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Sibylla ex Ampulla

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Bucky Barnes walked into the apartment he shared with Steve on his own two feet (bought and paid for--he kept the receipts for his prosthetics in their own folder in the fireproof filing cabinet). As a professional survivor of HYDRA tortures that made jurors and prosecutors alike want to vomit, he was a free man these days; as someone who'd been close to Steve Rogers for all too much of his life, he now mostly spent those days helping people, while showing off how little help he needed himself.

He called out as he opened the door, almost not noticing the effort dissolved in habit. "Steve, I'm home!"

There was no response except that he swung the door open wide enough to see the note stuck on the wall, exactly in the first spot he would see it when he opened the door. He thought again that they really ought to put up a corkboard there as he read Steve's block capitals: JUST RUNNING ERRANDS, NOT SAVING THE WORLD. EAT IF YOU'RE HUNGRY.

Bucky stepped fully inside and closed and locked the door behind him while he considered whether he was hungry, and if so, whether he was hungry enough to bother eating before Steve got back.

It had been a long fucking day. There was no world-saving for him anymore, and no errands most of the time either. When it was his turn to handle the groceries he got them delivered like a person with a rational understanding of how to allocate his personal resources.

Still, he knew he was doing good work with his fellow survivors of various kinds of damage. Today it had been kids who had had amputations, which was nice in a way. People under the age of eight were about the only ones in the world who didn't know how much he was leaving out when he said he lost his limbs because of an accident, because he fell.

He wasn't lying when he said it, not really. The fall was the root cause, even if three of his limbs had stayed attached for seventy-some years afterward. There was a secret weakness, a cancer silently spreading in him, all that time. It had only come to light when HYDRA got hold of him again and punished him for breaking away, for rooting them out of his brain and going to work with Steve.

Bucky carefully did not give in to the temptation to shut his eyes and let the memory he'd been holding back all day wash over him. He focused on Steve's note. He picked up the pen and pad of Post-Its Steve had left for him, and he wrote in the carefully trained handwriting that bore no resemblance to what he'd learned in school nearly a hundred years ago: NAH. GOING TO BED.

He hung his coat up, carefully not watching the motion of his hands as he did. He walked through the living room and down the hall, carefully not looking at his feet or thinking about the motions required. He still locked up sometimes when he thought too much about what he was doing, especially when he was tired, and he was so fucking tired tonight.

He didn't have to walk much farther, though. Just to the bathroom. He stayed on his feet as he stripped, emptying his pockets onto the counter and ignoring the chair awaiting him. When he was naked--when he was wearing only his prosthetics--he let himself sit down on the toilet, not the chair. He propped his elbows on his knees, letting himself slump against the pillars of his arms instead of carrying them; it took a minute before he gathered the energy and attention to do what he'd sat down to do.

When he was done using a state-of-the-art prototype prosthetic to wipe his ass, Bucky grabbed the sanitizer from the counter to clean his hands rather than bothering to stand up and go to the sink. He sat for another moment looking at his chair. Two steps away. Just get up onto his legs, heave his arms along with him, two steps, and then he could sit.

Or just stay here on the toilet until Steve came home and gathered him up...

Bucky shook his head and tapped the heels of his hands together twice. The chair responded with a chirp and oriented on him. He tapped them again, and the chair rolled over slowly, coming to a stop when he tipped up one foot to meet the closest wheel. He grabbed a towel from the rack just above the toilet and dropped it on the seat, then reached for the armrests without letting himself wait. He hauled himself through the customary half-stand and twist to get his ass down on the seat of the chair and let himself slump back into the cradle of it, lifting each foot to get it situated on its rest.

His left fingers were resting more or less on the controls, so he used them instead of resorting to the head controls, maneuvering the chair out of the bathroom and into his and Steve's room, where no rugs softened the hardwood floor and no clutter was permitted except on Steve's bedside table and the drafting table by the window. A familiar sequence of finger-flicks brought the chair to his side of the bed, which had no bedside table, but instead something that could, at a glance, have been mistaken for a rack for laundry or shoes.

He closed his eyes for a second and exhaled a long breath after the wheelchair clicked into place, locking automatically to the side of the bed, his toes tucked under the bottom of the rack. Almost there. Almost done.

He reached down without lifting his head from the back of the chair and fitted his fingers into the release mechanisms for his right leg. He depressed and twisted the contacts in the correct order, and let out another huff of breath as the leg came free of his stump. He opened his eyes and straightened it up to stand without his body attached, tipping it into place on the rack. The indicators turned green as the diagnostics started running.

He did the left leg quicker, gaining some momentum from his eagerness to be done. It slotted into its own spot on the rack, and both his legs were now standing without him beside the bed.

He was only himself from the armpits down--what there was of him. His left stump was barely enough to attach a prosthetic to without resorting to a socket, while on the right he'd kept nearly half his femur. They'd made use of that stretch of flesh, cutting tally marks into his leg, refreshing them when they tried to heal, until every inch of skin on what was left of his leg bore witness to a rape--his ass, his mouth, any part of him they could use.

In between them, his dick and balls rested, soft and surprisingly undamaged, compared to the rest. They'd been saving that for later, enjoying threatening him with all the things they might do; his rescue had arrived before later did. He hadn't been in any state to be glad for it at the time, but he was fucking glad now.

He didn't touch himself there, though. Not yet. He wanted a warmer touch than either of his own hands could provide.

He brushed his fingers over the skin of his right thigh instead. His prosthetic's feedback was sensitive enough to find the network of scars under the nearly smooth skin. It was only when he was tracing over them with his fingers that he noticed the dark purple bruising on the ends of both stumps, worse on the right than the left because he still tended to think of the right as his "good" leg and leaned on it more.

It was always like that when he spent the day with kids: adults understood that maybe there was a limit to how much he should be slamming his stumps into the tops of his prosthetics, no matter how expensively gel-cushioned and perfectly shaped they were. But kids wanted, needed, to see that he could run, and dance, and jump up and down, and do all of that with one or two or five of them hanging off him. He was never going to refuse to show them he could.

So he paid for it a little, at the end of the day. It would heal soon enough; depending on how many errands Steve was running, it might be just about gone by the time he got home.

Bucky didn't even think before he had a hand on the end of each stump, pressing hard into the bruises, letting himself feel it as pain now after a long day ignoring it, or thinking of that ache as tiredness. Now he pressed through the sculpted pad of flesh to feel the ends of his bones, poked fingers and thumbs into the soft, swollen places where his blood had pooled all day.

This is mine. This is me.

That only brought his focus to his hands. He felt the weight of his arms then, and glanced in the direction of the turned-down mirror that rested in a pocket of the organizer hanging on the end of his limb rack. He raised his fingers to prod at his face, squeezing his eyes shut and opening them wide, pursing his lips and opening them wide.

No. If he was going to do his exercises at all, he had to do them properly. He sighed and grabbed the mirror, angling it so he could actually see his face as he ran through the prescribed movements, exercising the scarred nerves and muscles under the (mostly) smoothly-repaired skin. He even did his vocal exercises, practicing all the diphthongs and consonant clusters that tended to get away from him when he was tired.

Bucky blew out a last breath when he'd done the complete set, arriving at the best part of the whole thing: the part where he let every aching, exhausted muscle relax.

His face melted from the hard-won mask of Normal, Healthy Bucky Barnes into its natural state, his cheeks and jaw and eyelids all sagging, his tongue going heavy and slack in his mouth, his lips hanging crookedly parted. He could pull it together if he had to, mostly, these days--that was what the exercises were for, and the months of physical and speech therapy. Still, it was fucking nice to put the mirror away and let his face be what it was: still damaged, maybe permanently, just like the rest of his body.

He grabbed the wipes when he put the mirror back in the pocket, cleaning off the layer of concealer that hid his scars from the kids and cameras. The wipe rasped over five o'clock shadow--which was fair since it was going on eight--but Bucky wasn't going to worry about that tonight. Bucky was clocking the fuck out.

He tossed the used wipe into the little trash bag at the bottom of the pocketed organizer and put the wipes away, and then he reached out with both hands to fit his wrists into a pair of support cuffs on the limb rack. The cuffs chirped as they connected with the circuitry of his prosthetics. When he pulled, flexible support arms extended from the rack, giving him leverage to swing himself from the chair to the bed.

He steadied himself sitting in the contoured cradle of his side of the bed. He touched his hands together and made the complicated little gesture that, together with the connection to the cuffs, told both his remaining prosthetics to detach.

They released their hold on him but didn't retract, letting him steady himself between them. He was unbalanced without them--his left arm connected to a socket where his left shoulder should be, a little hardware unavoidably remaining with him even when the arm was gone. On his right side he had a few inches of stump. It was also bruised, he realized, steadying himself against the prosthetic that was now a kind of bed rail. He'd done some handstands and pushups for the kids.

He should probably just paint a star on his chest and an A on his forehead--embrace how much he'd turned into Steve lately. He was tempted to lean into his left arm, reattach it so that he could poke at those bruises, but they were enough for now. It was enough.

He was really naked, now. He was only himself, as much as he could be.

He hummed the five-tone wordless command that told the supports to retract, taking his arms away to the rack beside the bed. He watched them into place, watched the green lights flick on as the nightly diagnostics started humming, and then he swung his weight around and let himself fall face-down onto the bed. He landed the right way on the first try, and he made a smug little noise in his throat. That was one handy thing about being fucking exhausted; when his dick was good and limp it was more likely to fall down between his stumps instead of getting trapped under his belly at an annoying angle.

His side of the bed shaped itself to him, raised up a little at the top end, so he only had to turn his head to breathe easily. The surface under him warmed automatically when it detected his weight, so he didn't have to have blankets tangling around him or getting in the way if he needed to call his prosthetics to him in a hurry. He didn't have to move anymore, didn't have to carry anything anywhere. His long fucking day was over, and the night could begin any time now.

He drifted, half awake, until he heard the front door open, and Steve called out, "Bucky, I'm home!"

Bucky drew in a breath and returned a wordless yell to let Steve know that he'd heard. He smiled a little to himself: he was about to get his reward for a hard day's work.

He listened to all the little sounds of Steve moving around in the kitchen, unpacking bags and putting things away. Bucky could have called to him, hurried him up, but there was no need for that tonight, and Steve knew he was all right waiting. The anticipation was drawing him back into himself. It felt good to want more than to fall into bed and not move anymore.

Bucky shivered a little when he heard Steve's footsteps approaching down the hall. He turned his head the other way, so he could see when Steve came through the door. Bucky liked waiting for him like this, but there was that moment sometimes when he couldn't avoid knowing that Steve wasn't the only person who had ever seen him this helpless, and far from the first. If it wasn't really Steve coming for him...

The vague roil of memories was promptly dispelled by reality: Steve walked through the doorway with a smile and a couple of pizza boxes. A bag dangled from his fingers, clinking promisingly, and Bucky grinned.

"Gon' get me drunk?"

"What, you aren't already?" Steve never pretended Bucky didn't sound mush-mouthed when he did, but he never failed to understand what Bucky was saying, either. "Guess I can spare you a sip or two, won't take much."

"Just because you're taller now, asshole," Bucky muttered, grinning as he rubbed some drool off on the sheet under his cheek.

Steve sat down on his side of the bed, setting the pizza boxes in the space Bucky's legs didn't need before he sprawled out on his belly to nuzzle at Bucky's cheek. "Hey, pal, I got decades to make up for here. How many of my beers did you finish 'cause you were bigger and needed 'em more?"

"I don't remember," Bucky said, enunciating clearly enough to sound like a sad robot version of himself before he caught Steve's mouth in a sloppy kiss.

"Ha ha," Steve muttered as he pulled away, wiping spit off of Bucky's chin and then his own. He twisted away to grab a couple of towels, spreading one of them out next to Bucky for a tablecloth.

He tilted the other toward Bucky and raised his eyebrows, and Bucky huffed and picked his head up, assenting. "Somethin' on my face?"

"Let's see," Steve said, using the towel to wipe away the rest of the spit and drool, and then scrubbing along his left temple and the sides of his nose to get the last traces of makeup. "Nope, sorry, Buck, that's just your face, same as ever."

Steve kissed him again, quicker this time, and Bucky smiled into it.

Steve never pretended he couldn't see Bucky's scars, either. But Bucky's face was still the same face it had always been to Steve no matter how messed up it got, so what did it matter?

Steve scooted around on the bed, picking up the pizza boxes and the bag of beer, working out the geometry of this evening's bed picnic. "You good there?"

Bucky considered his options; as usual when Steve was around, he wasn't feeling quite so wiped out. "Nah, sit up."

Steve glanced toward the bed controls, which would respond to Bucky's voice. Bucky made an impatient noise, his next words coming out more mush than the last. "Y'do it, c'mon."

"Aye aye," Steve said, pressing a semi-apologetic kiss just above the empty socket for Bucky's left arm. Bucky breathed in Steve's familiar scent, and the specific aroma of a deluxe pizza from the place down the block Steve insisted on getting pizza from even though it wasn't actually that great because it was their neighborhood pizza joint. Bucky focused on the present, on Steve, very intently as those familiar, welcome hands rolled him over and pulled him upright.

"C'mon," Bucky repeated, waving both of his right-side stumps in concert. Steve scooted over the last couple of inches to tuck Bucky flush against his side. Steve's left arm wrapped around Bucky's waist so Bucky could lean lazily against him without falling over. They were actually about the same height like this, just like always, for as long as Bucky bothered holding his head up straight.

"Damn, Buck," Steve said, reaching down with his right hand to skate light fingers over the bruises on Bucky's leg stumps. "They have you on a pogo stick today?"

"Amputee kids," Bucky said, shrugging, and made the effort to say it right. "Gotta let 'em know they'll be able to do anything they want once they get the right prosthetics."

Steve huffed, but didn't argue; they both knew he'd taken a lot more than bruises to help people. Bucky used the way his body was to do the work only a body like his could do. It was the same thing Steve did, even if what they were each qualified for now was wildly different.

"If those aren't gone by the time we're done eating I'll put some salve on them," Steve said, with a last little stroke over Bucky's right leg stump.

Bucky kept his arm stump tucked down against his side, and Steve
reached for the pizza instead of noticing that he'd managed to pick up bruises there too.

Steve opened the box, giving Bucky a look at the pizza he'd brought home.

Bucky made an appreciative noise, not quite a moan, and swallowed drool instead of letting it escape his mouth. When Steve glanced at him, silently inquiring if he had any preferences, Bucky shook his head slightly and said, "How was your day, dear?"

There were about five syllables to it, anyway, and Steve would recognize the tones and cadence.

Steve's mouth quirked up into a smile. "Well, let me tell you, sweetheart..."

Bucky let his eyes half close as Steve launched into the story of his day at the same time he held a neatly folded slice of pizza up for Bucky to take the first bite. Bucky chewed slowly, laboriously, careful not to chomp his own tongue. Steve chatted about the training he'd been doing with the other Avengers, with sidebars for his favorite dumb things Scott said.

Steve barely paused talking to take his own bites of pizza--it wasn't like Bucky was going to criticize him for talking with his mouth full when he could barely chew without dribbling pizza all over himself. And it meant he didn't have to do more than make the occasional encouraging noise, and take a bite of pizza or a sip of beer when Steve offered them. Steve wiped Bucky's chin every so often, or dabbed sauce off Bucky's chest with his fingers, licking them clean as he continued talking without pause.

Eventually Bucky was feeling pleasantly stuffed and swimmy from the pizza and beer--he was kind of the ultimate lightweight now, it was great. He shook his head and then let it fall down against Steve's shoulder when Steve offered him another bite. Steve stuffed the rest of that slice into his mouth. He wiped his hand on the towel set down to catch crumbs, and picked up his phone to log exactly how many bites of pizza and sips of beer Bucky had had.

Bucky opened one eye to see the green checkmark appear when Steve totaled it up, meaning he'd hit his intake goals today. Steve wouldn't have to take those protein shakes out of the bag the beer had been in and coax him to drink one.

Bucky made a satisfied noise and then an inquiring one. Steve had been in the middle of describing the meeting he'd had this afternoon, a proposal for a new set of PSAs somebody wanted the Avengers to film.

"Oh, yeah, so then we get the sample scripts and apparently they've watched a lot of my stuff from back in the war, because it's all that same jingle rhythm, like you can almost hear Help Cap fight the clap--"

Bucky let out a gurgling snigger. Steve grinned and wiped his mouth for him without missing a beat.

Steve finished off the pizza and the beers and gathered up the boxes and bottles when he was done. "Gonna go put this away, you need anything else?"

Bucky shook his head.

Steve's arm around him shifted slightly. "Lie down till I get back?"

Bucky nodded, jerking his chin up to show which way, and Steve helped him ease down onto his back. Steve rubbed a hand over Bucky's belly, a little rounded with his full meal. Bucky hummed contentedly, pushing up into the touch, the little bit that he could.

"Back in a minute." Steve dropped a kiss on his lips before he hopped off the bed. Bucky watched through his eyelashes--Steve's arms and legs, his effortless motion.

The thought had been kicking around his head for a while that he'd never prayed, back when Steve was so small and sick, for God to give Steve his own health and give Bucky Steve's sickness and weakness. It would have been nice if he had, he thought. Then this might have been the answer to some prayer; he might be able to pretend this was some kind of fair trade, that he got broken and Steve got made whole.

But the truth was Steve got made whole because Steve had met someone who could give him that chance; Bucky got broken because he had met all the finest sadistic rapist torturers of the last hundred years. There wasn't any more reason to it than there was a reason Bucky had ever met Steve at all.

"Aw, shit," Steve said, coming back into the room with a jar of salve in his hand. "I forgot you get fucking maudlin when you drink beer. Don't cry, baby, I'm here."

Bucky sniffed messily and rolled his eyes. He wasn't crying--not hardly, maybe a tear or two. "Cry 'f I want to."

"Yeah, yeah, you've earned it if that's what you--what the fuck did you do to your arm?"

"Wh'd'y'think?"

Steve shook his head and knelt on the bed, straddling Bucky's hips, as he opened the sharp-smelling salve and dipped some out on his fingertips. Bucky did this for Steve sometimes; when Steve came back from a mission banged up, then it was Bucky's turn to look after him a little. Those nights he would keep his arms and legs on, and rub something on Steve's bruises and fuss over him.

But tonight Steve had only been out running errands, so it was Bucky's turn. Steve rubbed salve gently into the bruises on his arm stump, and then on each of his legs, tracing his fingers carefully over all the places where his prosthetics tended to rub to check for rawness. He didn't say anything except "Feel that?" from time to time, prodding here and there to check that Bucky wasn't losing sensation anywhere.

Bucky made the agreeable noises Steve needed from him, but otherwise he basked quietly in the touch, letting himself let go of the last vestiges of control. His eyes closed, his mouth hung half open, and his stumps all sagged down to rest on the mattress. Steve was here now, so Bucky didn't have to do anything at all.

Pretty soon Steve's touch changed from the evening's necessary examination to a slow massage. Steve rubbed the sore places where abbreviated muscles were overworked, up from what was left of Bucky's quads to his hips, over his chest and shoulders to his neck. Bucky moaned contentedly as Steve's fingers worked through his hair and over his scalp, and he managed a sloppy openmouthed smile when Steve curled down to kiss his wet mouth.

"How you doing, pal?" Steve murmured. "Had enough? You getting sleepy?"

Bucky shook his head, raising his right leg to bump twice against Steve's thigh. More.

"Mm, let's see, what'd I miss," Steve murmured, straightening up to kneel over Bucky. He ran his hands down Bucky's chest, and Bucky opened his eyes enough to watch Steve's hand curling around his cock, the other hand cupping his balls.

He wasn't hard. He didn't get there sometimes, at the end of the day like this, but he was feeling optimistic about tonight, with the tingling buzz of the beer still lingering under his skin and Steve's hands on him. It didn't really matter whether he did or not, though. He didn't need his dick hard any more than he needed hands to touch Steve or legs to wrap around his hips and keep him here.

Steve's hands worked over him, gentle and slow without being tentative. Bucky's mouth curled effortlessly into an open grin, moaning with every movement of Steve's hands as the pleasure of being touched slowly gained momentum. He chubbed up a little in Steve's grip, but he still wasn't getting hard, and he was only going to stay awake so long if Steve kept going this slow.

Bucky raised his right leg again to knock against Steve's. Three times.

"Oh yeah?" Steve's hands stilled, moving up to grip Bucky's hips. Bucky shivered all over, nodding.

"Okay," Steve said, and with no more warning than that he took hold of Bucky and turned him, flipping him belly-down, ass up. Bucky groaned and wriggled with his face in the sheets, and then Steve did just what Bucky had been waiting for and followed him down, resting his chest on Bucky's back, his hips and his dick on Bucky's ass. He kissed the side of Bucky's throat, pinning him completely, easily. Bucky could only moan and squirm, and after a minute he didn't even bother to do that, just lay still under Steve's weight.

He turned his face toward Steve's and Steve kissed his mouth again, sloppier than ever. Bucky was getting past the point of bothering to control it at all. Steve's tongue pushed into his slack, wet mouth, and Bucky moaned around it.

"Okay," Steve repeated, lifting himself up a little and pressing a kiss to the top of Bucky's spine while his hands worked their way down his back, his knee pushing Bucky's right stump out so he was open wide. "Here we go, Buck."

Bucky turned his face down, his forehead against the mattress as Steve's hands worked down toward his ass. Steve was kissing down along his spine, his thumbs digging in to the muscles that ran down either side until he was massaging the tops of Bucky's hips, just above his ass.

"It's all right," Steve murmured. "Let it go, Buck. Don't have to hold yourself up now. I've got you. It's just me here, nobody else."

Bucky exhaled, trying to let go of the tension that always gripped him when Steve got started. He nodded into the mattress as Steve's breath puffed hot over his tailbone. Steve's tongue dipped into the top of his crack as Steve's hands--Steve's, no one else's--settled on his ass and spread him open.

"Hmm," Steve said. "No shower after you got home, Buck?"

He could have. He'd been tired, but if he'd thought ahead, he would have known this was coming.

But then again, if he'd thought ahead, he would have known this was coming.

He shook his head, and Steve hummed an unsurprised little noise, squeezing the cheeks of his ass. "Good. That's my job, isn't it?"

Bucky moaned a little but didn't try to give a coherent answer, his face heating up even though he knew Steve wanted to do this for him as much as Bucky wanted it done. Steve moved above him, leaning across him to pick up the supplies, and then he was down behind Bucky again--between his legs, if his legs were there. Steve used one hand to spread him open while the other reached between with something cool and wet, cleaning his hole.

He was clenched up tight, the way he couldn't help being at the start. Steve took his time, swiping slowly up and down Bucky's entire crack before focusing on his hole. "That's fine, Buck. Doesn't matter how tense you are, we're gonna get you good and clean. You know I've seen worse, huh? This is nothing, just a little spit and polish before inspection."

Bucky wriggled a little, memories skittering down his spine in a mixed-up rush. He'd fixed Steve's pins and ribbons for him every time he was going to go in front of Phillips in proper uniform; Steve had taken Bucky into his arms, a whimpering filthy wreck, and carried him out of the place where they'd done this to him.

Steve's lips pressed to the small of his back, warm and steady, while Steve worked the cleaning cloth against his hole with a fingertip, patiently making a gentle twisting motion with almost no pressure behind it.

"Gonna take such good care of you, Buck. It's my turn, isn't it? You don't need your shoes shined so much these days, gotta let me take care of something for you, right? Might as well be this."

Bucky groaned when he felt himself relax enough to let the cloth push in. Steve made an approving noise, kissing the cheek of Bucky's ass as he twisted that fingertip just a little farther, getting Bucky clean as far as his tongue would reach.

"There," Steve murmured, tugging the dirty cloth away and making another pass with a clean one. "There we go. Now I've got you all clean so I can get you off just the way you like, huh?"

There was a faint sound of Steve tucking the used cloths into a plastic bag, tossing it out of the way, and then Steve was bending low over his ass again, nuzzling down the faintly damp crack to his hole.

Bucky couldn't help whimpering a little. Every time, he told himself he wouldn't; he knew it was Steve. But they never seemed to get to this until he was past controlling his voice, and that sound always popped out.

"It's all right, baby," Steve murmured, and pressed his tongue softly against Bucky's tightly closed hole, not pushing at all, just licking over it. "No rush. Never gonna hurt you."

Bucky shook his head. Steve's mouth slid lower, licking and nuzzling over his taint to his balls.

"I've got you," Steve repeated, setting one hand over Bucky's dick and rubbing softly over it, coaxing him along with those gentle stirrings of pleasure. "I've got you, and we're gonna take this as slow as you need, because all I want is to make you feel good. Because you already make me feel amazing, Buck, you know that? Every time you let me take care of you, every time you let me see you like this, really naked."

Steve's hands shifted to brush over the ends of his stumps, the places that wouldn't exist to be touched if he still had his legs. Steve nuzzled at the insides of his abbreviated thighs, gently urging them open wide.

"Can't even fucking tell you," Steve murmured, his breath puffing hot and wet against Bucky's hole. "The way you trust me, Buck, the way you never fuckin' gave up, didn't let anybody take this from you with what they did. Blows me away, you know that, pal?"

Bucky moaned again, rocking his hips a little, begging for it.

"Yeah, I'd rather eat you out than tell you how amazing you are too," Steve murmured, dropping little kitten licks on the tense flesh.

Bucky was turned on enough to feel little zips of pleasure from those touches. He made enough breathy sounds to keep Steve at it, licking slower and wetter, getting his hole dripping with spit. He hardly noticed when Steve started pushing, but he felt himself softening under Steve's mouth.

He let out a loud noise, almost a sob, when Steve sealed his mouth over Bucky's hole and sucked, like he was kissing Bucky's lips. The pleasure fizzed through him, rushing up his spine at the same time it gathered hot in his balls and dick. He felt Steve's fingertip again--bare this time, not pushing a cloth--and felt himself yield to it, letting his hole be tugged open a little. Steve got just the tip of his tongue inside, circling Bucky's rim, and then he twisted the tip of his finger.

Bucky pushed his legs out as wide as they would go, rocking his hips to rub his dick against the bed. Steve just kept going, lingering over every suck and lick and nibble. He coaxed Bucky along a millimeter at a time toward what they both wanted, which was exactly what his torturers had done to him, and exactly the opposite of what they'd done to him.

It felt like it had been hours, but he was still only half hard when Steve eased the first joint of his finger inside Bucky's hole. He was sloppy-wet with spit, and so thoroughly worked up that he felt pleasure sparking off from every place Steve touched him, but he still caught his breath at that first tiny slide in. Steve camouflaged a moment's hesitation by dropping his head to mouth at Bucky's balls as he dipped that finger in and out, a bare inch of the smallest penetration.

Bucky sucked in a breath and let it out, and kept on breathing. He thumped his right stump against the mattress to let Steve know: yes, more.

This wasn't going to be one of those nights when any penetration made Bucky panic, or vomit, or pass out. It had taken him by surprise more than once at this stage, so they'd both learned to stop and check. It could still go wrong after this--this might suddenly turn out to be awful was pretty much Bucky's motto these days--but they were past a significant hurdle now.

Steve's finger worked in deeper and stroked him from the inside. Bucky squirmed in response, wanting more even though he was just barely ready for this much. Steve just made a prim little tsk sound right against his ass and then kept licking him open, making Bucky chuckle wetly into the sheets.

"Yeah, yuk it up," Steve said, sawing that finger in and out, testing whether he'd loosened further and also making his brain start to fizz with the pleasure of it. "My tongue's busy, Buck, your turn to do the talking."

Bucky groaned.

"No, come on," Steve turned his head, dragging his teeth gently over Bucky's ass cheek. "Tell me a joke, I already cracked you up."

Bucky snorted, groping for one he could remember, and then snorted harder and started in. He was barely enunciating at all now, but Steve was the one who'd told him this joke to begin with, so he was bound to recognize the beats.

Steve's breath huffed against him out of rhythm after the first few lines of setup, and Bucky knew Steve was following along now. He kept going, concentrating on matching the way Steve had told it to him, distracting himself a little from the pleasure, and from Steve's second finger teasing at his rim, getting ready to push inside him.

When Bucky got to Tell me, Captain, when's the last time you had sex? Steve pushed that finger in, barely holding back a laugh as he did it, and Bucky enunciated the next line carefully. "The Captain looked at her and said seriously, '1944.'"

Steve cracked, letting out a giggle as he worked his fingers in Bucky's ass. Bucky laughed too, struggling to get through the rest of the joke, his words going from slurred to gabbled again as Steve kept fingering him. "And the society dame says--see--you gotta lighten up, live a little! No sex since 1944, that's--that's--"

Bucky gave up and laughed again. That set Steve off, his big body shaking the bed as he laughed, his fingers curling down to glance off Bucky's prostate. Bucky's breath hitched into a whine on that, but he soldiered on, pushing out the blurred syllables so Steve could follow along. "Such a shame! And the Captain looks at his watch and says--"

"Really?" Steve joined in with him, testing a third finger now and matching Bucky syllable for syllable. "It's only 2100 now."

Bucky laughed helplessly along with Steve. It was a stupid joke, and an ancient one, made newly apt just for Steve. The first time Steve tried to tell it to Bucky he'd broken down laughing four times before he could get the punchline out, and now it was also this: the thing that kept Bucky distracted enough to get Steve's third finger into his ass, stroking him open without pain or the anticipation of it.

Then Steve angled just right, and Bucky's breathing hitched with something that definitely wasn't laughter. He shoved his hips up as best he could. Steve hummed an agreeable noise but twisted his fingers even slower inside Bucky's hole, still dipping in to lick here and there.

"Fu'ing sli' up," Bucky demanded, wriggling and thumping his stump. More, more.

"You just taste so good, Buck," Steve murmured, licking around his rim while his other hand teased Bucky's cock, which was hard enough to ache, pressed down between his legs.

"Do it," Bucky insisted. God knew, HYDRA knew every way there was to be cruel and had invented a few methods just for him. What they'd never been was exasperating, any more than they'd demanded he tell them stupid jokes. He couldn't possibly get confused now.

Steve huffed a put-upon sigh against his ass and moved, letting Bucky hear the squelchy sounds of lube being applied. Bucky squirmed, still impaled on Steve's fingers, and Steve laughed a little under his breath. "Patience, Buck, just let me--"

Steve's fingers left him, only to close on his left hip, tugging his pelvis up. His cock bounced up against his belly with an obscene and ridiculous slap, and Bucky grinned. He got his right stump down to help on the other side, and he was rewarded with the hot press of Steve's cock against his hole. He put his forehead and his right arm stump down, digging in a little to brace himself as Steve pushed into him, all wet and easy and good.

Bucky made a little urgent noise when he was halfway in. Steve stopped, then bent down over him to nuzzle at the back of his neck. Bucky panted, waiting for his body to adjust. It wasn't bad yet, just a flash of dizziness that he'd barely felt before he was warning Steve to wait.

Steve's right hand came up under him, sliding up his breastbone to cradle the spot where his heart was pounding. Bucky took a deep breath, then another, and rocked himself on Steve's cock with the leverage he got from his right leg, feeling the pleasure of the fullness and friction. Feeling the way Steve held so carefully still behind him, waiting for what he wanted.

Okay. He could do this. Bucky nodded.

Steve moved, sinking further into him. He stayed down now, his chest against Bucky's back, kissing and nibbling at the back of Bucky's neck as his cock slid deeper in slow, careful increments.

When Bucky felt Steve's hips press in against his ass, Steve's balls coming to rest against his, he made a guttural triumphant noise, echoed by a grunt of satisfaction from Steve. Bucky was nodding before Steve could even hesitate, pressing his arm stump and his head harder into the mattress to brace himself and pushing his right leg stump backward against Steve's leg.

Steve's hand slid down from Bucky's chest so his arm could keep Bucky's hips lifted as Steve started to fuck him. Bucky let his legs go limp, so Steve controlled the angle and the pace, moving slowly at first but speeding up steadily. And all the time he was still kissing the back of Bucky's neck, mumbling out incoherent insistences of love and sounding almost as mush-mouthed as Bucky.

Bucky closed his eyes, letting the sensations blanket him the way Steve's body completely covered his now. He let himself disappear into the feeling of Steve's cock moving in him, fucking him just as hard as Steve knew he wanted it, racking him only with pleasure, no pain at all. His cock was bouncing against his belly, his balls drawing tight as Steve's slapped against them on every thrust, and Bucky imagined that if he had hands they'd be clutching the mattress, the pillow, anything but his own cock. He wouldn't do a thing to make himself come, so this could last and last, this pure, blind moment where he still had everything that mattered: this feeling, this man.

The phantom sensation came to him, crystal clear. He felt the weave of soft washed cotton under his palms, ten fingers gripping it tight, perfect and whole with Steve's cock inside him. Steve's voice was in his ear, Love you, love you, so good, Buck, always, always.

Bucky sobbed a little inside that perfect instant, and Steve knew, somehow, that he needed not to fall out of it. A strong hand closed on his cock, and Bucky sobbed louder, nodding frantically. Steve stroked him with a tight, hard grip, the illusion falling away into this perfect fucked up reality where Steve's hand was the only one left to touch him and Steve still wanted him, still came home to give him this. All that mattered was that Bucky was still here to be dissolved in this haze of pleasure.

He let out a series of sharp little cries as all control deserted him, and there was nothing but Steve all around him, inside him, over him, Steve's chest against his back at every breath, Steve's voice in his ear echoing every sound he made. Bucky gasped out, effortlessly and perfectly, "Fuck, Steve, yes, yes," as he came. His cock jerked in Steve's grip and his ass clenched tight on Steve's cock, and Steve rocked him through it like the ocean, steady and relentless and letting him float free.

Bucky went limp in Steve's grip, panting, and slowly recognized that Steve had both arms around him now. He was holding Bucky up off the mattress by a couple of inches. His hair was sweaty, falling down all around him and hiding his face--not that anyone was looking, because Steve was still nuzzling at the back of his neck.

Steve was also still hard inside him, still holding carefully still. Bucky squeezed deliberately on Steve's cock, got his heavy tongue together enough to say, "Go on, pal. Your turn."

Steve nuzzled at the top of his shoulder and muttered, "Can I--Buck, I want--"

Bucky nodded, wagging his right stumps in unison: go on, it's okay.

Steve pulled out without letting go of Bucky or letting him rest against the mattress, pulling him upright as Steve sat back on his heels. He turned Bucky to face him, lifting him up enough so that Bucky was smirking down at him for a second, ducking his head for the kiss Steve wanted as Steve lowered Bucky onto his dick. Bucky moaned as Steve slid into him again, still easy and painless but feeling more now, a shivery rush of sensation. Steve's cock felt bigger and pushed deeper with all Bucky's weight, slight as it was, bearing him down onto it.

Bucky gripped at Steve's shoulder with his right arm stump, at his hips with what he had of his legs. Steve wrapped both arms around Bucky and kissed him, sappy-sweet and slow, rocking his cock up into Bucky's ass while Bucky's softened between their bellies. He felt the tension rising in Steve's body, his hips rocking faster, his cock making fast slick sounds. Steve held it off, still only moving that sweet little fraction in and out of Bucky's ass.

It was Bucky's turn to do the talking again. He pulled his mouth from Steve's to press sloppy kisses all over his face in between mumbled words. "C'mon, Stevie, c'mon, lemme feel you, I got you. You're not gonna break me, pal, not you, you're good, we're good here--"

Steve's hands slid down to his hips, and Bucky nodded against his cheek. "That's it, go on. Do it, I want you to. I want you to come for me, in me, show me how good I am for you, huh?"

Steve groaned and caught his mouth in another kiss, gripping Bucky's ass cheeks and starting to move him up and down. Bucky bit Steve's lip in a kiss, rocking his own body in Steve's grip to urge him faster, until that perfect moment when Steve finally gave in to Bucky's coaxing and used him. Bucky tipped his head back to watch Steve's face as Steve fucked up into him, raising and lowering Bucky on his dick. Steve was broken open, surrendered to him, beautiful and lost, and Bucky owned him more now than he ever did when he could pin Steve to the bed and ride him with the strength of his own legs.

"That's it, Stevie, that's it," Bucky gasped, echoes of pleasure zinging through him, aftershocks or just sympathy, it made no difference. "Come on now, come for me, do it."

Steve groaned and pressed his face into Bucky's right shoulder, crushing him close again and slamming up into him hard. Bucky pressed his face into Steve's sweaty hair, still whispering to him as Steve's motions ran on into the familiar hard tremors and Steve came inside him.

Bucky rested in his grip, feeling his own rush fade into overheated drowsiness with Steve's cock still inside him, Steve wrapped sweatily all around him.

Steve turned his head, his face against Bucky's throat as he asked lazily, "Good?"

Bucky wiggled enough to make come and lube drip out around Steve's slowly softening cock, wiped his chin against Steve's skin. "Yeah."

"But messy," Steve agreed, with a half-yawned laugh. "Gotcha, pal."

Steve leaned forward to lay him down before easing out of him with another soft kiss. Bucky let his eyes close even before Steve started cleaning him up, wiping Bucky's mouth first, then cleaning his ass all over again, then his dick.

"S'good, Stevie," Bucky mumbled, his mouth already mostly asleep and his words just noises again. "C'mon, sleep."

"Mm-hm," Steve agreed, and went right on being thorough and careful like always. Still, it wasn't long before the lights were off and Steve was settling down at his side, making an inquiring noise as he stretched an arm across Bucky's middle.

Bucky made an agreeable noise and scooted himself an inch closer, tucking his cheek against Steve's chest. Steve's hand skimmed familiarly down his body, fingers brushing over the ends of his stumps again, like he was checking Bucky's bruises by touch.

"Legs tomorrow?" Steve asked, nuzzling against Bucky's hair.

Bucky made a neutral sound, summoning up words from the edge of sleep. Steve would know what he was saying. "Don' hafta. Should be home all day, remote stuff. Testing a new component, right arm."

"Hmm," Steve said, all casualness and innocence, about as convincing as if Bucky could actually see him blushing and shuffling his feet. "Nothing too strenuous, then, huh?"

Bucky snorted with his eyes closed, picturing what Steve might want him to put his legs on for tomorrow, if he had some energy to burn. "Greedy."

"That's me," Steve agreed, pulling him a little closer. "Just want all of you I can get."

Bucky huffed at the honesty in Steve's words, the truth laid bare: Steve wanted him wholly, as broken as he was, a perfect match for the way Bucky wanted him. It was the one symmetry they had left, the only one they needed.

Bucky turned his head up for one more kiss and Steve tucked his thigh up under Bucky's stumps, letting his arm rest heavy across Bucky's middle. Bucky shook his head, but he was relaxing too, his body going heavy under the reassuring weight of Steve's limbs, his tongue heavy in his mouth as he summoned up words one last time.

"Got me good, pal. Now go the fuck to sleep."