Chapter 7: Sweet Dreams
Bucky dreams a dream, while in the waking world they continue to embark on a serious case of adorably reluctant domesticity.
My first time really writing anything ‘Stucky’ for this fic, nervous you guys! Eek!
The tent was dimly lit, and the rain hadn’t stop for as much as a minute since they had returned. Steve was being debriefed, and debriefed some more; Bucky had stubbornly refused any extensive medical treatment, reassuring the doctors and nurses that a wash and some bandages and a square meal would do just fine. He was tired, sure, but he knew he should have been dead on his feet, after being able to walk for days on end on nothing but water and whatever they caught between the prison and base-camp. He knew he should be weak and sickly, but instead he just felt as if there was fire beneath his skin and electric currents rushing through his body. He couldn’t sit still if he was being paid to, never mind stay still long enough to sleep.
“Hey, the guys have a poker game starting up across the way. They sent me to see where you went,” Steve said as he popped his head into the tent, then opened the zip the whole way and stepped inside. His presence swallowed the space now and it stole the breath from Bucky’s lungs. He had had a few days to get used to this new Steve, to see him up close, to see that it was still Steve, but not? That he could walk in step with Bucky now without getting breathless, he could see, breathe, run, and it was amazing and terrifying all at once.
“I’m not much in the mood for it tonight. You go though, I’m good here.”
Steve shook his head, instead shrugging off his wet jacket and sitting on the rolled out bed.
“Nah, I’m good here too. Unless … I mean, unless you want me to–” Steve motioned outside, as if he’d want him to go. Bucky had gone more than a year without seeing him and he thought he’d die alone on that table; no he really didn’t want Steve going anywhere.
“Stay. I don’t mind,” he said, trying to stay calm when he was all but jumping out of his skin with fear with the unknown. “Or I mean … you should go find Agent Carter, have a nice chat, maybe some tea. Isn’t that what the Brits do, chat over tea?” He hated tea, tasted like dirty dishwater you asked him, give him coffee any day. The worst coffee was better than the best tea in his opinion.
Steve blushed, and to be honest it was a reassuring reaction, even over six foot and a hundred pounds more Steve was still a clueless fool when it came to women. He scratched his ear before he spoke.
“No uh … she’s um … she’s in a meeting I think, I’m not sure.”
“You know what I’m sure of? That woman wanted to eat you alive when you marched us back up in here. I’m surprised you haven’t taken her up on whatever she’s been offerin’.”
That got him the ‘annoyed brows,’ but he ignored them and continued to sharpen his knives. It was an oddly soothing exercise.
“She hasn’t been offering me anything, Bucky.”
Bucky gave him an incredulous look, because please. Peggy Carter was no one’s fool, and to pass up Steve all packed up as he was now, it would be just plain stupid.
“Well then maybe it’s about time you offered her a little something.” He wriggled his brows then, attempting to be light hearted about it, and failing.
“What’s up with you?” Steve snapped, clearly taking the bait as always, but Bucky found himself too tried to argue.
“Nothin’ Stevie, nothing at all. I’m just being … well … me.”
“No, you’re being odd. You’ve been odd since we got back. You sick or something? I told you, let the doctors–”
“NO,” he yelled before he took a breath. “No more doctors, Steve.”
Steve held up his hands then, this time standing up and taking a step toward Bucky.
“Hey … okay. I’m sorry. Okay? No more doctors.”
Steve looked him over, up and down once, then once again.
“There’s something you’re not tellin’ me, I know it.”
“I’m fine,” he all but barked out, hoping if he said it enough it would come true.
“You know I was always the bad liar, but man you stink at it too.”
Bucky just rolled his eyes, putting the last of his clothes in his bag. They were shipping out to London the next morning and he was more than ready for some hard earned leave.
Steve grabbed his hand, then the other just held him in place. He wanted to flinch away, he wanted to move back. The last time Steve touched him it was to get him off the table back in that place. And the last time before that … had been the night before he shipped out. It had been so different to how he’s been touched by anyone since, it was sweet and loving and careful and true. Everything since was war and rough and pain and terror.
He closed the space between them, taking a deep breath as he always did before he did what came next.
“Can I?” Steve whispered and Bucky just cocked a brow, as if he needed to ask.
Instead of having to stand on his tip-toes, he bowed his head a little, wetting his lips and pressing them softly to Bucky’s.
Bucky didn’t respond right away but that wasn’t unusual, not for either of them. The nerves were there, every time. It didn’t matter how many times they had done this or been together more intimately, the nerves stayed.
So Steve did it again, this time kissing him proper, and he slowly responded as Steve slid his hands up his neck, past his jaw and into his hair as his warm tongue softly explored his mouth. God, he missed him, he loved him, and he was relieved to have him in his arms again. His kisses were indulgent, but urgent, longing but sure, and as always with them it shouldn’t work as well as it did, but goddamn did it work.
Bucky moaned when Steve twisted his hair near the base of his neck, allowing Steve’s tongue to slip in and taste again. Bucky knew he tasted like the mint candies that Rollins had saved up, and the weak coffee they were all surviving on. But Steve, he tasted like salvation. He got him back after trying to forbid himself from thinking the worst on that table with that evil little man and his torture devices. To be back in his arms was such a relief.
Bucky took the lead as he always did, pushing his body flush up against Steve’s, but this time Steve was bigger. He didn’t have to be so careful and Steve was thrilled, thrilled more so when they grinded up against each other, both letting loose small moans of pleasure, breaking their kisses only to breathe and only when absolutely necessary.
“It’s okay … it’s okay … We can.” He smiled before opening his eyes, like it was so simple. They were together, so of course they would be together.
With that, something seemed to snap Bucky from his aroused stupor. He let go of Steve’s shoulders and stepped back. The cold in his distance from Steve was unbearable.
“No … I …” he shook his head, stepping back further. “Are you nuts? Come on, this is insane, we can’t … not like this.”
Like this, Steve thought, and instantly he thought he knew Bucky’s reasons.
“Oh,” he whispered, softly.
“Right? I mean come on … it can’t happen. Not like this, not here.”
Steve’s ears were burning and Bucky was pretty sure the rest of him was too, he felt the familiar tightness in his chest but he knew it now that had nothing to do with his injuries.
He was panicking; they were both silently panicking.
“Right, no of course not. Silly of me to think … to … yeah, I um, I should go.”
Bucky looked as confused then as he was sure Steve felt.
“Wait, Steve what … Don’t go okay? Stay.”
“No, I uh, I have to pack too. We’re out of here at zero six hundred hours so … Yeah. Night Buck.” With that he all but bolted the tent, leaving Bucky feeling like the world’s biggest idiot.
It took him until lights out and a good bit after to work up the nerve to cross the clearing to the quarters of the higher ups. Phillips, his underlings, Agent Carter, and of course Captain Goddamn America. As much as Steve had protested the special treatment, it would have been overtly rude to outright refuse the room, or what was really a cell with a proper bed and a locker with a lamp and not much else besides. Either way it was roses compared to the tents in the rain.
Fucking bugs everywhere.
He knocked once, knowing it was enough, knowing that quietly did it because hey, why take chances right? Steve opened it right away, standing there in his long blue underwear and nothing else. It was the first time Bucky had gotten a look at what they’d turned his smaller friend into, and Jesus, it went straight to his dick.
He didn’t say anything, and neither did Steve. Thankfully it gave him the in he needed to just grab Steve’s face and kiss him as if his life depended on it, and sometimes it felt like it just might.
It was rushed and rough, but everything neither could say with words in the moment.
I love you, I need you, you’re an idiot but god do I love you more than I thought possible, I’m glad you’re alive, I need you alive.
You know, the usual between two guys in a war.
“Shh, no, don’t logic me out of this just shut up and kiss me okay?” he pushed him back, once, twice, until Steve’s legs hit the bed and he went down softly, pulling Bucky with him. And they stayed like that for a time, just kissing, necking and grinding on each other like it was a drunken night back in Brooklyn.
“Lemme look at you, what the hell did they do to you?”
Steve was blushing, he looked like that and he was still blushing. Christ what was he going to do with that kid?
“I didn’t think you liked … it … me. Now. I mean not that you’re shallow or anything because hell I know that better than anyone you wanted me when no one wanted–”
“Hey, you stop that talk you hear me, wasn’t your fault people are fucking idiots and I’m done telling you that.”
Steve rolled his eyes, “Anyway, yeah. They uh, changed a lot … I guess. Height, weight, muscle mass, all my ailments are gone, and I can breathe Buck. First time in … Hell, first time ever. I came out of that machine and there was air and my lungs felt so huge and powerful…” his friend was smiling, beaming even from ear to ear and it was a beautiful thing. “And I can run and well, you’ve seen some of what I can do now, I guess.”
“Be a reckless idiot and storm a Hydra base all by your lonesome, nah that wasn’t no magic injection Steve, that was just you being you. Remind me to have a stern talk with you, again, about limits.”
“The thing about this stuff, it sort of means my old limits don’t exist,” he said bashfully when he had every right to announce it cocky as you’d like.
And that was true, not physically at least, and now the sky was the limit as he was being hailed a hero.
“Is that right?” Bucky cocked a brow before leaning down to what used to be Steve’s bad ear, now perfectly capable of hearing, even when he whispered, “What else can you do?”
He didn’t even blink before he flipped them both quickly, silently, so Bucky was trapped beneath his thighs.
Eyes wide, they both stifled a laugh.
“Damn you gotta teach me that,” Bucky all but choked out as Steve went for his neck, wet soft kisses trailing up and down from ear to collarbone, and he was sure he was going to say something in the form of words but they died on his tongue.
“Been teaching you my whole life, why would I stop now?”
“You’re a real punk you know?”
“Yeah I know. I know and you know and are you gonna fuck me or are we gonna chat all night?”
“I’m not fucking you, not here. You really want us to get caught with me doing you? No, if anything is easier to explain it’s the other way around and you know it.”
“Sure, a Captain taking advantage of his rank … you know they’d never buy that from me, so shut up and just do it.”
“You go from shy blushing bride to god damn sex crazy in a minute you know that?” Bucky added with a smile, yanking off his shirt that Steve had somehow, somewhere unbuttoned, and Steve’s hands were already going for his belt.
“Don’t I know it?”
Steve stroked his hair with one hand, tucking it behind his ear slightly, the short regulation cut keeping it neat.
“Your eyes are so blue. I could never really tell before … but … yeah.” He kissed him softly, and Bucky never wanted it to end. Both of them stripping the other down was nothing new, but this time, with this new Steve everything was like the first time. Bucky’s heart was beating out of his damn chest for one thing.
“You’re beautiful,” he whispered, admiring the blond’s … well … everything. “Always been beautiful now’s just a different kind.”
“I was scared … not scared … but nervous I guess? That maybe you wouldn’t like all this,” Steve said gesturing to himself as he shucked his drawers, and ‘all of that’ was one way of putting it. Shit, that stuff worked everywhere huh?
Bucky’s mouth went dry, just shaking his head to stop notions that silly from floating around in Steve’s head anymore.
“Yeah … Yeah I do. I’ll …Yeah.” He moved more clumsy than usual to the locker. Inside was his shaving kit with the tub of Vaseline he retrieved, banging his hand in the drawer in the process.
Star Spangled Man with a plan, indeed.
Bucky’s vision and brain went blurry when things jumped from kissing and groping to Steve working himself up and open. The look on his face almost enough to get Bucky there alone without any touching. But then there was touching. Strong, big hands instead of small, pushing and pulling, caressing and loving. His mind was spinning as Steve licked into his mouth with a moan, panting with wide pupils blown. Blue eyes meeting bluer eyes, filled with lust and love and all the things between them and for a split second there is no war, no death and torture – just them.
Bucky stretches his two fingers inside Steve again and again, then using his mouth, making sure but not having to really make sure now. Steve tried to reassure him. “It’s fine now, you don’t have to go so gentle, I can take it all now, please don’t be gentle…” he would moan between kisses. But, the truth was, Bucky wanted to be sweet with him, because everything around them now was rough, and painful and so goddamn rushed. That this, whatever this night was, it was his and theirs and he wanted to fill it with all the gentle he had left in him because he was sure whatever Zola did to him was slowly but surely gonna kill him anyway. He didn’t tell Steve this, he would only worry, and he didn’t want that. Instead he kisses the tender spot just below his left earlobe making him moan before he pushes himself fully inside – still gentle, still slow. Callous fingers on roughened hands that were used to end the lives of men were now delicate and deliberate on pale skin, bringing each other to the edge and back again so many times Bucky was sure he was going to pass out, and he knew Steve felt the same. Everything was hot, the room felt like hell’s waiting room and they were both covered in a sheen of sweat too just not caring how wrecked they both must have looked because it didn’t matter. All that mattered was them being together like this after so, so long, and nothing was going to change that.
Oh how stupid they were.
He felt the dig of Steve’s nails on his back as he came, hard and fast with his face buried in his neck to stifle any noise he may have been responsible for. But they were pros at this. Silent sex was something they had had a lot of practice at in places with walls thinner than where they were at that time. Dropping soft kisses to his neck, then his lips as they both struggled to get their breathing under control was one of his favourite things in the world – even more so now that he didn’t have to worry about a possible asthma attack.
“We’ll go for that drink, proper one, in London. Peggy says there are still pubs there, at least the ones that haven’t been bombed out,” Steve said as he shifted his one scratchy blanket over them both, nuzzling into Bucky’s side like he forgot he was no longer ninety pounds and some bones.
“Hm, what else does Peggy say…” he answered, teasing. It wasn’t that they were a sore spot for him, but they also were a sore spot for him. He wanted desperately to not think about what happened once they all went home for good, and instead took what he got when he got it and held Steve tighter.
“Oh come on Buck…”
“No, no I’m interested. She seems like a smart dame, with an ass that won’t quit.”
That earned him a slap on the arm, like they hadn’t just been fucking each other’s brains out minutes before. Steve logic was not regular logic, clearly. Bucky heard the slap, felt it, and even remembered laughing before he awakened with a jolt.
One deep breath, then a shallow one, eyes opened to see a room barely lit by the sun rise, casted shadows of yellow and blue through the dark curtains not fully closed. He could hear the rain hit the roof and the window. It was pouring from the heavens just like the night in his dream.
Unlike the night in his dream, he turned and found her there, curled up in a little ball, facing away from him, wrapped up in one of the two heavy quilts on her bed – even in summer. He risked a look at the clock and saw that it was just before six. It was a Sunday so he didn’t feel the slightest bit of guilt for sliding closer to her and spooning her next to him. She melted against him, placated and soft, mumbling in her sleep, asking if he was okay.
No, he wasn’t okay, but he was really good at faking it.
“I’m fine Peg, go back to sleep, okay?”
“Mmhmm,” she agreed, not opening her eyes as he got comfortable, nuzzling his face in her neck, not caring it was also in her hair. The smell of her hair was comforting, familiar and oddly calming, and soon it helped him lull back into what was a dream free sleep, thankfully.
When he woke up again the sun was fully up, and as was Peggy from the looks of the empty bed and the wafting of coffee coming from downstairs. He got up and opened the curtains fully, then the window to air out the room. Then he yanked on some underwear and made his way down stairs. He was stealthy, even for Peggy, a woman that noticed everything, and he could still take her by surprise. He just watched her for a moment, as she sat at her breakfast ‘nook, it’s a nook Barnes, God, I don’t know why it’s called that but that’s what it’s bloody called,’ sipping her coffee and looking over the endless supply of case files she carried home with her. In the two years they had ‘officially’ been doing whatever it was they were doing, this was her routine. Sunday mornings she’d sleep late, get up before him and make breakfast ‘a full English, darling, never did anyone any harm,’ and he would make lame jokes about her being his full English enough for everyone and they’d have coffee and read the morning papers – or rather she’d go over case files she’d swore by Friday she was never looking at again.
The fifties came, and they had both been glad to see the back of the worst decade of their lives. The fifties promised infrastructure, family, and life after a war. It told them they had won, but it always failed to mention the true cost of that win. He and Peggy remained steadfastly stubborn in the face of their domestic reality. Along with new fashion styles, music and revolutions bubbling beneath the surface, there was also an added pressure – more so than ever before.
Family. Have one, start one, be one.
If you weren’t a wife then, gosh darn it, what were you doing with your time? You weren’t working sixty hour weeks to get yourself money to get yourself a wife, well then gosh darn it…
Regardless, they both balked in the face of tradition, which was fine at the start, the start of whatever it was they were. Neither had confessed feelings beyond need and affection, beyond the tender nights she held him and let him ramble his worries and regrets away to a sympathetic ear, the nights and mornings he did the same for her. Then he’d go off to work, and she would go off to work – vastly different fields admittedly. He was now a manager of a textile factory, and it was as dull and boring as Dum-dum had once described, and she saved the world and blew up rogue Nazis for a living. So far beyond the traditional anything the world was expecting her to be, and he loved her all the more for it. Beyond this little life they had carved out for themselves, just themselves and no one else. Whatever it was, they both cherished it, even if they were too cowardly to say the words.
Maybe it was because they were scared it would change things, upset the delicate but very real balance they had achieved thus far. Or maybe they were just overgrown babies, terrified of what it meant to really love someone, either way…
“So I think I’ll do it,” he announced, padding into the kitchen, finally announcing his presence.
“Really? That’s great! Decided where yet?”
He shrugged as he poured himself a massive mug of coffee, and peaked at the frying pan. Inhaling the smell of bacon was just the best.
“Narrowed it down to Princeton and maybe NYU. Both of which are just dying for a Commando on their matriculating student body,” he mused aloud. He was curious about the courses in Philosophy and Psychology, the latter in the hopes of gaining a better understanding of what the war, and Zola, did to his brain. Though as far as anyone else was concerned it was just an interest, and teamed with the war after effects everyone he served with had experienced, the curiosity was normal.
She smiled then, big and real.
“I’m so proud. You’ll love it, I’m sure of it, and it’s something to focus on…”
“While you’re gone, you can say it,” he smiled, knowing this was bugging her. The unspoken topic that had gone ignored for weeks. She was leaving on mission, nothing unusual there, except that setting up a new base of SHIELD in Switzerland was something that wasn’t just a week long job, it was months at a time, and as things stood no one knew just how long it would take.
“Ugh, don’t remind me.”
As they both settled down on the sofa in the living room with the Sunday papers – Peggy liked the politics sections first, so Bucky got the sports – with their coffee and tea respectively, the late morning was spent in comfortable silence until they both finished and decided a walk in the park was just what was needed.
“We can take the car or the train up if you’d like,” Peggy mentioned, but he had truthfully zoned out mid walk, focusing on just the other sounds around them. It had been a habit of his since the war, when out walking – alone or with Peggy – entering a new place, switching sides of the street, he always took stock of his surroundings; the people – how many – possible threats, how many vehicles, men versus women, possible causalities, that sort of thing. He knew it wasn’t normal. Peggy was a goddamn spy for god sakes and he doubted her brain behaved that way.
“Sorry love, I wasn’t listening.”
She just nudged him as they walked arm in arm around the park, families, kids, dogs, all playing and picnicking around them, it was summer after all, and this summer like the ones before had a very specific ‘to do’ list item that never got ignored.
They visited Steve’s memorial.
Since they had gotten officially together that New Year’s Eve, two more had passed. They planned to go together that first summer only for Peggy to be called away on business for a week, missing the slot – meaning Bucky went alone. The year after that, well, Howard Stark went MIA forcing Peggy to run his side of everything plus her own, missing that one also.
The third year in a row she was determined to be there, to visit with Bucky, together ‘come hell or high water, and if Stark thinks he can just bugger off for a week to the bloody arctic again without any notice or warning or even a bloody phone call he can kiss my arse!’ Yeah, Peggy had a lot of feelings about missing the anniversary. The two years going it alone since being with her were weird, he could admit it. They knew, he knew, Steve wasn’t even in that stupid grave. He wasn’t there, but that didn’t mean Bucky didn’t sit with a half bottle of whatever and converse with him as if he were. The first year there was a lot guilt talk, like ‘sorry bud but I’m with Peggy, it’s real serious, even if we pretend it’s not, she’s amazing,’ before he’d launch into various death defying shit she had seen and done and how she was just like him, reckless and powerful, and probably giving him a worry ulcer. He hoped that wherever he was Steve wasn’t cursing him too loudly for stealing his woman. He hoped…
“I was thinking that navy dress for the wedding? It’s fitted, the cleavage isn’t too much and I think I have a hat to match somewhere.”
Ah, the wedding. The invite had come weeks before, and they had avoided it, glared at it and avoided it some more since then, but it was fast approaching and they had RSVP’d.
“We don’t have to go–”
“No, we do. I can’t be a coward about this, James. I’ve blown up whole buildings and rescued scientists from Nazis, I can attend one little society wedding.”
She sighed as they took a spot on a bench in the shade, crossing her legs in his direction, the peach fanned out skirt she was wearing riding up a little and showing off some serious leg. He forced himself to look to her face.
Of course she caught him, and fixed the skirt.
He smirked. Because really, it wasn’t like he hadn’t been so deep inside her hours before that he thought his brain had stopped working altogether, but heaven forbid he peek at her calves in public.
The topic of ‘the wedding’ had been a funny one for her. Normally, socialising with other couples and friends of his and now theirs was a fine and happy occasion; she was a social butterfly in her own right. This was different, this was a boarding school ‘chum’ and apparently that meant she was a two faced old shit stirrer who was marrying the crème of New York society, and wanted to rub it in everyone’s faces. Many discussions were had as to why Peggy received the invite. She blamed Howard, he had been to blame for all the press SHIELD was getting, and thus Peggy: the female face of the new power in intelligence. She had thrown a glass at his head when he had arranged for it all to be made public, with photos and interviews and the like, almost threw another when they kept insisting on working ‘Captain America’s would be widow’ into the damn pieces. But, it had given Peggy a profile. People knew who she was now – he was beyond proud – even if it annoyed her. Hell, even the President was angling for a meet and greet, but that was another problem entirely.
Bucky had walked off to the ice-cream cart down the path from where they sat and bought them cones. He got her an extra scoop, which got him a smile and a chastising eye all at once.
“Thank you darling, but also no, that dress is unforgiving as hell and I’ll be damned if I show up at Shirley Whirley’s wedding looking plump.”
The nickname had something to do with the girl’s corkscrew ginger curls when they were girls, again, he was in truth only half listening on that topic that made Peggy’s eye twitch.
“You’re anything but plump, and besides with me on your arm all the attention will be on me, we know this.”
That earned him a slap on the arm and just made him laugh.
“Seriously, Carter. You need to relax.”
“I ‘m alxed,” she said with a mouthful of chocolate ice-cream, rolling her eyes at herself. “I am relaxed. I just, GOD she was such a little … well … unladylike girl at the time.”
That made Bucky laugh out loud and slap his knee. Peggy hated speaking ill of anyone, even the girl that stuffed her into a locker when she was twelve.
“And she’s marrying a senator, can you imagine if she became first lady?” she shuddered. “All funding to SHIELD would stop pronto I know that much.”
“Hey, come on now, we’re not all who we were when we were twelve. Maybe’s she changed?”
Peggy scoffed, and it turns out she had reason to, Shirley ‘Whirley’ Whitman was the eternal twelve year old and the wedding was a goddamn nightmare.
Hoped you enjoyed the update! If so, pop a comment below or even come chill with me on Tumblr! 😉 Hope to have more soon! xo