Pairing: Bucky Barnes x Avenger!Reader
Word Count: 7661 (Don’t come at me - you guys asked for it)
Warnings: !FATWS Spoilers!, Cursing, Fluff, Feelings, I Dunno What Else, This One’s Pretty Chill, Except The Ending, But You’ll See When You Get There
A/N: Here it is! I was hesitant about posting it because that means we’re getting closer to the end and I’m such a nostalgic bitch! I’m definitely gonna cry next week when the last episode comes out! Anyways, I’ve got a few things to talk about:
I think this is one of the most important chapters I’ve written and I’m excited to see your reactions to it. It is longer, but you guys asked for that, so you got it! Also, I’m loving the Asks, Comments, and Reblogs. I try to respond to all of them. I have work in a little bit, so I won’t be able to until after, but I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Ask me anything; about my series, the show, any of the movies, personal stuff, I really don’t care. If you’re not comfortable, that’s totally fine! Every like means so much to me!
I know it’s not the end yet - we’ve got one more episode and a list of One Shots to get through - but there’s a definite feeling of this series coming to an end, and I just want to thank you all for the support and love you’ve been giving it! I’ve really enjoyed writing these characters and this story! It’s very, very special to me and I’m glad I’ve been able to share it with you lovely people!
On that note, be kind to yourselves and others! Thank you again for reading! Excuse any mistakes - this isn’t beta’d! Enjoy and stay tuned!
!SPOILERS UNDER CUT! (Sorry for the gifs I just love them so much and he’s so pretty and this part is technically two parts so...you get four!)
“Louisiana.” Bucky hummed, looking around the airport.
You rolled your eyes. “You’re not gonna find anything interesting about Louisiana in here, doofus. Let’s call an Uber.”
“An Ooper? What the hell is an Ooper?”
You giggled, shaking your head and grabbing his hand and pulling him towards the luggage carousel. “Uber. It’s like…a taxi service. But there’s an app on your phone to get a driver instead of waiting for one on the street.”
“Oh.” He blinked, tilting his head. “That’s…helpful.”
You laughed again, stopping in front of Carousel 3, where your flight from New York was assigned. You went back to New York to grab a bag with clean clothes and other necessities, along with taking a real shower for once. It was nice to be back in the States, as much as you loved traveling. It’d been a crazy few weeks and you were ready to just relax.
“Do you think there were any problems with Sammy’s present?”
Bucky shook his head. “Nah. Especially considering they know who we are.”
You snickered at his slight grumble. They had had…problems at the other two airports - first the one in Sokovia then JFK in New York - considering Bucky’s entire arm was metal. It’d taken a full hour before they actually let you go, and by that time they had to give you a new plane because yours had left.
“Seriously. Who else has a fucking metal arm and has 1917 listed as their birth year on their Driver’s License?” You giggled again. That was also true. They thought he was messing with them. It wasn’t until you stepped in a few minutes after they asked Bucky to step to the side, seeing Bucky get frustrated, that they realized Bucky wasn’t pulling their legs.
“Well, we’re here now and that’s all that matters.”
He nodded in agreement, watching for your bags, his hand finding yours when he realized how many people there were. “Do you know where he lives? I didn’t even think about it.”
“Yeah, don’t worry. He invited me over once. I declined, but I saved the address.”
“He…invited you over?” Bucky frowned.
You gave him a look. “I’m sure he invited you, too. You just never checked his texts.”
He licked his lips, tilting his head. “Yeah, no, I know, but I mean…why didn’t you go? Weren’t you two just talking about how you wanted to meet his nephews the other day?”
“Yeah, but I had gotten a tip on Wanda at the time and I didn’t want to miss the chance that she was there. He told me it was fine. I still felt really bad. I could tell he was a bit disappointed. I think it was one of the boys’ birthdays. Or something. I don’t remember. Is that bad? Yeah, probably. I really should remember. Maybe I should keep track of birthdays on my calendar or something.”
“Doll.” You looked up to find him giving you a magnificent smile, teeth and all. “You’re rambling.”
“Oh. Am I? Sorry. I didn’t realize.”
He shook his head quickly, squeezing your hand. “Don’t apologize. It’s cute. I’m just not used to you talking so much. You kinda did on the phone sometimes.”
You shrugged, pushing down the heat crawling up your neck at his words. “I rambled a lot to Steve.”
His face fell, making you scrunch your eyebrows up in confusion, nudging him slightly to grin at him. “It’s nice to have someone to ramble to again, though.” There was that smile again. You were stopped from saying anything more when you noticed some kids pointing and chattering excitedly at a gleaming silver box coming around the corner on the conveyor belt. “There it is.”
He looked over his shoulder, dropping your hand and stepping over to grab it, lifting it effortlessly. You didn’t know what was in it or how heavy it was, but you were sure it felt like a feather to him.
“Alright. Got our bag, sweetheart?” You lifted up the duffle in answer and he jerked his head towards the doors. “Let’s get outta here, then. Call that Booper or whatever.”
“U-B-E-R! Ub-er!” You threw your hands up, following him as he started walking towards the exit. “What’s so hard about it?!”
He just gave you a little smirk over his shoulder.
Bucky kept asking the Uber driver questions about his job. The guy was super nice and patient the whole time, a thick southern accent lacing his answers. Southern hospitality was no joke and apparently had no limit as Bucky asked about his experiences, listening intently and telling him his own stories of taxi drivers in NYC.
When you got to Sam’s sister’s house, Bucky, being Bucky, tipped the driver half of what you paid for the ride, thanking him for his time and energy, before getting out.
“You’re so adorable, you know that?” You teased him as you stepped up the porch stairs and knocked on the door.
He rolled his eyes, a tint of pink dusting across his cheeks. “He was nice.”
You hummed at his defense, the smile never leaving your features. After a moment, Bucky raised his fist to knock again. “Jesus Christ! Don’t fucking knock their door down!” You grabbed his wrist and lowered it.
“Sorry. I forget sometimes.” Bucky informed you absentmindedly, tilting his head to peek in the window. “I don’t think anyone’s home.”
“They’re probably at the docks, then.”
Bucky raised an eyebrow. “The docks?”
You nodded, gesturing for him to follow you. “Yeah. They have a boat, remember? He talked about it last week.”
“Oh right. The one he’s trying to convince his sister not to sell.”
“Yeah.” You confirmed. “I’m pretty sure it’s that way. I don’t know how far, but we can call the Uber back-”
Bucky scrunched up his face and shook his head. “Nah. I don’t wanna bother him again. We can walk.”
You gave him an incredulous look. “It’s literally his job to drive people around.”
“Well, yeah, but what if he’s got other people to drive?”
You lifted his metal knuckles to your lips. “Trust me, Buck, I’m sure he’d rather drive you than anyone else.”
Swinging your now linked hands, you gave a firm nod, letting him know it was, in fact, a compliment. “You are so very welcome.”
The walk was a lot longer than you thought it was, and you ended up on Bucky’s back after he kept complaining about how you “shouldn’t be walking this long” and you were “injured” and you “needed rest’”. You’re not sure how a shoulder wound affected your ability to walk, but you relented and let him carry you the rest of the way to stop his whining.
“You forget, you did pull your thigh.”
“That was, like, three weeks ago! Yeesh!”
You finally got to the docks, which were bustling with people. Bucky set you down and raised an eyebrow which you shrugged in reply to, before heading over to where you spotted Sam with a few other older men.
“How do we get it off the truck?” You heard Sam ask, pointing to a large boat engine part in the bed of a beaten up truck. Scoffing as Bucky lifted it up without breaking a sweat, you leaned against the truck. Bucky grunted and set it down, looking at Sam.
“You’re welcome.” What a punk. “Just dropping this off.” Bucky lifted the case and set it where the engine was previously, Sam coming to stand on the opposite side of the truck as you. “You can sign for it and I’ll go.” You snorted, shaking your head, making Bucky shove your shoulder - the uninjured one - playfully. “I called in a favor from the Wakandans.”
Sam looked at you curiously. You shrugged and shook your head. “Don’t look at me, Sammy. He wouldn’t tell me what it is. He’s all hushy hushy about it until you say so.”
Before Sam could reply, there was a squeak and hissing over at the boat where steam was coming from a few pipes.
“Sam!” You knew that was Sarah from pictures Sam showed you. You stayed up by the truck, pulling yourself onto the bed while Sam tried fixing the pipe, Bucky butting in to show him how to do it properly.
“Why didn’t you use the metal arm?”
You saw Bucky lift up said metallic limb. “Well…I don’t always think of it immediately. I’m-I’m right handed.” Letting out a laugh, Bucky turned around and scowled teasingly at you. “And what’re you laughing at?!”
“Well then get your ass over here!”
You rolled your eyes, hopping down from the truck as Bucky asked if Sam wanted help with the boat. You leaned against a wooden post, grinning when Sam looked at you.
“I don’t have any plans.”
Sam gave a small smile, jerking his head back. “Yeah.”
You jumped down onto the boat to follow him, looking over your shoulder and stopping with an amused eyebrow raised as Bucky introduced himself to Sarah. “I’m Bucky.”
“Sarah.” Bucky repeated her name, before walking towards you, a grin still on his lips.
“Careful, Barnes. That playboy Steve warned me about is coming out.” You nudged him with a smirk, ignoring the feeling of your stomach dropping.
He rolled his eyes, kissing your head as he passed you and Sam to go where Sam was gesturing. “Don’t worry, Y/N. You’re still my doll.”
Sam raised an eyebrow, falling into step besides you and lowering his voice. “Conversation?”
“Hasn’t happened.” You informed him through clenched teeth as he groaned.
Sam gave you a list of chores that needed to be done to clean up the boat, giving you a quick tour and letting you know where all the tools needed where. You set to work immediately.
Sanding down, replacing old parts, cleaning, polishing and painting over the things that didn’t need replacing. They didn’t let you do any heavy lifting because of your stupid shoulder, but you were still able to help.
Sam had turned on some music for you to listen to, so you danced around the boat while cleaning. Turning your head when you felt a pair of eyes on you, you smiled when Bucky snapped his head back down to the wood he was sanding down.
“Gonna dance, Barnes?”
He looked back over, shaking his head. “Nah. I’m good watching you.”
Rolling your eyes, you got back to work, continuing to bop to the music, fully aware that he was watching you now.
A little while later, you were repainting the edges of the boat orange, when you looked over and noticed Bucky playing around with a paint scraper…sitting right on the edge that you had just finished repainting a few minutes ago.
He looked over, eyebrows raised. “Yeah?”
You bit your lip, trying to hold back your mischievous grin. Shaking your head, you waved dismissively. “Never mind!”
He gave you a confused sort of pout, before shrugging and continuing to fidget with the tool. It wasn’t until later when he got up to help Sam tear the metal plating off the edge that it came to light with Sam chuckling and raising an eyebrow.
“Sit in something there, Barnes?”
Bucky craned his neck back, eyes widening when he saw the orange paint on his ass, contrasting with his jeans. You let out a cackle and he whipped towards you, pointing at you accusingly, although the small uptick of his lips let you know he wasn’t really mad.
“No, no, no!” You laughed, sprinting across the deck, shrieking when he grabbed your waist and spun you around. You gasped when he grabbed a paint brush and painted an orange stripe right down the front of your shirt. “James!”
“Justice, sweetheart.” He breathed in your ear with a chuckle.
You shook your head, wiggling out of his hold. “This is a nice shirt!”
“You should’ve thought about that before.” He smirked, crossing his arms. Your eyes caught sight of Sam behind him, who raised an eyebrow and the bucket of paint he was holding. You nodded with a little giggle, making Bucky’s eyes narrow. “What’s so funny over there, do - holy shit!
You guffawed as orange paint dripped down his head, Sam standing innocently behind him with the now empty bucket behind his back. “Samuel!”
“I’m gonna kill you!”
“Try me old man!”
“Oh my God!”
Paint, orange and white since those were the only cans they had out, flew across the deck, paint brushes being used like fencing swords.
You found out too late that wet paint was a little bit slippery and you slid on a huge puddle, sending you, not onto the ground below, but over the side of the edge into the water.
“Cher, you good?!”
The three of you looked at each other, stunned for a moment, before bursting into fits of laughter and you nodded. “I’m good!”
The boys helped you get back up onto the dock, Sarah appearing with towels she conjured up out of thin air. “Let’s get you into dry clothes. Do you have-?”
“We’ve got some. We got a bag.” You told her with a grin, facing the guys. “You two should clean up some, too. Sammy, you’ve got a little something right there.” You pointed to your cheek, his own having a giant white splotch from his temple to his jaw. “And Buck?” You sniggered, gesturing to the whole of him. “You’ve got a lotta something right there.”
“Ha. Ha.” He looked down. His top was practically tiger print, drenched in orange with white here and there, and his ass still orange as well. His hair, which had been plastered to his forehead, was starting to dry now, and it only made you laugh some more thinking about what a pain it’d be to get it out. For him, at least.
“God. Can’t even have a relaxing day on the boat with you two.” Sam jested once you finished up and joined him and Bucky, who had just finished dumping out some water buckets. Bucky had changed his shirt and it looked like they tried wiping their faces, but Sam still had small lines of white down his face. “How ‘bout a couple of drinks? Surely you can’t ruin that too.”
“Ruin?” You gasped in mock offence. “Sammy! I just made the day more…interesting.”
Sam chuckled, ruffling Bucky’s hair, which still had orange streaks in it. “Let’s go get some beers.”
You chatted for a bit, mainly you and Sam with you asking how Sarah and the boys were while Bucky with your legs in his lap, just listening to you two and sipping at his bottle. You had his hand in your own lap, wiping it down with a rag due to the paint that got on it.
“You’re lucky this is vibranium, you know.” You commented off handedly. “If it was your other one, it’d definitely get stained.”
“And who’s fault is that?” Bucky shot back with a teasing grin.
Sam spluttered. “Wh-what?! You started it!” You laughed, shaking your head.
Falling into a comfortable silence with just the water and birds chirping as your soundtrack, you downed the rest of your drink, which Bucky took as finished. “Well,” you moved your legs to let him stand up. He leaned forwards to clink his bottle against Sam’s and you stood up and stretched. “Gotta catch our flight tomorrow. Get a hotel room for the night.” Sam gave you a look to which you rolled your eyes at as Bucky set down his bottle and grabbed his jacket. “Crash, you know?”
“So you’re just gonna set me up like that, huh?”
“Well I don’t wanna make it weird for your family.”
“Just stay here.” You laughed as Sam babbled on about how nice the people were here, grabbing the jacket Bucky handed to you. It was getting a bit chilly from the breeze on the water and the sun going down. Plus, that water was cold.
“But don’t flirt with my sister.”
You cackled at Bucky’s face, that turned serious, his head shaking. “No.”
“‘Cause if you do I’ll have Carlos cut you up and feed you to the fish.”
“Can’t hold back the dog, Wilson. It’s been stuck in a kennel too long.”
Bucky turned to you, grabbing your jaw and squishing your cheeks together. “You know what? You need to shush. You’ve been snippy all day.”
You just smiled as innocently as you could with your lips being held by his metal fingers. “You’re too fun to mess with.”
He pecked your nose. “As long as I’m the only one you’re messing with. I’ll be right back.” He let you go and spun around, maneuvering around the boat in a way only a trained assassin could do.
“Oh my God, please! Please just put me out of my fucking misery! You’re killing me, cher.”
“What?” You gaped at him.
“Don’t act innocent!” Sam huffed, giving you a pointed look. “If I have to watch you two make googly eyes at you one more fucking day with neither of you doing anything about it-”
You rolled your eyes. “Oh come on, Sammy-”
“Don’t ‘come on, Sammy’ me! And don’t come at me with that ‘he doesn’t like me back’ bullshit. If you think for a second that boy wouldn’t follow you to the depths of the fucking ocean, you’re blind as a bat, woman.”
You shrugged, pushing up the sleeves of Bucky’s too big jacket. “It just…hasn’t come up.”
He deadpanned, shaking his head and standing up. “That’s it. I’m done. You two are driving me insane. I’m gonna lock you in a room until you have the conversation that needs to be had the next time either of you does something stupid.”
“Yikes. That’s gonna be quick.” At his look, your smile dropped and you nodded. “Okay, okay. I’ll…I’ll bring it up later.”
“Tomorrow or nothing.”
Sam tilted his head, brow creasing. “Is it still Steve? Is that what this is still about? Because he’s gone, and he’s been gone and you need to get over it-”
“No. It’s not…” You sighed. “It clicked the other day. When we were hanging out. Steve left and, yeah, I might always love him, but Bucky…God…I love Bucky, Sam.”
The man grinned proudly. “I’m glad to finally hear you admit it. So what’s the problem?”
“It’s still complicated, right? I mean…he’s his best friend and I’ve never dealt with stuff like this before and-”
Sam’s smile dropped and he groaned again. “Imma head out. I can’t take this. Dumbass and dumberass. I swear to God.” You sniggered a bit as he grumbled, walking towards the ramp to climb off the boat, just as Bucky reappeared.
“Nope! Not right now, Barnes! I can’t handle it! I can’t!”
Bucky gave you a weird look. “What’d you do?”
You chuckled, shaking your head. “Nothing.”
“Well, c’mon, doll. Sarah said she’s gonna make gumbo for us, whatever that is.” He held out his hand as you walked over.
“You’re such a city boy.” You teased lightly, taking his hand and letting him help you pull you onto the dock. You shoved the sleeves of his jackets up again since they slipped from the first time. “Let’s go get some dinner. I’m starving.”
“We have the couch and a mattress we can pull out, I just have to make Sam get it from the attic-”
“That’s alright. The couch is fine.” Bucky waved dismissively while you nodded in agreement.
Sarah raised an eyebrow at you two. “For both of you?”
You blinked, exchanging a look with Bucky, before shrugging and turning back to her. “Yeah.”
“Don’t fight it, Sarah.” Sam peeked out from the hall. “They’ve got a weird relationship.” You stuck your tongue out at the man while Bucky rolled his eyes, dropping your duffle bag by the couch. “How mature, Y/N.” Sam mimicked your action.
“Uhm…okay. Let me set up the couch for you then.”
Once everything was set up, you and Bucky thanking her for dinner - delicious and you’d never seen Bucky smile so much, the boys having kept him highly entertained throughout the meal - and for letting you crash, Sam and Sarah headed to their rooms, the boys already having been tucked in for the night.
“Are you gonna sleep on the floor?” You asked quietly, sitting down on the couch and doing the things for your night routine you didn’t already do in the bathroom.
“I think I’ll be okay.” He sat besides you. “I’ve been doing fine the past week or so.”
You smiled at him. “That’s good. Alright.” You stood up and stretched. “Let me just make sure everything’s in the bag and ready-”
You yelped when his arm wrapped around your waist, pulling you into his chest, shifting down to lay against the couch’s arm. “Do it in the morning.” He yawned, looking up at you tiredly. “I wanna go to sleep.”
“Then go to sleep, Buck. I’ll be right back.” He shook his head, his hold tightening as he sunk deeper into the couch.
“No. I fall asleep better with you.”
You rolled your eyes but grinned, settling down with your legs between his, your chin resting on his sternum so you could still look at him. He beamed, but you could see the exhaustion settling in, and he grabbed the blanket Sarah left over the back of the couch and draped it across your back, over both of your legs, before his arms crossed snugly under the covers at the small of your back.
“Dinner was nice tonight. I haven’t had a meal cooked like that in ages.” You hummed.
He nodded in agreement. “I think that’s the first time I’ve sat around a table with a family since the 40′s.”
You raised an eyebrow. “Did you like it?”
“Yeah...kinda makes me wish I had my own.”
“Your own what?”
You bit your lip, shyly avoiding his gaze. “You’re my family, Buck.”
A light kiss was pressed to your forehead, his fingers bringing your gaze back to his. “There’s no one else I’d rather have.” The room lapsed into silence again, the clock ticking on the wall, the low sound of crickets outside.
“You have really pretty eyes.” You mumbled, tilting your head slightly as you studied them. They always held so much emotion in them, especially in contrast to when you first met him as Soldat. They matched the water you fell in, and you wouldn’t mind falling over and over into them.
“Yeah, well, you’re just really pretty inside and out, so I think you’ve got me beat, doll.” He whispered back.
“You know who else is pretty? Sarah.”
He nodded with a hum. “That’s true. But I meant what I said. You’ll always be my doll.”
“So you’re not gonna ask her out?”
He gave you a weird look as you traced his sharp jawline absentmindedly. “Nah, sweetheart. It’s just…some harmless flirting. Except on Sam’s part.”
You gave a soft huff of laughter. “Yeah…he’s gonna strangle you. It is nice to see you like that, though. Flirty. Relaxed. Happy.”
“You make me happy, sweetheart.” He hummed, nosing your temple. “The road trip helped. I’m learning everything from you. Maybe not the flirting, but the carefree part.”
You blinked at him, finger stopping for a moment as you thought. “Oh…”
You felt his fingers dance up your spine, making you shiver slightly. “What I would give to know what’s goin’ on inside that pretty lil’ head’a yours, doll.”
“I just think it’s funny you’re learning how to be carefree from me…when I just started learning how to do it myself.”
You nodded, your finger continuing its path down his jaw. “I think it started with the goats.”
You nodded again, resting your cheek on his chest, watching your finger move up from his chin. Once you got to the end of his jaw, you lightly scratched his scruff. “In Wakanda. Our goats.” You weren’t looking at him, so you didn’t see the way he physically melted at your words, his eyes going soft, his lips turning up slightly.
“Our goats, huh?”
But your tired brain wasn’t really processing what he said, instead focusing on the features your finger was now tracing - over his lips, up his nose. “You’re pretty too, Buck. Did you know that? Inside and out.”
He craned his neck to kiss your forehead. “Go to sleep, cuddle bug.”
Nodding, you nuzzled into his chest, finger feeling over the bumps and indents on the dog tags resting near your head. You tried going to sleep, but you kept shifting, your mind not shutting off.
“Hey, sleepyhead, I’m trying to, you know, sleep.”
“Sorry.” You apologized meekly. “I just…I dunno. I can’t.”
“Are you comfortable?” He peeked open and eye to look at you questioningly. You nodded. “Is it too hot? We can take the blanket off. I know I’m a walking furnace-”
You shook your head. “No. I don’t know why. I just can’t sleep.”
He licked his lips thoughtfully, before cradling your head and guiding you back down to his chest. “Lay down, sweetheart. Relax.” He stroked your hair, moving his head down to rub circles in your back muscles, pressing down harder when he felt knots.
You hummed, your eyes closing. “That feels good.”
“Shshsh. Just go to sleep.” His lips pressed against your head once more, lingering a bit longer than they usually do, as you felt yourself drift off. You cuddled his side, throwing a leg over his waist, before nodding off, only barely hearing his words. “Attagirl. There we are.”
“Doll?” You felt a shift underneath you and groaned, your eyes barely cracking open. “Hey, sleepyhead…it’s okay. I’m just gonna slip out from under ya, alright? Gonna go help Sammy with somethin’.”
You raised an eyebrow, letting him move you against the cushions as he sat up on the edge of the couch. “Sammy?”
“Yeah.” He bent over and kissed your cheek. You stretched out your limbs, about to rub your eyes, when he stopped you, kissing the inside of your wrists. “No. Not you, doll. Go back to sleep.”
“Bu’...’m gonna help.” You slurred out, looking at him with confused, squinty eyes.
He chuckled, shaking his head. “It’s okay. Rest. You can help when you wake up again. Okay?” You mumbled out an “okay”, bringing the covers up to your chin and snuggling deeper into the cushions. “There ya go, cuddle bug. Good girl.” There was another kiss, one to your temple this time, before you slipped back into unconsciousness.
The next time you woke up was because of a clatter in the kitchen. You yawned and sat up, stretching, eyebrows furrowing when you realized Bucky wasn’t with you. It took you a moment to remember your conversation, which you half thought you dreamt.
You chuckled at the shouts, rubbing your eyes. “I am so sorry!” Sarah apologized, looking over at you from the stove. Trying to make the boys breakfast before school. Do you want anything? Eggs? Cereal? Toast?”
“Uh, cereal’s fine.” You stretched out your back again, before throwing back the covers and standing up, a little shakily.
“You wouldn’t happen to know where Sam went, would you?”
You raised an eyebrow. “Uh, I think him and Bucky went to fix something on the boat. I don’t for sure, though.”
Sarah groaned. “He probably went to fix the stupid water pump which doens’t need fixing. Dumbass.”
You chuckled, padding over into the kitchen. “Yeah. I just work with him. I can’t imagine growing up with him.”
“Trust me; some days you want to throw him in a box and send him out to sea. Bowls are in that cupboard.”
You snickered, moving over to grab a bowl from the cupboard she pointed to. “That’s how I feel with Bucky. Sam is less often, but when those two get together…it’s a full zoo.”
She laughed at that, nodding as she got out the milk and a few boxes of cereal for you to choose from, handing you a spoon. “That I believe.”
You started pouring your cereal, watching in slight amusement as she got the boys ready for school. “Bus is here! Get out the door! Bye! Love you! Make sure you take those extra lunches to-!”
“Yeah, mom! We know! Love you too!”
You gave a slight smirk as she huffed, looking around the kitchen at the pans and dishes left out. “Kids, huh?”
She gave you a smile. “Yeah. They’re a handful, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. How about you? Any thoughts of kids?”
“Me?” Your eyes widened, nearly choking on your food. “Oh God no. Not right now, at least. I don’t even have a solid house right now. My life’s too off the walls for that.”
You raised an eyebrow as she leaned on the counter. “Bucky? What about Bucky?”
“Does he want kids?”
“Uh…I dunno.” You shrugged, clearing your throat as you remembered your talk last night. “Kinda makes me wish I had my own.” You quickly pushed his words aside. “He hasn’t told me.”
“Wait, wait. You two…aren’t together then?”
You blinked, your eyes widening again. “Together? Me and Bucky? No…why? Did Sam say something?”
Her expression morphed into one of disbelief, crossing her arms. “Sam didn’t say anything. You guys did. Are you seriously expecting me to believe you aren’t together?”
“We’re not! I mean - he was flirting with you yesterday-”
“Right, okay. Honey, that’s flirting. And it’s harmless. The way he follows you like a puppy and you look at him like he hung the stars? That’s feelings. And that’s a lot more impactful than flirting.”
You frowned in contemplation. It was really that obvious? You were really that blind? This whole time? You knew Sam knew - but you just figured that’s because he’s been there since it started. And Sharon knew for the same reason. But Sarah? The woman you just met the day prior and had barely had a conversation with?
“It’s, uh…” You chewed on your cheek, swirling your cereal around. “It’s complicated.”
Sarah didn’t look impressed. “Do you like him?”
“I’m kinda in love with him-”
She shrugged, not letting you finish your bashful statement. “Then I don’t see what’s complicated about it.”
And that was that. She turned to clean up breakfast, leaving you alone with your thoughts.
You thought it was more complicated than that. I mean…you were in love with your best friend. Who left you. With the guy you had feelings for who just so happened to be your best friend/crush’s best friend. And now you were completely in love with your best friend’s best friend, but your best friend still had a piece of your heart.
But…you loved Bucky. And he was here. And Steve was not. And when you put it that way…you guess it wasn’t so complicated after all.
You snickered as you walked up behind Sarah, the woman berating the men for not leaving the water pump along like she asked.
Sam shot Bucky a warning look, who grinned, but you were surprised to see Sarah ignore him, sending you a knowing glance instead, before turning back to Sam. “I told you specifically that the water pump was not the problem, and yet, here you are.”
You chuckled, Bucky shooting you a wink. “Yeah, Samuel.”
Sam narrowed his eyes at you, turning to Sarah. “In our defense, you were supposed to be done long before you woke up.”
You nearly facepalmed at his “defensive” and you were trying so hard to hold back laughing as she told Sam off, sending them away.
“I don’t wanna hear a peep from you.” Sam pointed at you, but that only made your chortles come out, and you didn’t even bother hiding them. “She’s a very mean person.”
“It’s tough love.”
You giggled as they started arguing, slipping an arm around their waists, their arms instinctually coming up to your shoulders.
“Oh my God. A prowess?”
“Yes, Y/N. A prowess.”
“You know, maybe if you someone let me help-”
“Hey, woah! You were tired! I let you sleep! I was being nice!”
“Too late now. I’ll be lucky if Sarah lets me within a hundred feet of it!”
“She got you so good, Sammy!”
“I agree with Buck for once! You’re too snippy right now! And c’mon man! Stop flirting with my sister!”
“It’s my natural charm.”
“Charm? What charm?”
“Ouch, doll! That one hurt!”
“Okay.” You stepped out of the bathroom, walking over to the couch and setting the bag down on it. “I’ve got everything packed. We’ve got a little over an hour until we need to head out which gives you two time to go set something up for Sammy and maybe even a bit or training before we leave.”
Bucky frowned. “You’re not gonna come out?”
“I will in a bit. I just got a phone call I need to take.”
Sam narrowed his eyes. “Government call?”
You gave a mocking smile. “Can you guess what they want to talk about? It’s okay. I’ll survive. It’s only a phone call, so I can always hang up. Pretend I didn’t have good service. I do it all the time.”
“I’m sure you do.” Sam chuckled. “In that case, I’m gonna go grab some stuff and get the shield.” As he walked out, he made sure to mouth at you behind Bucky’s back ‘conversation’ making you swallow thickly. You were planning on talking to Bucky anyways, and with Sam’s insistence…
“Okay, so, I was thinking when we get back-”
“Can I talk to you?”
Bucky stopped digging through the bag, blinking at you in surprise at your sudden burst. “Uh…well, we already are, so yes.” He chuckled, straightening and crossing his arms.
“I wanna have the conversation.”
He was left stunned, once again, his mouth opening and closing and his weight shifting form one foot to the other. “Like…that conversation? R-right now? Are you sure?”
You winced at her nervousness. “Sorry, sorry. I know it’s kinda…I just…I need to talk about it. Now.”
“Okay, okay. No, that’s fine. Don’t apologize. I just wasn’t expecting it.” Bucky cleared his throat. “That’s all.”
“Okay…” You breathed with a small nod. You opened your mouth, but Bucky shook his head.
“I hafta say this first; I didn’t mean to hurt you by telling you about Steve. I-I dunno what I thought. That it’d give you closure or something. I dunno. But it hurt you and I’m sorry. That wasn’t my intention.”
“I was jealous. And guilty. And mad. And upset. I still am. Kinda. I guess. I dunno.” Bucky shook his head, running his hand through his hair and all you could do was gape at him as he started confessing to you. “Remember when we danced? In Madripoor? Doll…I don’t wanna dance ever again if it’s not with you. I fucking love you, Y/N. And not in the way we’ve said it before. I’m in love with you. I have been for-for a while now. I just - you were Steve’s. Steve loved you and you loved Steve and that was that and I was just the broken childhood best friend. But Steve left and he told me to take care of you and I didn’t know what to do with that, because you still love Steve. I think. I dunno. And I didn’t want to break what we have because you’re all I have left of him. You and that stupid shield. You’re my family. My home. I really meant it when I told you that. And that’s why I couldn’t tell you. Because it means too much for me to break what we have because I fell in love with my best friend’s girl. You know?”
He looked at you with pleading eyes, begging you to understand, but your brain was still trying to process what he was telling you.
“Oh God…” He groaned. “And now I just told you everything and you’re looking at me like that wasn’t what you wanted to hear and now I’m thinking this wasn’t the conversation you were thinking it was going to be-”
You were moving across the room before you could stop yourself, pulling him by the teal Henley you knew was comfortable having worn it to bed before when you visited him in New York, and slanting your lips over his.
His breathing hitched and he froze, and for a hot second you thought you made everything worse, but then he was kissing you back and his hands were on your hips and he was pulling you closer and it felt so fucking good you didn’t want to pull back for air.
“Shut up.” You muttered when you finally did pull back, your forehead against his, your eyes clenched shut. “Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up.” You pulled back to look up at him, chests heaving against each other, your eyes prickling. “I’m not good at this. I’m not good at opening up. I only ever was good at it with Steve but Bucky…I’ve been doing it with you. This whole time and I didn’t even realize it until the conversation in the car.”
He reached up to cup your cheeks, wiping away the relieved tears that were falling from the weight you were finally getting off your chest.
“I love you. I’m in love with you. How could I not be? After all that time in Wakanda? I was never Steve’s girl, Bucky. I wanted to be. Dammit, did I wanna be, but I wasn’t. Not really. And he’s gone. But you’re not. And I don’t know why it took me so long to see that. That you’re the one in front of me. You’re the one who held me when I needed it once he left. You’re the one that would listen to my rambles that I’m just realizing was most of our phone calls. You’re not just the broken childhood friend. Don’t ever think that. I don’t pick up the phone at five in the morning after searching for a friend until two for just anyone. Even Steve’s best friend. And I’m such an idiot because I’ve been pushing away my feelings all these years for Steve and then I let them out with you at the wrong time, because I love Steve, Bucky, but I’m not in love with him. Not since I fell in love with you. And I know it doesn’t make sense, but Steve was the first one I cared about and that’s just how I feel and I can try to explain, but-”
His lips crashed onto yours again and you could taste the salty tears that were pouring down your cheeks, but you didn’t care. He was holding you and he was kissing you and it was even more perfect than you thought it’d be.
“You’re adorable when you ramble, but Jesus Christ, shuddup, doll.” He breathed. “Just tell me you love me. Tell me you love me just a fraction of how much I love you.”
You looked up into those ocean eyes, your own shining with earnest affection. “James Buchanan Barnes. I love you.”
“That’s all I need to know.” He murmured against your lips, holding your head against his, still wiping away your tears. It felt like with each one that fell, you felt lighter and lighter. Like they were taking away every fear and anxiety you held within you for the past six months.
“Alright! I was thinking we could just set up in these trees out here - holy shit! Is it done? Did you do it? Did I miss it? Has the conversation been had?”
Bucky chuckled as you giggled. “He has the worst timing.” The last two words were loud enough so Sam could hear, although the man heard the whole sentence.
“I’m gonna take that as a yes!” Sam cheered. “Halle-fucking-lujah! Finally! I was that close to locking you two in the attic.”
You shook your head at Sam’s personal celebration, drowning the rest of his words out as you looked at Bucky, who swept his thumb over your cheek catching one last tear, before pecking your lips.
“I finally get to kiss where I really want to.” He spoke softly, kissing your lips again. “Are you mine, doll?”
“I thought you said I’d always be your doll.” You answered cheekily. He grinned, kissing you again, pulling you against him by the hips.
“Okay, okay! That’s enough! We get it! You’re in love, finally, but I don’t wanna see it anymore! Now will you come help me with this shit?”
Bucky left one more lingering kiss on your lips, before you pushed him away reluctantly. “I’ll be right out.”
He nodded, moving over to help Sam carry the things he’d gathered.
You watched them put it all up from the window, gnawing on your cheek as you spun your phone in your hands. Coming to a decision, you tossed your phone in the duffle bag and walked out with it just as the boys finished.
“That was a quick phone call.” Sam raised an eyebrow.
You shrugged. “Didn’t call them. If they really need me, they’ll find me.”
Bucky grinned as you set the bag down under a tree, pecking your lips when you got close enough for him to grab by the waist to hold you against him. You rolled your eyes, shoving him playfully away and giggling as Sam let out a groan.
“Alright. Let’s see what you’ve got, Sammy.”
Bucky knew he needed the tough love talk Sam was giving him. He needed to hear it. Because, deep down, he had known it all along, he just refused to believe it. He tried doing it. Making amends. He knew he wasn’t though. And of course he knew immediately who that one person would be.
“And hey.” Bucky looked at him. “Let me tell you what. Telling my girl all that you told her? That’s a good start. I’m proud of you. Both of you. You’re already happier. I can see it in your eyes.”
Bucky chuckled, shaking his head as he thought of the gorgeous woman he nearly let slip through his fingers. He looked over to the house, where she was inside somewhere getting ready after suddenly deciding she needed to shower before they left. “I was stupid.”
“Yeah you were. You both were. I’m so relieved it’s over.” Sam nudged him. “Treat her right, Buck. She deserves it.”
“I know…I just hope I can.”
Sam shook his head. “Uh-uh. Don’t do that. You were just starting to use that cyborg brain of yours! She chose you. And before you say anything,” Sam cut Bucky off from speaking as he opened his mouth to object. “She chose you before Steve left. It just took her dumbass this long to realize it.”
Bucky nodded, a small smile on his face. “Yeah…okay…” Before he could say anything, the goddess herself stepped out, jogging over, looking absolutely amazing in her jeans and his t-shirt. “Good talk.”
Sam laughed at his quick ending of the conversation as she came up besides them. “Talking about me?” She asked cheekily, eyes shining. Bucky couldn’t help but take her under his arm, pecking her lips. Now that he could, he didn’t think he could stop. He was addicted to say the least.
Throwing Bucky a wink, Sam shrugged. “Just all the things that get on our nerves.”
“Ha ha.” She rolled her eyes. “We better get going.”
Bucky and Sam clapped hands. “You know Karli won’t quit.”
Bucky smiled. “Ah. You call us when you have a lead and we’ll be there.”
Y/N stepped forwards to give Sam a hug. “Anytime, Sammy.”
“Eh. Anytime between noon and midnight.” Bucky corrected. “Or noon and ten. Noon and five…you better just call at noon to be safe.”
Sam rolled his eyes. “Sure, sure.”
“Not necessarily as a team.” Bucky continued, grabbing the bag, getting Y/N back in her spot at his side under his arm.
“We’re not that good.”
“And, uh, we’re partners.”
Sam snapped, pointing at him. “Coworkers.”
“But we’re also a couple of guys with a couple mutual friends.”
“Ones now gone and you’re dating the other.”
“So we’re a couple of guys…with a badass to help out.”
“I can live with that.”
“Oh my God.” Y/N let out that laugh Bucky could never get enough of, shaking her head at the two of them. “You forgot dumbasses.”
Sam shook his head. “Nuh-uh. That’s your couple name.”
“Oh yeah.” The three of them came to a stop, Bucky and his girl - God he loved confirming it now - facing Sam. “Thanks for the help, guys. Meant a lot.”
Bucky patted his shoulder. “Of course.”
Y/N shot him a wink. “Until we meet again, Sammy.”
“Until then, cher.”
Bucky couldn’t stop his grin as she wrapped her arms around his waist, the two of them starting to walk to the main road where she already ordered an Uber. He looked down at her, kissing her lips for the nth time in the past hour.
“I wish I didn’t wait so long,” he told her seriously. “But I’d wait a thousands more centuries if it meant I get to call you mine.”
She giggled, shaking her head. “You’re such a sap! But…” she moved up to kiss him and his heart stuttered. He knew he had a goofy grin on when she pulled back, but he couldn’t help it. Especially when she laughed again. “I have to agree with you on that, Buckaroo.”
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