Steve knows the side effects of skipping too many heats but he’s just so busy, is the thing. At least that’s what he tells himself. There’s too many things going on, they’re still recovering from the whole aliens invading New York situation, he could be called into the field at any moment.
Natasha insisted he schedule a break in suppressants every four months, half the natural heat frequency. Steve outwardly conceded to her. Luckily the first break was delayed by the kidnapping of the Lemurian Star. He lamented appropriately to Natasha but felt warm relief on the inside. The truth of it was, he didn’t want to go through his heat without an alpha. Without his alpha. It felt like betrayal.
Steve couldn’t bear the thought of letting anyone else touch him, not even the surprisingly life-like toys of the future. Bucky had been the only person to touch him, to know him so intimately. Steve had tried fingering himself when he first came back to the future, but he was crying before he’d even fully breached himself, couldn’t even get slick without Bucky’s soft but calloused hands touching him everywhere he needed.
Back before the serum, when Steve’s body couldn’t handle the heats and subsequently didn’t have them, Bucky had held him tight as he cried, whispering reassurances to him. “My omega.” he’d say, then put Steve to work.
Bucky just knew was the thing. Knew that to everyone else, Steve appeared to be the exact opposite of what an omega should be, picking fights and wreaking havoc. But at home, when it was just him and Bucky, Steve was perfect. Looked after Bucky after long days working at the docks, ran him baths and had a hot water bottle ready to soothe out aches and cramps.
And sometimes when Steve didn’t feel like enough of an omega, Bucky had to remind him. “You know,” he’d start “the curtains in the kitchen looked a bit dusty. Why don’t you give them a good clean.” And Steve would jump into action. Or “A man sure could get hungry with all this cuddling he has to do.” And not half an hour later he’d have a bowl of something hot in his hands and a content omega in his lap.
Bucky always made sure to reward him nicely. He couldn’t always take Bucky’s knot, but when he was well enough to produce slick, feeling so full of his alpha was the best feeling he could ask for. On the rare occasions that Steve felt up to it and Bucky agreed, Steve’s small belly would be so full of come that they could almost pretend the small protrusion was their pups.
After the serum, Peggy approached him, handed him a small bottle. “Compliments of Dr Erskine.” She’d explained softly that the serum had improved his body to the stage where his biology would allow him to have heats and had made these specific suppressants to stave them off while he was in battle without the side effects of normal suppressants. They, of course, ran out many, many years ago, which is why Natasha won’t stop nagging him.
“You know the longer you go without them, the more at risk you are of randomly going into heat on mission?”
Or “Don’t you think it’s weird that you’re almost a hundred and have never had a heat?”
When he’d first come out of the ice, he wasn’t showing any signs of going into heat. The doctors said that his body was probably still healing and they would come back in time. Then, Steve had been prepared to go into heat for the first time. He locked himself away in a SHIELD bunker in the middle of nowhere and spent his time divided between using the internet to catch up with the world and taking out his frustrations on the custom made gym. For months he thought he would be fine when the heat hit, but when the pre-heat symptoms began, he proved himself wrong.
His temperature began to rise and his body began to retain water weight and nutrients for an expected week of neglect for all bodily functions except the reproductive ones. Steve was fine, he told himself through gritted teeth and a glistening forehead. He began waking up with slick trickling down his thigh and his cock desperately seeking some kind of contact. The doctors had warned that the heat would be more intense than normal, considering it was his first one. He was fine. The first day of his heat hit him like a 10 tonne truck. He was not fine. He used the toys that had been provided at the bunker, but they triggered a panic attack that had him shoving a handful of suppressants down his throat. His heat had dissipated by the early evening.
He went to the gym, lost his pre-heat weight easily enough, cried at night. Stayed in the bunker long after he was expecting to. Stayed there until Fury came to recruit him.
Fury, who’s now bleeding out in Steve’s apartment as Steve chases the shooter across the rooftops. He throws his shield and the shooter spins, whip fast, to catch it. Steve thinks he smells something familiar, like sun-crisped linen and fresh cookies, but he barely has a second to process the scent before the shield is flung back at him, too fast to have been launched from a human arm, and the shooter is gone.
So now he and Natasha are chasing a ghost. And he’s stuck in a car with her for multiple hours.
“Was that your first kiss since 1945?” she asks.
“No.” he lies. She smirks like she sees right through him. “It’s kinda hard to find someone with shared life experiences” he defends himself.
“You know, you could just get a heat mate.” Steve feels physically ill at the thought and has to turn to face the window so she doesn’t see him turn a mild shade of green. She continues “Lots of alphas out there are happy for a no strings attached arrangement, I could sign you up for a website.”
Steve doesn’t reply. He doesn’t want an alpha. He wants Bucky.
The universe is sick, twisted. Steve wanted Bucky? He could have him. Have him try to take him down in the middle of a highway. Steve, too caught up in trying to keep himself alive, doesn’t have time to think about the familiar scent hitting his nostrils until he flips the assassin by his mask, dislodging it to reveal… Bucky? He must have said the name out loud, because The Winter Soldier stops his retreat to face Steve. “Who the hell’s Bucky?” he asks in a voice that, combined with the scent blown in Steve’s direction by the wind, is enough to have Steve on his knees, baring his neck in a silent submission. The Strike team descends upon him, effectively disguising his crisis as an arrest.
Steve waits until everyone’s asleep at Fury’s safe house before he lets the tears fall.
Steve shoves it to the back of his mind. They’ve gotta stop the helicarriers. Steve steals his old outfit from the Smithsonian, and he must have put on weight since the last time he wore it, because it just rides the line of being too tight. He drinks more water than usual, goes to the toilet less, puts it down the extra stress of the situation. He couldn’t be going into pre-heat, he’s still taking suppressants.
He switches the chip of the first one without a hitch, but he almost gives up when he gets to the Charlie carrier and sees Bucky is already there. He hopes that whatever they’ve done to Bucky made him forget about his alpha voice, because he could render Steve useless within seconds if he wanted. It seems luck is on his side, and he manages to switch out the chip, albeit with more holes in his body that he had started out with. A groan catches his attention as he radios in his success to Maria.
Bucky’s regained consciousness and is trapped under a heavy beam. Whether or not Bucky remembers being Steve’s alpha is irrelevant, in no universe would Steve abandon him on a sinking helicarrier, as it were. He has a thought, while Bucky is beating him with his metal arm, the dislocated right arm needlessly holding Steve down, that he’d always wanted the die with Bucky, and he’s getting his wish, in a twisted way. He’s yelling words at Bucky, he thinks. Can’t really tell, because he’s bleeding from most places on his body. He feels some trickle down, inside his suit, inside his thighs… except, that’s definitely not blood, if the heady, sweet scent that’s surrounding him is any indication. Steve can see the exact moment Bucky realises, because the shock is apparent on his face, his metal arm frozen in the air, blurry through Steve’s half closed lashes.
Steve lets out an involuntary whine, thrusts his mating spot in Bucky’s direction. The shift means that whatever flimsy support he was lying on gives way and he’s suddenly plummeting into the Potomac, the crisp water a cool respite from his suddenly too-hot-too-tight skin. He closes his eyes.
The Asset stares as the target falls from the helicarrier. That man… was his. The Asset didn’t know how he knew this, but he knew it like he knew that there would be a thin white scar just above the target’s left collarbone, and that the target was going into heat and that the target needed him. He let himself fall after the target, swam down to him and pulled him out with his left arm.
The target was unconscious when The Asset pulled him ashore, but The Asset checked his vital signs and the target seemed to be alive. He took a few moments to grit his teeth and put his shoulder back into place, then picked up the target and walked. The target needed him. “Mine.” He thought.
Steve woke slowly. Bucky was nuzzling behind his ear, and he was gonna be late to his goddam job if the brightness of the sunlight he could see through his lids was any indication. The sun rose earlier in the summer and got hot a lot faster, Steve was already sweating profusely, but his discomfort gave way to the fact that he was hard, and he began to rut lazily against the scratchy blankets and then back into Bucky, who was slowly hardening, probably still asleep. Maybe they could squeeze a quick one in if they skipped breakfast.
“Bucky…” he murmured. Bucky sat up abruptly, wordlessly, behind him. Steve’s eyes flew open. This… was not their Brooklyn apartment. The walls were wooden and had a slightly damp smell to them, with a wide but short window above the bed he was currently on. The events of the past weeks slammed into him, leaving him gasping for breath.
Bucky’s metal hand rested in his forehead, shocking him out of his panic attack and reminding him of the suffocating warmth he was feeling, not from the sunlight but from his heat. Oh god. He was going into heat with his amnesiac mate right there. It wouldn’t be too long before Steve lost all lucidity. He had to get out.
He attempted to get off the bed but Bucky held him back. Steve, weakened from the assault on the helicarriers and his heat, fell backwards. Bucky straddled him, pulled out a knife from the confines of his jacket. Steve began to struggle, trying to buck him off, anything.
“Stop.” Bucky commanded in his Alpha voice. He went instantly still, tears flooding down his cheeks as the knife came down to Steve’s neck- and cut away his uniform to reveal his bare chest. Bucky leaned down, traced the thin crescent on Steve’s skin. Leaned in closer. Breathed. “Mine.” He said, then straightened to look at Steve, as if asking confirmation.
“Yeah, Buck, yours, please, yours yours yoursyoursyoursyours…” He could feel himself slipping further and further into heat, his senses overloaded, grinding his arse down into the bed. Bucky ripped the rest of his uniform and pushed it around his thighs, leaving Steve’s cock to spring free onto his stomach, red, achingly hard and leaking profusely, his hole not much better, fluttering, praying for contact.
Bucky got off the bed and Steve barely managed to hold back a sob as Bucky removed his pants, letting his half formed knot free. He climbed back onto the bed and flipped Steve onto his stomach, gasping damp breaths into the blanket, chasing friction on the cheap material. Bucky unceremoniously shoved what felt like two fingers into his hole, scissoring and twisting as to make room for a third, and eventually a fourth. Steve was a blubbering mess underneath him by the time he removed his fingers, slick gushing down his taint and over his balls.
When Bucky finally pushed in, Steve forgot how to breathe. It had been so long since he’d had Bucky this way, and though he’d never have him again, it was too much to handle, so Steve stopped thinking and succumbed to the heat.
He came to in short bursts, days and nights passing as he desperately begged for Bucky to knot him, breed him, and Bucky was all too happy to acquiesce. Well. Steve though he was happy. But his face remained stoic for the most part. He wasn’t actively frowning though, so heat-hazed Steve was satisfied. Days, possibly weeks later for all Steve knew, he woke without a fever, but with a stomach-churning hunger. Bucky was sitting in a chair in the opposite corner, watching Steve intensely. When he saw Steve was awake, he walked over to the bed, slowly jacking himself to hardness.
Steve stopped him with a raised hand. “My heat’s over, Buck.” He smiled weakly. Bucky’s face stayed impassive.
“You need food.” He said “Stay.” Then pulled pants and a long sleeved Henley from the closet in the corner of the room. Belatedly, Steve realised that this must be a safe house of sorts, probably set up by HYDRA and seized by Bucky when he realised they had scattered. “Stay.” he repeated, and then silently left the cabin.
There was an open door on the adjacent wall to Steve’s bed that looked to hold a bathroom. Luckily, the bathroom had working plumbing and, miraculously, hot water. Steve cleaned himself thoroughly, feeling like a new man when he emerged from the now steam-filled room. He took one look at the bed and took a second to be amazed at the sheer amount of bodily fluid, before stripping the sheets and set to works soaking them in the bath tub. He appropriated a piece of scrap metal he found outside as a washboard and scrubbed out the particularly stubborn stains, then hung the linen from tree branches.
The sun had set by the time Bucky returned, holding bags and bags of groceries. Steve was inside, continuing his spring clean by scrubbing every available surface in the kitchen. Presumably, Steve would be cooking, unless assassin training and brainwashing actually improved Bucky’s cooking skills. Steve highly doubted it.
The bags contained a multitude of grains, nuts and vegetables, which was just as well, considering there was no refrigerator in the cabin. Bucky seemed to also have the foresight to buy soap, shampoo, toilet paper, and in what Steve hoped was a sign of affection, a huge fleecy blanket, easily big enough to cover two super soldiers.
Their routine went like this: Bucky would wake before Steve and leave him in bed while he did perimeter checks. Steve would wake and fashion a breakfast from whatever groceries Bucky had bought that week, and they would eat in silence. Steve and Bucky had never been morning people. Bucky seemed to trust Steve enough to let him go for runs in the afternoon while Bucky went to town, or alternately, they would chop wood together for the fireplace or make general repairs to the cabin.
Steve wasn’t allowed to go into town on supply runs like Bucky, probably for Bucky’s fear of him being recognised and taken away. In all honesty, Steve was happy with this arrangement. The weight of being Captain America was too much to bear, especially knowing all the corruption he was now complicit in. He knew from newspapers Bucky bought that he was officially missing, presumed dead, but he also knew Natasha, and knew that she was probably still looking for him and would be there within the hour if he showed his face anywhere.
In the evenings, while Steve prepared dinner, Bucky would lie on the bed, asking Steve to recount stories from their youth and the war, occasionally filling in details from his own memories. By dinner, they’d both be smiling softly, constantly overjoyed by the fact that they’d been reunited against all odds. At night they’d lie in bed, taking turns stroking each other’s hair. Sometimes, Bucky would tell stories from after the war, of all the pain he’d been through and inflicted against his will. These nights were the rare nights where Bucky would allow himself to be held and be weak, would cry into the crook of Steve’s neck and breathe in the scent of his mate until he felt human again.
By the time it had been two months since his first heat, Steve seemed to be putting on his pre-heat weight again. By the time three months rolled around, the heat hadn’t hit, and the small amount of weight was staying on, particularly piling up around his stomach and hips. Steve was quietly worried. One of the side effects of staying on suppressants for continuous time periods was the body becoming immune to the contraceptive element of it. What if Steve was, well, pregnant?
Kids were never an option back in the 40’s, what with Steve’s ill health and then the war. They were a fantasy though, many nights spent constructing futures where they had elaborate wealth, enough to bring up a whole baseball team of pups in comfort. He didn’t know if that was still Bucky’s dream after all he’d gone through, but when the fourth month didn’t bring a heat with it, instead only curious looks and teasing comments from Bucky about not keeping up his exercise regime, Steve knew it was now or never. He tackled the issue over dinner one night.
“Hey, Buck, I think we need to talk.” Bucky looked up from his plate inquiringly and Steve continued “You know that I haven’t had a heat since we got here?”
Bucky nodded in confirmation and swallowed “I thought that the serum gave you longer between heats?”
“No, I think I’m… I’m preg-” and was cut off by Bucky choking on his mouthful. Steve stood up and thumped him on the back a few times.
Bucky swivelled in his chair so that his face was in line with Steve’s small bulge. He put his hands to it, sliding Steve’s shirt up almost reverently. “You nice and full of my babies, doll?” he asks “Knew there was something going on.” He inhales deeply, pressing small kisses along the circumference of Steve’s belly. He pauses and looks up at Steve, looking up at him with huge, dark eyes. “We getting started on that baseball team we’d always talked about?"