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Star Crossed

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Its not like they want to be here- both he and Steve have better shit to do than deal with Howard fucking Stark but sometimes they get stuck with the guy anyway. He wasn’t so bad in the forties but since then he off and got married and had a kid and he’s turned into something of a wretched bastard ever since. He acts like his entire life has been ruined all because he has a kid now and from what Bucky hears he’s a genius. Bit of a pain in the ass, but all kids are.

Still, Howard’s steadily more crotchety behavior has left Bucky with a sour taste in his mouth whenever he’s around the man so he tends to avoid him. Sadly, though, SHIELD has business with him so here Bucky is, dealing with Howard’s shit. Across the room Steve looks as uncomfortable as he does but neither of them say much of anything. No sense in it, Howard will just get worse if they do and that’s not fun for anyone.

The tension in the room from the sheer lack of wanting to deal with each other is probably why he doesn’t notice footsteps into the room until a small hand is tugging on his. “You’re my soul mate!” a small child’s voice says and Bucky looks down to find a kid looking up at him with big brown eyes. Looks like Howard, but mini, and holy fucking shit.

“This is horrifying,” he says, genuinely disturbed that of all the times he could have met Howard’s kid, whom he’s avoided pretty much because Howard avoids being around him like the plague and Bucky avoids being around Howard like the plague, that he meets him now. When he’s a child. And also his soul mate because he can feel it, vaguely, the connection. Plus he said the words, the ones that used to be on his left arm before that got violently ripped off in the train accident. The phrase, along with Steve’s ‘till the end of the line’ was one of the few things that stuck in his mind even through HYDRA.

Tony frowns at him, “that’s rude, I think I’m a perfectly acceptable soul mate,” he mumbles, looking like all upset children do.

Bucky turns to Steve because oh hell no this can’t be happening right now. Steve, because he’s a traitorous bastard, starts laughing.

Ten Years Later

Maria calls him in a panic, freaking out in the middle of the night and that’s how he ends up outside of MIT looking for Tony. Its the first time he’s seen him in a decade and it turns out he’s not too hard to spot because he’s got a bright personality, the kind that draws people in or maybe he’s biased. Tony seems to notice him at almost the same time and he grins, immediately shoving his books into the poor kid’s arms beside him and running over to him. Bucky doesn’t expect Tony to launch himself at him but he catches him nonetheless. “Bucky!” Tony says excitedly, arms circling around his neck.

When they first met he only vaguely felt that connection, just enough to know Tony’s words were true rather than the ramblings of a child. Now he can feel a whole lot more than that as he does his best not to wrap his arms around Tony in an attempt to chase that connection. Tony’s still young, seventeen if memory serves. Even if his birthday isn’t that far from now. “Hey,” he says, gently prying Tony off of him because if he doesn’t he might give in to that temptation and Tony’s still an actual ass child. Bucky wishes Steve was his romantic soul mate because that would be a hell of a lot easier than whatever the hell the universe thought this was. But he’s tried that with Steve and it just… isn’t there. Wouldn’t necessarily make Tony a romantic connection but he can feel that it is and he damn well knows Tony can feel it too.

“And who the hell are you?” Tony’s friend asks, the one he shoved his books at. He’s squinting at Bucky suspiciously, like he expects him to hurt Tony somehow not that he would ever do that.

Tony slips an arm around his waist and leans into him. “Bucky, my other soul mate,” he says to his friend and Bucky frowns.

“Since when do you have another soul mate?” Bucky asks.

“Well, if you called once and awhile you’d know about Rhodey but you don’t, so. That’s Rhodey, my platonic soul mate,” he says, gesturing to his friend. Rhodey doesn’t look any more impressed with him than he had ten seconds ago.

“And you don’t call because? And Tony, get your damn arm off his waist he’s clearly a shit soul mate. I don’t care if you were made for each other, anyone who doesn’t call once and awhile is a trash person and you deserve better,” Rhodey tells him.

He’d like Rhodey more if he wasn’t shit talking him to his face. “Oh sue me, he was an actual ass child when we met so forgive me for waiting until he was fully baked to solidify that connection,” he mumbles.

Rhodey frowns though, “dude, you’re like. Twenty eight at the oldest so when the hell did you two meet?” he asks.

“I was eight, and he doesn’t look his age because he’s Bucky Barnes,” Tony says in way of a real explanation. Poor Rhodey starts hyperventilating on the spot and Bucky really wishes people wouldn’t. Steve gets it worse than he does partially because people don’t recognize him with the long hair and all black wardrobe while Steve is pretty recognizable still. “Also,” Tony murmurs right into Bucky’s ear, “I’m fully baked now, just so you know.”

Yeah, he so isn’t.


Tony seems to be full of boundless energy and he talks a mile a minute. Bucky normally hates that trait, talking too much, but Tony manages to make it work. “By the way ‘this is horrifying’? Worst first words ever, Bucky. I’m offended,” Tony tells him, nose in the air.

He sighs, “when you find out one of your soul mates is a literal child feel free to react better than I did,” Bucky tells him.

“It wasn’t that bad,” Tony says and Bucky gives him a look. “Okay, maybe it was but still that’s rude. You could have kept that to yourself and said something else out loud so I didn’t have to go get the damn soul mark removed out of shame. Seriously, Bucky, who wants to walk around with ‘this is horrifying’ on their body for the rest of their life?” he asks and he did what?

“You got it removed?” he asks, offended.

Tony rolls his eyes, “don’t act all mad, I couldn’t help it. I was going to just get a tattoo of whatever your next first words were but you said ‘hey’ and that’s not cool at all so now I’m just going to get a tattoo of something nice or clever instead because clearly you can’t be trusted with the task of not saying something dumb yourself.”

Tony,” Bucky says, “you were a child and then you launched yourself at me. How am I supposed to react to either of those situations?”

“Well, I think you could have come up with something better than ‘hey’ personally but that’s me. So, what brings you back to town?” Tony asks and he just had to ask. He must notice the change in mood immediately because he frowns. “What is it?” he asks but Bucky says nothing. “You have a good poker face, I’ll give you that,” Tony mumbles.

“Yeah, I was born at the tail end of one war and thrown head first into the next one, plus there was that twenty three year period with HYDRA and the time I almost killed JFK. You learn to keep a straight face,” he says and of all the reactions he generally gets to the crazy events of his life he sure as hell doesn’t expect a laugh.

Tony shakes his head, reaching out and settling a hand on his thigh. “That’s insane. For the record, you look damn good for your age,” he adds and Bucky rolls his eyes.

“Can’t help that,” he mumbles though he wishes he could. He’s aging, Howard had confirmed forever ago, but very slowly. When he’d been in the war he was twenty six and now he’s maybe biologically thirty though people tend to age him younger. Rhodey included apparently.

“Hm. Well, I’ve kind of always wanted to try the Captain America workout routine of being injected with an experimental serum that may kill me but results in me being fucking jacked. What do you think?” Tony asks, pouting at him in a way that’s entirely way too attractive. He shouldn’t have that look mastered yet what the fuck.

“It sucks,” Bucky mumbles, remembering his own experience with the serum.

“Yeah, but you came out basically immortal and hot as fuck. Seems like a good deal to me,” he says.

Bucky gives him a lazy look. “Tony, I was violently tortured as a prisoner of war. It was not a good deal.”

“Fine, but Steve chose it and he probably thinks its worth it,” he says, happy to skirt the uncomfortable subject of Bucky’s past. He’s probably the only one Bucky has ever met that doesn’t get immediately uncomfortable whenever he’s reminded of the fact that Bucky doesn’t have a great past.

“I have it on good authority that he doesn’t think it was worth it at all,” Bucky says and Tony rolls his eyes.

“You guys are ungrateful,” he mumbles. They remain silent for some time before Tony decides it’s a great idea to run the hand he has settled on Bucky’s thigh up his thigh.

Tony, I am driving!” he says, catching Tony’s wrist before he allows Tony to do something stupid and veers off into a ditch.

“You could always stop driving,” Tony points out and this kid is impossible.


Bucky feels bad for letting Maria burst Tony’s bubble but someone had to do it and he’s thankful he managed to wiggle out of being the person to do that himself. But when Tony wanders back over to him and squeezes himself under Bucky’s arm he lets him because he probably needs the comfort right now. “Do you think he’ll be okay?” Tony murmurs and Bucky shrugs.

“Hard to say,” he says. “But Howard is a stubborn bastard so maybe.” Car accident, suspected foul play.

“That’s why you came back, isn’t it?” Tony murmurs and Bucky nods.

“Maria is worried you’re a target also and I happen to be a great candidate to be your body guard even without the soul mate connection.” Military experience, extra training through HYDRA, knowledge of several fighting techniques, familiarity with guns and a slew of other weapons. Yeah, Bucky’s ideal.

Tony leans his head against Bucky’s shoulder, “I hope he dies,” he murmurs and Bucky turns to him, shocked. Tony doesn’t look at him though, staring straight ahead. “All he’s done is make my life hell. Why would I want him around?”

“Tony,” Bucky says softly, pausing before he says he might regret saying that. Something tells him Tony wouldn’t take that very well. “Why are you so upset if you don’t care about Howard?” he asks instead.

He doesn’t really expect a pout though it’s not really the sexy kind so much as the sulking teen kind. It’s the first time he’s seen Tony act distinctly his age. “I wanted you to come back for me, not Howard,” he says, spitting Howard’s name out like it’s a poison.

Bucky’s arm tightens around Tony’s shoulders, “baby I did come back for you. I don’t give a shit if Howard dies, I would have stopped talking to him years ago if it wasn’t for you. But whoever did this to him might try their luck with you and I’m not willing to risk that,” he says, pressing a kiss to Tony’s temple. The entire reaction is instinctual from the pet name to the kiss and Bucky kicks himself for every second of it because Tony is still way too young to be interested in.

But Tony looks up at him with big brown eyes framed with thick lashes that almost make it look like he’s wearing makeup and Bucky can’t help but kiss his forehead too.


Maria looks unimpressed and Bucky can’t say he blames her. “I brought you around to make sure Tony doesn’t die, not to seduce him,” she snaps.

“In my defense he decided to romance me first,” Bucky points out but Maria rolls her eyes.

“He’s the child, you’re the adult. Take some fucking responsibility for your actions, Barnes.”

He slumps in his seat a little. “Yeah alright, I earned that. For the record I haven’t seen anything odd as of now,” he tells her.

Maria doesn’t look like she believes him and that of all things baffles him. Being pissed off at his clear affection for her kid sure, he gets that, but he’s an expert in his field. More so than most other experts in his field- if he says nothing odd has happened he’s not bullshitting. “How the hell am I supposed to take that seriously when your eyes were glued to Tony the whole damn time he was in your presence?” she asks and oh, that makes more sense.

He shakes his head. “Being on guard would be counter productive if people knew that’s what I was doing. Just because my focus looked like it was on Tony- someone who’s very evidently my soul mate to anyone who’s paying attention- doesn’t mean it was. But it does make a good distraction to anyone who might be looking too close. Easy to convince them I’m paying more attention to my enamored soul mate than them.” And with his past he needs that extra bit of cover that Tony’s space as his soul mate provides.

Thankfully Maria seems to buy it and she relaxes some. “What do you think of this whole… situation?” she asks but she probably already knows the answer.

“Police are idiots to only suspect foul play. I damn well know someone ran Howard’s car off the road, probably on a motorcycle to minimize damages to the vehicle. Didn’t quite work but apparently that’s enough to confuse the cops I guess. But I wouldn’t say I know nearly enough to guess if Tony is a target. Howard has a reputation and a long list of enemies- doesn’t mean they’ll go after Tony.” Doesn’t mean they won’t either, which neither Maria or him need to say.

“Keep an eye on him. Not a wandering one,” she adds to be clear.

“Mom, leave him alone. He’s my soul mate,” Tony says, entering from around the corner where he was clearly eavesdropping and Bucky really should have known he was there. Maybe his age is catching up with him or something. Though he doubts it.

“Anthony Edward I don’t care what he is, you’re a child and he is not. Case closed,” Maria says. In her defense Bucky would normally agree with her, kind of does still, even if he’s also inexplicably attracted to Tony.

“Soul mate laws say that technically I had the power to consent when we met,” he says and Bucky wrinkles his nose hard.

“We met when you were eight Tony, that law is fucked and everyone with functioning brain cells knows that,” he says, unable to keep the disgust from his voice. Maria clearly approves but come on, Tony was a baby. What kind of fucked up law would give him any choice in that kind of matter at that age? It’s a good deal of the reason why he left when he did and for as long as he did. Ideally he wouldn’t have returned until Tony was in his twenties at least but then Howard off and fucked that up.

Tony rolls his eyes though Bucky can see even he didn’t really believe that argument. “Fine. Age of consent is sixteen and since I’m seventeen, almost eighteen, I pass that too,” he says, clearly pleased with himself.

Bucky sighs, “Tony. Those laws were made with the intent on acknowledging that relationships between people close in age exist even if one of those parties is under age- sometimes seventeen year olds date nineteen year olds and that’s mostly fine. Those laws were never meant to say its fine for seventy year old men to sleep with teens,” he points out.

Tony wrinkles his nose, “let not mention your canonical age, that makes it weird.”

“Its weird regardless,” Bucky points out.

“Quick question, what the hell would I have done if you off and died in World War Two? Because soul mate research is terrible and super incomplete. Those idiots don’t even know bisexuals exist yet and also they don’t seem to know interracial relationships exist also. Or platonic connections. Soul mate researchers are idiots. Anyway, I’m wondering because I’d be pretty pissed to be out a whole soul mate because you’re dumb and went to war,” he says.

Bucky sighs, “baby, I was conscripted I didn’t have a choice. And I’m seventy, I’d still be alive but I’d be a damn raisin when we met. If we met.” Without the serum he would have died falling off that train and frankly even with it it’s a miracle he survived.

Tony wrinkles his nose, “don’t take this too hard but if you were all old and wrinkly I would have no interest. Old people freak me out; I don’t like all those folds and stuff. What are they hiding in those?” he asks more to himself than anyone else.

“Tones. They aren’t hiding anything in their folds and even if they were they’ve all got arthritis, they can’t do anything drastic. Relax about it,” Bucky tells him.

“Just saying, you being like… super hot is definitely a plus and if you weren’t I think I could make do with Rhodey, he’s cute. He doesn’t know he’s bisexual yet though so that’s annoying. How do you tell someone they’re a sexuality they haven’t considered yet?” Tony asks, head tilted to the side.

Yeah, Bucky went through this with Steve and Sam. “Tell them they’re a fucking bisexual and to deal with it,” he says. Worked on Steve and Sam, thankfully though Bucky would never admit it to his stupid rat face, is more emotionally aware so he didn’t have to fix things on that end. But Steve? Totally clueless and Bucky honestly resents having a best friend as dumb as him sometimes. He loves Steve, but really, his attraction to Sam was obvious to everyone but him.

Tony grins, “that might work, thanks!” he says excitedly, flouncing out of the room happily.

Maria turns to glare at him. “Call my son ‘baby’ again and I will castrate you,” she tells him. He closes his legs a little tighter out of fear because that causes some phantom pains he doesn’t want to consider.


Rhodey rolls his eyes at him and Tony thinks that’s rude. “He’s like… old,” he says and yeah whatever, like that matters.

“He looks young,” Tony points out. “And he’s cute, don’t deny it.” Cute isn’t the word he’d use normally but he’s using this time as both a means to get advice from Rhodey and also to convince him that he’s bisexual. ‘Hot’ might send him running so Tony figures he’ll tone it down some.

“He’s okay,” Rhodey says and Tony lets out an offended noise.

“Rhodes. Bucky is smoking hot, you need your damn eyes checked,” he tells him. This is just offensive to Bucky’s pretty face.

“Steve is prettier,” Rhodey says and oh what the fuck is that he totally is not!

“You really need to get your eyes checked because Bucky is absolutely the better looking one. I mean come on, the long hair, dark wardrobe, metal arm- I have plans for that metal arm,” he says more to himself than Rhodey. He’s only been dreaming about it for years.

Rhodey wrinkles his nose, “I don’t get your obsession with bad boy types. They aren’t that great Tones, they’re usually assholes. And I’m not convinced this guy is different and yeah maybe he’s friends with Captain America or whatever but that doesn’t mean he’s a good person. And he’s old,” Rhodey repeats.

“So’s Steve but you said he was pretty,” Tony points out. “And Bucky is fine in more ways than one. I think he’s nice.”

“You don’t even know the guy Tones, lets not act like you’re an unbiased expert in Bucky Barnes knowledge. I, however, am much more objective. And Steve has that cute army look going for him and Barnes totally doesn’t. Not with that hair anyway.”

Tony wrinkles his nose because he didn’t need to know that about Rhodey. “Gross. I hope you’re not joining the military because you think the uniform is hot because that’s a shit reason,” Tony tells him. “Also bad boys are hot, case closed, that’s just how it is. your thing for pretty boys is baffling. They’re all the ‘my daddy will hear about this’ type and they all wear polo shirts. Being a pretentious rich asshole is not cute, Rhodey.”

“Bitch, you were a pretentious rich kid till I surgically removed your head from your ass. You didn’t wear polos though, that’s how I knew you were salvageable. And bad anything isn’t cute. I don’t care how much you have a weird technology kink that I never needed to know about and wish I could forget, that’s no reason to forget that your soul mate has a ton more life experience than you. Its kinda easy to take advantage of someone when you have knowledge they don’t so take it slow. I don’t want to see you hurt,” Rhodey says and that’s sweet but Tony’s got good creeper sense. Bucky’s not a creeper.

“He’s my soul mate Rhodey, I don’t have much to worry about.”

Rhodey rolls his eyes, “soul mates killing each other accounts for almost thirty percent of all homicides- you have a ton to worry about. Be careful,” Rhodey tells him.

Tony rolls his eyes, “whatever. You’re bisexual.”

Rhodey squints, “I am not.”

“We just had a conversation in which you sort of revealed that you have a thing for Captain America in his army uniform Rhodes, admit that you sometimes have the hots for men. It’s freeing,” Tony tells him.

Rhodey gives him a look. “Sometimes I wish I got a different soul mate because you have issues,” Rhodey says.

Oh that’s just rude! “Buddy, you don’t even know you’re a whole ass sexuality. Lets not act like I’m the only one with problems here,” Tony says, earning a laugh out of Rhodey.


It takes some time to track Bucky’s entirely way too attractive ass down but when Tony manages he pounces. The poor bastard looks confused pressed against the wall with Tony’s hands on his hips. He can see Bucky’s interest but he can see the confliction there too and sure, maybe Tony’s young but he’s not stupid. He’s never gotten the chance to be as stupid as everyone else his age. Between Howard, being well known by the public, and a genius he knows he matured a hell of a lot faster. On bad days he resents not being as naïve and ridiculous as other seventeen year olds. On good days he knows it’s a benefit to know that the world is a bad place and that he needs to be cautious, and that unlike everyone else his age he’s less likely to be hurt because he knows what signs to look for.

So Bucky doesn’t need to look so conflicted because Tony knows he’s fine with him. “I’ve spent years dreaming about this,” Tony tells him, standing on his toes so he can properly crowd into Bucky’s space. Bucky sucks in a breath but he doesn’t react and hello- Tony’s clearly fucking willing so this is a travesty.

He figures if Bucky won’t take the damn hint he’ll give him bigger hints so he moves Bucky’s hands to his hips and circles his arms around Bucky’s neck, looking smug when Bucky pulls him a little closer. “This is a bad idea,” he murmurs but Tony shakes his head.

“Nope, it’s a great idea and I have a lot more ideas where this one came from,” he says, trying to pitch his voice for sexy but he thinks it comes out a little wonky. Doesn’t seem to matter to Bucky, whose eyes darken a little with desire as his eyes flick down to Tony’s lips. He grins, biting his lip a little and he can feel Bucky’s fingers flex on his hips as he tries to hold back. Tony leans in a little closer, “no need to sequester your feelings away Bucky, they’re reciprocated,” Tony murmurs.

Bucky’s resolve fractures a little, Tony can see it. He tilts his head a little to the side and picks up a stray piece of Bucky’s hair, tucking it behind his ear and he guesses that’s Bucky’s weak point because he finally breaks. Tony’s heard plenty about what it feels like to kiss your soul mate and he’s tested plenty of things out on Rhodey but none of it was like this. Kissing Rhodey was pleasant, enjoyable, but kissing Bucky is like fire. He can feel the passion between them, the slight desperation to Bucky’s kiss even through the experience there and its clear Bucky is experienced. Tony’s never kissed anyone this good at it before, someone who knows how to expertly elicit this amount of arousal out of him with nothing but the right way to run his tongue over Tony’s bottom lip.

He’s pretty sure he can be forgiven for the small moan he lets out as Bucky’s hands travel a little lower on his body, over his ass as he lifts Tony into the air. Tony happily curls his legs around Bucky’s waist and lets Bucky turn them around so now he’s pinned to the wall. He lets out a surprised squeak and grins as Bucky kisses him again, lips trailing over his jaw and down his neck. Tony tangles a hand in Bucky’s hair, fingers twisting through Bucky’s messy bun as he sucks at a sensitive patch of skin on his neck.

Tony curls into Bucky, head tilted to the side so he’s got better access to his neck. He lets out a soft moan as Bucky nips at the same area of his neck he’d been teasing. He’s about to pull Bucky back into a kiss when a beeping noise interrupts them and Tony frowns as Bucky pulls a pager off his belt line, easily holding Tony up with one arm as he does it. Tony glares at the stupid thing and plucks it from Bucky’s hand, tossing it down the hallway. “Um hello, you’re paying attention to me now,” he says and Bucky gives the pager a surprised look before turning back to Tony.

“I need to know who that is,” he says and Tony shakes his head.

“No you don’t. We’re in the middle of something. A good something. A really great something and I really want it to continue, please,” he says, pouting at Bucky.

Bucky shakes his head at him, laughing a little as he lowers Tony to the ground and oh this is a travesty. Tony crosses his arms and glares at him as Bucky makes his way down the hall to find the stupid pager Tony tossed, picking it up before he makes his way back to Tony. He brushes his fingers along Tony’s jaw looking amused, “aw, don’t look so upset,” he murmurs so Tony pouts at him more. “What, you want a little extra attention before I check who this is?” he asks and Tony nods a little. Bucky shakes his head at him again, sticking the pager back on his belt line before he looks Tony over. He considers him for a moment before he reaches out and grasps his wrists, pinning them over his head and kissing him again- passion fueling his actions.

Tony makes a small noise of surprise before he moans as Bucky transfers his wrists to his metal hand, leaving his other hand to roam down Tony’s body. Bucky nips at his bottom lip before he turns his attention to Tony’s jawline and neck. Tony gasps a little as Bucky finds a particularly sensitive spot, “oh, Bucky,” he murmurs, fingers flexing a little in Bucky’s grasp as Bucky’s other hand slides over his ass and he squeezes.

Bucky laughs a little as Tony moans again. “You’ve got a great ass,” Bucky tells him, voice right in his ear and that’s more attractive than it should be.

Tony grins, “yeah? Just wait till you fuck me,” he says and Bucky pulls away a little. He looks a little confused but there’s an undercurrent of desire there.

“That something you’re up for?” he asks, skepticism making it into his voice.

Tony rolls his eyes, “lets not act like I’m a virgin.” He isn’t, either, though he supposes he can see why Bucky might assume he was.

Bucky leans in, pressing a soft kiss to his lips, “not on the table at the moment,” he murmurs and Tony wrinkles his nose.

“I could probably persuade you,” he says.

“Yeah, probably,” Bucky mumbles seemingly unconsciously as he pulls away, freeing Tony’s wrists as he does it. He leaves his other hand on Tony’s ass though and that’s exactly where Tony thinks it should be. He leans into Bucky as he pulls the pager off his belt again and sighs when he notes whoever made the page. “Its your father,” he says and Tony wrinkles his nose hard.

“Mood killer,” he mumbles.


Steve looks about as horrified as Bucky should feel. “You did what?” he asks, voice rising.

“Steve, you don’t get it-” he starts but Sam hands him a rolled up news paper and Steve takes it, smacking him over the head with it.

“No Bucky, absolutely not! You damn well know Tony isn’t an adult!”

No fucking shit, he’s not a moron so yeah he knows that. But damn if he can remember that with Tony standing right in front of him and he knows that’s a piss poor excuse. Granted Tony is also damn persistent, which he knows is also a piss poor excuse. He’s going to hell for this. He sighs, “Steve he’s… something else entirely.” Not anything he would have predicted when Tony managed to find him in the living room a decade ago dealing with spy work of all things. Then he’d just been a child who happened to have the world’s worst timing.

“Yeah, that something else is a child, Bucky.”

“For what, five months and a couple weeks? Is that really enough time for him to come to some earth shattering maturity moment? Because he’ll probably be the exact same,” he points out.

“Yeah, you realize that makes you sound creepier, right? Like that’s just admitting he’s not mentally prepared for your old wrinkly ass even when he’s allowed to be in your ancient presence,” Sam points out.

Bucky flips him off and Steve gives him a look. “We’re almost the same age, Sam. I’m only a year younger,” he points out.

“Bet when you fuck dust flies off your ass,” Bucky says and Steve whirls on him, glaring him down.

“I will fucking slap you,” he snaps.

“By the way Barnes, its supposed to be the fountain of youth, not fuck a youth,” he says and Bucky flips him off again. Sam snickers at his own joke and why the hell did Steve’s other soul mate have to be Sam fucking Wilson? Bucky would prefer Red Skull over this asshole.

“No one is fucking Tony. Well, someone is because apparently he’s not a virgin but that someone isn’t me so stop looking at me like that Steve,” Bucky tells him.

“You better be telling the truth,” Steve tells him. Bucky rolls his eyes because that’s a stupid thing to lie about but Sam, of all people, backs him up.

“No he’s telling the truth- he’s jealous that Tony didn’t wait for him like some kind of weird ass freak who cares about that kind of thing,” he says. If he wasn’t afraid Steve might snap his finger off he’d probably flip Sam off again.

Steve looks between the two of them and sighs. “Buck, what’s going on with Howard?” he asks, changing the subject to the only thing Bucky wants to talk about less than his relationship with Tony not that it could really be called that at this stage.

He sighs. “Not a whole lot besides the fact that he’s awake, crotchety as ever, and confirmed suspicions of foul play. We’re all looking into who tried to kill him off.”

“Anyone tell him your cradle robbing his kid?” Sam asks.

Bucky risks Steve breaking his finger to flip him off again.


Tony finds everyone in the living room, Howard included now that he’s been released from the hospital which, ugh but whatever. Bucky’s in there too so Tony walks in, nearly making it to the chair Bucky’s sitting in before his mother grabs his face, earning a sharp noise of surprise out of him. “What the hell is on your neck?” she asks and Tony… can’t remember a single excuse to explain away hickies.

“Um. Nothing?” he says, deciding that’s good enough but its not like Maria is stupid so she glares at Bucky, who looks anywhere in the room but at her or Howard. Poor thing looks so uncomfortable so Tony pulls his face out of his mother’s grasp and walks over to him, perching in his lap and looping an arm around his neck. Bucky doesn’t move a muscle, hands still on the arms of the chair and that’s not what Tony’s looking for so he pulls one arm off an settles it on his hip and pulls the other one off and places Bucky’s hand on his upper thigh. “You gunna come over tomorrow?” he asks in a low voice.

“On account of not wanting your mother to skin me alive and wear my pelt as victory coat, no,” Bucky says, giving Maria a fearful look.

“Oh, she’s not going to do anything if she ever wants to speak to her son again,” Tony threatens. “See you at eight?” he asks Bucky sweetly. Bucky nods a little, still clearly unsure what to do here. “Good,” Tony murmurs and he kisses him. For a half a second Bucky doesn’t react but once the shock wears off he leans into it, happily kissing Tony back. Tony makes sure its good too, a nice reminder to Bucky about what he’s missing out on if he stays away.

When he finally pulls back everyone in the room looks uncomfortable and Howard looks disgusted. “Oh, that was lurid,” he says, nose wrinkled in disgust.

Tony rolls his eyes, “oh fuck off, I’ve seen your wedding video and practically finger banged mom in front of an audience of five hundred. Lets not act like twin dongs make a kiss anymore lewd than that,” he says, carefully extracting himself from Bucky’s lap. Bucky doesn’t let him though, pulling him back in for a moment to kiss him again.

“Make it seven,” he murmurs against Tony’s lips.

He grins, “great, see you then,” he tells Bucky, walking off with his dignity and everyone else’s dignity too. Even aunt Peggy doesn’t look like she knows how to react to that.


Tony pulls the folder out of Bucky’s hands and pushes the papers around him off to the side before climbing into his lap. Bucky sighs, giving him a look but he circles his arms around Tony anyway, drawing him in. “You’re a pain in my ass, you know that?” he asks, kissing him softly.

Yeah, but he really likes being a pain in Bucky’s ass. “Mhm,” he murmurs, pressing into Bucky’s space as he grabs Bucky’s wrists, pulling his arms away from Tony’s waist and above Bucky’s head as he pushes him back into the couch he’s on. “But something tells me you like me this way,” Tony says as he pulls back a little. He likes Bucky like this, under him with his arms pinned even if it’s obviously for show. Bucky is way stronger than him so its not like he’s meaningfully pinned.

Bucky looks him over, lips tilting up a bit. “Yeah, I think I really, really like your brand of blunt. You make it easy to know what you want,” he says and hell yeah he does. Tony has always been fond of everyone knowing what it is he’s looking for and since he wants a lot of really specific stuff from Bucky he’s happy to let him know what he wants too.

“Want to hear what else I want?” he asks, leaning into Bucky again.

Bucky leans up a little and kisses him, “would love to, but at the moment I’m trying to figure out who tried to kill Howard,” he murmurs. Tony wrinkles his nose, sitting back in Bucky’s lap as he releases his wrists.

“Why’d you have to go bring that up?” he mumbles.

“Because at least one of us needs to remember that you might be in danger. Now come on, help me look through this information,” he says, handing Tony a file.

Like he wants to, he doesn’t care who tried to off Howard and frankly he’s a little pissed off they weren’t successful, but he decides to help Bucky anyway. Sooner this is out of his way the sooner he can get Bucky into bed so that’s decent motivation. Bucky reads too, at least for a little while until he seems to get distracted with Tony starting with a hand settling on his upper thigh. Tony allows it, happy that Bucky decided to instigate a little contact here, at least until he starts trailing his fingers up and down the inside of his thigh. Probably doesn’t help that he’s reading numbers and not the interesting kind that can occupy his mind with more focus than most other things. And its not a bad thing, really, its that he was trying to help and he’s not going to be able to help anything now, not when Bucky’s fingers trail a little higher on his thigh every time they come back up.

His concentration really doesn’t fair well when Bucky leans in and kisses his neck, clearly showing he’s got a thing for it and okay yeah, Tony has a thing for Bucky’s thing because its nice. Really nice, super ideal, oh Bucky’s hand is almost where he wants it to be and fuck it. He tosses the folder he’s holding aside and pulls Bucky into a kiss before dropping his hand to Bucky’s on his thigh and moving it to where he wants it.

Bucky laughs softly, “impatient,” he murmurs and Tony snorts.

“Well I think I’ve waited- oh- for forever,” Tony says, biting his lip as he curls into Bucky’s hand.

The reaction gets another laugh out of Bucky as he shifts them both, carefully laying Tony back on the couch and settling between his legs, “you didn’t wait longer than me so I don’t wanna hear it,” Bucky tells him, pressing a kiss to his lips before he can protest. Okay sure but its not Tony’s fault Bucky’s old as hell and Tony’s waited most of his damn life, he thinks he should get some credit too.

But for now he ignores that, more than content to explore Bucky’s body with his hands as he runs them over Bucky’s back and down to his waist before slipping them under his shirt. He feels the soft expanse of skin there, lifting Bucky’s shirt as he goes. Bucky pulls away just long enough to pull his shirt over Bucky’s head and throw it off into the distance. He goes to lean back into Tony but pauses, looking towards the doorway. Tony almost asks him what he’s waiting for but then he hears the footsteps too and hopes like hell they disappear. They don’t because he has shit luck and when Rhodey walks through the door he looks all kinds of unimpressed.

He notes the papers on the floor and walks over to them, picking a few up and he rolls his eyes. “Tony, your weird thing for math and creepy older men needs to stop,” he tells him. “I say this as your soul mate and also a logical human being.”

Tony pouts at him, “can you like. Come back in an hour because we were in the middle of something and I’d really, really like to get back to that,” he says, running a hand down Bucky’s bare chest. Damn, he looks good too. Clearly he works out. Tony doesn’t know if he wants to stare at him longer or lick him. Probably both, both seems good.

Rhodey looks down at him and Tony knows he’s not going anywhere. “Move your ass and tell me what you’re trying to find,” he says. “And see a psychologist about your weird math kink.”

Bucky sighs, pulling himself into a sitting position and dragging Tony up with him. The only saving grace is that he pulls Tony into his lap too. “Trying to find evidence of who tried to off Howard. He’s paranoid and thinks its some kind of inside job obviously,” he mumbles, gesturing to ten years worth of finances, events he’s been to, and personal enemies and friends alike all over the place.

Rhodey shakes his head, “too bad that assassin wasn’t successful,” he mumbles, picking up more papers. Bucky frowns but Tony shakes his head at him and grabs some papers too. “Oh I’m sure he hasn’t told you about Howard’s abuse but if you actually give a shit about him you should punch Howard out,” Rhodey says, flicking through a file with no remorse for just outing that bit of information. Bucky gives him a look and Tony shrugs, unsure how he’s supposed to react to that.

“I mean, he’s not wrong?” he almost asks more than states. He doesn’t anticipate Bucky basically dropping him onto the couch out of his lap and storming off but Rhodey clearly did.

“Figured if I’d get arrested and stuck in jail for the rest of my life for punching that piece of shit out I’d get someone who’s more than likely never even going to see a cop to do it for me,” he says, flicking another page in the file. “Also, I think he’s shit for you and I hate him.”

Tony throws himself down on the couch cushions and sighs. His soul mates are weird.


“Peggy you need to call the National Guard. Is there a phone number for that?” Tony asks more than states. Bucky looks confused as hell and Rhodey is pacing nervously but Tony doesn’t pay too much attention to them because it turns out Howard was right about it being an inside thing and also Tony discovered Obadiah, Howard’s partner in crime, was into fucking terrorism and maybe someone should do something about that. The only person he could think of that was trust worthy enough to call happened to be aunt Peggy.

“Tony, if you lost your computer or something again-” she starts but he cuts her off.

“No, no. Rhodey and I were looking through all those papers Howard sent Bucky to look over and we found out that Obadiah is selling weapons to terrorist groups and also we think maybe he also funded a murder attempt on Howard but mostly the terrorist thing because I don’t care about Howard,” he says, waving a hand around.

Bucky looks shocked, eyes flicking between him and Rhodey before he snatches the files they brought in and starts looking through them. Tony doesn’t think he’ll find the pattern mostly because its hard to find- it’d need to be to slip past Howard. Tony might not like him but he is smart, technically. But he and Rhodey are smarter so they noticed it. Well, Rhodey did and Tony confirmed his findings.

Peggy sighs, “make sure you have all the evidence gathered,” she tells him and hangs up. Lucky for her he’s already done that.


Tony sits beside Steve because he sucks and he seems intent on keeping him and Bucky apart but if he thinks he can out stubborn Tony he’s dead wrong. Tony’s already planning how to get around him.

“Don’t you think your relationship with my son is a little inappropriate?” Howard asks Bucky, looking unimpressed.

Bucky turns and gives him a downright poisonous look. “Don’t you think beating your wife and kid is a little inappropriate?” he counters and on his other side Sam nearly spits out his lemonade. Steve looks a mix of shocked and horrified and Tony sighs. Bucky hadn’t been able to track Howard down the first time he went looking for him then he made such a ruckus calling Peggy that it drew Bucky back to him. After that mess settled Tony had a thing or five to say about Howard, none of which Bucky took well.

“Tony’s stubborn, he needs discipline,” Howard says and bad move because Bucky punches him in the face with his metal hand and even Tony heard the crunch Howard’s nose made as he dropped to the floor.

“When he wakes up tell him if I ever find out if he puts his hands on Tony or Maria again I’ll kill him and I know damn well how to make sure there’s no proof it was me,” he snaps, walking out of the room.

Tony grins, moving off to go follow him when Steve holds him back. “I don’t think so. You can wait til you’re eighteen to lust after him,” he says and Tony makes an offended noise.

“Excuse you I will do what I want,” he says, pulling his arm from Steve’s grip and walking off. He has to make a bit of a run for it when Steve goes after him but he manages to lose him when he slips behind a painting that also functions as a secret door.