There is a man staring at him.
This isn’t new—there are all sorts who take the B train, but it is the first time that Steve’s considered staring back. And not just because the guy’s stacked, but also because he looks like he’s gone one to one against the New York Islanders and lost.
Before Steve can look away, they make eye contact, and a toothy grin stretches all over the the guy’s face. “Shit,” Steve mutters, as the guy tumbles up to Steve—which is just so not done, what the hell—and beams down at him.
“Do you want a job?” the blond asks.
Steve narrows his eyes. “Listen, buddy.”
“Not like that!” the guy says, waving both his hands, half-panicked but also laughing. “Sorry, I can see how that came off as totally creepy. I’m not like, trying to proposition you.”
Steve doesn’t think it’s actually possible for someone to tell his current state of unemployment at a glance, but the timing is pretty uncanny. He’d just been let go from his part time job at the bodega near his apartment when he punched a man for smacking his kid across the face. The resulting fight had caused thousands of dollars worth of damages. His boss had been very understanding—“of course you couldn’t just stand back and watch a kid get abused, but couldn’t you have, you know, taken it outside?”
Settling back into his chair, he folds his arms over his chest and glares at the guy over the top of his glasses. “Why me?”
The guy takes the seat next to Steve—completely unwelcome and uninvited, but also oblivious to normal social cues. He turns to Steve, propping his arm against the back of his chair. “You’re the artist type, right?” He waves a hand at Steve’s sketchbook. Instinctively, Steve hugs it to his chest. The guy’s grin just widens. “Have you ever considered going into—uh, makeup?”
“They are two completely different mediums,” Steve protests.
“Well yeah, but it should be pretty transferable, right?”
“That’s not how it works,” Steve says, but the guy is already fishing around in one coat pocket and then, when it fails to produce what he’s looking for, the other pocket.
“Ah ha,” he says, and flips out his hand, business card jutting out between his fingers. Steve looks at him, looks at the card, and then takes it.
“What’s S.H.I.E.L.D. Entertainment?” Steve asks, flipping the card over to see if there’s anything on the back. All there is is a phone number, with a Brooklyn area code.
“Oh, we’re just a small studio,” Clint says, earnestly. “I think you’d do really well here. You’re just the sort that’s well-liked in this industry.”
“That’s very Death of a Salesman, but okay,” Steve says, tucking the business card into his sketchpad.
“Twenty bucks an hour,” Clint adds, as if that’s an enticing figure this deep in New York.
Steve snorts. “Oh, cool, so I’ll be able to afford my electricity bill.”
“Better than nothing!”
“I’ll think about it,” Steve says, fully prepared to completely forget about the card and this whole weird encounter.
Maybe in the movies or in a book Clint would have gotten off at the next stop, but in reality he sits restlessly next to Steve, playing a game on his phone, impervious to awkward situations. Steve shifts around so that his back is against the train’s wall, propping his sketchpad against his knee. He’s not embarrassed by his art—he just hates it when people take the fact that he’s drawing in public as an invitation to offer their critiques, and Clint is definitely the nosy sort of fella who would comment on Steve’s hand studies.
“This is me,” Clint says, getting to his feet after two stops of Steve shooting irritated looks at the side of his head while he tries to recapture his earlier inspiration. Clint gathers up the wreckage of his belongings, somehow manages to take a sip from his coffee, waves at Steve, nearly drops everything, and pitches out the sliding doors to nearly run over an elderly Chinese lady easing her way onto the train. She smacks his shoulder with her newspaper.
Steve puts the whole encounter with Clint Barton out of his mind right until his lights go out. He stares down at his tablet in horror, trying to remember if the program he was using auto saves, then groans and tosses his tablet onto his couch. That whole maxim about money not buying happiness? Bullshit. He’d be thrilled if he could afford his electricity bill.
The thought makes him pause. He gets to his feet, whacking his shin hard against the coffee table, since it’s nine in the evening and the scant light filtering in from the street does nothing to illuminate the room, and goes to the tote bag he’d tossed to the side the other day, one hand held out in front of him so that he doesn’t discover any obstacles with his face. The sketchpad he’d been doodling on in the train a week ago had migrated to the bottom of his bag, under the sci-fi book he’s been making his way through whenever he takes the train. Steve shakes the sketchpad until a small business card flutters to the ground.
What can he even put on his resume for a makeup artist? Classically trained artist. Can draw a damn good caricature of you in under ten minutes. Bad health. Smells like gouache paint and abandoned dreams.
He looks at the phone number using his phone’s flashlight, noting at the same time that he has all of half battery life, which means that he’ll probably have to sit in Starbucks for an hour while it charges. He really should do more research before calling, but he’s used up most of his data and, of course, no electricity means no WiFi. So he taps out the number and, before he can think about what to say, Clint answers after half a ring.
“Talk to me,” Clint says.
“Uh,” Steve says. “Is this Clint Barton?”
“Speaking,” Clint says, sounding distracted.
“This is Steve Rogers. We met on the B train a week ago?”
There’s a staticky silence on the other end, then Clint says, “Right! The blond guy!”
Something that sounds a lot like a moan comes over the line, in the distance. “Sorry,” Steve says, suspiciously, “am I interrupting something?”
“No, no, that’s just the—uh, TV. Hold on a second.” There’s the sound of rustling clothing, muffled cursing, and then a door squeaking open and clicking shut. “Sorry about that! Thanks for calling, man. How ya been?”
Steve blinks at his dirty window, at the halos around the streetlights. This isn’t how he expected the call to go. “Uh, good.” He clears his throat. “Listen, you mentioned something about a makeup job? Is that still available?”
Clint says nothing for a moment, like he’s racking his brain for the memory, and all the reservations Steve has been feeling rear up again. What is he thinking, calling some roughed up looking blonde who offered him a job on the train? This is probably some sort of mafia thing. He’s going to end up as some mafia stooge. His mom is going to be so disappointed with him.
“It is,” Clint says, slowly. Then he seems to decide on something, because he adds, cheerfully, “Can you come in for an in-person?”
Steve hasn’t had all that many interviews, but he feels like he’s missing a couple of key steps here. “Are you affiliated with the mafia?”
Clint barks a laugh. “No! Of course not. What gave you that idea?”
“I wonder,” Steve says, dryly. “Do you have health insurance?”
“Sure do, buddy.”
“Okay,” Steve says, because, what the hell. Electricity and health insurance? He can almost survive off that.
Steve really should have done his research.
“Wait,” Steve says, going a little round-eyed as a man with a metal prosthetic walks up to where he’s standing with the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Entertainment, Nicholas Fury. They’re in the middle of a gorgeous family room, filled fancy furniture that’s artfully arranged and surrounded by cameras and boomsticks. When Steve had arrived at Park Avenue, to an address in a building that reeked of both old and new money, he figured, oh, S.H.I.E.L.D. Entertainment must be filming here.
He isn’t wrong.
The man is eyeing Steve speculatively, and is completely fucking naked. Steve stares right back at him, and he’s probably gone a little bug-eyed and slack-jawed, because even though his left ear is a dud he could have sworn he’d just heard Director Fury say that his job would be to—to— “You want me to what?”
“Steve, this is Bucky Barnes,” Fury says, “our star entertainer.”
Oh my god.
Bucky Barnes cocks a hand on his hip, completely unselfconscious of his—his— Steve snaps his eyes back up to Bucky’s face, then whirls on Fury. “What did you say S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for?”
“Sexual Headquarters, Intimate Encounters, and Lovin’ Dick,” Fury says, completely straight-faced.
“Oh my god,” Steve says, weakly.
“The ‘Lovin’ Dick’ was Barton’s contribution,” Bucky says, grinning at him, all casual-like, as if he isn’t stark fucking naked. “We couldn’t think of anything else.”
“Oh,” Steve says, weakly. “And you need me to—to—” And, really, he isn’t a blushing virgin, but he also isn’t used to talking directly to someone’s dick upon first meeting.
“Discreetly conceal any imperfections.”
What imperfections? Bucky is all sharp lines and miles of golden skin and rippling muscle, and if anyone tries to tell Steve that his prosthetic is an imperfection, he’ll punch them in the face. Maybe he’s got some stretch marks already ‘discreetly concealed.’ Or maybe he’s referring to the long scar jagging down his left thigh that is just barely visible under a thick layer of makeup. Steve isn’t about to do a close study, nope, he is not a creep.
“You have a problem with the porn industry?” Bucky asks casually, but there’s a glint to his eyes and an edge to his voice.
“No! Of course not! As long as they’re treating you right and not forcing you to do anything you’re unwilling to do, and there isn’t anything illegal going on.” Steve peers hard at Bucky’s face. “Everything’s okay, right? You’re not in any danger, are you? No coercion or…”
Behind him, Fury snorts, but Steve keeps his eyes on Bucky’s face, waiting for a flinch or a furtive glance at his boss. Instead, Bucky just looks a little startled, then touched. “We’re all good here, big guy.”
Steve bristles at the moniker, but for once keeps his tongue between his teeth. He doesn’t know if he’s going to get the job—or, hell, if he would even take it—but best not to pick a fight with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s star entertainer. Besides, Bucky’s expression is friendly, like he isn’t taking the piss out of him.
“Barton scouted you, huh?” Fury says. “Should have known. We weren’t getting very many bites, so he went rogue. He was supposed to inform you about the—nature of our business—during the initial phone screening.”
“He left out some key details,” Steve manages. He and Barton need to have some words Steve’s all for sex work positivity, but springing all of that—that being Bucky Barnes—on the unsuspecting is just not copacetic.
“If we haven’t sufficiently traumatized you,” Fury says, amused, “you can have the job if you want it—and if you can pass a biweekly STD exam.”
“Oh no,” Steve says, instinctively. “I mean, I’m not—” He colors slightly, then clears his throat. “I’m between relationships right now.”
Fury slants a look at him that’s both way too knowing and also very stern. “Nevertheless. This is non-negotiable.”
“But aren’t I just going to be—”
Fury doesn’t say anything, but somehow his silence is very loud and demanding.
“Right. Of course. That makes total sense.” Steve sneaks a glance at Bucky, but he’s wandered off to chat with a redhead holding clipboard. Steve wonders if she’s another entertainer or if she’s part of the crew. Even though he’s keeping his eyes strictly above-waist, Steve finds that staring at Bucky’s muscular, naked back is really not that safe. He turns back to to Fury. “Can I have a couple of days to think about it?”
Steve closes his apartment door behind him with a quiet click, then reaches over to flick on his family room light. Nothing happens. Oh. Right. His electric bill. He should—pay that. At least he has no food in his refrigerator to spoil. That’s a good thing. Or at the very least, a thing.
He nods to himself, then turns around and walks right back out of his apartment.
“So how did your interview go?” his mom asks, fifteen minutes later, setting a mug of chamomile tea down in front of him.
Steve wraps his hands around the mug. “Oh! Uh—” His mom can never know. It’s not that he thinks she would judge him—not Sarah Rogers, who spends her evenings writing impassioned blog posts with titles like, This is Why We Need to Support Sex Workers, with links to petitions for the decriminalization of sex work. She’s just sometimes—too passionate. Steve didn’t think Fury would be thrilled if Sarah Rogers kicked open the door to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s penthouse to audit their safety regulations. “Well! It went well.”
His mom settles into the chair across from him, lifting an eyebrow. “Oh yeah?”
“Yeah! I think I might’ve got the job maybe,” Steve says. He has no idea how he’s managing to keep a straight face, but he’s pretty sure his mom can see right through his bullshit. She’d always been able to, ever since the first time he’d come home with a black eye and a missing tooth because Timmy down the block had kicked a puppy.
She eyes him keenly, but thankfully doesn’t push it. “That’s great, sweetheart! What for?”
“A makeup artist.”
Sarah snorts. At Steve’s offended look, she just smirks at him. “Do you even know how to apply makeup?”
“There are plenty of YouTube videos I can learn from,” Steve says, deciding not to mention that the makeup he was going to apply would most likely not be on faces.
He really shouldn’t have been surprised that his mom would take this as an invitation to pull up some of the top makeup tutorials on YouTube. They crowd around her old iPad, first watching videos on contouring, then somehow ending up watching a woman totally transform herself for cosplay.
“Wow,” Sarah says. “This is what you’re going to be doing?”
“God, I hope not,” Steve says, mildly panicked.
Sarah sets her tablet down and gets to her feet. “Come on, let’s practice.”
Nearly an hour later, Sarah frowns at her face in the mirror. “It’s not terrible.”
“Damning me with faint praise,” Steve says, dropping his head in his hands.
“I think you just need to work on blending more,” Sarah says, rubbing at the streak of blush. She bats her eyelashes at her reflection. “Your wings are fantastic, though.”
Steve sighs and tosses her eyeliner back into her kit. Wings had been the easiest for him—it had been like painting.
“Well,” Sarah says, clapping her hands together and then reaching for her makeup remover. “Let’s try again. But grab the tablet so we can follow along with one of those videos.”
Steve’s mom really is the best.
Steve exhales a slow breath through his teeth. He’s standing in front of the elevator that would take him to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Entertainment penthouse. It’s been four days since his initial interview. He’d spent those four days holed up in Starbucks, wasting the last of his data furtively researching S.H.I.E.L.D. Entertainment before he was satisfied enough that they followed all the safety protocols to call Clint, asking if he could come in to negotiate the terms of his employment. Since Clint really knew nothing about Steve, he’d readily agreed.
“Hey!” Bucky says, when Steve finally gets up the courage to walk through the penthouse doors. He is, fortunately, dressed this time. Unfortunately, he’s dressed in a black v-neck that’s at least a size to small, riding up over a pair of jeans that probably costs more than Steve’s water bill. And he needs the water, because he’s apparently really fucking thirsty.
“Glad to see we didn’t scare you off,” Bucky says, tucking his hands into his back pockets and smiling in a way that makes the skin around his eyes crinkle. His hair is swept up in a low bun, and Steve’s gotta wonder what genetic lottery Bucky won to get those cheekbones.
“I don’t scare easily,” Steve says, pushing his glasses up his nose and probably ruining his bad boy effect.
“Are you taking the job?”
“It depends,” Steve says. “I’m here to negotiate. Is Fury around?”
Bucky glances over his shoulder. “I think he’s still arguing with Tony and Bruce about edits. He should be free in a couple.”
They stand awkwardly for a couple of seconds, Bucky with his smile slowly getting tighter at the edges, Steve full of the knowledge that he knows exactly what this guy looks like naked. Before the tension can snap, Steve says, “I did a lot of research about S.H.I.E.L.D., but maybe you can give me some inside knowledge? Do you like working here?”
“Let’s grab something to drink,” Bucky says, which sounds like a come on but actually means let’s go into this Martha Stewart kitchen for a bottle of
seltzer water. Steve hates seltzer water, but he takes it without complaint.
Bucky leans against the counter, tipping his head back to guzzle down half his water, before he wipes his mouth with the back of his hand and caps the bottle. “I know you’re concerned—and you have every right to be, there are some seriously shitty studios out there—but we created S.H.I.E.L.D. specifically to get away from just those fucked up industry practices. I’ve been working porn for five years now, two with S.H.I.E.L.D., and sure, sometimes we have our disagreements, but I’ve never worked with a better team, nor in a safer environment.”
Steve stares at him, bottle hovering near his chest. There’s something Bucky’s not saying, but that’s coming through loud and clear in his passionate speech.
“What about you?” Bucky asks quickly, like he’s afraid Steve’s going to ask the question hanging between them. “What did you do before Clint found you?”
“I busk caricatures in Union Square,” Steve says, honestly, then winces. This is, apparently, one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s founders. Maybe he should have said he ran a beauty vlog or something.
He waits for the inevitable, “draw me!” which would actually be hilariously horrifying, since he usually asks people what their profession or hobby is for inspiration, but instead Bucky snaps his fingers and points at him. “I thought I recognized you. Your stuff is great.”
Steve blinks, taken aback. “Y-yeah. Wow, I didn’t think anyone knew who I was.”
“I haven’t seen you around for awhile.”
Steve rubs the bump on his nose, a nervous habit he developed after he broke it (the first time), and one he thought he broke a year ago. Turns out ridiculously handsome men brings out his hereto unknown nerves. Oh, who is he kidding. He’s always been hopeless around attractive people, especially ones who look like movie stars.
“It’s been cold,” he admits. It’s spring, but since spring in New York can swing from a balmy seventies to sub arctic temperatures, he hasn’t been able to get out there for more than an hour or two.
“Well, you won’t get cold here,” Bucky says, with a roguish wink, and Steve has a feeling that Bucky is just a natural born flirt, but his cheeks still heat up, anyway.
And after that, it’s easy for them to fall into conversation. He asks Steve questions about his art and listens attentively. Steve’s the kind of guy who stares into the eyes of the person he’s speaking too, which can sometimes come off as unnerving, so he’s been told, but Bucky watches him back, keenly interested. Which is maybe why he ends up opening up to Bucky about how he had to temporarily drop out of school, but that he’s planning on going back when he can afford it, and possibly this is why Bucky tells him about HYDRA, another studio he did one shoot with before he left, bringing another actor with him when he left.
Bucky’s staring off in the distance, unfocused. He shakes himself off, then shoots Steve a thoughtful look. “Huh. HYDRA’s one of the shitty studios I’d mentioned, always just skating past industry regulations. I don’t normally like to talk about them. It’s just—easy to talk to you.”
“I know what you mean,” Steve says. He’s never really had a lot of friends—he doesn’t click with people easily—but somehow, it feels natural to sit around and just talk to Bucky. Like they’ve been friends for years.
“Rogers!” Fury shouts, shattering through the moment like a sledgehammer through concrete.
“Showtime.” Steve sets his empty water bottle on the counter and cracks his neck, like he’s preparing for battle.
“Don’t let him see fear,” Bucky suggests with a laugh.
Two men exit the penthouse’s office, one with a laptop tucked under his arm and the other dressed in an expensive blazer and slacks and, weirdly, a NASA t-shirt. They stare unabashedly at Steve as he walks past.
“New entertainer?” the one with the laptop asks.
“Must be,” NASA says, waving flamboyantly at Steve. “Look at him! Might as well wrap him up in plastic and sell him as a Hostess bar.”
Steve forces himself not to react. This is a porn studio. He can’t get offended that people would come to this natural conclusion—he knows what he looks like. Hell, that’s probably why Clint approached him in the first place. ‘Well-liked’ obviously translated to ‘twinkie blond.’ Although he finds it hard to believe they’d think anyone would want to watch him. So he squares his jaw and ignores the peanut gallery, focusing on Fury. Fury’s standing behind a desk, one hand resting on top of the back of a leather office chair.
I wonder how many people have been fucked over that desk, Steve wonders, briefly picturing Bucky sprawled over the rich cherry wood surface, and then promptly stops thinking altogether. He takes a deep breath, meets Fury’s eye.
“I’d like to start out by saying that twenty dollars per hour is highway robbery, considering I’m only going to be working when you’re filming—”
The door shuts behind him with a click.
An hour later, he exits the office, hands trembling slightly from adrenaline. Bucky, Clint, and a redhead are draped across a heather gray settee (which has probably been fucked on. A lot), clearly waiting for him and bad at hiding it. Steve's gotten what he wanted—more than he expected—but his nerves feel like they've been run through a blender on high. He jabs a thumb over his shoulder. “Was he military?”
“We think he was a spy at some point,” the redhead says, slinking off the couch with the grace of a panther. She holds out a hand. “Natasha.”
Steve shakes her hand. “Steve. Nice to meet you. Are you,” he trails off helplessly, wondering if it’s appropriate to ask if she’s a porn star, or if that’s crossing some boundary.
Thankfully, Natasha comes to his rescue. "PA. I mostly boss Clint around."
“So?” Bucky asks, leaning forward, wrists braced against his knees. Clint shoots a look at him, then smirks down at his hands.
“Starting next Wednesday,” Steve says.
Bucky’sridiculous grin stretches across his face. “Welcome aboard.”
Steve’s first day starts bad.
He doesn’t know why he thought he’d be working only with Bucky. Or rather, he knew he’d work with other entertainers, but he’d thought they’d be—Bucky-esque, with friendly, welcoming smiles and kind eyes.
Gilmore Hodges doesn’t smile at Steve, nor are his eyes very kind. He watches Steve in the mirror the entire time Steve does his makeup, offering up such pithy remarks as, “What the fuck do you think this is, the circus?” and “I’m not a fucking clown, enough with blush, Jesus Christ” and “Do you even know what the fuck you’re doing?” Steve entertains the idea of scribbling all over his face with red lipstick, but instead just grits his teeth and fixes his makeup until Hodges deems it “good enough.”
“Ignore him,” Natasha says, patting Steve’s shoulder as Hodges flounces off. “He’s a giant diva.”
Steve thinks this is an oversimplification, but since Hodges hasn’t actually done anything to deserve getting punched in the mouth, Steve just angrily tosses a pair of tweezers back into his kit. It wouldn’t have stung so much if Hodges hadn’t been right. Steve doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing; he’s not trained to do makeup, and even though he’s not nearly as bad as Hodges made him out to be, his lack of experience is obvious. He had no idea why S.H.I.E.L.D. is taking such a big chance on him, except that maybe Clint and Bucky put in a good word for him. It makes him feel useless, and Steve hates feeling useless.
It gets worse.
“How am I supposed to shoot this scene if Barnes won’t even touch my dick?” Hodges shouts, flinging himself away from the bed. Bucky scowls after him, lounging against a pile of plump white pillows, completely naked and totally soft.
“Barnes,” pleads Tony, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s producer and the owner of this ridiculous penthouse, dragging one hand down his face. “This doesn’t need to be Oscar-worthy, but you have got to at least touch Hodges. Work with me here, buddy.”
Bucky transfers his glare to Tony. “I fucking hate that guy.”
“Thankfully, you don’t need to be BFFs to fuck,” Tony snaps, but Bucky just scowls harder. “Fine. Fine! Just destroy two months of work, whatever. I’m taking fifteen before I strangle someone.” The last part is said in a mutter, as he’s already turning away to stalk into the kitchen.
“Bucky’s scar needs a touch up,” says Natasha, examining Bucky narrowly. “This is you.”
She lightly pushes Steve toward Bucky. He stumbles, blinking under the eyes of the cameras and PAs, and even though he knows they’re completely disinterested in him, he still feels the weight of them pinning him down. He shuffles up to the bed, sliding one finger under his collar.
Bucky looks up at him under languid eyelashes, his metal wrist resting against his inner thigh, framing his soft dick that’s still intimidatingly large. Steve slides down onto the edge of the bed, glancing between Bucky’s cold, unyielding expression and his, well, his dick.
“Uh,” Steve says. He waves a hand at the scar on Bucky’s thigh. “Can I—?”
Bucky’s scowl melts into a small, amused smile. “Yes, you can put makeup on me, Steve.”
“I mean, I going to have to touch you,” Steve says, a little fretfully. “I’m clean—Fury made me take an STD test, even though I’m just the makeup guy—good to be safe though, right?” He nods to himself. “I wouldn’t have agreed to work here if S.H.I.E.L.D.’s policies aren’t as good as they are.”
Now Bucky’s flat out grinning, like Steve’s the funniest thing he’s seen in years. It transforms him. “Steve. It’s fine. I think I can handle a little touching.”
Sure, he can. Steve isn’t sure he’s going to survive the next fifteen minutes. “I just don’t want to cross any boundaries,” he says, earnestly.
“One time, I had a baseball bat shoved up my ass,” Bucky says, cheerfully.
Steve can’t tell if he’s joking or not, but he laughs anyway, and the tension breaks. “Okay. Okay! Right.” He takes the makeup remover cloths from his kit and pulls out a sheet, then just hovers it over Bucky’s leg for a moment. Bucky’s leg is thick, solid muscle, marred only by the long scar that travels from hip bone to nearly his knee, still mostly covered up by concealer.
“No rush or anything,” Bucky says, gently teasing. “I’m completely fine with sitting around all day, not touching Hodges.”
“Sorry,” Steve says, and swipes the cloth over his scar. Bucky’s skin is hot through the cloth. He swallows and carefully swabs away the makeup, then bunches up the sheet and tosses it into his kit to throw away later.
“Why do you hate Hodges so much, anyway?” Steve asks, fishing the primer out of his kit.
Bucky’s leg tenses under his hand. Steve glances up, and the scowl is back on Bucky’s face. Somehow, even while naked, he looks a little terrifying in his intensity. “He’s a fucking asshole.”
“Certainly looks like one,” Steve says, squeezing a small amount of primer onto his fingers. He experiences a small crisis, then decides to hell with it. Like Bucky said, he’s a porn star. Being touched by a scrawny blond would be nothing to him. Steve shuts off his brain and rubs the primer over his scar—gently, in case there’s any nerve damage there. Bucky’s skin is smooth besides the thin dip of his scar, and tight with muscle as hard as iron.
Bucky huffs out a breath. Steve glances up at him, and Bucky says, a little quickly, “Dude thinks he’s all that just because he won one Gayvn Award. Uh, basically like an Oscar, but for—you know. He worked with a friend of mine once and was a total douchebag the whole time.”
“He seems like a bully.”
Steve dabs a makeup sponge into the concealer. Gently, he swipes the sponge over the scar, painting it with a golden stripe, and then blending it with his fingers.
“Fuck bullies,” Steve says.
“I would, but he refuses to bottom,” Bucky says, breathless.
Steve dips his head a little and laughs, and—oh. Wow. Bucky isn’t as unaffected by being touched as he led Steve to believe he would be. And now Steve fully comprehends why Bucky became a porn star. His dick is beautiful—which, okay, Steve, let’s not be a creep. He sneaks a glance up at Bucky’s face.
“You can ignore that,” Bucky says, voice gruff.
“How?” Steve says, strangled.
Bucky’s leg shifts. “If you’re uncomfortable—”
“No, no, it’s fine,” Steve says, quickly grabbing Bucky’s thigh with both his hands and accidentally dragging his knuckles along the underside of Bucky’s dick. They both go very still.
“Steve,” Bucky says.
Steve looks up at Bucky from under his eyelashes. “Do you have a fluffer?” he blurts out.
“Jesus,” Bucky says, covering his face with his metal hand. “Wow, okay. I didn’t think anything could embarrass me anymore, but here you go.”
“What I mean is—you can’t get hard with Hodges, right? I’m offering you a hand.”
Bucky barks a laugh. “Seriously?”
Steve grins shakily back. He hadn’t intended the pun, but the resulting laugh was worth it.
“I mean,” Bucky’s eyes tilt away, cheeks coloring faintly. “Only if, uh.” He coughs. “Fuck. Yes. I would like that.”
Steve carefully screws the lid back onto his concealer—it’s expensive, and it would be a waste if it got knocked over—and sets it on the nightstand next to the bed. He hovers his hand over Bucky’s erection, his heart is beating so madly he can hear it drumming in his ears.
“I have no idea what I’m doing.”
Bucky’s faint smile stretches into a mischievous grin. He lifts his right arm and makes a jerk off motion with his fist.
“God,” Steve says, face going hot. Okay. Okay, no problem. It’s not like he’s never touched a dick before. Granted, it’s always been his own, but it can’t be that much different from masturbating, right? Just at a different angle. And attached to a different body. And fucking huge, and Steve never thought he would be a size queen, but he’d also never met Bucky Barnes before, holy hell. He sucks in a breath and squares his shoulders. “Okay. I can do this.”
“Are you sure?” Bucky asks, skeptically.
“Yes.” There’s miles of golden skin sprawled out on white sheets. With every breath Bucky takes, some muscle flexes provocatively, as if to taunt Steve. Steve trails his eyes up Bucky’s body, over the fuzzy trail that stops at his navel, the slopes of his abs, his broad, strong chest. His eyes linger on his strangely delicate clavicles before he makes his way up to Bucky’s face. Bucky’s smirking slightly, and there’s a knowing glint in his gray eyes, like he can read Steve like a picture book.
“It’s okay if you’ve changed your mind,” Bucky says, gently.
To Steve, it sounds like a challenge. He narrows his eyes. “Is there lube anywhere?”
Bucky nods toward a black plywood cabinet, where there are several unmarked bottles. Steve gets to his feet and goes to the shelf, puzzling over the bottles. He grabs one at random.
"Second one to the left," Clint shouts helpfully, from where he's untangling a pile of wires.
Steve jumps. It breaks the moment, this loud reminder that they’re surrounded by an entire crew of people who are paying enough attention to shout suggestions. He glances back at Bucky, who’s laughing on the bed. The visual doesn’t make things easier.
He grabs the bottle and stomps back to the bed, glaring, but the tension that had vanished from their brief back and forth abruptly surges up again. Bucky’s eyes are dark and his smile is inviting, and Steve sinks back onto the bed. He squeezes a small amount of lube into his palm, rubs his hands together to warm it up, and wraps his hand around Bucky’s dick.
It is entirely unlike touching his own dick. Steve’s eyelashes flutter. In the background, he’s aware that the set’s a bustle of people moving cameras and shouting at each other, but he keeps his attention on Bucky. It seems like the polite thing to do in this weirdly impersonal setting.
Steve experimentally slides his hand down, over the length of Bucky’s blood-hot cock. His skin’s smooth and soft, contrasting with how heavy and hard his dick is. Bucky’s hips hitch slightly, and Steve’s breath hitches. He glides his hand up, smoothing his thumb over the head, and a clear bead of pre-come pulses from his tip in response. He’s so hard, iron-hard, and Steve thickens in response, as if responding to a siren call.
Steve sucks in a breath, licking his lips, then darts a glance up at Bucky. He’s watching Steve with glittering eyes. “You know,” Steve murmurs, nerves making him chatty. “This is the first time I’ve touched another guy’s dick.”
Bucky’s hands curl into fists at his sides. “Yeah?” he murmurs back, voice gravelly.
Steve shifts, drawing one knee up onto the bed, and starts up a slow, caressing rhythm. He’s supposed to keep Bucky hard, not get him off. Which—is kind of a damn shame. It’s been a long, long time since Steve’s gotten any kind of action, and it always revs him up like nothing else when he gets his partner off.
But this is supposed to be strictly business, so Steve swallows and tries to keep it professional, even as he strokes his slick hand down Bucky’s cock, over his balls. “Yeah. I mean, I’m—uh, into it—but I’ve just—no one’s really wanted too.”
“I find that—hard to believe,” Bucky says, and Steve doesn’t miss the way his voices catches.
Steve swallows again, shifting closer, his knee pressing against Bucky’s hip. His own dick sits heavy in his pants, throbbing with a jealous heartbeat. Bucky’s hips roll slightly in time with Steve’s strokes, and it’s one of the hottest fucking things Steve has seen in his life.
“I don’t actually have that much experience at all,” Steve confides. “I’ve actually only been with one other person.”
Bucky hums in acknowledgement, eyes fixed on Steve’s mouth.
“Sorry if I’m awful at this,” Steve murmurs.
Bucky lets out a short laugh. “You’re really not—fuck—”
Bucky’s eyes have gone a little glassy, and he’s breathing hard through full, parted lips, bitten red and shiny and—god. Steve could just lean in and kiss him, on the mouth, then maybe on his jaw or his neck or one pert nipple—and Bucky looks like he knows exactly what Steve is thinking, because his eyelashes drift and he bites his lower lip. But they’re professionals, so Steve braces his other hand against Bucky’s thigh. Corded muscles flex under his palm, skin slick with oil. Steve brushes his thumb against the juncture of his hip, sliding it against the soft skin of his balls, and Bucky makes a wonderful, messy sound, his hips jerking up until he’s fucking into Steve’s fist, and Steve’s strokes have gotten a little sloppy, and a lot more messy with lube and pre-come.
“God,” Steve says, and his voice is deep with arousal and want. The fingers of his free hand dig into Bucky’s thigh. Deep down, in a secret place he hasn’t told anyone about, something sparks to life at the sight of this beautiful man falling to pieces because of Steve. It makes him feel this power, in a way he never gets in his everyday life. He’s the reason why Bucky’s back is arching off the bed, why his breath has gotten quick and desperate, why his dick is rock hard. He leans toward Bucky, staring into his eyes, and he still finds the challenge still there, but maybe something else, too—
“Bucky,” Steve says.
“Yes,” Bucky gasps.
“Wait—!” Tony shouts, but it was too late. Bucky’s back arches slightly off the bed, and he goes off with a groan, striping his bare, glistening stomach with come in the most beautiful money shot Steve has ever had the privilege to witness.
“Oh,” Steve breathes, transfixed. He feels too large in his skin, his blood humming with adrenaline and need, chest tight like he’s on the verge of an asthma attack. He slides his hand across the inside of one strong thigh. Bucky lets out a shuddery breath, his dick twitching, a pearl of come beading at the tip. Steve wants to—god, he wants—
A rough hand grabs his shoulder and pulls him away from the bed. “Move it! Goddammit, Bucky.”
Steve stumbles back, hand still half-raised. The set’s become a flurry of frantic PAs shouting at each other and at Bucky. Steve swallows. Right. Fuck. They’re on a porn set and Bucky was supposed to use that erection, whoops.
“I don’t regret that for a second,” Bucky says, blissed out, and drops back down onto the bed, arms spread-eagle.
“It’s not a big deal,” Natasha says. “They were going to have to fake it, anyway. I’ve never seen two men with less chemistry. But Jesus, Steve.”
Steve’s hands tremble. He shoves them into his pockets, which has the added benefit of hiding his stiffy. Not that he believes for a second that Natasha’s keen eyes hasn’t picked up his shame. “Sorry,” he says, gruffly.
“No, you don’t understand,” Natasha says. “Bucky’s a professional. He’s had his entire fist up someone’s ass for like half an hour without losing his cool. And you—you—made him go all to pieces with a fucking old fashioned. In five minutes.”
“I—I’m sorry,” Steve says again. He’d probably be more concerned over the fact that he’s about to lose his job if he wasn’t two seconds away from terminally humiliating himself.
“Uh huh,” Natasha says, smirking. “Why don’t you take the rest of the day off?”
“Okay,” Steve says.
“We’ll call you.”
“Right,” Steve says.
Steve bursts into his apartment, kicking the door shut and fumbling with his belt. His back thumps against his door and he let out a strangled gasp when he finally—finally gets his hand on his dick.
“Fuck,” he gasps, jerking himself off roughly, dick hypersensitive from being in a permanent state of arousal for the past, oh, hour. He imagines what would have happened if the scene had been allowed to follow through to its natural conclusion, if he’d been allowed to climb on top of Bucky, to kiss his hot, sweet mouth, tangle his fingers into his hair and maybe pull a little, exposing that long curve of his neck. Maybe he’d just keep crawling up Bucky’s body, until his perfect lips were wrapped around Steve’s dick, and—
He slumps against the door, panting, his hand and the bottom of his shirt a mess.
“Fuck,” he says, and thumps his head against the door.
S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't call.
Steve’s not surprised.