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There's Nothing Wrong With Them

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They had been together before the war and during the war, and they were together after the war when Bucky was rescued from HYDRA. They had only gotten together a year after Bucky's recovery and he had remembered their relationship, but even that had taken time to recover; so it was truly two years until they were officially an item. Well, officially was a strong term. They were officially together together but unofficially they were still Captain America and The Winter Soldier, reunited childhood friends with a tragic backstory, to the public. To the Avengers, they were just Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes, close brothers. 

However, they were very much together together. But this, was not public knowledge. They knew it was 'okay to be gay' and that it was widely accepted by the public, but growing up in the thirties and forties with homophobia instilled in the mind's of men, women, and children had taught them to keep their relationship under wraps. They had been dating for about a year or so now, but none of the Avengers were none the wiser of what went on behind closed doors. They knew it was okay that they were together now and that it would be okay if they came out of the closet, but there were too many risks at the thought and their surroundings told them that the Don't Ask, Don't Tell was a good way to go with the Avengers and the media. 

There were occasional times when both of them would get excited and think just maybe the Avengers will be okay with this! but, they weren't; or so it appeared. They would be sitting around and talking about the news, or the movies and TV shows they watched together when the subject of being homosexual came out, no pun intended. There was once that they were talking about two men who had been found together in a motel room murdered in the middle of sex, when Natasha had said 'That's so wrong, why would they think that's okay?' and the Avengers agreed. Steve and Bucky shared a quick glance that communicated that they could not come out of the closet because 'that's so wrong, why would they think that's okay?' (but given the context they both thought maybe it was the murder and not homosexuality was the problem, but it is better to be safe than sorry). There was also another time, when Steve had been out shopping with Sam for clothes that he didn't much care for, when it came up again. Steve had picked out a shirt from among a pile of clearance items and when he held it up to Sam to see if he would approve, Sam let out a sharp laugh and a quick 'That's so gay man, come on put it back. Didn't know you had a sense of humor, Rogers'. Steve didn't know what he meant by shirt being gay, but he did understand at least somewhat like the way that certain men were kept an eye on by the police just from the way they happened to look. He assumed it was the same in this century, and put the shirt back like he had been burned and didn't touch anything like it again for the risk of discovery just in case someone else saw what Sam had seen in his clothes.

However, the most startling revelation that they absolutely understood that they could not come out to the Avengers was around the time the Pride Parade had begun. Bucky had been bouncing off the goddamned walls all week in the privacy of their own apartment in anticipation. He wanted to just, casually of course, walk around in the parade among the other people and maybe grab Steve's hand in the crowd where no one was watching and would care. He had even convinced Steve to take work off for a day (not that he needed to ask for permission really) and become comfortable with the idea (though secretly inside Steve was just as excited as Bucky was, he was just more conservative with the way he expressed himself) and had bought them a few rainbow colored things that were easily inconspicuous but held deep meaning for both of them. They had some shoelaces and bracelets, nothing too flashing or gaudy despite Bucky's protest to go out in rainbow overalls and a white undershirt, and were content with just that to go out in with neutral clothing that exposed neither of their orientation. But, the problem arose when Stark came into the Avenger's living room around dinner time and commented on the Pride Parade. He had said 'Goddamn them, every single fucking year. It's madness down there. It throws everything off for my schedule, do they even need a parade to celebrate? I get it, you're out, you're proud, you're loud, but does it have to be so obnoxious? I swear, everyone who goes is just asking for it, what with all the perverse people that come out to participate. Jesus. What's for dinner, I'm starving?'. To this statement, Clint agreed and said it was like a contained riot in the streets and Bruce agreed with the dislike towards 'those with perverse nature'. They went back to the apartment later that night, and Bucky wordlessly threw away their rainbow covered things in the trash, and cried into Steve's shoulder until he fell asleep. They didn't go to the parade.

But, it wasn't unusual for them, this kind of talk. They grew up in with each other on the same block as pals who stole kisses and even once gave each other hand jobs (to which Steve did a dozen Hail Mary's), and from the way that other people were imprisoned for their "indecent acts", they learned to hide it. They learned to keep the things they did quiet and careful with late at night kissing or sex and Bucky's reputation as a ladies man helped quiet any rumors. That was not to say however, that they hadn't been close to getting caught before. They had had their fair share of close calls and often times almost called it quits right then and there, but each time they were unable to let go of each other. They went into the army just as the history books told, and they hid their relationship even better. There were some nights though, when they suspected the Howlies knew and they were on edge the next morning, but nothing was ever said. That didn't mean though that they were still off Scott-free, so they were habitual with their practices they had had in affect for over ten years until the unfortunate Train Accident. 

There was something familiar in the way that they had to hide their relationship, but there was something devastating about the fact that they still did. At times, it felt as though they had never really left their time period and were just living it anew with more technology and air conditioning. Sometimes it would make Bucky achingly depressed that he had to hide once again just how much he loved Steve, and other times it would make Steve so angry that no one accepted his boyfriend as his boyfriend due to their bigotry. It was hard and it was painful, and it took its toll but they endured. They endured for the sake of each other in order to be together. They had hope that maybe on day, they would be able to get out of the city and go to Vegas and marry quickly (according to Stark, all they would have to do was drive through a drive through and be married in fifteen minutes) without anyone finding out and the press catching wind as they would going to City Hall. 

However, their relationship was still maintained and it was going well. The little signs Steve gave Bucky when they were together in a room were subtle, and not even Natasha could pick up on them. For example, at the moment, Steve was playing cards with Bucky at the coffee table with both of them sitting across from each other. They were playing Go-Fish innocently while the other Avengers puttered around in their Sunday pajamas, looking very much like college students after a frat party with how disheveled and tired they all were, and were communicating wordlessly. 

Steve let his fingers brush against Bucky's softly when Bucky went to grab from him what he needed, or Bucky would softly trace the outside of his lips with his finger as a "tell" of sorts for Steve that was anything but that. There were all the signs of a relationship if someone was looking, someone from their time period perhaps who was trained to look for these things, would find it there. 

"Got any nines?" Steve asked distractedly. 

He let his eyes flick up to Bucky's that were staring at him with intensity as he stuck a Cheeto cheese covered finger in his mouth and licked off all of the cheese there. Bucky pulled his finger out of his mouth and then looked down at his now clean finger and did the same with his thumb and middle finger. Steve felt his collar heating up, and he cleared his throat and distracted himself by putting on Moral Man Steve Rogers.

"Bucky, cut it out, that's a bad habit."

Bucky smirked and leaned forward slightly and winked quickly while Steve sat very still and waited for one of the Avengers to notice. When they didn't, Bucky continued on with the banter.

""S not that bad Stevie, you should try it. You might like it." he said, looking at Steve intently and then back at his cards for the appearance of normalcy,"No, don't have no nines. Go fish." 

Steve shook his head, blush creeping up the side of his neck,"Where'd you learn to do that, anyway?" 

Bucky looked up and licked his lips and then shrugged,"Sam taught me. Why, you gonna tell him it's wrong too?"

Steve grimaced, the scene of Bucky down on his knees and worshiping his cock completely soiled by the image of Sam there too. He shook his head and Bucky laughed, reading Steve's train of thought like an open book.

"Tell me that what's wrong?" Sam said as he walked over, handing Steve his morning--or afternoon due to how late they all woke up--coffee. 

Bucky was quick to answer, noticing how Steve looked a little like he'd been poked by a sowing needle,"Licking the chip dust off your fingers when you're done. Steve here says it's a horrible habit, but he didn't complain too much about it last night." 

Sam grinned and looked back at Steve who hid behind it cards and cursed Bucky in his mind. Last night truly had been an experience Steve never wanted to forget, but didn't want to remember at this moment. Bucky had shown him just how well that tongue truly worked and how skilled his mouth was other than for sucking his fingers free of food. He had gotten down on his knees, eyes all dewy and wide, and opened Steve's pants up and wrapped his lips around him like a good boy. Bucky had been good with his collar on, waiting so patiently with Steve buried deep in his throat and stroking his hair back while whispering endearments to him like it was nothing to have a grown man's cock shoved down his throat and held there. 

"Last night?" Sam asked, clearly realizing he wasn't going to get an explanation from Steve.

Bucky smirked and sifted through his cards while explaining without a care,"Caught him down in the kitchen with a bag of Doritos and sucking on his fingers and putting them back in the bag." 

Steve looked back up over his cards and shook his head, Bucky had always been a good liar for the best of reasons. Sam looked at Steve and raised an eyebrow and clapped him on the back and laughed. 

"Do as I say, not as I do," Steve muttered, clearly tipping Bucky off to something that only he would understand. 

Bucky waited a beat and then rolled his eyes but his heart rate spiked at the promise of whatever Steve was going to give him later. 

"Even Captian America here moves with the times, who knew?" Sam said as he shook his head and got to his feet and walked back into the kitchen lazily. 

"You have no idea," Bucky muttered under his breath, and Steve looked up and pinched Bucky's hand as a playful gesture but really more so to get Bucky to shut up.

What it did result in however, was Bucky making a pained noise and then pinching Steve back until the both of them were pinching each other with cards scattered all around the floor. They were trying not to laugh, and Bucky was trying not to let his blush of seeming embarrassment of being watched show just how aroused he really was. But Steve could feel it, the way Bucky's hips would thrust against his leg as Steve pinched him on his inner arm where the flesh was softer. Steve pinched Bucky harder, and Bucky made a groan in his throat that was more like an aborted moan. 

"Aw, young love." Tony said as he walked into the room. 

Steve and Bucky looked up and swiftly pulled away from each other they moved away from one another and resumed their game like nothing happened and no one commented on their actions, because there was nothing to comment on because Tony could be a very trying person. For the remainder of the day, they were careful not to lead to any further speculation even though it was just a harmless joke. They made sure that at lunch and dinner that they were at least always across the table from each other and that their conversations were clipped to a point. They all played games as per their regular Sunday night ritual, and when it was over the two of them politely excused themselves to go to bed. 

No one questioned Barnes and Rogers leaving together, because they lived together. While the circumstances were purely platonic to the Avengers, they were anything but. They had moved in together after a while into dating with the excuse that Bucky needed support from someone he knew best. But what really went on was their relationship. They didn't have to hide in there, because Bucky (routinely almost every week and sometimes several times during one day on bad days) would sweep the room for Stark's AI cameras. He had pulled the cameras out on the basis that he had been watched and monitored his entire life and wanted to be free completely, and in the beginning it had been true and now it was just so they could be together in peace. The cameras and microphones were gone and it was just them in their own privacy all of the time. 

Their apartment was the whole floor of course with the elevators centered somewhere off to the left of where a door would normally be and looked like french doors when closed. It was sleek and clean for the most part, but cluttered some with both of their interests and they loved it. On the walls were cinematic posters for movies they had seen together back in the thirties and then some of newer movies that were hand painted by different artists. There were photos of the Avengers in casual settings above a bookshelf that looked more like modern art rather than functional furniture and then there were drawings of Bucky in their bedroom. They were different poses of Bucky of course but none too provocative, but the one image they cherished the most was the personal pictures they had recovered that hadn't been in display in the Smithsonian of them and the Howllies. 

Their furniture was modern with a twist of vintage, hipster as Sam referred to it as, and was almost always kept tidy and clean. There was a single white brick wall as an accent feature where there were glass bulbs extending out with plants inside of them that Bucky tended to. They were his most cherished and gave him a sense of purpose as though he were actually helping and making a difference. There were bare bulb light bulbs that dangled from the ceiling at varying length and in the evening light of New York, they complemented the rest of the apartment. Their kitchen was relatively the same with brick walls, a white tile back splash, and steel appliances. 

Their living room on the other hand, was tucked behind a beautiful book case unlike the stair step one that held volumes of books that the two of them had set up to read together. Their living room was a sweet nest full of soft things and no edges. There was a fire place with a false gas flame installed just under the flat screen TV that was roaring at a near constant the day that September hit and comforted Bucky. There were two 'L' couches situated in front of the TV and done in a cream suede with matching accent pillows, and between the two large couches there was a wicker basket with afghans and blankets that Bucky tended to nest into any time they stepped into the room. The floors were a polished light brown hardwood with shaggy rugs with connecting patterns on them. There was a coffee table placed upon the rug in the center of the room that had Steve's sketchbooks and some of his art supplies placed on it for when he was struck by the need to doodle. However, the most amazing part (to both of them) was the alcove above the bookcase wall where there were single planks of wood coming out from the side to make up stairs and then into a ladder that led up to the loft. 

The loft was large enough for both men to comfortably stand up with each other and still have room to mill around. Up there, adjusted with the perfect view out of their window like wall facing the heart of the city, it was filled with all sorts of comforts. There was a small bed with pillows heaped up all about and the blankets flung around. There were lights placed about the room in complementing manners and paper stars that Steve papermached to look just as inviting as the rest of their home. Up there, they spent most of their time when they needed to live or pretend that things were okay. It was their sanctuary where they sought refuge in one another and where they felt most comfortable and safe. 

The bedroom however, was not where they went to be lovey dovey. Their bedroom was clean cut and accented with heavy dark blue curtains that blocked out the sun when they were sleeping in, and had a walk in closet just opposite the curtains. Their bedroom was where they slept together both intimately and regularly. In the corner, Steve had a large wooden chest filled with all kinds of intimate items that Bucky picked out for their play in their California King bed. 

This was their apartment, this was their home. 

They walked into the apartment, and Steve saw the demeanor change in Bucky as he huffed and walked into the living room. Bucky disappeared behind the bookshelf and plopped on the couch, outside of the view from Steve in the kitchen, and turned the TV on. Steve smiled to himself and went into the kitchen and pulled out one of their glass jars full of tea leaves. He fished out Bucky's favorite mug and the strainer for the tea leaves. He let the kettle steep for a little while until it started to scream bloody murder, and then he poured the water into the cup and placed the tea ball into the water and carried it into the living room.

Bucky was sitting on the couch burrowed into his favorite blanket with a scowl set on his face when Steve sat next to him. He easily moved into Steve's body, and Steve instinctively moved to thread his fingers in and out of Bucky's hair as they "watched" TV together. After a little while, Bucky finally spoke with a flat tone. 

"I hate it when they do that." 

Steve hummed in response, already understanding what Bucky was talking about, but wanting to give him the chance to articulate.

"When they call us out like that as though nothing is happening. I hate how they turn it into a joke all of the time. I hate hiding us, Steve." he said as his metal arm whirred and clicked. 

Steve held Bucky to himself tighter and kissed his temple,"I know baby, I do too."

Bucky frowned,"Then why don't we tell them? Just get it over with, face the music and their ridicule. It's better than hiding like we used to."

Steve sighed, they had had this conversation a many a weary,"Buck, we can't tell them just yet. I know it's hard and it makes me just as furious as it does you, but...but think of what will happen after that. We may not just lose their friendship, but this. All of this," he said while gesturing to the room,"They could turn us out on the streets and then we would be on our own. Not that I mind that, but you know how hard it was when we were out on our own without being national celebrities. It'd be even more tough and I don't know what the Avengers would do without us fighting with them. They're already a few men down what with Vision and Wanda in Sokovia for their honeymoon and Thor off planet."

Bucky burrowed into Steve's chest and stayed there for a moment and the spoke with a thick tone,"I know, I know. It's...it's just so hard having to hide this. Having to hide you. I-I love you, and I don't want to have to sweep things under the rug anymore." 

Steve wrapped his arms around Bucky,"I know sweet heart, I love you too and I don't want to anymore either." 

Bucky shuffled closer and pressed his face harder against Steve's chest,"I don't like hiding, I know we have to, but I hate it." 

"I know you do baby, I know. Drink your tea, that'll help calm you down and if it doesn't I have a few ideas about what might." Steve suggested. 

Bucky looked up, a familiar shine in his eyes as he obediently drank his tea. They say in silence snuggled up together on the couch pressed against each other just watching TV while Bucky drank his tea. They did this often, just sitting and watching TV. There were good days and there were bad days, but whatever the days they were together. 

Bucky finished his drink and set it down on the coffee table and then leaned back into Steve like a cat. Steve started off softly, slipping his hands around Bucky's waist and just letting them rest there as they sat there for a few minutes until Bucky started to squirm at how uncomfortable it was. Steve chuckled softly and removed his hands from his waist, but did not completely take them out from under the covers.

Bucky was situated between Steve's thighs, sitting on the couch with his back pressed against Steve's chest and just lazily watching TV. Steve slowly moved Bucky's hair from out of his face and kissed the back of his neck softly, mouthing at the skin as he went. Bucky leaned back into the kisses and sighed contentedly, thinking that this was all Steve was going to get up to. Steve however, had different plans. He let his hands cup the front of Bucky's pants and palm him a little bit harder. Bucky made a soft noise and pressed his ass back against Steve's crotch.

"S-Steve," Bucky gasped,"I was watchin' the movie." 

Steve hummed and kissed Bucky's neck once more as he unbuttoned Bucky's pants. 

"Watch then if you want to, I'm gonna do something better." Steve whispered.

He slipped one hand inside Bucky's pants, clever boy went commando today, and started to stroke his prick softly. He did it slowly at first and kissed Bucky's neck harder as his left hand came up under his shirt to touch his chest. Bucky was by now pressing himself back against Steve and trying to hold back his moans. Steve tweaked Bucky's nipple and the ex-assassin let out a soft squeak. Steve smirked to himself and stroked Bucky faster, rewarding him for his honesty. 

"Be my good boy, let me hear you moan baby boy." Steve whispered.

Bucky tilted his head back to rest it on Steve's shoulder and moaned lewdly as Steve stroked him with a firmer hand. He spread his legs for Steve, huffing when his jeans stopped his motion and gave Steve a helpless look. Steve smirked and just turned Bucky's head to face his and kissed him. He kissed Bucky's lips softly and let his lips open slightly to which Bucky answered with his tongue pressing into Steve's mouth. 

They kissed for some time, Steve slowly stroking Bucky the entire time until Bucky pulled away and his face was flush. He looked up at Steve and moaned. 

"Stevie...please, I want more," Bucky begged.

Steve stopped stroking Bucky and let his hand squeeze around Bucky's dick. 

"More what?" he said, voice bordering steel like he knew Bucky liked. 

Bucky swallowed and let out a whimper at how foggy his mind was to create sentences,"P-please give me more. I want-I need you to fuck me." 

"Are you sure that's what you need? A minute ago you just wanted to watch TV." Steve taunted.

Bucky whimpered and turned around to face Steve and kiss his jaw softly and then pressed himself against Steve and whispered in his ear,"I need it. I need it, Steve, baby, Sir, please give me your cock?"

Steve shivered and closed his eyes for a moment and then opened them, pupils dilated and face commanding. Bucky trembled in the best of ways and waited for whatever it was Steve was going to say.

"Well, if you really need it that bad, then strip and fold your clothes by the couch and lean over the table by the time I come back with the lube." Steve said as he shifted so Bucky could get up and so could he.

Steve got off the couch and as soon as his back was turned, Bucky started to strip. He shimmied out of his jeans and then quickly pulled his shirt off and then gathered them quickly. He folded his clothes neatly at the foot of the couch and then practically ran to Steve's dining table on the other side of the room. He bent over the table, ass pressed in the air and torso pressed almost flush against the wood. 

He heard Steve come back to the room and shivered, licking his lips as he felt Steve come up behind him. Steve was shirtless now, but he hadn't taken his pants off. All he had done was unbutton them slightly to alleviate some of the strain and come up behind Bucky. He let one hand touch Bucky's hip softly while the other stroked himself and then he pulled his hand back and smacked Bucky's ass. Bucky let out a startled moan and then pushed his ass up higher for Steve.

"Oh, my slutty baby boy lookin' for somethin' else?" Steve teased.

Bucky blushed, but waited nonetheless. Steve took a few moments just to himself and lazily rubbed himself against Bucky's ass, enjoying the sounds that Bucky was making until he started thrusting his hips back to meet Steve's. Steve looked up and saw Bucky's head was half turned towards him, and he raised and eyebrow at Bucky's strained expression. He pulled back some and took the lube out of his pants pocket and poured some on Bucky's crack idly. 

"You whore, can't even wait for it without begging." he commented.

Bucky whimpered and Steve lazily took two of his fingers and spread the lube across his fingers and Bucky's hole. He just let his fingers stroke over it for a while until he decided he was bored and slowly pushed on finger inside Bucky. Bucky flexed his muscles and panted as Steve pushed his finger inside all the way. He was just as tight as the first time they'd done this, so Steve opened him slowly. He fucked Bucky on one finger for five minutes and then slid in a second finger to scissor Bucky open. He moved his fingers in and out and then slowly parted them to open Bucky up. After a while of carefully dodging his prostate, Steve pressed his fingers down and gently rubbed in small circles to keep Bucky interested. 

Bucky flattened his chest against the table and spread his legs wider. Steve groaned as he saw Bucky hand himself over to him completely, he rewarded him with a third finger and more rapid movement. Steve continued to fuck him on his fingers while Bucky moaned on and on for what seemed like forever.

"Steve! Jesus, please please just fuck me already!" Bucky griped.

Steve pulled his fingers out of Bucky's ass sharply and frowned. He spanked the side of Bucky's hips and stood up straighter. He pulled Bucky's hair back and he leaned over him and enjoyed the muffled shocked noise he heard. 

"You get fuck, when I say you can." Steve hissed and then roughly shoved Bucky's face against the table,"Keep your hands flat on the table and don't move. Remember your safety words baby, and your appreciation." 

Steve pulled back and Bucky stared straight ahead with his hands flat on the table. Steve slipped his belt out from its loops and wrapped the buckle around his hand and placed a soft hand against Bucky's ass.

"Ready?" he asked quietly.

"Yes, Sir." Bucky answered breathlessly. 

Steve nodded and then straightened into his military like position and brought his arm back with the belt and let it slap against Bucky's skin. There was a bright red stripe where the leather hit and stung his skin so fiercely. Bucky gasped and let out a soft groan, cock twitching at the painful attention.

"Thank you, Sir, may I have another?" he asked.

Steve smirked at Bucky's words, a shiver of pleasure running up his spine. He hit Bucky six more times, the leather slapping against his ass and thighs occasionally. Steve panted as he pulled back and looked at the stripes of red and bruising that appeared that would be gone in less than a few hours. A total of fifteen hard welts were laid upon Bucky's skin, and by the that time Steve decided Bucky had learned his lesson. Bucky was shivering and his cock was leaking a small clear stream of pre-cum onto the floor in a little puddle that neither of them minded being there. 

Steve dropped the belt on the ground and let the metal clink against the wood. He rubbed a hand over Bucky's ass, enjoying the way that he shivered and whimpered. 

"Such a nice color, what a shame it'll be gone by morning. Did you learn your lesson, sweetheart?" Steve teased.

"Yes, Sir, thank you." Bucky sobbed out. 

Steve kissed Bucky's shoulder and slicked himself up with lube and lined himself up with Bucky's entrance. He let the head nudge slightly inside as Bucky arched his back into him, and then Steve pushed inside slowly. He let himself push in all the way until Bucky's ass was stuffed with just him. Steve hadn't bothered to put on a condom, loving the way that he felt sheathed uninhibited by any latex in his sweet boy's ass. Steve's hands gripped the sides of Bucky's hips as he pulled back with squelching noises as Bucky breathed in deeply. He snapped his hips back suddenly, and then built up a punishing rhythm.

His hips slapped against the heat of Bucky's ass as he drilled into the older male under him. Bucky cried out loudly, taking advantage of the sound proofing in their apartment, as Steve abused his prostate. He wanted to take his hands down between his legs and jerk himself in time with Steve's thrusts, but he didn't dare. Instead, all he did was lay there and take Steve's thrusts deep inside of himself.

"Harder! Harder, baby, oh my god. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. So good, so good. I love you, I love your cock. Stevie, uh, please give me more!" Bucky moaned out.

Steve choked back a moan of his own and instead pulled out of Bucky all the way, confusing the dazed male even more. Bucky whined and turned his body to face Steve who had gone to go sit on one of the couches with his legs spread wide. He made a come here motion to Bucky, and he perked up and frantically moved over to Steve. He stood in front of Steve and wrung his hands softly.

"Well come here. Fuck yourself on my cock if you want it harder." he demanded.

Bucky gulped and blushed as he straddled Steve's hips. He stroked Steve hard once before he slowly moved Steve to fit inside him. He sat down on Steve's cock and gasped at the feeling of being full. He didn't move for a while, just feeling the way that Steve felt nestled inside of him with the shaft pressing against his prostate. Steve smacked his hips and told him to move or else he wouldn't get it any other way than how Steve thought was decent.

The last time that happened, Steve fucked him slowly on the couch for an hour with his hands bound behind him and cock ring in place. It had not been a good night for Bucky, because on top of that Steve had cum inside him and plugged him up with a butt plug all night and a raging hard on. He hadn't been allowed to cum until after breakfast and in the shower after Steve's run with Sam. It had been amazing and totally worth it, but Bucky was not desperate for a repeat tonight.

He moved his hips up, feeling his rim stretch and pull up as he went. He sunk back down, immediately moaning out a breath as Steve's cock hit his prostate.  Bucky leaned back and placed his hands on Steve's knees and lifted his ass up in the air and back down until Steve's cock was just stabbing mercilessly at his prostate. It wasn't until Bucky was leaning his head back and chanting Steve's name that he realized Steve might not give him permission for the next twenty minutes. The thought startled him but it made him go faster while Steve breathed out what a good boy he was. 

"So good for me. Ugh, you feel so tight. Got my dick so nice and wet inside you. Slow down sweetheart, slow down, slow down, that's it." Steve said as he grabbed Bucky's hips and made him still and sit on his cock.

Steve grabbed Bucky's cock and started to stroke him faster and faster until Bucky was a mewling mess and scrambling to sit up and lean into Steve. He finally got the leverage to do so, and clawed at Steve's shoulders as he whined. 

"Please? Please, Sir, ahn...please Stevie, let me come? Please? Can I? May I? Please," Bucky said before it turned into a litany of 'please' over and over again. 

All Steve did however was whisper filthy things to Bucky, deep and low until Bucky was just sitting there taking it and moaning. Finally, after what felt like years, Steve shoved Bucky to the ground with his cock still buried deep inside. Bucky wrapped his arms around Steve's neck and held him pinned to the floor as he jackhammered in and out. 

All the sounds that were heard were the two of them moaning into each other and whispering endearments while the sounds of their sex filled the apartment. 

"Stevie," Bucky whined.

"Yeah, yeah, baby?" Steve whispered into Bucky's ear as he kissed his cheeks,"Go ahead, come on, come undone for me."

Bucky tossed his head back and moaned as Steve sucked hickeys onto his collarbone and neck. He shrieked on and on until Steve moaned into his ear, and that was when Bucky came. White hot jets streamed across his chest and against Steve's waist as he finally orgasmed. He laid there twitching every once in a while as Steve fucked into his over sensitive body and finally leaned down over him and came inside. 

Steve rocked slowly inside of Bucky for a little while before he stilled and started to kiss Bucky all over his neck and chest and jaw. He pressed his lips to Bucky's ear and whispered to him softly. 

"I love you baby, you did so good. So good for me, I love you." he said as he pulled out of Bucky.

Bucky looked dazed and tired, but sated nonetheless and just pawed at Steve's back and his face. He smiled and kissed Steve's lips as Steve scooped him up into his arms and deposited him in the bed.

"You okay if I go get some water for us?" Steve asked, a small crease in his brow.

Bucky nodded and waited for Steve to return to the bed. Steve finally returned with two bottles of water and a washcloth in hand and handed Bucky his bottle of water. Bucky's eyes were slowly getting clearer as he drank the water and Steve ran the cloth over his body and caressed his skin softly. Steve whispered soft things to Bucky until his haze was gone and he was more coherent. 

"Hey, you okay? You're back?" Steve asked gingerly as he tucked Bucky's hair behind his ears. 

Bucky smiled and flopped down into the bed and pulled the covers over them. He turned to his side and waited for Steve to spoon him. 

"Yeah, I am. How did I get so lucky? My best guy is my boyfriend and my best friend, what more could I ask for?" Bucky said as he felt Steve's arms wrap around him.

Steve hummed and snuggled in closer to Bucky and kissed his shoulder,"Mmh-hmm. You're the best thing that's ever happened to me, Buck."

Bucky blushed and hid his face in the pillow as Steve chuckled. They talked for a little while just about things and each other and their days, and then they fell asleep. They fell asleep in each other's arms every night and it was good for both of them. It was good in the way that Steve's heart never ached anymore alone in a cold bed missing Bucky, and Bucky finally had someone who loved him and made the nightmares a little less terrifying. 

Nightmares were a common thing in their apartment and it wasn't like they happened every night, but they happened often. Tonight, was as such. It would start with Bucky shaking and sweating, and then wake up screaming or defensive and reaching for the weapons he hid under the pillows. Sometimes he would wake up only understanding Russian and grabbing at the knife like he was right now, and Steve would have to talk him down.

Steve was wide awake and and holding up a hand to show he meant no harm and his eyes were unflinchingly sincere as he spoke to Bucky,"Hey, babe, Bucky. It's okay, it's okay. You're here, you're awake and HYDRA isn't here to take you. You're in New York at Stark's Tower." 

Bucky only stared at him with hard eyes and then frowned. He pushed the knife deeper into Steve's neck and then spoke to him with rough words. Steve hadn't learned Russian yet, but he new some words. 

"I'm Steve Rogers, you're Bucky Barnes and we live in Stark's Tower. We're in a relationship together, it's okay. I'm a friend, it's okay."

Bucky only stared at Steve for a while longer and after ten minutes of terse silence, he blinked away his confusion and his demeanor faded into trembles and fear. He dropped the knife and scrambled towards Steve and fell into his arms. He pressed his cold form against Steve's and Steve tentatively wrapped his arms around Bucky. Bucky cried against Steve after a while, eyes wide and glazed in tears. His metal arm whirred and clicked as he thought on and on and Steve just stroked his back softly. 

"It's alright. It's okay. You wanna take about it?" he asked as he always did.

Bucky just shivered and pressed himself in closer to Steve. When he opened his mouth, his voice was rough and tinged with emotion. 

"I-I was dreaming about the-the Helicarrier. We-we were fighting and-and instead of pulling you out of the water I-I ki-killed you instead. I held you down until you stopped breathing and then...then I walked away and back to HYDRA and then I forgot. I let them wipe and I let myself forget you all over again." he sobbed.

"Oh, baby, oh no. It's not your fault. HYDRA took you and made you do things you didn't want to do and they hurt you, and none of that is your fault." he said with conviction.

"But I did do it. I did do it, and even though I might have been brainwashed, I still did it. I still hurt people, and I hurt you. If-If you had any common sense you would push me away and leave me be so I don't hurt you anymore or anyone-" he babbled on.

Steve titled Bucky's chin up to meet his face and Steve looked at him with a soft expression but hard eyes,"No. No, don't ever think like that. I love you because of who you are and who you were, nothing can change that. You might have done bad things, and you do have to live with that, but it doesn't define you. You define who you are, and who you are now is who you're meant to be. I won't let you go for the sake of humanity, I'll let you go when you don't want me anymore, not because you think you're defective." 

Bucky's eyes welled up with fresh tears and he looked back and forth between Steve's eyes,"You mean it? You really mean it?"

Steve smiled and touched their foreheads together,"I do. You know I do, and I always will."

Bucky pressed himself against Steve's chest and they fell asleep like that. It wasn't always this easy, but tonight was better than some and they would take it.

***

Sometimes Bucky didn't feel like talking to anyone or leaving the apartment and just holing up in their bed, and these were the days that Bucky's therapist insisted that Bucky have at least some human interaction that wasn't just Steve. So, when they left the apartment Bucky was dressed in sweats and a threadbare t-shirt that was technically Steve's. He was cranky and moody and attached to Steve's hip all day and always brushing against him or grabbing for his hand. It was days like these when their relationship was more open and they were able to flaunt it without anyone questioning it.

On days like these, the Avengers were softer and nicer and things were slowed down and it was good. But most of the time, Bucky would be angry and moody and lash out. Sometimes he would throw things and yell at people for simple things, and at those moments Steve would have to let him have it out. This was such a time, not every day was perfect and things didn't always smooth over so easily for them.

"Don't touch me, Steve!" Bucky snapped as Steve tried to corral him in.

"Buck, I'm just trying to calm you down." he said softly.

"Calm me down? Calm me down? Why? Are you afraid I'll hurt someone or that I'll say something I'm not supposed to?" he yelled as he turned away from the Avengers and to Steve.

Steve winced minutely and then collected himself,"Of course not, Buck."

Bucky sneered and crossed his arms,"Right. Sure. We wouldn't want to tarnish Captain America's reputation with information the raging defective Winter Soldier has on him, wouldn't we?"

Steve's temper flared but he swallowed his anger and calmly put his hands out in a placating manner,"Bucky, why don't we just dial it down some? We can talk about this calmly."

Bucky growled and turned his head to the side,"Calm, my ass. You just don't want me to spill my soul in front of them. Whatever, I'm going to go home before Sir comes back and teaches me a lesson."

Steve's eyes darkened and he frowned at Bucky's low blow. Bucky turned on his heal and stalked out of the room while Steve watched him go. The other Avengers watched the both of them, and when Barnes was out of ear shot, Tony piped up.

"So I know he has his bad days, but what the hell was that about?" 

Steve turned his glare on Tony and then shook his head,"It's nothing, he gets like that sometimes." 

Tony smirked,"I'm well aware, but I feel like you haven't filled us in on some things. That little tidbit about 'Sir' was pretty kinky. You and Barnes in a relationship, man?"

Natasha grimaced and Steve's glare got harder,"No. He just gets like that sometimes. Drop it, Stark." 

"Oh, someone's a little touchy about the subject. Must mean it's true then? The press will have a field day if they catch wind about-"

"I said leave it alone, Stark! Bucky and I are just friends, it's none of your business." he spat as he slammed his hand down on the table.

"Message received," Sam said with a raise of his eyebrows while Stark whistled.

"Whatever." Steve muttered and walked out of the room.

Sometimes, he really couldn't stand his friends. And sometimes, he didn't consider them his friends. Would people who really claimed to be your friend constantly poke fun at your relationship and make snide comments about your sexuality? He didn't think so. 

Steve waited in the apartment for a few hours before he started dinner and waited for Bucky to return. He was in the middle of sauteing when he heard Bucky enter the apartment. He turned to the side some and watched as Bucky sat down at the dining room table and stared down at the wood. Steve waited for him to speak as the silence dragged on and on. 

"I'm sorry I yelled at you." he said flatly. 

"Don't be, you have every right to be angry." Steve replied.

Bucky just sat there and waited to see if Steve would say anything more.

"I understand why you get so angry. I get angry too, I shouldn't have interfered. I know you can handle your self." 

Bucky bristled and frowned down at the table,"Still, I shouldn't have said that. I know you trust me, but sometimes-sometimes I just get so infuriated at everything and at them especially. I'm sorry."

Steve smiled to himself,"It's alright, really. You don't have to apologize for your emotions, you're entitled to be angry at them and at me. I'm never gonna tell you that you aren't." 

Steve brought two plates out of the cabinet and began to plate the food before he set them both on the table. He sat them down softly and brought back two glasses of water and sat down himself. They didn't say grace anymore, it didn't feel right with what happened during the war and after. So, they started to eat in silence until Bucky dropped his silverware in a fit of anger.

"Aren't you angry? You're allowed to be angry too, Steve." he spat out.

Steve chewed for a second and then careful answered,"Yes, I was. I'm not as much anymore." 

"So then why don't you tell me what it is." he snapped.

Steve sat back in his chair and then chose his words as he spoke,"Well, I didn't like your crack about 'Sir'. If you don't like it, why didn't you tell me? I didn't appreciate it, but I'm willing to change things if you don't want that."

Bucky sputtered,"No! That's not what I want. I-I don't know why I said that. I was mad at you and you were just there so I took it out on you." 

"Okay. I forgive you, Buck. I just don't want to hurt you or anything, so if you don't like something then let me know." 

"I will." Bucky grumbled. 

They started eating again, but the mood hadn't dissipated. 

"After you left, they started to ask me about us." Steve whispered.

Bucky stopped eating and looked directly at Steve,"What did they say?" 

Steve shrugged,"They asked me if we were going out."

"And what did you say?" 

"I told them it was none of their business. They didn't seem too receptive though and I may have yelled at Stark." Steve quipped.

Bucky snorted, some of the tension leaving the room,"I'm sure that he deserved it." 

Steve smiled and they went back to eating before Bucky spoke again.

"I wish they wouldn't do that. I wish they would just accept it and that we wouldn't have to hide anymore." he muttered.

"I know, so do I." Steve answered with a scowl of his own.

So do I, he thought again more to himself to quell his anger rather than to dwell upon a dream he knew wouldn't come true.

***

It was date night. They didn't get many of these on the accountability that the Avengers (namely Stark) were always prying into their business, but sometimes they were lucky to get away. This was one of them, a special occasion where Stark didn't ask too many questions (more distracted with Pepper's homecoming to notice) and the others were too preoccupied with their own lives to care. 

Steve was dressed smartly in his dress blues that he had managed to get back from the Smithsonian for special occasions while Bucky stood next to him in his own. His hair was combed through and he was wearing cologne that Natasha helped pick out for him. They were on their way to a dance hall that Steve had read about in the paper where couples were meeting up for a "genuine" 1940's dance experience. However, they would be the judge of that. 

Steve kicked his bike into gear and revved the engine to signal Bucky could get on. Bucky easily slid onto the bike and wrapped his arms around Steve's waist as more of a seductive gesture rather than safety. Steve smirked and he started the bike up to leave the Tower. It only took them a few minutes to reach the dance hall, a large brick building that looked as old as they felt, and when they got off the bike they were ginning stupidly at each other. 

"After you," Steve said as he held the door open for Bucky.

"Punk," Bucky said as he walked inside the hall. 

Steve smiled and followed Bucky into the hall and placed his hand on the small of Bucky's back to guide him into the room. Bucky leaned into Steve, but still maintained his rigid masculinity and his Don't Fuck With Me attitude that was woven into him so deeply. He had a habit of putting up this front whenever they were in large crowds, and Steve didn't mind because it helped Bucky feel more comfortable with other people.

The hall was large and elliptical shaped with dark wooden floors worn with age and shoe scuffs with white clothed tables dotting the outer edges of the room. They were done up simple on the linen cloths with candles and small bouquets of flowers that would have cost a fortune back in their day for one, but seemed like they were cheap today. Above the floor there was a balcony held up about twenty feet up by Victorian crown molding pillars where people milled around bars or stood and watched the dances below. In the center of the room under the vintage lamp lights in the chandeliers was where the dancing took place before a large stage with sea shell looking lights pointing at the band that was made up of varying instruments. Steve smiled at the effort for authentic music, but he couldn't help but feel like the allusion was shattered by the costumes everyone was wearing. 

There were men and women dressed to the nines in what appeared to be vintage party dresses, but on further inspection both himself and Bucky could tell they weren't true. There was something off about the stitching or the pattern and placement of fabric, or the wrong style of curls and makeup for the period. It seemed as though the only two there who knew anything about life from the 40's were them, and it was true. 

Bucky looked up at Steve with a smirk of his own and held his hand out to pull Steve onto the dance floor. Steve rolled his eyes and took Bucky's hand as he led him over to the floor. Steve had never been a good dancer, he was always clumsy or tripping over himself and it only got worse with his enhanced body. He was graceful sometimes but never fluid and able to lead a girl properly, let alone Bucky who was a master at all of the dances. So, most of the time Bucky took lead and smiled at Steve so he wouldn't feel so self conscious about his wrong movements. 

At the moment, the East Cost Swing was just beginning and Bucky was rusty by no means. He pulled Steve along with him and they started their dance, Steve's hand placed in Bucky's and Bucky's metal gloved hand placed on Steve's waist. They danced for a while, their movements fluid but still choppy on Steve's part when they did the triple step or the rock step. But, they were enjoying themselves. Occasionally they would twist and turn or shift and Bucky would dip Steve or Steve would do a light jump to the side while Bucky pulled his hips in the direction he went. 

They were laughing and joking through the dances and no one paid them any mind, all the couples too lost in their own worlds to pay attention. At first, when they had done this the first two times last year, they had been nervous to dance with each other out of fear of being ridiculed but it was set to ease when two women started dancing together and no one said a thing. From there, they only got bolder with their dancing and public affection. 

They danced for a few songs before Steve pulled them off of the dance floor and they sat down in the chairs and shed their jackets and loosened their ties. The tables were large and seated about six people, but most of the time the people sitting there were either too engaged in their own conversations to take notice of them so they didn't mind sitting with other people. 

"Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes, right?" came a small woman's voice.

Bucky turned and looked at her with a quizzical but scared look. Steve laced his hand with Bucky's and looked at the woman and her boyfriend with a hard but inviting stare. 

"That's who you guys are dressed as, right?" she asked. 

Bucky loosened and gave her a fraction of the lady's man smile that used to come so easily to him all of the time,"Right."

She smiled and sat next to them with her boyfriend in tow. 

"Oh I just love your costumes! My boyfriend and I are dressed as Peggy and Steve, but I love your outfits so much." she gushed.

Her boyfriend nodded in agreement and then spoke up some,"They are very authentic, but I do think that some of the parts of your costumes are off a little bit." 

"Oh?" Bucky said with mischief. 

Steve smirked and took a sip out of his water glass while the couple talked on about the wrong kind of buttons or how Bucky's hair was too long or Steve's hairstyle was not the right kind of sweep back. They talked for a while with them, before both couples parted ways and they danced by themselves respectively. The night was a win so far and by the time they left the hall, they were grinning from ear to ear and holding hands.

They didn't go out often and flaunt their relationship in public, but sometimes they did. Sometimes when it was cool outside and it was just the two of them and they were able to get away with it in "disguises" that the public wouldn't easily recognize them in, they would hold hands and walk around. They liked doing this, just walking together and talking with their hands loosely linked together. It was easy and it was carefree. 

They walked a few blocks around the hall before they circled back to Steve's bike, and when they got on Bucky wrapped his arms around Steve and pressed a kiss into his cheek.

"Thank you, I really needed this." he said. 

Steve turned his head to the side and kissed Bucky on the lips softly,"I'd do anything for you, doll. I love you."

Bucky pressed into Steve and nuzzled his head against him,"I love you too." 

Steve grinned and kicked the bike into gear and the sped off to the Tower. Their night was easy and happy, and when they parked in the garage Steve hated how Bucky would slide off and they wouldn't be able to touch until later that night in their apartment alone. Steve gave Bucky a wistful smile and they let their fingers brush longingly as they stepped into the elevator and stood at least six inches apart as they shot up. They changed out of their suits and thew on casual clothes so they wouldn't be asled questions and then headed back into the elevator

Bucky was broody and Steve was stoic when the doors opened to the communal floor, and Bucky stepped out with a frown and went to the fridge to get water while Steve headed to the living room where everyone was waiting. They were talking among themselves and joking and playing games, and if Steve pretended hard enough he could convince himself that they wouldn't judge them for their relationship. He sat down on the couch that was open and listened to their conversation as Bucky came back and sat next to him, their knees touching. Steve flushed slightly and let his hand brush against Bucky's who let his own hand rest slightly on top of Steve's. They'd done this a million and one times before during the war and gotten away with it, but it was always a balancing act that could have ended with them blue ticketed or in jail. 

Tony rocketed in the room and Bucky flinched away from Steve, his hand sliding back into his own lap but his knee still touching Steve's. Tony looked frazzled but giddy at the same time and he was rushing about the room like a teenager before a big date, and Steve knew the feeling all too well. 

"Guys, guys, stop what you're doing. Pepper is on her way up right now. How's my breath? Is this shirt alright, too macho? Not macho enough?" he asked in a rush of questions.

"Ever think that maybe you worry too much, Stark." Bucky said as he leaned back and took a drink from his beer. 

Tony turned a glare on Bucky and Steve felt himself go a little tight at Tony's look. However, before Tony could retort, the elevator dinged and Jarvis's voice came on over the speaker.

"Sir, Ms. Potts has arrived."

Tony turned on his heal and fidgeted with his hands before the doors opened, and when they did he turned into a completely different person. He was more relaxed but just as snippy and biting with his comments as when Pepper wasn't here. But most of the time he was well behaved and polite with what he said, and when he wasn't Pepper was always there to set him straight.

However, when she was here both Bucky and Steve had to be careful about their relationship. While Pepper was no spy by any means like Natasha or Clint, she was very observant and often more than not could catch onto things that most people were too dull to notice. So when Pepper stepped into the room and enveloped Tony in a hug, Bucky moved his leg away from Steve's and put off the persona of stone killer. 

Steve hated it, but it was their job. It was what they did to live together comfortably. In some ways, neither of them had left the thirties or forties no matter what the calendar said. 

***

Steve was standing in the kitchen with his jeans wrapped around his knees and Bucky's lips attached to his cock when there was a chime at the elevator door. He looked down at Bucky who only looked up at him with wide eyes and didn't stop his motions and choked back a moan. There was a second chime at the door and Steve had to ground himself mentally before he pushed Bucky off of his cock and tucked himself in his pants, erection protesting at the confines of his pants. He groaned as he pulled Bucky up to his feet and kissed him with heat, Bucky's hands going to grab at his ass and front grinding against his own. 

"Bucky," Steve said gruffly,"Buck, we need to get the door." 

Bucky kissed Steve harder and pulled away slightly but still squeezing Steve's ass,"Don't wanna, fuck 'em. Have 'em come back some other time."

Steve moaned,"You know we can't."

They kissed harder with more urgency for a few more seconds before the door chimed once more and Bucky pulled away irritated,"I hate them, let 'em in. I'm gonna shower, I expect a reward tonight." 

"You better not get off without me," Steve warned.

"No promises," Bucky said with a wink.

Steve moaned as Bucky let go and sauntered off to the bathroom, bare ass swishing from side to side as he walked. Steve scrubbed his face and hoped that his erection wasn't that noticeable as he sidled over to the door. He frowned however, irritated at the habit that his friends had of coming to their door unannounced but it was a small price to pay for privacy every day. He pressed the button Stark installed that manually opened the door for their friends and the door slid open to reveal the entire crew standing there before them.

They were dressed casually and brought house warming gifts, and Steve knew it was going to be a hassle before they left. He held out an arm for them to walk into the room while his face was stone cold. In they filed, one after the other and making themselves at home just like they normally did but ruffling Steve's feathers in the process. They walked in and started to sit and lounge and talk, but Steve just wanted them to leave so he could gaze back into Bucky's blue eyes while he blew him down on those knees with his pretty ass--

This is not helping your downstairs problem, Rogers, he berated himself. 

"Hey, where's Winter's Bone?" Tony said as he took the liberty of opening the wine they brought in Steve's kitchen.

Steve rolled his eyes and went to the fridge and tersely grabbed a beer and uncapped it,"Shower."

Natasha raised an eyebrow at Steve's mood, and he just gave her a pointedly blank look. 

"Come on man, don't look so down! It's Pepper's first night back in town, we told you we were gonna celebrate! Don't look like we just ruined your whole night, its just Barnes you're with." Sam said as he clapped Steve on the back.

Steve gave a weak smile and then pressed on his Captain American Saves The Day face. He played host for a while, while everyone else chatted and talked with each other about things while they waited for Bucky to come out of the shower. It was a full thirty minutes later before Bucky stepped out of their bedroom, and Steve had to physically check himself before he moaned and enveloped Bucky in an embrace. 

Steve's arms were stacked high with plates and he was holding glasses when Bucky came out and gave him the quickest of acknowledgements with a flash of his eyes. Steve almost dropped the plates as he saw Bucky walk out of the room towel drying his hair in nothing but those black leather pants Steve bought him last Christmas with the top button undone ever so slightly and his chest bare. Steve fumbled with the plates as Bucky walked by and he wanted nothing more than to walk by and pinch Bucky's ass.

"Barnes! Put some clothes on!" Clint called as Bucky walked by.

Bucky shot him the bird and when to his own unused bedroom and pulled on one of the three shirts they left in there for contingency. He walked back out and of course--of fucking course he would pick that shirt out of all of them. The one that Bucky only wore on special occasions for Steve, because it stuck to his skin so evenly and showed his nipples perked up when the temperature was cold and it was always cold in their apartment to balance out the need for blankets and fires. Steve's face flushed and he turned away to the sink and to started to clean up all of the plates. 

Bucky walked into the kitchen and hopped up on one of the counters like a cat, knowing that he could get away with his lack of manners with the other Avengers around and Steve was powerless to stop him, and started to pick at the plate Steve made for him. He was talking back and forth with the other Avengers for a while until his conversation petered out and he decided to tease Steve. He hopped down from the counter after clearing his plate and hip checked Steve as he came beside him next to the sink. 

Steve gave him a sideways glance, their expressions thankfully hidden due to the placement of the sink against a wall and not towards their friends. Bucky only gave him a small grin and checked hip again, and then Steve let a small laugh blow out from his nose as he flicked sudsy water at Bucky. Bucky gave a fake shocked expression and looked at the water and then back at Steve and then back at the water before he took his metal hand and dipped it in the water and with some force splashed a large amount all over Steve's shirt. Steve pulled away and made a scoffing sound, but grinned despite the audience they had. He was tempted to brush away some of Bucky's damp hair and bring him into a tender kiss, but he settled for tapping their foreheads together and giving Bucky a wet willy with the soapy water. 

"Disgusting, Rogers! If there's one thing that didn't change with the serum, it's that you still fight dirty." Bucky said as he rubbed his ear.

"Learned from the best." Steve said with a wink. 

Bucky rolled his eyes and before their play could escalate any further, a voice cut in,"Whoa, hey. Someone hit the stop button, this is a little more homo-eroticism than I asked for."

Bucky pulled away from Steve and looked at Stark like he'd been slapped, and Steve turned back to the sink with a blank expression and rigid shoulders. 

"Tony!" Pepper chided.

"What! All I'm saying is that they're acting a little too chummy for just best friends, Peps. It's harmless, it's just a joke. Fine fine, if it'll make you feel better I'll apologize. I'm sorry that I implied you and Spangles over there had a relationship and I'm sorry that you get 'triggered' every time we joke about it. The forties must have been one hell-of-a time." Tony said as he sipped from his wine glass.

Bucky's jaw worked and he looked at Stark evenly and said calmly,"No hard feelings. 'S not like either of us have ever been fairies, right Stevie?"

Steve scrubbed the plate he was holding harder, voice dead to his ears as he answered,"Right, Buck." 

And with that, the subject was dropped and they didn't talk about it again. 

The rest of the night was placid and simple, and Bucky and Steve faked heteronormativity as usual. They talked and joked and laughed and played, but they were hurting inside. Their safe space was once again invaded by their thoughtless friends who didn't know what they were talking about. They didn't look at each other and they didn't brush hands softly, they were Sargent Barnes and Captain Rogers of the 107th respectively. They were rigid and polite and ordinary, and the night appeared to be a success as everyone said goodnight and piled into the elevator. 

Only Pepper stayed behind in the kitchen while Steve cleaned up and Bucky milled about, and when they stopped to look at her she gave her soft special smile and looked at them affectionately. 

"I think what you two have going on here, is special." she said with a smile.

They both stopped and looked at her cautiously.

"I mean it, I'm happy for the both of you. For all of it."

"For what exactly?" Bucky said, playing it cool.

"Oh, you know. Being able to keep such a close relationship together despite all that's happened, you're still as close as ever. It's really beautiful to know that your friendship has thrived this long and will." she said, not picking up on Steve's distress.

"Peps! You gonna keep me waiting, babe?" a drunken Tony slurred.

Pepepr rolled her eyes and gathered her things and excused herself, and then it was just Steve and Bucky again. But the atmosphere was changed and neither of them wanted to admit it or acknowledge it. The allusion was ruined and they were cautious around each other even though they were comfortable in their own skin together, it just wasn't the same. 

They were always on edge whenever Pepper was around.

***

Shopping with Sam was always a chore. In the beginning, he loved their morning runs and their casual coffees--and he still did--, but it had changed. Whenever they would go out, Sam was still as accommodating and kind and warm and the best friend that Steve needed, but the feeling had changed. They had gotten to know each other better and it was good with how well they gelled together. Steve still got along with him great, but sometimes he didn't like the comments that Sam made.

They weren't bigoted or prejudice by any means, but they were...unnerving and thoughtless. They had gone for their run today together and gotten coffee, while Bucky was with Natasha sparring and now they were at lunch after looking at Academy and REI. They were drinking beers and watching the game from outside on the roof-patio hanging out and just shooting the shit, and Steve thought that just maybe he was going to be able to open up to Sam.

He had thought about it over the years, and he had talked about it with Bucky and they both agreed that Sam or Nat would be the best to talk about with this. He had almost brought it up with Sam a few times, but each time hesitated because of some folly he found in Sam's character. So, here he was, about to put himself out in the open and--

"Ew." Sam said with bland shock.

Steve looked up at him with an eyebrow raised,"What?"

Sam shook his head,"Sorry man, it's just a reflex," he said as he pointed across the restaurant.

Across the restaurant there were two slender men standing close with one another with drinks in their hands, and kissing softly. It wasn't obscene or making out, but it was flirty and open and Steve recognized the look on their faces. They were so in love and so open with their relationship, and Steve's heart ached. He had given Bucky that exact same look before and had caressed the side of his face like that dozens of times. And Bucky had snuggled in closer to him and given that exact same smile at least a thousand times. He smiled softly at the thought that maybe he and Bucky might be able to do the same. 

"What's wrong with that?" Steve said as he turned to face Sam again.

Sam shrugged,"Nothing, nothing, I just can't stand it when they do that. It's just really gross, don't you think so? I mean so what, you're in a relationship I don't want to see you publicly kiss or something. You might as well be doing the dirty deed on the table, right? I mean isn't that what you guys were all about back then, modesty? Life seems easier back then, you didn't have to worry about anything like that." 

Steve's smile cracked for a fraction of a second and he took a long drink from his beer,"Yeah, yeah...no, it was great..."

Sam just smiled and drank from his beer and winked at Steve who wouldn't meet his eyes anymore. 

***

Natasha was a good partner and a good friend, at least Bucky thought so. She was callous and cold sometimes, but Bucky knew better than to think that she was just that. They communicated with just looks and movements sometimes, but Bucky never let her read him entirely. They were close and open with each other for the most part, and when they added Clint to the mix it was lighter and they were all more open. They were like their own little trio and it was good most of the time. 

They were sparring at the moment, Bucky making large wide movements while Natasha was flitting around with concise powerful kicks. Clint was watching from the sidelines, just tossing his arrow up in the air and then letting it fall point side back down and then step aside at the last moment to dodge the point. Clint was like that. 

"You're slow old man," Natasha said with just barely a wisp of breath.

"In your dreams, doll." Bucky said with a hint of old James Barnes. 

Natasha rolled her eyes and roundhouse kicked Bucky in the side, and Bucky fell to the side with surprise. He looked up at Natasha with a smirk and held out his hand to have her help him up. She only cocked an eyebrow and walked away, knowing his game immediately. Clint however, was gullible enough to fall for it and went to go help Bucky who only flipped him over on the mat and pinned him. 

"Should'a known, you and Nat are the same," Clint grumbled.

Bucky smirked and helped Clint to his feet and looped his arm around his neck and they walked out of the gym together with Nat. They walked into the elevator and up to the communal floor to the kitchen where the three of them milled about and made sandwiches and ate together. They talked about the weather and weapons and then the conversation turned to their love life at one point, and Bucky found himself going silent.

Clint talked of his wife and his children and how he missed them, but he couldn't afford to retire just yet so his life would have to wait. He talked about how he loved his wife and how their marriage was sound and how he wished that everyone could have what they had. Bucky thought of telling Clint and Nat just then, and he was sure that Steve wouldn't object, but he wasn't naive enough to think that they would accept him so graciously but he had hope. 

Natasha spoke next about how things were progressing with Banner, but they still had problems being intimate or open with each other. It was a slow burn and Nat hated it, but she loved Bruce so she was willing to do whatever it took to make their relationship work. Bucky knew the feeling.

Their conversation became open and bright and happy, but Bucky wasn't. He was silent and listening to their conversations like The Asset, and Natasha and Clint soon caught on. They turned to Bucky and probed him slightly with questions without delving too much, but Bucky kept deflecting them.

"So, Barnes, how are you on the whole 'love' front?" Clint asked outright.

Bucky shrugged and drank from his beer,"It's going."

Natasha raised an eyebrow,"Going?"

Bucky just looked back at her and shrugged.

"Oh Barnes, you dog! Who's the lucky lady?" Clint said as he jostled Bucky.

Bucky smiled to himself and looked down, an image of Steve floating to his mind. Steve with his sunshine golden hair sticking up all over the place as the morning light swept into their bedroom as he pulled him close and kissed him on the temple. Steve who was soft despite all his muscles and held him close at all times and protected. Crazy stupid Steve who charged into a HYDRA base during World War 2 to save his skin. Steve who was skinny and getting beaten up in alleyways all of the time. Steve Rogers who was his boyfriend, Steve Rogers whom he would marry if given the chance.

"She's...nice." he answered carefully.

"Nice? That's the only word you'll use to describe her?" Clint teased.

Bucky nodded tersely and Natasha narrowed her eyes.

"So, what does she look like?" Natasha asked carefully.

Bucky shrugged,"Blond, nice."

Natasha scanned his face before gently saying,"Could this girl possibly be...Steve?"

Bucky flinched inside and then looked up at her with cold uncaring eyes. Natasha may be a spy and she was by no means stupid, but Bucky had been dissociated and out of human contact on and off for years so he could easily fool her. He made sure his expression was as neutral as it had been before and that his tone of voice didn't fluctuate whatsoever.

"And, why would you think that? Steve is my best friend, nothing more." 

Natasha looked at him for a while longer and then accepted his answer with ease.

"Whoa, man I got chills for a moment. Could not imagine you and the Captain in a relationship, that's just fucking weird." Clint said.

"Agreed. It was wrong of me to think that you were together given the time period you grew up in. There's no way either of you could be gay." Natasha admitted.

"For sure. No offense bro, but like if you two were gay I don't know how I'd feel about it, it'd change the everything I thought I knew about you." Clint added.

Bucky smirked and said with his Brooklyn twang,"Don't need to worry 'bout that, there's no way either of us could be together like that. It's fucking disgusting." 

Clint let out a sharp laugh that sounded hesitant but convincing while Natasha just rolled her eyes. 

Bucky's heart ached as he tried to get the words he just said out of his head. He knew they were disgusting and what they were doing was wrong, but God help him he refused to give it up.

***

Steve absolutely adored Bucky. He had adored him when they were just teenagers and his love with just that and they hadn't come into puberty and lust. He adored Bucky when they would spend the night together as young kids when his mother died and they were pressed close together. Sometimes, at night when he was sure that Bucky had fallen asleep, he would reach over and grab his hand or curl up close to him. Often in the morning he would wake up and Bucky would be cradling him back or holding his hand and he would fall in love with him all over again. 

He had loved Bucky all of his life and when they became teenagers it became harder to conceal. He would touch himself over the thought of Bucky late at night, and tell the priest of ,course with concealed details, and feel guilty the next day. It wasn't until he was nineteen and going to art school where they had scraped enough money together for him to go, that they got together. 

Bucky had come back from a particularly bad shift at work on the docs and shed his dirty clothes and gotten slobbering drunk and had been so distraught that he sat Steve down on the couch and told him how much he'd loved him. Steve had been crying so hard in Bucky's arms, and at first his best friend thought that maybe he had crossed a line but it wasn't the case. Steve had quickly shut up Bucky's train of thought and told him how much he meant to himself. It had been touching and it had been beautiful.

Things went well before they were drafted and were rocky while they were in the army and impossibly hard, but now it was good.

Steve got up early in the morning and padded out of their bedroom while raking a hand through his hair to see Bucky standing in Steve's boxers over the stove. Steve stood back a little and marveled at Bucky's form. Bucky was even more lean than he had been when they were kids, and Steve could see his muscles ripple in his back as he moved. The flesh where his metal arm connected to his body was discolored and scarred, but Steve didn't care. He thought that Bucky was still just as beautiful as he was when he had both arms. Steve's eyes roamed all over Bucky's back and then landed on Bucky's ass. 

Steve's boxers weren't the kind that gripped your ass, but on Bucky they were. Bucky's ass was round and defined under the cloth, and Steve smirked as he saw his boyfriend standing there. He walked over, arrogance in his gait, and he wrapped his arms around Bucky from behind. Bucky startled some and then relaxed as he felt Steve conform around him. 

"What are you doing up so early?" Steve said huskily.

Bucky flipped the eggs he was cooking and hummed.

"Trying to make you breakfast in bed, you punk, so go back to bed." 

Steve kissed Bucky's neck and nuzzled in and murmured,"Maybe I don't need it, maybe I want something else."

Bucky snorted and shuffled out of Steve's grip and winked at him,"Maybe if you're good later you'll get some later." 

Steve groaned and lazily walked back to bed and slipped under the covers. He laid there for a while just listening to Bucky's humming and cooking before he got bored and picked up the book he was reading last night. He got at least four chapters in when Bucky finally came into the bedroom with a scowl and juggling two plates and cups with silverware. Steve gently put his book down and took the plates and such from Bucky and pulled Bucky into the bed beside him. He huffed and Steve chuckled at him. 

"Still no good with the oven?" Steve teased.

"Fuck you, I'll stick with my plants thank you very much." Bucky mumbled.

Steve snickered and pulled both of the plates to them and they ate together in silence just snuggled up together and looking out the windows at the city. When they finished, it was just the two of them sitting in bed snuggled up together under the covers. Steve stretched and leaned into Bucky and closed his eyes, reveling in the tender warmness of Bucky and thinking just how lucky he was to have him back. 

Yes, today was as good as day as any to set his plan in motion. He was in love with Bucky and Bucky was in love with him, today was to be perfect and nothing could ruin it.

***

They had managed to sneak out of the Tower together and Steve was thoroughly giddy about all of it. They had stopped into Coney Island and had been hanging around together and gone on some of the more modern rides (to which Bucky threw up on this time and Steve laughed until he was dizzy). However, at the moment they were sitting at one of the tables near a vendor sharing a hot dog while people screamed around them. 

They had shared about three hot dogs together, and  currently Steve was marveling the way that Bucky had somehow managed to get mustard in his hair in that loose bun he loved to wear so much. Steve chuckled and reached across the table to get it out of Bucky's hair, and the ex-assassin froze and looked up at Steve with wide eyes. His hair swung in the breeze and his mouth was covered in mustard while little bits from the hot dog dripped on to the table. Steve repressed a smile and pinched his fingers around the strand of mustard and pulled down until it was out.

"Never were this messy before," Steve said. 

"Step off, are you saying you don't find me attractive anymore?" Bucky said around a mouthful of meat and bun. 

Steve smiled and pulled Bucky's face towards him softly,"On the contrary, I think you're much more attractive now."

"Oh really?" Bucky said with his own smile.

"Really," Steve said as he kissed Bucky's lips.

Bucky kissed him back and smiled against Steve's lips as he realized he got mustard all over his mouth. Bucky pulled back and laughed at the sight of Steve.

"You've got a little something, there." Bucky said as he dobbed Steve's face with more mustard. 

Steve's eyes went wide and his smile went wider as she leaned back and swiped the mustard off with the back of his hand. 

"You'll pay for that Barnes," Steve teased.

"Gotta catch me first," Bucky said as he pushed away from the table and then darted away. 

Steve laughed and chased after him and they wound up on the beach by the docks with Steve wrapping his arms around Bucky from the back. Steve picked Bucky up bridal style and Bucky screamed and flailed as he knew exactly where Steve was going with this. 

"No! No, Rogers put me back!" Bucky screamed.

"What was it you used to say to me?" Steve said slyly.

"Don't you dare!" Bucky said as he braced a hand against Steve's chest and looked at the water like a cat before bath time.

Steve waded in further and then he stopped and looked Bucky right in the eyes,"That's right; 'Try and stop me, punk. You couldn't even try even if you were a foot taller.' Well I'm at least two feet taller now, Buck so try and stop me."

He tossed Bucky into the ocean and Bucky was hit with an onslaught of cold New York water. He resurfaced with a sputter and stood up and tackled a hysterical Steve and they both collided into the water. They came back up laughing and sandy all up in there clothes and Steve splashed sea water into Bucky's face which then led to an entire water fight between two grown men in the Coney Island Channel without a care in the world. 

After a while and they both had calmed down some and were sitting against the beach with their toes buried in the sand as the sun was setting behind them, when Bucky leaned into Steve and placed his hand on Steve's jeans. Steve shifted some and Bucky's hand slipped down to the side as he felt a lump in Steve's pocket. Bucky pulled his hand back up and looked at Steve, perplexed.

"What's that?" he asked blissfully.

Steve flushed and looked away from Bucky and then stuck his hand in his pocket. He pulled out a small black felt box and palmed it a few times before he turned to Bucky and got up to his knee in a lunge like fashion. Bucky turned to him with a worried expression.

"Steve? I hope you're not-"

"Hear me out Buck. I know-I know that what we have isn't under...conventional circumstances, but I wanted to ask you anyway. James Buchanan Barnes, I have been in love with you since I was nine years old and I know that right now isn't the best of times, but I love you and I want to make you happy. I want to spend my entire life with you making you happy no matter what that means, and I want to spend it with you without the hindrances of our so called friends. So, tomorrow morning I will resign as Captain America and retire so that we can be together. Bucky, will you marry me?" 

Bucky stared at him with a wide mouth and shocked eyes,"Steve, you don't have to do that. I don't want the whole world to think that their beloved Captain America gave up his title for a broken Soviet male assassin. I want you to be happy with whatever it is you choose." 

"So, does that mean that you don't want to get married to me?" Steve said, his smile fluctuating some. 

"I didn't say that," Bucky frowned.

"Bucky, you're not broken and this is what I choose. I choose to give up my shield because I'm giving it up for someone that I love and for myself. I want you Bucky and I would do anything for you, for us. I love you so much more than you could ever know." 

Bucky's eyes welled up and he scrubbed his tears away quickly,"Why me? Why me of all people, you could have anyone you wanted so does it have to be me?"

Steve smiled and came closer to Bucky,"Because you, James Barnes, have been the constant heartbeat in my life despite everything that has happened. The war, the ice, and every fling that I've had since have changed me and they have changed you and we're different people now, but that doesn't matter to me. You make me so undeniably happy because you're bright and broody and-and so teaming with life even though you went through so so much. You're beautiful and kind and caring and I love you for you. I know that if you say you'll have me, I can make you the most happy man in the world until your dying breath. I promise that I will take care of you and cherish you forever."

Bucky began to cry harder and looked down at the sand between them.

"What do you say, Buck? Do you want to give this a go with me, or do you just want to see where life takes us? There's no pressure here, if you say no then my affections will not change and I will not leave you. I'll be happy with whatever you decide." Steve said as he placed a soft hand on Bucky's shoulder.

Bucky looked up, and his expression was not angry or scared or depressed, but light and airy and ecstatic. Steve's stomach flip flopped.

"Do you mean it?" he asked, his voice cracking.

"I do, baby doll, I do." Steve said, his own voice becoming thick with emotion.

Bucky surged up and kissed Steve's lips, his body quaking with sobs and Steve kissed him back just as fervently. They finally pulled away and Bucky nuzzled his face into Steve's damp tank top.

"So,...is that a yes?" Steve whispered.

"Twist my arm, why don't you?" Bucky sniffled with a smile.

Bucky looked back up and held out his shaky left hand for Steve. Even though his hand was not flesh and was a shiny chrome metal, the ring that Steve picked out stood out against his metal and was not lost within the plates. Steve slid the metal onto Bucky's hand and Bucky marveled at it for a few seconds. It was a thick rose gold band with a diamond cut diamond in the center with smaller polished diamonds around the sides of the band in intertwining braids. Bucky crashed into Steve and kissed him once more and held tightly to him.

"Yes, Stevie, yes I will marry you." he whispered.

Steve's arms circled around Bucky, and he thought to himself, Yes, I am the luckiest man in the world to have my best friend also be my fiance. Absolutely nothing will keep me apart from you ever again.

***

The Avengers were sitting in Tony's workshop looking over plans for their next mission raid, when Natasha stepped into the lab with her own StarkPad and pulled up cat videos up onto the large screen. They were all startled and Tony crossed his arms and said, 'Okay, one video Nat, I'm serious'. Well. That turned into two videos, then six, then ten, then twelve. Soon enough though, it turned into all of the Avengers sitting in Stark's lab watching cheesy videos and clicking on others with interesting titles and just giggling like high school students. 

There was a particularly hilarious video that they watched at least six times until they were all doubled over laughing so hard, when Tony finally squeaked out,"Oh my god! Someone go get the Captain and Barnes. They have got to see this. Jarvis, are Robocop and Uncle Sam back yet?"

"Yes Sir, they arrived at least twenty minutes ago and seem to be in a good mood." Jarvis answered.

"Excellent! Arrowhead, you go get them." Stark said decidedly.

"Why me?" Clint groaned.

"Because you were the last one in here and didn't come down until you heard there was chip dip." Bruce answered as he flicked a chip at Clint.

Clint grumbled but got to his feet and started to head out of the room.

"Oh wait, you'll need this. I've been cooking it up for a while without Amazing Grace knowing; it's a card key that will override Frosty's paranoia for a 'Jarvis Free Zone' and open the door for you right away. Those old men take to damn long to answer the door." Tony said as he threw his new card key at Clint.

Clint caught it with ease and walked to the elevator and asked Jarvis for Steve and Bucky's floor. Jarvis complied and took Clint down to the floor where Clint tried to open the door honestly before asking Jarvis for help.

"Sir told me to instruct you to place the card face up in front of the scanner, the doors should slide open then." 

"Thank you," Clint said, still a little unsettled by the body-less AI.

Clint did as he was told and the doors did in fact slide open for him easily. He stepped out onto Steve's floor and looked around some in the kitchen and the usual places. However, he couldn't find them at all. He checked the kitchen, the living room, Barnes' room, and finally their "crows-nest" before he hopped down and silently walked over to Steve's bedroom. 

He heard voices inside and a grin came over him as he heard them talking, planning to scare them. He walked over to the bedroom, and looked through the slightly ajar door. However, what he saw soon made him lose his stupid grin.

There, in Steve's bed, were Bucky and Steve in a rather compromising position. Steve had Bucky's hips canted up into the air slightly with one hand holding down both of Bucky's arms as he was drilling into him. He had Bucky's legs pressed into his chest and was grunting every few seconds. Bucky's erection was flush and weeping against his chest and his face was pinched into a look of pleasure as he moaned loudly. 

Steve looked down at Bucky affectionately,"I love you baby, I love you so much." 

Bucky whimpered,"I love you, I love you so much...ah...Stevie, oh my god please, please fuck me harder."

Steve smirked and let go of Bucky's arms to grab his hips with both hands and began to pile drive harder and harder into Bucky's abused and red asshole. He began to hit Bucky's prostate with ease every time his hips snapped forward while Bucky clawed at Steve's shoulders. 

"I'm gonna come, gonna come, oh my god, fuck fuck fuck fuck! I'm gonna come, Stevie!" Bucky screamed out breathlessly.

Steve concentrated his efforts, and soon enough Bucky was spilling white hot ropes of cum all over his chest and boneless under Steve as he slid home one final time. Steve emptied inside of him with stiff muscles and fell over his fiance in a tender cage like position. He mouthed sweaty lazy kisses against Bucky's cheek and lips before he looked up and swiped away Bucky's sweaty hair.

"I love you, Buck. You make me so happy." he whispered.

Bucky looked at Steve with glassed over eyes and gasped in large gulps of air and made a whimpering sound. Steve chuckled and pressed a kiss against Bucky's forehead as he pulled out.

"You were so good for me, baby. So. Good." he said with a kiss between words.

Bucky finally started to come back to his senses and pressed into Steve and smiled,"I love you Steve."

Steve smiled and touched their foreheads together, sharing their intimate moment alone. 

Except, they weren't. Outside the door, Clint stared with wide shocked eyes and rooted to the spot. He finally snapped out of his daze, however, as soon as he realized that he was witnessing something that he was not allowed to be seeing and should not have witnessed in the first place. He started to back away slowly, when the floor board creaked ever so slightly. He froze once more and looked back up to see if either of them had noticed. They had.

There, under the New York sky in the Stark Tower, Clint Barton was staring back at a very shocked and pale Bucky Barnes and a ghosted looking Steve Rogers with a horrified expression. Clint straightened immediately and turned on his heel and dashed to the elevator and barked at Jarvis to take him up. Jarvis did as he was told, and the only thing that Clint saw was Steve emerge from the bedroom with hastily put on boxers and holding his mouth as though he'd just witnessed Hitler rising from the grave. 

Clint arrived to the floor he had just come from, and passed through a daze into Stark's lab. He sat down heavily on a chair and stared ahead with wide wide eyes. 

"What's up with you Flint Rock?" Tony said as he swiveled around to look at a never silent Clint Barton.

Clint only turned his vacant gaze onto Tony.

"Jesus, Barton you look like you've just seen your parents doing the nasty." Tony said with a teasing note of seriousness.

Clint flinched.

"What's wrong?" Natasha asked, now fully concerned.

Clint took a few moments before he finally answered,"Um...I do think that maybe, maybe we have misjudged the relationship between Captain America and the Winter Soldier."

"How do you mean?" Bruce asked as he cleaned his glasses off.

"I mean to say that, Barnes and Rogers are in a relationship together. As in, the kind that involves sex and 'I love you' and-and sex." Clint bellowed.

Bruce dropped his glasses and the room was as silent as the grave. 

"Care to repeat that?" Tony asked carefully.

"I'm saying that Barnes and Rogers are together together." Clint snapped.

"Well. This is...new." Sam said. 

There was a nod of agreement around the room, but other than Sam's understatement of the year there was no other comment on the subject. There was only silence and the communal thought of: how did we not know, and what do we do now?

***

Bucky was as pale as a ghost as he hid half way behind Steve's monumental body in the living room where all the Avengers were watching them. He was looking at the floor and refused to look up at everyone else, only concentrating on Steve's deep voice. The Incident had happened less than twenty-four hours ago, and in that time period Steve and Bucky had talked over the details on how to smooth things over with their friends.

Steve cleared his throat, and Bucky curled in on himself and crossed his arms as he knew what it was that Steve was going to say,"As you know, yesterday there was an...unfortunate turn of events where all of you were privy to something of a more personal aspect of our lives."

"Personal, my ass," Tony smirked.

Steve's jaw flexed and Bucky itched to stretch his fingers out and grab onto Steve's hand to sooth him. He didn't.

"Yes, well. I am truly sorry that you had to find out about it like this, when we ourselves were unprepared to announce it. I am however, a little disappointed in the lot of you deciding to take it upon yourselves to trespass upon our floor without our knowledge. That being said, I apologize for our lack of awareness of your presences around us. From this point forward, we will keep our...perversions under wraps and be more aware of what is going on around us. Sargent Barnes will move back to his previously assigned floor, as it would make everyone more at ease with the situation and the chance of indecent acts being witnessed less high. I will reinstall the cameras in my apartment and leave the door open without a lock so that there will be no question as to what is happening behind closed doors. Once again, I am very sorry for how this came about for all of you and we are most indebted to Clint who took the most psychological damage from all of this. Do you have anything to add Mr. Barnes?" Steve said in a very clipped and professional sort of way.

"No, Sir. I think that you've captured most of the points we intended to make. I am sorry." Bucky gritted out.

Bucky turned around swiftly and stalked out of the room, Steve at least three feet behind him and no sort of contact between either of them as they stepped inside the elevator and left the community floor.

"Okay, what the actual fuck just happened?" Tony said after they left.

"It appears that we made them uncomfortable," Bruce said matter-of-fact.

"But we really don't have a problem with their relationship?" Sam asked with confusion.

"Maybe they have a problem with us knowing about it. They were raised in a different time period where it was not very gay friendly. Did you notice how Steve kept using words like 'perversions' and 'indecent'? I don't think that they understand that it's okay to be gay." Natasha offered.

"Maybe we should go talk to them?" Clint suggested softly.

Tony cringed,"You'd risk running into another steamy super soldier session."

Clint shrugged,"We wouldn't be doing it for ourselves, it's for them."

There was a murmur of agreement before they all got up to go to the elevator and smooth things over with the couple. They shot down to the floor and rang the door bell as usual, only come to find that it was gone and that the doors slid open easily. They exchanged worried glances and then stepped inside and called out for Steve and Bucky.

A few seconds later, they moved further into the apartment and behind the bookcase like wall and found Steve sitting on the couch watching TV with glassy red eyes. They cautiously stood off to the side, and then Steve turned his disturbing gaze on them. For a split second, they saw the splash of anguish in his eyes before it was whisked away by his all too familiar Captain America bond selling patriotic gaze. He turned the volume down on the TV and tried to make his body look as open and inviting as possible.

"Hey, guys. What's up?" Steve asked, voice wavering some.  

"Are you okay, Steve?" Sam ventured.

Steve gave a quizzical look,"Yeah, why do you ask?"

Tony rolled his eyes,"I may not be an expert about relationships or anything, but I know that what you did just then upstairs was a lot like a break up for no real reason."

Steve winced,"We didn't break up, there was nothing to break up over because we weren't in a relationship. I'm sorry that that was uncomfortable for all of you." 

Clint glared,"Weren't in a relationship?"

Steve wouldn't look Clint in the eye,"No, we weren't. We...we were just together for convenience." 

Clint crossed his arms and said nothing else.

"Steve," Natasha said softly as she sat beside him,"we don't have a problem with your relationship with Barnes."

"Of course not." he answered with false vigor. 

"Good, now that we have that sorted out, where's Barnes?" Tony asked excitedly.

Steve shrugged,"Not sure, he's around the Tower somewhere." 

Bruce raised a skeptical eyebrow,"Mmm, is that so?"

"Yes, it is. Now, if you'll excuse me I have to take a shower and clean the apartment up." he said as he brushed past all of them and into his bedroom quietly. 

The others looked at each other with equally perplexed expressions and looked around the spotless apartment. There were little things missing from the apartment that they all noticed but didn't comment on; in the kitchen Bucky's plants were no longer there, his blankets were snatched off of the couches, books missing like rotting teeth on the shelf, some records and CDs, shoes, and other such necessities. It was like Bucky Barnes had vanished from Steve's life yet again.

***

True to their word, Bucky had moved out of Steve's apartment and back to his own, Steve had reinstalled all of the cameras, and they no longer had contact with one another like they used to. Life had returned to "normal" before Bucky Barnes walked back into Steve's life, and no one was none the wiser. The Avengers in the beginning weeks assumed that they had returned to their relationship after telling Steve that they had no qualms with it, but as the days ticked by they noticed the differences in their behavior. 

Occasionally they would be in the same room together and nod curtly at one another and exchange very short 'Captain' and 'Mr. Barnes' pleasantries, or even ignore each other entirely. Sometimes they would touch and each pull away like they were burned and not say another word. It was at these things that the Avengers started to realize that maybe something was amiss. 

It wasn't until Tony reviewed the tapes from both of their apartments (purely out of concern and praying he didn't catch them intimately together), that they really understood just how broken up both of them were. Steve spent hours pacing around the apartment and would not sit somewhere for longer than five minutes, and when he did finally stop and rest he would do so in his bed and sleep restlessly and curl on Bucky's side of the bed. Bucky however, would sit in the corner of his living room in a little nest that he made for himself wrapped up in one of Steve's shirts and stare listlessly at the walls and play with something on his left hand that Tony had yet to find out what it was. 

However, things really didn't come into perspective until Natasha and Tony were walking through the Tower late one night when no one was supposed to be up when they came across Bucky and Steve together in the hall hidden by shadows. Bucky was holding Steve's hands and kissing his knuckles softly, while the giant blond was bent over and crying into Bucky's hands. 

"Buck, I can't do this anymore." Steve whispered. 

Bucky's voice was thick with emotion when he tried to comfort Steve,"I know baby, I know it's hard but we've done it before and we'll do it again." 

Steve looked up at Bucky,"Back then at least we were able to be together under the pretenses of friends, I can't even look at you anymore without someone thinking I'll do something to you. Buck I told you I loved you on the shore, and I meant it-I mean it. I meant every word I said, I love you." 

Bucky cupped Steve's face with his hands and pressed their foreheads together,"I know you did, doll. I know you do, I know that you still want to keep your promise and I want you to too. But now...now may not be the best time." 

"Bucky," Steve's void cracked.

Bucky was crying now, quieter than Steve but still loud enough to be heard,"I want to marry you Steve, you know I do, but I want to marry you under better circumstances. I love you so much Steve, but I can't do it like this, I won't. It's not fair to you and it's not fair to me...and it-it isn't fair to them."

"I don't care about them, it-it can just be me and you baby, just the two of us. We can go and we can never come back." Steve said with conviction.

"You know we can't do that. What would the world do without Captain America?" Bucky said with a depreciating laugh.

"The world lived without me before, they can live without me again." Steve said dully. 

Bucky shook his head,"You know you couldn't live with yourself if you just left like that. I wouldn't want you to live like that. But we can't live like this either. So...so I'm going to give this back to you." 

Bucky scrubbed at his face as he dropped the engagement ring Steve proposed to him with into Steve's hand. He leaned into Steve and cried softly while Steve held him back and curled his hand around the ring tightly. He embraced Bucky tightly and kissed his cheek over and over again with shuddering breaths. 

"Is this...is this really it, then. Are we going to let go of each other forever?" Steve whispered.

Bucky shook his head roughly,"No...n-no not forever. Just for a little while." 

They pulled apart and Bucky tilted Steve's face down to his and they kissed. It was soft, but wet and sad. It was a kiss goodbye. 

Tony made a choking noise, and Natasha looked over and him pointedly with a sharp glare. Bucky and Steve pulled apart, but still holding each other close. 

"When can we meet again, I miss you." Steve asked in a rush.

"I don't know if we can...or we should. I'll contact you somehow." Bucky said as he squeezed Steve once more before he let go. 

Bucky walked away stiffly and rubbing his eyes while Steve watched him go and held his face in the hand that wasn't clutching the ring. 

The situation was much more dire than any of the members on the team could ever have imagined.

***

Bucky had taken to drinking since then, and he was nearly constantly in a state of drunkenness all the time. Sometimes, Steve was there to pick Bucky up and take him back to his room and tuck him in but sometimes he wasn't. Sometimes Steve would call one of the other Avengers and tell them to take care of Bucky, and the only reason he did this was was because he didn't trust himself to not spend the night with Bucky and take care of him until he was all better.

At the moment, Bucky was sitting in the living room on the community floor nursing a bottle of Vodka at two in the morning when Clint and Natasha came in the room. He staggered to his feet and angrily glared at him before he started to leave the room. Clint rolled his eyes and clenched his jaw before he whirled around and called after Bucky.

"Barnes," he barked,"hey man, you need to stop this."

Bucky swayed as he turned around,"Stop what?"

"Stop getting so drunk off your ass that you can't see straight anymore. It's unhealthy and its damaging your relationship with Steve and with us."

Bucky smirked and slurred,"None of those matter, my liver is just fine thanks to the serum. And Steve and I are done."

"Done?" Clint asked while Natasha balked.

"Yeah," he said as he leaned against the doorway,"I...called it off with him. We were engaged, but that's over now."

"Why does it have to be over now?" Natasha asked carefully.

Bucky turned his glassy gaze on her and shrugged,"We didn't wanna make you uncomfortable with our relationship. It's not so rainbow friendly here." he said with a twirl of his finger.

"What do you mean?" she pressed.

"It means what it means. We didn't wanna hide no more, but it's gotta be that way. I didn't wanna get married under those circumstances and with all of you hating our guts."

"We don't hate you guys," Clint offered.

"Yeah, okay." Bucky said with a smirk and turned and stumbled to the elevator,"G'night."

The doors closed behind him and Natasha and Bucky shared a glance between themselves that read that it certainly was not good.

***

They were all sitting on the community floor with Steve and Bucky sitting awkwardly on the love seat by themselves about two and a half weeks after Bucky's shocking confession to Clint and Natasha (to which he had no memory of). Steve was very fixedly not looking at Bucky, but kept his hand resting on his own knee for the presence of comfort if Bucky needed it. Bucky on the other hand looked like he wanted to escape the room and would rather be sat on fire than have to sit next to Steve. There was so much hostility and pain in the air, yet not one word had been spoken. 

"I think...I think we all need to talk," Natasha said a little unceremoniously. 

Steve gave her a wistful smile and then nodded and clasped his hands together, Bucky shifted uncomfortably and crossed his legs and stared ahead like he was in a mission debriefing. There was a small sheen of sweat on Steve's forehead and Bucky's arm was clicking and shifting softly but still giving away how nervous he was. 

"Alright, what about?" Steve said in a crisp voice. 

Sam and Tony exchanged glances, and Steve's smile faltered. Bucky frowned. 

"They're here to evict us." Bucky said flatly, addressing Steve in public for the first time in over a few weeks. 

Steve went rigid, but didn't face Bucky. A silent connection went through them on how they were supposed to handle this situation, and the Avengers had a gnawing suspicion that they had a contingency put in place in case something like this did in fact happen. 

"No!" Clint barked,"We are not here to 'evict you'."

Bucky leveled him with a look and then looked away himself in shame, no doubt feeling guilty about him having to witness his sordid acts with Steve. Steve's smile only went tighter and his knuckles went white. Bucky's left hand twitched as though he were going to reach over and grab them to steady him, but he thought better of it. 

"We just want to talk with you about your...relationship." Sam said softly.

Steve wouldn't look him in the eye, couldn't bring himself to. Sam was his best friend, apart from Bucky, and he had ruined and betrayed all of the trust built there before Bucky waltzed into his life again and after. He ruined Sam's image of him as the perfect wing man best friend, and instead was now viewed as a flaming queen. Steve had been called that before and it wouldn't surprise him if any of them were to call him names like that now. He'd been called much much worse back then when he was skinny and teased because he looked like he was the wrong sort of person. 

Steve cleared his throat,"I understand." 

Tony scrubbed his face,"No, Steve, I don't think you do." 

Bucky froze, Stark never used their birth names or nicknames that he hadn't made up unless it was a dire situation. This was not going to be good. 

"We're worried about you. The both of you," Natasha said as she placed a stiff hand on Bucky's flesh shoulder. 

Natasha was seated to the right of Bucky, and to the right of her was Clint lounging in a chair with his fingers in a steeple formation pressed against his lips. In front of the pair of them were Tony and Sam, like two parents before their children at the kitchen table before being scolded. To Steve's left, Bruce sat there characteristically quiet and observant, Steve didn't mind. 

"Worried?" Steve inquired, voice growing smaller. 

By now, Bucky's arm was clicking furiously and his jaw was clenched as he wanted nothing more than to reach over and comfort his boyfriend. He didn't move a muscle however, no matter how much he felt the pull of Steve's affections through their cosmic bond. Sam eyed their actions warily.

"Yeah man, we're worried about you. What you two have going on right now...it isn't healthy." Sam said. 

Steve blanched. They wanted him to give Bucky up, give him up and continue to play the part of a heterosexual Captain America for the good of the public and the sake of their image as a team. He had never wanted this day to come. Never in a million years had he ever thought that it would have. 

"What Sam means," Bruce started in his calm voice," is that what's going on with you guys ever since we found out has been...strange. It's not healthy for either of you, this lack of communication and secrecy."

Sam nodded in agreement. Bucky was puzzled, why were they caring about that? He and Steve weren't flaunting their inappropriate relationship in front of them anymore, so what else did there Cold War have to do with them? Did they want them to stop completely? Did they want to send Steve away to Wakanda to work with Tchala? Or worse, did they want to put Bucky back in the ice again? The thoughts made his head swim. 

"We want you to be happy, we want you two to be together." Natasha said with vigor. 

"We really do Barnes, we're not going to stand in the way of your relationship." Tony added. 

There was silence, neither Bucky nor Steve spoke. A thought passed between them of confusion at the thought of why they weren't livid given their obvious homophobia. Was it okay because Steve and Bucky were the "right" kind of gay? There was no such thing as the "right" kind of gay and the "wrong" kind. You were gay and that was that, there shouldn't be any connotation to it whatsoever. Yet, there was; there always was. 

No one said anything for a long period of time, and then Clint opened his mouth and closed it softly and then opened it once more and spoke with a much softer tone than the one he was using before,"Bucky," he started,"Why aren't you wearing your engagement ring anymore?"

Steve's head snapped up and he blanched even further while Bucky's gaze focused into a point and narrowed on Clint with persecution. 

"Excuse me?" he said, voice controlled and cold. 

"How do you know about that?" Steve said with a shaky voice. 

Bucky was unable to keep his hand to himself any longer and placed it on Steve's knee with a tight squeeze. While Steve may have been the dominant and caring one in bed and in their relationship and protected Bucky at every instance, it was a two way street and Bucky was going to be fierce as hell to defend and comfort Steve. 

Clint's face did not break at all, but he did shift back slightly,"Bucky told us, I thought he would remember. He was drunk and stumbling out of the room when Nat and I stopped him to tell him he needed to stop drinking. And then he told us why he had been and he brought up your engagement." 

Bucky tightened his grip on Steve to assure him he didn't mean to tell them, and the pressure plates in his hand suggested to him that Steve placed his hand on top of his and squeezed back. 

"He said that he broke it off because we...hated you guys?" Clint finished. 

"We don't hate you." Tony said with a wave of his hand. 

There was murmur of agreement around the room. Bucky gave Steve a sideways glance only to see his boyfriend with hard eyes and a clenched jaw. Bucky tried to get his attention to calm him down, but the matter was already out of his hands and truth be told he didn't know if he wanted to stop it. 

"If I may," Steve started, voice chilly and sending a shiver down Bucky's spine. That voice was only ever used in war or when Steve had to be stern with Bucky to get him to stop 'acting like a bitch' (Bucky's own words),"I would like to set the record straight. As a matter of fact, there may not be an hate towards us per say, but there is a hatred from all of you that is towards who we are. What we have. From each and every one of you, there has been a touch of homophobia to your comments and everyday speeches. They're off hand remarks and comments, and the only reason you are acting this way is because you think that we are one of the 'acceptable ones'. I have news for you, we, as a community are acceptable people and should not be forced to hide who we are. I hid for twenty-nine years before the ice, and then three years after that when I woke up. I hid who I was before Bucky came back, and when he started to remember we hid together for two years. We hid for the sake of your feelings based on your hateful views, and I won't do it any longer. I should have put an end to all of this in the beginning of our relationship and things would not be the way that they are now. So, I refuse to do any more to sit back and let you persecute us based on personal bias." 

Steve leaned back and took Bucky's flesh and metal hands into his own, and his grip betrayed the air of confidence around him to show how nervous he really was inside. Bucky nodded his head in agreement and then looked at the shocked faces around them. 

"Well, I'd like to set the record straight." Tony said a little flippantly,"if you are suggesting that we are homophobic, then you are dead wrong." 

"Excuse me?" Steve said, voice sharp and hard and making Bucky spike around the edges and look at the rest of the Avengers with a matching expression. 

"We aren't homophobic, Steve." Sam said softly. 

Bucky let out a sharp humorless laugh,"And, what exactly do you plan to say that can counter your previous statements?" 

"Previous statements?" Clint questioned.

Steve turned his gaze to Clint until the silence had dragged out too far and then he spoke with deadly coolness,"Yes, your previous statements. Do not pretend to be that naive, even I'm not. There have been many occasions to where all of you have been responsible for the way that we feel."

Bucky nodded and proceeded to explain with no room for argument,"He's right. There were times when all of you made comments like that. There were suggestions that our relationship was wrong, and that  others like us were the same. The Pride Parade last year is a prime example. Stark had just flown in an complained about the entire thing and how it was wrong and obnoxious. There were agreements from the rest of you on that issue. And then there were Sam's comments on things 'being gay' and the display of public between two men. And Natasha and Clint with discussing romance and how it's wrong between me and Steve. And the unannounced dinner party with all of you where our flirting was disgusting! And you had the audacity to sit there--all of you--and tell me that you are not homophobic?" he said, volume growing until he was shouting and standing on his feet. 

Steve pulled on his hand softly until Bucky looked down at him with a frown and then sat back down. The room was silent before Bucky spoke again in a soft whisper with his head bowed.

"I refuse--refuse, to be silent anymore. I refuse to hide what we have like we're under the pretenses of Don't Ask Don't Tell. I refuse to break my relationship off with Steve for all of your's sake. I shouldn't have--we shouldn't have. If you don't like it, then go fuck yourselves because Steve is all that I've ever wanted and all I've ever needed." 

Steve gave a small gasp and a soft 'Oh, Buck' and swept him up into his arms. No one dared to speak until they pulled away and looked back at them, hands held together between them both, with expectant gazes.

Tony was the first to speak through a choked voice,"I'm sorry that we led to believe you that we didn't accept your relationship." 

"As am I," Sam said, head bowed. 

Natasha, Clint, and Bruce each made their own nods of agreement. Natasha wiped quickly at her eyes and looked down while Clint's swollen bloodshot eyes roamed across the room and Bruce held his glasses in one shaking hand while his other hand covered his eyes and his body shook. Steve and Bucky felt their hearts constrict tightly for making their friends feel this way, but stood firmly by their emotions and would not apologize for the way they felt. 

"For-for," Sam cleared his throat before he continued,"For what it's worth, we are truly sorry for the pain we've caused you and I hope, as I am sure the rest of us do, that if you give us the chance we can prove how sorry we are and earn your respect and trust back. We have only ever wanted to be here for you, and we will, just please give us one more chance?" 

Bucky looked at Steve with a hard undecipherable look and Steve nodded from what information he could gather from there. 

"It will take time, and when we're ready, we'll forgive you. It's going to take effort on all of our parts, and maybe one day we'll get there to how it used to be." Steve said softly. 

Sam gave a wistful smile and nodded,"Okay. Okay, we'll work harder and we will get back there. I'm sure of it." 

***

It took four months before Steve forgave the Avengers, during that time Thor had come planet side again and Vision and Wanda had returned and learned about the event and worked their hardest to show their support (not really having to hide their elation upon hearing the news and grovel to get back into good graces) and trust back, and it took Bucky six before he forgave them completely. 

Their relationship had been like soft white eggshells after that day, fragile and pure. They easily worked back into the ease that had been there, and when they did make comments that seemed homophobic in the way of teasing Bucky and Steve they quickly made amends to show they were only kidding. There were no further comments like 'that's gay' or points made about how their relationship was strange or things of that nature, instead it was open and honest and carefree. 

Some time after Steve forgave them all, Sam confessed to why he was so strange about the public display of affection between two men and his joking comments. He had told Steve that he was uncomfortable with public displays of affection no matter who it was, but he was slowly growing accustomed to seeing it. He was more on the private side of affection, but he was in support of Bucky and Steve not hiding their affections any longer and soon became adjusted to PDA with not just them but with strangers as well. He had also told Steve that his 'that's gay', was only humor that he had grown up with and assumed that Steve would understand and after their chat that night, he felt increasingly about all of the times he had ever said that. He hadn't said it once at all after The Talk (as they referred to it as now) and planned to never ever do so again. 

Along with this confession came the slew of misunderstandings all of them had gone through. Clint and Natasha only explaining how they thought it funny how Bucky and Steve could have been in a relationship and how they did not handle the topic very well and with awkwardness that shouldn't have been there. Bruce made amends by retracting his previous statements of 'perverse nature' by caliriffying his discomfort with people who paraded around in certain get-ups and costumes (to which Tony lovingly informed him as 'furries' or people into 'pet play') and that was all that he meant by it. Tony however, was the hardest to forgive on Steve's part (Bucky forgiving him shortly after but still holding a slight grudge that soon fed away into annoyance and then bitter indifference until it was gone). He had apologized for keeping them from the Pride Parade last year with his harsh statements and only meant it to be about the traffic and clogged streets and buildings and nothing more. Yet Steve was still disappointed with him for the way it had crushed Bucky entirely. 

However, their relationships together changed and blossomed and grew into what it used to be if not better than that. They were like a family again and they were open and honest and loving with hardly any hiccups and dysfunction, but no family was perfect and sometimes there were mistakes but they were never too large or irreparable. They forgave and they forgot and they moved on. They did right by themselves and mended what was broken.

It wasn't just about Steve and Bucky's happiness, but all of theirs, and now they were all truly happy together once again.

***

The wedding was a tearful sight, it was beautiful and not too extravagant--despite Tony's obvious outcry of 'the need for ostentatious is not even a question! It's not every day my two best friends get married! Come on Steve--Barnes--please! Something anything to liven the mood from this drollness!'. It was a quaint backyard wedding in the middle of early summer when it was still mostly cool, in the rural part of New York. There was a beautiful gazebo set up at the end of the aisle that was lined with flowers and soft blue ribbons against the white fold out chairs. They invited their friends and the families of their friends they were close with, and it was beautiful.

Steve--and Tony--cried as the vows were said. Steve shakily got out his words and with trembling fingers slipped the white gold band onto Bucky's finger with his engagement ring, while Bucky confidently pushed Steve's ring onto his hand. They kissed, and it was sweet and soft and there were cheers all around them as they walked down the aisle and to their white horse drawn carriage with a small banner reading 'Just hitched!' with metal stars trialing behind and clinking on the ground as the horse clopped along.

Their reception was even more beautiful and where Tony was able to really shine and show them both what he did with the funds he spared no expense for. He had set up between the large trees, lights that hung and dipped low and caressed the skins of the invitees. There were dripping lights like water hanging low over the tables in a soft yellow and swooped at different heights around the area. There was a single white linen long table that seated them all comfortably with white and pink flower arrangements between every four seats with soft candles flickering and glowing next to them. The china was fragile and thin and charming, and coincidentally also the wedding china that Tony picked out for them despite their protests of the old traditions. 

There was a dance floor centered just off a little ways where music tinkled out of a live band and speakers occasionally, and it was a beautiful time. There were laughs and jokes and love, and it was the way that Steve and Bucky had both wanted their wedding to be. 

It was like a dream come true. 

Their night ended with Tony's private jet jetting them off to a small harbor just off the cost of Florida where a small cruise line that Tony owned was waiting for them. They sailed (with the help of Jarvis of course) down to the Florida Keys to a private house that Tony gifted them with as a wedding gift (to which Steve cursed loudly and cursed Tony for spending so much on it). The first night on the beach was also the same night as their wedding, and it was spent in a tender embrace. 

It started with Steve holding Bucky gently on the sand and slowly making love to him with ease, and ended with the two of them cramped together on a bed and just whispering to each other endearments. 

They were happy, and things were right. Their lives had changed and they were better off. Things, in short, were perfect. 

"I love you Buck," Steve whispered as he pulled out of Bucky slowly and spooned him in their bed. 

Bucky turned over with a tired smile and sweaty bangs and whimpered as Steve slowly pushed into him once more before they were to sleep,"L-Love you too, punk." 

Steve chuckled and Bucky moaned, and they coupled together one last time before drifting off into perfect blissful sleep. Yes, things were perfect and they were in love and no longer had to hide it, and that, is the way it should have been. Because in short, nothing was wrong with them and their love was pure and just as worthy as anyone else's.