The camp was almost completely devoid of people. The rain had driven most people into the barracks and the offices, leaving maps and reports on the tables. From time to time, a lackey would be sent out to fetch something and Bucky, sitting quietly in a corner, making the most of five minutes where he didn’t have to answer to anybody, would do his best to ignore them without seeming like he was up to something.
“Sergeant Barnes.” Peggy rounded a corner and came into view.
Bucky stood up as she entered the tent. “Agent Carter.”
“I wish we didn’t have to be so formal.” Peggy muttered and rubbed her face wearily. “How’ve you been holding up?”
“As well as can be expected.” Bucky replied. “How ‘bout you? Brass been treating you right?”
“No one’s tried any funny business, thought they all still act like I'm stupid.” she paused. “I’m alright, really.”
“You don’t look alright.” Bucky murmured, just loud enough for Peggy to hear.
“Neither do you.”
Bucky smiled sadly. “I think even Steve’s starting to crack around the edges and he’s made of stronger stuff than I am.”
“I wouldn’t be quite so sure of that, if I were you. It appears Brooklyn boys are made tough.”
“Only the best of us.” they both grinned and there was a pause.
“I love you.” Bucky whispered to Peggy.
The rain was hammering own outside the tent, splashing mud onto their ankles.
“If someone sees,” Peggy began, then stopped. She took a step away from Bucky and looked at him sadly. “I know I really shouldn't, and I'm supposed to be working, but I just want to kiss you.”
Bucky squeezed his eyes shut and pushed his hands deep into his pockets. “I know.”
“Could you come tonight?”
I can’t, but Steve can. I’ve got a meeting.”
Peggy frowned. “About what?”
“Me and Morita are headed out tomorrow afternoon.”
“Oh.” Peggy swallowed. “Oh.”
“No one’s supposed to know about it.”
“No. It- it’s risky. They don’t want him… repeated.” Bucky picked his words carefully.
Peggy drew herself to her full height. “Then you’d better come back, Barnes, or he’ll rip the heads off everyone who kept the mission from him and go straight after you, even if he has to recreate the serum and sell it to HYDRA himself."
“He would, if it meant saving you. And then I’ll have to help you two get the serum back again, which would ruin my current operation.” Peggy reached forwards and straightened Bucky’s collar. “You come home to us, Barnes. And bring Morita back with you; he’s a good egg.”
Bucky kissed her.
“You shouldn’t have done that.” Peggy whispered after he pulled away.
“I might never get a chance to again.”
“Don’t say that.”
“You keep an eye on Steve for me, okay?”
“He’s not exactly hard to lose in a crowd, is he?” Peggy raised an eyebrow and smiled. “When are you due back?”
“Then don’t you dare be back a moment later.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it, ma’am.” he saluted. She nodded curtly, smiled and walked out into the rain. Bucky turned and walked in the opposite direction.
“It’s three am!” Peggy roared. “On Thursday!”
“Ad you’re missing a finger!” Steve said angrily.
“Only the tip of one!” Bucky retaliated. “And sorry I’m late, Pegs, but the boss forgot to mention the lack of bridge at the river. We had to swim.”
“You can’t swim.” Steve pointed out.
“Exactly. That’s why we were late. Now are you going to stop yelling and let me put some clean clothes on?”
Steve ignored his question. “Why didn’t you tell me how dangerous it was?”
“I wasn’t allowed to.”
“But you told Peggy.”
“Because I knew she wouldn’t try to get herself onto the mission.”
“I didn’t say goodbye to you properly.” Steve’s voice was on the edge of breaking.
“Last time I said goodbye to you properly you became the test subject of a government science experiment.” Bucky said pointedly. “I didn’t want you becoming the subject of a Nazi one.”
“But I’m stronger than you are, it should have been-”
“How do you think I felt every time you ran into, or started, a fight?”
“Boys, just shut up and get on with the snogging so I can have my turn with James.” Peggy said impatiently.
They did as they were told.
Steve crashed his mouth to Bucky’s and not long afterwards, Peggy followed suite.
“Will anyone miss you two if you spend the night in my room?” Peggy asked after pulling away from Bucky.
Bucky shook his head.
“I don’t care if anyone misses me.” Steve declared and kissed them both in quick succession, all tongue and relief with Bucky and teeth and gratitude with Peggy. “I’m spending the night with you two and as much of the day as they’ll let me.”
“Which won’t be all that much.” Bucky patted him on the shoulder. “Come on, we’re running out of night.”
As had become their custom, they shifted the mattress and all of the blankets onto the floor so that there was space for all three of them. Bucky lay on his back and groaned with relief, eagerly pulling off his mud-stiffened shirt. He pulled Steve on top of himself and kissed him. “Missed you.”
“Missed you too.” Steve traced the clear outline of Bucky’s ribs with one careful, cautious hand.
“Don’t wanna do nothin’ tonight.” Bucky said quietly. “I’m so tired.”
“We all are.” Peggy whispered and as she leaned over to kiss him, he noticed the dark rings under her eyes. “And you’ve earned a rest.”
Bucky pressed his back against Steve’s chest and Peggy buried her face in the crook of his neck. Bucky wrapped his arms around her and felt Steve reach out with his enormous arms and hold both of them. Peggy shifted one hand so it rested on Steve’s shoulder.
“I love you both.” Steve murmured.
“Same here.” Bucky closed his eyes and breathed in the smell of his lovers.
“Me too. Glad you’re safe, Bucky.” Peggy turned to press a kiss against his collarbone. “Sleep. I’ve got you. Got you both.”
Bucky slept and was almost disappointed when he did, he was so high on the feeling of being back with Steve and Peggy again, and safe as he was ever going to be. Being able to wake up with them more than made up for everything he’d been through in the last week, the last year. Made up for everything, because he’d done it all for moments like this, moments with them.
Bucky slept for a solid fifteen hours, and probably would have slept for longer if he hadn’t been woken by Steve and Peggy talking.
Peggy smiled at him. “Less tired now?”
“How long’ve I been out for?”
“’m I in trouble?”
Steve shook his head and leaned over to kiss Bucky. “We got a meeting tomorrow and then we’ve got six days off.”
Bucky pulled a face. “Urgh. Snow. What are we doing?”
Steve shrugged. “Something to do with a train.”
Bucky moved so that he was kneeling on the bed and leaned up to kiss Peggy. “You up for some fun?”
Her eyes twinkled. “Always.”
Bucky turned his head. “Steve? You in?”
Steve answered by kissing Bucky firmly. Bucky grinned and pulled his lovers into bed.