Sunsets in Brooklyn are orange. Sometimes with pink mixed in, sometimes yellow. Warm, rosy colors bathe them in soft lighting, turning Bucky’s forearms the color of a late October pumpkin because he works outside since he moved out of his parents’ nice, comfortable house and in with Steve. His mother still gives him money every month. Steve doesn’t know, and Bucky intends to keep it that way. Sometimes Steve is too stubborn for his own good. More than sometimes. And it’s easier, more peaceful for everyone involved, to keep him in the dark about certain things. He’d rather die on the streets than accept help, even from people who care about him.
His skin is so much fairer than Bucky’s because he works indoors at the shop on the corner and because he’s never, even on good days, quite at a level that could be called healthy. Bad heart, bad lungs, bad left ear. Bad tendency to catch every flu that rolls through the neighborhood. In the dreamy wash of the setting sun, his skin glows. Turns from sickly white to illuminated gold. His sleeves are rolled up, arms resting on the tops of his knobbly knees. He doesn’t smoke, can’t because of his lungs, but Bucky always offers him a drag on his cigarette anyway. Doesn’t want him feeling pitied. Steve shakes his head to turn it down, but he smiles. Blond hair falls over his forehead, into his sky-blue eyes, and he shakes it out of his line of vision. Bucky reaches over, brushes it gently back. It’s golden, too. Everything about Steve is. His heart doesn’t beat quite right but it has the tenacity of a bull and the depth for kindness of a saint and the courage of lion. Shining, glowing gold, every bit of him.
“Still got tomorrow off?” Steve asks.
Bucky finishes the cigarette, makes sure its out by rubbing it on the metal grating next to his thigh, and then tosses it through the railing and down to the street below. He stretches his legs out in front of him, ankles dangling off the edge of the fire escape. “Yup. You?”
Steve nods, smiling over at him, just a hint of sweet shyness on his face as his cheeks darken when Bucky grins back. “Yeah. What should we do?”
“Hm.” Bucky pretends to think about it. He should say something much more proper and respectable than what he’s thinking. Should suggest heading to Coney Island, or across the bridge to Manhattan for sight-seeing. Should definitely not suggest they don’t even leave the apartment for a full 24 hours, spend every second of it in their bed. No clothes allowed, only leaving when they have to eat or use the bathroom. It’s new, this thing between them, even though really it isn’t. Admitting it is new. Acting on it is new. Feeling it, at least for Bucky, is as old as time itself. He can’t recall a time when he wasn’t madly in love with Steve Rogers. He loved Steve when they were five years old, even if he didn’t understand it, then. He loves Steve with his whole heart and soul, loves him grumpy in the mornings and sweet in the evenings, loves him when he’s on death’s door six times a year, loves him when he pointedly avoids looking in the mirror for too long because he doesn’t like what he sees.
“We should be saving up,” Steve says, when Bucky doesn’t respond committally.
“You know what’s free?” Bucky jokes, warming inside when Steve laughs. His eyes are like starlight when he smiles.
“I know what you’re thinking. Because you always are.”
“Can you blame me?” Bucky leans over, bumps his shoulder against Steve’s. Can’t pull him into his arms like he wants to; not out here. Not where someone could see them. Sometimes, Bucky wonders if his mother suspects. They aren’t too old to be bachelors, Bucky’s nearly 20 but he’s known fellas with five years on him before they get hitched. Even still, it’s rare around here for someone like him to move out of his family home and in with a pal, instead of staying with his parents until his wedding night. He wonders if people talk, if people see the way they look at each other, much as they try to hide it.
“You like it as much as me.” Bucky shifts, pulling one knee up and leaning back further against the brown bricks behind him. Then he frowns, and thinks he shouldn’t assume, and checks to be sure. “Right?”
Steve’s cheeks are still pink, and he’s staring out at his clasped hands, but his lips curve into a smile. “Yeah, Buck.”
Taking a chance, Bucky leans further and presses a lightening-quick kiss to Steve’s warm cheek. As he withdraws, he whispers, “like it when I make you feel good?”
Steve closes his eyes briefly, and squirms almost imperceptibly, and Bucky grins to himself, pleased. “You know I do.”
“Sometimes I can’t think about anything else,” Bucky whispers. He doesn’t strictly need to whisper, there’s no one else around, but admissions still feel like they should be secrets where Steve is concerned, even when the braver half of Bucky wants to stand on street corners with a bullhorn yelling about how much he wants Steve. People don’t think much of him. Guys underestimate him because he’s small and often sick, girls don’t look his way for the same reason, and Bucky wants to throttle them all. Steve is so capable, if someone would just give him a chance. And he’s beautiful, and it burns Bucky right up to know he’s the only one who ever bothered to notice.
“Like when I’m working.”
“You’re thinking about …?” Steve’s eyes widen, and he looks over at Bucky just for a second before dropping his gaze, almost like the eye contact scalded him.
“Sometimes.” Bucky licks his lips. “Know I shouldn’t be. Just can’t always help it.”
“Jesus, Buck,” Steve swears.
Bucky wants to make a joke about him being like a blushing bride, but knows it wouldn’t get him where he wants to go so he holds it back. Steve isn’t really this shy, anyway. They just have an unspoken rule about discussing things outside the safety of their apartment, and Bucky didn’t ask before breaking it.
“Always thinkin’ about how gorgeous you are, babydoll,” Bucky continues, unable to help himself. He shifts in just an inch closer, just so he can feel the heat from Steve’s body along his side, pick up the smell of soap and a hint of sweat in his nostrils, touch his bare elbow to Steve’s. Such a miniscule amount of contact, but it’s enough, especially since they’re outside so there’s danger attached to it.
“Stop it,” Steve admonishes. He isn’t serious, though. He’s smiling. So beautiful there aren’t words for it, when he’s happy. Bucky wants to make him happy every day for the rest of his life.
“No one’s around.”
“I know how you get when you’re like this,” Steve points out. “Get yourself worked up and carried away and then suddenly there will be someone around and we’ll be arrested.”
“Not exactly suggesting letting you fuck me right here on the fire escape,” Bucky says, grinning again when Steve shivers just a little. “Kinda wish you could, though.”
“The grate would leave nasty marks on your back.”
“Always so pragmatic.”
Steve raises an eyebrow, and Bucky shrugs.
“I listen, when you talk in your big words. I’m not as dumb as you think.”
Frowning, Steve reaches over, brushes the backs of his knuckles against Bucky’s cheek. His touch falls away too soon, but it means everything that he risked it. “I don’t think you’re dumb. Do I act like I think that?”
Bucky shakes his head, and it’s the truth. He knows Steve sees him, for everything he really is, underneath the act he has to put on for everyone else. Underneath the flirting, and the jockeying with his coworkers, and the angel-face he pulls out in front of his parents. They see each other, they see what’s real and not the facades they adopt to keep the rest of the world happy.
Steve swallows, his throat moving with it, and then he’s moving in and kissing Bucky. Just for a moment, just a brief pass of their lips. Sparks shoot through Bucky’s body, his heart skipping beats and his skin prickling. “Stevie,” he whispers.
“C’mon,” Steve whispers back. He gets up and crawls back inside through the open window.
Bucky follows him, heart in his throat. Anticipation prickling all over his body, blood moving down between his legs even though Steve’s barely touched him.
Steve turns to look at him. In the middle of their living room, shirt a bit rumpled from the day’s work, cheeks still such a pretty pink, hair falling back into his eyes. It always does, and he’s always brushing it back. He doesn’t slick it like Bucky does with his own. Bucky’s always itching to get his hands into it. It’s silk soft and feels so nice between his fingers.
Steve holds a hand out, and Bucky takes it, lets Steve pull him into another kiss. This one lingers. He holds Steve’s thin waist in his arms, holds his smaller body up close along the line of his own, licks slowly into Steve’s mouth. Steve lets him explore, lets him taste, arms wrapped tight around Bucky’s shoulders to keep him close. Steve hates his size so much. Hates his diminutive height and his inability to keep weight on and the way his body is always failing him, never managing to keep up with the person he is inside that frail frame. Bucky doesn’t. He adores every inch of the boy in his arms, always has. Does his level best to make Steve feel desired, because he is. Bucky wants him so much. It wasn’t just talk, before. He does think about Steve all the time, in places he shouldn’t. The other guys talk about their wives or their beaus, crudely discuss curves and skirts and the secret world under them. Bucky joins in when he has to, keeping up appearances to keep them safe, when he’s thinking about this, instead. Steve’s skin, his sweet smile, the way his muscles move even if they’re smaller. The way he looks when he’s bare and letting Bucky put his lips all over that body. The noises he makes, soft and desperate, when Bucky takes him into his mouth, when Bucky slides slippery fingers into him, finds the spots inside that make him cry out so beautifully.
“You really want me to fuck you on the fire escape?” Steve asks, the lilt of a joke in his voice and mirth dancing in his eyes.
Bucky laughs. He cups Steve’s face in his hands and kisses the freckles on his nose. “Not really. You’re right, wouldn’t be very comfortable. ‘Specially since we’ve got a nice bed in here.”
“Or the couch, or the bathtub. Or the kitchen table.” Steve beams at him, teasing, and Bucky kisses him again.
“You sayin’ I’m insatiable?”
“Not complaining about it.”
“So, about that bed.”
Laughing again, Bucky takes Steve’s hand back and tugs him down the hall.
One of the buttons on Steve’s shirt becomes a casualty of Bucky’s haste to get him naked. Steve glares at him. “I’ll sew that back on,” Bucky promises.
“Yes you will,” Steve agrees, not really angry. He undoes Bucky’s shirt more carefully, pushing it off over his shoulders and nudging Bucky down onto the foot of the bed. Bucky sits, and Steve climbs into his lap and kisses him soundly, delicious swirls of his tongue, rocking his hips in a way that isn’t anything close to the friction Bucky wants but is a maddening promise of it.
In the last of the sunlight before it’s lost, shining through their window, Steve’s skin shines like the glow from a flame, freckles dusting his shoulders like glittering flecks of sand. His eyelashes dust the tops of his cheeks, fairy wings fluttered over a precious canvas. Bucky holds him close, kissing until his lips are numb, and keeps his eyes open just a fraction until the sun slips below the horizon and darkness falls over them. Steve is stunning always, but his beauty reaches another level when he’s bathed in a sunset. Golden like his heart.
Bucky brings one hand around, presses gently between Steve’s legs, heat and hardness underneath his trousers. Steve makes a soft sound against his lips, tilting his hips forward for more, so Bucky squeezes gently, rubbing against it and feeling it swell under his hand.
“Bucky,” Steve breathes.
“I want you, okay?” Bucky asks. He’d beg, if need be. Pride has no place here. “Please?”
Steve nods, eyes dark and shiny and his lips red from being kissed. Bucky doesn’t know how it’s supposed to work, between two fellas, if they were supposed to decide which one of them does the fucking and then refrain from deviation. He has no one to ask about it. He just knows he could never decide. Steve underneath him, surrounding him, letting Bucky into his most vulnerable places, is so heavenly he could write sonnets about it if he had any ability for artistry. But the other way is transcendent as well. The way it feels when Steve fills him up, makes him shiver, takes him apart, leaves Bucky feeling whole in a way he never anticipated and then incomplete until the next time. He’s always wanted to consume Steve, breathe him in, have him permanently under his skin and absorbed into his soul. It’s the closest he ever comes to feeling like he can fly, like nothing can hurt him.
Pushing gently at his shoulder, Steve eases Bucky onto his back on the mattress and crawls over him, still kissing as his fingers deftly unbutton his trousers. Bucky lifts his hips so Steve can tug them off, followed quickly by his own, and then he’s back, laying over Bucky like a blanket, thigh rubbing between his legs, his own erection pressing into Bucky’s hip.
“Beautiful,” Bucky murmurs. His lips slide along Steve’s cheek and his hands slide down, fingers bumping over the knobs of Steve’s spine until he gets low enough, cupping around Steve’s backside that fits so perfectly in his palms. He urges a deeper roll of Steve’s hips, friction finally satisfying. Bucky feels himself wetting the inside of his shorts, leaving smears of it along the polyester.
“You are,” Steve answers. He lifts his head up to look, stars in his eyes as he runs his thumb along Bucky’s cheek. “Most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, I … I’m lucky. Stupid lucky. Could have anyone in the whole world you wanted.”
“Don’t want anybody in the whole world.” Bucky smiles at him, watches the affection pass over Steve’s features. “Want you.”
Steve never stops kissing him, as he gently presses slicked fingers into Bucky’s body. He’s used to this by now, used to just a hair of resistance before he relaxes and lets Steve in, lets Steve find the spot inside that puts fireworks behind Bucky’s eyes.
“More,” he wants, doesn’t want Steve to be careful, to go slow, but Steve does anyway. He gives Bucky what he wants but won’t hurt him, stretches him languidly, driving Bucky slowly mad as the heat and pressure builds low in his gut.
“Love you so much,” Steve says to him, voice soft, breaking just a little over the words like he’s overtaken by them. A kiss pressed to Bucky’s cheek, to his nose, to the sweat dappled along his hairline.
“There aren’t words, baby,” Bucky gasps, back arching off the bed as Steve’s fingers press inside him, shooting sparks along his veins. His cock leaks against his abdomen, ignored but flushed and dark and aching to be touched. “Couldn’t tell you how much I love you, even if I spoke 50 languages. More, Steve, please.”
Steve listens this time, moving his fingers a little quicker, fucking Bucky with three of them, and Bucky cries out and his eyes slam shut, pleasure vibrating through him. Steve’s lips attach to a sensitive spot beneath his ear, sucking at his skin, his own cock smearing fluid against Bucky’s leg. He wants to flip them over and impale himself onto Steve, chase after that feeling, when he’s full and claimed, when he belongs only to Steve because Steve wouldn’t do this with anyone else. Never would. Bucky knows that more than he knows his own name.
“That’s enough, I’m good,” Bucky pleads. “Stevie.”
“Right here,” Steve promises in a whisper. His fingers pull away, leaving Bucky panting and dizzy and so awfully empty just for a minute, before the blunt head of his cock is pressing up against Bucky’s loosened hole and pushing slowly inside, inch by inch filling him and driving out thoughts of anything else until all Bucky can think and feel and breathe is Steve inside him.
Steve kisses him as he starts to move, the smooth slide of it maddening and just shy of rough enough, teasing him and keeping him teetering on that razor edge. Bucky keeps him close, wraps arms and legs around Steve and holds him tight while they communicate volumes in the slide of their lips. He feels it all, all the things Steve would say if this were the time for conversation, all the vulnerable pieces of himself that he gives so bravely to Bucky. Feels himself falling apart fragment by fragment, and feels safe to do so with Steve on top of him. He’s always safe, with Steve. Safe to be everything he is that the rest of the world would beat out of him if they knew. Safe to be scared and unsure at times, safe to let himself be loved so completely it digs out all the dark spots inside him and leaves behind nothing but sunlight.
“Feels so good,” he says in a sigh, with Steve’s lips there to swallow up a needy moan.
Steve groans his agreement, a soft, wanton sound that leaves Bucky burning. He shoves himself in harder a few times, and Bucky gasps and shakes as Steve then stays buried in all the way and grinds his hips, the slippery head of his cock massaging the spot inside, leaving bright spots in Bucky’s vision that he can’t blink out and his hands trembling in Steve’s damp hair.
“Don’t stop,” he begs, rocking down against it, needing more, needing that feeling like he needs air to breathe.
Steve drops his hips, staying in to the hilt and rocking forward, his abdomen rubbing along Bucky’s cock where it’s trapped between their bodies.
“Please,” he hears himself whimper, pitiful, and Steve kisses him softly.
“Want it like this?”
Bucky nods. “Need it, please baby.”
Steve moves his hips back, dragging his cock out slowly and then slamming back in, the pace bruising and Bucky is yelling, unable to control it, overcome with pleasure that leaves him shivering and panting and coming between them, hot and sticky coating their stomachs. Steve doesn’t stop, fucks him all the way through it and then some, until Bucky is a helpless mass of limbs and quivering muscles and Steve is coming inside him with a gorgeous moan in his ear.
“All day, tomorrow? That’s your plan?” Steve asks, once they’re cleaned up. Once a washcloth has been wiped over their skin and between Bucky’s thighs, once the blanket is pulled up over them, once Steve is safely nestled in Bucky’s arms with his nose pressed up under Bucky’s chin. There’s stubble on it, because he’s been lazy and hasn’t shaved in a day or two, and Steve nuzzles into it and hums like he likes the way it prickles his skin.
“Unless you’ve got a better idea.”
Steve sighs happily. “Not really. Sounds like fun. Although I think we almost broke the kitchen table, last time you fucked me on it. And we can’t afford a new one.”
“We’ll skip that one, then. The couch is sturdier.” Bucky presses his lips to Steve’s hair.
“For now, anyway,” Steve jokes.
Bucky smiles, against the golden strands. Hugs Steve a little tighter. It’s dark, in the room. Blues and purples surround them, casting faint shadows on the walls and on Steve’s face. Bucky’s darker skin looks grey. Steve’s is silver. Still glowing, even in darkness. When Bucky was little, he was afraid of the dark. Steve’s face tilts up, lips seeking out a kiss, that Bucky gives him easily. Slides their lips together, slow and honest. Until dawn, Steve will be his sunlight.