"You better write me at least once a week. Or else," Bucky threated cheekily.
Bucky and Steve stood across from eachother at the train station. Bucky's train to Texas was scheduled to leave in ten minutes and this was the last time they'd see eachother for the next three months. Steve was silently crying inside.
Steve smiled and hugged Bucky to him. For a fleeting moment Steve could feel Bucky clutch at his shirt, as if not wanting to let go. As if to say, 'Stop me from going. I can't stand leaving you like this. Please.' Bucky basked in the warm comfort that was Steve and hugged him so tightly it almost hurt.
Reluctantly, they pulled apart when the Conductor gave the last calls for boarding. Bucky rose up on the tips of his toes and wrapping his arms around Steve's neck, he pecked him on the cheek. He bent down to get his suitcase and saluted Steve. Seeing Bucky do that without a uniform on almost felt unfamiliar, but Steve saluted back.
He watched Bucky disappear onto the train and frowned slightly. Steve couldn't remember the last time Bucky went away, he felt like someone was ripping out his heart whilst being stabbed in the gut. He lowered his head. He didn't feel like watching Bucky leave.
"Hey Stevie," Bucky called out from a window,"I'll be back before you know it!"
The train's whistle went off and the engine started to rev up, the wheels moved sluggishly and Bucky yelled something out that Steve couldn't quite hear.
"What?" Steve called after.
"I'll miss you!"
He faintly heard it, he could tell Bucky sounded upset about leaving, but he had to. He had a job to do and he'd be back in three months. It wasn't that long, but to Steve it felt like he was going to be gone a whole year.
What was he going to do for three months?
Steve sent the first letter. It was a few days after Bucky initially left.
How are you? What's happening over there? Is it hot? I'm doing alright, just learning to live on my own. I don't know how I'm surviving without you. It's strange. Hahaha. Anyway, Peggy was trying to get me back on their side, but I told her I was done with that Captain America stuff for awhile. I just need a break, ya know? There's just this weight I can't get of my shoulders. They're pressuring me with responsibility I'm not ready for. I don't know...
I saw Vanessa the other day. You know, the dame that likes you so much. She asked about you. I told her you'd be away for awhile. I said you had to whip some recruits into shape, teach 'em a thing or two. I think you should take her out when you come back. She sure is pretty. Anyway... I'll hear from you soon. Seeya.
I wish you were here, Bucky...
When Bucky got Steve's first letter his gut twisted a little. He was happy to hear from him, but the way his tone was written down on this sheet of paper seemed wrong. Like he was panicking or distancing himself from his true feelings.
Or maybe it was shock. They've never been separated for long. He felt silly when Steve mentioned Vanessa, or rather, he felt silly for Steve. Did he honestly think bringing up a dame would sidetrack him from Steve's problems?
When he read the last line though, his heart sank a little. He grabbed some paper and a pencil, eager to reassure Steve.
Everything's going well over here and, yes, it's unbelievably hot here! Feels like summer all over again! How's cooking for yourself going along? You haven't burnt down the apartment have you? Vanessa? She sounds familiar. I think I took her to the movies once, but I can't be sure.
It must be hard trying to convince them that you're not ready. After all, they're both hard heads and don't go down so easily. You'll manage, though. You were always so much stronger than I ever was. Even before you got big. I've always been jealous of you Steve. You're so strong and selfless.
I wish I was home with you right now. I know it's only been two weeks, but I just wanna hug you 'til you stop breathing. I miss you.
P.S. Never bring up a dame ever again. I wanna hear about YOU.
He felt satisfied with his letter and sealed it in an envelope. He'd mail it later that day, after he was done running the obstacle course for the recruits. He was tired, to say the least. Bucky would give anything to be home, in his bed, around Steve's warm presence.
Bucky wiped the sweat from his forehead and left his barracks. He made his way over to the training grounds. When he got there all the men were all ready and at attention. He blew his whistle and the men fell into an orderly line,. Bucky scanned the course as the men ran through it. Some were faster than others, but Bucky's attention was drawn to a smaller man who lagged behind a little.
He reminded Bucky of Steve. Bucky wanted to go over and help the poor kid, but he knew he couldn't.
That night Bucky laid awake in bed for hours, thinking about home, about Steve. About the day he left. Bucky should've kissed him or told Steve he loved him, but something stopped him. He wasn't exactly sure about his feelings toward Steve, yet. He just knew he missed him.
Steve stayed home most of the time, moping around their apartment, laying in bed. He went to the bar a few times, even though it was pointless since he couldn't get drunk anymore, but it was just him getting out of the house for awhile.
Whenever he went out it was almost impossible not to get hit on by women. Steve was always polite, but it was just starting to get annoying. He didn't want a dame, he wanted Bucky. He knew he was missing Bucky as a friend, but Steve couldn't deny that he absolutely loved Bucky. He has for a longtime, it just showed more since Bucky left.
This distance between them was both literal and metaphorical, Steve thought. He knew Bucky loved him like a brother and that he was all about the dames, but Steve longed for a stronger connection than that. And when Steve made it to the apartment he realized he hadn't checked the mail today.
He looked in the mailbox and found one lonely letter with his name on it. Steve couldn't help but smile. This is all he looked forward to each week now. He went upstairs and sat down at the kitchen table. Steve hastily ripped open the envelope and pulled out the letter.
He laughed at Bucky's remark to his cooking skills, or lack thereof. He felt giddy when Bucky seemed to show no interest in Vanessa whatsoever. He cheered in silent victory.
RANDOM DAME: 0
He went on to read Bucky's encouraging words and his heart was thumping loudly. He blushed at Bucky's admission of being jealous of him and the fact that Bucky wanted to be home with him and hugging made his head swim. He read the post script at the bottom and held his breath. The word 'You' in capitalized letters as if it was of the utmost importance.
Steve's heart was soaring for Bucky, he was swooning and felt dizzy. And that was just the first of many heart-to-heart letters.
By the second month of Bucky being away, they were practically flirting with eachother. It started out as a joke between to close friends, then turned into something almost intimate. Something secret.
You keep saying things like that and you're gonna drive me crazy. You've always had a smart mouth, ya know that? I can't believe I've put up with it for this long. Maybe when I come home I'll have to put it to better use. Lord knows I've wanted to do it to the smart asses over here, but not in the same way as you, of course. I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I hurt you like that.
I miss everything about you Stevie. Your eyes, your mouth, your body, your warmth. I can't stand it over here anymore. I'm going insane! I just need your arms around around me. This separation from you is a tragedy.
You drive me crazy Steve.
Steve flushed at Bucky's words. Bucky wanted to out his mouth to a better use. It was so forward and sexual that Steve shivered. The fact that Bucky missed certain things about him was also a plus. He drove Bucky crazy. In what way? It must be a good thing, though. He noticed Bucky signed with his real name this time, as if telling Steve he meant every word and that it wasn't just him being horny. Not that he really minded the latter.
Steve made sure he responded quickly to this letter.
To what use do you wanna put my mouth? If you make a promise to me you better keep it, or Captain America'll have to teach YOU a lesson. Maybe slap you around a little, show you whose boss. You'd like that wouldn't you? You'd like feeling small for once, you submissive little nymph.
But seriously, if you were here I'd just wanna hold you in my arms and kiss you all over. On your lips, neck, chest, stomach. I'd never let you leave the bed ever again, James. I wouldn't let you go to places like Texas. I want you here, in New York, in our shitty little apartment.
You make me feel so goofy, Buck.
The letters didn't get too dirty, just the little innuendo here and there, but they did get more sincere. The words 'I love you' were never mentioned, but they could always tell when the other wanted to say it.
Things were moving along smoothly with Bucky's recruits. They were hardening up more and the small man Bucky felt pity for was finally pulling his weight. He was proud, to say the least. He only had about three weeks left here and he was glad to be going home soon. Not only because he missed Steve, but because the food was unbearable. He couldn't wait to actually cook a meal.
Some nights he thought of Steve. About the things they'd do when he got home and how he felt about him. His pulse quickened just thinking about it.
Everyday was the same routine for both Bucky and Steve. They sang 'We'll be together soon enough, we'll be together soon enough, we'll be together soon enough' over and over again until they were blue in the face. But since they were so close to being together again, it seemed to take longer.
They were both nervous about the upcoming weeks and had a feeling the arrival home would be somewhat awkward, because they'd realize all the things they said, the promises they made, and have to step up to prove they weren't just leading the other on.
The letters were no longer every week, but every few days. It was like they couldn't stand waiting anymore. Sometimes the letters were written hastily as if they were desperate or urgent and neither seemed to realize just what it meant.
Bucky thought it meant that he just craved contact with someone he trusted and Steve thought maybe it was something strictly sexual between them, like long forgotten sexual tension they never knew they had for eachother.
But somewhere, deep down inside, they both silently hoped it was something more.
The final letter Steve received came a few days before Bucky was supposed to come home. Steve sat cross-legged on his bed and read it slowly, his heart pounding.
I can't believe I'll be home in three days. I can't wait to see you, I'm so excited and nervous at the same time. I feel like such a girl with a crush when I write to you. Feels so forbidden and taboo. Dangerous. The feeling you leave me with is so true and undeniable, Steve.
When I get home I want to do everything with you and only you. Forever. This is real and I want to make it work, even if those words haven't been spoken or written. I can't begin to fathom how I feel and I'm sure you feel it too.
When I get home, I'm showing you everything.
Steve's breath caught and his heart stopped. Bucky's words were surreal and Steve didn't know what to think. He was trying too hard to remember how to breath. His face was hot and he was shakey with adrenaline. Show him everything? What did 'everything' mean to Bucky? His body? His heart? Soul? Or was it just something as simple as love? Was love simple? He'd find out soon and it made him shudder so much, that goosebumps rose all over his arms.
Steve pinched himself to make sure he was awake and put a hand over his heart to make sure he was still alive.
There was no doubt that this was real.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Picking Bucky up from the train station was a little awkward to say the least, not to mention the ride in the taxi. Bucky had looked dashing in his uniform and Steve couldn't remember the last time he looked so handsome. They rode along the streets of Brooklyn in awkward silence, sitting side by side and looking anywhere than at eachother.
They had sort of confessed their love for eachother and now that they were together again, the bold confidence they once had was nowhere to be found. Bucky could see Steve picking at his nails as if he was nervous or trying to figure out what to say. Steve looked over and Bucky turned his head quickly away from him, pretending like he wasn't just staring at him.
Steve opened his mouth then closed it, feeling that if he did say something it'd just make him feel more of a fool. He had his hand resting on the car seat between them and when the driver hit a pothole, Bucky jumped and his hand landed right on top of Steve's. Bucky pulled away after their touch lingered for almost too long and laughed it off nervously, turning a bright pink as Steve ran a hand through his hair.
When the taxi pulled up to their apartment complex, Steve paid the driver and went around the back to get Bucky's luggage. He set each suitcase on the ground momentarily, shutting the trunk and seeing Bucky try to juggle his belongings. Steve smiled, suppressing a chuckle at how ridiculous Bucky looked. Steve came up behind his friend to put a hand on his shoulder.
Steve reached for two of the three suitcases, locking eyes with Bucky and giving him a flash of a smile. Bucky straightened up with one suitcase and ducked his head when Steve closed the trunk with a clanking thud. They watched the taxi zoom off, leaving exhaust in it's wake and causing Steve and Bucky to cough at the irritable fumes.
They trudged up the stairs, Steve trailing behind Bucky and trying not to look at his posterior but when one is in your line of sight it's a little difficult to look away. Especially if it belongs to your friend that you just happen to have a crush on. When they got to their apartment door, Bucky fumbled with the keys, dropping them along with his suitcase in an attempt to retrieve them.
Steve watched his friend bend over then shakily unlock the door as if he was nervous to go in there. The door clicked open and swung gracefully inward as Steve motioned for Bucky to enter first, swallowing just a little dryly when they made their way to Bucky's room. The room was somewhat sterile and dull, a three months worth of dust had collected around the room from lack of air flow and everything was left the way it was before Bucky had left.
Steve sat Bucky's luggage beside the bed and stood by the door as if waiting for something, anything at all. A dismissal, a witty joke, an excuse to be left alone for the rest of the day, but none of those came from Bucky's mouth. He simply turned around to face Steve and sat down on his bed, staring up at Steve with his hands clasped together tightly. Bucky licked his lips and laughed at a random thought that crossed his mind for a fleeting second then laid back on his bed, sighing contently at the familiar atmosphere.
"It feels good to be in my bed again," Bucky said to the ceiling. "Fucking barracks. My back is all screwed up."
"Maybe you just need a goodnight's sleep. Or, I don't know..." Steve trailed off.
Bucky sat up, arms stretched back to support his weight on his hands. He gave Steve a little smirk and caught his bottom lip between his teeth in sly thought. Steve wished he could read minds, because right now he was honestly afraid of what devilish and dirty thoughts were going through Bucky's head and he needed to know.
"Maybe you could give me a rub," Bucky grinned.
"A what?" Steve asked exasperated, heart pounding with the butterflies flapping around in his stomach.
"A back rub. You know, work out some knots for me. I'd be more than happy to return the favor," Bucky winked. "What do you say?" Bucky shucked off his coat and started to unbutton his shirt, loosening his tie as he did so, a self-satisfied grin on his face the whole time.
Having no more say in the matter, Steve's heavy feet dragged their way over to Bucky's bed as Bucky turned around to lay on his stomach with his chin rested on his arms. Steve climbed on top of his, straddling Bucky just below his butt and placing his hands upon the smooth, bare back. An electric pulse moving through Bucky and up his fingertips at the contact, concentrating on the warmth beneath his hands.
Steve pressed his fingertips into Bucky's back and snaked them up along the contours of his back, hearing tiny satisfied sighs being breathed out of Bucky as he went. He reached his shoulder blades to apply pressure that caused Bucky to moan out in pure delight. Steve's face heated up and his body throbbed and ached for those sounds.
"Again," Bucky moaned, the kind of moan that bordered on the edge of ecstasy and pain. "Harder, please. Ahh! Harder."
If someone had happened to be in the room just beyond Bucky's bedroom wall, they'd be able to hear him and think something else was happening between the two men. Steve obliged and pressed his palms harder into Bucky's constricting back, hearing as much as feeling it pop in several places which caused Bucky to cry out. The vowels tumbling out breathy and stretched out like Bucky had just experienced an orgasm.
Bucky's back arched up into Steve's hands, moaning with relief as he pressed hard enough to push Bucky down against the mattress again. Steve ran his hands to the small of Bucky's back, pressing his thumbs into a knot of his spine and rubbing it in circles. Bucky was squirming and still making noises and Steve was so into the moment he hadn't realized how hard he was against Bucky's rear end.
After a few more minutes of rubbing Bucky thoroughly, he climbed off of him and blushed. He made an excuse before Bucky could get up and see the flushed embarrassment written all over his face and left the room as fast as he could with a hard on. Bucky just laid back against the headboard and smiled knowingly to himself. Did he really think Bucky couldn't feel it?
"Knock-knock-knock! Stevie," Bucky chanted behind the closed door to Steve's room. "It's been three hours since you left your room. What's going on? Are you gonna let me in? Or do I have to break the door down? Stevie? I know you didn't leave. I've been outside your door the whole time."
Bucky sighed and propped his back up against the door, sliding down it slowly and stopping to sit on the floor. His head thudded against it's wooden surface as he leaned back.
"I felt it, ya know. And you shouldn't hide it or feel ashamed, Steve. You don't know how badly I've wanted it, wanted you," Bucky said out loud, clear enough for Steve to hear every word, but despite his encouragement Steve wasn't replying. "I made all those sounds for you, to get you... Excited."
Still nothing, not one little whisper or creak from the other side of that damn door. Bucky rolled his eyes upward and huffed out a frustrated sigh, wishing Steve didn't always feel guilty over the smallest of things. After all, they did have a mutual attraction, didn't they?
"Remember senior year? When I did that play?" Bucky reminisced. "Damn I was a terrible singer. I don't know why they let me make a fool of myself up on stage like that. You were always a better actor and singer than I ever was, or will be."
He closed his eyes, trying to think of one of the songs he had to perform, humming a vague tune of it to get the cogs in his brain warmed up. He started to whistle, some of the parts sketchy and off key, licking his lips to concentrate on the forgotten notes.
"You are the promised kiss of springtime, that makes the lonely winter seem long. You are the breathless hush of evening, that trembles on the brink of a lovely song," Bucky sang as best as he could, humming the tune when he couldn't remember the next verse. He was lost in the song for a moment, his mind clear and tranquil.
He stopped, feeling a little dispirited and frustrated that Steve still wouldn't reply to his babbling. Bucky would have to pull out the big guns if he wanted to get a word out of Steve.
"I've never been with anyone before. Sure, I've kissed a fair share of dames, but kisses don't mean anything. At least not with people you don't love," Bucky rambled. He took a deep breath and just swallowed his pride. "Look, what I'm trying to say is that it's alright if you got turned on and you shouldn't feel embarrassed. I still meant what I wrote in those letters, Steve. I don't want anyone else."
"If there's anyone I want to lose my virginity to it's you Steven Rogers," Bucky vowed, voice strong and confident. "And I don't just mean my butt as virgin territory. I mean all of me."
And that was that. Bucky admitted that he was just as inexperienced as Steve was and even though the words were said with confidence, Bucky felt embarrassed like Steve was earlier. To his surprise the door clicked open and he slouched against it, falling to the ground slightly and getting to his feet to walk over to where Steve was. He sat down on the edge of it and waited for Steve to say something.
"You know, I could've went down the fire escape and you could've just been talking to yourself," Steve said neutrally.
Bucky smiled. "A big guy like you going down the fire escape? I'd hear you a mile away. You know how old those railings are?" Bucky chuckled fondly.
"Did you mean it? The whole... Virgin thing?" Steve asked, whispering the last two words as if someone unwelcomed heard them.
"I said it for a reason didn't I?"
"What reason is that?" Steve asked.
Bucky placed a hand on top of Steve's and looked into his eyes, mouth in a straight line and lashes batting over his flushed cheeks. He leaned forward and rested his forehead against Steve's and closed his eyes, blocking out everything except for the cadence of their breathing.
"To let you know I'm serious."
"About you," Bucky admitted softly. "Us."
Steve's breathing was shallow and his icy blue eyes adjusted their line of vision at the closeness of Bucky, really wanting to a simple eye contact to tell everything he wanted to say. But this was somehow enough. The gentle touch of Bucky's hand upon his, their hair tickling eachother's forehead, and their breaths coming together to mix between them.
Bucky leaned forward and brushed his lips against Steve's, the simplest act of love meaning everything to them both. Steve brought his hands up to cup Bucky's face, exhaling out his nose as if he was relaxing and letting go. Bucky put his hands on Steve's thighs and gave them a little squeeze when Steve moved his lips with his, not quite using tongue but definately considering it.
They broke away for air, the realization that they had just shared their first kiss with the other starting to sink in. Bucky's eyes were dialated and fixed on Steve's every movement, darting from his eyes to his lips every so often. He pushed Steve back and straddled his waist, pinning his hands above his head and smiling like a maniac. Steve shivered and blinked up at Bucky's shark-like expression, heat raising up from his core and spreading all over his body.
"What are you doing?" Steve asked shaky.
"I told I'd return the favor, didn't I?"
The song Bucky sings is All The Things You Are by Oscar Hammerstein II, written for the musical Very Warm For May.