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In Love and Civil War

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"You know, I thought we were supposed to be fighting." Tony was his usual outwardly composed self as he listened to the mechanical whirring sound of his suit being torn away, joint by joint. "No?"
Bzzzt. Clank.
Bzzzt. Clank.
"I don't have to let you do this you know." He's speaking a little too fast now, especially since he can now feel the crisp German air on his neck.
The air was followed by searing hot lips.
Tony gasped, the lips parted, intent on suckling out their bright mark on Tony's skin.
"But you are letting me" Steve Rogers ripped another section of the Iron Man suit away, dropping it unceremoniously on the concrete floor of the parking garage they were in.
"God, I used to hate you." Tony rambled at a breakneck, the tell that Steve had picked up on, indicating that Stark's nerves were acting up. "The way dad used to talk about you. Like you were some fucking god he'd made."
"Language." Steve purred, sliding his hand over the jawline of the suit. There was a slight hiss as he pulled the faceplate free. "We're not talking about Howard, are we."
Tony was looking at him with glassed over eyes, pupils wide and lips slightly parted.
"Tired subject isn't it? Nice that you were on a first name basis with him though. I mea--mhh." He was cut off by Steve's lips crushing against his own. The kiss was a bit dizzying for Stark though it was brief.
"You're rambling, Tony. You gonna be this nervous every time, doll?" He half-teased.

"Well, first of all, you sound like a bad 1930's cartoon when you talk like that. And secondly, just for teasing me, I'm not helping you with the rest of the suit. So that's a thing." He tried to look as cocky as he managed sounding. It didn't work, he looked as vulnerable and nervous as ever.

Steve rolled his eyes and ripped a large portion of the chest plating away. He'd wanted to take this slow, tease Tony, make him squirm, but Tony's words were like a challenge. He'd get him out of that tin can alright.
He wasn't being careful anymore, going plate by plate. Friday was voicing several warnings in quick succession in Tony's ear.
"Fine! Fine! You win, Cap. stop."
The suit came apart at the seams and Tony found himself being pulled from it just as quickly.
Steve pushed Tony against the closest wall, claiming his mouth more hungrily now that it wasn't framed in metal. Steve loved that out of the suit, Tony was quite slight in his build. He had muscle, sure, but it was the lean and tightly coiled kind. He was shorter too, even after all these years of being over six foot someone smaller than him gave Steve a huge thrill.
He threaded his hands in Tony's hair, pulling back a bit from the wall so that he could tilt Stark's head back, giving him full access to his mouth.
Cap's tongue slid past Tony's lips and Tony's eagerly met it. Somehow Steve always tasted like fresh mint, like he'd just brushed his teeth. Tony's body started relaxing against Steve. His eyes flew open as Steve's tongue slid over the roof of his mouth eliciting a moan. He pressed himself against the other, silently asking for more.

Steve reluctantly parted lips with Tony, scraping his perfect teeth over the lower one as he did so, catching it just enough to make Tony yelp out a moan. He smirked as he kissed a trail from Stark's lips down his neck, leaving more purple bruises in his wake.
The sounds Tony made were almost too much for Steve. Reedy, and eager. Definitely not sounds he had made for the unending string of girls that used to frequent Tony's bed. Maybe, Steve thought to himself, these were sounds only he heard.

His hands slid from Tony's hair, down his back and settled on his ass. Steve gripped it hard, pushing their hips together. Steve rolled his own, grinding them together, making sure Tony could feel how much he wanted him. The nature of Cap's suit left nothing to the imagination.

Tony, emboldened by need, slid his hand between their bodies and gripped Steve's clothed cock. It was his turn to smirk at the strained sound Steve made. "Are you going to take that suit off?" Tony purred, "I kind of prefer Steve Rogers. Never fucked 'Captain America' before" he snarked.
Cap shook his head. Tony resisted reaching up to yank off the hood at least. Just so he could muss his hair, card his fingers through it. But no, that was Too intimate, this was a heat-of-battle pent-up lust kind of thing after all. "So I get dressed down but you--" Cap put up a hand silencing Tony.

"We're fighting. Remember?" With that Steve pushed Tony down to his knees with one hand. The other fumbled to free his aching cock. Tony eyed the impressive length as it sprang free.
Steve's fingers curled into his hair and pulled him forward. Tony braced himself on Steve's thighs. "I try not to put GMOs in my mouth, Cap, I really--"
In spite of Tony behaving like a sheer and total brat, Steve found no resistance when he actually tried pushing into Stark's mouth. In fact he received a moan for his efforts. After a few shallow thrusts into Tony's mouth, the smaller man pulled away. "If I'm doing this I'm doing it right. Let me." He blurted out before Steve could silence him again.
He received a curt nod and reached out. His hand slid around Cap's cock, pumping it a few times whilst trying to settle his nerves. Captain America was more intimidating by far than Steve Rogers. Especially at this angle.
Tony licked his lips and leaned in, running his tongue along the underside of Steve's cock.
It was like electricity to Steve, he groaned and resisted trying to push back inside those pretty lips.
Tony continued a slow tease, lightly running the tip of his tongue over all the contours of Steve. He lingered over the flushed head, flicking his tongue against the slit, tasting precum, letting it slick his lips in an obscene way. He glanced up to see the look on Steve's face. His lips were slightly parted and he was panting. His eyes were hooded and his pupils darkening the blue. Delicious. Tony maintained eye contact when he finally opened his mouth, taking Steve to the back of his throat.
He bobbed his head, moaning softly, sluttily, vibrations from his voice running through, Cap's thick cock.
Steve groaned and pulled back "take your shirt off." He gasped out. Bravado and bratty attitude tossed aside, Tony too tossed aside his shirt. "Pants too. Off." Cap ordered. Here Tony's hands fumbled with his belt, shaking too much to be quick.
Cap became frustrated and pushed Tony down against the concrete, sinking down to his knees along with him. Steve's dick was throbbing, he knew he had to slow this down, take at least a little time.
He pushed a knee between Tony's legs, grinding against him while he unbuckled Stark's belt himself.
Again Tony felt searing lips on his skin this time kissing and biting a trail from neck to chest. He arched up, moaning when Steve's teeth caught his nipple. He was glad they were down on the concrete now, his legs felt like jelly.
"Nh-- ahh! Cap!" He found himself gasping out as Steve flicked his tongue out over his rigid nipple.
Steve smirked and slid down kissing a trail to the top of Tony's pants. He knelt up and practically ripped them down. The only thing he paused to do was toss Tony's sneakers off one by one. Then Tony suddenly found himself naked in a German parking garage.

He couldn't linger on the thought however because Steve wasted no time pushing his knees to his chest, holding him practically upside down. "Cap-- Cap what're you doing, ahhh- h--hahhh fuck." His question turned into a hoarse moan as Steve's tongue entered him. When had Captain Great Depression learned this? And aside from just learning it, when had he gotten GOOD at it?
He squeezed his eyes shut and let the incredible, slick feeling envelop him. The strong, wet appendage swirled within him, writhing like an eel. Intermittently, Steve would pull back and languidly let his tongue circle quivering flesh, teasing just at the entrance. Tony's moans became needy pleas and it lit fire in Steve's loins. After a while he let Tony's shaking legs drop and looked at him with smouldering eyes, and a dark expression on his face, almost predatory. It excited Tony in a way he couldn't quite pinpoint.
"You want my cock, Stark?" He growled, sending a shudder of pleasure through Tony- that forceful tone, it was thrilling--- but hearing Captain America speak like that, god, it did something to Tony.

"You know I do." He breathed.

"Then say it, Tony. Say; 'I want your cock, Captain.'" he ran his fingertips along one of Tony's inner thighs making the smaller man's eyelids flutter closed momentarily.

"Cap, I--" he began but was cut off by a stern look. "I want your cock, Captain." He managed, breathlessly.

"Is that so?" Cap said, leaning forward, passing a gloved hand over Tony's rigid prick. The sharp intake of breath from the other man made Steve smirk.

"Please!" Tony yelped as Cap began lightly pumping him. Cap just kept smirking and moving his hand along til it was practically coated in precum.
He leaned back and used it to slick his own cock, "once more?" He cooed.

"Please, Cap, j-just do it already." Tony practically begged. "I need you." He gazed up at the other, parting his legs just slightly.

"I haven't stretched you much are you sur---" Steve began, before remembering how angry he was with Tony, that they were practically at war with each other. "Fine." He stated, pushing Tony's legs wide and moving between them.

Tony knew that look of resolve, remembered this was only a meant to be a little more than a hate-fuck. He braced himself as he felt the hot, slick tip of Steve's impressive cock between his cheeks.
"Remember you're enhanced and I'm breakable." He gasped out, a little panic edging into his brain.
That very same brain nearly whited out when he was given the first couple of inches. He arched against Steve, feeling his muscles rippling through the flexible fabric of his suit. His arms went around Steve, both panting harshly as they waited for Tony to adjust.
Cap rolled his hips and Tony cried out as more sank into him.
There was some kind of relief in this for Tony. Some surrender in the pain. "More, Captain." He found himself pleading. "I can take it."
Cap growled low in Tony's ear. After a moment's hesitation he bucked his hips, finally pressing his pelvis to plush ass. He arched back, breathing a sigh of near relief at being fully seated inside Tony's hot insides.
When he looked back down at Stark he had his eyes squeezed tight and was biting his lip so hard that Steve wasn't surprised when a little blood trickled down.
"Breathe, Tony." He commanded hoarsely. When Tony didn't, he popped his hips, forcing a gasp. "I said breathe."
Tony nodded wordlessly and focused on breathing. He'd had Steve before but he never remembered feeling this painfully full. Then again, it had been a while.
"It's so big." He whimpered then flushed, embarrassed at his own words.
"Cute." Was all Steve replied as he began lightly rocking his hips, even small motions brought out lovely sounds from Stark. Steve loved seeing him so raw. He was certain that the only other person alive who'd seen the cocky billionaire like this was Pepper. It made Steve smile inwardly.

Tony wrapped his legs around Steve's waist. He found it eased the angle and let him move easier.

"Mmh, I like that ." Cap purred, pulling his hips back and popping them forward, experimentally. Tony gasped out his name and Steve gave him more of the same.

When he was able to move inside with ease, Cap drew back til just the tip remained inside, he angled his hips a bit gave Tony a series of hard, shallow thrusts, that made the smaller man practically scream.
"That's it! Th-there!" Tony cried as Cap's cock assaulted his spot. He writhed beneath the other man, Fingers digging into his biceps. When Tony finally came, it seared through his brain and body like a jolt of lightning. He saw first only whiteness then stars, then Steve's face above him.
He barely registered Steve speaking to him and had to focus hard when he repeated himself.
"In or out, Tony, I'm n---nhh not wearing a rubber." Steve groaned out through grit teeth.
Tony flushed, he was usually very careful, hadn't ever let Steve--
Cap got his answer when Tony wrapped his legs tighter around him drawing him deeper.
Steve claimed his lips as he filled him, moaning raggedly into his mouth.
Tony felt Steve's seed flood his insides, hot and quite a lot if he could judge by the feeling.
Cap collapsed on top of Tony, panting and kissing him repeatedly.

A sound behind them shook them from their shared reverie.
"You two done here? I thought we were fighting?" The voice was a strained attempt at cockiness.
Tony reached for his shirt and Cap jolted up, immediately sobered.

"Bucky!" He gasped out.

Chapter Text

Steve stood up quickly, shoving his softening cock back inside his pants as he did so. He stood so that he partially obscured the prone, naked man behind him.
He could hear Tony behind him scrambling to get back into his clothes.

Bucky didn't meet Steve's eyes. "This how you wage a war, Stevie? Huh. Hitler didn't stand a chance." He said with a mirthless laugh

Ever since Steve had broken the law to protect him--- fractured the Avengers for him-- Bucky had been feeling things again that he hadn't for a long time. Now there was a tugging in his chest that he wished he could bury. . . Even under the guise of The Winter Soldier.
"You know," Bucky began, pretending to focus more on his metallic arm than on Steve, flexing his fingers and turning his hand over as if inspecting his nonexistent fingernails."I liked ya before you were so easy on the eyes."

"Yeah, I know, Buck." Steve said with a practised calm. he was mostly buying time for Tony-- who was still struggling with his shoes-- to get clear or at least back in his suit.
"What the hell is it with you and these Stark men?" Bucky hissed, venomously. "I get it, I mean they're cocky, brash and charming-- rich to boot but come on Steve!"

Behind Steve, Tony froze, letting his sneaker drop, echoing dully in the empty garage. Tony felt like his heart had dropped to the pit of his stomach.
"What, what's he mean, Cap?" He asked shakily. He tried not letting his imagination run wild, tried not imagining--- he shook his head to clear those thoughts away.

Cap stood with his fists clenched, "Nothing, Tony just, get dressed and go." He said without turning.

Tony let his other shoe fall from where he'd tucked it under his arm. "You, didn't do what I think he's insinuating, did you?"

Steve shot a glare at Bucky then turned around to face Tony.
"Tony I. . . It was--"

"Tell him!" Bucky interrupted. Something ugly was bubbling up inside Bucky, it unsettled him. The events that had occurred up til this point were swirling around like a thick fog in his head; the war, Steve changing, then what happened after he fell. . . He shook his head and crossed his arms, turning away. He realized he was being possessive and jealous. After all Steve was all he had left to cling to from before. The only really good thing.

Steve heaved a sigh and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Tony, it was 1942." He groaned. "Howard was--" again he was interrupted, this time by Tony.

"You see, I knew there was something I didn't like about you being so familiar. The way he talked about you." He scoffed seeming actually angry now, and was unceremoniously picking up his shoes and cramming his feet into them. "This was obviously all a mistake." He stood with a wide, board-meeting-presentation stance, the kind he'd use to cockily command the attention of entire rooms.
He pressed a few times on the glowing reactor on his chest and his Iron Man suit began flying into place.

Steve lunged forward grabbing his shoulder. "Tony, let me explain!"

 

1942
____________________________________________

In the days immediately following Dr Erskine's assassination, Steve found it hard to adjust. He had this inkling at the back of his mind that the doc had just survived, he'd have had en easier time, more sage advice.
The army had put him up in a tiny apartment until they could figure out what to do with him--a one-off from a project that would never be as planned.
Already he'd broken a mustard jar, a tap on the kitchen sink and crushed the back of a chair at the dining table. And that was all in the span of just this afternoon.
Now he sat, feeling like he was full of tense energy, like a clock wound up too tight. All coils and springs waiting to snap into motion. He held his head in his hands, it took so much care and energy to not crush every delicate thing. And now everything seemed delicate.
The only relief he'd experienced was through running. It wasn't exactly a common hobby amongst New Yorkers. Nobody did early morning laps around the block, not unless they were being chased by someone.
Thus Steve pulled on his coat, and left the cramped apartment, his feet taking him to the local high school campus. The trek there was still surreal to him, he didn't have to struggle to see past the crowds anymore. No one pushed him aside to get by, people glanced at him men admiring his physique and women smiling coyly as he passed.
He found he really didn't much like the attention, though he used to always envy Bucky for grabbing it.
Finally at the school, he pushed open the gate to the area where kids usually practised their track and field skills.
It was a half mile circular dirt running track ringing in a flat expanse of grass. There were bits of old paper confetti and a few streamers in the school's colors still lingering from the last event held there. Steve put his coat down on the bench beside the track and stretched for a few minutes before taking off around the track at a breakneck speed.
His thoughts didn't race so much here. He just focused on his breathing and the ground he was covering. All he could hear was wind in his ears and his own steady pulse.
God only knew how many miles he'd run before he stopped, barely out of breath, just a bit sweaty and overall content.
He was shocked to hear someone clapping from the stands.
"Good show of sportsmanship there, Rogers." Howard Stark stood up from where he was sitting, putting an unlit Chesterfield between his grinning lips.
"Mr Stark." Steve tried sounding cordial in spite of his surprise. He took Howard's proffered hand and shook it. "I didn't --"

"Expect to see me here? No, if course not." Howard cut him off, finishing his thought for him. "Just remember Rogers, if I really wanna find somebody, I can." He winked, just as cocky in real life as he was on stage.

"I haven't seen you or. . or anyone really since. . ." Steve gestured to all of himself.

Howard lit his cigarette on a pencil thin lighter that produced a perfect tiny blue flame. "What are ya, daffy? I've had stacks of paperwork that'd bury lesser men. Couldn't afford any social calls, you see." He blew a smoke ring and Steve instinctively sidestepped it.

Steve sighed "Not to sound . . . Ungrateful for you checking in, but what are you doing here now?"

"It was in Erskine's notes that you might experience something like this. Come on." Stark slung his arm up and around Steve's shoulder, forcing Steve to kind of stoop over as he was lead away.

"Where are we going?" Steve asked skeptically. "I need a shower after my run so. . ."

"It's all in hand, Stevie, all in hand."

"Don't call me that."

Howard just chuckled and fumbled getting a ring of keys from his pocket. They were standing in front of a fuck-me red Mercedes-Benz 540k special roadster. Steve let out an appreciative whistle. Of course Stark would be driving something this ostentatious during wartime.

"Hop in." He instructed as he took his place behind the wheel. "You'll like it I promise." He assured Steve, patting the passenger seat.

Soon they were speeding down side streets and narrowly avoiding pedestrians. Steve had to remind himself that this was an expensive car and not to hold too tightly to anything, regardless of how anxious Howard's driving was making him.
The millionaire beside him made small talk but it all went through Steve's ear and out the other.

When at last they pulled up to the Stark Mansion he was the first to hop out, thankful to be on stationary ground again. "Your house eh?" He queried as Howard joined him again.

Howard nodded and lead the way, not up the steps to the front door but down a path to the left.
Everything was so well manicured, even the tiny white stones that made up the path were perfectly placed. Not a single stone marred the plush green perfection of the lawn.
They passed by a beautiful garden that Steve would have loved to linger in, a fountain and a half dozen other lovely sights that Howard seemed oblivious of.

Every time Steve paused he got a "let's not dilly dally!" Or "times wasting, Rogers."

When at last they stopped Steve felt like he'd toured half the estate at least. The wing of the mansion they were at had a high domed glass ceiling and long windows down the walls. When Howard opened the door Steve found himself lead into a dimly lit and cavernous room.
"Here you are, Rogers, state of the art. Best Gymnasium money can buy." There was a running track, carpeted in some kind of rubber-like material that cushioned the step. There were dumbbells in the corner, strange equipment Steve didn't have a name for and in the center was a swimming pool. It's reflection dancing on the walls in the light of the rising moon. Was it already that late? Steve almost hadn't noticed.
"I've had you a key made." Howard said as he hung up his coat. He tested one of the dumbbells but quickly put it back. "It's kind of going to waste I only come here to swim." He had a cocky grin as he crossed to a couch that looked utterly out of place. He Pat the cushion beside himself and waited for Steve to sit down.
He pulled a file from between the cushions and thumbed through it. "Mhmm. See here" he pointed to a line in the wall of text but all Steve could make out was "Painful excess of energy" before Howard flipped the page.

"Tell me, Stevie, how are you with the dames?" He asked, not looking up from the file.

"Excuse me?" Steve replied, a little embarrassed at the question.

"Dames, the dames! Girls, Rogers, you heard of em right?"

"I don't have to answer that."

Howard laughed and lit up another cigarette. "That bad huh?" He flipped the file closed and put it back where he'd gotten it.
"Fellas more your speed?"

Bucky flashed in Steve's mind briefly before he found himself saying; "Step off pal, are you nuts?" When had he stood up? He didn't recall standing.

"No need to be touchy I'm asking out of concern." Howard lounged back on the couch, sitting at an angle to fully look up at Steve. "Best way to relieve stress and burn some energy, believe me." Steve did believe him, his reputation as a playboy preceded him.

"I uh. No I don't have a girl." Steve stated sheepishly.

"Well if you hadn't looked ready to wring my neck when I mentioned having a fella, I'd have offered you some relief." Howard smirked. Steve couldn't believe how forward and lewd Howard Stark was. Did he have no shame? Well, Steve thought to himself, he was certainly rich enough to afford not having any shame.

"You got a mouth on you, Howard Stark." Steve stated sternly, crossing his arms over his chest.

"You got no idea, doll." Stark replied with a wink.

Steve could feel the blood rush to his cheeks. Howard smiled triumphantly, seeing Steve blush like that- like he had made some sort of conquest.
"I, I think we're d-done here Mr. Stark." Steve stammered and turned on his heel.

Chapter Text

"I noticed you, you know!"
Howard stated a little hastily, getting to his feet as well. When Steve paused he continued with equal haste. "At the expo. . . Well-- well I noticed your friend. . ."

Steve rolled his eyes and started walking again.
Howard followed, "I always notice a handsome man in uniform." He stepped in front of Steve. "I REALLY noticed you after we met properly."
Oh after the serum and Vita-Ray? Of course. Steve rolled his eyes yet again and sidestepped Stark, only pausing to chastise.

"I don't care how rich you are, you're saying some dangerous things, Mr Stark." He said pointedly.

"It's just you and me here, Steve." He spoke barely above a whisper, stepping closer. "I'm usually discreet enough especially when I'm sure I'm barking up the wrong tree."
What was that supposed to mean? Sheer confusion kept Steve rooted to the spot.
His entire body tensed when Stark pressed up against him from behind. His hands slid around Steve, feeling his sculpted abs through the thin button-down he wore.

Steve's breath hitched and his heart started racing when those intruding hands slid lower. At first he thought Stark was going for the gusto but instead of grabbing him, they slid to his thighs, and back up.

"I know I'm not barking up the wrong tree." Howard said, voice husky suddenly.

"What makes you say that, Mr Stark?" Steve found his throat was bone dry when he tried speaking.

"Well, for starters," he began as he pulled the tail of Steve's shirt from where it was so neatly tucked into his slacks. "I got plenty of pals, but I don't look at a single one of em the way you look at Sargent Whats-his-name." His hands slid under both Steve's button-down and undershirt, fingers exploring the contours of his muscles.
"And God above, if you could see the hungry, possessive way he looks at you when you aren't looking."
His fingers grazed Steve's left nipple. Stark stilled, gauging Steve's reaction. "The main tell, though, is;" he whispered when Steve didn't budge, when he felt the dusty pink flesh of Steve's nipple hardening under his fingertip. "You haven't broken my nose and ran out the door yet."

It was as if those words were magic ones for Steve sprang into motion afterward. He spun around, nearly knocking Howard off his feet.
He gripped Stark's jaw in one hand and glared down at him. "I can't do this, Howard." He began. "I've only ever been with Bucky, I mean sure I've kissed a few girls and, and, and--- besides! I'll hurt you! I don't fully understand my strength just yet." He rambled, stumbling over the words in an effort to get them all out.
Howard laughed and went up on his tip toes to peck Steve's lips, effectively silencing him. "Lucky for you I am fond of a bit of pain, doll."
Steve blushed, he'd never met someone so forward as Howard Stark.
How often though, was someone so open? How many chances like this had Steve had? Maybe Howard wasn't obscenely forward, maybe he was just unabashedly himself.
"Can. . . Can we take it sl-slow?" He found himself stammering.

Again Stark flashed him that triumphant smile. Howard Stark, the conqueror. "I'm going to eat you up like a 12 course meal, doll face."

Steve soon found himself being dragged through the labyrinthine corridors of the Stark mansion. By the time Howard pulled him into a room and locked the door behind them, Steve couldn't even recall how many turns and flights of stairs they'd taken.

The room was huge, it could have easily fit Steve's entire apartment in it twice. The center of the room was dominated by a huge, unmade bed with dark gray sheets and a navy blue spread. There was a sofa and chair of the same gray paired with a low coffee table in one corner and a dressing table, stool and coatrack in another. The coatrack, Steve noted was unused with several coats puddled at the base of it.

Whilst Steve was taking in the room, Howard loosened his tie and slipped down his suspenders. He kicked his shoes off and undid the sock garters kicking those off as well. His shirt and slacks fell haphazardly where they willed and Howard sat on the edge of the bed in nothing but his shorts and undershirt. "Coming, Steve?" He queried, drawing Steve from his reverie.
The taller man blushed and somewhat hesitantly shed his shoes, socks and shirt.
He left the slacks on as he joined Howard on the bed.
The far more experienced man reached out and ran his fingers through Steve's hair, it was just as soft as he'd imagined. "I'm going to enjoy this." He whispered to himself as he moved in closer. His lips touched Steve's neck, just below the ear, then lightly entrapped the earlobe. "I'm going to enjoy this so much." He purred deep and sensuous, giving Steve goosebumps. This time it was teeth that grazed Steve's earlobe and the man let out a soft, involuntary moan.
Stark grinned. Sensitive ears eh? He knelt up, leaning against Steve, letting the fingertips of his opposite hand ghost little patterns over his pecs. His tongue meanwhile delicately traced the shell of Steve's ear. He made the smallest, most delicious sound.
"Feel nice?" Howard questioned, kissing a trail down Steve's neck.
Steve gasped out raggedly when he felt lips and teeth doing their work to his neck, teasing out their mark.
He'd never really had someone go this slowly, take this much time, with Buck. . . Well. He pushed the thought away and focused on Howard's lips. They felt simultaneously like fire and ice to him. Each time they met his needy skin Steve felt a jolt that traveled down his spine and somehow ended up in his groin.
He found that he loved the way Howard's mustache slightly tickled and the way his teeth felt against his skin.
"You can touch me, you know." Stark cooed, pecking Steve on the lips again.
Steve hesitantly slid his hand along Howard's flank, he pulled the man closer and pressed his lips to Stark's a bit more firmly.
Howard took the initiative and parted his lips, licking between Steve's, begging entrance. He relished in the way he could feel those full, sensual lips shaking as they too parted. Howard wasted no time in chasing Steve's tongue with his own.
The aggressiveness of it startled Steve and his teeth sharply grazed the invading appendage. Now it was Howard's turn to gasp out a wanton moan.
Some base instinct made Steve pull him closer, tilt his head, deepen the kiss.
Howard met Steve with equal enthusiasm. His tongue danced over Steve's, over the roof of his mouth. Steve learned quickly and returned all the motions.
At the next moan from Stark the kiss turned more urgent, a flurry of teeth on lips, and battling tongues.
When they parted, both men were flushed and panting, lips glistening and kiss-swollen.
Grinning like a Cheshire cat, Howard pushed Steve down onto the bed then straddled his hips. The smaller man peeled his undershirt off and discarded it on the floor.
He leaned forward and kissed Steve languidly, wetly. "Your mouth tastes so, so good, doll." He said so obscenely that Steve almost had to look away. If only the super-soldier could hear Stark's thoughts. His cock twitched against Steve at the thought of running said cock around Steve's full, glistening lips.
Steve roughly grabbed Stark's hips and bucked his own up, grinding his clothed cock against Howard's ass.
God above it felt huge. Stark grinned, swatted Steve's hands and shook his head. "None of that now, not yet. Not until we've expended some of this energy." Howard stated with a grin. If the grip Steve had had on his hips were any indication of his strength-- well, Stark knew he was going to have ten finger-shaped bruises on his olive skin in the morning. "We have all night, after all."
He leaned forward again and managed pulling Steve's undershirt off over his head. His lips kissed a searing trail down Steve's neck and over his chest. He lingered on a pale pink nipple, first rubbing just his lower lip over it, then his tongue. God the sounds Steve made!
"Tell me about your first time, Stevie." He purred over a rigid nipple before teasing it with his teeth.
"Hhh-ah! What?" Steve moaned out as he arched up, electricity shooting up his spine.

"Your first time, tell me." Stark switched nipples, drawing more pretty sounds from his partner.

"Nnh! My first time?" He queried and received just a nod in response.

Steve licked his lips and tried steadying his voice, it quivered all the same.
"B-bucky came home from some gin joint half drunk out of his mind, no dame on his arm, he hadn't pulled that night. He'd been so frustrated. . ." Steve paused, looking down at Stark, who had likewise paused, only tracing a finger lazily around Steve's nipple. Steve swallowed hard and resumed his story. "He came into my room and practically ripped me out of both bed and my pajamas. I was small back then you'll recall. He kissed me sloppily, I could taste the gin. I couldn't protest, didn't really want to protest. He pulled me out of bed and bent me over it. He took me dry that night and I remember screaming out into the mattress. I came hard, regardless and we curled up in my bed." Steve shifted, mostly to keep Howard from feeling how his cock twitched at the memory.
"I thought Bucky would wake up in the morning, realize the mistake and I'd never see him again. But. . . I woke up to him lazily kissing me. He told me I was better than any dame he'd had and treated me real nice, took it slow til I was begging for more of the roughness he gave me before."

"Well that's, lovely." Stark stated as he sat up. His hands were on Steve's belt loosening it. Steve raised his hips, helping Howard get him free of his slacks and underwear. He blushed at the appreciative whistle Howard let out. "Genetically enhanced my eye, some of that has to be natural."

"I reiterate, you have a mouth on you, Mr Stark." Steve breathed, trying to not sound as self conscious as he felt.

"Hm. You're right." Howard agreed as he leaned over and truly gave Steve some of that mouth. Stark's lips wrapped around the tip of Steve's prick and he wasted no time bobbing his head along the length.
Steve jumped back a bit, Howard pulled off from his cock and smiled. "Problem?" He queried, moving from Steve's side to between his legs.
"No it's just. . ." He worried his lips with his teeth, unintentionally looking so erotic it made Howard lightheaded. "It's just that I didn't expect it to feel so good." This was when Stark discovered that Steve's blush not only lit up his cheeks but spread to his chest as well.
"I could fall for a fella like you." He said in his usual cocky, jovial tone. With a soft chuckle he leaned back in to take Steve into his mouth.
Stark's tongue slid over the sensitive flesh, making Steve's toes curl.
He let his tongue slide circles around the head then dip into the slit, tasting Steve's precum. After a few frustrating minutes of Steve not uttering a sound he raised up with an audible pop of his lips.

"Clammed up on me, Rogers?" He couldn't keep the edge out of his voice. He wiped his lips and sat back, regarding Steve curiously. At least Soldier Boy's eyes were half lidded and he was panting. So, he was clearly enjoying himself.

"I'm. A .. a little overwh-whelmed." He breathed out, shakily.

"Wanna stop here?"

"No!"

"Then relax." Howard wiped his mouth again before softly kissing him. "Don't be embarrassed, don't hold back." His hand snaked down his torso and gripped Steve's wet, dripping cock. Stark's free hand gripped Steve's and guided it to his as well.

He began lightly working his hand over Steve and leaned in close to his ear so he could nip and kiss at it.
There, there was a pretty moan at last, soft and breathy.
Steve tentatively began to move his hand as well, Circling the pad of his thumb over the head of Howard's cock. Stark's breath hitched, "tell me when you're close, Steve."

It wasn't long before they were both gasping out moans and bucking into one another's hands.
Steve gasped out that he was close and he came, arching off the bed, coating both his own abdomen and Howard's hand. He fell back panting raggedly. "Jesus, Mary and Joseph." Steve breathed. Howard just chuckled and brought his hand to his lips and cleaned it off with his tongue. Steve's cum tasted a little strange, a bit sweet.

"Did.. did you, you know, too?" Steve asked once he'd gotten his breath back.

"Hmm, no." Stark hummed. "But I'm not done with you yet."
He rolled onto his side, looking over Steve and giving him a vague smile. "I want to bury my cock in you, Steve Rogers."
He blushed a deeper shade than Howard had yet seen.
Steve felt his softening cock twitch back to life.

Chapter Text

Howard Stark was drinking in all the pretty moans Steve was gasping out.
Two of Stark's fingers were deep inside, curling and thrusting, stretching Rogers, teasing his spot.
God above, how pretty he was-- debauched, panting, whimpering.

Steve lay back against Stark's headboard, one hand gripping back on the wrought iron it was made of. He had his other hand over his lips, though it did little to stifle the sounds he made. The feeling of those invading digits was sending shockwaves of pleasure through him. His cock was twitching, slapping wetly against his abdomen, in rhythm with his pulse, dripping so much precum it made a slick puddle.
His heart and mind were both racing. His life had changed so much in the past few days. His body had changed so much and it was reacting to this stimulus in new and thrilling ways. Ways that were still revealing themselves to Steve.

And yet, Stark knew just when to let up to deny Steve's building release.

This time when he withdrew his fingers, Steve actually begged.
"Please," he pleaded with a whine. "I need them, please."
Howard smirked, raising his fingers which were slick and glistening from some kind of lubricant. "These old things?" He shook his head and pulled Steve's muscular thighs over his own. "I don't think so. I think you're ready." He purred, leaning up between Rogers' legs.
Steve instinctively wrapped them around him. God those muscles, so beautiful sculpted, powerful--- A work of art.
"You could probably crush me with these gams, Steve. Try not to." The smaller of the two men leaned up and kissed slightly shaking lips. Howard wondered if the shaking was from nerves or anticipation.

Cautiously, he slid his hand between them, watching for Steve's reaction as he guided the head of his prick to Rogers' entrance.

Steve bit his lip, hand tightening on the wrought iron curlicues of Stark's headboard. The metal creaked in protest and bent slightly.

What Stark lacked in stature he made up for in dick. Steve found this out quickly as it slowly slid into him, stretching him further than the fingers had.
He cried out pushing back against him, needier than either of them anticipated.
The way he writhed in the sheets was reminiscent of the much smaller man he used to be.
Muscles rippled and thighs quivered. Howard found himself practically hypnotized by this contradiction of manner and physical appearance.
His mouth went dry and he found himself groaning as well as Steve's squirming made his cock rub against his insides.

He gripped Steve's hips, --not really having much of a chance of stilling them-- and pushed in deeper, as deep as he could go, pressing his pelvis flush against Steve's ass. Both men moaned in unison with Howard's shallow motions.

Soon they were gasping and grabbing at one another's flesh, lips and eager fingers playing along nipples or biting down on necks, nipping earlobes. . . Lips capturing one another.

Howard's motions with his hips remained even, steady, measured.
He only picked up the pace when Steve pushed back, hungrily.

Steve had to swallow every ounce of pride to gasp out: "Hah-howard harder, please!"
The pretty blush spread along his chest again.
Howard grinned almost looking at Rogers tenderly as he popped his hips, eliciting a sweet moan, deep and lustful.
Howard desired nothing more than to hear more of those moans. He bucked his hips, the sound of their heavy breathing, moans, and bare flesh connecting.

With Steve beneath him, insides clenching around him, Stark felt his denied release building. He grabbed Rogers' cock, and pumped him hard, knowing he wasn't going to last much longer.
"Cum for me, doll." He purred, quickening his pace.

Steve gasped out loudly, the words going to his head, making him dizzy. He arched up, his legs wrapping around Howard, drawing him forward.
Howard thought he'd be crushed as both the legs and Steve's insides clamped down on him.
"Hhh--ahh! Steve!" He gasped losing his cocky demeanor. With Steve holding him like that, practically crushing him with his legs, Howard had no room to pull out.
"I'm sorry, I can't. . !" He cried as he buried himself as deep as he could go, flooding Steve with his hot cum.
Howard didn't have to worry because it was the feeling of all that filling him up coupled with the hard twitches of Howard's cock inside the finally sent him over the edge.
He came, arching hard off the bed, all his synapses firing, each nerve ending electrified.

He lay back, panting and feeling utterly spent. Steve hadn't came so hard in recent memory. He noted, embarrassed, that some of his own cum was all the way on his chin.

Stark, was shaking and trying to compose himself. His post coital self was a bit mushy at the seams. He pulled his softening cock out of Steve and reached for the night stand. When the drawer opened there was a cloud of steam rising.
He withdrew a damp, hot towel from the specialized drawer and lay down beside Steve.

The Super Soldier could feel Stark's fluids dripping slowly out. He was relieved when the towel passed over first his chin, chest then abdomen. When Stark finished cleaning Steve up, he lay close to his side.

"Rogers?" He began, almost startling Steve from his thoughts. "Kiss me? Like it meant something, what we just did?"
It was the only way Howard could keep from having a huge post-sex drop in mood, almost falling into a depressive episode every time he did something like this. He had to act like this was real, like it mattered.

Steve complied with a soft smile. He rolled onto his side to face Howard. He pulled him closer and kissed him softly, making an effort to keep his eyes open. He felt so deliciously tired.
"Thank you." He purred when he finally pulled away. "I needed this, you were right."

"Unusually am." Stark replied softly, watching Steve's eyes slipped blissfully closed. "Unfortunately it gets my heart broken most of the time." He added when Steve's breathing settled out in the rhythm of sleep.

Chapter Text

Sun streaming through the windows greeted Steve as he opened his eyes. He didn't recall falling asleep. When he realized he wasn't in his tiny apartment he jolted up.

"Mornin' doll." Came an alert but muffled sounding voice from beside him. He shifted, so he could regard Howard Stark.
The man was sitting naked, a piece of toast hanging from his lips, and his hands occupied with some bit of complicated machinery. "Don't be rude, take your plate from Jarvis." He said without looking up.

Steve jumped for a second time when he looked to his left to see Jarvis standing there holding a cloche.
Steve took it with shaking hands. He felt more naked than he already was, now that there was a witness to. . . to. . .
Jarvis left and Steve put the plate aside. He sank back on the bed covering his face with his hands, letting last night's events come flooding back.
After a while he peeked through his fingers at Howard's back. He had bruises all over, scratches too. He was pulled from his thoughts once again by Howard's voice.
"Listen, I know I'm a dish, doll face. But quit staring and eat your breakfast." The device in his hands began to ring and Howard triumphantly placed it back on the night stand. What had looked so complicated to Steve was just an alarm clock.
Howard settled back on the pillows and let his eyes drink Steve in as he uncovered his plate and tucked in to the pile of sausage and eggs there.
Steve became vaguely aware of the sound of music, a phonograph was softly playing in some corner of the room. He relaxed a bit and ate listening to Ruth Etting singing sorrowfully about unrequited love, wishing the fella who'd stolen her heart would just take all of her.
When Steve cleared his plate, Howard pulled it from his hands, tossing it haphazardly away. He jumped up, straddling Steve's waist?
"Want a bath?" He asked, leaning forward. "Or do you wanna neck a little first?"
His tone left Steve wondering if he was serious about the necking.
When he hesitated, Howard hopped up. "Bath it is then." He beckoned for Steve to follow.
Steve did, suddenly yearning for the feeling of hot water on his skin. He felt sticky regardless of Howard's hot towel last night.
He stretched, finding no aches and pains as he stood. It was still a shock after the procedure; the not feeling pain or having to massage out stiff joints every morning to be able to move.
He followed Howard down a hallway, both naked as the day they were born.
When the other man disappeared into a doorway Steve followed.

The bathroom was as big as Steve's whole kitchen and living room put together.

Howard was knelt down on a plush rug on the pristine white tiles that made up the floor, fiddling with the taps on a huge claw footed bathtub. "How are you feeling?" He asked Steve without looking up. "Not physically" he added before Steve could open his mouth.

In the few moments of silence that followed while Steve took an assessment of himself, he wondered why he could still hear the phonograph. It had an almost echo like quality.
"I feel. . . Good. I mean, I don't feel wound up tighter than that clock you fixed earlier." He noted that there was a copper pipe running from the ceiling to halfway down the wall, it had a fluted valve on the end and Steve decided that must be where the music was coming from. "How do you feel, Howard?"

Howard laughed, the sound was vague and distant. "You don't want to know all that." He stated offhandedly as he turned off the tap and stepped into the tub. "Coming?"

Steve hesitated a moment, thinking about Howard, his words last night after they'd finished. "Like it meant Something" he'd said. Didn't it?

Steve shook his head and approached the tub, sitting down on the edge of it, with just his lower legs in the water.

Howard lay back, relaxing with a wet washcloth over his eyes. Steve took him in really for the first time.

He had olive skin, now covered in the evidence of last night. Dark bruises, a bite or two. Perfect impressions of Steve's hands on his hips. He had callouses on his hands from all the mechanical work he did. There were a few scars Steve had had nothing to do with, one on his left thigh that was of an irregular shape, spreading from his hip all the way to his knee. It looked like fuel had caught fire on him, perhaps. The other scar of note was very obviously an old gunshot wound to his shoulder, a small caliber round but visible and identifiable.

Steve was somewhat shocked to see a bar of Ivory soap floating around the water, somehow he'd imagined something more exotic than a 5¢ bar of soap.

When at last Steve slid into the water Howard brought his knees up to slot between Steve's.
They both soaked in silence for a time, Steve being the one to break it.
"Didn't it mean anything?" He asked tentatively.

"Hmm?" Howard seemed to be almost dozing as he continued to relax with his eyes covered.

"Last night. You asked me to kiss you like what we'd done meant something. Doesn't it?"

"No." Howard said a little exasperated. "Of course not. You have your Sargent Whats-his-name, maybe you'll find some dame along the way. . . Who knows. And me? Well I'll find a dame too. Someone I can look at for more than five minutes without wanting to put a bullet in my head. Someone my parents will approve of, someone I can placate them with. Once this is all over with, you'll forget all about this. Maybe it'll be some deep dark secret you'll tell your wife on your deathbed." He went to slide down further in the tub to submerge his head.

Steve sat in silence for a while, trying to process Howard's words. What a bleak man.

Howard jumped practically out of his skin when Steve pulled him up out of the water and laid him on his chest. Steve wrapped his arms around Howard's waist, burying his face in his neck. His lips gently kissed bruised flesh.

Howard found it hard to relax. He put his hands on Steve's shoulders and just made soft sounds as Steve kissed him. He didn't exactly understand what Steve was playing at but if he kept up--- acting sweet, talking about meaning-- Howard knew the drop would be so bad that he'd not be able to get out of bed.
And yet he didn't pull away. Of course he didn't. Howard was a glutton for punishment.

Steve's hands slid to Howard's back, rubbing up and down, fingers playing over his spine.

Howard closed his eyes and focused on the feeling of Steve's lips on his neck and his hands on his back. This was easy, he could do this, he let himself melt against the much bigger man, let him do what he pleased.

Steve was nibbling on Stark's collar bone now, his hands had moved to his ass, massaging the heels of his palms over it.
Steve found it was supple, pert, feminine. His suits hid it well.

Howard's eyes flew open and he tensed when Steve slid a finger between his cheeks, not penetrating, just teasing the tightly puckered flesh. "Mhh." Howard whined.
He felt vulnerable, raw, he'd not woken up quite enough to have put up his usual cocky and brash persona. To put up his walls. When Steve's finger pushed against him he gasped. "St--stop. Steve." He reached back and gripped Steve's arm, stilling him.

Steve pulled his fingers back and let his palm rest on his rear. "What's wrong?" Steve cooed so soothingly it made Howard feel off kilter. The hand on his ass began gently rubbing up and down his back again.

Howard sighed deeply, letting his head drop to Steve's shoulder. "Slower." He resigned, though he was still unsteady, still unsure.

"You sure?" Steve asked.

Howard shook his head not lifting it from Steve's shoulder. "No but keep going." He sighed.

Steve paused before slipping his finger back where it was, circling and sliding over Howard's entrance. This time when he started to push it inside Stark only whimpered and let him.

It was hot inside, and Stark's walls gripped the digit tight. "Mhhh" Howard groaned, when Steve experimentally curled his finger.
Steve slowly moved his finger in and out for a few moments, making Stark moan.

"Never done this before?" He asked the super soldier breathlessly against his skin.

"No."

"Give me another finger" Howard tensed then forced himself to relax, he didn't know how Steve was going to go about it, gently or haphazardly like the amateur he was.

A low moan was pulled from Howard's lips as he was nicely surprised. Steve's second finger slipped in gently, easily. His fingers curled and scissored apart, stretching him.
He didn't know if it was by chance or by purpose that Steve pressed against his spot. He arched back pushing into the touch. "Right there!" He cried, finally feeling his cock stir, finally feeling blood rush to the organ.

Steve focused on the spot only briefly making Stark whine when he went back to scissoring and pumping, avoiding his prostate all together.

After a while of the treatment Howard pulled away, slipping out of the tub altogether. When Steve didn't follow he grinned over his shoulder, leaning to brace himself on the porcelain and oak sink basin.
"You gonna come fuck me, Mr Rogers, or just soak your troubles away all day?" He said, trying and failing to sound cocky-- he just sounded breathless and needy.

Steve didn't waste any time standing after that.
Howard eyed the way the water ran off him, the way little beads of water flew as Steve's cock twitched in mid air. "Jesus Christ." Howard said under his breath, keeping a death grip on the sink.

His waist was gripped hard, Steve pressed his hips to his ass, grinding his hardness against him. Howard whimpered, pushing back against him.

Steve was coming to the slow conclusion that he liked this version of Howard. Soft, whimpering Howard.
Smiling he took a step back and gripped Howard's ass, one hand on each cheek, using his thumbs to spread them wide. He stood there staring for so long Stark got uncomfortable.
"Well?" He snapped. "What are you doing? Second thou---h! Mmmmh!" His sentence was cut short by a gutteral moan as Steve pushed the head of his dick inside.
It burned, but it was a nice, for Howard, he was already feeling so full. "More" he gasped out, though his body didn't really feel ready. This was good, this was release for Stark.
Steve slowly let the weight of his hips push his dick deeper. The tight ring of muscle that encircled him seemed to spasm in protest.
When he paused Howard reached back to grab Steve's ass.
"Don't stop." He croaked out. "More, harder."
When Steve experimentally popped his hips a burst of pain flooded Howard's senses. He moaned raggedly, arching forward, resting his head on the cool porcelain of the sink. "Like that" he breathed.

Steve seemed unsure but adjusted his grip on the other's hips and bucked again.
Another burst of pain had Howard moaning harder.
The moans encouraged Steve to began an uneven rhythm.
"Hah-howard, there's blood" Steve gasped out, growing concerned.
Howard shook his head. "Good, keep going."

Steve bucked his hips unsure of himself now. But Howard was making such pretty sounds. Such needy sounds.

"P-pull out til it's just your cockhead inside." Howard gasped out instructions to Steve, who complied automatically. "G-good now give it all to me, Stevie."

His scream echoed, bouncing off the tiles.
"Again!" He ordered when he could breathe again. "Just keep going like that!"

Something about the whole thing seemed a little off to Steve, but then again Howard had said he liked a bit of pain.
He began to move his hips just as Howard had instructed.

Howard cried out, repeatedly. He saw stars as an orgasm wracked his body, his cum running down the polished oak of the sink basin.
When Steve made to stop he pushed his ass back on him. "No! Keep going" he cried, letting himself get lost in the feeling. He breathed through the pain and willed his cock to harden again. Soon he was moaning again, softer this time.
Soon Steve too was moaning wantonly, cock twitching inside the hot insides of the other man.

They both cried out their release simultaneously. Thick spurt after thick spurt of cum filled Stark. He rocked back on him, milking him until the last tremors of release subsided.
He let Steve slip from him. The other mans seed trickled down his thighs, then as he sank down to the floor, it dripped out puddling there. He panted, letting his eyes close til he felt Steve's hand on his shoulder.
"Your clothes and the gymnasium key are on the bed, Jarvis is waiting out front with a car." He said not turning so much as to look at Steve.
When Steve hesitated Stark barked out; "Go!"
Steve retreated, heartbeat sounding in his ears. He made his way to Howard's bedroom sure enough his clothes were neatly folded with a shiny key on a Stark Industries keyring laying on top.

He dressed quickly and pocketed the key.

It took him longer to find his way out of the mansion than he'd have liked but soon he found the pristine pebble pathway and breathed a sigh of relief. He followed it back to the front of the house and sure enough Jarvis was standing beside a sleek black car.

When he was in the car, returning to his apartment, he let his head fall into his hands.

The rest of his time before starting the whole Captain America gig was spent with him visiting Stark's gym daily. Stark was always present, sitting on the out-of-place-couch, reading something or other. They didn't speak, they barely acknowledged one another. They certainly didn't touch one another.

On the day before he was set to leave on his tour of America, Steve found Stark missing from the sofa.
Steve's brow furrowed, and he decided to seek the man out.
He found him in the bedroom, packing a suitcase.
"Howard?"
He didn't seem to startle him. He took his cigarette from between his lips and flashed Steve a cocky smile. "Rogers... No wait." He gave a mock salute. "Captain America!"
Steve pinched the bride of his nose and sighed. "Going somewhere, Stark?" He asked.

"Front lines my boy." He snapped the case closed. Steve felt an acute pang of jealousy. "As a civilian pilot. Should I say anything to Sargent Whats-his-name if I see him?"

"No." Steve sighed. "Good luck over there, Stark."

"Break a leg, Stevie. That's what theater folks say right?"

Steve gave him a tight smile and closed the door.

Chapter Text

Present day
____________________________________________

Steve skimmed over the more graphic bits but let the memories crash over him.

Tony stood speechless, half in the Iron Man suit. He looked at Steve incredulously then stared down at his feet. His heart felt like it had settled somewhere in the pit of his stomach.

Steve cautiously closed the distance between them, catching Tony's chin between his thumb and forefinger. He tilted the smaller man's head up so he could look at him in the eye.
"He was the mistake, Tony. Not you. Your . . . Your dad was not the best person."

Tony scoffed and rolled his eyes. What an understatement.

He had that look Steve recognized as him wanting to run, cover up his feelings, his emotions, escape.
He slid his hand to Tony's neck, lacing his fingers into the back of his hair. The pad of Steve's thumb moved in a soothing circle just under the man's jaw.

Just as Tony started to relax, just as Steve saw his wide brown eyes welling; movement behind him caused him to snap around.
"Where you goin' Buck?" Steve asked sharply.

Bucky's feet shuffled to a pause, he only half turned to look at Steve. "I left Sam back there fighting some half child half arachnid. He probably needs a hand."

"So that's it?" Steve hissed, a bit of anger bubbling up from somewhere deep down. "You just, just ruin something then walk away?!"

Bucky made a sound almost a laugh, more like an exhalation from his nose.
"We finally crash into one another after what, 70 years? And it seems like everyone in the world gets to kiss your ugly mug but me. First that dishy blonde now another Stark?" He smiled, it was a bitter one.

"And you know what else Stevie?" He strode forward, Steve braced himself to take a punch but all Bucky did was repeatedly bang the tips of his first two fingers against his helmet where his temple was. "Think! You never told me about Howard. Zola told me about Howard, to hurt me. He used it against me. I wasn't even important enough to you for you to keep it in your pants after I got my papers; after I was fighting the war. I have nothing, no one, especially not you!"
His eyes shot up to meet Tony's he could tell that Steve's touch was all that was grounding the other man to the spot. "Goddamn your old man liked to talk didn't he? Steve here goes into the ice and the first undercover HYDRA agent with a low cut dress to offer him a drink, he goes sappy and spills his whole life story? Pathetic."

Tony didn't say anything in response, he kind of agreed, but wouldn't comment on that.

Bucky moved back a safe distance from both Cap and Tony.

"But you know, Steve, that's kinda what I do. I ruin things." He turned on his heel and walked back the in the direction he'd last seen Sam.

Steve watched as he disappeared behind a shipping container then turned when he felt Tony's hand on his forearm.

"Piece of fucking shit." Tony breathed. Steve couldn't tell who it was directed at. Him? Bucky? Howard? Maybe all three.

Steve was at a loss for what to say to Tony. Maybe he should just wait for him to talk. Maybe he should try and hold him, mayb--

His thoughts were interrupted by a metal clad fist to his jaw. Caught so much by surprise, Steve went sprawling.

From the ground he stared up at Tony who was now almost fully in the Iron Man suit- all that was missing was the faceplate.

"How fucking dare you!" Tony yelled out, his voice slightly hitching. "It's not like you just met me at some random bar and said. "oh that guy has a tailor who knows just how to accentuate his incredible ass." No! You knew I was Tony Stark!"

Tony stepped over Steve, then dropped down on his knees, sitting on Steve's hips, pinning him to the ground.
He drew back his arm, ready to punch Steve square in the face. Steve was unsure of Tony's resolve to do it but wasn't surprised when metal connected with his jaw.
"You!"

punch

"Knew!"

punch

"I!

punch

"Was!"

punch

"His!"

punch

"Son!"

Tony raised his hand once again but it trembled as he dropped it to his side

Cap's nose was broken, that was sure. His lip bled and his eye was blackening.
He blinked blood out of his eyes, trying to get the ringing in his ears to stop. "Tony." He groaned out, spitting blood. "You good?"

Tony's head was tucked to his chest and the Iron Man suit was folding away on itself.
"Maybe this time you don't deserve to be the good guy, Steve. Compassionate, loyal, Captain America. You're just a shitty human with skewed ethics like everyone else today."

He gripped the front of Steve's uniform, bunching the material up in his fists. "Maybe I'll go the rest of my life worrying that you were just seeking out those little bits of me that mirror him--"

Steve started to open his mouth but Tony seemed to know exactly what he was going to say and cut him off with a:
"Fuck you Steve Rogers, I know they're there, ghosts of him. Obie told me more often than not. Why do you think I was a (barely) functional alcoholic by the time I was seventeen?"
He was so wound up that every little thing seemed to annoy him. But nothing more than that stupid helmet. He reached up, snapped the chin strap and forcibly pulled the helmet from Steve's head. He threw it aside and tried to not feel anything when he heard Cap's head cracked back on the concrete a bit.
Steve grunted but kept his eyes trained on Tony's face. Some of the lesser scrapes and cuts to his face were already healing.

"Why me?" Tony said in a small broken voice, the rage seeming to leave him slowly, leaving him feeling hollow.

At least that answer was easy for Steve.
"Because you didn't give a damn who I was. Didn't try to lick my boots. You also didn't try to coddle me. You showed me things about the world I woke up in, gave me shit about it, but still showed me. Hell. . ." He lay back and passed a hand over his face, blood and pain be damned. "You were the first person to force some food into my mouth that wasn't, wasn't-- hotdogs! Or pasta and peas! Or goddamn eggs!" He rattled off the list of vaguely Great Depression era sounding foods that Steve had grown up with.

"Pad Thai" Tony supplied in a deadpan.

"You had me listen to the first song that wasn't by Ella Fitzgerald or Ray Miller-"

"Black Sabbath, iron man was really an egotistical choice in hindsight"

Steve focused on Tony now, his head was bowed and his shoulders slowly shaking.

"You know I love you, right Tony?"

Tony's head snapped up, locking his wide, brown eyes on Steve's. They were rimmed in red and his cheeks were still wet with tears.

"You lov---?" His sentence was cut short when an explosion shook the ground.

Chapter Text

Bucky knew he wasn't going to just walk away from this one. He knew he'd be better off just putting his Beretta into his mouth.
But that was out of the question too, it was gripped uselessly in his left hand.
That hand was at least twenty feet away under a piece of smouldering debris.

What had he gotten himself into? He tried a fifth time to reach up and touch the comm in his ear, but the pain in his right arm was white hot, searing through him worse than the shit Zola had injected him with.
The mere thought of Zola when he was in such a weakened state made all the suppressed memories surge back.

Vivisection, that's what surfaced first. That was the only thing that compared to the pain he felt now. Bone saws and scalpels, hands on his insides. Someone reached up, squelching around his lungs, his heart was gripped and squeezed.

In his waking life, Bucky was arching off the ground screaming. It did nothing but further injure him.
He became vaguely aware of talking from the comm in his ear. Was it Russian? No.
His brain cycled through the words finally deciphering English through the horrible buzzing pain in his head.
"Barnes? BARNES?! Do you copy, Bucky?!" Sam's voice.

"Sam?" Steve's voice crackled slightly "what's that about Bucky?"

Bucky? Who was--? Oh that was him, they were talking about him.

"-----explosion, he was in the middle of it." He tuned back in to reality to hear Sam finish explaining to Steve what had happened.

"You don't have any visual?" Steve's voice sounded a little strained. Why was that?

Bucky was drifting in and out of the present and his time in Zola's clutches.

He was in a cell, his arm had just been sawn off. He clutched the healing flesh of his stump, nails digging in, drawing blood. Anything to keep the burning pain he somehow felt where the rest of his arm used to be -at bay.
He could hear voices but what did they mean? One he didn't recognize but the other--- Stevie.
"I'm on my way, Sam. Bucky if you can hear me, I'm on my way."

His scenery changed with the beating of his heart. Blue German sky, dark; reeking cell.
A plume of smoke marring the otherwise perfect, mild day; a syringe just in his line of sight, and rows of cold, indifferent faces.

Tears rolled down out of the corners of Bucky's eyes. He just wanted it all to stop.

___________________________________________

Steve let his hand drop from his earpiece. He looked up at Tony with wide, panic stricken eyes.
"Sam said a fuel truck exploded, half a building went down, he can't get eyes on. . . On Bucky." His breath hitched in his throat, it felt like asthma, but Tony's hand on his shoulder brought him back from it. "Go, I'll get in the air. We'll find him"
Tony's faceplate slid into place and he was in the air in moments.

Steve grabbed his shield and began running towards the smoking wreckage.
____________________________________________

Sam couldn't see anything through the thick, black smoke and all the dust that was still settling. Every time he tried flying through it he couldn't breathe and his eyes burned and watered in spite of his goggles. He felt very impotent presently but he kept up his search trying to pick over everything, looking for any sign of Barnes. A glint of metal arm, anything.

Pass after pass over the area turned up nothing. He breathed a sigh of relief when he saw Cap running through the debris.
He brought his hand up to his comm. "Tagging out, Cap, I have to land. Can't breathe up here."

"Copy that, Sam. I'll update." Came Steve's reply and Sam made a hasty retreat.

Steve could likewise barely see from the smoke. Somewhere in the near distance he could hear Tony putting out the worst of the flames with the retardant foam from his suit. It was comforting knowing he was there.

It wasn't easy, picking over the rubble, he kept nearly misstepping or sliding on loose stone. It reminded him of the war it looked like a bomb site.
He paused on the top of what had once been a luggage carrier and cupped his hands around his mouth. "Bucky?!" He called "Bucky Barnes!"
____________________________________________

Bucky could hear a voice. It sounded like they were far away, down a long hall, or a tunnel.
We're they coming for him again? He felt like he'd only just succumbed to sleep, why were they waking him?
He tried raising his right hand and the pain made him crash back into the present like a meteor. He heard more than actively participated in a harsh scream tearing from his throat.

He heard boots now, heavy ones, running.

"Oh. . . Jesus Christ, Bucky." Who was that? Steve. Stevie had found him.

Steve fell to his knees, shield clattering to the ground. "Bucky, are you with me?" He asked softly, slowly inching his way to Bucky's right side and his line of vision.
"I'm here, Stevie." Bucky breathed, neither man knew how. "Is it bad, Steve?" He asked, only just realizing his mouth was full of blood.
"I think you'll make it, soldier." There was a tightness in Steve's voice under all that well practised calm, that optimism. Bucky had heard it on the battlefield, when Cap had been comforting a man who had a hole blown clean through him, no hope.

"Liar." He managed to smirk through the pain. Steve dropped his head breathing irregularly.

"Its bad, Buck. It's really bad." There was a choked sound.

"Hey, hey Stevie, don't C... Don't cry. This is okay." He let his eyes close. "You're here with me this time."

Steve's eyes slid over Bucky's body, assessing everything. There was a three foot section of I-beam piercing through his left shoulder, crushing the metal arm. Steve was pretty sure the beam was buried deep into the ground as well. The arm itself was scattered in pieces everywhere.
Shrapnel riddled Bucky's body, especially the left side, probably shards of the arm--- turned into a claymore by the I-beam--- for the most part. His left leg was entirely missing from just above the knee, torn, ragged and freely bleeding. Steve didn't see the limb anywhere. The hardest part to look at was the right arm. He'd obviously taken a splash of the fuel to that arm, the resulting fire had burnt the flesh and muscle right down to the bone. Instead of charred and crisp it looked wet, sticky like it had melted more so than burnt. A shard of metal, probably part of the fuel tank was wedged between the bones of his forearm, splitting it all the way down his hand, which was barely hanging together in two sections.

"Still with me Buck?" Steve asked, trying to push the sound of his tears out of his voice.

"I'm here" Bucky tried to open his eyes but they felt so heavy.
"Steve I'm sorry. About Tony. I- I was an ass. I'm just so jealous. We'll never be together. Not like I dreamed."
He groaned in pain, gritting his teeth, his memories threatened to steal him away again but he forced them down, he had to stay present.
"That first time, Stevie. Back in your ma's apartment. I w-- I wasn't frustrated cause of any dame. I went out to get the courage to tell you. I went out aiming to get drunk enough to tell you. . . How I felt. I shoulda just had the balls on my own. I shoulda worshiped you that night. I'm sorry."

Steve wanted to put his hand on Bucky but he couldn't find a spot that wouldn't cause the man pain. "Shh, shh, Bucky, I know that now. It wasn't safe for us back then, how many people got sent away or killed for being a fairy? It's okay. Don't try to talk, help is coming. Stay with me."

"I've lost you anyway, Stevie." He coughed, blood bubbling past his lips. He finally managed locking Steve in his sea-blue gaze. "Stevie will you bury me beside my folks? I sa-- saw my stone in the veteran's cemetery, but I . . . I wanna be by my folks."

"Don't say that Bucky. Stay with me, you'll be okay." Steve cupped his chin, finding it mostly free of wounds. "Please."

As Bucky's eyes slipped closed he vaguely made out a blue glow, gold and red.

Chapter Text

"James~" the voice was sing-song as it pulled him from the edge of sleep. "James Buchanan Barnes~"

Bucky looked around, his eyes just not quite adjusting no matter how much he blinked.

He was in a familiar place though he couldn't quite pinpoint it. The late afternoon sun filtered through windows he was sure he'd never seen open before. Everything was bathed in a golden glow, turning the relative shabbiness of the place into a delight to his eyes. The breeze gently lifted the thin white curtains catching them, twisting them into gentle ghosts that curled an invitation.

"James Barnes where did you get to?" He looked up just catching the hem of a skirt passing around the hall corner. Kitchen. He remembered that, the kitchen. Laughter drifted on the breeze now. Or perhaps it was just in his own mind, a memory?

He took a cautious step forward, not yet deciding to seek out the voice calling him.
He made his way around the room looking at everything. His eyes slid over the sparse bric-a-brac: tiny animals, a porcelain crinoline lady, one of her arms chipped entirely off. It made him feel unsteady somehow, but no other negative emotion bubbled up. No panic, no fear.

He walked along the mantle piece, letting his fingers ghost over the objects displayed there. They made his head buzz a little, like they should be the most familiar things in the world but, he just couldn't place them.

It was when he found an old oval picture frame that he finally paused to actually look at something closely. There were two smiling boys in the photo, it was faded but gilded with light like everything else.
When he tilted the frame, the light caught his reflection and he paused. His hair was short, styled with pomade, he was in his dress uniform. . . That didn't make sense.
When he noted his hand clutching the frame--his left hand-- was flesh and bone, he nearly dropped the photo.

"James~" the voice came again, soothing away the fear before he even registered it. The voice lead him to a tiny bedroom. He was confused at not finding anyone inside.
He let his eyes wander here too. Old, thin mattress on a squeaky frame. A pile of couch cushions lay beside it, blankets tangled together. The windows were tightly closed in here, they had to be right?
His eyes took in the tiny desk, more of an end table from the rubbish with a chair pushed up to it. Several sheets of paper were spread on it. Drawings. He remembered them all. Coney island, a drunk on a bench, him.
Just as he caught sight of the reflection of himself in the window, a young boy with a plaster on his nose, missing a front tooth, the sound of rustling fabric and heels on the worn floorboards made him turn. No one was there and, when he turned back to the window he was looking at himself as he'd seen in the glass on the photo.

"James~" the voice pulled him away from the tiny bedroom and back toward the living room.
Finally there she was, sitting on the love seat in the corner beside the small bookcase. The old kerosene lamp was lit in spite of it being bright in the room already.

He broke into a smile that made his eyes sparkle.
"There you are, James." She smiled too but there was none of the deep lines of care there that he remembered. She looked fresh and healthy, vibrant. She wore her nurse's uniform, little hat and all.
He strode over to her and let himself drop to the rug, his head falling to her lap. "Hello, Mrs Rogers." He breathed in deep, she still smelled the same.
She began to gently card her fingers through his hair. "What's on your mind, James?" She asked in that soothing voice she usually reserved for either him when he'd taken Steve's lumps in some back alley and she was cleaning him up or when Steve had an asthma attack.
Steve.

"Mrs Rogers, I think. . ." He swallowed hard. "I think I'm dead."
"How do you feel about that, James?" She tilted his chin up so he could see her face.
He felt something running warm down his cheeks. He felt. . . Relief.
"I left Stevie." He said after a long moment. "He needs me."
Sarah Rogers shook her head, still smiling. "Oh James, you took such good care of my boy. Don't worry about him. You deserve some rest don't you?"
She let him put his head back down on her lap.
"You know I was in love with him, right, Mrs Rogers?" He pressed his face harder into her skirt. "I loved your son."
"He loved you too, James." Her voice was so reassuring to him.

"When will he be home?"

"Not for a long, long while."

"I'll wait for him here, if you don't care, Mrs Rogers?"

"Stay with me Bucky." Her voice commingled with something else but he ignored it. He just let the feeling of her gently rubbing his hair comfort him.
____________________________________________

It wasn't easy getting Bucky out of there. They'd had to forcibly pull him from the
I-beam, the arm shredded shoulder as it pulled away. As soon as they'd gotten him on a gurney he began to seize, blood-pinked foam frothing from his lips.
The medical team obscured him from Steve's view.
A pang of guilt hit his gut when he let Bucky be taken away alone.
He was pulled from his reverie by Tony's hands coming to rest on his shoulders. "There's a car, we're gonna follow" Tony's face was smudged in soot and dirt. His tee-shirt was clinging to him with sweat. "C'mon Cap."
Steve allowed Tony to pull him into the waiting car. When Tony climbed in beside him Steve took his hand in a death grip.
"He. . . He's gone again isn't he? To someplace I can't follow him to." He didn't even try to suppress the hiccuping sob that escaped his throat, focusing instead on the movement in the back of the ambulance they followed.

Tony put an arm around Steve, pulling him in, making him rest against his side.
When Steve dropped his head got Tony's shoulder, Tony kissed his hair.
"We're going to exhaust every resource, Cap. This is our fight now."
____________________________________________

Bucky had been talking through everything with Sarah Rogers, all the while he knelt on the rug, he never got pins and needles, or any kind of discomfort.

He'd just finished telling her about Romania, about hiding, and about Steve being the only one to believe him.

"Mrs Rogers," he began after a long and comfortable silence. "I don't think I belong here."

She paused in petting his hair. "Why not, James?"

"All the things I've done. I . . . I belong in hell."

There was a jolt of pain. It encompassed his entire body, like electricity.

Pain.

That's all he knew stretching on for what seemed like an eternity. He squeezed his eyes tightly closed and waited.

Another shock of fresh pain sent him pitching forward, he tasted bile in his throat.

When he opened his eyes again the golden light was gone and he was in a nearly dark room of twisted metal, bars, grates and chain link.

"But you are in hell Sargent Barnes."
Sarah Rogers' pristine skirt had been replaced by a stained white lab coat.
Instead of resting his cheek on a comfortable knee, he was kneeling on a strip of wood full of tacks.
He remembered this game.
He looked up into Zola's face and spat. It was red in the dim light.
Someone behind him struck him and that feeling of electricity exploded through him again, he cried out, pitching forward.
He was unbalanced, he put his hands out to catch himself but only one palm met the slightly wet floor. The stump of his shoulder connected to the floor a second later, sending another jolt of pain through him.

____________________________________________

"We could do better for him back home." Steve paced the waiting room of the hospital.
Tony kept his eyes trained on him as he paced. "We probably could, Cap but I think moving him now would probably get us brought up on murder charges."
Steve gave him a disparaging look.
"He's not stable, Steve. We're doing our best."
They'd been in the hospital for twelve hours already. The news had broken about Zemo and the bombing. It was a weight off Steve to have Tony know.
Tony had only left Steve's side to shower and change at the motel just across the street from the hospital. He still looked disheveled, and somehow missed a smudge of soot on his forehead.
Steve had changed out of the Captain America uniform and washed his face in the sink but that was about it.
It was almost like chairs repelled his ass the way he'd been pacing for hours on end.
It was giving Tony anxiety but at the same time it kept his mind off the antiseptic-and-shit smell of the hospital and constant beeping of countless machines.

"We're going to be bringing him home in a coffin at this rate." Steve finally paused, letting his body slump against a wall, slowly sliding down to the floor.

Tony stood and joined him, gathering him up in his arms. "He had a pulse when they brought him in twelve hours ago and nobody's said any different." He pressed his lips to Cap's temple and held him tighter as Steve's shoulders began to shake.

Another six hours later a disheveled woman in a white coat, poorly hiding bloody scrubs approached Steve and Tony.
"Next of kin for a Mr Barnes?" She asked first in German then in English. Her voice startled the two men who had lightly dozed off on the floor.
Her face had a grim set to it as she shook hands with Steve.

Chapter Text

The Quinjet had just made it out over open water when Steve finally looked around.
Everyone was there.
Clint and Natasha sat side by side, leaning their heads together, eyes closed. Their body language was so relaxed, Steve almost envied their easy friendship, their intimacy.

Sam sat to Steve's left, going through his iPod trying to select a song that he hadn't listened to a thousand times already on that trip.

Vision and Wanda were toward the front of the Quinjet, both speaking in hushed tones, oblivious to everything around them.

Scott and Rhodey were both napping, the former stretched out on the seat.

That left Tony and the spider kid, Peter.
Tony was sitting on Cap's right, he hadn't left his side since the hospital.
Peter was also curled up on the seat, though the major difference was that his head was on Tony's knee while Tony carded his fingers through his hair.

Just one more thing for Tony to feel guilty about, maybe even have nightmares about.
He shouldn't have brought the kid along. Peter could handle himself pretty well on the streets of Queens but out in the field like this with other. . . Enhanced individuals, no it was too soon.
He looked down at the kid, he had a split lip and a cut above his eyebrow but other than that he seemed fine. Tony still wasn't so sure.

Steve nearly jumped when Tony looped his arm around his neck, pulling him in close to his side. He kissed Steve's temple saying; "We'll get through this, Cap."
Steve relaxed into it, letting his head fall to Tony's shoulder, be damned if anyone else cared. If they wanted to stare, let them.

They didn't land anywhere near base, instead they landed at Stark's private hangar, following a transport jet in.
Everyone filed out of the Quinjet with Cap in the lead.
There was a deep, cold, hollow feeling in the pit of Steve's stomach when the loading doors of the jet opened. He was vaguely aware of Tony squeezing his hand.

Steve didn't register much after that as the long thin box made of bullet proof glass descended the ramp. He didn't approach as it was loaded into another vehicle, bound for Avengers Tower.

When he and Tony were finally alone in the back of Tony's limo Steve let out a deep breath.
"Wanna see if we can get me drunk?" He looked at Tony from the corner of his eye. The man's reputation for debauchery, public drunkenness and just drunkenness in general exceeded even Howard's.
"I trust you can maybe find something." He gripped Tony's knee.

"Whatever you wan-- whatever you need, Cap." For the first time since the parking garage, Tony leaned over and pecked Steve's lips then went back to his phone. It offered little comfort to Steve.
He leaned forward, dropping his head into his hands. What did surprise him was Tony's hand coming to rest on his back, rubbing slow, firm circles on Steve's knotted muscles.
After a few minutes of this Steve groaned, digging his nails into his hairline. "Tony you're being so quiet and it's. . ." There was a time Steve would have said peaceful but, now it was unnerving, worrying, "it's scaring me." He said, unable to keep the edge from his voice.
Tony's hand stopped moving and he put his phone into his pocket. "I've got a lot of things to say. . . Now's not the time and I'm afraid that if I open my mouth everything will just come out and there you'll go again. Gone, on some self assigned mission, trying to bury a 70 year ache in you. And you told me you love me? See? There I go. Your fault."
The car had barely came to a stop at Avengers Tower when Tony put on his sunglasses climbed out of the limo and walked toward the doors.

"Uh, Mr Stark?"
The voice behind him caused him to whirl around, snatching his sunglasses back off.

"Fucking hell, Petey?"

Peter was sitting on the trunk of the limo looking windblown to say the least.
"Uh, no-nobody offered me a ride so I. . ."

"Christ, Pete, next time speak up." He took Peter by the shoulders and guided him off the car. " Good thing most of us aren't parents, we'd be shit at it."

The car door closed behind them as Steve got out.
"No drinking tonight, Cap, we have a guest."

Tony was using the kid as a buffer and Steve knew it.
Somehow they'd beaten the van getting there, when he saw the huge Stark Industries van pulling up he called out to Tony; "Take care of the kid, I'll catch up."
He followed the van around the building and inside.
He let the techs and security team do their job unloading. . . Unloading the box, staying out of their way. When they went to the service elevator however, Steve followed them up. They didn't even have to say anything or touch any buttons, it was like the elevator knew where they needed to go.
Stark's tech still impressed Steve, still seemed like magic.
When the doors opened on a sterile looking laboratory all glass and metal, a voice from above-- Friday's voice-- announced.
"Clearance granted." And the techs wheeled the box into the room.
When Steve made to follow the elevator doors closed. "I'm sorry Captain Rogers, you don't have clearance for this floor."

"Ask Tony." He huffed.

There was silence for a moment and the elevator started moving again. "Mr. Stark says it's Dr Banner's request at this time."

Steve's eyes widened. "He's back?"

"Yes, Captain Rogers. Dr Banner returned early last Monday."

Steve let out a sigh of relief and slumped back against the wall. "Where are you taking me, Friday?" He asked.

"Mr Stark requests you to return to your apartments and take a bath."

"A bath?"

"It's already being drawn for you." Friday was quiet for a moment then added "my opinion sir, You need to eat something too, you look skinny." What motherly AI they had around here.

Steve laughed for the first time since it all happened. "I'm glad Tony built you with an actual personality."

Quiet for a moment and then a quick "Thank you." Sounded as the doors opened.

The room he entered into looked like it belonged anywhere but Avengers Tower. The floors were a lustrous hardwood, the walls were pale green and thin linen curtains hung down from all the many windows overlooking the city. There was a low sofa in a rich creme color and an easy chair to match. He didn't even remember where he was in the book that lay on the edge of the coffee table.
Steve barely used the place. But it was as close to home as he had. Especially when he found out the old brownstone tenements he and Bucky had lived in had been demolished.
He appreciated that in spite of the disuse the place was kept dust free. He may not have asthma anymore but he still liked keeping allergens down to a minimum.

He shed his clothes as he walked to the bathroom, he'd deal with the mess later.
Friday wasn't wrong, there was a full tub of lightly steaming water waiting on him.
The sound he made when he submerged his aching muscles in the water was almost obscene. He was glad no one could hear it.
He let himself relax, settling his back against the tub.
If there was one thing he was thankful for in this apartment, it was that this tub was proportionate to him. He could stretch his entire body out in it.
Music started softly playing. Billie Holiday sang
"Your eyes of blue, your kisses too,
I never knew what they could do.
I can't believe that you're in love with me
"
He scooted down in the water til he was laying on the bottom of the tub, looking up at the ceiling, rippling through the water. He hadn't relaxed like this in months. Years? Not since he'd fought Bucky on the Helicarrier.
When he needed to breathe he slowly rose up, drawing in a breath.
He settled back, putting his hands behind his head. He must have dozed off at some point because Friday's voice had him jumping out of a dream he couldn't quite recall, the images fleeting. "Wh-what was that, Friday?"

"Can I order you some takeout, sir? Security can bring it up."

"Pad Thai, please, Friday."

____________________________________________

Rain was pouring there was gunfire in the distance, but none of that seemed to matter, not even how cold it was.
Bucky looked down at his fingers, white-knuckled as he gripped the rotting wood of an old tree stump. There was pain-- no, well, yes and no.
"Stevie!" He heard himself exclaim in a hushed tone. "I can't believe I let you talk me into this." His teeth were grit together.
It was strange, one moment he felt like he was inside his own body-- though he didn't seem to be controlling it--- then at certain moments he was hovering several feet away. He could, however, feel everything.

They were deep in the woods, it was dark except for when the rain clouds allowed a little moonlight in.
Steve's pants were around his thighs, pale and statue-like in the moonlight.
Bucky's own were likewise half-off, around his knees.
Steve's hips were flush to his ass, moving with eager purpose. He'd never even dreamed of letting Steve have him like this before.
The only sounds the pair made were soft, breathy groans, and the various clinking sounds bits of their uniforms made, dog tags, buckles.

Just as Bucky was letting himself get lost in this memory, the scene pitched so violently he wasn't surprised to be on his knees, vomiting.
No, no, no.
He knew this place, he knew where he was.
He was naked on the flagstone floor, knees bruising from how long he'd been forced to kneel there. The fuckin' HYDRA Nazis had just hosed him off, the water so cold and pressure so high he thought his skin would be blasted from his body.
Now he was panting, trying to get some of the icy air back into his lungs. He fell forward, and the black clad guard stepped forward, brandishing a stun baton.
His eyes widened. Not while he was wet, please, not while he was wet.
The heavy boots echoed as the guard circled him. The weapon crackled to life then came down across his back. It was held there til Bucky convulsed limply on the floor.
"<get up!>" the guard barked in German.
Bucky gasped for breath, trying to get his bearings again. "I don't speak no fuckin kraut." He spat.
"Up!" The guard repeated, hauling him to his knees by his hair. When Bucky managed staying upright the guard continued circling him.
The baton ran under his chin lifting his head. He knew the man was looking into his eyes but he couldn't see anything through that ugly helmet he wore.
The guard snorted a laugh and moved to stand behind him.
He placed the baton to his temple and it crackled to life again.
As he screamed the room tilted again, swirling sickeningly til he was sure he'd vomit again.

It was desperate now, the way he pushed himself back against Steve. The gunshots were closer and he was sure he'd heard a grenade in the distance.
His hand left the tree stump and gripped his own aching need. "Hah-hurry, Stevie." He risked groaning out. Steve bit his lip and bucked harder.
"Inside?" Steve grunted and Bucky nodded immediately.
When Steve filled him a comfortable warmth spread through his whole body.

"How sweet." Came a voice to his left. "Never stayed, did it? That warmth that cut through all that pain? You still feel nazi hands in the dark don't you?" Zola laughed. How dare he intrude on this memory.
He stared daggers at the man, wanting to punch his smug face. When he went to move to do just that, Bucky found he couldn't move his arms.
He was back on Zola's table, strapped down.
"I hope you're enjoying these little trips down memory lane as much as I am, soldier."
A syringe stabbed into his arm and he felt as though a thousand volts were coursing through him.
____________________________________________

Bruce Banner looked up from his notes only long enough to wave Tony and Steve into his lab. It had been a week and they were only just letting Steve up there.
"Im trusting that Tony gave you a heads up about everything. About the uh, ice?" Bruce picked up a syringe of amber colored fluid and stepped over to very slowly administer it into a valve in a line that ran into the glass box.
"Any progress?" Tony asked, picking around the tables to stand on the opposite side of the box, peering down into it.

"Nah. . . Every time I try and take him off the ice his temp spikes like crazy. Never seen anything like it." He ran his hand back through already mussed hair. "And if I can't get him off the ice, I can't fix anything else."

Steve hung back, he was more unsure than ever if he wanted to see Bucky like this.

"You know, Tony I really wish we had more of that arm. Might be some kind of failsafe."

"Well, you know what they say, wish in one hand." Tony was occupied now with inspecting bits of Bucky's arm that were arranged on a table close by. He picked up plates and looked them over.
"Have you looked at this here, Bruce?" He said gesturing to the underside of the plate he held. "This woven mesh looks almost organic."

Bruce nodded. "Believe it or not . . .I think those bastards engineered that damn thing to feel"

Steve's head snapped up at those words, "Feel?" He asked. He felt a pang of guilt, he'd shoved his shield between two of those plates before.

Bruce nodded at him. "So that's where we are, if anyone has any bright ideas, I'd sure love hearing em."

"I mean, and hear me out, you got anything risky? Even if you have thought about it and thrown it out." Tony's eyes widened then narrowed conspiratorially. "Snow white there might appreciate it. In the long run." He tapped the glass with the plate he held.

"I guess I could try filtering his blood out, running it back in, hyper chilled. Stop his heart- though it does that enough on its own." He was pulling up a scan, suspended in 3d over his tablet "this is the subj-- Bucky's chest. All those dark lines are parts of the arm, connecting to major nerves and muscles. But this. . ." He pinched his fingers together on the image then spread them wide, it zoomed in on Bucky's heart then turned showing the opposite side.
There was a round object just behind it, several cords and wires branched off from it. "This is what worries me. I think it's the source of all our troubles."

Tony studied the scan for a while, tracing all the offshoots of metal and wire. "How long will it take for you to get everything prepped for it?"

"You mean you actually wanna go through with it? It'll more than likely kill him." Bruce was chewing the sleeve of his lab coat, deep in thought, considering all the options.

"I mean, we can't keep him like that forever." Tony tapped the glass again.

"First thing in the morning, I'll be ready."

Steve must have made some kind of sound because Tony's head snapped up to look at him. "Jesus Steve, sorry. Bruce, grab Cap a chair."
Steve was ghost pale and didn't realize how much his knees were shaking til he'd been forced to take a seat.
"Sorry, Cap. We just got caught up. . . Didn't mean anything by it." Tony reached out with both hands and massages Steve's temples. "We'll make sure he's fine."
Banner passed Tony a glass of water and two pills. He knew Steve wouldn't take them, so he tossed them into his own mouth.
"Tony." Bruce chided.

"What? My nerves are. . . Shot." He passed Steve the glass of water.

"Yeah but that was a Captain America strength dose."

"Klonopin?"

"Yeah."

"Then that was barely a Tony Stark strength dose. C'mon Cap." He pulled Steve to his feet and guided him toward the elevator.
"See you in the morning Bruce! What time? 2? 3 pm?"

"Nine AM, Tony." Bruce called after him.

Tony shuddered "first off, that's gross. I'll see you at nine I guess."

The elevator doors slid closed.

Tony took Steve directly to his apartment and sent him to bed.
When he was gone, Tony rummaged through Cap's kitchen, opening empty cabinets and smelling everything in the fridge.
Everything was expired except some half eaten pad Thai.
Tony helped himself to that and sat on Cap's couch. Of course the man didn't have a TV.

When he heard what was undoubtedly a sob from the bedroom he sighed.
"Friday do I have any appointments today?"

"You were meant to have a meeting with a Peter Parker at 5 today."

"When he shows up, send him to play with Banner. And for god sakes send a tv up here." He measured the spot he'd picked out with his eyes "60 inch. Thanks."

A knock at his bedroom door made Steve jump. He wiped his face on his sleeve and pressed the heels of his palms into his eyes, willing the tears to stop.
"Y-yeah?"

Tony took the acknowledgement as an invitation, opening the door just enough to slip inside.
"So, Cap, I have this problem. I think you may be the key to solving it."

"Y-yeah?"

Tony nodded and crossed the room and stood in front of Steve at the foot of his bed.
"I've got to be up at 9 in the fucking morning. But here's the thing; I'm not tired."

"Tony it's 4:30 in the afternoon." Steve stated a little confused.

Tony moved in closer and hopped up to straddle Steve's lap. "Details."
He dragged his fingers back through Steve's hair. "Tire me out, Cap." He breathed, leaning in to kiss the other man.

Steve's arms wrapped around him tightly, drawing him in closer. He hadn't realized how much he was starved for affection.

Tony gasped into Steve's mouth when his hand slid under his shirt, ghosting up his spine. It made his heart race that Cap remembered that he liked that.
In the past Tony had always had to remember to be the attentive one. It just felt so good to have someone give a shit.

He was brought out from his thoughts as Cap pulled first his own shirt off over his head then Tony's.
Steve leaned back a bit, sliding his hand up over Tony's abdomen then across his chest. He hated the way Tony still flinched when he touched the scar from the arc reactor. His fingers traced the circular indentation, the thick scars. Tony caught his hand, "Cap, no." He breathed, not meeting Steve's eye.
There was an almost imperceptible tremble to Tony's hand as it held Steve's.
After a tense moment Tony let it go and leaned his full weight on Steve.
He let himself be pushed back onto the bed.
Tony grinned, claiming his lips once more.
When they parted, both men were panting, pupils blown.
"If I didn't know better I'd say you wanna fuck me, Cap." Tony purred into his ear.
Steve groaned, that was what Tony had said the very first time they'd done anything like this.
They'd almost gotten into a fist fight but somehow they'd ended up frantically making out on the floor.
"Strip." He'd said it then, now he repeated it just as firmly, an unquestionable command.
Tony got to his feet excitedly and took his time. Cap had already relieved him of his shirt so he didn't have that to worry about.
He slid his hand over himself, tracing the zipper of his jeans with his middle finger.
He deftly unbuttoned with just the one hand and pushed the zipper down, letting the jeans fall to the floor. His underwear followed slowly behind, the sleek, black material left nothing to the imagination but, when Tony's hard cock popped over the hem of the garment, Steve groaned in anticipation.
"How longs it been for you, Cap?" Tony was still repeating things he'd said their first time.
"Too long." Cap breathed, palming himself through his pajama pants.
"I usually bottom, that cool?" He said, climbing back into bed, laying face down beside Steve.
"Fine." Steve purred, he reached out his hand and slid it over the supple contour of Tony's ass. Tony shivered pleasurably at the touch.
"Wait, Cap. Question." He pushed himself up on his elbows and looked over his shoulder at Steve. "Back there in, in Germany, where did you learn that? With your tongue? Not that I'm complaining." There was barely contained excitement in Tony's voice.

Steve laughed. "You think a rimjob is a 21st century invention?" He spanked Tony's ass one good time, leaving the ghost of a print. "Knees." He requested firmly.
Tony raised to his hands and knees. "Full disclosure, I think I could cum from you just talking dirty. Lawful good asshole."

Steve smirked, "you want to cum for me is all I'm hearing." He settled in behind Tony, leaned in and placed a light bite on one of his pert cheeks.

Tony gasped out and snaked his hand down to grip himself.
Steve swatted the hand away. "No touching your dick unless I say so, alright?"
Steve's words sent a jolt of pleasure right through to the tip of Tony's cock. He groaned and nodded. "Yes, Captain."

"Good."

Tony cried out and dropped his torso to the bed when he felt the tip of Steve's tongue trace the cleft of his ass. "Fucking Christ" he gasped.

Steve took his time, enjoying watching the smaller man squirm, knot the sheets in his fists and gasp out little sounds.
His tongue circled the puckered rim of Tony's entrance, pressing lightly now and again, just barely entering him.

It wasn't long before Tony was begging-- in his own way.
"Goddamnit Rogers!" He groaned, pushing his ass back against Steve's face.

Steve laughed, making Stark blush.
Steve teased him only a few more moments, listening to the whimpers that escaped him.
When his tongue slipped inside, Tony brought his hand to cover his own mouth, trying to stifle the needy sound he made.

Steve's long, thick tongue swirled inside him, stretching him wide. It made Tony's legs shake.
Just when he was about to disobey a direct order from his Captain, Steve's hand gripped his aching cock and gave it a few slow strokes. Cap's fingers slid over Tony's head, slicking with precum. "C-cap, I'm--fuck!- not gonna last like this!"
Cap's hand pumped Tony's cock, his tongue slowly withdrew. "You said, I had to tire you out, right?" His tongue darted out sliding a slow circle around Tony's entrance.
"Oh god!" Tony curled forward, his cock twitching in Steve's hand, spilling his seed onto the previously pristine sheets below.
Steve pumped him until he whimpered in pain and pulled away. He let Stark fall on his side, panting and flushed.
Steve stood, walked around the side of the bed and sat down, nesting his back among the pillows and the headboard. "Come here, Tony." He cooed. "Come get my dick wet."

Tony was only half surprised when his own cock twitched in interest. One day, he made a mental note to himself, he would really have to test the theory of Cap getting him off with just his words. It seemed entirely plausible at present.
Slowly, he crawled to Cap, letting his head drop to the other man's lap. He let his cheek brush over the bulge in his pajama pants, then his mouth ghosted over the plush material, lingering over the spot soaked in precum.
Steve's fingers laced into the hair at the back of Tony's head. "You can pull that you know." Tony purred.
His hair was indeed roughly pulled.
"I don't think I mentioned talking, Stark."

Tony's eyelids fluttered closed
"My cock could cut glass, Steve"

Steve growled a bit and yanked his pajamas down to his thighs, making his cock spring free.
"I mean, if you don't want it wet, keep talking, Tony."
It was Tony's turn to smirk wickedly.
"I don't." He stated in a breath whisper. He got to his knees and climbed over Steve, letting his his ass rub back against the tip of his arousal. He ran his hands through Steve's hair then bent to suckle a mark onto the man's neck, relishing in the tight groan that escaped him. "I wish these marks would last out the night." Tony chuckled, nipping Steve's earlobe.
"You know, I've been thinking about how rough you were with me in Germany. I think I need more of that."
Steve raised his hips, grinding up against Tony. "I was rough because you were being a hard-headed, asshole."

"W-when am I not?"

"You're incorrigible." He groaned, taking himself in hand.
Tony felt the blunt tip of Steve's cock press between his cheeks, still slick from the other man's saliva.
"You've met me then." Tony couldn't help being a smartass even now.

"You might be a dirty, stubborn slut but I love you." Cap breathed with a slight sigh.

Tony cried out unexpectedly, arching back, covering his mouth. Steve felt a healthy amount of wet, hot semen on his stomach. "God-fucking-damnit-you-fucking-did-it." Tony gasped out in a hurried jumble. "You're an asshole."

He couldn't meet Steve's shocked gaze. "Tony--- what?"

"I told you." He panted, gripping Steve's shoulder almost tight enough to bruise. "I felt like I could cum from you talking dirty."
He didn't think it'd actually happen but. . . Cap just seemed so pure and innocent anything vulgar from his lips was so exciting.
So that was it? It confused Steve no small amount but. . .
"If you think I'm not still going to fuck you til you can't walk straight tomorrow, you've got another thing coming." Steve gripped his chin, forcing him to look at him, thumb running along perfectly groomed facial hair. Still, Steve knew he had to give Tony a moment.
He slid his free hand to Tony's hip and instructed him to use his fingers.
Tony was practically trembling as he reached back and slid a finger into himself--- he hadn't done this in a while, it made him feel like a horny teenager.
When he added a second finger, Steve leaned in, caught his earlobe with his lips and purred "mmm, are you imagining my dick inside you, Stark?"
A jolt of pleasure rocketed through Tony's pelvis. His cock was already stirring.
He started to say something smart, bratty even, but stopped himself and simply nodded. "Yes, Captain." He groaned.

"Ride me." Steve lay back against the headboard, tucking both hands behind his head.

Tony reached between their bodies and grasped Steve's hardness. He slowly positioned it against his entrance and let himself slowly sink down. "Ah..." He gasped out, leaning his forehead against Cap's sculpted chest.
When Cap was fully seated inside him, he paused, panting trying to get used to the fullness.
Cap bucked his hips, rocking Tony harshly. "I said ride me, Stark."
Tony nodded, and shakily started to bounce himself on Steve's cock.

Tony wasn't sure how many times Steve had made him cum by the time Steve let him lay down, exhausted and sticky.
He lay panting, spent and excessively contented. But he didn't get to really relax very long when he felt Steve lifting him up.
"Wha-?"

"Bath." Steve replied, carrying him across the hall.
When they were both settled in the huge tub, with Tony laying on Steve's chest, Tony finally spoke up about something that had been on his mind. "You love me, Cap?" He asked tentatively.
"I do." Steve pressed his lips to Tony's forehead.

"How many other people have you said that to?" These kinds of serious emotions always scared Tony, shook him to his core.

"None."

"Not even. . ."

"Not even him."

Tony could feel his fight or flight kicking up into overdrive. "What time is it?"

"Almost one a.m." Steve breathed, tracing gentle circles on Tony's back.

"We marathon fucked for almost nine hours?"

"We stopped for Chinese." Steve laughed.

"Licking duck sauce off my nipples doesn't count as stopping exactly." He let himself fully relax against Steve. "You did tire me out though." He hummed pleasantly.

"Good."

"No more marathon fucking though, you're a senior citizen, I can't be held responsible."

Steve laughed "screw you, Stark."

"Hey Steve?"

"Hmm?"

"Love you too."
____________________________________________

9 a.m. came way too soon for either Tony or Steve.
They held hands in the elevator going up to Bruce's lab.

Chapter Text

This scene wasn't familiar. He couldn't place it at all. It caused him to panic.
There was a quality to the light that stirred memories of something . . . But he could not place it.
It was afternoon, he could tell that much. The floor to ceiling windows were all open leading where? A fire escape? No a balcony. There were plants out there.
He got the impression he was up quite high, the city spread out below him.
Where was this?

A voice beside him startled him so badly he flinched-- he never flinched.

A meek looking, disheveled man came into his view. He looked kind, there were the start of lines at the corners of his eyes.
"H-hey." His voice was soft and soothing. "Hey I'm Doctor Bruce Banner. . . Can you hear me?"

He couldn't understand the words but he did grasp one out of the jumble.

Doctor.

His eyes widened, locked with the man's. maintenance
That's all this was, calm down soldier.

The doctor kept speaking but it was a frightening and confusing whirl to him

He licked his lips, his voice had a few false starts but finally he managed saying;
"<R-ready to. . . Ready to comply.>"

"No, no, none of that Russian stuff. Sergeant Barnes, are you with me? Bucky?"

"Bucky?" That made his head hurt, it made him confused. "Yes?" He offered tentatively.

"You were brought here by Tony Stark and Steve Rogers. This is Avengers Tower."
He was vaguely aware of the Doctor checking his vitals.

"Steve? Steve's here?" A trap surely. No, no he escaped HYDRA, right? He let himself remember everything, but it was hard letting The Soldier slip away.

"You remember Steve, good. Listen we can call him up here but first I wanna ask you a few questions is that okay?"

Bucky nodded and tried to relax.

"First off, how do you feel?" Banner drew up a chair and sat beside him.
Feel? How did he feel?

"I'm scared." He admitted, knowing very well that was a punishable offence. "There's pain."

"I think we can help you with that. Do you remember what happened?"

"Explosion. I'm dead."

"Nah, Mr Bar-- Bucky, you're not dead."

"How long have I been . . . Not dead?"
Bucky was twice as confused, he was sure he was dead. This didn't make sense.

"It's been over a year and a half."

Bucky looked up with a start. "Cryo?"

"Coma." Dr Banner lifted a syringe and Bucky braced for searing, mind numbing pain. He was relieved when the needle didn't even pierce his skin, instead it went into a valve in an IV. It did burn a bit but the numbness that followed made him relax back against the pillows.

"You came out of the coma about a month ago. Do you remember waking up then? You reacted kind of badly, so we've been keeping you asleep." Banner's voice was so soothing that Bucky felt almost like he could slip back into sleep. He vaguely wondered if the man knew that.

"Badly?" Bucky asked groggily. No he hadn't remembered waking up.

"Yeh, you smashed a few things, ripped your IV out and your PICC line. Screaming about Nazis."
Sounded right.

"You said. . . Stevie?" He asked, head feeling like it was full of cotton.
Banner smiled reassuringly "he's already on his way up."

"Alone?" Bucky couldn't keep the emotion from his voice, apprehension and sorrow.

"Of course. He's been waiting for you."

Bucky scoffed.

It was five minutes before the door to his room opened up if Bucky had counted correctly.

"Bucky?" Came a shaky voice.

"See I thought I was dead but here I am." Bucky had his eyes closed. His throat was parched, sore and tight. Don't cry, Barnes, you're a man.
"Right? Pulled back one more time from oblivion? Why?" His chest was tight, he couldn't breathe. "Steve I don't feel right!"

Steve recognized the panic attack as soon as it began. He rushed to take Bucky's bandaged right hand, sitting in the chair Bruce had just vacated.
"Bucky it's okay. Breathe. You're having a panic attack. Breathe with me, Buck"
Bucky's wide, panicked eyes locked on Steve's as he tried breathing with the man.
After a while he shook his head, it wasn't doing any good. He barely registered Bruce placing a pill in his mouth and pressing a tiny cup of water to his lips.
He swallowed obediently and just kept focusing on Steve.

When he could finally breathe Bucky stammered; "Steve something doesn't feel right. I can't. I can't feel anything my-- my --" he tried reaching for Steve with his dominant left hand but found nothing happened. "My . . . Whole. . . left. . . Side." He fell back to the pillows, willing away the newest wave of panic.
"Serum doesn't regrow limbs." He stated almost automatically. "My arm was crushed. My . . . The metal one."

He didn't even want to think about the numbness that ran the length of his side and the odd way he couldn't feel the sheets on his left leg. He couldn't look down at himself.

"Yeah." Steve breathed. "Your right one is mostly well now. It's just bandaged because the skins delicate"

Bucky swallowed the lump in his throat. "Unwrap it." He demanded.

"Buck, I don't think that's such a --"

"Unwrap it!" He cried out in exasperation.

Steve gave in after a few moments and a heavy sigh. He took off the tape that held the bandages and slowly started unwinding them. Inch after inch of painfully pink skin was revealed.
"More than a year eh? Fuckin bootleg serum." Bucky tried joking but it sounded more like he was holding in tears.

When his hand was freed he forced his fingers to flex, the first two were reluctant to cooperate. When he finally got the hang of it he reached out and laced his fingers with Steve's.
"Why'd you save me? I thought we could have left it alone at that point. I got . . . Things off my chest. You could have had closure, could have known just what had happened to me. Went on with your life. Had your Starks or whoever else without a crippled war buddy hanging over your head."

"Bucky I . . . I couldn't lose you." Steve hung his head, focusing on not squeezing Bucky's hand too hard.

"You lost me in 1945."
The words felt like a knife of ice piercing into Steve's heart.
"I'm tired Stevie. How many pieces of me are gonna be missing before you let me go?" He bit his lower lip, looking up at Steve, trying not to see the skinny kid he grew up with as his shoulders shook with silent sobs.
"And I guess I gotta go along with it cause as long as there's some part of me you can touch I'll linger on." He raised their intertwined hands up.
"Look, Stevie. You see this hand? You're holdin' it and I don't feel any pain. Anywhere. As long as you're holding it, this hand might as well be all that I am. I guess you never got that. You never got that I needed you maybe more that you needed me." He knew he was rambling, knew he should shut up. With a dismissive sigh he wrenched his hand free and laid it on his lap. "Go away Steve. I'm tired."

Steve stood but he didn't make to leave just yet. "I fought half of Germany for you, Bucky. I fought HYDRA for you. I fought YOU for you. I let you half kill me and you. . . I fought Tony for you!"
Steve leaned down and gripped Bucky's chin, tilting his head back. Tears were still streaming down Steve's face.
Bucky's entire body stiffened in alarm when Steve's lips came crashing into his.
When they parted, Steve placed another, gentle kiss on his forehead.
"I'll be back in the morning, Buck. I have some books for you."
And then he was gone again, leaving Bucky feeling like he had a belly full of eels.

It wasn't long before the eels turned into knots of panic.
"D-doctor Banner!?" His own voice sounded like it was in a tunnel.

He barely registered Bruce sitting gently down on the bed, rubbing his chest soothingly.
"Doctor Banner." He repeated, were those hiccuping sobs coming from him?

"You're alright, Bucky." Maybe that wasn't the best word. "You're safe. Now look at me and breathe like Steve was having you do."

Bucky forced himself to look at Bruce. The hand on his chest helped ground him and soon he was shakily breathing himself down from the attack.

When he was breathing normally, Bruce sat back. "Can you tell me what's wrong, Bucky?"

What wasn't?

"Its gone. M-my leg." He gripped the sheets in his one hand. "I can't feel anything. My whole left side, I can't--!" He shut himself up when he felt his chest tighten again.

"Easy. Easy." Bruce soothed. "We can get to all that later. Right now you need to focus on your strength. Maybe eat something? Crackers?"

Bucky shook his head. " 'm thirsty." He replied.
Banner nodded. "I'm gonna leave for just a second but I will be back, I promise. I'm just going into the next room for ginger ale okay?"
He gave Bucky's chest a reassuring pat and stood.
He understood why Banner had tried reassuring him so much before he'd left because as soon as he was out of sight, Bucky's chest tightened again.
He worked through his breathing til he could hear Bruce coming back.
"There see. You're doing fine. Good work on your breathing." A straw was offered to Bucky.
The first sip felt too carbonated, the taste metallic. How long had it been since he'd had a pop?
He coughed a bit and Bruce rubbed his back. "Slowly." He encouraged and offered the straw to Bucky again.
This time he knew what to expect and slowly sipped, letting the cool-but-not-quite-cold drink soothe his parched throat.
When he'd had enough he leaned back.
"When. . . When I'm feeling up to it. Can you walk me through everything?" He reached out his hand and gripped Bruce's. "I'm scared. That's not something I'm supposed to admit but I am."

"Everyone is entitled to feel what they need to feel, Bucky." Bruce put the ginger ale down and sat down on the bedside chair.

"Not me. That's not. . . I'm not programmed like that." He let Bruce's hand drop. "I'm not supposed to feel any of this."

"I know all about trying to not feel things. Believe me." Dr Banner had a vague and sort of sad look on his face.

"He's just trying to placate me." Bucky stated flatly.

"Who?"

"Steve. He had a . . . A mark, a kiss mark." Bucky tapped his own neck, just below his ear. "That means it was very fresh. They don't last long with the serum. Little bruises like that. He didn't have any right to kiss me."

"He kissed you?" Banner asked and Bucky nodded slowly, brow furrowing.

"Can you give me something to help me sleep? I'm tired."
When Bruce stood Bucky grabbed his arm. "No needles. Please?"
Something in the man's tone made Banner sure this wasn't just a mild case of fear of needles.
"Sure thing, Bucky."

With three pills in him, Bucky was soon back into a dreamless sleep, looking peaceful.
____________________________________________

The elevator doors opened on Steve's apartment. There was now more of Tony's stuff there than Steve's own.

Tony was presently sitting on the kitchen floor, drinking what was likely his eighth cup of coffee. An array of parts were fanned out in front of him. Some of the pieces were no bigger than the head of a pin.
"Bringing work home with you?" Steve asked, sitting down too though a good distance away so as not to disturb anything.

"Well, when you live where you work." Tony muttered, not looking up from the blueprints on his knee.
"I think I'm making a breakthrough." He slurped his coffee and made a face.
"How was Snow White?"

"Angry. . . I think."

"Well he's down another limb and a year out of the loop."
Tony was now methodically picking up pieces and arranging them together.

"No I think. . . I think he's angry to be alive, Tony."
Tony looked up at him, he was staring at Tony with tear filled eyes.

"Cap if you cry I'm gonna punch you, and if I have to get up and punch you, it means I have to stop working on Snow White's arm."
Is that what all those tiny pieces were for?

Steve was forced to laugh. "You wouldn't punch me." He rubbed his eyes with the heel of his palm.

"Not with this many clothes on." Tony stated matter-of-factly. Steve blushed.

"Well enough of this." Tony gestured to the mess on the floor. "Cereal? What time is it?"
He stood, stretched and started looking through cabinets.

"Three p.m."

Tony put the box of Lucky Charms back and pulled out his phone. "Pizza? Maybe . . . Wings too?" Tony was talking more so to himself. "There, ordered."
He didn't even notice Steve picking his way around the parts spread on the floor til the man's hand closed around the phone.

"You're trying to pull yourself away from your work for me. I'm flattered but I'm fine." Steve stated reassuringly, free hand coming up to rub firm circles over the small of Tony's back. "I'll go read or something, maybe watch some TV. I'll let you know when the food gets here."

Tony nodded, not really sure how to express the gratitude he felt toward Steve. It was a relief that someone finally understood the limitless bounds of his nervous energy. How tearing himself away from activity and forcing himself into stillness made both mind and body practically scream.
He sat back down on the floor and began busily putting things into place. "Love you, Cap." He said through almost closed lips.

Steve smiled fondly and let Tony work.

Forty five minutes later Steve left in the elevator.

He returned with a stack of pizza boxes, why had Tony ordered this much?

"Tony?" He called, pulling the other man from his thoughts. Stark now held a mostly assembled mechanical hand in his own.

"I think this ones going to be viable." Tony breathed a sigh and stood up, putting the hand on the counter beside the Pizza.

Steve handed him an empty plate and he plopped a single slice on it. "So, Cap, I've been thinking."

"Of course you have." Steve laughed.

"Funny. No, I've been thinking . . . Maybe I should go talk to Snow White in the morning. Now hear me out! I'll come with a peace offering." He briefly raised the hand up the put it down. "A slice of pizza and we're all friends. agreed? Good."

He took an entire box of pizza and his work and disappeared into the elevator. "See you tomorrow dear." He said as the doors closed.

Steve sighed and shook his head. This wasn't going to go well.
____________________________________________

Tony showered, cleaned up his beard, hell he even put on clean clothes.
He had to pull himself down from a panic attack as he gathered his things and ascended in the elevator to Bruce's lab.

Bucky was going over all the medical aspects of what had happened with Bruce.
The man's gentility and willingness to explain every little thing was astounding to Bucky.
"So all my guts kinds just slopped out when they picked me up? Fuck."
Bruce nodded slowly. They were looking at a full body scan, hovering a few inches above Bruce's tablet. Several parts of Bucky's anatomy were highlighted in yellow.
"Your skin was just so perforated from the shrapnel of your arm. . . Anyway. . . Um here" he tapped the highlighted missing left leg. "This one was unfortunate. We never found the leg."
Bucky flinched at that one.
"So what about my ar---"

"Knock knock." Tony didn't actually knock.
He had balloons and a teddy bear.

Bucky groaned and looked away from the man.
"What're you doing here, Stark?" He grumbled.

"Peace offering." He put the bear down on the bedside table and let the balloons go, letting them float up to bump against the ceiling.
"I'm not interested in balloons."

"Maybe I could lend you a hand though?" He took a gleaming, polished and brand new arm from behind his back. Bucky's eyes widened. What was this made of. The metal was deep in color almost black.
He reached his hand out to tentatively touch it, almost as though it might bite him.
"Like it?"

Bucky was reluctant to admit that he did indeed like it. "Did you make it?"

"Just for you." Tony lay the arm across Bucky's lap and grabbed a chair, spinning it around. He sat with his arms crossed on the back of the chair, his cheek lightly resting on his forearms. "So let's talk."

"I'm not much of a conversationalist."

"I hear you said quite a lot yesterday."

Bucky scoffed, damn Rogers, can't keep your mouth shut?

"We're not so different really." Tony offered.

Bucky let his head fall back onto the pillow with a bitter laugh.
"You got a trail of blood a mile wide spreading out behind you too? You have nightmares about torture and wake up in the night remembering faces you can't even put names to?"

"Yes." Tony stated softly.
Bucky hadn't expected that, he let his icy blue eyes meet Tony's.

"What?"

"I'm a goddamn Stark." Tony said with measured calm, keeping his breathing even. "Blood is the family business-- was. Was the family business. I've killed thousands, maybe millions with just my cold indifference alone." He took the squat can of ginger ale on Bucky's bedside table and cracked it open. He took a long slow drink before continuing.
"Have you seen this?" He pulled down the collar of his shirt just a bit. Bucky could see the beginning of a circular scar with many more thick scars radiating out from it. "I used to be full of shrapnel. Shrapnel from one of my own weapons by the way. I had a really lucky break though and ended up with an arc reactor and electromagnet in my chest. Suffered palladium poisoning. . . The whole thing." He waves his hand dismissively, purposefully skimming over the imprisonment and torture for now.
It took Bucky a long time to understand. To admit that maybe he did have something in common with Tony.

"Do you have . . . Panic attacks?" That's what Steve had called it right?

"Currently." Came Tony's flat reply.

Shit.

"So this arm?" Bucky let his hand run over the cool metal. "What's it made of?"

"Vibranium."

"Like Steve's shield?" He looked at it in awe now.

"Yep. So. Not to change the subject but, do you want a leg too?"

Bucky hadn't considered a replacement, hell he was just trying to come to terms with the loss of the limb. "I don't know." He replied softly. "You've designed one already haven't you?" A smiled pulled the corner of his lips, it felt foreign.

"Already you know me so well."

"Can I think about it?"

"Sure thing Snow White." Tony reached out and pat his shoulder.

They were both silent for a long time. It wasn't an uncomfortable silence.

"Tony?" Bucky said after a while, his voice was tight.

"Hm?"

"Do you think it's selfish of me, after all this, all this effort everyone put in to have me sitting here today--- do . . . Do you think it's selfish that I just want to die?" He didn't meet Tony's eyes.

That wasn't something Tony expected.
He knew the feeling well though. The wanting to just not exist while everyone around you tried to pull you together.
"Selfish? I don't know. What I do know is there an endlessly frustrating boneheaded asshole down stairs who has basically pulled himself apart at the seams over you.
And not just during this instance. Ever since he found out you were alive."

"But he's yours." Bucky didn't realize he was crying til he watched a drop fall down onto the new arm.

"People aren't property." Tony had started to reach his hand out to Bucky to comfort him but pulled it back.

"He kissed me." Bucky said tightly. "Yesterday."

Something imperceptible flickered over Tony's face.
"Then i guess you're something I'm going to have to come to terms with too."
This was the longest, most stable relationship he'd ever been in. He could make compromises, couldn't he?

"I hate admitting that you're a good man, Tony." Bucky reached out with his one hand and pat Tony's own. "Nothing like your father."

It felt like something gripped Tony's heart, it felt like back when he had the reactor and something would disturb it.

"So that arm. It's gonna require surgery. Luckily we were able to save all the connections points I eternally. You had some kind of failsafe behind your heart." Tony tapped his chest.

Bucky nodded "it was supposed to kick my arm into autopilot if I was ever to be mortally wounded in the field." He mimed putting a gun to his head and pulling a trigger.

"Right, so, with nothing to autopilot, it overheated your entire body. We got rid of it though, so that's nothing to worry about. Tell me, could you feel that damn thing?"

"Sometimes excruciatingly." His hand went instinctively to his shoulder.

"Well I think we've got all that figured out too. This one should give you an even dispersion of sensation, pressure, hot, cold all the little tactile things. Questions?"

Bucky started to shake his head but thought better of it.
"I, do I have to be awake for it?" Tony could see the panic on Bucky's face plain as day.
What had those damn HYDRA assholes done to him?

"Jesus, no Bucky." Tony sighed. "We're going to have to build up a new connection point you don't have any bone left of from about mid clavicle we're going to have t--"

"I'll leave the details to you!" Bucky cut him off, looking a little pale. "I trust you and Dr. Banner."

"Good. When do you want to do it?"

"Surprise me." Was that an attempt at humor?

"How's two days from now sound? Get your strength up." Tony stood, picked up the arm and exited, just as Bruce was returning. When had he even left?
____________________________________________

"I thought we had a talk." Tony sat down on the coffee table right in front of Steve, blocking his view of the news program he was watching.
"A talk about exclusivity? Remember that?"

Steve groaned and stood, taking his empty coffee mug to the kitchen.
Tony followed.
"I've kept it in my pants for more than a year and I find out, not from you that you're kissing other people?" When Steve refilled his coffee, Tony snatched it away and took a drink of the scalding liquid.
"We're you going to tell me?"

"Tony, it was a --" mistake? No it didn't feel like that. "I should have talked to you about it. I should have been more considerate to both of you." He reached out and took the mug away before Tony burned himself on the coffee.

"Damn right. So what are you gonna do to fix this?" It pissed Tony off that Steve could hold the mug just out of his reach.

"I'll have to do some thinking. You know I love you, Tony."

"And him?"

Steve sidestepped Tony and went to sit back on the couch. His mind was racing as fast as his heart. What did he feel? It was a lot whatever it was.
"I don't know."

He had expected Tony to follow him but instead heard the elevator doors.
"Figure it out, Cap." Tony called out before adding a hasty "love you." As the doors closed.

Chapter Text

Steve stated up at the ceiling. He felt like he'd royally fucked things up.
He'd spent an entire sleepless night trying to untangle the web of feelings that was dragging behind him like an anchor.

How exactly did he feel about Bucky? They'd been best friends for as long as he could remember. They'd had sex a few times before and during the war but, they'd never spoken about it, never named any feelings. Just friends, til the end of the line.

He let out an exasperated sigh and pressed the heels of his palms to his eyes til he saw stars. He missed Tony. He missed the way the man would curl into him at what ever hour of the night he decided to sleep. He missed his smell and he missed his banter.

His feelings about Tony were solid and very namable. love. So then what was this knife twisting in his gut over Bucky?

He needed to get away from it, remove himself from the situation.
What was it Tony had said all those months ago?
Going off on some self imposed mission to bury a 70 year old ache in him? That sounded more accurate than Steve was willing to admit.

Unconsciously he was typing out a text to Natasha.

>Hey, Nat.
I need a mission, you got anything?
-Steve.

He hadn't quite gotten the hang of text etiquette but he was getting there. He was just about to pull himself from bed when his phone dinged.

>I do have something, deep cover about a month long mission. Maybe quicker as a team. In?

He hesitated, fingers hovering just above the surface of his phone. Was this the thing to do? Was it going to cause more damage?

>I'm in.

He replied before he could back out.

>I'll meet you in the morning. The roof.

Steve tossed his phone down and groaned in frustration. Well, he'd made his decision. He couldn't back out now. He pulled himself from bed and began to gather his things.

He paused long enough to take a piece of paper from the old sketchbook he hadn't touched in years and write a note for Tony in neat, old fashioned cursive.

Tony,
I'm going with Nat, we got a mission. Maybe you're right about me carrying around too much emotional baggage about my life before I came back. I need to sort all this out. Just know and please remember I love you. Try to get along with Bucky. He didn't ask for any of this.
-yours always, Steve.

Morning dawned on Steve sitting up at his desk asleep. He was fully kitted out in his uniform with his shield on his back.
A text from Nat was what woke him, startling him from the beginnings of a nightmare.

He looked down at his phone, blearily reading Nat's text.

>Here, no time to waste, soldier boy.

The only thing Steve paused to do was stick the note to the fridge with a banana shaped magnet

____________________________________________

Bucky awoke to a right old ruckus. Somewhere outside the room, in Dr. Banner's lab people were arguing. Voices continually rising to a heated crescendo.
That wasn't Bruce yelling was it? The man didn't seem capable.
". . . What we've been doing is mad science, Tony! It probably violates several laws! We need an actual MD!"
It was Bruce.
A voice Bucky didn't recognize but didn't seem to be arguing commented. "He is a tiny beast of pure rage and he is not even green! Ha! I love you tiny Avengers."

"Not the time Goldilocks!" That was definitely Tony. "Bruce, just do it! You've got us this far."

"I would like to see the little broken man." The unknown voice announced, it sounded much closer now.

Little broken man?

"He probably bites!" Tony warned as the door swung inward.

Well, now Bucky understood why the man was calling everyone little. He filled the doorframe. "Greetings! I am Thor Odinson!"

"B-bucky."

Without another word the huge blonde man moved to stand beside Bucky's bed. He leaned down all too close and stared at him with narrowed eyes. "Hm." He rubbed his short beard-- just as blonde as his hair-- and nodded. "You are indeed a little broken man." He stated, not yet moving away.

Bucky went to put his hand on his left shoulder but Thor grasped it and moved it over his heart.
Bucky could feel his pulse under his palm. Was he verging on a panic attack?
"Right there." Thor nodded again, stepping back. "Banner! You must repair the broken one!" He exclaimed.

"Tony doesn't need anyone else on his side, I thought you were on mine?!" Came Bruce's reply.

"I am on the side of the little broken man! The Bucky man!"

"Just Bucky" came Bucky's meek voice from the bed.

"Just Bucky!" Thor reiterated loudly.
Thor turned back to Bucky and began unhooking various cords that monitored-- well, Bucky wasn't really sure what they monitored. "Come see what they've made for you. Help me argue."
He cried out in surprise as the huge man lifted him like a doll.
He expected pain from somewhere but there was none. He sighed in relief.
Thor didn't seem to mind his lack of limbs or the weird smell that came from his hair due to the chemical rinse he'd used thus far instead of a proper shower.

"Are you wearing a cape?" Bucky couldn't help comment as this Thor person carried him out of the room. Fuck, how long had it been since he'd been out of that room?

"Yes! It flows behind me most regally! It makes me feel very fancy!" Thor was smiling wide, he had a kind face. Bucky was vaguely reminded of a golden retriever.

He allowed himself to relax and observe the lab as they walked through it. Sunlight filtered through the windows, equipment Bucky couldn't name was lining almost every surface. Tony and Bruce were standing across a long table, staring one another down.
Thor easily maneuvered through the lab, coming to stop before a mostly equipment-free metal table. He placed Bucky on this table in a sitting position then hopped up beside him.
Bucky felt so off balance on his left side that he was forced to lean against the strange man. Thor made no effort to make him move so he settled into it.

"Thor put him back, he's not well enough to--" Bruce began in a defeated tone.

"He is fine. Otherwise he would have complained by now." Thor wrapped his arm around Bucky protectively, as though someone were threatening to take away his toy. "Right Bucky?"

Bucky slowly nodded. "I feel. . . Fine, Dr. Banner. Is this your lab? It isn't terrifying." He tried a smile but it was tight and more sad looking than anything.

Bruce too offered a slight smile. "Okay Bucky. If you start to feel bad, let us know, okay? No shame."

"Cease your coddling and show the man what your science has wrought for him!"
The hand draped around his shoulders rubbed Bucky's chest soothingly. Perhaps Bucky didn't realize how touch starved he was but he found himself curling into Thor's side. The man was treating him exactly how he would have treated one of his little sisters if they were upset or injured. He was left wondering if Thor had any siblings.

"Right, so, Snow White," Tony stepped to the side of the table he and Bruce were at and pulled a sheet from over the objects there. "I've been up all night, as usual, but I came straight here when I had this breakthrough." Tony gestured to both the gleaming arm Bucky had already looked at with the addition of a metallic leg that looked like it was also made of Vibranium.
"I thought it was going to take another month to complete the leg but I was looking at your scans; there are enough viable anchoring points that it should be easy. We'll just run a few leads into the muscle, a few sensors, build off your existing bone and--"

Bucky held up his hand, stopping Tony mid sentence. "Stop, stop. I don't want to hear about the m-medical aspects." It was making his head spin and his breath catch in his chest. "It's too much, I. . . Bucket!" He cried out not a second too soon.
Tony was quick to act, grabbing a dust bin from the floor, he held it out as Bucky wretched into it.
What did Bucky even have in his stomach to throw up that much? He'd been living on oatmeal and ginger ale since he woke up.
When he stopped at last he was gasping for breath. Tony put the dust bin down and gave him a paper towel for his mouth.

What Tony didn't expect was for Bucky to slump forward into him. "I can't yet with the leg." Bucky whispered softly.
When Tony awkwardly put his arm around him Bucky couldn't hold back small, choked sobs.

"W-were you about to have a flashback? Where you were captive again?" There was so much resigned understanding in Tony's voice that it made Bucky's heart ache all the more. He slowly nodded, burying his face in Tony's neck. He understood. Tony understood him.

"Thor can you help me take him back to bed?"

Thor regarded Tony solemnly and nodded. Bucky allowed himself to be lifted again and taken back to bed.

Tony was having a hard time with this. This man was the reason he and Steve were at odds once again. And yet he was really an innocent party. After all, it wasn't him who kissed Steve.
Bucky was fucked up, probably needed psych, probably needed meds to counteract the hell his mind was.
Tony couldn't bring himself to out and out hate the man. He-- if he was being honest with himself-- could actually see the appeal Bucky had. At times he was brash and could go toe-to-toe with Tony in the witty sarcastic banter department, but he also wore his heart out on his sleeve.

When Thor had him settled back in and had exited the room once more, Tony lingered, sitting down on the chair beside the bed.

"You know Steve left?" He began, not looking directly at Bucky.

"Left?" Well that explained why he hadn't been back with books like he'd promised.

"Mhm, yesterday morning. Off on some mission or other. Was he always like that? Throwing himself headlong into things so he could process or hell, deflect, whatever?" Tony sighed out.

"We used to fight sometimes. He wouldn't really yell back at me and then he would end up going out to find some back alley thug to pick a fight with." Bucky was still pale as though teetering on the edge of vomiting again. "You never met the Steve I grew up with. Five foot nothin' ninety five pounds. But he was a damn fireball. I got him out of more scrapes than I can count but he . . . He saved me in a lot of ways. Listen at me yammering like an old hen."
Bucky sighed and let himself lay back heavily on the pillows.
"Thank you, Tony, for back in the lab. You didn't have to let me. . . You know."

"You still want the arm, right?"

Bucky paled further but nodded. "You said you could do it today?"

"Don't think you're up for it."

"I am. Maybe it'll make the nightmares stop." He offered Tony a sad little smile.

"I'll see what I can do." Tony got up to leave but Bucky stopped him.

"Wait, Tony who is that---"

"Human golden retriever? Thor. Hes kinda in a league of his own in the "living oddities housed in Avengers Tower" department . . . He's not even from this planet."

"I can see that."

"No, seriously, he's from a place called Asgard. He's like a prince or something." Tony leaned against the doorframe, watching amused as it sank into Bucky's mind.

"This is a strange place." Bucky shook his head, amused at the whole situation.

"Wait til Bruce gets mad and The Other Guy decides he wants to come out again"
Tony didn't stay to explain instead turning to go get everything ready for Bucky's surgery.

____________________________________________
Bucky woke up slowly at first and then all at once. He made to sit up in bed but someone pushed him back down. "Shh, shh, it's okay Bucky." Dr Banner's hands were gentle as he eased him back down onto the pillows. "You're safe, everything went well. Relax."
He was having a difficult time relaxing, he kept jumping at every sound as if expecting some Soviet spy or Hydra agent to crawl from any nook or cranny.
"Hey, hey, look at me." Bruce gripped his chin lightly and made Bucky focus on him. "Breathe with me." Banner walked him through a series of breathing exercises, repeating them til Bucky seemed to be entirely at ease.
"Okay now, Bucky, you wanna try moving your fingers?" His fingers? He moved the ones on his right hand.
"No, no." Bruce corrected. "The other hand."

Other hand? Oh! That's right. Bucky remembered now.
He found it easy once he was conscious of it. With a soft whirr he spread his fingers out, he was surprised to feel the texture of the blanket beneath his fingertips. He looked up at Bruce in alarm. "Is it supposed to feel like that?" He asked in a hushed tone.

"All the little tactile things." Tony startled him by speaking right by his right ear. The man's eyes were trained on the Vibranium hand with interest. "I got some tests to run once you fully come out of the anesthesia. But it all looks really good, right Bruce?"

Dr Banner nodded. "Mad science and all."

"Just take it easy until the shoulder heals. Don't wanna go ripping anything." Tony instantly regretted his words as Bucky paled. "Get some rest, Buck. I'll come check up on you in the morning."
He pat the man's right shoulder and exited the room.

____________________________________________
Tony actually felt tired. God that surgery had been gruelling.
First they had had to graft in a fine Vibranium mesh to build anchor points on. That wasn't even the hard part. Bucky nearly flatlined every time they touched one of the nerve or muscle connections that Hydra had put into him they hadn't wanted to connect up properly with their modifications.
He and Bruce hadn't wanted to but they ended up having to basically flay Bucky's chest and carefully reintegrate their own leads while moving the HYDRA ones. It was practically smooth sailing after that. Practically.
Tony didn't bother going to the lab or his own rooms, choosing instead to retire to Steve's bed, twisting himself into the sheets, enveloping himself in Steve's smell.
There was a dull ache in his chest, near the reactor scar. He absently rubbed it and let the feeling of missing Steve wash over him.
How long would he be gone? Should he have confronted Steve? Of course he should have. This was their relationship they were talking about.
Would Steve even come back?
He buried his face in one of Cap's pillows and tried to deny he was crying as he drifted off to sleep.

Chapter Text

Tony awoke with a start, he couldn't quite get his bearings. What had he been dreaming about? Steve of course. It had been a nightmare he was sure of that but the details eluded him. He sighed and fell back into the tangled mess of pillows and sheets. "Damnit I miss that asshole." He muttered to himself.
"Friday?"

"Yes, sir?" Came the chipper female voice

"What time is it?"

"Eight thirty in the morning."

He'd slept all night? Hm. He sat up again and pulled himself from bed.
"Whats on my schedule today, Friday?"
The list was thankfully short, a few papers to sign, one quick lunch with Pepper and a visit from Peter Parker. Oh. And Bucky. He had to check the arm out. Well, Petey could come for that. It'd be entertaining and educational for the kid and besides, he decided he liked seeing how much Bucky struggled understanding the strange and unusual guests of the tower. His reaction to Thor had been delightful, just wait til he met Spiderman up close and out of the suit.

He took a quick shower, and dressed in a casual outfit, slacks and a button down.
He took the elevator up to his office slash living space and settled down with his laptop. The bit of work he had to do was over quickly and it was only 9:55 when he grew bored enough to start pacing.
This was why he hated getting up early. Too early for lunch with Pepper and too late to get into anything else.

His phone was in his hand before he realized, dialing Steve. Once he saw what he was doing he ended the call and sank down onto the floor with a defeated sigh.
He put the phone back to his ear after hitting Pepper's number.

"Tony did you sleep?"

"Good morning to you too, Pep."

"You didn't answer my question." There was amusement in her voice.

"I did sleep actually. Thank you for asking. So how do you fancy brunch instead of lunch? Maybe a guest?"

"A guest? I don't know Tony."

Thirty minutes later they were being chauffered to an upscale restaurant with a sleepy teen in tow.

"This is early, Mr. Stark." Peter said, rubbing his eyes. "And on a Saturday, come on."

"It's almost eleven." Pepper interrupted when Tony was opening his mouth to agree.

Tony rolled his eyes and smiled at her. "Smart, beautiful and a functional human being, Pepper Potts, ladies and gentlemen."

Peter stifled a laugh on the sleeve of his hoodie. He was admittedly a little bit scared of the woman. The only person alive that could properly reign in Tony Stark without so much as raising her voice.

"Very funny, Tony but you'll recall you're the one who called me this morning to set this whole thing up." She looked indignant but there was a playful sparkle in her eyes.

"Touché. There you go winning every argument again." He let his head fall to her shoulder. "And Peter!"

Peter jumped up from where he'd been dozing on the seat "hm!? W-what was that Mr Stark?"

"No trying to sneak mimosas at the restaurant. I promised your hot aunt I'd take care of you." He pointed two fingers at his eyes then turned them on Peter. "Watching you."
____________________________________________

Bucky fell to his knee for the fourth time that day. A crutch clattered off to the side, skidding just out of his reach.
This wasn't like him. This was weakness, it was , it . . . It wasn't The Winter Soldier. He sighed and rolled into his back.
He'd promised Bruce he wouldn't push himself if he'd just leave the crutch.
Fuck!
He'd done so well with someone standing near. Why couldn't he do this now? He just wanted to go five feet to take a piss.
Sighing deeply he dragged himself along the floor and retrieved the crutch. There was enough strength in his arms especially the metal one and his good leg that he could lift himself up.
Slowly, Barnes, slowly.
He edged along the wall and carefully reached out to open the bathroom door.
He was wearing nothing but a pair of loose sweatpants and getting his dick out to piss was easy enough and the bathroom small enough that he could lean himself against the wall while he took care of it.
He sighed contentedly and rearranged himself properly. It had been too long since he'd done that on his own.
However the most tempting thing was the shower. He hopped to turn and look at it. It was a standard shower and tub combo.
Could he manage? Did he dare? He was so tired of the warm wipes and chemical rinses. He wanted to soak.

He closed the toilet lid and sat heavily on it. His hands reached out to turn the taps on full blast. When he figured them out he ran a bath of steaming water. A quick scan revealed there was indeed soap, shampoo, conditioner-- everything he needed.
He shouldn't have been this excited but he found himself grinning ear-to-ear.
He raised his ass to slip out of the sweats and used just his arms to swing himself over to the edge of the tub.
Slowly, slowly he eased himself into the water. The temperature felt different on the severed stump of his leg. The water felt hotter there but not overly so.
He practically moaned as he slid down into the water. He slid all the way down til his head was under then scooted back up.
His metal hand closed on the bottle of shampoo, he smelled it and decided it was a little floral but it would do.
He marveled at the way he could feel the suds and the individual strands of his hair with the metal hand as he worked through the neglected mess. Shit, it was at mid-back now, he should cut it.
He worked conditioner through the tangles and let it sit in for a while.

It was startling really that he found himself suddenly realizing that he'd not seen himself fully naked since before the accident. He looked skinny that was sure, he's lost some muscle tone but not bad otherwise. His left side was scarred horribly, it had to be massive injury for him to scar after the serum.
Bucky let his hands wander over that side. The feeling was dulled to almost non existent even if he dug his nails in. Just disconcerting numbness and pressure.
The numbness encompassed most of the entire left side, just up to his chest and all the way down the side of the severed leg.
That was difficult for him to touch, first time for everything though.
He experimentally slid both hands along his thigh, fingertips brushing where it ended. He could feel most of it, there was a severe numbness on his inner thigh however.
It took him a minute but Bucky finally plucked up the courage to slide his hand over the end of the stump.
Something dangerously tugged at the edges of his mind so he dropped it and focused instead on washing.

He'd just finished up rinsing the conditioner from his hair when he heard someone knocking on the door of his room.
"Company!" Tony called out.

"Come in I'm uh, in the uh, could you actually help me, Tony?" He called in return.
In his haste he'd left the crutch, his clothes and, the sole towel in the entire bathroom laying on the sink on the opposite side of the room.

"In the bathroom?" He could hear Tony approaching.

"Y-yeah just really quick?" The door opened slowly.

"Probl- problem?" Tony was glad he was wearing sunglasses because his eyes raked over Bucky as he sat in the tub with nothing but a thin washcloth barely covering his junk.
"How, how, how'd you manage this?" Tony stammered, seeking out a towel for the other man. Why in hell was his heart pounding? He was supposed to be harboring some kind of vague resentment toward this man.
Bucky took the towel and draped it over his shoulder. He used his arms to raise himself up from the tub and back onto the edge. There was no hiding any of his body any more, but Bucky seemed unbothered.
"Thanks Tony." He stated with sincerity. "You have no idea how good this was. I needed it so bad." Did he know he was speaking in a low husky tone?
No?
Tony cleared his throat and offered an arm. "Do you need any other help?" Tony asked as he watched the other man dry his long hair.
"Maybe with the pants." Bucky was getting used to pushing his pride down and at that present moment those sweatpants seemed insurmountable.
"O-oh and the arm, Tony..I can feel so many things. I felt the soap bubbles! Individual strands of hair- I. . ." He rubbed his short stubble then excitedly, sort of without thinking reached out and rubbed his hands over Tony's neatly trimmed beard and up into his hair. "A-all of that. . ." His excitement seemed to fade away when he realized what he'd done-- invading personal space, Tony's personal space. He'd just always been so tactile, wanting to touch everything, feel everything.
He couldn't read the look on Tony's face as he slowly let his hand drop. "S-sorry. I got excited." He practically whispered. "I - I think I can get the pants it's okay."

"No I got em. . . Peter's waiting to really meet you. So we should. . ." Tony offered the sweats to Bucky and helped him stand and adjust them over the stump.
With both the crutch and Tony's aid he easily made his way back to bed.
"Whos the skinny kid?" He asked with a smile. He kinda had a soft spot of skinny kids.
"Oh hi Mr Barnes, we've already sorta met." He knew that voice. "I'm---"

"Spiderbaby. I know you." Bucky teased.

"Wha-- n-no I'm sp-spiderman." He reached out his hand to shake and Bucky grasped his small flesh hand in warmish metal fingers.

"I'm really glad to meet you on non-combat terms, Pete, was it?" Bucky flashed a charming smile and laughed easily when Peter began to run off at the mouth at him.

Tony tuned out most of the conversation as it turned into the intricacies of the ever evolving New York City and all its Burroughs.
"Queens was nothing but farms when I was a kid, that's amazing." Bucky was exclaiming excitedly.

"When you get better we gotta go to Coney Island!"

"I'll go so long as they still got hotdogs."

Peter's easy laugh filled the room.
This was good for Bucky, Tony realized he'd never personally seen the man laugh or crack a real smile.
And he was good with Petey, and that was important to Tony.

Peter was running his hands up and down the metal arm, feeling all the seams and joints between the plates as Bucky moved it around to demonstrate.
"This is amazing Bucky!"
First names already? He was still calling Tony "Mr. Stark."
"Hey you know we learned about you in school? I did a report on you in 5th grade!"

"I saw my museum piece." His smile had faded and was replaced by a far away and slightly pinched look.

"Hey Petey?" Tony interrupted, starting to catch on to a few of the tells that Bucky was entering a rough mental patch.

"Yes, Mr. Stark?" He looked up, dropping Bucky's hand.

"Why don't you go play with Dr Banner for a while. Tell him I said you could mess around with the gene sequencer." Nobody had to tell Peter twice, the promise of practically free reign in the lab was too tempting.
"See ya later, Bucky." He said cheerily as he exited the room.

Tony crossed the room and sat on the bed beside Bucky. "You good?" He asked solemnly, his hand coming to rub Bucky's chest soothingly. Tony barely registered that it was bare skin he was touching.

Bucky hesitated, he was going to nod but thought better of it. He owed it to himself to be honest.
He slowly shook his head. "What'd you call it? The really intense memories, the ones that take you away?"

"Flashback?" Tony's hand was still providing reassuring pressure.

Bucky nodded. "I think I've been on edge since I touched my leg in the bathroom. It made me almost. . . Remember my arm being severed. Hydra." His voice was tight and Tony felt his pulse quicken.

"Hey, hey, you don't have to talk about it, Snow White. Just breathe, that's a thing you can do yeah?" His voice was calm and Bucky tried his damnedest to focus on it.
Without him realizing it, Bucky's hand sought out Tony's lacing his fingers into the other man's.

"This is helping. K-keep talking. Tell me about something, anything." Bucky's eyes slid closed.

"So once in Venice, I had the privilege to be in the presence of not one but two sets of twins, one pair Swedish the other pair . . . Romanian, I think? So picture it, me, drunk on Cristal and surrounded by four of the most gorgeous girls--"

Bucky snorted a laugh.
"What's so funny?"

"For some reason I wasn't picturing girls." The smile was back-- slight but back.

"Funny. Well to make a long story short, Cristal makes my dick limp." He shrugged.
Bucky squeezed his hand and a peal of laughter rang out.

"Ahh fuck, thank you Tony. That helped." There were tears from laughter on the corners of his eyes. His hand didn't drop from Tony's, his thumb traced little patterns over the back of it. "I'm thankful for you."

"I'm glad we have gotten to know one another. Glad you got my opinions to change. We may have unresolved issues where Cap is concerned but other than that I enjoy having you." Tony's own fingers slid along Bucky's wrist of their own accord.

"Yeah, about Stevie. . . I'm sorry. I feel like I push too hard with him. I feel like I forced his hand the day he kissed me." Regret was bubbling up in his guts.

"Then. . . " Tony's mouth went dry, what was he doing? He'd raised up from the bed and was staring down into Bucky's eyes. "Then I guess we gotta make it even, eh Snow White?"
Tony's hand shook as he gripped Bucky's chin, tilting his head back. He slowly pressed his lips to Bucky's.
It started slow, just barely above anything chaste but Tony's tongue darted out to briefly swipe across Bucky's lips.
Bucky made a low sound and slowly parted his lips. His tongue met Tony's with slight hesitation the other man tasted nice, not perpetually minty like Steve but something. . .?

When they parted Bucky was flushed and panting. He'd never kissed a man other than Stevie. "You . . . You taste like coconut." He gasped out.

Tony, trying not to let the implications of what he'd just done wash over him, let out a nervous laugh. "Side effect. It won't go away." Was his vague explanation.

After a slightly uncomfortable silence Tony asked. "Should we not have done that? I mean I enjoyed it."

Bucky was quiet for a moment, seemingly deep in thought.
"I. . ." He began, closed his mouth then started over. "I don't want to be something you two use to hurt one another. I. I'll admit I enjoyed it too though."

Tony nodded thoughtfully. "I don't want to use you, Bucky. Your years of being someone's pawn are over, unless that's your kink then of course. . ."

Bucky snorted another laugh. "Could be" he said coyly. He bit his lower lip and looked up at Tony through his eyelashes knowing just how he looked.

Again Tony's mouth went dry. "You're more of a tease than Rogers!" He exclaimed exasperated.

Bucky was quick on the reply, "who do you think he learned it from?"

It was Tony's turn to laugh now.
"So. When you're more confident on your leg we can get you moved out of this room. Clinical in here isn't it? I mean the drapes are nice but the machines are . . . Frustrating to look at."

"W-where?" Was Bucky suddenly being tossed out in the street. "Where will I?"
Tony noted the alarm in the other man's voice.

"Oh shit, sorry. I mean I have you a small apartment set up one floor down." Tony's hand was rubbing his chest again.
"It's got a soaking tub. All the little luxuries."
He felt himself inching closer to Bucky and quickly pulled back. He just missed Steve, that was all, right? Tony was also a very tactile man, always touching his friends lightly, in some manner. Leaning against them in cars, holding their hands.
"Bucky." He found himself blurting out. "I want to kiss you again."

Bucky sat in stunned silence on one hand his head was telling him fuck no, absolutely not. Off limits, the first time was a fluke. but his racing heart had him leaning forward.

Their lips were millimeters apart, they could feel one another's breath.

"Mr. Stark! Aunt May called and---- woah." Peter burst into the room and Tony jerked away from Bucky.

"Jesus Pete!" Tony exclaimed. "What, what's this about aunt hottie?" He pinched the bridge of his nose.

"She wants me to come home. F-for dinner, am I interrupting something important because I can--"

"No! It's fine Pete. Kid was raised in a barn I swear. Don't they have doors where you're from?" Tony took the kid around the shoulders and lead him away.

Bucky was left with a hollow and strange feeling in the pit of his stomach. He couldn't make head or tail of his emotions.
He lay back on the pillows with a frustrated sigh. "What the hell are you gonna do about all this, Barnes?" He breathed out loud to himself.

Chapter Text

Bucky was adjusting to the new apartment with minimal difficulty. He'd gotten the hang of the crutch after a few days and could maneuver around like it was second nature.
Sure he still had difficulty in the bathroom and with getting dressed when he was still sleepy in the morning but other than that? Smooth sailing.

It had been a couple of weeks and Tony hadn't mentioned their kiss again and that was all for the best.
Though presently, as Bucky was making himself a ham sandwich it was all that was on his mind. The feeling of the other man's lips in his memory made him so distracted he let the ham slip from between the bread.
It landed on the floor with a wet plop.
Bucky threw his head back and let out an exasperated groan. He wasn't even going to fuck with it. It could lay there for all he cared.
He could pick it up if he wanted to. Couldn't he? Damnit. He reached down and snatched it off the floor, overbalanced himself and ended up on his ass in the floor.
He let himself lay back on the tile. "Friday?"
He was still getting used to the ever present AI. "Is Tony busy?" There was a tightness in his voice that he didn't bother trying to hide. His vision dimmed and for a moment he was in the huge open pit of a cell they threw him into to force him to learn to live without his arm. To learn to fight without his arm.

"He is presently in conference with--- nope, his conference just ended." There was a pause. "Should I inform him that you're looking for him?"

"Tell him I'm five seconds from a cat 5 panic attack. Over a goddamn ham sandwich." His voice hitched.

It was only half a minute before Bucky heard the elevator doors slide open a room away.

"Snow White?" Tony called, he was eating something if the sound of his voice was any indication.
Bucky began to open his mouth but Friday cut him off.
"Sgt Barnes is in the kitchen, sir"

"Thanks Friday." There was a crunching sound as Tony picked his way through the "small" apartment. He finally spotted Bucky laying between the kitchen island and the half open fridge.
"Jesus, Barnes, you fall?" He asked as he came into the other man's line of sight.

Bucky took his eyes off the man and stared up at the ceiling. "Kinda." His voice was tight. He reached out to Tony. "Panic. Help?" He could barely speak. In truth he was barely present, using voices like a lifeline.

Tony knelt down beside him, putting down the apple he was eating. "I'm here. You're safe." He reached out and put his hand on Bucky's chest.
Buck let out a shuddering breath letting the warm weight of Tony's hand ground him.
He let Tony walk through the breathing and eventually Tony tried talking to him.
"What happened?" Tony had laid down beside him on the floor.
Bucky placed his hand on the one still on his chest. "I dropped some ham and I fell. Seems stupid but it made me think--- it made me feel like I was back, back there trying to get used to being limbless."
He turned on his side and looked Tony in the eye at last. "Is it pathetic?"

Tony found himself shifting closer to him. "No. Not at all. I can't take a bath after what happened to me. And you see how into bathrooms I am just based on the ostentatiousness of your own." It was ostentatious. It was 200 square feet of white marble and glass, bigger than some New York apartments. It had an inset tub and Cascade shower, the sink was one of those motion sensor things made of matching marble. There was also as promised a soaking tub one could sit in submerged up to their neck. One wall was solid one-way glass that looked out over the city.
"I can't even enjoy my own goddamn hot tub."

Bucky reached out and ran his metal knuckle over Tony's cheekbone. "Water torture? I'm sorry."

"So, we've been skirting the subject," Tony began, easily skirting yet another. "I kissed you. We cool?"

Bucky laughed softly. "It's kinda been on my mind."

"A good or bad kinda on your mind?" Tony leaned up on his elbow, a playful smile on his face. He looked like a gossiping girl at a sleepover.

"Well, let's see. I keep dropping things, I had both a dream and a nightmare about it," Bucky counted out on his fingers. "I got so distracted by it I ended up here on the floor."

"Verdict, Snow White?"

"Good." He shifted a little, facing Tony more. "The nightmare though. Steve threw me out the window."

"Has it stopped you from wanting to do it again?"

"Do we want to do it again?" They were almost uncomfortably close now.

"If I'm being honest with myself? Yeah. But I'm rarely honest with myself so. . . Yeah it's one of my laundry list of character flaws." Tony's hand lightly touched Bucky's hip his eyes searched the other man's.

Bucky observed Tony with bated breath. He let those eyes study him, those wide, beautiful eyes. There were honey tones amid the deep brown and a perpetual spark of wonderment.
Bucky's body felt a little warm, he felt almost like if he were drinking and was right between the edge of sober and tipsy.

"Tony Stark, if you don't kiss me I'm going to just--- fuck it." Bucky was the one to close the gap this time, claiming Tony's lips with the urgency of a man on fire.
Tony groaned into his mouth, encouragingly.
Bucky tilted into the kiss and parted his lips. Their tongues clashed, slipping together with urgency.

When Bucky pulled back they were both flushed and panting.

Bucky wanted more but he didn't have words for exactly what that even was.
"Tony I. . ." His mouth worked but no sound came out. "I--"

"You want me?" Tony laughed easily.

"I want something." He had such a foreign feeling pooling in the pit of his stomach.

Tony grinned and shed his shirt. "C'mon. Off, soldier boy." He said as he gestured to Bucky's own loose fitting tee.

"That's Sargent to you, Stark." He chuckled, sliding the shirt over his head.

Tony gave an appreciative whistle as though he hadn't seen him entirely naked before. As though his hands hadn't been literally inside his chest. "Yes sir, Sargent."
Now that it wasn't in such a clinical environment, Tony pressed his fingers to Bucky's chest in an entirely new way. He was exploratory, curious. His fingers slid over each of Bucky's nipples, teasing them to hardness.
Bucky's breath came in little shudders. It had been too long. Too long since someone had touched him like this. In spite of his growing excitement he lay still and let Tony touch him.
He flinched hard when Tony's finger traced the join of metal and flesh.
"A little sensitive here? Thought it might be. It hurt?" His voice was a whisper almost seductive.
Bucky shook his head.
It was Tony's tongue that traced the line next. Bucky gasped, subconsciously raising his hips.
The hot, slick feeling of Tony's tongue slid along his shoulder, up his neck and lips closed lightly on his earlobe.
"Fu-fuck." Bucky groaned.

"Is that the plan?" Tony whispered, the question needy against his neck.

Was it? Bucky tensed up and slid away before he did anything stupid.
"What about Steve?" He gasped out as he tried to center himself. "We can't."

Tony seemed to deflate as he let himself flop onto his back, narrowly avoiding the forgotten ham.
"Goddamnit, why do you have to be right?" He adjusted himself so he wasn't straining so hard against the unrelenting metal of his zipper. "Thanks though. I guess."

Bucky scooted back over and lay beside him, letting his hand come to rest on his chest.
"Maybe one day, Tony." His fingers slowly circled the reactor scar and Tony let him.

That's what Bucky's life was wasn't it? A series of Maybe one Days that never came to pass.

Maybe one day he'd make something of himself.

Maybe one day he and Steve could tell each other their feelings. Instead of sneaking around, barely touching one another in a way that wasn't simply meant to get them off. Best friends who leant one another a hand.

Maybe one day he'd tell Steve he was the air he'd kill to breathe.

Maybe one day he'd move Steve out of Brooklyn Heights.

Maybe one day he'd win the war and be right there with Steve to sock Hitler on the jaw.

Maybe one day he'd escape Zola.

He never did any of those things. Even after he was free of Hydra's grasp, he wasn't really free. Who was Bucky Barnes? A ghost, just like The Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes was also a ghost.
They'd unmade him.
He was still for all intents and purposes, a young man and he had no sense of identity no sense of purpose and no grasp on the future.
Bucky and The Soldier. Those two entities swirled in his head like oil and water. He remembered too much and too little and it threatened to tear him apart.
On his best days he was held together by tenuous fibers that linked the present to his past. Being back in New York grounded him more than he could even know. Doing normal things, take a bath, eat a sandwich, read.
He did a lot of that lately. Pouring over old books. The phrasing, the vernacular the settings made him feel at ease.
Then there were days where he'd lock himself in the bathroom and scream into one of the thick bath towels all because he couldn't stop the memories. The memories of his time as The Soldier. All the faces, all the people he'd killed, their anguish and his cold indifference. Was it that? Indifference not just programming? He knew the answer in his heart but it was less comfort and more a reminder of his failure to resist HYDRA.
He was a poorly strung marionette.

Then there was Tony. He was filling in the gaps. Putting substance to the weakest spots. Making him do things that pushed his limits. TV for one, and food.
Tony had a good palate. He liked good pizza and good beer. But he was also adventurous, having Bucky taste weird ice cream flavors and foreign things.

"Tony?" Bucky broke the silence that had fallen between them.

"Hm?" Tony kissed his jawline. "Problem?"

"I want the leg."

Tony sat up with a start. "Why the sudden change?"

"I'm allowing myself to have something I need." Bucky sounded resigned.

"Good" Tony sounded a little unsure of Bucky's decision but wouldn't protest. "Let me go talk to Bruce. I'll set up a time. . ." He was up and moving toward the elevator.

"Tony I need to tell you something." Bucky called after him but Tony waved him off, his mind kicking into work mode.

When the elevator doors closed and Bucky was alone he curled into as much of a ball as he could manage.
____________________________________________

The appointment was easy enough to set up Bruce seemed more relaxed with the whole thing since the success of the arm.

When it was all settled, Tony was more than thankful to return to Steve's place and fall into the bed. It was smelling less and less like the man and it left an ache in Tony's chest.
Fucking hell he missed him.

He was also getting tired of using his hand and imagination. But here he was.
He got out of bed and went to the closet. Here the clothes still smelled like Steve. He breathed in deep, imagining he was here, imagining what he'd do to him after so long away.

A devilish little smile crossed Tony's face.

He hopped back into bed and grabbed his phone. He undid his pants and let his cock spring free. He snapped an upshot of himself and sent it to Steve without hesitation.
When he was back on his text contacts screen his thumb briefly hovered over Bucky's name. Fuck it. He tapped send.
He wasn't done yet however. He tapped Steve's number and selected the option to call. When the voicemail picked up he put it on speaker.
"H-heya Cap." He was lightly bucking into his own hand. "Just calling to tell--mmh, fuck. Tell you how much I miss you. I was thinking about your cock all day. Mhhh, shit, Steve I wish you were here so I didn't have to use my fingers." He'd slid his free hand down and was slowly fingering himself. "Oh my god, Cap, I wish this was you." When he came, moaning Steve's name into the phone he hung up and licked his hand clean. He hoped Steve listened to that as soon as possible.
With that thought he drifted off to sleep.
____________________________________________

Tony was having coffee with Rhodey down stairs when an elderly FedEx worker knocked on the glass door.
"Hey, are you. . . Tony Stank?"

Rhodes had burst into a fit of laughter and given him a few jibes.
Tony signed for the package and took it back to the couch where Rhodey was wiping tears of laughter from his eyes.
"I'll get you if you use that name." Tony threatened lightly as he tore into the box.

Inside was a single VHS tape. No note or anything.
The lable on the tape was in Russian but he easily deciphered the meaning. It was the date of his parents death.
"What the hell is this?"

Chapter Text

Bucky hadn't been able to believe his eyes when he opened the text from Tony that morning.

All morning as he tried to go about his routine his mind kept drifting back to the photo.
At last he gave up resisting and went back into the bedroom.

He sat down, scooting til he was back against the headboard and, slowly palmed himself through the thin pajama pants he wore.
There was an odd bit of numbness as he moved his hand.
He opened his phone to that picture. Tony with his lip between his teeth, cock standing proudly dominating most of the screen.
His breath hitched and he reached into his pajamas, lightly stroking himself. The extent of the numbness was more apparent though it was localized to the left side near the base. Not a huge problem.

He shifted, using his metal hand to tug his pajamas down. His hand was now free to move more freely over his leaking flesh.
He was softly moaning Tony's name. Oh fuck he was close. "Fuh- fuck" he was panting out. How long had it been since he came?

A sound right by his ear that wasn't from him made him freeze. He knew that sound.
"Tony?" He asked, his throat dry, pulse racing, not daring to turn, not wanting to look into the light of the repulsor.

Somehow Bucky was able to roll from bed just as the beam obliterated the headboard.
He scrabbled to get his crutch under him as he heard the whine of the device readying itself again.
"Tony what!?" He gave up on the crutch and let himself roll for cover. The dresser exploded into splinters and Bucky rolled again, making for the door.
"Tony!"

"Shut up." there was nothing but disgust on Tony's voice.
The bedroom door was the next thing to be obliterated.
Bucky covered his head from the shower of splinters.
He was scrabbling backward into the living room.

Tony flew at him, tackling him back. Bucky's metal hand managed catching the red and gold fist that was aimed at his face.
He couldn't stop the well timed headbutt.
He felt his nose crack and blood starting to pour. "I don't understand." He stared into the glowing blue eyes of Ironman.

"You fucking bastard, you killed my mom."
Bucky was too stunned to block the next punch. He saw stars as metal collided with flesh.

"I did." Bucky stated in a voice devoid of life and hope.
The admission spurred the cold anger in Tony further. He stood and kicked Bucky clean through the living room wall and into the kitchen.
Bucky rolled into his stomach and coughed, trying to get some air into his lungs. Dust and debris fell all around him.
A blast from the repulsor sent him flying back again, crashing through the kitchen island, the heavy marble countertop fell crushing his ribs. He quickly tried moving from under the rubble but without the leg it was difficult going.
A concentrated beam from Stark's suit cut through the ceiling above him. A steel girder groaned dangerously bending inward as it's structural integrity was compromised.

Bucky couldn't fight this. He wasn't going to win. Mostly because of the deep guilt he felt. The Stark's were two of the faces that haunted him.
The girder fell, Bucky screamed. His good arm was pinned under it at an odd angle.
Then there was Tony, looking over him.
"Tony please." He pleaded.

"I'm not stopping."

"I-- i kn-know." Bucky was trying to lift the steel with his Vibranium arm. "J-just finish it." He lay back amid the debris panting and staring up at Tony.

Tony came down on him with a punch that would have likely knocked out someone who hadn't been conditioned like Bucky.
He spat a tooth and kept his eyes trained on the man in the Suit.
"If it makes you feel better. If it gives you come closure, Tony. . . Just do it." He gripped Ironman's wrist and put the repulsor dead bang to his temple.

"It's not. It's not gonna give me anything but another body to bury. And you're just gonna be another Stark statistic one more on my bodycount. A pathetic tally on the list of people who made it personal and I had to deal with. You're gonna lose me Steve. But I don't care."
The repulsor whined and Bucky closed his eyes. His hand stayed firm on Tony's, his head turned into his palm.
Sobs ripped through Bucky unbidden. "I've ruined so much. I should have known better than to let myself start falling in love with someone who's parents I murdered." Bucky waited for the blast but it never came.

The face plate slid up with a metallic clanking. "I hate you." Tony's eyes were streaming.
Bucky nodded. "I know."

"You're not a man. You're a weapon. You're dangerous." The words Tony spat at him broke Bucky to the core. He couldn't even sort an emotion from the whirl of feeling in his gut.

"I know I am." He stated flatly.

"All you're ever going to do is cause pain and destruction and tear people apart."
Bucky's head snapped to the side as Tony punched him again.

"Why'd you save me back in Germany?"

"Because Rogers saw some modicum of goodness in you. But me? No, no I don't see it."

"You kissed me."

"I was wrong."
The floor started cracking the girder shifted.
Bucky cried out in pain as it dragged heavy on his flesh arm.

"Tony please!" He cried out, gripping at the shifting steel.

"What are you begging now? Did she beg? Did my mom beg?!" Red and gold gripped Bucky's chin hard enough to hurt. "How many people begged you not to kill them? Do you even remember her?"

"Hundreds, and I remember them all!" Bucky went limp on his grip. "I remember them all every day. Every time I close my eyes. I even see them in the mirror."
Another shift of the girder had him screaming as flesh ripped. "Finish it!" He shouted.
"Does Steve know? Does he know it was you?"

"Nh-no!" Bucky struggled to say as the floor started sinking, dragging the girder and his arm with it. "God please, Tony! My arm! Please!" His reality was slipping away, he was in HYDRA clutches. The mask of Ironman transformed into a blood red skull.
There was a repulsor blast and everything went black.

Bucky woke up in Dr Banner's little clinic room, the room he'd spent countless hours in.
It was dark, the only light was coming from the monitors he was hooked up to. He felt strangely complete. He looked down at his hands folded on top of the blankets. "God no." He breathed, laying back, tears falling freely.
Movement to his right made him flinch.
"Snow White?" Tony said softly. "You awake?"

"No. I don't think I am." Bucky choked out. "I can't be."

"Bucky I'm--"

"Sorry? Don't be. I deserve this." Servos whirred as both hands clenched the edge of the blanket. "I deserve all of it."

"I was wrong. I said things--"

"True things. I'm a weapon. I'm dangerous. I'm just a tool to be used, not a human being." The blanket ripped slightly.

"No, Bucky..let me finish. I said things, things to hurt you. Specifically to hurt you. I went dirty I went low. I hurt you." Tony inched his chair closer. "You might have killed my parents. But you had to watch yourself do all those things from the inside with no way of stopping it . . . I was wrong. I know better. I know you."

"Yeah. I guess. Can I ask a question?"

"Sure, Buck."

"How many more times am I going to wake up like this? I'm not a science project. I'm not a lab rat. How am I supposed to live like this. It's no better than Hydra. I get comfortable, I let myself trust everyone here. And. . ." He held up his gleaming right hand, the metal ended just above his elbow. "how is this different from what they did? I'm really not going to be a person soon, Tony!"

"How do I fix this?" Tony sounded hopelessly lost.

"You can't. Just like I can't bring your mom back." He flexed the hand and ripped the covers off himself, looking down at the new leg. "How long have I been out?"

"A week." Tony sighed, the hurt of everything all at once washing over him.

"How's my rooms? Can I go back there or am I allowed to stay?"

"Repaired. You can go back whenever you want." Tony passed a hand over his face.

"And Steve?"

"On his way home."

"Does he know what happened?"

Tony nodded.

"Do you still hate me?"

Tony let out a breath more sob than chuckle. "I never did. Are you still falling in love with me?"

"Ask me that again when I've come to terms with this." He held his right hand up again before tearing off all the leads and censors. The only thing he took his time with was the IV. He stood up. The leg held and his own stubbornness forced him into walking a straight line for the door. "What made you stop, Tony?" He paused to ask in the doorway.

Tony didn't turn to face him. "You had a world class freakout. You thought HYDRA was here, after you. You kept telling me to run, that you'd fight them. Do you remember?"

He couldn't say that he did.
"No. Bye for now, Tony I'll tell Friday when I'm ready to see anyone."

Tony was still sitting in the dark room when Steve arrived. He was sitting hunched over with his head in his hands, fingers knotted in his hair.

Steve stepped close and ran his hand over Tony's back.
"Hey doll." He said softly as Tony flinched upright. "Sorry to startle you."

"I fucked up, Cap." Tony couldn't look up at him, just stare at the stripes that ran along the abdomen of the uniform. "I fucked up so bad I don't think I'm gonna bounce back from it."
Steve sat on the vacant bed and tilted Tony's chin up, making him meet those painfully blue eyes. When had he grown a beard?
"Tony, there's just a few things we gotta talk about." He rubbed his thumb over Tony's lower lip. "First, are you okay? I can tell you're not, so moving on. What can I do to help you?"
Tony gave a non-committal shrug. "Can you time travel?" Steve could tell that Tony was wrung out, probably didn't even have tears to cry by the look of his red rimmed eyes.

"I've kind of had enough of skipping around through time for one lifetime, Tony." He pulled him in close, crushing him to his chest. "Thank you for not killing him. Where is he?"

"I set him up in an apartment. One of the good ones with the bathroom bigger than the living room." Tony was clinging to him now. "Cap something. . . I didn't tell you. He I uh. . . Fuck this is difficult to say."
He pulled away and searched Steve's eyes. "He's down another arm because of me."
Steve's expression darkened.
"What? How. Please tell me you didn't just rip it off?"

"Worse, it . . . I just let it happen, I knew it was happening and I let it." If the expression was any indication, Steve was more wounded than angry.

"I need to go see him." He stood and made his way to the door. "oh and Tony?"

"Yeah, Cap?"

"I love you."

"Still?"

"Always."

"I love you too Steve."

"When I get back we're discussing that voicemail."
Tony's breath caught.
____________________________________________

Bucky stood in the bathroom, stark naked, looking out over the Manhattan skyline.
He'd watched the quinjet make it's approach knowing who was on it. His heart didn't quicken he just felt empty.
"Friday?"

"Yes Sargent Barnes?"

"Can you tell Bruce to send me meds down. All of them, pain, anxiety, sleeping?"

"One moment."

There was a silence in which Bucky knew she was talking to Bruce.

"Doctor Banner wants to know if you're in the right state of mind?"

"What?"

"He wants to know if you're a suicide risk."

"Pills aren't my style. I'm a blaze of guns and glory type guy." He joked dryly.

Another moment of silence passed.
"He's sending you down a single dose of each."

"In the elevator?"

"Yes Sargent Barnes."

"Thank you, Friday."

He let himself linger at the window a while longer, musing over how strange it was that the apartment looked almost untouched.

He was just the remains of the day. He stepped back, looking at the damage in his reflection on the glass.
The leg looked good, better than the stump. It was exactly in proportion and only a bit heavier that his natural one. He could feel it as well as he could feel his metal arm--- arms.
He needed those anxiety meds.

He rushed to the elevator to wait.

When the doors opened he didn't expect to see a bearded Steve Rogers, carrying a little cup full of pills.

He reeled back, covering his nakedness with his cold metal hands.

"I told . . . I said I didn't want anyone coming here." Bucky backed up further, toward his bedroom door.

Just as he was about to disappear inside and lock the door Steve called out to him.

"Bucky! Don't run. . . Not from me."
The hand that had been reaching for the door closed into a fist and dropped to his side.

"Who am I to deny my best friend?" He turned, flashing Steve the most fake smile.

"Bucky. Do you want to talk?" Steve put the cup of meds on an end table, slowly making his way toward the other.

"What's there to talk about?" He sidestepped a few times, trying to get closer to the meds. "Missing limbs? Kisses that never should have happened? Maybe you wanna talk about how you should have never went after me. Maybe, just maybe you wanna talk about Germany?"

"Germany?" Steve asked, confused. "We've already discussed Germany."

"1945, Germany. Dead of night, ice cold, rain pouring. My pants around my knees." He darted forward like a caged animal and grabbed the cup of pills. He tossed the sleeping ones and downed the small handful that remained, dry.
"You didn't know it had already started did you? The shit Hydra did to me? The first doses of their shitty replica serum. The torture?"

"I saw the change in you, Buck." Steve stated solemnly. "I thought we could pull you through it. We didn't have words for all the shit that happens to a guy out on the front back then like we do now. I'm sorry Bucky. The worst thing that ever happened to me was losing you "

"Yeah. Yeah. . . I read the museum piece, I watched interviews and documentaries. Poor broken hearted Steve Rogers. Lost his best friend. Just a sickly kid from Brooklyn who lost it all, a man out of time." He ran his hands back through his ass-length hair.

"What's worse is that I'm here now and you keep running. You're always gonna be ashamed of me aren't you? Now just like back then?!" He stood right in front of Steve now, eyes steely and nostrils flaring. "Captain America's dirty little secret. God help the nation if it ever got out that Captain America ran around with a prancing, fairy faggo--"
Steve gripped Bucky's chin, covering his mouth with one strong hand.

"Don't you ever say shit like that again Barnes, do you hear me?"
There was some of the fighting Brooklyn kid Bucky had first met.
He shoved Steve back and rubbed his jaw.

"It's true though." He stated defiantly. "You're ashamed of what we did."

"If I was I wouldn't have bawled my eyes out to the rest of The Commandos after you fell. I wouldn't have told them everything. All the unsaid things. Hydra took everything from me."

"What about what they took from ME?!" Bucky's fist came down on end table to his right, cracking it in two. "What am I Steve?! And what did I do so bad in my life that I keep falling into these situations? First I'm Hydra's puppet now I'm a Stark Industries science project?!"
He grabbed Steve's hand and forced him to lean down and touch his flesh leg, taking firm note of the way Steve flinched at the feeling of his metal hand. "This is all that's left. The fingers that touched you? Gone. One back in the 40s. . . The other right in that goddamn kitchen, spread on the floor like jam by a steel girder. What am I Steve? What's going to be left?"
He let the man go, realizing his grip on his wrist was a crushingly tight one. "I can't even feel half of my goddamn dick, Steve."

He moved away and sank down onto the sofa. "I thought I had something incredible here. I thought there was a possiblity here. Tony's amazing by the way. I honestly do understand how you fell for him." The fire was leaving Bucky as the strong pills took effect, he pulled his feet up and curled in on himself, burying his face in a throw pillow. "Go away. I can't stand looking at your stupid beautiful mug any more, Stevie. It all hurts. It all hurts too much."

Steve was honestly at a loss for words. All the things that Bucky said-- they were incredibly difficult to hear.
With a sigh Steve began shifting furniture around. He moved an end table and the coffee table then went to the other long sofa and took all the cushions off. These he piled beside the sofa Bucky was on and lay down on them.

There was no hesitation when Steve reached out and took the gleaming hand that hung slightly over the edge of the sofa.
He let out a breath he didn't know he'd been holding when the hand closed on his, fingers lacing together.
"Stevie?" Came a very sleepy voice came from the throw pillow.
"Yeah Buck?"

"Can you take first watch? Fuckin Nazis." His breath evened out in the rhythm of sleep.

He must be in a state if it was Nazis he was worried about instead of Hydra.

"I'll keep watch, Buck." He lay back on the couch cushions and didn't let go of Bucky's hand.
Fuck, he hadn't realized how tired he was, he'd just got home and this latest ton of bricks fell on him.
He was trying to work out his next move as his eyes too drifted closed.

Chapter Text

Steve wakes up alone.

His back is in knots from sleeping on the floor on nothing but couch cushions.
When he sees that Bucky is gone he reaches out and touches the spot he'd been in when Steve had closed his eyes.
Cold.

"Friday? How long have I been asleep?" He asks, rubbing sleep from his eyes.

"Two hours, Captain."
Only two? He stretches hard and lays back on the cushions, trying to process everything.

He'd spent too long away, that was certain.
Nat was wrong about it taking a month, it had been closer to two.
Two long months in deep cover somewhere in the South Pacific. They'd busted a human trafficking ring wide open. It was good work, work that needed doing. But fuck it took a lot out of him with all the shit hanging over his head.
He still had to sort things out with Tony.
God, Tony. He should have be with him right now but Bucky. . . Well. Steve sat back up and actually got to his feet this time. He hears the toilet flush and decides now was the time to quietly slip out.
Bucky needed his space, didn't he?
Didn't he?
Didn't he make that perfectly clear?
____________________________________________
Bucky walked out of the bathroom, eyes puffy and red. It was his hearing Steve shuffling around like the world's lousiest cat burglar that finally drew him out.
Bucky had woken up to nightmares about thirty minutes into his little impromptu rage-nap.
Seeing Steve, first thing, laying there in the floor like when they were kids--- it sent a stab of emotion through him that he just couldn't shake.
But now, now he realized he was alone again. Steve was gone.

He sank down onto the still-warm cushions Steve had just vacated and stared blankly at the carpet, losing himself in his swirling thoughts, emotions he couldn't sort from one another.

He laid there until sleep took him again. He awoke with a start an hour later, the image of Steve's face as he fell from the train burning in his mind.

"Friday?"

"Yes, Sargent Barnes?"

"C-can you just call me Bucky?" He lay back on the cushions, looking up at the ceiling.

"Of course, Bucky."

"Why are all my shaving razors and scissors gone?" His voice held a hollow quality.

"Everyone thought it was for the best at present."

"Everyone?"

"Mr Stark and Dr Banner."

"They afraid I'm gonna off myself like that too?" He furrowed his brow and bit his lip as he began to feel a hot prickle behind eyes.

"Are you feeling like that, Bucky?"

"It wouldn't work, I've tried." He rolled into his stomach. "Stuff starts healing too fast for it to make a difference."

"You didn't answer my question, Bucky."

"Yes." Was his soft reply.
He had to hand it to Stark, he was good with his AI. This one almost sounded motherly, concerned.

"I'll see who's awake then."

"No!"
____________________________________________

Steve first went to Tony's floor and when he didn't find him there, he checked the lab and again, nothing.

His luck changed when he went to check his own bed.

Tony's form was curled in the sheets, though Steve could tell he was awake.
"Tony?"

Tony jolted upward, "Jesus, you scared me. Man as big as you has no right being that fucking quiet."

"Language." Steve chided, tone firm and authoritative.

"Don't give me that righteous, Dom-Top, Captain America voice when I feel like such shit." Tony flopped himself down and covered his head with one of Steve's pillows.

"Dom-Top?" Steve questioned, confused by the terminology.
All he received from Tony was an exasperated groan in response.

"Come here Tony." Steve ordered firmly as he sat down.

A little thrill cut through all the emotional anguish twisting in Tony's guts. He wordlessly wiggled himself to Steve's side.
"Whaaaat?" He groaned.

"We have something to discuss." He peeled the covers away from Tony's face and leaned down to whisper in his ear. "I want you to ponder exactly what it might be while I take a shower, little slut."

He watched as Tony's eyes widened, his mouth worked wordlessly. Steve was satisfied to have rendered one of the world's most talkative men entirely speechless.
Grinning wickedly he pecked Tony's nose and left for the bathroom, stripping his clothes off as he went.

There were a million and one things that Steve could have wanted to talk to him about. However- Tony thought as he listened to the shower running- there weren't many of them that would require him being called a slut.
Either Bucky had told him about the making out-- the near fuck in the kitchen.
Or.
Or this was about the voice mail and it's accompanying photo.

He was so lost in his thoughts that he flinched when Steve put his hand on the small of his back.

He rolled over and stared up into the baby blues he'd missed so much.
"Voicemail?" He queried.

"The voicemail." Steve confirmed with a nod.

"What can I say, I'm weak man. I'm made of equal parts monkey brain, lizard brain and sex-with-steve-rogers brain." He spoke at a breakneck as Steve moved so he was inches from his face. "Laundry list. Character flaws. Did you get the dick pic too because I think it was some of my very best work."
Steve briefly claimed his mouth then pulled back, stopping the stream of words pouring from Tony "Oh, I got the goddamn photo. Fuck. You're a whore for me aren't you?"
Tony's body was suddenly trembling with need. He was acutely aware of of Steve ripping him out of his pajama bottoms.
"Do you know how long it took me to find a private place to jack off?" He leaned in mouthing over Tony's neck, nipping his ear.

Tony's heart raced his cock hardened so fast it left him dizzy. Captain America talking dirty, what a weakness to have.

"I did eventually though, Tony. Deep in the jungle in a dirty little shack. Fuck, I was aching for you." He grasped Tony's rigid prick languidly stroking it. "I started slow, like this." He purred then his hand left him. His fingers trailed down. "And then. . ." His fingertip pressed inside Tony, making him gasp at the hot friction. "I used my fingers."
Tony cried out and arched up, his hands shot up and covered Steve's mouth. Images of Steve in some humid jungle shack with his fingers buried in his own ass made him nearly swoon.
"Shh. Shut up, shut up!" He moaned out. "I'm going to cum if you don't stop."

Steve withdrew his fingers and reached for the bottle of lube he kept beside the bed. He was disappointed to find it empty.
Tony smiled sheepishly and Steve just sighed and shoved his fingers into his own mouth.
Tony's eyes stayed trained on the digits as they came slick and glistening from Steve's mouth.

Soon they were pumping and scissoring inside him, with Tony moaning like a bitch in heat.
Steve had really wanted to go slow, take time teasing. Maybe even make Tony beg for it. Make him cum over and over til it hurt.

His plans quickly fell apart once they got started. Steve was on a hairtrigger after so long without.
His cock ached he couldn't wait.
It was hard, it was dirty and quick and full of heated words.
Both men cried out their release without restraining any sound they made. There were no subtle grunts from Steve, it was with a wanton, wavering moan that he filled the keening Tony Stark.

They held each other, sharing breath and sweet words.

"I love you so much, Tony." Steve sighed out contentedly as his eyes slid closed.

"I love you too, Cap." Tony just lay there looking at the way the light played on Steve's eyelashes, the way his lips parted slightly when he slept. That beard was hot, scratchy on his skin but incredibly hot.

He studied him with wonderment until he noticed Friday was repeating herself for the second time to him

"Hm? What, Friday?" He rubbed his eyes and tried to focus.

"Mr Barnes has expressed that his mental state is highly compromised."

"Highly compromised?" He slowly extracted himself from bed, careful so as not to wake Steve and padded to the bathroom.

"Suicidal, sir."

"Shit. Get Banner down there." He said as he washed up.

"Doctor Banner is absent from the tower at this moment, sir. He left late with Thor."

"Shit you're telling me I'm going to have to go up there, right?" He was already pulling on pajama pants that didn't belong to him.

"I'd advise it. He's locked himself in the bathroom."
____________________________________________

Tony didn't like this. He didn't like going back to the scene of one of his greatest transgressions soon after it happened.

He surveyed the apartment as he made his way to the bathroom. The furniture was rearranged, the couch cushions were all in the floor. He shook his head. Weird.

It was with a tentative hand that he knocked on the bathroom door.

He received no answer so he knocked again. "Snow White?" He called out and when he got no response again he addressed Friday.

"Friday, override protocol 5626-2. Unlock this door." The lock clicked and Tony turned the knob.

Bucky was sitting on the floor by the window, forehead pressed against the glass, naked but for a pair of boxer briefs. A tiny pair of nail scissors dangled from one of his metallic fingers.

"Couldn't keep em all from me I guess." His hair was all cropped off unevenly and he didn't turn to look at Tony.
"Why are you here?" The way he said you made Tony flinch.

"Friday told me you. . . You doing alright?" His nerves were apparent in his voice.

Bucky scoffed. "Dandy." He shot back.

"You wanna talk about things? I mean really talk? Not us blaming each other or taking blame to placate our feelings, really talk." He picked his way around all the long strands of hair that littered the floor.

"What goods it gonna do?" He tossed the scissors, they skittered across the floor.

"You'd be surprised." Tony risked sitting down behind Bucky and pulling the other man back against his chest. He was almost rag doll limp in his arms. "Want me to start?"

Bucky nodded almost imperceptibly.

For once it took Tony a few moments to try and sort his words.
"So." He began, heaving a sigh. "Howard was abusive as shit to me. I guess he resented me for something? Anyway I was never what he expected of me. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that somewhere in there, dad did love me. But mom, mom was amazing. And I. . . Bucky I saw you on that tape. Someone sent me a tape in the mail. That's how I found out."

Bucky shifted but remained mostly boneless in Tony's arms. "I thought as much." He murmured.

"Mh. And I saw you on that tape. You were just so cold and. . . And efficient. It was so hard to disconnect who you are from who you were. The only thing I could think about was how gentle you seem, how I was somehow being fooled."

"I think you are. The man in that tape, and me. We are the same person Tony. I don't remotely know what it means to be Bucky Barnes any more than you'd know how to be. I've got these memories, nice ones, mostly revolving around Stevie. I don't remember my family. I don't remember having a mom or dad." Bucky's voice was slow and dead sounding.

"So you're starting over. Starting new. I did it."

"How?"

"Turn around."

"No."

"Turn around, please."

With the heaviest sigh, Bucky turned slowly to face him.
Tony had his thin tank top pulled up to his chin. Slowly, he reached out and took Bucky's left hand and pressed it to the reactor scar. "This happened. It happened because of my arrogance and my complacency. I was a part of a system that was comfortable with zero accountability.
I wasn't my father, I wasn't some iron monger. I realized I had to take responsibility. I realized I had to do the most good I could do." He let Bucky's fingers trace all the thick scars and tried to ignore how safe he felt with the touch. "More importantly, I realized that I have the capacity for good in me. That's the pivotal idea, the notion of goodness. If you think about it objectively it seems like some lofty philosophical thing. . . But the truth is, we all have the capacity to be better. You're a good man, Snow White."

Bucky let his chin drop to his chest. "I'm not. You're wrong." He suddenly felt very exposed without the curtain of hair to shield his face.
"Its all in there still you know. All the shit Hydra put in there." His hands slid to Tony's shoulders, he braced himself like he was teetering on the edge of some great precipice. "I don't trust my mind. I don't know I don--" a little strained sound came out and that was all it took for the tears to start. "Tony. They hurt me. It's all so much. I can't shake them. I keep seeing a Nazi, Hydra agent or Soviet spy in every shadow. I f--- I feel their hands on me in the dark. Tony they unmade me" His hands shook as they moved from Tony's shoulders and to his own face, the barely warmed metal made his brain nearly short out at the memory it elicited. The machine.
The Memory Suppressing Machine. He could feel the rough hands of his handler Colonel Karpov, making him sit still, making him behave.
The pain. The first time the Soviets had tried the decrepit tech on him it was barely operational. It nearly killed him, he'd convulsed for ages and when he came to, he was put right back into it. He wa---

"Bucky!" Hands were shaking him, hard. "Bucky it's okay! You're here! New York, Avengers Tower."

His eyes snapped up with some hint of recognition. Tony. Tony hadn't been in Berlin way back then. No... Avengers Tower? He remembered that.
His arms reached out and he desperately pulled himself close to Tony. His throat felt raw, like he'd been screaming. Had he?

At first Tony was shocked that Bucky was grabbing onto him, almost scared of the strength of those metal arms. But he wrapped Bucky up in his own and held the man who was trying so desperately to cling to reality.

"Tony you're real?" He asked, desperation evident in his voice.

"I'm real Bucky." He held tighter as Bucky did the same. One hand went up and held Bucky's head, fingers tangling in the uneven mess of his hair. "Oh Bucky." He soothed.

"I'm here?" It was a broken little sob.

"I promise."

"Tony." He spoke his name like a plea. Like a plea for his life.

"I'm here, I'm not going anywhere." He pressed his lips to the Bucky's temple.

There were things Bucky was slowly coming to terms with. The exact extent and perverse nature of the abuse he'd endured, for one. The least horrible was the man he was currently clinging to.
"Tony." His voice sounded small and broken but at least he was no longer sobbing.

"Yeah, Snow White?" He rubbed slow circles over Bucky's back.

"I still am."

"Am?"

"Falling in love with you."
Bucky straightened himself up, searching those perfect brown eyes.
He looked so lost to Tony. A man adrift as much as Steve Rogers was a man out of time. Bucky didn't have a place in the world.
But. . . Did Tony still feel the same way he had a week ago when he'd had Bucky panting on the kitchen floor? Did he feel the same now that Steve was home and had fucked him through the mattress?

Bucky found himself being pushed against the window, Tony's mouth on his, both unyielding metal wrists trapped in Tony's warm hands.
At first Bucky fought the urge to reciprocate, his mind working hard to catch up with Tony's actions. Soon though he'd melted against him. He parted his lips and pressed eagerly into the kiss.
It ended far too quickly with Tony pulling back.
Bucky licked his lips, tasting Tony on them.
"W-why'd you stop?" He panted.

"Because I don't think I could stop if I went any further." Tony stated with blunt honesty.

"Who said I wanted you to stop?" Bucky's voice was deep, husky with need.

"I'm still taking your reason for stopping a week ago as a very sound reason."
If the reason was so sound, why was Tony's hand sliding up Bucky's thigh?

Bucky arched when Tony palmed him through the soft fabric of his underwear.
"Oh God." He breathed out. His half hard prick firmed further under Tony's hand.
Tony kept it pressed there, not moving, just feeling the heat of it, the not so subtle pulse.
"I have a question of my own, indulge me?" Tony's own voice belied his lust.

"Wha-what?" Bucky's hips were slightly rocking almost against his will.

"Were you jacking off to my photo?"

A low moan was drawn from Bucky. "Fuck. Yes" he let his head fall back against the window. "I was."

"I'm glad I sent it to you, then." His hand moved subtly, wrapping around just a little tighter.

"I-- I didn't even get to. . . You know."
Tony quirked a brow at him.

"Didn't what?"

Oh god he was going to make him say it.
"I didn't get to cum."

"Well that is a shame." Tony moved so he was kneeling with his chest resting on Bucky's, his lips right by his ear.

Bucky shivered as Tony's breath ghosted over his ear.

"A-ah!" Was his sharp cry when Tony's hand yanked down the waistband of his underwear and gripped his cock when it sprang up.

"How long has it been for you, Bucky?" Tony let his name linger on his lips.

Consensually?

When it was driven by need not the iron will of others?

"Nh-ninet-teen four-- ahh.. forty f-fuck! Forty Five!" Tony's hand was working him in short quick motions. His lips played at the edge of the shell of his ear.

The hand that wasn't still pinned by Tony's hand, reached out but Tony's hips moved out of the way.
"No. this is just for you." Tony groaned.

Bucky's hips thrust up into Tony's hand. The sensation was different than his own hand. The section of numbness he had felt more acute and strange when it wasn't his own hand.

When he finally came it was likely the most intense orgasm he'd ever had. He practically screamed out his release ("oh my god! Fuck! Tony!") his vision blinked out as a thick flood if milky white cum splashed slick and sticky over the abdomen of the man leaning against him.
He leaned back heavily on the window, panting raggedly. "Fuck, Tony."

"Maybe one day." Tony purred as he scooped up the mess dripping down his stomach. He shoved his fingers into his mouth, licking them clean. Bucky also had a strange sweet taste like Steve, tempering the bitterness to almost non-existent.

Bucky gasped when Tony crushed his mouth to his. The gasp let Tony shove his cum coated tongue inside Bucky's mouth, making him taste himself.
The shivering moan he got in response told him that this was not an entirely unwelcome experience.
"Feeling better?" Tony asked when they parted.
Bucky nodded, still coming down. "Decidedly."

After that they cleaned up and Tony helped Bucky to bed.
"I should go, Snow White. Breakfast in the morning? Like 12:45?"

Bucky laughed soft and melodic. "That'd be lunch Tony."

"Yeah and you're gonna regret that haircut in the morning, so." He stood and stretched hard, heading for the bedroom door. "Breakfast is a yes then?"

Bucky nodded and Tony smiled "12:45! Friday, get him where he needs to be in the morning!" His tone was excited.
And then he was gone.

Only a small stab of anxiety rose in Bucky's chest but he breathed through it, finally drifting off into a dreamless sleep.

Chapter Text

There was this thing about negligence that was a hard lesson for Tony to learn.
And what Tony neglected to do was secure Bucky's suite.

That was how Peter Parker got in. Negligence.

Well, that or he knew Bucky was so unstable that having to go through protocol get to him in case of an emergency was more of a hindrance.

So now the gangly kid sat on top of Bucky's dresser, watching him sleep. Not that he was trying to be creepy or anything.
It's just that they'd gotten so close over the short amount of time Bucky had been around. When Peter had heard Bucky was hurt again and absolutely couldn't see him, well, that didn't sit right with Peter.

Thus far Peter just watched his friend. But Bucky's face was twitching and and his mouth was moving silently.

When Bucky began to whimper and cry out, Peter crawled up the wall, across the ceiling and down the wall closest to Bucky's bed.

He reached out one hand and tapped the sleeping man. Hard. Harder than he intended to.

Bucky jolted up practically screaming something in Russian, followed by "W-what who's ... Who's here?"

Peter was up on the ceiling by this point. "Hi Bucky." He called down. "Were you having a nightmare? You looked like you were. S-sorry I woke. . . Woke you up."

"Peter?" Bucky squinted up at him. "How did you. . . Geeze kid, I'm not dressed."

Peter lowered himself slowly down onto the bed beside Bucky. "Seen a dick before, man. I'm a teenaged boy, half my life is spent thinking about dicks and seeing dicks in locker rooms." He laughed. "I'm not exac--- oh shit what happened to your arm?"

Bucky was tempted to reprimand Peter for his language but shook his head dismissively. "A misunderstanding. Let's call it that." He couldn't hide the pain in his voice.

Peter had reached out and grasped the newest metallic appendage. "I'm sorry, Bucky." Fuck, did the kid have tears in his eyes?
Bucky smiled sadly at him and pulled him under his arm. "It's okay, kid." He stated even though he felt anything but okay.

"Do you wanna maybe talk about it?" Peter nuzzled his face against Bucky's pec. He was as snuggly as a kid half his age. It kind of warmed Bucky's heart.

"I don't want you to think less of me, Pete." Bucky sighed softly as Peter continued to wiggle to get comfortable up against his side.
"I won't. Promise." That sweet, innocent face looked up at him with wide, expressive eyes. Bucky groaned in defeat, jeez this kid.

"So, you know how tragically Tony's parents died?"

Peter nodded.

"I killed them. It was me and no matter what way I twist it. . . It was my fault. There's so many things I wish I'd have done. Dying comes to mind. Way back in the 40s." He sighed. "I wish I'd have fought Hydra harder. I wish I'd have let them kill me before I ever became this monster."

"Man, you didn't even remember your own name, how's it your fault?" Peter sounded frustrated.

"I remember every kill I remember it all so vividly. And I couldn't stop. I didn't stop."

"One day you'll wake up 'n realize s'not your fault, man. I promise you its not your fault.
Y' need to talk to Clint one day bout mind control."

"Clint?"

"Hawkeye. Arrows."
Oh, Bucky knew that guy, his name just escaped him, he'd been so focused on Stevie when they'd met.

"Was he mind controlled?"

"By Thor's brother, Loki." Peter was speaking from directly against Bucky's ribs. "H-hey hold me. Ju-just, like, your arms. It makes me feel safe."
Bucky sighed and wrapped the skinny teen up in his arms, he made a very puppy-like sound and nestled himself into the embrace. "Thanks. I have enhanced senses and sometimes the world gets to be a little much. This I can focus on. It grounds me."

"Ah."

"Are you and Mr. Stark okay now?"

"I hope. I mean, I think we are."

Peter kept asking questions, since there was nobody there to tell him to back off for once. Well nobody but Bucky and he was always indulgent.
"Do you remember your parents?" He asked, slightly tensing in Bucky's arms.

"I. . ." Whenever Bucky tried thinking of his family he only got these vague shapes floating in his mind. "I don't. I don't remember them."

"I don't remember mine either." The kids sad, small voice broke Bucky's heart. "Did you have any brothers or sisters?"

"I think I did. Sisters, maybe? I remember . . .sounds and smells more than . . . I guess faces? Presences?"
Bucky's eyes were squeezed closed, nobody had ever pushed his mind like this, asked him to try and remember painful things. Or, what people thought were painful. They were just blanks for Bucky. Little black voids, but they were voids he knew he should have attachment to, emotions connecting them all together in the map of his life.
That was disconcerting enough on its own, the blank emotionlessness.

"What's the first thing you remember?"
Peter was trailing his fingers along the seams of the plates on Bucky's newest metal hand.

"Steve." Because of course it was. "Saving Steve's scrawny ass from a bully in the schoolyard."

"Were you two in love?" He shifted so he could look up at Bucky.

The older man had his brows knit. He frowned but it was the most heartbroken looking face Peter had ever saw.
"No, no I don't think we ever were."

That was a difficult conclusion to come to. He and Steve just used one another's bodies. a warm place on cold nights. And hell, Steve had to lose his virginity some how right?
Of course it wasn't like that for Bucky. He did love Steve. More than anything. Til the end of the line.
During the war he'd come close enough to death numerous times. When Steve had shown up to save him this time, he'd been ready to confess everything.
But Steve was already head over heels for Peggy Carter by that time.
And Bucky let him use his body yet again for relief.
He tried to let the feeling of Steve be all he needed in the world. He was a man, a soldier, Sargent James Buchanan Barnes. He didn't need the trappings of Steve Rogers affections.

He didn't realize he was sobbing bitterly until he felt Peter pulling him in tight and close with his uncanny strength. The kid mercifully didn't say anything or pose any more questions. He just let Bucky cry.
He hadn't ever felt used before-- Not by Steve at least. Now he did and it was gutting him.
"Pete. Don't let anyone use you. Promise me." His voice was shaky but at least he was not crying any longer.

"I promise, Bucky." He let Bucky go and curled back up to him.

"If you were my kid I'd fight the whole goddamn world for you." Bucky mused as he let himself settle back against his pillows.

"You sound like Tony." What a grumpy little voice.

"I mean it. I'll fight someone over you." Bucky actually laughed.

"So, what were you dreaming about when I woke you up?" Peter changed the subject.

"What was I dreaming?" He wondered if he should be honest, tell the kid the horrendous things he saw every time he closed his eyes.
"Just a nightmare, from when I was The Winter Soldier."
It had been about torture but the face of his captor was a shifting amalgamation of Zola, Steve and Tony.

"So. . . Why'd you show up here at one in the morning?" It was Bucky's turn to ask questions now.

"I was worried and lonely. Mr Stark said I was forbidden. That's a dramatic word huh, Bucky? Plus, well, it's not important. . ." Those big eyes welled up but Peter was good at blinking the tears all away.

"Tell me."

"Like, I'm not being a little kid about it or anything. I just thought Tony would remember, since he wasn't off fighting to save the world. But I guess he didn't remember and I mean, it's cool, but stings a little I guess." Peter was babbling and Bucky told him so.

"Focus. What did he forget?"

Peter groaned, embarrassed that he was making it such a thing.
"It was my dumb birthday. I thought it was supposed to be special. Eighteen, hoo-rah." He said the last bit sarcastically, perhaps even a little bit bitterly. "I can vote and buy cigarettes."
He let his head fall against Bucky's shoulder. "Can I stay here? Just for the night?"

"I'm sorry he forgot. I'll make you pancakes in the morning. Happy birthday, Pete." He lay down and let the kid snuggle back up to him. It didn't take much time at all for Peter to fall asleep wrapped up in Bucky.

____________________________________________

"What the sweet fuck is going on here?!" Tony couldn't believe his eyes.

Bucky jolted upright, adrenaline rushing as he was woken by the shout.
Peter groaned and covered his head with Bucky's vacated pillow.

oh shit

He chanced to look over at Tony who still stood in the doorway. His eyes were narrowed and he had a vicious set to his mouth. "What. The. Fuck! Is going on here?!" Tony demanded again fists clenching at his sides.
God-fucking-damnit he'd just been coming to bring Bucky his morning meds, to check on him, this was a surprise of the worst kind.

It didn't look good for Bucky. He was decidedly naked, though the sheet was wrapped several times around him.
"Tony it's not---"

"Not what it looks like? Do you know how many times I've used that same line, when it was exactly what it looked like? He's a child, Barnes."

". . .'m eighteen" came Peter's muffled,sleepy voice from under the pillow.

Tony was stunned into silence he turned around and exited the room. The whole thing was unbelievable. He couldn't stand in there a second longer.

Bucky quickly slipped into some pajamas and followed Tony out into the living room.
"Tony! The kid was just sad! He came here because he was worried and you forgot his birthday!"

Tony rounded on him, shoving him back, needing to keep a few feet at least between them so he could breathe.
"So you sleep with him?" The words made Tony's chest feel like it was full of ice.

"No, Tony. He's just an affectionate kid. Tactile as hell, just like you, just like me. You know this. Hell, he's fully clothed, even has his shoes still on!" He reached out with those gleaming hands and pulled Tony in close. "He practically feels like my own kid, Tony."

Tony finally relaxed against him. "He feels like mine too. I love that kid and it's the most pure feeling I've ever had. I'd fight god for him."

Bucky lightly kissed Tony. "We need to stop having misunderstandings like this. Kinda kills the romance when we're fighting." He laughed and Tony let him pull him in for a deeper kiss.

"Stay for pancakes?" Bucky asked when they parted.

Tony got a sheepish look, "I uh, Steve already. . . Fed me so. I'll leave you to that. Send Petey down to the lab when he's done though?"

Bucky nodded, so that's why Tony's mouth tasted more like Strawberries than coconut today. "I'll send him. Thank you for understanding Tony. I luh---." He frowned, shook his head then smiled. "I'll see you after while?"

Tony nodded and made his way to the elevator.
When he was gone Bucky downed the cup full of pills Tony had left on the coffee table.

The smell of pancakes was what drew Peter out of bed.
"M-morning, Bucky." He said groggily, rubbing sleep from his eyes. His hair stuck out in all directions and his clothes were a mess. One shoe was missing.
"Was that Tony? He was yelling."

"Yeah. He thought I'd erm, sullied your virtues."

"Sullied what?" Peter hovered while Bucky plated up, thick fluffy pancakes.

"Had sex with you."

Peter choked on his spit and went red from the tips of his ears down. "Well. That's a new one."

When Bucky handed Peter his plate the kid sat it aside and stood on his toes.
Bucky backed up against the counter, eyes wide, he resisted but Peter was so strong. He wrapped his arms around Bucky's neck and pulled him in. He kissed him hard and deep, with all the clumsy eagerness of an excited teen.
When Peter pulled back he made a face. "See? Didn't feel anything. Did you? Ugh, It was like kissing Aunt May." He shuddered.

Bucky shook his head, no, he felt something. Uncomfortable, a little violated. "Yeah, like kissing a little kid." He wiped his lips and went back to flipping pancakes.

"C'mon man I'm eighteen." Pete whined.

Bucky sternly gestured to Peter's plate with his spatula. "Eat your pancakes kid."
____________________________________________

Steve knew Tony was keeping things from him. He had an inkling as to what and had a good idea as to how to get the information out of him.

He ordered food, had it all brought up and took his time setting the dining table. Everything was just so.

When Tony had finished work for the day the elevator doors opened on a lovely candlelit scene.
Tony looked utterly confused. What was the occasion? Was there another important date he'd forgotten?
"Steve?" He called out, toeing his shoes off. "Babe?"

When Steve lit the candles on the table, illuminating the darkness he was shrouded in, Tony jumped. "Fuck! You scared me."
He laughed nervously.

"Come eat, dearest." Steve had that commanding in-the-bedroom-only tone in his voice. The tone that made Tony weak in the knees.
Stark nodded and approached, sitting down at the place set for him.
"There sauce, take your shirt off. I don't want you making a mess."
So the game was afoot. Tony slowly stripped the shirt off. He folded it neatly and laid it on the floor beside his chair.
"Good boy. Now, do you think you need your pants either? You don't need pants to have dinner, right?"

Tony shook his head.

"Off with them then." Steve's tone had Tony trembling. He fumbled shakily with his pants, thankfully he was just in old jeans and not something that explicitly required a belt. He'd never have gotten that undone. He slid out of the garment and it joined his shirt in a pile. He blushed realizing he had entirely neglected and put on underwear that morning.
"It's getting cold." Steve gestured to his plate. Steve was already eating, slow meticulous bites.
Tony's hands shook as he tried to cut into the thick steak. He managed one shaky bite, he did drip the red wine reduction onto his chest. For some reason it made him flush with embarrassment.

Steve made a disappointed sound and stood. He was wearing his best black suit, charcoal shirt and black silk tie. Fuck he looked good in that.
He stood over Tony, taking the silverware from him.
"I swear, Tony. You're a mess." He chided, cutting a tiny bite of the meat off himself. When he swiped the morsel through the sauce on his chest Tony let out a whimper.
"Open." Steve instructed firmly and Tony let him feed him the bite. He chewed slowly, keeping his eyes on Steve.
When he'd swallowed, there was another bite waiting for him. This one, Steve teased with, he slid it along Tony's lower lip before pulling it off the fork and pushing it into his mouth with his fingers.
Tony's lips wrapped around Steve's fingers, licking them clean. "Mmhh" he moaned.

"You're a little slut for me aren't you? Even when I'm being so nice and feeding you. I mean, fuck, look at you." Steve was slowly pushing his fingers in and out of Tony's mouth, sliding the pads of his fingertips over his tongue.
Tony felt the heat pooling in his lower abdomen. He felt the blood rushing to his dick.
"There is something though. Something that's bothering me, my dearest." Steve pulled away and leaned on the table. "You're hiding something. Tell me, now."

Tony squeaked. There was nothing in the world like Cap speaking to him this way. Nothing that twisted his will into this submissive puddle like him.
"I ---" he swallowed hard then decided to let it all out in a rush. "I've been fooling around with Bucky! Not sex but making out, I mean I did jerk him off las- last night."
He couldn't look at Steve, he couldn't see the judgement in those beautiful baby blue eyes.
Steve gripped his chin, forcing him to meet his eyes. "You want my forgiveness or my wrath?"

Tony's eyelids fluttered closed. Fuck, either sounded good but. . .
"F-forgiveness, Captain?"

"You're going to have to earn it." He leaned in and roughly claimed Tony's mouth.
"Friday? Give me a live feed of Barnes' apartment." He said after they parted.

"You got it." One of the huge windows flickered into an HD feed of Bucky sitting on the couch eating a sandwich. He was flipping through a book he'd read a dozen times. Even alone the man looked tense.

And God, Steve thought, what had he done to his hair? It was cropped almost to the skin in places. He shook his head, clearing his mind, getting back to the task at hand.

"Now Tony." He began. "The way you're going to earn my forgiveness is by giving me a good show. Can you do that, darling?"

Tony nodded apprehensively, it wasn't clicking what Cap wanted him to do exactly.
Luckily the man was only too willing to elaborate.

"You're going to go there and give me the show of a lifetime. You and Bucky." He leaned in and licked the shell of Tony's ear.

"I can't, Cap, I---"

"You want him. Don't you?" Tony couldn't deny that but this all felt a little off. Like he was going to be messing with Bucky's feelings. He was at least 97% sure Bucky had most told him that he loved him earlier.

"I do want him." He stated flatly.

"Then go take him. I'm giving you permission."
____________________________________________

Tony fidgeted the entire elevator ride. Was he seriously going to do this?
He looked down at his bare feet. The only thing he hadn't put back on was his sneakers and it made him feel a little childish.

He nearly jumped when the elevator doors opened. "Bucky?" He called as he stepped inside.

"Living room." Bucky's voice called back. "Want a sandwich?"

"No I'm, I'm good." Tony now stood awkwardly beside the couch. "Bucky..." He breathed.

Taking notice of Tony's tense tone, Bucky sat up and gave him his full attention.
"What's the matter?" He asked, a clear expression of worry plain on his face.

"I. . . I need you, Bucky." His heart was racing, his legs shook. "Please."

Tony really was the very picture of need, he was flushed, trembling, his lips were kiss swollen and his cock was obviously straining against his jeans.

In spite of Bucky's initial excitement he knew something was up. "No." He forced himself to say.

Tony whined.

"I said no. Please respect that, Tony. I know something's not right here. Don't. . . " He sighed and closed his eyes, letting his head fall back on the couch. "Don't break my heart worse than it already is. I've been nursing a wound in it the size of Brooklyn ever since I knew about Steve and Agent Carter. Don't add to that, please."

"Bucky, please." Tony sank down on the couch beside him. "I want you. I've wanted you since we kissed the first time. Hell before that."

"Tony. Goddamnit. This whole thing isn't fair to me. I can tell you're not this worked up on your own. You look half fucked already. I need to kn---mmhh!"

Tony leaned in and claimed Bucky's lips, sliding his hands up trapping those cool metal wrists in his hands.
Bucky fought it, he fought as Tony managed getting his tongue into his mouth and when Tony's thigh pressed between his legs.
His need and his knowledge were at war. Knowledge was winning-- or perhaps it was heartbreak.
When Bucky managed to scramble away, getting to his feet, he was failing to blink back tears. "No. Tony. We are not doing this. You taste like him. Is he watching? Somewhere? Your little AI keeping him abreast of the whole thing?"

"Buc---"

"No. No this is . . . This is done. Don't touch me any more, Stark." He held his hands up in front of himself. "I'm not a toy. I'm tired of being a toy. I'm. . . I'm leaving." He retreated into the bedroom and came out a moment later with an old olive green backpack. It looked like it had been packed for ages.

He sidestepped Tony as he made his way to the elevator.
When the doors opened he was met by a wall of flesh in an expensive suit.

"Out. Of. My. Way, Rogers." Bucky made to push past him. He was feeling trapped. He knew he was going to have an attack of some kind but he had to wait. Wait til he was outside, some desolate alley or parking lot. Then he could break down. Not here.

Steve grabbed his shoulders. "Bucky, I'm sorry!" He tried to plead.

"Sorry it didn't work out for you, right? Get your hands off me or I'll break them, fuckin punk."

For the third time that day unwanted lips were on Bucky's.
This time the perpetrator was met with a metal fist.
"Where the hell do you get off Steve!?" He shoved him, hard. "We're done here. No more. No more using me."

"Bucky, I'm not. . . I'm not trying to. I wasn't thinking at all." He caught Bucky's fist when it came up again. He didn't let it go.

"Steve, you don't get it. I've told you everything and you still don't get it. I loved you. I loved you and I was never what or who you needed. I was a friend you fucked but you were my world. You were what I held onto until I broke. You were my very. Last. Memory." Servos whirred in protest as he tried to free his hand. "Its kinda a slap in the face to see you setting up housekeeping with a man after playing straight for Peggy Carter for so long."

Steve let his hand drop. "Don't talk about her." He said in a warning tone.

"What, you still sensitive about her? Long lost love?" A crack rang out as Steve open hand slapped Bucky.
Bucky's head snapped to the side. "A nerve? You still keep her picture in your compass? All faded and worn from staring at it all lovelorn?"
Steve slapped him again, harder.
"Poor heartbroken Steve Rogers, the man out of time. Hit me, punk."
He did. He punched Bucky in the jaw with a right and caught him in the ribs with the left.

Bucky spat blood on the cream coloured carpet. "c'mon, are you still little Stevie Rogers from Brooklyn or are you Captain America?" He gave a little mock salute.
Steve caught him with an uppercut that sent him reeling backward.

Tony watched horrified as Bucky took blow after blow from Steve. He hadn't raised his hand yet to Steve. He was just letting him beat the living hell out of him.
"Are you mad, Stevie, mad that I survived? Mad that I'm this thing now? Mad that I want more for myself?" He was shoved into the wall. "Know what else, Tony deserves better. Quit thinking with your dick, Steve."
Steve cracked his fist onto Bucky's nose, feeling the bones give way.

"Don't!" Tony cried out when Steve drew his hand back again.

"Stay out of it, Tony." Bucky laughed through the blood pouring from his nose. "I got this."

"You don't! You're just letting him beat you!'

"I know. That's the plan." He pushed Steve hard, away from himself then made a run for the elevator.

Steve tackled him and rolled him so he could land another punch. He laughed again, spitting a tooth that already wasn't his original. "Know what else, Stevie? You weren't special for Howard Stark either. I sucked his dick so good he cried. He sent me chocolates. Do you remember me feeding them to you Stevie, out there in the snow?"
He was just provoking him at this point, just making it worse. But that was the point right?
"F-friday. Security protocol 788." Tony had nervously backed up against a window.

"Yes Boss."

Steve's fingers dug into the seam between his metal shoulder and the flesh it connected to.

The first real sound of pain was torn from him. A ragged tortured scream.
Steve sat back, dropping it, putting his hands up.
But Bucky was gone. His mind was miles and years away.

A pair of Tony's autonomous suits came up in the elevator. One pulled Bucky away and the other took Steve, separating them.

Steve guiltily looked on as Tony ran to Bucky.
"T-tony I--"

"I'm not blaming you for this, okay. Mistakes were made. For everybody. So shut up before I have to take my own anger out on someone." Tony took Bucky away from his suit and sat with him on the floor. His hand rubbed in firm circles on his chest.
"Steve this all has to stop. This is the most unhealthy situation I've ever been in. Why didn't you just let him leave?"

Steve rubbed his aching knuckles. "He's an idiot. I love him. I always have."

"And you never told him?" Tony was looking at Bucky's eyes, pulling the lids up seeing the way his pupils were blown.
His mouth was moving, rapidly though no sound was coming out.

"I couldn't find the right time. I couldn't find the words. And, and you know what it was like back then for guys like us." Steve moved to kneel down beside them. "My heart is broken about him."

"What about me?" Tony asked grimly. "Where do I fit in?"

"I love you too. I'm still trying to figure it all out."

"Do you think we could all three work it out together? Because damn, I've grown fond of Snow White here."

"I think I need to sit down with Bucky and discuss things. Unpack a lot of shit. Make him listen to me. He never used to talk this much." Steve almost laughed but it came out a choked sob.

"Maybe seventy years of being ordered not to. Of being ordered to not have an opinion or a sense of free will. A mind, will do that to a man. Maybe he's tired Steve. And that's fair honestly. That's something he deserves. Opinion, choice."

When Bucky came back to reality, screaming, it was Steve he latched onto.
Maybe there was some hope.

Chapter Text

Steve sat at breakfast, his mind going around in circles over what to do about Bucky. His chest ached with the weight of the total fuck up he'd made of things.

His eyes sat unfocused on the syrup dripping from his French toast.

He was feeling alone. He was feeling adrift, just like when he first woke up from the ice.

Tony wasn't there, he was holed up in his workshop.
And Bucky, well of course he wasn't there.

And just what in hell was he going to do about all this? It was his mess. Hell, in Bucky's case, his whole life with the man was a mess.

He sat wondering what it would have been like if they'd grown up in a more enlightened time. He wondered if they would have really been something.

Howard Stark had been the only one to really ever acknowledge that there was something there, even when Steve himself couldn't. "Your Sargent Whats-his-name" that's what Howard had called Bucky. Steve's Sargent Whats-his-name.

Rogers groaned and pushed aside his plate. His appetite was gone, replaced by a knot of despair and regret. He was coming to the realization that he was emotionally clueless if not just plain stupid.

He'd repeatedly shit on what he and Bucky had. Bucky went out with girls but it was a defensive mechanism, how he remained stealth back then. Steve was only just understanding that.

Bucky had been gay the entire time.

Over the past few days, Steve had tried countless times to gain access to Bucky's room. He'd abandoned the apartment on favor of the tiny room in Bruce's lab.
The only people who had been allowed entry were Banner himself and Peter.

Peter was his half assed excuse for not seeing Steve this very morning.

He'd actually had Friday patch him through to softly deny Steve in his own voice.

"Pete's coming, school stuff. History. I . . . Can't yet Steve." Was what he'd said, his voice hollow and sad sounding as it resounded in the air.

Hearing his voice was what had put Steve in such a pensive mood. Put him off his food and plummeted his spirits.

"Friday." Steve said out loud as he shoved a bite of his breakfast past his lips, forcing himself to eat it. "Tell me the minute Peter leaves."

"Just left, Captain." Friday announced a tick later.

"Ask Bucky again. Ask if I can come up."

"No." Friday responded immediately.

"You didn't ask him."

"Bucky has left the Tower with Peter Parker." There was an edge in the A.I.'s voice.

"He left with Peter?" Steve groaned and pushed back from the table.
He scraped his plate off into the trash and tossed it into the sink, ignoring the sound of it breaking.

"Friday, tell Tony I'm coming down." He strode to the elevator and slumped against the back wall.

"I'm still mad at you." Were Tony's first words when Steve entered the workshop.

Still mad but he'd let him in? Baby steps. A good sign.

"I am too, Tony." Steve admitted. "So mad at myself." Steve stopped his approach just a little more than an arm's length away.

Tony didn't look up from his work but he extended a hand, beckoning Steve to move to his side.
Steve curled into the smaller man and Tony held him tight.
"You're so frustrating. Kiss me, Cap." Tony still wasn't looking up from his blueprints.
Steve pressed his lips to Tony's neck and both men tried not to acknowledge the shiver that went through Tony's body.

Damn, it was so easy for Tony to become touch starved. "More." He found himself whispering.
Steve's lips parted against Tony's neck, teeth gently grazed the flesh that was becoming heated under his lips.

"Harder, Cap." Tony gasped out a moan when those teeth sank down on his flesh. "O-oh! Mhh Steve." He moaned prettily.
Deep down he wanted Steve to leave a brilliant mark there, like some overheated teenager.
It was with reluctance that Tony sidestepped away. "What did you need, Steve? Not just my excellent company?" He did a decent job of keeping his voice level

"Bucky left. Did you know?" Steve asked with a defeated groan.

"I know. He's with Peter, they've gone to Coney Island of all places." Tony rolled his eyes but he was smiling.

"Coney Island?" Steve quirked a brow. "It's winter."
____________________________________________

Peter's panting breath was visible in little clouds of condensation on the chill winter air. "Please-- aah ow, Bucky!" He groaned out, pulling back slightly from Bucky's touch.
"We can't tell Tony this happened." He hissed at the pain.

Bucky laughed and shook his head. "Secrets safe with me." He promised and pulled the kid's leg back close.

With a smile finished putting the band-aid on Peter's knee.

The kid had tripped and fallen over an old beer bottle and scraped his knee. All this before his spider-sense kicked in.
The scrape would be gone in a matter of hours if not less but, the blood at present was enough to warrant a bandage.

Bucky's cold metal hands came to rest on the burning wound. It was so soothing and the sound Peter made was practically obscene. "Oh god Bucky that feels so good." He mewed, throwing his head back.

Bucky slid his hands up Peter's thigh. "Why are your muscles so tense, Pete? You're knotted up as hell."

Bucky massaged the tense muscles and Peter let out a deep groan. "I'm --- I'm I guess hyper vig-vigilant. I'm always t-tensed for s-something--- oh god." His hand shot out and gripped Bucky's wrist. "Stop, stop." His breath was shaky as was the hand that held onto barely warmed Vibranium.

Had Bucky hurt him? Bucky glanced down at his metal appendages and snatched them away, cursing them to himself. Fuck he hated those hands. not a man, just a weapon. Meant to hurt people.

"I'm sorry, Pete." He choked out, wanting to tuck his arms away out of sight somewhere. Somewhere they couldn't hurt anyone.

"N-not your fault. I'm still a teenager I guess. Even at eighteen I'm still on a-- on a hair trigger." Peter had scooted back against the side of the building they were at--- a boarded up lemonade stand--- his knees drawn up.

Bucky was confused the way his head tilted told Peter as much. "What do you mean? I didn't hurt you?"

"Hurt me?" Peter blushed and let his legs part just a little revealing the way his supposedly fashionable baggy sweat pants tented outward.
"No. I -- Bucky I. . . I guess I lied to you. That day? That morning when I. . . When I kissed you. I really wanted to do it."

Bucky had to avert his eyes, this was wrong on so many levels. "Jeeze Pete. I'm sorry. I didn't realize."

"Don't be. I. . . Don't be sorry. You're the fir-- remember how I said I'd done a report on you? You're the first thing I urm. . . I um touched myself to. Your pictures in your uniform." The admission left Peter embarrassed and blushing from the tips of his ears down.

"Fucking hell Peter." Bucky was blushing as well and still couldn't look directly at the kid.

"Bucky?" Peter tried after a long silence passed between the two of them.

Bucky sighed, turning his gaze skyward. "Im going to regret every bit of this." He muttered to himself then looked directly at Peter. "You say stop and I'll stop" he stated and leaned in, closing the gap.

His lips caught Peter's and the kid let out a sharp little sound. "Mh!"
Peter's arms readily snaked around Bucky's neck. God he wanted this, and it was happening! Was he dreaming?

The eager teen parted his lips and begged Bucky's tongue to explore his mouth.

Bucky obliged, his tongue surging forward, deep, sliding along Peter's.
Peter moaned into Bucky's mouth, god it was like the man was mouth fucking him with his tongue.

Peter's hands gripped onto Bucky's shirt, popping buttons off with his enhanced strength.

Bucky gasped and pulled back. "Aggressive eh kid?"

". . .'m not a kid." Peter panted, lips so prettily kiss swollen and glistening. "I want you."

"You want me?" Bucky had a slight tone to his voice that made Peter's thighs tremble.

"I want you, Bucky. So bad, like. . . So bad." Peter palmed himself through his sweats.

"Have you ever had a man before?" Bucky moved so that he was pinning Peter back against the lemonade stand.

"No. No one." Maybe it was a mistake to admit his virginity. Maybe Bucky wouldn't want him because of it, because of his innocence and inexperience. "But please! I know how it works! I've used my f- my fingers before."

Bucky placed a hand on Peter's chest, feeling his heart hammering against his ribs like a caged bird. "Calm down, doll." He soothed, his hand sliding downward over Peter's abdomen. The kid was all steel-hard muscle beneath soft skin. Skin Bucky found himself wanting to touch. "Take your shirt off." His voice came out a little more deep and raspy than he'd have liked.

The lithe kid eagerly shed first his coat and then the garment, Bucky just now noticed it was a Captain America tee--- It was not the circular shield emblem that was common. It was a replication of one of the old comic book covers. Bucky noticed he was also on it-- his uniform neat and he held a gun with a serious expression on his face. "I didn't know they put me in those comics." He mused.

Peter was going to say something but his voice failed him when Bucky leaned in and nipped onto his neck. "Oh my god!" Was all he could gasp. His body arched pressing into Bucky, trying to get as close to him as possible. "Please Bucky." He panted, gripping Bucky's back with both hands, nails digging in.

The hand that wasn't holding Peter in place, slid down and under the hem of both the kid's sweats and boxers.
Peter moaned sharply when Bucky's cool metal hand wrapped around him. He couldn't help but to thrust himself up into that hand.
Bucky let him. He let the kid fuck his hand as he pleased.
"That's it doll, fuck my hand. You've got a big dick, for such a skinny kid." Bucky let the filthy words tumble from his lips, just for Peter. He could feel the kids cock twitch against his hand.

"Bucky I can't! I can't take it!" He pulled his hips back but the limited space didn't allow his cock to slip entirely from Buckys hand.
"Bucky! Fuck me!"

The desperate cry made Bucky come crashing back down to earth. Was that where this was headed? If so, he didn't want to do it at an abandoned lemonade stand at Coney Island. The kid made a soft sound, drawing his attention back to Peter.

He'd managed to pull away, abandoning his pants and boxers, and was squirming desperately. Bucky ran his eyes over the kid and found that Peter had buried two fingers deep into himself, scissoring himself wide open. "Bucky. Please."

Abandoned Lemonade Stand it was.

"Are we really doing this?" Bucky breathed, watching as Peter stretched himself. He was on three fingers now and was panting beautifully.

"I need it. More than anything." Peter's voice was tight but full of plain need. "I'm re-ready I think." He mewed, parting his legs a little more.

"Rubber?"

"P-pants pocket."

Bucky fumbled around, his hands grabbed onto both a small rectangular box and a small bottle. Lube?
Had Peter planned this?

No matter, this was happening, Bucky needed it probably just as much as Peter did.

Peter watched hungrily as Bucky unzipped his pants, pushing them down, he kicked his boots off with the garments and tried ignoring how harsh his metal knee sounded on the ground.
The way Bucky's thick length slapped up against his abdomen made Peter quiver with anticipation.

Bucky tore the condom wrapper open with his teeth and rolled the condom down his length. Of course it was one of the fun coloured ones--- bright blue. It smelled like fruit, berries?
After liberally applying the lube to his cock he took Peter by the hand and coated the kid's fingers. "Slick yourself up." He instructed and watched as Peter pushed his fingers back inside with a soft moan.

It was no time at all before Bucky was settling between Peter's legs, his thick cock nudging his entrance.

"Ready?" Bucky asked, leaning in to press a kiss to Peter's lips.

"Yea--- yeah, yes. Yes, Bucky." His legs wrapped around Bucky's waist, pulling him closer.

Peter arched hard, as the tip slowly sank in.

It was almost mesmerizing watching the blue coated dick slowly sink into the kid's ass.

Peter's ass accepted the intrusion with only minor difficulty. His toes curled and he gasped at every movement. The blush that prettily graced his cheeks spread downward over his chest.

"O-oh, oh Bucky!" He cried out when Bucky had bottomed out, pushing his hips to Peter's ass. "It's big." The sound was needy.

"You're doing so good for me, doll." Bucky groaned in return. "Tell me when you feel like you want me to move." He said, voice tight.

They lay like that for a minute or two, Peter groaned prettily the whole time. "Move. Bucky. Please do me already" he keened and pushed himself down onto Bucky's cock.

Bucky was gentle, oh so gentle. His pace was slow, deep and slow, angled to try and hit Peter's spot with each motion.

Peter was a vision beneath him. All flushed skin and wanton moans. Bucky couldn't believe he was doing this, not with Peter.

"You're so beautiful." Bucky found himself purring. "I wish you could see yourself."

Even in the cold the pair were coated in a sheen of sweat.

"Bucky I'm not gonna last-- I'm about to-- to-- oh please, Bucky!"
Peter practically screamed when Bucky's hand wrapped around his cock and began to pump him in time with his thrusts.
"Cum for me, doll." Bucky rasped. "Let me see you."

That was all it took to push Peter over the edge. He arched sharply and gasped out Bucky's name. The amount of cum was impressive, it soaked Bucky's hand, shot up into his abdomen and Peter's face.

It and been a long time so long for Bucky, so long since someone moaned for him like this. He'd not been inside a warm body since before he fell. "Oh my god Pete!" He cried out at the clenching of the kid's muscles around him.
Peter felt the heat of Bucky's seed filling the condom. It was also quite a lot, it flooded out around the base of the condom and trickled down Bucky's balls.
"Oh my god." He repeated.
Bucky slowly pulled out and threw himself down beside Peter on the ground.
Bucky licked his hand clean and caught Peter looking at him with an unreadable expression.

"What?" Bucky queried.

Peter just leaned over and planted a firm kiss on Bucky's lips. "We definitely don't need to tell Tony about this."

Bucky was about to agree when he was cut off.

"Then how are you going to explain it?"

Both men jumped where they sat, grabbing at their clothes.
Simultaneous cries of both
"Tony!"
And
"Mr Stark!" Rang out from the pair.

Tony stood in the chain link gate, hand on the cold metal. He was bundled against the weather, in a handsome black coat and a scarf. "I came out here--- and just be thankful it was me--- to make sure you're okay and goddamnit Barnes. You just . . . You gotta break my heart in multiple ways don't you?"

Peter was the first back into his clothes.

"M-mr Stark this isn't what it--- I mean it is what it looks like! But it's just you know a lust thing!"

Both Bucky and Tony's eyes shot to Peter.

"I uh! I know the difference between lust and love, guys, c'mon." He sounded sheepish. Bucky looked wounded, Tony shocked.

"I'm just gonna---" Peter jumped up to the roof of the stand and looked down at Bucky one more time. "Thank you for that. I guess I'll see you around."

With that Peter was gone, hopping from building to building with so much ease for a kid who had just taken his first dick.

"Tony." Bucky broke the silence. "I'm not apologizing, I'm not remorseful." But there was a heaviness in his voice.

"You--"

"No, shut up, let me finish." Bucky straightened up, pulling his dark denim jeans back on followed by his boots. "You and me, we're done. Me n' Steve? Fuck that. I'm done hurting over him."

"Bucky. . ." Tony crossed the small fenced in area and closed the distance between them.
He pushed Bucky to the wall and claimed his lips, forcing himself to ignore that he could taste semen on them.

Bucky started to reciprocate but pushed Tony back. "No, we are done. We were done the minute you came down to my apartment on Steve's orders."

"Idiot!" Tony scolded, pushing Bucky back. "Fuckin idiot! I wouldn't have ever thought of coming down to you if I didn't want it, if I didn't think you wanted it. Didn't you?"

"I. . . I did." His hands came up and closed on Tony's wrists, he didn't push him away just yet.

"Then you're a fucking idiot and a half. You don't get it that Steve wants you? That I want you? You could have had everything you keep complaining about not having. Sure Steve's emotionally clueless, but he loves you, Barnes. You both need to get out of your backward Bonnie and Clyde era tragic duo phase, get with modern times!"
Tony shook him and pushed his leg against Bucky's crotch. Bucky hissed, he was still sensitive so soon after.

"Snow White, you need to wake up. You need to learn to read into things better." He shoved Bucky back hard against the wall and stepped away. "Come on. Cars this way, let's go home. And another thing, Barnes, don't ever touch my kid again."
____________________________________________

The ride home was tense, Bucky sat across from Tony I abashed silence.

After a while Tony broke the silence. "I've decided not to tell Steve. If you feel the need, just . . . That's on you." He cleared his throat. "Thoughts?"

"I uh." Bucky began and closed his mouth once more. He was still trying to process what Tony had said.
Was he too caught up in self pity that he didn't see love? Didn't see Steve and Tony both willing to try for him?

Maybe he was.

"Tony I've been an asshole."

"Damn right you have been."

"Let me make it up to you."

"You can start by going back to your apartment. And talking to Steve." Tony fixed him with a glare that made him quake in his boots.

He nodded. "gonna be a long night isn't it?"