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Forty-five hours and thirty six minutes. Tony sighed. Counted the ugly ceiling tile in the compound. Looked at the clock. That's forty five hours and thirty seven minutes now.

You know what helps regular people sleep? Sleeping pills. Not allowed. Or a nightcap. Also not allowed, and now with bonus bad memories.  

Steve would push at his Starkpad and moan about how late it was and how the glow hurt his eyes and 'Tony what can I do to get you to go to sleep?'

'I need a nightcap,' He'd said it flippant the first time, and Steve had just looked at him grumpy and tired and pouty before taking his work away. 'Night, Tony.' Steve had curled up around him and had promptly fallen asleep.

After that, it became a ritual between them.  He'd say, “Night Cap!” and smooch Steve on the lips and curl up in his arms. Now he just wanted a drink so he could stop hurting. How much easier would it be to have Steve holding him? How much sooner could he fall asleep? He got up, and pulled Steve's pillow out from under the bed, curled around it and wept, falling into a fitful sleep.

He wipes tears from his cheeks, blinking. This place. The mist. He can’t really see--




Sometimes things were peaceful inside the capsule. Bucky could sort through quiet thoughts the way he’d done in the apartment in Bucharest. Except instead of foggy half-moments remembered and strewn about like jigsaw pieces in his mind, there was a beautiful viewing wall, and he got to sit in front of it, changing the pictures like a slide show until something caught.

More often, he descended into the private hell of more recent memory, full of screaming metal and pain and blood and death. He was fighting someone, surrounded by flames, breaking and being broken, the metal inside him twisting and piercing, red-hot like a poker, and someone was screaming--maybe him. He wasn’t sure. A burst of fresh white bone through fragile flesh, like ripe fruit, gore, more screaming. Bullet exit wounds.

His body is twisting and rolling on the floor. He’s covered in sweat, and suddenly Bucky wakes up. It’s this place again. “Hello?” His chest is heaving, heart pounding. He tries to get his pulse under control.




Someone's calling out. It’s misty, but he can make out a body in the distance. "Hullllo!" He waves, hoping they can see him through all the damn fog. Though the more he blinks, the clearer things become.

The figure leaps to his feet and hurries toward him, hurries, hurries, and then stops just short, looking down at Tony with hesitant but needy eyes. “You came back,” Bucky says.

"I didn't--" ‘I didn't mean to?’ or ‘I didn't mean to take so long?’ Doesn't  matter. Something is wrong. Bucky’s making terrified hurt animal eyes at him.  "What's wrong with you? Are you okay?"

Bucky grabs Tony, one-armed, around the waist and pulls him close, bending to hide his eyes in Tony’s shoulder. “Nothing.” He’s only trembling a little.

Touching. He stands stock-still for a moment in shock, before letting himself relax. No one’s hurting you. He takes a breath and wraps his arms around Bucky, one hand reaching up to tease the strands of his hair. "I wanna take care of this for you," he murmurs, half aware he’d said it out loud. "Are you okay?" he asks again, calmly now.

“Are you?” Bucky shoots back. “I mean--yeah. Yes. It’s just a dream,” he answers, finally. Bucky looks up, starts to let go of him.

No. "'course I am, angel face. Let me look at you. Don't--don't let go." Please.

“Is that true? Are you really?” Bucky doesn’t seem to believe him.

"I will be once you tell me what's going on." It's fine. He'll--he'll talk to Bucky, and he'll forget his heartache.

“Nothing’s going on. You came back. I’m just--” He pauses, seeming to consider and cast aside several adjectives before landing on, “--surprised.”

Lying. He’s clearly shaken up about something.“No.Shut up. Let me look at you. Please?"

Bucky tries looking Tony in the eye, but he only lasts a second or two. “Don’t.” He can’t seem to look at Tony. But he doesn’t let go of him, either. “Tony...stop bein’ nice to me.” Bucky’s voice breaks a little on the word ‘nice.’

"I tried that. Didn't work out." He leans his forehead into Bucky's shoulder, squeezing him around the waist. He tried. That's something.

Bucky’s breath hitches in his chest, but he doesn’t pull away. “Missed you,” he murmurs, almost too soft to hear.

"I--you're lonely?" Like me.

Bucky just looks at him. “I told you. We’re all alone.”

"You don't have to be." And he aches, his chest aches. "I was going to come get you. What happened?" Did he forget? Was it something to do with the dream state? "I...forgot."

“You came back.” Bucky leans his forehead against Tony’s. “It doesn’t matter. You came back.” He’s smiling, giddy.

"What happened?” Bucky was trembling before. Something had shaken him. “You had a bad dream? You're--having a bad dream? We're in a bad dream?” Tony asks him. “So weird."

“I don’t know.”

"Well I don't know either." At least he was too distracted to cry anymore.

“If it is a dream…” Bucky curls his fingers into a fist. Stops himself from continuing the thought. But his arm is still around Tony.

"What?” he asks, but he can feel Bucky’s warmth radiating through him. He has an idea. “If this is a dream, you'd make pigs fly out of your ass?  I don't know what this is but it's--it feels real."

“It’s not real,” Bucky says with certainty. “I’ll prove it.” In a rush, he raises his hand to Tony’s face and kisses him.

He leans into Bucky's hand and kisses him back. Something in him wants this. Something in him says he'll regret it. Bucky seems lost in the kiss, so it’s up to Tony. He steps away, making a grab for Bucky’s hand. Not...angry, not at all sure what he's feeling. "Is this a good idea?"

Bucky stares at Tony’s hand, looking forlorn. “It’s just a dream,” Bucky tells him again, shaking his head. “What harm could it do?” He tries to move in again, slowly, hesitantly.

"God." He balls his hands into fists. What happens when he wakes up? Bucky’s alone again? With the nightmares? Tony hates having nightmares. "I don't want to forget."

“Then don’t,” Bucky tells him gently, kissing him again once. Twice.

Okay. This is okay. Tony steps forward. Looks up, searching blue eyes. "I don't--" He's scared. He's terrified. His heart’s already broken, what is he doing? "I don't like being hurt."

Bucky rests his hand over Tony’s heart. “I don’t like hurting.” He takes a breath. “Let me take care of you, Tony.” And his hand slides back up to Tony’s face. “I want to.” Bucky rests his cheek against Tony’s, fingers stroking his face. “Please.”

"I don't know. I-- " His hands start to shake. He flings his arms around Bucky. "Help me--help me breathe?" This is so much, and he feels so broken.

“Okay.” Bucky picks him up--not like last time--scoops him up with an arm around his thighs, balancing Tony against him as he walks. “Like before.” He sets him down on the mattress, lies back, tugs Tony down with him. Bucky pats his chest. Pillow. Tony can listen to his heartbeat again. His fingers are aching to touch Tony again, to pet him like the last time.

Tony buries his face in Bucky's neck. Eyes shut. Dizzy. He rolls onto Bucky’s chest and clings. "It's fine. I'm fine," he whispers, trying to steady himself.




Bucky’s not sure how to feel about Tony’s face buried in his neck. No, he feels...he feels like Tony might be saying yes. To this. To everything. So it’s good. His own autonomic response to having Tony’s lips so close to his throat...he can ponder that later.

He strokes Tony’s back, brushes fingers across his cheek, pets his hair. “I’m here.” He’ll take care of Tony. “I’m here.”

Tony seems to be concentrating. Bucky can feel his breathing slowing down. His pulse becoming more steady. "You’re fine. You're not dying. You're fine," Tony tells himself.

“No dying,” Bucky tells him gently. “That’s not allowed.” A distraction. That’s what Tony needs. Bucky gently shifts, rolls so that Tony’s lying against him, next to him. He strokes his hair and his jaw, slowly un-burying Tony’s face from his neck so that he can kiss him again. Kisses are distracting, right? So is needing Tony’s body a little closer.

"I'm fine." And his breathing has become less erratic.

Bucky nods. Fine. Everything’s fine.

Tony turns to look at Bucky. Lips parted, he reaches up to smooth Bucky’s hair down.

Bucky wants to touch those lips, but then his eyes close at the petting. Touch me more, Tony. No one’s touched him--no one but Steve--in a non-violent way. Ever. Even Sam was afraid.

“Oh, fuck it.” Tony closes the small gap between them, kissing Bucky this time. Better, his body begins to relax against Bucky's.

Bucky sighs against Tony’s lips. The feeling of a smaller body against his... Bucky’s fingertips brush Tony’s cheek and then his hand descends Tony’s spine to wrap his arm around him and mold their bodies together. More. This is nice. Memories of consent are only fragments, like ghosts in his mind, so this experience is like the first time for Bucky in many ways. All he has is 40 years of Pierce, and a couple of tricks since escaping. And those were nothing like this.

Tony slides his hand through Bucky's hair, gently tugging at the strands.  He reaches down cupping his hand behind Bucky's neck and pulling him down closer. "Please be good to me." He whispers it like a prayer before kissing Bucky again.

Bucky whimpers a little. It feels so good. Tony’s fingers in his hair, holding him close like he’s holding Tony. He nods a little, not wanting to stop kissing to answer. But then he does. “If you’re mine, I’ll be good.” He looks into Tony’s eyes, and then moves in for more, kissing him more deeply. His hand rests in the small of Tony’s back, fingers rubbing little circles at the base of his spine. And his tongue is in the kiss now. Bucky’s not really sure what to do with it, but he wants to taste Tony. He wants to feel every inch of him.

He thinks this is yes. Tony’s not saying no. Not pulling away. Not even a millimeter. He’s still touching him willingly. And Bucky’s starting to feel Tony against him. It’s a heady feeling. Bodies can’t lie. That’s what his trainers taught him.

Tony opens his mouth, careful of clashing teeth, and Bucky’s tongue darts inside, almost as if it had a mind of its own. More. He wants more.

"Oh christ, Bu--" When their tongues meet, Tony moans softly, lifting, freeing his trapped arm so that he can push both hands into Bucky's hair. That sound makes Bucky tingle all over. It’s new. This feels new. And, as enthusiastic as Tony seems, Bucky can tell he’s holding back, trying not to push or scare him. Which is sweet. And unnecessary.  

His hand is on Tony’s back, his lumbar, crushing their bodies together. Their tongues are teasing each other, wrestling. Bucky doesn’t even care who wins, he just wants to be part of it. “Tony,” he pants. “This...okay?” More kissing. “Is this okay?” He has to be sure. Tony’s so small, so fragile. He could put him through the mattress right now without even trying. He’s being so careful. But he also wants to be sure.

"Yeah, honey," he's breathless."I'll let you know if I'm not," he promises between steamy kisses.

That makes Bucky feel better. Tony wouldn’t lie, right? “Okay.” More kissing. More everything. Exploring Tony’s mouth, he tilts his hips, rocking against him just a little. His hand slides back down. Bucky’s been so good up to now. Now he gives in, his hand slipping down to grope that perky ass. It’s been teasing him, daring him to touch it. Bucky’s moan is half-pain. He hasn’t used any of these feelings in so long, it almost hurts.




Oh god, so good. Tony melts, throws his head back, needing--he goes still.  Bucky sounds like a wounded animal. He moves his hands to Bucky's face. "You alright, angel?"

Bucky nods. His cheeks are hot. “Want this. Want you. Can have?” He must be really flustered if his language skills are going. Bucky’s fingers snake around and tug at Tony’s waistband. “Wanna tear ‘em off. Permission?”

He smiles softly, stroking Bucky's cheek. "If you want me."

Bucky huffs, frustrated. “Already said I do.” He kisses Tony again. “Want.”

Yes yes yes. His hands move to Bucky's waist and he plucks at the hem of Bucky's shirt. "Can I touch you?"  He wants to feel smooth skin beneath his fingers.

“Please,” Bucky whispers, kissing Tony’s jaw and pausing to feel his pulse against his lips. “Touch me more.”

Tony slides his hands under the thin fabric, eyes closed, carefully mapping out every inch of skin, not sure of what he'll remember in the morning.

“Ahhh...hnn!” Bucky’s eyes are shut tight, and he seems to be having trouble breathing. “Feels...feels…”

Wanted. Needed. Oh god. He thought that was over for him. And in a way he feels bad--bad like Bucky deserves better, but he's selfish. Selfish and needy.

"I wonder." Tony murmurs. He tugs at the hem of Bucky’s shirt. "Off."

Bucky reluctantly leans away, peeling out of his shirt in one quick move, and then he’s back. Now that he’s gotten permission, Tony’s pants are gone. Bucky half-unfastens, half-rips them off of him, along with any other layers in his way.

"So damn forceful." Tony's practically purring. Feels good to be desired. Missed that so much.

“Enough waiting.” That’s all the apology Bucky has to offer, teasing Tony’s bottom lip with his teeth. “Next time, don’t come with clothes on.”

Still kissing Tony, Bucky’s fingers dance lightly across his hip, tentatively gripping his dick before letting go to return to his backside. There is a quick intake of breath from Tony as Bucky touches him and then a quiet whine when it's taken away. "Not fair." He tweaks Bucky's nipples, testing for sensitivity. And yeah, okay, revenge. Bucky gasps, but he doesn’t protest.

"Can't you put your hand back on my cock for a little bit longer?" Tony whines.

“Sorry, sweetheart, I only got one. ‘less you wanna build me a new one...”

"Don't!" He reels back like he's been slapped. A hundred different memories swim to the surface. He’d tried so hard to drown them too. He swallows, closes his eyes, takes a breath. "Don't call me that. Okay? Anything else.” He can’t take Bucky, even imaginary dream Bucky, using Steve’s pet name for him. Stings.

Bucky doesn’t understand, Tony can see it in his eyes. “Sorry.” He tries to gather Tony back against him, gingerly, as if he’s afraid Tony will pull away again. “Please?”

“Sorry. I’m sorry. I’m being-” pathetic and weak. “Sorry.” He leans in, nuzzles his face into Bucky’s bare chest. Bucky. Bucky wants to take care of him. Bucky is safe. “Anything else. Whatever you want.” He smirks up at Bucky, trying to dissolve some of his own disquiet, “It can be dirty.”

“I wanted it to be something sweet.” He strokes a hand through Tony’s hair. “I’ll think of somethin’. Probably not dirty, though.” He kisses Tony’s forehead.

Chapter Text

So they’ve had a moment, and it was a frightening one. Bucky tests the waters with another kiss, slow and earnest, seeking permission for more. Tony responds enthusiastically. Eager to erase his moment of weakness. His fingers linger over bare skin. He wants to taste--”God--just let me put my lips all over you. Please please?” He feels like a kid unwrapping a present.

“I wouldn’t complain,” Bucky tells him with a smile. “But you’re not gonna be able to reach much of me with those lips in a minute. ‘Least, not if I get my way. Plus, I like kissing them.” He devours Tony’s lips again to prove the point. Now they’re past their brief hiccup, Bucky seems more intense than ever, plundering Tony’s mouth as his hand slides down to his ass, tracing the curve to press fingers against his entrance, stroking and teasing. His cock bucks against Tony. “Want...want you,” he breathes against Tony’s lips.

Tony is palming Bucky's dick through his jeans, and lust roars inside him when he feels Bucky move for him. What was the thing he’d just said? Why had he pushed Bucky away? "Fuck it, forget it. Inside me."

“Fuck yes!” Bucky hisses, starting to nudge Tony open with one finger.

God, what's he supposed to use, spit? "Um," Tony thinks about the lube on the bedside table and, oh. Huh. It's in his hand. Weird. But he’s too love drunk and wrapped up in Bucky to contemplate where that came from. "Can I do this first?"

Bucky blinks, looking at the mystery lube in surprise. “You do it? Shouldn’t I be the one doing it?” He holds out his hand for Tony to squeeze some onto his fingers.

"If you want--it's just faster this way.”  And he wants Bucky to be steady. Whose fault is that, Tony? Huh? Poor thing. Bucky deserves a new arm.  A better arm. Something smoother. Less bulky. Smooth metal fingers...

“Alright,” Bucky gives in. “You do it, but I wanna watch. ...and I’ll do this.” He moves his hand back to Tony’s groin, stealing some lube to smooth slick fingers over Tony’s cock.  

Tony spills some onto his fingers, always impatient, but he knows how painful impatience can be. Bucky’s hand on him makes him unsteady, one finger, two, lust getting the better of him. “P-please-”

“Nah. That’s way too fast. Keep going,” Bucky whispers, stroking Tony’s cock in a slick fist while he watches Tony relax himself. “Don’t wanna hurt you.” He kisses Tony, teasingly gentle. “Plus, I’m enjoying the show.” Bucky bites his lip, looking at Tony’s ass, getting ideas.

Tony half-whines, half-growls. "Not gonna hurt me."

“Not if I can help it,” Bucky tells him firmly. “I’m kinda strong, you know. Gotta be careful with you.” He kisses Tony gently.

Tony keeps working at it. Grabs at Bucky with his other hand, needing kisses, needing connection. Impatient. Needs to be full. Bucky seems eager to give Tony all the kisses and connection he wants, stroking him a few more times before sliding his hand down to cup Tony’s balls. He keeps going, rubbing his taint before meeting Tony’s own fingers. Bucky starts to help, easing a finger inside of Tony while he gently sucks his tongue. He comes up for air, rubbing his cheek against Tony’s. “Yeah, baby. That’s good.”

"Good as in you'll take your pants off and fuck me?" So very impatient. Making him crazy.

Bucky chuckles. “Alright.” He reluctantly untangles himself from Tony to slide away and undress, struggling for only a moment to slip off the hospital scrubs one-handed. Then he’s sliding back onto the bed, pulling Tony close, kissing him. “C’mere, hot stuff.” Bucky lies back, beckoning Tony to come up and straddle him.

Tony grins and scrambles on top, peppers Bucky's chest with kisses.




Things being what they are, this is the position that will probably work best, logistically. It’s not ideal, but it’s what Bucky can manage. And sex will be safer if Tony’s in charge of pace and rhythm (and force). Bucky’s breath is coming faster. Tony’s so eager, so sweet. This is not like anything he ever could have imagined. He combs fingers through Tony’s hair when he leans down to kiss his chest. God, he wants this.

Then Tony’s eyes catch on his scars and the arm (what’s left of it). He fingers the scars at Bucky's shoulder. Old white scars that seem to be causing Tony a lot more pain than they ever caused Bucky. "I'm sorry.” From the look of shame on his face, Bucky can see he really means it. "I'm the one that should be locked up. God. I'm so sorry."

Bucky’s smile fades. “Stop,” he says gently, when Tony starts to berate himself. He reaches up to brush Tony’s lips with his thumb, fingers caressing his cheek. “It’s done. And the worst happened a long time ago.”

Tony turns his head to kiss Bucky's palm, and Bucky’s heart breaks a little. How is it possible to love someone so much who, outside of this illusionary world, probably still wants to kill you?

"I don't deserve this." And what does he mean exactly? Second chances? Forgiveness? Whatever it is they're doing?

“If you don’t, neither do I.” Bucky’s eyes flash defiance. “So I say ‘fuck it.’ We do it anyway. For both of us.”

Then he grins a little, tilting his hips and flexing to tap Tony’s butt with his cock. “Now you ready to ride this pony, or what?”

Tony grins devilishly, "Oh honey, you have no idea."

He bucks a little, grinning back playfully. “Come on, come on!”

Tony grasps Bucky's length behind him and slowly lowers himself down.

“Oh!” Bucky knows he’s making the stupidest of happy faces the second the tip of his dick nudges up against Tony’s entrance. He digs fingers into Tony’s hip and closes his eyes, hissing with pleasure as he’s pushed in, then deeper. “Oh God,” he breathes. “Oh, fuck! Tony…”

Tony gasps, feeling himself pushed open. Slowly, he sinks down onto Bucky's cock. “Yes.”  

Bucky whimpers, unable to resist thrusting that last little bit, to seat himself fully. He feels like his eyes are rolling back in his head, but he tries to open them, look up at Tony. “Oh God, you feel good!” Is his voice trembling? Bucky locks eyes with Tony as he starts to move, gasping at the sweet friction. He’s trying so much not to get overexcited and buck Tony off, but god, he wants to slam into him so hard.

Tony works at a slow and steady rhythm, balancing himself, keeping tight hold of Bucky's hand, the other teasing at his nipple.

The slow pace is torture, but Bucky can bear it if that’s what Tony wants. He whimpers a little, but holds it together. He threads their fingers and makes sure Tony is balanced. God, it sucks to not be able to touch him more. If he had eight hands, it wouldn’t be enough.

Honestly, Tony could do just about anything to him right now. Bucky locks eyes with him as often as he can, but it feels too good. His eyes keep slipping shut. Which sucks. He loves looking into Tony’s beautiful eyes. And there’s something shining, precious in them, Bucky can’t help but seek it out.




Tony wants to go slow. Wants to make it mean something. Bucky deserves soft touches, responds so so beautifully to Tony's hands on him. He's savoring the expression, trying to lock down the memory.

Tony bites his lip, watches Bucky."Tell me what you need, Baby. Tell me what you want."

“Harder,” Bucky begs, thrusting sharply upward to show Tony what he means. “I wanna hear your ass bouncing off my hips.” He flexes his abs, increasing the pace, too. Bucky raises Tony’s hand to his lips and teasingly sucks his fingertips.

"Harder?" Tony grinds his ass onto Bucky's cock before pulling up and thrusting down hard. He lets out an unexpected (undignified) squeak.

Bucky grunts with pleasure about the same time Tony squeaks, but he doesn’t miss the noise. He shifts his hips for a slightly different angle. “Again,” he whispers, needy.

"Faster?" Tony picks up the pace a bit. Rests his hand on Bucky's chest for balance. "Talk to me."

And he does. “Yeah, oh God! Oh God, honey, your ass feels so good.” Bucky closes his eyes and thrusts up, hard. “More.” With Tony balanced on his chest, Bucky’s hand is free to roam. He looks Tony in the eye as he reaches down and teases the tip of his cock, starts to stroke him. “Kiss me,” he begs, eyes full of lust. “Wanna taste you while you ride me.”  

"Whatever you want, angel face," Beautiful.

He pulls back, thrusts down hard, and gasps. More. More now. No more slow. Just need.

Bucky seems to need it, too. “Yeah, honey, that’s good. Use me. Use me to get off.”

Bucky's hand on his cock is... Tony moans softly, head back for a moment, enjoying the sensation. He's speaking without any real conscious effort. "God you're absolutely gorgeous you know that? Unreal. How did you get eyes like that? How?" He's not really even aware he's speaking aloud, just admiring Bucky's face before devouring those beautiful lips, hungry.

Bucky strokes him firmly until Tony’s lips are on his, their bodies pressed close again. He moans softly, his hand letting go of Tony’s dick to slide up and around the back of Tony’s shoulder, clamping down. Then he starts to fuck Tony in earnest. Thrusts hard while he licks and kisses Tony’s lips, picking up speed.  

Tony's lost. Lost in the moment, hands in Bucky's hair. And it's primal, lust overtaking him now, in a way he'd been denying himself. He is unaware of the moans that escape his lips. The pleading for harder comes out strangled. This is a need now, and he's not going to last.




Bucky’s so relieved Tony wants harder, too, because now he can just plow him without guilt--though he always has to stay aware of how fragile Tony is in comparison. “Oh, baby...” Bucky gasps. “You feel so good…” If only he had two hands so that he could grip Tony’s hips and give it to him right. Tony’s moans of pleasure just incite him. He wants more. He wants all of Tony. “Oh god...want you…”

He feels like he could fuck Tony all night, but there’s that tightening in his balls. Too soon. He wants to keep going. This connection is like a lifeline...a really sexy lifeline. “I’m gonna come,” Bucky tells him in a furtive whisper, mouthing his lips. “So tight, I’m gonna come. Feel too good…”

"Please come inside me baby please, please. I'll be good. I'll be so good for you. I want to feel your come inside my ass. Feels good." The words come out automatically, almost like a conditioned response. He leans down and nibbles and kisses  Bucky's neck, sloppy. "Please."

Tony begging him to finish inside him is like fireworks in his brain. Bucky grunts, holds his breath, keeps moving inside Tony for as long as he can, but it’s no use. He gasps and groans, thrusting hard as he comes inside him, turning his face to catch Tony’s lips. Feeling his velvet heat turn slick, Bucky moans, his fingers leaving marks in Tony’s skin.   

Heat explodes through him and it’s enough to throw Tony over the edge, suddenly. He whimpers and shudders, his limbs going boneless, and he can't hold himself up anymore.

Did he come? Bucky blinks the sweat from his eyes. Did Tony actually come because he came inside him? He holds Tony close against him when he collapses, rubs his back. Jesus Christ, that’s hot. “You’re fucking sexy, you know that?” Bucky pants, kissing Tony’s cheek. “Fucking red hot.” He nuzzles Tony, stroking his back. Good thing this is a dream, or he might be going over the top. “You can ride me any time, hot stuff.” If this was real, he’d probably beg him to. So good thing it’s a dream. One-time deal. “That was amazing.”

"I've been told." He mumbles into Bucky's chest.

Bucky’s heart sinks a little. Of course he has. He’s Tony. Rich. Charming. Cosmopolitan. He’s probably had way better. Of course people have told him that before. Stupid, Bucky. Pathetic.

Tony lifts his head, brown eyes unfocused, "Never quite like that before, but thanks. That was"

“Yeah, it was,” Bucky says, kissing him gently again.

"Let's do it again. Later. Give me ten. Five. 30 minutes. I'll be good.”

“Again?” Bucky’s eyes light up. “Better and better.”

“What the fuck, isn't this a dream? I should be rejuvenated and raring to go.” He’s clearly not, curling around Bucky like a cat, eyes closed.

“I don’t know.” Bucky kisses him again. “Does it matter?” They’re both here. Together. That’s what’s important.

Chapter Text


Bucky rolls over to cradle Tony against him, side by side. He can’t seem to stop kissing him. “I’m glad you came.” I missed you. “I wish you could stay with me.” Forever. He rests his cheek against Tony’s. “I kind of--” love you.

Tony waits. But it doesn't seem like Bucky's going to finish. "You kind of what, sugar? Hmm?" He prompts softly.

“It’s better when you’re here,” Bucky says softly. “I like it when you’re here, and...don’t be mad.” He’s sure if he says it, it’ll be the wrong thing.  

Tony blinks at him." Why would I be mad?”

“Because…” Bucky’s still holding back.

“What kind of idiot would I have to be to be mad at you?"

Oh gosh. If Tony doesn’t remember, Bucky doesn’t want to remind him. “I hate me?” Doesn’t he? Has that changed???

"I don't hate you." He states vehemently. Almost angry enough to pout. "I hate that guy who blasted your arm off, who could have killed you over a stupid miscommunication, but I DON'T hate you." What is he feeling then?

Bucky dives in to kiss him, hard. It’s a thank you. It’s a relief. Tony doesn’t hate him. Not anymore. “I don’t hate you,” he tells him softly. “I…” He’s afraid to look in Tony’s eyes. “I kind you. I think.” Then he does look up, blue eyes soft and a little scared.

"Aw angel," if Tony was any good at this, he'd say it back. But he's just not good at expressing feelings through words. Instead he kisses Bucky, soft, wanting to convey his shaky feelings that way.

Bucky accepts the kiss. He didn’t expect Tony to say it back. He’s still not really sure of it himself, if it’s okay to feel. He does want a sweet nickname for Tony. He has so many for Bucky now. If only he could think of something.

"Open to again, just gimme a second." Tony has to make a conscious effort to not slur his words. So sleepy.

Bucky strokes his cheek, smiling. “We don’t gotta.” He kisses Tony again. “But I’m in, if you ever wanna.” So in .

"It matters that I'm tired." Sounds more like a mewling kitten then some kinda space age superhero, but his ability to care about his dignity has been lost.

Bucky kisses his forehead. “I’m sorry, honey.” He’s about to tell Tony to just rest, but then ice water shoots through his veins. If Tony goes to sleep, will he disappear again? Bucky holds him tighter, not ready to lose him.

"Don't want to leave. Don't know how to come back. And that's scary."

Bucky’s chest is filling up with something heavy and unpleasant now. “Don’t leave,” he begs softly. If he does, will Tony ever come back? He’s not sure what to tell him, because Bucky doesn’t know how he gets here either.

"Keep me awake. Please. Help me stay awake.”

“Okay.” Bucky nods. “Okay.” He has to get up. The longer they lie here, the more likely he’ll fall asleep. But he doesn’t want to stop holding Tony… “Coffee, maybe.” If he found lube, surely he can find coffee?

"Coffee? Yes, coffee will help." Tony perks up. Stay awake, stay awake, stay awake.

Bucky nods. The smell of coffee brewing in the near distance drifts toward them.

“What...what exactly happened last time? You kept telling me to relax and...did I fall asleep?"

“You…” Bucky thinks. “You were listening to my heart beat. And then you fell asleep. And then…” Then it was over. Bucky wasn’t there anymore either.

Leaving. Waking up alone. It's terrifying. He clings to Bucky.

Bucky holds Tony tight, tight, tight, afraid of the same thing.

Tony shuts his eyes tight and then opens them, trying to  perk up. "I don't want to leave. I don't want to leave you again." Does that sound desperate? Probably a little.

“Me, either, honey.” Bucky kisses him, gently at first, and then harder, out of desperation. Maybe if he kisses Tony enough, he’ll have to stay.

"I remember, I was panicking and helped me. You're really good at that, by the way."

Bucky touches his cheek. “You just needed someone to be patient with you.” He can do that. That’s easy. “To give you something calm to hold onto.”

“Let’s get you cleaned up.” He casts around for a towel or a cloth or something. Kisses Tony again to make sure he’s still there.

"Um..." there's a green wash cloth in his bathroom. Maybe if he wants it hard enough, it will appear, like the lube.

Like so. "It's wet and everything. Can you do it? Can you wish for something like this?" He cocks his head. What kind of things would Bucky want?

Oh wow. Bucky looks behind Tony, and there’s a large, walk-in shower.

Tony grins. "Ha!” That’s a rather impressive work of imagination. “Who's the real genius here?"

“You are,” Bucky smiles gently. Seeing Tony happy...or at least sort-of smiling is everything. “I want you,” he tells Tony softly, kissing him and backing up, tugging him gently off the bed. The water is running, and it’s hot, steaming up the room.

"You can have me." He follows Bucky back to the shower.

Bucky backs in, standing on tile but not quite in the spray yet. Where did this come from? He’s never seen a shower like this before. There’s steam and wood in the outside room leading to mosaic patterns beyond the glass wall, and the biggest showerhead that’s pouring down water like rain. He stops and lets go of Tony’s hand to draw a finger through the come their lovemaking left behind on his abs. He pops it into his mouth. “I might want more of that.”

"Yes please! I mean, um, if that's what you want." Try not to sound too desperate huh? How old are you, fifteen?

Bucky chuckles at Tony’s eagerness. “I do.” He kisses Tony’s neck, nipping him playfully before letting go.

"You are too good for me.”

“No,” Bucky says, kissing him again. “I don’t deserve...but I want.” How he wants him.

"Let me in? Scoot.”

Bucky moves aside to let Tony under the spray, just watching, for now.

"You don't deserve-whatever. We're not having this argument.  Because you'd lose. Because you're- you are so sweet," kiss, "and patient," kiss, "and gentle," kiss, "and I'm me. So shut up." He kisses Bucky again for good measure.

Bucky steps into the stream to receive all his kisses. And for the last one, he cups Tony’s face. “Hey. Careful what you say about you. I happen to like the guy.” He combs Tony’s wet hair back with his fingers, kissing him again.

Tony makes a stink face but knows better than to argue. He's clearly right.

Bucky kisses the tip of his nose. That’s what he thinks of that face. It’s frustrating, though. He wants to touch Tony, to wrap arms around him, to pick him up, to push him up against the wall...but he can’t. It’s his fault. He deserves this. But Tony doesn’t. He deserves someone who’s whole. Not broken. Not just a piece of a person.

“Wanna hold you,” Bucky says, feeling the weight of his grief that he can’t. “I wish--” He doesn’t deserve to ask. He doesn’t deserve anything from Tony. “Can you?” His eyes flick down to his metal shoulder, capped off like a disused piece of machinery. “Maybe?” Bucky asks, kneeling down in front of Tony. “Some time?” He looks up at Tony, taking his hand.

"You want- I could um, do you want it now? I can...I have this design in my head...I think I can make it for you. Now. If you want." Oh my god, if he could just make whatever he wanted appear instead of having to build it... he could build anything. The prospect makes him go a little glassy-eyed.

“Now?” In the shower? Bucky takes the cloth and lets the warm water soak in, then slips his hand between Tony’s thighs. “Maybe not right now.” Bucky leans forward to kiss his hip. He’ll need time to try it out, to practice. And he has other concerns at the moment.

He's only slightly disappointed that he can't give Bucky his arm, and that fades fairly quickly. "Whatcha doin down there, angel face?"

Bucky smiles up at Tony, starting with gentle circles between his cheeks, spreading him as best he can with one hand to do both. “Cleaning my baby up.” He leans forward, rubbing a stubbled cheek against Tony’s midriff. “I got him all dirty.” He smirks, extending his tongue to tease Tony’s skin, sliding it down lower.

Warm. Nice. "Taking care of me already." Tony purrs, hands in Bucky's hair. "So good.”

Bucky uses his tongue to clean what’s left of Tony’s cream from his skin, being extra-thorough. Satisfied the outside of him is clean, Bucky’s fingers start to work inward. No, he has a better idea. He strokes his hand down the inside of Tony’s leg and then slides it up the front of him to gently rub his nipples. “Why don’t you turn around?” he suggests softly. “Gotta make sure to get everywhere…”

"Yeah? Okay. If you...okay." Shut up Tony, let him eat your ass. He turns to face the wall. "Can't touch you." He whines.

Bucky laughs. “Tile floor’s not that comfy, but you’re welcome to join me down here if it upsets you that much.” But he doesn’t wait for a reply. As soon as Tony’s turned away, he grabs a buttcheek and goes in for the kill. Takes a long, slow swipe with his tongue. “Oh, baby,” he groans enthusiastically. Bucky buries his face in Tony’s ass, lips and tongue getting happy.

"I like hearing you laugh. You have a nice-" Tony moans softly, one hand pressed against the wall the other searching for Bucky.

Bucky pulls back a smidge. “A nice?” He grins, gently biting Tony’s cheek. If Bucky had a spare hand, he might catch Tony’s, but he doesn’t. His is too busy spreading Tony so that he can more easily push his tongue inside him. He probes and licks, starting to clean Tony out. It’s what he said he’d do. Just in a more entertaining way for Bucky.

"Tongue--laugh! I meant laugh.”

Bucky pulls back, grinning, and laughs again.  

“Laugh. Is nice. Tongue is also really nice."

Bucky pinches him, playfully. “It’s all yours, hot stuff.” He reaches for the soap. “But what makes you laugh?” He can’t remember hearing Tony laugh.

He finds Bucky's shoulder after a moment of floundering and clamps on.

Bucky drops a kiss on Tony’s wrist before going back in. He pushes a soapy finger inside of Tony and continues rimming him, slow and easy.

"I don't want to ask me that when I'm more coherent?”

Bucky grins. He must be doing something right.

“Sass. It would be sass."

Bucky pulls back a little. Something about that word cuts deep. Makes him sad. But he doesn’t know why.

“Wow that feels so nice.”

Bucky kisses him gently on one soft cheek. “Just wait till I get you lying down one of these days.” Then a love-bite. “I’ll do this all night while you just relax.” That sounds pretty good, actually. And to be honest, there will be fucking interspersed in all that ass-eating, but well. That can be a surprise for later.

“Knees feel weak. Brain’s so foggy."

Bucky looks up. “You okay, honey? Want me to stop?” The question might be taken more seriously if he wasn’t still rocking his finger in and out.

"Don't you dare."

Bucky chuckles.

"When's your turn Bucky bear? Deserve to feel good too."

“This is my turn, Sunshine.” Bucky kisses his lower back.

If he moves his hand off the wall, will he fall over? "I want--"

Bucky gives it another lick. “You want?” He’s all ears.

"Not fair. Haven't even gotten to blow you. Want to taste you."

Bucky’s heartbeat quickens at that request. Hmm. Maybe a change in position is in order… He moans softly. “Stop. Being. So. Sexy.” How is he supposed to stop this ever? He starts to nudge in a second finger.

"That's a nice noise too. I like. I'm not doing anything, you're just irresistibly attracted to me." Fun. This is fun.

But then the second finger goes in"Yes! That! Please continue. Fuck me up against the wall."

Bucky stands up in one smooth motion, leans against Tony, still fingering him. “That’s two separate requests, love.” He kisses Tony’s shoulder. “Pick one.” Bucky bites him gently, pushing the second finger in deeper.

"Don't wanna choose. I want everything."The weight of Bucky's body feels so good on top of  him.

“So you’re not doin’ anything, huh? It’s just me randomly attracted to you? Oh jee, you’re right.” Bucky starts to back off, withdraws digits. “Must just be me.” He takes a step back into the spray, only smirking a little. “Sorry to bother you, Mr. Stank.” He runs fingers through his hair, wetting it down, flexing a little with his arm up. Yeah, it’s totally just him.

Tony turns--whoops--it's a little slippery.  "No, what are you doing, come back, come back, come back. I want you. Please, please?"

Bucky smirks and turns wolfish eyes on Tony. He beckons him closer.

"I--" Tony swallows "You--" he steps closer "What can I do to make it up to you?"

Bucky reaches out and grabs him, jerks him close. "Tell me how much," he growls.

"Tell you?" He considers just getting on his knees but, that's not exactly going to answer the question. Just gets him out of talking.

Bucky nods, burying his face in Tony’s neck for a taste.

"Tell you. I want you so bad, honey. You make me weak in the knees. You make me--" feel so safe. "...feel so good."

“Aw, Sunshine.” Bucky kisses his jaw before moving back to Tony’s lips. He starts to back Tony up toward the wall, kissing him harder. “You do care,” he growls, pushing Tony up against the wall and holding him there with the weight of his body. “Want you,” Bucky sighs, starting to leave a mark on Tony’s throat.

"Of course I care, you big dummy, what do you think this is?"

“You got kind of an attitude on you, you know that?” Bucky gives Tony’s ass a slap. “I don’t think anything. Do YOU know what this is? It’s not a date. Those don’t start with this…” To show what he means by ‘this’, Bucky reaches down and cups Tony’s jewels, reaching between his thighs to stroke his taint.

"No, it's a dream. And if it was real you wouldn't be speaking to me and this would not be happening.”

Bucky slowly pulls away. What? So much for getting it on.

“But for whatever reason my brain has decided that you love me.”

“Fuck you and your brain. I do love you. Don’t act like I’m just some figment of your self-centered imagination.” This is suddenly more like the Tony Stark Steve warned him about.

“It's probably some weird psychological thing right? Because I have this pathological need to put myself in dangerous situations."

“I’m not dangerous to you,” Bucky says, hurt, walking out to grab a towel.

"That's the thing though, you feel safe." He follows Bucky out, watches him, staying a good distance away just in case he's not allowed to touch.

“I am safe.” For Tony, anyway. Bucky is getting pissed, scrubbing at his skin way harder than necessary with the towel.

But Tony needs to understand. He can't just accept this...whatever, because it isn't scientifically possible. "But if you're not, what the hell is going on? Are you imagining me?”

“I don’t know.” Bucky walks closer to Tony, holding the towel, half-forgotten against his chest

“All of's too good to be true. Excuse me if I'm a little apprehensive."

Bucky looks up at him, uncertain. “Too good to be true?”

"That's what I said, yeah. You're sweet, you give a shit about me, you're hot as all hell. Jesus, look at you. I mean why would you want me, anyway? I tried to murder you. Murder isn't something that should be forgiven.”

Bucky looks away. He agrees. Yet, oddly, it feels like Tony is forgiving him. He knows better than to bring it up, test his theory. But he was never upset at Tony for trying to kill him. He’d said so in the letter...

“Not with a hallmark card and a good fuck. But here you are."

What a wacky sense of humor Tony has. Bucky makes a show of looking around. “Where’s the Hallmark card?” He tries to smile.

"I'll draw you one. Don't expect pretty. I'm not good at people."

Bucky’s almost-smile grows a little wider. “Will you really, though? I want it to say ‘Thanks for my ass.’”

"If that's what you want, you weirdo. As soon as you're dry."

Bucky nods. “I do.”

Tony rolls his eyes. "Come here, you poor lost soul. Gimme the towel."

Bucky holds out the towel to Tony, wanting to be closer to him.

Tony starts to pat him down, shoulders, arm and chest. Water drip drip dripping off the ringlets of dark hair over his shoulders. Too bad the shower’s over.

While Tony dries him, Bucky reaches out to touch him, combing fingers through his hair, touching his cheek, gently tugging his earlobe. He traces the line of Tony’s neck and rubs his thumb over his clavicle. “You don’t have to do this,” he says.

"I wanna." Tony shrugs. "Turn around, Buckaroo."

Bucky kisses Tony’s brow one more time before turning around.

Tony pats down his back, kneels to do his legs. bites down gently on his ass cheek because it's right there.

Tony’s teeth in his ass startle a laugh out of Bucky. “Tickles!” But he’s still thinking about the card Tony promised him. “Hey, I wanna draw on you while you make me a card. And then...can you work on my arm? Just so I can touch you better.”

"Can I do your arm first? Or you want your silly card right now?"

Bucky thinks. “Depends how long the arm takes. Can I draw on you while you do it?” It’s important that he write Tony a message, in case he wakes up.

"Arm’s done. It's all up here." Tony taps at his temple grinning. "I just need to conjure it up. The drawing thing will take longer."

Bucky nods. The order doesn’t really matter, he supposes. “ asked me why I’d wanna be with you…” If Tony really wants to know, Bucky will tell him.

"It was rhetorical." Tony doesn't want to know. None of it will matter. Because eventually Bucky will leave too.

“How are my feelings rhetorical?” Bucky’s getting angry again. “Don’t I get a say?”

"The question was rhetorical. You're welcome to feel however you want however long you want."

Fine, then Bucky’s going to answer the question. “Why do I want you? You helped me, Tony. I don’t know why, but you did. You didn’t have to. You should hate me. Instead, you were patient and kind. You listened.” He brushes Tony’s cheek with the back of his fingers. “You make me smile. You make me happy. The dark place where I am, where I’ve been...I never thought I’d see the sun again.” He cups Tony’s face with his hand and strokes his cheek with his thumb. “You’re cute, and you’re clever, and you’re really sweet.” He looks down at the towel Tony’s using to dry him with to make his point. “You have the most beautiful eyes. And you’re super-hot.” Bucky bites his lip. “So hot, I want you right now just thinking about it.”

Tony looks away, shakes his head almost invisibly.  Embarrassing. Half of that stuff isn't true. He can't speak to refute it.

Bucky grips his shoulder. “Take it,” he growls. He means the compliments, but it’s said in a decidedly sexual tone.

"If you say so." Tony will not look at him but does not argue. Doesn't even pout.

“I do,” Bucky tells him, firmly. There’s a temptation to dominate him further, but Bucky waits, for now. It’s one small victory.

"I hate not knowing. I hate not knowing what this is and why it’s happening. It's frustrating. It makes me feel like I'm trapped, or it's a trick. I need to know. Is somebody manipulating me? I've been in...too many situations where that was the case."

“Can’t you just enjoy being here in the moment with me? We can find an explanation later. I want--” No, he doesn’t deserve that. “Please.”

"Being in the moment isn't something I'm good at. There's always something else going on. I'll try. But it bugs me. I need answers."

“Please.” Bucky pleads with his eyes. “I just want to be happy. Just for a little bit. ...even if it’s not real.” He can’t remember feeling like this.

"But it feels real. Doesn't it?” That’s what dosen’t make sense. This feels like it’s happening in real time. It’s not disconnected like most of his dreams.

“Your ass felt real,” Bucky murmurs, leaning in to tease for a kiss.

"Yeah? What else?" Tony looks up through his lashes, pleased that Bucky's not mad at him anymore. "Tell me what's real."

“This?” Bucky gives him a slow, chaste kiss. He cups Tony’s cheek. “Honest, I don’t know what’s real except me. What I feel.” He rests his forehead against Tony’s. “God, I hope you’re real. You feel real.”

“I want it to be real. I want to prove that it is. The thing is, when I wake up all of this--you--goes away. And I want to remember. I want to remember you."

“Don’t leave, Tony.” Bucky sounds like he’s losing his voice. Really, it’s just the tears threatening. “Please. Stay here with me.”

Tony launches himself into Bucky's chest,  wraps his arms tight around him. "I don't want to. I don't. You take the pain away. At least for a little while.  When I'm with you- I don't have to do it alone."

Bucky holds Tony against him, just short of clinging to him. “Pain?” he asks softly. “Why pain, Tony?” Bucky strokes his hair.

"Don't wanna talk about it." He mumbles into Bucky's chest. How would Bucky feel knowing how hurt Tony is over the break up with Steve? Knowing how much Bucky seems to care about him, would he blame himself?

That’s something Bucky understands. He just strokes Tony’s hair. “All right, honey.”

"Forget it.”

Unlikely, Bucky thinks.

“Let me just be with you." Shouldn't have said anything.

But that’s what Bucky’s been wanting all along. “I’m with you, Tony,” he says softly, holding him close.