Bucky tossed himself down into the spare chair in his new VA counselor’s office and tried to be good, really he did. Sam was refilling their coffees, and Bucky had approximately ninety seconds until he returned. It wasn’t his fault that Sam had left his cell phone lying unattended on his desk. It wasn’t his fault that the phone chirped intriguingly with an incoming message. It wasn’t even really his fault that he already knew Sam’s passcode, because apparently flyboys were shit at infosec and Sam had a habit of just unlocking his phone where anyone (Bucky) could see.
So who could blame him for swiping Sam’s phone to investigate who Flyboy was texting with in the middle of the workday? No one, really—Bucky was blameless here.
The message was a photo—taken in a locker room from the background—showing a man’s body from about mid-chest down. Bucky could tell even through the khakis and blue button-up that this dude was tall and ripped, and he was also sporting a very noticeable erection. Bucky’s mouth went dry.
The image caption read: This is seriously becoming a problem. What do I do?
Oh, Bucky had some thoughts about that. So many thoughts. His thumb was flying over the screen without even bothering to second-guess the wisdom of answering.
Sam: Suggestions. 1) get your khakis tailored to have a third pant leg because DAMN BOY
Sam: 2) tell me where you are so i can get on my knees for sunday prayer
Sam: by which i mean sucking your soul out thru your cock
Bucky watched the ellipsis blink as Mystery Hot Dude tried to figure out how to respond to that. The pause seemed laden with agonized uncertainty, and after a few seconds, Bucky decided to put this “Steve” out of his confused misery.
Sam: why are you sending a dick pic to sam anyway, he’s a skirt chaser he’s not gonna help you out man
Bucky heard Sam’s footsteps approaching from behind, so he silenced the phone and quickly hid it between his thighs. Sam set a full coffee mug on the front edge of his desk for Bucky and then skirted around to sit in the desk chair. There was something oddly humanizing about the random collection of thrift store mugs they had at this VA, instead of those tiny fuckin’ wax paper cups most places put out to hold their burnt coffee. Bucky reached for the mug and sipped—the coffee tasted like it should be used to clean engines, but at least it wasn’t weak dishwater shit.
“Look, man,” Sam was saying, “you know I’m thrilled you’re sticking with group, but you might get more out of it if you actually, y’know, talked.”
Bucky shrugged uncomfortably. “Still gettin’ the lay of the land.” He’d been in DC almost two months now, he knew the names of all the regulars in Sam’s Tuesday lunchtime group meeting, and that excuse was gonna wear thin any minute. He knew it, Sam knew it, and if there was a God, then God knew it too.
Bucky set down his coffee and checked the phone. Three new messages.
Steve: Who is this?
Steve: Did you steal Sam’s phone?
Steve: I don’t know who you are but you need to return Sam’s property to him.
Holding the phone out of Sam’s line of sight, he quickly thumb-typed a response.
Sam: relax Mystery Hot Dude i'll give it back
“How’s things with your sister?” Sam asked, trying a different angle of attack.
“Asshole hasn’t tried to violate the restraining order since I moved in, so there’s that.” Becca’s ex-husband was a stand-up guy when he was sober. Unfortunately, he wasn’t sober nearly as often as she’d been led to believe.
Sam nodded consideringly. “Living with family is great, I’m all for leaning into your support structure, you know I like to beat that drum. But Barnes… I’m kinda concerned you positioned yourself in an environment that’s gonna encourage hypervigilance.”
Jesus Christ did Bucky really not want to discuss this. “If I’m gonna be doing perimeter checks at three in the fuckin’ morning, it might as well be for an actual reason.”
“I don’t got no quick fixes to make you reintegrate into civvie life, but—”
“Yeah, yeah,” Bucky interrupted, “the first step is wanting to do the work.” He ignored Sam’s totally unimpressed raised eyebrows and surreptitiously checked the phone again.
Steve: You think I’m hot?
Sam: they didn’t amputate my dick
Bucky suppressed a grin. There was something adorably naïve about Hot Friend Steve’s question, as if he’d taken the photo with dismay, and honestly hadn’t noticed how smoking hot it was. He tucked his hand, phone included, into the pocket of his navy blue peacoat and stood.
“Well this was fun, but I gotta jet.”
“A’right, Barnes,” Sam said with that patented tone of resigned patience.
“See ya next week, Flyboy,” Bucky called as he left the office.
In the now-empty meeting hall, he took out Sam’s phone again, and because he didn’t really see the point in impulse control anymore, Bucky forwarded Hot Steve’s pic and number to himself. Then he deleted the evidence of their exchange and left Sam’s phone on the refreshments table next to the coffee carafe. Sam would find it later and assume he’d forgotten it there himself. Bucky felt an odd little warmth of satisfaction in his chest at a successful stealth operation. You can take the sniper out of Special Forces, but you can’t take the Special Forces out of the sniper.
Steve flopped down on the bench in the empty locker room, elbows on knees and head hanging from his shoulders as he tried to breathe through the inconvenient and frankly unwanted burn of arousal. The situation wasn’t getting better as his body stabilized in the twenty-first century; if anything, it was getting worse with each successive mission. For the first time, he mentally cursed Erskine.
Steve grew up during the Depression—he was used to ignoring hunger until it went away on its own—so after the serum, he would eat his assigned rations and not think anything about how he never felt full. It was war, everyone complained about the size of the rations, he’d sooner expect to have a day when the sun didn’t rise than a day without hunger. It was the reality he’d always inhabited.
So it had come as a bit of a shock when the SHIELD medical team flipped out at him over the test results in those first couple weeks. Turned out that he had close to zero-percent body fat because he’d been living on the razor’s edge of starvation for the whole two years since his transformation, and if he wanted to actually be healthy, he should be packing away at least four thousand calories a day.
Steve’s head snapped up at the sound of the locker room door opening, but it was just Shoshanna, the level-one junior agent assigned to “assist” (read: babysit) him. She gave him a wry half-smile and handed him the required post-mission medicated protein shake.
He sighed. It wasn’t even that the shake would taste that bad—Shoshanna was a smoothie wizard, and anything that made his stomach stop eating itself would feel welcome after physical exertion.
“Cap,” Shoshanna said in a surprisingly accurate tone of Disappointed Jewish Mother, despite that she was all of twenty-three years old and currently chastising a national icon.
Steve sighed again and started inhaling the shake. It was chocolate-strawberry flavored and only slightly chalky in texture, and kind of delicious actually, and he loathed it.
Shoshanna sat beside him on the bench. “I know this is embarrassing, and you probably feel like your body is betraying you, but it’s a good thing that you’re finally getting adequate nutrition and sleep, and we’ll figure out how to manage the side effects.”
“Thanks, Shosh.” He did feel a little better just from having her here. Shoshanna had informed him early on that she was “very gay,” and the utter lack of appreciative glances from her was like a balm.
“Take your time. I’m gonna go run interference with Agent Sitwell.” She’d been covering for him ever since he started needing extra time to get his body under control before the post-mission debriefings.
“You’re a peach,” Steve acknowledged gratefully.
“True.” She gave a solemn nod. “I am a peach.”
Steve slouched insolently in his conference room rolly chair, too fed up with the universe at large to feign interest in the debriefing. Shooting Nazis had never required this much red tape. He should sit next to Clint and start playing Debriefing Bingo under the table. His middle square would be “yelled at for jumping off/out of something that would make a regular person go splat” and Clint’s would be “ended up in Medical again.”
Steve’s phone buzzed in his pocket, and he slipped it out as stealthily as he could, assuming it was probably Sam trying to get in touch about the klepto patient incident. Across the table, Natasha definitely clocked him checking his phone, but he didn’t think she’d tattle.
It wasn’t Sam.
Unknown Number: hey this is the phone thief
Unknown Number: i forwarded your pic to myself so i can stare at you while im jerking off, just fyi
His recent spy training was the only saving grace that kept him from sucking in a shocked breath. It really shouldn’t make him hot that some random patient of Sam’s stole his photo and added it to his spank bank (as Tony would call it). It would be so wrong to be turned on by that. And yet, and yet.
For pity’s sake, he’d just managed to get himself presentable, and now all he could think about was some smart-mouthed vet stroking off just because Steve got all hot under the collar after every fight nowadays. He should definitely block this number.
He saved it to his contacts under “Phone Thief.”
Steve: okay good to know
Steve: now I’m hard under the table at a work meeting so thanks for that
Phone Thief: bullshit
Phone Thief: pic or it didnt happen
Steve chewed the inside of his cheek hesitantly for all of 2.5 seconds before he slouched a little lower in his chair, canted his hips up a bit to make the situation more obvious, and snapped a photo of the underside of the conference table. The image came out grainy from the low light conditions, but the telltale bulge was still evident. It was possible Steve was losing his mind, because he then intentionally sent the photo of his under-the-table hard-on to a complete stranger.
Phone Thief: OH SHIT you were not joking, bro you gotta get that trouser snake under control
Steve: I’m sort of on meds that make it difficult to do that.
He hoped it wasn’t stretching the truth too much to refer to super-soldier serum injection as “being on meds,” but it was the best explanation he could think of that wouldn’t… wait. Hold on. He hadn’t told anyone about this beyond Shosh, Sam, and the one SHIELD doctor he’d deemed least skeevy based on a variety of metrics such as the number of times they asked study his endurance limits and how much they salivate when he lets them draw blood samples. It was probably weird to be divulging this extremely personal information to Phone Thief after exchanging only a dozen texts.
Phone Thief: ok
Phone Thief: how about this
Phone Thief: you go finish your afternoon of responsible adulting, and when you get home tonight, if you want you can text me for a reward
Steve: sounds like a plan
He tucked his phone away again. Natasha was studiously not looking at him in a way that meant she probably knew exactly what he’d been doing. Clint was folding a post-it note into the world’s tiniest paper airplane. Standing at the display screen at the head of the table, Sitwell was belaboring a point about how it wouldn’t be good for Captain America’s public image if someone else had gotten ahold of this security footage of Steve drop-kicking a bad guy.
“I’ll try to drop-kick the gun runners more politely next time,” Steve answered, deadpan.
He didn’t forget about Phone Thief, but the promise of more to come later settled the restlessness under his skin. The sex drive didn’t exactly go away, but he found it easier to temporarily set it aside. He knew he would take care of it later. He would be taken care of later, by Phone Thief. Steve worried it was pathetic to be deriving this much comfort from a barely-existent connection with a total stranger… but he wasn’t worried enough to stop.
Bucky scrubbed his damp palm over his jeans and took a moment to strategize. He had an hour until he needed to leave to pick up his nephew from pre-school, which would be plenty of time to accomplish some pornographic photography for someone with two hands, but his selfie game was significantly hindered. First, he figured out how to use the time delay feature in the camera app and jerry-rigged a phone stand. Next, lighting: the basement-level bedroom in his sister’s townhouse did have a window, though it was high up on the wall, so he turned on a lamp to supplement it.
Bucky’s hand was shaking as he pulled his shirt off. He used to be able to walk into a club, flash a cocky smile, and get beautiful people to invite him home for the night. Now strangers looked at his pinned sleeve before they looked at his lips, and feeling someone stare from across the bar made his skin crawl instead of lighting him up with anticipation.
He stepped out of his jeans and boxers and sat on the edge of his bed. Maybe this would be good. He could control exactly how the viewer saw him. He could make himself attractive again, instead of his body being a thing that made people uncomfortable and guilty at the obvious cost of his service. He could pretend Hot Steve with the medicated libido would be more interested in kneeling on the floor and exploring his cock with his mouth.
Bucky took himself in hand and started taking pictures.
Steve was practically vibrating with anticipation by the time he got home that evening, but he made himself prepare and eat dinner without touching his phone. He knew he could be a bit intensely overeager about, well, everything, and he felt weirdly nervous at the prospect of scaring off Phone Thief. (Despite that nothing about their interactions so far suggested he was in any way skittish.) Around 8:30pm, Steve finally gave in to temptation and took his phone into his bedroom.
Steve: Is it tonight yet?
The answer was a photo: a man’s bare, tanned torso, light and shadow playing across washboard abs, dog tags hanging in the hollow of his sternum between well-built pecs. Steve sucked air through his teeth. Jesus Christ, those dog tags. How had he served two years in the army without realizing he had a thing for men wearing nothing but their tags?
Then a second photo arrived, framed wider this time. The line of his throat was visible, and Steve wanted to lick that adam’s apple. A muscular right arm curved down, a square hand resting in the vee of Phone Thief’s hip, fingers trailing into dark hair as if reaching suggestively for a prize that was just out of sight. (The left arm was still carefully cropped out of view, and while Steve could guess at why, it was hardly his main focus at the moment.)
Phone Thief: this is your chance to stop
Phone Thief: if youve got any delicate sensibilities im about to offend them
Steve felt like all the oxygen had been sucked from the room. His heart was hammering against his ribs like he’d just sprinted thirty miles.
Steve: What makes you think I want to stop?
Phone Thief: aright hold on to your khakis
The next photo revealed his cock, thick and fully hard, Phone Thief’s fingers loosely framing the base like a promise of what would happen next. Steve groaned. A minute passed, as if the sender was building anticipation, and then Phone Thief’s hand was fisted around his cock, the tip visibly glistening with precome.
Steve: Christ I’m so hard just looking at you
Phone Thief: you gonna touch yourself for me stevie?
Steve pulled his shirt off and scrambled to unzip his trousers and liberate his straining erection. He lay back on his bed, half-propped on the pile of pillows, and finally touched himself. He looked again at that last picture, imagined it was Phone Thief’s hand wrapped tight around his shaft, letting Steve fuck up into his grip. Would Phone Thief want to straddle his hips, grind their dicks together? Or would he be too impatient for that, go straight for riding Steve like a pony, all those muscles flexing as he bounced on Steve’s cock…
His core tensed and he came in a white hot flash of pleasure, shooting all over his stomach and up his chest. He gasped for breath, dazed; the relief was like floating in a sun-warmed pool. It took him a minute to remember that he hadn’t replied, and he checked his phone again.
Phone Thief: so… that do it for you?
There was an undertone of uncertainty in the words that plucked at Steve’s heart. They had both survived deep, permanent changes. Maybe Phone Thief needed an outlet to help him come to terms with his new body; it wasn’t precisely the same, but Steve sure could understand that need. Either way, he couldn’t let the self-doubt stand. Phone Thief was smoking hot and he deserved to know exactly how affected Steve was.
Steve: yeah, doll, I’d say you do it for me
Then he sent a photo of the state he was in—face carefully framed out, but dick carefully framed in, come glistening all the way up to his sternum.
Phone Thief: fuck ur so gorgeous im gonna frame that and hang it on my wall
Phone Thief: this was supposed to be your present and now im the one gagging for it
Steve felt like he was going mad. This was insane, they weren’t even in the same room—but maybe that was the point. The anonymity meant there was no need to act proper, to second-guess his desires. No reason to hold back.
Steve: I want you to jack off while you’re looking at me.
Phone Thief: mission accepted
Steve pinched his lower lip between his teeth, thinking about how Phone Thief’s biceps would flex in motion. Was he taking it slow, teasing himself, or was he so riled up by the sight of Steve’s come-splattered torso that he was frantically beating off? Steve’s cock rallied back to full mast and he went a second round before checking his phone again.
Steve: Mission report, soldier.
No response. The seconds ticked by and Steve started to get nervous. Had he pushed this too far somehow?
Phone Thief: give a guy a sec to wipe the spunk off his hand jeez
Steve laughed, relieved and riding a giddy sort of post-orgasm high.
Steve: God, I needed that.
Phone Thief: you gonna thank me for my service? ;)
Steve: I feel like that turned into a team effort
Phone Thief: fair enough
There was a pause while Phone Thief typed something longer, but Steve’s anxiety from a minute ago seemed to have leveled out. This thing was weird and unexpected, but as unconventional as it might be, he felt like he’d made a connection with someone.
Phone Thief: so not to shut the barn door after the horses ran out or anything but i feel like i should double check that you are not in fact sams boyfriend. my gaydar is usually pretty solid, but sexting my therapist’s beau would be a new low for me
Steve: Don’t worry, you’re all clear. Sam is very straight.
Steve chewed the inside of his cheek, but made himself type out the next line before he lost his nerve.
Steve: and I am very single
The ellipsis blinked at him mockingly. He waited, staring at the screen with bated breath.
Phone Thief: my name is bucky