It goes like this.
Bucky Barnes follows his lover Steve Rogers back into the war, even though he could have had an honorable discharge with a purple heart and everything. He follows that stubborn, gold-hearted punk into enemy territory time after goddamn time and watches the once five foot nothing ball of fury and sass take down HYDRA like they were toy Soldiers and he was the overgrown toddler knocking them down. There blood, (Drying on his face, on his hands like the paint he used as a kid in school, but warmer and stickier, brighter, and darker when you hit the liver and fuck -) guts (spilling out when Steves shield slices through HYDRA soldiers stomachs like butter, flopping on the ground with all the life of a dead fish and smelling so much worse -) and sweat (getting into his eyes while he tries to line up a shot and having to wipe his face hoping he won’t miss that critical moment, won't remove his hand to find his lovers blue eyes gazing into nothing because he looked away for one fucking moment -), and yes, even a few tears (Steve hugs him when he narrowly misses getting a bullet to his skull, after that mission was done, and the others look away because the moment is private and even if they know that the two men were together they didn’t acknowledge it because acknowledging it was dangerous and could get them killed -), because sometimes (most of the time) trying to cut a bullet out of a man that can heal faster then it takes for him to finish a fight is not pretty;
“Jesus fuck, Stevie! What the hell kinda’ shit did they shoot you up with?” Bucky choked when Steve had come to him with his first ever request to help him dig out a bullet from his goddamn gut .
“I dunno, but it helps right?” Steve shrugged (so uncaring, like his uniform isn’t sporting more blood then it should, even though there’s no wound, and the blood is dripping, dripping, dripping -) wincing as the movement stretched his stomach.
When Bucky looked down at Steve's abs when he winced again, he had to hold back his gag reflex and urge to vomit;
The bullet was just under Steve's pale, alabaster skin, the damage on the inside having clearly healed and pushed the bullet to the surface, but since the surface of his skin had healed, the bullet was bulging grotesquely against his abdomen, and fuck Bucky could have gone his whole damn life without seeing that, let alone on his best friend/lover.
“Shit, Rogers,” Bucky looked up at Steve's face, trying to avoid seeing the disturbing sight. Then he sighed. “Let me get the damn kit, punk,” Steve nodded and flinched again when the bullet shifted, trying to get out. Bucky once again felt the acidic taste of bile of the back of his tongue. “Just, sit down, before you make it worse.”
Getting the army-issued med kit, Bucky tried not to think about the fact that he was going to cut into his best friend like a piece of meat.
Sitting down beside his lover, Bucky motioned for Steve to lay down, and Steve did so, huffing as the bullet once again shifted under the skin.
“Buck,” Steve spoke through gritted teeth, “This is gonna hurt, ain’t it?” the younger man looked resigned to the fact that his other half was going to be slicing into him with all the grace of a person with just enough army required and trained medical knowledge to not slice into a vital organ (oh wait, that’s exactly what was fucking happening). If Steve wasn’t so reluctant to have Gabe do the cutting, not wanting to have the rest of the commandos more scarred then they already were, Steve wouldn’t be asking Bucky to do this; but Steve trusted bucky with everything, including his actual fucking life, so.
It goes like this.
The first time Bucky slices into Steve because he was healing over a bullet, he threw up.
Slicing into human flesh made him want to vomit, and hell, he may have lost his appetite for meat of any kind right then and there.
The skin parted like the turkey on Thanksgiving dinner, the blood started pouring out and Bucky almost panicked as his hand was covered in sticky red Steve , and then he realized that the bullet was actually under Muscle as well. Bucky, at this point, had to shove his belt between Steves' teeth, or else his screaming would have alerted not only the Commando's but any Nazi or Hydra goon in the area. The belt was old, a gift from his mother, and wedding gift to his Grandfather from his grandmother.
Bucky had put it on with pride when she gave it to him, told her he’d take real good care of it.
Later, he couldn’t look at it without wanting to vomit.
He stashed it with his clothes and bought a new one after each bullet wound.
He made sure they were cheap but thick; Steve’s teeth were sharp.
Having to dig into the layer of fat and muscle that concealed the bullet wasn’t something Bucky wanted to ever relive, but he did.
It goes like this.
While Bucky had gained all of his memories back, was cleared and pardoned by SHIELD, and the WSC (reluctantly) and ready for missions almost a year after HYDRA was demolished in 2014, Bucky only went on his first mission with them six months after he was cleared.
The mission was going great until one of the Villains of The Week™ decided to bring a gun to Bucky’s knife fight and shoot him in the goddamn shoulder. The flesh one. Fucking asshole.
Since HYDRA, being the giant dickbags that they were, had enhanced Bucky’s body almost up to Steve’s level, The skin healed right over the damn bullet and made Bucky wince with every movement, even as he through his knife with deadly accuracy into the shocked VOTW’s forehead.
“Steve,” Bucky spoke into the comm, trying not to roll his shoulder or, really, move it at all. “Your turn to dig out the bullet.”
The soldier heard shocked exclamations and Russian curses from the rest of the team, but Steve, calm as can be, and with just the right amount of sass, replied;
“This your idea of revenge for that first time, Buck?”
Bucky laughed as Steve’s voice sounded behind him, and he turned to see Stark touching down, and Hawkeye and Blackwidow following behind Steve.
“Oh yeah,” Bucky rolled his eyes, returning the sass, “Because getting shot in my good shoulder is so much goddamn fun, Stevie.”
Steve chuckled, ignoring the rest of the teams' incredulous looks as they talked about each other getting shot like it was just a normal thing. Which, considering all their jobs, it really was. It was probably the ‘digging out the bullet’ thing that had them confused.
“You know the drill, Buck, Shirt off.”
Bucky rolled his eyes, but took his upper gear off, ignoring the gags and hisses from the Team (not Steve) when his shoulder was revealed.
Clenching the belt between his teeth, he ignored the sound of Stark throwing up and Hawkeye following suit not long after as Steve used his TAC knife to cut into the flesh, fat, and muscle of his shoulder, then reached in to get the bullet.
Later, Steve threw away the belt.
Stark insisted the next one be a very thick and expensive flavored leather.