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“Oh,” Steve pauses in the doorway to Bucky’s room, hand half raised to knock on the frame. He looks away quickly, “Sorry Buck, I’ll come back later.”

Nghhh,” Sprawled on his bed, Bucky is holding what looks very much like an ice pack to his crotch, “Nah, n-no need, Steve; you can come in. You saw that girl get me good, didn’t you.”

“Yeah, thought I’d check on you,” Steve has a couple of ultra-strength pain pills nestled in his palm and a glass of water balanced between thumb and index finger – the former probably not enough to help Bucky after a kick in the balls from the mega-powered supervillain of the week, but Steve had hoped the thought might count.

His eyes water a bit at the memory of it.

“I’m okay mostly,” Bucky is sweaty haired and panting a little, but Steve knows his best friend more than well enough to take his word for it in so far that he shoulders his way only a little gingerly into the room, giving the door a push shut behind him. He sets the glass and pills down within easy reach on top of the little bedside table. “Did you let Bruce take a look?”

“You know Banner’s not that kind of doctor,” Bucky actually chuckles, only a slight edge to his tone on the last word. Nope, he’s never even going to consider it, is he. Setting his lips rather than saying anything, Steve pats his best friend’s ankle.  

Bucky will always struggle through whatever hurt himself, rather than seeking help. At least nowadays he’ll let Steve be there for him.

“Come on, Stevie, stop with the long face,” Bucky spreads his knees a bit wider, shifting the ice pack against – well. Against his dick and balls. There’s a large dark patch where the condensation has soaked into the v of his trousers, “Hardly the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.”

Steve gives in to the urge to huff, “That’s not exactly comforting, Buck.”

It’s pretty hard – hah – for him to look away from the evidence that Bucky is at least half erect, despite – or could even it be because of – the ice pack, his cock thick beneath the wet fabric.

“Healing factor kicked in a while ago, but it just kind of – really damn itches, actually, especially my balls,” Bucky wriggles a bit to make room for Steve on the edge of the mattress. He squints up at Steve through the low light spilling from the lamp on the shelf stacked with all his many well-thumbed fantasy novels. “How’s your back, punk? Don’t think I didn’t see her get you too.”

“I thought you were too busy rolling into a little ball on the ground and wheezing to notice,” Perching next to him on the bed, Steve teasingly grins before shrugging his shirt off obligingly, turning his back to show his best friend, knowing from years – decades – of experience that Bucky won’t let it go until he’s seen proof, “Just bruises, Buck, and the same – they’re nearly gone.”

“Itchy?” Bucky asks, and there’s an offer there in the question, alongside a laugh, “I’d offer you the ice pack, but I don’t think you’d accept.”

“Nah, you look quite happy with it where it is,” Steve tips his head to slant a sideways grin at him, because he and Bucky have had their share of inconvenient boners between them, not least when they were teens. He rotates his shoulders, “Does itch a bit, though.”

“Let me do something about that,” Bucky hefts himself upwards, only groaning a little, and leaves the ice pack right there in his lap as he runs his metal fingers down the length of Steve’s back.

It’s rare for him to touch Steve – or anyone – with that hand. It’s also darned breathtakingly cold from the ice.

“Ah –” Steve catches himself just in time, but hears Bucky make a tiny sub-vocal noise in response anyway, perhaps also at the way he fails to suppress a jolt. The movement may be minimal, but Steve’s well aware that to Bucky it must be the equivalent of a shout.

“Bad?” There’s nothing, no emotion whatsoever, in the quiet enquiry.

“No,” Steve hurries out, tempted to twist an arm behind him and catch hold of that hand, keep it in place, “No Buck, not bad. Just – a bit chilly.”

“Oh it’s a bit chilly, huh,” Audibly relaxing, shaking the moment off stunningly swiftly, Bucky presses the pads of his fingers either side of Steve’s spine, unerringly finding the place where the itch is worst.

“Y-yeah,” Steve can’t help but press back against him as Bucky starts to scritch, gentle touches that belies the strength and danger of that metal hand.

Bucky would never hurt him. Steve knows this down to the very marrow of his bones.

He would, however, gust a hot breath without warning over the back of Steve’s neck just when Steve’s about to melt into a puddle of bliss, his skin tingling at the sensation of the chilly scratching, the jerk.

“G-gah –” Steve doesn’t give Bucky the pleasure of shooting to his feet in surprise, but comes close, “Why must you always do that –”

Propping a knee on the bed as he spins without thought, Steve wrestles Bucky down onto the mattress just like when they were kids and Bucky got him by doing the exact same damn thing, a burst of spitty breath against Steve’s nape or in his ear or once, unpleasantly for the both of them as it turned out, up his nose –

It’s only a second later that Steve realises this might not be the right way to react these days, now they’re long grown, but Bucky’s already snorting and practically wetting himself with laughter, rolling underneath Steve as Steve catches his wrists and presses him down; laughing like Steve hasn’t heard in ages, laughing like he never thought he’d hear Bucky laugh again.

“Y-you bastard,” Steve gives in to his own laugh at that, overwhelmed with emotion and relief, happy tears prickling at his eyelids as he slumps down on top of his best friend to rest his forehead against Bucky’s shoulder, revelling in the wonderful presence of him.

“It – it – never fails to make you squawk in exactly the same way –” Bucky is struggling to speak through his chortles, hands closing over Steve’s shoulders, seemingly reflexively holding Steve in place. For someone composed of so many hard, unforgiving edges, he’s all warm and soft smelling, yielding, knees falling open to accept Steve’s hips.

And Steve –

This isn’t the first time they’ve been in a compromising position, far from it, but so far they’ve never done anything about it.

But Steve – Steve wants

“H-Hah,” He hisses at the cold of the ice pack through his trousers as it lodges between his outer thigh and the crook of the inside of Bucky’s knee, and his own dick twitches a bit as he fails not to think about what it must have felt like for Bucky, holding it against his crotch for so long like that. “Oh –”

“Stevie?” Bucky has gone very still beneath him – not in that awful, hollow way, but in the familiar, inquisitive way he always used to back before everything. The way that promises trouble; that promises he has an idea.

“Uh-huh?” Steve thus asks innocently, not removing his face from his best friend’s neck.

“Uh,” Bucky only hesitates for a second, “You know, I’m still feeling awful itchy. And the ice pack seems to have – you know, slipped.” There’s a smirk in his voice, as well as a dare, clear as anything, “Care to put it back?”

Steve pulls back just enough to grin down at his best friend’s slightly flushed face, “I’ll do you one better than that.”

 

--

 

And so he finds himself kneeling between Bucky’s knees as Bucky shoves himself up on the bed to sit with his ass propped against his pillow, back to the wall, open to Steve in a way he never is with anyone else, not for a long time, not any more.

They’d wrestled him out of his trousers together, wet patch and all, and Steve eyes the similar wet patch on his best friend’s underwear and the shape of his stiff erection beneath the stretched fabric.

“Looks painful,” Steve pulls a sympathetic expression as he considers it, thumb smoothing over the flat surface of the ice pack almost absently, “Want to show me where it itches most?”

“I guess it is still a bit painful, now you mention it,” Bucky makes a thoughtful face right back, pushing up on his heels to tug his underwear down enough to hook the waistband under his balls, “You mind?”

It doesn’t look entirely comfortable, but there’s certainly no displeasure in his expression, only a bit of tension, a bit of a tease, and increasing need. Freed, his erection rises up to bob in the direction of his belly.

 “Buck, you know I don’t mind at all,”  Steve shakes his head, “I wanna help you.”

“It itches here pretty awfully,” Bucky’s metal hand fists in the sheets as he uses his flesh hand to indicate the root of his shaft.

“Ahh, not nice,” Steve leans forwards a bit to press the ice pack against Bucky’s cock, angling it as indicated, intently alert to his best friend’s hiss, “Better?”

“Yes –” Bucky’s twitching, both his belly and his cock, just a little bit breathless, “Yes, that’s good.”

“Your balls still feeling abused?” Steve purses his lips in concern, sliding the ice pack down onto them when Bucky nods.

“A-ah – Steve –” Bucky, well, bucks up slightly before clearly clamping down on the reaction.

“Oh, sorry,” Steve deliberately misinterprets, pulling the ice pack back quickly, “Too much?” He dares to offer the hand he just so happened to have had clamped between his thighs, “Need a warm hand?”

Yes –” Bucky actually moans when Steve cups him in his palm, rolling his best friend’s balls slightly, “Yes, Stevie – damn –”

Steve pauses, “Hurts?”

“No, no, it’s good –” Bucky huffs a chuckle, “You know, just what the doctor ordered.”

The fact that he can joke about this is astounding.

“What, Bruce recommended this?” Steve simply says lightly, although inside he’s beaming, full of love and affection and relief, all for his best friend. To demonstrate what he can’t say, he wraps his thumb and forefinger around the base of Bucky’s cock, drawing his hand very slowly up –

Right as he rubs the ice pack in a little circle against the glans.

“Ahhh – ahhh – Steve!” Bucky all but jack-knifes in half, nearly headbutting him, “Rogers, fuck –”

If Bucky’s using Steve’s last name, he must be doing something right.

“Just wish I had something even warmer than my hand to help you with,” He tries, testing a theory, brushing the pad of his thumb over the slit, soothing away the sting of the ice.

“Wish you had some ice cubes,” Bucky pants in reply, back to clutching Steve’s shoulders, the fingers of both hands pressing in delightfully, for once not worrying about his ability to hurt. Steve catches his smirk, even as Bucky grinds up, moaning, into Steve’s hand, “Got an itch somewhere else you could help scratch with those.”

“Jesus, Buck –” Damn, Steve’s cock likes the thought of that far more than it probably should. But it – and he – have always liked Bucky far more than they should.

No, scratch that – to hell with such thoughts. Steve and his cock both like Bucky exactly as much as they should, which is to say a whole damn lot.

It’s unbelievably freeing that, in this day and age, they don’t have to worry when it comes to doing something about it.

“Can we – let’s do that. Next time,” Steve promises.

“Could be helpful for you too, Stevie,” Bucky’s huffing in amused challenge, eyebrows flexing in that daring look Steve knows so well, “Therapist’s suggestion and all. Banner didn’t recommend it – she did. Can you believe that? Said I should try taking the power back from Hydra – you know, finding pleasure in the cold rather than –”

The fact he makes a face in place of what he doesn't say rather than reverting to the blank expression he’d worn for so long remains incredible. Steve’s heart is singing.

“Not sure she quite meant like this,” He murmurs all the same, but he’s smiling, shaking his head a bit, tightening his fingers, pressing the ice pack against the length of his best friend’s shaft until Bucky all but mewls, “Now come on, Buck. That darn itch still bothering you? ‘Cause I reckon there is something warmer than my hand that I could use.”

He licks his lips.

“Hah –” Bucky flushes, panting, suppressing a groan, his eyes dropping immediately to Steve’s mouth, “What, you planning on kissing it better, punk?”

“Sure am,” Steve gives him a sunny grin, lightening up on the ice for a moment to whisk his thumb over the sensitive vein along the underside of Bucky’s cock, “If you want that?”

Bucky snorts, “You gotta ask?”

“Always,” Steve says entirely seriously, and evades the resultant swat.

“Don’t think I haven’t noticed that or that we’re not doing something about it soon,” Bucky nods at the erection straining uncomfortably against Steve’s trousers, even as he scooches down on the bed, Steve settling himself at a better angle likewise.

“Hmm?” He sets the ice pack aside and bows over to drop a kiss against the head of Bucky’s cock.

“Ah –” Bucky’s gasp is gratifying, so Steve does it again, slower this time, lingering against the crown. Slipping his tongue over his lower lip after to savour his best friend’s taste; running his eyes up to Bucky to meet his gaze.

“Shit, Steve,” Bucky’s pupils have gone huge in the low light, nearly swallowing up the iris.

“Yeah, Buck?” Steve enquires innocently before pressing another kiss to the glans, opening up further this time to let it rub up against his tongue, the first couple of inches popping into his mouth. He closes his lips around it, sucking as he pulls back.

“Fuck – shit, Steve –” Bucky’s hand flails, unsettled for a moment until Steve reaches out with one of his own to grab it.

“I got you, Buck,” His fingers locating the ice pack, he presses it against the root of Bucky’s shaft, and slides it up to where he just kissed. Follows this with his mouth, a lick tracing the path of the cold, painting over it with warmth. Then it’s Bucky’s cock back into Steve’s mouth again, taking it deeper, sucking it harder, relishing the way it quivers against his tongue and the flesh and blood fingers that clutch at his own.

Metal fingers close almost gingerly in his hair. Steve moans in wholehearted approval right up against the head of Bucky’s cock, and his best friend jerks.

“Not – not g-gonna last long if you carry on like this, Rogers,” Bucky sounds like he can hardly get in enough breath.

“I’d better get a move on helping out with that itch then,” Steve teases, cupping Bucky’s balls in the palm of his free hand, two fingers rubbing up against Bucky’s taint. He draws his best friend in as far as he can at the same time, until Steve feels Bucky’s cock nudge up against the back of his throat and has to concentrate not to gag.

Mm – mm – mm –” Bucky’s hand is fisted in Steve’s hair now and he’s making little almost broken noises –

But he’s not broken. He’s here and real and alive and amazing and Steve –

Steve loves him so much he near can’t contain himself.

Bucky,” He gasps around his best friend’s cock, grinding his own hard-on into the side of the mattress, and Bucky produces a high-pitch strangled sound, right on the edge.

“I got you,” Steve repeats as he pulls back, letting go of Bucky’s balls to fumble for the ice pack, running it over them, up over the length of Bucky’s dick, right up to the weeping tip, Bucky gasping strangled at the shock of it after the heat of Steve’s mouth –

And then, aiming right at the fresh path he just drew, Steve blows.

“F-fucking – Steve!” Bucky all but tears Steve’s hair out at the root as he comes, hot spunk pumping out of his cock onto his belly and chest, onto Steve’s chest, a bit even catching Steve on the chin.

He’s a limp puddle of a man floundering on the mattress afterwards, while Steve beams down at him proudly.

“You little shit,” Bucky gets out when he’s able to, grinning fit to burst, and yanks the hand he’s still holding so Steve can either resist or fall down on top of him.

Steve goes for the latter of course, and it’s wonderful – wonderful – when Bucky catches him in a kiss.

There’s nothing but kissing for a long time after that. Long enough that Bucky starts to get hard again, that Steve’s in extreme danger of just giving in and humping the mattress or – even better – his best friend’s leg.

“Huh, think this thing is pretty much melted,” Bucky pouts, inspecting the somewhat sorry ice pack when they finally break apart.

Not willing to endure the separation for more than a few seconds, Steve leans in to kiss him again.

“Pepper does usually keep ice cubes in the kitchen freezer,” He muses.

“Reckon they might help with your aching back?” Bucky raises his eyebrows, “Must be bothering you more than ever with all that bending over you’ve just been doing.”

He reaches around Steve to press firm fingers right against the fading bruises on Steve’s back – and then runs his hand that bit lower to grope at Steve’s ass.

“I didn’t get kicked there,” Steve has to point out, but he’s laughing, as is Bucky, and –

Yeah.

“You know what,” Steve presses in even closer, nestling his cock against Bucky’s hip, gasping when Bucky wriggles his other hand in between them to cup his palm over the head, “Why don’t I do a bit more bending over first, and then we could go check out the freezer.”

The feeling of Bucky’s thumb pressing right against Steve’s slit through his trousers is nearly enough to make him start struggling out of his clothes without waiting for his best friend’s answer.

Bucky doesn’t keep him waiting.

“Sounds like a plan,” He grins back up at Steve bright and cheeky and full of intent, “Going to make you squirm so much for me, Stevie.”

“I’d like to see you try,” Steve has to retort, and he means it: he would like it, ever so much.

He’d love it, in fact.

“Oh, I’ll manage,” Bucky assures him –

And he very much does.