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Next to me

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It had been a bad, bad day. A horrible, awful, no good day. One of those days where everything just went wrong, and the universe conspired to make you feel like shit. Steve felt like a pretty shitty shit.

When he finally arrived home, he didn’t even have the energy to change into soft, comfortable clothes or find something to eat. He just collapsed on the couch and wished Sam wasn’t away visiting his mom. Sam always made him feel better, he somehow knew all the right things to say and all the right ways to pet his hair. He even taught Bucky the last time they were…

Oh, fuck, Bucky!

Netflix. Takeout. Blanket. How could he have forgotten their weekly Friday home date? Aw, man, they had been dating for over a month now and he was already a shitty boyfriend. Everything was shitty today, it seemed.

The doorbell rang and Steve could only thank his teeny silver of luck that the date was in his apartment that week. Maybe Bucky wouldn’t notice just how awful he felt. Bucky didn’t deserve a long face, he deserved smiles and cuddles and all the nice things he could give him.

But of course, he did notice. No more luck for Steve today (not that there had been much to begin with). As soon as he opened the door, Bucky’s smile dropped (and wasn’t that just tragic? Nice going, asshole).

“What’s wrong, Stevie?”, the absolute angel asked in a soft voice.

“I… nothing’s wrong, Buck. Just come in, okay?” He stepped to the side and let Bucky in. “What do you want to order? I was thinking Chinese, but we could try that Japanese place you like if…”

“Steve” Bucky closed the door behind him and put his hand on his cheek. He didn’t say anything else, just looked at him with a silent plea in his beautiful eyes and just like that Steve felt himself deflating.

“I’m sorry, Buck. I don’t think I will be very good company today”

Bucky stayed silent for a minute, searching his eyes like he was looking for a hidden meaning or the map to a treasure. Finally, he sighed.

“I’m just trying to understand why I am allowed to have a bad day and feel like crap even when we are together, but you seem to believe you are not”

“I… I don’t want to…”

“I swear to fuck, if you say something along the lines of ‘be a burden’ I will fuck you up”

Steve laughed, a little shaky, a little watery, but still a laugh.

“You curse too much”

“I’ll fucking curse all I fucking want to, thank you very much” Bucky’s thumb softly caressed Steve’s cheek in a sharp contrast to the tone of his words “I just want to help, Stevie. I don’t want to be with you just for the good times. I want to be with you” He kissed the tip of Steve’s nose “Tell me what I can do”

Steve promptly started crying.

He tried to contain the unstoppable flow of tears rubbing at his face uselessly while Bucky just stood there frozen, trying not to panic (oh God, had he said something bad? Had he just screwed everything up? Why was his baby crying, what had he done?).

“Srr… I’m so sorry, Buck, sorr…”

“Steve, would you just…?” Bucky’s hand joined Steve’s, catching all the traitorous tears he could. “Just… stop apologizing, God”

“So…”, hiccup. “Sorry”

“Oh my God, you’re fucking hopeless. C’mere”, he drew Steve in and suddenly he had an armful of dorito-shaped hunk and a cold nose nuzzling his neck. Good. That was good. He could do this. Words were admittedly not his forte, but this was doable.

Steve took a shuddering breath as he gradually calmed down and burrowed further into Bucky. Oh shit, he was too cute for his own good.

“It has been a shitty day, Buck”, he confessed with a small voice “And, and you’re so…” Another shuddering breath “You’re so perfect and I… I don’t… I am so lucky, Buck”

Bucky had a feeling Steve was bottling up more than a bad day but he didn’t pry. He himself knew a thing or two about loneliness and skin hunger. For now, he shushed and cooed and tangled his fingers in sunshine hair (that literally smelled like sunshine and happiness most of the time). When Steve calmed down a bit, he kissed his temple and murmured:

“Tell me what to do, baby”

Steve sniffled and lifted his head to look at him with wide, teary puppy eyes and Bucky calmly realized he would do just anything for those eyes, even if Steve asked for fresh yak milk or the head of his worst enemy on a silver platter or whatever.

Thankfully, it was nothing like that.



“Buck, are you… are you sure?”. Steve twiddled his fingers anxiously, standing by the bed “I don’t want to make you uncomfortable”

“Mhmm?”, hummed Bucky, already getting rid of his sweater and undershirt in a single fluid motion. “C’mon, we’re doing this or what?”

At first, Steve fell for it and his shoulders relaxed a fraction, but then he realized his angel’s hand was trembling slightly, twitching like he desperately wanted to cover his deeply scarred left side. Oh, this wouldn’t do at all.

“Bucky”, he said softly.


“You have a huge scar there, you noticed?”

“I…” Bucky laughed, dumbfounded “Kinda, yeah”

“Good. ‘Cause I noticed, too. Can we cuddle now?”

“Oh, Stevie…” ,Bucky’s eyes softened, “Is this your adorably awkward way to tell me you are not gonna pretend it doesn’t exist but that you don’t care anyways and that you still like me and wanna cuddle naked with me?”

“Yes. All of that. Always. Yes”. Steve’s eyes were round as plates.

“I’m gonna end up marrying you, aren’t I?”


“Nothing. You’re wearing too many clothes for someone who wants to be naked, Stevie”

“Yeah, I… uh… I’ll get to it” And he did, oh, he did. Bucky knew this was strictly about comfort and trust and relax, but he still could admire a little, couldn’t he? Or a lot. Whatever. Stevie was beautiful. And oh, he was a full-body blusher, would you look at that? Adorable and sexy and handsome and...

“You are aware you are speaking aloud, aren’t you?”. Steve was blushing furiously now.

“Mmhm?”, Bucky got rid of the rest of his clothing in the blink of an eye and slid under the covers, lifting a corner invitingly for Steve “You coming, baby?”

Steve’s exhale was so full of yearning Bucky could almost taste it. The next second, he was wonderfully pressed against Bucky’s body, warm and big and surprisingly soft. He curled into a ball, hands to his chest, forehead to Bucky’s neck, legs tangled together. Bucky rubbed his back and pressed tiny kisses into his hair, which caused the Steve-ball to burrow deeper against him.

“Huh, what do you know? This is nice.”

Steve’s sigh was utterly content this time. Bucky couldn’t tell if he was already half-asleep or just cuddle-drunk. Either way, this just confirmed Bucky’s suspicions that Steve could get (and had gotten) pretty touch-starved. And maybe he had been too. Possibly. Probably. Oh, who was he kidding, this was heaven and perfect and everything he needed. And also the first time he had been on a bed naked with someone without having sex. Weird but amazingly nice.

Steve snored softly and Bucky couldn’t help a fond little laugh. Well, it seemed even a very bad day could end well. And it seemed he had the ability to make it so. Maybe he wasn’t so broken after all.

He kissed his baby again as he started to doze off. Dinner could wait a few hours.