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Cloudy Skies

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After the Stark expo, Bucky had taken the girls to the dance hall, twirling them around for the appropriate amount of time before he could use the excuse of his early departure to walk them both home.

He'd pretended to be drunker than he was, fake-stumbling and dropping a wet kiss on Clara's cheek when she went for his mouth. He'd excused himself and she'd giggled as he pretended to lean on the door for support.

When he gets back to their apartment, Steve is sitting by the window, his sketchbook in hand.

As Bucky walks in, shedding his uniform jacket and hat, he looks up from the paper. Bucky can't seem to decipher the look in his eyes. There's still hurt there, but it's not the only thing, and he's not quite sure of what the rest is.

'Hi', he says with a soft smile.

'Good night?' Steve asks.

The corners of his mouth turn up, but it doesn't reach his eyes, Bucky notices. His eyes are usually so blue. Tonight, they look grey, like a cloudy sky.

Bucky doesn't answer. Can your last night before you ship out for war, thousands of miles away from anything that you know and love, ever be a good one? But he doesn't want to tell Steve that, doesn't want him to worry. He doesn't need to know how his stomach feels like a back pit that is about to collapse in on itself, swallowing Bucky and everything around him if he even lets go for a second. So he holds on the the words and holds on to the feeling. He keeps himself together, a second at a time.

He pulls up a chair from the kitchen table, sitting down to unlace his boots, slowly loosening each lace with shaky fingers.

'How did it go at the recruitment office?'

Bucky doesn't see Steve's face as he lets out a breath. Or is it a sigh?

Bucky hopes that it means that Steve's getting tired of chasing after death - not that he'd need that much help, with the way that his body tries to shut down on him every couple of years...

He toes off his right boot carefully, then the left, before he looks up at Steve's face across the room.

His eyes are getting cloudier. Or maybe Bucky's imagining it to coincide with the storm brewing inside of him?


Bucky's tired. He's afraid. He's frightened that this is the last time that he's ever going to say his name and meet the soft lines of his face, see the way his lips turn into a smile when he can't stay mad at Bucky. He wants to keep repeating his name all night long.

'Steve', he murmurs, getting up.

'Yeah, Buck?'

Bucky can hear that he's tired. He knows Steve so well that he can tell just from the sound of his voice. Just from the way that his shoulders are hunched as he is seated on the hard chair by the window. It's like Steve's a book in a foreign language that he's learned to decode during all these years that they've been joined at the hip. There are still a few pages that are undecipherable, some sentences that he interprets wrong, but by now he's learned most of it by heart. Steve's soul is writing a poem just by being, and only Bucky can see it. But God, does he see it.

Bucky walks to the record player, sitting on a pile of books in the corner of the apartment. He pulls out Steve's favorite record and puts it on.

He takes the few steps that separates him from Steve as Billie Holiday starts to croon. Bucky knows that it's something that never fails to lift his spirit, and he sees Steve's shoulders drop a little at the sound, some of the tension releasing.

He puts his hands right there, his thumbs digging lightly at the part where his shoulders meet his neck, where the muscles are always so tight. Steve's breath is a little shaky as Bucky leans over him, looking at the sketch he's been working on. It's his little sister Rebecca, wearing her Sunday dress, her hair framing her face in two neat braids. She looks really happy in the drawing, and her eyes are sparkling with life. Steve is dotting her face with delicate freckles.

'That looks really good, Stevie.'

'It's a present for her confirmation.'

Bucky smiles. 'She's gonna love it.'

He can't see Steve's face, but he know that he's smiling too. He can tell. He's read that page many times, he could recite it in his sleep. Becca is family, and Steve cares about family more than everything else in the world.

'Dance with me?' Bucky asks suddenly, taking a step so that he's facing Steve, holding out his hand to him.

'Uh?' Steve looks up at him. The clouds are still swirling in his eyes, Bucky notices.

He repeats: 'Dance with me.'

'Why?' Steve frowns.

'Because it's my last night before I ship out, and that means I don't have to give you a reason', Bucky pouts.

He holds his hand up.

Steve's frown doesn't disappear, but he puts his sketchbook and pencil on the windowsill. He sucks in a breath as he takes Bucky's hand.

As soon as they're both standing, Bucky pulls him close, his left hand coming to rest on Steve's lower back, while Steve instinctively puts his other hand on his shoulder.

Steve's still frowning as Bucky starts to sway.

'I'm going to step on your toes', he warns him.

'I know.'

Bucky smiles, looking down at Steve's eyes, his brows still furrowed slightly.

His thumbs draws the smallest of circles on his back to the rhythm of the music as their feet follow the sound of Billie's voice.

'Are you scared?' Steve's voice is really quiet, barely above a murmur.

'About you stepping on my toes? I mean, I'm pretty terrified, but I think I'll survive...'

Steve slaps his shoulder slightly. 'You know what I mean', he says. He's trying to take his mom's 'don't you try that with me, boy' tone, Bucky notices. He smiles.

'I do', he says, not answering the question.

Steve sighs. Bucky knows that not giving an answer it exactly the same as saying yes, and Steve knows it too. Bucky hopes he understands why he won't say it aloud, as the black pit in his stomach pulls, demanding to be fed, to grow, to devour everything.

'You'll write, right?'

'Of course.' Steve is smiling, but he looks sad.

Bucky takes his hand off of his back and bring it to his face, cupping his cheek. His skin feels cold against his warm hand.

'You promise?'

'Of course', Steve repeats, and Bucky wonders if he's imagined that Steve's turned his face ever so slightly to fit perfectly against his palm.

'Even if you're mad at me?' He pauses. 'Even if I do something awful, even if you hate me?'

'Why would I hate you?'

Steve's brow is furrowed again, and Bucky wants to smooth out the lines on his forehead with his thumb, to wipe the worry from his face, from his mind altogether.

'I need you to promise that you'll write to me, even if you hate me.'

What he means is, 'I need you to tell me that you'll love me, no matter what'. He doesn't know if Steve understands. Some part of him hopes he doesn't.

Steve drops his head and doesn't answer.

After a minute, Bucky pulls his head up gently, forcing him to look at him.

'Steve?' he asks.

Steve's face is white as a sheet. 'Yeah, ok', he murmurs.

Bucky smiles. 'Good', he says, as he strokes Steve's cheek with his thumb.

'Are you planning on doing something awful?' Steve asks.

Bucky's heart skips a beat. Maybe Steve can read my book just as much as I can read his, he thinks.

'Yeah', he breathes out, as he strokes the corner of Steve's mouth. He's been biting at his lips again, the skin red and raw.

He looks at the clouds swirling in Steve's eyes, grey skies where he'd like to see the blue of summer. He's stopped breathing altogether. He feels the rumble of thunder inside of his chest as he leans in, slowly, and presses his lips to Steve's. They feel warm, and delicate, and amazing, and he's finally exhaling, and he feels the warmth of Steve's breath on his skin as he lets out a breath in response.

It only lasts a couple of seconds before he pulls back reluctantly. In the background, Billie Holiday is singing about a lost lover, but he only hears the sound of his heart, beating like a drum.

Steve's gone from white to red, his eyes wide. It's a new page in his book, and Bucky's never read that one so he isn't sure what it means. He doesn't move, doesn't say a thing.

'You promised', he says, finally.

'What?' Steve croaks.

'You promised you'd still write. You can't back out.'

Steve lets go of Bucky's hand, and it drops to his side. Bucky looks down at his palm, feeling immensely cold from the loss of Steve. He feels cold all over, the pit is bubbling, gnawing at his seams.

'Why'd you do that?' Steve's voice shakes a little.

'I'm leaving tomorrow.'

'I know that.' His tone his sharp, like steel. 'So you thought you'd have a laugh before you went, that it?'

Bucky feels sick, and he wants to take it back, but he can't, and if he dies in Europe, at least he knows. He can go and die in peace, wondering about something that might, in another world, have been.

He's still looking at his feet. He's going to count to 3, and he's going to look at Steve with a cheeky smile, and play it out as a bad joke, and they'll go to bed. One, two, three, he counts.

He looks up, and his heart stops when he sees Steve's face. It's not the tornado, it's not the thunderstorm that he expected... These dark clouds are filled to the brim with rain. A tears drop from Steve's eye, rolling halfway down his cheek, leaving a sparkling trail.

'Steve', Bucky lets out, his voice shaking.

'You think it'll be easier to leave if I'm angry at you.'

Another tear falls, from his other eye this time.

'I...' Bucky hesitates. 'No, Steve, that's not...'

'Why, then?' Steve lets out a sob, and Bucky's vision becomes blurry. His breaths rattle in his chest as the emotions start pouring out.

'I don't want to leave. I don't want to leave you.' He breaks down.

He's going to hate himself, Steve's going to hate him, but damn it all, damn the world, damn this life that he's going to waste in some foreign country, fighting a fight that is not his to begin with.

He grabs Steve's face and pulls him up in another kiss, their cheeks and their lips wet with tears. He takes a breath, takes him all in, commits this instant to memory, the most beautiful he'll ever have.

And he feels Steve's hands, grabbing at his arms, his fingers grasping him tightly. They break apart, and Steve mouth chases after his own, pulling him back, until they lips are flush against each other again. He feels nothing else but the parts of his body that are touching Steve, his burning lips, his hands, the delicate skin of his face against his fingers...

Steve sobs against his lips.

In the background, Billie Holiday sings:

'I've got a date with a dream
A dream divine
I've got a date with a dream
Who may be mine...'

Bucky's knees buckle, and he sinks to the floor, bringing Steve with him. It hurts a little as he hits the floorboards, but he has no time to think about it, not with Steve in his arms. They stay there, on their knees, grabbing desperately at each other, holding each other through shaky sobs and shakier kisses. Bucky licks at Steve's bottom lip, the salty aftertaste of his tears lingering on his tongue, drinking in every single one of his breaths with his eyes closed.

A shiver runs down Steve's spine as Bucky slides his hand from his neck to his waist, slowly brushing his collarbone, grazing his ribs through his shirt, settling just above his hip bone. His fingers are still clutching at Bucky, digging into his shoulders, pulling him even closer.


After a minute, Bucky draws back, dropping his head on Steve's shoulder. The material of his shirt feels a little scratchy under his forehead, and he breathes in deeply. Steve smells like home, like an intoxicating mix of comfort, of want, of hope.

Outside, a car engine backfires, causing them both to jump slightly at the sound.

Steve lets out a little laugh, his breath warm against Bucky's neck. They'd forgotten about the outside world, like they often did when they were together. Slowly, he lets go of Bucky's shirt, running his fingers over the material, smoothing it out, before running his hand over Bucky's neck, lightly brushing his calloused fingers along his pulse point before cupping the side of his head into his palm.

'Buck', he murmurs.

Bucky lifts his head, looking at Steve's face. His cheeks are glistening with spilt tears, his eyes rimmed with red and his nose just about the same shade. He's the most beautiful thing Bucky has ever seen, he thinks. And so, he tells him.

Steve's cheeks turn a lovely shade of pink as he drops his gaze to the ground. But Bucky sees the way his lips turn upward at the corners. He grabs his chin between his thumb and index finger, pulling his head back up delicately.

'It's true', he says. 'I've always thought so. You're so beautiful, Stevie...'

The clouds have disappeared, he notices. They've been replaced by the greyish blue sky that comes after a rainy fall afternoon. Steve looks back into his eyes, his gaze a question.

'Why... Why haven't you said anything before?'

His voice is shaky, and it makes Bucky's heart race. It's not often that he gets to see this Steve, with all of his walls brought down. Steve doesn't let others see him exposed, metaphorically naked, and even Bucky has only seen him like this on no more than a couple of occasions.

He wants to hold him, and never let him go. He'd be happy for them to just stay here, on the floor of their tiny apartment, in each other's embrace for all of eternity. If there is such a thing as eternity.

He could give him a dozen different excuses. He could say that Steve really hasn't been listening, because he's been yelling it in his head for years, saying it with every look, every breath, every touch. He could say that he wasn't sure of what he was feeling, but he's been sure since he was only twelve years old, watching Steve as he slept in his bed after he'd sneaked in the night before. He could say that he'd hoped it would go away, but he'd be lying, because no matter how stupid or doomed it had seemed, he wouldn't trade this feeling for anything else in the world.

'I was scared', he admits.

'I'm scared now', he adds after a pause, as the pit in his stomach growls, more settled than before, but still present, still menacing to collapse on itself.

Steve takes a breath, looking into his eyes.

'Me, too.'

Steve brushes his hair away from his forehead, the way he does when he's nervous. His cheeks are delightfully pink as he looks down, his eyelashes fanning delicately over the blushing skin.

Bucky's fingers clench slightly around Steve's hip, feeling the bone that protrudes there a little. He feels the same, he thinks - his heart is beating widely in his chest as he comes to this realization. He feels the same. He's learned a new page of Steve's book, and God knows, it's definitely his favorite one so far.

Steve's eyes are still cloudy, but they're also so hungry as he looks up at Bucky's face, flying from his lips to his eyes, his cheeks, his throat, taking him all in like he's starving. He pushes up and presses his warm lips to Bucky's cheek, his jaw, the corner of his mouth, like a ravenous child who's not sure what to choose at the buffet.

Bucky sucks in a breath as their lips meet again. This is heaven. There, on the wood floor, in the middle of Brooklyn, on a warm June evening, Bucky has discovered heaven. All those preachers and priests have it so wrong... The answer was there all along, so simple, so true...

'You want me?' Steve asks, a little breathless, his forehead resting against Bucky's.

'Fuck, yes, I do...' Bucky croaks. Steve is going to be the death of him. Better this than the bombs in Europe, a voice says in the back of his mind.

'Take me, then.'

Bucky chokes on his spit a little. Is Steve aware of the things that come out of his mouth?, Bucky thinks.

Before he has any time to answer, Steve is climbing in his lap, settling down when their chests are almost flush against each other. He's looking down at Bucky, his face barely and inch from his own. Bucky could swear that he literally feels his heart skipping a beat as his hands instinctively settle on Steve thighs.

Bucky cranes his neck, bridging the distance between them, until his lips are pressed to Steve's. Gone are the previously chaste kisses as he pushes his tongue into Steve's mouth, desperate to taste him, to feel all of him.

Above him, Steve hums with contentment, his arms tight around Bucky's shoulders. Their tongues brush against each other and the feeling sends waves of desire straight to Bucky's crotch.

His hands fly to Steve's shoulders, pushing his suspenders off of his angular shoulders, caressing his delicate arms over his shirt along the way.

Steve's hips have started to move against his own, rutting slightly with each breath that comes out of Steve. Or is it the other way around? With each movement Steve lets out little pants, such a tiny and lovely sounds.

Bucky's hands fumble to undo the buttons of Steve's shirt. He's dying to touch his skin, to taste it, like he's been dreaming of so many times. One by one, he gets closer to his goal, while Steve's mouth has moved to his jaw, his teeth nipping at the skin there, his shallow breaths resonating deep in Bucky's ear.

'Buck', Steve moans as he finally gets his hands on his chest. He traces the lines of Steve's breastbone with his right hand, grazes softly each of his ribs, feeling his chest rise and fall with each breath.

Bucky pulls back from Steve.

'Bed. Now.'

His mind is so full of Steve Steve Steve that he can't seem to form any other words.

'Yeah, yes, please', Steve pants in his ear, his hips stuttering against Bucky's in the most delightful way.

Steve's hands are still clutching at Bucky's shoulders, his hungry little mouth pressing small, open-mouthed kisses against his neck.

'Steve, you have to get up... I can't carry you.'

Steve answers with a groan, pulling his mouth away from Bucky, who feels the loss instantaneously, so cold where Steve's lips used to be.

They scramble to their feet, and Bucky takes advantage of the situation to take Steve in. He wishes he owned a camera, so that he could immortalize his messy hair, the way his open shirt give a peek of the graceful curves and angles of his chest, the dark, starry sky in his eyes... And the way his pants are tented by his hard cock, so inviting, all for Bucky, and only him...

They can only make it a few feet before Bucky is grabbing at Steve, spinning him around so that he can push him up against the wall and kiss him, deep and filthy. He presses his whole body to Steve's, from thighs to chest, and the way that Steve moans at the feeling is the most beautiful sound he's ever heard.

The smaller boy's hand roam against his back, pulling at his shirt until it's free from his pants, sliding under the material to feel the warm skin underneath. The excitement of Steve's hands against the small of his back sends shivers of arousal down Bucky's spine, and his hard cock twitches, pressed against Steve's stomach.

Bucky pulls at Steve's shirt, revealing the curve of his bare shoulders, discovering them with his lips and his tongue. He drags his teeth along the curve before biting lightly where Steve's neck meets his shoulder.

Steve's hips roll against his thigh, the hard line of his cock unmistakable against Bucky's leg. The low moan that escapes his lips is absolutely obscene, and will surely fuel every single one of Bucky's fantasies until the end of days.

'You like that?' He asks, soothing the same spot with his tongue.

'Yeah... Yes', Steve lets out, breathless.

Bucky drags his lips up his neck, before biting once more, right below Steve's ear. He feels his hands clutch at his waist as his hips stutter once more.

He makes a note of everything, every single new letter, new sentence, new page of Steve's book. If he only gets to read it once then he will make sure that he knows them by heart before the night is over.

He slides his hands against Steve's waist, following the curve of his spine, coming to rest on the small mounds of his ass, pulling him up to his tippy toes until their hips are aligned, and he can push the hard line of his cock against Steve's.

They both moan, their lips meeting once more as Bucky settles into a rhythm that feels so good, but also excruciatingly slow, taking the time to feel every push of his hips against Steve's.

'Mmm, Bucky', Steve moans. 'More', he adds, a little impatient.

Bucky can't help the laugh that escapes his lips, and he presses his hips harder against Steve's.

It takes everything that Bucky has to take a step back, as Steve lets out a whine as his hands try to cling to Bucky's back. Every part of his body where he'd been touching Steve a moment before feels cold from the loss of him.

Without a word, he spins Steve around once more, leading his to their bedroom door with a hand pressed against the small of his back.

Once inside, Steve turns back to him, grabbing his shoulders and pulling him back into a heated kiss. Bucky has to pry himself away once more as he pushes Steve onto his bed.

'Steve, come on, wait a minute', he lets out.

Steve pouts. He's half lying on the bed, Bucky hovering over him, and he can't help the smile that spreads across his lips when he looks at Steve's demanding face.

Steve's brows furrow even further. If he could, Bucky thinks, he would probably cross his arms, and maybe even stomp his foot, and he wants to laugh at the thought.

But Steve arms are not crossed against his chest. Quite the opposite, actually, as his hands fly to Bucky's trousers, fumbling to get the buttons open.

Bucky's smile is wiped from his face, replaced with a slack mouth and a moan as the heel of Steve's hands grinds against his hard cock through his slacks.

'Fuck', he lets out, breathless.

Steve's eyes are as dark as the night, filled with the deepest need as he slides his hand into Bucky's open fly, cupping his length through his underwear. Steve bites his lips sheepishly as he starts moving his fingers up and down Bucky's cock.

'Fuck, yeah, Stevie', Bucky moans. He can feel sparks of electricity traveling all over his body as Steve reaches further into his slacks to grab his balls.

Bucky pushes his hips, grinding himself against Steve's hand, chasing the delightful feeling.

'Ah, that feels, yeah, so good, Stevie, fuck...' Bucky can't control the words that come out of his mouth as Steve strokes his cock over his underwear. It's both too much and too little at the same time, he wants it forever, he wants more...

Bucky grabs Steve's wrist, stopping his movement, and pushes him further into the bed, until he's fully lying down. Bucky reluctantly pulls Steve's hand away from his crotch, sitting himself on the side of the bed, before pulling his shirt over his head.

He sees Steve's eyes roam over his naked torso with hunger, his chest heaving with each breath, a dark spot on his pants where the tip of his cock is leaking.

'Fuck, how are you this beautiful?' Bucky breathes. Steve is grabbing his arm, tugging at him, pulling him closer.

Bucky obliges, until his face is hovering just above Steve's, and he takes his lips in a searing kiss. Before long, Bucky's lips drag from Steve's to his jaw, his tongue darting out to taste him there, before he slides down his neck to bite at his collarbone. Steve's skin is delightfully pink, and he tastes a little bit of soap and a little of sweat, and he tastes of Steve and it's the most perfect thing on Bucky tongue.

Slowly, he presses kisses down Steve's breastbone, hard under his pale skin. Under his lips, Steve's chest rises and falls in quick breaths. Bucky's mouth finds his nipple, his tongue coming out to caress the little nub.

He feels the moan that comes out of Steve as much as he hears it, a low vibration against his own lips, an exquisite sound to his ears. So he does it again, to hear and feel more, to coax every single sound that he can out of Steve. He bites Steve's nipple lightly before soothing it with his tongue, delighted with the helpless sounds that come out of the boy's lips.

Slowly, he drags his mouth down Steve's chest, along his ribs, before pressing light kisses around his belly button, lower and lower until he's reached the edge of Steve's pants. Under his lips, Steve seems to have stopped breathing altogether, as he drags his mouth over the fabric that covers his length.

With fumbling hands, Bucky opens Steve's slacks, looking up at his face. Steve is sitting up, resting on his elbows, and he looks wrecked, his eyes dark, his mouth open as he's panting.

'This' okay, yeah?', Bucky asks as he hooks his fingers under the waistband of his pants.

Steve blinks, before nodding feverishly. He lifts his hips as Bucky yanks both pants and underwear down in one smooth motion, releasing Steve's hard length against his belly.

He takes in a breath, licking his lips. He's not sure he's going to be any good at this, but God, he wants it so bad, and he's pretty sure that Steve isn't going to pay too much mind to his technique.

Delicately, almost reverently, he takes Steve's hard cock into his hand, squeezing gently at the base as Steve sucks in shallow breaths. Tentatively, he slides his thumb along the underside as Steve lets out a moan.

No use thinking about it too much, he thinks, bringing his lips to the tip, pressing them against it in a kiss, then two, then three, as Steve comes undone under him.

'Oh God, Buck, shit...'

Bucky wraps his lips around the head of Steve's cock, darting his tongue against the tip. He closes his eyes, savoring the heady taste and the sounds that pour out of Steve.

'Bucky, fuck...' Steve croaks, his voice breaking.

Taking this as encouragement, Bucky starts bobbing his head up and down Steve's length, sucking in his cheeks with each movement. It feels awkward at first, but Steve's moaning doesn't stop, and he lets out a cry each time his cock hits the back of Bucky's throat, encouraging him to take more of him. It's messy, spit dribbling from Bucky's lips along his chin, but it feels amazing to have Steve under him like this.

Feeling empowered, Bucky lifts his eyes to take Steve in. And the sight is all that he hoped for and more, Steve's head tilted up as he's biting his fist in an effort to control himself, his chest rising up and down in quick succession.

Without a warning, Steve's hips stutter as he gasps, and his orgasm surprises Bucky as it hits his tongue and the back of his throat. He tries as best he can to stifle his cough as he keeps stroking Steve through his climax, swallowing around his cock.

When Steve's moans transform into small whines, his cock too sensitive, he pulls away. Steve looks absolutely wrecked, his eyes so dark and his lower lip bitten raw, and Bucky thinks, fuck, I was wrong, this is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

'Fuck', he mutters, suddenly very aware of his own hard cock, still trapped in his underwear. He brings his hand to his crotch, squeezing his length through the fabric. He could almost come just from this, he thinks, seeing Steve like this, it would be enough.

But Steve's reaching, pushing his hand over Bucky's, pressing harder on his erection until a deep moan escapes his lips.

'Com'here', he breathes, coaxing Bucky up, until they're face to face again.

His left hand is still stroking him through his underwear, and his right comes up to caress his cheek, pulling him into an open-mouthed kiss. Steve's tongue quickly turns ravenous, licking into his mouth as he snakes his fingers into Bucky's underpants.

Bucky whines as Steve's hand wraps around his cock, sending waves of pleasure from his groin all the way into his chest, his belly, everywhere. He feels like a warm pool is building into his belly, and he can't concentrate on anything, not with Steve's tongue in his mouth and his hand on his cock. After only a couple of strokes, his legs start quivering as his orgasm builds up.

He moans breathy encouragements as Steve's rhythm speeds up. He bites down on Bucky's bottom lip with a moan, and suddenly the feeling is too much, pain turning into pleasure as he spills into Steve's hand, his hips moving of their own accord. He doesn't realize he's stopped breathing until the waves of pleasure start to recede, and he's gasping for air, his heart beating wildly in his ear as he crashes down on top of Steve, blissed out.

They stay like that for a while, breathing in rhythm as the world seems to have stopped around them. Steve's fingers are drawing small circles in the small of Bucky's back as he breathes in Steve's scent, his nose pressed into his neck. He can't resist pressing small kisses to his skin, until Steve starts giggling under him.

'It tickles', he says with a chuckle.

Smiling, Bucky blows a raspberry right into the most ticklish part of Steve's neck, right where it meets his shoulder.

Steve kicks at him, laughing, until he manages to roll Bucky away from him. Laying on his side, he looks at Steve's smiling profile until he turns to face him.

His eyes are back to their regular, cloudless sky, crinkling as he smiles at him.

'I love you', Bucky lets out, because there's nothing else that he can say, it's the only truth in the world. Everything else can be doubted, but not this. He want to say it, again and again, he wants to scream it from the rooftops. Bucky Barnes loves Steve Rogers, more than life itself.

'I love you', he repeats, breathless, looking into Steve's blue eyes.

The boy's hand comes to rest on his cheek, his thumb traces the line of his cheekbone again and again. Steve closes the space between them to press his lips to Bucky's, soft and warm. He kisses him once, twice, three times before pulling back an inch.

'I love you too, Buck', he murmurs, like it's a secret.

Which it is. Which it must stay, Bucky thinks.

They fall asleep like that, tangled in each other.

Let the storm come tomorrow. Tonight, I'm staying in heaven, Bucky thinks before sleep takes over. In his stomach, the pit is quiet, for the first time since he can't remember when. Come what may, he'll have this forever, and nothing can take it away from him.

Until they do.