Steve tugs at his tie. It feels like a noose. In the field, he wears the costume, done up like a Judas goat, easy for his men to spot and easier for the enemy to target. In the briefings back at base--the endless briefings, so many briefings, intelligence and objectives and strategies and plans--he wears the same uniform the rest of them do. He's just a soldier.
It's all he ever wanted.
Until he got it, of course, because that's the way it goes.
He opens the buttons of his jacket, too, and once his tie is loose he opens the top button of his shirt. It's late. Up top, lights are off and blackout curtains are drawn. Down here, they're supposed to be conserving energy; like it was when Steve was young, waste is a sin. It's familiar. So he's the only one still up, making his way quietly down the red-lit hall where the junior officers (and the Commandos) are bunked, two to a tiny room. Even Captain America has a roommate; Phillips likes to remind him he's not enough, not on his own, not even if his ideas are good and he's got the loyalty of the best men in this war, so Bucky is rooming with him. There were grumbles from the West Point boys, but between the circumstances of Steve's commission and the influence of the SAS, those grumbles got real quiet real fast.
Steve pauses outside of his own door. He lets his shoulders sink and he rests his forehead against the cool metal. Reinforced--it's all reinforced. The German bombs haven't made it this far down yet, but no one's taking chances. He tries to chase all the noisy thoughts from his overactive brain. He's tired. He doesn't want to think about war or what happens in the middle of the night if a Nazi bomb crushes Bucky and blows up in his face.
He just wants to sleep.
He turns the handle, slow and quiet, hopeful, because maybe Bucky's asleep, maybe he listened--for once--and got a hot shower and some real food and went to bed.
As soon as Steve gets the door open a crack, he sees the soft warm light of the paraffin lantern, smells the cigarette smoke. Bucky's not sleeping, then. Steve doesn't open the door more than he has to when he slips in. He smells Peggy's perfume and isn't sure what he'll see, and he may be alone in the hall but he doesn't want to risk it, couldn't do that to her, to her reputation.
Peggy is on the bed farthest from the door, his and Bucky's thin pillows shoved up behind her as she reclines against the metal headboard, her legs stretched out in front of her and her bare feet in Bucky's lap. Bucky, slouched, his back to the wall and his legs off the side of the bed, listing a little toward Peggy. He's smoking, a cigarette held between two fingers and the old coffee can he uses as an ashtray tucked between the bed and the wall. He's got a bunch of postcard-sized photographs in that hand, and the other hand is on Peggy's ankle.
Peggy's got pictures, too. And one of the bottles of wine Falsworth keeps in his footlocker.
Steve shuts the door very, very quietly. The latch clicks loud as a shot and neither of them look up.
He locks it.
Bucky takes a slow drag off his cigarette and while the thing dangles from his lips he hands one of his photos over to Peggy.
"This one," he says.
Steve knows, with an absolute horror, what they're looking at.
"Hmm." Peggy smiles, exactly the way she does when she makes Steve say the words that stick in his throat and burn his face.
"What do you think?" Bucky asks her, and it's lazy, affected, but he's really asking, he wants her answer. He takes the wine she offers and they're both still studiously ignoring Steve.
He's just fine with that.
Peggy pretends to think about it, studying the picture Steve can't see, a little frown on her lips and a little furrow between her brows, before she finally says, "Yes, I think so. Which will you be?" She shoots Bucky a sly look.
"Her," he says easily, immediately.
Peggy laughs. "And which am I to be?"
Steve's stomach drops. Of all the ones for Bucky to pick, why did it have to be that one?
"Whichever one you want, ma'am."
The smile Peggy turns on him is sweet and indulgent and Steve feels a moment's surge of affection for the two of them, for Peggy, with her easy acceptance of Bucky and Bucky's place in his life, for Bucky's enthusiastic welcoming of Peggy. They're more patient and tolerant than he deserves.
But they're still looking at...
"Those are just references," Steve says. It's maybe the dumbest thing he's said today.
It isn't the dumbest thing he's said ever, though. He tries not to think about all the stupid things he's said to Peggy.
"What do you think we're using them for?" Bucky shoots him an incredulous look.
"If you needed references," Peggy says primly, "why haven't you asked us to sit for you?"
Steve sits down hard on the edge of his own bed. It's rumpled, like maybe someone had been sitting on it before, and he imagines it was Peggy. He takes off his jacket and doesn't have a good answer for her. There's never time, he wants to say, or the truth, that there's always the risk he'll lose his sketchbook, that someone might see what he's drawn.
But Peggy is smiling at him now, her lips wet with wine, and Bucky's looking at him, too.
"Um," he says. That's the best he's got.
"Lover could get offended," Bucky says mildly, "finding all these references, never been asked." He takes another long drink of the wine and passes the bottle back to Peggy.
She takes it and drinks, too, looking at Steve, and he can't help tracing the shape of her lips. Then she sets the bottle aside and holds her hand out to Bucky. He gives her his cigarette and drops his hand to her, moves his hand idly from her ankle to the edge of her skirt and back, and he goes back to studying the stack of photographs he still holds.
"Where--" Steve starts, but that's the wrong question and he knows it even before they both turn their eyes on him. He takes his tie off and smooths it over his lap and tries again, "How'd you find them?"
"Looking for that map you drew of that valley we hit a few weeks back," Bucky says. "I thought it was in one of your sketchbooks."
"So Bucky handed one to me and he took the other, and, well..." Peggy finishes the cigarette, exhaling the smoke over Bucky's head, and puts it out.
Bucky pouts at her, briefly, then glances at Steve and taps the pile of photos they've clearly already been through. "Something interesting fell out," he finishes.
"I didn't buy them," Steve says abruptly, because it seems very important that they understand his Army pay did not go toward buying French pornography.
Bucky raises an eyebrow at him and Peggy looks amused, her lips pursed, her eyes bright.
"What, did you take them or something?" Bucky wants to know.
Steve's eyes widen. "No! I found them." His face feels hot, hotter as Peggy's smile spreads, as Bucky's smirk curves. This is, Steve realizes, worse than having bought them. He wonders if it's too late, if he can say ha ha never mind, he bought them, there was that brothel when they were moving through Paris...
Peggy's eyes dance. "And you brought them home."
"I thought they'd be useful." Steve scrubs his hands over his face. He's tired and embarrassed and seeing the both of them there, on Bucky's bed, half-dressed, casual, like they have any right to this--like he has any right to them--Peggy with the open buttons of her shirt and her skirt pushed up to just beneath her knees, her bare feet nestled into Bucky's lap, and Bucky, stripped down to his undershirt and his pants, his belt ends dangling. There's the smell of the wine and the cigarette and the knowledge of what they're looking at, what what they're looking at is for. Steve's pants feel tight and his head feels light.
"I think they are," Peggy says.
Bucky smiles at her. "Let's take pity on him."
"I'm already pitying the both of you as it is, why does he deserve more?"
Bucky laughs and drops the photos on the bed beside Peggy's leg. "Look at him." He slides his hand up, from her ankle to just above her knee, his fingers slipping just under her skirt. "We could let him be her," he suggests, nodding a little toward the photo Peggy is still holding.
Peggy drops the photograph off the bed, where it flutters to the floor. "Do you think he deserves it?"
"Better 'n looking at his red face all night." Bucky shifts so he can move over her, and he leans in to kiss the side of her neck, eyes closed, savoring it.
Peggy runs her fingers through Bucky's hair, her red nails bright against his dark hair. She turns into him. "And which am I to be with this change of plans?"
"You probably smell better than me," he murmurs into the curve of her neck, and his hand comes up to open the buttons of her shirt, slow.
"In need of a warm hole, Sergeant?"
"Out of rubbers, anyway. You two use 'em all up." Bucky kisses her.
Peggy arches into the kiss, into his touch, and Steve watches. Just watches. His pants feel tighter and Bucky's fingers slip into her shirt, into the top of her brassiere. Between their red wet mouths, Steve can see flashes of tongue. Bucky makes a quiet happy sound Peggy returns. Steve presses the heel of his palm against his groin.
She pushes her fingers through his hair and drags him out of the kiss just to smile at him. "Do you want an apology?"
"Maybe I just wanna watch you sit on his face," Bucky murmurs, turning his head just enough to kiss the inside of Peggy's wrist.
"I bet you do."
Bucky smiles at her, and Peggy draws him in for another kiss, and Steve feels like his heart might burst and he might make a mess of his pants all at the same time.
Eventually, Bucky slides off the bed and he holds his hand out to Peggy. "Come on."
Steve's eyes widen a little. "Wait--"
"Been waiting long enough," Bucky says.
"Yes. That meeting went on rather long." Peggy lets him help her off of the bed and lets him sweep her straight into his arms.
Bucky dances her around in the tiny space, his arm around her back and her hand tucked into his, not sloppy despite the hour and the company and the setting. He dips her backward, over his arm, and Peggy is looking at Steve upside down.
"I'm not in for any nasty surprises tomorrow morning, am I?"
From where he's sitting, he can see down the top of her slip, the swell of her breasts over the brassiere, fighting gravity and her underclothes. She's flushed, just a little, and Steve thinks--Bucky does that for her.
Bucky and the... pictures.
"Pussy hasn't got your tongue yet, Steve, answer the lady." Bucky rights Peggy.
She gives him an exasperated look, eyes glittering and cheeks just the barest pink. "Watch your language, soldier."
"Yes, ma'am. Sorry." Bucky cups the back of her head, fingers in through her hair, and brings her in for another kiss.
Peggy leans into it. Her arms go around him and Bucky's fingers dig into her side, his arm tight around her back.
Bucky breaks the kiss, nuzzling her cheek, dragging his lips along until he can say to her, just loud enough for Steve to hear, "I'll go get the slick, you get him ready."
"You're leaving all the heavy lifting to me? Rude." Peggy nips the angle of his jaw.
Bucky smiles into her hair. "He's too heavy for one of us, I promise I'll be back fast." He steps out of her arms.
Peggy gives him a fond look, dark-eyed and lovely, and says, "I think you just want to walk in on one of those figure studies."
"You got my number." Bucky kisses her palm before he lets her go.
And just like that, Peggy's in his lap, warm and sweet-smelling, her arms around his shoulders, her skirt around her thighs, her hips pressed to his, her fingers in his hair and on the buttons of his shirt. Peggy nips at his neck and leaves lipstick smudges on his jaw and the edge of his mouth.
"How was your day, darling?"
Steve laughs. He hears Bucky laugh, too. He wraps his arms around her and turns into her kiss, glad to feel the exhaustion melt away, forgetting all about the briefings and strategy and the war. Just for now. She does this for him--she and Bucky both.
Peggy's mouth is hot and her tongue is soft, and he tastes the wine and the cigarette and Bucky. She wriggles on his lap, rubbing right against his erection still trapped in his pants.
If it weren't for her kiss, he'd make a noise and embarrass himself.
And then Bucky's hands, warm and familiar, brushing over his on Peggy's side and the center of her back, and the smell of him just before he feels the brush of his lips at his temple. Steve turns, lips still wet from Peggy's kiss, straight into Bucky's.
"I thought we were to be left alone," Peggy murmurs to Bucky.
"I tried to leave, ma'am," Bucky says, straight out of Steve's kiss. "But I couldn't."
Peggy laughs, a little, quiet, and Steve isn't sure if she's laughing at Bucky or at the way Steve rubs his face against him, hoping for another kiss, but he doesn't care. He cares less when Peggy obliges him, brushing her lips to Bucky's cheek and then pressing her wet mouth to his. Bucky bites the side of his neck and Peggy's hands are opening the buttons of his shirt; Peggy pulls his undershirt where it's tucked into his pants and Bucky strips his dress shirt down his arms.
His wrists catch in the sleeves and Bucky keeps his arms pinned behind him for glorious, long moments. Moments Peggy spends sucking a love mark over his collarbone, moments Bucky spends scraping a day's stubble against his neck, soothing the sting with his hot tongue. Steve tips his head back and tries to breathe. It's like having an asthma attack, but infinitely better, because he's safe.
Bucky releases his arms and when Steve gets his hands free and back on Peggy, he finds Bucky's hands there already. He's sliding her skirt up, high, and takes a moment to cup her breasts through her underthings, to kiss the side of her neck and glance at Steve through his eyelashes. Peggy reaches up and back and scratches her fingers through Bucky's hair, like petting a favorite dog. Bucky slides his hands down her body, and then up under her skirt, and Steve's hands are already there, fingers sliding into the top of her panties. He cups her ass in both hands and lifts her just enough--just enough for Bucky to pull away and peel her knickers down her legs.
Steve catches a glimpse of them before Bucky tosses them across to his bed, and he hides a smile in the curve of Peggy's neck. They're the ones Bucky brought back for her, pale silk and handmade lace. Steve remembers being horrified that Bucky would presume--and Bucky's casual shrug, the way he'd said "pretty girls deserve pretty things." Steve didn't disagree.
Neither, it seems, does Peggy.
Bucky runs his hands up her legs. He grips her hips and lifts her right off of Steve's lap.
"Hush, you. You'll get your turn." And he promptly ignores Steve in favor of tucking a finger into the straps of Peggy's slip and her brassiere and lowering them, in favor of a slow wet kiss to the newly-healed bullet wound there, in favor of sliding his hand down her opposite side and pulling her skirt up.
Peggy lifts a hand to the back of his head and tips hers back against his shoulder. There's a smile playing at the corners of her lips. Steve watches, rapt, as Bucky kisses her shoulder, the curve of her neck, up her neck. As he slides a hand around, fingers splayed over her belly, and up, to cup her breast, to slip into her bra and touch, warm flesh to warm flesh. As Bucky slides a hand between her thighs and touches her there.
Peggy gasps against his cheek.
"Is that for us or Steve's dirty pictures?" Bucky asks softly.
"Are you going to let it go to your head if I say you?"
Bucky smiles and kisses the angle of her jaw. "Get comfortable, Steve."
Steve stretches out on his bed, on his back, and when they laugh at him his face goes hot.
"For reference, hmm?" Peggy says, and then moans a little, quietly. "Bucky."
Steve glances to find Bucky's hand moving, slow, Peggy's skirt bunched over his wrist. Peggy's legs seem to have given out; Bucky's got an arm around her middle, holding her up, and when she turns her face, he meets her halfway, covering her mouth with his.
Bucky releases her, sliding his hand down her thigh, slowly loosening his arm around her. He kisses her cheek. "Go on," he says softly.
"You can't give me orders," she teases.
Bucky just smiles at her. His eyes are dark and his hair's a mess and his face is flushed and his pulse in the hollow of his throat is erratic. "No, ma'am," he agrees.
Peggy's knees look a little wobbly, but she hikes her skirt up to her thighs and climbs onto the bed, slinging a leg over Steve. She leans down over him, smile on her flushed face, her lipstick smudged.
"Ma'am," he says.
She's laughing when she kisses him.
Steve can't help himself, reaches up to thread his fingers in her soft hair, holds her a little longer than she means for him to. She feels good on top of him. Like she always does.
When Peggy pulls back, she smiles at him. She's dark-eyed and flushed and so lovely, and she says, "Remember, pinch me if you can't breathe."
Steve is laughing when she straddles his shoulders and settles the hot wet center of her against his chin.
It's dark and warm and smells richly of just Peggy when she drops her skirt, and Steve takes a moment, eyes closed, to breathe it all in and kiss her.
Then Bucky's voice, a muffled pout, "I can't see anything."
Peggy sighs, and Steve feels it all through her. "I suppose you've earned it."
Steve doesn't even have time to protest when she shifts off of him and turns around. She's back immediately. Steve's hands find her thighs and he holds her tight as he tips his chin and closes his eyes. She's wet, God, she's so wet, and Steve loves this, loves she tastes, loves the little sighs he gets from her, the flutters of her beautiful cunt, when he just licks because that's all he has to do. He doesn't have to be anything but good enough for her.
"What a sight you are," Bucky murmurs, and Steve feels the bed dip and hears the protesting groan of the springs.
"You don't look so bad yourself." Peggy sounds breathless.
Bucky pushes Steve's legs apart and runs his hands up and down his thighs through the creased wool of his pants. Steve shifts his hips restlessly, for a moment forgetting what he's doing with his mouth, not thinking at all, just feeling. And his dick is so hard inside his pants, his shorts, and Bucky's hands are firm and warm and so near.
Peggy's nails dig in. "Uh-uh," she chides.
Just like that, Steve stops moving.
Bucky chuckles, dark, and then his hands are on Steve's belt, opening the buttons of his pants, and even though Peggy's thighs are pressed to his ears and her heavy skirt is covering his head, he hears her sharp gasp.
"Big boy," she murmurs.
Bucky wraps a firm hand around him, just the way he likes, and Steve groans up into her.
"Show off," Bucky says affectionately. He rubs his thumb right up under the head.
Steve holds Peggy's thighs harder and presses his tongue flat to her button.
She gasps again.
Bucky sounds like he needs to clear his throat. "That got it?"
Steve doesn't know who he's talking to. He shifts his hips, hoping Bucky will do it again, and he prods at her with his tongue.
Peggy sighs again and seems to melt.
"Come here," Bucky says.
Peggy's weight shifts, she leans closer to Bucky. Over the wet sounds of his own mouth on Peggy's cunt, he can hear kissing. Steve opens his mouth and lets her grind hard against his chin, where the friction is sweetest for her. She's so close--he can feel it. And she's holding back.
"Not the only big boy tonight," Peggy teases.
Bucky laughs breathlessly. "It was the figure studies," he says.
She laughs, too. And moans when Steve nibbles at her. "No one forgot you, Steve." Her hands slide up from his hips and she braces herself against his chest. She arches her back, just a little, grinds down again.
Steve's face is wet with her. He holds her thighs tighter and pulls back, just a little, just to lick into her.
Bucky's dick is hot against his, and then Bucky's hand is around both of them, and Steve can't help the deeply relieved groan. Bucky strokes them twice, rough, and Steve squirms.
Peggy gives an undignified whimper. Her hands slide down again, from his chest, like she can barely hold herself up.
"He taking good care of you, ma'am?" Bucky asks her, low and--
"Oh, you're a cheat, Barnes." She draws out the end of his name, a long hiss.
"You like being in charge," Bucky says, and Peggy's weight shifts again, and Bucky is guiding her hand down Steve's belly, between his hips. "He likes this--"
When Bucky shows her how to scratch at him, her nails scraping through the curls at the base of his dick, Steve thinks he might come up off the bed entirely. He releases Peggy's legs long enough to shove his hands under her skirt and grip her hips so he can pull her down tighter on him.
He flashes on how this must look, him on his back, his legs up around Bucky and Peggy beautiful and close as she sits on his face, how they're all still mostly-dressed and he bets Bucky and Peggy look absolutely as wrecked as he feels. Steve moans again and arches his back, trying to thrust up closer to Bucky, trying to pull Peggy even closer.
Bucky squeezes him hard. "Don't," he says. "Don't be rude, Steve."
He whines in protest.
Bucky goes back to stroking him, hard and slow, maddeningly slow, the friction hot, barely eased at all by the slick leaking from the head of his dick.
"How about it, ma'am? He getting you there? Or you need a real man? Maybe one who didn't come out of a bottle..."
Peggy laughs, breathless and delighted, and starts, "Bucky--" But Steve can't have it, can't have her forgetting it's him, and he tips his head and presses his tongue to her clitoris, bites up at her with his tongue between his teeth and her sweet flesh, wiggles it just the way she likes and her voice rises into the oh oh ohs he loves so much. And her pussy against his mouth starts to flutter and clench, and she comes, a sweet flood over his tongue and lips.
Bucky is there to catch her when her arms give out, and Steve eases his hold on her hips. He's close, too, and he breathes in, hot and deep, the smell of her. He thrusts up into Bucky's hand, against his cock, and licks at Peggy. Bucky pulls harder at him, at both of them, and his balls feel tight, close, and he turns his face just a little, groans into the crease of Peggy's thigh and bites her there when he comes, back arching, hips jerking.
Bucky follows, splashing hot against his lower belly.
Steve thinks he could melt into the lumpy mattress, could sink right through and puddle on the floor. All the tension he was carrying is gone.
Peggy tries to move off of him and he protests, hands on her hips barely gripping. He chases her as far as he can as she shifts closer to Bucky.
Only it's not her--it's Bucky, with his arms around her, pulling her close to his chest, and he strokes her sweaty hair out of her face and kisses her temple, her cheek. Steve lifts his head enough and blinks, and he watches Bucky kiss her mouth, tuck her bared breasts back into her underthings.
Peggy lets herself be held. She grips Bucky's waist and lets him kiss her, tender and sweet, lets him right her clothes and smooth her hair back from her face. Steve feels an unusual pang of jealousy. Bucky makes her feel safe, lets her forget her role for all his teasing ma'ams, lets her let go without threatening her. He wishes he could do that.
But they're not here alone, are they? Peggy's sitting on his thighs so he sits up, carefully, and he rests his hand on Peggy's hip, the other on Bucky's elbow around her waist, and when Peggy turns away from Bucky she looks as dazed and sleepy as Steve feels.
She comes into his arms, twisting, sinking, and Bucky follows her as she leans against Steve. Steve puts his arms around both of them, kisses Peggy as Bucky licks at Peggy's leavings on his cheek, turns his face to kiss Bucky.
Peggy presses her face against Steve's neck as Bucky pulls away.
Bucky gives him a stern look. "Stop hiding your pornography," he says.
Peggy laughs. "And don't be afraid to ask if you need more references."