Steve’s halfway to Clint’s hotel room to collect Lucky when he gets new orders from Nat via text. Change of plan. Go collect Liho from the wedding suite <3
With a wry smile, Steve puts away his phone and heads back to the elevator he just got out of. Cat duty wasn’t exactly what he expected after he offered to help out before the rehearsal dinner, but as his sister commands, so he goes. Nat knows she has him wrapped around her little finger, and has ever since he was nine years old and his parents came home from the adoption agency with a too-solemn little Russian girl with bright red hair and fierce green eyes. Nat was four and barely spoke any English, but she could communicate just fine with those eyes.
He opens the door of the wedding suite and has to take a moment to catch his breath at the thought: his baby sister’s getting married. In less than twenty-four hours, he’ll walk her down the aisle. After their parents died in a car crash when he was eighteen and Nat was thirteen, he became not just her older brother, but sort of her father too.
The building ache in his chest is derailed by the sight of a perfect ass clad in close-fitting dark gray pants that lovingly cups its curves. There is a stranger in Nat’s suite. And that stranger is down on all fours in front of the Louis XV reproduction couch. His perfect ass sticks up in the air as he tries to reach under it.
“Come on, you glorified rat. C’mere…” It’s said in such a sweet tone that for a moment, Steve thinks he misheard the words. The man inches forward and tries to get his arm further in. “Nat, your cat is more trouble than she’s worth.”
“I’m not Nat,” Steve says. “Do you need any help with that?”
The man bangs his arm on the underside of the couch with a muted thunk when he jerks in surprise. “Fuck.”
“Jesus!” Steve hurries forward. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.” Before he’s even halfway into the room, the man’s already on his feet and turning around. He has a face as perfect as his ass. High forehead, square jaw, pink lips with a hint of a natural pout. Short, wavy, dark brown hair. His wide, deep-set eyes are a clear and luminous gray. Those eyes widen as the man takes in the sight of Steve staring at him.
Something about that wide-eyed, slightly nervous look catches at Steve’s memory. “Bucky?”
Steve remembers a shy, sweet teenager, with soft round cheeks, eyes too big for his face, and a wild head of hair. If this really is Bucky, some time in the last few years, he grew into his face and is now so gorgeous that Steve’s having a little trouble breathing. The lean, toned body beautifully displayed by a black shirt and gray pants don’t help the breathing situation either.
“You… have a beard now,” Bucky says faintly.
Steve’s hand goes up partway to his face before he drops it back to his side, glad the beard does a good job of covering most of his blush. “Yeah. Save a lot of time on shaving.”
It really is Bucky. Steve’s eyes widen as the full import of that finally registers. It’s Bucky. Nat’s best friend. The quiet kid who spent half his time in the Rogers household. Steve remembers one memorable incident when Nat and Bucky were sixteen and Nat decided to ‘help’ Bucky bleach the tips of his hair. That experiment led to stained bathroom floors and piebald towels. Bucky ended up having to get a buzz cut to salvage the disaster. Bucky hadn’t been able to look Steve in the eye for a month after that incident.
He cannot lust after Bucky Barnes. He just can’t. He takes a step back.
Bucky closes his mouth on whatever he was about to say as Liho emerges from under the couch.
Thank God for distractions, Steve thinks. “You’re here for Liho?”
“Yeah.” Bucky glares at the little black cat winding round his ankles. He gives Steve a curious look. “What are you doing here?”
“Nat sent me to get Liho.”
“Really.” An odd expression flickers over Bucky’s face. “She told me you were getting Lucky.”
“I was, but then she told me to come get Liho.”
Bucky makes a noncommittal sound. He scoops Liho up in his arms. “Got you.” Like a criminal knowing to bide her time till her next chance for freedom, she concedes defeat and curls up in Bucky’s arms and starts to purr. “Silly cat,” Bucky says.
Steve is presented with a perfect view of Bucky’s profile as he looks down at Liho and strokes her. She stretches her head up and rubs her nose against Bucky’s chin, eliciting a surprised laugh from Bucky. The sound is mellow and smooth and so very easy on the ears.
“I should—” Steve takes a step back and points at the door. “I should probably go see about Lucky.”
“Oh.” Bucky blinks at him as he continues backing away. “Okay.”
Steve turns around and heads for the door. He would swear he can feel the weight of those beautiful gray eyes on him as he walks away.
At the elevator, another message from Nat arrives. Change of plan again. Can you get Lucky from Clint’s room and deliver him to Barney. Sorry about the confusion <3
Steve punches the button for Clint’s floor and tries not to think about a certain too-handsome young man.
Bucky walks into the honeymoon suite carrying a placidly purring Liho. He doesn’t trust her docility at all. The moment their backs are turned, she’s gonna pull another runner. She’s lucky she’s cute. “I thought you said you sent Steve to get Lucky?”
“Oops.” Nat looks up from her laptop. “Did I?”
Bucky unclips Liho from her leash. She leaps from his arms and hops into Nat’s lap.
A toilet flushes somewhere in the suite. Clint steps out. “Did it work?”
“Ignore that,” Nat says, cool and completely unabashed.
“‘Oops’ huh?” Bucky points at Clint. “And what the hell are you doing here? Isn’t it bad luck to see the bride before the wedding?”
“That’s tomorrow, duh. Besides, no one keeps Clint out of a place he wants to get into.” Nat’s smile is serene. “And you can thank me later.”
“Very funny.” Bucky drops down into the armchair opposite Nat. He rolls his eyes at Nat and Clint who are both grinning smugly at him. Even Liho looks smug. “Thank you,” he mutters.
“Ha.” Nat high fives Clint. “I knew it,” she says, looking very pleased with herself.
It’s pathetic that his heart still races at the sight of Steve Rogers. One look at that face and it’s like he’s fifteen again and suffering the deepest and most abiding crush of his life on his best friend’s older brother. He was a fucking teen romance cliché. Two years after Steve moved back home to take care of Nat, Bucky’s hormones hit him hard and Steve was the rock he foundered on.
“Okay,” Bucky says, still stinging at the way Steve’s gorgeous blue eyes had widened in horror, “but why is he scared of me?”
“My big brother?” Nat leans forward. “Scared? Of you?”
“Yes. Your big brother. Scared. Of me. He backed away from me like I had the plague.” Steve didn’t exactly run from the room. But he didn’t exactly walk, either.
“Interesting.” Nat’s eyes gleam. “Was he blushing?
“I don’t know? Maybe? Hard to tell with all that nicely manscaped hair on his face.”
That fucking beard. Steve broke his brain with that beard. He’s not even into beards! How is it possible that covering half of that face with hair would make Steve hotter by whole degrees of magnitude?
“I thought you hated beards,” Nat says with a smirk.
Bucky rubs his mouth. “I might have to make an exception for him.”
“Pretty sure he’s your exception to everything,” Clint says.
Clint’s probably not wrong.
Steve lets himself into the wedding suite at 7:15PM sharp to walk Nat down to the rehearsal dinner. He sits in the same couch he saw Bucky in front of and tries not to think about that glorious ass. After five seconds of failing abysmally at not thinking about Bucky’s ass, he moves to the armchair.
“We’re going to be late,” he shouts.
“Geez, Steve. A girl’s gotta look her best for her rehearsal dinner.”
Nat walks out of the bedroom in a short, black cocktail dress, still in the middle of putting on a plain silver chain with an arrow pendant hanging off it. Her long red hair glows like fire as she passes under the hotel room lights. It wasn’t all that long ago that she was sitting at their breakfast table with her hair scraped back into a ponytail while she planned her revenge on an asshole who spread a nasty rumor about her in high school. Bucky was her silent shadow at these planning sessions, making suggestions in low murmurs.
Getting up, Steve holds out his hand for the necklace. She gives him a grateful smile as she drops it into the palm of his hand. She turns around and lifts her hair out of the way.
“You look beautiful,” Steve says. His hands are none too steady on the tiny clasp obviously made for people with much smaller and nimbler fingers.
“You’re telling that to the back of my head?”
Steve gives a huff of amusement. “I don’t have to see your face to know.” The clasp finally closes properly. “There. Done.”
Nat turns around and hugs him, tucking her head under his chin and wrapping her arms around his waist. “Thank you,” she whispers. She doesn’t sound like she’s talking about something as simple as helping her with the necklace.
“I wish Mom and Dad could see you,” he says, as he hugs her back. Their absence on this special day is a hollow ache in his heart. “They would be so proud.”
“Not bad for a girl from a Russian orphanage.”
“You are a Rogers through and through. Anyone ever says different, they can take it up with me.” Not that Nat needs anyone to fight her battles for her, as many a young kid who’d made fun of her Russian accent found out to their cost. There were fewer fights after she and Bucky became friends, something that ensured his welcome in the Rogers household.
“Okay.” A surreptitious sniff accompanies this as Nat steps back. “Something in my eye,” she mumbles as she dabs carefully at her eyes and collects her clutch from the side table.
“So, I heard you met Bucky,” she says.
Nat pauses in the middle of slipping into black heels that look too high for her tiny feet and slants him a look. “Is that a yes?”
Don ’t think about his ass don’t think about his ass don’t think about his ass.
“Yes, it’s a yes.” Steve clears his throat. “He’s… uh. Changed a lot in the last few years.”
“Hasn’t he,” Nat murmurs.
Steve squints at Nat, not quite sure if he’s imagining the sly tone in her voice. He will never live it down if she finds out he mentally undressed her best friend.
“Let’s go.” She tucks her hand into the crook of his elbow and smiles up at him. “We’re gonna be late.”
“That’s my line,” Steve grumbles, as they walk out the door.
From not seeing Steve in years, Bucky ends up seeing him too much. The rehearsal dinner wasn’t too bad. But the wedding day. Jesus, the wedding day.
As Nat’s friend of honor, he got a first-row view of Steve: Steve’s eyes shiny with unshed tears, as he helped Nat put on her veil. His face glowing with love and pride as he walked her down the aisle. Smiling and clapping along with everyone when Nat and Clint kissed at the end of the ceremony.
It just fucking did things to Bucky’s heart whenever Steve let slip some of his reserve and revealed the enormous heart that beat under his serious exterior. And the fact that the man can wear a suit. Fuck but can he wear a suit. Single-breasted, navy blue, with a snow-white shirt and a dark red tie. The suit is perfectly fitted to broad shoulders, slim hips, and those goddamned legs. Add Steve’s gorgeous face—with his hair combed back from his forehand and his neatly trimmed beard framing his lips—and it was enough to make a man fall to his knees and beg for mercy.
Or for other things. Bucky's not fussy.
So if he needs a little extra booze to survive the wedding banquet… well. It was only understandable. By the time they open the dance floor for Steve to have the first dance with Nat, Bucky’s more than a little tipsy. He slouches back in his seat and watches as Steve and Nat circle the floor in a slow, stately waltz. Steve’s broad shoulders fill out that suit so well. And the love Bucky can see in Steve’s face as he looks down at Nat… God, save him. Bucky takes another gulp of whiskey.
As the song nears its end, Clint stands up and puts on his jacket. “My turn.” He strides onto the dance floor. Clint must have been taking extra care of his appearance all day because he only looks a little rumpled in his suit.
Steve smiles down at Nat after Clint asks to cut in. She kisses him on the cheek, her eyes radiant with happiness. With a final hug, she turns to Clint just as a new song starts up. Steve makes his way to the side of the dance floor and watches as Nat and Clint swirl around the floor in a waltz, the lace of Nat’s skirt belling out as she spins. Steve's smiling, but Bucky can see the wistful, slightly sad look in his eyes.
I ’m gonna ask him to dance.
A little voice in his head whispers, You’re drunk, that’s probably not a good idea.
Fuck you, little voice. Steve’s lonely. Look at him.
The little voice shuts up. Because Bucky’s right, dammit. Steve does look lonely, standing off to the side, hands in his pockets, alone while everyone watches the waltzing couple.
Bucky always wondered if Steve felt lonely stuck at home with Nat. While most college-age kids were staying in college dorms, Steve gave up his place in an Ivy League college and moved back home to take care of Nat. Various relatives from out of state had offered to take her in but Steve flat out refused. Bucky would always be grateful to him for that, because that meant Nat didn’t have to be alone with her grief among strangers.
The seeds of Bucky’s crush were planted long before his hormones hit. He got to try Steve’s first disastrous attempts at cooking proper meals, he sat at their kitchen table while Steve helped them with their homework, he sat in the back seat when Steve drove Nat and him to their Krav Maga classes. Steve did all this while dealing with his own grief and studying architecture at the local community college. As far as Bucky could see, Steve hardly had any time or energy left over for a social life.
Well, no more. Bucky’s going to be social. He’s not going to let Steve be lonely another moment longer. Whiskey courage adding steel to his spine, he stands up and straightens his jacket with a snap of the wrists. I’m going in.
Bucky skirts the edge of the room and sidles up to Steve. “Aren’t you a little young to be having empty nest syndrome?”
Steve gives him a wry smile, a welcoming warmth in his eyes that makes Bucky’s heart go all gooey. Damn, but the dark blue of Steve’s suit made his eyes even more intensely blue.
“Clint’s a great guy,” Bucky says. It seems to him that Steve could use a little reassurance right now. “He may not always have his act together, but he’s got a good heart and he always comes through. I mean… look at him. He hasn’t even lost his tie.” Sure, it was loosened and askew by several degrees, but for Clint, that was major.
A companionable silence settles between them as they watch Clint counting his steps with a look of determined concentration on his face while Nat watches him with a suppressed smile on her lips. In a rare, unguarded moment, Steve says, “He’ll try his best for Nat. That’s all I ask.”
When the song ends, the DJ yells, “Now it’s everyone’s turn!” The music changes to a song with a heavy, pulsing beat that throbs through Bucky. Guests whoop as they stream past Bucky and Steve on their way to the dance floor.
“Come on, Steve!” Sam, Steve’s friend, yells as he’s dragged past by a tall woman with dark brown hair. Mariah, Bucky’s memory supplies. Another guest from Steve’s small circle of friends.
“Yeah.” Bucky nudges Steve. “Come on, Steve.”
“Let’s dance. You look like you could use a distraction.”
Steve glances at the dance floor full of bodies moving in sync to the beat—from little kids to staid old couples doing the two-step. “I don’t know how to dance.”
“I do,” Bucky says. “All you have to do is follow my lead.” He bites his lips and looks up at Steve through his lashes as he holds out his hand. It’s a look that’s gotten him more than one phone number and he prays it’ll work to get him this dance that he really really wants.
His heart pounds as he waits to see what Steve will do. Just when the last of Bucky’s courage is about to drain away, Steve puts his hand in Bucky’s. Bucky just barely resists the urge to pump his fist in victory as he leads Steve to a section of the dance floor filled with guests from Clint’s side of the family.
The bottom drops out of Bucky's stomach when he turns around to find Steve watching him like there’s no one else he’d rather be looking at. Jesus. There’s no way Bucky can handle that intense gaze at such close range. He’ll combust. Do something stupid. Climb Steve like a tree.
Change of plan. Bucky turns around and backs into Steve, close enough that he can feel the heat of Steve’s body through his jacket. He takes Steve’s hands and places them on his hips. “Like this.” He starts swaying his hips, back and forth, letting his ass just brush against Steve, waiting to see if Steve will put some distance between them.
Instead of moving back, Steve leans in close. Hot breath brushes against the sensitive skin of Bucky’s ear when Steve whispers, “What are you doing, Bucky?”
Bucky shudders and barely holds back his moan. “Dancing,” he says. Nailed it. Can’t argue with an answer like that. Irrefutable fact. Alcohol brings out his inner genius.
Steve doesn't move much, barely swaying in time with the music, his hands resting lightly on Bucky’s hips. But after a while, his grip tightens, turning almost possessive.
Everything seems to go distant, the music seeming to come from far away, muffled and pulsing. The only thing that Bucky can feel is Steve, so close behind him.
This isn’t how Steve expected to spend the wedding celebration: with an armful of warm, teasing, amorous Bucky. But hell, he’s only human. He’s been trying to resist the pull towards Bucky all day—part of him still guilty at being attracted to the kid who used to play console games with Nat in his living room.
As Nat’s best man or whatever they were calling Bucky, Steve got to see him all day. The shy young kid turned into a beautiful, funny young man with laughing eyes full of sweetness and mischief and something else he can’t interpret. He suspects this is the Bucky he heard laughing with Nat behind closed doors when they were still teenagers. Around Steve, he was always very quiet, rarely making eye contact.
In the morning, that trace of shyness still seemed to linger, but by the end of the day, Bucky seemed to have gotten used to having him around and started making hilarious asides to him. And now here he is pressed right up against Steve.
Admittedly, Bucky’s probably a little drunk, something that Steve needs to keep very firmly in mind even as his dick begins paying very close attention to proceedings. Out of desperation, Steve pulls Bucky hard against him just to stop Bucky's ass from brushing back and forth against his already aching cock. The sound of Bucky's shaky gasp when their bodies collide sends heat coiling through Steve’s gut.
Jesus Christ. Don’t think about it. Don’t think about that perfect ass pressed against his dick. Don’t think of those pink lips with a natural pout. Don't think of that warm smooth voice and those laughing gray eyes that look almost incandescent against the black of Bucky’s jacket. Just. Don’t.
One song bleeds into two. The three glasses of whiskey he had at dinner must be kicking in because he finds himself swaying along to the throbbing beat, wrapping his arm around Bucky's waist and hooking his chin over Bucky’s shoulder. Bucky makes a pleased sound and drapes his arm over Steve's.
By the third song, Steve’s cock feels like it's about to explode. He doesn’t know how much more he can take. And yet he can't make himself let go of Bucky's waist. He spent the whole day trying to stay away from Bucky even as his eyes sought Bucky out wherever he was. Steve saw all the little kindnesses Bucky did throughout the day to help the people around him. A gorgeous face is one thing, but a good heart—that’s always been Steve’s weakness.
He tries to distract himself from the bundle of trouble in his arms by looking around the dance floor. Shit. Nat is looking right at him over Sam's shoulder. Guilt rushes over him and he tries to step back but Bucky stops him with a hand clamped over the arm Steve's wrapped around his waist.
Nat looks Steve squarely in the eye. And smiles. It looks… encouraging? Then, she pointedly looks away, angling her head so Sam’s body blocks her view. Steve isn't sure what to make of that. He’s still puzzling over it when Bucky sways and stumbles.
“Whoa.” Steve steadies him and turns him around. Bucky’s pupils are dilated and his cheeks are flushed. He looks pretty drunk. Or debauched. “I think it’s time for you to call it a night.”
“Aw,” Bucky says, pouting prettily. He plasters himself against Steve. “But I like dancing with you.”
Steve braces himself to support Bucky’s weight. “I like dancing with you, too.” He tries not to think of the way Bucky’s hard cock is lined up against his own. “But you can barely stand straight.”
Bucky continues swaying to the beat with his arms draped around Steve’s neck as he thinks on this for a moment. His face brightens and Steve finds himself catching his breath at the way his eyes light up.
“You can hold me up,” Bucky says, voice gone low and sultry. He looks at Steve from under his long, feathery lashes.
Steve swallows his instinctive agreement to that very tempting offer. Any more of Bucky rubbing up against him might result in a very embarrassing accident. “Come on. I’ll walk you back to your room.”
“Fine.” Bucky heaves a sigh. “But only ‘cause you’re walking me.”
Steve laughs. Of course Bucky's a sweet drunk. After watching the myriad little ways Bucky took care of the people around him all day, Steve’s not in the least bit surprised. This time, he’s the one doing the leading. Bucky holds tight to Steve’s hand and follows without a second’s hesitation all the way out the banquet hall. It scares him, that complete trust Bucky has in him. Steve holds fast to Bucky’s hand as he skirts the dance floor, not liking the thought of anyone taking advantage of it.
When they reach the elevator, Steve presses the button while Bucky leans on him seeming in no hurry to let go of Steve’s hand, something which Steve minds not at all. The elevator doors slide open to reveal Clint.
“Clint!” Bucky exclaims, like he hasn’t seen Clint in ten years instead of half an hour.
“Hey, Bucky.” Clint’s eyebrows shoot up when he notices the hold Steve has on Bucky’s hand. “Steve.”
Almost, Steve lets go, but then, he tightens his grip instead and meets Clint’s eyes. Clint looks between them with an odd smile on his face. It’s eerily similar to the one on Nat’s face when she spotted him dancing with Bucky. Steve feels his cheeks heating. “I’m just helping him back to his room.”
“Yes, he is,” Bucky agrees. He gazes at Steve and his gaze turns flirtatious. “Such a great guy.”
“Yup,” Clint says, smile growing wider.
The three of them stare at each other until the elevator door starts to close. Steve holds back the door and shifts to the side to let Clint out. “Well,” he says. “I guess… we’ll be going.”
“Okay,” Clint says. After another moment of silence, he says, “Oh. Right. I should get out of the way.” As he steps out of the elevator, he staggers and bumps into Bucky, who would’ve lost his balance if Steve hadn’t caught him close.
“Whoa.” Clint steps back and shakes his head. “Guess I’m not as steady on my feet as I thought I was.”
“Lightweight,” Bucky scoffs.
Clint winks at them and waves as he walks off. “Have a nice night!”
Steve squints at Clint’s retreating back. There was something very suspicious about that wink and the fact that Clint is perfectly steady on his feet as he walks down the corridor leading back to the banquet hall. But Steve has more important things to worry about, specifically one slightly inebriated Bucky. He maneuvers Bucky into the elevator and presses the button for Bucky’s floor.
Bucky is a warm, solid line of heat against Steve’s side as they elevator heads up to Bucky’s floor. The faint scent of his cologne teases at Steve’s senses. Their hands remain clasped together all the way till they’re standing outside Bucky’s room. By this point, Steve isn’t even sure who is holding whose hand.
“Bucky,” Steve says, after standing in front of the closed door for several seconds.
“Oh.” Bucky looks at their joined hands with a forlorn expression on his face. “But…”
Steve bites back a smile as he switches sides and takes Bucky’s left hand in his, freeing up Bucky’s right hand.
“Cool.” Bucky digs in his pants pocket, then in his jacket pocket, his expression morphing from slightly dazed to befuddlement. “Huh.” He takes Steve’s right hand in his and sticks his left hand into his left pocket and digs around. Left jacket pocket next. The befuddlement becomes outright confusion.
He looks at Steve, eyes wide with betrayal. “It’s not here!”
“Your key card?”
“But I put it right here!” Bucky points at his right-hand pants pocket.
Steve opens his mouth to offer to go down to reception to get a manager to open the room for Bucky. But that’s not what comes out of his mouth. “You can sleep in my room?”
Fuck. Spending nearly half an hour with a hard-on because of a certain handful of trouble must be messing with his impulse control.
“I can?” Bucky blinks at Steve. “I mean, yes! Yes, I would like to sleep in your room.”
“Come on,” Steve says. He tries not to think of what Bucky would look like naked on his bed, with rumpled hair and sleepy eyes and a welcoming smile. Jesus Christ. He scrubs a hand over his face. It’s going to be a long night.
In the elevator once again, this time heading up one floor to Steve’s room, Bucky staggers when it starts moving. Steve grabs at him, and they end up face to face.
“Hey,” Bucky whispers with a smile. He slumps against Steve, pinning him to the wall.
Steve could get away if he wants to, but he doesn’t exactly want to, especially when Bucky slides his arms under Steve’s jacket and hooks fingers into the belt loops of his pants. Bucky’s breath is warm and humid as he makes a very satisfied sound from where he has his face tucked into the crook of Steve’s neck. Bucky nestles in like there’s nowhere else he’d rather be, and Steve is honestly disappointed when the elevator door slides open on his floor.
Bucky wakes up in a hotel bedroom to the sound of a running shower and a dull throbbing in the back of his skull. He looks around the room. His jacket and tie are draped over one chair but there’s another jacket next to it. Oh no. He recognizes that midnight blue jacket, shoulders cut broad, angling in to fit narrow hips. That’s not his suitcase on the suitcase stand. There are two pairs of men’s dress shoes under the suitcase stand.
Memories of the night before begin to surface from the depths of his brain. Getting right up against Steve. Grinding against him. Steve’s beard prickling the back of his neck, hot breath against his skin. Large hands gripping his hips, the heat of them burning through the fabric of his pants.
The feel of Steve’s hard cock pressing against his ass.
A flush crawls up his skin like he’s been dipped feet first into a heated bath of mortification and arousal. Shit. Fuck. He can’t remember how they ended up in Steve’s room. What the fuck did he do last night?
He checks under the covers. At least he’s still mostly dressed. Just his belt off and pants unbuttoned. So, he’s probably made a fool of himself since there’s no way Steve won’t have figured out how badly Bucky’s crushing on him. But maybe he hadn’t made a total fool of himself by stripping drunkenly and trying to seduce Steve.
He sits up and spots the glass of water and aspirin on the nightstand next to his phone. Christ, Steve. How will Bucky ever get over him if he’s going to be so fucking wonderful? He takes the aspirin and downs the water in three big gulps and sets the glass down carefully. A vague memory filters up through his consciousness—Steve making him drink water before tucking him in.
Steve Rogers tucked him in.
Oh dear God.
The sound of the shower cuts out.
Fuckfuckfuck. He grabs his phone, dives out of bed, scrambles for his shoes. Two steps towards the door and the bathroom door opens. Steve steps out dressed in a shower robe. His hair is wet and roughly combed back from his face. He looks vulnerable and so beautiful and human that Bucky wants to die.
Steve smiles when he catches sight of Bucky, eyes warm and indulgent, and oh God, Bucky’s dreamed of Steve looking at him with just that look in his eyes. Then Steve spots the shoes in Bucky’s hands and his smile fades. “Oh.”
“Steve,” Bucky says, like a total idiot. “Uh.” He waves at the bed. “I guess I was pretty out of it last night.”
“I guess so,” Steve says quietly.
“I’m sorry if I… uh. If I came on to you or anything.” Jesus Christ if only the floor would open up and let him fall through into the core where he would probably out-heat molten rock with the force of his embarrassment. “I kinda don’t remember how we ended up in your room.”
Bucky wonders if he’s imagining the pink tinge to the parts of Steve’s cheeks visible over his beard.
“You lost your key card. I told you to sleep on the bed. I slept there.” Steve points at the couch, looking awkward and uncomfortable. There’s a pillow on one end, and a rumpled blanket on the other. “So please don’t worry anything happened.” His voice is very formal and very proper.
Bucky winces at the thought of Steve folding all six feet plus of his large powerful body onto the couch. He chews his lip and considers his choices. He can slink away now and maybe regret it for the rest of his life, or he can go all in. After last night, it's not like he has any dignity left anyway.
He’s going to do it. He’s going to ask Steve out for coffee. He opens his mouth—
There’s a knock on the door. “Room service!”
Steve’s eyes flick to the door and back to Bucky, a guilty look on his face.
Well this was an interesting and unexpected development. Room service means Steve isn’t in any hurry to get rid of Bucky. Right?
“Are you gonna get that?” Bucky asks.
With one last furtive look at Bucky, Steve gets the door. The two of them stand in total silence while the waiter sets up breakfast for two. The waiter must be able to sense the tension in the room because he keeps glancing between the two of them as he works. After collecting his tip from Steve, the waiter leaves, grimacing in sympathy to Bucky as he walks past. And okay, sure, Steve looks really forbidding with his resting super serious face and the light from the window haloing him like some kind of avenging angel. But Bucky knows that underneath that stern exterior beats a heart of pure gold. And really, that stern look has featured in more than one of Bucky’s fantasies, so it’s not exactly what Bucky would consider a drawback.
The door closes, silence descends.
Steve clears his throat and doesn’t quite meet Bucky’s eyes. “You don't have to—”
Bucky drops his shoes to the carpet and heads to the bathroom. “Lemme just go brush my teeth first and then we can eat.” He doesn’t exactly want to sit down opposite Steve with a tongue that feels like a fuzzy sweaty sock scraped up from the bottom of a gym bag.
When Bucky sees himself in the bathroom mirror, he nearly screams. How the fuck had Steve managed to keep a straight face with Bucky looking like he had a wild and particularly aggressive form of kudzu trying to consume his head?
Cursing under his breath, he wets his hair and tries to make it look at least halfway presentable. In a way, it was almost freeing. Steve’s seen him drunk and ridiculous, looking like wreck, and still he smiled at Bucky with that warm look in his eyes. Surely the only way is up from here.
When he exits the bathroom with fresh breath and his hair tamped down into something more civilized-looking, Steve’s sitting at the little table in a T-shirt and sweats. Two cups of coffee are steaming away on the table.
“Hey,” Steve says, looking up. “I didn’t know how you like your coffee so—” He gives an apologetic shrug.
How can one guy be so sweet, Bucky thinks with despair. It’s terrible. The Steve in his fantasies is one thing—partly built up by his fervid teenage imagination. But this Steve in front of him, flesh and blood, the Steve who cried as he watched Nat get married, the one who slept on the couch so Bucky could have the bed, this Steve… this Steve he’s never getting over.
He slides into the empty seat opposite Steve, spreads the napkin over his lap, and tries not to bleed his feelings over everything. “You never did tell me if, you know… I… came on to you or anything.”
“You didn't. You were very sweet.”
Steve’s lips quirk up at some private memory. That smile gives Bucky hope. Now how does he bring up the fact that Steve let Bucky grind on him?
Coffee. He needs coffee before he can broach that subject. He takes a gulp of weak ass hotel coffee and nearly spits it out again. At Steve’s look of concern, he says, “Forgot the sugar.” Well that woke him up. He stirs in the sugar. Then, because he needs more time to gather his courage, he starts on his toast. The silence is oddly companionable while they both crunch their toasts, but when Bucky’s done, he decides it’s time to stop putting it off.
“I know I kinda was all over you when I asked you to dance.”
Steve coughs. “Sorry,” he mutters, before gulping down a few mouthfuls of juice. “I didn’t mind.”
Didn’t mind. The dick Bucky remembers pressing against his ass felt a lot more emphatic than didn’t mind. He licks a crumb off his lip while he considers what to say next. Steve tracks the movement with his eyes. Aha. Just to be sure, he sucks his bottom lip into his mouth and releases it slowly. Steve doesn’t even blink as he watches.
Bucky stands up. Steve’s eyebrow quirks up, a little flare of heat lighting up his eyes as he watches Bucky walk round the table. Bucky pushes the table away with a little squeak of the rolling casters and swings one leg over Steve’s lap and sits down. Warm hands settle on his hips and slide up under his shirt. Bucky shivers as Steve strokes sensitive bare skin with his thumbs. “Didn’t mind, huh,” Bucky says.
“Maybe that was an understatement,” Steve says, in a husky, growly voice. He looks up at Bucky with eyes gone dark. “These lips.” Steve traces his finger over Bucky’s lips. There’s a note of surprise, almost wonder, in his voice. He cups Bucky’s face and strokes his thumb over Bucky’s cheekbone. “When did this happen?”
Bucky doesn’t need to ask what Steve means. No one suspected the presence of cheekbones under the puppy fat on his face, least of all him. “You know I was still getting carded till I hit my early twenties? It was a drag. Then I guess my face decided it was time to look my age.”
“Can’t disagree.” Bucky raises his eyebrow. “Are you gonna kiss me or are you gonna keep staring at me?” His lips are already tingling from where Steve’s been stroking them.
One corner of Steve’s mouth tips up as he stares up at Bucky through long thick lashes with a knowing look in his eyes. It’s the single hottest look Bucky’s ever been on the receiving end of. He loops his arms around Steve’s neck and waits. He’s taken it as far as his courage can bring him—Steve has to take the next step.
He doesn’t disappoint. He slides his hand into Bucky’s hair and tugs him down till their lips meet in a sweet press of a kiss. Bucky can barely process the fact that the guy he’s been crushing on for over ten years is kissing him. All of that gets forgotten when Steve licks into his mouth. Steve tastes of coffee and raspberry jam and his skin feels like hot silk as Bucky slides his hands under Steve’s T-shirt. When Steve deepens their kiss, his beard tickles the skin of Bucky’s face.
The banked desire from the night before comes roaring back to life as the kiss turns heated. Big strong hands slide down to cup Bucky’s ass and tug him sharply forward to press against Steve’s cock. “Fuck,” Bucky whispers. Being manhandled by Steve is way up in his most requested spank bank playlist. He rocks his hips forward, sliding his cock against Steve’s. And goddamit, he can feel the pre-come wetting the front of his boxer briefs. He pulls himself away from Steve and stands up.
Steve’s hands fall away from his hips as he blinks up at Bucky. His hair is tangled from Bucky’s fingers, his lips wet and red. Bucky wants to climb right back into Steve’s lap. Only the thought of having to talk to hotel staff about getting a new key card while he stands around in briefs full of come stops him.
“I’m going to take a shower first.” He throws a look over his shoulder, fingers already unbuttoning his shirt. “I might need a hand scrubbing my back.” In the bathroom, he finishes stripping and steps into the shower stall. He turns on the water and steps under the spray.
Come on, Steve…
Over the sound of the shower, he hears the glass door slide open. The bottom drops out of his stomach and his heart starts going triple time. A heated body presses against his back as a muscled arm reaches past him. Steve turns off the water and wraps his arm around Bucky’s waist. Bucky hums his appreciation and leans back into Steve. Then he nearly chokes on his own spit when Steve wraps his hand around Bucky’s hard cock.
“I wanted to do this last night,” Steve growls into his ear. “Right there on the dance floor.”
God, that voice. “I might have let you,” Bucky gasps, arching up into that possessive grip. “I wanted to get down on my knees and blow you.”
“I might have let you.”
The thought of blowing Steve in some dark corner of the ballroom while oblivious guests continue celebrating, having calm, reserved Steve come apart in his mouth drags an embarrassingly high whine from Bucky’s throat.
“But sober is better.” Steve’s hand tightens around Bucky’s cock. “Hands on the wall.”
Fuck. Steve’s bossy. Bucky might actually die. He puts his hands on the wall and leans his weight on them. Steve’s body is a firm, warm press against his back.
“Do you know you rubbed against me till I nearly came in my pants?”
“Jesus,” Bucky whispers. If Steve bottled that voice, he’d make millions, could power whole city blocks with the heat he’d generate. “We could always do a dramatic reenactment.” He grinds his ass against Steve’s cock, enjoying the rumble of pleasure it draws from Steve. “A naked reenactment.”
Steve huffs with amusement, his breath hot against the back of Bucky’s neck. He strokes Bucky off at a slow, relentless pace that has Bucky rising up on his toes to chase the sensation.
“Close your legs,” Steve whispers.
Bucky obeys immediately, his heart in his throat. He swallows a groan as Steve slides his cock between Bucky’s thighs and rocks forward in time with the slow strokes of his hand. It’s all Bucky can do to remain upright and his arms locked. He can barely think for the pleasure that swamps him, Steve behind him, his cock sliding between Bucky’s thighs.
He teeters right on the edge of his orgasm. If only Steve would just… “Faster, Steve… Please…”
Steve groans. He tightens his grip and his cock nudges up behind Bucky’s balls. Everything whites out as the sound of their cries echo off the bathroom tiles. When Bucky comes back to himself, he nearly stumbles into the wall as his arms unlock. Only Steve’s arm around his waist keeps him from faceplanting into the wall.
“Wow,” Bucky whispers. He feels boneless and not quite fully seated in his body. One puff of wind and his soul will drift up to the ceiling to mingle with the steam still drifting about.
“Come on,” Steve murmurs, voice a little wrecked. “Let’s finish off that shower.”
Bucky lets Steve maneuver him into position under the water. Steve taking care of him could get very addicting, as addicting as the languid kisses they share while the water patters down around them.
It’s only when they step out of the shower that uncertainty sets in. Bucky drags out the process of drying himself while he tries to figure out what to do next. Does he put on his clothes? Stay naked? The problem is that he doesn’t know whether Steve considers their time together over, or just beginning. Bucky would give his left nut for it to be the latter, but when he steals glances at Steve, he can’t get any indication of what Steve’s thinking.
But then, Steve takes the bunched-up towel from Bucky’s hands and pulls him into another kiss, like he was just waiting for Bucky to be done. The kiss is slow and sweet. Not a kiss that’s going somewhere, just a kiss for the sake of closeness. Bucky can feel his heart liquefying in his chest.
“Stay for a while?” Steve asks.
Bucky’s cheek is cushioned by one firm pec while he slides his hand up and down Steve’s torso, enjoying the feel of all that smooth skin and firm muscle under his hand. Post-sex naked cuddles are already some of Bucky’s favorite things. Post-sex naked cuddles with Steve though… probably in Bucky’s list of top five experiences ever.
“They could use you as a reflector, you’re so fair.”
Steve snorts. He looks down at Bucky, his beard hiding the triple chins that head position gives nearly everyone. Huh. Bucky might have to consider getting one of his own, because he’s got that little bit of soft flesh under his neck he’s always been self-conscious about.
“I remember you being a lot more shy,” Steve says.
Bucky looks into those blue eyes. For some ridiculous reason, his cheeks heat up. He didn’t blush when he straddled Steve, but now he blushes. “That’s your fault, actually.”
“My fault?” Steve’s eyebrows shoot up as his eyes fill with consternation. “Was it something I did?”
“Nah, you were great. Too great.” Bucky clears his throat. Opens his mouth. Closes it again. Hides his face in the crook of Steve’s neck and mumbles into warm skin, “I had a crush on you. I kinda couldn’t talk when you were around.”
Steve is silent for five full seconds. “Huh,” he says finally. He strokes his hands up and down Bucky’s back in a soothing motion. “And here I always thought you were a good influence on Nat. Quiet, calm. Responsible.” At Bucky’s snort, he continues, “No wonder she found it so funny.”
“The thing with Forson was my idea,” Bucky admits. Steve’s hands still. Bucky’s heart drops for a second until he hears Steve’s soft rumble of a laugh.
“It was your idea to publicly humiliate the star of the football team at your junior prom?” Steve chuckles and shakes his head. “Do you know how fast I had to talk to convince Principal Phillips not to give the two of you detention for a month?”
“He had it coming! Spreading all those rumors about Nat just because she didn’t wanna date him—”
“Don’t get me wrong, I fully supported what you guys did.” Steve has a twinkle in his eyes. “But I was the authority figure. I thought I had to be suitably disapproving.” His eyes go distant for a moment. “At your age, I’d have gone and decked the guy. Probably gotten a suspension and been grounded for a month.”
God. What a guy. Bucky has to kiss him again just for that. Nat and him were seventeen when that happened. At seventeen, Steve was one year away from losing his parents, one year away from being Nat’s surrogate dad.
When they separate, Steve rolls onto his side and props himself up on his elbow. Bucky has to force himself not to hide from that clear gaze.
“So.” Steve trails a finger down Bucky's nose. “A crush?”
Bucky covers his face with his hands and groans. So much for not hiding. “The biggest crush.”
“For what it’s worth, I had no idea.” Gentle fingers comb through Bucky’s hair.
“Really?” Bucky uncovers his face. “I thought it was so obvious. Like beacon-flare-of-Gondor level obvious.”
“Really.” Steve’s eyes are soft and warm like the evening sky in summer. “Like I said, I just thought you were a really shy, sweet kid. I worried Nat was leading you astray.”
Bucky bursts out laughing. “She never told me that!”
“Probably because I never said anything.” Steve gives Bucky a wry smile. “I’m glad I didn’t.” After a moment, Steve adds, “It’s why I felt like the worst kind of pervert lusting over your ass when you were trying to get Liho out from under the couch.”
Bucky’s eyes widen at this confession and he starts snickering at Steve’s sheepish expression. He nearly chokes on his own spit when Steve grabs a handful of his ass and squeezes. “Pervert,” Bucky gasps.
“I can’t believe I thought you were sweet.”
Courage bolstered by the warmth in Steve’s eyes, Bucky says, “Have dinner with me tonight?”
“Yes,” Steve says. He kisses the smile right off Bucky’s lips with his hand still on Bucky’s naked ass.
When Bucky finally thinks to check his phone, the sun is already past its zenith. Another room service cart has come and gone with their lunch and the bed looks like a tornado swept through it. There’s a sweet ache in Bucky’s muscles from coming twice in the past five hours. He feels decadent as hell, lying naked in bed with Steve curled around him.
Bucky stares at the message that’s already two hours old. “Fucking Clint,” he says, finally.
Goosebumps race over Bucky’s skin at the tickle of Steve’s beard against the back of his neck. He nudges Steve and holds his phone up. Steve lifts his head off the pillow to peer over Bucky’s shoulder.
Clint: Haven’t heard from you all morning. You must be having fun [thumbs up emoji eggplant emoji]
Nat: Ugh Clint can you not. That’s my BROTHER
Clint: Come get your key card from me whenever you’re ready
“Why does Clint have your key card?” Steve asks.
“Did Clint, at any point, get anywhere near me last night?”
Thumb rubbing absently over the point of Bucky’s hip, Steve thinks about this for a moment. “We bumped into him when we left the banquet hall.”
“Like… literally bumped into?”
“Fucking Clint,” Bucky repeats, and starts laughing.
“Bucky.” Steve leans over Bucky. He looks almost boyish with his fringe flopping down to cover his forehead. “What’s so funny?”
“Did they ever tell you that apart from being an Olympic-level archer, Clint can pick pockets?”
Now it’s Steve’s turn to start laughing, a low, bass rumble that does things to Bucky’s heart. “No, they did not.” Steve lies back down and tugs Bucky close with an arm around his waist. “Do you think he’d like a fruit basket? I think I owe him one.”
“I think we both do,” Bucky says. He nestles back into the warmth of Steve’s body. “Him and Nat and Liho.”
“Really? Even the cat?”
“Yeah. They totally set us up.”
“I have no complaints,” Steve says. “They can set us up all they want.”
Bucky closes his eyes and smiles. He’s got a good feeling about the coming months.