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From Dust to Dust and Age to Age

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Steve laughed joyously as Bucky tossed him bodily through the air, the sensation of flying lifting his chest like a bird held aloft for just a moment before he slammed into the mat. He let out a grunted “oof” as Bucky instantly landed on top of him, both of them sweating and breathlessly laughing as they grappled, slick hands gliding over sweat-soaked skin. Finally, Steve found himself on his front, his face pressed into the mat, hair tickling his forehead, Bucky leaning over him, his arms pinned behind his back.

“Time!” Nat called. Steve groaned.

“Fair and square, Barnes.” He said, still gasping for air after the hard-lost match with his best friend, lover, and last true peer.

Bucky huffed a laugh and pressed a kiss to the back of Steve’s sweaty, frankly disgusting hair.

“Damn right, Rogers,” he breathed in Steve’s ear, before separating from his lover and offering a hand to help him up.

Bucky patted Steve on the back, pulling him in by the scruff of his neck to place a kiss on his brow. Steve wrinkled his nose at Bucky’s sweaty upper lip but grinned regardless. He felt light, airy, so like a kid. He was reminded of a moment, of a time long since passed…

They were 10 and 11. Steve was steaming mad. Nothing new under the sun it would seem.

“Billy Carrington is a fucking dick, Bucky! He thinks he can do whatever the fuck he wants to whoever the fuck he wants!” Steve yelled, pacing his room. Bucky was sitting on his creaky, dingy bed, brow furrowed in concern at how hard Steve was breathing, how much he was working himself up.

“Steve-“ he started, but Steve steamrolled right over him.

“So, what if Ricky is part wetback?! It don’t mean he ain’t smart! Don’t mean he can’t go to school ‘n do just as good as anyone else! He ain’t- ain’t stupid or- or lazy or any of that shit Billy says! And his English is just fine, for the record! He can’t even speak Spanish! It ain’t fair, Buck! The kid didn’t do a damn thing-“

“I know Steve, but-“

“And fucking Billy goddamned Carrington thinks he can just fucking-!” Steve flailed his arms, his chest burning, “it don’t fuckin' matter if he’s a Spic, Buck! It fuckin' don’t! Jesus, you can’t even fuckin’ tell! What’s got Billy so worked up, huh? What makes him think he’s got any right? Well, I’ll fuckin’ tell ya’, Billy’s got no goddamned right! No- No fucking-“ Steve collapsed against the wall, huffing for breath. Bucky instantly stood, trying to approach, face drawn in concern.

“Get off me!” Steve snarled, smacking Bucky’s hand away as his friend reached out. And that was just unacceptable.

“Hey!” Bucky called, indignant, grabbing both of Steve’s wrists. In answer, Steve bodily tackled him. They landed on the ground, hard, Bucky’s body softening the blow for Steve. They grunted and rolled, grappling and fighting to come out on top. After a long moment of rolling around Steve’s floor, (the carpet still smelled of mildew, no matter how clean Steve kept his room. Ma swore there was mold in there, and it was makin’ Steve’s asthma worse.) Bucky was on top, pinning Steve down by sitting on his back.

“Enough!” Steve called, suddenly giggling. Bucky bowed over his back, also giggling, Steve could feel Bucky’s breath in his ear. “Enough,” Steve said, his giggles fading as his breathing evened out a little.

Bucky slid off him, laying on his back beside his best friend. Steve flipped over, they both stared at the ceiling for a moment. There, in the corner, was Steve’s favorite crack in the drywall. If he squinted and twisted his head a little, the crack almost transformed into the curve of Bucky’s top lip. He was so focused he didn’t see Bucky staring at him intently.

“What’re you lookin’ at, Stevie?” Bucky asked, his voice soft, as if speaking too loudly would set Steve off on another rant. Steve pointed at the crack in the corner.

“Kinda looks like your upper lip,” Steve said, already wanting a pencil and paper so he could sketch this obscure corner of his tiny room in this cracker box apartment, in a grimy building among a million others lining the streets of New York City. Bucky turned his gaze to look, cocking his head and trying to find the pattern only Steve seemed to have memorized. (Though, really, everyone ought to know the exact shape of Bucky’s face, ought to see him in every cloud and crevice. He really was a work of art, every line and pock-mark a symphony, that one spot on his cheek that had begun to develop a few pimples? A beautiful surety that soon his friend would be a man. It was all wonderful in Steve’s eyes.)

“You been lookin’ at my lips a lot, Stevie kiddo?” Bucky finally asked, looking back to him. Steve turned his head, the carpet scratching his cheek. He worried, for a moment, that he had said too much. (Sometimes he felt and saw and commented on things that made people look at him weird. Those things always seemed to be something to do with Bucky. He said something to his Ma once about Bucky’s hair when she said it was growing out a bit, something about how Steve loved the way it made the cowlick on the center-left of his head stick up. She gave him a look, soft and a little sad. He tried not to make those observations about his friend out loud anymore, he was coming to realize that pals didn’t talk about each other like that, though he couldn’t imagine why.) But Bucky was grinning at him, his cheeks a little red, the exertion maybe?

Steve flushed, “shuddup.” He said, raising a hand to shove Bucky’s face away. Bucky started making kissy faces and Steve squealed. “Can’t even see your ugly lips past your big nose, ya jerk!”

Me?!” Bucky said, laughing as he grabbed Steve’s hand, pulling away minutely to toss his head back and laugh loudly, “my big nose?! Kid, you got more Jew in you than I do! Look at that damn honker on your ugly mug!” Steve burst into peals of laughter, rolling over to lean his head a little on Bucky.

They giggled for a moment until Bucky laid a palm across the back of Steve’s neck, his hands so large that his fingers just grazed  both of Steve’s scent-glands. (Stupid Bucky being so much bigger than Steve. One day, Steve swore to himself, he’d be bigger than Bucky, bigger even than Billy fucking Carrington! No matter the asshole was three years older than little Steve.) Steve would smell all like his friend when Ma came home. Steve liked that. Bucky smelled good, always, even when his water got shut off and his bath came a day late, or he had to take a bath in the dirty water after his sisters and Ma had used it. Even when it was summer and they’d been runnin’ around outside for too long, sweat on their brows. Bucky just eternally smelled like home to Steve.

Steve instinctively went lax, a left-over reaction from childhood. Every kid had been grabbed about the scruff as toddlers, forced to go limp as a ragdoll in their parent’s grasp, like a kitten. Steve pressed his forehead into Bucky’s neck, rubbing his own scent there lightly.

“Ya can’t keep getting’ worked up like this, kiddo.” Bucky finally said after a quiet moment. Steve just grunted. “I mean it,” Bucky chastised him lightly. “I know Billy is an asshole, I know he is. He talks bad ‘bout all of us Steve, the Jews and gypsy’s and Irish and coloreds and the Hispanics and the queers and- and all of us, Stevie. And don’t none of us deserve to be talked ‘bout like that, I know it, you know it. But you know damn well why he does it. He does it ‘cause he’s mad his daddy drinks so freakin’ much. And he thinks that, maybe, if he hates all the people his daddy hates hard enough, his daddy’ll stop taking that belt to his hide.” Steve grunted again.

“Maybe his daddy oughta hit him with that belt a lil’ harder,” Steve said petulantly. Bucky made a sound of discontent and shook a Steve a little by his grip on the back of the younger boy’s neck.

“Hey, none of that, Stevie. You know damn well that ain’t gonna solve nothin’. Now look, you can’t keep getting in fights like this, ok? You know I ain’t gonna be in school for much longer-“

“Buck-“ Steve started, an age-old argument on his tongue. Bucky shook his head a little.

“You know it, Steve. I gotta get to workin’, I ain’t like you, pal. You’re real smart, you’re gonna be an artist or a teacher or- or somethin’ else real good. I ain’t like that. And look, we’re hurtin’ without Dads money. With him gone, it’s up to me to make sure the girls get through school and get married to a good fella, or at least get a decent job. So, see Steve? I won’t be there forever. I mean, I’ll be there, of course, I will, but I won’t be with you during school. And you promised you wouldn’t get into any more fights if I couldn’t back you up, didn’t you?”

Steve huffed, “yes,” he said quietly, frustration painting his voice. Bucky humphed like that ended the conversation.

“You can’t fight every asshole in Brooklyn, Steve.” Bucky finally said. Steve grunted, throwing an arm over Bucky’s chest, hugging him on that mildew carpet in his damp apartment. The drizzle outside pattered against the window, Mrs. Henderson’s wireless next door crooned vaguely.

“I can try.” Steve eventually said.

Bucky didn’t have to say that that was exactly what he was so damn afraid of.

Of course, now, Steve was about six and a half feet of pure muscle. He could damn well fight every goddamned bully in New York with his hands tied behind his back, and that was a fucking great feeling.

And, beautifully, Bucky could still throw him down, though not without a challenge. It brought a smile to Steve’s lips, playful and a little naughty as he eyed Bucky before taking a long pull from his water bottle. Bucky flushed but grinned back.

“Gonna hit the bags?” Bucky asked, motioning to the punching bags. Steve contemplated them for a moment, Sam was casually going at one, Rhodey holding it in place, they laughed in between hits. Clint and Spiderman were on top of the climbing wall, seemingly eating a bag of candy (even though this was mandatory training hour). Nat was stretching and chatting with Tony, who was inevitably pouting about having to work out (even though team training hour was his idea).

Steve bit his lip and shifted a little, the memory of Bucky holding him down, over him, a heavy, warm, weight… Bucky raised his eyebrow in challenge as Steve’s scent began to pick up. Steve flushed, smiling down at the water bottle in his hands.

“Or we could always… go home?” Bucky said, nudging Steve with his shoulder, one hand coming up to lightly touch Steve’s lower back.

“Home, please, go home,” Bruce said, suddenly, from behind them where he was lifting weights. Steve started, not realizing how close the scientist had been. Bruce was flushed bright red, embarrassed by Steve’s scent or out of breath from his workout, one couldn’t tell. Bucky flashed Bruce a nasty look that had the scientist going wide-eyed and muttering about finding Tony, before fleeing the scene.

Steve gave Bucky his best “Captain America Is Disappointed In You” look.

“Be nice.” He said.

“You know, it’s funny, I used to have to say that to your punk ass all the time, and now everyone thinks I’m the asshole. When did that get turned around, huh?” Bucky said, smiling as he slung his and Steve’s shared gym bag over one shoulder.

“Get fucked, Barnes,” Steve said lowly, a smile playing on his lips, looking around to make sure no one would overhear. He was usually so careful about maintaining the persona, even in front of his team, endlessly striving for the perfect man portrayed by the cowl. Only Bucky really heard what a colorful mouth Steve had on him, all others who could attest to his loose tongue long since passed. Bucky grinned broadly.

“Now that’s the kinda talk I like from my Stevie. No take backs, babydoll.” He winked as he brushed past Steve, making for the elevator. Steve grinned and followed quickly. He caught Sam’s gaze as the elevator door closed, the Alpha rolled his eyes at Steve and made a gagging motion. Steve just gave him a shit-eating grin and a half-assed salute.

As they rode up about a million floors, Steve slouched and rested his head on Bucky’s shoulder.

“You mean it?” he asked, looking up at Bucky through his lashes.

“Hmm?” Bucky asked, scrolling through his Instagram feed, furrowing his brow when he came to a picture of what was proclaimed to be “green tea, charcoal ice cream” (ew). A black waffle cone with black ice cream in it which was tagged as “#AnActualPicOfMySoul” (what did that even mean?), Bucky liked it and scrolled on. Steve covered the screen with his hand.

“Did you mean it?” he asked again, smiling. Bucky cocked his head in confusion. “Me, topping?” Steve asked. Bucky’s brow rose.

“Do you want to?” he asked. Steve flushed, damn his Irish coloring. He shrugged.

“Only if you want to. We haven’t done that since I presented. Didn’t know if you’d still be interested.” Bucky slumped back against the glass elevator; behind them the New York City skyline fell away, enveloped by low hanging clouds the higher they went. The Alpha appraised Steve for a moment, head to toe, making Steve turn an even brighter red. Bucky would doubtlessly know exactly how far down Steve’s chest that blush went.

“We still got that lube Tony gave us?” Bucky finally asked with a frankly lewd smirk.

Tony had found out about Bucky moving into Steve’s bedroom before anyone else as the man had a knack for just strolling into Steve’s apartment after the whole affair with his heat. He had walked in to see Bucky walking out of Steve’s bedroom, shirtless and sleep ruffled, intent on seeking out a fresh pot of coffee. In response, Tony (fucking Starks) left a gift basket full of lube and condoms along with a card that simply said “welcome home” with a crudely drawn dick on it. The card rested on their dresser in the bedroom, right next to a picture from the war, Dum-Dum mooning the camera while everyone else was curled over in laughter, Morita looking horrified at Dugan’s lily-white ass. Bucky near pissed himself when that picture was taken, Steve laughed so hard his sides had ached for hours after.

Steve grinned and grabbed Bucky around the waist, kissing him fiercely. Bucky chuckled against his lips and wound his fingers in Steve’s hair, tugging at the drying strands. The elevator opened to their door. Steve unwillingly parted from his lover, gasping a little.

“Shower?” he said, jerking his head.

Bucky hummed in agreement but stuck his nose in Steve’s scent gland and his sweaty hair, drinking in his unadulterated pheromones. Steve understood the obsession. Back in the day, women and men alike would go a few days without bathing and even longer without washing their hair, making it all too easy to smell their families and pack mates on them. And out there, in the trenches, they sometimes went weeks without properly bathing. Their scents had been engrained on each other, and not just he and Bucky, the fellow Howlies as well. Each of the men always smelled of the other, if you stood downwind there was no denying that these men were a pack in the basest sense, a tight-knit one at that, deadly by nature. Each man smelled of his brother, each man was as willing to die for the other as they were to die defending themselves. They weren’t likened to a pack of wolves for nothing, after all.

This new century was just so… clean. No one smelled like their lovers anymore, children didn’t reek of their parents or friends these days, friends couldn’t be made out on each other’s skins after a day together. Everyone was perfumed with artificial body washes and scent blockers, good news for hygiene, bad news for territorial 20th-century men like Steve and Bucky.

Somehow, they made it in the apartment, grabby hands tugging at sweaty clothes, each man reduced to growling and clawing, noses nudged at chests and underarms and necks and hair. Bucky’s sweaty hair was tugged out of its sloppy half-bun, cascading around his shoulders. Steve moaned as he buried his face in it, large hands gripping Bucky’s hips as they stepped back and back into the bathroom.

“Shower,” Bucky grunted. Steve whined.

“Fucking hygiene.” He muttered into Bucky’s neck petulantly.

Bucky huffed a laugh of agreement and unwillingly separated from his Omega to turn on the shower. As it heated, Steve tugged off his shoes, tossing them in the corner to put away later, and stripped out of his pants and underthings. Bucky snagged his pants out of his hand and buried his face in it, eyeing Steve the whole time. Steve felt his cock twitch.

“You’re a fuckin’ tease, Barnes.” He said, voice a little rough as Bucky dropped the clothes in the dirty hamper and smirked.

“Maybe I just can’t get enough of you.” He said, pushing Steve back so he was against the bathroom door. Steve lifted an eyebrow and grinned as Bucky went to his knees.

“You’re filthy, Buck,” Steve said, a little breathless. Bucky just chuckled and pressed his nose to the crease where groin met thigh, groaning, before turning his head a little and laying a kiss on the line of Steve’s cock. “Fuck”, Steve breathed out. Bucky looked up at him and smirked, grabbing Steve in his hand and swallowing him down to the root in one practiced motion.

“Fuck!” Steve exclaimed, throwing his head back and slamming it against their bathroom door (it maybe dented a little. Tony maybe leered when he found out, asshole). One hand grabbed the bathroom counter next to him (which chipped a bit, oops), the other fisted in his own hair. Bucky hummed on his cock and Steve let out a cry at the sensation. Bucky pulled back, sucking at and toying with Steve’s foreskin. Fuck, it felt just as good now as it did when they were teenagers.

Steve remembered the first time they had touched each other’s bare dicks, they were 14 and 15 and Steve’s Ma was pulling a double shift, Bucky was off work for a change. Buck had come over and they had been necking on Steve’s bed, grabby hands and gasping for breath. Until touching over clothes hadn’t been enough and…

Bucky groaned nearly silently as Steve dipped his hand below the waistband of his pants.

“This ok?” Steve asked, breathless and dizzy with desire for the boy beside him. Bucky huffed what may have been a laugh and nodded, that one little cowlick making a strand of hair flop in his face.

“Fuck, yes, baby, just…” Bucky fumbled with his suspenders, till they lay in a heap at his side. Then he slid his fingers gracelessly over the button of his pants, too gone with desire to actually get them undone.

“I got it,” Steve said, deftly undoing his lovers’ pants. He met Bucky’s eyes again as he slipped his hand past the waist of Bucky’s underthings. They both gasped in alarm as Steve’s fingers met Bucky’s bare flesh for the first time.

“Stevie,” Bucky whimpered, he leaned back on his palms, head tilted towards the ceiling. Steve was amazed as he felt Bucky up, it was different than his own. He knew that Jews cut their dicks, Father McKenzie said so (Father McKenzie also said it was a sin, but honestly most of Steve’s life seemed to be a sin according to him, so fuck all that), but he’d never seen one, not pictures or anything. It felt… different, good, but stranger than his own. It was strange to not feel the loose skin at the tip, instead, it was just the head.

Steve fumbled with Bucky’s overshirt and undershirt, pushing them up until Bucky got the hint and took both off. There was an awkward moment of fumbling with the cuffs, but eventually, Bucky was bare from the waist up and Steve was free to tug his pants down just enough to get his dick out. Steve gapped when Bucky was finally bare, fingers just gently grazing the head and shaft.

“’s cut,” Bucky said, voice wrecked but wavering, hesitant. Steve looked up, his friend, his lover, looked a bit apprehensive. “Know it’s… kinda weird. Don’t hurt or nothin’, I mean probably when it happened, but I was a baby, so… It’s a, a religious thing. Da’ said it was ‘bout being clean or whatever. I know it’s weird to look at-“ Steve cut him off with a kiss.

“You’re perfect.” He said when he pulled back. Bucky flushed but smiled, cupping Steve’s face and kissing him again. Steve hesitantly grasped Bucky and stroked him the way Steve sometimes tried to do to himself when he thought of Bucky. (Usually didn’t work unless Bucky was actually there. They’d done that, hands in their own pants as they kissed, bringing themselves off, panting into the other's mouth.)

Bucky gasped, breaking the kiss to lean back on his palms again and arch up.

“Fuck, baby.” He breathed. Steve grinned and did it again, and again, before deciding the slide wasn’t as smooth as it was when he touched himself, so he leaned down and spit directly onto Bucky’s cock. His hand slid a little smoother after that and Bucky whined and twisted, he could barely kiss Steve, just open-mouthed gasping and choked whimpers.

When he came, it was with a muffled cry against Steve’s neck.

With frantic hands, Bucky stripped Steve, laying a kiss over his heart when the younger boy was finally shirtless. Hesitantly, Bucky gave a kitten lick to one of Steve’s nipples. Steve let out an “oh” of surprise, not realizing that was a place people could touch. It felt good.

“Ok?” Bucky asked, his fingers already teasing over the buttons of Steve’s own pants. Steve nodded, a little dazed. He still had Bucky’s cum on his hand. He lifted it out of the way a little and Bucky eyed his hand for a moment. “I got an idea,” he said, “just hold your hand like that for a second, ok sweetheart?” Steve hummed in agreement as Bucky nosed at his neck until Steve tilted his head to the side, allowing Bucky to kiss along his scent-gland. God Steve wished they could mate, Steve wanted to be Bucky’s forever. Wanted the whole world to see that somehow, someway, Bucky fucking Barnes had chosen sickly, angry, scentless, little Steve Rogers to be his, for always, for real.

Bucky tugged Steve’s pants down just a little, sighing in delight as he saw Steve bared for the first time. Oh sure, they had changed in the same room as kids, but they hadn’t looked, they’d just turned and changed in their own corners, nothing but a flash of pale flesh in the periphery. They had been young, not willing to cross a line they didn’t even fully understand yet.

Bucky ran his fingers down Steve’s cock, feather-light touches, before fingering the head a little, gently pushing at Steve’s foreskin, memorized. Steve felt his breathing become more erratic; Bucky’s hands were larger, rougher, warmer by far than his own. It felt so different, so glorious, he wanted this forever. He loved this, loved the smell of Bucky on his skin, the feel of Bucky’s release on his hand. Above all, he liked the way Bucky leaned over him, almost on top of Steve. It was beautiful, perfect.

He wanted to write sonnets and paint masterpieces about the moment Bucky finally took him in hand and stroked for the first time. Steve whined lowly, arching his back, it was sensitive, almost too much. Then, oh god, fuck, ok, Bucky pulled back the foreskin and ran his thumb across the head of Steve’s dick. Steve cried out then, folding in on himself, Bucky quickly clapped a hand over his mouth, shushing him.

“Gotta keep it down, baby,” he said, eyes a little wide. They froze for a moment, listening to see if Mrs. Henderson next door was going to start banging on the wall, but no noise sounded except her wireless from the kitchen area. They breathed a sigh of relief and Bucky took Steve’s hand that was covered in his cum, coating his own palm with the still warm semen.

“Cover your mouth for me, sweetheart,” Bucky said as he took Steve in hand again, his palm now lubricated by his own release. Steve shoved his own fist against his mouth as he groaned at the feeling. His hands smelt like Bucky, his dick would smell like Bucky, his hair and neck and chest and all of it smelled like Bucky. He felt precum gather at the tip of his dick and whimpered against his fist. Bucky kissed his neck as he jacked Steve off, whispering about how perfect Steve was and how much he loved the younger boy.

When Steve came it was with tears of pleasure in his eyes and a light heart full of love.

Bucky never had stopped playing with his foreskin, mainly because of how weak it made Steve in the knees. And fuck, the sadistic bastard still loved to do that fucking thing with his tongue on the head of Steve’s dick, making Steve jerk uncontrollably, borderline overwhelmed.

“Bucky,” Steve whined, and Bucky just hummed, finally pulling off, slowly jacking Steve as he looked up at his lover.

“You want something?” Bucky asked, smirking like the cat who caught the damned canary.

“Jesus fucking Christ,” Steve groaned, and Bucky chuckled.

“Nope, just me.” He said. Steve growled, one-part annoyance, two-parts fond exasperation, a billion-parts love, as he grabbed Bucky’s hair, tugging on it.

“Will you fucking stop that and get up here?” he asked demanded.

“Why? You only got one in you, soldier?” Bucky teased, jacking Steve a little faster, twisting on the upstroke and swiping his thumb across the head of Steve’s dick. Steve whimpered and went limp against the door. Fine, if this is how Bucky wanted to play it, he wasn’t one to complain.

“Y- you’re a fucking jerk.” Steve gasped, his hips twitching.

“And you’re already stuttering, baby doll.” Bucky pointed out helpfully before going back down on Steve who cried out in alarm. Steve tangled both his hands in Bucky hair this time. He whined and cried out freely, remembering the days they had to smother their sounds lest they be found out. In the new era, they could make all the noise they wanted, no one would hear. And even if someone did, they couldn’t get arrested or separated anymore. The future was a wonder sometimes.

“Bucky,” Steve begged, tugging at Bucky’s hair. Bucky started moving faster, his jaw had to be cramping. With his free hand, Bucky started fingering Steve, (fuck, Steve was wet) pressing on his prostate cruelly, making Steve almost scream and grasp the bathroom counter to keep himself standing as he came down Bucky’s throat. If Bucky, and the door, and the counter hadn’t been working as a fantastic team (truly, their effort rivaled the cooperation of the Avengers), Steve would have crumbled with the force of his orgasm.

Bucky held Steve in his mouth for a moment as Steve began to soften. That was more for Bucky than Steve, he loved to feel the Omega going soft in his mouth, loved to feel Steve’s whole body trembling and relaxing in his grasp. Steve just struggled to catch his breath and stay standing. Collapsing on top of his Alpha probably wasn’t a great idea, especially with his dick in Bucky’s mouth.

After a few minutes, Bucky stood, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. He looked incredibly smug, his cock bouncing between his thighs.

“Jesus Christ Bucky,” Steve said, laying his head against the door and smiling, eyes closed.

“Waters gonna get cold,” Bucky replied, amusement clear as day in his voice. Steve snorted.

“No it ain’t and you know it.” He said. Bucky smacked him in the chest.

Fine, you ass, something something, water conservation something something end of the world. Just get in the shower, you little shit.” Bucky flicked him off, moving away to open the shower stall. Steve let out a bark of laughter.

“Oh, hell, Spider-boy got to you too, huh?”

“Fucking kid, all gloom and doom and Star Wars references, how old is he? Thirteen?” Bucky snorted.

“Pretty damn close, I’d say,” Steve said in agreement, slipping into the shower behind Bucky.

Bucky let out a bright laugh as he leaned back in the water, wetting his hair. Steve’s heart suddenly ached with something he didn’t know how to fully encapsulate. It was joy, joy at this moment of simple perfection, and gratitude. Grateful that against all odds, they could even have this moment, could even be together like this, could touch and love freely. But it was also something darker, an echo of horrible days gone by. Because Bucky deserved these days, and only day’s like it. Bucky was kind and honest and loving, the kind of guy who rescued a couple of freezing kittens out of a New York alleyway and nursed them back to health, he was the kind of guy who waited until both his sisters and his Ma had bathed to use the cold bathwater, the kind of guy who, after a 14 hour workday, still came over to the Rogers house and did the laundry for his Ma because Steve was laid up again. Bucky deserved days like this, days of laughter and bright moments, inside jokes and bliss and lazing about and wrestling like kids. Bucky deserved a goddamn break, deserved happiness and joy and nothing but.

If there was a God, well that meant there must be a devil and a hell. And if that was the case, Steve hoped every man and woman who made Bucky suffer through a single bad day was burning in it, eternally tortured for the harm they inflicted on this man, this beautiful, kind creature who was at once all soft edges and hardened steel. Righteous and worthy in a way Steve spent his life trying to emulate.

Bucky opened his eyes, wiping water out of them, before meeting Steve’s softened gaze.

“What?” he asked, a bemused smile on his face.

“You’re a good man, Buck,” Steve said, looking away to take up the shampoo. Bucky smiled, confused, but turned and tilted his head back when Steve prompted him.

“Says the saint to the sinner.” Buck hums. Steve scoffed at him.

“Nah, that’s just the Captain America shit. We both know I got a temper shorter than I used to be and a mouth too big to be any good. You were always the perfect one.” Bucky was quiet for a moment, allowing Steve to massage the shampoo into his scalp. As Steve directed him to rinse, he finally spoke.

“I’m not, baby doll, I’m really not. Even before the fall, I was selfish. I was good for you ‘cause I wanted to be good enough for you. Everything I did, every choice I made was painted with wondering if this would make the kinda man you deserved, the kind you needed. Remember when we were kids? There was that guy, always goin’ on about Jews and gypsy’s too, God, he hated us. No idea why, but he just wouldn’t shut up about how we all deserved to die, and that was decades before the Nazis. You remember him?”

“Billy Carrington. Yea, I was just thinkin’ about him today. I hope his kids turned out better than him.” Steve said. Bucky hummed in agreement as he turned again, allowing Steve to work the conditioner through his long hair, it was almost past Bucky’s shoulder blades while it was wet.

“I hated him, Steve. I wanted his Daddy to hit him so hard he died one day. I hated him that much. It wasn’t just me he was talkin’ about, it was my sisters and my Dad, and my Ma. That was right when Dad died, too. I was angry anyway, and he made it worse. I wanted his daddy to hurt him bad, I wanted to hurt him bad. I thought about it, you know? Thought about hurting him so badly he never said a word again, daydreamed about his tongue being torn out.

But I didn’t do any of that. And I always told myself to stop, to not wish any of that shit on him. Not ‘cause it was wrong, not cause I knew he was a kid hurtin’ just like I was, lookin’ for a way to let it out. I told myself to stop because you deserved someone better than that. You needed someone to counteract you, not wind you up. So, I kept my mouth shut. Even when he wouldn’t shut his fucking mouth, I kept mine shut. Because all that anger wasn’t what you needed.” Bucky shrugged and turned around, looking up at Steve, cupping his face and smiling a little ruefully.

“You see?” Bucky said, “I’m bad too baby, I was an angry little mess and I only ever kept my shit together because I wanted to keep you.”

“You think that makes you less than me?” Steve asked, incredulous, “Buck, I never learned to pick my fights. I was always short-tempered and angry, I said I wanted to protect people, but really, I was just spittin’ mad at being seen as less-than by everyone. I didn’t put you first, I didn’t put my Ma first, I didn’t put anyone first but myself and what I thought was right. I never stopped to think about what you needed or deserved. I’m still trying to learn to put you first. You’re so much better than me Buck.”

Bucky shook his head, pulling Steve down into a kiss, “you give me what I need, punk. You’re my everything, you take care of me and love me and try to do right by me. I couldn’t ever ask for more. You know I’m always proud to fight at your side, to fight for what's right with you. You know I need to after..." He trailed off, face dropping at the memories, his eyes darkening for a moment before he shook himself out of it. He looked back up at Steve, determine. "You know I’m always gonna protect you baby doll.” Steve smiled at him softly.

“End of the line?” he asked, Bucky grinned, lashes damp and sticking together, his sea glass eyes striking and a little misty.

“End of the fucking line, kiddo.”

Bucky kissed him again, this time full of heat and desire, his cock bumped into Steve’s thigh, making Steve chuckle into the kiss. Boldly, he gripped Bucky’s dick, jacking him with the perfect pressure that drove Bucky wild. On cue, like a record playing a beautiful song, Bucky groaned, biting at Steve’s collarbone.

“You want something?” Steve teased, throwing Bucky’s words back at him. Bucky just grunted, shoving Steve back a little, frantically rinsing out his hair, Steve quickly followed. They finished showering in between giggles and kisses, soapy hands running across pecs and teasingly pinching nipples. Finally, Bucky turned the water off.

“Race ya!” he called, snagging his towel off the rack and running out of the bathroom door. Steve let out a bark of laughter and snapped up his own towel, running after his lover. Bucky was still damp, his hair dripping when Steve skidded to a halt in their bedroom. Teasingly, Bucky brandished the bottle of lube at him.

“Took you long enough,” he said smugly.

“You cheated!” Steve laughed as Bucky tossed the lube at his chest, Steve caught it on instinct, dropping the towel. His hair still dripped onto his shoulders.

“Shut up, you sore loser. Get over here.” Bucky ordered with a grin, flopping back on their bed, legs spread, cock lying in a hard line against his stomach. Steve took a moment, his mouth dry at the sight, before scrambling on the bed, coming to a stop between Bucky’s legs.

“Fuck, Bucky, how the hell do you keep getting more attractive?” Steve breathed, turning his head to lay a kiss on Bucky’s thigh, Bucky flushed in delight. Slowly, he was coming to believe Steve, slowly, he was coming to find pride in his body and appearance again. Steve made it a point every chance he could to tell Bucky how handsome, how beautiful he was to Steve. To tell him how Steve worshiped his scars, the proof of Bucky's strength and suffering, a road map of misery that led them back together.

“Better lookin’ than you?” he teased, just as breathless as the Omega. Steve chuckled.

“Always, sweetheart.” He assured, popping the cap on the lube. He tugged at the pillow beneath Bucky’s back until Bucky lifted a little, allowing Steve to situate the pillow under his hips. Then Bucky went limp against the bed, bright eyes tracking Steve’s every movement.

Steve liked that, he liked when Bucky watched him. Loved being the older man’s center of attention, he had since they were kids. It was, perhaps, not totally healthy, but they both thrived under each other’s gaze. And both were crippled the moment they moved out of proximity. As Steve, slowly, oh so slowly and gently, began to finger Buck, he realized yet again how much they really needed each other. Could they ever survive a separation? Perhaps, but surviving wasn’t living, they knew that better than anyone.

“You’re thinking too much,” Bucky gasped out, his hips shifting just a little. Steve started, realizing he had been fucking Bucky on three fingers at a glacial pace, rubbing insistently against the Alpha’s prostate. The flesh, it would seem, remembered things the mind had forgone.

“You ok?” Steve asked instead, fingers grazing over Bucky’s prostate again just to watch the Alpha cry out and arch his back.

“Fuck, Steve, fuck,” Bucky gasped, seemingly lost for words. Steve was, by now, just as hard as Bucky, his cock thick, almost as big as an Alpha’s.

“How do you want-“ Steve started, a little lost for a second.

Because Steve knew what he wanted, he wanted it just like it was when they were kids, Bucky riding him hard and fast until Steve cried in pleasure. Bucky taking and taking and taking his bliss out of Steve’s flesh. Bucky, twisting and pinching at Steve’s nipples, his eyes dark and possessive as Steve whined and writhed below him, begging for Bucky to go harder, faster, to please, god, please- Steve’s feet slipping against the bed as he fought for purchase to fuck up into his lover.

Bucky must as have seen something on his face, or maybe he was having the same thoughts because he began to squirm out of Steve’s grasp.

“Like- like before?” he asked when they were both sitting up, facing each other. Steve felt his mouth water at the thought, and he nodded enthusiastically, swapping places with Bucky and lying out on the pillows. As Bucky swung a leg over his thighs to straddle Steve, Steve placed his hands on Bucky’s hips.

He was bigger this time, he wouldn’t break now, his ribs wouldn’t crack under Bucky’s weight, his asthma wouldn’t make them stop half-way through. That felt like a blessing. Bucky still felt solid and real over him, but he no longer held his weight on his knees, fearful of damaging his delicate Stevie. Instead, he sat back heavily on Steve’s lap, grinding against Steve’s hard dick, making both men moan in pleasure.

“Fuck, Steve, god this is good. I’m gonna fuck you so hard.”

“P-promise?” Steve tried for a challenging chuckle, but Bucky just grinned at him knowingly, grinding down harder, making Steve throw his head back and moan.

“God, fuck, I’m gonna fucking ruin you, Stevie.” Bucky’s voice was all gravel and promise. Steve let out a whine, so blatantly Omega it made them both moan. Steve could feel the slick on his thighs.

Bucky had to have had the same thought the same moment Steve did because he lifted on his knees and reached back between Steve’s legs. Steve did his best to spread his long legs and accommodate Bucky’s hand, but he couldn’t get far with Bucky straddling his thighs. After another moment of fingering Steve at the awkward angle, Bucky swiped up some of Steve’s slick and used it to lube up Steve’s own dick. Steve groaned at the relief of a hand on him.

“Jesus Christ,” Steve breathed. Bucky gave a breathless chuckle as he lifted up more, one hand pressing Steve at his entrance, one balancing himself on Steve’s chest, Steve’s hands holding him steady by the hips.

“Nope, still just me, gonna start making me jealous St- Stev- Stevieee!” Bucky moaned at the end, face tilted to the heavens, drawn in bliss as he sank back on Steve’s cock, Steve’s name on his lips. Steve felt a whine bubbling past his throat in answer, his hands gripping so hard he would snap the bones of a normal man. But Bucky was no normal man, he was perfection incarnate, carved from the same marble that had shaped Steve Rogers. He may well have been born of Steve’s own rib, pulled from Steve’s own heart. His perfect puzzle piece. His Anam Cara. Cut of the same cloth, out of dust as one and to dust together again in their end.

“Oh Christ, oh fucking hell, Jesus fuck, Bucky forgot how good- oh god you’re so fucking tight, I can’t-“ Steve was stuttering and gasping, holding Bucky in place by his hips. Bucky whined in answer.

“Your- fuck-“ Bucky whined for a moment, his jaw ticking as he stilled, “it- it didn’t change, your dick. Oh god, baby, I always thought, ‘cause it was proportional now, looked different you know? But I can feel- oh fuck, it didn’t change, did it? Exactly the fucking same, oh, Christ, you feel perfect.” Bucky was stuttering, gasping just as much as Steve. He ground down onto Steve, causing Steve to cry out in agonized bliss and jerk his hips. Bucky moaned at the sensation, placing both open palms over Steve’s pecs, steadying himself.

“Oh-ohh god. Gonna fuck you so hard, Jesus Christ, they’ll all see it on you. See you’re all mine.” Bucky rambled as he lifted, before dropping down heavily. Steve yelped and scrambled at Bucky’s hips, Bucky’s chest, his shoulders, grabbing his hair and forcing him down for a kiss.

“Love you, love you, Jesus, move, please,” Steve begged against Bucky’s lips. Bucky just nodded, breathless. When he lifted, he looked down at Steve the way he used to. Possessive, loving, and now all of it painted over with amazement and tinged with open joy rather than guarded apprehension. No longer did Bucky have to fear hurting Steve, no longer did he have to hold back. The serum had freed their bodies to this kind of unrestrained bliss.

He kept his promise, riding Steve the way he used to, only now he gripped at Steve’s flesh cruelly, leaving bruises that would fade before morning. Steve felt his bones creaking under Bucky’s iron grasp. Bucky bounced on his cock ruthlessly, taking and taking and taking, all with those bright, deadly eyes. His whole body screaming “mine, mine, MINE” as he took from Steve. It was intense, it was overwhelming. After a particularly brutal thrust, Bucky leaned down and bit into Steve’s collarbone, so close and not close enough to his mating gland. The bite broke the skin, Steve screamed, properly screamed. He gasped raggedly, wrecked, so fucking wrecked, his hands scrabbling at Bucky’s shoulders, far past vocal communication.

“Mine, mine, fuck, mine, my mate, mine, my Omega,” Bucky was groaning into his skin, hands braced on either side of Steve’s shoulders, riding the Omega harder and harder and harder. Steve was freely crying, Bucky was over him, Bucky was surrounding him, Bucky was his and he was Bucky’s and he was owned and loved. His whole world was reduced to buckybuckybucky and it was perfect. Nothing had changed, nothing had shifted, nothing was ruined by this new body. Everything was still glorious, they fit like two parts of a delicate machine, nothing worked unless they were together, there was no sun and moon and stars without Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers, Steve was sure of it. Across worlds, across lifetimes and millennia, they found each other again and again and again. 

Bucky came across Steve’s chest with a cry, Steve’s orgasm was an afterthought in the wake of Bucky’s wrecked expression. A passing thought for Steve in the face of the way the hair stuck to Bucky’s neck, his eyes screwed tight in bliss, his finger nails digging into Steve's chest. How could he think of something as petty as his own orgasm when he had a piece of living art above him? Steve whimpered pathetically, barely noticing the relief of his own release when Bucky looked down at him, amazed adoration on his face. Bucky’s hands shook as he rubbed his own come into Steve’s chest, marking him more and more. Steve mirrored Bucky’s look of naked glee as Bucky marked him up. (Because they could do this now, they could smell of each other and not be killed or arrested. God, the future was amazing sometimes.)

Bucky slumped over him, wrapping himself around Steve like an octopus, licking at his scent glands, rubbing his cheek and forehead there, scent-marking Steve as much as he could. Steve wrapped Bucky in his arms, wondering about something Sam had told him once.

The darker-skinned Alpha had said men could bond now. Said they could marry. Steve knew that part was true, he’d been awake when the homosexuals got the right to marry. He’d never seen so many colors or smiling faces as he did that day, on every D.C. corner, on every news channel, spread like wildfire across the internet and proudly proclaimed to the world. The White House had been splashed with rainbow lights that night, Steve stood out there staring at the colors for hours, sweat beading on his brow as he basked in this glorious future. Sometimes, just sometimes, this strange new world was, truly, beautiful. He left for Romania to find Bucky a few months after that.

“I wanna get mated,” Steve grunted into Bucky’s hair. Bucky lifted a little, raising his brow in alarm.

“Is that allowed now?” he asked.

“I think so, pretty sure Sam said it was.” Steve tried for nonchalance, as if he hadn’t just practically proposed (more than that actually, many married couples didn’t even try bonding. Mating was dangerous, messy, complicated. If a couple tried to mate and their body chemistries were incompatible, it was totally possible for the bond to go bad and make the bitten Omega sick. In some cases, Omegas had died from a sour bond).

Bucky slid to his side, they turned so they faced each other on the bed.

“You mean, it, don’t you?” he said after a moment of searching Steve’s face. Steve shrugged.

“I’ve known you’re my only since we were kids, Buck. I said I’d mate you when we were just children, you remember that?” Bucky smiled at the memory.

“We were, what, 8? 9? We’d only been friends for" Bucky thought and shrugged "maybe, 6 months. You said you were gonna bond with me one day, said we’d stay together forever.”

Steve grinned at him, “you said we’d go live in the woods so that no one could take us away from each other like they’d taken Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Harrison away.” Bucky’s face was soft, a little bittersweet.

“God, I’ll never deserve you, Steve.” He said, blinking fast, his eyes wet. Steve shook his head, pulling Bucky in and laying a kiss on his brow.

“It’s me who don’t deserve you, Buck, but regardless, it ain’t about deserving or not deserving, anyway. It’s about what’s right for us. And you’ll always be right for me, Bucky. You been right for me since before I was born, we just didn’t know it yet.”

“You’re right for me too,” Bucky admitted. Steve felt tears stinging at his own eyes. He sniffled a little, letting out a wet laugh.

“Is that a yes?” he said. Bucky hiccupped on a wet chuckle of his own, nodding, pulling Steve tight.

“Yes, yes, fuck yes, baby doll, yes. End of the line, I swear to god, I swear. You got me as long as you’ll have me and longer still.”

They laughed and smiled helplessly, holding each other tightly as the sun shined brightly outside.


 

Four months later, Steve's next heat, found them mated. Tony and Sam confirmed the bond, which had taken like a charm. Steve couldn’t stop running his fingers over the open wound. He had been afraid, the first two days, of falling asleep, fearful the mark would heal over because of the serum. Bucky soothed him when he worked himself into a panic attack over it his second day without sleep, finally promising to put a new bite mark on him every day for the rest of their lives if the mark healed over.

Thankfully, the mark didn’t heal in Steve’s sleep. He tried to mark Bucky back with his own bite, however, Alpha scent glands weren’t made to take a bonding bite like an Omegas were. Not that Bucky discouraged Steve from trying. Bucky was proud to wear his bite for the few hours it lasted, none-too-shy about wearing shirts with loose necklines so the bloody bruised wound would be on clear display.

He proudly displayed a fresh bite during his and Steve’s celebration. Fury was, well, furious when he walked in and saw Steve with his shiny pink scar, and Bucky with his scabbed, bruised mark. He ranted and raved and threatened to have the bond legally dissolved, (impossible, Steve and Bucky had followed the law to a T. Tony served as their Omega witness, and Sam as their Alpha one, with Bruce on stand by as the Beta medic should the bond go sour. Then filed all the paperwork within the week, all of which was dictated by law), then threatened them with gag orders (again, impossible, Tony had met with a league of lawyers and ensured Fury wouldn’t have a leg to stand on). When that didn’t work, he started talking about benching Steve or having him be “ground control”. No one was impressed with that idea. When Nat finally told Fury he was being an asshole, the man spluttered, motioning to Bucky helplessly. Nat frowned saying “he’s done no worse than me” and that seemed to snap Fury out of it. Cowed, he shook Steve and Bucky’s hands, congratulating them and accepting the cake Clint shoved at him.

All in all, Fury finding out went far better than Steve and Bucky had hoped, Nat was right, after all. Fury had given her a second chance, why shouldn’t he give Bucky one? And besides, he had no legal control over Steve or the team anymore. With SHIELD gone, Steve was a free man. His body and life belonged to no one anymore, not the SSR, not the FBI or CIA or SHIELD. Steve could do as he damn well pleased.

Steve and Bucky went to Ireland on their honeymoon, leaving straight from their one and only interview with the New York Times, set up by Tony. They were a world away when the news of Captain America bonding to the Winter Soldier, (ex-assassin, prisoner of war, world war II vet, and Steve Rogers very male, very Alpha, childhood friend) hit from coast to coast. People were shocked to learn that their most praised Beta was actually an Omega. Anti -Omega rights activists and conservatives came out in droves to critique the army for allowing a “fragile” Omega to have such a position of power, especially one that required so much violence. The modern US government fumbled to insist they had no idea Steve was an Omega. True enough, for all anyone knew, Steve Rogers was a Beta. Anyone who could have argued otherwise was long dead, save his fellow Avengers.

And while all this was happening, Steve and Bucky were taking long strolls through rolling green hills and sitting on rocky beaches, leaning into each other and kissing and laughing. They held hands and danced outside when the rain came down in droves, they slept wrapped around each other in their bed and took long baths in the large antique claw tub (so similar to the one in that house on the Allied side of France in 1944), all the while Billie Holliday crooned over the speakers.

They found the land that used to belong to Steve’s grandfather. It took some digging and a talk with the current owners, but eventually, they found the “Rogers” or, more accurately “Ruairí” family grave-plot (apparently Sarah had anglicized her name when she left home). There were two graves side by side. While there, Steve decided to add a headstone, to bring his mother home as best he could. He spoke to the priest of the tiny church and the man agreed to push Steve’s request through, despite the lack of a body.

Before they left Ireland two weeks later, ready to face the world head on, there was another headstone along-side the first two. Together they read.

Stíofáin Graunt Ruairí  Born June 3rd, 1878- Died December 18th, 1954

Caitlín Sarah Ruairí Born February 19th, 1884- Died July 6th, 1962

and

Sarah Ann Ruairí-Rogers Born September 21st, 1897- Died October 18th, 1936