A thin sliver of moon glimmers through the steam on the motel window against a sky already gray with early dawn. Sam shuts off the shower with a sigh and reaches for a towel. Any other sleepless night, and at least there'd be the chance that Steve would be stretched out on one of the beds with a book and a conspicuously vacant pillow next to him. But not tonight.
Sam knew going in that there'd be days like this. Three weeks of sifting through HYDRA reports got them a county name; another week of following rumors got them to an abandoned sawmill off the state highway. Two hours to prep an assault plan, four hours to wait until well past midnight to slip through the fence and break into the building.
Only to find it empty. Just another abandoned HYDRA lab.
The first time this happened, Steve skipped out of the motel while Sam was in the shower, coming back in some time after Sam finally crashed on one of the too-soft beds. He said he'd gone for a run, and Sam had no reason to doubt him. But it still took two days for Steve to unwind, two days of watching him close doors and handle diner mugs with overstated care, his movements as deliberate and measured as a man who wants to smash everything around him.
The second time was the same, Steve bailing out of the room as quickly as he could, only to come back with that restless anger still under his skin.
Sam gets it -- the frustration, the helplessness, the sense of responsibility. If there'd been a chance he could've helped Riley, to have it dangle just out of his reach...
And as much as he doesn't want to be shut out, he gets that, too. This thing between him and Steve is too new to trust it to stand up to that kind of rage, too necessary to risk breaking it and having nothing left. So Sam lets him go.
But tonight, Steve is still sitting on the edge of the bed when Sam gets out of the shower. He's wearing his sweats, running shoes neatly lined up on the floor. But he's hunched over himself in the dim light coming from the bathroom, coiled so tight it's gotta hurt.
For a long minute, neither of them moves. Sam can't read anything from Steve's body right now, can't tell if Steve wants him to come closer or stay the hell away. Just. Whatever Steve needs, Sam wants to give him.
“You didn't go out,” Sam says finally, hands still gripping the towel around his waist.
“Not much point,” Steve says, voice as tightly controlled as the rest of him. “But I can, if you'd rather sleep.”
“I'm good.” Sam sits down beside him, careful to leave an inch of space between them. “You wanna turn on the tv, or do you have something more active in mind?”
Steve's hands clench on the bedspread. “Definitely not the tv.”
It's not as much of an answer as Sam would like. He knows the kinds of things he'd want, if he were angry and helpless like this. The kinds of things they ought to talk about a little more than this. But Steve's sitting there waiting, ready to shake himself to pieces, and when have they ever been anything but reckless?
“Then look at me.”
Steve finally looks up, and it's like the air pressure in the room breaks, when Sam's hand slots under Steve's chin like they'd choreographed this, both of them moving together. Sam kisses him, softly at first, but not the least bit hesitant. Some of the force locking up Steve's shoulders slips away.
Sam kisses him down to the bed, and Steve goes, pliant in a way he never is. Not that he doesn't cooperate, but not like this, hands held loosely over his head while Sam is splayed out on top of him.
Sam lost his towel somewhere, his damp skin catching roughly on the sweats Steve is wearing. The body under his is getting to be familiar, even if this isn't the way they usually are, and Sam's cock starts to respond even if his head's still working things out.
That passivity... There isn't a goddamn thing in this hotel room that'd hold Steve down, even just for fun. There's not even a headboard for him to grab -- just a padded board screwed to the wall in place of a headboard. But Sam can make do.
Sam pulls back enough to push Steve's shirt up his arms, but he doesn't take it off. Instead, he wraps it around Steve's wrists in a loose knot.
Steve doesn't exactly freeze, but the tension in him definitely focuses. “You know I can get out of that.”
“Sure you can. Any time you want to.” Sam takes his hands away entirely, letting Steve feel how flimsy the fabric is against his skin. Letting him decide what he needs. “Question is, do you want to?”
Steve groans and shakes his head. His eyes are dark in the dim light, barely any blue around the black at all.
“That's what I thought,” Sam says, and leans in to kiss Steve again. Softer this time; pain is a thing Steve's gonna have to ask for if he wants it, and Sam's not one hundred percent sure what he'll do if Steve does. Though 'anything' is looking more and more like his answer to that –
But Steve just takes it, soft and relaxing more, opening up like a flower looking for the sun. Sam can't help but respond to that, slowing it down enough to run his hands across as much of Steve's skin as he can reach. The other man just arches under him, hands held obediently over his head, and Sam has to pull back enough to look at him. Pale skin, shadows across the muscles of his chest, mouth red and wet.
“Fuck, you're pretty.”
A flush starts climbing Steve's chest, obvious even in the dim light, and Steve turns his face away.
“Uh-uh,” Sam says, and Steve turns his face back immediately. Obediently, Sam notes, even if he does keep his eyes closed. “None of that. You know how to take a compliment.”
“I'm not sure that was supposed to be a compliment.”
“You got a problem with 'pretty'?” Sam asks, tracing a line down the center of Steve's chest, and pushes the sweat pants down past his hips. “I could be talked into gorgeous. Sexy. Fuckable.”
Steve groans and starts to turn his head again, only to jerk it back toward Sam.
“You like that better?” Sam teases. “'Cause I'm still waiting. What do you say when someone pays you a compliment?”
“Thank you, that's --” Steve gives a strangled laugh, cut off with a gasp when Sam strokes a hand down his cock. “That's -- very kind of you.”
“Yeah.” On another night, Sam would've drawn this out more. But he can feel how bad Steve needs this, and Sam won't keep it from him. “Roll over.”
Sam grabs the condom and lube from his bag as Steve changes position. He's still carefully keeping the t-shirt around his wrists, even as he kicks the sweat pants all the way off. Steve settles back on the bed, weight on his elbows and knees, head bowed.
Sam can't help teasing for a minute, his first slick finger circling Steve's hole as he leans up to run his teeth along the line of muscle across Steve's shoulder blades. He leans his weight fully on the other man, who just braces himself better against the soft dip of the bed and takes it.
“What do you want?” Sam asks, and Steve shudders under him.
Which is definitely something. Steve isn't shy about sex, definitely not once they're doing it. He has no trouble asking to be fucked. Usually has no trouble, and Sam wonders if he's pushed too far. Or not far enough -- “Tell me, and I'll give it to you.”
Which is what Sam expected him to say originally, but now --
“You'll get that,” he promises. He rubs his finger over Steve's hole, pressing enough to feel but not enough to slip on. “But you have to tell me what else you want.”
Steve just shudders again, pushing back against Sam's hand.
“Or do you want me to tell you?”
“Down,” Sam says, not quite an order, but Steve drops immediately. He braces his weight on his shoulders, his legs spread wide.
“I think I'm back to 'gorgeous',” Sam tells him. He slicks up his fingers better and presses in abruptly with two. Steve's muscles jump, but he opens right up, so hot around Sam's fingers.
“You need this, don't you?” It's a question, but Sam knows. “Someone to hold you down and use you the way you deserve. You love it.”
“Yes!” Steve writhes against the bed, and Sam can hear the dry sound of cloth ripping as he finally forgets himself enough to tear the sweatshirt.
“Then you'll get it.” Sam pulls his fingers out and pauses. “I'm gonna do you hard, and I'm not gonna stop til I come. Are you ready for that?”
“Please, Sam --”
And that's all Sam needs to hear before he's pressing in. Steve is slick enough, thank god, but still so tight, and Sam has to shove his way in there. He has to, once he starts, shoving in and in, the heat and the pleasure hitting him like in waves.
Steve is rocking back against him, hard enough that Sam has to grab his hips and hold on, use that leverage to fuck harder. His breath is coming in short, sharp pants, punctuated with curses as he realizes that he's not going to last long like this. Not long at all, but he wants Steve to come first --
Sam reaches around and pulls on Steve's cock, and Steve cries out -- punches the headboard with a loud crack -- and Sam's laughing even as his own orgasm hits him like a freight train, a shock of white-hot pleasure that doesn't let go.
Steve collapses onto the bed, and Sam shifts to land beside him rather than on top of him. Which he counts as a win, because that's as polite as he can manage at the moment. That, and grabbing Steve and shoving him into a cuddleable position while he's still malleable. Because Sam isn't the kind of guy who can stay awake after sex, but Steve is, and Sam needs him to know -- physically, bodily -- that Sam is perfectly okay with what just happened, and they can talk about it later if Steve needs to but right now, all Steve has to do is stay still.
There's a moment when Sam thinks Steve might fight it, and Sam is big enough to let him go if he needs to go. But. “You can stay,” he says.
Steve laughs softly. “I was just going to get the covers.”
“Oh.” Sam yawns. He also doesn't move. Dawn light is creeping in around the curtains, but nothing's gonna keep him awake right now.
As he's drifting off, he feels Steve sink back into the bed. “Maybe later, then.”