Red Hook, Brooklyn
On a muggy June evening, with the sweat pouring down his face, Steve finally gave up on the idea of trying to sleep indoors.
“C’mon, Bucky.” He hauled himself up to his feet and shook Bucky by the shoulder. “Let’s go out on the fire escape. It’s bound to be cooler out there.”
It was, but not by much. The air was thick and wet, oppressively hot, and seemed to be designed to bring on a sweat that did nothing but add to the heat. There was no breeze; the laundry hung motionless from the clotheslines. Women would haul it inside in the morning and find it still damp, the still and moist air having done nothing at all to dry it.
Together, the pair of them hauled Steve’s mattress out the window and onto the metal latticework of the fire escape. By this time, they had both stripped to their shorts and undershirts in an effort to escape the damp heat. A futile effort, as it turned out.
Steve was more than old enough by this point to have outgrown sleepovers. But his mother had gotten another late shift at the hospital, and the idea of having Bucky spend the night seemed more enjoyable to him than spending the night in the apartment by himself. Bucky had agreed, and the two of them had found themselves sharing a room for the first time in years.
From open windows all around them came the sounds and smells of nighttime in the city. A hundred different kinds of dinner had been cooked and eaten that evening, and the scents mingled indistinguishably in Steve’s nose. The sound of gramophone music drifted from somewhere close by - a piano playing a sluggish tune that seemed to fit the weather perfectly, a crooning voice that sounded even more languid than the piano. And the two of them weren’t the only ones who had tried to beat the heat by sleeping outdoors that night, either. In fact, Steve could see at least a dozen other mattresses laid out on fire escapes as he looked up and down the street.
He’d brought the blue floral chenille blanket out with them, mostly to ward off any sense of awkwardness they might have felt about lying out there in their underwear for the neighbors to see. It wasn’t as though they were going to need it to ward off the chill, after all. And speaking of the neighbors…
“Hey, Buck.” He grinned, pointing to the open window from which the gramophone music was drifting. The curtains had been pulled aside, and a very familiar figure was coming out onto the fire escape. “Frances McDowell’s spending the night out here too.”
“Good old Frannie,” Bucky breathed, a smile spreading across his face. “Always up for a show.”
And there she was - gorgeous red hair wrapped in rollers and pale pink negligee clinging to her curves in a way that was maybe too indecent for a hot June night on the fire escape. Not that Bucky was complaining.
“Seems she’s absent her lunker of a husband.”
Lunker of a Merchant Marine husband, that was, and Bucky did not want to be caught looking at the goods while he was around. No thank you. But he wasn’t around - there was only Frannie, stretching her pale arms over her head and tilting her hip to one side, breasts jutting out in such a way that the silk of the negligee seemed to wrap perfectly around them.
Bucky’s breath caught in his throat.
God, she had know there were people out there. Maybe she did, and that was the point. Maybe she wanted to put on a good show, and who was Bucky to say no to a such a fine dish of a woman?
He swallowed. “Coming out here was a good idea, Stevie.”
The air in Steve’s bedroom had been stiflingly hot, but not nearly as bad as it would have been in Bucky’s own bedroom - at least Steve’s room had a window. They had gamely put a tray of ice in front of the electric fan, but all that had done was made the damp heat even wetter. But it seemed it all had been worth it; the heat had driven them outdoors, after all, and right into view of beautiful Frances McDowell.
“You bet it was.” The grin was obvious in Steve’s voice. “Maybe she’ll decide that it’s too hot for that negligee?”
“Now wouldn’t that be nice?” Bucky shifted slightly on the mattress, his head coming up against Steve’s - the better to get a perfect view of Frannie.
Unfortunately Frannie did not remove her negligee. Instead she produced a cigarette on a long, slender holder, though she spent a moment fishing around for a matchbook before lighting up.
“Had I known,” Bucky said quietly, “I would have run all the way over there to deliver a matchbook to her personally.” A smile flitted across his face. “Maybe she would have thanked me kindly.”
“If it’s the kind of ‘thank you kindly’ I’m thinking about, I’d jump right off this fire escape and get there first.” Steve grinned, his undershorts beginning to feel tight at the idea. Frannie’s body was mouth-watering even when she was fully dressed. That skimpy negligee just made her even more amazing to look at, given that it didn’t leave much to the imagination. And Steve had one heck of an imagination…
“God, just imagine if she rolls over in her sleep and that negligee rides up.” He kept his eyes glued to Frannie’s slinky form as she stretched herself out on the mattress, the negligee pulling in all sorts of tantalizing ways. “I’d stay awake all night for a look at her naked.”
“You little perv,” Bucky said without heat. In fact, he couldn’t seem to wipe the stupid grin off his face.
“Oh, come on. You wouldn’t?” Steve grinned back. “I’d do just about anything for a chance like that.”
He couldn’t help it. He reached a hand down under the blanket and tugged at his undershorts, his hard-on grateful for the extra bit of space. Thinking about Frannie naked had gotten him stiff, and the sight of her was making him want to give himself a little bit of relief.
He suddenly felt very hot, and reached up to yank off his undershirt and toss it back inside through the open window. It might have helped a bit, or maybe he was just more preoccupied now with his erection than with the oppressive heat.
“And if I thought there was a chance I could actually make it with her, I’d be on it like a racehorse.” His hand lingered on himself, giving himself that slight pressure that always felt so good…
“On her like a racehorse,” Bucky murmured. He sat up suddenly and pulled off his undershirt, the fabric damp with body heat. His hair, too, faintly gleamed with sweat, and he pushed a hand through it, slicking it back for a moment before it flopped onto his forehead.
“Oh God, I’d probably go off five or six times and just keep right on going without missing a beat.” Steve stroked himself at the idea, his voice dropping to a husky whisper. “I’d be in heaven.”
“We’ve gotta get you a girl, Stevie.” Bucky settled back down next to him. “Soon as possible.”
And one for Bucky too, truth be told. His own relationship with the very lovely Esther Schwartzbaum had ended just a few weeks ago. She had been a doll, but her very strict Jewish parents hadn’t wanted her going with an Irish Catholic boy, and so that had been the end of it. Nothing to be done there.
They were writing songs of love, but not for him. (And he could thank Ginger for that line; she was a doll too, and one who could dance into the bargain.)
Well, better to focus on Frannie than to dwell on past girls. After all, Frannie was right there, languidly stretched out on her mattress, cupid bow lips making a perfect ‘o’ around the cigarette holder.
“God, Steve.” Bucky’s shorts had become uncomfortably tight. “She’s a real looker, isn’t she?”
Maybe he’d go over there, offer her a matchbook, a cigarette, a bottle of Coke - anything, really. Maybe she’d answer the door in nothing but that flimsy negligee, and then she’d thank him in the kindest way possible. It was so hot, the cold bottle of Coke was a blessing, and couldn’t he stay for a moment?
Maybe she’d push him against the wall, press that gorgeous mouth against his own, then against his neck, and then down and further down. She’d slide the suspenders off his shoulders, undo the button of his trousers, and wrap that perfect red mouth around a far more interesting place.
He had to bite his lip to keep from doing anything about the sudden, throbbing erection in his shorts. He shifted under the chenille blanket, suddenly glad for its presence, and was about to say something - anything - to Steve.
Steve was stroking himself under the blanket, his eyes focused vaguely on Frannie across the way. Stroking himself thoughtfully, gently, as if he had forgotten Bucky was there at all.
It wasn’t the first time. A few years ago, when Bucky had been spending the night while Steve’s ma worked the overnight shift at the hospital, Steve had quietly stroked himself in the darkness of the bedroom. Bucky had lay with his back to him, eyes wide open and listening as Steve’s gentle breathing grew ragged, then frantic, and then suddenly ended with a cry that he must have muffled into the pillow.
Bucky had never said anything about it. What were pals for after all? And anyway, Steve had thought Bucky was sleeping. If a guy couldn’t jerk it in his own room at night, where could he do it?
Frannie blew a stream of smoke into the air, her mouth once again a perfect red ‘o’. She licked her plush lips and shifted slightly on the mattress, the negligee sliding over the curve of her hip.
Well… if Steve could do it…
Steve opened his eyes again, needing to take another look at Frannie to keep the film reel spinning in his head. The way she pursed her lips to blow the smoke of her cigarette out into the night air made him imagine those lips kissing his own. Preferably while the rest of her was wriggling and shimmying against him, and maybe while her hand was doing pretty much the same thing his own was doing right then.
He opened his eyes and saw that he hadn’t been the only one in need of a little relief. Bucky’s hand was moving under the blanket, in the way that it only would if he’d been going at himself. And who could blame him? With Frannie across the way, with the thoughts she let loose in both their heads, anyone would need to do the same if they weren’t dead.
“Know what I’d love to see?” He turned his head slightly so Bucky could hear his whisper. “I’d love to see her start running her hands up and down herself. Like she was smoothing out the negligee, but keeping it up for longer.” He tightened his grip just a bit and couldn’t help but let out a shaky breath. “And then she’d just decide the damn thing was too hot and take it off and she’d just be left in her panties.”
Bucky let out a strangled puff of air in response. His hand continued to slide up and down under the blanket. Steve’s did the same, their timing matching.
“Her tits would be all shiny with sweat.” His eyes glazed over as he imagined it. “And her hands would cup them and lift them and she’d just be dying for someone to come put their mouth on them.”
He felt himself throb in his hand and kept on stroking. Imagined Frannie naked but for a skimpy pair of underpants, caressing her own curves in the way he and Bucky would have loved to.
“And then she’d get a hand down her panties…”
“Oh God, Stevie,” Bucky moaned. He didn’t look at him. “What’re you doing?”
Steve paused for a moment, but the urge was too strong to deny. “I’m sorry, Bucky, I’ve just got to.” He laughed breathily. “She’s so gorgeous, I mean. And I can’t stop thinking these things…”
His hand started moving again, and he looked over at Bucky. Smiled on seeing that Bucky’s hand was still under the blanket too.
“You too, huh?”
“Me too.” Bucky squeezed his eyes shut for a long moment. A bead of sweat slid lazily down the side of his face and neck. His breathing had become ragged.
“You’re thinking about her too.” His hand moved up and down almost on its own. “Thinking about what it’d be like to see her put a hand down her panties and do to herself what we’re doing right now.”
Bucky nodded. Tried to. Maybe. He seemed pretty lost, but his hand never stopped moving under the blanket. He glanced at Steve for a split second, then looked away, gaze getting lost somewhere in the fire escape above them.
Anyone could be up there. Listening, maybe.
“Don’t…” Bucky breathed. “Don’t stop. Keep going.”
“And then she’d take her panties off.” Steve’s hand tightened on himself as he pictured it in his mind. “Lot of curly red hair down there, I’ll bet. And she’d be going at herself like mad, one hand on her tits and the other between her legs, and all she’d need would be for somebody to come and help her out.”
And yet his eyes were on Bucky, who had told him not to stop. Bucky, who was slowly jerking himself under the blanket in a rhythm that matched Steve’s own.
“Hey Buck, I’ve got an idea.” It came to him suddenly, filling his mind so completely he had to stop stroking himself or the mere thought of it might bring him off. “We could.. help each other out.”
Bucky stopped abruptly and looked at Steve, his expression a potent mixture of curiosity and longing. “What…” He paused. Tried to catch his breath. “What do you mean?”
Steve waited for a long moment, his eyes on Bucky’s, working up the nerve to do it. To take his hand off himself and reach over that yawning distance of a few inches between them, and to put his hand on Bucky’s cock. “We can help each other out.” He grinned suddenly, mischievously. “I can jerk you and you can jerk me, and then we can pretend it’s her.”
His hand was already leaving his own cock, reaching tentatively over. His breathing was ragged.
“Come on, Buck, what do you say?”
Bucky looked at Steve for a long moment.
Probably too long, but he couldn’t seem to form coherent words just then. He just continued to look at his best buddy - his pal, his Stevie - with wide, staring eyes. His best buddy, who had just offered to jerk him off so that he could close his eyes and pretend it was luscious Frannie McDowell.
And all Bucky had to do was return the favor. Help a guy out so they could both get a little satisfaction.
Bucky risked a glance at Frannie; she was stretched out on the mattress, one leg hooked over the other, and the hem of her negligee had slid tantalizing up to reveal her soft thighs.
Steve’s fingers brushed lightly at the opening of Bucky’s shorts, and Bucky drew in a sharp breath he hadn’t realized he had been holding. His gaze darted back to Steve’s eyes, wide and blue and so goddamn earnest.
“Yes,” he whispered hoarsely. His throat felt too dry. He licked his lips and held Steve’s gaze. “Yes, okay.”
Steve’s fingertips touched him. Lightly at first, then sliding around until his fingers were completely around his shaft.
“Just imagine it, Buck.” Steve’s voice was a throaty, breathy whisper. “She could put her hands on us both. One hand on my dick and one on yours, and she’d be naked as anything.”
Bucky opened his mouth to say something - maybe call Steve a perv, maybe tell him he had a filthy mind - but all that came out was a strangled gasp. His free hand clawed at the mattress, grabbing a handful of sheet.
Steve’s hand - no, Frannie’s - started sliding up and down the length of him. Up and down, and Bucky squeezed his eyes shut and allowed himself to fall into the rhythm of it.
“What would you want to do then?” Steve gave a whisper of laughter. “I’d want to get my hands on those tits of hers. Feel them all sweaty and heavy and soft in my hands…”
He almost moaned Steve’s name at that. Almost let a breathless, desperate ‘Stevie’ slip out of his mouth, but he held himself back.
He thought about Frannie. Gorgeous redheaded Frannie in the pink silk negligee, with soft creamy thighs that he would love to lay his head on.
And Lord, it felt so good.
And Steve deserved to feel it, too. One good turn, after all.
Slowly Bucky reached out under the blanket, until his fingertips just grazed the head of Steve’s cock.
He’d never touched anyone’s dick besides his own, and Bucky’s was uncircumcised. He’d known that for years, of course, and he’d seen what it looked like a handful of times, but he’d never known what it felt like.
It was warm and throbbing in his hand, and it had a different texture than his own. There was more softness wrapped around the hardness, and the skin seemed to slide more easily over it when he stroked. He ran his thumb over the head, across the slit at the very tip, and came away with a slippery bead of precum that he spread in circles over the head.
Over the head of Bucky’s cock.
Bucky gasped. His eyes flew open, wide and unfocused. “Ste- Frannie!” He squeezed his eyes shut again, breathing ragged and unsteady. “Frannie…” He tightened his own grip on Steve’s cock and began to stroke him in earnest.
Steve felt the feather-light touch of Bucky’s - Frannie’s? - fingertips on his own cock become less teasing and more businesslike. Felt the hand on his shaft squeeze as it stroked, and felt himself throb and twitch as he tried to keep the fantasy going.
“I’d want to put my face right in her tits,” he breathed, stroking Bucky’s cock the way he’d been stroking his own just a minute ago. Feeling its hardness swell under his touch, feeling it throb the way his own was doing. “And kiss them and lick them and put my mouth on every inch I could reach.” He felt his hips begin to move as these thoughts swirled around his mind. A smile came to his face. “And I’d want to get my own hand right between her legs. Feel what she’d feel like down there, and get her ready for what I was going to do next.”
Bucky didn’t respond to that. Not aloud anyway, though he continued to stroke Steve’s cock. Long strokes, his hand tightening against the shaft and stopping when he reached the head. And when Steve let out a moan, he quickened his pace slightly.
“Slide it right into her,” he blurted out as he arched his hips upward against the wonderful things Bucky’s hand was doing to his cock. He sped up his own strokes as well, bringing the welling drops of precum from the tip all the way down to the wiry hair at the base of Bucky’s cock. “Just push it right in, all the way in, and she’d wrap her legs around my waist and try to pull me in deeper…”
He was rocking his hips now, almost fucking Bucky’s hand, and he felt Bucky’s cock pulsing in his hand, and he felt his own cock throbbing in Bucky’s hand, and suddenly luscious Frannie was shifting back and forth with Bucky in his mind…
“And I’d fuck her so hard… so hard… I’d just lose it… and…”
Bucky lost it.
“Fra- Ste-” he choked on the names, teeth gritted, eyes shut tightly. He breathed raggedly, loudly, through his nose. His whole body was slick with sweat, and it ran trails down his face and neck and stomach.
Frannie’s - Steve’s - Frannie’s hand (Steve’s? Good Lord, he didn’t know anymore) continued to slide up and down the length of his shaft, up and down steadily, until Bucky couldn’t help but jerk his hips up to meet every stroke.
The fingers of his free hand dug so hard into the mattress, he thought he might tear the flimsy sheet, but he was well past the point of caring.
Steve’s - Frannie’s thumb teased over the head of his cock, coaxing out another bead of precum, which he - fuck, he didn’t know - which she swirled over the head and then down his shaft, up and down, until Bucky was lubricated in his own precum, and still her hand kept working over him, pulling Bucky closer and closer to the edge.
“Fra… Fran…” Again he choked on the name.
Everything inside of him tightened and coiled, seconds away from snapping and sending him over the edge.
“I’d just slam into her… ” Steve’s hoarse whispers seemed almost strangled. “And let it loose… and-”
“Stevie!” The name slipped out of Bucky’s mouth in a gasp. His eyes flew open and his whole body tensed up incredibly before everything let loose and just poured out of him in thick, hot bursts that coated his stomach and the underside of the blanket.
And Steve’s hand, still wrapped firmly around Bucky’s cock.
At that, Frannie’s image simply disappeared from Steve’s mind. His eyes flew open and locked onto Bucky’s face as Bucky came and came, hot and thick and slippery, gouts of it all over himself and the blanket and Steve’s own fingers. And it was slippery enough that it let his hand slide along Bucky’s cock wonderfully, and the feeling of Bucky’s jism on his hand, between his fingers, was enough to send him over the edge himself.
“Bucky…!” His own back arched as he fucked Bucky’s hand, and then he was spewing it out. Pulse after pulse of it, what felt like everything in him coming out in hot, thick blasts. It got on his stomach, his chest, his balls, his thighs, the blanket, and Bucky’s hand must have been covered in it, and it felt so incredibly good!
His mind drifted for a bit, then started to come back down to earth. He realized that he and Bucky hadn’t moved their hands from one another. Moreover, he found he didn’t want to just yet.
“That was…” He looked over at Bucky, a satiated smile on his face, and saw a similar look on Bucky’s face. “Wow.”
“Yeah…” Bucky was still stroking Steve’s rapidly softening dick, almost absently.
Steve found himself wondering, as he rubbed the thick gooey jism on his fingers into the soft skin of Bucky’s shrinking cock, why Frannie was suddenly so far from his mind. And why it was Bucky’s face - and other parts - that he was imagining as he closed his eyes.
“Hey, Steve?” Bucky withdrew his hand slowly. Maybe reluctantly. “Stevie?”
“Yeah?” Steve let go of Bucky’s cock a moment later.
“We’re…” Bucky let out a breathless puff of laughter. “We’re a mess.”
“Yeah.” Steve laughed as well. “You come like a fire hose.”
Bucky raised an eyebrow at that. “And you come like a waterfall, pal.” He sat up, careful to keep the blanket in his lap, and edged over to the window, reaching a hand in and pulling out their carelessly discarded undershirts. “A filthy, dirty waterfall.” He tossed one of the undershirts to Steve.
“I’ve got yours all over my hand.” He wiped himself off - stomach, chest, legs, dick - saving the hand for last. He gave another whispery laugh. “I can’t tell how much of what I just wiped off myself was mine and how much was yours.”
Bucky shot a smile at him, then began cleaning himself as best he could with the undershirt. “Guess we’ll never know, buddy.”
Steve tossed the shirt back in through the window and lay back down on the mattress. The heat was still heavy in the air, the damp still oppressive, but it seemed to matter a whole lot less now. Looking across the way, he noticed that Frannie had fallen asleep. Her negligee was hiked up around the tops of her thighs and the very edge of her panties could be seen. But apart from the smallest of twitches down in his underpants, Steve found it didn’t matter to him nearly as much as he’d thought it would.
“Guess not,” he said as he closed his eyes, surreptitiously bringing his hand up to his nose to breathe in the clinging scent of what they’d done.
Bucky looked at his undershirt critically. “We’d better rinse these things out in the morning.” He crumpled it up and winged it through the window, then settled back onto the mattress until he was laying down.
“Yeah,” Steve replied. He breathed in deeply, the smell of Bucky still strong on his fingers, and let his mind drift. And the first question it drifted to seemed to pop out of his mouth all on its own. “What does this mean, Bucky?”
Bucky stared up at the fire escape above them. “Means I don’t want to walk around all day tomorrow in an undershirt covered in dried jism.”
Steve turned his head and glared at Bucky with his mouth twisted over to the side in an exaggerated scowl. “That’s not what I meant, and you know it.”
“Well, I don’t have a lot of undershirts.” Bucky smirked, but at Steve’s annoyed “oh, come on, Buck,” Bucky shifted around to look at him. After a moment, he said, “I don’t know. I mean…” He chewed on his lip. “We were helping each other out, right? Like you said?”
It was more than that, and Steve knew it. Bucky’s face had been in his mind when he’d spilled, and they’d both called out each other’s names at the end. They hadn’t only been helping each other out, had they? Wasn’t there more?
But if there was, what did that mean? Steve still liked girls, after all, didn’t he? He’d felt that twitch in his pants when he’d seen Frannie’s underwear a minute ago, hadn’t he? And Bucky had never been short of attention from girls. So…
“Yeah, we were.” Steve nodded. That was probably the best way to think about it. And besides, he thought with a smile as he took another breath in through his nose, the scent lingering in his nostrils, who was to say they couldn’t help each other out again sometime?
And that was probably enough thinking for the moment. Steve found that he didn’t want to delve too deeply into the ramifications of what they’d done, especially that evening. That evening he just wanted to let himself enjoy it. There would be plenty of time to dwell on it later.
“So did it help?”
“Mm hm.” Bucky’s voice had taken on that relaxed quality that told Steve he was only moments away from drifting off. He had shifted again so that his head was resting against Steve’s. “Very helpful.”
Steve, too, felt sleep creeping over him. And so, shifting his head so it rested more firmly against Bucky’s, he closed his eyes and let himself go.
And then they were still.