Who: James Buchanan Barnes and Brock Rumlow What: Ex-HYDRA secret friendship society When: After this Rating: Yellow for cussing
Though he knew Barnes was only coming over to give him the ID he’d promised, Rumlow was still pathetically looking forward to seeing him.
He hurried back from Jessica’s office/apartment and had enough time to grab a quick shower before it was time for Barnes to show up. He pulled on some sweats and a tank top, hoping he didn’t look like he’d been drinking pretty much nonstop since the last time he’d seen him. But he had been.
Bucky wasn’t supposed to see Rumlow. Both Stark and Steve would be angry about it if they knew. But he’d said multiple times that he was going to give Rumlow his license when it came. But it wasn’t just that. He needed to talk to someone, someone who wasn’t Steve because he wanted to talk about Steve. He just didn’t know how to bring it up.
Bucky got to Rumlow’s hotel quickly and he kept his hat pulled down as far as he could so he wouldn’t be too obvious on the security cameras. He went to the room and rapped on the door.
Rumlow was near the door, sort of hovering. He looked out the peephole to make sure it was Barnes, then stepped back to let him in. He looked good. So good. “Hey.” He wanted to say so much more but he didn’t have the right.
Bucky stepped into Rumlow’s room and closed the door. “Hey,” he said. “How are you?” he asked. The last time he’d seen Rumlow, he’d been in rough shape. He pulled the driver’s license out of his pocket and handed it over. “They came quick. I was surprised.”
He took the ID, looking it over. “Looks legit. How did you manage this?” With this and a social security number, he’d be set. Even without a social, this was definitely going to help. “Thank you.” He could barely stand to look at Barnes.
“Broke into the DVM database,” he said dismissively. He looked Rumlow over. He looked better. More rested maybe. And he was clean. “You didn’t answer the question. How are you?” He was genuinely concerned about the other man, and despite what Stark said, he knew Rumlow wouldn’t take advantage of him.
Rumlow forced himself to look at Bucky. “I’m okay.” He thought about the night he’d spent drinking with, then sleeping with, Jessica. “Starks got a PI tailing me,” he added with a chuckle. “So we got drunk together.” He didn’t mention the rest.
Bucky’s eyes widened. “He’s got someone tailing you? He… didn’t want me to see you, either.” He was sure Steve wouldn’t like it, either, but he wouldn’t try to forbid him from doing anything.
Rumlow nodded. “I figured that. I wasn’t kinda surprised when you texted.” He smirked. “Don’t worry. Jess—the PI— ain’t gonna tell on ya. She doesn’t much like Stark.”
Bucky was glad that Rumlow had someone else to talk to. “Stark’s a lot to take, but he’s not really… he’s kind of an asshole, but in the big picture he’s not a bad person,” he said. He did actually feel like his conversation with Stark had done a lot to change his opinion. “So… you got drunk with the Private Investigator watching you? Is she still watching you?” he asked.
“Not right now, but she’ll probably be around later. We kinda… came to an understanding.” He smirked. For some idiotic reason he felt guilty for sleeping with Jessica. Even though Barnes sure as hell didn’t want anything to do with him. Still, he wasn’t going to tell him, not that the other man would give a damn. “I promised not to try to kill anyone and she doesn’t have to follow me 24/7.”
The way Rumlow was talking about it was… strange. Like he was hiding something. “What, are you sleeping with her?” he asked. It was a shot in the dark, but it just sounded very chummy, and pretty quickly, too. Stark didn’t even know Rumlow was there until a few days ago.
Rumlow blinked. Was he that bad at hiding things from Barnes? “We… we were really drunk. It kinda happened. I didn’t plan it. Didn’t even think she liked me that way.” It had felt good, though. To not be alone for just a little while. With someone as fucked up as he was. Why did he feel like apologizing, then?
Bucky smirked. “Good for you,” he said. He felt a little… sad about it, which made no sense. Then again, it was a good thing. “Might as well be happy where you can, right?” he said, which he had certainly done.
Rumlow didn’t feel right discussing it with Barnes. He was so conflicted. Maybe someday he’d get over him but he didn’t think so. Jessica was hot, and they seemed to get along, but he didn’t kid himself it was a big romance. It was just sex and booze. “Yeah. Are you happy?” He didn’t want to bring up Rogers but it was more than clear that Barnes was hung up on the big boy scout.
Was he? He was worried. Worried that he was just making Steve comfortable with his sexuality in preparation for someone else to swoop in and enjoy it. “I mean… in comparison to the last few decades? Yeah, probably it’s a big improvement.”
Rumlow smirked. “Yeah. Ain’t that the truth. But that’s not really what I mean and you know it.” He felt like he knew Barnes, even though for most of their acquaintance the other man hadn’t spoke a great deal. And he could tell he was troubled.
“You really wanna know?” he asked. He wanted to tell Rumlow all of his troubles. He trusted him, even though the other man had tried to kill Steve. And Bucky had no one else to talk to other than Steve.
“Yeah. Why not?” He knew why not. It had to be about Rogers. And if Barnes was desperate enough to want to talk to him about it… well, it was the least he could do to listen. Even if it hurt. “Spill.” He waved toward the couch, indicating they should sit.
Bucky sat down on the couch. He rubbed his right hand on his knee. “I did something, and… it was kind of… dishonest in a way. I feel like I took advantage of someone,” he said miserably. Thinking about it now, he felt like a coward and an asshole.
Rumlow frowned. “You sound like you’re not sure if you did or not. Why did you do it then?” He was still sure this was about Rogers but he wasn’t sure of what it was.
Bucky lowered his eyes. “I couldn’t fucking help myself. I just… wanted to so bad. And... they’re in love with someone else, but…” He rubbed his hands over his face. “I’m too fucked up to even… they deserve someone who’s not so screwed up.”
Rumlow felt a sick twist in the pit of his stomach. He was talking about Rogers for sure. He answered carefully. “You sure they’re in love with someone else? Because if they… did something with you… it must not be as serious as you thought.” Although… if there was no hope, he supposed...
“They wouldn’t tell me who, and I didn’t push because I didn’t really want to know. We didn’t do much.” Bucky sighed. “But… even if it went farther… what if I freak out or something? I haven’t… so much happened when I was… you know.”
Rumlow felt sick when he thought about that. He pushed his own feelings aside. “You love… him?” He wanted to drop the impersonal pronoun because he knew damn well who they were talking about.
Bucky didn’t think he was being all that subtle. “Yeah,” he said. He knew Rumlow was going to know who it was. It could really only be one person. “He’s completely innocent and I’m… a fucking mess. I should have just left it alone.”
Rumlow shook his head. “You ain’t a mess. None of it was your fault. And it wasn’t him that did it.” He knew it was the truth, but he also knew the truth didn’t always help. The idea that Rogers was innocent shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but it did. It made sense though. He was fucking perfect. “Does he know you love him?”
“Doesn’t matter if it was my fault or not. It still fucked me up.” Bucky leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. “He doesn’t know. I don’t wanna fuck up our friendship. But I think it’s too late now.”
Rumlow closed his eyes. He didn’t really want to know. But he asked anyway. “Does he want to go farther?” He figured they’d maybe just messed around. It probably was too late though. The line had been crossed.
“He said he doesn’t want to have sex with someone unless he’s in love with them. We didn’t do that much. I kind of convinced him that it was just the kind of things guys did for each other all the time.” He smirked and flopped back onto the couch, staring up at the ceiling. “Because I’m just that much of a bastard.”
Rumlow snorted. “I’m pretty sure he didn’t need that much convincing.” He shook his head, picturing it, then pushed it out of his head. “You’re not a bastard. You wanted it. You’re both guys.” He wished he’d taken what Barnes had offered that time, but then again he hadn’t been in his right mind.
“If he finds out…” Bucky swallowed hard. Who would want him after they found out the whole truth? No one would. “I don’t even know if I could go through with it, anyway.” He looked up at Rumlow. “I’m sorry for unloading all of this on you.”
Rumlow felt guilty for the thoughts he was having. Barnes was never going to know how much this hurt. He’d been through enough. “I’m sure he would understand if you had to stop.” Of course captain perfect would understand.
“Yeah. I’m sure he would, too,” he said. That wasn’t the point. “I’m sure that’d be a great fucking experience for all involved. ‘Oh excuse me a moment, I’m just having flashback of being raped by a bunch of HYDRA’s finest. Could we try again later?’ No one deserves that kind of baggage.” More and more he was thinking he needed to get some professional help.
“No one deserves it, but you have it. What makes you think he wouldn’t want to help you through it?” He wasn’t naive enough to think Barnes would get over it that easily. But Rogers of all people would help more than hinder.
That was the problem. Bucky knew that he would. Even if he wasn’t the guy Steve was in love with, if he knew… he would want to help him. But Bucky didn’t want Steve to be saddled with that. He didn’t want to burden anyone with it. “Yeah,” he said because there was really nothing else to say about it. All he could do was find out who the other guy was and get Steve to confess his feelings to the lucky fucker. And maybe… maybe if he didn’t want Steve, then Bucky would give Steve everything he had to make up for it.
Rumlow could only imagine what was going through Barnes head. He wanted to offer to help but he knew he couldn’t. He wanted a lot of things he couldn’t have. “He wouldn’t tell you who he was in love with? You got any clue?”
Bucky didn’t really want to contemplate it. “I just hope to Hell its not Stark. Maybe Wilson. They seemed pretty close.” If he hadn’t found out it was a guy he would have guessed Natasha.
Rumlow couldn’t quite picture that. “You sure it’s a guy?” He was also thinking about the redhead. Romanoff. Anyone but Stark.
Bucky nodded slowly. “Yeah. He admitted that much. I wouldn’t have guessed that. But he didn’t want to tell me who. That was the only reason I suggested… kissing.” He winced as he admitted it. It was the best kiss of his life.
Rumlows eyes widened a little. “You suggested kissing. Like that’s a thing guys do with each other.” He had to hand it to Barnes. It was devious.
Bucky shrugged his shoulders. “He said he hadn’t and I offered to show him what it was like,” he said. “You know… I used to have a lot of dates back before I got drafted. I don’t mean to brag, but… I know what I’m doing,” he said.
“Jesus. He had never kissed anyone?” The idea was incredible. He stopped and eyed Barnes. “I can believe that. You know you’re fucking gorgeous.” He shouldn’t have let that slip. But he was still pretty drunk.
Bucky blinked. He was not expecting Rumlow to say something like that. As far as he knew Rumlow wasn’t into guys at all. He shook his head slowly. “No. I thought… but no. He said he hadn’t. But he has now.” He couldn’t help it. Bucky was proud of how he’d made Steve react to just a kiss. “He caught on quick, though.”
Rumlow could sense that pride. He would bet he could make Steve hard as a rock with just a kiss. “So I’m guessing you didn’t stop with kissing.” Who could, when it was Barnes?
Bucky had no intention of discussing this with anyone, but it was a relief to share it with someone. “I might have convinced him that it was a normal thing for guys to give each other handjobs. You know, if they were in need.” His lips twitched a little. “I told you. I’m a bad, bad person.”
That made Rumlow laugh out loud. “Yeah. Totally normal.” He was jealous as hell but it was fucking funny. “You gave captain America a hand job. I’m guessing that was his first too?”
Bucky nodded gravely. “He gave me one, too. I didn’t think I could manage it, but I came like a horny fucking teenager.” He sighed. “That was all we did. But he wanted to do it again. I mean… if you wanted to save yourself for the person you were in love with… would you do that?”
Rumlow took a moment to picture Barnes coming, though in his head it was his hand and not Rogers’. “I can’t answer that. I lost my virginity at thirteen. I can’t imagine waiting.” He shook his head. “Doesn’t sound like he’s got a problem with messing around with you. Maybe he’s really not in love with this other guy. I always kinda thought he was in love with you.” It was hard to say but he had to.
Bucky actually smiled genuinely at that. “Thirteen? You fucking pervert. I hope she was older than you,” he said. His smile faded a little when the other man mentioned Steve, and his assumptions. “What made you think that?” he asked. He wanted to know every detail about it.
Rumlow looked down. “It wasn’t exactly my idea,” he said softly. He knew a little about how Barnes felt. “It was the way he reacted. When I mentioned you. His eyes lit up.”
Bucky’s expression changed instantly. “I’m sorry, man. I didn’t know,” he said contritely. He wondered if that was part of the reason Rumlow had protected him. His heart went out to 13 year old Rumlow. He never should have joked about something like that.
Rumlow shook his head. “No one does. It only happened a couple of times. Until I got big enough to beat the shit out of them.” It wasn’t a memory he liked to recall. He didn’t mind Barnes knowing though.
“Steve doesn’t know what happened to me. I kind of told Stark when I was trying to explain why I trusted you,” he said. Because he did trust Rumlow, despite everything.
Rumlow sighed. “I’m willing to bet Rogers feels more for you than just friends,” he said, though it pained him to admit it. “But don’t worry. I’m not exactly on speaking terms with him. I ain’t telling nobody nothing.”
Bucky stood up. “I know you wouldn’t. I guess I should get back before anyone tries to track me down. I wouldn’t be surprised if Stark didn’t secretly LoJack me the other day.” He waited for Rumlow to stand, too.
Rumlow wanted Barnes to linger but he knew it was a bad idea. “Yeah. Thanks for this,” he said, indicating the ID. “And good luck.” He knew he wouldn’t be seeing him a lot. No one wanted him near Barnes. He stood up.
Without warning, Bucky stepped in close and wrapped his arms around Rumlow, patting him on the back. “Thanks. Get a job. And try not to drink so much, okay?” He could smell the liquor on him, despite the fact that he’d showered.
Rumlow stiffened, not used to contact, despite the fact that he wanted it. He forced himself to relax and return the hug. “Yeah. I’ll try.” He knew he wasn’t going to stop. But it was nice someone cared.
“And text me if you get into trouble, got it? I’m serious about that. I’m still pissed that you tried to kill Steve, but I owe you. And we should have each others’ backs.” He knew that not that many people were watching out for either of them. No matter what Steve and Tony thought, Bucky knew that Rumlow regretted getting sucked into HYDRA.
Rumlow nodded. He was very grateful that Bucky wanted anything to do with him at all. He didn’t want the other man to feel he owed him anything but it was nice to have a friend. Even if it hurt to be around him. “You need anything, you let me know, too.”
Bucky leaned back and nodded. “Deal. Or, you know, if you just wanna tell me what’s going on. Or grab dinner some time. Or whatever.”
Rumlow hoped that would happen but he wasn’t holding his breath. “Good. Now get out of here before Stark freaks the fuck out.” He tried a smile but it came out as more of a smirk.
“Fuck that asshole,” Bucky said, smirking back. “See ya, Rumlow.” And then because he really did need to get going, he let himself out.