1. Bath Time
Warm steam floated through the bathroom along with the sound of the water running. Soon enough, Steve heard the shower turn off, followed by soft footfalls as Bucky made his way back into the room, running a towel through his long hair. Throwing on some sweatpants and a t-shirt, along with a fluffy pink towel over his shoulders to keep said clothes dry, Bucky then plopped himself down in front of the bed as Steve reached for the comb.
Steve couldn’t help but smile as they began their post-shower routine, running the comb through the thick brown hair and gently working out tangles. Bucky had always had beautiful hair. When they were younger, his mom liked to joke that Bucky should have been a shampoo model. Even in the trenches of war, he had somehow managed to keep himself looking as though he was ready for a night out on the town. These days it was much longer, but still as thick and glorious as ever, and Steve was happy to play with it as much as Bucky would allow him.
Hearing Bucky let out a sigh, he looked down to see his friend swatting hair out of his eyes in irritation. “You ok?”
“Yeah, I’m fine Stevie.” Bucky reached under the bed, pulling out a knife from one of his many secret stashes, twirling it around his fingers.
Steve had learned to stop questioning where Bucky kept his weapons; it wasn’t worth it. He ran his fingers through the brunette’s locks of hair, admiring the softness as it slipped through his hands.
“Your hair is so beautifu-“
“I’d like to cut off this fucking hair.” Steve froze at Bucky’s growled response. Suddenly the knife in his friend’s hand didn’t seem like a casual way to alleviate boredom. Grabbing hold of a thick chunk of hair, Steve yanked it back until he could see those piercing blue eyes.
“I. Said. BEAUTIFUL. HAIR.” Those eyes looked back at him, an expression of shock frozen on Bucky’s face. Steve felt a slight bit of triumph. Though he was getting much better, Bucky still had some trouble when it came to showing emotions.
The look of shock slowly melted into a smirk, followed by a soft chuckle. Being careful not to pull on the hair more, Bucky rose to his knees and planted a kiss on his captor’s lips. “Whatever you say, punk.”
“FUCK YOU BARNES!”
“Sorry, already taken!”
Steve groaned as he watched Bucky and Clint roll around the training room floor, trying to beat the crap out of one another.
Clint let out a grunt as Bucky’s right foot made contact with his ribcage before rolling the two of them over and throwing a punch that was blocked. After Bucky had returned and recovered, a sort of rivalry had sprouted between the two snipers. Everyone had lost track of the many competitions, and the ever-growing tally of enemy kills. Numbers being shouted between the two was a common thing to hear over the coms. At first, there had been some efforts to stifle the call-outs, but after a while, everyone kinda just got used to it. Sam even began a betting pool at the start of each mission, stating that if he had to put up with the ego-building, then he should at least be able to make a profit off it.
However, while relatively evenly matched in sniping (though both would vehemently refuse that statement), Bucky was far in a way superior in close combat. Clint was no slouch, but against a nearly hundred-year-old assassin with more years experience than most of the Avengers put together, there wasn’t much competition. Nonetheless, at least once a week, unless the world was ending again, Clint and Bucky could be found in the training room.
“FUCK!” The shout from Bucky shook Steve right out of this daydreaming, not because of the foul language, but because Bucky rarely made sounds while fighting. After years of training under HYDRA, Bucky only ever spoke, grunted, shouted, etc. while fighting when he chose to. Looking at the two men, Steve saw Clint with a fist full of Bucky’s hair.
With his bun falling apart, the former assassin’s hair was now being used as a lever, forcing his submission. Suddenly Steve saw a glint of metal as a combat knife that was most definitely not supposed to be there was poised next to the hand holding Bucky’s hair captive.
Clint let out a squawk of indignation. “Whoa! Whoa! Barnes, not fair! We said no knives!”
“Never said I was gonna use it on you!” Steve felt his gut plummet as he watched the blade move towards the ensnared brown tresses. Though he should probably care more about the likelihood of Clint being stabbed, all Steve could envision was the hack job that Bucky’s hair was about to become.
Lunging into the training area, Steve grabbed the knife out of the brunette’s hand and separated the two snipers. “Enough!”
Bucky reared back and glared at him. “Steve, what the hell!”
“There was no need to pull out a knife. You need to stick to the rules.” Bucky couldn’t hold back the snort of laughter.
“Follow the rules? Really Steve, isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black? You know as well as I do that there are no rules when it comes to real-life fights. Barton played dirty and grabbed my hair, which he should have. He had an opportunity to get the advantage, and he took it. I really should cut this damn hair off; it’s a flight risk when out in the field.” Pulling another knife from somewhere on his person Bucky reached up for a section of hair to lop off.
Grabbing his hand in a vice grip, Steve looked his friend straight in the eyes. “Leave your hair, you know I’ll always watch your back, now I’ll just make sure to keep an eye on the back of your head.”
Keeping his face blank, Bucky slowly lowered his arm and tucked the knife away. “I’ll hold you to that. Cause if my hair stops me from doing my job, it’s you who’s going to wake up bald in the morning.”
With that, Bucky turned and stalked out of the room, yanking his hair back up into a new bun as he went. From behind him, Steve could hear Clint snickering. “Hmmm, I don’t know Cap, maybe bald would be a good look on you?”
“Shut up Clint.”
“Hey, Nat have you seen Clint? I need to talk to him about… what are you guys doing?” Walking into the common room, Steve wasn’t sure what he was looking at. Natasha was sitting on the couch with Bucky on the floor between her legs, the TV playing some random baking show in the background.
Bucky turned around to shoot Steve a smile. “What’s it look like we’re doing? Hey!” Bucky jerked as Natasha gave his head a swat.
“Sit still, you’re gonna make me lose my place.” Letting out a grumble, he sat back and let Natasha resume. Coming around the couch to investigate, Steve couldn’t help the small gasp when he caught sight of Bucky’s hair. Instead of it just being down or in its usual messy bun, Natasha had weaved together a series of braids to create a beautiful intricate style.
“What do you think, Stevie? I think Nat’s been watching too much of the Viking show.” Natasha gave him another swat but smiled.
“Hey, at least I didn’t shave half your head like a lot of the hairstyles in the show.” Steve tensed at the word shaved, Natasha sending him a knowing look behind the brunettes back.
Relaxing, Steve smiled and gently traced a length of braid that framed his friend’s face. “You look great Buck.”
“You don’t think I look like some tricked up show dog?” Natasha tapped his shoulder and Bucky passed her another elastic from his lap, his gaze never leaving Steve’s.
“No, Buck, you really look great. The braids suit you.” Bucky smiled.
“Well then, maybe having this crazy hair is good for something. I’ll be your guinea pig next time you want to try out a new style Nat.”
“Why, thank you ever so much James, such a gentleman.” Pushing another pin into place, Natasha tapped Bucky’s shoulder and stood. “You said you were looking for Clint, right Steve? I think he’s hiding on the roof somewhere, I’ll go with you to ferret him out.”
Following the redhead out the door, Steve turned to give Bucky a quick wave before the elevator doors shut. Later that night, after tracking Clint down and making him fix his report, Steve pulled his tablet out and began watching videos.
A few days later, Bucky was very confused when Steve came into the room for a movie night with a small box under his arm.
“What are you up to, Rogers?”
“Just trust me Buck.” Pointing to the floor in front of the couch, Bucky cautiously sat and leaned back. Climbing up behind him, Steve opened the box, pulling out a comb and some hair elastics. Bucky instantly relaxed upon feeling the familiar glide of the comb through his long tresses. The former assassin kept still while Steve’s large, but still nimble fingers, carefully parted and plaited until all the hair had been pulled back into the central braid. Tying it off with a final elastic, Steve sat back and passed Bucky a small mirror to examine his work.
“What do you think?” With gentle fingers, Bucky carefully reached back and felt the various braids that had been lovingly made by the blonde behind him.
“Stevie… when did you learn to do this?”
“These last few days, really. I saw how much you loved your hair when Natasha did it, and I wanted to learn. I’ve been watching a bunch of YouTube tutorials and such; hair stuff is the only thing showing up in my recommended section now. Pepper and Natasha were also kind enough to let me practice on them.” Bucky laughed as he pulled himself up onto the couch.
“I thought I saw Pepper with some crazy braid the other day. Seemed random, considering she keeps her hair pretty simple most days.”
Blushing in embarrassment, Steve picked up the remote to start flipping through movie options. “Yeah, she’s a very patient woman.”
“Well, you have to be patient to be with someone like Tony.”
Nodding, the blonde leaned back and pulled Bucky into his arms. “True. Do you like it?”
“Stevie, it’s beautiful.”
“Does that mean you’ll be my guinea pig for hairstyles too?” Laughing at his ridiculousness, Bucky turned and pulled him in for a kiss.
“You can play hairstylist with me anytime you want punk.”
Oh, what a lovely day it was. The birds were singing, the sun shining, and everything was perfect! At least it would be if they were home in their apartment. But no, instead, they had been called out on a mission, and Steve now found himself and Bucky trudging through the Peruvian jungle. As a result, those lovely bird calls were, in reality, ear-shattering shrieks courtesy of a massive mutant bird that some crazy scientist had cooked up in his lab. After the terrorization of enough villages, the call had been put out for the Avengers to help take care of this feathery problem.
However, at that moment, a maniac bird wasn’t the problem, at least not the main one. No, what was really sending the dynamic duo into a foul mood was the heat. High temperatures and high humidity were making it feel as though they were swimming in the air. Even with the serum regulating his body temperature, Steve found himself sweating, and Bucky was having an even worse time than him.
“God damn fucking birds and this fucking sun and this GAH!” Steve turned to see his friend trying to wrangle his hair back into some semblance of a bun. When they had first arrived, Bucky had had his hair down, but that didn’t last long, the full weight of it keeping the heat in and sticking to his sweaty face. Unfortunately, even with Steve trying to arrange the unruly hair into a braid, it was still escaping. The humidity was causing a new level of frizz, never before experienced, and Bucky was not happy with it at all.
“Do you want me to try braiding it again?”
“I’ve given up, I want to get out of this stupid fucking jungle! I’d take a mission to Antarctica over this! I’ve spent most of the past century in Russia; I’m called the fucking Winter Soldier for Christ’s sake! Let’s get this done so we can get back to the jet with some AC.” Steve watched as Bucky stomped away through the thick bush, wincing when he heard the sound of another hair-elastic snapping under Bucky’s frustrated ministration. “ROGERS!”
Running up, Steve saw a knife in Bucky’s hand. “What is it, did you see the bird?”
“No, I didn’t see the damn bird. If I had seen the damn thing, I would have shot it so we could get out of this fucking jungle. Now give your guy a hand and help me chop off this stupid mop of hair before I die from heatstroke.” Inching forward to grab the knife from his friend’s hand, Steve tried to distract the cranky brunette.
“Buck, I don’t think it’s even possible for us to get heatstroke with the serum.”
“I don’t care! I feel like I’m wearing a dead animal on my head, and I want it gone. Hair grows back. Steve, help me out.” Opening his mouth to respond, Steve was cut off by an unholy shriek coming from behind his. In an instant, the knife that had been about to lop off Bucky’s beautiful hair went flying and found itself embedded in the mutant bird’s eye socket. With a gurgle, the creature thing collapsed to the ground dead.
Looking between the now dead body and his friend, Steve couldn’t help but feel a little bit of relief. “Looks like you don’t have to cut your hair after all! I’ll call for transport.” Bucky just looked at him and shook his head.
“Lord Rogers, I swear, one day. Just get me out of the fucking jungle.”
The door banged against the wall as the two super soldiers pushed their way into the bedroom. Clothes were quickly making their way to the floor as Bucky forced Steve onto the bed, climbing on top to straddle the blonde’s narrow hips. With a quick flick of the wrist, the Bucky’s shirt was off, and Steve was granted a view to the gorgeous tanned muscles of the man above him.
“Enjoying the view Rogers?” Steve didn’t even deign to give a response, simple grabbing hold of Bucky’s hair and pulling him forward for a bruising kiss. Tongues battling for dominance, Steve tightened his grip and rolled his hips, drawing a groan from Bucky at the friction.
Breaking apart to gasp in some air, Steve suddenly found his mouth filled with his partner’s hair. “Bleh.” Rearing back, Bucky sat up as Steve spat the hair out of his mouth. Blue eyes glinted down at him from the darkness as Bucky ran his fingers through his hair, pushing it back behind his ears.
“With how much you love my hair, I’d never thought it would be such a cockblocker.” Steve felt Bucky shake as he tried to hold back the laughter.
Steve’s mouth twisted into a mischievous smirk as he grabbed hold of the brunette’s hips and flipped them over. With Bucky now underneath him, Steve leaned down to bring their lips together once again, sans hair this time. “True. But without it, I wouldn’t be able to do this.” Using Bucky’s hair for leverage, he quickly flipped the former assassin onto his stomach, holding him down with his weight.
“Besides, we both know how much you secretly love this.” Bucky let out a hiss as the blonde pulled on his hair to lay another kiss. Keeping hold of his prize, Steve tugged until the brunette moved his head to the side, displaying his vulnerable neck. Smiling in victory, Steve began laying kisses and bites along his lover’s skin, Bucky letting out a moan as he pushed back against the hot body behind him.
“Fuck you Rogers.”
“I’m pretty sure it’s your turn tonight.” Bucky just let his head fall forward with a groan.
Steve was waiting on the roof of Avengers tower, watching the sky for the jet. Bucky had been away on a mission with Natasha over a month now, an issue mid-mission making them blow their cover and having to stay low. Due to the laying low part, contact had been incredibly minimal, only a few updates getting through to let the others know they were safe. Even though he knew that they were both highly talented agents, Steve couldn’t help worrying.
Pulled from thoughts by the appearance of a black spec in the sky, Steve turned his eyes to the horizon. Slowly the spec became bigger until he could make out the main shape, and then the smaller details. Soon enough, the landing gear was deployed, and he was buffeted by the wind as the jet touched down. Nearly vibrating in excitement, Steve watched as the ramp dropped, and a familiar pair of legs appeared followed quickly by a smiling face.
“Hey Stevie! Did ya miss me?”
“Guh…” Steve couldn’t even speak. All he could see was Bucky’s hair, or rather the lack of it. When he had last seen him, Bucky’s hair had been just passed his shoulders. Now the brown locks where chopped, shorter on the sides with a longer top that was swept back. In actuality, Bucky looked a lot like he did before the war. Before the drudgery of trenches, torture, the Winter Soldier crap, before any of that, Bucky had been the charming young man that had swept Steve off his feet. He still did sweep the blonde super soldier off his feet, but both of them had been through so much that they were different people. But still, two people who loved each other very much.
“Stevie? Oh god, you hate it, don’t you? I’ll grow it out again and-“Bucky was cut off as Steve pulled him forward into a tight hug, gently running his fingers through the newly shorn hair.
“You look great Buck. I’m just happy that you’re home.”
“Steve, are you crying?” The blonde swallowed down the lump in his throat, he didn’t even realize that his eyes were starting to get misty.
“No you jerk, it’s just my allergies.”
“Steve, you don’t have allergies anymore.” Bucky laughed.
“Oh, shut up!” Steve said as he pulled back to look at his friend.
“My hairdressing skills bringing tears to Captain America’s eyes? I should take a photo to commemorate this rare moment.” Glancing back up the ramp, Steve saw Natasha making her way out of the jet, red hair also changed to a blonde pixie cut.
“Did you open a hair salon while you were away, or was this part of the laying low?”
“Cover was blown, we had to adjust on the fly. They were looking for a man with Barnes’ description; his long hair is one of the most recognizable aspects of his look. So off the hair came. Have to say I’m quite proud of myself with the cut; he wouldn’t let me bleach it though. Personally, I think he could look good as a blonde.”
“There’s already one blonde in this pair Nat, and it is most certainly not me.” Bucky chuckled as he shot one of his charming grins at her. Natasha gave him a pat on the shoulder before making her way towards the tower.
“Enjoy your new haircut Barnes. I’ll get the report to you tomorrow morning Steve, I’m going to bed. Try not to keep the whole tower up tonight.” With a final wink at the two men, Natasha and her new blonde hair disappeared behind the doors.
Attentions now back on each other, Bucky met Steve’s gaze slightly nervous. “So you really like it? I can grow it out again if you like.”
“You look handsome as hell Buck. As for growing it out, whatever you want, I’ll still love you either way.” Bucky’s smile was blinding. Reaching up to run his fingers through his new hair, the brunette thought for a moment before responding.
“Hmmm, I think I’ll leave it short for a bit. Been living with it like this for a few weeks now, I’ll give it a bit more time before I make a decision. Besides, hair always grows back, right?” Steve just reached down and pulled Bucky in for a kiss, tugging lightly on the brunette’s hair. Maybe he could get used to this.