KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
Your head jerks up from the book you had been reading. You look at the clock, trying to figure out how long you had been lost in the story. Who would be knocking on my door at nine o’clock? You get up, pulling the blanket you were wrapped in closer to you. Your small apartment was freezing; the price of living by yourself without a room-mate means a small apartment whose building is owned by a cheap bastard that won’t supply much heating in the winter or cooling in the summer. You open the door to see your best friend, and crush, standing in the snow, bundled in a jacket, with red-tipped ears and nose. He also has a split lip and a rapidly darkening black-eye.
“I may have gotten into a little scuffle,” he starts sheepishly. Before he can launch into any more details you grab him and pull him inside.
You guide him to the armchair you had just vacated. “Bucky, what happened?” you ask, trying to keep calm. Your heart is beating like you had just run a marathon.
“There were these guys and they were roughing up Mr. O’Conner. He was trying to close shop and they started pushing him around, asking for money.” You had drug a stool over to the arm-chair; you quickly went and retrieved a wet wash-cloth, disinfectant, and swabs. You sat looking him over for a moment, taking his chin in your hands and turning his face in the mute light.
“Mr. O’Conner? The old guy that owns the book-shop on 10th? He’s nearly 75!” you exclaim while dapping at the split in his lip, cleaning it. You also wipe his knuckles off before putting the disinfectant on the scrapes. What was he fighting? A wall?
“Yeah, I beat them off. They shouldn’t be messing with him again, but I’ll keep him in my rounds for a bit, just to make sure.”
You smile to yourself. Bucky had a habit of patrolling “his neighborhood” and keeping bullies in check. It had started a long time ago after he and Steve became friends. Bucky had always been there for Steve, helping him out of the trouble he insisted on getting in. There had been many times you had to clean the both of them up.
“Just how many ‘guys’ are we talking about?” you question. The cocked eyebrow means you want a straight answer.
“Three?” Bucky asks the floor, like it will save him from the glare you are giving him. There had also been many times your boys had bitten off more than they could chew; they knew it made you worry.
You go to the kitchen, getting a glass of water and a cold compress for Bucky.
“Thanks, that feels much better,” he sighs, pressing the compress onto his right eye. The two of you sit in silence for a few moments, listening to the muffled sounds of the city. After what feels like hours Bucky comments about how cold it is in your apartment. “I think I was warmer outside in the blizzard.” You both laugh.
“Yeah, my landlord is kind of a jerk,” you say laughing. “You know it’s late, and you are right, it’s a blizzard out there,” you start, “You should stay here tonight Bucky.”
Bucky lowers the compress from his eye and looks at you, his eyes half closed. “Thanks, I appreciate that. And you know, I could repay you for fixing me up.” You stare at him, eyes wide. “I could sleep with you,” he continued. At this you choke on a breath and start coughing, blush rising high on your cheeks.
“Oh no no no no, that’s not what I meant!” Bucky exclaims, voice pitching in embarrassment. “I meant we could share your bed and share body heat,” he finishes lamely. He’s rubbing your back and when you finally stop coughing and can look at him, you see that he’s blushing too.
“Alright,” you say slowly. “We have a deal.”
You get up and lead the way to your bedroom. You shut the door behind the two of you and throw the blanket you had wrapped yourself in earlier on the bed, leaving you in your robe, which would not be coming off. The bed was wedged against the wall in the corner, and you normally slept closer to the wall than the edge. Bucky takes his coat off and spreads it on the bed also.
The bed was a twin and there were two of you. That would mean you would be sleeping pressed together. You felt like your face was about to ignite. Bucky motions for you to climb in first. You were glad the only light was coming from the window across from the bed, and that Bucky couldn’t tell how much you were blushing. You climb in and hug the wall. Then Bucky climbs in and pulls the covers over you both.
To give yourselves more space you are both on your sides. And facing each other, pressed together. Oh boy. You shift trying to get comfortable, and your hands end up on his chest in the process.
“If you wanted to feel me up you should have just said so. It would have been a lot easier than this elaborate plan of yours to get me into bed,” Bucky says with a chuckle. You give his chest a light whack.
“Shut up,” you murmur. Damn he smells good. Bucky shifts against you. You are acutely aware that this is the warmest you’ve felt in two months, and in more ways than one. You try to keep your thoughts pure, but you are failing. You’ve loved Bucky for years now. He was just so brave, caring, and loyal. The idea of him being hurt enraged you and all you wanted to do was keep him safe. Startled out of your thoughts, you notice Bucky’s face getting closer to yours.
Then his hand was gently holding your chin, tilting your face up. His eyes were open and raw with emotion, as were yours. You let out a breath you didn’t know you were holding. Bucky’s eyes flicked down to your lips and back to your eyes. Together you closed the gap. His lips were soft and gentle on yours; it was almost a whisper. Your hands close into fists, bunching his shirt and his arms wrapped around you, pulling you closer to him. Pulling back you look in his eyes, searching for a sign that this was real, that it meant something.
“I love you,” he whispered. One of his hands came up to brush a strand of hair behind your ear. His touch is so soft and gentle; you barely feel his fingertips on your skin.
Your heart beat faster. “I love you, too.”
Smiling softly Bucky leaned forward for another kiss. This kiss was more heated, edged with more need. Your kisses became faster; you felt his tongue and your teeth clashed. His tongue swept over your bottom lip, desperate for entrance, which you granted readily. The taste of him flooded your senses; there was nothing in your world except for the smell, taste, and feel of Bucky. His tongue swept through your mouth slowly, exploring and memorizing. Tentatively you brushed your tongue against his, earning you a moan. God, that could easily became my favorite sound. You grew bolder with your movements. Your hands ran up and down Bucky’s chest, then up his back where you planted your hands on his shoulders, pulling yourself into him. You sucked on his tongue, and Bucky groaned in the back of his throat. You finally broke for air, both of you panting and flushed. You ran a hand through his hair, ruffling it; your mouth split into a grin. Bucky brushed a hand over your face, cupping your check in a warm hand. You reached a hand up to his cheek, and swept your thumb gently over the split in his lip. Bucky caught your thumb with a kiss.
“Promise you’ll always be there to put me back together?” he whispered.
“I promise I’ll always be there,” you whisper back, placing your hand over his heart.
Snow continued to fall over New York; a quite hush had settled over the city. In a cold apartment building, two lovers laid bare save for the thick layer of blankets and each other’s embrace. The snow fell cold and quite while their hearts beat warm and steady. Neither time nor distance could sever their bond.