i was thinking, what if steve sleeptalks?
like, he and sam are in a hotel room (in the great bucky barnes search slash road trip), sleeping together (of course). the A/C kicks on, startling sam awake. steve rolls over, slings an arm around sam, mutters, “buck, tell mr. morello he needs to fix the stupid heater already, ‘m freezin,” and lets out a huge snore.
sam would be a little pissed off if it wasn’t heartbreaking. so he just pulls the covers up around steve’s shoulders and tries to lend steve some of his warmth.
sometimes, steve wakes sam up muttering about hydra, or repeating “bucky” or “natasha” or “sam” like a prayer. other times, he says nothing but nonsense: “goddamn ninja turtles, get out of my kitchen.” sam wakes up steve laughing and refuses to explain.
one night, steve falls asleep on sam’s chest while they’re watching hbo in another hotel room. sam’s being sappy, running his fingers through steve’s hair, when steve grabs a fistful of sam’s tshirt and snuggles in close. “watch out for the dragons, sam,” he says, pressing his face into the warmth of sam’s tshirt. “how do you always catch me?” steve mutters randomly, his nose crinkling.
"i don’t know, man," sam answers with a sigh, "but i don’t think you’re the one who’s falling, this time."
i am amazed that something i typed into my ipod when i was lying in bed half-asleep at like 2AM got over two notes lol. but i am trying to cheer myself up, so here’s a part 2:
of course, when they find barnes, it all ends. no more warm, too-small hotel beds. no more hands worming their way around sam in the middle of the night. no more sleep, if sam’s being honest with himself. sam opens his home to steve and his amnesiac assassin best friend, but steve closes his bed to sam.
for some reason, steve has some fool idea in his head that sharing a room with bucky will help him regain his memories — and barnes seems to feel safer with steve at his back each night.
"your guest room is the same size as our first apartment," steve shrugs, and sam just laughs and admits, "mine, too."
sam can’t sleep, though, even when he lays his pillow on the floor. he stares up at the ceiling for what feels like hours. finally, he gives sleep up as a lost cause, and heads to the kitchen for some hot chocolate.
barnes walks in a half hour later, his hair a mess, steve’s baggy sweatpants falling off his hips, and stops in the kitchen doorway. sam looks up.
"steve won’t shut up for ten minutes and let me rest," bucky mutters, crossing his arms. "keeps talking about you in his sleep."
sam snorts. “he used to talk like you were there, back in the day. ask me to get the heater fixed or something.” bucky frowns.
"i think he’s having nightmares," bucky tells sam cautiously, feeling out the situation. "about you, i mean." like clockwork, he hears something like a shout from the open door of steve and bucky’s room. sam gets to his feet.
bucky follows sam to steve’s side. he’s lying in a tangled mess of sheets, muttering, “sam — sam, deploy parachute — i can’t reach —”
sam kneels beside the bed and says softly, “steve. you’re dreaming. i’m here.” steve startles awake, going into a defensive stance, but he stands down as soon as he sees sam in the half-light.
"sam," steve says weakly, reaching out.
"i’m here," sam whispers. he lets steve take him into his arms and hold him for a few moments. "alright, alright, you’re crushing me," sam says with a sad smile. sleepily, steve grins.
"sorry," he yawns.
"alright," sam says gently, "let’s get you to bed." he untangles steve from the sheets and crawls into bed next to him, covering them both with the comforter. sam loops an arm around steve, who clasps his hand over sam’s.
sam’s half asleep himself when he sees barnes sill hovering in the doorway, given away by the streetlamp outside the window shining on his arm.
"come on," sam says, patting the bed. he scoots himself and the heavy, soundly sleeping lug that is steve rogers aside to make room for barnes.
bucky crawls into the bed, tensing when steve automatically reaches out to pull him in. sam watches through lidded eyes as bucky relaxes into steve’s touch.
before sam knows it, they’re all fast asleep.
in honor of “why does this have so many notes i was barely conscious when i wrote it”:
"okay, this is just disgusting."
sam looks up from his book to see natasha standing in the joined doorway to their hotel room, staring at the three of them cuddled up on the bed.
"that’s why you need to wash your socks, bucky," steve mutters in his sleep.
steve is passed out on the hotel bed in a post-mission crash, his head pillowed on sam’s shoulder. bucky’s dozing off on steve’s right, using his abs as a pillow.
sam watches as bucky cracks open an eye to look up at steve.
"the red skull is gonna track us from your stinky shoes," steve continues in a matter-of-fact mutter, his voice muffled by sam’s shoulder. sam meets bucky’s eye and has to look away, else he burst out laughing.
"what the hell—?" natasha starts, but sam shushes her with a quick motion.
he sleeptalks, sam mouths. natasha frowns at him.
bucky smirks and says softly, “hey, steve, what if i use my stinky socks to knock out the skull?”
"you can’t knock him out with socks, he’s teamed up with dr. scholl’s," steve whines. bucky sticks his metal fist in his mouth to keep from laughing.
natasha creeps silently along the room, stopping at the edge of the bed. sam smiles to see the mischievous look in her eye.
"steve," she says in a voice dripping with honey, "who’s your favorite: sam, bucky, or natasha?" they all hold their breath.
"apple cake," steve sighs, slinging an arm around sam’s middle and snuggling into him. natasha sighs.
"steve, you’re crushing my internal organs," sam says, brushing a hand over his hair. steve loosens his grip instantly, but his eyes stay shut.
"so that’s why you’re so squishy," steve hums. sam scowls as bucky hides his laugh in steve’s stomach.
natasha rolls her eyes fondly and turns on her heel to head back to her room, but bucky’s arm shoots out, grabbing her wrist.
"come on," bucky says with a yawn, "you’ll sleep better. no nightmares."
"i have my own bed," she says quietly, but bucky doesn’t loosen his grip.
"you don’t choose the cuddle pile, nat," steve says in a voice that makes sam think he’s half awake now. "the cuddle pile chooses you."
sam bursts out into laughter as bucky tugs natasha into the bed. she kicks her shoes off and grabs a pillow.
"turn off the light," steve says, cracking an eye open to scowl at sam. "can’t a guy get any sleep around here?"
none of them bother to explain to steve why they’re laughing.