When he asks T'Challa about Bucky's whereabouts in the hideaway, Steve gets directed towards a narrow, dead-end corridor. On the right, it widens into another, larger facility appearing to be a communal, open-air washroom — high tech and strange and with chrome fixtures.
There's mosaic, deep blue tiles on the walls and porcelain-looking floors. Sheets of fogged, opaque glass separate each lone shower area.
One waterfall shower-head, and one angled from the wall, and three spray-heads. He glimpses an adjustable, removable shower-head attached to a nozzle, and a lit-up, interactive control-panel with programmable options like a soap and water temperature setting. Steve think he's seen something similar in the old Avengers headquarters.
Something he remembers wasn't: his old friend, naked, and missing his prosthetic arm.
Bucky's dark, drenched hair covers his forehead, allowing the warm water to leak down his face and his eyes. He grumbles, slamming a palm roughly against the wall's panel. Steve feels his mouth twitch into a half-smile when he hears Bucky mutter over his shoulder, "Don't they have some normal showers around here?"
He tries to quell Bucky's confusion and frustration, searching through an paneled glass cabinet near the entrance.
"Here," Steve offers, laughing a little, approaching him. "Try this?"
A rueful, searching look, but Bucky accepts the shampoo bottle from him, flipping open the lid with a thumb-press. Steve doesn't waste time shedding off his Captain America uniform, already without his helmet, tugging at the complicated strap-work, removing the ballistic, durable nylon and armor and padding. Out of the corner of his eye, Steve thinks he catches Bucky gazing solemnly over his bare, prominent muscles, over all of him, before turning away and switching on the overhead water.
He feels seventeen again, giddy and embarrassed to be seen without any clothes. Heat rises to Steve's cheeks.
Without saying anything, Steve joins him in the oversized glass-stall, basking in the steam and in the closeness of his dearest person. It's absurdly sentimental to call Bucky that, but after all they lived through… everything in their past, they've always had that kind of friendship.
Never wanting to be apart for too long… dedicated to each other and protective, and…
Bucky cracks his neck, waiting patiently for the other man to pour shampoo into his hair, lathering and rinsing him. He could do it one-handed by himself, Steve thinks. But right now, they're both silent and exhausted to the bone, riddled with purpling, sore bruises and gashes and new scars. Wakanda is their haven, even if it's temporary.
(Maybe they really are two old fossils, not meant for this era, but unable to walk away without each other.)
Steve's fingers caress over the length of Bucky's shoulders, attentive and slow.
The last time they were naked together, it had been the 1930's in New York — Bucky's mouth tasted slick and hot with kisses. Steve remembers the rattling creak of the shower pipes of his high school, their bodies damp and aching for touch-contact, their hips pushing up together. He wanted to taste Bucky's cock too, not just the insides of his mouth. He remembers being scrawnier and shorter than Bucky, much more insecure, and wondering how Bucky could want him like this.
For some reason, he did. Bucky would only chuckle and wrap his arms around Steve's middle, shushing him with a playful nip on his jaw.
Coach Donald almost caught them in the boy's locker-room once, after the school bell rang. The man had been a raging homophobe and as unpatriotic as they come, fearful of anyone who wasn't as white or straight or masculine as he believed they should be. There are many more Donalds who exist now, Steve realizes.
Hopefully they can build a world without their voices being the loudest.
"Steve—" Bucky's tone comes out soft and cautious. He whirls around, bumping slightly into him. "I just—"
Interrupting him, Steve laughs again and gently takes hold of his face, pressing their lips together, over, over and over. He hasn't kissed Bucky in ages, and it's every bit of warm and comforting as he reconstructs in his late-night thoughts. Amusement crinkles Steve's blue eyes.
"Could you do me a favor, Buck?" he whispers. "Stop over-thinking it."
Bucky snorts lightly, narrowing his eyes.
"Not all of us can be a completely reckless idiot…"
"You're one to talk…" Steve breathes out, arguing between open-mouthed, aggressive kisses, "with you and your…" Bucky's human hand resting on Steve's back, traveling up his spine, and he can practically taste the scruff darkening Bucky's upper lip and his chin, "fighting bravo during the war…"
A rumbling, shuddery noise leaves Bucky's chest.
Is he laughing?
"Bravo. Good word," he says quietly, sliding his palm across Steve's cheek, his thumb running over a cheekbone. Bucky's eyelashes tremble when he closes his eyes, and Steve gazes over him contemplatively, leaving another spit-sticky, reassuring kiss to Bucky's mouth. "God, I've missed the way you feel…"
He's not sure who does it first, but their foreheads rest together, heavy and moist with shower-water.
"Is it too late to fix it?" Bucky murmurs.
"Never," Steve replies, and he means it. There's nothing they can't come back from now.
Marvel's Civil War isn't mine. I'M A DAY LATE FOR AMANDA (FEELSANDFANDOMS ON AO3 AND BEKASYURA ON TUMBLR)'S BIRTHDAY BUT HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I know how much you love your boys so here you go. Have some boys. I hope all the Stucky fans enjoyed this and any comments/thoughts are so appreciated! :D