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Gimme That Can't Sleep Love

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They'd started sleeping in one big bed, after the helicarriers fell, after Ultron, after Steve and Sam found Bucky and brought him home. It just worked better when one of them had a nightmare or someone went wandering in their sleep. There was usually one of them still awake or sitting vigil through the night. And it saved a heck of a lot in laundry.

The sex wasn't bad, either, and it helped burn off nervous energy. Mostly, though, it was great to have someone near when you woke screaming from a memory of something so horrible that your mind couldn't let go of the details.

It had been Steve and Sam at first, seeking mutual comfort while they worked through the country looking for the Winter Soldier. Once Bucky was free and clear of Hydra's influence, he'd fitted naturally into their dynamic, bringing a comfortable familiarity with Steve's body that Sam found fascinating and a surprising openness to trusting Sam, a stranger. A lot about Bucky surprised Sam, not the least his understanding of the trappings of PTSD.

"Soldiers are soldiers," he said one night, while he held Steve as Steve stoically refused to tremble. "I've been a soldier for a long time. They change the names of things, but the nightmare is still the same."

This time, Bucky pressed a hand to Sam's chest to wake him, just as Sam was dreaming of Riley in the sky, an arm's length out of reach. Bucky sat upright in the middle of the bed, with Sam on one side and Steve curled against his hip on the other. The room was quiet, but the bed was bouncing from the reflexive lurch of Sam's body as he woke. It had been a bad one.

"You okay?" Bucky said quietly, while Sam gasped in fright, still reaching for Riley's harness. Bucky had been watching something on his tablet when Sam woke and, ignored, it had slipped between Bucky and Steve's bodies. Tinny voices came from somewhere near Steve's face, but he slept on, undisturbed.

Sam turned on his side and waited for his heartbeat to settle. "Does anything wake him?"

Bucky looked down at the gentle rise and fall of Steve's ribs, and shook his head. "Could have slept through the Blitz, this one." He curled his fingers, the metal ones, in Steve's hair, and Steve still slept on, a blissful smile on his lips.

Sam pushed a hand over his own head, felt the prickle of sweat drying, and flopped back against the pillows. "What are you watching?" he said, looking for something to distract his mind from the awful spiral of Riley's wings.

Bucky picked the tablet up carefully with his left hand – he was scrupulously careful with the prosthesis and electronics – and held it for Sam to see. "It's this show where the cops are dogs."

Sam nodded. "Oh yeah, I know that one. Clint's a big fan."

"I don't understand how they drive the cars," Bucky said. Beside him, Steve murmured something in his sleep and wrapped an arm around Bucky's thigh, pulling his head onto it like a pillow.

"Seriously, this guy is a super soldier," said Sam. "What the hell does wake him?"

Bucky laughed softly. "Sneaky stuff," he said. "Doesn't matter how quiet I was as a kid, I could never could slip in through the window without him catching me. Not that he ever blabbed to my ma. Once he slept through a shelling in Italy, and only woke up when Hydra came tiptoeing through the rubble." Dog Cops played the closing credits, and Bucky switched the tablet off and reached across Steve's body to put it on the dresser. He gave Steve a shove, so that he rolled off Bucky's leg and onto his back, but still didn't wake. Thus disencumbered, Bucky turned to regard Sam with a speculative expression.

Sam raised his eyebrows. "Is it sneaky time?" Fading adrenaline became vague longing for physical release.

Bucky trailed his fingers along the length of Sam's body. "It might be," he said. His hand flattened, and he pushed his palm hard against Sam's thigh. Sam reached for him, and pulled him down, wrapping a leg around him and putting all that nervous energy into movement.

They were soon wrapped up in each other. Sam arched upward while Bucky ground hard against him, holding himself effortlessly with the metal arm so that he could kiss the salt-soaked skin of Sam's chest.

The mattress jumped, independent of their movements. When they looked back at Steve, his eyes were open, and he was watching them with an interested expression. He pulled himself upright. "What did I miss?" he said, and reached for them both.