Just so we can outwit time (A03)
Instagram brings another piece of their past into their present.
1K. Remember this from Stucky Week? I did some manips for that and I promised it had a happy ending. Today, with all the thoughts about tiny Steve, a plot bunny assaulted me and I remembered I never got to actually post the manips that were inside that suitcase, so here is one. The others might pop up at some point, too. Never let us lose what we have gained series (AO3)
Please do not repost the pictures, I know this is futile, but… I try :)
Photo-booth Picture, Brooklyn Heights 1937 (dated on the back)
“Can you grab my phone now that you are up, please? I left it over the kitchen counter.” Bucky asks when Steve pauses the movie they are watching to get up from the couch to grab a glass of water.
“I don’t know if your dependence on that thing is something to celebrate or to be worried about in your adjustment to this century.” Steve chuckles walking back to his spot on the couch beside Bucky, the phone’s screen lighting up in his hands with a notification. “You might wanna check the Instagram message you just got from the Brooklyn Historical Society! I bet you are getting sued for liking too many posts.”
“You little sh…” Bucky starts talking, grabbing the phone from his hands but not finishing the sentence, too focused on the tiny screen while reading in silence.“Steve, dear, I think you should read this.”
Bucky hands him the phone, and he would be worried about that sentence combined with the pet-name so soon after almost being insulted, but Bucky’s face is relaxed and he’s smiling, so he guesses I can’t be that bad.
“Before you start reading, tho, please remember whose idea it was.”
“Whose idea was what?”
Bucky doesn’t answer, just smirks and gets closer to him. Steve looks at the message.
Dear Mr Barnes: Please excuse this message, but since you support and follow us here, we hope it won’t be much of an intrusion and even good news.
A couple of days ago, a woman named Olive Morgan sent us the picture that follows this message hoping that we could contact you somehow, given that you follow us on Instagram.
She firmly believes that the picture belongs to you and Captain Rogers and, after double-checking it ourselves, we agree with her conclusion.
She says it was inside a suitcase in her parents’ attic (her late grandfather used to travel around the flea-market circuit with a vintage pictures’ stall back in the 60s) with the initials “SGR” that is apparently filled with pictures.
Can you confirm if this is, in fact, yours? We could send you her contact information for further information or clarifications because she told us she would like nothing more than to return all your presumed belongings to you both. She was also very insistent about letting you know she has kept this private even from her own family, just in case it might bother you. Please find the picture attached and let us know how to proceed. Best regards.
Steve remembers that brown suitcase Bucky bought him as a present (and a promise) for his twentieth birthday, remembers rushedly collecting and locking their most precious things inside before going on the USO tour, remembers thinking about it and the rest of their belongings when he was sent to war. Remember longing for it when he lost Bucky for the first time.
He remembers missing it like any of the other big lost pieces of his life when he came back from the ice: not even keepsakes to touch and ground him in. Not beyond Bucky looking at him from his compass.
And then he sees the picture after the message and yes, he remembers that too.
“Well, you were not wrong: that picture was my idea,” he laughs and he snuggles against his partner, full-on leaning on Bucky who welcomes him by moving his vibranium arm over Steve’s head to pull him even closer, both of them looking at the screen now in silent remembrance for a few seconds. “I know I pushed you into that booth instead of into the hot dog stand, and…”
“And I went hungry all day, don’t sugar coat it.” Bucky cuts in. “I think people in Jersey heard the sounds of my poor stomach. Damn my inability to say no to you, Rogers.”
Steve laughs louder now, but Bucky is not lying. He had seen “Four-minutes picture booths” popping up all over the city for years and people going crazy over them, but he had never had any reason to invest the scarce money he had in taking a picture of him. Not until he unintentionally listened to two of his neighbour's teenage daughters giggling over a picture strip while whispering about forbidden kisses, necking, and a love that would last forever.
“I’ll have you know that it was planned, too. You might have thought we were on a non-date to get our bellies full and our good suits stained with mayo, but the truth is I just wanted to kiss you in front of a camera,” he confesses.
“You kinky punk,” Bucky smiles and kisses him on his temple. “But… well, you know how they always say ‘take a picture, it’ll last longer’?”
Bucky pauses and the look he throws his way goes straight to his gut ( “Your thankfully required teenage crush on your best friend is still going strong, Rogers” , he says to himself).
“That hot dog was probably delicious, but with your current massive weight crushing my ribs right now, it’s better to have a reminder of how small you used to be,” Bucky tells him. “Small, beautiful, strong, and stupidly stubborn. Those last ones are still the same, in case you are curious.”
“And you look just the same,” Steve blurts out. “Minus the poor-boy hat. I despised that thing.”
“You are delirious, Steve, and not just because of your irrational hate on my very nice hat. In case you haven’t noticed I’m lacking one arm, I have tiny wrinkles around my eyes, and my baggage is up to a million pounds…”
“You still look at me the same way, Buck. You were the only one who saw me back then, but I was lucky because you were the only one who mattered.”
That undeniable truth shuts him up for a full minute: Steve feels it every day, and seeing it on that picture is just a nice reminder.
“You win, sap,” Bucky jokes, getting himself together. “Will you kiss me now or do you need cameras pointing at you to feel something? Because that can be easily arranged in these joyful times we are living.”
He kisses Bucky lazily on their couch. Movie forgotten, water forgotten. Just them and the promise of a suitcase full of little pieces of themselves shining like a beacon on the back of his mind.
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When they first start fucking, when it's more hate sex than anything else, Billy has no problem with degrading Steve, calling him all sorts of nasty things. And Steve doesn't seems to have a problem with it either. In fact, he probably loves it, always keening and letting out the prettiest little sounds whenever Billy growls "filthy fucking slut," into his ear.
But later on. Later on, when feelings begin to get involved, when Billy finds that he might prefer Steve's soft smiles to his menacing glares and scowls, that he'd rather look at Steve's face while they fuck rather than shove it into the mattress, Billy realizes that it's increasingly harder to say those things that he normally would.
He remembers, though it was a very long time ago, when Neil and his mom used to fight. He remembers hiding under the kitchen table while they screamed at each other. Neil called his mother a whore. It wasn't the first time. He would say things like that to her all the time, even when they weren't fighting. He didn't care if Billy was around to hear it.
Where the hell is your whore of a mother, Billy? Neil would ask him, every single time his mom left the house without announcement. That bitch better have dinner made when we get home, he'd said in the truck, on their way back from a fishing trip. You're mother is a useless slut.
Worthless fucking whore.
You're an evil bitch, Brandy.
I know you weren't with Wendy yesterday, you nasty fucking slut.
Ugly fucking whore.
Billy doesn't want to be like Neil. He'd rather die than become the spitting image of his father, but it's too late. The transformation's already begun. It began years ago, the second his mom walked out the door for the last time.
He doesn't want to hurt Steve. He wants to change.
So he stops calling Steve names when they fuck. Doesn't say a word, save for Steve's name and the occasional groaned out curse.
Steve picks up on the sudden shift pretty quickly. Billy can tell because Steve starts getting filthier. He moans just a little louder, a little higher at Billy's touch. Bounces a little harder when he rides Billy's lap. He gives sloppier head, drool trailing all the way down his chin. Sometimes Steve fingers himself while he sucks Billy's dick, and while Billy can't really see much, it's still so fucking hot and he always wants to say something so bad, but he won't, he can't, so he never does.
Steve must eventually get tired of putting forth all that extra effort, though. When Billy comes over to Steve's house one night, Steve seems almost annoyed as he takes Billy up to his room, sits him on the edge of the bed, and climbs into his lap. He's a little aggressive as he crashes his lips right into Billy's, biting and pushing in a way that he never usually does. Steve grinds against Billy's thigh hard and fast, gets his hand down Billy's pants and around his cock without an ounce of teasing, like he's on a time limit. It isn't bad, per se, just different from how things usually go.
Billy comes his brains out after just a few minutes of vigorous jerking and grinding. Steve follows just a few seconds after, but his usual whine and high pitched shout is replaced with a low grunt. Steve starts to get all huffy as he pushes himself off Billy's lap and collapses onto his bed, turning his back to Billy.
Billy starts to get a little annoyed too. "The hell is wrong with you? Someone piss in your Cheerios this morning?"
"Look," Steve turns just slightly, "why don't you find someone else to fuck around with?"
Billy feels his heart speed up at the words. This is it, he thinks. He's finally gone and fucked this up for the last time. "Why?"
"Because clearly, I'm not good enough for you anymore!" Steve yells, turning away fully once more. Billy is about to refute the statement, but doesn't get the chance before Steve continues, "I mean, when we first started out with this whole thing it seemed like you were really into me. You used to say things when we fucked, you used to– you used to call me things. And I– I liked it, like, a lot, and I thought that you saying all those things meant that you did too, that I was... good, you know? And then you just... stopped saying things. So I started trying harder, started trying to earn it or whatever— And I swear, I've never tried so hard for anything in my life! I read fucking Cosmopolitan articles just to figure out the right way to suck your dick! I tried so hard but you never said anything. So if you're getting bored of me, then just go find someone else, okay? It's fine. I know I'm not good enough. I never am." The last part Steve whispers into his pillow, like he doesn't mean for Billy to hear it.
Billy feels like a total asshole, making Steve feel this way. Making Steve feel like he isn't good enough for Billy, when it's actually the complete opposite. Obviously someone's previously done some damage to Steve's self-worth (Billy doesn't have to think twice about who that might've been), and Billy's unintentionally made it worse. It's almost funny. In his attempt to keep from hurting Steve, he's gone and hurt him.
"That's not true, Steve." Billy puts a hand on Steve's calf. "I stopped saying things because they were... degrading."
Steve turns to look at him. "What?"
"All of those things I said when we fucked. They were humiliating you, Steve."
Steve's eyes look off somewhere before coming back to Billy's. "Uh, yeah? That's like, the whole point. I liked it, you know, I mean... You could tell, right?"
"Yeah, but still, it just... After a while, it didn't feel right. I'm sorry I made you feel like you weren't good enough. I didn't mean to. And you are good enough, Steve. You're better than good enough. Fuck, you're amazing. It was so fucking hard, keeping my mouth shut, but I just didn't want to hurt you. I mean, I know you were into it, and I was too, but. I didn't want to sound like–" Billy cuts himself off, because he doesn't want to unload all that onto Steve right now.
"Oh," Steve says quietly. After a minute or two, he sits himself up, resting his weight on his hands behind him. He looks at Billy curiously. "How about a compromise?"
Billy gives him a confused look.
Steve elaborates. "I like it when you call me a slut or whatever, but you're scared to say it now because you think it's humiliating. So, how about every time you say something like that, you have to say something that's... nice, I guess."
"You're saying I should degrade and praise you at the same time?"
"Yeah. So it cancels out."
"Huh... Alright. That could... That could work."
Steve bites his bottom lip, giving Billy a look that he's quickly grown accustomed to. "Wanna try it out?"
Billy answers by pushing Steve back against the bed.
It works like a charm, Steve's little compromise. Billy doesn't hold back one bit, lets his words flow freely. When he pushes two slicked fingers into Steve and Steve lets out a particularly loud noise, Billy says, "God, Stevie, you moan like a whore," but he follows it up with, "you sound so pretty when you whine for me, baby." Steve reacts very well to both phrases.
When Billy later pulls his fingers out and replaces them with his dick, he asks, "you like being full, don't you? Like having a nice big cock to fill you up, huh?" Then he brushes his lips against Steve's collar bone, places light kisses on his skin, says, "fuck, you feel so good, Stevie."
Every single slut is followed by a good boy, every insult cooled by a sweet praise, both of which come easily to Billy. Steve arches his back at every word. Readily agrees to every inquiry Billy directs towards him.
"You a naughty little slut, babe?"
"You a good boy, Stevie?"
"You good for me, baby?"
"Yes! Yes– Fuck! Billy!"
They spend the rest of that night curled up close to each other, running fingers through each other's hair. Billy tells Steve at least a thousand times just how good he really is. He practically embeds it into Steve's brain, just to make sure that Steve never thinks of himself worthless ever again.
"You're not like your dad," Steve whispers, just when they're on the verge of sleep. It takes Billy by surprise.
"I know. You don't need to. I could just tell that's what you were thinking. You're not, Billy."
Billy doesn't say anything. Steve probably doesn't expect him to.
In the center of his chest, Billy feels something blooming and growing and spreading. It wants to reach out, to pull Steve closer to Billy and intertwine the two of them together. Billy has a hunch as to what this thing might be.
And it scares him, he won't lie. But his ability to feel it towards Steve, to feel it at all, automatically proves it.
Billy is not his father.
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Billy and Steve had been getting closer after the whole 4th of July happened, especially after Steve had started to help Billy with his recovery and it had brought up deeper feelings for both of them as they spent more days and nights together.
And now after dancing around their feelings for four total months, they had finally confessed.
And it had led them to where they were now, which was in Steve’s bed with both of them shirtless while hesitantly exploring each other’s bodies as Steve leaned down to kiss Billy softly for the first time.
Billy’s body still felt sore after everything, but he slowly moved his arm down Steve’s waist the best he could and pulled the other closer to him which made a happy moan escape from Steve while he himself slowly dragged his own hand down Billy’s chest, over his scars.
”Are you… are you sure you’re not hurting?” Steve had panted out after breaking away from the kiss.
”Yes, Harrington.” Billy had murmured back deeply as he laid down on the bed again so he could look up at Steve better with a small smirk on his face.
Steve had given him a nod after a moment and then gotten on his knees to remove his sleeping shorts while Billy pulled his own underwear down to free his already hard and leaking cock.
He hadn’t felt attractive in months. He had gotten paler and his body was full of healing scars that sometimes still hurt like a bitch - especially if he tried to work out - but the way Steve’s big brown eyes had taken his naked body in with such a softness and the way his eyes had almost turned fully black after seeing his cock had made him feel good.
Like himself again.
(And even a little smug too, which he hadn’t felt in a while.)
Billy had given his lap a small pat which made Steve slowly move so he’d be sitting on top of the other’s thighs with his legs spread open and once he got on top of the other, he had to bite back a moan when Billy’s hands grabbed his thighs and squeezed them roughly.
”Now… get yourself ready and ride me, Steve.” Billy had demanded roughly.
And that’s what Steve did. And continued to do it after two rounds because it all just felt so good and right.
The sex wasn’t anything rough or hard that Steve would’ve expected from the Billy that he knew a year ago.
It was soft, intimate and loving and they had held hands the whole time without taking their eyes off of each other as Steve had bounced up and down on Billy’s lap.
It was their first time together.
A time that they’d never forget and a time that changed everything.
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