They were warned numerous times - don't veer off the path in the Gardens of Asgard.
Of course, Steve Rogers heeds the advice of no one. Ever.
"It's mythology," Steve says, stepping a bare foot into the lush grass. "We're not gonna get thrown into a realm called The One with No Name just because we're mortals, or whatever Thor said. I've never even heard of a realm called that."
"That's because it has no name," Bucky argues. He follows Steve anyway, like always.
Sometimes Bucky thinks about how much he hates Steve Rogers; sometimes he thinks about how much he loves him. Oftentimes, the two intersect.
The garden is different off of the path - succulently sweet smelling, with crisp air and cold grass under their toes. They don't dare touch or eat anything, but no one snatches them up or whisks them away to a nameless realm. Its beauty is enough to satisfy, and they stay for what feels like hours.
Sometimes, like now, Bucky wonders if they're not actually mortal at all.
Life on Asgard was never part of the plan. A quiet life of retirement and recovery quickly got turned on its side by a Grade-A asshole seeking interplanetary domination. Long story short - they were able to get here to help Thor, but the portal was damaged during the sack of Asgard and then destroyed when Thanos tried and failed to recover the Tesseract. So, here they are.
There are some real advantages to being indefinitely displaced on another planet, though.
1. He's not a wanted fugitive. Always nice.
2. Space is awesome.
3. The opportunity to understand and explore a culture like no other. And, not to brag, but he rocks the Asgardian hairstyles.
Number four gets interrupted by a staff careening into his head.
1. Being stuck on a planet with Sam Wilson.
"Your head is in the clouds again, B." Sam grins, toothy and mocking.
Bucky twirls his own staff between his fingers. "That joke quit being funny weeks ago. I get it. We're in outer space."
"Yes, technically we're not in outer space because that's actually the void that exists between celestial bodies," Bucky grunts. "Which makes your joke even less funny."
Steve interjects, "Then why do you laugh?"
Bucky lowers his guard to look at Steve, allowing Sam another point. "I didn't laugh."
"To someone who doesn't know you, maybe. But your eyes crinkled, and your nose scrunched up. You thought it was funny."
Sam taunts him. "Always knew you thought I was funny."
Whatever. What Bucky focuses on instead of Sam’s shitty jokes is that Steve still notices these seemingly insignificant little things about him. He might make a mockery of Bucky's quirks from time to time, but he notices, and he cares.
4. Being stuck on a planet with Steve Rogers.
See, the thing is - Bucky's not who he used to be, but neither is Steve. But that doesn't stop Bucky from remembering crazy shit from way back before either of them thought of themselves as science experiments gone right/wrong. Like, he can't remember celebrating a single birthday, but knows in explicit detail everything about the night he and Steve were fifteen, got silly drunk, and fell asleep in a pile of bony arms and legs on the floor of his room.
His mother laughed when she saw them, because she didn't know. But Bucky didn't laugh.
The thing is, Bucky thinks maybe the old him was a little bit in love with Steve Rogers. And the more time they spend together on this planet where they fit in a lot better than they should with gods and warriors, he wonders if maybe he still is.
Unlike training with a staff, Sam does not do swords. He uses this workout time to tinker with the replacement for his lost Redwing, the literal pet project he's been working on with Thor.
Which sucks, because fighting with Sam is far more preferable to fighting Steve. Especially with deadly weapons.
"I've seen you two assholes when you get all into the moment," Sam says. "I'd like to keep my head, thanks."
"I resent being lumped into that statement," Bucky grunts, narrowly avoiding a sword in his side. He tosses his sword to his left hand and goes on the offensive, forcing Steve to back out of his space. "He's the one that's murderous with the damn thing, not me."
"Do I need to remind you that you've tried to murder me at least three times?"
"And I apologized," Bucky says earnestly.
"Yeah." Sam looks up from his droid, leaning back against the wall of their practice room. "Yeah, you did. Now will you kick his ass before he stabs yours?"
Steve swings his sword and slices Bucky's shirt. "Love it when you guys talk about me like I'm not even here. It's my favorite."
"You know what's my favorite? You not killing me," Bucky screeches, hopping over a low swing.
Steve takes two quick steps back. "You know I'd never actually kill you."
"You'd come close."
Steve shrugs. "Yeah, I'd come close. Think fast."
Bucky does, striking before Steve gets a chance. His blow connects with Steve's hip; he yelps and jumps back, spinning his sword round and round with Bucky's until Bucky loses his grip. The momentum flings it against the wall and way too close to Sam for his comfort.
"Sorry, Sam," Steve breathes. His hair's floppy and wet, his cheeks flushed a perfect pink. Raising his sword, he slides the tip under Bucky's chin and commands smugly, "Kneel."
Steve is killing Bucky right now whether he means to or not.
Bucky straightens his shoulders. "And if I don't?"
"You're refusing to surrender?"
Of course not. He’s just...why is this turning him on so much? Jesus. Licking his lips, Bucky makes a slow show of dropping to his knees. "I surrender."
Something in Steve's eyes betrays the confident exterior he portrays, like a child playing dress-up in a superhero costume. He lowers the sword. "Thought you'd put up more of a fight than that."
"Yeah, well." Bucky jumps to his feet. The victor he is not, but he sure doesn't feel like a loser. "Maybe I still like to surprise you from time to time."
It's not entirely difficult, hiding feelings from people. Hell, Bucky's fucking great at it.
Hiding himself on Earth, he was pretty good at that, too. That skill is lost on Asgard.
Every time he tries to hide from Steve, he goes to the same place. His own fault, really. The gardens just have a way of centering his mind. They allow him to be free and want things, ridiculous things, without judgment. Sometimes he even thinks the plants are communicating with him in their fancy, Asgardian plant-like ways.
There are times when Bucky closes his eyes and replays the sounds of Brooklyn in the 30s, of his mother and sisters arguing, and the comfortable silence he and Steve would share over a shitty meal. Neither complained because at least they were eating.
Other times he stretches out in the grass and wonders what it's like to touch someone that doesn't fear him. If bare skin to skin contact is cold or warm, how long he could kiss now without stopping for air, if his body would welcome another or violently reject the intrusion. If he could overcome and be allowed to have the things he wants.
He has to enjoy the memories and fantasies while he can. Without fail, Steve always finds him.
"You know that fruit we like to eat at breakfast?" Steve asks, crunching through the grass.
Bucky pulls his knees to his chest. "You mean...apples?"
"Not just any apples." Steve sits next to Bucky, his knee bumping into Bucky's leg as he situates. "They're called Apples of Idunn. Eating them is how Thor and his ilk keep their youth and abilities. Supposedly."
Steve the skeptic, having to throw the supposedly in there. "Maybe that's why the garden hasn't kicked us out, 'cause I've been eatin' the shit out of those."
"You come here a lot." Steve plucks a blade of grass, cups it between his hands and blows on it. The sound it makes is more like a hum than a whistle. "Are you hoping if you trespass enough you'll finally get sucked away to the nameless realm?"
Bucky runs his fingers through the grass and it hums for that, too. Like he's petting it. "Surprisingly, no. I just like it. It's nice to get lost in my thoughts here because it feels like they're listening to me."
Bucky gestures to the alien plants surrounding them. "They."
A gust of air flutters through the blades as Steve flings his back to the ground, resting his hands behind his head to stare into the sky above. It isn't the same here as it as at home. The night is darker, the stars brighter. "You loved outer space. Science fiction stories, fantasy. Do you remember?"
Steve smiles. "Sixteen year old you would be jealous right now."
"Maybe," Bucky sighs. Some days his younger mind tries to take over, but he's not jealous. He's full of regret. "Do you ever wish that we could go back?"
"To being teenagers, on Earth. You and me against the world, rather than the world against us."
Pursing his lips, Steve contemplates the question. For too long. "No."
Bucky's shoulders - and he could swear, the trees - sag before Steve finishes his thought. "I mean, I know what happened to you. I'd never want to put you through that again, not when I have you back now. Safe."
Well. When he puts it that way.
Steve pats the ground beside him. "Watch the stars with me?"
Bucky lies down in the grass gently, his long hair fanning around his head like petals on a flower. He looks at the stars, he looks at Steve, and he wants.
Thor is hospitable and awesome, but also. Weird.
Sam nearly trips over The Hammer one evening after a strange yet filling dinner of small, brightly colored candies. "Why is he like this?"
"Mjolnir?" Steve asks. "He doesn't choose where Thor leaves him."
"I believe Sam is asking why Thor would leave his precious hammer on the floor of our living area when he was so devastated to lose it once before," Bucky interjects. "But, why not? Not like anybody can steal it."
Sam argues, "But what if he needs it?"
"He can do the," Steve holds his arm out like he's summoning the hammer, "thing."
Sam, hands on hips, shakes his head like he doesn't know how he ended up with this life with these people.
Bucky touches the tip of the handle. "Has anyone actually tried to lift it?"
"I should," Sam answers.
"I have," Steve says. "It moved."
In unison, Sam and Bucky cross their arms, like. Prove it.
Steve shrugs and grips the handle, pulling with all his might. Sure enough, the hammer budges, maybe a centimeter. "See?"
"I gotta try this." Sam nudges Steve out of the way and pulls on the hammer. Nothing happens, which honestly, surprises Bucky just a little bit. As far as people go, Sam is as good as it gets.
"Buck? Give it a shot."
Bucky rolls his eyes. "If you two can't lift it, I sure as hell can't."
"Honestly, nothing surprises me anymore," Sam says. "Just do it."
With a deep, resentful sigh, Bucky grabs the hammer with his right hand. Anticipating total resistance, Bucky yanks as hard as he can, stumbling backwards onto his ass when Mjolnir skids, scraping deep grooves into the stone floor. "What the hell?"
Sam says, "More worthy than Steve, but not Thor. Still impressive."
Steve offers Bucky a hand to get up off the floor. "Nice."
"It's probably just the whole virgin thing." Bucky laughs awkwardly. He immediately regrets it. Prisoner of war, self-sacrificing friend, battle proven...and he chooses to say virgin.
The regret intensifies when Sam and Steve freeze in shock. Or horror. Who knows.
Sam blinks. "Say what now?"
"I don't understand," Steve says. "You - you showed all the girls a good time, always had one on your arm. When I asked you'd say-"
"A gentleman never tells?" Bucky interrupts.
Sam laughs. "Oh yeah, that's what a guy says when he actually has nothing to tell."
Something's wrong, though. Steve looks like this trivial revelation just fucked up everything he knew to be right and true in the world. And it's just - it's not a big deal that he's never had sex with a girl. He knows that, now, it's because he doesn't actually want to have sex with a girl. Woman, he should say, since he's a grown ass man.
Sometimes it just takes a hundred years, some torture and brainwashing, and another planet to discover oneself. Bucky's just a special case, that's all. "You okay, Steve? You look a little pale. More than usual."
"M'fine," Steve mumbles, stuffing his hands in his pockets. "Going for a walk. See you guys later."
Cocking their heads in unison, Sam and Bucky watch Steve scurry down the staircase. "That was weird," Sam says. "Even for him."
"Yeah," Bucky sighs. "Yeah."
Bucky begins to realize after a couple of hours just how Steve usually feels while waiting for him to come back from his alone time in the gardens. And why he always has the need to hunt him down and bring him back.
Steve's been gone three hours before Bucky mutters, "Fuck it," and heads out of the palace towards the garden. His hiding place, he thinks, and now he has to share it. He's still only a tiny bit pissed when he finds Steve sitting under an alcove of pink flowers, looking like...well, he can't decide if he looks like a beautiful angel or a sexy piece of ass.
Sexual desires. They're very conflicting.
"So," he says, pulling one of Steve's moves - interrupting by asking a ridiculous question. "How old do you think Thor really is? Like, us old or Methuselah old?"
Steve huffs softly. "I think he coined the phrase 'old as Methuselah.'"
Crouching in front of Steve, Bucky levels a fierce glare at him. "You're in my hiding spot."
"Didn't see your name on it."
"I know you are but what am I?"
"Ugh," Steve grunts. "A virgin."
"You say that like it's a bad thing," Bucky says, softly. "Why, of all the things you already know about me, does that upset you?"
Steve fidgets, fingering the petal of a flower absentmindedly. They look like dahlias but bigger, brighter, and smell sweeter than even the best roses on Earth. He picks at a stray leaf, then re-ties the shoelaces of his boots. Like delaying will help or something, but it won't. "A lot of reasons," he finally answers.
No way Steve's getting out of this and he knows it. "Well, for one," he fumbles, "you deserved to go home after you were captured, meet someone and have a brood of kids running around. You didn't choose this life. I feel like I chose it for you."
"Who's to say I would have chosen that life anyway? You asked me to stay. I did. Next reason."
Steve shakes his head and finally makes eye contact. "Okay. I'm definitely not. A virgin, I mean."
Bucky flinches but recovers quickly. "And? It's not like we...I don't see the problem. With that."
"Of course you don't," Steve replies bitterly. He crawls out of the alcove, heading deeper into the garden without explanation for why he's being such an ass.
"Why are you being such an ass?" Bucky calls, warily following him. "If anything, I should be bitter. I'm the virgin!"
"Will you stop saying that?!"
"What, virgin? Virgin, virgin, virgin..."
"Goddammit, Bucky." Steve stops stomping, spinning on his heels to face Bucky. The prospect of running straight into Steve's face causes Bucky to swerve, then trip, landing on a bush.
"Smooth," Bucky chastises himself. The garden is thick here, full of exotic plants, towering flowers, and trees covered in vines. He steadies himself against a tree, watching in disbelief as a vine slithers over his fingers, opening itself like a snake baring its fangs. "Um..."
"Sorry, I didn't mean-"
"Ow!" Bucky snatches his hand away from the tree. "What the hell?"
"Feels like..." Bucky's cheeks flush. Is it poisonous? Shit. "Like it bit me."
Steve takes Bucky's hand gently, inspecting the dome of blood on his fingertip. "Plants don't bite, Buck."
"Yeah and aliens weren't real either, right? 'Till they fucking were. Maybe alien plants bite." His focus can't seem to break from Steve's hands, his arms, his lips. Bucky wants him to suck the blood from his cut, heal him with his sweet, hot mouth.
All of the blood in his body is traveling southward. Fuck.
"You alright?" There’s a hot palm on his face and a concerned Steve in his personal space, definite signs that something is wrong. "You're red."
"M'fine," Bucky says. He dislodges his hand from Steve's grip, only to be snatched up by a vine as soon as it's free. The vine's moving on its own accord again, twisting curls around Bucky's wrist. "Uh, okay. Maybe not so fine."
Bucky's skin tingles where the plant's wrapped around him and burns at the cut. His head feels like that one time he always reminisces about, when he and Steve snuck his dad's whiskey and got drunk before passing out in a pile of pillows on the floor. It's been so long since he's been drunk but he remembers it like this, right down to the unsteady feet and the insatiable urge to put his mouth any and everywhere on Steve fucking Rogers.
They listen to me, he thinks. Fuck, they're intervening. Not what he was asking for, Garden, but thanks.
"Maybe it's not a plant," Steve whispers, staring in horror as another vine encircles Bucky's metal wrist, righting his balance. "I'm gonna go get Thor."
When Steve turns his back a tree limb jumps out of thicket to his left, latching onto his calf like a hand. Bucky tugs his wrists but whatever this thing is, it's stronger than him. Relax, he thinks. Or feels. Like his mind isn't his own anymore, but not in a bad way. In a peaceful way. "Steve?"
"I'm here, Buck. What the fuck is this thing, do you know?"
"No, just. Relax, okay?" Bucky says. "Don't fight it too hard."
Like saying that to Steve Rogers has ever worked in any universe.
Steve twists his neck with a glare, but if he speaks Bucky doesn't hear it. He's too busy trying to make sense of what he sees before him now - longer hair, softer features, smaller frame. But still the same indignant face. "You're small," Bucky gasps.
"What?" Steve frowns. His voice even sounds like it used to, less authority but more demanding.
Bucky licks his lips, tastes whiskey. Impossible, but with everything else going on, it's only a minor conundrum. "You're small, like I remember. God, I miss you, Steve."
"I'm not small," Steve grunts, jerking his leg but the only direction the plant will let him go is toward Bucky. "What do you mean, you miss me?"
Is he not small? That's what Bucky sees. He wants to touch him so badly he's almost in tears. Steve drags the limb with him to help Bucky's predicament, fighting it tooth and nail but the vines won't be defeated. "I miss you, Steve. My Steve. Remember the time, when my mom caught us? That's what you're wearing. But you're older? Like when I left to go to Basic. It doesn't make sense."
"No, it doesn't." Steve's oblivious to a vine snaking around his waist, his attention solely on Bucky, until it bares its teeth and nips at Steve's neck. His shoulder jerks and he shouts, "Fucking hell!"
Alien plants are vampires. Bucky wants to suck the tiny trickle of blood away away from his neck, relish the metallic tang unique to Steve. Maybe he's a vampire now, too. "You're bleeding," he says, tongue heavy in his mouth.
Steve's still ignoring the obvious insanity consuming them at the moment. "I'm fine. Are you okay, though? How do you feel?"
Trapped. High. Confused as fuck. Instead, Bucky replies, "Horny?"
"Oh." Steve's brows shoot up as he eyes look down. "Oh! Shit. Now you're naked."
Okay, no. He knows he's not naked. He can see his clothes and sure as hell feels his erection straining against his pants. "I'm...naked? How do I look?"
Steve blushes, and God, Bucky loves this little shit so much.
"Fine, good. Like you do now, but," Steve says, tracing the tips of his fingers along Bucky's sternum. "You're wearing dog tags. My dog tags."
That's not something Bucky's ever thought of in the garden. Maybe the naked part, definitely the old Steve, but never such a distinct detail like that. Seems like he's not the only one the plants listen to. "You - you wanted this."
His mouth opens, but it takes Steve a few seconds before the words come out. "Some say you can't die wearing another man's dog tags. It's silly but I think about that, sometimes. Wondering if we accidentally swapped and that's how you survived the fall. I've had dreams that you broke free and found me on your own, still wearing them."
Steve's fingers burn fire-hot against his chest. When he looks down, he can see the tags now. This is some fucked up shit they're dealing with. "That still doesn't explain why I'm not wearing anything."
"Dreams," Steve says, like that alone should explain it.
Steve dreams about him. Naked. And possibly tied up. Holy shit.
Bucky has a brief moment of clarity. "It's not real, what we're seeing. I can see you how I want and vice-versa, but we can't both see it without connecting somehow. Put your hand on my face."
Reluctantly Steve cups Bucky's chin, almost pulling away when Bucky kisses his palm. But, given that he's a little tied up at the moment, it's the easiest way for him to initiate touch. Bucky nuzzles his hand, urging him to let him kiss the rest of it. He can see it in Steve's eyes when he notices the difference - soft, slim fingers made for drawing, not killing. "Whoa."
Bucky's somehow found himself in the midst of some sort of horticultural bondage scene and therefore, has no more fucks to give about Steve knowing the things he wants from him. Even if he thinks none of this is real, he'll still remember it as if it were. "Touch me," he says. "Show me what you see."
This time Steve's confidence is stronger. He closes the distance between them, the vine wrapped around his waist pressing hard into Bucky's ribs. His eyes search a mile a minute, because this is Steve and he loves to have a plan of action before doing something potentially reckless.
Finally, he brushes Bucky's long hair off of his shoulders, tracing the scars on one shoulder and strong muscles on the other. Down his arms and back up again, over his chest and abdomen. Steve's never touched him this way before, like he's something to be admired. Goosebumps cover his flesh in the cool evening now that he feels bare from the waist up. His mind is fucking with him. It's fine. For once it's goddamn fine.
"Are you sure it's not real?" Steve whispers, his fingers twisting in the chain around Bucky's neck.
But he feels it, he hears the clank and scratch of metal. He blinks once and sees Captain America, blinks again and Steve is back to the feisty little fuck from Brooklyn again. The line between fantasy and reality is blurred, perception being what they make it. "No," he confesses, a breath before Steve forcefully tugs on the dog tags to steal a kiss.
Vertigo, Bucky thinks, closing his eyes. Kissing Steve is more intoxicating than whatever love potion the alien plant injected into him. He's spinning and the only thing keeping him up is the life or death grip these fucking vines have on his wrists. When Steve pulls away, Bucky gasps and stumbles. "The fuck, Steve?"
"I'm sorry," Steve mumbles. He's small still and, thank fuck, naked and hard as a rock. Inevitably he tries to back away but the vines twist tighter around his waist, pulling him flush against Bucky. "Sorry."
"Shut up, why did you stop?" Bucky pleads. Having had a taste, he's desperate for more. "Please don't."
Then Steve's hands are in his hair, his neck, his cheeks, his chest. "Okay, okay. I got you, alright?"
Bucky nods emphatically. "Yeah, pal, you got me. You really fucking got me."
"That what you want?" Steve tugs on the vines around Bucky's wrists, watching as more appear and snake up his legs.
Bucky's feeling what little sense of control he has over the situation drifting away but it's fine somehow. None of this has to make sense 'cause Steve's got him, and he's not gonna leave him wanting in this crazy sex garden. Steve's got him so he can just let go, be honest, enjoy the madness for what it is - probably a one time deal.
"What I want," Bucky confesses sheepishly, "is for you to fuck me."
"Me?" Steve asks.
Bucky knows what the question means - the ninety pound, short and sickly Steve, not the Adonis he eventually became. "Hell yeah," he whispers, trying to lunge forward to get his mouth on Steve's neck. The plants aren't playing on his side, though.
"Aw." And who knew any version of Steve Rogers could be this much of a tease? He positions himself close enough to smell but just out of Bucky's reach, a bony hip nudging against his thigh. "Tell me what else you want."
So this is how it's gonna be. Bucky can't say he's surprised. "You wouldn't be talking so tough if I wasn't tied up, punk."
Steve grabs Bucky's jaw, forcing him to look down into his eyes. He's got a wicked little smirk on his face. "But you are, aren't you?"
The whimper that escapes his lips is completely involuntary, just like the clench of his fists and jerk of his dick. He'd hate this feeling of helplessness if he didn't fucking love it so much. He feels safe because Steve is safe from him. Does it make sense? Hell no, but none of the rest of the shit going on does either.
Steve's eyes flash nervously. "Too much?"
"Not enough." Bucky shakes his head. "Fuck. Me."
"I can't just fuck you, it doesn't work like that."
"It's not real!" Bucky yells. "Just - stop being so fucking noble for once and take something that you want."
Steve blinks, obscenely long eyelashes on his cheekbones. His fucking inner turmoil will one day be the death of Bucky, he knows. He sighs, shrugs, and says, "Okay," before pushing Bucky backwards as hard as he can.
The vines catch him before his head hits the ground, suspending him horizontally in the air by his ankles and wrists. Steve settles between his legs, his perfect pink little cock bouncing against his thigh. Bucky wants to taste and smell, to choke on it just to make Steve's chest widen with pride. His mouth waters at the thought.
Steve catches him staring and licking his lips. He feels sort of like a man dying in the desert. Steve is his oasis. "Make up your mind, Bucky," Steve growls, reaching to grab a fist full of Bucky's hair. "You're drooling over it. You want it in your mouth or in your ass?"
"Jesus," Bucky mewls. The man above him may look and talk like little Steve but he's as fucking strong as the big version. This part of Steve has always been inside him, though. That tiny spitfire could've had Bucky on his knees with just a look and a few coarse words. But he never did.
Steve tugs his hair again, softer this time. "You gonna answer me?"
"Anything." Bucky leans into Steve's hand. "Take what you want, it's yours."
Bucky half expects Steve to laugh at him - they're supposed to be strong at all times, not soft and pliant like this. But Steve doesn't laugh. He likes it.
Steve releases his grip on Bucky's hair, tracing the contours of his cheek, the dimple in his chin, the curve of his lips. The tip of his index finger drags along Bucky's lower lip, testing the waters before tapping at his teeth. Bucky flicks his tongue, curling it to coax Steve's fingers into his mouth. Steve smells of the dahlias and tastes like honey. It's intoxicating, overloading his senses to the point he has to close his eyes, steady his mind. He wants to savor this as long as possible.
There's a hitched breath and soft moan above him. Steve withdraws his fingers and Bucky whines. Just for a second, though - a hand immediately clamps over his mouth. "Shh," Steve whispers. "Someone might hear."
Bucky's heart is pounding out of his chest. He's drunk and laughing. He's teasing Steve about...he doesn't remember. What he does remember is Steve shoving him to the floor and covering his mouth with the same warning. It was just because they were drunk. Not anything else.
This time Steve doesn't leave him on the floor, stunned and more than a little aroused. This time, Steve holds him down. He twists his nipples, scratches his nails against his stomach, grabs his cock and squeezes like he owns it. It hurts but in a good way - his body was made to ignore pain, but this he feels. It consumes him.
Steve's rutting against him, short jabs against his balls that are torturous just because it's not enough. When Bucky glances down, he sees the obvious disconnect between his vision and reality - what he sees is their bodies joined together. Steve's fucking him. Bucky's had dreams like this before, sex dreams that feel so vivid but he knows they're not because sex has to feel like more than this. But because he's never experienced it, he doesn't know how much more he's missing.
Even with the lack of real penetration, he's still about to lose his goddamn mind.
"Please," he moans, words muffled by the hand over his mouth. One half of Steve is punishing in his ruthlessness, tearing his hand away from Bucky's mouth to yank him up by his dog tags. The other is gentle to the point of excruciating pain, palming his cock, his hips, his thighs with reverence. Bucky's his balance, absorbing all that Steve can give him.
Steve pulls him in for a bruising kiss. Now that he's so close, he can see that Steve looks as fucked out as he feels. "What do you need, Buck?"
His back aches. Every muscle is contracting, his gut so tight he can barely breathe. Honestly, he needs to blow his load before he spontaneously combusts. "I need to come," he grunts. Even in this dream state, it feels weird to say something like that aloud.
A soft smile crosses Steve's face. He drops his head, watching their bodies move together, before wrapping his fingers around Bucky's dick in earnest. "So, come then."
Bucky shudders, sassing him back. "Make me."
"Don't wake the neighbors, loud mouth."
"J-jerk," Bucky stutters, squeezing his eyes shut. He has no control, completely surrendered to his best friend. No one else has ever touched him like this, at least, not that he can remember. If they had, it wasn't worth remembering anyway.
Steve blinks, his eyelashes tickling Bucky's collarbone. The simple intimacy is too much for his already overwhelmed senses. One last attempt to free himself from his binds is as worthless as all the others. The vines on his wrist tighten. He's dizzy and weak as he lets go of his last shred of consciousness. "Steve..." he sighs.
"I know, I got you," Steve whispers into Bucky's chest. He wraps an arm around his back, holding him steady. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry this isn't real."
And as he comes, his arms fall free to the ground.
There's no sun in the realm of Asgard. No moon to howl at. Plenty of stars, though.
Bucky remembers going alone to the Hayden Planetarium, how he felt like he could stare for hours and even live there if they'd let him pay rent. The view when he opens his eyes in the garden reminds him of that moment of pure fascination. Except he's not in a bubble. Not alone. And he definitely wasn't stoned at the planetarium.
So maybe it's nothing like New York.
A hand has a death grip on his shirt. Steve. He's asleep with his head heavy on his chest, one leg draped over Bucky's knees. Bucky tentatively runs a hand through Steve's hair, catching sight of a ring of bruises around his wrist in the starlight.
"How does it feel?"
The deep, wise voice startles him. He's still so out of it that it takes a full two seconds to whip his head around to where Thor is crouching just a few feet away. Bucky licks his parched lips. "How does what feel?"
Thor smiles softly. "To be mortal."
Bucky sighs, letting his head bounce on the ground. "Like a relief," he answers honestly.
"Samuel was worried when neither of you returned from your walk," Thor says. "I will leave the explanation of your garden adventure to you."
Oh God, does Thor know? Does all of Asgard know that...know what, exactly? Bucky takes in the reality of his current setting - tangled in a mess of branches and leaves, a super-soldier sprawled across his chest, and freezing cold jizz in his pants. Well. At least the orgasm was real.
Steve stirs, smacking his lips, then jolts to attention. He blinks sleepily at Bucky, then at the God of Thunder. "Thor," he mumbles.
"It's not what it looks like."
Thor nods, humoring him. "Of course not."
"We need to get back," Bucky says. "Sam doesn't know where we are."
"Sam. Shit." Steve scrambles to his feet, unaware of the leaves and branches stuck to his hair and clothing. Judging by the grimace on his face, he's got the same cold cum predicament in his pants. "He's gonna want an explanation, like a goddamn den mother."
"Tell him the truth," Thor says with a smirk. "That you should never trust the plants on Asgard."
"We were attacked by sentient plants in the garden."
Thor had said to tell the truth, but thanks to their ability to heal rapidly, there was no evidence to prove their convoluted story.
Sam doesn't believe them. He's tired, his smile lines more pronounced than usual. "If you wanted to do something without me, you could have just said so. No need to lie about it."
"It's not a lie," Steve argues.
Bucky nods. "Do not trust alien plant life."
Sam rolls his eyes. "Yeah, okay."
Then he slumps off to his bed, leaving Steve and Bucky alone with their awkwardness. They should, ya know, talk about this. Whatever the plants injected him with is wearing off, leaving him feeling antsy and irritated. Even so, this isn't something they can just pretend didn't happen. "Should we...talk?"
"You really wanna talk about how you wanted little Steve Rogers to fuck you?" Steve asks tiredly.
Bucky scowls. "Maybe I want to talk about how you wanted to fuck the Winter Soldier."
Steve returns his scowl, so Bucky pushes him harder. "Was it the mask? You sure seem to like to muzzle me."
Okay, maybe that was too much. Steve's eyes flash but he's not going to fight him. "Goodnight, Bucky," he says, leaving Bucky alone.
Sometimes he hates Steve Rogers. But it's okay. Sometimes he hates himself, too.
Breakfast is tense.
Second breakfast is tense.
Lunch is tense.
By dinner, Sam has had enough. "Seriously, what the fuck happened last night?"
Steve and Bucky share a brief look.
Sam takes a big bite of salad, which if Bucky is being honest with himself, is a bit traumatizing to watch. Damn plants.
"Fine." Sam drops his fork in his bowl. "Don't tell me, then."
Bucky skips his evening trip to the gardens. Too risky. Instead he burns some candles and goes to bed early, convincing himself that the quiet darkness will somehow be a suitable replacement. What he remembers too late is that silence is always the loudest noise for his brain.
He wants to talk to Steve. Even arguing would be better than this. But honestly, how creepy is it to sneak into the bedroom of someone that you dry humped to completion the night before?
Bucky purses his lips, contemplating the alternative. What's a little creepiness between friends, really?
Problem is - when Bucky tiptoes to Steve's room, he finds it empty. The bed's made, military corners. There's a book - an Asgardian book, holographic - on his nightstand. There's little clues to Steve's incurable messiness hidden in plain sight - dying flowers bunched into a pile on his dresser, dirty clothes under a throw blanket, and a food platter shoved under the bed.
With a whiny sigh, Bucky falls face first onto Steve's bed. He loves Steve. And some goddamn flowers fucked it up. He shouldn't be surprised. His life has been just one mindfuck after another.
"Ugh," Bucky says to no one. The bed. Whatever.
Bucky can hear Steve walking into the room, like a freight train barreling down on him. "Lost?" Steve asks, amused.
Steve sighs, sitting on the bed. He's wearing soft pajama pants and a white linen shirt, like he'd planned on going to bed earlier but changed his mind. Bucky's clothes are similar but dark gray. Fitting contrast, he thinks.
"There's never a mask," Steve says simply.
Bucky attempts an apology. "I was a dick."
"There's never a mask," Steve repeats pointedly. "Because once I saw your face that day I never wanted to look at anything else ever again."
Rolling onto his side, Bucky gulps down the lump in his throat. "Well, now you tell me."
Steve huffs a laugh. "You're right, you are a dick."
"And you’re right. I don't think I understood the extent, but I did want you when we were younger." Bucky laughs, too. "I can't remember what perfume my mother wore or the color of my sister's eyes, but you. It's like you were carved into my soul with a knife."
Bucky looks up with sad eyes. "It is."
"You wish we could go back in time," Steve states, not asks. "It hurt you when I said I didn't."
"I don't want to go back, I just." Bucky shakes his head. "I wish maybe I'd figured this out before."
"Before, when it was illegal? Before, when I wouldn't have even had the self-confidence to say yes if you'd offered?"
"I can be persuasive."
Steve smiles tightly. "Never have been able to say no to you."
"Neither could I." Bucky drops his head back to the bed. He's dramatic about it and doesn't care. "Sometimes I catch myself wondering if it could have changed the course of history. If we’d just understood. You said you feel like you chose this life for me, but if you had known how I felt maybe you'd have sent me home instead of asking me to join you. I wouldn't have fallen and you would have figured out that you could land that goddamn plane in the middle of nowhere instead of crashing it into the Arctic."
"I had to-"
"Don't," Bucky interrupts sharply.
Steve nods, conceding. "And what then? We'd win the war and live out our lives together as self-confirmed bachelors in a brownstone in Brooklyn?"
"Why not? Does every story have to end in tragedy? Is happiness some myth created to sell novels and greeting cards?"
"Coming from the most tragic person I know." Steve plops back on the bed too, turning his head to look thoughtfully at Bucky. "Sam once asked what made me happy. I couldn't answer because almost all of the happy moments in my life were tied to you."
Things like this, deep talks with lots of emotion make him feel light-headed. Is it wrong to want to break it with levity? Probably, but oh well. "You weren't happy having all the sex with people that aren't me?"
Steve smirks. "I said happy moments, not fun moments."
"How much fun are we talkin'?" Bucky asks suspiciously.
"A...decent amount of fun," Steve answers.
Steve pauses. "Yeah."
Now Steve blushes. "Once."
Wow. It's okay, Bucky tells himself. This is fine.
"A sex symbol to the nation. A hussy to the world," Bucky mocks.
Steve punches him in the arm. "Listen, Nat made it a personal goal to acclimate me to the 21st Century. I fucking acclimated."
"You fucking acclimated," Bucky mutters. "Did you have fun with her, too?"
"No," Steve says, horrified. "I'm still alive, aren't I?"
Bucky laughs because yeah, Black Widows get their moniker for a reason.
Steve's shifting the mood again, looking at him all soft and sad. "Are we okay, Buck?"
"Why wouldn't we be okay?" Bucky asks despite knowing all the fucking reasons they're not. Just lying so close to Steve is making him ache for something real, something tangible between them.
"I dunno," Steve says. "Experts say dry humping while under the influence of sex pollen can be damaging to a friendship."
"Well," Steve shrugs, "Sam."
"You told Sam?!"
Steve sighs. "Yes. He's my best friend and my confidant. And I'm his. We can tell each other anything, even things we don't really want to know. Especially things we don't want to know."
Bucky frowns. "Then what am I to you? If he's your best friend."
"You're everything to me," he answers, matter-of-fact.
Fucking plants. Things were relatively simple before they got involved. Sure, Bucky was pining for Steve hard enough to fill a forest but that was okay. He's not used to getting what he wants anyway. But now he could, possibly. The stars are finally aligning in his favor, but it's up to him to take advantage of it.
"I'll be goddamned," Bucky breathes. "No. No, we're not okay."
Steve's face falls. "Oh."
"Because we should be doing it again," Bucky clarifies. "The humping, I mean. Maybe without the arboreal assistance."
A slow smile creeps over Steve's face. "I can get on board with that."
"I bet you could, slut."
"Ya know what?" Steve pushes Bucky's shoulder hard, planting him on his back so he can tower over him. "Just for that I'm going to take this slow. Treat you real nice like you deserve."
Bucky gulps. "I wanna make some kinda joke but honestly I'm very distracted right now."
"Don't get too excited, virgin. We're just sleeping tonight."
Bucky growls when Steve rolls away to unmake the bed and kill the lights. Who needs sleep? They've slept enough. What he needs is a good deep dicking. He thinks. Maybe he doesn't need that at all. Maybe he knows nothing.
Sleep might be a good idea.
"It was only for an hour or so," Steve says, tugging Bucky under the covers, "but I felt more at ease sleeping with you in the garden than...well, ever."
"Currently regretting saying I wanted to go back to when we were kids," Bucky huffs. Steve's got a point, though. He feels himself relaxing instantly. He feels safe.
Steve yawns. "We'll do things right when it happens for real, not like what happened in the garden. No dominating or tying up or any of that stuff."
Bucky makes a face, joking, "Where's the fun in that?"
Even in the dark Bucky can see Steve's eyes darken. Steve gives him a chaste kiss and a whispered warning that is anything but. "Don't tempt me."
Hmm. Sounds like a challenge.
Dreamless sleep - not a bad thing.
Sleep interrupted by Steve's snoring - a very bad thing.
The guy is 95% muscle but still comfortable as hell to sleep on. Bucky's slowly shifted into Steve's space throughout the night, seeking out the soft warmth that emanates from his body. Steve's presence made for some quality sleep and he'd still be resting peacefully if it weren't for him roaring like a chainsaw.
Zemo thought the green in Steve's eyes was a flaw; it's not. His eyes are perfect and beautiful.
The snoring, however. That's a big fucking flaw.
Bucky pinches just below Steve's ribs. It makes him snort but then the snoring just continues. Ridiculous. "I can't believe I forgot that you snore," Bucky muses. "You know how fucking dangerous it is to have someone in your squad that snores? It's why none of us fought you when you tried to take double shifts on watch. We wanted to live. "
He chuckles softly. The number of times he's slept next to Steve is way more than he can count, but this time is very different. It's amazing how their talk from the night before seems to have lifted a weight from his chest that's been there for decades, persisting even when he wasn't aware of it. It was so heavy he should have suffocated from it.
Steve snorts again, so Bucky keeps talking to him. "You would think that if the serum fixed your asthma, it would have fixed this, too. Although," Bucky pauses to tap his nose, "it didn't do anything to help that bump in your nose."
Bumpy nose or not, Steve is still insanely beautiful. Was before, too, but now. He's basically the same, just fucking huge. "I wanted to ask about your dick," Bucky says. "Back in Italy, I mean. I thought it'd be funny to joke with you about it, call you Big Dick Rogers. But you were distracting enough as it was. How could I focus on anything else if I knew you had a baby's arm hanging between your legs?"
A spot of drool is forming in the corner of Steve's gaping mouth. He licks his lips and goes slack jawed again.
"I had a feeling about it, though. In Austria, it was so fucking cold that we all slept huddled together like newborn pups. You don't snore on your side, ya know. Fifteen degrees outside and I could still feel your morning wood poking me in the ass. More than once I wished you'd roll on top of me in the middle of the night. That you'd tug my pants down and fuck me right there with your hand clamped over my mouth so no one would hear."
Steve's eyes slowly creep open and he turns his head to stare at a now horrified Bucky.
"I thought I said not to tempt me," Steve says, voice husky from sleep.
In Bucky's defense, he hadn't even been trying to tempt him. Yet.
When Bucky says nothing, Steve nods his head with a small smile. "Go on."
"The doctors in Wakanda said an important part of your recovery was voicing what you want, making decisions and having control of your life. And I want that for you, too." Steve's cheeks flush a pretty shade of pink. "So yeah, go on. Tell me what what else you've wanted."
Bucky gulps. The first thing that pops into his head how he felt in the garden, salivating over a dick that wasn't even real. "I wanted to suck it," he says hurriedly.
Steve's cool about that response. He nods as if it's a relatable sentiment. "Have you ever given a blow job before?"
"No," Bucky says. His ears are as pink as Steve's cheeks.
"Have you ever gotten one before?"
Bucky's blush deepens. "No."
The look on Steve's face is easy to read - understanding that when Bucky said he was a virgin, he was dead serious. Bucky can't tell if he is dismayed or delighted. "Would you like one?" Steve asks sweetly.
In the history of the world, has anyone ever said no to that question? Well, maybe, but certainly never to Steve Rogers, he's sure. "You always ask somebody that before you blow them?"
Steve raises an eyebrow. "It's called consent. After the whole plant thing..."
"Right," Bucky exhales. "Then yes. I would definitely like one."
"Was that so hard?" Steve asks with a grin, blanketing himself over Bucky's body. He's warm and smells clean and sleepy. If it weren't for the electricity surging from his brain to his balls, he'd be happy to stay like this forever.
"Getting there," Bucky jokes. "Is it awkward? It is, isn't it?"
"A little," Steve admits, brushing a few stray hairs from Bucky's face. "It'll pass pretty quickly."
Then Steve nudges Bucky's chin with his nose, angling his face to brush their lips together perfectly. And yeah, it's only weird for a second because something else replaces it - heat. If the serum was good for one thing, it's muscle memory. Bucky'd kissed plenty of girls in Brooklyn. A few in Europe, and a few guys there too. So even though his mind is overwhelmed with chaotic thoughts of oh my God you are kissing Steve, his body knows exactly what to do.
His lips part to take a breath and Steve sneaks a flick of his tongue against his. Bucky moans, but it's followed up by a chuckle from above him. "Still awkward?" Steve asks. He sounds out of breath. In a way that's more exciting than the kissing was.
Bucky groans, "Only when you stop to ask if it's awkward."
"Okay," Steve laughs. He tangles one hand in Bucky's hair and wedges the other under his ass, bumping their hips together. Bucky's eyes flutter involuntarily and he chases that feeling again with another thrust of his hips. Steve tilts his head to kiss his neck and murmur in his ear, "You're hard."
"Captain Obvious," Bucky grunts, even though it makes his gut do somersaults to hear Steve talk to him like that.
Steve shuts him up with a forceful kiss and a rough squeeze. Every touch is dizzying. There's a logical explanation for that but who cares? Bucky's riding high on this strange blend of power and tenderness that Steve exudes. Making out with him is as exhilarating as whatever those alien plants shot them up with that night in the garden.
One little problem is that Bucky doesn't know what to do with his hands. Lying prone and motionless is not sexy, so he fumbles awkwardly until they settle on Steve's waist. The warm patch of skin just below the hem of his shirt is too tempting to resist. Bucky skims his fingers across it, and up, marveling at how soft a body made of pure muscle can be. He wants more.
With a quiet growl he tugs at the shirt until Steve gets the picture and sits up to tug it over his head. As Bucky stares in awe at Steve's pectorals - shit, they're practically tits - he realizes that not once since the garden incident has he longed for his skinny Steve. Seems the plants satisfied that need. Now he knows that he just wants Steve, no precursor needed.
Steve wiggles Bucky out of his shirt too and presses their chests together, dipping his mouth to nip at his collarbone. Slowly Bucky's checking things off his mental list of curiosities. He does still have to occasionally stop to breathe while kissing. Skin to skin is such a good feeling that he could cry from it. And yeah, he's pretty sure he'd let Steve do absolutely anything to him at this point in time. He's putty in his hands.
They kiss for what feels like hours. Not that it's not great, it's just that the slow build of constant stimulation might actually kill him. Steve's hands in his hair, on his face, his arms, legs, back, ass...it's like he feels every fucking touch right in his dick and that's the one place Steve's greedy hands haven't wandered to yet.
One small shift of Steve's hips rubs their cocks together so sweetly that it feels like a bolt of lightning up Bucky's spine. "Shit," he breathes, tossing his head back and blinking rapidly. "Do that again."
Steve licks his lips, bright red and wet from their relentless pursuit of Bucky's sanity. "I have a better idea."
"Better idea," Bucky mutters. His displeasure turns into a gasp when Steve braces his weight on each of Bucky's biceps and dips his lips to suck a nipple into his mouth. His metal arms whirs but Steve just pushes harder.
Might be time for Bucky to accept the facts - he likes being overpowered by Steve, in fantasy and reality.
Bucky watches Steve kiss his way down his chest and abdomen, leaving a wet trail of goosebumps in his wake. Steve mouths over the bulge in his pants, already wet from their ridiculously long make-out session. The urge to move his hips now is strong and terrifying. He knows what's coming and he wants it so badly that he's almost sick with it.
Puking during his first blowjob is not a memory he wants to have.
He inhales deeply, then exhales. Repeat. "Okay," Bucky says shakily, mostly to himself.
Steve releases his arms and looks up at him with the most deceptively innocent blue eyes known to man. "Good?"
"Fantastic," he replies, his voice going up an entire octave because Steve has his hands on Bucky's hips, sliding his pants down. He's so hard he's worried he might just blow his load right there all over Steve's face.
That mental image is not helping the situation at all.
"Calm down, Buck." Steve smiles. He's so fucking relaxed, goddamn. "The serum helped you, too," he remarks, tracing a prominent vein on Bucky's cock with the pad of his thumb.
Then he dips his head, kissing Bucky's hip and licking a stripe up his abs before sucking a nipple between his teeth. Calm down, he says? Motherfucking Steve Rogers is a tease and there's a good chance that cum is gonna shoot out of Bucky's dick like a bolt of lightning.
He's aware that prolonged erections make his internal monologue extremely dramatic.
Bucky jerks his hips, only to have one of Steve's free hands force him to be still again. "You're a tease," he accuses.
Steve shrugs, knowing full well that it's the truth. He makes and holds eye contact then, flicking his tongue out to lick the slit of Bucky's cock, coming away with a line of pre-cum stuck to his lips. It's a show for an audience of one, and Bucky watches in rapt fascination.
"Look at you," Bucky whispers. "You love this."
Steve winks, the tips of his ears burning bright. He pulls Bucky's foreskin back, swirling his tongue around the head before stroking upward again to gather it at the tip again, suckling gently with pursed lips.
"Christ," Bucky mutters under his breath. He can't watch anymore. Steve's mouth is wet and hot as goddamn hell as it devours him slowly, inch by inch. Blood courses through his veins, pounding in his ears and making him shake with pent up energy.
Steve grips his other hip, pressing him into the mattress. He's trapped, not that there's anywhere he'd rather be. It's funny though, he thinks. Steve doesn't give a suck job - he takes it from you, with every slick drag of lips over his shaft and scrape of his teeth over fragile skin, with bruising fingers and soft whimpers.
Something so shockingly good, it's a damn pity it won't last long. Nothing has ever felt this good in Bucky's life. His legs are shaking, his stomach is in knots, even his skin is tingling. It could just be the newness, but probably not. If anything, he thinks he's more overwhelmed by his partner.
Bucky whines pitifully, "Steve," grasping at the sheets to hold himself still. He might get the stink eye for it, but he curls the fingers of both hands in Steve's short hair instead of the sheets. Steve whimpers again, surging deeper until he swears his dick hits the back of Steve's throat.
"Oh - fuck fuck fuck," Bucky yelps. His eyes shoot open and he tries - and fails - to yank Steve away before he explodes and chokes the poor man. And he almost makes it, but Steve fights him, willingly letting Bucky fill him to the brim.
Not that Bucky's complaining. He can't even speak to say thank you, much less complain about Steve's stubbornness.
Just as he takes in a deep shaky breath, Steve surges up to kiss him. Steve's hand is in his pajama pants, rubbing his own erection with the palm of his hand. Bucky tastes himself on Steve's sticky lips. It's fucking hot enough to almost get him hard again.
"Can I?" Steve licks his lips, glancing down at his hand and Bucky's chest.
"What?" It takes him a second to put two and two together but he nods furiously when he does. "Oh. Yeah. Fuck yeah."
Steve grins and kisses him again, freeing his cock from his pants. It only takes a few strokes and biting kisses before he spills himself over Bucky's stomach, with his lifelong friend's name on his lips.
"Whoa," Bucky says after the initial shock of watching Steve come all over him wears off. That deserved twenty whoas and a round of applause.
"Yeah?" Steve grabs a shirt to clean up the mess. "Well, there's more where that came from."
"Aces," Bucky sighs. He could really go for a nap right about now, but Steve smacks him on the thigh to jar him awake.
"Come on," Steve scolds. "Time for breakfast."
Breakfast? Bucky closes his eyes, a content smile on his face. Fuck breakfast.
It turns out that when Steve said he was going to "take it slow," that just meant he didn't want to do everything possible with Bucky all at once. Which, is actually kinda sweet. He does the things that most people would expect Steve Rogers - Captain America - to do. Breakfast in bed, doting attention, and a lot of proud bragging about his newfound relationship with his old love. And it's only been one day.
He also does a lot of things that no one would dare dream of the esteemed Captain America doing. Like sneaking into the bathroom they share to pin Bucky face first against the cold wall of the waterfall shower, pressing his smooth chest against Bucky's shoulder blades.
"This relationship has escalated rather quickly," Bucky comments lightly.
"Too much?" Steve draws Bucky's damp hair over to one shoulder, pressing a kiss to his neck.
"No, it's just an adjustment. A good adjustment," Bucky quickly adds. It's just that since he's gone so long without the good kind of attention, it can be addicting but also a little terrifying. His mind is at war - does he fight for freedom or surrender to what feels good?
"How about from now on I'll ask before doing anything in your space instead of assuming it's okay. Can I shower with you?"
Bucky rolls his eyes, not that Steve can see it with his face against a stone wall. "Yes."
"Can I wash you?"
That's a little weird. Or maybe it's normal and just weird to him. Bucky nods once. "Yeah, okay."
"You think it's weird," Steve says with a chuckle. He reaches for the vial of shampoo, pouring a generous amount on top of Bucky's head. "I'm not good at psychology. Nat would say it's a dominance thing. Thor would suggest something symbolic, akin to baptism or cleansing your soul. Sam's logical, he'd think I just want to take care of you. Maybe it's a little bit of all three."
"You're right," Bucky groans, tilting his head back into Steve's hands. "I think you're fucking weird."
That's a total lie. He thinks Steve is a genius. Having strong fingers massage his scalp feels almost as good as a blowjob. And the soaps here aren't like on Earth, sticky and generally smelling like they came from a factory. Asgardians bathe less often and use shit Bucky's never even heard of for cleaning, cooking, bathing. He thinks they all have some sort of healing powers, stripping any evil spirits away along with the oil in his hair and the remnants of their morning relationship consummation.
Steve's hands migrate from Bucky's scalp to his shoulders, massaging the spicy smelling suds into the tight muscles there. Bracing his hands against the wall, Bucky doesn't even try to conceal the moan that escapes his lips and echoes around them.
"Weird, huh?" Steve murmurs, bringing his hands around Bucky's neck. He lathers with just the right amount of pressure on his neck, his jaw, and his chest to leave Bucky panting.
Shit. He's getting hard again. "Shut up," Bucky growls, breathless.
With a chuckle, Steve pulls Bucky's hair into the stream to rinse the shampoo out, then pours some more soap into his hand to work into Bucky's back and abdomen. "I like when you tell me to shut up."
Bucky almost tells him to shut up again. "What else do you like?" he asks instead, because that's what Steve would say.
"Your hair. You're very pretty."
Bucky grunts. Not the answer he wanted, but he's still somewhat flattered.
"Like the way you taste. I want more," Steve says, squeezing Bucky's ass cheeks playfully. The way he handles him is scarily intimate, ignoring his half hard cock and subconsciously spread legs in favor of just thoroughly cleaning him. The dismissal is more of a turn-on than if he'd gone ahead and stroked him.
Steve grips Bucky's shoulders, twisting him and pressing his back to the stone so they stand face to face. "I like that you know me, " he says. "Not him."
Steve Rogers. Not Captain America. Honestly, he kinda hates the Captain. What he is in the 21st century isn't what Bucky remembers from the war. God's righteous man vs the idiot who's new balls were as big as his brain and refused to back down from what was right. History remembered the good and erased the bad, a legend built by propaganda and stored atop a pedestal.
"Fuck him," Bucky says, neglecting to mention the truth. That he puts Steve on a pedestal just as tall, holding him in the highest regard while believing he himself only deserves to sit at his feet.
Steve licks his lips and asks, "Can I kiss you?" He doesn't wait for an answer before cupping Bucky's jaw and pressing their soap slicked hips together. Bucky gasps a quiet yes against eager lips, letting Steve take him apart with something as innocent as a kiss.
Legs shaking under him, Bucky anchors his back to the wall in one last stand of defiance. Why, he doesn't know. Maybe just so he knows that the inevitable surrender is ultimately his choice. He can't stay at war with himself forever. With his hands flat against Steve's chest, he pushes away, giving himself the space to breathe and think.
Then with wobbly legs but an unwavering grin, Bucky sinks to his knees.
At times Steve can be a bit like a puppy with a new chew toy.
Bucky's the chew toy. And while he's loving every minute of this newfound thing that he can't quite put a name to yet, he's tired and a little chafed.
He seeks sanctuary one night in an unlikely place. But his lover’s confidant could possibly be his too, if he just puts forth the effort into the friendship.
"Why are you in my bed?" Sam grumbles sleepily.
"I've awoken a beast," Bucky sighs.
"Don't make me ask again."
"It's the last place he'd look for me. I just need a nap," Bucky whines. "I'm afraid my dick'll fall off. It's just shooting air at this point."
"And he hasn't even, ya know," Bucky lowers his voice, " fucked me yet. Or me him. He wants us to take it slow but I'm not sure five blowjobs in a day can be considered slow, ya know? Feel like I got lockjaw."
Sam grimaces. "I feel like...you could have answered my question with far less detail."
"Sorry. Didn't realize how good it felt to actually voice what's happening until I started."
"Makes it real."
"It's cool, I get it. Just as long as you don't try to make me your couple's counselor," Sam remarks. "I got my own problems, ya know."
"I know. You're just easy to talk to, is all." Bucky shrugs. "You could always talk to me, too. If you want."
"I'll keep that in mind." Sam sighs, like he's put out that Bucky is simultaneously being nice to him and annoying him. "You do realize if you just say you need a break that he'll leave you alone, right?"
"I don't want him to stop, I just want a nap." Bucky smirks. "Besides, when have you ever been able to say no to Steve?"
"Ugh." Sam rolls over in defeat. He has no argument. "Just - go to sleep, Barnes."
Bucky crosses his arms over his chest, eyeing the birdlike creature on Sam's arm with thinly veiled contempt. Not that he has a problem with artificial intelligence. Usually. It's just that as of this morning, the little guy has a very annoying wake-up call that Sam seems to have no intention of fixing. "Junior, though? You couldn't have come up with a better name?"
Sam rolls his eyes. "Coming from someone who chooses to go by the name Bucky."
They're outside the palace with Thor, waiting on Steve to join them for the grand unveiling - Redwing, Jr is going to make his first flight. Steve is late and Bucky swears the droid keeps trying to make eye contact with him. It's...off-putting. "I'm just saying, he's not a real bird. 2.0 would've been better."
"You just referred to it as 'he'," Thor points out. "That, along with the sense connection we've created with his keeper makes him almost as much a part of Sam as your arm is to you."
Shaking his head, Bucky mutters under his breath to Sam, "This must be like a wet dream of yours."
"He's trained to attack," Sam threatens coolly. Bucky shuts up. "Where the hell is Steve?"
"The gardens," Thor answers. He nods towards the walking path and sure as shit, that idiot is strolling leisurely towards them with a short-stemmed flower in his hand.
Bucky's about two seconds from chewing him out, but he gets sucked in by a strange sensation. His heart just skipped a beat. He's so gaga for this guy that it's embarrassing. It's windy today, mussing Steve's normally styled coif into a floppy mess on his forehead. His hair is longer than he usually keeps it, Bucky notices. He likes it.
Then there's the flower, one of the dahlias from the garden. Bucky quickly realizes that it's for him, what with Steve's little smirk and stem twirling.
"Pushing your luck, dontcha think?" Bucky asks when Steve's within earshot.
Steve shrugs casually. "We had a talk."
"You and the plants? Did you let them down easy, playa?"
"You're ridiculous." Steve smooths Bucky's hair, tucking the pink flower behind his ear. "They wanted me to give this to you."
"Oh, they did?" Bucky tries - so hard - not to smile but he just can't help himself. He sort of believes what Steve said is true. The garden listens, and has its own ways of speaking.
Tugging him close by the front of his shirt, Bucky pecks Steve on the lips and murmurs, "Quit tryin' to make me pretty."
"Don't have to try," Steve replies with another kiss.
"Ahem!" Sam clears his throat obnoxiously.
"Sorry," Bucky mutters. This is Sam's day after all, and he can smooch on Steve whenever the hell he wants to now.
"Yeah, Sam. Sor-" Steve's apology is abruptly interrupted by a roaring sneeze, accompanied by a flustered look. "Oh."
Bucky taps him on the nose. "Gesundheit."
Sam and Thor appear stunned. "Did you just sneeze?" Sam asks.
"Yeah," Steve answers stuffily.
"I can't recall ever seeing you do that before," Thor says. "Fascinating."
Bucky scowls, pointing to the flower in his hair. "What's the big deal, it's probably just..." Pausing, he finally gets it. Steve doesn't sneeze anymore.
Ever. "Uh, the flower."
"A fluke." Steve waves a hand, dismissing the attention. "To the air, Junior."
Thor grins widely. "Time to take flight, little bird."
Bucky's not sure exactly how Sam controls his little pet, but Junior hums to life when Sam strokes a finger over his breast. The android flaps his wings, quietly sailing circles in the air above them. He almost looks like a real falcon, until his beady little eyes focus directly on Bucky. "Target acquired," he squawks.
"Oops," Sam laughs. "Only I was supposed to hear that. Still got a few kinks to work out."
Bucky huffs. "Fucking hilarious."
Junior soars higher in the air before swooping down and skimming his talons across the tall blades of grass outside the garden. Bucky can't be offended for too long - Sam's excitement is too damn endearing. The bird is pretty fucking cool, too, even if he appears to be enjoying his newfound freedom to fly a little too much.
"He doesn't think on his own, does he?" Steve asks anxiously, watching as Junior flies further away.
Bucky tilts his head, pointing to the bird disappearing into the garden. "Looks like Junior ditched you already."
"Aw, shit." Sam takes off after his pet amidst Thor's, Steve's, and Bucky's stifled laughter. Well, they're all laughing until they fully realize what Sam is running into. The Garden of Asgard, where the fruits of eternity grow and demonic alien plants lie in wait for their next plaything to fuck with.
“I’ll go retrieve them,” Thor offers, jogging into the garden after they lose sight of the droid and of Sam.
Bucky and Steve share a relieved, then a panicked look. "No!"