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Blood from a Stone

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Rumlow was starting to worry that the lab techs had fucked up the dosage. Which would be very bad news for him and his team, since at the moment a few hundred milligrams of mind-altering chemicals and a slightly sturdier pair of handcuffs were all that was keeping every single one of them from eating cell-block ceiling the way Rumlow'd eaten elevator ceiling earlier that day. The cuffs seemed to be holding so far, but Cap didn't look very altered. Just pissed off. Rumlow aimed a kick at his ribs and jerked away with a snarl of pain, because Captain fucking America had just lunged and sunk his teeth into Rumlow's calf hard enough to draw blood. Incredible. A quadruple dose of this bizarre miracle drug that was supposed to reduce even the toughest men to pathetic, whimpering cocksluts didn't seem to have given Cap anything but a raging hard-on and a willingness to fight dirty. Either he really was the goddamn driven-snow unicorn whisperer some of his biographers wanted him to be, or the techs had fucked everything up by assuming the experiments they ran on their creepy pet assassin would have any application for a real-deal original brand super-soldier.

Rumlow rattled the bars of the cell to get the white-coats' attention. "Hey, get me another syringe in here! I don't think it's working."

There was a dry, hacking sound at his feet, and when he looked down he saw that it was Rogers laughing. "Think it's working just fine, thanks," he gasped, in a voice that could've been ragged from the effect of the drug or from the kicks that Higgins had just delivered to his kidneys.

"Not as fine as we'd like it to, Big Guy," said Rumlow, but he looked down at Rogers through narrowed eyes. The techs hadn't said anything about anybody resisting the mental effects of the drug for more than a minute after the physical symptoms showed up; then again, Rogers was exactly the sort of crazy, stubborn, superhuman sonofabitch who'd manage to do it anyway. And if the STRIKE team caused permanent damage with an overdose this soon in the game, Pierce would have his guts for garters.

Well, then, he'd have to check the progress of the physical symptoms, wouldn't he? Rumlow nudged at Rogers' crotch with the toe of his boot, still unable to make up his mind whether this whole exercise was fascinating or a riot or just a fucked-up distasteful mess. Rogers hissed at the touch and his whole body went rigid. Rumlow chuckled, shaking his head slightly. "You want some more of that, huh?"

"That does seem to be what this stuff does," said Rogers with evident disgust.

For a second there, Rumlow almost felt bad for him—they were both soldiers, they both had their heads screwed on straight about what this was, and like hell would he want to be in Cap's place right now. Then the lump on his head throbbed and he remembered waking up in that elevator feeling like all the hangovers of Christmas past had just walloped him upside the head at once. To hell with pity. If America's favorite übermensch was less adept at fending for himself against a handful of mere mortals this time, he'd just have to take what was coming to him. Rumlow drew his leg back and kicked Steve Rogers square in the balls.

There was a satisfying choked-off cry, and Rogers curled up in the closest he could get to the fetal position with his arms cuffed behind his back and half a dozen pairs of feet surrounding him. It took a few seconds for Rumlow to look closer and realize the other effect of the kick: a wet stain was spreading over the front of Rogers' khakis. For a split second he stupidly thought the man had pissed himself, but of course it wouldn't be anything so prosaic; the ominously-sterile, odorless air of the cell now had a faint but distinct whiff of jizz to it.

Behind him, Rollins started laughing. "You like that, you smug bastard? Want another one?"

"Nope," said Rogers, as matter-of-factly as he could when his face was bright red and he couldn't seem to drag his voice back to its normal pitch, "really not my idea of fun."

"Too bad," said Rollins, grabbing the obvious opening with relish, "cause it sure is ours," and he planted a dirty bootprint smack across Rogers' ass that made Rogers twitch and moan—and scowl at his own involuntary reaction.

Then the others piled on him, kicking and punching and grabbing at handfuls of his hair, and Rumlow wasn't actually sure how many times Rogers came over the course of the next few minutes. All the groans and grunts were pretty indistinguishable at first, but Rumlow was willing to bet it was a good number—from what he'd gathered, watching Hydra's prized silent assassin descend into begging for cock in six languages, the first one kind of opened a floodgate.

Eventually he started to recognize Cap's hitching breath right before another one ripped out of him and the way he tried to choke back those groans but not the others. He counted out six, the last five from random blows all over the body and nowhere near the groin, before he shoved a couple of his men away so he could get right up in Rogers' face, yanking his head back savagely by the hair.

"Was there anything you wanted to ask us?" Rumlow growled.

Rogers screwed his eyes shut, caught in the throes of yet another orgasm, this one apparently set off by having his hair grabbed. When he could open them and focus again, his voice was hoarse but implausibly steady. "Yeah," he said. "What the hell is all this for?"

What the fuck. He was supposed to be begging by now. Instead he was doing his Captain America thing and looking all disapproving at them. This was ridiculous. Rumlow brought his face in close, close enough to bite Cap's lip if he wanted to, and hissed the version of the truth he hoped the bastard least wanted to hear: "Fun."

"That's it?" On closer inspection, Rogers' steadiness was more remniscient of a drunk guy trying really hard not to act drunk—wavering every once in a while only to snap back hyperfocused. Except instead of slurring or staggering, he kept slipping into abortive breathy moans or the stunted embryos of what might've been sex faces before returning full force to his scorn. "Seriously, that's it?"

It wasn't exactly the shattered hope Rumlow'd been expecting—in fact, Cap was all but rolling his eyes when he had the wherewithal to do so—but he still had room to twist the knife a little. "Yeah. What did you want, a grand plan you could thwart from the inside? An interrogation you could heroically resist? It's over, man. Pierce just thought it'd be entertaining to pass you around before we kill you so everyone can hear you beg for Hydra dick."

Rogers grimaced. "Don't hold your breath on that one."

"Might not be your choice to make, Cap." Fuck it, the psychological symptoms had to show up sooner or later, didn't they? If not at a particular point in time, then at least past a certain point of desperation. Rumlow looked up at his team. "Blackwell. Get his pants off."

Rogers took that as his cue to redouble his attempts to fight back. Blackwell only got as far as unzipping his fly before a headbutt to the face sent him staggering back, clutching his broken nose. Stern fared a little better—he lunged in from behind and managed to yank Rogers' pants and underwear down to his knees, but then he got too close, Rogers' arms jerked outwards, and Stern found his face pinned ignominiously to Rogers' bare ass by the handcuff chain around his neck.

For a few seconds there, it looked like Stern was about to get his neck broken. Then the physical contact did its work, and the entire room was treated to the sight of Captain America's perfect porn-star dick shooting off another load untouched. Snickers and scattered applause from around the room, and the star of the show went slack just long enough for Stern to wrench his arms away and break free.

The problem was, there shouldn't have been a few seconds there. He should still have been at the point where a light breeze would set him off instantly. Rumlow swore and grabbed the syringe the techs had set out just outside the bars when he asked for it. Fuck overdosing, Cap was metabolizing this shit so fast they should put him on an IV drip of it if they could get him to lie still long enough. Speaking of which—"Can't you dumbfucks find some better restraints?" he snapped at whichever technician was nearest. He didn't wait for an answer, just took the syringe back to the STRIKE team pile-on that Rogers was currently at the bottom of.

Rogers let out an honest-to-god, full-throated moan when Rumlow jabbed the needle into his outer thigh, and his cock twitched, but he didn't come again. Full-speed ahead to Phase Two, then, half an hour ahead of schedule. Just to make sure, Rumlow dug his fingers into the inside of Rogers' thigh, inches from his balls. Rogers shuddered and made a funny choked-off noise, but that was it. Yup. Hair-trigger frenzy over. From now on he'd need stimulation—and boy would he ever be desperate for it.

"Aw," said Rumlow, "I'm hurt, I thought you liked the pain. You sure there wasn't anything you wanted from us? Cigarette? Last meal? Cock up your ass?"

Rogers' breath hitched so loud everyone in the room heard it, but instead of caving, he visibly screwed up his resolve and spat on Rollins' boot. "You taking requests?" he panted. "Because I'd like my shield back."

Rollins snarled, pulled out his stun baton, and shocked Rogers in the gut.

"Okay, how about the key to these handcuffs?"

Another, longer shock, and Rogers was gasping and all but writhing on the floor now, but he started laughing the same dry, hacking laugh as before.

"Apple pie?" Rollins' boot connected with his face, and now Blackwell was getting in on the taser action. "Dodgers tickets?" Harris, whose foot was inches from Rogers' elbow, kicked him hard in the funny bone, but he just kept laughing. "Liberty and justice for all? Life in prison for every single one of you sadistic goose-stepping traitors? I could go on."

Fuck it, Rumlow thought, and forced a hand between his legs to grab him by the balls. Rogers' half-hysterical laughter subsided into a series of ragged, heavy gasps. His dick was so red and straining it hurt just to look at it. "You done?" Rumlow asked. "Ready to talk about what you really want? Because Christ, just look at you. We know you're desperate for it."

"Yeah," said Rogers through gritted teeth, and for just a second Rumlow thought they were getting somewhere. "Of course I am. Good job. Nice drugs. You think that's enough to make me beg you to rape me? I'd rather lie here like this until my dick rots off."

Oh, man, Rumlow was going to enjoy rubbing that one in his face once he cracked. Right now, though, his patience was wearing thin. "Ain't rape if you beg for it," he pointed out with a shrug. He jerked his head at Higgins, who already had his knife out, ready to add it to the reprisals if Rogers kept backtalking. "You. Just cut his clothes off already."

Higgins left a trail of bloody lines in his wake, not over-careful of how deep he cut. Rogers shuddered under every touch of the knife like it was the caress of a lover. When Higgins went to slice open the sleeves of the sweatshirt, though, he sprang back with a panicked cry. "Sir, he's—"

Rogers was already loose and staggering to his feet.

He punched Blackwell right in his already-broken nose with the hand that still had a pair of handcuffs dangling from the wrist. Then he followed up with an uppercut from the other fist, but not as hard, and with a grimace of pain—must've dislocated his fucking thumb to get out of the cuffs. Rollins and Stern, working together and with a running start, almost succeeded in slamming Rogers up against the wall, but Rogers pivoted and shook free of Stern's grip.

And then Rollins did the sensible thing and grabbed Rogers by the dick. The orgasm hit him like a freight train. He was bent almost double when Rumlow and the others grabbed him, two to each limb, and pinned him to the wall.

There was some kind of commotion going on on the other side of the bars. Rumlow figured it was just the techs panicking now that Rogers was loose, but then, from the doorway, an affable voice cut through the noise, leaving silence in its wake. "I heard you boys were having some trouble with restraints."

Rumlow froze. Oh man, they were fucked.

Alexander Pierce stood in the doorway, and behind him, a masked, menacing shadow, was the Winter Soldier.

There was a collective jerk as everyone on the STRIKE team instinctively tried to stand at attention and then remembered why that was a terrible idea and doubled down on Rogers. "Apologies, sir, we were just getting him back under control," said Rumlow, but Pierce wasn't even listening to him. He pulled up a chair from one of the lab stations and straddled it backwards, right on the other side of the bars. His posture stayed affectedly casual, arms crossed and resting on the back of the chair, but his eyes were more calculating than ever, and they never left Rogers.

"Captain," said Pierce. "You're a hard man to keep down."

Someone snickered, but if Cap caught the double entendre he didn't show it. He was staring Pierce down without the slightest trace of embarrassment for his nakedness, his raging erection, or the streaks of his own come dripping down his chest. "Were you expecting anything else?" he said, his jaw clenched.

Pierce actually smiled. "Oh, I'd heard the stories, but seeing the real thing in action is something else. You know," he said, and there was steel in his eyes even as he settled into the role of affectionate uncle about to share a story, "I was just going to have you killed. No mess, no fuss. Just a bullet to the head to get you out of the way. There were plenty of people back in the day who would've sold their souls to make you suffer for everything you did to Hydra, and back in the day I was always the first to tell them that's not how the game is played. It's about practicalities, not personal grudges."

Rogers let out a sardonic bark of laughter. "What changed your mind?"

"I've been having a really, really bad day." Pierce stood up, shoving the chair away, and clapped a hand on the Winter Soldier's shoulder. "No hard feelings about Zola, he was just R&D, but you almost cost me the best weapon Zola ever gave us. And you cost me Sitwell. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a good right-hand man these days?"

Rogers' eyes flicked over in Rumlow's direction, a bitter twist to his mouth. "Do I ever." Any other time, that would've been flattering, Cap getting all cut up over all the missions they ran together, but Rumlow's eyes were on Pierce, because Pierce's eyes were on the Winter Soldier. And okay, now Rumlow was starting to get an inkling of where Pierce was going with this.

Because the thing was, even the people who got to work with Hydra's legendary ghost assassin had no fucking clue where he came from. If anyone knew, it was so classified that the number of people with access to that information could probably be counted on one hand. Everyone else got to sit there playing guessing games about who he was, where his enhancements came from, and why certain parts of his brain seemed to be permanently on mute. And Rumlow was kind of a legend in his own right where the guessing games were concerned, because he'd first worked with the Soldier right after Cap got unfrozen, when the media was drowning in Howling Commandos nostalgia. He'd been the first one to put two and two together and point out that the Winter Soldier was the spitting goddamn image of Bucky Barnes.

Nobody had any clue how or why. He bled red like anyone else, so he probably wasn't some sort of freaky LMD android. Rumlow's money was on clones—some genetically-engineered experiment grown in a vat somewhere from Barnes' DNA. But that wasn't the point. The point was that siccing a Hydra doppelgänger of good ol' Bucky on Cap was the kind of bastard genius plan that only Pierce would come up with.

Pierce was taking something out of the Winter Soldier's hands. It looked like a sturdy metal bar, a few feet long, with four evenly-spaced cuffs attached to it and held shut with heavy padlocks; the key was dangling from a carabiner hooked to one of the cuffs. Pierce passed the whole contraption through the bars to Harris, who was closest. "So you understand that I have some frustration to let out," he continued. "You've caused Hydra a lot of headaches, Captain, but not so many that I can't carve some time out of my schedule for stress relief before the helicarriers go up." He unlocked the cell door and ushered the Winter Soldier inside with a hand on the small of his back; even with firsthand knowledge of the soldier's obedience, it was fucking creepy seeing anyone handle him that familiarly. "Forget your previous mission objective," Pierce said to the Soldier. "Keep him secure while the STRIKE team gets him into the cuffs and await further—"

Rogers saw the open door and made a break for it. Must've been biding his time, because he shook the whole damn team off like a pack of toddlers and landed Rumlow a good one on the cheekbone with his injured fist on the way out. What happened next was too fast to see. One second Rogers was barrelling for the door, the next second there was a blur of flesh and chrome and black leather and a sickening crack as his head smacked back into the wall. When the dust settled, the Winter Soldier had Cap's hands pinned to the wall above his head with the metal arm. Calmly, deliberately, heedless of his captive's struggling and kicking, he reached up with his flesh arm and wrenched the dislocated thumb back into its socket.

Harris scrambled to get the cuffs open and in position. It took some doing, but with three guys holding Rogers' left leg in place and a fourth wrestling with the restraints, they got the outermost cuff around his ankle and padlocked. Getting his right ankle into the other outer cuff was easier—in fact, Rogers put up less of a fight the longer the Soldier kept him pinned to the wall, some combination of dizziness and arousal throwing him off his game. Bondage gear, smell of leather, half a dozen guys manhandling him, beautiful killing machine even stronger than he was holding him in place... not Rumlow's fetish, but he wasn't exactly surprised at the little keening noises Rogers was trying with all his might to hold back.

It wasn't immediately obvious how they were going to do the wrists. They settled for knocking Rogers flat on his ass and wrestling his torso forward until he was bent double, like making him touch his toes. The Winter Soldier, inexorable, held his arms down between his spread legs while Rumlow and Rollins locked his wrists into the inner cuffs. And there it was. They stood up, panting, and looked to Pierce for their next move.

Pierce shot them an unimpressed, expectant look and jerked his head up meaningfully. Rumlow caught on first, glancing from Rogers to Pierce and back again and thinking, Man, can't do much to him while he's sitting like that. He grinned and pulled up on the bar. In the end it took three guys to hoist it, but the results were well worth the effort: Steve Rogers flat on his back on the cell floor, arms and legs in the air, everything between his legs on full display.

Somebody on the team wolf whistled. "Nice ass."

"Do anything we like with you now, Cap."

"Look at that, his hole's twitching."

"Feelin' empty?"

"Bet he'll be sweet as a girl inside."

"Naw, tighter than a girl."

Rogers struggled at first, but the Winter Soldier kept a good grip on the restraints to keep them in place, and eventually he went motionless except for his heavy breathing and an occasional slight twitch of his cock at some of the filthier catcalls. Rumlow strolled over to see what was happening on the other end. Rogers' face was blank, his eyes closed. Bracing himself for the inevitable. Rumlow leaned in and backhanded him across the face. "Last chance to ask nicely for what you want before we give it to you anyway."

Somewhere in the middle of the crowd of guys palming themselves through their trousers, Stern's voice rang out. "Yeah, stick it in you nice and gentle if you beg for it."

"Go ahead, keep quiet," said Higgins. "I wanna ream your sanctimonious ass so hard you'll still be walking bowlegged when we shoot you."

"If we don't just keep you alive as a fucktoy."

Rumlow stared down at him. "Well?"

Rogers looked him straight in the eye and said, very clearly, "Fuck you."

The retort to that was beyond obvious, so much so that it would've felt weak if Rumlow'd actually said it in the face of the pure hatred Rogers was glaring at him. It was the first time he'd ever heard anything saltier than 'damn' or 'hell' pass Cap's precious virgin lips, and it was also the first time he'd heard Cap swear directly at anyone. In other words, it was a compliment to be treasured forever. Rumlow smiled.

"We're not getting anything worthwhile out of his mouth, sir," he said to Pierce. "Permission to proceed?"

"No, you're not getting any worthwhile talk out of his mouth. Have your men hold off a few more minutes while we arrange for something better." Pierce turned to the Winter Soldier. "Gag him."

Rumlow hadn't even seen the spider gag dangling from the Soldier's belt. Jesus fucking Christ, if he hadn't witnessed the Pet Assassin Maintenance Crew using that thing to do dental work on the Soldier himself without getting their hands bitten off, he'd have to ask himself if SHIELD had a kinky bondage dungeon hidden away somewhere. Then again, there'd always been something kinky about the pet assassin. Rumlow had no idea how deliberate it was, or who if anyone had been taking advantage of the freaky obedience training behind Pierce's back, but he'd always known it was there and kept his mouth shut about it, even before he got 'volunteered' to help test out the superpowered fuck-drugs on Hydra's knockoff super-soldier. Once you passed a certain point in the hierarchy, getting ordered to do shit like lead a gangbang on Captain America was a surprise but not a shock.

The Winter Soldier was kneeling on the floor forcing Rogers' mouth open with his metal hand. Rumlow helped hold his head up so the gag could be fastened in back, while Pierce himself held the restraints steady. Oh yeah, he wanted a nice up-close view of his handiwork.

Once the gag was in place and the ring of metal was holding Rogers' mouth open in a perfect 'O,' Pierce addressed his masked shadow again. "Fuck his mouth," he said, the obscenity coming out as casually as if he'd just told the Soldier to take a seat and relax. "Be sure and get your dick nice and wet."

Rumlow wasn't sure what the point of the exercise was if Hydra's resident Bucky clone kept his mask on, but by now he knew better than to question Pierce's plans. The others were crowding around to watch now, but Rumlow'd been there first, and he had a front row seat as the Winter Soldier knelt over Cap's face and opened his fly. You had to hand it to Rogers, he took it like a champ. No undignified groaning or whimpering, he just started breathing hard through his nose and closed his eyes so he wouldn't have to see the cock being forced into his mouth. From time to time Rumlow saw his jaw working as he tried to see if he could dislodge the gag, but the gag was designed not to go anywhere, so there wasn't much risk of anyone coming out of this with bite marks all over his dick. Not that that mattered to someone like the Winter Soldier, who didn't mark and didn't scar and healed almost as fast as Rogers himself.

"Don't just leave it there," said Pierce in annoyance, "fuck his throat. Make him gag on it."

The Soldier obeyed, fucking Rogers' face in sharp little thrusts that made him choke and gasp. After the first time he choked, his eyes flew open, and if Rumlow thought the glare he'd been given was pure hatred, that was fluffy bunnies and rainbows next to the way Rogers looked at the man who was brutally and dispassionately raping his mouth for no other reason than that he'd been ordered to.

After a few minutes, Pierce asked, "If you come in his mouth now, will you be able to get it up again soon?"

The Winter Soldier nodded without hesitation.

"Do it. Not too deep. Get it on his tongue, make him taste it."

And just like that, the Soldier came. The first spurts painted a broad white stripe over Rogers' tongue, which the rest of them could see as he pulled back, letting the rest of it hit Rogers' lower lip and the underside of his tongue while he frantically tried to swallow what was already in his mouth. His jaw was forced open too wide for him to do anything about the mess all over his tongue, so he just had to lie there waiting for it to drip back down towards his throat as he choked and swallowed as best he could. Rumlow wasn't sure whether to be sick or cream his pants.

The Soldier pulled back and stood up to await orders, his dick glistening with spit and come and not actually flagging all that much. Fuckin' super-soldiers.

It took a minute for Pierce to tear his eyes away from the sight of Cap glaring daggers as he choked down a mouthful of come. When he did look up at the Winter Soldier, though, his grin was so wide that Rumlow sensed the coup de théâtre approaching. "Good. Very good. Now you're going to get him ready to get fucked. Use your tongue. Get his asshole covered in spit."

There was a collective indrawn breath from the handful of STRIKE team members who knew who the Winter Soldier was, or at least who he looked like. Harris, oblivious idiot that he was, let out a low whistle and said, "Now that's filthy." The Soldier just inclined his head, as though to indicate the obvious barrier between him and the proper execution of his orders.

"That's right," Pierce said, "you'll need your face uncovered." Even Rogers looked up in curiosity at that. Pierce settled one hand on the mask and the other on the back of the Soldier's neck, and slowly, gently pulled the mask off.

There was a long moment of flat, wide-eyed shock from Cap. Then two syllables tore their way out of his throat, completely shapeless and unintelligible of course, but it wasn't hard to guess what they were supposed to be. Then he started thrashing with all his strength.

The Winter Soldier, completely indifferent to the cries of a struggling prisoner, grabbed the spreader bar to hold him still. Rumlow joined him. "I'll keep him under control," he said. "You've got a job to do."

He'd been half-wondering if the Soldier was going to refuse—sure, forcing your dick in a guy's mouth and fucking his throat weren't exactly normal assassin activities, but that was in a whole different league from getting down on your hands and knees and eating out his ass. But either someone really had been having some illicit fun with him, or the drugs they'd been testing on him destroyed any sense of sexual boundaries he had left, because he got right down there and went to town on Steve Rogers' ass.

The noise Rogers made was like a dying animal. He wasn't thrashing and struggling anymore so much as trying, inch by inch, to flinch away from what the Winter Soldier was doing to him. Which was made considerably more difficult by the way his hips kept jerking involuntarily towards the source of pleasure. Same thing with his face—he kept alternating between craning his neck forward to stare down in rapt horror at what Barnes (or the Barnes lookalike, or whatever the fuck he was) was doing between his legs, and throwing his head back, eyes squeezed shut, as tears leaked down his cheeks and cries of ecstasy spilled out of his mouth. The mouth that was still dripping with Barnes' come. What a beautiful fucking trainwreck.

"That's enough," said Pierce, just as the Soldier did something with his tongue that made Rogers stiffen all over, bang his head once on the floor, and come with an awful sobbing wail. Nobody had even touched his cock, but apparently he'd been just that fucking desperate, and now there was another load of come glistening on his abs to match the one drying on his chest. The Soldier pulled away and sat back on his knees to await further orders, which came immediately: "Okay, now you can fuck him."

Choked-off noise from Rogers, and then the Soldier, not one to waste time, grabbed him by the thighs for leverage and started pushing in. Even with a fuckload of aphrodisiacs and a thorough rimming, it was slow going—Rogers must've been tight as anything. Pierce, apparently entertaining similar thoughts, said, "Any of you gentlemen know if he's a virgin?"

Rumlow shrugged. "As far as I know." Which was all you could say about someone like Cap, who was always politely evasive about locker-room talk—he'd join in on the harmless stuff, drop out if he disapproved, and turn into an amiable brick wall if his personal life was involved. He always gave the impression of someone who'd never had a serious partner and didn't go in for casual hookups, but what the fuck did any of them know? It's not like he was the type to kiss and tell on Peggy Carter. For all they knew he could've spent the whole war banging her or having a torrid gay love affair with Bucky Barnes or both. What a thought.

Rogers sure wasn't going to give them any answers. He'd stopped making any noise whatsoever and was just lying there taking it, eyes screwed shut and mouth stretched wide open, thrashing his head around whenever the Winter Soldier shoved himself deeper into his ass. Rumlow couldn't even tell if it was pain or pleasure. Finally Barnes-or-whatever-he-was withdrew until only the head of his dick was still inside, spat on his hand and rubbed it all over the shaft, and forced himself in to the hilt in one rough motion. That got a cry out of Rogers. After that he started rocking his hips, small motions at first and then actual thrusts as Rogers started to loosen up despite himself. It was hard to tell for a while, whether Rogers was really figuring out how to take cock or whether the Soldier was just getting more impatient about forcing his way past the resistance, but no, Rogers was getting into it and that was utterly destroying him. He kept bucking his hips up for more, freezing when he caught himself doing it, and groaning as his face—the top half of it anyway—crumpled up in disgust.

At one point Rumlow noticed that Rogers had his eyes open again and was staring wide-eyed at something—something off to the side that wasn't the Winter Soldier pumping in and out of his ass with an expression of total indifference on his face. He tried to follow Rogers' gaze but didn't see anything except the blank cell wall and, closer, the Soldier's right hand clamped around his thigh.

Suddenly, it clicked, and Rumlow almost let go of the spreader bar in shock at the implications. There was a jagged three-inch scar running along the side of the Winter Soldier's flesh hand. The Winter Soldier didn't fucking scar, so it probably dated back to before he'd been enhanced. And Steve Rogers was staring at that scar like he'd seen a ghost.

Well I'll be damned, thought Rumlow. No lookalikes or weird cloning shit—the Winter Soldier was literally Bucky Barnes. Never mind that there were a dozen reasons that was impossible. Bucky Barnes was alive and committing assassinations on command for Hydra, and whatever they'd done to turn him was so thorough that right now he was violating Captain America on command without the faintest glimmer of emotion or recognition. What a trip. Hail Hydra.

Okay, maybe not without the faintest glimmer of recognition. What Rumlow had taken for indifference at first glance was more like mild puzzlement. Barnes still didn't look the least bit interested in what he was doing, but there was a furrow in his brow, and he kept glancing sidelong at Rogers and frowning, like a man trying to remember where he'd misplaced his car keys. At length he looked up at Pierce and spoke. "This man," he said. "Who is he?"

Rogers gargled on another string of vowels, but Barnes wasn't looking at him. All his attention was on Pierce, whose posture had straightened suddenly but who was otherwise calm. "He's your target. And you're performing your mission just fine."

"There was something I was supposed to know about him."

"Not anymore." Pierce stepped forward, one foot on either side of Rogers' head. "You don't have to worry about him."

Steve Rogers apparently had a thing or two to say about that, and the outrage was intelligible even if the words weren't. But he shut up when Pierce, with a sigh and an audible cracking of joints, lowered himself to his knees straddling his prisoner's face.

"Sir..." one of the STRIKE team members said hesitantly.

Pierce waved off the concern. "When I said stress relief, did you think I wanted to do it without getting my hands dirty?" he said, unzipping his fly. "Some things are worth killing your knees for." And he actually winked, looking not at all like a man about to revenge-fuck his worst enemy, except there was a faint curl to his lip as he looked down at Rogers that he would never have allowed on his public persona. Rumlow had spent enough time with his boss behind the scenes to recognize that look. For all his pleasant talk of practicalities, there was a side of Pierce that downright enjoyed getting his hands dirty. It was one of the things Rumlow liked about him.

Pierce rammed himself down Rogers' throat in a single, brutal thrust. He didn't bother moving more than that, just stayed buried to the hilt and let the choking, gagging convulsions of Rogers' throat do the rest of the work for him. In fact, as soon as he was situated he all but ignored Rogers and raised his eyes to where Barnes was still plugging away at his assigned task. Once all of Rogers' face besides his chin was covered by Pierce's body, Barnes seemed to lose interest; his gaze slid away and his frown dissolved back into blankness, though the furrow in his brow remained. Even that smoothed out as Pierce caught his eye and gave him a long, steady look. It was like watching a snake charmer at work: all distractions fell away, and the Winter Soldier had eyes only for Alexander Pierce.

Rumlow was starting to wonder if he should take bets on whether Rogers would pass out for lack of air before he got his gag reflex under control. When it happened, it happened so suddenly that he couldn't even tell at first which one it was: one second Rogers was spluttering and gagging around Pierce's cock, his throat working frantically, and the next second he went slack and silent. Rumlow didn't think it had been long enough to render a guy with Rogers' enhanced lung capacity unconscious, but he wasn't sure until Barnes shifted his angle, shoving Rogers' thighs down until his knees were practically pinned to his shoulders, and Rogers moaned so loud that a couple of the STRIKE team members jumped. Hah. He was awake all right, and deep-throating like a pro.

"Would you look at that," Rumlow muttered. "You're a natural, buddy." His voice sounded loud in the all-but-silent room. Even the guys who had no idea who the Winter Soldier was seemed to be taking their cues from the ones who did, or at least they were intimidated enough by Pierce and the Soldier to work out that this was a good time to shut their fucking mouths and save the trash talk for later. Higgins elbowed him in the ribs. Pierce didn't seem to care, though, because Rogers was moaning around his cock at every thrust now, and god only knew how long anyone could last like that.

Not very long, apparently. "When I give the word, you're going to jerk him off with your left hand until he comes," he said to Barnes, who hadn't broken eye contact the entire time. "When he's done—and only when he's done—you can finish inside him."

Barnes nodded, and it wasn't very long before Pierce said, "Now."

Rogers' hips jerked when the metal hand closed around his cock. All it took was a couple strokes and there he was, spurting all over the Winter Soldier's state-of-the-art cybernetic fist. Must've been clenching that sweet ass pretty hard, too, because even the Soldier had to close his eyes and grit his teeth to hold out until Rogers was done. Pierce's lips parted as he drank in the sight. It was like a chain reaction: Rogers gave a final pulse and fell still, Barnes thrust roughly into him a few more times before ramming himself in deep and staying there, and Pierce waited for the whole show to draw to an end before closing his eyes and letting go. He shoved in as far as he could and held himself in place, so deep that Rumlow could've sworn he saw the head of his cock distending Rogers' throat, and when he tucked himself back in and buttoned up his fly there were two damp crescents of spit and come staining the fabric of his very expensive suit.

Pierce stood, and the Winter Soldier's eyes drifted right back to Rogers' face, which was screwed up like he was trying to get a foul taste out of his mouth. "Did I tell you to let him come on your hand?" Pierce said to the Soldier in disgust. "What a mess. We'll have to take you to the technicians. But for now, just get him to lick your fingers clean, that'll take care of the worst of it."

Barnes was still kneeling there with his cock softening inside Rogers. He reached up to stick two fingers into Rogers' mouth, and at first Rogers refused to play ball, stubbornly keeping his tongue curled towards the back of his throat. But after a sharp poke made him open his eyes, he caught sight of Barnes staring at him with his brow furrowed and that bemused frown tugging at his lips, and like the sap he was, Rogers couldn't help but keep eye contact. He couldn't say anything, of course, but that didn't stop him from trying to impart fuck-knows-what with his eyes as he slowly licked his own come off Barnes' metal fingers. It was deeply weird, watching the two of them stare at each other like the rest of the world had stopped existing, and Rumlow was kind of relieved when Rogers swiped a final drop of jizz off Barnes' thumb with his tongue. Barnes still looked baffled when he pulled away.

As a final victory lap, once the Winter Soldier had stood up and retreated to the door, Pierce crouched down where he'd just been and slipped a finger inside Rogers, checking on his pet's handiwork. It came out coated in semen and, surprisingly, only one thin streak of blood. Pierce smiled as he wiped it off on the underside of Rogers' still-erect cock and stood up to join his shadow at the door. "Gentlemen," he said, "it's been a pleasure, but duty calls. He's all yours now."

Pierce strode out without a second glance. The Winter Soldier chanced a look over his shoulder to where the black-clad STRIKE team members were swarming over the Captain's bare body, but he didn't break stride and soon both of them were gone.

"Soon you're gonna be begging to have the assassin back," growled Stern, slapping Rogers' ass just because he could. "We'll make him look gentle by comparison."

Blackwell shoved Stern out of the way. "I want first crack at his ass."

"Fuck off, both of you," said Rollins, "don't you have any respect for authority? Rumlow goes first."

Rumlow knelt down where the Soldier had been. "Yeah, twist my arm, why don't you?" he smirked. "Just for that, you can have his mouth." He didn't actually care when he got to fuck Rogers, but Rollins was right—respect for authority was one of the values Hydra was founded on, and it'd set a bad example for anyone but the team lead to go first. Still, truth be told, he was kind of glad Pierce and the Soldier had paved the way for him. Would he have had the brass balls to be the one to deflower Captain America? Hell yes, but Rumlow had no illusions about his own importance, and he knew it was more fitting for it to be Pierce and Barnes. Not to mention he'd been working and training hand-in-glove with Cap for almost a year now, and no matter how good it felt to finally be able to reveal himself or how much slow-building resentment he now got to take out on the self-righteous prick, leading the way would've been weird. He would've done it, but in the end he was glad it wasn't asked of him, because it would've been weird.

Besides, sloppy seconds wasn't so bad. No need to worry about lube, for one thing. And it wasn't like he was missing out on anything, because Cap was still tight as a fucking virgin. Rumlow made eye contact right as he lined himself up, staring down that accusatory glare with its unspoken challenge—can you look me in the eye and do this?—and was rewarded with the sight of Rogers' eyes rolling back and falling shut when he forced his way in.

"Goddamn, Rumlow, you gotta tell us what he feels like."

"Like sticking your dick in a fucking vise," Rumlow grunted. "Son of a bitch could squeeze blood from a stone."

"Don't destroy him too bad, man, leave some for the rest of us."

Rumlow bared his teeth. "First come, first serve."

Rollins finally maneuvered himself into place to claim Rogers' mouth—facing forward, thank fuck, so they didn't have to deal with awkward eye contact. It blocked Rumlow's view, but the noises were a porno in and of themselves.

"Holy shit, he's still hard. You think he's enjoying this?"

"Whether he wants to or not."

"Hey, Anderson, you bat for both teams, right? I wonder how long he'd hold out getting his cock sucked."

"Fuck off."

"I saw your Grindr profile, bro, no point denying it. Don't worry, SHIELD's an equal-opportunity employer."

"Why were you looking at Grindr profiles? You suck him off."

"He broke my fucking nose, I'd suffocate. Tell you what. You blow him, then if he's still greedy for more I'll ride his dick."

"Yeah, you're good at that, aren't you?"

"Fuck you."

Anderson was a fucking twink with lips like a girl's, so Rumlow wasn't all that averse to an up-close view of him getting to work on Rogers' straining cock. At least it wasn't Blackwell—Christ, that would've been a boner-killer. And he was curious how long Rogers would last, too. Anderson got right down to business and started to suck, and that set off a moan and a jerk of the hips and some internal clenching that made Rumlow swear out loud. Judging from Rogers' track record, that should've been the end of it, but no, the bastard stilled his hips and held on, chest heaving. Huh. "Think we're gonna need another dose in here soon," Rumlow shouted in the general direction of the lab guys.

In the end, Rogers held out longer than Rollins, who let out a string of curses and pulled out to come all over Rogers' face while Anderson was still diligently bobbing up and down. Rumlow didn't see him do it, but he saw the mess once Rollins got up. Rogers was blinking that shit out of his eyelashes.

Aw, fuck. Rumlow had wanted to last longer than this. He wasn't as young as he'd once been, there was no chance of him going twice, this was his one and only chance to nail Steve Rogers' perfect, smug, patriotic ass right into the ground. He wanted to draw it out. But Rogers' face was so covered in spunk he couldn't even glare anymore, and he ran hot like a goddamn furnace inside, and fuck everything, Anderson needed to hurry up, because Rumlow really wanted to feel Cap clenching up around his dick in the throes of orgasm before he—

—came. Fuck.

At least it was a good one. Rumlow threw his head back and drove himself in deep, as he spent what felt like forever emptying his balls into Rogers' body. He hoped Rogers could feel his dick pulsing, feel the hot rush of semen in his ass. "God bless America," he said hoarsely, to jeers and laughter from his teammates, and smacked Rogers' ass on his way out.

Stern crowded right in after him and started pounding away. Impatient bastard. Rogers took it stoically enough, but it sure wasn't making Anderson's job any easier.

They were saved by the arrival of a kid in a white lab coat carrying a syringe. "This should keep him going for a while," he said as he plunged the needle into Rogers' thigh. He was pudgy and still kind of pimply and kept looking around nervously at all the burly guys in black tactical gear palming themselves through their pants, but appeared completely unfazed by what was going on six inches below his hand. Good priorities.

"Thanks, kid," said Higgins. "Hey, you want a turn?"

"I..."

Right about then, the drugs kicked in, and Rogers jerked and came in Anderson's mouth, shuddering as his body betrayed him. Anderson leaned up and spat his mouthful out in Rogers' face. Most of it landed on his chin and started dripping down his jaw. "Someone still needs to do his hair," he said. "Blackwell, you're up, you should get him while he's still sensitive."

"My pleasure," Blackwell leered, and let go of the spreader bar to unbuckle his belt.

"Fuck's sake, just blow him," panted Stern, who was still slamming into Rogers so hard that Rumlow could see blood all over his dick whenever he withdrew. "I don't wanna look at your hairy ass."

"Fine. But only if you slow down and give the rest of us a shot at opening him up before he's gaping like a ten-dollar—"

Thunk. With Blackwell off duty, Harris was the only one left holding the restraints in place, and that was all Rogers needed to fling his legs forward hard enough to break one guy's grip. The middle of the bar smashed right into Stern's forehead, and Stern went down like a sack of potatoes. There wasn't a whole lot Rogers could accomplish with his hands cuffed between his feet, but he was fast and vicious enough to be a pain in the ass for anyone who got close enough to try and subdue him. And when he wasn't smashing shins or trying to gouge Anderson's eyes out with his thumbs, he took every chance he got to try and break the shackles open by whacking them against any available hard surface, whether it was the floor or the bones of the guys attacking him. Rollins got a kick to the balls and howled; Blackwell managed to get in a few good kicks to the abdomen before his foot got tangled up in Rogers' limbs and he tumbled facefirst to the floor. Harris shouldered his way back in with his stun baton drawn, but shocks to the thighs and sides just seemed to make Rogers madder.

It was Rumlow who got the situation back under control with a sharp kick to Rogers' temple and the muzzle of a pistol wedged between his spread-open lips. "Just try it, big guy," he breathed. "Make my day." He ground the muzzle down onto Rogers' tongue, making him taste the metal and gun oil. Making him suck it off the way he'd sucked off Barnes and Pierce and Rollins. It would be a bitch to clean afterwards, but it was worth it.

Rogers froze by instinct. Rumlow stared him down, honestly curious about what he would do. It wasn't that complicated a calculation. Quick, certain death versus hours of gang-rape followed by painful, almost-certain death. Rumlow had seen Rogers do enough crazy shit to know he wasn't afraid to die, and backing down wasn't in his nature. It wouldn't be surprising if he lashed out and brought on the mercy kill. But it was the 'almost' that was the kicker. With Barnes alive and Insight about to go up, if Rogers was still holding out any hope of escape or rescue, there was always a chance that he'd decide suicide-by-Rumlow was the coward's way out, swallow his pride, and resign himself to finding out how much punishment he could take.

It took Rogers a long, tense minute to make up his mind, but in the end he narrowed his eyes, visibly steeling himself, and let go of Anderson's hair.

Rumlow stood back up, but kept his gun trained on Rogers' forehead. "One wrong move," he warned him.

"Rumlow, you selfish asshole," said Higgins, who was already grabbing the spreader bar to haul Rogers' knees back up to his shoulders. "You've had your turn, don't shoot him before the rest of us get ours."

"It worked, didn't it?" Rumlow shrugged. "And now you guys get to put him in a whole new world of hurt."

"Yeah, boys, what are we gonna do to him?" Higgins aimed a vicious kick at Rogers' side.

"Besides beat the living shit out of him?"

"Get out a knife, let's mark him up some more."

"Invite the rest of the lab nerds in on the fun, that's another five dicks for him to take."

"Hell with that, chain him up and leave him out for anyone to use as a fuckhole."

"You guys talk too much," snarled Blackwell, whose face was a mess of blood. He grabbed the stun baton out of Harris's hand, rammed it up Rogers' ass, and thumbed the switch.

For the first time since he'd been dragged in, Rogers screamed.

It was only a two-second burst, but he came out of it shaking and twitching in the aftershocks. The second one went on for a good five seconds, and afterwards the scream didn't stop, just subsided into staccato shouts of pain with every panting breath. Just for variety, Blackwell pulled the taser out and gave him a shock to the balls, and he came again—just a dribble of semen this time, because apparently even super-soldier potency had its limits, but his abs rippled with the convulsions and his hips jerked a few times before his body went limp. It didn't get to stay that way for long before Blackwell plunged the baton back into his ass and made him writhe in agony.

He kept it up until Rogers had screamed himself hoarse, alternating between his ass, his cock, his balls, the creases of his thighs, but never letting up long enough for him to catch his breath. When Rogers' throat was working but no sound was coming out anymore, Blackwell finally stepped back and handed the stun baton back to its owner.

"There," he spat, "no need to worry about him getting loose now, I think he'll be clenched up for a long damn time."

The kid in the lab coat was still hovering on the edges of the group. He'd retreated to the door when the scuffle broke out but hadn't actually been able to bring himself to leave, and when Rogers started screaming he drifted closer, unable to look away. Rumlow grinned and beckoned him in. "You still want his mouth? I don't think he'll be putting up much of a fight for a while."

The kid gulped but stepped forward, looking wide-eyed down at Rogers. Rumlow thought he could peg the type. Child prodigy, didn't look a day over twenty, probably smacked around a lot by the jocks at school, probably nursing elaborate revenge fantasies he'd never have the guts to carry out. Except there was Rogers on the floor, looking like Norman Rockwell's wet dream of a star quarterback, and Rumlow—who'd smacked around his share of geeks in his time—holding out a hand and inviting him to join the fun. Rogers' eyes were clouded with pain, but they eventually focused on the two guys standing above him. Even with the gag still in, he raised his eyebrows and managed a good approximation of his usual guilt-trip face. The kid flushed and took a half-step back. "Um," he said. "I mean. That's Captain America."

Rumlow's grin turned shark-like. "I know, right? It's great." And since the idiot was still hesitating, he added, "Perks of picking the right side, man."

"Yeah." He let out a bark of laughter and returned the grin, plastering gung-ho confidence over his earlier indecision. "For serious. Talk about Hail Hydra." And he fumbled his dick out of his pants and sank down on Rogers' face, with a haste that he probably hoped looked like eagerness, not anxiousness to get on with it before he lost his nerve. Rumlow couldn't help but notice that he was facing south, the way Pierce had done it. It offered a good view of the various tortures the STRIKE team were inflicting on Rogers' naked body, but also meant not having to look him in the eye.

Higgins had his knife back out. The long red lines from where he'd cut Rogers' clothing off had long since scabbed over, so he was busy carving newer, deeper ones. When Rumlow looked down from his little standoff with the lab tech, he couldn't help laughing, because the words 'HYDRA FUCK TOY' were carved fresh and bleeding into Rogers' chest.

"Who gets to nail him next?"

"Blackwell, you wanna enjoy the fruits of your labor?"

"Don't have to ask me twice." Blackwell really had to force it in. Rogers was already wound up pretty tight from the pain, and he groaned and tensed up even further at the feeling of yet another cock getting shoved into his abused ass. The letters on his chest rippled whenever he flexed his pecs.

Higgins was hard at work on Rogers' thighs, and Rumlow couldn't resist going over to take a look at his handiwork. There was a dripping-red 'HAIL HYDRA' in big angular letters on the back of Rogers' right thigh, and on the left, Higgins was midway through an inscription that Rumlow was pretty sure would eventually say '|||| MORE SHALL TAKE ITS PLACE.'

"Tally marks?" Rumlow snorted. "You sick fucks."

"No, what's sick is that he's leaving an extra blank line for them just in case."

"No, what's really sick is that he's counting Stern. Poor bastard's still out cold."

"You gonna do another one for his mouth?" asked Rumlow.

Higgins' grin was savage. "Don't see why not."

Just then, the kid in the lab coat finished down Rogers' throat with a gasp. Shit stamina, but Rumlow envied him anyway—he'd probably be back up and ready to go again in no time. "Tell your friends to come join the party," he said as he back-thumped the little squirt right out the cell door.

Harris had already abandoned his restraint-holding duties to Rollins and Anderson and knelt over Rogers' face. Before he shoved in, he slapped him a few times—open palm on one cheek, backhand cracking across the other. "Lab boy didn't want to look at you getting your face fucked," he growled. "I got no such problem." Instead of grinding down, he kept his dick in one place and grabbed Rogers by the hair, pulling his head forward and working it back and forth. As face-fucking went, it was pretty brutal. Rogers, who'd long since gone kind of zen about deep-throating anything they stuck in his mouth, started choking a couple minutes into it. With his face tilted forward not all the spit made it to the back of his throat, and before long he was drooling uncontrollably. Harris periodically pulled out to slap him around the face some more, and he kept up a steady stream of invective the whole time—called Rogers cocksucker, greedy little slut, pumped-up twink bitch, nothing but a warm hole, filthy cum dumpster. Rogers mostly just braced himself against the onslaught, but Rumlow could've fucking sworn he saw him roll his eyes at the last one, even if it was followed by a fit of choking and coughing.

Harris didn't last long. Too intense for his own good once he got going. When he finished, he took Anderson's advice and went for the hair, working it in with his fingers as he came in messy spurts.

Higgins, meanwhile, had sliced another set of tally marks just below Rogers' left collarbone, next to an arrow pointing in the general direction of his mouth. Harris grabbed the knife off him and added the diagonal fifth tick himself. "You want him next?" he asked.

"Sure, why not," said Higgins. "Was waiting for a shot at his ass, but Blackwell is taking his sweet time."

"Damn right I am, now that he's finally opened up enough to fuck him properly."

"You mean he's gonna be loose and leaking jizz by the time you're through with him."

Anderson laughed. "I'd pay to see that."

"I'll see what I can do, sweetheart."

Higgins was grunting and straining, trying to force his way into Rogers' mouth, but the gag wasn't wide enough. His dick wasn't anything to write home about in terms of length, but damn was it thick. "Give it up, man," said Rollins, "you want to end up with the world's most awkward cock ring? Just sit back and wait for Blackwell to be—"

"Done," said Blackwell, and pulled out with a sigh. "Aw, seriously? How's he holding it all in? You'd think it would be dripping out his ass by now."

"Come on, Rogers, push it out." Anderson slapped his ass right below the bleeding 'HAIL HYDRA.' "Let us see."

"Yeah, if you're a good little slut for us we might even take the gag out."

Rumlow rolled his eyes. "I can practically see him clenching up from over here. That's not the way to get what you want from a stubborn bastard like him, you jackasses."

"Good," said Higgins, dropping down to take up position at Rogers' ass. "Keep him gagged until he's so fucked-out and full of come he can't hold it in anymore. Fun little game for him, more time for these guys to have fun with his mouth." He jerked his head towards the cell door, where the rest of the lab techs were lurking. "Well, what are you waiting for?" he hollered. One of them scurried forward and immediately got busy. Higgins turned back to the task at hand; his cock looked ludicrous lined up with Rogers' hole, like it couldn't possibly fit.

"You're gonna fuckin' destroy him, man," said Harris with poorly-disguised awe.

"Yeah, but that's not the impressive part." Higgins slipped a finger inside Rogers and felt around until he found something that made him twitch and moan. "The impressive part is I'm gonna make him like it." He slicked his hand in some of the come plastered all over Rogers' body and started jerking him off, slow and deliberate, until he'd wrung another climax out of him, then just as Rogers slumped and went boneless he pushed the head of his cock inside. It was mesmerizing, watching Rogers' asshole stretch and eventually swallow up an intrusion it should never have been able to accommodate. There was a choked-off cry from up where the head technician was having his way with Rogers' mouth, redoubled when Higgins kept on stroking at his oversensitive cock. "Hurts, doesn't it?" said Higgins. "But it hurts so good." He angled his hips to thrust at whatever he'd found with his finger, and Rogers started shaking and didn't stop.

Higgins worked him methodically, following each thrust with a long, slow tug upwards on Rogers' dick. A few drops of fluid leaked from the tip at every stroke. At first Rumlow thought he was making him come over and over again, spent little mini-climaxes like the one that had seized him when he'd had his balls shocked, but the shaking and whimpering didn't wax and wane with the rhythm of the fucking. Instead it was more like Higgins was pumping the semen out of him by force, a little bit at a time, and Rogers was just along for the ride in a state of continuous overload.

Rumlow would've happily listened to him make those pathetic little broken noises for hours, but Higgins' patience wasn't infinite. After a while his own pleasure won out, and although he kept on aiming for the sweet spot that made Rogers totally lose it, he started slamming into it roughly, making Rogers grunt and flinch instead of arching involuntarily into the thrusts. But just to rub it in how thoroughly he'd reduced Rogers to his own personal desperate cockslut, he started jerking him off again at the height of the ass-reaming and within thirty seconds he had him shooting off all over his own abs. Rogers' moan was so drawn-out and obscene that the guy fucking his mouth succumbed to the vibrations almost instantly and went still. Higgins lasted a couple minutes longer, pounding into him through the aftershocks, before burying himself to the balls and groaning his release.

When he pulled out, Rogers' ass was red and gaping. "Feast your faggot eyes, Anderson," said Higgins as an errant muscle twitch sent a mess of bloodied come trickling out his hole.

"I'll do better than that," Anderson said, and whipped out his phone to snap a picture of the whole lurid tableau: Steve Rogers with his legs bent back and his assets on full display, asshole loose and dripping, cock still hard, mouth stretched wide by the spider gag, tally marks and obscenities cut into his flesh, semen everywhere like runny icing—his ass, his stomach and chest, face covered so thickly he was almost unrecognizable, hell, even his hair was spiky with it. His eyes were closed and he looked dead to the world, except that when Anderson reached in to squeeze his balls he still, despite everything, arched up into the touch. "Christ, he's insatiable. Somebody get the gag off, I want to hear him beg for it."

Rumlow did the honors. He kind of wondered what the hell Rogers could possibly have to say to them now, if he was even coherent enough to form words.

Once the gag was off, Rogers cracked his jaw, rolled it from side to side a few times, and spat on the nearest available target, which was Rumlow's boot.

Rumlow kicked him in the teeth. "Clean that up."

Rogers closed his mouth and said nothing.

He stepped on Rogers' face to force him to keep his head turned to the side, leaving a dirty bootprint in the mess of tears and come that was already caking his cheek. "I said, clean it up," he ordered, and when Rogers still didn't react he grabbed him by the hair and yanked his head into place. He smashed those obstinately-closed lips against the gob of thick whitish spit on the toe of his boot, and smeared it around like he was shining his own shoes and Rogers' face was the brush.

Anderson grabbed Rogers' dick and started stroking, trying to wring a better reaction out of him. A shudder ran through Rogers' body and he made a funny noise through his nose, but he kept his mouth shut.

"Did you want something, Cap?" Anderson leered. "It's okay, come on, tell me. We all saw how desperate you are. Bet you're feeling pretty empty with nothing in your ass."

Silence.

"I can feel you trying to fuck yourself on me, you eager little slut," said Anderson, rubbing the head of his erection around the rim of Rogers' hole and pulling back whenever Rogers' hips twitched forward. "Just say it. Tell me where you want me to put my dick."

Rogers coughed. His voice was gravelly with disuse and abuse. "A meat grinder would make a good start," he said.

"You just don't quit, do you?" said Anderson, disgusted, and shoved his cock into Rogers like a reprimand. "Still trying to pretend you don't want it."

"No, I don't."

"Quit, or want it?"

"Got it in one."

Rumlow swore under his breath. He'd underestimated Rogers. They all had. He'd been judging the whole thing too much on Rogers crying and losing control of his body as the Winter Soldier defiled him, on his screams when he was tasered and the pathetic whimpering noises that had torn their way out of his throat when Higgins had been at work on him. Maybe Anderson was the only one dumb enough to think he was really broken enough to beg, but Rumlow should've been paying more attention to his endless, endless fucking resistance and all the signs that he was still lucid. Not the torch he was carrying for Barnes or the stupid shit his body did when he lost a battle for control.

Not that the stupid shit wasn't entertaining. But evidently it didn't strike enough nerves to wear Rogers down, and they'd all been a pack of idiots to think you could wear a guy like Rogers down by brute force rather than by finding his buttons and pushing them for all you were worth.

Now, the STRIKE team was mostly muscle. Well-trained and combat-sharp muscle, but not very well equipped to be smart about figuring out which buttons to push. But lucky for them, they'd been working with Rogers for months now. Rumlow had a pretty good idea of where to start poking.

"We still gonna chain him up when we're done and leave him out for anyone to have a turn?" he said conversationally to nobody in particular. "Sounds like a good eye-opener for you, Cap, lots of familiar faces. You'll get to see how many of us you've been working with all along."

Silence except for Anderson's heavy breathing as he pounded Rogers' ass.

"Hey, didn't that Milstein kid get assigned to this facility? You stood up for him against Fury once, didn't you, when he got creative with his orders and took the chopper in to extract Blackwell. Course, Blackwell only got himself left behind so he could pick up coolant for the cryo tank off the books. Wouldn't want the Winter Soldier thawing out before we needed him. But we appreciated the good word you put in. Be sure and say hi to Milstein if he drops in to get his rocks off."

A muscle twitched in Rogers' jaw. "Knock it off, Rumlow, you're trying too hard."

"Hit hard or go home, buddy." Rumlow grinned. "I'm surprised you didn't start asking about the assassin the instant we took the gag off. Hell of a looker, isn't he? And the impression he made on you. You looked like you'd seen a ghost."

Rogers didn't even react when Anderson slipped a finger in alongside his dick just to see if he could, but hell of a looker made him tense up all over. Carrying a torch? Wondering who else in Hydra had noticed Barnes' good looks? Both? In any case, his mouth compressed into a tight line and he sounded legitimately pissed off when he got himself under control enough to say, "You know, that's the problem with you guys. You should never have let the two of them go first. After that, the rest of you scumbags are just a bunch of stinging gnats."

Anderson took the opportunity to wedge two more fingers in and hiss, "Does that sting, you son of a bitch?" Rogers didn't even dignify that with a shrug. "He's mouthing off too much, I think it's time for another shot."

Rumlow was inclined to agree when Rogers looked down at the needle going into his leg and let out an exasperated oh here we go again sigh. Less than a minute later he was flushed and panting, grinding down onto Anderson's cock and fingers combined, but it still left a sour taste in Rumlow's mouth. "You should've seen us testing this shit," he said viciously. "We never did get the dosage to play nice with the super-serum enhancement, but it wasn't for lack of trying. The number of times I asked myself what my life had turned into, that the Winter fucking Soldier was begging for my dick..."

Ah, there it was. Rumlow didn't think he'd ever seen someone reach orgasm by sheer force of rage before.

Rogers carried Anderson over the edge with him, but Anderson kept his fingers in after he'd pulled out, and added a fourth with no trouble whatsoever. "You think it'd count as two ticks if I can get my whole hand in him afterwards?" he said as he gouged his contribution to the tally marks into Rogers' thigh. Rogers' cock gave a satisfying jerk at the prospect.

"Try it," said Harris. "Worst that can happen is you rip him up more than we already have."

He didn't look all that ripped up, actually. There was no fresh blood on Anderson's hand even as he twisted his fingers back and forth and plunged them in almost to the last knuckle. Soft tissue and accelerated healing—it explained a lot, once you thought about it, about why Rogers was still coherent, why he kept getting off over and over again no matter what they did to him, why the pain wasn't bad enough to cut through even the effects of the drugs, why they hadn't managed to damn well fucking rape him to death. The injuries healed over and the muscle memory of getting stretched open stuck around. He might as well have been a virgin when Rumlow took him, and now look at him, gritting his teeth to keep from fucking himself on Anderson's fist.

Anderson had his knuckles in now and his thumb tucked into his palm, and the others were cheering him on as he worked on getting the widest part of his hand inside. Rogers kept forgetting to breathe, and when he did it was in huge desperate gasps. Suddenly he gave a shout of pain, the torrent of filthy encouragement swelled, and when Rumlow looked down he saw Anderson's wrist disappearing into Rogers' ass and Rogers coming without so much as a hand on his cock.

His phone dinged. It was a text from Pierce: 'Playtime's over.'

"All right, guys," said Rumlow, "it's been fun, but duty calls. Insight briefing in ten minutes. Clean up and clear out."

It was a tribute to the kind of loyalty Hydra inspired that nobody even grumbled.

Rollins jerked his head towards the super-soldier-shaped mess on the floor, who was moaning as Anderson extracted his fist. "What do we do with him? We still gonna leave him out as a fuck toy?"

"Might do him good," said Higgins, "maybe he'll be more willing to beg for it when he has to wait for new customers to drop by."

Rumlow sighed. It would be safest just to shoot him, but the idea of leaving Captain America trussed up for all of Hydra to use sure was appealing. And the lab techs had been waiting so patiently for their turn. "Three minutes. If you can secure him, you can leave him."

Two minutes and twenty-seven seconds later, Steve Rogers, his hands and feet still locked in the spreader bar, was turned around so his ass pressed right up against the bars of the cell and anyone who wanted to could fuck him from outside. The restraints were secured to one of the horizontal bars of the cell with a sturdy length of chain wound around them both. When Rumlow left, one of the lab techs was already unzipping his fly.

He flashed Rogers a final cocky grin on his way out. "See you soon, I hope. Hey, maybe I'll bring your friend the assassin back for another round. Nothing like a familiar face."

Chapter Text

Sam never signed up for this.

He was supposed to be firepower and air support. Those jobs he was good at, those jobs he'd done a thousand times. This, though? Jailbreaking Captain America from a beyond-top-secret bunker underneath Rock Creek Park? Infiltrating a vast Neo-Nazi conspiracy reaching to the highest levels of government? Passing himself off as the asshole who took them all into custody after the freeway shootout, using a fake face Cap's superspy friend got off the not-so-assassinated head honcho of freakin' SHIELD? Sam was a soldier—kind of an unusual soldier, but he'd never been good at all this spook shit. He was going to fuck this up.

On the other hand, he got to rescue Captain America and infiltrate a vast conspiracy wearing a fake face. Spook shit was cool.

Natasha was the one who should've been handling this, but they didn't even know any female SHIELD agents who were unquestionably Hydra, let alone ones they had enough footage of to program the photostatic veil and voice modulator. This Brock Rumlow dude had done enough training videos that the facial recognition software had something to work with. Sam was going to have to go in in full uniform and gloves, but he figured he would've had to do that no matter what if he wanted to stay inconspicuous. Not a lot of black guys signing up for vast Neo-Nazi conspiracies.

What he realized from the moment he entered the bunker, the thing that was maybe going to make this entire crazy rescue possible, was that everyone was scared shitless of Rumlow. The security desk didn't even ask for ID. People walked faster to avoid him. Nobody asked him his business, not even when he rode their coattails through doorways to get around the biometric access controls. All he had to do was stride around looking purposeful and glare at anyone who looked too long. He should've figured it was too easy.

When he saw the first 'Steve Rogers, this way' sign taped to the wall, handwritten on printer paper and complete with an arrow pointing to the right, it crashed down on him that the whole thing was undoubtedly a trap.

He stared at it for so long that someone actually approached him, tentatively, to ask, "Sir, is there a problem?"

Sam made himself breathe. Just because it was a trap didn't mean they knew he was here yet. Least he could do was bluster his way out of this one. "Who the hell put this up here?" he snapped.

"Um, Karsh, sir, he just figured—since anyone can—okay! Okay, we'll take it down."

Sam ripped the sign down, crumpled it in his fist, and handed it to her slowly. He almost felt bad about how terrified she looked before he remembered that everyone in the bunker was Hydra. "No more security breaches," he said, and headed down the hallway to his right, so paranoid he felt like he was going to jump out of his skin at any second. Since anyone can what? he wondered, and chewed on that until he hit the second handwritten sign. This one had an arrow on it, too, and said 'Want a turn with Captain America?' His gut went leaden.

He hadn't even entertained the possibility that it might be worse than a trap.

He was bracing himself for some fucked-up torture shit when he hit the laboratories and heard a muffled cry of pain from beyond one of the open doors. Nothing could have prepared him for what he actually found.

There was just one guy. One guy in there with Steve. One paunchy middle-aged office worker in slacks and a collared shirt, kneeling outside the cell that took up half the room, and... well, it was pretty obvious what he was doing, but something in Sam's brain locked up and refused to accept it until he'd burst in and was standing five feet away from the guy and had the whole atrocity laid out in front of him. Even then, it was really hard to convince himself that was Steve lying there covered in blood and spunk until Steve's voice, cracked and hoarse but familiar, spoke right past the guy fucking raping him oh god like he wasn't even there and addressed Sam, radiating scorn.

"What's the matter, Rumlow? Is it harder when you don't have any friends around to impress?"

Sam narrowly avoided throwing up. He thumbed the switch on the fake face, damn the consequences, damn the spy shit; all he knew was that he couldn't exist for one more second in Brock Rumlow's skin. The miserable sack of shit on his knees in front of the bars looked over and his eyes bulged ludicrously. That was all the reaction he got before Sam, cool and deliberate but somehow almost watching himself from somewhere outside his body, unholstered his sidearm and shot the man between the eyes.

The silence rang louder than the gunshot.

Then Sam rushed over to Steve, ready to shoot the lock out of the cell door, ready to wreak whatever destruction he had to to get him free. But the door swung open under his hand, and there was the key to the restraints, clipped to one of the horizontal bars at head height. Jesus. He started fumbling the padlocks open, hoping to hell he could get Steve free before somebody sounded the alarm.

"Sam...?" said Steve unsteadily. "Oh no. Oh, God, no, Sam, not you too."

Sam wrenched the first ankle cuff open and felt his stomach turn over. "Steve, man, it's okay, I'm not gonna hurt you. I'm here to get you out of here."

A faint laugh from behind him as he kept wrestling with the locks. "...Right. Sam. Oh man. Listen, either things just got really weird, or I'm in some kind of shock. You can give me shit for it later, okay?"

"No, trust me, things are pretty weird." There were the wrists free, and now it was just one ankle holding Steve to the bars. Sam's hand was shaking.

"Sorry to freak you out, I thought..." murmured Steve, mostly to himself. "I don't know what I thought. That they did something to your head. Were going to make you..."

The lock clicked open, and Steve was free. The first thing he did was draw himself up to a sitting position, leaning heavily back on his hands. Sam crouched down beside him. Steve glanced down at his own body, taking in the whole mess, and his lips twisted ruefully before he looked over at Sam. "Hey," he said quietly.

"Hey, man," said Sam, and tried to smile.

"You mentioned a rescue."

"Yeah, let's get you out of here, looks like the hospitality stinks." He slung one of Steve's arms around his shoulders and helped him carefully to his feet. Steve seemed pretty with it, considering... well, everything, but especially the fact that he'd just seen one of the apparent orchestrators of this travesty walk into the room, switch his face off, and turn into Sam. Sam was about to conclude that he was just disoriented, not out of his head with shock, when Steve grabbed him by the collar like he'd just remembered something incredibly important.

"Bucky," he said, and Sam tried not to let his heart sink.

"Sorry. Not Bucky," he said as he helped Steve out of the cell. "21st century, remember? Not the war. You're not in the war anymore. Now come on, let's..."

"No, the assassin. The Winter Soldier. It's Bucky. They've got him, and I have to..."

An alarm went off down the hall, and Sam swore and activated the little transponder that would signal their ride to come get them. "Dude, right now the best thing you can do for him is get the hell out of here and regroup. You know where your clothes are?"

"In pieces on the floor."

Both of them looked at the dead man. Steve looked at Sam, wrinkling his nose. Sam looked at Steve and shrugged helplessly. "Sorry. I didn't bring extras."

-

Backup got there just as things were starting to get exciting. There was a gunshot that didn't come from behind them, a scream and a thump as one of their pursuers went down, and then Natasha emerged from around the corner and shouted, "Catch!"

It was a pair of gas masks. Sam tossed one to Steve and awkwardly tried to pull his on as he ran; Steve took his arm off Sam's shoulder so he could get his on quicker, which halved their pace but probably spared them an even more unpleasant ending to the afternoon, because they didn't even have them fully on when the tear gas canisters started whizzing by.

They rounded the corner and ran into Maria Hill, who was pulling more gas canisters off her belt as Natasha provided covering fire. Sam couldn't see their faces under the masks, but he could've sworn that when Natasha glanced over at them her posture shifted slightly at the sight of Steve. He was in more-or-less clean clothes and they'd wiped the worst off him, but Natasha wasn't stupid, and putting herself in the hands of people who wanted to humiliate her was apparently one of her specialties. If she knew enough to manipulate them, she probably knew...

Enough not to comment on Steve's condition or the fact that he was staggering along with his arm around Sam's shoulders again. All she said was, "Here, present for you," and she grabbed Steve's shield where it was leaning against the wall and tossed it to him.

A little bit of the slump went out of Steve's shoulders when he strapped it onto his arm. "That stuff lethal?" he asked Hill as they all started running down the corridor.

"Not unless you use more than we've got."

"Use all of it."

Hill was already turning to fire another canister behind them as they ran. "Steve, what the hell was going on in there?"

"Trust me," Sam broke in during the long awkward pause, figuring Steve could use someone to run interference on this one, "you do not wanna know."

None of them said much else until they were out and safely back in the van, Natasha behind the wheel. As soon as they were seated, Hill stripped off her gas mask and said, "If either of you need to get to medical—oh my God, it smells like a peep show booth in here."

Sam shrugged. "I told you you didn't want to know."

For a second Hill looked sick, but she took a deep breath and snapped into brisk efficiency faster than Sam would've thought possible. "Right. Medical it is. We—"

"Like hell," said Steve. He stripped off his own gas mask. Underneath, he was pale and he looked kind of like he wanted to shudder right out of his own skin, but brisk efficiency was a language he could speak even when the rest of the world was coming apart around his ears. "I don't need it. All the physical damage is stuff that'll heal on its own by tomorrow morning."

"Steve, Insight goes up tomorrow morning."

"I know. Which is why we need to spend our time tonight coming up with a plan. Especially because... look, there's stuff we didn't know that we have to take into account now. Someone we all thought was dead."

"Funny," said Natasha dryly without taking her eyes off the road, "I think Hill was trying to figure out how to tell you the same thing."

-

Steve spent most of the car ride in silence, either trying to wrap his head around what had happened to him or just dragging himself slowly back to the land of the living. Back at Fury's hideaway, the whole group spent a few minutes exchanging just enough information to get everyone on the same page before Steve took off for the showers. "You guys probably don't want to spend an entire meeting having to smell me," he said with a halfhearted parody of a grin. "Won't be long. If I'm not out in fifteen minutes, come haul me out."

"You can take longer if you need to," said Hill. "There's time."

Steve shifted on his feet, visibly tempted and visibly fraying. He scratched a flake of nobody-wanted-to-know-what off the side of his face. "I, uh. No. No, it's all right, we've got business to get down to. Fifteen minutes."

Sam was still only starting to learn Steve's particular dialect of 'feelings, what are feelings?' but he was pretty sure that translated to '...or else I may never want to come out.' Which no one would blame him for doing, but Sam also wasn't hypocrite enough to blame him for finding mission planning a more appealing prospect than standing around wallowing in his own misery indefinitely. "Fifteen minutes," he said, "then I come by to make sure you haven't drowned."

He gave it twenty before he knocked on the bathroom door. "Steve, you alive in there? I borrowed some clean clothes off Fury. Hope you look good in black."

The water turned off inside. "Thanks," Steve said through the door, sounding a lot more flat and subdued than the horrible false animation that had carried him through the first little group chat. "Just a minute. Don't come in, okay? Just hand 'em through the door."

Sam did so, kind of relieved—for the sake of Steve's privacy? for the sake of his own squeamishness?—that he didn't have to look. He'd seen the bloody graffiti on Steve's body when he first rushed into the lab, but Steve had been kind of a mess all over and Sam hadn't stared long enough to make out what it said. He had the feeling he didn't want to know. He had the feeling Steve wouldn't want him to know.

"Sam?" came Steve's voice, quiet, just on the other side of the door.

"Yeah?"

"Thanks for getting me out of there."

Sam's throat constricted. "Good to have you back."

Steve opened the door and stepped out. His skin was pink from hot water and vigorous scrubbing, and if his eyes were a little red-rimmed, it wasn't past the point of plausible deniability. Fury's old t-shirt and black jeans didn't fit him right; they weren't any more constricting than the two-sizes-too-small athletic shirt he'd been wearing when Sam first met him jogging on the Mall, three days and a lifetime ago, but now it felt wrong to look. He was walking funny. Whether it was down to his injuries, or having to move around in jeans that were too small around the hips and thighs, he moved like he was trying to hide an awkward...

...oh, shit, those jeans hid nothing.

"You need another couple minutes?" Sam asked. "We're still waiting on a pot of coffee before we start planning anything. It's going to be a long night." It was the last thing would've expected to see, but dude, if the VA group sessions had taught him anything, it was that one person's counterintuitive was another person's most logical way to deal. If Steve had been in there jerking off to try to get the metaphorical bad taste out of his mouth, that was his goddamn business and the best thing Sam could do was try and give him a gracious way out to finish the job.

But Steve shook his head. "Nah, let's get cracking."

All through the initial stages of the planning, Steve was fidgety and distracted. Too quiet, too, except when he was talking about Bucky Barnes. Even then, he went in stops and starts, letting loose floods of information only to pull back and start dancing around the details of how he knew things. "He was kept in cryo between missions, it's why he hasn't aged. They said he was given some version of the serum. Zola experimented on him during the war, that must've been what he was researching. Must've helped Bucky survive the fall."

"And they just... told you all this?" said Fury dubiously.

"Why would they have been lying? They thought I was about to die. Why bother?"

"Why bother telling you?"

Steve clammed up.

It was Natasha who eventually said, "They were gloating. Weren't they."

"Yeah," Steve muttered.

"Okay. The details you've given us—the cryo, the serum—were they what was supposed to bother you? Could they have been made up to get under your skin?"

"No." Steve took a deep breath and shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "One of the... stories could have been a lie. I hope it was. But those things were just incidental details. Rumlow would have no reason to make them up."

Natasha glanced sidelong at Fury. "If it were my interrogation, I'd take it."

Not long after, they took a break for more coffee, since Steve was knocking it back at such an inhuman rate that there wasn't much left for anyone else. He looked like he could use a break and some fresh air, anyway. Sam didn't think it was particularly stifling inside, not enough for him to be sweating and tugging at his shirt collar like Steve was, but he'd already noticed that the safe house's resemblance to a bunker was putting him on edge. And he'd only spent half an hour, tops, getting in and out of that Hydra hellhole. He and Steve fell into step side by side and by unspoken agreement headed out to the concrete bridge behind the plant.

"You want me to see if Fury's got any camomile tea stashed away somewhere? Maybe some hot chocolate?" said Sam once they were out in the breeze. He nodded to the mug in Steve's hand, half-full of the burnt dregs from the bottom of the last pot of coffee. "You look pretty wired. I'm pretty wired, and I haven't even been trying to keep up with you."

One of the corners of Steve's mouth quirked up in a half-smile. "This stuff's better comfort food than hot chocolate. It's almost as bad as Army coffee." They both laughed at that, and Steve added, "Anyway, that's one of the side effects of the serum. Can't get drunk, can't get wired."

"You are drugged, though, aren't you?" said a voice behind them. They turned around and saw Natasha leaning back against the closed door, her arms crossed.

Steve said nothing, so Natasha continued, "I don't know any interrogation drugs offhand that would get around the serum protection, but you've been showing symptoms ever since we got you out. Sweating, flushing, restlessness. Dilated pupils. And I've seen you run five miles without getting that out of breath. What did they give you, some kind of hallucinogen?"

"Why would they give me interrogation drugs?" Steve said, glaring at the ground. "It wasn't an interrogation." He stretched his cramped posture out a little and leaned back against the railing.

Sam didn't realize that was supposed to be an answer until he looked at him, really looked, and saw his silhouette from the side. With his legs uncrossed it was painfully obvious that he was still erect.

"Aphrodisiac," Natasha said grimly, and Steve nodded.

Okay, that was a few new layers of horror on top of everything Sam had surmised about what had gone on in that cell. Bad enough to imagine all the nasty shit Steve had gone through, worse when you realized the sick fucks had gone out of their way to make him get off on it. But more than that, it painted a really ugly picture of the how and the why. This wasn't a beating gone out of control or derailed by some pervert's bright idea, it was premeditated. It had never been intended to be anything other than what it was. And if Steve was still fighting off the drug, the ordeal hadn't ended when Sam broke him out of there. It was still going on. It had been going on the whole time. Steve was probably still running in crisis mode.

"Look," said Sam, because it was the very least he could say, "if you need to take ten and go deal with the effects..."

"I can't," Steve said, looking like he would rather be anywhere else than here having this conversation. "It scrambled something. You know how no matter how ticklish you are, it doesn't work if you try to tickle yourself?"

Oh, shit.

Steve looked so miserably reluctant to share any of this that Sam was trying not to think too hard about the implications, but it didn't exactly take a rocket scientist. Whatever evil shit they'd drugged him with hadn't just made him get off, it was engineered to make him dependent on outside help for any relief from...

Oh, shit.

Sam looked at Natasha and she raised her eyebrows a fraction. One of them had to say it. It would be the most awkward offer in history, but they had to at least offer. Ten-to-one odds that Steve was too stiff-necked or too traumatized to accept, but if he did end up toughing this out alone, it should be because that was an option, not because it was the only option.

"Steve," he said finally, "there is no graceful way to put this, but..."

"If you need a hand, the offer's open," said Natasha, blunt and businesslike. "Just to relieve the symptoms."

"We're here for you, man. Not something I ever thought I'd say about awkward handjobs, but we are."

Steve stared at them like a deer in headlights. "I can't ask you guys to do that."

"You're not asking," Natasha said. "We're offering."

"No, you don't get it, I can't." Steve was breathing even harder now, and in spite of himself he had started to look them up and down with poorly-concealed hunger in his eyes. But the rest of his expression was reproachful, even a little horrified. "I just... can't. Not if it would mean getting one of you involved in sex you wouldn't otherwise want to have. I've just been on one end of that, you think I want to go anywhere near the other?"

Sam took a deep breath and tried to choose his words carefully, because he was venturing into even more dangerous territory here. "Okay, look. I don't want to sound like I'm trying to get in your pants or anything, because that's not what this is about and now is really not the time. But... let's just say it wouldn't exactly be a hardship. Now, if you'd rather wait it out on your own than have anyone touching you right now, we can back the hell off, no problem. But if you're objecting on our behalf, I just want you to know, I'm not putting anything on the table that I'm uncomfortable with."

Steve looked a little taken aback and Sam got ready to start kicking himself. But then Natasha shot Steve a meaningful look. "Yeah," she said, "uncomfortable isn't the word I'd use."

Somehow, those six words got across what Sam hadn't managed to impart with all his babbling and disclaimers. Steve relaxed a fraction. "It won't be pretty," he warned them.

Both of them shrugged.

"Who do you want to do the honors?" Sam asked.

Steve stared at his feet. He squeezed his eyes shut, and for a second it looked like he wanted to cry, but it passed so quickly that it could just have been him agonizing over the choice. Finally, still unable to look at them, he let out a sheepish little laugh and said, "I... lost a lot of different kinds of virginity today. If there's a choice, I'd kind of like to hang on to what I've still got. And that's mostly with women."

Natasha nodded, looking neither hurt nor relieved, and opened the door to go back in. "I'll make your excuses to the others," she said. "Good luck. And Steve?"

"Yeah."

"It's a wound." She was looking back at them from the shadows of the doorway, her posture straight and her face stony, but Sam had the suspicion she was baring herself all the same. "It will hurt. It might slow you down in ways you weren't expecting. It will take longer than you want it to. But it will heal."

Steve nodded.

Then Natasha was gone, and he and Sam were alone on the bridge.

Now that it was just the two of them and the crickets, Sam had a grand total of zero bright ideas for how to bridge the embarrassing gap between Point A and Point B. He felt kind of absurdly grateful when Steve set his empty mug down on top of the concrete wall and came over to stand side-by-side with him.

"Just out of curiosity," said Steve, who was flushing and fidgeting more than ever but gamely keeping up a casual front. "Did you want to get in my pants before all this happened? It's okay, you can be honest. I... well. I'm not exactly in great shape right now. Sore in places I don't want to think about, definitely off the market for the near future. But I can still tell plain old interest apart from what happened today. I'm not going to run screaming."

Sam raised his eyebrows and smiled despite himself. "I wasn't going to say anything unless you were interested."

"But you were looking."

"I'm not made of stone, man. And you were trying awfully hard to pick me up."

Steve leaned against him, just a little, his arm and knee touching Sam's, and even that scrap of physical contact was enough to make him let out a ragged sigh and shift his hips uncomfortably. He still managed to smile. "It's called making friends," he said, digging an elbow into Sam's ribs. "But okay, yeah, that possibility was open too."

"Past tense."

"For now."

"Then hey, it's a good thing you set up a fallback position in the friend zone." Sam slung an arm around Steve's shoulders, loosely enough to let him shake it off without any trouble if he decided this whole touching thing was a terrible idea after all. But Steve closed his eyes and tipped his head back and slumped into the embrace, so that his back was half-pressed to Sam's front. "Because right now I think you definitely count as a friend in need. We gonna do this?"

Steve's hand drifted to the fly of his jeans. "If you're up for it. But hands only."

"Dude, hands were the only thing on offer. I might have been looking at your ass the other day, but right now it is like six counseling certifications above my pay grade."

"It's not you I'm worried about." Steve squirmed, looking more acutely embarrassed than Sam had seen him throughout this whole ordeal. He was sweating so hard his hair had gone dark at the roots. "This drug. It doesn't just kick your libido into high gear, it makes you really, really want to get fucked. I've been resisting it. Really hard, for a really long time. I don't know what kind of stupid crap will come out of my mouth once I let loose, but I can guess, and I want you to promise not to listen to me. Hands only. No matter what I ask you to do."

Sam swallowed. Okay, it was officially time to start filing everything Steve told him under 'deal now, freak out later,' because if he thought too hard about any of this he was going to start puking or turn into a giant green rage monster, and neither would be any use to Steve right now. The giant green rage monster slot on Steve's team was already full anyway. "Well, I guess you did tell me it wasn't going to be pretty," he said. "Hands only. I promise. And whatever stupid crap you need to get out of your system, go ahead, I promise I won't pretend it's anything but the drugs talking." Whether he was going to be okay listening to Captain America recite all the humiliating bullshit he'd refused to say to the two-faced rapist psychopaths who'd drugged him was a different story, but that was what 'deal first, freak out later' was for. Captain America was Steve, and right now Steve needed his help.

Steve looked down at the ground, squaring his shoulders and straightening his posture in one last moment of self-possession. "Never thought you'd do otherwise." He took a deep breath. "Okay, let's go."

Sam tugged him backwards into the shadows where the bridge met the building. It was late evening, dusk drawing on to night, and no one in the woods would be able to see what they were up to back there even if they hadn't been in the middle of nowhere. Steve shot a questioning glance towards the door, but Sam shook his head. He didn't know if he could do this in the dank concrete claustrophobia of the building; better to stay out in the breeze, with the sky still faintly purple behind the silhouettes of the trees and the smell of earth and greenery in the air, than in anything that remniscient of a bunker.

It was a relief when Steve grabbed Sam's hand from where it was resting uncertainly on his hip and guided it forward to cup his straining erection through his jeans. Sam curled his fingers around it, and Steve threw his head back and moaned aloud. "Sorry," he said raggedly, "it's gonna be embarrassing noises from here on out. And the first round will be fast. It'll take at least two or three to ease it at all."

"How fast is fast?" said Sam, popping the button on Steve's jeans and unzipping his fly. With his other hand he started digging around in his pockets for that half-full travel pack of Kleenex that always seemed to be lurking at the bottom among the loose change and wadded-up receipts. He reached into Steve's pants to pull his cock out and Steve tensed all over. For a second Sam thought oh, shit, that's set something off, why the fuck did I ever think this was a good idea, and then—

"Really fast," Steve choked out, and came all over Sam's hand.

Sam couldn't help noticing that while he was extracting the tissues from his pocket and wiping his hand off, Steve didn't start going soft or even flag the slightest bit. "Potent stuff, huh?"

"Oh yeah." Steve was slumped back against him, pinning him to the wall with his weight, but he didn't look sated at all. His mouth was hanging open and he was breathing harder than ever, and his hips kept twitching, eager little jerks upward into the empty air. "And they kept giving me more of it. They thought that since I kept telling them to go to hell instead of begging to be fucked, I couldn't possibly be as desperate for it as I was supposed to be."

"Were you?"

Steve grabbed Sam's hand impatiently and guided it back to his still-hard cock. "I was pretty desperate," he said, and ground his hips backward against Sam. "Still am." Sam started jerking him off, loose and easy, and Steve continued, "I know we said hands only, but even with everything that's happened, if you did me up the ass right now I'd enjoy it. How sick is that? I'm so sore it hurts to sit down, but the pain doesn't stop me from getting off on it. Sure didn't stop me at the time. And some of them were definitely out to make it hurt."

"I'm sorry." Sam pressed his face into the back of Steve's shoulder and tried to keep the rhythm of his hand steady. "You know you got nothing to be ashamed of, right? Sounds like you fought as hard as you could."

Steve's Adam's apple worked up and down a few times, whether in pleasure or around a lump in his throat Sam wasn't sure. "I know. They wanted me to be. Been fighting that, too, trying to keep it straight in my head. Ashamed is only when you've got something to feel guilty about, but then there's that feeling when someone walks in on you naked. Sees something private, something that wasn't for them to see." He bit his lip, breathing hard in time with the motion of Sam's hand, and Sam was pretty sure he could fill in the blanks: touches something that wasn't for them to touch, takes something that wasn't for them to take... "I'm not gonna be ashamed of what someone else did to me—not even the sick crap they put in my head, not when I fought it and kept control of myself. They could make me like it, but they couldn't make me like it, you know? But it's still a hell of an embarrassing impulse to have to fight."

"I know. I know. You do what you want with it, okay? You want to run off your mouth now that we're alone, you do that, I'm not gonna judge you for what they put in your head. But you don't have to. If that's not for me to see."

"Some of it's... pretty disturbing." Which apparently also meant 'arousing,' because Steve arched up into Sam's hand and had to stifle a groan. "You might not want to hear it."

"Try me."

"Okay." Steve turned his head away, hiding his face, but even in the dark Sam thought he could see the flush creeping down his neck. "I told you I'd enjoy it if you did me up the ass right now, but even without the agreement, you probably wouldn't want to. I did my best to clean off after we got back here, but I... had a lot of guys shoot off inside me. I'm still kind of messy with it. It's disgusting, and it's driving me crazy, because I can feel it and how slick it is and I can't stop thinking about how easy it would be for someone to slide something up there. How I wouldn't be able to stop it no matter how hard I clenched up." A drop of precome beaded on the tip of his cock, and he moaned softly when Sam rubbed it around with his thumb.

"That's fucked-up."

"Told you you didn't want to hear it." Steve was outright grinding against Sam's crotch now, which at any other time would've given him an instantaneous awkward boner, but even if that was what Steve wanted there was no risk whatsoever of it happening now. Because that was fucked-up.

Sam tightened his grip a little and sped up to keep time with the rocking of Steve's hips. "I said it was fucked-up, I never said I didn't want to hear it. I'll tell you one thing, it's making me really look forward to kicking some Hydra ass tomorrow morning. I want to find all these sons of bitches and personally kick them in the balls."

Steve laughed. It was a humorless, extremely unpleasant laugh, and he wasn't smiling. "Get in line."

"I'll hand them over to you while they're still clutching their nuts and squealing, how about that?"

"Sounds great. But let's take care of those helicarriers before we go hunt down twenty different guys, okay?"

"Hang on, twenty?"

Steve's lip twisted. "Yeah. Give or take. Six in the mouth—they had a gag with some kind of metal ring to hold my jaw open. Would've bitten down otherwise." He took in a few harsh breaths, lips parted, and grabbed Sam's hand to guide him into a firmer hold on his dick. "Up the ass... I lost track. A dozen tally marks on my leg when I washed off, but they might've undercounted. Five from the STRIKE team, three lab techs—there were half a dozen, I think, but one chickened out and a couple more just jerked off on my face—plus a handful of guys who just wandered by."

"Tally marks."

"Yeah." Steve's breath hitched. "Thought you saw. Fuck—" He thrust into Sam's fist, eyes closed.

"I was trying really hard not to look."

"Here." He seized Sam's other hand and pushed it up under his shirt, skimming over his stomach and chest, to land just under his collarbone. Sam could feel a set of scabby cuts under his fingers. "Two sets," he panted. "One here, one on the back of my leg. They took the gag off midway through, that's why there aren't as many up here. They tried to make a game out of it. Said they'd take the gag off once they'd—" He stiffened and gasped, and Sam didn't even realize it was because he'd brushed his pinky over Steve's nipple until Steve grabbed his hand and made him do it again. He let Sam play with his nipples for a minute, getting so worked up his chest heaved with every breath, but eventually he grimaced and steeled himself to finish the sentence, in phrases punctuated by shuddering gasps: "Once they'd fucked me... so open... I had their come... dripping out my ass. Figured I'd be... hah... ready to beg by then." He smiled in grim triumph. "Stupid of them, really."

Sam pressed his hand flat to Steve's chest, unable to say anything to that. There were more scabbed-over cuts there. He started tracing them with his finger, spelling out the letters. It said 'Hydra fuck toy.' Fucking hell.

"I mean, they got there. Didn't get me to beg... but they got there. Took 'em a while. And a guy with a dick like a... goddamn baseball bat. First few could barely get it in me. Like being ripped open, every... goddamn... time. Started out a virgin. Rumlow, he went first... well, second... first on the STRIKE team... what were his exact words? Oh yeah..." Steve's face screwed up in something that wanted to be a grin but came out looking like he was about to be sick, and he exhaled slowly as he came all over Sam's hand. When he caught his breath again, his voice was low and hoarse but even. "'Son of a bitch could squeeze blood from a stone,'" he said bitterly. He was still hard.

Sam focused on taking deep breaths as he wiped his hand off. He was going to kill someone. A lot of someones. The knowledge was clear and cold in his head. He was going to punch, stab, maim, shoot, he was going to squeeze blood from them all. But he had to put his rage away for tomorrow morning, because right now there was no one there but Steve. "I'm sorry, man, I know it's not fair to you," he said, "but if I run into any of these assholes I don't know if I'll be able to keep them alive long enough to hand them over to you."

Steve slumped back heavily into his arms. "I'd be the last to blame you."

"Can I ask you something? Just so I know who to hit hardest?"

"Sure."

"Who did go first?"

Steve's entire body went rigid.

"Uh-oh. Does that mean I should skip the hitting and just shoot the bastard to make sure he's really dead?"

Steve shoved away from him and strode off to stand at the railing by his empty mug. The last ghosts of the evening light picked out his expression in faint, sparse lines: the jut of his jaw, the slash of a cheekbone, the angry slant of his brow. There was a faint tinkling noise, which Sam couldn't place until he padded up behind Steve and saw that Steve's hand was shaking around the mug handle, jittering it against the concrete.

Sam almost put a hand on Steve's shoulder and then thought better of it. Instead he stepped forward to stand next to him, giving him at least a foot of space between their bodies. "Never mind," he said. "Forget I—"

"They made Bucky do it," said Steve in a monotone.

Sam froze.

"Pierce made him do it. Twice. I didn't know who he was the first time. I hated him; I could've killed him. The second time, with the mask off..." Steve broke off, shuddering violently, his voice choked. Almost inaudibly, he said, "It was sick. And I couldn't even say his name."

Sam edged closer and carefully slid an arm around Steve's waist. Steve barely reacted, lost in his own personal horror. "Did he resist?" asked Sam.

Steve closed his eyes and shook his head, then shrugged helplessly. "They brainwashed him. You should've seen the way Pierce talked to him, like a hypnotist. He didn't remember who he was, but he kept looking at me, like there was something on the tip of his tongue. He asked them who I was. Said there was something he was supposed to know that he'd forgotten."

"I'm sorry." Sam squeezed him gently around the waist, and Steve folded like a deck of cards and buried his face in Sam's neck. Sam brought his other arm up and wrapped Steve in a tight hug.

"He's still in there," Steve said, muffled in Sam's shirt.

"If they got him to do that to you?" said Sam, hating himself for having to say it, knowing that if it were him in those shoes—if it were Riley come back from the dead—he wouldn't be able to hear it either. "I'm sorry, Steve, there might not be anything left to save."

"No, I meant... okay, I meant that, too. He was trying to remember. If we could get him away from them... but what I meant was, they've still got him. He's still in there with those sick bastards. If they did all that to me, what have they been doing to him all this time?"

It was a rhetorical question that Sam knew better than to answer.

Steve pulled away with a sigh and tried to compose himself, tucking his dick—now drooping at half mast for probably the first time in hours—back into his jeans and shoving his hands into his pockets. He angled himself away from Sam, not quite looking at him, as though embarrassed to have cried, even figuratively, on Sam's shoulder. "It's funny," he said in a voice like bile. "He was in there for half an hour at most. And I'd trade that half hour for the rest of the afternoon all over again. Walk right back into that cell if it let me erase everything but the knowledge that he's alive. A couple of beatings, six forced blowjobs, a dozen rapes, two guys' fists and an electro-stun baton up my ass, it'd be a bargain. I'd do it all week if it would get him out of their clutches."

"An electro... the more details you let slip, the more I wonder how you're even alive."

"I heal fast," Steve shrugged, staring fixedly at nothing.

"Yeah, I figured. At least now I know what my nightmares will be doing for the next year."

Steve glanced over, and Sam must've looked rattled enough to snap him out of his private dead-best-friend hell. "You okay?"

Sam snorted. "You're asking if I'm okay."

"There might as well be one of us." One corner of Steve's mouth quirked up in a half-smile. "Seriously, you've already done a lot. If hearing about this is messing you up, take a break. I'll go trade horror stories with Natasha if I still feel like running my mouth."

"I owe it to you to at least listen."

"Sam. You don't owe me squat. And I owe you a whole lot. Don't do this to yourself."

Sam shrugged. Maybe the crickets and the smell of the air were reminding him of that night in the church parking lot, which was one of those scenes that he could call up just as vividly twenty years later. Like his mom's hospital room, or Riley falling in flames from the sky, or—he suspected—finding Steve in that cell. "Maybe I owe it to someone else to get my dumb ass in line and listen when somebody needs me to."

Steve laid a hand on his shoulder. "You have. You've gone above and beyond." Then he raised an eyebrow. "Something you need to get off your chest?"

Sam shook his head. As masochistically tempting as it was to come clean with that bit of lingering guilt, he couldn't, any more than Steve could bring himself to share the gruesome details of what Bucky Barnes had been made to do to him."Not my story to tell. Not the specifics, at least." He fidgeted and looked down, trying to figure out how much he could own up to without getting murdered next Thanksgiving dinner. "She's okay now. Successful, happily married, probably still hasn't forgiven me. Brave kid. Tough, brave kid. Raised the rest of us while Mom was sick. That's the thing about people who don't like to dump on anyone else. I should've realized that if she was asking for help, things were a whole lot worse than any of us thought. But I was immature and wrapped up in my own problems and I didn't want to think about the gory details, and I blew her off."

The hand on Sam's shoulder gave a gentle squeeze, and when Sam finally dared look up at Steve, he didn't look angry or disappointed at all. In fact, he looked sympathetic, which only made Sam's gut squirm harder. "You ever try to make it up to her?" Steve asked.

"It's not the kind of thing you can ever make up for. All you can do is pay it forward."

Steve nodded. "You have, you know." His fingers had started to knead absently at Sam's shoulder, which he didn't even seem to realize until his thumb hooked under Sam's shirt collar and met bare skin. He jolted like he'd had an electric shock and yanked his hand back, then tried to disguise the gesture by running his fingers through his hair. "We should get back," he said, glancing at the door. "We've still got the Insight helicarriers to take down and a lot of Nazi butt to kick."

Sam was inclined to agree, but even though he couldn't make out much detail on Steve's black clothes in the dark, he was willing to bet that his not-so-little problem was back in full force. "You want one more for the road before we go?" he asked. And, since Steve was already shuffling and waving a dismissive hand and opening his mouth to insist he didn't need any more help, he added, "Because if you've got any more frustration we can burn off right now, I'd rather deal with it while we're out here than find an excuse for one of us to drag you back out later."

It took a few seconds of squirming, but Steve relented. "I'll try to get it over with quickly," he said with a pained smile. "And not talk too much."

There was no need to find a shadowy corner now that there was only the half moon and the faint yellow haze of light pollution from the direction of DC. Steve unzipped his jeans right there on the bridge, and they both turned sideways and rested their left arms on the railing as Sam stepped up behind him and took him in hand.

For the first few minutes it was silent except for Steve breathing a little harder than normal. Then Sam brushed his thumb just so under the head of Steve's cock, and Steve choked back a moan. "Sorry," he whispered.

"I don't mind you making noise," said Sam, and did it again. Steve cursed under his breath and bucked forward into Sam's hand, just once, but it broke the spell of stillness and silence and after that he loosened up, shifting his hips around fractionally and keeping up a steady stream of soft noises and hitched breaths.

And now the awkward boner risk was becoming a real problem. Not because Sam had forgotten any of the horrors Steve had recounted to him, but because Steve's face betrayed no revulsion, no indication that those horrors were what was playing behind his eyes when he moaned and arched into Sam's touch—nothing, in fact, but pleasure and fierce determination. It was entirely possible that he was hiding his disgust for Sam's sake, but tell that to Sam's hindbrain. Still, he had the situation pretty well under control until Steve followed one particularly breathy moan with a murmured "Sam—yeah, like that." At that point Sam had to take a half-step back and pray that Steve hadn't noticed his cock springing to full attention.

No such luck. Steve followed him backwards, seeking out Sam's body with his hips. Sam's hand faltered. And then—"Oh," Steve said, and wriggled his ass against Sam's erection as though to make sure of what he'd felt. He reached down to curl his hand around Sam's, encouraging him to stroke faster. Sam bit his lip and braced himself to be carried along for the ride.

Soon Steve was outright grinding back onto Sam's cock, and Sam was letting slip a few embarrassing noises of his own. This was wrong. This was so, so wrong. He was supposed to be lending a hand to deal with a drug-induced medical condition. He definitely wasn't supposed to be getting off himself at a time like this. And to make matters worse, then Steve blurted out, "Sam, please," and immediately stuffed his fist in his mouth in shame.

Sam took a deep breath and let it out. That, at least, was a bucket of ice water over the head about the kind of state Steve was in and what Sam's job was in dealing with it. "It's okay," he said, low and steady. "I remember. Hands only."

Steve melted back against him, shuddering all the while. "Sorry," he said, "thought I could hold on, but... you feel so good."

"It's okay," Sam repeated softly. "Do what you have to."

Steve reached back, and for a second Sam froze, thinking Steve was trying to get his pants open, but instead he was fumbling with Sam's hard-on through his jeans, nudging it until it was facing straight up towards his belly button. Sam wasn't sure why until Steve started grinding on him again, serious, dirty, fucking-through-clothes grinding with Sam's cock wedged into the cleft of his ass. "Oh God," Steve groaned, "Sam—want you inside me so bad, but at least fuck me like this."

That gave Sam pause. It wasn't that much heavier than anything they'd been doing before, but now that Steve put it like that Sam had to wonder if it was really in the spirit of their agreement. They were both still fully clothed, and Steve was still aware enough to preserve the technicality instead of trying to get Sam's pants off. And yet. "You think dry humping really counts as hands only?" asked Sam.

Steve made a strangled, impatient noise, but he slowed down. "We've been doing it since before I got this worked up," he pointed out. "It's fine. No clothes off, no penetration."

It still made Sam's conscience prickle. He could bring the whole thing screeching to a halt, drag Steve back towards full lucidity long enough to get a trustworthy response out of him, and then try to build back to where they were now despite the added load of self-conscious mortification. Or he could switch to doing it face-to-face to eliminate the temptation, and probably draw it out longer he had to. Or he could shut the fuck up, trust Steve to still be able to distinguish between what he wanted and what he wanted, and honor Steve's express wish to get this over with as quickly as possible. "Six counseling certifications above my pay grade," he muttered, and thrust up to meet the backward jerk of Steve's ass.

"Oh," Steve moaned, and "oh, yeah," and "know it would be a terrible idea, still wish you could put it in me." He rubbed himself up and down along the length of Sam's dick, trying to give them both the best approximation of the real thing he could manage through four layers of clothing. Sam swore and sped up his hand, wondering if he would have to resort to reciting baseball stats in his head to hold on until Steve was done.

"Want you to do it," said Steve breathlessly. "Want to do everything, fuck you, blow you, get you to blow me, but oh God I want you to fuck me so bad and don't you ever tell another living soul I said any of this crap or I swear I'll hunt you down myself."

"You're good," Sam assured him, "you're good. Secret's safe with me."

Steve bit his lip, rutting frantically back against him, and held out for a few long moments of silence before the words tore themselves out of his throat: "God, do it, fuck me, please, Sam, I want you to be the last one to have been inside me, please, please, fuck—" He choked on the last word, shuddered, and came.

Sam was all ready to give him a second and keep holding him steady while he recovered, but almost as soon as he finished, Steve jerked away from him. His mouth was clamped tightly shut. Sam handed him a tissue, and he wiped his softening dick off and made himself presentable in record time, not quite looking at Sam while he worked. When he was done, he stood up unnaturally straight, squared his shoulders, and pointed a mock-threatening finger at Sam. "You didn't hear any of that."

Sam spread his hands in an 'I got nothing' gesture. "Any of what?" he said, one eyebrow raised.

Steve let out a long, slow breath. "Okay, good."

A little bit of the creeping dread that had been coiling in Sam's stomach eased. "We good here?" he asked. He wasn't about to bring up his own failure to keep things from getting more intimate than they'd planned on, not with Steve's pride so clearly smarting, but he figured he might as well give Steve an opening if he wanted to take him to task.

"Better. Thanks. Sorry you had to see that." Steve shifted awkwardly from foot to foot, looking not at the doorway but at Sam. "How about you? You want a hand? Don't want to leave you hanging."

Sam didn't let his jaw drop open, but it was a close thing. "Steve. Come on. You do not have to offer that. I feel bad enough for letting myself get this worked up."

"What if I want to?"

"Of course you want to! You're drugged off your head."

"Not like that. Just... it's sex," said Steve, and even if the light wasn't good enough to make out the subtleties of his expression, Sam was going to take a wild guess for 'stupidly earnest.' "Maybe not under ideal circumstances, but I'd rather it be sex than, I don't know, you lancing a boil or something. If it were that impersonal, there's a doctor on site. There's a reason I trusted you with this. And I'm getting kind of tired of people asking me to pretend it's not personal."

The words That's the problem, I'm not about to ask you for sex after what just happened to you almost made it to Sam's lips before he heard the bite in not personal and shut the hell up. Come to mention it, he'd never thought that hard about why Steve had trusted him with this. Any of this, right down to showing up on Sam's doorstep in the first place, except that Sam was the least likely person in Steve's universe to be Hydra. He'd jumped right back in without examining it, because fighting for what was right was all well and good, but what mattered was that Captain America was asking him to be the guy next to him in the foxhole and that was something neither Sam Wilson nor Steve Rogers had had in way too long. Except that wasn't true for Steve, was it? The bastards they were going to hunt down tomorrow, they'd been his team. They'd had his back. And they'd turned on a dime and done this to him because, what, they were on opposite sides of an ideological divide?

He hadn't thought about how much it meant that he was the one Steve was willing to trust after that.

And the rape, was that not personal? Like hell, but like hell was it about sex. And if Steve was sick to the teeth of convincing himself it didn't mean anything and done dealing with sex that wasn't really about sex, Sam wasn't enough of an asshole to argue with him.

He made himself smile. "So what you're saying is, you did have ulterior motives for asking whether I wanted to get in your pants."

"They weren't that ulterior," Steve said dryly, "considering that's exactly what you were about to do." He swallowed hard, ducking his head and pressing his lips together in a thin half-smile. It had been a cute bashful gesture when he'd done it in Sam's kitchen that morning, but now, under his paper-thin layer of friendly sarcasm, he looked exhausted. Ragged around the edges, losing a knock-down drag-out fight with his own shame, running on fumes and battery acid because it was better than what would happen if he stood still. "Now, do I get to return the favor? Or is the thought of who else has been in my pants enough to kill your enthusiasm?"

Sam wasn't going to let him lose that fight alone. "Get your stupid ass in here," he said, grabbing Steve by his shirt collar and tugging him in close. "If it's not enough to kill yours, then I'm game."

Steve gave him a tight-lipped nod. He didn't go directly for Sam's fly. Instead, he closed his eyes and pressed their foreheads together, close enough to share breath but not close enough to kiss. His breath didn't smell like anything unsavory, just coffee—and about half a tube's worth of toothpaste, which, since he'd showered off and all the bruises on his face and arms had faded by the time they got outside, was the only outward sign of anything he'd gone through that day. He squeezed Sam's shoulders briefly, and then his hands slid down Sam's chest, warm and sure, feeling him up through the thin fabric of his t-shirt. They left tingling trails in their wake. If Sam's arousal had been flagging before, it sure as hell wasn't now. Steve ragged and exhausted was still hotter than he had any right to be, but more than that, he was brave to the point of crazy, and damn if that wasn't a turn-on.

Steve slipped his hands up under Sam's shirt, feeling his way over his stomach and sides, and then his thumbs met in the middle right under Sam's belly button and slid down. Sam held his breath as Steve got his jeans open. He didn't even realize he was doing it until Steve pulled his cock out and wrapped a hand around it and Sam emptied his lungs in a sudden, explosive sigh.

The angle should've been awkward, standing face-to-face like this. When Sam had been standing behind Steve he'd been able to jerk him off as though he'd been doing it on himself. But having to switch his grip didn't seem to faze Steve at all, and it definitely didn't hamper his effectiveness. "You done this before?" Sam asked, already more breathless than he wanted to be.

There was a long moment of silence before the answer came, and then, "Yeah," said Steve in a voice like broken glass. "Bucky and I tried it a few times when we were teenagers. Just for fun. I kissed him once, after, and it scared the hell out of us both. We stopped after that."

"I'm sorry." Sam slid an arm around Steve's shoulders, resting his hand on the nape of his neck. Steve tilted his face back a little farther, as though afraid Sam would be dumb enough to plant one on his lips, and then when Sam had the good sense not to go there he sped up his hand and wrapped his free arm around Sam's waist.

"It was a long time ago," he said quietly.

"And they didn't make you..." Sam started, and immediately wished he hadn't, because for fuck's sake, there was a time and a place.

Steve let out a bark of laughter. "Do this?" he said, and twisted his wrist so the angle was just a little bit off and squeezed. It wasn't enough to hurt, but it was an alarming enough warning shot to drive home exactly how difficult and dangerous it was to get Steve to do anything he didn't want to do. "Even if they'd had the imagination, they would never have had the guts."

"Jesus," Sam breathed, his adrenaline spiking. Steve went back to stroking him, faster and rougher than before, and it wasn't long before Sam was groaning and coming into the strong, hot grip of Steve's fist. He didn't even want to think about what that said about what got him going. But when he opened his eyes Steve was smiling at him, a fond, lopsided smile that actually reached his eyes.

"We good?" Steve asked.

Sam handed over the last of the tissues so Steve could get himself cleaned up. "I don't know," he said, "you mentioned something about a lot of Nazi butt to kick. But otherwise, yeah, we're good."

-

Fury and Hill had used the extra time to finish programming the server blades and set everything up, so the planning meeting was mercifully short. Afterwards, they all tried to get a few hours of sleep. The safe house was short on amenities aside from Fury's hospital bed, so instead of tossing and turning on too-soft mattresses they all settled down on the floor in opposite corners of the same room.

Sam woke up twice in the night to find Steve in the throes of a nightmare. The first time, he was moaning and lying perfectly still as though paralyzed. When Sam grabbed him by the shoulders to shake him awake, he gasped and convulsed and went limp, then mumbled something unintelligible, rolled onto his side, and settled into what appeared to be peaceful sleep. Sam wasn't about to look under the blanket and check, but he was all too familiar by now with the effects of whatever Steve had been dosed with. He could guess.

The second time, Steve was thrashing and yelling, and Sam was about to go to him again when he heard Maria Hill's voice saying, "Steve—Steve, wake up." There was a sudden smack of flesh on flesh, and Sam sat up in alarm, but when he looked over Hill was holding Steve's wrist firmly away from her and saying, "It's okay. No harm no foul. Just a nightmare." The thrashing and yelling was probably a good sign anyway, or at least a sign that the drugs were wearing off. Sam curled up and tried to go back to sleep.

The next time he woke up, it was from a dream of his own. The details faded as he drifted back to the real world, but the dread stayed in the pit of his stomach—he had a vague memory that he'd been chasing the Winter Soldier, tracking him through endless tunnels with impossible geometry, but the closer he got the more he started to wonder whether it would be Riley's face under the mask or Steve's. There was faint pre-dawn light filtering through the grimy windows when he opened his eyes. Gradually he realized it was the sound of Natasha talking that had pulled him back to the surface.

"...think it's impressive. But the truth is, the last time I planned around an extraction team to get me out of a situation I couldn't handle myself, they never showed." Her voice was quiet, matter-of-fact, and coming from Steve's corner of the room. "Barton found me, but not before I'd spent two days in a military prison in Sarajevo being—"

Sam felt a sudden need to yawn really loudly and stretch himself awake.

"—interrogated. Creatively." Natasha didn't even glance over her shoulder. "Morning."

"I didn't know there were situations you couldn't handle yourself," came Steve's voice.

"After that, I narrowed the field as drastically as I could. Now up you get, it's time. If we survive, I'll be sure to teach you a few party tricks for restraints."

There was a rustle and a slight groan as Steve dragged himself to his feet. "Looking forward to it," he said, so dry Sam couldn't actually tell whether he was being sarcastic.

He looked worse than he had the previous night: drawn, haggard, pale except for the dark circles under his eyes, mouth fixed in a grim line. He barely spoke all through their quick breakfast and the initial preparations. Like the screaming nightmares, Sam was inclined to take it as a sign that at least the drugs had worn off and he wasn't being forced to enjoy a damn thing. He moved differently, too, although Sam hadn't noticed it at first. It wasn't until Natasha drew Steve aside for a ten-minute warm-up spar and he came striding back with some semblance of his usual grace, carrying his body like the well-honed weapon it was, that Sam realized he'd spent the rest of the morning lugging it stiffly around like a burden.

Natasha was right behind him, mopping up a split lip and already sporting a handful of nascent bruises on her arms and shoulders. Sam caught the tail end of their conversation as they returned to the main room: "...can't guarantee that the SHIELD-issue phones won't have automatically backed up to the central servers by now."

"It's okay," Steve said quietly, a muscle in his jaw twitching. "Dump all the data anyway."

Sam didn't get a chance to talk to him one-on-one until just before they left, when Fury and Natasha were getting the last of their spook shit in order. He found Steve out on the bridge again, staring off into the distance.

He didn't want to think about what Steve was seeing. Rape, torture, betrayal. Last night's humiliation. The devastation they were fighting to avert today. The devastation he'd already seen back in the war. A million reasons to burn Hydra to the ground. "Hey," said Sam, coming up beside him. "Payback time."

Steve shrugged.

"If that's how you want to put it," he said unhappily, his eyes still somewhere else. There was a jagged catch to his voice that it took Sam a second to recognize, but then it all fell into place.

"You're going to try and save him, aren't you," said Sam. Steve nodded. "You know you're going to have to stop him first, right?"

"I'll do both," Steve said, a fierce, simple declaration of fact.

He didn't add or die trying. Sam heard it anyway.

"Now gear up. It's time."