The First Time
Steve and Bucky had always been attached at the hip.
They had been born six months and two doors apart, in a ramshackle tenement building in the slums of Brooklyn. Bucky had been present when Steve took his first breath, screaming in the corner as a frantic Sarah Rogers and Winnifred Barnes rubbed life into the frail newborn baby. Throughout their entire boyhood, their lives had circled around each other. Playing tag in the grubby New York streets, lining up battered toy soldiers on days when Steve was too sick to leave bed, for as long as Steve had lived, Bucky had been his.
Steve had never questioned it, never tried to label it. Neighbors dubbed them “The Barnes-Rogers Brothers” or “The Mismatched Twins”. Old Mrs. McPhearson had walked in on them playing house one day, out by the communal pump. She had snapped her cane across their backs and called them, “A pair of budding inverts!” The two of them had scampered away, frightened, only to come up with an elaborate revenge plot involving mud and an old waterlogged shoe.
The point was, no matter what the world said, Bucky was Steve’s, and Steve was Bucky’s. It was a fact, like how he needed air to breath and light to see. It had never been a question in Steve’s mind.
Then something changed.
Steve had been sixteen at the time, having proved yet another doctor wrong and feeling pretty good about himself. He had snagged a few bucks by painting a new sign for Mr. Thompson’s shoe shop. The man had been impressed and paid him a bit extra, enough for him and Buck to see a movie. Steve had been jauntily making his way to the corner grocer’s shop where Bucky worked when he heard a noise from a nearby alley.
It sounded like a dying cat. Steve’s fists clenched and his face flushed with rage. Young boys often made sport out of stoning stray alley cats or tying them in sacks to fight each other. It was a sick and disgusting game, and it made Steve boil with anger.
Shoving his pay deeper into his pocket, Steve clenches his jaw and stomped into the alley, ready for a fight. Skirting around some soggy paper bags and carts of rotting vegetables, Steve heard a voice and stumbled to a stop.
“Gotta be quiet-” Says a voice Steve knows as well as his own mother’s.
“Is it in yet?”
“No, not- Stop squirming and sit up a little-”
There is a gasp and a groan and Steve creeps closer.
There are two bodies splayed against the alley wall, swaying in unison. The girl’s white skirt is rucked up around their knees, Bucky’s face is buried in her curly black hair. Steve stares and stares, uncomprehending. The stench of mushy tomatoes and the guttural, sloppy sounds of kissing settle deep in his gut, making him feel sick. Steve takes one heavy step back, then another. His foot comes down on a stray beer bottle, and he goes crashing to the grimy alley floor.
There is a squelching pop as the couple peels apart. Steve bolts up, staring at them wildly.
The girl hits Bucky on the arm. “I knew you two were perverts!” She cried.
“Steve-” Bucky says, but Steve is scrambling to his feet and taking off as fast as he can.
His lungs squeal and seize as he sprints home. Steve just runs faster. Heart pounding its unnatural rhythm, he climbs the rickety steps of the tenement two at a time and bolts into his apartment. Slamming the door shut, Steve slides to the floor, burying his face in his knees.
The gasping breaths he takes fill the empty room. Steve knows the burn of his lungs, the pulsing of his heart, but there is a new, unfamiliar pain in his chest now. He takes another breath and listens to it crumble into a wet sob.
He cries, and cries, until his head aches and he hates himself for crying. Why is he like this? Friends don’t break down into tears when their friends get to make time with a dame. Friends gahawph and grin and make bad jokes, saying things like, “I knew you had it in you, you old rake!”
Steve doesn’t feel like he can do any of that. All he wants to do is curl up in Bucky’s arms on the fire escape and draw the way his face looks in the sunlight, the wave of his hair, the red lips grinning above that charming cleft chin-
Steve stops crying as the realization slaps him across the face. He wants Bucky. He loves Bucky, not as a friend, or a brother, or any of the things he should love him as. He’s always loved Bucky.
The thought feels simultaneously foreign and something he has known his entire life.
“Hey, Steve?” comes a voice from the other side of the door. Steve startles up, heart pounding in a pattern both vital and dangerous. “C’mon, punk, let me know you’re alive in there.”
Steve dashes to the chipped bowl and pitcher that functions as a wash basin and splashes his face. “Come in, Buck.” he says, and Bucky steps into the room.
His face is ruddy and sex-flushed, with a vivid red slap mark across his cheek. Lips swollen and slick with kisses, his mouth is even redder than usual. Standing there in Steve’s apartment, like some debauched angel sent both to bless and damn him, Steve numbly wonders how he never realized how he felt before.
“Steve, you’re bleeding.” he says, and Steve’s hand goes to where his head hit the pavement, coming away red with blood.
“Ma’s going to be on my back for ruining another shirt.” Bucky grins and pulls him closer, pulling the hair away from the wound.
“And I don’t blame ‘er. Tough little shit, always raring for a fight.”
“At least this wasn’t a fight.” Steve says. Bucky pulls back to look at him.
“You aren’t mad, are ya? I would have told you everything, all the good stuff. Would never have held out on my best friend.”
“I’m not mad.” Steve says. Bucky grins in relief.
“Good. Had me all worried, running off like that. Though you were jealous or something.”
Steve doesn’t respond to that. Bucky presses a wet rag to the wound on his head. “So that means you don’t wanna hear the good stuff?” he teases.
“Not nice to talk about dames like that.” Steve says.
“You gonna fight me for impugning on some dame’s honor?”
“You bet I will.” Steve smiles.
Bucky grabs him in a rough little hug. “‘Course you would. Wouldn’t be my Steve Rogers if you didn’t. Just do me a favor and wait until your dumb head heals up.”
“For you, Barnes?” Steve replies. “Anything.”
So life goes on. The odd, wary looks grow more common as they grow up, especially when they move in together, but the two of them are still attached at the hip. Bucky never let anything that people said pull him away from Steve, and Steve? Steve would sooner tear his arm off than let go of Bucky.
And so they live, in a paper thin box of happiness, with no running water and two cots pushed together. There are more girls after the first, but they come and go like the aches in Steve’s bones: chronic and painful, but unable to stop him from living his life.
Steve is angry, at the world, at his body, at being poor and sickly and queer. But he’s happier than he’s ever been. Because Bucky is here, in his bed in the mornings and at his dinner table at night. Sometimes if Steve closes his eyes and dreams, he can almost imagine they can pass their whole lives this way, just the two of them.
The thing about dreams though, is eventually you have to wake up.
Her name is Deidre Smith. She works as a secretary in Bucky’s boss’s office. They meet during one of the countless times Buck has to beg to keep his job after missing time to nurse Steve back to health. She stands up for him and promptly gets fired. Bucky comforts her and sweet-talks the local tailor into giving her a position as a shopkeeper.
Bucky Barnes is the ladies man of Brooklyn, but this is the first time he’s seen Bucky really in love. Deidre isn’t some booze-drinking dance hall floozy. Deidre’s smart and kind, with lovely auburn hair and a gorgeous figure. She’s a nice girl, a good woman, the kind men settle down with and marry.
The kind Bucky will settle down with and marry.
Steve feels the thought settle in his gut and rot his insides.
Bucky asks him one night, sitting out on the fire escape. “If you were going to ask someone to marry ya, how would you go about it?”
“How would I know?” Steve snarks, unable to keep the bitterness out of his voice. “I can barely even ask a dame to dance.”
“That’s because you can’t dance for shit, Stevie.”
“Well, good to know what you really think of me, I guess.”
“That’s not what I mean at all, Steve.” Bucky says. “One day, every dame on the block is going to wake up and say, ‘I’m a damned idiot, how’d I never notice that handsome bastard Steve Rogers before?’ You’ll be crawling with gorgeous gals, and you’ll pick up the best one out of the lot. And you’ll move up to Connecticut with me and Deidre, and have houses next to each other and a whole baseball team of kids between us.”
“Don’t bullshit me.” Steve said. “Bucky, you pay my fucking doctor’s bills. You know I can’t have kids.”
“Then you’ll adopt a whole passel of them, and be as happy as can be.”
“Bucky-” Steve says, the words choking in his throat. Everything hurts. “Bucky, just promise you’ll have a place at Sunday dinner for weird Uncle Steve. That’s all I can ask of you now.”
Bucky looks angry. “I’m not going to leave you alone, Steve. What did we always say? To the end of the line-”
“What are you going to do, Buck? Have your best pal living with you and your wife? We can’t do that, normal people don’t do that!” Steve grips the metal railing so hard he can feel it cut into his palms. Bucky stares at him stupidly as Steve climbs back into the apartment and shoves on his coat.
“I’m going out.” Steve says. “Don’t wait up.”
He makes his way down to the local bar and orders a drink. Michael, the bartender, looks at him.
“I don’t know if I can give that to ya, Steve. Barnes says it makes ya real sick and he’d kill me-”
“Fuck Barnes!” Steve shouts, startling the other patrons. “I ain’t got long to go anyway, so give me the fucking whiskey.”
Steve drinks until he can feel his stomach slosh and his eyes go blurry. The liquor burns on the way down and makes him feel sick, but it dulls the edge of the knife twisting in him, so he keeps drinking. He wobbles on his bar stool and catches himself on the shoulder of the stranger sitting beside him.
“Woah there, son.” The man says. “What’s got you so melancholy?”
“The love of my life is marrying somebody else.” Steve slurs. “And there’s nothing I can do ‘bout it.”
“Well, don’t give up hope, boy. Maybe you can get ‘er back. Now, though, have some water. You seem to have had a little bit too much to drink.”
The white haired old man introduces himself as Stan, and holds Steve's hair as he retches up his guts in the alley beside the bar. Steve thanks him, and makes his wobbly way back home, vomit staining his coat.
It’s dark now, and it’s a miracle Steve doesn't trip and crack his head as he makes his way up the dark steps. He stumbles to the door and slips in quietly, trying not to wake Bucky.
Bucky is already awake. And he has company.
“-you know I love you. You don’t have to question that.”
“I know, James, but sometimes it just feels-”
“None of that. Kiss me, sweetheart. Everything’s gonna be fine.”
Steve stands stock still, as the sounds of kissing and grunting seep through the walls.
“I love you.” Bucky says in between every sigh and groan. “I love you, I love you, I love you-”
Steve shucks off his newspaper stuffed shoes and sleeps on the couch that night, good ear pressed to the cushions so he can’t hear anymore.
The next day, Bucky and Deidre get into a full on screaming match in the apartment kitchen. Steve, hungover and half deaf, doesn’t even notice until a sailing mug smashes over his head. Deidre stomps off crying and Bucky sits out alone on the fire escape, smoking and rubbing his eyes. It’s the talk of the neighborhood when the engagement is called off. Everyone bemoans the fact, says how it was such a pity such a pretty pair broke it off.
Steve is so brutally, selfishly glad that he never dares bring it up.
The USO Girl
“Oh god, oh yes- Sergeant Barnes.”
Steve squishes the pillow to his head and wishes he had his bad ear back.
After his dramatic transformation and rescuing the 107th from Azzano, Steve and Bucky were back to living in each other’s pockets. Most of the time, Steve loved it. After coming so close to losing him, Steve wanted Bucky by his side every waking moment, to reassure himself that he was alive.
Of course, there are the usual downsides. Like hearing your best friend and love of your life have sex with other people.
Peggy had said it was a good sign that Bucky was up to pursuing sexual activities. “Shows the shell-shock hasn’t got him completely down.” she said. “Though I’m certain it must be difficult, for you.”
“I don’t know what you mean.” Steve said. Peggy raised one perfect eyebrow.
“You marched to your death for a chance to save that man. I am many things, Captain Rogers, but a fool is not one of them.”
Steve stared at her. “Not going to out me?” He asked.
“Of course not.” Peggy said brisky. “I’m not stranger to fancying members of the same sex.”
“You’re a hell of a lady.” Steve had said. Peggy grinned.
“And don’t you dare forget it.”
“Hey, is that Captain Rogers?” asks a high voice, and the kissing comes to a stop.
Steve doesn’t want to look up for anything, but it would be rude not to respond.
“Yes, ma’am.” He says, ears burning red. “Don’t mind me, miss. Downsides to being in the army.”
The blonde USO showgirl grins wolfishly, smeared red lips looking like a wolf’s maw. “Of course I don’t mind, Mr. Captain America.” She purrs, pulling one strap of her red white and blue outfit dangerously low. “I’m sure Sergeant Barnes wouldn’t mind either, if you joined us.”
Steve’s eyes dart to Bucky, and they stare at each other. Bucky’s grey blue eyes are soft and dark. He wets his lipstick stained lips and Steve’s cock twitches. “I wouldn’t mind, Stevie.” he says, and for a split second, Steve can pretend that the hoarse lust in his voice is for him.
Steve turns away as fast as he can and buries himself under the blanket. “Don’t mind me, ma’am.” he says again, and tries the best to block the sounds of sex from his mind.
Blue Ticket Blowjobs
The fourth time is arguably the worst.
Their team is trekking through the freezing chill of the Polish countryside, searching for the HYDRA base that was reported to be there. They don’t find the base, but the Howling Commandos do stumble upon a group of Russian snipers looking for the same thing. The language barrier causes some trouble at first, but one of the Russians speaks French and with the help of Denier and Gabe Jones, the two groups establish a rapport. They spent one night encamped together in a burned down church. Steve startles awake in the middle of the night to realize that Bucky, who had been sleeping beside him, is gone.
Grabbing his shield, Steve bolts to his feet, following the footprints on the dirty ground to the graveyard in the back of the church. Creeping about in the shadows, he heard a muffled grunt and a choking sound.
The moon catches the light of his shield and Steve flashes the beam into the dark corner where he heard the sound. Bucky’s face springs into his vision, twisted in ecstasy and terror. Kneeling at his feet is one of the Russian soldiers, mouth making slick sounds as he sucks Bucky’s cock.
Steve turns around and walks back to the church, a spike of frozen ice piercing his heart. Anything else he could have borne. Bucky could never reciprocate his feelings for the simple reason that he was not attracted to men. This encounter proved that assumption wrong. It wasn’t men that repulsed Bucky. It was Steve specifically. And that realization had hurt more than Steve imagined anything could.
He could hear Buck calling after him in the dark. Steve didn’t answer, walking back into the church and curling up in his bed roll. Bucky crept quietly next to him.
“Are you going to blue ticket me?” he whispered thickly.
“What kind of a friend do you think I am?” Steve said. “I would never do that.”
“Steve-” Steve couldn’t see Bucky’s face, but his voice sounded desperate. “You ain’t freaked about me, Steve? We’re still pals, right? To the end of the line?”
Bucky’s voice broke in the dark. “You ain’t leaving me, Steve?”
“I could never leave you, jerk.” Steve said. “I couldn’t even if I tried.”
And that holds true. Through Bucky’s fall and Steve’s deep freeze and a seventy year gap, Steve still can’t leave Bucky behind. Not even if he tried.
The three months after Bucky’s return and rehabilitation were the happiest of Steve’s life. The world was relatively safe, the team was back together, there was no more frantic searching for the Winter Soldier. And best of all, Bucky was here. He was alive and whole and here with Steve, in his kitchen drinking awful black coffee, on his couch listening to music on the old record player Steve had dug up, on his team watching his back in battle, and in his bed on the cold nights when nightmares wouldn’t leave them alone. Steve was a floating balloon, powered by the joy and love filling his heart until it felt fit to pop.
In hindsight, it was only so long before it came to an end.
“The bombs are all secure, Cap.” Falcon’s voice came in through Steve’s com. “Everything alright on my end.”
“Good to hear, Sam. Tony?”
“These guys had no idea how to properly label their files. Jarvis, scan for keywords and try to make some sense out of this mess. Honestly, Capsicle, if we weren’t here to take down Hydra, they’d probably drown in their own administrativa.”
“I’ll leave that to you, Tony.” Steve grinned. “Widow, Soldier, what’s your status?”
The line opened to empty silence.
Steve frowned. “Widow, Winter Soldier, come in.”
Steve’s heart started to pound, feet rushing further into the Hydra base. “Natasha, Bucky, come in. I repeat, come in.”
“Where are they?” Clint asked.
“They were looking for some paper records. Their coms are off for some reason. Let me hack them.”
“You can hack our private channels?” Falcon asked.
“Calm down, birdbrain, it’s not like I do it for kicks, it’s situations like these that necessitate- Got it.”
Steve’s ears flooded with the sounds of desperate panting, Natasha and Bucky whispering frantically in Russian back and forth.
“Something’s wrong, I have to get them out of there now.” Shield out in front of him, Steve rushed down the twisting hallways to the record room.
“Whoa, whoa there, Cap, I’ve got Jarvis’ translation going and you really don’t want to go in there, unless you want to see something you’ll really regret…”
Steve bursts into the storage room, taking in the two bodies writhing on the floor as Tony continues chattering in his ear.
Bucky’s black tactical pants are rucked down just below his ass, muscles jerking and twitching as he humps into the body beneath him. Natasha’s black catsuit is unzipped all the way and tugged down just enough to allow Bucky to fuck into her. Their faces sway close together with their rhythm, grunts and pants and guttural Russian words spilling into the space between their lips.
Steve doesn’t make a sound, but the humping stops and in the work of a moment, the two are pulling apart, tugging clothes into place with quick efficiency.
“Is something wrong?” Natasha asks. Her face is still flushed, but her voice gives no indication of what she had been doing moments before.
Steve stares at her, dumb as a dog, before turning to look at Bucky
Sweat still clings to his skin, and he is obviously hard in his pants. His icy grey blue eyes are blown dark and his mouth is red and wet with kisses. He’s so beautiful it hurts, it stabs into Steve like a thousand shards of ice, clumping and coalescing together into one frozen lump where his heart used to be. Steve knows he has the serum, but he feels sicker than he ever has.
He opens his mouth. “We were looking for you.” Is all he can say. “It’s time to go.”
Steve turns and walks out of the base, grabs his motorcycle, and goes.
Steve is silent for days. He doesn’t chat, or joke, or play his old man music very loud to annoy Tony. He spends his time in the gym, or at the pool, or doing whatever busywork Fury can dredge up for him. Sam notices when he doesn’t tease when he outlapps him anymore and asks why. Clint wakes up more than once for a midnight snack only to find Steve already in the communal kitchen, eating box after box of cheap chocolate cupcakes. Bucky tries to talk him into going to see a baseball game, or a movie, suggestions that would have thrilled Steve a week ago, but he brushes him off with a smile and says he has work to do.
“But you can invite someone else if you want, Buck.” he says. “I don’t mind.”
All of them notice something is wrong, but Tony is the one who steps out and does something about it.
“Look, I’m a genius, and I think I know what’s got your spangled panties in a twist, but since I’m a good friend, I won’t pry. However, I’m not going to sit back and watch this live action remake of Brokeback Mountain. We’re going out tonight. No argument, no nada. This is mandatory. Birdbrains #1 and #2 can come with us, and Rhodey has been single and looking for a hookup for a while. We’re going to a strip club.”
Sam raised an eyebrow. “Number one, I think this is a stupid idea. Number two, aren’t you back with Pepper now? How would she feel about you going to a strip club?”
Tony waves his hand dismissively.
“Pepper trusts me to look and not touch. Besides, I have other reasons for going. I own this particular strip club, and it will be an excellent opportunity to go incognito and make sure the workers and staff are being treated fairly.”
“I don’t want to go to a strip club, Tony.” Steve says.
“No, all you want to do is mope around like the world’s saddest golden retriever. Get in the car, loser. We’re going to the club!”
The club is posh, sinful, and discreet. Steve looks about him and tries to keep all the blood from rushing to his face. Tony leads him to a very scantily dressed lady and says. “Entertain this sad gentleman. Best dancers, best drinks, yadda yadda- Whatever he wants, on my tab. Get him out of the dumps and get him laid. Ya got me?” The lady nods and drags Steve off before he can protest.
He’s led to a private room, with colored lights and deep pulsing music, and dancer after dancer comes out on stage. The lady stands politely beside him, holding his drinks and watching his reactions closely. She occasionally goes and whispers to the other staff, who nod in response and whisk off into the darkness. As the night wears on, the dancers shift, from busty blondes and leggy redheads, to demur brunette women and men. As the show continues, more and more of the dancers are men, broad, muscled men, with deliberate movements and full, sensuous mouths. Steve, despite his misery, can feel himself getting harder in his jeans.
He’s known what he’s wanted since he was sixteen years old, but it is the first time he’s ever indulged like this.
“Your first time here?” Says an elegant dancer, tanned muscles rippling as he sits splayed next to Steve.
“First time ever.” Steve responds, and the man raises an eyebrow.
“Looking like you do, I’m surprised, but everybody has their own pace. Arnie.” He says, sticking out his hand. “It’s actually Arnaldo, but I draw better crowds with an English name.”
“Steve.” Steve says, shaking his hand. Arnie grins lasciviously under his curly black hair.
“So, Steve, word backstage is that you need to get laid.”
“I don’t need to ‘get laid’. I need to remind myself that there are some people you can never have, no matter how badly you want them.”
“Ugh, that sucks.” Arnie says. “He straight?”
“He’s my childhood best friend.”
“That really does suck. Well, Steve.” Arnie flexed his impressive pecs and gestures to his lap. “I know I’m not who you want, but that’s okay. I’m here to make you feel good. Because you look like you’ve been going through a rough time, Steve, and you deserve to feel good.”
Arnie pulls him forward and Steve doesn't resist, awkwardly climbing into the man’s lap, placing his hands on the sweaty glitter-stained skin of his chest. The big hands gently skim down his arms, before coming to rest on Steve’s thighs.
“You’ll like this.” Arnie whispers against his ear, squeezing the meat of Steve’s ass rhythmically. “Just relax, and forget about the world for a while.”
Steve lets his head fall back, staring up at the dim colored lights on the club ceiling, trying to focus on the sensation of being touched. Arnie’s hands knead his back, his ass, fingers skimming teasingly along the inside of his thighs, making Steve shudder. He let his head loll to the side, baring his neck, letting Arnie press firm kisses to his throat. One hand slipped between his legs to cup his cock. Steve swallowed, but rocked up into the touch. The strokes became firmer, Arnie rubbing almost soothingly over Steve’s dick, working it methodically. Steve felt himself start to twitch and harden in his jeans. The show was still going on, and Steve started to pant in time with the beat of the music, the pulse throbbing in his cock, the steady rhythm of the hand stroking him through his pants. His breath started to come in great sobbing gasps, shaking with his almost painful arousal, rutting up into the firm touch.
Suddenly, Arnie stopped. “You’re crying.”
Steve opened his eyes to the colored light and darkness of the club. He was crying. His cheeks were wet with it, his head throbbed with the ache. He felt as miserable as he had been before, only now his heartache had a throbbing erection to match it.
“Please. Don’t stop.” Tears wavered in his eyes, turning the club in a softly colored blur. “I don’t want to stop.” Arnie looked unsure, but Steve pleaded. “Please, just let me have this.”
The friction resumed and Steve let his head flop back, openly crying now. His body quivered with the need to sob and the need to rut further into the only relief available to him. Face wet, skin sweaty, cock smearing precum into the lining of his boxers, Steve rutted into one particular rough stroke and cried out as he came.
“Bucky-!” he said, and once he started he couldn’t stop.”Bucky, Bucky, Bucky-”
Steve returns to the Avenger’s Tower with a sense of release and relief.
“I take it you got laid?” Sam asked. Steve flushed and didn’t answer.
“Oh hot damn, he did!” Clint exclaimed.
Tony spread his arms wide. “Gentlemen, my work is done. Now I am going to my girlfriend, because unlike you young whippersnappers, I didn’t get my rocks off.” He disappears into the elevator, and the rest of them disperse.
Sam stops and hooks an arm over Steve’s shoulder. “In all seriousness, man, are you alright?”
“Yeah.” Steve replies hesitantly. “I mean, nothing has changed. But I do feel a little bit better. Just being able to get it out, you know?”
Sam gives him an earnest look and a nod. “Just looking out for you, Cap. Everybody needs a friend to watch their back."
“Thanks, Sam.” Steve says, and heads up in the elevator to his floor. The door swings open and he sets his phone down on the counter, before realizing the TV is on. He walks into the living room and Bucky is there, splayed over the couch, asleep.
For the first and the thousandth time, Steve is struck by how much he loves him. The bluish glow of the screen illuminates his face, stubble and and thickly lashes eyes making Steve’s heart tighten. Steve wrenches his eyes away, and notices Bucky still has his shoes on. Steve pulls them off and tucks his legs more securely into the couch, throwing an afgan over him for good measure.
“The things I do for you, jerk.” he whispers.
The release of the club draining from his veins, Steve walks into his bedroom and brushes his teeth. Undressing for bed, he pulls out the business card Arnie had tucked in his jeans pocket.
He sets it on the bedside table to call in the morning.
“Is it wrong that I don’t sleep with you?”
“Huh? Naw. Everybody’s different. I have clients who want to just have me dress up and pet their hair. I had this one lady who lost her son, and she spent our time just mothering me and apologizing for everything she had done wrong. That was cathartic for her. This is cathartic for you.”
“I just feel like I dump a lot of shit on you.”
Arnie laughs and snubs out his cigarette. “There are people who literally want to dump shit on me. Listening to you tell me the epic story of how you’ve been in love for over seventy years? Nothing compared to that.”
“Either way. Thank you.”
“No prob. So he dumped the DeeDee girl?”
“Deidre. And no, he didn’t dump her. It was a fight. A mutual dumping, I guess.”
“And you don’t know why.”
“I didn’t want to ask. I was afraid if I did, he would realize how stupid the fight was and go back to her.”
“I see…” Arnie lit another cigarette and tossed a curl out of his eye. “It just seems to me that he dumped her because of you.”
“What?!” Steve asked, choking on the mouthful of whiskey he was drinking.
“You were really sick back then, right?” Arnie took a puff and looked him in the eye. “Bucky knew you couldn’t make enough money on your own. He had a choice. Marry the Deidre girl and leave you to slowly die, or dump her and stay with you. So, he dumped her. He chose you.”
“Hey, Steve.” Steve stops from where he is putting on his coat and turns to smile at Bucky.
“Yes, Bucky?” he asks, gathering up his motorcycle keys and phone. “Do you need anything?”
“I just wanted to see if you wanted to watch a movie with me. Natalia recommended it, she said we should watch together-”
Steve’s enticed by the idea. Him and Bucky, in the dark, watching a movie together, like they used to on those special days when they scraped enough together to go to the theatre. But it’s Tuesday, and Steve has the need to talk to Arnie and decompress all the bottled up emotion he accumulates every week.
“That sounds great, Bucky. But maybe not tonight. You can invite Nat over if you want, though. Don’t worry about me. I can find somewhere else to sleep.”
“That’s not what I meant.” Bucky said, "If I wanted to watch a movie with Nat, I would ask Nat to watch a movie. I want to watch a movie with you.Come on. It’s even on your to-watch list, Forrest Gump-”
“I don’t really want to watch a war movie tonight-”
“I have others. Nat gave me a list. We can watch One Day. Or Definitely, Maybe-”
“Tomorrow, Buck. I have somewhere to go, tonight-”
“Where are you going?” Bucky’s face is tense, but there is a light in his eye. “Maybe I could come with.”
“No.” Steve asked. “It’s just work stuff. Meeting up with a friend, you know-”
“Is it work or a meet-up with a friend? You can’t lie for shit, Rogers.”
“I’m going, Bucky.” Steve replied, opening the door and heading for the elevator. “I have to go.”
“So let me get this straight.” Arnie says later that night.
“He goes out and finds a pale, petite blonde babe, who wears a skin-tight red white and blue outfit, brings here back to your tent to fuck her, even when he could have found literally anywhere else, and then invites you to join in?”
“Actually, it was her who invited me, but-”
“And when he invites you to watch rom-coms about best friends who fall in love, you ditch him to vent to me about how he doesn’t love you?” Arnie threw his hands up in the air. “Steve, I don’t want to say you’re stupid, but you’re stupid.”
Steve scowled. “Bucky doesn’t think of me that way.”
Arnie buried his face in his hands. “It’s like talking to a fucking middle schooler.” He groaned.
“Listen to me, Steve. I’ve never even met Bucky. All I know is what you’ve told me. But based on what you’ve said, this guy spent his whole life watching out for your dumb ass, even before you became the sexy beefcake you are now. He didn't killykill for ruining his first time! Man, if someone had walked in on me during my first time, I don’t care who it was, they're dead! He broke an engagement for you. Forget breaking an engagement, he broke seventy years of brainwashing for you. And now he’s waiting on your couch with sappy romance movies to watch together, and you’re here bitching to me?!”
Arnie pours himself another shot and turns to Steve. “Look, I know you find comfort in talking to me, but there is really only one person you need to talk to. Tell him! And I know you’re going to come up with a whole bunch of self-doubting bullshit, but hear me out. If he's anything like the good friend you’ve described him as, even if he doesn’t feel the same, he’s not going to resent you. But I think he’s loved you for as long as you’ve loved him, only he took much longer in realizing what kind of love it was.”
Arnie hands him his jacket and pecks his cheek at the door. “Just tell him, Steve. Please."
Steve walked into his apartment to find Bucky on his couch. There is something playing on a screen, a man asking someone named Jenny to marry him. Bucky shuts off the sound, but he doesn’t turn around.
“You’re back.” he said.
Steve shuffled his feet, feeling like the many nights Bucky had come back from work and found him beaten black and blue. “I am.”
“It’s a good movie.” Bucky said, nodding his head toward the screen. “I flashed back a few times during the Vietnam scenes, but other than that-” Bucky took a swig of the beer at his side and rubbed at his eyes.
“How was fucking the whore?” Steve tensed.
“He’s not a whore. He’s a friend. I don’t fuck him.”
“So he fucks you?” Bucky tosses the bottle to the floor, letting it click into the veritable pile of beer bottles scattered at his feet. “He know how lucky a son of a bitch he is? Tell him I’ll kick his ass if he hurts you”
“Arnie and I just talk.” Steve said.
“I remember when you talked to me.” Bucky said, opening up another beer. “Seventy years ago, three months ago, you talked to me.”
“It would be a bit hard to talk to you about this, Buck.”
“Why?!” Bucky stood up, eyes bloodshot and desperate. “Why could you not talk to me? We’re best friends. I remember when we talked about everything. There is nothing you could say or do that would make me love you less, Steve.”
“That’s the thing, Bucky.” Steve said. “I love you.”
The room froze.
“You goddamned punk.” Bucky said, whipping around the couch. “Steve, you better be saying what I think you’re saying, because these last few weeks have been hell on me-”
“Weeks?” Steve laughs hysterically. “Bucky, I’ve loved you for seventy years.”
And after that, there is no more talking for a while, at least on Steve’s part. Because for the seventy years of walking in on Bucky Barnes having sex, Steve finally, finally, got to experience it himself.
They break the couch. And the table. And Steve finds out he really likes it when Bucky sucks at his nipples. He likes it even better when Bucky sucks his cock while pounding one lubed-up metal finger in his ass. By the time they finally make it to the bed, Steve’s come twice and Bucky is wringing another slow, excruciating orgasm out of him with nothing but his fingers and his utter filth of dirty talk.
“Bucky, Bucky, fuck please, please, please-”
“Say it again for me, Stevie.” Bucky growls in his ear, stubble rasping against Steve’s cheek, fingers twisting tantalizingly near his prostate “Say it, doll.”
“I love you!” Steve sobs, almost a century of feeling encapsulated in the words. “I love you, I love you, now make me come, you jerk!”
Bucky crawls down to hip level and looks up at him with an adoring smile. “I love you too, Steve.”
And with that he sucks hard on Steve’s cock and Steve comes with a scream.
When they finally emerge from the bedroom, (after a long talk and several more rounds of bed-breaking sex) they’re met with teasing, jeers and sighs of relief from all the Avengers.
“Thank god you got together.” Nat said, drinking her coffee. “I was getting sick of this idiot moaning your name any time we tried to get our rocks off together.”
“So, Steve.” Bruce asked, quietly taking a seat near Widow. “How did you realize you were in love with each other?”
Steve breaks aways from the truly brain-numbing kiss Buck has pulled him into and blurts the first thing that comes to his mind.
“I walked in on him.”