It's early when Bucky wakes up. He can tell from the slant of the light peeking through the half-closed curtains, and the fact that Steve's side of the bed is messy but cool, which means he's out doing his marathon man impression. Also, his internal clock says he has been asleep for exactly five hours and thirty-seven minutes, which puts the time at around seven-forty. It's definite progress, is what it is.
It is also the morning of the tenth of March, and is it too much to ask that his bff-slash-boo forgoes his training regimen for once so he can wake Bucky up with, he doesn't know, a blowjob? A blowjob sounds like a good start to his birthday. Bucky pouts, sitting up against the headboard and crossing his arms over his chest. A moment later, he uncrosses them to grab his phone and swipe it unlocked.
Modern-day protocol for a boyfriend who leaves you to wake up alone on your birthday and isn't even in the apartment the two of you share: go. He presses the tweet button with a definite feeling of evil satisfaction. Steve is going to get slaughtered out there. Whatever, the fucker has it coming.
His phone beeps.
aw bday boy no :( dnt wrry well get steve good 4 ths bjs r th way 2go for bdays just askP
Since when are you on twitter? he sends Clint, though he doubts he'll get a response anytime soon, going by the way that tweet got cut off.
The downside of being awake and alone is that he's bored. Bored bored bored. It's the middle of the week, so no team breakfast, and the superbad population of New York seems to be lying low so far. Maybe Tasha – but no, Tasha is in the Motherland, interrogating a potential posthuman for One-Eye.
"Jarvis, where is Tony?"
"Mister Stark is en route to our laboratory in California, Sergeant Barnes. Would you like me to connect you?"
Shit, Bucky had forgotten Tony was flying out West this week. He thinks about it. On the one hand, entertainment. On the other hand – well, Tony. He opens his mouth to say No, thank you, when his phone goes off.
"Nevermind," he mutters wryly for Jarvis' benefit before picking up.
"Arm&Hammer! I hear our fearless leader left you to take care of your morning wood alone. Not cool, man. Maybe I should have a talk with him."
Bucky sighs and rubs his forehead with his middle finger. On the screen of his phone, Tony grins like a shark, showcasing all of his obnoxiously white teeth. His ridiculous facial hair only serves to accentuate the cartoonish villain look.
"The day Steve needs relationship advice from you, Tin Man, is the day I kick him out of the bedroom."
Tony clutches at his chest. "You wound me, Freezeburn. Did you or did you not ask for help all of your gazillion twitter followers? And why are you so popular again? Are you promising them like naked pictures of Steve or something, you have more followers than Justin Timberlake, it doesn't compute. At least he's hot."
"Bite me," Bucky suggests. Ugh, Tony. "Go fly or whatever. See you when you get back."
"He'd better give you a good seeing-to as an apology," Tony yells. Bucky hangs up on him. It's not that he's wrong, exactly. It's that Bucky doesn't want Tony talking about their sex life. It makes it all too...what's that word, the one that encapsulates all Bucky hates about the modern world – oh yeah. Mainstream. What's wrong with a little privacy anymore?
(Tony says that word maybe doesn't mean what he thinks it means, but Bucky is pretty sure that anything everyone and their grandmother wants for like fifteen minutes, and forgets about right after, can't be good.)
He stuffs Steve's pillow on top of his own and snuggles back under the covers, amusing himself with flicking through his twitter replies as he waits. It's his birthday. He's not getting out of bed if he doesn't want to, okay.
Soon enough, the front door opens and closes, and there's the twin thumps of shoes hitting wall that accompany Steve's return. Bucky drops his phone on Steve's side of the bed and crosses his arms again, staring at the doorway to their bedroom. Steve walks in a second later, that stupid gorgeous happy smile brightening his face – the one that Bucky knows belongs to him alone. It dims a little when he spots Bucky pouting and glaring at him from behind his messy morning hair.
"Hey, Buck," he says. His voice is so warm; goddamn it, Bucky's supposed to be irritated here.
"'Hey, Buck,' he says. Where've you been? I woke up alone on my birthday. My first birthday since—you know, and I woke up alone."
Instead of looking appropriately chagrined, Steve just smiles at him some more. It's like he thinks Bucky is cute or something. Ugh.
"Aw, were you lonely, sweetheart? Did you want a birthday cuddle?"
Bucky is going to tell him to fuck off any second now, except that he kind of does want a birthday cuddle. Asshole.
"You're an asshole," he tells Steve, because Steve should know this.
"You love me," Steve counters smugly. Bucky hates it when he's right.
"Come on, baby, don't be like this," Steve says when Bucky pouts some more and refuses to admit anything of the sort.
"You better have a damn good present for me to make up for leaving me before I woke up," he says, glaring. "Well?"
"Got your present right here," Steve says, spreading his arms.
Bucky eyes him suspiciously. "Is it your dick? Because I've seen that already. Had it, too, in case you've forgotten the past eighty years."
Steve rolls his eyes at him. He rolls. His eyes. At Bucky. The gall. Bucky's about to take him to task over it, and then refuse to put out for the next week just on principle, when Steve digs a hand in his pocket.
"It was your dick," Bucky crows, forgetting to be annoyed and aloof and giving Steve shit in the rush of being right. Also, well, Steve's dick. "You're lucky I like it so much. My twitter girls said I should put shaving cream on your bath towel for that little stunt."
"Jesus Christ," Steve sighs, taking the Lord's name in vain without the least sign that he cares at all. Then he pulls out something small and square from his pocket and lobs it at Bucky's hand. "You sure know how to ruin a moment, jerk."
Bucky catches it out of the air and tears at the wrapping paper. Then he stares at the little velvet box sitting on his palm for long enough that his throat feels like sandpaper when he tries to swallow.
"I hate you," he whispers. Steve has decimated all of his self-righteous anger with this—this— "Are you for real right now?"
"Bucky, I swear to God," Steve says, nodding meaningfully at the box. Bucky's supposed to open it, it's what you do with presents, but he can't, he can't, because he's been wanting this since he was sixteen and stupid, crazy in love with his best friend and and knowing full well that if anyone found out, they'd be lucky enough to make it out alive, let alone whole; and now he's holding a blue velvet box and his hands are shaking, even the metal one.
"Buck," Steve says, concerned and suddenly much closer than he was a minute ago. "If you don't—we can just—listen, forget about it, okay, it was mean of me to spring it on you like that, it's okay if you're not ready or you don't want to, I just thought--"
"Shut up," Bucky grates out between teeth clenched so hard his jaw hurts. "Shut up, you punk, you got me a ring."
"Well, yeah," Steve says slowly. "It's what you do when you want to ask someone to marry you."
Bucky's left hand nearly crushes the lid of the box beyond redemption when he opens it. The ring is simple, elegantly understated, except that there's a diamond on the top of it as big as the nail of his pinkie.
"I can't believe you bought me a diamond ring," Bucky says, wanting to give Steve shit because he can't let him get too comfortable with this kind of behaviour, but ruining it with how rough his voice sounds.
"I hear diamonds are forever," Steve says, dipping his head to look at Bucky's face. "So it should last for at least some of the time I'll spend loving you."
"You enormous sap," Bucky breathes admiringly. His eyes are kind of stinging. Okay, he's tearing up; there.
"Wanna try it on?" Steve says. His left hand is curled around Bucky's right one now, both of them cradling the box.
"Only if you put it on me," Bucky says mulishly.
Instead of huffing and accusing Bucky of being difficult, which is what any sane man would do in Steve's place, Steve takes the ring gently out of the box and slides it on Bucky's metal finger. It fits perfectly.
"Stark knew about this before I did?" Bucky demands, outraged.
"Had to get your ring size somehow. Wrapping a tape measure around your finger would've been way too suspicious." Steve smiles at him angelically. Bucky wised up to that smile by the time he was six, but that doesn't mean it doesn't still slither between his ribs and yank.
"So will you?" Steve says. He appears to be holding his breath.
Bucky smacks the side of his head. Then he grabs his face with both hands and lays one on him, biting and licking at his mouth until they're both panting for breath.
"Idiot," he says, grinning so hard his cheeks hurt. His right hand has somehow migrated under Steve's t-shirt, and he pushes it up until he can drag it over Steve's head, messing up his hair attractively. "What do you think?"
Steve sighs happily, leaning in for another kiss. Bucky lets him, falling back against the pillows and bringing Steve with him.
"How about some 'we just got engaged' sex, huh? You up for it? I could use a nice straightforward orgasm after all these feelings you dumped on me this morning."
Steve grunts and pushes into the hand Bucky curls around his dick. Bucky wasn't kidding; that would have been a pretty perfect birthday present all by itself.
"Now who's asking stupid questions?" Steve murmurs, mouthing down Bucky's neck and sucking like he's part-vampire, which, with the serum, who the hell knew anyway.
Yeah. Bucky's life is good.
It's all right, his next tweet reads. Apparently he had a good reason. His pretty fucking ring looks beautifully shiny on a phone screen; and anyway, Bucky is not beyond staking his claim in all the ways made possible by this brave new world.