'Falcon and the Winter Soldier' Short: Tantrum
Another edition of the 'Downtime' series.
Gen; Friendship; Sam and Bucky, Zemo and Sharon Carter. Missing Scenes for TFATWS 1.03. Bucky Barnes doesn't trust or like people who don't have tempers. And Sam Wilson is the most even-keeled guy on the planet. Or is he?
Bucky cuts his eyes at Sam as John Walker, Steve’s shield on his back, smirks smugly, leaning on the police cruiser, the shield scratching its paint. It’s as if the vibranium itself is expressing its distaste in a metallic wail. Walker talks as if he knows them or even has any idea what he’s doing. As if carrying Steve’s shield annoits him with some God-given power.
True leaders don’t command respect, they earn it. Like Steve did when he rescued 100s of men from the clutches of Red Skull. Or when he stood up to Tony Stark.
Or when he stood up, broken and injured, ready to fight Thanos and his army on his own.
He doesn’t understand how Sam can be so calm, how he can suppress his anger. As the legacy Steve fought and died to create was tarnished and tossed around like a pigskin.
His teeth crack in an unpleasant reminder to unclench his jaw. He doesn’t trust or even like people who don’t have tempers. Even Steve was known to bust holes in walls or bust a few heads.
A nasty, bitter part of him wonders if Sam even cares. His determination not to take up the mantle makes absolutely no sense.
There’s no way to address this without screaming his throat bloody and ripping something off its hinges, which isn’t ideal on a good day, let alone on another transcontinental flight. Bucky tries the deep-breathing Dr. Raynor suggested. It doesn’t help but it also keeps him preoccupied and a little dizzy while they fly back to Berlin.
Snapping metal caging with his metal hand like popping bubble unnerves Sam, and that’s something.
Nothing aids in compartmentalization like an impromptu supermax prison-break, bounties on their heads, a few harrowing firefights, and going undercover as the Winter Soldier.
It’s easier to be a tool, someone else’s weapon and guard dog. Bucky doesn’t have to think or grieve or try to make his way in a world that’s even crazier than the bizarro versions they imagined as kids with 90 years of trauma on his soul and a metal arm he has to hide.
He should feel disgusted by slipping back into the Winter Soldier mindset, but oddly he’s grateful for the mental break.
Sharon Carter saves their asses from the bounty on their heads and whisks them away to her flat in Madipoor’s High Town.
Before they’re off the elevator, Sam, still clad in the Smiling Tiger’s garish African print suit, whizzes him in a blur of speed and a growl of rage, grabs Zemo by the throat and shoves him backwards. Furniture topples. A colorful, and most likely priceless blown glass sculpture shatters into worthless shards.
Zemo hits the wainscotted wall with a grunt of abused wood and a painful wheeze of breath.
There’s lightning and thunder in Sam’s eyes and a relentless grip on the Baron’s throat. “Consider this a reminder,” Sam seethes in a murderous whisper.
Bucky and Sharon share an amused look. It seems like Mr. Goodie-Two-Wings hasn’t enjoyed their descent into Madripoor’s underworld.
“You think you’re calling the shots, but you’re not. I know exactly who you and what you are. King-killer. And don’t let my acquiescence fool you. Serum or no serum, I’m still a soldier. I’m still a damn Avenger. Screw with Bucky’s head like that again, and you won’t even see it comin’.”
Bucky's entire body prickles with cold. With feeling.
This isn’t about Zemo’s butley trying to feed them rotten food or making comments about Sam’s race that even made the man from the 1940s wince at their ignorance. It’s not even about forcing Sam to pose as some kind of pimped-out mercenary. Sam is spittin’ mad because Bucky in the position of revisiting his murderous alter ego.
Zemo makes a move to escape Sam’s wrath. And Sam smoothly switches his grip so wrist and arm flexed, poised to snap. Zemo whimpers in Russian and finds himself face-first against the matte paint in an attempt to keep his arm intact. Bucky finally sees the soldier in Sam, and the bloodthirst that has to burn in order to be able to kill.
And it’s just as wrong as seeing John Walker wearing the shield.
Bucky taps Sam’s shoulder gently at first, and then tugs on his arm before Zemo says something stupid and Sam actually breaks it. As much as he hates him, they need Zemo. “All right, tough guy. Disengage. We’re taking a walk.”
It takes a moment of tug-o-war before Sam regains a bit of himself. He mutters something in Russian to something violent and horrifying enough to startle Bucky before he releases him. Zemo gapes, shaking out his arm, as he realizes Sam’s understood him the entire time.
Bucky walks Sam outside and leans against the door as he paces and rants out his anger.
Sam does have a temper, apparently. And it’s activated by the same thing that compelled Steve Rogers to lie on his military forms and submit to Erskin’s experiment: bullies.
“What are you smilin’ at?” Sam snaps as he snatches off the offensive suit jacket and flings it across the scant balcony. Even at night with a chill in the air, Madipoor is uncomfortably humid.
“You defended my honor,” Bucky grins.
It stops Sam in his tracks and he sputters in shock, eventually settling on an embarrassed chuckle. “I just needed an excuse to choke the guy.”
Something dawns on Bucky, and it slaughters the smile on his face. “Did Steve tell you to watch out for me? Is that why you put up with me?”
“Believe it or not, I can make my decisions all on my own. You’ve had enough tough breaks, man. I’m not going to let him mess with your mind like that.”
“I’m okay, Sam.”
“Well, I’m not. Not after seeing what he...the Winter Soldier was like…”
Bucky doesn’t know what to say to that. He’s more than a little touched by Sam’s fierce protection. And the fact that Steve didn’t bequeath the Avengers’ resident nutjob to Sam. “Do you drink? Sharon has some 52-year-old single malt.”
Sam turns mid-stride towards the apartment, and offers Bucky his fist to bump. “Hell yeah.”
It’d be easy to think that Sam’s rage has evaporated in the Madripoor heat, but Bucky knows it's stowed away in the recesses of his soul, where it’ll be unleashed during a nightmare or the next battle to save the world. Bucky taps his fist against Sam’s as they both realize they have one more (terrible) thing than Steve Rogers in common.
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SUMMARY: After receiving a text from Jimmy, you and Bucky continue your weekly dinner night, only to have it interrupted.
PAIRINGS: Bucky Barnes x Fem!Reader
WORD COUNT: 2,067
WARNINGS: 18+ content, mentions of previous trauma and death, inappropriate language.
Also some Steve Rogers slander.
A/N: Wow I really must enjoy the chaos because somehow wrote this in a couple of hours.
PLAYLIST / CHAPTER LIST / MASTERLIST
← 01 | 03 →
Holy fucking shit.
Your eyes widen at the name, your pupils blowing out of proportion as you bring your phone closer to your face, unable to form proper thoughts or sentences or really anything because Jimmy fucking Woo just texted you.
Immediately your jaw drops at the viewing of his name, a small smile creeping across your lips as you look over at Bucky, giving him the dopiest look he’s probably ever seen in his life.
“What is it?” He asks but before you can respond he’s tossing his cleaning supplies aside and taking the phone from your hands, knitting his brows together as he looks at the screen. “Who’s… Jimmy Woo?”
“My old partner,” you say, the previous curl of your lips growing, the memories of your times together being the reason. “He wants to meet up.”
It’s been years since you’ve heard from him —even longer since you’ve actually seen him which instantly makes the text that much more thrilling because back in the day the two of you were practically inseparable on the field.
“You mean to tell me you had a partner before me?” Bucky smirks and hands you your phone back, watching as you roll your eyes and pocket it for safekeeping, your mind still reeling, wondering why on earth he’s suddenly reaching out.
“Only because you had one first,” you retort, gently nudging his shin with the side of your foot.
As you do he shakes his head, a low scoff falling from his lips as reaches for the broom again, bending over to sweep up the remaining remnants of rice.
“Yeah well, hopefully your old partner never jumps back in time and ditches you for some dame he barely knew,” he says and you can’t help laugh.
“Pretty sure Steve knew Peggy pretty well.”
“Yeah,” he grunts, moving to stand back up. “At least, after he stopped being a capsicle.”
Rolling your eyes, you hear him chuckle and move towards the kitchen, the sight of him casually cleaning sending your mind back into a frenzy of thoughts as you realign your back against the wall and sigh.
For some odd reason no matter how often you find yourself here, being in Bucky’s space always puts you on edge —like somehow, despite being invited, you’re always watching everything from the outside; your eyes trespassing over his frame.
You’re not sure why but watching him do things —mundane things like cooking or cleaning or really anything normal— always draws you in. Like rather than just you, you’re instead a crowd of humans watching him; an animal at a zoo.
Part of you figures it’s the simplicity of it. The lack of resistance you see in his movements as he does them. They’re normal actions, ones he doesn’t really have to think about because they’re his and his alone. Nobody’s controlling them or telling him what to do which in a sense makes them weirdly beautiful because for the first time in Bucky’s life it’s like he’s finally free and you’re witnessing it first hand.
“Do you want the rest of mine?” Lifting up the remainder of your food you watch as he whips around, broom still partially in hand as he moves to prop it up against the wall.
Instantly there’s a brightness that spreads across his face, his mouth practically watering as he shoots you a curt nod and slowly wanders over, dropping himself down in his original spot.
As soon as he does you let out snort and hand him your food, ignoring the silent growl of your stomach as he happily starts going to town, shovelling back forkful after forkful.
“God, this is so good,” he mumbles through each bite, sauce pooling around the edges of his lips in messy blobs.
Out of habit you laugh and reach over to wipe them away prompting him to grab your wrist in retaliation, an unimpressed look plastered across his face. “Why are you always doing that?”
“Wiping my mouth and stuff.” He scrunches up his face and tosses your hand away before using the back of his own to get rid of the mess. “It’s like you’re my mother.”
“Sometimes I feel like I am.”
“And sometimes I feel like I’m yours but you don’t see me reaching into your space to touch you whenever I want.”
The urge to roll your eyes again instantly resurfaces, pulling at your features as you look towards the television screen, a series of shots detailing a local murder case catching your attention.
“Did I ever tell you I used to work for the FBI?”
Bucky glances towards you and shakes his head, swallowing hard as his gaze travels back towards the news.
“There’s where I met Jimmy,” you add, half listening to the newscaster as she rambles on about the condition of the latest of the victim. “We worked at Quantico together for about a year or two before he was eventually stationed out in Cali.”
“Cali,” Bucky parrots, his brows shooting up towards his forehead in surprise. “Never been.”
“It’s nice I guess, if you like an unimaginable amount of heat and people who are way too social for their own good.”
“Never mind,” he immediately retorts, causing you to laugh and sort of nod, watching the way he smiles back and takes another bite.
“Yeah, I much prefer New York. It’s crowded too, but at least everybody just openly hates each other and we get all the seasons.”
This time Bucky laughs, his head partially tilting back as he chews a bite of chicken, his lips curling around his teeth to keep it all in.
And overall the sight’s pretty nice; the way his jaw sort of clenches with each movement, creating a stark line against the parallels of light veins that sit throughout his throat.
Without even thinking your eyes move to trace them; your pupils following their every little twist and turn until you notice him staring back and you’re forced to look away again, embarrassment filling your features.
“You know it’s impolite to stare, doll face.”
As soon as he says it you can feel his smirk against your face, burning it’s way through your skin as you look towards the television screen, using it as a distraction to fight off the inevitable teasing you’ll most likely have to endure.
Because whenever you look at him like that he always says something —always points it out and blows things out of proportion. He says he does it because you look funny when you’re flustered, but you know deep down he does it because he likes the idea of someone being frazzled over him.
“If I didn’t know any better I’d say you’d like me or something.” His shit eating grin makes an appearance quickly after he speaks, his elbow casually moving to bump yours in the process.
“Of course I like you,” you say even though you know that’s not what he means.
“Like me or like me like me?”
“Good lord, Barnes, what are we five?” Raising your brow, you nudge him back, this time much lighter than before, fearing a repeat of the dropping of his food. “Can’t a girl look at a man and think he’s cute without being ridiculed for it?”
Bucky shakes his head almost immediately, taking the moment to put aside his food before ultimately shuffling closer to your frame and wrapping his arm around you. “Only if a guy can do the same to his favourite girl.”
“Bucky I’m your only girl.”
Frowning, he roughly rubs his palm across your upper arm, pulling you into his chest. “That’s not true. I also have Raynor.”
“Ah yes, our grumpy therapist,” you retort, sarcasm dripping from your lips as you reach around to hug his middle, pressing your face against his chest. “I mean, she is quite the catch. Not to mention ballsy enough to whip your ass into shape.”
“If only she could do the same to you.”
Glancing up, you open your mouth in fake offence and reach up to smack him in the face prompting him to grab your hand before you get the chance, lacing his vibranium fingers in yours.
And it’s a simple act —one he’s done a number of times while the two of you are sitting alone, hidden from the eyes of the world, yet it still takes you by surprise because every time he does it it drives you absolutely mad —makes you angry and lustful, the mere feeling of his fingers around yours reigniting that same craving you get whenever he gets like this.
Whenever he gets too close but never close enough to be certain that this is something he wants.
Because deep down you think you want it —think you want him.
“Bucky Barnes, sometimes I wonder if it’s actually you that likes me.” Running your thumb along the metal of his hand, you wonder if he can feel it —the dangerously rough pull you feel whenever your bodies are close and your hearts are wide open.
“Of course I like you,” he says, mocking your words as he thumbs your hand back, his eyes locked on the way your flesh contrasts the lack of his own.
“Wow, such heartfelt words. Did you come up with them yourself?”
Snorting, he squeezes you closer, moving the hand that’s on your arm up to your neck to gently rub. “No, actually I heard it from a very good friend of mine.”
Burying your face against his chest to hide your grin, you tighten your grip around his middle and let out a heavy sigh, feeling his ribcage begin to press against your own as you exhale.
“So, when are you meeting Jimmy?”
The sudden change in subject leaves you restless, partially wanting more even though he hasn’t made an effort to move.
“Oh, uh, I don’t know.”
“You do want to meet him, right?”
Cocking your head, you glance at Bucky to respond before quickly turning your attention to the television screen, noticing the sudden change in tone as the segment shifts from murder case to missing persons, a picture of Wanda appearing on screen.
As soon as it happens both you and Bucky pull away from each other, the feeling of hands and skin separating at an instant as you wordlessly watch a clip of Wanda storming through SWORD headquarters, using her powers to rip open one of the doors upon entering.
Immediately it sends a chill up your spine, all the memories of Vision and Thanos and the fight at Wakanda crawling it’s way up the length of your brain, hijacking your amygdala in the process.
Suddenly you feel your body thrashing around; the memories of your legs running through the crowds of enemies, pushing you further and further coming to mind as you hit the clearing and see Wanda fighting, her powers draining both Thanos of his strength and Vision of his life.
And soon as you see it —the scene of Thanos pushing against the energy of Wanda’s powers, the brunt of his body leaning against the reddened sparks you find yourself scared; hopelessness flowing through your system as you glance between the fight continued and the fight defeated.
On the ground, all of your teammates lay prone, unable to help while you merely just stand there, confused and overwhelmed, too scared to even think about getting involved because what if you die?
What if you die and everyone lives? Or alternatively what if you die and only half of you live? Or even, what if you’re one of the ones who lives and everyone else dies? Why does there have to be death at all? Why can’t there be life? Calmness and happiness and just anything that isn’t fucking death or threat of death or danger in general because frankly the more you think of it the more tired you become and the more tired—
Bucky’s hand laces through your fingers again, tightening its grip by wedging the vibranium between your skin, the coolness of the metal doing little to calm the heat radiating through you.
“I’m sure she’s okay,” he says but before you can answer you’re looking at the screen again noticing Jimmy’s familiar round face and kind eyes as the newscaster on sight offers him the mic and he proceeds to speak directly to you.
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