“You will never believe this guy I met last night.”
Bucky is sitting with Natasha the next morning. She brought over coffee and cronuts, as per their usual morning-after hangover cure.
“Something tells me you’re about to tell me about him anyways,” Natasha says, taking a bite of her cronut.
“Nat, he was so hot,” Bucky says. “Nothing like any of the typical college douchebags around here. He was older, like… all sexy, mature, grown-ass man. I wanted to climb him like a fucking tree.”
“And you didn’t?” Natasha asks, perfectly manicured eyebrow arched.
“No,” Bucky sighs. “He wouldn’t let me. Something about me being too drunk to consent? But, Jesus, that just made me want him more. Oh! I almost forgot the most crucial part! He saved me from asshole Brock. My card was declined and Brock was being skeevy and Steve came in and paid the bill for me.”
“Isn’t that a little weird, though?” Natasha asks. “A complete stranger paying for you like that?”
“No,” Bucky shrugs. “He honestly didn’t want anything in return, and I told him I’d pay him back. Got his number and everything.”
“So, you’re planning on seeing him again, then?” Natasha asks.
“Yep,” Bucky says. “He seems to think the age difference is a big deal, but I can tell he’s interested in me. I just need to convince him that age doesn’t matter and that, even sober, I want to jump his bones.”
“Good luck with that,” Natasha says, the glint in her eye telling Bucky she can’t wait to see where this goes.
Bucky shoots off the text to Steve after Natasha leaves and takes a shower instead of sitting around waiting for a reply. Bucky had invited Steve to lunch, something simple and pressure free (and in a public place) if Steve is still feeling weary about the whole thing.
When Bucky gets out of the shower, he checks his phone and sees that Steve has responded and agreed to meet Bucky in an hour. Bucky can’t fight the sudden rise of butterflies in his stomach.
Bucky passes the time getting ready and then heads down the street to the cafe where he’s meeting Steve. Bucky’s still five minutes early, but he finds Steve already there, sitting at a table by the large windows.
As Bucky approaches Steve, he has a moment of anxiety where he wonders what greeting protocol here is exactly. Do they hug? Shake hands? Is Bucky simply supposed to bend over the table and present himself to Steve like he really, really wants to, public place be damned.
Thankfully, Steve answers that silent question for Bucky as he stands up and then gestures for Bucky to take a seat once Bucky reaches the table.
“It’s nice to see you,” Steve says as Bucky sits down. “Part of me truly believed you wouldn’t reach out.”
“I can’t believe you have such little faith in me!” Bucky says, mock offended. “Did I really not make that positive of an impression?”
“No, not at all,” Steve says, shaking his head. “You made a… quite memorable impression. It’s just… you seemed to have had a lot to drink, so… I wasn’t entirely sure if you’d remember me.”
“How could I forget you?” Bucky replies, crossing his arms over his chest and making a show of leering at Steve’s body.
Steve blushes and picks up a menu, focusing his attention there instead as he says. “Buck, no.”
“What do you mean ‘no’?” Bucky asks, leaning forward. “I remember how you looked at me, you know.”
Steve sets his menu back down and sighs, looking at Bucky like he’s conflicted. “I think it’s… safer… if we just treat this like friendship. Just two friends getting lunch. Getting to know each other, catching up.”
“Okay, sure thing. I can keep it PG if that’s what you really want,” Bucky says, nodding and finally picking up his own menu.
Bucky can feel Steve staring at him, so he peaks over his menu at him, grinning innocently when he sees the suspicious look on Steve’s face.
“Can you really, though?” Steve asks. “Literally half the things you’ve said to me could be considered sexual or come ons.”
Bucky rolls his eyes and lowers his menu. “I can behave, Steve. I promise.”
Bucky even makes an ‘x’ over his heart for emphasis.
“Okay,” Steve says and then mumbles under his breath, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Lunch is actually really enjoyable. Bucky learns a lot about Steve, learns that he’s the lead architect for the largest architecture firm in New York, learns that Steve doesn’t really have any family (besides his few close friends that he basically considers family), learns that Steve’s always been so focused and driven when it came to his work, that he never really allowed himself to dedicate the time or energy to a relationship.
Steve asks Bucky a lot of questions, too, wants to know about Bucky’s education, his parents and siblings, his friends, and his plans for the future. Buck finds that even though he typically doesn’t like sharing so much about himself, with Steve, he’d tell him everything he wanted to know if it meant he could keep Steve smiling at him like that.
After lunch, they decide to go for a walk. They don’t hold hands, though Bucky desperately wants to (friends can totally platonically hold hands, right?). They end up on campus, and Steve points out different architectural things as they pass by the different buildings. Bucky has never really had any interest in architecture, but he loves the excited and impassioned way Steve shares the information.
It’s all so easy. It’s easy how the conversation just flows. It’s easy how safe and comfortable Bucky feels with Steve. It’s easy how Bucky just happens to like Steve even more now.
It’s also so easy for Bucky to immediately agree when Steve asks if he wants to come back to his for a bit because ‘you’re studying engineering, I have some cool books you might be interested in’.
Sure, on the outside it totally sounds like a ruse just get Bucky alone and then they can (finally) fool around behind closed doors, but Bucky gets the sense that Steve legitimately wants to show him some books, and not in the euphemistic sense. Like, there’s probably actual books.
“See? We can be friends,” Bucky says once they get to Steve’s apartment and he’s following Steve to his door. “Two dudes, hanging out. Age doesn’t have to be a thing, Stevie.”
“Sure, Buck,” Steve says over a light chuckle, fishing his keys out of his pocket. “Whatever you say.”
“And I think,” Bucky adds leaning against the wall outside the door. “It doesn’t have to be weird. People don’t automatically think you’re like, my daddy or something.”
Steve promptly drops his keys.
The jarring noise makes Bucky jump, eyes searching out the source of the sound, and when Steve doesn’t automatically go to pick them up, Bucky looks up at Steve’s face. Bucky furrows his brows at the darkened look on Steve’s face, his posture stiff. Bucky’s eyes trace down Steve’s body, the hard lines of his set shoulders, his firm chest, the sudden bulge in his trousers and… oh.
“Uh, Steve?” Bucky says softly.
Steve snaps out of it suddenly, bending down and hastily picks up the keys, sticking them in the lock and twisting them before pushing the door open. Bucky pauses, watching Steve retreat into his apartment.
“...Steve?” Bucky calls again, and this time, Steve pokes his head back out and grabs Bucky roughly by the wrist, tugging him inside.
Steve backs Bucky up against the door, slamming it closed and crowding into Bucky’s space. Bucky’s eyes go wide as he feels his skin prickle with goosebumps at having Steve this close.
Steve closes his eyes, taking a deep breath through his nose, like he’s trying to calm himself down. Bucky clutches onto Steve’s shirt, watching Steve’s face carefully, waiting for him to say something.
“Steve,” Bucky whispers. “Say something.”
Steve shakes his head minutely, eyes still closed as he takes two deep breaths, and then he’s letting Bucky go resolutely. “It’s not fair… the things I want to do to you.”
“No one’s stopping you,” Bucky says softly, letting go of Steve’s shirt carefully and instead places his hands delicately on Steve’s stiff shoulders, slowly sliding his fingers down Steve’s strong arms.
“Buck, don’t,” Steve says, though there’s barely any fight in it.
“Tell me you don’t want me,” Bucky whispers. “Tell me you don’t want me and I’ll leave.”
“I can’t,” Steve says, shaking his head, finally opening his darkened eyes, the look pleading. “You know I can’t.”
“Then I don’t see a problem,” Bucky shrugs as he laces their fingers together. “We’re two consenting adults. We can do whatever we want.”
“Bucky, I’m fifteen years older than you,” Steve reasons, squeezing Bucky’s hands. “That’s a huge difference.”
“Ever heard that age is just a number?” Bucky jokes, bringing their hands up and to his chest. “I like you, Steve. Clearly you like me, too. I want to be in this with you. If you’re… if you’re worried that you’re like, taking advantage of me or, I don’t know, pressuring me into anything, I want to go on record right now and say that I was the one that came on to you. I want whatever you’re willing to give me, Steve. Please.”
“Fuck, Bucky,” Steve curses and in an instant, he’s leaning in and sweeping Bucky up into a mind-stopping kiss.
It’s everything Bucky thought it would be and, God, even more.
They make out there against Steve’s front door until their lips are swollen and biten red. When Steve pulls away, his eyes are glassy and Bucky thinks he’s never been this hard in his life.
“Steve, please,” Bucky whines, rocking his hips forward to emphasize his point.
Steve just smiles and pets a hand over Bucky’s cheek. “Not today, sweetheart.”
And, okay, we’re using pet names now. Cool, cool, cool.
“What? Why not? Didn’t we just establish that we both want to?” Bucky says a bit petulantly.
“I want to do this right,” Steve explains, voice soothing and steady. “I want to take you out to dinner, really woo you. It’s the proper thing to do.”
“Didn’t you just take me to lunch? We had a nice walk. I feel pretty damn wooed already,” Bucky says.
“That was as friends. That was just the warm up,” Steve says, thumb tracing over Bucky’s lips. “You haven’t seen my A game yet.”
“Jesus Christ,” Bucky mutters, rocking his head back and closing his eyes. “Imma be honest, I don’t think I’ll survive that, Stevie.”
Steve chuckles and presses a kiss to Bucky’s lips before stepping back enough so he’s not touching any part of Bucky’s body anymore. Bucky makes a small whimpering noise at the loss.
“How’s next Friday?” Steve asks, phone in his hand as Bucky opens his eyes again and looks at him.
“You’re going to make me wait almost an entire week?” Bucky screeches, throwing his hands up.
Steve just fixes Bucky with a look and then taps away at his phone, clearly ignoring him, which okay, Bucky totally gets because he’s acting like a whiny child, but still. A week is a long time to wait for what is quite possibly going to be the best sex of Bucky’s short life.
“Friday is fine,” Bucky says, sighing. “Do you have a place in mind?”
“I will take care of all the details,” Steve says. “I’ll send a car for you at seven sharp.”
Bucky stares at him for a moment before asking, “You’ll do what now?”
Steve smiles, laughing a little before putting his phone back in his pocket and taking Bucky’s hand. “I’ll most likely have to come straight from work, so I’ll have my driver pick you up.”
“That sounds so fancy, though,” Bucky says softly.
“This is all part of the wooing,” Steve says, leaning in closer to Bucky.
“Oh,” Bucky says dumbly, brain going offline from Steve’s sudden proximity.
Steve kisses Bucky then, sweeping him up into it all again. Bucky’s only thought as he kisses Steve back with everything he has is I think I definitely like the wooing.