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What I Used To Be

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By day four of Bucky’s heat, the desperation to be filled and claimed and bred wound down to an annoying buzz that prickled the back of his neck and kept him wet between the legs. He’d taken enough bubble baths in the past seventy two hours to tire him of bubble baths for the foreseeable future, a feat he hadn’t thought possible since emerging from the sub-basement.

After one such bath, Bucky and Steve lounged naked on the couch and watched trash television they wouldn’t have screened with the pups home. Bucky sprawled over Steve’s alpha bulk, limbs starfished and head cushioned against one of Steve’s pecs. Idly, he played with Steve’s exposed nipple, running the pads of his fingers over the sensitive skin until it pebbled under the touch.

The breath caught in Steve’s throat. He murmured, “You keep that up and we’re not gonna know if the housewives ever forgive each other.”

Bucky purred in response, a telltale tingle zinging from his spine to his balls, animating his body from its slump to a more suggestive arch. Against his hip, Steve’s dick perked up, ever-content to satisfy his omega.

A thought occurred to Bucky.

“Did you mean it?” he asked Steve, puffing hot breath against the still-healing mating bite on his alpha’s throat.

“Mm,” Steve hummed, “Mean what?”

“That I could…” Bucky trailed off, “That you’d let me be on top. I mean, like –”

Steve’s eyes went dark and hooded in an instant. A salacious smile spread over his lips and he asked, “You want to be inside me, Buck? Want to bend your alpha over and take me? Want to feel me around you, all hot and tight?”

Bucky’s mouth dried and cock hardened. He cursed, “Fuck, Steve. I – I want that. Please.”

Steve’s smile softened, just a little, and he leaned up to press a kiss to the dent between Bucky’s brows. He said, “This’ll be easier on our bed.”

Later, Bucky wouldn’t remember how they made it to their bedroom, only that they went a tangle of limbs on the couch to the bed, where Steve lay below him like a feast, strong legs spread wide and welcoming to the touch of Bucky’s fingers. A bottle of synthetic slick sat enticingly mere inches from Steve’s thigh. Bucky popped the cap and drizzled the lubricant onto his fingers. A curious scent drifted from the liquid – something fake, but not unpleasant, manufactured to smell of nondescript omega for omegas that couldn’t self-lubricate.

Bucky pulled Steve’s cheeks apart. Below him, Steve whimpered. The noise shot straight south. Bucky surged up to yank Steve into a heated kiss. He fumbled for a moment before he slid a finger inside Steve’s body. Steve didn’t feel too different than Bucky did on the inside, all molten hot, though he was tighter. His body needed more coaxing to open, and Bucky obliged. He took it slow, relaxing the muscle in gentle (if somewhat clumsy) strokes of his finger.

Only when Steve started to squirm and whine did he press another finger inside his alpha. Bucky massaged in tiny, slow circles. He kept his eyes fixed on his alpha for signs of discomfort, but Steve looked just as turned on as he did when he fucked Bucky, all bitten, parted lips and that full-body blush that overtook his fair skin every time they had sex. A hint of sweat shone at the notch of Steve’s neck and around his temples.

God, he looked amazing.

“How did I get so lucky?” Bucky murmured.

Steve laughed a little. He said, “I think you mean you’re stuck with me.”

In retaliation, Bucky shoved his fingers in harder and Steve keened, head tossed against the pillows.

“Please, Buck,” Steve begged, “Give me more. I can take more. Please.”

“My pretty alpha,” Bucky said, “So good for me,” and he thrust three digits into the clench of Steve’s body. A moan tore from Steve’s throat. He smelled of alpha arousal, of desire so overwhelming the aroma urged Bucky to tuck his nose into Steve’s neck, to lick to the sweat from his throat and scrape his teeth over the mating bite beneath his mouth.

“Mine,” Bucky growled.

“Yours,” Steve agreed, “Fuck. Please. I need you – get in me – I need –”

“You need what, sweet alpha?” Bucky asked.

Steve honest-to-god pouted up at him and said, “You know what I need, you jerk.”

“I want to hear you say it,” Bucky told him.

“Fine,” said Steve, “I need you to fuck me. I need you to – ah.”

Bucky withdrew his fingers and Steve went silent, eyes pleading. Bucky made a show of reaching for the slick, of cracking it open and pouring a generous amount over his dick where it strained up, red and so, so hard between his legs. He pinned Steve’s legs back and exposed his lube-shiny hole, open from Bucky’s ministrations. Then, with care, Bucky positioned the head of his cock against that entrance and pushed.

“Holy hell,” Bucky managed. He’d never been inside anybody before. He had no goddamn idea that it would be this good, the walls of Steve’s ass bearing down on his dick with delicious pressure.

“Buck,” Steve whined, “You’re not even all the way in.”

“Jeez, give a guy a second,” Bucky panted, and then, obliging, he shoved his body forward and sheathed his cock entirely in the heat of Steve’s body. Steve looped his legs around Bucky’s waist and held their bodies together. Bucky dropped his head and pressed their foreheads together, sucking Steve’s mouth into a wet kiss.

“I don’t really know what I’m doing here, Stevie, so you’re gonna have to cut me some slack,” Bucky joked.

“It’s not hard –”

“Really?” Bucky said, eyes flicking to Steve’s massive, almost-purple erection, where already his knot swelled, “because you look pretty hard to me.”

“You’re not funny,” Steve said.

“You tell me that a lot,” Bucky said, “but I’m starting to think that you just don’t appreciate comedy.”

“It’s not difficult,” Steve amended, “You just pull back a little and then thrust back in. Rinse and repeat. Though I wouldn’t mind if you paid some attention to my knot while you’re doing it, if I’m being honest.”

“That is the least sexy description of fucking I have ever heard,” Bucky felt the need to inform his alpha.

“Whatever,” Steve said, “Just do it already!”

Still smiling, Bucky withdrew and, with a hitch of his breath, drove back in.

Steve groaned long and low, eyes shuttering closed.

It wasn’t coordinated. Bucky found a rhythm, but slipped out more than once. As he steadied his cock to thrust into Steve again, he said, “I feel like there’s a learning curve here.”

Steve said, “Might be easier if you put me on my belly.”

Bucky paused. He stroked the hair plastered to Steve’s forehead back with tender hands and asked, “Is that…okay?”

Steve smirked. He let his legs fall from their grip around Bucky’s waist, nudged Bucky back with his foot and flipped to his hands and knees. Then, he lowered his shoulders, tilted his head to expose his neck and lifted his ass.

Steve presented.

“Oh God,” Bucky cried, “Fuck. You’re so gorgeous.” He placed a hand against Steve’s hip for balance and used the other to guide his shaking body into Steve’s. His cock slid into place as though this were the place it truly belonged, held tight inside his alpha’s ass. He whined, then leaned over Steve and braced his hands on Steve’s shoulders, digging his nails into the flesh.

And then he moved, grinding his body into Steve’s, driving his hips forward in a dirty roll while he kept his alpha pinned beneath him. Despite the limited range of motion, Steve tried desperately to hitch his hips back to take Bucky in deeper, harder.

“Bucky,” Steve said, begging again, “Harder.”

More than happy to please his alpha, Bucky fucked into Steve’s body with as much force as he dared. Their skin slapped and unstuck to a filthy beat, fraught with heavy breath and frantic noise, moans and whines and whimpers and everything in between. A familiar heavy sensation lit Bucky up below, foreshadowing orgasm, and so he yanked a hand from Steve’s shoulders and reached down to cup Steve’s knot in his hand. Steve canted his ass back in surprise, and hell, that felt amazing.

He kneaded Steve’s knot as he plowed into him, slid his hand up along the length of his cock and down to roll his sac between his fingers. Under the touch, Steve melted into a shivering mess of helpless, needy noise, quivering. He had the pillows clutched so hard in his fists that the skin on his knuckles pulled and went white.

Without a word of warning, Steve shouted and came, spilling onto the sheets as he would into an omega.

It was, without a doubt, the sexiest thing that Bucky had ever seen in his life. Not that he had a lot to go on other than the past several days – but damn, the image of Steve losing his shit with his ass in the air for Bucky’s taking would stay branded in Bucky’s brain for the remainder of his days on planet earth.

“C’mon,” Steve urged, “Keep going. I wanna feel you fill me up.”

Jesus.

Bucky worked his hips in harder, the beat stuttering and disjointed as he climbed closer and closer and closer and –

“Ah, fuck, Steve!” he shouted. The cresting throb of one hell of an orgasm ripped through Bucky like a rogue tide, crashing, violent waves that left the shore a changed land. He went limp over Steve’s back, which Steve took as a sign it was okay to pull their bodies apart and use his alpha strength to hold Bucky up and shift them face to face. He enclosed Bucky in his limbs like a clamshell and rained kisses over his brow and down his neck.

“Mine,” Steve said, voice ruined and rough. He pulled at the tender skin of Bucky’s mating bite with his teeth and repeated, mind lost to alpha instinct, “Mine, mine, mine.”

“Yours,” Bucky said, “Your omega. I love you.”

“Love you,” Steve nodded along, “Love my omega. Perfect omega. Good omega. Soft om –”

“All right, babe, you’re laying it on a little thick there,” Bucky said.

Steve narrowed his eyes and shot back, “Shut up,” and then more quietly, “You make me so happy.”

And maybe he was a sap and an idiot stupid with love for some goofball alpha, but Bucky couldn’t help but reply, “Me too. You make me happy too.”

**

By the time that the heat petered out, the entire house stank of pheromones and most of the contents were askew, from couch cushions on the floor to rumpled bedding stained with God-knew-what to stickiness on surfaces where Bucky knew no stickiness should be. And while Steve notified Natasha that the heat subsided, they warned her not to return their pups until they deep-cleaned the house and gave her the go ahead.

Cleanup extended through the better part of an entire afternoon. Only after four loads of laundry, redressing every bed (even the ones they didn’t fuck on, which Bucky thought might have been overkill but rolled with it and let Steve do as he pleased), scouring the hard surfaces with heavy duty cleaner, dousing the furniture and carpets in Febreze, and plugging a pheromone diffuser into the wall of every room was Steve satisfied with the state of the house enough to allow their children back into it.

Ever-efficient, Natasha arrived only half an hour after sending a simple we’re on our way :^) in response to Steve’s text that they were ready.

Bucky only managed to open the door a couple of inches before his pups bowled him over, chanting and yelling, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!” at the top of their lungs. When George knocked into him, Bucky released a soft oof at the weight of the impact.

“Hey, guys,” he said, and crouched low to scoop all three of his babies into a hug.

God, Bucky hadn’t realized how much he missed his pups. Quiet overwhelmed the house without them, drained the spirit from the place. The cheerful echoes of their voices bouncing off the vaulted ceiling of the living room brought their home back to life. Bucky nosed at their hair and their necks, breathing in deep to scent, and unashamedly the pups did the same to him.

At first, Steve hung back, but Win wrenched herself from Bucky’s grip and launched her body at Steve. She hugged his leg until he reached down and hefted her onto his hip, hugging tight.

“Hey, sweet girl,” Steve said.

Win didn’t answer with words, and instead planted her face directly in Steve’s neck, where the skin around the mating bite was still pink.

“You smell like Daddy,” she told him, and rested her head against Steve’s shoulder.

“That’s because I mated your daddy,” Steve told her. He nuzzled across the top of her head and Bucky’s heart wrenched at the sight, at how much his pup loved her alpha father and how much her alpha dad loved her back.

“How come?” Win asked.

“Because I love him,” answered Steve.

“I love Daddy too,” Win replied.

With a smile on his face, Bucky straightened to turn his attention to Natasha. He asked, “Anything I should know about the stay? They behave okay for you?”

“They missed you,” Natasha said, “but I think they’re still too wary to misbehave in unfamiliar places. We had fun, though. I’ll have to have everyone over at my place sometime. They liven up the joint.”

“I was just thinking the same thing about this place,” Bucky said, sweeping a hand back at the living room, where the floor looked naked without toys scattered across it, and the television was like a stranger for not playing Cinderella.

“They’re good pups,” said Natasha.

“Did I thank you already?” asked Bucky.

“A few times,” Natasha responded, “but I could stand to hear it a couple more.”

Bucky barked out a laugh and said, “Thank you for looking after them. I was…um. I was pretty scared that this wasn’t gonna go too hot, but I think that it went okay. Couldn’t’ve done it without you.”

“You’re welcome,” Natasha said warmly.

Bucky extended his arms out in the universal sign for a hug. Natasha accepted, coiling her slender arms around Bucky and letting him wrap his arms around her. She felt small in his arms, incongruent to the normal vibe she exuded – a big personality that drew the limelight from anyone without the personality to compete. Her gentle omega scent surprised him too – nothing spicy, just crisp, clean sweetness.

The pups hugged Natasha goodbye before she left, as did Steve. She cared about them all, but Bucky could see the relish behind her eyes at the prospect of having her house to herself again. By nature, Natasha seemed a solitary creature.

Once she was gone, none of their little family wanted to leave one another’s sides. Steve cooked dinner per usual, but instead of eating at the kitchen table, they constructed an elaborate fort made of cleverly stacked couch cushions and warm sheets fresh from the dryer. Win insisted upon her blanket from Clint being included as a part of it. Bucky found himself grateful for the demand as soon as he settled in with his babies and his mate. Win’s blanket made the fort smell like family. Like pups. Like his.

Bucky was home.

**

“This is bullshit,” Bucky complained.

It was March 10, 2017. He was twenty six years old. Eight days ago, Bucky’s middle pup turned seven on a cool but sunny, blue-skied day.

But today, beyond the tall living room windows on either side of the television, a spring blizzard dominated the landscape. Fat snowflakes blew in aimless flurries. Bucky had stepped out onto the front porch and found the wind icy-sharp, cutting straight to the core.

“Babe, come on,” Steve said, “I made coffee.”

Bucky perked up and peeled away from the window, but not before casting a final dirty look at the blurry white outdoors on the other side of the glass. He sidled up to Steve where he stood before the coffee pot and wrapped his arms around his alpha. Bucky applied a kiss to the back of Steve’s neck and muttered, “This is still bullshit weather.”

“I know,” Steve said in that voice that meant he was only saying something to placate Bucky, but he handed over a mug of fresh coffee before Bucky could open his mouth and complain.

The now-dead plan for the day included Bucky’s favorite people coming to the house to celebrate his first birthday since the escape from that dank, dirty hole in the ground where he’d birthed his pups. He didn’t need presents, but wanted to share food and laughter with the good people that Bucky was lucky enough to have in his life.

Now…he begrudgingly nursed his coffee and waited for the cancelation texts to sweep in.

Only, they didn’t. Even as Bucky polished off his coffee and dressed for the day in a broken-in pair of jeans and his favorite red Henley, even as he brushed and braided his daughters’ hair, even as he settled into his armchair to crack open a new book – his phone remained silent.

Sam arrived first in a sporty red and gray ski jacket. Snowflakes clung to his goatee and his eyebrows. A jauntily wrapped gift sat clutched between his gloved hands.

When Bucky didn’t move from the doorway, Sam said, “You gonna let me freeze out here, or what, Barnes?”

“You’re here,” was all that Bucky could think to say.

“Your powers of observation never cease to amaze me,” Sam drawled. He pushed past Bucky and into the entry way, where he stomped melting snow from his boots and shucked his coat off his arms.

“But,” Bucky said, “Snow.”

“I know y’all don’t think I’m scared of no snow,” Sam cocked a brow and shoved the gift into Bucky’s arms before he went on, “I woulda thought you had a better opinion of me.”

“I – don’t be a dick,” Bucky complained.

“Don’t make it so easy,” Sam smiled. He laughed, shook his head, and clapped Bucky on the shoulder. He said, “Happy birthday, man.”

After that, the guests flowed in. Bucky’s parents and in-state sisters showered him with hugs and kisses and an assortment of gifts that by that point spread across the kitchen island like an elaborately wrapped buffet. Bucky lost time – he blinked from one moment to the next and found his house crowded with people, people that drove through a Coloradan March blizzard just to get to his birthday celebration.

Tony brought expensive booze, bracketed on either side by his mates.

“How are you doing?” Bruce asked him.

“Oh, uh,” Bucky said, and unconsciously touched the small, still-healing scar beneath his belly button, the only outward evidence of the tubal ligation he had done the instant that he was allowed. He shrugged a shoulder and said, “Everything seems normal.”

“I didn’t mean your surgery,” Bruce said, tone fond, “I meant you. How are you doing?”

Bucky considered the question for a moment, a moment in which George went running past, pursued by Winter, who was being pursued by Becky, who inexplicably was running with a dirt-caked hand rake brandished in the air. In one smooth movement, Bucky confiscated the rake and gave Becky a look.

“I feel like I shouldn’t have to explain why you can’t do that,” he said.

“Whatever,” Becky replied, and went dashing to find where her brother had gone.

Bucky slid his gaze to Bruce and said, “This is a lot. But. Um. Like, in a good way? You know?”

“That’s my omega in a nutshell, so yes, I do know,” Bruce said, and flicked his eyes to the rake in Bucky’s hand, “A rake, huh?”

Bucky snorted, twirled the hand rake, and said, “Don’t ask, because I don’t know where or how she got it, but I’m gonna go put it someplace where my pups are less likely to reach it.” He decided upon the cabinet above the refrigerator, a cabinet whose contents seemed more and more like a container for pup contraband (Bucky kept any and all breath mints and gum tucked behind some kind of homemade slingshot that Becky fashioned and promptly used to crack a window by launching rocks at the side of the house).

After he tucked the rake away, Bucky hung back against one of the kitchen counters to breathe. He watched his guests smile, watched Win play some kind of hand-clapping game with his sisters and looked on while Thor made wide, enthusiastic hand gestures at Bucky’s parents. He jumped when he pulled his attention back to the kitchen and found Steve at his side, a dopey look of affection on his handsome face.

“Stop looking at me like that,” Bucky complained.

“Like what?” Steve asked, but from his smirk Bucky knew the bastard knew exactly what he was doing.

“You know exactly like what,” Bucky said back.

Steve stepped into Bucky’s space and looped his arms around Bucky’s waist. His cocky grin melted into something more private, something just for the two of them, before he leaned in and brushed his lips over Bucky’s temple, soothing with his alpha presence and his steady, familiar scent.

“You okay?” Steve asked.

Bucky nodded into Steve’s shoulder, but admitted, “Lost some time.”

“Looked like it. Want me to start clearing people out?”

“Nah,” Bucky said, “I just need a sec. I can’t believe all these whackos drove in this bullshit weather just to be here on my birthday. And what’s with all the presents? I said nobody had to get me presents.”

“Well,” Steve reasoned, “They love you. We all do. Are you sure you’re okay?”

“Yeah, I’m sure,” Bucky said.

And you know what? He meant it.

That wouldn’t always be his answer. He wouldn’t always be okay. But here in his kitchen, wrapped up in the arms of his alpha, surrounded by people that loved him and their laughter, in a warm house in one hell of a blizzard – Bucky meant it. He was okay.

The End