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nine lives to love you

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Recovery has been a hard road, but after months of misgivings and encouragement and small, daily triumphs, Bucky finally thinks he’s getting somewhere real. He’s much less jumpy and much more difficult to trigger, and if all he really remembers are his kills and Steve, then that’s okay. It means he can keep Steve safe, and Steve—

Steve has been the best part of all of this, steady and kind and gentle. He takes a firm hand with Bucky when he needs to, but for the most part he’s sweet as can be, and that’s perfect. All of Bucky’s best memories involve those honey-slow hours when he closed the door to shut out the world and then Steve didn’t have to be tough anymore, didn’t have to run his mouth and fight to prove that he was a man. Those times, he could just go quiet and sweet and let Bucky take care of him, and it’s been— well, it hasn’t been like that, exactly, but it’s been close enough to make Bucky remember, and that’s close enough to make him happy.

He’s happy a lot more than he expected to be. With his history, he would have settled for “less miserable,” but he should have known better than to think Steve would settle. Steve was always exhorting him onwards and upwards, even before.

Now, though, upwards is literal.

“Will you, Buck? It’s just two floors up, and you’ve already met most of them individually,” Steve is urging him. Bucky intended to agree from the first time Steve mentioned it, but he’s enjoying Steve’s persuasion tactics (he’s also enjoying the fact that that’s no longer a euphemism for torture). “And Tony will be there!” adds Steve, as it occurs to him. His expression clearly says that he doesn’t understand why Bucky likes Tony so much, and that he’s running out of “sensible” ways to convince Bucky.

“Oh, well, if Tony will be there, that’s a different story,” says Bucky, just to mess with him. “Sure.”

Steve lets out a sound that’s half delighted and half exasperated, which is impressive, actually, and it makes Bucky grin. Then they step into the elevator together and he sobers a little. He does need to steel himself, at least a little, before he officially meets everyone who’s watching Steve’s six now.

“It’s because he reminds me of you,” he says.

“What?” Steve asks, like he’s lost the thread of the conversation. “You don’t mean Tony still? How?”

“He talks a big game, sometimes, but then sometimes he gives Pepper that look that says he just wants her to take care of him for a while, and it makes me want to, you know?” Bucky’s arm recalibrates like it knows he’s talking about Tony, and he feels like maybe he’s not doing justice to his own feelings, but he’s trying his best.

“Oh,” Steve replies with so much forced nonchalantness that Bucky has to laugh at him. Laughing feels good; he doesn’t do it very often.

“Don’t get all green-eyed on me, punk, you know my provider instinct’s all for you.” It’s half a joke and half very serious, and they’re still looking softly into each others’ eyes as the elevator door dings open. All the Avengers look over, and Bucky is a world-class assassin who does not blush ever. Steve does not have that luxury, however, and a hot flush travels down the back of his neck, warming Bucky through to see it.

Steve pushes through it, though, and he introduces everyone, even the ones Bucky has met before. There’s only one that Bucky is totally unfamiliar with, all told— a blond man lounging on the couch and allowing Natalia to use him as both footrest and cupholder. Steve calls him Clint, but then the man exclaims,

“It’s Hawkeye, seriously! I keep telling you to introduce me by my cool name! Is that so hard?”

“You’re genetically modified too?” Bucky asks as he registers the name. The beginning of some reply had begun to slip from Steve’s mouth, but he visibly bites off the sentence as he swings around to look at Bucky.

“What do you mean, too?” he asks accusingly. Bucky ignores him. He came up here to socialize with Avengers, so he’s going to socialize with this Avenger, dammit.

“I don’t actually have, like, real hawks’ eyes or anything, it’s just my name,” Clint says, but he seems like he’s enjoying the idea very much.

“Oh.” Bucky is a little disappointed, but he’s going to socialize, so. Banter. “Give it here, then, ‘cause I do.” Banter is easy with Steve, because it’s an old, old groove and all he has to do is fall back into it, but he’s not sure that he knows the right way to do it with other people. He’s almost certain he’s just done it wrong, because Clint has frozen in place, beer bottle halfway to Natalia’s mouth.

“Give you… my codename? Because you actually have hawks’ eyes? Dude, either that was the worst joke ever or Steve totally skipped a chapter in the briefing.” Clint is looking back and forth between them like he isn’t sure if he should be laughing. Bucky scowls because he doesn’t know how to fit into this groove at all, and the failure is frustrating him. It feels too early to be this tired of socializing, though, so he gives a short, straight answer.

“Don’t want your name. Do have hawk eyes.” And then he slides into a seat, because he doesn’t remember talking to people being this exhausting. Instead of talking, he watches as Clint bemoans his sense of humor and complains to the room in general that Steve didn’t tell them Bucky was recombined.

“Steve didn’t know,” Steve says pointedly, glaring at Bucky. Bucky sighs with relief, because this is something he knows how to deal with again. Steve, Tony, and Natalia are probably the only people in the world that he still has real rapport with.

“Steve’s an idiot,” Bucky says to him. Then he turns very deliberately to Tony, who (with great subtlety and tactfulness) has seated himself on Bucky’s left. “Hi, Tony.”

Tony loves teasing Steve too, so he immediately launches into conversation, streaming words and jargon and references and generally sounding both very smart and very flippant. Bucky really only cares to follow about a third of it, but that’s okay, because it’s not important. The important thing is the way it’s making Steve just the right kind of annoyed that used to mean he’d try extra hard to be good for Bucky later. Bucky’s not sure what it means now, but it’s lovely to see the tinge of red in the tips of his ears as he walks away. Once he’s sat down by Sam, Tony taps Bucky’s arm with a screwdriver to get his attention for real.

“TLDR, I think I’ve got something to give you better feeling in your fingertips,” says Tony. “I can do it right now if you don’t mind the audience.”

Bucky responds by flipping open a metal panel on his shoulder and gesturing for Tony to go to town. It feels weird, tingly and with odd moments of pressure underneath where he should be able to feel, but his fingers do feel kind of like they’re waking up with pins and needles, so he supposes it’s working.

As Tony works, Bucky watches Steve. He throws out a comment once in a while, just enough that he can still be said to be socializing, but mostly he’s paying attention to the expression on Steve’s face, the faint, constant tension in his shoulders, the way he lights up as he sees his team getting along with each other. Every now and then, Steve flashes a green look in Bucky’s direction, which makes Bucky wonder. He doesn’t know if Steve still needs to be taken care of, now that his body works and everyone respects him.

“Tony,” Bucky says softly after a minute, and the stream of idle chatter at his side stops immediately. “How does Pepper know when you need it?” Tony does him the courtesy of admitting that he knows what he’s talking about.

“Sometimes I tell her. Sometimes I can’t, and she just knows.” Tony’s response is quiet enough to go unheard in the room full of conversation, but loud enough not to seem secretive. He frowns pensively as he continues to dig around in the arm with his screwdriver. “Usually when I’m trying to take on too much at once. I’ll be twitchy, or I won’t sleep, or I’ll build three new suit prototypes in a week, or something, and she’ll know. Something tells me you don’t want to be taken down, though.”

“No, I miss— I don’t know if I’m allowed to take him down, anymore.” That phrase, take down, feels awkward in his mouth when he isn’t using it for a kill or a coup, but he gets the sentence out anyway. Tony looks startled, but he keeps working.

“Trust me, he wants you to. Maybe even needs you to. We’re a lot of responsibility,” Tony explains, making a sweeping gesture at the living room full of Avengers who now seem to be squabbling over popcorn and movie choices. “Nothing like a room full of broken superheroes to make a man need some down time.”

That makes sense, but— “I don’t know if I can,” he says tersely, twitching his metal fingers. They feel almost normal, now, which is amazing, but not enough to distract him from possibly the most important question ever. He’s very aware of the presence of all the other people in the room, but he was trained to use crowds for privacy and loud rooms for secrecy, so he thinks it's safe enough.

“What do you mean?” Tony makes one last twist with his screwdriver that jolts all the way up to Bucky’s shoulder, and then he closes the panel with a click. The sensation is much more fine-tuned than it was before.

“I’m not the same as I was before. Not just— it wasn’t just hawk they put in me. All of me is different.”

“I don’t want to shut you down, but this seems like something you should discuss with him,” Tony says, uncharacteristically gently. Then he regains a bit of his charisma and says to the room at large, “I think Elsa here is ready for the gates to close again. Are you going with him, Anna?”

“Stop calling us that,” Steve says grumpily as he stands. He and Bucky walk back to the elevator together as Tony steps into the movie debate.

“As the person who owns this tower, I declare myself tiebreaker! We’re watching The Dark Knight, because you all need to appreciate—“ The door closes before Tony finishes what promises to be a wonderful speech on the delights of Nolan and/or Bale, depending on Tony’s mood. Bucky is relieved when the many voices are suddenly cut down to just the sound of Steve’s breathing, strong and healthy.

“Were you alright to be with all of them?” Steve asks, sounding oddly perfunctory.

“They’re a bit of a crowd, but it was okay when I could focus on just one person,” Bucky replies, and then he narrows his eyes. “What’s up with you, Steve? You’re more tense than I am.”

“Enhanced hearing,” says Steve, and the door dings open again. Bucky shivers and swallows before he follows him out of the elevator.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about all of the modifications,” he begins, but Steve cuts him off.

“I’m not— well, I’m a little upset about that. I’m more bothered that you could talk to Tony about us before you could talk to me.”

“I,’’ Bucky begins, feeling useless. “I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, honest.”

“Of course I want you, Buck. However that has to work now, however different you are. I just want you to trust me,” Steve says, with huge eyes and a plea in his voice. Moments like this he seems small again, like the skinny punk Bucky first fell for, and Bucky kind of hates himself for enjoying Steve’s distress in any capacity.

“I do. I’m sorry,” he says, but it doesn’t feel like enough. He has to give something bigger, some show of trust, to prove it. “They tried to give me a knockoff of your serum, but it wasn’t working. So instead they used leftover tesseract juice to mix animals into me. I got hawk and snake and panther, as far as I can remember. Might be more.”

“Why didn’t you tell me before?” Steve asks, and that question stings but Bucky has to answer it, now.

“The bird went well, all I got was good eyes and a feel for wind. Snake, too. Just made me fast and flexible. Well, and there's this.” Bucky hisses to demonstrate, and Steve gives a half-hearted laugh. Bucky tenses as Steve opens his mouth to ask the question Bucky knows he doesn’t want to answer.

“What about the cat?”

“I’m strong, and quiet,” he says, and it turns out he can’t give the full answer after all. He opens his mouth to finish, but closes it before the words come out. They’re stuck in his throat.

“What else, Buck?” Steve is looking so worried, and Bucky’s practically vibrating with tension but he still can’t give the true answer.

“Can I take care of you, please?” is what he says. Steve opens his mouth, and Bucky says again, desperately, “Please?”

Steve’s jaw snaps shut and he looks uncharacteristically, incongruously defeated for a moment, but then the look passes and he slides easily to his knees. His throat is still working, though, and Bucky can recognize the difference between “not speaking” and “quiet.” He runs gentle metal fingers through Steve’s hair just to enjoy the new clarity of sensation in his fingertips. It’s not perfect, but he can feel warmth and softness and the light, light weight of Steve’s fine hair. He loves it.

“Shh, Stevie, we’re gonna be alright. You don’t gotta run your mind like that, not with me. I’ve got you.” This is an old pattern too, soft reassurances when Steve’s mind wouldn’t let him go quiet right away. Wouldn’t let him go down, as Tony would say.

That was why he had to be taken down, to use the same words. Easier to be taken than to go on your own.

“Come here, come on up,” he murmurs, repeating it a couple of times as he picks Steve up bridal style. More than any other carry, this one forces Steve to let him do the work, to support him and to look out for where they’re going. It’s always been hard for Steve to accept it. After two minutes of just holding him, Steve’s head finally goes limp on Bucky’s shoulder, like he’s sleeping, or maybe just trusting. Bucky sighs and presses a kiss to Steve’s forehead.

“There you go, Stevie. Good boy, resting for me so easy. I got you, see, I always got you,” Bucky keeps talking as he carries Steve into his bedroom. It’s a good thing that the words are flowing naturally, because if he had to think to say them he probably wouldn’t be able to. He can’t focus. It feels so, so good to have his Steve leaning on him again.

And he knows that it’s only the beginning.

Bucky lays Steve gently down on the bed, watching with satisfaction as Steve goes pliant into the mattress almost immediately. He still looks like he wants to talk, though, and that’s not what Bucky wants. So Bucky opens his mouth and frames Steve’s lips with his own.

They stay still, just breathing together, for several long seconds before Bucky slowly closes Steve’s mouth with his own. With his additions, Bucky can focus on Steve’s face even at this short distance, and he sees the tension fall out of Steve’s brow as his mouth closes. Steve’s eyes look a little distant, a little glassy, but a lot less worried.

“We’re all good, baby. I got you.” Then Bucky begins to slide his clothes off of him, smoothly and carefully, enjoying the languorous movements of Steve’s limbs as he tries clumsily to help.

The way Steve just looks wide-eyed and adoring up at him is even better, even though Bucky knows he doesn’t deserve it.

“Roll over. I’ll be right back,” Bucky says quietly, and then he slips into the bathroom. Ostensibly, he’s fetching water, and towels to clean Steve up, so he does that first. Then he leans against the sink and pants, trying to get control over himself. They’ve barely started and already he feels impossibly hard in his pants. Worse, he feels sharp already, in a way he shouldn’t. He strips off his pants and shirt, but he leaves his boxers and undershirt on. It makes him feel overdressed as he walks back into the bedroom, but there are things he can’t show Steve.

For a while, Bucky just stands in the door and appreciates the long lines of Steve’s back, hard and strong now but still with a sweet curve at his ass. And he’s remembered how Bucky likes him to be— his cock is pulled downwards so that it lays between his legs instead of against his stomach, allowing Bucky to see exactly what Steve enjoys, and how much.

“Good boy,” he whispers, and watches a shudder travel through Steve’s pliant body.

The next several minutes are softly erotic. Bucky slides the wet cloth over Steve’s body, wiping away dirt and sweat, and then pats him dry. He has always loved this part, because however little Steve actually gets out of it, he still lays pliant as Bucky cleans him all over, washes away the outside world, takes care of him. The rhythm of it feels like a spell, and by the time Bucky’s done with his back, he doesn’t want to speak, either. He nudges gently at Steve’s side to tell him to turn over. Steve does, and then Bucky starts in on his chest.

When Steve is all clean Bucky sighs with satisfaction and sets both damp and dry towels aside. He runs his flesh hand down Steve’s side, relishing the feeling of clean, smooth skin under his fingertips, and watching Steve’s half-hard cock firm up just a little more.

“See how good I got you, baby?” Bucky whispers. His voice comes out a little cracked with disuse. “All safe and clean and good. And I got something more for you.”

Steve responds with a questioning noise, and then a happy one when Bucky climbs up to straddle his stomach. But even though Bucky’s too-hard cock is pressing against muscle through his boxers, he doesn’t rut down like he wants to, not yet. Instead he brings the water cup up to Steve’s mouth and coaxes his jaw open with metal fingers.

“Didn’t have any time to plan, or I woulda had broth for you. This is enough for now, though. Enough to take care of you, keep you drinking enough.” Bucky shakes his head with a little chuckle. “Heaven knows you eat enough, these days.”

Steve smiles a little with his mouth still open and carefully swallows the water Bucky has poured in. With the new sensitivity in his metal hand, he can feel the feather-flutter of Steve’s throat as he swallows little bits at a time. He follows the water with his fingers, tracking down Steve’s neck, between his ridiculous chest muscles, finally resting over his stomach. He imagines Steve’s stomach filling up, with water or with something more substantial, imagines Steve full and satisfied and well taken care of for once, and then he can’t hold back anymore. His cock ruts down against Steve’s belly and he groans.

Bucky manages to catch himself with metal fingers, keeping the sharpness away from where Steve could feel it, but he’s not sure how much longer he can hold back.

“Can I touch you?” Steve says quietly, and Bucky jumps and realizes that the water is gone, probably has been for a minute. He looks up and sees the aching sincerity in Steve’s eyes, how earnestly he wants it, and he nods.

“Yeah, Stevie, you can put your hands on me. You know I’d give you anything you need, anything you want. How are you feeling, baby?” Bucky asks, checking in. Steve’s hands come up to his chest almost immediately, stroking and mapping and appreciating what he can with Bucky’s metal hand still clamped over his cock.

“I’m good,” Steve replies, sounding a little dreamy.

“Yeah?” Bucky leans over him a little, supporting himself with his flesh hand and lapping into his open mouth.

“Yeah. Little disappointed, though,” Steve adds softly, and Bucky recoils. Steve isn’t supposed to be disappointed, he’s supposed to be satisfied, filled and whole and clean and happy and Bucky failed. He forces his eyes open again, ready to do most anything to fix it, to take care of Steve right, but then he sees the guilty look on Steve’s face. It’s the look that says he did something wrong, and he knows it.

“You’re not supposed to be cheeky,” Bucky says sharply. He shouldn’t be mean to Steve when he’s trying to take care of him, but he’s patching up his pride.

“I’m sorry, Buck,” Steve says, and there’s his sincerity again. Bucky could never stay mad at him for long, especially not like this. “Won’t you show me?” He slides his hands down Bucky’s chest, going for the hem of his undershirt. When he gets there he strokes just underneath it, over his hips and just a little up his sides, and it’s enough to drive Bucky crazy with how wound up he is. He blames that touch for the way he acquiesces.

“Yeah, alright. Anything you want, Stevie,” he says, and he gives Steve what he wants. He crosses his arms at his belly and drags the shirt up and off. As soon as it’s gone, though, Bucky has to grasp at his cock again to keep it down, because Steve’s hands are on him again, and it’s so much better without the shirt in the way. His eyes fall shut and he almost forgets why he hadn’t wanted to take his shirt off before.

“Oh,” says Steve. “I found the cat.” Bucky looks down and yes, Steve’s looking at his nipples. All six of them, in two rows down his body. Bucky flushes and looks away, but he doesn’t move as Steve runs his fingers over them and makes him shudder.

“Steve,” he begins, but he doesn’t know what he means to say.

“Do you still like them played with?” Steve asks. Steve is talking way too much, leaving that quiet place that Bucky worked so hard to put him in. Bucky frowns and pries Steve’s hands off of his body, pins his arms back down to the mattress. It takes two hands, but the new angle has Bucky’s cock lined up with Steve’s pubic hair, so at least his sensation will be dulled there, a little.

“Please, Steve, just let me take care of you,” he begs. “Please.” Steve looks like he wants to protest, but at last he exhales and nods. Relief sweeps through Bucky.

They’re back to the beginning problem again, though, where Steve isn’t speaking but he’s not quiet either. His mind is running, and Bucky needs to make Steve trust him to make him go quiet again. He casts around for a minute before he remembers his own left hand and its strength that can outmatch and outlast Steve’s.

Carefully, so carefully, Bucky slides the fingers of his hand behind Steve’s head and rests his thumb below the hyoid bone, and then he lifts. Steve’s head comes up, just an inch or two, just far enough that he can’t rest it on the pillow anymore.

“Just relax, Stevie, let me hold you. Let me do all the work,” he coaxes, and the tension in Steve’s neck starts to bleed out as he trusts Bucky to support him. Then, slowly, Bucky starts to apply pressure with his thumb. Steve tenses up immediately. “Shh, baby, I’m not gonna hurt you. I just need you to trust me, okay? Can you do that, Stevie?” There’s a long, quiet moment where Bucky doesn’t know if they’re going to continue at all, but then Steve gives a tiny nod and then tension starts to go again.

As Steve relaxes, Bucky puts more pressure on his throat, little by little, until he’s sure he’s making it hard for Steve to breathe. But Steve isn’t fighting back, isn’t even tensing anymore, so Bucky presses his luck. For a span of ten seconds, no more, he cuts off Steve’s air altogether, but Steve doesn’t even move. He just keeps wide eyes focused on Bucky’s face. Then Bucky releases him, full of wonder.

“See? You can trust me to keep you safe. I’ve got you, I’ve always got you. I’m gonna make you feel so good, now, I promise. You’re gonna love it.” Bucky slides down Steve’s body, gasping at the feeling of Steve’s hard muscles against his sensitive nipples. The sensation is harder to handle, now that there’s three times as much of it.

When Bucky draws eye level with it, Steve’s cock is harder than it probably ought to be after what Bucky just did, but when Bucky raises an eyebrow Steve just gives him a glassy-eyed shrug. Maybe that’s something to try more of, later.

It takes a moment to dredge up the old memories of making it good for Steve. They’re there, though, and Bucky’s eager to put them to good use. In one smooth movement, he slides down and covers Steve’s cock with his mouth. The weight in his mouth is just as good as he remembers, and the taste where he’s leaked is even better. Bucky gives one long stroke, all the way down and then back up, before he settles in to suckle at the blunt head.

It goes on and on and this— this is the best part so far, for Bucky. It’s amazing to be allowed to take care of Steve’s needs, but to be allowed to take care of his wants, too, to feel the proof of that want drooling onto his tongue… Bucky has never had the words to describe how he loves this, and he still doesn’t.

His cock is threatening to tear through his boxers, and for all he knows, it actually can.

“Stevie,” he says, pulling up for a moment. His voice is rough again, but it’s not from disuse this time. “Stevie, you gonna come for me? Can you do that?”

“Yeah,” Steve breathes, sounding dazed. He’s so quiet and still, letting Bucky do all the work— Bucky locks his metal fingers around his own cock again and starts sucking Steve’s with as much energy as he can. He bobs his head and sucks and licks and teases every hotspot he can remember to make Steve gasp and shake and finally come in long, sticky strings. About half of them make it into Bucky’s mouth, and he licks up the rest, diligently keeping Steve clean.

After about a minute of what should be afterglow, though, Bucky notices that Steve isn’t going soft like he should be.

“Stevie? Are you alright?” he asks. The terror that he’s done something wrong goes a long way to controlling his erection.

“‘M fine,” Steve mumbles, dragging his eyelids open with visible effort. Some of his languor is the way he gets when he’s quiet— when he goes down— but some of it is the way he gets after a really, really good go. “Jus’ happens s’mtimes.” Bucky takes a deep breath to relax himself before Steve tries to speak again. “You gonna show me the rest now?”

“The rest?” Bucky asks dumbly. The satisfaction of Steve’s orgasm is almost as good as his own— it’s at least good enough to make him stupid for a few minutes.

“Yeah, the rest,” says Steve, and he sounds like he’s recovering his sharp tongue. Bucky’s a little sad to lose the dreamy quiet of before, but he knows everything has to end sometime. He can see plainly how much happier Steve is for having had that time, and that makes everything worth it. It gives Bucky heady proof that he did a good job taking care of him. “I don’t think I’m the only one who needs looking after, here.”

“What do you mean?” Bucky draws back a little, abruptly self-conscious of the extra nipples on display without his shirt.

“Bucky,” Steve chides, “I like your body, cat nipples and all. I’ll still like it once I’ve seen whatever you’re hiding in your pants. And,” adds Steve with a raised eyebrow, “it looks like it’s past ready to come out, too.”

Bucky looks at Steve, at that shattering sincerity in his eyes, and he breaks. He swallows quickly and stands up and turns around so that Steve can’t see him. Then he takes his boxers off and tosses them to the side. Looking down at his own cock, impossible to mistake for anything human, he feels more vulnerable than ever. He steels himself one more time and turns back around.

“Oh,” says Steve. “I found the cat.” The glint in his eye says that he knows he’s repeating himself, and that he likes what he sees this time too. The idea of that is almost unbelievable, but if anyone could do it, Steve could. “Do they hurt?”

“Nah, but they’re sensitive,” Bucky says, going for nonchalant but probably missing by a mile. And anyway, Steve already knows how touchy he is about this by the way he tried to hide it. “You…” he gulps. “You can touch if you want.”

Steve slides to the edge of the bed and spreads his legs, guiding Bucky in between them. It’s been a long time since they were in that position, Bucky knows. Probably since Brooklyn. He doesn’t remember a lot about the war, but he does know that they wouldn’t’ve had a lot of time to do anything involved. It feels good, though, being so close like this.

It feels better once Steve gets fingertips on his cock, stroking up the smooth shaft until he reaches the spiny ridges just under the head. When Steve touches those, Bucky can’t help but gasp and he has to restrain a sharp thrust of his hips. The movement makes Steve smile knowingly and stroke again and again, from the base of the spines to their tips. They feel like loose teeth— hard, but when you press on them, the flesh underneath can definitely feel it. The contact quickly becomes more than Bucky can deal with.

“Steve, Stevie, please,” he gasps, jerking wildly. “It’s too much. Give it a rest.”

“Good?” Steve asks, and maybe Bucky was wrong before, ‘cause Steve’s words may be back but he’s still so sweet, with those wide blue eyes and that look like he’d do anything for Bucky.

“So good, so good for me Stevie,” he says, and it makes Steve’s long lashes flutter against his cheek. “What else you gonna do for me, sweetheart? Touch yourself, stroke that pretty cock and make it leak for me?” Bucky shudders as Steve gives him a hot look through his lashes. It feels even better knowing that nobody else gets to see Steve sweet like this, nobody else is allowed to take care of him. This is all for Bucky.

Bucky’s still working on feeling worthy of the things Steve lets him have.

“I got a better idea,” Steve says quietly, and he holds Bucky’s hips in place with his big hands. He keeps his eyes locked on Bucky’s as he starts to kiss up his stomach, going steadily upwards until, without warning, he latches onto one of his lower nipples, one that’s nearly at the edge of his rib cage. The sudden hard suck makes Bucky moan and arch into him. Steve keeps going, though, licking and nipping and then sucking some more.

“What— what are you doing, Stevie?” Bucky manages. The touch should probably feel weird, but at this point he’s had six nipples longer than he’s had two, and it just feels nice. It gets better the longer Steve works, nerve endings waking up under his mouth. When Steve finally pulls back to answer it’s been long enough that Bucky has to hold in a bereft sound.

“I really, really don’t mind that you’re different now.” Steve’s voice is low and very, very aroused. “And I’m gonna be so good for you.”

“You always are, sweetheart.”

Steve dives back in to latch onto another nipple, still on the left side, and that one comes alive even faster, now that Steve knows what he’s doing. Bucky’s fingers twitch and then bury themselves in Steve’s hair, holding him there against Bucky’s chest. The sounds Bucky makes are more enthusiastic than he knew he was capable of.

Because Steve is both methodical and determined, he won’t let go of Bucky’s hips until he’s worked his way over all six nipples and made each one hot and red with overstimulation. By the end, none of them can stand even a light suck without making him whine.

“Good, Bucky?” Steve asks, and Bucky just has to stare at him in wonder for a minute, because it’s not teasing, even though Bucky is still panting with pleasure. It’s earnest and hopeful and lovely. Bucky strokes over Steve’s lower lip with his thumb, enjoying the way it’s wet and red from the attention, too. Unconsciously, Steve’s thighs spread just a little wider. It’s an invitation that Bucky wishes dearly that he could follow through on.

“So good, Stevie,” he reassures him. “What do you want, baby?”

Times like this, all Bucky knows is that he needs to take care of Steve and that he’ll do anything Steve asks in this moment. If Steve wanted him to fly, he probably could.

“Fuck me?” is what Steve asks.

And Bucky forgets all his objections, forgets his old feelings about his inhuman penis, forgets everything but the determination to find a way to give Steve what he wants. Only one thing survives from his old obstinance, and that’s the concern that has never deserted him, no matter how much Steve wants it, or how deep Bucky is in the desire to provide him with the things he needs and wants.

“I won't hurt you,” he says, with all the stubbornness he can muster, which is a lot because it’s true. Bucky will never, ever hurt Steve.

“Here, Bucky, feel.” Steve takes Bucky’s hand and guides it down to his own dick, running both their flesh fingertips over the spines. He shudders at the feeling. “See, Buck? They’re hard, but they’re not that sharp. You’re not gonna hurt me. I probably won’t even tear, and if I do, you know I’ll heal in a couple of hours. Please, Bucky.”

Bucky feels his own spines, checking the truth of what Steve has said and seeing it for himself for the first time. He won’t hurt Steve. Probably.

“Okay. Okay, sweetheart. Come here,” he coaxes, pulling Steve up towards him so that he can kiss him and lick his mouth some more. “Alright, now lay back.”

Steve goes easy, laying flat on his back and staring up with those sweet blue eyes looking satisfied. That pleased look goes straight through Bucky and makes him throb between his legs. He’s always been a sucker for a happy Steve.

“I got slick in the drawer,” Steve prompts, knowing what Bucky was about to ask.

Once Bucky has the tube, he settles back into place between Steve’s legs. Soft touches are enough to spread Steve’s thighs and put his knees up, body sweet and so inviting. Bucky carefully slicks his flesh fingers and then teases gently at the rim. It flutters a little as he does, showing Steve’s eagerness.

“I got you,” Bucky says, and just like always it sends that feeling straight through him, the one that says he’s doing right by Steve.

Then Bucky slides his first finger in, feeling the heat and tightness all around, and the way Steve opens up so readily for this kind of touch. That’s not new, though. Bucky has always known how to take care of Steve like this, how to make him feel better than he knew what to do with. The second finger is a little harder, but it’s the second finger that makes Steve start to moan and show how much he likes it.

For a long time, Bucky just stays at two, thrusting in and out and scissoring and rubbing at Steve’s prostate. Gone quiet like this, Steve won’t beg for the third, so Bucky gives it to him anyway.

“You ready?” he asks Steve, when he thinks he must be by now.

“More’n ready,” Steve groans, forcing his eyes open. Bucky abruptly realizes that he’d been too focused on his task to notice Steve drifting into pleasure. Going down, maybe.

That’s alright, though, because now that he’s come to it, about to push his spiked cat’s dick into Steve, he’s paying razor sharp attention. It’s all the focus he’s ever poured into a long shot and then some, because he will not let this hurt Steve. He gives himself a rough stroke to make sure he’s ready for the pressure around him and he won’t just start thrusting wildly.

Bucky pushes in slow, his head stretching Steve and then his spines popping past the rim. Just that pressure on his spines is enough to make him gasp and shudder, but he gets past it and slides in deep until his whole cock is surrounded by wet heat.

“Okay?” he checks in. He thinks he’s reading pleasure on Steve’s face, but he needs to be doubly sure when he’s going out of his mind like this.

“Yeah, Buck, you can move. It doesn’t hurt,” Steve promises, looking so very sincere again. “It’s so intense, but it’s good."

And then he does, steady as he can at first but then quickly losing control. He’s never screwed anyone since he got the cat put in him, and it feels better than it ever did before. Before he knows it he’s thrusting fast and hard and nearly pulling out on each stroke just to feel the pressure of Steve’s rim on his spines. They feel so good that he’s ready to take back every nasty thought he’s ever had about them.

And Steve— Steve is loving it too. He’s moving into every thrust and groaning and whimpering like he’s dying, but in the good way. His hands scrabble around like he’s looking for somewhere to put them, and in an inspired moment of coordination, Bucky grasps his wrist and pulls his hand to his own chest.

Immediately Steve is pinching and rubbing as many of Bucky’s nipples as he can get at at once, which with his giant hands is most of them. He tweaks hard and Bucky’s hips stutter into him and before he knows it he’s coming.

“Oh, oh Stevie, you’re— you’re so good, oh,” he gasps. He locks his metal arm to keep from collapsing as his release spills out of him and into Steve. At last he feels coherent again, and he murmurs, “I’ll get you in a second,” and he moves to pull out. Bucky's softening and the tight clutch of Steve’s ass is almost too much as he draws back. He pauses a moment to brace himself for the feeling of Steve’s rim on his oversensitive spines.

Bucky slides out in one quick pull that makes Steve scream and arch. Terror shoots through him for an endless second before he sees Steve’s cock spilling come all over his stomach. He’s shaking with pleasure and it lights Bucky up from this inside.

He licks up the mess, both Steve’s and what’s leaked of his own, and then he looks down at all of Steve, clean, happy, full, and safe.

At last, he’s satisfied.

Bucky lies down and curls into Steve, and they fall asleep together.