It’s a little like whiplash, one minute Bucky is in Steve’s arms, pressed against the elevator wall, getting his mind blown by Steve’s giant hands on his bare skin and his giant dick rutting into Bucky’s, hips rocking into Bucky’s, and the next minute there’s a crash and Steve is gripping Bucky tight and shielding him with his body.
Bucky could be mistaken, he is a little hungover, but it looks like Iron Man has just landed on the roof of their elevator. Presumably to save them from the terror of being trapped at the very high height between the first and second floor.
Except Iron Man - Tony Stark, even Bucky knows who Tony Stark is - is looking at them both with a very pleased expression and seems to be leering in at them through the service cover.
'Well well well,' Stark says, shaking his head, 'I leave you alone for five minutes.'
Bucky may be having a hullicinatory episode.
‘Tony, I mean,’ Steve looks down at Bucky, at the pink ‘groom’ t-shirt and the ring on his finger - down at his own much smaller, matching blue ‘Elvis said we do!’ t-shirt - and then back up at the superhero peering in at them. He steps back and carefully lowers Bucky to a standing position, but keeps one giant hand on his waist. ‘I guess this is actually exactly what it looks like.’
‘Oh I know,’ Stark says, boosting himself up by his rockets (wowowow, Bucky is four feet from the most advanced piece of mechanical engineering in the United States right now) and hovering through the hole and into the elevator, ‘it’s all over twitter, genius.’
‘Oh shit,’ Bucky says, ripping the phone he had put on silent (because fucking Darcy would not stop texting him) and sees way too many missed calls from his sister. One from his mother.
The texts from Darcy are still rolling in.
‘Twitter? You flew all the way here because a bunch of people twittered about this?’ Steve’s voice had dropped to a tone that Bucky doesn’t recognise but oh, he likes it.
‘Tweeted,’ Stark says, shaking his head.
Steve narrows his eyes, and the sweet open face that Bucky has been staring at all morning suddenly morphs into something much more menacing.
If Bucky hadn’t just come in his pants he'd be in trouble - as it is he can feel his heart rate picking up again at the effortless authority Steve is exuding. Okay fuck, now that’s he’s thinking about it, his dick is perking up and no, no, no. This is not the time.
Please do not let this situation get any more weird than it already is.
‘Tony, what are you doing here?’
Iron Man - looming huge in his suit in the tiny elevator - takes a small step back from Steve, and doesn’t seem confident when he answers, ‘Rescuing you?’
‘From what?’ Steve asks, ice cold.
‘From being stuck in a broken elevator?’
‘Bullshit,’ Steve says, less cold, more heat this time.
‘Uh, okay, look, full disclosure, I flew here in the quinjet to make sure that Thor hadn’t addled your brain with his god juice and left you to get yourself vegas married to a gold digger,’ he looks over at Bucky, whom Steve tightens his grip on, moving his body further between Stark and Bucky with zero subtlety, ‘seems like I maybe underestimated how literally you would take my advice to do something crazy.’
Steve is shaking his head in a sharp, hard, definitive no.
Bucky is letting him do all the talking, having a… not a great memory of what had gone down the night before (flashes of images, feelings, sounds. An overwhelming sense of comfort and happiness. Contentment… but no real basis from which those emotions have stemmed) and also this is Tony Stark, Iron Man… and Bucky isn't really sure what to do with that.
Just staying out of it seems like the wisest course.
Steve, in lieu of using his words, chooses to reach past Bucky and depress the emergency button.
‘Woah, hey!’ Stark says, grabbing at the wall as the elevator starts to move.
‘Don’t you have something rich and important you should be doing, Tony.’
‘Okay, I’m getting the impression that you’re not that happy to see me.’
‘Gee, you have some real keen observational skills,’ Steve snaps.
‘With all due respect, Mister Stark-’ Bucky starts.
‘Mister Stark was my father kid,’;
‘Mister Iron Man,’ Bucky says, heavy on the sarcasm, ‘This has nothing to do with you.’
‘Bucky,’ Steve corrects him.
Bucky doesn’t bother to nod, he lets Steve’s glare do his talking.
‘That’s a name?’ Stark’s lip is raised in a grimace.
‘It’s a great name,’ Steve has his shoulders squared and his Jaw lifted and he looks suddenly one hundred percent a man not to be questioned.
Bucky can’t help the smile spreading across his face. Doesn’t even want to.
‘Steve, you can’t be serious about this.’
The elevator comes to a stop on their floor and Steve’s grip on Bucky loosens as the doors open.
‘Excuse us, Tony.’
‘Steven Grant Rogers you are trending. There’s photos of you in this ridiculous T-Shirt all over the internet. We need to do damage control!’
‘What’s wrong with his T-shirt?’ Bucky asks, hands on his hips as he lets Steve lead him out of the elevator with a gentle hand on his lower back. ‘Are you being self righteous about Elvis, or about the fact that Steve married a guy?’
‘Hey now,’ Stark says from the elevator, ‘I’m mad that he didn’t know you yesterday and today you’ve got matching rings on your fingers.’
‘And that's… Not normal!’
Both Steve and Bucky turn around at Stark’s words.
‘When, Tony, in your entire life, have you ever aspired to be normal?’ Steve asks, standing to Bucky’s right and crossing his lovely arms over his very large chest.
Tony Stark has his mouth halfway open, his eyebrows pinching into a ‘v’ over his narrowed eyes, standing in the doorway of the elevator as the doors move in and out like a concertina at the obstruction.
‘Am I a grown man, Tony?’ Steve asks.
Stark rolls his eyes at the question.
‘Have I ever once interrupted you or questioned your life choices in the middle of a romantic interlude.’
‘Interlude? Steve, come on.’
‘Have. I. Ever?’
Bucky’s phone rings for the thousandth time - his mother again - and, as fascinating as it is to watch Tony Stark get his ass handed to him by a man that might really actually be Bucky’s husband - his husband - they probably do need to take a step into reality for a second.
‘Steve?’ he says, interrupting the argument and drawing both sets of eyes his way, ‘I think maybe we need to, maybe have a quick chat and ah… make some decisions?’
Steve’s face freezes, then smoothes out to as close an approximation to expressionless as Bucky has seen it all morning.
It looks wrong. It looks… like a mask.
Steve nods his head slowly, his shoulders creeping up before he forces them back down, taking a deep breath.
Stark starts talking before Steve can say a word, ‘I think that’s wise, Kid, I have some questions-’
‘Not you,’ Bucky says, shaking his head at Stark, ‘If we need you, we’ll call you, Mister Iron Man.’
Stark lifts a finger to point it at Bucky, his suit suddenly receding like magic and shrinking into a cuff on his wrist, ‘Listen-’
‘Give us some time please, Tony.’
Stark looks between Steve and Bucky and back again. He narrows his eyes at Steve and then nods once. ‘Okay. You have ten minutes.’
Steve glares at Stark again but doesn't protest. He turns away and leads Bucky the few steps back to his room and opens the door for him.
‘Should we… did you want to sit? Or…?’
‘We can sit,’ Bucky says, sinking down into the couch in the lounge area of the suite.
‘Are you… can I…’ Steve looks so lost as he takes a seat next to Bucky, mirroring Bucky’s slight angle, their knees facing towards each other.
‘I want to ask you something,’ Bucky says, palms on his thighs, swallowing awkwardly. Wishing he had a clean pair of pants to change into.
Steve just nods, his mask slipping further and further away as his face pales and he shrinks into himself.
‘How much of this is real?’
Steve’s face cracks, he winces, something like pain, and it cuts into Bucky. Slices at him. He doesn't know this man - at least… he doesn’t remember why he knows him, or how he knows him, but the pain on Steve’s face reaches in and pulls at something in Bucky and it hurts.
‘For me?’ Steve asks.
Bucky isn’t sure that’s what he was asking, but he nods, because he wants to know the answer regardless.
‘All of it,’ Steve whispers.
Bucky has to take a deep breath. Has to steal himself.
‘I want… I want it to be real for me too.’
Steve’s eyes snap up to Bucky’s.
‘I mean, it feels real.’ Bucky twists at the ring in his finger. Feels the texture of the metal, solid against his skin.
‘It feels like… not a mistake,’ Bucky says.
He’s trying and maybe failing to explain this right. But whatever he’s doing, it might be working, because Steve is staring at him, not breathing, not moving, but there’s colour back in his cheeks, and he starts leaning slowly closer and closer as Bucky continues.
‘I woke up and thought, you know, maybe I’d just gotten lucky enough to spend a night with the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen in my life... and then,’ Bucky looks back down at his ring, ‘and then I saw this, and I thought… fuck. I thought I’d won the lottery maybe, or somehow dreamt my fantasies into reality. And you…’ Bucky looks back up at Steve and his eyes… His eyes are so cool and blue and limitless. Everything Bucky ever needed or wanted is reflected there back at him. ‘You feel like home to me.’
‘You feel like home to me too, Buck.’
‘And you… you want to stay married to me?’
‘Even if it turns out I’m a complete disaster?’
‘Especially then’ Steve says, a smile spreading across his face, reaching his eyes, crinkling them at the corners.
‘No, I’m serious, I’m awful.’
Steve shakes his head and Bucky nods, emphatic.
‘No, listen, I’m a mess. My refrigerator is full of cheap beer and canned cheese, and one jar of twenty year old mayo.’
Steve is laughing but Bucky won’t have it, he needs Steve to understand the total dumpster fire that he has unwittingly attached himself to.
‘No, Steve, my bed is so covered in bike parts right now I’m sleeping on the floor.’
‘I sleep on the floor every night, Bucky.’ Steve has reached out and stopped Bucky’s hands flying through the air, is holding them, bringing them to rest against their knees between them.
‘I do,’ Steve says, fond and sad all at once, ‘first time I’ve slept in a long time was here with you last night.’ He looks over at the rumpled sheets on the bed, the bed where Bucky and Steve woke up wrapped around each other.
It hits Bucky that, if they’re married, are they supposed to move in together? Where would they even live?
‘I live above my shop, Steve,’ Bucky says, panic making his voice squeak.
‘It’s not a problem, Bucky, we don’t have to work everything out all at once.’
‘But I… It’s like two rooms and a toilet.’
‘My apartment is just an empty space Shield gave me to live in because I had nowhere else to go.’
Bucky’s body is moving before his brain even realises. ‘Baby, no,’ he says, pulling one of his hands free and reaching up to cup Steve’s cheek, ‘your apartment is a shitty walk up over a bike mechanic with no space and the kitchen from hell.’ He runs his thumb over Steve’s perfect cheekbone. ‘We just need to move your stuff in.’
‘I’m a terrible cook anyway,’ Steve says, huffing a laugh.
‘See?’ Bucky says with an exaggerated sigh, leaning his head in to rest against Steve’s forehead, ‘it’s meant to be.’
‘I know you’re joking, but I honestly believe that.’
‘Who says I’m joking?’ Bucky smiles as Steve laughs. ‘So what do we need to do to get all this finalised? I’m gonna need to call my mother back at some stage.’
That snaps Steve into action, he sits up straight and pulls Bucky with him, so that Bucky is almost sitting in his lap.
‘We need to get the paperwork off Mavis, we need to get our stuff, and then I guess we need to figure out whether the license is even legal outside of the state of Nevada.’
‘Well,’ Bucky says, moving himself fully into Steve’s lap and swinging a leg over to straddle him, ‘I can think of one way to make it legal.’
‘You don’t have time for that!’ Stark yells from outside the door.
‘Goddamn it Tony!’ Steve yells back.
Bucky is laughing, he can’t help it. And Steve is laughing with him. Bucky’s head falls onto Steve’s shoulder and Steve rests his palm against the nape of Bucky’s neck. Safe and familiar and blanketing him in warmth. It feels like the kind of comfort that Bucky has spent his whole life searching for.
‘We better go.’
Bucky nods his head as much as the limited space will allow. They both pull away slowly, reluctantly. But they’re smiling now. The air around them is full of promise.
Even Tony Stark and his ugly tracksuit and his disapproving glare can’t dampen it.
‘To the chapel,’ Steve says, pulling Bucky along by the hand and smiling ridiculously wide.
‘To file for annulment?’
‘To pick up the wedding album,’ Bucky says with a laugh. He’s not even sure where the thought came from, but it’s vivid, a hot pink vinyl album cover, Bucky can see it. It has to be a memory.
Steve is looking back at him and smiling, somehow, impossibly wider.
‘Jesus Christ on a cracker,’ Stark says, rolling his eyes, feet shuffling to keep up with them.
They all ride down the elevator together, Steve and Bucky practically glued at the hip and Stark shaking his head at them the entire way.
It’s objectively hilarious. Bucky is holding back his laughter, but the smirk is surely stuck fast to his face.
They make it to the Casino floor, wind their way through the mostly empty gaming rooms and dance floors to a familiar set of swinging doors under a garish ‘Wedding Chapel’ sign, where a strangely familiar man is leaning against the wall only to jump up and shout as he sees them approach.
'Scott,' Steve replies, much more subdued.
'Hey, Bucky,' he says, looking Bucky's way, then doing a double take as he spots Tony Stark. 'Hey! Iron Man!'
'Who is this?' Stark asks, turning to Steve, 'Steven, who is this?'
'Hey, I'm Scott,' Scott says, reaching out a hand for Stark to shake, then pulling back with a shrug when Stark makes no move to accept it.
'Scott was our best man, Tony,' Steve says, smug and smiling.
Scott looks a little like he might faint at the title, but he pulls it together, nodding along like an excited puppy.
'Oh, Bucky, I sent you the video like you asked. And then I saw all the internet stuff this morning and I thought, well I just thought, you know… did you guys need anything? A getaway van? I don't know. I know a guy, you know?'
'We're okay,' Steve says, calm and relaxed in the face of Scott's exuberance. But Bucky’s too busy checking his phone to hear anymore.
Of the wedding.
He finds the text from Scott (whose contact info he must have entered as ‘Scott - Cap?’ last night). Opens the video file and watches it like a starving man staring through the windows of a restaurant as the images load and it starts to play.
He can feel Stark leaning over his shoulder but he doesn't care.
It's there. In colour.
Steve and Bucky, at the altar. Elvis between them, Scott filming from the side, a woman Bucky recognises - Mavis, his brain helpfully supplies - beautiful blonde beehive and rockabilly skirt and everyone is smiling. Laughing.
And Bucky remembers.
He remembers standing there next to Steve. Remembers reading his vows from a tiny scrap of pink paper, remembers Steve saying Bucky was his fate, sliding the ring onto his finger.
Bucky looks down at it now, touches it reverently. 'For we are but two halves,' he says, remembering the inscription, the way it had felt so perfect. He looks back up at Steve, who is watching Bucky, waiting for something, eyes shining. 'Together whole.'
And Steve crashes into him, clutches at Bucky, pulling him close and pressing their lips together.
'You remember,' he says between kisses, running his nose against Bucky’s nose, cupping his face in his hands, 'You remember.'
And Bucky just clutches him back. Kisses him back. Just as desperate, just as joyful. 'I remember everything, Steve-Steve Rogers.' He presses his hands against Steve’s chest. Against the beat of his heart. The most beautiful part of him. 'We danced together. We've been dancing together from the very beginning.'
'Always,' Steve says. Oblivious to their audience, to Scott's squeals and Stark's scoffs.
To the crowd gathering around them.
'Forever.' Bucky whispers it. Barely a word. But he knows Steve can hear it. Knows it will thrill him.
Means it, as crazy as that seems.
They both do.
And they have the rest of their lives to make it the truth.