There is a man staring at him.
This isn’t new—there are all sorts who take the B train, but it is the first time that Steve’s considered staring back. And not just because the guy’s stacked, but also because he looks like he’s gone one to one against the New York Islanders and lost.
Before Steve can look away, they make eye contact, and a toothy grin stretches all over the the guy’s face. “Shit,” Steve mutters, as the guy tumbles up to Steve—which is just so not done, what the hell—and beams down at him.
“Do you want a job?” the blond asks.
Steve narrows his eyes. “Listen, buddy.”
“Not like that!” the guy says, waving both his hands, half-panicked but also laughing. “Sorry, I can see how that came off as totally creepy. I’m not like, trying to proposition you.”
Steve doesn’t think it’s actually possible for someone to tell his current state of unemployment at a glance, but the timing is pretty uncanny. He’d just been let go from his part time job at the bodega near his apartment when he punched a man for smacking his kid across the face. The resulting fight had caused thousands of dollars worth of damages. His boss had been very understanding—“of course you couldn’t just stand back and watch a kid get abused, but couldn’t you have, you know, taken it outside?”
Settling back into his chair, he folds his arms over his chest and glares at the guy over the top of his glasses. “Why me?”
The guy takes the seat next to Steve—completely unwelcome and uninvited, but also oblivious to normal social cues. He turns to Steve, propping his arm against the back of his chair. “You’re the artist type, right?” He waves a hand at Steve’s sketchbook. Instinctively, Steve hugs it to his chest. The guy’s grin just widens. “Have you ever considered going into—uh, makeup?”
“They are two completely different mediums,” Steve protests.
“Well yeah, but it should be pretty transferable, right?”
“That’s not how it works,” Steve says, but the guy is already fishing around in one coat pocket and then, when it fails to produce what he’s looking for, the other pocket.
“Ah ha,” he says, and flips out his hand, business card jutting out between his fingers. Steve looks at him, looks at the card, and then takes it.
“What’s S.H.I.E.L.D. Entertainment?” Steve asks, flipping the card over to see if there’s anything on the back. All there is is a phone number, with a Brooklyn area code.
“Oh, we’re just a small studio,” Clint says, earnestly. “I think you’d do really well here. You’re just the sort that’s well-liked in this industry.”
“That’s very Death of a Salesman, but okay,” Steve says, tucking the business card into his sketchpad.
“Twenty bucks an hour,” Clint adds, as if that’s an enticing figure this deep in New York.
Steve snorts. “Oh, cool, so I’ll be able to afford my electricity bill.”
“Better than nothing!”
“I’ll think about it,” Steve says, fully prepared to completely forget about the card and this whole weird encounter.
Maybe in the movies or in a book Clint would have gotten off at the next stop, but in reality he sits restlessly next to Steve, playing a game on his phone, impervious to awkward situations. Steve shifts around so that his back is against the train’s wall, propping his sketchpad against his knee. He’s not embarrassed by his art—he just hates it when people take the fact that he’s drawing in public as an invitation to offer their critiques, and Clint is definitely the nosy sort of fella who would comment on Steve’s hand studies.
“This is me,” Clint says, getting to his feet after two stops of Steve shooting irritated looks at the side of his head while he tries to recapture his earlier inspiration. Clint gathers up the wreckage of his belongings, somehow manages to take a sip from his coffee, waves at Steve, nearly drops everything, and pitches out the sliding doors to nearly run over an elderly Chinese lady easing her way onto the train. She smacks his shoulder with her newspaper.
Steve puts the whole encounter with Clint Barton out of his mind right until his lights go out. He stares down at his tablet in horror, trying to remember if the program he was using auto saves, then groans and tosses his tablet onto his couch. That whole maxim about money not buying happiness? Bullshit. He’d be thrilled if he could afford his electricity bill.
The thought makes him pause. He gets to his feet, whacking his shin hard against the coffee table, since it’s nine in the evening and the scant light filtering in from the street does nothing to illuminate the room, and goes to the tote bag he’d tossed to the side the other day, one hand held out in front of him so that he doesn’t discover any obstacles with his face. The sketchpad he’d been doodling on in the train a week ago had migrated to the bottom of his bag, under the sci-fi book he’s been making his way through whenever he takes the train. Steve shakes the sketchpad until a small business card flutters to the ground.
What can he even put on his resume for a makeup artist? Classically trained artist. Can draw a damn good caricature of you in under ten minutes. Bad health. Smells like gouache paint and abandoned dreams.
He looks at the phone number using his phone’s flashlight, noting at the same time that he has all of half battery life, which means that he’ll probably have to sit in Starbucks for an hour while it charges. He really should do more research before calling, but he’s used up most of his data and, of course, no electricity means no WiFi. So he taps out the number and, before he can think about what to say, Clint answers after half a ring.
“Talk to me,” Clint says.
“Uh,” Steve says. “Is this Clint Barton?”
“Speaking,” Clint says, sounding distracted.
“This is Steve Rogers. We met on the B train a week ago?”
There’s a staticky silence on the other end, then Clint says, “Right! The blond guy!”
Something that sounds a lot like a moan comes over the line, in the distance. “Sorry,” Steve says, suspiciously, “am I interrupting something?”
“No, no, that’s just the—uh, TV. Hold on a second.” There’s the sound of rustling clothing, muffled cursing, and then a door squeaking open and clicking shut. “Sorry about that! Thanks for calling, man. How ya been?”
Steve blinks at his dirty window, at the halos around the streetlights. This isn’t how he expected the call to go. “Uh, good.” He clears his throat. “Listen, you mentioned something about a makeup job? Is that still available?”
Clint says nothing for a moment, like he’s racking his brain for the memory, and all the reservations Steve has been feeling rear up again. What is he thinking, calling some roughed up looking blonde who offered him a job on the train? This is probably some sort of mafia thing. He’s going to end up as some mafia stooge. His mom is going to be so disappointed with him.
“It is,” Clint says, slowly. Then he seems to decide on something, because he adds, cheerfully, “Can you come in for an in-person?”
Steve hasn’t had all that many interviews, but he feels like he’s missing a couple of key steps here. “Are you affiliated with the mafia?”
Clint barks a laugh. “No! Of course not. What gave you that idea?”
“I wonder,” Steve says, dryly. “Do you have health insurance?”
“Sure do, buddy.”
“Okay,” Steve says, because, what the hell. Electricity and health insurance? He can almost survive off that.
Steve really should have done his research.
“Wait,” Steve says, going a little round-eyed as a man with a metal prosthetic walks up to where he’s standing with the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Entertainment, Nicholas Fury. They’re in the middle of a gorgeous family room, filled fancy furniture that’s artfully arranged and surrounded by cameras and boomsticks. When Steve had arrived at Park Avenue, to an address in a building that reeked of both old and new money, he figured, oh, S.H.I.E.L.D. Entertainment must be filming here.
He isn’t wrong.
The man is eyeing Steve speculatively, and is completely fucking naked. Steve stares right back at him, and he’s probably gone a little bug-eyed and slack-jawed, because even though his left ear is a dud he could have sworn he’d just heard Director Fury say that his job would be to—to— “You want me to what?”
“Steve, this is Bucky Barnes,” Fury says, “our star entertainer.”
Oh my god.
Bucky Barnes cocks a hand on his hip, completely unselfconscious of his—his— Steve snaps his eyes back up to Bucky’s face, then whirls on Fury. “What did you say S.H.I.E.L.D. stands for?”
“Sexual Headquarters, Intimate Encounters, and Lovin’ Dick,” Fury says, completely straight-faced.
“Oh my god,” Steve says, weakly.
“The ‘Lovin’ Dick’ was Barton’s contribution,” Bucky says, grinning at him, all casual-like, as if he isn’t stark fucking naked. “We couldn’t think of anything else.”
“Oh,” Steve says, weakly. “And you need me to—to—” And, really, he isn’t a blushing virgin, but he also isn’t used to talking directly to someone’s dick upon first meeting.
“Discreetly conceal any imperfections.”
What imperfections? Bucky is all sharp lines and miles of golden skin and rippling muscle, and if anyone tries to tell Steve that his prosthetic is an imperfection, he’ll punch them in the face. Maybe he’s got some stretch marks already ‘discreetly concealed.’ Or maybe he’s referring to the long scar jagging down his left thigh that is just barely visible under a thick layer of makeup. Steve isn’t about to do a close study, nope, he is not a creep.
“You have a problem with the porn industry?” Bucky asks casually, but there’s a glint to his eyes and an edge to his voice.
“No! Of course not! As long as they’re treating you right and not forcing you to do anything you’re unwilling to do, and there isn’t anything illegal going on.” Steve peers hard at Bucky’s face. “Everything’s okay, right? You’re not in any danger, are you? No coercion or…”
Behind him, Fury snorts, but Steve keeps his eyes on Bucky’s face, waiting for a flinch or a furtive glance at his boss. Instead, Bucky just looks a little startled, then touched. “We’re all good here, big guy.”
Steve bristles at the moniker, but for once keeps his tongue between his teeth. He doesn’t know if he’s going to get the job—or, hell, if he would even take it—but best not to pick a fight with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s star entertainer. Besides, Bucky’s expression is friendly, like he isn’t taking the piss out of him.
“Barton scouted you, huh?” Fury says. “Should have known. We weren’t getting very many bites, so he went rogue. He was supposed to inform you about the—nature of our business—during the initial phone screening.”
“He left out some key details,” Steve manages. He and Barton need to have some words Steve’s all for sex work positivity, but springing all of that—that being Bucky Barnes—on the unsuspecting is just not copacetic.
“If we haven’t sufficiently traumatized you,” Fury says, amused, “you can have the job if you want it—and if you can pass a biweekly STD exam.”
“Oh no,” Steve says, instinctively. “I mean, I’m not—” He colors slightly, then clears his throat. “I’m between relationships right now.”
Fury slants a look at him that’s both way too knowing and also very stern. “Nevertheless. This is non-negotiable.”
“But aren’t I just going to be—”
Fury doesn’t say anything, but somehow his silence is very loud and demanding.
“Right. Of course. That makes total sense.” Steve sneaks a glance at Bucky, but he’s wandered off to chat with a redhead holding clipboard. Steve wonders if she’s another entertainer or if she’s part of the crew. Even though he’s keeping his eyes strictly above-waist, Steve finds that staring at Bucky’s muscular, naked back is really not that safe. He turns back to to Fury. “Can I have a couple of days to think about it?”
Steve closes his apartment door behind him with a quiet click, then reaches over to flick on his family room light. Nothing happens. Oh. Right. His electric bill. He should—pay that. At least he has no food in his refrigerator to spoil. That’s a good thing. Or at the very least, a thing.
He nods to himself, then turns around and walks right back out of his apartment.
“So how did your interview go?” his mom asks, fifteen minutes later, setting a mug of chamomile tea down in front of him.
Steve wraps his hands around the mug. “Oh! Uh—” His mom can never know. It’s not that he thinks she would judge him—not Sarah Rogers, who spends her evenings writing impassioned blog posts with titles like, This is Why We Need to Support Sex Workers, with links to petitions for the decriminalization of sex work. She’s just sometimes—too passionate. Steve didn’t think Fury would be thrilled if Sarah Rogers kicked open the door to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s penthouse to audit their safety regulations. “Well! It went well.”
His mom settles into the chair across from him, lifting an eyebrow. “Oh yeah?”
“Yeah! I think I might’ve got the job maybe,” Steve says. He has no idea how he’s managing to keep a straight face, but he’s pretty sure his mom can see right through his bullshit. She’d always been able to, ever since the first time he’d come home with a black eye and a missing tooth because Timmy down the block had kicked a puppy.
She eyes him keenly, but thankfully doesn’t push it. “That’s great, sweetheart! What for?”
“A makeup artist.”
Sarah snorts. At Steve’s offended look, she just smirks at him. “Do you even know how to apply makeup?”
“There are plenty of YouTube videos I can learn from,” Steve says, deciding not to mention that the makeup he was going to apply would most likely not be on faces.
He really shouldn’t have been surprised that his mom would take this as an invitation to pull up some of the top makeup tutorials on YouTube. They crowd around her old iPad, first watching videos on contouring, then somehow ending up watching a woman totally transform herself for cosplay.
“Wow,” Sarah says. “This is what you’re going to be doing?”
“God, I hope not,” Steve says, mildly panicked.
Sarah sets her tablet down and gets to her feet. “Come on, let’s practice.”
Nearly an hour later, Sarah frowns at her face in the mirror. “It’s not terrible.”
“Damning me with faint praise,” Steve says, dropping his head in his hands.
“I think you just need to work on blending more,” Sarah says, rubbing at the streak of blush. She bats her eyelashes at her reflection. “Your wings are fantastic, though.”
Steve sighs and tosses her eyeliner back into her kit. Wings had been the easiest for him—it had been like painting.
“Well,” Sarah says, clapping her hands together and then reaching for her makeup remover. “Let’s try again. But grab the tablet so we can follow along with one of those videos.”
Steve’s mom really is the best.
Steve exhales a slow breath through his teeth. He’s standing in front of the elevator that would take him to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Entertainment penthouse. It’s been four days since his initial interview. He’d spent those four days holed up in Starbucks, wasting the last of his data furtively researching S.H.I.E.L.D. Entertainment before he was satisfied enough that they followed all the safety protocols to call Clint, asking if he could come in to negotiate the terms of his employment. Since Clint really knew nothing about Steve, he’d readily agreed.
“Hey!” Bucky says, when Steve finally gets up the courage to walk through the penthouse doors. He is, fortunately, dressed this time. Unfortunately, he’s dressed in a black v-neck that’s at least a size to small, riding up over a pair of jeans that probably costs more than Steve’s water bill. And he needs the water, because he’s apparently really fucking thirsty.
“Glad to see we didn’t scare you off,” Bucky says, tucking his hands into his back pockets and smiling in a way that makes the skin around his eyes crinkle. His hair is swept up in a low bun, and Steve’s gotta wonder what genetic lottery Bucky won to get those cheekbones.
“I don’t scare easily,” Steve says, pushing his glasses up his nose and probably ruining his bad boy effect.
“Are you taking the job?”
“It depends,” Steve says. “I’m here to negotiate. Is Fury around?”
Bucky glances over his shoulder. “I think he’s still arguing with Tony and Bruce about edits. He should be free in a couple.”
They stand awkwardly for a couple of seconds, Bucky with his smile slowly getting tighter at the edges, Steve full of the knowledge that he knows exactly what this guy looks like naked. Before the tension can snap, Steve says, “I did a lot of research about S.H.I.E.L.D., but maybe you can give me some inside knowledge? Do you like working here?”
“Let’s grab something to drink,” Bucky says, which sounds like a come on but actually means let’s go into this Martha Stewart kitchen for a bottle of
seltzer water. Steve hates seltzer water, but he takes it without complaint.
Bucky leans against the counter, tipping his head back to guzzle down half his water, before he wipes his mouth with the back of his hand and caps the bottle. “I know you’re concerned—and you have every right to be, there are some seriously shitty studios out there—but we created S.H.I.E.L.D. specifically to get away from just those fucked up industry practices. I’ve been working porn for five years now, two with S.H.I.E.L.D., and sure, sometimes we have our disagreements, but I’ve never worked with a better team, nor in a safer environment.”
Steve stares at him, bottle hovering near his chest. There’s something Bucky’s not saying, but that’s coming through loud and clear in his passionate speech.
“What about you?” Bucky asks quickly, like he’s afraid Steve’s going to ask the question hanging between them. “What did you do before Clint found you?”
“I busk caricatures in Union Square,” Steve says, honestly, then winces. This is, apparently, one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s founders. Maybe he should have said he ran a beauty vlog or something.
He waits for the inevitable, “draw me!” which would actually be hilariously horrifying, since he usually asks people what their profession or hobby is for inspiration, but instead Bucky snaps his fingers and points at him. “I thought I recognized you. Your stuff is great.”
Steve blinks, taken aback. “Y-yeah. Wow, I didn’t think anyone knew who I was.”
“I haven’t seen you around for awhile.”
Steve rubs the bump on his nose, a nervous habit he developed after he broke it (the first time), and one he thought he broke a year ago. Turns out ridiculously handsome men brings out his hereto unknown nerves. Oh, who is he kidding. He’s always been hopeless around attractive people, especially ones who look like movie stars.
“It’s been cold,” he admits. It’s spring, but since spring in New York can swing from a balmy seventies to sub arctic temperatures, he hasn’t been able to get out there for more than an hour or two.
“Well, you won’t get cold here,” Bucky says, with a roguish wink, and Steve has a feeling that Bucky is just a natural born flirt, but his cheeks still heat up, anyway.
And after that, it’s easy for them to fall into conversation. He asks Steve questions about his art and listens attentively. Steve’s the kind of guy who stares into the eyes of the person he’s speaking too, which can sometimes come off as unnerving, so he’s been told, but Bucky watches him back, keenly interested. Which is maybe why he ends up opening up to Bucky about how he had to temporarily drop out of school, but that he’s planning on going back when he can afford it, and possibly this is why Bucky tells him about HYDRA, another studio he did one shoot with before he left, bringing another actor with him when he left.
Bucky’s staring off in the distance, unfocused. He shakes himself off, then shoots Steve a thoughtful look. “Huh. HYDRA’s one of the shitty studios I’d mentioned, always just skating past industry regulations. I don’t normally like to talk about them. It’s just—easy to talk to you.”
“I know what you mean,” Steve says. He’s never really had a lot of friends—he doesn’t click with people easily—but somehow, it feels natural to sit around and just talk to Bucky. Like they’ve been friends for years.
“Rogers!” Fury shouts, shattering through the moment like a sledgehammer through concrete.
“Showtime.” Steve sets his empty water bottle on the counter and cracks his neck, like he’s preparing for battle.
“Don’t let him see fear,” Bucky suggests with a laugh.
Two men exit the penthouse’s office, one with a laptop tucked under his arm and the other dressed in an expensive blazer and slacks and, weirdly, a NASA t-shirt. They stare unabashedly at Steve as he walks past.
“New entertainer?” the one with the laptop asks.
“Must be,” NASA says, waving flamboyantly at Steve. “Look at him! Might as well wrap him up in plastic and sell him as a Hostess bar.”
Steve forces himself not to react. This is a porn studio. He can’t get offended that people would come to this natural conclusion—he knows what he looks like. Hell, that’s probably why Clint approached him in the first place. ‘Well-liked’ obviously translated to ‘twinkie blond.’ Although he finds it hard to believe they’d think anyone would want to watch him. So he squares his jaw and ignores the peanut gallery, focusing on Fury. Fury’s standing behind a desk, one hand resting on top of the back of a leather office chair.
I wonder how many people have been fucked over that desk, Steve wonders, briefly picturing Bucky sprawled over the rich cherry wood surface, and then promptly stops thinking altogether. He takes a deep breath, meets Fury’s eye.
“I’d like to start out by saying that twenty dollars per hour is highway robbery, considering I’m only going to be working when you’re filming—”
The door shuts behind him with a click.
An hour later, he exits the office, hands trembling slightly from adrenaline. Bucky, Clint, and a redhead are draped across a heather gray settee (which has probably been fucked on. A lot), clearly waiting for him and bad at hiding it. Steve's gotten what he wanted—more than he expected—but his nerves feel like they've been run through a blender on high. He jabs a thumb over his shoulder. “Was he military?”
“We think he was a spy at some point,” the redhead says, slinking off the couch with the grace of a panther. She holds out a hand. “Natasha.”
Steve shakes her hand. “Steve. Nice to meet you. Are you,” he trails off helplessly, wondering if it’s appropriate to ask if she’s a porn star, or if that’s crossing some boundary.
Thankfully, Natasha comes to his rescue. "PA. I mostly boss Clint around."
“So?” Bucky asks, leaning forward, wrists braced against his knees. Clint shoots a look at him, then smirks down at his hands.
“Starting next Wednesday,” Steve says.
Bucky’sridiculous grin stretches across his face. “Welcome aboard.”
Steve’s first day starts bad.
He doesn’t know why he thought he’d be working only with Bucky. Or rather, he knew he’d work with other entertainers, but he’d thought they’d be—Bucky-esque, with friendly, welcoming smiles and kind eyes.
Gilmore Hodges doesn’t smile at Steve, nor are his eyes very kind. He watches Steve in the mirror the entire time Steve does his makeup, offering up such pithy remarks as, “What the fuck do you think this is, the circus?” and “I’m not a fucking clown, enough with blush, Jesus Christ” and “Do you even know what the fuck you’re doing?” Steve entertains the idea of scribbling all over his face with red lipstick, but instead just grits his teeth and fixes his makeup until Hodges deems it “good enough.”
“Ignore him,” Natasha says, patting Steve’s shoulder as Hodges flounces off. “He’s a giant diva.”
Steve thinks this is an oversimplification, but since Hodges hasn’t actually done anything to deserve getting punched in the mouth, Steve just angrily tosses a pair of tweezers back into his kit. It wouldn’t have stung so much if Hodges hadn’t been right. Steve doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing; he’s not trained to do makeup, and even though he’s not nearly as bad as Hodges made him out to be, his lack of experience is obvious. He had no idea why S.H.I.E.L.D. is taking such a big chance on him, except that maybe Clint and Bucky put in a good word for him. It makes him feel useless, and Steve hates feeling useless.
It gets worse.
“How am I supposed to shoot this scene if Barnes won’t even touch my dick?” Hodges shouts, flinging himself away from the bed. Bucky scowls after him, lounging against a pile of plump white pillows, completely naked and totally soft.
“Barnes,” pleads Tony, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s producer and the owner of this ridiculous penthouse, dragging one hand down his face. “This doesn’t need to be Oscar-worthy, but you have got to at least touch Hodges. Work with me here, buddy.”
Bucky transfers his glare to Tony. “I fucking hate that guy.”
“Thankfully, you don’t need to be BFFs to fuck,” Tony snaps, but Bucky just scowls harder. “Fine. Fine! Just destroy two months of work, whatever. I’m taking fifteen before I strangle someone.” The last part is said in a mutter, as he’s already turning away to stalk into the kitchen.
“Bucky’s scar needs a touch up,” says Natasha, examining Bucky narrowly. “This is you.”
She lightly pushes Steve toward Bucky. He stumbles, blinking under the eyes of the cameras and PAs, and even though he knows they’re completely disinterested in him, he still feels the weight of them pinning him down. He shuffles up to the bed, sliding one finger under his collar.
Bucky looks up at him under languid eyelashes, his metal wrist resting against his inner thigh, framing his soft dick that’s still intimidatingly large. Steve slides down onto the edge of the bed, glancing between Bucky’s cold, unyielding expression and his, well, his dick.
“Uh,” Steve says. He waves a hand at the scar on Bucky’s thigh. “Can I—?”
Bucky’s scowl melts into a small, amused smile. “Yes, you can put makeup on me, Steve.”
“I mean, I going to have to touch you,” Steve says, a little fretfully. “I’m clean—Fury made me take an STD test, even though I’m just the makeup guy—good to be safe though, right?” He nods to himself. “I wouldn’t have agreed to work here if S.H.I.E.L.D.’s policies aren’t as good as they are.”
Now Bucky’s flat out grinning, like Steve’s the funniest thing he’s seen in years. It transforms him. “Steve. It’s fine. I think I can handle a little touching.”
Sure, he can. Steve isn’t sure he’s going to survive the next fifteen minutes. “I just don’t want to cross any boundaries,” he says, earnestly.
“One time, I had a baseball bat shoved up my ass,” Bucky says, cheerfully.
Steve can’t tell if he’s joking or not, but he laughs anyway, and the tension breaks. “Okay. Okay! Right.” He takes the makeup remover cloths from his kit and pulls out a sheet, then just hovers it over Bucky’s leg for a moment. Bucky’s leg is thick, solid muscle, marred only by the long scar that travels from hip bone to nearly his knee, still mostly covered up by concealer.
“No rush or anything,” Bucky says, gently teasing. “I’m completely fine with sitting around all day, not touching Hodges.”
“Sorry,” Steve says, and swipes the cloth over his scar. Bucky’s skin is hot through the cloth. He swallows and carefully swabs away the makeup, then bunches up the sheet and tosses it into his kit to throw away later.
“Why do you hate Hodges so much, anyway?” Steve asks, fishing the primer out of his kit.
Bucky’s leg tenses under his hand. Steve glances up, and the scowl is back on Bucky’s face. Somehow, even while naked, he looks a little terrifying in his intensity. “He’s a fucking asshole.”
“Certainly looks like one,” Steve says, squeezing a small amount of primer onto his fingers. He experiences a small crisis, then decides to hell with it. Like Bucky said, he’s a porn star. Being touched by a scrawny blond would be nothing to him. Steve shuts off his brain and rubs the primer over his scar—gently, in case there’s any nerve damage there. Bucky’s skin is smooth besides the thin dip of his scar, and tight with muscle as hard as iron.
Bucky huffs out a breath. Steve glances up at him, and Bucky says, a little quickly, “Dude thinks he’s all that just because he won one Gayvn Award. Uh, basically like an Oscar, but for—you know. He worked with a friend of mine once and was a total douchebag the whole time.”
“He seems like a bully.”
Steve dabs a makeup sponge into the concealer. Gently, he swipes the sponge over the scar, painting it with a golden stripe, and then blending it with his fingers.
“Fuck bullies,” Steve says.
“I would, but he refuses to bottom,” Bucky says, breathless.
Steve dips his head a little and laughs, and—oh. Wow. Bucky isn’t as unaffected by being touched as he led Steve to believe he would be. And now Steve fully comprehends why Bucky became a porn star. His dick is beautiful—which, okay, Steve, let’s not be a creep. He sneaks a glance up at Bucky’s face.
“You can ignore that,” Bucky says, voice gruff.
“How?” Steve says, strangled.
Bucky’s leg shifts. “If you’re uncomfortable—”
“No, no, it’s fine,” Steve says, quickly grabbing Bucky’s thigh with both his hands and accidentally dragging his knuckles along the underside of Bucky’s dick. They both go very still.
“Steve,” Bucky says.
Steve looks up at Bucky from under his eyelashes. “Do you have a fluffer?” he blurts out.
“Jesus,” Bucky says, covering his face with his metal hand. “Wow, okay. I didn’t think anything could embarrass me anymore, but here you go.”
“What I mean is—you can’t get hard with Hodges, right? I’m offering you a hand.”
Bucky barks a laugh. “Seriously?”
Steve grins shakily back. He hadn’t intended the pun, but the resulting laugh was worth it.
“I mean,” Bucky’s eyes tilt away, cheeks coloring faintly. “Only if, uh.” He coughs. “Fuck. Yes. I would like that.”
Steve carefully screws the lid back onto his concealer—it’s expensive, and it would be a waste if it got knocked over—and sets it on the nightstand next to the bed. He hovers his hand over Bucky’s erection, his heart is beating so madly he can hear it drumming in his ears.
“I have no idea what I’m doing.”
Bucky’s faint smile stretches into a mischievous grin. He lifts his right arm and makes a jerk off motion with his fist.
“God,” Steve says, face going hot. Okay. Okay, no problem. It’s not like he’s never touched a dick before. Granted, it’s always been his own, but it can’t be that much different from masturbating, right? Just at a different angle. And attached to a different body. And fucking huge, and Steve never thought he would be a size queen, but he’d also never met Bucky Barnes before, holy hell. He sucks in a breath and squares his shoulders. “Okay. I can do this.”
“Are you sure?” Bucky asks, skeptically.
“Yes.” There’s miles of golden skin sprawled out on white sheets. With every breath Bucky takes, some muscle flexes provocatively, as if to taunt Steve. Steve trails his eyes up Bucky’s body, over the fuzzy trail that stops at his navel, the slopes of his abs, his broad, strong chest. His eyes linger on his strangely delicate clavicles before he makes his way up to Bucky’s face. Bucky’s smirking slightly, and there’s a knowing glint in his gray eyes, like he can read Steve like a picture book.
“It’s okay if you’ve changed your mind,” Bucky says, gently.
To Steve, it sounds like a challenge. He narrows his eyes. “Is there lube anywhere?”
Bucky nods toward a black plywood cabinet, where there are several unmarked bottles. Steve gets to his feet and goes to the shelf, puzzling over the bottles. He grabs one at random.
"Second one to the left," Clint shouts helpfully, from where he's untangling a pile of wires.
Steve jumps. It breaks the moment, this loud reminder that they’re surrounded by an entire crew of people who are paying enough attention to shout suggestions. He glances back at Bucky, who’s laughing on the bed. The visual doesn’t make things easier.
He grabs the bottle and stomps back to the bed, glaring, but the tension that had vanished from their brief back and forth abruptly surges up again. Bucky’s eyes are dark and his smile is inviting, and Steve sinks back onto the bed. He squeezes a small amount of lube into his palm, rubs his hands together to warm it up, and wraps his hand around Bucky’s dick.
It is entirely unlike touching his own dick. Steve’s eyelashes flutter. In the background, he’s aware that the set’s a bustle of people moving cameras and shouting at each other, but he keeps his attention on Bucky. It seems like the polite thing to do in this weirdly impersonal setting.
Steve experimentally slides his hand down, over the length of Bucky’s blood-hot cock. His skin’s smooth and soft, contrasting with how heavy and hard his dick is. Bucky’s hips hitch slightly, and Steve’s breath hitches. He glides his hand up, smoothing his thumb over the head, and a clear bead of pre-come pulses from his tip in response. He’s so hard, iron-hard, and Steve thickens in response, as if responding to a siren call.
Steve sucks in a breath, licking his lips, then darts a glance up at Bucky. He’s watching Steve with glittering eyes. “You know,” Steve murmurs, nerves making him chatty. “This is the first time I’ve touched another guy’s dick.”
Bucky’s hands curl into fists at his sides. “Yeah?” he murmurs back, voice gravelly.
Steve shifts, drawing one knee up onto the bed, and starts up a slow, caressing rhythm. He’s supposed to keep Bucky hard, not get him off. Which—is kind of a damn shame. It’s been a long, long time since Steve’s gotten any kind of action, and it always revs him up like nothing else when he gets his partner off.
But this is supposed to be strictly business, so Steve swallows and tries to keep it professional, even as he strokes his slick hand down Bucky’s cock, over his balls. “Yeah. I mean, I’m—uh, into it—but I’ve just—no one’s really wanted too.”
“I find that—hard to believe,” Bucky says, and Steve doesn’t miss the way his voices catches.
Steve swallows again, shifting closer, his knee pressing against Bucky’s hip. His own dick sits heavy in his pants, throbbing with a jealous heartbeat. Bucky’s hips roll slightly in time with Steve’s strokes, and it’s one of the hottest fucking things Steve has seen in his life.
“I don’t actually have that much experience at all,” Steve confides. “I’ve actually only been with one other person.”
Bucky hums in acknowledgement, eyes fixed on Steve’s mouth.
“Sorry if I’m awful at this,” Steve murmurs.
Bucky lets out a short laugh. “You’re really not—fuck—”
Bucky’s eyes have gone a little glassy, and he’s breathing hard through full, parted lips, bitten red and shiny and—god. Steve could just lean in and kiss him, on the mouth, then maybe on his jaw or his neck or one pert nipple—and Bucky looks like he knows exactly what Steve is thinking, because his eyelashes drift and he bites his lower lip. But they’re professionals, so Steve braces his other hand against Bucky’s thigh. Corded muscles flex under his palm, skin slick with oil. Steve brushes his thumb against the juncture of his hip, sliding it against the soft skin of his balls, and Bucky makes a wonderful, messy sound, his hips jerking up until he’s fucking into Steve’s fist, and Steve’s strokes have gotten a little sloppy, and a lot more messy with lube and pre-come.
“God,” Steve says, and his voice is deep with arousal and want. The fingers of his free hand dig into Bucky’s thigh. Deep down, in a secret place he hasn’t told anyone about, something sparks to life at the sight of this beautiful man falling to pieces because of Steve. It makes him feel this power, in a way he never gets in his everyday life. He’s the reason why Bucky’s back is arching off the bed, why his breath has gotten quick and desperate, why his dick is rock hard. He leans toward Bucky, staring into his eyes, and he still finds the challenge still there, but maybe something else, too—
“Bucky,” Steve says.
“Yes,” Bucky gasps.
“Wait—!” Tony shouts, but it was too late. Bucky’s back arches slightly off the bed, and he goes off with a groan, striping his bare, glistening stomach with come in the most beautiful money shot Steve has ever had the privilege to witness.
“Oh,” Steve breathes, transfixed. He feels too large in his skin, his blood humming with adrenaline and need, chest tight like he’s on the verge of an asthma attack. He slides his hand across the inside of one strong thigh. Bucky lets out a shuddery breath, his dick twitching, a pearl of come beading at the tip. Steve wants to—god, he wants—
A rough hand grabs his shoulder and pulls him away from the bed. “Move it! Goddammit, Bucky.”
Steve stumbles back, hand still half-raised. The set’s become a flurry of frantic PAs shouting at each other and at Bucky. Steve swallows. Right. Fuck. They’re on a porn set and Bucky was supposed to use that erection, whoops.
“I don’t regret that for a second,” Bucky says, blissed out, and drops back down onto the bed, arms spread-eagle.
“It’s not a big deal,” Natasha says. “They were going to have to fake it, anyway. I’ve never seen two men with less chemistry. But Jesus, Steve.”
Steve’s hands tremble. He shoves them into his pockets, which has the added benefit of hiding his stiffy. Not that he believes for a second that Natasha’s keen eyes hasn’t picked up his shame. “Sorry,” he says, gruffly.
“No, you don’t understand,” Natasha says. “Bucky’s a professional. He’s had his entire fist up someone’s ass for like half an hour without losing his cool. And you—you—made him go all to pieces with a fucking old fashioned. In five minutes.”
“I—I’m sorry,” Steve says again. He’d probably be more concerned over the fact that he’s about to lose his job if he wasn’t two seconds away from terminally humiliating himself.
“Uh huh,” Natasha says, smirking. “Why don’t you take the rest of the day off?”
“Okay,” Steve says.
“We’ll call you.”
“Right,” Steve says.
Steve bursts into his apartment, kicking the door shut and fumbling with his belt. His back thumps against his door and he let out a strangled gasp when he finally—finally gets his hand on his dick.
“Fuck,” he gasps, jerking himself off roughly, dick hypersensitive from being in a permanent state of arousal for the past, oh, hour. He imagines what would have happened if the scene had been allowed to follow through to its natural conclusion, if he’d been allowed to climb on top of Bucky, to kiss his hot, sweet mouth, tangle his fingers into his hair and maybe pull a little, exposing that long curve of his neck. Maybe he’d just keep crawling up Bucky’s body, until his perfect lips were wrapped around Steve’s dick, and—
He slumps against the door, panting, his hand and the bottom of his shirt a mess.
“Fuck,” he says, and thumps his head against the door.
S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't call.
Steve’s not surprised.
Steve’s sprawled out on his threadbare couch, glasses folded up on his chest, staring muzzily at his ceiling. He’s always been a scrapper, never letting hard times or illness dampen his ‘can do’ attitude, but he is just so over everything. Not only has he managed to fuck up his chance at S.H.I.E.L.D. Entertainment, but now his landlord’s pounding on his door for past due rent, and to top it off he, of course, got the flu. Wonderful.
Flopping out one hand, he snags the roll of toilet paper from his coffee table and rips off several squares, then shoves them against his nose and blows messily. Behind him, the pounding continues.
He should just sneeze on his landlord. Maybe that’d make him fuck off for a couple of hours so that Steve can finally sleep.
And then his door creaks open.
Steve shoots up, then has to slump over again and grab the sides of his head. The room swims sickeningly for a moment. “Fred, I told you, I’ll get you the rent soon—”
“Holy crap, man, are you dying?”
Steve lifts his head again, blinking owlishly. There’s a blur of someone standing in front of his coffee table, hands on his hips. The voice is familiar, but Steve can’t place it. He fumbles with where his glasses had tumbled to his lap and pops them onto his face, the arms askew. “What—Clint?”
“Hey, hi. Hello. Are you alright, man?” Clint asks, like it’s totally normal to waltz into someone’s home uninvited.
“How the hell did you get into my apartment?”
Clint gives a casual little shrug, grinning. “Hate to say it, man, but your locks are pretty crap.”
Steve rips off another square of toilet paper so that he can glare at Clint and not make a disgusting mess. “Maybe so, but you could at least do me the courtesy of inferring what they’re supposed to do.” When Clint grins blankly at him, Steve rolls his eyes. “Meaning I don’t actually want people breaking into my apartment.”
“You weren’t answering your phone,” says Clint, looking a little hangdog. “Or opening your door. I was getting worried.”
Steve sighs, crumpling up the tissue and tossing it onto the mountain that’s accumulated by his couch in the past two days. “Thanks, I guess.” Pushing up his glasses, he rubs at one eye with the heel of his hand. His brain is having some trouble computing Clint’s presence in his apartment and what that might mean. “You tried calling me?”
“I kept getting a ‘this number is out of service’ message.”
Steve frowns. He fumbles around on the coffee table for a moment, knocking over a couple more tissues onto the tissue mountain, and grabs his phone where he’d tossed it earlier. The small LTE normally present in the top left corner is long gone. “I thought I paid that one,” Steve says, a little muzzily, then groans and drops his head onto the top of his phone. His mother’s probably already on her way over to make sure he hadn’t died. Damn. He’d have to drag his sorry corpse back to Starbucks to text her—
“Hold on, let me get that for you,” says Clint, pulling his phone out of his back pocket and rapidly typing out a quick text. “Done. You should have service in fifteen minutes or so.” Clint shuffles his phone back into his pocket, then hikes up his pants and crouches in front of the coffee table to look Steve in the eye. “Say you’ll come back.”
Steve blinks at Clint from over the top of his glasses. Then he pushes them up again and scrubs at both his eyes. He doesn’t normally have hallucinations when he’s sick, but it’s not completely unheard of. Steve’s body is just full of new and wonderful surprises. “Clint. You can’t possibly want me back bad enough to break into my apartment. I’m a shit makeup artist.”
“About that,” Clint says, fidgeting with Steve’s roll of toilet paper. Steve sees the exact moment Clint realizes how not sanitary that is. “Oh. Ugh. Am I going to get the plague?”
“About what?” Steve asks, impatiently. “What’s going on here?”
“The truth, Barton. No more pussyfooting around.” Steve’s firm demand is ruined by a sneeze, which he just barely manages to catch in his elbow and triggers, yet another, coughing fit.
“Right,” Clint says, after Steve has finished hacking up lungfuls of phlegm. “I can’t believe I’m going to ask you this considering all of this”—he circles a finger around the table, somehow managing to encompass Steve in the gesture—“but have you considered going into porn?”
Steve slowly wipes at his nose with a bundle of tissues. Then he laughs. It ends badly, of course, because his lungs and throat were built by a faulty manufacturer with junky parts, but he can’t help it. “M-me?” he gasps between wracking coughs and choked laughter. “Porn?”
Clint nods, very seriously.
Steve tosses the tissue onto the coffee table, ignoring Clint’s scrunched nose. “Yank the other one.”
“Listen,” Steve says, arranging his expression to look as seriously as he possibly can considering his nose is leaking like the pipe under his bathroom sink. “No one wants to see all this.” He circles a finger around his own face.
“Maybe not in its current state.”
“In any state.”
“You never struck me as someone with a low self esteem.”
“I don’t have low self esteem. I have a realistic one.”
Clint pats at his jacket, then reaches into an inside pocket and plucks out a small thumbdrive with a Stark Industries logo printed on the side. He sets it on the coffee table with a quiet click, then slides it toward Steve with one finger. He doesn’t meet Steve’s eye. “L-look, this wasn’t intentional—it’s just, you and Bucky, you know, the cameras were already rolling.”
Clint darts a glance at Steve, then looks quickly back down at the table, picking a nick at the corner with his fingernail. “We’re a porn studio, Steve, and we were shooting a porn.”
Steve snatches up the thumbdrive, entire body prickling with boiling hot embarrassment. “Did you watch it?” he demands.
The corners of Clint’s eyes crinkle in the beginning of a smile, thankfully he tamps it down, because Steve would have seriously thrown him out of his apartment even if it meant breaking every bone in his body and then dying a snot-filled death in the disgusting hallway. “Steve. Buddy. I was there, remember? I saw the whole thing first hand. But no, I didn’t watch it.”
Steve buries his face in his hands. Just what the fuck is his life right now? Visions of leaked sex tapes and tabloid headlines fill his mind. Oh, fuck. He’s going to be the next Kardashian.
“Calm down, I can see you freaking out. We haven’t released this—we would never, not without your permission. And if you want, I’ll go back to the studio and delete every copy. But—watch it, maybe? And think about it.” He gets to his feet, frowning down at the mess of tissues by the foot of the couch. “I’ll have some egg drop soup delivered, or something.”
Clint actually locks the door behind him when he leaves, which is a nice thought but apparently completely useless. Steve looks down at the thumbdrive, then jumps a little when his lights abruptly turn on. On the coffee table, his cellphone buzzes. He drops the thumbdrive on his lap in surprise, then fumbles for his phone. He’s got missed calls and ten texts from his mom, and one from DoorDash, letting him know his order of egg drop soup, soup dumplings, mixed veggies, and roast duck would be there in thirty minutes.
“I don’t regret that for a second.”
The video freezes on Bucky, spread eagle, hair a sweaty tangle and stomach a mess. Steve stares at his computer screen, chopsticks half lifted to his mouth, soup dumpling forgotten.
He gets it.
He’s watched his fair share of porn, but few like this. The video is high quality without being garish, lighting soft in a way that belongs on the big screen instead of a hardcore porn video. But it’s more than that. It’s the way Steve and Bucky are zeroed in on each other, oblivious to their surroundings, as if no one else exists in the world. They aren’t putting on a show for the cameras—it’s just them, murmuring quietly to each other. Steve doesn’t even remember what they were talking about—the conversation wasn’t important, and can’t even be heard in the video—but it’s the way they lean toward each other, how Bucky stares down at Steve, shattered, how Steve watches him with a hungry glint in his eyes. It’s almost unbearably intimate, and Steve is torn between wishing it had remained a private moment while simultaneously desperately glad he has a hard copy.
If he takes Clint’s offer, it means he can touch Bucky again and get paid for it.
His other option is that he can get kicked out of his apartment and live under a bridge.
All things considered, the decision is an easy one.
Steve: So you know how you’re all about sex work positivity?
Steve: I got a job as a porn star.
Incoming call from Mom...
Three weeks later, after his usual bout of bronchitis finally clears up, Steve stands in front of the ornate door, hands in his hoodie pockets. Clint had told him to be here at five, and in his eagerness he arrived about twenty minutes early. Sucking in a deep breath, he lifts a hand and knocks on the door.
It swings open nearly immediately and—and it’s Bucky, gray eyes flashing and face all twisted up in a scowl, before it goes completely blank. He’s shirtless, because of course he’s shirtless. One hand is on the doorframe, and Steve’s eyes track over strong line of his bicep, to his clavicles. For the first time since he started busking caricatures, Steve’s fingers itch to draw. Not some grotesque exaggeration sketched out for fifty bucks, but a true character study, where Steve can take his time to really capture Bucky’s beauty.
“Bucky?” says Steve, a little hesitantly.
“Steve?” Bucky says, and although his face is expressionless, there’s a whole ocean of shock in his voice.
“I’m guessing you didn’t know I was comin—uh.” Steve coughs a little into his fist. His chest only rattles a little.
“No, they neglected to mention it,” says Bucky, and Steve wishes he could read his face. “Are you—I mean—that is, uh—”
“Very adorable,” says another voice, and Bucky is muscled out of the way by a shorter man. Steve recognizes him as the guy in the NASA shirt from the first time he was here. He’s wearing a shirt with a DJing cat, this time, and another expensive suit jacket. “So you’re the kid who’s turned my studio into a warzone.”
“I’m twenty-eight,” Steve says, knee jerk, then frowns slightly. “Wait—warzone?”
“Never mind that.” The man flails an expressive hand. “I’m Tony. Get in before you let all the air out.”
Steve dutifully walks in, glancing at Bucky, who has not stopped staring at him since he opened the door.
“You,” says Tony, grabbing the gobsmacked Bucky by his arm. “With me. You”—he points to Steve—“talk to Natasha. Over there. Other side of the room, big guy, not in Bucky’s pants, Jesus Christ you two.”
Bucky is watching him.
He can feel his eyes on the back of his neck, and while Steve isn’t normally a blusher (he has to have shame to be a blusher, and Steve refuses to have shame), the burn of Bucky’s intent gaze spreads up the back of Steve’s neck and to his cheeks.
Natasha picks it up, of course. “I get that this can be embarrassing at first—even scary—but if you ever feel the need to slow down or take a break, just—”
“When do we start filming?” Steve interrupts.
Natasha’s eyebrows fly up. She glances over Steve’s shoulder, then smirks knowingly. “In about an hour.”
Steve glances at Bucky over his shoulder and, yep, he’s watching Steve—covertly, under his lashes and over Tony’s shoulder. He looks a little stunned, which means Tony must have broken it to him that Steve would be his partner du jour.
An hour. Steve’s supposed to survive a full hour.
“You’re not allowed to touch him until then,” says Natasha.
Steve whips back around to glare at her. “What, seriously?”
“I can’t have the two of you blowing your loads before you can even get makeup on.”
Steve coughs a little into his fist. “That’s—a little crass.”
Natasha laughs in his face.
“Right, right, it’s the porn industry, get used to it Steve,” Steve mutters, then glances over his shoulder at Bucky again. Bucky’s focusing on Tony now, but he meets Steve’s eye, lips quirking in a small smile. It looks like an invitation. “Wouldn’t it be good, though? Take off the edge so that we don’t, uh, ‘blow our loads’ too quickly?”
“Think of it as an hour long foreplay,” says Natasha, flatly. Then she raises her voice. “That goes for you too, Barnes! No touching the newbie until the cameras are rolling!”
“Natasha!” Bucky protests, with a flattering amount of outraged disappointment.
Natasha rolls her eyes, then catches Steve by the wrist and bodily hauls him into the kitchen. She strides over to the double-doored stainless steel refrigerator and grabs a couple bottles of water, tossing one to Steve.
“Thanks,” Steve says, cracking it open.
“This isn’t just about the porn for you, is it?” Natasha asks, watching him with inscrutable dark eyes. “You’ve caught feelings.”
Steve shrugs and takes a swig from his drink instead of answering. That’s for him to discuss with Bucky, not with her.
“Hmm,” Natasha says, finding her answer in his silence, anyway. She watches him thoughtfully. “I hope you know what you’re doing, Rogers. Bucky’s really important to me. I won’t have him hurt.”
Steve frowns at her, remembering something Bucky had said the first time they met. “HYDRA?” he asks.
Natasha’s eyes narrow dangerously. “I see someone’s been spreading secrets that they have no business sharing.”
Steve waves his arms so wildly he nearly flings his bottle of water at her. “No, no! He only talked about his own involvement with HYDRA, but mentioned something about how he’d brought someone with him when he left. He didn’t even specify any gender. I just—inferred. Sorry. Don’t be mad at him.”
Natasha’s expression smooths out again, this time in mild surprise, which Steve interprets that to mean she’s wildly shocked. “Huh. He doesn’t talk to anyone about HYDRA.”
“No.” Natasha considers him shrewdly. “You’ve got hidden depths, don’t you, Rogers?”
“Thank you,” says Steve, dryly.
Natasha snorts, which is a little unexpected from someone so carefully put together. “I can see why he likes you so much. You’re—unexpected.”
Natasha leaves him in the kitchen with strict instructions not to go hunting down Bucky, which ends up being unnecessary because Bucky finds him. He prowls into the kitchen, a swagger to his hips, moving like he’s fucking sex on legs. He is. He totally is, and he knows it. Steve can’t even move, pinned to the spot by his sharp gray eyes.
“Soo,” Bucky drawls, leaning insouciantly against the kitchen counter and smirking at Steve. “You want to touch me?”
“Yes,” says Steve.
Bucky clearly isn’t expecting such a forthright answer, because his smile wavers and his eyes widen fractionally. “Oh.”
“I’ve wanted to touch you for weeks,” Steve admits, voice pitching low.
Bucky’s eyelashes flutter. He swallows and looks away, raking his bionic hand through his hair. “Me too,” he admits, quietly, like he’s sharing an intimate secret with Steve.
“I keep thinking about what could have happened if we weren’t interrupted.”
“Yeah?” Bucky breathes, and his gaze gets a little fixed, as if he’s picturing the could haves and would haves.
“I want to see you on your knees.”
Bucky gasps, eyes squeezing shut. “Fuck, Steve.” His hand spasms against the counter, and then he reaches down, like he’s going to touch himself.
“Stop,” Steve orders. “Don’t touch yourself. Not yet.”
Bucky’s hand freezes, then drifts back to grip the edge of the slate granite counter so tightly that his knuckles go white.
“Is this okay? If I talk to you like this?” Steve rumbles. “You can tell me to stop.”
“Don’t you dare stop,” Bucky snaps.
“Stop!” Tony yelps from the doorway.
Steve jumps guiltily, the connection between him and Bucky shattering at the sudden intrusion.
“Natasha said no touching, and that includes verbal hand jobs, goddammit.” Tony storms into the kitchen, planting himself at the head of the counter with his hands on his hips. “Jesus Christ, is no one a professional here?”
“I’m going to kill you, Stark!” Bucky bellows.
“I’ll kill you if you ruin another shoot!” Tony shouts back, frantically waving an accusing finger at Bucky’s face. “Keep it in your pants, Barnes! You can manage another thirty—fifteen minutes, can’t you? It’s like all your fucking professionalism has blown right out the window just for a pair of pretty eyes and perfect teeth. And you!” Tony whirls on Steve, eyes blazing. “I know you’re, like, eager to prove yourself—”
“Not quite,” admits Steve.
“—eager to hop on Bucky’s dick, but save it for the cameras!”
That’s not quite right, either, but Steve nods.
“Good! Now, Bucky, get the hell out of here, and for god’s sake stay away from Rogers until we’re ready to shoot!”
Bucky turns away, muttering something about a cockblocking son of a bitch, and stalks out of the kitchen.
Under all the watching eyes of cameramen and their cameras, Steve’s courage fails. It was different, when it was just a thoughtless handjob. Steve’s always been impulsive—ask literally anyone who knows him—but this feels like a huge commitment. Once his video is out there, there’d be no calling it back. He’d be Steve Rogers, the Porn Star, instead of Steve Rogers, the Failed Art Student. How’s he supposed to look his friends in the eye after this? Sure, his social circle consists of one Sarah Rogers—his mother—who is fully supportive as long as he remains safe and would rip out her own eyes before watching any video starring him, but still. Still. Bucky’s a Big Name in the porn industry. Steve will be noticed, and he’s not entirely sure how he feels about this.
This is what happens when you let your dick do the thinking, he accuses himself, but even now, looking into Bucky’s kind gray eyes, he truthfully amends, and your heart.
“You alright?” Bucky asks, taking Steve’s hand with his cool prosthetic.
“Y-yeah,” Steve lies, then takes a deep breath and squares his shoulders.
Bucky laughs quietly, tugging him a little closer. “Look at you, ready for battle.” He lifts his other hand to caress the side of Steve’s face, thumb lingering at the corner of his mouth. “Can I try something?”
“Sure,” says Steve, recklessly.
He’s expecting—well, he’s not sure what he’s expecting, but he’s definitely not expecting Bucky to lean forward and kiss him. It’s just a dry slide of lips at first, but the effect is immediate: the warm tingle from his lips spreads down to Steve’s stomach in a heady rush of butterflies, like a brand new crush on a summer day. His fingers tremble as he reaches up to cup the back of Bucky’s neck, pulling him closer, opening his mouth to slide his tongue against Bucky’s lips until he lets him in, and he’s never had a kiss like this, where the press and dance of tongues sends jolts through his arms until he feels too big for his skin, vibrant, electric. He’s never had a kiss that’s gone straight to his dick, already hard and straining against his jeans.
His hands drift down to grab at Bucky’s hips and he stands on his tiptoes, meeting an answering hardness through Bucky’s tight jeans. At the first connection, he has to still them both and squeeze his eyes shut. He can feel Bucky, hot and heavy, against his own dick, nothing but their jeans separating their erections. Steve groans into the kiss, fingers twitching against Bucky’s hips.
Bucky grabs his ass, thrusting their hips together, deepening the kiss until it’s frantic, and Steve matches him for passion, digging his fingers into the strong bones of Bucky’s hips. And here’s how Steve can tell Bucky’s a professional: by the way he rolls his hips against Steve’s, like a dance, like they’re already fucking, and Steve meets every thrust—he’d worried his lack of experience would reveal him as clumsy, inept, but moving with Bucky like this, it’s as natural as breathing.
He doesn’t notice how one of the cameras has moved to capture a close up on how their clothed dicks grind together, or how the angle of the lights have shifted. He’s too busy panting into the kiss, eyelids fluttering, half closed and unseeing. He’s lost. He’s going to—
“Cut! Cut, I said! Stop! Dammit, you two, will someone get a fucking hose—”
Bucky rips himself away, striding across the room, and Steve staggers a couple of steps after him, confused about why the fuck they’re stopping. Bucky’s got the back of one hand pressed against his mouth, and even from this distance, Steve can see that his fingers are trembling. He needs to blink a couple of times to get his fuzzy thoughts in order, and then he turns around to look back at the crew. Several faces stare back at him, wide eyed.
“Woah,” says Clint, which, yeah, that about sums it up.
“Alright, look,” says Tony, stepping away from his camera to glare at Steve in a way that’s rapidly becoming familiar. “Look. There’s no getting around it, you two are fucking brilliant together. I haven’t seen this kind of chemistry on camera since ever, but the two of you need to slow the fuck down.”
Steve shakes his head to clear it. “Right,” he says, voice gravelly and bruised from the kiss. “Okay.” Out of the corner of his eye, he can see Bucky shiver in response of hearing Steve speak. “Actually, I’m not really sure that’ll be possible.”
Tony slides a hand down his face, glaring up at the ceiling. “Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. Since the two of you are like a couple of newlywed virgins having sex for the first time on your honeymoon, we’ll start with the end. At least fucking take your clothes off so it looks like you guys have been at it for longer than five fucking minutes. Barnes!” he barks.
Bucky’s shoulders lift as he takes in a breath, then he turns back to Tony, completely composed again except for the evidence straining against his jeans. “Sure thing, boss,” he says, voice quiet, and Steve is already ready to throw himself into Bucky’s arms and kiss him silly.
It takes nearly thirty minutes for the crew to set up near the king-sized bed in one of the bedrooms, and both Natasha and Clint have taken it upon themselves to keep Bucky and Steve separated until the set is ready. They forgo the additional lights, since the bed is angled to perfectly capture the natural lighting from the large bay window, and the evening sunset fills the room with a warm glow.
And then Steve and Bucky are facing each other again, standing at the foot of the bed on opposite corners. Bucky’s watching him—hasn’t stopped watching him, and Steve knows this because he hasn’t stopped watching Bucky, either.
“It’s not just me, right?” Bucky asks. “You feel it too?”
“Yeah, Buck,” Steve murmurs, and lets his eyes do the talking for him, caressing his face with a look until Bucky’s eyes drift away and a light blush tinges his cheeks.
“Thank fucking god.”
Steve grins at him, a flash of teeth. Then he says, “Strip.”
Bucky shivers, then hooks his thumbs under the bottom of his shirt and pulls it over his head in one fluid motion. It’s breathtakingly hot, the way his abs ripple and his strong chest flexes. Steve walks over to him, placing one hand on his chest, between his pectoral muscles, steel under silk. Steve trails his fingers down to his navel, where there’s a dark happy trail that disappears under the top of his jeans.
“On your knees.”
Bucky’s lips part slightly, and he sinks to his knees, staring up at Steve, his eyes both hungry and hopeful. Steve reaches down, caressing the side of Bucky’s face until his thumb catches his bottom lip. He presses it into the corner of his mouth and Bucky parts his lips obligingly.
“Is this okay?” Steve asks. “Tell me if you want to stop.”
“You’re going to be the death of me,” says Bucky, reaching up to unbutton Steve’s jeans.
Bucky is—okay, Bucky is a pornstar with years of experience, and Steve’s had maybe three blowjobs total. He sinks one hand into Bucky’s hair and tries to look like he’s not about to fly apart at the seams after two whole seconds of Bucky’s perfect mouth wrapped around his dick. Every nerve ending in Steve’s body has come alight. Bucky’s bionic hand is between his own legs, working himself even as he works Steve, and the view is unbearable. He has to close his eyes and grit his teeth, or he really will lose it. Bucky licks a slow, torturous stripe up the length of him, and then Steve’s dick is halfway down Bucky’s throat, and Steve’s breath grates out of him in desperate half-sobs.
This isn’t fair.
How the hell was he supposed to be prepared for this? How could he be prepared for the worshipful way Bucky presses kisses along the side of his dick, like he’s something precious? Or the way Bucky reaches up to grip Steve’s hips, thumbs tenderly caressing the dip of his hip bones. How is Steve’s weak heart supposed to survive this?
“Bucky—fuck,” Steve gasps, trying not to thrust into Bucky’s mouth, trying to make the best blow job in the entire history of mankind last.
Bucky pulls back until his lips are just a wet pressure against the tip of Steve’s dick, looking up at Steve under his dark lashes. “You can come on my face,” he says, and how the fuck is Steve supposed to resist an invitation like that? Bucky just manages press the flat of his tongue against the tip of his dick before Steve’s orgasm is torn out of him, whiting out his world as if he’s been pitched headfirst into the sun, shattering him from the inside.
He loosens his hands from Bucky’s hair, petting the back of his head apologetically, and looks down, then groans, dick pulsing feebly at the sight. Bucky licks the corner of his mouth, catching some of Steve’s come with the tip of his tongue.
“Get the fuck up here,” Steve demands, yanking at Bucky’s shoulders. Bucky carefully tucks Steve back into his jeans, zipping him up with trembling fingers, then climbs to his feet.
“You’re so—that was—” Steve stumbles over his words, entire body shivering from the aftermath. Bucky isn’t much better, muscles quivering under golden skin, his eyes slightly wild. Steve surges up to kiss him—never mind that Bucky’s face is covered in Steve’s come—clinging desperately to the back of his head. Bucky groans into the kiss, grinding his dick against Steve’s hip, and they’re trembling against each other. It’s too much. It’s too fucking much.
“Tell me what you want,” Steve murmurs into Bucky’s ear.
“You,” says Bucky, automatic. “I just want you, Steve.”
Steve kisses him, hard and open mouthed, tasting himself in Bucky’s mouth. He pulls back just enough to brush his lips against Bucky’s cheek. “You want me to fuck you?”
Steve can feel how Bucky’s eyes squeeze shut and the way his entire body shivers at the question. “I’ll need some time,” Steve murmurs in his ear. “How about I finger you, instead?” Bucky’s panting in his ear, hips rolling against Steve’s, slightly erratic. “Or what if I eat you out?” A groan at the question, and Bucky’s grinding so hard into Steve’s hip it’s almost painful. “I’ve never done that with another man before, but for you, Buck—”
Bucky’s hands spasm against Steve’s hips and he shudders almost violently, groaning hot and wet into Steve’s bare shoulder, and Steve grins, drunk on lust and savage triumph, petting Bucky’s sweat damp hair.
And then, abruptly, he’s being pulled away.
“Hey—!” he yelps, but Bucky’s dutifully unbuttoning the front of his jeans, and there’s an embarrassing number of cameras pointed down his pants because, oh yeah, they’re shooting a porn. The room has devolved into chaos, Natasha and Clint shouting at each other, Tony shouting at them both as he wheels his camera around, but Bucky’s eyes are on him the whole time, a searing weight branding his chest, right over his heart.
“I can’t believe you made me come in my pants,” Bucky groans, bionic arm draped over his eyes. His cheeks are a dull, brick red.
“It was gorgeous,” Steve insists, tugging at his arm. They’re sprawled out on the bed they never even managed to make it on, cleaned up and changed out of their messed up jeans and into soft sweatpants. Steve had to borrow a pair from Bucky, which, all things considered, isn’t that weird. Best yet, they’re completely alone. Steve can hear the low murmur of Tony and Natasha’s conversation just outside the door, and Clint bellowing something about one of the cameras. Steve wonders if it’s always like this, everyone living in each other’s pockets. He wonders what it says about him that it doesn’t feel at all weird, and why it’s actually sort of nice.
“I haven’t come in my pants in over a decade,” Bucky says, but he lets Steve pull his hand away and link their fingers together. Then he glares a little, but there’s no bite to it. “Stop looking so pleased with yourself.”
“I’m not sure that’s possible,” Steve admits.
Bucky snorts. He lifts their joined hands, rubbing a metal thumb over Steve’s fingers.
“I should tell you,” Steve says, staring at their hands, not quite able to look at Bucky’s face for this. “In my contract, I specified that I’d only be doing shoots with you.” He braves a look at Bucky’s face, and there it is again, that stunned expression that Steve can easily picture himself falling in love with. “Not saying that I expect the same from you, but—I’m only interested in doing shoots with you.”
Bucky gapes at him. Then he makes to scramble off the bed.
“Bucky?” says Steve, wondering if that was too forward.
“I need to change my contract,” Bucky says.
Steve laughs, bright and surprised, then tugs him back. “Later! Do that later.”
Bucky settles back into the bed, but there’s a determined glint in his eyes that warms Steve’s heart. He thinks Bucky’s going to be fighting an uphill battle to secure a contract like that, but the thought that he’d want to fills Steve to the brim.
“Steve, I was thinking,” Bucky says, rolling to his side and pushing himself up on one elbow.
Steve reaches up, tucking an errant lock behind Bucky’s ear. “Hm?”
“I know we’re colleagues now, and, hell, we’re going at this kind of backwards what with all the—you know—but—do you want to grab dinner?” Bucky says, nervous. “As a—as a date?”
Steve stares at him. “You’re serious?”
“Um, yes?” says Bucky, in disbelief. “Steve, are you fucking kidding me? Do you have any idea how hard I fought for you to—Steve, you are fucking ridiculous, I’m already halfway in love with you and we’ve only met twice.”
Steve’s grin spills messily all over his face, and he reaches over to tangle their fingers together. “In that case, I would absolutely love to go on a date with you, Bucky Barnes.”