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Puppy mill

Chapter Text

 

 

Bucky in room number three has delivered his pups during the night. He’s cowering in the corner, half lying half crouched on a pile made of pieces of shredded mattress, shielding the pups with his body from Steve.

This Bucky is one of the quieter ones. His spirit was so broken that Hydra had discarded him from the Winter Soldier program by the time Steve got to him, using him only for experimentation. ‘It was an accident,’ a technician told to Steve before Steve crushed his skull in his hand, ‘Too high voltage.’ Bucky’s never shaken the wiped, dazed look off his face, not even when he woke up for the first time in Steve’s arms after thawing out from the cryofreeze and Steve tried to reassure him that he was safe, that Steve had killed his handlers. Pliant and passive, he’s never fought back, never really showed any reaction to anything, never even looked Steve in the eye.

He is looking now. Not glaring, definitely not snarling or growling, but his eyes are sharp and his muscles tensed. For the first time, he looks like he’s alive, that there’s someone inside there, that there’s awareness in him.

Steve stays in the doorway and smiles at him. “It’s okay,” he says soothingly. “Don’t worry. I’m not going to take them away from you.”

Bucky’s upper lip twitches. Steve’s not sure whether it’s a shadow of a smile or a snarl. He’d like it to be a smile, but he does suspect the latter.

Steve eyes the room. There are bloodstains on the floor under Bucky’s bed, no doubt where he crawled to hide while pushing his litter out. “Did everything go okay? Any of you need medical attention?”

Bucky doesn’t answer him. Steve’s not surprised.

It’s not worth it to antagonize Bucky further. Steve learned his lesson about respecting the omega guarding its newborns after the first time he got bit, while Steve was trying to just make sure that the pups were healthy and breathing. Since then, he’s left the omegas in peace with the newborns — it’s more likely that the pups will get hurt in a panicked hustle like that than that there’s anything wrong with them in the first place.

Steve can give Bucky a few days to adjust, for his hormones to level down. He’ll come back later to take a proper look at the litter and Bucky.

As good as Bucky’s temperament is and as agreeable as he’s always been — how easily he’s let Steve take care of him and breed him — well, right now, with the way his eyes are fixed on Steve, Steve would be surprised if he didn’t lash out if Steve tried to pry the pups away from him.

Still, Steve’s gotta make sure Bucky has everything in the room he needs. The litter being premature by a week, and with him being preoccupied with the mission, Steve hadn’t stocked the cabinets in the room yet.

Eyes on Bucky, Steve takes a careful step inside the room, testing the waters.

Immediately, a warning growl rumbles from Bucky’s chest.

It’s not an alpha’s angry, loud, domineering growl telling someone to submit and give in or the alpha in question is going to punch the submission out of the target. It’s an omega’s growl, low and fierce. A trembling growl that tells Steve exactly how scared Bucky is, how all Bucky wants is for Steve to keep his distance — but also that if he doesn’t respect that growl, Bucky’s ready to fight to the death before letting him touch any of the pups.

‘A pissed off alpha may beat you half-dead, but a pissed off omega will not stop there,’ Steve’s mother used to say. ‘Not if there are pups on the line.’

It makes Steve’s alpha instincts swell in pride, seeing his omega live up to the old saying, reared up ready to defend their pups with his life, even knowing how much stronger and faster Steve is. As misdirected as that protective instinct is, it makes Steve relax.

He had worried that even pups wouldn’t be enough to bring back the spark to this Bucky’s eyes, but here he is, almost baring his teeth at Steve, after almost a year of staring at nothing and eating only when prompted.

“It’s okay, Bucky,” Steve repeats. “I’m so proud of you, sweetheart. You’ll make a good mother for them. I’m going to come inside now, but only to check the cabinets so I know if I need to bring anything for you. You need to eat, so you can take care of them.”

Bucky’s growl quiets back down to a hum that’s barely there. His eyes don’t leave Steve’s face.

Steve decides it’s a sign that Bucky won’t launch himself to try rip Steve apart, at least, so he walks slowly over to the cabinets. “Have you thought of the names yet?” he asks, not expecting any answers, but trying to soothe the omega with his voice. He opens the cabinet and counts the MREs and checks that the fresh fruits haven’t gone bad. He takes the baby bottles and the milk powder out and puts them on the counter, just in case Bucky’s having trouble producing milk. If that’s the case, there’s excess milk produced by a few others that will serve just fine in the long run, but for now, the milk replacer will do if needed. “Let me know if you decide on any, and I’ll write them down in the records.”

He feels Bucky’s eyes on him as he walks over to the sink and checks that the water is running as it should. Finally satisfied that Bucky has all the basic necessities he requires, for now, Steve walks back to the door.

“Ring the bell if you need me,” Steve says. “Otherwise, I’ll leave you alone for a couple of days.”

He closes the door and locks it. Through the one-way mirror in the door, he sees Bucky’s muscles finally relax as he’s left alone.

Steve watches as Bucky starts to tend for his pups. He continues licking them clean, a process which Steve seems to have interrupted — so the litter can’t be older than an hour or two if even that. He nuzzles them and nibbles their skins with his teeth to encourage the healthy blood flow. It’s hard to see how many he has in there, in the poorly constructed nest, but Steve can make out at least four, maybe five small pups — it’s a good-sized litter, which would explain why they were born so early.

When Bucky brings one to his chest and holds it tenderly while it searches for the nipple, Steve smiles and finally turns away. Bucky’s got this, and Steve’s more needed elsewhere.

His newest omega should wake up any moment now — and needs Steve to break him in.

 

 

Old file. Map of an island. Text in the upper left corner: "Project Greenhouse: Research Station 37. Local Data Collection and Research. Classification: D5." In the bottom right corner, a post-it note with a text: "Project Home: Brooklyn 2.0".

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Bucky in the breeding room is still sleeping off the ketamine when Steve walks in. 

 

He’s a far cry from the omega Steve just left behind to tend to his newborns — or more accurately, this Bucky is a far cry from every other omega on the island. Leaner, younger. His hair is cut short by a real barber. The clothes on him are expensive, with carefully ironed seams.

 

On his latest rescue mission, for the first time ever, Steve didn’t go to pull Bucky out of cryofreeze and save him right from the middle of the living nightmare — no, Steve went back to the time before any of the horrors had touched Bucky. 

 

He went back to 1936.

 

It had been a trip down nostalgia lane for Steve to follow Bucky along the familiar, busy Brooklyn streets. Passing the sight-sees from the past had made Steve’s heart ache with fond memories — they’d walked past the corner store where Steve had his first part-time job stocking the shelves, and the candy shop they used to visit weekly when they were kids.

 

Even now, back home on the island, the nostalgic shadows of that past are still present. The way Bucky’s lying on the carpeted floor in the middle of the breeding room, he looks exactly as Steve  remembered him whenever he crashed straight to bed after a particularly long day at school or work, not bothering to take off his clothes for a nap. His hair is shiny with Brylcreem, but it’s slightly messed up and a few strands are sticking out of place, and there’s a five o’clock stubble on his cheeks.

 

It’s been a long time since Steve’s seen Bucky like this — so young, only nineteen, still untouched by the war and its horrors.

 

Back in the day, Steve couldn’t have picked up the sweet omega scent of Bucky under the heavy coating of scentblocker and the lingering smells of the streets, but now it’s distinct and easy to pick up for Steve’s serumed nose. It’s a familiar scent of his mate mixed with an inviting scent of an unmated omega — a very confusing mix for Steve’s alpha instincts, which have no frame of reference to handle such an unnatural and contradicting mix of scents. 

 

It makes Steve feel unsettled and gets his hackles raised, but he takes a few deep breaths through his mouth and pulls himself together. Bucky hasn’t rejected the bond. Nothing has severed their bond. Everything is alright. Soon, this Bucky too will smell only like Steve’s.

 

Steve knows how risky it was to bring this Bucky here. After years of trial and error, Steve has a well-oiled system in place to get the new omegas straight from the cryofreeze settled in safely, but this case is new territory, and with new territory, there are new, unknown variables for him to stumble upon. 

 

Steve made a lot of mistakes with his first omegas — expecting too much from them, interfering with the newborns and the nursing, not giving them enough time between the litters, culling the alpha pups instead of neutering them — and those omegas are still paying the price. Higher cortisol levels. Smaller litter sizes. There’s lingering wariness and distrust in them towards Steve compared to the more recent omegas, who, by the time they’ve got a litter or two, light up at the sight of Steve and greet him with happy, welcoming purrs.

 

Already, Steve is dreading how well or not this Bucky will be able to adjust on the island.

 

Steve knows he’s sailing in unknown waters when taking in Bucky, navigating with a map that is off only an inch — but that inch, that difference between this Bucky versus all the other omegas Steve’s brought here so far, might be just enough for Steve to make mistakes that can end up costing Bucky a lot in his long term happiness on the island. It is, after all, unlikely that everything that Steve has learned to expect to work or not to work with the rescued Winter Soldiers will  work with this Bucky, this young Brooklynite, who is as much Steve’s familiar mate as every other omega on this island, but in a whole different stage of his life.

 

For the other omegas, settling in and accepting their new lives has been relatively easy. Even when they haven’t trusted Steve, they have understood soon that Steve’s rescued them from the Hydra — or that at least Steve’s a better ‘handler’ than what they had before with Hydra; with the more or less nonverbal ones, Steve does sometimes wonder if that’s how they still see him. But no matter what they think or have thought of Steve, they have accepted with relative ease their new life, where there’s a caring alpha and plenty of pups, and no chair, harsh handlers, or never-ending missions.

 

But this Bucky, who’s full of dreams and optimistic, ambitious plans for the future? Who’s used to being in charge of his own life? Who has no clue about what his future would have actually held for him if Steve hadn’t stepped in and rescued him from it? 

 

It’s going to be a tough process to get him to understand why Steve’s brought him here.

 

But Steve has to give this a try. Because if he can make this work — if he can adjust his systems to work for this Bucky — then from now on he could save his omegas long before they got hurt by Hydra. One by one, Steve could rescue them before the trauma and damage had a chance to scar them. With the infinite universes that keep branching into new ones, Steve’s never going to be able to save every Bucky that  exists… but as practically immortal as he is with the serum and the time stone, he can keep going and save as many as he can.

 

Rescuing room number three’s Bucky last year was the turning point for Steve and prompted him to plan for the alternative method of rescue, to think over his method which had so far been simply to locate the right Hydra base, storm in, kill everyone, and grab Bucky. Seeing Bucky like that, so unresponsive and catatonic, and knowing that any next universe Steve will go into may have him in a similar shape or worse… 

 

Steve never again wants to spend long, heartbreaking months seeing Bucky like that and wondering if he’ll ever get better. 

 

Steve pushes away the depressing memories and reminds himself that room number three’s Bucky is, in fact, finally in better shape, his mind woken up by the instincts demanding him to take care of the newborns who need him — and it’s all thanks to Steve, who put those pups inside him, in this very room. 

 

And Steve may be in new waters with this young Bucky, but he knows that pups are the most probable solution he can count on to make everything better for this Bucky as well. The pregnancy hormones can ease the stress and the shock of environmental change. The urges to build and secure a good nest and hoard food for the litter can give his mind respite from wallowing and overthinking his situation. Caring for the pups can keep him busy and distract his mind from falling into depression.

 

Simply, a litter can give Bucky some much-needed focus and purpose.

 

Steve kneels beside Bucky and brushes his hair with his fingers.

 

Despite the breeding room’s name and Steve’s original plans for it when he first brought an omega here, most of the breedings don’t actually happen in this room anymore. These days, Steve breeds most of his omegas in their own rooms, suites, or outside kennels. It’s where they are most comfortable — and there’s nothing like knotting a happy, relaxed omega, who’s purring contently in its own nest. And the ones who tend to get anxious about letting Steve near their nest or who get stressed about breeding, Steve breeds in sterile, neutral smelling rooms, to not make either the omega’s own space or the breeding room stink of their anxiety.

 

But the breeding room still has symbolic, ceremonial value for him, and so Steve prefers to bring his new omegas here for their very first breeding.

 

Over the years, Steve has redesigned the breeding room to his own liking. Once a cold, soulless bunker room — a Hydra officer’s suite before Steve claimed the island for himself — has been designed to mimic a forest clearing. The floor is covered by grass-green carpet and kept pleasantly warm with central heating. The walls resemble a peaceful spring forest in the dawn, the leaf-buds almost ready to bloom. The dim, small lights are sprinkled on the ceiling between the painted branches, to create an illusion of the sun peeking through the canopy. The bathroom door is removed, and the doorway is painted to resemble a cave entrance, leading to a dark ‘cave’ where a  small indoor pool has replaced the bathtub.

 

It’s a small — in Steve’s opinion beautiful — piece of clean, artificial, and hidden away nature, deep underground. It all reminds Steve about what not only this room but his whole island is about. It reminds him why he’s doing this, why he goes to such lengths to rescue his omegas and bring them here to shelter, away from the pains and wounds that the so-called civilized world has done to them, over and over again in so many universes. Steve took this room from Hydra and turned it into something beautiful, and since then, he has reclaimed his mate here over and over again. Has shed him of  the armor they forced him into and washed away the chemical stains of the cryofreeze.

 

And now, it’s time for Steve to claim this Bucky’s future from them. The Nazis or Hydra of this Bucky’s world will never get their hands on him. Here, in Steve’s care, he’ll be safe from even the smallest mundane worries or stresses.

 

With gentle hands, Steve starts to undress him.



 

Chapter Text

 

 

Piece by piece, Steve takes off Bucky’s clothes until he’s naked, shed of the clothes he won’t need again in his life. Steve folds the clothes and takes them outside the breeding room, where he puts them down in a neat pile just outside of the door.

 

The Depression-era born pup in Steve still winces at the thought of throwing away anything useful, so he will store the clothes in the storage room later — there’s always a need for more textiles, as nesting materials or for crafting new toys for pups. 

 

Steve undresses as well and piles his clothes next to Bucky’s. He goes back inside the breeding room and locks the door behind him.

 

For a moment, Steve just stands by the entrance, with a soft, warm feeling filling him as he takes in the sight of Bucky lying in the middle of the room. Steve memorizes the scene, making sure each and every shadow and inch of bare skin will stay forever within him. 

 

Maybe he’ll even draw the scene later. Steve has countless sketchbooks filled with his omegas and pups; the drawings done during the peaceful, quiet moments he has spent with his more amiable omegas and their pups.

 

Hopefully, one day this Bucky would welcome Steve into his nest as well, and they would spend some lazy early mornings together; with their pups asleep next to them, Bucky’s head resting on Steve’s chest, and Bucky’s happy, sleepy purrs filling Steve with satisfaction and the feeling of accomplishment. And while petting Bucky’s silky hair, Steve would have his sketchbook propped against something and capture the serene moment forever on paper.

 

It’s a happy vision to have as a goal but sadly, it’s unlikely to happen any time soon with this Bucky — it will take time before this Bucky has adjusted that well here, even if everything goes well. 

 

And to get there at all, Steve can’t spend the whole day just standing around and daydreaming — or ‘woolgathering’, as his mother used to call it.

 

Steve pushes away the wistful dreams and walks over to Bucky. He kneels down and with ease, he gathers Bucky in his arms, stands up, and heads to the bathroom. 

 

It’s time to wash off the last remains of Bucky’s old life from his skin.

 

The irregularly shaped, shallow pool takes almost all of the floor space inside the ‘cave’. Its diameter is roughly few meters and its bottom is tiled with wide, flat decorative stones. The depth of the pool increases towards the back of the bathroom, so that near the ‘cave entrance’ the water-level is only up to Steve’s ankles, but by the back of the room, it’s up to his knees. Apart from the pool, there’s only a mounted towel rack on the wall by the doorway, with a few towels hanging on it, and a tall wicker basket with a lid under the towel rack.

 

While renovating the room, Steve had used airy, artificial stone mass to replace the old, generic tiling. Inspired by natural grottoes, Steve had sculpted the walls and the ceiling to resemble the rough, time-worn rocky insides of a cave.

 

There are no light sources inside the bathroom — the only light comes through the doorway from the breeding room, but since that room isn’t particularly brightly lit either, the bathroom is left dim and shadowy. 

 

Steve, with Bucky in his arms, steps into the pleasantly warm water, making the still water ripple. The sloshing around his feet echoes in the room. 

 

When Steve reaches the deep end, he lowers himself down until he’s sitting in the water, Bucky between his legs and Bucky’s back against Steve’s chest.

 

Steve cups his hand and fills it with water, then pours it over Bucky’s head. He repeats the motion until Bucky’s hair is thoroughly soaked.

 

Steve rubs Bucky’s head with his fingertips, runs his fingers through the thick, short hair, and washes away the sticky Brylcreem. When done with his hair, Steve runs his wet hands over Bucky’s skin above the water-level, washing away the scentblocker and the day’s worth of dust and sweat.

 

Soon, only the clean scent of Bucky is left — well, with some of Steve’s scent mixed in, from the way Steve rubbed his palms all over him, but that’s only as it should be.

 

Steve wraps his arms around Bucky and hugs him, nuzzling his neck and nibbling on the skin around his scent glands. Steve’s cock is hard between them, pressed against Bucky’s back, but it can wait — Steve wants to savor this moment for a little longer.

 

Bucky, naked and clean and shed of the remains of his old life, ready to enter his new life in Steve’s care.

 

Bucky stirs in his arms. His scent turns distressed for a second, but after a quick scenting of the air, he relaxes and mumbles sleepily, “Steve?”

 

“It’s me,” Steve agrees and lowers his right arms from around Bucky’s chest, to bring his hand lower to stroke Bucky’s stomach calmingly. The skin there is smooth, with hard, lean muscles under it.

 

“Mhm.” Bucky’s breathing deepens again.

 

Steve knows he doesn’t have long before Bucky will shake off the drugs and wake up fully.

 

If Steve believed that it would make everything easier for Bucky to have Steve sit him down and patiently explain everything to him right off the bat, Steve would, of course, do just that. But because Bucky will probably react badly to the situation, no matter what Steve could say or do, Steve believes his best bet is to get the bonding and breeding done, and just let biology do most of the work easing Bucky through the transition to the island.

 

Steve gathers Bucky back in his arms and stands up. Bucky quivers and makes a few indecipherable sounds, but otherwise doesn’t react, so Steve carries him easily out of the pool. He grabs a soft towel from the heated rack by the doorway before continuing to the breeding room.

 

Steve lowers Bucky on the floor in the center of the room and starts to dry them both of most of the water. Once satisfied, Steve returns the towel to the rack.

 

Steve hesitates for a moment, but then he opens the wicker basket under the towel rack. The basket is filled with equipment Steve has sometimes — albeit rarely, because Steve prefers to keep the breedings as natural as he can, even if it means risking a few scratches or bites —  found useful; an assortment of gags, blindfolds, and handcuffs.

 

This Bucky, without the serum or more experience with fighting than street scuffles and boxing, is not strong or fast enough to cause any real damage to Steve, but he is likely to be more talkative than the other omegas have been — and in a way that could kill the mood fast. So Steve rummages through the basket for a spider gag and some stuffing.

 

The spider gag Steve chooses is of a simple design: tied around the head, with a metal ring fitted inside the mouth, nothing too fancy or extra — even the ring is relatively small, not designed to be used with blowjobs. The ring will keep Bucky’s mouth open and prevent any biting. 

 

The stuffing Steve chooses — a soft, mushroom shaped object which will stay in place with the small magnets snapping onto the spider gag’s metal ring — will keep Bucky quiet and preserve the atmosphere of the breeding room. 

 

The breeding room, the bonding, the breeding — in Steve’s vision, they are all about leaving behind the world of worries, and about connecting with the deeper, more meaningful parts of themselves. There’s no room for talk in the breeding room. No room for prolonging the happenings with unnecessary questions or explanations, let alone for Bucky possibly throwing a fit in the middle of everything. In the breeding room, they should be nothing but an alpha and omega.

 

In time, Bucky will learn to not speak — to complain or plead, question or insult — while getting bred, but at least for his first time, the gag will be the easiest, least distressing solution to keep him quiet.

 

Steve returns to the breeding room and kneels beside Bucky. Gently, he pries open Bucky’s mouth and pushes in the mouth piece. Bucky stirs again and makes a sleepy, confused sound in the back of his throat, but his eyes remain shut, and Steve gets the ring easily in place behind his teeth and then tightly tied behind his back. Steve leaves out the stuffing for now and puts it onto the floor to wait.

 

Steve sits down on his knees and lifts Bucky to sit on his thighs, his back against Steve’s chest again, and Steve holding him in place with his left arm around his biceps and his chest. It’s an easy hold for Steve, whose serumed bulk makes his shoulder-width wider than Bucky’s lean, pre-serumed body.

 

Steve takes Bucky’s small omega cock in his right hand — it’s only a couple of inches long and as thick as Steve’s finger, typical size for an omega, but smaller than it would be if this Bucky had the serum as well — and starts to tug and pull on it like he’s milking a nipple. It’s not like Bucky needs to be hard for the breeding, but Steve enjoys doing his best to make the experience as pleasurable for him as reasonably possible — and the more turned on Bucky will be, the more likely he’ll orgasm once Steve knots him, increasing the chances of impregnation.

 

Bucky’s little gasps and sleepy twitches as Steve works on his cock to make it harden in his hand make Steve’s own cock swell and press more firmly against Bucky’s back. 

 

As Bucky’s cock slowly firms in his hand, so Bucky seems to climb up to the surface of his mind. His scent turns from relaxed to distressed, and he lets out a protesting, confused whimper. His arms are held tight by Steve’s arm, preventing him from raising them above his head to untie the gag, but the hold doesn’t prevent him from reaching for Steve’s hand on his cock and futilely trying to pull the hand off. When his weak efforts make no difference, Bucky switches to scratching Steve’s hand, but with his short, well-trimmed nails, and compared to Steve’s pain threshold and everything Steve’s body has gone through, the scratches are easy to ignore. Steve knows the red welts will heal and disappear in seconds, thanks to the serum.

 

Steve lets go of Bucky’s cock — it’s firm enough, and now that Bucky’s awake, it’s better to continue on — and brings his hand onto his own, already hard cock. He strokes it slowly, rubbing the head of it against Bucky’s smooth back — making Bucky try to pull away from the touch of it, but Steve just pulls him back and presses against him — until he’s leaking precum.

 

Steve swipes the precum with his fingers and brings the fingers to Bucky’s face. Bucky tries to turn his head away, but with the tight hold, it’s no trouble for Steve to reach his face and spread the precum over his lips and nostrils.  

 

Bucky growls in a confused protest, still not fully out of the drugs. The way he’s breathing fast and shallow means he’s scenting and taking in well Steve’s pheromone-filled precum, even without realizing it.

 

Steve brings his hand back to his own cock. Ignoring the way Bucky’s grumbling in his lap, Steve strokes until he’s leaking more precum. He repeats the motion of swiping the tip of his cock, but this time he pushes his forefinger inside Bucky’s mouth through the metal ring and keeps them firmly there, resting the finger on Bucky’s tongue, just half way in to avoid making Bucky retch.

 

Bucky whines from the back of his throat. With his tongue, he pushes against Steve’s finger, trying and failing to push it out of his mouth. Steve nuzzles his neck and hums approvingly, letting Bucky unwittingly clean the precum from Steve’s finger.

 

For a full minute, Steve patiently holds Bucky and keeps his finger inside his mouth. The saliva keeps dripping down Bucky’s chin with the awkward way Bucky has to swallow the spit flooding his mouth around the intrusive, precum-soaked finger refusing to leave his mouth. 

 

By the time Steve decides Bucky’s got his fill of the pheromones, Steve’s finger is covered only with Bucky’s saliva, and Bucky’s thrashing has turned into shivers and trembling, his scent anxious but with a hint of delicious arousal, just like Steve’s been waiting for.

 

Steve pulls his finger out, wipes it on his thigh, and takes the stuffing from the floor. He pushes it in Bucky’s mouth, and then — with practiced ease — with one hand around Bucky’s chest and one hand grabbing his hip to pull him snug against Steve, Steve pushes Bucky forward and down onto the floor, until his cheek rests against the carpet floor but his ass is higher in the air, his knees wide open and Steve between them. Steve’s hard cock lies against Bucky’s crack, and Steve rolls his hips, reveling in the way the thick length of his cock pressing between Bucky’s ass cheeks spreads them apart.

 

Bucky whimpers from behind the stuffing in his mouth and doubles his efforts to escape, but Steve holds him tight and waits for him to tire himself out. While waiting, he nuzzles Bucky’s neck, licking and nibbling and kissing the skin around his scent glands. He bites the skin where he’ll soon leave his bondmark, not yet breaking the skin, but pulling on the skin with his teeth, holding onto it. Making his intentions clear.

 

Bucky shudders and lets out a pleading, scared whine. Steve doesn’t let go of Bucky’s skin between his teeth, but answers him in a low, deep rumbling growl, showing off the capacity of his strong lungs and chest — not an angry growl by any means, but a courting sound before mating, just like an omega might call out for an alpha in a playful, high-pitched keening voice.

 

Bucky shivers and whimpers, his scent spiking with both fear and arousal, but some of the tension leaves his muscles in defeat.

 

Submission from anyone, but especially from his mate, is always a heady feeling, and Steve’s cock throbs. Steve pushes his hand between them, swipes the wet tip of his cock with his thumb and brings it against Bucky’s hole. There’s a hint of slick already, but if this is Bucky’s first time as it very well might be, Steve wants to make sure Bucky is well slicked up before he takes Steve’s cock.

 

Bucky tenses again at the touch against his rim, but Steve pushes his thumb in, forcing it through the tight resistance.

 

Bucky cries out, the sound muffled through the stuffing in his mouth, but Steve ignores it. He starts rubbing his thumb against Bucky’s inner walls, letting them taste his precum to know what’s coming, coaxing Bucky to respond to the promise of potent semen.

 

And sure enough, despite Bucky’s shaking or his pained breathing, soon his biology kicks in. Steve feels how Bucky’s walls start to slick up properly and how his rim loosens around Steve’s thumb.

 

Steve releases Bucky’s skin between his teeth, and with an approving hum, Steve starts to lick his skin with long, sloppy licks with his tongue pressed wide and flat against Bucky’s skin. The combination of a precum-coated finger inside him — teasing of what was to come — and all the attention to his unmarked neck from an alpha clearly intent to claim him, was making Bucky shiver and his back arch under Steve, pushing his ass back, despite the little, confused, protesting gasps he kept making.

 

With the last, long lick, Steve pulls his thumb out and replaces it immediately with two fingers. Bucky’s delightfully responsive to the sudden stretch, his pushing back turning to trying to jerk away, but Steve doesn’t let him get away from the intrusion. He pushes his fingers all the way in, rolls them around inside Bucky’s slick, wet, warm hole, and then, after gathering a generous amount of Bucky’s slick on the fingers, he pulls them out.

 

Steve coats his cock with the slick and brings the wide, blunt cockhead to Bucky’s hole.

 

Bucky gasps, and his muscles tense again in a feeble attempt to pull away. Steve waits for a moment, rubbing the tip against Bucky’s hole, but when Bucky doesn’t show any signs of stopping his struggles to relax, Steve starts to push the thick head in.

 

Bucky screams, or as close to a scream he can make with his mouth still full of the stuffing, and his scent turns sharply scared and pained.

 

Steve pauses pushing in, with only half an inch in. He realizes that he’s never fucked Bucky who’s not enchanted by Zola’s serum, not with this cock. His cock is bigger, thicker and longer than it used to be before the serum — and this Bucky doesn’t have the serum to fix the little tears quickly, or the pain threshold of the other omegas.

 

For a moment, Steve considers pulling out and changing his approach. He could jerk off and finger his cum into Bucky. It would be painless for Bucky, and not risk any damage.

 

But even the mere thought of their first time going like that tastes bitter and sour.

 

The bonding and breeding without knotting just isn’t the same. Also, Steve’s first priority here is to ensure that the breeding will take quickly — not that this will be easy and painless for Bucky. Impregnation will be more likely if Steve gets to come inside Bucky, his cock long enough to spill the cum deep and practically straight into his womb — and the knot will hold it all tightly in as well as hopefully coax an orgasm out of Bucky, to make his walls contract and pulse, to draw and guide the semen in.

 

And, well, Steve does have medical equipment to treat Bucky if Steve does end up tearing him a little.

 

Having come to the decision, Steve pushes the head in. Bucky howls in pain, tries to jerk away, and his muscles tighten reflexively.

 

It’s a heaven, the warm tight hold and the way Bucky’s attempts to thrash away only end up simulating Steve’s cock with every move and twitch. 

 

Bucky’s so responsive to everything Steve does, in a way that Steve’s not used to — the other omegas have long ago learned how to turn their minds away from pain or anything too unpleasant, how to escape somewhere away from the present. But this Bucky hasn’t gone through the war or Hydra — he hasn’t learned how to shut himself off like that. It makes him so present through everything, so in the moment in his body, and Steve hadn’t even known what he had missed all these years.

 

Steve gives him a little time to get used to the intrusion, to relax his muscles, but it feels too good to stay patient for long. He grabs hold of Bucky’s hips with both hands and keeps pushing in. It’s not long until he’s fully sheathed. Bucky whimpers and trembles, but since there’s no smell of blood, Steve’s not worried about him.

 

Steve strokes Bucky’s back soothingly for a moment before pushing his hand under Bucky. He feels Bucky’s stomach where Steve’s cock makes it bulge. 

 

Here, in a few months, Bucky’s belly would start to bulge with pups for the first time. And without the serum to heal away any stretch marks gained during the pregnancy, he’d carry the light, shallow scars forever on his skin, as an extra mark and proof that he’s one of Steve’s omegas. Steve’s to own, to take care of, to breed.

 

No longer able to wait for Bucky to get adjusted to the feeling of Steve’s cock inside him, Steve takes hold of his hips again with both hands and starts fucking him.

 

Bucky howls and sobs around the gag, but the way he doesn’t stop that even when his channel starts to lose some of the tightness and feel thoroughly slicked up around Steve’s girth, makes Steve think that most of it must be just Bucky not being used to the feeling of getting fucked. Not that Steve’s ever been fucked, but he can imagine how strange the feeling must be the first time — which, judging by Bucky’s reactions, this really must be for him — and that it will take time to get used to and comfortable with it.

 

Most of Steve’s omegas learn to enjoy breeding, so he’s sure that this Bucky will too, given time and enough experience.

 

Soon, Steve feels his knot growing, no longer able to push out past Bucky’s rim, forcing his thrusts to turn into shallow humping. With each little pull of his hips, his knot presses and pulls against Bucky’s rim from the inside — it’s a beautiful, intoxicating feeling; feeling how he’s tied to Bucky, how they are getting locked together.

 

Now that there’s no way for Bucky to pull away off Steve’s cock, Steve lets go of the tight, bruising hold he had on Bucky’s hips. 

 

While humping with shallow thrusts, Steve lets his right hand wander and explore Bucky’s side, palming and grabbing and petting Bucky’s skin wherever Steve can reach — he kneads Bucky’s round ass cheek in his hand, feeling the strong muscle and the soft skin; he runs his hand up and down Bucky’s strong thigh; he reaches to caress Bucky’s chest and tug on his dry nipple, tweaking and milking it, imagining how Bucky’s chest will soon fill and his nipples turn sensitive. 

 

With his left hand, Steve grabs Bucky’s hair. Steve pulls it to bare Bucky’s throat for him and hold his head in place. He nuzzles Bucky’s neck, and then, finally, he clamps down, biting on the tender skin between Bucky’s shoulder and neck, breaking skin.

 

The taste of Bucky’s blood mixed with the pheromone-filled scent from his scent glands spiking up in response to the bonding bite makes Steve’s cock throb inside Bucky, releasing the cum. As the warm cum fills Bucky, Bucky makes a keening, shocked sound.

 

Steve has bonded over a dozen omegas. He’ll never get tired of it — getting to scent the moment Bucky’s scent turns to smell mated and like Steve’s omega; feeling his own hormones settle in and calm with happiness over claiming a mate. Feeling his cock throb inside Bucky, his hips jerking in small twitches that make his knot drag Bucky back and forth with his hips, knowing his seed is filling his mate. Knowing that for this Bucky, this is the first time he’s feeling any of this. Knowing that by the time Steve’s knot has deflated, Bucky’s eggs have been fertilized and in nine months, there’ll be a litter full of small newborns in this Bucky’s nest, all of them smelling like Steve’s.

 

Steve lets go of Bucky’s neck. He licks the bondmark clean from blood and saliva, and then pushes his hand under Bucky again and reaches for Bucky’s cock again.

 

It’s hard when Steve wraps his hand around it. Steve tugs and pulls on it relentlessly until with a shudder, Bucky comes, his hole clenching down almost painfully on Steve’s knot, and it feels like heaven, the way Bucky’s hole contracts and milks Steve’s cock, hungry for every last drop of his semen. 

 

No matter how much Bucky tried to fight him, there’s no doubt in Steve’s mind that his body wants to bear Steve’s pups — and that under the conscious mind filled with all the noise of what society taught Bucky to care about, Bucky is getting what he really desires and needs deep down. What omega in their right mind wouldn’t want this, when presented with the opportunity for seed from such a strong, able, healthy alpha as Steve? To get a chance to do what the omegas were born to do, meant to do — to grow healthy, big litters from successful breedings with strong alphas?

 

And a big litter this should be, with how young and healthy Bucky still is. Steve can’t wait to see him grow big and heavy with the pups. Can’t wait to see Bucky preparing his first nest from the materials Steve will provide for him. To bring his first pup to his chest to feed.

 

Bucky’s face is turned towards the wall, his cheek resting against the floor. His eyes are closed and his breathing through his nostrils is labored and shaky. His face is wet with tears, but Steve bows down to lick them away, slowly and carefully, with a low, soothing growl rumbling from his chest.

 

The first breeding is always the toughest one.

 

But even if it’s been a long time since the last time Steve has dealt with Bucky this young and innocent, he knows his mate thoroughly, with decades of experience.

 

Bucky will be fine. He’s a survivor. He’ll settle in just fine and adapt — like he always does, no matter what happens to him. 

 

If Steve doesn’t mess this up for him, that is. 

 

But Steve’s going to make his damn best to make sure that he won’t. That Bucky will spend the rest of his life here, content with his new life. Avoiding the horrors his own universe would have thrown against him eventually and instead, getting to experience the marrow-deep satisfaction of a simple life that only a caring, loving alpha and plenty of pups can bring him.

 

Steve moves Bucky — whose fight has been fucked out of him, making him pliant under Steve’s hands — so that Bucky’s lying on the floor, flat against the carpeted floor. Steve settles in comfortably on top of him to wait for his knot to go down, nuzzling Bucky’s neck. He takes a deep breath and scents in the freshly mated scent of Bucky. 

 

Then Steve closes his eyes and relaxes, reveling in the blissful afterglow of a successful bonding and breeding, with his body covering Bucky’s and shielding him from the cruel, harsh world outside of Steve’s arms.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Old picture. Layout of the four rooms, as described below in text. Title: "Project Initium Novum". Scribbles in pencil: "the layout of the new rooms 1-4 (dec y5)". Some notes. 

 

 

 

It takes half an hour for Steve’s knot to go down. As much as he’d love to stay inside Bucky for the whole day, to keep breeding and knotting him, this Bucky isn’t Steve’s only responsibility. Steve’s done his job and pulls out. Some of the salty-sweet smelling mix of Bucky’s slick and Steve’s cum leaks out of Bucky’s hole.

 

Bucky is quiet and stays on the floor as Steve stands up and goes to get a blindfold from the basket in the bathroom. 

 

The breeding room is not far from the room Steve has prepared for Bucky, but since the rooms one and three on the same corridor are occupied and both rooms have one-way mirrors on their doors, the blindfold is necessary. Bucky doesn’t need the existence of the other omegas thrown in his face on his first day.

 

When Steve returns with a black silk scarf, Bucky’s trying to untie the gag with trembling hands. With a scolding growl, Steve takes his hands off the gag. Bucky doesn’t answer him or look at him, just slumps in defeat. Steve checks the gag and ties the blindfold over his eyes.

 

Knowing that walking would be uncomfortable to Bucky right after breeding, Steve hauls him up and carries him out of the breeding room. The bunker corridor outside is chilly compared to the breeding room’s pleasant warmth, and Bucky shivers in his arms. 

 

Steve kneels down next to the pile of clothes he put on the floor before their breeding. He gets his keys from his trouser pockets and heads towards Bucky’s new room a few corridors over.

 

Room number two has the same layout and accommodations as the three other rooms in the same corridor. It’s small, three  by four meters, with cabinets and counters along one long wall. There’s a toilet and a sink near the door, and in one corner opposite from the door and the cabinets, a simple bed with a metal frame, a thick mattress, a few blankets, and a variety of pillows. Room two has been empty for three years and it smells clean and neutral.

 

These four little rooms are meant for new omegas who’re expecting or nursing their first litter. Steve has learned that the small space makes them calmest — from their nest, they can see the whole room and there’s only one entrance to keep an eye on. Even in two-room suites, the new omegas had started to exhibit stress behaviors and compulsive patrolling between the two rooms. Also, since the space is so small, it doesn’t take long until it smells only of themselves.

 

Of course, this Bucky and his needs are still a question mark. The small, enclosed space might not be enough for him, but it’s the safest bet to start with him like Steve would with any other omega. Once Bucky is settled in and over the initial shock, Steve will consider moving him straight to a bigger suite.

 

Once they are inside the room, Steve takes Bucky to the bed. Steve lays him down, sits on the edge of the bed, and pulls one of the blankets over Bucky. The room’s temperature is just below  comfortable, to encourage nest building and nesting.

 

Steve removes Bucky’s blindfold and gag, keeping an eye on Bucky’s body language.

 

As soon as the gag is off, Bucky’s lips twitch, his eyes flicker to Steve’s fingers, and his muscles tense just so. 

 

Maybe, if Steve had been less familiar with Bucky’s tricks and micro-expressions, or if Steve was slower with his reactions, Bucky would have had a chance to bite his fingers bloody — but instead, Steve grabs Bucky’s chin, yanks Bucky to face him, and growls warningly.

 

For a second, their eyes meet. Bucky glares back at him with his glistening eyes full of defiance. But then, to Steve’s relief — because as necessary as it sometimes is, Steve doesn’t really enjoy showing the omegas their place by force — Bucky drops his eyes and looks down.

 

Steve releases his hold on Bucky’s chin and moves his hand under Bucky’s jaw and down Bucky’s neck. He holds his palm lightly on Bucky’s throat, his fingers touching the fresh, sore bondmark. He feels Bucky’s fast pulse under his hand.

 

When Bucky tilts his head backward an inch to bare his throat, Steve releases his hold, breaks the intense glaring, and leans back from Bucky, rewarding Bucky with releasing him from Steve’s pressuring presence.

 

From the twitch of Bucky’s lips to Steve sitting back, it’s all over in less than ten seconds.

 

Steve’s not kidding himself about this being any kind of breakthrough, but he is relieved at how easily Bucky  responded to him. With some of his omegas, it sometimes feels like there are only two switches - either they are easy and obedient, or they suddenly snap to the crazed, panicked fight-or-flight mode where they don’t recognize that Steve isn’t a real threat, just their alpha.

 

Steve runs his palm slowly and firmly over Bucky’s body, scent-marking him and the blanket and demonstrating to Bucky that even if they’re outside of the breeding room, Bucky is Steve’s to touch and handle. That Bucky threatening him with some teeth won’t work to scare him off. 

 

Bucky shudders and his lips twitch again, but he keeps his eyes down and doesn’t make any move to stop Steve or get away from his touch. Satisfied with his response, Steve stands up.

 

“There’s food for you in the cabinets,” Steve says as he goes to check that the faucet works and the water runs clear and cold. “If you need anything, just ring the bell.” 

 

No answer. Steve glances back to Bucky, who glares at the floor and ignores him.

 

“I left you some toys in there as well, in case you get bored.”

 

No response to that either. 

 

Steve huffs and shakes his head with amusement. This Bucky is already fitting in well.

 

Usually, Steve doesn’t bother to leave more than food, nesting materials, and a couple of stuffed animals for the new omegas. Half of the time the omegas rip the toys apart in the first few days, but the rest of the time the toys end up in their nests in the second trimester when the nursing hormones start to kick in with full force. 

 

But this Bucky isn’t as accustomed to waiting and doing nothing — Steve remembered well how Bucky in the late 1930s and early 1940s always seemed to be on the move or doing something — so Steve chose a few more items to leave for him as entertainment.

 

A thick book from the 21st century contained a range of puzzles from riddles to sudokus; a stack of paperbacks had some of Bucky’s old favorites; an mp3 player had three hours of music on it and a bag of alkaline batteries would keep it running for a long time; a blank journal and a pen would offer him a creative outlet with drawing or writing.

 

Steve had hesitated a long time about whether or not to leave the items to Bucky. Usually, Steve encouraged an ascetic, simple life from day one. But the truth of the matter was that Steve couldn’t stay and watch over Bucky round the clock — and leaving him with nothing to keep his active, intelligent mind occupied with could easily lead him to just spiral in distress and focus on the wrong things. Like building resentment towards Steve.

 

The small gifts would hopefully both help Bucky to settle in and  prove to Bucky that Steve was, actually, Steve — since who else would know Bucky’s favorite books or songs as well as Steve did, or how much he loved to use his mind to solve problems, or his fascination with both music and new, strange technology? No amount of explaining would work better than simply showing and proving to Bucky that Steve was Steve, had Bucky’s best interest in his mind, and above all, that he was now Bucky’s alpha.

 

And in a few months, either Bucky would no longer need the items to keep himself distracted and entertained when his hormones would make him preoccupied with the upcoming litter, or, if Bucky stayed unhealthily attached to the items, they would work as good extra leverage to get him to behave or risk losing them.

 

And, well. If giving Bucky the toys instead of letting him get used to the healthy boredom and the slow pace of his new simple life from day one proved to be a mistake, it would be a lesson learned and next time, with the next Bucky, Steve would know to approach things differently. Regrettably, this Bucky would have to be a guinea pig for this new situation, and ‘Is giving him books good or bad?’ was only going to be the start.

 

Steve leaves the room and locks the door behind him. Through the window in the door and the one-way mirror glass, he watches for a moment, but Bucky stays in the bed and makes no move to get up and explore the room.

 

Steve knows that Bucky must be quite hungry and thirsty by now, but he has everything he needs in his room and he’s more than able to feed himself with the food Steve has left for him. He won’t need Steve to babysit and feed him by hand. What Bucky needs now is peace and time to wrap his head around everything that has happened and to come to terms with his new life at his own pace. 

 

Steve isn’t interested to stay and provoke any more bite attempts or fighting — Bucky will need to figure out other outlets for his frustrations.

 

In few days, Steve will return to renew the bondmark and breed him again — mostly to reassure Bucky’s bond that Steve’s here to stay and not going to abandon him, because it’s unlikely that their first breeding failed to knock him up — and during the same visit, Steve will make the first general medical check-up on him. If there are any long term problems with eating or drinking, and Bucky needs closer watching, it will show in his lab results.

 

Steve leaves him to rest in his room and goes to take a quick look into the other two occupied rooms in the corridor. 

 

Bucky in room number one is in his nest and grooming one of his four yearlings — or at least that’s what Steve assumes from the way the tall nest shakes and shuffles. This Bucky’s nest is, simply put, ridiculous — Steve’s caved into his sad whining and brought him extra blankets and pillows more than once over the last year. His huge nest is built around the metal bed frame, with the main part of it on top of the frame, but even the underneath is filled with blankets and pillows and, as far as Steve knows, has at least two carefully constructed little ‘caves’ for the pups to nap or hide in.

 

Steve’s hands itch to open the door and enter the room, to crawl into the nest with his omega and pups, but he knows that not only does he smell too much of a fresh breeding, all omegas on this corridor, including this one, are still too skittish and wary to enjoy or benefit from any extra affection.

 

So, with a pinch of regret, Steve turns away and goes to take a quick look at the room number three and how the Bucky in there is dealing with his first newborns.

 

Steve has a double-take at what he sees.

 

The room number three’s heavy metal bed frame has been hauled against the door, and all of the steel cabinets have been torn from the walls and piled on top of the bed frame — which all must have been performed very, very cautiously, because even with the soundproofed walls Steve should have heard the heavy metal objects clanging against the hard floor while dragged around. 

 

In the corner of the room, Bucky’s lying on his nest, curled around the newborns with his back towards the door. He looks innocent and peaceful, nothing like a semi-feral assassin whose been busy for the last hour with putting his skills into securing his den. Steve can even see some of the food packages peeking from under the nest, where he’s hoarded no doubt everything he found from the cabinets.

 

Steve’s cheeks ache from the wide smile. He knows that he won’t have trouble getting inside, despite Bucky’s make-shift blockade, and it’s just so good and relieving to see this Bucky being so active. Even if it means he’s making a mess of his room. 

 

This Bucky still hasn’t touched any of the actual nesting materials that Steve provided for him. His nest is still just a chaotic pile of shredded pieces of his mattress, but if that’s his preferred nest then Steve isn’t going to interfere. The pups should be fine without fancier materials and textiles as long as they are all piled together and Bucky’s body heat keeps them warm. The rougher texture might even be better for them, to help with the blood flow and to scratch their itchy skin.

 

Steve shakes his head and starts to walk towards the breeding room. No-one requires his presence, help, or hovering on this quiet corridor. Back in the day, that knowledge would have hurt him, but he’s learned to push his own feelings aside and see the big picture. These beautiful omegas — one recovering from his first breeding, the other nursing his first newborns, the third soon ready to get bred again and moved to the bigger suite — are all fine and behaving exactly as expected in these circumstances.

 

It helps that Steve has plenty of other omegas and pups to spend time with. Omegas on their fourth, fifth, sixth, eighth litters who’ve been here for years — although not for the chaotic first years filled with most of Steve’s mistakes — who sigh in relief whenever their alpha has time to join them and wrestle some of the energy out of their older pups.

 

But before any of that, Steve needs to clean the breeding room and wash off the smells of the breeding from himself. The clock on the wall shows that it’s midday — and that means that Steve’s got a lot left to do.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

The pull to return and stay with his freshly mated omega is a dull but insistent ache in Steve’s bones, but he ignores it. Steve redirects his mind to the tasks at hand: he cleans the breeding room carpet, washes himself in the bathroom pool, empties the pool of water (since it won’t see any use for the rest of the year), and takes their clothes up the stairs to the laundry room in the first underground floor where most of the maintenance and storage rooms are.

 

After some pondering, Steve decides to cut Bucky’s old clothes into pieces. The pups love to create their own crafts, and Steve can already imagine how these could be used for making cloth jewelry or decorations. Even though the clothes aren’t colorful — shades of white, black, and grey — the materials are nice, expensive, and durable, and the pups will surely enjoy them. Once they don’t smell of smokes, sweat, and Brooklyn, that is. Steve removes the buttons and cufflinks from the jacket, the undershirt, and the trousers, and then cuts the clothes into inch wide strips. He pockets the little shinies to give for some lucky pups later, puts the cloth strips and his own clothes in the washing machine, and gets clean clothes for himself.

 

Steve heads over to the food storages. His next stop - the outdoor kennels - means taking a lot of food with him. Only four of his omegas live there, but since there’s also plenty of pups living with them, the daily food requirements in the building are no joke, even when the youngest pups are on breastmilk and the oldest pups are only ten years old.

 

A portion of all of the food is grown on the island and Steve buys a lot from the nearest port town a few times a year, but mostly he relies on shipments. Once a month, on the clock, a cargo ship stops by the island in the night and leaves food in the hidden warehouse near the beach for Steve to pick in the morning.

 

It’s the fortunate side of how wide and vast Hydra is. After Steve claimed the island in the chaotic, early 50s for himself from the small skeleton crew left there, with some maneuvering, he had been able to keep the island as one of the many remote, mostly forgotten research bases in the Hydra infrastructure. As long as he sends the ‘research reports’ in time — with the help of old officer logs and dusty research papers he’d brought from the ‘future’ — handles all the paperwork correctly, and every now and then talks with some superiors on the landline to reassure them that yes, everything is going as planned, nobody has bothered to fly all the way to check the quiet, few kilometers long island in the Baltic sea, just as the uneventful logs had suggested when Steve chose the island. The environmental research supposedly done here was, after all, not of much interest to anyone, compared to the weapon development or intelligence gathering projects all around the world — in much nicer temperatures and with more beautiful beaches.

 

Steve loves the irony of it all — his whole pack living on Hydra’s dime, and Hydra unknowingly running and funding a ‘supersoldier breeding program’. Not that any of Steve and Bucky’s pups have ever shown signs of inheriting the serum, but still.

 

The food storage rooms are lined with shelves and kept at fridge temperatures. Steve picks one of the six wheelbarrows by the doorway and fills it with bags of carrots, turnips, radishes, and oranges. He carries the wheelbarrow up the stairs to the ground floor, and comes back to fill a second wheelbarrow with MREs; energy-dense meals perfect for Bucky. The third wheelbarrow gets filled with rice, potatoes, and meaty, frozen lamb bones from the freezer room, perfect for broth and soups. In fourth, Steve puts a variety of nutrition-dense foods and tasty snacks: nuts, seeds, seaweed, eggs, raisins, and even some vitaminized cereal. When finished, Steve takes the wheelbarrows outside the bunker. 

 

It’s midsummer and for once, the sun is shining and there’s no sign of rain, but the island, surrounded by the mild-tempered but chill Baltic sea, never gets really warm. The main buildings are hidden inland, surrounded and somewhat covered by a tall pine forest, which blocks some of the cold, salty winds. But since the sea is never too far away, Steve can hear the distant caws and shrieks of seagull colonies living on the beach. 

 

Most of the infrastructures are built underground, but the kennel building is a bit of a daring anomaly. Steve hauls the wheelbarrows two at the time across the gravel courtyard there.

 

Before Steve’s renovations, the kennel building used to be one big, long hall, originally meant to function as a garage and workshop for tanks and other wartime vehicles. Steve partitioned the hall into four separate spaces. Each space holds one secure “stall” inside, six by six meters, from where there’s a flap-door to the private yard. All four yards, six by ten meters, are on the southern side of the building, separated from each other by solid walls, but otherwise surrounded and covered with strong wire mesh as well as camouflaged roof to block straight aerial view. When outside, the omegas and the pups can hear and smell but not see each other. 

 

Over the last five years, Steve has added more and more activities to the yards for the growing, active, playful pups: there’s a deep sandbox to dig in; in each yard, one of the ten-meter long walls separating the yards functions also as a climbing wall with ropes, planks, and truck wheels bolted on it; and of course, there are a lot of toys and crafting materials available — each yard has a few boxes full of cones, seashells, strings, sticks, textiles, and even colorful chalks for drawing on the walls.

 

On the northern side of the building, there’s a garden. Truthfully, it’s more of something between an apple tree orchard and a playground for the pups — but ‘garden’ has a nice ring to it. From each stall, there’s a door to a mesh fenced corridor, which not only lets Steve get to the stalls or to the next room but also leads from the stall to a door that opens to the garden — but these doors are usually locked and the garden off-limits. Steve lets only one omega with pups out there at the time, and only while Steve is there to supervise. The garden is a newer addition and, while it’s secured with a mesh covering it all just like the yards, Steve hasn’t yet secured the ground perfectly — it’s possible to dig under the fence with enough time.

 

The layout of the kennel building as described above.

 

 

Since the kennel building offers round the clock access to the outside yards it’s a more stressful environment for his omegas than the contained underground suites, but at the same time, the building offers a richer, more stimulating environment for the growing pups, who get to feel the wind in their hair, smell the earthy forest and the salty sea, hear the birds singing, and see the occasional squirrels running outside their enclosures.

 

It’s a delicate balance. When Steve finished the kennel building five years ago, all four omegas he’d chosen to move there had been on the island for years and were well adjusted, but still, the sudden outdoor access and the other omegas within smelling and hearing distance had been more shock to them than Steve had anticipated. The first year had been stressful for everyone, Steve included. 

 

At first, after seeing how stressed the change made them, Steve had tried to move the omegas and their pups back and forth weekly between their old suites and the kennels, reasoning that perhaps some occasional respite and good sleep in an old familiar setting could help with their transition. But instead, each move had prompted a new wave of paranoia — obsessive patrolling and trap searching behavior when they hadn’t shown any for years; severe insomnia and exhaustion from the incapability to relax and stop guarding the pups; loss of appetite; a constant state of alertness causing all sorts of nervous tics from over-grooming the pups to getting spooked by every little sound. It had been one of the hardest years for Steve because for months it seemed that his best-adjusted omegas had lost most of the progress they had made in Steve’s care.

 

Fortunately, they eventually settled down and Steve worked out the kinks of the system, and now, five years later, the kennel building has proved to be a success story.

 

High-pitched chirps and excited squeals welcome Steve when he enters the building’s first room, pushing one of the wheelbarrows inside. The first stall’s oldest six pups — three nine-year-olds and three seven-year-olds — are already hanging onto the floor-to-ceiling climbing ladders lining the stall’s walls, all six of them peering towards Steve, and squirming with excitement. The younger ones have retreated to the huge nest, which takes up most of the stall floor, where they are peeking shyly from under the bedding.

 

The stalls are spacious, but with all the pups they do get crowded, especially in the winter. All three meter high walls are lined with climbing ladders — similar to the ones found in school gyms — and ropes to offer some exercise and play options indoors, and up near the three-meter-high ceiling, in three corners, there are small platforms for older pups to retreat to play. In one corner, where there’s no platform above, there’s a little cooking nook, with a fixed place to boil food in a big pot. The stalls are filled with nesting materials, and there are a few hammocks as well, hung from the ladders. The toilet and the shower are outside in the yard. The cold food storages are under the floor panels where the food is easily accessible.

 

“Hey everyone,” Steve says and pushes the wheelbarrow right next to the stall wall — up to his waist, it’s solid cement-mix, but above that it has metal bars, allowing a good view inside. “How’s it going here?”

 

He gets a chorus of happy chirps and assurances that everyone’s good. Steve huffs in amusement, and looks over to Bucky.

 

Bucky’s standing by the cooking nook, stirring the steaming pot, with two yearlings hiding behind his legs and peeking suspiciously at Steve. He smiles at Steve tiredly, and shrugs.

 

Even as tired as he looks, Steve can’t help but feel warm at how beautiful Bucky looks — his hair is thick, long, and has a healthy shine, his skin has a bit of tan to it, his chest is rounded just so with the milk. He’s as strong looking as ever, his body well recovered from giving birth to his latest litter over a year ago, and seeing him like this, content and surrounded by their healthy, happy pups, makes Steve’s lust surge.

 

Bucky — recognizing Steve’s reaction and being fully aware after eight litters that a midsummer on the island means the start of the breeding season soon and that with the yearlings up and walking it’s his time to get bred again this year — raises an eyebrow and looks at Steve questioningly.

 

Steve gives him a little shake of his head. Breeding is not something to be done with haste, and Steve has already taken time off today to breed one omega. “Soon,” he mouths to Bucky, who nods.

 

One of the nine-year-olds hanging onto the climbing ladders — Betty, a good-tempered beta girl — cocks her head and smiles brightly at Steve. “Please, can we go ga’den?”

 

Steve sighs and reaches through the bars to pet Betty’s dark brown hair. “Sorry, sweetheart, but not today. It’s not your turn.”

 

Betty’s smile dims, but she lowers her eyes and nods, accepting Steve’s answer easily. “Okay.”

 

But a pup next to her, Mary, who’s another nine-year-old, frowns and pushes her face against the bars. “But play?”

 

“Not today,” Steve says firmly, with a hint of a warning growl. He doesn’t like to repeat himself. “Now, be good pups and help with the food.”

 

“But—” Mary starts in an annoying, ungrateful whine, glaring straight at Steve.

 

“Mary!” Bucky snaps loudly, startling the pups and making them all quiet. “Here.”

 

Mary hangs her head, climbs down the ladders, and sulkily goes over to Bucky.

 

The third of the oldest pups, Will, another beta pup, quiet but sweet, sidles along the ladder, in a way he probably thinks is subtle, to get in between Steve and Mary. “Food?” he asks quietly, with a hopeful smile on his face, as if nothing had happened.

 

Steve looks away from where Bucky’s pulled Mary close and is growling quiet reminders of manners to a pushy, stubborn little alpha pup, and forces himself to relax and smile at Will. “Yes, food. Do you want to see what I’ve got for you today?”

 

“Yes!” Will smiles brightly at him and stretches his hand through the bars, his hand open and palm up. “We’ll help.”

 

Steve ruffles Will’s hair, and starts to hand over the vegetables from the first wheelbarrow.



*



Distributing food is a long process. Each stall holds between sixteen and eighteen pups, and many of them want to show Steve what they’ve been up to. Food delivering gets interrupted by the little ones shyly coming over to sniff Steve and older ones bringing their crafts to show them to Steve. 

 

And of course, his omegas. Bucky in stall two has three tiny pups born only a few months ago in the spring and since he’s one of the few omegas who’s alright with Steve’s presence while nursing such tiny young pups, Steve steps inside the stall to see them. Bucky watches him and his shovel-like hands like a hawk, but lets Steve pet and scent mark the sleeping pups.

 

Bucky in stall three is, not surprisingly, agitated — in the last fall, he had to depart for the first time with pups old enough to move onto the pasture and even still he gets bad days when the anxiety overwhelms him and he pleads Steve desperately to bring his first-borns back to him. It’s heartbreaking, and Steve tries to gently remind him that his pups are alright, that they are safe and being watched over in the pasture where they are with all the other pups between ten and sixteen, that learning the skills to survive after leaving the island is a necessary phase in the pups lives.

 

But Steve’s reassurances fall on deaf ears. When Bucky’s eyes glaze over and he starts to repeat himself, Steve sighs, ignores him, and focuses on handing over the rest of the food to the silent, unnerved pups, and then continues on. 

 

It’s midsummer, with all this year’s litters now born and this year’s new omega bred, and Steve will soon start breeding all of the omegas who weren’t bred last year and are ready for another litter; he makes a mental note to himself to prioritize this stressed Bucky on that list. 



*



Finally, it’s time for the fourth stall.

 

Shoving away the last Bucky’s emotional distress from his mind, Steve summons a smile to greet the chirping and squealing pups in the last kennel. “Hey everyone,” he says. “Guess what day it is?”

 

Chirps turn to high-pitched, excited shrieks. One pup almost falls out of the hammock in his haste to climb down. “Ga’den day!”

 

“Garden day,” Steve agrees and smiles widely, meeting Bucky’s tired but grateful smile.

 

With the sounds and scents of his happy mate and pups filling the space, it’s easy to forget the worries and just embrace the here and now.







Chapter Text

 

 

Bucky’s the first one out the door to the garden. Despite the open door, the pups don’t follow him; they know that they need to wait inside until Bucky’s finished with his obligatory perimeter check and deemed the garden safe.

 

Steve stays with the pups. Back in the day, he might have gotten offended or annoyed by Bucky’s insistence to check for himself that the area is clear; now, Steve knows that Bucky’s paranoia isn’t personal or a sign of mistrust in Steve’s capabilities to keep their pack safe. If anything, Steve’s happy that this Bucky trusts him enough to leave the pups alone with him. Even the omegas in kennel stalls one and two hesitate over it and Steve usually ends up accompanying them in their perimeter checks just for their peace of mind.

 

While the few bravest pups pile right in the doorway to peek outside and sniff the air, the rest hang behind. When one pup spots some free-roaming sheep grazing in the forest behind the fences, even the shyest pup’s curiosity wins over their anxiety.

 

Steve lets the pups gawk at the sheep for a moment before reminding them that there’s work left to do. Steve shoos them back inside the stall.

 

One of Bucky’s firstborns, Freddie, was tasked by Bucky to keep guard over the few-months-olds in the nest. He’s clearly proud of his job and taking it seriously, sitting beside the younglings with a determined face and a puffed chest, and imitating Bucky’s protective growl whenever any of the other pups wanders close. Steve lets him play nest guard, but orders the other pups to help with emptying the wheelbarrows of the rest of the food. 

 

The other ten-year-old, Becsy, and the three eight-year-olds, Georgie, Maggie, and Bert, help Steve with the rice, vegetables, and other heavier bags. The six- and four-year-olds want to help as well, copying their older siblings, and proudly carry the smaller snack bags to the storages under the floor panels. The two-year-olds are especially shy of Steve and between wanting to participate and wanting to run away and hide, they mainly bump around and get in everyone’s way. They keep trying to go hide behind Freddie, who’s the only one sitting still, but who keeps shooing them away from near the babies.

 

When the wheelbarrows are empty and the food storages restocked, the pups flock back to the doorway to wait for Bucky’s return, chirping and whining and pushing each other.

 

Steve shakes his head in amusement at the pups and goes to the nest. 

 

Freddie, who’s usually a well-behaved pup, gives Steve a firm glare and even a growl as Steve approaches him and the little pups.

 

“Easy,” Steve says fondly at his omega pup. “You can go. I’ll keep watch over them.” 

 

Freddie doesn’t move; he doesn’t even look towards the doorway where the rest of the pups are. “No. Dad told me to.”

 

Steve smiles. Usually, he’s firm with both his omegas and his pups and doesn’t allow any kind of attitude towards himself, but there are always exceptions to every rule; showing protectiveness over newborns is something Steve will never punish them for. Freddie isn’t doing anything wrong; he’s only taking Bucky’s order to the heart. “Alright. Let’s watch over them together.”

 

Steve sits down next to Freddie, who looks annoyed at having his growl ignored with such casualness.

 

The little pups look as good as the last time Steve saw them — clean, fat, healthy, and amazingly calm despite the ruckus. Steve reaches over to scent-mark them, ignoring Freddie’s displeased grunt. He’s still not sure whether or not scent-marking the newborns and younglings makes any difference for how the pups grow up seeing him, but even if scent-marking does nothing for the pups, it feels good and right in a very instinctive way for Steve; marking the pups as his, letting the world know not to hurt them because they’ve got an alpha looking over them. 

 

When one squirms in its sleep and pulls the blanket awkwardly over its face, Freddie fixes it carefully.

 

It’s Freddie’s last summer in the kennel building — when the first snow falls in a few months, as was the tradition by now, Steve will take him and his sister Becsy to the ‘pasture’ where they would learn in a safe environment how to fend for themselves properly — hunt and gather, build their own nests and shelters, all the necessary skills that they haven’t needed to learn yet. And in six years, Steve will let him go to find his own mate and build his own life. One day, Freddie would make a good mom for his own pups, taking care of them as he’d learned from Bucky.

 

It would be as things should be — no pup should stay with the pack forever. One day, they all started to sniff longingly towards the sea and feel the pull to see the world beyond the island. Steve couldn’t give them a good, satisfying life on the island — not like Steve could give for his own mates, who belonged with him forever — so the right thing was to let the pups go seek their own fortunes. Steve and Bucky’s job was to prepare them for their adult life and to provide for them until the day they were ready to survive and, hopefully, thrive on their own.

 

The chirps and squeals by the doorway get louder and change in pitch. Bucky must be on his way back to the building. 

 

Steve pushes away the wistful thoughts; his mate and pups require him present, here and now. Sure, in a few months, Freddie and Becsy would live with the juvenile pack, learning the basics of hunting and butchering their own food with the easy prey like the sheep, but for today, they were still just Steve’s sweet little pups. “You did a good job,” Steve says to Freddie, ruffles his hair, and stands up. “You’re a good pup.”

 

Freddie tucks his chin down shyly, but Steve sees his quick, pleased smile at the praise.

When Steve gets to the doorway to the garden, Bucky’s standing a few feet outside. Bucky’s standing still and tense, glaring at the forest, his eyes sweeping for any last possible sign of threats, ignoring the pups who are all staring at him and waiting for the green light. Bucky gives one more suspicious glare to the sheep who’re lazily grazing in the forest, and then, finally, nods.

 

The pups shriek and bolt past him out to the garden. 

 

Steve smells the anxiety radiating from Bucky — Steve knows that Bucky knows how important the garden is for the pups, but it doesn’t make it much easier to let them play in such a wide, open space. Steve knows that before the kennel building, Bucky’s only ever been in forests like this during the war and the missions, and the associations with danger are hard to shake away, especially when all his hormones and instincts are keyed to prioritize keeping the pups safe.

 

Steve walks over to Bucky and hugs him from behind, his arms loosely across Bucky’s stomach.

 

“They’re fine,” Steve says soothingly.

 

Bucky grunts, but leans back into him. 

 

Steve nuzzles his neck. “They love to play here.”

 

Bucky sighs and nods. “Thanks,” he says, with a quiet, neutral voice. “For letting them out.”

 

“Of course,” Steve says. “I’m thinking about making some food. You want some?”

 

“Sure.”

 

Bucky doesn’t let Steve calm him down for long — soon, he pulls away, and Steve lets him return inside to his younglings and to relieve Freddie from his duty.


*


The pups love the garden. It’s ten times as large as their yard, with space for a good round of tag and plenty of hiding places for hide and seek. There are wiry apple trees, various berry bushes, and wildflowers pepper the ground. In one corner, there’s a fish pond with carp — Steve puts some in there every spring to grow, and every fall the pups get to catch them for food. Edible mushrooms and greens grow here and there. 

 

And of course, there are animals which rarely, if ever, wander near the other side of the building. The sheep outside the garden come to the mesh fence to be fed berries and be petted, and Steve gives pups some fish food to feed the carps as well as some kibble to fill the cat feeding station in the opposite corner of the garden. The five cats, which help keep the rodents in check on the island, have access to come and go as they please through the garden’s mesh, and two of them appear from the forest at the sound of the kibble. They’re half-feral and don’t let the pups pet them, but the pups succeed at getting them to play with the makeshift cat toys made of feathers, string, and sticks. 

 

Steve gives the pups a task to dig up some onions and gather mushrooms. While they are busy with that, Steve sets on to prepare some egg-potato-mutton hash for a late lunch for everyone. Steve’s built a simple brick grill near the fishpond, and anything not boiled is luxurious for the pups. Not to say how fascinated they are by the fire itself in the grill — they gather sticks and leaves to throw in, and watch the crackling fire with more wonder and animated delight than Steve ever saw in the zombie-like kids of the 21st century in front of their TVs.

 

After lunch and putting out the fire safely, Steve spends the rest of the afternoon just playing with the pups. Although there are already seven stick shelters built around the garden, Steve helps the pups build and decorate a new one. He gives them the buttons and cufflinks which he cut from his new omega’s clothes earlier in the day, and helps the pups braid them as well as some seagull feathers into their hair.

 

Bucky comes out of the kennel building every now and then, just to sniff the air and check that everything’s okay, but the need to be close to his youngest litter is too strong for Bucky to leave them alone in the nest for very long. Steve knows that next summer when the youngest litter would be yearlings, this Bucky would spend the garden days outside as well. Steve loves those kinds of garden days the most — seeing the yearlings' wonder when they see the garden for the first time, the carp, the flowers, the cats, the fire, everything. Not that Steve doesn’t love spending time with his older pups, but sitting beside Bucky on the grass, with the yearlings in their laps staring at everything in awe — it’s a beautiful experience, every time.


*


Eventually, it’s time to call all the pups and order them back inside. When Steve locks the doors behind him, most of the pups are already asleep in the nest, tired but happy.

 

Steve keeps his eyes away from the other stalls as he walks through the kennel building. He knows it’s hard for the pups to know that the other pups got outside today, but it is what it is. Steve’s doing his best, but he’s only one man. The next time it’s a nice, sunny day, it will be another stall’s turn to spend the afternoon in the garden.


*


Steve’s evening routine is... less fun. But Steve’s never been someone driven by what’s fun and what’s not — Steve does what’s right, and taking care of all of his omegas, no matter how ‘fun’ it is, is what’s right and proper. Is it tiring? Yes. Is it his duty, as their alpha and rescuer? Yes.

 

There are eight ‘suites’ in the main building. Six of them are currently occupied — two in the same second underground floor as the breeding room and the new omega corridor is, and four in the third underground floor.

 

Each suite has a different layout, because they are renovated, connected, and reinforced from various old Hydra rooms. The ones on the third underground floor were renovated from lab rooms, while on the second underground floor Steve re-used the old meeting rooms and offices.

 

Still, all the suites have some things in common: there’s a minimum of 50m² of space; they have all the bare necessities like a nesting area, a toilet, a bathtub or a shower, and a simple cooking nook; lots of storage space for food; at least one climbing wall for the pups; some herbs and flowers growing under the plant lights to offer the omegas and the pups a little bit of nature even underground.

 

The six suites have omegas who have multiple litters, just like the omegas in the kennel building, and therefore need space to accommodate pups. But apart from multiple litters, there are some huge differences between the omegas.

 

Suites five and six have omegas who came to the island after the omegas in the kennel building. They are well adjusted, content, and there’s trust between Steve and them. Everything’s gone smoothly and predictably with them, and Steve has plans to one day start construction work for a second kennel building and move these omegas there.

 

But the omegas in the rest of the suites? ‘All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way’. The omegas in suites one to four all have their own, unique problems. 

 

Nevertheless, they are still Steve’s omegas, and he’s promised them and himself that he’ll take care of them.


*


In suite one, Steve steps inside only to the foyer and leaves the food there. The foyer has a secure locking mechanism that only allows one of the doors to be open at the time — either the door to the corridor or the door to the rest of the suite. 

 

The one-way glass window on the door to the suite has been, yet again, smeared with food from the other side, blocking the view.

 

Steve doesn’t interact with this Bucky — his third Bucky on the island, who’s been here for twenty years — more than is necessary. Steve goes inside to check on the pups every couple of months, takes the older pups to the pasture when it’s time, and breeds Bucky on the usual bi-yearly schedule with the help of tranquilizers, but that’s the extent of it. 

 

Bucky has never shown signs of being a threat to himself or his pups, but with Steve, he’s unpredictable and dangerous. 


*


Suite Two, holding Steve’s fourth omega on the island, is not an off-limits danger zone like the previous suite, but emotionally it’s one of the hardest. Steve steels himself and enters the suite.

 

It’s a bad day. Steve can tell it immediately from the way Bucky is looking at his pups in confusion; like he doesn’t know why they are there. His pups are quiet, keeping their distance from Bucky, and the oldest ones are grooming the blank-faced younger ones with hunched shoulders. The three one-month-old pups in the nest are cuddled and kept warm by one of the ten-year-old pups.

 

“Soldier,” Steve says carefully — it’s the safest thing to call this Bucky. He responds more reliably to ‘the Asset’, but Steve refuses to call him that — ‘Soldier’, at least, has some dignity to it. “Report.”

 

Bucky looks at him blankly and doesn’t answer.

 

Steve swallows the taste of bile. “Soldier. These are your pups. It’s your mission to take care of them.” Steve has never seen or heard from the pups about this Bucky actually failing to take care of their basic needs when they’ve really needed him — he has kept them fed and cleaned — but there’s certainly no harm in reminding him. “I brought you more provisions.”

 

Bucky eyes the food.

 

“Go sit on the bed,” Steve says. 

 

Bucky goes, looking relieved to get direct orders.

 

After putting the food away, Steve takes out the manual breast pump and an empty milk bottle from the cabinet. He offers them to Bucky, who looks at them but doesn’t make a move to take them.

 

Steve sighs and sits down next to him. “Did something happen?” he asks, as he brings the pump to Bucky’s breast and starts to milk him.

 

Bucky’s eyes widen and he stares down as his milk starts to flow into the bottle — as if Steve hasn’t milked him daily for years.

 

“You’re a good milk producer and there are pups who need some of it,” Steve reminds him, keeping his words clear. At least it’s clear that Bucky’s fed the pups not too long ago; his milk flows easily, but his chest doesn’t look painfully tight and full. “I know it feels weird. But you’re doing well, Soldier.”

 

When Steve’s finished, he puts the pump and the bottle down, and cradles Bucky’s face in his hands and looks at his eyes, searching for awareness or recognition. Finding nothing but confusion and some fear, Steve sighs and kisses his forehead. “You’re safe here,” Steve murmurs. “Everything is okay. Nobody will hurt you.”

 

Steve reminds himself that this is just a bad day — usually, this Bucky offers Steve enthusiastic and long-winded sitreps on the pups and handles his own milking. All Steve’s omegas have bad days, they just vary in intensity and how they look. But it’s a bleak thought when Steve knows that he and his past incompetence are at fault here. 

 

At the time, Steve had thought that handling this Bucky as he had was the best option out of all the bad options he had. The fifth-year on the island had been chaotic. Steve, out of naivety and optimism, had too many omegas for the island with barely any facilities to hold unstable super soldiers. When Steve brought this Bucky to the island in the spring, Steve’s three older — free-roaming at the time — omegas were only getting worse and they required all of Steve’s attention to manage them. It had seemed reasonable and excusable at the time, while Steve was exhausted and at his wits’ end, to ensure that at least this Bucky stayed in line with trigger words and wipes until Steve had time to properly help him settle in.

 

It had seemed necessary and kinder than locking him away somewhere to wait until Steve had time to deal with him too — back then, Steve had still been reluctant to keep his omegas locked up; he’d been naive, full of ignorant presumptions over what would work in the long run.

 

And keeping this Bucky obedient had made Steve’s life easier; in the first couple of years that this Bucky spent on the island, he had helped Steve build and reinforce rooms one to four and the first suites. His quiet, easy obedience had been a guilty relief for Steve, who kept excusing it, thinking ‘not for much longer’.

 

Now though, almost twenty years later, as Bucky’s still battling with memory issues, understanding the situation, and odd episodes of blankness, all the past excuses and reasonings ring hollow. Steve’s not even sure where exactly and how he messed up so that the damage became permanent: Was it simply the confusion over having Steve pretend to be his handler for so long? Did Steve mess up something with the wiping procedures? But what’s done is done. Steve learned his lesson about taking too much of an advantage of Bucky’s conditioning.


*


The rest of the restocking and milking rounds goes without a hitch as usual. 

 

Suite three’s Bucky is distant and wary of Steve, but not a troublemaker; 

 

Suite four, Steve skips altogether, as he often does; Bucky in there has only eight pups, four of them on milk, and should have plenty of food left from the last restocking round. Bucky in suite four is only omega in the whole island who’s not, technically, Steve’s omega; he already carried a strange bondmark when Steve rescued him. Steve gave up years ago on trying to get him to accept a new bond; Steve’s attempts to challenge the old bond only aggravated them both. Being in the same room or even breeding him is frankly just bad experience for both of them, so Steve lets him go longer between his litters than other omegas and only breeds him whenever Bucky goes into a natural heat a few years after the latest litter.

 

Suite five’s Bucky is a sweetheart. Last year, he surprised Steve with giving birth to the first five-pup-litter on the island. His previous litter had already had four pups, and even the first two litters had three; usually the first litters were smaller sized, since in the first few years, the omegas were still recovering and settling in (Steve was a little afraid to consider what that suggested about the room three’s omega’s fertility or future litter sizes, since he had given birth last night to four or five pups, on his first time). Only four litters, and already fourteen pups; if Bucky continued popping out big litters, Steve would soon need to either hurry up with the second kennel building or expand Bucky’s living quarters.


*


In the last suite, suite number six, Steve takes a break and stays to eat dinner with Bucky and the pups there. 

 

This Bucky’s oldest ones — Winnie, Becs, and Beth — are only four years old and adorably fascinated by Steve. Winnie climbs in Steve’s lap while they eat and Becs proudly shows the charcoal drawings she’s done since Steve’s last visit. The girls are sweet and cute, but most of all, Steve loves to sneak quick glances at Bucky’s face as the girls chirp and chat — Bucky’s eyes are full of love and wonder for them. 

 

This Bucky’s been on the island for five years, and he’s getting better year by year. As Steve’s twelfth omega, and the most recent one to move out of the new omega corridor, Bucky got to benefit from all the experience — good and bad — Steve had gained with the earlier ones, and it shows. Bucky’s accepted and embraced his new life. He doesn’t shy away from Steve’s touch and he lets Steve indulge in doting on him, purring as Steve brushes his hair after their dinner. He not only lets Steve scent-mark the newborns without a fuss but seems happy about it.

 

By the time Steve kisses Bucky in suite six goodnight, it’s late evening. Steve has empty wheelbarrows and four warm milk bottles to bring up the stairs, and he feels tired — but in a good, satisfied, well-worked way.


*


Of course, Steve has one more Bucky left to take care of.

 

After Steve’s taken care of his last evening tasks — laundry, writing down the day’s events in his journal — it’s time for him to retreat to his bedroom for the night.

 

When Steve steps inside his bedroom on the ground floor, the cinnamon and vanilla scents from the scent diffuser fill his nose and the soft jazz music from the CD-player in the windowsill l fills his ears. The room is dim and warm, one of the few spaces on the island that are always kept pleasantly heated.

 

With a heavy heart, Steve undresses. 

 

Bucky’s lying face-down on the custom made rack next to Steve’s bed. The padded framework supports him — his head is cradled by a donut shape, his face down, and there’s similar donut-shaped spaces to leave his stomach and breasts exposed; his hands and knees rest on the floor, on soft, thick pillows. He has an IV tube, feeding tube, and catheter attached.

 

There’s a raised bedding for two little pups under him. They’re sleeping now, but their mouths are still greedily latched onto the breasts which don’t produce enough milk for them.

 

Steve goes through the evening maintenance and care routine silently and religiously. He empties the catheter; replaces the IV bag; fills the feeding syringe and gives Bucky his evening meal through the nasogastric intubation; removes the butt-plug and gives him an enema to empty his bowels; washes him from head to toes with a washcloth and dries him with a soft towel.

 

Steve takes his time and performs each clinical and depressing task with care and gentleness. He owes it to Bucky.

 

When he’s finished, he takes the little pups. The drugs in Bucky’s IV affect his milk and makes the pups slow and sleepy, but it isn’t permanent damage — when Bucky, who’s the only omega on the island who gets bred every year, gives birth to a new litter, Steve will give these pups to another omega to take care of and, eventually, they will catch up to their peers. 

 

Steve changes their dirty diapers, washes them, and feeds them with the warm milk from the other omegas. He puts two milk bottles in the fridge to wait for the morning, and then puts the pups for a little longer under Bucky — for the night, he will take them with him to the bed. Bucky can’t give them the loving care and touch they crave, so Steve will do what he can in the night, holding them close as he sleeps and scritching their skin to encourage the blood flow.

 

But before that, there’s the last task. Steve kneels behind Bucky and as always with this Bucky, it takes time for him to stroke himself to full hardness. When he’s finally hard, he lubes himself — this Bucky doesn’t produce slick properly — and then carefully eases himself in.

 

Steve moves slowly, gently, making love, praying for forgiveness. He keeps his knot outside when he comes, and instead pulls out and moves the plug back in place.

 

“I’m sorry,” Steve whispers and kisses Bucky’s shoulder-blade.

 

Bucky doesn’t answer. Steve hopes he’s having good, happy dreams. Steve tries his best — giving Bucky his favorite scents, his favorite music, pups to always keep him company and nurse on his chest, his mate’s cum inside him every evening — but there’s really no telling.

 

Steve maneuvers his IV bag closer to the bed and moves Bucky onto the bed to lie on his back. The serum should heal any bedsores Bucky might get from being so still in the rack, but Steve assumes it’s more comfortable for Bucky to have his position changed every morning and evening between Steve’s bed and the rack than to always stay in one of them.

 

This Bucky, the second omega Steve ever brought onto the island, is living, suffering evidence of Steve’s biggest failings, and every time Steve takes care of him, he reminds himself of what’s at stake when he’s working with his omegas. In his own timeline, Bucky once told him that after he broke through his brainwashing he might have killed himself if not for Steve; here, on this island, this Bucky had broke and wanted to kill himself, all because Steve’s ignorant mistakes in taking care of him.

 

Steve didn’t know how to fix him. Without the option of cryofreeze (not that Steve would have been fond of that idea), Steve had put Bucky in a medically induced coma. A week turned into a month; a month turned into a year; a year turned into another and another and another— 

 

Sometimes, Steve thinks about letting him wake up fully — Steve needs to decrease Bucky’s drugs for the late pregnancies and the births; Bucky’s half-conscious during those times — but Bucky deserves the peace, no matter how much it hurts for Steve to see him like this. Bucky isn’t in pain anymore, and that’s what matters most to Steve.

 

Steve takes the little pups in his arms and crawls into bed next to Bucky. Steve sets the pups in between them. 

 

“Goodnight,” Steve whispers and brushes Bucky’s hair out of his face.

 

Sometimes the weight of his guilt gets too heavy, with Bucky’s and the pups’s slow, drugged breathing, and Steve ends up leaving the room in the early morning for a jog around the island to clear his head or to spend the rest of the night in some other Bucky’s nest to remind himself of all the good Steve’s accomplished despite his early missteps. But still, Steve never skips either the morning or evening routine — and every evening, Steve settles down next to this Bucky and does his best to spend the night with him and the little pups who need him more than the pups usually should need their alpha father.

 

Steve’s never claimed to be perfect, but he does his best to take care of all his omegas, in whatever ways they need him to, even when it’s not easy or how he imagined the life to be when he first arrived on the island.

 

 

 

 

 

A pile of documents on table. Top two documents have notes on subjects “6” and “15”: dates of arrival, residences, litters. Subject 6’s file has details of eight litters, while subject 15’s file has only the following details: date of arrival (“June 28th y24”), residence (“Room 2”), first breeding (“June 28th”) and estimated birthing time for the first litter (“March y25”).

 

 

 

Banner image. Collage of six pictures around a matchstick in fire and a quote. The pictures: a seagull flying in the sky. A pine tree forest. Cones on ground. A squirrel in tree. A child holding a cone. A child’s hands holding onto a fence. The quote is from Walt Disney: “Life is beautiful. It’s about giving. It’s about family.”

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

When Steve wakes up the next morning, the raindrops drum against the roof and the wind whistles outside the window.

 

Steve listens for a while and reorients himself from the strange and surreal dreams back to the real world before opening his eyes. He turns to face Bucky, who's sleeping next to him, their pups in between them. 

 

"Morning," Steve murmurs softly.

 

Bucky, obviously, doesn't answer. 

 

Steve sighs and leans over to kiss his forehead.

 

Steve's night was restless. Usually, his dreams on the night after the rescue mission were mix-matched collages of fighting, Hydra, and Bucky. Sometimes, Sam and Natasha were there helping Steve to get to Bucky. A few times, the dreams had turned nightmarish; one time, years ago, Steve woke up from a post-rescue dream where he had been one of the Hydra soldiers holding Bucky, fighting against other Steve — that dream had left him feeling nauseous. Steve had barely slept for the next couple of nights.

 

But last night, Steve’s dreams were unsettling in a different way. He had dreamed of Brooklyn and of Bucky’s family. Most of the night was already fading and slipping away from him, but there was one clear scene he remembered vividly from the moment before he woke up. 

 

It had been a thanksgiving day dinner at Barnes’s house. Nothing out of the ordinary from the many times Steve had actually sat at their table in the 1930s and 1940s, until Becca, Bucky’s sister, elegant and haughty in her formal dress, turned to Steve, smiled at him, and called him dad. 

 

Her smiling face turned to her first namesake’s on the island; suddenly she was Becca, Steve’s firstborn, looking like she did the last time Steve saw her; at sixteen, glaring viciously at Steve on the day he let her go, threatening Steve that she would find a way to tear through the web of time and space and infinite universes to get back on the island and kill Steve. 

 

Steve loved Becca and did everything he could for his firstborn — his beautiful, intelligent, kind, wonderful daughter; she had been his one and only pup for almost a year — but she held onto grudges like Steve himself did at that age, stubbornly and with unyielding self-righteousness. Steve hadn't realized how truly deep her anger ran until that last day. All her life on the island, she had never given Steve reason to raise his voice or hand against her; although, if Steve's honest with himself, he had allowed her a lot more leeway than the pups born later on.

 

It’s been eight years since Steve last saw her, in a point of time and space far, far away. Steve left her with everything she needed to survive and thrive back in that simpler world, where people were still close to their roots and nomadic, and Steve knew that she had no way to return. He could only pray that Becca accepted her life, did well and found happiness, hopefully a good mate to start her own pack with — and that maybe she forgave Steve one day and understood that Steve had done his best and that nobody is perfect. 

 

Steve pushes the unsettling dreams and memories away from his mind and looks down at the two nameless little pups next to him on the bed. He can’t give in to the ghosts of the past; he has his pack, here and now, and they need him. 

 

He pets the sleeping pups between him and Bucky, grounding himself in the present. He’s on the island, at home, and there’s no-one here but him, his omegas, and their pups. 

 

Past friends and family are just that; past — they don’t belong here or in his life anymore. And like them, the pups who have left the island are just as much something in the past now; they aren’t part of the pack anymore and they aren’t Steve’s responsibility once they are out.


*


After taking care of Bucky and the pups, Steve sits at his desk to skim over today’s hourly meter readings, with a cup of black coffee and a pile of sandwiches next to him; just in case he missed something the last time he checked the weather reports.

 

The storm didn't take him by surprise. After all, Steve has five decades worth of ridiculously accurate weather forecasts available to consult, at any time.

 

The today’s reports (from the four weather stations on the island — which actually all broke down two decades ago because Steve didn’t bother to maintain them) were signed off by ‘research assistant Kjell Andersson’. Steve hopes that the lad has found better employment in this timeline and is somewhere out there using his life for something more useful than helping out Hydra but nevertheless, Steve’s thankful for his crystal clear penmanship which decades ago, in Steve's past, recorded today's storm in every detail possible.

 

Usually, the rescue missions mess up Steve’s head and sense of time. For the island and his omegas, Steve knows it's like he never even leaves, disappearing and appearing back the next moment, but for Steve, coming back is like waking up from a long, vivid, adrenaline-filled and action-packed dream and then having to shake it all away from his mind to continue with the normal, everyday life. 

 

Rescuing Bucky from Hydra takes usually at least a couple of days — if everything goes to the plan, and Bucky is exactly where Steve expects him to be — but his longest rescue mission lasted for two months when Hydra had moved Bucky to another continent just before Steve’s arrival. Steve tries to keep his time jumps at minimum, so he decided to follow and retrieve Bucky from the new base. Arriving back from that trip had felt quite surreal, everything back on the island just as Steve left it, with less than an hour gone.

 

The latest rescue mission, in comparison, took barely three hours of staying back — and even that had been mostly scouting for a good place to snatch Bucky from his walk back home, and then waiting for him outside his workplace. The ease of it compared to the previous missions felt almost cheating. 

 

On the mornings after the missions, Steve usually went over the weather reports as well as his own latest journal entries to get back on track while cleaning up his guns and other equipment used on the trip. There's no need for that whole routine this time, but it feels good to sit down to do at least one part of it, even if it’s something as small as rechecking the day’s weather. 

 

Steve’s fairly certain that it’s going to be a no-garden day for all of the kennel pups, but he might as well double-check the weather while eating his breakfast, to see if he missed an hour or two of clear sky.

 

Steve skips the information on air quality and dozens of pollution measurements. It’s gritty, bland data in which, for reasons Steve may only guess at, Hydra is interested in enough to fund its collection. But Steve doesn’t need to know ‘the exact percent of oxygen in the air’ or ‘how much environmental damage is showing in the water’ to evaluate the weather for his purposes; he’s interested in the actually useful, concrete data like the temperature, wind, rain, and the amount of sunlight.

 

Unfortunately, the reports tell Steve exactly what he remembered; the next few days on the island would be cold, rainy and cloudy. Nothing dangerous — the Baltic sea around the island is tame and even-tempered and doesn’t have hurricanes, monsoons, tsunamis, or other natural disasters to look out for — but unpleasant. 

 

Since the next week looks better, Steve decides to focus the spare time this week on unfinished indoor projects; it will mean no garden days for the pups in the kennels, which is a shame, but Steve will make sure they all will get out in the garden next week. The pups wouldn’t mind running outside in chill summer rain or throwing rocks into puddles, but Bucky would be extra anxious because of the rain and wind masking the sounds and scents of possible (in reality, non-existent) threats from the forest around — and honestly, Steve’s not fond of staying outside in the rain either.

 

Steve takes his calendar and circles a couple of sunny days next week as potential days for the kennel building breedings; every year, he starts from there.

 

Steve would love to throw away all the clocks and calendars, and just… live. Forget time. Follow his instincts and turn off the higher parts of his brain altogether. Forget he’s anything or anyone but an alpha taking care of his pack. 

 

But someone has to keep the reins in hand and keep track of all the little details. When would the next food supplies arrive? Who was due a medical check? When would be the right time to go mainland for more groceries? What’s the overall inventory situation? When the apple trees were ready for the harvest, or the strawberry bushes? When the generators needed maintenance? Or the plumbing? Air conditioning? How any of that was done and what parts would be needed? Where could he get the parts?

 

When Steve first arrived on the island, he had had the naive vision that one day it would be Bucky who would eventually run most of these logistics, just like he used to in the war. Bucky had excelled in knowing basically everything needed, keeping it all organized, and handling it for Steve; Bucky had made an excellent second in command, letting Steve focus on the big picture tactics and leading. Even when they lived together, it had often been Bucky who had changed their light bulbs or fixed their leaking faucet in the kitchen, Steve too engrossed in his work or art to notice the little details. 

 

Of course, it hadn’t been a black and white division — Steve wasn’t incapable of handling details when needed and Bucky certainly didn’t lack either the brains for tactics or the talent to take charge and lead — but it had been the dynamic they had gravitated towards naturally, and Steve had enjoyed it. 

 

Well, that easy partnership was far in the past now.

 

The bitter thought stings and Steve smothers it before it can grow bigger and more poisonous. Steve drinks the rest of his coffee in one gulp and stands up from his desk. 

 

If Steve’s omegas need Steve to run the show, from the big picture to the tiniest detail, that’s what Steve does. It’s that simple. It’s utterly useless and time-wasting to dwell on ‘what ifs’.

 

It’s not like handling everything on his own is some big sacrifice or a thankless duty for him, anyway. Steve loves to take care of his omegas and pups and to be able to give them the freedom to just be. It gives him a sense of purpose and a deep feeling of satisfaction to see his omegas and pups safe and ensuring that all their needs from food to shelter get fulfilled. They don’t need to keep track of time or what day it is or anything outside their own space; Steve’s omegas can simply enjoy the easy, good life and take care of their pups, who in turn will never even need to learn the constraining shackles of the so-called civilized societies. None of them need to worry about the future — a day or a decade from now — because Steve’s vowed to take care of it for them.


*


After his breakfast, Steve takes a quick look at the rooms in the new omega corridor.

 

Everything seems peaceful. Bucky and his pups in room one are sleeping inside the huge nest. Bucky in room three has not found any further ways to make a mess, and has even finally deemed one blanket out of Steve’s offered nesting materials as acceptable. He’s sleeping under the blanket, curled around his pups.

 

In room two, Steve’s not surprised to see his newest omega awake. Steve was expecting some insomnia and restlessness for the first few weeks, if not longer. 

 

Bucky’s wrapped in the blankets and sitting on the bed, back against the corner. One of the paperbacks Steve left for him is on the floor next to the bed, ripped apart and the torn pages everywhere. Bucky’s shoulders are hunched and he’s staring at nothing, with an eerily familiar blank expression on his face.

 

Steve’s hand hovers over the door handle. Everything in him screams to go inside and try to comfort his mate. 

 

With effort, Steve pulls his hand back. Steve reminds himself that Bucky needs space and patience from him. Right now, Steve’s presence wouldn’t bring him any solace. Bucky’s been here barely a day and is still wrapping his head around a situation he barely understands. Steve shouldn’t interrupt the settling in process too early. 

 

As unnatural as it feels, Steve knows that the more time alone he gives Bucky in the beginning, the more receptive Bucky should be to Steve’s presence later — and getting Bucky to eventually accept Steve as a source of comfort and companionship was really one of the most important keys to help him adjust in the long run. 

 

Bucky’s (or Steve’s) discomfort now was secondary to making sure Bucky would get a fair chance to adapt; even a year or two of slow adjusting period was worth it if it meant that afterward, Bucky would be content and happy for the rest of his long life on the island. Rushing the process, dropping too much on him too fast, or expecting quick acceptance of Steve and the situation would only make everything more difficult in the long run.

 

Steve didn’t get to where he is now with his best-adjusted omegas by hovering over them constantly. He got there by proving himself a reliable, safe provider and enforcing his status over them from day one — but also by giving them time and plenty of space and keeping his visits scarce. 

 

The first time one of them showed little signs of separation anxiety from Steve, Steve knew that he had nailed the process. That’s the reaction Steve would love to see from his newest omega one day as well, if possible, not just indifferent tolerance. Juggling a bit of neediness is much preferable to getting a cold shoulder or worse.

 

Of course, the safety and happiness of his omegas are Steve’s priority. Even when Steve failed to establish a good connection with them, as he did in the early years, the pups still give Steve's omegas company and purpose in life; Steve has no doubt in his mind that even Bucky in suite one, as unpredictable and impulsively aggressive as he is towards Steve, has a better life here, living with his pups, than he had in Hydra’s hands. 

 

But Steve can admit that he has a bit of selfish streak; is it a sin to want to be loved and desired a little in return for everything he feels and does for his omegas? Surely not. He’s only a human.

 

Steve doesn’t demand anything from his omegas in terms of affection for himself — he owns to his mistakes in handling them, and if those mistakes have led some of them to mistrust or dislike him, then that’s on Steve, not on them — but he would be a liar if he said that he didn’t desire it. 

 

Steve has got good at detaching his feelings and letting Bucky’s negative emotions roll over him, staying the dependable mate for his omegas no matter what emotional storm they were going through, but he’s not sure how many of them understand just how weak a simple genuine smile from any of them make him; how much he craves them to love him back, as their mate and alpha.

 

He’s woolgathering again, getting distracted by thoughts and feelings; Steve blames the last night’s dreams and the way the trip to the Brooklyn had tickled the nostalgic parts of his soul. He needs to start the day’s work and get his mind and hands busy.


*


Steve spends the morning preparing the empty suites seven and eight. Bucky from room number one would move to suite seven after his next breeding, and everything needed to be ready for him and his four yearlings. As for the newest omega, Steve wasn’t sure how long he would keep that Bucky in the room two; Steve had to have a suite ready for him as well, in case Bucky started to seem like he required a bigger space.

 

The suites are already renovated and ready to use; they’ve hold omegas in the past, so all the hard work reinforcing the walls and turning the research station offices to comfortable living conditions has been done. It’s only the finishing touches that need to be done. 

 

Both suites, on the second underground floor, have more gardening space than the other suites had at the start. Each one has two reinforced, ceiling-high metal shelves with plant lights in one corner, full of sprouts and common herbs to scent up the air pleasantly and offer some variation of taste for food. There are also some pots on the floor for bigger plants; citrus trees and chili pepper plants, grown in other omegas' suites. 

 

Although the plants require Steve’s care for now, possibly for a while even after he’s moved the omegas into the suites, he’s sure they will be worth the effort. The plants will not only smell pleasant, but they will work as natural scent neutralizers to balance the suites' scentscapes against the onslaught of distress scenting which often happened when omega was moved to a new space.

 

In the new omega corridor, Steve hasn’t bothered with plants for years. He tried a few times, but each trial failed: Bucky destroyed the bright plant lights, the plants, or both; seeming more agitated than relaxed by anything extra in his room to keep an eye on. In suites, the omegas have been calmer and more receptive to the plants in their space — Steve’s not sure if the reason is the longer time spent underground, nurturing instincts in full kick from already caring for pups, no longer being on withdrawal from the drugs Hydra had them on, or the bigger space — or if it’s the combination of all of those.

 

Steve sprays the plants with the water bottle and checks each plant for any signs of mold or pests. Gardening isn’t something Steve enjoys for its own sake, but knowing that it’s work done for the welfare of his omegas makes it feel satisfying enough.

 

Once finished with the plants, Steve starts to gather the tools and materials from the storages and set up the workshop room ready for him to work on a brand-new nest frame for the suite seven. Bucky in room one has been so adorably obsessed with creating as big nest as possible just for his one litter that Steve wants to indulge him and his silly, over-the-top instincts and surprise him with better nesting options in his new suite.

 

Steve has been drawing plans for a reinforced frame which would support a multi-layered, complex, big nest better than the simple bed frame Bucky has now in his room; of course, Steve would leave the actual nest building to Bucky, but the strong, tall metal frame would allow him wider range of options on how exactly he wanted his nest to be; the frame would allow him to cover the nest with ease with curtains, blankets, carpets, or sheets, whichever material he might prefer; moving and sliding walls along the frame, locked wherever at will, would allow Bucky to make the nest as open or secured as he wanted; the option to have ‘trap doors’ open or closed between two ‘floors’ would offer more sophisticated ways to recreate the tunnels Bucky had under his current bed frame for the pups or even a way to slip from one layer to another in the middle of the nest. 

 

If Bucky in room two wanted nothing more than to roll inside his soft, ridiculously huge nest all day long, furnishing and fussing over the exact positions he wanted each pillow to be and changing it all from day to day, then Steve was damn well going to provide him with the best possible nest frame and materials to make him happy. 

 

All the previous omegas had been quite reasonable in their nesting instincts. Steve had never even thought of offering them more than was necessary and enough for them and their pups; getting them to nest at all in the start was a battle enough and exactly why Steve kept the new omega corridor colder than other spaces. But if Steve was honest with himself, he hadn’t minded one bit when this Bucky had started to greedily whine for extra nesting materials from Steve, and then showed such clear delight whenever Steve gave in and brought him some.


*


Steve spends his lunchtime in suite five. He prepares the meal — boiling the potatoes, carrots, rice, and the meat — while Bucky nurses his five yearlings in his nest. Bucky’s nine older pups — two seven-year-olds, three five-year-olds, and four three-year-olds — play with the puzzle toys Steve brought them; the puzzles are made of wood and metal, with the simple goals such as “separate the two pieces”, but they are difficult enough to offer some mental challenge for the pups. 

 

Bucky’s eyeing the pups and the toys from his nest with half-lidded eyes. He refuses to help the more impatient pups who whine out of the frustration and try to get him to solve the puzzles for them, but Steve knows that Bucky’s going to enjoy solving the puzzles as well when all the pups are sleeping.

 

After the lunch, Steve curls behind Bucky on the nest, spooning him; the workshop and the new nest frame can wait for a little longer. 

 

Bucky leans back into him as Steve runs his hand over his side and nuzzles his neck. The feel of Bucky’s naked skin under his hand is alluring, and he brings his hand down to palm Bucky’s ass, just enjoying the feel of him.

 

Bucky’s sigh is exasperated. He glances back over his shoulder and the stump of his metal arm. “Steve.”

 

“Yes?”

 

“Please,” Bucky says, with a silent no. “Enough pups.”

 

Steve pinches Bucky’s ass cheek. “What was that?”

 

Bucky melts back to him submissively, baring his throat, but his tone is grumpy as he mutters, “Nothing.”

 

“That so? I could swear I heard something else.”

 

Bucky huffs, and Steve can practically hear his eye roll.

 

It’s this Bucky’s breeding year again, although Steve didn’t have plans to breed him just yet — Steve prefers to sprinkle the impregnations over a few months, to really enjoy each of them. 

 

But such insolent, rare show of brattiness practically begs for Steve to shove Bucky down and remind him that getting more pups or not in his belly isn’t Bucky’s choice to make; it’s Steve’s job to make that decision. Steve knows better than Bucky what he needs.

 

Sure, this Bucky has been fertile and already has fourteen pups from his first four litters, and in a few years he could very well be Steve’s first omega caring for over twenty pre-pasture aged pups of his own at the same time, but just the thought of it makes Steve’s cock throb in his pants — he’s sure that Bucky’s well capable of handling it.

 

Steve may have his plans and carefully crafted schedules for breedings, but sometimes it feels just too good to ditch those and do what feels right in the moment. And right now, putting this Bucky back in his place and knocking him up feels important enough to ignore those carefully laid plans.

 

Steve kisses Bucky’s bared throat. He licks the length of it with wide, flat tongue from all the way from the edge of his bondmark to his jaw. Steve bites shallowly and gently Bucky’s bared throat, a low growl rumbling from his chest. 

 

Bucky shivers, but doesn’t make a move to resist or complain anymore, doesn’t even tense at the touch of Steve’s teeth on his skin; he remains as pliant and softly relaxed as Steve has taught him to take it. Steve feels his cock hardening and straining against his trousers, Bucky’s easy submission despite his earlier reluctance a heady feeling.

 

Steve’s dimly aware of the older pups hustling over to take the bewildered and questioningly whimpering yearlings away from the nest and out of their way, but his focus is on Bucky.

 

Bucky’s scent is mellow and milky; it’s the scent of the nursing omega. Usually, breastfeeding keeps omegas from going into heat, working effectively as a natural (albeit unreliable) birth control, but Steve has never had any troubles knocking up his omegas, in heat or not. Breeding his omegas in heat would be luxurious, but except for the one omega in suite four, Steve breeds them all before their naturally occurring heats.

 

Steve knows that a lot of alphas find the scent of the pregnant or nursing omega off-putting, but that has never been a problem for him. The scent strokes his ego as much as it does his lizard brain; his mate, his fertile, gorgeous mate. Before the serum, the thought of knocking up Bucky had been his secret fantasy; after the serum, it had become an insistent obsession, always there in the back of his mind. These days, Steve sometimes barely believes his fortune and that all those fantasies ended up turning into his reality; that as hard work as running the island is, in the end, Steve has his well-earned happy ending in so many ways.

 

Steve lets go of Bucky’s throat and goes back to nibbling and kissing it. He runs his hand over Bucky, scent-marking him, and Bucky lets him easily, passively; his earlier grumpiness turning to soft, pleased sighs at Steve’s touch. 

 

Steve went through years of desensitizing this Bucky to his touch; all his omegas out of the cryofreeze were at the start a peculiar mix of touch starved and touch avoidant, and nothing made them as agitated as Steve being up close to them, in their personal space and touching them. 

 

At first, after Bucky had settled in, Steve simply spent time frequently touching him all over until he stopped flinching and accepted Steve’s touch wherever, however, and whenever Steve wanted; most of the time, there was nothing overtly sexual in those touches, as all he did was just hold or rub some part of Bucky, be it his knee, his hand, his head, or his shoulder — or even his nipples or his genital area. Steve would take Bucky’s cock in his hand and just fondle it for the sake of touch desensitizing him all over, or stay with Bucky while eating his lunch or dinner, demanding Bucky to stay still and let Steve’s hand rest between his legs, until Steve was finished with the food and left. 

 

Of course, because the desensitizing process was stressful for his omegas, Steve balanced it with giving Bucky a lot of space and alone time in between; the goal wasn’t to overwhelm them or to distress them, but to work on slowly, over time, on getting them used to Steve’s touch. It was a process that required patience and it had taken a long time for Steve to work out how to go about it and to nail the pace of the process down; to take advantage of how in late pregnancies his omegas were more receptive to his presence, to ease off and give them space when they were nursing the newborns, to overpower them and hold them down during the breeding if they resisted instead of losing his temper at them and being too harsh.

 

Now, after eight years of patient handling and four litters, with no major setbacks during that time, all Steve’s work has paid off and this Bucky is remarkably easy to handle and even enjoys his touch.

 

Steve pushes him onto his stomach. Bucky moves gracefully and without further prompting into the presenting position, supporting himself on his knees and right arm, his head down, back arched, and ass up.

 

It’s a sight Steve will never get tired of. Not feeling as impatient or hurried as usually, Steve leans down and spreads Bucky’s cheeks to lick his rim. Bucky moans in surprise. When Steve continues licking around his hole with quick, firm swipes of his tongue, pushing on his rim, Bucky’s moans turn to pleased, aroused purring, and with each swipe of the tongue, Steve tastes a hint of his slick leaking out.

 

Steve pulls his cock out of his trousers and strokes it lazily, spreading the pre-cum over the head of it. He pushes one of his fingertips inside Bucky and pulls down on his rim; the gaping hole glistens and Steve licks inside him, pushing the tip of his tongue in to taste Bucky’s slicked insides.

 

Bucky lets out a keening, high-pitched whine, which goes straight to Steve’s cock; it throbs in his hand and a sprout of more pre-cum leaks out.

 

Steve slicks up his hand with his pre-cum and grabs Bucky’s hardening cock in his wet hand. 

 

Bucky stays still as Steve strokes him. Steve finds himself missing the squirming and responsiveness he had with his newest omega yesterday, but he quickly pushes away the thought — it’s not right to this Bucky for Steve to compare him like that. Bucky’s being a perfect and doing exactly what his previous conditioning and Steve’s desensitizing have primed him for; to keep his position obediently, to let Steve touch and handle him as he pleases, to get bred and take it whenever Steve decides it’s the time.

 

Steve lets go of Bucky’s hard cock and takes hold of his hips; Bucky arches his back further and braces himself to get ready for Steve’s cock, spreading his knees further. Steve hums approvingly, guides his cock to Bucky’s hole, and pushes inside all the way in one smooth, hard push. Bucky’s tight around him, but like a snug sock; this Bucky knows how to take a breeding and force his muscles relaxed, and the feel of him around Steve is perfect; warm, wet, and submissively accommodating.

 

Bucky’s strong and has serum, so Steve doesn’t hold back. Steve leans his weight into every thrust of his hips and relishes in seeing how Bucky’s muscles strain from bracing to stay still.

 

When Steve’s growing knot doesn’t let him thrust properly anymore, Steve pushes Bucky down onto the bed and covers him with his body. He rolls his hips, his knot dragging against Bucky’s rim from the inside and rubbing against Bucky’s prostrate. 

 

Bucky’s turned quiet but when Steve bites down on his neck at same time as rolling his hips, pushing Bucky forcefully down against the beddings, Steve’s cockhead deep inside him pushing at Bucky’s cervix, Bucky shudders and moans, his voice pained and aroused; his orgasm milks Steve’s cock, and tips him over the edge as well, his cock throbbing and filling Bucky.

 

After a moment, Steve sighs in satisfaction, and lets go of Bucky’s neck. He licks and kisses Bucky’s neck. His hands are on Bucky’s hips, just pulling and holding him tight against Steve; not that there’s a need for that, not with the way Steve’s knot keeps them firmly stuck.

 

“I’m so proud of you,” Steve murmurs against Bucky’s neck. “Can’t wait to see you carry my pups again.”


*


After his knot goes down, Steve leaves his cum-filled omega resting in the nest. The pups are nowhere in sight; Steve assumes that they’re in the bathroom.

 

Steve heads for a shower in his own quarters, basking in the afterglow of the breeding. 


*


After the shower, Steve starts assembling the nest frame in his workshop.

 

Welding is one of the many skills he has had to pick up and learn over the years. Metalwork isn’t something he’s passionate about; it’s just means to an end. He wouldn’t be able to run the island if he had never learned how to mix vibranium to make hardy enough metal to reinforce and secure facilities; a simple steel door could never hold Bucky who would simply tear through it in seconds.

 

The nest frame doesn’t have the same security risks, so Steve puts it together from simple steel. Getting it pup-safe with no sharp edges left will be the most time-consuming part of the project.


*


Steve’s rest of the day goes uneventful. He works on the nest frame until it’s time to make the milking rounds. He spends his dinner in suite two, where Bucky’s having a better day today; this time, he responds to Steve’s questions and doesn’t get spooked by the milking. After the milking rounds, Steve works on the small odd-jobs around the facilities, leaving the nest frame for the next day.

 

When Steve returns to his quarters in the evening, the sight of the weather reports on his desk reminds him of the morning and the last night’s dreams — but they are easy to brush away; he feels well-grounded, his body still full of the feel-good hormones after the breeding, his mind busy with the plans for the next day and with satisfied little fantasies of today’s Bucky’s next litter being not just the regularly large litter with four or five pups, but a huge one with six or even seven; unlikely, but a nice fantasy, nevertheless.


*


The next day, Steve finishes the nest frame, welding it all together in suite seven because there would have been no way to get it through the doorways in one piece. It’s a huge construction, up to Steve’s shoulders; enough space for Bucky and the pups crawl comfortably in its two ‘floors’.

 

In the late afternoon, while getting ready to start the food restocking and milking rounds, Steve gets an alert to his radio phone, which he always carries around in his pocket.

 

One of his omegas in the kennel building has ‘rang the bell’. It’s a security feature Steve has installed for every room, suite, and stall in the kennel building in case they need Steve.

 

The alert could mean something as innocuous as a broken appliance that needs fixing. But it could also mean a medical emergency.

 

Steve drops the half-filled wheelbarrow in the middle of the food storage room. He runs out of the room, up the stairs to the ground floor, and over the muddy courtyard with the cold rain whipping against his face.

 

When Steve enters the building, Bucky in stall one is trying to calm down the whining pups. The pups are clearly spooked, fear and worry evident in their voices and scents.

 

Steve’s heart clenches. Not a broken appliance, then.

 

“Not here,” Bucky says when Steve approaches the stall. He’s tense and looks concerned as he nods towards the door to the next stall. “Richie got hurt. We heard him crying."

 

Steve nods and hurries over to the next stall. 

 

In the back of his mind, Steve marvels how strange it is to hear Bucky refer to a pup from another stall; in the kennel building, his omegas never talk about each other or each other’s pups with Steve, and Steve has never seen them try to interact with the adjacent stalls.

 

Steve has seen the pups knock on the walls between the stalls and squealing in delight if they receive a knock in return from the other side. Steve has seen them play ‘copy me’ games with elaborate knocking patterns on the walls and even climb high on the climbing wall outside to quietly sing silly songs or talk to each other over the yard walls. They frequently leave each other toys and crafts in the garden.

 

But something about Bucky acknowledging that he knows other omega’s pups by name feels… unsettling to Steve. It pokes too close to the bittersweet memories from the first few years on the island when his first omegas mingled freely and helped each other to care of their litters together.

 

When Steve gets to the next stall, it’s quickly apparent that nothing life-threatening happened. Richie, one of the eight-year-old pups, is in Bucky’s lap, covered in mud and holding his arm awkwardly and sniffling, while Bucky’s hugging and comforting him. The other pups are hovering around, looking worried; the youngest ones look like they’ve been crying, but clearly just out of a scare.

 

"What happened?" Steve asks as he unlocks the doors and gets inside.


*


Apparently, some of the stall two’s pups were playing outside despite the rain when their play turned to a scuffle. The outside climbing wall had been wet and slippery from the rain, and Richie fell from there and landed badly.

 

Later, while making a cast for Richie’s hand, Steve scolds Bucky for not watching over their pups more carefully. 

 

Bucky’s looking away and Steve can’t see his expression, but Bucky nods, accepts Steve’s rebuke, and quietly thanks Steve for his help.


*


With everything Steve’s been busy with on the island for the last few days, he’s barely had time to think about Bucky in room two. Steve’s kept his distance from the new omega corridor and left his newest omega alone to settle in. Bucky hasn’t rang the bell.

 

But the morning after Richie’s broken wrist, it’s the third day since Steve bred and bonded his newest omega; it’s time for Steve to revisit Bucky to check on how he’s doing, restock his fresh food supplies, take him to the medical for his first check-up, and renew the breeding and bondmark just to make sure they both take.

 

Usually, Steve would know to expect a blank silence or an escape attempt ending in wrestling match to show the freshly rescued Winter Soldier that Steve’s not someone they can throw around and run away from. 

 

But this Bucky? Steve doesn't know what he’ll be faced with. Bucky’s not on drug withdrawals or battling years of trauma and abuse from war and Hydra. He’s not drilled on how to act in a situation which, mistakenly, could look more like a kidnapping than a rescue. Bucky’s here because Steve wants to keep him safe, but it would be unreasonable to expect him to believe it easily. 

 

After the breakfast, Steve heads over to the new omega corridor.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Here’s the general plot of the story I had in my mind, cut in three parts (“Rejected bond”/”False hope”/”Rescue”). (This is messy. Apologies.)

 

Full time scale of the story was to be around half a year, from summer to winter. The one important missing place we didn’t get to explore was “the Pasture”: I planned for the pasture to be on the island, in the hidden plane hangar in one end of the island inside a large hill, with some outside enclosure areas and an underground tunnel from the main buildings to the hangar.

 

  1. “Rejected bond”: 
  • The first “plot twist”/”plot point” I had in my plans was for Bucky #15 to reject the bondmark. Steve would have seen the first signs in the next chapter (bondmark was healing weirdly), but realize what was happening only the next time he stops by.
  • This would make Steve seek council from Bucky #1. There’s a lot to Bucky #1, but summa summarum, he’s infertile (he basically sterilized himself violently years ago, it was gory, but he survived), lives on the pasture with the older pups, teaching them and overseeing them. Bucky #1 isn't the same Bucky from this Steve's original timeline; Steve saved him as Winter Soldier, like the others. Bucky #1 is in some ways better off than most of the others, if only because Steve genuinely tried to help him break brainwashing and get better at the time.
  • Very reluctantly, Bucky #1 offers guidance to Steve on how to “break in” Bucky #15.
  • Steve’s taking the new approach with Bucky #15, and this would have been roughly the main focus of the next 20-30k words. This includes moving Bucky to an outside enclosure near the pasture.
  • Bucky #15 learns to understand Steve and what makes him tick. There’s a “horror romance story” between them, tension coming from “will Steve succeed in ‘brainwashing’ Bucky and get him to accept the bond and lose hope of getting out” / “will Bucky succeed in getting Steve wrapped around his finger, get his guard low, and escape the island”. But...
  • ...this comes to an end when they have a fight and Bucky lashes out some hurtful words (he’s feeling jealous when Steve needs to leave, and that makes Bucky mad at himself for feeling so at all, which makes him lash out); Steve withdraws emotionally, writes off Bucky #15 as “botched first attempt on saving Bucky from the 1930s”, and starts to focus on planning how to make things better next time, for the future Bucky #16.
  • Things look bleak for Bucky #15, who’s now back to being “just one Bucky among many”, and who lost what little hope he had of gaining upper hand.
  • (I was uncertain whether or not Steve succeeded with the bond; my latest plan was for him to succeed, and for Bucky #15 to kind of starting to accept his life, Steve starting to plan on perhaps moving him back to the main building, before the fight happens.)

 

  1. “False hope”:
  • During an autumn storm, a small civilian family lands with their sailboat on the beach to seek safe haven until the storm passes. Steve’s in the kennel building’s garden when he and one of the Buckys hear the people.
  • Steve’s protective instincts blow out and for the crucial moment he thinks as just alpha protecting his pack; he orders Bucky to guard the pups and rushes over to the beach; his focus is on outside threat, not realizing that he left Bucky in the garden… from where Bucky can escape if he hurries.
  • Steve doesn’t kill the civilians; if they went missing, a large and thorough search operation would launch on the area.
  • Steve settles the civilians in one of the buildings on the beach. (They think it’s an off-limits military island.) I planned to have this family show up for the extra juicy comparison of how families *actually* are in the universe; a lot like what we have IRL. Most of Steve’s alpha/omega and pack fantasies are just in his head; there’s some old stuff to it, but it’s a very normal family, with very normal kids, who stop by. Steve scoffs at their dynamics. It’s 1970s, and the omega rights movements have already got far, compared to what Steve believes as “right”.
  • Things go FUBAR, because Bucky did escape from the kennel building. He’s set on finding his firstborns (from the Pasture) and releasing everyone, starting from the other stalls in the kennel building.
  • It looks like the end of the island for Steve, but he ends up fixing the situation with time travel. He travels to the start of the day, kills ‘himself’, and starts the day anew with the knowledge of how to keep things in hand.
  • (Since the time travel works as ‘branching new timeline’... what happened to the island Steve practically abandoned? Did they escape?)
  • This event puts in motion a paranoia in Steve and some crazy plans: He is reminded that eventually, the island won’t stay hidden when the information revolution truly kicks in. He’s always known that one day, he would need to figure out what to do next.
  • Steve starts to fantasize about taking his whole pack somewhere back in time, like he’s been doing for his older pups. The fantasies spiral towards total madness by the end of the story; Steve plans on possibly wiping other humans out of existence in that prehistoric timeline, and making the whole world the Garden of Eden for his pack, where’s Steve’s not the god, but the immortal “Adam” with his “Eves”, filling the world and leading the humanity (= his pups, his pack) on the right path. His omegas would be free to roam the world, with no fear of any sort of outside society, and Steve would catch them for breeding whenever he wanted. (The only nasty problem, which Steve is reluctant to address, would be how to keep them from killing him.)

 

  1. “Rescue”:
  • Summa summarum, this Steve hasn’t been the only one who’s abused the stones’ powers… but he’s also one of the *few* evil/mad Steves. Most Steves returned from the past to the present day, because fuck you Endgame. And even most of those who stayed in the past didn’t go full on villain mad.
  • The Avengers from the other universe come for the rescue mission, which spans over a few chapters. The way Steve’s abused the time stone has been wrecking some havoc on the web of time, space, and reality far beyond the universes he’s touched; from the Avengers’ point of the view he’s a mad villain, and they’ve been trying to track and locate him. And he isn’t the first Steve they have already had to stop: They have one of the Peggys with them, from the universe where Steve pulled the same island stunt with her.
  • Plans I had for the last few chapters: 
    • “Other Steve” investigates the island (Steve doesn’t recognize any strange smells, but he notices some oddities in Bucks/pups’ behaviour, and some things are misplaced) while Peggy walks straight in, trying to get a “Oh my darling, I couldn’t believe it was really you who was rumored to be spotted in the nearby town”, because they expected the island to be full of Peggys again.
    • There’s a fight between Other Steve and Steve, Steve realizes it’s this time “his turn to die” (like before he killed ‘himself’), but he desperately tries to make Other Steve to promise to him that he’ll take care of the Bucks and the pups.
    • The ending has been one of those things that was not full fledged at all: open questions included whether or not Steve would be killed or something else was done; would it be Other Steve or one of the Buckys who would kill him; etc.
    • Also, possibility for the Steve’s last speech to be about how he sees that Other Steve and Bucky from that universe are bonded; Steve says how Other Steve can’t understand his pain or how intense his fear of living eternally alone was.
  • Last Chapter: Told from Other Steve’s POV.
    • Figuring out what Buckys want to do next. Other Steve feeling ill and exhausted by witnessing the island. Sam, Natasha, (Bucky? if there is Other Bucky here?) and Peggy are making most of the work, releasing the omegas and the pups. Everyone’s really careful about not saying anything about being there for them to “rescue them”.
    • Bucky #1 is the first Bucky to approach Other Steve. They have a talk.

 

 

Chapter Text

List of all Buckys:

 

I've included some background information for Bucky #0 and Bucky #1, since we never really got to them properly in the story. For the others, I've only included the "basic information".

 

Some important dates for the story:

- The Infinity War: 2018; The Endgame ("Five years later"): 2023

- Steve and Bucky #1's arrival on the island: "Y1" = 1953

- Bucky #15 (Young!Bucky), from 1936 (19y), arrives on the island on June 28th Y24 (1976)

 

Bucky #0 (OG Bucky, Bucky whom Steve knew in his original timeline)

* Steve left him behind. OG Bucky's story, as I replied to one commentor of Chapter 8: (CW for Transphobic!Steve)

 

OG Bucky and this Steve had a relationship pre-war and during the war, but they never bonded. Omega rights pre-war were lacking, and Bucky did all he could to pass as a beta, something hinted at by the way Bucky #15 is covered in scentblocks in Chapter 2/3. OG Bucky and Steve never had a chance to really rekindle things, to stop and discuss things, until post-CW/pre-IW in Wakanda and after Bucky's triggers were gone, and Bucky was healing and recovering...

...but that was when Bucky dropped a bomb for Steve: Bucky wasn't ready to "just jump back into being together".

Bucky wanted to find out who he was for himself, wanted time and space, and most of all, he was thinking about accepting Shuri's offer to help him through a designation transition to beta (surgery, hormonal treatments etc.) Bucky had never been comfortable as omega, and this option was something that felt right to him. Also, after all Bucky had been through, the idea of bonding with Steve left him unsettled; the way this Steve was didn't help either, suffocating and bulldozing and assuming Steve didn't even have to ask Bucky's opinion, that of course Bucky saw the two of them as inevitable. In my mind, they had their first talk about all of this post-CW, but the final talk was post fight with Thanos. I imagine Steve being in shock and Bucky trying his best to be kind, gentle and patient with him (more than Steve even deserved) as he explained how they were on the different page about their relationship, how Bucky wasn't ready to 'settle down' with Steve and wasn't sure if he ever would be. If anything, having to tell "no" to Steve was the hardest decision Bucky had ever had, and breaking Steve's heart was heartbreaking for *Bucky*.

Steve had no choice but to accept Bucky's decision (although he didn't understand it). But he felt lost, like his whole world had turned upside down (in Steve's mind, Bucky had always been *his*, even when not bonded), and the sense of losing control over everything crept up on him.

What had he fought for? What future he had for him?

The jealousy and paranoia started to cloud his vision soon; he started to suspect that Bucky had rejected Steve because Bucky had feelings for Sam. Sam was Steve's best friend in 21st century, and this paranoia didn't make Steve hate Sam; just made Steve himself miserable, imagining the future where Steve would be in the sidelines, watching the love of his life and the best friend he had ever found in the 21st century fall in love together. It was all in Steve's head, because Steve just had easier time believing that Bucky had started to fall for another alpha than Bucky genuinely not wanting to be with anyone (Steve!) right now.

When the opportunity to stay back in time presented itself, for Steve it felt like a potential escape from the present day where Steve felt like his whole world had gone out of control and lost all meaning, all hopes for family of his own were slipping through his fingers even after the happy ending of defeating Thanos. And then, of course, the idea of saving Bucky-in-the-past from the Hydra popped in his head... Steve could have a second chance with Bucky.

Bucky in the present day could do whatever he wanted; Steve could save Bucky-in-the-past and offer him "a better life"; Steve wouldn't need to battle with any bitter feelings against his friend, Sam, for "stealing Bucky from him" since they could both have Bucky! Everyone would be happy! Perfect! (This whole love triangle aspect was still all in Steve's head only.)

OG Bucky's heart broke when he realized that Steve was going to stay in the past after returning the stones. But he respected it as Steve's decision... and I imagine that Bucky learned to move on. He said goodbye to his best friend ("I'll miss you" scene in EG) and his ex and hoped Steve would find his place in the past. OG Bucky stayed to help rebuild the world after Thanos, made friends, helped Sam to become the next Captain America, adopted Alpine, had a whole life. OG Bucky found his place and peace and hoped that Steve had done the same in the past. He did suspect that Steve might have gone to save Bucky from the Hydra, and as weird thought as that was, OG Bucky hoped them all the best. He had seen some signs of this Steve's "madness" over the years, but he always saw Steve through a little rose-tinted glasses (as most do, when it's our loved ones), and had no idea of what all Steve was going to end up doing.

 

 

Bucky #1 (James, Pasture!Bucky, the first one Steve saved and brought to the island)

* Arrived on the island: Y1

* Residence on Y24: Pasture

* Litters (4): Y1 (2 pups: Rebecca, Winnie), Y2 (3 pups), Y3 (2 pups), Y4 (2 pups). Infertile since after the fourth litter.

* With Bucky #1, Steve had noble intentions and naive optimism. Bucky #1's story: (CW for Steve physically harming kids, mentions of Bucky #2's suicide attempt)

 

Steve planned to genuinely help him get better. Bucky #0 had got onto his own feet after the fall of the Triskelion, alone and on the run until Steve found him in Romania... oh how better things would be for Bucky #1, since Steve could be there for him through his whole recovery!

Steve tried to be patient, but the patience had never been his strongest trait. Long months went by while they worked on making the island habitable and the safe home for them, but in Steve's eyes, Bucky made little to no progress. Steve was afraid to admit it to himself, but to him, it looked like Bucky was even regressing after the first initial surprisingly good weeks on the island.

Steve woke up in the middle of the nights only to find Bucky gone onto a patrol around the island, hiding from Steve until suddenly he returned hours later; Bucky didn't warm up to Steve's affections and was emotionally distant, even after Steve coerced him to sex and the bond soon after the rescue; Bucky didn't eat enough, sleep enough, or accept any meds that could have helped him.

Steve started to fear that one day he would wake up to find Bucky gone from the island. That this Bucky too would reject him one day, and leave Steve alone. That Steve's second chance was going downhill. Steve remembered all too well the hopelessness he had felt when he had tried to find Bucky after Shieldra's fall in 21st century. The fear of losing Bucky propelled Steve to turn more controlling, and also kickstarted the idea of saving more Buckys.

Bucky #1 got most time to 'get back to himself' with Steve treating him at the start the best and most normal, and without Steve ruining the process too badly to him. Bucky gave birth to twin sisters (Rebecca and Winnie; Winnie was later culled as a snap decision on Steve's part for 'rebellious behavior') on December of the first year on the island. Steve bred Bucky #1 soon after, and Bucky gave birth to his second litter in Y2 (3 pups), third on Y3 (2 pups), and to his final litter on late Y4 (2 pups).

After his fourth litter, Bucky pulled off a gory self-surgery, survived, and has been infertile ever since. Steve snapped and punished him by severely hurting one pup of each Bucky on the island at the time (Bucky #1, Bucky #2, Bucky #3), laying down the law that any self-harm would result in Steve hurting the pups beyond the physical punishments he had done so far; this time he left a permanent remainder for each Bucky to behave and to keep each other in check too, and took out two fingers off from three pups, one from each Bucky.

In fifth year ("the chaos year", which defined the later years and put stop to all Steve's attempts on giving Bucks any freedom on the island), Bucky #2 attempted suicide and was put on coma. Bucky #2's attempt was irrational and done from pain, with no ability to think about the consequences (Bucky #2's connection with reality was thin), but Steve, nevertheless, took out his anger again on Bucky #1 and Bucky #3 for 'failing to keep an eye on Bucky #2', by hurting the pups severely, the only sure way Steve had to punish his omegas.

Afterward, Bucky #1 and Bucky #3 decided that they had to try to get everyone out, because Steve was proving to be more and more dangerous. They tried to pull off a whole-island escape and nearly succeeded; it was a close call and Bucky #3 almost managed to kill Steve. However, the newest omega, Bucky #4 ("the Asset") helped Steve; Steve had him in tight control with trigger words and wipes, paranoid that he'd turn against Steve as well if let loose.

Steve contained everyone. He separated and put all the (2-4y) pups weaned off breastmilk to the garage building (nowadays kennel building) and started to work on proper containment cells with Bucky #4.

Between autumn of Y5 and spring Y6, Steve reached a truce with Bucky #1. They both were shaken and changed by all that had happened in the past five years, and in the following years their relationship turned to tentative co-operation for the sake of the pups and other Bucks: the first iteration of the "pasture" was born when Steve allowed Bucky #1 to take care of the separated pups; after the "chaos year", Bucky #1 was the only one willing to even talk with Steve (#2 was in coma, #3 was too filled with hatred and worse off mentally, #4 was bad off after Steve's use of trigger words and wipes) so Steve, desperate and mad, found himself returning to him in his loneliness, and finally begging Bucky #1 to help him figure out how to fix everything. Bucky #1 was the one who managed to convince Steve to stop culling pups and even negotiated for the pups' freedom once they were old enough. To prevent future fiascos, Bucky #1 turned to Steve's only 'voice of reason' on the island, whom Steve consulted rarely but often enough that by Y24, the life was passable for most everyone on the island.

By the Y24, Bucky #1 has been on the island for the longest. He hasn't had his own litter for twenty years, but he's taken care of other omegas's older pups on the pasture for a long time; he's wiped away tears every fall when the new ten-year-olds arrive to the pasture, missing their siblings and 'home', bewildered by the change in their life. His relationship with Steve is complex; there's a long, gruesome history between the two of them. Bucky's been here from the start, and seen the island through all its iterations, from the hopeful start to the tyrannical nightmare phase where Steve was at his lowest, to the recent years of things getting slowly but steadily better around the island (eg. the finished kennel building, which Bucky #1 helped Steve to design; Steve's become more secure in his 'possession' and control of Buckys and less likely to snap and lash out). The hope for a better future for the pups has kept Bucky #1 going.

 

Bucky #2 (Coma!Bucky):

* Arrived on the island: Y2

* Residence on Y24: Steve's bedroom

*Litters (20): Y3, Y5, Y7, Y8, Y9, Y10, Y11, Y12, Y13, Y14, Y15, Y16, Y17, Y18, Y19, Y20, Y21, Y22, Y23, Y24 (2 pups). Total number of pups: 30 (average litter size 1.5).

 

Bucky #3 (Violent!Bucky)

* Arrived on the island: Y4

* Residence on Y24: Suite 1

* Litters (10): Y5 (2 pups), Y7 (1 pup), Y9 (1 pup), Y11 (1 pup), Y13 (2 pups), Y15 (2 pups), Y17 (2 pups), Y19 (2 pups), Y21 (3 pups), Y23 (2 pups). Total number of pups: 18.

 

Bucky #4 (Asset!Bucky)

* Arrived on the island: Y5

* Residence on Y24: Suite 4

* Litters (10): Y6 (1 pup), Y8 (2 pups), Y10 (2 pups), Y12 (2 pups), Y14 (2 pups), Y16 (2 pups), Y18 (3 pups), Y20 (3 pups), Y22 (3 pups), Y24 (3 pups). Total number of pups: 23.

 

Bucky #5 

* Arrived on the island: Y7

* Residence on Y24: Suite 3

* Litters (9): Y8 (2 pups), Y10 (2 pups), Y12 (2 pups), Y14 (2 pups), Y16 (2 pups), Y18 (2 pups), Y20 (3 pups), Y22 (3 pups), Y24 (3 pups). Total number of pups: 21.

 

Bucky #6

* Arrived on the island: Y8

* Residence on Y24: Kennel Stall 1

* Litters (8): Y9 (1 pup), Y11 (2 pups), Y13 (3 pups), Y15 (Betty, Mary, Will), Y17 (3 pups), Y19 (3 pups), Y21 (4 pups), Y23 (3 pups). Total number of pups: 22.

 

Bucky #7

* Arrived on the island: Y9

* Residence on Y24: Kennel Stall 2

* Litters (8): Y10 (2 pups), Y12 (2 pups), Y14 (3 pups), Y16 (Richie and 2 more pups), Y18 (2 pups), Y20 (4 pups), Y22 (2 pups), Y24 (3 pups). Total number of pups: 21.

 

Bucky #8 (Bonded to someone else)

* Arrived on the island: Y10

* Residence on Y24: Suite 4

* Litters (3): Y13, Y17, Y22. Total number of pups: 11.

 

Bucky #9

* Arrived on the island: Y12

* Residence on Y24: Kennel Stall 3

* Litters (6): Y13, Y15, Y17, Y19, Y21, Y23. Total number of pups: 19.

 

Bucky #10

* Arrived on the island: Y13

* Residence on Y24: Kennel Stall 4

* Litters: Y14 (Freddie, Becsy), Y16 (Georgie, Maggie, Bert), Y18 (3 pups), Y20 (4 pups), Y22 (3 pups), Y24 (3 pups). Total number of pups: 18.

 

Bucky #11 ("No more pups"!Bucky)

* Arrived on the island: Y16

* Residence on Y24: Suite 5

* Litters (4): Y17, Y19, Y21, Y23. Total number of pups: 14.

 

Bucky #12

* Arrived on the island: Y19

* Residence on Y24: Suite 6

* Litters (3): Y20 (Winnie, Becs, Beth), Y22 (3 pups), Y24 (4 pups). Total number of pups: 10.

 

Bucky #13 (Nest Obsessed!Bucky)

* Arrived on the island: Y22

* Residence on Y24: New Omega Room 1 /Moved to Suite by the time of the rescue

* Litters (1): Y23 (4 pups). Total number of pups: 4.

 

Bucky #14 (Feral!Bucky)

* Arrived on the island: Y23

* Residence on Y24: New Omega Room 3

* Litters (1): Y24 (5 pups). Total number of pups: 5.

 

Bucky #15 (Young!Bucky)

* Arrived on the island: Y24

* Residence on Y24: New Omega Room 2 / Moved to Suite / Moved to Custom Outdoor Enclosure by the time of the rescue

* Expecting the first litter by the time of the rescue.

 

 

Buckys listed by the residence (at the start of the story):

New Omega Rooms:

1: #13

2: #15

3: #14

4: (empty)

 

Suites:

1: #3

2: #4

3: #5

4: #8

5: #11

6: #12

 

Kennel Building:

1: #6

2: #7

3: #9

4: #10

 

Pasture: #1

Steve's bedroom: #2