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The Thing Is...

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The thing is, Bucky has wanted Steve forever. Even when they first met during the war, but he knew nothing would ever come of it. He was a kid, and Steve was, well, Steve.

Now though…

Now they're both over a hundred years old and they're here, somehow, together in the future and he's not a kid. The things he's done, the things he seen... No, Bucky’s not a kid anymore. Steve is still Steve. He's always been that bright spot, the inspiration Bucky needed, or the hand to help him up again. And he knows he's not the only one. He knows that Steve is that guiding compass for many. It's not just him. It's never been just him, but Bucky's always felt he's had a part of Steve that no one else did. At least, no one in this century.

So that's the thing; he's always belonged to Steve. Steve has always belonged to everyone. Or he did, because the thing is….

The thing about it is, when they’re actually together on a mission, and then go back to his place for just a little while, Steve is his. Not the Avengers’, not the public’s, not the government’s. Bucky's. And that, that

Well, Bucky’s not sure if he'll ever get used to that.

It's not a surprise anymore when Steve follows him home. It was, that first time, when Steve had just found out Bucky wasn’t quite as dead as they’d led him to believe. Bucky had let him, pretended he hadnt seen and left the door unlocked, because it was a surprise, but he’d never wanted to hurt Steve as much as they had. Now though, it's not a surprise when he pushes Bucky against the door and kisses him. Kisses him so hard his lip splits on his teeth. Steve kisses like he's drowning. Like if Bucky doesn't kiss him back, he'll die.

And the thing is, Bucky’s not surprised, but he’s not sure he’ll ever get used to this either. To Steve making Bucky think he might give up the ghost if Bucky doesn’t give him this because no one else gives Steve what Bucky does. No one else takes him apart, no one else puts him back together, no one else holds him together. Bucky read once on the Internet that duct tape holds the world together, and if that's true, then Bucky is Steve's duct tape as he flips them around, slams Steve against the wall, and pins his hands above his head. The arm whirls, recalibrates, locking in place with his fingers about both Steve's wrists.

Truth be told, Steve could probably get out of it, but the thing is, he doesn't even try. Oh, there's a little push, a little struggle, but it's all for show. Steve doesn't want to get away. Steve wants Bucky to take him apart. Steve wants Bucky to put him back together. Steve wants, and Bucky wants, and though he's not sure sometimes what this thing is between them, he’ll take it for as long as he can have it. He'll peel Steve out of his suit, revealing all that golden, serum-enhanced, muscular body. Bucky doesn't take off his own gear, because that's part of the game. Steve is at his mercy; his, to do whatever he wants to, until they're both too exhausted to move.

He doesn't damage the suit. It’s too expensive a piece of gear to waste for play like this, but that doesn’t mean he’s gentle. Bucky knows where the zips and the velcro fastenings are hidden, knows how to work them open without a fuss. They do this after every mission; he’s had practice, and within moments he has Steve’s golden chest bared, his body a feast for Bucky’s eyes. Steve trembles, as if this is already too much, just Bucky pinning him in place and stripping him down. Running his gloved hand over Steve’s chest, Bucky watches Steve’s ribs expand as he sucks in a sharp breath. The pants are next, easy to open if one knows where to look. In a heartbeat he had them pushed halfway down Steve’s thighs.

The evidence of how bad Steve wants this is now on display. The first time Bucky saw it, he couldn’t believe his eyes. Steve wants this, his prick thick and hard. Wants him, because Steve is straining the white cotton of his briefs, a little spot of wetness where the tip presses against the fabric.

And it’s his, somehow, to do with as he wants, so he doesn’t ask, doesn’t even hesitate to flatten his palm against the thin material. He can feel Steve's cock beneath the cotton, emanating heat like a furnace. Steve shudders at his touch, hips snapping upward as he presses down. He’s teasing, they both know it - they haven’t even begun to play - but Steve wants to be controlled. And that’s the thing with Steve that Bucky never expected, how he needs this; needs Bucky to put him in his place.

“Be still,” Bucky rasps, trying to ignore how his own cock is rock hard as he rubes his fingers over Steve’s head, spreading the wetness, making Steve let out a quiet whine of need. Bucky is so proud of him because he hasn’t moved a muscle after Bucky told him not to. And Bucky can trust Steve to stay as he leaves him, can trust that he’ll obey, will accept any command eagerly, willingly, even sweetly. Bucky’s seen Steve take orders, hundreds of them, thousands maybe, but he’s never seen him react like he does to Bucky’s commands.

Taking his flesh hand from that perfect cock, Bucky pulls his smallest dagger from his belt; the one with the thin blade that’s sharp as hell. Bucky likes it because it slips between joints in armor, or gaps where the armor didn’t quite fit. He’s killed many people with this knife, not much bigger than an ordinary switch blade, but this isn’t about death. It’s about life and Steve and making him tremble with need, so he flips the blade and watches Steve’s gaze fixate on his hand. He’s staring at the easy way Bucky handles the knife, at the shine on the metal’s sharp edge, because Steve is not what Bucky expected, and he knows what Bucky is going to do. Steve knows and Steve craves it. Steve craves it as much as Bucky craves having Steve like this, intent upon his every movement.

Licking his lips, Bucky flips the knife again and again, watching as Steve’s pupils dilate and his lips open on a greedy moan. Slowly, Bucky presses the flat of the blade firmly against the skin of Steve’s side. The muscles jump under the cold contact, goosebumps running riot across the paler flesh there, but Steve doesn’t move. He doesn’t flinch from the blade, doesn’t change his position one iota, not even to get rid of the pants that are now puddled below his knees and around his ankles.

As a reward, Bucky drags the flat of his knife from Steve’s side to his belly, the blade honed to an edge so sharp he watches the tiny hairs being shorn away in the path he takes. Steve is breathing heavily now, chest heaving and contracting so his muscles stand out beautifully against his skin. Later he’ll play with all of it, he’ll enjoy everything that Steve has to offer because Bucky treats every time with Steve like it’ll be his last. Hell, it might be, because the thing about this is? Bucky doesn’t know why it happens. When they’re like this, though, when Steve is stretched out with his glorious muscles on display for him, he doesn’t care why. Why doesn’t matter. What matters is slipping the knife down, down, down, making Steve’s muscles twitch as he slides the edge beneath the waistband of the constricting briefs and plucks, the blade slicing through cloth and elastic like butter.

The swallow Steve makes is audible in the quiet of Bucky’s apartment. The flap of fabric hangs open, held up only by the elastic around Steve’s thigh. As coverings go, it’s useless; Steve’s cock springs free to slap against his stomach. Bucky’s own breath catches because Steve is so damn hard now and he’s leaking freely, the pre-come smeared by the remnants of his underwear, but more is dribbling from the tip because Steve leaks more than anyone Bucky’s ever heard of. Maybe it’s because of the serum, but it’s another one of those things that simply doesn’t matter because Bucky loves how it makes a mess of Steve.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how much Steve is loving this, the knife on his skin, giving everything over into Bucky’s hands, so he continues the slow trek to the other hip. He’s taking his time and Steve is coming undone, head pressing back against the wall, breath coming faster and faster, lips parted and Bucky bets there’s not a thought in his pretty head.

When the knife slips beneath the remaining elastic, Steve’s muscles jump, his cock twitching violently so the tip smears pre-come across his lower abdomen. Bucky smirks and flicks the knife, slicing the last of the fabric away, leaving Steve bare from neck to knees. All of his muscles are tense, some twitching, and it’s a sight Bucky knows he’ll never stop getting tired of having before him, because it means Steve is his. Bucky's never had anyone the way he has Steve.

Shoving the pants off and away, Bucky goes back in for another kiss. They’re kissing like it's oxygen and they're drowning, and his flesh hand is running all over Steve's naked body now, cupping one of his broad pecs in his hand, squeezing hard pinching the nipple between thumb and forefinger, rolling the bud. He's not gentle. Steve doesn't want him to be. Steve wants him to pull. Steve wants him to put his mouth on his other nipple and bite down, making Steve shout, making him cry out, make him writhe against the wall as Bucky mauls his hard, tight pec in his hand, so he does, and soon Steve is indeed a writhing, moaning, mess. The most beautiful mess Bucky’s ever had the pleasure of making.

Only when Steve’s tits are red and shiny with saliva, the nipples standing out hard and tight, sensitive to every little brush, does Bucky stop. One of these days, he’s going to get up the nerve to ask Steve to let him take of picture of him like this. One of those Polaroids so there's no other copies, just his, showing Steve’s glazed eyes, puffy, swollen lips and equally swollen red nipples. Maybe he’d take one of his cock, too; dripping and twitching and so hard the tip is an angry purple.

Maybe, maybe, maybe; all the maybe’s. Bucky never asks. Hell, they don’t really talk when they’re alone like this, not unless it’s about what Steve wants Bucky to do to him. It’s Bucky’s job to take control, but it’s Steve who runs the show, tells Bucky how far he wants to be pushed, punished, and played with. They won’t talk about it tomorrow, because Steve will be gone before Bucky wakes up. They never talk about why this thing between them happens. Bucky doesn’t know why. It matters, but he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t ask.

“Gonna be good for me, Steve?” Bucky asks, though they both know he will be. “Gonna be a good boy tonight?”

“Yes, sir,” Steve pants, blue eyes glazes, lips red from how he’s chewed on them. “I’ll be good.”

Bucky smiles and reaches down to open his belt, holding eye contact the whole time the buckle clicks and clacks in the quiet entry hall. The words mean Steve doesn’t want it rough, doesn’t need to be punished this time. Still, Bucky makes a show of taking the belt off, slowly teasing the leather open, gripping the end, and pulling. The sound of the leather sliding against his pants is as sensual as any caress, and Steve sags a little harder against the wall, licking his lips. He’s not asked for punishment, but Bucky can see he’d take it if that’s what Bucky wanted to give him.

As he's wrapping the leather about his metal fist, Steve can’t look away. Not when he doesn’t know what Bucky is doing, not when he is anticipating pain and pleasure and anything else Bucky wants to give. It’s what Bucky loves about these first few moments: Steve’s breath quickens, his pupils have expanded to cover most of the blue, he’s licking his lips almost compulsively, and his gaze flicks from Bucky’s eyes to the leather, and back. It’s a pattern, a visual symphony - flick, lick, exhale, flick, lick, inhale - growing faster and faster, building to a crescendo of anticipation that must be nearly painful.

That’s the thing, though, the point of this. Steve isn’t in control; Bucky is. Steve just has to be, has to obey, because that’s what Steve needs.

Letting the leather unspool from his hand, Bucky grabs the other end and snaps the belt between his fists so the air cracks. Steve flinches, but his cock jerks and a bead of precome builds at the tip slips down over the flared head. He’s so hard now that his cock is curling toward his stomach, resisting the pull of gravity.

“Turn around,” Bucky orders, coaching his voice to be low and cold and hard, as if unaffected by the sight before him. As if anyone could be unaffected by this.

Movements slow, but purposeful, Steve pushes himself off the wall and turns around. He splays his hands against the hard surface, holding himself up, spreading his legs wide without having to be asked or reminded. It gives Bucky a thrill watching his muscles flex, bunch, and tighten. Steve is a masterpiece from the front, but from the back? Bucky has never seen a body so stunning. There are muscles on Steve’s back Bucky has never seen, and it accentuates the taper of his waist when there aren’t any pectoral or abdominal muscles to draw the eye from side to side. There’s just the long lines of him, tapering down to his tiny waist that dips before curving out to his round, tight ass.

Teasingly, Bucky drags the end of the belt down Steve’s spine, goosebumps racing away from where the cool leather connects, to the pronounced dip where his spine joins his pelvis. Swaying ever so slightly toward Bucky, Steve jerks to a stop, his muscles tensing and flexing all throughout his torso once he realizes what he’s doing.

“Good boy,” Bucky purrs, his belt reaching the lush curve of Steve’s perky ass. Truth be told, Bucky wants to stripe it red before fucking it for hours, leaving Steve loose and wrecked and sensitive, red and white and heated as his skin heals. Steve would be a shivering mess then, spread out on Bucky’s bed, but he didn't ask for punishment so Bucky resists the urge and instead taps the leather of the belt against Steve’s exposed balls, soft and shaved. He pushes at them, pressing them forward, making Steve’s breath hitch and his legs flex. Bucky knows he’s trying to give him more access, but he spread them as far as he could when he turned about, and there’s no more room to go without getting so low as to be entirely useless.

“I love your balls,” Bucky says, because it’s true and because Steve needs to be praised when he’s been good. “They’re so delicate and sensitive; so defenseless. I could do anything I want to them and you would just stay here, keep your legs spread for me, because you’re a good boy, aren’t you, Steve?”

“Yes, sir,” Steve breathed out, shivering, his head lowering to press against the cool stucco he’s facing.

“Hands behind your back,” Bucky instructs and leans away to watch Steve lower himself until his chest is flush with the wall, face turned so his cheek is smashed beneath his weight. When he puts his wrists against the small of his back, it pushes his chest out so Bucky’s not worried he’s going to hurt his neck any more with most of the weight on those glorious tits.

Bucky lets Steve stand like that for a beat, then uses his metal hand to grip both Steve’s wrists. Squeezing hard enough to bruise a normal person is just enough to make Steve really feel it, and that’s one of the perks of being with Steve - Bucky doesn’t have to be so damn careful. Steve’s flexing, not trying to pull away, but definitely testing, enjoying the surety of being restrained by the metal arm. Bucky lets him for a beat or two, then brings the belt up, looping it into a figure eight and threading Steve’s arms through. He adjusts Steve until both arms are parallel and then pulls the loops closed. It’s not a perfect restraint and Steve could break free easily, but it’s the sensation that matters to Steve, and the visual that matters to Bucky.

Adjusting until he’s sure the bonds are even, he then places his hands just above the leather. Bucky runs them up to his elbows, then to his shoulders, before spinning Steve about and slamming him back against the wall. Steve’s breath rushes out of him, but Bucky doesn’t let him get used to it, he bends and hauls Steve over his shoulder in a fireman’s carry, not even giving him the autonomy to walk to the bedroom. The first time he’d done it, Steve had cursed and told him to do it more often, but he falls so quickly into subspace these days that there’s rarely a comment like that any more. Bucky doesn’t mind; Steve’s told him plenty of what he likes by now, and Bucky’s creative enough to work within his limits and keep it interesting. Bucky hopes that’s not what keeps Steve coming back, but he knows it probably is.

Kicking open his bedroom door, Bucky throws Steve onto the bed like spoils of war. Gasping and moaning, Steve bites his lip and looks up at Bucky through his lashes, so Bucky grants no mercy. He shoves Steve onto his stomach and yanks his ankles apart, spreading him, exposing him, leaving him vulnerable to anything that Bucky wants to put inside him.

Climbing onto the bed, Bucky is briefly aware that he hasn’t even bothered to remove the black domino mask, but he doesn’t care. He has Steve, naked and bound, spread and pliant, on his bed, waiting to be fucked and he doesn’t need to be naked to get that done. Hell, he isn’t sure he’s capable of taking the time, not after all the foreplay in the entry hall, not with how sweet and obedient Steve is being for him. That’s how it always is, though. Bucky can draw this out as long as he wants, but the second he has Steve in his bed, he has to have him.

Getting a good handful of Steve’s ass in each hand, Bucky squeezes and spreads. The hole that had been peeking at him before is visible now and Steve is pressing his face into the mattress, just as turned on by the position, and for the same reasons as Bucky; he likes feeling vulnerable and Bucky likes making him that way.

“Gonna be so good inside you,” Bucky purrs. “You are always so tight, clenching down on me like you’re trying to draw me in.” Shifting his grip, he places both thumbs at the edges of Steve’s hole and pulls, stretching the puckered entrance. “God, look at you twitching. You need it, don’t you, Steve? Need to feel me inside you.”

Steve manages to nod, but he’s panting and squirming, wanting Bucky so much his face has flushed as red as a tomato. This is the only thing that Bucky has seen really get under Steve’s skin, everything else falling away like water. Bucky loves it, loves that he can do this to Steve when no one else can.

The lube is in the bedside table, which means Bucky has to let go of Steve’s ass to go get it. It’s a necessary evil because once he has it, has two fingers slick and dripping, he pushes both into Steve’s hole. Steve shouts, burrowing his face into the sheets, but his legs spread further as his arms and back flex, the long line of him reacting to the invasion. Bucky doesn’t wait, doesn’t let Steve relax; he pulls his fingers out completely and then pushes them in again. With his knuckles flush against Steve’s ass, they’re as deep as they can go and he can feel Steve’s body reacting now as well as see it, the muscles of his channel fluttering, clutching at him, trying to drag him in deeper and fighting to relax.

“That’s it,” Bucky coaxes, stretching Steve wider, scissoring his fingers so Steve is wriggling and gasping. “Take it. Gonna get you ready for me.”

“Please,” Steve gasps, so breathless it’s nearly a whisper.

“You beg so nicely,” Bucky says, pulling his fingers out and reaching for the lube again. It’s a fumble with his pants because his fingers are so slick, but he gets the button popped and zipper down and hisses as he slicks his cock with lube because he’s so damned turned on and needs to be inside Steve like he needs to breathe.

Grabbing Steve’s hips, Bucky yanks upward, putting Steve on his knees, and pushes up against him. Then he’s guiding himself to Steve’s hole and pushing past the last of his resistance. The thing about being inside Steve is that it’s all heat and tension, silky smooth muscles clinging to him as he slowly bottoms out. Beneath him, Steve is whining, his back muscles flexing as he arches his ass, pushing it at Bucky. He puts on a unintentional show that does as much to Bucky’s libido as Steve’s tight body. The perfect swell of Steve’s ass is a thing of beauty. The cheeks are spread around his cock, the hole a greedy mouth swallowing him down.

By the time Bucky is fully sheathed inside him, a fine sheen of sweat has broken out over Steve’s serum-perfect skin. It shimmers in the bedroom’s low lights, making Steve glitter. The room doesn’t smell like sex yet, but it will soon, and Bucky will revel in it until it fades away, taking the evidence of Steve spread out, whining, pleading, and begging between his legs. It’s almost too hard to believe, then, that Steve was ever like this, sweet and pliant, moaning each time Bucky’s hips slap against his ass like he can’t live without it. He will pull this memory up, picturing how Steve is so riled up Bucky won’t have to touch his cock to make him come, but it will feel like a fantasy more than reality without the smell to back it up, the smell that is so completely, purely Steve.

That will be then. Now Bucky curls over Steve, lying across that gorgeous, perfect back and his bound arms, and jackhammers into him. He doesn’t hold back, slamming as hard and as fast as he wants, pushing Steve down with his weight. Each thrust unravels what little control Steve has left. It’s always like this, Steve never fully submitting until he comes completely undone. At first Bucky didn’t notice, but when he finally got Steve to really scream, he had reached his goal because, for whatever reason, Steve will moan and groan and whine, but getting him to shout and cry out? That takes some work. And it’s only now, with Bucky pounding away at his ass, does Steve really let go. He’s shouting with each thrust, whining as Bucky pulls out, eyes shut, the loudest lay Bucky’s ever had between his legs.

Not that being with Steve compares to anything else. No, with Steve under him, willingly giving his body to Bucky to do what he pleases, wanting this, needing it, is the thing that breaks Bucky every time. That’s what pushes him over the edge, how much Steve wants it, because Bucky never thought he would. Never thought he could have this, and then never thought he could possibly be worthy, not for Steve, not after all he’s done, all they made him. Yet Steve has chosen him, for however long this lasts, for whatever reason, and maybe that’s why he never asks, because if it’s just physical, if there’s nothing more...

Bucky comes so hard, it’s all he can do to keep himself from blacking out. He’s holding onto Steve as hard as he can, feeling him shake and shake, coming untouched, coming undone because Bucky’s come inside him. Pressing his cheek to Steve’s neck, Bucky just breathes, inhaling the delicious air and letting his heart rate slow. His body is trembling in the aftermath of his orgasm as he takes a moment to just enjoy this moment. His body so very sensitive with the aftershocks running through him, and Steve’s beneath him, loose and pliant and warm. This short moment of peace is so rare, so perfect, that Bucky resists pulling out until he’s completely soft.

Before Bucky has even released Steve’s wrists or eased him onto his side, Steve is asleep. It’s as adorable as it is amusing, how quickly Steve passes out when they’re done. Admittedly, Bucky isn’t much better. Between the adrenaline fueling their mission and the undeniably incredible sex, he’s exhausted. It’s a fact that makes him wonder how long they could go if they started fresh, but that’s not what this thing is.

Because Steve’s asleep, it’s up to Bucky to get them clean and ready for bed. Bucky doesn’t mind. Honestly, he enjoys the aftercare as much as the buildup and climax. Steve’s beautiful when resting, but more vulnerable than when he was bound and spread for Bucky’s pleasure, and that… Well, it does things to Bucky’s heart. Things he doesn’t speak of, or think about, or even contemplate, because that’s not what this thing is, and if he imagines it could be, or might be something else, Bucky doesn’t think he would survive this.

When they’re both clean of spunk and lube and sweat - a damp, warm washcloth always does the trick - Bucky gets to crawl into bed behind Steve and wrap him in his arms. Now he’s finally naked, the domino mask by his side. Truth be told, he’s not sure how Steve feels waking up in Bucky’s embrace - or maybe he does, since Steve never stays - but Bucky needs it too much to resist. Bucky is the one who needs the comfort of closeness as he drifts off, Steve’s warm, hard body pressed against his. He’s tried sleeping without it, keeping his distance out of respect, but he ends up a zombie the next day. That’s when Steve will give him a worried look and suggest next time that if this isn’t good for Bucky that maybe they shouldn’t carry on, and Bucky can’t, he can’t do that again, or lose Steve. So, he cuddles close and falls into the best sleep since being a child.

In the morning, Bucky resists waking up. His bed is colder than it should be, and really, this is the worst thing about what he does with Steve. Waking up alone gets harder and harder every time. It’s these moments he truly considers questioning Steve, or asking for more, or just refusing entirely in order to protect what’s left of his heart. No matter what he decides in these early morning hours, in those moments when he’s not yet completely awake, Bucky will never refuse Steve, or ask him for more, or even what their time together means to the world’s foremost icon of good morals and judgement because Bucky is not the choice anyone should make. But to hear that from Steve? Bucky would survive it, hell, he’s survived so much he sometimes thinks he’s unbreakable, but it would kill a part of him he’d never be able to revive.

Bucky doesn’t get a chance to think about their relationship, or lack thereof, this particular morning. He’s barely swallowed the disappointment of being alone when the smell hits him. It’s not musk and sweat, it’s bacon and pancakes and coffee.

Between one heartbeat and the next, Bucky is on his feet, yanking on a pair of sweats and a shirt before stumbling down the hallway to the kitchen. The sight there brings him to a halt, blinking blearily in the bright sunlight coming through the window. Steve is… Well, the thing is, Steve is in his kitchen and Bucky isn’t sure if he’s dreaming still. Only the smell tells him it’s not a dream, because Bucky doesn’t ever dream scents, and yet…

And yet...

“You like your bacon a little crispy still?”

Bucky swallows. Steve is looking at him almost shyly. It’s not an expression just anyone would be able to recognize, but he can see the small twist to his lips that denies the smile is real and catches the darting glance at the door. He’s as uncertain as Bucky is, and isn’t that a marvelous thing? Because what could Steve possibly have to be nervous about?

“Yeah,” Bucky says thickly.

Smiling a bit still, Steve motions to his left.

“Wanna make the eggs?”

Bucky swallows, but he’s in the kitchen like a shot.

“You still like yours sunny side up?”

Nodding, Steve ducks his head, then leans over and pecks a quick, there-and-gone kiss to Bucky’s cheek. The grin that splits Bucky’s lips is so wide it’s painful, but he does not care because this is not the thing between them. It’s something new, something better, and Bucky thinks, for the first time, that maybe it can change.

“I was thinking,” Steve says as they stand shoulder to shoulder at the stove, “maybe we could make this a more permanent thing?”

“Yeah?” Bucky asks, voice cracking, not believing this is happening even with the facts staring him the face. It makes him freeze, unable to answer, his mind full of static, until Steve nudges him in the side.

“Yeah. If you want?”

“I want,” Bucky says and they’re not looking at each other, but maybe that’s their thing now. Maybe all of the things that this is, are soon not to be. For the first time, Bucky lets himself hope. He lets himself want, and the thing is? Bucky will always belong to Steve, whether Steve wants him or not, but if Steve can belong to Bucky? Maybe, just maybe, he could believe that he was worth that, that Steve saw him as worthy of Steve, of the best man he’s ever known.

The smile Steve gives him is shy, but it’s not hidden behind any false bravado.

“And maybe, more than sex?”

“You mean, like cheek kisses and breakfast?” Bucky teases because his heart is beating too fast, but he doesn’t want Steve to think he doesn’t want everything, so he adds, “You gotta have figured out by now, I'll give you anything you ask for.”

Steve shrugs a shoulder, the smile fading a bit.

“Yeah, kind of, so… I wasn’t sure it was right to ask.”

Bucky’s head strikes the microwave over the stove and makes Steve jump, but Bucky just turns and grabs his shoulders, holding on hard enough Steve might bruise.

“Idiot, it’s ‘cause I want to give you everything.”

“O-oh,” Steve manages, then rallies because he’s Captain America and nothing distracts him for long. “So, we can… date?”

Bucky makes a face.

“I hate that word. Can we… just… be together?”

“Yeah,” Steve smiles, a slow and gorgeous thing. “I’d like to be together.”

Realizing he’s holding Steve’s shoulders too hard, Bucky lets go and turns back to the stove while trying not to blush.

“Then that’s that.”

“Yeah,” Steve agrees, because the thing is? There’s always been a Steve and Bucky, even when they weren’t close, but this? This is the only Steve and Bucky that Bucky’s ever wanted to be.