Title: Worth Saving
Author: Prentice (slyprentice tumblr)
Category: Captain America, MCU
Genre: Angst, Romance, Hurt/Comfort, Alpha/Beta/Omega.
Ship: Bucky/Steve
Overall Rating: Mature
Warnings: Unbeta'd so beware. Really (incredibly) vague spoilers for TWS.
Author's Note: I have no clue what my muse wanted me to do with this fic so, yeah. That said, how many feels did the damn Winter Soldier movie give everyone…JFC…I almost didn't make it.

Summary: It's a cliché thing to admit but Steve remembers his Alpha's knot the best.

It's a cliché thing to admit but Steve remembers his Alpha's knot the best.

There are a thousand other things he remembers, of course. Little things like scents and smiles and laughs and touches; like lying in a bed too small for two people, sticky hot with the summer heat and the weight of his Alpha pressing onto him and into him. He remembers coarse dark hair and warm blue eyes; a mouth that drags sloppy-soft and open along the arch of his neck and the line of his jaw.

He remembers so many things. Times and places long forgotten, but it's his Alpha's knot that he remembers best of all. He shouldn't – it's a cliché for a reason and nowadays the world has moved past the romanticism of knotting; they've moved past the romanticism of a lot of things Steve has found – but it's the truth.

He remembers his Alpha's knot the way he remembers the taste of real coca-cola, the vanilla bean scent of his mother's hair, and the burn in his chest every time '4F' is stamped onto his enlistment forms.

(No Omega should be without his Alpha, even during the war, but Steve is an exception; he is too frail, too weak, and he burns inside at the thought of his Alpha being so far away, fighting on his own, without him.)

He remembers the fundamental things. The things that might have changed, might now be gone, but are still stamped into his memory like the press of cold and ice and dark. His Alpha's knot is one of those things. An essential part of him that echoes with thoughts of home and safety and protection and love and so many other things that Steve sometimes cannot bear it, cannot fathom how he's done without it for so long.

But he has – he has – and it's his Alpha's knot that gets him through it. Remembering the weight of it, the size of it; the way it felt far too big inside of him, like it was going to stretch him beyond his limits, beyond what his body is capable of taking. The way it always lodged so deep inside of him that he sometimes imagined that he could feel the press of it in the back of his throat, choking him into a heady haze of pleasure and fullness and Bucky.

Bucky Barnes. High Alpha. His Alpha.

Sometimes it doesn't seem real, remembering it. That Buck wasn't just his best friend but also his Alpha. His true mate in ways that Steve still can't quite wrap his head around, still can't quite believe, even after all this time.

Bucky hadn't had the same trouble, though. It was like he'd known all along, even before Steve presented for the first time, and had kept himself close, protecting Steve from everything and everyone.

(It's sticky-hot in the apartment when it happens and Steve wants to curse the world for it because his mother's not due home for another few hours and he can't go out like this; can't even open a window like this. It's too dangerous and Bucky had warned him, grim-faced and serious, not to leave the apartment at all but he'd left Steve some of his clothes, hadn't he, before leaving for his job at the docks and those help – more than he expects, honestly– and Steve buries his face in them, the scent of alpha-and-home-and-Bucky so strong that – that – his fingers fumble at the fly of his trousers, his entire body trembling as he bites his lip and wraps his hand around his suddenly hard cock; the strange new feeling of unexpected slickness spreading between his ass cheeks and wetting the seat of his pants, Bucky's shirt draped over his face and – and –

"Finally," he hears cursed, tone low and familiar, and he hadn't heard the door open but – but –

"Alpha," he moans, begs, pleads, back arching when a hand pulls his own away and callused fingers wrap tightly around his erection, the scent of sweat and grease and, "Bucky, please!"

"Shh, I've got you, buddy; I'm here now. I'll take care of you."

And Steve – Steve isn't coherent enough to hear the silent 'always' that comes after that but it doesn't matter because his Alpha's got rough fingers sliding and probing through the slick between his cheeks, drenching his entire hand, and how could he have not have known, how-how-how, because it's his Alpha – his Alpha – it's always been –

"Bucky!")

Steve misses his Alpha. Every single part of him, every single inch, and there is no denying that. But it's his Alpha's knot that he remembers best because it's the only one he's ever taken and the only one he ever wants.

And now – now –

They call him the Winter Soldier.

But Steve…

Steve just calls him Alpha.

(No one treats him like Bucky. No one has ever treated him like Bucky. Not a single soul in the entire world and it's not just because Bucky is his Alpha. It's because Bucky is a good man – a good man – and Steve will always believe that, even if he's the only one – even if he has to fight the world to prove it – because Bucky is his Alpha and that's something – everything – worth saving.)