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No Sacrifice Required

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The Soldier shifted, uncomfortable with how defenseless he was in just his thin cotton pants.

“Your sacrifice will make a difference in this war,” his handler had insisted, passion in his voice. “Hydra will gain great power, will be saved. You will be remembered as a hero.”

The words meant nothing, except to tell the Soldier dying would please his handlers, would serve Hydra’s purposes. It was why he had submitted to being relieved of his weapons, of being stripped bare of his clothing. The technicians had come then, leading him to the showers. Pushing him beneath warm water, they’d cleaned him as they whispered, scrubbed every inch until it was red.

“Have you heard from echo house?” the smaller tech whispered to the other. The Soldier could recognize the panic in his tone, in the way his eyes darted about the small, tiled space. Steam wafted through the air, thick and heavy, making it harder for anyone to hear over the rush of water striking the drain.

The latter tech also glanced about nervously, but ignored the Soldier entirely. Either they had forgotten his enhanced hearing, or they didn’t care if he overheard.

“No word in thirty days,” the taller tech whispered, “The Latveria safe house went dark, too.”

“I hear Red Room is collapsing,” the smaller one hissed, eyes wide with fear. “They say she’s unstoppable, now she’s made that S.H.I.E.L.D. of hers.”

“Do you think this will work?” the taller tech asked. “I can’t believe the higher-ups even believe in this stuff any more.”

“You better hope it does,” the smaller one said. “If it doesn’t, we’re all screwed. There’s only two heads left.”

The Soldier didn’t speak, but these words explained the string of back-to-back missions he had performed lately. There had hardly been time to rest, to be wiped and recalibrated. It wasn’t standard procedure, though he couldn’t remember if it had ever happened before. It didn’t feel right, though. Nothing did, least of all the technicians’ whispered conversation.

Someone’s foot - the taller technician, the Soldier noted and ignored - kicked his legs wide and he obligingly spread them. Though he had been expecting it, he still grunted as the lubricated tube nozzle was shoved inside him. Rough and cold, moments later his insides were flooded with warm water. The Soldier grunted again, despite his training, as his abdomen cramped. Breathing hard through his nose, he kept from doubling over by sheer will, waiting as they filled his insides and then yanked the tube clean.

The touch, this treatment, was not part of his usual post-mission routine. It was different, uncomfortable, and it made him remember echoes that had his breath stuttering and fear creeping along his spine. Closing his eyes, he endured, knowing well that he had no right to like or dislike anything his handlers desired. Gritting his teeth harder, he clenched down as the cramps intensified, waiting for permission, even as a cold sweat beaded his skin along with the droplets of water.

“Go relieve yourself.”

Glancing at the taller tech, the Soldier saw him indicating the small toilet installed on the opposite wall. Something akin to gratitude stirred in his chest at being allowed that luxury instead of being forced to soil himself.

The smaller tech gave the first a questioning look.

“Less mess that way. Imagine having to clean him up again,” the taller tech grumbled, as the Soldier hurried, feeling his insides cramp even more with the movement. The urge to forcefully expel the water was overwhelming. Barely sitting in time, he grunted again because it hurt when the water was ejected from his body. He experienced a series of spasms that made him feel momentarily dizzy. He locked up his muscles, powerfully and viscerally afraid that somebody would notice his moment of weakness and punish him for it.

“Gross,” the technician - the one who knew about the Red Room, the smaller one - muttered.

The taller one grunted.

“What if this doesn’t work?” he asked.

“The bitch hunts us down one by one and we die,” the smaller one snapped. “As we should if we fail the cause.”

“You’re the one that brought it up,” the taller one huffed. “I’m only saying, what’s the next step? What’s the next plan? We can’t just give up. We are meant to bring order to the world!”

The smaller tech snapped his fingers at the Soldier.

“Up. Again,” he barked shortly.

As the Soldier got into position to be cleaned out again, the taller one muttered, “Bitch probably isn’t a woman. They just dress up a man to intimidate us.”

“Yeah, right,” the shorter one laughed, “Like any chick could do half the shit the rumors say. The Commandant says she’s not even real. Just the mutterings of spies.”

The nozzle was shoved up the Soldier’s hole again and the taller one grunted.

“If we weren’t about to sacrifice our best asset,” he muttered, “I’d believe it.”

The shorter one fell silent, as did the taller one. They finished the job, clearing him out twice more before they allowed him to get dressed. The flimsy cotton pants he now wore, as his stomach growled audibly. In the last twenty-four hours, they hadn’t provided him with actual substanance, just his nutrient injections. He doubted the noise escaped his handler’s notice, but the man didn’t say a word. None of them did - the two technicians, the STRIKE team, his handler - as they rode in silence in the armored, windowless truck they’d loaded him into. Thanks to his mask, the Soldier couldn’t speak, not that he would have. He never spoke without being addressed. It wasn’t allowed.

Finally the car came to a halt and the STRIKE team hopped out of the vehicle. His handler ordered him out and the Soldier complied, walking in the center of the STRIKE team, his handler leading the way, the two techs behind him. They appeared to be somewhere in North America, if the stars could be trusted. He only got a glimpse of them, however, before the procession proceeded past hanging moss, and into the mouth of a cave. Small stones scattered over the floor dug uncomfortably into the soles of his feet as they walked down the winding winding tunnel. It was pitch black, the only sounds their breathing and the tromp of their footsteps, as the daylight behind them receded further and further. Though the STRIKE teams used flashlights, they were merely ruining the Soldier’s night vision. The sleek black walls reflected the light back at them, making the small passage appear far larger, with an endless stretch of watchful darkness over their heads.

The deeper they went, the longer they walked, the air filled with that particular wet, seaweed smell that told the Soldier they were approaching sea level. Then, beneath the sound of their feet, came the echos of an ocean, of waves upon a shore. The air became damp and humid, no longer uncomfortable to walk in for someone wearing next to nothing.

Abruptly, the passage opened out into a large cavern. The handler halted and the Soldier did as well, waiting as the STRIKE team fanned out about them. In moments, they’d set up the heavy packs they’d carried, and light flooded the room along with the chugging of a generator. Now that he could see it, the Soldier found the cavern reminded him of a theater. Half of the room was underwater, the other half exposed rock rising above the water in an inverted crescent. The color of the rock truly stood out in the light, glimmering black, the water a void that merely reflected the light jarringly back into their eyes. Obsidian, the Soldier thought, though he hadn’t known he knew the word.

At the water's edge was a raised platform of stone, the only color in the dark theater. Polished to perfect shining smoothness, it was midnight blue. Only the pure darkness of the floor and water allowed the color to shine, shimmering in reflection upon the inclosed sea. The Soldier wasn’t surprised to be led there by his handler. It was an altar, and he a sacrifice.

Motioning with his hand, his handler indicated he should face the water. The surface lapped at the rocky shore, the shifting reflections making it hard to recognise where the water ended and the platform started. The muted sound of the water lapping at stone was soothing, allowing the Soldier to drift, almost ignore the sound of people setting up equipment behind him.

“Kneel,” his handler ordered.

Coming back to himself, the Soldier obeyed, and his handler put his hand on the Soldier’s shoulder to indicate he was to stay still. Two STRIKE team members approached, restraints in their hands. They pulled his arms behind his back, then strapped them together, wrist to wrist and elbow to elbow, forcing his shoulders back and chest to expand. The restraints were heavy, made of reinforced cloth that even the arm couldn’t break. The snaps were loud as they closed, magnetic locks humming as they engaged. Then one of the STRIKE team kicked the Soldier’s legs apart, kneeling to attach a wide cuff about his left ankle, then the right. The same material as the arm restraints, hobbling him with a thick, reinforced metal bar attached to the cuffs.

The Soldier didn’t understand the need for the restraints, but he kept still, even as unease slithered down his back. He knew his orders and would follow them to the letter. And if some tiny, rebellious part of him whispered that he wouldn’t be sent on any missions any more after this? Well, that was best kept to himself.

The hand on his shoulder disappeared and he tilted a little in its direction before he caught himself and straightened again. Touch was a reward, and he hadn’t yet done anything yet to deserve it.

“On the altar,” his handler ordered.

When no one else moved, the Soldier slowly released a breath of frustration. They could have bound him there, but instead he would have to manage to walk while restrained. It was a few feet, but that was far enough when he couldn’t use his arms to keep his balance and his feet were forced apart, steps restrained to a few inches at a time. Nevertheless he obeyed, rising to his feet and waddling to the blue stone.

“Kneel,” his handler ordered again once he sat on the edge. The Soldier quickly complied. They let him alone after that, shuffling, clanging, setting up something behind him. The bright lights shut off abruptly, torches having been set up to take their places. They were hardly more efficient, but the reflection on the water was warmer, kinder on the eyes. The flicker of it was captivating, making it easier to doze as the minutes stretched into hours.

The Soldier was roused by the smell of incense, heavy and cloying, making him sneeze. Someone, the STRIKE team or the technicians, was chanting in a strange language behind him. They started softly, but rose louder and louder. The sound echoed off the cavern’s far wall, too black, or too far to see, and returned to him. It was the echo that hurt his ears and caused a strange buzzing to fill his head. As if he had been knocked unconscious and was only now waking up. Neither the cadence of the words nor the words themselves reminded him of anything, made any sense. Yet his skin was soon covered in goosebumps despite the humid atmosphere.

Maybe, the tiny voice said, he didn’t understand because he didn’t want to.

The light began to flicker again, the torches guttering as if in a strong breeze. The tiny waves lapping at the rocks grew larger, water rising higher and higher until it touched the altar itself. One by one, the torches went out, leaving them in utter blackness.

Then the chant ended.

The sudden silence was so jarring, the Soldier opened his eyes - when had he closed them? There was nothing but darkness. The sound of the water had vanished, the waves slapping against stone. The breeze had disappeared, the air calm and still. Even the people were breathless, not a sound of air entering or leaving lungs to be perceived. All was still.

With a great thump the lights came back on. The electric ones, making several people cry out in surprise.

“Hold!” the handler shouted. “No one move!”

The generator whined, spinning up higher and higher. The lights vibrated, their bases clicking against the obsidian cavern floor. Wincing, the Soldier ducked his head as the sound grew deafening, culminating with what sounded like gunshots, as each light bulb burst.

Once more they were plunged into darkness, STRIKE members fumbling in the dark. Someone shouted for a flashlight, and the torches burst into flames. In the same moment, the water exploded into a frothing mass of movement. Shadows. Tentacles.

Despite himself, the Soldier jerked back, but the restraints kept him from doing more than rocking in place. There were gasps and outcries behind him as the mass of limbs grew and grew and grew, filling the cave, fading into the darkness. The tentacles were innumerable, varying in size with some as thick as a car, others slimmer than a finger. They were dark grey with a strangely golden sheen. Some were equipped with soft-looking suckers, others had rows upon rows of small, wickedly sharp hooks pushing out of of the dark black shimmering skin. Considering the size of the tentacles and how they seemed to be made of muscle alone, those hooks could probably rip flesh apart like shark teeth.

There was a sound, or the Soldier thought there was a sound. It rang painfully in his ears, making his eyes blurry. Could a sound affect his vision? Someone gasped behind him. Something clattered. The strength of the noise was getting stronger, louder, making him feel dizzy and nauseous.

“Oh Mighty One!” the handler shouted. “Long have you lain forgotten, but we humble mortals summon you here today! We bring you an offering! A willing sacrifice to lay before you as yours to do with as you please! We ask for nothing more than your blessing in return, your power granted unto us as we work to restore order to the world in your name!”

My name.

The words were not heard, but ripped from the Soldier’s mind. Pulled from him like the Moon pulled the tides. He couldn’t not think them, couldn’t do more than gasp as the gravity, thought, whatever it was faded away and his mind was his own once more.

“Yes, Ancient One!” his handler shouted. “We seek order! In your name, the name of the Outer God of Order, we will take this world and rid it of chaos and strife! There will be no more struggle, no more pain, only order.”

I require no sacrifice.

The words crawled inside the Soldier’s mind, his thoughts and not. Alien and other, but completely, utterly his own.

If it is order you seek, create it yourself.

“Please, we are besieged from all sides! We need your help, but…” The handler’s eyes darted to the Soldier. “But we have read of the rites, that a sacrifice must be willing and worthy. He is our best, Your Greatness. The Fist of Hydra. We beg of you, take him as our sacrifice, make us worthy of your name!”

Willing.

There was a hot, smooth point of contact against his head, and everything stopped once more. Blinking, stunned by the sudden lack of pressure inside his own head, he tried focusing. When his eyes stopped watering, he realised one tentacle had left the huge frothing mass and was touching him. It was smooth, dark grey, and no thicker than two fingers, the tip directly in the middle of his forehead.

A different sensation filled him now. A gentle pressure, like a summer’s breeze that caressed his thoughts, inside his mind. Willing welled up in his thoughts, as gentle as a whisper this time, and then the presence was gone. A moment later, the tentacle withdrew. For a brief, insane instant, the Soldier missed it, tilting minutely forward to follow that warm, careful touch.

Like an amassing storm, the god shifted to hover above the Soldier and his handler. Since he was about to die, he let himself wonder what was going to happen now. He wasn’t sure if he was to be eaten, or killed, or if he would undergo something equally horrific. However, the god had been so careful for such a powerful creature that the Soldier thought it wasn’t interested in causing pain for pain’s sake. The contact hadn’t been aggressive or malevolent, but the Soldier wasn’t clear on the rules of how a sacrifice was treated.

The roiling tentacle mass obscured his view completely as it expanded, shooting out all around him. The Soldier didn't twist to look, but the sounds were clear enough. Shouting, screams, gunshots, the horrible, ripping sound of flesh torn from bone, and the crunch of shattered bodies broken in a crushing grip. Not a single part of the creature touched him, however, merely floated before him, immense and incomprehensible.

“What are you doing?!” his handler screamed as one thick, trunk-like appendage wrapped around his waist and dragged him out of the Soldier’s line of sight. “You’re supposed to help us!”

Perhaps they had botched the summoning, the Solder thought. Perhaps this god never granted wishes. Perhaps it was enraged they’d dared to ask, or summon it at all, and it had killed them for disturbing it.

“Soldier!” his handler shouted, but no order followed. Only the nauseating wrenching shattering, then silence. Utter silence. The frenzied movement of the creature, god, whatever it was, abated. It still writhed above him, and something splashed into the dark water. Again and again, though the Soldier could not see what. It was heavy, though, and the Soldier could guess. The creature, this god was cleaning up after itself.

It was such a ridiculous thought, and so convinced was he that he would soon die, a giggle slipped from his lips. The sound was muffled by the mask, but not completely. He froze as the air changed and he knew, though it had no eyes, that the god was focused on him once more.

The Soldier braced himself for the attack, for being torn apart like the others, but couldn’t find it in himself to be afraid. It would be quick. Yet, the first touch was soft and gentle, curious in how it curled itself around his arm, then higher up around his shoulder until it hit the metal there. Exploring him, investigating, and warm on his chilled skin. So very warm; he sighed and closed his eyes.

It had been so long since anything had offered such a tender touch...

As if a spell had been broken, more tentacles investigated his skin, his clothes. The smaller, more lithe ones investigated the plates of his metal arm, confusing his pressure sensors. Another, bigger one tugged at his pants as an impression of displeasure flitted through his mind. The touch itself was light, barely there, but behind it he could sense a great weight.

When the tentacles on his leg encountered the cuffs and the metal bar used to lock his legs in place, they wrapped around it. He could feel the moment the limb flexed. Where it was soft and unthreatening, now the flesh turned iron-hard as it crushed the metal into non-existence, breaking it the way a child would squeeze clay. He swayed, overbalancing without the bar holding him in position, ankles jerking outward before he could stop himself. The tentacle shifted from the bar about his legs, and tightened. A shiver of fear shot through him for a moment. This thing broke reinforced metal as though it was nothing. It probably wouldn’t even notice when it took him apart. But there was another aspect to the touch; steadying him, holding him up.

A large tentacle wrapped around his midsection and gentle suckers attached themselves curiously to his skin. He shuddered and pressed a little into the contact. It was so warm. Warm and soft, and it didn’t hurt at all. The Soldier couldn’t remember anything this nice touching him in… Ever.

Everything stilled then, all the tentacles froze, and the Soldier felt his breath catch, thinking that this was it, this was the moment when he died as the creature stopped curiously investigating him. Though he waited, the touch didn’t harden. The limbs didn’t tear at him. The more offensive ones filled with razor-sharp hooks floated at the edge of his vision, but came no closer. A host of thin, smaller ones did. They slithered onto his body, his legs, his waist, wrapping over his shoulders so that the tips tickled his chest. They continued down his bound arms, the tiniest threading through his fingers, warm and soft. He let his fingers relax and little tentacles curled over them, tickling his palms, the webs between his fingers. It was the most pleasant contact he could remember.

The small tentacles wriggled their way between the straps restraining his arms. At first the Soldier thought the creature was just curious about the strong material, but then they broke the cloth as easily as they had the metal bar. The soldier flailed again, his center of gravity shifting rapidly with his arms no longer behind his back.

Though his legs and arms were free, the Soldier chose to remain kneeling on the polished stone altar. There wasn’t anywhere else he would rather be, anyone who could offer him a softer, gentler touch. All he knew, all he remembered was obedience and pain. Pain and obedience. Always punishment, the only reward was merciful lack of pain. This was so different. Even if this creature chose to kill him this was already the best thing that had ever happened to him. Yet he was sure from just these few moments that whatever it chose to do with him next, the creature would not hurt him. It wouldn’t be a punishment.

Though, if it was death, he would welcome it gladly from something that’d showed him more kindness than any human ever had.

A tentacle with a similar gold sheen as the first wrapped around Bucky’s head. It tugged at the mask muzzling him, pulling it free and letting it fall into the water. Then the other was in his mind again, floating inside him and he was inescapably not alone. The Soldier couldn’t tell what it was doing, but when thoughts sprung into his mind - safety, a job well done, rest, praise - he knew they weren’t his own.

The Soldier didn't know how to respond. Praise was such a rare thing, leaving him fumbling and confused with the alienness of it. He did the only thing that came to his mind, he shifted aside, making space in his head for the presence. Giving it room, showing that it was welcome. This was all he could give, all he had, and it felt right to give that to the only being that had ever treated him this well.

For a moment the presence inside him stilled, surprise at the Soldier’s clumsy attempt to share space in his own head flitting through him.

Reward.

The word was a surprise, spreading through his mind slow and warm like molasses.

Another tentacle came into his line of sight, the grey color on this one striped with brown and that golden sheen. Closer to the tip, the the color became lighter. The gray faded to dark brown, then lightening to dusky brown, and growing pinker by the movement. Once it completely uncurled, the Soldier could see the very tip was rounded and the color of flushed lips. Though it was thick with pronounced suckers in rows at the base where it emerged from water, it was smooth at the bulbous tip. A smattering of dark brown freckles dusted the edges, making the centre look all the paler. It was damp, swaying towards his mouth stopping at his lips. Not quite touching, but there, so close he could feel the heat radiating through the cold air like a furnace. It smelled good, like skin and sea breeze, with something tart and musky mixed in.

There were no words, but the Soldier could understand the request even without them. He licked his lips and opened his mouth. The moment he did the tentacle moved closer, touching his parted lips. It was hot, and indeed a little wet. The Soldier licked his lips again, catching the taste of something sweet and salty, just like it smelled.

It pushed against his parted lips and he let it slide past them and into his mouth, resting gently against his tongue. Instinctively he swallowed, feeling the sweet liquid trickle into his mouth. It tasted even better than it smelled, so fresh, so good. He closed his lips over the head and sucked. The reaction was instantaneous; the limb in his mouth swelled, the head filling his mouth and leaking copious amounts of the sweet fluid. A sense of surprised pleasure surged from the presence before the liquid hit his stomach and made him feet hot all over. A drug, he realised. One that acted lightning-fast, suffusing his body with heat, making him tingle and shiver at each brush of air against his skin, making him moan around the tentacle. The tentacle swelled further in response to the sound the Soldier made, the head pulsing gently against his tongue. It wasn’t the only one responding. He was, sexually. Between his legs his cock was filling rapidly, and he shivered again, spreading his legs, wishing there was some kind of pressure against it to relieve the sudden ache.

As if in response to his desire, more tentacles wrapped around his waist, his legs, providing warm contact, restriction, as they lifted him off his knees and the altar. He whined, feeling the way those innumerable limbs cradled him as if he were no heavier than a kitten. More tentacles wrapped around him, some smooth, some with with suckers that attached themselves to his skin, disengaged and attached again, making his skin sing. He gasped, twisting against the implacable grip, feeling the way the suckers pulled at his thighs and belly, sucking everywhere so that his entire body tingled. His cock jerked helplessly, precome dripping down the length.

The tentacles arranged him in the air like a toy and he flailed, his center of gravity twisted up and confused. The soft, unyieldingly strong limbs restrained him, but offered more freedom of movement than Hydra’s bonds. Moaning as he was shifted forward, he sucked harder at the tentacle filling his mouth, swallowing even more of fluid that was drugging him. He thought it was making him sensitive so that every touch, every brush of tentacles, and even the air, felt good, so magnificent his only thought was to suck harder, wanting more. Not only of the liquid, but also of the sense of pleasure coming from the presence in his mind.

Another tentacle, blood-hot and smooth, curled around his chest. The wet, blunt tip brushed over his nipple. This one was secreting liquid too. Where it dripped, or smeared, his skin came alive. Like a every cell was a nerve ending that only now knew its purpose: pleasure. His back arched, pushing his chest into the touch, encouraging it to rub harder. Each pass of the swollen, spongy tip over his peaked nipple had him shuddering, made sparks travel from his chest to his cock.

With only his arms free - he was surprised he was being allowed that much freedom - he centered himself as best he could in mid-air and reached out. The metal hand closed over the tentacle in his mouth. Not to pull it away, but to angle it to his advantage. He tilted his head, metal fingers closing over flesh that was soft and yet unaffected by the strength of his grip. The tentacle allowed itself to be shifted as he stretched out his neck and took a few deep breaths before he moved it again, sliding it down his throat on an abundance of slick. He whined at the sensation of the swollen head stretching his throat, filling it. The tentacle pulled back of its own accord, letting him breathe, and he whined before sucking it back in, relishing the way it stretched his throat and its warmth inside him.

The presence in his mind was a white sparkle of pleasure and he wanted more, wanted to feel more of its approval, its satisfaction and delight. He wanted to feel it even as much as the tender, sensual touch. After two swallows, the creature caught on and began steady, slow movements that mimicked fucking his throat. Each time, it backed away just long enough for him to catch is breath, then pushed back in, making him moan and squirm with how it felt.

More of dripping slick tentacles rubbed over his chest. Both his nipples were teased now, while another questing limb dribbled along his cheek, pressing into his swollen lips. He tried to open his mouth wider, to let the second one in. Though it tried to wriggle beside the first, no matter how far he opened his mouth it wouldn’t fit beside its mate. The pink, swollen head rubbed all over the Soldier’s already puffy lips, his jaw, face, smearing him with the fresh, sweet liquid, making even more of his body come alive.

Reaching for this other tentacle, he wrapped his palm around the spongy head and squeezed carefully. It gushed slick, making his hand sticky, and the presence inside his mind glittered with pleasure. Shivering and moaning with how good it felt, he squeezed again, wanting more of that sensation.

Barely had the thought crossed his mind when he was shifted again, lowered closer to the water, and more tentacles appeared from its depths. Lighter than the huge ones hovering outside of his line of sight, these reached for him in massive, writhings coils. They moved up, between his legs so that he was practically riding the knot of muscular, twirling limbs. Each seemed eager to touch him, the warm coils rubbing over his balls, his cock. More pushed his legs further apart and a few of the coils rubbed the cheeks of his ass, between them, spreading the tingling slick everywhere they touched.

Though the tentacles belonged to the same creature, they were all very different. Some were large, brushing over his skin, spreading the addicting fluid. Others were finger-thin, some smaller still. The new tentacles, no matter their size, were all tipped with softly curved heads, bulbous and pink, with a slit the fluid leaked from. Each moved independently over his skin, making him feel so good he couldn’t hold his silence any more and whined, low in the back of his throat. The smallest coils responded, wrapping about his cock from root to tip. His hips jerked, trying to thrust into the tight grip on his cock, then back into the strong coils rubbing against his ass. There was no helping himself, not with how fantastic it felt. The tight grip, the way his skin was electrified, all the many points of contact. It was near overwhelming and it seemed to have no end.

The tentacles rhythmically massaged his cock, teased his sensitive and swollen nipples, while another pushed curiously at his hole. It was too much. Everything was hot, too much, and he whined again as his body gave in to the sensation. Come spurted from his cock, the orgasm so intense there was no thought in his mind as it exploded with pleasure and heat. The presence inside him echoed it, radiating its own gratification; it swamped him with pure sensation.

When he came back to himself, the Soldier was still in the same position, suspended in the air by innumerable tentacles. The one in his throat was pulsing, pumping out liquid that was going straight to his belly. The lack of oxygen was making him dizzy, his body still convulsing with the aftershocks of orgasm. The small coils wrapped around his cock were squeezing him in waves, making the pleasure last and last so that his cock wasn't even softening.

Thanks to the liquid, his cock was very sensitive and he was hyperaware of every minute shift of those tentacles over his skin, every current of air, every twitch of his own muscles. He wanted to whine again, twisting and squirming in the hold, but couldn’t. The swollen tentacle in his mouth was still feeding him and he had to swallow just to avoid choking. It was filling his belly fast, making him feel fuzzy, making his heart pound wildly, and his muscles relax.

The tip of the tentacle rubbing between the cheeks of his ass became bolder, more inquisitive as it pressed against his hole. It wasn’t big, no bigger than several fingers, and so much slick poured out of it that it was running down his thighs and balls, sliding in thick drops over his cock before falling into the water. The tentacle pushed harder and his sphincter gave in to the pressure, letting the tentacle in. It slid in with one smooth motion and pressed deep inside him, forcing his hole to stretch wider and wider as more slid inside. Hard and inescapable, it moved in unnatural ways, filling his insides, unyielding under the soft layer of skin. Even inside him it didn’t stop pumping out slick, coating his insides, making heat flash through his body and his heart skip. Helplessly, the Soldier gurgled, eyes rolling behind his lids at the sheer wonderful pleasure.

The tentacle in his throat withdrew, softening, shrinking on its way out, and he moaned at the loss even as excess fluid spilled past his lips and down his chest. His breathing rasped as he loosened his jaw and nearly immediately felt another tentacle press at his lips. This one was thicker, the head already swollen and leaking as it asked for entrance. Moaning, he licked at the head before letting it slide over his tongue and deeper into his mouth. The one that was spent, that he had been holding onto, wriggled in his grasp, curling over his wrist and arm, rubbing over the metal almost affectionately as the pink head lost its flush, becoming smaller; wedge shaped; and a darker, dusky brown.

The one in his mouth pushed forward questioningly, forcing his jaw wide almost painfully, but not yet making its way down his throat, even as it was obviously seeking friction. He whined, tilting his head back to lengthen his throat and sucked as hard as he could, his tongue wrapping over the soft, swollen head. He was rewarded with another burst of pleasure in his mind, and the tentacle in his mouth thrust in, stretching his throat slowly, going deep before pulling out so he could gasp for breath.

The tentacles on his cock were twisting and curling, milking him, and coating him with that wonderful slick. Like the best kind of handjob he could imagine. The tentacle in his ass had been fucking him gently, sliding easily in and out on all the slick it was gushing. Everything tingled, and the Soldier moaned at the sensation of fullness and the way it pressed on something inside him that felt amazing. The one in his throat was already so thick, starting to pulse and fill him with more of the sweet liquid, making his swallow and moan around it.

There were even more tentacles now, wrapping every inch of him. Most of them had those pink, flushed heads and skin softer than anything he had ever touched. They rubbed over his nipples, sometimes curling up so harder, rougher suckers rubbed over the unbearably sensitive flesh. Tears began leaking down his cheeks from how intense it felt, how they kept sparking pleasure so overwhelming it almost hurt. It all centered on his cock, hard and leaking, so overstimulated he would have sobbed at every twitch and squeeze of the coils around it. But the tentacle filling his mouth and his throat was stopping any sounds as it fucked his throat raw. His legs had been spread so obscenely wide, he could feel dozens, of tentacles - all different sizes and textures - frothing between them, rubbing over his thighs, his knees, even sliding between his toes. Everything was slick, his skin sensitive and flushed, prickling with sensation.

Already, he was so close to coming again, not actually having calmed after the first one. He squirmed in the implacable hold, but had no space to move, no freedom to wiggle. The only thing he could do was suck harder, swallow more of the tentacle in his mouth, and clench down on the one steadily fucking his ass. Both shuddered and stilled inside him, before swelling rapidly enough he gasped and whined at the uncomfortable sensation. Then they were both throbbing, vast amounts of the liquid spurting inside him, so deep and perfect he was ready to cry with the absolute wonder of it.

As he was filled and filled and filled, the presence swamped him with sensation, triggering another orgasm of his own. Crying out, as much as he could around the obstruction in his mouth, the Soldier jerked within his bonds and came. Came so hard it made his vision go white, roaring filling his ears, as he knew nothing, could think of nothing, only feel.

He came back to himself, gasping for air, the tentacle in his mouth gone. The same, or another, was rubbing over his face, his neck, as he panted like a racehorse. More were at his ass - some thin, some much thicker than the one inside him - rubbing over his cheeks, the stretched rim of his hole, and teasing at the unbearably sensitised skin. The bigger one thrust in harder, making him cry out, filling him. It twisted and coiled as it pushed deeper and deeper, his eyes watering as he squirmed helplessly. Every time one of the coils pushed against his prostate his cock twitched, spilling come in weak spurts.

A thin little tentacle twisted around the one fucking him, stretching him wider so a high, helpless cry escaped his lips as his hands clenched on whatever he could reach. It swirled about the first, creating friction in opposition to that which was driving him wild. The coils about his limbs tightened, and there was yet another tentacle at his abused entrance, wriggling, and pushing beyond anything he had ever known. It was nearly painful, pulling him apart, but steadily working its way inside.

All of the tentacles were pulsing now, tingling liquid overflowing inside and out. There was so much, his belly was bulging away from his usually flat muscles, running down his thighs at every thrust of the entangled tentacles, and coating his skin. He cried, tears running down his face as the constant, immense pleasure washed over him again. He was coming, shuddering and writhing, so exhausted that all he could do was whimper and cry and submit to the endless, merciless sensation.

Somewhere, beyond the live nerves of his body came a question. He was only dimly aware of it, in a sense that there was not a single shred of thought he could use to focus on it, too busy being overrun by the careful, merciless touch that filled him with such pleasure.

“I accept.”

The words echoed in his mind, in his whole being, as the presence inside his mind expanded and then vanished. The Soldier sobbed, feeling empty, as the tentacles inside him withdrew. The moment they left his body, an gush of fluid spilled from him, and even that sensation made him twitch in renewed spasms. The ones around his soft cock retreated slowly, sliding over the extra-sensitive skin almost regretfully. With a last twitch, he slumped down weakly, trusting in the grip of the remaining tentacles as he passed out to the feeling of dripping fluid down his legs, his cock, his skin.

---

The firelight was flickering when he came back slowly, feeling muzzy and aching sweetly all over. The bed he was lying on was lumpy, but soft and pleasantly warm. Whoever he was in bed with liked to snuggle, and Bucky hummed, pleased to feel the arms around his shoulders and waist, under his head and wrapped around his legs. All over. So many, holding him tightly. Far too many than there should have been.

What had he done, ended up in bed with half the French Resistance?

Yawning, he opened his eyes, ready to face whoever he had bedded. The first thing he saw was dark skin. Lots and lots of dark grey flesh with a strange, golden shine to it. He just stared at the slightly shifting coils obscuring his field of vision and keeping him pleasantly toasty, even though he was as naked as the day he was born. They were huge, easily as thick as his waist, and he was lying on them. Dozens of them, maybe hundreds, separating him from the cold stone floor of the cave. The smaller ones splayed loosely over his shoulders, his chest, his legs; like a living blanket. They weren’t squeezing, just there. They stretched out behind him into the water where the waves splashed, louder than they’d been just on stone.

He pushed the first few tentacles off of him, finding it surprisingly easy as they made no effort to hold on. They went gently, simply sliding away, and all at once Bucky remembered what had happened in the cave. What was this creature? What had it done with his handler?

With him?

Bucky froze, breath stilling in his lungs as he remembered. He was the Winter Soldier, the Asset; James Buchanan Barnes. He had fought in WWII and was captured, only to serve as a guinea pig for Hydra scientists re-creating a super serum. A German scientist had been rumored to have made it successfully, but it was lost during a botched robbery. Instead of acquiring the super serum for Hydra, the agent managed to kill the only person who knew how to create it and destroy the only viable sample.

That wasn’t all he remembered, though. He remembered his childhood, his friends from the 107th, and the prisoners he had bonded with during those months of medical experimentation. Though he could remember what the weasley Dr. Zola had done to him - torture, electroshocks, memory wipes, and freezes - and what he had done - murder, torture, worse - it was muted. Like a second-hand retelling of some fantastic story. Objectively it was horrible, but the guilt, the regret that he expected wasn’t there. Even looking at his shining metal arm, remembering the waking surgery when it had been attached, the fear, horror, and pain had faded. As if it had all happened hundreds of years ago.

“How…?”

“Your mind was fractured,” a voice said, making him aware that he had actually spoken.

Bucky turned towards the voice, the quick movement making him dizzy. For a moment he couldn’t believe his own eyes. Walking from the black waves was a pale, golden Adonis. He was every waking wet dream Bucky had never admitted to having, muscles firm and perfect, a waist as slim as a dame’s, and shoulders as broad as a dock worker’s. He looked young, maybe thirty at a push, the short golden hair plastered to his scalp with water, the same water that was running down his chiseled muscles in pale rivulets, making Bucky’s eyes trail helplessly down his unbelievable body. The god - because who else could it be - had high cheekbones, a strong jaw, and pink, oddly fragile, lips. He was a big man, tall and broad and...proportional. Very proportional.

Bucky swallowed.

The weird part was the tentacles weren’t attached to him in any way. They stretched towards him, larger than life and gark grey, with that same golden sheen the god’s skin had, but they seemed to rather fade into the shadows than actually touch the man’s skin.

“I tried to fill in all the holes with what was taken from you,” the god said as it walked out of the water entirely, “but the missing pieces were only tearing at your mind more, so I evened out the edges.”

As if putting together a shattered mind was just something one did.

Bucky swallowed again, barely hearing the words, still staring at how hung the man - god, whatever - was.

“You,” Bucky cleared his throat, “did good. Real good.”

Nodding helplessly, he was becoming all the more aware of his nudity by the moment. His body was still sensitive, skin tingling with the after effects of whatever secretion the god had pumped him full of. Raising himself to his knees, Bucky grunted as his ass clenched on the sore emptiness of his passage and he remembered how how full it had been not long ago. How this man, this god, had filled him until all he could do was moan and writhe, feeling so good he had cried with it. Bucky’s cock twitched feebly at the memory.

Unerringly, the god’s eyes darted between Bucky’s legs. He was close enough now that Bucky could see how brilliantly blue those eyes were. Like the sky over France on a sunny day. They crinkled at the corners as he - it? No, with that between his legs, the god was definitely a he - smiled.

“You are interested again already?”

Kneeling before him, the avatar - Bucky’s mind finally supplied the word - drew him in so that their torsos were flush, his hands on Bucky’s hip and nape. The tentacles scraped over the stone, then too were touching him, caressing, exploring again. Bucky didn’t even have time to respond before they were kissing, the avatar’s body chasing away the cold wherever it, or the tentacles, touched.

Whimpering as the avatar’s tongue slipped into his mouth, Bucky gasped and shuddered as fingers slipped between his cheeks, and then past his rim. Easing the ache, but not thrusting. Just filling him, keeping his muscles from fully resuming their natural state.

Shuddering again, Bucky let himself touch the body he was leaning so heavily against. It was as hard as it had looked, but shockingly warm. More so than the tentacles still lazily, almost lovingly, tracing his skin. The avatar hummed his approval, pushing his fingers deeper, pulling Bucky closer as even more tentacles wrapped about them both, holding them together.

“I see why you wanted this form,” the avatar hummed, pulling back from the kiss. His lips traced Bucky’s cheeks, his eyes, his jaw, and Bucky felt his cock feebly attempt to harden again. It was interested, but he was far too exhausted.

“What,” Bucky swallowed and melted against the powerful body, “What are you?”

“Currently, I am what you wished me to be.” The avatar pulled back further, blue eyes confused. “Does this form not please you?”

“Oh, no,” Bucky laughed, “your form is very pleasing. Only,” he glanced pointedly at the tentacle tracing a path over his collarbone, “well…”

The avatar huffed.

“The ones who came before named me god. Named me terror, they shaped their own reality. You…” He smiled, suddenly more beautiful than any man or woman Bucky had ever met. “You were so different. You came without expectations, without judgement.”

“I wasn't myself enough to have expectations,” Bucky protested, even as he marveled at the soft skin under his hands.

“It runs deeper than that,” the avatar murmured, sliding his large palm to rest against Bucky’s heart.

Bucky opened his mouth to answer and realised he had no name to address the avatar. Nothing but the generic ‘you’ that felt both disrespectful of the being that literally gave him his mind back, and too impersonal for something that had known him so intimately. Even in his mind, Bucky stumbled over the description because there was so much that had happened to him in his life, yet tentacles had never been a part of it.

Live and learn, it seemed.

“I never asked but, what do I call you? What’s your name?”

The avatar smiled at him, easy and happy. Almost boyish in its enthusiasm. The sound that came out of his mouth made Bucky’s brain rearrange itself. He slapped his hand against the man’s mouth, cutting him off and just stood there, feeling his lungs expand spastically after the cessation of sound. There were some concepts there he halfway understood - maybe an ‘s’ and something almost like ‘t’ at the end - before his brain had threatened to leak out of his ears.

“Steve,” he gasped. “How about I call you Steve?”

The avatar regarded him with a contemplative expression, but leaned in and brushed their lips together again. Carefully he withdrew his fingers, making Bucky wimper at his emptiness again, and at last nodded.

“A name from you, my chosen, is more than acceptable. Steve it shall be.” Steve grimaced, looking down at their bodies and, for a moment, Bucky thought the name was unacceptable after all. “This body seems to be uncomfortably sensitive to the elements.

Bucky grinned despite himself.

“Well if you hadn't gotten rid of all the bodies, I could have looted them for some clothes.”

Glancing at the water, Steve merely stared as tentacles slipped under the icy water. Bucky was once more struck with their lack of contact with Steve. With anything. They moved at Steve’s will despite the lack of nervous system attachment. Now, at his command, they yanked the bodies from the bottom of the black depths and tossed them to shore again. They landed with a wet thump on the cave floor. When Bucky looked back to Steve he saw a faint moue of distaste on the man’s lips.

“Not a big fan of clutter, are you?”

Steve turned back to him, caressing his cheek with the back of a hand. Petting him, Bucky thought.

“I did not wish their presence near you, dead or not, a moment longer. I suppose,” Steve murmured, “you could think of it as you did not wish it, so I made it so.”

Bucky cleared his throat, not willing to pull away from Steve, or his tentacles, immediately.

“So, what now?”

Steve looked at him, a very human sparkle in his eyes.

“You could show me what life as a human is like,” he murmured.

Bucky felt s happiness and excitement bloom in his chest at the offer of companionship, of not being alone in the century that had passed since he was born.

“You want to go with me?” he asked, needing to hear it spoken.

“You are the most interesting thing that has happened to me in a very long time; I want to experience this life with you,” Steve said, leaning a little more into him. “And you are my chosen. I will always be with you in some fashion, but whether we could be together could not be asked of you until your mind was whole enough to answer the question honestly.”

“There might be Hydra around still,” Bucky warned. “They’re wounded now, afraid of someone, but by no means gone.”

Fear curled deep in his belly. There was a new kind of life, almost an innocence to Steve, and Bucky felt strangely protective of him. He was loathe to think Steve could be in any way harmed because Bucky had made him shed his true skin and walk among humans.

The grin that stretched Steve’s lips wasn’t innocent or nice. It was a fierce thing that threatened unending violence and suffering to those in its way.

“Let them come,” he murmured.

It seemed redundant to ask if Steve was sure, so Bucky settled for kissing him, enjoying the warmth of his lips and the solidness of his body. He had come here to die. Instead he had gotten his life back. On top of that, he now had a willing companion to brave the world outside that would be strange and dangerous, yet still so beautiful.

The End.