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It seems like everything is fine. He's got Steve again, and just like always, throwing in with Steve means signing on for Steve's personal war. That's his whole life mapped out for him with one choice. It's not even really a choice; he made this promise a long time ago. If he's going to keep holding on to the idea that he is James Buchanan Barnes, that means holding on to Steve.

And it's good. He loves being James Buchanan Barnes. Sometimes he feels like he's stolen this life somehow, but Steve and Natasha and his doctors keep telling him that that feeling is normal but also untrue. His life, his name, it all really belongs to him.

He's earned this, anyway, after everything. He's earned all the little pleasures of Bucky's life. He's earned the privilege of going to bed with Steve, and waking up with Steve, knowing where he is every time.

After all the time they wasted back then and everything that happened in between, he has certainly earned the pleasure of having Steve's fat serum-powered cock inside him as often as he fucking wants.

He doesn't have to steal that, either. He doesn't even have to work hard for it; Steve loves it too. Steve fucks him so hard he can't think of anything else, and Steve never comes until he's sure Bucky's gotten his at least once.

So it seems like everything is fine, right up until the night when Steve frowns and withdraws his hand from between Bucky's thighs and says, "Hey, maybe you could--maybe we could try something else tonight?"

He feels a little crack open up inside him and a cold wind blowing through it, but he smiles Bucky's smile, only a little confused. He's still hard, still spread open for Steve. "Am I boring you, Stevie?"

Steve shakes his head quickly, and his hand comes back, probing at Bucky's hole again. The touch is so gentle, so slick, that Bucky can't help shivering, and he sees Steve watching his reaction. For a second Bucky thinks Steve was only teasing, making him ask for it. Maybe everything can still be all right. Steve won't make him really beg.

But Steve looks down to where his fingers are barely touching Bucky's hole. "We've been fucking a lot--I've been fucking you a lot..." His probing fingers sink in easily, without resistance.

Bucky understands all at once what Steve is telling him, and why he's being gentle and delicate about the telling. Steve loves Bucky. If he is James Buchanan Barnes, then he is the man who earned that love and the kindness that comes with it.

Still, even with all of Steve's love and kindness offered to him, there are limits. The situation has become unacceptable and must be repaired.

"Just thought your ass could use a rest, pal," Steve murmurs. "The serum does a lot, but..."

The serum does a lot, but look at this. The asset was in position on the examining table, heels in the stirrups nearly level with his hips and splayed out wide to expose him. The technician showed the handler exactly where to look, gloved fingers waggling freely in the wreck of the asset's hole, gaping so wide he barely felt the touch. You're not allowing time for this to heal. I can stitch him up again good and tight, but even then you have to stay off him for a day or it's just going to get worse.

Nice and tight. His handler smacked the inside of the asset's thigh before he turned a wolfish grin on the tech. I like the sound of that.

"Tomorrow?" Bucky tries. "Come on, you got me all ready now, I can rest tomorrow and then I'll be good as new."

Steve looks torn. That means he still wants it, and Bucky clings to that. It's not so bad that it's disgusting; Steve is just looking out for Bucky again, letting him know before it's gotten really bad, while there's still time for him to fix it.

"I'll make it good for you," Bucky promises, clenching around Steve's probing fingers. He gets enough of a grip to make them feel big inside him, but then he's not really used to taking anything but Steve's fingers and cock these days. It's a good thing Steve told him; he might have let it get a lot worse before he realized. He hasn't been thinking of it at all. It never hurts with Steve, and Steve's just one guy, even if the serum lets him fuck like a whole squad.

He should have known that even as James Buchanan Barnes, he can't have the good without the bad.

Steve's fingers move tentatively inside him, and Steve is watching his face for his reaction. "It doesn't hurt?"

Bucky shakes his head quickly, face reddening as he confirms it. He should have known from the start. It never hurt with Steve; that should have been enough of a cue. He's never been properly tight for Steve at all.

He's not just an asset now, though. He's James Buchanan Barnes, and he's allowed to have preferences. Steve wants him to express them, even to be selfish sometimes. So it's all right to ask for what he wants.

"Please, Stevie, don't leave me hanging tonight. You got me all--ah--"

Steve's fingers inside him curl up, making him whine with pleasure that can't give Steve anything in return. This is why he's been neglecting his responsibilities; it's never felt like a duty with Steve. It's so easy to forget that his body still has to be maintained even when the use doesn't feel like work and the damage isn't obvious.

"That feel good, Buck?" Steve is watching him with bright, eager eyes, flexing his fingers in Bucky's ass. The motion is easy, and Bucky can hear the sloppy sound of it; he must be more wrecked than he'd even begun to suspect. He must be gaping open already, but Steve is still touching him, still enjoying it.

That has to mean that it won't trouble him too much to use his cock, to let Bucky get him off in the way that he likes best. It's only a little selfish, as long as Steve gets his too.

"Feel better if you gave me what I asked you for, you little p--fuck, ah, yeah--" Steve's fingers pressed harder inside him, working him up, and then withdrew with another filthy sound. Steve's cock is there before Bucky can take more than one quick breath. Steve is dripping wet and pushing inside so slowly that Bucky can almost believe that his hole really is stretching as he's penetrated. He can feel a phantom echo of the ache of being opened, though he knows he's sloppy and loose.

He clenches as tight as he can on the head of Steve's cock, aware again of how spoiled he's gotten. Tightening up so hard almost does hurt, and makes Steve's cock feel huge inside him, though he's so stretched already.

"God, Buck," Steve's eyes are wide and dark, and he keeps easing inside when no easing is required. When he's all the way in it still doesn't hurt--Bucky has been stupid not to notice that. He tightens on Steve's cock the best he can, wringing a groan from Steve's throat, sending a shuddering wave of pleasure through his own body.

That belongs to him, only him. It's not about Steve's love for Bucky, or the kindness owed to James Buchanan Barnes. He's earning his own pleasure right now by making this good for Steve, even though he has only his own wrecked body to work with.

So he does it again and again, working his ass on Steve's cock as well as he can. Steve moves in twitches, rocking inside him and keeping his cock buried deep. Steve makes little helpless sounds, his eyes wide, his whole body flushed and sweating, and still Bucky doesn't notice what he's doing until Steve gasps, "I'm gonna--"

Bucky growls and milks it from him in deliberate motions. Steve comes buried inside him, adding another load to the loose, slippery mess of his hole.

Steve's hand finds Bucky's cock almost before he's finished coming, and Bucky whines and pushes into his grip. He's not far from coming himself. Steve jerks him fast and tight, his grip still slick from the lube he'd used on himself. Steve hasn't gone soft inside him before Bucky comes, and the clenching of his body as he comes make it feel like he really is tight around Steve, like he might even hurt properly.

Steve gasps in his ear as he comes down, like he can feel the clutching of Bucky's ass around him. He pulls out as soon as Bucky lets up his grip--he hadn't even realized he was holding Steve so close until he let go.

Bucky doesn't complain, but without Steve inside him it's obvious how stretched he is, loose and wet and filthy. He can feel come leaking out of him, and he knows how it must look, how it would feel if he reached down to touch.

"Want a washcloth?" Steve murmurs, pulling him close. Steve loves him. Steve always tries to take care of him.

He is Bucky. He is James Buchanan Barnes. He will not be punished for making a mess of the sheets; technically half the bed is his to mess up anyway.

He shakes his head and summons up a sleepy smile, cuddling close so Steve will go to sleep. So Steve won't see what his ass looks like now, freshly loosened and leaking come. They won't fuck tomorrow, which means he'll have tomorrow to get it fixed and heal up.

"I'm a big boy, Stevie. I'll take care of it."

There are no techs to report to in his new life. In James Buchanan Barnes' life. There are doctors, but the doctors are gentle and careful and slow. Steve comes with him to practically all his appointments, anyway, which would ruin his plan to fix this before Steve has to deal with it any further.

It's like he told Steve last night. He's a big boy. He'll take care of this.

Anyway, he has a feeling that the new doctors wouldn't handle this properly. This is a problem from his old life; he needs a solution to it that fits the old model.

He isn't going to try to track down an actual HYDRA medical technician. He isn't stupid enough to expose himself to that kind of risk, and anyway all the ones whose whereabouts are knowable are already dead or in prison.

Luckily it turns out to be true what Steve and Sam have told him: you really can find anything on the internet. Even a guy who thinks the idea of stitching up your nasty loose hole for you sounds like so much fun he'll do it for free.

He finds a guy whose ad bears the headline THE DOCTOR IS IN with (YOUR ASS) instead of the name of the neighborhood where he lives. It takes a few rounds of emails and a phone call to convince the guy that Bucky knows what he wants. He has to look some things up quickly to be sure he's responding in the proper forms to inscrutable questions like Traffic light system ok? and You have any history I should know about?

He answers yes to the first and no to the second and cobbles together the rest from the times when his handlers wanted him to beg for it. Please, please, Doctor, I need this so bad. I'm so loose and filthy, I need you to fix me, it's an emergency, I need it tonight--

Within a matter of hours he has an address to report to and an assurance that he'll get the repair he needs without even having to earn it with anything more troubling than a fuck. As long as this internet play-doctor guy fucks first and stitches him up after, he can clean himself out and still be nice and tight for Steve at the end. That's all that matters--getting the necessary results. It's like having a mission again. Everything is very simple and very clear.

Bucky slips out of the apartment while Steve is out at one of the endless PR things that seem to be half his job as Captain America. He leaves a note: Out exploring. Steve is always happy when Bucky ventures into the world on his own.

It counts as exploring, he thinks, so it's hardly even a lie. He hasn't had any cause to visit the neighborhood (YOUR ASS) turned out to actually be, and the walk there gives him plenty of time to look around. It's in Brooklyn, not that far from his and Steve's place, really. He makes notes of two cafes producing interestingly weird food smells on the way, and memorizes their locations to revisit later.

The building where he is to receive his treatment is an innocuous brownstone.

He can smell the old HYDRA medical lab over the familiar stink of Brooklyn for a moment, chasing out even the confusion of peppers and chocolate and lavender from his nose. He stands frozen on the sidewalk, his fists clenched in his pockets. He's wearing the sleeve that camouflages his left arm, so the man he is visiting will see nothing strange about it.

He will have no idea he should take special care to restrain his patient on that side. He will not have the codes or tools to control the arm; while the asset was required to sit--or lie--quietly through all treatments, Bucky can fight back if he has to. He is in no real danger from this civilian pervert and his medical kit.

None of these facts about his tactical situation give him any real confidence in his plan. He feels cold inside, and he doesn't want to go into the windowless room he knows must be waiting for him. He doesn't want to lie down on the table or be strapped into the chair. He squeezes his eyes shut and considers walking away, considers saying "red" like that website said he could if they were using a traffic light system.

But walking away won't fix anything. If he says "red" he won't get what he needs. Even now, sixteen hours after Steve last fucked him, he can feel how loose he is, his ass wrecked and open and disgusting. He needs to be repaired, and this is the only way he can get that now. He still has a mission, even if he doesn't have the asset's cool certainty of completing it.

He walks around the block a few times to kill time. He left earlier than the distance required to be sure he'd be gone before Steve came home. By the time he's made a few laps he feels almost steady, nearly sure of himself. He lets the momentum of the last lap carry him to the door.

He rings the bell with his left hand, which is as steady as always, and even manufactures a slight smile for the man who opens the door.

He looks younger than Bucky was vaguely expecting. He has black-framed glasses and a beard long enough to comb, and his dark hair, longer than Bucky's, is pulled back in a knot at the back of his head.

He's already wearing pale blue scrubs, slightly bleach-stained at the shirt's hem and one knee. The smell of assorted disinfectants wafts out of the house and rises from the technician's hands.

He gives Bucky a brisk, stern look, and says, "Ready? Color?"

Bucky had insisted in his emails that he wanted to start right in. Now his heart is hammering with the knowledge that there is no more reprieve, no more time to stall this.

"Yeah," he says, widening his smile to show more teeth at the same time he drops his shoulders to a suitably submissive pose, showing his willingness to cooperate with necessary maintenance. "Yeah, green."

He follows the technician down into the basement, the smell of disinfectant growing stronger in his nose. He says yes, sir and no, sir and green, sir to the tech's questions as appropriate.

When he's standing on the cold tile floor in the room with the drain and the steel table, he's distracted for a moment by the sight of a washer and dryer along one wall. There are brightly colored towels and t-shirts in a laundry basket on top of the dryer. When he looks again at the man in scrubs, he sees not a medical technician but a civilian pervert he found on the internet.

He takes a deep breath and remembers: he is choosing to do this. He can choose not to, but this is the only way to make himself good for Steve. He needs this.

The civilian is watching him with a mild, patient expression. When Bucky focuses on him, he says, "Okay? You followed the prep instructions I sent? Ready to get started?"

Bucky already answered this question at the door, and it's simultaneously reassuring and unnerving to be asked again. He doesn't want more chances to back out. He needs this to be done to him, so that he only has to endure it.

He nods sharply. "Yeah. Green."

The civilian nods back firmly. "Clothes off, then. No more dawdling."

Bucky obeys the order, peeling out of his hoodie and the layered t-shirts beneath in one motion. The sleeve on his left arm stays securely in place, and he doesn't let himself check on it, unbuttoning his pants at the same time he's toeing out of his shoes. He get his jeans and underwear off in a quick shove, peels his socks off and drops them with the rest of his clothes.

He's been aware of the civilian moving around during the few seconds it took him to strip, but he still feels the shock of it in the pit of his belly when he looks up to see that the lower half of the man's face has disappeared behind a sterile mask. He's pulling on a matching cap over his hair while Bucky watches, and he jerks his chin toward the table.

"Go on, hop up and lie down."

He obeys. The table is cold under him, but he makes himself stretch out at length on it. His cock lies shrunken and limp over his balls where his thighs are pressed together, as though he can hide himself.

The technician comes to stand at the side of the table. His hands are gloved now, his eyes hidden by a plastic shield with a light on it. The asset averts his gaze so that he won't be blinded by it, and keeps his breathing even through a series of impersonal touches. The technician's fingers press against his throat, drag up his eyelids and tilt his head from side to side. There is a cool press of metal against his chest and belly, a stethoscope being put to use.

Bucky's attention sharpens for a moment, watching the stethoscope's progress; if for some reason the civilian pervert tries to check a pulse in his left arm, he may discover what's under the camouflage, or at least ask awkward questions.

He apparently recalls that Bucky labeled armpits as a no-go area, though; the stethoscope stays near the midline of his chest.

When he reaches Bucky's groin, he says, "Knees apart, please."

Bucky obeys, raising his gaze to the ceiling as he parts his thighs. He can feel the looseness of his hole already.

The technician doesn't look there yet, though. He takes Bucky's dick in his gloved hands, feeling down his soft length in impersonal prodding touches. It's the same when he has Bucky's testicles in his hand; he squeezes gently, touching everywhere, checking for damage or abnormalities.

"All right," the technician says. "So far so good. Now let's get to the main issue."

He moves around to the end of the table, raising the metal stirrups into place. "Heels here and scoot down to the end of the table."

Bucky shifts himself down, fitting his feet into place and letting his thighs fall wide open. The section of the table he's lying on is freshly cold under the small of his back and the top of his ass. He can feel air on his exposed hole, and his face burns as he pictures how it must look, gaping open, filthy and obviously used.

The technician presses his thighs apart still further and scoots him slightly further down the table. Gloved fingers trace the stretched rim of his hole before pushing in. He's barely aware of the reflex to soften, relax, allow the invasion.

"God, you really are loose, aren't you. I thought you were exaggerating about it being an emergency, but this filthy hole definitely needs some attention."

The technician saws his fingers in and out, probing his rim and the walls just inside, and Bucky expects to feel blood and come dripping out at any moment. When he does feel wetness he's only surprised that it doesn't hurt more.

"Definitely much too loose to leave untreated," the technician murmurs. Bucky's legs and abdomen are rigid with the effort of holding still despite the anticipation of pain, though the only muscles that matter stay slack and soft. The tech's fingers open him wider, and the sloppy sound of his hole makes his face heat and his eyes sting.

He can barely hear what else the technician says--thorough examination--over all the remembered voices. He hears handlers complaining that he's too broken to be any use to them, techs exclaiming with horror or amusement over the wreck of his hole. He barely feels the speculum sliding into him, the pressure of it being opened wider and wider to give the technician an unobstructed view of the damage to be repaired.

"Oh, my," the technician says, touching the stretches of Bucky's rim between the cranked-open blades, and the fresh sting on torn flesh feels far away and close. His breath is coming fast, anticipating more pain, hoping the technician won't want to make too much more work for himself. He feels the chilly touch of water sprayed into him, cleaning away blood and filth. He whines in his throat, though this isn't the part that hurts. The next part will be worse, and he's already struggling to keep still.

The water stops, and a pause stretches long enough to make him aware that something is not quite right. He hears the snap of a glove being stripped off and starts to whine on every breath, anticipating whatever worse thing is coming without knowing what it is.

But when the touch of bare fingers arrives, it lands on his cheek. He can feel wetness where the fingers touch, and realizes that he's crying. He bites down on his lower lip to quiet himself, but he can't stop the leaking tears.

"Hey, hey, look at me."

He drags his gaze down from the ceiling to the technician, who has shed his eyeshield and mask, and is looking at him with a slight frown. Bucky opens his mouth, prepared to apologize with words or whatever else the technician wants, just to get this over with.

"Deep breath," the technician says. "In--in--in--" Bucky breathes as commanded, and stops when the technician's instructions stop, holding his breath until the technician says, "Out, out, out, good. That's good. In again," and this time there's an audible ragged gasp to his breath, and he can feel more tears spilling down his cheeks.

It's always worse when one of the technicians tries to be kind. Someone always feels compelled to make up for it: sometimes the same technician, sometimes a different one, but kindness is never, ever a relief.

"Color?" The technician prompts. "James, what color?"

His vision blurs with more than tears for a moment, reality reshaping itself around him. The bearded technician--Bucky darts a look past him, glimpses the laundry in the basket on top of the dryer--the civilian pervert is watching him with concern. Bucky had had to give him a name, and James had been simplest. He had said he didn't want to be called by it during the procedure, but he hadn't made it a strict limit.

The civilian pervert is trying not to scare him. If he seems too scared, the civilian pervert will stop. Bucky will have to start over with someone else, and there's no time. Bucky drags his gaze back up to the man's face and says shakily. "Green. Please, Doctor. I don't--don't mind if--I just need it, please, I'll do anything, I'll--"

"Shh," the technician says, pressing his fingers over Bucky's mouth to stop him.

That's familiar at least; when he slips his fingers into Bucky's mouth, that's even more familiar. Bucky closes his eyes and concentrates on sucking them. The faint taste of sweat and the bitterness of the sterile gloves is soothing somehow.

"That's enough for now," the technician says, but he doesn't tug his fingers free until Bucky stops sucking and opens his mouth to release them.

"Please," Bucky repeats, but when he opens his eyes he finds that the technician has pulled his cock free of his scrub pants. He's hard, stroking his thick, veiny cock with the fingers Bucky got wet for him, and Bucky feels dimly reassured. This is the part where he pays for what he needs, and that means he just might get what he asked for.

"If you're ready to proceed," the technician says, stroking himself slowly, letting Bucky see how hard he is, how big, and exactly how he intends to make use of the asset. "Then we'll move on to the next diagnostic test for your condition."

Bucky nods, and repeats, "Green, sir."

"Keep breathing," the technician orders, and then he walks back down the table, and after he puts his mask and eyeshield and glove back on, Bucky hears him add one more piece of sterile protection.

The technician stands for a moment between Bucky's feet in the stirrups, just looking at him. Bucky is aware of the speculum still inside him, holding him open, stretched wide, and he feels himself give way further, his hole softening from even that forced tension. He feels the speculum shift in the slack grip of his hole. The technician's eyes widen behind their plastic shield, his hand darting out to catch it before it can slip free.

Rather than widening the speculum further, the technician wiggles it around in the gape of Bucky's hole, making wet little sounds. Cool air is touching him inside as the speculum shifts freely in his wrecked ass, and he hears a few small drops of liquid splat to the floor under the table. Not blood, he thinks--it doesn't hurt enough for blood, it really barely hurts at all, not even feeling raw or torn. Those are only memories. And there's no come inside him.

There won't be any even when they're done. The technician--the civilian pervert, Bucky reminds himself, letting himself note the blur of brightly colored laundry in his peripheral vision--is wearing a condom. Bucky heard him put it on. The civilian doesn't know where Bucky's been, after all, and Bucky had noted his sexual history merely as "multiple partners whose status is unknown."

Dead, actually, is the known status of nearly all of them. But it's also true that he doesn't know what diseases any of them had contracted before their violent deaths overtook them. Whether that's relevant to Bucky's ability to transmit diseases to anyone else is a matter of some debate among virologists; he and Steve agreed to accept their mutual risk after one of Bucky's early doctor's appointments, the one where Bucky spent a couple hours giving his medical history as well as he knew it and Steve held his hand and stared furiously at the floor.

But this stranger is wearing a condom, so he can't catch anything from Bucky, and he won't leave his come inside Bucky to be a mess he has to keep away from Steve later.

More lube drips out of him, and he feels his brain shiver back toward memory despite all his reasoning. The technician withdraws the speculum, like easing a loose tooth from its socket, and plunges his fingers into Bucky instead. Four of them fit easily, slapping around in his open hole. Bucky makes a little whimpering sound in his throat, his balls drawing back from the sheer knowledge that it should hurt. He doesn't move, doesn't interrupt the technician. The technician is going to help him, fix him, so he won't be gaping open and dripping everywhere when he's done.

"All right, one more rectal exam to perform before we can begin the treatment," the technician announces, and he steps in closer between Bucky's thighs.

Bucky stares at the ceiling as the technician's cock pushes into his loose, wet hole. He breathes evenly and doesn't worry about the tears dripping down his face. The techs rarely notice or pay any attention to that particular involuntary response. He stares into the overhead light and tries not to see anything, feel anything, promises himself it will be over soon. One more cock inside him after all the others makes no difference. Soon they'll stop, soon they'll finish repairing him, let him rest or send him to the ice.

Soon. Soon.

The wet slap and the blunt pounding pressure of a cock inside him keeps going, and the technician is rambling--to himself, to the others, maybe even to the asset--about how good it feels. "Fuck, you're soft as a cunt, you filthy thing, wanna fuck you all day. It's a fucking shame to even sew you up, oughta just keep you all loose and sloppy, keep you right here--"

The asset moves his hands surreptitiously, just to be sure he can. He grips the sides of the table, remembering to modulate his grip on the left side so he won't dent it. Technicians don't have the authority to determine his deployment or freezing schedule, and certainly won't be allowed to keep him for their own pleasure.

Not for long, anyway. Someone will come looking for him eventually. The technician will finish, will stop banging away with his cock in the open wound of the asset's ruined hole.

Please, soon.

He doesn't beg. Begging is not applicable to maintenance and medical treatment. The asset is silent and cooperative during maintenance and medical treatment. Pain is unavoidable during these procedures. Shame, disgust, violation, these reactions are mere vestiges of the human he once was. They do not belong to the asset. His stomach roils, and his fingers dig in tighter, and the tears stream down.

"Fuck," the technician gasps, slamming in harder, forcing obscene noises from the asset's hole. The asset's sense of shame redoubles--he is filthy, he is disgusting, he needs maintenance, the technician will be displeased by his degraded condition--the technician is supposed to be repairing him, not making it worse--the asset is not supposed to think of any of this. He is only to submit. If they realize why his face is red, why the tears are dripping down, they will wipe him to utter mindlessness. He must keep still and silent, but his body continues to make sickening sounds where he is being fucked.

The technician slams into him, shoving his cock deep and then pushing his fingers in alongside it. He can feel the technician stroking his own cock as he comes, inside the asset's hole. He tilts his chin up to try to hide his face without being obvious.

"Fuck, you're good, that's so good," the technician murmurs, leaning over him. He pats gently at the asset's chest with one gloved hand, his cock and the fingers of his other hand still stuffed inside as he comes down from his orgasm.

The asset allows himself to close his eyes at the technician's lapse in professionalism; he will be unlikely to notice a lapse on the asset's part now. He tries to go to the dark, cold, blank place inside of himself, despite the hot, living intrusion still present in his body, despite the gloved hand roving over his skin.

"So good," the technician croons, a little muffled by the mask. The technician's hand slides lower, hovering over the motionless lump of the asset's cock without quite touching. "Hey, baby, you're being so good for me, can you tell me what color right now?"

He feels a spasm of panic, his mind racing back for the mission, the briefing--color, what color, what?

He hears himself saying, shaky but unhesitating, "Green."

Green. Like a traffic light. Go.

He opens his eyes and looks up at the basement ceiling, and the bright colors of the laundry off to his right are refracted through his tears.

"Good." The civilian pervert doesn't touch his cock because Bucky told him not to, told him that he wouldn't orgasm, that it wasn't about that for him. "That's so good, baby. So good. We're gonna get you all sewn up now just like you need."

"Thank you, Doctor," Bucky says, his voice steady now. It's almost over.

The fingers leave him, prodding gently at his sloppy rim, and then the civilian's cock slides free of him. He turns away, and Bucky watches him wash up and slowly loosens his fingers from the table.

He can hear lube dripping out of his sore, stretched hole, and he can feel the edges of his rim sagging open, air on the used insides of his ass. The civilian has turned his back, and a vision plays out in Bucky's head of launching off the table and killing him with a single blow. Clean up, walk out. No one would see him. No one would know.

He directs his gaze back to the ceiling, frowning a little. He doesn't know why he's even thinking of that. He doesn't want to kill the civilian pervert, and he certainly doesn't need to. He could just as easily stand up and walk out, with or without saying red. The man hasn't hurt him, hasn't done a single thing Bucky didn't beg him to do. He is not HYDRA, not even really a technician. He's going to get Bucky fixed up, make him decent and tight for Steve. Bucky doesn't want to kill anyone anymore, let alone innocent helpful civilians.

"All right, here we go," the civilian turns to face him, properly covered up everywhere again and with fresh gloves on his hands, which hold a squeeze bottle and a swab doused in iodine. "Let's get you properly cleaned up and sterilized, and we can go on with the procedure. Color?"

The iodine is a dark red, too orange to be blood. "Green."

"Good." The technician sprays water over and into his hole, rinsing away the mess of that last fuck, assuring that he's clean again. All that's left is to repair the damage, the gaping openness of his hole. The iodine barely stings going on, and soon it's being wiped away and something else is sprayed on.

He feels the brief deceptive coolness of lidocaine, and doesn't argue. It was the least anesthetic the civilian pervert had been willing to agree to for this procedure, and Bucky knew better than to point out it wouldn't accomplish anything. Better if the civilian thinks Bucky can't feel this.

Blue paper fabric is laid over his raised thighs, tucked around his balls and cock to keep them out of the way, so that only his hole is exposed. Then the technician turns away, and turns back with the suturing needle and its long trail of black thread. Bucky sees it and then turns his face away, closing his eyes. He is already as limp and unresisting as he can be where it counts, the muscles of his hole gone utterly slack. All he can do now is not watch.

"Color?" The technician prompts.


"Here we go." The first push of the needle sends a sharp stab of pain through his pelvis, and he holds himself carefully steady against it. "Did that hurt?"

"Just pressure," Bucky recites. That was what the email had said. You should feel pressure, but not pain.


He feels the steel push through his flesh, dragging the thick thread after it. He feels the hard tug as a knot comes up against his flesh and holds the rest fast. The needle pushes in again, the thread pulls through again. He can feel his own blood trickling now, finally. This is real.

He is being repaired. The asset is silent and cooperative during maintenance and medical treatment. Pain is unavoidable during these procedures. The technician is quiet and businesslike now, and at least his handler is not watching this time; he is not required to give a report or accept a briefing during maintenance, as he sometimes is. All he has to do is lie still and wait for it to be over. Soon he will be left to rest, or returned to the tank. There will be a little respite, once the pain--

"Here we go," the technician murmurs, and the asset feels the thread that has been stitched all around the perimeter of his hole drawing through his flesh, pulling the edges of his hole together.

Like a purse-string, the email had said. He feels the tip of a gloved finger just barely inside him, making sure his hole isn't drawn shut completely. His body's rapid healing will do the rest, accepting this degree of tightness as normal and healing to it. The next time he's fucked he'll have to be broken open to accommodate even an entire finger, let alone a cock.

Steve's cock. He'll be tight now--tight and good for Steve.

He's done. He's done.

He can stop.

The thread has barely been tied off when he says, "Red."

The technician jerks back instantly, then reaches toward him again. "Yeah, let me just--I can cut the thread--"

"No," Bucky snaps, sitting up. No one stops him. The technician--the civilian pervert--doesn't even try, just backs up further, raising his hands in surrender.

"Hey, okay, but--here, look, if you don't want me to do it--at least clean up? You can do it yourself, I won't touch you."

Bucky is already off the table by then, and the civilian pervert just keeps giving ground, waving toward the supplies laid out in neat rows. Bucky grabs some toweling and swipes away the dripping blood, presses a wad of gauze against his hole to catch the blood until it stops dripping.

When he goes to pick up his clothes from the floor--seeing the dryer again, the laundry there that reminds him this is just somebody's basement, not a lab, nothing that can hope to contain him--the civilian makes another little helpless protesting noise behind him. "Please just--please, wait, give yourself a few minutes. You're still bleeding, can we talk about this? Man, I need to know what went wrong for you, please--"

"I'm done," Bucky says firmly, and then it occurs to him to be a little kind. He might need the pervert's help again sometime, and he really didn't do anything wrong. He turns as he pulls his shorts up, offering a smile--Bucky's smile, a smile from James Buchanan Barnes, all but tipping his hat. The civilian pervert has tugged his eyeshield off, so Bucky can see the effect the smile has when it hits its target, sure as a bullet.

"It was good, it was what I needed," Bucky says. "I just--I need to go now. Sorry. I told you I wasn't really into the aftercare thing, right?"

"Yeah, you just... you're still bleeding," the civilian pervert repeats a little faintly.

"I'll be fine," Bucky assures him, and turns his attention back to getting dressed. He can already feel himself healing; the bleeding's probably close to stopping already, from those little pinprick wounds, and his ass is knitting itself together the way the stitches have told it to go, all tight and neat. It hurts, but it's nothing he can't ignore, especially now that he's up and moving.

When he's fully dressed, the civilian is watching him with a mix of bafflement and helpless concern, but he is also holding a red lollipop.

"You were a very good patient," the civilian informs him sheepishly, obviously aware that he has no authority to declare such a thing.

Bucky doesn't laugh, though he wants to, full of the elation of being finished, of saying stop and then simply getting up off the table and putting his own pants back on. He wants to kiss the stupid kid.

He doesn't do either, but he takes the lollipop, waving it in a little salute. "You were aces, Doc. Seeya."

He doesn't wait to hear any further protests, taking the stairs two at a time back up to the door and letting himself out into the late afternoon sunshine of Brooklyn. Steve will be waiting for him. Bucky is going home.

He retraces his earlier route most of the way home, stopping at each of the cafes he'd noted before for their interesting smells. The first he just stands in, reading the menu and the bulletin board for a while, but they don't offer any carryout food. The second one does, and also has a unisex bathroom. He asks apologetically for the key and locks himself in the little room, stripping out of his pants and underwear to get rid of the bloodstained gauze. Luckily there is a little box next to the toilet specifically for disposing of items contaminated with blood.

The bleeding has stopped already; he probes carefully at his ass, flexing the muscles of his hole as he touches the knotted stitches. The flesh is already tightening up well. There's a deep, healing ache, but nothing worse.

He doesn't have a good small blade handy, so he leaves the stitches for now, just washes up thoroughly to make sure he's not carrying any smell of blood or antiseptic. He washes his hands thoroughly, dresses again, and goes back out into the café to buy a couple of coffees and the most interesting-smelling baked goods they've got.

When he gets home, Steve's eyes light up. They always do that at the sight of Bucky, but his strategic purchases divert Steve's attention--and sense of smell--so that he doesn't notice anything strange.

Almost doesn't, anyway.

"What's this?" Steve asks, already reaches for Bucky's ass. For a second Bucky wants to flinch away--don't touch, not there--and fears Steve's spotted blood he missed, but Steve only tugs something out of his pocket.

The red lollipop.

Bucky smiles smoothly. "Oh, I was walking around and some guy gave that to me."

Steve snorts, shaking his head. He sets it aside, well away from the artisanal baked goods and paper cups of single-source organic coffee. "Shouldn't take candy from strangers, Buck."

"Well, I didn't eat it," Bucky points out, feinting toward the lemon lavender scone. They wind up arm-wrestling for the scone, but after Bucky wins he lets Steve have half anyway, in exchange for a kiss with each bite.

He plucks out the suture thread that night before bed, using a hand mirror and some tiny manicure scissors to make sure he's removed every little piece. He's all healed now, drum-tight, his hole looking all pink and new like nothing's ever been inside him at all. There are brighter pink spots where he's just pulled the stitches out, so it's just as well Steve insisted on taking tonight off. By tomorrow night even that evidence will be gone.

And if Steve forgets that he said they wouldn't fuck tonight...

For a second Bucky only remembers the sloppy sound of the technician's cock battering into his open hole, the way it thudded inside him while he waited for it to be over, the cold table under him and the scent of disinfectant.

There's a tap at the door, and Steve says, "Buck? You get lost in there?"

"Right here, Steve," Bucky calls back, covering the sound as he puts the hand mirror away, then the tiny scissors. "Cool your jets, I'll be out in a minute."

He washes his hands and doesn't think of how often Steve has asked him that question since he came home, always in that carefully teasing tone, pretending not to know that Bucky could get lost inside himself in any room of their apartment. He gets lost all the time, but he always finds his way back to Steve.

It only takes him a second to track Steve down tonight. He's in bed, wearing soft pajama pants but no shirt. There are pajama pants laid out for Bucky--the plain gray ones that Steve must have owned since the day he was thawed. They're practically translucent with age and washing, and actually wearing through at the crotch because neither he nor Steve can figure out how to patch or darn the jersey cloth. They tend to fight over who gets to wear them, but that's usually something that happens when they're getting out of bed, not into it.

Steve evidently remembers what he said about not fucking tonight. Despite the lingering ache and the tender tightness of his hole--despite the danger of Steve recognizing exactly what he did to solve his problem and disapproving--Bucky suddenly wants to protest. He wants Steve tonight, wants sex, wants to be close to Steve with nothing between them but a few secrets. He wants to feel good, and he wants to forget everything else.

"Come on, put 'em on," Steve coaxes, smiling. "You don't have to sleep in them if you don't want to, I just want to try something first."

Bucky rolls his eyes but puts on the pajama pants and joins Steve in the bed, letting Steve tug him closer and closer until he's on Steve, his hips cradled between Steve's thighs. The position feels dangerously strange--he doesn't do this. They don't do this this way.

On the heels of that shiver of fear is the realization that nobody can tell them what the fuck to do in bed--if Steve wants it like this, this is how they'll do it. Bucky's ass clenches instinctively, protectively. He'll be careful not to hurt Steve, he'll be so gentle and go so slow...

"C'mere." Steve is coaxing again, but Bucky can't really get any closer without at least one of them taking off their pants.

Steve draws him down into a kiss, though, instead of going for anything obvious. He rubs up against Bucky as their mouths meet, and all at once Bucky gets the idea. They never fooled around when they were kids, never started anything until they knew exactly how to finish it. Neither of them was ever a shy virgin with the other, needing to edge up to sex through heavy petting. It was maybe twenty minutes from the first time they kissed until Bucky had Steve's cock in his ass, and they never looked back.

What Steve's asking for now is kid stuff, kissing and rubbing on each other through the soft layers of their pajama pants, but it's new for them. Something no one can spoil, something with no other associations. Of all the ways HYDRA used him, this one never occurred to any of them. Bucky tries to picture it and laughs a little against Steve's mouth.

Steve lets his head fall back and grins, wide and pleased; Bucky will have to make up something sweet to tell him if he asks what Bucky's laughing about, so he doesn't spoil that grin. Steve's hips roll up into Bucky's, shoving his cock against Bucky through two layers of cloth, and Bucky knows Steve's content not to get any closer to Bucky's ass than this tonight.

"You like this?" Steve asks, running a hand from Bucky's collarbone down over his chest, petting and stroking along the way.

"I think we could've done it without getting our pants dirty," Bucky says, but he's still rocking his hips into Steve's, his cock hardening, and he knows it would have been different without them. It would have seemed like this was going where it always went--and if Steve tried to tell him they didn't have to fuck he would have argued. But Steve asked to try something, and now here they are.

Bucky kisses him again on his smugly smiling mouth--Steve's not bothering to argue with him about the pants, probably because Bucky's showing no intention of taking them off--and then lower, down his throat to where the pink flush spreads on his chest. It shifts him lower between Steve's legs, so he's rubbing his cock against Steve's ass, Steve's cock grinding up against his belly. Steve doesn't seem to mind, especially when Bucky's licking and nibbling at his nipples, taking advantage of all the skin Steve left bare.

Steve gets wound up pretty easily, and Bucky isn't far behind; the firmness of Steve's ass behind the pajama pants feels like heaven on his cock, and when he slides back up to kiss Steve's mouth again, Steve is almost frantic. His kisses are rough and hungry, but his hands still stay above the waist. Bucky rubs his cock against Steve's, his hips rocking with a mind of their own. He can only smell Steve, only feel Steve, and there's no chance he can imagine he's anywhere but right here, in Steve's arms, in their bed, wearing soft pants and reinventing first base with his best guy.

He comes with a little choked off sound against Steve's mouth, spilling inside the soft pants, and he feels the answering jerk of Steve's cock a moment later. The heat and wetness of jizz takes a second to soak through, and by then Bucky's gone limp on top of him.

"You wanna take 'em off?" Steve mumbles, but he's already flapping his hand at the lamp; it responds to emphatic gesturing and turns off, leaving them in a drowsy heap in a dark room.

"Sure," Bucky agrees. "Just let me shut my eyes a second first."

The next night everything goes back to normal: they end up in bed, naked, with Bucky eagerly anticipating a proper fuck. This might be his first ever really good fuck with Steve, for Steve.

He's checked carefully throughout the day, taking the necessary precautions to be sure he's clean inside. There is no trace left of the sutures, and he's too tight to even shit properly. He will give an excellent fuck. Steve will be pleased with his tightness, and if Bucky has to go back and get stitched up again after Steve breaks him open and loosens him up, it will be worth it to be good for him.

Except that, in a weird replay of the other night, Steve frowns and draws back after touching just a finger to Bucky's hole.

"Buck, if you'd rather do something else--"

Bucky actually laughs, the sound coming out a little wild. "What? No, Steve, come on, this is all I want. You already made me wait a whole extra day."

Steve still hesitates, and Bucky reaches down between his own legs, pressing against his hole to verify that it's as tight and clean and perfect now as the last time he checked. There's the faintest layer of slick from Steve's touch, but nothing else; he's like new, perfect, just waiting to be opened up.

Steve still looks dubious, but he brings his finger back down to Bucky's hole, circling the pucker and just barely pressing against it. "Buck, you might want to, but I don't know if I can, you're so tight. We gotta get you relaxed or I'm not gonna fit."

Bucky snorts. "Course you'll fit, Stevie. Don't you wanna feel how tight I am on your cock? It'll be like you were my first."

Steve looks him in the eye at that, searching for something, and Bucky looks back steadily. He knows he's right. He knows he's made himself good, finally. Steve doesn't want to hurt him, but--

Something in his brain twists sideways, or maybe untwists for the first time in days.

"I wish I had been," Steve says softly. "If it meant your first time was as good as I could make it, or nobody ever hurt you. I don't wanna hurt you, Buck."

"I know," Bucky says, but his own voice sounds far away.

He does know that; he's always known that. Steve doesn't want to hurt him. The first time they fucked, Steve went so slow, stretched him open so carefully, because he knew Bucky had been hurt before. Steve didn't want it to hurt. He doesn't ever want it to hurt, and it never has. Not once. Not with Steve.

"If you were my first nobody would've had me before," Bucky says, still lost somewhere far from where the words are coming out. "You wouldn't have to be taking sloppy seconds from half of HYDRA."

Steve's expression hardens into a scowl and something in Bucky's gut twists. He feels himself go a little bit limp, knowing that he'll do it now, force his way inside--angry, claiming ownership of his property.

"I don't care who's fucked you or hurt you," Steve says, and then hastily adds, "I mean, I care that we make sure they're dead or wish they were, but that's not on you, not in our bedroom. What they did could never make me want you less. You know that, Buck, you know that doesn't matter to me. You're my best guy, always, doesn't matter what happened before."

Steve's finger is still just barely touching Bucky's hole, not pressing for entry. Steve is being patient; Steve has always been patient. Way back before they started, Steve told him they never had to fuck at all if Bucky didn't want to, because Steve knows what happened, and Steve doesn't want to hurt him.

Something isn't adding up, and Bucky's pretty sure he knows who's been introducing errors.

Still, he has to ask.

"But what if--what if you could tell," Bucky tries. "What if I wasn't tight enough for you, what if they fucked me so much, so many of them--what if I was just wrecked, all broken open and loose so you could hardly even feel me on your cock? Then you wouldn't want to fuck me. It wouldn't be any good."

He sees a defiant heat in Steve's eyes, more like Steve about to wade into a fight than Steve wanting him, except apparently it's both. Steve kisses him, moving to cover Bucky's body with his, and circles the tightness of Bucky's hole with his finger again. Bucky feels himself relax a fraction, automatically, letting the tip of Steve's finger fit inside. Even that much stretch hurts a little now, but at least he's not clenched so tight that it's impossible.

"I love you," Steve murmurs against his mouth, sounding fierce with it, like he's planting a flag when he's barely touching Bucky at all. "And nothing they did to you can change that. If you were all loose and open like that I could slide right inside you and never hurt you, and if you liked fucking that way I'd like it too."

Bucky shakes his head a little, although Steve never lies to him. "What if it just happened, what if you could still smell them on me, and I was still wet and loose from them fucking me, what if I was still dripping--"

Steve pulls his finger away and Bucky whines, but Steve kisses him again before shifting around to grab the lube, apparently inspired to get things even wetter. Bucky feels himself ease open a little more in anticipation, instinctively preparing for the intrusion. This time Steve's finger slides in to the second knuckle. Bucky is still tight around even that small penetration, but Steve is inside him now, making sloppy little sounds as he presses lube into Bucky's hole.

"You'd still be mine," Steve murmurs, kissing his temple, his cheek, his jaw. "Even if I walked in and found you still on the table--"

Bucky's breath catches, thinking of the cold steel table under him just yesterday, and Steve's finger pauses.

Bucky claims his mouth in a hard kiss. "Tell me. Tell me what you'd do if you found me on the table, freshly fucked, half a dozen guys' come dripping out of me because I'm too stretched out and wrecked to stop it. You wouldn't touch me until you'd hosed me down to get rid of them, would you?"

"I'd make sure they were dead," Steve insists. His finger pushes more easily into Bucky now, sliding in and out, and Bucky can feel Steve's cock pressing against his thigh. "I'd get rid of them, I'd kill anyone who hurt you if you hadn't already killed them yourself--"

Bucky remembers thinking about it the day before, thinking that he could kill the civilian pervert who--who fucked him the way HYDRA techs used to fuck him. Used to rape him. Used to hurt him for their own pleasure, for their own entertainment.

"But if you wanted me like that, you could have me, Buck. It wouldn't make any difference to me. Even if their come was still dripping out of you, if you told me you wanted me to fuck you--"

"Fuck me," Bucky gasps, needing it, needing to know, to feel the truth pressed into his body, "Steve, please, please--"

His body remembers how to make it hurt the least, and is relaxing a little more with every thrust of Steve's finger. He's not scared of Steve now, not scared of everything to do with this the way he was at first, when it took Steve what seemed like hours to prepare him. He's easing up now, his hole relaxing and softening around Steve's finger, letting him move easily.

"I'd have to make sure I wasn't hurting you," Steve murmurs, brushing another kiss across Bucky's mouth before he moves down the bed, pushing Bucky's thighs apart to make room between them.

Bucky remembers the pervert pushing his thighs open as he lay on the table--remembers countless HYDRA techs repositioning his body for their own convenience--but none of them ever looked at him the way Steve looks. None of them ever touched him the way Steve touches him, warm and wanting, only rough because of the way eagerness makes Steve clumsy sometimes. When Steve pauses to look between his legs, watching his own finger sliding into Bucky's hole, it's nothing like anyone else's eyes on him.

"Let me just make sure, Buck." Steve leans in to press his tongue alongside his finger.

Bucky's head goes back, his eyes closing as he moans, because he remembers this sweet, soft torture from the first time with Steve.

"Stevie," Bucky gasps, "Fuck, fuck--" he reaches down to tug at Steve's hair, but Steve just keeps licking, sucking softly at his rim and coaxing him to soften further, undoing all his effort, as if he never went anywhere yesterday. As if no one touched him yesterday, or ever before. As if he's only Steve's, and being fucked can never hurt, because Steve only wants him to feel good.

Steve doesn't want to hurt him. Steve never wants to hurt him. Steve doesn't care if he's tight or loose, filthy or clean, as long as everything they do together feels good to him.

"Please," Bucky manages. "Steve, fuck me, tell me, tell me you will, do it--"

"Am I gonna hurt you?" Steve's breath is warm and soft against his hole, and Steve slides two fingers inside him now, barely having to push at all.

Bucky shakes his head hard. "S'good, Stevie, just, just tell me--"

He doesn't even remember what he needs Steve to tell him anymore, but he knows there's something. He knows it's important. He needs to know, to remember. He thinks he forgot something, the last couple of days, and he thinks it was a bad thing to forget.

Steve's fingers slip free of him and Steve moves again, sliding back up over Bucky until his cock is pressing against Bucky's hole.

"I always want you, Buck," Steve says, one hand on Bucky's face to keep him meeting Steve's eyes. "I don't care what HYDRA did to you, I don't care if you don't feel like a damn virgin on my cock, I wouldn't care if you were still dripping come from a whole platoon. If you told me you wanted me to fuck you, if I wasn't going to hurt you--"

"You won't, please, please--" Bucky squirms, tilting his hips up and pushing himself onto Steve's cock. Steve's breath catches as the head of his cock pops inside, and Bucky's does too. He's tight around it for a moment, and then he adjusts to the stretch and it's easy. It's Steve. It never hurts with Steve. "Tell me, tell me--"

"I'd climb right up onto that table with you," Steve tells him, his breath warm on Bucky's ear.

Bucky can almost feel it, the cold of the table under him, the heat of Steve covering him, thawing him out. Steve's cock slides deeper into him, filling him up where he's been empty, fitting where no one else has ever belonged.

"And I'd love you," Steve goes on. "And if you wanted to fuck I'd fuck you, I'd fuck you until you couldn't feel anything but me inside you. I'd make you feel so good, Buck, so fucking good--"

Steve's hand is on Bucky's cock. He's hard, and Steve is hard inside him, fucking him slow and sweet and deep, giving him what he needs. What no one else ever could.

"I wouldn't care, Buck," Steve repeats, and Bucky can hear the slick sound of Steve's cock in his ass, his own body soft and welcoming for Steve, drawing him inside. "I don't care. I only want you, however I find you. I just want it to be good for you, I just--"

Steve hits him just right then, the rub of his cock inside combining perfectly with Steve's grip on his cock. Bucky's breath is almost a sob as he comes. His hole tightens around Steve as the waves of pleasure crash through him, and if it hurts a little it only reminds him of how it never hurts any other way with Steve. Steve never wants to hurt him.

Steve keeps still until Bucky goes limp and soft under him.

"Go on, pal," Bucky murmurs lazily. "Wanna be good for you too."

Steve breathes out a shaky laugh against Bucky's mouth. "Never felt anything better, Buck. Never could." He's moving again, thrusting faster now. "God--God, what you do to me, Buck."

Bucky reaches up to run his fingers through Steve's hair, murmuring nonsense to him and kissing his sweaty face until Steve goes still again above him. Bucky can feel the throbbing of his cock as he comes, listens to Steve's shuddering breath until Steve tilts his head and finds Bucky's mouth for a proper kiss.

They lie together in silence, and everything seems very calm and clear to Bucky, a puzzle finally fitting together. It's not like it was a difficult puzzle, even, but he still spent all day yesterday trying to jam a square peg into a round hole--so to fucking speak--because some sick fucks spent an awfully long time teaching him to call a square a circle.

"That's why you didn't want to," Bucky mumbles. He oughta leave it alone, or eventually Steve's gonna wonder what he got up to yesterday, and Steve doesn't ever need to know that. Bucky just needs to hear it one more time. "The other night. You didn't want to hurt me."

"I never want you hurting because of me," Steve agrees, kissing him again before he rearranges them to the positions they like for sleep. "Never."

"Yeah," Bucky murmurs back, snuggling into him. "Yeah, I know."

He does know. He just has to make sure to remember next time. He should probably write it down somewhere, just in case.