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The Wolf

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“Fuck,” Rumlow bites, pressing his forehead to Steve’s’ back. “How you stay so tight when you’re always lettin’ me shove things up in you?”

Steve drags his bottom lip through his teeth, clawing at the carpet. His ears and the back of his neck go hot in sudden embarrassment. “C’mon,” he slurs.

“That’s not hard enough?” Rumlow asks. His voice is casual. He reaches up high inside Steve’s thigh and pinches hard, dangerously close to his balls. The pain is white hot. Steve yelps, burying his face in his arms.

“I want it,” Steve gasps. “I want it harder.”

He feels something else pushing at him, alongside Rumlow’s cock — his finger. One of Rumlow’s thick fingers. He shoves it in Steve too, and Steve rocks forward, making a noise that should embarrass him — but Rumlow likes it, he knows Rumlow likes it, and so he doesn’t mind…it doesn’t even hurt anymore. Not enough. He pushes back into it, the cruel snap of Rumlow’s hips —

“Whattaya tryin’ to do?” A huge hand shoves Steve face-first into the floor. “You don’t get off till I get off.”

“I want some more,” Steve manages, laughing a little, feeling dizzy and good. “Gimme it. Gimme it. C'mon. C'mon.”

“Shut up, Christ,” Rumlow spits. He kneads at Steve’s ass with one hand and presses his thumb deeper alongside his dick. Steve twists under him, his mouth gasping. It feels so good. It feels so fucking good; he can’t think, he can’t even breathe. Rumlow pushes into him again, again, again, stretching him open painfully, and when he comes he growls in his throat, and the sound all on its own, hungry and low, makes Steve twitch and gasp and tighten up around him. His hands dig so hard into Steve’s hips that the bones hurt, and he can feel, very acutely, Rumlow’s cock jerking inside him.

Fu-uck,” Steve gasps. His balls are drawn so tight and full it hurts. He wishes he could feel Rumlow dripping messily out of him. “Oh God.”

Not about to be outdone, Rumlow reaches down and around squeezes at the head of Steve’s cock. Steve arches back into him, pushing back against his dick, still hard inside; Rumlow tugs so hard that tears prick the corners of Steve’s eyes, and he feels it in him, in his belly, in his fingers and his toes; “Fucking hell,” Rumlow groans when Steve comes, seizing up around him, whimpering into the carpet. He digs his blunt thumbnail in under the head of Steve’s dick, and Steve makes a pathetic noise, whining out loud.

“Christ. Jesus, kid.”

Steve is panting underneath his big heavy body, rolling his forehead against the carpet. Rumlow reaches down and pinches hard again at the inside of thigh and the dull thud of pain makes him jerk and whimper. Rumlow laughs at him. Finally he pulls out and snaps off the condom, rolling onto his back. Steve thinks his heart is beating out of his chest. He rubs at the carpet with his fingers. He can still feel Rumlow’s cock inside him, thick and punishing, and his thumb, pushed in with it, spreading him open. He feels himself clenching up and releasing around nothing and bites his lip. He could come again, he’s sure – he still is, a little; sensitive, his mind still fuzzy, swimming. His whole body hurts. His nipples are rubbed red and sore, and there are bruises on his hips, because Rumlow is strong, because he knows it; because he’s mean about it.

Rumlow reaches over and smacks him on the ass. “Who’s your daddy?” he asks, panting. Steve turns bright red and chuckles into the floor.

*

So it started that way: a harmless joke. Quick, rough fucking in their downtime.

It was a rush job, the first time they met. Steve wasn’t supposed to be called in — he was eating dinner in his new apartment, enough food for six. He only owned one plate, though, and so he ate from the mixing bowl. But a STRIKE team was in trouble, and after the call came Romanoff picked him up curbside of his apartment in her sleek black ride. Sexy, Stark had called it, four months ago. That confused Steve. Nothing about Romanoff is sexy to Steve: she confuses him too much.

The two of them hit the ground running together at a base in Eastern Europe eight hours later. Steve wasn’t in his flight suit because it wasn’t ready yet. Steve was in SHIELD issue tac gear, like Romanoff.

“Report,” he said, approaching.

“Who the hell is this?” Steve will always remember how his voice sounded, how it shocked Steve to his toes; New York thick, just like home. Steve would have guessed Staten. “Widow, he with you?”

“Yeah,” said Romanoff, wryly. “It’s the new guy.”

Steve rolled his eyes at her. “Report,” he repeated.

“Report, sir,” he had corrected, still not recognizing Steve. “Six up top, two on the ground with us, might have a sniper. Drug ring employing mercenaries. Fuck me, right? Rollins and Shepherd with me down low, the rest up top. So? Get that ass in gear, new kid.”

Steve was baffled and flustered and a little pissed off. “Hey —“

“It’s Commander Rumlow to you,” he said, and his smirk was joking, was mean. His teeth glinted; that was how Steve learned his name.

Anyway, he apologized later, and later Steve ended up the commander of that same STRIKE unit; and it was fine, smoothed over. “I just didn’t recognize you in that little catsuit,” Rumlow told him in the locker room, and it made Rollins chuckle. Steve turned red over his nose, but it was fine, it was: just guys joking, and so what? Maybe guys joke a little different now.

“What about Sandra?” Romanoff asks. She ducks Steve’s blow and goes for the knees. He jumps and strikes again.

“From IT? Romanoff, have you noticed how well I get along with the techie type?” Steve is talking about Stark, but he thinks of Buck and his pulp paperbacks, his quick hands; how good he was with an engine. Then he’s dodging a two quick hits.

“Alex?”

“Who’s Alex?”

“The guy from security. You know, muscles?”

Steve stumbles and Romanoff clocks him squarely in the jaw. Pain bursts through his head; it’s dislocated. “Oh!” she says, and reaches out to him automatically. “Geez, old guy, where’d your reflexes go?”

Steve works his jaw. It pops back in place, and Romanoff winces. “Nothing, nowhere, it’s — it’s fine.”

“Is it because I brought up a guy?”

“What? No, that’s — I mean, it doesn’t — not that it bothers me —“

“Just testing the waters,” Romanoff says, and smiles at him, that peculiar smile that she wears at the corner of her face. Steve opens his mouth. Here it is, he’s gonna say it; he’s gonna say it out loud —

“You beating up on the new guy, Widow?” Rumlow asks. He’s taping up his knuckles, all in black, one of those shirts with the sleeves cut all the way out. Rumlow has scars littered all over his gold, thick skin, and in the harsh light of the gym this late at night they shine. There’s one in particular that Steve always notices: it bisects his eyebrow, fades, and is apparent again down at his lip, clearly a knife wound. Bucky got a scar like that in 1944.

“He holds his own,” Romanoff says. Her voice sounds odd, though — sometimes, Steve doesn’t know why, he gets the feeling that she doesn’t like Rumlow all that much. Then she ducks out of the ring.

“Natasha —“ Steve says, suddenly desperate. In his gut, he wants to keep her here. She turns, her dark eyebrow raised. “Nothin’. Same time tomorrow?”

“Aw, Rogers,” she deadpans, “You sure know how to treat a lady.”

Rumlow climbs in. “Wanna go?” he asks, and smacks his own face, bouncing on his toes, fists raised. “Come on. Come at me.”

Steve whips out fast. His jaw is still aching; he feels a bruise bloom. Rumlow blocks, hits, lands it. “You are slow tonight, kid,” he says, from behind his raised fists. He lashes out again and smacks Steve in the face with the palm of his hand, stinging. “Wake up. You awake?”

Steve’s disoriented. “Awake, yeah,” he echoes. He shakes it out. He’s awake; of course he’s awake. “Yeah, I’m awake.”

“You sure?” But Steve ducks in time now, and they spar for real, fast, sweating, quick hand-to-hand. Rumlow always aims low, and that’s where Steve blocks, right until Rumlow’s hand whips up and gets Steve in the trachea. Steve wheezes, clutching his throat on instinct.

“Fuck,” he chokes.

“Eh, you’re fine,” Rumlow says. He grabs Steve by the face and pats his cheek while he gasps. “You fine? Yeah, you’re fine.”

“You go rough.”

“Yeah, I’m outta town for a week and you forget that?”

Steve grins at him. “Okay,” he says. “Fair enough. So?”

“So, what?”

“What’re you waitin’ for, old man?”

Rumlow likes this. Rumlow loves it, in a way Steve doesn’t quite; Rumlow grins when he leaves bruises and laughs when he knocks one of Steve’s teeth out, leaving him spitting blood across the mat. It hurts: so what? Steve’s mind feels fuzzy and good. He laughs too.

*

So maybe that was how it started — Rumlow kicking the shit out of Steve in the empty SHIELD third-story gym until one in the morning, the two of them wound up and sweating and swearing at one another, and finally Steve on his belly, with Rumlow pinning him; Steve letting Rumlow pin him.

*

“Pistachio?” Romanoff asks, wrinkling her nose.

“I’m trying new things,” Steve tells her. She raises an eyebrow. “Seriously,” Steve says, “Sometimes frozen yogurt is just frozen yogurt.”

“Froyo.”

“What?”

“The cool kids all call it froyo. Or so I’m told.”

“Well, no cool kid gets froyo in the middle of December,” Steve reminds her.

“What are you doing for Christmas?” Romanoff asks. “You keep dodging.”

This is the thing about Natasha Romanoff: Steve is her assignment. No matter how hard she pretends, he’ll always be her assignment. She doesn’t really care, Steve thinks, because he knows it has to be true. No one anymore cares about anything, and certainly not him. She doesn’t care; she’s just keeping tabs. “What are you doing?” Steve counters.

“Out of town,” Romanoff says, brushing it off. “Answer the question, Rogers,” she sing-songs, and licks her spoon.

Steve shrugs. “I don’t know. Office party?”

Romanoff is frowning.

“What?” Steve asks.

“Rumlow will be there,” she says, very frankly. “Is that why?”

Steve shrugs one shoulder. Romanoff was right — the pistachio really is bad. He keeps eating it anyway. “He’s one of the guys, you know how it is. Just — one of the guys.”

“Right,” Romanoff says. “Look, really, what about that security guy? Alex?”

“Hey, Romanoff, I’ve got a question,” Steve says, seriously. “Anyone ever tell you how to mind your own business?”

Romanoff flicks him with her yogurt. But she eyes him, and Steve knows it.

*

“Aw, you gonna cry?” Rumlow says. He grabs Steve’s face in his hands, squeezing his mouth into a pout. “You gonna cry? Tough shit, baby.”

“M’not gonna —“ Steve’s flushed down to his belly, he knows. It hurts, it hurts; Rumlow’s not a big believer in lube; he might cry. “Mmm — m’not — m’not —“

“You sure?” Rumlow asks, and he says, “I wanna make you cry,” and both his hands are on Steve’s ass while Steve rides him — tries to ride him — in the armchair. It’s dead silent tonight in DC, throughout this apartment building. There’s coffee percolating. The nurse next door is in but her place is quiet, too. Steve’s afraid everyone can hear him. Steve hopes everyone can hear him. “You better get me off before you come,” Rumlow hisses. “Huh? Or I’ll leave you here, just like this.”

He’s done it before. “No, no, please,” Steve groans. That’s why there are really tears welling up: suddenly and viscerally, he can’t stand the thought of being left alone. “No, no, please don’t.”

“I don’t wanna hear you beg, you messy little slut.”

Oh,” Steve moans. Rumlow smacks his ass, hard. “Oh!” Steve says, blushing harder.

“I’m gonna fuckin’ gag you,” Rumlow tells Steve, vicious, and makes him move, and makes him fuck himself on Rumlow’s hard cock. “I’m gonna fuckin’ gag you unless you say my name. That’s all I wanna hear. In that high voice, too, you stupid fuckin’ bimbo, come on.”

“Br —“

Rumlow backhands him across the face. Steve’s hands squeeze at his shoulders, but he lets it happen — it doesn’t even hurt, just stings, just feels — feels — it’s good —

“Not that,” Rumlow snaps. “Huh? Not that. Don’t be bad, kid. Not that. Who’s your daddy? Huh? Who’s your daddy?”

“Daddy please,” gasps Steve wetly. He hears himself say it, and he feels himself shiver, but it doesn’t register, not really; it’s more he’s watching himself from somewhere else. Rumlow’s big, scarred hand is around his throat now. The skin is weathered, and there’s not a soft spot on his whole palm. Steve’s neck is tender and thin. The callouses keep catching on his skin like a hangnail on silk. “Daddy —“ he doesn’t want to say it, or maybe he does: all he knows is that Rumlow is fucking him honestly now, slamming up into him.

“Tell me it hurts,” Rumlow grunts.

“It hurts,” Steve moans, honest too. There are tears in his eyes. There’s a patch inside of him that feels raw, bad-raw. Then it gives, slick. He gasps in agony. His dick is still hard. “It hurts, it hurts, it hurts — it — oh —“

His fingers scramble against Rumlow’s shoulders when he comes, gasping, overwhelmed. Rumlow’s hands are big and greedy, spreading his ass apart, and he fucks Steve, and keeps fucking him. Steve is whimpering, and moaning at intervals; he’s all slick on the inside. “Like a fuckin’ girl,” Rumlow hisses at him, and grabs at his nipples, pinching painfully. “Like a fucking girl with these tits, huh, bella?

*

Romanoff would be pissed to learn she and Rumlow have a phrase in common. “Come on,” he always says, just like she does, before bringing the pain. “It’ll be fun.”

*

“Come on,” Rumlow told him, “Come on, Cap. It’ll be fun.”

Steve watches it once — once. It was taken on Rumlow’s phone, not his, which is fine: he knows Rumlow would never do anything with it. He trusts the guy. “Just for me, huh? Christmas present,” Rumlow had coaxed, and his voice was low and sweet for a second, and so like —

So Steve did, because Steve always does things when people ask him nice. He sometimes even does them when the asking isn’t so nice, anymore.

Anyway, he watches it once, because Rumlow texted it to him, cheeky, so now it’s on his phone too. He hits play, and there he is in the dim light of his own bare apartment, his arms tied behind his back from the elbows down with Rumlow’s leather belt so that his chest is pushed out. The Steve in the video looks at the Steve watching, his blue eyes huge and dark and heavy-lidded, his lashes shadowing across his cheek. His mouth is open and wet, and —

*

“Get over here. Open your mouth. Wide. Say ah,” Rumlow says.

Steve does, his tongue sticking out.

“You’ll do,” Rumlow tells him. He unbuttons his pants with his right hand, holding the phone in his left. Steve shifts against the belt. He’s really tied down. His heart flutters for a second in panic. He reminds himself that he could break it if he wanted to. Rumlow’s cock is there suddenly in front of his face, thick and red. Steve’s mouth waters just looking at it. He makes an embarrassing whimper. “Yeah, you want that,” Rumlow mutters.

He hooks two fingers under Steve’s tongue and then pushes his cock between Steve’s red lips. Steve’s eyes flutter shut. Rumlow pushes it down his throat and Steve chokes on it, his brow furrowing up, jerking back, eyes watering. Rumlow grabs him by the hair, pulling hard, and shoves Steve’s face into his groin anyway, Steve’s nose pressed to his pelvis, grinding in deep. Steve keeps choking, and choking, and finally figures out he has to breathe through his nose. He does, and blinks and blinks again, and tears stream down his face from the hurt. The tip of his own cock slips against his belly, hard. He whimpers with his mouth full.

“I suffocate you yet?” Rumlow asks.

“Mm-mm,” Steve manages, his chest heaving. And then he sucks on Rumlow, because that’s what Rumlow wants. He realizes belatedly that he’s being filmed, and flushes all over, hollowing out his cheeks, and curling his tongue, and trying to make it good.

“You lazy little bitch,” Rumlow tells him, and Steve’s eyes fill up again when Rumlow tugs his hair too hard, and because of the mean words. But then Rumlow croons, “Oh, no, baby, no; I didn’t mean that. Aw, look at you. I just meant I’d show you how, huh? I just meant I’d show you how.”

Steve pulls off, gasping, sitting back on his heels.

“Now, open your mouth,” Rumlow says. Steve does. Rumlow sticks his cock back in him again, too fast, and holds Steve’s face in his free hand. “In and out your nose, Cap, that’s right,” he coaches, “Yeah, that’s good; see, I can show you how to be good, huh?”

Steve’s still choking, but not so violently as before. Rumlow starts fucking his throat and Steve tilts his head back and Rumlow slides deeper. Steve doesn’t even have to do anything at all, just sit there and get used. Rumlow’s hand goes to his throat. Rumlow groans. He squeezes and Steve chokes: there’s pressure from all around – he can’t breathe, he really, really can’t breathe. Rumlow makes Steve tilt his neck back further, and further, until he’s almost standing over him. His cock is hot and slick and when Steve tries to swallow spit and precome his throat can’t constrict all the way, and tightens and loosens and tightens around Rumlow’s dick, a strange, claustrophobic feeling. It makes Rumlow groan.

He reaches down again and massages Steve’s neck, which is even stranger. Steve moans anyway, unsure about all of it. Rumlow likes this. His balls press hot to Steve’s chin, drawn up all tight. All Steve can smell is Rumlow, who smells like he always does, just more, just darker: sex, sweat, metal. Steve is dizzy. Steve is trying to breathe out of his nose. Steve’s mouth is full all the way down inside his throat, and he can’t think past it, past the leather tying together his elbows, slick from sweat, stinking like skin. His cock is hard, and wet, and he drip-drip-drips against the floor every other second. His knees hurt too. His jaw aches. So do his nipples. He just wants to please him.

Rumlow presses harder and faster with his palm along Steve’s throat, rubbing his own cock with Steve’s insides. Steve gags and tears leak out his eyes. “Look at that,” Rumlow’s saying, or maybe he’s saying, “Sweet little bitch.” Steve can’t tell; there’s an awful rushing in his ears.

Suddenly it’s all gone. The hand, the dick, the heady smell. Steve gasps hugely — ah! — for air, his lungs feeling small and tiny again, his throat rubbed raw from the inside out. His jaw clicks back in place, hinging together again. Rumlow is jerking himself off so Steve opens his mouth. “Trained you right,” Rumlow grunts, and comes all over Steve’s tongue, his lips, his cheeks, his whole face. Steve closes his eyes and feels it drip hotly down his skin, panting. He wants it back in his mouth. He wants it shoved all the way down his throat again, wants the mindless, white place he just went to. He whines for it but doesn’t mean to.

“Aw, listen to him,” Rumlow mumbles. “Do I take good care of you or what?”

Steve’s still gasping. Rumlow backhands him. Steve’s head snaps to the side. “I said,” Rumlow repeats, dangerous, “Do I take good care of you or what?”

“Yeah,” Steve pants. “Yeah. Yes.”

Rumlow chuckles meanly. “Yeah, that’s right. You’re damn right I do. You wanna get off?”

Mmm,” Steve moans, desperate. His head feels thick; he’s beyond caring. His mouth is still hanging open.

“Too bad, you’re useless as fuck after you come.” Rumlow turns and zips himself back up and sits on Steve’s couch. Steve kneels across the living room, panting. He’s so hard. He wants something in him. He wants Rumlow to touch his nipples. Rumlow’s still holding up his phone, and the camera is still on.

“Here, pussycat,” Rumlow calls, and Steve walks on his knees, burning his skin on the carpet. “Look at me, pussycat, aw, baby.” Rumlow’s laughing at him; Steve doesn’t understand why, but it’s making him flush red again anyway, humiliated. “Pussycat,” Rumlow says, pulling at Steve’s hair, tugging it up into little tufts: “Pussycat, lick my boots.”

And Steve does: leans down until his chest is pressed to the carpet, nipples rubbing raw, hands still tied behind his back. His legs are spread open, his ass up, and Rumlow reaches down and rubs at his hole and pushes a finger in him dry. Steve flattens his tongue against the black leather.

*

It was taken on Rumlow’s phone, not his. And that’s fine. He trusts the guy. He knows Rumlow would never do anything with it.

*

“So is your type brunettes?” Romanoff asks.

“Subtle,” Steve huffs. He isn’t lying: it’s not the hair. It isn’t. Yeah, fine: he likes the way it falls in Rumlow’s eyes sometimes, arcing over his forehead. But it’s also the laugh, the glinting white teeth; his sharp canines. It’s his big mean hands. It’s the scars all over his body, old scars, new scars. Fine — Steve loves all that. His rough skin and his habit for smoking; his strong, thick, fighter’s body. Fine — Steve gets hot under his skin like an oil fire just looking at him, at this filthy guy; his slick, con-artist smile.

This isn’t in any file: Bucky had a mean streak too. But he was sweet after – he was always so sweet after. So it’s the cruelty, honestly; not the hair color. It’s the cruelty that keeps Steve coming back every time, crawling on his hands and knees. He doesn’t know how to break that one to Romanoff.

*

Inevitably an op goes bad.

“It’s fine, Cap,” Rumlow tells him on the jet back. “You did the best you could.”

The night rushes around them. Steve takes off his helmet and leans his head back against the wall and feels it rattle his teeth.

“Widow’s fine,” Rumlow continues. “Just hurt. Not as bad as losing someone, huh?”

Steve shuts his eyes.

They land and Romanoff is taken to get checked over. She really is fine; there’s only a fracture in her wrist from where Steve grabbed her, too tight. It was a forty floor drop. “You got me in time,” she promises him. She knows his story; she knows why he’s shaking.

“Alright,” Steve says, and heads home, where Rumlow is waiting for him outside his building. Steve buzzes them both up in silence, leading Rumlow up the stairs and into his apartment. He’s still in his gear, and it makes heavy noises in the quiet every time he walks. Steve unlocks the door and lets them both inside. He strips out of his shirt and turns around to face Rumlow. Then he drops down to his knees and unbuckles his belt.

“What’s this, pussycat?” Rumlow asks, amused, standing above him.

In moments like this Steve is honest with himself. He’s miserable bone-deep, past his heart and beyond his soul. He hurts so bad every day — he hurts so bad all the time. Getting out of the bed and standing up each morning feels getting imbedded with tiny nails all over the soles of his feet. He knows what kind of person Rumlow is. Of course he fucking knows. Brock Rumlow is a good man, sure, and he fights the good fight. But he isn’t a good man when the door is locked, and it isn’t any good what he’s doing to Steve; what Steve lets him do.

But sometimes, God, sometimes, he’s just so sweet, and his voice sounds so nice. He’s the only person who’ll whip Steve bloody and laugh about it, and some part inside of Steve, some deep, aching part, likes that.

Steve sniffs. Shakes himself. He reaches up and touches Rumlow’s baton. “Give me it,” he says, and flicks his eyes up, the way Rumlow likes. What, two can’t play this game? Steve knows how to work a room if he has to. He knows how to get what he wants. “Gimme it.”

Rumlow’s teeth flash. He takes the baton out and it zings awake when he flips a switch. “You want it in you like this?”

“I just want you to make it hurt,” Steve rasps.

Rumlow looks at him, surprised by his gritted teeth, the look in his eyes. “Oh, Cap,” he murmurs. “We’re gonna have a good time, aren’t we?”

“Thought that’s what we’ve been doin’.” Steve voice sounds dry and tired.

Rumlow’s stare is calculating and detached. He switches the baton off again and presses it to Steve’s cheek. It’s hot. His skin burns. He squeezes his eyes shut, and it presses into his cheek, under the bone, forcing his mouth open. It’s cooler now; it cools down fast. He presses the blunt end of it on Steve’s lower lip. Steve opens his mouth all the way and sucks it in, his cheeks bulging out. He sucks on it. It tastes like metal and heat and electricity. He takes it down until he chokes on it, brow furrowing, a ruddy blush on his cheeks. He looks up at Rumlow again. He pulls his lips back, exaggerated, and bites the rod.

Rumlow pulls it out of his mouth and smacks him across the face with it; Steve hits the floor. “Yes,” he gasps.

“I had no idea,” Rumlow says. Steve’s heart is thundering in his head and his chest, his vision fuzzy. He hauls himself back up to his knees and reaches for Rumlow’s belt. Rumlow hits his hands away. “You know I’m trouble,” Rumlow says, “Don’t you?”

“I wouldn’t be wasting my time otherwise,” Steve manages.

Suddenly the rod is on again. Rumlow sticks it in Steve’s belly, and he shouts, doubling over in white-hot agony. He’s so hard; his dick twitches in his pants and he digs his fingers into his own thighs. Then it’s gone. Steve gasps for air. “Again,” he groans. “Yeah —“

So Rumlow does it, right in the sensitive skin of his side, and Steve jerks. It’s gone just as fast. “Uh-huh,” Steve says, and flushes hot all over. It hurts so bad that his eyes are pricking. He leans his head against Rumlow’s thigh, his cheek rubbing at the leather. “Again,” Steve gasps. Rumlow pulls his hair. Rumlow does it. Steve fumbles at his own pants and Rumlow lets him do it. He shoves them down under his ass and thighs, below his knees, and kneels again, spreading his legs on the floor. “Do it,” he hisses. Rumlow does: presses the crackling rod to the tender sweet inside of Steve’s thigh. He screams through his teeth. It hurts so good now that his mind is getting fuzzy, the pain chasing everything else away.

“Aw, I got you,” Rumlow murmurs. Steve’s breaths are huge, gasping sobs. “Aw, bella, I got you.”

Steve moans, oh, wrecked. His head is swimming. This is what he wanted: Rumlow catcalling him in Italian, Rumlow making him cry. “Mmm-hmm,” he gasps, and mouths at Rumlow’s dick, hard and hot through the leather, nuzzling his face against it. Rumlow’s so turned on that he undoes his belt and his zip all one-handed, and Steve opens his mouth for it again, feeling it hot and solid on his tongue, thick. Steve curls his tongue against it and licks and loves the taste. He can’t even think anymore. It doesn’t even hurt. What was he so fucked up about before, anyway? This is good, this is good; nothing exists except these hard things pressing into him, taking advantage. This is why he lets Rumlow at him at all.

“I’m gonna stick this up your ass,” Rumlow grunts. “I’m serious. I’m fucking serious.”

He is. Steve knows he is. Steve sucks harder, whimpering. His skin is burned real bad in one place, just above his bellybutton. He can smell it. Here he is, nothing but meat. He likes this. He has a purpose. He likes this. Buck never really understood. He did a little, but not all the way. He didn’t all the way understand.

Rumlows groans, jagged, because Steve is blowing him the way he learned in alleyways, messy, sucking, moaning. Steve doesn’t even give him the chance to pull out, and Rumlow comes in his mouth, a sudden burst; Steve swallows it down and down. He pulls back, gasping. His eyes are wet, his face red; his mouth is a mess, red and drooling, and there’s a rodlike bruise straight across his face, matching Rumlow’s ugly scar.

“What do you want?” Rumlow asks, with new, sudden respect.

“I wanna satisfy you,” Steve slurs.

“Oh, sweetheart, don’t you learn?” Rumlow twirls the baton in his hand. He presses it to Steve’s cheek. “I’m never satisfied.”

“Then I want it again,” Steve says.

*

Nat visits him, much later, in the hospital.

“You can say,” Steve croaks, “That you told me so.”

“No, Rogers,” Nat says, low and loving. “No. I’m not gonna say that. I’m not gonna say that.” She folds her hand over his, her mouth a serious pink line. She has makeup on today. She’s furious — at herself, at the world. “If I had known how bad it really —“

“Don’t.” Steve swallows. “He’s not dead, is he?”

“No.”

Steve shuts his eyes and feels a spike of fear. If Rumlow isn’t dead, does that mean the things he buried inside Steve are still alive too? Those parasitic, needy, wanting things? All that they did to each other?

“I’m sorry,” Nat tells him. “I’m really sorry. I’m gonna look out for you. Okay? We’ll look out for each other.”

“Okay,” Steve says, and turns his hand into hers. Their palms press together. Her skin is cool, like soft water on a hot bruise. “Yeah, okay.”