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It’s not every day that Bucky finds himself necking with a national icon in the middle of the deserted 6th Avenue, especially after an attack by a swarm of tiny robots.

It’s pretty awesome, though. 10/10, would do again, maybe without the robots.

Steve stops sucking a hickey on Bucky’s neck only when his earpiece crackles into life and someone yells loud enough for Bucky to hear, “Rogers! Quit making out with Nurse Jackie and get moving! Pizza in the Tower in thirty minutes.”

“Ugh,” Steve says against the stubble on the underside of Bucky’s jaw. “I hate Stark.”

“Me too. Stark’s gonna wish I had Jackie’s Vicodin addiction if he keeps that up,” Bucky laments and pushes himself off the car Steve pressed him against. “You better go. You have my number.”

Steve visibly hesitates, looking down at his hands, still cradling Bucky’s hips. “You could… come with me?” He glances up at Bucky and quirks a small smile. “I promise to look away if you want to punch Tony.”

Bucky considers it. It definitely sounds appealing, and free pizza? Fucking ace. “Alright,” he says. “But if Stark shoots me with one of those lasers, I’m blaming you.”

Steve kisses his brow and brushes a loose lock of hair behind Bucky’s ear. “Deal.”

So Steve ends up taking him to Stark Tower for The Tiny Robot Attack Pizza Debrief™. A couple of blocks away from their destination, they bump into Falcon, who takes one look at Steve’s messy hair, the hickey under Bucky’s jaw and the cellphone Bucky’s clutching in his hand, rolls his eyes and says, “Fucking finally.”

“Sam,” Steve says defensively, sounding almost hurt, and squeezes Bucky’s hand tighter.

Falcon rolls his eyes again, then extends his hand to Bucky, grinning. “Sam Wilson. Good to meet you, god knows Steve apparently can’t do any romantic declarations without a disaster.”

Bucky stuffs his phone into the pocket of his jeans and shakes Sam’s hand. “Bucky Barnes. The poor fella who has almost the same number as you.”

“Well, thanks for taking his faux-emergency calls. Looks like it had a positive outcome in the end,” Sam says, looking smug as shit as he eyes the hickey again. Bucky likes him.


“Ah, it’s Bucky with the good hair!” Stark pops up from behind a wall of monitors as they enter his lab. “Did Steve call you? He only wants me when I’m not there, so he must have.”

“Wow,” Bucky says with enthusiasm so fake that his teeth ache with it. “You’re so witty! I definitely have never heard that joke before.” He pulls his hands out of his pockets and gives Stark double middle fingers. “Look, I even know the dance moves to that song.”

Stark points at him with his index finger. “Steve, are you gonna keep him? I like him already.”

Steve rolls his eyes and puts his hand on the small of Bucky’s back. “Gee, Tony, last time I checked I wasn’t Bucky’s keeper.”

“Nah, you’re definitely a keeper, alright,” Bucky says in the sappiest voice he can muster and bats his eyelashes at Steve. Steve blows him a kiss, and they both start sniggering.

Stark looks between the two of them, groaning. “Are you telling me that Cap finally found someone with the same terrible sense of humor? Wilson, I know you had something to do with this.”

Behind them, Sam shrugs. “Steve’s tryna roll me up,” he says, spreading his hands. “But I ain’t picking up.”

Stark swears a little. “Sam, don’t encourage them.”

“I ain’t thinking about you,” Steve says, showing some delightful pop culture knowledge and pointing at Sam and Stark, before cupping Bucky’s jaw and giving him a very nice example of his tongue skills.

“Let me take you out on a date,” Steve pleads when he detaches his mouth from Bucky’s. Stark’s making retching noises, and Steve glares at his direction. “Without the peanut gallery.”

“Gladly,” Bucky says and kisses him again, just to annoy Stark. “But it’s gotta wait until the level of grossness between us isn’t this high.”

“Aw, doll,” Steve replies, but he’s smirking. “I don’t think you’re gross. Just a little dirty.”

“I was talking about you, asshole,” Bucky says. “Do you even know what you smell like?”

Steve replies by rubbing his dirty forehead against Bucky’s equally nasty cheek like a cat. Bucky swears at him.

“Damn,” Stark whispers. He’s filming them on his cellphone. “This is like watching a trainwreck in slow motion, I can’t look away.”

Sam cuffs Stark on the ear. Bucky definitely likes him.


Steve does take him out, four days after their initial meeting.

Bucky takes three days of sick leave because his flanks are so sore from bashing the robots with a baseball bat that he can barely get out of bed. Then he’s given two more days off because apparently he’s some kind of a hero, and his boss is proud of him. A video of him stitching up a kid’s bleeding leg and cracking a robot in the head with the bat at the same time has over a million views on YouTube.

Bucky’s pretty impressed by himself when he sees it. Who knew he looked that cool? Also, those jeans do wonders for his ass.

He’s relieved when no blurry videos of him and Steve making out on the street, in broad daylight, surface. Steve’s PR department would probably have a field day trying to explain that one.

So thanks to the attack he gets a full week without any shifts, and Bucky isn’t the type to look a gift horse in the mouth. On the fourth day his flanks are back to figurative fighting shape, and Steve takes him out.

They go into a small Japanese restaurant which Steve apparently frequents, because a tiny old lady ushers them directly into a private little room, away from the main dining area and any prying eyes ready to witness Captain America’s Great Gay Date. Then she pats Bucky on the cheek approvingly.

Steve turns out to be a very entertaining date, because he’s constantly battling between his internalized old-fashioned manners and being the little shit Bucky’s used to. He turns up to the subway station they’re meeting at with a bouquet of roses for Bucky and proceeds to open every damn door for him, before doing a very unflattering and frankly hilarious imitation of Sam and accidentally insulting Bucky’s ma.

Bucky kinda loves him a little already.

Steve eats two bowls of ramen and approximately twenty-eight gyoza dumplings, waving his chopsticks around as he speaks. Bucky is suitably impressed and a little envious of his metabolism.

“May I walk you home?” Steve asks after he’s insisted on paying the bill, and Bucky has received another approving pinch on his cheek with strict instructions to come again from Steve’s adoptive Japanese grandma.

“I live in Flatbush, Steve,” Bucky reminds him. “If you want to walk, be my guest, but I’m taking an Uber.”

“Right,” Steve says and leans a little closer, slips his arm around Bucky’s waist. Bucky’s glad that it’s already dark, because his cheeks heat up a little on their own volition at the easy affection. “May I escort you home, then?”

Bucky feigns shock just to hide how pleased he is. “Wow, Steve, do I look like someone who puts out on the first date?”

“Uh,” Steve says. “A little?” His grip on Bucky’s hip loosens a bit.

“Damn right I do,” Bucky confirms, grabs Steve’s hand and pushes it down so that Steve’s broad palm is cupping his ass. “Can’t have you saying you kept calling me for nothing, pal.”

Steve laughs, but he sounds a little breathless, and his eyes look darker when Bucky looks up at him. “No,” he says and squeezes Bucky’s ass. Bucky swallows. “I have no complaints.”

They make out a bit on the backseat of the Uber. The driver stares resolutely ahead and turns the radio louder when Steve proceeds to suck another hickey on Bucky’s neck.

Sleeping with Steve is pretty fucking nice.

It’s almost as nice to see the expressions on his coworkers’ faces, when he strolls to work two days later with faded hickeys and the smug smile of a well-laid person.

Who said he can’t be a hero and get dicked six ways to Sunday in a span of a few days? No-fucking-body.


Steve calls him a week later from an assignment. Bucky’s enjoying his three days off, so he’s on the couch in his underwear and bathrobe, watching a telenovela and eating a pita bread with falafel and halloumi. His phone is on the coffee table, and he slides to answer and stabs the speakerphone button with his toe, because he’s too busy trying to stop tabbouleh from spilling all over his carpet.

“Hi baby,” Steve’s voice says brightly. He sounds like he’s been inhaling smoke, and Bucky rolls his eyes and manages to drop a piece of fried halloumi on his thigh.

“Fucking shit,” he says, trying to stuff the cheese back into his pita. “Hi, honey. You played enough with that frisbee yet?”

“We’re on our way back,” Steve confirms. “What’re you doing?”

“Shh,” Bucky shushes him. “José and Marisol are just about to have an illegitimate baby.”

“You were supposed to have a couple of days off, so I assume you’re watching TV and not in the hospital.”

“Maybe,” Bucky says. “I could also be present at a friend’s childbirth.”

“Do you even have any friends?”

“Rude,” Bucky says. “I do, but I don’t think they’d let me in a birthing room in these clothes.”

“Ooh,” Steve breathes ridiculously, and his voice drops a register as he whispers loudly, “What are you wearing?”

“Rogers, you’re not having phone sex on the plane,” Stark’s tinny voice yells in the background. “You can keep it in your pants for 90 minutes, I swear to god. Even Barnes’ ass isn’t worth it!”

Bucky snorts, and loses the battle with the tabbouleh. He pouts down at his lap a little. “Ten ounces of bulgur and tomato, and a bathrobe.”

“Sexy,” Steve decides, but there’s a smile in his voice. Stark swears in the background.

Four and half hours later in Bucky’s bed, Steve collapses on top of him and says breathlessly, “You look pretty fetching without the tabbouleh, too.”

Steve’s sweaty and heavy as shit, and Bucky wouldn’t change him for the world.

“Wait until you see me wearing goulash,” Bucky says and gives him a kiss.


When Bucky gets into the break room, his coworkers are gathered in front of the TV. Bucky heads to the fridge, and asks as he’s pulling out his smoothie, “What’s going on?”

“The Avengers,” Isobel replies. “There’s some kind of hostage situation in Latveria.”

Bucky closes the fridge and turns to look at the TV just as the feed cuts to Steve, helping people out of a half-collapsed building. There’s a bloody stain on one of the white stripes around Steve’s midsection, and Bucky’s heart does a traitorous jump. It looks like a bullet hole, and Steve’s movements look a little stiff, like he’s holding off pain.

Twelve hours ago Steve bent Bucky down into a ridiculous, heated kiss in front of the elevator in his Stark Tower apartment, before Bucky pulled on his jacket and left for home. Six hours ago, Steve sent him a text that he was headed for Europe on a mission, and Bucky sent back a kissy face emoji and told him to consider being fucking careful for once.

Bucky watches, frozen, as Steve disappears into the building, and the reporter tells the viewers that all the hostages are out. Steve’s probably being noble asshole and sweeping the building just in case. So much for being careful.

Suddenly, the building blows up.

Bucky drops the smoothie.

Isobel turns to look at him, and Bucky forces his mouth into a grimace, bends to pick the thankfully intact shaker from the floor. His hands are trembling.

On the screen, Sam and Stark are digging through the rubble as the reporter repeats, horrified, “Captain America is down. Captain America is down.”

Bucky stays long enough to see Stark carry Steve’s limp body out of the ruins. Then he goes to the bathroom and splashes cold water on his face, trying to calm down. His hands are shaking so hard that he drops his phone twice before he manages to hit Steve’s number.

It goes directly into voicemail. Bucky throws up.

He has no recollection of how he manages to make it through the five hours left of his shift. As soon as he’s changed out of his scrubs, he takes an Uber and gets to Midtown. He calls Sam from the car, but he doesn’t pick up. Twitter says Steve’s alive, but nobody knows anything more. Stark and Sam have Bucky’s number, but neither of them call.

Bucky manages to keep himself from running across the Stark Tower lobby to the elevator, but it’s a near thing. “JARVIS,” he says as soon as the doors close behind him, and his voice breaks a little. “Where’s Steve?”

“Captain Rogers is in the infirmary, Mr Barnes,” JARVIS tells him, and the elevator starts to move without any buttons pressed. “He will be out of surgery soon. I have taken the liberty of directing you to the infirmary floor.”

“Thanks, JARVIS,” Bucky says, sagging against the wall.

Sam’s sitting on a couch in the hallway, looking exhausted but otherwise unharmed. He opens his eyes when he hears Bucky’s footsteps, and his expression turns into a curious mixture of relief and surprise. “Barnes,” he says and struggles to get up, but Bucky waves him to sit.

“Is he gonna be alright?” Bucky asks.

Sam nods. “He’s gonna have to stay in bed for a couple of days, but he’ll pull through. Anybody else and the blast would’ve been lethal.”

Bucky’s legs start to shake, and he sits heavily down next to Sam. “Thank fuck.”

They’re quiet for a long moment, before the elevator dings again, and Stark appears. He looks a little worse for wear, but he’s clearly showered and eaten something. “Wilson, your turn,” he announces before he spots Bucky and stops on his tracks. “Oh.”

“Yeah,” Bucky says, because he’s starting to get back his fighting spirit, and he’s pissed as fuck. “Oh.”

“Uh,” Stark says. “Did Sam call you?”

Sam’s eyes fly open in horror, like he’s just now realized that he owns a cellphone and it might’ve been a good idea to call Steve’s boyfriend to tell him that Steve’s not dead. The look would be comical, if Bucky wasn’t so furious.

“He didn’t,” Bucky says in a calm, measured tone he honed to perfection in Iraq. “I saw you on TV.”

There’s a long, awkward silence. Clint shuffles out of one of the rooms on crutches, Natasha on his heels. They take one look at the three of them and promptly hoof it towards the elevator. Bucky doesn’t blame them.

“I’m sorry, Bucky,” Sam says, and his voice is full of sincerity. Damn, it’s really hard to stay angry at him. “Fuck, I completely forgot to check my phone or text you. I’m so sorry.”

Bucky pinches the bridge of his nose. He can feel the headache approaching. “Steve and I have been dating for two damn months, I’d appreciate if you guys started to remember that. It’s not cool having to hear from Twitter that my boyfriend’s alive.”

“Yeah,” Sam says, looking miserable. “I’m sorry, man. He hasn’t done anything this stupid in a while, so I completely forgot about you.”

Stark hovers, opening and closing his mouth like he wants to say something but for once can’t get it through his brain-to-mouth filter.

“Captain Rogers is out of surgery,” a doctor announces from the doorway before Stark manages to say anything. “He’ll be waking up within two hours. One of you can come sit with him.”

Bucky gets up without a word and follows the doctor. Sam and Stark don’t try to stop him.

Steve looks smaller and very pale against the white sheets of the bed. His face is battered and wrapped up. Bucky hates to see him like that.

To make the time go quicker and because he’s a nosy bitch, Bucky checks all the bandages and stitches to ensure that they’re done properly, and reads through the chart at the end of Steve’s bed. He’s not doubting that Stark has the best doctors on his payroll, but it gives him something to do, and he’s a goddamn nurse. Of course he’s gonna fucking check.

Steve wakes up an hour later. Bucky’s been entertaining himself by imagining all the possible ways to ruin Stark’s life, so he doesn’t even realize Steve’s awake until a voice croaks, “Buck?”

Bucky whips his head around to meet Steve’s tired eyes and woozy smile. “You,” he says, points at him accusingly. “You fucking asshole.”

Steve blinks. “Lovely to see you too, baby.”

“Don’t ‘baby’ me, you fucker,” Bucky says and thrusts a cup of water with a straw in his face. “I fucking told you to be careful.”

Steve frowns and takes a drink. He looks a lot more lucid now that Bucky’s started yelling at him. Good. Arguing with someone who’s high on painkillers is never fun. “Bucky, I had to do my job.”

“You got blown up,” Bucky says and waves his hand towards Steve’s banged-up body for emphasis. “You got blown up, and none of the avenging assholes thought to call to tell me that you’re alive. I love you, Steve, but seriously. I don’t want to watch you die on CNN. You honestly gotta be more careful.”

Steve’s mouth presses into a thin, angry line. He didn’t seem to notice the love confession that slipped out of Bucky’s mouth. “My job is dangerous, Bucky,” he says. “You knew it when we started this. I’m always gonna do my best to save people, and you telling me to be more careful isn’t gonna change that.”

“No shit,” Bucky snipes back, hackles up. “When has anything I said to you changed anything? I know that you’re fucking stubborn and righteous and noble and what the fuck else, but you could still consider looking after your own sorry ass sometimes.”

Steve’s eyebrows are pinched together. “Bucky--”

“Shut up,” Bucky interrupts him and slams the water cup down on the bedside table. “How the fuck do you think I felt when I had to watch Stark carry your body out of that building on live TV? I’m not asking you to quit being Captain America, I’m asking you to stop sacrificing yourself and get through your thick skull that I care about you and don’t want you to fucking die!”

Steve opens his mouth but nothing comes out. Bucky gets up and wipes his eyes before any threatening angry tears can spill out.

“Don’t call me until you’ve grown some sense of self-preservation,” Bucky says and hates how his voice breaks. “I really don’t wanna talk to you right now.”

He leaves, not caring about Steve’s flabbergasted expression or the aborted hand movement towards him. When he emerges, Sam and Stark jump back from the door, looking guilty like they’ve been eavesdropping, but Bucky breezes past them on his way out.

On the way to the subway, his boss calls and asks apologetically if he can come back for another shift due to emergency. Bucky says yes, because at least running around the ER will hopefully take his mind off Steve.

Sam tries to call just as Bucky’s starting his second shift. Bucky rejects the call and turns his phone off. He’s got work to do.


Four days later, Bucky drags his ass to Midtown to have coffee with Sam, because Sam apologized like a decent guy and is apparently even more tired of Steve’s shit than Bucky himself.

“So Steve’s out of the infirmary,” Sam says casually when they’re sitting down at Starbucks with their drinks. He’s eyeing Bucky’s triple-shot venti latte with suspicion, clutching his own mocha protectively. “That drink looks like it’s gonna give you a heart attack.”

Bucky takes a long drink from his latte and pointedly ignores the hint about Steve. “I’m pulling double shifts, Sam. A heart attack would be a welcome interruption.” He nods at Sam’s extra whipped cream. “At least I won’t get cavities.”

Sam clutches his mocha a little tighter. “I already have cavities from watching you and Steve flirt, I can drink whatever I want.”

Bucky’s eye twitches a little, and he hides it behind his mug. He’s exhausted, even if he’s covering it well. The ER ward is short-staffed thanks to three nurses succumbing to norovirus, so he’s practically been home only to change his socks and do a 180-degree turn before going back to work. In the past two days he’s slept the grand total of five and half hours, because worrying about Steve and seething in fed-up frustration also means that his precious sleeping hours are spent tossing and dozing fitfully.

He agreed to have coffee with Sam, because Sam turned up to the hospital after Bucky wasn’t answering his phone, and Bucky’s nice like that. Even if it probably means that Sam wants to talk about Steve.

“Are you alright?” Sam asks, eyeing him and the Gucci bags under his eyes with concern.

“Peachy,” Bucky says breezily, when his phone starts ringing.

“Is that your phone?” Sam asks when Bucky doesn’t make a move to pick it up. “You’re not even gonna check who’s calling?”

“I know who’s calling,” Bucky replies waspishly. Beyoncé keeps playing in his pocket, muffled.

Sam blinks, then recognises the song just as it reaches the Middle fingers up, put them hands high / Wave it in his face, tell ‘em boy bye part. “You changed his ringtone to Sorry ? That’s harsh, man.”

“Whatever,” Bucky mumbles and wonders if there’s a way to fill an IV drip with espresso.

“Look, Barnes, Steve’s an idiot,” Sam says and wipes whipped cream off his moustache. “But he’s your idiot. You should call him, or answer his calls.”

“I’m really busy, Sam,” Bucky says, and rubs his temple where he can feel a headache forming. “Work’s taking up a lot of time. I don’t have the energy to deal with Steve’s hero complex right now.”

“Yeah, you look like shit,” Sam agrees. “But wouldn’t it be better if you both just gave in a little and made a compromise? You seem both stubborn as hell, but it might help with your stressful work situation if you didn’t have to worry about Steve. Clint, Nat and I are totally on your side, but you’re miserable and Steve’s miserable, and we just can’t take this much moping. Steve’s listening to Celine Dion.

Bucky glares at him, but doesn’t really have an argument, because Sam is Sam and he’s usually always right, as infuriating as it is. “I’m gonna get a muffin,” he mumbles sullenly and pushes his chair back. He’s not sure when was the last time he actually ate properly, and he’s past the grumbling stomach state and well into queasiness. Maybe the giant coffee wasn’t a good idea after all.

Sam looks at him, unimpressed, and Bucky fights the urge to flip him off.

But when Bucky gets up, his low blood sugar catches up with him, and that’s how he ends up fainting embarrassingly in Starbucks.

He comes to a couple of minutes later, staring at the ceiling and Sam’s worried expression. Sam is holding his legs up, and a barista is peering down at him with concern.

“Are you alright, sir?” the barista asks, shooing a couple of curious customers away.

“Yeah,” Bucky says, but his voice sounds thin, and the ceiling sways a little. He closes his eyes. “Okay, no, black spots. Just let me lie here a bit, I’ll be fine.”

“His blood sugar is probably low,” Sam’s voice says. “But he didn’t hit his head, so he’ll be alright. I called a friend, we’ll get him checked if needed.”

Wait. Sam called a friend?

The door crashes open, and steps thunder in. “Sam? Bucky?”

Bucky’s gonna fucking murder Sam. He’s a nurse, and he got straight A’s in anatomy. Nobody will find even a trace of Sam’s body when he’s done with it.

As soon as the fucking world stops spinning. Then he will obliterate Sam, a superhero or not.

“Bucky?” Steve’s voice is frantic, and Bucky opens his eyes, looks up into Steve’s wide eyes. Steve’s wearing a baseball cap, ugly fake glasses, and a horrible grandpa cardigan on top of his too-tight shirt. Bucky doesn’t know if he wants to slap him or kiss him.

“Goddammit, Sam,” Bucky says and closes his eyes again. He’s pretty sure that Sam sniggers under his breath. Traitor.

Steve carries him into the Tower, which is just two blocks away. Bucky’s unimpressed, kinda mortified, and full of venom towards Sam. Sam smartly excuses himself as soon as they’re in the elevator, leaving them to stare everywhere except each other in silence. Bucky’s pretty sure Stark is gonna use every opportunity to joke about Steve carrying him bridal-style across the threshold.

Steve sets him gently down on the couch and disappears to the kitchen. He comes back barely ten seconds later with a protein drink which he hands Bucky before sitting down at the other end of the couch.

Bucky drinks the fucking thing. It tastes like cardboard and artificial berry flavor, but he does feel better after it.

Neither of them speak for a long while. Then Steve says awkwardly, “You said you loved me.”

“I didn’t,” Bucky says automatically. “That’s gay.”

We’re gay,” Steve points out. “And you did, when you were yelling at me.”

He’s got a point. Bucky remembers it in infuriating detail. “How many days did it take you to figure that out?”

“Uh,” Steve says. “Three. Sam actually asked me about it. They were listening to you tear me a new one.”

Bucky rolls his eyes at him. “Surprise, asshole.”

Steve kicks him a little. “You don’t have to be an ass about it.” Then he hesitates. “Do you really?”

“No, I stopped loving you yesterday while I was pulling a lightbulb out of a guy’s ass and seething in my holy anger,” Bucky says. “Of course I do, you shithead. I thought yelling at you beside your sickbed made it pretty clear.”

“I love you too,” Steve says seriously. “Despite you being an asshole.”

“Pft,” Bucky replies to cover how his heart flutters. “You love me because I’m an asshole, not despite it. Nobody else could handle you.”

Steve cracks a smile. “Yeah,” he says and scoots a little closer.

Bucky rolls his eyes again and gestures at him. “Come here, you dumbo.”

Steve drapes himself around Bucky and smushes his face against Bucky’s neck. “I’m sorry I was such an idiot about getting hurt,” he says, muffled. “Having a boyfriend is new to me.”

“Really,” Bucky deadpans, but combs his fingers through Steve’s messy hair. He’s really, really fucking tired, and Steve’s really warm, and Bucky can already feel his awareness slipping. “I’m sorry too,” he murmurs. “I was just really fucking pissed.”

“Yeah,” Steve sighs and presses his nose into the soft hair behind Bucky’s ear. “And for a reason. Sam’s wrangled Tony into putting up a next-of-kin notice system, so the next time something happens, JARVIS will call you immediately and send you updates.”

“I appreciate that you’re embracing your own stupid recklessness by saying ‘the next time’,” Bucky says and yawns.

Steve laughs a little, then pulls back and presses the pad of his thumb against the ugly shadow under Bucky’s left eye. “You look like shit, doll.”

Then he frames Bucky’s face with his hands and kisses him for the first time in six days, so Bucky forgives him.

“Shut your sweet-talking mouth,” Bucky yawns and latches onto him like an octopus. “I’ve slept like five hours in the past forty-eight hours. You’re warm. I’m on a couch. Do the fucking math.”

Steve laughs again and somehow manages to get to his feet with Bucky clinging to him like a five-foot-eleven baby monkey. “Let’s get you to bed, Sleeping Beauty.”

“I have a shift tomorrow at six p.m., prince Asshole,” Bucky mumbles against his neck. “You fucking better not let me oversleep.”

“Noted,” Steve says and kisses the top of Bucky’s head. Bucky’s asleep before Steve’s even set him down on the bed.

He wakes up fifteen hours later, thoroughly spooned by Steve and feeling more rested than he has in a week.

It’s a good way to wake up, even if it’s ass o’clock in the morning and his mouth tastes like cardboard.


Bucky’s checking some paperwork at the nurses station before finishing his shift, when Isobel suddenly knocks her travel mug to the floor with a horrible racket. When Bucky looks up, alarmed, she’s staring towards the doors, a mildly shocked expression on her face. Bucky turns to follow her gaze and blinks.

Steve’s just walked in through the doors, already beaming at the direction of the nurses station. He looks like a lovechild of a Williamsburg hipster and a Brighton Beach slav: he’s wearing an Adidas jacket, a pair of skinny jeans, a black snapback with a floral pattern that reminds Bucky of his grandma’s curtains, and a pair of fake glasses with tortoiseshell frames. He looks ridiculous, and cute as hell for a six-foot-two man built like a brick shithouse.

“Holy shit,” Isobel says and adjusts her hijab. “Hoooly shit, a specimen at eleven o’clock.”

Steve waves and bounces closer, looking nothing like people would expect Captain America to look like. Bucky’s almost impressed by his dedication to flying under radar.

“Hey, doll,” Steve says brightly when he reaches the station and leans over it to press a kiss on Bucky’s cheek.

Isobel’s eyes look like they’re about to pop out.

Bucky sighs and gestures at Steve. “Isobel, this is my boyfriend, Steve.”

“Damn you Barnes,” Isobel mutters under her breath, then takes a deep breath and smiles widely at Steve. “Hi, Steve, it’s great to meet you! Happy to finally see the guy who’s making Bucky here smile more than once a month.”

Bucky absolutely smiles more than once a month. He does it at least thrice, excuse you, Isobel.

“A pleasure!” Steve chirps and shakes Isobel’s hand. Traitor.

“What are you doing here?” Bucky asks as he gathers his papers together and checks his watch. “I swear to god, if you’re turning up with a stab wound, I’m gonna cut your prick off.”

“Love you too, baby,” Steve says, smirking. Bucky can hear the unspoken, But how could I stab you with my dick, then, and glares at him. “You’re getting off shift soon, right? I came to pick you up, we’re going to dinner.”

Bucky raises his eyebrows at him and then glances down at the papers. “Dunno,” he drawls. “I have some fascinating paperwork here which I’d be sad to part from.”

“Oh to hell with you two,” Isobel huffs, snatches the papers from Bucky’s hand and points towards the nurses’ locker room. “Get changed, Bucky. I can’t watch you flirt by insulting each other any longer, so you’re officially done for today. Steve, give me some dirt on him.”

Steve, the asshole, just laughs and winks at Isobel.

When Bucky emerges ten minutes later in joggers and a leather jacket, already lamenting how pretentious Steve’s idiotic outfit is gonna make them both look, Isobel is blushing and staring at her screen, and Steve looks mildly awkward. Bucky doesn’t want to know.

As soon as he’s close enough, Steve reaches out and grabs Bucky by the lapels of his jacket, pulling him up into a kiss which has just a hint of too much tongue to be innocent. Bucky kisses back with enthusiasm, because despite Steve’s weird clothes, it’s actually pretty fucking nice to have somebody pick him up from work.

Isobel drops the travel mug again, and Bucky pulls back from Steve’s mouth to wish her a good shift. Isobel mumbles back something that sounds like ‘Have fun’ from under the desk.

“Okay,” Bucky says when they get outside and Steve steers him towards a black, sleek car on the ER’s parking lot. “What’s up with the ridiculous disguise, and what the fuck did Isobel say to you?”

Steve laughs and slides his arm around Bucky’s waist. He seems a lot more relaxed now that they’re alone. “Natasha helped me to pick it out. She said that this was the last thing anyone would expect me to wear.” He adjusts the snapback with his free hand. “And Isobel was very, uh, forward with her flirting until I told her pretty bluntly that I’m in love with you and gayer than your light-up shoes.”

“Hey, those shoes are worth more than your entire wardrobe,” Bucky says, lying through his teeth. “And yeah, she was pretty smitten with you from the moment you stepped inside. She’s got a thing for people who look like Pinterest personified.”

Steve tries to duck to kiss him and manages to stab Bucky in the cheek with the snapback. Bucky pinches his flank in revenge, then turns the hat so that it’s sitting backwards on Steve’s head. “Look at you, you’re adorable,” he coos, trying to keep from smirking at the way Steve’s blond hair sticks up in a tuft through the hole in the back.

“Really?” Steve smirks and crowds Bucky against the fancy car, pressing a kiss on his jaw. “My Adidas turns you on, babe?”

Unhelpfully, Bucky starts to snigger, and soon they’re both laughing, clutching each other. An old man throws them a worried look and hurries his steps to get past them quicker.

“I love you, fucker,” Bucky says fondly when the worst giggles have subsided.

Steve kisses him, sliding his hands under Bucky’s leather jacket. “Love you too, asshole. Let’s go get dinner. If you behave nicely, I’ll even let you fondle my specs under the table.”

Bucky’s still ugly laughing when Steve manhandles him into the car.


Bucky wakes up when his phone rings, and he fights his way out of his blanket cocoon to grab the phone from the nightstand.

“Are you fucking kidding me,” he says when he answers, because he’s pretty sure he hears Steve clanging around in the kitchen.

“Hi Sam,” Steve says brightly. “I need your help!”

“What,” Bucky says, because they’ve been over this.

“There’s this fella I’m kind of madly in love with, and he’s been watching my ugly mug and dealing with my shit for six months now,” Steve explains. “So I was trying to figure out what to give him for the anniversary.”

“Uh,” Bucky says, because he honestly had forgotten that it’s been six months since the Tiny Robot Attack™. “A blowjob is always nice, I guess.”

“True,” Steve says as he appears to the bedroom door, holding two mugs of coffee in his free hand. His mouth is tugging weirdly, like he can’t decide whether to smirk or smile fondly at Bucky. He’s dressed only in loose pajama pants, his hair is sticking up in adorable cowlicks, and his eyes are bright and happy. Bucky loves him ridiculously, and not only because of his washboard abs. “But I kinda went ahead and bought us an apartment, do you think that’s an overkill?”

“Uh,” Bucky says again, staring, because what the fuck else can you say to that?

“Thanks for advice,” Steve chirps and hangs up. He tosses his phone somewhere in the sheets as he sits down and puts the coffees on the nightstand.

Bucky’s still staring at him, when Steve leans to kiss him and says smugly, “Made you speechless.”

“What the fuck?” Bucky says, because it’s always safe to go for a profanity. “You bought what?”

“An apartment,” Steve repeats. “You know, a place where you take off your pants and leave dirty dishes in the sink.”

“I know what an apartment is, you asshole,” Bucky says. “Speaking of pants, you should probably take off yours, because I’m gonna blow you and that’s gonna be your six-month anniversary gift.”

Steve’s expression turns half-hungry, half-amused. “You blow me pretty regularly, Buck.”

“Uh-huh,” Bucky agrees, already moving to plop himself in Steve’s lap.

Steve slides his hands up Bucky’s thighs to grab his waist, and Bucky grips Steve’s hair and kisses him, long and dirty.

“Not all of us can afford grand gestures,” Bucky says when he pulls back, a tad breathless, and grinds his ass down against Steve’s crotch. Steve’s breath hitches, and his dick starts to harden in his pajama pants. “So I’m gonna suck you off and then sit on your dick, and I promise not to complain about the color scheme you pick for our apartment.”

Steve kisses him again, laughing against his mouth. “Sounds like a plan, doll.”

Bucky presses his fingers against Steve’s scalp, pulling a moan from him, and blows a raspberry against Steve’s cheek. “Happy fucking anniversary, honey.”

“Happy anniversary, ya fucking mook,” Steve replies fondly and kisses his nose before tackling him into the sheets.

The coffee gets cold, and neither of them cares.