Steve was sitting on his bed in his undershirt, boots kicked off, sketching idly and trying to figure out which Hydra site they should hit first. Colonel Phillips had his ideas, but it was Steve's team. It was Steve's decision, and this time he wasn't the only one who was going to be affected by it. He needed to consider all the options carefully--his team was going with him, and he had to keep them safe.
He had to keep Bucky safe. Especially after what he'd gone through when Schmidt had him. Not that he'd told Steve much, but they'd been friends nearly all their lives--Steve could tell it was bad. Even if he hadn't seen the bruises and the burns on Bucky's chest and back, he'd have known from the despair in Bucky's eyes before he'd recognized Steve, or from the nightmares Bucky had tried to hide from him during the march back to the base in Italy. He was glad Bucky had joined the team, but a part of him wished he could keep his friend safe somewhere--he finally understood what Bucky must have been feeling all the times he'd tried to enlist.
There was a knock at the door. "Yeah, come in," he said, wondering what whoever it was needed now. He reminded himself that he'd asked for this, that he wanted it--being bothered at all hours of the day and night to approve plans or check out something Stark was working on or fill out reams of paperwork went with the territory.
"Nice digs. I guess rank has its privileges, huh?" said a familiar voice.
Steve looked up and grinned. "Hi, Bucky," he said. Bucky looked good--Bucky always looked good to Steve, but he was relieved to see there were no more dark circles under Bucky's eyes, and he held himself more loosely, like he was no longer quite as tightly wound as he had been. It looked like he'd gotten a couple good nights' sleep. "I'm glad to see you," he said. "I'm thinking we should head for the base in Greece first; it'll be the easiest to hit. What do you think?"
"That's where Schmidt will expect us to go," Bucky pointed out, sitting down on the bed next to Steve. There was less room than there used to be when they'd do this back in Brooklyn, even though the bed was a little bigger--not that Steve minded. Bucky didn't seem to mind, either; he got right next to Steve, their thighs and shoulders touching, same as always. "He'll be waiting for us."
Steve shrugged. The movement of his shoulders rocked Bucky back towards the wall; that used to happen to him, but now everything was backwards. "He'll be waiting for us no matter where we go first," he said. "Might as well use whatever advantage we have."
"So what's the plan, Captain?" Bucky asked, grinning at him. "By land or by sea? Or were you just going to fly in like Superman?"
"I can't fly," Steve said, frowning. "I'm just a little stronger than I used to be, that's all."
"Could have fooled me, that jump you made," Bucky responded, punching his shoulder. Steve stayed where he was, not moving an inch; it was so strange. Being with Bucky made him aware of his new body in a way he hadn't been since the first few days after it happened. "That was fucking amazing, Steve. I was so scared you weren't gonna make it, but then you just backed up and made like you were skipping over a crack in the sidewalk."
"I wouldn't have made it if you hadn't grabbed my hand," Steve pointed out. "I'm not Superman, Bucky. I'm still me." It was important to him that Bucky knew that.
"I know you're still you, Rogers," Bucky said. "You're just…" he trailed off, studying Steve closely.
"Just what?" Steve asked, flushing.
It was Bucky's turn to shrug. "Just more, I guess," he said after a moment. "More you, which doesn't make any fucking sense--forget I said anything, okay?"
"Okay," Steve answered, pleased. It reminded him of what Dr. Erskine had said. "So, the base in Greece, I was thinking we'd land here," he said, pointing to a spot on the map he'd drawn in his notebook. Bucky bent to see, the top of his head brushing against Steve's chin. They spent the next half hour going over plans, and the half hour after that reminiscing. Bucky took his jacket and boots off and relaxed next to him, and it was almost like they were back in their apartment in Brooklyn. It was all great until Bucky brought up what had happened that morning.
"I hear Agent Carter shot at you this morning," he said, grinning slyly at Steve like it was some sort of joke. Which maybe it was, to Bucky; most things were. "She must really like you."
"She shot me, Bucky--I don't think she likes me," Steve said. "How'd you even hear about it, anyway?"
"Oh, everyone knows, Stevie," Bucky said, grinning even wider. "This place has more gossips than our apartment building did."
"Terrific," Steve said, looking down. "That's just terrific."
"Wow," Bucky said slowly.
"What?" Steve said, annoyed.
"You really like her, don't you?" Bucky asked. "I mean, I could tell you liked her some, last night, but I didn't realize…."
"Of course I like her," Steve retorted. "What's not to like?"
"You know that's not what I mean," Bucky said. "Do you like her?"
"Is this a test?" Steve asked, trying to make it into a joke, looking down at Bucky's face, his heavy-lidded blue eyes, the subtle cleft in his chin, the shape of his mouth that was so hard to sketch properly.
"If I say yes, will you answer the question?" Bucky said. He was still smiling, but the smile didn't reach his eyes.
"Yes, I like Agent Carter," Steve said carefully. "She's beautiful, she's smart, and she packs a hell of a punch. More that that, she's nice to me, or she used to be, before today. She was nice even before, uh, all this," he said, gesturing to indicate the way his body had changed. "She treated me no differently than she did any of the other men. There aren't a lot of people like that."
"There should be," Bucky said, frowning. "I never got that, how people didn't see what a great guy you were, just because you were short."
"Short, skinny, and asthmatic," Steve said with a wry smile. "Weak. People don't like that, I guess."
"You were never weak," Bucky replied, a hand on his arm. "Not where it counted. I guess maybe Agent Carter could tell that, too."
"Yeah, well, now she thinks I'm just like every other GI out there," Steve said. "All because some WAC kissed me."
"Now that part is news to me," Bucky said, his gaze sharpening. "Spill it, pal."
"It was nothing," Steve protested. "Like I said, it was just some WAC--she said she was doing it for the women of America; it was just like some of the girls I met on tour."
"Some of those girls kiss you too?" Bucky asked, sitting back and watching him closely.
"A few," Steve admitted reluctantly. Bucky crowed in triumphant laughter, pointing at him.
"Bucky, it didn't mean… none of them… it was just about this," he tried to explain, gesturing at his body again. "None of them were interested in me. They kissed me; it was nice enough, but that's all it was. And no, I didn't do anything more than kiss any of them," he added, wanting to make sure Bucky understood. "Mostly not even that--the first few times it happened I just kind of stood there; I didn't know what to do."
"You move your lips, use a little tongue; it's not that hard once you've gotten some practice," Bucky said. Steve's heart started beating faster, and he found himself staring at Bucky's mouth, wondering. He pulled his gaze away, his ears warm.
"Yeah, I guess," he muttered. "Like I said, it was nice enough, but it didn't mean anything."
"But Agent Carter's different," Bucky said, still watching him closely.
"Maybe," he said. "Like I said, she was nice to me before."
"Then you're right that she's smart," Bucky said. The certainty in his voice made Steve's breath catch. "Don't get me wrong, I get why the girls are after you now," he added, glancing up and down at Steve. "Just look at you--it's no wonder Agent Carter didn't notice me. But the best parts of you, they were always there. The Steve I know, he's still the same guy."
"Thanks," Steve said quietly.
"So, you said you didn't know what to do," Bucky said, a strange expression on his face. "You want it to be right, the first time you kiss the luscious Agent Carter."
"I'm not going to be kissing her," Steve retorted, rolling his eyes. "Did you miss the part where she shot me? She hates me, Bucky."
"For a smart guy, you sure are dumb," Bucky said, laughing. "She shot at you because she was jealous, Steve. She likes you. She likes you a lot. You play your cards right, maybe find some mistletoe somewhere, you'll be kissing before you know it, and maybe more."
"You really think she likes me?" Steve asked, hearing the wistfulness in his voice and wishing it wasn't there. If he lived to be a hundred, he didn't think he'd ever understand women. Or anyone, really.
"I'm sure of it," Bucky said confidently.
They sat in comfortable silence for a few minutes.
"Now that we've got that sorted, we need a plan," Bucky said finally.
"A plan?" Steve asked, one eyebrow raised.
Bucky nodded decisively, trying to hide his smirk. "You said you didn't know what to do when a dame kissed you. We need to work on that."
"What the hell are you talking about, Buck?" Steve said.
"We could just talk about it, I suppose," Bucky said, smirking more obviously. "Or maybe I should let you practice on me," he added, laughing.
"Practice?" Steve said, his throat dry. Bucky couldn't possibly mean what it sounded like he was saying. "Bucky, that's not funny."
"Sure it is, Steve--it's hilarious! You go ahead and kiss me, Captain, and I'll let you know what you need to work on--"
"Stop it!" Steve shoved Bucky away. He meant it as a light push, but Bucky fell off the bed, landing on one knee.
"I was just joking," Bucky said, rubbing at his knee.
"I'm sorry," Steve said, looking at him with concern. "I didn't mean. . . . Is your knee okay?"
"I'm fine," Bucky said, but he didn't sound fine. "Look, Steve, I get it. I should have known you wouldn't think it was funny. I'm happy for you--if Agent Carter's the one you want, she's the luckiest dame in the world."
Steve didn't say anything, just stared at his feet, so much bigger than they used to be, and wished for a hole large enough to swallow him up.
"Steve?" Bucky said quietly after another couple minutes. He got up from the floor and sat next to Steve on the bed again, putting his hand on Steve's shoulder. "Geez, Steve, talk to me."
Steve just shook his head.
"Come on, Steve," Bucky said. "What's wrong? Shit, I should have known--it's not just that you like her. You're in love with her, aren't you?"
At that, Steve looked up, but he didn't look at Bucky. He couldn't. He shook his head again, laughing sadly. "I'm not in love with Agent Carter," he said.
"Then what…" Bucky trailed off. Steve knew Bucky was studying him again, and he tried to school his expression, make sure not to give anything away, but it didn't work. "Who is it?" Bucky asked. His voice was quiet, but Steve could hear the anger in it.
Steve shook his head. He couldn't say anything else.
"Steve," Bucky said, his voice hard. "You're my best friend. Tell me. You say you're not in love with Peggy Carter, fine, but you're in love with someone, and whoever it is, it's tearing you up. So tell me who this mystery woman is. She obviously doesn't know her ass from a hole in the ground if she's not already crazy in love with you."
Steve took a deep breath and blew it out slowly. He was supposed to be a good man, that's what Dr. Erskine had said, but he didn't know what a good man would do in this situation. Probably tell the truth--it was always best to tell the truth, right? Except telling the truth would probably cost him the most important person in his life. Still, maybe Bucky deserved to know.
So he took another breath, turned to Bucky, met his eyes, and said, "It's not a woman, Bucky."
Bucky took a sharp breath, his eyes wide. "What?" he breathed.
It was a better response than Steve had hoped for--at least Bucky hadn't hit him. He looked at his feet again. "I understand if you've changed your mind about being on the team," he said, his shoulders tense. "I'd appreciate it if you didn't tell anyone else--"
"Shut up," Bucky interrupted sharply. "Steve, shut the fuck up for a minute."
Steve shut his mouth and waited for Bucky to leave, to hit him, to move away.
None of that happened. He could feel the heat of Bucky's thigh next to his, could hear him breathing, but he didn't leave; he didn't even move away. After an excruciatingly long moment that was probably only a few seconds, Bucky moved closer, close enough to rest his head on Steve's shoulder. "It better be me. So help me God, Rogers, if it's some other guy I'm gonna kill you," Bucky murmured. Steve could feel Bucky's breath on his neck. His improved heart skipped a beat, the way it always used to and never had since he'd changed.
"Of course it's you," he said hoarsely, turning to face Bucky. "It's always been you." Bucky was looking at him with his characteristic smirk, but there was a heat in his eyes Steve hadn't seen before, and Steve took a sharp breath of his own as he realized what it meant. "Bucky?" he said, full of hope.
"God, we are the two stupidest men who ever lived," Bucky said, laughing, leaning in to Steve, his arm going around Steve's shoulder, his hand on the back of Steve's neck, and then he was kissing him, tongue pressing against Steve's lower lip until he opened his mouth with a moan and started kissing Bucky back.
The kiss wasn't like anything he'd ever imagined--not like kissing any of the girls when he'd been on tour, and definitely not like kissing the WAC that morning. He cataloged the differences automatically--no lipstick, no perfume, the rough brush of stubble against his cheek, the strength of Bucky's arms pulling him closer, strength he could have easily resisted, but, God, he didn't want to--until he lost track of anything other than Bucky's mouth, Bucky's tongue, Bucky's hands moving to his belt and his trousers, pulling his fly open and pulling his dick out of his shorts.
"Bucky," he gasped.
"Wow," Bucky said, looking down at his dick, heavy in Bucky's hand and getting harder with every heart beat. "Jesus, Rogers. " It sounded like he was pleased, but Steve wasn't sure.
"You… you like it?" Steve had to ask, flushing, fighting the urge to push up into Bucky's grip.
"Are you kidding me?" Bucky said, moving his hand up and down, and then swiping his thumb over the top with a little twist, God, it felt so good. "You're gorgeous, Steve."
Steve was so caught up in the idea that Bucky thought he was, that his dick was gorgeous, that he was completely unprepared when Bucky scooted back on the bed, bent his head, and ran his tongue over the top of Steve's dick the way he had his thumb.
"Oh," Steve said, leaning against the wall. "Oh, oh my God, Bucky," he gasped. He'd fantasized about this, about this and other things, all those nights when Bucky was out with a dame or dames, when he'd take himself in hand. He'd imagined Bucky's hands, his mouth, but he'd never imagined it could feel this good.
"Lay back," Bucky said, pushing at his chest. "I need more room; Christ, you're built like a tank."
Steve pulled Bucky up by the shoulders into another kiss, then did as he asked, letting his knees fall to either side. He watched in disbelief as Bucky bent his head again and took Steve's dick into his mouth. So many things he'd hoped for had happened in the last year--joining the Army, joining the fight, finding Bucky again--and none of them in any way he could have ever imagined. This very moment, with Bucky's lips stretched around his cock, he'd pictured so many times. He'd wanted it more than he'd ever wanted anything, but never once thought he'd have it; it had seemed less likely than getting shot up with Dr. Erskine's serum. He moaned, his eyes squeezing shut, hands fisted in the sheets, fighting the urge to thrust up into that wet heat, to let go.
Then Bucky started using his hands, too, his fingers wrapped around Steve, stroking up and down in tandem with his mouth, his knuckle pressed up behind, and Steve gasped, "Bucky, I'm--" trying to warn him, but Bucky ignored him and did something amazing with his tongue and that was it, Steve was coming, harder and better than he'd ever come before.
When he opened his eyes, Bucky was kneeling in front of him, his shirt tossed to the side, his pants open, and his hand on his own cock. Steve groaned at the sight, reaching for Bucky, only to drop his hands at his sides.
"Get over here," Bucky said huskily, and Steve moved to comply. "No, wait," Bucky added, putting his hand up and looking at Steve. "You're wearing too many clothes, Rogers. I want to see every inch of you, up close and very personal."
"You too," Steve blurted out. Bucky grinned and nodded, getting off the bed to pull his pants and shorts off. Steve tossed his clothes on top of Bucky's and got back on the bed. He'd seen Bucky mostly naked before, but never like this, his erection bobbing in front of him, his skin flushed, his pupils dark. "God, Bucky," he breathed.
"Yeah?" Bucky said with none of his usual confidence.
"You have no idea," Steve answered, reaching out to touch his cheek. Bucky leaned down and kissed him again, gently at first, but it quickly turned passionate, and Steve groaned when he realized he could taste himself in Bucky's mouth, something else he'd never imagined. Bucky knelt down between his legs, his body up against Steve's, and Steve could feel his dick pressing into him, droplets of fluid leaking out onto Steve's stomach as Bucky mouthed at his neck and shoulder. He didn't know what to do with his hands, so he placed them on Bucky's waist, pulling him even closer.
"Buck," he said, "Bucky, I don't… what, what do you, what should I do?"
Bucky sat back, studying Steve for a moment, then turned around and lay back against Steve. "Your hand," he said, his breath coming quickly. "Like you'd touch yourself, Steve--did you think of me when you jerked off? Because I thought of you."
"Always," Steve said, taking hold of Bucky and starting to stroke. Bucky let his head fall back against Steve's shoulder, his eyes closing, his mouth open.
"Fuck, that's good; just like that, Steve," Bucky panted.
Steve kept up a steady pace, leaning forward to watch Bucky's face. He wanted to focus on Bucky, but his dick was caught in the cleft of Bucky's ass, and he couldn't help but thrust up against him a little with each stroke; it felt so good. After he'd done it a few more times, Bucky sat up and turned to face him.
"Are you actually hard again already? That's amazing," he said, looking down at the clear evidence that Steve was.
"Uh, yeah," Steve said, embarrassed. "Sorry--I guess it's the serum; my whole metabolism is a lot faster, although it's never happened this fast before--"
"You don't need to apologize, Steve, Christ," Bucky said. "This just--it opens up some new possibilities, that's all."
"Like what?" Steve asked, feeling lost.
"Where do you keep your stuff?" Bucky asked, a feral look in his eye.
"My stuff?" Steve said, completely confused.
"Your stuff," Bucky said, making a gesture with his hand that Steve wasn't sure how to interpret. "You still use Vaseline, or you got something else in your drawer?" he asked, turning to look in the small chest next to the bed. "Okay, great, this'll work," he said, grinning triumphantly as he pulled the tin of Vaseline out.
"Was I too rough?" Steve asked, worried. "I didn't hurt you, did I?" Sometimes he still lost track of how strong he was now.
"No, you were great," Bucky said, putting the tin down and kissing him fiercely. "You are great, you're fucking magnificent, Steve, are you kidding me?"
"Well, I have knocked out Hitler over 200 times," he said with a weak chuckle. "What are we gonna do with this?" he asked, reaching for the tin.
Bucky leaned in and put his mouth next to Steve's ear. "I'm gonna put some on my fingers, and I'm gonna open myself up for you, Steve, and then I'm gonna put some on that magnificent dick of yours and you're gonna fuck me into next Tuesday, that's what we're gonna do with it."
Steve couldn't help the moan that came out of him as he heard what Bucky planned. "God, Bucky," he said helplessly. "That's--are you sure? Have you done that, uh, before?"
"A few times," Bucky responded with his usual confidence, although Steve could see his hands were shaking a little as he reached into the tin and scooped some Vaseline onto his first two fingers.
"Bucky," Steve said firmly, his hand on Bucky's arm. "You're sure?" Bucky nodded. "You have to be careful," Steve said, but Bucky was already kneeling on the bed and reaching behind himself and pushing first one, then a second finger up, his eyes closed, a look of concentration on his face. "Bucky, slow down," Steve said helplessly. "Be careful; are you all right?"
"Ah, Christ, I'm good, Steve; I'm fine," Bucky said hoarsely, sinking down onto his fingers--Steve thought it was three now. "Feels good, but not as good as you will," he panted, and Steve couldn't take it anymore and grabbed Bucky's ass and pulled him down, scooping some of the lubricant up with the fingers of his free hand. He pulled Bucky's hand down and replaced Bucky's fingers with his own. He watched Bucky's face carefully, but there was no sign of pain, just pleasure and desire. He gave in to his own desire and kissed Bucky's neck, his shoulder, sucked on the lobe of his ear, pushed his tongue into Bucky's mouth, all the while working his fingers slowly in and out, until Bucky broke away with a muttered, "Fuck, now, Steve, now."
"Now, yes, okay, but what do I do?" Steve said, his voice sounding desperate to his own ears.
"Lay back," Bucky said, just as he had earlier, and Steve obeyed instantly. "More of that," Bucky said, scooping up more Vaseline and spreading it over Steve's dick. Steve gasped; his dick was so hard it felt like he hadn't come for months, not the minutes it had actually been. Bucky straddled his waist, reached down, grasped his dick and moved it into position, then slowly, inch by inch, sank down. It took every ounce of self-control Steve possessed to hold still as Bucky breathed, as he opened himself up, as he sank lower and lower until he was flush against Steve's hips, until Steve was completely inside him.
They stayed there for a long moment, the only sound their ragged breaths. Steve had his hand on Bucky's back, slick with sweat, could see the pulse beating rapidly in Bucky's neck; he put his mouth on the spot and felt it flutter against his lips, his tongue. Then Bucky moved, circled his hips a little, and Steve was back to fighting to stay still, his teeth closing on Bucky's shoulder as he held on, held back, let Bucky take control, let him move slowly, so slowly, up and down. He felt so good. Bucky should feel this good, too; he needed to do something for Bucky, so he reached between them and put his hand around Bucky's dick again, trying to stroke like he had before, like he thought Bucky would like. Bucky groaned, long and low, his head dropping forward, the movement of his hips stuttering to a stop, his dick hardening further in Steve's grip. Then he started moving again, faster now, rocking his hips forward and back in time with Steve's hand. They found a rhythm, sped up, lost it, found it again, until Bucky cried out and came, spilling over Steve's hand. The sound of it, the feel of it, in his hand, around him, it was too much, and Steve thrust up into Bucky's body, his orgasm rolling up through him with a sharpness that was almost painful.
They stayed there a few minutes after they finished. The muscles in Bucky's thighs were starting to quiver from overuse when he finally slipped off Steve with a hiss. "You okay?" Steve asked, reaching over to massage Bucky's quadriceps gently.
"Mmmm, yeah, Steve, I'm fine," Bucky murmured, stretching out next to him on the bed. "Should probably get cleaned up, though."
"Let me," Steve said quickly, going over to the washbasin. "I'm sorry it's so cold," he said, running the washcloth gently over Bucky, then over himself. "I could get dressed, go get some warm water…."
"You're not going anywhere," Bucky said, pulling him back onto the bed.
"Okay," Steve said happily. It took a minute to work out a way for the two of them to fit together comfortably on the bed, but eventually Bucky settled himself between Steve and the wall, although a fair amount of him was resting directly on top of Steve. Not that he minded.
"This is nice," he offered, his hand moving gently along the line of Bucky's arm.
"Seems like I've been cold for the last three months, but I'm not cold now," Bucky answered. He was smiling the kind of soft, warm smile Steve had only seen once or twice since they were kids. "Must be that metabolism you were going on about."
"Yeah, I guess so," Steve said.
"It's nice," Bucky said through a yawn. "Could have used this back in the apartment those last couple winters. Wish I'd realized how you felt back then."
"So you…" Steve trailed off, not sure he wanted to know the answer to the question on his mind.
"What?" Bucky said.
"You said you thought about me before?" Steve said, watching Bucky's face closely.
"Sure," Bucky said, like it was obvious. "Shit, Steve, I think the first wet dream I ever had was about you." He kissed Steve's neck. "I've wanted you for as long as I've wanted anyone." Steve let go of a tension he hadn't even been aware of at Bucky's words.
Bucky rested his head on Steve's chest and closed his eyes, the lines that usually ran across his forehead gone, his jaw lax, his breathing even. Steve kept up the gentle movement of his hand up and down Bucky's arm and over the back of Bucky's neck, occasionally running his fingers through Bucky's hair, studying every aspect of the man in his arms.
Steve looked and looked; he didn't think he could ever tire of the sight in front of him. He took in every detail: the freckle on Bucky's forehead. The slight unevenness of his hairline where the barber had lost his concentration. The bruise on his shoulder that Steve guiltily realized he must have caused. The contour of his spine, down to the curve of his buttocks. The dark hairs on the back of his thighs. He kissed Bucky's forehead. "Wish I could paint you like this," he murmured. "You're beautiful, Bucky."
"Really?" Bucky asked, moving his head back far enough to meet his eyes.
"I did tell you I was in love with you," Steve answered, embarrassed.
"You did, didn't you?" Bucky said softly, placing his hand on Steve's cheek. "Don't know why you'd pick a jerk like me, but I'm glad you did."
"You're not a jerk," Steve said automatically. Only he got to call Bucky a jerk; he hated when he referred to himself that way.
"Whatever you say, Steve," Bucky said sleepily. "You want to do this again, I'm gonna need to get some shut-eye first. Some of us are still regular humans, you know." He put his head down on Steve's chest again.
"So you'll want to do it again?" Steve asked shyly. Just because he was in love with Bucky didn't mean Bucky felt the same. Wanting someone, even for years, didn't mean you loved them.
"Of course," Bucky muttered, stretching his arm out over Steve's chest and relaxing even further. "Whenever we get a chance, unless you've got some other plans."
"You don't ever go out with the same girl twice," Steve pointed out.
"Didn't go out with anyone twice, whether they were a girl or a boy," Bucky said. "None of 'em were you." He lifted his head and looked at Steve again. "I'm in love with you too. Punk."
"Could have told me that earlier, jerk," Steve said, grinning; he felt like his heart was going to burst out of his chest.
"Next time, ask," Bucky said, smiling back at him. "Now turn off that light and let me get some sleep, okay, Captain?"
"Okay, Sergeant," Steve said, and did as Bucky asked.