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The Babysitter

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It was raining in New York. Bucky looked out the highrise windows at the shining damp of Times Square, feeling as though the city reflected his melancholy. All the poor assholes running around with their umbrellas, and because it was New York, the majority of assholes with nothing between them and the rain but a black coat. Black would always be the new black in Manhattan.

There was a small whirring from behind him, and something gently nudged his foot. Bucky turned and looked down to find one of Tony’s mini-droids had run into his shoe. Good thing he’d put shoes on today. He could confirm that those little treds hurt on your bare feet. He was about to call out to Tony that one of his children had escaped when Bucky noticed the droid was holding a piece of paper. He bent down to retrieve it.

You are cordially invited
to: Anthony Edward Stark’s
Self-care Extravaganza
Don’t bother to RSVP, declining is not allowed

Bucky read it and sighed. What was Tony up to now? And where had he found this fancy card stock? He had a sneaking suspicion it had been left over from the wedding invitations that had never gone out. Probably better not to bring it up then.

Bucky glanced around. No doubt Tony was watching him on some monitor somewhere, or if he wasn’t, he had Friday doing it. Nope, there it was. A little camera on the droid. Bucky bent down to talk into it. “Nice crotch-cam, Tony.” He waved the card. “Stop being weird. You know a party has to be more than two people, right?”

“Okay, so it’s a date.” How had Tony walked into the kitchen without Bucky noticing? He was really off his game these days. “Honestly I don’t mind if it’s a date, but I didn’t figure you’d go if I called it that. And what do you mean a party can’t have only two people? Some of the best parties I’ve been to have only had two people. But if you don’t want to party, if that word offends you, then we’ll leave it out.” How could he talk so much and still manage to start a fresh pot of coffee at the same time?

Bucky looked longingly at the couch. “Listen Tony, I’m not exactly feeling--”

“I get it, you’re not in the mood for a party. Or a date. Though I want you to know I’m personally offended that you’d actually turn me down the one time I ask.”

Bucky cocked his hip, thinking. “Pretty sure you’ve asked me on dates before.”

“No.” Tony held up a finger, which meant he was going to nitpick. “No, I never asked, I just told you where we were going. And you came. Which is how it should be.”

“You call and I come.”

“Exactly. You don’t want to ruin your reputation as model boyfriend, do you?”

“I thought that was Steve.”

Tony made a face. “Cap’s the workaholic boyfriend. He’s never home, so no. He gave up that title…” Tony looked sad and distant for a moment. “A long time ago.” That look made Bucky want to comfort him. He was already crossing the room when Tony looked up, smirking.

“See? Model boyfriend.”

“Was that a con?” Bucky blinked. Tony had always been a manipulator, but he’d never seen him resort to flat out acting before. “You little shit!” He stayed where he was. That didn’t deserve comforting.

“I’m not little,” Tony protested. “You’re just oversized. Maybe you should get that looked at.”

“Oh yeah, by who? Maybe go down to Bruce’s lab and see if he can shrink me down to your size?”

“No. No shrinking!” And now it was Tony who was hurrying over to him, sliding arms around Bucky and leaning his head against his chest. “No shrinking. I like my supersized boyfriends the way they are.”

Bucky wasn’t really in the mood for hugging today, but he patted Tony gently on the back. Tony looked up at him, examining Bucky with big brown eyes. But if he saw something in him, he didn’t say anything about it. He stepped away, and went back to the kitchen for coffee. “So you’re coming, right? I mean, self-care. Sam said I have to. And look, I’m not crazy about it, either. But if I have to do it, I’m not going alone.”

Bucky sighed. “What self-care?”

“Come on, you’re not that old. Self-care. You know. When you spoil yourself to raise self-esteem or something like that. To feel better. To have a boys’ day.”

Bucky made a face. “I know what self-care is, Tony.”

Tony shrugged. “Then why did you ask?”

“I didn’t--nevermind.”

“So, go on. Get dressed, we’re going out.”

“Get dressed? I am dressed.”

“Okay, when was the last time you showered?”

“Don’t act like you weren’t wearing that AC/DC shirt yesterday.”

Tony shrugged. “I have a lot of AC/DC shirts.”

“And that’s the same one from yesterday.”

“Alright, fine. We’ll hit the spa first. So bring a change of clothes. Otherwise I might make you wear one of those fuzzy hotel robes all day.” He took in the look of disbelief and horror on Bucky’s face. “You know what? I like that idea. Easy access. Don’t bring a change of clothes.”

Bucky sagged. “Tony...I’m not wearin’ a fuzzy bathrobe all day so you can get your jollies whenever you want.”

“MY jollies?” Tony looked offended. “How is putting my lips all over you getting me jollies? Okay, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t get something out of it, but I feel like you’re really the one benefitting in that scenario.”

“Tony.” It was hard to stop the runaway freight train of Tony’s mouth.

“Alright, fine. No fuzzy bathrobes. But one of these days I’m gonna invent pants that unzip and pull down on command.”

Bucky snorted. “You could just stick with the old-fashioned way and ask.”

“No, I’m thinking something fully-automated.” He waved a hand. “The pants of the future!”

Bucky sighed. “Do these pants come with consent, or is that extra?”

But Tony wasn’t looking at him, he was still seeing some invisible design in the air, one of his imaginary blueprints. “Well, it could have a password, sure.” Then he did look at Bucky. “I mean, you wouldn’t want total strangers coming up to you and ordering your pants down.”

Bucky crossed his arms over his chest protectively. “Me? No.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Bucky knew Tony was only pretending to be offended.

Bucky grinned. “It means I’m sure you’ve never been at a party where you’d’ve been fine with anyone there just ordering your pants down.”

Tony held up a finger, shoving his mug under the drip of coffee from the coffee maker instead of the ceraf. “You’re underestimating me, Barnes.” ‘Barnes’ meant he was annoyed with Bucky. But only a little, he sensed, because Tony still had that twinkle in his eye. “Obviously parties like that were pants optional.”

Bucky laughed in spite of himself. He really shouldn’t have pictured it. “Damn. Sorry I missed it, then.”

Tony moved closer, somehow managing to carry the mug of coffee seductively. Only Tony. “Trust me, you would’ve made the guest list if you hadn’t been getting your beauty sleep at the time.”

“What about after a mission?” Bucky was grinning, but he wasn’t quite feeling it. It was hard to joke about his time as Winter Soldier. But he still tried, now and again. Sam said it would get easier in time. “If I checked my guns at the door maybe?”

Now Tony was close enough to rub against him, giving Bucky the BBE - big brown eyes. He reached out and smoothed his free hand over Bucky’s chest, leaning in just slightly. “Sugar, you and your metal arm would have been welcome any time.”

Bucky laughed again. “Oh, it was a fisting party?”

That pout. Damn, it was cute. It wasn’t Kryptonite, like Steve’s pouts. It was just...more catnip. “Now you’re just making fun of me.” Tony started to pull away, but Bucky caught him, drew him back with both arms wrapped around him.

“You don’t really think I’m letting you get away that easy, do you?”

Tony smirked, victorious. “What makes you think I wanna get away?”

Bucky couldn’t help but smile. “Oh, so you don’t?” Tony shook his head, giving Bucky the innocent-don’t-seduce-me look. He chuckled. “You love fucking with me, don’t you?”

Tony leaned his cheek against Bucky’s chest, batting thick eyelashes up at him. “Don’t look now, but you’ve got an extra word in that sentence, Poptart.”

Bucky grinned, rubbing his cheek against the top of Tony’s head. “You’d better stop, or we’re never gonna get out of here for your self-care date.”

Tony indulged himself, grinding against Bucky for just a moment. “That’s a kind of self-care...isn’t it?”

Bucky snorted. “If it is, we do that kind of self-care all the time.”

Tony whined when Bucky’s metal hand drifted down to rest on his backside. “But I really happen to like that kind of self-care...so mean to me all the time.” He hid his face in Bucky’s chest and continued rubbing against him.

“Come on, Tony,” Bucky sighed, smiling. He gripped Tony’s hips so he couldn’t grind anymore. Tony’s whimpering was almost comical--certainly adorable. “If I promise to wear the fluffy spa robe for you?”

Tony looked up with the saddest of BBE. It was a patented Tony look. “I suppose...if that’s all the consolation you’re willing to offer. After I’ve been so generous to invite you along, and pay for everything…”

Bucky was laughing. “What else, Tony?”

“Frankly, I’m offended you would ask. As if I only give you things to receive other things in return.” But Bucky could tell his offense was put on. Mostly from Tony’s fingers walking casually up his chest as he spoke. “It’s just...I need a mud bath...and it gets lonely...dangerous, even.” He looked up at Bucky, widening the BBE. Those eyes could have been registered as weapons of mass destruction, as far as Bucky was concerned. “I mean, I should have a lifeguard in there...don’t you think?”

Bucky laughed. “It’s no fun just to ask me to join you, right?”

The pout was back, and Tony was turning away. “You’re no fun. No fun at all.”

Bucky decided to prove him wrong by gripping Tony by the hips and jerking him back against him. “You sure about that?”

Tony whined. “But I need my facial!” The whining didn’t seem to stop him from pushing back against Bucky’s groin.

“Alright, alright.” Bucky gave his rear end a gentle slap as he let go. “Let’s go get your wrinkly old skin toned up.”

That glare was genuine. “That’s about ten steps too far, Barnes!”

Bucky laughed, and caught him up, and smooched the heck out of him. How Tony struggled. He was mad as a cat in a bag. That didn’t mean he could overpower Bucky any more today than he could yesterday, though. When he finally put him down, the minute genius huffed and crossed his arms over his chest, turning his nose in the air. “You are a terrible person and I’m uninviting you from my self-care day.”

“Aww, Tony.” Bucky knew how much Tony loved it when he begged.

“No. You’ve done it this time, Barnes. You’ve gone and hurt my feelings, and now I’m forced to leave you behind. I’ll have you know I had some pretty spectacular plans prepared for us today. But no. Now you’ll never know.”

It was hard not to laugh as he followed Tony back upstairs. Bucky tried to hide a smile. “Aww, please? Won’t you let me make it up to you, Tony?”

“No.” How was it he could manage to storm off and waggle his ass teasingly at the same time?

“What can I do? There’s gotta be somethin’.” Bucky wondered how much begging it was going to take this time.

“Well…” Tony paused, glancing back over his shoulder teasingly. “No...nevermind.” He started walking again.

“Awww, Tony. Please? Tell me. I’ll do anything.” That usually did the trick.

Tony paused again. “Anything?”

“I did say anything.”

Chapter Text

“Okay. This really wasn’t what I meant.”

Tony was pleased as punch with himself. “You did say anything. I recorded it, in case you decided to try and go back on your word later.”

Bucky sighed. “No, I remember. I admit it. I said it. I just...didn’t think you meant this .”

“Stop whining. I could have done so much worse.”

Bucky frowned. “But it’s drafty.” Okay, that did sound a bit whiny. But his balls were trying to crawl up inside him. It was uncomfortable! He tugged down on the short-short spa robe, still hoping in vain that he could find another inch or two of fabric if he kept pulling on it.

“You’re gonna rip it if you keep doing that,” Tony observed casually, enjoying his discomfort. “And I’m not buying you another one.”

“Buying me--” Bucky tried not to splutter. “I thought they were complementary!”

“Not that one.” Tony smirked through his mud mask. “I had to ask for that one specially.”

Bucky was trying not to get steamed. He knew something like this had been coming. “Tonyyyy.” He glanced around. Bucky knew he was whining, but shit. In his book, self-care didn’t include freezing your balls off.

He watched Tony glance around at the staff, clap his hands, and order them out in Icelandic. Bucky sometimes forgot Tony was a polyglot. Mostly because all of his run-on sentences were in English. “Come here, Sugar.” He held out a perfectly manicured hand for Bucky, who slouched over, feeling like an oversized sack of potatoes in spite of the morning in the sauna and the pedicure they’d just gotten. It was no accident that Tony’s fingers found the hem of Bucky’s robe first. “Tell me what’s wrong.”

What was really wrong...Bucky couldn’t talk about it. The obvious, the here and now, that was easy. “My balls’re cold in this thing!”

“Aww. Is the draft getting to you, Bucky bear?”

“Yes!” Tony’s baby talk was less charming when he was this uncomfortable.

“Cold...now what’re we gonna do about that?”

“I don’t--whoa!”

“Any better, Sugarbear?”

“That’s...not what I really had in mind...but…”

“Hmm?”

Bucky sighed. “Tony, you’re gonna crack your mud mask.”

“I know you’re not complaining, because that might hurt my feelings, and you know how fragile my ego is…”

“Course I’m not...complainin'...just…oh god, Tony…”

“That’s more like it.”

“I’m serious, though.”

“Does this feel like I’m not serious to you?”

“Well...no…”

“Alright, then. More appreciation, please. All the effort I put into keeping you happy...I think deserves...something….”

“Oh god...fuck! Jesus!”

But then it was like a pornographic Sesame Street skit. One minute they were together, the next apart.

“Wait, what just happened?” Tony looked up at Bucky, bewildered.

“I know what you’re doin’.” The melancholy was back.

“Alright, Watson. You caught me. What’m I doing?”

“It’s really sweet, but--”

“But?”

“Tony, don’t be mad.”

“Why would I be mad? You’re about to tell me I’m performing a selfless act, right? But you should know--”

“If you try to say you’re not capable of that, I’m seriously gonna punch you.”

“Well that seems a little extreme, don’t you think? I mean, word on the street is you love me. It’s only logical to assume--”

“Have you seen how often I beat the crap out of Steve?”

“Okay, point taken. But, to be honest, he’s a little more durable than I am. I mean...if you punched ME, I mean, apart from risking ruining this work of art that is my face--”

“I do love your face.” His arms were around Tony now.

“See? And you wouldn’t wanna risk marring that, am I right?”

“But I’m still gonna get you to admit you’re just doing all this to cheer me up.”

BBE took him in, a little thoughtful. “Are you implying that I chose to utterly humiliate you in a semi-public place in a foreign country just to cheer you up? And, if so, may I point out that you have a somewhat perverse sense of humour?”

“You mean you didn’t make me wear it just for easy access?”

“Well, that was MY reason, but--”

“Tony.” If he didn’t stop him now, he was going to ramble all day. Bucky could tell.

“Yes, Buttercup?”

“I love you.”

Tony wrinkled his nose, made a face. “Now why would you want to go and ruin a perfectly nice afternoon with that?”

“Go on,” Bucky told him. “You can pretend I never said it, like you always do.” He did bend down and slurp the tip of Tony’s nose, though, just for good measure.

“Ugh!” Tony frantically scrubbed at his nose with the sleeve of his normal-length robe. “You’re an animal, Barnes. A bonafide animal!”

“You want me to go home?”

“Oh no. You’re not getting out of this that easily!”

“Cause obviously I want to.”

“Don’t try to fool the master.”

“Right.”

“‘Whatever you do, don’t throw me in the briar patch!’”

“Exactly.”

“Sorry, you’re stuck here with me for the rest of the afternoon.”

“The worst.”

“You’ll hate every second of it.”

“I already do.”

“And I’m gonna make you keep the robe on.”

“What, all day?”

“Mmmhmm.”

“Seems like you enjoy coming up with different ways to keep my balls warm, anyway.”

“Oh, Lamb chop, you don’t know the half of it.”

“Okay, you pulled me back in. I’m intrigued.”

“You know what time it is?”

“No, but I’m hopin’...”

“Cool your jets, Sugarlump. I gotta get this mask off, and then we’ll head to the hot spring.”

It was Bucky who flashed Tony the sad eyes this time. “I really gotta keep the damn robe on inside the pool?”

Tony rolled his eyes longsufferingly. “I guess if you insist on being naked while we’re in there...”

“I think I do.”

“Hey. Back over to your side. Behave.”

“What if I don’t wanna?”

“Hold that thought, angel.”

“But I want you to hold it.”

“Classy, as always, Barnes.”

“Admit it. You love taking out the trash.” That actually surprised a one-syllable laugh out of Tony. Or maybe it was the wink that accompanied Bucky’s joke.

The staff came back in and peeled Tony back to age 30-something, and then it was time to go soak. The private hot spring reminded Bucky of a Roman bath, the way it seemed a cathedral had been erected around the boiling hot pool of water. Bath-cathedrals in Iceland weren’t half so baroque, though, but instead leaned more toward the minimalist Scandinavian aesthetic. The picture windows that looked out down the mountainside provided a breathtaking view, and somehow, though a powder of snow had snuck in through the door to the deck, the room was comfortably warm.

Bucky didn’t even realize how distracted he’d been by the picturesque landscape until Tony came up behind him and stroked cold, calloused hands up his thighs, resting his chin on Bucky’s shoulder. “Still feeling the chill, lover?”

Bucky leaned back against him, ignoring the cold fingers up his robe for now. “It’s so pretty.”

“I suppose.” Tony sighed and moved off, annoyed that Bucky wasn’t giving his attentions his full attention. “If you’re into that kind of thing.” Bucky glanced over in time to see Tony drop his robe and step into the steaming water.

His eyes weren’t on the landscape anymore. And he was pretty sure there was no innocent reason for Tony to be bending over like that, dipping his fingers in the shallow end. That view was tempting him to do so many things. Instead, he found himself asking, “What do you want?”

Tony raised an eyebrow, straightened up, and looked back at him. “Isn’t that my line?”

Bucky felt like he was made of stone. Heavy. Trapped in place. Staring at Tony, he suddenly felt lost. Why was he doing this? Why had he brought Bucky along? Surely he would be enjoying all of this pampering more if he’d been here alone, or with...virtually anyone else. “What do you want?” he asked again, softer this time. He didn’t understand any of this. He wasn’t sure he ever would.

Eyes on the floor like a beaten dog, Bucky shuffled over to where Tony stood, still, at the edge of the water. He knelt down by Tony’s feet and looked up at him. BBE were looking back. Bucky wasn’t sure what he read there. Subtle emotions could still be confusing for him. “What do you want?” he asked again.

For once, Tony didn’t speak. He just reached out and drew his fingertips across Bucky’s cheek, then traced the line of his jaw. “What if I asked you to do something for me...something dangerous...something wrong...would you do it?” Tony’s voice was low, curious.

Bucky answered with his eyes. Obedience was still such a big part of who he was. Maybe it always would be. The difference was, now he got to choose his handlers. For a split-second, he caught fear in Tony’s eyes. Then his hand was back, stroking Bucky’s face as if he were a beloved pet.

“Come sit with me, Bucky bear,” he said gently. Tony moved deeper into the pool, found the natural rock seat, tugged Bucky in after him.

Bucky left his robe behind and slipped into the scalding-hot water. He hissed, and then turned off the pain, ignored the heat, settling on the bench next to Tony. “This feels good?” He couldn’t see the appeal just now anyway.  

“Mmmm, yes.” Tony shut his eyes and leaned back, relaxing, soaking it in. His fingers danced across Bucky’s and then curled around them, holding his hand. It wasn’t a very Tony thing to do. Bucky wondered what he was up to. Watching Tony sitting there, so peaceful for once, Bucky had the strange urge to lean over and kiss him on the cheek. So he did. “What was that for?” Tony asked.

“Just cuz,” Bucky said.

Tony’s eyes slitted open. “This bench is uncomfortable,” he fussed.

“Well, you know. It’s made of rocks,” Bucky pointed out.

Tony shifted on the bench. “I sure wish there was someplace more comfortable for me to sit. Ideally close by.”

Bucky cracked a smile and reached out for him, pulling Tony into his lap. The pampered genius wriggled for a few moments, getting comfortable, or testing his thighs for softness, or perhaps just teasing him (maybe all three), before seeming satisfied and leaning his weight against Bucky. “That’s better.”

Bucky kissed him on the jaw, wrapping his arms around Tony now that he was settled. He hummed happily, letting his head tilt back to use Bucky’s flesh shoulder as a pillow. “Better,” he repeated, snuggling against Bucky. He let Tony rest, combing the hair out of his face, and looking out at the view. Bucky couldn’t tell if it was snowing, or if the wind had picked up some of the dry powder that lay in shallow drifts around the spa to toss it back up into the air, giving the illusion of snowfall. It was pretty, though. Light and airy-looking, like a rain of down feathers. Not like the biting ice of Siberia. In Russia, Bucky had learned there were so many different kinds of snow. He liked this kind.

“AmEx black for your thoughts.” Bucky hadn’t realized Tony had opened his eyes and was watching him.

“Nothin, really.” Bucky shrugged. “Just lookin’ at the snow.”

Tony snuggled closer, resting his head in the curve of Bucky’s shoulder. “Snow...goes back to childhood for me.” He closed his eyes, and a look of pain crossed his face. “I don’t want to talk about memories today.”

“It’s okay, Tony,” Bucky soothed, stroking his hair. “We don’t gotta.”

“‘kay.” He turned in Bucky’s arms, and pressed his chest to his, wrapping both arms around him. Bucky smoothed his hands down Tony’s bare back, enjoying the feel of him. He was in pretty good shape for a guy who flew around in a suit that did all the work.

Tony hummed happily again, and pressed closer. “You know, Cupcake, a different sort of man would’ve taken advantage of me by now.” He nuzzled Bucky’s jaw.

“Is that what you want?” Bucky asked.

“Well not if I have to ask for it!” Tony was clearly miffed. He started to pull away.

“Oh, I don’t think so.” Bucky wrapped both arms around him and held Tony fast. “You made the mistake of sitting in my lap. Now you’re gonna have to pay the consequences.”

“Oh?” Tony looked intrigued, batting a forest of dark eyelashes at Bucky, and ceasing his half-hearted struggle to get away.

Bucky slowly scratched his nails up the curve of Tony’s back. “There’s a toll you gotta pay to sit in this easy chair.”

“Oo, I like the sound of that. The easy part, I mean.” He smirked up at Bucky, who bent forward to tease Tony’s lips.

“Guess what it is,” he whispered.

Tony put a finger to his cheek, pretending to think for a moment. Damn, it was cute. “Is it bigger than a breadbox?” Bucky nodded, tracing the curve of Tony’s ass with his index finger. “Animal, vegetable or mineral?”

“Animal,” Bucky growled, squeezing Tony’s glutes with both hands.

“Oh, to hell with the game!” Tony gasped, slipping his legs around Bucky’s waist. “Just take me!”

“I never seen a billy goat so eager to pay the toll,” Bucky joked, teasing Tony’s lips with his tongue.

“Fuck me, damn you!” He was hard, pressed against Bucky’s abs, and it was rare that Tony made it to full mast before he did. Bucky felt like that deserved a reward.

“Is it the water?” he asked, sliding his left hand into the cleft of Tony’s ass. “Somethin’s got you hot and bothered today.”

Tony hissed, squirming against the metal fingers prodding him. “It’s you, idiot! The way you hold me makes me weak in the knees. When you’re gentle, it reminds me how rough you can be...how brutal and punishing sex can be with you...how when you fill me, I sometimes feel like you’re going to break me apart…!”

Well that was a lot of information in one go. Bucky pressed his fingers into Tony while he rambled, stretching him, but not too gently. He was losing patience with every word. “I want you,” he breathed, starting to lose himself in the moment, in the contact.

“That’s better,” Tony crooned, combing fingers through his wet hair. “Please, angel!” He writhed on Bucky’s fingers, taking them in deeper. “Fill me. Give it to me!” He teased Bucky for a kiss in that practiced way that had him biting his lips and violating Tony’s mouth in a matter of seconds. The rest of Tony followed soon after.

The force of Bucky’s thrusts was nothing more than soft waves on the surface of the pool. The hot water surrounding them was doing something to him now, too, making every touch more intense, their intimacy somehow more primal. Still, the illusion of zero gravity threw him off a little bit. Bucky watched the flush of Tony’s skin carefully to make sure he was still doing enough for him.

“Other way, other way!” Tony demanded after a few minutes, twisting around like the expert bareback rider he was. Bucky fucked him over to the edge of the pool where Tony could brace himself against some rocks and find the right angle to push back on him, taking Bucky balls-deep and then some. He held Tony with one arm wrapped around his chest, the other moving on his cock, stroking him quick and rough like the rhythm of his thrusts inside him.

When he came, Bucky’s muscles tensed, wanting to hold out longer. But the feel of Tony’s liquid silk pouring over his fingers, the sweet sound of his erratic breathing, and the way he gasped Bucky’s name when he came all pushed him right up to the edge.

“Come on,” Tony pleaded, working his hips to give Bucky release. “Don’t tell me I’m the only one who enjoyed that, Poptart.”

“Stupid...nicknames!” Bucky whimpered, getting further from climax instead of closer.

“Come on, baby.” Tony reached back and gripped his hips. “Don’t hold out on me. Those are my pearls, and I want them.”

“So...nasty…” Bucky panted.

“But that’s what my honey likes, isn’t it?” Tony ground down on him at an angle that made Bucky see stars. “Come inside me,” he whispered. “Please please. I want it.” And that was all it took. Tony knew how to manipulate him when it really mattered.  

After, Bucky pulled out and took his time, gently rinsing Tony clean, washing him inside and out. “I think we might’ve ruined their hot spring,” Tony said, smirking, leaning his forehead against Bucky’s.

“I feel like you really care,” Bucky joked back, suddenly exhausted. But he wasn’t ready to let go of Tony yet. He liked having the smaller man in his lap, even just for snuggling.

“Alright, Sugarbear...up and at ‘em. We’re late for our massage.” Yet Tony wasn’t making any move to get up.

“They can wait,” Bucky grumped.

“Come on, angel-face, you’re starting to drift off, and you know I can’t move you without help once you start to fall asleep.”

“Tony, nooo,” Bucky whined, resting his cheek on Tony’s shoulder.

“I know. I sucked all the vitality out of you with my sweet incubus ass, but today’s PSA is ‘no sleeping in water.’ It’s not safe.”

Bucky whimpered in protest, but he did stand up, taking Tony with him. “Now I know what Fay Wray felt like,” Tony joked, but Bucky knew how much he secretly enjoyed being carried around.

At the edge of the spring, Bucky set him carefully back on his feet and knelt on the floor to dry Tony with one of the soft spa towels, starting at his feet. “You don’t have to do that, you know,” Tony told him, preening at all the attention he was getting.

Bucky hid a smile, continuing to pat him dry from the bottom up. “I know.”

 

Chapter Text

Once he’d finished drying Tony off, it was time for a hot stone massage. Bucky just sat on his table and watched the masseur work on Tony. He wished he could feel how hard the guy was pressing down. He wanted to learn how to do it for Tony at home. Not that it would keep him from coming back here, but still. It’d be nice to help him relax at the tower now and then.

“You know...this was supposed to be a couples massage.” Tony sounded a little groggy through the hole his face was resting in. Relaxed. Bucky was taking mental notes. If only he could get Tony to relax like this on command at home. He’d probably sleep more regularly, too.

“I know,” Bucky said.

“Not really the answer I was looking for.” Oops. He’d upset Tony enough that he’d raised his face out of the little massage-loop and was glaring at him. “Why aren’t you on the table?”

Bucky shrugged. “I’m on the table.”

“Alright, smart guy. Why haven’t you assumed the position?” The masseur scowled and shoved Tony’s face back in the hole, making him Bucky’s hero.

“Gosh, Tony, I didn’t know that’s what you wanted.”

“I see Cap’s sass is starting to rub off on you.”

“Who do you think taught him how to be sassy?”

“Let’s not play this game again, shall we?” Tony reached back and touched one of the masseur’s hands. Asked him to give them a moment.

Bucky tilted his head. “I like hearing you talk other languages.”

Tony shrugged, prickly. “I’d say the same, but it’s always you and Nat talking about me over the kitchen table like I can’t understand what you’re saying.”

Bucky snorted. “We’re not talking about you, and you know it.”

“Sometimes you are.” It wasn’t a question.

“SOMEtimes.” If he was being honest. But what was the fun of talking about Tony in front of him if he couldn’t understand it?

“Conspiring against me.” It was hard not to laugh when Tony got melodramatic.

“Totally.” Bucky furrowed his brow, trying to keep a serious face. “And lemme tell you, when two former Russian spies conspire against you--”

Tony sighed. “Lie down.”

“What? No.”

“I said. Lie. Down. Now lie. Down!” Each word was punctuated with the snap of a towel.

“Jeez, Tony. Use your words!” Was this some kind of record? Normally you had to beg or mortally insult the guy to get him to stop talking. But instead of responding verbally, Tony just got up off his table-- Hey, naked, Bucky had time to note--before coming over and pushing him back on his table, fussily rearranging Bucky until he was in position. “Like I said.” It was Bucky’s turn to talk through the hole. “You wanted me to assume the position, all you had to do was ask.”

“This hurts the worst, right?” Bucky didn’t see it, but he heard the soft splash as Tony did something with the bowl of stones. Then hot weights were being placed on his metal shoulder, and he groaned. Tony knew how much Bucky’s prosthetic hurt him, especially the 70-year-old scars where metal and flesh were knitted together. It was a constant, daily pain he’d learned to tune out, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t there. “Just relax,” Tony told him. Easier said than done, Bucky thought.

“Tony, shouldn’t you...?” Someone had to worry about protecting his junk while he was handling boiling hot rocks.

“Are you honestly going to tell me you’re not enjoying the show? Because this is part of your relaxation. And my self-care. I’ll have you know I find exhibition highly therapeutic.”

“Really?” Bucky raised his head. “You wanna call that guy back in here?” Tony clucked his tongue and shoved Bucky’s face back in the hole.

“Always ready to go, aren’t you, Barnes? Showoff,” Tony muttered. But he moved around so that Bucky really was getting a show through the face-hole. And right when he was thinking about doing something about it, strong fingers started to knead his good shoulder.

“Christ. How are your hands that strong?” He was digging in almost hard enough to hurt Bucky, and that was an accomplishment.

“Hello, have we met? I’m a mechanical engineer. A sort of famous one. I build things--with my hands? All day long?”

“Nice ta meetcha.” Now Bucky’s speech was sounding slurred. God, the kneading felt good. “What’s yer name, pal?”

“The name’s Stark. But you can call me sexy.”

“Alright, Sexy. My name’s...what should my name be?”

“You’re terrible at this game.” Tony was kneading harder, deep into Bucky’s muscles, working back to his spine. “Try harder.”

“My name’s...um...wow, that feels really good.”

“I suppose that’ll do.”

“Can I touch you?”

“Since when do you ask permission?” But just as Bucky was reaching for him, Tony’s bottom half disappeared from the view of Bucky’s face-hole.

“Hey!”

“Rocks.” Bucky could feel the weights shifting, then being replaced by hotter ones.

“Oh god.”

“Don’t sound too relieved, you’re gonna make me jealous. Of rocks. Do you have any idea how embarrassing that is?”

“They don’t feel as good as you do. Just...different.”

“Alright, I guess you dodged that bullet. For now.” Then Tony’s bottom half was back in Bucky’s view. He didn’t waste his chance this time, but immediately reached down and stroked fingers down Tony’s inner thigh.

“You trying to return the favor, angel-face?” But Tony’s fingers didn’t stop. Thank god.

“Kind of.” Bucky dragged at Tony’s skin just a little with his nails.

“Mmm, that’s nice.”

“C’mere,” Bucky growled, moving his hand up and in.

“I am here,” Tony replied, though his voice was more breathy than before.

“No. Here.” And Bucky reached out, picking Tony up and pulling him into position.

“Now I’m no expert, but I’d be willing to bet that’s not what that hole is for.” Bucky made no move to stop. “I’m thinking you don’t care. Ahh!” Tony didn’t have to admit how much he liked being manipulated by his ridiculously strong lovers. Pretty much everyone knew it by now. “That’s--! That’s--!”

“Sorry there’s no one to watch, Tony.”

“Shut up. Your mouth is not for talking right now. Oh Christ yes please more oh I hate you for this no I really don’t I lied god more, deeper yes yes yes! Metal fingers mine just one more sugar please oh thank you god!” And Bucky listened to his endless run-on sentence dissolve into sobs of pleasure for a few more minutes. It was fun finding new ways to shut Tony up.

When he was spent, Bucky set Tony gently back on his feet. “You okay?” He was afraid to let go in case Tony toppled over.

“Of course I’m fine.” Sometimes watching Tony try to retain his dignity was like watching a drunk cat try to jump on a freshly-polished grand piano. He took a step, wavered a little, and paused, getting himself together.

“You know what would be great?” Bucky suggested.

“What?” He was watching Tony’s legs tremble.

“A nap. Do they do naps here?”

Tony turned slowly around. “Okay, I’m not going to say the L-word? Because seriously. Get over yourself. But I really like that idea. You’ve appealed to my interests. Also, I’m paying them ten grand an hour for us to be here, so pretty sure they’ll do whatever I tell them to.”

Bucky made a whip-cracking noise and gesture, grinning.

“Please,” Tony drawled. “You love it when I’m imperious.”

“I like when you wear that little leather number we got you in the Village--” Tony put his fingers over Bucky’s lips to silence him.

“Down, Tiger. Let’s not start that again right now.” Bucky whimpered and reached for Tony’s ass with grabby hands. Tony ignored it. “Right. Nap time.”

The room they set them up in was beech-paneled and decorated in soothing ocean blues and fig greens. The furniture looked like something out of a sci-fi movie, but it was shockingly comfortable. Bucky watched Tony curl up in a bed that looked more like an egg and fall immediately into a deep sleep. Well, at least he was resting. He helped himself to the fruit bowl they’d left in the room. Lay back on one of the ergonomic lounge-chairs. He was starting to see the appeal of this whole Scandinavian thing.

He must have drifted off, because next he knew, Tony had him by the hand, and was dragging at him. “Huh? What?”

“Come nap with me, Bucky bear. I’m lonely.”

“Poor Tiny,” Bucky said, groggy. He got up and waited for Tony to climb back into the egg before joining him. Jeez it was weird. Bucky felt like his bulk was never going to fit, but he finally managed to squeeze in. Tony curled against him like a sleepy kitten.

He couldn’t help it. Tony was just too cute when he slept--not that Bucky was in the habit of humping sleepy kittens. Just this one.

“What’re you doing?” Tony didn’t even open his eyes.

“Lemme in?”

“I’m napping. This is supposed to be restful. Rest.”

“This is restful.”

“Knew you were gonna say that. Lube.”

“What?”

“In my shoulder bag.” Tony waved an arm. His eyes were still closed. Bucky was convinced he had no idea where his bag was.

“You seriously brought lube? To a spa?”

“Do you think I don’t know you by now, cupcake?”

That embarrassed Bucky. He should let Tony nap. “You’re right...sorry.”

“I didn’t say stop.” One of Tony’s eyes cracked open.

“No, you’re napping.”

“You’re going to make me play hardball, aren’t you?”

“No, Tony. Serious. Go back to sleep.”

“I’m supposed to just go back to sleep after this monstrous thing has been nudging my sweet behind?”

“I...sorry, Tony.”

“You will be if you try to get out of this.” Bucky could only think he was serious, because Tony was out and out stroking him now.

He let his head fall back against the cushions. “Oh, fuck…” Tony’s warm mouth descended on him, and Bucky suddenly didn’t mind that the robe was easy access. “You--you s-sure?” God, it was hard to talk.

For Tony, too, whose mouth was full of cock. Instead of replying verbally, he reached up and pinched the hell out of Bucky’s right nipple. “Shit! Okay! I get it.” He batted Tony’s fingers away and covered himself protectively. Tony just looked pleased, and continued swallowing him. “Oh, fuck! Oh, god!” He twisted his fingers into Tony’s hair. “Okay, stop, stop! You’re gonna make me--”

But Tony was way ahead of him, moving off and reaching for his shoulder bag--or man-purse, as Clint called it. While he was away, Bucky tried to catch his breath. How swiftly the hunter became the hunted in this relationship. Tony was anything but shy, which was one of the things that drew Bucky to him.

When Tony returned, he was pleased to see it was the warming lube. There was nothing like cold KY on your dick when you were getting ready to go deep-sea diving. “Have I mentioned what a work of art you are when you’re ready for me like this? Because you are.” As Tony spoke, slick fingers slipped around him to coat Bucky’s stiff length with warmth.

“I just want you.” Bucky reached out for him.

“You’re no poet, but that’s all right,” Tony told him. “I’ll be the brilliant, eloquent one. I’m used to it.”

“Don’t forget handsome.” Bucky grinned up at him.

Tony played coy through his eyelashes. “You’re just saying that because my fingers are on your dick.”

“Hell no,” Bucky said, grabbing Tony and tugging their bodies together. “Don’t act like you don’t know you’re adorable.” He kissed him. “With those big brown eyes o’ yours.”

Tony played it up, fluttering his eyelashes at Bucky. “Flattery, good sir, will get you everywhere.” He gave Bucky a gentle poke. “Go on.”

Tony was stroking him firmly now, making thinking difficult. “I love your ass,” Bucky declared with gusto.

“Because?”

“It’s mine,” Bucky growled, pulling Tony up to straddle him and tuck his cock between the soft cheeks in question.

Tony’s eyes closed. “Ooo…”

Bucky kissed him hard, biting his lips, then shifted up, twisting, slamming Tony down on the cushions and pushing his knees up so that he could move into position.

“That’s better,” Tony breathed. “Manhandle me some more?”

Bucky entered him without preamble, forcing his way back in with impatient thrusts as he plundered Tony’s mouth with his tongue. Tony groaned and sighed, writhing on Bucky’s cock. “Oh god, honey!” Bucky gasped, loving the way their bodies moved together. “You’re so good…” He bent to apply lips and teeth to Tony’s chest while he fucked him.

“I know.” Tony was doing his best to sound disinterested.

Bucky couldn’t have that. He started slamming into him, and reached between them to jerk him off. “So good,” Bucky crooned.

“Harder,” Tony whined, clenching around him. And Bucky forced him back against the side of the egg, gripping him by the throat and pounding the hell out of him.“More,” Tony gasped, starting to leak pre-come on Bucky’s hand, which moved faster.

Bucky tightened his grip just a little, starting to cut off Tony’s air supply. Of course Tony moaned in response. “Take it!” Bucky hissed. “You dirty little bitch. Take it!”

The violence of their coupling was good for both of them, but Bucky was watching Tony carefully. There were lines he wouldn’t cross, and actually letting Tony pass out was one of them.

Tony gasped for air, his face red, veins starting to bulge. He clawed at Bucky’s iron grip, and still Bucky waited. Until the exact...second. He let go, giving Tony a sharp slap across the face. When he heard the hard intake of air, Bucky shifted his hips, drilling right into Tony’s prostate. His orgasm was explosive. Bucky rode it through, listening to Tony’s hoarse shouts of pleasure as the wave crashed over him.

When he was through, Bucky wrapped his arms around Tony, kissing him gently, his rhythm easy, stroking slowly in and out. “Someday,” Tony clung to him, exhausted. “You’re going to come with me. Just wait.”

Bucky doubted it, but he kept quiet, let Tony have his delusion. He did this for Tony, but a big part of Bucky recoiled from it. Causing harm was not something he’d ever enjoyed, even as Winter Soldier. Strangling Tony brought back bad memories. But it was just a game, he reminded himself, and it made Tony so happy. He could do it for Tony.

“You got all quiet on me again,” Tony observed, pushing his lips against Bucky’s throat.

“Sorry.” Bucky kissed his hair, which was still damp, and now sweaty to boot.

“No sorry.” Tony’s eyes caught his. “I just want inside that broken, rusted brain of yours.” He kissed Bucky on the forehead. “Someday I’m gonna find a way to pry open those doors.”

“You don’t want to,” Bucky told him. “Trust me.”

Tony kissed him again, quiet for a moment. “You didn’t finish.”

Bucky shrugged. “It’s fine, Tony.”

“The hell it is!” Tony’s eyes flashed. Bucky kissed him, soothing. “Don’t you think that’s going to mollify me!”

“Shhh, Tony.” Bucky pulled out, settling them carefully with Tony spooned against him before entering him again.

“Oh…” His body started to relax again.

“Just rest, Tony.” Bucky kissed the back of his neck. “Nap time.”

Tony shook his head, nuzzling into the pillows. “Stupid perfect boyfriend.” Bucky cradled him in his arms, gently rubbing Tony’s stomach, using his robe to wipe him off. “Hate you,” Tony grumbled into the pillows, drifting closer and closer to sleep.

“Love you, too, honey,” Bucky whispered, brushing Tony’s hair away from his cheek.

Chapter Text

Tony was just watching him, sipping sparkling water--Bucky had made them take the champagne away--not saying a word, which made it even creepier. Because having two guys you’d never met before twirl around you in a flurry of activity, making minute adjustments to your clothes (and your body) wasn’t creepy enough.

“You know, it’d be easier if you weren’t standing there like Tarzan straight out of the jungle.” Bucky continued to glare at him, sullen. Tony sighed. “Come on, Bucky bear, we’re all trying to help you look your best.”

“Maybe I don’t wanna look my best,” Bucky grumped. Because, honestly, he’d much rather be wearing sweats and his old ratty sweater to this fancy suit.

Tony set his glass down and addressed the tailors in Italian, asking them to give them a minute. “You’re really determined to be as difficult as possible, aren’t you?”

Bucky didn’t think he’d stopped scowling for at least half an hour. “I said I’d wear the bathrobe, not a monkey suit.”

Tony rose from his seat and sauntered over. “It’s only a monkey suit because you’re wearing it like a monkey.” He played with one of Bucky’s lapels.

“Some pep talk,” Bucky told him.

“Listen, sugar, the dinner reservations I made aren’t for McDonald’s. Humor a guy, hmm?”

“So I gotta dress like this.” Bucky was not happy.

Tony was still touching his chest, pretending to feel the fabric. “I suppose we could’ve gone with matching tuxes instead, but--”

“NO tuxedos!”

“There, see?” Tony looked up at him, smirking. “I thought you’d prefer this option.” Bucky just kept scowling. Why did there have to be a fancy dress option at all?

Tony rested his cheek against Bucky’s chest, looking up at him sweetly. That’s how he knew something was up. All the same, that look was hard to resist. “You wanna come to dinner with me, don’t you, sugar bear?”

And looking down into those beautiful eyes, Bucky had to admit to himself that he did. It was an easy choice between sitting alone with the half-formed shadows in his head or sitting in the candlelight with Tony. So he just nodded.

“Now. If you’ll excuse the observation--frankly I don’t care if you do or not--your stellar bod is a little hard to fit for a suit.” He made his point by measuring the width of Bucky’s chest with his hands and then doing the same to his hips. “So even though I would’ve come here to have one tailored for you anyway, we HAVE to come here.” He took one look at the expression on Bucky’s face and kept going. “If we want a suit for you, and of course we do. I don’t know why you’re being so difficult. It’s not like you’ve never worn a suit before. I’ve seen plenty of vintage photos of you rocking clothes like a depression era supermodel.”

That threw Bucky for a loop. “What--you been lookin’ at old pictures of me?” Why?

But Tony just smirked. “Listen. I know you’re smart enough to piece this together: I used to be Cap’s biggest fan, as a kid.”

You still are , Bucky thought, but he didn’t say it out loud.

“Now as you may have noticed, my family has a little bit of money. That meant I could collect...memorabilia. The hard to find kind.” He glanced back at Bucky. “The one-of-a-kind kind. Like from before dear old dad and the SSR got a hold of him.”

Bucky didn’t like the sound of that. It was like someone going through his dresser or his diary or something. “How?”

Tony shrugged in that exacerbating, smarter-than-thou way he had. “When you have a lot of money--Anyway. The point is, I’ve seen pictures of you back in the day. You were a sharp-looking bastard. Dressed to the nines every day. So what gives?” He turned around to look at Bucky.

Bucky frowned. “I’m not that guy anymore. The guy you’re talking about died.” He started pacing, beginning to feel caged in. “He’s dead, and he’s not coming back.”

“Did I say I wanted him back? I like the Bucky I have now.”

“Well, sorry, because I’m all that’s left. It’s just me here now. Not him.” For some reason, this was really getting him worked up. Maybe it was the feeling of having his privacy invaded. Or maybe it was the suffocating claustrophobia that he’d now have not one but two lovers expecting him to live up to some guy he could never be again, someone he barely remembered.

“Why are you so upset?”

“‘Cause I’m never gonna be that guy. Not for you, not for Steve. And it’s bad enough to have him missing that guy without you--”

Tony placed a finger to his lips to stop his rant. “Did I say I missed that guy?”

“Well, not in so many words. But you’ve been researchin’ him and diggin’ up old pictures--”

“Okay, one: I did this all years ago. Way before anyone knew you were still alive. Two: When Cap found out I had them, he took all those photos away. Like, to his Cap Lair, to hide and cry over them.”

That was a sharp jerk to his heartstrings. Steve used to obsess over his old photos? “He...really cried?” Bucky couldn’t stop himself asking.

Tony shrugged. “How should I know? You think Cap really shares that kind of thing with me? He was always tight-lipped about you. I should have known. Should have guessed you were lovers from the way he acted, how he’d never talk about you.” Tony looked at him, resentful. “You were always the open wound in the room. I hoped the photos would help, but…” He shook his head. “Somehow I think they only made it worse. It was easier if he forgot about you.” He looked distant. “We were happy.”

“I’m sorry, Tony.” Bucky didn’t think he’d ever be able to apologize enough.

Tony’s look of depression turned into a smile. “For what, sweet cheeks?”  

Bucky tugged him close. “You know for what.”

“For living?” Tony gave him a sarcastic look. “You’re not allowed to apologize for that. Cap’s rule, and I agree.”

“I just mean--”

“Hush. You’re gonna get me all emotional, and I don’t like being emotional in Italy. There’s too much good wine here.”

“Should we go?” As if avoiding a country could cure Tony’s thirst for booze.

“You really want to get out of this suit fitting, don’t you?”

“No, Tony, I just--”

“Fine, then, I’ll call them back in.”

“No, wait.” But Tony seemed to know he was gonna stop him. Bucky wasn’t sure how to feel about that. “Isn’t it--won’t it take time for them to alter the suit?”

“It will.”

“Well, what’re we gonna do in the meantime?”

“You’ll see, Bucky bear. I told you, I’ve got it all planned out.”

 

*

 

The marble verandah overlooked the canal. “God, it stinks,” Bucky observed, making a face.

“Come back inside,” Tony urged, wrapping arms around his chest and gently walking him backward.

“I like the view, though,” Bucky said. The whole city looked like an archaeological find, beautiful and ancient, slowly sinking into the water.

“Oh?” Tony’s lips were on the back of his neck. “You haven’t been to Venice before?”

Bucky frowned. “I...I dunno.” He hated this feeling. “Can’t remember.”

“Poor Bucky bear, come to Tony. I’ll make it all better.” Bucky turned back to look at him, then, swallowing a laugh. Where had Tony found that long-ass velvet robe? It dragged behind him like an emperor’s train. He couldn’t complain about the view underneath, though. Tony had on silk boxers and nothing else.

“What happened to the boxer-briefs?” he asked, sliding his hands between the robe and Tony’s skin.

“Haven’t you heard of texture stimulation?” Tony smirked. “Cotton is fine for getting the job done, but sometimes you just want something light and silky sliding across your skin.”

“Oh yeah?” Bucky grinned. “Not something heavy and metal?” He slid his left hand around to the small of Tony’s back, teasing him with little circles that started to move down under his waistline.

“Oh, you’re a bad boy,” Tony purred. “Go on.”

He chuckled. “I thought we were in Venice for lunch.” Tony turned, waving an arm at the ornate table covered in antipasti and tapas.

“Hm.” Bucky pretended to think. “What do I wanna eat first?”

 

**

 

It was a good thing Tony was approaching middle age and had his sexual limitations, because otherwise he might’ve been going crazy with Bucky using him as a living plate for his lunch.

“I swear if you put another slice of salami on me, I’m never speaking to you again.”

“Come on,” Bucky teased. “What’re you gonna do to stop me?” The restraints were taut. There was no way he was going to get out of them without cheating.

Tony whined. “This wasn’t really what I had in mind when I ordered this room.”

“Quit complainin’, or you won’t get dessert.” Tony continued to pout. “Hey, I took the gag off, didn’t I?”

“How’re you gonna use my mouth if you have me gagged?”

“Exactly.” Bucky popped another olive into his mouth, tugged one of Tony’s legs into his lap and traced metal fingers up his inner thigh.

Tony gasped, his leg twitching. “Ohhh, I hate you.”

“No you don’t,” Bucky told him.    

“Maybe not.” The cool steel of his thumb was just starting to tease his ass. Bucky bent his head to kiss Tony’s knee.

“I see what you’re doing,” Tony tried to sound casual, lifting his hips to take Bucky’s thumb in deeper.

“Yeah?” Bucky grinned, grabbing another shrimp from the small dish of paella with his right hand.

“You’re subtly trying to cover me in olive oil. It’s old school.”

Bucky raised an eyebrow. “Yeah?”

“Sure.” Tony bit off a whine as smooth metal fingers stroked his sack. “Olive oil. Lube of the ancient Greeks. And Romans.”

“You don’t say.” Bucky was curious how long he was going to keep talking like nothing was happening.

“Sure, don’t you know your sexual history, Bucky bear?”

“Nah, it’s more fun if you teach me.”

Tony was trying so hard to frown, but he seemed to find it difficult with what Bucky was doing to him. Finally, a reaction, Bucky thought.

“Don’t say that like I’m the old man teaching you fresh young thing about history, grandpa.”

“But I really wanna know,” Bucky said, bringing out the bottle of olive oil with the pourer spout. He knelt up, dragging the metal spout down his abs to his pelvis, where he let it start to dribble downward.

“Oh god.” Tony was already licking his lips.

“Guess it’s a good thing we don’t know anybody who can show me how lube worked in ancient Rome,” Bucky said. When the oil reached the base of his cock, he stopped pouring and put the bottle aside to stroke it on.

“Oh, you are just--”

“What?” Bucky smirked, wrapping his fingers around his cock and making sure it glistened with oil from base to tip.

“Probably delicious,” Tony finished, his expression admitting happy defeat.

“You want a taste?” Bucky asked him, smirking, tilting his hips as his hand started to move a little faster on his cock. Tony’s eyes started to drift shut with the job Bucky’s thumb was doing to his ass.

“God, I hate you.”

“No you don’t.”

“Just a taste.”

“Okay, but you gotta do one thing for me first.”

He could tell from the look on Tony’s face how far gone he was already. “Anyth--wait. What?” But not so far gone that he couldn’t still be suspicious. Bucky reached down beside the bed and pulled out one of Tony’s favourite toys. “How did you--where did--?”

Bucky laughed. “You thought you were the only one capable of sexy surprises today?”

“Well, no, but--we had to go through Customs!” Bucky’s grin widened. “You didn’t.”

“Don’t worry, I cleaned it.”

“Oh my god.” His thighs were trembling as he spread his legs as wide as the shackles would allow. “Gimme. Please?”

Bucky held up the butt plug. Dribbled oil over the tip, and let it run down, just like he’d done with his cock. Then he made Tony wait while he slicked it on. Tony began to whimper. “Want it now.”

“What do we say?” Bucky asked.

“Please? Pretty please with olive oil on top?”

“Well, I guess.” Bucky smirked. “Since you asked nice.” He bent down to kiss him as he withdrew his metal hand and slowly pushed the toy inside him. Tony moaned into his mouth, his tongue seeking, hips grinding until it was all the way in deep, the flare resting against his cheeks. Tony couldn’t suppress a little shiver. “Better?” Bucky asked him.

“That depends…” Oh, there was the rest of that shiver. In his voice. “What comes next?”

“Well that’s up to you.” He reached back for the second surprise, slowly drawing it into view. The way Tony’s eyes lit up made Bucky smile.

“Ohhhhh god… But this...was supposed to be for you.”

Bucky bent to kiss the tip of his nose. “Newsflash. I like makin’ you happy.”

“Youuuu make me so happy.” Tony was halfway to erotic bliss already. “But--”

“You said this was a self-care day.” He thumped the cat into the mattress just between Tony’s knees, making him whimper as the tails flicked against his thighs.

“I did. Yup. I did say that.” Bucky liked when Tony was too excited to maintain his smartass tone.

He lay down on the bed beside him, close enough for Tony to feel his body heat, but not close enough to be touching. “So what’s next, Sunshine?”

Tony turned his head, fixing Bucky with pleading eyes. “Taste?” He licked his lips, nervous. “You said I could…”

“Yeah, I did.” Bucky moved in to kiss him gently on the cheek, jerking his wrist to kiss Tony’s right thigh with the cat’s tails a second later. Tony rewarded him with a moan.

Bucky moved up on the bed, kneeling over him and tilting Tony’s head back so that he could thrust down his throat safely. When he arched his back to take Bucky in early, Bucky gave him a sharp lash across the chest. He pulled away and Tony whined. “Stop,” he said sharply. “You’re not a dog.”

Bucky sat back and waited for Tony to calm down. It didn’t take long. He knew the game.

“Please, Daddy. Please can I have a taste?”

Bucky stroked his cheek, flicking the tails lightly against Tony’s thighs. “You gonna be good?”

“I’ll be good.” He nodded. “Promise.”

“Good boy.” Bucky moved back into position, slowly pushing his cock into Tony’s mouth, rocking his hips gently.

Tony sucked his dick like it was covered with ambrosia instead of olive oil, humming happily and making eager wet sucking noises as he took him in. It made Bucky’s balls ache. But that wasn’t part of the game. He slid his left hand down Tony’s chest, teasing at his glory trail with metal fingers.

Thrusting in earnest, he started to whip him, teasingly at first, and then harder as he approached climax. By the end, the cat was completely forgotten, and Bucky was stretched out over Tony, balancing on one hand as he fucked Tony’s mouth and plunged the plug in and out of Tony’s ass. “Oh God, baby...so good!” He came so hard it hurt.

Panting, Bucky backed off to make sure he hadn’t choked Tony to death with his dick. But Tony was relaxed, happy as a clam, licking the come from his lips. “I’m gonna be sore tomorrow,” he announced happily.

Bucky kissed him apologetically. “I’ll rub the ointment in.” Tony pillowed his cheek on Bucky’s thigh, resting, satiated, with Bucky’s hands on his shoulders.  

Chapter Text

How had Tony convinced him? Bucky mentally shook his head. Mentally, because it wasn’t a good idea to shake your head when you were shaving for the first time in decades. The Winter Soldier’s handlers had done that sort of thing for him, back when Hydra had bothered. Bucky tried to remember when the close shaves had stopped. It all seemed to have ended right around his last escape. He wanted to remember more. He didn’t want to remember any of it.

Hand shaking slightly, Bucky took the blades away from his chin and rinsed again. Where was Tony? He was experiencing one of those moments of inner vertigo. It was as though he could feel himself standing at the edge of an intense memory. Bucky took a deep breath, squeezed the bridge of his nose. He could do this. He could do this.

 

*

 

Tony wasn’t usually one for details where entertaining was concerned. As long as there was good music, he’d been content for years to let Pepper handle little details like the menu, place settings, lighting, etc. But tonight was different. Most significantly, Pepper was no longer in the picture. With Cap back in his life, it stung a lot less. But there was something else--someone else--that was proving to be a distraction almost as big as the star-spangled man of his dreams. Someone new who made him want to buy strawberries at a roadside stand. Someone completely unexpected who made him think about the future.

Les Jules Verne was all theirs tonight. Tony had had them clear out all the tables but one. The view was spectacular, but was it enough? Was the candlelight too dim? Had he made a mistake ordering only red and gold roses for the arrangements? Was that too narcissistic? Well, if it was, at least it would make Bucky laugh.

Tony couldn’t help glancing out at the elevator every few minutes. He’d said 7, hadn’t he? It wasn’t like either of his soldier boys to be late--unless they’d delayed one another. But no way Cap had found them. Angel face hadn’t even brought his phone along today; a sure sign of his depression when he was too down even to play Words with Friends with Romanov or send disgusting snapchats back and forth with Wilson.

He was considering calling the concierge when one of the staff approached, probably to ask another question about his wine choice. The French couldn’t seem to understand how one could consume a meal without wine of any kind--and though Tony agreed, and would have been perfectly happy to give in to their suggestion, he knew his guardian teddy bear would not have it. He was anxious about Bucky being late, and increased anxiety for Tony often meant taking it out on whomever was in his face. So he half-turned, prepared to snap. “Écoute--

There was no touching. That was a rule. He’d been here all evening; the staff knew it. So Tony was shocked to the soles of his Sutor Mantellassis when the young man slid an arm around his waist. Tony was halfway to a panic attack when he looked up into clear blue eyes.

Comment?” Bucky was smiling, no doubt amused at having nearly given him a heart attack. Typical.

“No!” Tony turned in his embrace, swatting at Bucky with the menu he’d had specially made up. “No, no, no! You were supposed to come up in the elevator!”

Bucky chuckled, trying to pull Tony in close again. “Yeah, you’d think I was a guy who didn’t trust riding up and down in a metal cage or somethin’.”

“Running up all those stairs in your brand new suit I had flown here, I might add.”

Bucky was still laughing. Laughing at having ruined his surprise. Laughing at his pain. “I’m not even sweaty, I promise.” He opened the jacket. “C’mere, you can pit-check me.”

This menu wasn’t going to last much longer if he kept hitting Bucky with it. “No, I am not going to sniff your armpits in one of the most romantic venues in Paris!” Tony pointed at the door. “Now go back outside and try again!”

“What?” Bucky was still smiling, but Tony could tell he didn’t believe him.

“I said get out and then come back in. The right way!”

Bucky sighed and dropped his arms from Tony’s waist, plodding to the front door, smiling and shaking his head. Tony didn’t care that he knew he was being humoured. The important part was that everyone around him cooperated. While Bucky walked out, Tony had a waiter take away the crumpled menu. The sommelier brought him Perrier in a champagne flute. Then he composed himself and moved so that he was the first thing someone walking through the restaurant doors would see.

Bucky didn’t make him wait long. Just long enough to wipe the evil grin off his face, it seemed. When he walked back in, it was with just the hint of a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

Now he could appreciate it. Like a romantic episode of the Twilight Zone. It was as though a ghost from 1942 had just walked into the restaurant. With his hair parted and pulled into a tie at the back, Bucky looked even more like his younger self than just the shave and pristinely-tailored suit would have made him look. Tony felt a little bit like he’d just broken the Seventh Seal: proud, a little nervous, and curious to see what would happen.

Bucky strolled in, hands tucked into his pockets like a GQ cover model, and walked right up to him, not getting handsy this time. Tony appreciated that. Sort of. “You’re not gonna make me speak French all night, are you?” The way he pressed his lips together in a flirtatious little smirk, Tony wanted to kiss him. Because apparently they hadn’t done enough of that today.   

Of course, Tony didn’t kiss him. He was an adult. He had self-control. “Don’t worry, Angel face. I’m not gonna make you speak French all night.”

“Just, um. Maybe when we’re alone? Later?” The look in Bucky’s eyes suggested how.

Tony turned away, feigning indifference. “You never quit, do you?” The truth was, if he didn’t move away now, he might give in to Bucky’s libido, and their whole dinner could be ruined. For a distraction, he gave the band leader the signal. Suddenly soft jazz filled the restaurant. Bucky had come up to stand behind him. He was staring.

“Tony...why is there a ten piece orchestra in here?”

He took a sip of his water. “Well that’s a silly question. Because I’m paying them to be here.”

“No, I mean--” Just then the maitre dis approached to welcome them to their table. Tony followed, strictly casual, putting his free hand in his pocket so Bucky couldn’t touch him again. Not yet. He sat down, winced when his elegant date ordered a coke--Le Jules didn’t serve Coca Cola, but Tony’d had them stock glass bottles specially for tonight--and waited for the man to leave.

He leaned an elbow on the table. Realized the candlelight was reflecting off his glasses and hurriedly whipped them off, tucking them into his breast pocket. Damn. Damnit! He’d gotten him all flustered sneaking up on him like that. None of this was going the way he’d planned. “Aww. I think you look cute with your glasses on, Tiny.”

“Shut up,” he snapped. “I look like an aging Tony Curtis.”

“Nah,” Bucky reassured him. “You’re way hotter than Tony Curtis ever was.” It was the uncouth compliment of Brooklyn to upper west side Manhattan. Tony loved it. He reached gloved fingers across the table to brush against Tony’s. “And you’re not gettin’ old.” He grinned. “You just have a bad habit of datin’ guys who look younger than you.”

Tony pretended to look miffed. “Well I thought dating 90-year-olds was gonna work to my advantage in that department.”

Bucky smirked. “Surprise.”

“Speaking of looks, you clean up quite nicely yourself, Cupcake.”

Bucky inclined his head, graciously. “See, I got this nagging boyfriend who wouldn’t leave me alone till I shaved for ‘im. I’m hopin’ to at least get oral out of it tonight.”

Tony rolled his eyes, but decided not to rise to the bait. “Poor angel,” he frowned. “Tied to a lover who never gives you satisfaction.” He leaned forward a little. “You should have an affair.”

Bucky feigned shock. Like a Vaudevillian actor. Tony had to make an effort not to laugh. “But I could never cheat on my honey.” He smiled genuinely then, taking Tony’s hand. “He can be a little high-maintenance sometimes, but he’s smart and funny, and he’s got this heart of gold you’d never expect.”

“Stop,” Tony said, smiling, trying to take his hand back.

“And he always knows how to make me smile.”

“Take those gloves off,” Tony told him. “We’re indoors, you look ridiculous.” Bucky glanced in the direction of the band and the restaurant staff. “Come on, you trust the Icelandic masseur and the Italian tailors but not the French waiters?”

“Those tailors have made suits for the Godfather. You know they have,” Bucky argued.

“And the masseur?” He could tell from the look on Bucky’s face that he knew he was losing.

“Well--they see you naked. They gotta be discreet!”

Tony just sat back and sipped his water, feeling pleased with himself. “Gloves. Off.”

“Fine.” Bucky made a big show of tugging them off, one finger at a time, beginning with his right glove.

“You’re a brat, you know that?”

He snorted. “So says the spoiledest of them all!”

“You know that’s not a word,” Tony felt the need to point out.

“Quiet, you.” The waiter brought Bucky’s coke and refilled Tony’s water. Bucky was staring at the bottle with that certain look on his face.

“Tell me.” When Bucky got that look, it meant a memory was threatening.

“It’s nothin’.” He was shaking his head as if to clear it.

“Hey.” Tony got up and came around to grip his shoulders from behind. “That’s breaking the rules. If I ask, you have to tell me.” He paused. “Unless it’s something like drowning kittens. Is it drowning kittens?”

Bucky huffed a laugh, smiling weakly. “Nah, just. Somethin’...really far away.” He looked at the bottle again. Tony leaned forward to rest his chin on his shoulder, and Bucky nearly jerked away. “Don’t go ticklin’ me with your beard again!”

Of course, that just made Tony want to do it all the more. So he aimed his chin at Bucky’s throat, threatening, until Bucky was laughing and shoving at his face. “Alright, but only if you tell me.” Bucky was still turned away, trying to catch his breath, so Tony wasn’t prepared to suddenly be tugged into his lap. In hindsight, he really should have been. It was completely inappropriate to their surroundings. But that had never stopped Tony before. He snuggled in, waiting.

“I dunno.” Bucky shook his head. “I dunno.” He sounded frustrated. “Just...somethin’ about the shape of the bottle.”

Tony reached up to stroke a finger down his cheek, shocked at how soft his skin was now he’d shaved. “Did you and mini-Cap used to go grab cokes for a nickel after school maybe?”

Bucky shook his head. “We didn’t have that kinda money.” And immediately Tony felt guilty. Sure, they acted blue collar most of the time, but sometimes Tony still forgot his boyfriends were honest to goodness Great Depression survivors.

“Glass recycling?” Tony guessed. Poor people did things like that, right?

But Bucky was shaking his head. “I...I just don’t know. I can’t place it.”

It upset him more when he couldn’t remember. Tony knew that. “Well, we’ll ask Cap when he comes home. Maybe he can shed some light for us.” But Bucky didn’t look hopeful. “Or, you know what? Let’s throw one of these into your next BARF session. How about that, sugar? We already know it’s not a bad memory, right?”

Bucky looked up at him, his eyes still distant. “Maybe.”

“Ah, ‘maybe’ with the sad face. That’s the spirit I like to hear.” Bucky nudged him playfully. “You know it only costs a quarter of a million dollars every time I power that thing up for you.”  

“Tony--” Bucky’s eyes were nearly grey when he looked up at him.

Well, he hadn’t been aiming for guilt. But it was good to know he could still elicit that reaction without trying. “Nope. None of that. Come on.” He stood up, taking Bucky’s beautiful metal hand and tugging him along as he began to back up.

“What? Tony, where--?”

“I’m high-maintenance. Humour me.” Bucky was already dancing before they’d hit the middle of the floor. “There you go, Angel. See? That wasn’t so hard.” Their bodies fell into a rhythm on the dance floor as easily as they did in more private venues.

“You’re just tryin’ to distract me.” And there was his little personal raincloud again. Tony needed to fix it.

“Am I?” he asked casually. “From what?”

“I dunno.” The song ended, and they paused for a minute. “I thought we came here for dinner.”

“Are you that hungry, Bucky bear? We’re here for a date, but if you’re starving--”

The band began to play again, and Bucky’s head snapped up. “What’s wrong, sugar bear?”

“I used to love this song.” He glanced over at Tony. “But you knew that.”

“I did,” Tony admitted, unsuccessfully hiding a smirk. Music was one thing they could talk about for hours without accidentally bringing up anything traumatic. He placed a hand on Bucky’s waist and started to dance again. He took the woman’s role without missing a beat. It was one of the things Tony loved about--somewhat enjoyed his company for. “The band’s pretty good, wouldn’t you say?”

“I never had a band play just for me before.” But he didn’t look depressed or guilty about it, so Tony wasn’t worried.

“Get used to it,” he told him. “You’re with me now.”

Bucky looked at him, then, in a way Tony wasn’t entirely comfortable with. “If I was with you…” he began slowly. Tony appreciated his hypothetical approach to the question. Less stress on his heart. “I’d probably...feel really happy.”

“Yeah?” Tony needed to hear more, but it felt like a trap.

“Probably...feel like I was real lucky. To have someone who went to this kind of trouble--”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Tony butted in. “You’re assuming I’m doing this all for you.”

Bucky hid a smile. “You’re right. I’m sure you reserve the Eiffel Tower all the time, and...sometimes you just get tired of classic rock and wanna hear some live big band for a change.” He looked over at the band. “You know who’d really love this?”

“Don’t say it.”

“Well, he would.” The song ended, and Bucky wandered back to the table to take a sip of coke--Tony was pleased to note, without the frowny-face this time.

“It wouldn’t be fair, though, to bring him along and make him sit at the table and watch us dance.” Tony hadn’t even considered it, and right now he was wondering why, feeling guilty.

“Stevie’s no dancer, that’s for sure.” Bucky smiled.

“So it’s better this way.” All of a sudden, Tony needed reassurance.

“Tony…” Bucky was looking at him, concerned. “Steve’s been gone for three weeks. You can’t feel guilty for not invitin’ him.” When Tony still looked uncertain, Bucky pulled him over and started patting him down.

“What’re you--?”

“Got it.” He pulled the phone out of Tony’s pants pocket.

“I don’t even know why I still carry that thing.” But he did. It was in case Bucky got bored and wanted to play one of his game apps. He couldn’t do that on Tony’s watch phone--at least not yet. He was getting better with modern technology. Bucky had the phone turned on and in camera mode in less than 10 seconds.

“Okay. This one’s for Stevie. Smile.”

Probably the most shocking thing was that Bucky did. On cue. Effortlessly. Almost like he was happy or something. Of course, Tony flashed the camera a sexy smirk. That was just for Cap. And if it seemed to say, ‘hah hah, I’m on a date with your boyfriend and you’re not’ well. It served him right for being gone. He watched as Bucky sent it to Steve with perhaps the corniest text message ever:

wish u were here pal

Or maybe it was just cute. Tony had trouble distinguishing genuine sentiment from absurd drivel these days. Alright, he always had.

“Now one for me,” Bucky announced. Without having to consult one another, Bucky did his best Gene Simmons impression while Tony roared into the camera. They both made rock-n-roll fingers. Bucky was laughing. Tony was proud of that.

 

**

 

After a dinner of sea bream, scallops, and venison, they sat together by the window, looking out beyond the beautiful structure and patterns surrounding them at the lights of the city. “It really is a romantic place,” Bucky observed. “I dunno. Somethin’ about the architecture. The way it’s laid out.”

“It’s the Seine,” Tony said.

Bucky shrugged. “Lots of great cities have rivers. London’s not like this.”

“The Thames isn’t the Seine.”

“I guess.” There was a place in Bucky’s head where every city was broken down into grids and blueprints, three-dimensional maps showing escape routes and hiding places. But this one. This one was still a city. In his head, it wasn’t a map, it was a tree. Living, beautiful. It didn’t have ghostly lines criss-crossing every street corner as he passed. That was rare. And precious.

“What do you say, Bucky bear? You up for a little fresh air? I haven’t exercised you at all today. Cap’s gonna say I’m not doing my job.”

Bucky snorted a laugh. “Your job, huh?”

Tony nodded, solemn. He stood, and offered Bucky a hand. Bucky didn’t need it, but he took it anyway. “What about the band?” he asked. “Do they finally get to stop playing?”

“I could have them over to the apartment if you want to dance later.”

Bucky smiled. “We don’t need a band to dance, Tony.”

“Well, that’s true. But it was romantic. You’ve gotta admit it was.”

“It was,” Bucky conceded. “Very. I’ll be sure to let Steve know in my report.”

“Your what now?” They were out in the structure now, halfway to the elevator, which strangely wasn’t waiting for them. Tony stopped, and their arms stretched out between them until Bucky stopped, too.

“Well, I mean if it’s your job. To watch me for him, right? Then I oughtta be able to tell him how you did.”

“Oh, right. Of course.” Bucky was smiling at him sadly. It scared Tony, because it was the look he’d had before he’d locked himself in the bathroom that night. So he started to lay it on thick. “I mean, really, this is all for Cap.” Really thick. “I didn’t want you to know because, well. Part of the job is you don’t know who I’m doing it for.” Too thick to be believed. “Ideally you’re supposed to think I care about you or something.” Probably. “It just makes the job easier, and studies show you’re less lonely if you believe your caregivers really feel something about you.” Even by Bucky. Who was just standing there, staring down the elevator shaft in a way that was starting to make Tony really uncomfortable. He shifted his weight suddenly, and Tony was terrified he was going to jump. “Bucky!”

He turned back, and his eyes looked glossy. Liquid. You did it again, he thought. This whole human being interrelation business. He would never get it right. The silence stretched between them, like their arms, still holding hands without really knowing why.

The wind was picking up. There was a feeling...a terrible feeling, like palladium in his veins. Like everything was about to go to shit.

“I love you.”

“What did you say?!” Nearly all he could hear was the wind. Tony knew Bucky was shouting, but he could barely make out the words.

He took a deep breath, plucking up his courage by delicate strands. This is it, Stark. It’s now or never. “I said--!”

Bucky snatched him up before he could finish, crushing him in a bionic hug of death™. “You dummy,” he said into Tony’s ear, the wind whistling around them. “You don’t gotta say it. I already know.”

 

On the street below, the night was mild. They held hands, skirting the crowded Parc du Champ de Mars, walking toward the Rue de l’Université. Neither of them said anything. It was like something had passed between them that couldn’t be taken back. The silence seemed to sit easily on Bucky, but for Tony, it was a little bit more difficult. Silence was always difficult for him.  

When they turned north toward the Seine, Bucky slowed and matched his stride to Tony’s, sliding an arm around him. “You cold, honey?”

“I’m fine.” Tony wasn’t really sure what he was feeling at the moment, but it wasn’t the temperature.

Bucky chafed Tony’s bare hand between his gloved ones. “You wanna just head back to the apartment?” Tony didn’t reply, but stopped and looked at him. Bucky stopped, too, turning to face him. “What’s wrong, Sunshine?”

Before Tony knew it, he was throwing himself at Bucky, wrapping his arms around him and hiding his face in his collar. Bucky held him tight, but not too tight. If Tony thought about it, he always seemed to know what the right amount of squeezing was for Tony. “Did you really know?”

He could hear the smile in Bucky’s voice, but couldn’t see it, his face still hidden against Italian silk. “If I didn’t, you think I would still be here?”

Tony looked up at him sharply. “What does that mean?”

Bucky took a deep breath. “It means…” His smile wasn’t really a smile. “I’m still alive...for Steve. But that don’t mean I gotta be awake. I coulda just gone back into cryo, and everyone’s problems would be solved. No more Winter Soldier lurking in the back of my head. And you and Stevie coulda been together.”

“Bu-ut I don’t want that.” The words came tumbling out of Tony. “Don’t do that, because I don’t want it. That’s not what I want.”

Bucky gripped his shoulder reassuringly. “But that’s not why I’m here.” He gestured with his free hand at the city around them. “I’m here...because of you, Tony. You brought me here, and whether it’s just to the garage in New York or to the Grand Prix or Iceland, you keep pullin’ me outta my head. Reminding me that there’s more. More than just Steve, who needs me around to remind him who he is. There’s food, and life, and sex, and music...the whole world. The whole fuckin’ 21st century-- if I just stay awake. Take a chance at bein’ alive.

“And most of all there’s you, Tony. You make me smile when it feels like there’s nothin’ to smile about. You make me wanna try. And it doesn’t matter whether you do it for Steve or for me, or for you. Thank you. Thanks for takin’ care of me.”

Tony really did jump on him then. Like a koala, wrapping all four limbs around Bucky and holding tight. He didn’t know what to say. For once, Tony Stark was at a loss for words.

Finally, he murmured, “Can we go back to the apartment?”

“Sure, honey.”

When words failed, there was one sure mode of communication between them. Tony started in the cab.  Clothes were shed in the elevator. By the time they’d reached his apartment, it was all Bucky could do to hold his pants up. “Hold your horses, Tony!” He closed the elevator door behind them, and all of a sudden his head snapped up. He glanced around as if he’d heard a sound too high for Tony’s ear to pick up.

“Hey, did somebody wish I was here?” Steve came strolling out of the kitchen.

“STEVIE!” It wasn’t that Bucky had meant to leave Tony standing there all alone in just his shirt and socks, he was sure. He was just so darned excited to see his best pal in the whole world. Of course he flung himself across the room at Cap, knocking him down with the sheer force of his affection.

Tony walked casually over to perch on the back of the couch. “Hey, Cap.”

The devastating blond blinked up at Tony’s state of undress from under a crushing pile of Bucky. “I’m not interrupting anything, am I?” Why did he always feel like Cap was judging him when he made that face?

“Oh, don’t play innocent!” Bucky drew back to narrow his eyes at Steve. “You knew we were on a date from the picture!”

The slow grin that spread over Cap’s face proved Bucky’s theory. “Did you two have a good time?” He glanced from Bucky to Tony, who stuck a hand on his bare hip.

“Well, we were getting ready to, before you so rudely interrupted!”

Bucky laughed. “It must be a skill to look so annoyed while you’re naked.”

“Excuse me. I still have my shirt on!”

“Not for long!” Bucky grinned, jumping up to unbutton aforementioned shirt. Cap tucked his arms behind his head and just watched from the floor.  

“You gonna intervene here, Cap?”

“Nope.” Steve smiled. “Like you said, it’s your date.”  

“Is that…?” Bucky was looking at him with vulnerable blue eyes, slowly tugging Tony’s shirt from his shoulders. “...what you want?” But Tony was looking down at Steve. “Tony?”

Suddenly, there was something so big inside Tony’s chest, it was almost painful. It needed to kiss Bucky. Hard. And other things. He was tossing his shirt aside, pushing Bucky back toward the bedroom, heedless of Steve left behind on the drawing room floor. He slammed the door behind them. “Tony?”

“Okay, you don’t have to get on the bed, but you’d better take those pants off. Now.”

“Alright, Sunshine. You okay? What’s goin’ on?” He kept looking at the door, like he expected Tony to walk back out at any moment.

“What’s going on is I want you. Just you, Bucky bear.” Tony pushed him down on the bed, grabbed the cuffs of his pant legs and walked away with them. Then Bucky was down to just his shorts.

“But Steve--are you sure?” He looked so confused sitting there. He hadn’t heard what Tony had said at all.

“Yes I’m sure. I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life.” He crawled onto the bed, pinning Bucky down with his body.

“But Steve--”

“Can wait his damn turn.” He started to kiss him, then, from nose to toes. “You’re my date tonight. Not his.”

“Ohhh, Tony.” Bucky’s fingers wound into his hair, gently pulling.

“That’s right, Sugar. You’re gonna be saying my name a few more times before we’re done here.”

Bucky pulled him back up for a slow kiss on the lips. “I can’t wait.”

“That’s my angel.” And then Tony did something to Bucky he’d never done before.

 

***


Out in the living room, Steve was practicing his French by reading the morning paper when he heard Bucky start to get loud. The way the antique headboard was knocking against the wall, Steve was a little surprised they hadn’t gotten any complaints from the neighbors. Then again, this was Paris, not New York. It was a funny thing, though, those sounded more like the kind of noises Bucky made when he--but no, that couldn’t be. Tony would never do that to Bucky without at least asking Steve first. He put some classical music on the stereo and started the crossword.