Fae!Bucky x Reader
Summary: The cottage has been in your family for many years, but your return has caught the interest of more than just the wildlife.
Warnings: Dubious Nature, Dark Themes, Fae Trickery, Soft!Dark!Fae!Bucky
Strange things started happening when you inherited the little cottage your family owned. It was originally your grandfather’s, and your parents had used it as a summer home when you were growing up.
But the cottage was always on the back burner. Up until recently, you were completely happy with your little suburban life. You liked the noise and the quick pace, and for a long time, you let the cottage fall to the wayside.
When you finally took the time to visit, tending to the cottage was only supposed to be a part-time job, but it surprised you. You had quickly fallen in love with its simplicity. It reminded you of the times you had been brought there when you were little.
The strange things first started when a stranded fawn happened upon the outskirts of the property. It was just a babe, helpless to the elements, and the mother was nowhere to be found. Instead of turning a blind eye you fed and nurtured it and sheltered it for the night. It wasn’t much, but you couldn’t just leave it out there all alone.
By the time the sun rose the next morning the fawn was gone. You didn’t expect it to stay, but it disappeared without a trace. As you were cleaning up the nest of blankets and rags you put together you found a stone. It was small and opaque and perfectly smooth, and you marveled at it as you crouched down into the dirt.
The fawn wouldn’t have brought this to you. Your careful fingers plucked the stone from the nest, and you turned it over in your hand.
It was moonstone.
It was a stone of protection. A stone for lovers.
But how did you know that? You paused with a careful breath, mechanically returning it to the spot you found it. It wasn’t natural. Cautious eyes scanned the line of the cottage out to where the property backed up to the trees. You weren’t as alone as you thought.
The stone was a gift.
It was one you could not accept. One that you would not accept.
You weren’t typically superstitious in the city, but with this place, you held it with high regard. Call it your father’s intuition or your mother’s careful nature guiding you, but you were not going to actively seek out any trouble in these woods.
Without sparing another glance at the stone or the woods you hurried inside. A nagging feeling in the back of your mind told you that there was work to be done.
The early rays of the afternoon sun eventually bled into a long, orange sunset against the west side of the cottage. The delicate curtains were drawn tight, and the house was locked up.
You didn’t stoke the hearth that night.
The only telltale sign of life from the cottage was that you left a small basket on the edge of your porch covered in a pleated red cloth. You had used up the last of your apples to bake something sweet. The buttered pie was left on your porch to extend an olive branch. All you wanted was peace and never meant to disturb the unseen creatures of the woods.
Sleep was hard to come by. Every rustle in the trees and flap of wings made you jump, and you eventually took to burrowing in a number of heavy quilts to block out the noise.
You felt like you were going to be sick, that the creatures outside would tear the doors off the hinges and drag you into the night. Your parents used to talk about the unseen forces that lived in the forest, but this was your first encounter with them. You didn’t have any idea of what to expect and were only armed with the knowledge that the forest folk had a sweet tooth.
The night dragged on and try as you might, your thoughts kept drifting back to the moonstone. You had never before grabbed the attention of the unseen, and you so desperately wanted to be swallowed up by the dirt.
You just wanted them to take the pie. You wanted them to take it and leave you in peace.
The morning met you with a warm swell, even without the heat of the fire. With sleepy eyes, you knew it was time to face the music.
The porch was bathed in a yellow glow as you unlocked the door and stepped into the sun, and the basket was exactly where you left it. Upon closer inspection, you noticed the pie was gone.
With a lofty exhale you hurried down to the stack of blankets you had left the day before. Tossing aside your fears you rounded the side of the cottage. The moonstone was also gone.
You couldn’t contain your sigh of relief. It was a good sign.
The following days passed without fuss, and you slowly fell back into your routine with a pollyanna heart. You were at peace with the woods once more.
You read books and baked bread and tried your hand at chopping wood. You sang songs from your youth and wrote and were content. If only your parents could see you now. They would be so proud of how brave you were, of how smart you were. That was why you moved out here, after all.
In a way, it was one last attempt to get close to them.
But no amount of city living could have prepared you for the overwhelming energy of the woods. Was it always this way? You couldn’t remember. You thought that it would be cold and lifeless and quiet, but it was the opposite. Everything was alive and watching. The birds sang and plants grew quickly, and everything was rich with life.
You would have thought it disturbing if not for the overflow of comfort that tended to wash over you when you felt all alone. Maybe it was your dad looking after you, even now. Maybe your mother was helping you with the gardening and the foraging. It was a soft reminder of them.
One afternoon when the wind was particularly strong the cries of baby birds could be heard throughout the forest. They must have fallen from their nest. You had been weaving together stretches of cloth in an attempt to repurpose the old material but were pulled from your work when the crying didn’t stop.
Your heart lurched in your chest. You were going to help them.
The nest had been blown from a high branch in one of the pine trees and had been overturned at the bottom of the trunk. You turned over the nest with caution, only to find three baby robins cooing and crying at the disturbance.
You frowned. The mother was nowhere to be found. The baby birds must have been scared half to death.
You were careful not to disrupt the nest and scooped the hatchlings up in your work apron as well as the nest, setting them down altogether on a sturdier branch. It was a branch at eye level, careful to keep the babes from the danger of the forest floor. You left your apron there for extra protection and warmth, and you came back not long after with berries for the hatchlings.
It was the least you could do. One of the biggest differences in city living was just how quickly you got the gratification of getting a job done. Making appointments over the phone, sending important emails, and having dinner delivered to your door. It was so fast in some ways.
At the cottage, everything took extra effort, and for a small moment, you felt that similar rush. It was gratifying.
It was all in a day's work to help, and you were no stranger to simple comforts. Your parents had raised you here, just like this. It was quaint. It was just as rewarding.
Just the same as before, you checked up on the hatchlings the next morning before tending to the rest of the cottage.
The apron was still there, lodged into the tree branch with the nest but upon closer inspection, the babes were gone. There were no birds nor berries or feathers, and instead, the stem of a flower was carefully tucked into the nest. It was no ordinary flower, no. You were familiar with the kind. Dicentra.
The pink strand of flowers was a stark contrast to its surroundings. You knew the plant well enough to know that they grew only on the far side of the forest. It was farther than you had traveled in a long time.
A shiver spiraled down to your stomach and your eyes scanned the tree line once more. This time you didn’t even dare to touch the gift left for you.
Again, you turned in early for the night. This time you left half a loaf of bread with a berry jam and a jar of honey in the basket.
It all felt like a delicate dance.
The night was cold, much colder than the last time you decided to let the fire rest. The quilts helped to keep you warm, but your body was overcome with shivers, nonetheless. This time it came in the form of listening to howls outside the front door.
Something was out there. You felt it. You knew it deep in your bones.
You could almost hear something beyond the howling, something softer. It was the quiet hum of wind chimes, but each time you thought you heard it the sound faded into the night. And then you remembered; you didn’t have wind chimes.
Sleep claimed you faster this time, almost suddenly. You couldn’t have prepared for it, and your dreams were extravagant.
The dream had been filled with sweet songs and comfort, and then it dissolved into the darkness of the woods.
And then you were barefoot, stepping away from the cottage onto a bloody patch of dirt and grass. Your dream led you down to the spot where you first tended to the fawn, patches of blood and fur marring the nest of blankets you had made. Your legs were propelling you away before you could get another good look, and when you peered ahead a different trail led you to bloodied feathers and the broken remnants of the bird’s nest.
It was a disaster. It was as if a fox had gotten into the henhouse.
Tossing and turning, you were suddenly hot. The chill in your veins was replaced with a hot ache, feeling it in your belly and down to your toes, until you entirely forgot about the carnage you walked through.
Your nerve endings were on fire. You knew you were dreaming. You needed to wake up.
The blood had faded away into warm daylight, but there was no solace. You weren’t alone. There was a snap of a twig on your left.
You needed to wake up. Now.
A pair of dark eyes, almost glowing against the trees had found you. You turned, running blindly into the brush, but it was only getting closer. You could hear whatever was behind you catching up. You could feel its hot breath on the back of your neck. You tried to scream.
With a jolt you startled up, taking a moment to realize you were still in your bed. The cottage was locked up tight. You were safe.
A broken cry had gotten stuck in your throat as you held a hand to your chest. You were overwhelmed and terrified.
It was still early, well before sunrise, but there was no way you were going back to bed. Not after that.
Never, and you swore never had you felt such dread. And you had never once felt that way in the cottage. What once housed feelings of comfort and peace were twisted into such horrific dread.
A terrible realization dawned on you. You were all alone in the middle of nowhere.
You thrashed the blankets off your body, suddenly too heavy against your skin. You felt trapped. The weight of it all was too much, even if the rest of the cottage had only gotten colder throughout the night.
Perhaps you could build a fire. Maybe you would take a hot bath to distract yourself. Damn the fear of the outside; you were convinced your dreams were the biggest threat to your safety.
Your body was flushed, rattled from the aftershocks of the nightmare. With a pant you let your body collapse against the pillows, letting your arm cradle behind it for extra support before you froze.
But there was something there, under your pillow. Sitting up in alarm you tossed your pillow to the ground.
There, carefully placed under your pillow, were the moonstone and the bleeding hearts.
“You are going to freeze, doll.”
Your eyes snapped towards the direction of the voice. There, leaning against the fireplace a distinct figure hugged the shadows. Tall and imposing, the shadow dwarfed the room. Strong shoulders and dark hair drew your attention first. The voice was lustrous and masculine, making you blink twice before listening to the gravity of his words.
You could feel the temperature of the room drop. The figure wasn’t lying. It was much colder now, and a puff of cold air was pulled from you when you exhaled. You reached for a blanket almost mechanically.
When you didn’t respond you watched as the figure crossed one leg over the other in the dark. Your eyes had adapted as best they could, but with the curtains closed and the fire snuffed out your vision was still limited.
“Let me help.” The figure offered with a hum.
As if by magic the fire roared to life at his words. The room was illuminated in warmth and light, and you held a hand up as your eyes squinted shut.
This didn’t make any sense. This couldn’t be happening.
Your body was tense, and once your eyes adjusted to the light you could get a good look at the figure, at the man. His skin was pale against a dark head of hair and thick eyebrows looked curiously at you behind bright, blinding eyes. They were blue as the spring water. You couldn’t deny that there was a sharp edge to them. All of his features were striking, from the curve of his lips and the stubble along his jaw to his taught arms and thick legs.
His clothes were dark, maybe blue or black, but you couldn’t be sure. He was a shadow in the night.
A palpable concern ran through you.
Against the firelight, you couldn’t deny a glowing tint in his eyes. It was too similar to the eyes in your dreams.
He was no man at all.
Your parents could have never warned you about this.
“Did you not like my gifts?” You dared to ask, your heart beating heavily in your chest.
A smirk curled at his lips. The man pushed off the wall, towering over you.
“Oh, I loved them.” He emphasized with a hum. This time he stepped forward, and you watched with careful eyes. Your confusion must have been clear as day. His tone was jovial, almost teasing. “But I thought you would have liked mine a little more. I will have to try harder.”
You were so overwhelmed that you missed his last sentence altogether.
“I was taught to not accept anything from the forest.” You stuttered out with an air of innocence. And obviously, ignorance.
You couldn’t understand him, how he liked your gifts but wouldn’t leave you alone. Your parents’ worries had swarmed in your mind. All of your careful preparation was in vain.
The man looked at you, confident that you knew that he knew exactly what you were thinking. Dark hair fell in his face, and he tilted his head.
“I wonder why that would be?” He speculated with a formidable grin. Those blue eyes pulled you back, filled with mirth and mystery. “What’s the worst that could happen?”
Goosebumps pricked at your arms and for a moment you were at a loss for words.
You couldn’t remember.
There must have been a reason why you didn’t take his gifts. Why would your parents tell you not to accept anything from the forest? Your head felt heavy.
“I -” You paused, confusion settling into your features. “I don’t know.”
At your admission, the man’s grin only widened. His hand moved up and under his chin. His cunning voice swelled around you, and he stalked forward with an animalistic prowl.
“But you did like my gifts?”
The softness of his question made it sound like it wasn’t a question at all. You hummed out a breath before looking up at him.
You figured there would be no trouble in playing along.
His lips curled up into a smirk, showing off white teeth against the light of the fire. His eyes were teasing again, clever, and full of mischief.
“Then what do you say?” He asked, almost condescendingly. “You’re sweet. You’re kind. You must have been taught your manners.” He urged the words out of you, his startling eyes locked on yours.
The man was hauntingly beautiful.
You couldn’t look away if you wanted to. You...you weren’t sure if you wanted to.
“Thank you for the gifts.”
The whisper was so faint that it faded off before you realized it was you that spoke. Your head was foggy, slowly realizing the trap that you were falling into. It was almost as if you could hear him when he didn’t even speak.
That wasn’t so hard, was it?
He had stolen away at your senses with a clever wink.
All of a sudden, your parents’ warnings were swimming through your mind.
“It is dangerous in these woods. Don’t accept anything from the forest. The forest folk will twist your intentions. They are clever and powerful.”
“They can trap you in the forest and make you lose yourself.”
“Don’t give them your name. Don’t accept their trinkets, and don’t thank them for their kindness.”
What was happening to you? Your hands slumped forward against your thighs, and you could hardly hold your head up. A wave of nausea made you steel yourself to the bed frame.
“Who - who are you?” Your tongue was heavy against your teeth, and your breathing was labored. Your body was shutting down against your will.
Yours. I am yours.
His words pulsated against your temples. He was shushing you now, gently to calm you, taking a step closer to the bed.
“Doll, you are taking care of everything out here. This cottage is a treasure, but who is taking care of you?”
A shiver ran down your back. Your mind was flooded with images of the moonstone and the flowers, and how you helped the fawn and the hatchings. Then it shifted back to the tremors in your dreams.
You watched helplessly as the man’s blue eyes completely darkened, a golden ring shining around his irises. It was him all along. He was watching you the whole time.
You couldn’t find your voice, a startling noise catching in your throat. You couldn’t speak. Trying to back up against the wall your limbs were heavy.
You couldn’t move.
Physically immobilized, it was as if he had all control. How was this possible?
He was closer now and you could smell the grass and the salt and the rain against his skin. He crouched down in front of you, eye level with you, sitting on the bed. His cool breath fanned against your face and with a gentle hand, he brushed a thumb against your bottom lip.
Soft lips curled into a sinister grin, showing off a set of sharp, white teeth. With as much strength as you could muster you looked back up into his eyes. The blue in his eyes was completely gone, swallowed by dark, glowing pupils.
It was stunning and terrifying all in the same breath. It wasn’t human.
Closer still he leaned in, moving his thumb down to your jaw. The ghost of his lips was against your own before he claimed his prize and your rapture.
His kiss was poisonous. It was earthy and powerful and it shifted into something saccharinely sweet. You were helpless to it, melting against him as his tongue lapped at your own.
A breathless groan passed from his lips and settled against your skin. He was all-encompassing.
Against your better judgment, your arms were pulled up from your thighs. Like a puppeteer was commanding the strings, one hand settled against his chest and the other was curled around his shoulder for support.
It was what he wanted.
With newfound strength, you held on to him with all of your might as he kissed you again. This one was exploratory, lingering from the corner of your lips to the apple of your cheeks and down your jaw. Your body was buzzing like a lightning strike.
It was him. All of the heat and power were emanating from him.
A dark fog swirled in your mind, fully possessed by the man that held you close. If you could only look back and see yourself, you would have seen how your eyes had gotten dark, mimicking his own. His free arm rested along your lower back, sharp nails digging against your skin. There was no escape.
You could hardly think as the soft rumble of his voice settled over you.
“Your heart is the softest place on earth. Let me take care of it.”