Bucky was pretty sure that Tony hadn’t been to bed; the sheets on his side were still turned back, cold, and unrumpled. Bucky’d given up trying to prod the genius out of the lab, and just left instructions with Friday; if Tony fell down, call him.
There were hills that Bucky wanted to die on. This wasn’t one of them.
Trying to force Tony to sleep when he got an engineering bug was like trying to make Steve turn his back on a mugging victim, convincing Natasha not to set up an elaborate scheme to get information from a human trafficking ring and then not killing all the traffickers, persuading Clint that leftover pizza was a thing.
(It didn’t count that Bucky was constantly attempting to stop Wilson from drinking milk or orange juice right out of the carton. he did not care that it was Wilson's personal juice, it was just disgusting. They had a dishwasher. Get a glass and drink like a civilized person and not a barbarian. That was a hill Bucky was willing to plant a flag on, and die for. So far, it was a steady battle, but Bucky had some hope, eventually, of convincing Wilson...)
But it did mean that instead of lounging around in bed that morning, like he’d planned, waking Tony up with soft nudges and kisses, Bucky was up at six. And because he was up, Steve just happened to want to go for a run and Bucky didn’t have a convenient excuse.
He still couldn’t figure out why Steve liked to run. Running was boring, unless someone was chasing you -- or trying to get away -- and it’s not like the serum needed the exercise. But Steve enjoyed it, and it wasn’t like it was hard. Also, kinda fun to annoy Wilson by lapping him several times.
At least when he ran with Steve, Steve had to actually put a little effort into it. Bucky could, on a flat surface, with sufficient motivation, run faster than Steve. And they pushed each other, that day, shit-talking and Steve had put on a few bursts of speed, just enough to allow him to come up behind Bucky and cuff the back of his head, which usually got them into a rolling, shoving, wrestling match in the park, until they’d accidentally destroyed something. At least they were at the compound these days, in which the park already belonged to Tony, so he wasn’t constantly having to donate to the city extra endowments for supersoldier disaster projects.
They were still nudging and shoving at each other as they entered the common areas. Grab some juice, fry up a few eggs, and then they’d separate for showers and figure out if there was anything else they needed to do.
Steve pushed past him into the kitchen, following his nose to a pot of coffee with one cup missing.
Bucky blinked, then looked around; found Tony on the couch in the viewing room, curled up. Sleeping. His bare toes stuck out from under a blanket. His hair poked out the other end, a tangled disaster. The coffee, utterly untouched, was still warm, near his elbow, a wistful little coil of steam reaching for the ceiling.
“Hey,” Bucky said, soft, crouching over near his boyfriend. “Baby...”
Tony blinked. “Jus’ waiting for you,” he muttered. Yawned. The blanket slipped off his shoulders to reveal a too-large, olive drab tee.
It really didn’t go with Tony’s skin, turning his normal bronze complexion a little sallow. But Bucky smiled anyway. The shirt was his, an Army of One tee that Steve had given him as a joke, and that Bucky often wore when he was feeling a little low, and needed comfort. He’d spritzed it several times with Parma, a cologne that reminded Bucky desperately of the smell of his father’s dresser, from back in the day, and sometimes kept the middling memories at bay when Bucky was fighting with them.
“Did you need somehin’, darlin’?” Bucky asked, sliding one arm under Tony’s back.
“Missed you,” Tony said, curling up into Bucky’s embrace.
“Yeah? Missed you, too.” Bucky nuzzled at Tony’s mop of untidy hair, curling and twisting every which way in scientific frustration and defiance of gravity. There was no point to telling Tony that Bucky’d been there, the whole time. Bucky chuckled lightly. “Wanna go up to bed?”
“You comin’ with me?”
“Always.” He slid his other arm under Tony’s knees and lifted, cradling the sleepy scientist to his chest. “I got you, babydoll.”
Tony snuggled in. “You always do.”