Tony woke up feeling smothered.
It took him a second to realize that he literally was, lying on a couch he didn't recognize under what looked like an army's worth of blankets. A fire was crackling only a few feet away from him and just as he thought he might be dreaming still the couch dipped at his side and a warm bowl was pushed into his hands.
“You need to eat.”
Tony frowned, blinking sluggishly at Bucky, his vision still a little blurred. “F'ck off. I just woke up.” His tongue felt weirdly thick in his mouth and Tony noticed with a start that his teeth were chattering even though he was sweating buckets under all that fabric.
Holy fuck, he was cold.
“It'll warm you up,” Bucky said gruffly and Tony made a valiant effort to roll his eyes even though he wasn't quite sure he succeeded.
“Where is everyone?”
“Gone.” Bucky sighed when Tony stiffened in alarm. “They're fine. We're the ones in trouble.”
“What kind of trouble?” Tony asked and Bucky's face hardened.
“I'll take care of it.”
“Not an answer.” Bucky grimaced as he got back to his feet, walking towards the other side of the room. Tony frowned. “You didn't leave my suit out there, did you?” he asked and Bucky glared at him.
“I got your goddamn suit. Now eat your soup!”
“Okay, fuck, fine.” Tony mulishly spooned up some murky looking broth. “This looks terrible.”
He twitched when something heavy came down on his shoulders, turning his head to see that it was... yet another blanket. Jesus Christ.
“Could you stop that? I'm warm enough.”
“Your hands are shaking,” Bucky pointed out and Tony clenched the spoon tighter in his fist –
Only to spill soup down his front.
“Fuck,” he said heartily, glaring at Bucky when he moved forward to help. “Stop. I got it.”
“Let me get you a towel,” Bucky said, already marching into the kitchen before Tony could protest. Fucking asshole.
“I don't need a towel!” he called out anyway, dabbing at the wet spot with one of the many blankets. His vision was still blurry, his whole body aching with the cold, and he hated how vulnerable it made him feel underneath all of his bravado. Deep down he knew he was being an asshole but he'd never dealt well with being around people when his defenses were down. Especially alphas.
He ignored Bucky when he came back, trying for another spoonful of soup, but his hands, which admittedly were shaking, made it difficult to hold it steady.
“Need help?” Bucky asked and Tony bristled.
“No! Fuck off!”
Bucky didn't answer which was probably for the best. But him just standing there watching got under Tony's skin just as fast.
“Can I help you?” he asked pointedly but instead of going away Bucky stepped forward, sitting down next to him on the couch and taking the soup out of his hand. “What the –“
Tony froze, mouth snapping shut when Bucky held the full spoon up to his mouth. He was only startled for a second before anger took over.
Bucky frowned. “Tony –“
“No. Fuck that! And fuck you, do you think I'm some kind of invalid just because I –“
The hint of alpha aggression made him shut up immediately. Only for the rage to flare even brighter once his mind cleared. He was about to tell Bucky exactly where he could stick his posturing when Bucky suddenly flinched, his face twisting with regret.
“Fuck, I – I'm sorry, Tony, I didn't mean... just –“ He took an unsteady breath and Tony noticed all of a sudden that Bucky's hands were trembling too. “Just let me do this for you. Please.”
Tony looked up at him, taking in his almost sickly pale face, his slightly too wide eyes, the sweat on the back of his neck. He knew an alpha in distress when he saw one.
“I can take care of myself,” Tony said and Bucky's mouth pulled into a tight frown.
“I know you – I do know that.”
But I still need to, went unsaid between them and Tony was suddenly reminded of the time right after Afghanistan, when Rhodey had waited on him hand and foot, growling at anyone who came within reach. He knew he was pumping out the same kind of omega-in-distress pheromones right now and the way Bucky was acting was involuntary, wired into his DNA.
Tony hated that it was. But knowing what he did... he couldn't really fault Bucky for his behavior.
He sighed, leaning back against the pillows. “Okay, fine. Do what you have to.”
Bucky blinked, obviously startled, before he smiled tentatively. “You'll let me take care of you?”
Fuck, that sounded... Tony didn't want to think about how that sounded. “Yeah, sure.”
Bucky's eyes lit up as he spooned up some soup, but Tony held up a hand.
“Okay, no. I draw the line there.”
Bucky frowned. “You still need to eat.”
“I'll do that when I can do it with my own two hands, thank you,” Tony said and Bucky nodded, his face going carefully blank and – ah fuck, Tony couldn't deal with those fucking eyes. He dropped his head against the couch and sighed. “Okay, fine. Don't you dare spill soup on me.”
“More than you already have, you mean?” Bucky asked with a tiny smile and Tony had just opened his mouth to give him a piece of his mind when Bucky stuffed it with the spoon instead. “There you go. Don't forget to swallow.”
Tony wrinkled his nose as he tried to keep down that abomination of a soup. The texture was actual dog shit but at least it tasted okay. “Keep sassing me and you'll lose your feeding privileges, Barnes.”
Bucky immediately shut up, feeding Tony another spoonful with a concentrated look on his face. Tony tried to ignore that tiny voice in his brain, the one that purred every time he felt well taken care of, that longed to be held and praised and coddled –
Tony had a lot of practice ignoring that voice. But somehow, here in isolation with an attentive alpha, he found it a lot harder than usual. It didn't help that Bucky smelled like warmth and safety and protection and Tony knew it was just the pheromones clouding his mind but he couldn't help the way he kept taking deep breaths to get more of that good shit up his nose.
“We're gonna get snowed in,” Bucky suddenly said, pulling him from his thoughts. “I tried to send a signal to the other Avengers but I'm not sure it went through.”
Tony swallowed another mouthful of soup before he spoke. “I can get out a signal. Give me twenty minutes with the armo–“
Tony frowned at the interruption but Bucky's face was utterly uncompromising.
“You'll rest first. Everything else can come later.”
Tony rolled his eyes a lot more successfully this time. “I could take the armor apart in my sleep.”
“You can't even hold a spoon right now. You'll go to sleep and that's it.”
Tony scoffed. “Okay, mom.”
To his chagrin Bucky didn't rise to the bait, just kept stoically feeding him the soup. Tony had to admit that having something warm in his stomach helped immensely with the cold that still sat deep in his bones, lingering a lot longer than he was used to. He must've been out in the snow for quite a while before they found this cabin.
...How did they find it anyway? Bucky must've known it was here, or known it was close, otherwise he would've had to – he would've –
“You carried me,” Tony suddenly realized. “I passed out and you carried me here.”
Bucky averted his eyes, putting down the now empty bowl on a nearby table. He didn't answer.
“How far?” Tony asked and Bucky's face twisted before it smoothed back out.
Bucky frowned, eyes firmly fixed on the floor. “A couple miles.”
“How many miles?”
“Does it matter?” Bucky asked irritably. “I carried you until I found a cabin. That's all you need to know.”
Oh, Tony fucking hated not knowing things. He looked out the window and tried to think back to how the sky had looked when he'd last seen it –
Well. It hadn't been night, that was for sure.
“You carried me for hours,” Tony said and the fact that Bucky didn't deny it told him everything he needed to know. He tried to imagine it, Bucky lugging the armor through the snow, tearing his hands open on the freezing metal. Or maybe he'd pried Tony out of it first, cradling him in his arms as Tony slept on, lips and fingers turning blue. Maybe Bucky had looked at his arc reactor every now and then, just to check if the light was still on...
It must've been terrifying.
Bucky blinked, clearly just as surprised as Tony by what he'd just said. He didn't know why he hadn't said it earlier, but – “Seriously, thank you. I'd probably be dead without you.”
Bucky grimaced, not saying anything.
“No, really, I owe you one,” Tony hummed, closing his eyes as he leaned back against the couch. “Just say the word, I'll get you whatever you want. Maybe a car. No, screw that, I'll buy you a fucking private jet –“
“I don't want your money, Stark,” Bucky snapped and Tony closed his mouth, a frown tugging at his lips.
“Okay? You want upgrades? Or maybe –“
“I didn't save your life to ask for shit,” Bucky shouted and Tony flinched back, honestly dumbfounded. That wasn't what he'd implied, was it? He just wanted to return the favor somehow.
“So there's nothing you want from me?”
Bucky looked up at him and something in his eyes made Tony's heart beat faster. “You want to do something for me?”
Tony swallowed hard. If this was going where he thought it was going... “That would be why I offered, yes.”
Bucky mustered him for a second longer before he pointed at the bed. “I want you to lie down. And sleep.”
Oh. Well, that was disappointing.
“You said whatever I want,” Bucky repeated with a tiny smirk on his face, obviously sensing Tony's reluctance. Tony clucked his tongue.
“I did say that.” He grabbed his blanket burrito and stood up with as much dignity as he could. Which was a lot. Tony rocked this burrito and Bucky knew it. “I'm a man of my word.”
“Well, by all means.”
Tony kept his head high as he did an undignified little waddle over to the bed and plopped down on top of it, breathing heavily. Damn, if that bit of movement was enough to exhaust him he was probably worse off than he'd thought.
He startled when a cool hand suddenly touched his neck, but Bucky withdrew it a second later.
“Your blankets are wet. Give them here.”
Tony really wanted to make a quip about wet spots on blankets but he was too tired to come up with one on the spot. Which spoke volumes about how shitty he felt.
Instead he wordlessly unwrapped the blankets, letting Bucky help him get out of the nest. As soon as the cold air hit his skin he started shivering violently and Bucky picked two of the only slightly damp blankets out of the pile to wrap them back around him. They didn't help much.
“M-maybe closer to the f-fire?” Tony got out through his chattering teeth and Bucky immediately pushed the bed across the room, Tony and all. Tony probably would've been more impressed if he wasn't so goddamn cold.
As soon as Bucky stopped Tony shuffled to the edge of the bed, holding out his hands to warm them up. But that left his chest feeling cold so he curled in on himself, glaring up at Bucky's concerned face. “What?”
Bucky watched him for a second longer before he sighed and started pulling off his clothes. Tony blinked. “Uh. N-not that I'm complaining, but why are you –“
His mouth snapped shut when Bucky laid down behind him, arms threading through Tony's to wrap around his chest and pull him close. Tony wanted to protest but then his body registered just how warm Bucky was, his skin burning like a furnace against Tony's back, and Tony couldn't help the way he melted into his hold from sheer relief.
His front was slowly warming up too and with the growing feeling of comfort Tony started to realize just how close he and Bucky were like this, closer than they'd ever been before. His shoulders stiffened involuntarily and Bucky seemed to notice, his head coming to rest against Tony's as he shuffled closer.
“I used to do this for Steve,” Bucky said quietly and Tony shivered at the feeling of hot air on his neck. “He got cold all the time when we were young. It helped us both I think.”
Tony knew Bucky was just trying to make him feel better by painting this as no big deal, but – “I never do this.”
Bucky's hold loosened reluctantly. “If you –“
“No, it's fine,” Tony said quickly, feeling something too much like relief when Bucky's grip on him tightened again. “I kind of –“ like it. Yeah, Bucky probably didn't need to know that. Where the hell had that even come from?
Bucky seemed to know what he meant anyway because he pulled Tony even closer until they were practically molded into each other, fitting together like puzzle pieces. Tony tried not to dwell on it too much. Bucky had said it himself, he'd done this with Steve thousands of times, it didn't mean anything –
“Thank you,” Bucky whispered, his relief obvious in his voice, and Tony swallowed hard, patting the arm that was wrapped around his waist.
“No, thank you.” Tony shifted on the bed. "I'm sorry for being an ass. I know you just want to help."
Bucky hummed. "It's okay."
It wasn't. But Tony wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth.
Either way he was far too aware of Bucky's... everything to go to sleep anytime soon, but he did manage to relax, sinking deeper into the mattress. Bucky's lips on his neck made him shiver pleasantly, stirring a heat in his gut that had nothing to do with temperature –
“There you go,” Bucky rumbled right in his ear, voice thick with sleep and – ah fuck, this was so unfair.
“You're gonna have to stop that,” Tony said grumpily and Bucky froze.
“Your mouth's on my neck.” Tony tilted his head to illustrate the point. “Any more of that and my body's gonna get the wrong idea.”
“Oh. Oh!” Bucky pulled back quickly, his voice heavy with embarrassment. “Sorry.”
Tony hummed, snuggling further into the blankets as he closed his eyes. He probably wouldn't get any sleep, but if he could just rest his eyes a little –
He frowned, shifting his hips when Bucky kept wiggling behind him, his arms suddenly – Tony almost wanted to say restless. He gave Bucky a few moments to get comfortable but when he kept squirming around Tony huffed. “We gonna sleep or what?”
Bucky stopped immediately. “Sorry. I just...“
“What?” Tony asked as Bucky trailed off, his brow furrowing in annoyance when Bucky squirmed behind him again. He'd gotten enough distance between them now that Tony's back felt cold and Tony shuffled backwards to remedy that fact. “Barnes, I swear to –“
“Oh,” Tony said and he could practically feel the embarrassment radiating off Bucky as Tony's ass made contact with his apparently hard cock. “Oh. Okay.”
“I'm sorry,” Bucky said miserably. “You said – it made me think –“
“Well, that would be one way to get warm,” Tony said unthinkingly, freezing a moment later when Bucky stiffened against him. “Uh. I mean...”
“Tony?” Bucky asked and Tony didn't think he was imagining the note of – something in his voice.
“I –“ He didn't really know what to say but thankfully Bucky took the initiative, tugging Tony back against him, his grip lax as if he was expecting Tony to pull away. Tony didn't.
“Is the offer still open? To get something I want from you?” Bucky asked, his low voice sending shivers down Tony's spine. Part of Tony couldn't believe this was happening but a much bigger part was just focused on how fucking big Bucky's cock felt pressed against his ass. He'd always suspected but feeling it even through two layers of fabric was something else entirely.
“What if it is?” he asked quietly and instead of an answer Bucky breathed out heavily against his neck, tucking his head against Tony's. His lips grazed the sensitive spot just behind Tony's ear and Tony shivered almost violently. “Fuck. Bucky –“
He felt Bucky's moan more than he heard it as Bucky's hand trailed down Tony's front to run across his stomach, rubbing circles into his skin that made his muscles clench. Bucky's scent was heavy in the air and when Bucky nuzzled at his bonding gland again he could smell his own pheromones mingling with his, pulling a groan from both of them. This was so much more intimate than Tony had even thought he would get with Bucky but somehow, here in their little cabin, it made absolute sense, as if they'd always been headed that way.
Maybe they had.
“You're gonna fuck me, right?” Tony asked breathlessly, twitching when Bucky's arms clenched around him, his grip deliciously tight. “Oh fuck, you better fuck me or I swear to god –“
“Yeah,” Bucky panted and Tony had the fleeting thought that this was happening way too fast, but then Bucky had a hand on his cock and Tony stopped thinking altogether.
The slick that gathered between his legs felt almost unbearably hot on his chilly skin and he shuddered when Bucky pulled his pants down, dipping his fingers between his asscheeks. They both moaned when Bucky pushed inside, two fingers sliding in easily.
“Not one for foreplay, are you?” Tony asked teasingly and Bucky nuzzled the back of his neck.
“Gotta warm you up quickly, right?”
Tony chuckled as Bucky pulled his fingers out, reaching up to rub at Tony's nipples instead, the glide deliciously smooth. Tony groaned, squirming when the hand on his cock moved up to join the other. “Fuck, that wasn't – I didn't mean stop, Barnes.”
“No, you're right.” Tony could hear the grin in his voice, the bastard. “I should take my time with yo–“
Bucky choked and Tony smirked triumphantly, tightening his hand around Bucky's cock. It was a little uncomfortable to rub it behind his back like this but hopefully he wouldn't have to do it long.
“Come on. Just fuck me, you know you want to.”
“You're a fucking menace,” Bucky growled right in his ear but immediately followed Tony's command, gently pushing Tony's hand away so he could pull his cock out of his pants and line up. Tony's stomach burned with anticipation as Bucky rubbed the tip of his cock over his hole, just shy of pushing in. He felt almost achingly hard and Tony's cock throbbed in sympathy, his thighs twitching when Bucky finally pushed in, stopping after barely an inch.
“Come on,” he groaned and Bucky shushed him, slowly rocking back and forth, going a little further each time. It seemed to take forever but eventually Bucky's hips were flush against his ass, both of them breathing heavily from the strain of holding back.
“You feel amazing,” Bucky said quietly and Tony had heard that exact sentence so many times from so many different lips, but somehow... Bucky still made it sound special.
“Gonna feel even better,” Tony said, pushing back against him in a way that made Bucky hiss. He smiled. “Just fuck me already.”
“You're impatient, you know that?” Bucky asked, but still gripped Tony's hips to guide him into a slow rhythm. Tony hummed happily, the slide of Bucky's cock inside him fanning the heat low in his gut.
“It's been mentioned once or twice.”
Bucky chuckled and Tony closed his eyes to enjoy the ride as Bucky quickly picked up speed, his arms a welcome weight around Tony's chest. He felt weirdly... safe, like this. Maybe it was the fact that Bucky was still pumping out protective pheromones but honestly Tony thought it was just Bucky. For all that they hadn't really found their happy medium yet Tony knew that Bucky was fiercely protective of the ones he loved and by some dumb luck Tony was included in the small circle that Bucky's loyalty extended to. He knew how lucky he was in that regard.
Tony was getting luckier by the second.
“Oh fuck, right – yeah,” he groaned when Bucky angled his cock just right, fucking him deep and grazing Tony's prostate on every other stroke. “Oh fuck – you're gonna take care of me, right?”
He knew as he said it that it was exactly what Bucky wanted to hear. Just as well that it was the truth.
Bucky's hips stuttered and Tony could feel him tremble from head to toe before he suddenly hoisted Tony's ass higher and – oh, fuck –
“Gonna fill you up,” Bucky growled and Tony's mouth dropped open on a groan when Bucky fucked him even deeper, so fast that it took Tony's breath away. “Give you what you need. You're gonna be warm all over when I'm done with you.”
Tony spasmed when Bucky's lips grazed his swollen scent gland, closing over it with just a hint of teeth, and his blood sang with the threat, his heart suddenly pounding in his ears –
“Bite me,” he gasped and Bucky grunted when Tony clenched around him, desperate to make him go faster – “Oh fuck, I'm gonna come, just –“
He swore he whited out for a second as Bucky's teeth sank into his neck. He didn't break skin but even so the hormone rush made Tony's whole body light up, pleasure zinging through him like tiny electro shocks. Orgasm snuck up on him with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer, his cock throbbing as he spilled all over the bed in front of him, bearing down on Bucky's dick with every pulse. He distantly felt it when Bucky came inside him, spilling back out over Tony's thighs as they both rode through it, clutching each other like a lifeline.
They stayed like that through the afterglow, only interrupted for a moment when Bucky pulled out and cleaned them up haphazardly, throwing the dirty blanket on the floor afterwards. Not that they needed it in the light of the fireplace, snuggled together so tightly that Tony could feel Bucky's heartbeat against his back.
“Well,” Tony said once he'd caught his breath. “I'm definitely not cold anymore.”
Bucky stiffened behind him and Tony realized how that sounded only when Bucky tried to pull away –
“Which isn't to say – I mean, I would – like. If you stayed. In bed. With me.” Jesus Christ, Tony was so much smoother than this.
“Oh.” Bucky seemed to hesitate for a moment before he lay down again, pulling Tony back into his arms. Tony hummed, happily snuggling down into his embrace, which – yeah, he would probably be embarrassed later by how easily Bucky brought out his mushy side, but right now, in this moment, Tony didn't give a shit.
He was already drifting off when Bucky suddenly sighed, his arms tightening around Tony.
“I'm sorry,” Bucky said quietly. “I feel like I took advantage.”
Tony jerked awake all at once, turning his head to glare at Bucky. “What the fuck, Barnes? We're two consenting adults. No one took advantage here.”
There was a miserable little furrow right between Bucky's eyebrows. Tony hated it. “But... I mean, I kind of pushed you to let me –“
“You think I can't make my own choices?” Tony asked coolly and Bucky swallowed heavily.
“Of course you can.”
“Good. Then there's no problem,” Tony said firmly. “I wanted this just as much as you did. I promise.”
Bucky took a shaky breath. “Okay.”
“Okay.” Tony snuggled down into the sheets, pulling Bucky's arms tighter around himself. “Now cuddle me. I'm cold.”
Bucky chuckled weakly, but Tony could feel a genuine smile on Bucky's lips when they pressed against his neck. “Good night, Tony.”
The way Bucky said his name made warmth bloom in his chest. It should've been terrifying but somehow Tony was completely calm, secure in the knowledge that wherever this took them he would gladly follow.
He had a feeling Bucky was worth the risk.