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“There’s just,” slurs Bucky, squinting, “Lots.”

“Sure is, Buck,” Steve says agreeably, and steers Bucky successfully to his cot. It tips a little as he flops over to pluck at his bootstraps drunkenly. Steve bats his hands away and kneels down to do it for him. Bucky keeps on squinting; down, now, instead of up. He slaps a hand on Steve’s arm and squeezes. His thumb rubs against the fabric.

“Christ,” Bucky says. “Jesus fucking Christ, Stevie.”

“No need to go on sayin’ His name thataway, Buck,” Steve chides, a smile tugging up the corner of his mouth.

“You used to weigh one hundred pounds soaking wet and holding a stack of Bibles,” Bucky accuses, but fuzzily. “I’m not still stuck with the damn Nazis, am I?”

It’s supposed to be a joke, but Bucky is at that certain stage of drunk where everything he says just sounds heart-stopping and honest. Steve has to take a breath and hold it while he finishes unlacing and tugging off Bucky’s shoes. Left foot untied, right foot untied; left boot removed, right boot removed. There are holes all over his grayish socks, and his big toe pokes out of the right one. Steve feels abruptly terrible, and not just because he hasn’t had to darn a single sock since he left Brooklyn.

Bucky squeezes Steve’s arm one more time and then reaches out the same hand, briefly and companionably combing his fingers through Steve’s hair. Steve tries not to lean into the touch. He wants to put his head on Bucky’s knee, but he doesn’t.

And then Bucky says, “You sure are sweet on that Carter girl, ain’t you?”

Steve’s throat closes right up. She looked so beautiful tonight in that dress he forgot how to talk. But Bucky, right now -- Steve can’t even look at Bucky, not with his mouth all red and wet that way from the hard liquor. It’s confusing. He doesn’t think there’s a word for people like him, people who want these things. He feels, secretly, selfish. He doesn’t understand why he’s wired so different; why he can’t just choose if he likes dames or fellas and stick with it, same way as everyone else.

Steve stands. “Come on now, lie back,” he says.

Bucky stretches out on his cot happily enough, feet hanging off the edge a little. He watches Steve through those big heavy-lidded eyes. He smiles. It’s wonder his face doesn’t break in half, trying to hide that almighty cringe. “S’good, I’m glad you do,” Buck lies. “Real glad. You fucked her?”

“Christ,” Steve bites out, completely forgetting his manners and turning about fifteen shades of red in the process, all the way from tomato to poppy. “Bucky, that’s rude as all hell. I know you’re drunk, but I don’t have to stay here and listen to you speak that way about a lady, and an agent at that.”

“Je-sus,” says Bucky, laughing, but his face is brittle and mean. “Only askin’, man to man. Bet she’d be wild.”

“The hell’s wrong with you?” Steve demands, and immediately regrets it. “God, Buck; sorry, I’m sorry. Listen, you get your rest. You need it. No wake-up call tomorrow, huh? That’s a first in a long while.”

“Stevie,” says Bucky. His voice is suddenly small and scared. His eyes have gone as wide as they can with this much liquor in his system. He drank a lot tonight. A whole lot, more than usual, even more than the time they laid him off from the job at the docks. Steve takes a step forward, concerned.

“Y’sure you’re real?” Bucky asks quietly.

“Hey,” says Steve, dropping to his knees again. He reaches out to give Bucky’s shoulder a squeeze. “Hey, Buck, look at me. I’m sure. Same eyes, right? Same face.”

Bucky reaches up his hand and traces his index finger down the bump in the middle of Steve’s nose. “Same beak,” he kids.

“Your fault,” Steve replies. “Did a helluva job setting it, you knucklehead.”

“Yeah,” says Buck, and then, completely non-sequitur: “They just — okay.”

“Okay,” Steve echoes softly. Bucky’s hand cups loosely around Steve’s jaw. His thumb presses on Steve’s lower lip before he drops his hand and his eyes drift shut. His eyelashes are thick and dark, and in the dim light they cast long shadows down his cheeks. Then Steve realizes what Buck has said.


Steve keeps his hand on Bucky’s shoulder even though he wants so bad to push it through Bucky’s hair. He wishes abruptly that he was back down to a sickly ninety-five pounds again, even if it would mean shivering and wheezing in the cold and ugly damp of this European winter, just so he’d have an excuse to climb into bed with Bucky the way they used to. But there’s no way they’d both fit now.

Just a minute later and Bucky is out cold.

Steve unintentionally lied; there was a wake-up call.

“They want,” Colonel Phillips had said, his lip curling, “pictures.”

So it’s back in dress uniform for Steve, hat and heavy jacket and all, even though the rest of the unit just gets to wear what they’ve got on. These pictures are for the men and boys fighting alongside them, and whoever’s marketing thinks they should leave Captain America out of it. Privately, Steve agrees. He understands now that a dress uniform says more to the people who have seen their buddies die on the front than some jerk parading around in an American flag.

And anyway, the photographer claims that even without the Cap uniform their unit has “personality.” They’re a mismatched kind of crew, Falsworth in that beret, Dugan with his bowler hat. Bucky, in a thick wool peacoat someone scrounged up for him, jokes with Gabe, who is the only one of them with anything resembling a standard issue combat uniform. Steve considers walking over to Bucky to ask how the hangover is doing, but he seems oddly bright-eyed and awake, as if he isn’t feeling it at all.

“Alright, gents,” says the photographer. “Get in there, if you please. Cap in front, the Sarge on his left…”

Steve tunes the guy out as Bucky jostles up against him. He’s holding his rifle. Steve takes a second to get a good look at him. And then Bucky turns to look back, and Steve starts like he was caught by Sister Clarence with his hand in the damn cookie jar.

“What?” Buck asks.

“Just wondering who would want to buy bonds after looking at your ugly mug,” Steve volleys back, thinking quick. Bucky’s face splits into a grin and Steve’s finds himself grinning back as Bucky starts to laugh. He didn’t realize how much he missed that sound.

The camera flashes unexpectedly, and Steve and Bucky both turn, surprised.

“Supposed to get a few good candids,” the photog explains.

It takes maybe fifteen minutes for him to get all his pictures. Steve is directed not to smile, so he doesn’t, instead falling to parade rest and setting his jaw, looking into the camera. Dugan’s shoulder brushes Steve on his right, but he doesn’t even notice, because on his left Bucky isn’t touching him at all.

“Boss would like a couple for the papers,” the photographer says then, looking hopefully at the Colonel. Phillips rolls his eyes hugely but goes to join them. A few more and the group disperses, the photographer moving away to talk to his associates while the guys start to rib on each other. Steve gets distracted talking to Morita, and by the time he turns to see where Bucky’s gone, he can see only Bucky’s back as he walks away.

Steve makes his excuses and breaks into a jog to catch up. “Where you going?” he asks, falling into step beside him.

Bucky looks at Steve askance. “Honestly? Thought it wasn’t too early to break into the booze.”

“Oh,” says Steve, thrown.

Bucky misinterprets. “Don’t look at me like that. We’re on leave, aren’t we?”

“No, I mean — you just don’t have to drink alone, that’s all,” Steve says. He grabs Bucky’s arm, and suddenly Bucky tenses all over, spine snapping straight. He looks at Steve, his eyes panicked and face frozen. Steve drops his hand like he’s been burned.

“Buck,” he says; soft, and scared.

“Bet you got yourself a room,” says Bucky. He turns on the smile, but Steve sees right through it. “A real bed and everything, probably. Why don’t you go find Agent Carter and —”

“Buck, stop,” Steve says, reaching out to touch him and then immediately thinking better of it. He looks around quickly. They’re close to the barracks, and sure, Bucky’s right — that is, they did give Captain America his own room — but it’s too far away right now. The offices are closest. He makes a sharp right, headed for the little building. He’s afraid for a moment that Bucky won’t follow, but after he opens the door and steps through it Bucky is right there to shut it behind them.

“Hey, Captain America,” Bucky says. Steve turns just in time to hear the shutter of a camera click. Bucky lowers the Kodak, grinning. He looks around as he winds the film and adds, “Looks like this is where the media monkeys are bunking.”

Bucky’s right; Steve has ushered them into an office-cum-bedroom. There’s a coffee table, a desk, and a mirror, all littered with photography paraphernalia. Somebody managed to cram a moth-eaten burgundy couch in here too, presumably for the photographer to kip on.

“Look, I just — Bucky,” Steve huffs, gesturing to the camera that Bucky is messing with, folding up and expanding again, “Put that down, will you?”

Bucky sets it back on the desk where he got it from, looking expectantly up at Steve. Steve, under the full force of those eyes, suddenly finds himself forgetting what he dragged Bucky in here for in the first place.

Gathering his wits back up, Steve clears his throat and starts, “Buck, when you were talking last night, I...”

“Let’s forget it,” Bucky interrupts. “Don’t even remember what I said.”

“Well hell, Buck, I remember,” argues Steve. “And about Agent Carter —”

Bucky steps forward, looking fiercely angry — about what, Steve doesn’t know. “I mean it, Steve. I’m happy for you. And what you and her have got, it’s no business of mine.”

“That’s not —”

“You deserve,” Bucky says, haltingly. “You deserve that. You like her a helluva lot, don’t lie to me. You’re a goddamn awful liar. And besides, it’s not like I thought — I always knew that —”

Bucky breaks off and looks away, clenching his jaw. Bucky doesn’t stutter, not ever. Steve feels scared and small, which isn’t, all things considered, that unusual. When Bucky looks back up his eyes seem perilously red-rimmed. But Bucky hasn’t cried in maybe a decade and he doesn’t now, instead sucking in a deep breath.

Something is wrong. Something is very, very wrong.

Quietly, afraid to spook him, Steve murmurs, “You can tell me. You can tell me anything, Buck.”

The sound Bucky makes isn’t a laugh. It’s too horrible and hollow to be that. “They fucked me up, Stevie,” he says. “They fucked me up pretty bad.”

With a blossoming, single-minded intensity, Steve hopes that every single man who laid a hand on Bucky in that base died burning. And then Bucky steps closer, and the fury Steve feels rushes right out of him. Bucky grips at Steve’s arms, not handsy like he was last night, but tentative and unsure. Steve’s throat closes up.

Bucky, I —”

“Shut up a second, huh?” Buck implores. He tips his forehead close to Steve’s neck, not quite touching him. When he speaks again, his voice is hoarse. “Just shut up for a second.”

Steve, afraid to be pushed away again, spans his hands on Bucky’s hips. He pulls back and looks at him, really looks at him. He and Bucky have always — but they called that practice, or it’s cold outside, and Bucky would still try to set up double dates for the both of them when he could; a pretty girl each, neither of whom had eyes for Steve anyway. And Buck always talked like Steve would find a girl and settle down, talked like it was a foregone conclusion, so Steve figured that was the way it would be.

Except now. Now Steve begins to feel, with a cold and creeping dread, that he has been missing something very vital about this for a very long time.

Cautiously, not knowing what else to do, Steve kisses him.

Bucky freezes like he might bolt. Steve holds still, their mouths barely touching, only because he isn’t saying to stop. And then Bucky is kissing him back, his lips parting under Steve’s, hot and open. Their tongues brush.

Buck lets out a low sound and digs his fingers into Steve’s biceps through his jacket, hard. The angle is bizarre and new; Steve isn’t used to being so tall, or to having to bend down. It’s been a long time since he’s kissed Bucky. Months. Somehow he forgot the fullness of Bucky's lower lip. It hits him all at once.

“Thought I lost you,” Steve gasps, overwhelmed. “Buck, I thought --”

“You didn’t,” Bucky says shortly, and now it’s Bucky kissing him, and fiercely. He’s gripping Steve’s shoulders, and then cupping his face, and then knocking his officer’s hat clean off his head to comb his hands through Steve’s hair. Bucky sucks Steve’s lower lip between his teeth, worrying at it. Steve can’t stand the tease for one more minute and, surprised by his own strength, kisses Bucky for real, parting Buck’s lips with his own, licking into his mouth. Before he really knows what he’s doing he’s hauled Bucky closer, their hips pressing together through layers and layers of fabric. He walks Bucky backwards until they smash into the desk. Steve gets a thigh up between Bucky’s legs, and squeezes at his hips when he feels Buck, hard and warm, between the layers of wool.

Bucky makes a hurt noise in the back of his throat. Steve immediately drops his hands, aware too late that he got too rough and probably left bruises. As if Bucky hasn’t endured enough. Guilt washes over him. “Sorry, I’m sorry, I forget that I’m —”

“Jesus Christ,” says Buck. His eyes are huge and dark, and his mouth is swollen and pouting, and Steve doesn’t have any idea where he wants to look first. “Hell, don’t apologize.”

When Bucky kisses him again, it’s slower, hotter. Steve lets himself be kissed. He settles his hands carefully back on Bucky’s hips. They push wetly into each other’s mouths, and the sounds — the sounds are driving Steve crazy. He’s drowning in their soft kissing noises and the little huffs Bucky makes when he really likes it. Bucky sinks his teeth into Steve’s bottom lip, and then he’s popping the lowest button of Steve’s jacket and tugging down the zipper. He plants a hand in the middle of Steve’s chest and Steve pulls back.

“Aren’t you gonna show me?” Buck asks. He stares at Steve with his heavy-lidded, dark eyes, his mouth wet and red, the same way it was last night. It takes Steve a second to gather enough brain cells to understand what Bucky’s asking for. When he does he flushes. Then he backs away and strips out of the jacket, dropping it onto the couch. Bucky crosses the little room and locks the door and bolts it.

Bucky walks back up to him, scratching his blunt nails against Steve’s abdomen through his shirt. He lets out a breath, and then tilts his head up and presses his soft, full lips just under Steve’s ear. It makes Steve shiver.

“Christ, Steve, look at you,” he murmurs.

“Get this off,” Steve manages, unbuttoning Bucky’s peacoat and tossing it to the couch with his own. Buck still has on that torn up green henley, and Steve pushes it up and aside, surprised by how much of Bucky’s skin fits under his new hands. Bucky must feel it too, because he sinks his teeth into Steve’s earlobe, his hot breath making Steve’s mouth drop open. Under Buck’s shirt Steve feels the new lines of hard, sinewy muscle, and when he moves his hands down, he finds that Bucky’s hipbones fit perfectly now in his palms.

“You’re so big,” mutters Buck. It’s not a come-on; Steve knows when he’s honestly astounded. He slides his mouth damply along Steve’s jaw, and then down, and down. And then he repeats, nuzzling into his throat, “You gonna show me?”

Steve takes a step back and tugs his tie loose. He starts on the buttons of his dress shirt, and Bucky shifts against the desk. His hand bumps something, though, and he looks down. It’s the Kodak. Steve, frozen, watches as Bucky picks up the camera.

“You know,” says Buck, considering, “When I first shipped out, I realized pretty quick that all the guys had something from their girls back home. Letters, handkerchiefs, pictures. Who knows where they’ll send Captain America next? Me, no doubt I’ll end up back on the front lines.”

There are probably a million replies to that. Steve can’t make his mouth unstick to form a single one.

“You gonna give me something to look at?”

Their eyes meet. Bucky’s gaze is intent; too intent. There is a desperation in his eyes that Steve has never seen. He needs a distraction, and Steve would do a lot of stupid things to give Bucky what he needs.

Steve finishes unbuttoning his shirt, and as it hangs open over his white undershirt Bucky raises the Kodak and snaps a picture.

Steve tosses the shirt onto the couch. He peels the undershirt off too, and then he’s standing in front of Bucky in nothing but his trousers and dog tags. A flush begins to creep steadily down his neck.

“Why don’t you touch yourself.” It isn’t a question. Bucky sounds like his mouth has gone very dry, and his eyes rove over Steve’s exposed skin like he’s starved for it. Steve flattens his right hand against his own sternum. His eyes are on Buck’s while he slides his hand up and left before pinching a nipple between thumb and forefinger, rolling it. The sensation builds, heat pooling deep in his abdomen. He sinks his teeth into his own bottom lip and lets his head tip back, the slow pleasure making his thoughts unfocused and blurry. He hears the camera go off again and opens his eyes. The way Bucky is staring makes him bold. Steve can’t take it anymore and reaches down to cup his cock through his pants with his free hand to relieve the unbearable, sweet burn in his body. Unsurprisingly, this only exacerbates the problem.

Christ,” Bucky swears, his voice rough. He snaps another photograph and Steve listens to him roll the film. “Anyone ever tell you that you’re a whore in front of a camera, Rogers?”

Steve thinks he’s blushing down to his navel. It doesn’t stop him from hissing when he rakes his blunt nails hard over the tight skin of his own pelvis, though. “Had to convince ‘em to buy bonds somehow,” he says, grinning. Bucky gets that on film, too.

“Get those off,” he says, winding the film again. Obediently Steve unbuckles his belt and then unbuttons the pants. He’s pushing them down when Bucky says, “No, wait, Jesus, leave them there. Steve…”

Pants barely hanging on his hips, Steve stills his hands, his thumbs hooked in the waistband.

“Turn around.” Buck’s voice has gone deep and dangerous, and the heat of it is almost palpable, taking root deep in Steve’s belly and tugging. He can’t think of doing anything but obeying, so that’s what he does, blisteringly aware that Buck is looking at the exposed swell of the top of his ass.

“Now look at me, Stevie,” says Buck, almost crooning. Steve turns his head, and over his shoulder shyly meets not Bucky’s gaze but the camera’s. Bucky snaps the picture.

Steve chews on his lower lip and waits for orders. Finally Bucky directs, “On the couch.”

Steve turns, takes the necessary step left, and sits, amazed he didn’t trip over his own two feet. The fabric is rough on his skin, rubbing against his ass. He looks up at Buck, who steps slowly closer. He kicks Steve’s legs apart until his thighs are spread. It’s a comfort to have Bucky towering over him again. Steve digs his fingers into his clothed thighs, keenly aware of what he looks like right now, hard and flushed and embarrassed. Of how close Bucky’s hips are to his face, the outline of his cock big and mouthwatering in his trousers.

Bucky has a way of charming, but also a way of coercing. Steve thinks he would do anything Buck told him to right now.

“Go on.”

Steve leans forward and pushes his pants down around his knees. His cock slaps up just under his navel, the head smearing wet and hard against his skin. Bucky makes a guttural noise, stupidly loud considering that the only thing between them and the entire camp is a flimsy locked door.

“Do it,” Buck says anyway, entreatingly. “Come on, look at you; I know how bad you want it.”

Steve wraps his right hand around his dick, squeezing. He brushes his thumb just under the head, and the wetness smears, dripping, covering his fingers in his own slick. He gets wetter now. It makes him feel filthy. Secretly, he loves it.

Steve looks into the camera while Bucky takes the picture. He winds the film and Steve is suddenly aware of what he’s doing again, what he’s letting Buck do, what he wants Buck to do. The realization makes pleasure rush through him in waves. His mouth falls open on a silent whine and he strokes himself with purpose now, his head tipping back. He hears the camera. And then he hears it thunk on the little coffee table.

Buck slides up his body and smashes his mouth into Steve’s. Steve grips hard at his shoulders, and when Bucky flattens his body between Steve’s spread thighs, the wool of his trousers scratches all along the underside of Steve’s cock. He moans for real, unable to help himself, and Bucky bites sharply on his lip to shut him up. It hurts; the wool is too rough, he’s too sensitive, Bucky’s teeth are too sharp — and Steve loves it. He loves it, and he’s about to come just like this, whimpering into Bucky’s mouth, rubbing his cock against Bucky’s through his pants.

And then Bucky pulls back, moving his hips away.

“Sonuvabitch,” Steve gasps in a rush, “Buck —“

“You still blush all the way down to the tip of your dick,” Bucky murmurs, nudging their noses together. He traces his index finger up the big vein in Steve’s cock, and then he rubs at it, intently. “So wet,” he hisses. “That for me, Rogers?”

“Don’t see anyone else in here,” Steve says.

“I should shut you up,” Bucky breathes viciously, and then he’s kissing Steve again, both of them using teeth. He kneels between his legs and laps sweat from the hollow of Steve’s throat. His hands, palms almost too hot, map Steve’s new torso, blunt fingernails scraping over his abs. Bucky sucks a nipple into his mouth and Steve has to bite down hard on the heel of his hand, his back arching off the couch. Bucky ducks his head down further. He sucks a deep red bruise into the hollow of Steve’s right hip. The pain blossoms and transforms. Steve fists a hand in Bucky’s dark hair as he starts biting the insides of Steve’s thighs, first left, then right. He suckles at the tender skin until Steve’s legs shake around Bucky’s ears. He doesn’t think he could stand right now if he wanted to. Bucky sinks his teeth sharply high inside his thigh, simultaneously wrapping his fist around Steve’s cock for the first time in seven months.

Fuck,” says Steve, heartfelt and trembling. But it’s nothing compared to when Bucky sucks Steve’s cock into his mouth a half a second later, taking him down as far as he can. Used to be Buck could take all of him. Not anymore. He flicks his eyes up at Steve, who has long been convinced that James Barnes is the only man alive who can smirk with a dick in his mouth. And then he starts to suck, delicately, curling his tongue around the head of Steve’s cock.

Completely unintentionally, Steve fists his hand tighter in Bucky’s hair. Bucky moans and takes him deeper. The sound is muffled, but that doesn’t mean Steve can’t feel the fine vibrations all the way up to his belly. Steve curls all ten fingers through Bucky’s hair, mouth dropping open as he watches those lips, so full and soft, as they part, and part, and swallow him down again. Bucky moans louder, his eyes fluttered shut, and Steve realizes he’s pulling his hair again. But Bucky isn’t saying to stop, so Steve doesn’t, and tugs harder. Buck grips tighter at Steve’s thighs and Steve can feel, can actually feel Bucky swallow around the head of his cock, that’s how deep he is. The constriction is so tight Steve thinks he’ll die. A flush rises high on Bucky’s cheekbones. Steve can hear nothing over the sound of his own heartbeat and the pornographic noises Bucky is making, swallowing and sucking and humming, and his hips buck. Bucky’s mouth is so hot, so wet, and his lips are so, so red. He bobs his head now, the head of Steve’s cock hitting the back of his throat every time. Bucky takes all of Steve’s cock that he can and sucks, hard, as he pulls off.

He looks up at Steve through his lashes. He takes Steve’s cock in his hand and suckles gently at the tip, pressing his tongue along the slit again, again.

“Oh God,” Steve chokes, enraptured. “Fuck, oh, fuck —“

And then Bucky opens his mouth invitingly and starts to jack Steve off, hard and hot and tight, his hand slicked from spit and Steve’s own wetness. He rubs his tongue just under the head, right where it counts, and before Steve knows it he’s coming, watching his cock jerk violently and shoot all over Bucky’s tongue, his chin, his full bottom lip. He yelps as it hits him, relentless, his hands twisting in Buck’s hair.

Bucky takes him down again, far as he can, and sucks gently. Steve moans weakly as he finishes, his eyes almost rolling back in his head at the wet heat that’s enveloping him, like Bucky wants nothing less than every last drop. Bucky takes him all the way back down to Earth, licking until Steve’s got nothing left to give.

Steve’s chest is heaving. There’s sweat cooling at the small of his back. “Christ, Buck,” he says weakly. He unclenches his hands from Buck’s hair and fuzzily hopes to God that he hasn’t hurt him.

Bucky nuzzles his face into Steve’s pelvis, open-mouthed and panting too. He’s getting Steve’s come everywhere. Steve pets a hand through Bucky’s hair, combing it up again and down again.

“Get up here,” Steve manages, tugging at Bucky’s arm. In one movement, Bucky straddles Steve’s lap and latches his mouth just under Steve’s ear. His breathing is harsh as they both fumble with his belt and zip. Steve is finally the one who gets them undone and shoves Buck’s pants down. He kisses Bucky on the mouth, grabbing two handfuls of his ass and pulling him impossibly closer, their tags clinking in the breathless quiet of the room. Bucky’s dick sits hard in the ridges of Steve’s abs, and Steve takes it in his hand.

Bucky freezes.

“Buck?” Steve asks, pulling back, but Bucky ducks his face into Steve’s neck. He’s shaking. Terrified, Steve smoothes his palms along Bucky’s back. “Bucky?”

Bucky pulls back, and Steve is hugely relieved to look into his eyes. They’re wide. A little scared, a little surprised.

“You just gotta,” Buck says, and swallows hard. Patiently, Steve waits, his heart in his throat.

“You just gotta know that the last people who had their hands on me were sticking me full of needles and askin’ for national secrets,” he says.

Steve translates that easy. Bucky has to keep reminding himself that it’s Steve. Just Steve, only Steve, and no one else. No one who wants to hurt him. He swallows hard around a heavy lump in his throat and says, “Whatever you want, Buck.”

Bucky is silent for a moment, looking at Steve the way he had in the HYDRA facility. Like he isn’t entirely sure he’s there. When it becomes apparent he isn’t going to speak, Steve does it instead.

“Can I kiss you?” he asks. Carefully he smiles. “It’s just, you’re the prettiest girl in this whole dance hall.”

Bucky’s eyes go impossibly wider, and then he punches Steve in the shoulder, hard. He’s chuckling, and it’s alright again, his eyes glinting, his nose an inch from Steve’s. “Christ,” he says, still laughing. “You —“

Steve takes him by surprise and kisses him again, Bucky smiling into his mouth. It tastes tentative but good. Real good. He palms along Bucky’s sides, the muscles flexing under his hands. He finds bruises and scrapes and deeper cuts that are already healing. He mumbles into Bucky’s mouth, “Can I touch you?”

Bucky doesn’t have anything smart to say to that. “Yeah,” he huffs. Steve reaches down again and fists Bucky carefully in his hand. He kisses Bucky’s neck, buries his nose there, breathes him in while he strokes him off. He smells like harsh soap and cigarettes and the booze from last night. Bucky slides his hands into Steve’s hair, tipping his own head back. Steve licks up his adam’s apple, stubble prickling against his tongue. He tugs on Bucky’s cock and Bucky moans, the sound catching in his throat. Just like that, he comes apart under Steve’s hands. He shakes and shakes, and Steve strokes him through it, sucking gently at the underside of Bucky’s jaw and relishing the jerk of his hot skin in his hand. He lets Bucky pull his hair and tighten his thighs around his hips until it hurts. Anything he wants.

“Told you,” Bucky says, catching his breath. His real grin is back, the grin that Steve loves. “Been a while for me.”

Steve made Bucky feel good, so good he couldn’t help himself. So good he moaned out loud and came all over the both of them. It pleases Steve in the most basic and wonderful way he’s ever known. “Am I complaining?” he asks. Bucky looks at him for a moment, right in the eye.

“Don’t seem to be,” he concedes. Then he raises an eyebrow. “I get you going again?”

It’s true; Steve’s getting hard. That never could have happened before. On tour, he spent one hot LA night — well. It was a long night, just him and a door that locked.

But. “Nice as that sounds, we can’t just…well.”

He falls silent, and Bucky grins. “Stay in here and fuck all day?”

Steve pretends very hard that he isn’t turning red. It always gets him, the way Buck just talks about it like that. Buck looks at him for a second longer and then plants one on him, perfunctory and quick, before climbing off and buttoning his pants back up. Steve does the same, and gets to his zipper before he realizes what’s all over his right hand.

Steve makes a face and considers what to do with it for a second. He ends up lifting a cushion on the couch and wiping his hand there, feeling horribly guilty while Bucky stands there laughing at him openly.

Steve looks up at him, about to talk back, and his breath catches right in his throat. Bucky is grinning that shit-eating grin he saves just for Steve. His hair is falling over his eyes and he’s still covered in a post-orgasmic flush.

It’s unthinkable to Steve that he was almost gone. Unthinkable, like the sun rising in the west.

“What?” Buck asks.

Steve has to swallow hard. “Goddammit, Buck,“ he says, inadequately. “I thought you were—“

“Hell no,” Bucky interrupts. Then he grins and winks, like he hasn’t got Steve’s whole existence wrapped around his littlest finger. “Rogers, do I have to lay it out for you? No matter how bad you want to, you’re never shaking me.”