Bucky couldn’t quite believe what he was reading. It was all over the tabloid websites—a singer had come out as something called ‘nonbinary’.
“I never felt like I fit into the traditional gender binary,” the singer was quoted as saying. “And I feel like there will be people out there struggling with their identity who can maybe look at me and say, yeah, there’s someone like me.”
Bucky looked at the screen curiously. He’d never really felt like a ‘real’ boy either, but he’d also never felt like he was a girl. He didn’t really feel like he fit into either box. He’d always assumed he was just a freak, and kept it quiet—even from Steve. He hadn’t wanted to burden his best-friend-come-boyfriend with the fact that he was even more of an anomaly than just a metal arm and brainwashing. And even before all that, back in Brooklyn in their tiny apartment… Bucky had known deep down that he was different, but there was different and different. No. Best to keep quiet.
But here was this singer, and they were saying that they were nonbinary, but what did that actually mean? He opened a new tab on his browser and typed in ‘nonbinary gender’.
Bucky clicked on Wikipedia and stared at the screen.
Other gender, agender, genderfluid, genderqueer…
As soon as he read the word ‘agender’ his heart thumped in his chest, and the thought rose unbidden. That’s me.
The door opened behind him and Bucky jumped, closing the browser as Steve came into their rooms.
“Hey, Steve!” Bucky said, a little too brightly, and Steve gave him an odd look.
“Hey, Buck. How much coffee have you had today?”
“Only like three cups?” That was low for him. Usually by lunchtime he’d have drank an entire pot and then some.
“Hmm, ‘kay. You coming for lunch?”
Bucky nodded. “Sure.” He switched off his iPad and followed Steve out into the common area of the compound.
He didn’t look it up again, but the word ‘agender’ haunted him—it kept going around and around his head, especially when he was trying to sleep, Steve already breathing deeply beside him.
After a week of this, when Steve was out, Bucky looked it up again, this time clicking on Merriam-Webster dictionary definition.
“Definition Of Agender: of, relating to, or being a person who has an internal sense of being neither male nor female nor some combination of male and female
: of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity is genderless or neutral”.
Bucky sat back in his chair. “Well, hell, that’s me,” he murmured to himself. “So now what?”
“What?” Steve asked as he came in, and Bucky quickly closed the tab.
“Nothing. You get what you wanted at the store?”
Steve narrowed his eyes but didn’t push. “Yeah, Sam’s making tamales tonight.”
Steve nodded. “Yeah, should be good. We’re thinking about watching a movie, you wanna join us?”
“Sure,” Bucky replied, closing the iPad and heading with Steve from their rooms down to the communal area.
That night, Bucky found it hard to sleep, his newfound knowledge pressing against his consciousness. He got up quietly, leaving Steve snuffling softly in bed, and went to his iPad. Typing as silently as he could, he looked up genderqueerness and agenderness and nonbinary pronouns. Many nonbinary people seemed to choose to be referred to as ‘they’ and ‘them’, and Bucky tested this out in a whisper.
“Yeah, Bucky, I know them. Oh Bucky? They’re over there.” An ache formed in his chest. This was right. This was who he was. Or no—not he, but they. This was who they were.
Reading further, Bucky considered their name, but felt no issues with it. Besides, it was what they were used to, and it wasn’t too gender specific, so it didn’t make them feel uncomfortable.
Steve let out a small noise, and Bucky's heart crashed into their feet. Steve… Steve would have to know. Would Steve accept Bucky? Would he still want to be with Bucky, knowing that Bucky was so different? Bucky shook their head. It was unlikely that Steve would have a problem with it. Steve was a good person, a good man, and had always been accepting of people’s differences. This was big, but Bucky was pretty sure the two of them would weather through it.
The rest of the team, though… Bucky bit their lip. They weren’t exactly raging conservatives, but this was a lot.
As Bucky looked through more blogs, more websites, they came across various pictures of people of nonbinary genders, wearing all sorts of clothes—people who had been assigned male at birth wearing dresses, or skirts, or a mashup of ‘men’s’ and ‘women’s’ clothing. A pit of want opened up in Bucky's stomach as they looked through the images on screen. I want to dress like that, they thought to themselves. Why can’t I wear these things?
“Buck?” Steve called sleepily from the bed, and Bucky looked up guiltily. “What are you doing? Couldn’t you sleep?”
Bucky went over and slid back under the sheets, kissing Steve softly. “It’s fine, just had to check something,” they said. “But in the morning, can we talk?”
Steve smiled. “Of course. It’s nothing bad, is it?”
“Of course not.” Bucky kissed him again. “Go back to sleep.”
“Mkay,” Steve replied muzzily, and snuggled into Bucky's side, breathing deepening immediately into sleep. Bucky lay awake a little while longer, before they finally fell into a deep slumber.
When Bucky blinked their eyes open the next morning, Steve was already awake, watching Bucky.
“You watching me sleep? Creeper,” Bucky said with a yawn.
Steve shrugged. “Can’t help it. You’re so damn gorgeous, Buck.” Steve’s voice was sleephoarse and low, and Bucky had to kiss him. At length, Steve pulled back. “You wanted to talk this morning?”
Bucky nodded and sat up, crossing their legs. Steve did the same, expression curious. “Yeah,” Bucky began. “I… what do you know about nonbinary genders?”
Steve’s expression turned to one of confusion. “Not a whole lot. I mean, I know nonbinary people exist, who don’t identify as men or women, and I think Tony’s got a cousin who identifies that way, but I’ve never really looked into it. Why?”
Bucky took a deep breath. This was it. “Because,” they said slowly. “Because I think—no, I know—that I am too.”
Steve’s eyes widened. “You're serious? I mean, of course you’re serious, you wouldn’t joke about something like this.” He was silent for a moment as Bucky fought a fight or flight response, then Steve gave him a small smile. “Thank you for trusting me with this,” he said softly. “I know this must have been really difficult for you.”
Bucky couldn’t help but heave a sigh of relief, even as they smiled. “Yeah. Yeah, thank you. It’s pretty scary. But… you’re okay with it?”
“Buck…” Steve leaned in for a kiss. “Buck, I love you. I don’t care what gender you are, or whatever, I love you, okay?”
Bucky could feel their eyes filling with hot tears and blinked them back. “I love you too, Steve,” Bucky said thickly.
“So how do you want me to refer to you? Is Bucky still gonna be your name?”
Bucky nodded. “Yeah, but I’m thinking of maybe using different pronouns? Like, they and them instead of he and him?”
“If that’s what makes you comfortable, baby, then it works for me,” Steve replied, kissing Bucky again.
“So, uh, I guess I identify as agender? So I don’t really feel like I fit into any gender box?” Bucky said in a rush. “And I think I might wearing different clothes, like… dresses, maybe? Something a little more feminine sometimes?”
Steve took Bucky’s hand and kissed the back. “Whatever makes you comfortable, like I said. You dress how you wanna dress, and the hell with anyone who tries to make you feel bad for it. You know I’ll always have your back.”
“What about the team?” Bucky asked, slightly fearful of the answer.
Steve shook his head. “I think the team will be fine, and if they’re not they’ll answer to me.”
“I can fight my own battles, you know,” Bucky said, amused.
“I know, but you don’t have to fight them alone.” Steve paused. “Do you want me to talk to them first? Or do you wanna do it?”
“I think I should do it? I mean, they’re our friends. I should really tell them myself.” Bucky’s mouth twisted into a half smile. “I just don’t want them to hate me.”
Steve wrapped Bucky up in an enveloping hug. “They won’t hate you,” he said, assuredly enough that Bucky felt their fears start to dissipate. “It’s gonna go great.”
Bucky clung to Steve, burying their face in Steve's neck. “I hope so.”
It took a few days for Bucky to build up their confidence, and for everyone to be in the same place, but finally everyone was gathered in the communal area. Bucky had sent them all a message saying they had some news, but nothing else, and when they walked into the room everyone looked at them curiously. Even Natasha didn’t seem to know what they were going to say, and Bucky was pretty sure she would be annoyed at herself. Well, it wasn’t really like Bucky had known until last week—the word for it, anyway.
“Hey, everyone,” they began, trying to smile naturally and failing, if the look on everyone’s faces was accurate. Only Steve was smiling back, nodding encouragingly, and Bucky took a deep breath. “I’ve called you all here because there’s something… something I’ve been struggling with for a long time, and I’ve only really come to terms with it over the last week or so. Steve has been really supportive, as always, so thank you, Steve.”
“Any time, Buck,” Steve said softly, and Bucky nodded.
“So uh, I guess it’ll be easier if I just say it. I’m, uh. I’m agender.”
Many of the expressions in the room turned to confusion, although there was some recognition, mostly from Tony, Natasha, and—surprisingly—Clint.
“What does that mean?” Wanda asked, but she didn’t look or sound judgmental, merely curious, and Bucky managed a small smile.
“It means I don’t identify as any gender. Not male, or female, or any other nonbinary gender. I don’t feel like I have a gender at all. So, uh, I’m guessing a lot of you are wondering what this changes. The answer is that it doesn’t really change a lot. I mean, please don’t refer to me as male, and if you could all use ‘they’ and ‘them’ instead of ‘he’ and ‘him’ I’d be really grateful.” Bucky took a deep breath. “I also might dress a little differently—a little more feminine sometimes? But I’ll still be Bucky, and nothing has changed between Steve and I. Except he no longer has a boyfriend.”
Everyone laughed, and Bucky found themselves smiling as the tension in the air cleared. Natasha was the first on her feet, walking over to Bucky and wrapping them in a hug. “I’m proud of you, Barnes,” she said quietly, before pulling back. “You gonna tell the world?”
Bucky exchanged a look with Steve. “Yeah. We have an interview set up with the New York Times—they don’t know what it’s about, but I’ll come out in that. I’m expecting some pushback, but just because my perceived gender is different doesn’t mean I can’t still fight.”
Another wave of laughter, and suddenly everyone was on their feet, flooding over to dogpile Bucky in an all-enveloping hug.
“You know we’ll have your back, Barnes,” Sam said with a grin, and Bucky punched him gently on the shoulder.
Then Steve was next to them, pulling them into another hug. “Told you,” he said, laughing, and Bucky grinned.
“Yeah, yeah. I know.”
Although the reporter from the NYT wrote a particularly tasteful coming out piece for Bucky, even they couldn’t have expected the amount of backlash from the American right. Bad enough that Bucky had ‘corrupted’ their pure American hero into being a big homo (Steve was actually bi, but whatever), but now Bucky was coming out as a complete freak of nature. The first time they wore a dress out of the compound, a random guy tried to attack them. It was almost funny that the asshole thought that somehow because Bucky was now wearing more feminine clothing that they had somehow forgotten how to use their fists, and within a few seconds the guy was screaming ‘uncle’.
“Tell your friends,” Bucky murmured into the guy’s ear. “Bucky Barnes will kick the ass of anyone who thinks they’re an easy target just because they’re wearing a dress.”
The guy nodded and whimpered, and when Bucky let him go he ran down the street as Bucky watched him, smirking.
Which was not to say that their new look didn’t have its perks.
They had ordered a bunch of clothes online—new underwear, dresses, skirts, tops, the works. Steve had come into the room when Bucky was standing in a pair of lacy panties and a matching A cup bra, about to pull a floral dress over their head, and when Bucky turned, Steve had strode up to them and dragged them into a deep kiss.
“Holy shit, Buck, you look so fucking good, dollface,” Steve growled.
“You think?” Bucky asked, blushing, and Steve pressed his hips against Bucky’s so Bucky could feel his half hard cock.
“Yeah, I really fucking think so.” Steve thumbed Bucky's nipples through the lace of the bra, making them gasp. “Jesus, Buck, you’re so pretty. Wanna strip those panties off of you and fuck you in just that bra.”
Bucky, whose cock was filling more by the second, gasped. “Yes, fuck, want that so much, Steve.”
Steve dropped to his knees and began nuzzling Bucky’s cock through the lacy fabric, mouthing kisses up the shaft and making them moan. He pulled the panties down and Bucky stepped carefully out of them, then Steve's mouth was back on their cock, swallowing them down until his nose was buried in wiry hair. Bucky reached down, running their fingers through Steve's hair, and Steve looked up through long eyelashes, smirking around his mouthful.
He sucked Bucky for a few minutes, then twirled them around until they were facing the bed, pushing them forward and spreading their asscheeks so he could start eating Bucky out. Bucky cried out as that sinful tongue pressed into their hole, tonguefucking them greedily.
“Oh, Jesus, Steve, baby, don’t stop!” Bucky managed, and Steve hummed in agreement, pulling back to nip and slurp around Bucky’s hole before going back to fucking them. Bucky heard the wet sound of lube before a wet finger was pushed into their ass next to Steve's tongue. “Oh fuck, yes, baby, open me up, want your cock so bad,” Bucky whined.
"You're such a slut for my tongue, doll," Steve murmured against Bucky's ass, giving them one last lick before pushing in two fingers, making Bucky howl. "Such a slut for my tongue and my fingers and my cock, aren't you?"
"Yes, fuck, please, Steve!" Bucky begged.
Steve stood, plastering his body against Bucky's as he fingered them open. Bucky whined, shifting their hips backwards against Steve's hand.
"You ready for more?" Steve muttered into Bucky's neck, and they nodded.
"Yeah, Steve, fuck, just stick that big beautiful cock in me, don't need any more prep, please!"
Bucky felt Steve grin, then there was the slick-slide of Steve's lubed cock against their asscrack, before the blunt pressure of Steve pushing inside.
"Oh, Jesus, doll, you're so fucking tight inside," Steve groaned, left hand squeezing Bucky's tits through the rough, lacy fabric of their bra and making Bucky gasp. "Fuck, love being inside of you, gonna make you come so hard, baby, is that what you want?"
Bucky looked down to see Steve's right hand, still slick with lube, creeping round to grasp their cock and start stroking as he began to thrust hard. Bucky's hands fisted in the sheets and they began to moan as Steve hit that spot inside of them on every movement.
"Oh god, Buck, not gonna last," Steve bit out. "So fucking sexy, love being inside you, touching your cock. The noises you make, baby, Jesus. And that lacy underwear, fuck, love playing with your tits while you wear that pretty bra."
As if to emphasize his point, Steve squeezed one of Bucky's nipples, making them buck up into Steve's hand.
"Fuck, Steve, don't stop, oh god, don't stop, please, I'm gonna come, gonna come, coming, Steve!" Bucky cried out, coming hard, cock spurting over Steve's hand and the sheets below. They heard Steve curse quietly behind them, then Steve's hips stilled as he came with a shout. Steve rested his head on Bucky's shoulder for a moment before pulling out, dragging Bucky down onto the bed beside him and fingering idly at their slick hole.
"Mmm, love feeling my come sliding out your hole," Steve hummed, and Bucky kissed him.
"I love you."
Steve kissed them again. "Love you too, Buck." He smiled. "So, you gonna give me a fashion show of all your new clothes?"
Bucky grinned. Things may have changed, but their relationship with Steve was the same—a rock they could rely on. And really, that was the most important thing.