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Like a Plane Crash That Never Hits the Ground

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“You summoned, my liege?”

Bucky turns to the door of his trailer, pissed as hell and ready to vent but he stops short when he sees the petite redhead with her steady eyes trained on him and a Colt .45 in her hand. His frown turns into a smirk, “I hope that's a prop.”

Natasha raises an eyebrow, tilts the gun down and away from him before she answers, “Our prop guns are just real guns with fake bullets. They can still do a world of hurt.”

He smiles a little, looks her over in her skin tight black pants, low-cut tank top, mid-calf combat boots and has a fleeting memory of all the pale skin under those clothes. They'd gotten together two movies ago, brief and red hot and at the end of production they shook hands and called it a day. She's his only friend, really, and he thinks maybe the same can be said for her.

“Right,” he says, leaning forward in the chair. “Not everything is a weapon, Nat.”

She shrugs, “With the right amount of force it is. So what's your problem, now? We're not even six hours into the first day of shooting and already you're holed up here being a shit and a half. There are rumblings amongst the crew that this is just going to be like the last one.”

“Okay, no. That was not me, that was Loki,” Bucky says indignantly. “Talk about a pain in the ass. And really, I was sticking up for you. He had no right to say what he did.”

“No, but you of all people should know I can cover my own ass.” Her words are mild, a hint of fondness in her tone. Or at least that's what Bucky thinks is her version of fondness.

“Besides, I wasn't really going to walk off set. SAG would have fined me hard and fast. What did Stark call him? A full-tilt Diva? I was never that bad,” Bucky says, pointedly ignoring Natasha's snort.

“Well sending P.A.s to do your dirty work, holing up in your trailer and being late to set on the first fucking day is not a way to inspire a lot of confidence in the crew. And you know what happens when they get to feeling antsy. You need to calm down, Barnes. Banner is already adding your name to his shit list and you don't want to mess with him when he loses his temper,” Natasha warns.

Bucky opens his mouth to respond but she cuts him off, “And now you have Fury in a mood, so you'd better unbunch your panties and behave yourself.”

Feeling properly chastised, and a little bit silly, he hands the neatly folded letter to Natasha who snatches it from his hand, unfolds it without dropping the gun and skims over it. He watches her blink, lips pursing slightly before lifting her gaze to Bucky. “Are you kidding me?”

He grimaces.

“James Barnes, are you serious? Have you lost your mind? Pull your fucking head out of your ass and get the fuck back to work. I can't...No.” With that, she tosses the letter back to him, turns on her heel and marches out of the trailer, the sound of the door slamming shut behind her makes him wince.

He frowns and leans forward, picking up the letter where it dropped at his feet.

Mr. Barnes:

We regret to inform you that your request for an upgrade in accommodations both on and off set cannot be fulfilled at this time. As your contractual requirements have been met, we do not see the need to offer you more than is due.

Should you have any further concerns, please direct them to your agent.


Steven Rogers

cc: J. Drew, P. Coulson, V. Potts, A. Stark

Well, then, Bucky will just need to have words with this Steven Rogers in person. He takes a deep breath, checks his reflection in the mirror and smiles at himself. He is always at his very best when he intends to do his very worst.


“Hi, Jessica,” Bucky says with his filthiest smile. She looks up at him, the tiniest hint of irritation flashing in her eyes before she pastes a smile on her face. She is pretty, if kind of plain. Someone Bucky might have gone for if he wasn't who he is and could do way better than her. She doesn't need to know that, though.

“I'm sorry I had to put you in such an awkward position. I know you were only trying to do your job. It's just...” Bucky sighs, letting his eyes scan over her in his perfected overtly discreet way. “I'm a little neurotic, I know that. I don't want to be that way and I don't want it to be harder on everyone else. It's almost like OCD. I feel like my head is in the wrong place if things aren't just so, you know? I can't help myself.”

He isn't even the slightest bit sorry for the big fat lie. He wants an east-facing hotel room because the sunlight always wakes his guests and it keeps them from hanging around longer than he wants them to. Not that he's had any guests since arriving in Colorado two days ago, but he likes to plan ahead. And he needs a new trailer because his is too close to craft services and he doesn't want to be anywhere near the heifers who mill around the truck all day. Also, the smell of grease wafts in and gives him a headache.

She blinks up at him clearly not buying the bullshit he wants to sell. “Of course. Thank you. Was that all?”

He suppresses his sneer and widens his smile, “No, actually. Can I have a word with Steven Rogers? I was hoping there was a way he and I could work this out.”

Jessica looks like she wants to say no, throw him out on his ass and the tiny part of him that isn't entirely self-serving knows she would be right to do just that, but he can't be swayed and continues before she can tell him to get out. “I won't be but a few minutes. I have to get back to set. We're having a rough first day and I wouldn't want to make it any worse than I already have.”

She sighs and picks up the phone, dialing four numbers. Bucky can hear a phone ringing at the other end of the production trailer and a muffled voice coming down the hall.

“Steve, Mr. Barnes is here to see you.”

Jessica looks up at him for a moment then back down to the spreadsheet in front of her. “Yeah, him. Okay, thanks, Steve.”

She hangs up the phone and nods toward the back of the trailer. “End of the hall, the door on the right.”

Bucky nods, “Thanks so much.”

He walks down the narrow hall, the heaviness of his costume boots making the floor feel like plywood. He makes it to the door and knocks twice before a firm-sounding voice tells him to come in. He supposes, really, that he hadn't pictured what Steven Rogers would look like. He thought maybe like any other accountant: old and frazzled and a little bit like a bridge troll. This man is anything but. He looks up from his desk when Bucky enters, big blue eyes set into the most perfect face Bucky has seen maybe ever. His dark blond hair neatly parted and combed to the side. He stands and Bucky gets a better look at the rest of him: tall and broad and built like nothing he's ever had the pleasure of laying his hands on. He extends a hand across his neatly organized desk and Bucky reaches back, mostly on instinct. His hands are big and warm and Bucky has to take a long blink as the filthy thought of how those hands would feel on him hits him like a truck.

“I'm Steve,” he says, releasing Bucky's hand and stepping back. He motions to the chair in front of his desk. “Please have a seat, Mr. Barnes.”

“James. Bucky. James Barnes?” He's still standing and blinking dumbly at Steve.

“Feel free to sit, James Bucky James Barnes.”

Steve waits until Bucky flops down in the chair before sitting down himself. Steve sits, strangely graceful for such a big man and looks back at Bucky patiently. Bucky mostly just wants to gape at him. Gape and jump across the desk, rip his clothes off and fuck him into the floor.

“I, um,” Bucky begins, looking down at his hands clenched in his lap. “I need those things. Why, um, why can't I have them?”

This is not how he had planned for this to go. He is supposed to be firm and assertive and tell this man that he'd have trouble on his hands if he didn't give Bucky what he'd asked for (and in the grand scheme of ridiculous requests, his were minor and they all had to know that) but he finds himself drawing a blank. Steve, however, seems not to notice that anything is amiss.

“Because they're not reasonable.”

Bucky frowns a little petulantly, “Yes they are.”

“No. And even despite that, we did consider them. Jessica ran a cost-analysis of the arrangements, I looked for money in the overflow budget and we took these figures to Mr. Stark himself.”

“So it's Stark who said no?” Bucky asks incredulously. He'll bet his salary that there isn't a bigger pain in the ass in the whole industry than Tony Stark.

“No. He left the decision to me and I didn't think it was a worthy enough expenditure. Contractually, our lodging requirements for you have been met. If you want a different suite, you're free to make the arrangements yourself. The same for the trailer.” Steve pauses to let his words sink in. “It's my job to keep this show within budget and as much as I want to give you what you want, it's just not worth it.”

Bucky snorts out loud because Steve knows nothing about what he wants. Steve raises an eyebrow and Bucky scrambles to recover, “I wouldn't want you to go over budget, but there has to be something, right? At least with the trailer?”

Bucky smiles, leaning forward on Steve's desk. All this eye-contact is making him breathless and a little aroused, if he's being honest with himself. Steve, for his part, seems perfectly unfazed. “You can talk to Miss Drew about that on your way out.”

Uncharacteristically, Bucky takes that for the dismissal it is and stands. He mumbles a thank you before making his way out of Steve's office and to the front of the trailer where Jessica is sitting, keeping her head down. He turns to her for a moment, opens his mouth to speak, but all that comes out is a confused mishmash of words that sort of sound like a question.

At that, Jessica nods solemnly, “I know, right?”

He nods. He knows. Oh, he knows.


“What do you know about Steve Rogers?” Bucky asks, sliding into a chair next to where Natasha is sitting at a dark table in the rear of the hotel bar.

“Already?” Natasha asks. “Usually you wait a week before picking a conquest.”

“He speaks to me,” Bucky says with a shrug.

“Not with his mouth, I'll bet.”

“Oh, no, that too,” Bucky smiles. He remembers that mouth and its full pink lips. Thinks of how they'd feel on his dick. “Definitely that, too.”

After leaving Steve's office that day (and pulling his head together), he finished the day with a single-minded focus that put Fury and company at ease. Natasha even gave him a nod of approval when they wrapped for the day, and she never approves of anything Bucky does. Now they're sitting in the bar for a nightcap when he should be getting his beauty rest, but he hasn't adjusted to the time change yet. Also, he has things to prepare for. Like getting hot accountants into his bed.

“Nat. Come on.”

“I'm not sure I want to be party to this,” Natasha says with some atypical discomfort.

“I'm not asking you to roofie him and lock him in my room. I just want to know what you know about him. I'll take care of the rest myself,” Bucky assures.

Natasha takes a long sip of her dark-colored drink before answering, “I don't know much about him. I do know he's Stark's one-and-only, though.”

He blinks, “What.”

She has the nerve to laugh at his slack-jawed astonishment. “Not like that. He used to work on some Discovery show that filmed in like the Arctic or something and Stark pulled him out of there. No one really knows how or why. Hired him to work on one of those Captain Marvel movies. At the very beginning they had a huge fight, almost came to blows but after that, Stark loved him. He just goes from one Stark feature to another. I hear Stark pays him a ton, but that he's worth every penny. We worked on the last Hawkeye thing together. He was quiet, but nice. Never went to any of the crew functions but everyone seemed to like him well enough. Called me ma'am. There wasn't a woman in the place who wouldn't crawl on her knees through fire to get to him. A good chunk of the men, too.”

“You've seen him, so you understand.”

“You've seen him, so you understand he's not my type. I like them rough and dirty.”

Bucky laughs a little, “I'm not sure if I should be flattered or offended.”

“Take it as you will.” Natasha stands, claps Bucky's shoulder and steps back. “I'd count this one as a loss, James. He's like the Elliot Ness of on-set debauchery – the man's untouchable.”

Bucky snorts, “I'll do more than touch him, all right.”


Two weeks later and Bucky hasn't so much as laid eyes on him again. Not that he needs to because the set of those broad shoulders, those wide blue eyes and that mouth, good lord that mouth, are all but seared into his retinas. Much to his dismay, Natasha does actually stay out of it. Although, it does seem that's she's getting very into Clint Barton, the director of photography. Or he is getting into her, more likely. He spends some time with Thor, the chief lighting tech who is maybe the friendliest man Bucky has ever met. He doesn't know his actual name, but he comes by the nickname honestly. He is tall and blond and massive. He might have been Bucky's choice if he hadn't already found himself being pulled in by Steve's siren song. On the weekends, the four of them spend their time together and Bucky finds himself relaxing into it, enjoying the atmosphere and the people. He is feeling more like himself than he has in a while.

“What's this, then? You're into Steve?” Jessica says, smiling genially at Thor before dropping down onto the couch next to him.

“No, but I'd like to be into him.”

“Jesus,” Clint says with a laugh and a shake of his head.

“What?” Bucky says guilelessly. “I would.”

“I, for one, don't blame you. He's amazing.”

“Amazingly hot,” Bucky adds. Jessica smiles at him.

“Are you the dickhead everyone thinks you are?” She asks, looking him square in the eyes. He has a moment of chagrin before he brushes it off.

“Don't be fooled, he's definitely a dick,” Natasha says frankly. “He's an acquired taste.”

“I don't know about that,” comes Thor's booming voice. “I find his company pleasing.”

“Thanks, buddy. What do you know about Steve?” Bucky asks, turning his charm on her full-force. It's easier now, knowing she won't fall for it.

“I know this is the fifth project I've been his POC for and he still calls me Miss Drew. He doesn't talk much about his family or friends. I'm not sure he has any, except maybe Tony. Oh, he did used to date the UPM on one of the British indie movies he did before going to Greenland. Peggy Carter, I think. I looked her up on IMDB a while ago and she's a fox. Coulson's kind of hoping he has a thing for UPMs, I think.”

“Wasn't he dating some cellist?” Clint asks.

“Yeah, but against Steve? No contest, I'm sure.”

“How can no one know anything about this guy?” He demands above the din.

“Maybe he's not even into men,” Natasha says evenly. “Give it up, Barnes.”


“Eh, I'm not so sure he's not into men. I know Tony is head over heels for his assistant, but I think before that he and Steve. Well. He and Steve. There were a lot of late nights and locked doors, if you know what I'm saying,” Jessica says with a waggle of her eyebrows. “I don't know anything for sure since I pretty much assume everyone is banging everyone else –”

“You're not wrong.”

“– But there was something not entirely platonic about them. Who knows, though. Other than that, he stays out of the gossip circuit. Don't want to rain on your parade or anything, but he hates actors.”

“Yeah, but everyone hates actors,” Clint adds with a roll of his eyes.

“What? You wouldn't have a job if it wasn't for actors,” Bucky says sharply.

“Of course I would. The Trials and Tribulations of water buffalo or reality TV or something. You're the only one who would be without a job if we didn’t have actors.”



“Okay, okay,” Bucky concedes. “Everyone hates actors and I may not have made the best of impressions –”


“Okay, I made a terrible impression but I can bounce back from this. He's bound to this place for another eighteen weeks, same as the rest of us. I just need to...What's that thing?” Bucky asks, looking around the group.




“Pull your head out of your ass?”

“Yeah, yeah. That. I can do that.”

“Barnes, those things require effort. It's not going to be one of those times where you smile and he bends himself over his desk for you.”

“Natalia, my friend, I'm going to bring my A-game. That man isn't going to know what hit him.”


With Jessica apparently on his side (or as on his side as anyone can be while constantly pointing out he's an asshole), things start to come a little easier. He visits her in her office when he isn't needed on set and begins to get their schedule down. Steve is in his office by nine, takes lunch precisely at one, is back at his desk by one-thirty, and is out by seven, mostly. Unfortunately, Bucky is kind of the star of this whole thing which means he is on set nearly every minute he is there. But oh does he find the time to sit in the office and flirt loudly and conspicuously with Jess. Phil even comes out to talk to him for a minute before dragging the first and second assistant accountants out of the office with him to get yelled at.

It's pay day of the fourth week when Bucky gets his check stub and thanks all of the powers that be for whoever screwed this up. There's a sick, desperate little part of him that wants to think Steve did this on purpose just so Bucky would have a legitimate reason to talk to him, but really all Steve would have to do is open his office door and Bucky would be in there and under his desk before he could even blink.

Jessica has already left for the day as it is well past nine, but there's a light on in Steve's office so Bucky makes his way across the lot and up the steps into the production office. He knocks on Steve's door and there's a short pause before Steve calls at him to come in. It is embarrassing, really, what the sound of his voice does to Bucky.

Bucky opens the door and sticks his head in. He knows he isn't looking his best, his face is pink and blotchy from where he'd scrubbed the makeup off, his left hand is rough and scratched up from the shoulder-length metal prosthetic he wears for his character and his clothes are rumbled and sloppy. He gives Steve his best smile, anyway. Steve looks him over and frowns for a moment before meeting his eyes.

“Can I help you, Mr. Barnes?”

“Bucky,” he says automatically. “There's a problem with my check.”

Bucky holds it out to him and shuffles forward a little to put it in Steve's outstretched hand. Steve takes the check from Bucky, unfolds it, and his eyebrows shoot up to his hairline. He smiles though, looking a little strained. “We seem to have forgotten a few zeroes. I'm terribly sorry for that, Mr. Barnes.”

“Bucky,” he repeats. “It's no big deal at all. My agent might call about it, but you can ignore him. I usually do. We can fix it next week.”

“No, of course not. I'll have a check for you tomorrow,” Steve says firmly.

Bucky wants to argue because it isn't a big deal, not really. His agent might think it is because he's a blood-sucking leech like agents tend to be, but that will only be if he notices. But then he'll have another reason to see Steve, even though realistically payroll is another accountant's job. He can easily pretend he doesn't know that.

“Oh. If it's not too much trouble, then,” Bucky says. He means it, he does. He tries to channel all of the earnest graciousness he used to have years ago and directs it at Steve, though it seems to fall flat.

Steve tilts his head, looking at him. Studying him, really. “No. It's no trouble.”

Bucky nods, opens his mouth to say something, decides against it and turns to leave. He stops at the door, then turns back to Steve. “The last van back to the hotel is leaving in fifteen minutes. Just. If you were heading that way.”

Steve blinks up at Bucky before flipping his wrist to look at his watch. “Damn it. I didn't realize.”

He shuffles through some papers, flipping through piles of production reports and receipts before glancing back up at Bucky, looking about as tired as Bucky feels. Bucky smiles, something warm and soft fluttering in the pit of his stomach. Then Steve stands up and his feelings go from warm and soft to hot and hard. Steve shuts off the lights and Bucky nearly groans when Steve comes up nice and close to herd him out of the production office. He can feel the heat of Steve's body behind him and he is hit by the thought of yeah, if Steve wants to fuck him, he'll let him. He doesn't usually like things that way, but for him, he'd make that exception. He'd make so many exceptions.

Bucky steps out and into the crisp night air. It's late November and colder than anything else he's used to because New York never gets cold like this. He huddles down into his jacket already missing the stuffy heat of the production office. Steve has shrugged into a weathered, brown bomber jacket and wraps a scarf around his neck and Bucky feels almost faint with want. He keeps his head down against the cool breeze and tucks himself into his sweatshirt, accidentally bumping his elbow into Steve's arm.

He apologizes a little awkwardly and Steve. God, Steve smiles and it's like sunshine. Man, he is stupid with how much he wants to get his hands on this guy and he's hardly even had a complete conversation with him. He wants to just blurt out, “hey, I think we should fuck. Seriously. It might be the best idea I've ever had” but if the information Jessica and their account clerk (who is a little hopelessly in love with Bucky, who isn't above exploiting that) are feeding him is true, Steve won't fall for a cheap play like that. And a line like that is something Bucky can only use once because it will either work or it won't and Bucky needs to get this man into bed.

“So,” Bucky says, mustering up all the charm and appeal he can find in himself. Admittedly, it is very little. “How are you liking this so far?”

Steve throws him a sideways glance and shrugs. “It's cold. Not the coldest place I've been, but cold.”

He doesn't think that mentioning Tony rescuing him from the great Arctic North without also mentioning, “Hey, I'm a big fat creeper who wants to creep all over you mostly in your mouth” is okay in this situation so he just nods. He tries to think of what he would do if this were a date. He tries to remember what being on a date is like since it's been a really, really long time since he's had to work at getting laid. In fact, there is still a small part of him that is baffled by the fact that Steve isn't throwing himself at him. Clearly a very egotistical part, but still.

Bucky smiles and nods, “I was telling Nat – Natasha, the Stunt Coordinator and weapons tech – that this is nothing like a Brooklyn winter and it's not even winter yet. Then she waxed on about growing up in Leningrad and told me to shut my mouth.”

Steve barks out a laugh that makes Bucky's knees weak. “She said that to you? I have a tough time believing you'd let anyone talk to you like that.”

He winces at Steve who doesn't look anywhere near sorry. “No, you're right. I think what she said was closer to 'shut your fucking mouth, you shit. I'm from Communist Russia and you need to grow a pair.' I have to paraphrase and spit-shine retellings of stories about her lest I make her out to be the foul-mouthed hard-assed mega-monster she actually is.”

“Wow,” Steve says, genuine shock written on his face.

Bucky smiles proudly, “Yep. She's my best friend.”

Steve nods, the tiniest little smile on his face, “Sounds like it.”

“Hey Steve, Buck!” Jasper calls from across the lot. “You guys headed back? I'm going to take off here in a few.”

“Yeah, man. Thanks,” Bucky says, clapping Jasper on the shoulder as he pulls open the van door and slides into the middle bench seat. Something hot sparks in him when Steve climbs up and scoots in beside him. He isn't touching Bucky but he's close enough that he can feel the heat of his body and Bucky vaguely wonders if being driven insane with lust is something that is covered under his medical insurance.

Jasper slams the side door shut to keep the heat in and Bucky rubs his hands together and presses them between his knees. What he wants is to warm them against Steve's skin and he turns to look at him, but Steve is looking out the opposite window giving Bucky and unobstructed view of the long line of his neck and the sharp angle of his jaw.

Steve turns back and Bucky lets himself get caught staring but Steve doesn't seem to notice. “You're right, though. It's nothing like a Brooklyn winter.”

“You're from Brooklyn, too?”

“Born and raised. Left at eighteen, never went back.”

“I have a place there. Prefer it to LA.”

“Yeah, I'm not a fan. I don't stick to one place for too long, though. They have me bouncing around from show to show to show so I've been living out of a suitcase for the last few years.” Steve looks up at Bucky and smiles warmly. “It's not so bad. I'm in one place for a while before moving onto the next. I keep a routine that fits in wherever I am. Get up, go for a jog, go to work, go to bed at a decent hour. It keeps me grounded.”

“Oh yeah? I go jogging in the mornings, too. I'm surprised I never see you.” The lie is out of his mouth before he can stop it. Kind of a lie. A little lie. He does jog. Occasionally. When he is stressed and frustrated (usually sexually) and tense, he hits the treadmill for an hour. He can do it, sure, but he doesn’t like to. He is honestly shocked at the lengths to which his lizard brain is willing to go to get laid. Steve isn't going to invite him along, he knows it in his bones, but Bucky is not going to let this pass him up. “We should go together. I have a pretty late call tomorrow. That is, if you don't mind me tagging along.”

He shrugs but Bucky can tell he's pushing him. He holds back the smile and puts on his best earnest face. “Yeah, that's fine. I usually head out around six thirty.”

Bucky almost chokes because six thirty, what the fuck. “Perfect.”


“It's not exactly an invitation to the party in his pants that I want it to be, but it's a start,” he says, pushing his way into Natasha's room.

She sputters a little but he walks all the way in, only to find Clint sitting on Natasha's bed getting ready to pull his shirt off. He looks from her to him and back again.

“No,” he flops down on the bed next to Clint. “If I'm not getting dick, no one is getting it.”

“I'm sure plenty of people are –”

“Fine, I mean you.”

“What's a start?” Clint asks, leaving his shirt on and scooting up the bed so he's lying against the pillows.

Natasha shoots him a glare, “Don't encourage him.”

“What? It's fun. It's all anyone is talking about.”

“What is?” Bucky asks, giving Clint his undivided attention.

“A month into shooting and you haven't fucked or sucked half the cast and/or crew yet. You're on time, not being a general menace and you're following directions. Fury is happy with you and the stuff we're getting is pretty excellent, if I do say so myself.”

Bucky shuffles up so he's lying back next to Clint. He frowns, “I got around, sure, but I always worked hard.”

Clint shrugs, “You have a lot of talent, but you were never known for your congeniality which – excellent work ethic or not – made you a pain in the ass. There really isn't any of that this time. There are a few rumors floating around about it.”

“Which would be?”

Natasha sends him a glare that could melt ice. “Barnes. Out.”

He just pats the bed space next to him before turning back to Clint, “I hope they're not bad.”

“Eh. First, it's that Fury and Coulson have you in check. They're threatening to drop you from the franchise and replace you with that dude who was the Mad Hatter on that fairy tale show.”

“Ugh, no thanks.”

“I think he's hot,” Natasha says flippantly, sitting down on the side of the bed nearest Bucky.

“Well no one asked you.”

“The second rumor, and the few of us you deign to talk to know this is closer to the truth, is that you're hopelessly in love and in a deep, meaningful, committed relationship and you don't want to cheapen it by treating the crew list like your own personal escort service.”

“How the hell is that any closer to the truth? I'll admit, I do have a laser focus on Steve and I'm not going to let anything get in my way. But me? Hopelessly in love?”

“I laugh when I hear it,” Natasha says smugly.

“Although I will say that I'm not planning on doing anyone or anything until I get Steve. Priority A. Christ, he's like art,” Bucky groans and scrambles off the bed, nudging Natasha's shoulder with his own as he stands. “We're going jogging tomorrow. I'm going to seduce him with my athletic abilities.”

He heads out the door, shutting out the sound of Natasha's cruel laughter.


So it turns out that running in the freezing morning air is the worst thing Bucky has ever done in his life. Worse than having sex with those two girls in college who left him tied to the bed for half a day as some kind of punishment for something he can't remember. Worse than the unnamable creepy crawlies he ate on a dare during the first Winter Soldier movie when he cared whether people liked him or not. Worse than the time he was so sick he had to take antibiotics in his butt and the doctor looked just like his third grade math teacher.

Okay. Maybe not worse than that, but if Steve wanted to play doctor, he'd let him.

As Steve jogs up the trail ahead of him, the perfect vee of his shoulders and waist tapering down into the firmest, most muscular ass he's ever seen, he knows he'd follow him anywhere. With the morning sunlight glinting off his hair and a smug little twinkle in his eye that says he knows very well that Bucky was exaggerating his exercise habits, Steve is breathtaking. Which is unfortunate because he has very little breath to spare.

They get to the top of a little hill that overlooks the city. The sun is just creeping up over the mountains on their left, the sky a gorgeous indigo on their right. And Steve looks more perfect than anything Bucky's dirtiest thoughts could have conjured up. Steve turns to Bucky and smiles, easy and warm and Bucky wants to kiss him. He wants to kiss him so badly that he feels like fighting gravity would be an easier feat than trying to resist this. He reaches out, and just then, a breeze puts him upwind and he catches a whiff of himself. Suddenly the desire to kiss Steve is gone. Well. Not the desire so much as it is overpowered by the desire not to make him pass out with the smell of himself. Steve, who is also upwind, smells clean and manly. Of course.

“What?” Steve asks, looking strangely at Bucky's hand that is halted mid-way between his side and the back of Steve's neck.

“There was. Bug.”

Steve nods, accepting the explanation without question. “Ready to head back?”

The jog back down hill is slightly easier and he can't help but wonder if Steve was maybe punishing him earlier, for being a jerk when they first met or for something else, perhaps. He can't be sure, but he does know he feels like death warmed over when they get back to the hotel. It's unpleasant. Awful, even, but if this is what he has to do, then so be it. They're heading up in the elevator when Bucky turns to Steve and smiles, “Same time tomorrow, then?”

Steve is silent for a moment. Thoughtful. “Sure thing.”


Things go on that way for five more weeks. Bucky tries and tries to get more out of Steve but the man is shut down tighter than Fort Knox. They still run most mornings, when Bucky doesn't have early calls or late-night shoots. He tries to get Steve to have lunch with the crew, or dinner with him alone or coffee after their runs but Steve is resolute, though never unkind.

“Steven Rogers is the biggest cockblock in the history of cockblocking!” Bucky announces to the people who somehow think he's okay enough to be friends with. “Which is really fucking unfortunate because it's his own cock he's blocking me from.”

“You could just give up,” Natasha says from the overstuffed chair by the hearth in the hotel den.

“I'm not a quitter.”

“Well there was that time you brought that dude with the giant dick home. You gave him a handshake and sent him packing. Sounds like a quitter to me.”

The group laughs loudly, Jessica slapping him on the knee, barely managing to choke out, “Oh my God, Buck, are you serious?”

He glares at Natasha, “Why are we friends? I don't even like you.”

“You could find someone else,” Thor suggests. It's reasonable all things considered, even Bucky has to admit. Nine weeks and all he can get out of Steve is a morning run that feels more like corporal punishment than a prelude to sex. There have been times when he moved on if someone didn't show interest in the first nine minutes.


“You like him,” Jessica says simply.

Bucky sneers, “I'd like him more in my bed face down, ass up.”

“James doesn't like people. He only likes to sleep with them,” Natasha explains simply.

“Yeah.” But it sounds thin, even to him.

“Speak of the devil,” Clint says, tilting his chin towards the lobby beyond where they are sitting.

Steve is standing in the lobby, hands deep in the pockets of his khakis, the sleeves of his checked shirt cuffed neatly at the elbows. So neat and cleanly pressed. The perfect lightness to Bucky's dark jeans, boots, and leather jacket. He is almost to his feet when Steve lights up like a Christmas tree, smiling in a way Bucky has never seen, reaching out and wrapping another man in his arms. Bucky's skin tingles with the need to feel that body against his own.

“Ouch,” Natasha says without a hint of sympathy.

He turns to Jessica beside him, “I thought you said Stark was banging his assistant.”

“Not banging. They're super serious. He worships her,” Jessica says with an unshakeable certainty.

Jessica is sure, of course, but Bucky watches Steve pull back and laugh, clapping Tony's shoulder before following him into the bar. Bucky kind of wishes someone would drop a house on him.


Tony hangs out for a week and Bucky avoids him like the plague, mostly because he makes Bucky feel something he can't quite understand. He avoids Steve, too, not that he seems to notice much. Tony leaves on the following Sunday and Steve is in the hotel lobby at six thirty on Monday morning wearing his workout clothes, completely unruffled. Bucky sulks up to him like an interloper, but Steve looks up and smiles, not saying a word. They take what Bucky privately calls the Monday Trail of Tears, up the hill around the hotel, through the town and back. They walk the last two blocks, cooling down when Steve turns to him, looking at him but not quite meeting his eye.

“I didn't realize, but it was too quiet by myself.”

And Bucky doesn't know what it is exactly, but it makes him want to drag Steve upstairs to take him apart with his hands and his lips and his tongue.


After that, Bucky becomes relentless. He hasn't pursued anyone like that since … well, ever. He's never had to. By now, everyone on set knows that Bucky isn't screwing around and it's a different atmosphere. People are playful and friendly and they work hard and treat him like a friend, rather than someone they are trying to get into bed. It's a noticeable difference. At least for people who notice those things. Steve, seemingly, is not one of them.

When he gets an early dismissal and isn't needed by any of the other actors, he hangs out in the office with Jessica waiting around for Steve to make an appearance. He stays late, telling Steve that he will gladly stuff his envelope, but Steve just looks at him, blinks and says, “Use the sponge thing. The glue tastes like battery acid.”

Bucky laughingly says that he's had worse things in his mouth and licks the envelope. Then proceeds to cough and sputter and whine because nope. No, he has never had anything worse on his tongue than that. Not ever.

He brings Steve the production reports most nights, asks him to breakfast, lunch and dinner. Asks him to go to the movies with all of them on Friday night. Asks Steve to come with him to the museum on Sunday. And every time, Steve shuts him down. But then, he looks at Bucky, smiles and says, “See you tomorrow morning.”

“This must be what Prince was talking about in Pussy Control. Instead of P control, it's D control,” Bucky says with a huff, sinking down into the overstuffed couch next to Jess.

There's a moment of brief, astonished silence before all of them start laughing. Bucky doesn't even crack a smile which just makes them laugh harder.

Natasha is the first to calm down enough to speak. “I honestly thought you'd win him over. I did. He has a libido of steel. Or –”

“If you say he's just not that into me, so help me, I will flip this coffee table and cause a scene.”

“Or,” Natasha says again, her eyes narrowing in a glare, “He's trying to let you down easy. Believe it or not, not everyone wants to have sex with you.”

“I don't believe it,” Bucky says flatly. “Other people, maybe. But him? There has to be a tiny part of him that wants to do me. I feel it in my bones.”

“Which bone?” Jessica asks with a leer.

He laughs, “Every one but that one.”

“Maybe he just wants you to stop.”

“No. He wants me. I know it.”

“Okay, see, that? Fucking creepy,” Clint says a little sternly.

Bucky backpedals, “No, I don't mean it like that. If he told me to get lost, I would. I'm an asshole not a creep.”

“There's a difference?” Thor asks without malice.

“Creeps are creepy and assholes are assholes.”

“Hmmm, no. I'm going to side with Bucky on this. Steve doesn't do hanging out, but he lets Bucky follow him around like a kid sidekick. I'm not saying that means he wants the D, but it does mean he isn't too bothered by him,” Jessica says a little too reluctantly for Bucky's taste.

“Thank you,” he replies, leaning in and kissing her temple. “Thank you.”

“We have a week and a half left. If he didn't give it up in five months, what makes you thinks another week is going to matter?” Clint asks.

“Well. I did everything but lay it all out on the table, so to speak.”

“Don't tell me you're going to whip cream bikini into his office or something else stupid, are you?” Jessica asks. “If you are, let me know. I'll want to take pictures.”

“God, no. It would melt right off my skin before I could even get there. I'm just going to tell him we need to bang and he's going to agree and it will right the imbalance in my world. Or he'll disagree and it won't matter because I'll be on a plane out of this bitch the next day.”

Natasha stares at him for a long minute. “You're an idiot.”


Last days are always so strange. An odd mix of solemn and exciting, kind of like the last day of high school. The entirety of the crew is gathered around the set and Bucky feels great, the best he's ever felt finishing a movie.

“You're a good man,” she says, leaning into him.

“Not really, no. But you're the only one who understands that.”

There is a long silence and finally Nick Fury speaks, “Cut!”

Bruce comes out, slaps Bucky on the back and wraps his arm around Natalie. He is happy and Bucky isn't too stupid to be relieved about that.

“Ladies and gentlemen, that's a wrap on Broken Arrow!”

Bucky laughs, reaching out to hug Natalie before pulling back to clap along with the crew. “Party at the Bistro, on us. We'll see you there!”

People are still clapping and shaking his hand as he weaves through the crowd. He catches sight of Natasha talking to Clint and Thor entertaining a bunch of young P.A.s, and he frowns until he sees Jessica.

“Hey, I'm glad you could –”

“He's in the office. Alone,” Jessica says with a smirk. He was going to play it off like he wasn't hunting for Steve, but he just nods and heads back to wardrobe. They give him the nastiest looks when he strips down and out of his costume, one of the effects assistants helping him get his prosthetic arm off. He tugs on a pair of jeans and a tee shirt, rubs a baby wipe over his face and runs out of the trailer shouting his thanks behind him.

The light in Steve's office is on and Bucky takes the metal steps two at a time. He gets to Steve's door, which is cracked open and he pushes, the sound of the squeaking hinges getting Steve's attention.

“Hi,” he says, looking up at Bucky with a confused smile. “Something wrong?”

“Yeah, Steve. Something is very wrong,” Bucky says, pushing the door shut behind him. He locks it and Steve watches his hand warily.


“You didn't come watch the final scene. You're in here packing up and this is it, you know?” Bucky says softly, closing in on where Steve is standing behind his desk. “Natasha informs me that there are people in the world who don't want to have sex with me and I can believe that. What I can't believe is that you're one of them.”

“Well, there are...there are a lot of people and opinions to. To consider,” Steve stutters as Bucky rounds the desk and moves in so they are almost touching but not quite.

“And you have to know that my interest in you is very, very sexual.”

“Oh. Uh,” Steve is flustered and blushing and Bucky almost groans with it. “Thank you?”

“Steve. I have to kiss you now. Then we're going to have sex on your desk. If you don't want that to happen, you just say so,” Bucky whispers, reaching up to lay a hand on Steve's shoulder. Steve gapes like a fish and Bucky closes the distance between their bodies, finally feeling the hard lines of Steve's perfect, wonderful body against his own. He sighs, moving his other hand up so that both hands can cup Steve's jaw.

“Y-yes,” Steve whispers and Bucky stops and pulls back.

“Yes, you want to stop? Or yes you're on board?” He asks with a slight frown.

Steve's hand is gentle but sure at the small of his back and Bucky laughs delightedly, “Yeeeesssssssss.”

Bucky leans up and kisses him. Soft and closed-mouthed and he can feel Steve's gentle breathing against his cheek and somewhere there's a choir of angels singing hallelujah. He presses harder, parting his lips and sliding his tongue out to trace the seam of Steve's lips, humming when Steve opens to him. He pauses for a moment right before their tongues touch, and then he dives in, kissing Steve like he's meant to be kissed.

He presses his body closer, pushing Steve back so he is half-sitting on his desk with Bucky standing between his spread thighs. Bucky kisses him with a precise thoroughness he rarely uses, but the little sounds he makes, the way his fingers dig into Bucky's back, rocking his hips into him, Steve deserves his very best.

Bucky slides his hands down to Steve's hips, grabbing a hold of him through the material of his khakis and smiles against his lips when he thinks of what they must look like – neat and clean Steve Rogers being all but devoured by the rough and dirty Bucky Barnes and loving it. Steve pulls him in, the hand on Bucky's back moving down to his ass, the other tangling in the hair at the back of Bucky's head and Bucky's mind goes blank.

He wants everything, so much, all of it at once and he can't figure out how or where to start. He just knows he's almost completely hard, can feel that the same can be said for Steve and he rocks his hips forward and up against Steve who breaks the kiss and moans. Bucky whimpers helplessly at the sound of it, kissing at the long line of his throat, nipping at the curve of his jaw.

“I have to...” he tries to explain as he runs his hands down the flat plane of Steve's chest and stomach to his belt buckle. He looks up at Steve who is flushed and panting and his lips are wet and puffy and Bucky has to kiss him again. He just has to.

“Yeah,” Steve says, moving his hands around to Bucky's jeans and unzipping them with shaking hands. Then Steve's hand is in his pants, wrapping around his dick and lifting it out. Bucky is falling apart, legs shaking, hands uncoordinated as he tries to get at Steve. Finally, finally he has Steve's pants open and shoved down to his thighs. He looks down between them, sees Steve's hand wrapped around his dick, then Steve's own dick pressing against the stretched cotton of his underwear, a small damp spot where the head of his cock is. He savors the anticipation for a moment before pulling Steve's underwear down and his dick out. He is hot and thick and so hard in his hand and Bucky kisses him again, sloppy and loud with too much tongue and teeth but he doesn't care.

Steve's head drops forward under Bucky's chin as they begin to stroke each other and Bucky uses his free hand to pull Steve closer, even if closer isn't close enough. Steve gasps and Bucky pulls his hand away to spit in it before coating them both and resuming their stroking. Bucky buries his face in the crook of Steve's neck, breathing raggedly against him, rocking up into his hand and he's close, he's so close.

“Bucky,” Steve breathes, tilting his head up and Bucky kisses him again, kisses him through the erratic motions of his hips, through the sudden stillness, through the groan in the back of his throat as he comes hot and wet and sticky into Bucky's fist.

Bucky holds him close as best as he can, kisses his cheek, his chin, his temple and his lips as he comes down. Steve takes a minute to come back to himself, but then he starts stroking Bucky in earnest and Bucky thrusts into him, into the feel of Steve's hand on his ass pulling him close, his lips at his ear urging him on until finally he comes better and harder than he thought possible, than he'd ever imagined, his knees shaking as he leans into the steady firmness of Steve's body.

This is good. This is better than good and maybe even better than that, whatever it is. Steve is...God, Steve. Bucky kisses him again, long and slow and filthy and Steve is so responsive and Bucky never wants to stop. Not ever. Except Steve pushes him away, kisses the corner of his mouth before mumbling something about paper towels and fishing them out of the box that is sitting on his desk.

Bucky stumbles back a little, blinking against the light and looking at Steve whose perfect hair and clothes and composure are rumpled by Bucky's hands and body and need. He smiles a little triumphantly.

Steve turns around and hands him some paper towels and he cleans himself up the best he can. He watches as Steve slowly and methodically cleans himself up, tucks himself back into his underwear and pulls his pants back up. He tucks his shirt in and buckles his belt, smoothing out the wrinkles Bucky twisted into them. A fringe of blond hair falls over his forehead and Bucky reaches out to smooth it back, meeting Steve's eyes. He smiles and kisses him again.

“Come back to the hotel with me,” Bucky says, his voice sounding rough and too loud.

Steve shakes his head, turning around to straighten up the mess on the desk. Most of it is creased, but usable. “You have a wrap party to go to.”

“I'll skip it. Come back with me.”

Steve turns around, his smile small and sweet and it makes Bucky ache for him. “It's your party.”

“They won't even miss me.”

“I have to finish packing and I have an early flight,” Steve says a little slowly and...oh. Oh.

“Yeah, me too actually,” Bucky says with a nod. “And come to think of it, I probably should go to that party. Make an appearance.”

“You should,” Steve agrees quietly.

“Well, Steve. It was a good show, great working with you. Maybe I'll see you around,” he says with his brightest smile, the one he uses when in front of cameras when smile isn't what he wants to do at all. It brings people to their knees, usually in front of him, but that's not what he means for Steve. He just wants to reassure him.


And when Bucky leans in to kiss him, hard and a little too desperate, Steve kisses him back just the same. He got exactly what he set out to get and it’ll have to be enough.


“If it isn't the man of the hour!” Clint yells, slinging an arm around him as soon as he walks through the door. He leads him over to a small table in the corner where their usual group plus Bruce are sitting and drinking their weight in the booze Bucky and the rest of the cast are paying for.

“So?” Jessica asks with a sly smile.

Bucky opens his mouth and to his surprise, nothing comes out. He just shakes his head a little sadly and shrugs, feeling about as defeated as he’s pretending to be.

Natasha tilts her head, gives him a strange look and then smiles secretively before laughing, “Ladies and gentlemen, let's drink this toast to Steve Rogers, the only person to survive a full blown James Barnes flirtation attack without ending up on his knees!”

Bucky smiles, albeit a bit dimly, “To Steve Rogers. The only person to best me.”


“Bucky! Bucky over here! Barnes! This way!”

Bucky relaxes his shoulders and pans his red-carpet perfect smile from left to right and back again before stopping to give interviews. Most of the questions revolve around what it was like filming in Colorado or if he's excited to get back to work on the Black Widow movie. He's fun and energetic and flirty and if he has to give another interview, he's going to scream or at the very least, start to get real fucking bitchy. Somehow sensing this, his manager pulls him back and towards the entrance of the theater. He turns to her and smiles sharply.

“Thanks, sweetheart. Where's the bar?”

Carol gives him a look that foretells the eating of his soul, but then sighs at him and points to where a bunch of neatly dressed people are milling around. He is half way there when he hears his name called.

He turns around to find Jessica in the most fantastically curve hugging dress he's ever seen. “Jesus, you look great. Really, really great.”

She smiles, white teeth poking out behind dark red lips. “Aww, and I'll bet you're not even saying that because my boobs are pushed up to my chin.”

He looks her over quite obviously and then shakes his head, “No, that's a large reason why. Two large reasons why, anyway.”

She laughs and looks over her shoulder briefly, “Hey, I brought a date. I hope you don't mind.”

“No, no of course not,” Bucky says with a smile. They've been keeping in pretty regular contact since parting ways at the end of production, but he didn’t know she was seeing anyone. He follows her gaze across the lobby to see a tall, broad, blond man making his way towards them with a drink in each hand. Bucky is pretty sure he’s in danger of drooling all over himself because seeing him again after so long is somehow better than he’d imagined. And he imagined it a lot. Usually alone in bed at night.

He meets Steve's shy, wary eyes and a part of him wants to fuck with him a little, but the rest of him just wants to fuck him. And if his showing up here isn't tantamount to a come on then he doesn’t know what is.

“I hope you don't mind my tagging along,” Steve says slowly.

Bucky locks eyes with him, just taking him in for a minute. “Hi.”


“Okay,” Jessica says, taking both drinks from Steve. “Wow. I'm going to make myself scarce before you two fuck on top of me. I'll see you later. Don't be afraid to leave without me.”

He hears the click clack of Jessica's heels on the lobby floor, but he doesn’t look away from Steve. He cuts a nice figure in his dark gray suit, crisp white shirt and navy tie, and Bucky licks his lips as he looks him over. “You look good.”

Steve stuffs his hands into his trouser pockets and rocks back on his heels. “I wasn't sure if...Jessica asked if I wanted to come, and I just...”

“Wanna get out of here?” Bucky asks with a sly smile, fingers reaching out to hook on the edge of Steve's pants pocket, brushing their fingers together.

Steve gapes at him for a moment before shaking his head. “This you have to stay for.”

“Nope. I was in the movie, I don't need to see it. It's fine. I'll have them pull the car around,” Bucky says, stepping into Steve a little.

Steve tries to appear stern, but he’s smiling, “Bucky, no.”

He groans, “Fine, okay. But just so we're clear: I'm going to take you home with me tonight. When we get there, we will have sex. Probably more than once. We deserve it from last time.”

Steve nods a little solemnly, any trace of a smile gone, “About that, I didn’t think you’d…I mean to say that I did want, but I just –”

“No, it's fine,” Bucky says with a shrug. He glances at Steve, looking nervous and uncomfortable and okay, yeah, maybe it’s mean, but Steve kind of has it coming. “Okay. We'll stay for the movie. And two parties.”

Steve looks suddenly very distressed. “Two?”

“Yeah. The one by the studio and the cool fun one. I only need to stay for about an hour at each and then we can get out of there. Yep. You're stuck with me, pal.”

“This isn't payback, is it?”

Bucky smiles, brushes his thumb along the side of Steve's hand and steps away reluctantly. He wants to skip this, all of this and he usually doesn’t even go to the parties (though he does make a very, very public show of leaving with one or two people that he definitely takes to bed) but it’s his manager's birthday and he likes to give her gifts she really wants. Like his not getting drunk and ending up in jail and/or on every gossip blog. And there is Steve's general discomfort with the whole thing. That’s going to be fun, too.

His smile widens. “Now why would I do that?”


Steve watches the movie and Bucky watches Steve which is way better than pretty much anything else. It is the greatest length of time they've spent together in one sitting and Bucky enjoys being able to just take him in. He smiles at Bucky on screen in a way that makes his heart race, makes him want Steve to think he is good at this. Maybe be impressed with him. An hour in he pushes the arm rest between them up and Steve raises an eyebrow in warning but doesn’t say anything when Bucky presses their thighs together. He is a little startled when the credits roll through to the end and the house lights come up. The audience starts standing and he can see people searching the crowd for him and this is why he never stays for the movie. He always leaves during the first scene so he won’t have to talk to anyone, but he was so wrapped up in enjoying Steve enjoying the movie that he accidentally does the respectful thing and doesn’t cut out early.

Bucky stands and Steve dutifully follows and the pair weave their way through the crowd, Bucky keeping his head down to avoid making eye-contact with anyone, Steve a solid presence behind him. He pushes out a side exit and leads them up a narrow sidewalk to where the valet stand is.

“James Barnes,” he says to the man at the stand. He nods and then turns away to call the driver over. Bucky turns to look at Steve and gives a lopsided smile when he finds Steve already looking at him. Steve's cheeks turn a faint shade of pink and Bucky steps closer to him, bumping their shoulders together.

“Can I kiss you?” Bucky asks with a cheeky grin.

Steve smiles and Bucky wonders absently if he's ever felt this kind of want before. If he has, he can’t remember. “No.”

Bucky reaches out, brushing his hand from Steve's shoulder down to his lower back. “Is that a maybe later or a hard no? I'm just asking so I know if I should ditch you for someone easy.”

Steve's eyebrow shoots up and his smile turns into a scowl and Bucky tips his head back and laughs. The car comes around and the driver gets out to open the door and Bucky guides Steve to the car with his hand on the small of his back. Steve climbs in first and Bucky makes no secret of ogling his ass as he gets in. Man, he missed seeing this every day.

Bucky gets in beside Steve and when the driver gets behind the wheel, he asks him to take them to the first party on the studio lot. The car crawls along the back path and Bucky idly watches the clusters of fans through the tinted windows.

“I've never been to one of these things before. It's so...loud,” Steve says, looking out his window for a moment longer before turning back to Bucky.

Bucky shrugs and tips his head towards the window, “They're the good part. Mostly. I try only to go to the ones for movies I've been in. Or the franchise because it's good if we support each other. Otherwise I try to stay out of all of this.”

“Oh, yes,” Steve says gravely. “I know all about how you like to keep it low key.”

Bucky takes the barb in stride and leers, reaching out to place his hand on Steve's knee, “Awww, baby. You set up a Google alert, didn't you? Were you pining? It's okay. I was pining, too. I asked Jess to send me pictures of you in the shower but she had to go and be all noble. And I've only had sex twice since you. Women, and it was a threesome so that doesn't really count.”

Steve looks back at him somewhere between amused and disgusted, his mouth open and his brows furrowed in confusion. Bucky has to bite his lip to keep from laughing.

“And people find you charming?” He finally asks, shaking his head.

Bucky's smile is small, almost sweet. “No. I don't think they do at all.”

Steve closes his eyes and sighs, turning his head back to the window. Bucky can see his smile, anyway. “Jesus, what am I even doing here with you?”

Bucky lets a silence settle between them before moving his hand from Steve's knee to his hand, picking it up and bringing it to his lips, kissing over his knuckles. He drops their hands to his thigh, but doesn’t let go. He tips his head back against the seat and smiles. “You got me.”


They get to the first party and Bucky gets Steve a drink and sets him up at a dark corner table with the fewest number of chairs. “I have to make my rounds. You can come with me, if you want.”

Steve looks around the crowded room before meeting Bucky's eyes and frowning, “Would you mind too much if I sat here for a minute?”

Bucky looks at his face, all wide pleading blue eyes and those perfectly pouty pink lips. A million people have tried this look on him and Steve's is the only one that makes Bucky want to agree to anything. And Steve doesn’t even try. Bucky brushes his fingers along the perfectly cropped and entirely too soft strip of blond hair behind his ear before resting his hand on the side of Steve's neck. “Wouldn't mind at all. I should be back in about fifteen minutes. Don't let anyone you don't want to talk to sit here. And if a waiter comes by, I'll have the less healthy option of whatever you're having.”

When Steve laughs, Bucky has to bite his tongue to keep from leaning down to kiss him. Instead, he brushes his thumb along the pulse in his neck before dropping his hand and making his way through the crowd. Fuck the second party. Fuck this party. What the hell is he thinking dragging Steve along through all of this? Okay, sure, it’s fun to watch him squirm but he’s sucking up to people he doesn’t give a fuck about when he really should be sucking Steve off. He’s about to head back to the table to grab Steve and make a run for it when he’s sidelined by one of the studio finance executives. Someone who might be Steve's boss's boss's boss. Not that he cares.

He pastes his best smile on and shakes hands with some of the distributors, one of the executive producers whose name he can never remember and a couple of guild people, none of whom he has any desire to be nice to since they’re scum-sucking ticks dressed in Gucci. He makes it back towards the table in just over fifteen minutes only to find Steve happily chatting with a pair of couples he can’t make out at that distance. As he gets closer, he’s surprised, though pleasantly, to see Clint and Natasha. And not as surprised and definitely not pleasantly to see Tony Stark and his much better half.

But then Steve smiles at him as he walks up to the table, so he keeps his “you people write my checks” smile on his face for a while longer. As he slips into the chair, Tony turns to him, his smile sharp and disingenuous.

“I was just telling Steve here that I had no idea that this –” he gestures between them “– was happening.”

Pepper's smile is wide and vicious, her hand resting over Tony's on the table and squeezing hard. “And I was just telling Tony that this isn't any of his concern and that Steve might have mentioned it if Tony didn't spend half his time trying to give Steve a heart attack by running their budgets higher than Willis Tower.”

“He does it for fun,” Steve says, pushing a plate of mini cheeseburgers and sweet potato fries towards Bucky.

He leans in close, voice barely above a whisper, “Can I kiss you now?”

Steve laughs and pulls away, “Absolutely not.”

Bucky smiles and presses his knee against Steve's under the table and digs into his cheeseburgers. He smiles up at Natasha as he chews and she studies him for a moment before asking in disbelief, “Are you sober?”

He swallows and sighs, “It's Carol's birthday. My gift to her is sobriety, no jail time, and home in bed by midnight.”

Natasha raises an eyebrow, “Alone?”

“Nope. You?”

She looks over to Clint who is looking pleasingly dapper in his suit and tie. Apparently their production hookups weren’t quite temporary. Bucky can hope for his, at least. She turns back to Bucky, “God no.”

She has the decency to let him finish his food before she begins the real questions. “So it happened, didn't it? That last night? I was so sure, but you weren't gloating like the over-confident asshat you are deep down inside.”

Bucky wipes his mouth on his napkin and reaches out to take a sip from Steve's water glass, “I don't know what you're talking about.”

Natasha sits back, a smirk on her perfect red lips, “Barnes, you're fucked.”

“No, but give me a few hours and I will be,” he says with a smile and lift of his eyebrows. He turns away from Natasha and back to Steve, resting his hand on Steve's thigh under the table. He lets the conversation between him and Tony come to a natural end before getting Steve's attention.

“I have to do another lap and then I want to get out of here. Are you still with me?”

Steve nods, placing his napkin on his plate and picking up his drink. They say goodbye to the table (with Tony mostly ignoring Bucky and Pepper being overly sweet to compensate), and head back into the fray. Steve is a warm, welcome presence at his side as he talks to a few more people he doesn’t care about, and then a few more who care way too much about him. They meet up with Carol who looks Steve over and nods once, the closest thing to approval she's ever given anyone Bucky's been with before heading towards the exit.

“Have you heard from Jess?” Bucky asks. He knows she can more than take care of herself, but since she is technically Bucky's plus one, he feels it appropriate to ask.

“She texted me. Asked me if I knew a Sam Wilson. Said she was going to hit that like Mjolnir on Vibranium? I don't know if that's a good thing or not,” Steve says, following Bucky out into the warm night air. It’s a long, quiet walk across the back lot from the sound stage to where the drivers are waiting, but Steve's company makes it a pleasant one.

“You've really never seen any of the movies, then?” Bucky asks in disbelief.

“Just this one. I've paid a lot of them and I don't see anything I pay.”

“Why not?”

“Because then I spend too much time picking it apart. Which scenes pushed us over budget, that part with the water that had us up all night figuring out hazard pay, that train scene that put us in two different counties and three different tax zones. That actor who is a pain in my ass and makes too much money,” Steve says with a sly smile and a glance at Bucky.

Bucky laughs as they round a corner, the car lot in the distance. He stops, reaching out and grabbing Steve by the jacket sleeve. “Hey.”


“What about now?” Bucky asks seriously.

Steve smiles slow and honey-rich, reaches out and loops a hand around Bucky's waist. He pulls him in close and Bucky's skin hums with the feeling of having Steve's body against his again. Then Steve's hand is in the hair at the back of his head, pulling him in, tilting his head just right. Bucky licks his lips, and then Steve's mouth is on his own, gentle at first and then firmer, sure. Bucky's hands come up to slip under Steve's jacket to rest against his back, and he lets Steve kiss him. Lets Steve part his lips, slip his tongue inside to lick against the roof of his mouth. He closes his eyes as Steve pulls him in closer, his breath a hot puff against his cheek, his tongue tasting like mint and rum. And then Steve is pulling back, pressing another kiss to the corner of Bucky's mouth before stepping away.

Bucky looks up at him, not quite sure how he's managed to go six months without this, “You're a menace.”

“I try,” Steve says with a shrug, starting to walk again.

Bucky follows him, partially aroused and on shaky knees. “Nope. You don't even, do you? But hey, really. Steve.”

When Steve looks over to him, Bucky continues. “Menace.”

Steve smiles.


“Where to now, oh fearless leader,” Steve asks, sliding into the car and turning to face him. Bucky's eyes flick up to meet Steve's. His smile is slow and knowing, “Were you checking me out?”

Bucky rolls his eyes, “Of course I was checking you out. I've been checking you out since the day we met.”

“Were you always so obvious about it?”

Bucky blinks at him. “Well yeah.”

Steve shakes his head, “I must have forgotten. But I do remember you made it really hard to ignore.”

He frowns, “Yeah, well, you made me really hard period.”

Steve snorts, “You're awful.”

He watches Steve sink back and down into the seat, his head lolling to the side so he can look at Bucky. He reaches his hand out and threads it into Steve's hair, rubbing his thumb along the skin behind his ear. He leans in close, “Hey. I was serious about taking you home with me tonight, but if you don’t want to you can let me know where we should drop you.”

Steve only smiles and Bucky is overwhelmed by the urge to kiss him, so he does. He leans across and Steve closes his eyes, sighing into the kiss and Bucky has to pull away before he tries to fuck him in the back of the car. He looks at Steve, wide-eyed and flushed and the sexiest thing he's ever seen and thinks that with the right amount of persuasion, Steve would let him. He kisses Steve again before retreating to his side of the car. Maybe another time.

“Mr. Barnes?” the driver asks, dutifully not looking at him in the rear-view mirror.

“Sixth and Main.”

They’ve just pulled onto the freeway when Steve reaches out and taps his thigh to get his attention. Which is completely unnecessary since he’s had it the whole time. “I thought you said you were making me go to two parties.”

“We can still go if you want...” Bucky says with a quick grin.

Steve raises an eyebrow in challenge, “Yeah, okay.”

Bucky scrunches up his nose and Steve laughs. “Thought so.”

The ride downtown is quick and mostly quiet and Bucky isn’t anything he can place, really. Steve is coming home with him and they are definitely going to have sex. With anyone else, for one, they wouldn't be going back to his place. He'd usually be thinking up an escape plan or trying to remember the other person's name. Maybe filled with the satisfaction of the catch or anticipation, but not now, not with Steve. It’s nice.

They get out of the car and Bucky tips the driver generously before escorting Steve into the building. They walk down the narrow corridor and up a flight of stairs to the main foyer. Steve is looking at Bucky, smiling, so Bucky reaches out and takes his hand. He leads Steve across the floor and to the elevator, crowding him inside when the doors open and pushing the button for the ninth floor. He presses Steve into the corner, leaning in and kissing him thoroughly, hooking his thumbs into the belt loops of his trousers, moaning into the kiss when Steve rocks up into him. Bucky reluctantly breaks the kiss when the elevator chimes sounding their arrival.

He takes Steve by the hand and drags him to the end of the hall, fishing his keys out of his pocket. They get to the door and he unlocks it with some difficulty, Steve's wandering hand and lips causing enough of a distraction. Bucky manages to open the door and they stumble through, Bucky turning around to press Steve against the wall as he kicks the door shut and locks it. He fists his hands in Steve's shirt and pulls, yanking it up and out of his slacks. Steve kisses him hard, dropping a hand down to Bucky's ass and squeezing, licking into his mouth and moaning into the kiss. Bucky groans, dropping his keys onto the floor and sliding both hands up and under Steve's shirt, his fingers digging into the warm, soft skin that covers all that hard muscle.

Steve pulls away and tips his head back against the wall, and Bucky groans, dropping his mouth to Steve's neck, his lips tingling at the vibration of Steve's moaning. He pulls his hands out from under his shirt and places them against his chest, feeling the strong beat of his heart against his hands. Bucky kisses the underside of his chin and all up along his jaw until his lips meet Steve's ear.

“While I'm not opposed to fucking you against this wall, I'd really prefer a bed. And some lube.”

Steve's laugh is a rumble in his chest against Bucky's hands and he gasps when Steve rolls his hips against him. He’s ready. He feels like he's been ready for this for too long. He pulls back, stopping to appreciate how rumpled and disheveled he looks in the moonlight that comes in through the row of arched windows along the back wall. He kisses Steve again, nipping at his bottom lip and making him moan. He pulls at his tie, pulls him away from the wall and around the corner. He trips on the first step and on the second and third before Steve turns him around and gives him a shove. He stumbles to the top of the stair case and turns into the mezzanine bedroom.

Bucky wastes no time in disrobing, leaving his clothes in an inelegant pile in the middle of the room. When he turns to look at Steve, he has to stop and smile maybe a little too fondly. Steve is standing by the chair in his underwear, neatly laying out his suit over it. His shoes are tucked underneath it with his socks rolled into them. Of course. Steve turns to look over at Bucky, his eyes traveling from top to toe before settling on his face. “What?”

But Bucky can’t say anything, so he walks over to him and kisses him again, sliding his fingers up and down his sides before he hooks them into the waistband of his underwear and shoves them down his thighs. Steve, an excellent multitasker, is able to work them down and kick them off without breaking the kiss. When they are finally skin-to-skin, their hard cocks trapped between them, Bucky sighs against Steve's lips.


Steve pulls back, “What?”

“Condoms,” Bucky says, cupping Steve's jaw and kissing him again.

Steve blinks at him and then frowns, “Do you seriously not have condoms?”

“What? No, I do they're just – ” he pushes Steve back towards the bed until he falls back on it. He points at Steve, “Okay, there's lube in one of the night stands. I think. Find it. I think I might have condoms in the bathroom.”

Steve looks at him and laughs, “We're going to have to talk about your level of safety preparedness.”

Bucky postpones his response in favor of making his way to the en-suite where he finds three condoms that are a month away from their expiration date, buried behind a blow dryer he is fairly certain never belonged to him. When he returns, Steve, who has found the lube, is looking over the label while palming himself gently. He crawls onto the bed, hovering over Steve and pressing kisses from his chin to his temple, trying to see what he’s looking at.

“Does lube expire? This looks old,” Steve says with a frown.

“I don't think so. But I found condoms. Three, so there goes my plan of keeping you in here for a week and fucking you in every way I can think of,” Bucky says, turning his head to kiss Steve on the lips. Steve smiles against his mouth, laying a hand on the back of his head to keep him close. Bucky takes the lube from him and sets it on the bed next to the condoms, pressing Steve back into the pillows and lying against him, rutting against the crease of his thigh.

“Turn over,” he says, pulling back so he can sit back on his haunches at Steve's side.

Steve's eyebrow shoots up and he grumbles as he does as requested, “I don't know what I expected from this. This should have been it, but somehow I'm still surprised.”

Bucky frowns, pinching at the back of Steve's thigh and making him yelp. He doesn’t dignify that comment with a response, just moves behind Steve, grabbing a couple of pillows and stuffing them under his hips. “Don't you dare come. Not yet.”

He takes a moment to appreciate Steve like this: face down, head pillowed on his folded arms, ass up, thick thighs spread wide for him. He runs his hands from Steve's ankles, over his calves, up his thighs and over his hips to grab his ass. He squeezes it, dipping his thumbs in and spreading Steve open. He groans in the back of his throat before settling in. Bucky laves his tongue all the way from Steve's balls up to his tailbone. Steve lets out a breathy little “oh” and Bucky, smiles, working his way around and then in, pressing his lips to Steve, working his tongue in, moving his lips around the puckered skin and Steve moans. Long and loud and Bucky can’t help but rock down against the bed to relieve some of the pressure he’s feeling in his own dick. Steve is fucking gorgeous like this, his legs shaking, murmuring his encouragement of, “oh, yes, Bucky, please, Bucky, so good, yes, oh, Bucky, Bucky, Bucky” and Bucky never liked his name as much as when Steve is breathing it out like a psalm.

He backs off, getting up on his knees and really looking at Steve. His brows are knit together, he is flushed from forehead to the tops of his shoulders and he is still rocking his hips against the pillows. Bucky wipes his mouth off with the back of his hand and then slides it over to Steve's hip, patting it gently. “Back over.”

Steve rolls onto his back and Bucky takes one of the pillows away, tossing it to the side. Steve looks up at Bucky and he almost comes at the sight alone. Steve is looking back at him, his blue eyes hooded, a sheen of sweat breaking out over his forehead. His perfect blond hair is a mess, sticking up in every direction and his chest is heaving. His dick is fat and pink and so hard he can make out the vein on the underside and Bucky almost wants to end this now. Take Steve into his mouth and let him finish there, with his hands in Bucky's hair and Bucky's fingers in him, fucking him slowly through his orgasm. But no. Bucky takes a deep, calming breath and reaches for the lube, pumping a generous amount over his fingers before pressing two into Steve.

“You're so close, aren't you?” Bucky asks, stretching up so he can lie along Steve's side, his fingers opening him up more than his tongue and lips could manage. Steve says nothing, but turns towards Bucky, kissing along his neck. Bucky sighs, allows himself to be pulled into his arms. He is surprised, albeit pleasantly, when Steve reaches up to cup Bucky's face, turning his head so Steve can kiss him hot and dirty on the mouth. Bucky smiles against his lips, letting Steve lick into his mouth and suck on his tongue and Bucky rubs himself against Steve's hip. Steve, ever the gentleman, reaches down and wraps his hand around Bucky's dick, stroking him in a slow tease, just enough to keep him very, very interested, but not enough to get him off.

Steve breaks the kiss and gasps when Bucky adds a third finger, spreading them open inside him. Bucky smiles, dropping his forehead to Steve's temple. Steve turns his head again, trying to kiss him, but it becomes more panting into each other's mouths than anything else.

“Bucky,” Steve groans. “Bucky.”


“Are we going to do this or what?” Steve asks, a playful sparkle to his eyes that makes Bucky need to kiss him again and again.

Bucky is finally able to pull himself away from the glory that is Steve's mouth, pulling his fingers out of him with a slick sound that makes his dick throb. He wipes his hand on the bedspread and reaches for a condom, tearing it open and rolling it on. He positions himself between Steve’s spread thighs, grips his hips, lines himself up and presses in. His arms shake with the sensation of Steve's tight heat wrapped around him and he falls forward against his body, kissing over his shoulders and neck while Steve's hands smooth over his back. If he dies right now, that might be okay.

“Buck,” Steve murmurs, fingers brushing against the sweat-damp nape of his neck. Bucky lifts his head and looks at Steve beneath him. “Come on.”

He pulls out and thrusts back in hard enough to make Steve's body rock with it. Bucky fucks him with a kind of enthusiasm he hasn't experienced in a very long time and it is better than anything he's felt. At least since the last time they were together. Steve is beautifully responsive, rolling his hips to meet Bucky's thrusts, gripping his ass to pull him in deeper, sighing and moaning and moving against Bucky. It’s almost embarrassing, how quickly Bucky comes. Or it would be if it didn’t hit him like a freight train, make his vision blur around the edges and makes his legs shake. He thrusts in hard, calling out Steve's name loud enough that the neighbors will hear and collapses on top of Steve, who wraps his arms around him and holds him close while he comes back down. Bucky pulls out and strips the condom off, tying it off and setting it on the night stand. When he turns back, Steve has himself propped up against the headboard, a hand around his dick to finish himself off and Bucky nearly lunges at him.

“What? No,” he says, yanking Steve's hand away. “No.”

“Okay, you're kind of –”

But Bucky is kissing him again, quieting him and bringing him back from the edge he'd brought himself to. Bucky straddles Steve's legs and reaches for the lube and another condom, pumping some onto his fingers and unceremoniously shoving two inside himself. Steve's eyes go dark and he takes the condom from Bucky, tears the package open and rolls it down over his cock, taking the discarded lube and spreading some over his dick. Bucky works himself open, his body still weak and orgasm-lax and it feels good, but Steve's dick is going to be better. Bucky pulls his fingers out of himself, wipes them on his thigh and gets up on his knees over Steve. He reaches around, lines him up, and lowers himself down, watching Steve's face as he takes him in. Bucky has to relax into it – Steve is thicker than any of the toys he uses and it has been a long time since he's wanted to do this with anyone. When he feels Steve's balls against his ass he lets out a sigh, circling his hips to get used to the feel of him. He braces his hands on Steve's shoulders and raises an eyebrow.

“Well come on, then.”

Steve doesn’t need to be told twice, wrapping his arm around Bucky's back to bring them chest-to-chest and using a hand at his hip to guide him, he braces his feet against the bed and fucks up into Bucky, hard and fast and so good. Bucky's thighs are shaking and his skin feels hot and tingly and he isn’t hard, he can’t come again, but this feels – he moans, long and loud against Steve's ear, dropping his head to his shoulder – this feels like maybe he’s still coming and coming and coming. With every thrust up into him, Steve hits his oversensitive prostate making him feel shaky and weak and it’s almost too much but he doesn’t want to stop. He doesn’t ever want to stop doing this. Steve's breath is hot and damp against his neck and he kisses along Bucky's shoulder, tries to anyway, biting down against his collar bone and Bucky wants it harder, wants Steve's marks on him.

“Bucky, I'm going to –”

Bucky pulls back, hanging on for all he’s worth and looks at Steve's face. “Come.”

Steve stiffens and Bucky can’t look away, wants to memorize this look on his face as he comes inside of him. Steve moans his name, long and gravelly and Bucky rocks his hips gently, riding Steve through his orgasm, coaxing it all out of him until Steve gasps and he stops moving. Bucky rises up, letting Steve's softening cock slip out of him. Bucky falls against him and Steve runs shaking hands over his back and shoulders, trying to catch his breath. After a few long moments, Bucky pulls away and rolls off him, flopping over onto his back and watching Steve pull the condom off and tie it closed.

“I don't often say this to people who aren't me,” Bucky grins, reaching out to stroke Steve's thigh, “But you're a fucking class-A tomcat in the sack.”

Steve scowls around his amusement, “You say that to yourself?”

“Every day in the mirror when I get up in the morning. It's kind of like my pep talk.”

“You're awful,” Steve says mildly.

“And yet, you still let me hang around you,” Bucky says. “The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks.”

Steve sits up and moves to the edge of the bed and Bucky rolls over and stands up, walking around to stand in front of him. He picks up the used condoms and heads towards the bathroom, turning to look at Steve, smiling when he catches him looking, “Come on.”


They shower and Bucky finds some oversized sweats in the back of his closet that will fit a thirty-four tall and handsome. One of the benefits of almost never spending time in this apartment is that every little surprise is like Christmas. He mentions that to Steve who, for just a moment, looks like he is regretting ever getting near him, though it’s tempered with reluctant fondness, he thinks. Bucky thinks there is something comfortable about the two of them eating sandwiches in his kitchen, bare feet and damp hair, getting to lick away the wayward mustard at the corner of Steve's mouth. He finds tooth brushes that have probably been in the back of the closet for a couple of years and he pulls Steve into bed where they lie face to face, their feet tangled together.

“How long can you stay?”

Steve's hand is a warm, welcome weight at his hip, thumb rubbing across the skin of his hip above his sweatpants. “We leave for Russia next Wednesday. Principal starts the Monday after that.”

He hums and nods, “I have press and I won't be there until August. I'm only going to be on for three weeks, but I could be persuaded to stay longer than that. With the right methods. Think you can stay out of trouble until then?”

Steve rolls his eyes, “Me? I was perfectly good at staying out of trouble until I met you.”

Bucky smiles darkly. “I turned you.”

“Hardly.” Steve yawns and rolls over, and Bucky moves in, draping a hand around Steve's waist. It’s a quiet mumble, soft, can be easily ignored if Bucky wants, but he doesn’t. “And you?”

Bucky kisses the back of his neck and pulls him in close. Natasha is right because he is totally fucked and somehow not bothered by it in the least. “Best behavior, scout's honor. You're going to need more than unflattering khaki pants and grueling death runs to shake me now.”

He groans, but brings his hand up to cover Bucky's, “You're such a jerk. What am I doing with my life?”

Bucky presses his smile against the skin of Steve's neck, “You got me.”