New fic is up!
Summary: “Sleep can affect seizures in many different ways. During normal sleep-wake cycles, changes in the brain’s electrical and hormonal activity occur. These changes can be related to why some people have more seizures during sleep than others, and why not getting enough sleep can trigger seizures.“
Steve feels guilty that he let this happen to Bucky.
It’s a Saturday afternoon when he wakes up, only Bucky doesn’t know that.
The only thing he knew was that he wasn’t in the comfort of the bed he shared with the man he loved. He couldn’t feel the silk sheets that were cool to the touch of his metal arm. He couldn’t feel the dozens of pillows that he had propped up behind him as he slept, the pillows that they had argued about buying. It was unnecessary to have so many pillows, but Steve liked them, and Bucky didn’t argue.
Bucky never argued with Steve. Which is probably what led to this. Led to Bucky waking up on a Saturday not even knowing that it was a Saturday.
He may have not known what day it was, but he was aware that the day was sunny and could feel the heat on his face. His eyes scrunched as he became increasingly aware of how bright it was.
“Is the light bothering you?” There was a voice, but Bucky didn’t recognize it. He wanted to say yes, yes it was way too bright, but he couldn’t even find the energy to nod.
His neck was stiff, as if there were bricks placed at the sides of his head, preventing him from any range of motion.
“I’ll shut the curtains, just hold on, love.”
He was confused, but the bewilderment settled as the room suddenly became dark. His eyes weren’t open but the light that was causing his eyelids to furrow behind the heat was suddenly gone and Bucky was grateful for that.
He was grateful to the voice in the room.
“Sam’s on his way, you’re going to be fine…” The voice cut off and Bucky could tell that it was shaking. Was the voice sad?
Bucky was aware that he wasn’t flat on his back like he normally was when he woke up. He was used to opening his eyes in the morning to the sight of the white ceiling tiles that he used to count at night when he had trouble falling asleep.
He usually woke up to turn his head over and stare at his still-sleeping boyfriend, who slept in a fetal position, cuddled close to Bucky’s side. He always wondered if his metal arm was cold when he wrapped it around Steve’s shoulder, but his lover never stirred.
But Bucky wasn’t in his bed, and he wasn’t on his back. No, Bucky was rolled over on his side, one arm sprawled across the floor and the other tucked nearly under his chin, supporting his head. His right leg was extended straight, and the left was bent upwards towards his stomach.
“I’m so sorry… This is all my fault.” The voice continued.
He was secured in place, he realized. Stuck to this spot on the ground. The itchy carpet fibers irritating his cheeks as he tried to move his head.
He startled at the sound of loud footsteps approaching him. He wanted to shy away from the unfamiliar presence but felt too tired to compete. Suddenly, there were hands on his wrist, gripping tightly and he felt the steady beat of his pulse underneath the stranger’s fingers.
“What happened?” A new voice asked, stern, but tinted with worry.
“It’s my fault.” That was the first voice again. Bucky wanted to open his eyes to see who was speaking, but he felt weighed down with exhaustion.
“Stop saying that, Steve.” Steve! His boyfriend, the love of his life. Was that who the voice belonged to?
“It is though!” The voice was anxious. Steve was anxious. “It was my stupid idea to pull an all-nighter.”
“His pulse is strong and he’s breathing fine.” That was the other voice again, not Steve. The other voice sounded matter-of-factly. They were calm, Bucky decided. Calm was what he craved.
“How long did it last?” The tranquil voice asked.
“Just over a minute. But he’s been unresponsive for almost 10 now.”
Unresponsive? No, Bucky was very much awake. Should he let them know?
He tried to move his head again, the feeling of bricks still stopping his neck from turning to face the voices. He felt a strong hand on his shoulder.
“Don’t try to get up yet. You’ve just had a seizure, Buck.”
A seizure? Oh right. He had seizures. It’d been a while since the last one. Almost a year if Bucky remembered correctly. It was so hard to recall right now as he laid sprawled out on the floor, his head throbbing. He swallowed back a metallic taste in his mouth, causing a wave of nausea to overcome him.
“Are you with us?” That was the non-Steve voice again. Bucky grunted in response. He tried to provide them with a coherent answer, but he couldn’t seem to form a word.
“Good, that’s really good, Bucky.” Someone was rubbing their fingers through his hair. It felt nice, comforting.
“Can you tell me your name?” Bucky felt himself frown. Name? Why does the voice need his name? His lack of answer seemed to cause a commotion, as a pair of fingers were suddenly prying his eyelids open.
“Did he hit his head?” The face in front of him was asking.
“No, I caught him.” That was Steve again. Steve! Steve was someone he loved, someone who made him feel safe.
“Yes baby, I’m right here!” Huh. Had he been talking out loud? “Sam’s here too.”
Sam, right. He knew Sam. Sam was their best friend.
“Your name is James Buchanan Barnes, but you prefer to be called Bucky.” That was the voice in front of him again. Sam? That was Sam. “You had a seizure about 20 minutes ago. It’s Saturday, just after 12. You’re in the living room of your apartment that you share with Steve.”
Listening to Sam’s voice was relaxing and he was thankful for the information he was being provided. The confusion was beginning to lift. The hand in his hair was still now, except for the slight shaking he felt against his skull.
“This is all my fault Sam. You’re the one who told us he needs to keep a constant sleep schedule, but he’s been dying to have a Star Wars marathon, I didn’t think staying up all night would do this! He hasn’t had a seizure in 10 months!” Steve was frantic, panicking. Bucky wanted to reach out and hug his boyfriend. He hated when he was upset.
“It’s no one’s fault, man. Sometimes there are other reasons. Medications might need to be adjusted. Stop blaming yourself, he’s fine.”
“‘m fine” Bucky repeated.
He heard a slight chuckle. “See?” That was Sam again.
He jumped as he felt a pair of lips on his temple. “Sorry! Sorry, baby, I didn’t mean to startle you, I’m just so glad you’re okay.”
Bucky sighed in contentment. Steve’s touch felt nice.
His world was going black again.
“Should we take him to the hospital? It’s taking him a while to come to-“
“No hospitals…” Bucky struggled to respond to his boyfriend, but he knew the hospital was a place he did not want to be. He hated the smell of bleach and the bright lights, the poking and prodding of doctor’s and nurses and the memories that flooded back to him of his days in that stupid chair.
“Okay. Okay, baby, no hospital.”
“He’ll be fine, Steve. He’s just tired. Let’s get him to the bedroom.”
Yes, the bed with the too many pillows that Bucky had grown to love. The pillows that Bucky didn’t argue with Steve about buying, because he never wanted to argue with Steve. How he didn’t want to argue with Steve about staying up all night despite feeling out of sorts, because he would never pass an opportunity to spend time with the man he loved, even if it meant giving up the sleep his body so desperately needed.
His thoughts were interrupted as he suddenly felt himself being lifted off the floor. His arms were strategically placed around the shoulders of the two other men, as they dragged him down the darkened hallway. He felt weightless as the they carried him to the bed, placing him gently onto the cool, silky sheets.
He smiled at the comfort, as his head laid back onto the array of pillows, each a different size and colour. Someone placed a blanket over him, and he snuggled against the sudden warmth.
“If he looks like he’s going to be sick, remember to roll him on his side.” That was Sam again, speaking from somewhere across the room. He became aware of another body pressed closely beside him, radiating more warmth that Bucky was grateful for. “And don’t leave him alone until he’s fully conscious.”
“I’m not going to leave his side, Sam.” The fingers were back, caressing his hair.
“You’re a good boyfriend, Rogers.” Bucky knew Steve was blushing at the comment, though his eyes were closed. “You two deserve each other.”
“He deserves much more than what I have to offer.” Bucky hated when Steve talked about himself like that.
“Don’t you say that, Steve. He loves you.”
Yes, yes, I do. Bucky was thinking, wishing he had the energy to tell him.
“I just want him to be safe, Sam. Seeing him collapse like that, after 10 months without one… I almost didn’t know what to do. Like all the first-aid training you put me through was erased.”
“But it wasn’t. You timed the seizure, you put him in the recovery position, and you kept his airway clear. You saved him, Steve.”
“You did! Steve Rogers, you need to learn how to accept a compliment. And pull yourself together for when he wakes up.” Sam nodded towards the now sound asleep Bucky. Steve smiled down at his boyfriend. “He looks like an angel when he sleeps.”
Sam rolled his eyes, taking the captain’s comment as his cue to leave. “Call me if you need me. You love birds be careful.”
Steve nodded as Sam let himself out before adjusting himself so that he as snuggled up against the cool metal of Bucky’s arm. He liked the feeling of the cold on his face, as they lay under a pile of warm blankets.
The next time Bucky woke up, he knew it was a Sunday. He was on his back, staring up at the white ceiling tiles that he counted when he couldn’t sleep. He turned his head to the side, smiling as Steve snored lightly beside him. His head was propped up in the crevice of his metal elbow, but he didn’t seem to mind the cool touch.
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