Sex was amazing. Steve still wasn’t sure exactly why he’d held off on full penetration with a partner, because it was so, so much better with another person instead of just his toys.
Sex while Bucky bit him and drank from him? Holy fucking shit. Aside from the first few times Bucky had bitten him, the bites always happened during sex and Steve was one hundred percent on board for that. Not that he was complaining about the times when they were together and Bucky didn’t bite. As they explored their bodies and discovered all the ways they could bring pleasure to the other, Steve definitely had plenty of mind-blowing orgasms that didn’t involve teeth. Add in the fact that they could both go multiple times in a night if they wanted, and there were absolutely zero points of contention.
And sure, maybe he was just lost in a neurochemical haze of endorphins, consumed by lust and overwhelming love, bursting with joy at finally being with Bucky. But as the New York skyline loomed higher and the traffic moved slower, Steve felt at peace, hopeful for his future in a way that he hadn’t since the day he’d tried and failed to hold Bucky’s hand when it had mattered most.
He wasn’t completely cock-stupid, though. He could see Bucky growing tense, had noticed that the easy conversation about Steve’s house (their house now, he kept reminding Bucky) had fallen off into an uneasy quiet as they crossed Staten Island and came into Brooklyn by way of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. Steve says nothing about the choice to completely skirt Manhattan, and is, in fact, perfectly fine with not going anywhere near the tower. He knows things will be different the moment they set foot in that building.
He’ll take one more night of quiet peace first.
They manage to find a parking spot almost in front of the house and Bucky lets out a sigh when he turns the car off. “I still can’t believe you picked Vinegar Hill of all places.”
“Hey, if you wanna move we can. I liked the cobbled streets. It’s still the city, but not as loud and busy as being in Manhattan. It kinda reminded me of home.”
“It’s ridiculously overpriced. And there’s nothing here. You have to go into DUMBO or the Heights to get anything you need.”
Steve nods. “I know. I like that part. I… I wasn’t sure what you’d prefer, but I thought this was one of those out of the way areas that would offer good anonymity. It’s close enough to both the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges to get in and out quickly. And Clint has a place over in Bed-Stuy.”
“Yeah, his place isn’t too bad. And the Titushky like having a Widow around,” Bucky smirks. “Those idiots think that she was sent to keep an eye on them because they’re a big deal. But they’re barely a blip on the radar. It’s hilarious.”
“Clint calls them ‘the tracksuit mafia.’” That draws a startled laugh from Bucky, but the smile on his face falters as he finally turns to look at Steve. “Hey, we can keep going. It’s okay. We don’t have to do this,” Steve tells him softly, taking Bucky’s hand.
“No, I agreed to this.” Bucky squeezes his hand reassuringly. “I honestly wasn’t sure I’d make it out of Siberia. I hadn’t expected to be back in New York so soon. But I’m glad to be here with you.”
They get the car unloaded and everything mostly settled by the time their food order arrives, and it’s a bit surreal to Steve, the ease with which they’ve settled back into each other’s spaces. One fills drinks while the other sets the table; one automatically starts drying while the other washes dishes. Dinner is a quiet affair—beyond Bucky’s appreciation for the quality of the meal—but it’s relaxed, not tense. Steve says nothing while he watches Bucky check the windows and doors, and then pause next to the small square panel that is conspicuously incongruent with the rest of the decor.
“Jarvis,” Steve calls by way of answering Bucky’s silently raised eyebrow.
“Good evening, Captain. Happy to see you have returned safely from your trip. How may I be of service to you and Mr. Barnes?”
“Engage security protocols. Only myself, Bucky, or Natasha have access until further notice. That includes Tony.”
Bucky eyes the softly glowing screen with equal parts confusion and appreciation.
“Very good, sir.” There’s a pause, and a faint hum of current fills the still-mostly-empty space as the protective shield running through the walls is activated.
By silent agreement they head directly upstairs once cleanup is finished. Steve is surprised to notice that he’s nervous. Having Bucky in his own bed is somehow profoundly different from sharing hotel rooms for the previous six nights.
Bucky, of course, notices right away.
“Hey sweetheart. Everything okay?” He pulls Steve into his arms, brushes the hair back from his forehead before kissing him softly in the same spot.
“Just kinda hard to believe you’re here,” he whispers, eyes closed as he leans into Bucky’s strength.
“I drove us here, Stevie. Where else would I be?”
“You know what I mean.”
Bucky grunts in agreement, and tightens his arms around Steve as he burrows in closer. For just a moment, he allows himself to feel small again, being comforted by Bucky. “Jesus,” he gasps suddenly as something clicks in his brain. He pulls back enough to see Bucky’s face. “Those winters, when I was sick or it was so cold, and we’d huddle together…”
“Yup. Torture, babydoll. Pure and simple. Afraid you’d get worse. Afraid you’d notice my hard-ons. Afraid you’d decide we were too old for that and not let me. Soaking up every bit of contact I could get anyway.”
Steve smiles sadly. "I was thinking something along the same lines."
"Hey, we're here now, right? That's all that matters."
They make their way onto the bed, trading kisses between removing pieces of clothing. Bucky lays him down on his back, spreads him open, and takes him apart gently, carefully, with his lips and fingers and tongue, until Steve is shaking, a spent and sobbing mess, begging for Bucky's cock. They make love, sweet and tender, and Steve is too boneless afterwards to fuss when Bucky cleans him up and cradles him in his arms.
"I'd do anything for you, Stevie," Bucky whispers against his temple. "Even if it costs me everything again, I'm here, sweetheart. Til the end of the line."
Steve doesn't know if he was supposed to hear it or if Bucky thought he was already sleeping. "Love you, Buck," he murmurs, and burrows deeper into his arms.
In the morning, he's woken by the sound of voices and the smell of coffee. He pulls on a pair of sweats and heads down to the kitchen to join Bucky and Nat. They're talking in Russian, and Nat's words trail off as she takes a good look at Steve's neck and chest. He'd foregone a shirt on purpose.
"You don't need to stop talking on my account," he tells her, in Russian, and she raises a single eyebrow.
"You never told me you could speak Russian."
"You never asked," he answers, leaning back against the counter and taking a sip.
"You're such a shit, Rogers."
Bucky laughs. "Have you people not figured that out yet?"
Natasha grins and leans back as she sips from her cup. "This is quite the display." Her eyes trail over Steve's bare chest once more. "Guess you're going to have to change that." She tips her chin towards his tattoo before her face grows serious. "You said you had something important to tell me about the situation. I would hope that you know you can just tell me you're fucking, so I assume that this is for some other reason."
"Natalia, what do you know about the occult?"
Natasha's lips press tightly together at Bucky’s words, and Steve isn’t sure if it’s in response to the name or the question, but she quickly regains her composure.
"The Red Room educated us about some things. They worked with the Lycans on occasion, to my knowledge. Everyone knows what HYDRA was doing, of course." Her eyes flick back to Steve before she meets Bucky's gaze once more. "But those aren't wolf bites."
"They are not."
"‘The Soldier’s appetite’ indeed,” she murmurs. “HYDRA?"
"Actually, no. Though they certainly enjoyed exploiting it. During the war. Before he got there,” Bucky nods his head towards Steve. “And before you ask, no, he never knew. Not until last week."
Natasha is silent for a few minutes as she studies the two of them. Even though she’s sitting and they are both leaning against the counter at the opposite end of the kitchen, Steve is terrified. They are putting all their trust in her. They are putting Bucky's life at her mercy.
“Well,” she says at last with a toss of her head. “I assume you have it under control?”
“He drinks from me,” Steve says with a harsher tone than intended, before Bucky can answer her.
“And what happens when you’re on a mission and not around?”
“I went almost two months without feeling a need for it the first time I drank from him. I’ll be fine.”
“Interesting.” More silence as she drinks and contemplates them. “They’ll need to run tests on Steve, of course. Make sure that it’s not affecting his abilities.”
Steve whips his head around to Bucky in surprise. “What?”
“Steve, what did you really expect to happen? The team will need to know that you’re not physically compromised by my needs.”
“We need to get ahead of this, Steve. Have everything already documented, because when SHIELD or whoever eventually finds out about him, we can shut them down before they even try anything.” Natasha’s voice is even, and Steve knows it’s her ‘calm Steve down’ voice, which riles him up further.
“I hate this,” he grinds out through his clenched jaw. “You’re not a fucking lab rat. And neither am I,” he adds.
Bucky studies him a moment before he pulls Steve into his arms. Steve deflates as he clings to him. “I won’t let them hurt you. You’ve been through enough.”
“Shh, sweetheart. It’s okay. If this is what it takes for us to have a life together, then this is what we do. They’ve got the files. They can look at those again, with the new information, and see what HYDRA already learned about my body. You trust your friends, right?” Steve nods against Bucky’s neck. He does trust Bruce and Sam and Nat. And, for the most part, he trusts Tony. But none of them are Bucky. He’d burn the world to keep Bucky safe. “And I trust you, Steve. So we do this. Together. Just like always.”
“I just got you. I can’t lose you again.” He knows his voice is shaky, filled with everything he dares not give breath to: I couldn’t survive that again.
Bucky keeps one arm tight around his waist, and rubs his back soothingly with the other. “Remember what we discussed? There’s a plan, babydoll. It’ll be okay.”
Steve lifts his head to look at Bucky. “You sure you’re okay with this? We can go. Leave. Right now, and never look back.”
Bucky shakes his head, a wry grin on his face. “You’re not ready for that yet, Steve. You don’t know how to live without a fight, without a sense of purpose, without feeling like you’re making a difference. No matter where we ended up, you’d attract attention. Better to jump through a few hoops now than to fight our way out later.”
“Okay,” he whispers, and leans forward to press his forehead against Bucky’s. “Okay,” he repeats, taking a deep breath.
“Damn, we really could’ve used you a few years ago. Even Sam can’t talk him down like that.”
Steve huffs out that same breath and turns in Bucky’s arms to face Natasha. Bucky spreads his legs a bit and Steve settles against him.
“I see one problem with this plan.”
“And that is?”
He feels the blush spreading across his face even as he tries to steel himself for what he’s about to do. “What happens when he bites me.”
“What do you mean?” Natasha looks genuinely curious.
Bucky’s arms tighten around Steve as he noses along his neck. “We discovered something interesting. You see, Steve is the only person who has ever willingly and knowingly given themselves to me. Any other time, I’ve taken what I needed, whether it was from someone already dying on the battlefield or a target. But Stevie, here, well...it doesn’t matter how much or how little I take. The result is always the same.”
Steve lets out a soft moan when he feels teeth pierce his neck. Bucky only takes a small sip, but it makes no difference to his body.
“Doesn’t matter if he knows it’s coming or not,” Bucky says, and then bites again. Steve feels his legs shaking as he unconsciously grinds against Bucky’s crotch. Cool metal cups Steve’s chin and turns his head, and Steve is tasting himself on Bucky’s tongue, whimpering into the kiss as he struggles to remember that they have an audience.
Natasha curses under her breath, and Steve hears her shifting in the chair.
“So, tell me, Natalia. Who do you think will be comfortable watching this?” Bucky asks as Steve ruts against him.
To Steve’s complete mortification, everyone was watching them. Apparently Natasha decided that they all needed to know what happened, in the event that there was some sort of emergency situation where Bucky needed to feed and they weren’t able to have privacy.
Bruce was fascinated that it happened no matter where Bucky bit, neck or chest or arm. Tony acted scandalized that “our virtuous Captain is no better than I am, look at him, like a dog in heat!” though Steve thought he was secretly thrilled to see Steve was human after all. Sam and Clint averted their eyes when it became obvious what was happening.
Eventually the novelty (and embarrassment) of it wore off, and as they varied the tests, everyone grew accustomed to Steve turning into a horny mess whenever Bucky bit him. They tried it in various rooms of the tower, from medical to Tony’s workshop to the party deck, but his reaction remained the same. Bucky bit him several times in one day and they monitored his vitals. They had him refrain from biting for several days to see if taking more in one go would impair him. Every time, the result was the same. The serum compensated for the blood loss faster than anyone thought possible, and it was barely a blip in his readings before everything was right back to normal within a short time.
After two months of what Bruce called passive tests, they tried a new one with Steve training flat-out in the gym against a dozen Iron Man suits on his own. Bucky appeared out of nowhere to bite him and then disappeared as quickly, leaving Steve to resume the fight immediately. He was mildly disoriented, took a few good hits before he got his feet back under him, but came out of it no worse than usual in the end. If he was fighting with the team, it was determined, he’d be fine with someone providing cover.
Afterwards, he didn’t make it out of the shower before Bucky was on him, mouth on the back of his neck and two fingers in his ass.
“Fuck, Stevie, tasted so good today, you have no idea, god, all that adrenaline and watching you fight, made me so goddamned hot. Took everything in me to not fuck you right in the middle of the gym.”
Steve whimpered as Bucky pushed him against the cold tile and drove his cock in, taking what he wanted. He didn’t last long, especially when the sting of teeth was accompanied by a fierce, predatory growl, and Steve came with a shout, long before Bucky was done with him.
“Hey Buck?” Steve’s voice is only slightly strained, which is impressive given their current situation.
“Mmm?” Bucky lifts his gaze up to meet Steve’s, but doesn’t pull his mouth from Steve’s cock.
“I was thinking about something.”
“Careful with that, Rogers, you might get hurt if you actually use your brain once in a while.”
Steve makes a pained face and drops his head back against the curved wall of the Quinjet behind him. “You’re one to talk, Barton. And kill the comms, damn it. You know better.”
“Aye, aye, Cap,” Clint says with a chuckle. “Just chiming in to give you a heads up, you got about half an hour tops before you need to be decent.” There was an audible click from the speaker as it went dead. It’s not like anyone didn’t know what they were up to in the back of the jet. Bucky had gotten injured during the mission. Nothing life threatening, but he’d lost a bunch of blood. His body had handled it, healed the wound, but as was the case whenever he burned through a ton of energy and reserves, his hunger had been riding him hard by the time they’d finished the mission. The engines had barely fired up when he’d begun pawing at Steve’s collar. Natasha had quietly headed for the cockpit to join Clint and activated the divider, and Steve had pulled them as far into a corner as possible.
The real problem, of course, was drinking from Steve when he was high from a fight. Steve’s adrenaline only added to his own, and then it was Bucky who couldn’t control himself, who pulled clothing off, needed the release.
“So what were you thinking about, sweetheart?” He asks, pulling off Steve with a satisfied smile. He gives one last lick to the underside of the glans before he lets the foreskin slide back over the head. Steve shudders as he softens in Bucky’s hand.
“You’ve been on a few missions now with us. Ross is gonna come knocking sooner than later at this point. We should get married. Pretty sure he’d have a hard time avoiding the PR nightmare of locking up Captain America’s husband.”
Bucky freezes with his lips against Steve’s throat.
“Unless you think that’s a terrible plan,” Steve adds at Bucky’s hesitation.
He takes several deep breaths in an attempt at controlling his racing heart and thoughts.
“Is that the only reason you want to do that?” he asks, lifting his head to search Steve’s face, terrified of the answer he might find there.
“No, I think it’s a horrible reason for doing it. Not to mention that I haven’t publicly come out, the government thinks you’re dead; there’s a million hurdles to clear just to make it legal. I know that technically we’ve been together for not even a year, but I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that part doesn’t matter, and there’s also the fact that we’re frighteningly co-dependent. But none of that changes how I feel. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, and I’d be proud to have your last name. I’d have married you the day we met in Arizona. But I don’t know how you feel about that kind of permanency. You’re just getting your life back, and we don’t know how long I’ll live compared to you, and—”
Bucky cuts Steve off with a kiss to shut him up.
“You done talking now, Stevie?”
Steve presses his lips together and nods, a slight flush spreading across his cheeks.
“I’m going to agree.” Steve’s face lights up. “On one condition,” Bucky adds.
“Anything, Buck.” Steve’s expression is earnest, hopeful.
“You gotta give the performance of your life when I ask you this weekend at the holiday party. Since you just messed up all my plans and Natasha will kill you for ruining all the work she’s done behind the scenes with Pepper to get me active citizenship and clear my name so I could surprise you.”
Steve’s jaw drops and he stares at Bucky for a moment before he throws his arms around Bucky’s neck and kisses him.
“You’re serious?” Steve asks, breathless, when they part.
Bucky knows that Steve is right, there are still a number of hurdles in their path. Including the fact that he’s going to have to go on trial; they haven’t been able to avoid that. But he also knows that he’d spent long enough thinking he couldn’t have Steve, he didn’t want to spend another day without him. Even though he might be unnatural, his wants and desires are no longer things to be ashamed of, aren’t the things that make him unnatural. He and Steve are open with their relationship, at least among their friends. Once Bucky is in the clear, they can make an official announcement.
“Told you I’d do anything for you, sweetheart. You saved me in Kreischberg when I thought all was lost. You saved me again on that helicarrier when I didn’t even know my own name. You gave yourself to me so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting caught when I need to feed. The least I can do is stick around after all that.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too, sweetheart. More’n anything in the world.”
It had been a hell of a journey, getting to this point. He’d already been through hell three times over. Nothing could be worse than what he’d already survived. And with Steve in his arms and by his side, things could only keep getting better.