Bucky can’t even make it to his front door, collapsing on weak limbs on the small landing between the second and third floors of his apartment building with a gutted and defeated noise. The paper grocery bags he had been holding clatter to the floor with him, contents scattering, a can of soup rolling and thunking down a few stairs, noise deafening on Bucky’s sensitive ears. He had more time, he had more time, his cycle always timely and reliable but this was two days, two days, ahead of schedule. His stomach roils, pain icy hot shooting up his spine. He can already feel sweat begin to bead on his brow and he lets out another small noise, pained and high, trying to blindly gather the items he had dropped in a valiant effort.
When he opens his eyes, ones he didn’t even realize were shut, his mind swims, makes him duck his head and fall forward onto all fours. He has to get up, he has to move, it’s so dangerous being out here as an unbonded Omega with their heat settling in at a rapid and unplanned pace. He could get hurt, could get really hurt, this being one of the most dangerous situations someone like him could find himself in. He’s letting out soft pained noises, tells himself to be quiet, that he shouldn’t draw any extra attention to himself, and he decides to leave the groceries behind.
He drags his body up a few more steps, entire form shaking and sweltering, eyes weepy in fear when he feels himself grow slick between his legs, doesn’t need anything else to draw attention to himself, needs to get up just a few more steps so he can stand and walk to his door, needs to get to his door—
He hears heavy footsteps, frantic and hefty, and stifles a sob. He can’t let anyone find him, can’t be seen, but it’s useless, he knows his scent is heavy to anyone within a mile radius, knows it was only a matter of time. He rolls onto his back as best he can on the few stairs he settles on, better to fight off anyone who comes at him, just as another wave of cramps rolls through his core. He wants to cry, wants to whine, but he can’t, slaps a hand over his mouth to stifle his sobs, and—
Bucky opens his eyes and looks up just in time to see Steve Rogers hurtling down the steps above his trembling form and he shouts out a sob in relief, both at the sight of someone trustworthy and at such a big, beautiful, unbonded Alpha. His nose and his head and his body fill with Steve’s comforting Alpha scent, cinnamon and West Coast forests and warmth, and it makes Bucky let out a soft pleased purr.
“Bucky, honey oh god, what…oh shit.”
Bucky watches through hazy vision as Steve takes in the sight of Bucky laying so helplessly in such a compromised position, watches his chest heave as he scents the air, so close, and seeing Steve react to his own scent has him purring some more, rolling onto his side in an attempt to push himself off the floor.
“Oh, baby I got ya, don’t worry, shh,” Steve coos, his voice running across Bucky’s sensitive body like silk, sending goosebumps up his spine and Bucky hears more pitiful noises rush from his mouth. His mind swims, thoughts consumed by Steve, Alpha, even though he knows it’s just his neighbor. His sweet, respectful, ex-military turned artist, built as fuck neighbor who he’s been flirting with and pining after for months now. His sweet Alpha neighbor who is unbonded and who is picking up Bucky into his arms, cradling him to his broad chest like he weighs nothing more than a feather.
“Steve,” is all Bucky can breathe into the skin of his neck, winding his limbs around Steve’s body, unable to stop himself, reel himself in, from full-on scenting the other man, of running his nose along the sensitive skin of his neck, breathing in deeply right under his ear. Steve feels so good, smells so good, makes Bucky want to rub his body all over his bigger one, his Alpha one, make him feel so good, so good. His clothes feel itchy, too confining, he knows his pants have to feel wet to the touch under Steve’s hands and that makes him keen, makes him mewl into Steve’s cheek.
“Oh, Buck god, sweetheart you’re a mess, what are you doin’ outside during your heat, sugar? Huh?” Steve presses as he walks swiftly towards Bucky’s door and god his voice is so deep and perfect and it makes his toes curl in his boots. He’s never reacted in such a way to anyone before, heat or not, but he knew this would happen, has purposely avoided Steve a few days before and after his heat, especially during.
“Isn’t…wasn’t supposed to…to s-start today. S’early, god, Steve,” he breathily explains with a lilt of a whine. He feels Steve dig into his jacket pocket for his keys and he wants more, wants Steve to keep talking to him, wants him to hold him close, wants him to help the ache in his body, deep in his body. He clings to Steve when he feels him pull away a little to open the door, whimpering, and he can’t help it, his baser instincts take over, and he mouths at Steve’s scent gland, runs his tongue over it in a hot open-mouthed kiss.
“Ohh, fuck, Bucky nono…”
“Ngh, Steve please please, Alpha,” Bucky whines, running a hand up and through the hair on the back of Steve’s head, so soft and silky, just as the other man closes his apartment door. His body is on fire, he feels like his insides are screaming at him, like his brain is moving through molasses, and he wants Steve, wants him more than anyone or anything else, wants this big Alpha male to help him in the only way a man his size and designation could. Steve rumbles, makes Bucky whimper, and makes his way through his apartment to Bucky’s bedroom, his Omega brain singing at the choice.
“No, sugar no, it’s not what you want, Buck,” Steve whispers hoarsely and tears immediately spring to Bucky’s eyes. Not what he wants? It’s everything he wants! He’s been thinking about Steve fucking him through his heat for months now, of him being the one inside of him, pleasing him, taking care of him, instead of those fucking toys. Bucky would bet his life that Steve feels immensely better than a toy, than anything, and he feels a rush of liquid seep from his sensitive hole, Steve choking back a gasp in response.
“See? Want you, n-need you…need you to make it stop hurting, Steve, please please, help me, Alpha,” Bucky cries, rolling what he can of his hips into Steve’s torso, moaning when it proves to be difficult because of Steve’s large hands and strong grip.
“Mmm, can’t, baby can’t, you’re in heat, fuck,” Steve whispers as he steps into Bucky’s bedroom, heading towards the bed, “I can feel how wet you are, sugar smell how sweet you are, like peaches and cream, Jesus.” Bucky keens, makes soft noises at how pleased Steve sounds talking about his scent, mouths at his jawline, purrs when he feels the other man lower him down into his bed, into his own nest, and damn what a feeling, a perfect one in the state he is in.
“I can’t stay here with you, Bucky, I can’t, can’t stay,” Steve says as he tries to pull away from him, sounding like it’s more for himself instead of for Bucky, but his words spear through Bucky, white hot pain of rejection in such a fragile state burning through him. He chokes on a wave of sobs, his tears mingling with his sweat, and he clings to Steve, can’t let Steve go, won’t let Steve go.
“Nonono, baby don’t cry, don’t cry,” Steve soothes, voice deep as he kisses at Bucky’s temple, “Don’t want to leave but I have to, can’t consent to anything when you’re in this state, sugar, you can’t.” Steve’s words make sense and they’re so noble but Bucky hates them, growls at them, hates them, they barely make sense to him in his muddled brain, it just hurts like rejection, like Steve doesn’t want him.
“Y-you don’t want me? Alpha doesn’t want me?” Bucky all but wails and Steve settles on top of him with a low noise, presses his body into his mattress, into his nest, bringing his hands up to cradle Bucky’s face, and it’s bliss, makes Bucky pant out, “Oh god.” Ocean eyes meet his and within a few seconds he realizes that he is matching his own deep breaths to Steve’s, that he is doing this on purpose to calm Bucky down, thumbs rubbing along his cheekbones. Such a caring mate.
“Bucky, baby of course I want you, Alpha wants his Omega,” he croons, nudging his nose and Bucky’s in such a domestic way it makes his heart damn near burst out of his chest, makes him let out a low noise as he feels his body settle into the mattress more, so soft.
“I want you, Bucky god do I want you. But I wanna do this right, wanna court you, wanna get to know you more,” Steve explains in a low soothing voice that has Bucky lowering his eyelids, heavy and drooping. He’s so torn, so torn, has been waiting so long to hear these exacts words come from Steve, wants to squeal, is sure he’s blushing, but no. His body says no, absolutely not, Steve needs to stay here, needs to soothe his aching center, needs to take care of Bucky and feed him and bathe him and be his Alpha and knot him.
Steve placing a soft chaste kiss directly over his scent gland makes his entire body shutter, and goddamn, it feels so good, so right, makes him whine and bare the rest of his throat, tilting his head up and back. Steve rumbles again, a noise Bucky always wants to hear, wants to hear for the rest of his life, and his nose runs up and down his neck gently and, as if possible, Bucky melts even further into his nest.
“You’re gonna be alright, sugar. You’re gonna be okay here on your own,” Steve starts, using a stern Alpha voice when Bucky grows frantic, whines and tries baring his throat again. Steve’s hands on his face drag Bucky back to stare up at the other man, to swim some more in those ocean eyes, and he says, “You’re gonna be alright, Buck you know why?” He manages to shake his head, his body roiling and trembling. “Because this whole time you’ll know that this’ll be the last time you need to experience your heat alone, sweetheart.”
He lets out an embarrassing noise, a high wail of sorts, choking on it and gasping as desire and heat and need roll over his body in waves, Steve’s words alone being the cause. His head spins and his backside leaks and Steve’s kissing his cheek, purring into it.
“Yeah, honey I’m gonna take such good care of you, my sweet Omega, you’re gonna be okay,” Steve croons as he begins to pull away, detach himself from Bucky’s limbs and grip, and no, no that isn’t good, Alpha is leaving him.
“Bucky…baby, look at me.” Bucky does, quite frantically. “You’re gonna be okay. Say it, say ‘I’m going to be okay, Alpha’.” Bucky swallows a few times before repeating in a gruff quiet voice, “I’m gonna be okay, Alpha.” Steve leans down and presses his nose into Bucky’s neck under his ear, scenting him, rubbing his lips along the sensitive skin, making Bucky pant loudly and spread his legs in submission.
“Again,” Steve orders.
Bucky whimpers. “I’m gonna be okay, Alpha,” and the other man sucks a gentle mark onto his scent gland, licks at it in a small but messy open-mouthed kiss, making Bucky roll his hips, his body, into the much larger one above him. His mind may be preoccupied and his body sensitive, but he wants to come, is so close to coming, needs some sort of release and immediately. Steve pulls back, kisses Bucky’s cheek once more, and is kneeling up and off the bed, he’s leaving, but he’s going to be okay, this is his last heat alone, but he’s leaving.
He didn’t realize he was whining pitifully, more tears springing to his eyes, and he can’t help but roll his hips, his behind, into the bed now that he has free range. He hears Steve groan heartily from the edge of the bed, the noise spurring him on, making him want to shake grabby hands back at Steve, crawl towards him and present to him if he could. He thinks he’s imagining it, thinks his hazy vision is playing tricks on his eyes, when he watches Steve yank his own t-shirt over his head and rub it along his neck and chest.
“Steve,” he whines at the sight of him half-naked, his broad fucking chest so delicious and so powerful and Bucky wants to rub up against it and nibble on those pecs, climb on top of him. Steve gives him a warm noise in response, bends down some and places his soft shirt on Bucky’s chest, cups his jaw. “Here you go, sugar. Gonna grab your groceries and bring them back in. We’ll talk when this passes, okay?” He presses a kiss to the corner of Bucky’s lips that leaves him gasping, grappling for Steve’s item of clothing, so warm and so comforting, unable to verbally respond.
He barely hears Steve leave his apartment or come back in to leave his groceries on the countertop, too preoccupied with rubbing Steve’s shirt across his neck and over each piece of skin he frantically uncovers. He’s spent almost every heat entirely alone, has a routine, knows what to do, how to get out content on the other side of it, but nothing, nothing, has ever made him feel this way. He feels like he is going to vibrate out of his skin, like he has such little control of his mind and body, which should be terrifying but is isn’t, it has him leaning into his heat, into the side effects.
He isn’t even embarrassed by what he wants and what he needs, desperation a much larger force than his dignity, and he finds himself rolling his hips into his mattress, humping his bed as he rubs Steve’s shirt against his neck and face. It’s everything and nothing, makes him yearn for the real thing, to be humiliatingly humping at Steve’s big body instead of his sheets but it’s so comforting and makes him keen and whine.
He comes twice this way without even needing to touch his leaking erection or his achy hole. He humps his bed and rolls his trembling hips and bites down on Steve’s shirt as he thinks about the many different ways he could present and submit to the Alpha. He cries out Steve’s name, feels more slick build between his thighs, his hole so sensitive, and nearly passes out when he thinks of the Alpha spreading him open and fucking into his messy cunt and knotting him and biting down onto the nape of his neck and fucking owning him.
Steve was right—Bucky would be okay. While this heat was one that started early and unplanned and on a hectic note it wasn’t anything he couldn’t handle. His alarms let him know when to shower and eat during those first few days, building his nest up, keeping Steve’s shirt close. His toys were there when he needed them, but they were entirely disappointing knowing that he could have the real thing, his and Steve’s interaction never leaving his mind once.
He thinks about Steve when he touches himself, when he pushes toys deep inside himself, riding them, whimpering when he can’t get the angles just right, knowing that Steve would take care of him, wants Steve to take care of him. He ponders the sweet and filthy words that Steve would whisper in his ears, on the skin of his neck, words that would make his hole tighten and clench around Steve’s big cock, so full. He thinks about Steve bathing him, large hands moving gently but with purpose. He thinks about being fed with those same large fingers. He thinks about Steve biting him, marking him and bonding with him, blushing furiously at such an intimate desire.
On the third day of his heat his doorbell rings. He’s immediately on alert and cautious, should be in the state he is in, makes his way to his door as quietly as he can. On the other side of it he sees an unassuming blonde woman holding a rather large box, smiling as if she knows Bucky’s predicament on the other side of the door. He sniffs the air, scenting it softly, but doesn’t smell anything, doesn’t smell a designation, so he cracks it open.
Bucky pulls the door open just a tad more, still cautious.
“Y-yeah, that’s me?” he says with a lilt of a question at the end even though he’s quite certain he is indeed James.
“Hi, I have a delivery for you! From a Steve Rogers?” The blonde is giving off positive and sunny vibes that soothe Bucky minutely and he opens the door at the mention of his potential Alpha. From Steve?
“Oh. Umm, okay here,” he murmurs, blushing at the surprise show of affection, and the blonde woman passes the large box off to him. He asks if he needs to sign anything, but she shakes her head and departs with a kind, “Best of luck.” The box is indeed heavy, but it smells incredible, so sweet, and he places it as gently as he can manage on his kitchen counter. He gasps when he opens it, eyes wide, toes curling into the hardwood floor.
Inside the box is the most stunning and delicious array of chocolate-covered fruits, some dried some not, he has ever seen. Strawberries, blueberries, oranges, cherries, pomegranate seeds —they are some of Bucky’s personal favorites. How did Steve know? He whimpers out loud, the butterflies in his chest and stomach bubbling out in delicate noise and picks up the small note laying inside the box.
Some sugar for my sugar.
Remember—last heat alone.
Bucky squeals softly, a long pitiful noise, folds his body over the countertop as he feels his cheeks heat up again, feels himself grow aroused. Such a thoughtful gesture, such a caring gesture, one that has the Omega in him purring, has himself, James, purring. He wants Steve, wants him so badly, wants to nuzzle at his neck and bare his own and wrap himself all up in his Alpha’s embrace. He decides that the chocolate-covered cherries are his favorite after he makes a mess in his pants right there leaning against the kitchen counter.