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The First Time

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The first time some one leaves their number for Steve Rogers, he has no idea what’s going on. He looks down at the piece of paper in his hand and furrows his brows.

There is a snicker behind him and he chooses to pretend he didn’t hear it.

Tony is a little harder to ignore. “He looks like a confused puppy.”

There is entirely too much glee in his voice and Steve has to fight not to turn around and glare at him.

“What’s this?” He asks Sam.

“It’s a phone number.”

Steve rolls his eyes at Sam’s sarcasm, but it’s hard to be irritated with him. The man is his best friend and room mate. And also the reason Steve has this job in the first place. “What’s it for?”

Sam doesn’t get a chance to answer before Clint has an arm draped over Steve’s shoulder. “It’s a booty call.” He reaches out and snatches the scrap of paper from Steve’s hand. “Ohhh, it’s from 'Bucky'.” He crows in a sing song voice, before he looks at the rest of the group. “Who the hell is Bucky?”

“Not one of the regulars. That’s for sure,” Bruce responds as he carefully places his green colored armor in his locker.

“The regular what?” Steve asks. He will never admit it, but right now he feels kind of like a confused puppy. This is only his third week working for the dinner theatre company and tonight was his very first live performance. So he has no idea what Bruce is talking about.

Luckily Sam picks up on Steve’s confusion and comes to the rescue. The blond could hug him for that. “Why don’t we go check and see if Wanda needs any help in the kitchen.” For only Steve’s ears he adds, “I’ll explain later.”

 

Wanda is nice. And Steve likes her. She’s young, close to his age, he guesses, but has this motherly vibe that makes him want to do things to get her approval. Of course that’s how he finds himself with a bottle of spray cleaner and a rag in his hand, wiping the counters while Sam mops.

It’s mindless work, but Steve appreciates the chance to process Sam’s ramblings.

“You’re new. So the regulars will be after you.”

“The regulars?”

“Women, and some men. They sometimes leave their numbers. When they wants some, um, extra entertainment. After hours.”

“Oh.” That’s all Steve can say as realization dawns on him about what Sam means.

“This guy. He isn’t one of the regulars though.”

**

Bucky is sitting next to his co worker Brock, picking at the chicken on his plate. It’s good. Maybe a little dry. But he can’t take his eyes off the arena long enough to actually put much effort into eating it.

Beside him, Brock is yelling raucously at the white and green ‘knights’ as they battle with axes and swords. Bucky breaks his eyes away from the show long enough to count seven empty beer mugs on the table in front of Brock.

He didn’t want to come. When Brock suggested this, Bucky only agreed because he had absolutely nothing else to do and was out of excuses for not hanging out with the man. And so he’s sitting in a fake arena watching fake knights and fake royalty, put on a fake competition. The props are fake, the armor is fake, the fighting is fake. But the horses are real! Now that he’s here though, he is already planning when he can come back and get another look at the blue knight.

During a horse dancing sequence, while the knights are not in the arena, Bucky pulls out his phone and looks up the show’s website. There is a tab with information on the six knights. Bucky taps his phone screen and starts scrolling. There he is. Bucky’s blue knight. His name is Steven. And now Bucky can see that in addition to his corn silk hair, Steven also has bright blue eyes and an easy smile that makes something stir in Bucky’s gut.

Or maybe his dick. He can’t be sure and doesn’t have time to analyze the feeling. Because here comes Steven, galloping in on his horse, bangs flopping down over one eye and Bucky is instantly focused on the man. The way he moves with his mount. The way he brings one red gloved hand up and brushes the hair away from his face, only for it to fall right back in his eyes. The way he turns and scans the crowd, smiling seductively at every one and no one, all at the same time.

It may not actually be a seductive smile. It may actually be a pained shy smile. Either way, Bucky considers himself thoroughly seduced.

The show ends entirely too quickly as far as Bucky is concerned. And now he has to maneuver a drunken, handsy Brock out to his car. The crowd clears out quickly, which Bucky is grateful for as he watches Brock fall inexplicably up the stairs.

Bucky gets a tight grip on Brocks arm, grabs the cross body bag that he always seems to carry, and pulls him up the stairs towards the exit. They have to walk halfway around the arena to get there. And then he sees him. His Steven. His blue knight. With his blond hair that flops over his forehead, his drab gray tunic over black leggings that he is wearing as he clears dishes off tables now that the performance is over, and his slightly crooked nose from a previous break.

Up close he is flawed and imperfect. Not nearly as shiny and exciting as he was on the arena floor. And Bucky is immediately overtaken by the urge to wrap Steven in his arms and hold him close, showering him with affection. He wants to read him poetry and sing love songs to him. He wants to talk about their dreams and aspirations all wrapped up in a warm cocoon of love. But before he does all that, Bucky wants to pound him into the mattress.

And that is an entirely inappropriate reaction for someone he hasn’t even properly met. Yet. Even if they are going to get married and raise four cats, two dogs and a goldfish named Earl. Unless Steven doesn’t like cats. In which case, they’re out. No cats for his blue knight. Maybe he’ll want a bird. Bucky hates birds. But if Steven wants one, Steven will get one. Or a dozen. What ever he wants.

They’ll live in Brooklyn. Naturally. But only if its what Steven wants. If not, then they’ll live where ever Steven decides. Nothing but the best for his Steven.

Bucky is so wrapped up in his thoughts that he fails to notice when the blond picks up his tray of dishes and heads off to one of the side doors for the servers. He’s missed his moment. He can’t hang around and wait for Steven to come back out. The last of the audience are being ushered out the door. And besides, Bucky has Brock to worry about. He curses himself for being such a good, responsible friend.

He shuffles Brock a few more steps towards the exit and then stops, unceremoniously dumping him in a stray chair. The dark haired man immediately slides down and almost hits the floor. Bucky will get back to him in a minute. But first he has a knight to woo. And if he can’t do it the way he wants, he’ll just have to improvise.

He pulls a scrap of paper and pen out of Brock’s bag and quickly jots down his name and number. Then makes his way over to Samuel, the red knight, according to the website, who is loading up his own tray with dishes.

“Hi,” Bucky says, suddenly feeling a bit stupid about what he’s doing.

Samuel sets his tray down and gives Bucky an appraising look. He can tell that Samuel must approve of what he sees and Bucky takes a little pride in that. He works hard to maintain his body and even though his hair is long enough to extend past his jaw line, he keeps it neat and clean at all times.

“Hi yourself,” Samuel answers coyly.

“Hey, so I, uh, was wondering about Steven. The Blue knight.”

The appraising look is dropped and is replaced by something Bucky would describe as protective. “Yeah. What about him?”

Bucky’s mouth opens, but he snaps it shut before anything embarrassing can come out. I’m in love with him. I want to take him home. I want to make sweet sweet love to him in the rain. I want to raise his parakeets. I think we may be soulmates. I just got a new bed and I think he is just the guy to test it out with. I want to gaze into his eyes for the rest of my days. I’ve been taking Yoga classes and I need him to help test my flexibility.

What he finally says is, “I’d like to talk to him.”

Samuel gives him a knowing smile and Bucky has to replay the last few minutes over in his head to make sure he didn’t actually say any of that out loud. “Just talk to him?”

“Yeah! Of course!” Bucky crosses his arms over his chest awkwardly as Samuel raises an eyebrow at him. “I mean, you know….” Now Samuel is full on smirking and Bucky thrusts the paper out towards him. “Can you give him my number?”

“Sure man.” Samuels gaze shifts over Bucky’s shoulder. “You may want to go collect your friend though.”

Bucky turns around in time to see Brock slide completely out of the chair to land on his ass. “Yeah.” He looks back at Samuel. “Thanks.”