So, apparently my brain is in ALL BUCKY BARNES, ALL THE TIME mode. And what it wants most of all is Captain America movie!verse hooker fic: the pre-movie one where Bucky pimps himself out so he can afford rent on a less-shitty apartment (because the damn/cold is killing Steve); and the post-movie one where Bucky’s thawed out by the Soviets and used as a honey trap during the Cold War.
Things that happen when I put off writing my werewolf bigbang...
… I end up having all the Steve/Bucky post-movie reunion feelings at somehowunbroken and dub-conning her into chatfic. Sorry in advance for the lack of pretty grammar but, well: chatfic. Posted with permission:
ariadne83: oh man, i just had a thought that bummed me out: steve and bucky when they were both young, skinny, awkward teens besotted with each other. and then bucky had his growth spurt and steve… didn’t
ariadne83: girls start noticing bucky more, and steve just… backed off. pretended like he’d grown out of his obsession with bucky. and then there was angst/sadness/confusion that bucky got through with the power of alcohol. and dating. and Not Thinking About Steve
somehowunbroken: which of course made steve hide it even more
ariadne83: yeah. bucky’s like: “i’ve been in love with you since we were thirteen, idiot. you were the one who broke it off”
somehowunbroken: and steve splutters and stares. “but you started dating the girl across the hall when you turned sixteen”
ariadne83: “yeah, i did. and look how that turned out”
"none of her friends wanted to be seen with me twice"
"her friends weren’t the ones who got all twisted up about me spending every dance talking to you."
somehowunbroken: steve doesn’t have any idea how to respond to that he sort of feels like he did when they were both younger and smaller, like when he looks at bucky it almost hurts because of all these things he’s not sure he’s allowed to feel, but not sure how to not feel
ariadne83: bucky grabs steve’s shoulder and shakes him. “look, it doesn’t matter how we got here; this is where i’ve wanted to be for most of my life.”
somehowunbroken: it’s pretty much all steve has ever wanted to hear him say. and all he can think to say is “me too,” which doesn’t feel like enough, so he has to lean in and kiss bucky
ariadne83: he kisses him like he wanted to when they were fifteen, sixteen, seventeen - like he’d tried to stop wanting we he was eighteen and nineteen and twenty, until he’d convinced himself he wasn’t interested in the girls bucky set him up with because he was waiting for Miss Right. it’s awkward and tentative, fragile like steve’s heart
somehowunbroken: and all these pictures he’s built up in his head of Miss Right, that girl he’s been looking for for so long now - they fold up and blow away like so much sand, because it’s bucky, it’s never stopped being bucky, and he wants this so much it hurts
ariadne83: he wants to believe it, with everything he has, but he keeps seeing bucky out of his reach, slipping away and screaming at steve for his failure. to survive that, the things he must’ve been put through… you don’t come through that unchanged
somehowunbroken: but then he thinks about himself, what he’s gone through, too - he’s changed, sure, but being in love with bucky is like one of the core facets of himself, and if it hadn’t changed for him…
ariadne83: bucky presses forward into the kiss, and steve feels something inside him give. his heart is so full of everything that it hurts. he can’t breathe; he can’t think. he just needs
somehowunbroken: and when they finally break apart, it’s in the way bucky’s hands don’t leave steve’s shoulders, the way he doesn’t back away more than a few inches, the look in his eyes that says he can’t believe he’s getting what he’s wanted for so long. steve can’t find it in himself to doubt that, because it’s everything he’s doing, too
ariadne83: “i’m sorry. god, buck, i’m so sorry. i didn’t even look for you and all this time- what did they do to you?” again. first the red skull and now this. what happened to him AGAIN while steve was busy feeling sorry for himself?
somehowunbroken: but bucky just squeezes his shoulders. “no. no, none of that, steve, quit it. what they did - everything they did let me wake up here, now, with you. so forget regretting it, okay?”
ariadne83: steve pulls him close and just holds on, bucky’s body fitting neatly against him, under him. it’s not how steve used to picture it back when he let himself daydream about this, but that’s ok. they’re not kids anymore.
somehowunbroken: and really, it’s just the details that are different, height and weight and strength and scars. the big picture is still the same - bucky holding on just as tightly as steve is, steve fidgeting to fit them just that much closer together, both of them closing their eyes and bowing their heads a little and soaking each other in.
ariadne83: it’s inevitable. good. right in a way that nothing in steve’s life has been right since he let bucky leave for the war without him. they have time now, room to be steve and bucky again, and steve’s aching for it. greedy, and desperate to consume.
somehowunbroken: “hey,” bucky whispers against steve’s lips, “hey, steve. y’know what?” he grins, and it’s the grin that steve’s seen in a thousand dreams, a thousand memories. “love you.”
ariadne83: he does. he does know, he’s always known that what they have isn’t like what other people mean by friendship or even blood brothers, found family. they fit together whatever shape they find themselves in. “i-” steve manages to choke out before his voice cracks.
somehowunbroken: but bucky’s smile softens around the edges as he looks up at steve, fond and open and so much everything right there to see. “yeah. I know.”
ariadne83: steve wants to tell him anyway. he wants to open his mouth and let the pain of losing bucky pour out of him, leave him forever. he wants to explain what it was like going on without him, because bucky of all people will get it; he had to do the same, until now.
somehowunbroken: he can’t even begin to find the words, though, not here and not now, not with bucky’s solid presence right against him. it’s not that he’s forgotten - he doesn’t think that’s possible, because even if he forgot his own name he’d still remember watching bucky fall, he’s sure of it - but it’s not the most important thing, not at this moment.
ariadne83: right now he needs to see for himself. he needs to look bucky over and pepper him with questions and ask “is it permanent?” he needs everything
somehowunbroken: and bucky - god, bucky, here and smiling and solid - bucky just smiles and says “yeah,” as if steve had asked a question, as if that could answer if he had. maybe it can, though, because steve feels himself smiling back.
ariadne83: steve’s never been lucky. he’s always had to fight to make a place for himself in the world, fight to stay alive, fight to matter - but not with bucky. here, he can lay down his shield and just be, and that’s priceless beyond words. he’s so tired of carrying it with no rest, he’s so tired of people looking at him and seeing a symbol, a tool, a weapon, an antagonist. when he kisses bucky again it’s like being stripped naked and washed clean, fresh and shocking and so desperately needed.
somehowunbroken: so he kisses bucky again, and then again. bucky’s hand on his hip feels like being safe, and the one winding into his hair is keeping him grounded, keeping him here. he hasn’t felt present like this in a long time.
ariadne83: bucky’s knees between his thighs press hard as he tries to get closer. in the old days steve would probably have a bruise by now, but he’s going to have to settle for the warmth of bucky’s skin and the scratch of his stubble. the serum robs steve of permanence, of physical reminders, but it gives his lungs the strength to kiss bucky breathless so it’s a trade-off steve can live with.
somehowunbroken: “been thinking about this for years,” bucky murmurs against steve’s lips. “decades. lifetimes.” steve can only nod and try to kiss him again, but bucky keeps talking. “used to write these letters home to you before you showed up, while other guys were writing to their dames. never felt any different than what they were doing. never wanted it to.”
ariadne83: but steve hadn’t been there to get any letters; he’d been at lehigh, and then on tour in his ridiculous costume. he wonders idly what he would’ve done if he read them, what he would’ve said when he saw bucky again. “i can’t get drunk,” he blurts out in the end. “i tried, after i lost you, but the serum- i couldn’t hide. i couldn’t ever stop thinking about you, not for one minute.”
somehowunbroken: bucky closes his eyes and tilts his head forward a litlte. steve does the same, resting his forehead against bucky’s, and bucky’s hand slides down out of his hair and cups his neck. “they tried to beat my pat out of me. torture, brainwashing, everything - but there was always this picture of you in my head, something I could think about when shit got too dark to see past. there was always you.”
ariadne83: “always will be, buck. i’m not leaving you again.” bucky sags against him like a puppet with its strings cut, and steve has to wrap his arms around him to keep him from slithering sideways onto the floor. “steve.” bucky’s voice is cracked and broken, like he’s been gargling sand. steve hasn’t heard him sound so lost since theyy both buried their mothers within six months of each other. “i’m here. i’ve got you.”
somehowunbroken: “I’m sorry,” bucky says into his shoulder. he’s gasping a little. “god, steve, I’m sorry, I’m sorry-” “what?” steve has to ask, and he can hear the confusion in his voice. “bucky, why - what?” “if I had held on,” bucky starts, and steve is holding him tighter before he decides to do it.
ariadne83: “what are you talking about? the rail gave way.” bucky shakes his head violently, knocking his nose against steve’s shoulder. “no, that’s not- i remember-” “what?”
somehowunbroken: “letting go,” bucky whispers. “I saw you reaching for me, and - we were both going to fall if you did, steve, we both would have died. so I let go.”
ariadne83: no, no, no; that’s not right. it can’t be right. bucky wouldn’t do that, he wouldn’t give up, he wouldn’t… he’d refused to leave when steve was trapped inside the hydra base, even though it meant they were going to die together. how had steve been so stupid? how had he not seen it, then? his heart cracks and shatters, rebuilding anew over the top of the painful truth: bucky would die for him; he had died for him.
somehowunbroken: “god,” steve chokes out, and the only reason he doesn’t pull bucky to him more tightly is because he’s afraid of hurting him. he thinks, suddenly and sharply, and what peggy had said to him, her quiet allow barnes the dignity of his choice. “god, bucky.”
ariadne83: he curls his hands tightly into the fabric of bucky’s shirt and hears the seams pop. “i… don’t do that again.”
bucky huffs out a short laugh, his breath rushing over steve’s neck and shoulder. “no promises.”
"please. i can’t- i don’t want to be here if i can’t do everything in my power to keep you with me." it’s an admission of the crawling black steve’s been coated with ever since he woke up from the crash, the insidious wrongness of knowing that he’s still here when other people aren’t. people he brought into the firing line when he signed on for erskine’s program, people he failed to save, people who had to fight on without him when he checked out. bucky, falling, falling, always falling.
somehowunbroken: “tell you what,” bucky says after a moment, “I’ll do my best if you do the same.” “I think I can handle that,” steve says, and this time when he pulls bucky in, bucky pulls right back, and this - this is holding on in all the ways that it matters.
ariadne83: steve knows they’re not really alone. he knows that SHIELD cameras and most likely several SHIELD personnel are watching. waiting for the other shoe to drop, for bucky to be something other than who he is. he doesn’t give a damn, not with bucky under his hands and lips, and between his legs
somehowunbroken: it’s everything that he hasn’t let himself want, and everything that bucky has wanted too. everything in steve’s young-old life is telling him not to let this go - not for SHIELD, not for the government, not for anything.
ariadne83: he’s going to take what he can right now, and then he’s going to get bucky out of this place. somewhere private and safe and theirs.
somehowunbroken: he’s going to take his time learning bucky in the only way he hasn’t. he’s going to touch and taste and feel, and he’s going to lay with bucky after, tangled and messy and perfect. steve can hardly wait.
ariadne83: his skin is hot, and it prickles with anticipation everywhere bucky’s touching him. steve has to fight the urge to laugh; it’s oddly fitting that bucky’s going to be his first, since he was first in every other way that counts.
somehowunbroken: but of course bucky knows him well enough to notice. “what’s so funny, huh?” and steve has to let a little chuckle out at that, has to lean in and stop a millimeter before their lips touch to whisper “nothing” right against his mouth before kissing him.
this is different from anyone else steve’s ever kissed - just as overwhelming, and steve’s just as uncertain, but bucky’s the only one he’s ever had the courage to reach for.
somehowunbroken: that makes it better, he thinks, because he’d reached for bucky but bucky had reached right back. bucky had reached for steve, and maybe they’ve always been reaching for each other. it’s about time they finally connected.