me: wow I'm so sad :( maybe I should read something to cheer me up :(((
fanfiction tagged: angst, self-esteem issues, grief, illness, hurt, major character death
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Our man is doing God's work
Robert Downey Jr. doesn't pretend to be a brilliant scientist - even though he's played Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, for the past 11 years.
But on Tuesday night he attended Amazon's new open-to-the-public Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics and Space (re:MARS) tech conference in Las Vegas - a room filled with artificial-intelligence legends, astronauts, and other dignitaries - as a keynote speaker.
He delivered a gag-filled talk that somehow weaved together the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the evolution of Stark's Iron Man suits, allusions to his own troubled history with drug addiction, and the actual history of artificial intelligence and its pioneers, along with a bunch of jokes using the Amazon Alexa voice and Matt Damon
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Fond of The Classics (smut)
Summary: When the sexual tension between you and Bucky is stifling, Natasha becomes her scheming, conniving self.
Warnings: Smut, implied age gap [you’re around 21], masturbation (m), reader being a little bit of a creep, oral, metal arm kink, dirty talk, feelings of invalidation, joke referencing god masturbating, drinking, I wrote this w my own body type in mind so read it w ur body type
When Natasha slammed you hard into the sparring mat, you saw stars. You lay spread eagle on the blue floor panting hard with your eyes squeezed shut.
“I’ve met Death and it looks like Natasha Romanov.” You gasped, not taking her helping hand and deciding to continue to just lay down. You heard her laugh loudly and continued to stay quiet as it echoed around the large training gym. “Why do you literally want me to die, Nat.” You whined up at her.
She raised her eyebrow and kicked your ribs lightly with the toe of her boot. “I’ll stop doing that when you stop avoiding Bucky.”
Your nose wrinkled and you let out a noise of protest. You and Bucky had been dancing around each other since you had become an Avenger, and the tension growing between the both of you was suffocating the entire team. Since you couldn’t even be in the same room without having to hold yourself back from jumping his bones, you had taken to avoiding him— going to great lengths to dodge his attention. “My debilitating sexual frustration towards him is probably breaking so many HR rules that I should be in jail. It’s better for everyone to just not talk to him.”
“You’re a smart girl, Y/N, but that was one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard.” She said, crouching down and leaning over your head. Her new blonde hair making her look like some sort of angel staring down at you with the eyes of Death herself. You pushed her away from you and she was sent sprawling on the ground beside you.
“Well, how am I supposed to talk to someone like that? I mean, have you seen his thighs, Nat.” You deadpanned, rolling over and pressing your cheek into the mat.
“Dude, that’s gross get your face off of the floor.” She groaned, finally getting you to stand up and walk with her to the shower room. “And, yes I have seen his thighs— I’d ride those into the sunset if I—“
“Back off, Nat.” You cut her off and growled, your top lip pulling back over your teeth. In response, she held up her hands in surrender.
“I was going to say,” she said, pulling off her under armor sweatshirt over her head once you both got inside the change room. “That I would ride his thighs into the sunset if I were you.”
Your face flushed with embarrassment and you kicked your loose shorts off, stepping into the stream of water and letting it soak through your hair.
“I’m serious, we need a plan.” You scoffed at her words and spit out the water you got in your mouth. “We need you two to get drunk.”
You threw the avocado oil at her and she caught it easily, taking some in her hand and carding her fingers through her bleached hair. “Dude isn’t that morally corrupt or something.”
She shrugged in response and quickly mumbled something along the lines of ‘youre both too uptight to do anything, so whatever’, and you simply rolled your eyes and shut off the stream of water hitting your body. Knowing Natasha was up to something made a chill creep down your spine— she was too smart for her own good, and your heart fluttered when you remembered that her plans rarely failed. You had wanted Bucky on some sort of level since he had come back from Wakanda (your guilty pleasure was the man bun he wore when he was sparring with Steve, and the flyaway hairs clung to his face was something Gods masturbated to), and you had thought about him too frequently in the night when the moon was filtering through your blinds and when it was too quiet to even think about even sleeping. You knew he felt the same way, but as a result of management, you knew you would never be able to pursue him in any way you wanted to whether or not it was romantically or sexually.
You huffed angrily at this thought and swung your gym bag over your shoulder as you walked out of the change rooms.
“We drink tonight, Y/N! Common room at nine!”
“This is one plan that won’t work, Nat!”
It was around ten when you showed up. You had decided to wear your favorite and most comfortable outfit, knowing you had barely anyone to impress and it would honestly most likely result in the whole team crashing together on the huge couches Tony had insisted on buying. When you walked in, the eyes of the party all turned towards you and you raised your brows in response.
“I’m sorry I’m late?” You smiled, raising your hands in surrender as if they were about to sick themselves on you.
You surveyed who was all there, and when your eyes locked with Bucky’s blue ones you felt as if your organs had turned to magma. His jaw was clenched shut, and his nostrils were flared— he would have looked angry if you hadn’t known him, but since you and he seemed to rotate around the other you knew this was something else entirely. You knew he wasn’t angry because his chest moved as if he was taking in deep breaths to calm his racing heart rate. You knew he wasn’t angry because once he saw you, he spread his knees to take up as much space as possible so you wouldn’t be able to see anything other than himself. You knew he wasn’t angry because when you blushed and bit your lip under his gaze, he crossed his ankle over his knee to hide his rapidly hardening member.
When what felt like hours of staring at each other but was instead seconds passed, Natasha grabbed your wrist and pulled you into the kitchen to ‘get drinks’. When you had entered the kitchen, she flung you in there and placed her hands on her hips.
“You guys act like teenagers around each other. I talked to Tony— no shut up I’m talking. I talked to Tony and briefly mentioned that you may or may not really like Bucky— stop hitting me, you’re being dramatic. I mentioned your infatuation and he said that there would be no issues with HR because we don’t even have HR. The entire team hasn’t signed the contract as of yet so technically, we’re still a private organization so you can fuck like monkeys if you damn well please.” She said, fighting you off and talking over your protests when necessary. You glared at her (half-heartedly because while she had told Tony about your lusty feelings of the super soldier, you were allowed to ethically pursue him), and turned to grab a beer from the fridge. You hit the cap off by nicking it on the side of the marble counter and took a sip, not breaking eye contact with her until you placed the bottle on the table.
“So what do we do?” You grumbled, heat rushing to your face when she smirked at you.
“Well, all you have to do is follow my lead.”
You followed her into the room and took a seat on the love seat across from Bucky and beside Natasha, willing yourself to look at him despite the feeling of his gaze burning holes into the side of your face as you chatted with Wanda about something you honestly couldn’t remember.
After another beer, and two shots of something Tony had brought out, the flush in your cheeks were no longer of lust, but of the feeling of booze in your bloodstream and the laughter that infecting your night. Once you felt safe (drunk) enough to spare a glance towards Bucky, your movement caught his eye and he was back to meet your gaze.
Bucky had a flush on his own cheeks, and no matter how much he talked to Sam or Steve, he couldn’t get the idea of you out of his head. The idea of you underneath him, leaving deep red scratches on his back as he fucked you into the covers underneath you. The idea of you not flinching away from his metal arm, the new technology from his modern-day best friend (Shuri— they didn’t speak too much to each other, but they would send each other things they thought were funny; she called them memes) that would hum so quietly beside him, now a soothing sound rather than the noise the arm Hydra gave him. He thought of the idea of you, with your loud laugh, only wearing one of his shirts in his bed laughing at a bad joke he had told you.
The very idea of you being his made him want to lose his mind. So, when you looked at him and smiled that toothy grin of yours, he almost took you right there not the table in the middle of the party— but he couldn’t do that, so he just settled for watching you from across the room with a warm glass of mead and a cold bed waiting for him.
He knew you didn’t like him, you avoided him as if he was one of the four horsemen, and he knew it was because he was the Winter Soldier, he knew it was because of the things he had done.
Not feeling very drunk, and rather sad for that matter, he got up and went to his room— some lame excuse muttered to whoever wanted to listen and then he was gone.
Natasha had noticed several things at that moment. First, Bucky had left. Second, you hadn’t noticed him leaving— you were texting your mom she was sure. And third, it was her time to shine. She elbowed you hard in the ribs and with a yelp and a glare you whipped around to face her.
“What the fuck was that for?” You slurred, alcohol making your words bleed together. She nodded her head in the direction of the rooms, and you had managed to understand what she was getting at— Bucky had left, and she wanted you to do something about it. “Okay, what do I do?”
“You go to his room, and knock on his door and take it from there.”
“Nat, I can’t.”
“I don’t— I can’t just—“
“Don’t be a dumbass. Go, now.”
Never in a million years would you have thought you finally gathered enough guts to knock on Bucky’s door, let alone have FRIDAY let you in when he didn’t answer (‘you’ve been granted special access as a request of James’). His apartment was simple— plain brown furniture, a worn but expensive-looking couch and a flatscreen perched on top of a gas fireplace. There was an island separating the living room from the small kitchen and a hallway that led down to what you assumed to be the bathroom and bedroom. There were minimal points of personalization— you were sure it was because he hadn’t quite known who he was yet, as Tony had been very clear in making him feel welcome.
“Buck?” You called out, padding further into the house. It smelled like him, and you wrapped your arms around yourself as you took a deep and dizzying breath in. When he didn’t respond, you called out again, walking down the hallway and looking at the pictures framed in traditional frames that lined it. There was one of Steve and Bucky during one of Tony’s elaborate parties, one of the entire team in front of the new compound in New York, and finally one of him and Shuri in Africa. She was a gorgeous young lady, and the ease in Bucky’s expression as a result of what she had done for him made you like her even more.
When you heard a noise come from the bedroom, you stopped in your tracks. A few seconds followed in silence when someone sounded like they were gasping behind the door. It sounded almost as if there was music playing softly in the background, and when you heard a grunt overtop of that music. Thinking someone was in trouble, you turned the knob in your hand and edged the door open, not wanting to alert whoever was in there with Bucky so you could manage an ambush of some sort.
What you did not expect, however, was Bucky Barnes butt naked laying on his bed with his eyes closed. There was a sheen on his skin- as if he had recently showered, and the long hair that was fanned around his head on the pillow was wet as well. Your eyelids fluttered when you saw his metal hand fisted around his throbbing member, stroking it slowly and milking that pleasure for all it was.
You stood frozen in your place, watching his hand pump himself, brushing the light dusting of hair on his pubic bone and letting the cold metal of his thumb brush over the swollen tip and using the pre-cum that leaked from his slit to make his movements more fluid. An unbearable heat erupted in your stomach, and your core tingled at the very thought of him pleasuring himself— sure, you had thought about if he did or not, but seeing his stomach flex and his feet flex in pleasure was nothing like you had imagined.
“Y/N/N.” He sighed, pressing his head harder into the soft pillows and crunching his brows. You couldn’t even find it in yourself to look away and give him the privacy he needed, not even when his eyes opened at the creak the floor made when your weight shifted from one foot to another. You couldn’t even look away when he pulled the blankets over himself. You couldn’t close your lips that had parted in surprise or even wet the cracked skin with your tongue.
“Y/N, I’m sorry I didn’t—“ He stuttered, blushing, and tears welling in his eyes in shame. The glaze of his eyes broke you out of your trance, and you closed the door behind you, pressing yourself against it.
“Please, don’t stop on my account.” You whispered, breathlessly. He blinked once in confusion and the tears slowly disappeared. His cheeks were red and flushed, and your eyes became locked on the blankets fisted over his junk before they flicked up to his own. You walked forward slowly, not wishing to break eye contact as you came near his bed. Your knee came up to rest against the end of the bed, and your hand brushed lightly over his ankle where the hair stood on end as a result of your touch.
“Is this okay?” You asked, not wanting to make him entirely uncomfortable in the situation.
“Yeah,” his voice cracked. “Please.”
You nodded to yourself and your hand went to rest upon his own metal one, pulling it and the blanket away from him, and further exposing him to you. His shaft was thick and long, and glistening slightly in cum. The skin was blushing, and when your hands came to rest on his upper thighs, the muscles twitched in anticipation.
“You sure this is okay? I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable—“ He cut you off by sitting up quickly and pressing his own lips against yours. His lips were rough against your own, and he tasted like coffee and toothpaste, and God, when your tongue traced his own you never thought you could have been happier. You straddled his waist, not ignoring the way he was pressed against the inside of your thigh, and rested one hand on his face, tracing the rise of his cheekbone and the other coming to grasp the hair at the base of his neck, pulling lightly and electing a quiet growl from his throat. His hips thrust into your own and the pressure applied there made you gasp and whine lowly.
You pulled away and looked down at him, smiling softly at the softness of his blue eyes and the dilation of his pupils.
“I thought you were afraid of me, you were avoiding me.” He mumbled into your neck as his nose grazed the edge of your jaw. He kissed it lightly, and you pulled away from the warmth of his lips to look at him, almost offended.
“I could never.” You whispered, kissing him once more. You kissed him on the jaw, and traced the lined of his throat with open-mouthed kisses, leaving a dark purple bruise over his Adam's apple. You kissed down the center of his chest and pushed him on his back so you could trace the contours of his abdomen with your tongue. He was breathing so heavily by now, and you let your nails scratch his sides. You smiled up at him when he let out a high moan, and felt the fingers of his flesh hand tangle into your hair. You left tiny clusters of hickeys on his hipbones, and as you kissed just below his navel you felt the tip of his cock against your throat.
You grasped it in your hands and felt it throb under your touch, your cold fingers making him thrust his hips closer to you. You jerked him slowly, watching as his face tensed and released with your movements. You bent down, laced on your stomach and sucked the soft skin of his balls lightly, soon enough taking the whole thing in your mouth and swirling your tongue around them.
“Baby, holy shit.” He cried, fisting your hair harder. You hummed in pleasure at the tug and licked a solid strip up the underside of his dick before your tongue swirled around the edge of the head and sucking it hard. He cried out again, and you braced yourself against his thighs when his hips thrust into your face. You forced yourself to take as much as you could of him, letting him hit the back of your throat before finding a pace to bop your head at. You hollowed out your cheeks and pumped what wouldn’t fit in your mouth with one hand while you softly massaged his balls in the other.
“Baby Girl, please. I’m gonna cum if you don’t stop and I need to cum in you, please.” He begged, his voice quivering at the effort. You backed up from him with a pop, and he pulled you close to him, sitting up lazily against the headboard and lifting you to hover over his left thigh.
“You wanna ride my thigh, Baby?” He mumbled into your neck, biting the skin just behind your ear and rolling his tongue over the bruise he left.
“I want you to just be in me, we can do that later I promise.” You said, lifting your sweater over your head and throwing it somewhere across the room. “Take care of me, Buck.”
He nodded slightly and leaned down to kiss the rise of your breasts tenderly, you pressed yourself against his thigh to give him the hint that he needed to just hurry up. He unlatched your bra and flung it across the room and his lips immediately latched onto one nipple while his other hand rolled the other in his fingers. You threw your head back and moaned, pressing your self not only closer to him but harder down on his thigh.
“Bucky, please you need to stop teasing.” You pouted. You rolled off of him and took your leggings and panties off, not even bothering to kick them off the bed but instead rolling back on top of him and kissing him hard. Your hands trailed from his long hair, over his neck where you squeezed briefly and across his shoulders and down his arms where they rested on his biceps. You broke the kiss, pulling back far enough to look into his eyes and grabbing his metal hand and pressing the cool, smooth palm against you.
He blinked in surprise when you did this, and he appeared to be breathless for three seconds.
“Are-are you sure?”
“I’ve wanted this for so fucking long, Bucky, please.” You whispered against his lips and rubbed yourself with his hand. The metal was cool, and while it wasn’t entirely smooth it wasn’t an unpleasant roughness so the friction it gave you made you almost purr in satisfaction. You gasped when he slid one thick member into you, only pressing into you to the very first knuckle.
“You’re so tight, Doll. What am I gonna do with you?” He crooned, and kissed the top of your head, pressing his hand closer to you. He felt your teeth graze the skin where his metal arm met flesh, and since the skin there was scarred and sensitive he let out a shaky sigh of pleasure. You shifted your hips down so you could take more and you latched your teeth onto the soft muscle that made the transition from shoulder to neck and he swiftly added another finger, making you keen and bite down harder and nearly break the skin.
“You gon’ ride my hand? Huh, you gonna ride my fingers like a good girl?” He asked, pumping his fingers into you at a constant speed. You rolled your hips against them and when his fingers grazed your g-spot you swore loudly.
“Right there, Buck!” You whimpered, almost sobbing at the pleasure he had been able to give you. He added another finger, and all three moved inside you in a way you hadn’t been able to even dream about. You humped his hand harder and wrapped your arms around Bucky’s neck to stabilize yourself as you moved quickly.
“Cum for me, baby.” He kissed you, and you pressed your lips against his hard when his other hand came up and pinched your clit. It was as if a dam had been broken, and the orgasm that washed over you didn’t compare to the Magic Bullet hiding in your underwear drawer. He rubbed you until you came down from your high, and when your body stopped shaking he kissed your hot forehead.
“Can you go another one, Doll Face?” He asked. In response, you just pushed him down onto the mattress and kissed him hard, tongue slipping through his lips and tasting him again.
“Fuck me, James. Fuck me until I’m screaming your name and everyone in this fucking building hears us.” You crooned as you brushed his hair away from his face. You smirked lightly. “If you can.”
Bucky growled and flipped you onto your back, supporting himself above you and rubbing his erection from your asshole to clit, making you gasp. Growing impatient, you wrapped your leg around his waist and pulled him close to you by digging your heel into your lower back. He thrust into you, and you pushed him into you until you felt the soft skin of his balls against your ass.
“Holy shit, Doll.” He moaned into the crook of your neck. He began thrusting slowly, making sure that you were both comfortable with the tightness of the fit and only speeding up when he heard you let out a breathy moan into his ear. At your reaction, he pulled almost all the way out, hooked your knee over his shoulder and began to rut hard into your sex. You let out a guttural moan and pulled him close to you so you could rake your nails hard down his back. He let out a whine and brushed his thumb against your cheek almost lovingly and kissed you, both of you breathing loudly through your noses while your tongues danced violently together. When you pulled away, and you looked up at him with the devil in your eye.
“That all you got, Sarge?” You panted. He stilled inside of you and glared down at you. When you gave him a toothy grin he pulled out of you and flipped you onto your stomach, pulling your hips up to him and he thrust into you. The angle he was fucking you at made you see stars, and as you pushed your face into his pillows to muffle your moans his hand came around to your front and began roughly rubbing your clit. You screamed into the pillow, and his flesh hand came down to spank you roughly.
“Oh my fucking God, James. I need you faster.” You swore, hand drifting down to your own body and guiding his fingers against you. He thrust harder into you, and he bent over to press his thick chest against your back and thereby pushing you to lay down on the bed.
“Fuck, Princess. You’re so fucking tight— I’m gonna cum in your tight little pussy, yeah?” He growled, hands now coming to rest on your ass and using that as leverage to thrust harder.
“Yes, Buck. Please, I’m so close Baby.” It only took a few more thrusts for him to still inside you and spurt his hot load into your sex. He continued thrusting hard into you until your walls were fluttering around him and you were letting raspy screams into his pillow.
When he pulled out of you, he lifted your quaking body and pulled the sheets around you, hugging you tightly to his chest and kissing your clammy forehead. You hummed into the crook of his warm neck, and soon the feeling of sleepy contentment washed over the pair of you.
“I really like you, Y/N.” He murmured into your hair. His large hands traced over your body, and pressed on the tense muscles he found on your shoulders and back. You moaned happily and kissed the soft skin between his pectoral muscles.
“I’m really happy we feel the same way, James.” Your fingers traced the feeling of his scars you couldn’t see and soon, you both fell asleep in the arms of the man you happened to be very fond of.
The next morning, you woke up to an empty bed. You huffed once, before rolling over and taking note of how very sore your entire body felt. With some struggle, you got out of bed and pulled your shorts over your strong and thick legs before wandering over to Bucky’s closet and finding some sort of soft shirt.
You decided on a military green long-sleeved shirt, and the fabric that strained over Bucky’s torso made you feel small and bagged around your waist and hips. You shuffled out of the room, and down to the kitchen to follow the smell of coffee emanating from the kitchen. When you turned the corner, you found Bucky in soft grey sweats, a white shirt, and messy bun. Without even giving a second thought you walked up behind him and wrapped your arms around his waist and resting your head between his shoulder blades.
“Mornin’, Doll. I was gonna surprise you in bed with breakfast but since you’re up— the coffee is brewed and the toast is done. I’m almost done with the eggs, so if you wanna fix your toast and coffee I’ll dish this out to you.” He hummed, his fingers intertwining with yours over his belly button.
“Who knew James Barnes could cook, huh?” You joked, kissing the back of his neck and grabbing a mug from the cabinet in front of him and pouring the coffee from the large French press.
“Hey, I cooked for Steve all the time, he never complained.” He defended himself with a wide smile on his face.
“Yeah, and how long ago was that? Seventy-five years ago?” You joked, bumping your hip with his. He sent a playful glare your way and spooned some scrambled eggs onto your plate.
“Who truly hates the classics?” He said, kissing the top of your head. You smiled up at him and he smiled back, the skin at the outer corners of his eyes wrinkling happily. You kissed his lips quickly and reached around to tap his bum.
“I find myself quite fond of them.” You grinned.
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“Cast your eye on him one last time
For we will never see each other again”
-Lyrics from a hungarian song called ‘Áldja meg az Isten’ which translates to ‘God bless it’ by a band called Dalriada.
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I needed to fill in the missing scene of Steve telling Bucky about his plans. Just some good old not-endgame-compliant all-about-Bucky angst.
Do you need a hug? I do.
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Me, to my fav character: I love you. I want you happy and safe and with all the good things in the world because you deserve every happiness and more
Also me: but first
*stabs character in the back*
You must suffer.
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the worst feeling isn’t being lonely, is being forgotten by someone you will never forget.
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I saw you in my dreams again
It felt so real...
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I love the tumblr community so much because when someone writes really angsty angst, people start complimenting them with insults.
Like "well fuck you too" "you fucking asshole" or "I hate you". That's... that's like the best response you can get.
I think this is beautiful.
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they say steve’s life doesn’t revolve around bucky and yet… steve will take on a one man rescue mission for a man not guaranteed to be alive, jump across a burning chasm because said man refused to leave without him, put down his shield and refuse to fight the one man who never left his dreams, dedicate two years of his life searching for the same man who may not necessarily have wanted to be found, publicly go against 117 countries and his own teammates for said man, and drop his shield once again for him? are we talking about the same steve here?
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By Morning Light | i
Pairings: Steve x Bucky x Reader
Summary: Midnight missions leave you lonely in the mornings
Warnings: Brief mentions of anxiety. Possibly some language.
Notes: Written for @ughjoekeery’s writing challenge, with the prompt: Dawn.
Think of this chapter as the ‘prologue’ for the ‘series’. Title for this chapter is an adapted lyric from ‘Daylight’ by Maroon 5.
~ when the daylight comes (you’ll be on your own) ~
You stir in your sleep, your hand reaching out to the right with the intent of pulling Bucky closer to you, hoping that you can leech off some of his body heat. The chill that is currently ghosting over your skin is probably what awoke you in the first place; your twin furnaces seem to have disappeared from your sides.
Your lips contort into a frown when your fingers close on nothing but empty sheets. How strange.
You roll onto your other side — and pause, stunned by the discovery of the fact that you are actually able to roll over. Normally, Steve is curled up around your back, arm slung around your waist and nose pressed into the crook of your neck. If you ever turned over in your sleep, you usually end up with your face smushed between pecs of steel. As wonderful as it is being able to sleep with two solid walls of muscle on either side of you, the fact that the boys usually cling to you like octopi to a rock just makes their absence that much more noticeable.
With a muted yawn, you stretch out your arms and do some half-assed impression of making a snow-angel, flapping your arms and legs around in the sheets to confirm that yep, you’re most certainly alone in the bed. Reluctantly, your crack open your sleep-encrusted eyelids, in order to survey the room.
It’s still fairly dark out, the morning in that weird transition hour between night and dawn, where the entire world seems to take on a slightly purplish quality. The digital clock on the nightstand tells you that it’s a quarter past six in the morning. Your drag your eyes away from the bright red lights of the clock’s display and slowly track them over the rest of the room. You note the half-shut cupboards, the pulled-out drawers and the clothes strewn haphazardly on the floor, all indicating that the boys left in haste. There’s no denying the evidence presented by the whole scene — you’re forced to accept the sad reality that Steve and Bucky are gone.
Midnight missions happen all the time, in this household. It’s not unusual for one, or both of them to get called out in the middle of the night. Given their line of work, you figure it’s expected that Steve and Bucky need to keep odd hours. World-saving waits for no one, so you’ve come to embrace the fact the the boys could be dragged away at the drop of a hat, with no prior warning, whisked off to some far-flung part of the world to kick some bad-guy butt.
If you had to guess, you’d probably say that nights like these happen at least once every couple of weeks. With that level of frequency, mornings like these are not uncommon — morning where you wake up shivering and alone in a bed that feels far too big. With that level of frequency, a part of you thinks that you should be used to the programme by now, that your body should know what has happened and should therefore not freak out about it. Sure, Bucky and Steve are off risking their lives to make the world a safer place, but they always come back to you — battered, usually bloodied, though always whole.
You resent these mornings, nonetheless.
Exhaling a harsh breath through your nose, you roll over onto your stomach and bury your face into Bucky’s pillow, greedily inhaling the scent that clings to the brushed cotton. You miss your boys. Perhaps it’s your imagination, but you swear that you can feel the ache of loneliness and longing in your heart, throbbing dully with every heartbeat. You’d been looking forward to spending a relaxing weekend with them, but that looks to not be the case.
Way to go, bad guys, you gripe, thanks for ruining my weekend plans.
The memory of the first time a morning like this happened starts playing in your ming like a terrible grainy film, one that you’d much rather not watch.
Bucky and Steve had left without so much as a note explaining why they were gone, or where they were going, or when they’d be coming back. You can vividly remember the way the terror had gripped at your heart, the way the panic had nauseated you as it swirled in your stomach. You remember grabbing your phone and dialling their numbers. You’d tried calling them a dozen times. You’d clutched the phone to your ear with a trembling hand, waiting with bated breath as the phone rang and rang and rang, without being picked up.
You remember praying to the heavens above for a miracle, hoping to develop some sort of telepathic connection with Steve or Bucky, just to know that they were alive. God, you must have left them at least six voicemails. Each. You don’t want to think about how hysterical you must have sounded, how close to the verge of tears your voice must have been. When you finally realised that calling Bucky and Steve would get you nowhere, you’d tried everyone else on your contact list. You tried getting ahold of Sam, you tried getting ahold of Nat, of Wanda, of Tony, of Clint — hell, you even tried to call Pepper, all to no avail.
You’d worked yourself into an anxious frenzy, unable to shake the fear lingering in the back of your head for the rest of the day. You were hardly able to sit still for more than a couple of seconds. You’d known that the best thing for you to do was to just keep calm, to just have faith in the knowledge that Steve and Bucky have been doing this for a lot longer than they’ve known you and that they know how to handle themselves. But—there’s just some things that girlfriends do. Being worried sick when their boyfriends vanish into thin air is one of them.
Now, at least, you’re proud to say that you can handle Steve and Bucky’s midnight disappearances with a lot more composure. After six months of living together, you’ve finally taught yourself to reign in the all-consuming panic that threatens to overwhelm your mind and send it spiralling into the pits of despair. You never seem to be as productive as you normally are, not can you quite shake off the nervous energy hovering around you like a cloud of mist, but it’s a definite improvement to how you used to act.
Having exhausted your contacts list, you’d resorted to booting up your laptop and doing a Google search for their names, hoping that you’d read about them in the news, or something. The relief that spread through your veins as your eyes skimmed over an article detailing a sighting of the Avengers in Belarus was unlike anything you’ve ever felt before — you’d felt as if a mountain-sized boulder had been lifted off your lungs, allowing you to breathe again. You remember patting your chest, right over your heart, as if to reassure the madly-beating muscle that yes, Bucky and Steve were still alive.
As much as you’d promised yourself that you’d be giving them a real chewing over the minute they stepped through the front door, that’s not exactly how the events played out in real life. In reality, things panned out a little something like this: a haggard-looking Steve and an equally exhausted Bucky stumble through the door, a string of apologies on their lips. You take one look at them, one glance at the truly forlorn look on their faces and feel something in your heart just give way. You promptly burst into tears — of joy? Relief? Anger? Who knows? — and run into their outstretched arms, clinging to them in a viciously tight embrace, as if to ensure that they could never leave you, ever again.
The three of you have made some changes, after that.
There’s a protocol, now. The boys will always leave you a note if they have to go, putting it somewhere obvious so that it’s easy for you to spot. Initially, they’d tried waking you up to let you know that they were leaving, but that plan fell through because you sleep like the dead and are just as difficult to reawaken.
Now, you push yourself up onto your elbows, glancing around the dimly-lit room in search of their note. A flash of yellow in the corner of your eye catches your attention. You lean over and pluck the square post-it note from where it’s stuck on the nightstand on Steve’s side of the bed. You narrow your eyes, turning the slip of paper this way and that, trying to decipher Steve’s unreadable chicken scratch. With a sigh, you sit up straighter, intending to flick on the bedside lamp to shed some light on the subject — you laugh humourlessly at your own pun. Just as you’re reach over to thumb the switch on the wall, a folded piece of white paper crammed underneath the base of the lamp draws your gaze.
Eagerly, you snatch up the note and flatten out the paper. The inside is covered in Bucky’s loopy cursive script, scrawled across the scrap of paper in green ink.
Hey doll, it reads, we left just after 12AM, should be back in time to take you out for brunch. Don’t worry too much. <3 S and B
Well. It’s something, at least. With any luck, they’ll stick to their promise and be back in time for the three of you to go out for pancakes, maybe take a walk in the park. If all goes to plan — and that, to be fair, is a pretty big if — you’ll be able to make the most out of the rest of the weekend.
It is with this thought in mind that you swing your legs off the bed and pad over to the bathroom, to go through your morning routine of brushing your teeth, washing your face and going to the toilet. After, just as you’re about to flick off the light switch and head down for some breakfast, your eyes fall on the laundry hamper in the corner of the bathroom. Specifically, your gaze lands on Steve’s white t-shirt lying on the top of the pile.
You don’t hesitate to cross over to it, pulling your own night-shirt over your head as you go. That gets tossed into the pile of dirty clothes, and you tug Steve’s shirt on its place. For good measure, you rummage around in the hamper, clicking your tongue triumphantly when you pull out Bucky’s navy blue zip-up. That gets pulled on too.
Despite the fact that it’s not even seven in the morning, you’re feeling wide awake and know that you’re unlikely to be falling back asleep anytime soon. So, as your gaze roams over the disheveled mess that is your bedroom, you decide to take advantage of your early start to the day by getting some housework done. You make the bed and put away the junk cluttering the surface of your dresser, before gathering up all the clothes on the floor and dumping them into the laundry hamper, ready to be washed with Steve and Bucky’s gear once they get back.
It’s nice, working with their clothes on, if only because it means that you’ve enshrouded yourself in their comforting scents. You turn your face and press your nose into the shoulder of the zip-up, breathing in that musky, spicy smell of Bucky that clings to the material. You push the garment to the side, exposing the t-shirt underneath so that you can get a quick whiff of Steve’s fresher, slightly sharper scent.
Like this, it’s easy to pretend that you’re not alone, easier for you to imagine that your boys are right there next to you, bickering between themselves as they attempt to distract you from your chores. The thought brings a smile to your lips.
Once the bedroom is as clean as you can make it, you head downstairs, not bothering to turn on the lights as you go, because you enjoy observing the way the rising sun tinges your home in shades of pink and orange. Your fingers itch for some pencils and a sketchbook to capture the tranquil scene.
You make your way through the rest of the house, restlessly tidying away things that are out of place. You find yourself rearranging some framed photos of your family and putting the packages that you received yesterday into your art room, to be opened some other time. There’s only so much cleaning you can do, however, before there is literally nothing left to be cleaned. With a resigned sigh, you amble into the kitchen and put the kettle on, then pull out your favourite Avengers mug and drop a tea bag into it.
Once it’s ready, you carry your scalding hot mug of tea and a packet of chocolate cookies into the living room. Today feels like a Netflix morning, you decide, as you settle down in the corner of the L-shaped couch and bring up the latest episode of the show you’re watching. The sunlight is beginning to stream in through the windows properly now, casting everything in a soft, hazy glow.
As the opening credits roll, you decide to make a quick dash to your art space to grab the book you’re currently reading, in case you want to occupy your mind in other ways, as well as your laptop, in case you — heaven forbid — decide to actually be productive on a Saturday morning.
Since your mind is rather preoccupied, you wind up not paying that much attention to the drama playing out on screen. The volume’s turned down low, enabling your brain to push the sounds into the back of your head. Your mind wanders and ends up waltzing down memory lane.
You work as an illustrator and freelance artist. Two and a half years ago, you’d been invited to create some original pieces for a local art gallery, who intended to auction them off and give part of the proceedings to the local children’s hospital. You’d met Steve and Bucky on the night of the exhibition launch and your relationship had taken off from there.
Steve had made the first move. He’d come over to you, an embarrassed flush on his face when he started gushing about your work, eyes twinkling with excitement as he geeked out over your colour and compositional choices. Bucky, standing by his side, had been equally charming, not letting his lack of art-knowledge hinder him from joining in on the conversation. There’s a candid picture of the three of you from that night that is pinned to the wall above your work-station. The photographer had managed to catch you all just as you burst out into laughter. Steve’s hand is resting on your upper arm, Bucky’s hand is clapping on Steve’s right shoulder, and all your faces are alight with joy. Your heart never fails to melt whenever you set eyes on it.
Afterwards, they took you out for coffee at a ridiculously expensive downtown cafe. The three of you had stayed in there and chatted well beyond closing time — it seems that shop owners make exceptions for Captain America. From the get-go, it’d been so easy to talk to them. You don’t know of any other people who have made you laugh as much, or as hard, in that amount of time. The three of you clicked, instantly, as if you’d always known each other.
By the time Steve and Bucky were ushering you into the cab they’d called, the three of you had already established a date for a get-together at your house, so that Steve could come over and ogle the rest of your work, and so that Bucky could come over and impress you with his potato salad.
Cue a year or so of you spending a hell of a lot of time with Steve and Bucky. Well, as much time as you can with the two of them were jetting off on missions every week, at least. Slowly but surely, you found yourself falling for them both. It wasn’t something that you were conscious of, really, it’s just — one evening, you sat down to have dinner by yourself in front of the couch and found yourself wishing that Bucky and Steve were there to keep you company. And, the more you thought about it, the more you realised that you wanted their company every night — and every day too, if that was possible.
Then, there was a brief period of awkwardness, during which you fretted and lamented over your indecisive heart. Your every waking hour was spent wondering how on earth you were going to broach this subject with them. But, before you could even formulate a game plan, before you could even begin to prepare yourself for the heartache that would inevitably come with you having to end your friendship with them, the boys had approached you and asked you out on a proper date. Emphasis on the plural, there.
And it’s been…well, it’s been a lot of things, since then. Stressful, exhilarating, enjoyable — pretty much every descriptor under the sun. You’ve been dating for a year and a half now, and six months ago, the boys had moved into your two-storey studio loft. They had, of course, invited you to come and live with them the tower, but you couldn’t bear the thought of having to pack up your meticulously organised work-station, only to have to establish a whole new system of organisation. And besides, the view of the city from your window is pretty spectacular.
Was it scary for you to finally meet the rest of the team?
Hell yeah, it was. Downright terrifying, would perhaps be more of an accurate answer. But, questionable first impressions and poorly-concealed death-threats aside (mostly directed at Steve and Bucky on your behalf, as opposed to the reverse, thankfully), the rest of the Avengers have come to accept you as part of their family. You are the one person who brings a sense of normalcy into their otherwise hellishly chaotic home.
Your relationship went public about a couple of months before the three of you moved in together, after the three of you had gotten papped when you’d gone out grocery shopping. There was a lot of media coverage, mostly in the form of disgruntled grumbling, of your relationship in the following weeks. Steve’s image took most of the heat; as a national icon, Captain America is, by default, supposed to stand for national ideals. Apparently — and you’ve got no idea what idiot decided to institute this as fact — America’s national ideals are not, in fact, bisexuality and polyamorous relationships. You’d also gotten your fair share of death threats during the initial media frenzy, but it’s the Avengers we’re talking about, at the end of the day. No mere civilian is stupid enough to get on their bad side. And besides, the PR and legal teams are great at keeping your private life under lock and key.
You end up lazing around on the couch, drifting in and out of sleep for the next couple of hours. You’re startled by the sound of a key jingling in the lock, followed by the front door creaking open and heavy boots thudding inside. You sit up, rubbing the sleep out of your eyes with one hand and stretching out the kink in your shoulder with the other. A quick glance at the clock on the wall lets you know that it’s half past nine in the morning.
Steve is limping into the living room just as you turn around. Your give him a quick once-over, taking in the bruising on his cheek and the way he holds his body, indicating that he’s probably taken a pretty bad hit to the right side of his ribs. His helmet is held in one hand, his shield in the other. Bucky strides in after him, tac jacket unzipped and hair freed from the bun he keeps it in when he’s out on a mission. There’re butterfly bandages above his eye and a cut on his lip, but besides that, he doesn’t look too bad.
“Hey,” you murmur, twisting around properly now, resting your elbows on the back of the couch as you push yourself up onto your knees. Bucky is the first to reach you, his hands cupping your face and tilting it upwards as he leans in to capture your lips in a fierce kiss. You sigh contentedly, feeling the tension draining out of your body with each surge of Bucky’s lips against your own. You sense Steve sauntering over to the two of you, dropping his helmet onto the couch beside you so that he can thread his fingers through your hair. The last vestiges of anxiety leave your body at the gesture, and you can’t help but let out an approving moan as Steve’s fingertips dig into the base of your skull.
When you and Bucky finally break away, you find that the two of them have smiles on their faces, contented looks in their eyes. Steve chuckles softly when he notices your outfit, stroking your hair fondly.
“Missed us that much?” he asks quietly.
“You got no idea,” you reply. Bucky’s flesh hand gives your forearm an understanding squeeze.
“Good mission?” you ask tentatively, pressing your cheek into Steve’s palm as he glides it over the left side of your face.
“Yeah, doll,” Steve murmurs. Bucky hums in agreement.
“Tired?” you breathe, the fingers of your right hand threading between Bucky’s metal ones, where they rest on the couch cushions. He catches your eye and flashes you a small, appreciative smile.
“Yeah,” Steve answers, breaking off with a small yawn. Bucky scrunches up his nose and gives Steve a disapproving side-eye, a million words communicated through that single expression. You’ve learned that Bucky basically goes non-verbal after missions, choosing instead to communicate with touches and gestures. You might be lucky enough to get a hum or a grunt out of him, but there’ll be no actual words until he’s had a shower and some food, at least.
“Alright then,” you say, pushing away from them both — with no small amount of reluctance — and getting onto your feet. “Shower first, then food. Nap and sex after,” you tell them, as you gather your things into your arm and walk around to the back of the couch. You pause, then add, “The last two don’t necessarily have to be done in that order.”
Steve laughs tiredly, looping his arm around your waist when you pass by him, leaning some of his weight on you as you make your way over to the stairs. Bucky shakes his head in amusement at your comment, lips tugging into a tiny smirk. He goes to Steve’s other side, where his sore ribs are, and gently curls his metal arm around Steve’s slender waist, helping to support some of his weight. On any normal day, Steve would’ve protested, argued that he could make it on his own, thank you very much, but today, he’s happy enough to accept the gesture.
You can’t help but watch the two of them out of the corner of your eye as you slowly climb up the stairs, as if needing to reassure yourself that Steve and Bucky are really here. Knowing the two of them, the moment you get into the bedroom they’ll probably try and hustle you into the bed that you’ve made so nicely, despite your vehement protests.
You’re okay with that, though, you think, as you watch Bucky bite his lip suggestively, just as he takes Steve’s right hand in his own, walking backwards to lead you and Steve into the bedroom. Though this morning might have started off on the wrong foot, your boys are back and safe in your arms. This weekend might turn out to be a good one, after all.
Tags are open, but only via asks or PMs.
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Bucky couldn’t understand, and Steve didn’t blame him for that. He couldn’t help it - he didn’t have a soulmark, which meant Bucky would die before his soulmate. He would never have to go on living without them. He would never know for sure who his soulmate was. He would never feel the dread of hearing the last words that were etched onto his skin.
“Steve?” Bucky said. “Can you pass the salt?”
Bucky gave Steve a quizzical look.
“You alright, pal?” He grinned that half-messy grin. “You look kinda nauseous.”
Steve took a deep breath and closed his eyes. Of course Bucky isn’t dying, dumbass. He passed Bucky the salt with a wavering smile, intended to reassure him that everything was fine. Bucky’s eyes stayed uncertain. He knew it wasn’t.
You weren’t supposed to show people your soulmark. Then just anyone could whisper those last words to you as they lay dying and they’d have you fooled. So Steve didn’t show Bucky.
Sometimes when Steve was in the shower he would spend more time than he knew was necessary tracing a finger along the single word on his wrist. He thought it was kind of unlucky, having only one word. Anyone could say that. But he guessed only his soulmate would.
Steve stepped out of the shower and wrapped the bandage back around his wrist before he dried himself off.
He felt a kind of righteous anger about soulmarks, about how bullshit it was to be born with one, about how much it fucking sucked that you only found out who yours was once it was too late.
About how much it fucking sucked that you would have to live without them.
Bucky looked up from his science magazine as Steve stepped out into the living room, towel around his waist. He gave Steve that same half-messy grin.
Steve hoped to God Bucky wasn’t his soulmate.
Steve wasn’t fully sure how soulmarks worked. Sometimes when someone died they didn’t say anything to you. Maybe if that was the case then your soulmark would just be blank, or maybe it was the last words they said to you, or maybe your soulmate was cosmically required to say the words on your wrist so this hypothetical would never happen.
Whichever one of these was true, Bucky did none of them when he fell off the train.
When Steve first met him, first shook his hand, Bruce blushed a deep purple.
“I, uh, sorry,” he stuttered. “I can see your soulmark.”
“It doesn’t matter,” Steve said. “They’re bullshit anyway.”
When Bucky came back, Steve started covering his soulmark again. They were still inherently bullshit but, you know, just in case.
Steve would’ve carried the whole world on his shoulders if Bucky had wanted him to. Bucky was back and Bucky was tired and Bucky wanted space. And so Steve gave it to him.
“You’re covering?” Natasha said, tapping a finger against the bandage around Steve’s left wrist. “Way to pull the rug out from under me, Rogers.”
Steve just let a short breath out through his nose and shrugged, tucking his wrist against his chest.
“I mean, I respect all your decisions,” Natasha said, then thought, then amended, “most of your decisions, but we’ve all seen the thing. I could die in your arms tomorrow and whisper it just to mess with you.”
Steve pressed his mouth into a thin line.
“There’s one person who hasn’t seen it,” he said, slowly. Natasha’s eyebrows raised. She knew, of course she knew. “And I just want to make sure. Just in case.”
“Steve,” Natasha sighed. She held out her own wrist, bandage taped tightly across it. “Worrying about when it’s gonna happen is just going to stress you out. You still twitch whenever somebody says it. You think we don’t notice, but we do. You’ve survived this far. You’ll survive a few years longer, yeah?”
Steve looked at her. There was a pain in her eyes, like she used to live like him, wondering every day when it was going to happen and who it would be. But there was no point in that.
He smiled and nodded and pulled the bandage tighter.
He should make the most of each day as it came and hope that the universe would be kind enough to give him time before it happened.
The universe was cruel enough to forbid him from dying first, so why did he think he would be spared this?
It all seemed to be okay, for just a moment. He remembered being confused then, in that second that seemed to last hours, in that second into which he could fit hundreds of regrets. He felt it coming, but he hadn’t known what it was yet.
And then a crack went through him. He looked to Thor first, because he was stupid, because he thought maybe it was some static off the god that had startled his mind into such clarity. The universe was waking him up. The universe wanted him to remember every second of this.
Steve felt his insides turn inside-out. He hoped to God he’d misheard. He hoped to God it wasn’t who he thought it was.
Bucky staggered towards him, eyes full of distress as his body began to crumble away. Steve couldn’t move, even as Bucky reached out with arms that no longer existed, just to be touched one last time.
And then he was gone.
It took a while for it to sink in, that Bucky was gone and that there was nothing there to show for it.
That Bucky was his soulmate and that he’d left it too late and that this, this was why soulmarks were bullshit.
Steve hadn’t even gotten to tell him.
Steve felt like he couldn’t feel anything. His legs certainly weren’t, the way his knees went to jelly and he collapsed onto the ground.
He unwound the bandage on his wrist. There wasn’t much use for it anymore.
He stared into the ink-black of the word and the reality of it began to take shape.
Steve’s thoughts took the shape of a sob.
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Bucky stans after Endgame:
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“If they hurt you
They hurt me too”
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When you’re looking for a certain fanfiction plot with your OTP but none exist:
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Method Acting P14
Steve needs to face the truth, and Bucky's determined to fix things.
Content Warning: Frat!Steve x Frat!Bucky, ANGST, fluff, Frat!Steve x Reader, Frat!Bucky x Reader, sexual themes.
James Buchanan Barnes is a goddamn idiot. He's a lousy friend, and a downright good-for-nothing son of a bitch. A stupid dickhead. A thoughtless prick. An absolute cun-
"You gonna tell me where we're going?" Steve asks from the passenger seat, the wind blowing through his soft hair. His gentle voice has a way of making Bucky's self-hatred disappear. Like a magician, Steve makes Bucky feel like nothing but happiness has ever lived in his heart.
"It's a surprise," Bucky replies smoothly, keeping his eyes on the road. He knows that if he's to look over and see Steve with the breeze causing his hair to layer in that gorgeous way, and those overly expensive sunglasses making him look like some kind of fucking Hollywood star, Bucky will surely crash the car.
"Not fair," Steve says, the pout evident in his voice and making Bucky's heart pound.
"Nope," He retorts plainly. "Not gonna work on me this time, Rogers."
"Come on," Steve drags out, leaning over and resting his chin on Bucky's shoulder. "Tell me, puppy."
The nickname pulls out a breathy laugh from Bucky, who uses an eye-roll to hide the way he feels as though he has died and Steve is pulling him up to heaven. "Stop."
Chuckling, Steve knows he has Bucky right where he wants him. "You don't really want me to stop, do you?"
Shaking his head, Bucky trains his eye on the lines in the middle of the road, doing his best to remain calm. "If you keep flirting with me, I'mma have no choice but to kiss you, pretty boy."
"Is that a threat?" Steve teases, twirling a lock of Bucky's hair around his finger.
"It's a promise, honey," Bucky replies, smirking to himself. "You don't wanna mess with me."
"Gonna get your boyfriend to beat me up again?" Steve asks with a raised brow, moving back into his seat.
"That was over a year ago; get over it. Besides, I didn't ask Barry to fight you," Bucky says with a grumble. "I just complained about you putting me in a bad mood; he decided to punch you all on his own accord."
Steve glares at the memory, his hand clenching into a fist. "He was such a prick. I'm glad you broke up with him."
"I'm glad he gave you a black eye," Bucky teases, grinning. "I'd like to say that experience humbled you."
"Fuck you," Steve laughs, before looking at the big sign that says 'Entering Sudbury'. With a frown, he looks over at Bucky. "You brought us home?"
"Yup," The brunette confirms, the familiar sidestreets bringing with them an onslaught of memories. "I thought we could do with a break from the city. See some old faces; cure our homesickness."
You and Bucky have kept the kiss a secret from Steve. When they told you they were taking a trip out of town, you assumed Bucky would use the privacy to reveal what happened to Steve, and in a way you were relieved that you wouldn't have to be the one to break the news and have to see the look of betrayal on Steve's face.
The kiss is why Bucky is here right now. He's trying his best to fix yours and Steve's relationship as a way of alleviating his guilt.
"You missed the turn for our street," Steve mutters, feeling nauseous as the route becomes eerily familiar.
"I know," Bucky says coolly, taking a right into a cul-de-sac which fills Steve with dread.
"Buck," He whispers, hand fisting his seatbelt. "What are we doing here?"
Parking the car outside number 13, Bucky turns off the engine and undoes his seatbelt. "We're here to catch up with an old friend."
Reluctantly, Steve follows Bucky out of the car and up the concrete steps, his heart thudding harder the closer they get to the door. A few seconds after Bucky knocks, the door slowly opens.
Amanda grins widely when she sees the boys. "Oh, my handsome boys! I'm so glad to see you! It's been so long."
Taking a step forward, Steve smiles back at her. "Hi, Mrs. Carter."
"I'm just glad you're alright," Thor says with relief on his features as he takes your hand in his. "When I heard rumors that the police were called and the neighbors had heard fighting, I assumed the worst."
You smile up at him, putting down the menu book. "If it wasn't for you, it probably would've ended much worse. That's why tonight is my treat."
"Oh, no," He chuckles, shaking his head. "This place is too fancy for you to foot the bill yourself."
"Excuse you!" You scoff, leaning forward. "You indirectly saved my life; the least I can do is shell out for some lobster and wine."
Thor narrows his eyes. "You're an unemployed student with frankly neglectful parents. My dad is a stakeholder of Google."
Pursing your lips, you glance back down to the extortionate prices on the menu and raise a brow. "Uh... gosh, fine, I mean, if you insist."
He laughs before continuing with his perusal through the menu, and you do the same.
"Y/N?" A familiar voice suddenly calls out.
You look up to see Sam with Kayla on his arm, both of them looking surprised. "Hey guys!" You greet them excitedly. "I didn't know you were coming here tonight."
"Yeah; we're on a little date," Sam informs you, cautiously eyeing Thor. "Hey, man."
"Hello, Samuel!" Thor replies eagerly. "And you must be Kayla, right? I vaguely remember meeting you at a party..."
You and Kayla share a wide-eyed look. He means the rave in the woods where you went to stake out Beryl and the boys; the day she dyed her hair and wore that damn denim dress.
"You went to a party?" Sam asks her, confused.
"Uh, T must be confused," You say quickly. "You guys enjoy your night!"
"We'll be sure to send a bottle of wine to your table," Thor says kindly, placing his hand back on yours with a warm smile. "In honor of young love!"
Sam looks down at Kayla, and she looks back up at him. Are you on a fucking date with Thor right now? Knowing the kind of man Thor is, Sam doesn't trust him with you, and Kayla seems to share his opinion.
"You know what would be fun?" She asks with a gasp, tugging on Sam's arm. "If we joined you!" There's no way in hell she's gonna let you date someone else, and both her and Sam are more than happy to cockblock Thor.
"That sounds wonderful!" Thor gleams, and you agree- though you're surprised that Sam and Kayla wouldn't prefer to have their date alone.
They push another table to yours and sit down, Sam next to you and Kayla next to Thor. "So, are you guys here to... celebrate anything in particular?" Kayla asks carefully, looking between the two of you.
You and Thor share a look and he gently nudges her shoulder with a wink. "I have to take Y/N out for fancy meals every now and then or else she gets bored. She definitely makes it worthwhile, though.
Used to his flirty nature and knowing that he's talking about how you treat him to ice cream after he buys you dinner, you laugh it off. But Sam and Kayla are feeling anything but humored.
'Oh, my God,' Kayla mouths to Sam. 'Are they fucking?'
He just shrugs in response, bewildered, before clearing his throat. "So, uh, you guys come here often?"
"Not really," You reply coolly. "I prefer making Thor cook for me. He's an amazing chef."
"And an amazing eater!" Thor adds on with a hearty chuckle, shooting you a playful wink.
"Oh, yeah; an incredible eater. It's truly astounding," You say with a laugh, thinking about how Thor is able to eat your body weight in food in one sitting.
Sam and Kayla, on the other hand, have their minds in the gutter. Subtly, Kayla brings her hand up to her mouth, making a V shape with her fingers and sticking her tongue between them just to really make sure Sam knows that the conversation is most definitely about how good Thor is at giving oral sex.
"Wow," Sam breathes out, feeling ill. "I didn't know you guys were..."
"Were what?" You ask with a frown.
"He didn't think we were so close," Thor explains with a nod. "Honestly, people are usually surprised when they find out about us." It was true; many people found it odd that the two of you were friends.
"Yeah," Kayla whispers, incredibly taken aback and slightly offended. "I mean, I would've thought you'd have told me at least, Y/N."
Confused, you frown. "What do you mean, Kay? You knew about me and Thor."
"What?" Sam asks, an accusatory look on his face while Kayla sits like a deer in headlights.
"What?" You repeat with a laugh. "What are you guys so confused about? You've both known about us since freshman year. Thor was like, the first friend I ever made."
"So that means you have to fuck him?" Sam questions you incredulously, making your heart skip a beat while Thor chokes on his spit.
At first, you're incredibly offended- but then you realize that there's been a grave misunderstanding. Sharing a mischievous look with Thor, you decide to have some fun. "Yes," You say to Sam bluntly. "And what about it?"
"Yeah; what's it to you?" Thor asks him with a fake glare.
"What's it- what's it to me?" Sam sputters, flabbergasted. "Are you really asking me that?"
"I don't see why you're so riled up about our incredible love-making," Thor shoots, furrowing his brows.
"Relax, T," You say soothingly, rubbing the back of his hand. "They could never understand what we have."
Kayla's eyes are wider than ever as she leans forward. "Y/N, what the fuck are you talking about? Steve broke up with you barely three weeks ago, and now you have something with this guy? You're fucking this guy?"
"Hey now," Thor says sternly. "It's up to Y/N who she fucks."
"Alright, alright," You interject quickly, placing a hand on Sam's arm. "Everyone, relax. We were kidding."
"Don't you talk about her like you know her," Sam says with a clenched jaw. "I oughta beat your white ass-"
Sam narrows his eyes at you. "Huh?"
"What do you mean?" Kayla asks with a scoff.
"You guys are the ones that assumed we were on a date," You say with your hands help up in surrender. "We simply played along."
Gradually relaxing his face, Sam purses his lips. "You little shits."
Chortling gleefully, Thor claps his hands together. "Oh, that was too much fun. We really must go out together more, Samuel."
With a grimace, Sam nods. "For sure."
"And this was the party we threw to celebrate your first day of high school," Amanda reminisces, handing the glossy photograph to Bucky. Him and Steve look with warm grins at the image of the two of them with their arms linked in each of Peggy's, who is mid-laugh. There's a big milk stain on Bucky's shirt which Steve remembers is what Peggy was laughing at, and he feels his heart bloom with fondness at the memory.
"I was so angry at her that day," Bucky recalls with a soft laugh. "Kept tryna get her back but Steve never let me get the chance." He also remembers the slight bitterness he felt towards Peggy when he learnt of Steve's crush on her, but he keeps that to himself.
"You always were so protective over her," Amanda says, putting down the box of photographs. "You boys made her life so wonderful. I will forever be grateful to you both. Though her life was short, it was beautiful, and that's largely down to you."
Steve places his hand on Bucky's, and the brunette takes a deep breath in effort to ignore the butterflies erupting in his stomach.
Clapping her hands together, Amanda smiles warmly. "Enough about the past. How are you boys doing?"
They share a glance and Bucky smiles back at her. "We're great." Sure, they just had some of the craziest few weeks of their lives, but he chooses to leave that part out.
"Oh, you can give me more than that," She says teasingly, winking at Steve. "Any cute girls on your arm, Steven?" Deep down, she's hoping to hear that the boys have finally addressed the romantic tension between them - but she knows that would be expecting too much from her favorite pair of idiots.
Steve is astounded by her question. The way that she can so casually ask her dead daughter's ex-boyfriend about whether he's moved on from the aforementioned dead daughter shocks him. Speechless, he remains silent, his heart thudding in his chest.
"Our Stevie has got himself an absolute angel," Bucky answers on his behalf, pulling his hand out from under Steve's before continuing. "Y/N's just beautiful - I'm telling you, Amanda, if you saw her, you'd think she had just walked right off a movie set. But she isn't just beautiful, she's real smart, too. One of her essays got published in some big-deal academic magazine last year, and she's always top of her class." Getting lost in the thought of you, Bucky's eyes light up. "And Amanda, she's so sweet she'd damn near trigger old-man-Harrison's blood sugar. Kindest thing in the world, with not a single bad bone in her. She- she's amazing, Amanda. Not a half-inch less than perfect. And you know, her and Steve look an absolute picture together. The kind of couple you have to do a double take when you pass by in the street to make sure they're not celebrities or something. I- and they really love each other."
During the monologue, Steve watches Bucky. He listens in as Bucky raves on about you, recognizing the devotion in his eyes. And he feels it, too.
Soon after that, the boys take their leave. Steve requests Bucky to drive them around their hometown, each of them pointing out spots that have meaningful memories attached.
When they reach the skate park they used to frequent, they sit on the side of the rink, swinging their legs over the edge. "You see how thrilled Amanda was to hear about you and Y/N?" Bucky asks, nudging Steve's shoulder. "She was so happy to hear that you had moved on. And Stevie, Peggy would be just as happy, too."
It feels as though a weight has melted off of Steve's chest. No longer does he feel the panic or dread when he thinks about being with you, but he does realize how much he fucking misses you. Though the town is a blast to the past, he doesn't feel stuck there anymore. Instead, he appreciates being there, as if he's looking at a photograph rather than being trapped in limbo.
They sit for a little while, but Steve can't keep his thoughts to himself any longer once they stand up. "You love her," He states as the sun beats down on them, shielding his eyes with his hand.
With a frown, Bucky turns back to him. "What?"
"Bunny," Steve clarifies with a smile. "You love her."
A scoff leaves Bucky's mouth as he plays with the car keys in his hand. "Of course I love her, Rogers."
Taking a step closer, Steve lowers his voice. "Just as much as I do."
Defensively, Bucky shakes his head. "The fuck are you talking about?" Does he know about the kiss? Fuck, fuck, fuck.
But Steve isn't angry at all. He doesn't a single bout of jealousy. Instead, he feels even more enamored. He takes Bucky's hand into his and pulls him closer. "I know you want me."
Pulling his hand back, Bucky snorts. "What; just because I'm into guys? Get your head out of your ass, Rog."
"You've always wanted me," Steve states confidently, folding his big arms across his chest. "That's why you didn't get along with Peggy as much once I started dating her. That's why you never get along with any of the girls I get with- except Y/N. Because you want her just as much."
Bucky lets out a shaky breath. Is he dreaming? Is this a nightmare that ends with Steve killing him?
Steve takes another step closer, cupping Bucky's cheek in his hand. "And maybe I want you back."
Nope. Not a nightmare. Just another wet dream.
"Oh, please," Bucky says dryly, pushing away Steve's hand. "Did you not just hear yourself? I don't get along with any of the girls you get with. The girls, Steve, because there's never been any guys because you're not into guys."
"There's never been any guys because I'm scared," Steve corrects him bluntly. "Because coming out would mean my feelings for you aren't just platonic, and I didn't know how to handle that possibility."
With a long sigh, Bucky rubs his forehead. "Steve-"
"The summer after freshman year-"
"You were a college kid who wanted to experiment," Bucky says coldly, taking back control of the conversation. "You know how many guys come to me who just want to experiment? And a week later, they're back with their girlfriends. I'm not just a fucking toy for you to carry out your fetishes on."
Steve furrows his brows, hating that Bucky could ever think that way. "That is not what that was. You mean so much more to me than that. Those nights with you were incredible; you're the one who ended it before things went too far."
"Because it was just some stupid fun!" Bucky exclaims, frustration dripping from his tone.
Steve raises a brow. "So you didn't feel anything?"
Bucky shrugs, taking a few steps back. "It doesn't matter whether I did or not, because you didn't."
"Yes I did."
A nervous laugh leaves Bucky's mouth as he shakes his head. "Steve."
With a sigh, Steve looks around the abandoned skate park where he and Bucky first met. Where they would compliment each other's tricks, come up with wild dreams for the future, and tend to each other's wounds. It was here that Bucky came out to Steve, telling him that he felt the same way about boys that he did about girls. It was here that Steve offered to give Bucky his first kiss, to make sure he didn't give it to some other bozo who didn't deserve it because every other boy in their class was an idiot. It was here that Bucky accepted Steve's offer, because Steve was part of the reason he was able to come to terms with his sexuality.
It was here that they kissed, here that Bucky's heart latched onto Steve, and here that Steve broke it when he laughed the kiss off and went straight back to fucking skating.
"I took a step back. From you, and from bunny," Steve begins while the sun begins to set. "The distance allowed me to see things from afar. Realize things; realize that..." Stepping closer, he clears his throat. "I love you."
"Steve," He mutters, unable to meet his eyes. "Stop it."
"I love her," Steve continues stubbornly. "You love me. You love her."
Wincing, Bucky shakes his head. He shouldn't feel this way. "Stop it."
"She loves me," Steve goes on to say, placing his hand on Bucky's shoulder. "And Buck, she fucking loves you."
Bucky's gaze is firmly stuck to the ground, tears blurring his vision. "You don't know that."
A small smile plays at Steve's lips. "I do."
"Just drop it, okay?" Bucky implores, finally looking up to meet Steve's eyes, blue on blue on blue on blue. "I wanna go home."
Knowing that Bucky is soft and fragile, and needs to be handled with care, Steve relaxes and decides to drop it. For now. "Okay. Okay, Buck. Let's go home."
• • •
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