Bucky knows Steve can’t get drunk because of his serum. Bucky also knows his version of the serum isn’t as stellar as Steve’s, but he’s not sure if it means Bucky can’t get drunk either. That doesn’t stop him from trying, though. It takes a lot of begging and coercion on Bucky’s part, of course, since Steve isn’t particularly fond of the disastrous idea.
“What are we drinking tonight?” Steve asks, eyeing the paper bag Bucky holds. He perches on a stool, leaning against the granite-top. “Nothing good, I’m assuming.”
“Shut up, Rogers,” Bucky says defensively, setting the bag on the counter with a muffled clink. “I mean….” He pulls out the glass bottle of vodka, scowling. “You’re not far off about it not being good. I’m thinking that any kind of 100-proof alcohol isn’t exactly going to taste fantastic.”
Steve barks out a laugh, “And how did you get your hands on a drink like that?”
Bucky shrugs, “I asked Tony if he had anything that could possibly get me drunk and he was more than happy to oblige.”
“Of course,” Steve mutters. He watches Bucky reach into a cabinet for two shot glasses and catches one when it slides towards him. “Well, what are you waiting for? Pour us some shots!”
Steve knew it was a bad idea to begin with, but when they’re fifteen shots in he really knows it’s a bad idea. He’s stone-cold sober while Bucky seems to be teetering on the edge of sober and tipsy, however, Bucky isn’t aware he’s being affected by the alcohol.
“Let’s play a game.”
“What kind of game?” Steve gives his friend a suspicious look.
“A fun one,” Bucky retorts.
Steve can see the mischievous glint in his eyes.
Steve presses, “And that would be…?”
Bucky licks his lips, “It’s called ‘Fuck, Marry, Kill.’”
Steve raises an eyebrow; he doesn’t know this game, and he wonders how Bucky found out about it. He promptly inquires and it comes as no surprise when Bucky’s answer is Tony Stark. He sighs and rolls his eyes as the other explains the rules.
“It seems rather crass, Buck,” he protests. He’s not interested in categorizing his friends, especially if he theoretically has to kill one of them.
Bucky whines, “But Steve, it’ll be fun. It’s not like it actually means anything. C’mon, just a few rounds….”
“Buck, I don’t want to think of killing anyone I know, that doesn’t seem like fun.”
“What if we did kiss instead of kill?”
Steve acquiesces, saying, “Okay, okay, fine.” He can’t help but smile when Bucky lets out a ‘yes!’ in celebration. “You start.”
Bucky thinks about who he’ll name as he fills their shot glasses. The two throw the vodka back and Bucky immediately replaces their drinks. He grins as he raises the beverage to his lips; Steve follows suit. Nothing, Steve feels nothing at all. He thinks Bucky definitely looks slightly inebriated. They sit in silence for several minutes.
“Are you ever going to get it started, or…?”
Bucky swears, snapping out of it. “Oh, yeah--um--Natalia, Wanda, and Pepper.”
Steve grimaces; this is going to be difficult. Steve thinks of Wanda as a kid (because she’s so young), so having sex with her seems wrong, similar to marrying her. Natasha’s not someone he’s sure he’d be willing to marry, nor is she the kind of woman to marry. And Pepper is dating Tony, but he guesses that factor is one to be disregarded in this game.
“Steve, don’t think about it too hard, you’ll kill off your only two brain cells,” Bucky snorts, amused with the facial expression he’s witnessing.
“Hey,” Steve objects. He playfully punches Bucky in the shoulder, chuckling. “Keep your mouth shut, Barnes.” He clears his throat. “I guess I’ll kiss Wanda, marry Pepper, and--” He blushes, unable to finish his thought.
Bucky howls at that, throwing his head back and gripping the edge of the counter with his metal hand as he shakes from snickering. “Steve, you’re such a lamb. You can’t even say you’ll fuck Natalia? Even when it’s not real?”
“I said shut it, Barnes!” He grumbles, the redness in his face relentless. He pushes his glass in Bucky’s direction, muttering, “Fill me up.”
His friend’s laughter turns hysterical; he grabs his stomach and folds into himself. Steve doesn’t get it at first. He opens his mouth to ask what’s so funny when he realizes how his words must have sounded. His flush and embarrassment increase exponentially. He puts his face in his hands and he wishes he could dissolve into nothing.
Bucky says, “Yes, sir,” and fucking winks at Steve.
That certainly doesn’t help at all.
He gratefully drinks the shot, and the next one, and the next one. He’s still sober. Bucky matches each one, and by the end of it, he’s swaying on his stool, obviously intoxicated. He must know he’s drunk by now, how could he not? Steve decides to take control of the situation before he accidentally humiliates himself again. “My turn?”
Bucky nods, a relaxed smile sits on his lips.
“Alright,” Steve hums, buying some time. “I know they’re men, but just ignore that part--Thor, Bruce, and Tony.”
“Stevie, why would it matter if they’re men?” Bucky furrows his brows, his speech slurs. Steve’s suspicions are confirmed when he hears the nickname, Bucky only calls him that when he’s drunk as a skunk. It’s always ‘Steve’ or ‘Rogers,’ never ‘Stevie.’ Apparently, it takes 20 shots of 100-proof vodka to get Bucky drunk.
He pauses, struggling to answer the question. He stutters, “I-I’m not homophobic, Buck, I just--”
“Stevie, I like men,” Bucky interrupts. “Well, I like both men and women.”
“Yeah,” Bucky bristles at the surprised tone. “You got a problem with that?”
“No! No, Bucky, of course not.” Steve rushes to defend himself, “I’m the same--I like men and women as well.”
“Really?” Bucky raises his gaze from his lap. Steve senses a hopeful tone; he nods. Bucky simply grins. “Well, lookit us….”
Steve’s eyes crinkle at the edges while he laughs. Silence falls over them. He runs his finger over the rim of his empty shot glass. “Are you gonna rank the three I suggested or are you gonna sit there like a dope?”
Bucky blushes at that and asks, “Yeah--yeah, what are the options again?” Once Steve tells him, he thinks about it. It doesn’t take long. “Fuck Thor, marry Bruce and kill Tony.”
“Bucky, you mean kiss Tony, right?” Steve raises an eyebrow.
Bucky stops moving, confused before shaking his head in realization. “Oh shit--yeah, that’s what I meant.”
Steve doesn’t say anything, just bites his lip and gazes over at his drunk friend. He stands, going over to get himself and Bucky glasses of water. He sets one in front of Bucky, sitting back down after nudging him playfully. He goes to open his mouth and strike up a conversation with the other but he halts at the look on Bucky’s face. He’s serious; it’s like a complete one-eighty from the light-heartedness just prior.
Steve hasn’t seen that expression since before the war, back in 1934 when he came home with two broken ribs after getting into a fight with Will Segar behind Alexandra’s Diner.
Segar started it; he was harassing a girl who was obviously uncomfortable with him and Steve stepped in to help her. He told Segar to beat it because Suzie wasn’t interested in sleeping with him. After she left, thanking him quietly as she did, he was taken outside of the diner and had the shit kicked out of him by Segar and two of his friends. He was convinced there was a Steve-shaped dent in one of the dumpsters from where he was shoved several times. He kept getting up each time; he never backed down from a fight.
When he stumbled home, all bloody and limping, holding his broken ribs, Bucky stared at him for five minutes with that same serious look before he gave Steve the longest lecture of his fucking life. Steve doesn’t feel guilty for getting into fights, but he did that night.
He feels that same nervous anxiety bubbling inside him once again; the new century didn’t dull the butterflies in his stomach, apparently. He chews on his bottom lip and shifts on his stool. He hates that he squirms under Bucky’s intense gaze. He wants to say something but he can’t find the words. Even though Bucky sways back and forth a little, his eyes don’t waver at all. Steve wants to scream to fill the silence; he can’t stand it.
Finally, Bucky sighs and runs his hand over his face. He pinches the bridge of his nose with his eyes shut as he says, “Stevie, I fucking hate it when you wear khakis.”
Steve sits, stunned, at first. He takes into account what he’s wearing, and yep, he’s wearing khakis. He cracks up, howling with laughter, so hard he falls off his stool with a crash. He can’t fucking breathe; his eyes are watering. He gasps for air, his sides aching from the sudden hysterics. Steve thinks he hasn’t laughed that hard in years and he’s just glad Bucky didn’t start yelling at him. If this is what drunk Bucky is like in the modern era, Steve might be more willing to drink with him (and that’s a fact).