Chapter 1: Prelude
It had started when Tony was working on Bucky’s arm, and Bruce was looking him over on a biological level. The Russians hadn’t been as careful with their version of the super soldier serum as the Americans. Bucky had been exposed to a dangerous amount of gamma radiation. As Bruce checked him, he asked, “Bucky, I see that you’re identified as an omega. But you’ve been in the tower for almost a year and you’ve never gone into heat. Are you on suppressants?”
Bucky shook his head. “No. I’m not infertile or anything I’m just not cycling. It’s been a pretty crazy couple of years so I hadn’t thought about it before now.”
“So they didn’t sterilize you?” Bruce asked, concerned.
“Not that I’m aware of. It’s possible they did and I just don’t remember it but as far as I know I’ve still got all the equipment down there and it still works.”
Tony, who’d miraculously not interrupted until now, said, “JARVIS, do a diagnostic of Barnes would you?”
“Yes sir,” the AI replied. After a quick scan the computer responded. “Agent Barnes is still in possession of his reproductive organs.”
Tony raised an eyebrow and looked at Bruce. “Gamma radiation exposure maybe?”
“It didn’t throw me off my cycles,” Bruce pointed out.
“It could just be stress, sometimes that and PTSD can cause a severe impact on the cycle.”
“Well that should be easy enough to fix right?”
Bucky looked at both of them and asked, “Uh, do I get a say in whatever the hell you two are thinking about?”
“Briefly,” Tony replied. “You should never interrupt genius when it’s happening.”
“Ha ha. Look, I appreciate that you guys wanna help me, but I’m fine. I’m not even sure I’d want to have kids at this point.”
“It’s not just about kids,” said Bruce. “Cycling is important to your hormone balance and to your mental health. When the body doesn’t cycle for an extended period of time it can lead to inability to deal with stress and emotional imbalance.”
Bucky rolled his eyes. “Except I’m fine.” Tony and Bruce both gave him skeptical looks. “I am. I’m perfectly fine.”
“You punched a hole in my wall last week because we were out of non-dairy creamer,” Tony pointed out.
“And you started crying in the stairwell the week before that because you stepped on a roach,” Bruce added.
“Okay that’s not… All right I admit that’s bad but I’m still pretty stressed out being in hero central all the time. And besides most of the Avengers are alphas! You think I wanna go into heat here? There’d be a fist fight, then an orgy, then another fist fight!”
“And explosions. Don’t forget the explosions.” Tony grinned and gave Bucky a small punch on the arm.
“Yeah, explosions. That’s BAD Tony.”
Tony seemed to think about it, then looked at Bruce. “What about that stuff you use?”
Bruce frowned. “What?”
“Yeah! You’ve got that compound that simulates a heat but doesn’t actually do one!”
“Why the hell would you have something like that?” Asked Bucky.
“The Hulk is the last person you’d want to see in a rut, that’s why.” Bruce was thinking about it too, and he nodded. “There might be something to that Tony. But we’d have to change the chemical composition to fit Bucky’s physiology.”
“We can do that,” he replied. “Barnes, we need a DNA sample.”
“Does this mean I can spit on you? Because I feel like that’s an opportunity that doesn’t come up often.”
“…Sure, knock yourself out.”
About a week later, Bruce and Tony were pretty sure they’d come up with a workable chemical formula. But they couldn’t synthesize it into pill form like they had with Bruce, so instead they’d made a liquid version.
“So we’ve done some initial testing on the lab rats and it seems to work on them okay, and now it’s your turn,” Tony said.
“You callin’ me a lab rat?” Bucky asked.
“Hey, if the cheese fits.”
“That’s lame Tony.”
“It’s brilliant and you’re too jealous to admit it,” Tony replied, holding up a vial. “So you wanna swallow this or should we inject it?”
Bruce gave Tony a look. “This is for injection only.”
“I’ll give you 20 bucks if you drink it.”
“C’mon it’ll be fun!”
“No thanks,” Bucky said. “I’m going to listen to the actual scientist instead of the 12 year old who for some reason has three Ph. D’s.”
“Seven,” Tony replied, rolling his eyes.
Bruce tied off Bucky’s arm and said, “I’m going to start you off at a low dose, you should feel a bit warm and antsy at first but then you’ll mellow.”
“All right. Just… Make it fast okay?” Bucky closed his eyes. He hated needles.
“Okay on the count of three. One, two…” And Bruce injected him.
“You fucking liar!”
“You might have flinched.” Bruce reasoned.
Bucky waited. He wasn’t sure what was going to happen but if it would help him calm the hell down so he wasn’t a tornado of extreme emotions… He could live with it.
But nothing happened. He looked at Bruce and Tony and asked, “So… Nothing?”
Tony frowned. “JARVIS, scan him.”
It took longer than usual, but JARVIS said, “The formula appears to have no effect, sir.”
“Son of a bitch.”
“It could just be he metabolizes it fast. We’ll try again tomorrow,” Bruce said.
“Why not now?”
“Because if I’m wrong he’d be getting double the dose and I’m not sure what that would do.”
“I’ve had enough, I’m out,” said Bucky, stomping out of the lab. He found himself in the common room before he knew it, flipping through channels on the TV and not sure how to feel. On the one hand, he was a little relieved it didn’t work. He’d had enough serums and chemicals to last a life time. On the other… He’d hoped a little. He didn’t like the constant hormone fluxes that screwed up his emotions and made him even more unstable.
And he missed sex! He hadn’t been with anyone since World War II and thinking about it now, he missed it. It was scary that he’d be that intimate with someone, as he hadn’t been close to anyone in years. But here, he felt safe. And safety meant he could let go. At least a little.
Not that it mattered since the chemical hadn’t worked. Or so he thought.
About an hour later, Bucky did feel a bit warm. It wasn’t unpleasant, but it was unusual. By then most of the Avengers were in the living room, watching a movie. Or trying to anyway; Tony and Clint kept adding their own commentary to the annoyance of everyone else. Sam had decided to join in after giving up on asking them to stop.
A strange tingling sensation started on the back of his neck. He didn’t think much about it, he’d been having all sorts of weird aches since he got his memories back. But when the tingling started to intensify, he thought perhaps something was wrong. He turned, looking at Bruce, ready to ask about side effects when it hit him all at once.
This wasn’t a simulated heat, and it sure as hell wasn’t a slow build. One moment he was all right, the next he was on the floor, holding his stomach. His skin was burning, he was so hot! Just the feeling of his clothes against his skin was torment, and it made Bucky groan.
He could hear people shouting, and through the haze of sudden and painful arousal he felt calm start to spread through him. Someone was touching his face; it was Steve. His head cleared enough that he realized Bruce and Clint had left the room, but Tony, Thor, Sam and Natasha had remained. They looked... Hungry. It scared and tantalized him
Chapter 2: Steve
Bucky didn’t remember getting to his room, the next thing he knew he was nude and in his own bed. The friction of his sheets against skin was torture. Bucky gripped his cock, stroking fast to try to relieve some of the tension. It worked, but only temporarily.
He was aware that someone was sitting on the edge of the bed, and he’d know that scent anywhere. It was Steve. He grabbed Steve’s arm, a whine issuing from his throat. Steve removed his hand, only to pin Bucky to the bed.
His grip was light, and Bucky could have broken away, but instead he pushed his hips against Steve’s. The other man groaned and they shared a kiss. Bucky was tugging at Steve’s shirt and the blonde broke away, saying, “I shouldn’t be doing this. You can’t consent when you’re in heat.”
"I trust you. I want this."
"Bucky, no. I shouldn't."
Bucky sat up and grabbed the collar of Steve’s shirt glaring as he said, “Steve if you don’t fuck me right now I’m going to murder you. And it’s going to be slow and painful.”
Steve looked surprised for a moment, but then he laughed. Bucky retaliated by tearing Steve’s shirt. They stared at each other for a moment, and then attacked. As Steve kissed him, Bucky tore the super soldier’s shirt completely away. Steve had him down on the bed again, and was growling low in his throat.
He pushed a finger into Bucky, feeling how wet he was. Bucky gasped and when Steve wriggled his fingers, the brunette writhed. He bucked his hips, trying to push himself farther down onto Steve’s digits. Steve was so hard now that it was almost painful. Watching Bucky come undone and abandoning himself to the heat was… Steve didn’t have the words but it was hot as hell.
As fast as he could, Steve removed the rest of his clothing. And once he was naked, he was on top of Bucky again. When Steve bit him, Bucky gasped and grabbed Steve’s shoulders. “Don’t fucking… Stop messing around and do it!”
Steve got a hold of Bucky’s jaw, making the other man look at him. “No. We’re doing this my way, and that’s going to be slow. You understand me?”
Bucky huffed. “Please Steve?”
He was tempted, tempted by wide blue eyes. But he shook his head. “Bucky, no.” Steve kissed him before burying his nose in the scent gland in Bucky’s neck. Bucky’s hormones were in overdrive, and his scent was intoxicating.
Steve was biting Bucky’s neck, wrists and thighs, wanting more of that delicious smell. It drove Bucky wild; he leaked slick from his ass and become from his cock. And Steve had a hard time Keeping Bucky still. The assassin squirmed whenever he could, searching for contact.
Much as Steve wanted to keep going slow, there was only so much more he could take. He touched Bucky’s chin, giving him an order. “Hey, Buck. Look at me.”
Pale, heated blue eyes turned to him. Steve settled into a sitting position and patted his thighs. Bucky got the hint and straddled Steve’s lap, their erections rubbing together. Steve’s hands went to Bucky’s hips, and slowly he eased into his friend.
Bucky let out a high pitched whine, and it took the last of Steve’s control that he didn’t force Bucky down the rest of the way. When he was fully sheathed, he grabbed Bucky’s chin. “Keep your eyes on me, soldier.”
He nodded. “Yes sir.”
That was all the warning Bucky got. Steve laid into him, fucking him hard. Bucky held tight, matching every thrust with the grid of his hips. He dug his nails into Steve’s shoulders; he wanted to close his eyes, or let his head fall back. But any time he drifted, Steve would grunt and squeeze his hips. It was painful enough to bring him back but not so much that his erection flagged.
When he felt Steve start to swell, he moaned, eagerly anticipating his knot. But Steve was slowing down, and Bucky whined, “You don’t wanna knot me?”
“Might hurt you,” Steve replied.
Bucky stilled, causing Steve to look at him. “You won’t.” He nipped Steve’s ear and whispered, “Come on Steve… I want it.”
What little resolve Steve had left evaporated. He could feel it; that need to claim Bucky. For his friend’s belly to be swollen with their child. Without further thought, he thrust harder. Bucky moaned as Steve’s knot formed inside him. He didn’t scream, but it was a close thing. Steve hadn’t been kidding, his knot was huge.
Now situated on the sizable girth, the two were lost to frenzy. They needed their completion, and they didn’t take their eyes off each other.
Bucky came hard, screaming his release when it hit. His vision went black, and Steve had to hold him up. Seeing Bucky so pliant, feeling his friend convulse around him was enough to send him over the edge. He snapped his hips a few more times and came, pulling Bucky into a kiss to scream into his mouth.
They collapsed, exhausted and still connected to each other. Bucky couldn’t help giggling, his mind clear for the time being. But the heat wasn’t over, not by a long shot. He smiled at Steve, who smiled back.
“Did I hurt you?”
“Steve… No you idiot, I’m fine.”
Steve chuckled. “I’m glad. How do you feel now?”
“Still a bit hot, very sticky and… Good. I feel really good.”
Bucky kissed him. “Thank you.”
Chapter 3: Thor
But then the call came; the world needed Captain America. It didn’t matter that Bucky’s heat was still happening. What mattered was international security, and they needed Steve, Natasha and Sam. Bucky, while he was still coherent, could understand. He kissed Steve, telling him, “You have to go.”
“I’m not going to just leave you like this!” Steve said.
“Oh yes you are,” Bucky replied, giving him a slight shove. “You explained, they said they need you anyway.”
Steve growled, grabbing Bucky by the hair. “You’re more important to me than that.”
“Than duty to your country? Protecting people?” Bucky snorted, rolling his eyes. “Nothing is more important to you than that, Steve. That’s your hormones talking and it’ll fade when you can’t smell me anymore.”
“Who’s gonna take care of you?”
“I will. Or if it gets too intense I’ll ask for help.”
At this, Steve looked mutinous. Bucky hit him with his metal arm. “Steve get the hell outta here before I throw you out the window.”
“I would and I can. Suit up, go save the world. I’ll be here when you get back.”
Steve sighed, but he agreed. “All right. But I’m letting the others know what’s going on.”
“Please, as though they don’t already. You’re not exactly quiet, Steve.”
“That’s pretty rich coming from you, I think there’s only a couple people over in Antarctica who didn’t hear you.”
They both laughed and smacked each other, but it was all in good fun. Steve settled and looked at Bucky, his face serious. “Please, Bucky. This is your first heat in years. If it does get to be too much, you ask Tony or Thor for help, okay?”
Bucky rolled his eyes. “What am I, stupid?”
“Yeah. You’re stupid and stubborn and I know you. You’ll wait until the absolute last minute and still refuse help.”
“Maybe I won’t this time.”
It was Steve’s turn to roll his eyes.
Six hours after Steve left the tower, Bucky was at the gates of hell once again. The heat was coming back with a vengeance, and he couldn't get out of bed. He’d jacked off several times in a row, but his erection never went down. He needed an alpha. But the three alphas he trusted the most, including the one he wanted the most, were gone. Bucky felt like an idiot, but he could get through it. Bruce had said something about a super powered suppressant…
He was hyper aware, so when the door opened he jumped. Catching the scent of an alpha, he whined, collapsing back to the bed. He took the most pitiful, needy position he could think of, hoping to tempt whoever it was to take him. That was completely unnecessary.
Thor appeared, wearing only a pair of pajama pants with his hair tied back. He pushed the hair out of Bucky’s face, saying, “James, your captain spoke with Stark and myself. He requested we look after you in his absence.” He had Bucky’s human hand in his, and he asked, “Is it what you wish?”
“Stop speakin’ fancy and get to the fucking point!” Bucky hissed.
“Do you wish me to lay with you that you may recover?”
“Thor are you asking to fuck me?”
Bucky was ready to refuse out of habit. But he was in pain, and he had promised Steve. Instead he managed to drag himself into a sitting position. “Yeah. I’m on board with this.”
Thor chuckled, cupping the back of Bucky’s neck with his free hand. “You speak strangely, even for a Midgardian.”
Bucky sighed. Calm washed over him now that he had an alpha. It would be fine, though he did have one question. “Is this different for you guys?”
He confused Thor for a moment, until Bucky’s hand was in his lap. He smirked. “Not in the least. Asgardian and Midgardian couplings are much the same.”
He slowly rubbed Thor’s crotch, and it felt… Normal. But a new worry cropped up. “No weird ceremonies or weirder body parts right?” Bucky asked, still hesitant.
Thor couldn't help but laugh. “No. Though I could sacrifice a goat in your honor if it would put you at ease.” That made Bucky laugh in return. He slipped his hand inside Thor’s pants, grasping his cock. The god sighed, still holding Bucky by the neck. He shifted so that he was closer to the mortal, and Thor continued, “This is an act of greatest intimacy on Asgard, it is not only for breeding. If you allow me to take you it would say you trust me with your life and the lives of your future children.”
That made Bucky raise an eyebrow. He didn’t stop stroking Thor, but he did frown a bit. “Hey, I know not everyone on Earth thinks that way nowadays, but I do. I’m an old fashioned guy and even under heat I wouldn’t say yes if I thought you didn’t have my back.”
“I assume your trust was difficult to earn,” Thor replied. His hips gave an involuntary jerk as Bucky continued his caresses. He was hard now, and Bucky smirked at him.
“Yeah it was.” But he didn’t elaborate further.
Thor pulled Bucky’s hand away, and stood to remove his pajama pants. Once he was completely bare, he slipped back into bed. He settled himself between Bucky’s legs, kissing his hair. “Do you prefer foreplay?”
“You mean the warm up?” Bucky took Thor’s hand, placing it over his own erection. “You think I need it at this point?”
“Perhaps not. But that is not what I asked.”
Bucky licked Thor’s neck, reaching up to pull the tie out of his hair. “I don’t wanna do the foreplay big guy. Let’s skip to the main event, all right?”
“As you say.” Thor kissed him, cupping his face as he did so. His hair fell around them, and Bucky smiled. He ran his fingers through Thor's hair, enjoying the texture. They pressed their erections together, and Bucky moaned. They rutted and rocked, and Bucky wrapped his arms around Thor’s back.
“Thor,” he gasped. “C’mon, it’s okay.” He spread his legs. Thor’s hand rubbed over Bucky’s entrance, surprised to find he was soaking wet. Thor nodded his agreement, and spread Bucky further. He slid into him, but it was slow going. Steve was big, but Thor was huge in comparison.
“Jesus!” Bucky gasped, his back arching. Thor was careful, but groaned in return.
“You are quite compact,” Thor told him.
“Well yeah I’m gonna seem tight in comparison to you!” Bucky said. “What the hell do you even feed that thing?”
“Brown haired men with metal arms, as of late.”
“Didn’t know you and Stark were an item.” Bucky was chuckling, but then shrieked. Thor had pulled out and thrust back in.
“Perhaps it would be best to focus on the task at hand,” Thor told him.
“Yes sir,” said Bucky. “Let it never be said the son of Odin doesn't do sassy humor. I’m starting to think that’s a rule for being an Avenger.”
“Then perhaps you should become one yourself.” Thor hitched up one of the mortal’s legs, and Bucky wrapped the other around the thunder god. “We will go slow.”
He groaned. “Why do people keep saying that?”
“Because your lack of patience and temperament is well known.”
They did start out slow, but much like Steve, it didn’t last. In no time at all, Thor was rocking his hips fast and hard. Unlike Steve, Thor could be a little rough. He had Bucky’s hips in a bruising hold, and lifted his ass to pound into him.
Bucky was between agony and ecstasy. It hurt, but in a way that made him scream in pleasure. He clawed at Thor’s back in an attempt to draw blood. This drove Thor on further. Thor used one hand to pin Bucky’s shoulder, and the other to hold his hips up.
Thor loomed over Bucky, his eyes heated. He gnashed his teeth, growling low in his throat. Bucky felt helpless against him, but that didn’t scare him. Bucky didn’t do helpless well, and a year ago he’d have rather died than admitted such feelings. But he trusted Thor not to hurt him. At least not in a way he didn’t want.
Thor had left out something that was pretty important. Asgardian alpha knots didn’t swell over time. They popped up all at once. And when it happened, Bucky screamed again. But when Thor slowed his movements, he shook his head.
“Don’t stop! Almost—NNGH!—almost there!”
Mercifully, Thor listened. He dropped Bucky’s hips and pinned him to the bed by his wrists. Thor was growling in a ceaseless loop, and when he bit Bucky’s neck, the mortal's orgasm washed over him. He arched his back, ass clenching around Thor’s cock and another scream issuing from his throat.
Thor didn’t pull his mouth from Bucky’s neck until he drew blood. And when he did he thrust into Bucky one final time and climaxed. He roared, and fell still.
They were lying there for a while, trying to catch their collective breath. And when Bucky was finally able to speak, he shoved at Thor’s shoulder. “You’re crushing me.”
“I apologize.” Thor wrapped his arms around Bucky and rolled onto his back, so that Bucky was on top of him. “Is that better?”
“Loads. You’re heavy.”
Thor laughed. “So it is of no importance to you that the captain spoke to Stark and myself?”
“I’m not gonna lie,” said Bucky, “I’m kind of annoyed Steve went behind my back. But I can understand why he did it. So this means Stark is next in line right?”
Thor raised an eyebrow. “If you do not wish to lie with him, I will stay with you.”
“No it’s not like that.” Bucky rolled his eyes. “I’m okay with it. And the Avengers can’t afford to be down you, Nat and Steve. You’re some of our heaviest hitters.”
“Think not of sacrifice on your own behalf. You do not have to lay with Stark if it is against your will.” Thor still looked concerned.
“Thor you’re missing the point! I get why you guys are doing it this way and I’m fine with it. Hell I think I’m even looking forward to sex with Stark. So long as he doesn't record it. And also I want the right to punch him in the face any time he starts shooting his mouth off about having sex with me. Then I'm good.”
That made Thor laugh again. “I will tell him for you.”
“Okay. You wanna go for a second round?” Bucky asked him, wiggling his ass on Thor’s cock.
The god sighed, but there was an amused chuckle as well. “Verily.”
Chapter 4: Tony
Thor managed to wear Bucky out so thoroughly that he slept for almost 12 hours. When he did wake up, the thunder god was long gone. But the room was clean, and there was a tray with sandwiches and fruit on a table near the bed. Bucky dragged himself out of bed, cleaning himself up and getting some water and something to eat. He found he was ravenous, and grateful to whomever had left the food. He ate everything on the tray, and went back to bed.
Renewed with energy from the food, his heat was building again. Bucky was debating on what to do when JARVIS’ voice rang out. “Sergeant Barnes, Mr. Stark has asked that I alert him when you feel you are ready. My sensors indicate your hormones are reaching optimum levels. Shall I send for him?”
Bucky was sweating by this time, and he asked the AI, “Did Thor tell him what I said?”
“Yes. He has agreed that he will not capture video but wishes to maintain ‘bragging rights’ as it were.”
He scoffed. “He would. Uh… All right send him in.”
A few minutes later, Tony walked into the room, wearing jeans and a t-shirt. He sniffed a bit then looked at Bucky. “I know they cleaned in here but it still smells like sex.”
“You had a cleaning crew in?” Bucky asked, surprised and maybe a little afraid. Random strangers seeing him naked was not one of his favorite things.
“Yeah. Well, Bruce and Thor. They did a good job. Not sure how they managed to change the sheets while you were unconscious but I’m chalking that up to the magic that is them.”
“Too good to clean in your own house?” Bucky teased.
“That and they were worried I’d fuck you in your sleep. Somnophilia not one of my kinks but no one around here has faith in me anymore so I was off the cleaning crew.” Tony sounded almost bitter, but there was humor in it, the only way he knew how to cover up how he was feeling. Bucky knew because it was a tactic he used to use himself, at least back in the old days.
Tony had his shirt in his hands, and moved to stand near the bed, dropping it on the floor. Bucky was sitting on the edge of it and he rolled his eyes. “That’s a bunch of bullshit, Stark. Steve’s got faith in you or he wouldn't have asked you to do this.”
“Steve’s misguided,” Tony said, undoing the catch on his jeans.
“No he isn't,” Bucky said to him. He grabbed the top of Tony’s jeans and pulled him closer, tugging the zipper down. He was hard again just from Tony’s scent, but he managed to focus and say, “He’s got faith in you because he knows you’re a good guy. Even if you are kind of an asshole.”
Tony smirked. “You should leave the inspirational speeches to Cap.”
“I’d be glad to. Tell me who to punch and where, I can do that just fine. But inspirational speeches to the huddled masses? No thanks.”
Tony chuckled at that, running a hand in an affectionate manner through Bucky’s hair. Bucky leaned into it, loving the casual but intimate touch. “I wanna do something,” said Tony.
“Then do it.” Bucky replied. Tony surprised Bucky when he knelt in front of him.
“Lie back,” Tony instructed, and Bucky did as he asked. Tony spread his legs, and started stroking Bucky’s shaft. It was slow, like Tony wasn't quite sure what he was doing.
“You’re teasing me,” Bucky hissed at the light touch.
“Testing,” Tony said. “I’m a curious kind of guy, I like to explore the variables before trying to solve the equation.” Bucky was about to say something smart back, when Tony’s mouth enveloped his cock. He gasped, curling his fingers in the sheets. Tony sucked gently, bobbing his head on occasion. Bucky tried to hold himself still, but it was difficult.
Tony pulled his mouth away, and Bucky whimpered at the loss of contact. Tony smacked his thigh and said, “Stop that, you’ll get what you want as soon as I’m done exploring.”
“Am not. Scientist, spelled completely different.” Tony spread Bucky’s legs further, and kissed the inside of Bucky’s thighs.
“Same thing, different label,” Bucky insisted. He felt Tony’s tongue at his entrance, and couldn't help squirming. That earned him another smack from Tony.
“Don’t move or you’re getting a third one,” Tony ordered, and delved his tongue into Bucky. Bucky moaned, and he did manage to keep himself still. Until Tony curled his tongue inside him. Bucky jolted, and Tony didn’t hesitate to smack his leg. Bucky was moaning, and he heard a ripping sound. He realized he’d torn the shits with his cybernetic hand.
Tony sat up, licking his lips. “Good thing you taste so good or I’d make you pay for those.”
“Tony, please!” Bucky yelled.
“Yeah yeah I know, just let me get naked.” He shucked his jeans and underwear, and slid onto the bed. But rather than pin Bucky down, Tony laid on his back. He was hard, and he said, “We’re going to do this a little different. I want you to ride me.”
Bucky blinked, surprised at the turn around, but he crawled to Tony, straddling his lap. Tony reached a hand up, tangling it in Bucky’s hair. “You can go as fast or as slow as you want, but if I tell you to do something, do it. Unless it makes you uncomfortable then you can tell me to fuck off.”
“You’re going to ask me to do something weird aren't you?”
“Yeah. It’s the arm, it’s sexy.”
Bucky rolled his eyes. “Of course.”
Tony shrugged. “I’m not ashamed of my kinks. Come on, ride me soldier.”
“At least you didn’t say ‘cowboy’,” Bucky muttered. He got up on his knees, and took hold of Tony’s dick with his cybernetic hand. He lowered himself onto it, and they groaned in unison. When he was fully seated Bucky snapped his hips. A frisson of pleasure went through him, and he smiled.
Bucky rocked his hips hard and fast. Every few thrusts he’d pull up and impale himself again. Tony’s hands were on Bucky’s thighs, holding tight but without trying to control his movements. When his knot bulged he said to Bucky, “Touch me, use your left hand.”
Bucky complied, tweaking both of Tony’s nipples in turn. When the billionaire cried out at the attention, Bucky ran his hand along Tony’s chest and arms, pinching him in random places. Tony loved every minute of it, and it gave Bucky an idea. Bucky reached back, slipping his hand between Tony’s legs to play with his testicles.
It drove Tony wild. He cried out, “Yes! Keep doing that! Oh my God!” He bucked his hips wildly, so much so that Bucky nearly fell off Tony. He grabbed Tony’s leg to steady himself, groaning when the genius thrust up again. “Not gonna last,” Tony confessed. “Wanna see you touch yourself.”
Bucky was pretty sure he knew what Tony meant by that. It was difficult to ride Tony and jack himself at the same time, especially using his metal hand. But he overcame the balance issues, focusing on how good it felt. Having control over himself, Tony letting him do what he wanted to, getting himself off. It was a heady experience, and brought him to completion.
When Bucky came, Tony helped him so he didn’t fall over and hurt himself on Tony’s knot. When Bucky was laying against him, Tony brought his legs up to get a better angle, fucking him through the afterglow. Biting on Bucky’s earlobe, he hit his peak and went still. They were a mess, and Tony rooted around for something to clean off Bucky’s hand with. He worried the come would dry and somehow gunk up Bucky’s fingers.
The closest thing he could find was his own shirt. “I’m sure the metal gods will forgive me just once,” said Tony, using it to wipe Bucky off.
“You used an Iron Maiden shirt to clean off my robotic hand, I think they’d approve.”
“I know Black Sabbath would have but I wasn't wearing that shirt today.” Tony chuckled and dropped the shirt to the side. They were both quiet for a bit, until Tony began petting Bucky’s hair.
“What is it with you and my hair?” Bucky asked.
“It’s soft and pretty. Want me to stop?”
“I have to admit, that was amazing. Most alphas wouldn't let an omega call the shots.”
“Technically I wasn't, I was still bossing you around,” Tony pointed out. “But I’m not gonna coddle you and decide how you get fucked. You know how to get yourself off and I was more than happy to let you. Besides my back’s a mess and that position always spares me trouble later.”
Bucky smirked. “So you were being lazy but considerate. Few can pull that off. Still, at least you didn’t pull that ‘go slow’ shit.”
That made Tony laugh. “Okay, in Steve’s defense? He likes it slow. And I’ve seen Thor naked, no way in hell anyone should just toss themselves on that pole and go full speed.”
“Do I want to know how you found out Steve likes to go slow?”
“Asgardian mead, it works on super soldiers. Got him drunk and we got to talking about sex. Most eye opening conversation I’ve ever had.”
“Not what you expected huh?”
“I keep forgetting he was in the military. Oh, and knew my father. There were some shenanigans involving him and Howard that I think have scarred me for life.”
“I could tell you worse ones from when Howard would tag along with the Howling Commandos.”
“Ugh, no thank you, I don’t think I can handle that truth,” Tony replied and Bucky laughed. It made Tony smile in return. “That’s good to see.”
“What? Me laughing?”
“Yeah. Usually you’re so damned busy brooding over your dark, tragic back story that you don’t even smile.”
“Did you just - - Okay no more Avengers fan fiction for you.” Bucky smacked Tony’s chest.
“Hey that wasn't from a fan fic! I think I read that on Twitter. Regardless, lighten the hell up and forgive yourself a little. You’re making Steve go gray with worry.”
Bucky frowned. “I keep telling you guys I’m fine.”
“And we know you’re full of shit when you say that, and it makes everyone worry more.” Tony was playing with Bucky’s hair now and he continued, “I get you did a lot of bad things. What you don’t seem to get is everyone here has, to one extent or another and it’s hard to deal with. But what’s worse is sometimes it seems like you don’t realize your actions were something that was done to you. Not something you chose.”
“You’re killing my buzz right now.”
Tony pulled his hair and Bucky yelped. “Shush, what did I say about interrupting genius? Anyway, it’s a heavy burden and what I’m trying to say is you don’t have to carry it alone anymore. Let us help. You can start by talking to us when something is bothering you instead of saying ‘I’m fine’. And let’s face it while that’s true, that’s pretty hypocritical and even ironic of me to tell you.”
“Yeah, I was about to say.”
“You trust us right?”
“Okay. Then trust us to help you. And I mean ask for help not wallow and go on until you’re half dead because you were too stubborn to say anything.”
Bucky was quiet for a few minutes, letting Tony’s words sink in. “You’re right. But also you should follow your own advice.”
“I will if you will,” Tony grinned. “We’re not just a team here, we’re a family, get it?”
Bucky looked down to where they were still joined. “You've got a weird definition of ‘family’.”
“I know. Mixed messages from porn I watched as a teenager.”
That made them both crack up, and when they were able to breathe again Bucky was grinning. “I was right, you are a good guy Tony. And the nicest asshole I’ve ever met.”
“Thanks Barnes, that’s the sweetest thing you've ever said to me.”
“One thing though.” Bucky had a mischievous look in his eye. “That wasn't exactly kinky, what you asked me to do.”
“Didn't want to overwhelm you on your first time out. We’ll get more into it next go around. I’m going to get the blind fold and candles as soon as I can get up again.” Tony was grinning now. “It’ll be fun, if you’re game.”
“You know? I think I am.”
Chapter 5: Observation
Tony left Bucky curled up and sleeping. He’d changed the sheets again when Bucky was in the shower. And that had been a problem, Tony had to hold him up to get him cleaned up. But once he could stand on his own he left Bucky to it. But it had turned out all right. Bucky was clean, worn out, and sleeping it off.
Tony went to the communal kitchen, feeling a severe need for coffee. Clint was there and when he saw Tony he started laughing. “You look like a bear fucking mauled you.”
“Feel like it too, thanks for the support Barton,” Tony replied. He almost cried when he saw there was a full pot of coffee ready, and poured himself a cup. He scrubbed a hand over his face and looked at Clint. “Is Thor back yet?”
“Got in about an hour ago. He said he wanted to talk to you.”
“Oh God what now…” Tony muttered. “JARVIS? Where’s Thor?”
“He is currently in his quarters. Shall I send for him?”
“Yeah, let’s get this over with.” Tony couldn't repress a grin as he stretched. He was sore in all the right places and it had been too long. It felt good. He’d cut back on his playboy routine ever since he’d dated Pepper.
She was the best thing that ever happened to him, but that didn’t stop her from finally regaining her senses and leaving him. They were still friends but it had been a little rough there for a while. He’d thrown himself into his work so he wouldn't have to talk about his feelings until after he'd worked through it.
“You gotta tell me what happened,” said Clint, interrupting Tony’s train of thought.
“Can’t. Bucky would punch me in the face. With the metal arm.”
“Oh c’mon, you can take one little hit.”
“Uh, no. I can’t. Let’s leave it at that, okay?”
Clint looked as though he were going to press the point, but Thor walked in. He said, “It is unseemly to inquire about a warrior’s intimate encounters with another.”
“I’ve got an inquiring mind,” Clint told him, shrugging and getting up. “And I’m gonna guess whatever you two are gonna talk about doesn't involve me. I’m out of here.”
“Thank you,” said Thor, and Clint left. Thor sat across from Tony and asked, “Is he well?”
“Yeah, he’s asleep right now. I’d say you've got about an hour or two before you need to get in there again.” Tony had finished his coffee by this time and after getting a refill he looked a bit more human.
“This heat worries me,” Thor commented. “It has been days but he has not come to his senses.”
“He’s pretty level headed when he’s around an alpha.”
“Which one would expect. But he is still in constant need of an alpha. Is this normal on Midgard?”
That made Tony pause. He realized that it had been four days since the heat started. “No, it’s not. JARVIS have you been keeping track of Bucky’s hormone levels?”
“As per your instructions, sir.”
“Have they gone down at all?”
“Scans indicate that Sgt. Barnes’ base hormones remain fix at breeding levels.”
Tony frowned. “Okay I don’t like the sound of that.”
“What does it mean?” Thor asked.
“That you’re right and he’s been in heat apex for too long.” Tony cursed under his breath. “And I can’t exactly drag him into the lab for tests with the state he’s in. Bruce would go ballistic. Or more accurately the Hulk would since he’s the alpha out of the two.”
“It did not trouble Banner to assist me in the cleansing of Barnes’ quarters.”
“That’s because Bucky wasn't giving off a full pheromone scent, and Bruce is a beta. For the scans to be accurate I’d have to take the samples when his levels are at their peak. In other words, when he needs an alpha. That would bring out the Hulk pretty damn quick.”
“I find it strange that Banner’s other self is an alpha and he is not.”
Tony shrugged. “I find it strange that Bucky’s the only omega in the tower right now. And when he joins the Avengers he’d be the only omega on the team. Maybe we should branch out more?” He smacked Thor’s arm. “Hey what about Lewis? She’s an omega isn't she?”
“I’m certain Jane would frown upon Darcy joining the Avengers as she is still a student and has no interest in becoming a warrior.” Thor smiled and added, “She would be doubly worried if her friend were to be in your constant presence. You have a reputation after all.”
“Had a reputation,” Tony corrected. “How’s Jane handling this thing with Bucky?”
“We are no longer intimate and have no plans to be again in the future, so it is not her concern.”
It took Tony a minute to catch up. “You guys broke up? When did that happen?!”
“We have not parted ways, we are ‘taking a break’ as Midgardians say.”
“Okay but when?”
“Some weeks ago. Jane is intent upon her research and feels she has discovered her own pathway between realms. And as I have duties with the Avengers and in Asgard we decided it was best to put our feelings aside for now.”
“Uh… Is sex with other people allowed? Because she might be pretty pissed about this.”
“We have spoken at length about James and the situation at hand. And while Jane is unhappy, she has given her consent. She has declared were she an alpha she would wish to lie with him as well.”
Tony and Thor laughed at that. “It’s those big anime eyes of his. Oh and the lips, they’re cushy and well shaped. The combination makes you want to cuddle him or fuck him brainless.”
“Was that not what we were attempting?” Thor asked and they both started laughing again. When Tony had trailed off into giggles, Thor’s face became serious once again. “I think it best that during my time with him you determine how long this will last. While I am no mere human even my energy is not endless.”
“Yeah. If this is going to go on for a while I’d rather be prepared instead of dropping dead from sexual exhaustion. I’m not even in the same league as you two so I don’t think I’ll be able to keep up for long.”
“We need to know when Captain Rogers will return. I believe that James is more in need of him than he is of us.”
Tony snapped his fingers. “That’s it. He’s in overdrive right now but he might mellow out if Steve’s here. They’re close and they may even bond when this is all over.”
“Thor let no one say you’re a dumb blonde.”
Thor frowned. “Hair coloration has nothing to do with intelligence.”
“Yeah yeah I know it’s just—you know what? Never mind.” Tony paused and looked at Thor. “I can’t believe I’m only thinking of this now, but if Steve and Bucky do bond, we should have a plan for when Bucky gets knocked up. None of us have been using protection and far as I know we’re all virile alphas. And Bucky's not sterile himself.”
At this, Thor shrugged. “On Asgard, a child conceived under these circumstances is raised by all who have lain with the omega.”
“Hm. That makes sense to me. Steve’s gonna hate that.”
“Why should he object?”
“Oh I don’t know, because Bucky belongs to him? Because he’ll figure any kid of Bucky’s is his by default? Cap’s kind of old fashioned and what your proposing isn’t normal even in the 21st century. I’m sure he’d have a heart attack.”
“Perhaps, or perhaps the good captain will surprise you.”
Tony sighed and put his now empty coffee mug in the sink. “That would be one hell of a surprise. Okay go do your godly alpha thing with Barnes. I’m going to go do my science thing and make sure everything’s all right with our resident omega. Ready? Break!”
Thor shook his head, laughing, and the two parted ways. Tony to the lab and Thor to Bucky’s room.
Chapter 6: Discovery
Tony and Bruce were in the lab, looking at the read outs JARVIS had given them. It had been over a week since the scientists had dosed Bucky with the false heat medication, launching him into an all too real one. But it hadn't run its course, and they were attempting to figure out why. Steve still wasn't back from his mission, but Sam and Natasha were returning that night.
Tony looked and felt like hell. He was grateful that Thor was spending more time with Buck, as Tony himself was too worn out to do so. It hadn't been easy to get the blood samples he’d needed from Bucky. Especially when the other man had been damn close to fucking Tony’s leg. “Talk to me JARVIS.”
“Blood samples taken this morning indicate Sgt. Barnes is still in heat apex.”
“Is there any trace of the drug left in his system?” Bruce asked.
“What about any other drugs?” Tony asked. “Check his scans for the past few weeks.”
“Tony we checked everything,” Bruce said in a quiet tone.
“There might have been an interaction, I just want to be sure.” Tony had an idea. “JARVIS go over all scans including mechanical and electronic.”
JARVIS displayed the resulting data, and Tony sorted through it. When he found what he wanted he enlarged the holograph. It was a recent scan of Bucky’s mechanical arm, and there was an unusual energy signature. “There,” said Tony, pointing at it.
“What is that?” Bruce asked, putting his glasses on to get a better look.
“Could be nothing, could be the answer to our troubles. JARVIS pull up the Kiev file on the Winter Soldier, see if anything matches that energy signature.”
“Right away sir.”
It ended up being almost like a game of tag. For the next hour they were chasing down linked files and leads. Until Tony and Bruce had a pretty clear picture of the current situation. Tony collapsed into a chair, looking quite ill. “I need a drink.”
“Me too,” Bruce replied, his expression troubled.
“We gotta find Steve.”
When Natasha and Sam arrived, the Avengers (minus Thor) held a meeting. They managed to reach Steve via video conference, but it was difficult to find a place to start. Bruce wasn't inclined to speak and for once Tony didn’t know what to say.
He pulled up composites of information for the others to see. “So we’re pretty sure we figured out why Bucky’s been stuck in apex all week. And it turns out it’s not just because he hasn't gotten laid in over 50 years.” No one so much as cracked a smile, which wasn't unexpected.
So he went on. “It looks like what they did was place subliminal mental conditioning so his mind would trick his body out of cycle.”
“How is that possible?” Steve asked.
“Mind over matter,” answered Natasha. “The mind can make the body think it’s sick when in fact the body is perfectly healthy.”
“Exactly. But this is a pretty extreme version,” Bruce said. “Part of the memory wipes that HYDRA performed were encoded with this subliminal programming. We haven’t managed to decode all of the information, but we did find that part of it was cycle suppression.”
“So how does this explain what’s happening to him now?” Asked Clint. “I mean couldn't he just be horny?”
“That’s what I thought too, but Thor brought this to my attention. The apex has been going on for too long. Right now we’re at 9 days. That is in no way normal.” Tony shook his head. “From what we've dug up it looks like when HYDRA had their new world order bit they were going to make themselves some new Winter Soldiers. This,” he pulled up a scan of the energy reading, “was how they were going to do it.”
Everyone sat in silence for a moment. “Okay I’ll ask the obvious question,” Sam finally said. “How?”
“The programming they put in place. Breeding hormones were introduced into his body by us.” Bruce gestured to himself and Tony, “We didn't know it but that was a pre programmed signal to his body. This arm doubles as a diagnostic tool so when the hormones were detected, this beacon in his arm turned on. This is what’s causing the prolonged apex.”
Tony, seeing that everyone was still confused, explained further. “So long as this beacon is on? He’s going to stay in heat. And we can’t turn it off short of a centralized EMP and that would completely fry his arm.”
“Why in the hell would they do this?” Steve asked. When he saw the looks Tony and Bruce traded, he frowned.
“What is it?”
“Their final solution was… It was pretty crazy.” Bruce said.
Tony stepped in front of Bruce, since while Steve didn’t kill the messenger he would yell at them a lot. “They were going to harvest his ova. They would have needed him in this condition for weeks, or even months to get them all. An ovum doesn't drop until the apex. So this would have turned him into an egg machine and they would have been extracting them constantly.” Everyone was looking at him, disgust and horror plane on their faces.
It would only get worse.
“So once they had them all,” Tony pressed on, “the plan was to kill him and start over. The ova would have already been genetically enhanced from Zola’s experiments and HYDRA’s efforts. Further genetic manipulation and experiments? They’d have their own super powered elite, maybe even a small army.”
“So a bunch of super powered babies?” Clint questioned. "What use is that?"
“Not for long. Phase two was to inseminate them with prime alpha sperm and implant them in betas. Phase three was giving them a post natal growth spurt. And we’re talking one hell of a growth spurt courtesy of several serums and a dose of gamma radiation.”
Silence reigned once again. Steve looked at Tony and Bruce. “Why haven’t you stopped the beacon?”
Tony rolled his eyes. “We didn’t know until today. And we’re not sure how a sudden stop would affect him.”
“It could send him into shock, Steve,” Bruce told him.
“And there isn’t such a thing as a gradual EMP it’s either all at once or not at all.”
“Oh and his arm would be useless, I did say that earlier,” Tony pointed out.
“We need to explain to him what’s happening,” said Natasha. “See what he thinks we should do.”
“All right.” Steve looked around. “Stark, I want you and Dr. Banner to see if you can make a gradual EMP pulse. Think you can do it?”
“Uh, there’s a small problem,” said Tony. “Thor’s shift is over soon and it’s my turn again next.”
“I think we can handle that,” Natasha put in, a smirk on her face as she looked at Sam, who smiled back.
“Oh thank GOD! Don’t get me wrong I like Bucky but he’s what would happen if the Energizer Bunny just got out of prison,” Tony groaned.
Sam chuckled. “A senior citizen wore you out huh? You should be ashamed of yourself.”
“Hey that senior citizen can wear out the Crown Prince of Asgard, I’m lucky I don’t have a broken pelvic bone!”
“Hey!” Steve yelled, interrupting their banter. “Knock it off.” He looked murderous, and it was enough to make Sam stop immediately. Tony looked like he wanted to say something, but wisely chose not to. Steve went on.
“Dr. Banner, when Sam and Bucky take a breather explain to him about the beacon but don’t tell him the plan behind it. I’ll do that when I get back. Ask him what he wants to do about it and we’ll figure things out from there.
“Sam, Natasha, take over for Tony and Thor. Tony I want you in the lab solving this problem. And Clint, I want you and Thor on patrol duty. We don’t need any surprises while all this is going on. Everyone understand their orders?” There was general nodding and murmuring. “Good. I’ll be back in contact in three hours. Have some good news for me then. Rogers out.” And the video went dead.
Chapter 7: Sam
Bucky moved fitfully, stifling a moan. He didn’t know why Tony was late, but he hoped the billionaire would arrive soon. Even Bucky had noticed this heat was going on for longer than normal, and it was starting to scare him. It was getting harder and harder for him to think straight, even with Tony or Thor around.
He knew he was getting close to losing himself, and it terrified him. After what HYDRA had done, and after it took so long for him to find himself again, if he lost again now it would have been a futile effort. So he buried his nose in the sheets, where he could still smell Thor. It helped, but only a little.
Bucky almost cried when he heard the door open, but didn’t pull his face away from the fabric. At least not until he realized the new scent he caught was definitely not Tony. He raised his head, a little panicked as a nude body curled against his. When his mind caught up to his senses, he sighed in relief. “Sam.”
“Hey Buck,” Sam replied, kissing the back of his neck.
“Still on mission, he asked Nat and me to take over. We cool?”
He nodded. “Yeah. Oh God Sam, please…” Bucky rubbed his ass against Sam’s crotch, whining with need.
“Shhh, it’s okay. I’m gonna take care of you.” Sam kissed Bucky’s neck and shoulder, giving him a playful bite. Bucky shifted his legs, turning his body to lay more against Sam.
Sam licked along Bucky’s neck, saying, “Damn, you smell good. You should be thankful Stark’s got the vents filtered or you’d be pulling in every alpha for a hundred miles.” He nipped at Bucky’s shoulder. “Now be a good for me, and don’t whine or fuss. Are we clear?”
Sam chuckled. “I like the way you say that. Come here sweet boy.” He turned Bucky’s head and they kissed. It was brief, but it was enough to calm Bucky down. Sam’s other hand went between Bucky’s legs and he pushed a finger into him. “You’re soaked already, you must be ready to burst.”
“Calm down hot head. I said I’ll take care of you, and I’m gonna.” Sam had two fingers in Bucky by this time, and was slowly scissoring them. Bucky gave a broken cry, pushing himself on Sam’s fingers.
Sam had his arm around Bucky’s chest, and shifted position so his hand was over Bucky’s throat. It made the assassin pause. Sam wasn’t hurting him or cutting off his oxygen, but it was a classic alpha move. A nonverbal cue to behave and Bucky felt a thrill go down his spine. Sam picked up on it and smiled as he shoved a third finger in.
“You like it when I take control of you, don’t you?”
“Good,” Sam replied, and bit Bucky’s earlobe. He sucked it between his teeth, and Bucky gasped. “Move your left leg forward, give me some room.”
Bucky complied so Sam would have better access. Sam had pulled his fingers out by now, and without further teasing pressed into Bucky. It was sudden, and Sam took a moment to let himself adjust. He laid kisses on the back of Bucky’s neck and shoulders, hand still holding his throat. When he felt they were both ready, he snapped his hips forward.
They didn’t speak, Bucky close to orgasm already because he’d been alone. Sam seemed to realize that, and didn’t tease him the way Tony or Steve would have. Instead, Sam’s hand left his neck and slid down his front, resting between Bucky’s legs. He grasped his dick, and Bucky barely managed to keep from jumping.
Sam said into his ear, “That’s my sweet boy. I’m gonna get you off, and then I’m gonna fill you up and plug you. And you’re gonna love ever damned minute of it, aren’t you?” He was stroking him the whole time, and Bucky loved the attention.
“Yes! Yes I will sir!”
“That’s right.” Sam gave the head of Bucky’s shaft a small twist, and it drew out a series of filthy curses from the former assassin. Sam grinned, enjoying every second of it. He moved his hand faster, and it was enough to bring Bucky over the edge. When he came, Sam continued to stroke him through it, and stilled his hips.
Bucky seemed confused. “What are you doing?” He asked.
“You think I’m gonna knot you when you’re like this?” Sam kissed his shoulder again. “It’d hurt like hell. I’d rather get you worked up again.” Sam was tempted to let his instincts take over, but Bucky wasn't pliant enough yet for that. Instead he was slowly fucking Bucky, who was over sensitized from the recent orgasm.
“Oh my God Sam,” he groaned. “You’re messing me up.”
“I’m taking care of you, if you want me to mess you up I can do that but you’re gonna look like shit afterwards.”
Bucky thought about it, about things Sam could do to him. Things that might hurt but would feel amazing. The images in his mind alone were enough to make his cock stir. Sam noticed, and he said, “Did I strike a nerve? Didn't realize you were so kinky, Barnes.”
“You never asked,” Bucky pointed out.
“Yeah, I didn’t,” Sam was jerking him again, and Bucky gasped. It was almost too much, but it still wasn't enough. “So keep your mouth shut.”
Bucky didn’t respond, but did as instructed. He could feel Sam’s knot, and when it was inside of him, he cried out. Sam didn’t bother physically censuring him, more focused on making Bucky and himself come. Sam worked Bucky’s shaft, fumbling and losing his grip once or twice. But he continued to bite and suck on Bucky’s throat, marking him up. It drove Bucky wild, and when he came for the second time, Sam followed him into orgasm and came hard inside the assassin.
When it was over and they could both breathe, Bucky asked, “Is Steve all right?”
“He’s fine, but he’s needed for the operation clean up and Nat and I weren't.”
Bucky frowned. It felt as though something was off. “What’s going on Sam?”
“What do you mean?”
“Do you know something I don’t?”
“Bucky I know a lot of things you don’t.”
“Don’t give me that bullshit. Spill.”
Sam sighed. “I can’t. I made a promise. But Bruce will fill you in. I don’t know much about it anyway I was zoned out half the time.”
Bucky shook his head. He knew when he was being lied to, especially when it was someone like Sam. He was just as bad at lying as Steve was, and in some ways Sam was even worse. “So when are you gonna tell me the truth?”
Sam, to his credit, didn’t flounder or try to cover up his lie. “When Steve gets back.” Sam was rubbing the back of Bucky’s neck, trying to soothe him. “What’s going on with you two anyway?”
“What do you mean?”
“When he comes home, and this heat is over, where do you think you two stand?”
Bucky rolled his eyes, but realized that Sam couldn't see that from his position. “That’s up to him.”
“What, because of some alpha bullshit?”
“No, it has nothing to do with being an alpha or an omega.”
“Then what’s the reason?”
“I don’t wanna force him into anything.” Bucky sighed sadly. “Ever since I got my memories back, and we found each other again… We never were together before, you know? We had feelings for each other and it damn near tore us apart. But then the war happened and the serum it just fucked everything up. He lost me, I lost him, and I did a lot of things that still make me wake up screaming at night. And I’m not going to force myself or my fucked up past on him unless that’s what he really wants.”
“Are you worried that Steven Grant Rogers, the guy who let you beat him half to death because he thought it would save you... Doesn't want you because of your past?”
“Uh, no, I’m pretty sure that he wants me, and I want him. I don’t want to force him into it. That’s a lot of bad memories and old ghosts to deal with.”
“Let me guess, you’re worried someday he’s gonna wake up next to you and realize everything you've done and it'll horrify him. Or find out about an atrocity that you committed and just change his mind and abandon you.”
Bucky’s eyebrows shot up in surprise, and he drew in a breath. “Uh… Yeah.”
“That’s not gonna happen.”
“You say that now…”
“I say that always.” Sam smacked the back of Bucky’s head, but more of a playful gesture than anything. “Bucky this is gonna come as a shock to you? But Steve doesn't care about that. He doesn't blame you for anything you did as the Winter Soldier. I think you could tell him you skinned kittens and made them into socks while you were under and he’d still want to bond with you.”
“Nice image Sam, very sexy.” Bucky chuckled. “Maybe I’ll tell him that, just to see what he does.”
“Probably get pissed and start ranting about HYDRA. Again.” It made them both smile. Steve was protective of Bucky. And whenever HYDRA or their experiments were brought up Steve had a tendency to break things. Or completely crowd Bucky’s personal space for a few hours.
“Okay so changing the subject because someone has to,” Bucky said. “When’s Natasha taking over?”
“In about six hours.”
“Oh good. I need a nap.”
Sam pinched his side and Bucky yelped. “Not on my watch! Soon as we’re free we’re doing this again. You’re either gonna be putty in her hands or passed out by the time I leave. You got me?”
The assassin knit his eyebrows in confusion. “Are you trying to fuck me into submission?”
“At least you’re honest. It might work. Good for you.”
Sam smiled at him. “Yeah. Don’t worry, I’ll make sure you enjoy yourself.”
That made something warm curl in Bucky’s stomach. He could hardly wait.
Chapter 8: Epiphany
Tony was hard at work in the lab, trying to get the EMP online. It was difficult to test since he was surrounded by electronic equipment. One wrong move meant he’d send the entirety of the Avengers Tower and possibly New York back to the dark ages. He was pretty sure JARVIS would never forgive him for that one and Pepper would murder him.
“Okay let’s try this again.” Tony said, stepping back and leaving the room. He’d left an old cell phone in there and once he was behind the glass, he activated the EMP. It started slow… But then went off all at once and took out the cell phone and part of the shielding. Bruce was standing next to him as Tony slammed his fist down onto the console. “Damn it! I thought we had it that time!”
Bruce gripped Tony’s shoulder. “It’s a work in progress.”
“It’s something that needs to work yesterday!” Tony sighed and collapsed into a chair, rubbing his eyes.
“What are we missing?”
“This tech was made to do as much damage in as little time as possible. Maybe we’re looking at this from the wrong angle.”
Tony rolled his eyes. But then his eyes lit up and he got to his feet. “That’s it! That’s where we’re going wrong!”
“What do you mean?”
Tony jumped to his feet and pulled up previous readings on the arm. “The angle!”
He seemed excited and manic, and that had Bruce worried. “Tony what are you talking about?”
“This, the beacon gives off electrical pulses to keep Barnes going. And HYDRA loves to do things in layers. JARVIS scan for any other signals from the beacon aside from electric,” said Tony, pulling up part of the beacon. He tapped it and smiled when there were two pulses displayed rather than the previous single flare of the beacon. “It’s not just electricity, it’s also a radio wave. I didn’t notice it before because I wasn't looking for it. If we find the exact frequency its broadcasting at, then we can run interference on that broadcast. JARVIS run a simulation.”
The simulation played out, and Bruce watched with interest. When it was over he pushed his glasses up his nose. “So half the system would go down rather than the entire beacon. We’d be able to get the arm off without sending Bucky into shock and killing him. But we’d still have to find a way to sedate him.”
“We can do that, we've got the ins and outs of Bucky’s metabolism from when we gave him that heat medication.”
Bruce nodded. “I’ll start working on it.”
“Oh no you don't.” Tony nodded to the clock on the wall. “You've got somewhere to be.”
“Of course. All right I’ll tell him the good news.”
“Give him my love. And maybe a kiss.” Tony grinned and Bruce rolled his eyes.
“Sure Tony, I’ll do that,” and he left the lab.
The heat was wearing Bucky out. It was getting so that his relief was becoming shorter and his resting times were farther and farther apart. Sam hadn't explained what was going on, and it was making Bucky nervous.
But Sam had also told him that Bruce would be by to talk about it, and give him his options. Bucky just hoped that one of those options wouldn't be having to get sterilized. Though he didn’t talk about it, he still wanted kids.
When Bruce came in, Bucky had just gotten out of the shower. He hated having to wash Sam’s scent off, but it was still in the sheets. That would have to do for now. He sat on the edge, wearing a pair of boxer shorts so that he wouldn't make Bruce uncomfortable.
“How are you feeling?” Bruce asked.
“Sane for now,” Bucky replied. “So what the hell is going on?”
“We discovered in your old files that HYDRA had conditioned you to keep you out of heat. Even with the cryo-freeze there was still a chance you could have hit your cycle at any time. They suppressed it when they wiped your memory.”
Bucky looked surprised. “I knew there was mental conditioning but… Heat suppression?” But when he thought about it, it made sense. There had been several missions where he’d been out of touch with HYDRA for days and even weeks at a time. He wouldn't have remembered to take medication and probably wouldn't have had access to it. “Okay that I get. But why am I Mr. Sex all of a sudden?”
Bruce took his glasses off and tucked them into his shirt pocket. “They had a failsafe to trigger your heat. It’s a beacon in your arm sending a signal to your body to stay in apex. It looks like Tony and I triggered it when we tried to put you through an artificial cycle.”
Bucky looked at his arm, lifting it and turning his hand over. “How do we turn it off?”
“We’re going to try to interfere with the frequency so we can remove the arm and disable the beacon.”
“Am I gonna get it back?”
Bruce looked grim. “We’re not sure. We might have to take it apart or completely disable it.”
“How risky is taking it off?”
“We’d have to sedate you but it’s a minimal risk.”
“Anesthesia doesn't work on me. When HYDRA was amputating what was left of my arm after the accident, I woke up just as they cut into me.”
Bruce was horrified at that image, but he didn’t let it show on his face. “We’ve got a better idea of how your systems work post serum. We can put you under.”
Bucky then drew into himself, curling his arms around his legs. “Will it hurt?”
He looked so lost and afraid, and Bruce wanted to reassure him. But he didn’t know enough about how this worked. “It may.”
“And it’ll definitely hurt if you tried to knock this thing out while I’ve still got the arm on, wouldn't it?”
“Yes. The other option was an EMP pulse but it’d send you into shock. And once it we knocked it out the arm would be twenty pounds of dead weight hanging off your shoulder.”
Bucky looked quite calm. Which was why when he got up and threw a lamp across the room it took Bruce by surprise. Bruce jumped when it shattered against the wall. Bucky glanced over at him, remembering who he was with, and then dropped back onto the bed. He didn’t have the energy to keep his anger up for long. “It never ends. I thought I’d finally gotten out! I’m getting my life back and there’s HYDRA rearing their ugly heads to fuck it all up again.”
Bruce sighed and gingerly touched Bucky’s flesh and blood hand. When the other man didn’t object, he gripped it. “I know this isn't easy, but we’re doing everything we can to fix it.”
“I know you are,” he said. “I just want to…“ Bucky stopped for a moment, like he couldn't find the words, “I want to be free.”
“I can understand that. It’s hard when your past comes back to haunt you. Especially when it’s HYDRA and their schemes. We’ll get you through this, and you’ll be better. Maybe not completely all right, but better.”
“Why did they do this?” Bucky asked.
Bruce had dreaded this. He was torn between telling Bucky everything and keeping his promise to Steve. But after what Bucky had just done, Bruce knew he couldn't tell him the reason. “I can’t tell you.”
“But you know?”
“Why can’t you tell me?”
“I promised Steve that he could explain it to you. And it’s better coming from someone who’s got a stronger constitution than I do.” Bruce smiled a bit. “It’s upsetting, and no one wants the Hulk running around right now.”
Bucky looked disappointed, but he didn’t press the point. Instead he lay down and said, “Just take the damn arm. I don’t want it anymore anyway.” He was still holding Bruce’s hand.
“We’re working on it, we should be ready to do so soon.” Bruce let him go and stood. “Tony can make you a replacement.”
“I don’t care. Just get this fucking thing off me as fast as you can.”
Bruce nodded. “We will. In the mean time you should get some rest. Maybe get something to eat.” He could see food had been left out for Bucky, but he hadn't touched any of it.
Bucky shook his head. “Not hungry.”
Bruce had been ready to go, but that made him pause. “Bucky you haven’t eaten in days. And I know you’re getting dehydrated.”
“There’s no point in forcing myself to eat, Doc. It would just come back up again.” He managed to sit up. “If I drink some water would it get you off my back?”
“Not completely, but it would help.”
Bruce was at the door now. “How long until you need Natasha?”
“Not long,” Bucky admitted.
“I’ll get her.”
“Thank you. For everything, I guess.”
“You’re welcome. Try to rest.”
Bruce left, and Bucky got himself a bottle of water. It tasted sour to him, but most things did now. He was sure it was a side effect from the heat going on so long. But he reminded himself it would be over soon. He just hoped that when it did end things could go back to the way they were. He was clinging hard to that hope.
He had to.
Bucky was ready for Natasha, but he was nervous as he hadn't been with an alpha female for a long time. And she was so quiet and reserved he wasn't quite sure what to expect with her. She could be either a caring, kind lover or she could be a demanding sex fiend and he had no way to tell. Natasha, in Bucky’s mind, was in essence, Schrödinger’s lover. It was nerve racking, but exciting.
Unknown to Bucky, there was going to be a change in plans.
Chapter 9: Settle
When he left the room, Bruce wasn't expecting any more surprises that day. Being an Avenger he should expect the unexpected, regardless when he returned to the lab, Tony had a guest. To Bruce's surprise, it was Steve.
Bruce walked over to them and asked, “When did you get in?”
“Five minutes ago. How’s Bucky?”
“Not so good. He’s getting worn down from the heat.”
“I better—“Steve was ready to leave the room but Tony stopped him.
“One minute Stars and Stripes. We’re about ready to roll out on Operation Save the Side Kick and we need you to do something.”
Steve frowned. “Stop calling him a side kick, and what do you need me to do?”
“Give him this when you two are done doing the super soldier blanket drills.” Tony smirked and added, “And I mean put him under, not wear him out.” And he handed Steve a box. Inside was a syringe with clear liquid in it. “It’s a little something that Bruce cooked up. It doesn't work on the Hulk but it’ll definitely work on you or Barnes.”
“Wait, Tony what is that?” Bruce asked.
“You didn’t name it yet but it was in this vial marked Z-46. JARVIS says it’ll put him out for sure.”
Bruce sighed with relief. “Good, but don’t do that again some of the chemical compounds in my lab aren't for use on humans.”
“If you’d label things clearly that wouldn't be a problem.”
"Tony when has that ever stopped you?!"
“Hey, enough of the domestic dispute!” Steve interrupted. “Is this gonna hurt him or have any side effects?” They didn’t need a repeat of their current situation after all.
“It’ll make him fall asleep. He’ll be a little groggy for a few days but other than that he should be all right,” Bruce explained.
Tony shrugged, adding, “While you’re doing that we’ll get everything set up down here. By tomorrow morning no more crazy sex arm.”
“What about its replacement?” Steve asked, and Tony looked a little guilty.
“That’s gonna take longer, and I need to do some measurements of him with the arm off to finish it. That’ll be a lot easier when he isn't trying to climb into my lap.”
Steve sighed again. It wasn't ideal, but it was workable. “All right. Get everything ready. And Tony I have to ask. How did you miss a radio signal? That seems kind of key.”
“I wasn't looking for it, like I told Bruce.” Tony was looking more ragged by the hour, and he scrubbed a hand over his face, into his hair. “And to tell you the truth I thought maybe I was imagining it at first. It didn’t make sense to have the pulse and the radio wave. My best guess was having a two part system was their fail safe, and we’re going to exploit that. I won’t know for sure until I take it apart.”
Steve frowned. “I don’t want to risk Bucky’s safety. Destroy it.” Bruce, pretty sure where this was going, left the room without a word.
Tony pinched the bridge of his nose as though he had a headache. “You know this could give us a better idea of what we’re dealing with in regards to HYDRA.”
“No Tony. I don’t want to take any chances. God knows what kind of bobby traps they have on that thing. Get it off him and destroy it.” Steve crossed his arms over his chest and asked, “And since when do you care about HYDRA’s tech?”
“Oh gee, I don’t know. Maybe ever since JARVIS hacked SHIELD’s files on the Helicarrier and didn’t find a trace of anything HYDRA? We could use the advantage.” Tony flopped into a chair. “I’m the best at what I do, Steve. And I didn’t find a trace of them. The only hint there was something up was the flash drive Natasha got her hands on.”
“Tony please don’t tell me you’re trying to take the blame for what happened at SHIELD.” Steve said, his tone exasperated as he sat down with Tony.
“HYDRA was pulling strings at SHIELD, and even pulling our strings. If I could have—“
“Tony, stop. This isn't your fault, you know that. Even if you had found something you might not have lived long enough to tell anyone. HYDRA excels at hiding in plain sight.”
Steve interrupted him again. “No. Is this why you haven’t slept?”
“I’ve got a tendency to skip sleep anyway, but a little. Also there’s this thing where I genuinely like Barnes.”
That made Steve smile. “Tony… Thanks, for everything.”
Tony made a face. “If you’re going to get gross and sentimental on me you need to get out of my lab. I don’t need mushy feelings gumming up my machines.”
Steve clutched his hands together, giving Tony his best simpering look. “But Tony, I thought we were friends!”
Tony frowned and started to push at Steve, saying, “No, no, NO! Out! This is a mush free zone! You wanna pull that shit go find Bucky!” Of course it was like pushing at a brick wall.
Steve laughed and gave Tony a shove back. “Fine, I’ll go find him.” He grabbed the syringe and gently placed it in one of the compartments on his belt.
“When he’s sedated, tell us. We’ll come down and get the arm off.”
Bucky was waiting, expecting Natasha any time. When the door opened, he got a surprise. It wasn’t Natasha, and Bucky thought perhaps he was hallucinating. God knows he’d been crazy before. But it was definitely Steve. He was still in his uniform, and he stripped out of it as he approached the bed. Bucky smiled, relief flooding through him. “Steve,” he said, tone soft and reaching out for him.
“Bucky,” he replied, taking his hand as he climbed into the bed with him. “I’m so sorry I was gone so long.”
“You’re here now and you’re naked, I can’t complain.” Bucky pulled Steve in for a nerve searing kiss. For the first time since the heat started, he felt calm. Thor, Sam and Tony had helped a lot, but Steve was who he needed.
Steve pushed Bucky back, saying, “I’m still so—“
“Shove it Rogers. I need you, not another apology.”
That shut him up. But he wasn't angry, instead he smiled in a way that made Bucky’s stomach do back flips. “What do you need?” Steve asked, nipping Bucky’s collar bone.
“Fuck me like you’re gonna break me.” Bucky demanded.
“You want it rough?”
“All right sweetheart, you got it. Turn over.”
Bucky rolled onto his stomach, following Steve’s orders. Steve had Bucky get on his hands and knees, and when the other man was positioned how he wanted, he began touching him. Steve wanted this to be a slow, lazy reunion. But they’d been apart too long.
He could see Bucky was already starting to deteriorate just from the gentle touches Steve gave him. He slipped two fingers inside of Bucky, startled by how wet he was already. “Oh my God, Buck.”
“Please Stevie? Just do it.”
Steve kissed his back, between his shoulder blades as he pulled his fingers out. “Just hang on. This is gonna be hard and fast.”
“I can take it.”
He kissed the back of Bucky’s neck in response and smiled. “I know you can.” He pushed into Bucky all at once, hard like he’d promised. Bucky thrust back against Steve, ass clenching around his massive cock. Steve moaned, squeezing Bucky’s hips hard enough to bruise. He fucked him hard, and Bucky thrilled to it. Bucky was finding it difficult to keep himself upright, and he loved every second of it.
Steve went faster, not holding any of his strength back. Bucky groaned, he was shaking all over and he could feel Steve was swelling already. Which is why he was surprised when Steve pulled out of him and shoved him down. Steve rolled Bucky over and thrust back in, making Bucky howl.
Their rhythm was getting more erratic, and Bucky squeezed his eyes shut. Steve was laying kisses and bites on him, and cried out as he came inside Bucky. He whined, still hard and unable to move against Steve. The knot was too deep, they were stuck until the swelling went down.
Steve realized his predicament, and wrapped a hand around Bucky’s dick. He stroked him fast with no finesse, holding him close. Steve whispered in his ear, “Come for me,” over and over. Bucky called out Steve’s name, and spilled into his hand.
They were panting, and Steve wiped his hand off on the sheets. Bucky was clinging to him as though Steve would disappear if he didn’t. Finally, Bucky said, “I did miss you.”
“Missed you too, Buck.” Steve kissed his forehead. “And I’ve got something to tell you.”
“Good news I hope.”
“They've got everything ready. So as soon as you’re ready we can stop the signal.”
Bucky sighed in relief. “Oh thank God. What do I gotta do?”
“I’m supposed to sedate you. But I kind of left the syringe in my pants and can’t reach it right now.”
Bucky laughed. “Smooth, Steve, real smooth.” He was still entangled with Steve and he asked, “Would you promise me something though?”
“Anything.” Steve said without hesitation.
“Don’t leave me.”
“What? Bucky I’m not gonna leave you again.”
“I mean when I’m out. Stay with me?” Bucky was pleading with his eyes, and it was pathetic, but he couldn't help himself. “Please Steve, I don’t wanna be out without someone watching out for me.”
“Oh Bucky…” He kissed him. “It’s okay. You know that Tony and Bruce would never hurt you.”
“Yeah, but,” Bucky cleared his throat. “I don’t want it to be like the old days.”
“They’re not going to turn you into a robot. But I’ll stay with you the whole time, all right?”
“And when this is all over we’re going to have a long talk.”
“What about now?”
“Uh… Later. When we’re not stuck together and we’ve both had a decent night’s sleep.”
That make Bucky laugh, and he curled up against Steve. “Whatever you say.”
Chapter 10: Conclusion
Sedating Bucky had been hard enough. But the reaction he got from both Tony and Bruce when he relayed his promise had been almost completely unexpected. Steve thought for sure that they would understand, however they were exchanging looks that said otherwise.
“I’m not sure this is the best idea,” Bruce had said as Tony finished setting up the equipment. “We’re still not a hundred percent sure this is safe.”
Steve blanched at that. “Then why do it now?” He asked.
“Because enhanced physiology or no, we need to put a stop to this. Being in the apex this long is causing a huge strain to be put on his body and even with his enhancements I don’t know how much longer he can last. If we’d dome things the way HYDRA had planned and surgically removed his ova, he might not be such a mess. Physically anyway.”
“But he’d have been suffering!” Steve yelled.
“HYDRA aren’t the fuzziest bunch, Cap,” Tony reminded him. “They could have kept him on an IV and feeding tube then extracted as many as they wanted. Probably why they were going to kill him after it was done. It’d be pretty hard to stay sane being stuck in heat that long.”
Bruce, seeing that Steve was upset, gestured to Tony that he needed to stop. For once, Tony listened. “Obviously, we’re not HYDRA, so we’ve been doing what we can. But the exertion is catching up with him and if we don’t stop the process soon I’m worried there could be permanent damage.”
Steve looked down at Bucky, still asleep. He looked… Drawn, rather than peaceful. Steve knew Bruce was right. “Okay. But I’m not leaving him. I promised.”
“Steve,” said Bruce, “I don’t like to tell other people what to do. But if something happens and we tell you to leave the room, you need to leave the room. You could put him in danger if you don’t.”
Tony frowned. “Really? That is not fair. You’ll listen to Banner and not me?”
“I can take you but I can’t take the Hulk.”
Everything was set, and Steve was still by Bucky’s side. Tony looked at Bruce, who’d finished setting up an IV by this time and he nodded.
“JARVIS, pull up a live scan of Barnes so we can keep an eye on his vitals.”
“Yes sir.” A hologram appeared and it hovered over Bucky. Steve raised an eyebrow.
“Quantum field generator. Jane told me about Asgard’s soul forge and after that and seeing Killian’s little brain hologram I figured I could one up two birds with one stone.”
“I think maybe you’re a little too competitive, Tony.”
“Who me? Never.”
Bruce had been watching the projection, and after carefully adjusting the IV drip said, “He’s under and in a full resting state. No time like the present.”
“Yeah yeah I’m moving,” Tony replied. “JARVIS, you ready with that frequency?”
“I only await your word, sir.”
Tony had a laser cutter in his hand, and he paused to take a deep breath. He didn’t usually get nervous, but he wasn’t used to basically operating on a live person. He disengaged the locks on the arm and ordered, “Do it.”
There was the low rumble of electronic bass, and it looked as though nothing was happening. But then on the projection, the pulse from Bucky’s arm sputtered. It seemed to lose its rhythm. They took it as a good sign when Bucky’s heart rate didn’t instantly crash.
Tony got to work. The locks were off but the arm was still attached by a network of thin wires, each of which had to be cut individually. They were hooked into Bucky’s central nervous system so that the arm would be nearly flawless in its movements. Tony was grateful the metal wasn’t vibranium or adamantium as either would have been much more difficult to sever. It was strong enough that the laser cutter was his only option. He was also grateful Bucky was unconscious for this as each cut wire would be like having a nerve sliced off.
While Tony worked on the removal, Bruce very carefully monitored Bucky’s vitals. It was his job to make sure Bucky didn’t crash, or wake up in the middle. Which was why he was also manning the IV. It might have made more sense for Bruce to take the arm off as he had more experience with make shift surgery, but out of the two of them he was more qualified to keep Bucky under.
Steve was sweating bullets. He had no idea how long this procedure was supposed to take, and as Tony wasn’t being his usual chatty self and Bruce was so occupied with the IV, he didn’t have a way to estimate how long it would be. But since he could see Bucky’s heart beating himself, he assumed it was going well. Everything still looked pretty normal. He had total faith in Tony and Bruce, but it didn’t stop him worrying about Bucky.
At last they could see the light at the end of the tunnel. The only thing that kept the arm attached was a large cable at the center that looked as though it was internally anchored to Bucky’s shoulder socket. Tony took another deep breath, and with no fanfare severed the cord. It was done, the arm was off.
Tony let out the breath he’d been holding. “Whew. Man for a minute there I thought –“ But he was cut off by the shriek of an alarm. “Damn it!”
Bucky’s heart rhythm was erratic, and his respirations sped up. Tony had dropped the arm to the ground as Bruce pushed him out of the way. He grabbed a syringe, and as Bucky went into cardiac arrest Tony grabbed Steve and pulled him away from the bed. Steve felt his own heart plunge into his stomach, and he’d barely felt it let alone protested when Tony had shoved him. He was away from the bed, but not out of the room which he was grateful for.
Buck gave Bucky an injection, and Bucky gasped. His eyes opened briefly, but then he fell still. His vital signs began to even out, and Tony sighed in relief. “I guess I spoke too soon. Sorry everyone, my bad. I jinxed us.”
“What the hell just happened?” Steve asked, once again at Bucky’s side.
“There may have been another safeguard. But I’m thinking his body reacted like anyone’s would to losing a limb. But he’ll be fine.” Bruce managed a small smile for Steve. “I’m very positive about his recovery.”
Tony had picked up the arm by this time, and was turning it over in his hands. He then snorted. “More advanced than my tech? My entire ass it is. This is so basic it’s embarrassing. My arm is going to beat this one into submission in the tech department.”
“Just get rid of it,” Steve ordered.
“Okay, okay. Yeesh, bossy!” Tony gave him a sarcastic bow, then left the room.
Steve looked down at Bucky. There was still a mess of wire protruding from his scarred shoulder, but he did look more peaceful. He leaned over and kissed his forehead, glad that the procedure was over. Bucky was okay, or at least he was going to be okay. Steve had to keep reminding himself of that.
When Bucky woke up, he thought the plan had failed, as he hadn’t been all that confident in it to begin with. But when he turned his head and saw the arm was gone, he was relieved. He thought he could still feel it, but it wasn’t there. As his eyes adjusted to the dim light, he took in his surroundings.
Steve was asleep next to him, the blonde’s arms wrapped around Bucky’s waist as though expecting someone to try to steal him away. His face was smooth and slack, the soldier was completely dead to the world. Bucky smiled at that. He hadn’t seen Steve this peaceful in quite a while.
Bruce was in a chair near the bed, reading something on a Stark Pad. He looked a little rumpled but other than that, he was fine. He and Steve weren’t the only Avengers in the room, either.
At some point when he’d been asleep, his quarters had been invaded. Sam and Thor were seated at a table, playing chess and talking quietly. It looked like Sam was either teaching him the game, or was trying to explain one of the rules to Thor. Thor in return was smiling and quite jovial.
Clint and Natasha were on the couch, Clint’s attention invested in a Nintendo DS and cursing at it repeatedly. If Bucky had to guess, from the way Clint was cursing a blue streak he was probably playing Pokémon. Natasha had her feet in Clint’s lap and was engrossed in a book, though which one Bucky couldn’t see. The only person who was absent was Tony.
Bruce noticed that Bucky was awake, and he smiled, asking, “How are you feeling?”
“Wrecked,” he replied. “But at least I don’t feel like I wanna fuck half of Brooklyn anymore so… Good?”
The sound of Bucky’s voice woke Steve, and he lifted his head. “Hey.”
“Hey yourself.” Bucky was grinning now and he couldn’t seem to stop himself. He was all right. He felt normal again. And he could still remember it all. And judging by the fact it was at least a day later and Steve was still wearing the same clothes, he knew his friend had kept his promise. Steve had stayed with him the whole time.
Steve crushed Bucky to him, kissing his forehead. Relief was clear on his face and he returned Bucky’s grin. “We’re having that talk tonight.”
“Aw Stevie…” Bucky said, his tone annoyed but he was still smiling.
“I hate to interrupt, but I need to give him a check-up,” Bruce reminded Steve. The others had gathered around by this time and Steve was reluctant to leave Bucky.
He kissed Steve’s cheek and said, “It’s all right Steve. Go shower or something okay?”
Steve got up and Sam put an arm around his shoulders. “Let’s get you something to eat first. There’s a stack of pancakes with your name on them. My treat.” He then looked over at Bucky. “Glad you’re okay, hot head.”
They left the room, and Thor came up to him next. He leaned over and kissed Bucky’s cheek, which normally he would have found weird, but Bucky figured they were probably way past weird now. The god said, “I am relieved that you are recovering. Rest well my friend.” And he left the room as well.
Last up were Clint and Natasha. Clint was grinning. “You’re probably the only omega in history that can make that many alphas work together instead of having a ‘who’s dick is bigger’ contest. I think it’s the sad, soulful eyes.” Clint clasped his hands together, sighing in a ridiculous fashion. “You’re like the communal Bucky bear. Everyone gets to give you a special hug.”
“Nah, I could never sleep with that many alphas.”
“Are you trying to slut shame me? Because metal arm or no I will get outta this bed and kick your ass.”
“Hey, no shame dude. If anything I’m impressed. Fuck, I can barely keep up with Tasha.”
Bucky raised an eyebrow. “You two are an item?”
“It’s casual,” Natasha said, but she and Clint were smirking at each other.
“Okay, I don’t want to know.”
“You’re better off that way,” Natasha assured him. “And there’s one more thing before we let Bruce examine you.” She sat next to Bucky, her face placid but her eyes serious. “Everyone’s been worried about you. So if you’re feeling weak or sick, you need to tell us. Don’t go this alone. Otherwise you’re going to drag everyone through hell again, and no one wants that. You understand?”
Bucky looked at her, a bit annoyed. “You gonna threaten me?”
She smiled. “Do I need to?”
“Good. Geel better.” And Natasha took Clint by the arm and left the room.
When it was just Bruce and Bucky, the scientist looked him over. Bucky asked, “So where’s Tony?”
“In his work shop, he’s trying to finish your new arm.” Bruce explained. “He’s determined to have it done tonight.”
“There’s no way he can have a new arm fabricated that quickly.”
“That’s what JARVIS told him, but he’s pretty determined.” Bruce was checking Bucky’s pupil dilation and he asked, “Are you experiencing any pain?”
“No. I feel pretty good, except that I’m kind of exhausted.” He pulled away from Bruce. “Did something happen?”
“You went into cardiac arrest when we took the arm off. There doesn’t seem to be any side effects or permanent damage, but I’m still checking just to be on the safe side,” said Bruce.
Bucky wasn’t as frightened as he thought he’d be. Or even as frightened as he should have been by the news he’d had a near death experience. He’d had a lot of close calls as the Winter Soldier and even in World War II. But if Steve had stayed the whole time, likely he’d witnesses it. Bucky realized he suddenly felt every ounce of exhaustion, as though he could drop off at any moment. He looked at Bruce and asked, “Did you…” But he couldn’t finish the sentence.
“You need sleep to recover. Rest.”
It turns out Bucky and Steve didn’t have a talk that night, because Bucky was so tired he spent the next week in bed, most of it sleeping. By the time he was feeling well enough to walk around again, Tony had finished his arm and had even come up with a new system to attach it to Bucky. The assassin and Steve were seated in Tony’s workshop as he explained how it would work, with Bruce standing by.
“See with HYDRA they used a pretty basic system and hooked your arm up to your central nervous system directly. With this,” he rolled out what looked like a very thin, wispy fishing net, “We won’t have to do that. It’ll be a hundred times more effective and you’ll be able to feel more with the arm.”
“What is this?” Bucky asked, picking up part of the delicate looking mesh.
“This is my patent pending neural net. When I say patent I mean it’s going to Bruce he’s the one who really figured it out I just put it all together,” Tony replied, jerking a thumb in Bruce’s direction. Bruce gave a small wave but didn’t comment. “I’ll be implanting sensors into your arm that will locate and hack into your central nervous system. When I put the net over your stump there it’ll sink right in. Then your arm connects to the net and we’re done.”
“Like how you control your new armor,” Steve pointed out.
“Exactly but there is a difference. I use my active brain and voluntary reflexes to call my armor. This has to work on involuntary reflexes, like when people breathe. Plus the net will keep the arm attached to his body easier but will be harder to remove.” Tony pointed out.
Bruce added, “This is going to be a less painful and much more effective method. We’re trying to make it as much like a real arm as possible and we’re confident this will work.”
“Blah blah blah science stuff, let’s get to the fun part. Now, for the pièce de résistance!” Tony replied. He went over to the table and removed a cloth from it, saying, “Tadaa!” A mechanical arm was lying there.
He got up and looked at it, noticing instead of a red star there was now a white one. But that was the only difference. “This looks a lot like my old one. Are you sure you didn’t just swap stars on ‘em?”
“No. This one does look similar but there are key differences. There’s a fun array of hidden weapons that we’ll get to later, but this is the best part.” Tony turned the arm over and pressed the inside of the wrist. Suddenly, it looked as though there was a real arm on the table rather than a mechanical one. “Cloaking device. It doesn’t work for touch of course, if someone grabs your hand they’re gonna feel metal. But it looks real enough you can go out without birds attacking your arm.”
Bucky stared at it for a moment, and Steve came up behind him. He then looked at Tony and Bruce, who were clearly apprehensive about his silence. Bruce asked, “Bucky are you all right?”
Bucky hugged them, one at a time, then said, “You guys are the best friends anyone could ask for. Thank you.”
“Ugh, gross Cap’s mushiness is catching!” Tony whined, and Steve laughed, giving him a little push.
“Thank us after we get the arm on, this is all still experimental,” Bruce told him.
“Don’t worry, I have faith in you two, I know you can do this,” said Steve.
Tony made a gagging gesture, but he was smiling. “Okay, let’s try this baby on!”
By the end of the day, Bucky’s new arm was attached and he felt more at peace with the world. He and Steve were curled up next to each other in bed. They had refrained from having sex for the time being, as Steve was still worried about Bucky’s health. Normally this would have gotten on Bucky’s nerves, but to tell the truth he wasn’t sure he was ready to jump back in the saddle. Instead he smiled and kissed Steve, asking, “Hey… You wanna have that talk now?”
Steve chuckled. “I guess now is as good a time as any.” He tucked Bucky’s hair behind his ear. “Anything you wanna say to me?”
“I love you,” Bucky told him. “I’ve loved you for a long time. And I want you, even after all this craziness. But if you start treating me like I’m some delicate omega snowflake I will castrate you. Now tell me why they did this to me.”
Surprise, amusement and anger flitted across Steve’s face, but he nodded. “All right.” He explained HYDRA’s plan, for Bucky, and when he finished, the assassin was quiet for so long Steve wasn’t sure what to think. “Are you okay?” Steve asked.
“I wish I could say I was surprised.” Bucky glanced up at Steve. “Guess it’s a good thing you, Sam and Natasha took them down.”
He was being remarkably calm, and that worried Steve. “Are you sure you’re okay?”
“I never said I was okay I said I wish I were surprised.” Bucky nuzzled under Steve’s chin. “HYDRA never saw me as a person, Steve. It makes me angry when I think of it, but that’s been over for a long time. To you and the rest of the Avengers I’m Bucky Barnes, not just the Winter Soldier or an asset. That means the world to me, which is one of the reasons I trust you guys.”
“Bucky…” Steve kissed him, slow and sweet. When he pulled away, he smiled. “I wanna ask you something. You don’t have to answer if you don’t want to, at least not right now. But… Will you marry me?”
Bucky stared up at him for what seemed like forever, until he chose to speak. “You have shitty timing, Rogers.” He chuckled and Steve looked embarrassed. “Yeah, I’ll marry you. Why’d you even ask, punk? Anyone could see if was gonna happen sooner or later.”
“Sorry if I wanna be sure you jerk,” Steve kissed him again. “You know, Tony can’t wait to show you all the customization he did on that arm.”
“Does it have a vibrate setting, do you think?” Bucky asked, and a lascivious smile burst onto his face.
Steve raised an eyebrow. “What?”
“Like vibrating fingers or something. That’d be fun.” Bucky laughed at the look on Steve’s face, and wiggled his fingers at him. “I bet you’d enjoy it too.”
Steve laughed in return and shoved Bucky. “Okay, no more internet for you.”
“C’mon, you telling me you wouldn’t like that? I know I would.”
“I don’t know and I’m not ready to find out. Why don’t we get married and let the spark run out of our marriage before we do anything crazy, okay?”
“Spoilsport,” Bucky told him, then kissed Steve. “It’s not that bad Stevie. Besides I think we’re way past propriety now.”
“Good point.” Steve was twisting a lock of Bucky’s hair around his finger, lost in thought. He needed to know how to phrase the following delicately, but he couldn’t. “So you think maybe—“ He had no idea how to ask, so he tried being direct. “Do you think you’re pregnant?”
“Honestly? I’m not sure, but I’d be pretty damned surprised if I wasn’t considering how the last few weeks have gone. But we’ll find out soon enough.”
“Yeah, I guess we will.” He smiled at Bucky. Now things were back to normal. And he was hopeful about the future. They both were.