, Steve carefully dumped her flat on her back onto the couch. "Today was a nice day out, you guys."

---

"Yeah, it really was," Bucky said and attacked Steve in kisses after he got his hands on him. He missed touching him so much when he wasn't allowed to. "Steve..." Bucky breathed and put his forehead to his. "Want to just go to my room for a bit?" Bucky really wanted to make out like high schoolers and hold Steve's hand and pretend that they were the only people around for miles.

---

Steve had kind of been looking forward to eating dinner but when Bucky said his name like that and looked at him with that expression, he couldn't say no. "Alright," he said, grinning like an idiot. He stealthily grabbed Bucky's ass before rushing into his room.

---

The second the door was closed, Bucky was all over Steve licking into his mouth and running his hands down his back to cup his ass. He moaned into the kiss and adjusted his stance knocking over his lamp. "Shit, fuck, oops." Bucky started laughing and had to pull away from Steve because he was chuckling so hard.

---

Steve missed Bucky on him immediately. He picked up the lamp quickly and brought the two of them together again. He lightly brushed his fingers over Bucky’s crotch and thighs and bit his lip gently.

---

Bucky moaned low and quiet and kissed him for a few minutes but then forced himself to pull off of Steve. “Okay, let’s get back out there. We should eat with the girls.”

---

Steve made a disappointed grunt. "Why drag me in here then make me go back out when I'm just starting to have fun?" He complained. Steve tugged him back down into bed and grabbed his ass while he kissed him a few more times before finally letting him back up.

---

"I'm sorry, Babe, I just needed to touch you a little bit. We were out so long today in places that we weren't allowed to hold hands or kiss and I just got worked up and upset," Bucky said quickly and tossed a jacket at Steve in case he was cold. "After the girls go to sleep we can continue this full-force."

---

Steve's expression softened and he kissed Bucky one more time. "One of these days we won't have to hide," he reassured. "Tonight we are totally touching each other everywhere." He got up and held the door open for him.

---

"That's what I like to hear," Bucky said and strode through the door. Becca and Lilly were already eating their food and Bucky wasn't surprised. He was sure he had kept them waiting too long. He sat at the table and pulled Steve's chair out next to him and started handing his food to him. Bucky leaned into Steve a little and said, "You can pray, Steve, I don't mind. I know you like to."

---

Steve looked bashful when Bucky offered for him to pray. He set his food up on the table and folded his hands together. He said grace, thanking God for the people he loved and praying for them all to stay in good health. Lilly looked at him like he had five heads but by the time he was done, she had ducked her head back into her dinner.

---

"Thanks, Steve, that was nice," Bucky said and gave a genuine smile. It felt good to do even the small things like that for Steve. He knew it all went a long way and he wanted to be the best, most accommodating, most understanding boyfriend that he could possibly be for Steve.

---

Steve still looked a little embarrassed to be the only one saying prayers but he felt better for being able to pray before his meal. Steve leaned over and kissed Bucky's cheek before taking a bite of his dinner.

"Bucky, my class is going to Ellis Island tomorrow. Can I have twenty bucks?" Lilly asked.

---

Bucky breathed tightly through his lips and reached into his pocket. "You sure you need that much?" He asked and began sifting through his wallet. "When did I sign a permission slip for Ellis Island?" He added as an afterthought. Bucky pulled what he had and it only added up to seventeen dollars but he gave it all to Lilly.

---

"Don’t need that much, but I always ask for more than what I need cause you always have less, which happens to be exactly what I need," she said smartly. "And I forgot to have you sign it so I forged your signature last week," she added.

---

Bucky's eyebrows shot up on his forehead. "You forged my - fuck, Lilly. You can't do that shit. That's just making bad habits." He looked to Steve to back him up on this even though he knew there was no way she was listening to either of them anyway. She'd already done it so there wasn't anything he could do to fix it now. "How'd you know how to do my signature convincingly anyway?"

---

Steve shook his head disapprovingly at Lilly as she said, "I practiced a lot. It takes a lot less time to study one signature than to study for all the tests you would've had to sign if I failed."

Steve rubbed a hand over his face. "You can't do that, Lilly. You need to be responsible."

---

"And just how many tests have you failed that I don't know about?" Bucky asked sternly and stared at Lilly. Becca was quietly looking on and eating her dinner like she was watching a train wreck of a movie playing right in front of her. "You know the drill is to bring me your grades every week. All of them!"

---

"What, so you can yell at me?" Lilly demanded, raising her voice back at him. "I'm not Becca. We all can't be as perfect as Becca. So long as I pass for the year, who cares if I fail a couple of tests?" She said. "You got to drop out."

---

"I had to drop out because Mom and Dad died and I had to take care of you!" Bucky stabbed a finger in Lilly's direction and shook his head at her. His eyebrows were furrowed and his eyes were blazing mad. Lilly made a move to get up from the table and Bucky quickly gritted out, "Sit down."

---

"Well, they were my mom and dad too!" She snapped back. Steve felt a little awkward in this conversation but he gently rubbed a hand over Bucky's back. "You never let us talk about them," Lilly defended. "You don't get to be the only one sad about it, Bucky."

---

"I never said you can't talk about them!" Bucky said and gripped a hand on Steve's thigh for support. "The fact remains that I have to play their role now for the two of you and that means getting a little firm where grades are concerned. Do you think Mom wouldn't be a little pissed that you forged my signature and lied about bad test scores?"

---

"Well, we won't ever know what Mom would think cause she's fucking dead!" Lilly said in a stubborn shout.

"Lilly -" Steve tried to interject calmly but Lilly pointed a finger at him to stop him.

"You're not my brother and you're not my parent," She huffed out.

---

"Lilly, I think you should go to your room and calm down for a bit," Bucky said with tight lips. "We can discuss this later. You can take your dinner if you want."

Lilly got up with her plate and kicked her chair back under the table. "So goddamn unfair," She murmured and sauntered off to her room again.

Bucky looked to Becca who was looking pretty upset by this point, "You okay, Becs? I'm sorry about all that."

---

Becca had her head ducked into her dinner and didn't respond at first. "Well, she has a point," she said evenly. "You don't tell us we can't talk about Mom and Dad. But you get weird whenever we do and change the subject." She pushed her plate away, not hungry anymore. "And you used to be fun. We kind of lost a brother."

---

It was Bucky's turn to get up from the table and he slowly and evenly stood and took his plate to the sink to wash. He didn't respond to Becca as he just quietly cleaned his plate then went to his room saying, "I'll be back in a little while." He felt bad for leaving in the middle of such an ordeal and leaving Steve out there alone with Becca but he just needed a few minutes alone. He crawled into his bed and hugged a pillow to his chest. He hated having to be the authority in the house. He hated not being the fun older brother anymore. He wasn't cut out to be a parent to his sisters.

---

Steve wanted to go comfort Bucky but he understood needing a few minutes to gather oneself. He would join him soon enough, but he would give him some space. He looked over at Becca and shifted awkwardly before asking, "Do you think it would make you guys happier if I was your guardian so Bucky could be your brother again?"

---

Becca gave Steve a confused and offended look. "No," she said flatly and took another bite of her food. Then she sighed and looked back up at Steve. "I didn't mean it like we lost him, too. I just mean it's hard to want to listen to him since he isn't our parent and he used to be our cool older brother who was headed through school to be a record producer. Now he's at a dead-end job and probably won't ever finish school and he's sad a lot and a little difficult to deal with sometimes." She looked Steve up and down. "You do make him happier, though, Steve."

---

Steve apologized, "Sorry, I just... I want to do everything I can to make you guys happy - all of you. I've lost one parent and know how much it hurts. I can't imagine losing both." He sighed. "Think he would ever go back to school if he could?"

---

"I don't know. Probably not," Becca said and got up to wash her plate too. "I think even if he was given the opportunity, he's sort of given up on that dream by now."

---

Steve sighed. He stood up and gave Becca a brief hug. "You're a good kid. I'm going to go check on your brother. Give a holler if you need anything." He headed into the bedroom and saw Bucky lying there. He gave him a sad look and went over. "Hey, Beautiful." He sat down and put a hand on his shoulder. "You are doing a good job, you know that, right?”

---

Bucky flopped his head into his pillow and mumbled something incoherently. He didn't much feel like he was doing a good job at the moment. He sat up suddenly and clung to Steve in a hug. "Today was such a normal day just going to the game and getting ice cream and it was fine. I should've just let it go that Lilly forged my signature."

---

Steve wrapped his arms around Bucky strongly. "You did what you thought was right," he reassured. "But, Baby, maybe it would be for the best you let some things go," he said. "I'm not saying to stop caring. But maybe try to not be the parent anymore," he said. "Big brothers can give guidance too."

---

"Big brothers don't have to constantly look after their little sisters. Big brothers don't end up with two dependents so suddenly. Big brothers get to be fun and I have to be my parents." Bucky balled a fist into Steve's shirt and shook a little. "I miss them so much, Steve," he said. "I wasn't even in town when they died. I didn't get to say goodbye."

---

Steve held Bucky tightly against his chest, wishing he could wash away all the grief. He kissed the top of his head. "Tell me about them," he prompted gently. "I've always wondered what they were like."

---

Bucky breathed in deeply and thought for a moment before deciding to talk. "Basically, they had the same personalities as Lilly and Becca. My mom was outgoing and loud and couldn't keep a secret and always running around and playing with us. My dad was quiet and reserved and wicked smart and hated being interrupted from a good book." Bucky paused. "Sometimes it hurts how much the girls are like them. And I hate saying that." He wiped a hand across his eyes as he concluded, "Guess I'm a bit of both my parents. I don’t know."

---

Steve ran a hand over Bucky's chest and listened. He would interrupt once in a while by kissing his cheek but otherwise let Bucky talk. "They sound like they were wonderful," he said. "What was it like when they told you that you were going to have a little sister?"

---

"I cried," Bucky said. "At first I cried cause I thought it meant I was going to go to new parents, but they sorted that out quickly. Then I cried because I was excited about it. I was already nine and didn't have siblings yet so it was nice to finally have one."

---

Steve giggled a little when Bucky admitted that he thought he was getting new parents. He stroked his fingers through his hair and snuggled him some more. "You are such a good brother, Beautiful," Steve sighed. "Do you think your parents would have liked me?"

---

Bucky pulled their bodies down so Steve was lying on top of him. "They would have loved you. You're exactly their type of person - loyal, kind, generous, in love with me, funny, adorable, perfect, gentle, honest." Bucky kissed Steve in between each compliment and ran his hands down to hold Steve right on his lower back. "I love you, so they would have loved you, too."

---

Steve blushed deeply at the compliments and ducked his head into Bucky's neck. "A yes or no answer would have sufficed," he said shyly. He rubbed a hand up and down Bucky's side and asked cautiously, "What if we moved in together? I can be around more often and I'm barely at my place anymore as it is. It's smarter money-wise, too."

---

Bucky's eyes went wide and he smiled a surprised little grin. "Really? You want to..." He flipped them quickly so Steve was under him this time and he started sucking on his neck between saying, "Fucking yes, let's do it."

---

Steve was worried about moving too fast but... really, he wanted to go to sleep and wake up next to Bucky every day of his life. When Bucky got excited and flipped them over, Steve let out a giddy laugh and pulled Bucky down so their chests were pressed together.

---

Bucky stopped abruptly and sat up so he was straddling Steve. "Well... we will need the okay from the girls and you'd have to move in here instead of the other way around. Is that okay?"

---

"I'm so okay with that, Bucky. I wouldn't want the girls to have to deal with another move," Steve said. "I don't have much at my place and whatever doesn't fit, I can sell."

---

"Don't sell your shit." Bucky shook his head. "I'll just have to ditch some records. It'll be fine. Probably needed to clean out some of the ones I don't listen to anyway." Bucky was going to have to really think about which ones he needed to sell or donate to the shop but he would do it for Steve. What he was most worried about what getting the okay from the girls. It would have to be asked at just the right time and very carefully.

---

"If I want to keep it and there's no room, it can go to my mom's house," Steve said. He pet his fingers through Bucky’s hair lovingly. "We will figure it out. If the girls are okay with it, then we can go forward from there," he said with a big old grin. "I love you."

---

"I love you too, Steve," Bucky said and nuzzled Steve's cheek with his nose. "Now, I should probably go check on Lilly and get the girls to bed. Then I think you and I should have a shower together." Bucky bit Steve's lip playfully and then kissed him. "You can chill out anywhere you like. Here or the couch or kitchen. I'll just be a bit."

---

Steve nodded, perking up at the thought of getting to shower with his wonderful boyfriend. He leaned in to kiss Bucky one more time and waited for him patiently on the bed. He sent a little prayer in hope Lilly wouldn't give Bucky a hard time.

---

After twenty long minutes, Bucky returned to his room where Steve was still sitting on the bed holding a Barnes family photo album and gingerly flipping through the pages. "The girls are both in bed. Lilly's still pissed, Becca apologized for what she said." Bucky gently took the photo album from Steve's hands and put it back on his dresser. He didn't have the energy to deal with pictures of his parents at the moment.

---

Steve had been thoughtfully enjoying seeing the photographs of a young, carefree Bucky with his parents and giving his baby sisters kisses but he understood why Bucky put it away. "It will all pass," Steve said. "And things will get better." He reached out to take Bucky's hands in his. "I want you to think of something we can do together purely for you. When you think about it, let me know and we can make a day of it."

---

"Sure..." Bucky said and gave a slight smile. "I'll do my best to think of something good." He gave Steve's hands a little squeeze. "Now, I believe we have somewhere to be." Bucky pulled Steve up off the bed and towards the bathroom attached to Bucky's bedroom. He loved these quiet unrushed moments with Steve. He wanted so many more of them. Once they moved Steve in, he could have that.

---

Steve followed Bucky into the bathroom. Once inside, he slowly pulled Bucky's shirt off and pressed slow, open-mouthed kisses over his newly exposed chest. His hands moved down to undo the front of Bucky's pants and he slid those off as well.

---

Bucky was down to his briefs and socks as he pushed Steve against the wall and stuck his hands under his shirt as he kissed him. He pulled back then and stripped off the remainder of his clothes before tugging on Steve's and saying in a low voice, "Off." Steve was so perfect with the little embarrassed blush he got on his face. "You're so fucking cute."

---

Steve loved having someone be so interested in him. He had been so confident kissing Bucky but as soon as the man started to show an interest back, he got all bashful. He shrugged his shirt off and shyly started to undo his own pants.

---

Bucky slipped into the shower and watched Steve finish undressing quickly. "Water might be a little cold at first since Becca just showered, too." He warned and reached out for Steve's hand. He pulled Steve into the shower with him and turned on the water. There was a rush of cold and Bucky swore under his breath before it heated up to a comfortable temperature.

---

Steve shuddered and huddled close to Bucky when the rush of cold water hit him. "Fuuuuck," he cursed. He swatted lightly at Bucky's chest. "Why didn't you let me wait until it was warm, you big jerk?"

---

"Oh, you're a tough guy. You can handle it, punk," Bucky said and held Steve. "Feels nice now at least." Bucky reached for the soap in the slightly cramped shower and started rubbing it down Steve's chest and arms. The shower wasn't big enough for anything sexually adventurous but Bucky thought he might be able to give Steve a soapy hand job at least. He hadn't yet decided. They also could wait until they were back in bed and just do it then.

---

Even though the shower wasn't big enough to do much, Steve could at least suck little marks onto Bucky's neck, so he took the liberty of doing so. "Such a cruel boyfriend. Assuming I'm not sensitive just cause I've got muscle. Well, I've got news for you, Mister. Cause the strongest muscle is my heart," he teased.

---

"You're such a dweeb," Bucky breathed and kept soaping up Steve's body. "But you are very muscly. Like pretty damn muscular. Like I can't handle thinking about your body sometimes that's how muscly you are. You're so handsome. So fucking gorgeous and you're mine." Bucky got closer as he talked until he was rubbing a hand down to cup Steve's ass and Bucky's erection was pushing against his stomach.

---

Steve let out a laugh as Bucky admired him shamelessly. He shook his head and pressed their lips together. "You're a dork," he said fondly. Steve's hand trailed from Bucky's chest down to his dick and started to stroke his fingers over it. Steve didn't realize it but he was giving Bucky the biggest set of bedroom eyes.

---

Bucky hummed into the feeling of Steve's hand on him. God, he missed this. They hadn't really done anything since before the shooting incident. Bucky needed Steve. He needed to be all over him. "Wait, Steve," Bucky said and stopped his hand. "I want to come with you. You want to dry off and go to bed? We can pick this up there."

---

Steve made a little pout when Bucky stopped him but he sure as hell wasn’t going to complain about fooling around together. "I guess I can wait a few more minutes," he said dramatically, smirking to show he was kidding. "Hurry and wash up."

---

"Yes, Officer." Bucky obeyed and started quickly washing himself. When he went for the shampoo, he picked up the bottle and gently grabbed Steve's hand. He poured some shampoo into Steve's palm and then turned away from him. "You mind helping me out?" He asked low and quiet.

---

Steve smiled adoringly at Bucky and started to wash his hair, massaging his scalp and kissing his shoulders. "I love you so much. You've got no idea," he said in a dreamy voice. "Can't wait until the girls say that I can move in."

---

Bucky had never had anyone wash his hair like this. Anytime he cut it, he did it himself so he'd never even gone to a salon - too expensive. He loved the feeling of the massage Steve was giving him. "You sound pretty confident that they are going to agree to this, Steve."

---

"If they say no I'll find a way to convince them. Free puppies for life, all the cats they can fit in here, no homework ever," he joked. Steve nibbled affectionately at Bucky's ear. "I've got it all planned."

---

"Oh, yeah," Bucky laughed, "Sounds like a real good plan to let them have animals running around all over the place." Steve finished up with Bucky's hair and Bucky stood under the water to wash out all the soap before he turned off the stream and hugged Steve close just to feel his wet body on his before he got out and dried off.

---

Steve wrapped a towel around his own waist and then started to fuss with Bucky, carefully toweling his hair dry and dusting the droplets off his shoulders. He smiled and brushed his fingers down his spine before walking into the bedroom. "So are you going to touch me now or what?" Steve asked playfully in a rare show of confidence as he flopped back on the bed.

---

Bucky immediately felt desire for Steve well up inside him and he jumped on top of Steve gracefully so he was sitting with his ass on Steve's thighs and his legs on either side of Steve's chest. "You got to tell me what you want me to do. I need direction," Bucky growled lightly as he spoke. "Explain exactly what you need from me."

---

Steve smiled up at Bucky and ran his hands along his sides in appreciation. Bucky looked so good sitting on him, bare as the day he was born. "I want..." he paused to think. They could do anything. "I want to do everything," he said. "But tonight..." Steve blushed and pulled him down against his chest. "Can we make love to each other tonight?"

---

Bucky smiled slow and bit his lip. "Yes, of course," he said as he locked eyes with Steve. "I'd like nothing more." He brought a hand up to run a thumb across Steve's lips and cheeks. "Do you want to do me again like last time?" Wow, it surprised Bucky that they had only actually had sex once. "It's up to you how we do it. I'm fine either way."

---

Steve's eyes lit up and he kissed Bucky's fingertip when he ran it over his lips. He looked over at him and pulled the blankets over the both of them. "Would you like a turn on top?" He asked shyly. "I see the way you stare at my ass."

---

"Your ass is the stuff of dreams, Babe," Bucky said and nodded in agreement with himself. "I would love to be on top tonight but only if you are completely sure you want to. It's your first time like that and I don't want you rushing in if you aren't sure, okay?" Bucky let his fingers run comforting circles on Steve's skin. He knew that the first time being penetrated could be pretty nerve-wracking and Bucky didn't want Steve to be anxious.

---

Steve, admittedly, was a little tense. Especially because, when he'd been on top, Bucky had been so tight and that was after fucking most of Brooklyn. He drew Bucky in for a slow kiss and smiled sweetly at him. "I want to feel the same connection you did with me last time," he said. "And I want to give all of myself to you."

---

Bucky groaned and said, "I love you so fucking much, Steve. And if you are sure, I promise to be so gentle and open you up wide so it doesn't hurt at all." He started kissing down Steve's body and he moved under the blankets still talking between kisses as he got further and further down. "I'll make sure to lick you open and stretch you out so you'll be ready for me. I'll treat you so right, so good, just like you did for me."

---

Steve blushed deeply at the promises Bucky gave. It still felt a little taboo to him since he was a good Catholic boy who promised he'd save himself for marriage. It killed him that he couldn't marry Bucky if they wanted to, but he pushed that thought out of his head. "Lick me? Is that normal?" He asked dumbly, lifting up the blanket to watch Bucky.

---

Bucky was sucking a hickey into Steve's inner thigh when the blankets were lifted off of him. He pulled his head up and tucked his hair behind his ears. "Yes, licking is normal," Bucky said and pointed at the dresser. "Will you hand me that hair tie? And it's called rimming, Steve, or eating ass, eating someone out..." He trailed off and gently pushed Steve's legs apart. "I forgot you haven't watched porn. I shouldn't be surprised you don't know."

---

Bucky looked so damned good between his legs. Steve scrambled to grab Bucky a hair tie and reached down to give it to him. Steve's dick was already curled over his stomach, hard and aching. "Do they have books on this stuff?" He asked. "I don't think it's a sin to read a how-to." But he knew porn was a no-go for God.

---

Bucky speedily pulled his hair back on his head in a small looped bun. "Probably. Don't know," Bucky said. "I always just rented porn. I don't think God would mind you watching if it was purely for educational purposes." Bucky chuckled to himself and adjusted so he was rested his head against Steve's thigh. He palmed softly against Steve's hole and stared at it.

---

Steve snorted. "You don't even go to church, how would you know what God would mind? Besides, the only naked man I want to see is you." Steve shifted a little and spread his legs a bit more when he felt Bucky teasing his hole. He reached down to stroke his hand over Bucky's hair.

---

Instead of a snarky response back, Bucky moved his hand away and give a quick lick to Steve's hole once. He watched it clench up quickly at the feeling and he knew he was going to have to really coax Steve into relaxing enough to let him do what he needed before he could actually get inside him. Bucky wasn't intensely well endowed or anything, but the first time was going to feel pretty odd for Steve.

---

Steve made a quiet noise when Bucky licked over his hole. It felt weird, having something wet lave over him there. But all Steve had to do was close his eyes and imagined what Bucky must look like, face pressed against his ass and readying him to have sex. Once he did that, he felt himself relaxing a little more.

---

Steve surprised Bucky by letting himself relax enough for Bucky to start licking around him with purpose. He spent about two minutes just wetting his hole and getting Steve ready for his tongue to press in. When he did finally stick his tongue inside Steve, he went cautiously and listened intently for any indication from Steve to stop.

--- 

Bucky was being remarkably patient. He remembered when the roles were switched and he could barely wait to get Bucky opened up. By the time Bucky had chosen to push his tongue inside, Steve was dying for the man to make the next move. "Christ," he swore, digging his heels into the bed. He scratched his nails gently along the back of Bucky's neck. "Feels different," he said, his voice a little shaky from nervousness. "But good."

---

Bucky continued to move in and out of Steve with short thrusts of his tongue. After a bit of this, he ventured to stick a finger in and he pulled his mouth away so he could wiggle his first lubed finger in up to the knuckle. Bucky sucked more marks into Steve's inner thighs while he was quickly but gently working in a second finger next to the other one.

---

The first finger was uncomfortable but it didn't hurt. When Bucky started to work the second finger in, Steve's hand flew to hold onto his shoulder to get him to slow down but it was more out of fear of the unknown that he did that. Steve eased up and eventually let Bucky keep going. "Talk to me," Steve breathed out, touching the side of Bucky's face now that he was using his fingers more than his tongue.

---

"What do you want to hear?" Bucky asked and worked Steve opened much slower now. He hoped he hadn't hurt Steve at all. It was pretty surprising to feel fingers inside you like that. "I'll say anything you like. I can talk about how beautiful you are, or how much I love you, or what I'm going to do to you, or what life will be like once you move in."

---

Steve had a blush that went all the way down to his chest. He felt so overwhelmed by how much Bucky loved him and how perfectly they fit with one another. "Tell me about what our life will be like," he said. "I want to know if you're always so beautiful in the mornings."

---

"I'm definitely not a good sight in the mornings." Bucky laughed. "But, you'll see for yourself soon. And you'll get to be here with me for breakfast every day. And you can come home to me every night. And I'll learn how to dance so we can hold each other and listen to your records. And when we have the apartment to ourselves we can mess around anywhere we want. And this bed will be our bed and not just mine anymore. And this home will be our home. And you'll be mine and I'll be yours..." As Bucky spoke he managed to massage and scissor Steve open enough to comfortably get a third finger inside.

---

Steve was just the sort of idiot who loved talking about a future together more than dirty talk during sex. He was more excited than a man should be about having his address changed to share Bucky's and to make coffee for the both of them in the mornings. "Yes," he breathed out, writhing a little on the bed. "Buck, please. I'm so ready."

---

"You sure?" Bucky looked up at Steve with cautiously excited eyes. "I can keep fingering you open for a bit longer if you need it?" He added and kept pumping into Steve. Once day he would get his fist inside Steve and massage his prostate so he saw stars.

---

Steve nodded eagerly. "Wanna kiss you," he said. "I need you inside me. I'm ready for it," he insisted. Steve wanted Bucky to feel good and, god, Bucky had waited so long and was so good to him for not making him feel any sort of pressure to do this sooner.

---

Bucky nodded along with him and crawled back up so he could kiss Steve. He was sure he tasted like Steve's hole and he hoped he didn't mind. He broke off the kiss soon after he started and worked on lining his dick up with Steve's ass.

---

Steve didn't give a damn what Bucky tasted like. He kissed him hungrily and pulled him closer with a strong grip. "I love you," he breathed out. Steve bit his bottom lip nervously as he felt Bucky line the head of his cock against his hole.

---

One more nod from Steve was all Bucky needed before he was gingerly pushing inside and feeling the tight heat of Steve's ass pulling him in.

---

"Oh -" Steve gasped out. When Bucky pushed inside, Steve gripped his shoulders hard enough to bruise. "Oh my god, Bucky!"

---

"Too much?" Bucky asked hurriedly, "Does it hurt? I can stop." He didn't pull out of Steve but he didn't move at all either. He watched his face for any signs of pain and put his hand down on his hips for stability. Steve's fingernails were digging into his skin and he was going to be shocked if he didn't have marks for a few days afterward.

---

"No, don't stop," Steve said breathlessly. "You feel good." His nails dug into Bucky's back a little bit and he tried rocking his hips slightly. "Go easy please," he said. "But, please, keep going." Steve already felt so full.

---

Bucky nodded and started to ease out of Steve before easing back in. He vowed to make this a slow quiet fuck that just showed Steve how much he loved him. He wasn't going to go rough or fast. He was just going to take his time making love and loving Steve and thinking about their future and feeling his firm body underneath him and that tight hold around his dick.

---

All he could think about was Bucky. Steve felt so open and vulnerable with Bucky's dick spreading him wider than he'd ever been, but he loved the intense connection it formed. Steve looked up at Bucky with big, shining eyes. His lips remained parted, panting softly because Bucky had him so worked up even though he was being gentle. "You can go faster," he said softly. "I know you want to."

---

"Don't want to hurt you," Bucky breathed and watched his dick slide in and out of Steve. He liked watching it disappear and seeing his body tap against Steve's every time. He was glad they had waited this long. They waited a while for their first time and at that time Steve was already in love with Bucky. Now Bucky was in love with Steve, too, and it was just their second time. Bucky hadn't had many real relationships before and none as calculating and sweet as what he had with Steve.

---

Steve's body was coated in a thin layer of sweat. It hurt a little - he didn't expect it not to - but it felt so fucking amazing both physically and emotionally. He had his arms wrapped tightly around Bucky and every time Bucky pushed back in, Steve let out a quiet moan. When Bucky found just the right angle that hit his prostate, his whole body reacted and felt himself get closer and closer to orgasm. "Bucky," he moaned, kissing him messily. "I'm so close, Baby."

---

Bucky kissed Steve back and his movements stuttered as he did. "Come whenever you like, Babe," His said and licked down Steve's throat. "I want to see it all over you. Want to know I made it happen - that I helped you feel so good." Bucky felt like a whole different person with Steve. The other people he had fucked before were one night stands and rough bangs just to get off. With Steve, Bucky wasn't even concerned with whether he was going to come or not, he just wanted to satisfy his boyfriend.

---

Steve wished he could come up with the things that came out of Bucky's mouth. Within moments, he was seeing stars and he came messily over his stomach and chest. His muscles fluttered and clenched around Bucky's dick. Steve was still dazed and out of breath but he pulled Bucky in for a smothering kiss. "Wanna feel your come in me."

---

Bucky gasped through clenched teeth. "Oh, fuck, Steve, are you sure?" Bucky asked and he couldn't help that he sped up his thrusts just a little more. He tore his nails through his hair to pop the hair tie off. It flung across the room in the dark and he figured he wouldn't find it until the next time he cleaned. He just needed to feel his hair down on his shoulders while he fucked into Steve.

---

Watching Bucky let his hair down to fuck him was hotter than Steve ever would've imagined it being. He had to throw his arm over his face to cover his mouth as he cried out Bucky's name. He did his best to keep quiet, but he was sensitive after his orgasm and everything felt so fucking good. He wrapped his legs around Bucky's hips and used them to pull Bucky in closer after every thrust. "I'm all yours."

---

Bucky bit his lip hard as he came deep inside Steve. He felt hot streams of come spill out around his dick and line the walls inside his boyfriend. He lowered himself on top of Steve but didn't pull out yet. He just let himself relax on top of him and lick into his mouth after breathing out a quick, "Fucking love you."

---

Steve nearly got hard all over again just at the feeling of Bucky coming inside of him like that. He looked so good when he orgasmed and Steve loved that he was able to make him feel so good. He gave Bucky a happy, fucked-out smile and raked both hands through his hair. "That felt amazing."

---

"Love you," was all Bucky managed to say again. He pulled out of Steve and replaced his dick with his fingers inside Steve. He wanted to feel him wet with his come. Bucky moved his fingers around a bit before taking them out and laying next to Steve with one leg heaped over him protectively.

---

Steve thought Bucky was done when he pulled his dick out but was surprised and a little aroused by him fingering him one last time. He didn't even mind the feeling of the come and lube leaking down his thigh. He turned to face Bucky and he scratched his nails gently over the leg that was draped over him. "Someone's a protective bear right now," he teased, patting the leg. "Making sure no one else swipes me up while I'm vulnerable?"

---

"Making sure you don't up and leave me," Bucky said with eyes closed. Part of him was still used to the men he screwed getting up and getting out right after he finished. He knew that wasn't Steve but he was just a bit scarred from it still. "We need to talk to the girls as soon as we can. I need this to be your home as soon as possible."

---

Steve cupped the side of Bucky's face and kissed him slowly. "You're too important for me to let go." He tangled his fingers idly in Bucky's hair. "Do you think the girls wouldn't want me living here?" He asked.

---

"I think they will say yes but be a little annoyed. Then after they realize that none of their stuff or their rooms are going to be taken away or changed then they will warm up to it. Then eventually they will get used to you being here all the time and probably feel safer with a strong police officer around," Bucky said. "I know I feel safer with you here."

---

"What're you talking about, my first order of business is to move them into the living room and take both their rooms for myself," Steve joked and kissed Bucky's face all over, loving that he could do this. He looked deeply into Bucky’s eyes and made a promise, "I'll keep all of you safe."

Chapter Text

The day for Steve to move in finally came. Bucky had been waiting for about a week since they got the girls to agree to it. It really didn't take much for them to sign off on the whole thing. Bucky made a plea to them about his happiness and Steve suggested that if he paid the extra money on rent then they might be able to get an animal. Bucky wholeheartedly disagreed but the girls were already on board as he complained. 

---

The only thing that wasn't clothes or art supplies that Steve brought over were a few records, some journals from his father and grandfather, and the plant his mom gave him. So moving in wasn't too long of a process for him. He couldn't help the big grin on his face as he set his box of belongings down. "Hey, Buck. I got some presents for you," he said as he held out a somewhat large bag. It had home stuff in it, like a welcome mat and a toothbrush holder that looked like a record player. Just some dumb household things that Bucky didn't have but it made the place more of a home. 

---

"Why'd you get me things? You're the one moving in here. I should have gotten you a housewarming gift." Bucky kicked himself for not thinking of that sooner. But he took the bag anyway and started pulling things out of it.

---

"Because your house doesn't have useless house things," Steve answered. He didn't have them in his old place and now that he was moving in with his boyfriend, he wanted to have homey, little things.

---

The welcome mat was a nice surprise but Bucky didn't think it was necessary. The Barnes' didn't really welcome people into their home much. The toothbrush holder was really clever and cheesy and Bucky had to give Steve several open-mouthed, laughter-filled kisses when he found it.

---

Steve kissed Bucky back and smiled adoringly at him. Then after a few moments he took a deep breath, smiled at Steve, and said proudly, "Hey, I told my mom about us.”

---

Bucky's eyes got wide and a long slow smile spread across his face. "I'm so happy you did. What'd she say?" Bucky knew, of course, that she knew already, but Steve might not know. He was glad they were both on the same page now. It was killing Bucky knowing that Steve's mother knew and Steve still assumed she didn't.

---

"She says she's happy that I found someone that I love," Steve said, smiling back at Bucky. "And that she expects you all to come over for Thanksgiving." Steve felt so lucky to have a supportive mom and that she was already welcoming them all into the family. "It feels good to talk about you to her."

--- 

"I'm really proud of you, Steve. That must have been difficult for you to do." Bucky started sifted through his boxes of records so he could rearrange them. He wanted to put Steve's on top so he could find them easily in Bucky's mess of a collection. He assessed the mountain of record crates and said, "You know what Becca told me the other day? She wants to get a piano. You know what I said? ‘Where the fuck are we going to put it?’" Bucky huffed loudly.

---

Steve let out a laugh. "What about a keyboard?" He asked. "Let her figure out how she can fit it in her own room. Those things are small enough." He walked behind Bucky and put his hands on his hips. "We could always get rid of the record collection and put a baby grand right here," he joked.

---

Bucky pinched Steve and said, "I love you, but don't even joke about trashing my collection." He turned in Steve's arms to give him a kiss. "She might go for a keyboard. We can see." Then a thought occurred to Bucky. "Hey! You should come to the shop sometime and see it. You can meet Clint. You just can't arrest any of my coworkers."

---

"I promise I won't arrest anyone for their, uh... medicinal drugs," Steve said then gave Bucky a sad little look of concern. "But do they know you have a boyfriend?" He asked. Steve didn't know if he was completely out in the open with his coworkers or if they just didn't give a shit who Bucky was with.

---

"Clint knows because Clint is really good at getting secrets out of me and he is my best friend," Bucky said. "But, I'm pretty sure half my coworkers don't even know my name isn't actually 'Fucky' so, I'd be surprised if they even notice you come in." Bucky understood if Steve didn't want to come into the shop, though. He might be wary of people saying shit to him about being gay or whatever. Except, that Bucky really wanted Steve to see where he worked and he didn't even have to say anything about how he knows Bucky. He wanted his boyfriend to meet his best friend.

---

Steve just wouldn't introduce himself as Bucky's boyfriend unless it was to Clint in private, he decided. And he could tell that it was important to Bucky for him to see where he worked. "How about I surprise you at work one of these days?" he offered.

---

Bucky nodded, "A surprise works for me. Now, what do you want to do on your first day in your new place? You can teach me to dance or we can cook something or we can fuck or we can go for a walk or just be lazy. It's up to you. Becca and Lilly won't be home for another three hours."

---

"So many options. I wonder how much we can fit into those three hours," Steve said and nibbled at Bucky's neck. "I'd like to dance a little with you and then depending on how we feel, we can figure out which surface we want to screw on."

---

Bucky grinned like an idiot. "I like that plan." He walked over to the player and asked Steve which of his big band records he wanted. Steve came over and picked one out. Bucky watched him as he said, "I really like you being here. And I'm so happy you're going to be here with me every day."

---

Steve picked a slower song that had a little bounce so it would be easier to dance to but not boring. "I'm real happy too," he said with a big grin. "You make me feel on top of the world, Buck." He put Bucky's hand on his shoulder and his own hand on Bucky's waist. "I never would have thought I would have this - my own family."

---

"Barnes-Rogers or Rogers-Barnes?" Bucky asked and let Steve lead him in the dance. Bucky kept looking at his feet and Steve kept turning his chin back up to look at him instead.

---

"Rogers-Barnes because it sounds better," Steve said and grinned as he moved Bucky smoothly around the room. He really was so pleased to be here with Bucky. 

---

"Rogers-Barnes," Bucky agreed with a smile and tried his best to keep looking at Steve and not the ground. "This is difficult," Bucky gritted out. "Club dancing is easier. Not so much stepping."

---

"It'll get easier. And it's more sophisticated than club dancing which is just clothed, standing sex," Steve said and held Bucky a little bit closer.

---

Bucky moved with Steve and it was getting progressively easier as he went. "Can I ask why you love dancing like this so much?" Not that Bucky didn't like dancing with Steve, but Bucky hadn't done slow dancing since he was at a middle school prom dancing with some girl and staring at the quarterback's ass. That poor girl probably had a shitty night.

---

"My ma said my dad was at his most romantic whenever he took her out to dance," Steve said. "I wanted to be able to make someone feel the same way my dad made my mom feel." He kissed the tip of Bucky's nose.

---

"Well, I don't know how romantic I'm really being since I can't do this properly," Bucky said apologetically. He vowed to practice with Steve enough so he could get better and be the perfect dancer for his perfect boyfriend. "I do love being this close to you, though," he added and rested his head on Steve's shoulder. "My big strong officer.”

---

"You're giving it your best shot. That's enough of a romantic gesture for me," Steve said. He kissed him quickly before dipping him low and kissing him again. Steve pulled him back up and pressed a hand to the small of his back. "You got to learn how to dance so you can dance with your sisters on their wedding days."

---

Bucky giggled at the quick dip and the rush of blood that went to his head. However, when Steve mentioned his sisters’ weddings, he shook his head with wide eyes. "No way. They aren't getting married. They aren't growing up. I won't dance or have to walk them down the aisle. They are going to be my baby sisters forever." Bucky was semi-joking but also sort of being real. He was pretty bummed out whenever he thought about his sisters growing up and being adults and leaving him. He was more like a parent than he realized.

---

Steve chuckled at Bucky. "Don't worry, Beautiful. I'll bring my gun home to scare off any boys or girls who want to take them away," he teased. "You really are such a dad," he said, slipping his hand up Bucky's shirt. "And you're so good to them. But remember you still got to pick that thing you want to do so you can have a day to be you."

---

Bucky groaned. "Oh, Babe, I don't know what I want. My life is just the girls and you and music and work - in that order. I can't think of anything at all." He felt as Steve's hand made it's way all the way up his abs to his chest and he was rubbing over a nipple. Bucky's shirt was pulled up by Steve's arm and he got goose bumps all over his exposed skin.

---

Steve lightly pinched Bucky's nipple because he knew he was sensitive there. "I'm going to find something for you," he said in a determined tone. "A whole day dedicated to treating you. Remember the museum? You had so much fun doing your own thing that day. All I did was follow you from exhibit to exhibit."

---

"I loved that day. The adrenaline rush and kitten nonsense, aside, of course," Bucky said and started teasing his fingers on Steve's belt. "I have sort of an idea but I don't know if it would even be possible." He kept one hand tucked in between Steve's belt and his pants and the other hand took residence in one of Steve's back pockets.

---

Steve got close and couldn't help brushing his hips against Bucky's while they slow danced. "Oh yeah?" He asked, and then leaned down to kiss him sweetly. "Tell me what it is."

---

"What if we went on a fishing trip?" Bucky said timidly. "We could rent a cabin and stay for a few days. Just do some fishing and swimming." Bucky bit his lip. "But I don't know because you'd have to get days off work. And who would watch the girls? And I don't even know if you like fishing or cabins or being out of the city," Bucky rattled off anxiously and huffed.

---

Bucky was so fucking adorable when he got all shy like that. Steve cupped the sides of Bucky's face and drew him in for a slow kiss. "I'll make it happen," he promised. "As soon as it gets warm again, we can spend an extended weekend together upstate. My mom can watch the girls." Steve wasn't a huge fan of the outdoors but he wasn't going to say it to Bucky if this was what he wanted. 

---

"Steve..." Bucky started in protest but decided to let it go. "Is it okay? We don't have to." There was only really one reason why he thought about it. "My father used to take me on fishing trips when I was a kid. We would go for a few days at a time and just spend quality time at the lake. He liked the quiet and the air. He got to just relax and read for a while every day. I know that if he were still here he'd want to take the two of us with him sometime. I was thinking we could go for him."

---

Steve was now surer than ever that he would take Bucky out for a fishing trip. "Oh, Buck," he said, his face softening into a sympathetic and loving look. "I couldn't imagine a better way to spend a few days away with you." He kissed his forehead and gave him a smile. "Where did you guys used to go?"

---

"Well, we went to Seneca but that's too far away for us to go," Bucky said. "I won't be able to go very far away from the girls. I'll worry way too much." The record had stopped playing and they were just standing there holding each other in the living room. Bucky was getting antsy and he really wanted Steve's body all over his.

---

Steve wasn't going to argue with Bucky over it, but he was determined to find a way to have Bucky go to the same spot that he went to with his dad. Maybe he could find another place nearby that his mom could stay at with the girls so Bucky wouldn’t worry. She had retired early anyway and wouldn’t mind helping out. He smiled when he saw how antsy Bucky was. So he leaned in to nibble on the shell of his ear. "Where do you want to fuck?" He asked.

---

"Jesus, I love when you swear, Steve. It's so hot and it makes me feel like you're picking up on my habits and I love that." Bucky was rocking his body against Steve's and holding him close at the same time. "I don't care where. I just want you inside me this time. Want you to christen your new home by coming in my ass."

---

"I know you like it," Steve said with a grin. "And you really are a bad influence on me," he added teasingly before picking Bucky up like he weighed nothing. He carried Bucky to the bedroom only so he could grab the lube and then brought him into the kitchen and set him down on the counter. "I'm the boss in the kitchen now," he said with a cocky grin as he unbuttoned Bucky's pants.

---

"Yes, Sir," Bucky said eagerly as he watched Steve work his pants off. "Does that mean no more pancakes and cereal for dinner?" He slipped his shirt off and let it fall to the ground beside Steve. They would clean up everything later before the girls got back anyway.

---

"Only when I allow it," Steve said. He wouldn't really be a dictator over dinner but he figured he may as well be a little authoritative just so Bucky could see him be at least a bit assertive. He knew Bucky liked that. Steve kissed down Bucky's neck and chest and tugged Bucky's nipple lightly between his teeth with a little growl.

---

"Fuuucking hell, Steve," Bucky gasped out and wrapped his legs around Steve's waist. "You're wearing too many clothes. I want them off." He cock was already getting hard and his heart was racing like a high schooler getting kissed for the first time. Every sexual encounter with Steve was exciting and surprising for Bucky.

---

Steve's hand smoothed down Bucky's side and he grabbed a handful of his ass. He loved making love with Bucky, but he also was starting to understand that a little bit of mindless sex wouldn't hurt either. It felt good to take what Bucky wanted to give instead of pussyfooting around it. He shed his shirt and he worked his pants off so he was standing naked in front of him. "Better?"

---

Bucky nodded and bit his lip. God, Steve was gorgeous. He was so cut and built and hard and it felt so good having his body pressed against his own. "Now, open up my ass and fuck me raw," Bucky demanded and spread his legs wide. He tugged on his dick a few times before leaving it alone in favor of lasting to come while Steve was balls deep inside him.---

---

As confident as he looked showing himself off to Bucky, Steve still got a bit shy when Bucky demanded to be fucked. But, god, Steve wanted it and couldn't say no with his boyfriend spreading his legs for him. Steve tugged him off the counter and spun him around so he was bent over it with his bare ass exposed. Steve dove right down, spreading his ass cheeks with his hands so he could lick a stripe up from Bucky's balls to his hole. He swirled his tongue around the ring of muscle before thrusting it inside.

---

"Okay, yes, fuck!" Bucky gasped out in surprise. He wasn't expecting Steve to rim him. It was a nice surprise, of course, but he still wasn't ready for the feeling. "Just work your tongue for a bit and then start adding fingers." Bucky guided Steve since he knew he'd never done this particular act before. "If you don't like it you can stop and just go for fingers and lube."

---

Steve knew how good rimming felt, so he was eager to return the favor for Bucky. Hearing him approve of it made Steve decidedly happy. "Hey, Babe?" Steve purred, biting Bucky's ass gently. "Unless it's to moan or shout my name, you shouldn't be saying anything," he said with a cocky, little grin. Bucky was definitely rubbing off on him. Steve took his time working Bucky's ass open with his tongue. When he had his hole wet enough, he pushed one finger inside of him and started to thrust it in and out.

---

Bucky couldn't manage any words back to Steve so he shut up and let him work. He was getting more and more impatient by the time the first finger was inside him. He rocked back on it as Steve fucked it into him. He'd never done it in a kitchen but he sure as hell liked it so far.

---

Steve pushed a second finger inside of him and spread him apart so he could stick his tongue back inside and lick him deeper. He couldn't help but let out a little moan, so aroused by the fact that Bucky would willingly give everything up to him. Steve couldn't handle waiting anymore and he pulled his fingers out so he could coat them liberally with lube and spread it over his dick. "Are you ready for me, Buck?" He asked gently.

---

"Yes, always," Bucky said urgently and started pumping himself again. "Want to feel you slide in my tight ass and split me open. I want to feel you now that I'm all yours and no one else gets to feel what I feel and no one else gets to love you like I do." Bucky wasn't quite sure when his dirty talk started to meld with gooey love declarations, but it was probably somewhere around the second time they made love together.

---

As much as Bucky influenced Steve, Steve was also pleased to hear that he was starting to make Bucky out to be almost as big a sap as he was. Steve laid his chest over Bucky's back and kissed the shell of his ear. "You always know what to say, Beautiful." He rested his cheek on Bucky's shoulder and slowly guided himself inside of him. Steve let out a low moan, having nearly forgotten how good Bucky felt around his cock. His hips stuttered forward, snapping up automatically so he was balls deep inside of him.

---

Bucky let out a slight wince at the quick draw into his ass. It only hurt for a second, though, and then he was encouraging Steve to move quickly after he pushed in. Bucky did feel stretched and kept thinking how this was the perfect way to welcome Steve to his official new home for the first time. "Steve, Baby," Bucky whimpered out, "I love you so much. Welcome home."

---

Steve noticed the wince and felt bad for rushing it. He made sure to give Bucky time to adjust and he slowly rubbed a hand over the small of his back to help ease him. He looked down, admiring Bucky from his ass to his face. "We are going to have such a good life together, Buck." He kissed right between his shoulders. "Every day is going to be better because I get to wake up next to you."

---

"You're such a dweeb." Bucky chuckled and rolled his hips back. He ran his fingers through his hair and held it in a ponytail. He forgot to grab a hair tie and his hair was flopping in his face. He decided to give up on it and just let it fall where it wanted to as Steve started to pull out to thrust back in.

---

Steve noticed Bucky try and put his hair up but he had no hair tie. Steve had gotten into the habit of keeping one on his wrist for the times Bucky forgot one or the one he had snapped, so he reached out to gently pull Bucky's hair back and tie it up. He then put his hands on Bucky's hips and started to fuck him slow and deep, working his way up to a faster pace.

---

Bucky didn't have time to thank Steve before he was fucking him in such a good way that he didn't want to interrupt with words. He would just mention to Steve later how much he liked that Steve was prepared with whatever Bucky needed. There were two hands on his hips and a warm dick inside him and Bucky felt so safe and secure and loved.

---

Steve let himself get a little lost in how fucking amazing Bucky felt. His ass gripped his dick and the friction was electrifying. One of these days he had to stay home and just fuck him on and off all day. But after a few minutes, Steve realized he hadn't been considering Bucky's pleasure all that much and he was quick to wrap his hand around Bucky's cock and stroke it in time with his thrusts. "Want to feel you come, Baby."

---

Steve was lasting a lot longer than the first time and Bucky was impressed and pleased. His body made a jolting movement when Steve wrapped his hand around his dick. It felt great having the stimulation inside and outside of his body. "Come with me, Steve," Bucky said. "Come deep inside me, please. Want to feel it leaking out."

---

Steve moaned low in response. He picked up his pace, trying to hit Bucky’s prostate, and bit down on his shoulder when he felt his orgasm rip through him. He rode it out, erratically pushing his hips into him and shoving his come deeper into Bucky's body.

---

Bucky was already on the edge but when Steve bit him hard on the shoulder his come exploded from his dick and coated Steve's fingers and shot a bit onto the counter. He quickly grabbed behind him to hold Steve's ass so he wouldn't pull out. Bucky basked in the afterglow of his orgasm and clenched his muscles around Steve a few times to feel the come slipping between the two of them.

---

Steve made a soft, aroused noise when Bucky held him and kept him inside him as his muscles worked around his dick. "Fucking Christ," he swore, groaning as he saw the come leak out around his dick. "You look so good, Baby."

---

Bucky reached back and rubbed around his hole before standing straight. Steve pulled out as he went and Bucky handed him some paper towels to clean himself up. "I'll be right back. Got to go to the bathroom and clean up," Bucky said and took short strides towards his room. Even though he could still count on one hand how many times they had fucked, Bucky loved every one of them.

---

Steve watched Bucky with a happy smile as he retreated to the bathroom. He cleaned himself up and got dressed before he obsessively cleaned the countertop where they'd just fucked so no one would know. He couldn't stop smiling because this was his life now.

---

Bucky went to the bathroom and stared at himself in the mirror for a while. He looked like he'd just gotten fucked for sure. The girls would be home in about another hour or so. He started wiping himself clean with his towel and sticking an end inside his ass to soak up Steve's come. His fingers were super sticky so he washed them thoroughly before going to his closet to get a new set of clothes on. He pulled on a pair of jeans and looked through his sweaters. Nothing really intrigued him to wear so he looked in the box of Steve's tops that they hadn’t unpacked yet and found a dark red Henley that he decided was warm enough to wear.

---

Steve washed his hands and combed his fingers through his hair so he was at least somewhat presentable. He went over to check on Bucky and smirked when he saw him in his sweater. "I move in for not even an hour and you're stealing my clothes."

---

Bucky tucked his hands into his armpits because they were pretty cold. "Here, wear one of mine," he said and scanned over his closet again. He found a nice grey and black striped sweater that was a bit loose on him so it should fit Steve nicely. He tossed it to him and said, "I should probably pick up my clothes from the kitchen floor."

---

Steve put the sweater on and shook his head with a laugh as it pulled across his chest. It fit but didn't have much room to spare. "You probably should. Wouldn't want to give the girls a reason to kick me out."

---

Bucky quickly went to the kitchen and swiped his clothes off the ground. He dumped them in the laundry and went back to Steve. "What do you want to do now? If you want us to have a good home cooked meal for your first night then I guess we should start preparing it so we can put it in the oven when the girls get home."

---

"Sounds perfect to me," Steve agreed. "I've been thinking about making some baked potatoes and grilled chicken for a little while," Steve added after a moment of thought. He kissed Bucky's cheek and hurried off to cook.

---

"You want my help?" Bucky followed him to the kitchen. "Or am I allowed to lay on the couch, listen to The Clash, and watch you cook?" Bucky sort of hoped for the latter but he wouldn't mind helping Steve out. "Kind of want to stare at your ass while you bounce around your new kitchen. It'll probably be adorable."

---

"I love it when you call this my home. My kitchen..." Steve turned and kissed the tip of Bucky’s nose. "But it'll sound even nicer if you call it 'our home' and 'our kitchen'. Now go put on your music and enjoy the view, hot stuff."

---

Bucky picked an album and started it playing. He flopped on the couch on his back and folded his arms over his chest. "You look really good wearing my sweater, by the way," Bucky said and stared at the way it pulled tight across Steve's chest and arms. "You also look really good in our kitchen." Bucky emphasized 'our' and smiled at Steve.

---

Steve beamed at Bucky and nodded. "It's nice to share everything - even our clothes," he said. Steve started to prepare and season the chicken with whatever little herbs he could find. "I'm so happy, Bucky," he said. "I knew you were someone special right from the start."

---

Bucky blushed a little. "Shut up," he said with a grin and tugged the hair tie from his head. He ran his fingers through his hair and mused, "I was thinking about cutting my hair. I like it long but it's also sort of a nuisance at times. Not sure yet. What do you think?" He made eye contact with Steve when he swiveled around sharply and stared at him. "What?"

---

Steve had a hard time believing that Bucky was going to actually cut his hair. "But you love your long hair." Steve kind of liked it long, too. But it was Bucky's hair and Steve didn't want him altering himself for his sake. "But I think you're going to look very hot either way."

---

"I mean, I haven't decided yet," Bucky said and twisted a chunk of hair around his finger. "But I do really like it like this." He hummed to himself. He wasn't going to cut it. There was no way he would be able to work up the nerve. He had had it that long since he stopped cutting it when his parents died and he left college. Since then he just trimmed it up occasionally so it stayed near his shoulders.

---

"What am I going to grab on to when I'm fucking you from behind?" Steve joked. He cut a slit into the potatoes and put them into the oven to start baking. "Even if you regret cutting it, it'll grow back soon enough anyway. What'll it take? Three months?"

---

Bucky moaned low. "Dammit, Steve. Well, I guess that's that. I can't cut it. I like the thought of you pulling it too much." Bucky squirmed a little on the couch and took in Steve's taught ass when he bent down to the oven. "Guess I'll just chop off the dead ends and call that good." Bucky checked his watch. "Becca's going to be happy you cooked this. She loves potatoes. Lilly will complain but eat the chicken anyway. They should be here soon."

---

"You should have let me know that. I would have picked up more potatoes," Steve said. "What is Lilly's favorite food that isn't pizza?" He could bake a pizza but he had a feeling she preferred a pizzeria to homemade stuff.

---

"Who fucking knows…" Bucky chuckled, "That girl complains about anything home cooked you put in front of her. I'd say she complains the least about spaghetti, though. Mom used to make us something homemade and then just have some hot dogs for Lilly. We would be eating something delicious like lasagna and there's Lilly with some mac and cheese."

---

"That's adorable," Steve said with a dumb smile. "She's a pain in the ass sometimes but I love it," he added. "Well, if she wants mac and cheese while we have some amazing food, then so be it. Or spaghetti. I don't care. I just want to make her happy."

---

Bucky got up and moved to the kitchen table to sit. "You don't have to make her happy, you know that, right? I'm the only one you actually have to make happy." Bucky smiled a cheeky grin at Steve. "I'm the one that counts. She can eat the chicken and be perfectly fine." He put his chin in his hands and watched Steve. "How'd you learn to cook anyway?"

---

"Yes, I know. But when they're happy, you're happy. So I'm going to make your sisters happy too." Steve paused his cooking so he could kiss the corner of Bucky's mouth. "And you really think a single mom would let her son be lazy and not be able to cook for himself?"

---

Bucky shrugged, "I'm betting some moms aren't as great as yours. The girls love her, by the way. Becca thinks the world of her. Told me that she was inspiring. Inspiring for what, I don't know." Bucky yawned. How could he be tired already? It was a bit of a big day but they still had a lot of it left.

---

Steve couldn't stop grinning when Bucky complimented his mom. "I love her," he said fondly. "She's always been amazing. And she loves your sisters, too. She'll be happy to know that they find her inspiring." He turned back to cooking and let out a happy sigh. "I know she's not a replacement for your parents, but I know she will treat them like her own."

---

"Steve, I know I said it before, but I'm so proud of you for talking with your mom about us," Bucky said and got up to clean off and set the table. "I'm glad she gets to know and be on board with this. And I think it was really good for you, too." He paused to think, "Do you think you'll tell anyone else?" Bucky expected the answer to be a flat no. Steve had already made it clear how careful they had to be. Some people would probably start to notice, though, now that his address is changed and his roommates are all one family. You don't just move in with a family for no reason.

---

Steve smiled happily when Bucky insisted that he was proud of him. He felt good to make Bucky proud and it felt good that he could call his mom at the end of the day and gush about his wonderful boyfriend but he wasn’t sure about telling anyone else. "I don’t know," he said. "I don't think I should. It’s one thing for my mom to know. I just can't let others know."

---

Bucky nodded solemnly. "Right, I understand." Maybe it was because he couldn't tell his parents about Steve or because he loved him so much that he wanted everyone to know, but he was just a little disappointed. "Well, I mean, at least it's easy to keep track of who all does know. I can count them on one hand."

---

Steve paused and then said, "You can tell Clint." Clint was someone who had no connection to anyone Steve knew besides Bucky and it was someone Bucky was around often enough and it must be hard for him not to talk about his boyfriend to his best friend. "Since I'll be visiting anyway."

---

Bucky smiled shyly. "Sounds like a good idea. When you visit I'll introduce you as my boyfriend to Clint." Just then there was a rattle at the door indicating one of the girls used their keys to get in. Lilly flung open the door and it slammed against the wall. Becca winced at the noise and followed in after, automatically causing an ironically loud argument between them about Lilly needing to learn how to be quiet.

Chapter Text

Steve was absolutely loving his life with Bucky. Every night he would call his mom and gush about his boyfriend. There were plenty of times at work where he nearly talked about Bucky when the others spoke about their wives and girlfriends. He held back then but one day he decided to come out about it. His heart pounded and, god, he was scared, but when one of his coworkers asked why he moved out of the apartment, Steve was honest. He clocked out early and rushed back home to let Bucky know.

---

"Hello, my handsome officer!" Bucky called from the couch when Steve opened the door. Bucky got up and meandered over to give Steve an open mouthed kiss. "Lilly is at practice and Becca is studying with some friends." Bucky traced lines on Steve's shoulders with his fingers. "How was work, Baby?" 

---

Bucky was so sweet and loving but Steve was still a little distracted. He was shaking a little and when Bucky asked how work was, he blurted out, "I told my coworkers - about us," he said and held Bucky's hand nervously. "Nobody... nobody got angry with me."

---

Bucky pulled back with furrowed brows. "Excuse me?" He said in surprise. "You told... what, Steve? I thought you weren't going to. I thought you were scared you'd lose your job." Bucky placed a comforting hand on Steve's cheek. "Tell me what happened. How are you feeling?" Bucky knew he was rambling and being a bit hovery but he also knew that this was huge for Steve and he might be a little shell-shocked at the moment.

---

Steve rubbed at his face and felt his eyes well up with tears. "I couldn't hold it back anymore. I couldn't stand being quiet while everyone else got to talk about their wives and their relationships. I love you, Bucky. You are the light of my life and it hurt too much to keep it inside." He wiped his eyes. "I'm just scared someone won't be okay with it."

---

"Hey, hey," Bucky said quickly and gave his best hopeful smile. He wiped Steve's cheeks of the tears that had fallen there. "I love you so much, Steve. And I'm beyond amazed and proud of you every single day and especially right now." He led Steve to the couch and sat him down. Bucky straddled his lap and held Steve's face in his hands to kiss him. "I won't let anyone hurt you. You're mine and no one can take you away. You did a good, brave thing today, Steve. Do you believe me?"

---

Steve leaned into Bucky and tried to smile at him but it came out a little pained. “Natasha’s response was pretty good. She tried to make things lighter since it was a little tense. She said it was just like a gay guy to make a dramatic scene.”

---

"Bit of a stereotype, but it seems like a benign response so I'll take it." Bucky kissed Steve again and leaned their foreheads together. "How are you feeling? Do you need anything?" Bucky held Steve close to him and tried to be as safe and secure as Steve needed him to be at the moment. "You know I love you, right? And even if someone gets pissy about it, that isn't going to change how I feel about you."

---

"I feel guilty for not letting you tell anyone but Clint and then I went and blabbed to all of my precinct," Steve admitted and put his hands in Bucky's shirt and looked up at him. "You are so amazing, Bucky," he said. He kissed his cheek gently. "I wouldn't have been able to do this without you."

---

"Don't beat yourself up about that, Steve," Bucky said and followed one of Steve's hands with his own to hold over his heart. "The only other person I know in this city is Clint so there really isn't anyone else I could tell even if I wanted to." He wasn't sure how much that would help Steve feel better but he at least tried. "Did your chief say anything to you about it?"

---

Steve shook his head. "I wrote him a letter explaining what happened today and left it on his desk. He was out sick today and I wanted him to hear it from me before anyone else. So... I guess I'll find out tomorrow if I still have a job or not."

---

"Steve..." Bucky sighed and rested against him. "If you do lose your job, it will be okay." He didn't know that for sure. "You'll find another job." There wasn't any guarantee for that. "We are going to be just fine." For all Bucky knew, they could be beaten in an alley the next time they went out. Then who would take the girls? "You've got me and the girls and your mom and that's all that matters."

---

"It won't be okay," Steve said. "I can't be a burden on you," he said. "I'll find a job, but it won't be okay." He knew what sort of danger this could be. As a cop, it would be so easy to get hurt on the job and have them make it look like an accident. "Can we not talk about it anymore until I know if we are safe or not?"

---

Bucky gave Steve a pained, concerned smile. "Sure, let's not discuss it any more right now. How about we just make some sandwiches and eat them in bed together. I have some whiskey hidden around here if you want a drink." Bucky had more like four bottles of whiskey, several six packs of beer, and one bottle of vodka. Bucky had a bit of a problem but he would never admit to it. "Then we can watch some TV or read or something until we need to sleep."

---

Steve nodded his head. "That sounds like a good idea. I would love to get a little tipsy with you. Maybe even jerk each other off a little cause I really need to relax," Steve admitted. He picked Bucky up as he stood and carried him over to the kitchen.

---

Bucky loved it when Steve picked him up like that. It made him feel like a rag doll in his strong arms. "We have turkey, cheese, ham, mayonnaise, tomatoes, lettuce, I think some roast beef," Bucky said as Steve let him down. "What should I make for you? Also, the whiskey is in the laundry room in the cabinet behind the detergent. The girls don't do laundry ever so they'd never find it."

---

Steve went to find the whiskey and chuckled at the stash behind the detergent. He had only seen Bucky drink a few times but sometimes when he came home from work, Bucky smelled pretty heavily of booze. But that wasn’t on his mind at the moment. He brought the bottle back to Bucky and hugged him from behind with it in his hand. “Found it.”

---

Bucky started on Steve's sandwich and decided to make himself the same thing. When Steve came back with the bottle he grinned and had him pour some into his mouth. A bit slopped on his cheek but Steve was quick to lick it off. "So sandwiches and whiskey, then jerking each other off, then TV?" Bucky asked as he finished up Steve's sandwich and handed it to him.

---

"That would be perfect, Buck." Steve picked up the sandwich and took a bite from it. "Love you, Beautiful," he said appreciatively. Steve was beyond grateful for such a wonderful, thoughtful, caring boyfriend. "Let’s go."

---

As the laid in bed and ate their food, Bucky made sure to rub his leg against Steve's a lot. He hoped it would start getting him worked up so they could start the sexy stuff as soon as they were done. "I know you said you wanted to relax and so you suggested jerking each other off..." Bucky invaded Steve's space a little and said in a low growl, "But I was thinking instead maybe I could fuck you so deep and hard that you forget all about it." He leaned back again and waved his hand vaguely. "Of course, that's just a suggestion."

---

Bucky rubbing his leg against Steve’s was doing wonders. Steve was already half hard in anticipation that he already couldn't wait to finish his sandwich and get a little drunker. But when he suggested fucking him, Steve's head turned. There wasn't even any thought needed. "God, please do."

---

Bucky nodded slowly and took a long drink from the bottle. "Take your time with your sandwich. I'll still be here." He drank a bit more and handed the bottle back to Steve. "Always right here for you,” he added and smoothed out the wrinkles on Steve's pants. "Do you still like it here, Steve? With us? You're not missing your old apartment or anything?"

---

Once he had the bottle back, Steve took a deep drink from it. It was very rare that he wasn't sober but he figured he had a good reason to drink today. "I love it here," he said. "I don't miss my old place for a second. Sure, it was nice. But this place is more of a home to me than that one ever was."

---

Bucky, having finished his sandwich, hugged Steve's legs so his head was resting in his lap. "Good. I want you to be so happy here." Bucky pinched Steve's thigh gently. "Do you want to see what else I have hiding in this apartment?" He asked with a sensual edge to his tone.

---

Steve finished his sandwich and pet his fingers through Bucky's hair. He looked down at him with a curious expression. "What're you going do, Barnes, seduce me with your record collection?"

---

"Pardon you, but that collection is sexier than both of us combined," Bucky joked and stood up from the bed. "But, no, I have something a bit better for this situation." Bucky opened his closet doors and stood on his toes to reach up to the highest shelf. He pulled out a dark navy blanket and unfolded it. His back was to Steve so he couldn't see what Bucky was hiding until he took the object in one hand and turned around swiftly. Bucky was standing there biting his lip in a grin and showing off a large smooth black dildo.

---

Steve craned his neck to try and see what Bucky had but he didn't catch a glimpse of it until Bucky brandished it for him to see. His eyes went wide and his face turned red in embarrassment. "Bucky!" He scolded, "What're you doing with that in your room?" He looked around as if he was making sure no one else could see what Bucky had. "Why would I even use that when I have you?"

---

Bucky set the dildo on the bed and started undressing himself. "Oh, that's not for you Steve." He unbuttoned his shirt. "That's for me." His pants were on the ground. "I'm gonna sit on that and then you're gonna sit on me and ride me until I come up inside you. Then I'll pull out and if you want you can take the toy out and come inside me while I'm open."

---

Steve knew that Bucky was trying to be sexy and introduce new things, which he really was fine with, in all honesty. However, Steve wasn't a huge fan of the dildo. "But… I want to be the only thing inside of you," he said stubbornly.

---

Bucky pouted, "Steve, you can't detach your dick and fuck me while I fuck you," he complained, standing naked at the foot of the bed. He refrained from stroking himself but his dick was pointing out towards Steve in a highly accusatory way so he tried to redirect it to point as something else.

---

"Well, if you want something in you then how about you just ride me instead," Steve bargained. He reached over to wrap an arm around Bucky's waist and pull him back into bed. "Come on, Baby." Steve just liked the thought of being the only ones to penetrate each other. “I don’t want to use it.”

---

Bucky growled in defeat. "Are you going to make me throw out my dildo?" He massaged Steve's chest and made as best an angry face as he could.

---

"No, that'll be a waste," Steve said. "Turn it into a hat rack or a hair tie holder." He started to undress and hoped he hadn’t hurt Bucky’s feelings or turned him off from sex at the moment.

---

"You aren't much fun, Rogers. It's a good thing you're cute." Bucky hovered over Steve's erection but didn't touch. "I guess it's up to you who fucks who but I figured if you wanted to relax I could just do all the work."

---

"If you're the one riding me, you're pretty much doing all the work," Steve said. "And fucking you is pretty relaxing for me."

---

"You're a little punk, Steve," Bucky said in retort and then glanced at the dildo again, "I'll just hide it back in the closet before I decide if I'm going to keep it and toss you or toss it and keep you." Bucky sat up and started stroking himself and Steve at the same time. He was a little off-balance and both his hands were occupied. "Decide - you or me. Who gets it up the ass?"

---

Steve gave Bucky an apologetic smile. He didn't want him to get rid of anything that was his just because Steve didn't like it. Steve let out a little moan when Bucky started to stroke him. "You do this time," he said. "But I promise next time I'll let you fuck me."

---

"Okay, but I'm going to be a pillow princess and make you do all the work. It'll help relieve your tension," Bucky said and flopped back on the bed. He gracefully kicked the dildo off the mattress so Steve wouldn't have to touch it. Bucky was going to just keep it in the closet and just not use it. He couldn't get rid of Phillip. They had been through so much together.

---

Steve snorted and got on top of Bucky and rolled his hips. "You are such a brat," he said fondly. He grabbed the lube from the nightstand and coated his fingers with it before reaching between Bucky's legs. "It's one of the reasons why I love you." He teased Bucky's hole with one finger, not pushing in yet.

---

"Hey, Steve," Bucky started with a bold tone, "to make this faster you can just go ahead and start with two fingers. I can take it. Feels pretty good to have the little stretch and burn too." He wanted to really feel it this time and he wanted to get on with it so Steve could wreck him and get some relief too.

---

Steve's mouth went dry at the suggestion and he nodded. He leaned down and started biting lightly at his neck as he eased two fingers inside him. "Is that good, Baby?" He watched Bucky's face carefully as he pushed in a third right away.

---

"Yes, fuck, yeah, that feels great," Bucky breathed and squirmed down on the fingers. "Feels really good. Move a little more, please," he requested urgently. "One of these days I'm going to have you fist me before you fuck me." Bucky's eyes were closed tight and he concentrated on his breathing as Steve fucked in and out of him with his fingers.

---

Steve moved his hand quickly, aroused as all hell by the slick noises being made as he fucked Bucky open with his fingers. "Christ, you can fit a whole hand in?" He looked down at Bucky's hole as it easily took three of his fingers. He spread them as wide as he could inside of Bucky and watched his reaction. "Do you like being stretched wide?"

---

"It's one of my favorite things." Bucky agreed. "I love being filled up. Feels somehow secure and grounding. I'll bet you'll love getting your fist inside me, too." Bucky bit his lip and rolled his head to the side. "I'll make sure to show you a lot of new things, Baby."

---

Steve poured a little more lube around Bucky's hole and licked his lips when it became easier to move inside and out of his boyfriend. He pushed his pinky inside, now spreading him wide with four fingers. "I want to see it now," he said thickly. "I want to make you come with my fist and then fuck you deep."

---

"Yes, Sir!" Bucky said excitedly and adjusted so Steve had even better access. "Go a little slower with that fourth one - really take time to stretch me, okay?" Bucky guided him again and hoped Steve wouldn't be embarrassed or anything. Bucky just didn't want it to hurt and he had been with a couple guys who got overzealous about it. Steve was different from them, though.

---

Steve was excited to give Bucky what he wanted but he knew better than to go too fast. He remembered how sweet Bucky had been taking his time to open him up. "I got you, Baby," he promised. He kissed his stomach down to his dick and licked the length of Bucky's cock as he eased his four fingers in and out, twisting his hand a little with every thrust.

---

Bucky gasped at the stimulation in his ass and dick. "You're so good to me, Steve. I love you so much." He breathed out and pulled his knees up. "I can't wait to wake up to you every morning." Bucky wanted to watch Steve so he leaned forward and piled the pillows up so he could relax and still see what was happening.

---

Steve wanted desperately to fuck his boyfriend, but it was just as satisfying to watch him get taken apart slowly. He looked down as Bucky's hole took all four fingers readily. He kept that up for a few minutes, just easing his hole open like that. But when he was sure Bucky could take more, he began to add his thumb with the rest of his fingers.

---

Bucky moaned out loudly and stared at Steve. "You're getting really good with your fingers, Steve. Better and better all the time." He paused and felt Steve trying to move inside him more. After a bit, he flicked over Bucky's prostate and Bucky jolted his hips up. "Do that again. Hit it harder."

---

Bucky looked so good all riled up and wanting more. He kept his hand at that angle and started working it in deeper, moaning softly as he watched his hand start to disappear more and more into Bucky's ass while his longest fingers kept jabbing into Bucky's prostate. "God, look at you. You're amazing."

---

Bucky couldn't speak at all anymore and willed his leaking dick to hold out for a long while so he could feel every thrust against him. Bucky wasn't sure how deep inside him Steve was but he could feel him getting further little by little. His prostate was so sensitive and his dick was sticking up about to shoot come.

---

Steve watched his entire hand breach Bucky's asshole, staring in amazement as he pulled it out to his fingertips only to push back in past his wrist. "God, my entire hand is inside of you, Buck." He curled his fingers so he would massage Bucky's prostate. "Let me feel you come."

---

Bucky's vision blurred when Steve pulled out only to shove back in again. A couple seconds longer of Steve working his prostate had Bucky arching up off the bed. He came hard and fast with a loud shout of "Fuck, Steve!" and his come landed all over his stomach and abs. He flopped back on the bed and rolled his eyes back. He had to stay still after the shock to his system. That was definitely the hardest he had come in a long fucking time.

---

Steve kept moving his hand unrelentingly, wanting to see Bucky make a mess of himself. And, god, it was so worth it. Steve moaned low at the sight of him arching off the bed and the feeling of his muscles spasming around his wrist. Steve gingerly pulled out and kissed his thighs. "You look so good. Are you okay?"

---

All Bucky could do was nod quickly and run a finger through his come. He held the finger up to Steve so he could feed it to him. He let out a shaky breath and moaned a little. "That was fucking fantastic, Babe," he said finally, "Give me a minute then you can fuck me into next week."

---

Steve licked the come off of Bucky's finger with a soft hum of approval. "I never would have thought you could fit so much inside of you. Makes me feel less bad about shoving my dick in you when you can take a whole hand."

---

"Was that fun for you?" Bucky asked a bit shyly. "Cause it was for me. Haven't come that hard in probably about a year." He sat up and stuck his hand over his hole. It was covered in lube and all ready for whenever Steve wanted to fuck him. Bucky got on all fours and stuck has ass out for Steve. "This is a better position for you to rail me."

---

Steve grabbed some tissues from the nightstand and cleaned off his hand, which was a slick and sticky mess. "I'm a little floored," he said, eyes glued on Bucky's ass. "The best foreplay I could get, to be honest." Steve got behind Bucky and leaned over to kiss between his shoulders. "Ready for round two?"

---

Bucky nodded and wiggled. "Yep, I'm good to go." He reached back and spread his ass for Steve. It was gaping open and ready to take him. Bucky was sure Steve wasn't going to last very long after all this. Bucky had noticed how hard Steve was while he was fisting him. "Do what you need to do to me," Bucky said in a low growl with heavy eyelids.

---

God, it was so fucking sexy to have Bucky on all fours, holding himself open for him. Steve couldn't wait any longer and he pushed himself inside easily. "Fuck," he swore, hips moving quick and hard, so thankful that Bucky was open and ready because it would've taken a lot of willpower to go easy.

---

Bucky steadied his hands on the bed as Steve went fast and rough. He was still fucked out from his orgasm and couldn't help Steve out. He just held himself balanced on the bed and let Steve go at it. Bucky laid his head down on the pillows after a bit so he was entirely relaxed. He felt bad for not really participating but he was so worn out and Steve didn't seem to mind.

---

Even though Bucky was beat, Steve did his best to make it good for him. He reached down and played with his balls and angled his hips to make Bucky most comfortable. "I'm so close, Buck- I'm gonna-" his orgasm ripped through him and he grabbed Bucky's hip tightly and slammed him back on his dick so he could push his come as deep as he could.

---

Bucky choked out a moan and rocked back on Steve. He held his head up and cried out again. Steve pulled out and laid next to him and Bucky curled up in his arms. "How do you feel, now? I'm tired as fuck. We might have time to nap before the girls come home."

---

Steve held Bucky tightly in his arms and kissed his face over and over again. "I feel so much better, Baby. All thanks to you," he said. He sighed happily and tucked Bucky's face against his chest. "What did I do to deserve such a wonderful boyfriend, huh?"

---

Bucky shrugged. "Don’t know.” He asked himself the same question all the time. How did he, Bucky Barnes, manage to land the most perfect man he had ever met in his life? Bucky smiled over at Steve and squeezed him tight for a second and said with a laugh, “I certainly am amazing."

Chapter Text

Steve's chief had responded the next day by calling him into his office. The long story short was that he didn't give a damn about what he did in his spare time so long as he wasn't too flamboyant about it and didn't let it affect his work. Steve considered that a win. Things were good for a week after that - his coworkers were supportive or were trying their best to come to terms with it, which he was fine with. But one day, he didn't come home. Bucky's phone rang about an hour after Steve was supposed to show up and Sarah was on the other end.

---

"What happened?" Bucky said urgently. He could already tell that something was wrong. It was in the way she had said 'James, it's Sarah.' It was the feeling he had in his gut all day - that tight energy building each second he hadn't heard from Steve. It was in the way Becca looked at him earlier and told him he looked nervous. He knew something had happened before it even did.

---

"Steve was hurt on the job today," Sarah said in a tone that suggested Steve had been hurt worse than a mere broken bone. "I just got the call from the precinct... they're... they're prepping him for surgery now." It was clear she was trying to keep as calm as possible.

---

"Surgery on what? Where is he? Which hospital? Brooklyn General or Mount Sinai?" Bucky picked up the telephone receiver and moved as far as the cord would let him to tug on his shoes and coat. After Sarah told him which hospital he said thanks and hung up. He turned to his sisters on the couch "Steve got hurt. He's at Brooklyn General. Are you two okay by yourself until I get back?"

---

"How hurt is he?" Becca asked, keeping calm even though she was afraid for both Bucky and Steve.

Lilly instantly stood up and frowned. "Did Steve get shot?" She asked, looking visibly upset. She'd been bratty at him the last time she saw him and was afraid that she wouldn't get to fix that.

---

"I don't know if he's shot or what happened. All I know is he is going in for surgery and I need to be there when he wakes up." Bucky kept his voice steady and calm for his sisters but inside he was dying with worry. "If you need me, call the hospital. Don't open the door to anyone and don't leave. There is still some soup that Steve made in the fridge you can heat up. I'll call you later after I see him." Bucky hugged both his sisters quickly and told them he loved them before heading out the door and locking it firmly behind him.

---

Lilly's bottom lip quivered but neither of the girls fought Bucky about leaving. When Bucky got to the hospital, Steve was already in surgery. Sarah got up from her chair and pulled Bucky into a tight hug, crying quietly on his shoulder. It had been hard holding herself together. "Steve was shot," she said. "The bullet is lodged next to his spine. They don't know the extent of the damage until after surgery."

---

Bucky held her close and clenched his jaw. "Do we know how it happened?" He gritted out. "Will he be able to walk? Where's his chief? Where's a nurse?" Bucky wanted to shake someone and yell at them. He needed to know exactly what was going on. He needed to be right there for Steve. Bucky felt like this was somehow his fault.

---

"I am a nurse, Bucky," she said, rubbing his back gently. She obviously wasn't Steve's nurse, but she knew how these things went. "And the best thing you can do for him is sit here with me. Look," she said, going over to the chairs where a file was with his x-rays that she had been given. "Here," she said as she gave it to him. "The bullet didn't penetrate any organs," she said. "He could make a full recovery if all goes right. But where the bullet is stuck can potentially paralyze him."

---

Bucky gasped and touched the x-ray gently like it was actually Steve. "I need to know who did this," he said and turned to sit down clumsily in a chair. "I promised him. I promised Steve I wouldn't let anyone hurt him. Now he's been shot in the fucking back and I can't do shit to help him except sit and wait and worry."

---

"Oh, Bucky..." she took one of his hands and held it in her own. "He was breaking up a trafficking ring. He was shot by a criminal, there's no way any of us could have prevented that." There wasn't any hint of foul play yet - not until Steve woke up.

---

Because he wasn't family, Bucky wasn't allowed in Steve's room until they got verbal consent from him. His mother promised that she would get a nurse the second Steve woke up so they could have him approve Bucky. Once all that was over, he rushed over to Steve and clutched his outstretched hand. "Steve, my god, Baby, I was so fucking worried."

---

Steve had been put in a medically induced coma for a day so any internal bleeding wouldn't happen. The following evening he finally woke up dazed and disoriented. When his mom got Bucky, he reached out to hold his hand but Steve's grip wasn't as strong as it normally was. "I'm sorry," he apologized, voice rough. "I...I don't know how things got that bad. I was supposed to have backup."

---

Bucky kissed Steve's hand gently and shook his head, "What do you mean? You didn't have another officer with you?" He pulled up the chair so he could sit close to Steve. Sarah was sitting across from him on the other side of Steve's bed and looking on at them with kind, concerned eyes.

---

"I did. Brock was with me and he was going to take the west entrance while I entered the east," Steve said. "Is he okay? Was he hurt?"

Sarah shook her head. "You were the only one shot."

Steve was relieved, then confused, and then he got a hurt look on his face and shook his head a little. "Buck, can you help me to a phone?"

---

"Steve, I don't think that's a good idea. You need to stay here and rest," Bucky said with a knit brow. "I can call someone if you need me to. I need to call the girls anyway so I can do that for you first." Bucky offered but Steve didn't look very pleased with the suggestion. Bucky waited for an answer.

---

Steve was quiet for a moment and he wiped a tear from his eye. His mom came over and tucked the blankets around him and brushed her fingers through his hair. It was automatic for her to comfort him even though Bucky was there. "Can you ask Chief Fury to come down? And can the girls come visit?"

---

Bucky bit his lip pensively and nodded. "I'll call the station right now. Then I'll go pick up the girls, okay? They will be glad to see you. I'll be back very soon." He kissed the top of Steve's head and smiled cautiously at him trying not to cry as well. "I love you, okay? You got to know that, yeah?"

---

Steve closed his eyes when Bucky kissed him and he gave Bucky a little smile so his boyfriend wouldn't look so sad. "I know you do. There ain't a day that passes that I don't know that." He rested his cheek against the pillow, feeling a bit tired and worn.

---

It took Bucky a lot longer than he would have liked to get on the phone with Steve's chief and then go get the girls. By the time they got back to the hospital together, Steve's mother was waiting out in the hall and Chief Fury was inside Steve's room talking with him. Lilly and Becca ran to Sarah and gave her a big hug but Bucky was curious about what they were discussing that Sarah needed to be out in the hall.

---

Sarah didn't like getting left out of the room but she allowed it to happen because Steve asked her to. She hugged both of the girls tightly and kissed the top of their heads. "Aren't you two a sight for sore eyes?" Fury left the room a few minutes later. He looked between Bucky and his sisters before nodding once at them and walking out.

---

Bucky didn't like the look Fury gave them but there was nothing he could do about it and the next thing he knew, Lilly was barging into Steve's room and yelling about how she was so sorry she was rude to him last time she saw him. The other three followed in after her and Bucky took in Lilly's pleaded eyes and Steve's soft chuckle at her. "Lilly, give him some space."

---

The hospital room had been too serene and quiet. Steve didn't realize how dependent he'd gotten on the constant chaos and noise in his new home. "Hey, hey. It's okay. You don't think I can ever stay mad at you, can I?" He gave Lilly a weak hug and pet the top of her head. "The doctors say I can go home in a few of days. But I can't work for a while."

---

"How long is a while?" Bucky asked nervously and took the seat by Steve again. "I can ask Clint if I can have some time off to take care of you at home." Bucky wrapped his hands around Steve's and glanced at Becca as she pulled another chair up next to Bucky to sit in. She quietly said hello to Steve and gave a weak shy smile.

---

"Hey, Becs," Steve said with a tired smile. He felt truly loved to have his entire family around for him. He looked back to Bucky and said, "At least two months. Fury says he's processing the paperwork so I get disability pay. Hopefully, it kicks in before my savings run out. And you don't got to take time off for my sake."

---

"Disability?" Bucky asked. "Does that mean you won't be able to go back in the field when you get better? Or is it just a precautionary thing?" Bucky wanted to get Steve alone for a few minutes. He wanted to kiss him a lot and ask what he talked to Fury about.

---

"It's too early to tell," Steve said. "I have to start a physical therapy program as soon as I am discharged. They'll know more as time goes by." Steve looked like he was handling the news well but that was probably because he was determined to make a full recovery. "Guess I'll just be around the house more often."

---

"Okay, and we will do whatever we need to help you." Bucky nodded to the girls who agreed enthusiastically back. He checked the time and noticed it was around time for dinner. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet. Handing some money to Becca he said, "How about you ask Mrs. Rogers very nicely if she will take you both to the cafeteria to get some dinner?"

---

Becca took the money and Lilly scoffed at it. "As if Mrs. Rogers would take our money for anything. I call keeping the change!" Sarah smiled at them and ushered them out, knowing that Bucky wanted some alone time. Steve moved nervously on the mattress, knowing Bucky would want some answers.

---

Bucky just stared at him for a few seconds before he broke down. "God, Steve, how did this happen?" Tears started welling up in his eyes. "I'm so fucking glad you're alive. When your mom called me I..." He went to worst-case scenario because that what he always did. "I thought I lost you too."

---

Steve's lip quivered and he pulled Bucky into a light hug, unable to move much and unable to withstand much pressure on his torso. "I'm so sorry, Bucky. I swear... I fucking swear I would never go into danger without taking the proper precautions. I've done this type of bust so many times and it never went this way."

---

"What happened?" Bucky pushed and locked eyes with Steve. "What did you talk to Fury about? I know something went wrong. I can tell. Please, you have to tell me." He felt a tear fall down his face and he ignored it as it made its merry way down his chin and neck.

---

Steve looked away, a little reluctant to respond but he couldn't hide anything from Bucky. He stiffly reached out to dry the trail left behind by the tear. "I think Brock abandoned me in there so I would get hurt," he said quietly. "I hope I'm wrong, but I can't think of any other reason why he'd leave so suddenly."

---

Bucky's eyelids fluttered in anger and he held his mouth open in a quiet snarl. "Who is Brock? Your partner on the force? Is that what you told Fury? Is he going to do something about it?" Bucky didn't realize he was shaking until Steve clamped a hand on his shoulder to try to stop him. "Goddammit," he spit out in anger at this whole thing.

---

Steve could see Bucky getting angry and he didn't blame him. Steve probably would've been livid if he wasn't so thankful that he was alive right now. "Buck, I need you to keep calm, please," he said. "Fury says he'll do an internal investigation." But anyone who knew cops knew that an internal investigation usually meant nothing.

---

Bucky didn't even try to stop the tears this time. He just let them fall and he shook and held Steve. "I'll fucking kill him," Bucky growled. He didn't mean it, of course, but he was already convinced this was no accident and someone had to be held accountable for what happened. He could have permanently paralyzed Steve.

---

"Hey, Baby, it's alright," Steve reassured softly. He rubbed Bucky's back and gave him a sympathetic look. "I've been thinking about this all day. And, you know, maybe it's a sign from God that this happened. I don’t know what it means, yet. But maybe this is a blessing." It was a cruel injustice, but Steve was the sort of man to try and find the best in things.

---

That just flared Bucky up even more. "A sign from God?" He asked incredulously. "And what the fuck is God trying to tell you? And don't give me any of that anti-gay church shit." He didn't mean to take his anger out on Steve but he honestly couldn't handle anything at the moment. His emotions were all heightened and Bucky's brain was itching for a fight.

---

Steve winced when Bucky snapped at him. He looked hurt and offended that Bucky didn't believe in Steve's faith that there could be some good that could come from this. "Maybe that coming out was a mistake," he said, "and that the world isn't ready for us to be open. So this was a warning before something worse could have happened." Which, to Steve, was merciful because God wanted him alive. "Or maybe he wanted me to be home for the girls if they needed my help when I otherwise would've been at work. Or maybe he wanted to remind me that I have a family at home now and I can't ever think myself invincible on the job."

---

Bucky clenched his teeth together. "I like the last two much better than the first," he said in bitterly. He wasn't quite done with putting up a fight. "What if it isn't a sign from God? What if it's just that some prick you work with decided to make it convenient for you to get hurt or killed just because he doesn't like you anymore?"

---

"God could be working through that one prick I work with," Steve said tensely. His heart rate monitor was beeping a little quicker but not dangerously fast. "Regardless, I will ask for a transfer if that's the case. I'd rather be alive with my family working at another precinct than risk it to prove a point to some jerk."

---

Bucky heard the monitor and flicked his gaze up at it. He conceded with a sharp nod and said, "Guess you're right," just because he didn't want a nurse barging in wondering why his monitor was screaming at her that there was a problem.

---

"Of course I'm right. That's why I got the badge. I'm always right," Steve said it in such a stubborn way it was ridiculous but he also would've given in to Bucky at some point because he didn't have it in him to argue today. He kissed his cheek softly. "I'm sorry I upset you."

---

Bucky closed his eyes and melted into Steve. "It's my fault. I have no right to argue with you while you're like this. You didn't do anything wrong. You're just trying to be positive. Which is more than I can do. All I want to do is find that Brock asshole and beat the shit out of him."

---

Steve pet his fingers through Bucky's hair. "Do you want to know what makes me the angriest about all this? The poor guy lost his wife and kid in a car accident a few years back. I went over there every day for a month to cook him dinner and do his shopping until he was back on his feet."

---

Bucky pulled a remorseful, upset face. "Car crash," he said and let out a humorless laugh. "That's how my parents died, too." Bucky stood up. "I'm sorry, Steve, I got to..." He shoved a thumb towards the door. "I'll be back soon." He left without another word.

---

Steve looked apologetically at Bucky when he explained that his parents died the same way. He hadn’t gotten Bucky to tell him much about how they died until now. He felt so fucking useless not being able to help or follow Bucky out when he left. So he just put a hand over his bullet wound and closed his eyes with a defeated sigh, hoping Bucky would return to him soon. 

Chapter Text

The evening shift was starting to clock out for the day and the graveyard shift was taking over when Bucky came ripping through the building angrily demanding to see Rumlow. "Hey, Asshole!" Natasha yelled at him. "You got a problem with one of our men, you can stand in line and file a formal complaint with our administrative office." She clearly didn't know who Bucky was.

---

Bucky twitched and shouted back across the room. "Where the fuck is he? He put Steve in the hospital! Steve could have died, dammit!" Bucky's fists were clenched at his sides and his whole body was shaking furiously. He looked the woman up and down and tried to decide if he would try to push past her if she tried to stop him or if he would let it go or have to fight her too. He hoped he wouldn't have to fight her off too.

---

Natasha paused for a moment before a look of realization dawned on her. "You're Steve's boyfriend," she said. There had been rumors about what happened when Brock came back from his case early and Steve got shot but nobody thought too much of it. "Stop making a scene and come in here," she said, nodding at an empty interrogation room.

---

Bucky grumbled but followed her anyway. He wanted to make a scene. Everyone should know what happened - what that piece of shit did. "I want him prosecuted," Bucky said flatly once the door was closed. "Or at the very least I want his badge."

---

"There's this thing called ‘due process’," Natasha said. "You can't go throwing accusations about a goddamn police officer letting another officer get injured on the field." She crossed her arms and asked, "Does Steve believe that there's foul play?"

---

"Yes, he does," Bucky pressured but stopped. "He also doesn't know I'm here." He rubbed his face. "I don't even know what my plan was in coming here. I thought about fighting Rumlow or yelling at Chief Fury or asking for Steve to be transferred or something." He looked at the woman and sighed, holding out a hand, "I'm sorry. I'm Bucky, by the way. I'm usually more pleasant than this but my boyfriend's just been shot."

---

"Listen. Fury may not be the cuddliest man on the planet, but he's the first black chief in this precinct. You think he'd tolerate his officers turning on each other?" Natasha shook her head. "If there's something up, he will sniff it out." She extended her hand to shake Bucky's. "Natasha," she greeted. "Is Steve doing alright? I've been at work since I heard the news that he was shot. I planned to come by the hospital as soon as I’m done here."

---

Bucky sighed, "He's okay. He is awake and on a lot of medication for the pain. They said he should be able to make a good recovery. There was a potential of paralysis but that looks unlikely now." He pocketed his hands in his jacket. "I'm sorry for yelling and being a dick just now. I'm sure that's a great first impression of Steve's boyfriend... I should probably get back to him. "

---

Natasha gave him a teasing smile. "It's fine. The gays are known for being dramatic anyway," She said it in a way that was light so Bucky would know she was just trying to be a dick back at him and didn’t actually have a problem with his sexuality. "Give him my regards. I'll visit soon."

---

Back at the hospital, Bucky trudged up the stairs to Steve's room and thought about what to say about running off. He felt really bad for just leaving and not saying anything. But he knew Steve would try to stop him if he knew he was going to the station. The girls and Sarah were all back with Steve and eating dinner. Everyone got quiet when Bucky entered the room and said nervously, "Hey."

---

Steve was trying to nap in the room when Bucky returned and Lilly was munching on dinner while sitting on the edge of his bed. "Steve talks in his sleep, do you know that?" Lilly said loudly. "I had a whole conversation with him and everything."

"I'm still awake," Steve mumbled. 

"See?" Lilly pointed out.

---

Bucky rolled his eyes and pulled her gently from the edge of Steve's bed. "I think you are being too loud for him to actually get to sleep, Lil." Bucky sat back down by Becca and she handed him a packaged box of hospital food. "Thanks, Becs," he said as he opened it to eat. He didn't realize how hungry he actually was. He hadn't eaten anything since he got to the hospital the night before.

---

Steve peeked an eye open at Bucky and smiled lazily over at him. He looked happier now that he was back. "Where did you go, Baby?" He asked, reaching one hand out for him. Sarah already claimed Steve's other hand. 

---

Bucky took it, abandoning his box of food for a moment. "Uh..." he shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "The - the station," he offered with a nervous edge to his voice. He added a nod for good measure and tried not looking at Steve. He didn't want to see the disappointment or confusion that was bound to be in his face.

---

"Bucky!" Steve scolded, his eyes snapping open. He frowned at him and he would've sat up if he could. "What did you do? Who did you talk to?" Sarah rubbed Steve's shoulder to calm him down. 

---

Bucky looked to Sarah and the girls quickly and asked Steve in a low voice, "Can we talk about it in private later, maybe?" He rubbed Steve's hand with his thumb but Steve's pulled it back with a frown and knit brows. Obviously, Bucky wasn't going to get out of this very easily.

---

Steve wasn't happy that Bucky went to the precinct. Not just because he didn't want to rock the boat but also because he didn't want Bucky getting attacked or arrested because they knew who's boyfriend he was. "Fine."

---

Bucky sat back in his chair and felt shame and anger at himself welling up inside him. "I'm sorry, Steve," he stuttered out and stared at his lap. "I don't know what I was doing. It was stupid and I fucked up." He scanned the other faces in the room. Lilly and Becca were wide-eyed watching and Sarah was listening with her eyes averted respectfully. Guess they were doing this now after all. "I met Natasha. She sends her regards. Said she'll be over to visit sometime."

---

"I don't want you to be sorry, Buck. I want you to not do something rash like that again," Steve said calmly but with a clipped edge. He hated seeing Bucky upset and he understood that he'd been hurt but he also made a stupid decision. "Did Natasha say anything smart to you?"

---

Bucky nodded, "Yeah, called me a dramatic gay." He chuckled. "I'd be offended if I hadn't proven her right." He gripped Steve's hand again. "I'm a really spontaneous stupid ass sometimes, Steve. And I'll refrain from getting involved at the precinct from now on."

---

"I don't know if it's safe there anymore," Steve said in a soft tone. "I don’t want you to get hurt, too, Baby."

Lilly pounded her fist into her palm. "I'll kick their ass for you. They can't beat up a little girl. The papers would go nuts!"

---

Bucky tackled Lilly in a hug and gave her a noogie. "You’re going to beat up a police officer, huh? Take him out with your lacrosse stick?" He laughed and tickled her. Then he sighed and said, "I'm thinking the two of you should probably get back home. You have school in the morning."

---

Steve smiled up at the two of them and then looked over to his mom as if to say 'See how amazing they are?' He motioned for Becca and Lilly to give him a hug and kiss. "I'll be home soon, okay?"

---

Becca was incredibly gentle but Lilly was a little too rough with her hug. Bucky stood and said, "Baby, I'll be right back. I got to get them to bed and then I'll be back while they are asleep then I'll see them off to school in the morning." It wasn't going to be a very comfortable night for Bucky. He would just be sitting by Steve's side and watching the clock so he wasn't late to take the girls to school. He had already called Clint to get another day off so he was good to be here all day the next day.

---

Steve really wanted Bucky's company so he didn't even put up a fight about Bucky going so far out of his way. His mom stayed and chattered with Steve until Bucky returned. At that point, she gave both Steve and Bucky a hug and kiss goodbye so they could be alone.

---

Bucky kissed Steve slowly and then sat back in his chair. He locked eyes with him and held his hand over his heart. It still wasn't quite real to Bucky that Steve was here in the hospital. He figured he would open his eyes and it would just be a bad dream. He thought the same thing when his parents died. "Steve, I'm so sorry, again."

---

Steve put his hand over Bucky's and looked up into his eyes. "I know you meant well, Buck. I can't get mad at you for that. You just have to be smarter about your anger. You could have gotten hurt today and then what would we do?"

---

"I would have been in a hospital bed with you and no one would have been there to take care of the girls." Bucky sighed.

---

Steve brought Bucky's hand to his mouth so he could kiss the back of it. "My mom would have taken care of the girls. But she also would have swat you half to death with a newspaper for being dumb."

---

"See? I promise I can think through things when I'm not angry. It's just I wanted to get him back so badly. I love you so much and I went a little crazy. You make me really fucking crazy," Bucky said and bit his lip thinking about what he would have done had he met Rumlow. It wouldn’t have been good.

---

Steve smiled when Bucky insisted how much he loved him. "I kind of noticed," he said with a smile. "You are so good to me, Bucky. I'm sorry you're stuck in a hospital with me right now."

---

"I'm just sorry you're in the hospital and not back home with me," Bucky said. He knew Steve would eventually be fine and be able to go back to work but it was still scary and he was in such pain right now. "How are you feeling? Can I get you anything?"

---

"I feel like I've been shot," Steve huffed, pouting a little. He was good with handling pain even though everything hurt right now, but he didn’t like to be sick or injured. "Giving me another kiss will make me feel better," he suggested. "And let's switch jobs," Steve joked. "You can carry the gun and I'll deal with the stoners."

---

"Yes, I'm sure all the stoners will take kindly to a cop around and the precinct would definitely hire a long-haired gay hippie," Bucky joked back and gave Steve another gentle but meaningful kiss. He was so worried he was going to hurt Steve more if he was even the slightest bit rougher.

---

"It's a flawless plan," Steve snickered and made a soft sound into the kiss. He wrapped an arm around Bucky and sighed. "Think we can find a way to make you fit in this bed with me?" he asked.

---

"No," Bucky said sternly. "I don't want to hurt you more. I want you to heal as fast as you can." He checked Steve's morphine drip and the bottle of clean water they had brought for him. "Do you want some water, Steve? Need me to get a nurse for you before you fall asleep?"

---

Steve got a kicked puppy look when Bucky refused to get into the bed. He understood why, but it still hurt a little. He wanted to snuggle with him. "No, it's okay," he murmured. "I guess we just have to do our best to make ourselves comfortable for the night," he sighed. 

Chapter Text

"Steve's coming home today!" Bucky shouted in the apartment making Becca jump at the outburst. "Steve's coming home!" Sarah was bringing Steve over at any time and Bucky was readying the apartment to be as danger-free as possible. He knew it wasn't like bringing a baby home from the hospital but he still wanted to be extra safe with him.

---

Steve didn't realize how much stairs sucked until he was recovering from a bullet in the back. Sarah opened the door for him and Steve arrived on crutches with a big old smile. "There's my favorite family," he said happily as he walked through the door. "You guys cleaned up!"

---

"Steve!" Lilly shouted and went over to give him a soft hug. 

Bucky followed quickly and kissed Steve's face all over. "I'm so fucking happy to have you back home." He said, "Here, come sit down. I'll make us all some food. Or at least I will try my best to." Bucky scampered over to the couch to grab a blanket and he draped it around Steve as he sat down at the table.

---

"Hey, you guys," Steve greeted happily. He kissed the top of Lilly’s head and then stopped Bucky to get another kiss. He grinned brightly over at his mom, who looked pleased that Steve had such a good home life here.

"I'll make dinner," Sarah offered, not so subtly hinting that she didn't believe Bucky was the best cook.

---

Bucky held up his hands in surrender. He wasn't going to argue with anyone who wanted to cook for him today, especially Sarah. "Becs, will you play one of Steve's records?" Bucky asked and ushered for her to come over once she was done. "His is the box right on top."

---

Lilly didn't complain about Steve's music for once. Steve reached out for Bucky's hand and pulled him in close. "Hey, Love," he murmured softly. "Looking forward to having me home all the time now? I can try to spoil you more."

---

"Yeah, right." Bucky chuckled. "You're going to be sitting and recovering and not doing anything strenuous and I'm the one spoiling you now." He kissed Steve again and whispered low in his ear so no one could hear, "That means no sex or anything for a while, too."

---

Steve whined softly. "This is the worst thing about being shot," he complained. "Not even a little-" he fell quiet when Lilly came over to sit with them.

"Bucky, can I stay home from school to take care of Steve?" She asked.

---

Bucky grabbed Lilly and held her in his lap. "No. You have to go to school. I don't even get to stay home from work to take care of Steve. Unfortunately, he may be here on his own a lot sometimes." Bucky leaned his chin on Lilly's shoulder and watched Sarah cook dinner. "Besides I think Steve would agree that you need to focus on your academics a bit more anyway."

---

"But what if Steve gets lonely and sad? Or if he needs help?" She protested.

Steve smiled and tugged on a lock of her hair. "I'll be fine, Kiddo. My mom can come over to help and Bucky's right. You need to be more diligent with your academics."

---

Lilly rolled her eyes and huffed. "Whatever. Like I said, I'm going to be a professional women's soccer player. I don't need science or math or English or history or anything."

Bucky's eyes went wide. "Are you failing all of those classes?" He shook his head. "Never mind, we will talk about that later. Now's not the time." He looked to Sarah. She already had to see Steve and Bucky fight at the hospital not long ago. She didn't need to see Bucky fight his sister too.

---

Sarah made everyone a full plate of food once dinner was ready. She gave Lilly a look and said, "Don't you want to know the history of soccer? Or learn science to figure out the best way to kick a ball? What about math so you don't get put in jail for accidentally misfiling your taxes?"

---

Lilly went to her own seat next to Becca and became engrossed in discussing the history of soccer with Sarah. She was already highly versed in that particular matter. Bucky laced his fingers with Steve's and started eating his food with his non-dominate hand. He wasn't getting much food in his mouth but he wanted to be touching Steve.

---

Every few bites, Steve would offer a forkful of food for Bucky to eat from to help him out. Once dinner was over, Sarah cleaned up and insisted on making lunch for the girls for school the next day. "What time do you have work tomorrow, Buck?" Steve asked.

---

"I've got close shift again," Bucky said and grumbled. "So I'll be here for the morning but I'm leaving around three." He really hated the close shift. It meant he wouldn't see the girls back home safe and he wouldn't be back in until after one in the morning. "I can ask Clint if I can close up early."

---

"You don't have to worry about closing up early, Baby. I can handle waiting until you get back. Maybe the girls and I can find something fun to do," Steve said sweetly, giving Bucky an encouraging kiss.

---

"You better not play board games without me," Bucky teased with a pout. "I have a vendetta against Becca with that damn train track game."

---

"We could play Scrabble. You don't like big words anyway," Steve teased back. Becca giggled a bit at the joke even if it was at her brother's expense.

---

“Yeah, good point. I really do hate Scrabble.” Bucky stood to get himself some iced tea from the fridge. "Anyone want tea?"

---

"Some tea would be lovely," Steve said but Sarah shook a finger at him.

"Doctor says no caffeine for two weeks," She corrected.

---

"Dammit, Steve, no caffeine!" Bucky said remembering what Sarah had said when she gave him the low down on what the doctor had told her. Bucky poured himself some tea and came back over to the table. "Mrs. Rogers, can you write down everything the doctor said so I can be sure to follow it when you aren't around?"

--- 

Steve whined and looked to his boyfriend and his mom. "Come on, you guys. Everyone knows that the doctors just make stuff up so you freak out over everything and come back to them for more checkups," he complained. Sarah swatted her son with a paper before writing it all down for Bucky.

---

"Steve, I know what you're doing and playing into my conspiracy side isn't going to work this time," Bucky said and hovered over Sarah as she wrote.

---

"I'm telling you, Bucky, we should really stick it to the man this time," Steve tried once more but to no avail. He huffed but behaved for the rest of the night.

Chapter Text

Once the girls were off to school the next morning, Steve gingerly made his way into the kitchen. "Hey, Buck," he said softly. "Would it be alright if I had Natasha over some time?"

---

"Um..." Bucky cleared his throat. "I'm fine with that but depending on when she comes over I might not be here." He shrugged. "It's your place, too, now so you can have people over. Just if I'm not here, give the girls fair warning first because Becca doesn't like people coming over unannounced. She gets a little frantic."

---

Steve nodded. "I'll let her know," he promised. "Natasha's just bringing some of the stuff from my locker back home since I won't be around for a while. And she's bringing paperwork for me to file for disability in the meantime." He paused and then asked, "Does Becca get frantic cause of how you used to be?"

---

Bucky bit his lip and nodded slowly. "I'm guessing so. I kind of fucked up her trust in people and myself and I don't know how long it'll take to get better. It's just residual emotions, I think." He started making Steve an omelet and he glanced at a framed picture on the wall of his family back when his parents were alive. He wanted a new picture on the wall right next to that one with Steve in it. "She should be fine with Natasha, though. I have a weird feeling that they might get along."

---

"Who knows? Maybe she would've had trust issues regardless," Steve said. He was trying to keep Bucky from blaming himself too much. "I think she would like Natasha, too. Natasha doesn't put up with anyone’s shit and she's as smart as she is tough."

---

"She's like Becca except she talks." Bucky laughed and added, "Will you apologize to her again for me about the other day? I still feel like an ass for yelling at her." Bucky thought about Natasha and the chief and Rumlow and if anyone had figured out yet if it was foul play like Steve suspected or not.

---

"Oh, Natasha doesn't accept apologies," Steve said in a matter-of-fact tone. "But I doubt she will hold a grudge. She's a reasonable person." Steve had a lot of respect for her for many reasons. "She does accept good vodka, though."

---

Bucky made a loud short laugh. "I guess we will always be at odds then because I cannot afford to buy good vodka. I can offer her a shitty beer or cheap wine or some of my good bourbon if she wants that. That's all I got." Steve's omelet was ready and Bucky placed it on the table before making his own breakfast.

---

Steve waited for Bucky to finish making his food to eat instead of eating alone. "She's a good person. I think she will find it in her heart to forgive you. If anything, I think she's happy that I have someone who gets emotional over me."

---

Bucky sat down with his plate and said, "And by emotional you mean irrational and crazy." He was about to take a bite of his food before it occurred to him that Steve might want to pray before breakfast too. He certainly had some stuff to ask God to help him out with. "You pray before every meal or just dinner? Never noticed before."

---

"I pray before every meal," Steve said. "I have to give God my thanks for seeing that I have food and a home and that I lived long enough to make it to the next meal." He gave a little smile. Steve shifted a bit nervously and asked, "I've been, um... thinking. I, uh... I know you're not religious. But because we can't get married legally I was wondering if maybe someday... if I could find a priest willing to do it, would you want to get married in the church at least?"

---

Bucky's heart clenched and he blinked rapidly a few times. "Uh... Wh- what?" He couldn't manage anything other than that. Of course, Bucky had been thinking about his life with Steve and how he planned for Steve to be around for the rest of his life. He also thought about how it was ridiculous and unfair that two men couldn't be married just because it made people uncomfortable. But he never thought that Steve would suggest something like that. For one, Bucky didn't even know that 'married in the church' was even a thing. Did that mean that to God they would be married? Or would it be more like an honorary title? Also, wasn't it sort of the church that prevented Steve from wanting to act on his sexuality anyway? "Steve, what's that even mean?"

---

Steve ducked his head shyly, nervous as all hell and feeling bad that he was getting Bucky worked up. "I mean... getting married in the church means that at least God knows we're married. So when we pass on, he'll reunite us. And it'll mean that someone down here knows we're married, too. It'll take years - decades, maybe - for laws to pass for the state to recognize us as married. But if we can find one priest who believes in our marriage, that's all we need."

---

Bucky breathed out slowly as he nodded, thinking this all through. Steve was right, he wasn't religious, but he could go to a priest and a church if it was what Steve needed to do. He wasn't sure about being married to Steve, though. Bucky was notorious for fucking up and making everything bad again. And what he had with Steve was so good he was just waiting for one big mistake of his to ruin everything and have Steve packing his shit to get the fuck out. But Bucky also wanted this. He wanted this to last and be perfect for Steve. He cleared his throat and said, "Okay..."

---

Steve reached out to run a hand down Bucky's back. He knew Bucky loved him but he could hear the hesitation in his voice. "Buck, if you don't want to or you're not ready, we don't have to," he said gently. "It's just... I wanted to hear your thoughts on it before I started going around to churches asking priests to marry a couple of gay guys."

---

Bucky turned to Steve and placed a cold gentle hand on the back of his neck. "I want it, Steve, I do. I'm just terrified that I'm going to fuck it up. You know me. You know what my life has been like. You know that I'm really good at ruining everything and being a bit of a hot head and causing fights or trying to get my way," Bucky rambled off his flaws as he stared into Steve's loving eyes that never left him for a second.

---

"Baby," Steve said softly as he leaned in to kiss his cheek. "If you fight to get your way and your way involves staying with me, then I know for sure I want to do everything I can to be your husband," he said. "You make mistakes - that's human. And when you fuck up again, like all people do, I'll be there to help."

---

Bucky smiled cautiously and willed himself not to jump on Steve and make out with him. Instead, he gave him a light kiss and said, "I love you, Steve Rogers." He ran a hand through his hair and leaned back. "There is one thing you have to do, though, after you find the priest that is going to do this for us."

---

Steve couldn't stop smiling at all the affectionate touches Bucky gave him. He slipped a hand under Bucky's shirt and kissed him some more. "Anything," he promised.

---

Bucky let Steve feel his way up his chest and smirked. "Oh, you're gonna like this, Officer." He tucked his hair behind his ears and took Steve's face in his hands. He gave that cheeky grin again. "You have to propose to me," He said simply. "Full on, down on your knees, some sort of ring, 'Will you church-marry me, James Buchanan Barnes?', and then you wait for me to answer and look all nervous like you don't think I'll say yes."

---

Steve’s eyes lit up, “Of course, I will,” he said. “I’ll bring you flowers and have one of the girls ready to take pictures and I’ll take your hand in mine and wait for you to look at me and then I’ll get down on one knee. Then I’ll make us a wonderful dinner and we can make love nice and slow afterward and we will have a perfect life together and get old together.”

---

"Alright, Babe, you can't get too sappy on me. I could still say no," Bucky teased and kissed Steve's cheek. "Thought you'd like that, though." He paused and looked to the side. "I never thought I'd get proposed to in my life... Never mind, I don't think I can handle it. Just tell me when to be at the church." Bucky shook his head at the sudden overwhelmed feeling he had.

---

"Nope." Steve laughed at Bucky. "I'm proposing to you someday, James Barnes, whether you like it or not." He was a stubborn mule and wanted to really spoil Bucky with a good proposal.

---

Bucky groaned in defeat. "Guess it was sort of my idea." He stood to get Steve's medicine because, now that he ate, he could take it. He brought it over with a tall glass of water and the list of things to remember that Sarah wrote down. "Your mother has some of the clearest handwriting I've ever seen."

---

"Of course she does. She had to write out prescriptions and all that. If her handwriting was misread, it could kill someone." Steve grumbled as he took the medicine but didn't put up a big fight over it.

---

"Good point," Bucky said. "Alright, Babe, you've got about seven hours before I need to go to work. I say we watch a bad movie then you can nap while I clean up Lilly’s mess in the living room then we can really carefully cuddle until I have to leave.

Chapter Text

A few days passed and Bucky would soon find himself answering the door for Natasha, dressed in civilian clothes but still looking just as lethal in her casual clothing. She looked into the living room briefly and seemed unsurprised by the clutter. "Is Steve in?"

---

Bucky looked her up and down and said, "He's taking a nap. You can come in and wait for him." He let her in and closed the door behind her. She wasn't shy in heading for the couch and gracefully sitting down. "You want something to drink? Or some snacks? Or I can just go wake Steve up?"

---

"Nah, don't wake him," she said as she made herself at home right in the living room. "A sandwich would be nice, though. I'm starving," she said with a shrug. "You can give Steve a message for me if you wouldn't mind."

---

"Sure what's the message? And what sort of sandwich?" Bucky asked and started pulling out all the sandwich stuff he had in the fridge. The fridge and the cabinets were decidedly fuller and had a healthier selection now that Steve was living there. He really was serious about them eating better and not eating cereal for dinner anymore.

---

"An everything sandwich," Natasha said. "With Russian dressing, if you have it." They probably didn't, but she would try. "Well, I figured Steve would be happy to know that Fury is taking the situation seriously," she said. "And while that happens, the rest of the precinct believes him."

---

Bucky mumbled 'Russian dressing' under his breath as he looked in the fridge. When Natasha gave her message he shot back up. "So they think it's foul play, too? They think Rumlow did something intentionally?" Bucky’s heart was picking up pace and he almost forgot about Natasha's sandwich entirely.

---

Natasha nodded her head solemnly. "A few officers overheard him trying to get Steve kicked out a day or so before it happened," she said. "And as soon as the investigation started, he had a few choice words to call Steve. I'm sure you've heard it all before."

---

Bucky nodded in anger. "I'm sure I have... God, I want to fucking destroy that man for what he's done to Steve. He can't do much on his own and has to have medicine four times a day and he walks slowly and we can't have sex or anything until he's healed." Bucky finished slapping Natasha's sandwich together and brought it over to her mumbling, "We don't have Russian dressing."

---

Natasha was conflicted as well. On one hand, Rumlow was a good officer who saved everyone's life at least once. On the other, Steve didn't deserve any of this either. "How is he?" She asked softly. "He gets stir crazy real bad. And he can have a bit of a temper sometimes, so don't take it personal." Luckily, Bucky hadn’t had to see Steve truly mad yet.

---

"He's doing okay so far. I think he's started to get more and more antsy every day." Bucky sat in the chair across from the couch. "I don't know if Steve's crazy goes higher than mine so I think it'll be fine. He deals with my crazy at least one a week. Hell, you know what it's like."

---

"Crazy, huh?" Natasha asked with a raised eyebrow. "Well for the longest time, you were outnumbered by two little girls,” she joked. "Anyone would go crazy from that." She nibbled delicately at her sandwich. "He's a lot happier with you," she said. "I knew he was seeing someone just by the way he walked the day after he met you."

---

"Yeah?" Bucky asked with a shy grin. "I love him, you know. If that means anything to you as his friend, I really truly love him." There was a soft shuffling coming from his bedroom and Bucky thought Steve might be getting up from his nap. He'd be glad to see Natasha if he was awake.

---

"Ugh, no need to be gross about it," she complained, though it was clear she didn't want to hear anyone gushing about their significant other and not because of the gay part.

A minute or so later, Steve slowly made his way out of the bedroom with the help of his crutches. "Oh, hey."

---

"Hey, Steve." Bucky's face lit up and he stood to help him take a seat next to Natasha. "Do you want a sandwich or something? You need your medicine in about a half hour and you need to eat first." Bucky turned to head to the kitchen and started making a sandwich for Steve anyway.

---

Steve made a displeased sound at the reminder of his medicine. He hated feeling so useless and weak. He was a little embarrassed to be down and out in front of his colleague but Natasha didn't tease him. "I brought some stuff from your locker, by the way," Natasha told him. "And papers for disability."

--- 

Bucky listened in while they talked and he didn't make a sound. He wanted to see if Natasha would tell Steve what she had told him or if she would just have Bucky do it later. He was also curious to see how Steve acted around his coworkers. Not that he thought he would be that different, but it would be interesting to see.

---

Steve got a bit into police mode around Natasha. He sat up a little straighter and spoke more properly. Natasha didn't tell him about Rumlow but she did reassure him that the precinct wished him a quick and full recovery. "I'll come over for dinner next week," Natasha said, totally inviting herself over. "I'll bring takeout." She looked up at Bucky and said, "I'm not asking for permission cause you yelled at me once."

---

Bucky handed Steve his sandwich and said, "I respect that, and I'm sorry again. Also, it's Steve's home now, too, so he can have anyone he likes over." Bucky paused and looked at him. "No, you may have anyone over who isn't a handsome man. No cute boys while I'm not around."

---

"So does that mean Thor isn't allowed over?" Natasha asked. She looked over at Bucky and said, "That guy is a big beefcake. Total wall of muscle."

Steve was a little reluctant to eat right now so he just took the sandwich and set it on the coffee table. "As if I could ever even think about anyone but you, Buck."

---

Bucky kissed Steve's head and said, "Eat, Punk." He brought the medicine over next and sat it on the coffee table with some water. "Food then drugs." He sat back down and crossed his leg on his lap. "Natasha, what do we need to do with the disability papers?"

---

Steve stared at the sandwich before mumbling, "I'm not hungry."

Natasha picked up the folder and showed Bucky the papers. "He has to fill out that he was shot and sign it down there. He can't mention anything about Rumlow, just that there were plans for backup and backup failed. Don't mention foul play or any of that or else disability services may give him the runaround."

---

Bucky nodded and said that he would make sure they got them filled out as soon as possible. "Where do I need to take them after he's filled it out?" He gave Steve a look and then pointed at the sandwich. He wasn't going to let him out of it that easy. Unless he felt like throwing up, he was eating that damn sandwich.

---

Steve gave Bucky a heated glare but didn't say anything because he didn't want to get into a spat in front of Natasha who said, "I'll pick it up and take it to officer affairs for you guys. While I'm sure most people wouldn't bother Steve, I figure it'll be safer for me to turn it in."

---

"Probably a good idea because I don't have the best track record in the precinct, I'm sure." Bucky checked the clock. The girls would be home any minute. "Natasha, are you staying for a while? You can stay for dinner. My sisters are probably headed home now," Bucky said and glanced at Steve and the entirely uneaten sandwich. "Fucking hell, Steve." He breathed out quietly.

---

"It's alright. I've got a cat at home that will scratch the furniture if I stay out for too long. I'll come by in a few days to pick up the paperwork and steal more food from you." She gave them both a brief hug goodbye before heading out.

---

Bucky locked the door behind her and came back to hover over Steve. "Why aren't you eating? Are you sick?" He asked in a sternly concerned voice. "You need food before medicine and you need medicine so you don't hurt. Please eat."

---

"I'm not hungry, Bucky," Steve complained. "I'm tired and I don't want to shove food down my throat that I don't want. The medicine isn't making a difference anyway," he said moodily. He didn't want to concern Bucky by being too grumpy but he also didn't feel much better from when he first came home.

---

"Steve, the medicine makes it so you don't feel the pain as much," Bucky said and rested a hand on his thigh. "I know you're sick of this and you don't want to eat but please, please eat for me. I promised your mother I'd watch out for you when she wasn't here and so I have to make you eat."

---

"I said I'm not hungry," Steve said tensely. "There's no point in eating if I'm going to throw it up later. Or make my stomach too uneasy to eat dinner tonight." Steve frowned and looked away. "Missing one meal isn't going to kill me, Bucky, you don't have to worry."

---

Bucky frowned at Steve. "Have you been throwing up lately, Steve? How long has that been happening? Why didn't I know?" He stood to look for the doctor's phone number. "I should call your doctor about that. That can't be good. Maybe it's a side effect of the medicine."

---

"Buck, goddammit, I haven't thrown up but I will if I force myself to eat something I don't want!" Steve bristled and his voice was raised but not so loud that he was shouting. "I want to be with my boyfriend right now, not a nurse."

---

Bucky clenched his jaw and squared his shoulders. "You want me to make you something other than a sandwich?" He gritted out. "And I am your boyfriend, Steve. But I'm also in charge of your recovery and that means being vigilant with what we need to do to get you better. I'm only doing this because I care about you and want a quick recovery."

---

"No. I don't want anything to eat right now," Steve grumbled. He rubbed at his face. "I know you care, Bucky, but I can't stand being babied all the time. I'd rather fall on my ass than have anyone help me walk around here again. It's maddening."

---

"Maybe I will let you fall on your ass, yeah? Let you feel how much that's gonna hurt! You have a fucking bullet wound in your back, Steve! Try to loosen up on your damn pride for awhile and let us help you for once." Bucky was getting pretty mad. It seemed to him that Steve was only happy when he was taking care of Bucky. And that thought made Bucky feel small and weak.

---

"Won't hurt as much as being shot in the first place," Steve retorted, stubborn as ever and being even less malleable because Bucky was raising his voice. "Just cause I'm not hungry for one fucking meal doesn't mean I'm on a slope to killing myself over it."

---

"Excuse me?" Bucky whispered with furrowed brows and folded arms. "Steve, I think you might want to reconsider your words and who you are talking to." Bucky turned around sharply and headed for his room to get changed. The girls would be home soon and he needed to get to work in an hour and he wasn't going to wear the sweats he had on.

---

Steve slowly stood up, glaring at Bucky's back as he left and went to get the plastic wrap from the cabinet. He wrapped up the sandwich and tossed it in the fridge, hating how long it took him to do every fucking thing. When Lilly and Becca came home, he pretended to be too tired to talk and just laid down on the couch.

"Bucky!" Lilly called down the hall. "I'm hungry!"

---

Bucky swung open his door and rushed out into the kitchen. He tried to smile at the girls and be polite and calm. "Okay, Lil. What do you want?" He opened the fridge to see Steve's freshly wrapped sandwich and he pulled it out with a grimace and handed it to her. "Eat Steve's sandwich." He offered and slammed the fridge shut again. He headed towards the door, slipping on his shoes. "I'm going to head to work early and take the long way. I need a walk," Bucky said to Becca who was closest. He opened the door and quickly escaped, locking it behind him.

---

Steve was generally unresponsive all evening. He felt bad for upsetting Bucky but he still felt justified for not eating when he wasn't hungry. Lilly made her best attempt at a grilled cheese for his dinner and Steve sat on the couch and waited up for Bucky to return home from work.

---

After Bucky got out of work around one in the morning, he took another long walk around the city and ended up at a bar. He drank several rounds of whiskey and some beers that a lady who was flirting with him all night bought. They had short meaningless conversations and she left once he started complaining that he was taking care of now three children - one of which was a grown ass adult man with solid pride that he wouldn't shake. After a while, Bucky stumbled back home and checked his watch - 4:37 - before opening the door and walking into the dark apartment.

---

When an hour passed after Bucky was supposed to be home, Steve started to panic. He called the precinct and asked frantically if anyone matching Bucky's description had turned up or was brought to a hospital. Even though they said they would let him know, he called every hour. When Bucky finally came in, Steve nearly cried with relief. "Bucky, what the hell happened?" He asked, standing a little too quickly and grimacing at the shot of pain that went through his body.

---

Bucky looked towards the source of the outburst with a confused haze and his eyes adjusted to focus on Steve over by the couch. "Steve..." He breathed out like he was surprised to see him. "Went drinking," he said simply and nodded his head causing himself to get dizzy. He started towards the cabinet and pulled out a box of cereal. Sticking his hand in to munch on some, he shrugged at Steve.

---

"You went drinking? Fuck, it's almost five in the morning!" Steve whispered harshly at him. "You don't think to tell me first so I didn't sit up worrying that you got tracked down by the asshole who left me to die? Or that you got mugged or something?"

---

Putting the cereal box down, Bucky made an offended face and said, "I gotta tell you where I'm gonna be now, Steve?" He gestured down his body with his hands and wobbled a bit. "I'm home now, aren't I? No one killed me." He didn't realize how loud he was actually speaking and he also didn't hear Becca tiptoe into the hallway to listen in on what was going on.

---

"No, but you should tell me when you're not coming home right away so nobody worries about where you are. And keep your voice down." Steve was livid and upset but he didn't want to have Bucky wake the girls. "Please, just come to bed."

---

"I don't want to," Bucky said with a childish edge. He folded his arms and leaned against the counter. "I don't work tomorrow. Maybe I'll just go back to the bar." He shivered where he stood and touched his chest. He must have slopped some beer on his shirt because it was damp and cold.

---

"No, Buck. They're probably closed already," Steve said. He slowly walked over and touched Bucky's arm. "Baby, come to bed with me," Steve tried to tempt. He hadn't ever seen Bucky get this drunk before and he was upset that he couldn't stop him if Bucky refused to stay.

---

"I said I don't want to," Bucky snapped back. "You can't make me either because you did the same thing to me earlier over a fucking goddamn sandwich!"

---

"Not eating when I'm not hungry isn't the same as getting piss drunk and staying out to ungodly hours," Steve growled back.

---

Bucky slipped nimbly away from Steve and flopped over on the couch. Then he noticed Becca hiding in the shadows of the hall. "The fuck are you doing up?" He asked with curiosity and a gentle sort of drunken annoyance.

---

Steve's shoulders went stiff when Bucky spoke to Becca the way he did. He didn't know she was even awake until Bucky said something. He rushed over as quickly as his body would take him and he gave her a soft hug. "It's okay, Becca," he said. "I'll make sure he gets some sleep. You go rest up, okay?"

---

Becca let Steve hug her, but, when he let go, she went over to Bucky saying under her breath, "I know how to do this.” She leaned over Bucky and grabbed both his arms. Then she pulled him up and standing and leaned him against her. Bucky didn't even protest, he was so compliant as she started walking him towards his room. Once they were there, she got him inside the shower and pushed him so he was sitting down in the tub bowl. 

Steve had followed and was watching Becca as she turned on the water. "Cold!" Bucky yelped and Becca ignored him.

---

Steve felt awful that Becca had to be the responsible one when he was supposed to be the one looking out for them. Bucky had been doing so good and it made Steve wonder if this was going to be the norm every time they had a fight. He sat down on the closed lid of the toilet and put a hand over his middle as he watched the two with sad eyes. "Becca, are you sure you don't want me to help?"

---

"No, it's better to just let me," She said and watched Bucky with disappointed eyes. After another minute under the water, she turned it off and started toweling Bucky's long hair dry. "I usually just leave his clothes on and push him into his bed with the towel around him but you can take off his clothes if you'd rather not be next to him all wet and cold." Becca sounded like a professor or a doctor explaining something complex to a group of pupils. Bucky hadn't spoken since the water stopped except inaudible mumbles from underneath the towel.

---

Steve looked down at her as she explained everything. He hugged her again and did his best to make her feel like someone was watching out for her. "Thank you, Becca," he said softly. "I'll take care of him from here." Steve tilted her head up so she would look at him. "Your brother loves you a lot, okay? And not everyone can handle stress as well as you do. I'm going to do my best so you don't have to see him like this again."

---

Becca nodded and left Bucky in Steve's care. Bucky got up of his own accord and wrapped himself in the towel like a blanket before slowly inching out of the bathroom and towards his bed. "Sleepy," he muttered and sat on the edge of the bed staring at Steve. "And I'm cold."

---

Steve was so angry at Bucky for going out and worrying him sick. And he was even more upset that Becca had to see this all over again. But when Bucky was shivering on the bed looking absolutely pathetic, he couldn't fight him. "Come on," he sighed as he got out some warm pajamas. "Let's get you changed and we can cuddle up."

---

Bucky nodded and wiped his face on the towel. "No cuddling. Don't want to hurt you," he said as he started peeling off his clothes. "Got to be gentle with Steve," he added in a haze. Once he was naked, Bucky reached a hand out for Steve to give him the fresh clothes.

---

Steve handed Bucky his clothes and sighed softly when he continued to mumble in his drunkenness. "You're allowed to hold me, Baby," Steve said. "You can still be gentle with me."

---

Nodding, Bucky got into bed and curled up in a ball near his pillow. He was still shivering as Steve took his time getting in beside him and wrapping himself around Bucky. "Night, Baby." Bucky whispered. "Hope you still love me..." he added with an odd clarity before quickly slipping off to sleep.

---

Steve couldn't stretch his body out to completely envelop Bucky like he usually did, but he was at least able to wrap his arms strongly around him for a good cuddle. "I'll always love you, Buck." He fell asleep a while after Bucky did. When morning came, he felt like shit since he didn't get much sleep.

---

Bucky took his sweet time in waking up, but once he did, he was met with a raging headache and everything seemed too bright. It didn't feel like his normal hangovers. This felt worse. Like one of his stress headaches on steroids - probably affected by the alcohol the night before. "Jesus, fuck," Bucky gasped and a few tears ran down his face at the pain in his head.

---

Despite feeling like shit, Steve got up so he could send the girls off to school and made sure they had everything. He returned to bed and frowned when Bucky looked like he was in such pain. He hobbled over for some medicine and a glass of water so he could wordlessly offer it to Bucky.

---

Obediently, Bucky took the medicine and the water and swallowed it quickly. "Feels like my head is splitting open," he said low and quietly to Steve. "Like someone's got a turkey saw in my brain." He reached slowly for Steve's hand and gripped it tight once he had it.

---

Steve considered not responding to Bucky but he decided that the silent treatment didn't solve anything. "Do you remember anything from last night?" Steve asked as he gave Bucky's hand a squeeze.

---

Bucky sniffled and his lip quivered a bit as he thought. Of course he remembered. He remembered stumbling home at nearly five in the morning. He remembered yelling and swearing and being a shit to Steve. He remembered Becca and being put in the shower like old times. He remembered getting into bed and not knowing if Steve would even join him. Instead of saying all this, Bucky just asked, "You think I'm a bad guardian, don't you?"

---

Steve shook his head. "No, I don't think that," he said softly. "I'm very disappointed in you, Bucky. I won't lie about that. But I know you'd give up everything for your sisters." He brushed his thumb over the back of Bucky's hand. "We have to talk about what happened last night and why it came to that point. Because we need to help you through it." 

---

Bucky rolled so he wasn't facing Steve. He could feel himself starting to cry from the pain, hating himself, and knowing that Steve and Becca were both disappointed in him. "Told you I was going to fuck up again," Bucky choked out through the lump in his throat. "Jesus, I promised Becca she'd never have to do that again." He paused and wiped his eyes. "Surprised she didn't slap me like last time. She was probably too fucking tired to be angry."

---

"And what did I tell you I would do when you messed up, Buck?" Steve asked as he reached out to pet a hand through Bucky’s hair. "I told you I would help get you through it. So we are going to have to find a way to make things right with her. You're going to have to apologize and prove to her that you have plans to make sure it won't happen again."

---

Bucky rolled back, not giving a damn that Steve see him crying. "Becca's not forgiven me after all the time I spent doing okay so she's certainly not going to forgive me after this."

---

"Well, you have to apologize regardless of whether you think she's going to forgive you or not because she deserves an apology," Steve said.

---

Bucky sat up too quickly and his head throbbed. "I don't even really remember what it was that pushed me over the edge. I just remember hiding in my room until the girls came back and then leaving. Then I had a shit time at work and thought it was an okay idea to go to a bar."

---

Steve sighed and made Bucky meet his gaze. "Did it occur to you at all last night that staying out so late would worry us, Bucky? Why did you have to go to a bar when you had a rough time?"

---

"I don't know why I went," Bucky said. "I just wanted too. It's what I used to do." He thought about back when he would go out every other night and come home late. Back then, nothing was okay and he was incredibly self-destructive. He wasn't sure if he did it because he liked it or because he knew that it was reckless and he already felt like dying all the time anyway. He stared up into Steve's eyes and gave a weak pathetic smile. "I'm really sorry, Steve."

---

"Bucky, I don't mind if you go out late and get drunk if you let me know. But it's worrisome if you don't give anyone a heads up and you only do it when you're upset." Steve stroked his fingers through Bucky’s hair some more. "I was so mad last night. You woke Becca up when she should've been able to have a peaceful sleep." He sighed. "I'll stock the fridge with booze if you want to get drunk. But you can't go back to doing this - for your sisters' sakes."

---

Bucky nodded and sniffled. "She's got to be so disappointed in me. She told me the other day that she was proud that I was doing better. She said she thought being with you was helping me. Now I go and fuck up and bring her into it..." Bucky looked off in the corner of the room. "I wish my parents were here."

---

"You can make it up to her. She loves you and if you own up to it, it's better than shying away from her." Steve sighed and kissed Bucky's forehead. "I wish your parents were here, too, Baby. It's not fair that you have so much responsibility."

---

Bucky melted into the kiss and wished Steve would keep going. He felt terrible and just wanted to be held and loved, but he knew he didn't deserve that. "My headache has calmed down a little now." He wanted to ask Steve if he had taken his medicine but he also didn't want to go into yet another fight.

---

Steve saw how Bucky leaned into the kiss so he kissed him a few more times. "I'm glad you're feeling better, Baby." He cupped the sides of his face and looked into his eyes. "No matter what, I'll always love you. Okay, Buck?"

---

Bucky nodded and bit his lip absently. "I'm really sorry, Steve." He got off the bed then and started striding out towards the laundry room with purpose. Steve followed curiously and watched as Bucky rummaged in the cabinet for the bottles of whiskey and beer he had hidden. Bucky nodded and headed for the kitchen.

---

Steve followed slowly and wasn't sure what to think when Bucky took the booze. "Why don't you take a day out with Becca?" He suggested. "Treat her to something nice that you know she's wanted to do but hasn't asked for."

---

Wordlessly, Bucky screwed off the top of the bottles and unceremoniously poured the contents out into the sink. Then he moved to the cabinet above the fridge and reached as far back as he could to find the triple sec, which he dumped right alongside the whiskey. Next was the wine in the fridge and he lined up the bottles next to the others after the contents were gone. There was one more hiding place behind where he kept the vacuum and it had several tiny bottles of liquor taken from hotel rooms.

---

Steve watched with a sense of pride as Bucky poured out everything. When all was said and done, he walked over to hug him from behind. "I'm so proud of you, Baby. I know Becca will be too."

---

Bucky nodded and detached Steve so he could turn to face him. "I'm done. No more. I'll go to the places I have tabs and close them this weekend." He didn't consider himself to have a drinking problem necessarily, but he could tell that it was enough of an issue that he was causing hurt to his family.

---

Steve smiled and drew him in for a slow kiss. "You're doing the right thing, Bucky. I'm always going to support you, okay?" He hugged him close again. "You don't have to deal with anything alone ever again." Steve wanted Bucky to have a happy life and be able to deal with the bumps along the way.

---

"I love you, Steve." Bucky said and kissed him. "Now, can I make you any food?" He asked cautiously and flat. He didn't want to make it sound like he was forcing him to eat if he didn't want to eat but he also wanted to give him the option if there was something Bucky could make for him.

---

"Yes. You can make something for me to eat because I'm hungry this time," Steve said and took a seat at the table because he was a little exhausted already. "I didn't mean to get so angry with you yesterday. I wasn't feeling well and didn't want to be forced to eat."

---

"We just need to work on communicating better or something because you didn't want to eat but I wanted you to have your medicine," Bucky said and opened the fridge. "Reheated pasta, soup, a sandwich... cereal, pancakes, eggs... or I can go out and get something really fast," he offered and looked to Steve.

---

"I had my medicine later when Lilly made me a really...interesting... version of grilled cheese," Steve said. "And I'll have some pasta. I think I can't ever have cereal again after watching how much you guys eat it."

---

Bucky pulled the pasta out and put it in the microwave. "If you are planning on being a Barnes-Rogers or Rogers-Barnes - I forgot which one we settled on - you're going to have to get used to cereal and like it." He also took the milk from the fridge and made himself a bowl of cereal because all that talk was starting a craving.

---

"Rogers-Barnes cause it sounds better," Steve said. He pouted as Bucky made himself a bowl of cereal. "Cereal is great if you're uncultured or a child," he teased with a playful smirk.

---

Bucky stabbed a finger towards his mountain of records. "I'm cultured! Look at those records, Steve." The microwave beeped and Bucky pulled the pasta out and placed it in front of his boyfriend. "I'd say I'm more cultured than you. You haven't seen any of the Star Wars movies!"

---

"You can't be more cultured than someone who patrols the most culturally diverse city in the states," Steve said and started to eat his food once Bucky put it in front of him. "Can we do something today?"

---

Bucky sat down and ate his cereal. "Of course we can. What do you want to do?" He asked and smiled at Steve. "I've already dumped the alcohol so that's not an option." He grimaced. It was going to be hard to completely quit drinking. Maybe he could convince Steve to let him have the occasional glass of something.

---

"Maybe we can catch a movie before the girls get home. Or we can have a nice lunch? I don't want to have to use my wheelchair or crutches so we have to do something that isn't very active," Steve said.

---

"Sure, you want to go see that new movie? The Terminator - I think that's what it's called. I heard it was really good. It's got good action," Bucky suggested and reached out for one of Steve's hands. "Or we could go to the bookstore. I can pick up something nice for Becca to read and maybe find something that Lilly could like."

---

Steve paused in thought. "Let's go get something for Becca," he said. "Maybe... I was thinking taking them to a shelter to get a cat or dog. I'll be home for some time, so now would be the best time to housetrain whatever we end up getting."

---

Bucky smiled sadly and sighed. "We can't afford an animal. I don't make enough and your disability pay is going towards your hospital and medicine bills anyway. The girls will be fine with a couple books and maybe some new records for Lilly. Or I could spring for a VCR player instead."

---

"But it'll make them happy," Steve said. "We're both smart. We can figure a way to make it work. But... if you don't want an animal in the house, I understand," he said. "Don't want to saddle you on with anything you don't want."

---

"I don't mind having an animal in the house. It just can't become my responsibility. It has to be their animal and their duty to care for it. That means they feed it and pick up after it and take it out to shit. I'll just buy the supplies." Bucky finished his cereal and got up to wash the bowl. "That still doesn't take care of the two hundred extra dollars a month for rent."

---

"Well," Steve murmured, shrugging. "It's less than what I had to pay for my own apartment. We can wait and see what my disability pay is like before we make a final decision."

---

"Your disability pay is going towards your medical bills," Bucky repeated sternly then he sighed not wanting to argue. "You talk with the girls, you get them to agree to take care of it and not bother me about it unless it needs more food, and I'll just pick up some more hours at work. Clint owes me a raise anyway." 

---

"Yeah but if I have anything left over from disability, I can help," Steve said. "I get good healthcare with the police force. Because I got shot on the job, I'll only have to cover the copays." Which added up after all his visits. "We'll talk about it more in a week or so," he said.

---

"Okay," Bucky conceded. "So are we going to the bookstore? I need to get out of these pajamas." Bucky adjusted and realized he wasn't wearing any underwear. He vaguely remembered Steve giving him clothes to wear so he must have just forgotten any.

---

"Yeah, a bookstore would be nice," Steve said. "Maybe I can find you a good cookbook. Or we can find something in the culture section," he joked as he went to their bedroom to change.

---

"You're an ass, Rogers," Bucky said as he stripped. He found a pair of blue jeans that weren't falling apart too badly then he shuffled through the shirts he had. It was fairly chilly outside and getting colder everyday as winter grew on the city. He pulled out a deep navy sweater and an old concert t-shirt.

---

Steve had to be careful dressing since his wound was just starting to really heal up. Once he was dressed, he put an arm around Bucky's shoulders and pulled him in for a deep kiss. "You look so good in that sweater."

---

"Thank you." Bucky smiled back and gave him another quick kiss. "And you will look much better with your collar fixed," he added and adjusted Steve's wonky collar. "You sure you aren't taking your crutches?" Bucky asked and pointed to where they were leaning in the corner.

---

Steve nodded his head. "I'm sure. I don't want to feel like I'm sick or anything. Crutches make me feel so... inept." He opened the door and let Bucky walk out first. "You really are a stickler about neat collars, huh?"

---

"Well, I don't want to be seen with a guy whose collar isn't folded properly. That's just ridiculous," Bucky said and checked his wallet to see if he had enough money for their outing. He had roughly thirty dollars and figured he could get three books - maybe four - if he picked them carefully.

---

Steve bumped shoulders with Bucky a few times while they walked. "I was thinking about finding Lilly a book or two on some female soccer stars. What kind of books do you think Becca would want?"

---

"Adventure books or biographies," Bucky responded. "She's a big fan of Eleanor Roosevelt. Maybe they have a book about her." Once they reached the shop, Bucky held open the door for Steve and trailed in after him. He was immediately overwhelmed with choices and didn't even know where to begin with everything.

---

Steve decided they would get Becca her stuff first before worrying about Lilly. He asked one of the associates for help, who started to really obviously flirt with him while Steve awkwardly tried to pick out a book without making her feel bad.

---

Bucky hovered close to Steve and kept eyeing the shop helper trying his best to convey without screaming that Steve was gay and taken. They were staring at the biography section when something caught Bucky's eye and he pulled it triumphantly from the case saying, "Sacagawea!"

---

Steve jumped a little when Bucky exclaimed some name that Steve hadn't heard since primary school. "You think Becca would like that one?" He asked.

The assistant looked at Bucky and offered, "There's a few books about her that are a little better-rated in the women's history section."

---

"Steve, she'll fucking love Sacagawea." Bucky nodded enthusiastically and tucked the book under his arm. He turned to the shop helper and thanked her for the advice. "Does women's history also have Eleanor Roosevelt? Rosa Parks? Harriet Tubman?"

---

"Well, they're all historical women, so... probably," she said and led them over. Steve realized that they were going to have a hell of a hard time picking out from the mass of books that Becca would love in this section.

---

"Fuck me..." Bucky breathed out as he skimmed the books. "Steve, maybe I should just bring Becca here with some money and she can pick out which she wants." He wasn't quite sure if he could manage to pick good ones from the mass in front of him. He knew for sure he was getting a Sacagawea book. Bucky loved her and figured Becca would too.

---

"I guess we could do that. But I still want to get her something to surprise her at home," he said. Steve had to thumb through a few books before picking one on Eleanor Roosevelt for her. "And something for Lilly?"

---

"I wonder if they have a history of lacrosse book?" Bucky asked and shrugged at Steve. "Something with pictures because Lilly doesn't like reading a lot. Or we could just get her some snacks on the way home. Something sweet and sugary that I don't normally let her have."---

---

"I think we should give her a book," Steve said. "So that way she doesn't feel like she's getting something less than Becca, you know?" He didn't want her to consider running away again or that she was dead weight.

---

"Clearly, you don't know the value of sugary treats to Lilly," Bucky said as he scanned the room for a sign pointing to a sports section. "Found it. I'm sure there is something in there for her." They made their way over to the sports section and Steve started looking through the books as Bucky watched his ass and held Becca's books.

---

Steve smiled and chuckled a bit. "Still, I don't want to risk it. Candy is cheap and we can pick it up any day." Steve braced himself against the bookshelf a few times when it became a bit much to stand for so long. But ultimately he found a book he knew Lilly would love. "Got it!"

---

"What is it?" Bucky asked, eyes still locked on Steve's body. He really missed fucking Steve. It had been a while and he was getting incredibly horny and worked up as the days went on. But he also didn't want to hurt Steve at all and that meant no sexual shenanigans.

---

"Check it out. A history of lacrosse, and it's written by a woman," Steve said as he proudly showed it off to Bucky. "Look, it even has big text and plenty of pictures. It was like this book was made for her."

---

Bucky beamed at his boyfriend. "Perfect, nice find, Steve." He looked at the two they had for Becca and the one they had for Lilly. "Should we find another something for her, too? Maybe a sports calendar?" He didn't really want to give Becca two books and only one to Lilly.

---

"You think she would like that?" Steve asked. "What about a fancy water bottle like the one the Long Island kids have? I think she was eyeing one of them but didn't want to ask you to spend money on something for once."

---

"I don't even know where to find shit like that." Bucky shrugged. "But I guess we can try to get her a fancy water bottle." He gingerly took the book from Steve and added it to the pile he had. "Are we good to buy these and head out?"

---

“Yeah let’s go,” Steve said and headed to the counter. “I’ll pay.” He handed the cashier some money and waited for his change.

---

Bucky shot Steve a glare and said through gritted teeth, "Fine." He was going to argue that Steve was hurt and wasn't working but he knew that Steve was going to bring up the disability pay again. He took the bag gratefully from the shop helper and let Steve lead the way out.

---

Steve frowned when Bucky gave him that glare. "Buck," he said softly. "It isn’t because I don't think you can pay for it yourself. It's because I love them, too, and I want to be able to spoil them just as much as you."

---

"Well, if you're getting them an animal, then I should get them these," Bucky said. "Because I'm having no part in getting the animal. Just the supplies." Bucky loved animals, especially kittens and puppies, but he couldn't let himself get attached to whatever they brought home cause he would end up taking care of it then. 

---

"Well, I was thinking the animal should be from the both of us, even if all you're doing is getting the supplies. That's too big of a thing for me to take all the credit for," Steve said. He knew the girls would have a hard time getting mad at Bucky for a while if he had a hand in them getting a pet. 

---

"I'm not picking it out," Bucky conceded but secretly hoped they would get a little fluff ball kitten or a rescue dog. "And I'm not training it. And if it pees on the carpet, I'm not cleaning it up. And the girls have to keep up on its vaccines and stuff. I won't keep track." Bucky continued to list off various things that could go wrong and how he was decidedly not going to be involved.

---

"Baby," Steve said softly so nobody else would hear. "I know all that. But wouldn't it be great to tell them together that we're going to a rescue and letting them pick out a pet?" Steve asked. "You don't have to choose it. Just tell them with me."

---

Bucky stopped in his tracks and looked at Steve. He whispered, "Wish I could kiss you right now." Then he let out a defeated sigh. "Just tell me what to say and I'll say it. This animal's already causing me way too much trouble. You sure some books and a fancy water bottle isn't enough?"

---

"We give them the books and water bottle today and we wait a few days to tell them about the pet," Steve said. He walked inside one of the stores and immediately found the bottle he'd been talking about. "They're going to be so excited."

---

"And you say I'm like a dad." Bucky crossed his arms and waited next to Steve as he paid. They were certainly one of the strangest parental pairs that Bucky had ever seen. An injured gay cop and a beat down hippie with a giant ass record collection. They were pretty unique.

---

"Well, you are," Steve pointed out as he paid and gave Bucky a happy smile as they walked out. "I've always wanted to be a parent. Having kids now is obviously out of the question, so I got to make the most of watching Lilly and Becca grow up."

---

Bucky's face wrinkled up in a pout. "I'd raise a baby with you if we were allowed one," he said in a mumble. No one would let Bucky adopt a baby while he still had two minors in his care and no one would give a baby to Steve now that his whole precinct knew he was gay and he also officially lived with a man. It wasn't very fair. If Steve had always wanted to be a dad and have kids then he should be allowed to. Then, Bucky just felt like shit. If Steve were straight he could have that wish. But being with Bucky prevented it.

---

Steve stopped dead in his tracks. "You would?" He asked softly. He knew that it was practically impossible since no one would let a gay couple adopt. But he thought that Bucky wouldn't have any interest in raising another kid after suddenly having to bring up his sisters. Steve's eyes got all soft and lovesick. He wished he could sweep Bucky off his feet right now, but he was injured and they were in public.

---

"Yeah," Bucky shrugged out a response. "But we aren't allowed to anyway." He frowned and clenched his jaw in thought. They were out in the open but no one seemed to be paying them any mind. "If you weren't with me you could have a baby," He said slowly and sadly. "You'd get to be a dad."

---

Steve gave Bucky a concerned frown. "So what if I could? If I'm not with you, it wouldn't be worth it. I wouldn't trade our relationship for anything in the world, Bucky." He didn't want Bucky to feel like he was holding Steve back at all.

---

Bucky just turned and started walking towards their place again. He was incredibly angry at himself and the world. If only everyone would get their heads out of their asses and not give a shit if two men or two women raised a child together or got married or grew old together or held hands or fought for their rights. He shook his head at the thought and slowed his pace so Steve could catch up.

---

"Buck-" Steve started, about to remind him that he couldn't walk so fast. When he caught up, he hesitated and then on a whim planted a firm kiss on his cheek. If anyone saw, they were too busy going about their day to voice any concern. "I love you."

---

Bucky huffed out air quickly in surprise like he was out of breath. "What... Steve?" He said and touched his cheek where he was kissed. "Let's get back home. I want to hold you really badly and tell you how sorry I am that I can't give you a child." 

---

Steve's heart pounded nervously in his chest, but he wanted to show Bucky that he wasn't ashamed and didn't regret that they were together. When they got back to the apartment, he pulled Bucky gently into a hug. "You have nothing to be sorry for."

---

Bucky leaned into Steve gently and rested his head against his shoulder. "But you said you've always wanted to be a dad. And I can't give that to you." Bucky's head was starting to hurt and he really wanted something alcoholic to drink. He didn't know what else to do except hold Steve to him and try not to let himself get too upset.

---

"So?" Steve said. "Life doesn't always work out the way we thought it would. I have a bigger family now than I've ever had. That counts for something. And, Baby, you make me so happy." He kissed the top of Bucky's head. "You take such good care of me."

---

Bucky reached a hand up to Steve's cheek and he pulled him in for an open mouthed kiss. "I love you so much, Steve. And if they ever let us adopt a baby, let's fucking do it." He smiled weakly and rubbed his thumb over Steve's cheek. "I really miss this."

---

Steve was so happy to know that Bucky was willing to adopt a kid. He knew it wouldn't be for a while, both because they had to wait for Lilly and Becca to grow up and because nobody now would let them adopt. Steve's eyes lit up and he smiled brightly at Bucky. "Let’s lay down in bed," he said. "And touch each other everywhere."

---

Bucky groaned and said, "Okay, but we have to be gentle. Like really gentle. You're still hurt and I don't want to go to the doctor and have to explain how you injured yourself again." He took Steve's hand and sent a short prayer to Steve's god that he would heal quickly and they could fuck again. He wasn't sure Steve's god would take to kindly to that request but he wanted to give it a try.

---

Steve rolled his eyes. "I’m not made out of glass. And you can barely see the wound anymore." It wasn't entirely true and there was plenty of internal damage still. He pulled Bucky into the bedroom and carefully laid down on the bed. "I can't stop thinking about making you come again."

---

"Steve, you know I want to jump your bones and fuck the lights out of you just about every day." Bucky said, "It was getting so bad lately I considered taking Phillip out of closet and playing with him. But I knew you'd get all mad at me." Bucky stroked a hand down Steve's chest.

---

Steve gave Bucky a grumpy look at the mention of his dildo. "You could have just asked me to fist you again," he said bluntly. "I didn't get shot in the arm." He slowly took off Bucky's sweater and began to kiss his neck.

---

"It still would have been too vigorous for your back anyway." Bucky's breath picked up and he let Steve start stripping him down and kissing whatever was available.

---

"I could have just kept my hand there and let you do all the work," Steve joked. He got Bucky's torso bare and started to bite gently at his nipples.

---

"Steve, I love you so much and I'm sorry again about worrying you and staying out late," Bucky pleaded and whined at Steve’s touch.

---

"I know, Baby, I know," Steve said. "I've already forgiven you." He gently rubbed a hand down Bucky’s chest and squeezed at his hips and thigh.

---

Bucky went quiet and felt Steve all over him. He really did miss this. Part of him keep saying that he should tell Steve to be more careful with himself but he also knew Steve wouldn't listen to him at all. Bucky hummed low and gratefully as Steve licked and bit his nipples.

---

Steve took Bucky's pants off and rubbed his palm over his dick and made a quiet, aroused sound. "Missed your dick," he murmured. "Can I suck it? I promise I'll go easy."

---

Bucky nodded and gasped. "Yeah, only if you go easy on yourself, Baby." He adjusted on the bed and ran a hand through his hair. It had been a while since they did this at all and Bucky was worried he was going to last only about a minute with Steve on him before he was coming all over himself.

---

Steve nuzzled at Bucky's stomach and kissed down to his cock. He licked a long stripe up the shaft and took the tip into his mouth, pressing the flat of his tongue against the head of Bucky's cock and then he started to slowly bob his head.

---

Bucky let out a tight gasp when Steve started to suck him off and his hand flew to Steve's head to gently hold him. "I missed this so much," he said with lust in his voice. Today had started out terrible and quickly made itself better.

---

Steve moaned low. God, he was so fucking hard already. He missed being able to fool around with Bucky just because they could. Faintly, he could hear the sound of the girls coming home from school. He groaned and started to rush a little, working his tongue faster over the underside of Bucky's cock.

---

Bucky didn't hear the shuffling of his sisters in the apartment and he let out a probably louder than appropriate noise when Steve sped up his tongue. He really wasn't going to last very long with Steve today. He hadn't been touched like this from him in a while. It only took a few more seconds before he was tapping Steve's arm trying to convey that he was about to come.

---

Steve swatted Bucky's hip lightly to scold him for being so loud. He fucked his mouth on Bucky's dick until he was coming down Steve's throat. He swallowed him readily and licked the tip clean before pulling off. "Christ, that was good."

---

Bucky nodded slowly with eyes closed and laid there for a few seconds. "You feel okay? Not hurting at all?" He checked. Then he heard the girls. There was faint discussion coming from the kitchen and Bucky sat up. He looked at Steve's dick and whined because he probably didn't have time to take care of it. Steve would have to do it himself while he went out to the girls.

---

"I'm fine," Steve said as he wiped his mouth. He laid down and looked lazily up at Bucky. "I'm fairly certain this won't be the last time I get an erection," he said. "I'll be out in a few minutes." Steve reached into his pants and started to stroke himself.

---

Bucky kissed him quickly and slipped his clothes back on as best he could before scampering out of their room to meet the girls. Becca was rummaging around in the trash and Lilly was hovering over her curiously. When Bucky came over to see what they were doing, Becca was angrily taking the empty bottles out of the bin and lining them up on the counter. When Bucky asked what she was doing, Becca turned on him quickly and snarled, "Is this what you've been doing all day? Drinking more?"

---

Steve froze when he heard Becca and Bucky arguing back and forth. It hurt a little that Bucky was getting blamed for something he didn't do, but also that the first thing she did was go through the garbage. He groaned as he shoved on a thick pair of jeans that would hide his boner and he slowly made his way into the kitchen. "Becca - Jesus, Becs, he dumped it all. It's okay."

---

Becca looked from Steve to Bucky still angry as all get out. She pointed at her brother, "Is that true?" 

Bucky nodded quickly and said, "Yes, that's what I've been trying to tell you. I quit. No more alcohol - ever. I dumped it down the sink. You can smell my breath if you want." He was trying his best not to yell. He really wished they could have had this conversation in a calmer setting maybe after giving out their presents.

---

Steve walked over and put a hand on Becca's shoulder. "I didn't even have to ask him, Kiddo. We had a talk about what happened last night and Bucky went right to pouring everything out," he said. Steve gave her shoulder a little squeeze. "Have a seat on the couch. We can't have you angry when you're opening up the cool stuff we got you - both of you."

---

Lilly perked up then and said, "Presents?" with a wide grin. Becca went back to being quiet and skeptical but she followed Lilly over to the couch anyway. Bucky still felt like shit. Becca had no faith in him at all and he was going to have to do a lot to prove he could be trusted again. And some presents and a puppy or kitten weren't going to fix that.

---

Steve nodded his head. He knew this wasn't going to remedy Becca's trust issues with Bucky, but this was still something to show that they loved them. He got the two bags - one with Becca's books and one with Lilly's book and water bottle. He kissed Bucky's cheek and both he and Bucky handed the girls their gifts.

---

Lilly tore into the bag and pulled out her presents as Becca slowly and methodically reached in for hers. Lilly held her water bottle up in triumph and squeaked and Becca simply stared at the books before saying, "Dad loved Sacagawea," with a faint smile.

---

Steve was happy that they liked their gifts. "Bucky picked that one out for you," he said to Becca. "We were having a hard time figuring which ones you would like. They had a whole wall from ceiling to floor of books like that."

---

Becca looked up at Steve and actually nodded to him in thanks. "Can we go back there sometime?" She asked and held her books to her chest. 

Bucky immediately nodded and said, "Of course. Once you finish those two we can go get you more." He smiled at her and held out his arms for a hug. Becca hesitated but when Lilly jumped up and hugged Bucky, she joined, followed closely by Steve.

---

Steve grinned happily when Becca hugged her brother. He joined in on the group hug and kissed the top of all of their heads. "I love you all so much," he said softly. "I'm glad I get to spend more time with all of you." He let go and sat down on the couch. "So do you like Sacagawea because your dad did, too?"

---

Bucky nodded and said, "When we went on those fishing trips he always had a new book and a new story to tell me. One of his favorites to tell was hers." He sat in the chair across from the couch and pulled Lilly onto his lap and hugged her close.

---

Steve gave Bucky a warm look and carefully wrapped a blanket around him to keep himself warm. "He sounded pretty neat. Complete opposite of my dad - he was loud from what my mom tells me of him."

---

Bucky held Lilly close and kissed her head. He thought about his parents and missed them terribly. He looked up to Steve with gentle loving eyes and asked, "Do you think we should tell them about the animal now or later?"

Lilly whipped her head around to stare at Bucky. "What animal?"

---

Jesus, Lilly was on the ball when it came to stuff she wanted. "Yeah, we saw a pigeon stealing some lady's purse on the way back," Steve said, clearly lying. Lilly was unlikely to let it go, so he gave Bucky a small nod to let him know he could go ahead.

---

Bucky smiled and gave Lilly a squeeze. "Steve was thinking we could get you two a little rescue animal from the shelter to have as your very own." At Lilly's automatic yelping and Becca's surprised gasp, Bucky added hastily, "There are some rules! Steve, what are the rules?"

---

Steve watched the girls fondly. "Yes, rules. You two have to be the ones to take care of it. You have to clean up after it and schedule vet appointments if it's sick. Bucky is only going to pay for the supplies. I can help you train it since I'm here but the rest is up to you."

---

Becca nodded along with a serious expression and Lilly insisted that she could handle that. Bucky knew she couldn't. It would probably end up being all Becca. "Does that sound fair to the both of you?" Bucky asked and poked Lilly in the side. "Can you handle being in charge of it?"

---

Lilly rolled her eyes and insisted that she would help out. Bucky pushed her gently off his lap so he could get up saying that he needed a thicker sweater and headed towards his room. Becca followed after him. Clearly, she wanted to talk.

---

Steve watched Bucky and Becca head out to the other room. He reached out to ruffle up Lilly's hair. "You like your book, Kiddo? Bucky was the one who suggested you would like something like that."

---

Lilly smiled excitedly, "Yeah, I do! And I like the water bottle a lot. It's like the one the other guys on my team have." She paused then and looked towards Bucky's room. "Becca's really mad at Bucky. She told me he was out drinking last night. Don't know what she's saying in there now but she had some strong words about it on the way to school this morning."

---

"Your sister has a right to be mad," Steve said softly. "Your brother is doing his best but sometimes he messes up just like any of us. Becca is allowed to be upset. I don't like that she's badmouthing him, though."

---

Lilly adjusted and faced Steve. Nervously tugging on her shirtsleeve, she leaned into Steve slightly and asked, "Can I tell you something you can't tell Bucky?"

---

He hesitated at her question but nodded. "Alright. I won't tell him, but you should really tell him eventually whatever you're about to say to me."

---

"It's nothing like that..." Lilly started. "Becca's worried that Bucky's going to get drunk and try to overdose again like he did a few years ago. She thought he was doing better with you but then he came home drunk last night and she doesn't know what to think now."

---

Steve's eyes went wide. "He tried to overdose?" He hissed in a low voice. How could he - with his sisters in need of him? Steve knew that Bucky didn't handle stress in the best way but the girls already lost their parents. "Lilly, you can tell her that I'm watching over him now. And he may slip off the wagon now and again, but you guys don't have to worry, alright?"

---

Lilly went pale and looked sheepish. "Steve, I - I'm sorry. I thought you knew about that. I figured he would have told you." She pulled her hair out of its tie and tucked it behind her ears. "It was just after our parents died and our grandma was still alive. He'd just left school and started at the record shop." Lilly grabbed Steve's arm harshly. "Don't tell Bucky I told you about this. I wouldn't have said anything if I'd known you hadn't heard about it already."

---

Steve was so angry and sad on Bucky's behalf. He wanted to cry but he couldn't do it in front of Lilly or else she would feel even worse. "I won't tell him you said anything," Steve promised. He gave her a hug. "I'm glad you and your sister are looking out for your brother." He paused and then asked, "Is anything about this situation bothering you?"

---

Lilly looked down at her lap and chewed her lip. "Don't like it when the two of them fight. It's usually just quiet rage and dirty looks for a couple days but I still don't like it. Guess I don't mind if he drinks but Becca doesn't let me see him when he comes home drunk anyway so I don't know."

---

"Becca is headstrong and Bucky is...well, Bucky," Steve said. "Sometimes that's just how things go, but you've got me to talk to now if things aren't going so well between them." He tickled her side. "And soon you'll have a little animal friend, too."

---

Lilly giggled at Steve and gave him a quick hug before Becca popped out of Bucky's room with Bucky following close behind. They came to stand in front of the couch and Bucky looked to Steve and said, "Becca has decided that you have to come with me when I close my tabs at the bars." He put his hands in his pockets. "Even though I can handle it on my own, I told her you would join me."

---

Steve understood Becca's mistrust and didn't want to make a scene of it. "Sure," he said. "Even though you're able to do it, I think it's worth it to make Becca feel confident that it's all done." He slowly stood and wrapped Bucky up in a tight hug. He gave him an intense look and tried to think what Bucky must have been thinking when he tried to overdose, "I love you."

---

Bucky hugged him back and noticed Lilly looking away guiltily but he didn't say anything. "Becca also said she gets to pick dinner tonight." He added. 

"I want cereal, Steve," Becca said and crossed her arms. "I miss cereal."

---

"Cereal!" Steve exclaimed. "Bucky's the one that made you mad. Why do I have to suffer?" he said dramatically, but he did give in fairly quickly because he knew that Becca had to deal with a lot between last night and today and she deserved a break.

---

"Babe, you still have some soup in there I think." Bucky kissed him quickly and gave him a pout pretending that he cared that Steve didn't want cereal for dinner. Lilly grabbed onto Becca's arm and began asking a million questions like what kind of animal should they get and what are they going to name it and what color should it be?

---

Once Becca and Lilly were distracted, Steve sat Bucky down and cuddled up to him. He wrapped an arm around his waist and laid his head on his shoulder. "How're you feeling, Baby?"

---

"Little overwhelmed, but otherwise fine." Bucky kissed Steve's head. "Not drinking is going to be tough. I really like drinking. But I have to do it - for all of you." He held Steve close to him and ran a hand up and down his arm. He loved having Steve here and he was so glad that they at least could be open and affectionate in their own home.

---

Steve kissed Bucky's jaw. "I know it's a big step and I'm real proud of you." Steve laced their fingers together. "Just promise me something, okay? No matter how hard it gets, let me help. I don't want you to ever have to face something alone or feel like there's no way out."

---

Bucky smiled weakly and nodded. "Okay, I promise, Babe," he said and kissed Steve. "Man, I'm so tired. I think after dinner we should go to bed and just crash. I don't even want to change into pajamas. Just wiggle under the covers in this."

---

"Whatever we do now, we get to do together." Steve drew him in for a slow kiss. "I'm alright with that. But I can change you into pajamas. Or maybe just leave you naked," Steve purred.

---

Bucky nipped at Steve's lips and whispered back, "I still haven't helped you take care of something important yet today." He nodded down towards Steve's crotch. "Feel bad for not lending you a hand."

---

Steve blushed at the forwardness. "You won't hear me complain," he said. He smiled as he looked up into Bucky's eyes. "My life is better now that you're in it, don't ever forget that. No matter how much Becca yells at you."

---

"Oh, just you wait until she gets pissed off at you, Stevie." Bucky chuckled. "I don't know if you'll be able to handle it." 

---

"I'll probably cry," Steve said honestly. Right now, he was just honored that she trusted him with Bucky's sobriety.

After food and nighttime duties were taken care of, Steve carefully made his way back to the room. It was a long day and he didn't want to admit how much his back was aching. "I'm so ready to not get up for hours."

---

Bucky was already stripped down to his skin and under the blankets by the time Steve got to their room. His eyes were closed and he hummed low to himself when Steve approached. "I work the early shift tomorrow so I'll see the girls off to school and I'll be back home around noon or one."

---

Steve laid down on his side and placed his hand on Bucky's stomach. "Sounds good. I think I'm going to need to sleep in. Today really wore me out," he huffed. "It was nice spending it all with you, though."

---

"It didn't start out great what with the hangover and the headache and dumping my booze and feeling like world’s worst brother, but it did get a lot better." Bucky pulled Steve's hand up his chest so he was holding it just over his heart. He also backed up his body so he was nestled against Steve as the little spoon.

---

"The day got better because you chose to make a difference for yourself and your sisters. That's pretty admirable," Steve said with an adoring smile. "Maybe one of these days Becca will be as proud of you as I am right now."

Chapter Text

Today was officially the day. They were getting their animal after school and bringing it back to its new home. Bucky had already signed the new contract with the landlord agreeing to pay the extra money every month to keep a pet inside and Becca had already set up a little spot in the kitchen for its food and water. They still weren't sure if they were going to get a dog or a cat but Lilly was far too ecstatic about all of it to care one way or the other.

---

Steve was excited for the girls. He loved animals but he was happier that they would have something to keep them company that was theirs. "Alright, you guys, ready to go? Any idea what you two are going to end up picking? How about a big, ugly, hairless cat?"

---

"I'd be fine with that," Becca said, but Lilly pulled a horrified face. 

Bucky reluctantly went with them to the shelter even though he vowed he would have nothing to do with the animal and didn't want to get attached to it. "Just so long as it's not too big, whatever you get."

---

When they arrived at the shelter, Lilly went nuts going to all the cages to see which animals were the fluffiest and cutest. Becca was a bit more reserved but she was clearly excited. "Look at them," Steve said to Bucky fondly. “They are so happy, Bucky.”

---

Bucky watched Steve watching his sisters and he felt a rush of pride and love and family come over him. He really wanted to hold Steve's hand and tell him that it was so cute how much he loved Becca and Lilly. "Hey," he nudged Steve, "Thanks for convincing me to do this for them."

---

"You're welcome. You're going to end up getting attached to this animal no matter what, though. Cause you're a big sap," Steve accused with a playful grin. "What do you think they're going to end up picking out?"

---

"Becca's going to want the saddest looking cat in this place and Lilly will go for the fluffiest dog." Bucky pointed at the two of them as they roamed down the line of crates. "Then there will be a fight and you'll get to make the decision so it's not on me."

---

As if on cue, both girls came up to them to plead their case - Becca had this big, pathetic-looking cat with a lazy eye and Lilly held a squirming fluffball of a puppy in her arms. "Bucky, which do you think is cuter?" Lilly asked.

---

"Nope," Bucky said and jabbed a thumb towards Steve. "He's going to help you train it so he's got to help you pick." He crossed his arms and gave a definitive nod to Steve. He wasn't going to budge on this.

---

Steve looked nervously at the two girls, who he suddenly couldn't say no to. Bucky would kill him if they got both. "Well, how about you both try playing with the other animal first to see if you like it."

---

"Sounds like a good idea," Bucky said. "Steve and I are going to go sit on that bench while you two try to make the decision, okay?" He led Steve to an old bench in the corner of the room and sat down keeping on eye on the girls.

---

The girls only needed about ten minutes to make their decision. Becca came over holding the cat in her arms but there was a huge wet spot on her shirt. Even though they picked her choice of pet, she still looked sour. "The puppy peed on her," Lilly explained. There was no convincing Becca to have the dog when that happened.

---

"So, you are going with the cat, then?" Bucky asked and scratched behind its little ears. He was going to regret this pretty soon once he got attached to those big sad eyes. "I'll go sign the adoptions papers while you pick out some supplies and toys, okay?"

---

They both nodded. The cat bumped his head lightly against Bucky's palm as soon as he pet him. Lilly rushed over to find a cute collar and leash, determined that if she wasn't getting a dog, she was going to make sure the cat would take walks with her. "You're doing a good thing, Bucky," Steve said. “And you know you’re going to end up wanting it to sleep in our bed.”

---

Bucky let out a long sigh and looked from the girls to Steve. "That thing is too cute. I think they chose it on purpose to try to win me over on this whole thing." After the adoption papers were signed and they had the cat in a little carrier and the toys and supplies in bags, they all headed back to the apartment to introduce the little guy to its new home.

---

The cat meowed softly when it was brought outside but seemed to be excited that it was out of the shelter. "Have you girls thought up a name for it yet?"

---

Lilly mumbled, "I said it should be Lilly Junior but Becca says that's a stupid name."

Bucky grabbed Lilly and pulled her into a side hug. "It's also a boy cat, Lil."

"Boys can be named after flowers, too," Lilly huffed and pouted. "Lilly Junior is a good name."

---

"We should just call it Lilly so everyone has to guess whether or not we're talking about the cat or the other animal named Lilly," Steve teased.

Becca made a grumpy sound. "It's still a dumb name for a boy cat."

---

"I like Thunder. Or Doom," Bucky offered. "Or Hurricane. Oh! Hurricane the Cat! Doesn't that sound fucking amazing?" Bucky eyed the cat again and realized with shame that he was already horribly enamored with the little beast. And Steve was probably right; he probably would want to have it sleep in his bed.

---

"What about Clash?" Steve suggested. "It kind of sounds like the noises you hear in a hurricane and you all like The Clash so much."

Becca peered into the cage. "He's too fluffy for a name like that. We need to name him something refined."

---

"Fuck refined!" Bucky said. "Clash is a perfect name." But he shut up when Becca gave him a glare that said 'his name will be refined, dammit'. Bucky couldn't really think of any classier names for such a pathetic ratty cat except something snooty like 'Winston'.

---

Steve loved that Bucky was already getting so wrapped up in the new family pet. "Don't worry, Buck. No matter what Becca names him, he will always be Clash Hurricane Rogers-Barnes to us."

---

Becca and Lilly gave them both a quizzical look and Becca asked, "When was Rogers-Barnes decided on?"

Lilly piped up with, "Am I Lilly Rogers-Barnes now?" and she looked down at herself like she expected some grand change to have occurred in her.

---

Steve blushed deeply. "Um... I mean, it's not like we could ever change our names to it," He said. "But Bucky and I were just speculating whose name is first in the hyphen. I think Rogers-Barnes sounds better than Barnes-Rogers."

---

"You just wanted to be first," Becca decided with a curt nod. "Barnes-Rogers definitely sounds better."

Bucky flicked her on the top of the head. "Steve likes it with ‘Rogers’ first so that's what it is. And no, Lil, you are still just a Barnes." He also thought about the imaginary baby that they had discussed the potential of adopting. He hoped that one day soon they could have a Baby Rogers-Barnes officially.

---

"No, it sounds better and I saved the best for last," Steve defended; playfully flicking Becca's shoulder right after Bucky flicked her head. He sighed happily and once they got to the apartment, he opened the door for all of them. "Welcome home, Destroyer," Steve said to the cat, purposely calling him an obnoxious name to annoy Becca.

---

"It's not Destroyer," Becca responded as she walked into the apartment. Bucky locked the door behind them and watched Becca gingerly place the carrier in the middle of the living room and open the door. The cat didn't move an inch, it simply stared at them and occasionally made a sad little meow.

---

"Give Ripper some time to adjust to his new home. I'm sure he will be looking for cuddles in no time." Steve wrapped an arm around Bucky's waist. "I love you," he said sweetly. "Can I have a kiss?"

---

Bucky held Steve and scrunched up his face, "Um... no," he said like a brat. But he caved when Steve started to tickle him and he couldn't do anything about it. "Okay, fine, fine." He kissed Steve lightly and smiled into it. "Love you, too."

---

The cat slowly came out of the cage and sniffed at Becca's feet. He looked up at her with those big eyes and jumped up into her arms as she bent down to pick him up. "Oh, look at him."

---

"Do you have a name?" Bucky asked the cat and pet its head. "Because I'm fine with calling you 'Cat' if you don't, but I think a name would be nice." He took a little toy out of the bag and dangled it in front of the cat so it could bat at it happily.

---

"I'm still thinking about it," Becca said.

Lilly watched with mild jealousy as her siblings played with their cat. "Well, how about you let me hold him while you're thinking about it?" Lilly demanded.

---

Becca handed the cat off to Lilly and she gripped him close and beamed at his little face. "Lilly Junior is still available," she said and shot Becca a pleading look.

"Becca wants a fancy name like Serge or Morton or Raphael or Karsten," Bucky listed off names in hopes that one fancy name would catch Becca's attention and she would pick it for the cat.

---

"Raphael works," Becca said, which made Lilly scrunch her nose up in utter distaste.

"Ew, gross. Why?" She complained.

Becca kissed the cat’s head. "I like it even more now."

---

Bucky's face lit up. "Finally, okay! Raphael it is! Hello little Raphael," he said to the cat and slipped his hand into Steve's. He gave him a pleased look and leaned into him. He really was glad that they could do this for the girls. And he was glad Steve convinced him of it.

---

Steve kissed Bucky's temple. "Love you," he said again to him. The cat wiggled a little to get down so he could go explore his new home. "I've never had a pet before," Steve admitted. "I used to be extremely allergic."

---

Bucky and Becca both shot Steve a concerned look and Bucky asked, "You sure you'll be fine around Raphael?" He squeezed Steve's hand and searched his face for any signs of an allergic reaction like watery eyes or red skin but found nothing.

---

Steve nodded his head. "Yeah, when I became an adult, I got a lot healthier and I wasn't allergic to a lot of stuff anymore," he said. "Have I ever shown you pictures of when I was a kid?"

---

"No, you haven't," Bucky said curiously. "I'm betting you were adorable, though."

Lilly laughed to herself and Becca smiled at her and said, "We've seen Steve's childhood photos. Miss Sarah showed them to us one time."

---

Steve turned to Becca and ruffled her hair. "She did, huh? My mom still loves to embarrass me, it seems." He looked back to Bucky and shrugged, "I guess I could be called adorable. I was also skinny and small," he said.

---

"Why? How tiny were you?" Bucky asked and poked Steve's muscular arm and abs. "Because you're pretty damn big now, Babe. Can't imagine you as little at all." He thought about himself as a kid and how he really didn't have many childhood photos of himself anywhere. He kept a lot of his parents and his sisters but he trashed several dozens of his own.

---

"Just you wait..." Steve went rummaging through their bedroom for a photo album and found a picture from when he was about fourteen and came back to Bucky. He was stick thin and short next to his mom wearing clothes that were too big for him. "Have a look."

---

"Jesus, Steve!" Bucky snatched the picture up. "You're so cute and small. How old were you? Are those your clothes or someone else's? They look way too big on you." Bucky grabbed for Steve's hand and held it tight and he hummed happily while looking at the tiny Steve.

---

Steve blushed. "Fourteen," he said. "Those were my dad's clothes cause my Ma couldn't afford anything at the time." They'd been ridiculously poor for a while because his mom had to stay home all the time to take care of her sick son.

---

"I was right, though, you were adorable. I mean, you still are, of course, but look at you," Bucky said and stared at the photo. He was going to frame this and put it next to the one of his parents’ wedding. "Hey," Bucky looked up at Steve. "We need a new family picture of the four of us." Raphael meowed at them from the ground. "I mean the five of us."

---

Steve gasped at the suggestion. "Oh my god, yes, we do." He was grinning from ear to ear and was even getting a little teary-eyed. It wasn't like he felt like he wasn't part of the family, but this was the first picture they would all have together. "I'm sure my mom will take one."

---

Bucky smiled warmly at Steve and hugged him close. "Sounds like a plan, then." He was glad Steve was so excited for it. He wasn't sure if it would mean that much to him or not. "We can do that soon, then. And I'll get a nice frame for it too." He turned to his sisters. "Does that sound good to you two?"

---

Becca eyed Steve for a few moments and then looked back at Bucky. By this point she was pretty convinced that Steve was in it for the long haul but having a 'family' portrait made it start to get a little too real. "We're not taking the one of mom and dad down, right?"

---

"No, god, of course not," Bucky said and gripped Becca's shoulders. "Never. We can hang it underneath that one. Mom and Dad aren't going anywhere. I promise." He gave her a quick kiss to the top of her head and looked to Steve for some help.

---

As excited as he had been to take a picture all together, Steve didn't want Becca to feel like he was trying to replace the family they used to have. "It's okay if you don't want to take the picture together, Becca," he said softly. "You don't have to give an explanation."

---

Becca nodded and looked over to the kitchen where their family picture was hanging. "It's okay. I don't mind it," she conceded and gave Steve a quick look. "If you're in our family now I guess we do need a new picture. And Mom and Dad won't mind sharing the space on the wall."

---

Steve gave her a hug. "Best future sister-in-law ever. Sorry, Lilly. You got to wait to be my favorite," he chuckled. Raphael came up to Bucky and batted at his shoelaces since they were coming undone. "What do you guys want me to make for dinner that isn't cereal?"

---

Bucky gently picked up the cat and held him close. He really was too cute for words and those eyes were so sad. "I’d be okay with chicken and noodles of some sort." He offered and scratched the cat’s head. "Or some burritos." His stomach growled and he looked to his sisters. "Chicken, Lilly?"

---

"Chicken," Lilly agreed. "And Mac and cheese." It was a strange combo but Steve would do it. He gave them all a kiss and then started on dinner. "I thought you said you didn't want to have anything to do with the cat, Bucky," Lilly teased.

---

Bucky was still holding Raphael and he looked up from staring into his eyes. "Hmm? No, I'm not doing anything. I'm just holding the little guy. He's so sad looking." He handed him off to Lilly and went to help Steve make food. And by helping, he hugged him from behind and moved with him as he went around the kitchen.

---

Steve smiled and looked back at Bucky with a happy expression. "Hello, Mr. Rogers-Barnes," he hummed. "I can't wait to take that family picture. Can we all have a matching theme? Like the same sweater or something like that?"

---

"No, Steve, we can't match," Bucky answered and kissed his shoulder. "We can all wear blue or something like that." He detached from Steve and opened the fridge mumbled something about really wanting some wine just about now. Instead, he found some lemonade and decided that would have to be good enough.

---

"Why not? It'd be adorable. I bet I could even make something for Raphael so he would match." Bucky would get a kick out of watching Steve attempt to dress the cat, he was sure.

---

"Can you even sew?" Bucky asked and drank his lemonade with a sour expression on his face to match the taste of the drink.

---

"A little," Steve said. "Had to mend a lot of my clothes when they ripped and Ma was too tired to do it." He ran his fingers through Bucky's hair. "And I know I’ve said it already, but I'm proud that you're going sober for your sisters, Bucky."

---

"It's really difficult and all I want right now is some vodka or something. Doesn't that sound perfect, Babe?" Bucky really was having a hard time with no drinking. It had been close to two weeks without a drink and he was not handling it well.

---

"What sounds perfect is keeping your sisters happy, which vodka won't do." Steve kissed he tip of Bucky’s nose. "And think of all the money you're saving."

---

Bucky nodded and drank some more lemonade. "I know, I know. I just feel like I could have the occasional drink and be fine." He sat on the counter while Steve cooked dinner and lightly tapped on the cabinets with his heels. "I'm going to have to take up smoking again just to get over drinking."

---

"My mom is a nurse. You think she's going to let you take up smoking without having an earful? New studies are saying that it's incredibly bad for you," Steve said. "You should find a vice that doesn't kill you."

---

"What sort of vice isn't going to kill me, huh?" Bucky asked. "I mean that's sort of the point of it, right? To do something a little self-destructive?" He scratched a hand through his hair and looked down at his lap. He was getting a little sad and a headache was starting to form. He wasn't sure why but he wasn't feeling all right all the sudden.

---

"I mean, you can get addicted to... arcade games and waste all your pocket change. Or your new vice can be showering me with kisses." Steve leaned down to kiss him to prove how good of an addiction that could be. "We will find something that will help take that urge away, Baby."

---

"Cigarettes - that'll take the urge away," Bucky said with a pout. "Or excessive sex... maybe." He picked up an apple from the bowl next to him and started angrily munching on it talking through the bites saying, "I'm getting a headache again."

---

"Quit eating. You're going to ruin your appetite," Steve scolded and massaged Bucky's head lightly and frowned with concern. "Do you want to lay down, Beautiful?" He asked. "I'll get you medicine."

---

"I don't know, maybe. I think it's been getting worse lately since I've been trying to be sober." Bucky put his apple down obediently and pulled Steve in close for a kiss. "Maybe I'll just go take a walk in the cold air for a bit. Might do me some good."

---

"You could be going through withdrawals," Steve said. "Have you looked for a doctor yet? Or health insurance plans? You can still try for government assistance."

---

"Withdrawals? It's not like I am an alcoholic, though," Bucky defended. "And no I haven't looked for a doctor for us yet. But I should soon cause Lilly's eyesight is getting bad I think. She could use some glasses." She would protest, of course, saying she could see fine but she had been missing the ball a lot lately.

---

"You quit cold turkey. Alcoholic or not, if you were used to it being in your system, your body could be thrown off," Steve said. "We have to get all of you to the Doctor, Baby. What if Lilly gets a stinger right to the face cause she didn't see the ball?"

---

"I know." Bucky sighed. "I just hate the doctor's. It's just some guy telling me another thing that's wrong that I need to worry about and adding more money to our medical bills. And I think that half the time they are just making shit up so they get paid."

---

Steve pet his fingers through Bucky's hair some more. "I know," he said in a playful mock of Bucky. "But we can't grow old together if you have some preventable thing that goes undiagnosed for years until it catches up to you."

---

Bucky closed his eyes and groaned. "Fine, I'll go to the fucking doctor. I'll try to call someplace tomorrow if it'll make you be quiet about it." Becca came over then holding Raphael. She handed him off to Bucky and grabbed an apple to munch on as well. "Steve told me off for eating before dinner. You better watch out," he joked.

---

Becca gave Steve a calculated look before biting into the apple. "He won't tell me off. He's too afraid that I won't like him and won't let him take a family photo with us," she said casually.

She took another bite and Steve huffed. "You don't own me," Steve defended as he seasoned the chicken.

---

"I think she just proved that she does." Bucky laughed but he was also genuinely concerned that his sisters would decide that they didn't like Steve and didn’t want him around anymore. It would break his heart but he would have to give him up. Not that either of them had really shown any signs of that, but Bucky was still paranoid.

Chapter Text

A few days later, when Steve was feeling pretty decent, he decided to pay a visit to Bucky's job. He'd wanted to for a while but the walk was draining and he didn't want to risk driving under medication. He stopped at a newsstand to get a couple of small roses that he hid in a paper bag so Bucky’s co-workers wouldn't see. The little entry bell rang as Steve walked in.

---

Bucky was in the back getting some boxes of stock ready to put out on the floor. He was having a pretty shitty day because two of his good-for-nothing coworkers were just sitting at the registers chatting and not helping him at all. Clint was also working on completely redesigning the classical orchestral music section because someone had complained that they mixed baroque into the Renaissance.

---

Steve could tell by the way Bucky held himself that he wasn't having a good time. He walked up behind him and said, "Excuse me, Sir, I have a complaint about an order I received." Steve masked his voice as best he could so Bucky wouldn't recognize him until he turned around.

---

Bucky steeled himself for the conversation to come and slapped on his best fake smile and turned around slowly. He let out a scoff and smiled when he saw his boyfriend, "Steve... cheeky bastard. What're you doing here?" He wanted to grab for his hand or hug him hello or give him a kiss. No customers were in the store right then and none of his coworkers were even facing them but he figured he probably shouldn't.

---

Steve laughed and nudged Bucky playfully. "Man, I saw such resign in your eyes," he said. Retail was the worst. Steve knew how it felt. "I got something for you." He offered him the little bag of flowers. "Bad day, huh?"

---

When Bucky saw the paper bag, he really hoped it was booze but he knew Steve wouldn't be bringing that to him. He opened the flowers and gestured for Steve to come to the back office with him. "Yeah, not a great day. We've been slow and Clint has been working on a big project all day and those other two dipshits haven't been helping me restock at all."

---

Steve paused for a moment and then offered, "If you want to watch a bit of a show, I can pretend I'm on duty and do a random search on them. Think they actually got weed in their pockets?"

---

"They most definitely have weed in their pockets." Bucky nodded. "They were smoking in the bathroom earlier. Probably not a good idea to fake search them. They might freak the fuck out."

---

"Aw, man. But I could have gotten them scared and made them work harder here in exchange for not being turned in," Steve said.

---

Now that they were alone, Bucky pulled Steve in and gave him a quick kiss. "Want to meet Clint? He could probably use an interruption from his project.”

---

Steve smiled dumbly when Bucky kissed him. "Sure thing," he said, putting a hand on Bucky's shoulder.

---

"Now remember, Clint can't really hear but he can read lips. So you don't have to shout at him or anything." Bucky gave Steve another quick kiss then put his flowers down on the desk before heading back out to the floor. "He's going to love you, though."

---

"What if I silently mouth words to him the whole time?" Steve asked. He dragged Bucky back to kiss him slowly before they went out to the floor. He tapped Clint on the shoulder and signed 'Hi I'm Steve,' to him. Ever since he knew Clint was mostly deaf he learned a few greetings and such since he knew he would meet him eventually.

---

Bucky was impressed and admittedly a little turned on when Steve signed to Clint. Bucky knew a significant amount of sign language that he had been taught in the years working with Clint and he was so proud that Steve knew some things too. Clint signed back that he was Clint then held a hand out for Steve to shake. Bucky looked around the room once to make sure no one but his coworkers were there before signing 'This is the boyfriend'.

---

Steve shook his hand and grinned as Bucky introduced him as his boyfriend. 'Bucky say good things you,' he signed but then huffed and said out loud, “Bucky says good things about you.” He knew a few words but not all the ins and outs of signing. 'What new music?' He signed as he said, “Get any good music in?”

---

Clint waved Steve off implying that he shouldn't push himself to sign if he didn't want to. "Well, I'm having to rework the entire classical section cause some son-of-a-bitch didn't like the baroque being mixed in with the Renaissance shit. Bucky's in charge of the newest shipment," Clint said then pointed to the other two by the register. "They are meant to be helping."

---

"There's a difference between classical music styles?" Steve asked to himself. He wasn't that smart about different types of music from hundreds of years ago. "So why aren't they working?" Steve asked and nodded towards the other two in the store. "Don't they know you're deaf and not blind?"

---

"Yeah, but they also know that we need them around to deal with the difficult customers because Bucky and I are both two snarky bastards and Bucky's got a bit of a short temper. While they are stoned, they can handle any shit head customer." Clint stopped and looked to Bucky. "Wait, this is the cop, right?"

 "Yeah, but he's not going to arrest those idiots," Bucky said reassuringly.

---

"Fair enough," Steve said. "And don't worry. So long as people aren't stealing weed or stealing money to get weed, I don't care. Too many kids are getting put in prison over it and becoming criminals while alcohol is a more harmful drug anyway."

---

Bucky gave Steve a quick hurtful look. He couldn't help but think that was meant for him - as some play to get Bucky to feel bad about even thinking of drinking again. If they were alone he would probably argue that he should start smoking pot then. Bucky wasn't going to admit to feeling a little on edge while being sober, but he really was being pretty defensive about it.

---

Steve hadn't meant it that way at all, but when he saw the look Bucky gave him, Steve's shoulders slumped a little and he gave him an apologetic smile.

Clint noticed the exchange, and while Bucky was reliable as a worker, he knew that the guy had a bit of a problem. "Bucky, why don't you take some extra time for break. Half hour, my treat."

---

Bucky nodded and thanked Clint. "Want to go get some lunch?" He asked Steve and started walking away not waiting for an answer. He really wanted a sandwich from Rustic Rocco's and he figured Steve wouldn't mind going to his favorite spot for lunch either.

---

Steve followed Bucky and touched his arm lightly. "Baby, I didn't mean to offend you with the alcohol comment," he said softly. "It wasn't directed at you. I wouldn't ever try to make you feel bad like that on purpose."

---

Bucky just kept walking and said, "You know this is hard for me, Steve. You know I hate being sober. It's way too much pressure not to drink and to make you and Becca happy and proud of me. I get so worked up with worry that I'm going to fuck up that I just want a drink even more to help ease that feeling."

---

"I know, Buck. That's why I would never try and make you feel bad for it." Steve sighed. "I'm not going to lie and say I won't be disappointed if you drink. But I know how much work it is to stay sober. My dad was never able to stop once he started," he explained. "Is there anything I can do to help?"

---

"You can let me have the occasional drink. Or the occasional night at the bar. Just sometimes." Bucky knew that this whole thing had been his idea. He was the one who dumped his booze. But he did it for his family and he felt the slightest bit of resentment about it, which made him feel even worse as a guardian and a boyfriend. He would probably feel like that for a while until he was used to being sober.

---

Steve paused in thought and said, "I'll say yes to that, but can we add the condition that whenever you drink, I have to be around and Becca has to be out?" Steve wanted to make sure Bucky didn't go overboard and that Becca didn't fly off the handle if she saw Bucky with a drink.

---

Bucky didn't like that. It didn't feel like freedom to do what he wanted. It felt like controlled fun and that's not what Bucky was looking for. He was looking to get slammed and forget himself for a while. He liked being drunk because when he was he didn't hate himself at all. "I'll think about it." He said with an edge.

---

"Buck," Steve said in a soft tone. "I won't ever try to force you into agreeing over something you don't want to do... but if you have a problem, please let me know." Steve gave Bucky a pleading look. "I love you so, so much. I don't care if you get drunk. I care why you get drunk."

---

"You don't know why I get drunk," Bucky said sharply. He drank because he liked it. He drank because he forgot himself. He drank because he lost control when he was drunk. He drank because he got hyper-sexual while he was drunk. He drank because his mother taught him how to love whiskey. He drank because it helped him ignore when he felt like dying. He drank because he couldn’t feel the ache of his past late at night when he had nothing else to think about.

---

"I know, Bucky, and that's what worries me," Steve said. "How am I supposed to know the difference between when you drink to relax or when you drink because you're angry at yourself or something?" Steve asked. "You do so much. You deserve to relax. But if you're drinking because you're feeling awful, I want to be there to help lift you up again."

---

"Steve, I'm always angry at myself for something," Bucky nearly shouted. "I've got two kids to take care of and I’m not cut out for it and I'm worried every day that I'm fucking them up and they're both going to end up like me!" Bucky was stopped in an alley with Steve and no one else was around to hear him shout.

---

"You are cut out for it, Bucky," Steve said. "Look at yourself. You dropped your whole damn life to keep them with the only family they had. I'm a cop. I've seen some pretty fucked up kids and adults alike out here. Becca and Lilly are nothing like that," he said. "And if they turn out anything like you, I'd be proud."

---

"How can you say that knowing some of what I've put them through? You don't even know all of it but what you do know is enough to make me be disappointed if I were you." Bucky was feeling incredibly small and vulnerable. All he wanted was to go home and let Steve fuck him until he fell asleep in Steve's arms and then he just wanted to stay there for as long as he possibly could.

---

"You can tell me anything, Bucky. But you don't have to tell me anything until you're ready." He crowded Bucky's space a little and kissed his forehead because nobody was around to see. "Baby, why do you think I fell in love with you?"

---

Bucky looked at the ground and frowned. "I don't know. I never wanted to ask and risk you realizing you didn't know either and then you'd just leave." He moved around Steve and started walking on towards the sandwich shop. His break time was going to be over before he knew it.

---

Steve grabbed Bucky's hand and pulled him back. He got down on his knee so Bucky would see him even if he was looking at the ground. Steve winced a little since his back wasn't totally healed. "I fell in love with you because you work so hard and take so little for yourself. I fell in love with you because after you stood up for some kid you didn't know, the first thing you did was call home to make sure your sisters were okay. You lost so much, baby. And maybe you've given up on some of the dreams that you used to have, but we can do so much together. We can have new dreams."

---

Bucky's lip quivered as he looked down at Steve and sniffled back tears. He didn't deserve this. He didn't deserve Steve or his love or his generosity. He pulled Steve back up from the ground and gave him a hug and a kiss before letting go. "I love you too, Steve. And I'm sorry for all the shit I've done or pain I've caused you. And I'm sorry in advance for what I might do in the future. If you are willing to be by my side and work with me and not leave even when I screw up then I'll do my best to be perfect for you."

---

"Don't try to be perfect, Bucky, just try to do your best." Steve had to lean on Bucky for the rest of the trip because walking so much today was taking a bit of a toll and kneeling didn't help his case either.

Once they got to the shop, Steve ordered himself a sandwich as well and waited for Bucky to get his food saying, "So Clint is pretty cool."

---

Bucky picked up his sandwich and the one he got for Clint and they headed back to the record store. They would have to eat and walk because he only had about ten minutes left. "Yeah, Clint is great. I'm really glad you met him finally. I didn't know you knew some sign language."

---

"I didn't know sign language before. But I borrowed a book from the library to learn the basics... you know, like meeting someone and doing the alphabet," Steve said.

---

"You did all that just to meet Clint?" Bucky asked Steve with a smile. Steve was really special. He did these huge gestures like learning sign language just to make someone feel valued and special and worth his time. And Bucky couldn't help but falling more in love with him every time he did.

---

"Well, yeah. He's your boss and your best friend and someone you trust so shouldn’t I go out of my way a little for him at the very least?" When they got back to the store, one of the bozos hastily put out the joint he'd been smoking.

---

Bucky made his way over to Clint and handed him the sandwich that he had picked up for him. Then he went over to his coworkers and took the joint from them before opening it up, spitting in it and then tossing it in the trash. "We've talked about this, Reggie," Bucky said to one of them sternly. "Only out back and only during your break time. Don't make me tell you again."

---

Steve watched Bucky handle his coworkers and walked away with him saying, “Jeez, you spend all day at work taking care of two kids then you come home and take care of two more.”

---

"Yes, but, at least only two of my kids smoke pot," Bucky said and looked to the stacks of records he still needed to put out today. "I've got about three more hours before I'll be home. Do you mind making dinner for the girls when they get back from school?"

---

Steve shook his head. "As if I'd ever mind making dinner," he said with a loving smile. "I'll make Lilly's favorite since Becca has been getting her way too much. She has me wrapped around her finger cause I want that photo together."

---

"Don't worry, Baby, we'll get the photo," Bucky assured him and gave him a quick kiss. "See you back home. Make sure Lilly feeds Raphael and cleans his litter. It wasn't done yesterday and Becca did it last time. Lilly already isn't pulling her weight with the cat."

---

Steve smiled into the kiss. "I'll make sure she does. Promise," he said. It was no surprise that Lilly wasn't helping out with the cat and he was happy they didn't get the puppy since they were more work. "Love you."

---

The rest of the day at the shop went slow and Bucky was ready to go home. He said goodbye to Clint and trudged on back home. When he got there, his family was all passed out in the living room with plates of leftover homemade pizza on the coffee table. Steve was asleep on the couch with Lilly curled up on his legs. Becca was asleep on a pile of blankets on the floor next to the couch. Bucky smiled and sighed and grabbed another blanket to toss on top of Lilly and Steve.

---

The three had kept themselves pretty occupied in Bucky's absence. Lilly begrudgingly took care of the chores for the cat and helped Steve make pizza. When he came over to them, Bucky was quickly greeted by Raphael, who pawed at his leg lightly to be picked up. Steve peeked an eye open at the sound of Bucky's footsteps. "Hey, Beautiful."

---

Bucky was holding the cat when Steve woke up. "Hey, Baby, how's your back feeling on that couch?" He asked and rubbed a hand over Steve's head. "Let's get you into bed, okay?" He set Raphael down on the floor and scooped Lilly up in his arms. "I'll get them to bed first."

---

"Not that great," Steve admitted. "But I didn't want to wake her up." Steve had fallen asleep with an arm draped protectively over Lilly even though she didn't need protecting from anything here. Once Bucky scooped Lilly up, Steve carefully got off the couch.

---

Becca woke up once they started making noise and talking so she got up and silently made her way to her room. Once Lilly was tucked in, Bucky grabbed Steve's hand and led him to their bedroom. "How was your evening with them?"

---

"It was good. We watched some TV and played Scrabble," Steve said. "Lilly got really tired so she was the first to fall asleep. Then I guess I fell asleep and then Becca did," he said with a half smile. "They missed you."

---

"Good thing you played Scrabble and not that train game. I hate Scrabble," Bucky said. "Who won? Or did you all fall asleep too early to win at all?" Bucky slipped off his work clothes and put on pajamas before going to the bathroom to brush his teeth.

---

"Raphael thought the pieces would be fun to knock around so nobody won." The cat was usually good but sometimes he freaked out over the strangest things. Steve stripped down but couldn't be bothered to dress himself so he just laid naked in bed. "I love them so much. And you, Buck," he said. "Do you have work on Saturday? We should all go out to the movies."

---

"No, I don't work. I think a day out to the movies is a great idea." Bucky crawled into bed after having brushed his teeth and he snuggled close to Steve and ran a hand down his torso to his thighs. "It's been a long fucking day," he said with a sultry air about him as he continued rubbing up and down Steve's thigh occasionally brushing over his dick.

---

Steve snuggled in closer and gave Bucky an interested look as his hand brushed over his thigh and cock. "It has," Steve agreed. "I spent most of the morning trying to think of ways we could have sex without bothering my back," he said with a bit of a blush.

---

"That's all you did today?" Bucky chuckled and rubbed at Steve's balls. "There isn't any way we can fuck without hurting your back right now. We just need to wait it out." Bucky held the base of Steve's dick and added, "But we can do this if you want."

---

Steve spread his legs a little and pushed his hips forward into Bucky's hand. "But what if we do it with the both of us laying on our sides? Big spoon little spoon style," he said.

---

"I have no idea what you mean, Steve," Bucky said but started pulling off his pants and underwear anyway. "Just tell me where you want me, okay?" He said and kicked his pants to the bottom of the bed. He'd deal with them later.

---

Steve nudged Bucky so that he was on his side with his back pressed against Steve's chest. Steve rubbed his cock against Bucky's ass and nudged him so he bent his leg a bit. "Like this?" Steve suggested. "Have you never done it this way?"

---

"So you're just going to grind on me until you come?" Bucky asked and started stroking his own dick. "You better take it easy, Steve," he warned and turned his head back to kiss Steve then started stroking himself faster. "This just feels like I'm jerking off. I can't see you."

---

"No, Dumbass, I'm going to fuck you like this. Once I find the right angle," Steve said in a determined tone. Bucky wasn't the only one desperate for sex. "Or maybe you could ride me. You just got to take it easy."

---

Bucky did love hearing Steve swearing and that desperate tone that he wanted Bucky so much. But still, "No sex, Steve," Bucky said quickly and disappointedly. "Not until your back is all better. I'll just blow you and then jerk myself off." He really wanted Steve to fuck him and he wanted to fuck Steve back but he couldn't risk hurting Steve even more.

---

"Buck," Steve whined, putting on a pathetic tone that Bucky hadn't ever heard him use yet. Steve knew that he shouldn't have sex but Steve never did what was completely safe for him. He gave Bucky a big old pair of sad eyes. "At least we should try..."

---

"Steve..." Bucky whined back and absently pulled at his cock. "You know we can't. What'll we do if you hurt yourself during sex and then we have to go to the doctor’s? I'll be embarrassed enough for the both of us." He chided but he really wanted Steve to win out and just start opening him up anyway.

---

Steve made an absolutely pathetic sound when Bucky turned him down again. "Then what if I just fist you again?" If Steve couldn't get the satisfaction of sex then he wanted to at least give Bucky something he wanted.

---

"If you start on that then I'm going to want to let you fuck me," Bucky said and guided his ass closer to Steve's hard dick. He sandwiched it between his cheeks and made small light movements to grind against him. He was breathing heavily and his own cock was standing at attention waiting for him to do something about it.

---

Steve groaned and rocked his hips, rutting up against Bucky's ass. He dragged his nails lightly up Bucky's torso and started to tease a nipple by pinching and rolling it between his fingers. "So is that a yes?"

---

Bucky gasped out at the touch and couldn't help how he started grinding on Steve with more force. "Can you promise me you will be gentle on yourself? Go slow and careful and don't push it too much. And if you start to hurt at any time you need to stop, okay?" Bucky wouldn't admit that he was beyond desperate to fuck Steve.

---

"I promise," Steve said a little too quickly. He would agree to anything so long as it meant Bucky would let him push his luck a little. It's been torture having a beautiful boyfriend he couldn't be intimate with.

---

Bucky turned to kiss Steve quickly before saying, "How do you always convince me of things? You just do stuff to me, Steve. I want to you make love to me nice and slow and with purpose - even if it takes all night. I want to feel you. I want to know you are putting yourself in every moment."

---

Steve's eyes lit up and he kissed Bucky slowly. "I'll keep you up until the morning if that makes you happy, Baby," he hummed. "Would hate for you to ever doubt how much I love every bit of you." He carefully turned so he could grab the lube from the nightstand and started to coat his fingers with it. "Can't wait to make you feel so good."

---

Bucky nodded slowly and rolled so Steve had better access to his ass. "I love you, Steve. I hope you know that," He said and massaged his ass cheeks apart to show his hole to Steve. He was excited and grateful that Steve was going to fuck him but part of him still worried about Steve's back.

---

Steve made a desperate, aroused sound when Bucky held himself open for him. Steve teased the rim of his hole for a little while before slipping two fingers at once. "It's been a while since I've been inside you," he hummed. "So I'm going to make you come just opening you up before I do anything else."

---

Bucky breathed out heavily and quickly at the intrusion of two fingers. "You don't want me to come with your cock inside me?" Bucky also couldn't help but wish he was a little drunk. He liked fucking drunk because everything felt floaty and light and every thrust was more impactful than usual.

---

"Oh, I do want that," Steve purred. "So that's going to happen, too." He had plenty of lost time to make up for and making Bucky come twice in one night seemed appropriate. He slowly worked his two fingers inside and out, making sure that Bucky didn't get stretched too much too fast. "How's that?"

---

"It's good. I'm fine," Bucky said quickly and reached back to feel Steve's fingers breaching his hole. "Steve, I missed this. I missed you. I want you so bad and I know you know it. Can't help but want you every second of every day." Bucky rambled on and moved his head back and forth as Steve pumped his finger inside him.

---

Steve leaned over to kiss at Bucky's neck while he spread his two fingers wide inside of his boyfriend and curled them to find the right spot inside him. "We get to have the rest of our lives to spoil each other and fuck each other silly," he hummed softly. "And that's going to be amazing, Bucky. I won't ever stop wanting you as badly as I do now."

---

Bucky wanted to sass back that Steve wasn't going to want him when he was an old man but just then he added a third finger and Bucky's head lulled against the pillow as he breathed out Steve's name with a groan. He pulled at his dick and rubbed pre-come down from the head and wished he could have Steve's dick in his mouth while he fingered him.

---

Steve kissed over Bucky's shoulders as he finger-fucked him. "And you know what, Baby? As soon as I get better I'm sending the girls off to my mom's for the day and you're going to take off work so we can fuck each other day in and day out. We can go to sleep full of each other's come and shower in the morning."

---

"God, fuck, Steve," Bucky answered and quickened his pull on his dick. "I want that so much. I want that all that time. Want your come inside me and seeing mine leaking out of you. Want to be filled up with your cock all day. Want your hands all over me and inside me and holding me."

---

"It's going to be so good, Beautiful," Steve moaned. He tucked his pinky in and started to open Bucky up with four fingers. "You like how all that feels in your tight ass? You feel full yet?" Steve wasn't much of a dirty talker usually, but it had been a while and he was desperate.

---

Bucky nodded and rubbed at his face before pulling his hair back into a ponytail. He rocked his hips in time with Steve's movements and let his ass relax even more. "Want you, Baby. Need your dick," he said low and slow as he let his body writhe with the feelings Steve was giving him.

---

"Need you to come for me first," Steve said back. Steve was careful as he poured more lube over Bucky's hole and started to add his thumb so he could fit his whole hand inside of Bucky. God, his ass looked so amazing taking so much inside.

---

Bucky's breath stuttered out when Steve added his thumb and he had to take a moment to let his body relax and take all of Steve's fingers together. He made short moaning sounds as Steve moved his hand around and Bucky forgot to breathe deeply as he went.

---

"God, look at you," Steve hummed. "I wish you could see how good your ass looks right now, Baby, stretching to fit my whole hand in." He slowly pushed in past his wrist. He pulled out so Bucky's hole was stretched at the widest point of his hand before pushing back in, jabbing Bucky's prostate with his fingers.

---

"Fuck!" Bucky choked out when Steve's finger made contact with his prostate. "There, Steve, God yes." He let go of his cock and held his arms above his head. He wanted to see if Steve would make him come all by himself. Bucky hoped he would take the hint and work Bucky's prostate and take his dick in his other hand.

---

It took Steve a moment but he did take the hint in the end. Steve fucked Bucky relentlessly with his fist; hitting his prostate each time he pushed his hand deep inside of him. He grabbed Bucky's dick with his free hand and stroked it eagerly. Steve panted softly in Bucky's ear and he nibbled at his earlobe. "So good for me," he groaned.

---

Bucky couldn't speak. He could only breathe quickly and make pleased little noises. He curled his toes and pushed his ass back against Steve as he slammed his fist inside of him. He couldn't wait until Steve was all healed and not in any more pain because he was going to ride him cowboy style and bounce up and down on his dick for hours. He wanted to fuck Steve every day after he got better to make up for the lost time.

---

"When I'm not hurt anymore, I'm gonna fuck you so hard we'll make the downstairs neighbors think that an earthquake's happening," Steve rumbled in his ear. "You look so good, Baby. You're taking my fist so well." Steve's worked his fist in harder and harder, going rougher with Bucky now because he knew he'd have to take it slow and careful once he had his cock inside him. He teased the head of Bucky's dick with his thumb. "Tell me how much you love this."

---

"Love it!" Bucky gasped and craned his neck to look back at Steve. "Love you. Love what you to do me. Love you filling up my hole with your arm and love the way you touch inside me." He rambled out quickly and felt himself getting close to orgasm as Steve worked his hole some more.

---

"Good," he breathed out. Steve probably shouldn't do this, but he did it anyway. He moved his hand off of Bucky's dick so he could hold Bucky's hip steady. Once he got a good grip on him, he started to really fuck Bucky good and thorough with his fist, jackhammering it in and out of his ass and hitting his prostate with every thrust. Slick, wet noises rang out in the air as Steve fucked him.

---

Bucky had to shove his face down into the pillow so the noises he was making wouldn't be so loud in the apartment. He bit down and let Steve pummel inside him with his hand gripped tightly on his hip. He was going to be surprised if he didn't get little finger bruises from Steve. It only took about another minute before Bucky's body was jolting, his legs were curling up close to him, and he was coming all over his bed sheets.

---

Steve refused to slow down. Seeing Bucky get so overwhelmed was a beautiful thing. When he saw Bucky's body curl up, he knew he was close. Even after Bucky came, Steve still kept his hand deep inside Bucky's ass and he slowly massaged his prostate. "Just tell me when to stop, Baby," he said softly, carefully pushing his hand deeper inside of Bucky.

---

Bucky let Steve continue as he breathed heavy post-orgasm breaths. Steve did get gentler and let his fingertips work over the prostate with purpose for a bit longer until Bucky whispered. "Too much, little lighter please."

---

Steve nodded and pulled his hand back a little so he wouldn't over stimulate Bucky. He only moved his hand back and forth an inch or so each way and kept the movements slow and steady. "I like taking you apart like this," he purred. "Makes me feel good that I'm the only guy who can do this with you now."

---

"What would you do if I just fell asleep like this with your hand inside me?" Bucky asked with tired eyes and a deep blush on his face from being worked up by Steve.

---

Steve smiled and kissed Bucky's cheek. "I'd see if I could still make you come in your sleep. But then I'd clean you up and cuddle you all night."

---

"How's your back feeling, Baby?" Bucky checked and barely opened his eyes to look back at Steve for a moment.

---

Steve was a bit reluctant to answer the question because he could feel tightness in his lower back like something had twinged at some point. "It's not bad," he said, being honest without giving the whole truth.

---

Bucky nodded slowly. "You gonna fuck me now or is your back too much for that? Wouldn't mind if you fucked me slow and steady while I fell asleep. Wake up with your come covering my ass and thighs."

---

Steve groaned softly at the thought of it. It was frustrating to be so unfit right now. "I can take it slow," he murmured, easily drawing his hand out of Bucky's ass so he could rub some lube over his untouched dick. "Been thinking about you for too long."

---

"Just take it easy on yourself." Bucky yawned. "Thanks for fisting me, Steve. I really like that. Maybe one day you'll let me try it on you." He reached up to pull the hair tie from his head and ran his fingers through his long dark hair.

---

Steve was just thankful that he didn't feel inadequate because Bucky liked taking things that were bigger than his cock. "Um," Steve said, getting all flustered. "You really think I could fit your hand in me?" He grimaced a little as he adjusted himself on the bed and he lined his dick up with Bucky's ass. It was all too easy to slide in and Steve let out a low moan.

---

Bucky was quickly falling asleep when he felt Steve slide inside him. "We can try and if you don't like it we can stop. Or if you aren't taking it like I do." He mumbled out and laid still, letting Steve do all the work and move slowly in and out of him.

---

"I'll give it the old college try," Steve said, still acting like a bit of a doofus when they were talking about sex. He still wasn’t entirely used to how forward Bucky was about it sometimes. But being inside of Bucky felt so goddamn good and Steve couldn't help but suck little marks onto Bucky's neck as he slowly rocked into him.

---

Bucky hummed and tried to pay attention to the calculated loving touches and thrusts from Steve. After about a minute of being held like that by Steve, Bucky slipped into a light sleep, cradled as the little spoon and being gently rocked by his boyfriend.

---

Steve moved a hand over Bucky's side and chest, touching him lovingly as he easily fucked in and out of his boyfriend. He huffed and smiled fondly when he noticed that Bucky was asleep. "I love you," he whispered softly. Steve gently made love to him until his orgasm came. He emptied his come deep inside of Bucky. He didn't feel all that inclined to pull out, so he fell asleep still inside of him.

---

Bucky woke up around three in the morning and tried rolling over before realizing he still had a dick in his ass. He chuckled and gently pulled himself off of Steve and headed to the bathroom. He bent over the counter and touched at his still wet and open hole.

---

Steve made a small noise in his sleep when Bucky got up. He remained asleep for a little while before the lack of warmth next to him roused him awake. "Buck?" He called out sleepily.

---

"I'm here, Baby," Bucky said from the bathroom where he was cleaning himself up. He considered taking a quick shower but he would probably wake up Becca with the noise if he did. Instead, he wiped himself down and cleaned Steve's come off of him.

---

Steve moved slightly in bed and he hurt all over. “Baby, would you massage my back a little bit when you are done?” He called and waited for Bucky to come to the bed.

---

Bucky sighed in frustration. He knew Steve was lying when he said he was fine. Coming back to the bed he said, "Steve, I told you we shouldn't have done anything yet,” but he moved to hover over Steve as he rolled into a better position so Bucky could massage his lower back. "Does the wound hurt?"

---

Steve let out a relieved groan when Bucky started to massage him. "It was worth it," he said shamelessly, pleased as punch that he got what he wanted. "It feels like something's pinched," he said. "It's happened a few times but always goes away."

---

"Do we need to go back to that physical therapist and have her take a look at it?" Bucky asked in concern. "Want me to go get you some pain medication for it?" He kept lightly rubbing Steve and gently kissing at his shoulders in encouragement.

---

"Probably and yes, please." Steve sighed at the kiss before asking, "So what's it like getting a glimpse into the future where you'll have to take care of an old, retired officer after thirty years on the force?"

---

"It's lovely. Don't worry." Bucky kissed Steve's cheek then left to go get medicine. When he came back, Steve was sitting up and hunched over with his water bottle. "Here, take this and lay down again."

---

Steve took the medicine only because he wasn't a completely stubborn mule. On a normal day, he typically refused any extra medicine. He was just about to lay down again when he heard a knock on the door. He gave Bucky a confused look since they weren’t expecting anyone.

---

"The fuck is that?" Bucky asked and quickly slipped on his clothes. He was about to leave his room when he decided to grab a jacket. "Be right back, Baby," He said and left to go see who the devil was at their door.

---

When Bucky answered the door, a tall man in a suit held up a badge to him. "Hello, I am Martin White with child protection services," he introduced calmly but firmly. "Our office received a complaint I'm here to investigate. Are you James Barnes?"

---

Bucky pulled a confused, appalled face as he said, "Excuse me? Investigate what? It's three in the morning. Who the fuck do you think you are?" There was an opening of a door from the hall and Bucky knew it must be Becca waking up from the noise.

---

"Yes, I understand it is not a normal hour, Sir, but our tip was very urgent," he said. "If you have nothing to hide, then you won't mind me coming in and asking a few questions," Martin insisted in a pushy way.

---

"I mind you coming in because my family is asleep and your 'tip' is wrong," Bucky said sternly. 

Just then, there was a soft scared voice from the hallway and Bucky turned around to see both his sisters now in the hall looking on. "Bucky, what's going on?" Lilly asked shakily. 

"Try to go back to sleep, Lil. I'm taking care of it," Bucky said with a soft smile but angry eyes about this whole thing.

---

The man didn't seem very convinced. "I have the authority to call for their removal if I cannot guarantee that they are not in immediate danger," he said. "So I strongly recommend that you let me in." Steve had gotten himself dressed and slowly walked into the hallway to see what was going on.

---

"What danger?" Bucky spit. "You can't take them from me! They are fine. They were sleeping soundly until you got here." Bucky stood his ground in the doorway and assessed the man again. He wondered if Steve could just arrest him for disturbing the peace or something like that.

---

"Bucky, is he taking us away?" Lilly asked in a panicked tone.

Steve put a strong hand on her shoulder and glared from his spot at the other officer. "Sir, I am a police officer and I can assure you that there's nothing unsafe going on here-"

He barely got the words out when Martin said, "Cops can be the worst offenders."

---

"Worst offenders for what, may I ask?" Bucky grit out and side-stepped as the man shoved his way into the apartment. "The girls are perfectly safe here with me. They have been for four goddamn years. What's the fucking problem now, huh?"

---

"Child pornography," Martin answered.

Steve immediately flared up with anger and even Becca curled her hands into fists. "Are you kidding me?" She said angrily at him. "You should listen to my brother and get the hell out of here!"

---

"Becca, take Lilly to your room and stay put while I handle this loathsome prick, alright? Lilly shouldn't be hearing this nonsense," Bucky said and stepped up to the man. He waited for the girls to slip into Becca's room before he turned back to the man in a dark rage. "Listen, you cocksucking motherfucker, those are my sisters, my family, my blood. I've never hurt them or done anything perverse to or around them. And you coming in here and accusing me of something as abhorrent as that is going to take a serious emotional toll on them. I'm not even sure if Lilly knows what child pornography is but now someone's going to have to explain it because she's going to want to know what sick twisted things your 'tip' suggested that I've been doing."

---

"Not you," Martin said, absolutely nonplussed as Bucky got in his face and got angry at him. He was used to people getting a lot angrier and more violent at him than this. "Him." He nodded at Steve.

Steve's face paled and his jaw dropped. "Me?" It made him sick to his stomach to be accused of that.

"Mr. Barnes, I'm going to have to ask you a few questions without him in the room," Martin said and put his hands in his coat pockets.

---

"You've got to be fucking kidding me," Bucky said and rubbed at his face. A headache was raging along the sides of his head and he felt like screaming and kicking this guy's face in and then curling up in a ball on the ground. "Who in the world told you that Steve was doing that? Was it Dale Peterson? He's mad that we got a cat. I know it."

---

"I'm not allowed to disclose who contacted us," Martin said. He gave Steve a look and Steve wiped at his eyes before going back to the bedroom so this could get over with. Martin crossed his arms and looked over at Bucky. "Listen, I understand this is emotional for you but I need you to be objective when you answer my questions. Most child abuse - both sexual and not - happen by a friend or family member."

---

"This isn't a child abuse case. It's some asshole lying to you to get at my family for some fucking reason," Bucky spit back. "Whoever told you that is wrong," He added and clenched his jaw together. He really wished Steve were by his side helping him. He also wished he had some medication because the whole room was starting to move around him and the pulsing in his head was getting worse.

---

"Well, it's up to my department to decide that," he said. Martin pulled out a paper from his file with a list of traits of a sex offender. "Does he show any of these behaviors?" He asked. "How long has he lived here? Where does he sleep - this apartment only has three bedrooms. Is there a lock on the girls' doors?"

---

"There's no lock." Bucky resigned to answer the questions and be done with this quickly. "He's lived here for about three months. He sleeps in my room." Bucky watched as the man scribbled down what Bucky was saying and looked down the hall at the closed doors.

---

Martin continued to grill Bucky with question after question for about an hour before he finished taking his notes. "Thank you for your cooperation, Mr. Barnes. I see no reason to remove your sisters tonight, but the investigation will remain open for thirty days."

---

Bucky nodded and locked the door behind the man as he left. He went to the couch and laid down, rubbing at his head. "He's gone!" Bucky yelled out and watched the three of them come back out into the living room. Bucky stayed on the couch and curled over on his side. He was in a lot of pain and was really confused and angry. He couldn't help the tears that slipped past his eyes absently.

---

Becca and Lilly came running out looking apprehensive and upset. They only got worse when they saw that Bucky was crying. Steve wasn't in much better shape and was trying to hide that he'd been crying, too. He sat down and put a hand on Bucky's shoulder.

"He's not taking us away, is he?" Lilly asked.

---

Bucky sniffled and looked up at her. "Not tonight apparently. But they keep the investigation open for thirty days so who fucking knows." He turned his attention to Steve. "I'm not letting them take you away, either." Then he paused and looked between Steve and the girls. "Steve, will you get me some medicine?" He asked. Once he was gone to the bathroom to get something for Bucky's headache, he pulled the girls close and said, "If anyone talks to you about Steve you have to be smart and careful. If you feel safe around Steve make that known but don't force it so it looks like you're being made to say it. Some fucking shithead is after our family and we need to work together to keep us together."

---

Steve had already considered moving out if that meant letting Bucky keep his sisters without the state prodding into their life. He got up and shuffled to the bathroom to find the medicine.

"Why does someone think Steve's doing bad things?" Lilly asked.

Becca paused and suggested, "What about that guy that let Steve get shot?"

---

Bucky nodded and smiled at Becca sadly. "I'm thinking you're exactly right, Becs. But there is no way for us to accuse him of this right now." When Steve came back with medicine, Bucky took it gratefully then stood up to get the girls back to bed. "Go back to sleep. You have school tomorrow. I'm walking you over tomorrow too. And picking you up."

---

Both girls looked angry that their brother and Steve were going through this and there was still the underlying fear that they were going to be taken away. They gave both men a hug goodnight and laid back down in their rooms. 

---

Once they were back in bed, Bucky trudged past Steve to the door and slipped on his shoes and coat. "I'll be back, Steve."

---

"Where are you going?" Steve asked nervously. "It's dangerous to go out at this time."

---

"To the little twenty-four-seven down a few blocks. I'll be right back." Bucky smiled weakly at Steve and headed out. He made his way under the streetlights to the bodega and shoved a six-pack and a bottle of whiskey into his basket. He also found the store made little brownies and put those in his basket too.

When he got back, Steve was waiting at the kitchen table for him wearing a blanket around his shoulders and an upset tick to his lips.

---

Steve had a sinking feeling that Bucky was going to get some booze but he didn't have the heart to stop him. When he returned, Steve breathed out a sigh of relief. "I've ... I've been thinking, Buck," he said softly. "Maybe I should move out until the investigation is over. So we don't risk losing the girls."

---

Bucky shot Steve a look and put his stuff down on the table. He twisted off the lid to the whiskey and took a long drink from the bottle before offering it to Steve with a firm, "No," and fire in his eyes. He then opened one of the beers and started drinking it and eating one of the brownies.

---

Steve frowned but took a small sip of the whiskey anyway so Bucky wouldn't be drinking alone. "Then what can I do to help?" He asked. "I'm not going to sit around and let someone threaten to take away your sisters because of me."

---

"You can go talk to your chief about that good-for-nothing son of a bitch Rumlow and his big lying mouth. You know this was him, Steve," Bucky said and offered a brownie to him. He took another deep drink of the whiskey and shuttered out a sigh. He missed this so much. Why did he ever give up alcohol? Soon he'd be a little tipsy then he could get a little drunk and he'd feel fine.

---

Steve's shoulders slumped a little at the mention of the man. "I can," he agreed. "But I don't know if that will do much. We can't prove anything and Rumlow has been on the force for longer than I have. He could have plenty of people on his side," he warned.

---

"I know he did this. He tried killing you and that didn't work out so he figured he'd just destroy my family and get you locked away instead." Bucky was about a fourth of the way through the bottle and he was feeling it. He tugged Steve's arm and pulled him to the living room where Bucky laid down on the ground and cradled the bottle.

---

Steve followed and couldn't lay on the floor, so he sat on the couch next to him. "Buck," Steve said softly. "I'm going to do everything I can and then some, okay? But I need you to promise me that you won't do something rash when things get rough. Like marching down to the precinct." Steve was angry but he was good at keeping it below the surface.

---

Bucky mumbled that he liked marching down to the precinct and then drank some more. He was feeling tired and floaty and getting a little lighter as he drank more. "Don't tell Becca about this," he said and handed the bottle back off to Steve in case he wanted anymore.

---

"I won't," Steve promised. "But if she asks, I'm not going to lie to her, either." He would deflect or change the subject but he didn't feel right to lie to her face. He took one more sip and handed it back to Bucky. "Come up here with me," he said softly.

---

Bucky reluctantly got up off the ground. He wobbled a little as he crawled up on the couch and curled up in Steve's open arms. "Can't believe that motherfucker did this," he stuttered out and let his tired head fall on Steve's chest. "Gonna fucking kill him..." Raphael had been snoozing on the coffee table but he hopped up on Bucky and pawed at his face gently.

---

"No killing allowed. I'd hate for the girls to only be able to talk to you over a prison telephone." Steve chuckled when Raphael pawed at Bucky and he reached a hand over to scratch the top of his head. "The cat agrees - no killing."

---

"No killing - just drinking," Bucky conceded and looked down at the half empty bottle. "Should've bought two of these." His words were slurred and his eyes were closed as he felt firm hands taking the whiskey away from him. He heard it deposited on the coffee table and he dipped his head towards the noise and felt a dizzy rush come over him.

---

"Not too much drinking. You've already had more than you should," Steve said. "You shouldn't get into the habit of this, alright, Baby?" Steve stroked his fingers through Bucky's hair and kissed him a few times.

---

"I want to go to bed. Let's go back to bed," Bucky said and couldn't open his eyes again. "Have to sleep. Need to take the girls to school tomorrow." He stood up from the couch on rickety legs and immediately fell back on it again, unable to get two feet under him at all times. Steve was right. He did go overboard tonight.

Chapter Text

The next few days were tense as all hell. During one afternoon while Steve was at physical therapy and Bucky was home with his sisters, they got a knock on the door. This time it was director Fury on the other side.

---

Bucky cleared his throat in surprise and ushered for him to come in. "Uh, hello, Sir..." he said and introduced his sisters who were both concerned and afraid at the man's presence thinking he was from child protection. "Girls, this is Steve's boss. Chief Fury, this is Becca and Lilly. Can I get you anything, Sir?" Bucky was being unnaturally welcoming and trying to figure out whether Fury was here to give him good news or bad news.

---

Becca and Lilly both hesitantly waved over at Fury but stayed polite because they were following Bucky's lead. "Is Officer Rogers in? I was hoping to have a one-on-one with him." He looked down as Raphael circled around his feet but didn't move to pet him.

---

"He's at his physical therapy session but he should be back soon. You can stay here if you like." Bucky gestured at the seat across from the coffee table and the girls both sat with Bucky and Raphael on the couch. Becca was holding the cat possessively and Lilly was on Bucky's other side holding his hand nervously.

---

Fury sat down and took a look at Becca and Lilly. "What's the matter? You're not afraid of a black man in your home, are you?" The two opened their mouths to argue but he put a hand up. "I'm just kidding. I know you got quite the scare the other night."

---

Becca nodded and scratched Raphael's head. "Do you know if that guy who tried to get Steve killed is the one who set child protection on us?" 

Bucky nudged her sharply and said, "I think Chief Fury probably wants to talk to Steve about all that in private."

---

"She's allowed to ask," Fury said evenly. "I can't give you the answer," he said to Becca. "But what I can tell you is that we take these sort of false calls very seriously. And that Officer Rogers has plenty of other officers watching out for him."

---

Becca and Bucky nodded and Lilly tightened her grip on Bucky’s hand. "Was this all really because some asshole didn't like that Steve came out?" Bucky asked and pulled Lilly closer to him. "It's not like Steve flaunted himself around or hit on any of his fellow officers."

---

"Listen, I'm not saying that it’s fair but this sort of thing only stopped being illegal a year ago. You can't expect a world full of assholes to stop being assholes just because you're allowed to do something now," Fury said. "Twenty years ago if I dared to be a cop, I'd be lynched. And someone like me could be a cop for about two hundred years prior."

---

Bucky wasn't about to argue with Fury over this. He was right that he was at a major disadvantage because he was black and he could tell that he understood Bucky's disadvantage for being gay. He nodded and asked, "Do you think Steve or myself or my girls are in any real danger because of all this?"

---

"You're a queer couple who's very happy with their lives. There's always going to be some sort of danger, be it from this or not." Fury paused when the door opened and Steve came back home.

Steve looked exhausted but pleased as he walked in but then surprised to see his boss. "Sir," he said. "I wasn't expecting you."

---

Bucky got up and pulled Steve down to sit on the couch. He then hovered over by Becca and watched as Lilly molded herself to Steve's side for support. "Chief Fury came a bit ago to talk to you. The girls and I can go get some food down the block while you two talk if you like."

---

Steve wrapped an arm around Lilly and kissed her cheek. "Hey, Lil," he greeted softly.

Fury nodded in response to Bucky's offer. "I'd like to talk with you after, but I need to speak with Steve in private first."

---

Bucky ushered the girls off the couch and told Becca to just put Raphael in her room for now. He pulled everyone's coats from the hangers and then smiled at Steve nervously before following the girls out the door. He really hoped that whatever Fury had to say was going to be good or at least semi-hopeful but he honestly couldn't tell.

---

By the time Bucky had returned, Steve felt happier with the news he got even though he was conflicted on what he should do. He gave his boyfriend a little wave and Fury pointed for Bucky to sit down. "Girls, I'll need you to go to your rooms for a little bit," Fury said.

---

Becca pulled Lilly into the hall and they both went to Becca's room to wait. Bucky sat next to Steve and slipped an arm behind his back gently. He didn't say anything, just waiting for Fury to start. He was nervous and just wanted this to be over with. He wanted to hold Steve and kiss him and forget this whole mess.

---

"Steve has some things he has to discuss with you, but there are some things that I have to say personally," Fury said. "Firstly, I'm going to make the child protection case disappear. So you don't have to worry about that anymore. But I want to make something clear - as much as I want to protect you from bullshit like this, I don't want you to start expecting me to shield you from everything. I will do what I can, but I am not in the position to stretch my neck out over it."

---

Bucky looked from Steve to Fury. "I understand. I didn't even expect this much and I'm grateful for what you've done for us so far. And I'm also incredibly grateful that you'll help with this case." He gingerly slipped one hand with Steve's and held it firmly on his thigh. "You don't seem like that's all you had to say, though."

---

"I gave Steve an offer that I think you both should accept. But I want you to understand that if he accepts it, then his conditions will apply to you and your sisters as well, or else the deal will be null," Fury said pointedly. "Steve can tell you about the offer and you both can give me an answer at the end of the week."

---

Bucky couldn't help the concerned look he gave Steve. His mind went to worst-case scenario imagining something like they were going to go into hiding or Steve was going to have to leave them or something. But Bucky just nodded and tightened his hold on Steve. He checked his face for any reaction and just got a stone-faced look back.

---

Fury gave them both a nod and stood up. "Well, it was nice having this chat. Hopefully, we will see Officer Rogers back on duty soon enough." He gave them a nod and left.

---

Bucky immediately turned to face Steve and shook his head curiously. "What deal? What did he say to you?" He asked urgently and gripped Steve's shoulder. He moved his eyes along Steve's face and gave him a quick few kisses.

---

Steve grimaced a little. "He says the precinct will pay a hundred grand over ten years if we don't breathe a word about what Rumlow did. He gets transferred and an off-paper restriction order from us. But he walks free."

---

Bucky blinked several times and looked down. "He walks free?" He asked with contempt. He was about to tell Steve not to take the deal and to have the precinct shove it up their ass but then he decided that he needed to see what Steve was thinking first. "What do you want to do?" He asked as diplomatically and calmly as he possibly could.

---

"I don't know," Steve said genuinely. "That's almost nine hundred a month just to keep quiet. But Rumlow... he left me to die, Buck." His voice cracked a little. "I want to fight. I really do, but it's going to be an uphill battle and I'm worried about the girls."

---

Bucky thought in silence. They could use the money a lot. But he also wanted justice for what was done to Steve. And who knows where Rumlow would be transferred to. If it was still in New York City then Bucky wouldn't be satisfied. He wanted him out of the state. And how could Bucky trust that they would really give them that money every month? It wouldn't be the first time he saw the government screw people over.

---

"What are you thinking?" Steve asked, looking over at Bucky with a concerned frown. This wasn't the sort of decision that he would make on his own because this would affect all of them no matter which way he went.

---

"I don't know," Bucky answered. "Too much. Thinking too much." He pulled his legs up against his chest and held them there. "What's the best case scenario if we take the deal and if we don't take the deal?"

---

"If we take the deal..." Steve paused and said, "we don't have to worry about the girls being taken away and maybe we could afford our own home. We could buy a place that's ours with no shitty tenants like Dale. But if we don't... we stop Rumlow from hurting anyone else he doesn't like and we set a precedent for discrimination against gays. Maybe even get a law passed."

---

"And you're sure we can't have both?" Bucky asked and leaned back against the couch arm. "Because I like the sound of both. What about we get a house and stick it to the man? And have enough money to take care of the girls."

---

"Well, Fury isn't going to give us a penny if we talk," Steve said. "I might be able to get a settlement if he's found guilty for abandoning me," he murmured. "But that's no guarantee. And remember the risk of it. I'd have to come out in front of the whole jury." Steve would go with whatever Bucky thought best in the end but he wanted Bucky to understand how deep the stakes were.

---

"If you do that, there's no way any jury is going to look twice at you." Bucky rubbed his face and twisted some hair between his fingers. "But if we take the deal then that guy can do this shit again and maybe even try to hurt us again. A restraining order isn't going to stop him if he really wants to do damage."

---

It was possible Steve would get sympathy because he was a cop. But gay people didn't get the time of day from many. "We have a few days to think about it," Steve said. "Do you think we should tell the girls our options?"

---

"No," Bucky said, "You know exactly how it'll go. Becca will say to take the deal and forget the whole thing and Lilly will say don't take the deal and get revenge on the son-of-a-bitch. Then they will argue about it with Becca trying to show the logic and Lilly making threats against Rumlow." He paused. "Wow, I never realized how much I'm like Lilly sometimes."

---

Steve knew how it would go but he wanted to let the girls feel involved and heard. He leaned forward and brushed their lips together. "You both are real firecrackers," he said. "She's going to drive someone crazy one day, just like you do to me," Steve teased.

---

Bucky put his hands on either side of Steve's face and kissed him deeply. "I love you, Steve Rogers. Don't you dare forget that." He curled back up next to Steve and added, "Let's just go make sure the girls know everything is okay and we can talk to them once we have made the decision. After that, I think it's time for bed cause I'm exhausted and I just want to lay in bed with you naked and comfortable."

---

Steve got that dumb, happy smile on his face that only Bucky could bring about. "I love you too, Buck," he said happily. He got up and achingly walked to the girls' room. Lilly had clearly been listening with her ear pressed against the door because he heard her scamper to her bed as they approached.

---

Bucky flopped on the bed and pulled both his sisters close to him and kissed their heads. "I'm really sorry you two have had to go through all this recently. But just know that I'm never letting anyone take you from me and no one can threaten my family without me doing something about it." He already lost two members of his family he wasn't going to let any more go.

---

Steve leaned his shoulder against the doorframe and looked at the three of them. "My boss promises that you guys aren't going to get taken away and he's going to make sure that case gets thrown out," Steve said. "So we all get to stay here."

---

Lilly grumbled and said, "I still don't know what child pornography means." She looked to Becca with an angry expression. She must have asked and not gotten any information on the subject.

---

"Pretend you never heard those words, Kiddo. Your life will be better off that way." Steve gave Becca a grateful look for not telling Lilly what it meant. He knew that she probably hounded Becca all day about it.

---

"The important thing is that hopefully this whole mess will be over soon and we won't have to deal with this shit," Bucky said and played with Lilly's hair. "Now it's bed time. Okay? Go get showered up and go to sleep."

Lilly chuckled. "You just want to be naked with Steve."

---

Steve blushed deeply at Lilly's accusation and said, "No, we’re tired, too. It’s been a long day. I had a lot of physical therapy today.”

---

Bucky sighed as he got up. "Give it up, Steve. Lord knows she was listening the whole time. You can’t win with her."

---

"Fine," Steve said. "We're gonna go to bed and be naked and make out and it’s going to be great.”

Lilly groaned and covered her ears. "That's my brother. Gross," she complained.

---

Bucky pointed to his sisters from the doorway. "Showers. Bed. I love you." He waited for them to say it back before pulling Steve away and over to their bedroom.

---

Steve wrapped his arms around Bucky and leaned heavily into him. "At least we got good news today. That’s got to count for something, doesn’t it?”

---

"At least we got some good news," Bucky agreed and held Steve close to him. "Now take off your clothes and get in that bed because I want to love on you and suck you dry," he said and gave Steve a gentle push to the chest.

---

Steve blushed at the demand but was quick to comply. Steve stripped himself down before getting into bed and giving Bucky a big set of bedroom eyes. "Don't strain my back," he teased.

---

"I'll be really gentle," Bucky said and pulled off his own shirt before taking Steve's hands in his and putting them on his hips. "Let's just relax and forget all this shit for a little bit okay? I just want to hold you and just be us." He started unbuttoning his pants and waited for Steve to help him slid them off.

---

Steve nodded his head and smiled down at Bucky. "Alright, Baby. I got it," he said as he pushed his pants down. He was already half-hard just from thinking about what Bucky was going to do. 

---

Bucky stepped out of his pants and kicked them across the room. He hovered over Steve and pulled him in for a kiss before gently leaning him back into the bed. "How are you feeling? Any pain? I don't want to have sex again because you hurt yourself last time but I can still be gentle and blow you."

---

"I feel fine so far," Steve promised. He leaned up to kiss him and stroked a hand over Bucky's ass. "Tired from therapy but no pain." He smirked. "Looking forward to seeing my dick on your lips."

---

"Then I should probably get to it." Bucky bit his lip and smiled. He shimmied down Steve's body and started stroking his cock. Kneeling down on the ground by the bed, Bucky kissed Steve's thighs and kept a steady hand on him. He took a few long moments to fondle his balls as he sucked deep red marks into his skin. "Ready?" He looked up at Steve through hooded eyes.

---

Bucky really knew how to rile Steve up. He spread his legs and made desperate, little noises as Bucky teased him. He loved being marked up by Bucky - it proved that he really was Bucky's. "So ready, Baby."

---

Bucky nodded quickly and licked a wet line up Steve's dick before taking the head in his mouth. He licked around it for a while before taking the rest of his dick into his mouth. He bobbed forward and back on Steve and gripped his own growing cock tight in his hand.

---

"Yes, fuck," Steve breathed out. His head dropped back onto the pillow and he moaned low. "Don't stop, Baby. Your mouth feels so good." It was pleasurable and relaxing as all hell to let Bucky blow him.

---

Bucky pushed forward again and let Steve's cock head push against the back of his throat. He hummed happily before pulling off and licking at the tip again. Bucky stood and crawled back onto the bed, ignoring Steve's whine when he stopped touching him. He straddled Steve lightly so their dicks were next to each other. Bucky took the lube out of the drawer and coated his hand before taking both of them in one hand and pumping together.

---

Steve couldn't help the disappointed noise when he suddenly went from Bucky's mouth all over him to nothing. But when he felt Bucky's hot dick pressed against his, he felt a bit better and he automatically jerked his hips up into Bucky's hand. "So good," he groaned, gripping Bucky's hip. "I love you so much, Buck. You're so good to me."

---

"Love you too, Stevie," Bucky breathed out and his head lulled forward. "I can't wait for you to get all better. I'm going to destroy your ass and then you are going to wreck mine and we are going to fuck for days straight." His pace had quickened on their cocks as he spoke and he watched pre-come leaking from Steve's head.

---

"Destroy it, huh?" Steve couldn't help but laugh a little. "I can't wait." He could feel his orgasm start to build and he dug his fingers into Bucky's hips. "Go slower, Baby, I don't want to come so soon."

---

"Yes, you do," Bucky growled and held them tighter. "Want to see you come for me, Steve. Come over my cock and wait for me to follow." He pulled some more until Steve was shutting his eyes and shooting come out over Bucky's fingers. Bucky pumped him through it and then let go so he could finish himself off over Steve's chest until he was coming in short spurts on Steve's chest and chin.

---

"Buck," Steve groaned, wanting to drag things out but it still felt good to have Bucky jerk them both off until they were messes. He panted softly as he came down from his orgasm and he wiped a streak of Bucky’s come off his chin and licked his finger clean. "What's the matter, Babe? Didn't want to let me enjoy myself a little longer?" he teased.

---

"Not tonight no." Bucky chuckled and gently flopped next to Steve and started rubbing his come around on his chest. "You want to shower or just fall asleep like this?" He asked and tweaked Steve's nipples carefully. "Because I'm good with either."

---

Steve snorted and swatted at Bucky's hand when he rubbed the come in. "It's not lotion, you dope," he said. "I don't feel like getting up. I'll probably regret that decision tomorrow, though."

---

"But I like knowing you have my come all over your skin," Bucky protested and kept going. "Makes you smell like me too. And I really, really love that." He kissed Steve again and buried his nose in his chest. "Love you, Steve."

---

"You're such an ass." Steve laughed, petting his fingers through Bucky's hair. "It doesn't make me smell like you. It just makes me smell like unwashed gay guy." He scratched the back of Bucky's neck as he kissed the top of his head. "Love you too."

---

"Unwashed gay guy is my signature scent," Bucky said in mock defense. "Why do you think I only shampoo every other day? It's not because it's better for my hair. It's so I maintain my musk."

---

"You're such a hippie," Steve said fondly. "What's my signature scent?" Steve asked, giving Bucky a smile and a look that said that Bucky's answer better be good.

---

"Repressed Catholic cop." Bucky nodded. "It smells like communion wine and shooting ranges and... sweating in church." He sat up and curled his legs underneath him. "But only in the very best way, of course."

---

Steve threw his head back and laughed. "You're such a jerk. I love it." He smiled and touched his fingers over Bucky's side. "But my Catholicism is going to get us married one day. I'll find one priest that will let us. I'm sure of it."

---

Bucky smiled warmly at Steve. "I know you will, Baby. And I can't wait for that day. We will have your mother and my sisters with us and I'll actually wear a suit for you so I look extra nice. How's that?"

---

Steve nodded. "That would be perfect," he said. "I'll let you pick where we go for our honeymoon. Cause we have to do a honeymoon," Steve said. "I don't care where so long as it's with you."

---

Bucky's face lit up and he asked quietly, "Seneca Lake? Where my father used to take me fishing at the cabin? We can stay a few days." He pleaded with his eyes and held Steve's hands. He wasn't sure if he would like that suggestion but he hoped it would be perfect.

---

Steve had already planned to take Bucky on a regular vacation there, but if that was where he wanted his honeymoon to be, that was where they would go. "A few days? Baby, we are doing a full week at the very least." Steve squeezed Bucky's hand and smiled. "I’d love to go there."

---

"You think I can leave the girls for a full week?" Bucky laughed. "I have a hard time when they go to school every day, Steve. If we are gone for a week you are most definitely going to have to let me have alcohol so I don't start panicking."

---

"It's our honeymoon. You can do whatever you want and Becca won't be around to scold you. And you won't have to be too worried. I know my mom will keep an eye on them while we are gone," Steve said.

---

"I know, but all this with Rumlow and the child protection service has made me even more antsy about them than usual and I just never want to let them out of my sight." Bucky huffed out a sigh. "Can I have a beer, please?" He asked hopefully.

---

"I understand," Steve said sympathetically. He was a bit more confident only because he knew Fury always kept his word. "Just one beer," he conceded. "I don't want you to get into bad habits. You've been doing so well."

---

"I can drink and be fine. I promise. It won't be like before. I'll keep my head with me, Steve," Bucky said and didn't realize how desperate his tone sounded. "Trust me. You can trust me with alcohol now. I swear."

---

"Buck, I want to trust you. I really, really do," Steve said. "You just got to give me time to, alright?" He kissed him gently and gave him a small pat. "Go have your beer. I'll still be in bed waiting, alright?"

---

Bucky looked disappointed. "Don't want it anymore," he lied and rolled over on his side, facing away from Steve. It would be just his luck anyway for Becca to wake up while he was drinking and come out to see what was going on.

---

Steve sighed and draped an arm around Bucky's waist. "I believe in you, Bucky. But I'm scared," he said softly. "I've seen what drinking can do to people. I've seen what my dad's drinking did to my mom and he's been dead for decades," he murmured.

---

Bucky clenched his jaw and listened. He knew Steve was right and had more reason than most not to approve but Bucky needed something to help and he couldn't afford things like a therapist or medication and Steve already nixed weed.

---

"How come you can't talk to me about the things that make you want to drink?" Steve asked gently, not sounding accusatory in his question, just concerned. "You know I'd do anything to help you."

---

Bucky shrugged. "Don’t know. I just don't like talking about them much. Doesn't make me feel good. There's just some shit you probably shouldn't know about me, Steve. Some stuff I've done or been done to me. It's not all pretty."

---

"Baby, I'm not with you so everything is pretty," Steve said. "I'm with you cause I love you to pieces. And if telling me that stuff has even a chance at making you feel better, then I want to hear it." He kissed his shoulder.

---

Bucky rolled back and held Steve's face in his hands. "I'd rather just drink," he said matter-of-factly. "I stopped some of the shit I used to do and drinking is all I had left as an escape and I just don't think it was a good idea for me to give it up."

---

Steve felt himself tear up. He didn't know if he was more upset that Bucky would rather drink than talk to him or that what happened to Bucky was so bad that he didn't want to speak about it. Steve just nodded, doing his best not to get too emotional.

---

"Why are you crying?" Bucky asked hurriedly and kissed some fallen tears from Steve's face. "What did I say?" He held him close and kissed his lips several times before pulled back to look at him again.

---

Steve felt his face heat up in embarrassment. He hid his face in Bucky's chest and didn't answer at first. "I just wish I could help," he said softly. "I don't know what you can't tell me, but I'm sorry that it happened to you."

---

Bucky put a soothing hand on Steve's head and kissed his hair. "It's not that I can't tell you. I'm just scared about it. About what you would say about some of the shit. Some of the reckless stuff I did. There's more than what you already know about the sex and drinking."

---

Steve knew some more than Bucky knew he did, but he wasn't going to rat Lilly out about her telling him about Bucky’s attempted suicide. "You shouldn't be scared, Bucky," he said. "It's in the past. I'll get upset and then I'll get over it. At least then I'll know what to look for and how to help you when things get bad."

---

Bucky pursed his lips and assessed Steve. He decided he could give Steve some things tonight. Not everything, but a few things. "I was a coke abuser in high school," he said with a nod of his head like it was normal for most high-schoolers.

---

Steve grimaced a little but he reached down and held Bucky's hand in his gently. "Were you getting a lot of pressure from your parents and your teachers?" He asked, doing his best to understand.

---

Bucky chuckled. "No. It's nothing quite as noble as that." He laced his fingers with Steve's and kissed them. "I had a crush on the football captain and he was an addict. I felt like I needed to try it to impress him at a party once and then I just sort of kept doing it for about two years."

---

Steve stroked his thumb over the back of Bucky's hand. "Did your sisters ever find out about that?" He asked. Steve thought he was handling this well enough, keeping the conversation open even though Steve abhorred drugs.

---

"Don't think so." Bucky sniffled. "My father was the only one who knew and only because I told him on one of our trips and he helped me get out of the habit." He smiled and added, "I was willing to tell my father that I did cocaine but I wouldn't tell him that it was because of a boy."

---

Steve kissed Bucky's forehead and smiled gently at him. "Your dad sounds like he was an amazing guy. Coke isn't an easy thing to drop. And if he got you out of using it, he must have really known you inside and out to know what would make you stop."

---

"I honestly couldn't tell you what got me to quit. I just know that when I was starting my freshmen year of college he bought me a really nice bag as a reward for sticking with it and not doing it anymore," Bucky said.

---

"Have I seen this bag yet?" Steve asked. "Do you still use it?" He massaged little circles over Bucky's back. "Thank you for talking to me about this, Bucky. It means more to me than you know."

---

"I had to sell it after they died to get Lilly new shoes for school." Bucky made a face. "She needed black buckle shoes without any holes in them. She had black buckle shoes but they had little flower cut outs and the teachers wanted perfect uniforms."

---

"I'm sorry, Buck," Steve said sympathetically. "My mom had to sell a lot of my dad's valuables... watches, belts... She still regrets that she didn't save anything for me once I was grown up, but I know she really needed the money."

---

"I understand her. It's hard raising kids on your own," Bucky said. "I've only done it for four years so not as long as her but still." Bucky paused and breathed out a sharp breath. "Well... how'd I do? That's one more thing you know."

---

"You have twice the amount of kids she did, though," Steve said and kissed Bucky gently. "You did such an amazing job," he praised. "I don't... I don't really have any skeletons in my closet. None that I know of, at least. But if there's ever anything you want to ask me, I'll answer."

---

"That's okay, Steve. I've got a bunch for the both of us." Bucky smiled and kissed him back. It felt a little weird telling Steve about the coke problem but it was also sort of nice getting it out there so he decided to keep going. "I had an affair with a married professor when I was nineteen. He had three kids, his oldest was my age and a good buddy."

---

"Jesus," Steve swore, giving Bucky's arm a little pinch. "I think I'm more disappointed in the man who cheated on his wife with a kid who was his son's age." Steve shook his head. "I would never be able to cheat on you."

---

"He was gay as fuck but couldn't succeed in his field if he was out so he just fucked a couple of his students to get by." Bucky shrugged. "I'd never cheat on you either, Steve." He assured him. "That's a promise."

---

Steve pet his fingers through Bucky's hair and kissed the tip of his nose. "I know you wouldn't." He trusted him like that. Bucky hadn't ever given him a reason to doubt that trust.

Chapter Text

Over the next few weeks, Steve was getting better. It was easier to walk now and he could do minor laborious tasks even though he still wasn't cleared for duty. After some poking around, Steve was able to get Lilly and Becca to describe Bucky's bag and he went to some local pawn shops to see if they ever had one come through. After a few false leads, he finally came by one that was promising. When he knocked on the new owner's door and explained what had happened, they were more than willing to let Steve buy it back from them. He went to a party store to wrap it up in a gift bag and he came home proudly with a big smile on his face.

---

Winter was almost here and every day Bucky complained about the cold but he actually liked it a lot more than the hot. Bucky was really happy that Steve was doing better but he also didn't get to enjoy it much because he was always at work lately. He was getting a lot of late night shifts followed by the opening shift so he was only awake for a few hours at home with his family. Bucky still wouldn't let Steve try to have sex again. He was too worried after the last time made his back hurt so much. He had also missed Lilly's last game of the season because of work and she cried about it making Bucky feel like crying too. On one particularly bad day, Bucky was making food for them all because Steve had mysteriously disappeared without notice while Bucky was at work and he hadn't said when he would be back home. When he did eventually return, he was wearing the doofiest grin that Bucky had ever seen and holding a large gift bag in his hands.

---

Steve had tried to explain to Lilly that Bucky couldn't control his work schedule but she was still upset that he hadn't come. Steve had been there to root her on at least, but it wasn't the same. He knew Bucky was having a bit of a rough time because of that and his long hours, so he thought the timing was perfect for the gift. "Hey, Baby," he greeted. Steve came over and kissed Bucky's cheek. "I got you a surprise." He held the bag over for him.

---

Bucky kissed Steve and grabbed the bag from his hands. "What is it?" He asked with a confused look on his face. "It's not my birthday, is it? It would be just like me to forget," he joked and set the bag on the kitchen table. He ripped the first layer of tissue paper off and paused when he saw what was inside. "This is..." He pulled it from the colorful gift bag and held it up. "This looks exactly like the bag my dad bought me."

---

Steve just grinned brightly as Bucky opened it. "It is the one your dad bought you," he said proudly. "Becca and Lilly described it to me. I called up the maker and was able to get the model, so I called a few pawn shops and...yeah."

---

Bucky held it out in his hands and stared at it. He could feel quiet hot tears falling down his cheeks but he didn't care. He sat down at the table and wordlessly unzipped the main pouch. Inside was a red sewn moniker of 'JBB' that his grandmother had sewn in after he got it. "This one's mine," Bucky whispered and ran his fingers over the letters thoughtfully.

---

Steve put a hand on the small of Bucky's back and kissed his cheek. "I know how important it was to you. The person who bought it didn't mind parting with it." He played with Bucky's hair gently and gave him a tight hug. "Love you."

---

Bucky dropped the bag on the kitchen table and whipped around to jump Steve in a huge hug. He kissed him furiously and held Steve close. He couldn't believe how lucky he was to somehow manage to have Steve as his boyfriend. No one else in the world would even think about trying to do this for him but Steve managed it.

---

Steve smiled brightly and returned the kiss, though Bucky was certainly more excited and with good reason. Becca came over to see what was going on and she gasped at the sight of the bag. "Whoa, you actually found it?"

---

"It's the same one, too," Bucky said excitedly and showed her his initials. "Steve found my fucking bag, Becs." He was still in shock and all he really wanted to do was have a date night as a thank you to Steve. They could order some dinner and sit around naked and then if his back was feeling okay, Bucky could fuck Steve slow and lovingly all night. Bucky whispered in Steve's ear. "You think your mom would take the girls for the night tomorrow? I want to thank you properly."

---

Steve loved making Bucky happy and he thought it a miracle that he managed to find it relatively quickly. He put a hand up Bucky's shirt to touch his stomach. "I'm sure she wouldn't mind. You taking me somewhere nice, Barnes?"

---

Bucky chuckled and pressed his forehead to Steve's. "No, we are staying in, if you know what I mean," he said just loud enough for Steve to hear. He put a hand on the back of Steve's neck and kissed him again. "I love you, Baby. You're my own perfect man and I love you."

---

Steve's face lit up and he was a cross between excited and bashful. He nuzzled at Bucky's neck affectionately after the kiss and sighed happily. "You deserve everything I do for you, Buck. Now come on, I'm starving. Let's get dinner going."

---

"Okay, Baby," Bucky agreed and ran off to put his bag somewhere safe before returning to finish up making dinner. He had done his best to assemble lasagna and he hoped it was at least sort of tasty to everyone. "Becca, will you get Lilly from her room so we can eat?"

---

Becca glanced at them and nodded her head. When she came back, Lilly came with Raphael in her arms looking miserable because she dressed him up in a suit from one of Becca's dolls from when she was little. "Look at him, Buck!"

---

"Jesus, Lilly," Bucky said and snatched the cat from her gently. "The poor little guy looks absolutely pissed." He set the cat on the coffee table and helped him out of the clothes before holding him close and petting him until he purred.

---

"But he looked so proper and refined. Just like how Becca wanted him to be." Raphael was looking at Lilly with an expression that said she was lucky he didn't scratch the shit out of her.

---

"You can't dress up animals in dolls clothes," Bucky said. "What if he would have clawed his way out of them and scratched you too. Then you would have had to tell Becca that her old dolls clothes were ruined and you'd have ouchies all over you."

---

"Ouchies? The hell, Buck, I ain't five anymore," she said with a roll of her eyes.

Steve laughed and gave her a hug. "No swearing. Not until you're eighteen," he chided softly. He led her over to the table so she would sit for dinner.

---

Bucky gave Steve a confused look. He personally didn't care if Lilly and Becca swore. Lord knows he swore since the day he could speak.

---

"What?" Steve asked, confused when Bucky gave him that look. He didn't think he had done anything off. He hadn't scolded her for real.

---

Bucky put the cat down and took his seat at the table next to Steve and said to Lilly, "No more playing dress up with the cat."

 

***

 

As they had hoped, Steve's mom had agreed to have the girls over to her place for the night. She insisted on a sleepover anyway since she missed getting to tuck in her own son and have him around in the morning. Steve promised his mom they would have lunch together on the weekend and once the girls were escorted out, he shut the door. "Buck? They're out."

---

Bucky was in their room getting himself cleaned up and waiting for his sisters to go spend time with Sarah. He had taken a shower and washed his hair and was finished shaving his face when Steve called out that they were gone. Bucky was completely naked and intended to stay that way until the girls were on their way back home the next day. He opened their door and made his way to the kitchen where Steve was searching in the fridge for something. Bucky decided to lay on the couch as seductively as he could manage so Steve could see him with his body on display.

---

Steve was excited to have a full evening getting to love on Bucky and not have to worry about staying quiet or being modest in case the girls were around. He turned to pour himself a glass of juice and caught a naked Bucky in the corner of his eye. "Holy shit, Buck," he said in shock, but his eyes were immediately taking in the sight in front of him. Steve clearly liked it. "You look like a model."

---

"You look like you're wearing too many clothes," Bucky responded with a cheeky grin. "You should fix that while I just wait here and relax." He adjusted so his legs were spread apart so his dick was lying in wait and his inner thighs looked like they wanted to give Steve a hug.

---

Steve loved how forward Bucky was. Out of the two of them, Steve was much more subtle with his advances. He did his best to give Bucky a bit of a striptease but, really, Steve was just awkward and overeager about getting himself naked for his boyfriend.

---

Bucky watched with heavy eyes and a growing sense of love and pride as Steve undressed himself. Once he was naked, Bucky patted his lap and said, "Now come cuddle me for a little bit and let me hold my adorable officer. We've got all night to just be alone and nude."

---

"So we're not putting our clothes back on at all?" Steve beamed at that and laid down over Bucky. He immediately melted into him and started kissing up his neck. "Mmm, I love you so much," he hummed. Steve ran his hand over Bucky's torso as if this was the first time he was ever allowed to touch him. "Man, I can't remember the last time we had a night to ourselves."

---

"Probably since before you moved in," Bucky said and smiled as Steve kissed across his jaw. "I was thinking about growing my beard out for a while? What do you think? I'll be even more of a hippie than I am now."

---

"I would like it. I bet it would feel real good when it rubs against my thigh while you're sucking me off," Steve said boldly. "You should do it."

---

Bucky groaned and said, "Oh, Baby, you are getting so much better at dirty talk. I'm so proud of you. You remember when you couldn't even say that you wanted to blow me? My little officer is a man now."

---

"Stop it.” Steve laughed, swatting Bucky's arm lightly. "You know I was a virgin when you met me. And I’m Catholic. My mom raised me better than to talk that way like it was nothing."

---

Bucky laughed and nuzzled his face into Steve's chest. "Still proud of you, though. Imagine what you would be doing right now if you hadn't have met me. You might be home alone eating food and reading. Or jerking off by yourself. Or trying to go to the bar and stopping yourself from hitting on the cute boys. But instead, you're here with me in your new home and you're naked on top of me and your dick is hard. Don't think I didn't notice."

---

Steve blushed deeply when Bucky brought up his erection. "Yeah, yeah, we all know I was a sad and lonely closeted bachelor cop before you came rushing into my precinct like a damsel in distress," he teased. "My life is so much better now that you're in it, Baby," he hummed. "You know what would make it better?"

---

"If I fucked you nice and slow on this couch?" Bucky offered and cupped Steve's ass. "How does your back feel? Are you up to it? We can go to the bed if that's better." He was already spreading Steve's cheeks apart and running the tip of his finger over his hole.

---

Steve got flustered because he had something else in mind but Bucky's idea was far better. He already spread his legs and pressed back into Bucky's hand when he felt him tease his hole. "I'd like that a lot," he breathed out. Steve sucked a few marks over Bucky's neck. "It's been a while since you've been inside of me."

---

"Oh, I fucking know. I miss your ass so much, Babe," Bucky said and held Steve to him as he sat them both up so Steve was straddling his lap. "Where do you want to make love, Steve? Here or in bed? Either way, I'm keeping you like this so I can see your face."

---

"Couch," Steve said, moving a hand to tease Bucky's nipple between his fingers. "We can be in bed any other night. Let's take advantage of this." Steve nipped Bucky's lower lip seductively. "We never broke in the couch anyway."

---

"Want me to go get lube really quick or do you want me to eat you out first?" Bucky asked with his hands trailing all over Steve's body. "Because I'm good with either one. If you want me in you quick you might want the lube."

---

“Lube,” Steve said. He gave Bucky a sultry look. “I want you inside me, Baby. I want to fall asleep sore and thoroughly fucked by that gorgeous cock of yours.” He gave Bucky’s nipple a little tug. “Got it?”

---

Bucky's eyes flashed. "Yes, Sir, I got it. You want to go get the lube and I'll just wait here for you to come sit on my dick?" He bit his lip and looked at Steve with big eyes. He couldn't wait to be inside him again. "I promise I won't even touch myself while I wait for you."

---

"What happened to you getting the lube?" Steve teased. He stole a kiss and said, "Play with your nipples and think of me until I come back." It was easier to get up and move around now that he was healed up a lot more. He came back with the lube in hand. "You know, I heard they make all sorts of types of this stuff."

---

"Uh-huh," Bucky nodded and reached for the bottle. "Some is flavored. Apparently, I taste pretty good covered in cherry lube." He poured some out into his hand and rubbed it into his dick a bit and waited for Steve to give him access to his ass.

---

Steve straddled Bucky's hips and touched along his thighs. "Can we try that sometimes? I'm okay with having a feel for new things. So long as it's not putting stuff inside each other outside of ourselves."

---

"Yes, of course, we can try that," Bucky said happily and moved to rub a finger over Steve's hole. "One day I'll convince you to at least let me have a plug." He didn't give Steve time to answer before he was pushing his first finger inside him and moving it around with purpose.

---

Steve started to protest but what came out instead was a moan. He gripped Bucky's shoulders tightly and he leaned forward to kiss him thoroughly. "You're mistaken, Baby. I've got a little bit of a possessive thing."

---

"I'm all yours, Baby. You know that." Bucky didn't warn Steve before shoving in a second finger and fucking in and out of him. "Once you are ready I want you to sit down on me and ride my cock until I come all up inside you and you shoot your load out on me."

---

Steve threw his head back and moaned Bucky’s name softly. He was still new to this and having two fingers inside him was already getting him hot and needy. “You going to let me draw you? Naked on the couch with my come all over you?”

---

"I'd love nothing more, Steve." A third finger. "Are you ready for me, Babe? I want you so bad. It's been way too long. I need to be in you. Need to feel you holding me inside your ass." He worked his fingers around and kissed a line across Steve's collarbone.

---

Steve was desperately marking up Bucky's neck and shoulders while he opened him up. "So ready, Buck," he breathed out. "Want to feel you inside of me again," Steve murmured, sounding so needy for Bucky's dick. "Gonna ride it for all it's worth."

---

Bucky pulled his fingers out, leaned back, and growled, "Then get on me, now," with a dark twist in his tone. He was getting impatient and he wanted to see Steve ride him ‘for all it's worth’ like he promised.

---

Steve quickly moved himself over Bucky's cock and held it steady. Oh so eagerly, he pushed his ass down and didn't stop until Bucky was balls deep inside him but Steve had done it a bit too quickly for his experience. He threw his head back and let out a throaty moan. "Fuck!" He swore, gripping Bucky's arms hard enough to bruise.

---

"You okay, Steve?" Bucky asked through short excited breaths. "You can just sit there for a bit if you need time to adjust." He couldn't help the small rotating movements that his hips made in response. He was way too pleased about the whole thing even though he was sorry Steve sat down before he was entirely ready and hurt himself.

---

"Yeah... just got ahead of myself." Steve remained still for a few moments, making aroused noises as Bucky circled his hips. Finally, he held onto Bucky for support and started to lift himself up, dragging up Bucky's cock before easing back down, letting his hole swallow Bucky's dick down again.

---

Bucky opened his mouth in a desperate moan as Steve slid up and down on him. He held Steve's hips in support and watched his ass make his dick disappear. "You're so beautiful, Steve. So lovely like this sitting on my cock and holding on to me."

---

Steve panted softly, overwhelmed and feeling so goddamn good. "Keep talking. I love when you say nice things like that," he breathed out. He bounced some more on Bucky's cock, his own bobbing up and down from the movement.

---

Bucky nodded and smiled at Steve. "I don't know why we haven't done this position before because, god, it feels so good having you in my lap and split open on my cock. I love being so close to your body and being able to hold you and see your face as you ride me."

---

Steve pulled Bucky in close and pressed their foreheads together. He looked into his eyes, demanding his full attention as he rocked his hips in tight, little movements. He kept Bucky's dick buried deep in his ass as he tried to find the angle that would have him shouting Bucky's name.

---

"Jesus, Baby," Bucky whispered through short tight breaths. "I'm not gonna last. You're so tight tonight. I love this. I love you. Make me come, Steve. Help me come inside you please." He kissed his boyfriend and slipped a hand over Steve's dick to start pumping it as Steve moved on top of him.

---

Steve let out a low groan as Bucky started to stroke him. He held the sides of Bucky's face and kissed him deeply as he rocked faster. When Bucky's dick hit just the right spot, he threw his head back and cried out Bucky's name as he fucked himself faster on Bucky's dick. In no time, his muscles twitched around Bucky's cock as he came.

---

"Ah, fuck, Steve!" Bucky choked out when he clenched his ass around Bucky's dick. He shot his load up into Steve and Steve's ass juiced him of it all. " Steve, that was so great," he said hurriedly and flipped them so Steve was lying under him on the couch as he kissed him. He felt Steve's come squish against his skin and he whined happily at the thought of it.

---

Steve was exhausted already and was quite happy to lay down and be kissed by his wonderful boyfriend. He let Bucky do that for a little while before he gave Bucky's hair a little tug. "I want you to keep fingering me," he growled softly in his ear, wanting to feel full even after Bucky came.

---

"Oh my god," Bucky breathed. "Yes, of course," he said and reached down to shove three fingers inside Steve while he kissed him. "Do you want me to try to fist you? Or will that be too much? You can tell me to stop." He moved his fingers in and out and rubbed Steve's chest with his other hand.

---

Steve loved how eager Bucky was to follow that demand. He groaned softly and spread his legs for Bucky but looked a little nervous at the mention of fisting. "Do you think I'd be able to handle it?"

---

"It's up to you, Baby," Bucky said and nuzzled Steve. "I can just finger you like this for a while. I don’t want to push you to try if you don’t want to."

---

"Let's keep it to three for now," Steve said. "We'll see how it goes later tonight." He looked up into Bucky’s eyes and grinned.

---

Bucky kissed him and rubbed his other hand up his neck to hold him close, just feeling their bodies close together and fitting like puzzle pieces. "Love you so much. You love me?"

---

"I love you so much, Baby. I'm going to make a husband out of you. And who knows, maybe even a dad," Steve answered and grinned at Bucky.

---

"Oh my god, that's so hot." Bucky picked up the pace as he fingered Steve. "That never used to make me feel so good, Steve. I want to be your husband and be a dad with you so badly. Let's have a baby. We'll find one that needs a home."

---

Steve writhed underneath Bucky as he kept fingering him. It was so quick after his first time coming tonight but he was already getting hard again. "Let's talk more about this when you're not fingering me."

---

"Okay, Steve," Bucky said and slipped off of him to kneel on the ground. He took his fingers from him so he could adjust Steve to get access to his ass better. He stuck two of his fingers back in and followed them with his tongue going in as deep as he could.

---

Steve laid back and enjoyed Bucky eating him out. He reached down and played with Bucky's hair, moaning and saying words of praise. Bucky made him come again and by that point, he was definitely sated and wanted to give his ass a break. "Kiss me, Baby."

---

Bucky obediently crawled back up on the couch and gave Steve several open mouthed kisses. He had loved every second of their night in so far and he very much expected it to just keep getting better. "Did you want to draw me now or do you want some food?"

---

Steve hummed and lazily kissed Bucky. He licked his way into his mouth and tasted himself on Bucky's lips. "Let me draw you first and then we can worry about dinner," he decided. He pet a hand through Bucky's hair. "Find a pose you'll be comfy in for a while."

---

Bucky readjusted as Steve got off the couch. He decided to lay on his side with his head on the arm of the couch. "Will you put on some music before you start? You can pick what we listen to. Also, I need some water if you wouldn't mind."

---

Steve put on The Police because he wanted to be a little selfish and it was rare that he got to pick his music because Bucky and Lilly were record hogs. He got a glass of water and passed it over before settling down to draw. "This was a great idea."

---

"Am I allowed to talk while you draw or do you need me completely still?" Bucky asked and drank some of his water. He still hadn't seen any of Steve's drawings so for all he knew Steve could be more of a blue period Picasso and draw him all abstract or he could be a realist and draw him like a picture.

---

"You're allowed to talk. I can't imagine you being able to keep that big mouth of yours shut for long anyway." Steve winked at him and ducked his head down to draw.

---

"You like my big mouth," Bucky chided. "My big mouth just helped you orgasm for the second time tonight. And it'll probably do it again after we eat so I mean..." He trailed off with a laugh and watched Steve as he glanced up at Bucky and went back to drawing carefully again. "Let's talk about our kid, yeah? What are they going to be like?"

---

Steve's eyebrows knit together as he concentrated on drawing the outline of Bucky's body. He couldn't stop the smile as he thought of their future kid. "I don’t know if we would have a boy or girl. But no matter what, our kid is going to be smart as hell."

---

"You sure about that? If they pick up anything from me then it won't end up being that bright." Bucky chuckled to himself. "It'll love cereal for dinner, though, I know that. And have good taste in music or so help me I'll cry."

---

"You're smart, Baby. Anyone who can keep two kids in line and a roof over their heads single-handedly is smart," Steve said. But if you make our kid eat cereal for dinner, I'll give it the worst taste in music," he teased.

---

"It'll be half Barnes and that means loving cereal, dammit," Bucky said and moved his leg before remembering he needed to stay in the same spot. "What about names? What names do you like, Steve? Supposing we get a baby that still needs a name of course."

---

"If it's a girl, I would want to name it after my ma," Steve said. He gave Bucky a little look when he moved his leg but then went back to drawing. "If it's a boy we can name it James. Or Seamus. What names do you think?"

---

"Seamus? You are Irish." Bucky laughed. "We can name a girl after your mom but I get to choose the middle name. And our boy won't be Seamus or James. I don't want a James Jr. on my hands. What about Ricky? Short for Richard."

---

"If you get to veto James Jr. and my Irish heritage, I'm vetoing Richard on the grounds that I'm not letting the kid of two gay men risk having the nickname of 'Dick'," Steve said.

---

"We'd call him Ricky!" Bucky grumped back. "Fine. No Richard. And no James Jr. for sure. What about Leland or Jeffrey? Or Steve Jr. if you want a junior." Bucky scratched at an itch on his arm and absently stared at the wall. He was getting a little tired of listening to The Police but he did say that Steve could pick so he dealt with it.

---

"Where are you getting these name from?" Steve laughed. The two of them clearly had a different taste in baby names. "Your parents picked good names for all of you. Why can't you?" He teased playfully.

---

"Leland was my father’s middle name and Jeffrey is just a nice name, you ass," Bucky said and was tempted to push Steve over but he didn't want to mess up his drawing. "Fine. Nicholas, Christopher, Brandon, Benjamin, Travis, Kenny, Peter, Marcus."

---

"Well, Leland can be his middle name too," Steve said. "I like all the other names except Brandon and Marcus," he decided. "And what sort of things do you think our son or daughter would like to do? Maybe they will be a rock star."

---

"Maybe they will be able to draw," Bucky offered and beamed at Steve. "Or be athletic like Lilly. Maybe they will be loud and pushy like her too. Or subtle and pushy like me. Or shy and quiet like Becca. Or shy and innocent like you."

---

"Buck," Steve said, pausing for dramatic effect before continuing, "They're our kid. They're going to be good at everything. And they're going to have the best traits from all of us. You think your sisters would like being aunts?"

---

"I think they'll love it. It'll be one more thing for them to pretend to be in charge of." Bucky frowned. "Although, I wish it could look like the two of us, you know? My hair, your eyes, my nose, your jaw, your lips, your ears, your laugh, your smile."

---

Steve gave Bucky a longing glance. "I wish that could happen, too." He sighed. He would've loved a baby that had long, hippie hair like Bucky and talked just like him. "Too bad science hasn't come far enough for that. It would be so nice to have a Baby Barnes around."

---

"A Baby Barnes? It'd be a Baby Rogers-Barnes. You wouldn't want a little five-year-old Baby Barnes with messy unwashed hair swearing up a storm and drinking a beer. Your little Catholic heart couldn't take that."

---

"Please, as if I would ever let our kid be unwashed and use foul language," Steve said with a dismissive wave of his hand. "Man, I'm going to love that kid so much. Just like I love your sisters, Buck."

---

"That's what I'm saying, Steve," Bucky huffed. "I'll have to be doing a lot of compromising while we raise that kid, aren't I? I have a feeling my parents raised me a lot different than you were raised. Not saying either way is right or wrong. I'll just have to not be so much like my parents and be more like you."

---

"What?" Steve asked, sounding surprised. "No, Baby, I don't want you to be like me," he said. Just because Steve wanted to be the ‘by the rule book’ parent didn't mean that he wanted Bucky to do the same. "Why would you think that?"

---

"Well," Bucky started. "I don't want us fighting about how to raise our kid all the time. And if I just go with what you say it'll be easier. I mean I've raised my sisters for four years my way so I can raise our baby your way and be fine. I'd hate for our kid to see us fight about something like that."

---

"Buck, I don't want you to go with my way just cause it's easier," Steve said. "Our kid doesn't have to see us arguing over which way to raise them cause we can talk about it behind closed doors. What if you have a better method for something? I don't want our kid to lose out."

---

Bucky looked at Steve for a second and decided to bypass the conversation instead. "So Sarah May Rogers-Barnes or Christopher Leland Rogers-Barnes? Right?" Or you want a different first name for the boy?"

---

"This poor kid will have the longest name ever," Steve chuckled. "I like both names," he said. "Now all that's left is to get married and find a kid to adopt," he said, as if it were that easy.

---

"Guess that's all that's left." Bucky sighed, knowing that it would take a long time for any of this to happen if it does even happen. "How's the search for the priest going?" He asked. "Also, have you talked to the girls to ask for my hand, yet? I overheard you talking to your mom on the phone about how you thought that'd be cute and a special way to include them. Obviously, I think it's unnecessary to ask for permission to marry someone these days but I kind of like it too."

---

"I've asked a few priests so far during confession. Nobody at my church seems willing and I think I'm going to have to switch churches actually." Which was a shame since he went there since he was born. Steve blushed when Bucky admitted to overhearing him talk to his mom about the whole thing. "And, no, I haven't spoken to the girls about it yet. I don't want to do anything until I find a priest first...which could take a while." He sounded sad but determined.

---

Bucky wanted to reach out and hold Steve. He knew this was hard on him. He was being rejected by one of the institutions he held so dear. His faith was important to him and being denied something this big was hard on him. Especially since he believed that God himself didn't have a problem with it. "You'll find one, Baby. Does it have to be Brooklyn? Even if we found one out in Buffalo or something, would that work?"

---

"I'll fly us across the sea if it means finding a priest who would marry us," Steve said. He was only looking in Brooklyn since he couldn't travel far while he was recovering. He finished up the drawing and passed it over to Bucky to look. It was very true to reality and Bucky looked absolutely gorgeous lying on the couch with deep shadows lining his muscles.

---

Bucky took the drawing and stared at it wide-eyed for a bit. "Holy shit," he said. "Steve, this is seriously impressive. I look hot." He rolled onto his back on the couch and held the drawing out so he could see. "How come you've never shown me your drawings before? This is really fantastic. Although I think you made my dick a little bigger than it is in reality. Are you trying to tell me something? Wish I was bigger for you, Babe?" He chuckled and glanced at his boyfriend.

---

Steve blushed at the praise. "I guess it never really came up, you know," he murmured. He was always a little hesitant to show off his artwork since he didn't know how to take a compliment. "And that's how big your dick actually is. You've got a real monster between your legs, Babe."

---

"Monster. Hah!" Bucky laughed. "It's the healthy side of average, let's say that." He reached a hand out for Steve and said, "Come here. I want to kiss you and thank you for the beautiful artwork. Then we can make some dinner or order something in."

---

Steve sat in Bucky's lap even though he was the larger of the two and he started to kiss his face and touch him affectionately. "It's better than average, give yourself some credit."

---

"Shut up, Rogers." Bucky giggled and let Steve kiss him all over. "I do love my picture, though. Thank you, Baby." He held Steve close and nuzzled at his chest for a moment before pulling back to look at Steve. "I'm hungry. You want to cook or you want to order delivery? The Chinese place will bring us food. I'll just put on pants before they get here."

---

"Let me cook. I like cooking and I don't want to have you put any clothes on until the girls come back tomorrow," Steve confessed. "What are you in the mood to have? And I swear if you say cereal, I'm going celibate."

---

"You wouldn't dare. All I'd have to do is jerk off next to you in bed and you'd be all over me in seconds," Bucky observed. "But, no, I don't want cereal tonight. How about baked potatoes? That's easy and fast. We can get back to something more fun quicker."

---

"I would dare. All I got to do is pray to God to give me strength and I can resist temptation. He probably thinks I need a break anyway," Steve joked. He already was going to the kitchen to start on the potatoes. “You want to eat some meat with the potatoes? We have chicken.”

---

Bucky smirked and said, "Dear God, hear my prayer. Please let me not want to jump my boyfriend’s bones at all times. He has an unhealthy love of cereal. Amen."

---

"You're such a jerk," Steve laughed. He rolled his eyes as he started to prep some chicken as well. "Bucky, you're going to love this. I picked up some new spices so this chicken will have plenty of favor."

---

"I know I should have tried making some sort of joke about eating your meat instead but nothing felt quite right in the moment." Bucky chuckled to himself and got up from the couch to be nearer to Steve. "But, yes, new spices sound great. I'm sure it'll be delicious."

---

Steve smirked. "It would have been too easy to make that sort of joke," he said. "You got to wait for a real good time to make a joke like that. You know, something special instead of easy." He kissed his cheek and set the chicken in the oven. "So for Thanksgiving, do you want to do something here or go to my mom's?"

---

"Well, if your mom will have us, that would be great. I know Becca likes talking with her and her place is bigger than ours." Bucky carded his hands through his hair and pulled it back into a messy ponytail. He was feeling a little cold so he grabbed his jacket from the back of one of the chairs and draped it over his shoulders.

---

"My mom would love that," Steve said. "She may even insist that we all spend the night so she could make breakfast too. She really loves you. I know she spends more time with the girls. But she probably would go to lunch with you anytime you ask."

---

"I’d like that. I might take her up on that. I need to discuss Baby Steve with her. Get all the details of what you were like growing up." Bucky slumped into one of the chairs by the table and stared at his drawing again. He needed to figure out where to put it. He could put it in with his photo albums but he also sort of wanted to frame it but he also didn't want the girls coming into his room and seeing a framed picture of their naked brother.

---

"I was either sick or getting myself into some sort of trouble," Steve said. "Not much to hear about there." He was sad that he couldn't ask Bucky's parents what he was like when he was a little kid. Steve saw Bucky staring at his drawing again. "You know, I could do drawings of all of you guys. G-rated ones that we could hang up."

---

"If you can get Lilly to sit for as long as I did so you can draw her, I will be impressed," Bucky said and set his drawing back on the table. "The kid can hardly sit down for dinner. And I'm always getting calls that she's a distraction in class."

---

"I'll tell her I'll help her play hooky from school one day if she sits," Steve said. "I worry about her sometimes. She's a good kid but she scares me that she won't finish school."

---

"She'll finish," Bucky assured him. "It might be hard for her but she will finish. I doubt she will go to college, though. But she'll have to finish high school." Bucky was determined to see at least both of them through high school. Even if only Becca went to college, he was fine with that. He was even fine if Becca didn't go to college but he doubted that she wouldn't.

---

"She's going to be hell for her first boss whenever she gets that first job," Steve snorted. "No matter how much you try to teach her, she's going to try and get away with as much as she can. She's like... the exact opposite of Becca in some ways."

---

"They are so much like my parents," Bucky said. "I really wish you could have met them because you'd know exactly what I mean. Becca is just like my father and Lilly is exactly like my mother. I don't know how they turned out that way and I got a mix of the two but somehow they did."

---

Steve nodded in agreement. "I'll meet your parents after we have a long and happy life together. And then I'll finally be able to see how similar your sisters are to them," Steve said.

---

Bucky knew what Steve believed in but he wasn't so sure about all that. He couldn't quite grasp the idea that people went somewhere after they died and you could see them again when you died too. To Bucky, it seemed like a hopeful dream that wouldn't come true. But he would never say that to Steve who believed so strongly in it.

---

Steve chattered idly with Bucky as he got dinner ready. Once it was on the table, he took a seat and looked at Bucky with a loving expression. "So what else were you thinking of doing tonight?"

---

"I have no idea, honestly." Bucky shook his head. "We could just watch TV for a bit and cuddle. Or I can try dancing again if you really want me to. Or we could play a card game for two players." He really hadn't thought this through. He should have planned some things for them to do - something fun and different.

---

"We can play backwards strip poker," Steve suggested with a smirk. "If you lose, you got to put clothes back on," he said. "Or cuddling while watching TV sounds good still."

---

"Steve, you know you're bad at poker," Bucky chided and ate some of his potatoes. “Last time we tried to play, you ended up with all of Lilly’s chores for three days.”

---

"I know, but it's still fun to try and pretend that I'm good at it," Steve responded. “And if I practice, I can maybe beat her eventually.”

---

"I wish I had some fun talent like you do with drawing. If we had a guitar or piano I could play something but that's all I really can do.” Bucky looked around to the living room as if a guitar would miraculously appear for him. “Let's cuddle and watch TV until we want to have sex again or fall asleep."

---

Steve looked Bucky over once and said, "I'd love to be serenaded by you sometime. We got to get you a guitar. Maybe Santa will bring one.”

---

"Santa, Steve, really?" Bucky laughed. "Not even Lilly still believes in him and it took her a while not to. But if you were to get me a guitar I wouldn't mind. But you don't have to. All I want this Christmas is to be able to get a VCR and some tapes for the girls and find you something really nice if I can."

---

"Aw, I met you guys too late for her to still believe in Santa?" Steve had been looking forward to making reindeer paw prints and baking cookies for Santa with her. "They're gonna have a great Christmas this year. “I want to get something good for the girls as well. And you, too. Also, we've got the pay from the precinct coming in soon."

---

"Yeah, I guess there is that," Bucky mumbled. He still felt like they might have made a mistake. He knew it was safer and more beneficial for his family to take the deal but it also meant no justice for Steve, and Rumlow got to keep working somewhere else and have the potential to do this again.

---

If he didn't have Bucky and his sisters to worry about, Steve probably would've gone after Rumlow without a second thought. "I know it wasn't an easy choice to take the money," Steve said. "But we got to make the most of it."

---

Bucky nodded and ate some more. "I know. I just hate that he didn't get any consequence for nearly killing you. He almost took you away from me and he still gets to live a normal life a few towns over and keep the same job."

---

Steve shrugged his shoulders. "I know. It eats away at me too," he said. "But I'm alive and we won't have to worry about finances for a long time. We got to count our blessings."

---

Bucky didn't like how Steve sometimes got a little churchy on him. Things like 'count your blessings' were things that people wrote in their condolence cards when his parents died. Like it was just that easy to take account of the good while you were in so much bad. "You're alive but you're still hurt, Steve."

---

"Like I said," Steve said softly. "I count my blessings. Because since I've been home from my injury, I had the time to find your backpack, and the days off to spend with you and the girls. And now we will have the money to give them a Christmas that they'll love." He gave Bucky a sympathetic look. "Rumlow will answer for what he did. And all I can do now is pray that he answers before he hurts anyone else."

---

Bucky finished up his meal before nodding and standing from the table. "It's off topic, but I have a little surprise for you. You may not like it but I thought I'd at least try. If you don't like it, you can just tell me and we can forget the whole thing."

---

Steve didn't mind the change of subject because he didn't want to risk upsetting Bucky by being overly preachy. "Oh yeah?" He asked, watching Bucky as he got up. "What is it?"

---

"I have to go get it." Bucky smiled shyly and bit his lip. "I need you on the couch with your eyes closed and you can't peek until I come back and tell you to." He quickly scampered off to his room to get the surprise ready and hoped Steve was on his way to the couch.

---

Bucky looked so cute when he got all shy like that. It made Steve smile and he was quick to hurry off to the couch. He closed his eyes obediently and didn't give in to the temptation of peeking.

---

Back in his room, Bucky rummaged around his side of the closet for the bag he had hidden towards the back. He gingerly removed the contents and hastily put them on before running to the mirror to look himself over once before going back out to Steve. "Eyes closed. No peeking. If you don't like the surprise, I'll fix it. I’ll forget the whole thing and we can do something else." Bucky moved to stand in front of Steve and added, "I know we said no clothes but..." He was standing in front of a still unaware Steve wearing tight see-through green lace women's panties and an open leather jacket that hugged his arms. "You can open your eyes now."

---

Steve waited until Bucky gave him permission to open. He blushed deeply when he saw what Bucky was dressed in and poor Steve looked like he didn't quite know what to make of it. "Uh..." he said dumbly. "I mean... you look good in anything, Baby," he said as he reached out to pet a hand over Bucky's thigh.

---

"You hate it," Bucky said and nodded. "I should've figured. You’re Catholic. I'll just go take it off. I'm sorry, Steve. I just wanted to try something new," he said and slipped the jacket off as he started back towards his room.

---

"Buck-" Steve got up and grabbed his hand to stop him. "I don't hate it, Baby, I just don't...get it," he said. He tried to guide him back towards the couch. "I'm happy you wanted to try something new it’s just..."

---

"It's not to get. It's just fun and sexy. Just a little splash of something out of the ordinary - something slightly taboo. Have you never worn women's underwear before?" Bucky asked and popped the jacket over the side of the couch. "Everyone tries it at least once, right?"

---

"I don't see what's sexy about covering up what I'd rather see naked," Steve said slyly in response. He sat down with Bucky and kissed up his neck. "I never have tried women’s underwear, Buck," he answered. "I don't get the point in taboo either. I thought that we weren't supposed to feel like our love is taboo, you know?"

---

"It's not our love that's taboo about it, Steve." Bucky huffed. "It's me in these." He pointed to his crotch. "Whatever." He slipped the panties off quickly and stuffed them in the pocket of his jacket. Bucky knew Steve was a pretty ‘Plain Jane’ sort of man, and especially lover, but Bucky was a bit more adventurous and wild and doing things like wearing thongs or being tied up in bed were really exciting to him. He loved Steve but he was starting to see that he was probably never going to be tied up again and he wouldn't get to use toys again and he probably wouldn't be smacked on the ass either.

---

Steve was doing his best to be open-minded about this. It didn't exactly feel great when Bucky took the underwear off and looked disappointed. "I don't get what I'm doing wrong," Steve said in a frustrated tone. "I love you. I want to do what makes you happy and feel sexy, but I don't want you to give me that look when I don't react to something new the way you want me to."

---

"You're not doing anything wrong," Bucky said and slipped a comforting hand over Steve's thigh. "I just guess I need to get over that what I like probably isn't what you like. I mean I don't think it's fair that I'm not allowed to use my dildo but you said not to so I won't. But it just seems like every time I try to open up sexually and show you what I think is a good time you just shut it down because you aren't familiar with it."

---

"Well, you can warn me a little next time, maybe. Cause the last two new things you wanted to try, I didn't have much time to process. I'm new to this whole gay thing. And I don't mean this in a bad way, but you've been with all sorts of people. I've only ever been with you, so you've had more time to play around with things." Steve sighed. "Talk to me," he said. "Tell me something that you like that we haven't done before."

---

Bucky retreated into himself a little more. "Doesn't matter. Let's just drop it and watch TV," he grumbled and looked to Steve before adding, "You know I don't do well with talking. I'm a man of action and spontaneity, not plans and discussion."

---

Steve frowned. He didn't like that Bucky didn't feel comfortable talking. He could've just dropped it, but Steve was determined to show Bucky that he was willing to try things. He grabbed the underwear from the jacket pocket and put it on. Steve didn't feel any different but he had that stubborn look on his face.

---

Bucky's face softened when he saw the green lace pulled across Steve's crotch. "If you don't feel comfortable you can take them off." He smiled up at his boyfriend. "For the record, you look fucking gorgeous in them. But I don't want you wearing them just to make me feel good."

---

"Well, tough," Steve said. "Cause I'm only wearing them to make you feel good." It was more important to Steve that Bucky got the things that made him happy than it was to understand why it made him happy. "And the only way these are coming off is if you take them off so you can put them back on."

---

"Do you want me to put them back on so you don't have to wear them anymore?" Bucky asked. "Honestly, Steve, you can stop this. I think we need to work on sexual compromise but we don't have to do that tonight. I don't want to fight about anything else while we have our night alone. I'll just go put the panties with Phillip."

---

Steve took them off and put them back in the jacket pocket. "Alright. I'm happy to cuddle and watch some crap TV," he said. Steve pulled Bucky into his lap and kissed up his neck. "I love you, Baby."

---

"I'm sorry, Steve," Bucky answered and curled up in Steve's lap and against his chest. "I'll work on talking more, I promise." He paused then looked up at Steve and touched his face gently.

---

"You don't have to be sorry, Baby." Steve kissed his neck and played with Bucky's hair lightly. “I know you are going to work on it. I know it’s not first nature. But I am here to listen when you want to talk.”

---

Bucky remembered how it was helpful that one night that Steve just sat and listened to what he had to say because he wanted Bucky to be comfortable talking to him about things. He thought he should try that again. "Lost my virginity at fifteen - to an eighteen-year-old college senior. He was very kind and gentle and nothing but good to me. We were at a party."

---

Steve was surprised when Bucky started to open up but he was happy that his boyfriend was still willing to talk to him. "Did you two stay together for a little while?" He kissed his cheek. "Was it good? I don't think it could top my first time having sex, though."

---

"No, we couldn't date," Bucky said. "He had a couple other boyfriends his age and he was worried that someone would find out about me and he'd be arrested for having sex with a minor even if he was only just eighteen by a couple months. It was good for my first time, yeah. Like I said, he was so good to me. I think he just wanted me to enjoy myself and get rid of my virginity with someone who was going to care. He did that for a lot of people, I heard."

---

"Is it a normal thing for people to not care?" Steve asked with a frown. "Is it just with gay guys? Or do people usually not care if your first time is good or not?" Bucky had been so amazing to him. Steve didn't know how he would react if someone was rough or rude with him.

---

"It can be pretty typical of everyone. I knew girls who had sex with their boyfriends who they had dated for a long time who still said they had a terrible time because the guys were insensitive," Bucky answered.

---

"That's awful," Steve said with a frown. "Makes me more appreciative that you made sure I felt good and comfortable." He smiled and kissed Bucky's temple affectionately. "Thank you for being so sweet with me."

---

"Of course, Baby. I care about you so much." Bucky pulled Steve in for a kiss and tugged him down so Steve was lying on top of him again. "Want another one or are you good for tonight?" Bucky asked, half hoping Steve wanted him to keep making these strange confessions and half hoping Steve just wanted to fuck again.

---

Steve carded his fingers through Bucky's hair. "I think we can put off talking for a little while," he hummed. "I'm a little more than just interested in hearing you shout my name, huh?"

---

"What are you going to do to me, Rogers?" Bucky asked with a sly grin and started massaging his hands down Steve's back to his ass. "And where do you want me while you do it?"

---

"I was thinking about the shower," Steve said. "It's kind of small but if I press you up against the wall, it could work." Steve seemed confident that they wouldn't slip.

---

Bucky bit his lip and smiled. "Okay, Steve. Let's take a shower," he said enthusiastically and wriggled out from under his boyfriend to get up. "You want to grab that lube and bend me over the sink and get started?"

---

"Nah," Steve said. "I want to bend you over the sink and eat your ass," Steve stated with a wide smile. He liked talking a bit dirty sometimes and it was still the truth - he wanted to lick him open.

---

"Yes, Sir." Bucky trotted towards their bathroom with Steve in tow. Once they got there, Bucky waited for Steve to take his body under his control and mold Bucky to wherever he wanted him first.

---

Steve happily trotted to the bathroom and, out of habit, shut the door behind them. "Hands on the counter and spread your legs for me, Handsome," Steve purred.

---

Bucky obeyed and stuck his ass out a little to entice Steve. He could also see himself in the bathroom mirror and he was fully expecting for it to be pretty hot to see what sort of faces he made while Steve opened him up.

---

Steve kneeled behind Bucky and grabbed his ass firmly in both hands and spread his cheeks as wide as he could. Steve leaned in and kissed over the hole a few time just to tease him before swirling the tip of his tongue around it.

---

"Are you going to just play around or are you going to get it inside me?" Bucky asked with a humorous edge. He did enjoy the teasing kisses but he was also pretty damn desperate to have at least something in his ass.

---

"Patience is a virtue," Steve hummed. Just because Bucky complained, he purposely took more time teasing him, pressing his tongue against the muscle but not pushing in. At long last, he finally pushed one finger inside of him.

---

"Fucking finally," Bucky gasped out and pushed back against the finger. "More, Baby, please," he said and gave a quick look back to Steve who was staring at his finger disappearing into Bucky's ass. "It was a brilliant idea to have a night to ourselves."

---

"You're just saying it was a good idea cause it was your idea," Steve chided. He pushed a second finger inside and scissored them so he could stick his tongue in the space it made.

---

"Ah, fuck," Bucky breathed. "Well, it was a good idea. I don't see you complaining about having some time to ourselves." He shut up then and let Steve work him open. He didn't know if he was planning on getting his dick inside him before they got into the shower or after but he knew that Steve didn't grab the waterproof lube from the closet.

---

Steve didn't even know there was a different type of lube for water. He took his sweet time getting Bucky ready and open. He pulled his hole open wide and thrust his tongue in a few more times before giving Bucky's ass a small slap. "Alright, in the shower."

---

Bucky gave him a look. "You want to get inside me and we will shimmy over there or are we going to use the waterproof lube? Cause there's no way I'm letting you try with a wet dick cause that can hurt."

---

"Waterproof lube?" Steve scoffed, clearly thinking that Bucky was pulling his leg. "Quit messing around, you dope," he said fondly as he pulled out a rubber mat he'd been meaning to put in the shower. Now they wouldn't have to worry about slipping.

---

"Steve, I'm serious." Bucky gave a confused smile. "What do you think the point of lube is? If water was okay to use then no one would need to buy lube anyway. We'd just wet your dick and get going." He started for their room to grab the lube and came back quickly.

---

"No, I mean the waterproof part. Why won't normal lube work? I'm a cop, not some scientist," he said. Steve wasn't going to complain so long as Bucky was comfortable and they got to have sex.

---

"Oh, it washes off. Like in no time, it's gone and you've just got an oily residue on you that doesn't really do much," he said and handed the lube to Steve. "But this stuff, won't just wash right away."

---

"Oh." Steve took it and smiled up at Bucky. He set up the shower so it was the temperature that Bucky liked. "Well, let's get you in here, Baby. I wanna finger you while you wash your hair."

---

"While I wash my hair?" Bucky grinned. "I can do that. You have a thing for my hair, don't you? It's a good thing I didn't cut it after all. I am going to grow out a beard for a bit, though, see how you like it."

---

"Yeah," Steve said with a grin. "I like the idea of you doing normal stuff while I’m inside you.” Steve kissed along Bucky's neck. "Please don't ever cut your hair. I love it so much. And I would love to see a beard on you, too."

---

"You got it, Baby," Bucky said and started pouring shampoo into his hands. "Do I still look cute with my hair all wet or do I look more like a drowned rat?" He asked right before Steve stuck two lubed fingers up his ass.

---

"You look like a drowned rat," Steve answered playfully and moved his fingers inside of him. He kissed Bucky's shoulder and smirked. "The most handsome drowned rat I've ever seen."

---

"You're the worst," Bucky gritted out and started to wash his hair. "But I also love you so there isn't much I can do about it." He kept on washing his hair and feeling Steve playing around inside him. He was getting a little antsy and really wanted Steve to just get his cock in and start fucking. That was the whole point of getting in this little shower together and putting the mat down anyway.

---

Steve knew that Bucky was desperate to get fucked and that was why Steve took his time. He waited until Bucky was done washing his hair before he looked even remotely like he was going to put his dick inside him. "Can you lean against the wall and show me how ready you are?"

---

Bucky nodded and turned to press his chest to the wall of the shower. His dick was shoved against it too and he tried to not touch it. Instead, he reached back and held his cheeks apart and shoved his ass out towards Steve so he could see it open and want him.

---

"Christ," Steve breathed out. "You look so sexy." He started to stroke himself as he coated the lube on his dick. He stood behind Bucky and slowly pushed himself inside of him while he held him steady with one hand.

---

"Yes, god, Steve, Baby," Bucky said and immediately pushed back against him to pull him all the way inside. "Fuck me, Steve," he growled and shot a look behind him at his boyfriend so he knew he wasn't waiting anymore.

---

Bucky deserved to get what he wanted. Steve grabbed his hip firmly and started thrusting hard and quick into his boyfriend. Steve let out soft, little moans because Bucky's ass felt so goddamn good. "You like that, Buck?"

---

"Yes, I fucking love it. Love your cock. Love you." Bucky bounced with Steve's movements and held his hands on the wall to keep himself steady. "Want you like this every day - all the time. Want to be connected with you."

---

Steve bit marks onto Bucky's shoulder as he gave him everything he had. His balls smacked into Bucky's ass with every thrust and he could barely keep himself together. "Yes," he agreed. "We are going to get this every day, Baby. Cause we're going to be together for the rest of our lives."

---

"You and me, Steve," Bucky barely got out as Steve was pounding into him. He loved this. This closeness was so important to them both and he liked when Steve let himself lose a little control and go all out.

---

"Yeah, Baby. You and me," Steve panted out. His fingers dug in a bit more, bruising Bucky's skin a little. "God, you feel so good. You're gonna make me come, Buck."

---

"Come inside me, Steve," Bucky whispered. "Then stick your fingers back in so none of it can leak out. Will you do that for me?" He asked sweetly and pulled his hair back on his head. It was wet and sticking to his face and he was getting annoyed by it.

---

"Yes." Steve didn't last a whole lot longer. Within minutes, he was coming deep inside of Bucky. Without question, he pulled out once he milked his orgasm for all he had and he put three fingers easily inside of Bucky.

---

"Now turn me around, get on your knees, and suck me off with your fingers still inside," Bucky said and put a gentle hand on Steve's hip. "Please, Baby, I want your mouth on me," He begged and gripped Steve.

---

Steve's mouth hung open. He was all too willing to comply but Bucky's ideas still could surprise him in the best of ways. He sunk down slowly to his knees while still easily finger-banging his boyfriend. Steve leaned his face forward and licked his way up Bucky's shaft before taking the head into his mouth.

---

"Fuck yeah." Bucky grinned and started fucking into Steve's mouth. "I won't last long, Steve. I promise." He reached behind him to feel Steve's hand on his ass and he took another finger and encouraged it inside his hole.

---

Steve slipped another finger inside Bucky and met little resistance. He enthusiastically sucked him off, bobbing his head along Bucky's cock and swallowing him all the way down.

---

"That - that's it, Babe," Bucky said hurriedly. "I'm gonna come. I'm almost -" It took a few more seconds of Steve taking him into his throat before Bucky gasped out Steve's name and gripped his shoulders as he shot into his mouth.

---

Steve closed his eyes as he felt Bucky shoot hot come down his throat. He pulled back and coughed once before licking him clean. "God, you're the best, Baby." Steve didn't stop thrusting his fingers in and out of his ass.

---

"Kiss me," Bucky whispered desperately and looked down at Steve's loving eyes. "Kiss me. Please." An unusual sense of insecurity and fear came over Bucky and he just wanted to be held by Steve and loved and cared for. He wasn't sure where this feeling was coming from but he was anxious to be curled up against his boyfriend.

---

Steve obeyed immediately. He stood up and wrapped an arm strongly around Bucky's waist. The other tangled his fingers in his hair and he kissed him slow and deep. When he broke for air, Steve brushed their noses together. "I love you so much."

---

"I love you too." Bucky smiled weakly before adding. "Don't ever leave me. I need you now. I don't know what I would do without you, Steve." Bucky reached a hand up to start massaging the back of Steve's neck while he locked eyes with him.

---

Steve's face fell at the thought that Bucky would worry about him leaving. "Baby, you are so strong. You don't need me. But I still will never leave you," he promised. Steve hugged him tight and tucked Bucky's head against his chest. "Your family is my family now."

---

Bucky rested his head against Steve and held his hands firmly against his back. He slipped his tongue out to give a quick playful lick to Steve's chest before pulling back and asking, "You want to dry off and cuddle in front of the TV? I really want to be little spoon right now."

---

"Of course," Steve said. "No complaining allowed-" Steve warned softly as they dried off and then picked Bucky up - which he knew would result in Bucky complaining about Steve's wound. He was working on carrying heavier things in physical therapy anyway. Steve carried Bucky to the couch and pulled the blanket over the both of them. He was a little out of breath but he still held Bucky flush against his chest. "How's that?"

---

"I think you overdid it, Officer," Bucky scolded but snuggled back against Steve anyway. "You could’ve hurt yourself and then dropped me then we both would have been in pain." He flicked the TV on and found a station that was playing 1950s sci-fi movies.

---

"But I didn't," Steve teased. He rubbed a hand over Bucky's chest and smiled fondly as he watched TV with him. "Is there anything I can do to make you feel for certain that I'll never leave you?" He asked. "I don't want you to feel insecure over us."

---

Bucky sighed and glanced back at his boyfriend. "I think sometimes I just get a little worried. It's just because people tend to either die on me or leave. And you almost died already." He paused. "I worry that Becca will go to college someplace across the country and I'll never see her. And I worry that Lilly will move out to South America to play soccer with better players. And I worry that you'll get hurt again but this time not make it. Or you'll wake up one day and realize that I'm not worth all the trouble and you'll move out."

---

Steve didn't have any control over whether he got hurt on the job or not. But he could reassure Bucky in other ways. "Baby, you've raised the girls better than to forget about you. It's possible they could move. But they love you and I'm sure they'd call every day and visit when they could. And why would you ever think I would feel that you're trouble for me?"

---

"I don't know." Bucky pulled Steve's hand up to his face and kissed it lightly before holding it to his chest. "I guess I just get so scared about it. I know you wouldn't leave me but what if I fucked up bad enough that you just couldn't be with me anymore?"

---

"Buck," Steve said softly, petting a hand over his arm. "You're not going to fuck up bad. You'll mess up, just like any of us will. But I couldn't ever leave you. I love you too damn much and anytime we have a fight, it won't outweigh all the good you've already given me."

---

Bucky nodded and nuzzled closer to Steve and watched some form of alien monster taking over what was supposed to be Manhattan. After Bucky went to see The Thing a few years before, nothing from the fifties and sixties looked very good with their practical effects. Mostly it just looked like weird puppets to him now. Even though he would have been terrified as a kid.

Chapter Text

It was the beginning of December when Steve finally found a priest to marry them. It was a Presbyterian church on the Brooklyn and Queens border, which was close enough for him. Steve didn't tell Bucky yet but, instead, he took the girls out of school a little early so they could go ring shopping.

---

Lilly was more than pleased to get out of school to go help Steve. Before Becca consented to it, she made him double-check with her teachers that it wouldn’t affect her perfect attendance record. Now they were all in a shop staring at rings and trying to find something for Bucky that would be just perfect.

---

Steve picked up a really sparkly ring that wasn't too feminine but had plenty of gems in it. "What do you think of this one?" He asked. "It's got his favorite colors in it."

---

Lilly nodded her head enthusiastically but Becca said, "No way." Steve gave them both a distraught look and Becca added, "It’s not about Bucky's favorite colors, Steve. It's about simplicity. He's not going to want a lot of jewels on it - just one - or even a flat metal band."

---

"But Bucky deserves better than just a plain old band," Steve countered with a pout. "What about something with nice etching on it? That way it's pretty but not overly jeweled up?"

---

"You may have either one jewel or one with etching, yes." Becca nodded and looking to Lilly who was a little lost but nodded in agreement. "But nothing yellow gold. Bucky's isn't a gold sort of guy."

---

"Who made you the ring police?" Steve joked as he nudged Becca. "I think a really nice silver would suit him. Maybe I can get it custom engraved somewhere? You know, just pick out a plain ring and get something done on the inside."

---

"I bet they engrave it here if you asked." Becca crossed her arms. "And I made myself the ring police, just so you are aware."

Lilly walked along the glass cabinets until she found some plain silver bands. "Here they are, Steve!" She shouted back at them and Becca shushed her.

---

Steve walked to where Lilly shouted. She was staring hard into the glass case and assessing each ring as well as she could. "Which one do you think looks the best, Kiddo?"

---

She scanned them all again before stabbing her finger into the glass and saying, "That one." She was pointing to a dark shiny metal band that had a rim of light silver down the middle so it gave it a bit of character. "You can probably engrave that one, right?"

---

Steve nodded and asked for one of the sales associates to pull it out of the case. Once he had it in his hands, he showed it off to Becca. "What do you think?" He asked. He wouldn't get a ring without both of their blessings.

---

Becca gingerly took it and rolled it over in her hands before handing in back to him. "It'll do," she said with a quirk of a smile on her lips. "What are you engraving on it?" She asked as Steve looked at it closely again.

---

"I'm not sure yet," Steve said. "I’m thinking I'm going to just buy the ring today and get it engraved some other time. This is something that's got to last a lifetime, so I really want to make sure I come up with something good." He paused and asked, "Hey, do you guys have birthstone necklaces?"

---

Lilly made a face and asked, "What's that?"

Becca laughed and waved Steve off like he was making a bad joke. Of course, they didn't have birthstone necklaces. Their parents weren't the type to get them things like that and even if they did, they would have probably sold them for food money after they died anyway.

---

"Come here," Steve said as he herded them to show Lilly the row of necklaces with a different stone for each month of the year. "Every month has a different gem. Like sapphire or emerald or amber," he explained. "I’d like to get one for you guys if you would like."

---

They girls looked on at them and found the stones for each of their birth months. "That costs money, Steve," Becca said but she was clearly intrigued by the idea as she stared at the emerald in the case. She wouldn't hate having one. She would wear it but it still cost too much and she didn't want Steve wasting his money on them.

---

"Most things cost money." Steve gave her shoulder a little squeeze. "But I've spoiled Bucky this whole time and I haven't spoiled you guys." He wanted them to have something to remember the day they helped him pick out Bucky's ring.

---

"Guess there's nothing I can do to stop you if you decide you want to buy those for us, is there?" Becca asked, sounding a bit like her brother. "But we won't be able to wear them until you give Bucky his ring anyway, cause then he will know that you have it."

---

Steve smirked when Becca gave in. He added their necklaces to the total and paid the cashier once they were done. "You really think Bucky would know? I haven't even told him that a priest would marry us yet. I'm going to surprise him at Christmas."

---

"He might not be the most clever person, but he is observant," Becca sassed. "For all he knows right now, you are still looking and haven't even talked to Lilly and I about being church married anyway." She turned to Lilly then. "So that means keeping our mouths shut and not wearing those necklaces until after Christmas, okay?"

---

"Jeez, all right." Steve laughed. "I guess I ought to just hide them and give it to you guys as a Christmas present, too," he teased. Steve didn't mind giving it to them early so long as they didn't lead Bucky on at all. "I'm thinking about putting the box in the tree. But that may be too obvious."

---

"God, Bucky's right, you are a dweeb." Becca was being uncharacteristically talkative today. It was mostly just because she was genuinely excited about doing something like this for her brother – something that she thought would be good for him. Bucky was a challenge and Becca definitely had her issues with him but she did love him and really thought that Steve was helping him be a lot better.

---

"A dweeb?" Steve smirked. "You know, one of these days you're going to have a boyfriend or girlfriend that's just as excited as I am to pick out a ring for you and I'll do nothing but call them a dweeb, too."

---

"I'm married to my work." Becca shrugged and took Lilly's hand as they crossed the street. Lilly noticed the candy shop and tried pulling Becca towards it but was met with resistance.

---

Steve noticed Lilly trying to head for the candy shop. "Lilly, did you clean out the cat's litter box?"

---

"No. But I'm gonna," Lilly promised. "I'll do it when we get home before Bucky's back from work so he doesn't see. Raphael doesn't mind waiting."

"Yes, he does. He hates dirty litter," Becca countered.

---

Steve would've gone into the sweet shop but he couldn't if Lilly wasn't up to date on her chores. "You know you were supposed to do that yesterday," Steve said. "Becca already feeds and grooms him and the litter box has to get done at least twice a week."

---

Lilly wanted to snap at him that he wasn't her dad but she refrained. "I'll do it today, I promise."

The rest of the trip back home was uneventful. When they got back to the apartment, though, they were surprised to see Bucky huddled up on the couch under a blanket looking pale and sick with Raphael sitting on top of him.

---

When Steve saw Bucky home early, he hurried to pass Becca the bag and told her to hide it somewhere safe. He walked over to Bucky and knelt down next to the couch. "Hey, Baby, are you alright? Can I get you anything?"

---

Bucky's eyes barely focused on Steve. "Clint sent me home. Think I have the flu or something. Already puked nine times," he said and pulled the blanket across his mouth when he coughed. Raphael gently batted at his forehead before curling up on his shoulder again and purring.

---

"Aw, Buck," Steve said softly. He kissed his head and got up so he could get a glass of water and a straw. If he threw up that much he would be dehydrated. "Drink some of this, Baby, it'll make you feel better."

---

Bucky grumbled at the water but let Steve slip the straw into his mouth anyway. He drank some of it then pulled his head back. "Where were you guys? Came home and I was all alone except the cat. And he's decided that I'm not allowed to get up."

---

Steve wasn't expecting to have to answer that question and he hated lying. "We went out for a walk," he said. Which wasn't a total lie. "And Raphael is right - you need to lay down and rest up." He gave the cat a scratch behind the ears.

---

"I think I'll sleep here tonight, Baby. I don't want to get you sick," Bucky said and eyed Steve. "Can you get me another blanket? I'm cold as fuck. Also, if you make dinner I'll go sit in our room while you eat cause I don't think I can handle the smell of food right now."

---

Steve shook his head. "Hell no. You're sleeping in bed with me because I want to comfort you and make sure you're okay." Steve got up and got another blanket, which he laid over him. "I'll help you into our bedroom before dinner."

---

"But, Steve, I don't want to get you sick," Bucky protested before going into another coughing fit. "I hope this goes away soon. We can't afford for me to be out of work too many days in a row."

---

"Don't worry about money, Baby. Worry about taking care until you're better." Steve kissed Bucky's hand and started to pet his hair. "Is there anything I could do for you?"

---

"Don’t know," Bucky said and reached for Steve's hand. "You want to help me into bed right now? Could fall asleep pretty quick I think." He was feeling lousy. He really needed some sleep and wouldn't mind Steve holding him until he passed out.

---

"Sure thing, Baby," Steve said. He held Bucky's hand and carefully helped him out of the bed. He carried him out and into the bedroom so he could tuck him in and make sure he was all comfy.

---

Once Bucky was wrapped up in blankets in bed, with the glass of water on the nightstand, he relaxed a bit and yawned into his pillow. "Will you stay with me until I fall asleep or do you need to go make food?"

---

"I'll stay with you," Steve answered. He got into bed with Bucky and kissed his cheek. "You're still gorgeous. Even when you're all pale and sweaty."

---

"That's gross," Bucky mumbled and curled up against Steve's side. He held his hand tight in Steve's shirt while he felt himself drifting off. "I love you, Steve," he said slowly and shut his eyes.

---

"I love you too, Buck." Once Bucky was asleep, Steve went out to cook dinner for everyone. He reminded Lilly to take care of the litter and once he got them all situated, he went back to bed and held Bucky close through the night.

Chapter Text

"How much did we decide to spend on each of them?" Bucky asked as he stared into the basket he was carrying around the bookstore. "Because Becca's books are adding up and we haven't found much for Lilly yet. And, keep in mind, I still need to get the VCR."

---

"Well, I wanted to use all of this month's pay from the precinct, so… four hundred each. We can count half of the VCR towards each of them," Steve said. Bucky hadn't been too fond of using that much money when they could've put it towards something else, but between the precinct pay, Bucky's pay, and Steve's temporary disability pay, they had more to work with.

---

"Are we really sure we want to spend that much on them? That's going to be a big fucking Christmas and it'll set a precedent so, if next year is smaller than this year, they are going to be upset." Bucky sat his basket on the ground and started rifling through the books he had already picked out for Becca.

---

Steve nodded. "I'm going to make it clear that future Christmases won't be as big as this one. But also remember that we are also going to have the precinct pay for the next ten years and by then they'll both be adults. So we could always have a Christmas this big if we wanted."

---

"We can't always use the money on things like Christmas gifts," Bucky said and put one of the books back on the shelf, deciding against it.

---

“It’s just one month a year,” Steve said softly. “Buck, I understand what are you thinking. Because I was poor for a long time, too. And I don’t want them to forget the value of a dollar, but I don’t think that we will have to worry about money anymore.”

---

Bucky bypassed the conversation with a shake of his said and asked, "Where do you want to go next? We need to get some new cleats for Lilly and get the VCR. Becca is almost done but we don't have shit for Lilly."

---

Steve put his hands in his pockets and said, “A sports store would be good. I was thinking about getting a how-to book for re-lacing lacrosse sticks.”

---

"Yeah, her lacrosse stick is sort of falling apart, isn’t it? And it would probably be better for her to learn to lace her own instead of buying new ones every time it breaks," Bucky said and headed for the check out counter.

---

"If she's going to learn some responsibility, it may as well be with something she cares about. She'll learn pretty quick if we say we aren't buying another stick." Steve put a hand on Bucky's shoulder and grinned softly. He loved saying ‘we’ and ‘us’ and ‘our’. It felt so right. He loved that Bucky’s family was his family now and he was about to have an amazing first Christmas with his new family.

---

Bucky nodded in agreement and hoisted his basket of books onto the counter. "I still need to go shopping for you, too. I'm trying my best to find something perfect."

---

"Becca's good at helping with gifts. She helped me pick out yours,” Steve said with a wide smile and warm, loving eyes. He was beyond excited to propose and get to give Bucky the ring that he picked out with the girls.

---

Bucky shot a grin at Steve. "Oh yeah? Is it a guitar? It better not be a piano because we literally don't have any room for one." He was thinking about getting Steve some nice new art supplies. He wasn't sure what kind he would like but he could probably ask someone at whatever store he went too. He also wanted to get him some new records from the shop sometime soon – stuff that he liked like big band music and some crooners music like Bucky’s father liked.

---

"No, it isn't," Steve said but the look on his face said that it totally was a guitar. But at least that wasn't the big surprise he had for Bucky. "What about a keyboard?" Steve asked. "Those are smaller and we could probably squeeze it in Becca’s room since she wants one anyway."

---

"If there was a keyboard in Becca’s room, she would get way too annoyed with me coming in there all the time to play on it. Maybe one day if we get a house then we can get a piano," Bucky said hopefully. He had been thinking about that a lot recently - a house and a kid with Steve. Once his sisters were grown and had their own places, Steve and Bucky could easily get a house somewhere like Long Island if they saved up now.

---

"I guess," Steve said. He sighed dreamily at the thought of having a house with Bucky. "What kind of stuff do you want in a house? I mean, we can't do it anytime soon. But when we do, what do you like?"

---

"Something just big enough for us and maybe one kid if we can have one," Bucky started. "I'd like a porch. Something bright." Bucky thought about his old house back when his parents were alive. It was small but it suited their needs. It had great big window out front that let in a lot of light and Bucky used to sit and stare at the city from it.

---

Steve grinned dumbly. "You think Becca and Lilly would be upset that we got a house for the baby but not for them?" He asked. Steve was worried that they might resent the baby a little for having it so easy.

---

"By the time we are allowed to have a baby, don't you think they will be well into their twenties or even thirties?" Bucky really wanted to slip his hand with Steve's. It was cold outside as they walked down the street and he was bundled up in warm clothes but still wanted to be as close to another warm body as possible.

---

"Like hell I'm waiting that long to have a baby with you," Steve said. "I'll fight tooth and nail to get to raise a kid with you." Because he was tired of hiding, Steve reached out and held Bucky's hand firmly. "I didn't survive getting shot to not have a good life with you."

---

Bucky's breath caught in his throat and his eyes went wide when Steve grabbed his hand. "Steve..." He whispered and looked around them. "What are you doing? It's not safe. You could get hurt again." A couple people had already noticed and given the two of them strange looks. Bucky tried pulling his hand from Steve's.

---

Steve frowned when Bucky pulled his hand away. He let him, but it still stung a little. "It's not illegal," Steve said. "And it shouldn't be shameful. We may not have stood up to Rumlow, but that doesn't mean we have to hide from everyone else, too."

---

"What if someone on this street decides that they don't like what they see and attacks us, huh? Or what if someone starts verbally accosting us?" Bucky looked nervously at the faces looking on at them and tried to figure out if anyone was going to say anything. "How about we just go home for a bit? We can finish shopping tomorrow." He knew Steve was upset and Bucky was normally the type to stick it to the man and normally would have held Steve's hand proudly. Except, Steve had already been injured once because of him and he needed to think of the girls and he didn't want him and Steve getting killed before they could have that house and baby they were just discussing.

---

Steve's face fell when Bucky insisted that they go home. "I'm sorry, Buck. I swear I won't do anything else. Please, we can keep shopping," he said. He didn't want to ruin the rest of the day because he was being stupid.

---

"Steve, I just..." Bucky sighed and looked down. "So far you haven't had to deal with a whole lot of people throwing slurs at you or beating you up. Yeah there's Rumlow, but that's one guy. I don't want you to know what it's like when fifty people are all calling you a fag and telling you to kill yourself. I don't want you to know what it's like to have the entire baseball team gang up on you and beat the shit out of you. And that's what people who don't understand us will do. And I never want to see that pain in your eyes."

---

Steve gave Bucky a sad look. It hurt to know that Bucky had gone through all that and while it was good that Bucky wanted to spare him from that, it still made a anger burn in the pit of his stomach. "The world doesn't get to decide how I show my affection for you," he mumbled. "And you don't get to decide what I do and don't face because of it."

---

"You're sounding like me," Bucky said and gave Steve a sad smile. "Let's just finish up at these last two places and then go home where I can hold you and we can talk. We can pick up food on the way home. Becca's been wanting Chinese again."

---

Steve nodded. For the rest of the shopping trip, Steve didn't get close to Bucky and he didn't speak to him unless it was to double check a gift idea for Lilly. They got Chinese like Bucky had suggested and by the time they got home, Steve felt emotionally exhausted.

---

Bucky was getting increasingly more agitated with Steve as they went. Steve retreated into himself and was acting like Bucky had put him in time out. Bucky didn't feel like he had done anything wrong to Steve. He just didn't want their day to be ruined by a bunch of people telling them off on the street. When they got home, Bucky dumped the presents in their closet so the girls wouldn't see them and then he put on The Who and flopped on the couch. If Steve didn't want to talk then they wouldn't talk.

---

Steve lowered his head and didn't really acknowledge the girls when he set up their dinners on the table. He walked over to Bucky to kiss his head and mumbled, “I need to lay down,” before retreating into the bedroom.

---

Bucky watched Steve leave and decided that he would give him about fifteen minutes before he checked on him. Becca and Lilly sat down to eat. Bucky pulled up a chair by them and dished out some of the Chinese take out on the plate Steve laid out for him. Lilly gave Bucky a look then asked, "Is Steve okay?"

---

Steve hadn't wanted to ignore the girls, but he didn't want them to see him crying. He couldn't help but lie down miserably and cry into the pillow because it was so fucking unfair that he couldn't hold his boyfriend’s hand without worrying about people beating the shit out of them for it. He wasn't angry at Bucky for erring on the side of caution. But he could be angry at the world for its intolerance.

---

Bucky tried his best to explain without giving away what happened that they had had a bit of a squabble while they were out. The three of them ate together without either of the girls pressuring for more information and Lilly spent most of the time chatting on about her day. Once he was done eating, Bucky piled some rice, chicken, noodles, and vegetables into a big bowl and took it to Steve. "Baby, can I come in?"

---

"Yeah," Steve mumbled. He wiped at his eyes and tried his best to look like he hadn't just been crying, but he still had puffiness around his eyes. "I may not be good company right now, though."

---

Bucky sat down on the bed in front of Steve and put the bowl on the nightstand. "My handsome man..." he praised and wiped some of the wet tear stains from Steve's face. "Did I really upset you that much? I didn't mean to at all, Steve. I promise."

---

Steve shifted to lay his head in Bucky's lap. "It's not you," he said thickly. "It's everyone else. It hurts to know that people want us dead for loving each other. I can't even hold your hand in public without one of us getting scared about being attacked." He rubbed at his eyes again. "And it's not the bullet or the words that hurt me. It's the hate that leads to it."

---

Bucky put gentle hands on Steve's head and leaned down to kiss his hair. "I know, my love, it's such a hateful world we live in. But I love you. And that's all that really matters. And the girls love you and someday you'll find a priest to church marry us and we will get a house somewhere nice like Long Island and maybe even have a baby. It's just going to be us together against whatever they say."

---

"But it doesn't have to be hateful. And what if people never change their view unless they see us out in the street like normal people? Cause that's what we are." Steve snuggled closer to Bucky and closed his eyes. He had to hold on to the good things. He was going to propose to Bucky soon because he found that priest and they were doing this. "Can you keep talking to me about the good things?"

---

"Of course," Bucky said and lovingly stared down at Steve's head in his lap and his arms around his middle. "Once we find that priest and get married then we will get to go on our honeymoon. I hope you love Seneca Lake. It's gorgeous and the atmosphere is so clean. We can just have a little cabin for the two of us. Spend all day outside swimming or fishing and spend all night huddled together in the quiet of the woods. And the good part is that there's no city noise and not many people around so we can fuck as loud as we want as many times as we want. We could even have sex outside."

---

Steve had mailed for a brochure of the place and had already started looking through the information pamphlet to plan their honeymoon. It looked beautiful and he desperately wanted to go. "Can you tell me more about how much you and the girls love me?" he asked softly.

---

Bucky kissed his head again. "Lilly told me how she's going to miss coming home from school to hang out with you when you go back to work. She says it's been a lot of fun having you around the apartment. She also told me that you helped her with some history homework. Becca would never admit to it, but she does love you. And she knows that I'm better with you around and she never wants you to leave us. She feels safer with you here, I think. More confident in me and more confident being home alone since she's got a police officer as a future in-law."

---

With all the hate they would receive for being who they were, Steve felt better being reminded about the different ways other people loved them. He sat up and gave Bucky a tight hug. "Thank you, Baby," he said softly. "It's just... I feel like I'm letting other people like us get hurt because we're hiding who we are."

---

Bucky sighed and held Steve. "Well, I mean, people like us are going to get hurt regardless of whether we are open or not. More than likely, if we were open and got hurt or killed then it would just encourage others to keep hiding so they don't get hurt either. But I do understand what you're saying, and it kills me too that we can't be like straight couples in public."

---

"We have to stand up for our rights, though," Steve said quietly. "People will see the wrongs. Natasha says that some people at the precinct have come around for the better after they saw what Rumlow did."

---

"That's one very small precinct in a very big city," Bucky answered calmly. "It does make me feel better about you going back to work there knowing that you're going to have people on your side. But I just don't think there's much else that we can do, you know? Without putting ourselves and our girls in danger again, I mean."

---

"There has to be something we can do," Steve said quietly. "I don't want to put any of us at risk, but I'll go insane if I have to be quiet about this." He would shut up about Rumlow, because he had to, but not the rest of the world.

---

"What are you thinking, Baby?" Bucky asked and kissed Steve for a few seconds before he let him answer. He grabbed the bowl of food from the nightstand and handed it to Steve so he could eat and talk. Bucky didn't want him to forget about eating.

---

Steve took the bowl and started to eat absently. "I don't know," he said. "I was thinking about helping other people who are gay. I don't know how or how I would find others, but... I don’t know. I just want to help," he said lamely.

---

"Okay, well we can start brainstorming that," Bucky said and bit his lip in thought. "Until we figure it out, let's just try to be happy just being together and having your mom, the girls, and our friends on our side. How's that sound to you?"

---

Steve nodded his head. "Alright. Thank you, Buck." He went back to eating and when he finished, Steve snuggled Bucky just a little longer. "I should go out and see how the girls are doing. I feel bad for ignoring them."

---

"They're fine. Lilly asked if you were okay," Bucky said and played with Steve’s hair. "Maybe we can play a board game with them before they have to go to bed? Or you and I can just stay here and talk about our future house and baby again."

---

Steve smiled. "I think I would like to play a board game. Have some family time, you know? And then we can talk about our future house and baby once they're in bed."

Chapter Text

Steve and Bucky were woken up Christmas morning by a very excited Lilly jumping on the foot of their bed and shaking them. "CHRISTMAS TIME!" She yelped and then moved to poke Bucky in the face. "Christmas time, Bucky. Let's go! You aren't making me wait again this year!"

---

Steve was startled awake and he stared at Lilly with a bewildered expression for a few moments as he processed what was going on. He launched up to grab her and pulled her down into the bed so he could wrap her up in the blankets like a mummy.

---

Mummy Lilly was struggling to get out of Steve's grasp as Bucky rolled away from them and groaned. "Lil, just give me another hour of sleep, okay?" he asked hopefully and sleepily before pulling a pillow over his head to try to block out the noise. This was the first year since their parents died that someone new was with them at Christmas and Bucky was glad that it was Steve. It felt more like family Christmas and less sad to him that he wasn't with his parents.

---

Steve smiled and kept Lilly down just to be a pain in the ass. But really, Steve was excited for Christmas, so he was quick to turn over to Bucky, pull the pillow from him, and kiss him all over his face. "Come on, Baby, it's Christmas."

---

Bucky kissed Steve once lazily and closed his eyes. "Get Becca up and ready and then come back for me," he murmured and rolled up into a tight ball. "Also make Lilly make me tea. I'm freezing my balls off already." He looked to the clock. It was already nine in the morning and he was surprised Lilly let him sleep in two hours more than the previous year. Maybe she stayed up too late the night before and slept in.

---

Steve chuckled and ruffled up Bucky's hair. He let Lilly play with the cat and made the tea himself instead. Steve got Becca up and ready to open presents before he returned to their bedroom to a still very tired Bucky.

---

Steve came in with tea in his hands and Bucky had no choice but to get up from bed, wrap up in a blanket, and follow him back out to the living room. He yawned and sat on the couch next to Becca who was also grumpily wrapped in a blanket. The two of them could have slept for six more hours and been perfectly happy. But Lilly was sitting on the floor already shaking a present and demanding that they start opening them. "Lil, wait for Steve to sit down, okay?"

---

Steve snorted at the excitement. He'd always been the excited one Christmas morning but now that there were kids around, there was even more spirit around him. Steve picked up a guitar-shaped present to hand to Bucky - but that one wasn't the guitar. He'd only shaped it to look like one and there were a few records in belly of the package, instead. "We ready to start?"

---

Bucky took the present from Steve while Lilly tossed one to Becca. He pointed at a floppy green package labeled for Steve that had a set of brand new paintbrushes in it. "Give that one to Steve, Lilly," he said and snuggled against Becca for warmth. "Yes, we are ready."

---

Steve took the present and opened it while the girls opened theirs. He smiled brightly and gave Bucky a kiss. "These are perfect, Buck, thank you," he said softly. Steve wouldn't have spent the money on himself to buy these types of fancy brushes.

---

"I wasn’t sure if you liked to paint as much as draw but I saw the state of your old brushes and figured you deserved better ones," Bucky said as he was opening his present. "This isn't a guitar." He laughed and pulled out some special edition deluxe demo recordings from The Who and The Beatles and even one from Genesis that he knew was a little more rare. "Thank you, Baby, I needed more demo recordings. I don't have many."

---

They had a good, lazy morning full of opening presents and watching Raphael play with the empty wrappers. Bucky got his guitar and some other little things and Steve got mostly more art supplies. The last present Steve had to give was a medium-sized box. Inside of it was a picture he drew of all of them together - even the cat - with a ring tied to it on the ribbon. He'd decided to engrave the ring with 'I'm with you until the end of the line'.

---

Bucky stared at the last present in Steve's hand. It was small and square and he tried very much not to get his hopes up about what might be inside. Bucky cautiously poked a finger towards it and said quietly, "Is that one for me?"

---

"No, it's for the other guy in the house named Bucky," Steve teased him. He passed it over and kissed the corner of his mouth. Steve did his best not to look too excited over Bucky opening it.

---

Bucky took in a deep breath and held it as he opened the box. Inside he found a perfect two-toned ring and a drawing of all of them together. He hadn't known what to do so he sucked his bottom lip into his mouth and bit it as he stared at the ring and willed his lungs to take normal breaths. He couldn't believe Steve had found a priest.

---

Steve moved down and got on one knee in front of Bucky. He took one of Bucky's hands in his own and looked up into his eyes. "Meeting you was the best thing that ever happened to me. And I can't imagine a better way to spend my life than being your husband." He kissed the back of his hand. "Will you marry me, Bucky Barnes?"

---

Bucky grinned wide and tackled Steve in a bear hug as he kissed him over and over. He completely forgot to say ‘yes’ as he was too busy cuddling up in Steve's open arms and kissing all over his face and neck. "I love you so goddamn much, Steve Rogers," he said and felt a tight clench in his heart at the prospect of being husbands with Steve.

---

Steve laughed and returned every kiss Bucky had to give him. Becca and Lilly thought it was cute at first but then the two men kept going and they started to whack the two of them lightly with the cushions. "Stoooooop," Lilly complained. "Get a roooom."

---

"But I love him," Bucky protested and kissed Steve again. "And we're going to be church married. And we're going to go to Seneca and one day get a house and raise a baby and have old man sex." Bucky droned on as he slipped the ring onto his finger. He needed to get a ring for Steve, too. It only seemed fair. Especially since he didn't think they needed wedding rings too. That was just too much money to spend. One ring for the each of them would do.

---

"Gross," Lilly complained at the thought of old man sex.

Steve gave Bucky a small look for talking about sex in front of his sisters but he was too happy to scold him. Steve hugged Bucky tightly and said, "Becca and Lilly helped pick the ring."

---

"It's perfect," Bucky said and looked to his sisters. "Thanks for helping Steve pick it out." Bucky had so far not discovered the engraving. He slipped the ring on so fast that he didn't see it and then he spent more time locked together with Steve. "When did you find a priest? Where did you find a priest?"

---

Steve looked at the ring on Bucky's finger with pride. "A few weeks ago," he said. "The priest said he's already married a few gays and lesbians and that he's trying to make his church openly gay-friendly," Steve said proudly. "He's on the Brooklyn-Queens border. So we don't even have to go far."

---

"That's not far at all. Just a train from here." Bucky smiled happily at him and then rested his head on Steve's chest. He breathed deeply a few times and just felt the closeness of him. "Is your mom still coming over for dinner or are you going to have to call her to tell her you finally made it official?"

---

"Oh, she already knows," Steve said. "I told her the day I found the priest that I was proposing on Christmas. She's coming over and bringing extra cake to celebrate." Bucky was the only one out of the loop on this one.

---

"So I had to wait for weeks but everyone else got to know?" Bucky chastised. "You didn't even know if I was going to say yes for sure."

---

"Well, I didn't want you to know I would propose at Christmas," Steve said. "And I knew you were going to say yes. You love me too much."

---

Lilly tugged Steve a little and asked, "Can we have our necklaces now? I want to show Bucky."

---

Steve gave Bucky an obnoxious grin before giving Lilly his attention. "Sure, go ahead, Kiddo. You did really well keeping this a secret."

---

Lilly bounded away to her room to retrieve her necklace before coming back and sitting down by Bucky to show him. "Steve got Becca and I these birthday necklaces for helping him pick out your ring." Becca quietly produced hers from out of her sweater pocket and showed Bucky. She had been waiting all day yesterday and today before she got to wear it.

"Those are beautiful. Did you thank Steve for doing that for you?" Bucky asked and nuzzled Lilly's head with his chin.

---

Steve smiled happily. He didn't pin Lilly for a jewelry person but he was glad she liked this one at least. "They've been patient,” he said. “They had to wait for weeks so you wouldn't suspect that we got you a ring," he said. "I wanted you all to have something special."

---

"That's very sweet of you, my handsome man," Bucky gushed and kissed Steve again. Becca held out her necklace for Bucky to look at and he took it gingerly and let out a small gasp. "This looks like Mom's necklace from grandma, doesn't it?" He showed Lilly who nodded and frowned and looked at hers which was a totally different stone than the one their mother had.

---

Steve smiled happily at them all. "Do you have the same birth month as your mom?" He asked and then saw Lilly's frown and pulled her into his lap to hug her.

---

"Yeah they are both May," Lilly said and squirmed in Steve's grip.

Bucky handed the necklace back to Becca and flopped on top of Lilly. "Ugh, Lil, I'm so tired. Why didn't you let me sleep? And I'm hungry!" he complained and poked at her sides.

---

Steve played with Bucky's hair a little bit and then gave them both a kiss on the cheek. "What do you guys want for breakfast? I'll make whatever you want."

---

Bucky normally would have just said cereal except that today was special and he was also really, really hungry. "Eggs and bacon with bagel toast, orange juice and bananas. Maybe some waffles. Or pancakes I don't mind which. Oh! Chocolate chip pancakes!" He beamed at Steve with a childish grin.

---

Steve kissed him sweetly. "Sounds perfect, I'll make all of it." He wiggled his way out of their cuddle pile and headed to the kitchen to cook. Raphael jumped up in his spot and started to rub his face against Bucky's jaw, purring like a motor.

---

Bucky petted the cat and talked to him a bit while Becca and Lilly gathered all their presents and transferred them to their rooms. After a while, Bucky decided he should pile all of his and Steve's stuff too so he took all of Steve's new art supplies to the hall closet where Steve kept his easel and things and he took his records and books to his room before flopping back on the couch and grabbing for his new guitar.

---

Whenever Bucky would strum a chord, Raphael would let out a big, loud meow in response to the sound. He didn't seem bothered by the music, but more like he wanted to participate. Steve laughed from the kitchen. "You've got a fan."

---

"One fan is all I need," Bucky said and leaned back in the couch to think of a song to play. Eventually he settled on The Who's 'Early Morning Cold Taxi' and he started humming along as the girls returned to the living room. Becca went to help Steve cook and Lilly sat by Bucky and rested on his legs and sang the lyrics as he played.

---

Steve's heart swelled as he listened to Bucky play. He really could get used to hearing this all the time. Steve would occasionally dance around Becca while they cooked and once breakfast was ready, he set the table and called the other two in.

---

They had gotten through a good portion of singing and playing the entire The Who Sell Out album when Steve called them in for breakfast. Bucky scooted his chair as close to Steve's as he could and held his hand out to him. "Did you see this ring yet?" He asked and pointed to it. "We need to go get you one too."

---

Steve kissed Bucky's temple. "Oh yeah? You going to get me a matching one or something different?" He asked. Steve reached down so he could play with the ring on Bucky's finger, enjoying that it was there.

---

"Don't know yet. But I'm taking the girls since they already went with you," Bucky responded and laced his hand with Steve's. "Thank you for breakfast, Baby." He waited for Steve to pray over the meal before he started wolfing down some eggs and chewing on long strips of bacon.

---

"Sounds fair to me." Steve ate his breakfast after saying his prayer. Once they were done, the girls were off to play with their gifts. Steve looked over to Bucky and asked, "Can you play more music for me?"

---

"What do you want to hear?" Bucky asked. "Raphael seemed to like The Who. But I can probably figure out some other bands to play. Don't ask for The Police, though, because I don't have any of their songs memorized well enough to play them."

---

"Can you give me some Bowie?" Steve asked. He started to clean up the dishes from breakfast. "What's that song? The ‘ground control to Major Tom’ one?"

---

"Space Oddity." Bucky nodded. "I can do that one for you." He grabbed his guitar and came back over, giving Steve's ass a squeeze before sitting back at the table to play as Steve picked up. Bucky sang softly and slow and watched his fingers graze over the strings. He loved his new guitar - and his ring. Two perfect presents.

---

Steve grinned and swayed a little to the music. He felt himself falling in love with Bucky all over again. When the dishes were done, he walked behind Bucky and massaged his shoulders while he played. "I love you, Baby. You sound so good playing."

---

"I love you too." Bucky stopped playing and reached up behind him to pull Steve in for a kiss. "Do you want to go have some alone time, maybe? The girls are both distracted in their rooms. I'll put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door if you want."

---

"As if I could ever turn that down," Steve said with a grin. He ran a hand over Bucky's chest slowly and gave him a pair of bedroom eyes. "Let's get going, music man."

---

Bucky hopped out of his chair and took the guitar with him as he skittered off to their room. He tied a hair-tie around the door handle and a hook on the side of the dresser to have a makeshift lock for them. He wasted no time in putting the guitar off in the corner and stretching out on their bed.

---

Steve smiled and laid over Bucky, immediately taking his fiancé's shirt off so he could kiss over his chest. "We are going to have such a good life together," he said happily. "And we will be married. When do you want our anniversary to be?"

---

"Won't our anniversary be the day the priest tells us that God's got us covered as husbands and all that?" Bucky asked and melted into Steve's kisses. He slipped his hands into the back at Steve's pajama pants and started massaging his ass.

---

"Yeah, Dummy. So what day do you want to do that?" Steve asked with a giggle and then hummed when Bucky put his hands down his pants. He started to play with his tongue over one of Bucky's nipples. "He's around pretty much every day."

---

"Let's not talk about the priest while you're licking my chest, yeah?" Bucky laughed. "And besides, I need to get your ring first away. I'll do that this week then we are free to go whenever the girls and your mom have time to join us. What day are you going back to work?"

---

"I go back in two weeks," Steve said. They were giving him the week after New Year's off only because it was usually hectic and they didn't want to stress him out right away. Steve began to slip Bucky's pants down.

---

Bucky hiked his hips up so Steve could slip his pajama bottoms all the way off. "Okay, then let's get married sometime next week," he concluded and moved his hands in between Steve's ass cheeks. Bucky grinned and gave Steve a seductive look. "First round of Christmas sex? Or just blow jobs and wait to fuck until tonight? Which do you want?"

---

"Christmas sex, duh," Steve said, grinning over at Bucky. "I wonder how many times we can sneak off today and screw like rabbits." He began to kiss down Bucky's body, nibbling and sucking marks here and there.

---

"Not as many as I'd like," Bucky said. "So, my new fiancé, who's getting it up the ass first today?" He probably could have been more romantic but he also was pretty eager to fuck. He and Steve had the rest of their lives to be romantic. Bucky had to be a little crude sometimes or he would explode.

---

Steve laughed a bit at the bluntness of the question and he sucked a mark on Bucky's thigh. "You're taking it first," he said. "But you're going to tell me three things you'd like to try. And I'll pick which one of the three I want to do." He was going to try to open up more to Bucky and what he liked to do sexually.

---

"What? What do you mean?" Bucky asked with a glint in his eyes. He had hoped Steve would say that Bucky was going to be the one to get fucked first. He was sort of dying for Steve's dick inside him. "Like something... sexually adventurous?"

---

Steve blushed but nodded his head. "Yes, Buck, that's what I mean," he said. Steve licked a stripe up his cock. "I'm all ears this time."

---

Bucky sat up so he was propped on his elbows. "Oh, fuck yeah! Um... three things?" How the hell was he going to choose just three things that Steve could pick from to try today? Also, he probably should stick with milder stuff so he didn't overwhelm him too quickly. "Tie me to the bed, blind fold me, or maybe 69 if you would want to." He really hoped Steve would pick one of the first two. Bucky felt like letting Steve take control of his body and having a sense of movement taken away would do that for him.

---

Those ones Steve could handle. He smiled and kissed the tip of Bucky's dick. "This morning I'm going to tie you to the bed. And next time I'm going to blindfold you." He ran a hand up Bucky's thigh. "Do you have rope somewhere in here?"

---

Bucky's erection was straining out from his body and he refrained from touching it. "Uh-huh, yeah, I have special ties meant for this very thing." He quickly rolled off the bed and rummaged in a box in their bathroom for his bed ties. He came back with four black velvet loops with heavy-duty ropes on the end. "My wrists and ankles go in the velvet and the loops tighten up." He explained and handed them to Steve. Then a thought occurred to him, "Wait do you have your handcuffs?"

---

Steve's face heated up at the sight of the velvet loops. He started to work his way through untying one of the ropes when Bucky asked about the handcuffs. He looked somewhat offended and his jaw dropped. "W-what? No, I'm not using city property for our sex life."

---

"Oh my god. Why not?" Bucky asked, surprised. "Using city property for gay sex sounds really hot," he said as Steve worked on tightening the loops on his ankles. He wouldn't pressure Steve into using the handcuffs but some day he was going to get his hands cuffed behind his back while Steve took him doggy style - even if he had to buy fake cuffs.

---

"Because I don't want to think about fucking you when I use the same cuffs to arrest some drug lord or sex offender," Steve complained. He got both of Bucky's ankles secured and then started on his wrists.

---

Bucky tried his best to arch off the bed to kiss Steve but his legs and one strapped arm wouldn't allow it. "You did a good job on these ties, Baby," he said and couldn't help how his hips jolted up so his dick could come in contact with Steve's body hovering over him.

---

Steve wasn't sure what tying Bucky up would change for sex but he was interested to find out. Once he had him all set, he kissed down his neck and played with his balls. "Look at you, Baby," he said. "You look so good all tied up for me."

---

"Yeah," Bucky breathed. He loved that Steve was going to be entirely in control and also that he was going to have to get Bucky off without Bucky helping by touching himself at all. That's what he liked best about this. He could only come when Steve brought him to the edge. "I'm so ready, Steve. Do whatever you want to me."

---

Steve grabbed the lube and showed it off as he rubbed some between his fingers. "I'm gonna treat you real well, Babe. Give you everything you want." He moved his hand down and teased Bucky's hole a little bit before easing two fingers in at once.

---

Bucky clenched his ass around the fingers a couple times just to feel them then he relaxed so Steve could open him up. "I love you so much, Steve. You're going to get to have me like this for the rest of your life." He glanced at the ring on his finger and smiled at it. He still couldn't believe Steve had found a priest.

---

Steve worked his fingers smoothly in and out of Bucky's ass. "I know I am. Going to get to listen to you sing and play the guitar, too." Steve grinned at him and used his free hand to play with Bucky's nipple. "That ring looks good on you."

---

"This ring can be the only thing I wear to bed every night if you want," Bucky said and squirmed under Steve's touch. "Baby, more fingers," he pressured and tried to look down at where Steve was touching him.

---

"I like the sound of that, Buck." Steve obliged and pushed another finger inside of him. "Want to know the best thing about tying you up?" He leaned in close and whispered, "I can play The Police all day and you can't do anything to stop me."

---

"That's cruel and unusual punishment, Officer. Don't they teach you not to do that shit in the academy?" Bucky strained to say as Steve started working in a fourth finger already. "But, really, Steve, that can't be the best thing about having me like this." He really wanted to know if Steve was enjoying himself or not. Bucky sure as hell was.

---

Steve worked his fingers freely in and out of Bucky's ass. He pulled his own pants down and settled between Bucky's legs. "You're right. I like that you trust me so much." He kissed him deeply as he pushed his dick inside of him. Steve moaned into Bucky's mouth and started to thrust, still holding on to him even though he was tied to the bed.

---

Bucky couldn't help the low groan that came from him when Steve pushed all the way inside him. He licked into Steve's mouth over and over as Steve started to rock in and out of him with purpose. "It's all you, Baby," Bucky whispered. "Only you until we die."

---

Steve fucked Bucky quick and deep. Hearing Bucky reinforce that they would spend the rest of their lives together made his heart soar. "Yes," he breathed out. "Going to make you happy for the rest of your life." Steve wrapped his fingers around Bucky's dick and started to stroke him with each thrust.

---

Finally having his dick touched made Bucky's eyes lull back into his head and he panted short breaths while Steve fucked him. His brain couldn't hardly think of anything besides Steve's hand and Steve's cock and Steve's voice and those eyes and that gentle way he held Bucky at night and the ring that he gave him and the promise they would soon make to each other.

---

“So good,” Steve breathed out. “You’re so good to me. God, Buck, I can’t wait to get to do whatever we want every day.” Steve found the angle that had Bucky arching off the bed and curling his toes in pleasure. He fucked him just like that, hard and fast until he was spilling himself inside of Bucky.

---

Bucky wasn't long to follow Steve and was soon coming all over Steve's fingers. Steve collapsed on top of him and Bucky tried to hug him before remembering the restraints. "How was it?" He panted. "Did you like doing that? Added a little something new?"

---

Steve missed having Bucky's arms around him right after sex, but he did have fun keeping Bucky tied as he spread Bucky's come around his chest like he was finger-painting on his fiancé. "Mhmm," Steve grunted softly. "I liked it, but it didn't really change much for sex. It's fun right now, though."

---

Bucky sighed and watched Steve make a mess of him. "Fine," he huffed out. "We can have vanilla Catholic sex tonight. You tried something for me, though, and I'm proud of you and love you." Bucky paused and chuckled. "‘Vanilla Catholic Sex’ sounds like a really weird ice cream flavor."

---

"Oh yeah, I think I'm converting to Presbyterianism now," Steve said with a disappointed laugh. "No Catholic Church that I found would marry us. I haven't told my mom yet, so that will be fun." Once he was done playing with Bucky's come, he slowly licked him clean.

---

"Oh, um..." Bucky mumbled. "Are you sure? You've been Catholic your whole life, Steve." He felt a little weird trying to start a serious conversation while he was still restrained on the bed and Steve was licking him.

---

"I didn't tell my mom this, but my childhood priest said that if he saw me in his mass again, he would out me as a sinner," Steve mumbled. He also hadn't told Bucky because he was embarrassed. "The other priests gave me the ‘burning in hell’ speech. But this priest at the Presbyterian Church... he explained to me how similar Presbyterianism is to Catholicism and I think my mom will understand."

---

"Hey, let my hands go so I can hold you," Bucky requested and nodded at the restraints. He waited patiently for Steve to undo them before he sat up and pulled Steve into his lap and gave him a close hug. "I'm so sorry that happened to you, Steve. I know how much that must have hurt you since your church is so important to you. If you want to switch to Presbyterianism then I support you and I'll sit with you when you tell your mom if you want me to."

---

Steve really needed that hug. He snuggled close when his fiancé cuddled him and took a deep breath. "Thank you, Buck. I know that religion isn't important to you, but I'm thankful that you're supporting me." He kissed along Bucky’s jaw slowly.

---

"It's important to you and as your fiancé, future husband, and love of your life, it's my honor to support you in whatever you think will be good for you and make you happier," Bucky said. "No, I'll probably never go to a church service with you, but I'll never tell you not to go." Bucky kissed Steve's face when he got the opportunity and he laid back so Steve was curled up against him on the bed.

---

Steve smiled and reached up to tangle his fingers in Bucky’s hair. "Well, at least I get to live with the fact that I managed to drag you to church at least once in your life. Even if it was just to get married behind the state's back. I think you'll like the priest. I told him that you weren't religious and he said he'd still marry us even if neither of us were."

---

"That's at least nice of him," Bucky said. "It probably did help that you are a man of the church. Get your foot in there with God and stuff." Bucky rolled Steve off of him and undid the ankle restraints so he could lay next to Steve better. "What are we doing now? We should probably make sure the girls are still doing okay. And your mom will be here in a few hours. And we need to start dinner roasting at some point."

---

Steve kissed Bucky lazily a few times and said, "If you clean up the wrapping paper, I can get the chicken cooking in the oven so it'll be ready when Mom gets here." He sighed and stared into Bucky’s eyes. “I love you so much.”

Chapter Text

Bucky was almost done throwing all the ripped wrapped paper into a big trash can when Becca and Lilly both emerged from their rooms in their snow clothes and boots. "Are you two planning on playing in the park or something? You know you aren't allowed to go there alone," Bucky scolded.

Becca stuffed her gloved hands in her pockets and said, "We're going to the cemetery since you never take us to see Mom and Dad. It's Christmas, and we want to talk to them.”

---

Steve would've offered to go with them but someone had to mind the chicken in the oven or else they wouldn't be eating until a ridiculously late hour. "Buck," he said. "Would you like to go? I've got to stay in and watch the chicken."

---

Bucky thought for a moment and looked to his sisters and then Steve. "Will you go with them? I'll mind the food while you're gone." It wasn't that he didn't want to go see his parents. It was just that he always got upset and overwhelmed and depressed when he thought about standing in front of their graves. Today was a holiday and his engagement day and Bucky didn't know if he could handle the breakdown that always came from attempting to visit his parents.

---

One day, Steve would want to go to Bucky’s parents' graves with him but today, clearly, wasn't the day. "Alright, Love," Steve said cautiously. He went back to their bedroom to change into warm clothes and he gave Bucky a tight hug and a kiss before he left with the girls. "Love you so much."

---

Becca was clearly upset as they walked to the cemetery. She grumbled directions at Steve until they came to their parents’ headstones. She knelt down on the ground in front of them and said, "Merry Christmas, Mommy and Daddy. It's Becca and Lilly." She looked up at Lilly, "Say hello, Lil."

Lilly grabbed Steve's hand for support and wiped her eyes, "Hi... Bucky couldn't make it but we brought Steve."

Becca countered, "Bucky could make it, he just didn't want to."

---

Steve could feel his own throat getting tight because he felt awful that the girls had to grow up without their parents. He held Lilly's hand tightly and he kneeled down next to Becca. "Hey," he said softly to the graves. "I'll bring Bucky down here soon," he promised. "He'll have some pretty big news for you guys, and I don't want to spoil anything by saying it too early." He put a hand on Becca's shoulder and whispered, "What should I say to them?"

---

"You can tell them whatever you want." Becca nodded and gave a weak smile. "All they can do is listen." She stood up and pulled Lilly close to her. "They would be happy to know that you're around to make Bucky better. I know they'd like you."

---

Steve smiled and gave Becca a small nudge. "They don't only listen," he said. "They can talk back, but not in the same way you and I talk to each other. It could be in a breeze that cools you on a hot day or a flower you see growing somewhere they usually don't." He glanced at the graves briefly and said, "You girls should talk to them first. I'm sure they want to hear from you more than from me."

---

Becca nodded and ushered Lilly down to talk to their parents. As Lilly started chatting away about sports and what she got for Christmas, Becca pulled Steve a few feet away so Lilly was out of earshot. "Bucky never comes down here," Becca said with sad heavy-lidded eyes. "I think it's because he's afraid of how disappointed they would be if they knew the shit he's done for the past few years with the men and alcohol and overdosing. You're stuck with him now. That means you need to make him come here."

---

Steve hated seeing the sad look in Becca's eyes. No kid should be this sad on Christmas. He reached out to give her hand a small squeeze. "I'll get him down here, I promise. And... you know, you can ask me to take you and Lilly here whenever you want. I want you two to be able to see your parents, even if it's just to tell them you got a good grade on something."

---

Becca nodded and thanked Steve before going back over to Lilly who had pretty much exhausted her list of presents. Becca knelt back down and started discussing the books she got and how much she was learning about historical women that her dad always admired too. They stayed for a bit in silence and waited for anything - they weren't sure what. "Do you want to say anything, Steve?" Lilly checked.

---

Steve paused to think before saying, "I wish I got to meet you both in person. From what Bucky and the girls say, you were really amazing people." He managed a small smile. "The girls make me proud every day and you would love how Bucky plays the guitar." Steve picked up two stones and placed it on top of their graves to show respect. "Thank you for looking over them and leading them into my life."

---

Becca watched Steve with a growing sense of trust and admiration as he talked to her parents and Lilly started to cry again and flopped onto Steve in a hug once he was done. "Thanks for coming with us," she said and hid her face in his arm. "I know they miss Bucky but it's good for them to meet new people too."

---

Steve hugged Lilly close and kissed the top of her head. "You know I'd do anything for you, Lil. I'm happy you introduced me to them." He sat in silence with them for a little while before they had to go back for dinner.

---

Bucky was sitting at the table reading a book and listening to one of his new demo recordings from The Who. He had already hastily drank three beers that he had hidden away and disposed of the bottles in the big dumpster in the alley so no one would know.

---

Steve had carried Lilly piggyback to the apartment. He plopped her down on the couch and walked over to Bucky so he could kiss his cheek. "Hello, my beautiful fiancé. Did the chicken blow up while we were gone?"

---

Bucky pointed at the intact chicken cooking slowly in the oven. "I managed it." He smiled and kissed Steve's hand. He looked to Becca then and asked, "How are Mom and Dad?"

She folded her arms and gave him a sour retort. "Like you care."

---

Steve frowned at the tone Becca took with Bucky. "It's Christmas," Steve said softly. "Let's put aside our grudges for today." He did plan on having a talk with both of them about how they handled Bucky not going to visit their parents.

---

Bucky clenched his jaw and gave Becca a dejected look before turning to Steve. "Did you introduce yourself to them?" He asked and thought about disguising another beer by pouring it into a travel mug. Steve didn't even know he had the two six packs that he had hidden behind their extra blankets in the laundry room.

---

Steve played with Bucky's hair and tangled it between his fingers. "Yeah. I told them that you'll have big news for them soon." Steve could tell that Bucky had been drinking - he could just sense it. He didn’t know where he got the alcohol but Bucky had it. But Steve didn't say anything or else Becca would freak out on him.

---

Bucky leaned into Steve's touches and hummed a bit to himself. "I bet they liked you a lot," He said absently and closed his eyes. "When's your mom coming over? Dinner should be ready soon." He looked down at his pajamas. "I should probably put on some real clothes.

---

"She's coming any minute," Steve said. "Why don't you wear that new sweater I got you? It'll look real good on you, Baby." Steve kissed him gently and nudged him up. "Come on, go make yourself presentable to your new mother-in-law."

---

Bucky obediently trotted off to their bedroom to get changed. He rummaged around for the new navy and grey sweater that Steve had bought him and he slipped it on before pulling off his pajama pants and looking for his black corduroys.

---

While Bucky changed, Sarah showed up at the apartment with one bag full of presents and another bag full of home-cooked desserts. She greeted Steve excitedly, happy about his engagement, and then rushed over to hug the girls.

---

Bucky came back out to Sarah's open arms and gave her a gentle hug before showing her the ring. "I promise to get one for your son soon. He needs one so everyone knows he's spoken for," Bucky said and gave Steve a loving glance.

---

Sarah gave Bucky a warm hug and then held his face in her hands so she could give him a kiss on the forehead. "You better get that ring quick or else someone will try and snatch him up," she joked. She put a cake on the counter that she made that had the text 'Barnes-Rogers' on it.

---

Bucky laughed as Steve eyed the cake happily and then gave his mom a dopey grin. He couldn't wait for the day when the five of them went to the church and had the priest bless their union to Steve's God. Bucky wondered if Steve would tell his mom before or after that he was converting out of the Catholic Church.

---

"Mom," Steve whined with a smile. "The last names go the other way around."

Sarah looked at the cake then back to her son. "Alphabetical order looks nicer," she said. Steve pouted as he got the chicken out of the oven. Sarah rubbed a hand up and down Bucky's arm. "So when's the big day?"

---

"Sometime before Steve goes back to work," Bucky said and offered for Sarah to sit at the table. "So within the next two weeks at least. We don't know what day exactly. All we know is that it has to be after school is over for the day and on a day that you are available."

---

"Well, I'm retired. So as long as it doesn't interrupt bingo night," she joked. She wouldn’t be caught dead at a bingo night. Sarah helped Steve carve up the chicken into slices. "So how has Christmas been so far?" she asked. "Have you all given each other nice surprises?"

---

Lilly and Becca started telling Sarah about all the things they got this year. Lilly made a point to tell her how this was the biggest Christmas she had had in four years. Steve was quick to remind Lilly that this Christmas was only big because this was their first one together and it had to be special. Bucky rested a hand on Steve's thigh while he poured the two of them something to drink. It was only sparkling cider and it was non-alcoholic but Bucky thought if he excused himself to the bathroom and took it with him then maybe he could slip with whiskey in it. "Steve." Bucky smiled at him. "Do you want to pray for the meal before Lilly can't take it and starts eating?"

---

“Of course, Love, thank you.” Steve joined hands with his mom and said a prayer so they could all dig in. When Bucky excused himself to use the bathroom, Becca eyed him suspiciously as he walked out.

---

Bucky pulled a small bottle of scotch from his nightstand and poured it into his cup. Then he took the picture of his parents from his dresser and sat down with it. "I'm really sorry I didn't come visit you today. It just hurts too much - especially on Christmas. I'll come see you soon with Steve. He's right - I do have something big to tell you." Bucky rubbed the light dust off the picture and held his glass up in a toast to his parents. "I miss you. I love you. Merry Christmas."

---

Becca had missed Bucky talking to the picture. All she saw was the scotch on the nightstand. She angrily stormed in and grabbed the bottle. "You said you would stop!" She hissed quietly, not wanting to alert the others by raising her voice.

---

Bucky stared at her intrusion and clipped back, "I did. I hardly drink anything at all anymore. And I haven't been back to any bars except to close my tabs since that night." He reached for the small empty bottle but before he could get it, Becca angrily crushed it against the wall. There were shards of glass on the floor and some sticking to the wall and Becca's hand was bleeding from where some pieces cut into her. She stormed back out of Bucky's room before he could help clean up her hand.

---

The idle chatter at the dinner table stopped when they heard a bottle smash. Steve got up quickly to see what was going on and Becca rushed past him into the bathroom with tears in her eyes. "Buck, what's going on?" Steve asked. He then saw the bottle shards on the floor and he couldn't help the tired sigh that escaped him.

---

"I didn't hurt her," Bucky said quickly with his hands up defensively. "She got mad and smashed it herself. I swear. And she wouldn't let me help clean her hand either." His breathing was picking up and he felt the tears welling up in his eyes. "Steve..."

---

Steve rubbed his hands over his face. "I'll be right back." He went to go get his mom to take care of Becca. He had Lilly distract herself by telling her to make sure the cat was fed and then he returned to their room and closed the door for privacy. "Buck," he said softly as he walked over to hug him. "Are you okay?"

---

Bucky shook his head and curled up into Steve. "I wasn't getting drunk I just wanted a little bit. It's Christmas and I figured it'd be fine. Mom loved cinnamon whiskey on Christmas. This was sort of like that." He looked up into Steve's eyes. "Becca overreacted. I'm not drunk and I wasn't planning on having anything more today."

---

"Baby, she didn't over react," Steve said softly. "And you weren't crossing any lines, either. I believe you weren't trying to get drunk, but you have to accept that the past is going to affect her perspective on you drinking for a long time," he explained gently. "She's been hurt by it, so you have to let her react the way she feels necessary."

---

"Smashing bottles and hurting her hand isn't necessary," Bucky countered but rested his head on Steve's chest, feeling small and pathetic.

---

Steve stroked his fingers through Bucky's hair. "That's not for you to tell her." It would only upset Becca more. She needed to be able to feel the things she wanted to feel.

---

"You're mad at me too, aren't you? I'm sorry this happened while your mom was here. I'm sorry it happened at all,” Bucky pleaded with him and his breathing started to pick up.

---

"I'm not mad at you, Bucky. I'm just sad that it happened, that's all." Steve kissed Bucky's temple. "I'm sure my mom will understand. And now my converting churches won't be the biggest surprise of the day."

---

"Fuck, Steve, Baby. I'm so sorry," Bucky said and he felt like he'd said it a million times. "I didn't know you planned on doing that today and now I've gone and fucked shit up again and your mom probably thinks I'm an alcoholic if Becca's talking to her. She won't want you marrying me at all."

---

Steve didn't want to say that Bucky really was actually an alcoholic because Bucky already felt guilty enough and he didn’t want to add to it. And Steve didn't love him any less because of it. "My mom knows there's more than one side to the truth. And she also sees how well you take care of me," he reassured. "It's going to be okay."

---

Bucky held his face in Steve's chest and let out a shaky breath. "Where's Lil? Is she okay?" He couldn't help but think of the day that he woke up in the hospital with his sisters and his grandmother surrounding his bed. He had tried overdosing and apparently Lilly had been the one to find him passed out in his bathroom. He always did more harm than good.

---

"She's with the cat." Steve kissed the top of Bucky's head. "Let’s go out there and talk with her until my mom calms Becca down. We need to face them sooner or later," he encouraged.

---

Bucky sniffled. "I guess I have to." He stood up and quickly downed his entire glass of cider and whiskey before nodding and heading out the door. Lilly was curled up on the couch with Raphael. Bucky felt bad for interrupting the beginning of dinner. Lilly was really hungry and now their food was going to be cold soon. "Hey, Lil," he said and scooted her over on the couch so he could sit down by her.

---

Steve was already starting to reheat their dinner so they wouldn't go back to a cold meal. Lilly looked up from petting the cat and she gave Bucky an upset and confused look. "What happened?" she asked softly.

---

Bucky pulled Lilly to him and hugged her close. He was so mad he let this happen on Christmas. "Nothing, Lil," he said and pet her head, "Everything's okay. Don't worry." He really didn't want Lilly to be against him for his drinking too. He already had Becca and Steve and probably now Sarah getting on him about it.

---

"Why is Becca crying?" She asked, snuggling Bucky a bit. She had already had an emotionally exhausting day after visiting her parents' graves. Steve knocked on the bathroom door to check on Becca and his mom.

---

Sarah let Steve in and gave him a concerned little look. Becca shot a glare at him and hissed, "Did you know?" She balled one fist and held out her injured hand in front of her so Steve could see it. Sarah had put a bunch of Band-Aids on it after taking the glass out with some tweezers.

---

Steve frowned at the glare and the tone Becca took with him. He shook his head. "I didn't know that he was drinking today, Becca," he said. "I'm sorry that you have to go through this."

---

"But you knew he was drinking again," she accused and her lip quivered. "He said he would stop and you said you'd look out for him." Becca wiped the tears from her eyes and tucked some rogue hairs behind her ears.

---

"Becca, I'm still looking out for him," Steve said. "He's not doing anything illegal and I can't force him to stop. But he is getting better. He doesn't go out to bars anymore. He doesn't drink nearly as much as he used to," he reminded. "He's trying so hard."

---

"He's a fucking mess," Becca swore and crossed her arms. "He doesn't go to visit Mom and Dad cause he thinks they'd be disappointed in him and then he goes and does shit like this that just proves him right."

---

Sarah looked a little appalled by her language but didn't say anything. Steve remained calm. "Have you ever tried to understand why?" Steve asked. "Or have you always yelled at him instead?" Steve wished he could understand why. He only had bits and pieces of it. But Bucky had such deep hurt and he couldn’t possibly understand it all.

---

"I wouldn't have to yell at him if he just had some more self-control," Becca protested. "He's reckless and naive and never thinks about anyone but himself. I know Lilly told you what he did after he left college. And I know you can’t think he's just not going to try that again."

---

"Becca," Steve said in a tone he hadn't taken with her before. It was dark and stern. "I'm going to pretend that I didn't hear you say that your brother only cares about himself." He paused to take a breath. "I think it's time you stop holding him to the standard that you hold yourself to. Because Bucky is not you."

---

Becca clenched her jaw tight and gave a stare down to Steve. Sarah was meekly standing by assessing the situation and trying to decide if she should interject. Becca swallowed and gritted out, "I hold him to whatever standard keeps him here with us and as our guardian. Lilly and I have no one else. If Bucky were to leave or lost us because of his behavior then we would be put into the foster care system and probably split up. I love Bucky - and I've had to deal with him a lot longer than you have - but he needs to get his shit together, Steve."

---

"Becs.” Steve sighed. "You don't deal with your brother. And neither do I. We love him and that's all there is to it." He reached out to take her hand. "You don't have to worry about being split up - ever. I'm not going to let that happen. You're allowed to be upset with his drinking. But yelling at him won't solve anything. If you want to yell, yell about him to me."

---

Becca took her hand back from Steve quickly and pocketed it. She was stubborn as she was ruthless. "He lied to me again. He said he'd stop drinking and he didn't. He told me he'd stop bringing guys home but it took him three years. He always promises me things and breaks them within a week."

---

"He did stop. He's drinking nowhere near as much as he used to. And he did eventually stop bringing guys home, Becca," Steve said. "I'm not asking you to not be angry. I'm asking you to have faith in him. Or at least faith in the faith that I have in him."

---

Becca didn't have much else to say. She really was too angry to deal with this. "Whatever. He's going to fuck up again in a few days anyway. But I'm hungry and I bet Lilly is about to just eat without us if we stay in here any longer."

---

Steve had more to say but he wasn't going to get into an argument on Christmas over it. When Becca went out, the food was still staying warm in the oven and Sarah gave Steve a small look. She didn't love Bucky any less but she knew what being with an alcoholic was like.

---

Bucky jumped up from the couch when Becca came back and Lilly followed him. "Is your hand okay?" he asked quickly and reached for it. Becca held it out to him and Lilly and they look over the band-aids to make sure everything was okay. "Becca..." Bucky started. "I'm so sorry."

All Becca said was, "Save it. I'm hungry. Let's just forget it for now."

---

Steve sighed and walked over so he could give Bucky a hug and kiss. "I love you, Baby." He knew Bucky needed support.

Dinner was kind of tense and awkward. The silence was broken when Sarah asked, "So how do you plan to celebrate your wedding?"

---

Bucky wasn't eating, just holding one of Steve's hands and staring at his plate. He felt like total shit. When Sarah asked about the wedding, Bucky looked up and said quietly, "Uh, going to Seneca Lake."

Lilly, to her credit, was trying her best to make the tension dissipate. "Our dad took Bucky there a lot."

---

"That's nice," Sarah said. She looked at the girls and said, "I bet we will have plenty of fun baking and making things while the boys are gone. Or we can talk about history or find some lacrosse game at a college to watch."

---

Becca shoved some food around with her fork and said, "The library has a couple documentaries on tape that I've been wanting to check out. We got a VCR player today so maybe we can do that."

Bucky squeezed Steve's hand once and added, "We still need to pick up the Star Wars tapes and make Steve watch them."

---

"We can do that," Sarah said sweetly. When they were done eating, she stood up and washed the dishes for them. "Steve, be a dear and get the presents from the bag." Steve nodded and did as he was told. Sarah had knit each of them a sweater in their favorite colors. She had taken to knitting after retiring.

---

Becca and Lilly thanked Sarah for the sweaters and Lilly went off to her room to change into hers. Bucky stayed at the table as still as possible the whole time and only got up when Steve ushered him over to the couch to sit with him. All he wanted to do was to lie in bed and fall asleep. He had a pretty bad headache going and he couldn't handle Becca's cold glares anymore.

---

Sarah had written a card for the Barnes family, including Bucky, saying that she knew that she would never be a replacement for their parents but she still considered them her children now. Steve knew Bucky was having a rough time, so he sat with him on the couch and wrapped an arm around his shoulders. "Buck, what do you think of letting Becca spend a weekend at my mom's every now and again? So she can have her own space."

---

Bucky nodded and curled up against Steve. "If she wants to do that then she can do that." He wasn't going to say anything to the contrary and if Becca wanted to get away from him sometimes then there was nothing he could really do. "Was that Becca's suggestion?"

---

"No," Steve said. "I think she's putting too much stress on herself and she deserves some time away where she doesn't have to feel responsible over what happens in this family." Steve hugged Bucky gently. "She's really hurting, Bucky. She loves you. But she's still hurt."

---

"I know," Bucky said and sighed, "I told you I wasn't cut out for this," he added more quietly and rubbed his face. "I try to be like my parents but I just can't. And I try to be a brother at the same time. But when I am a brother, I'm not being enough of a parent and, if I'm being too much of a parent, I'm not being a good brother."

---

"Bucky, if you don't think you're cut out for this, then why do you want to have a child with me?" Steve asked in as nonjudgmental and calm a tone as he could. "You're not supposed to be like your parents. You're supposed to be you. And your drinking and drug use aren't you."

---

"I don't do drugs anymore," Bucky hissed at him in a low voice so no one else could hear. "You know that. It's been almost four years." He sat up away from Steve and crossed his arms against his chest. "And raising a child from its birth is different than taking over for your dead parents."

---

"I know you don’t do drugs anymore. But just cause you don't do it now doesn't mean that Becca's healed from when you used to," Steve said. He pet a hand over his chest. "Baby, you know I love you. And you know that I believe in you. I just think that there's been so much that has already happened that Becca has zero tolerance for any bad habits now."

---

"Becca never knew about the cocaine," Bucky said. He still wasn't aware that Steve knew about the time he tried to overdose on pills and ended up in the hospital. "And I'm doing okay with everything else. I'm doing a lot better than I was, I mean. I hardly drink at all and you're the only man I've been with since about six months before I met you."

---

"I know you're doing so much better, Love," Steve agreed. "That's not the point I'm making. What I'm trying to say is that you've messed up and broken promises with her over this in the past. So, of course, the smallest mess-up is going to set her off. And it may not be fair to you, but this is the environment you've created because of the decisions you've made." He gave Bucky's hand a squeeze. "But I'm here to help you."

---

"My head hurts," Bucky mumbled dismissively and stared at the ground. "I just kind of want to go to sleep. Sorry I fucked up our first Christmas together." He gingerly took Steve's hand and held it up to his lips to kiss it. "Is your mom mad at me?"

---

Steve kissed Bucky's cheek. "You didn't fuck it up," he reassured. "And I won't lie... my mom doesn't like that you drink. But she doesn't love you any less." He stood up to take Bucky to their room. "I'm going to stay up with my mom and the girls. But I'll join you after everyone is tucked in."

---

In their room, Bucky waited up for Steve for a bit but he quickly fell asleep after he took some medicine for his headache. When Steve came in, it was close to one in the morning. Bucky woke up when the door opened and he sat up slowly and reached out for Steve. "Are the girls in bed?" he asked.

---

Steve got into bed and wrapped his arms around him. "Yeah, I tucked them in and everything," he said. He pressed a kiss to Bucky's cheek and sighed contentedly. "How're you feeling?"

---

"Not great." Bucky sighed and molded himself to Steve. "Found the engraving in the ring, though. I love it. You're a bit cheesy, but I love it. It's perfect for us." He rolled so he was facing Steve. "Are they still mad at me?"

---

Steve massaged Bucky's head and kissed his face gently. "I'm glad you like it, Handsome," he said softly. "They are still mad, yeah." he sighed. "We are going to have a serious talk about drinking. Becca found the six packs behind the blankets and I had to stop her from coming in and yelling at you."

---

Bucky closed his eyes and buried his face in the pillows. He knew Becca probably went looking for them. She probably checked every place that might have a hidden stash and raided what was there. "I just don't think I can stop, Steve."

---

"You can, Baby," Steve said. He worked his hands down Bucky's neck and over his shoulders. "I bet you thought you couldn't stop doing drugs or bringing men home, too."

---

"That was different," Bucky said. "It's not like I was addicted to coke - I just did it sometimes. And it was dangerous to bring strangers into the apartment and around the girls all the time. It's different," he repeated and pleaded with his eyes at Steve.

---

"Baby, I know it's not easy, but you can do it. They have classes and everything for it. And you have me to support you no matter what." Steve stroked a hand up and down Bucky's arm. "Drinking can be dangerous too. You can say or do something that upsets the girls or me. And it’s terrible on your body."

---

"I'm not going to some bullshit AA classes, Steve. I'm not an alcoholic," Bucky said sternly. "And I've never been abusive to the girls or you when I've been drunk." Bucky sat up and flicked on the lamp by his nightstand. He had taken to keeping medication in the drawer in case he needed it for a headache and he contemplated taking some more even though he'd just had some a few hours earlier.

---

"If you're not an alcoholic, you wouldn't have such a hard time quitting, Bucky. Being an alcoholic doesn't make you a bad person, it just means you need a little help," Steve said as he laid his head down on the pillow and frowned over at Bucky.

---

Bucky didn't know what to say. He didn't want to admit that Steve might be right. He had known bad alcoholics in his life and he really didn't think he was one. But Steve made a good point and Bucky was just feeling like everyone was ganging up on him too much.

---

Steve could tell that Bucky was feeling a bit shitty. He didn't want their first Christmas together to end on such a tense note, even though he wanted to talk about how he didn't like losing Becca's favor today. "Hey," he said softly. "Give me a kiss," Steve murmured. "You're going to be my husband soon."

---

Bucky snuggled up to Steve and kissed him. He placed their foreheads together and whispered, "You still love me even though I ruined our engagement day? And even though I'm not a good guardian and I can't even go visit my parents’ graves and I made your mom upset with me and Becca got her hand hurt and Lilly has no idea what's happening," he rambled until he was crying again.

---

Steve wiped at Bucky's tears and kissed his forehead a few times. "Bucky, I'm marrying you. Not some imaginary person who's perfect." He gave him a tight hug. "Don't beat yourself up. I love you as you are."

---

"I don't know why, though," Bucky mumbled. "I don't love me or like what I've done. I don't see how you don't leave me. I'm grateful that you don't but I just... Are you sure I'm worth all this, Steve?" He crumpled a hand against Steve's chest and stared at it.

---

Steve cupped Bucky's face and guided him to look up at him. He pressed their lips together and gave him a reassuring smile. "You care so much, Baby. You are such an amazing, strong man- even if you don't feel that way. You've taken such good care of me and kept an eye out for me when I was in the hospital. You've helped me through when I needed the most support I ever have in my adult life. I can trust you. And I know you love me." He kissed him again. "And soon, I'm going to promise myself to you for the rest of our lives."

---

Bucky really couldn't help that he couldn't stop crying. The ups and downs of Christmas Day had opened a well in him and he just couldn't get it to stop. He kissed Steve again and let his tears flow across his face. After about a minute of this, Bucky slowly and smoothly shifted their bodies so he was sitting on top of Steve still attached at the lips.

---

Steve wished that he could erase all the hurt that Bucky felt. He wanted him to have a happy, easy life. He stroked his hands over his back and hummed softly into the kiss. "I love you," he whispered. And then he said it half a dozen more times so Bucky wouldn't forget.

---

Bucky had moved to sucking harsh deep red hickeys onto Steve's neck and somewhere in the mess of Steve's declarations, Bucky had ditched his shirt and Steve's hands had found their way to rest on the dimples of his lower back.

---

Steve moaned softly as Bucky marked him up. He scratched his nails lightly up Bucky's spine before resting on his lower back. "Say that you love me too, Baby."

---

Bucky popped off Steve's neck and looked him in the eyes. "I love you so much. I love you, Steve. I'm going to marry you and I'm going to be good for you. And I've never loved anyone like I love you and I never will again. You're all I need. And I'm going to make love to you tonight and every night until I die. And you're going to feel me on you wherever you go and I'm going to get you a ring so everyone knows that you're coming home to me."

---

Steve smiled up at him and looked so happy as Bucky confessed his love to him like that. "Sounds perfect, Buck," he said. He pulled Bucky down for another kiss. "Now make love to me. I want to feel you all night long."

---

Bucky nodded in agreement and wiped the last of the fallen tears from his face before shimmying out of his pants. His cock was already hard and pressing against Steve's leg. "Help me with your clothes?" he asked softly and started pulling on the dark green shirt that Steve had on.

---

Steve slowly slipped off his shirt and he stretched his arms up so he could show off a little for Bucky. He wanted to see a smile on Bucky's face. "Let's do something new," Steve suggested, so desperate to make Bucky forget all the drama from today.

---

Bucky's heart skipped a beat and he locked eyes with his new fiancé. "New like how?" he asked. Bucky was just going to fuck Steve deep and slow for a long time and make it a night of gentle meaningful love making but he couldn't resist anything that Steve was willing to try to spice things up a little bit.

---

"Do you want to try tying me up?" Steve asked. "Or blindfolding me?" He knew Bucky liked having that done to him but he wasn't sure if Bucky liked doing it to others. "Or do you want me to only do things when you say so?"

---

"No blindfolds," Bucky said quickly. "I want you to see me tonight. But if you want to try being tied up I'd love to see you like that." He let out a shuttering sigh and trailed his fingers up Steve's torso. "You'd look so gorgeous not being able to touch yourself - waiting for me to help you get off."

---

Steve looked a little nervous to be tied but he trusted Bucky thoroughly and he loved him so damned much. He would do anything to make him happy. He reached down to grab a handful of Bucky's ass and he kissed him deeply. "Then tie me up," he growled.

---

Bucky's breath hitched again as he scrambled off Steve to get the soft velvet loops that he had discarded on the other side of the room after they were used earlier. "Off with your pants, Baby," he said in a sultry tone as he stood before Steve holding the ties and sporting his hard on.

---

Steve watched Bucky with interest, eyes focused on Bucky's hard cock. He gave him a coy smile as he slipped his pants down, giving Bucky a bit of a strip tease. "How do I look, Baby?"

---

"Fucking beautiful as ever," Bucky replied confidently as he watched Steve toss his pants across the room. He went for Steve's arms first and tied them to the headboards, looking at Steve occasionally to check that he was still okay with this. Once the arm ties were on, Bucky had a shy look come over him. "Do you think, if your back isn't hurting, I could tie your legs up on the headboard too? So you’re stretched to show your ass off to me?"

---

Steve was already flustered when Bucky tied his hands to the headboard. He gave a few tugs and made a soft sound when he realized he really couldn't touch Bucky until he was let free. He blushed even deeper at Bucky's request. "Go ahead," he said. "I want to give myself up to you."

---

"Steve, I only want to do it if you want to," Bucky said and started touching gently along Steve's thighs. "It'll let me get better access to you and get deeper inside you but if you'd rather be flat tied we can do that."

---

"Bucky, you can't tell me you can fuck me deeper like that and expect me to not say yes," Steve laughed. "Come on, let me see how good it'll be."

---

"Okay." Bucky licked his lips and pushed softly so he could get Steve's legs up and close to his head. Bucky tied them up next to his hands so he could still see Steve's face but also be able to get to his hole so much better than usual.

---

Steve's face heated up once he was securely tied against the headboard. This was definitely not vanilla Catholic sex this time. "How do I look?" Steve asked shyly, glanced over at Bucky.

---

Bucky parted his lips to speak but his mouth had gone dry and his throat seemed to be closing up. He looked Steve up and down and placed his pointer finger on top of Steve's taught hole waiting for him. "Ah, fuck me..." Bucky breathed out and licked his finger generously before sticking it slowly and purposefully inside Steve.

---

Steve let out a little moan at the first finger. "Good already, huh?" he asked. Bucky sounded like he was enjoying himself even with just this. "I wish I could touch you, though."

---

"Do you want me to let just your arms go? You'll sort of be able to touch me. But you have to promise not to touch your cock," Bucky said and massaged his finger in and out of Steve's ass.

---

"No, I want to try this first," Steve said. "Let me have another finger." He hummed softly. "I don't want you to be too gentle tonight, Baby. Not too rough. But I can handle more now, Buck."

---

Without warning, Bucky pushed in a second finger and let it stay there for a bit waiting for Steve to get used to it. "Keep telling me what you want me to do to you while you're like this," he demanded and grabbed the lube from the nightstand. Bucky poured some over Steve's ass and started pumping his two fingers into him and scissoring them around.

---

Steve arched his back off the bed and let out a low, keening sound as Bucky worked him open. "Fuck yeah," he breathed out. "So good for me, Bucky. Want your dick in me. God, I can't wait for your come to be inside me."

---

Bucky was getting more and more impatient as Steve talked. He spent a few minutes tonguing Steve's hole and getting it nice and wet with spit and lube. "Can you take me now, Baby, or do you need more time?"

---

Steve was hard and leaking on his stomach. "I want you now, Bucky. I can take it," he insisted. "I want that thick, heavy cock spreading me open." Steve was being freer with his words in a way that surprised even him.

---

"God, Steve!" Bucky gasped and lurched forward to kiss him. "I love it when you let loose like this. You're so perfect for me." He kissed him one more time before adjusting so his dick was resting on Steve's ass. Bucky lubed himself up and push his cockhead past the ring of muscles.

---

Steve smiled happily into the kiss and let out a moan as Bucky entered him. "Fuck yeah," he breathed out. The friction was maddening and Bucky didn't prep him for as long as usual, but Steve loved how it felt. His hands tugged reflexively on the velvet loops.

---

Bucky cautiously pushed all the way inside so his balls were squished up against Steve. "How's that feel, Babe? Not too deep? Do you hurt?" He checked and slowly dragged his cock back out all the way before pushing in slowly again. He could keep this calculated purposeful pace up all night if Steve wanted.

---

Steve turned his head to the inside of his arm to stifle the loud moan that escaped him. "Fuck, Bucky, that feels so good." His toes curled and he let his head fall back into the pillows. "Keep going, Baby."

---

Bucky kept doing the gradual in and out pushes for a long while until Steve looked to be just about losing his mind from Bucky going so slow. He sped up and slammed into Steve repeatedly, keeping a firm grip on Steve's hips so he really couldn't move anywhere.

---

Steve closed his eyes enjoying the slow fuck that turned into a rough pace. It wasn't long before Steve was asking for more, writhing under Bucky and making desperate noises. When Bucky started to really fuck him, he let out a soft shout and arched his back. "I'm so close, Buck."

---

"No, no, no, Baby," Bucky voiced quickly. "Wait it out. Not yet." He clamped a firm hand around the base of Steve's dick and held tight enough that it might help keep him from orgasming too soon. "Give it a few more minutes, Steve, I'll teach you to last."

---

Steve let out a sound that was a cross between a whine and a groan. He wanted to come so badly and he was aching for release. He bit the inside of his cheek, eyes focused on Bucky with a determined intensity to last.

---

For all his talk, Bucky wasn't going to last either. His movements were becoming more erratic and jolting and he was sweating a bit with the brutal pace his hips were trying to keep up with. He would be surprised if he wasn't sore tomorrow just from being clenched to keep as steady as possible. He let go of Steve's dick and gave him a wordless nod to go ahead and come when he needed to.

---

The mattress creaked under the pressure from Bucky's thrusts and Steve's ass clenched down tight on Bucky's dick as he did his best to wait it out. The second he got the approval, however, Steve shot off like a damn rocket. "Fuuuuck! Oh my god, Bucky," he cried out.

---

Bucky had to cover Steve's mouth out of worry that he would be too loud and wake up the girls. He rode out Steve's orgasm like that and kept thrusting inside him until he felt his own rippling through his body. He didn't get much warning before he was shooting deep inside Steve and could feel the gush of it around him.

---

Steve was grateful that Bucky covered his mouth because it would've been embarrassing to have woken the girls up by being too damn loud. He looked up at Bucky with a thoroughly fucked out expression when he was done. Some come dribbled out of Steve's hole around Bucky's dick. "That was so good."

---

Bucky panted and slipped out of Steve. He moved down so he could lick his come up as it made its way out of Steve's hole. He got what was there and then untied Steve's limbs so he could wrap himself up in his fiancé's arms nice and close.

---

Steve turned his head so he could watch Bucky as best he could as he licked up his come. The moment his hands were freed, Steve wrapped his arms around Bucky and hugged him tight. "Love you so damn much, Bucky Barnes."

---

"I love you, Steve Rogers," Bucky responded and nuzzled his head underneath Steve's chin. His body was damp with sweat and Steve's come that was squishing between them. "I love you and I love that you love me and that you want to be with me forever. And I love that you love my sisters and you take care of all of us."

---

Steve stroked Bucky's hair gently and kissed the top of his head over and over. "We take care of each other now. We're a team and we're going to be the best team there ever was." He closed his eyes and let out a happy sigh. "You've made my Christmas special."

---

Bucky laughed. "I gave you an up and down, whirlwind, roller coaster Christmas. Which is all you'll be getting from here on out in the Barnes family." He breathed in Steve's scent and stretched his leg out from under him. "You want me to get us a towel to clean up real quick and then go to bed?"

---

Steve kissed Bucky a few times and then said, "Let's clean up and get to bed. I want to fall asleep in your arms. Tomorrow is a new day and I can’t wait to wake up on our first day as an engaged couple.”

Chapter Text

Lilly was passed out asleep in her room with the cat - she had had a long day. After Becca got Lilly all settled in bed, she curled herself up on the couch with one of her new books to read. Bucky was still at work for another few hours and Steve had spent most of the day cleaning up the apartment and re-alphabetizing Bucky's record collection by artist then album.

---

Steve had given Becca her space after Christmas but now with their wedding coming up, he was desperate to make sure that she wasn't terribly upset with him again. After he tidied the place up, he took a seat next to her. "How are you liking the book?" he asked.

---

Without looking up she said, "Did you know that a black woman was a key component in getting John Glenn into space? I'm learning about what she and the space team did to get him ready for post-atmospheric flight. I'd like to go into space one day if I can."

---

"No, I didn't know that," Steve said pleasantly. "So did your brother and I upset you so much that you want to go into outer space?" he tried to joke lightly.

---

"That's not funny," Becca quipped and flipped to the next page in the book. "Besides, I don't try running away like Lilly does. Although, one time I did take a day trip to Coney Island by myself while Bucky was at work and Lilly was at practice. But that doesn't count."

---

Steve sighed. "I know. I'm just trying to make you feel better," he said. "You know, I was thinking maybe you can spend some weekends at my mom's if you want. That way you can have some time alone."

---

"Hah!" She let out a strained short laugh, "Bucky just wants me out of the apartment sometimes so he can drink or do whatever and I won't be around. I don't think so, Steve."

---

"This wasn't Bucky's idea. It was mine," he said. "Because as much as your brother wants to be good, he probably will drink for a little while. And I want you to not have to worry or feel like you're responsible for him."

---

Becca shut her book and folded her arms against her chest. "I am responsible for him. And I have been since far before you came around. I was ten when he tried to kill himself. Lilly was only eight. And she's the one who found him like that. I've been responsible for Bucky since then."

---

Steve got a sad look on his face when she brought up the attempted suicide. "Becs, you shouldn't have to be responsible, as a kid, for your adult brother. I'm here for you - all of you. You deserve to get to be a kid."

---

"That's nice, Steve, but I stopped being a kid when my parents died." She opened her book back up again and flipped to the page she was on, seeming to be ignoring Steve before adding, "But if your mom wants me over some weekends, I don't mind doing that."

---

"You didn't have to stop being a kid," Steve said. "You know I'm doing my best for you guys, right? And I'm doing my best to get Bucky clean, too."

---

"I know," she confessed with a quick glance at Steve. "What I'm saying is that your best and my best might not be enough to get Bucky to stay sober. And, I mean, first, he's got to admit to himself that he actually has a problem. I know he fights anyone who suggests he might be a bit of an alcoholic."

---

"I told him he's an alcoholic. And he seemed to listen, even if he didn't admit it," Steve said. "It's going to be hard for him to give up. And he may never fully be able to," he murmured. "But he needs our unconditional love and support, Becca. If he's going to have any chance at this, he can't be afraid of you if he fails."

---

"Why would he be afraid of me?" She asked defensively. "If he doesn't know I'm disappointed then it'll never make an impact to get him to stop. We can't just give him a hug and a free pass every time he drinks cause then he will think it's okay again."

---

"He knows you're disappointed in him. You don't have to remind him," Steve said. "He won't visit your parents even when your dad forgave him for dumb stuff he's done just because he thinks they'd be disappointed in him too." Steve sighed. "Listen, as an officer, I've dealt with people a lot worse off than Bucky. And the thing I always hear from addicts is that they would've been better if they had support from their family."

---

Becca shook her head and said, "He has my support. He just needs to decide that he's going to do this and stick with it and not sneak around behind my back to drink. When he decides that he is doing this for all of us, he has my support. But I won't be cleaning up after him anymore on the days that he fucks up. That's on him."

---

"That's not unconditional support," Steve said sternly. "And that does nothing to help him, Becca. You don't have to approve of him messing up to support him through it." He sighed. "Maybe when someone falls in love with you and helps you through a mess you made yourself, you'll understand what I mean."

---

"Maybe your love blinds you to what he does," Becca snapped back. She sighed and softened then. "If you're giving him time and grace and unconditional support then you have to give me the same. That means if I do snap at him from time to time you need to just gently remind me what we are trying to do. I need time and proof before I'll believe that Bucky really will change."

---

"Becca, of course, I would do the same for you," he said. "I love you and I will always be there for you no matter what." He knew he wasn't her parent or even as much of a brother as Bucky was, but she was family to him. "Thank you for being honest with me. I really do appreciate you talking to me about this."

---

"Whatever, Steve." She sighed and got up from the couch. "I'm going to go read in my room in peace."

A little while longer, Bucky came back from work and happily trotted into the apartment holding out three VHS tapes. "I bought Star Wars!" He exclaimed and thrust them out to Steve. "I know what we are doing tonight."

---

When Bucky came back, Steve smiled brightly over at him and said, "That's great. I was planning on going out for a run, I'm sure you'll have fun with the girls.”

---

"No, Star Wars together, as a family, Steve," Bucky insisted and moved to trap Steve as best as he could. "You can run in the morning. Star Wars tonight." He kissed him a few times and impatiently nuzzled his chin.

---

Steve smiled dumbly at the kisses and wrapped his arms around Bucky tightly. "Alright, alright, you win," he gave in right away. "But I want to have some alone time first. Just a few minutes."

---

"Okay, alone time then Star Wars," Bucky conceded and plopped the tapes on the coffee table. "Are the girls home? They haven't come say hello. I haven't seen them since they went to sleep last night."

---

Steve nodded. "Lilly is napping, I think. And Becca is reading a book in her room." He kissed Bucky's cheek. "I had a chat with her. I'm trying to get her to be nicer to you and I think she's going to try."

---

"Okay, well we will see," Bucky scoffed and slipped his hand with Steve's to pull him into their room. Bucky started taking off his clothes that he wore to work until he was down to his underwear and socks. "I need to shower before we watch movies."

---

"I mean it," Steve said softly as he watched Bucky undress. "I really think that things are going to get better." Steve touched along Bucky's back. "Can I join you in the shower, Baby?"

---

"Of course, you can." Bucky smiled and dropped his boxer briefs. "I'll get it warmed up." He went to the bathroom and turned the shower on waiting for Steve. Bucky knew Steve wanted to have a serious talk and he was going to do his best to distract him from it as long as he possibly could.

---

Steve knew that Bucky would try and avoid having this conversation. He didn't want to ruin a good night but he had to be a responsible adult too. So he would give into him just a little bit but he wouldn’t let Bucky get the best of him with this. Steve came up behind Bucky and ran a hand over his back. "Did you have a good day at work?"

---

Bucky turned and hugged a now naked Steve to him. "Yeah, it was okay. Clint was sick so I had to pretty much take care of everything. But Reggie did help with some asshole customers that I couldn't handle on my own so that was at least nice of him. How was your day?"

---

Steve liked to hear that Bucky didn't have too hard of a time at work. "It was good. I went down to the precinct to start setting myself back up again and to say hello while the girls were at school. I'm going to miss being around for them all the time."

---

Bucky hopped into the shower and ran his fingers through his hair. "You'll still be around for them, Baby. Just not all day like you have been. Don't you think it'll be nice to get back to work a bit? I know you miss it. Was Natasha there today?"

---

"I miss having a bit of action and surprise in my life. There's only so many things I can craft to brighten this place up," Steve admitted. "And, yeah, Natasha was there. She says hello, by the way, and claims she's going to beat you up for not inviting her to the wedding."

---

"Why was it my job to invite her? If anyone should be beaten up, it's you." Bucky rubbed the soap up and down his body and cramped next to Steve as he tried to get his back washed. The shower really was too small for two grown ass men to share.

---

Steve took the soap and started to wash Bucky's back for him. "I don’t know. I think she's just looking for an excuse to beat you up," he answered pleasantly. "So have you picked out my ring yet? I can't wait to see it."

---

"I might have gone when you were sleeping in the other morning." Bucky leaned forward to let Steve wash his back. "I might have it hidden somewhere in the apartment. And I might be waiting to give it to you until we can have another quiet night alone when I'm not rushed to get to work in the morning."

---

Steve gasped excitedly and grinned. "Aw, but, Buck, I want to see it," he complained. Steve kissed along Bucky's neck and nibbled affectionately at his ear. "Come on, let me see. We have the whole night in and I can play with it while we watch Star Wars."

---

"Tough fucking luck, Rogers," Bucky said and turned to kiss Steve. "I'll decide when you get it. Might be tonight, it might not be. We will see if I think you deserve it. Also, you best pay attention to Star Wars and not be distracted by anything else."

---

Steve chuckled at Bucky's stubbornness and he gave him a kiss on the shoulder. "Next time I get you a present, I'm going to tease you forever over it before giving it to you," he said in an empty threat.

---

Bucky took longer than usual to get cleaned up and after he was out of the shower he wrapped up in a towel and curled up in bed. "I could fall asleep like this," he said as Steve was toweling himself dry and giving Bucky soft but knowing looks.

---

"I know you could. But somebody wants to watch movies," Steve said as he laid down next to him. He kissed Bucky's face a few times and sighed happily. "I love you, Bucky."

---

"I love you too, Steve," Bucky said and kissed Steve on the lips for a long moment. "Guess I should probably get dressed." He got up and dried himself off, stretching out a little bit as he went. He then pulled on a pair of dark grey sweatpants and a loose navy tee - completely forgoing any underwear.

---

Steve watched Bucky with interest as he dressed and smiled. "Pick out what I should wear for the rest of the night," he suggested lightly. Steve propped his head up on his hand. "May I suggest, though. I think I'd look good if I wore a ring."

---

Bucky nodded and pulled one of his own sweaters from his stash. It was purple and grey and would be very tight on Steve. He also tossed Steve his other pair of sweatpants, which were black and fuzzy on the inside. "You'll get your ring when I say so," he added as he tossed the clothes to him.

---

Steve pulled on the clothes, happy that Bucky picked the more comfortable sweats for him. "What if I tickle you into giving up where the ring is?"

---

"That's cheating and you know it," Bucky said but went to rummage around in the closet anyway. "Sit on the bed, close your eyes, and be fucking patient."

---

Steve gasped excitedly when Bucky told him to close his eyes. He did as he was told and squirmed in his spot, anxious and happy. He hoped this wasn’t a trick and Bucky was going to give him something else. But that didn’t really seem like Bucky.

---

It took Bucky a minute to get the small box from where he had it hidden but soon he was down on one knee in front of Steve with it in his outstretched hands. "Okay, Punk, open your eyes."

---

When he was allowed to open his eyes, Steve had the happiest smile on his face. He rushed forward and kissed Bucky deeply as he took the box gingerly from his hands so he could open it.

---

Bucky couldn't help biting his lip in nervous anticipation while Steve took the box from him and opened it up. He wasn't sure if Steve would like it or not. He had Lilly tell him what sort of rings Steve had liked best while they were shopping and he also consulted Steve’s mother, but Bucky still wasn't sure if this was quite the best one for him. "Do you like it, Baby?" He asked quietly and stared up at Steve.

---

Steve felt tears welling up in his eyes when he saw the ring. It was perfect - a silver claddagh just like his mom's, except hers was gold. Steve liked that his ring matched Bucky's in color. He put it on and pulled Bucky into a tight hug. "You're so good to me, Baby."

---

Bucky hugged Steve and inhaled his scent. "I was lucky to find that one. Apparently, they just had a couple shipped in from Ireland. I got the last one available. I didn't know if it'd be good enough for you but I hoped..." He nuzzled Steve's neck and kissed it. "I hoped you'd like it."

---

"Buck, it’s better than I could have dreamed of," Steve said in a love-struck tone. He smiled over and then looked at how perfectly it fit on his hand. "I must have done something right to deserve a wonderful husband like you."

---

"Don't know about all that," Bucky said and hopped up on the bed next to Steve. "But I'm glad you chose me. Wouldn't dream of being with anyone else. I love you so much." He moved to straddle Steve and kissed up his neck and face. "Are you happy now? Won't tickle me?"

---

Steve wrapped his arms around the small of Bucky's back and smiled up at him. "No tickling. I promise." He slid a hand up Bucky's shirt and he leaned up to kiss him again. "We should probably get the girls. Tread lightly with Becca. I interrupted her reading already and she may still be a bit cross with me."

---

"Isn't she always?" Bucky asked. He got up to get a jacket to pull on and caught sight of his dad's old navy uniform tucked in the back. He ran a hand down it carefully and wished his father could be there to meet Steve and go to Seneca with them sometime and attend their wedding. He knew his dad would have loved Steve so much. Bucky pulled his jacket on and readjusted the navy uniform one more time before closing his closet and heading out the door with Steve.

---

Steve noticed Bucky touching the uniform. Bucky never showed it to him before but he also never saw Bucky wear it, so he suspected it once belonged to his father. Steve knocked on the girls' door before opening it. "Hey, we've got Star Wars. You guys want to join?"

---

Becca put down her book and her eyes got wide. "You bought the tapes?" She asked excitedly. She slipped quietly into Lilly's room and roused her from her nap, enticing her with Star Wars. Once the first movie was set up, they all settled on the couch with Steve between Bucky and Becca as a buffer and Lilly curled up in Bucky's lap. Steve was messing with his ring again and Bucky clamped his hand over it so Steve would pay attention as the movie started.

---

Steve regretted not seeing it sooner. By the end of the first movie, he was on the edge of his seat and his mouth hung open. The best part about it was how much he thought the main character looked like Bucky. Sure, Luke was a little scrawnier and had lighter hair, but there was still a striking resemblance. Steve also loved the blush of denial on Bucky’s face when he told him this. But he could tell Bucky loved the compliment and being compared to one of his all-time favorite protagonists. "Christ, how did I never see this before?" Steve asked dramatically, throwing his arms out to gesture widely at the TV. "I'm calling my mom."

---

"You're going to call your mom to tell her about Star Wars?" Bucky said and Lilly giggled sleepily. "By all means, Steve, go ahead if you like. You've still got two whole movies to go through." He gave Lilly a squeezing hug. "But they can wait for another day cause my little monster is too tired and has a special school day tomorrow because she has to retake a history test before classes start up again," he said.

---

Steve paused then realized the hour and decided he should probably wait until tomorrow to watch the next one. "Can’t Lilly skip tomorrow so we can watch the rest?" Steve joked.

---

"No," Becca said. "She has a test in math tomorrow as well. She forgot to tell Bucky she failed that one."

Bucky looked from Becca to Lilly. He thought for a moment. "Why didn't I know about this test? Did you study for it?"

---

"Becca!" Lilly scolded, angry that she ratted her out. She hadn't studied at all and now Bucky was going to get angry with her. "I'll be fine," she insisted. "I did extra credit homework the other day, so if I get a bad grade it'll be not so bad."

---

"What grade did you get on the extra credit?" Bucky asked in concern. "Because one or two points aren’t going to save your grades in class." Bucky looked to Steve and gestured in a way that said 'help me out here'.

---

"I got… a grade," Lilly said vaguely. Becca huffed and got up to go to bed because she didn't want to be annoyed more by Lilly's lack of diligence about school.

Steve rubbed the side of his face and said, "Lilly, we are studying right now. I need you to grab your review sheet."

---

Lilly protested for a few seconds before slipping off of Bucky's lap and going to get her math things. Bucky rested against Steve for a second. "What are we going to do with her? She just won't stay focused on school." He felt responsible for Lilly's lack of academic prowess. Maybe if he had been more proactive about her getting her work done well, then she would be better off. He was at least grateful that now Steve was once again distracted by something so he wouldn't have a chat with Bucky. Bucky knew they had one coming and he was going to put it off for a long time if he could.

---

"We could get her a tutor," Steve said. "Maybe if she has someone personalize her education, she will be able to focus more." He kissed Bucky's cheek and got up so he could go with Lilly to the kitchen. He stayed up for an hour helping her through her homework and explaining everything patiently to her even though it was getting pretty late. He sent her off to bed with the sheet mostly done. He could quiz her on the walk to school.

---

Bucky waited on the couch while Steve helped Lilly. He was shit with math and wouldn't be able to help at all so he just curled up under a blanket and listened to his fiancé helping his little sister with her homework. After a while, he started to drift off to sleep and was jolted from the beginning of a dream by Steve’s gentle voice by his ear telling him it was time for bed.

---

Steve carried Bucky off to their bedroom. He laid him down on the bed gently and curled up next to him. "I think Lilly is annoyed that I made her spend so much time on homework."

---

Bucky wrapped himself around Steve and sighed. "She will get over it. Don't worry." He reached for Steve's hand and clasped it tightly, feeling the ring there on his finger. He couldn't wait for Steve's mom to see it. He hoped that she would like it. "Natasha can come to our ceremony if she wants to," Bucky murmured.

---

Steve gave Bucky a happy smile at the suggestion. "Are you sure, Baby? I know it's an important day for you, too, and I don't want you to feel obligated to have people come for my sake."

---

"Natasha, your mother, Becca, and Lilly - that's it," he said. “And Clint," he added as an after thought. "But only if that's okay with you, too." Bucky pressed slow, kind kisses to wherever he could reach on Steve. He was too tired to have sex but he was never too tired to praise Steve's body a little bit with kisses and touches.

---

"Clint is welcome. I trust him," Steve said. "And he's your best friend." He hummed happily at the kisses and he responded by touching up Bucky's back and playing with his hair. "You're beautiful, you know that?"

---

Bucky came up for air to say, "You've told me," before ducking back down to where he was sucking a hickey on Steve's collarbone. He had worked his purple sweater up Steve's torso so it was bunched at his neck and Bucky had his head inside so he could access Steve's skin.

---

Steve couldn't help the laugh that escaped him when Bucky stuck his head up his sweater. "I know you're trying to avoid talking to me," he said calmly as he massaged the back of Bucky's neck and waited a few seconds before saying what he really wanted to say, "I’d like to go into our marriage without any secrets."

---

Bucky stopped and bit Steve lightly before pulling back. "You just want to talk about how I should stop drinking and I don't want to have that conversation for the millionth time." He sat up in bed and pulled an extra blanket around his shoulders.

---

"I actually don't," Steve said. "Not right now, at least." Steve reached up to play with Bucky's hair. "I was actually going to talk about you and your parents," he said softly.

---

Bucky readjusted so he could stretch out his legs on the bed. "Okay." He nodded. "What about them?" He wasn't sure where Steve was going with it but he wasn't really in the mood to get talking about his parents just to get horribly upset and have a headache.

---

"You don't visit them at all," Steve started. He reached out so he could lace his fingers with Bucky's. "How come, Baby?" Becca had already said what she believed, but he wanted to talk to Bucky about it.

---

Bucky shrugged and looked away from Steve. "Don't know," he mumbled and scratched a hand through his hair. But Bucky knew exactly why he was too nervous to go down there but it embarrassed him to admit and he didn't want Steve to think he was a terrible son for being afraid.

---

"Sweetheart," Steve said gently. "You know I love you and I won't judge you. It's against my religion for me to judge," he joked softly. "You can tell me."

---

Bucky curled the blanket around him tighter and pulled his legs in against his chest. He sighed and glanced at Steve. "They'd be so angry and disappointed in me if they'd been able to see how I acted after they died. They'd know what a terrible brother I was and how much I went off the rails instead of being here for the girls."

---

Steve didn't want to stifle Bucky, so he kept a little distance as he continued to pet Bucky's hair. "You've been there for them, Buck. You dropped your dreams so you could keep them together," Steve said. "I know you messed up and Becca had to step up where you lacked. But you're not a terrible brother. Not in the slightest."

---

Bucky scoffed and pulled away slightly. "I self-destructed, Steve. Becca - who should have been able to grieve and be a kid - had to clean me up when I came home drunk and covered in blood from a bar fight. My sick grandmother had to go to parent-teacher meetings at school because I was downtown somewhere shacked up for the day with some guy. And Lilly -" Bucky stopped abruptly. He knew he needed to tell Steve about that night when Lilly found him but he hated himself so much when he thought about it.

---

Steve pet a hand up and down Bucky’s arm in encouragement. "You were so young still when they died and had so much responsibility thrown upon you. Nobody would handle that well, Buck. You did your best and you kept them together. You cleaned up and you're so much better for it." He sighed. "I think the only person around here who isn't ready to forgive you is yourself."

---

"I don't know if I should be forgiven for that shit, Steve," Bucky said and reached for his fiancé's hand. "I fucked up so bad and if my parents knew..." He shook his head. "You don't even know the worst of it. And if they knew, they'd chew me out for being so irresponsible."

---

Steve immediately brought Bucky's hand to his lips so he could give it a kiss. "Your dad forgave you when he found you doing hard drugs and he rewarded you when you cleaned up. Why wouldn't he do the same now?" he asked. "No matter what happened, Baby, I'll always love you."

---

Bucky stared at Steve for a hard minute, taking in his determined and aware eyes. Steve wasn't confused or curious. He fucking knew. Goddamn it, he knew what happened. "Fuck." Bucky let out a humorless laugh. "Becca told you, didn't she? When? Christmas?"

---

Steve had a guilty look on his face. "Don't get mad at her," he murmured. "She only said it cause she was worried about you." And Lilly told him even earlier than when Becca brought it up but she made Steve promise not to tell.

---

Bucky clenched his jaw and nodded slowly, not looking at Steve. He didn't know what to say. He figured Steve was probably upset with him about it. Hell, Bucky always felt like shit when he thought about it. He never really sought helped after that. He couldn't afford a therapist or anything.

---

Steve was quiet and gave Bucky an opportunity to speak first. But when he didn't say anything, Steve spoke instead. "I was angry at first," he admitted. "But then all I felt was sadness that I couldn't be there for you and the girls back then." He watched Bucky closely. "I just hope you never feel that drowned again."

---

"Of course you're angry." Bucky breathed a hefty sigh. "I almost abandoned them." He paused and picked at a fuzzy on his sweatpants. "I assume they told you that Lilly had to find me passed out in the bathroom. She was only eight. Eight years old, parents dead, sick grandmother, and a suicidal guardian near dead in the apartment."

---

"I'm not angry anymore, Buck. That feeling passed." Steve cupped the side of Bucky's face and stroked his thumb over his jaw. "It's in the past. And we have to leave it there. Have you ever spoken to Lilly about it?"

---

"Yeah," Bucky said and sniffled. "They wouldn't tell me what happened for about a year afterwards. But when they finally did... I almost considered giving up custody of them because I'd fucked up so bad already and they deserved better – they deserve better." Bucky sank back down into the bed and rolled to face Steve. "Apparently, Lilly's bad nightmares started getting a lot worse about right after that night. Seeing me like that traumatized her."

---

Steve leaned in to kiss Bucky’s cheek before pulling him in for a tight hug. "Do you think a therapist would help for any of you?" Steve asked. "We can afford it now. I'll be going back to my regular work pay."

---

Bucky laughed. "What's a therapist going to do at this point? We've all survived through much worse in the past few years. I think we're set." He chewed his lip and mumbled, "Nothing shakes a Barnes, apparently."

---

"A therapist could help. Because Lilly still tries to run away and has nightmares, you still don't visit your parents' graves, and Becca can't let herself be a kid," Steve answered.

---

Bucky thought for a minute. "I'll have to go visit them since you told them I have to tell them something big." He ignored the rest of what Steve said, too worried about the whole thing to think about it.

---

"I'm glad you're going to see them," Steve murmured. "I think they'd be proud that you managed to get yourself together and keep your family under one roof."

---

"Maybe," Bucky conceded and rested a hand on Steve's chest. "Becca believes that they can hear us when we talk to them at their graves. I'm not sure that's really true but it makes her and Lilly feel better at least."

---

"I think she's right. I spoke to them a lot when I visited. Told them a lot of good stuff about you and how well the girls were doing," Steve said. "I think they'd be happy you came."

---

"I think they are probably confused since I never told them I was gay while they were alive. They probably got a bit of an afterlife shock when you showed up." Bucky chuckled. "I know for a fact they wouldn't mind, though."

---

"Well, at least you don't have to worry about answering a bunch of silly questions for it. Sometimes my mom asks things and I know she means well, but it's..." Steve trailed off and laughed a little.

---

Bucky smiled and nudged Steve. "What's she ask? Please tell me she didn't ask you if you were top or bottom. I'd be mortified if my parents asked me that." He imagined how that conversation would go, 'Actually, Mom, Dad, I give and receive - if you know what I mean.'

---

Steve groaned and hid his face in the pillow. "She did. She asked how sex worked. Do you realize how awkward it is to explain how gay sex works to your Catholic mom?" He made a pathetic sound. "She also gave me an AIDS pamphlet from her old hospital and asked me to get tested."

---

"Okay but she's a nurse. How could she not know how gay sex worked?" Bucky laughed. "But, I have heard that AIDS is becoming a big problem. They don't know how to cure it either. Pretty scary shit."

---

"She worked in the ER. She was more used to car accidents than guys fucking each other into an injury," Steve said. That was quite an image. He wouldn’t really put it past him and Bucky to have a serious injury from sex.

---

Bucky curled up close to Steve and kissed his nose. "What else did she ask about?" He almost wished he did get to have a chat like that with his parents. He felt like he was missing out on something just a little bit.

---

Steve sighed. "She asked if I ever tried being intimate with a woman first. And she asked if it's just you or if I liked other guys that she didn't know about." He basically expected that question from his mother but it still hurt a bit.

---

"What'd you tell her?" Bucky asked and slipped an arm around Steve. "Because, I know you made out with guys before, but did she like ask if you wanted to try a woman just in case?" He looked down. "I know your mom would probably rather see you with a woman."

---

"Well, I told her I'd liked other guys but you are my first true love," Steve said. "It's not that she would rather see me with a woman. It's just that after I got shot, she's afraid of what other people may do to us."

---

Bucky held Steve's gaze. "Does she want you to leave me?" He asked tentatively. "Since you got hurt because of me, and I'm not religious, and I swear and drink, and I'm a man, and sort of a hippie, and not really what a good Catholic nurse wants for her son."

---

Steve looked away for a moment with a frown. "She loves you and the girls. And she knows you make me happy," he said. He didn't want to say it, but he had to be honest with Bucky. "But the drinking is a problem for her, even if she won't say it. My dad was an alcoholic and it wore her down over the years."

---

"I don't drink as much as I used to. I really cut back. You know I did," Bucky said urgently and rested his head on Steve's chest. "Christmas was just a disaster and I'm so sorry your mom was there to see it. I wasn't even drunk, though. I had a couple beers while you guys were gone and then about two shots of whiskey in my drink. I wasn't getting drunk. I was just having a little bit."

---

“I know you cut back, Buck. But you still have a drinking problem even if you weren’t trying to get drunk on Christmas,” Steve said softly, not wanting to offend Bucky. “Christmas was a shock for her.” He paused and thought for a second, “Things got bad for us, too, but… not in the same way they got bad for you.”

---

"What do you mean they got bad for you?" Bucky whispered, automatically assuming he was talking about Bucky. "Did your mom get upset with you because of me? Did Becca explode on you two?" He figured Becca had some choice words about Bucky and being alone with Sarah probably lent itself to a lot of time to vent.

---

"What I mean is… We dealt with my dad dying and with poverty and a bunch of other stuff, but my mom is more... proper, I guess? And she had the church to help, so we still had some sort of support even when we went through tough times," Steve explained. "So when she saw how bad times were handled here, it was a shock for her that some families don't suffer as quietly as she did."

---

"We don't suffer quietly," Bucky agreed. "We act out and we drink and smash things and yell and try to overdose or run away or barricade the door to our rooms." He touched Steve's face. "Guess your mom isn't used to Barnes'."

---

"I know," Steve said fondly. "Thankfully, I'm the one marrying you. She will get used to it over time, I think. But she's being my mom and worrying for me right now."

---

"Can I ask what exactly she's worried about? Even though Becca thinks differently, I'm not going to try to kill myself again. And I'm not going to leave you. And I love you so much and that should be enough, right?" Bucky rambled. "I just want her to feel confident that you'll be safe here."

---

Steve sighed. "Outside of the-whole-world-being-homophobic thing," he started. "She's worried that things might get real bad for whatever reason and I'd be too committed to leave you even if it was hurting me to stay."

---

"That could be true of anyone you could be with." Bucky was confused. "She just doesn't have confidence in me anymore, does she?" He asked worriedly. "I fucked up once - once, Steve. I haven't hurt you or abused you or been mean to you - either sober or not. What does she think I'm going to do to you?" He was getting defensive now. He tried not to, since it was Steve's mom they were talking about, but Bucky usually couldn't help getting defensive about most things.

---

"Baby, she knows you love me. She knows you'd go through hell and back for me. She's allowed to be worried when she comes over for Christmas and has Becca talking about how much of an alcoholic you are and how you tried to kill yourself." Steve did his best to keep calm but he was always a little protective over his mom. "She doesn't know it's not as bad as it seems."

---

"I'm not an alcoholic," Bucky repeated for what felt like the thousandth time. "And why did Becca have to go telling your mom about me trying to kill myself? She had no right." Bucky was up off the bed now. Pacing his way towards his closet to get some clothes to go out in. He needed a walk around the block or something. What he needed was a couple of shots and a pint or two and then a nap. But there was no way Steve would let him have that.

---

"Bucky," Steve said in a tired tone as Bucky got out of bed and grabbed his jacket. "Come back to bed. It's late and you know how the streets can get at night," he said grumpily.

---

"I just want to go for a walk. I promise," Bucky said and shot Steve a look. "I need just a few minutes by myself." He would just walk down a few blocks to the park and then come back. He wouldn't cave and go to the bar. He'd just take a walk. So he left swiftly and headed down to the bodega. Bucky was only out for about an hour but when he got home, he was too tired and a little upset and wanted to be alone, so he crashed on the couch.

---

When Steve heard Bucky return and not come to bed, he felt a bit angry but let him have his space. Come the early morning, he woke up to start breakfast early for everyone and saw Bucky sleeping on the couch with bottles of Coca Cola on the table. He paused and then went to Becca's room to gently wake her up. "I want you to see something."

---

"It's early, Steve," Becca grumbled but followed him out to the living room anyway. Steve pointed at the sleeping Bucky and at the overabundance of Coca Cola bottles on the table. She picked one up and popped off the top. "Okay?" She nodded and headed back to her room to get dressed, taking the bottle with her to drink.

---

"Becs," Steve huffed out softly as she took the bottle and walked away. He followed her, stopping her before she walked into her room. "Bucky and I had a disagreement last night. He went out for a walk and came back with these. Not booze," he said quietly so Bucky wouldn't wake up. "He's trying. And he's getting better."

---

"He bought soda once." Becca tilted her head slightly. "One time after one disagreement. I'll feel better if he does it again," she said and slipped into her room.

Bucky tossed around on the couch a few times before rubbing at his face and sitting up. He noticed Steve and then noticed where he had fallen asleep and then noticed all the glass coke bottles. "I sort of forgot I bought those. Probably wasn't a great idea."

---

God, Becca could be brutal sometimes. It drove Steve up a wall but he couldn't blame her for being defensive. He returned to Bucky and sat next to him so he could cuddle with his fiancé and feel better. "It wasn't so bad of an idea. Becca already stole one to drink."

---

"Oh, good. Sugar for breakfast." Bucky chuckled. "Hey, tomorrow's New Year's Eve, 1985." He smiled and kissed Steve. "Are we doing anything special or just having dinner the four of us and watching the celebration?"

---

Steve smiled over at him and said, "I was thinking about making a bunch of food and celebrating just the four of us. I will make loads of snacks. Maybe even have snacks for dinner."

---

"Okay, that sounds good to me." Bucky smiled and looked at the coke bottles again. "Oh," he remembered. "That's why I bought the soda. I knew I wouldn't be able to drink on New Year’s so I got those instead. Try to sort of trick myself." He wasn't going to completely stop drinking. He was going to somehow convince Steve to let him have the occasional drink or night out. Just so long as Becca wasn't around and Steve was there then he figured he could manage to get him to agree.

---

"Smart," Steve complimented, smiling proudly at him. He squeezed Bucky's hand and then stood up. "I'm going to start making breakfast and packing lunches. Any requests?" he asked.

---

"Here, I'll help you out." Bucky smiled and got up too and scratched at his stomach. "I should hide this soda before Lilly sees it and takes it all for herself." He laughed and rounded up the glass bottles into an extra record crate so he could put them away in the laundry room shelf, just a little bit proud of himself for the initiative to buy the sodas.

Chapter Text

On New Year's Eve, Steve sent Bucky and the girls out to go do something while he got the house ready. When they returned, Steve had it decorated with streamers and the sort and cooked plenty of desserts and a cake that had '1985' written in frosting. He was pretty damn excited for tonight and had a few games for them to play as well.

---

Bucky walked into the mess of streamers and decorations and choked on a laugh. He was very soon going to be church married to the biggest goof ball he had ever known. "Stevie, this is so nice and festive!" He said and jumped Steve in a hug. "It's great. Thank you, Baby."

---

"It gets better - look!" Steve said as he showed off a bowl full of noisemakers and poppers for them to set off when midnight struck. He even had cheesy, plastic hats that had ‘1985’ written on it and he put one on each of their heads. "This is going to be the start to the best year ever," he said confidently.

---

"Alright there, Rogers." Bucky's eyes were wide and he could see Becca in the corner of his eye taking off the hat and gently setting it down on the table. "You get into this shit, don't you?" He asked and gave Lilly a look. Lilly was already reaching for a popper, deciding it was best to give it a try before midnight.

---

Steve nodded his head. "Come on, you can't expect me to not go all-out for the year that I'm marrying you," he stated. Raphael came walking up to Bucky and gave a big, pathetic meow because Steve clipped a bow tie to his collar to make him festive.

---

Bucky picked up the cat. "Oh my god. Can no one in this house leave Raph alone?" He asked and pet his head and gave him a little kiss. "You poor baby." He handed him off to Becca and reached for Steve. "I'm marrying you in three days. Just three more days and at least the church and your god will see us as husbands. Then we just wait for the rest of the law."

---

The cat mewled at Becca once he was passed off. Steve thought that he was being a little over dramatic about the whole thing. Steve smiled and wrapped his arms around Bucky tightly. "I can't wait," he said dreamily. "It's going to be the best day of my life."

---

"Best day of mine, too." Bucky smiled and kissed Steve for a long moment. "I love you so much." He caressed Steve's face carefully. "When are we having dinner? Do we have some time for..." Bucky bit his lip and nodded towards their bedroom discreetly.

---

Steve laughed at the nod. "Lucky for you, dinner is cake, double chocolate chip cookies, and brownies and ice cream with this new brownie recipe I found," Steve said, very pleased with himself. "So we can relax for a bit." Steve was already dragging Bucky to their room.

---

"Fucking great." Bucky shook his head with a smile and let himself be led to their room. Once they were there, Bucky gently shoved Steve against the closed door and started kissing him quickly. He was pretty damn impatient because they hadn't done anything in two days. Bucky's fingers were already unzipping Steve's pants and their lips were locked together.

---

Steve was absolutely insufferable. He knew that Bucky would want to fuck on New Year's Eve so he even bought a pair of briefs that said '1985!' and was wearing them right now. He smirked against Bucky's lips and gave his hair a little tug while they kissed. "Someone's eager," he purred.

---

"I want to usher out 1984 by riding your cock," Bucky said like it was the obvious thing to do. He could have added a 'duh' for good measure. "Now let's have it." He smirked and knelt down to pull Steve's pants off the rest of the way. He noticed the new tight fitting bright blue briefs and he felt a raised design when he cupped Steve's ass. He pushed Steve to turn around and saw the colorful '1985!' plastered on his cheeks. He chuckled, "You're a punk, Steve."

---

Steve let out a loud laugh when he got Bucky to look at the text on his ass. "You like it? I bought it just to wear for you." He grabbed at Bucky's jeans and started to take them off. "I'll let you do the honors of removing them from me."

---

"I'm not sure I want to touch those ever again." Bucky grinned cheekily. "Maybe I'll just lay on the bed and finger myself open while you take them off and get yourself ready to fuck me." He stepped the rest of the way out of his pants and quickly disposed of his shirt and socks.

---

"But I love opening you up," Steve said in a pathetic tone. He usually was more reserved about what he wanted but when Steve liked doing something in bed, he was a bit of a stubborn ox about it. "Wouldn't you prefer to have me eat you out, anyway?"

---

"You drive a hard bargain, Steve," Bucky said and flopped on the bed with his legs spread wide for Steve and his hand tugging on his cock to wake it up. "I guess I'll let you do what you want with me. You're a little pushy in bed, though, I'll have you know."

---

Steve drank in the sight of his fiancé on the bed working his cock for him, beyond thankful for how lucky he was to have him. "Jesus, you look so good," he groaned. He got the lube out but didn't prepare Bucky yet. Instead, he took his time to kiss and suck marks on the insides of his thighs. "I'm not pushy," he argued lightly, unaware of how stubborn he could get.

---

"Yes, you are." Bucky laughed and rested his head back against the pillows. "You're demanding when things don't go the way you planned, you can't handle me trying to punish you by taking things away like being able to finger me open, and you won't let me do certain things like play with Phillip or watch any porn. Admit it, Baby, you're pushy, sexually."

---

"What? No..." Steve started to protest but then he realized that Bucky was right. "Oh my god, I'm the controlling boyfriend," he gasped. Steve got a look in his eye that seemed to tell that he was questioning whether he was giving Bucky a healthy relationship or not.

---

Bucky sat up and pulled Steve into his lap. "Yeah, you are," he said matter-of-factly - not meaning anything by it, just telling it like it was. He kissed Steve's lips and hoped that his erection against Steve's hip didn't bug him too much.

---

"I'm sorry, Baby," Steve said. "Do you want to finger yourself, then?" Bucky would be able to see the physical strain in Steve's face for not getting the opportunity to prep Bucky tonight, but he would get over it quickly enough. Steve wasn't a total control freak.

---

"No, Baby, it's fine." Bucky laughed and tackled Steve to the bed. "Just lighten up a little. Let things flow. You don't have to dictate every next move for us to have a really wonderful and beautiful time making love, okay?" He moved around so his ass was close to Steve's mouth and his mouth was close enough to Steve's cock. "Go ahead and eat me out if you want."

---

Steve looked worried until Bucky tackled him to the bed. He was fine after that. Next time, he would let Bucky lead more. Steve dove right into Bucky's ass, spreading his cheeks and laving his tongue over the hole so he could get Bucky's ass nice and wet.

---

Bucky gasped at the sudden feeling on his hole and he gripped Steve's thighs tight. He wanted to do his best to blow Steve while he was licking him open so he swallowed Steve's cock down his throat and started bobbing his head up and down.

---

"Bucky-" Steve gasped out. It was incredibly hot to have Bucky blowing him while he ate his ass out. He pushed his tongue past the ring of muscle and once he deemed Bucky ready, he added a finger as well.

---

Bucky did his best not to groan too loudly when Steve stuck a finger alongside his tongue. He was, thankfully, stifled by the dick in his mouth but he knew he was still too loud. He also didn't want Steve to come before he was inside Bucky's ass so he popped off of him and scooted back so Steve's face was closer to his hole.

---

Bucky's mouth felt amazing on his cock and as much as he loved it, Steve was thankful that Bucky pulled off so he wouldn't come too soon. After he started to open Bucky with two fingers, he couldn't take much more foreplay. "Where's the lube?" He could've sworn he had it but he could've lost it in the sheets.

---

"Fuck, I don't know," Bucky said and moved off Steve to look. It had somehow made its way off the bed and onto the ground. Bucky hastily picked it up and shoved it into Steve's hands. "Here, Baby, here," he said and knelt face down, ass up on the bed for Steve.

---

Steve grabbed the lube and put some on his fingers. He kissed Bucky's open hole before pushing his fingers inside. "You ready, Buck? You want me to fuck you like this?" He smoothed his other hand over Bucky's back.

---

"Fuck me however you want," Bucky whispered and moved his hips impatiently. "Let's give 1984 a good send off," he added and pulled his hair back into a bun on the top of his head. "Need you, Steve."

---

Steve nodded and turned Bucky over onto his back. He stroked some lube onto his dick, hooked his hands under Bucky's knees, and pushed them up towards his chest so Bucky was folded in half. He leaned down to kiss him deeply as he pushed himself inside of Bucky.

---

"I like seeing your face when you get inside me," Bucky whispered and reached a hand up to card through Steve's hair. Bucky had just now started growing his beard out and it was just a stubbly little mess at the moment. He wondered if Steve would consider growing out a beard so he could see him with it. He didn’t even know if the police station would let him have a full beard.

---

Bucky always felt so goddamn amazing around his cock. Steve couldn't help the sound that came out of him as he eased his dick in further and further until he was balls deep in his fiancé. "I like seeing your face when I make you come on my dick," Steve purred, sucking a mark on Bucky's shoulder as he started to ease in and out of him.

---

"I like that you get better and better at dirty talk every day." Bucky smiled and wrapped his legs around Steve so he was as close to him as possible. "I never get tired of you. I love every minute we get together. I hope you know that."

---

Steve started to move freely in and out of Bucky. The mattress creaked under his movements as he said, "I learned from the best, Baby." He nipped at Bucky's ear and grabbed at his hips for more leverage as he fucked Bucky deeper.

---

Bucky went quiet except for the sharp gasps he made every few seconds when Steve hit his prostate. He was slowly losing focus on anything around him and was just paying attention to the feeling of Steve inside him. He loved how his fiancé could make him completely forget himself and just... be.

---

Steve kept going and had Bucky writhing beneath him. "That's right, Baby," he breathed out. "You're so good. I'm so close. Buck, Baby, I'm gonna...-" Steve claimed Bucky's mouth in a kiss as he came deep inside of him. Steve moaned low in his throat and slowly rocked his hips in and out a few more times before finally pulling out. Steve stuck a finger inside Bucky, swiped some come from his ass, and wiped it off on his chest.

---

Bucky flipped them both so he was sitting on Steve's chest so he could jack himself off over Steve's face. Once he came, he rolled off Steve again and let his head drop on his chest. "Happy New Years Eve, Baby." He smiled and licked Steve once playfully.

---

Steve closed his eyes and held on to Bucky. "Happy New Year's Eve," he said in a lovesick tone. "Tell me something fun we are going to do this year."

---

"Well, in case you forgot," Bucky started, "we are getting church married and going to Seneca Lake and having our first birthdays together as a couple and maybe going to Coney Island with the girls and definitely finishing Star Wars and having a lot more sex."

---

Steve smiled and pet a hand up and down Bucky's arm. "I didn't forget about those," he said pleasantly. "What about Becca and Lilly?" Steve asked. "I want to have a family vacation together. What would make them happy?"

---

Bucky scrunched his face up in thought. "No idea. They once entertained the idea of Disney World but we never could afford it and I honestly don't know if I could handle being in a place like that and not be worried about losing one of them."

---

Disney was a bit far. Six flags was in New Jersey, but that was...New Jersey. "What about Busch Gardens?" Steve asked. "It's in Virginia and there's plenty of rides in it. No Disney characters but they could have fun.”

---

"I mean, maybe." Bucky shrugged. "I don't really know how we would be able to make that happen but we can discuss it sometime." He rolled off the bed and grabbed a towel to wipe himself and Steve off. After they were fairly clean, Bucky resigned to get his clothes back on.

---

When Bucky got up to put clothes on, Steve tugged him back down and wrapped his arms strongly around him eliciting a huff of laughter from Bucky. "We can save up," Steve said. "It'll be great, Baby. Wouldn't it be nice to see Becca being a kid? That's my goal for this year."

---

Bucky sighed. "I think Becca's past that now. She tries to act like she's thirty every day. I don't know if Busch Gardens would help that." He paused and thought. "Maybe we can see if my aunt and uncle would take the girls for a week in the summer. They haven't seen our cousins in four years."

---

Steve gasped. "That would be a great idea," he said. "But would you be able to handle them being away for a week so far away?" Steve asked. He played with Bucky's hair. "What about you going, too?"

---

"I can't go," Bucky said. "My aunt and uncle are too conservative. I can't stand it most times. And my cousins are too young for me to connect with but Lilly and Becca are around their ages. I don't know. It's just a thought."

---

"Oh," Steve said softly. "Alright." He laid his head on the pillow and looked over at Bucky. He took in the sight of him and how goddamn gorgeous he was. "You think you might go back to school?"

---

"Back to school?" Bucky scoffed. "Yeah, right, Steve. I wouldn't be able to afford it and I've still got to see the girls through school and I have a job to maintain and what would I even do with a degree now? No, there's no point." He ran his tongue distractedly over his lips in thought.

---

"You wouldn't have to go back full time," Steve said. "You can take a class or two here and there and it'll be cheaper," he suggested. "I'm not saying it'll be easy, but we have three incomes between the two of us. And you can try to be a music producer or something in the business like you said you wanted to do."

---

"Yeah, there's no way I'd be able to be a producer anymore." Bucky rubbed his face. "And I'm older now and wouldn't fit in with the kids in the classes anyway. I mean it's not likely that many of them have shared life experiences to me." He moved to get up again. "Let’s drop it for now and go check on the girls, okay?"

---

Steve wasn't going to argue with Bucky over it. He exhaled in resignation and nodded his head. "Sure thing," he agreed as he got up and dressed himself. He kissed Bucky's cheek before opening the door. "Love you."

---

As they walked to the living room, they overheard the girls talking. Becca said, "Yeah, so that's how men do it. You understand?"

"Yes," Lilly responded, "I get both of those ways now but I still don't understand how two women have sex."

---

Steve's brain went to a screeching halt when he heard what they were talking about. He couldn't even get embarrassed about them talking about how gay guys had sex - but Lilly was entirely too young to talk about sex, period. "Becca!" He scolded in a scandalized tone.

---

"What?" Becca sassed back and folded her arms. "She wanted to know." Lilly nodded and Becca turned her attention to Bucky. "She was going to have to learn eventually, right?"

Bucky shrugged and gestured loosely at them. "I mean, yeah. I think it's better you told her than her researching sex at the library like you did at her age."

---

Catholic-raised Steve was flabbergasted that nobody else was bothered that a girl who was barely a teenager was learning about different kinds of sex. "She's too young. You are too young," he said, directing the last part at Becca.

---

"Becca's fourteen," Bucky said and shrugged again. "Plus, she knew all about sex when she was eleven. She checked out anatomy books and asked librarians how things worked. Although, I'm not entirely sure where you got your information for gay or lesbian sex because I certainly don't think they have articles in the library about that."

---

"She's still too young. She shouldn't even be thinking about sex until she is older," Steve complained to Bucky. "Maybe if she wants to learn about herself and her own body, but certainly not sex with another person."

---

"I had sex at fifteen," Bucky stated before quickly adding, "I'm not saying that Becca should follow what I did by any means. But I think learning about it and teaching Lilly is fine. They both will have to know.”

---

"They should learn from us, but not at such a young age. You shouldn't have been up to that at fifteen," Steve defended, not mad but still standing his ground.

---

"I'm sorry I didn't wait to be in love first like you did." Bucky was slightly mad, feeling like he was being chastised for his decisions on sex and how he raised his sisters for not minding that they were discussing this. "It's not like they are hyper-sheltered and I don't want them to be. Mom and Dad never raised any of us that way."

---

"I'm just saying that fifteen is too young for anyone," Steve said. "It's not being sheltered to not be concerned with something only adults should do." He crossed his arms with a pout. "I can't tell you how many kids I pick off the streets doing things they think they're ready for."

---

"Steve, it's not a big deal. They are smarter than most kids and me and won't do things they aren't ready for. They won't get peer-pressured like I did cause they are stronger than I ever was." Bucky scooted closer to his sisters protectively. He sort of felt like this was his and Steve's first parenting fight. The thing was, they were his sisters and not Steve's responsibility.

---

Steve could tell that he wasn't going to win this argument. And by the way Bucky stood protectively over his sisters, Steve knew that it would only get messier if he kept pushing his case. He sighed and shrugged. "Fine," he ground out unhappily.

---

"I-I'm sorry," Lilly stuttered out and looked between the two men. "I just wanted to know. And I much rather ask Becca about it then you guys. That'd be a really bizarre conversation."

Bucky ran a hand down her hair. "It's okay, Lil. You didn't do anything wrong by being curious. And you know I don't believe in keeping things like that a secret from you."

---

Steve took a seat on the couch so he wasn't so imposing. "You don't have to be sorry for asking," he agreed. It was Becca and Bucky he wasn't entirely happy with. He patted the spot next to him to get Raphael to come over.

---

Raphael jumped up on Steve and meowed to be pet. Bucky followed Becca's gaze as she looked to Steve then at Bucky and rolled her eyes discreetly. At least she was on Bucky's side sometimes. "Anyways..." Bucky sighed and pocketed his hands. "What do we want to do for New Year’s first, huh?" He wanted to drop this whole thing. He and Steve would probably have to have a similar conversation down the road with their hypothetical child in mind anyway.

---

Steve readily gave the cat all the pets and scratches his little heart desired. He kissed the top of his fuzzy head and shrugged his shoulders. "I have a few board games. Or we could play poker. Or watch a movie," Steve suggested.

---

"Uh... the girls can pick I don't care one way or the other," Bucky said. "I'll be right back." He slipped off to the bathroom to get some medicine for the little headache he could already feel. He then went to the laundry room and grabbed several of the bottles of Coca Cola that he had stashed there the day before. He was so used to drinking after an argument and he was trying to retrain himself to be okay with soda instead of booze.

---

While Bucky was gone, Steve looked over at Becca and Lilly. "I'm sorry," he apologized. "I know you guys don't see things the same way, but I don't think that talking about sex at your age is appropriate," Steve murmured. "I don't think you can convince me otherwise, but obviously I can't stop you either."

---

"You were just raised different from us," Becca said. "I know our parents told Bucky a lot of stuff when he was young. They let us swear and let Bucky drink when he was fourteen." Becca caught the small squeak of a groan that came from Steve when she explained the beginning of Bucky’s drinking.

Bucky couldn't help that he double-checked his hiding places for any hidden bottles that Steve or Becca had missed. There weren't any and part of him was grateful that he didn't even have the temptation in front of him. He brought his bottles back out to the living room and handed one to each of them as he nodded to Steve in a way that said, 'Look, it's not alcohol. I'm trying.'

---

When Bucky returned, Steve pulled the man down to sit next to him and he gave him a firm kiss on the cheek. "Proud of you," he said softly. He looked back at the girls and asked, "What do you guys want to do?"

---

Bucky conformed to Steve and leaned against him so he was mostly in Steve's lap. He pecked Steve's lips and whispered, "Sorry, Baby," apologizing for the argument.

Lilly picked up Raphael from the couch and held him up to her face. "Raphael thinks board games are a good idea." She nodded at him and turned him to face Becca. "Unless Becca wants to watch a movie?"

---

Steve played with Bucky's hair and pouted when Lilly took the cat from him. "Board games it is! I have Monopoly or Life. Anything else and we will have to get creative."

---

"I hate Monopoly..." Bucky shook his head. "So I vote for Life or that train track game of Becca's or even Go Fish. Or you all can play Monopoly and I'll play Solitaire and avoid the Monopoly shenanigans."

---

"Go Fish," Becca said. She didn't want to play Monopoly after the last fight that broke out over the game. Lilly nearly lost a tooth. Steve nodded and disentangled himself from Bucky to get the deck of cards.

---

They played Go Fish mostly without incident for a while. Lilly spent most of the night eating cookies and cake and soda and Bucky tried not to think about how wrecked she was going to be after her sugar high wore off. When it was closer to midnight, they all gathered around the TV and watched Dick Clark's New Year’s Rockin’ Eve celebration.

---

Steve had a fun time with the three of them but once midnight came nearer, his attention was drawn to the television screen. "Guys, it’s any minute now. You got your poppers ready?" He asked the girls.

---

Lilly had one popper in hand and several in her lap. Becca was holding one reluctantly and had Raph curled up on her leg. Bucky was glued to Steve waiting to kiss him at midnight and not really paying attention to anything other than his fiancé.

---

Steve had one popper in his hand but he planned on letting it off only after he kissed Bucky. He counted down with Dick on the TV and as soon as it struck midnight, Steve turned to Bucky and drew him in for a deep kiss.

---

Lilly immediately hopped off the couch and started exploding as many poppers as she could before pulling Becca up and demanding that she help her make them all go off. With both girls and the cat off the couch, Bucky was able to push Steve against the arm and kiss him for as long as he wanted with his hands held snug in Steve's hair.

---

Steve laughed when Bucky pushed him and he closed his eyes as they shared the moment together. Time seemed to stop for Steve and he stroked his hands up and down Bucky's back until Lilly finally turned towards them once all the poppers were set off. "Get a room, you two."

---

Bucky pulled off of Steve and flicked Lilly in the arm. "Happy fucking new year," he said with a grin. "It's 1985!" He grabbed both his sisters and pulled them down onto the couch with him and Steve so they were all in a big family snuggle puddle. "I love you all so goddamn much."

---

Steve grinned widely with all of them pulled together on top of him. He wrapped his arms tightly around his family. "I'm so happy I'm with all of you," he said. "This time last year I wasn't half as happy as I am today."

---

"This time next year," Bucky said, "We will have been church married and gone on our honeymoon and Becca will be fifteen and Lilly will be twelve... and I'll be twenty-five." Bucky sighed, "Oh, god, I'll be twenty-five."

---

Steve laughed at Bucky's realization. "I'm marrying a senior citizen. Heaven help me," Steve said dramatically. "At least you'll be able to collect social security. It may be even more than you make now."

---

"Steve," Bucky eyed him in mock offense. "That is not funny, I'm a third of the way through my life. And don't be laughing cause you'll be twenty-four soon and that's officially old, I think. You won't be a young cute twenty-three year old anymore, Rogers. Well, you’ll still be cute but that's just cause you're lucky."

---

"A quarter of the way through your life,” Steve corrected. “We are both living to a hundred," he added confidently. "And, you know what, I'll always be a cute twenty-three-year-old," he decided. "I'm only as old as I act, you know."

---

"Oh, if that’s the case, you're actually seventy-five, old man?" Bucky teased. He blocked his side with his arms so Steve wouldn't be able to tickle him if he decided that was the best course of action in response.

---

"Oh, shut up," Steve complained. "I guess that makes me your... what's the term again? Sugar Daddy?" Steve smirked and messed up Bucky's hair.

---

"Oh, god, no." Bucky made a disgusted face. "Please never call yourself that again." He kissed Steve's cheek quickly and then kissed the top of both his sister’s heads. "Happy New Year, you guys."

---

Steve smirked mischievously. He waited a few seconds for silence to settle then he repeated, "Sugar Daddy," like a goddamned teenaged boy. He hugged them all and sighed. "I can't believe my family tripled in size. But we belong together. All of us."

---

Lilly looked up at Steve with pleased but sleepy eyes. "I like having you around, Steve," she said and yawned for a long moment. "So does Becca even if she doesn't like saying so."

"I never said I didn't," Becca countered flatly but snuggled a little closer in the family cuddle puddle.

"Alright, time for bed for you two." Bucky gently pushed Lilly off of him so she would start her way to her room.

---

Steve grinned from ear to ear when Lilly stated hers and Becca's approval. In response to Bucky sending them off to bed, Lilly grumbled about not being that tired. It wasn't the truth. She could hardly stand. She was just complaining for the sake of complaining. After the girls were both settled in bed, he kissed Bucky. "Here's to the best new year."

---

Bucky held Steve's head in his hands and kissed him over and over again slowly and deeply. He was beyond excited to be starting this new year off with Steve and that he was going to have every new year with him. "I really love you," he said. "You love me?"

---

Steve played with a loose strand of Bucky's hair. "I love you so much, Sweetheart," Steve said. "I love you and your sisters and the constant mess and noise that comes with living here."

---

Bucky and Steve had already planned on going to the church in three days. That would give them time to get some things ready and then give them two days afterwards before Steve had to go back to work. Sarah said she would stay with the girls the night that they get married and Bucky had made secret reservations at a fairly decent hotel for him and Steve. The new year was off to a pretty damn good start. "You want to go curl up in bed and fall asleep or do you want to watch some more TV?"

---

"I kind of just want to curl up in your arms and sleep," Steve said with a little, hopeful smile because he was a dope like that. He leaned in to kiss him. "It'd be a perfect end for the night for me."

---

"Okay, Baby, let's go to sleep," Bucky said and pulled Steve up off the couch to lead him to their room. He got into bed with a slow, tired slump and reached for Steve to join him. "I have work first thing in the morning," Bucky complained and held Steve to him. "I'd much rather stay here with you all day."

---

Steve snuggled right up to Bucky and let out a pleased sigh when he felt Bucky's arms go around his body. "I don’t know how I'm going to go back to work on the days that you have off. You have an amazing amount of self-control to have gone to work every day I've been around so far."

---

"Yeah, it's true." Bucky kissed Steve's hair. "I hated having to be gone knowing you were all alone here. It was better on weekends when I knew the girls wouldn't be gone for school, too. Now I'm going to have to figure out what to do on days that I have off and you're at work and they are at school. I’m going to be all alone.”

Chapter Text

On the day of their wedding, Steve was absolutely buzzing with excitement. He wore his best suit and spent far too long on his hair for the occasion. His mom was in similarly good spirits and borrowed a camera from a friend so she could take pictures. By the time they got to the church, Steve was almost insufferably happy. Becca had rolled her eyes at him more than once on the subway ride over.

---

Contrary to Steve, Bucky was nervous as all hell. He hardly slept the night before and spent part of the morning standing under cold water in the shower wondering if he was going to ruin Steve's life. Bucky had considered for a second wearing his father's naval uniform since he wore it for his wedding, but Bucky wasn't sure if it was taboo for a civilian to wear. So he just put on the nicest suit he owned - which still wasn't as good as Steve's. Once they were about to enter the church, he started getting calmer and more determined to be the best he could be for Steve.

---

Natasha and Sarah could see how nervous Bucky was being. Sarah had the sense to be sweet and reassuring but Natasha was just the sort of pain in the ass to sidle up to Bucky as Steve spoke with the priest at the front of the church. "Did you remember to bring the candle?" she asked.

---

Bucky's eyes went wide and he gripped her arm tightly and whispered, "What fucking candle?"

Clint, who had actually been at the church before any of the rest of them got there, came over to Bucky and signed 'She's fucking with you, man.'

Much to Clint and Bucky's surprise, Natasha signed back at him 'You ruined my fun.'

---

Natasha gave Clint a pout. "Relax a little," she said to Bucky as she smoothed a hand over his back. "You're marrying Steve, not an alien who's going to suck the fun out of life. He only does that on Thursday evenings."

---

"But what if he changes his mind?" Bucky asked quietly and stole a glance over at Steve who was still with the priest. "What if he wakes up one day and doesn't want to deal with me anymore?"

Lilly had been unusually quiet and unobtrusive so far. She was incredibly uncomfortable in churches because the only times she had been in ones were for funerals. When Bucky started back up with his worried nonsense she slipped her hand with his and held it tight.

---

"Steve is a stubborn mule. If he set his mind to marry you, he won't change it," Natasha said.

Moments later, Steve came up to them with the priest at his side. "Guys, this is Father Frank," he introduced. "Father, this is Bucky. And here are his sisters, Lilly and Becca."

The priest smiled warmly at them and shook all of their hands. "What a beautiful family you have."

---

"Thank you, Father." Bucky nodded awkwardly and pulled Becca and Lilly close to him for support. "My family is my world and I really admire and appreciate you for being so kind to Steve and being able to do this for us."

---

"If you love each other and are committed to each other, then you should enjoy the same fruits of marriage that traditional couples receive," the priest said. He walked over to put up a sign on the door that said that they were closed for the next fifteen minutes. The ceremony wasn't long and he couldn't close the whole church for too long when others sought refuge as well. "Your family may be seated," he said.

---

Bucky ushered his sisters to sit down with Sarah. Natasha and Clint scooted in together in the row behind them. Steve pulled Bucky up to the front carefully and Bucky couldn't look anywhere but down at his feet anxiously. It was like that first time dancing with Steve all over again. He was excited but unprepared and happy but scared.

---

Steve touched Bucky's elbow and gave him a gentle look. "It's okay, Bucky," Steve said. "It's going to be alright." Father Frank read out a few verses of the bible about love that were appropriate since they didn't specifically mention genders. When it was time to say their vows, Steve got a nervous, happy look on his face and he looked into Bucky's eyes. It was like Bucky was the only person who existed in the world. "A lot of people will say that we shouldn't be together. But the only person I'll listen to about that is you. And for as long as you let me be with you, I'm going to love and support you - even when I disagree with you." He squeezed Bucky's hands gently. "I'll never take you for granted, Buck. And I hope to make you as happy as you make me for every day left in our lives."

---

Bucky smiled and tried not to get emotional as Steve talked. Before he launched into his own vows, he looked to his sisters quickly to once more get their approval. Becca gave the slightest of nods and Lilly grinned at him. "Steve..." he started. "I surprise myself every day with how much I love you. And I can't imagine what I would do without you with me. You take me for what I am - even at my worst - and show me support and forgiveness no matter what kind of shit I pull. You've been the greatest gift I could ask for and you love my sisters as much as I do and have made my family yours as well. I may not be a perfect husband or father but I'll do my best to find guidance in my parents and your mom to help me be what you deserve. I'll love you forever and you better not forget that."

---

Steve, the big emotional idiot, was crying freely as Bucky said his vows. The tears silently rolled down his cheeks and all he could do was smile as Bucky confessed all the things that made Steve the happiest man on the planet. The second he had permission to kiss Bucky, he drew him into a tight hug and kissed him deeply, pouring in all his emotion.

---

Bucky kissed Steve back and raised a hand up to wipe tears from Steve's cheeks as he did. He got his body as close to Steve's as he could and held the back of his neck firmly so he couldn't go anywhere. There was clapping and Bucky could hear Lilly and Clint's distinct voices shouting jovially.

---

Steve smiled happily against Bucky's lips and when they parted for air he turned towards his mom and gave a happy thumb’s up. She had them take a picture with the priest, then with Lilly and Becca, then with Natasha and Clint. Then she had Natasha take pictures of her with Steve and her with Steve and Bucky. The poor priest had to awkwardly shuffle her out because he couldn't get in trouble for keeping the church closed that long. Steve thanked Frank profusely as they left. He was a regular now, so he would see him the following Sunday anyway.

---

The second they got back outside the church, Bucky's heart sank. He couldn't hold Steve's hand on the way back home and he couldn't kiss him yet. They had left one sanctuary just to be thrust back into the cold, uncaring world. And that's how their lives would go for a long time probably. "Hey," Bucky nudged Steve. "Guess what?"

---

Steve looked over at Bucky with a beaming smile. He also wished he could hold Bucky’s hand proudly the whole way back home, but that just wasn’t an option right now. "What?" he asked.

---

"You're my husband." Bucky quirked a smile back at Steve as the group of them all made their way back to the apartment. Sarah and Steve had both prepared food for them all to munch on when they got back. And Bucky had a deal with Sarah that at six o’clock she was going to make sure to get Bucky and Steve both out of the apartment on some false errand so Bucky could take Steve to the hotel he had a room already booked at. He already had them checked in and their bags with necessities and clothes for the next day were waiting for them in the room.

---

Steve grinned dumbly. "And you're my husband," he answered back happily. When they got home, Steve was all over Bucky, holding his hand and hugging him every chance he got. After they ate some food, Steve went to the bathroom to brush his teeth and was confused when his toothbrush was gone since Bucky had packed it. "Buck? Do you know where my toothbrush went?"

---

"Hmm? Uh..." Bucky looked to Sarah quickly then down at the cat. "Maybe Raphael took it. We can pick up a new one from the twenty-four-seven."

Sarah checked the time and then said, "Yeah, that's a good idea, James. The girls and I will hold down the fort just fine."

---

"What? The cat wouldn't take the toothbrush," Steve said in a confused tone. Becca smirked into her cup of tea because she knew that Bucky planned something. "But I mean, alright. I guess we can pick up milk while we're out," Steve said as he got his shoes on.

---

Bucky followed suit and pulled on his shoes and coat and opened the door for Steve. They walked on down the street and Bucky made a turn a block before the bodega mumbling something about making a different stop first as he continued to lead Steve towards the hotel.

---

Steve wasn't completely dumb. He was a trained officer and knew Bucky was up to something. "Hey," he said, grinning over at him as he caught on that Bucky had something up his sleeve. "What do you have planned, huh?" He nudged Bucky gently.

---

Bucky huffed out a sigh. "Don't fucking ruin it," he said with a mock pout. "Just walk with me and be a good husband, Mr. Steve Rogers-Barnes." He loved saying that now and having it actually mean a little something. No, the law didn't care that they were church married, but they cared and their family cared and so did Father Frank and Steve's god and that's all that mattered at the moment.

---

Steve beamed because now he definitely knew Bucky had something planned for him and that got him excited. "Yes, Sir," Steve said pleasantly. He had a little bounce to his step as they walked. "So Father Frank is pretty cool, isn't he?"

---

"I was super nervous around him but, yes, he was really nice," Bucky said. "I hope he didn't notice that I swore in church. I didn't mean to, but it just slipped out." He rounded another corner and now the hotel was in sight ahead of them. Just two more blocks and he could go spend the entire evening and night and most of the next day alone in a quiet room with Steve.

---

"I don't think he would mind an accidental slip," Steve said. "If you're that bothered, you could go to confession." Steve doubted it but it was fun to tease.

---

Bucky snorted a laugh and mumbled, "Yeah, I'm not going to confession, Babe. I went to church today for something other than a memorial service, I think I’m covered for a long time.”

---

Steve smiled at Bucky but then noticed the hotel. He gasped and looked towards it. "Are we having a vacation night?" he asked.

---

When Steve saw the hotel, Bucky had no choice but to cave. "I worked it out with your mom, she's staying at our place tonight with the girls so we can just be alone. I know we won't get to have the honeymoon until spring so I wanted us to at least have a quite wedding night.

---

Steve would've swept Bucky up into his arms and kissed him if he could've done that in public. "You're so perfect," Steve sighed dreamily. "Thank you for making today even more special."

---

Bucky rushed the two of them to the hotel and up to their room. He wanted to be all over Steve as soon as possible. Once the door was locked behind them, Bucky rounded on Steve and kissed him loosely before laughing and saying, "Hey, doors that actually lock."

---

"I forgot those existed," Steve joked. He scooped Bucky into his arms and kissed him deeply. "God, you make me so happy," he said in a tone full of wonder. "This is all thanks to Lilly cutting school."

---

"I think we probably would have found each other eventually, don't you?" Bucky asked and held his hands tight against Steve's waist. "I mean, her antics might have sped up the process but I think we would have gotten to each other regardless."

---

Steve cupped the sides of Bucky's face and kissed him slowly. "Yeah, you're right," he agreed. "Maybe I would have gotten a call to pick up two stoners at this one record shop. Or Dale would have called the cops over some noise complaint."

---

"Or we could have met one night at a bar or ran into each other at a grocery store." Bucky continued. "I am really glad for Lilly and her antics, though. Because who knows how long it would have taken without her."

---

Steve picked Bucky up and then laid down on the bed with him, just enjoying himself by playing with Bucky’s hair and looking happily into his eyes. “I guess that would make her our maid-of-honor today.”

---

"Guess it would." Bucky conformed himself to Steve's touch. "Don't tell Becca that, though." He held his hands on Steve's hips and kissed him slowly.

---

“What? Do you think Becca wanted to be our maid of honor?” Steve asked. He seemed pleased that Becca would have that sort of interest in their wedding. “Here, grab the room service menu. Let’s order some cake or some kind of dessert.”

---

Bucky nodded. "I don't know, but Becca certainly wouldn't want to be left out if Lilly got to be the maid of honor," he said and rolled to rummage in the side drawer for the room service menu. "You are going to let me fuck you tonight, right? Consummate this marriage or whatever they say."

---

Steve laughed. "Didn't we consummate our marriage about a hundred times by now?" He teased. "Of course you're going to fuck me tonight. But we got to be quiet, I don't want the next door hotel neighbor to complain."

---

"I can be quiet." Bucky bit his lip and grinned at Steve. "I prefer being loud but I won't make a sound if you need me to." He handed the room service menu to Steve and scooted close so he could read the options over his shoulder. "Ooh, chicken fettuccine sounds amazing right now."

---

"I know you like being loud," Steve snorted and looked over the choices. He had enough sex with his husband to have a good understanding of what Bucky's preferences were and just how loud Bucky could get. "Chicken isn't dessert," Steve added. "But fine, at least you're not eating cereal.”

---

"Well, you can get dessert, Baby," Bucky said. "And no it's not cereal but don't think that I'm giving up on cereal for dinner. I'm just really wanting chicken right now." He pulled the phone up to start dialing the lobby to order. "What are you getting?"

---

"Get me some chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream," Steve said. He laid across Bucky's lap and smiled up at him with an adoring expression on his face. He loved Bucky so damned much and now they were finally married.

---

Bucky called and ordered for them and then snuggled back against Steve. "They said it would be up in about twenty minutes. Want to find something on TV for us to watch? I think there is a Humphrey Bogart special going on if you want to watch that.”

---

Steve touched a hand to Bucky's face and leaned up to kiss him slowly. "I'm up for anything with you," he said. "My wonderful husband," Steve sighed dreamily. "I'm going to have such a good life with you."

---

"Not to bring the mood down or anything," Bucky said and licked his lips. "But, are you going to wear your ring when you work? I mean, I figure people would ask about it if they noticed - and it's a police department with people trained to notice shit. But I wasn’t sure if you were planning on explaining that we were church married regardless of the law and stuff."

---

"We aren't church married, Bucky. We are married. I don't care if the law recognizes it or not and I don't care if people agree with it or not. We're married and I'm wearing my ring and I'm not afraid to tell people how much I love you," Steve said pointedly.

---

Bucky shuttered out a sigh and kissed Steve with an open mouth and hands tight on his neck. "Okay, Steve." He was scared that they were going to be targeted again or something would happen to his family because of all this but he wanted to be confident for Steve. "You're sure about that? I won’t be hurt if you want to leave your ring at home so you don't put yourself in danger at the precinct again."

---

"It would hurt me if I had to hide," Steve said. "I can't stand it. I'd be holding your hand all the time if you would let me. It's not illegal," he murmured. Steve had been so scared at first but now he was determined to be out and unafraid. "I'm an officer of the law and I have other cops who have my back if people have something to say about it."

---

"Steve, I love you," Bucky said. "And I'd love to hold your hand in public and kiss you and introduce you as my husband and go to fancy dinner dates on Valentine's Day... but what would we do if one or both of us were injured or killed because of it? What about the girls?"

---

Steve's face fell and he looked away. He went quiet for a little bit and he got a bit broody. "Why do we have to talk about this?" he asked defensively. They would have to go over this eventually but he didn't want to have to talk about how he couldn't be out with his husband.

---

Bucky closed his eyes and cursed himself for bringing this shit up in the first place. Tonight was meant to be just them together in peace - no worries. He whispered, "I'm sorry, Steve," and tried to convey that he was sorry for asking about this at all and sorry he had so many concerns and sorry that he was still so scared from what Rumlow did to be confident enough to be open with Steve in public. Sometimes Bucky felt like he and Steve had molded into each other and switched places in some things. Bucky never used to be the type to care, but now he had someone to care for.

---

"I know you didn't mean to, but... fuck," Steve huffed, sitting up. "Why does it have to be like this, huh? Why do people have to care who loves who so long as we are both happy, consenting adults?" he grumbled. Steve ran his fingers once through his hair. "We shouldn't have to be afraid."

---

Bucky took Steve's hand carefully and kissed his knuckles. "If you can just give me some time to figure out how we can keep the girls safe and be open about our sexuality, I'll get on board and I'll hold your hand proudly. I just need to know that they are going to be safe."

---

Steve let Bucky hold his hand and he looked up into his eyes. "You promise?" he asked. He didn't want Bucky just to say that so he would feel better. Steve genuinely wanted to be able to be open about who they were to each other.

---

"I promise," Bucky punctuated it with a squeeze to Steve's hand. "You know I agree with you about the whole thing being unfair. And you know I'm not shy about who I am. I just got really messed up when you got hurt. And I felt like it was my fault. Give me a little more time to figure things out and then I'll be back to fighting the man like usual."

---

"Baby, it's not your fault," Steve said. "I got shot because someone was wrong and hateful. But I believe that God protected me that day. Just like he protects all of us every day." Steve knew Bucky didn't share that faith but he couldn't help what he believed.

---

Bucky nodded solemnly. "I know you do. And if he did do that then I'm grateful to him. I just can't help that I feel sort of responsible anyway." He sighed and rubbed a hand over his face. "Guess I sort of started our night out poorly, didn't I?" There was a knock on the door for room service and Bucky hopped up quickly to answer it.

---

Once Bucky got up to get the food, Steve allowed himself to be sad for a few moments. He let his lip quiver when Bucky's back was turned before straightening up. "I guess I ought to just think about how I'm going to make you happy." That'll make him feel better.

---

Bucky walked slowly back over to Steve and handed his desert to him and sat down with his chicken and several napkins. "I promise you, Baby, one day everything is going to be perfect for us. One day we will have our house and our baby and no one will bother us, and the girls and your mom will come visit all the time. Maybe I'll pick up a hobby or build our baby's crib by hand."

---

Steve's eyes lit up. "Can we make as many of our baby's things by hand as we can?" he asked and picked at his cake. "Maybe I could retire early by the time we have a kid. I've already got almost five years in. It's reasonable to retire after ten or fifteen."

---

Bucky chuckled and looked at Steve lovingly. "I mean, if you want to retire in five or ten years, then you should. And yes, we can try to make their things by hand. My dad taught me how to string my own fishing net so I've got that covered."

---

"Well, if I ever wanted a fish for a son, you're my go-to guy," Steve joked. He put a hand over Bucky's and brushed his thumb over the ring. "This is kind of embarrassing, but I always kind of dreamed about being able to be a stay-at-home dad. I like helping out and having a job, but it would be amazing to stay with our son or daughter all day."

---

Bucky felt his face lift in a dopey grin. "You're so fucking adorable. I think you'd make an amazing, loving, sexy, attentive, stay-at-home dad." He thought for a second. "What do you want to be called? By the kid, I mean. We can’t both have the same title."

---

“You think so?” Steve looked happy that Bucky thought that he would make a great stay-at-home dad. “We could both be ‘dad’,” Steve said. “We will know which one of us our kid is talking to by what tone of voice. If they say it angrily, they’re talking to you. Otherwise, they’re talking to me,” he joked.

---

"You know I'm going to be the fun dad, so the angry tone will most definitely be directed at you." Bucky pinched Steve's arm. "And what about ‘Pops’? Dad and Pops? Or you just want both of us to be Dad? Because I'm good either way."

---

"I can be the fun dad, too," Steve said in an unconvincing tone. He would be the strict one out of the two of them and he knew it. "I want to be ‘Dad’," he added. "Just thinking about some little voice saying that to me..." He had a dumb smile on his face. "Whatever works for you is fine with me."

---

"I guess I'll be ‘Pops’ unless I just end up not liking it then I'll be ‘Dad' as well." Bucky was finished with his chicken and he set it aside to curl close to Steve. "I like thinking about a little kiddo calling you ‘Dad’ and reaching out for you to be held. And getting excited when I come home from work and pulling my hair and trying on your clothes when you aren't looking and falling asleep in our arms..." Bucky trailed off and hardly noticed the shaking in his voice as he spoke and so desperately wanted it to be real.

---

God, Steve wanted all of that so bad. He ached for a son or daughter to read to every night and to watch Bucky play games with. He heard the shake in Bucky's voice and he was quick to set aside his plate so he could pull the man to his chest. "It's going to happen, Buck. And you're going to be such an amazing father."

---

"I'm going to try my best." Bucky nodded. "And hopefully sooner than later it'll happen." He sighed and hugged Steve and breathed him in. "I'll start getting better at playing guitar so I can sing to them to get them to sleep. And I'll start saving as much money as I can for our house."

---

"And their aunts Lilly and Becca will visit all the time," Steve said. "That kid will probably end up being more Barnes than Rogers since there are more Barnes people around than Rogers." He slid a hand up Bucky's shirt.

---

"No, I'm sure you and your mother will straighten them out to be just as much a Rogers, too," Bucky assured him and noted every movement of Steve's hand on his skin. "I figure I should learn some lullabies on guitar as well."

---

"I hope my mom will still be around when we have our kid." Steve sighed. A part of him worried it could take decades to be able to adopt a child and his mom may not have that sort of time. "What lullabies did your parents sing to you?"

---

"She'll be around," Bucky assured him. He didn't know that for sure but Sarah was healthy and strong and determined - just like Steve - and Bucky knew that they were going to get their kid as soon as possible. "My parents didn't sing lullabies really. My dad used to just sing some of his favorite songs to me if I was being difficult and wouldn't sleep. I got a lot of Dean Martin and Perry Como from him."

---

Steve chuckled. "I bet you're going to take your dad's approach and sing softer, g-rated versions of The Clash," he teased. "My ma used to sing me Irish lullabies. And the softer rebel songs. I didn't understand what they meant until after I needed to be sung lullabies."

---

"Do you remember them?" Bucky asked. "I'd love for our kid to hear them from you. Send the tradition down the line so they spread their daddy's Irish heritage even if they aren't Irish." Bucky wondered what sort of kid they would get. Would it be Irish anyway because of the big population around town? Or maybe Italian or Armenian or Jewish? Or maybe it would be descended from Romania like Bucky's family was.

---

Steve nodded. "My ma would hit me over the head with a rolling pin if I forgot them," he joked. She wasn't as radical as his grandfather was but she was pretty adamant about Steve remembering his Irish heritage. "A lot of Irish folk songs are fun. But also a lot have to do with hating the English."

---

"Well, maybe we can just explain that the English aren't so bad." Bucky laughed. "Hell, half the music I listen to comes from Britain anyway." He tried to think of some good bands whose songs could be calmed down into more lullaby like tunes. Maybe Hall & Oates or that new band Tears for Fears. He would definitely try to sing some old crooners stuff too like his dad did.

---

"Well, they kind of are," Steve admitted. "They enslaved Ireland, demolished their religion, killed their native language, then expected us to fight alongside them as second-class soldiers in all of their wars."

---

Bucky stared at Steve as he talked. Steve didn’t usually talk that way. "Immigrants from Britain, Spain, and France did the same thing to the Native Americans. Also, there's what America did to black people with slavery. And there's now, with racism against black and native people still and also anyone who comes from Russia or Germany or Arabia... it's fucked up, man." Bucky nodded. He usually kept all this sort of stuff inside because Steve didn’t appreciate when he talked bad about cops or the man or the country or anything. But Steve was also getting more and more aggravated with the way society worked and the unfair expectations for those who were just a little different.

---

Steve chuckled and kissed Bucky's cheek as he went on his rant. "I know, Baby, I know," he said in an amused tone. Although he didn't always agree with what Bucky said, he did love how energetic he got when he spoke about stuff like this. And he loved that Bucky’s hippie side just seeped into conversation. Steve got called ‘man’ a lot when Bucky had something to say. "Love you, Baby." Steve played with Bucky's hair. "So are we going to do it nice and slow tonight? Take our dear, sweet time to come or are we going to fuck each other's brains out time and time again?"

---

Bucky hummed and kissed Steve. "Which do you want, my handsome husband? Because I'm okay with the first fuck as married men to be slowly making love... and then give ourselves a half hour and then fuck hard and fast and messy." Bucky laughed to himself and caressed Steve's cheek. "How do we decide who's top and bottom for the first sex of our married life?"

---

Steve thought for a moment and absently ran his fingers over Bucky's dick through his pants. "How about whoever jerks themselves off first is the bottom," Steve joked. "Or whoever is the tallest is the top."

---

"Fuck you, you're taller than me." Bucky bit Steve's arm lightly. "What about whoever can do the most push-ups is the top. Fuck... you'd win that one too." He paused to think. "I don't know. I've got nothing."

---

Steve had an obnoxious smile on his face when Bucky mentioned push-ups. That one he could definitely win, but Bucky shut it down quickly. He had to think for a moment and then he said, "How about we call the house? If Becca picks up, I'm on top. If Lilly picks up, I am. If my mom picks up, then we flip a coin."

---

"Wait, so you're on top if either of my sisters pick up, and if it's your mom then we flip a coin?" Bucky gave Steve a confused look. "That gives you like 75% chance of being the top." His hands had trailed down so he was softly groping Steve through his pants as Steve's hands kept a delicate hold on his thigh.

---

"I was hoping you wouldn't catch that." Steve snickered. He was being unfair and he knew it. "Alright, so flipping a coin then? Or what about we turn on the radio and first person to name the title of the song playing gets to choose?"

---

"I’d win that one for sure," Bucky said. "If you make the calling home one fair then I'll play that one. I get Lilly, you get Becca, and your mom makes us flip the coin. I'm heads. That's even odds for us both." Bucky slipped his hand inside Steve's pants so he could get his fingers around his warm dick. "Sound good?"

---

Steve nodded and moaned when Bucky slipped his hand over his cock. He swatted it away so he could call home without feeling wrong for talking to Bucky's sisters while he was being groped.

"Barnes residence," he heard Lilly answer on the other end.

"Hey, Lil," Steve said. "Buck and I just wanted to make sure everything was alright there."

---

Bucky pumped a fist into the air and Steve rolled his eyes at him. Bucky pulled the phone from Steve's ear so he could listen in too. Lilly said, "Yeah, everything's fine. Miss Sarah made me spaghetti and made potatoes for Becca. Now Becca is boring Miss Sarah with a history lesson. Are you having a good time?"

---

Steve said, "Yeah, we are enjoying ourselves a lot. This hotel is real cool, Kiddo. You should have seen the size of the ice cream they brought me. I mean it was enough for both of us even with your bottomless stomach."

---

"You got ice cream?" She asked incredulously. "I want ice cream."

Bucky took over and said, "Lilly, Steve and I are going to go. We love you. Give Becca and Miss Sarah hugs for us okay, my little monster?"

---

Steve waited as Bucky ushered them off the phone and he hung up. "I can't believe you won," he chuckled, ruffling up Bucky's hair. "You're such a brat."

---

"Well, I chose Lilly because Becca only answers the phone when she absolutely has too." Bucky shrugged. So he stacked the deck just a little bit, Steve would probably forgive him once he had a dick inside him. Bucky ran a hand down Steve's torso and down into his pants again.

---

"Damn, you're right," Steve huffed. He reached over and started to pull Bucky's pants down so he could grope at his ass. "You're so perfect, Buck. Perfect husband with a perfect ass." He smiled over at him and rolled on his back so he could pull Bucky on top of him.

---

Bucky rolled obediently with Steve and started grinding down against his crotch with Steve's hands on his cheeks. "And you're my perfect husband with perfect eyes and smile and body and laugh and everything." He kissed Steve's lips and then trailed across his face. "My gorgeous love."

---

"Perfect eyes, huh?" Steve laughed and returned the kiss lovingly. "Tell me how many times you're going to make me come before we go home tomorrow," he purred. "And how late you're going to keep me up."

---

"We’re going to be up all night for sure," Bucky said and worked his hardening dick with the palm of his hand. "And I'm thinking... three times... if we can manage it. Maybe more if miracles happen." He chuckled. "Definitely more than once I know that for sure. If I'm on top this time then you've got to fuck me next time so we have to do it at least twice."

---

"Should I pray to God for a little help getting it up so many times?" Steve joked. He spread his legs a little more for Bucky and then pulled him in for another kiss. "Twice tonight, once in the morning," he decided.

---

"We better get started then," Bucky dropped his tone low and growled slightly as he shimmied down Steve's body and gripped the waist of his pants. He slowly kissed Steve's clothed thighs and then his dick before working open the zipper and tugging them down to his knees.

---

"I love it when your voice gets like that." Steve sighed dreamily. He reached down to stroke his fingers through Bucky's hair, and then gave it a little tug. "You look so good between my legs, Buck."

---

"I look good no matter where I'm at on you." Bucky moved off the bed to strip off his pants and toss them on to the chair. Bucky's boxer briefs were soon to follow and he grabbed for Steve's and jerked them off of him as well. "How do you want to be opened up - tongue or fingers?” he asked as he pulled the lube from his bag and came back over to the bed.

---

“We're taking our time," Steve said. "So it's got to be tongue." He liked getting off with Bucky quick and frequently at home but it was rare they got to drag things out because Bucky's sisters could need something from them at any moment.

---

"Tongue it is." Bucky licked his lips and set the lube down on the bed for later. "Get yourself comfortable and spread out for me, Baby," he added and unbuttoned his shirt so he could peel it off slowly. "And just so you know, you aren't allowed to touch your dick at all this time. Only I can. If that sounds good to you."

---

Steve shifted on the bed to get real comfy before spreading his legs. He was all set to start jerking himself off a little when Bucky said he couldn't touch himself. "Buck," he huffed out with a small pout. Just to be a brat, Steve started to fondle his own balls because Bucky didn't make those off limits.

---

Bucky looked at Steve with a dark glare and stopped his hand. "Those are mine tonight, too," he said and leaned in to mouth over Steve's balls for a few moments before traveling down to his hole and teasing it once with a short lick. "Your hands can touch me all they want, though."

---

"We're married now. My balls are yours every night," Steve snorted. He let out a little gasp when Bucky licked his hole. Reaching down and scratching his nails gently over the back of Bucky's neck, he said, "Keep going, Baby."

---

Bucky spent several long slow moments just kissing and licking Steve's ass and around his hole. He didn't lick inside him yet because he wanted to hold out as long as he could. Steve said they needed to be quiet - and he would be - but he wanted to hear Steve begging him to stick his tongue in. So Bucky just kept teasing him.

---

Steve knew Bucky could be a tease but minutes passed and Bucky hadn't so much as pushed the tip of his tongue in. He wondered if maybe he'd done something but he saw the look in Bucky's eyes and groaned when he realized what Bucky was doing. He spread his legs a little more and tangled his fingers in Bucky's hair. "Please?" he asked shyly. "I want you, Buck."

---

Bucky pulled away and smirked at Steve. "Because you said please," he said and then dove right back down to Steve's hole and licked a few more times before pushing his tongue in quickly and abruptly and moving it slowly in circles.

---

Steve let out a little moan and arched his back off the bed. "Yes, so much better," he sighed happily. "Perfect. I love when you open me with your tongue." Steve pulled lightly at Bucky's hair.

---

Bucky chuckled in his throat and drove his tongue in and out of Steve relentlessly. He wanted to see if Steve would demand what he wanted again, so Bucky didn't add any fingers and instead just fucked him shallowly with his tongue over and over.

---

Steve writhed on the bed, loving the attention but also desperate because Bucky wasn't moving forward. "More," he gasped out without realizing that Bucky purposely was trying to get him to ask. "Need your fingers now."

---

Bucky kissed Steve's thighs and pushed two fingers inside him at once. "You're so wonderful, Baby. I love making you come undone with my touch and then getting to be held in your strong arms afterwards. I love every bit of you. I love this bit," Bucky kissed Steve's upper thigh, "And this one," he kissed his knee, "And here," he licked a line up his inner leg, "And this part of course," he said and finally took Steve's cock head into his mouth as he added a third finger.

---

Steve blushed at how sweet Bucky was being. He let out a small giggle as Bucky declared his love for the different parts of his body but gasped and moaned out Bucky's name when he took his dick into his mouth. "Oh, yes," he hummed. "I'm so ready, Buck. Please, can you make love to me now?" He ran his thumb over Bucky's cheek, feeling his cock pressed against the inside.

---

Bucky licked around Steve's dick for a few more seconds before popping off to lube up his own cock. "If you're ready, Love, I'm ready," he said heavily and pulled at Steve to get him to scoot down on the bed. Bucky held his shaft against Steve's ass and gave him a look like he wanted to be asked one more time before he fucked Steve.

---

Steve thought he was going to finally have sex with his husband but when Bucky lined up his dick but didn't do anything else, he gave Bucky the biggest pout in the world. "You're such a dope. I already asked you like, three times." He laughed as he saw the cheeky expression on Bucky's face.

---

"Tell me again." Bucky smiled. "I love when you get needy about it." He didn't wait for Steve to say anything or tell him to fuck him again. He held Steve's hips and pushed inside fast and grunted when his balls his Steve's ass.

---

"I want- oooh," Steve started to ask again just because Bucky wanted him to but he cut off with a low moan as Bucky pushed inside him. He felt so full with Bucky's cock buried deep in him.

---

"You happy now?" Bucky asked and bent down to kiss Steve. "You love me, Baby?" Bucky's voice was airy and quiet as he started to slowly and carefully ease out of Steve and then push back in slow like molasses again. "You love getting me all worked up and desperate for you?"

---

Steve's legs wrapped tightly around Bucky's waist and he stroked his hands down his husband's back. "Yeah," he breathed out. "I love everything about you. I love that I get to face the world every day with you. And I love that you're my everything."

---

Bucky chuckled and gritted out, "You better," as he picked up the pace ever so slightly. He laid down against Steve's chest and braced his hands on the mattress so he could be closer to him as he made slow intimate movements inside his new husband.

---

Steve caught Bucky's bottom lip between his teeth and gave a gentle tug. "Look me in the eyes, Buck," he said in a breathy tone. "I want you to see what you do to me." Steve's face was flushed and he was clearly desperate to come but he also loved the intimacy.

---

"Oh, god, Steve," Bucky whimpered and kissed him deeply again. "Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by how good you are to me that I just want to cry and figure out how I managed to trick you into being mine." He tried to keep himself from going harder at Steve but he really couldn't hold back and he found himself increasing his force with every thrust.

---

"We were put on this earth for each other. You can't trick fate," Steve answered. He put a hand on Bucky's chest and got him to go slower. Steve was drunk on the tenderness and he didn't let Bucky go faster until they bother were desperate beyond belief for release. When Steve came, it shook his whole body and his thighs trembled from the force of it.

---

Bucky let out an excited little noise when Steve came and he sped up his thrusts even more until he was shooting his come far up inside Steve's ass. He panted and flopped on Steve with his dick still inside him and kissed his cheek and neck.

---

Steve immediately started to pet his fingers through Bucky's hair and massage his scalp. "You are the light of my life, Beautiful," he breathed out. He couldn't stop smiling and he was on an emotional high from his orgasm. "I am going to make sure you have such a good life."

---

"You've said that, Steve." Bucky laughed and nuzzled up close against him. He trailed his fingers across Steve's chest and pet lightly over his nipples for good measure. "Okay, what next? Shower then snacks then round two then a nap?"

---

Steve kissed him again and squirmed a little when Bucky touched his nipples. "Let’s save the shower for after round two. You wanted it to be a good fuck, we may as well let it be messy."

---

"Alright, whatever you say, Baby." Bucky smiled and sat up. "I brought some stuff from home. - pretzels, apples, animal crackers, those little gummy candies that Lilly likes. Or we could order room service again because all you had earlier was desert and you might want some protein in you."

---

"Protein, huh? Is that your way of telling me I should suck you off?" Steve joked. He reached for Bucky's hand and laced their fingers together.

---

Bucky looked down at his flaccid dick. "Well, you might have to give me a few minutes but I'm not opposed to some head."

---

"You know, it's so peaceful here it almost feels too quiet," Steve said. He had grown so accustomed to having two kids around the apartment and having to cherish every small window of silent he got alone with Bucky.

---

Bucky squeezed Steve's hand once and kissed his shoulder. "Yeah, it is really quiet with no kids around, isn't it? Sometimes it's nice having a day away from the girls but I always end up missing them and worrying about them too much."

---

"It is nice. I kind of like how quiet it is for maybe about two hours. But then I start missing your sisters, too. And Becca complaining at Lilly for not cleaning out Raphael's litter again. God, I'm so glad we got the cat cause a dog would have been too much work."

---

"A dog would have been a lot of fun but there's no way Lilly would have taken any responsibility for it," Bucky said. "I really hope they are being good for your mom... maybe we should call again." He checked the time. It was just a little past ten. "They will probably still be awake since we aren't there to make them go to bed."

---

"We can consider a dog when we don't have two kids to take care of," Steve chuckled. He was a little amazed that Bucky wanted to call the girls again - it had only been an hour or so since their last phone call. But he wasn't going to discourage it. "Go ahead and give them a call," he said gently. "I'm sure they'll be happy to hear from you."

---

Bucky nodded and dialed home again. Sarah picked up. "Hello, this the Barnes-Rogers'."

Bucky chuckled and turned to Steve when he said, "Hello, Mrs. Rogers." He covered the receiver and whispered to Steve, "She still says 'Barnes-Rogers' instead of 'Rogers-Barnes'."

There was a clicked noise from Sarah and a huff of a sigh. "Bucky, quit calling. The girls are fine. Lilly is asleep and Becca is reading on the couch. Is my son boring you already?"

---

Steve groaned dramatically at his mom swapping the names. He liked the sound of his own being first. He did laugh, though, when he overheard Sarah accusing Steve of boring Bucky. "Your son-in-law is a worry wart," Steve countered from next to Bucky. "I'm the most entertaining guy he knows."

---

"It's true, he is," Bucky agreed and held Steve's hand. "And it is also true that I worry too much. Will you tell Becca to please not stay up too late and tell them both we love them?" Sarah said she would and Bucky thanked her and then hung up. He looked to Steve. "You think I worry now, imagine what it'll be like when he have our baby, huh?"

---

Steve brought Bucky's hand up to his lips to give it a kiss. "You'll be a mess at the slightest sign of danger," Steve said fondly. "Our kid is going to have the best dads ever," he decided. "And a pair of really cool aunts."

---

"You'll be a mess too, don't lie," Bucky said. "That kid is never going to get any time alone. I'm going to be with it constantly." He thought about Steve being retired from police work and being a stay-at-home dad. Bucky would inevitably get jealous sometimes but someone would have to work. Maybe he should go back to school. Get a degree and a career that pays better before they have a child on top of everything else.

---

Steve pulled Bucky into a bear hug. "No, we both are going to be there constantly," he corrected playfully. He messed up Bucky's hair and kissed his cheek. "You think it'll be too much to do homeschool? I don’t know how I'd be able to send him or her away for half the day."

---

"Well," Bucky readjusted in Steve's arms, "if you think you can manage it then I don't see why not. I mean, there's always the question of social education and making friends but there are other ways of doing that, I guess. I think whether they are homeschooled or not is up to you, Steve. I won't be home every day to help teach so it'll be sort of like your full-time job."

---

Steve considered for a moment and said, "Maybe just until they're close to Lilly's age. I don't want them to not be able to make friends but it'll be good to start them with good study habits and all that. Besides, I'm not smart enough to teach them all the way through middle school."

---

"You're plenty smart." Bucky smiled at him. "I hope they pick up influences from Becca with studying and working hard in school."

---

"I hope so too. And I hope they're competitive like Lilly is," Steve admitted. That would be the best of both worlds.

---

Bucky rolled off the bed, took two apples from his snack bag, handed one to Steve, and took a bite from his. "You ready to fuck me after you eat that?" he asked and smirked.

---

Steve took the apple and looked at it briefly before setting it aside and staring at Bucky’s cock. "I'm ready to fuck you now."

---

"Well," Bucky looked at his apple, "I'm still eating this one. Does that offer to suck me off still stand? You could blow me while I finish this then fuck me?" He licked some runaway apple juice from lips and took another bite.

---

Steve laughed and nodded his head. "I'm spoiling you already... letting you have an apple while I get you off." He kissed Bucky's lips lightly and then started to trail slow, wet kisses down his chest. He dragged his teeth over Bucky's nipple before going lower.

---

"You love spoiling me." Bucky smiled and let out a content sigh as Steve worked down his body. He was going to eat his apple slow so he could keep Steve lips all over him. What he should have done was to bring his guitar. Then he could have played as Steve gave him head. That sounded amazing to Bucky. Maybe he could try that some time.

---

As Steve got lower and lower, he took more time between kisses. He nosed at Bucky’s lower belly and then licked up his shaft slowly. He lapped the head of Bucky's cock, deciding he would be a pain in the ass like Bucky was by making him ask for everything too.

---

Bucky groaned around his apple and stared at Steve. "This apple won't last long, Baby. Might want to speed things up," he said and massaged one hand on the top of Steve's head. "You know, some time I want to take a picture of you with your mouth on me so you can see how good you look."

---

Steve chuckled and kissed the tip of Bucky's cock. "How about you ask your husband a little nicer?" he chided in a singsong voice. He didn't make Bucky actually beg, though. He went down on Bucky eagerly, moaning low and looking up at Bucky through his eyelashes as he swallowed him down.

---

"Ah, fuck!" Bucky hissed in surprise as Steve took him into his mouth. He held the apple in his hand but ignored it for a few moments so he could watch Steve. "You are seriously too handsome to handle sometimes. I'm worried I'll wake up one day and will have simply dreamed you up."

---

Steve couldn't smile too well with a dick in his mouth but the corners of his lips definitely lifted up. "Keep talking sweet to me," Steve said after pulling off of Bucky's dick to breathe. He dove right back down and fucked his mouth on Bucky's dick, hand reaching down to tease his husband's balls.

---

Bucky panted a few times and bit his lip. "What do you want me to say?" he asked. "Want me to talk about how I love falling asleep by you and getting to wake up in your arms? Or how I love your gentle fingers combing through my hair or touching my lips or stuck in my ass. And it kills me when you look at me like nothing else in the world even matters. And your eyes are so attentive and gorgeous. Is that what you want to hear about?"

---

"Mhmm," Steve moaned in approval. He bobbed his head along Bucky's shaft and laved his tongue along the underside. His hand shot up and he scratched down Bucky's chest until he found his nipple, which he rolled between his thumb and index finger.

---

Bucky shuttered out a sigh and took several more quick bites of his apple until it was done. "Okay, apple is gone," he said hurriedly and gripped on to Steve's shoulders. "Now fuck me rough and fast like you won't ever get to again."

---

Steve grabbed the bottle of lube and slicked a few fingers up. Wasting no time, he pushed two fingers inside of Bucky at once, finger-fucking him as deep as he could. "You like it when I spread you nice and wide, Buck?"

---

"Yep," Bucky gritted out and clenched his teeth. "Go ahead with three, please. I need you quick. I can take it." He rubbed at his face and pulled his hair up on the top of his head but didn't tie it back. He wanted it to be down in case Steve would want to pull it while he fucked him.

---

Steve obeyed and was soon opening Bucky up with three fingers. Once he knew his husband was ready, Steve flipped Bucky over and put him on his hands and knees. He usually didn't go for this position but Bucky did want a rough fuck. He put one hand on the small of his back while the other guided his dick into Bucky's hole.

---

"Fucking yes," Bucky said excitedly when Steve turned him around. Bucky gladly put his face against the pillows and hitched his ass up for Steve. He braced his hands and knees on the bed and waiting for the sweet moment when Steve pushed inside him. "Ruin me, Baby."

---

Steve usually liked being sweet when making love but there was something goddamned sexy about how Bucky threw his ass up for him. Once inside, he gripped Bucky's hips hard enough to leave marks and he started to fuck him as hard as he could right away. His balls slapped loudly against Bucky's ass with every thrust and he reached between Bucky's legs to give his balls a small smack. "Like this?"

---

"Yes, fuck, do that again," Bucky demanded and panted hot breaths into the pillow. He wanted Steve to slap his ass and pull his hair and hold his cock tightly at the base. But he also didn't want to ask for those things and make Steve uncomfortable at all. He would just wait and see how it panned out and assess where Steve was at and if he was enjoying himself.

---

Bucky sounded so good when he asked him to do it again, so Steve did. The way that Bucky moaned in response had him thinking. Steve laid his chest over Bucky's back so he could purr in his ear, "Tell me to stop if you don't like this." When he pulled back, he gave Bucky's ass a firm swat that left a pink handprint in its wake.

---

Bucky gasped and then giggled maniacally. "You kidding, Babe. I fucking love that!" he assured and pushed back against Steve. "Think you can do it harder?" he asked and tried looking back at Steve to see what his face was saying in response.

---

Steve blushed deeply when he heard Bucky giggle. "Don't laugh at me," he complained childishly. He didn't want to hit too hard because he knew his strength. But the next slap that he did made an even louder sound. "Count them," Steve ordered before smacking him again.

---

"Three," Bucky said and chuckled again. He was loving this. Steve was really letting loose and manhandling Bucky a little more than usual. "Four." He bit his lip when he was slapped again. "Do you like this? Five. Because I really like this."

---

Steve had a thin layer of sweat over his body from how much effort he put into fucking Bucky so hard that there was no way he wouldn't feel it in the morning. "I only want to hear you count or say my name, Handsome," Steve said, slapping his other cheek now.

---

Bucky nodded and smiled. "Six, Steve." He bit hard on the pillow to keep himself from saying anything else until he felt the next slap. "Seven, fuck!" He could feel his dick straining with the desire to come and his legs were shaking with every hit to the prostate. He wasn't going to last much longer and he hoped Steve would be able to keep going for longer than him so he could be fucked through his orgasm.

---

Steve kept his hips at a good angle so that his dick battered against Bucky's prostate with every brutal thrust. He panted heavily and then double-timed his spanks so Bucky wouldn't be able to successfully count them quickly enough.

---

Bucky came hard and fast with his face mashed into the pillows to muffle his moaning and his legs were barely able to keep him up. He reached one hand under him to feel around for his come. He felt a little bad that he had gotten it all over the hotel sheets but he also didn't have much time to care as Steve's movements became more erratic as he was nearing his orgasm.

---

Feeling Bucky's muscles spasm around his cock was arousing as all hell. Steve fucked Bucky hard and fast through his orgasm until he came deep inside of him. Steve let out a stuttering moan before he pulled out of his husband and rolled Bucky onto his back. He then pushed two fingers inside of him, playing with his hole as he kissed up his neck.

---

Once Steve made it to Bucky's mouth, Bucky hungrily kissed him and lazily wrapped his legs around Steve's middle as he had his fingers inside him. "That was fucking amazing," he breathed and pulled his hair out from under his head before holding his hands against Steve's cheeks. "I love you, Steve."

---

Steve smiled and snuggled up to Bucky, being utterly sweet and affectionate even though he was gently still finger-banging him. He did that for a few minutes before pulling his fingers out and kissing him. "I love you, too, Baby. I can't wait for our future together."

---

"It's already started, you goof." Bucky chuckled and kissed Steve again. He laid there with him for a bit and then moved to get up. "Okay, Baby, shower time," he said and offered a hand out for Steve. "Damn, Steve, my legs are so shaky right now."

---

Steve chuckled at Bucky. "I guess I don't usually go that hard, huh?" He got up and scooped Bucky into his arms to carry him to the bathroom.

---

Bucky gripped on to Steve when he picked him up and pecked him on the lips. "Not usually, no. But it was great and doing that occasionally is totally okay with me if you enjoyed yourself." He started up the shower and ducked his arm under the water to wait for the temperature to heat up. "Did you enjoy yourself?"

---

Steve stooped his head shyly and frowned. "Um," he said awkwardly. "I mean, I enjoyed how much you enjoyed it," Steve murmured. "It's not... really my style." He didn't like hitting or being so rough with someone he was supposed to pamper and cherish.

---

Bucky pulled Steve into the shower with him and let the water cascade over his head. "Well, I loved it. And you did so well for me, Steve," he said and rested his head on his husband’s shoulder. "We don't have to do it like all the time but if you wanted to be rough with me sometimes when you feel comfortable about it..."

---

Steve wrapped his arms strongly around Bucky and kissed the top of his head. "I love you so much," he murmured. "I’d do anything for you - including being rough. But... even though I know I'm not abusing you, I can't shake the images I've seen of husbands beating their wives whenever I raise my hand to you."

---

"Hey, hey." Bucky nuzzled Steve and squeezed him in a hug. "You're aren't abusing me. And if it feels too much like the domestic abuse cases you've seen then we don't have to do it at all, okay? I don't want you to feel like you're being a bad person, alright, Baby?"

---

"I want to give you what you want, though," Steve said. "I know I'm being silly about it. I heard that lots of people do this sort of stuff with their partners. But still, I don’t know. I guess I'm a bit sensitive about it from being a cop."

---

"Then we will just not do it or... just lightly. How's that? And only as far as you are comfortable." Bucky grabbed the soap and rubbed down Steve's chest. "Besides, I like anything we do together during sex. You're the best I've ever had and the most loving and you're mine forever now and we have all the time in the world to be together."

---

Steve smiled in relief when Bucky tried to give him a few other options. "You're so perfect, Buck," he sighed. Steve placed his hands on his hips. "I love that you're so understanding. Who would have known you could turn a Catholic virgin into a gay guy who spanks his husband."

---

"God, Steve, when you say it like that it just sounds awful," Bucky quipped and sighed in exasperation but smiled anyway. They washed up and then dried off and went back to the bed. Bucky covered up the come splatter with a towel before lying down again. "Steve..." He said tentatively. "Would it be okay for us to order some celebratory wedding night drinks?"

---

Steve heard the hesitant tone in Bucky's voice. He was naturally wary whenever Bucky wanted to drink but he didn't want Bucky to feel bad or like Steve didn't trust him to drink responsibly on their wedding night. He put a hand on Bucky's chest and gave him a reassuring smile. "Of course, Baby. You pick what we drink."

---

Bucky grinned excitedly and attacked Steve in a kiss. "Thank you," he said as he took the room service menu out again to see what their selection of alcohol was like. "How about a nice bottle of wine and a cheap bottle of scotch. Maybe some beer too." Bucky was getting ahead of himself as he flipped through the list. They had some nice shit available and he just wanted it all.

---

Steve smiled weakly. "We can try a little bit of whatever you want. But we shouldn't have too much when you've been laying off for a little while. Don't want you waking up with a hangover."

---

"I won't. I'm fine," Bucky assured and picked up the phone to dial room service again. He ordered just the bottle of wine and the whiskey. "I should probably get dressed so when they come up I won't be naked answering the door." Bucky pulled his pajamas from his bag, dressed quickly, and then flopped back in bed with Steve. He was probably too excited about getting to drink than he should be.

---

"Get undressed a little. I want to see you naked as much as possible until we have to go back," Steve said. Steve held him once Bucky in bed and he smiled over at him. "So how excited are you for the honeymoon?"

---

Bucky nodded and removed his shirt again so he was just in his pants. "I'm so beyond fucking excited you have no idea. I haven't been there in years and it'll be great to go there with you and to talk about my dad and show you all the spots we would hang out. And we can fish and swim and have a cabin to ourselves. And we can fuck outside, and under the stars, and we can be loud. And I'll teach you how to grill over a fire."

---

Steve couldn't be happier with their destination. "Your eyes light up whenever you talk about it," he said. "It's beautiful how much you love that place, Bucky. I can't wait to experience all of that with you."

---

Bucky smiled and stared at Steve. "Thanks for agreeing to go there. If my dad were here, he would have already made us go with him. He would have taught you things about the trees and the birds and how to properly skin a fish. And he would have brought books that he thought might interest you. He would tell the same stories he told me. And he would tell you how Seneca was his favorite place in the world, second only to wherever his family was." Bucky looked away in thought and worked to hold back his emotions. "I really wish they would have met you. I think they would be proud of me for finding you and they would have loved you like their own immediately."

---

Steve wished that he could've met Bucky's parents. He loved Bucky and his sisters and it would've been amazing to have a dad again and his mom would've had an even bigger family for it, too. He cupped Bucky's face and drew him in for a slow kiss. "I've met you," Steve decided. "So I've met them." He slid a hand down to Bucky's chest, right over his heart. "All the stories you have of them is more I get to see of them."

---

"Okay," Bucky croaked and kissed Steve. He felt his eyes welling up as he moved to straddle Steve as he licked into his mouth. "You make me feel so safe," he whispered and held their foreheads together. "Like nothing can ever touch me or my family again. Like one day we will all be back together. Like nothing can tear us apart."

---

It was so important to Steve that he made Bucky feel secure and loved. "I know you don't believe in it, Buck, but I genuinely believe that God is watching over all of us and keeping us safe," he said. "And I'm going to do everything in my own power to keep us all together, too. There's not a thing on this earth that can separate us."

---

"I know, Baby," Bucky breathed and chewed his lip in thought. There was a knock on the door then and he jumped. "Shit, that scared me." He chuckled at himself and went to the door. The young girl who was on the other side was pushing a cart with the two bottles on fancy display for them. Bucky took the bottles and then remembered he wasn't wearing a shirt when the girl averted her eyes from him quickly. "Uh, thanks for bringing this up," He said quickly and ducked back into the room and closed the door. "I think I embarrassed the poor thing."

---

Steve laughed and sat up so he could wrap an arm around Bucky. "That, or she might have thought that you look real sexy," he offered. "But you're all mine. Stuck with me now." He popped a bottle open and took a drink from it before offering it to Bucky.

---

Bucky eagerly took the bottle of wine from Steve and traded him the whiskey to open. "I severely hope that wasn't the case. I don't want to be ogled by teenage girls - or women in general - or guys anymore. Just you. Only you can ogle me." He took a long drink from the wine and felt his whole being give in to the tones of alcohol. He breathed deeply and shut his eyes. God, he loved this.

---

"I'll die a happy man if I'm the only one who ogles you from now on." Steve genuinely was concerned with how much Bucky was getting into the booze. He wasn't really drinking too much, but he was a little too excited to have it. He didn't really know how to say anything about it without upsetting his husband. "But what if someone is ogling me?"

---

Bucky traded bottles with Steve again so he had the whiskey, which he preferred to wine anyway. "I'll fight them," he said simply and took a drink. "First, I'll tell them they have good taste, then I'll fight them. Even if I lose, you're still going home with me so it won't really matter too much either way."

---

Steve took a sip and then laughed. "Let's not start fights over someone hitting on me before they realize I'm spoken for," he said. He set aside the bottle because he didn't want to get tipsy. He wanted to remember every detail of tonight. "Speaking of ogling, I think some kids on Lilly's lacrosse team have a crush on her."

---

"No, stop it," Bucky said and pointed at Steve. "No one has a crush on Lilly. Lilly doesn't have any crushes back. She's not growing up and neither is Becca and they are never leaving me." He huffed disappointedly and drank again. "Alright, tell me what you saw."

---

Steve laughed and gave Bucky a kiss on the cheek. "Well, I noticed a few of the boys asking to carry her equipment for her. I don't think she knew it was flirting cause she got angry. I think she thought they were suggesting she couldn't carry her own gear cause she's a girl."

---

"That's my girl." Bucky nodded. "Good for her. She's going to be the type to either never settle down because she doesn't need a partner in her life, or have a rigorous screening process for whoever is interested before she even considers it."

---

Steve nodded his head with a little laugh. "I think she takes advantage a little whenever they offer her candy or Gatorade," Steve said. "It's kind of funny to watch."

---

"Well you know Lilly. She would sell us all for a life supply of candy," Bucky exaggerated. "And Becca will be fifteen in a few months. And she'll probably start to want to date people. And then she'll have a boyfriend or a girlfriend and then she'll go off to college and then I'll never see her except when she comes home for holidays." Bucky sighed and drank some more. "Now I've worked myself up."

---

Steve shook his head and kissed his husband's cheek again. "Becca loves you. Sure, she may want a little space at first but I doubt she will ever go too far for too long. She knows how hard you work."

---

Bucky kissed Steve and held his hand. "I know you're right." He huffed and took a look at the whiskey bottle, which was now about a third of the way finished, and he was feeling it. "What are we doing now? Sleep? Or TV until we fall asleep?"

---

"Let's get to sleep," Steve decided. "Would really like to cuddle with my husband and have a good, relaxing end to a perfect day." He brushed their lips together gently.

---

They fell asleep quickly and tangled around each other. When morning came, Bucky rubbed his eyes and yawned. There was light streaming in from behind the window curtain and it was gently illuminating Steve's sleeping face. "Hey, Steve, wake up," he murmured into his ear and waited for Steve to look up at him. "There's my husband. It's our first morning waking up married, I'll have you know."

---

Steve made a grumpy sound at first when Bucky woke him up. But then when he came to, his eyes sparkled happily as he looked over at Bucky. "It ought to be grounds for divorce to wake up your husband so early on the first day married," he teased and he pulled Bucky into a tight hug. "God, it's so good to wake up next to you."

---

"You are the one who said we need to fuck in the morning so we got to get a move on," Bucky said and crowded Steve so he would be able to feel his morning wood pressing against his side. "And I'll start without you, don't think I won't," he threatened and started slowly grinding against Steve. "I'll touch myself and finger myself open and you'll have to watch me come all by myself before you can fuck me. So you better get up if you don't want that."

---

Steve laughed as Bucky crowded him and tried to convince him to hurry up. It was an easy choice to make. He loved having Bucky so riled up and wanting him so early in the morning. "So how's it going to happen? I get to give you your nice, slow lovemaking session? Or is it going to be a fuck this time?" He reached down and started to play with Bucky's balls.

---

"Baby, that's up to you," Bucky said and nibbled at Steve's neck. "I'm good either way." He reached back and started massaging his ass cheeks lightly with his palms. "I just want to see that messy bedhead down by my ass. So however you want to do to make that happen is fine with me."

---

Steve let out a happy purr and then abruptly flipped Bucky onto his back and in a swift motion. He bent Bucky in half by hooking his hands under his knees and pushing them up to his chest. He dove right down and shoved his tongue into Bucky's hole over and over again.

---

"God, fucking hell!" Bucky shouted out when Steve fucked his tongue inside him. "Jesus, Steve." He was panting with the immediacy of Steve's actions and how much even his tongue was putting a stretch on Bucky's tight hole. He reached down to start jerking his cock and he moved his head so he had the best view of Steve that he could get.

---

Steve loved surprising Bucky like this now and again. He let out a low moan as he ate Bucky's ass out. "You like that, Baby?" He asked before licking up his balls. "I could do this all day."

---

"Oh yeah?" Bucky smirked. "Prove it. I bet you won't be able to last three more minutes before you want to get your dick inside me." He squirmed a little under Steve's wandering tongue and propped his arms underneath his head.

---

It was a mistake to bet Steve something. He was a stubborn fucking mule. He hummed softly and made good work of his tongue, sometimes fucking Bucky with it while other times teasing the rim slowly. He didn't show any signs of intending to get a move on.

---

"You're going for it, huh?" Bucky asked and closed his eyes. "What do you want if you win? You got to make it good." He kept his breathing steady as Steve played around by his ass, not wanting to give in or ask Steve for more. He was going to try to last too.

---

"I get to pick music for a week if I win." Steve didn't care so much about playing his own music- he just liked the idea of having control over the record player for once. He took one of Bucky's balls into his mouth and sucked.

---

"You're-" Bucky shuttered out a breath, "You're going to have to fight Lilly for music because she's not going to just give in." He reached a hand down to fist into Steve's hair. "I thought you'd pick something sexual. At least, I would have. But you decided to get me where it hurts, didn't you?"

---

Steve smirked. "Well, I don't need to win a bet to get what I want from sex with you," he said and licked up the shaft of Bucky's cock and kissed the tip before going back to eating his ass out.

---

Bucky sighed in exasperation and checked the time after a while. It had been over four minutes of this nonsense. "Steve..." he started and growled a little at his defeat. "Steve," he pressured again. "Please. Okay, fucking fine." He sat up quickly and pulled Steve up to him before roughly pushing him on his back on the bed and straddling him. "You win, goddamn it," he said and stuck two fingers inside himself and pumped in and out quickly before pushing in a third to make sure he was ready to ride Steve.

---

Steve popped his head up with a victorious grin. "I knew you would give in," he said proudly. He crossed his arms behind his head and watched as Bucky opened himself up. "I'm so damn pleased with myself, I don't even mind that you're fingering yourself. God, you look good."

---

"Well, you weren't doing it anytime soon so I had to," Bucky said and poured some lube over Steve's cock. He slicked him up well and held himself up over it. Bucky grabbed Steve's dick and sat down on it swiftly. His hole wasn't entirely ready for all of his cock at once and Bucky winced at the slight pain he felt as he went.

---

Steve moaned low as he felt Bucky take him, but he did catch the wince. "Hey, Baby, take it easy," he crooned softly. He ran his hand over Bucky's ass and gave it a squeeze. "Just stay there for a second. Let me get a good look at you."

---

Bucky groaned softly and nodded. He tried to look down at Steve with as sensual of a face as he could manage. He didn't say anything, just rested his hands on Steve's chest and slowly moved his hips back and forth ever so slightly. His hair flopped down in front of his eyes and he tossed his head back to get it out of the way.

---

"I wish you could see how gorgeous you look right now." Steve dragged Bucky down for a slow kiss and started to rock his hips up into him. "God, am I glad you're the only person I've ever made love to. I love sharing this with you."

---

Bucky hummed happily and licked at Steve's neck as he slowly humped up into him. "I'm telling you, we need a camera. Take some pictures of each other like this. Keep them forever," he whispered to Steve and then pushed back up so he was hovering over him. Bucky pulled himself off of Steve's dick and then sat back down again quickly. "Want me to ride you like this? Or do you want to fuck me in a different way?"

---

Steve breathed out and let out a pleasant sound. "Stay like this, Sweetheart. I like watching you ride my dick. You look so damned good. Come here and kiss me again."

---

Bucky kissed Steve firmly and then let Steve's tongue slide into his mouth. While he was pressed down against him, Bucky started moved up and down on Steve's cock. "Tell me how much you love me," he requested and held his hands around Steve's neck lightly.

---

Steve moaned and couldn't help but give Bucky's ass a gentle swat as a little compromise for not liking spanking too much. "The first day I met you, I thought that you were the most beautiful man I ever laid eyes on," he said. "I couldn't believe my luck when you agreed to go out with me." Steve smiled up at him. "I fantasized about marrying you ever since our third date."

---

"You did not." Bucky laughed and kissed Steve's cheek. "Don't make shit up to be sweet." He rolled his hips back and gripped his own dick in his hand to lazily start jerking himself off as he tried to fuck himself as best as he could on Steve.

---

"I did so," Steve defended. "I loved you from the start. God, Buck, I couldn't wait to say it. I was afraid to move too fast but when we finally moved in together, I knew that I was going to get to spend the rest of my life with you." He held Bucky and rolled his hips up, angling so he was hitting Bucky's prostate.

---

"You say ‘finally moved in together’ like I made you wait a decade," Bucky scoffed. "Steve, we haven't even been together for a year yet." Bucky swore when Steve gripped him tight and banged up into his prostate. "Let’s flip, I want to be on my back so you can rail me if you want."

---

Steve wrapped an arm around Bucky and flipped them easily. He leaned down to purr into Bucky's ear, "You don't get to ask me to tell you how much I love you and then give me sass when I say the truth." He smirked and grabbed Bucky's hands to hold over his head before he started to fuck him in earnest.

---

Bucky gasped and his eyes went wide. Flinging his head back on the bed, he yelped, "Steve, fuck, oh my god!" and choked on air. He hitched his hips up towards Steve with every thrust into him. He was rendered speechless again and all he could do was watch intently and breathe in short hurried gasps.

---

Steve rushed to kiss him to hush his shout. He rocked his hips into Bucky so hard that the bed rattled against the wall. When he came, he saw stars and he tossed his head back with a low moan. He rode out his orgasm, shuddering as he pushed in one last time.

---

Bucky managed to come just about the same time Steve did and he had to squeeze his eyes shut for a moment while he shot come onto his stomach. He milked Steve's orgasm from him by clenching his ass repeatedly around his cock. Bucky turned his head to the side, exposing his neck for Steve and sighing happily and sleepily into the sheets.

---

Steve whimpered softly when Bucky's muscles clenched down on his dick but he didn't pull out yet. He sucked a few marks onto his neck and smiled lovingly down at him. "Someone got loud."

---

"Sorry," Bucky apologized but smirked. "Someone got rough." He wrapped his arms around Steve and pulled him down against him. "That was a perfect morning fuck, Baby. I'm still peeved you won but at least you fucked me well."

---

Steve laughed happily and snuggled Bucky like he was a giant teddy bear. "You should know better than to make a bet with me and expect to win."

---

"I couldn't help it. But I got too cocky and couldn't hold out," Bucky said. "You should be flattered and thankful that I can't resist your dick."

---

"I worked my tongue off for that victory. I ought to be proud, not thankful," Steve teased. He kissed him one more time and then gave Bucky some space.

---

Bucky yawned and grabbed a tissue to wipe at the come on his stomach. "We have some time until we need to leave. Want to order breakfast?"

---

"Breakfast sounds perfect. We can take a shower while we wait for it to get delivered,” Steve said and reached for a tissue as well.

---

"You can go ahead and shower. I'll order the food and then lay here and watch TV or drift off again, who knows." Bucky reached for the phone and the menu and picked out, admittedly, too much food for them to share this morning. But he didn't much care, he had no idea when they would be at a hotel together again and he was really hungry.

---

Steve nodded. He trotted off to go clean up. His shower was pretty brief - he didn't want to let Bucky be alone for too long on their first morning as spouses. He didn't bother to dress after he dried - Steve just waltzed back into bed and plopped down next to him. "Hey, Handsome," he hummed.

---

"Are you talking to yourself there, Steve?" Bucky asked and flung an arm over his middle. "Food should be here in ten minutes they said. I got us eggs and bacon and some bagels and two breakfast sandwiches. I know it's a lot but I'm really hungry and we can take home whatever we don't eat."

---

"No, I'm definitely talking to you," Steve laughed. He drew him in for a kiss and smiled. "We deserve to spoil ourselves a little. I don't care if it's a lot of food. You're paying," he teased.

---

"That is true," Bucky said and lazily made out with Steve for a few minutes before breakfast got to their door. Bucky pulled on his pants and opened the door to find a bored looking young man with a cart.

The young man peeked into the room and saw Steve under the blankets and took in Bucky's shirtless-ness. He didn't say anything, just pushed the cart towards Bucky and turned to walk away saying something about ‘just leave the cart in the hall when you're done’.

---

Steve was quiet as he watched the transaction and the happy little smile faded from his face. He wouldn't trade Bucky for the world but he wished he didn't have to feel so self-conscious when people saw them. He let out a little sigh as he sat up. "Think he will say anything?"

---

Bucky pulled the cart into the room and started handing Steve his breakfast. He shrugged and sat down, taking the left over whiskey bottle from next to the bed and drinking from it. "Don't know," he mumbled and looked away from Steve. "I mean, he didn't say anything about it just then so maybe he doesn't care."

---

Steve took his plate and started to munch on his breakfast. "You think one day we won't have to worry so much? I mean, only five years ago it was illegal around here," Steve murmured.

---

"Yeah, I think so," Bucky said and entwined his legs with Steve's. "When that day will be is another question entirely." He sighed. "Let's just eat our breakfast and enjoy the rest of the time we have alone."

---

"Yeah, I guess I got to enjoy what we already have," Steve chuckled and kissed Bucky’s cheek before going to town on breakfast, occasionally stealing a bite from Bucky. "I wonder how much the girls missed us."

---

"Lilly probably missed us a little and Becca probably didn't care one way or the other," Bucky said. "You know how she is. We would have to be gone for a week before she even noticed. I bet your mom missed us more than she did."

---

Steve nodded in agreement. "Yeah. Oh man, my ma would get so sad whenever I didn't visit her two days in a row after I moved out. But sometimes I just got busy, you know?"

---

"I know what you mean. Life gets busy when you become an adult. There's practically no time for the things you need to do on a daily basis let alone spend time with family. Especially now that you've got me and two kids, you are much more occupied than before, I would imagine," Bucky said.

---

Steve looked down at his food grumpily. "I'll be even more occupied once I go back to work," he sighed. "It was nice being a house spouse for a little while. But I'll at least be able to help people again."

---

"It was nice having you at home to help the girls and cook and things. But I know how much you've been wanting to get back to it." Bucky finished his breakfast and set the plates back on the cart. They still had some sandwiches left so he decided he would wrap them up later to take them home.

---

Steve snuggled and lazily kissed Bucky until they had to check out. It was hard to not be all over his husband on the walk home. When they arrived at the apartment, he pushed the door open and called out, “Guess who's home!"

---

Lilly jumped off the ground where she had been playing with Raphael and she shouted Steve's name and nearly knocked him over in a hug. Becca quietly helped Bucky bring their bags in and murmured 'Welcome home,' under her breath. Sarah was occupying herself by knitting on the couch.

---

Steve grinned so happily when he got an excited welcome from Lilly. He picked her up and spun her around once before setting her down. "I'm so happy to see you," he said. "You too, Becs." He walked over to his mom and gave her a kiss hello.

---

Bucky hugged both his sisters and then picked up Raphael and scratched his head. "Did you all have a good night? Were you good for Mrs. Rogers?"

Becca took the sandwiches from Bucky and started eating one. "It was fine. Lilly had a nightmare so she slept in my room. But other than that we were fine."

---

Raphael let out a happy meow and bumped his head lightly against Bucky's chin. "They were very well-behaved," Sarah said. "You need to go out more often. I'll get to pretend I'll have the daughters I always wanted."

Steve snorted. "Thanks, Mom."

---

Bucky let Raph down on the ground and started taking their bags back to their room. "Well, we will be leaving you alone with them for about a week this spring when we go to Seneca," he said and tossed the last bag into the room before coming back out to his family. Steve started work again in two days and he wanted to spend as much time with him and his sisters all together as he could before then. It would be over in a flash.

Chapter Text

The first week back at work was both rough and refreshing. Steve had odd hours that took him away from his husband and he already had three homicide cases but he felt useful again. Today, he came home a little before eight after a double and he had some flowers for Bucky because he missed him.

---

Bucky was holed up in their room with a bag of ice pressed to his face and a bottle of Smirnoff stuck between his knees. The girls had already went to bed since they had school the next day and Bucky had managed to skip the drama of telling them what happened. He was waiting up for Steve and drinking and dreading having to explain to him what went on.

---

Steve was a bit sad to see everyone in bed but he sucked it up and headed into their room. His jaw dropped when he saw the state Bucky was in and he rushed over to sit next to him and put a hand on his knee. "Baby, what the hell happened?"

---

Bucky lowered the bag of ice so Steve could see his face better. He had a pretty bad split lip and his right eye was red and bruising. His body wasn't much better with bruises of its own forming in various places and his knuckles were all crusted over with blood. Bucky thought about the truth of what happened and worried about what Steve might do in retaliation. Maybe he could just get away with a lie, "If I told you it was a bar fight, would you forgive me?"

---

Steve pet his fingers through Bucky's hair and kissed his temple before rushing off to get a wet, cool rag. "You're my husband and I'm a man of God, so I'll have to forgive you," he said. "Doesn't mean you won't hear about it from me."

---

Bucky sighed. He really didn't feel like getting chewed out for something he didn't do. He did go get a bottle of vodka after the fact, but he couldn't help it. He needed something and that was better than some alternatives. He was probably going to hear it for buying alcohol without Steve knowing and pretending he went to the bar would just add to it. Bucky took another drink from the Smirnoff and then set it on his nightstand. "I want to tell you what happened but..." he trailed off and stared at Steve.

---

Steve let Bucky have one last sip before he plucked the bottle from the nightstand and went to pour it down their bathroom sink. Bucky was allowed to have some, but he wasn't going to give him a free pass for the rest of it. He wrapped his arm around his shoulders and kissed his temple. "If you're in trouble, I don't care how mad I'll be. I want to help."

---

Bucky held back when Steve tossed the rest of his vodka. He couldn't argue with him about it today. Bucky pulled his legs up against his chest and pressed the bag of ice back against his eye. "Got jumped," he said simply and looked away from Steve. "Sort of."

---

Steve took the ice pack and held it up to Bucky's face for him. He gently massaged the back of his neck to try and make him feel a bit better. "Sort of? Who was it? Did they steal anything from you?" he asked. "What did they look like?"

---

Steve was such a cop. Bucky was surprised he didn't pull out a notepad and take down everything Bucky was saying. "Wasn't a bar fight. It was just this guy I used to know," he mumbled. "He walked down the alley behind the record shop when I was taking the trash out. He must've been headed to the bar down the block and recognized me."

---

"Why would he hit you?" Steve asked. "Did you owe him money? What's his name, Buck?" Steve was getting a bit protective and looked one step away from going down to the precinct to and filing an assault charge.

---

Bucky furrowed his brow and asked, "Why would you assume I owed him money?" Bucky tried not to be offended by what Steve might be implying.

---

"Because people beat people up because they said something smart, they screwed their partner, or they owed them money. I figured it'd be the most likely of the three cause you didn't have any reason to instigate," Steve said.

---

"Never mind." Bucky shook his head. "He was an old drinking buddy. We used to be friends, things went south about a year ago."

---

"What happened between you two?” Steve asked gently and tilted his head to the side and looked at Bucky’s eye that was swelling.

---

Bucky shifted and sniffled. His head was hurting and he wanted to sleep. "I used to get in bar fights all the time and he was my buddy. He would back me up. One night we were in the men's room and he was helping me stop my forehead from bleeding. He was so close to me and I was so drunk and I kissed him. After that night, I never saw him again. He turned right around and left. He had me barred by the owner and I didn't see him again until just tonight."

---

Steve's stomach fell as he understood why Bucky had gotten jumped. He frowned and then rushed forward to hold him tightly in his arms. "Oh, Sweetheart," he said softly. "I'm so sorry." He hugged Bucky a bit too tightly because as awful as he felt for Bucky, he was livid at the man who did this to him.

---

"Gentle, please, Babe, my whole body hurts," Bucky winced and rested a hand on Steve's back. He was quiet for a moment before adding, "I was throwing the shit out when I got my knees kicked in under me and hit my head on the side of the dumpster. Turned around and it's him and his already drunken self and his fist coming right at me saying shit about 'goddamn faggot Barnes motherfucker, you cocksucking piece of shit'. So I fought back and ultimately he knocked me out on the curb and left. Reggie found me a few minutes later when he came out to smoke pot."

---

Steve wanted to cry. He couldn't imagine the sort of hate that would drive someone to beat up someone they called a friend just because that person liked them enough to kiss them once. "What's his name?" Steve asked, easing his grip up. "What's his full name?"

---

"Doesn't matter," Bucky whispered and tucked himself into Steve's arms. He really didn't want some big thing coming from all of this. He didn't want Steve to get involved and for him to be in danger or for the precinct to get involved, either. They already probably thought pretty low of Bucky as it was.

---

"Of course it fucking matters!" Steve said, getting heated and raising his voice a bit. "I'm not letting some bastard get away with beating up my husband. Give me his name, Bucky." Steve hadn’t gotten this upset and angry in front of Bucky before.

---

Bucky's eyes went wide and he shied away from Steve slightly. "Turn it down. The girls are asleep and they don't know about this yet." He sighed and grabbed for Steve's hand gently. "I don't want this to turn into some weird man hunt, Steve. I'm fine and I shouldn't have kissed him anyway so it's no wonder he's still pissed."

---

Steve saw red but when Bucky shied away, he cooled off just the slightest bit. He held Bucky's hand and looked away. "This isn't your fault, Buck. He's an asshole. If he can't handle someone liking how caring he had been to you, then he's the problem."

---

Bucky pulled himself up off the bed. "Can we just leave it? It's not likely that I'll ever see him around again and I'm just a little battered up." He started pulling off his shirt so he could go shower but he thought better of it, not wanting Steve to see the bruises on his ribs where he had been kicked while he was down. "I need to take a shower. I feel disgusting."

---

Steve gave Bucky a sad look but didn't say anything even though he wanted to insist on pressing charges against the bastard who hurt him. Steve sighed and kissed Bucky's cheek. "Let me take care of you," he said softly. "I want to make you feel better."

---

"Okay, come with me then." Bucky started towards the shower and lifted up his shirt a little reluctantly. It hurt to peel it off of his sore body and he grimaced when he bent down to take off his pants. Bucky stared in the mirror for a second and cataloged the marks on his body. "Fucking hell," he breathed out and ran his hands through his hair.

---

"Oh, Bucky," Steve said softly. It broke his heart to see him so hurt. He helped Bucky take off his pants and boxers so he wouldn't have to move so much. "Are you sure you don't want me to press charges?" he asked. "He got you so bad," Steve murmured in a quiet tone. "I'm going to take care of you, alright?"

---

"I'm fine, I promise," Bucky mumbled and got into the shower. "Just come help me wash my hair and then cuddle me in bed, okay? I'm really sore and tired." He reached a hand out for Steve and waited for him to get undressed to come join him.

---

"Alright," Steve sighed. He got undressed so he could wash them both. He was loving and careful as he cleaned Bucky's body and washed his hair. "Can I do anything else for you, Baby? Want a massage? Or maybe I can blow you?"

---

"I hurt too much for a massage but maybe you can give me head when I'm laying down again. Might make me feel better," Bucky said and shut the water off. He stumbled out of the shower and wrapped up in the towel before trudging back to bed and just laying down as calmly as he could.

---

"I’d be happy to do that for you," Steve said. He dried off and laid down next to Bucky and took him into his arms. He played with his hair for a few minutes before massaging his head. "I love you so much, Buck. I'm so, so sorry that you had to go through this." He kissed his temple. "You are such a good person and you didn't deserve this."

---

"I love you too. It's okay." Bucky kissed Steve lightly. "I'll be okay. I'll heal up quick probably." He rolled a little to the side and gasped at the pain in his ribs. "No, okay, I need to lay on my back. Hurts too much on my side."

---

Steve looked into Bucky's eyes and then gave him another kiss. "What are we going to tell the girls?" he asked. "Becca can't know about the booze, so I'll get rid of the bottle on my way to work tomorrow."

---

"I don't know." Bucky sighed. "I don’t really know what to do. Do they have to know?" He breathed deeply and felt his lungs shake. "I don't want them to get worried about us again. Not after what happened to you. And I don't want to explain to them why this guy is so mad at me."

---

"Well, you have a pretty nasty black eye," Steve said. "And you're hobbling a little. You can't really chalk that up to falling down the stairs or tripping over something," Steve placed a hand on his head. "I don't like lying to them. And I don't want Becca to feel like we hide stuff from her."

---

"Fine." Bucky sighed. "I'll tell them tomorrow when they get home from school. I'll probably be asleep in the morning still." He started tracing lines down Steve's arms and tried to keep himself from screaming about how much this whole thing was so goddamn unfair. "Can you get me some medicine for my headache?"

---

Steve nodded and got up to get a glass of water and some painkillers. Once Bucky took the pills, he went back to stroking his hair and gently sung one of the lullabies his mom used to sing to him to try to ease Bucky into sleep.

---

Bucky was getting more and more tired as he went and having Steve hold him gently was really nice. He tiredly murmured, "This isn't a blowjob but it's nice," and closed his eyes as he felt his husband’s light fingers through his hair.

---

"I believe you asked for a head massage. If you wanted more, you should have specified which head," Steve teased. He kissed and sung to Bucky until he fell asleep. When Steve finally succumbed to his slumber, he still had his arms thrown around his husband.

---

Bucky woke up angry and in pain with a raging headache once again. Steve wasn't in their room and Bucky couldn't remember what he worked that day. The girls were probably eating breakfast or on their way to school and Bucky hoped that Steve was out there helping them get a move on. He waited a few more minutes before calling out to Steve in hopes that he was still in the apartment.

---

Lilly was the one who answered by going to the bedroom with a plate of breakfast that Steve had left. "Steve left before he got up for work, Dummy. He made us all - oh my god!" She accidentally dropped the plate. "What happened?"

---

"Fuck, Lilly," Bucky breathed and tried to sit up, holding his head. "Nothing... it's... I'm fine. Why aren't you on your way to school? You need to get going. You'll be late." He tried to wave her off but he moved too fast and hurt himself. "Clint gave me today off so I'll just be here when you get back then we can discuss it."

---

"It's a late start today cause of the snow," she said. Steve had seen it on the news and let them know by leaving them a note. "Who did this to you? Was it Steve?" She sounded scared. "Was it a stranger – a mugger?"

---

Becca came in then, hearing the noise and getting curious and concerned. She took one look at Bucky and her eyes got wide and scared. "The fuck happened to you?" she asked and came over to him to stare at his black eye.

Bucky groaned and shut his eyes tight. His head was still pounding. "I'm fine," he pressured again.

---

Lilly ran to get in bed with Bucky and started to look him over. "Did someone try to break in? Your eye looks all bloody." Her own eyes were shining a bit with tears as she tried to understand why her brother was beaten up. She didn't see Bucky like this like Becca had in the past.

---

Becca looked Bucky up and down and squinted at him, asking in a low quiet stern voice, "Did you get in another goddamn bar fight?"

Clenching his jaw for a second while he thought, Bucky looked up at the ceiling. "No," he said finally. "I didn't go to a bar." He looked to Lilly. "Steve didn't do this to me. No one tried to break in."

---

Becca didn't look convinced that Bucky was entirely innocent in this because he wasn't giving them a straight answer. She crossed her arms, now looking more angry than concerned that Bucky was hurt. "Then what the hell happened, Bucky?" she demanded.

---

He looked between his sisters and then gave in. He had hoped that Steve would have been around to help him explain what happened to him to the girls. Bucky really didn't want them to get worked up and worried about his safety or Steve's or their own. He turned to Becca. "You remember Donnie Manix who would bring me home sometimes after we had been out on a bar crawl?"

---

"Yeah, I remember him. He was a bit of a sleaze ball." Becca never liked him much but didn't say anything about it because he was the only friend Bucky had at the time who seemed to care that Bucky got home safe. Even though he sort of talked down to her and Lilly when Bucky wasn't awake or around.

---

Bucky nodded and gestured down at himself indicating wordlessly that this was the handiwork of Donnie Manix. "He jumped me when I was taking out trash at work last night. Didn't see him coming and we fought for a bit before he knocked me out. You remember how big a guy he was."

---

Lilly looked angry. "If you know who did this what are we sitting around here for? Why isn't Steve arresting him?"

Becca was confused at first why Donnie would attack her brother but then she realized. "He knows you're gay, doesn't he?"

---

"I kissed him." Bucky looked down at his hands. "About a year ago. I was drunk and we had just won a fight and he was patching me up and I just kissed him. Turns out he's still angry. He had some choice words to say about me and gay people, too." He shook his head. "I told Steve to leave it. I don't want to cause some big thing about all this."

---

Lilly was angry but she quietly cried because she was so upset that someone beat up her brother for being gay. Was this going to be a normal happening? She rubbed at her eyes. "Does everyone hit you when they find out you're gay? Why are they allowed to do this?"

---

Bucky gently curled himself around Lilly and pulled Becca over to join the cuddle. "Some people are filled with hate for what they don't understand," he said. "I don't know why, but they are. And, no, not everyone attacks me for being gay. It has happened a lot of times before and I bet it'll happen again but it's not an everyday occurrence, thank God."

---

"If it happens so often, why don't the police get involved? Steve is a cop. They got rid of that guy when he had Steve shot," Lilly said, still upset and slightly more naive than Becca was. "I'm going to kick his ass."

---

Bucky squeezed Lilly close to him in as good a hug as he could manage before it hurt. "It's complicated, Lil. It's really not as simple as having the cops get involved." He kissed the top of her head and checked the clock. "You've got to get to school now. The snow will slow you down and the delay is probably almost up. Do you want me to walk down with you?"

---

Lilly shook her head. "No, you should stay inside." She was worried about Bucky getting hurt again if he went outside. Becca gave Bucky a hug before taking Lilly out of bed and getting her to head out for school.

---

Bucky spent the rest of the day either laying in bed or laying on the couch. He listened to records or tried practicing on his guitar. Mostly, he just tried not to think too much and get himself worked up. Mostly, he just sat around and waited for Steve to get home from work. He hoped he had a good day and hadn't worried about Bucky too much.

---

Steve came home about an hour before the girls would be heading back from school. He'd picked up a new record from the store that Bucky had talked about wanting and he wrapped it up in some newspaper. He gave Bucky a kiss hello as soon as he walked in. "Hello, Beautiful. Feeling any better?"

---

Bucky looked up at Steve and smiled sadly. "Honestly, I feel a little worse today than I did yesterday. All the bruises have formed and I think I could have a fractured rib, but I'm not sure." He reached for the package Steve had under his arm and asked, "What's this?"

---

"Do you want me to take you to the hospital?" Steve asked, petting his fingers through his hair as he offered Bucky the package and said, "It's something that may make you feel a bit better."

---

Bucky opened it up and found a new record from a little band that no one had heard of yet that he had been eyeing for a while. "Thank you for this, Baby, will you put it on?" he asked and handed it back to Steve. "Also, no, I don't want to go to the hospital. I'm fine."

---

Steve put on the record and then went right back to Bucky's side so he could massage his head. "I could finally give you that blowjob," he suggested, nibbling his earlobe lightly.

---

"I’d love a blowjob, yes. And then some food. The girls already know what happened. They found me this morning when they were here during the snow delay," Bucky said and wrapped his arms securely around Steve to bring him in for a kiss.

---

Steve carefully straddled Bucky's hips and gave him a few, loving kisses. "I'm sorry you had to tell them alone. I was hoping that they wouldn't find out until after I got back," he sighed. "Did they take it alright?"

---

"Lilly wanted to start a duel to the death, like usual," Bucky said. "Becca understood why it happened and why I didn't want you to do anything. She also remembered Donnie from when he would bring me home sometimes." Bucky forgot he hadn't given Steve the name of the guy and he also didn’t realize he just let it slip accidentally.

---

Steve was such a cop and he perked up a little when he heard a name. He could probably squeeze the last name out of Becca or go asking around Bucky's usual bars for the guy. "You think Lilly would be able to beat him up?" Steve asked as he gingerly kissed down Bucky's chest.

---

Bucky laughed humorlessly. "I know you're joking but she might actually get farther in a fight with him than I did. She's good at evasive movements in soccer and lacrosse so she could probably dance around him and tire him out." He tried not to make any pained noises when Steve brushed up against his ribs. He was pretty sure one or more were fractured and even the slightest touch really hurt but he didn't want to worry Steve or have to go to the hospital.

---

Steve was as careful as possible as he kissed down Bucky’s torso. He sunk down to the floor and opened up the front of Bucky's pants so he could guide his dick out. "Let's not worry about any of that for now. I want you to focus on feeling good."

---

"Okay." Bucky smiled down at Steve and brushed his hair back from his eyes so he could see him better. Bucky's beard was now coming in pretty well. It was mostly just short and dark all around but he liked it. Although, honestly, he might shave it off soon because Reggie started growing his out too after Bucky started. That kid practically pretended Bucky was his dad.

---

Steve lapped at the head of Bucky's cock a few times before sinking down and taking a few inches into his mouth. He let out a little moan and reached up to grab Bucky's hand and guide it to the back of his head.

---

Bucky cupped the back of Steve's head and lightly scratched his hair. "I love you, Baby. And no matter how much people try to hurt me or change me because of that, I will fight my best and never give up and I'll always come home to you."

---

It hurt Steve's heart to know that they had to worry about each other's safety in this way. He tried to ignore it by giving Bucky the best head he possibly could. He moaned low and deep-throated Bucky's dick, reaching down to jerk himself off while he sucked on Bucky's cock.

---

Bucky was getting a little overwhelmed. He loved having Steve's mouth on him but he was also overthinking far too much. He was thinking about Donnie and if he was going to see him around again and if he was going to have to fight him again. He was thinking about Steve and how much he had already gotten hurt because of this and how much easier his life might be if he was straight. He also thought about his sisters and how they had to continually see him getting hate for who he was and they had to see Steve injured and Becca had to deal with so much from him and Bucky was worried someone might target the girls next. He let out a quiet little gasp and finally noticed the silent streams of tears that were staining his cheeks.

---

Steve tried to keep Bucky's mind off everything. He sucked his husband until he could barely breathe and he palmed at his balls to make them feel even fuller, but when Bucky kept crying, he couldn't act like nothing was wrong. He stopped and moved to sit next to him, pulling Bucky strongly against his chest while still being gentle enough to not disturb his injuries. "Love, it's okay."

---

Bucky let himself just melt into Steve and cry into his shoulder. Way too much had happened to them lately and he had been bottling it up for too long. "I'm sorry, Steve," he stuttered through the tears and pulled his legs up into his husband’s lap. "I'm sorry for all the shit that's happened. I'm sorry we both got hurt just for being who were are and I'm sorry I can't go visit my parents and I'm sorry I drank without asking you and I'm sorry that the girls have to deal with all of this."

---

Steve couldn't help the tears that fell down his face because it hurt to see his husband so upset. But he held him and kissed him over and over so he knew he was loved and cared for. "Baby, you don't have to be sorry," he said. "I didn't sign up for an easy life with you. I signed up for a happy one, and that's what you give me every day." He sighed heavily. "What can I do to make you happy?"

---

"Never leave me," Bucky mumbled into Steve's collar bone. "Never leave me and promise we will try to get a house and a baby and we will always be there for each other." He pulled away from Steve for a moment just so he could stare into his eyes. "I love you so much," he said and held up his ring finger to him. "I'm yours forever. No one can take me away."

---

"Buck, I will never, ever, leave you," Steve swore. "We are going to raise your sisters and then we are going to get a beautiful house and an even more perfect child that we will love and nurture into such an amazing person," he reassured.

---

Bucky sniffled and kissed Steve. "Speaking of the girls, they will be home soon," he said and slowly stood up to tuck himself back in his pants. "Sorry I cried while you were sucking me off. That was probably a big mood killer for you."

---

"At least I know you weren't crying cause I was doing such an awful job," Steve chuckled. He looked up at Bucky as he stood. "You going to be okay, Beautiful?" he asked, giving him a concerned look.

---

"Yeah, I will. I'm just upset." Bucky smiled weakly and wrapped his arms around Steve to give him a hug. He just wished that he and his family could be safe and happy without having to look be so scared all the time.

Chapter Text

In the next few days, Steve did everything he could to get Bucky feeling better and get up and running again. On his day off, Steve was ready to relax for once but he couldn't find where his Bible was. "Buck, did you move my Bible?"

---

"It's in the TV cabinet with the other books," Bucky said idly and strummed his guitar. He had been laying in bed for about an hour since he woke up just practicing and occasionally eating a carrot that Steve had left for him on his nightstand.

---

"Why'd you move it?" Steve asked as he went to go look for it there. He found it soon after, buried under a bunch of Becca's collection. "You know I don't like it when my stuff is moved, Babe."

---

"I know. I just figured I'd put all the books together so we knew where they were. I found it out on the kitchen table so I just popped it into the cabinet," Bucky replied without much interest and kept playing, glancing up when Steve returned with it in hand.

---

"That's still moving my stuff," Steve complained as he sat down near Bucky and opened to one of the passages Father Frank mentioned last mass. "I got busy making the girls breakfast and left it there so I could pick it up now."

---

"Well, you found it. It's fine," Bucky said. "Not a big deal," he mumbled offhandedly and got up to put his guitar away. He had to leave for work soon and he was still in pajamas.

---

"Yeah, but if you weren't here when I was looking for it, I wouldn't have found it," Steve snipped to him. He knew things were more chaotic around here but Steve hoped that some things would be respected, like leaving Steve's stuff alone. "What time do you have work?"

---

"I have to leave in a few minutes." Bucky furrowed his brow. "Why are so pissy? I don't see why this is such a big thing. You found it and it's not like I threw it out or anything. And don't you have two more Bibles in a box in the closet?"

---

"I'm not pissy," Steve defended. "But I have a right to be annoyed when I keep asking you and the girls to not move my stuff and then you keep moving my stuff." He looked back down into his Bible. "Also, this is my favorite one and the one I have marks and highlights in – the others don’t have that."

---

"Okay, but you clean up all our shit all the time," Bucky said and pulled off his pajama shirt so he could put on one of his sweaters for work. "Half the time when she's going to school, Lilly can't find her backpack cause you've put it in the hall closet with Becca's and that's not where she last left it."

---

"Because they leave their stuff where it doesn't belong. Shoes go next to the mat, backpacks in the closet. I mean, if you prefer me to not clean and let the place become a pigsty then I'll leave their stuff alone," Steve huffed.

---

Bucky scoffed at Steve. "That's not what I'm saying. It's just they are kids and they are busy kids. They leave stuff everywhere so they can find it fast later. And it's not like you talked to them and set up an organization plan with them for what is supposed to go where."

---

"They're young adults who are perfectly capable of hanging their backpacks on the hooks I clearly labeled for them. I even decorated it!" Steve said. It was frustrating to have done everything he could to make the house as organized as possible so the daily mess wasn't as big as it usually was. "I've told Lilly a thousand times to hang her backpack on the hook."

---

"Telling Lilly to do things doesn't work." Bucky crossed his arms and looked to Steve. "She needs a plan and direction. And decorating a hook with her name on it and just expecting her to always put her bag there isn't a plan."

---

"I'm a grown man and she's not even a teenager yet," Steve said. "If I tell her not to leave her backpack laying around, that's all there is to it. I don't step on your toes in front of them, but you give them too much leniency." Steve had to hold back a lot of the times when Bucky was too lax about some things with them.

---

"The fuck's that supposed to mean?" Bucky snapped and glared at Steve. "I'm lenient? They are my sisters - my responsibility. I'll raise them the way I see fit. And Lilly doesn't see you as her brother or her parent so she's not going to just obey you like she would if she did."

---

"Well, the way you see fit is too soft," Steve said. He looked a bit hurt. "Lilly should see me as something considering I married you, I live here, and I make her goddamn breakfast, lunch, and dinner almost every day."

---

Bucky clenched his teeth. "Lilly and Becca already lost two parents. Marrying me isn't going to just raise you to that status for them. You're their brother-in-law, and most kids don't have to obey their brother-in-law like a guardian."

---

"I know that marrying you isn't a fast track to guardianship but, Christ, Buck. I make their food. I do most of the shopping. I clean. I help them with their homework. What else do I have to do to get respect from them in my own damn home?" Steve demanded.

---

"You're the one who wants to do all that shit!" Bucky shouted. "We were fine making our own food and cleaning our own house and shopping on our own and Becca helped Lilly with homework. I handled it all on my own! You're the one who came in and said you wanted to help us with anything you could to make things easier. You're the one who said you didn't want us eating the way we were. You're the one who started controlling stuff and changing stuff and taking over because you wanted to and you thought I couldn't do it!"

---

"What's so wrong with wanting to be there for you guys? Now I'm the asshole because I'm making sure they have healthy meals instead of eating cereal all the time?" Steve put down his Bible and glared. "You're going to be late for work. You'll need some time to cool down anyway."

---

"I'll need some time?" Bucky asked incredulously then just laughed and shook his head. "You know what, that's fine. I’d rather be at work right now anyway," he said as he tugged on his socks and then stormed out into the kitchen to get his shoes and coat. He angrily yelled "Bye, Steve!" before slamming the apartment door behind him and heading down the street.

---

Steve was livid. He hated not being taken seriously by the girls and having no power to stand up for himself when the girls ignored any stipulation he had. He was still in a sour mood when the girls got home, especially since Lilly threw her backpack on the floor the second she got in.

--- 

 

***

 

Work had been an absolute shit show. Bucky had to deal with angry customers all day and at one point a kid knocked over a whole display that Bucky had to put back. Reggie left early because he got sick and Clint and Bucky were left to clear up and close the store by themselves. While Clint was in the back counting the money and putting it in the safe, Bucky went to lock the front door. He was greeted with an arm stuck between the door and the wall shoving its way into the store as Bucky tried to get the lock in.

---

Donnie practically shoved the door open as soon as he got his arm wedged in between. He was a little drunk and was on his way home when he saw Bucky alone in the shop as he passed by the window and decided to cause more trouble. "You've got some balls to be out in public, Fag."

---

Bucky's eyes went wide and he steeled himself for whatever might come. "I fucking work here, you prick. And we're closed. Get out." Donnie was a bit taller than Bucky and definitely wider and stronger - especially since Bucky was still battered up from the incident the week before and most likely didn't stand a chance against him tonight.

---

"Well, you shouldn't," Donnie scoffed. "You ought to be in the ground or out of sight. Like all queers." He gave Bucky a little shove. "Seriously, what made you think you could kiss me, huh? What made you think I was a dick-loving faggot like you?"

---

Bucky winced at the impact, his ribs not able to take even a slight push. "I was drunk, Donnie. I wasn't thinking. Just like you're drunk and not thinking right now. I made a fucking mistake. You should leave before you make an even bigger one." Bucky hoped against hope that for some reason Clint would come out to the floor for something and see what was going on. There was no way for him to get his attention by yelling and if he stomped the ground to make the place shake then Donnie would for sure retaliate.

---

"Mistake?" Donnie snorted. "Now that I think back more, I remember all the looks you gave me. The ‘fuck me’ sort of looks." He reeled his arm back and gave Bucky a hard hit right to his head. "You should have never left whatever hole you crawled out of. Cause I'm gonna make sure you won't be able to walk out of there again." His fists went flying, relentlessly punching Bucky's face and chest over and over.

---

Bucky fell back against a stack of record crates and half them collided onto the ground. He tried to hold his arms up to protect his face but Donnie easily yanked them out of the way and knocked into his jaw again. Bucky went down on the ground quickly and his last thought before he passed out was how the last thing he and Steve did was fight and the last thing he said to his sisters was that they better get to bed before he started taking away privileges. Bucky opened his eyes barely enough to see Donnie towering over him and he gasped out, "Steve," before everything went black.

---

Donnie kicked Bucky in the ribs while he was knocked out and Clint came rushing in when he felt the heavy thud on the floor. He grabbed a gun from behind the counter and scared Donnie off with it before calling the cops. He couldn't hear the other end and kept repeating that he was deaf and they needed an ambulance at the store immediately.

---

Bucky woke up briefly in the ambulance and saw Clint staring down at him. He tried to reach for his arm but his fingers weren't moving and he didn't realize his arms and body were being restrained on the cot. He slipped back into an unconscious sleep and stayed that way for a long while.

---

Steve was in the middle of preparing dinner when the phone rang. It was the hospital and thank God he had Bucky put an emergency card with his name and their house number as the contact or else lord knows when it would've been that the hospital would've contacted him. His face went white as a sheet and he hung up the phone as soon as they were done. He did his best to remain calm as he turned to the girls. "Hey, uh... I have to run out, okay? I can see if my mom can come over."

---

Bucky was awake and laying on his hospital bed confused and in a lot of pain. Clint was sitting beside him and a nurse was talking to him about Bucky's injuries though Bucky couldn't make out what she was saying. None of his family was around and Bucky couldn't manage to speak to call out to Clint or the nurse to go get Steve and his sisters. All he could do was lay there and listen to the garbled noises around him.

---

Steve told the girls to behave until his mom came over and he rushed over to the hospital. He wanted the girls to know but he had to see how bad it was first. When he saw his husband lying barely conscious in the hospital bed, he rushed past Clint and the nurse to gently take Bucky's hand in his. "Hey, Sweetheart. I'm here. God, I'm so sorry."

---

It took a few moments before Bucky could register that Steve was standing over him. He saw his lips moving and heard the gentle but concerned tones of his voice but he couldn't decipher what his words were. Bucky's vision blurred a bit when he tried to focus in on Steve and he had to blink several times before he could lock eyes with him.

---

Bucky looked absolutely wrecked. His face was swollen and patched up from all the cuts and stitches he'd received. "I'm here for you, Baby," Steve said. "I'm here for you. Always." He kept his hand on Bucky's but he looked to Clint and the nurse. "Who did this to him?"

---

Clint shook his head and said, "Don't know his name. It was a big guy, blonde, tall. He seemed drunk and he definitely had some beef with Bucky. They seemed to be acquainted. Bucky's been passed out this whole time, he hasn't been able to tell us what happened."

---

Steve's stomach sank and his blood ran cold. He got a dangerous, fired look behind his eyes as he put together who had done it. He could kill the bastard, but Bucky needed his support first. "Bucky's awake," he said. "There's something wrong with him," Steve insisted. It took Bucky too long to react to him. Usually, he would be immediately talking to him and reassuring him he was fine.

---

Bucky was looking from Clint to Steve lazily following their movements as they spoke. He didn't understand why he couldn't hear what they were saying. He could hear the noise of talking but nothing got through and he wasn't a perfect lip reader like Clint so he couldn't figure it out that way. He raised his hands to his throat and gently pushed against it like it was broken and he made a groaning sound before trying his best to speak Steve's name.

---

"Hey, Baby, go easy," Steve said, gently easing Bucky's hands down from his neck. He spoke words of reassurance to Bucky for a little while but after a little bit, something dawned on him. He grabbed his pen and pad and wrote down, ‘Can you understand what I'm saying?’ and then showed him the note.

---

Bucky touched the paper and read it slowly. He looked back up to Steve and moved his head back and forth ever so slightly. He was getting frustrated. He didn't know what was going on. He knew tha