true north: chapter 1
summary: the reader was a pararescue along with sam and riley and was engaged to riley. what happens when she gets roped into the world of captain america? or when she meets bucky barnes? this chapter takes place during ca:ws and will closely follow the canon mcu timeline.
pairing: bucky x fem!reader
warnings: angst(?) i guess?? idk
A/N: OMGGGGGGG cannot believe chapter 1 is here but we made it folks!!! this is mainly to introduce the reader so... kind of slow but i hope y'all enjoy anyways!!! also speaking of slow...this story is literally going to be the SLOWEST OF BURNS so keep that in mind (like bucky is not in this chapter at all)
also pls give me feedback in the comments! i'm new to writing and would love to hear ur input hehe :)
word count: 2480
“Look who it is, the running man.” Sam looked up at Steve as he made his way to a table to organize pamphlets. Steve was about to reply when a voice shouted down the hall.
“Hey, Sam! Great session today!”
Sam and Steve turned their heads towards the voice approaching them.
“My only complaint is the snacks, you need better ones.” Y/N flashed a grin to Sam as she took a bite of a stale cookie, only to have the rest of it crumble in her hands.
“See!” Y/N said, her voice muffled as she tried to prevent crumbs from falling out of her mouth. “What good is it for me to come here only to end up with this?” She stretched her hands out to show Sam the remaining crumbs before tossing them out in a nearby trash can.
“Oh, I don’t know. The therapy? Healing?” Sam crossed his arms as Y/N let out a laugh and turned to introduce herself to the blonde man standing next to her.
“Hey- oh my god! You’re Captain America!”
Steve chuckled and extended his hand out for her to shake.
“Please, call me Steve.”
“Y/N.” Y/N shook his hand, eyes wide, and slowly turned to Sam.
“Are you friends with Captain America? When- How did I not know this?”
“I thought I was your only friend Samuel, I’m proud of you.”
Sam’s face immediately fell as Y/N and Steve shared a laugh.
“Well, I have errands to run, but it was an absolute honor to meet you Cap- Steve.” Y/N turned to smile at Steve. He returned the smile and watched as she walked away.
Y/N turned around and continued to walk backward as she yelled out to Sam.
“I’ll see you later Sam! Remember The Bachelor starts at 8 and please bring anything but those stale cookies!”
Sam and Steve chuckled as Y/N disappeared through the doors of the VA, signing off with a wave before turning the corner.
“Speaking of your session, caught the last few minutes, it’s pretty intense.” Steve leaned against the wall, as Sam started to organize the messy stack of pamphlets.
“Yeah, brother. We all got the same problems.” Sam continued to keep his eyes on the task in front of him as Steve watched.
“Guilt, regret.” Sam continued and looked up at Steve with a look in his eyes that Steve was familiar with. Loss.
“You lose someone?”
“My wingman, Riley. Flying a night mission. Standard PJ rescue op. Nothing me, him, and Y/N hadn’t done 1,000 times before. ‘Til an RPG knocked Riley’s dumbass out of the sky. Nothing we could do. It’s like we were up there just to watch.” Steve raised his eyebrows upon hearing Y/N mentioned.
“After that, I had a really hard time finding a reason for being over there, you know? Same thing for Y/N, maybe even worse. She was engaged to Riley, had the whole damn wedding planned out in a notebook. He was the last thing keeping her over there after everything she went through.”
Steve was taken aback to learn a little about Y/N’s backstory. He never would have suspected that a person who exuded confidence like her to have gone through such a tragedy. He could tell by the look in Sam’s eyes that there was probably more to her story, but couldn’t go further into it out of respect to her.
“But you’re happy now, back in the world? Both of you?”
Sam turned side to side to look at the empty hallway they stood in. “The number of people giving me orders is down to about zero.” He chuckled. “So, hell yeah. And I don’t want to speak for Y/N, but she’s made a lot of progress. I’m proud of her.” He paused as he looked at Steve. “Are you thinking about getting out?”
Steve stared at the ground.
“No.” He paused. “I don’t know.” He returned his eye contact with Sam. “To be honest, I don’t know what I would do with myself if I did.”
“Ultimate fighting?” Steve chuckled at Sam’s comment. “Just a great idea off the top of my head.” Sam smiled as he continued. “Seriously, you could do whatever you want to do. What makes you happy?”
Steve paused, hearing a question he hadn’t thought about in years.
“I don’t know.”
After their run, Sam and Y/N went back to Sam’s place to cool down. Sam made his way over to the fridge as Y/N unscrewed the cap of her water bottle.
“Do you want to order some pizza later? I heard about this new place near mine that we could try.” She said, before taking a sip of her water.
“We just ran 5 miles and you’re already thinking about pizza?”
Sam unscrewed the cap of his orange juice and was about to reply when there was a knocking coming from his porch door. Y/N and Sam gave each other both a puzzled look before Sam went to go see who had knocked. He opened the blinds to reveal a soot-covered Captain America and Black Widow. Sam slid the door open to greet them.
Y/N glanced over her shoulder before doing a double-take when she saw Steve Rogers, Captain America, and Black Widow. She made her way over as Steve started to explain the reason for his sudden arrival.
“I’m sorry about this. We need a place to lay low.” Steve looked at Sam and Y/N with desperation in his eyes.
“Everyone we know is trying to kill us,” Natasha said, her eyes darting between Sam and Y/N. Sam turned to look at Y/N and then back at the two Avengers out on his porch.
“Not everyone,” Sam replied back, letting Steve and Natasha follow Y/N into his home as he checked outside to make sure the pair hadn’t been followed.
As Steve and Natasha cleaned themselves up in Sam’s bathroom, Y/N and Sam started to prepare breakfast in the kitchen. Y/N stopped flipping the pancakes she had been cooking and turned to Sam.
“Do you ever miss being in the Air Force?”
Sam paused, letting his scrambled eggs simmer in the pan. He turned to face Y/N.
“Sometimes. I think the part I missed the most was being able to help people. That’s what led me to run these sessions. I’m still helping people, even if it’s in a different way.”
Y/N smiled at him before continuing to cook the pancakes in front of her. She had always seen Sam as an admirable man with a heart of gold. He cared so much for everyone around him, especially those closest to him. It was so special for her to see the relationship that had formed between him and Riley. Sam would always be looking out for Riley, from the first days of training to that last rescue op. Which is probably why he had beaten himself up so much when it went horribly wrong. But Sam, being the man he is, decided to channel his energy into helping other veterans with PTSD rather than letting his grief and regret control his life. Like Y/N had.
“You think they eat breakfast?” She shot a grin at Sam. He rolled his eyes.
“They’re people Y/N, of course, they eat breakfast.”
“They’re Avengers Sam, that’s a whole other level of being. Steve is literally a super-soldier.”
“I can’t believe you’re actually making me seriously consider this.”
Sam walked over to his room to get the Avengers and Y/N overheard him talking to them.
“Y/N and I made breakfast,” he paused. “If you guys eat that… sort of thing.”
Y/N chuckled softly as Steve and Natasha took their first bites of their breakfast. Neither Steve or Natasha paid any mind, too hungry and tired to notice, as Sam shot a look at Y/N.
“So, the question is, who at S.H.I.E.L.D could launch a domestic missile strike?” Natasha said as she leaned against the kitchen table.
Sam and Y/N exchanged looks before looking back at Steve and Natasha.
It only took Steve a second to think before saying, “Pierce.”
“Who happens to be sitting on top of the most secure building in the world.” Natasha made her way over to Steve, who was sitting at Sam’s desk.
“But he’s not working alone. Zola’s algorithm was on the Lemurian Star.”
Natasha turned her head to face Steve.
“So was Jasper Sitwell.”
Steve turned his head to meet Natasha’s eyes and paused. Y/N and Sam watched at the Avengers intently, despite not knowing what it was they were going on about. They made brief eye contact and Y/N saw a look in Sam’s eyes she hadn’t seen since their time in the Air Force.
“So, the real question is, how do the two most wanted people in Washington kidnap a S.H.I.E.L.D. officer in broad daylight?”
As the words left Steve’s mouth, Sam had already put down his toast to grab a file and walk over to Steve. Y/N felt her stomach drop as she caught a glimpse of the folder in Sam’s hands. Sam gave her a reassuring look as he dropped the file onto the desk in front of Steve.
“The answer is, you don’t.”
“What’s this?” Steve gave Sam a puzzled look as he leaned forward to get a better look at the file presented to him.
“Call it a resume,” Sam stated, leaning against the kitchen table. Y/N took a spot next to Sam, turning to face him as Sam kept his gaze looking straight ahead.
“Are you sure about this?” She spoke softly, to avoid Steve and Natasha hearing her.
Sam turned to Y/N.
“I’m sure,” he returned his gaze to Steve and Natasha. “Plus, I think Riley would beat my ass if he found out I said no to helping out the Avengers.”
Y/N smiled at hearing Riley’s name. She knew Sam was right, Riley had fawned over the Avengers, especially Steve, wanting to always do good like them. He had always admired Steve’s bravery and desire to do the right thing, even if it went against what he was being told to do. The same attitude that got Riley killed.
“But I’m volunteering myself, not you.” Sam turned back to Y/N. “Only you know if you’re ready or not to get back out there. And it’s okay if you’re not.” Sam gave a comforting smile and Y/N gave one back in return.
Steve, still staring at the file in front of him, began to stand up as Natasha made her way over to the desk. She grabbed the folder off the table to examine the picture of Sam, Riley, and Y/N.
“Is this Bakhmala? The Khalid Khandil mission, that was you guys?” Natasha looked up from the picture and directed her attention to Sam and Y/N as they both nodded. “You didn’t say they were pararescues.” She said as she handed the picture over to Steve.
Steve looked up at Sam and Y/N after taking a quick glance at the photo. “Is this Riley?”
“Yeah,” Sam spoke softly as Y/N placed her hand on his shoulder, giving it a comforting squeeze.
Natasha gave the picture one last look-over before glancing over at Sam and Y/N. “I heard they couldn’t bring in the choppers because of the RPGs.” Y/N frowned hearing “RPGs,” thinking back to the worst night of her life. “What’d you use? A stealth chute?”
“No,” Sam pushed himself from the kitchen table and grabbed the file from the desk in front of him. “These.” He gave the file to Steve as he retreated back to his spot next to Y/N.
Steve studied the file in his hands before looking up. “I thought you said you guys were pilots.”
Sam chucked. “I never said pilot.”
“Yeah, definitely not. I wouldn’t trust him to stick the landing” Y/N giggled as Sam playfully hit her shoulder.
“You’re never going to let me live that down are you?”
Steve cleared his throat, drawing the attention of Y/N and Sam. He was still looking down at the file when he shook his head and looked up at Sam.
“I can’t ask you to do this, Sam. You got out for a good reason,” Steve shifted his gaze to Y/N. “You too, Y/N. Both of you have already sacrificed enough for the greater good.”
Sam quickly interjected. “Dude, Captain America needs my help. There’s no better reason to get back in.”
All eyes fell on Y/N to speak up. She looked to Sam and gave him a reassuring nod.
She took a deep breath and said, “Well, someone’s gotta keep an eye on Sam,” she smiled at Steve. “Besides, I’d do anything for Captain America.”
Steve smiled back and paused before saying, “Where can we get our hands on one of these things?”
Sam crossed his arms. “They’re at Fort Meade.”
“Behind three guarded gates and a 12-inch steel wall, I might add.” Y/N looked at Steve and Natasha only to find Natasha shrugging at Steve.
“Shouldn’t be a problem.” Steve smiled at Sam and Y/N, thankful to have them join the team. He and Natasha walked away from the group to plan their quick detour to obtain Sam and Y/N’s gear.
Sam turned to Y/N with a worried look in his eyes. “Are you sure about this? You don’t need to throw yourself back into combat just because I am.”
Y/N rolled her eyes at his comment. “Sam, I am capable of making decisions on my own.” She looked down as she began to fidget with her fingers. “Riley was my entire world; almost felt like my only reason for living at times.” She paused before looking up to meet Sam’s eyes. “I think I lost myself in loving him somewhere along the way. But this opportunity with Steve and Natasha, it might give me a chance to find myself again.” She smiled as Sam pulled her into a hug.
“Sounds like you’re ready to start running group sessions at the VA.” Sam chuckled as he and Y/N pulled back from their hug.
“Yeah, and they’d be better than yours with the snacks alone.”
“Hey now, watch it-” Sam was interrupted by Steve and Natasha reappearing in the living room.
“You guys ready to suit up? Nat figured out a way in.”
Y/N smiled at Sam before turning back to Steve.
“What the hell are we waiting for?”
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