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He's a Beta, You Hear That?

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Sam had always been the common one. Being a beta did that for you. Almost everyone else is beta. The military wasn’t different either. A lot of them were just beta who were trying to prove themselves or trying to do something useful for the country, or just a beta without many options—which seemed to be the case more than a handful of times. There had been alphas, sure, one of Sam’s colonels was an alpha, but there aren't many of them in it.

Sam had always been the common one and he was okay with it.

Which is why he thought twice before joining the Avengers because being a beta in an elite superhero group was, unsurprisingly, uncommon. Very uncommon in fact that the only beta he frequently saw in the facility was a hard-working, but friendly, receptionist in the lobby.

It was weird. Being the ‘odd one out’ of the group.

All things considered, Sam wasn’t sure if he was leading the life his mother had wanted him to have. His mom would want him to settle down with a job that paid well and maybe someone who would stick to Sam for the rest of their lives.

Surely not with Captain America and Black Widow on his sides.

When he first met Captain America in a run, he tucked the memory tightly into the storage of ‘meeting with alphas who are friend material’ in his brain. Then, suddenly, Steve and Natasha barged in his apartment. Oh, sure thing. Another alpha to save in the storage. And then when the big fight is over, when Fury was ‘dead’, when he agreed to help Steve search for the ghost, when the ultron thing happened, it was practically impossible for him to not join the Avengers when Steve asked.

Now that he thought about it, it wasn’t that unexpected. Not really. His mother gave him a look while Sarah was trying her best not to laugh her ass off just the other day.

So yeah.

He searched for the ghost.

And was kind of annoyed when the ghost in question suddenly went out from his hiding, confessed all of his doings in front of Steve and Tony, then proceeded to go into intensive care because he hadn’t been taking himself right since he broke out of HYDRA.

All the while Sam wasn’t there.

He didn’t know whether he should laugh or cry. Natasha’s mouth even twitched when she heard about it.

“You know,” she had said to him, patting his shoulder, “it’s good to have some experience in the field.”

She’s not wrong, Sam thought. But he had rolled his eyes anyways, earning a chuckle from Natasha.

He was supposed to meet the guy this morning for a mission briefing, but Sam came to the tower to find Steve sitting in the lounge, staring solemnly at empty air. He wondered if he just came into the wrong room, but the look on Steve’s face and the frustration clear in the air were alarming enough.

“FRIDAY?”

A calm voice answered to him, “What can I do for you, sir?”

“Why is Steve like that?”

“I believe it’s because Sir Barnes was taking an urgent mission, sir.”

Sam furrowed his eyebrows. That’s weird.

“Urgent mission? How and why?” he asked again, noticing that Steve hadn’t even turned after hearing his voice.

“Sir Barnes just came back from a mission yesterday afternoon and took another at two, this morning.” Somehow, Sam felt like FRIDAY was amused at the whole situation despite the kind tone, which was possible considering this was Stark’s AI. “He should be back soon, but Sir Rogers is worried as it seems.”

“He looks like he’s possessed,” Sam commented. The AI let out a sound that’s probably a chuckle, if that’s possible.

Before Sam had to shake Steve out of it—literally—, the blonde already realized he was in the room.

“Sam!” Steve greeted. “I know I said you will meet him today, but he just went out and took a mission—”

“Whoa, whoa, calm down,” Sam interrupted as he made his way closer to one of the couches there. “It’s okay, man. FRIDAY just told me what happened. And your guy should be here soon, so no worries.”

“Yeah, it’s just,” Steve sighed. He looked more deflated now more than worried, though Sam wasn’t sure if it was a good thing or not. “It’s just that he usually doesn’t look his best when he comes back from a mission.”

Sam chuckled and patted Steve’s shoulder. “You know I don’t judge from appearance. How bad can it be anyway?”

FRIDAY’s calm voice interrupted their conversation. “Sir Barnes is entering the elevator in the lobby, sirs.”

“He came in the lobby?” Steve sighed again. “That kid is going to be traumatized. Poor him.”

“Who? Barnes?” Sam asked.

“No, the receptionist.”

Before Sam could even begin on how that didn’t sound normal, the elevator in their floor dinged and from it, came James Buchanan Barnes, strolling into the lounge.

He was dripping with blood and mud.

The smell was even worse.

Sam breathed through his mouth just to rest his nose for a bit. It reeked of alpha and blood. Could an alpha scent make blood even smellier than before?

“Bucky,” Steve started and Sam winced internally because it sounded like he was about to launch into a pep talk. Fortunately Barnes beat him to it.

“Don’t worry. It’s not my blood.”

Sam winced again, though this time he wasn’t sure he was able to hide it. The reasoning didn’t sound better either way. Steve looked like he agreed with him. He prayed for the janitor that was tasked to clean this up.

“That’s,” Steve started, “still not reassuring.”

To his credit, Barnes just shrugged. Steve glared at him. Sam could see it’s more out of frustration than mad.

“It was two a.m., Buck.”

“And I was restless.”

“You just came back from a mission.”

“Yes, true.”

“And you are going to be on another mission tomorrow.”

“Yes, I know, Rogers.”

They engaged in a glaring contest for fifteen seconds straight—not that Sam was keeping count—before Steve finally gave in. He sighed while Barnes smirked.

It was like watching two toddlers fighting for the same toy, but with less hitting.

“Jerk,” Steve called.

“Punk.”

Steve sighed again. Sam was starting to worry he was going gray even with the serum. But it was hilarious to see a person could make Steve sighed that much in less than ten minutes—not that Sam himself was better.

“Anyway, I want to introduce you to my friend,” he continued.

Apparently that was enough to make Barnes’s gaze snapped into him. Sam met his gaze steadily.

“This is Sam Wilson.”

 

 

 


 

 

 

“This is Sam Wilson.”

Bucky took in the appearance of the man standing in front of him. He was wearing a black shirt and a light brown coat, probably because of the chill temperature outside. He was meeting his gaze confidently with a light smile on his face. Bucky noticed he was holding back a smile the whole time he was arguing with Steve. Amused, he seemed.

His face was … good-looking to say the least.

Okay, fine, he was handsome, especially with the smile.

When Bucky got a good sniff at him, understanding dawns on him. He stared at the man—Wilson was it?—curiously, the man stared back, unimpressed, probably had realized he was sniffing him.

"I take it you are Bucky Barnes," Wilson said.

Bucky smirks. He wondered if he looked too eager meeting a mission partner.

Working with a beta for once would be fun.

“You are right,” he replied. “I’d like to shake your hand, but.”

Wilson scoffed, though he was still smiling. “Yes, the not-your-blood.”

“This is why you don’t take a mission at two, Buck,” Steve sighed again.

Ha. It’s not like he would actually restrain him from taking missions at whatever-hour in the morning.

“You sound like a mother scolding their child for sneaking away to a friend’s party, Steve.” Wilson commented, snickering at the blonde.

Oh. Oh.

Bucky liked this man.

He deserved the upgrade from ‘Wilson’ to ‘Sam’.

“Very funny, Sam,” Steve deadpanned.

“It is funny,” Bucky piped up. He almost smiled back when Sam gave him a bright grin.

“See, Steve? Someone appreciates my humor,” Sam said as he patted Steve’s shoulder in mock-pity. Before Steve could say a retort, Bucky interrupted, “I do.”

Steve looked at the two of them with betrayal in his eyes.

“Introducing you two was a mistake,” he grumbled, making Sam snickered more. This time, Steve sent Bucky a weak glare. “And you. Go get a shower. You are getting blood at everything.”

After threatening Steve that he would hug him with the blood and hearing Sam’s beautiful laugh once again, Bucky did turn to go to his room to clean himself. The prospect of meeting Sam again for a mission briefing with him was too good for him to stall any longer.

 

 

 


 

 

 

When Bucky arrived at the meeting room, Steve and Sam were already there, talking animatedly with Natasha. Judging by how she was at ease with Sam in the room, Bucky’s shoulder relaxed as well. It’s hard to gain Natasha’s trust. Whoever this beta was, Bucky couldn’t wait to find out more about him.

“You finally decided to show up, Barnes,” Natasha greeted him, not unkindly.

“Someone insisted on me getting a shower first,” he answered swiftly with a teasing tone. As expected, Steve threw him a look.

“There was blood dripping from you, Buck,” he sighed, the wrinkles suddenly coming back to his face. One day, Bucky would be feeling guilty enough to see how Steve suddenly turned into a grumpy grandpa because of him. But today was not the day, especially when Sam let out a grin and all of Bucky couldn’t help but look at him, the small gesture demanding all of his attention.

He took a seat next to Sam instead of Steve, making the blonde look at him a little questioningly. It was indeed unusual for him to sit next to anyone who wasn’t Steve. Bucky just gave a vague shrug as an answer. Steve didn’t look satisfied with it, but Natasha was already talking again.

“I already talked a bit about the mission with Sam, but since you weren’t here, I’ll repeat it,” she said to the point like usual. “It’s a simple retrieval mission. The target is a company that manages influencers. All of their information is in this document.” Two folders were passed to him by Natasha. Sam took the folder that was offered by him.

“Even though it’s relatively new, they are growing rapidly in many aspects, especially popularity. It’s a little suspicious, but it’s not the reason for the mission.” Looking through the documents in the folder, Bucky couldn’t really see anything that could bring up an alert to the Avengers. They just seemed like a lucky new company.

“There is an intel from S.H.I.E.LD. saying that they may be related to a much, much bigger company. This company is a threat to the Avengers.”

“When you say it’s a threat to the Avengers, is it Tony?” Sam asked, interrupting Natasha’s explanation. The smirk from her was enough of an answer for him. “Yeah, figured.”

Steve, though, frowned at the idea. “Then why can’t I join?”

“Because you are needed for another mission soon, sir,” Natasha answered with a mocking polite tone. The frown became even deeper. The beta beside Bucky was snickering at him.

“Another time, punk, you can become a knight in shining armor for Stark,” Bucky commented, making Sam snorted, though he tried to conceal it beneath the folder in his hands.

“Shush now,” Natasha said before the discussion escalated even more. Bucky could still hear the murmurs coming from Steve and decided to ignore it.

“The team from S.H.I.E.L.D. managed to track down their warehouses. All the data in the company is stored in one of those warehouses. Your mission is to simply observe and wait, infiltrate, then get out.” Natasha turned to Sam. “We are also going to depend on you a lot in this mission, Sam. Your beta scent is more untraceable.”

Sam nodded in understanding. “Well, at least it would be a bloodless mission,” he said, eyes still looking at the documents. It might sound meaningless at the bat of an eye, but Bucky noticed the teasing tone in it. Oh, well, he must had made quite the impression strolling into the lounge while dripping with blood and whatever substance that clung to his clothes.

“I’m going to ignore that subtle jab on my pride,” Bucky mock-lamented, faking a gasp as well. Steve rolled his eyes at him and he was sure that Natasha wasn’t even fazed, but Sam grinned from beside him.

“What a kind man.”

He really should stop staring on Sam’s face too much now.

“So, Romanoff,” Bucky said as he turned to Natasha, still in a teasing mood, “details?”

“It’s near Brooklyn. We also have booked a room for you two. Use it for before and after the mission,” Natasha answered, passing them both another folder of documents. “You two will depart from here tomorrow afternoon. Pack accordingly, boys. Agent Hill will brief you about your strategies and moves in detail after dinner.”

Bucky didn’t bother reading the documents for now—he had a more pressing matter to ask—, passing it to Sam again instead. The man still opened it up on the table for them both to see.

“So, about this accommodation,” Bucky stated.

“Two floored motel.”

“Hot water?”

“Also scent-sealed.”

Good. At least he wouldn’t have to worry about his scent being all over the place in case his scent suppressants wore off. “’Kay, deal.”

“Tell me there is at least a TV,” Sam joined in although his eyes were still on the documents.

“This is not a vacation, Wilson.”

“No need to crush a man’s dream like that, oh dearie.”

The almost laugh that came from his mouth took himself by surprise. Even Steve was shaking his head in fond exasperation.

Soon the meeting was dispersed. Romanoff had left the room. Steve was talking to Sam with a hushed voice—not that Bucky still couldn’t hear them—before turning to him.

“You good?” he asked. Bucky glanced at Sam’s direction, finding the man busy with organizing the documents on the table, didn’t even budge with the weird question Steve just asked.

“Yeah,” Bucky answered. “Don’t worry about me.”

“Okay. I should leave you two then.” After saying a short ‘see you later’ to both Sam and him, Steve walked out of the room, leaving the two of them together. Sam didn’t say anything, nor did he move from his position, hands still busy on the documents. Bucky also opted not to say anything.

Sam must had realized that the other was watching him because he was glancing at Bucky as well. Unlike how animated he was when interacting with Steve and Natasha before, he looked like he was contemplating on how to approach Bucky right now, probably because there were only the two of them in the room.

Wanting to hear Sam talk a little more, Bucky spoke up.

“So,” he started, “did I make a good enough first impression for us to get along in this mission?”

Sam looked rather surprised that Bucky spoke first, but he still perked up at him. Bucky almost lamented the fact that Sam was a beta because he couldn’t smell his emotions. It made reading him harder. He usually could tell what his coworkers’ mood, even though they usually wore suppressants, thanks to his supersoldier abilities. Facing a beta as a coworker now was going to be interesting.

The grin on Sam’s face was enough of a read anyways.

A snicker from Sam was heard. “You should be grateful that I didn’t instantly hate you after smelling your scent with the blood.”

Hm, citrus?

“Ah, that.” Bucky assumed his alpha scent mixed with blood didn’t smell good. “Sorry, was that painful for your nose?”

Sam waved his apology off. Coffee then? “Nothing you can do about it anyway,” he shrugged. “Your scent suppressants must have worn off.”

Oh.

Oh. He was being considerate,

For a beta to work in an alpha field, he must had to do that a lot.

Probably pine then. Ah, vanilla?

“Then do you want me to increase the intake? Since it’s from Stark, it should be—”

“Don’t,” Sam cut him off. He even turned his head to him, confusion all over his face. “Especially just for a beta. Wouldn’t it be painful anyway?”

“I’m used to it. Before— before this as well.”

Sam stared at him meaningfully. “You shouldn’t have to.”

When a smirk grew on Bucky’s face, Sam raised an eyebrow, questioning him.

“You sound an awful lot like Steve just now,” Bucky chuckled.

Sam scoffed. “While I’m honored to be compared to America’s favorite hero, in a friend context, it doesn’t sound flattering at all.”

“Good. It wasn’t a compliment anyway.”

“Oh, that’s an insult?”

“Kind of.”

Sam grinned, matching the one Bucky had on his face before shaking his head at his antics.

“Funny,” he said, looking like he was suppressing a laughter. Bucky tried to wave it off nonchalantly.

“Well then,” Sam said again as he got up from his seat, looking down to maintain eye contact with him. Bucky stared back at him before he brushed a hand on Sam’s arm. “See you soon?”

“See you soon.”

A cinnamon scent might suit him too.

 

 

 


 

 

 

Sam’s arm now smelt a lot like the sea. It’s like going out to the beach on a sunny day. Or in the middle of August.

Which was an irony since he got the scent from the (ex-)Winter Soldier.

He had thought the man was going to have a more deep and harsh scent, considering how overwhelming he smelt with all that blood and mud on him. A perfume kind of smell would have suited his face better too, with that stunning blue eyes and sharp jaw.

(Okay, Sam, this is not the time to get distracted by your mission partner’s looks, he reminded himself.)

The short physical contact there also made him confused. Steve had warned him that Barnes was a reserved person when you first met him. Just wait until he trusted you enough to show more of his true self. For him to initiate a contact there was weird.

Not that he was complaining.

To think about it, the sea scent suited Barnes’ bright face more than he wanted to admit.

 

 

 


 

 

 

Bucky’s brain short-circuited when he saw Sam wearing a black tight-fitted shirt with a brown jacket on top. Figured he would have the same one-size-smaller type of fashion from Steve.

“Hey!” Sam greeted him as soon as Bucky came into his view, a bright smile decorating his face. When he took in what he wore, the smile morphed into a grin instead. “Ha! Natasha warned me that your wardrobe consisted of boring stuff, but you really do have the homeless kind of style.”

“Homeless?” Bucky scoffed. Unbelievable. “This is minimalist.”

“A hoodie though?”

Bucky looked at his dark blue hoodie, then to Sam, then to his hoodie again, then back to Sam, still not understanding where the problem lied.

“It’s a good hoodie.”

“It looks a hundred years old, dude.”

“Now that you say that.”

Sam’s widening grin is good enough of a reward for the teasing. Before Bucky could stare at it for a little longer, Sam passed him a document.

“This is our room details. Hill said you would want to get the key and scout the room first so I will leave it to you,” he said before brushing off the invisible dust on the front of his jacket, shaking the fabric a little bit. Bucky nodded and took the document from him as he caught a whiff of something.

“Are you wearing a perfume?” he asked.

“Oh, yeah, I am. You smell it? Is it bad?”

Bucky shook his head. “It’s good. It, um, suits you, actually.”

“Yeah?” Sam beamed. Why did this man have to be so charming? “Thanks, dude! Steve apparently doesn’t really like it.”

“Oh, really? He got no taste at all if he doesn’t like your scent.”

Before Bucky could take back what he said after he realized where he slipped, Sam let out a loud laugh. He stared at him worriedly. Should he even say that to a beta? It’s too late to take it back now, and Sam looked amused more than not.

“I should use it more often then?” It sounded more like a question more than a teasing, this time with a small smile on his face. “Since you like it and all.”

For the second time that day, Bucky’s brain short-circuited again.

“I— Uh, yeah,” he managed to stumble out. Ugh, his hands were getting all clammy now. “You should.”

Sam laughed again—and if it wasn’t the sweetest sound in the world. The man gave him a pat on the shoulder with a bright smile on his face. “Noted, bud.”

Bucky was left there, dumbfounded, clutching the papers in his hands.

“That was pathetic, Barnes.”

Whipping around his body to the sound, he found Natasha standing behind him, shaking her head exasperatedly. “’Your scent’, really? You know he is a beta, right?”

“Ugh, yeah, I know. No need to remind me of that embarrassing moment,” Bucky groaned out. “It’s— I— Yeah. His smile is just— Too much of a killer.”

Natasha chuckled at him. “I never saw you this whipped before. But I figured it’s a good thing since it’s Sam. He also likes you.”

Bucky blinked at her. Did he just misheard? Sam also liked him?

“At least intrigued enough to respond to your pathetic flirting,” she continued.

That’s good news. Right? If Natasha herself said that Sam was responding to his flirting, maybe he should just continue.

Natasha turned on her heels after taking a glance at Sam walking to the jet. “Just don’t fuck this up.”

Bucky gulped. It sounded like a threat.

It probably was.

“I’ll try.”

“Good,” said Natasha before she strolled out of the foyer and into the building, leaving Bucky there dumbfounded once again.

Despite the threat, Natasha was actually encouraging him to continue his—bad attempt of—flirting on Sam. But, at this point, he was at such a loss. They just met yesterday

“Barnes!”

When Bucky turned again, Sam was a few feet in front of the jet, perking up now that he had heard him.

“Let’s go now! These guys are going to depart without you if you don’t hurry your ass up!”

He walked closer to the scent of maple and avtur and he couldn’t help but think that he might as well try first.

 

 

 


 

 

 

It’s when they were settled nicely in the small motel room—after Bucky had searched the room like a madman while Sam waited patiently outside the door—that it hit him.

Sam smelt so good in his scent.

Fuck.

Staring at the man laying down on his single bed—the farthest away from the door because Bucky had instructed him so—and snuggling into the pillow he had scented just a few seconds before, Bucky realized just how big of a mistake it was to be in the same room as him.

Sam’s perfume had faded along their journey, just leaving a sniff of a woody smell here and there, and now all Bucky could smell from him right now is the taste of the wave and sand.

It smelt so good.

“Hey,” Sam mumbled out into the pillow, making Bucky jump on his feet. “You okay? Don’t just stare there creepily, dude.”

Wordlessly nodding, Bucky walked up to the window before closing the curtain to try to ignore that he just spaced out in front of him. It’s near evening anyways. Better for them to take some cover too.

He made another mistake taking another look at Sam in the midst of the darkness in the room.

He looked so cozy and soft in between the sheets.

Bucky got it bad already.

“Is this a hobby of yours?” Once again, Sam’s voice made him jump, completely out of character for him. Sam was staring back at him, amused starting to morph into worry.

“What?”

“This staring thing.”

“Uh,” Bucky muttered, “no.”

Sam stared at him for a few more seconds before speaking up again. “You okay? You look pretty out of it. Though I can’t smell anything wrong with your scent.”

Ah, yes. Of course Sam was going to notice his scent. Now that the man mentioned it, Bucky felt more self conscious about his scent that was filling the room and coming out of him steadily. At least he didn’t have to worry about his scent going out from the room and spreading the smell of salt even more everywhere.

“Oh,” Sam said again as he scrunched his nose. “You really okay?”

Fuck. He must had smelled the salt. His suppressants weren’t even working anymore.

“Yeah, I’m okay,” Bucky managed to answer without much stumbling. “Sorry for the … scent.”

“Not a problem. Are you nervous in an unfamiliar place?”

Bucky blinked.

That sounded like a good reason. He was just going to go along with it then.

“Yeah. Sorry. Again.”

Sam waved him off and snuggled even deeper to the bed. It was an obvious sign of trust to Bucky as the alpha, or at least as his mission partner, to keep the room safe.

Oh, wow.

Bucky could be just going off on his own tangent here and honestly? He didn’t really care. It felt good.

“You are doing it again,” Sam snickered, pulling Bucky out of his train of thoughts for the few times of the day. “You might want to move before you really evaporate out of your body.”

“Haha, funny,” Bucky said in a monotone voice, trying not to show off his nervousness by turning away.

“Ohhh, while you are at it, please call for dinner or something. You must be hungry.”

Bucky heard the sheet rustling and figured that Sam was sitting already. It was safe enough, he deemed, and then turned again.

“We— Uh, huh.” Nopenopenopenopenope, Sam was bundling himself in the blanket. “I might have to. Go down. Or something.”

Sam’s face showed amusement again. “They say we can call in from the telephone,” he said as he gestured to the telephone sitting on top of the bed desk separating their beds.

“Huh, okay,” Bucky gulped.

Sam raised his eyebrow when Bucky sat down and reached for the telephone slowly, but he didn’t say anything even as Bucky took his time entering the reception’s number. He just stared at him while he listed their agreed dinner to the reception.

As Bucky put down the telephone, Sam rustled in his seat then spoke up.

“What are we?”

The blurted out question made Bucky take a double take.

“Us?” he asked

“Yes, us,” Sam answered, gesturing at the space between the two of them.

Wait. Was this a test? Bucky didn’t know where Sam was going off with this, but he knew that the other man appeared to be as nervous as he was right now.

“...Coworkers?”

The answer didn’t seem to satisfy Sam however, as he visibly deflated.

“Just that?”

The two words question rang the siren in Bucky’s head. Did Sam want more? Did he want less? Was Bucky’s flirting making him uncomfortable? Is this a confrontation?

Trying to read Sam’s expression, Bucky searched for potential answers. What was he supposed to say?

“Sorry, that was a stupid question,” Sam said suddenly, probably taking Bucky’s silent as an answer.

“Wait, wait.” Bucky put his hand on Sam’s knee from his bedside, making the man look at him again. “I don’t understand your question.”

“No, it’s dumb. Don’t worry about it.”

“No. You asked it, it wasn’t dumb. I just don’t know what you want to know.”

A series of expressions went through Sam’s face in a flash and Bucky just stared back, silently encouraging him to continue. They sat in silence for a while, just staring at each other.

“This is weird,” Sam murmured at last.

“Me flirting with you?”

“No, it— Wait. Flirting?” Sam whipped his head as if he had been electrocuted by Bucky.

“I thought you were talking about that. Was I wrong?” Bucky asked. Had he been reading the situation wrong after all?

“You are flirting? With me?” Sam asked back, face contorting into confusion.

“Yeah, I am. It’s that bad, huh.”

“No, no!” Sam quickly interjected, shaking his head and hands.

“Then?” Bucky asked again because Sam looked like he wanted to say something, but was hesitant to say it.

“I—” Sam started, “I thought you weren’t being serious.”

Bucky gulped. “I am. I was and am being very serious right now.”

“I’m a beta?”

“You are.”

“And you are an alpha.”

“I am.”

“You okay with ... this?”

“Yeah? Why wouldn’t I be?”

A few seconds passed as Sam blinked at him blankly. Then understanding dawned on both of them. Sam didn’t realize his flirting. He thought Bucky wasn’t being serious. Because he was an alpha and Sam was a beta.

“Oh,” he breathed out. “Wait. Really?”

“Yep,” Bucky assured him. “Really.”

“Wow. I didn’t expect that.”

“Didn’t expect me actually liking you?”

“I mean, yeah?”

“Have you looked at yourself?”

Sam was about to say something, but Bucky interrupted him. “No. I don’t care that you are a beta, okay? You are awesome as you are.”

The other man looked like he was at loss for words so Bucky declared it as a success.

“But,” Sam interjected suddenly after he finally found the words, “have you looked at yourself, dude?”

“Point taken,” Bucky hummed as Sam laughed softly at him and he didn’t think he could and would take his eyes off the other man after this. How was he supposed to when the man looked  so soft bundled up in the blanket—that he had scented too, by the way.

Unfortunately, Sam beat him to it. “You look damn good.”

“No, you look beautiful,” Bucky replied, glaring at the man, but Sam just laughed again.

“Yeah, I know. We would be a power couple.”

Bucky cursed internally at the way his heart jumped at the word ‘couple’, but smiled nonetheless.

“Is that what we are?” he asked.

“What?”

“A couple?”

Sam smiled softly at him. Not the teasing smile, or the 200 watt smile. Just a soft-looking one, so fitting in the dim light of the room. “Hmm, I don’t know, are we?”

“Oh,” Bucky grinned, “are we?”

“Are we?”

“Are we?”

They laughed at their back and forth. It’s nice, Bucky noticed, having Sam in front of him laughing like they weren’t on a mission right now.

“Then that’s what we are,” Sam declared as their laughter died down.

“Not coworkers?”

He was rewarded with a smack and a laugh once again. Bucky tried to keep a straight face until they finally fell into a fit of giggles.

“Not coworkers,” Sam confirmed between his breaths. “That was easier than I expected.”

When Bucky gave him a confused stare, the other man shook his head. “It’s nothing,” he said again. “I just thought that you weren’t interested in me, especially a beta.”

“Oh, no way,” Bucky denied. “When I walked into the room yesterday, the siren in my head was ringing loudly because of how easy you took my attention away.”

“And when you walked into the room yesterday, I thought it was a homeless man who got into a fight,” Sam chuckled. “You looked so bad with all the blood dripping, you know?”

“I wasn’t expecting for an attractive man to come see me,” Bucky pouted. Sam laughed at his silly face and he laughed back.

“That was all I was to you? An attractive man?”

“You also make me laugh.”

Bucky’s serious answer seemed to sober Sam up, smiling at him to continue. He took a couple of deep breaths before he did.

“You have the most charming personality.”

“Uh huh.”

“And a good fashion sense.”

“Yes, I do, unlike you, apparently.”

“And I’m willing to explore more with you.”

Bucky believed that he wouldn’t ever get tired marveling at Sam’s beaming face, with his eyes twinkling and his smile so wide. He tugged him to move to his bed and Bucky moved willingly.

“Now, it’s your turn.”

“Wow. Fishing for compliments already,” Sam rolled his eyes at him before thinking more seriously.

“You are easy on the eye too.”

“One of my best qualities.”

“I like your beach scent too. It’s beach, yeah?”

“You can call it that.”

Not saying anything else, Sam smirked then patted his back from beside him. “You are also a good alpha.”

Bucky almost purred at the praise.

“I am?” he asked, sounding too hopeful for him to play it off as a joke.

“You are.”

Sam got a whole second before his arms got full of a more than 200 pounds supersoldier, making the blanket around him fell to the floor and earned Bucky a squeak. His sense of smell was attacked by sand, ocean, and the sun. Sam didn't mind it—and maybe, just maybe, he sniffed a little deeper, enjoying the smell basking in him.

“For the sake of— Warn me before you do that!” he exclaimed, frowning although Bucky could see the twitching at the corners of his mouth, clearly trying to suppress a smile. Bucky just snuggled closer to him, leaving a kiss on Sam’s temple, also unintentionally—or not—scenting him. The latter closed his eyes, seeming content to lay there despite what he just said before.

“I can do this often then? As long as I warn you?” Bucky asked, muffled by Sam’s head.

“You're hopeless.”

Your hopeless.”

“Time out. That’s too corny.”

 

<3

 

(They ate their curry on the bed together.

“Stop trying to feed me.”

Although Bucky was not eating his portion properly.

“You like it.”

Sam liked it.

The alpha in Bucky sang.)