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Accidental husbands...

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Bucky is sitting at breakfast opposite a man too beautiful to be real. 

 

Too beautiful - with flushed red cheeks and sleep mussed hair, wearing Bucky’s much too small t-shirt that he'd grabbed by mistake as they hurried to make the buffet cut off. 

 

Limbs caught and sheets twisted and brains foggy from too much wine, hurrying to untangle themselves from each other, find clothes and shoes and...

 

And a ring on Bucky’s finger. 

 

A ring that had appeared somewhere between tripping over a beautiful stranger in a Vegas casino and then waking up next to him.

 

And now eating eggs opposite him. 

 

Opposite a flustered mess, who is at this moment attempting to fit another entire pancake into his mouth.

 

'So…' Bucky starts, and the man stops with the fork midway to his mouth…

 

And looks at Bucky with raised eyebrows.

 

'Umm…' Bucky looks down at his hand and then holds it up to the man, wiggling his ring finger, and the band it now carries, 'So this happened…'

 

And the man coughs, chokes on a piece of pancake and has to turn away to chug his way through a glass of orange juice.

 

He's beautiful, yes, but wow. He's a disaster. A gorgeous, wonderful disaster. 

 

'Right, yes. That. That… happened.' The man is having trouble looking Bucky in the eye. 'And how do you… how do you ah… feel? About that?'

 

Bucky takes a moment to think before he answers…

 

'I think… I mean I don't really remember exactly how this happened,' and he hurries to add, before the man can look any sadder, 'Not that I mind, I was just thinking it might be nice to… have a refresher?'

 

'A refresher?' the man says, tilting his head adorably.

 

'Only because we woke up so late and rushed down for breakfast and then… well it might be nice to go through exactly what happened last night again, in some detail… perhaps a full physical re-enactment?'

 

And the man is staring at Bucky with his mouth open, closes it with a snap and pushes his plate to the side. 'You know, I'm feeling kind of full, and we do have at least another hour until check out…'

 

'Well we should use it wisely.'

 

And when the man stands, comes by Bucky's seat to wait for him, to take Bucky’s arm as he stands as well, he feels his pulse quicken, feels the warmth radiating off that huge chest, the broad square shoulders, the long strong fingers wrapping around Bucky's bicep. 

 

He looks up at the man, blond and blue eyed and so so pretty, 'I guess, I mean, since you're my husband now, I should like, actually know your name…?'

 

'Steve,' the man says with a huffed laugh, 'Steve Rogers.'

 

'Well, Steve-Steve Rogers, I'm-'

 

'James Buchannan Barnes.'

 

'Right,' Bucky says, swallowing, 'You remember that huh?'

 

'Oh I remember everything.' And Steve is so close, Bucky can feel Steve’s breath on his neck. And as they step into the elevator Steve pushes Bucky up against the wall, close enough that their chests are pressed together, close enough to push a knee between Bucky’s thighs as the doors close.

 

And as Steve lifts his hand to push a lock of stray hair behind Bucky’s ear, something occurs to him. 'Steve Rogers? Why does that sound familiar?'

 

And Steve reaches over to pull the emergency stop button, lifts Bucky like he's made of paper, to wrap his legs around Steve’s waist and then press him even further up against the wall of the elevator.

 

'Okay, don't be mad, baby, but, you've heard of Captain America, right?'

 

And Bucky can't be sure but he thinks he might be staring down into the face of a real live superhero.

 

Who he's just accidentally married.

 

In Vegas.

 

And is about to have sex with in an elevator, presumably for the second time (it does feel deliciously familiar).

 

But Steve is looking up at Bucky now with his beautiful face and his sad eyes and the Vegas wedding might have been an accident, but it's possible Bucky has the rest of his life to spend making it a happy one. 

 

'Sure, I've heard of him,' he says, pressing a soft kiss to Steve's full pink lips, 'But I mostly want to hear more about Steve-Steve Rogers if you don't mind.'

 

And Steve's answering smile is brighter than the sun.

 

Oh boy. Bucky is in all kinds of trouble. Gorgeous, wonderful trouble.

 

And he loves it. 

Chapter Text

So okay - Steve maybe isn’t hating this as much as he thought he would.

 

Which doesn’t mean he should've let Thor slip that Asgardian liquor into his scotch.

 

Also doesn’t mean he won't bitch about this to Tony for at least another three weeks. Partly because Tony threw them under the bus sending them to this “tiny PR thing” that turned out to be a nightmare of people and noise and cameras. 

 

Partly because it's always fun to bitch at Tony. And then pretend he doesn’t understand the insults Tony tries to throw back at him.

 

But it’s Vegas - and Steve has actually never really been here before. And the hotel is amazing and full of lights and colours and happy people, and it’s nice.

 

It’s nice to not be fighting. 

 

It’s nice to blend into the noise and anonymity of the big crowds, too intent on the distractions around them.

 

Thor has abandoned him, spiked his drink and ran basically. A call from Jane or something- Steve forget to listen to be honest. 

 

He’s been watching the people around him, laughing and dancing and free from troubles, even if just for one night. And, well he doesn’t want to seem like he’s staring, but there’s one person in particular who keeps catching his eye. Who Steve’s eyes can’t help but search for over and over again.

 

Eyes that Steve can tell, even in the low light and overwhelming throng of bodies and movement, are a beautiful stormy blue. Maybe thanks to the serum enhanced vision. Potentially just the luminescence of their particularly brilliant colour.

 

Probably, definitely, the fact that they belong to such a beautiful face. To a man whose smile is contagious, whose laugh is like a balm to Steve’s battered soul. Who is walking towards Steve right this moment.

 

Walking, oh god, right up to him. And talking.

 

To Steve.

 

‘Hey,’ his lips say, Steve’s eyes have dropped to them as they move, as his pink tongue darts out to wet them, ‘you… ah… wanna dance?’

 

Steve’s eyes snap up and away from the man’s pretty pink lips to catch his eyes. Eye’s that are watching Steve from under thick dark lashes, and blinking nervously.

 

‘Dance?’ Steve asks, not sure that could possibly be what the man is asking. People don’t ask Steve to dance.

 

People ask for autographs. Or selfies. Or to hold the shield (which he does not have on him right now, thank god).

 

They don’t ever ask him to dance.

 

‘I mean, no pressure… I just… you look like…’ The man searches Steve’s face, cataloguing his reactions, perhaps finding reluctance there. ‘I didn’t mean to bother you.’

 

‘No,’ Steve is quick to say, ‘No, no, you’re not bothering me.’

 

To which the man smiles. And it lights up his entire face, somehow making it even more gorgeous. ‘I’m not?’

 

‘No not at all! I would,’ Steve has to swallow down his nerves, ‘I would love to dance.’

 

‘Yeah?’ the man asks. And his eyes shine as if the very idea of Steve wanting to dance with him is a cause for celebration.

 

‘Definitely.’

 

Steve throws back the rest of the spiked scotch in his glass, discreetly blanching at the feel of the hot Asgardian liquor burning down his throat (is this a stronger batch than last time? It feels strangely like liquid fire in his belly).

 

‘I’m Bucky by the way,’ the man says, holding out his hand to Steve.

 

‘Steve. Steve Rogers,’ Steve says, waiting for the inevitable wide eyed reaction.

 

It never comes.

 

Instead the man, Bucky, smiles even wider, chuckles a little, keeps his eyes on Steve’s. ‘Well, Steve-Steve Rogers, it’s nice to meet you.’

 

And Steve’s hand makes its way into Bucky’s of its own accord. Shakes it carefully, aware that  the liquor is making him feel light, slightly floaty, and that he should tread softly. ‘Bucky?’ Steve asks, instead of voicing any number of the inappropriate thoughts that are running through his head at the touch of Bucky’s smooth skin in his hands, at the surprising strength in his long, delicate fingers.

 

‘It’s James, actually,’ Bucky says with another chuckle, ‘but my friends call me Bucky.’

 

‘Well I guess  - lead on Bucky,’ Steve says with a smile of his own. He can’t seem to help it actually. His body seems to be reacting to Bucky quite of its own volition. 

 

And Bucky does. He keeps hold of Steve's hand and pulls him gently towards the dancefloor packed tight with hot, sweaty bodies. But Steve’s senses have condensed to focus only on Bucky. The texture of the small calluses on his fingers, the softness of the skin of his palms, the scent of the coconut in his hair, the heat rolling off him as he closes in on Steve. Turns his body around and presses up into Steve, leans his back into Steve’s chest, looks up over his shoulder at him.

 

‘Is this okay?’ Bucky asks.

 

Steve can only nod. He seems to have lost the use of his brain right now. 

 

His body is doing just fine on its own though, so he doesn’t worry about it too much. He lets his hips roll with Bucky’s hips as he sways to the too fast, too deep beat of the music, Bucky somehow finding a rhythm behind the beat and drawing Steve into it with him.

 

Steve’s arms slide their way around Bucky’s waist, his hands spreading across the expanse of his soft stomach under his light, threadbare t-shirt. He’s lean, but there is no hardness to his frame, Steve can feel the muscles in Bucky’s shoulders, in his biceps, but they’re subtle. The result of a job that keeps him fit, strong, but nothing like the kind of definition Steve sees day in and day out at his own job - if you can call it that.

 

Bucky is nothing like anyone Steve knows in this time.  

 

It makes him hold him just that little bit tighter. And when Bucky responds by resting his head back against Steve’s shoulder, Steve’s supersoldier heart skips a beat. 

 

It’s… it feels perfect.

 

Steve nuzzles into the warmth and softness of the skin at the nape of Bucky’s neck. Buries his nose into the waves of thick dark chestnut hair that fall almost to his shoulders there.

 

‘It’s funny isn’t it?’ Bucky asks, turning his face up to Steve, jostling him and bringing their lips dangerously close together.

 

‘Hmm?’ Steve hums, too lost in the nearness of Bucky’s breath, the way his eyes have closed and his smile has loosened into something comfortable, something safe. Lost in the way he feels so at home like this, wrapped around him.

 

‘How there are some people you meet and it just feels like you know them.’

 

Steve’s movements slow at that, his hips falter, and Bucky’s eyes flutter open at the loss of their rhythm. 

 

‘Do you feel that sometimes?’ he asks, his eyes surprisingly bright and clear in the haze of the room around them.

 

‘Feel it how?’ Steve asks. He’s thrown by the openness in Bucky’s expression. 

 

‘Like,’ Bucky’s eyebrows draw in as he searches for words, ‘like you just… always knew them. They feel so comfortable, so… familiar.’ Bucky lets his own hands slide down and rest over Steve’s, linking their fingers together almost absently, ‘Like you were meant to spend your whole lives together, you just haven’t met them until now…’

 

Steve looks down into Bucky’s face, he’s frowning and biting his lip, looking back up at Steve as if his own answer is not enough.

 

‘I’m not sure how to explain it,’ he says, and lets his head fall back against Steve’s shoulder.

 

But Steve understands. It makes perfect sense, if Bucky is feeling what Steve is feeling. Like the two of them pressed together as they are, here in the middle of all these people, all the lights and noise and chaos, have found a pocket of something like home. A safety. A comfort.

 

And Steve squeezes a little bit tighter, nuzzles in a little bit closer. ‘I know what you mean,’ he says, breathing the words quietly into Bucky’s ear, closing his eyes at the contented sigh Bucky lets out. ‘It feels like that for me too.’

 

As Bucky’s heart beats in time with Steve’s, as they dance together, fingers laced and foreheads touching, Steve is sure that he never wants to let go of this.

 

He just isn’t sure how to make that possible. 




Chapter Text

Bucky

 

Bucky can’t quite believe that the beautiful man at the bar had been watching him . Had been tracking Bucky through the traffic of the dance floor. Had said yes to dance with Bucky . Not only danced, holding him so tightly, so comfortably, but had listened to him, nodded along as Bucky spoke nonsense. Nonsense that any reasonable person would have shaken their head at. But this man, this Steve-Steve Rogers - Bucky chuckles happily at his own joke - is now looking at Bucky as if Bucky is making total sense, and says he feels the same.

 

The same.

 

As if he too can feel this strange familiarity. This connection.

 

Maybe it’s not nonsense. Maybe, despite the too many daiquiris Darcy had bought him (and then run off towards the cute girl with the suspenders) and the irresponsible lack of food he’d eaten at all today, maybe this feeling is real

 

Maybe this concrete sense of home is not just in his head.

 

‘Do you believe in soul mates?’ Bucky asks. Because apparently these daiquiris have annexed Bucky’s brain to mouth filter.

 

Steve pulls back from where he’s resting his forehead against Bucky’s. Which is a terrible shame.

 

He opens his mouth to say something and Bucky rushes to cut him off -

 

‘No, no, don’t answer that,’ Bucky whispers on a breath.

 

‘Don't?’ Steve asks.

 

‘Don’t,’ Bucky affirms, leaning back a little more into Steve’s impossibly wide, impossibly steady, rock hard chest. ‘ I do, I think, but I don’t want to know if you don’t. Let me pretend for a little bit longer.’

 

‘I don’t know if I know enough about the theory,’ Steve says, and when Bucky looks up into his eyes they are shining with mirth, ‘why don’t you give me some background, then I can make an informed decision.’

 

‘Oh, you’re a cheeky one,’ Bucky says without much thought, lifting his finger up lazily to poke it into Steve’s adorable chin. ‘I like you.’

 

‘Oh yeah?’ Steve laughs quietly, but still deep and rich, his voice like molasses, ‘I like you too, Bucky.’

 

Bucky smiles and then lowers his hand again to hold Steve’s against his waist, letting Steve’s warmth seep through his shirt and into his skin.

 

‘Okay, imagine this,’ he says, keeping his words clear, rounded - sounding deceptively sober, ‘Imagine that there are people in the world, not in a mystical or spiritual way or whatever, but just… with similar ideals, and they see something in their mannerisms, something in the way they hold themselves, see something in each other that they recognise… and they just… trust that feeling.’ Bucky threads his fingers through Steve’s.

 

Steve squeezes his fingers in response, 

 

‘People have to be compatible, without that… I mean, sometimes you can spend years with a person trying to make them fit,’ Bucky shakes his head against sad memories, ‘but they never do. And then suddenly you meet someone and feel more in five minutes than you ever felt before.’

 

He doesn’t want to look back, in case Steve has changed his mind about him, has realised that Bucky is just a hopeless romantic. Emphasis on the hopeless .

 

But Steve surprises him, ‘It’s a good theory,’ he says, ‘I guess we would have to test it.’

 

‘Test it?’ Bucky asks, and does look back at Steve then. 

 

Steve is looking down at him, unmistakable fondness in his expression. ‘Yeah, we’d need to test it to know for sure.’ And Bucky is struck anew by how beautiful he is. Long dark lashes framing perfectly blue eyes, no, not perfect. A little green in one, Bucky can see, as the shifting lights above them land just so. His bone structure is like something sculptured out of marble. 

 

‘Are you… you don’t think I’m ridiculous?’

 

Steve’s brow furrows, ‘Far from,’ he says, voice sharper, ‘I think you’re wonderful.’

And Bucky’s chest swells at that praise. His heart beats faster, blood rushing into his cheeks.

 

He opens his mouth to... He doesn’t even know. Dispute it? Thank him? Ask Steve why? How he could possibly think that, when Bucky is a disaster. A disaster with the sum total of two hundred and thirty dollars in his checking account, a job he loves that will never be valued, a best friend who ditched him at the first chance to get laid, and the cheapest twin room in this fancy Vegas Casino that he and Darcy could afford.

 

‘Nobody’s ever called me wonderful before,’ he stammers out finally.

 

Steve’s eyebrows raise high and his eyes widen, ‘How is that possible?’ Steve asks, genuinely surprised. 

 

Bucky shrugs, ‘I guess I never met anybody like you before.’

 

‘Well maybe that proves your theory,’ Steve says.

 

And Bucky has to swallow. Has to blink his eyes and breathe for a moment. Because, even if Steve is only half serious, this is such uncharted territory for Bucky he needs to pinch himself.

 

Even if Steve is only half serious, this is the closest to a perfect moment that Bucky has ever experienced.

 

Bucky is ready to agree, ready to leap into Steve’s arms and take a chance, when someone steps back - straight onto Bucky’s foot - and brings their surroundings back into focus. Between the noise and the press of bodies, the pain in his foot and the stuffy atmosphere, the moment is ruined. 

 

Steve pulls Bucky backwards and looks menacingly at the guy who stepped on him and has turned around to apologise. The guy takes a step back from Steve, throwing his hands up in surrender and backs away.

 

‘I’m fine, I’m fine.’ Bucky says with a laugh. Steve’s menacing face is still absurdly appealing, and disappears entirely as soon as he turns back to Bucky. Maybe he needs to get them out of here and away from all this distraction. ‘But umm… maybe we could go somewhere and get a drink? Somewhere a bit more quiet?’

 

God, that sounds like the dumbest line.

 

Except that Steve is smiling again. Like sunshine. Like perfection.

 

‘I’d like that,’ he says, keeping hold of Bucky’s hand as Bucky reluctantly peels himself away from the warmth of Steve’s body. ‘Do you have somewhere in mind?’

 

And Bucky is feeling so reckless, he’s feeling like he’s riding the craziest wave. He wants to clutch at this moment so that it doesn’t slip through his fingers. 

 

(He might have had too many cocktails, but even drunk Bucky can see that this is the kind of moment that happens once in a lifetime. This is the kind of man that you make grand gestures for, that you don’t take for granted).

 

‘Actually I have kind of a crazy idea,’ he says, pulling at Steve’s hand, gesturing for him to follow as he backs up towards the edge of the dance floor, ‘it might be a way we can really test this theory.’

 

And the way Steve licks his lips, the way Steve looks down at him, like Bucky is something amazing… it just cements this crazy feeling. And he laughs at the idea, at the memory of Darcy joking that they should drink too much and get Elvis to walk him down the aisle to her. How they could get married in Vegas and have the stupidest story to tell their friends when they got back…

 

Only it doesn’t feel like a joke now. Looking back at a smiling Steve over his shoulder as he follows Bucky, lets him pull him through the people, through the crowd, towards the exits, towards the hotel chapel…

 

It feels like the best decision he’s ever made. 



Chapter Text

Steve

 

Steve is being led through a sea of bodies by a smiling Bucky, a Bucky who keeps looking back at him over his shoulder, his eyes alight with warmth and laughter that Steve can almost taste.

 

It’s infectious. 

 

He wants more.

 

He lets Bucky hold him tight, happy to be held and grounded by the touch. All of the noise, the sweat, the coloured lights, have him on edge, enough that he sighs with relief at the sight of the doors ahead of them.

 

His shoulders relax and his jaw unclenches as they move out into a more open area. Steve doesn’t question it when Bucky drags them further. He let’s Bucky take him wherever he wants to go. Steve is game. Steve is more excited about the next few hours than he has been about anything for the last few years.

 

That’s probably sadder than Steve has the capacity to think about right now. 

 

So he doesn’t.

 

He pushes it to the back of his mind, where all his less than helpful thoughts are relegated, and he focuses instead on the softness of bucky’s hand around his hand. On the way the waves in his hair bounce as he rushes across the casino floor. 

 

He focuses on the way Bucky’s body moves so fluidly, so gracefully. Of the shape of his legs in his jeans, the denim is light and loose and well worn. Steve wonders about why he chose them, for comfort, for style, convenience? He wonders about the sotness, the casualness of Bucky’s entire outfit. His shoes are scuffed, but the leather is a dark enough tan that they’ve been polished recently, his t-shirt is threadbare, his jeans are fraying at the hem.

 

He wonders how much of that is a choice and how much is because that is all Bucky can afford. 

 

It reminds him of his life before the serum.

 

He shakes those thoughts away.

 

Steve watches the way Bucky takes care to steer clear of people, the way he apologises to the few that he has to weave past, the way he smiles at them, laughs at his own rushing feet. 

 

Bucky radiates such a calm sort of comfort, even in his enthusiasm, even through the excitable nature of his hurry, that people seem eased by the very fact of his presence. 

 

Steve is sure he could bask in the glow of it for years and never want to move.

 

He’s so busy contemplating what it might be like to have actual years to spend with Bucky, what sort of heaven that might be (whether his sins would even allow his access - no, no, push those thoughts away) he doesn’t realise they’ve slowed down until they manage to come to a stop.

 

And Bucky spins around, lets go of Steve’s hand, throws his arms in the air and cries, ‘Ta-da!’

 

Steve looks behind him, at the section of the casino that Bucky has led them too, a neon sign over the wide doorway that reads ‘Wedding Chapel’ and his heart skips a beat for the second time that night.

 

Thor’s Asgardian liquor has really done a number on him.

 

Or maybe it’s just Bucky.

 

‘Oh no,’ Bucky says, smile fading, arms falling, ‘do you hate it?’

 

Steve is still so shocked can barely move his head to shake it, but the look on Bucky’s face - the way his expression is drawing in on itself, into something unsure, into something upset - has Steve reaching out to grab both of Bucky’s hands in his own.

 

‘I don’t,’ he says, looking Bucky firmly in his beautiful steel blue eyes, ‘I absolutely do not.’

 

Bucky looks back up at Steve and raises an eyebrow. His lips lift at the corners in the beginnings of a grin.

 

Steve’s fingers itch for his pencils, to capture the perfect charm of it.

 

‘You absolutely do not hate it?’ Bucky asks, looking over at a small crowd of guests as they stumble out of the chapel, singing and drinking from colourful plastic bottles, dressed in matching t-shirts that say ‘Elvis said we do!’ and ‘Viva las Witness’. 

 

Steve shakes his head and pulls Bucky closer.

 

‘You think… I mean it’s pretty crazy, right?’ Bucky says, biting his lip.

 

Steve does shake his head this time. Wants to chase away any further doubt from Bucky’s face. ‘I’ve never seen anything that made more sense.’

 

And Bucky’s eyes widen, his eyebrows rise. His smile is back in full force, lighting up his face in a way that clutches at something deep in Steve’s chest. 

 

‘I don’t think you’re crazy, Bucky. I think you’re beautiful.’

 

Bucky ducks his head, but leans closer into Steve, pushes against Steve’s hands and lets his weight rest there. 

 

Then he looks back up at Steve from under his dark lashes, a more lethal move than Steve has seen on any battlefield, ‘Do you think we’re like those particles?’

 

Steve isn’t sure at all what he means by that, and it must show on his face, because Bucky huffs a soft laugh, pushing further into the resistance of Steve’s hands as they hold him in place.

 

‘Quantum entanglement,’ Bucky says, tipping his head back to look at the ceiling and then back at Steve, ‘Like once upon a time, when we were all just particles, yours and mine, our particles, we vibrated in unison.’

 

Steve smiles at the sincerity with which Bucky is telling his story, but doesn’t interrupt.

 

‘That the matter that makes us who we are, it was all part of something bigger. Something vast. And that’s how we know each other?’

 

‘From when we were nothing but particles?’

 

‘We’re still nothing but particles.’

 

Steve laughs and rolls his eyes, exaggerates a flinch when Bucky lets go to swipe a backhanded slap at his bicep. 

 

‘Sorry, you sound like a friend of mine,’ Steve says.

 

‘Well you must have smart friends, Steve-Steve Rogers.’

 

‘I do,’ Steve agrees, fondness creeping into his voice, ‘very smart. Tell me again, why are we like Quantum Entanglement?’

 

‘I think, way back when everything was just a dense collection of particles, that you and me, we , our particles, they danced together. And now they recognise each other.’

 

And Steve has to hold his breath at the truth of it.

 

Something inside of him recognises something inside of Bucky. It longs for him. It’s drawn to him. 

 

He couldn’t think of any more perfect explanation than that they are pieces set adrift, finally coming back to the whole that they once were.

 

‘We should do it again,’ Steve says quietly, ‘Dance together.’

 

‘We already did,’ Bucky whispers back.

 

Steve shakes his head with a chuckle, ‘You are trouble , aren’t you Bucky Barnes.’

 

‘Good trouble?’ Bucky asks with that charming grin.

 

‘Very good trouble.’

 

‘The kind of trouble you want to keep?’

 

‘Forever,’ Steve says with no hesitation. ‘Forever.’

 

‘Then let's go,’ Bucky pulls back and shifts his weight, leans into the doors of the chapel to pull Steve with him.

 

‘Lets go.’ Steve says, and follows Bucky inside. 

 

This is, without a doubt, the greatest night of Steve’s life. 

 

It honestly never occurs to him to think otherwise.

Chapter Text

Bucky

Bucky’s sense has left him. It left him somewhere back on the dance floor. Maybe even before then.

 

It’s entirely possible that in fact he’s never had any.

 

He spent too long talking at Steve about particles… about soulmates… about whatever it is that's happening between them. And by some miracle, Steve is still listening, still looking at Bucky like he’s interesting, like his words mean something. And Bucky needs to harness that. Needs to grab at it before it slips through his fingers.

 

So he quits his yapping. He grabs Steve and he pulls at him again, marvels at the complete lack of resistance there, at the way Steve just follows him. When he dares to look back over his shoulder, Steve is still there, still staring at Bucky as if he is something wondrous. Somehow not tripping, or faltering, despite not watching at all where he’s going and or paying any kind of attention to the people or the noise or the chaos of the casino around them.

 

Steve’s eyes are only for Bucky.

 

Even as Bucky pulls them through the garishly painted doors. Even as Bucky leads him into madness. 

 

Bucky turns away from Steve to face forward, to push clear of the doors and let them swing closed behind them.

 

It’s much quieter in the chapel.

 

Bucky sweeps his eyes from right to left and takes in the pastel pink walls, the blue ribbons along the pews, the couple chatting at the top of the aisle. One dressed as Elvis - white jumpsuit and cape, big hair, sunglasses, guitar flung over one shoulder, not slim, but filling out that jumpsuit nicely all the same - the other wearing a hot pink t-shirt that reads ‘we will wed you’ in white lettering across the chest and a fifties retro polka dot skirt.

 

They both look up as Steve and Bucky enter.

 

‘He-ey,’ the man dressed as Elvis says, smile and eyes widening as he looks past Bucky and up and up to Steve, then back down and up again. One eyebrow raising in slight disbelief, no doubt, at the existence of such a perfect being.

 

Bucky can’t blame him.

 

‘Welcome, welcome!’ the woman in hot pink says, coming forward, arms outstretched, ‘hello boys!’

 

‘Hello,’ Bucky says, smiling at her exuberance, and her very excellent blond bee-hive up-do, and slows to a stop about halfway down the aisle. 

 

‘Ma’am,’ Steve says, affability dripping from the buttery smooth tone in his voice, coming to a stop on Bucky’s right.

 

‘Oh, you two look like a match made in heaven!’ the woman says, stopping a few feet from them, she holds up her hands and makes a frame with her fingers, placing Bucky and Steve in it and looking through at them with one narrowed eye. ‘Oh yes. Beautiful, beautiful.’

 

‘Uh…’ Bucky starts, and falters. At a loss for exactly how to proceed.

 

He looks up at Steve and Steve looks down at him with an encouraging smile, slides an arm around Bucky’s waist and squeezes him closer.

 

‘We umm… do we have to make an appointment?’

 

‘You two?’ the woman says, eyeing them both up and down, ‘no appointments necessary, come come come.’ She spins around and starts heading towards Elvis, checking back to make sure Bucky and Steve are following her, ‘Come with me, I’m going to take care of everything.’

 

‘Okay,’ Bucky says, looking up and Steve and shrugging his shoulders. 

 

Steve laughs and squeezes Bucky tighter, walking them down the aisle together. ‘How do you make everybody fall in love with you like this, Buck?’

 

‘Me?’ Bucky says, laughing and shaking his head at Steve. As if Steve has no idea of the kind of magnetism he’s exuding. The uncanny resemblance he has to a greek god. 

 

‘Yes, definitely you,’ Steve says, ‘People are never this easy with me.’

 

‘I am,’ Bucky says truthfully. Everything about Steve screams home to Bucky. Screams safety and happiness. Bucky couldn’t be anything but easy with him.

 

‘Yes you are,’ Steve says softly. Squeezing Bucky again. He’s going to have to stop doing that, it's so warm, his arm is so strong, his hand is so big, Bucky feels encased by him. It’s dangerously addictive. Bucky wants to lean into it and let himself go.

 

But, actually, why can't he? This is a chapel, they are about to leap into the craziest decision Bucky has ever made in his life... So Bucky does lean into it. Lets his side press into Steve, lets them fit together like solved puzzle pieces. 

 

‘Okay boys, we have some forms, we have some catalogues,’ the woman says, gesturing them into a room off to the side of the chapel, ‘I need you to put your decision making hats on, okay? We have about thirty minutes before the next couple comes in and I want to slot you right in, yes?’

 

‘Okay,’ Bucky and Steve say together, nodding their heads.

 

‘Good, good. So take a look over these, sign them, pick your rings and I’ll charge them all to your room. You’re staying in the casino right?’

 

‘Yes,’ Steve says, moving forward before Bucky can answer, ‘Charge it to my room, please.’ 

 

Steve starts pulling out his wallet, shows his identification and takes the pen the lady offers him, and Bucky watches with a sort of fascination, as Steve becomes completely in control.

 

‘Steve Rogers,’ the woman says with a smile Bucky doesn’t understand. Knowing, familiar. ‘I’m Mavis, it’s so lovely to meet you.’

 

‘And you,’ Steve says. He opens his arm out to Bucky to gesture him forward, and slides it around Bucky’s shoulder when he gets close enough. ‘This is Bucky.’

 

‘James Buchanan Barnes,’ Bucky says, holding out a hand for Mavis to shake, ‘pleasure to meet you, Mavis.’

 

‘Oh well you are just the sweetest thing,’ Mavis says with a chuckle, her cheeks blushing, ‘absolutely adorable.’ She pushes a catalogue towards Bucky, ‘Find your rings, darlin’ while Steve here fills out the paperwork. I just need some signatures from both of you and I’ll set up everything with Larry over there,’ she points to Elvis who waves back at them from the altar, ‘while you pop out and find yourselves a witness.’

 

‘Can’t you be our witness, Mavis?’ Bucky asks. He doesn’t want to unpack the kind of recklessness that it takes to be getting married in a seedy casino wedding chapel and needing to nab random strangers to be their witnesses.

 

‘Oh of course I will, darlin’ boy, but you need two . And Larry is the officiator, he can’t be a witness I’m afraid.’

 

‘It’s no problem,’ Steve says, looking up from the paperwork and handing Bucky the pen, ‘You sign these and pick out the rings, Buck, I’ll go grab somebody.’

 

‘Ahh... sure,’ Bucky takes the pen and watches as Steve takes off on a mission, ‘I’ll just… pick out my wedding ring from this plastic catalogue…’

 

‘Okay,’ Mavis says, bustling about in the small room and not watching Bucky at all, ‘Here are your complimentary t-shirts,’ she pulls some material from a storage box under the counter, ‘here is your album,’ Mavis plonks a hot pink vinyl photo album right next to Bucky’s ring catalogue, ’and here’s your notepad.’

 

‘Notepad?’ Bucky looks at Mavis and then down at the small notepad, blue and pink and with a vegas sign as a watermark in the background.

 

‘You might want to jot some quick vows down, honey.’

 

‘Oh.’

 

It occurs to Bucky, as he looks down at his coloured notepad, at the ring catalogue on laminated sheets of pink paper, at the t-shirts Mavis has put down for them on the counter, that this is perhaps a terrible mistake. 

 

And then he looks a little closer at one of the rings on the last page… plain white gold (plated, he’s guessing) flat bands with an inscription on the inside that reads, ‘For we are but two halves, together whole’ and wonders if in fact it's the opposite of a mistake.

 

What if this is fate?

 

‘Bucky, I found somebody,’ Steve comes tearing back into the chapel followed by a dazed looking man, wide eyed and smiling, looking up at Steve as if he just met the messiah. ‘This is Scott.’

 

‘Hi Scott,’ Bucky says, dragging the man’s attention away from Steve, ‘thank you so much for doing this.’ 

 

‘Are you kidding?’ Scott says, beaming back up at Steve, ‘for this guy? Anything.’

 

He looks starstruck - Bucky can totally understand where he’s coming from.

 

Scott is absolutely bouncing on the balls of his feet, ‘You are a lucky guy, Bucky.’

 

Bucky looks at Steve, who is looking worriedly between Scott and Bucky, reminding Bucky momentarily of a confused puppy, and has to wholeheartedly agree. 

 

‘You still sure about this, Buck?’ Steve asks, puppy dog eyes kicking into full gear.

 

Bucky can’t help but smile. ‘I um… found these I sort of like,’ Bucky says in lieu of an answer, pointing to the picture of the rings on the laminated page, ‘what do you think?’

 

Steve looks down at them, at the inscription decsribed underneath the picture and looks back up at Bucky with the softest, sweetest smile. ‘They look perfect.’

 

‘Yeah? You think so?’

 

‘I do.’

 

And Bucky’s heart melts. He feels the warmth of it spread right through his chest. 

 

‘Perfect!’ Mavis cries, swooping in to grab the catalogue and disappear into the chapel, yelling back ‘get yourselves to the altar boys!’

 

‘I guess we ah… head out there?’ Bucky gestures over his shoulder with his thumb, to the altar, ‘let me just um…’ he jots down a few lines and then rips the page off and hands the notepad to Steve, ‘for your vows.’

 

‘Ahh…’ Steve looks adorably terrified at the notepad Bucky has just handed him and looks over at Scott who is smiling at both of them now.

 

‘You guys look good together,’ Scott says, grabbing them both around their biceps and pushing them together, ‘this is really special. Thanks for letting me be a part of this, Cap.’

 

‘You’re welcome,’ Steve says, calm but bemused as Scott’s hands keep squeezing.

 

Bucky looks up at Steve and then back at Scott who almost seems to be tearing up.

 

‘You guys know each other?’ 

 

‘I wish,’ Scott says, shaking his head with a laugh, ‘what a dream this night has turned out to be.’

 

And Bucky can’t help but laugh. It’s just crazy enough to be perfect for this evening. ‘For you and me both,’ Bucky says. And Scott squeezes his arm a little tighter. ‘We even have this t-shirt for you.’

 

Scott takes the t-shirt Bucky offers him reverently. ‘Viva las witness,’ he says with awe. ‘This is amazing.’

 

‘And for you, sir,’ Bucky says, handing one to Steve.

 

‘Thank you, Buck’ Steve says, standing back from them both to pull off the button down he’s wearing.

 

Bucky can’t stop the gasp that escapes as Steve’s shirt slides down his arms to reveal the wide expanse of chiseled porcelain perfection underneath.

 

Steve smiles at Bucky’s no doubt slack jawed expression but Bucky can’t look away. It’s… a lot. IKt’s more muscle than Bucky has ever seen on a real live person. Toned and smooth and carved out of marble.

 

What is Bucky getting himself into?

 

Steve is pulling the pink ‘groom’ shirt over his chest and down over his washboard abs and Bucky has to hold his hand back from reaching out to touch him, to slip his fingers under the soft material of the t-shirt.

 

‘Your turn, Buck,’ Steve says, staring at Bucky with one eyebrow raised, handing him the blue shirt.

 

‘Uh-uh.’ Bucky shakes his head. 'Nope, not after that,' he waves his hand in the direction of Steve's chest, 'no thank you.'

 

'Buck?'

 

'I don't look anything like that.'

 

'Nobody looks anything like that,' Scott says, his eyebrows still at his hairline. 

 

'Scott, could you give us five minutes?'

 

'Yeah, I'll just…' Scott backs out of the room and towards the altar, 'let me choose you some music. Be right back.'

 

'Bucky,' Steve steps closer as Scott disappears, 'you don't have to do anything you're not comfortable with.'

 

Bucky lets him closer, but doesn't move.

 

'But this,' Steve puts his hands to his giant pecs, nearly breaking through the t-shirt, 'this is not what makes me, me.'

 

'I know,' Bucky tucks his hair behind his ear, nodding his head 'I know that.' He does know that. But it’s hard to not be intimidated by his perfection.

 

'And as beautiful as you are,' Steve says, reaching out to take Bucky's hand and hold it, put it up against Bucky’s chest, 'this isn't what makes you, you.' Steve presses the finger of his free hand against Bucky’s forehead. 'This is, Buck. This is you, yes?'

 

'Yes.' And it’s true. He forgets that sometimes but it’s true.

 

'And it's amazing, you're amazing.' 

 

'I am?' Is he? Bucky doesn’t feel amazing. He feels like he’s just scraping by most of the time. 

 

'You are.' 

 

Steve is looking down at him with so much affection, Bucky knows it’s not a line. It’s what Steve really thinks.

 

'You are too,' Bucky lifts his own free hand to touch Steve's forehead, 'you're so lovely.'

 

Steve leans in as Bucky traces his hand down to his cheek and rests his forehead against Bucky's. 'You don't have to wear the t-shirt, Bucky,' Steve says softly, running his hand through Bucky’s hair, 'You don't ever have to do anything you don't want to do.'

 

Steve's hands on him are like a balm. They radiate care and calm, and they speak Steve's truth. 

 

Bucky’s insecurity washes away. He wants to be part of this. He wants to be all in. 'I do want to wear the t-shirt,' Bucky whispers, 'It's cute.'

 

Steve laughs and almost snorts. 'It's perfect for you.' Steve nods. 'Want me to give you some privacy?'

 

'No,’ Bucky doesn’t want Steve to go anywhere. ‘No I want you to help me.’

 

Bucky takes Steve’s hands in his own and places them gently at the hem of his t-shirt - faded and worn and washed too many times, all the more comfortable because of it. 

 

Steve slides his hands up under the hem and over the bare skin above Bucky’s waistband, dragging the tips of his fingers across Bucky’s stomach. Bucky breaths in a sharp gasp of air as Steve’s thumb runs over his hip bone.

 

‘Gorgeous,’ Steve sighs the word, his breath on Bucky’s lips, he’s so close. 

 

Bucky lifts his arms to let Steve run his fingers up further, taking the material of the shirt with him and lifting it slowly over Bucky’s head. He runs his hands back down Bucky’s chest, fingertips burning into Bucky’s skin, charged and electric. 

 

They slow at Bucky’s stomach, sliding around the smooth, slightly rounded softness of Bucky’s waist to settle on his hips, rubbing circles over the bone with his thumbs. 

 

‘Beautiful,’ Steve whispers, ‘you’re perfect, Bucky.’

 

‘Thank you,’ Bucky whispers back. Not because Steve has said it, but because he’s made Bucky believe it. 

 

Steve’s nuzzles closer, reaching up to kiss his lips against Bucky’s forehead, Bucky settles his hands on Steve’s chest, up to Steve’s shoulders and around his neck-

 

‘Showtime boys!’ Mavis says, bursting into the room and then throwing a hand over her eyes as Steve and Bucky jump apart, ‘Oops! Sorry, but you need to get your sweet little butts out there, we’re running out of time.’

 

‘Yep, sorry, sorry,’ Bucky grabs for the blue t-shirt, ‘Elvis said we do’ plastered across the front in bright pink lettering, ‘coming right out.’

 

‘Better late than never,’ Mavis says with a wink to Steve and Bucky laughs at the blush that creeps into his cheeks.

 

‘Shit,’ Steve writes quickly in the notepad as they both hustle out to the altar, Scott off to the side pairing his phone with the sound system as ‘Fools rush in’ starts up over the speakers and Larry-Elvis smiles down at them as they move into position on either side of where he stands a step above them. 

 

Steve tucks the notepad into his pocket and shuffles his feet. Bucky stands straight and reaches for his hands, pulls them into the space between them, holds them there, safe between Bucky’s own.

 

‘Welcome folks,’ Larry-Elvis drawls, ‘We’re gonna keep this short and sweet, I as a certified official in the state of Nevada, do preside over these two young men, to bring them together in holy matrimony-’

 

Steve catches Bucky’s eye and bites his lip. Bucky can only look back and try and keep from vibrating out of his skin.

 

‘-James Buchanan Barnes, did you have some words for Steve,’

 

‘Ah, yep…’ Bucky says, grabbing the torn out page from the pocket of his jeans, ‘Ah, Steven-’

 

‘-Grant,’ Steve says quietly.

 

‘Steven Grant Rogers, somehow it feels like I’ve known you forever. Somehow I feel like tonight I have met the kindest, most wonderful man in the world.’

 

‘It’s so true,’ Scott says quietly from behind them, and it makes Bucky smile.

 

‘Whatever brought us together, whatever force has drawn us to each other… It feels like fate, Steve. I think maybe you’re my person.’

 

Steve is nodding, smiling, he squeezes Bucky’s fingers.

 

‘And Steve?’ Larry-Elvis asks, ‘did you have words too, son?’

 

‘Yeah I…’ Steve doesn’t reach for his notepad, he looks at Bucky and squares his shoulders, lifts his chin, ‘James Buchanan Barnes, my heart knows you. However our particles have danced together through time, I found you here and now, and I’m going to hold on for as long as I can-’

 

‘Oh, god,’ Scott sobs behind them.

 

‘-I think you’re right about fate, Buck, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life, just being a part of yours.’

 

‘Beautiful!’ Mavis cries, running over with the rings, ‘Rings boys, time to wrap it up.’

 

Bucky has to smile at the chaos, at Steve’s face as he bites his cheek and tries not to laugh. He checks back at Scott to see him taking video of the ceremony and hopes that he can watch this in the morning, sober, and remember how light his heart is right now.

 

‘That was beautiful, Steve-Steve Rogers,’ Bucky says leaning in to whisper.

 

‘You’re beautiful,’ Steve says back and they smile at each other like idiots as Mavis hands them their rings and the song fades out on Elvis singing about falling in love. It couldn’t be more perfect.

 

‘You may kiss the groom, fellas,’ Larry says with a sweeping hand, ‘I now pronounce you husband and husband.’

 

And all of the noise fades away around them as Steve steps in, brings their joined hands up to their chests and reaches down to rest his lips against Bucky’s.

 

‘May I?’ he whispers against Bucky’s mouth.

 

‘Fuck yes,’ Bucky whispers back, and Steve laughs as he closes that last tiny distance, presses his warm lips softly to Bucky’s and opens them just enough to fit their mouths together. 

 

The tenderness of it has Bucky in freefall.

 

He sighs into the taste of Steve’s lips, the luscious sweep of them against Bucky’s, and Steve has to let go of Bucky’s hands to reach around and grab him, take Bucky’s weight where he has dropped into Steve’s hold, pressing deeper into the kiss as he does, opening wider to it, gently nudging his tongue against Bucky’s and Bucky pushes back, licks softly into Steve’s mouth, sucks at the plumpness of his bottom lip, reaches his hands up around Steve’s neck and holds on.

 

The bang of the confetti canon has Steve snapping back up to standing, pulling Bucky with him and wrapping his arms around him, as if to shield him. Looking up and then back at Bucky as the coloured paper rains down on them.

 

Bucky can't help huffing a happy laugh at his husband. His husband .

 

‘Congratulations!’ Mavis and Larry-Elvis and Scott all cry from around them, but Bucky’s world is all and only Steve right now. The crystal clear blue of his eyes, the rose of his cheeks, the sharp nose and pink lips, and the look of absolute adoration on his face. 

 

‘Wanna get out of here?’ Bucky asks.

 

Steve smiles even wider, ducks his head to kiss Bucky again, slow and soft and sweet and whispers into Bucky’s mouth, ‘I do.’

It’s perfect.

Chapter Text

Steve

 

Steve can’t quite believe that this is real. There’s something magical about the way Bucky is looking up at him. There’s something overwhelmingly honest in his affection. Steve wants to kiss him again. But the music has stopped and the confetti is no longer falling and Scott is clearing his throat and, well, this is probably not the time or place for Steve to lose the last shred of his control.

 

‘Boys, boys, boys!’ Mavis is cooing, clapping her hands, ‘You did it!’

 

‘We did it,’ Bucky says softly, smiling quietly, eyes shining up at Steve.

 

‘We did,’ Steve says. Totally unnecessarily. But words have never been his forte. Steve’s life is always about action. He got so used to people not listening to him. Before the serum, after the serum… nobody listens to Steve’s words. 

 

But they pay attention to his actions.

 

Bucky has done nothing but listen to him tonight. Everything Steve said Bucky has heard. Bucky has answered Steve’s words with actions, had pulled him forwards into activity after activity. Has interpreted all of Steve’s clumsy musings with a perception that almost defies logic.

 

Steve so rarely gets to let anyone else take the helm. Very rarely would ever trust anyone to do so.

 

But he trusts Bucky. 

 

His stormy blue eyes and the warmth of his touch and the way his voice wraps around Steve like a blanket to keep him safe. Familiar. Beautiful. 

 

And now...

 

Now he’s family. 

 

‘Scott, kiddo, we need you to sign this for us,’ Mavis says, pulling Scott away from where he’s awkwardly standing behind Bucky and Steve at the altar. ‘You boys too, we need signatures and then you can run away to your room for the real celebration!’ 

 

Mavis’s glee is exuberant and seemingly infinite. But she makes an interesting point.

 

No they have the rest of the night to themselves. As a newly married couple. Which he guesses makes this the honeymoon…

 

He’s certainly no expert on marriage or relationships of any kind… but that's typically a pretty exciting period of time…

 

Steve may or may not be panicking about the ramifications of what that means for both of them.

 

He doesn’t have that much experience doing this since he’s had the serum… Fumbling around in a tent with a sergeant after a long day tracking through enemy territory… maybe getting hands on each other, mouths at most…

 

He hasn’t done that for a while. And he’s never had time, or even the inclination, to worship someone, to take his time, to discover enough about someone to give them everything they want.

 

He’s not even sure he knows how to do that.

 

‘You’re thinking too hard,’ Bucky says, placing a gentle finger between Steve’s eyebrows, ‘Come sign the papers Stevie, and then we can talk about what’s worrying you.’

 

Steve is hit again by how much he can’t believe this is real, that Bucky can see his hesitation, knows him already.

 

Too much of that disbelief must be evident in his expression though, because Bucky takes his finger away and stands up straight, taking his weight off Steve’s arms, ‘Unless you're freaking out? Are you freaking out?’ Bucky’s hand slides down Steve’s arm and slows as it reaches his forearm, grips it with comfort. ‘We haven’t signed anything yet Steve, it’s not too late to change your mind.’

 

‘I haven’t,’ Steve says, sharp, shaking his head hard and fast, ‘I would never.’

 

‘Are you sure?’

 

‘I’ve never been more sure about anything in my life.’

 

Bucky reaches up to kiss him again, fiercely, pushing up into Steve’s chest and gripping his arms. Steve kisses back like a desperate man, forgetting again that they have people waiting on them, that they need to be getting out of the way.

 

Forgetting about anything and everything but the taste of Bucky, the sweetness, the hint of sugar on his tongue, the saltiness of the sweat on his lips. He’s lost in the sensation.

 

‘You two lovebirds better get up here and sign this so it's official!’ Mavis is laughing at them, Steve can hear it. 

 

Bucky pulls back and almost falls, Steve has to grab him to stop him from falling backwards. ‘Oops,’ Bucky says with a grin, ‘We better get up there.’

 

‘Gotta make it official,’ Steve says. He can feel the answering grin on his own face. 

 

‘Good, good,’ Mavis says as Steve and Bucky make their way up to sign the paperwork, ‘let me get this all officiated for you and you can come and pick them up with your album in the morning,’ Mavis takes the signed papers from them and shuffles them into a folder, ‘Take your rings, take this,’ she gives them each a glass of champagne Steve didn’t even see her pour, ‘go thank your witness and get out of my chapel, I’ll see you tomorrow.’

 

‘Thank you so much, Mavis,’ Bucky says, pulling away from Steve to wrap Mavis in a hug, very nearly spilling his champagne down her back. ‘You’re wonderful.’

 

‘Oh, well,’ Mavis says as Bucky lets her go, a pretty pink blush creeping into her peach cheeks, ‘you two have been an absolute delight.’

 

‘Thanks Mavis,’ Steve says, reaching out to shake her hand, ‘we’ll see you in the morning.’

 

‘You better!’ Mavis turns away, waving over her head at them and heading out to the office at the back with their paperwork. 

 

Bucky tips his head back and drinks the entire glass of alcohol in one pull, gesturing for Steve to do the same, ‘We’ll leave the glasses here,’ he says, setting his down on a console near the doors, ‘down the hatch, Stevie.’

 

Steve looks down at his glass and shrugs, tips it back and drinks it down in three mouthfuls. He looks back at Bucky, rosy cheeked and laughing and has the overwhelming desire to kiss him again, slower, and longer and without the audience.

 

‘I ah,’ Scott says, clearing his throat again as he sidles up to them, ‘I should get your number, you know, so I can send you the video.’

 

‘Oh, good idea!’ Bucky says, and they set their heads together while Steve stands back and watches. 

 

Once they have their numbers exchanged and Bucky has laughed at the pictures, he pulls Steve in closer, sets Scott in the middle of them, their arms around him.

 

‘Quick selfie,’ Bucky says, holding his phone out and snapping a photo, the three of them in their matching t-shirts and matching grins.

 

‘Thank you, Scott.’ Steve says, clapping him on the back.

 

‘Anytime, Cap, anytime. Literally. Call me and I’ll be there. Whatever you need.’

 

‘Yep, yes,’ Steve says, shaking Scott’s outstretched hand and then stepping back, ‘I’ll ah, I’ll be in touch.’

 

‘You were wonderful too, Scott,’ Bucky says, pulling a happy Scott into a hug, ‘thank you so much.’

 

‘You’re welcome, Bucky. It was my pleasure.’

 

‘We should get going though,’ Steve says, wrapping a hand around Bucky’s, ‘It was lovely to meet you Scott.’

 

‘Right, yes, big night for you!’ Scott puts his arms out as he takes a step back, ‘You know, wedding night, ah…’ he trips on a fold in the carpet and does a little backwards hop, ‘epic romance and ah… you know,’ he goes to make a gesture with his hands but stops mid way, ‘yeah I better,’ he sticks his thumb over his shoulder, ‘leave you to it.’ 

 

‘Thank you, Scott,’ Steve says again, his voice probably coming off a little more authoritative than he intended.

 

Bucky is laughing into Steve’s shoulder, and the feel of his warm breath on the thin material of his T-shirt is very distracting. He hardly notices that Scott is gone, or that they’ve reached the open doors and are now back into the hustle and bustle of the Casino. 

 

‘So um,’ Bucky pulls away from him enough to look up into Steve’s face, ‘I may or may not be sharing a room with my best friend, who may or may not have someone up there with her right now…’

 

‘Oh, I have a room all to myself,’ Steve says quickly grabbing Bucky by the hand, ‘would you… I mean, if that’s okay?’ 

 

‘Sounds great,’

 

‘Okay it’s this way,’ Steve pulls Bucky towards the elevators, ‘Do you need anything?’

 

‘I have everything I need,’ Bucky says with a smile, looking Steve up and down and biting his lip. ‘Maybe more than I know what to do with, to be honest.’

 

Steve has to huff a laugh at that. And the idea that Bucky might also be feeling a little overwhelmed by the physical connotations of the decision they’ve just made eases a tightness in Steve’s chest.

 

‘We can take it as slow as you like, Buck.’

 

And Bucky is nodding his head. ‘Slow is good, I can do slow.’

 

There seem to be even more people out on the casino floor than earlier, and Steve is careful to pull Bucky through them gently, not bumping or knocking or accidentally treading on anyone, ever conscious of how much heavier his step is than it used to be, how much damage he could cause with a moment of carelessness.

 

It’s enough to pull all of his focus, and they’re at the elevators before he has a chance to think to panic about anything else. 

 

Bucky leans forward and pushes the button to go up. 

 

When the doors open, at least five other people shuffle into the elevator with them. Too drunk or too wrapped up in their own conversations to pay much attention to Bucky and Steve as they move all the way to the back and lean against the railing. Hands held gently between them. 

 

‘What floor?’ someone asks over their shoulder as the doors close, and then balks as he catches Steve’s eye. ‘Ah… Sir.’

 

Steve looks down at Bucky as he answers, ‘Ten.’ and squeezes his hand.

 

Bucky squeezes back.

 

‘Ten. Ten. Sure.’ The guy presses ten and then looks back over his shoulder at Steve and nods his head, eyes wide. ‘You’re ah… you seem bigger in real life, you know.’

 

‘I have heard that,’ Steve says, smiling tightly at the guy and then looking back at Bucky to gauge his reaction.

 

Bucky is looking between him and the passenger with a raised eyebrow, his brow furrowed, but he doesn't say anything. Just squeezes Steve’s hand again, and Steve lets out his held breath, squeezing Bucky back.

 

The last of the other passengers shuffle out at the fifth floor, glancing curious looks back at Steve, and the doors close behind them, leaving Bucky and Steve alone. Bucky stretches forward, pulling Steve’s hand with him, and pulls the emergency stop on the elevator.

 

‘Okay,’ he says, turning back to Steve, ‘what was that?’

 

Steve shrinks into his shoulders as Bucky stalks towards him, leans back into the railing of the elevator until he hears it crack.

 

‘Shit.’

 

‘Steve!’ Bucky says, looking behind him at the cracked railing and then up at Steve’s no doubt very sheepish expression, ‘what’s going on?’

 

‘Okay, so, I can explain this,’ Steve starts, carefully moving away from the railing and towards Bucky, keeping their hands joined, not wanting to stop touching him, ‘I ah… when I said my name is Steve Rogers…’

 

‘It’s not?’ 

 

‘Oh, no, it definitely is. That’s the problem.’

 

‘What’s the problem?’ Bucky asks, frown deeply etching into his forehead.

 

‘That’s me, I’m Steve Rogers.’

 

‘Yes, you said that…’

 

‘Steve Rogers, like Captain America.’

 

‘Captain America's name is Steve Rogers too?’

 

Steve can’t help but laugh, Bucky looks so quizzical, so adorably confused. 

 

‘Yes Buck, his name, my name… I’m Steve Rogers and Captain America.’

 

‘Oh,’ Bucky says, narrowing his eyes, ‘ ohhh.’ His eyes widen and he looks Steve up and down again. ‘Huh.’ he says, nodding, ‘I mean yeah… that makes total sense. I can see that.’

 

‘Are you… okay? Are you mad?’ Steve asks, he can feel his shoulders up around his ears.

 

‘Mad? Why would I be mad?’ Bucky steps closer, peering up into Steve’s face, ‘Steve, why would I be mad?’

 

‘I lied to you?’

 

‘You didn’t,’ Bucky says, shaking his head, stepping even closer, lifting a hand up under Steve’s chin and lifting it from where it’s burrowing in between Steve’s collar bones, ‘You told me your name was Steve-Steve Rogers, was that a lie?’

 

Steve huffs a surprised laugh. ‘No.’

 

‘Then when did you lie?’

 

‘I didn’t tell you, I knew you didn’t recognise me, and I didn’t say anything.’

 

‘Listen, Stevie, if I went around telling everyone that didn’t recognise me, that I was a guest mechanic on that show one time where they custom build motorcycles for people who have too much money, I’d look nuts.’

 

‘Yeah but-’

 

‘No buts. It’s your job right?’

 

‘I mean, in a very simplified sense, yes.’

 

‘Uh huh, well, let's be real simple, you’re a superhero, I’m a mechanic,’ Bucky moves so close to Steve that his chest is pressed up against Steve’s. Steve can feel his heart beat through the point where their bodies meet, ‘we’re married , and we get to spend the rest of our lives figuring out if it's crazier to be married to a guy who gets emotional over a cracked magneto rotor or a guy who fights crime for a living.’

 

‘It’s not really crime-’

 

Bucky puts a palm over Steve’s mouth to muffle him. He’s looking at him with the sort of fondness that Steve has never known. Has only read about. And then his mouth quirks, and his eyebrow lifts and his gaze switches from warm to hot as he crowds into Steve’s space. ‘Steve, shut up and kiss me, okay?’

 

Steve doesn’t waste any time. He grabs Bucky by the thighs, flips them around and lifts him against the wall.

 

Bucky’s legs wrap around Steve like its instinct and his arms fly up to grip Steve by the back of the neck. ‘Oh wow,’ he reaches up to meet Steve’s mouth as Steve reaches down to kiss him. ‘You can’t be real.’

 

‘I’ve been thinking the same thing about you all night,’ Steve whispers, breathing the words into Bucky’s mouth between kisses. 

 

Steve can feel that he’s hard, and that his dick is trapped between them as he presses Bucky further and further into the wall. ‘Oh wow,’ Bucky says with a sharp intake of breath. 

 

‘Sorry,’ Steve says, not pulling back far enough from the kisses to give the word any real feeling.

 

‘I think you mispronounced, “you’re welcome”,’ Bucky laughs, rocking his hips up against Steve’s erection and ringing a gasp out of both of them. 

 

‘I need to get you up to the room,’ Steve says, trying to grasp at his self control, ‘need to get this elevator going again before they send a search party up here.’

 

‘I guess we can’t have you turning up on TMZ wrecking your new husband in an elevator, huh?’

 

Steve has to close his eyes to that image, to the idea of just ripping Bucky open against the wall like this, of tearing into him, biting and licking and fucking and taking and Bucky giving himself over. It’s so much, it's too much, and Steve has to pull back, has to count down from five to get some of his control back.

 

‘Hey, hey, hey, you’re okay, we’re okay,’ Bucky is saying, not pressing into Steve’s space but keeping him grounded. Finding his feet and reaching out with one hand to Steve’s forearm, the other keeping him steady against the wall, ‘let's start it up again, get to the room.’

 

Steve keeps Bucky in his periphery as he leans over and depresses the emergency stop, starting the elevator up again with a lurch and a grind of gears. 

He slides Bucky's palm down his forearm to lock their fingers together. ‘I’m good, sorry.’

 

He looks down at Bucky and Bucky is looking back at him. Not judging, not frowning. His face is soft and open, his smile small but real. The acceptance radiating off of him is tangible; Steve could run his fingers through the air and touch it. 

 

He lets himself unclench, lets his body be at ease, leans into Bucky and rests his cheek on the top of Bucky’s head. 

 

‘You know,’ Bucky says quietly, speaking the words into Steve’s shoulder again, ‘I’ve probably had too many cocktails for too much nonsense tonight anyway.’

 

And Steve hugs him tighter, wraps his arms around him to pull him impossibly closer.

 

‘Maybe we should do some investigating, once we get to your room, find out who gets which side of the bed, and which one of us is the blanket hog.’

 

‘It’s going to be you,’ Steve says, just as quietly, his words landing in Bucky’s hair.

 

‘Probably.’

 

‘I run pretty hot though, I should warn you.’

 

Bucky pushes up to tilt his head back, to reach up and press a soft kiss to Steve’s lips, ‘I bet you do.’ when the elevator slows to a stop and dings, the doors opening to the tenth floor. 

 

It’s quiet, and the lights are low, and Steve feels calmer, his panic receding. He leads Bucky to the suite that Tony organised for him, too much for just Steve, but probably just right for the two of them. Just fancy enough for a wedding night. 

 

‘Holy shit,’ Bucky says spinning around as he follows Steve inside, ‘this is some room!’

 

‘It’s a bit much’ 

 

‘It’s amazing!’ Bucky is busy walking around and looking into the corners, poking his head into the bathroom, ‘Fuck a duck,’ he looks back out at Steve, ‘your shower is bigger than my apartment!’

 

‘Can I get you anything?’ Steve asks, in lieu of finding a non awkward way to discuss the size of his ridiculously ostentatious hotel room. There are a million tiny bottles of alcohol in the minibar, though Bucky’s probably had enough (the implications of that are for Steve to worry about tomorrow). All sorts of food and snacks that he’s been too scared to open, lest they cost Tony a small fortune, but he’d be happy to open them for Bucky.

 

Bucky comes back over from his tour of the room to stand by the kitchenette with Steve. ‘Um water?’ 

 

‘Sure.’ He pulls a bottle from the mini fridge and opens it, hands it to Bucky who drinks it down and sits the empty bottle on the counter. ‘Hungry?’

 

Bucky peers up at him and shakes his head. He looks over at the giant bed, back to Steve, and then to the remote on the nightstand.

 

‘Okay. Idea.’ He grabs Steve by the hand and pulls him over to the bed. ‘We pick the cheesiest movie we can find, get under the covers, and order ice cream.’

 

Steve could cry, it's everything he needs (not what he wants, but he doesn’t trust himself, his body, his control right now). Honestly. ‘Okay.’ He crawls onto the bed next to Bucky and shows him which button elevates the TV up out of the bench at the foot of the bed.

 

‘Whoa.’

 

Steve has to admit that it’s pretty cool. 

 

And it's much nicer when he has someone to share it with. 

 

Bucky fluffs a bunch of pillows and places them against the bed head, sits himself up against them and burrows down into them. ‘You coming?’

 

Steve nods his head. He pulls off his shirt and folds it up, places it on the armchair next to the bed, holds his hand out to take Bucky’s as well. ‘Pants too,’ Steve says with a smile. Only half wanting to get to snuggle up to all that soft smooth olive skin, and half wanting to make sure Bucky is comfortable.

 

Bucky rolls his eyes with a smile and shuffles around until he has his clothes off, passes them over to Steve who folds them and puts them with his own. Matching t-shirts folded together.

He looks down at his ring and feels that now familiar skip of his heart. 

 

It's real.

 

He could have this every day. 

 

Someone to snuggle up to. Someone to fall asleep with. Wake-up to.

 

He takes his own pants off and places them on top of the pile, sliding in under the covers next to Bucky and reaching an arm around to pull him close.

 

‘What are we watching?’

 

‘Alright, don’t be mad, but there’s a Murder She Wrote marathon…’

 

‘And you like this show?’

 

Bucky nods.

 

‘Then it’s perfect,‘ Steve says. Leaning back into the pillows. ‘Tell me everything I need to know.’

 

He doesn’t mean to, but the sound of Bucky’s voice, the lull of the soft light and the background noise, the warmth of Bucky’s body pressed against him… it's like the ultimate comfort. For the first time in as long as Steve can remember, he feels his eyes closing, he feels his mind quietening, he feels his body settle into rest. 

 

If Bucky regrets this, if he wakes up and realises this was a drunken mistake, if he changes his mind for whatever reason, Steve will have still had this night. He will have had this peace.

 

He’s going to steal it now. Not borrow trouble. He’s going to lie back and let this be his. Even if it’s just for one night.

 

And Bucky’s voice, his warmth. They have him believing that it might be forever. Something about Bucky just makes Steve believe.

 

In love at first sight. In soulmates.

 

In Happiness.

 

He tightens his hand around his husband. His husband .

 

And he sleeps.

 

No dreams. No nightmares.


He sleeps .

Chapter Text

Steve



Steve’s mind comes back to consciousness in increments. The first thing he notices is the warmth. A warm body tucked up against him, soft hair against his skin, an arm around his waist. He knows, or his body knows, that this is nothing to fear. This is the same warmth and softness that he fell asleep wrapped around. This is the same feeling of contentment and belonging that he let his heart rest to last night.

 

But he slowly becomes aware that the body resting against his is not quite so relaxed.

 

He feels Bucky’s body tense. Feels his diaphragm stop mid breath, feels the length of him coil and stiffen as he wakes up and finds himself pressed against Steve.

 

He doesn’t remember.

 

Steve feels his own calm start to recede, he freezes too, and the two of them are lying together, Bucky across Steve’s chest, one leg between Steve’s, holding their breath and waiting.

 

With no idea what they’re waiting for.

 

Bucky is the first to move - he pushes back and away to prop his body up and look down at Steve.

 

His expression morphs from confused to surprised to sheepish in a matter of seconds, skin blushing an adorable rose, his eyelashes dark against the olive tone of his cheeks as he lowers his eyes. 

 

Steve commits the image to memory even as his heart plummets into his stomach.

 

Bucky doesn’t remember.

 

Steve won’t get to keep this.

 

‘Umm… hey,’ Bucky says, looking back up at Steve and biting his lip. ‘Good morning?’

 

‘Morning,’ Steve says slowly, carefully. He looks over to the clock on his nightstand and balks at the time. ‘Oh…’ It’s already nine - they were supposed to go and pick up the paperwork from Mavis. They were supposed to get breakfast together - ‘We’ll miss breakfast.’

 

‘Oh no!’ Bucky says, jumping up and out of the bed. ‘Oh, my flight leaves in two hours!’ 

 

Steve is left alone in bed, the warmth leaching out from where Bucky has tossed the covers back. He sits himself up and leans back against the headboard. He’s not sure what to do, whether to offer to drive him to the airport (he has Tony’s car, and Thor can get back on his own) or to explain that they’ll need to unsign their paperwork. 

 

They’ll have to ask Mavis how to undo it.

 

She’s going to be devastated.

 

‘Are you-’ Bucky starts to ask as he looks back over at Steve and freezes. He looks Steve up and down. Steve who is now sitting up in nothing but his underwear, the covers gone, and Bucky has his mouth hanging open as his eyes travel across all the skin that Steve has on display. ‘Uhh… I, we… oh shit,’ he jumps as his phone beeps at him from the pocket of his pants Steve had folded up for him last night.

 

He dives for his phone and checks the message. Types back furiously and then looks back up at Steve.

 

And then he freezes yet again as he flexes the fingers on his left hand. Sees the ring.

 

He looks over at the t-shirts that have toppled to the floor as he pulled his phone free, down at his own state of undress, and then back at Steve again.

 

‘Umm…’

 

‘We uh-’ 

 

Bucky’s phone beeps again and he hisses a bad word as he checks it and types back.

 

‘Sorry,’ he says, looking backup at Steve, ‘I’m um, I have to hurry,’ and he starts to drag his jeans on, grabs at the t-shirts, looks around and can’t see that there’s any other clothes - another thing they’ll have to pick up from Mavis - and pulls the pink ‘groom’ shirt on over his head.

 

Steve doesn’t know how to correct him, tell him that’s Steve’s shirt.

 

His heart sinks just a little bit further.

 

‘Bucky tucks his phone into his back pocket and runs a hand through his hair, turning his head to search for something, and makes a little ‘ah’ noise when he spots the bathroom. He dashes in, Steve can hear him exclaim again at the size of the enormous shower, and then ducks his head out from the door to look over at Steve, still in bed. One eyebrow raised quizzically. ‘Are you coming?’

 

‘Where?’ Steve asks, confused.

 

‘To breakfast!’ Bucky says, his head disappearing and then reappearing as Steve hears him running water in the sink, ‘We have just enough time to get the free buffet before I have to get my stuff from my room and head to the airport.’

 

Breakfast with Bucky? Steve is jumping out of bed too, ripping his jeans on and squeezing himself into Bucky’s smaller t-shirt. Not caring that it doesn’t even fully cover his stomach. ‘Yes!’ he says, hopping on one foot as he pulls his shoes on, ‘yes, I’m coming!’

 

He rushes through washing his face and grabbing his room key, herding them out and pulling the door shut behind them as they head to the elevator, the elevator that has him blushing just standing in with Bucky again - he can feel the heat in his cheeks - and press level one for the casino diner.

 

They stand awkwardly next to each other. Not pressed together, At least a foot of distance between them, and Steve has to swallow down his disappointment. 

 

Bucky has asked him to breakfast, this is not nothing.

 

He needs to steal whatever time Bucky will give him. He needs to not ruin this with too many thoughts.

 

He could say something though. He should say something.

 

‘Are you… do you…’ Steve tries to get the words to come out right, but it’s not working.

 

Bucky looks up at him, adorable eyebrow raised, hands in his pockets and waits for Steve to finish, nods to show he’s listening.

 

Steve can’t do it. Can’t ask him what he remembers. Can’t face what Bucky might confirm.

 

‘Need a ride?’ he finally finishes with.

 

‘A ride?’

 

‘To the airport,’ Steve clarifies. ‘I can drive you, if you need.’

 

‘Oh,’ and Bucky’s face lights up, ‘that would be a life saver.’

 

Steve nods his head, enthusiastically agreeing. 

 

A ride to the airport means more Bucky. Means maybe he can stretch for time. If Bucky misses his flight, Steve can just drive him all the way home. Wherever that might be. He doesn’t even know.

 

God.

 

He doesn’t even know where Bucky lives .

 

The elevator stops and they step out, one after the other weaving their way through bleary eyed travelers and wide eyed, backpacked tourists, and find themselves a booth to nab just as someone is leaving.

 

Someone who eyes Steve up and down, sees his ‘Elvis said we do!’ t-shirt, two sizes too small and hurries away, clicking madly into their phone as they bump into a table.

 

Bucky stares after the person looking a little perplexed, but ignores it in favour of clearing the abandoned dishes to the edge of the table and helping stack them as the waitress rushes over to take them for him.

 

‘Just grab a plate and help yourselves,’ she says, gesturing to the buffet with a nod of her head, ‘you’ve got about half an hour till they close.’

 

‘Thank you,’ Bucky says to the waitress, who smiles as she turns away, then back to Steve as he points with his thumb, ‘I better get some food.’

 

Steve’s stomach chooses that exact moment to rumble ridiculously loudly and Bucky’s smile intensifies.

 

‘You better get some too, big guy.’

 

He looks so sweet, Steve doesn’t have the heart to tell him his stomach is in knots because of Bucky. 

 

But when it rumbles again he thinks maybe, actually, Bucky might have a point.

 

And the pancakes looked pretty good. 

 

Steve is halfway through trying to bury his anxiety in a mouthful of maple soaked pancake when Bucky looks at him and says, ‘So…' 

 

Steve freezes with the fork midway to his mouth, and waits for Bucky to say the words that will break his heart.

 

'Umm…' Bucky looks down at his hand and then holds it up to Steve, wiggling his ring finger, and the band it now carries, 'So this happened…'

 

Steve, terrified of how to answer that without scaring Bucky away, takes too deep a breath and inhales half of his pancake into his windpipe. He swallows a mouthful of juice to try and dislodge it, and finally gets himself under control enough to answer. 'Right, yes. That. That… happened.' he nods, looking down at his pancakes and desperately avoiding what Bucky might do once he knows the truth. 'And how do you… how do you ah… feel? About that?'

 

He waits with his head down… for an answer that Bucky gives enough time to have properly measured.

 

'I think… I mean I don't really remember exactly how this happened,' 

 

Steve feels the weight of those words sink through him like lead. Until Bucky’s next words.

 

'Not that I mind,’ Bucky says, in more of a rush suddenly, ‘I was just thinking it might be nice to… have a refresher?'

 

And Steve snaps his head up to catch Bucky’s expression. Open. Honest. Warm. Everything Steve knows Bucky is. Everything that gives him hope that this could really happen. 'A refresher?'

 

And Bucky rushes ahead to explain himself. 'Only because we woke up so late and rushed down for breakfast and then… well it might be nice to go through exactly what happened last night again, in some detail…’

 

Steve is going to have to take him down to see Mavis-

 

‘Perhaps a full physical re-enactment?'

 

Steve isn’t sure what he means, retracing their steps exactly, the whole night? Even- Oh.

 

Oh.

 

Bucky doesn’t remember what didn’t happen last night. Bucky woke up next to Steve, both of them in nothing but their underwear, wrapped around each other, wedding rings and matching t-shirts and an awkward morning after and…

 

Bucky is looking at Steve with the most beautifully vulnerable expression, somewhere between salacious and embarrassed and Steve could honestly reach across the table and gather him up and never let him go.

 

Or he could take what time they’ve got left and finally get Bucky back to his room. 

 

'You know, I'm feeling kind of full, and we do have at least another hour until check out…'

 

'Well we should use it wisely.' Bucky says, smile breaking out in full technicolour and Steve has to breathe. Has to be calm and controlled. Has to pull Bucky back to the elevator with the gentlest grip around his beautifully round bicep.

 

Bucky is looking up at Steve and clears his throat to ask quietly, 'I guess, I mean, since you're my husband now, I should like, actually know your name…?'

 

'Steve,' Steve answers, huffing a laugh at this crazy situation, 'Steve Rogers.'

 

'Well, Steve-Steve Rogers, I'm-'

 

'James Buchannan Barnes.'

 

'Right,' Bucky says, swallowing, 'You remember that huh?'

 

'Oh I remember everything.' Steve, bolstered by the way Bucky says Steve-Steve Rogers - as if those memories are there, waiting under the surface, bolstered by the evidence of how much Bucky really was being himself last night, dares to press in close. Close enough that he can feel Bucky’s heart beat, can feel how it increases as Steve moves closer still. 

 

They reach the elevators and Steve’s nose is practically nuzzling Bucky’s hair. The doors open and he guides them inside, pushes Bucky up against the wall, close enough that their chests are pressed together, close enough to push a knee between Bucky’s thighs as the doors close.

 

As Steve lifts his hand to push a lock of stray hair behind Bucky’s ear, Bucky tilts his head and narrows his eyes.

 

'Steve Rogers? Why does that sound familiar?'

 

And Steve reaches over to pull the emergency stop button, lifts Bucky up and smiles as Bucky wraps his legs around Steve’s waist, smiles as his arms fly up to circle Steve’s neck, and presses him even further up against the wall of the elevator.

 

He almost never, in his life, has got to redo a moment like this. Take it back and make it perfect. He looks at Bucky and measures his words, lets his tone drip like honey, sweet and smooth and rich. 'Okay, don't be mad, baby, but, you've heard of Captain America, right?'

 

The way Bucky stares down at him. Not surprised, not upset, not greedy, just accepting. The way Steve can see the cogs turning in his head as he calculates what that means exactly, the way he raises his eyebrow and scrunches his lips and then makes a tiny little shrug of his shoulders.

 

It’s breathtaking.

 

'Sure, I've heard of him,' Bucky says, smiling and leaning forward. He presses a soft kiss to Steve's mouth, 'But I mostly want to hear more about Steve-Steve Rogers if you don't mind.'

 

Steve knows he’s smiling like an idiot but he doesn’t care. He’s so deep in this now there's no hope but to dig further.

 

‘I don’t mind,’ he says, leaning up to kiss Bucky again, ‘I’ll tell you anything you wanna know.’

 

‘Kinda wanna know what you plan to do with me in here,’ Bucky says, softly, between breaths as he nips at Steve’s lips, snakes his fingers up into Steve’s hair at the nape of his neck.

 

‘I have to confess, we didn’t actually get this far last night,’ Steve says, pulling back a little to look Bucky in the eye. Wanting to make sure he's fully informed.

 

‘We didn’t?’

 

Steve shakes his head.

 

‘But you want to?’

 

Steve nods, hard and fast and without a doubt. ‘Do you?’ He asks. He wants to be sure. He thinks he knows, but he wants to be sure.

 

‘So much,’Bucky says, smiling into Steve’s lips as he presses forward to kiss him again. 

 

‘Wait,’ Steve says suddenly, pulling back again.

 

‘What?’ Bucky looks down at him with concern.

 

‘Your flight!’

 

‘Oh, fuck it,’ Bucky says with a laugh, ‘I’ll catch the next one.’

 

‘Are you sure?’ 

 

‘Absolutely,’ Bucky says, pulling Steve in closer and kissing him again, ‘I will hitch back to New York if I have to, this is worth it.’

 

‘New York?’ Steve says, shifting Bucky’s weight and pressing him further into the wall, ‘you live in New York?’ And he might be lighting up the entire Vegas power-grid with the power of his smile right now.

 

Bucky nods against Steve’s face as he kisses his cheek, his nose, and back down to his other cheek.

 

‘I could give you a ride all the way home.’

 

This time Bucky pulls back, pulling at Steve’s hair a little to put space between them, ‘Wait, what?’

 

‘I live in New York too. I can drive you home.’

 

‘You drove here?’

 

‘I mean… I took a jet, but Tony left me his car to drive home, said I should let my hair out… or down…’ Steve shakes his head, ‘either way. He wanted me to take my time coming home.’

 

‘And how long do you have the room for?’

 

‘As long as I want, probably…’

 

‘So we could… we could stay a whole nother day and night?’

 

Steve hadn’t even thought of that, had never even dreamed of it, but he wants it. He wants it all.

He nods and pushes forward, latches onto Bucky’s mouth and kisses not so gently this time, rocking his hips up into Bucky and biting and licking into his mouth.

 

‘Anything you want, Bucky, I’ll give you anything you want, always.’

 

‘Just this,’ Bucky says, kissing back with the same fervour, wrapping his legs tighter around Steve’s waist and pulling him closer, chasing that friction, ‘Just you.’

 

And Steve runs his hands up under Bucky’s shirt, desperate to feel him, desperate for the warmth of his skin, to be as close to him as possible. He mouths down Bucky’s stubbled chin and down his throat, drawing a gasping moan out of him, rocking up again at the sound of it.

 

‘Gonna wreck you in this elevator, baby,’

 

‘Yes,’ Bucky says, nodding and arching up into Steve, tipping his head back to expose the long line of his neck, to give Steve more room to suck and bite marks there.

 

‘God, I’ve been wanting to touch you like this all night, all morning.’

 

‘Me too,’ Bucky says, ‘I mean, I assume.’

 

Steve has to laugh, even as he sucks a searing bruise into Bucky’s throat.

 

‘Knowing me, I’ve been wanting this since the second I saw you.’

 

‘Yeah,’ Steve kisses the words up the other side of Bucky’s throat and into his cheek, ‘that sounds about right.’

 

Their bodies are rocking together, and the movement is desperate, filthy, Bucky’s breathing is short and fast and gasping, Steve can feel his heart beating out of his chest. He runs his hands all the way up Bucky’s stomach to put his palm over his heart, letting his finger brush again his nipple.

 

It sends a delicious shiver down Bucky’s entire body, Steve can feel the vibration of it.

 

‘Our bodies found each other, Bucky,’ he says, letting his erection slide against Bucky’s, not caring at the fabric between them, leaning into the pleasure-pain of the way his cock is straining against his pants, ‘Our particles are dancing again.’

 

‘Oh, I knew, I knew you,’ Bucky says, soft laughter in his voice, ‘I recognised your vibration.’

 

It makes Steve sigh into another kiss, fall into Bucky. 

 

‘Like soulmates,’ Bucky whispers into Steve’s mouth, and that’s it, Steve is done for. It’s not even just the sensation of Bucky’s skin under his hands, the way Bucky is grinding into him, the way their bodies move together, the bitten off little moans Bucky makes as Steve teases at his nipples, mouths at his throat. It’s the idea of Bucky. That idea that even starting again this morning, Bucky can feel it, their connection. 

 

He believes it. 

 

It's real.

 

And Steve lets it go this time. His control. His fear.

 

He lets go and he lets the hope and the happiness and the overwhelming pleasure wash over him. Feels it gush out of him, and feels Bucky follow him over. 

 

It's perfect.

 

It's everything. 

 

Until something heavy lands on the roof of the elevator and rips off the maintenance hatch.

 

And Steve watches with growing horror as Tony Stark, in his Iron Man suit, pokes his head into the elevator and flips his face shield open. 

 

'Well well well,' Tony says, shaking his head, smug smile on his irritatingly goatee’d face, 'I leave you alone for five minutes .'

 

Steve looks at Bucky, who is staring up at Tony with an open mouth and saucers for eyes, a ring on his finger and ‘groom’ on his chest. And yeah… okay. 

 

This is going to be hard to explain.

Chapter Text

Bucky

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.

‘Look-’

‘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.’

‘Listen Kid,’

‘Bucky,’ Steve corrects him.

‘Bucky?’

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?’

‘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?’

‘Okay, no-’

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.

Real.

‘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?’

Steve nods.

‘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.

‘You do?’

‘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.

Happiness.

Even Tony Stark and his ugly tracksuit and his disapproving glare can’t dampen it.

‘Where now?’

‘To the chapel,’ Steve says, pulling Bucky along by the hand and smiling ridiculously wide.

‘To file for annulment?’

‘No Tony.’

‘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.

'Cap!'

'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.

A video.

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.