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you were a kindness when I was a stranger

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The asset is not having an optimal day.

“Our cycles are syncing,” his mission says from the other side of the exam room, quiet and apologetic. He’s standing against the wall and the asset is sitting on an exam table. They’re in . . . a tower. The asset isn’t sure why. He doesn’t feel right, overheated and over-energized, and isn’t sure about that either.

“So you’re--my alpha, then,” he says haltingly, eyes flicking up to his mission’s face. Not his mission anymore. But always his mission, he thinks.

“Other way around,” his mission answers with a smile that all of the asset’s training can’t decipher the full meaning behind. It looks injured, and . . . and things the asset doesn’t know.

“But I’m not . . .” The asset trails off, uncertain in the face of his mission’s certainty. But an alpha wouldn’t be made uncertain that easily, wouldn’t take orders unquestioningly. An alpha wouldn’t submit when told to, wouldn’t do . . . a lot of things the asset’s been told he’s done. Or might remember doing.

He knows the last time his handlers had strapped him into the chair for maintenance they hadn’t let him out of it until he’d been knotted by half the alphas in the room, and why would they have needed to do that if he were an alpha? Why would he have let them do that, if he were an alpha?

. . . why would he need maintenance again less than a month after that, even if his mission is affecting his cycle?

The asset stops thinking because thinking never ends well. He shifts to the edge of the exam table to spread his legs, expecting his mission to step away from the wall and move into the space and demand he present. He doesn’t, though, and the asset doesn’t understand. Should he have taken his pants off first? He could’ve, but he still feels wrong and he’s not very good at undressing himself under the best of circumstances.

“Bucky,” his mission says softly, ducking his head and looking up at him from under his lashes, and the asset looks at him and sees the strong jaw and wide shoulders and flawless musculature and a dozen other things that scream “alpha”--everything about his mission screams “alpha”, except for his mission himself.

But he must be.

“You should knot me,” the asset says, laying back and pulling his heels up onto the table. It comes out--abrupt. He isn’t sure why.

“I can’t,” his mission says, and the asset grits his teeth. His mission said--his mission promised--“I don’t have a knot.”

“Liar,” the asset says even though as far as he can tell his mission has never lied to him or anyone else. He still doesn’t feel right, though, and it’s getting worse, making him feel hotter and anxious and unable to breathe. He needs maintenance and his mission is the only alpha available, even if his mission should know better than to be available. It’s easy to kill a tied alpha. The asset’s done it before. Not during maintenance, but for other missions.

“I’m not,” this mission repeats, shaking his head again. “Believe me, if I had a knot you could have it whenever you wanted.”

“I want it now,” the asset insists, even if “want” isn’t the right word. He says it that way because the mission said it that way.

“I don’t have one,” his mission says again, quieter this time. But he comes over and he stands where the asset expected him to stand, and the asset spreads his legs wider in anticipation. Impractical anticipation--he’s still wearing his pants, his mission can’t knot him like this. He should’ve taken them off after all.

Then his mission unzips them, so the asset assumes it was fine anyway. He considers whining or flexing his hips, putting on a show an alpha would like, but his mission is his alpha, so that means he doesn’t have to. Or he thinks that’s what that means.

“Knot me,” the asset says again, hips flexing all on their own as his mission tugs his pants down around them. His mission is flushed; his breath is coming faster. He’s aroused. He wants to knot, the asset thinks. His mission has looked at him like he wants to tie him down and keep him since the first time he saw him without the muzzle. He doesn’t know why he’s lying about it.

He doesn’t care, so long as his mission knots him anyway. Knots him and--and stays, locks them together and bites him like . . . and bites him. That’s what an alpha does to an omega they want to keep, and his mission has promised him that he will keep him. Until the end of the line, his mission said, and the asset knows the end of the line, the long dark shadow of it, bullets and brake lines and red in the ledger as a woman he once shot or maybe once knew would put it.

But they’re not dead yet, so it’s not the end. He’ll never be in the black, never wipe it out or move on, but he can at least see his last mission through.

His pants catch around his calves, stopped by his boots, and his mission drops to his knees to unbuckle them. The asset jerks, alarmed to lose sight of him, but the way his mission touches him is nothing like the way his handlers do.

Did, he reminds himself as his boots hit the floor and his mission helps him kick out of his pants. His mission’s respiration is still elevated when he stands back up. The asset feels overheated and adrenaline drunk and wants him to take the gloves off. He wants to touch his mission. He wants his mission to touch him.

It’s--he wants.

“You--” the asset cuts himself off, struggling for words. His mission moves in and leans up, his hips slotting between the asset’s thighs and hand sliding down the asset’s stomach, and then he--then he--

Then he presses his lips to the corner of the asset’s mouth, very lightly.

The asset goes still.

“You’re my alpha,” his mission murmurs, big wide palm pressed flat against his stomach, burning like a brand through kevlar and leather, like something that’ll leave a scar. “Been my alpha as long as I knew I wanted one.”

You’re the alpha. I’m not, I--I’m an omega, I do what I’m told,” the asset gets out, voice stilted. His mission smiles that indecipherably sad smile again and shakes his head.

“Funny, you never expected me to do as I was told,” he says, leaning in closer. “Scent me,” he says. The asset inhales obediently, expecting the dark, simmering scent of approaching rut.

It’s not what he gets.

“Oh fuck,” the asset gasps, recoiling back against the bed as his nose fills up with the dizzysweet burned sugar scent of approaching heat. Wildly, he thinks about the fact that his mission thinks he is an alpha, that his mission is approaching heat and shut himself in with him, and even if the asset isn’t really an alpha how stupid is he, how could he be so reckless--

His mission is looking at his face with that miserable smile again, like he sees something there.

He shouldn’t be. The asset doesn’t have anything to put there.

“My alpha,” his mission murmurs, touching his face. The asset opens his mouth unthinkingly, mind still sugar-dazed and body memory expecting the biteplate, but his mission just strokes the length of his jaw. “You never used to think like that.”

The asset doesn’t know what he thinks. He tries not to, usually; in the end it always either hurts or gets him hurt. Right now the only thing really clear in his head is the scent of his mission’s pre-heat, warm and rising and all-consuming. It makes him need--it makes him want--

Knot me,” he pleads insensibly, gasping for air, and his mission’s lips press against his mouth again as he unbuckles the shirt the asset forgot was there under the weight of his mission’s hand.

“I’m sorry,” his mission rasps, touching his face again. He’s still wearing the gloves. The asset thinks he hates those gloves. “I didn’t think we’d sync up again so fast. I wanted to wait until you were . . . until you understood, at least. Dr. Banner said it’s not safe to make you wait it out, he thinks--”

“I don’t care,” the asset cuts him off roughly, squirming out of his shirt and up into his mission, and his mission stares down at him in shock and wonder. A second late the asset realizes he interrupted his handler, his master, that’s he’s not supposed to--”Alpha,” he reminds himself roughly, wrapping the right arm around the back of his mission’s neck so he can’t get away; so he can’t go back on his word. His mission is his alpha. Not his handler. “You’re my alpha, don’t make me wait, I don’t care.”

“Bucky, I’ll be whatever you want,” his mission says hoarsely, gripping his hips hard. Not hard enough to hurt, but the asset doesn’t think he could break the hold without getting hurt.

Except he thinks his mission would just let go, if he tried to.

“I need maintenance,” he says, digging his knees into his mission’s sides definitely hard enough to hurt, but his mission doesn’t try to break away. Something hot clutches up in the asset’s gut and he looks at his mission and smells his impending heat, feels the weight of that scent like dripping molasses, melting wax, heavy and cloying and pouring over his body. He could move, but his mission’s scent is enough to make him never want to again.

Maintenance could wait, technically, but the asset doesn’t want to wait, and his mission wants him to want. The decision is barely a decision at all.

“Bucky,” his mission murmurs, voice heat-heavy and sweet.

“C’mere, you,” the asset says in a voice that isn’t his but probably used to be, the way his mission looks when he hears it. He tightens his arm around his mission’s neck and his mission comes down with the weight of it like it’s as heavy as the other one twice over. The weight of an arm isn’t anything to either of them, the asset knows, not even that one, but the weight of his mission’s mouth on his own is just shy of everything.

They kiss. His mission puts his hands on him, over his hips and under his thighs, and the asset holds onto him and tries to find this in his muscle memory, which has never failed him before. This time there’s nothing there, though, and he thinks that should terrify him. Thinks that would terrify him, except his mission is kissing him and murmuring nonsense affirmations into his mouth where the asset can pretend they’re both saying them.

He doesn’t have affirmation, he doesn’t have the right voice or the clean-cut look and slicked back hair and crooked, humorless smirk. He can’t say anything and be sure. He has the eyes and the aim and all the attention his mission has to give, but he is not Bucky Barnes, he is not the man his mission wants.

Except his mission doesn’t seem to care about that.

The asset gets out of his shirt, gets his mission out of his. The gloves are gone and he feels more satisfied by that than he has been after full maintenance. He curls up into his mission’s kisses and holds onto his mission’s shoulders and revels greedily in the way his mission touches him in return, strong and careful and immeasurably gentle. It’s nothing like anything the asset would’ve expected, but coming from his mission it feels easy. Coming from his mission while he smells like that, burnt sugar and reckless promises and long-lived lust . . .

The asset will learn greed, if it gets him that.

“Bucky,” his mission says, kissing his mouth and jaw and neck, and the asset thinks he must have done this before--that they must have done this before--but the sensation is still unfamiliar and too intense. He does not care. “Bucky, Bucky, God, Bucky. Is this alright? Do you like this?”

“I want it,” the asset says, because “like” is something simpler, something much more complicated, “like” is something small and sweet and receptive. He is not small or sweet and it’s taking everything he’s got to manage receptive. His mission doesn’t seem to care, still, so the asset kisses him too.

“Bucky,” his mission sighs, and the asset thinks he could grow comfortable in that name after all. It’s not his, not really, but the way his mission says it makes him want to take it. The asset is not Bucky Barnes but Bucky Barnes is dead and gone, a hotshot sniper who got too close to the fight, picked up a shield and fell off a train, and what he couldn’t keep for himself is the asset’s to take now.

--picked up a shield, the asset thinks again, remembering doing the same thing.

His mission kisses his mouth and he kisses back, hands gripping his mission’s shoulders tight so he can’t change his mind and pull back. He isn’t careful with the metal hand, and only thinks that maybe he should be after his mission is already leaning into his grip and kissing him even harder.

Kissing is hard, the asset realizes when their teeth clack together, but then his mission’s hips touch his and he becomes aware of things that are much harder. His body gets hotter and his skin prickles all over and something coils up heavy and tight inside him, and he’s not sure how he ends up panting into his mission’s neck but now that the gloves are gone the thing he hates is his mission’s pants, so stupid, what kinda idiot is he stepping out with anyway--

The asset blinks quick, head swimming, and his mission kisses up his throat and does not help him get a handle on himself.

“Shit, doll,” he rasps, and his mission croons at him. The asset’s heart beats double-time and he locks his legs around his mission’s hips and yanks him in tight so they grind together, and his mission is hard but that is easy. “More. I need maintenance,” he insists, dizzy and heady and getting dizzier, and his mission kisses his forehead and slips a hand between them and touches him--

The asset yells and his mission lets out a shaky laugh, burying his face against his shoulder and still touching him, hand wrapped around his penis--cock. Dick. Any word that is not clinical, not laboratory-colored in his mouth and mind. Nothing his mission touches should be like that.

The asset pants insensibly, hands scrabbling at his mission’s shoulders and thighs tightening around him, and his mission kisses up his neck and mouths at his ear and the asset--the asset squirms.

Squirming is definitely a new thing.

“How do you feel?” his mission asks.

“Put your fucking dick in me, punk,” the asset demands, and his mission laughs again and then looks like he might cry. It makes the asset want to hit him. It makes the asset want to kiss his forehead and neck and mouth up to his ear, like his mission did to him first.

His mission kisses his jaw before he can do any of that and the asset squirms again and holds on to him. An omega should already be presenting. An alpha should already be taking. He is--they are--

His mission kisses him again and it is so good that the rest of it doesn’t matter. The asset will learn greed, he will learn want and like, he will learn exactly how he used to think and never step outside those parameters again, if only his mission will kiss him. He will swear by his word, live and die for him, maim and murder for him, destroy anyone in his mission’s path and shape another century just for him. He’s done worse.

He’ll never do better.

“Fuck me, baby, c’mon, doll, I know you wanna, I know you do,” the asset pants, the place the words come from blurring inside him. It’s a strange place. It’s a stranger’s place. “Baby doll, please, gimme gimme gimme--”

“I’ll give it to you,” his mission promises in a quiet, painful voice, pressing his mouth against the asset’s temple and his fingers back behind his balls, and the asset moans. The asset has never felt the need to be noisy during maintenance, and was always discouraged from speaking as well. With his mission--his alpha--his not-alpha--with him, he doesn’t care, and doesn’t seem to have to. “I need a minute first, okay?”

“No!” the asset complains instinctively, pressing up against him. His voice is petulant, pitched higher than it should be, and his mission looks startled. And flushed.

“Hell, Buck,” his mission manages, pressing back blissfully close on a hard shudder. The asset has successfully strangled people who managed to speak more clearly. But that memory does not belong here, he thinks. That is something for another time.

He thinks.

Although that isn’t true, really. There is no divorcing what he’s done from what he does. But his mission . . . his mission would not want him to have that thought right now, some part of the asset--feels. So he won’t. He thinks he won’t.

He isn’t very good at thinking, still; it comes to him slow and thick and heavy, and his mission’s hands are still on him and not making it any easier, which is not unfamiliar. Most of the things his mission’s done have made it harder for him to think.

Which is funny, because his mission wants him to think.

. . . he thinks.

“Just--hold on,” his mission says, and abandons him. The asset freezes in place and the world goes pinpoint-small, his already accelerated heart rate beating double-time in his chest, his body left behind on a table for a doctor to come in and cut apart, for the alpha guards and technicians to perform maintenance on, for the Secretary to come and lie to, for--

His mission comes back and kisses his mouth, and the asset lets out a ragged breath and goes limp underneath the contact, relaxing against the table. His mission will not abandon him. Not until the end of the line, and whatever they have to do when they get there. It will come soon enough, but so far it has not come. He’ll be retired then, he assumes, made obsolete by whatever better thing is waiting for his mission there. His mission will return him to storage or activate his kill switch and then he will be done, he will be gone, he will never have to be the fist of Hydra or that black-and-white man from the museum again.

He will be able to sleep.

But that will be the end of the line, and this--this is not the end yet.

“Here. This’ll help,” his mission says gently as he breaks the kiss, holding up a tube that the asset was too pinpoint-frozen to notice him retrieving when he left. His mission left for a reason, and then came back. The asset notes this information, and files it away very carefully. He will not forget it.

“I don’t want that,” the asset says, although he has no idea what it’s for. There’s only one thing he wants, though, and that’s--“I want your knot.”

“Don’t have one, remember?” his mission reminds him, opening the tube and squeezing a slick-looking gel out of it and onto his fingers. “But I’ll do the best I can, okay?”

“The best you can,” the asset repeats, frowning in confusion at the other’s fingers. What is . . .

“That’s right. And you tell me if I do anything you don’t like, alright?” his mission says, and then slides a slickened finger down the crack of the asset’s ass. The asset makes a startled noise, eyes widening and muscles instinctively relaxing, expecting something rougher and more demanding than the rim-circling fingertip he gets. The asset squirms, partly from the feeling but partly just out of confusion, and gives his mission a lost look. “Is this okay?”

“No one else does that,” the asset says, still frowning. He’s an omega, he doesn’t need slicked. He can take an alpha without help. His mission grits his teeth, eyes flashing sharp, and the asset automatically prepares to take whatever hit it’s going to be.

There isn’t a hit, though; his mission just breathes out and presses the tip of his finger against the asset’s hole, exerting just enough pressure to feel like he could slide in at any second without actually doing it. The asset shifts in place restlessly and represses the bizarre urge to close his knees, both impulses he’d thought long trained out of himself. The contact feels--strange. Not like he’s used to.

“Doesn’t matter what anyone else did,” his mission says, his voice very even and his fingertip rubbing just where it makes the asset want to shudder most. “I just want to know if it’s okay.”

“Okay,” the asset replies warily, digging his heels in against the feeling of that finger that his mission will not just replace, not really understanding the question. His mission is his mission, though; why would he think he had to ask a question like that? The asset was programmed to be able to do anything it took to complete a mission, and when he looked at his mission and could decide for himself, he didn’t even have to figure out how to think about it. He would do anything to complete a mission.

This mission, he would do anything for.

It’s not complicated.

“Okay,” his mission murmurs back, and rubs another slick finger against the asset’s rim in a gentle half-circle stroking as his first finger dips inside him. The asset was expecting it, and had prepared himself not to react. The asset was not expecting it like this, though, a slow push working with him rather than a sharp stab forcing its way inside, and an involuntary shiver goes up his spine.

“Why?” he asks, a little helpless--no one else did this, no one else even tried it, why is his mission so nothing like anyone else--and his mission leans in and kisses the corner of his mouth again. His fingers are just barely moving, soft small gestures against and inside the asset, and the asset doesn’t shiver again but it is very, very hard not to.

This is a test, he tells himself, and winces when his mission kisses him again, stinking of burned-sugar pheromones that make him dizzy whenever he leans in too close. His shoulders are wide and the asset wants them back between his thighs for the perfect distance they make them spread, fit just right and just how they should be.

“So it’s good for you,” his mission says. “I can’t knot you, but I’m going to take care of you. Alright?”

“You’ll knot me,” the asset says, uneasy. Every alpha knots him. If his alpha doesn’t--his not-alpha, he remembers, reminds himself. His mission is not an alpha.

But his mission is his alpha.

“I’m going to take care of you,” his mission repeats, crooking the finger inside him. The asset jerks in shock before he’s even fully processed the warm little rush that sets off inside him--nothing drastic, nothing worth shock, just a gentle, heated pressure building and building as his mission rubs his finger in circle after circle after circle after--

“Oh, alpha,” the asset moans as he knocks his head back against the table, legs falling apart clumsily and hips rocking up, his body immediately flexing into the rock of his mission’s rhythm. “It’s so--it’s so--don’t stop, alpha.” There’s words burning sugar-sharp in his head, ones he can’t quite trace the origins of, but they want out. They want his mission’s words. They want--

“You’re good, I’ve got you,” his mission soothes, shifting against the asset and running a hand up the back of his thigh to help him hook a leg over his shoulder so he can almost, almost get enough of what his mission is giving. His mission only has one finger inside him but it is thick and strong and crooking over and over again so the asset’s knees want to shake. He lets them, because his mission is not Hydra and because it is so, so hard to keep them from doing it anyway.

The asset has always been aware, vaguely, that a good omega is supposed to be grateful for maintenance. He doesn’t remember how he knows that, but assumes it came with the knowledge of just what a good omega is--the kind with a proper cycle and self-control, the kind that doesn’t get aggressive and violent in heat, that can be trusted not to be strapped down for every little procedure, every check-in and check-up. He never has. He gets so violent. He just does these terrible things, he just disappoints and annoys the Secretary and causes issues and is so ungrateful and makes the maintenance team’s jobs so hard. He is a problem and he understands that. Knows that.

With his mission rocking his finger in gentle strokes inside of him so his knees betray him and shake, so his hands tremble against nothing, so his toes curl and his teeth bare and his head pushes back into the table--with that, the asset doesn’t feel like the problem.

With that, the asset feels . . .

“Look at you,” his mission breathes out quietly, wrapping his free hand around the asset’s cock and giving it a squeeze as he very, very carefully pushes another finger into him. The asset tips his head forward and looks, because he is too dazed and overwhelmed to do much else. It doesn’t even hurt. He feels overheated and heavy and so unfamiliar and his mission’s fingers are moving in him and his mission’s hand is tight around him, but not so it hurts. It feels . . . it feels like . . .

It’s like he wants more of it. Like he wants so much of it.

What’s that feeling called?

His mission crooks his fingers again and the asset groans, and his mission shifts and changes the grip of his hand around him and the asset sees stars and his hips jerk up, and also--and also--

“Does it feel good?” his mission asks as gently as his fingers cup the half-blown knot at the base of the asset’s cock, and the asset stares down at himself blearily and tries to process. He is an omega. The black-and-white man in the museum, he was an alpha, maybe, but Hydra didn’t want an alpha and so the asset is not. He’s just . . .


He’s not. But his mission is cupping his far too sensitive dick in his hand, gripping it just right, and under his fingers it’s swollen and thick and nothing like it’s ever been for maintenance before. And does it feel good, his mission is asking, and . . .


That’s what that feeling is called.

“Yes, alpha,” the asset manages to rasp out, voice thin and weak and hips rolling forward stuttering and restless, and his mission leans in reeking of pre-heat and flushed red all the way down his chest, watching him. “It feels--it feels good.”

“I’m glad,” his mission says, voice even quieter than before. “I want you to.”

He should present, the asset thinks dazedly, should roll on his knees and put his face to the table and his ass in the air, make himself available and convenient, but instead he’s curling up towards his mission and thinking about the other’s fingers twisting up inside him and holding his--holding the--the knot. Cradling it, really, not even moving around it aside from the most minor flexing, not doing anything else to it, just . . . holding it.

Making it feel the way his mission wants him to feel.

“It--I do,” the asset says, hesitant to phrase it that way even if his mission did it first, and his mission wears that expression where the asset can’t tell if he’s happy or heartbroken again. If the asset hadn’t observed his mission interacting with other people, he would assume it was his default expression.

. . . other people.

Because they are both people, aren’t they.

“I’m glad,” his mission says again, and ducks his head to kiss the inside of the asset’s thigh. The asset startles, eyes widening in reflexive wariness, but does not pull back or tense. “Can I use my mouth?”

“Yes,” the asset replies slowly, uncertain about the question. Not expecting to be asked it, more--because no one else has ever asked, maybe, or because his mission should already know the answer. His mission knows everything else about him, more than the doctors ever did and far more than he does himself. The asset cannot imagine any scenario in which he should have to ask a question he did not already know the answer to.

Maybe he should’ve expected it, he thinks. All this lead-up has already taken twice as long as most of his usual maintenance sessions and his mission hasn’t even stuck his dick in him yet. He’s not sure his mission actually knows what he’s--what they’re--

His mission leans in and licks up the shaft of the asset’s dick, and the asset jerks in shock and makes a sharp noise at the contact. His mission pauses and glances up at him questioningly, but the asset has absolutely no idea what either the question is or his answer should be.

“That’s not maintenance,” he manages roughly, and his mission looks alarmed, shoulders tensing.

“Oh God, Buck, I’m so sorry, I thought--” he starts, starting to pull back, and the asset punches him mostly just to shut him up, and a little because he can’t quite handle . . . that. This. He’s not sure.

“Shut up,” he says, just to make the point, and then drops his legs farther apart to make more room for the other between them. “Do it again.”

His mission’s face softens almost into a smile, although he hides whatever expression he actually makes against the inside of the asset’s thigh. The asset considers kicking him for it but doesn’t follow through. His mission kisses his thigh and then leans back in, rocking his fingers in again in a way that makes the asset’s spine want to melt, and definitely means he was right not to kick him.

The scent of his mission’s pre-heat is sweeter now, headier and heavier around him, and the asset is having trouble breathing under it--he feels like it’s weighing him down. Weighing him down, but not restraining him. That’s . . . that can happen, apparently.

“Tell me if you don’t like it,” his mission says, and mouths down his thigh, fingers curling inside of him. The asset jerks again, mouth dropping open to let out a rough noise, and his mission presses his lips to the root of his cock, the half-blown knot that the mission still can’t quite reconcile as belonging to him. It feels--he doesn’t know how it feels.

He feels it, though.

His mission kisses the knot--his knot--and the asset pushes his head back into the table and breathes. His mission is soft and slow with his mouth and fingers, and the asset wants restrained after all. He wants something to bite down on before he starts screaming. He wants his mission to not stop.

And his mission doesn’t. His fingers keep moving inside him, his mouth keeps moving against the knot, and he doesn’t stop or pull away and it is nothing like everyone else who’s ever touched him and not stopped. The asset’s mouth is making increasingly senseless noises and he doesn’t bother trying to stop it; his mission clearly doesn’t care, so why would he?

His mission smells so good.

“I,” the asset gasps out, feeling hot and unfamiliar with his skin prickling sharp, “I, I want--” but he doesn’t know, he doesn’t know what he wants, just, just for his mission to . . . to do whatever he’s doing, exactly what he’s doing, more of what he’s doing. But he doesn’t actually know how to ask for that, it doesn’t make sense in his mouth, so instead he says, “I want your knot. I want it inside me. I--I want you to--to--”

STAY inside me, the asset can’t say. Can’t--want. He stares up at the ceiling, senses all kicking into hyper-scrutiny, feeling like something violent and electric is about to come and take everything inside his head away. But his mission is dragging his tongue up his cock soft and shocking and this table is not the chair and his teeth aren’t baring against the instinctive sounds his mouth is making, and nothing comes.

His mission . . . his alpha. He wants him in him, and staying in him, and . . .

The asset has very vague memories of being knotted properly--not just fucked, held down and locked--and . . . and he thinks he remembers it. He didn’t want it then. He didn’t want anything then; just accepted his orders as his orders and fulfilled them.

But that was then.

“Inside me,” the asset demands again, louder, and his mission drags his tongue against his skin again and it is not violent, but it is electric.

“Can I get you off once first?” his mission asks. “It’ll be easier, if you can wait.”

“I don’t understand the question,” the asset says, although of course he does. It’s his mission. His mission is the only person who would give him a choice and actually mean it to be a choice. He doesn’t know how he feels about that. He knows exactly how he feels about that.

It’s . . . complicated.

“Your body would be more relaxed. It’d be easier for you to take me,” his mission tells him, fingers curling gently again and shooting sparks through the asset’s gut, sharp and hot as a stab wound. “And harder for me to hurt you.”

“That matters,” the asset says. It’s not a question, because he does understand that it matters to his mission, but . . .

“Yes,” his mission says, burned sugar sweet and touching him exactly like countless other alphas have and like no other alphas have at all. His face is flushed, and his skin is very, very warm. It makes the asset’s gut spark again. “Very much.”

“Okay,” the asset says, and lets his body go passive and patient as his mission draws back to slick up his fingers again. He doesn’t feel passive and patient, but it’s not hard to ignore that.

Except for how it’s very hard to ignore that.

“Tell me if it’s too much,” his mission says, then drops his head and kisses the asset’s cock again.

And swallows the asset’s cock.

“Fuck!” the asset yells, jerking back against the table, and his mission does not bite him and no one puts the biteplate in his mouth so he yells it again, louder, and slams his head back. His mission curls a hand around his thigh to squeeze and rolls his tongue up against his cock, and the asset breathes too-quick and every inhalation draws in more and more of his mission’s increasingly heady pre-heat scent.

What is he going to smell like when he’s in actual heat?

The asset tries to extrapolate and can’t, but the thought sends sparks up his spine again anyway and makes him groan. His mission slips his fingers back inside him and twists them sweetly, or painfully, or--or the asset isn’t sure, exactly, everything’s a little too much for that. This is nothing like maintenance. Maintenance was something to be endured, and this is . . . he really doesn’t know what this is, and he doesn’t care as long as it doesn’t stop.

“I--you--” he stutters out, not actually knowing what he’s trying to say, and his mission pushes his mouth so far down his lips are pressing against his knot. The asset’s leg jerks entirely involuntarily, and his mission squeezes it again--to stabilize him? Reassure him? Not to warn him, which is . . . which is still very hard to remember.

But also not hard at all, somehow.

His mission shifts on his knees and crooks his fingers inside the asset, and the asset’s cock twitches in his mission’s mouth, and he breathes in short, sharp bursts and wishes he could bury his face in his mission’s pulse points, against an artery; that he could have the scent of his sweat in his nose and the sound of his heartbeat in his ear. He also wishes his mission would never, ever move again, though, so he doesn’t mind that he can’t.

Mind. The asset laughs at the idea, a low disbelieving huff, and then laughs again because he just laughed, because . . . because he can do that here, now, with his mission. Underneath his mission. Because of his mission, who purrs low and heated at the sound of that huffed laughter and makes fireworks go off behind the asset’s eyes. It takes him a moment after that, but he realizes quick enough what the unfamiliar desire sparking and burning in his gut is, if only through extrapolation.

It never felt like this when it was maintenance, but . . .

“I want to come,” the asset rasps, and lets his hips move up for the first time--he can’t always control the sounds he makes, there was a reason his handlers had to muzzle him, but his body is another story. Today is already the least control he’s had over it in years, or decades, or a century, but not that much the least. His mission glances up when his hips move and the asset fully registers his face this time, brightly flushed and hazy at the edges. His rut coming on, maybe, the asset thinks vaguely, his thighs tensing reflexively. His mission will knot him when he ruts. He will turn rough and demanding and pin him down without even needing the restraints and push in and fuck him, knot him, weigh him down and bruise him up and lock them together tight enough to hurt.

Tighter, if the asset’s lucky. If . . .

“I want to come,” he says again, dazed just with the thought of wanting that--he wants to come, he wants to feel this, he wants his mission locked inside him and both of them vulnerable to each other’s hidden knives. Except he doesn’t have any and his mission doesn’t either, the asset knows without checking, even though his mission knows what the arm can do.

It just makes him want it more.

His mission shifts in closer, digs his fingers in against the asset’s thigh and twists them inside of him, and the asset chokes on nothing and pushes his hips up again, reaching up over his head to grab the bed and keep the arm out of play. He can control it, but he doesn’t feel like he can control it.

And his mission proves that he was very, very right to, because that’s when he opens his mouth a little further and pushes his lips past the asset’s half-blown knot and his tongue against it. The asset starts yelling again and does something irreparable to the table over his head and possibly kicks his mission in the spine, but his mission bears down until his mouth has completely swallowed the knot and his nose is buried in the asset’s pubic hair and the asset’s cock is halfway down his throat.

The table does not handle his reaction well.

“Oh God!” the asset chokes over the scream of metal; something gives out and the table drops a good six inches, and if it’d gone any further or his mission had been just a second slower to catch his hips as it did they’d probably both have ended up in pain. Him especially, though--and he thinks about that as his mission lowers his hips carefully to the damaged table and follows them down with his mouth without even missing a beat, he thinks about that very clearly, and it definitely . . . it definitely has an effect.

Like everything his mission does, as far as the asset can tell. There’s nothing his mission could do that would not affect him.

His mission sucks harder, moves his mouth around his cock--but not up and down it, not anymore. It takes the asset a moment to understand why, head all fogged up like they’re freezing him to sleep, but actually nothing like that at all. Steamed up, maybe, maybe that’s what he means; hot and heavy and slow to think in a completely different way than he’s used to.

Able to think, so . . . different, yes.

“Your mouth,” the asset manages hoarsely, and his mission makes a low noise in response, his tongue moving eagerly against the knot. Heat spikes through the asset and the noise he makes is not an omega’s whine or an alpha’s snarl, it’s something strung between, and he bucks up under his mission’s mouth and rocks down onto his twisting fingers. The table makes dangerous noises and he doesn’t care at all, just feels overheated and underprepared and--and greedy. His mission noises at him again, lower and sweeter, and the asset screws his eyes shut and tries to control his breathing, bring it down and pacify himself.

Normally that would take either a bullet or the chair.

Normally his body would not be greedy.

“Your mouth, your mouth, I can feel your mouth,” the asset gasps out again, and his mission grips his hip tighter and rocks his fingers in sweet and strangling and his mouth does not slide up and down his cock, just flexes and swallows around the knot and encourages it to swell behind his teeth, to--inside him, his mission wants. His mission wants.

His mission wants him inside him.

The asset pushes up on his elbows to look down at his mission through his swimming vision, overwhelmed and shaking and desperately struggling not to lose track of his surroundings, and his mission just presses in closer against him and looks back at him with that killing patience. Not a sniper’s patience, the asset thinks; not a solo operative’s, but a soldier’s. A commander’s.

His commander’s. His--his handler, his alpha, his mission, his . . .

So many things.

“I don’t--I don’t know what to--” he tries, something like fear rising in his throat, like the panic he’d felt when his mission had freed him from the collapsed beams and denied him his violence and called him something he couldn’t be. His mission makes another noise around the knot, this one low and soothing and vibrating, and the asset’s hands curl into senseless fists and his eyes snap shut again and he just . . . he can’t, he has to, he doesn’t know how to.

He wants to.

“Please don’t stop,” he finally manages, skin feeling halfway on fire and the words barely making sense in his mouth even as hearing them makes his mission’s eyes go dark and hot. The asset knows better than to plead, and even if he didn’t, he’s never been in a situation where he’d plead for more. Before this he’s not sure he could’ve thought of one. It’s not like his mission could even stop, now, it’s just--it’s just.

Fuck. He can’t actually think, can’t concentrate right, can’t pull his head together or keep it together, not with his mission’s mouth tight around his knot and his mission working another slick and strong finger inside him and his mission’s eyes burning into him, not with his skin this hot and body misfiring and mouth making noises he doesn’t mean to let it.

His mission likes the noise, as far as he can tell, because he looks flushed and overheated too and every sound that escapes the asset’s throat makes his mission’s scent spike even sharper: sweet and stinging and so good, the best thing he’s ever breathed in. It’s overwhelming. Everything is overwhelming. He thinks he might actually scream.

He wants the biteplate so bad. The asset doesn’t want to scream, he wants to be good, he wants his new handler to approve of him, appreciate his skill and control, keep him and put him to good use. He’s a loyal asset, a strong weapon, a shot in the dark and a terror in the daylight, and he will do anything for a leader worth following.

“I want--your orders,” he stutters, reaching down with shaking fingers to touch the corner of his mission’s stretched-open jaw. He uses the right hand, because handlers don’t like him touching them with the left one. Or at all, generally, but . . . “Tell me what to do. I’ll do it.”

His mission lets go of his hip and holds his hand instead, cupping it against his own cheek where the asset can feel the knot stretching the other’s mouth. Something hot and bright and terrible burns inside him, and his eyes and chest and throat all ache with it. It’s too much. It’s so much.

“I’ll be good,” he manages hoarsely, and his mission laces their fingers together and squeezes his hand. The asset comes so hard and so fast that he doesn’t even fully recognize it until he already is, crying out sharp and hot as his orgasm tears through him with a bright shock like lightning, like the chair. Nothing at all like the chair. It’s blinding and white and puts to shame the weak, wrung-out things that maintenance forces out of him. He comes, and he comes, and he comes, and his mission swallows it all and swallows around him and does not let go of his hand. The asset writhes uselessly and makes a sound he can’t properly identify from his own mouth, but would call a sob coming from someone else. Everything is over-sensitive and the aftershocks are much too intense and he wants to wrap his legs around his mission’s shoulders and put a knife in his back and stay here forever and run far, far away.

His face is wet.

His mission is making noises, the asset realizes belatedly somewhere between his own stifled sobs, sweet and soothing omega purrs that rumble gently around the overstimulated knot--his overstimulated knot. His. And his mission is still holding his hand, and has reclaimed his other hand to pet along the asset’s thigh in long, slow strokes. It is supposed to be soothing too, the asset thinks, but it only makes him shudder harder.

Maybe that is what soothing is, in this situation.

He stares down blearily at his mission’s still-flushed face, blurry and hard to make out unless he blinks very fast, and his mission shivers and flexes his mouth around him. The asset’s cock gives a too-eager twitch at the attention and he whines breathlessly, toes curling against the table. It’s too much, but his mission doesn’t pull back or stand back up. His mission is locked with him like this, on his knees in front of a half-broken table with a knot in his mouth--with the asset’s knot in his mouth.

His mission is looking at him with his knot in his mouth. His face is red and his mouth is stretched tight and he is still holding the asset’s hand, keeping him inside him without demanding to be let inside in return. The knot hasn’t receded yet, but he doesn’t look like he minds.

He looks like--like maybe he likes it too.

The asset doesn’t even know how he’s breathing like that.

His mission shifts between his legs, moving his mouth softly around the asset’s cock and wringing out more heated little aftershocks as he takes his hand off his thigh to drop it between his own legs. He strokes himself--the asset can hear him, see his shoulder moving with it--and the asset tenses even past the heavy, warm feeling that’s soaked all the way through him.

“Don’t,” he says automatically, part of him incredulous at the part of him that could protest automatically, without weighing the consequences of punishment or the inevitable pain. His mission stops immediately, though, like it’s nothing at all to let go of himself and wait just on the asset’s word. He can’t remember anyone ever waiting on his word before, except for when to hand him the next weapon.

Even then, it’s never actually been his word.

“Don’t,” he says again for lack of anything better, and his mission goes back to petting his thigh and purrs up at him, commander-patient even with that flushed face and blown pupils and the scent of his pheromones so strong that they could peak into actual heat at any moment. Like it’s somehow that easy, like it’s nothing to listen to him. Like it’s simple.

It makes something in the asset feel exposed.

His mission pets him and purrs and waits. The asset waits too, because there isn’t much choice, and the knot goes down slowly but surely and his mission leans back and lets it slip out of his mouth with a last spine-melting lick. He inhales as he stands up, and there is a faint rasp to it.

“Your breathing was obstructed,” the asset realizes dazedly, startled. His mission smiles. His mouth is very red.

“Yeah, probably not a benefit of the serum Erskine had in mind. I can hold my breath a lot longer than that,” his mission replies, a flicker of unanticipated humor in his tone. The asset stays silent, thinking, and his mission pauses for a moment, then leans in closer and lifts a hand towards the asset’s face. It’s still wet, the asset remembers.

“The water,” he says, cutting his mission off before--whatever he was about to do. His mission looks rueful as he lowers his hand again, but still a little amused.

“Come on, Buck, I was unconscious,” he says. “Can’t hold that against me.”

“No,” the asset says, abrupt, and waits a moment for the inevitable slap. It doesn’t come. It occurs to him that it will probably never come, if it’s his mission he’s expecting it to come from. “The first time,” he continues after the moment’s passed. “When you put the plane down. You could hold your breath that long then.”

“Yes,” his mission agrees with a faint frown, watching his face. The asset isn’t sure what he’s thinking, just . . . he’s thinking.

He thinks.

“You couldn’t get out,” he says carefully, turning the thought over in his mind and the words over in his mouth even as he speaks them. “The water pressure. You wouldn’t have been able to get back to the windshield or open the doors. But you would’ve been conscious.”

“. . . yes,” his mission replies slowly, and says nothing else. The asset stares at him for a long time. He’s seen photos and schematics of that plane in the Smithsonian. He pictures it filling with water and sinking with all the momentum of its full-speed crash behind it. He pictures his mission trapped inside it with plenty of time and air to get to the surface, if only he could find a way out.

He pictures his mission looking for that way out, because--of course. Of course he would have. His mission has surrendered every time the asset has ever seen him fight, but some part of him knows that he would have done that anyway.

“Knot me,” he says, reaching out to tug the other back in close with his right hand. His mission goes with the motion, visibly surprised by the change of topic. It’s not really a change, to the asset.

“I don’t have a--” his mission starts, and the asset cuts him off, frustrated.

“I know,” he says. But his mission stretched him out to make a space for himself and made it feel good, took him inside him like he liked it, and held his breath for him like . . . like he wasn’t . . .

But his mission can hold his breath for a very long time.

And has.

“I know,” he repeats evenly, wrapping a leg around his mission’s waist to keep him in close and shifting on the table to tilt his hips just so, gripping his shoulder with the right hand. The one that’s not the wrong one. The damaged metal underneath him makes a dangerous noise but doesn’t give, which makes the noise irrelevant.

Irrelevant compared to his mission, he means.

“Bucky,” his mission says. He sounds like he’s bleeding out; his expression could pass for it too. The asset tightens his leg around him and digs his fingers into his shoulder.

“I’m wet,” he says, watching his mission’s face intently. His mission stares back at him wide-eyed and lost-looking, and the asset remembers his face slack and soft below the water as he sank. As they both sank.

“Bucky,” his mission says again, his expression crumpling. The asset waits, but he doesn’t seem to have anything to add to it; just the name, hanging empty in the very small space between them.

“It’s for you,” the asset says, still searching the other’s face for . . . something. He doesn’t know what. “Take it.”

“I don’t--” his mission starts, and the asset’s teeth bare.

“What, want it?” he demands immediately, cutting him off ruthlessly. It’s the same as any fight: hit first and hit harder and keep the opponent off-balance. “Liar. You’re my alpha. You have to want it.”

“It’s not that I don’t want you, Bucky, it’s just . . .” His mission trails off again, hesitating, and the asset tightens his grip on him again. His mission does want him. His mission is going to keep him. His mission will give him orders and he will follow them and his mission will keep him.

“Are you rutting or not?!” he snaps.

“I’m not,” his mission replies quietly. He looks pained. The asset want to peel his skin off and beg for his mouth again. “My heat’s starting. You’re going to rut.”

“I--I know,” the asset hisses through his teeth, tightening his grip on the other again. There’s something strange in his head and something painful in his chest, twisting up tight and sharp. It feels a lot like being stabbed, except being stabbed is easier to ignore and much, much easier to understand. “Our cycles are syncing. You’re my alpha. You’ll use me. I’ll be good.”

“I just want you to be okay,” his mission murmurs, putting a hand over the one the asset has on his shoulder. The contact is gentle and warm and not the right thing at all.

“Then fucking fuck me!” the asset snarls, yanking his mission in hard against his body. His mission catches himself on the table and grunts at the impact, his mouth close against the asset’s ear. His mission’s arms hit the table past his body and heat sparks up in the asset again, bright and greedy, and his chest clutches up harder and he thinks--

And then the metal gives out. The table hits the ground and the asset hits the table and his mission hits him, and he gives a sharp, half-aborted yell and flashes back to the last time: being trapped under the girders with his mission coming for him, pinning his mission down while his mission refused to fight back. To give him what he was supposed to give him. The asset groans in frustration and tips his head back to catch his breath, feeling all spilled out and like he should be able to taste blood. His mission pants against his throat, half braced on his elbows and half crushing him.

The asset can feel his mission’s cock cradled in tight against the crease of his hip. It’s hard and it’s hot and it should be in him, but it’s not.

And he still can’t taste blood.

It isn’t fair. He wants it. His old handlers programmed him to never want anything, but his mission--his mission does want him to want things. Why isn’t he giving it to him, if he edited his programming to make him want it? He’s already done as much and more than he was ever expected to do for maintenance, and he doesn’t understand why it’s not enough.

But his mission is like that sometimes, some vague part of the asset remembers as he feels the other’s breath huff out hot against the corner of his jaw, soft against his skin and making him much, much warmer. He wants different things than other people do. His mission pushes himself up carefully and looks down at him with an expression it takes the asset a moment to recognize as concern, and he stares back at him.

“Are you alright?” his mission asks, a little breathless.

“Get off me,” the asset says, a weapon’s calm passing through him as his thoughts coalesce into a plan of attack. His mission jerks back immediately, visibly alarmed, and the asset takes advantage in the moment he’s off-balance to clamp his thighs around the other’s hips and roll them off the remains of the table, slamming him down onto his back against the floor and planting his right hand hard on his throat. His mission makes a startled noise but doesn’t even tense underneath him, and the asset bites his own lip so hard that he can taste blood after all.

His mission is so strong and dangerous and makes himself so vulnerable.

“Like that,” he breathes out, and his mission stares up at him. He’s never done it like this, not even for a mission--not that he remembers, anyway--but the mechanics aren’t that complicated. He thinks. Is almost sure.

“Okay,” his mission murmurs in that bleeding-out voice, his hands coming up to the asset’s thighs. The asset tenses at the contact, instinctively expecting a counter-attack, but it doesn’t come. He watches his mission warily for another moment, but he does nothing, so the asset carefully lifts his hand off the other’s chest and leans back. The mechanics are simple, he reminds himself, then reaches behind himself to wrap his fingers around his mission’s cock.

“I want this,” he reminds his mission too, just in case, and tightens his fingers to make the point. Every knot he remembers taking he was strapped down in the chair for maintenance or on his hands and knees for a mission, but this mission is his mission. There’s no biteplate in his mouth, no knife under the pillow, no target to kill and no intel to bring back.

He shifts his hips back and guides his mission’s cock to his body just a little awkwardly, biting his lip when the head presses against his hole. It feels different from how he remembers, slicker and hotter and not like maintenance or other missions. He tilts his hips and pushes back and his breath catches in his throat at how slow and easy his mission’s dick slides in; he’s used to the first thrust being a sharp, stabbing thing, something violent and sudden, but this barely hurts at all.

“Oh,” he chokes, and his mission’s fingers dig into his thighs.

“Bucky,” his mission rasps, low and urgent, and the asset snaps his eyes shut and rocks his hips down a bit to take just that much more of the other. His mission groans, a strangled sound that might’ve started as a purr, and the asset moans back, and maybe that had almost been a growl. Maybe.

His thighs won’t stop shaking.

“I’m wet,” the asset gasps out disbelievingly, shocked at how much difference the slick and the stretch from his mission’s fingers make, how much better it feels. He hadn’t expected it to be as bad as normal maintenance, but he hadn’t thought--he hadn’t--

This. This is good.

“Alpha,” he manages in a cracked voice, rocking his hips down again recklessly and just barely remembering to keep his too-steady left arm from reaching out to touch. “Alpha, I’m so wet, alpha, you make me so wet.”

“Okay,” his mission husks up at him, moving his hands up to grip his hips. They feel good there. The asset wants them to stay there, and also go everywhere else too. “Okay, Buck, it’s alright, I’ve got you.”

“And you’ll keep me,” the asset says, testing the words in his mouth and testing the grip on his hips with a slow roll that makes his mission arch up into him in a way that has his knees going weak. His mission makes a strangled noise and grips his hips bruise-hard and the asset mewls at the pressure. “Keep me,” he says again, shivering. “You’ll keep me, I’m your asset, you’ll keep--”

His mission lunges up and flips them so fast the asset’s head spins, pins him hard into the floor and knocks his breath out of him, and the counterattack that the asset forgot to expect jars his mission’s cock in deep and is absolutely perfect. He yells and his mission buries his teeth in the side of his throat and snaps his hips in and it is--it is so good, it is so much, so hot, so good, so right.

“I’m your asset, I’m your asset, alpha, alpha, keep me, alpha, breed me, alpha, put your pups in me, I’ll kill anyone who even looks at them,” the asset babbles out breathlessly, clawing at his mission’s back with the right hand and letting the left’s fingers sink into the floor. His arm whines and the floor cracks and his mission fucks him and it is the best thing that the asset has ever, ever felt. He doesn’t care what other memories he’s supposed to have, there is nothing that could’ve been better than this. “Please, oh please oh please, alpha, I want to be your asset!”

He hadn’t even thought about it until his mission was already inside him; hadn’t even known he wanted it until his mission was inside him. He’s not an omega and his mission is not an alpha, except he is his mission’s omega and his mission is his alpha, and that’s--that matters. He’s strong, he was built that way, he could give his mission stronger pups than anyone else and protect them better than anyone else too. That’s reason enough for his mission to keep him, isn’t it, if he gets fat and full of strong pups for him and digs them out a dark warm den full of soft things and sharp knives.

“Breed me,” he pleads again desperately, and his mission bites up his neck and shakes his head senselessly and something inside the asset’s head shakes loose or locks up or something else entirely. His voice cracks again, and then comes out sounding different. “Breed me, c’mon, I’ll do better by you than any of the rest of ‘em ever could. I’ll take care of everything, I’ll make a den just right and be sweet as you like, and you can come in whenever and fill me up again. And I’ll be a real good ma, Stevie, I will, I promise.”

“Bucky,” his mission chokes helplessly, yanking the asset closer as his hips stutter in hard, and the asset mewls and growls and winds his legs tight around the other and tears his nails down his back. They’re so close he can’t smell anything but his mission, his burned sugar pheromones thick on his tongue, all sweetness and char.

“Harder, harder, get me pregnant, make me fat, fill me up, Stevie!” he moans, barely holding on underneath his mission’s relentless thrusts even as he bucks up into them as hard as he can. The floor under his left hand cracks and breaks again and his mission shifts up higher on his knees, tips forward and bends him in--bends him in half and gets in him so deep and the asset screams--

The asset has screamed a lot in his life, and it has never, ever felt like this before.

It’s so good. It’s so good. It’s so good. His mission is marking him up and fucking him hard and willing to breed and keep him, getting his pheromones all over him and marking him as belonging to, as owned. Owned by someone he chose being owned by, this time--a handler who knows how to handle him, a leader worth following, an alpha who will keep him.

“Bucky, Bucky, Bucky, God, you feel--you feel so good, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, I missed you so much,” his mission rasps raggedly into his shoulder, his throat, his jaw; his mouth is all over the asset, and the asset has no idea why he likes that so much but wants him to never stop doing it.

“I’m good, I’m good,” the asset agrees as he nods frantically, clawing all the more desperately at his mission’s back and the floor underneath his fingers. There’s blood and sweat, there’s broken tile; there’s his mission, and nothing else matters at all. He can smell the mating pheromones all tangled up between them, feeding off each other and revving each other up, burned sugar and simmering spice, sweet and sharp and keeping.

His mission breaks the pace, hips losing their rhythm but only fucking in harder so the asset doesn’t care, it doesn’t matter, it’s all still so much and so good, like he is good. He is good for his mission, he will be so good for him, he will be everything he wants.

His mission comes in him with a grunt, a rough little noise that sounds more pained than anything, and the asset whines for it, half-collapsing against the floor even with his own cock hard and greedy between them again. It doesn’t matter; what matters is keeping his legs wrapped tight around his mission’s waist and clenching up around him like alphas like, what matters is his mission’s come slicking and soaking him up, making his last few thrusts squelch with how much he’s given him. The asset trails off into senseless whimpering, needy and greedy but still so glad; his mission could’ve pulled out and come on his thighs or stomach or any of the dozen other places that alphas who didn’t think he was worth breeding have, but he didn’t, his mission didn’t, his mission called him “good” and filled him up.

It’ll take this time, he tells himself, vaguely aware that his left hand has ended up on his stomach somewhere in there but not quite sure how. But he knows it’ll take, not like with the alphas who did knot him proper but never managed to breed him. They weren’t his alpha; they don’t count. So it’ll take this time, he’ll get fat and healthy and dig out a den, make a place for his mission’s pups to be born and a place for his mission to come in and fill him up again whenever he wants--he’ll never leave that den again, if that’s what his mission wants.

He might even rather not, if it was up to just him. A warm place with well-hidden weapons and a belly full of his mission’s pups and his mission coming in whenever he liked--there are worse ways to be decommissioned. And it would feel good, being someplace like that.

He wonders if that’s the end of the line.

His mission moans against his shoulder, hot and high-pitched, and the asset’s blurred mind clears, just a little. His mission hasn’t knotted, he realizes with vague confusion, frowning. He didn’t go soft, he’s still big and thick inside him, but the rest of the telltale pressure and pain isn’t there. He shifts uncertainly, fingers curling against his stomach and his mission’s shoulder, and his mission makes a ragged whining noise and pushes in closer to him.

He smells . . . different.

“Sorry,” his mission murmurs shakily, rubbing his face in against the corner of his jaw. The asset wonders if he will kiss him again, and also why he would ever apologize for coming in him--for anything that might breed him.

“Don’t be. It means I’ll give you pups,” he says, flattening his palm against his stomach as he cranes his neck to push his nose into his mission’s pulse, and his mission trembles. “You’ll like that, right?”

“Yes,” his mission whispers, crack-voiced and barely loud enough for normal human hearing to catch, and something in the asset thrills to hear it. He buries his face tight against his mission’s neck and clenches around him and his mission chokes and jerks back into him, and the asset breathes in. There’s the faintest trace of the familiar sweetness, but something heavier overlays it and fills his senses, sticky and strange, not completely unfamiliar but . . . but.

It feels different. He feels different. He’s not sure what that means.

“Bucky, I’m . . . I need . . .” his mission trails off helplessly, his hands catching restlessly at the asset’s body but not finding a place to grip or settle. The asset doesn’t listen--that stickystrange scent is filling up his head and taking up his thoughts and making it hard to concentrate on anything else. He wants . . . he feels restless and overheated and he wants to move, but his mission already came and he’s not supposed to. He has to--he has to stay still.

“You smell different,” the asset manages, dropping his wrong hand to dig his fingers into the floor again. It cracks and the wood underneath the tile splinters and sticks in the joints of his fingers, and he screws his eyes shut and starts breathing in shallow little pants, because that scent is making him want to clench down and squirm on his mission’s dick. He’s already all filled up with cock and come but he wants more.

“My heat,” his mission grits out on a hard shudder, the muscles of his back like metal ropes under the asset’s right hand. His mission rolls his hips forward stutteringly and the asset whimpers at the wet drag of his cock inside his body, and then gets a full lungful of his scent and growls. This time his mission’s the one who whimpers.

“You’re sticky,” the asset grunts, dazed and burning. It’s the best word--sticky. His mission’s scent is sticking in his nose and throat, heavy and sweet and caramel-dark, and it’s making him shake.

He wants to move. He needs to. He wants to and needs to and can’t, it’s not--it’s not allowed. His mission’s supposed to come and he’s supposed to be good, clench down and stay still, be . . . be . . .

Fuck. Fuck.

“Please,” the asset chokes uselessly, fingers raking thick furrows across the floor and thin ones down his mission’s back. His mission whimpers, harsh little kittenish noises falling out of the back of his throat, and the asset’s stomach gets hotter and tighter and his cock is so hard it hurts. He jerks his hand out of the floor and shakes out the splinters roughly, giving all his individual finger plates a quick flex to make sure they’re clear of debris before--before what, he doesn’t even know what, it’s just--it’s just--

“Bucky,” his mission breathes, lifting his trembling head and looking down at him with heavy, hooded eyes that make the asset want to bare his throat and rip him in half and kill a hundred men. The room is laboratory-bright and his mission is shaking and shaken, is flush-faced and frantic, is looking nothing like he did under the water and is the best thing that the asset has ever been touched by.

He doesn’t know what to do. His heart is jackrabbit-fast in his chest, his breathing is ragged and cracked, his eyes won’t settle anywhere he tries to make them, he’s malfunctioning and breaking down and falling completely apart, and--

“It’s okay,” his mission says quietly, reaching between them and wrapping his fingers around the asset’s cock.

The asset’s knot.

The asset’s mind goes blank and bright, nothing but that point of contact mattering anymore. His mission squeezes gently, an omega’s wordless invitation and the softest increase in pressure from hands that could tear a human being apart like tissue paper but just--don’t. The asset chokes.

And growls. His mission’s pupils dilate, and he shifts back just enough to slip out. The asset keens at the loss and tightens up reflexively to keep the other’s come in him, and his mission breathes out and smells like--like--not burned sugar, not anymore. Dark and stickysweet, dark and strong, clinging caramel-warm and so thick and heavy in the air that the asset can taste him from here.

“Alpha, alpha,” he gasps urgently, instinct shoving up him into the other and shoving him over like before. His mission hits his back with a whining little keen of his own and the asset’s teeth snap purposelessly at the air, expecting resistance that he knows isn’t there. He thinks he’s supposed to climb on top again, take his mission inside him again, and maybe this time it’ll work right, he’ll knot and they’ll lock and. And.


“Alpha,” his mission whimpers back, low and dizzysweet, and the asset’s fingers crack the floor again as he stares at the body beneath him, the body that something in him suddenly wants to do strange and all-wrong things to. He. He’s supposed to. He’s supposed. “Alpha, please, I don’t--alpha, I want you.”

“Me,” the asset rasps numbly, still staring. His mission makes a pained, aching noise and pushes himself up. The asset skitters back reflexively, close to panic, and his mission makes an even worse noise and then just rolls onto his stomach, burying his face in his arms with a strangled half-sob and tilting his hips up like--like--

Like he’s presenting. Like he’s . . . like he wants . . .

“Buck, please,” his mission pleads into the floor, shaking again or maybe just still, and the asset can’t think at all. There’s slick between his mission’s legs, warm and wet and shining in the sharp laboratory light, and the asset’s right hand is shaking and his mouth is watering and his cock hurts. Every scrap of air in the room is caramel-dark and killing, and he can’t think. Can’t concentrate.

He growls. He doesn’t mean to, it just--happens. He growls, and his mission jerks against the floor and slick drips out of him and--and--

“Alpha,” the asset snarls deep in his chest as he throws himself at his mission. He grabs onto him too hard but his mission moans and immediately moves back into the grip like he likes it, like it’s fine, like it’s--

The asset doesn’t think anymore. It’s stopped working, and he was never good at it anyway. He sinks his teeth into the back of his mission’s neck like an alpha staking a claim and his mission wails underneath him the loudest he’s been this whole time, louder than he was when the asset was trying to kill him.

“Alpha,” he hisses into the other’s skin, and the rest isn’t even hard, it’s as if he’s done it like this a thousand times instead of absolutely never. He digs his right fingers into his mission’s hip and his teeth into his mission’s neck and it’s like his cock just finds him, only dragging against his hole for a moment before slotting right in. His mission makes a sound that a dying person wouldn’t and the asset’s head swims.

It’s not like before. His mission’s already slick, open and aroused and so easy to push into that the asset almost can’t believe it but still so hot and tight that it just might kill him. He snarls into the back of his mission’s neck and his mission whines, squirming underneath him. The asset snarls again and clamps down harder with his teeth, and his mission goes soft and pliant and starts making these needy little breathless sounds that set off fireworks inside the asset’s head.

“Alpha,” he growls, burying his face between the other’s shoulder blades and his cock tight inside him. He remembers how it felt for him, how good it was for him, and desperately wants his mission to feel like that too--not even to be kept, just because his mission should. “You make me feel so good, alpha. Do you like it?”

“Yes, yes, yes,” his mission practically chants, hips jerking back into him. The asset doesn’t even have to try, his half-blown knot slides in just like that, and his mission makes a hoarse sound and shudders all over. The asset’s vision whites out blissfully and he hates this room for the first time, suddenly aware of how badly he wants to be someplace small and dark and warm, a place he can burrow into with his mission and touch him all the time and never let anyone else lay hands on either of them for anything again.

“I like it,” the asset says anyway, rolling his hips forward and making his mission moan. It’s worth it. He wants to thrust harder, but his knot’s already so fat he’s not sure he can. He tries, and his mission moans louder. The knot slides back out much easier than the asset thought it would and his mission tries to clench down on it but he’s so wet and loose that it barely matters, just gives the asset a tighter place to fuck back into. The mission yelps and jerks against the floor and the asset pulls back again just to hear the sounds he makes when the knot pops back out.

“Bucky, god, don’t tease,” his mission groans, his back arching. The asset doesn’t understand the request.

“You’re wet, alpha,” he says, gripping his mission’s shoulder with the right hand and leaning back to watch his knot disappear inside him again. His mission’s entire body is flushed red and covered in sweat, and his mission’s hole looks stretched and sensitive. It makes the asset want to do things he isn’t sure how to put into words. “Nobody’s been wet for me before. Does that mean you want my pups in you? You came in me so much. Do you want me to come in you too?”

“Jesus,” his mission gasps, which the asset thinks is a yes. He pulls back just enough for his knot to stretch his mission’s hole and looks down at it, at how much his mission will take for him, how much of him his mission will take. The sight makes his cock twitch and his knot swell up bigger and his mission’s hole stretch even more, and it’s hard to breathe.

“We could share a den,” the asset murmurs a little softer than he means to. He can’t get anyone pregnant, but he thinks about it anyway: making a den together with his mission and making enough space for them and two litters besides, curling up close with their arms and legs all tangled and full bellies pressed together so the pups could get used to the idea of each other from the start. The mission’s pups would be stronger than his, the asset knows, but his would still be strong. They would do good work.

“Yes. Yeah,” his mission pants, his voice hot and hoarse. He tries to squirm back to take the asset’s knot again; the asset grips his hip to stop him and keeps looking at the stretch of him around it. “Yeah, Bucky, I’ll share a den with you. I want to do that. You gotta knot me first, though, c’mon, alpha, let me have it.”

“I like this,” the asset says, and his mission makes a strangled whining sound and shoves his face into his arms again. The asset drops his hand away from the other’s hip and traces his slick rim with a finger, and his mission shouts.

The asset wants his mission to shout. To feel good. He rubs his thumb gently over his mission’s rim again, soft and slippery with his slick, and his mission yells louder and then clenches down hard. The asset moans, and it takes him a moment to realize, but--

“That made you come?” he murmurs, touching his mission’s rim again, hooking the pad of his thumb under it gently and stretching it just a little more. His mission sobs. The asset’s knot has gotten bigger, but his thumb still slides right in beside it. His mission is so aroused he thinks he could take the whole hand, if he wanted it. And if he’s that aroused that means he wants it, doesn’t it?

The asset’s not sure. His mission is moving and writhing and making desperate, needy sounds that don’t make words, though, and the asset’s thighs are trembling again and as much as he wants to do everything else all he really wants is to bury his knot in the best place it’s ever been, in the best person who’s ever touched him.

So he does. He snaps his hips in tight and gives his mission every inch of him, and his mission yells even louder than he did the last time he came. He actually might’ve orgasmed again, the asset realizes, grinding his hips into the other’s but not trying to pull out enough to thrust again. His knot feels like it’s burning up and his mission’s noises are increasingly erratic and high-pitched and his focus is increasingly shot--he thinks if someone handed him a gun right now he couldn’t shoot, the state he’s in, and that is . . . that is not something he has ever thought before.

Despite that certainty he can’t stop, and he can’t smell anything but his mission’s cloyingly perfect caramel scent and some strange dark spicy thing he doesn’t know. Except no, he does know it. It’s rut. It’s rut, and his mission is only getting louder. He sounds like he’s crying, except his mission doesn’t make a sound when he cries. The asset knows that.

He doesn’t know how he knows that, but he knows he does.

The asset drops down, plants the wrong hand on the floor and covers his mission’s body as completely as he can with the rest of himself--it’s not hard, even though his mission is just that bit bigger than him, because the other curls in underneath him and makes himself smaller and easier to wrap up. Wants covered, the asset realizes as he rocks his hips into his mission’s and bites down on the back of his neck again. If his mission didn’t come again before, he definitely does now, and the sweet shocked sound of his cry and ruthless clutch of his body has sparks going off in the asset’s head and makes him completely forget anything else.

He comes and it hurts, his knot swollen up tight enough to make his vision white out again. His mission sobs and locks hard around him, one hand grabbing at his wrong wrist and gripping tight. The pressure startles the asset even through the punishing rush of orgasm and he tries to freeze up but can’t, the heat and need in his gut too overwhelming to ignore and keeping his hips twitching against his mission’s through the long, maddening aftershocks.

His mission is moaning again and still clutching his wrong wrist. The asset sags down into him in exhaustion and a brief, uncomfortable tangle later they’ve both collapsed on their sides, tied like a proper pair and with the asset’s wrong arm pulled across his mission’s chest. He’d take it back, but it’s his mission who put it there.

It’s very quiet. The asset’s eyes track the entrances and exits, the points of surrounding vulnerability, and although he’s used to being exposed in the center of a room when he’s tied he feels less safe for the lack of restraints and other people. It’s just him and his mission. There isn’t even a weapon.

His arm, except his mission is holding that.

He thinks--he thinks he can relax. His mission is, all sunk down against the floor as he takes slow, steadying breaths, and his mission would know. The asset resists the urge to peer over the other’s shoulder and hides his face in his neck instead, letting him keep his grip on the arm. He’s still overheated, but it’s not a bad thing. He’s functional. Restricted by the knot, but that’s obvious. It’s not a problem--the only person he might have to kill is his mission, and he never would, so it doesn’t matter if he’s an easy target or not.

His mission is going to keep him, and his mission is his alpha. If he’s obsolete and going to be decommissioned it won’t be a bullet, it’ll be for breeding. He assumes if it didn’t take this time he’ll be used for field operations until their next cycle, and in the meantime he’d have extra time to scout out a den and learn what his mission expects from him. Reconnaissance, he tells himself. No objective should be approached without it.

“Was it good?” he asks with that in mind. His mission lets out a disbelieving little laugh and shakes his head, and the asset tenses reflexively, automatic panic rising up in--

“So much better than good,” his mission says, and relief hits the asset like a car crash with a perfectly-cut brake line. He buries himself tighter against his mission’s back and his mission makes a few soft, heated little noises and shifts to make them more comfortable. The asset licks the back of his neck, because it makes sense to, and his mission makes those noises again and then starts purring.

It’s good, the asset thinks.

“You’ll keep me,” he says.

“I’m always gonna keep you, Bucky,” his mission replies quietly, squeezing his wrist as if the gesture registers as anything more than pressure against the plates. His accent is different when he talks to the asset than when he talks to other people, if only just barely, but it’s the most different when he says “Bucky”. The asset mostly knows the reasons, but at the same time those reasons don’t make much sense to him.

“Yes,” the asset says anyway, because that’s not what matters. “Keep me. I want that.”

“Always,” his mission says again, and the asset sighs and shifts his wrong hand to lace its fingers through his mission’s. He squeezes, and his mission squeezes back. He remembers the water and doesn’t remember the train, remembers jumping but not falling, and every promise his mission has made since he came and found him. He kisses the back of his mission’s shoulder, and his mission purrs.

He doesn’t want to sleep yet.