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AVENGERS HOTSPOT

Your Source for Up to Date Gossip on your Favorite Crimefighting Team

            It’s been confirmed that Captain Steve Rogers will be doing an interview and photo spread with Stark Media Group. The angels are singing today. If you’ve been alive at all since the 1940s, you’ve grown up reading about and loving this guy. After his discovery and reawakening into the 21st century several years ago, we’ve all been eagerly watching his journey. Only good things can come from the first interview Rogers will be giving to a media outlet outside of a mission report.

 

 

            Bucky looked up from the stack of papers he was stapling together when Clint literally slammed into the side of his desk. “Dude,” he breathed, an awed expression on his face.

            “What?” Bucky asked, rummaging through his drawer for the binder clips he needed.

            “Dude,” Clint said again, his voice raising an octave.

            “What?” Bucky repeated as he frowned at the time. He needed to bring Phillips the summary for the Collert file by nine.

            Clint slapped his hands down onto the desk, his eyes wide and slightly crazed. “Captain America is here.”

            “No, he’s not,” Bucky said, gesturing around the cubicle as he highlighted the bottom lines for the cost estimates.

            “In the building, dickwad,” Clint sighed.

            Bucky stopped to process what Clint’s gushing actually meant. “Oh, cool,” he admitted.

            He and Clint were both seniors at NYU. They had been friends since orientation and roommates all the way through. They high fived and drank a daily bottle of peach moscato for a week straight when they were both accepted to the public relations internship run by Stark Industries’ Pepper Potts.

            The internship was a mixture of terrifying and insanely boring depending on the exact minute. Bucky felt like he was learning a lot when he got to work on his actual projects, even if half the time he got saddled with things like coffee runs and dry-cleaning pickup. Ms. Potts, ‘Please, call me Pepper’ had told them to let her know if anything like that was happening, but Bucky didn’t want to rock the boat. He was really only have issues with Pierce and Rumlow, the dickbags.

            “He’s doing an interview and photo shoot,” Clint told him, scrolling through his phone.

            “Too bad neither of us is important enough to get anywhere near that,” Bucky pointed out.

            Clint waved a hand. “I can claim I got confused when dropping off copies during the middle of it, just to sneak a peek.”

            Bucky laughed, compiling the papers into a manila folder. “Good luck.”

            Clint shrugged and hopped onto Bucky’s desk, swinging his legs. “How fucking crazy is it that he’s actually like 90, but physically he’s only a little older than us?”

            “It’s wild,” Bucky said in a deadpan before getting to his feet.

            He went to deliver the summary to Phillips, but the door was closed. Bucky waited in the hall and flipped through his emails. The door opened again and he saw Ms. Potts stepping out. She tapped something into her planner as she spoke. “We’ll just have to find someone to fill in since the time overlaps with lunch then,” she trailed off when she spotted Bucky.

            “Bucky Barnes!” Pepper said cheerfully.

            He smiled and nodded at her. “Hello, Ms. Potts.” He genuinely liked her. She was scarily proficient at her job and one of the most sincere people he had ever met, a particularly rare quality in public relations.

            “Pepper,” she corrected. She put a hand on her hip and glanced back towards Phillips. “Think Mr. Barnes is up to the task?” she asked, a delicate eyebrow raised in question.

            In the typical grumpy, old man fashion that defined Phillips, he squinted at Bucky. “He’ll do,” he agreed.

            Pepper’s smile brightened even further. “Perfect! Come with me, Mr. Barnes.”

            Bucky lifted the file and darted in to pass it off to Phillips. He grunted thanks before Pepper led Bucky away. She continued typing something into her phone, muttering under her breath until they reached the elevator. “There was something of a scheduling issue with a client today and the appointment will extend over lunch. Would you mind assisting the P.A. team?”

            She phrased it as a question, which was very polite, but he had obviously been selected for the job. “No problem,” he reassured her.

            She looked relieved. “Okay, I’ll take you down and get you situated.”

            Bucky followed her into the elevator and out again on the fifth floor, the fancy floor set aside for meetings and events with clients. Everything was made of glass and both the walls and furniture varied between tones of grey and white. It was very modern. Pepper waved over a redheaded woman in a well-fitted green dress. “Nat, this is Bucky Barnes. He’s one of the NYU interns and he’s a dream to work with. He’ll be filling in for Wade with the Rogers piece.”

            Bucky blinked between the two of them. The Rogers piece? As in Steve Rogers? As in Captain America? Clint was going to not-so-accidentally murder him in his sleep for this. Nat nodded, speaking quickly into a headset as she shook Bucky’s hand. “Thanks for stepping up,” she told him while catching someone’s elbow to redirect them.

            “I’ll come by to check on Steve later,” Pepper told the redhead. Bucky was almost surprised she was on a first name basis with Captain America before remembering she was basically married to Iron Man.

            Nat waved Bucky over and handed him his own headset and clearance badge before leading him into an area swarming with people and AV equipment. “Take this to Phil Coulson,” she instructed, loading his arms down with a stack of ringed binders and two water bottles perched on top. She pointed him towards a middle-aged man towards the back of the room. Bucky edged his way over and cleared his throat.

            The man turned expectantly and sighed in relief at the sight of the binders. “Oh, perfect. Thank you.” He grabbed the water and the binders before walking over to a table and flipping through the pages. Looking frazzled, the guy began shouting out instructions to some of the lighting crew.

            Bucky hesitated aimlessly before Nat’s voice crackled through his headset. “BB, follow the doors to the right and back to the staging area. I need a babysitter.”

            He wasn’t sure what that meant, but this was his current assignment, so he was going. Bucky followed the hallway and passed people setting up trays of food and racks of clothing. “But seriously, baby? Which one of the P.A. monkeys do you call baby? I want to meet baby,” a male voice announced, distinctly amused. Bucky rounded the corner and heard Nat sighing.

            “I didn’t say baby,” Nat said, sounding like she was repeating herself as she rolled her eyes.

            Bucky stopped short at the sight of Tony Stark lounging in a makeup chair and stealing grapes from one of the catering trays. Nat looked up, waving him closer. “Thank god, I don’t have time to deal with this.”

            Stark looked affronted, but glanced at Bucky curiously. “Is this baby?” he asked after inspecting him. “I can see the allure,” he confided, nodding.

            Bucky’s eyes darted towards Nat desperately and she laughed at his expression. “Tony, be nice. This is Bucky Barnes, hence the use of the initials BB. He’s one of Pepper’s NYU media interns and he stepped in because Wade didn’t show up.”

            Stark nodded again, still considering Bucky. “Are you qualified for this position or did Pepper pick you because of the icy blue gaze and blatant sex appeal?”

            “I’m in the top of my class,” Bucky managed to say, completely bewildered by what was happening.

            “Of course you are,” Tony said, his eyes narrowed.

            Nat slapped him upside the head as she passed and pulled the tray of food further away. “Unlike what you use for hiring criteria, Pepper knows what she’s doing.”           

            Tony’s expression melted into something resembling admiration. “That’s why she’s in charge,” he agreed.

            Nat frowned and snapped something in Russian through her headset. “I have to go,” she said, heading down the hall. She turned back towards Bucky. “Stay with Tony so Steve can actually finish getting ready or we’ll never get the interview done before lunch.”

            Tony shrugged innocently before swiping a chocolate covered strawberry from a different tray. “So, baby,” he said, emphasizing the word slowly.

            “Yeah?” Bucky sighed.

            “What do they have you working on in the depths of the media caves?” he asked, eying the strawberries and picking the next biggest one he could find.

            Bucky shrugged. “Some press releases for your product launches. I drafted a couple clean energy speeches, but mostly I do background research and summary reports.”

            Tony tapped at his chin thoughtfully. “What part of public relations are you into? If that’s really what you are into. I’m still thinking you’re an undercover hooker.”

            Bucky’s eyebrows drew downwards. “Undercover hooker? Why would a hooker be undercover?”

            “Ah-hah! You focused on the undercover hooker part of that instead of answering the question. I knew it. Blew the case wide open,” Tony said sagely.

            “I’m a senior at NYU majoring in communications and media administration,” Bucky informed Tony, squinting at him.

            “And you pay your way as a hooker?” Tony pried hopefully.

            “No,” Bucky rolled his eyes. He debated whether to go into the ‘why I made these life choices speech’ with Stark. He really had nothing better to do. “I got into the field because media is so heavily filtered by agendas, by angles, and stories.”

            He stopped to see if Stark was actually paying attention and the man waved for him to continue as he poked his tongue out of his mouth, tapping at his phone. Bucky shook his head in exasperation but kept talking. “It’s hard to find out what’s actually happening because someone’s got something to sell, to push. I wanted to work with Ms. Potts because she doesn’t do that. She presents straightforward information and let’s people make their own opinions, no matter the topic at hand.”

            Tony lowered his phone and looked at him intently. “Okay.” He paused, surveying the food and passing Bucky a strawberry before announcing imperiously. “I like you.”

            Bucky huffed out a laugh. “What if that was just a ploy to get on your good side and I really am an undercover hooker?”

            Tony shrugged. “Wouldn’t be the first time.”

            Which was why an hour later, Bucky was still listening with rapt attention as Tony Stark explained what exactly an undercover hooker was. “So then I wake up naked and handcuffed to this full sized, blow-up version of Iron Man in Shanghai and she was sitting there staring at me, eating room service cheesecake.”

            Nat stuck her head into the room and looked surprised to see Tony. “You actually stayed put? When Steve started the interview on time I figured you were wreaking havoc somewhere else in the building.”

            Tony waved that off as if it was ridiculous. “No, no. Baby and I are tight now. He’s got a big, huge public relations crush on Pepper. It’s embarrassing.”

            “Yeah, I’m the embarrassing one here,” Bucky snorted.

            “And he’s sassy,” Tony said delightedly. “Can we keep him?” he turned big eyes towards Nat.

            She laughed and shook her head. “Try making a job offer after graduation,” she suggested. After listening to something over her headset she looked back over. “In ten Steve is done with the interview and then we’re breaking for lunch. The photo shoot resumes at 1:30 sharp.”            

            Tony nodded and clapped a hand on Bucky’s shoulder. “Till next time, BB. I’m going to talk to Pepper about adopting you. Keep a look out for the paperwork.”

            “He’s a twenty-two year old man,” Nat pointed out dryly.

            “Yes, yes he is,” Tony agreed, before taking one last chocolate strawberry and walking away.

            “So, that’s Tony,” Nat said and it sounded like half an apology as she flipped through a clipboard for something.

            Bucky got to his feet. “What now?”

            Nat pulled out her phone and looked things over before updating him. “Now, Steve is going to eat with Tony and Pepper until they have to fly out for a meeting in Jersey. Which is problematic because, Jersey, but also because this was all supposed to be done before lunch.”

            He nodded along trying to keep up. Nat continued talking as she walked away. “So, if you can help do prelim light setup? Then keep Steve on schedule?”

            Bucky nodded again before his eyes widened. “Wait, what?”

            Nat stopped half way through the door. “Set up lights,” she said slowly. “Keep Steve on schedule. We got a problem?”

            When he had been assigned to the P.A. team for Rogers, he figured he would be bringing people coffee and moving set displays or something. He didn’t expect to meet the guy. “Nope, no problem,” he said, following after her to help with the lights.

            Bucky moved things around and plugged things in until Coulson came to fuss and he moved and plugged in a few more things. Nat’s voice filtered into his headset. “Tell Phil that if he asks you to move that stand to the left again you’ll stick it up his ass.”

            “Uh,” Bucky said. “I don’t know him well enough to suggest anal object insertion and I don’t have any lube, that’s just bad manners.”

            Nat’s laughter sounded like static in his ear. “Such a gentlemen.”

            She snapped directions at someone else and then addressed him again. “Get down to the café. You need to grab lunch and meet up with Steve.”

            “Copy that,” he confirmed before telling Coulson he was headed out. Coulson had him move the stand to the left once more before he managed to escape to the café.

            Bucky looked over the food options. He decided on breakfast for lunch and grabbed a bowl, filling it with Lucky Charms. Then he made some toast. He stuck the buttered toast in his mouth and scanned the Stark Industries employee café space. It only took a moment for him to identify where an awed buzz and sizable group of people attempted to congregate casually. They failed in their attempts, badly.

            He made his way over, trying to see if Clint was down here. This was both to prevent Clint from internally combusting and to avoid getting stabbed somewhere important for accidentally betraying him on assignment. It wasn’t his fault that he had been in front of Pepper when she needed a P.A. for Rogers. Bucky tried to repeat that convincingly in his head so Clint wouldn’t hide all the forks like he did the time Bucky forgot to tell him their bio test got moved back a week.

            Steve sat with his shoulders hunched forward, poking at a chicken and walnut salad. He was huge. Absolutely, insanely huge in real life. It was one thing to see the muscle definition on TV and suited up, but when Rogers was in jeans and a t-shirt, it reached new levels of outrage. Bucky didn’t even know where to look. He slightly regretted the choice to help out if only for the fact that he was now cursed with seeing Steve Rogers’ face up close. The man was hot like lava. Lava from Hades hot.

            Jasper Sitwell sat on Rogers’ left with Sharon Carter across from them. She looked up when Bucky got closer and waved him over.

            “Hey, glad you escaped from under Coulson’s neurotic thumb. I once helped him set up a mosaic installment piece,” she told him, sighing at the end.

            Bucky winced. Just moving AV and lighting equipment had been terrible with his ‘no, no, that way.’ ‘wait, over here.’ ‘no, over there.’ He couldn’t imagine doing that with an art piece made entirely of tiny fragments. Bucky whistled and took the open seat. The seat directly in front of Steve Rogers.            

            Suddenly the concept came to full realization that someone Bucky had always known about and seen would now be looking at him. He kind of wanted to stick a bag over his face. Instead, he forced himself to move his limbs in a normal human way to open up his milk for the cereal. “Did any of the mosaic pieces end up wedged down his esophagus?” Bucky asked.

            Sharon laughed and got to her feet. “Nope, all in place. Painfully and perfectly in place. I’m needed upstairs, so we’ll just swap out.” She gestured towards Bucky and Captain America looked at him. Steve Rogers was looking at him. His eyeballs were taking in the sight that was Bucky’s existence. He felt like he had no idea what to do with his hands. Was he blinking too much? How often did people blink? How much was too much?

            Sharon smiled, blissfully unaware of Bucky’s internal meltdown. “Steve, this is Bucky Barnes. He’ll help you keep track of your schedule for the photo shoot. I’ll see you at 1:30?”

            Captain fucking America nodded and smiled back. “Thanks, Sharon.”

            She disappeared to do whatever beautiful, competent blonde people did. She should probably come back and be beautiful and competent with Steve. Bucky had no idea what he was doing here. “Hey,” he said, nose wrinkling in regret at his choice of greeting, but it was too late.

            Steve glanced back up at him from his salad. “Hey,” he responded. They both stared at each other for a moment before Bucky took another bite of his toast and looked away.

            “Anyway,” Sitwell cut in. Bucky felt momentarily relieved that he didn’t need to carry the conversation until he realized what was going on. Sitwell seemed to be barraging the guy with questions about his duties as Captain America, and his missions, and his fighting strategy, and his weapon choice, and his opinion on the Patriot Act. Bucky felt bad that Rogers had to put up with this. That this was routine for him. For Rogers, Steve, Captain, what the fuck was he supposed to call him?

            With each question, Rogers seemed to sink further and further into himself, looking quietly miserable. He answered everything in an even, polite tone, but he clearly wanted to be anywhere else.

            Unable to handle another minute of Rogers’ stoic melancholy, Bucky interrupted Sitwell’s question about German warfare. “What’s your favorite thing about Brooklyn?” he asked, ignoring Sitwell’s glare and sticking a spoonful of cereal into his mouth.

            Rogers’ eyes snapped up to him. He seemed surprised by Bucky’s question, but his shoulders inched down from his ears incrementally. Rogers tilted his head in thought. “When I was growing up, one of my favorite things was watching the peregrine falcons that nested on the Brooklyn Bridge. I’d try and draw them launching from the top.”

            He looked down and pushed a cranberry to the side. “Apparently DDT made the population drop and they were gone for decades. After it was banned in the seventies they bounced back.”

            Rogers glanced up at Bucky, smiling slightly. “I can still see them now, swooping around. One of the few things that’s the same since the ice. They came back too.”

            Bucky poked his Lucky Charms at a loss for words. He had wanted to save Steve from Sitwell’s vicious curiosity streak and now the guy was smiling at him kind of shyly. He was not equipped for this. Still, something about the falcons reminded him of an article he read online.

            “The Verranzo-Narrows Bridge,” Bucky said, frowning and tapping a finger to his lips. He almost had it. The bridge had something to do with the falcons.

            Rogers watched him with his eyebrows furrowed as Bucky tried to figure out where he was going with this. “Those baby peregrines hatched on the Verranzo-Narrows. They were named Rose and Sunset,” he remembered finally.

            Rogers’ face split into a full-blown grin. Dear lord, the man didn’t need a shield, that was a weapon all on its own. “Named for the sky?”

            Bucky shook his head. “Nah. That Rosebank neighborhood in Staten and Sunset Park in Brooklyn.”

            Sitwell grumbled beside them. “About the German production of—,” he started again, but Bucky spoke over him.

            He gestured down to his Lucky Charms. “I have to eat this whenever I’m not home. My sister, Becca, eats all the marshmallows out of box and just leaves the cereal pieces.”

            Rogers looked at the cereal and back to Bucky. “I don’t really know what that means.”

            Bucky gestured to the cereal emphatically. “What it means is that it’s a goddamn travesty. There’s a delicate balance with the cereal and the marshmallows. You need them both. Everything goes to shit if all the marshmallows are gone.”

            Sitwell bored his eyes into the side of Bucky’s head. “You’re talking to Captain America about Lucky Charms,” he said, tone acidic.

            “Yeah?” Bucky challenged. He may have only been an intern, but Sitwell was friends with Rumlow and made Steve Rogers sad, fuck that guy.

            Rogers glanced between the two of them. “I’ve never actually had Lucky Charms,” he admitted.

            Bucky shoved his bowl and spoon over, maintaining direct eye contact with Sitwell the whole time. Rogers looked bemused, glancing at the half-soggy bowl of cereal. Bucky realized belatedly that sharing food was one thing when it was something like sliced fruit or even cutting off a piece of a sandwich. Cereal didn’t really work like that.

            He opened his mouth to offer Rogers his own bowl or even you know, a spoon that wasn’t the one Bucky had been using. Rogers bit the inside of his cheek on a smile and picked up Bucky’s spoon, scooping up the cereal. “This enough marshmallow in the ratio?” he asked.

            Bucky nodded dumbly and Rogers stuck the spoonful in his mouth. The same spoon that had been in Bucky’s mouth. Rogers chewed with his eyes narrowed in deliberation. Then he took another scoop, specifically leaving out any of the marshmallows. He made a face as he ate that bite.

            “Exactly,” Bucky said. He felt triumphant and smug in the face of Sitwell’s disapproval and that Steve Rogers now understood the importance of well proportioned Lucky Charms.

            Sitwell looked frankly horrified that Steve had eaten from Bucky’s cereal and muttered to himself as he walked away. Rogers pushed the bowl closer to Bucky again. “This is yours,” he said, huffing out a laugh.

            Bucky pulled the bowl to himself in embarrassment. “Sorry, I didn’t really think that through.”

            Rogers shrugged. “You got him to stop. I owe you one.”

            Bucky looked at his cereal, wondering if he was still allowed to eat it. Then he shrugged. Yeah, he was going to eat it. “He’s a jackass,” Bucky said offhand before freezing and glancing around to see if anyone overheard him. That was definitely not the way to act in the workplace, especially in front of Captain America.

            “Huge jackass,” Rogers agreed. Bucky laughed, startled by the statement. They both continued eating their respective lunches in companionable silence.

            “Sharon said your name is Bucky?” Rogers asked.

            Bucky finished his cereal and looked at the blonde for a moment. “Are you writing that down to report how I insulted executive staff and made you eat soggy General Mills?”

            Rogers laughed and shook his head. “Just wanted to make sure I had your name right.”

            Bucky eyeballed him for another minute before nodding. “Bucky Barnes,” he said, properly introducing himself.

            Rogers stuck his hand out over the top of the table, as if they hadn’t been talking for the past twenty minutes. “Steve Rogers,” he said. Bucky shook his hand, squeezing Rogers’ wide palm briefly.

            “Yeah?” Bucky asked, his eyebrows raised. “You tell me this after we’ve already shared cereal?”

            Rogers grinned at him. “Figured after that we’re on a first name basis. Just call me Steve.”

            Bucky wasn’t sure if extended exposure to Rogers was desensitizing him or if he always lacked a filter in high stake situations. “Pretty sure I saw a different name for you online.”

            “Depending on the news source I’m not sure you should repeat it within 500 feet of a school,” Rogers said dryly.

            Bucky snorted. “It painted you in a very flattering light. Think it was Captain Ass Ass Ass Ass.”

            Steve’s eyes widened and his cheeks flushed with color. “I don’t know why they used ‘ass’ that many times,” he sighed.

            Bucky laughed and pulled out his phone to play Big Sean for a national icon. Steve stared at the screen when the song ended. “That makes more sense now,” he admitted.

            Glancing at his phone again, Bucky saw it was 1:00 PM. “Glad to be of service. We should probably head up when you’re done eating to get ready for the photo shoot.”

            Steve’s expression mellowed out and he ate a few more forkfuls of his salad. “Okay,” he agreed. Another minute later he asked, “Who is Michael Kors?”

            Bucky choked on his toast as he laughed.

            After they cleared the table, they made their way back up to the photo shoot. Steve standing beside him threw Bucky off kilter all over again. The guy was tall and broad and beautiful and what the hell. Bucky thought the serum was meant to enhance strength and battle prowess, not sexual attractiveness. He checked in with Nat to let her know Steve was ready for wherever she needed him next.

            Nat made a pleased noise. “Go down that same hall where you and Tony hung out but hang a left. We need him in makeup and wardrobe.”

            Bucky pointed down the hall and Steve followed after. “You do a lot of this kind of thing?” Bucky asked. He wasn’t sure how much PR Steve got to, what with saving the world on the regular.

            “Not really,” Steve told him. “Propaganda was all I did before I went active duty. So, I’m not a big fan. Fury thought it might be a good idea and Pepper said she’d handle things.”

            “I’d trust her too,” Bucky told Steve. “She’s the reason I came to work here.”

            Steve smiled. “Pepper is amazing.”

            “Yes, we all love Pepper. Let’s get moving,” Nat urged, appearing beside Steve and guiding him to a makeup chair.

            Bucky stepped back, unsure where he was supposed to go now. Nat shoved pills in his hand with a bottle of water. “Take those to Coulson,” she instructed.

            He looked at the pills suspiciously. “What are they?”

            She rolled her eyes. “I’ll corroborate your alibi. They’re just aspirin for his self-induced stress headache.”

            Bucky turned to leave the room and Steve caught his eye in the mirror while someone ran product through his hair. He smiled slightly and Bucky felt his heart slam hard against his ribcage at the sight.

            He ducked out of the room and took a steadying breath. Okay, fine. He had a huge, embarrassing crush on Captain America. A lot of people did. He already had a huge, embarrassing public relations crush on Pepper. He could deal with this. It’s not like he’d ever see the guy again after today.

            Bucky dropped off the pills and darted away before Coulson looked at the lighting for too long and needed an adjustment. “BB, come back to makeup,” Nat said in his ear.

            He stuck his head around the corner where Nat was looking over a rack of clothing. “What’s up?” he asked.

            Nat smirked at him. “Good question. The same one I thought to myself when Captain Steve Rogers asked if you were going to be helping with the photo shoot.”

            Bucky’s mouth dropped open. “Oh,” he mumbled.

            “Oh, indeed,” Nat agreed. She pulled a white t-shirt and dark jeans from the hangers. Then Nat shoved a pair of boots into his hands. “Go take those to Cap for the first set.”

            Bucky took the clothes and knocked on the room with Steve’s name on the front. Steve swung the door open, gloriously shirtless. Bucky almost dropped his armful of clothes. He looked like every wet dream Bucky had ever had, but better. Bucky was fully aware his mouth hung open, but he couldn’t really do anything to stop himself.

            Steve stared at the clothes and then at Bucky. It almost looked like his eyes lingered on Bucky’s mouth, but that was likely an arousal-induced delusion. Steve crossed his arms, muscles rippling with the motion. “These are for you,” Bucky eventually said, shoving the bundle towards him.

            Taking the clothing, Steve stepped back. “How many set changes are we doing?” he asked absently.

            “No idea,” Bucky told him in a faint tone of voice.

            “Six,” Nat’s voice crackled in his ear.

            “Sex,” Bucky said.

            Steve’s head snapped up and he made a vague choking noise. “What?”

            “Six! Six sex,” Bucky said before wincing. “Six. Sets,” he finally managed before backing away. “Okay, well. Those are for you. I’m going to leave now and die quietly somewhere else.” If that was the power of a Freudian slip, Bucky was ready to fight a dead Austrian dude.

            Steve caught his elbow before he managed to flee. “It’s okay,” he said, looking earnest and very red.

            Bucky felt Steve’s hand on him, warm and firm as he gently tugged him closer. Bucky tentatively pressed his own palm against Steve’s chest, the skin smooth and soft over hard planes of muscle. Steve breathed out on a shaky exhale.

            The door opened behind them and an unfamiliar voice said, “Well, okay.”

            Bucky jolted back, flexing his hand. Sam Wilson stood beside Nat, surveying the both of them. The Falcon stuck a hand out towards Bucky. “Hey man, I’m Sam.”

            Bucky shook his hand, eyes darting from Nat to Steve to Sam. “Bucky,” he said, his voice strained. Holy shit. What had just happened? What was happening? Was he even awake?

            “I tried checking in,” Nat said, tapping at her headset.

            “Sorry,” Steve winced. “That was my fault.”

            Sam smirked and glanced from Steve’s bare chest back to Bucky. “Yeah, I bet,” he said.

            Edging away, Bucky jerked a thumb over his shoulder. “So, I’ll just get back to—,” he trailed off and hurried away.

            Nat found him where he had surrendered his services to Coulson’s anxious need to shift things back and forth indecisively. “He’s not normally this bad,” she informed Bucky as they watched Coulson work himself towards hyperventilation. “He’s got mint condition collectible Captain America cards,” she explained.

            “Ah,” Bucky sighed, shifting the corner display over three inches under Coulson’s direction.

            “He’s definitely never gotten to cop a feel on Steve though. Don’t tell him you did or he might cry,” Nat continued, half paying attention to the photographer taking sample shots.

            Bucky pinched the bridge of his nose. “Am I going to get fired?”

            Nat swatted at him. “No, of course not. Tony is delighted. I think he’ll have the forms ready for you to sign by tonight to complete the adoption process.”

            “He’s delighted that I touched Steve Rogers’ chest?” Bucky hissed under his breath in confusion.

            Nat shouted at someone to get the next set in place before turning back to him. “Well, yes. This is Tony Stark we’re talking about. He’s had more sex scandals than you’ve had birthdays, but also, Steve feels comfortable around you. Which means you treated him like a person and not like a legend or an icon. You’d be surprised how rare that is.”

            “You can tell he’s comfortable around me by the fact that I touched him?” Bucky tried to clarify, not entirely sure where she was going with this.

            Nat snorted. “No. He doesn’t look like he wants to leap out the window when you’re talking to him, which is the big give away. The touching thing, that’s another issue entirely. See, Tony thinks Cap’s a virgin.”

            Bucky accidentally knocked over the display next to him and scrambled to get it back into position. “Oh my God,” he said, trying to step away from anything else he could possibly damage.

            “Sam doesn’t think so, but Steve never actually answers. He just gets red when anyone brings it up,” Nat informed him.

            “Why are you telling me this?” Bucky groaned, rubbing at his face.

            Nat’s smile turned wicked. “Hoping you find out,” she told him before walking away and leaving him spluttering.

            Steve walked out and Bucky kind of wished he wasn’t here to watch the shoot. This was going to be tortuous. The shirt looked like it was straining at the seams, practically painted over Steve’s body. Bucky didn’t even want to look at the jeans. They clung to Steve’s ass so closely Bucky wanted to cry. Steve strode across the room and took the photographer’s direction. He stood in front of the windows where light filtered in across his face, brightening his golden hair.

            Sam came to stand beside Bucky. “Yo,” he greeted.

            “Hi,” Bucky said, tearing his eyes away from where Steve adopted a casual pose, leaning against the props.

            Sam looked him up and down. “So, here’s what I know. Pepper loves you. Tony is already building your room for when you move in after the adoption. Nat thinks you’re cool, and Steve,” he whistled shaking his head. “Steve smiles at you like he means it, and man, that does not happen every day. He also looks like he wants in your pants, and that happens even less.”

            Bucky blinked at Sam with wide eyes.

            Sam clapped him on the shoulder. “Just tell me one thing.” Bucky nodded and waited for him to continue. “Those eyes everyone tells Harry he got from his momma, what color are they?”

            Bucky answered immediately. “Green.”

            “I like him,” Sam shouted over to Steve. The blonde’s eyes crinkled in the corners, his mouth opening on a laugh. The camera clicked.

            The set changes went by quickly. Steve wearing his Captain America uniform. Steve in a sweater with thumbholes, because Nat wanted to bring the country to its knees. Steve in a leather jacket on a motorcycle. Steve in a green shirt with ‘Kiss Me I’m Irish’ written on it. That one had Steve telling a story about his mom’s recipe for boxty on the pan.

            “Last set,” Nat announced.

            “Is he going to be buck ass naked with the shield covering his junk?” Sam asked from where he sat lounging on a chair and sipping a smoothie.

            “You wish,” Steve called out before he was ushered towards the hall.

            “Damn right,” Sam shouted at his retreating back. Steve turned around and shot an exaggerated wink over his shoulder.

            Bucky laughed at the exchange and Steve grinned before disappearing around the corner. Nat walked back into the room, helping the creative director get things in order. She pointed Bucky away from Coulson to shift the stands around. Bucky looked up when Steve came onto the set and froze.

            Steve was in low-slung sweatpants and nothing else. Bucky was going to die before they finished this photo shoot. He was going to straight up keel over on the floor and this would be the last image burned into his retinas. He was okay with that. Nat came over and nudged Bucky with her hip. “You alright?”

            “I’m not sure,” Bucky told her in a pained voice.

            Nat admired the sight of a half naked Steve Rogers. “Tony is going to be so pissed. Cap will be everyone’s favorite after this spread. He’s not even going to be able to use the naked gimmick to pull ahead because of the sex tapes.”

            “Tapes?” Bucky repeated, amused.

            “Tapes,” Nat confirmed. “As in more than one. Many more.”

            They both stopped talking as Steve wandered into place. He dropped down to rest his forearms on his thighs and tipped his face forward for the camera. Sam hollered from his seat. “You’ve been holding out, man. Work it. Them USO girls show you the ropes?”

            Steve rolled his eyes at Sam, ignoring him as he posed for the camera. Sam poked at his smoothie and took another long sip. “Come on, this is your last set. Really commit. Get America sexually frustrated, Steve.”

            Groaning, Steve turned his head to shoot Wilson a dirty look. Sam smiled, a serene expression on his face before he looked towards Bucky. “Barnes, get over here so he can see you. That should amp things up.”

            “Sam,” Steve reprimanded hotly.

            Nat nudged Bucky to stand behind the photographer. “He’s got a point,” she said with a shrug when Bucky looked betrayed.

            Steve glanced at Bucky and his face heated up, the blush painted high on his cheekbones and spreading down. The camera clicked frantically, capturing the image. The photographer paused to study Bucky with a calculating gleam in his eye. “No,” Bucky said before the guy could even open his mouth.

            Coulson darted by, looking between Bucky and the photographer. “What’s your suggestion?”

            Nat intervened before the guy spoke. “Please keep in mind that this suggestion should in no way involve sexual harassment of the pretty intern.”

            The photographer frowned. “That’s what I thought,” Nat said, falsely sweet.

            Steve looked between them and the photographer anxiously. Bucky waved a hand. “It’s all good. Carry on.”

            Biting his lip, Steve glanced up at Bucky through his impossibly long eyelashes. The light caught the shadows, elongating the lines even further. “Shit,” Bucky groaned, drawing a hand down his face.

            Steve smiled, a small, pleased little quirk of his lips. It made Bucky want to punch him in the mouth, with his mouth. Steve turned to the side, the angle catching his ridiculous jaw line. Bucky had to cover his eyes and look away. Sam cackled and slurped at his smoothie.

            When Bucky finally looked back, he saw Steve watching him, his eyes dark and interested. Steve’s hands dropped down to his waist, drawing attention to the vee at his hips. Bucky hit his head back against the wall a few times while Nat smothered a laugh in her hand.

            “What even is your shoulder to waist ratio?” Sam called out, half complimentary and half disgruntled.

            “Stuff of fantasy,” Steve drawled out jokingly, his eyes locked on Bucky. That did absolutely nothing to help Bucky’s struggling efforts not to get turned on at work. His eyes widened when he saw Bucky subtly adjust himself, mouth falling open, soft and inviting. The camera clicked and the photographer made an approving noise. Steve looked down at the ground before seeming to steel himself, finishing out the shoot while Bucky stared unashamedly from the sides. The rest of the crew was gawking along with him. Coulson might have been unconscious, it was unclear.

            Nat whistled to get everyone’s attention as she walked into the middle of the room. “Good job, everyone. Let’s give a big thanks to Captain Steve Rogers for coming in today.”

            The staff and crew clapped and cheered as Steve ducked his head bashfully. “Thanks for having me and doing such a great job,” Steve countered.

            “What a sap,” Sam said, shaking his head.

            “Want to help him get dressed?” Nat’s voice crackled in Bucky’s headset.

            “I am not hooking up with Captain America on the job,” Bucky hissed back, covering the mic and looking around surreptitiously.

            “What about after the job?” Steve asked from where he had come up beside Bucky.

            Bucky didn’t even bother pretending to be suave. It was way too late for that. “After the job, I’m all yours,” he agreed.

            Steve flashed him a dazzling grin. “I’ll give you my number?”

            Bucky nodded wordlessly and watched as Steve typed in his phone number. Sam grabbed the phone afterwards and punched in his own information. Nat plucked it up next, tapping her number in before informing him, “I added Tony too.”

            Something about Nat seemed strangely familiar the longer he looked at her. The fact that she knew Tony, Steve, and Sam so well finally clicked into place the niggling suspicion he had been ignoring. Bucky’s eyes narrowed at her and he cocked his head. “Wait, you’re Black Widow.”

            Nat assessed him coolly for a moment before passing the phone back. She glanced towards Steve and nodded her approval. “He’s definitely a keeper.”

            Bucky saw his phone screen flashing that he had thirty-two missed text messages, all from Clint, and many of them involving angry looking emojis. “Those texts from the other intern?” Nat asked curiously.

            Bucky flipped through a few of them, seeing Clint’s progression of rage over Bucky meeting Captain America. “Yeah,” he said, sending back a line of angel emojis.

            “He’s cute,” she told him, flipping her hair over her shoulder and walking away.

            Bucky stared after her. Sam raised his eyes skyward and went to go find another smoothie. “I’m out,” he said and waved as he walked away.

            Steve shifted on his feet uncertainly and jerked a thumb towards his dressing room. “I’m going to go get changed. I’ll see you later?” he asked.

            Nodding, Bucky fiddled with his phone. “Later as in today or later in general?” he clarified, unsure how this was going to play out.

            “Today works for me,” Steve shrugged.

            “Great,” Bucky said, sort of floundering at the thought of being with Steve one-on-one outside of a work environment. “I’m done at five.”

            Steve smiled and ran a hand through his hair nervously. “Okay, I can meet you here at five?”

            “Sure,” Bucky agreed. Steve hesitated for a minute before darting forward and kissing him, a quick, dry press of lips before he was gone.

            “Sure,” Bucky repeated to himself. He turned and saw Coulson staring at him. Bucky edged away before the guy tried to collect him too.

            He sat down at his desk and stared at the array of staplers and paperclips that had been strewn around from the morning. Back before he had met most of the Avengers and now had their numbers programmed in his phone. Bucky sat down and started working on the summary report for Maria Hill’s meeting with the Metro Police. He ignored the buzzing of his phone until he had the report mostly done.

           Then he glanced at his backlog of messages. Bucky scrolled through all the angry emojis Clint sent to fully sense the arc of his outrage.

            Clint 1:42 PM

            wtf

           

            Clint 1:43 PM

            WTF

 

            Clint 1:44 PM

            ….

 

            Clint 1:45 PM

            i hate u

 

            Clint 1:46 PM

            so much

 

            Clint 1:47 PM

            i hope u at least get good stories for me

           

            Clint 1:48 PM

            cant believe this shit

           

            Clint 1:49 PM

            pepper totes likes u more

 

            Clint 1:50 PM

            need to fight harder for fav child status

 

            Pepper 3:45 PM

            I apologize in advance for Tony. I didn’t realize he was going to take such a shine to you.

 

            Nat 3:48 PM

            I owe you so many lattes for putting up with Phil. One for each time you wanted to break a studio light over his head.

 

            Tony 3:54 PM

            how do you feel about dogs?

 

            Tony 3:55 PM

            do we need to get a dog for you to be happy in your new family?

 

            Tony 3:56 PM

            rescue?

 

            Tony 3:57 PM

            or a pedigree with dog show material?

 

            Tony 3:58 PM

            no no decided for you

 

            Tony 3:59 PM

            mutts have more character

           

            Pepper 4:00 PM

            Also, great job today! Only heard good things.

 

            Tony 4:02 PM

            img attach. 01

            he looks like oscar the grouch. do you love him?

 

            Sam 4:04 PM

            let’s talk about Severus Snape

 

            Sam 4:05 PM

            not starting so I can find out what kind of person you really are

 

            Tony 4:17 PM

            img attach. 02

            is a dog under this mop? do you love her if there is?

 

            Pepper 4:20 PM

            P.S. Steve will deny it because he’s loyal to NY pizza… but he loves Dominos. Especially the cinna stix.

 

            Tony 4:23 PM

            img attach. 03

            what about this one? might be an otter. do you love it regardless of species classification?

 

            Steve 4:30 PM

            how hungry are you on a scale from santa after xmas eve to grocery shopping on an empty stomach?

           

            Bucky stared at all the messages unsure where to start before he began responding to the massive block of texts. He made sure to tell Steve he was at a halfway through a religious fasting level. Bucky looked up when Clint stomped into the room. “You,” Clint accused, his angry point looking extra aggressive.

            “I suck, I know,” Bucky told him, pulling a guilty face.

            “Captain America,” Clint whined plaintively.

            Bucky eyed his friend for a second before offering. “Would it make you feel better to know I have a date with him in like twenty minutes?”

            Clint sat down in the middle of the floor, dazed. “What?” he demanded.

            Bucky nodded. “I have a date with Captain America at 5:00.”

            Mouth hanging open, Clint crawled closer and sat cross-legged at Bucky’s feet. “Tell me your secrets,” he said in awe.

            Bucky shrugged. “Hell if I know. I talked about fucking Lucky Charms.”

            Clint stared at him unblinkingly. “Holy shit. You’re a legend,” he whispered.

            “Also, the Black Widow thinks you’re cute,” Bucky told him, because he was a good bro when his work assignments didn’t disappoint his friend’s dreams.

            Clint fist pumped. “Fuck yeah!” He frowned. “Wait, you met Black Widow?”

            Bucky nodded. “And Iron Man and the Falcon.”

            Clint collapsed, sprawling to the floor dramatically. “Noooooo,” he moaned, looking dejected and pitiful.

            Bucky pulled his phone over and thumbed out a text.

 

            To: Nat 4:46 PM

            Can I redeem a latte for cute intern friend Clint?

 

            Nat 4:47 PM

            I can do that on the house. His arms make me feel all tingly. Send him up to 9.

 

            Clint sighed. “And now you’re texting probably Captain America who you might bang, which I totally support, instead of consoling me in my time of need. I still have your attention for another ten minutes, dude.”

            Bucky snorted. “I was actually texting Black Widow. Go up to 9 and she’ll buy you a coffee, but change into your bullseye shirt first.”

            Clint looked down at his lilac button down. “Why?” he asked suspiciously. “I look dapper.”

            “Very dapper,” Bucky agreed. “But it doesn’t show off your arms which she said and I quote ‘make her feel all tingly’.”

            Clint practically ripped his button down off. “You’re forgiven,” he said in a magnanimous tone, while tugging his bullseye shirt out of the bottom desk drawer and over his head.

            Bucky held up a fist for Clint to bump as he walked backwards out of the cubicle. “Make Cap go off like a firework,” he instructed seriously.

            Bucky saluted him. “We’ll see. Have fun.”

            Clint grinned and darted over to the elevators. Bucky tidied up his desk, shutting down the computer and putting all his papers away before checking the time. He wasn’t sure where Steve wanted to meet, but realized it was a non-issue as the elevators opened to the main level and Steve sat lounging on a couch reading Good Housekeeping.

            “Anything good in there?” Bucky asked, gesturing to the magazine.

            “Yeah, I didn’t know you could use toothbrushes to clean grout,” Steve said, entirely serious.

            Bucky laughed. “Useful. So, I was thinking Dominos?”

            Steve’s face flashed through a series of expressions, starting at surprised, then suspicious, and ending with pleased. “If that’s okay with you, I could do Dominos.”

            Bucky nodded. “You want to eat there or do delivery?”

            Steve jerked his head towards the left once they walked out of the building. “We can go to my place?”

            Shrugging, Bucky walked alongside Steve, explaining the cultural and personal importance of Nicki Minaj until they reached a brownstone. Steve jogged up the stairs and held the door open for him. Bucky ducked through, glancing around at the building. It had a homey feel as a newly renovated, older piece of architecture. “Steven!” a papery voice called out once they reached the top of the stairs.

            An elderly woman with grey hair and golden glasses smiled at Steve. “I made too many lemon crisps, I packed up a bag for you here,” she said as she passed the bag over and her gaze landed on Bucky.

            “Hello, dear,” she greeted.

            “Ma’am,” Bucky returned.

            She fluttered a hand over her chest. “Goodness. He’s very handsome, Steve.”

            Steve’s mouth twitched into a smile even as the color flooded his face. “He is, Mrs. Epstein,” Steve agreed.

            She snapped her fingers. “That’s why you never wanted to meet my niece for dinner.”

            Steve’s eyes widened and he shook his head. “No, Mrs. Epstein. That’s not it. I’m um. I’m bisexual, but I’m just really busy with work.”

            She nodded sagely. “Oh, alright then. You two enjoy the lemon crisps.”

            “Thank you,” they both said in unison before she wandered back into her apartment.

            Bucky plucked one of the crisps from Steve’s hand while he unlocked the door. He looked around as Steve pulled out a laptop to order their pizza. Bucky noted that he had a Dominos account and everything. Steve tried to casually slip in mention of the cinna stix and Bucky let him think he succeeded.

            “You really like Dominos?” Steve asked him after they were halfway through the pizza.

            Bucky glanced up, swallowing his bite of sausage and green pepper. “Yeah, why?”

            Steve shrugged. “I mean, New York and Chicago have the biggest claims to pizza. Dominos is kind of—,” he made a vague gesture.

            Bucky rolled his eyes. “I don’t give a shit about what other people think. If it’s good pizza, it’s good pizza. I like the seasoning they use on the crust.”

            Steve smiled down at his plate. “Okay,” he said, his voice thoughtful.

            They polished off the pizza and cinna stix when Steve cleared his throat politely. “So,” he said, glancing at Bucky’s mouth and away.

            Bucky laughed and wrapped his hands around the back of Steve’s neck as he pulled him into a kiss. Steve sighed into his mouth, eager and warm as he pressed closer. Bucky moved back slightly, breathing heavily before scraping his teeth down the column of Steve’s neck. Steve made a noise that shot straight to Bucky’s dick as he arched under Bucky’s mouth. He grabbed the front of Bucky’s shirt and tugged him down, crashing their mouths together again. Bucky licked along the seam at Steve’s mouth. He moaned as Bucky slid his tongue inside. Bucky kissed Steve until he couldn’t breathe. “Just this?” he panted, wanting to check in and see where Steve’s head was at.

            Steve looked dazed, his pupils blown as he stared at Bucky. “Oh. What do you want to do?” he asked, his voice ragged and low. Just that alone made Bucky’s fingers twitch where he had them resting against Steve’s biceps.

            “Whatever. Whatever you want,” Bucky reassured him.

            “Naked,” Steve blurted. Bucky laughed and began to pull his shirt off. It turned into a moan as Steve latched his mouth at the juncture where his neck and shoulder met. Steve stumbled to his feet after making Bucky writhe. He grabbed Bucky’s hand to pull him down the hall and pushed him onto the bed. Steve’s huge hands curled around Bucky’s shoulders as he dipped down to kiss him. They both tugged off the rest of their clothing. Bucky gasped into Steve’s mouth when he settled against him, bare skin pressed flush together.

            Steve kissed him, hard and frantic, like he was worried this would end. “Hey,” Bucky moved to press his forehead against Steve’s, getting his attention. “I’m right here,” he told him.

            Shaking, Steve pressed his thumb at the corner of Bucky’s mouth. “Okay,” he breathed against his cheek. “Okay,” he repeated before kissing him again, this time slow and languid and burning Bucky from the inside out. “Can I?” Steve asked, drawing away and skimming a hand down Bucky’s side.

            “Yeah,” Bucky agreed. He wasn’t sure what Steve was asking, but the answer was going to be yes no matter what. He wildly thought that he must have died earlier and was actually in some sort of pornographic limbo when Steve kissed down his stomach and took Bucky into his mouth. Steve flicked his tongue experimentally. Bucky let out a garbled, “Fuck.” He thrashed under Steve’s attention. Bucky twisted the sheets in his hands as Steve bobbed his head, the heat of his mouth searing and perfect.

            “Steve,” Bucky warned when he had fallen into a rhythm that had Bucky shouting out, his hands now tangled in Steve’s hair.

            Steve stubbornly kept working him over until Bucky spilled down Steve’s throat. He pulled off, his lips red and shiny, hair wrecked. “You good?” he asked and his voice sounded rough.

            Bucky blinked at him. “I am more than good,” he told him, reaching down to tug at Steve’s huge shoulders to pull him up. He ran his fingers down Steve’s chest, lingering at his abs to pat them in admiration. Bucky had planned on helping Steve get off, but paused when the blonde caught his hand.

            Steve shook his head, his face hot with embarrassment. “I um, when I was,” he stopped, darting his eyes around Bucky’s face without meeting his gaze.

            Bucky pulled him in for a kiss. “Holy shit,” he breathed. “That’s so hot,” he complained and dropped his head back onto the bed.

            Steve’s forehead wrinkled in confusion, but he kissed along Bucky’s neck, taking advantage of the angle. “If you give me five minutes I’ll be ready to go again,” he shrugged.

            Bucky make a surprised noise. “Five minutes?” he asked impressed.

            Steve nodded, the motion nudging his nose under Bucky’s jaw. “The serum. My refractory period is as resilient as the rest of me.”

            “God bless,” Bucky commended. Steve laughed, the puff of air warm and damp before cooling against his skin. Bucky felt Steve shift, leaning upwards to kiss him again.

            “That and you’re naked. Might be even less than five,” he admitted.

            Bucky grinned into his mouth as he felt Steve get hard against his thigh. “What do you want to do?” he asked while wrapping his fingers around Steve and stroking him slowly.

            Steve groaned, dropping down to his elbows and resting his head against Bucky’s shoulder as his hips shifted with each slide of Bucky’s hand. “Steve,” Bucky prompted since he hadn’t responded beyond gasping with each pass.

            “What?” Steve asked, hands tightening around Bucky’s waist as he jerked forward when Bucky twisted his wrist.

            “What do you want to do?” he asked again, smiling smugly.

            Steve narrowed his eyes at the smirk. “I got to pick last time,” he pointed out. “It’s your turn.”

            Bucky’s gaze raked down Steve’s body, taut from preventing his hips from shooting forward on each stroke. “Fuck me?” he asked, meaning to deliver it sounding all direct and confident. Instead it came out reedy and broken because Steve had decided to lick a stripe behind his ear.

            Steve froze and moved back to look at Bucky. “You sure?” he asked, eyes wide, his pupils swallowing the blue.            

            Bucky grinned and kissed Steve’s slack mouth. “Only if you want to,” he said, moving back to see what was going on with Steve’s face.

            The blonde’s expression had moved from shock to awe. Steve’s face stayed stuck at varying shades of awe as he watched his fingers slide into Bucky, as he bottomed out inside of him, as he came groaning Bucky’s name and digging fingertip shaped bruises into his hips.

            Bucky buried his face into the bed, sprawling his limbs out as Steve flopped next to him. “You’re really good at that,” he slurred out, too content to move.

            Steve grinned at the ceiling. “There’s a bet going on whether you’re a virgin,” Bucky told him, figuring he already knew that.

            Rolling onto his side, Steve snorted. “Yeah, I know. The pot kept getting bigger and bigger. I was waiting to pick someone to tell and split the payout.”

            “Devious,” Bucky complimented.

            “I’m not a virgin,” Steve told him.

            Bucky yawned and blinked at him slowly. “As in, you’re not anymore or you weren’t an hour ago?”

            Steve ran a hand through his hair, glancing at Bucky bashfully. “Not anymore.”

            “Steve,” Bucky protested. “We should have lit candles. And had rose petals displayed artfully. I don’t know how to display petals artfully, but you’re an artist. I know you can do things artfully.”

            Steve shrugged and ran a hand from the top of Bucky’s head downwards, resting it against his back. “That wouldn’t have made it special. You did.”

            Bucky groaned. “Oh my God, Steve. You’re making my heart feel all funny.”

            Steve rubbed his fingers at the base of Bucky’s neck, making him go boneless. “Join the club, pal.”            

            He cleared his throat and Bucky made sure to look at him as he spoke. “Before, I was so sick and scrawny. I never really had anyone interested in me. Then I met Peggy.” Steve trailed off, mouth twisted down as he forced himself to keep talking. “Which you know how that went, everyone does. After I came out of the ice I was focused on trying to figure out what the hell was going on. I spend most of my time with the Avengers.” He paused and corrected himself, “With my friends.”

            Bucky scooted his hand closer to rest on Steve’s knee. Steve smiled slightly and shook his head. “I don’t really know anyone else. All I do is hang out with them or save the world with them, and I’m okay with that, I’m happy with that. But they’ve tried setting me up. A lot. I’ve been on a lot of blind dates.”

            Squeezing his hand, Bucky shifted even closer to show he was still listening. “No one really saw past the Captain America thing, too star struck, I guess. I kind of figured that was how it would always be.”

            “Sucks to be you,” Bucky said, with over the top, wide-eyed sympathy that made Steve snort and nudge him in the side.

            “You didn’t do that though,” Steve told him after smoothing out the sheet beside Bucky’s head for a long while.

            “Hate to break it to you, but I was kind of star struck,” Bucky admitted. He didn’t want Steve to think he was some sort of miracle, when really he had been just as much of a mess as anyone else lucky enough to meet Steve Rogers.

            Steve shook his head. “Not in the same way.”

            Bucky rolled his eyes. “I didn’t speak to you for the first ten minutes because I was freaking out.”

            Steve smiled, resuming the circles he had been rubbing into Bucky’s neck. “Yeah,” he agreed. “Then you realized I was trying to figure out how to choke myself with a cranberry to get away from Sitwell and jumped in.”

            “I’m a regular hero,” Bucky intoned dryly.

            Shrugging, Steve looked at him. “Most people wouldn’t have noticed anything to jump in for. Plus you taught me about the Lucky Charms marshmallow ratio.”

            Groaning, Bucky turned away into the pillows. “He was being such an asshole and I just went for it. All I had on the brain was cereal.”

            Steve laughed and dropped a kiss to the top of his head. Bucky started to doze off, startling awake at Steve’s voice. “Your phone has been buzzing,” he observed and Bucky grunted.

            He stuck his arm out, but the edge of the bed was too far away. Steve laughed quietly and grabbed the phone for him, dropping it next to his face. Bucky kept his eyes closed and grumbled. “You check it for me.”

            Steve plucked it back up. “They’re all missed texts from Tony. This one is a picture of a dog, another picture of a dog, another picture of a dog, another picture of a dog. This one is actually pretty cute.” He paused for a second. “Oh, a picture of a cat. Another picture of a dog. And then he asked if you weren’t answering because we were having sex. Five texts that are just questions marks and exclamation points. Then this, I don’t know what this is.”

            Bucky cracked an eye open and saw it was a gif. He reached out to click the image and recognized that it was the one with Frodo looking deranged, slowly sliding his finger into the ring on loop. Bucky laughed despite himself and flipped the screen to show Steve.

            Steve looked scandalized for a moment as if they hadn’t just been having sex ten minutes before. He turned the phone around and Bucky heard the camera shutter click. Steve looked pleased with himself before showing Bucky the phone. He had sent Tony a selfie. In the picture Steve looked extremely unimpressed as he flipped off the camera. Of course, it was obvious that Bucky was naked in the background, even with the sheets pooled at his waist and the visible parts of Steve were equally as naked.

            Bucky smiled at the image before dropping the phone back down. “Want me to head out?” he asked. His phone had said it was 11:30 PM.

            “No,” Steve said immediately, scooting down in the bed to press himself against Bucky’s side.

            Bucky burrowed further into the pillows. “Okay,” he agreed.

            It was quiet for just a moment before Steve asked, “Why is Tony sending you so many pictures of dogs?”

            “Wants to adopt me. Keeps talking about dogs for the family,” Bucky explained.

            “Ah,” Steve said, as if that made sense. Which, considering that he knew Tony pretty well, it probably did.

            “I’m going to sleep now,” Bucky announced blurrily.

            Steve huffed out a laugh and pressed a feather light kiss to his lips. “Goodnight, Buck.”

            “G’dnight,” he mumbled back.

            Bucky woke up slowly, becoming aware of his surroundings in stages. He was in a bed. A very large and comfortable bed, definitely not his. There was an unusually warm body behind him throwing heat like a furnace. He was naked. There was also a very solid, nicely muscled arm draped over Bucky’s waist. He stared at the framed picture of FDR and Captain America shaking hands before rolling over.

            “Hey,” Steve mumbled, his lips dragging against Bucky’s neck.

            He ran a hand through Steve’s hair. The strands were soft and they glowed in the sunlight. “William Henry Harrison is my favorite president,” Bucky told him, still thinking about the picture on the wall.

            Steve made a curious noise as he lifted his head and squinted in confusion. He blinked at Bucky, slow and sleepy.

            Bucky scratched his nails against Steve’s scalp and watched him arch into the touch. “When people accused him of preferring to sit out drinking hard cider in a wooden cabin he used those as his campaign symbols. He commissioned fucking log-shaped bottles of cider.”

            Steve smiled and glanced up at him, making Bucky’s breath catch. “Really?”

            He nodded and kept up the motion, threading through Steve’s hair with lazy fingers. “What a way to change the tune,” he said absently. “You know,” Bucky continued. “My full name is actually James Buchanan Barnes.”

            Steve propped himself up on his elbow and frowned. “And he’s not your favorite President?”

            Bucky shook his head, dropping his hand to trace the lines down Steve’s face, sweeping across his forehead, along his cheekbones, trailing his jaw. “Nope,” he said quietly.

            Steve caught Bucky’s hand and pressed a soft kiss to his knuckles. “I’ve always liked John Quincy Adams since I found out he went skinny dipping in the Potomoc,” he admitted.

            Bucky laughed. Steve grinned down at the sheets. “You keep doing that.”           

            “Doing what?” Bucky asked, kicking the blankets to detangle his legs.            

            Steve looked back up at him. “I’m used to people always talking to me like I’m behind museum glass. All they see is the stars and stripes, they don’t see me.”

            Bucky frowned. “They see what they want to see.”

            Steve’s mouth twisted down. “Yeah, and what they want is a superhero. I don’t regret the serum. I don’t regret picking up the shield and fighting. I wouldn’t rather do anything else. It’s just that Captain America isn’t all that I am.”

            “I know,” Bucky reassured him, tracing Steve’s bottom lip with the edge of his thumb.

            “I know you do,” Steve said, his expression brightening. “You talk to me like we’re both looking at the museum exhibit together.”

            Bucky pulled him into another kiss, not sure how to deal with the way his heart kept trying to escape his body when Steve said things like that. He drew back and yawned before glancing at the time. It was almost noon. “I should head out soon,” he said, moving to stretch his arms above his head. “I have class at 2:00.”

            Steve sat up, his hair disheveled in a way that made Bucky want to push him back into the mattress and climb on top. “I can give you a ride,” he told Bucky.

            Bucky raised his eyebrows. “Thought you already did,” he pointed out, looking around for his clothes.

            Steve huffed out a laugh. He ran a hand down Bucky’s spine as he walked into the bathroom. “You want to shower and grab something to eat first?” Steve asked, a toothbrush hanging from his mouth.

            Bucky paused in the middle of pulling his underwear on. “Yes,” he said, grabbing Steve’s hand and pulling him towards the shower. Which was why Bucky was tripping off of Steve’s motorcycle, waving goodbye as he skidded fifteen minutes late into his poli sci lecture.

            Clint snorted when Bucky slid into the seat beside him, whipping out his laptop to at least look studious. “Is that a Frappuccino? Did you literally show up fifteen minutes late with Starbucks?”

            Bucky made a face. “Fuck off,” he muttered hotly, trying to pay attention to what had caused the fall of the Mycenaean empire.

            Clint leaned closer, inches from Bucky’s face as he grinned. “You got laid,” he observed gleefully.

            Bucky tapped harder at his keyboard pretending to look focused but he grinned back. He took notes at a frantic pace, drinking his overpriced caramel monstrosity until he felt less harried about showing up late. “How were things with Nat?” Bucky asked quietly.

            Clint’s face melted into dazed adoration. “Amazing,” he sighed. “She’s amazing,” he said again, staring off into the distance and likely dreaming about their future redheaded children bringing down distant governments.

            Lecture wrapped up and Clint told him about the new project Pepper had assigned him to, bragging that he was becoming the favorite child.

            Bucky rolled his eyes and pulled up the email attachment with the adoption papers that Tony had legitimately altered, filling in all the correct names and information. He turned the screen to show Clint. “Sorry, man. I am in the works of becoming the actual favorite child.”

            “You’re over eighteen, he can’t adopt you,” Clint said, attempting to sound outraged. He mostly came off as insanely jealous.

            “Pretty sure he’s trying to rescue a dog to welcome me to the family,” Bucky told him, somewhat resigned to the fact.

            “No way,” Clint complained. “I want a dog!”

            Bucky passed Tony’s number along to Clint. “Here, now you two can talk about dogs together.”

            Clint nudged him to get his attention. “Uh, dude. Pretty sure you have a gentleman caller.” Bucky looked up from his phone and saw Steve sitting in the quad. He almost blended right in by wearing a pair of aviator sunglasses and a backwards baseball hat. Except for the fact that Steve was also in a dark, tight t-shirt that promised to draw the eye of any living creature with a libido.

            Bucky jerked his head for Clint to walk with him as he made his way over. “Miss me already?” Bucky asked cheekily.

            Steve, in typical Steve fashion, just shrugged and looked sort of abashed. Meaning that he had actually missed Bucky and wasn’t even trying to play it cool. Bucky’s chest felt tight as he coughed, trying to make the fluttery sensation go away. Clint grinned at him, not fooled at all.

            “Hey, I’m Clint,” he said, sticking a hand out.

            Steve shook his hand, looked pleased to meet him. “Steve,” he said. “Nat had fun last night,” he continued, eyeing Clint up over the top of his sunglasses. “If you get the green light from her, it’s an honor.”

            Clint preened at the compliment. “Well, I’ll leave you two at it,” he said, backing away with a gleam in his eye as he pulled out his phone. Bucky already sensed the headache of a text onslaught from various interested parties.

            “Everything okay?” Bucky finally asked, looking back towards Steve. He wasn’t actually sure why Steve would have stuck around waiting for him on campus.

            Steve nodded and got to his feet. “You have time before your next class?”

            “Yeah, it’s not until four. I usually just grab something from a food cart and walk around during my break,” Bucky told him. So that’s what they did. Bucky nibbled at his hummus and cheese bread, eyeing Steve as the man accidentally squeezed the shit out of his churros.

            “You sure everything is okay?” he asked again, pointing to the mangled dough.

            Steve released his death drip immediately, looking sheepish. He took his sunglasses off and hooked them over his shirt. Steve took a bite, chewed, and swallowed before turning to Bucky. “I’ve never really done this before,” he told him in a grave tone of voice.

            “Had a churro?” Bucky asked, eyebrows furrowed.

            Steve laughed and shook his head. “No, uh.” He waved a hand between Bucky and himself. “This.”

            Bucky’s mouth fell open as he realized what Steve meant. “Okay, and what is this?” he asked, mimicking Steve’s back and forth gesture.

            “I don’t really do casual,” Steve told him, as if that was somehow a surprise.

            “Strangely enough, I had picked that up,” Bucky told him. He swiped another mouthful of hummus and watched Steve struggle to find his words.

            He finally steeled himself, meeting Bucky’s gaze. “It’s a bad idea. There are eyes on me all the time. The media, my own team, the people we fight. No one except my friends even knows I’m bi. Well, and now you and Mrs. Epstein too. I have to fly halfway across the country on a moment’s notice and do dangerous things every other day. I won’t be available. I don’t really talk about things because that’s not what you did in the 40s. And really, I’m kind of fucked up.” He stopped, breathing heavily like he had just run a marathon and stared at Bucky.

            “Do I get a say in this or should I let you continue doomsdaying something that hasn’t even happened yet?” Bucky asked, raising an eyebrow.

            Steve clamped his mouth shut and nodded rapidly. “Sorry, of course you do. Go ahead.”

            Bucky shrugged. “You’re right,” he said. “Everything you said, it will all be a problem. It’s not like I’m perfect either, Steve. I, uh. I had a pretty fucked up childhood until my dad went to prison. I got addicted to painkillers after I was injured in a car crash.” He wiggled his left hand. “I got most of the motion back, but not all the feeling. It doesn’t always work quite right. I only got better because my sister loved me enough to throw my ass in rehab and I owe her more than I can give for that.”

            Steve listened to him, wide-eyed. Bucky laughed, pinching the bridge of his nose. “I’m not saying this won’t be hard. It will be, but when has anything worth it not been?”

            Gawking, Steve just opened and closed his mouth. Bucky shrugged. “I’m willing to try if you are.”

            Steve frowned at his churros. “Buck, it’s not that easy.”

            Bucky rolled his eyes. “Sure it is. Yes or no. Are you willing to try, Steve?”

            Setting his shoulders back and meeting his eyes, Steve nodded. “Yes.”

            “So, what are we trying exactly?” Bucky asked just to be a shit about it.

            Steve gave him a frazzled look. “Dating?” he said and it came out like a question.

            “I don’t know? Is it?” Bucky prompted, drawing the words out.

            “Dating,” Steve told him, looking intent about it. “Dating me,” he clarified as if Bucky had somehow gotten confused.

            Bucky smirked. “Oh, wait. Dating you? That’s what we were talking about? I might need to back out of this now that I know we’re talking about dating you.”

            Steve groaned and made a face. Then he glared down at his churros again, brooding. “You realize I’m Captain America, right?” he asked.

            “Oh my God, what?” Bucky shouted, startling a flock of birds nearby. People turned to look at them and Steve frantically flung his arm around Bucky to lead him towards the water.

            “I had no idea,” Bucky continued. “First I find out we were actually talking about dating you and then I find out that you is Captain America?”

            Steve sighed. “Bucky.”

            “Yes? You, Captain America?” Bucky responded.

            Steve wrapped a hand around the back of Bucky’s neck and pulled him closer, pressing their foreheads together. “Okay,” he whispered. “We’ll try.” He pressed a kiss to Bucky’s mouth.

            “I’m dating Steve Rogers,” Bucky told him, making sure he was listening. “That little guy from Brooklyn who was too dumb not to run away from a fight.”

            Steve put his arms around Bucky and drew him in. He hugged him tightly, his face resting against Bucky’s neck as he breathed, deep and even. “Thank you,” he mumbled into Bucky’s coat.

            Bucky stroked his hand through Steve’s hair. “Anytime, pal. But not actually anytime, because I was already fifteen minutes late to class before and I need to get to my next one.”

            Steve stepped back, putting his sunglasses on again and huffing out a laugh. He walked Bucky to his lecture hall and kissed him goodbye. It wasn’t until he was sitting down that Bucky realized Steve had hijacked his hummus and cheesy bread. The bastard.

 

 

            Clint 10:15 PM

            img attach. 01

                     

            Clint 10:15 PM

            found the winner

 

            Tony 10:16 PM

            his name is lucky

 

            Tony 10:17 PM

            pepper said no dogs. he’s technically clint’s but really he’s all of ours

 

            To: Clint, Tony 10:19 PM

            Are you aware that dog only has one eye?

 

            Tony 10:20 PM

            omg bucky, you can’t just ask a dog why it only has one eye

 

            Clint 10:21 PM

            …it makes me luv him more

 

            Clint 10:22 PM

            hes perfect in every way

 

            Clint 10:30 PM

            img attach. 02          

            his fav food is pizza

 

            To: Clint 10:32 PM

            You fed him my half of the pizza, didn’t you?

 

            Clint 10:35 PM

            ha ha yes

 

 

AVENGERS HOTSPOT

Your Source for Up to Date Gossip on your Favorite Crimefighting Team

 

            Hey-O! It seems that the Black Widow might be off the market, ladies and gentlemen. While the relationship status of our favorite heroes isn’t our number one priority, it’s totally something we want to know each and every detail about.

            Thor is still happily dating his long time girlfriend and renowned scientist, Jane Foster. Tony Stark (Iron Man) is one half of the power couple comprised of himself and CEO of Stark Industries and Stark Media Group, Pepper Potts. The two are going strong, showing everyone what #relationshipgoals truly are.

            Dr. Bruce Banner, Sam Wilson, Black Widow, and Captain Steve Rogers have somehow managed to remain single, despite their incredible good looks and hero status. While there was some speculation regarding Captain Rogers and Black Widow, it has been confirmed that the two are just friends.

            A certain mystery man, however, appears to be more than a friend to the Black Widow. Who is he? How did he woo one of the baddest ladies around? We want to know! This development means the only Avengers left on the market are Dr. Bruce Banner, Sam Wilson, and Captain Steve Rogers. Kind citizens willing to help out with this situation should definitely step in where they can.

 

 

            Sam 10:45 AM

            Bruce is trying to tell me that the horcrux inside Harry should have died when the basilisk fang poisoned him

 

            Sam 10:47 AM           

            got to prove him wrong because my queen and savior J.K. Rowling does no wrong

 

            Sam 10:48 AM

            need an assist

 

            To: Sam 10:50 AM

            Harry had to die willingly for it to be destroyed fully. When he was fighting the basilisk he was fighting to save Ginny and Ron and Hogwarts and shit. He almost died. That isn’t the same as straight up being like I am at peace with death please have at this horcrux.

 

            Sam 10:55 AM

            Barnes comes in clutch as usual

 

            Bruce 11:00 AM

            I know you helped Sam with that and I disagree. Harry was also willing to die when he fought the basilisk.

 

            To: Bruce 11:02 AM

            That’s being willing to die for something that is right and for a cause and people you care about on principle. Not the same as sacrificing yourself with the sole purpose of destroying one specific piece of soul magic to save everyone else.

 

            Tony 11:05 AM

            too drunk for this conversation I’m reading over bruce’s shoulder

           

            To: Tony 11:06 AM

            …it’s not even noon yet.

 

            Tony 11:07 AM

            five o’clock somewhere

 

            Tony 11:08 AM           

            thor brought asgardian wine so I had to

 

            Stevie 11:10 AM

            no idea what a basilisk or a horcrux are but I agree with what you said to bruce

 

            To: Stevie 11:15 AM

            I still can’t believe you haven’t read Harry Potter yet. Avenger’s book club needs to happen.

 

            To: Stevie 11:16 AM

            And of course you agree. Self-sacrifice is your middle name.

 

            Stevie 11:20 AM

            no it’s grant

           

            To: Stevie 11:21 AM

            You’re the worst.

 

 

AVENGERS HOTSPOT

Your Source for Up to Date Gossip on your Favorite Crimefighting Team

 

            We’ve all been following the news these days. What with the unrest overseas, and the footage of the Avengers fighting what appear to be enhanced robotics, things are pretty scary. Luckily we’ve got the best team around to save the day.

            This is also our first opportunity to discuss the newest addition to the Avengers, Hawkeye. His unique skill comes in the form of archery and he’s quite the expert marksman. We thought we’d cheer ourselves up with some reminders that our favorite elite fighting team is actually a bunch of goons.

 

 

GROUP CHAT—AVENGERS ASSEMBLE

 

            JBB: Book club. Wednesday nights (when the world doesn’t need saving). First assignment is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

            SW: YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES

            SW: I’m showing up in my Gryffindor pajama pants

            BB: Works for me. I can bring in dry ice for ambiance.

            CB: nerds

            TS: I’ll do it if JARVIS reading to me counts

            PP: Great idea! We can make food items inspired by the books for the meetings too.

            NR: I’m in. Can I request that the first food item be treacle tart?

            TO: I WOULD VERY MUCH ENJOY PARTAKING IN THE CONSUMPTION OF FIREWHISKEY

            JBB: Clint, you went to the midnight premieres. You can’t pretend to be cool.

            CB: watch me

            NR: img attach. 01

            SW: I did not know I needed that to happen until right now

            CB: nattttttttt

            CB: u sold me out

            SR: what is Lucky supposed to be dressed up as?

            SW: Mad Eye Moody

            SR: what?

            JBB: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Alastor_Moody

            SR: oh okay. he makes a very convincing paw-ror

            SW: I MIGHT CRY BECAUSE YOU MADE A HARRY POTTER DOG PUN

            SW: ALL IS RIGHT IN THE WORLD

            SW: we need to bring tissues to the book club if shit like this is going to happen

            SR: I have a handkerchief

            TS: of course you do

            TO: HAS IT BEEN MARKED SO AS TO DENOTE YOUR IDENTITY

            SR: it’s monogrammed?

            PP: You’re welcome :)

            TO: MAY I TOO HAVE THE KERCHIEF FOR HANDS DENOTING MY IDENTITY

            TO: I AM ALSO FEELING OVERCOME WITH EMOTION BECAUSE STEVE COMBINED POP CULTURE AND AN ADORABLE ANIMAL TO CONNOTATE MULTIPLE MEANINGS OF A WORD

            PP: Of course! What color would you like?

            TO: RED LIKE THE ROLLING HILLS OF ESLUNDR IF IT IS POSSIBLE

            PP: Just ordered a set!

            TO: THANK YOU VERY MUCH PEPPER

            PP: You’re welcome!

            SR: where do I get the book?

            TS: taking care of it

            BB: I prefer paper copies to digital.

            TS: yeah we just argued about this over the scientific journal thing

            TS: sending hard and digital copies to everyone

            SR: where will the digital copies go?

            JBB: I’ll help you get it on your kindle when I come over.

            SR: thanks

            TS: oh sure. you let him show you how tech works without complaining

            JBB: He still complains. Gotta be creative to shut him up.

            NR: ;)

            SW: TMI

            SR: buck!

            TS: is it with your dick? bet it’s with your dick

            TO: TONY I ALSO SUSPECT THE CREATIVE METHOD IS HIS PENIS

            CB: #same

            JBB: I meant whirly word. He complained until I installed that. Since then I just give him different word games and he’s all good with the tech.

            TS: aka whirl on your dick

            PP: Tony.

            TS: sorry cap is it a whirl on your dick instead?

            SW: Pepper just told JARVIS to block Tony’s texts from the group chat until he apologizes

            BB: In which case we will never hear from Tony again.

            TO: EXCELLENT JOKE MY FRIEND

            CB: shit bucky forgot abt the quiz today

            JBB: Just look at the inset on p. 314. It’s a summary of the key points.

            CB: i luv u

            NR: ;)

            CB: omg ew no

            SW: ngl I am a little in love with you too Bucky because you are bringing me Harry Potter book club

            BB: It was my understanding that the Harry Potter series was merely the first assignment and not the entire purpose of the book club.

            SW: potato potato

            SW:…that phrase only works when said aloud

            BB: I still understood what you meant.

            CB: NOT TOO wtf not actually in luv with bucky

            JBB: Stop denying it. Conceal, don’t feel. Don’t let them know. Well, now they know.

            TO: I WILL JOIN IN AND PESTER CLINT WITH LYRICS FROM DISNEY’S PRODUCTION OF FROZEN

            TO: LET IT GO LET IT GO CAN’T HOLD IT BACK ANYMORE

            NR: Let it go, let it go, turn away and slam the door.

            SR: this is the one with the norse snowman right?

            NR:

            TO: CORRECT

            CB: k its tru

            CB: i luv bucky

            NR: Obviously.

            PP: I take credit in this by accepting you both to the internship program.

            CB: we were already friends

            CB: we live together

            PP: Don’t care.

            JBB: Full credit to Pepper.

            CB: suck up

            CB: i take it back

            CB: full credit to pepper

            SW: you two still vying for favorite child status?

            PP: What?

            CB: NOTHING

            JBB: Nothing.

            TS: sorry for my lewd remarks cap

            SR: it’s okay

            SR: kind of expect it from you by now

            TS: I grow on people

            TS: like a fungus

            PP: A cute fungus.

            SW: is there such a thing as a cute fungus?

            BB: Amanita is fairly adorable.

            SW: pics or it didn’t happen

            BB: img attach. 02

            PP: Very cute. It’s even red and gold like your suit!

            TS: perfect

            TO: I CONCUR THAT THE TINY FUNGUS IS VERY ENDEARING

            SW: yeah yeah it’s a cute mushroom

            CB: but can we all focus for just 1 sec on this

            CB: img attach. 03

            JBB: Ayyyyyyyyyy get it!

            SW: what about it?

            CB: im in the news! being badass!

            JBB: I’m not sure if I’m the proud parent here or if Pepper is?

            PP: Both of us.

            SR: you’re an excellent addition to the team

            SR: you did a great job

            CB: im cry

            SR: what?

            CB: nvm

            TO: MAY WE ALSO WATCH THE FILM PRODUCTION OF THE BOOK SERIES UPON COMPLETION OF OUR READING

            SW: I’m going to go ahead and answer that as a hard yes for everyone

            SR: how many books are in the series?

            PP: 7

            SR: how long are all 7 movies?

            CB: 8 movies

            SR: what? why are there 8 movies for 7 books?

            NR: Capitalist swine exploiting consumers in the box office.

            SR: okay?

            SW: if we watch all 8 movies consecutively it would take 19 hours and 40 minutes

            BB: You answered that way too quickly to not have that memorized.

            JBB: It’s cool. I support you, Sam.

            SW: thanks man

            CB: srsly u r all nerds

 

 

AVENGERS HOTSPOT

Your Source for Up to Date Gossip on your Favorite Crimefighting Team

 

            Captain Steve Rogers’ interview and photo spread is slated for reveal in just one week! It seems like we’ve all been waiting for years to get an inside peek on the hero. Lucky for us, Stark Media Group has taken mercy on our souls and pre-released some of the photo shoot images. Get ready to take in this tall glass of water.

 

 

GROUP CHAT—AVENGERS ASSEMBLE

 

            TS: goddammit cap

            SR: what?

            NR: Your article and photo spread came out today.

            SR: oh

            NR: http://www.starkmediagroup.com/special-release/Captain-Steve-Rogers-Interview

            BB: Very well spoken about the difference between fighting your own wars versus fighting for a cause.

            SR: thanks bruce

            SW: whoa nelly Steve

            SW: you broke the internet

            SR: I didn’t do anything

            SR: how do I fix it?

            CB: hyperbole

            CB: means ur article is v popular

            TS: it’s already trending on twitter

            TS: it released half an hour ago

            TS: what the fuck

            PP: It’s great, right? Look at how well it’s being received! The team did a great job. Thank you so much, Steve!

            SR: thank you pepper!

            NR: Top notch material. Those pictures turned out really well.

            TO: THE PHOTOS DO INDEED EMPHASIZE YOUR ADMIRABLE PHYSIQUE            

            TS: don’t know whether to hang them in the tower or demand a nude photoshoot

            NR:…is the nude photoshoot of Steve or yourself?

            TS: we could do both

            TS: both would work

            SR: I have no idea what is going on

            TS: img attach. 01

            this one should have been in the article instead

            CB: #captainamericass is trending

            TS: img attach. 02

            or this one

            SW: hahahahahahahaha Steve at his finest

            SW: but you’re just being a crusty crab because he’s rocking your shit as team favorite right now

            TS: why I never

            TS: did you mean crusty crab or krusty krab?

            CB: who lives in a pineapple under the sea

            SR: I don’t know? who?

            CB: oh sry

            CB: Spongebob Squarepants

            NR: You properly capitalized Spongebob Squarepants? You don’t properly capitalize anything.

            CB: i know whats important in life

            SW: doesn’t matter, you’re salty either way

            CB: sick burrrrrrrrrrrn

            TS: touché

            JBB: Steve. Coulson wants to know if you will autograph a copy of the article for him.

            NR: I’m embarrassed on his behalf since he clearly forgot how to be.

            JBB: Also, why have I never seen those derpy pictures of Steve before? Amazing.

            JBB: Setting the second one as my phone background.

            SR: buck what do you think of it?

            JBB: The article is great. You come off as approachable, inspiring, and patriotic. A mix of the American poster boy and yourself. Not too shabby.

            SR: I thought so too

            SR: thanks again pepper

            SR: what about the pictures?

            JBB: Did you see them?

            SR: yeah why?

            JBB: Not discussing the pictures in the group chat with you.

            SR: why not?

            CB:

            NR: ;)

            TS: no please discuss

            TO: I BELIEVE BUCKY IS TRYING TO AVOID DISCUSSING IN THE GROUP MESSAGING SYSTEM THAT HE HAS BEEN SEXUALLY AROUSED BY THESE          PHOTOGRAPHS

            SW: oh Steve

            SW: you almost got away from that but no

            SR: sorry

            JBB: It’s okay.

            JBB: Fuck it at this point.

            JBB: The pictures look good, Steve.

            JBB: Really good.

            SW: NO MORE COMMENTARY FROM BUCKY IS NECESSARY ABOUT THE PICTURES UNLESS IT IS IN PRIVATE MESSAGE

            TS: no no no

            TS: feel free to elaborate

            CB: NO

            CB: step 1 is sexting

            CB: step 2 is avengers orgy

            TO: I HAVE SEEN ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB THAT MANY PEOPLE SUSPECT THE AVENGERS OF ENGAGING IN AMOROUS COUPLING SIMULTANEOUSLY

            PP: Goodness. I answer a call from the director at NBC and come back to you guys talking about orgies.

            BB: You cannot be surprised by that.

            PP: Not even a little.

            TS: but actually I would definitely sleep with steve and bucky

            NR: No one thought otherwise, Tony.

            PP: I would too.

            CB: PEPPER NO

            TS: PEPPER YES

            PP: It’s true. They are both very attractive.

            TS: knew that steely blue gaze was a part of the hiring decision

            NR: I would too.

            CB: NAAAAAAATTTTTTTT

            SW: shit is getting real

            TO: I WOULD NOT BE OPPOSED TO THE OFFER

            TO: MY LADY LOVE JANE WOULD ALSO AGREE AS SHE TOLD ME SO ONCE WHEN VERY INTOXICATED

            TS: sam? bruce? clint? come on

            BB: Sure. Since this won’t happen anyways.

            TS: never say never

            CB: NO NO NO

            NR: We could always swap out Clint or Sam for Coulson. He would be in.

            SW: whoa whoa

            SW: I get dibs over Coulson no way

            SW: fine

            SW: dammit

            CB: BETRAYED BY MY BIRD BRETHREN

            NR: You doth protest too much, methinks.

            TS: clint don’t fight the truth

            TS: avengers orgy can be a thing if only you believe

            CB: dhssoifdfdbjkfheurhu

            CB: fucking shit

            CB: as long as im nowhere near buckys junk

            CB: dude is my actual bro

            CB: u dont sex bros

            TS: speak for yourself

            CB: I AM V CLEARLY

            NR: Steve? Have you passed out from all the mortification?

            SR:…I don’t even know what to say

            NR: Bucky?

            CB: hes in a meeting

            TO: WE SHALL NEED TO COORDINATE OUR ACTIVITIES

            TO: I HAVE OFT FOUND WHEN SEXUAL RELATIONS INVOLVE MORE THAN 4 INDIVIDUALS IT IS OVERWHELMING AND REQUIRES ADVANCE              PLANNING

            TS: good point

            SW: oft found? how oft?

            TO: THIS IS A TALE FOR ANOTHER TIME THAT I PROMISE TO TELL

            SR: I am not having sex with any of you simultaneously

            TS: oooooooooooh and none for you gretchen wieners

            SR: is that a penis joke?

            CB: mean girls ref

            CB: the hs clique movie

            SR: with the boy who wanted to sing and play basketball?

            CB: ha ha called out HSM but no

            CB: diff hs clique movie

            CB: the boo u whore one

            TS: not simultaneously? so individually is still on the table?

            BB: That did seem to suggest so.

            SR: NO

            SR: I am not sleeping with any of you because you are all my friends

            SR: I consider you my family

            CB: wat abt bucky

            TS: yeah what about bucky??????

            SR: already sleeping with him so he’s exempt

            SW: nice play man

            JBB: …what the actual fuck, guys?

            TS: that wasn’t a no

            PP: Real suggestion time. We should all do dinner tonight.

            TS: everyone be at the tower at 7 pm for food and champagne

            TS: and maybe an orgy

            NR: ;)

            CB: i hate u all

 


 

            Clint tugged at his tie. “So,” he drawled, staring down at the note cards Bucky forced him to make. The media internship programs for NYU were technically listed under the Communications 324 course. Companies arranged the internships, but the class itself was how the university transferred credits back.

            There were only two components to the class. Complete the internship and then give a presentation at the end of the year summarizing your experience. It was essentially a way for the school to see how successful the internships were and build rapport with the involved companies. The tactful way for faculty to schmooze with participating CEOS and executive staff. Pepper waved at them from where she sat representing Stark Media Group in the section of the room separated from chattering students.

            “I’m not supposed to mention that I’m the newest member of the Avengers,” Clint said, mostly to himself as a reminder.

            “No,” Bucky agreed. He adjusted his own tie, Clint’s fiddling making him anxious. “Although, you tell everyone you meet how cool Hawkeye is, and how sexy he is, and how he’s the best Avenger. So, if anyone ever put things together it wouldn’t be shocking.”

            Clint shrugged, entirely unfazed. “It’s not my fault all my talents were finally recognized for what they truly are, worthy of hero worship.”

            Bucky laughed and shoved Clint’s shoulder. “Yeah, okay. You’re a freak with a bow and arrow.”

            “A circus freak with a bow and arrow,” Clint corrected. “Never forget the origin story,” he told Bucky gravely. Then he nodded to himself before adding, “And I’m not supposed to mention that I’m dating Black Widow.”

            Bucky shook his head. “Topica non grata.”            

            Clint considered him. “And no to the fact that you’re dating Captain America.”

            Bucky shook his head again. “Extra no on that one. Steve’s thinking he’ll come out as bi sometime next year. He doesn’t want to do two articles so close together.”

            Clint nodded before looking over his speech again. He looked up part way through. “But I feel like any of these factors are huge selling points for future interns,” Clint objected.

            Bucky rolled his eyes. “Well, first off. You’re an Avenger because you’re a dead-center target savant and the other deadly savants appreciate what you’ve got. Second, it’s not exactly professional to have one of your interns join an international crime fighting team. Third, on top of that, it’s even less professional to have both of your interns date other members of that international crime fighting team.”

            Clint sighed dramatically. “Yeah, but Bruce and Sam are still single.”

            Bucky snorted. “I dare you to bring that up around either of them in this context.”

            “Hell no. Just saying,” Clint sniffed.

            The director of the internship program cleared her throat and the first student wandered up to the podium to begin their speech. Forty-five minutes later, Clint and Bucky were almost a full stickman body into a game of hangman, complete with wardrobe and accessories. A commotion started up in the back of the room as the doors creaked open and the Avengers began to slink inside. Something bad had obviously happened on the way over.

            Biting the inside of his cheek to fight back the laugh, Bucky watched the procession file through. Bruce came in first, looking polished and put together. It all went downhill from there. Thor’s suit coat was ripped at the shoulder seam and he had blood matted in his hair. Tony’s mouth was actively still bleeding while he cradled his right arm close to his chest. Nat had what appeared to be soot smeared down half her face, the bottom of her dress singed. Sam had blood splatter all down his sleeves, a bruise blooming on his left cheek. Steve looked mostly unruffled. Except for the fact that his shirt was torn open, missing the top four buttons, and there were bloody handprints wrapped around the base of his neck.

            Pepper sighed audibly from across the room. “Sorry for the interruption,” she apologized, as staff rushed to come forward with ice packs, antiseptic, and Tide-to-Go sticks.

            “Don’t mind us,” Tony said cheerfully. He waved his good hand for the girl at the podium to continue, as if everyone in the room wasn’t gawking open-mouthed at the Avengers. Clint snickered, rubbing at his face to stifle the sound.

            Steve flashed Bucky a sheepish smile as he settled in, turning his attention to the speaker and waiting patiently for her to resume her speech. The next few speeches went by in a flash of enthusiasm heightened by the star-studded audience and the NYU faculty buzzing in excitement. Bucky clapped a hand on Clint’s shoulder in solidarity when he stood up to deliver his speech.

            Clint cleared his throat, straightening his note cards before speaking. “My name is Clint Barton. I’m a senior majoring in international relations and communications. I’ve had the pleasure of interning at Stark Media Group under the guidance of Ms. Pepper Potts.”

            The Avengers all stared at Clint with rapt attention as if they were watching him perform some sort of trick. “I gained many valuable experiences in the field and learned a lot about what it really means to work ethically in public relations. The most valuable lesson I learned was that you have to believe in what you do. Ms. Potts takes her work very seriously, and it is because of that reason that Stark Media Group consistently produces such high quality, unbiased material. I am honored to have had this incredible opportunity made available to me through NYU and Stark Media Group. Thank you.”

            Clint nodded at the audience as they clapped politely. He ignored where Sam and Tony heckled him loudly, cheering and whistling. Pepper dabbed at her eyes. “Very impressive,” Bucky told him when he took his seat. “You managed to come off like you actually have your shit together.”

            “Owe it to Pepper to rep the best way I know how,” Clint told him sagely.

            Bucky rolled his eyes. “You’re not going to be the favorite child.”

            “Watch me,” Clint huffed, gesturing to where Pepper had accepted Thor’s monogrammed handkerchief to wipe away her tears.

            “No. You watch me,” Bucky told him.

            He made his way to the podium next and looked out into the audience, smiling for a moment before beginning his speech. “My name is Bucky Barnes. I am a senior majoring in communications and media administration. I have been lucky enough to spend this past year interning with Clint and Ms. Pepper Potts at Stark Media Group. Life changing events produce impact on different scales. There are events that impact the world en masse, define a consciousness and a shared collective. There are impacts that affect family, friends, coworkers, and then there are events that shape individuals. That craft your choices and inform your ambitions.”

            Bucky paused for effect, catching his breath before he continued. “The life changing event that brought me to this stage today happened when I was eighteen years old. When I saw Pepper Potts conduct a press conference about the new direction Stark Industries decided to take. Ms. Potts embraces public relations like no one else I have ever seen. I have been so honored to work beside her because she brings what has been missing in a field notorious for greed and a lack of ethics. In a time when everyone is pushing a product, when underlying agendas run rampant, Pepper has always stood tall.”

            Feeling the laser death glare Clint bored into the side of his head, Bucky focused on the audience members he didn’t know. He cleared his throat. “She presents clear-cut facts with the appropriate research backing the statements and she lets people decide. This is a rarity in today’s climate and I am proud to say I had a part in such a mission. From the moment I was accepted into NYU I knew this was the internship that I wanted and I refused to settle for anything less. I owe so much to Stark Media Group, to Pepper, and to NYU for giving me this opportunity. I am thankful for all that I have learned and I only hope that I can go on to give someone else their own life changing event.”

            Applause echoed as Bucky walked back to his seat. He glanced over and laughed when he heard Tony shouting, “That’s my boy! That’s my son!”

            Pepper had her face entirely covered by the handkerchief as Thor held her hand. Nat winked at him and Sam gave a double thumbs up. Bucky ducked his head when he saw Steve mouthing, “You’re incredible.” He took his seat next to Clint, his friend fuming beside him.

            “Un-fucking-believable,” Clint grumbled to himself. “It is on.”           

            The speeches wrapped up and the audience members mingled with staff and students, picking at finger food and drinking overly sweet punch. At this point, the Avengers had gotten mostly cleaned up and joined in the mass of people, small talking and mixing in with the crowd. Bruce wandered over first, shaking Bucky’s hand and smiling wide. “That was quite the speech,” he said.

            Bucky shrugged. “It’s all true.”

            “When you start next month I wanted to work with you on a statement about that clean energy device Tony and I have been fiddling with,” he said, munching on a cucumber sandwich.

            “Yeah!” Bucky enthused. “He showed me the prototypes, it looks like it can really do a lot for bringing things up to speed.”

            Thor bounded over and threw his arms around Bucky, also drawing in Clint from where he had been talking with Nat. “I am most impressed with how well spoken you both were,” he told them, eyes bright.

            “You say both, and yet, I think you mean me,” Clint complained.

            Thor nodded heartily. “Indeed. Regardless, I am very proud of you both. It is a joy to be a friend of so worthy a pair.”

            “Bro,” Clint said fondly, patting Thor on the side of the face where he was still being imprisoned by his bicep.

            “Bro,” Bucky agreed, waving his hand generally in the direction of Thor’s jaw to join in the patting.

            Nat laughed and stepped in, extracting them from Thor’s embrace. She kissed Bucky on the cheek. “I knew you were a good seed, BB,” she told him firmly.

            Bucky grinned. “Thanks, Nat.”

            Tony grabbed a flute of champagne before slinging an arm around Bucky’s shoulder. “I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that. It’s all very confusing with you calling him BB and Bruce’s initials in the group chat.”

            Nat rolled her eyes. “You have never once been confused between Bucky and Bruce in that chat.”

            Tony took a sip of his drink with a delicate pursing of his lips. “It’s the principle of the thing.” He turned to Bucky and nodded in approval. “Glad to see your embarrassing public relations crush on my girlfriend is just as big as I remember. Still totally embarrassing for you, but at least you’ve got good taste.”

            Nat smirked and turned back to Bucky and Clint. “You both made Pepper cry.”

            “But who made her cry more?” Clint demanded.

            “Oh, would you stop that. You are both my favorites!” Pepper exclaimed as she joined them.

            Clint eyed her suspiciously as if waiting for the rest. She sighed and hugged him and then drew Bucky in as well. “I know I’m not supposed to prefer certain interns over others, but you two really are my favorites.”

            “I will shamelessly admit they are my favorites,” Tony said, plucking up a bacon wrapped water chestnut from a passing tray.

            “And the both of you with heart wrenching speeches. Jeez,” Tony commented, crunching into the snack.

            Clint bowed exaggeratedly. “I did learn from the best,” he said, winking at Pepper.

            “Not bad for an undercover hooker, am I right?” Bucky asked.

            Tony laughed, choking on his bite. “I will support my son no matter his pursuits,” he said and clapped him on the shoulder.

            “Ms. Potts, Mr. Stark,” the director of the internship program simpered, shaking both of their hands vigorously. “What an honor to have you and the Avengers join us here today.”

            Pepper smiled and Tony shrugged. “It’s a good program you got here. It’s our pleasure.”

            The director nodded intently. “Glad you think so! We appreciate your continuing support and participation in the internship allocations.”

            Tony gestured towards Bucky and Clint. “Got to say, this year’s picks were phenomenal. Glad you brought them to our doorstep.”

            The internship director’s head bobbled around in her enthusiasm. “We try to pick the most qualified candidates. I am happy you were so pleased with our selections.”

            Grabbing another water chestnut, Tony frowned at his empty champagne flute. “Wouldn’t have offered them full-time positions if I didn’t think so,” he said distractedly, looking for more champagne.

            The director’s eyes widened significantly. Pepper shook her head, looking at Tony with a fond expression. “We’re very excited that Clint and Bucky accepted the job offers we extended. They’ll be starting with us next month,” Pepper told her.            

            She drew the woman away as Tony found more alcohol and he started to say, “Don’t worry. The rumors about nepotism are unfounded. I won’t show excessive preference towards my son.”

            “They grow up so fast,” he sniffed, ruffling Bucky’s hair.

            Nat linked arms with Bucky and drew him away towards where Sam and Steve were still trapped speaking with representatives from the State Department. “Everything okay?” Bucky asked, remembering the disarray everyone had been in when they arrived. “You guys looked a little—,” he trailed off at the end.

            She patted his hand reassuringly. “Just a minor scuffle. It wasn’t too bad. Steve went into apeshit mode and took care of half the guys himself. He was worried he was going to miss your speeches.”            

            Bucky huffed out a laugh and shook his head. “Of course he was.”

            Sam finally took mercy on Steve’s repeated, patient explanation of how the Avenger’s alert system operated and excused them from the conversation. He hugged Bucky, patting him on the back. “Great job up there, man,” Sam congratulated before stepping aside.

            Bucky smiled. “Thanks.”            

            He caught Steve’s eyes and his smile widened. “Glad you made it,” Bucky told him, not sure whether to hug him. Steve had that glint in his eyes that normally meant he wanted to get naked and Bucky didn’t want to test his self-control.

            Steve decided for him. He gave him a brief, rib-crunching hug and snuck a quick kiss below the hinge of Bucky’s jaw. “I’m so proud of you,” he told him sincerely.

            Bucky tried not to fidget at the intensity of his gaze. “Oh my God, Steve. It’s just a mandatory class presentation.”

            “I know how much it means to you,” Steve told him, a small smile pulling up the corner of his mouth as Bucky floundered.

            “Yeah,” Bucky mumbled to himself. He grabbed the first thing passing from a nearby tray and stuck it in his mouth for a distraction.

            Sam passed over his bottle of water when Bucky winced at the taste of the onion blue cheese pastry puff. “I was going to warn you but then it was too late,” Sam apologized.

            Bucky shook his head, coughing as he choked and took a grateful drink. Nat sighed at him before walking away. They all looked over when they heard Tony’s voice carrying from the other side of the room.

            “It’s like he was a sexy Media Moses drifting in a basket down the river and the Nile was the internship program. I had to accept him into my family,” he told the group of executives staring at him wide eyed.

            “You mean into your company?” one of them asked.

            “That too,” Tony nodded, wandering off after a plate of crab cakes.

            Bucky rubbed a hand down his face as Pepper rushed by to grab Tony’s arm when he began showing the CEO of CNN pictures of Bucky playing with Lucky.

            “That’s my dog!” Clint complained. “Why do you only have pictures of Bucky playing with my dog?”

            Tony gave Clint a pitying look and turned back to the CEO. “Bucky was planned. This one was an accident,” he told him, jerking a thumb towards Clint.

            Clint threw his arms up and stomped away. The CEO looked increasingly more confused by the photographs until Pepper tugged Tony away. People came up to talk to Bucky and ask him about his internship, ask him about Stark Media Group, ask him how he knew the Avengers, ask him what he was doing after graduation. He smiled and answered their questions, feeling bad that the Avengers had to put up with the press all the time. This was awful.

            When he started feeling a little like he wanted to throw back a few more glasses of champagne and terrorize CEOS with Tony, Steve walked over. He passed Bucky a strawberry lemonade and stood slightly closer than appropriate, resting a hand against his back. “You’re doing great,” Steve reassured him in a low voice.

            “My face hurts from smiling,” Bucky muttered, and then sighed happily at the taste of the lemonade. He saw someone else drinking lemonade and glanced down at the glass. His had pieces of fruit in it. “Are there real strawberries in here?” he asked suspiciously.

            Steve turned red and rubbed at the back of his neck. “You looked stressed,” he told Bucky, as if that explained why Steve added fresh fruit to make the lemonade taste better. Looking like he was about to dart away, Bucky snaked a hand out to grab his wrist.

            “Thanks,” he smiled down at his glass. “Can you stay here? It’ll make this less terrible.”

            Nodding seriously, like Bucky just asked him to put his life on the line, Steve leaned into his side to settle in for the long haul. “We’ll get cinna stix after this,” Bucky promised.

            Steve laughed, loud and deep, his head thrown back and eyes crinkled. “Perfect.”

            Bucky felt his heart jump in his throat as he watched him. Steve’s shoulders were loose and comfortable even in this room full of cameras and people wanting to ask him never ending questions.

            “Captain America, do you have a moment?” someone asked as they approached.

            “Yes, ma’am,” Steve said easily, adopting a polite expression. His smile still pulled up the corner of his mouth as he braced himself for the onslaught, glancing at Bucky. Taking another sip of lemonade, Bucky lingered over the strawberry pieces. Yeah, things would be just fine.

 

 

AVENGERS HOTSPOT

Your Source for Up to Date Gossip on your Favorite Crimefighting Team

           

            It’s hard to believe Captain Steve Rogers’ famous interview and photo spread with Stark Media Group happened over a year ago! So much has happened since then. The team has averted at least five world crises that we know of and they’re still our favorite squad around. Even harder to believe is that Rogers did another interview and photo spread.

            Don’t worry, we’ve got you the pre-release insider once again. Rogers’ decision to do another big interview is quite the surprise to most. Rogers is a notoriously private kind of guy and not a huge fan of media presence. We’ll be keeping our eyes and ears out for what he has in store for us.

            These pre-release photos show that change has indeed been the name of the game for Rogers. Rogers’ clean-shaven look has been replaced with swoon-worthy stubble. Enjoy these pre-release photos until the article comes out and we can really rejoice. We also threw in a couple extras of Captain Rogers out and about his business, just because. May we just say that Cap in the Thor shirt is amazing?

 

 •         

 

AVENGERS HOTSPOT

Your Source for Up to Date Gossip on your Favorite Crimefighting Team

 

            Does anyone else feel like screaming from the rooftops and skipping down the street? Captain Steve Rogers identified himself as bisexual in his most recent Stark Media Group interview. It’s amazing that a bastion of American history, a literal pillar of our nation, is comfortable putting it out there that sexuality isn’t as rigid as the constructs he grew up with. The article is personable and touching and flat out amazing.

            Even in light of this landmark of a statement, we can’t help but wonder if this announcement was prompted by interest in a special someone. We noticed that a certain blue-eyed, handsome individual keeps popping up in photos these days. Although it seems most of those photos are with Sam Wilson. Is this mystery hunk into Sam or Steve? We need to know!

 

 

GROUP CHAT—AVENGERS ASSEMBLE

 

            SW: atta boy! article is out

            SW: great job Steve

            SW: I know it’s been a long road for you and I’m so happy you decided to see it through

            CB: 1. ur article is beautiful 2. gossip rags r going batshit

            TS: props to you old man

            BB: That was very brave, Steve. The article is remarkable.

            NR: So proud of you.

            PP: I am so ecstatic I want to hug you all forever.

            TS: one step closer to the orgy

            TO: YOUR WORDS WERE WELL CHOSEN AND IMPACTFUL

            TO: IT WILL MEAN VERY MUCH TO OTHER INDIVIDUALS AS THEY TOO DEFINE THEIR SEXUAL PREFERENCES

            TO: YOUR COURAGE IS NOT ONLY CONTAINED TO THE BATTLEFIELD AND I AM HONORED TO KNOW YOU AS A DEAR FRIEND

            JBB: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            JBB: You’re amazing.

            SR: thank you everyone

            SW: aghhhhhhh

            SW: sweet baby Jesus

            PP: What’s wrong?

            SW: gossip honed in on Bucky

            SW: but they think he’s into me

            SW: I did not sign up for this

            CB: buck is a catch

            TS: you loudly protest not wanting to get anywhere near his genitalia all the time

            CB: duh bc hes my brutha from anutha mutha

            CB: still a total catch

            JBB: Thanks, Clint. It doesn’t matter. They can say what they want.

            JBB: This is about Steve.

            SR: maybe I should issue a statement?

            TS: to clear up that the hottie is yours?

            NR: That’s proprietary and offensive, no one belongs to anyone.

            PP: Here here.

            CB: u tell him babe

            SW: nah man. don’t want you worrying about that right now

            SW: it’s cool I can live with people thinking I’m dating Barnes

            SW: dude’s a dime

            TS: true fact

            TS: my son is extremely handsome

            TO: BUCKY IS INDEED VERY AESTHETICALLY PLEASING

            TO: HE IS A SIGHT TO BEHOLD

            JBB: Gee thanks guys.

            NR: I figured this was all implied by the fact that everyone agreed to sleep with you.

            BB: Hypothetically agreed.

            CB: I WAS NOT HAPPY ABT THAT DECISION

            TS: that was a two for one deal, we didn’t split the pair

            SR: I still don’t like it

            TS: the orgy proposition?

            SW: he meant people thinking Bucky and I are together

            CB: lolz

            JBB: Steve. You know I’m not actually dating Sam, right?

            TS: or are you?

            TO: HE IS VERY MUCH IN LOVE WITH STEVE AND THEREFORE YOUR JESTING REMARK IS FACETIOUS

            JBB: …thanks, Thor.

            TO: YOU ARE MOST WELCOME

            PP: Awwwwww.

            SR: I know I just don’t like it

            SR: if I’m coming forward with this I should do it all the way

            SR: the right way

            SR: you deserve that

            JBB: Oh my God.

            TS: bet Bucky is doing that face twitch thing where he’s trying not to be embarrassed

            SW: you have to do what feels right man

            CB: my heart is all gooey inside

            TO: I TOO AM VERY MOVED BY YOUR SINCERITY STEVE

            NR: Every time I think you can’t do something more noble and heartfelt you prove me wrong.

             NR: Keep doing it. I like being reminded of the goodness in humanity.

            TS: it does do wonders to thaw your communist power source

            BB: I fully support your decision, Steve.

            TS: oh right me too

            SR: buck?

            JBB: Yeah. Go ahead, you big sap.

            JBB: I don’t really want Becca calling me up and assuming I’m dating Sam.

            JBB: That’s just gross.

            SW: excuse you

            SW: you wish you could be so lucky

            JBB: Already am.

            SR: :)

            CB: omg stahhhhp

            CB: im going to get diabetes from this convo

            PP: I’m tearing up in the middle of my conference call with Tokyo.

            PP: I’m so happy for you two.

            TO: SHALL WE REJOICE WITH POPPERS MEANT FOR PARTIES OVER A FEAST AND LIBATIONS

            CB: hells yeah

            BB: Great idea.

            TS: party at the tower so you all better be there

            TS: there is no other option

            TS: be there or I will make you be there

            PP: Tony, that’s not how friendship or invitations work.

            TS: I tried

            CB: therefore noone can criticize u

            SW: slam dunk with the DanRad quote

            SW: I’m bringing pigs in a blanket

            SR: do pigs get cold?

            SW: what?

            SW: oh

            SW: pigs in a blanket are those little hot dogs wrapped in crescent rolls that you eat by the pan

            SR: I like those

            PP: Bucky and I will be there as soon as we can!

            NR: I can pick you both up from work.

            JBB: You are the best.

            NR: I know.

            SR: wait

            SR: I need to actually make the statement

            SW: oooooh

            TS: ah yes

            CB: whoops

            TO: YOU ARE QUITE RIGHT IT SEEMS WE OVERLOOKED THAT FACT IN OUR EXCITEMENT

            JBB: You guys are a mess.

            CB: youre right there w us bro

            PP: I’m already drafting the statement. I’ll send it to you in 5, Steve.

            JBB: Thank God for Pepper.

            PP: Too kind.

            CB: buckkkkkyyyyy

            JBB: Suck it, Barton.

            BB: You’re not still vying for favorite child are you?

            BB: Clint, you’re an Avenger.

            BB: And Bucky is a liaison between Stark Tech and the Media Group.

            BB: You’re real people now.

            CB: I WILL BE THE FAV CHILD

            JBB: Keep dreaming, sucker.

            PP: I love you both equally!

            TS: come on pepper

            TS: you have to have a favorite

            TS: I have a favorite

            CB: bet u like bucky better bc ur a dick

            TS: while I am a dick, the reason I like Bucky better is because he is legally my adopted son

            CB: FOR THE LAST TIME

            CB: U CANT ADOPT A GROWN MAN

            TS: you say that

            TS: and yet

            TS: I did

            JBB: It’s true.

            CB: bullshit

            TS: signed the papers and filed them with my lawyer and everything

            CB: wat is that i smell

            CB: ALL THE BULLSHIT

            SW: we’re going to show up at the tower later and Clint is going to have fired a bunch of arrows into the shape of a giant dick

            NR: Don’t give him ideas.

            SR: and to think that we’re all here because bucky told me about lucky charms

            SW: is that a sex thing?

            NR: Actually we’re all here because Wade Wilson is a motherfucker who didn’t show up to pay back the favor he owed.

            NR: Still owes me that favor and 60K for covering him on that thing with the Russian mob.

            TS: now I’m curious.

            TS: is it a sex thing?

            SR: NO! it’s the cereal with the marshmallows

            SR: not everything is a sex thing

            TS: it can be if you try hard enough

            PP: I’ve got the statement ready! Sent it through.

 

 

AVENGERS HOTSPOT

Your Source for Up to Date Gossip on your Favorite Crimefighting Team

           

            It’s official. Captain Steve Rogers is taken. He released a statement following his groundbreaking article stating that ‘I chose to make this announcement now because honesty is important to me. I am currently in a relationship and I owed it to my partner. It wasn’t an easy decision for me, but he’s worth it. I want to take this opportunity to confirm that I am in a relationship with James Buchanan Barnes. I ask that you please respect his privacy as much as possible because he already has to put up with me cancelling dates because I need to fight aliens in Brazil. Thank you.’

            Our hearts are still slightly broken, but the fact that Cap found someone important enough to come forward about it, is pretty special. That’s all anyone can hope to find and we’re glad one of our favorites succeeded. We’ll try to honor Cap’s wishes, but we’re dying to know more about this boyfriend of his. At least we know the previously identified Mystery Man is definitely interested in Steve and not Sam. Searching Google images didn't get us much. We suspect Tony Stark’s formidable technical skills may be at play here.

            We need the dish on James Buchanan Barnes! A first look reveals that he’s a liaison between Stark Industries and Stark Media Group, the go-to guy for mogul, Pepper Potts. Luckily, Rogers released several photos to the public of him and his boyfriend. Those will have to do for now.

            We also need to inform the world that following Cap’s lead, it has been confirmed that Black Widow and Hawkeye are indeed in a relationship. We would like to say that we knew it ages ago but we’re too busy cheering.

            What a time to be alive. Looks like the only single Avengers these days are Sam Wilson and Dr. Bruce Banner. Look sharp, people!

 

 

            Stevie 4:23 PM

            can’t wait for you to get here. sam made pigs in a blanket

           

            To: Stevie 4:25 PM

            I know, I read the thread. Pepper and I are almost done. Nat should be here soon.

 

            Steve 4:30 PM

            the little hotdogs have cheese in the middle

           

            To: Stevie 4:37 PM

            Yeah. Cheese hotdogs.

 

            Steve 4:38 PM

            genius

 

            To: Stevie 4:39 PM

            You are such a loser.

 

            Stevie 4:40 PM

            yeah but you love me anyways

           

            To: Stevie 4:41 PM

            Till the end of the line.

 

            Stevie 4:43 PM

            till the end of the line

 

            Stevie 4:45 PM

            <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

 

            Stevie 4:46 PM

            I would have used the train emoji but I don’t like the fake scenery on it

 

            Clint 4:48 PM

            WHAT THE FUCK

 

            Clint 4:49 PM

            tony just showed me the adoption paperwork

 

            To: Clint 4:50 PM

            Told you it was legit.

           

            Clint 4:51 PM

            i still hate u and i will never give up

 

            Clint 4:52 PM

            i will be the fav child

 

            To: Stevie 4:53 PM

            Do me a favor and tell Clint that Pepper said I was the favorite child.

 

            Stevie 4:55 PM

            that will crush his spirit to live

 

            Stevie 4:56 PM

            I’ll do it

 

            Clint 5:00 PM

            nice try fucker

 

            Clint 5:01 PM

            steve cracked

 

            Clint 5:02 PM

            & u look like a douche in the pic they found of u from google

 

            To: Stevie 5:03 PM

            Dammit, Steve.

           

            Stevie 5:04 PM

            he started crying!

 

            To: Stevie 5:06 PM

            No way. Did you film it?

           

            Stevie 5:07 PM

            bucky! no I did not

 

            Stevie 5:08 PM

            …but sam did

 

            To: Stevie 5:09 PM

            Yessssss.

 

            To: Clint 5:10 PM

            Hearts and kiss, boo. Love you forever and always ;)

 

            Clint 5:11 PM

            fuck off

 

            Clint 5:12 PM

            still luv u 2 bb

 

            To: Stevie 5:15 PM

            Nat’s here. We’re leaving now.

           

            Stevie 5:16 PM

            I’ll save you a cheese hotdog

 

            To: Stevie 5:17 PM

            Now I know this is serious. Fuck the public announcement. This is the real deal.

                       

            Stevie 5:18 PM

            buck shut up and get here

 

            Stevie 5:19 PM

            I owe you a tiny cheese hotdog in a crescent roll, alcohol, and my heart

 

            Stevie 5:20 PM

            except you already have my heart

 

            To: Stevie 5:21 PM

            Oh my God. Steve.

 

            Stevie 5:24 PM

            your chest doing that fluttery thing?

           

            To: Stevie 5:25 PM

            Yeah it is, you shithead.

           

            Stevie 5:26 PM

            <3 :) <3