Steve had closed his eyes as Bucky continued kissing him swooned into his warm kiss. Suddenly Bucky felt Steve´s body over relaxing; he broke the kiss worryingly.
Half asleep but satisfied eyes fixed on him; now that the danger had passed the physical exhaustion of the past days had caught up with him. He exhaled in a sigh smiling as he timidly asked. “Can I sleep now?” His pleading tone, the question itself … not even Steve was aware of how close they had been to breaking him … Bucky bit his lip heartbroken wondering just how much would Steve had endured during his captivity. He was still scrambling into his brain for an answer when Steve interrupted his thoughts. “You are so warm …” He snuggled closer to him trying to draw even just a small part of his body heat into his own skin. Bucky frowned puzzled by his remark; he didn´t felt warm. As a matter of fact his clothes were still damp; after their race to the Quinjet he had managed to fight the cold, but he didn´t felt warm. Concerned he touched Steve´s cheek, he was still stone-cold despite the jacket Clint had placed on his back and the emergency blankets that wrapped the rest of his body.
“Steve … you are freezing.” Bucky volunteered looking worryingly at him.
“We need to get him out of those wet clothes.” Clint told him dryly. They didn´t had the time to do it before.
“I think we might need to get those shackles off him first.” Tony volunteered with a frown in his face.
“I can´t break them.” Bucky informed them heavily. “I´ve tried.” They had thought of everything.
“Maybe I could try cutting them off with the laser.” Tony thought out loud which draw everyone´d attention to him. That didn´t sounded like the best idea. “Or … maybe not.” He offered feeling everyone´s shocked glares on him.
“Men.” Natasha spat annoyed pulling out a small picklock that had been hidden on her belt. “A lock is a lock.” She plainly informed them while approaching Bucky and Steve. “Can I?” She asked Steve kindly; none of them knew exactly what Hydra had done to him yet but they could make an educated guess based on his appearance. She didn´t wanted to startle him nor awake any recent memories.
“Umm, yes …” Steve agreed placing one of his shackled wrists on her extended palm. He sighed; sleep would have to wait. After fidgeting with the picklock for less than a minute the shackle fell to the floor with a loud clank. Dark bruising as well as red angry lines had been hiding under it. Natasha looked up at him upset by the state of his wrist. Steve had winced slightly while she manipulated the lock; grimacing in pain when the pressure of the shackle suddenly lifted, now he observed his own wounds absentmindedly. He remembered the pain as he was hoisted up.
“Steve …” Natasha´s voice snapped him out of his thoughts. Steve frowned confused for a second trying to concentrate on what Natasha was telling him. “Uh? I´m sorry … I´m just so exhausted.” He offered his other wrist to her.
“It´s ok.” Natasha accepted his apology even if that wasn´t the reason she had called his attention. He didn´t needed to worry about that sort of thing right now.
When both of his wrists were free Steve softly nursed them, wincing when he touched a particular sore spot. At least he was free now.
Clint swiftly offered Steve a bundle of clothes as he told him. “I´m afraid we didn´t brought an extra set of clothes for you; this was all I could find. They might be a little tight except for your jacket but at least they are dry.
“It´s all right.” Steve thanked him with a small smile.
Tony was distracted working on a mental list of everything he now thought the Quinjet should be equipped with; he just hated feeling unprepared. A medical compartment equipped with anything they could use during an emergency; it couldn’t be big; but it would be useful if they could use it also as dressing room. The thought had popped into his mind when he noticed there really wasn´t a place in the craft to change in private. Not that it mattered much; after all they had all seen more than enough of Steve on the hospital. But it would be nice to have some sort of privacy on the Quinjet. His mind began to wander about introducing Loki to the Mile-High Club when Steve removed Clint´s jacket from his shoulders.
The whole team had dropped silent shockingly staring at the condition of Steve´s back; their expressions varying from pained to enraged. Hydra hadn´t lost any time torturing him; all kinds of cuts and bruises crossed all of his back, older and fresher wounds coexisting in the same places. His healing factor had played against him allowing Hydra to pursue his reeducation relentlessly.
“God, Steve!” Bucky was the first to speak expressing his concern while at the same time burying down his anger. “If I ever get my hands on whoever did this to you he´ll be lucky if I just kill him…” He hid the dark thoughts of Steve knowing they would upset him.
“We´d better fly him straight top the base.” Natasha suggested distraught. “He might need a medic after all.”
“Humans!” Loki growled vexed. “I´ve had it with your archaic forms of healing!” Without waiting for any reply to his outburst he knelt next to Steve. Looking at him sternly he ordered. “Give me your hands right now!”
“But …. Loki!” Tony complained instantly; they had been fighting for at least two hours.
“I don´t want to hear it Stark!” He warned him irked before sighing upset. He hadn´t meant to sound that harsh. “They are only flesh wounds Tony.” He looked back at his lover trying to comfort him.
Steve looked at him astonished; besides from Tony he didn´t recalled Loki offering to heal one of them. They usually had to ask him, and he didn´t used to do it if we was too tired unless it was a real emergency. “Loki … are you sure?” He asked him flabbergasted feeling his heart pumping hard at the unexpected gesture. “ I mean … I …”
Loki interrupted him smirking warmly at him. “What´s the worst than could happen Steve? That I´ll need to rest afterwards? The enemy has been defeated. I think I can take the risk.” Next he leaned to whisper on his ear. “Now … stop blushing.”
Steve bit his lip nervously as he blushed even more. It just wasn´t a reflex he could control. “God … you are terrible.” He acknowledged with a wry smile as he surrendered his hands to Loki.
Loki took a deep breath and closed his eyes, but before he started the incantation he opened them again as he warned everyone. “Keep quiet; this isn’t as easy as it seems. I really need to concentrate…” He closed his eyes again only to open them a second later annoyed by something. “Tony … you are thinking too loud.”
“What??!” Tony spat shocked at his comment. Loki just gave him a stern look that spelled “Stop staring at me”.
Tony huffed nodding in disbelief; yes, he was staring. His boyfriend was healing not only their friend but the person he had kissed less than a week ago. It might be petty of him, but he still felt a pang of jealousy. “I´ll go to the cockpit” He volunteered shrugging it off rather annoyed. Half way there he smirked nodding amused; Loki definitely knew how to put up a show.
Bucky frowned intrigued by the whole scene and just looked at Loki questioningly.
“Do you want to join him?” Loki questioned him sternly startling Bucky who just surrender a dry. “No.”
“Then be quiet.” Loki ordered him; he knew Bucky loved Steve deeply and vice versa but that didn´t meant he liked him. Not right now at least.
Clint and Natasha just looked at each other amused; something had definitely happened between Steve and Loki during the time they had been away. Whatever “it” was it would be worth risking Loki´s wrath to find out.
“Ahem.” Loki cleared his throat staring right at them unamused.
“Umm, sorry.” Clint volunteer; next he mocked him wryly. “We´ll think quietly.”
Steve just couldn´t refrain from laughing any more.
Loki looked back at him equally amused by Clint´s witty comment; but most of all he was glad of hearing Steve´s laugh. Scolding him softly he motioned his silence. “Shhh.” He explained him pained. “I´m sorry, but this might sting a bit.”
“I understand; I´ll be fine.” Steve nodded in agreement.
Taking again a deep breath Loki closed his eyes, he kept breathing deeply until he felt concentrated enough. A green aura lit around him traveling from him to Steve´s body closing any opened wounds on its path; as well as any internal ones’. Bruising faded as the broken blood vessels under them healed. Loki frowned deeply as he struggled to maintain the spell a little longer; but he was too spent from the battle. He broke it off suddenly with an exhausted panting leaning into Steve´s forehead opening his eyes; they both looked equally exhausted. “Better?” He sincerely asked.
“Much better.” Steve admitted with a relieved smile; he had been in quite some pain even if he had refrained from mentioning it to the others. They were worried enough. “Thank you”
“That´s what friends are for.” Loki volunteered while accepting his gratitude; changing his tone for a sterner one he told him. “Don´t you ever do something like this ever again. We all were worried sick about you.” Everyone nodded their heads on approval as they voiced out their endorsement to Loki´s statement.
“I´m … sorry.” Steve admitted taken aback by their reactions. “I really hope that nothing like this ever happens again.”
“Don´t tell Tony … but, I think I over did it.” He suddenly offered with a sly smile.
“I heard that.” Tony spat surprising Loki who just smiled weary at him. He had come back as soon as Loki started casting the spell.
“I thought you had left.” Loki acknowledged spent.
Tony knelt down in order to help him up as he slyly told him. “I hate people telling me what to do.” He volunteered while helping Loki up. “Besides, you know I would never leave you alone again.” Loki looked at him pleasantly surprised; he had remembered his promise.
“If I wasn´t this tired ….” He acknowledged looking lovingly at Tony as they sat on the left seat isle of the craft.
“I know …” Tony whispered lustfully in his ear before he leads Loki´s head to rest on his shoulder. “Chocolate?” He offered playfully a small wrapping that Loki snatched delighted before hurryingly unwrapping it and taking a satisfied bite. “Mmm … I love you.”
Tony snorted amused. “Are you talking to me e or to the chocolate?”
“Both.” Loki offered jokingly. Everything was fine; he hadn’t felt at peace in such a long time.
Clint, Natasha and Steve smiled warmly at the scene; it has been ages since they had seen Tony and Loki that happy.
Bucky´s gaze went form one person to the next wondering what had been all of that about. Also he was making a mental note about asking Steve about his relationship with Loki. He had felt strangely jealous about their interaction. Looking back at Steve he asked him. “Do you need any help?”
Steve looked intently into Bucky´s eyes; if they were alone he just might had said yes. “I … think I can handle.” He volunteered abashed.
Clint and Natasha looked back at them. “We´ll be in the cockpit.” Natasha volunteered dragging Clint along. “Let´s take all the love birds home.” She whispered with a smirk to Clint´s ear who almost busted laughing. “Um, yes; what she said. We´ll be in the cockpit.” He agreed utterly amused.
Tony and Loki seemed to have fallen asleep content of being in each other´s arms.
“Bucky I …” Steve looked at him unsure of what to say first.
Bucky smiled warmly at him; he could see the questions piling up inside Steve´s brain. “We´ll have enough time to talk. Let´s get you dry first.” He caressed Steve’s cheek gently as he smiled fondly at him; he was safe at last. Next he asked worryingly. “Did they fed you? He knew Hydra´s methods all to well.
“No.” Steve admitted distraught. There was only one reason Bucky could knew to ask him that. He frowned with a heavy heart imagining Bucky been subjected to the same tortures he was; only … no one had come to his rescue. “I´m sorry.” He confessed with tears on his eyes.
“You keep saying that.” Bucky pointed out concerned as he dried Steve´s tears. “Even when … I stabbed you. “He looked at him pained by the memory. “Steve, what on God´s name you have to be sorry about?”
Silent tears kept rolling out of his eyes as he explained. “I … I should´ve looked for you … back then. Maybe if I hadn´t just assumed you were death …” There was true pain in his eyes.
Bucky sighed deeply before snatching a t-shit from the bundle of clothes Clint had given Steve; as he pulled it over´s Steve head he told him. “You couldn’t have known.” He motioned Steve to help him with the sleeves. “I have nothing to forgive you about Steve. It wasn´t your fault.”
“But …” Steve protested weakly as he rolled the shirt down. It was a bit tight as Clint had told him; it probably was Bruce´s.
“Steve … you are cold, hungry and exhausted. I know we have much to talk and we will.” Bucky acknowledged kindly; Steve always seemed to forget about himself. “But for now you need to dress up, eat and get some sleep … so, unless you want me to help you with your clothing …”
Steve blushed fiercely at his words …. If only they were alone.
“Oh…” Bucky felt bemused and aroused at the same time; he did want him too. He bit his lip conflicted. “I … don’t think this is the right place for …”
Steve nodded his head swiftly in denial still flustered. “No, it´s not. I just …” So many thoughts and feelings overwhelmed him.
Bucky smirked mischievously at him. “We´ll have enough time to talk about … that … maybe we can do more than … talk.” He kissed him hungrily feeling Steve´s quickening heart beat; his Steve. This time he really was his.