"Happy birthday Nat!" Steve exclaimed, giving her a kiss on the cheek.
"Thanks but you got another thing coming if you think I'm revealing my age." She said with a smirk.
"She's forever 21" Clint chimed in. Nat playfully rolled her eyes. But Clint loved her and got her the most beautiful Ice cream cake. It was huge, too. Both Bucky and Steve tucked in when it was time and they both went for thirds.
"Good fuckin' cake" Bucky swore with a mouth full.
"Clint spent a fortune on it so it better be good." Said Nat, only having a tiny piece for herself.
Steve even helped himself to some of Bucky's.
"Hey, punk, get your own!" And Bucky shielded his plate from Steve's greedy hands.
It was nearly 1am when they got back to their floor and they were both a little tired.
"I had a good time. You, Buck?" Steve asked, making sure Bucky was ok. Bucky still went through stints of anxiety and bumps in his recovery especially when with a large group of people.
"Yeah, I'm good. Today was a really good night." Bucky smiled and kissed Steve and they started to undress for bed. Steve felt bloated and hoped it would fade away once he got settled.
The pair cuddled up together in bed with Bucky holding Steve close. The bloating didn't go away and instead progressed to discomfort. He didn't say anything to Bucky since this wasn't a big deal. He closed his eyes and tried to ignore it. He did actually feel ok for a few minutes until he felt the uncomfortable and embarrassing build of pressure in his gut. It was coming on strong and painful and despite trying to hold back, his muscles cramped and released the most foul odor he's ever smelled. He prayed Bucky was asleep and after nothing was said, he assumed he was and tried to settle in again.
It wasn't going away and now the discomfort rapidly turned into ache. He didn't know what was wrong with him. It wasn't food poisoning since Bucky ate the same things he did and Bucky seemed fine and he was sure the food was fresh.
Another bout of gas found its way out and suddenly Steve shot up in bed and ran to the bathroom. He just barely made it in time as he sat down on the toilet. His stomach was hurting so fucking badly.
His stool was loose and it never seemed to end until by the grace of God, it did. He cleaned himself up and went back to bed, hoping that whatever was making him sick was out of his system now.
Relief only lasted so long. His stomach had dulled to a soft pain that he could tolerate until just before his eyes fell closed. The pain gnawed deep in his gut, churning and stirring up nausea this time. His body was determined to get his sick out of him. Again, he flew to the bathroom. He didn't think he was going to leave anytime soon this time as the stomach cramps got worse and the diarrhea was at full force. God, he felt so sick. Holding his stomach, he leaned forward towards the small garbage pail they kept near the toilet and vomited.
This time, Bucky woke up. Bucky knew something was wrong right as he approached the restroom. He gently knocked on the door.
"Steve? You ok in there?"
"Yeah, it's nothing. Go back to bed!" Steve called out. Steve was a bad liar and it was obvious something was up. Bucky went back to bed and waited for Steve but after several minutes, he approached the door again.
"Babe, let me in. I know you're not telling me something." Bucky pressed.
Steve panicked because he was sure the room stunk but he knew. Bucky would never relent. Bucky was just as stubborn as he was.
"I can't let you in." Steve replied.
"Why? Unlock the door." Bucky tried the door knob again after a few seconds but it was still locked.
"Steve, ok, now you're worrying me. Open up." Bucky pleaded.
"Buck, I-I can't leave the toilet." Steve finally admitted. It fell silent until Bucky carefully took the door off its hinges. A door was not going to stop him from getting to Steve.
The smell hit Bucky first but he pretended not to notice.
"What's goin' on, baby?" Bucky asked gently.
Steve turned bright red and wanted to die. The love of his life watching him shit a river on the toilet wasn't the most comfortable situation. The garbage also had its fair share of vomit in it.
"I really don't feel good." Steve stated starting to feel the nausea flair up again.
"When did this start? And yeah I'll give you privacy just tell me what I can do to help you first." Bucky's tone of voice being warm and loving. He took the garbage and Steve grabbed his wrist.
"No. I need it." Steve protested.
"I'm just changing the garbage bag, doll, then I'll be right back."
And Bucky made it quick for Steve's sake. By now, Steve had changed positions from sitting on the toilet to sitting on the floor in front of it. Now he was just nauseous as hell.
Since Steve wasn't sitting on it anymore, Bucky thought it would be ok to stick around. He rubbed Steve's back gently up and down in a soothing rhythm until Steve let out a small choke before vomiting into the toilet. The smell alone made him vomit even more and he held his breath and closed his eyes to stave off anything to stimulate more retching.
A light sheen on sweat appeared on Steve's forehead as he leaned back against the cool wall.
"You're gonna be alright baby, just ride it out." Bucky comforted. "Did this start after Nat's party or earlier?"
Steve closed his eyes for a moment. "Maybe 20 minutes after we left."
Bucky was quiet, trying to think of what could have caused this as to not let it happen again.
"If I may intrude, Sargent Barnes, the symptoms Captain Rogers is experiencing match up with lactose intolerance." Jarvis interrupted. "The Captain's symptom's also match the usual time frame for them to occur."
"Lactate what? Hells that?" Bucky asked, continuing to comfort Steve.
"Means you get sick from eating dairy products." Steve cut in.
"Fuck, that's right. You went to town on that ice cream cake, baby."
"What's the cure?" Bucky then asked.
"There is no direct cure. It is recommended to let the episode pass and then upon request I can offer to you effective preventative measures." Jarvis informs him.
"Damn it." Bucky swore under his breath.
"He's never had a problem with dairy before, how did he get this then?" Bucky questioned Jarvis, trying to understand.
"It can develop at any point during life, Sargent."
"Buck, my stomach hurts really really bad." Steve whined, face still pale.
"Throw up if you need to. It's your bodies way for getting that shit out. Shit. I mean."
Steve turned red again. "Ugh. Shut up."
"Sorry, sorry. I just meant to not hold back if that's what your body wants. Let it out."
Steve nodded and then dry heaved over the toilet. He could vaguely hear Bucky's voice trying to calm him.
"Alright, baby, alright." Bucky whispered, going back to rubbing Steve's back.
Steve felt weak and looked it.
"I'm gonna get you some water. Stay hydrated. Maybe some fruit later to keep your blood sugar up." Bucky insisted, getting up and fetching Steve a water bottle from the fridge.
"Drink it slow. You don't want to shock your stomach since it's so cold and you don't want to drink too much either." Bucky said, holding the bottle to Steve's lips. Steve took a few small sips and sighed tiredly. He was so spent but his stomach still clenched because of the amount of ice cream he consumed.
"Buck, I gotta go." Steve whispered.
Bucky stood up. " I'm gonna be in the living room, I'll check on you in a few minutes."
Bucky left easily since the door was off its hinges and he sat on the couch with the tv on very low as to hear Steve call to him if he needed him.
Steve had the small garbage can on his lap, throwing up as he expelled himself. Bucky could hear it and he felt fucking terrible for Steve.
After a few minutes of it being too quiet, Bucky kept his word and went to check on him.
"How you feeling now, honey?" Bucky said, standing in the doorway.
"Just- it's all coming out. I feel gross and I'm so tired." Steve said, sitting on the floor again.
"Think you could manage a shower?" Bucky suggested.
" I could try.. you might need to help me stand."
Bucky ran the shower and made sure it was warm before helping Steve out of his clothes. Steve felt slightly better getting out of his 'sick' clothes and Bucky got in with Steve only Bucky left his boxers on. This wasn't meant to be sexual. Bucky held Steve securely against him and washed him carefully with only the smallest amount of soap so the scent doesn't turn his stomach.
"I love you, Bucky." Steve declared once Bucky had shut the water off.
"And you know that I love you, punk." Bucky said with natural ease. Loving Steve was like breathing air, even if Steve didn't feel too good sometimes. That never stopped him before and wouldn't stop him now. Bucky wouldn't have it any other way.