All Too Well
Bucky Barnes x f!reader
Part One / Part Three
Warnings: Spider-Man nwh spoilers, slight Dr Strange MoM spoilers, angst, pining
Peter paused in the doorway of his small apartment, backpack swinging off one shoulder. He knew it was you, knew from the back of your head. He didn’t need to see anything else to know.
What he didn’t know was how you found him, how you even knew to find him. You shouldn’t remember. You should have forgotten just like everyone else. He hesitated before shutting the door. You turned to look at him with a gentle smile. That same smile you always gave him. You had worried about him constantly, always afraid he’d been too young for the world he had been thrust into.
“Hey Spidey.” He dropped his backpack when you stood, making your way around the sofa to stand a few steps away. He was still afraid this was a trick, a delusion caused by his loneliness. “Pretty hard to track down.”
“Is that so?” He asked, his voice cracking with emotion. You opened your arms and he rocketed into them, hugging you tight enough that it would’ve hurt a normal person. You just held him. “How?”
“I’m not sure.” You told him honestly, rubbing his back soothingly. “I’m so sorry about May.”
It was all it took for Peter to let go. He sobbed against you and you held him through it all. You only moved to the sofa, urging him to sit and then holding him again. When he finally composed himself he pulled away, wiping under his eyes. “Everyone else forgot.”
“I know. I was so worried. I asked James to look after you. Check in and make sure you were doing okay. When I finally met up with him he didn’t know you.” You explained, pushing Peter’s hair back off his forehead. “I thought he was forgetting again.”
“Everyone had to forget. It was the only way.” Peter explained and your eyes narrowed. You wiped his tears, cupping his face in a way that reminded him of May.
“Sounds like Dr. Strange got involved there.” You spoke and Peter laughed because even without knowing you always knew. “You’ve been alone all this time?”
“There was no other way.” He explained and you nodded, hugging him tightly again. You rocked slowly from side to side and sighed against his hair.
“Has this got something to do with the Multi-verse?” You asked and he pulled away before laughing quietly again. You always knew.
“Yeah. Everything really.” He shrugged. “We made a mistake and the only way to fix it was for people to forget me. How did you know?”
“I met a guy. He was you except not really.” You explained and Peter nodded, wiping his eyes as he took deep breaths.
“Youth pastor or himbo?” Peter asked and you laughed at his very appropriate description.
“Youth pastor I imagine. He didn’t need the shooters. Made the webs himself.” You told him and Peter longed for his brothers. His smile fell again.
“Yeah, he was here for a little while. So was another Spiderman. Brought their villains too.” Peter explained. “One of them killed May.”
“I’m so sorry Peter.” You sighed heavily, taking his hand in yours. “You’ve been through so much and you did it all alone.”
“It’s been so hard.” He whispered quietly and you could feel your heart shatter. He pulled himself together, you could see him doing it. “How did you meet the other Peter?”
“I was exploring. I met the Illumanti too.” His shock made you smile. “Not as fun as I imagined.”
“Was Beyoncé there? Or Elon Musk?” He asked and you laughed, shaking your head. “Kanye West was though, right?”
“It wasn’t like our world’s conspiracies. It was a gathering of Superheroes.” You explained. “Dr. Strange founded them although he gave his life to defeat Thanos.”
“Not Tony?” Peter asked and you shook your head sadly. In that universe Tony had never been abducted and so had never moved on from making weapons or becoming Iron Man. He had been frighteningly like his father. “Who was there?”
“Captain Carter. Peggy took Steve’s mantle in that universe. Captain Marvel although it wasn’t Carol but her friend Maria. Professor X, Mr Fantastic and Black Bolt.” You explained each of them in turn, filling Peter’s need for knowledge. The book for his GED hadn’t escaped you and you imagined it was hard to get a degree when your school forgot you existed.
“You told Sergeant Barnes and Sam about me?” Peter asked and you shrugged. You hadn’t explained per say but you had definitely brought him up.
“I didn’t tell them anything about you. I just wanted to know if you were okay and they didn’t know what I was talking about.” You shrugged and Peter nodded. “You don’t want them to know?”
“I don’t think it’s a good idea. Because of what happened last time.” He explained and you pursed your lips. “I don’t want you to have to keep secrets from Sergeant Barnes.”
“You can call him Bucky, you know.” You told him with a laugh. You stood for the sofa and moved to his kitchen area, frowning at the poor choice of food on offer. “You should eat better.”
“You don’t call him Bucky.” Peter evaded your berating. “You never have.”
“We have a long history. I knew him before he was in the army.” You told Peter who didn’t even look surprised. He knew you had been around for quite some time now. “We should go out and eat.”
Finding you again in another hole in the wall didn’t surprise Bucky. Finding you sitting with some kid, his hand held in yours did. He was eating with one hand like he’d never see food again while you talked to him quietly, asking him questions about how he’d been.
Bucky stopped in the doorway, watching you both carefully as you pushed his hair back before returning to holding his hand. Bucky couldn’t be sure but the kid looked barely eighteen.
When you looked up you caught his eye and smiled before saying something to the kid making him look up too. He finished his food in a rush, brushing a kiss across your cheek as he left.
He squeezed by Bucky in the door as you tidied his plates into a neat little stack and pushed them away to make room for Bucky. He took the space.
“That Peter?” He asked and you shrugged, shaking your head. “You find him?”
“Not yet.” You told him. Bucky looked you over again, watching the lies weigh you down. He let them go. Just as he always had. You never told him the truth, not really.
“Sam’s sister had been sorry to miss you.” Bucky told you instead and you smiled softly. You had been looking forward to meeting Sarah but Peter had needed you more.
“I guess I’ll have to go back and see her then.” You shrugged. Bucky sat back when a waitress approached, placing a coffee and a sandwich in front of Bucky. He didn’t ask, just sipped the coffee carefully. “How was the rest of your trip?”
“Quiet.” He offered before lifting the sandwich. “My favorite way to have things.”
“It’s rare. The quiet.” Bucky looked you over as he ate, answering your questions mindlessly. You were tired, he could tell. You didn’t get tired often.
“You staying with me?” He asked and you shrugged. “You got anywhere else?”
“My friend from earlier has a lumpy couch.” You told him and he shrugged again. “Yours is much more comfortable.”
“Like I’d let you sleep on the couch.” Bucky grunted. He finished his sandwich and sat back, sipping his coffee. He didn’t mention that he had never invited you to his apartment before. He knew you had found it in your search for him when you got back.
“Always the gentleman, James.” You cooed and he rolled his eyes. You had uttered the same words more times than he had count over the decades. You had always shown up in places you shouldn’t have been.
“Sleeping on the floor?” You asked and he shrugged. You observed the small nest with interested eyes. “Every night?”
“No.” He didn’t elaborate but you didn’t need him to. The nightmares were better but never gone. You knew that all too well. He led you to his bedroom and searched through his chest of drawers until he found a red Henley and a pair of sleep pants for you. “I’ll be in the kitchen.”
You changed and found him again, he had gotten changed too. His nest had moved to the sofa and you almost laughed. “You not gonna share with me soldier?”
“We still conserving body heat?” He asked, a wry smile on his lips. You shrugged and he only rolled his eyes. “Been a long time.”
“Not that long.” Bucky supposed that for you it hadn’t been. You had been busy since the night before you left. Bucky had too much time to think about it.
He found himself back in that same position of holding you close while his heart tried to put some distance between you both. It was unfair of you to show up and demand things stay the same no matter how much time passed between you both.
It didn’t mean he would refuse you. No, he thought as his arms tightened around you in your sleep, it wouldn’t change a damn thing.
Tw: mentions of child abuse, bullying, fighting, and blood
I headcanon that Otto is afraid of ending up like his father.
In the comics, Otto was bullied in school and I'd like to headcanon that Otto was very small most of his childhood so that made him an easy target for said bullies. They would find any way to pick on him. Pushing him around, shoving his things out of his hands, fighting him after school, and breaking his glasses or any of his projects. Because of it his father would beat him, and belittle him for not fighting back, calling him a wimp and other cruel names.
The principal got involved and called his parents in and told them what happened. His mother looked distraught but his father was smirking the whole time looking at Otto who kept his head down, still in shock. When they left for home, his father proceeded to say that the kid had it coming and that he was proud that his son was finally becoming just like him. That made Otto sick to his stomach, feeling like he was going to pass out.
Yes, he was very small but as soon as he was in high school he went through a growth spurt and was the tallest in his class, towering over most of the kids in school. However, the bullying went on, mostly from his childhood bully who thought that he would never fight back and that he would always be a wimp no matter how much he's grown. However, the bully caught him on a bad day. He kept pushing and pushing, making him so angry he was about to snap. But the tipping point was when the bully was going in to punch him, but before he could Otto caught his fist before socking him in the face, causing the bully to fall back with a bloody nose. But Otto didnt stop there, he continued to punch him again and again his anger getting the best of him for the first time. He was tired of being pushed around, he was tired of getting pushed, shoved, hit. But most of all he was tired of going home only to get beaten up more by his own father because of it. He just had enough. He continued to punch the boy until the bully cried out stop please, causing him to pause with his fist in the air, looking down to see the boy bloodied and bruised, tears streaming down his face as he stared up at Otto in fear. His angered features melt away as he looked from him to his fist seeing that it was covered in blood.
As soon as they got home, Otto went straight to his room, staying in there and not coming out for anything. He lay in his bed sobbing into his hands curling into himself. Otto had many accomplishments, he had perfect grades did extracurricular and was top of his class yet the only thing that made his father proud was him beating up another kid... a thing that he did to him daily. He looked right into the bully's eyes and saw himself lying there, beaten and afraid... While he was in his father's place holding up a bloody fist. He didnt want to become like his father, he doesn't want to hurt anyone, he wanted to help make the world a better place, wanting to help others not cause them pain. He didn't want to be a monster like him.
So that's why Otto doesn't snap like that ever again. If he got too angry at someone or something he would walk out or tinker to take his mind off of it. But if he ever did snap at someone in a heated argument, he would remember that fight and quickly calm down, apologizing over and over not wanting to scare the person he's fighting with, almost driven to tears at the thought that he could hurt those close to him like his father did. He has gotten better at keeping his temper under control now and would only fight in selves defense. He vowed never to be like his father, Otto was going to be kind and caring to those close to him, he was going to make the world a better place he was going to be better than his old man.