The only thing that made waking up at five in the morning bearable was being woken up by a hand on his dick.
Clint tried to stretch without dislodging that hand - that hand that sure as hell wasn’t his own because it was metal, warm from body heat, but smooth and slick and -
“Morning, sweetheart,” Bucky rumbled into Clint’s ear. His good ear, the one that was only mostly shitty and not entirely fucked.
Clint let his body lean back into Bucky’s, appreciating - not for the first time - the fact that Bucky liked to be the big spoon and gave precisely no fucks that Clint had six inches and forty pounds on him. Well, forty pounds before you factored in the metal arm. With it, they were probably almost the same weight and…
Clint let that thought float away when Bucky slid out from behind him and down the bed.
Okay. Five A.M. handjobs were one thing. Five A.M. blow jobs were entirely another and Clint - Clint was so very up for that.
Bucky smirked at him, silver eyes bright and full lips dark.
He pressed a soft, chaste kiss to the head of Clint’s fully erect dick.
“Happy to see me?” Bucky asked, taking care to keep his mouth where Clint could see, so Clint could read his lips.
“You’re such a loser,” Clint groaned around a laugh.
Bucky arched an eyebrow at him.
“Does that mean you don’t want me to suck your dick?”
“No, no, no. I never, ever made a rule about losers not being allowed to suck my dick.”
Bucky’s lips twitched, and Clint could see him trying to decide if retaliation was in order, and to what magnitude.
“You’ve got low standards,” Bucky said.
“But good taste,” Clint pointed out and gave Bucky a wink and a meaningful thrust of his hips.
Bucky snorted a laugh, shook his head, and licked down the length of Clint’s dick.
Clint sucked in a breath at the feel of hot and wet and -
Bucky’s tongue kept going, over Clint’s balls and his taint and down to his hole and -
Yeah. Clint could be on board with this.
He’d taken a shower last night, after Bucky had thoroughly fucked him into the mattress, so there wasn’t lube or anything left to smooth the way, but Bucky’s tongue just glided around Clint’s rim slowly and teasingly.
“What’s your policy on losers eating out your tight little ass?” Bucky asked.
Clint could feel his face going red and he groaned.
He was a grown man - a grown man who routinely did horrible things as part of his job and who had seen and done more shit than most people did in several lifetimes.
But when Bucky said shit like that… it made Clint feel small in the best possible way.
“My ass is also open for business,” Clint assured him.
Bucky smothered a laugh against Clint’s thigh and that was ticklish as all hell but Bucky held him down when Clint tried to shy away.
“Hold still. I’ve only got half an hour before I need to go back to my place and I want to make sure you’re covered in cum when I go.”
“Fucking hell, Bucky,” Clint covered his face with his hands and squeezed his eyes shut. “You’re filthy.”
Clint felt more than heard Bucky’s hum of agreement when the other man settled back down between Clint’s thighs and applied his very talented mouth to Clint’s very receptive ass.
Even after two months of regular hookups, Clint was still unsure how the hell he’d managed to get Bucky to fuck him once let alone… however many times it was now (seventeen, at last count, not, of course, that Clint kept count).
They’d first met on the train, on the L line, both heading home to Brooklyn from Manhattan and, because fuck the MTA, their train had ended up stopped between stations for forty-five minutes while some non-alien invasion or Hydra or AIM or Avengers related mishap was cleared away.
Normally, forty five minutes sat on a train during the evening commute would have been hell.
But that day hadn’t been normal, because Clint had been standing in front of Bucky Barnes, gorgeous and scowling and long legs and dark hair and silver eyes that looked up at Clint when Clint’s leg touched his and…
Lust at first sight. At least for Clint, because wow . And probably for Bucky too, if the slow smirk that curled over his lips and the way he shifted his legs open and towards Clint just the slightest bit and…
It wasn’t like Clint didn’t do stupid shit all of the time.
Using his body to flirt with a hot guy on the train didn’t even make the top ten of stupid things Clint had done that day.
So he shifted as well, let both of his legs move between the cradle of Bucky’s thighs - at that point still just hot guy on the train - and when Bucky’s thighs shifted together again, holding Clint in place…
It was maybe the hottest thing that had ever happened to Clint outside of that time Natasha shot a guy in the forehead when he’d been holding a knife to Clint’s throat.
Forty five minutes was a long time for silent eye fucking, and Clint wasn’t great at the quiet game unless sniper rifles or bows and arrows were involved.
So after ten minutes of intense… all of that thigh contact and those silver eyes looking up at him, Clint had to open his mouth and say something dumb.
“I can’t believe you’re a Mets fan,” he said, referring to the well worn navy and orange t-shirt Bucky wore under his leather jacket.
Bucky arched one dark eyebrow and smirked.
“Then it’s good for you that my taste in men is as shitty as my taste in baseball teams.”
Clint’s jaw dropped because -
Forget lust at first sight.
He was in love .
He was also still Clint Barton, walking human disaster.
“Fuck you,” he said.
“If you play your cards right, sure thing, pal.”
Thirty more minutes of banter, and the train was finally moving again. Ten minutes after that, it was pulling to Bucky’s stop and he rose to his feet, all smooth, slow controlled movement that pressed his body flush to Clint’s.
“You coming?” He’d asked as he started to walk by Clint.
And Clint- Clint of course came. A lot.
In the two months since then, they’d met up several times a week, fucked a lot, eaten dinner a lot, watched shitty movies, marathoned two seasons of Dog Cops , and spent an afternoon together in the park napping and playing frisbee and being disgustingly normal and romantic.
Clint was fairly certain that, outside of his relationship with Natasha (professional, familial, formerly romantic), the whatever he had with Bucky was the healthiest and most satisfying relationship he’d ever had.
Which was a hell of a thing to realize when Bucky’s tongue and two fingers were making a sloppy mess out of Clint’s hole and Bucky’s metal hand was pulling on Clint’s dick in that way that was just the tight side of too tight and so fucking good that Clint didn’t even want to swallow back his own pleas for more.
“Fuck, fuck, I love you. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me, Bucky,” Clint moaned - realized too late that he meant it and that he was saying it - and then he was coming, the orgasm shockingly intense for just a second before Clint’s body caught up to his mouth and -
Clint’s dick still spurted cum, dripping down Bucky’s frozen, clenched metal fist but the sensation, the pleasure was horribly lacking.
He shuddered, shivered and what the fuck - had he just ruined his own orgasm?
Bucky pulled away, eyes wide and face pale and -
Yeah, Clint had definitely, completely, fucked this one up.
Clint shifted as well, using his elbows to haul himself closer to the headboard and give Bucky space because, well, Bucky’s face said that space would be good. Maybe Clint should leave the city. The planet, even. He was pretty sure Stark had some kind of interstellar capable something .
Bucky got to his knees and it was an effort for Clint to not admire the view, but he made himself focus on Bucky’s face, on the expression that was caught between… shock and fear. Awesome.
Bucky tapped his right ear with one finger and Clint nodded in agreement because… yeah. As much as he was sure he didn’t want to hear what was about to be said, he probably needed to put his aids back in.
He reached over and grabbed them and slipped them into place and then turned them on.
Clint swallowed hard and debated whether or not to speak or wait for Bucky.
“Uh… that wasn’t just sex talk.” Bucky said.
Clint nodded, even though Bucky hadn’t really asked a question.
“But you can just ignore it. Ignore me. It’s - pretend it never happened?”
Bucky’s eyes narrowed and his jaw tightened like it did whenever he overheard someone say the word Republican.
“You want me to pretend you didn’t say you love me?”
“Yeah, just - I can blow you? Or you can fuck me and -”
Bucky put a hand on Clint’s calf and the touch startled him into silence.
“Clint, there’s no way in hell I’m going to pretend you didn’t say that.” He drew in a deep breath and his brows knit together as he sighed it out. “No one should ignore your feelings, Clint. That’s not - that’s not okay.”
Which. Fair, maybe. Maybe in Bucky’s world. The normal world. The one where Clint wasn’t a monumental fuck-up and one Avengers All-Call away from disaster or death. Maybe for Bucky, it wasn’t okay. But for Clint?
Hell, Clint’s whole life had been built on other people ignoring his feelings.
Bucky’s voice sounded a little hoarse, still a little stunned, Clint imagined.
He made himself meet Bucky’s gaze no matter how much he’d rather just crawl under the blankets and hide.
“It matters to me - that you said that. That you feel that way.”
Clint laughed. He couldn’t help it.
“Holy shit, Bucky, this isn’t an afterschool special. I fucked up and you want out and that’s -”
“Clint. I don’t want out.”
Which, obviously, was bullshit. Bucky looked like he was still putting together a mental checklist of the shit he needed to grab as he sprinted out of Clint’s apartment.
Clint snorted derisively.
Bucky sighed, closed his eyes, scrubbed his face, and groaned.
“I don’t - I don’t feel like that, like you do,” Bucky said, speaking slowly and clearly and Clint wasn’t sure if that was for Clint or for Bucky.
“Weirdly, I figured that out.”
Bucky’s eyebrows lifted at Clint’s tone, but Clint didn’t back down. Because, well, yeah.
“But I like you. And I like this thing we’ve got. And -”
The alarm on Bucky’s phone went off.
They both glared at it, merrily vibrating off of the nightstand on Bucky’s side of the bed.
After a too long pause, Bucky reached over and grabbed it and put it on silent.
“I have to go,” he said and he sounded regretful.
“I know. Lives to save. Assholes to run away from.”
Bucky scowled at him.
“It’s fine. I know you actually have to go.”
The sleeping over thing was still new-ish, this was only the second time Bucky had stayed over at Clint’s and while Clint had stayed over at Bucky’s four times, only two of those had been on days Bucky had to work.
As a trauma nurse at the Mount Sinai Emergency Department, Bucky usually had the day shift and, after a decade on the job, had perfected his ‘absolute minimum amount of time to navigate the city hellscape’ alarm timing. So he did, actually, really have to leave.
“We’re gonna talk about this,” Bucky said as he climbed off of the bed and started hunting for his clothes.
“Yeah,” Clint agreed, positive they wouldn’t.
He watched Bucky get dressed, unable to look away because he was fairly confident this was the last time he’d actually get to see Bucky, at least like this.
“Tomorrow, we should - shit. Not tomorrow.” Bucky’s words were half swallowed in his sweater as he pulled it over his head. It would have been adorable if Clint wasn’t pretty sure the feeling in his gut was despair.
Bucky misinterpreted the expression on Clint’s face.
“I’ve got a job interview, and then I’m taking nights this weekend. But what about -”
The other man stopped, halfway dressed and halfway to working himself up as he tried to figure out how to deal with Clint.
And Clint was a lot of things- including an asshole. But he didn’t want to screw with Bucky, with his head or anything else.
“We’ll talk,” he said, because it was what Bucky wanted to hear, and Clint was very good at lying. “ You’ll call when you have time.”
Bucky frowned as he searched Clint’s face, but Clint hadn’t been the second best spy at SHIELD because he sucked at controlling his face when he needed to.
Bucky sighed and nodded.
“Yeah. Okay. Good.”
Bucky walked over to the bed, now fully dressed except for his shoes downstairs by the front door.
He pressed a kiss to Clint’s forehead and Clint allowed himself to lean into it, allowed himself to forgot, for a second, that he had just fucked up the best thing that had ever happened to him.
“I’ll call you, okay?” Bucky said as he stepped away.
Clint nodded and waved him off.
“Yeah. Now I’m gonna go back to sleep like a normal human while you go stab people with needles and shit.”
Bucky glared at him, but his mouth curved into a half smile and - well, if that was the last time Clint saw him, Clint could live with that.
He listened to Bucky descend the stairs, step into his shoes, grab his keys and bag and jacket, and then leave the apartment.
So he’d fucked this up. In classic Clint Barton fashion, he’d fallen hard and fast and fucked shit up.
Despite Bucky’s assurances, his face had said it all - especially his eyes. Clint had been a guy he’d taken home for a one night stand that had turned into a long weekend that had turned into a standing hook-up. And maybe some of what they’d done together was more date than booty call, but they’d only ever arranged to meet up with the intention of having sex. Even that afternoon spent in the park had been the result of Bucky getting off of a night shift and texting Clint on his way home in an effort to stay awake and one thing had led to another had led to Bucky in Clint’s bed while Clint fucked him and then cleaned him up and let him sleep for six hours before Bucky suggested they go to the park.
So, no, Bucky wouldn’t be calling him or trying to… Clint wasn’t even sure what Bucky’s endgame would be with that. After insisting that Clint’s feelings mattered but also that he didn’t feel the same way… where exactly did that put them?
In Clint’s mind, there was only one answer: it put them in the dumpster.
Because that’s what always happened when something good came along.
Clint sighed, mentally berated himself for being so fucking stupid, and grabbed his phone.
He pulled up his text thread to Natasha.
Please tell me you’ve got a job for me. I need to shoot something.
It was almost eery how quickly she responded.
Pack a bag and meet me at the Tower in 40 .
Clint sighed again, but this time it was a release of tension.
He might have fucked up his life - again - but at the very least, there was still something he was good for. And Natasha wouldn’t pry, at least not until the job was over or Clint was drunk.
And right now, shooting assholes and then getting drunk with his best friend didn’t sound that bad.
After eleven days of radio silence from Clint, Bucky was finally willing to admit to himself that he’d fucked things up beyond repair.
Sure, he probably should have accepted that after day three - five missed calls and seven unanswered texts - and Becca had told him, bluntly, over a shared bottle of tequila and a pint of ice cream on day eight, that Bucky had definitely fucked up good dick because he was afraid of commitment and having another boyfriend die on him. Which was true and fair but that didn’t mean she had to say it.
Still, Bucky had to try once more, had to leave one more message, one more apology.
He was on a break, sitting on a bench in the rooftop garden of Avengers Tower because - because what the fuck was his life, even?
One day he’s telling the best lay he’s ever had thanks, but no thanks when said best lay tells Bucky he loves him. And the next day, Bucky is interviewing for a position on the Avengers medical team and three days after that he’s called by Pepper Potts - the Pepper Potts - to be told he has been hired and if he wishes to begin immediately, Stark Inc. will cover all fees associated with breaking his contract.
Apparently, filling out the medical staff for a team of superheros was both difficult and, less surprisingly, urgent. The last two nurses to hold Bucky’s position had both lasted less than six months. The first had quit after an incident with the Hulk, which Potts didn’t go into. The second had been reassigned to work with Doctor Helen Cho in South Korea after showing interest in her U-GIN research.
Which meant that the Avengers medical team was down a trauma nurse and, as the medical team for a group of active superheros, that was a very bad thing. The medical staff, Bucky had been told both by Potts and by Doctor Hausser, the head of the trauma team and the person Bucky had interviewed with initially, consisted of both a trauma team, an on-call trauma team for incidents needed more than one team at a time, and a rotating permanent staff of physicians, nurses and administrators. The trauma team and the on-call trauma team worked much like they would in any other medical situation - the day was split into two shifts, unless an emergency interrupted the schedule. When not actively involved in saving the lives of superheroes, the medical staff worked with Stark Inc.’s R&D departments on medical technology.
It was that, actually, that had first appealed to Bucky.
He’d been serving as an Army medic in Iraq when he lost his arm and, through a series of coincidences, Bucky had been shuffled into a prosthetics development program within Stark Inc. After two and a half years of hell, he’d come out on the other side with a cool as fuck metal arm, the emails of most of the team who had developed his arm, a standing Thursday night out with that same team, and an unasked for autograph from Tony Stark.
After getting his BSN from Columbia, Bucky had gone to work at Mount Sinai and kept up his regular Thursday nights with the techs and doctors who worked on his arm. They had been the ones to tell him about the job opening, and he was fairly certain they had also been the ones to convince Hausser - and Potts - to offer Bucky the job.
The job he had taken.
The job which meant he now had a stupidly large salary, a pair of shoes ruined because Thor had singed them with lightning, and a second - also unasked for - autograph from Tony Stark.
The job which had, thankfully, allowed him to distract himself nearly half of the time with work and not think about Clint.
But right now, Bucky was on his break and right now, Bucky was going to leave Clint one more voicemail.
He sighed and waited for Clint’s voicemail greeting to end.
“ It’s me. I promise I’m not dead, I just can’t answer the phone.”
He’d laughed, the first time he heard the greeting. When he’d asked Clint about it, the other man had shrugged and said he had a friend who was convinced every time Clint didn’t answer the phone it was because he was bleeding out in a dumpster somewhere.
“Hey, it’s me. It’s Bucky. I just wanted to try one more time. In case… just in case. I miss you, Clint. And - and if there’s anything I can say, or do, or - fuck, I have to go.”
It wasn’t what he’d planned on saying, but then again, Bucky hadn’t planned on having his break interrupted by a Quinjet landing on the helipad nestled at the opposite end of the garden on the rooftop.
He shoved the phone into his pocket and stood up, too many years in the Army and then in the ED to not immediately be on edge when a transport vehicle arrived near him.
And sure enough, barely a second after the quinjet had landed, the ramp extended and -
And Captain America practically sprinted down from it, carrying a very large, very bloody man dressed in purple and black. Hawkeye, Bucky realized. Captain America was carrying a very bloody Hawkeye.
Bucky frowned and hurried over. He hadn’t been paged, which didn’t necessarily mean anything - maybe whoever had been flying the Quinjet hadn’t alerted medical ahead of time - but he was still on duty, and he was still a nurse.
Captain America - and, now that he was closer, Bucky could see that it was Steve Rogers, and not Sam Wilson, with whom he shared the title - scowled at Bucky as he approached.
Bucky lifted the ID badge clipped onto his gray scrubs and Rogers nodded and his scowl relaxed.
“What do we have?” Bucky asked him, hoping spinal damage wasn’t on the list because Rogers might be superhumanly strong, but he was not carrying the bloody guy in any kind of way to stabilize him.
“Multiple gunshot wounds. And he fell off a building.”
“Din’ fall. Jumped,” Hawkeye slurred.
Bucky stepped closer, having to practically jog to keep pace with Rogers as he continued towards the elevators on the far side of the roof.
Hawkeye was pale with shock and blood loss, even his lips were barely stained pink. He still had his lavender shooting glasses on, which was kind of bizarre considering how very fucked up the rest of him was.
“Controlled fall,” Rogers compromised.
Hawkeye managed to lift his right arm and give a thumbs up.
The gesture was so wildly out of place that Bucky couldn’t stop an amused snort from escaping.
Bucky sprinted ahead to call the elevator but the doors were already opening for them.
Because, right, JARVIS. Avengers Tower. Tony Stark.
This was Bucky’s life now.
Ghosted by the boyfriend who said he loved him and now working with… this.
Once in the elevator, Bucky pulled himself together.
“JARVIS, get Hausser and the rest of the trauma team assembled. Let them know we’ve got Hawkeye coming in with multiple gun shot wounds, likely internal bleeding, severe blood loss and -”
“Holy shit you really did give me the good drugs, Cap,” Hawkeye interrupted Bucky.
“Clint, shut up,” Rogers growled. “You’re supposed to be concentrating on not dying.”
“Multi-tasking. Hallucinating Bucky and not dying. Cuz ‘m a boss.”
A lot of things happened all at once.
The elevator arrived on the medical floor.
The doors opened to reveal the assembled trauma team with a gurney because carrying injured people in supersoldier arms was not how you kept them stable .
Hawkeye’s head rolled to the side as he grinned at Bucky.
Bucky recognized Hawkeye.
“Clint? Clint? ”